Raising children from the Bible

Raising Righteous Children

Raising Righteous Children

Today’s youth are facing a growing pandemic. Current statistics show that today’s young people encounter challenges that were unheard of decades ago. They are not learning the same core values that were impressed upon their fathers and grandfathers before them. The recent tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri, involving an African-American teenager and a city police officer is one of many recent examples of a lack of parental guidance. Consider the following statistics:

  • More and more children and teens are sexually active. By the time they graduate from high school, 7 out 10 girls and 8 out of 10 boys will have been sexually active.
  • The physical and spiritual con-sequences of teen sexual activity are severe. More than one million teenage girls in the United States become pregnant every year. Over 2.5 million new adolescent cases of sexually transmitted diseases occur every year.
  • Rates of substance abuse among children and teens are skyrocketing. Not surprisingly, 38 percent of all eighth graders have experimented with illicit drugs. Over 80 percent of today’s graduating seniors will have used alcohol, 42 percent will have used marijuana, and 52 percent will have used illicit drugs.
  • Teen violence is on the rise. Between 1988 and 1992, the arrests of juvenile homicide offenders climbed 93 percent. An estimated 270,000 guns are carried to school each day.
  • The pain of growing up in today’s world has left many youths hopeless. Suicide rates among American high school students have quadrupled in the last four decades. Sadