Matthew 19:8, Moses permitted. From Yeshua’s statement here, it seems that Elohim gave Moses certain freedom and latitude to redefine and adapt some Torah principles to accommodate the needs and realities of fallen and sinful man.
In the case of marriage, even though it was Elohim’s highest ideal for a man to leave his parents and cleave to one wife for the rest of his life or until she died (Gen 2:24), the reality is that man is too often incapable of living up to the Creator’s highest ideal because of the hardness or sinfulness of his heart; therefore, divorce was permitted.
It is important to note that YHVH gave the marriage command before the fall of man had occurred (Gen 2:24 cp. Gen 3:1–6). In light of the fact of the fall of man when sin entered the world thus negatively affecting the marriage relationship, YHVH allowed Moses to permit divorce under certain circumstances (see Deut 24:1–4).
Had Moses not made allowances for the sinfulness and hardness of the human heart and forbad all divorce in Israel in an effort to strictly adhere to YHVH’s highest letter-of-the-law ideal for marriage, then the societal results might have been unimaginably chaotic. For example, people would have been compelled to remain in abusive, criminal, adulterous, irreligious or even anti-religious relationships or in situations of abandonment or substance abuse. What kind of impact would this have had on the children and on future generations? Probably it would have had even worse consequences than those resulting from divorce.Continue reading
This is just what we need—one more television show to promote gender confusion and to break down the two classifications of humans that the Almighty Creator made: male and female.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:27)
Elohim created male and female, husband and wife as the foundation for accomplishing His divine purposes on this earth. From a marriage between a man and a woman come children. It is the lofty and Elohim-ordained goal of parents to produce children, and to teach them His ways of of life, wisdom and truth, which, hopefully, will result in all of them being adopted into the divine and eternal family of Elohim.
From healthy, Elohim-oriented marriages and families come strong, vibrant, morally and spiritually solid societies. The biblical record and secular history show this to be a true pattern. It also demonstrates that with the breakdown of the family, including genders, comes confusion, licentiousness, moral breakdown, lawlessness and criminality, depravity, rebellion, anarchy and, eventually, the collapse of the society. Those who fail to learn the lessons of history will be condemned to repeat the mistakes of history and to suffer the consequences thereof.
So why is Hellywood producing television shows that promote gender confusion? Give me a massive break! Aren’t there a million other things that television producers can depict a young boy doing other than crossdressing? It’s because behind most of the entertainment industry is a bunch of Satanic God- and Bible-hating, morally depraved hedonists. Make no mistake. For them it’s all out war against anything that’s good and decent and promotes biblical values.
Turn this garbage off and resist this moral rot every way you can. That’s why I got rid of my television years ago.
After boycotting the filth, let’s resolve to be a force for good. Parents, let’s help our children to embrace and even celebrate their Elohim-given gender, and help them to express who they are as His unique creation without encouraging them to color outside the lines of their particular gender.
No matter how politically incorrect it may be, those of us who hold to the divinely revealed and transcendent standards of the Bible must work hard to instill these values in the next generation, and give them good reasons to resist the tsunami of moral depravity that is trying to overtake and drown us.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Does Mark see himself as a girl?
SARA GILBERT: He doesn’t. That’s something that got out in the press that’s not true. He’s not a transgender character. He’s a little boy. He’s based on a few kids in my life that are boys who dress in more traditionally feminine clothing. He’s too young to be gay and he doesn’t identify as transgender, but he just likes wearing that kind of clothing and that’s where he is at this point in his life.
How much do you address his desire to wear girl’s clothing?
There is an episode that addresses it. He dresses that way throughout the show, but there’s one episode that focuses on it more heavily. We did a lot of research because we wanted to make sure and do it properly. This character is not transgender.
What made you want to create this character?
It represents the world. This is a show that’s always been able to represent the world and talk about it without being so issue-heavy. We can do it through the dynamics of the family. I know kids like that and it seemed like a great character. One kid in particular that I know is so sweet, funny, charming, and great. In a way the character— that’s one element of the character that he dresses that way, but he’s also based on this kid I know in a lot of other ways. I don’t want to pigeonhole him and say just because he dresses this way that’s the only thing about him. He happens to dress that way but he’s an amazing, creative, brilliant kid, which you will see, and so is the kid, Ames, who plays him.
How often do people have a personality and a worldview that is based on a mental and spiritual paradigm that is defensive and self-protective? Someone with such a personality often excuses and absolves themselves of responsibility for their actions by shifting the blame off of self by accusing others for the negative consequences their actions. The actions of such a person often proceed from that person’s mental and spiritual carnal nature strongholds. It is out of these strongholds (e.g. pride, selfishness, fear, greed, lust, bitterness, etc.) and an attempt to cover their sin (instead of dealing with it through admission of responsibility followed by confession and repentance) that these defensive, self-preservationist actions occur. Those on the receiving end of the person’s defensive, sinful actions will see this person as accusative, angry, contentious, lying, arrogant and fearful. These are the bad fruits of a carnally-minded person.
Moreover, our own sins often blind us from clearly seeing the sins of others. What happens, in an effort to cover up our own sins and absolve and excuse ourselves from responsibility for our own sinful actions, is that we often condemn and accuse others of that which we ourselves are guilty. This is called blame shifting and is a merely a slight-of-hand diversionary tactic to distract the attention of those we’re trying to deceive. By resorting to this defensive strategy, we get the critical eye of others off ourselves and we effectively are able to cover and hide our own sins thus escaping responsibility for our own evil actions.
This is why we have to be so careful when pointing fingers at others for any reason. Perhaps we are guilty of the same sin for which we’re accusing others.
In fact, the wise person, when he sees himself accusing someone of something, will stop for a moment of self-reflection and self-analysis to determine if he is actually reacting in a hypocritical and duplicitous manner. If so, this is an excellent opportunity for one to gain an insight into the dark areas of one’s own soul and to admit his own glaring sinfulness and to confess and repent of that sin. This takes great courage and spiritual maturity, but provides one with a great opportunity to overcome sin and to grow closer to Elohim by becoming more like Yeshua.
Accountability to others is vitally important to help keep us on the narrow path of righteousness and truth and to even aid us in maturing spiritually. With the help of those to whom we make ourselves accountable, we will learn to act under the controlling influence of the Word and Spirit of Elohim. We will be disinclined merely to act out of carnal emotional and mental (often demonically-influenced) impulses that are based on sin-strongholds that exist deep in our soul as a result of past wounds and hurts. These past hurts continually jerk us around by dictating how to act and what to say when we are confronted with difficult, embarrassing situations (Gal 5:16–17). Instead of being led by the Spirit of Elohim to respond appropriately in crisis situations resulting in the fruit of the Spirit being produced (Gal 5:16, 22–25), such a person, instead, tends to react emotionally, impulsively and defensively and the outcome is the works of the flesh (Gal 5:19–21).
This is why accountability to others is important. Other people will help us to see our blind spots and, if we can get past our own pride and proclivity to react self-defensively, to overcome our fleshly, carnal, sinful tendencies, and to walk under the control of the Spirit of Elohim thus producing the fruit of the Spirit instead of the works of the flesh.
As a result, our interpersonal relationships will improve, stress will diminish and the peace of Elohim will fill our lives and will live in an atmosphere of love, joy and peace instead of strife, contention and anger.
This past Sunday, my eldest child and daughter got married. I was privileged to be both give her away and to be the wedding’s officiant. This was the first of of our four children to get married. Needless to say, it was a joyous day in the Lawrence family!
Here is what I said in my opening homily of the wedding ceremony. Maybe this will bless someone.
What is more beautiful than a family? Dad and mom and the kids playing, working, being together. In my mind, I’m picturing a family picnic in a bucolic setting, or a dad and mom pushing a baby stroller down the sidewalk, or a family bike ride with dad leading the way and mom and the kids following. Add to that loving and supportive grandparents along with the rest of the extended family, and you have a little bit of heaven on earth! When I see such a sight, I pause for a moment to savor it, and then reflect on it and then I look upward to thank the Almighty Creator for this loving institution that he has created called marriage and the family. This all starts with a man and a woman uniting in holy matrimony before YHVH Elohim, the Creator of marriage.
Marriage is a divine institution established by YHVH Elohim, the Creator at the very beginning of time. We read in Eph 5:22–33,
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
The higher ideal of marriage remains a mystery to the average person. To most people, it is simply a physical institution. In reality, it’s much more than that! It is Elohim-ordained, and even more importantly it is a picture of the Godhead on the earth. In the institution of marriage, heaven and earth meet. When this happens, children are born and the family of Elohim is potentially perpetuated. Moreover, marriage and the family helps show the world the way to Elohim. For it is Elohim-ordained responsibility and privilege of the husband and wife, and father and mother to perpetuate the light of Elohim’s truth and the principles of Continue reading
An Overview of YHVH’s Marriage to Israel as Fulfilled in the Lives of Redeemed Believers
YHVH married the children of Israel at Mount Sinai.
Read Ezekiel 16:1–14.
Redeemed believers are preparing to be the spiritual bride of Yeshua.
For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Messiah. (2 Cor 11:2)
Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, “Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he saith unto me, “These are the true sayings of Elohim.” (Rev 19:7–9)
What are the prophetic implications of and spiritual parallels between YHVH’s first marriage to ancient Israel and YHVH-Yeshua’s upcoming marriage to his bride—the saints who keep his (Torah) commandments and have faith in him (Rev 12:17; 14:12)? In his Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matt 25:1–13), Yeshua likens his bride to the five wise virgins who had oil in their lamps. Oil is a Hebraism for the Spirit of Elohim and the Torah. In other words, the prospective bride of Yeshua will walk in the Spirit of Elohim and the truth of Torah, which Yeshua tells us is a mandatory requirement if one is to have a relationship with YHVH (John 4:23–24; 1 John 2:3–6). We learn from the fact that since five foolish virgins who weren’t allowed into the wedding supper that not all redeemed believers will be the bride of Yeshua. Some believers will be the least in YHVH’s kingdom and some will be the greatest (Matt 5:19). According to Yeshua, how obedient one is to the Torah will determine one’s level of rewards in his eternal kingdom (Matt 5:19).
Between Exodus 19 and 24, we find recorded the steps Israel took to enter into a marital or covenantal agreement with YHVH. In chapter 19, we discover what the pre-marital preparations YHVH required of Israel before he would marry her. In Exodus 20–23 are recorded the terms of the marriage covenant. These were the marriage vows or ketubah to which Israel agreed to live by, and which would determine the nature of Israel’s and YHVH’s spiritual marital relationship. In three places (Exod 19:8; 24:3, 7), Israel agreed to these terms when she said “I do.” Finally, in Exodus 24, we find the covenant or marriage contract committed to writing and ratified or signed.
Now let’s review the specific details of this marriage agreement between YHVH and ancient Israel, and see how this relates to us as redeemed believers. What are the parallels between the events at Mount Sinai,the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 and Yeshua’s second coming?
Exodus 19:1, YHVH gave the Torah to Israel at Mount Sinai most likely at the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot or Pentecost, Lev 23:15–21). On the day of Pentecost, the Spirit of Elohim wrote the Torah on the hearts of redeemed believers in fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy (Jer 31:31–33; Acts 2:37).
Exodus 19:2, Mount Sinai symbolized the exalted Presence and heavenly government of Elohim. Israel camped before the mount positioning themselves to receive a spiritual blessing from YHVH. Likewise, Yeshua instructed his disciples to tarry or position themselves in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high (Luke 24:49). Once empowered by the Spirit, they would be able to walk out the Torah and to be a spiritual light to the nations (Acts 1:8).
Exodus 19:3, Moses acted as YHVH’s intermediary to prepare the Israelites for their marriage to him. Malachi prophesied that in the last day YHVH would send his forerunners in the spirit of Elijah to turn the hearts of the children back to the foundations of their faith including the Torah before the return of Yeshua, thus preparing the saints to be the bride of Yeshua (Mal 4:1–6).
Exodus 19:5, YHVH presents the terms of the marriage covenant (or ketubah) to Israel. Those conditions are the Torah. If they chose to accept YHVH’s terms, they would be his treasured possession (or am segulah), and would be above all the people of the earth.
Exodus 19:6, They would become not only his wife, but a kingdom of priests or kings and priests to lead the rest of the world into relationship with YHVH. That will be the role of the resurrected saints or bride of Yeshua during the Millennium according to the Book of Revelation (Rev 1:6; 5:10; 20:6).
Exodus 19:8, The people said “I do” to YHVH. This was the bride of Israel accepting YHVH’s ketubah or Torah and their promise to be faithful to the Torah. On the day of Pentecost, 3000 new believers said “I do” to YHVH-Yeshua when they repented of their sins (i.e. Torahlessness; see 1 John 3:4; Acts 2:38), put their faith in Yeshua the promised Messiah, and were baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:41). In so doing, they became the betrothed to Yeshua, and began preparing for marriage.
Exodus 19:9, YHVH indicated that he would came in thick clouds. Yeshua ascended in the clouds and will come back in thick clouds (Acts 1:9–11).
Exodus 19:10, Until the coming of YHVH, Israel was to prepare or sanctify herself by washing her clothes. YHVH is not coming back for a bride with spot and wrinkle (Eph 5:27), but one who will be wearing pure white robes of righteous deeds of the Torah (Rev 19:8 cp. Matt 5:19), and the righteousness of Yeshua (Rom 5:21; 8:1–4, 10; 1 Cor 9:21; Eph 2:6, 10; Gal 2:20; 2 Cor 5:17; Eph 4:22–24; Phil 1:11; Tit 2:14; Heb 13:21).
Exodus 19:11, As the Israelites were given two days to prepare for YHVH’s coming on the third day, so the bride of Yeshua has been given 2000 years to prepare for his second coming, and he will come in the third millennia after Yeshua’s first appearance.
Exodus 19:15, In preparation to meet YHVH, the Israelites were to abstain from all carnal relations with their wives. Similarly, the end times saints must be preparing to wed Yeshua by keeping themselves spiritually pure from any carnal activities that might take their focus and attention off him. Additionally, YHVH is presently calling his bride out of spiritual fornication with the world system or Babylon the Great (Rev 18:4; 2 Cor 6:17).
Exodus 19:16, 19, As there was lightning, thunder, clouds and smoke at YHVH’s Presence when he came down from the mountain, so was a rushing wind and fire on the day of Pentecost, and there will be that and much more at Yeshua’s second coming when he comes down from heaven for his bride (Matt 24:29–30; Rev 11:14–19). As the shofar blast announced YHVH’s arrival at Mount Sinai (Exod 19:16), even so, the shofar will also sound at Yeshua’s second coming for his bride (Matt 24:31; 1 Thess 4:16; 1 Cor 15:51–53; Rev 11:14–19). This speaks prophetically of the shofar blast signaling the new moon of the seventh month on Yom Teruah when the saints or the bride of Yeshua will be resurrected (changed in the moment of a twinkling of an eye at the last or seventh shofar blast) to meet Yeshua in the air (1 Cor 15:51–53; Rev 11:14–19).
Exodus 19:17, Moses brought the people out to meet YHVH. Those coming in the spirit of Elijah are presently preparing the bride of Yeshua to meet him, and then they will present her to Yeshua at his second coming.
Exodus chapters 20–23, The ketubah or marriage contract, which contains the terms of the Mosaic or Sinaitic Covenant (i.e. Israel’s marriage vows, i.e. the Torah), is presented in these chapters.
Exodus 24:1, The leaders of Israel (Moses and the 70 elders) and the priests (Aaron and his sons) went up to meet YHVH. This group prophetically represents the wise virgins and saints who keep YHVH’s commandments and have the testimony of Yeshua (Rev 12:17; 14:12), who will be the bride of Yeshua, and who will also rule as kings and priests in Yeshua’s millennial kingdom (Rev 1:6; 5:10; 20:6).
Exodus 24:3, Israel the bride agreed to the terms and conditions of the ketubah (the Torah) that YHVH offered her.
Exodus 24:4, The ketubah was written out. This marriage agreement involved all 12 tribes. YHVH made no agreements with Gentiles. Similarly, the New or Renewed Covenant is made only between YHVH and redeemed Israelites from the houses of Israel and Judah (Heb 8:8). Only redeemed Israelites from the 12 tribes of Israel will be allowed into the New Jerusalem, for that city contains no Gentile gate (Rev 21:12). Strangers and sojourners from the nations (the Gentiles) are welcome to join (or be grafted in to) Israel if they agree to follow YHVH Elohim, keep his Torah-commands, and to put their faith in and become disciples or followers of Yeshua the Redeemer of Israel (Exod 12:49; Rom 11:16–32; Eph 2:11–19).
Exodus 24:5, The firstborn of each family were originally the priests of their homes (before YHVH instituted the Levitical priesthood in Exod 32:26–29). Presently, fathers and husbands are to be the priests over their homes with Yeshua as the Great High Priest over everyone (1 Pet 2:9 cp. Eph 5:23).
Exodus 24:6, Moses sprinkled half the blood of a sacrificed animal on the altar, which prophetically pointed to Yeshua shedding his blood on the cross, so that we might enter into covenantal relationship with YHVH. The wine Yeshua drank at the last supper thus ratifying the New Covenant signified the blood he was about to shed at the cross (Matt 26:26–28). When we as redeemed believers drink the third cup (i.e. communion) at the Passover seder and eat of the unleavened bread of communion, we are signifying our marital commitment to YHVH-Yeshua. We are accepting the terms or ketubah of the covenant—the New Covenant, which includes the Torah being written on our hearts by the Spirit of Elohim (Jer 33:31–33; Heb 8:8–10).
Exodus 24:7, Israel agreed to the terms of the ketubah the third time. As Israel pledged loyalty and obedience to YHVH, even so, we also must confess with our mouths and believe in our hearts that Yeshua was raised from the dead, and then walk in righteousness, which is obedience to the Torah (Rom 10:4–13; Ps 119:172).
Exodus 24:8, Moses sprinkled the blood of an innocent animal over the people, which is a prophetic picture of Yeshua shedding his blood at the cross for the redemption of sinners from the penalty of sin, so that they might enter in a sinless state into a covenantal relationship with YHVH (Heb 9:18–22).
Exodus 24:9–12, Only after the blood of the sacrificed animal was shed and sprinkled over the people were the elders permitted access into the Presence of Elohim. Only through the shed blood of Yeshua and through the veil of his flesh are we able to come boldly to Elohim’s throne of grace (Heb 10:19–20; 4:16).
Exodus 24:11, The elders eating and drinking in the Presence of Elohim is a prophetic picture of the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev 19:9).
Exodus 24:12, The Torah-law or ketubah was written on tablets of stone then. Now it is written on the tablets of the hearts of redeemed believers by the Spirit of Elohim (Jer 31:31–33; Heb 8:8–10).
Exodus chapters 25–31, Once married, YHVH instructed the Israelites to build a house for the newly married couple where they could live together in a peaceful marital relationship. The saints are now the temple of the Set-Apart Spirit, and YHVH wants to dwell in the set-apart temple of our hearts and minds. We stay set-apart by following YHVH’s Torah, by loving, obeying and abiding in Yeshua through the empowerment of his Spirit of Elohim in our heart, thoughts and actions. If we do these things, we will be the chaste, virgin and righteous bride ready to meet Yeshua at his second coming.
Mark 10:2–10, (cp. Matt 5:31–32 and 19) Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife? Yeshua confirms the fact that divorce wasn’t part of YHVH’s original marriage plan, but that Moses allowed divorce only for a specific reason.
In the Torah, divorce was permitted for lack of virginity at the time of marriage, and for specific sexual sins committed that violated the marriage covenant (note Deut 22:13–14 cp. Deut 24:1–4), yet eventually (by the time of Yeshua), among some of the Jews, the divorce laws had become so relaxed that a man could put his wife away for any reason (Matt 19:3). To those Jews who had such a liberal interpretation of the Torah’s divorce laws, Yeshua was addressing not what the Torah specifically said, but what the religious-legal interpretations had become of those laws.
To bring the concept of marriage and divorce back to the Creator’s original design, Yeshua upheld that, according to the Torah—YHVH’s master plan, marriage between a man and a woman was inviolable and that divorce was permissible only for certain gross sexual sins and for (irreconcilable) hardness of heart (see more at Matt 19:8–9).
The bottom line of what Yeshua is saying is this: YHVH’s highest ideal is for a man and woman to marry and become one, as YHVH Elohim (the Godhead—the Set-Apart Spirit [the feminine side of Elohim], and the Son) is one, of which the marriage is to be a reflection. Sadly, because of the hardness of the sinful human heart, divorce happens, which Moses permitted under certain circumstances, but not for just any reason. Divorce, though permissible, is YHVH’s lowest ideal for the family, since it leaves in its wake so much ruination.
Mark 10:10–13, Divorces…little children. The proximity to Yeshua’s teaching on divorce with his blessing the little children presents us with an interesting juxtaposition of ideas. It’s as if the Gospel writer is obliquely conveying to us the fact that divorce is detrimental to families—especially to children.
Mark 10:11, Divorces his wife and marries another. Tertullian (A.D. 160–220), the early church father, understands this to mean that he who divorces his wife in order to marry another does so unlawfully and is thus an adulterer. He concedes that Moses allowed for divorce and that Yeshua accepts this provision in the Torah, but not if it’s done for the wrong reasons and, therefore, unlawfully (Ante-Nicene Church Father, vol 3; “Tertullian Against Marcion”; Book 4, chap 34; pp. 404–405; Hendrickson, 1995).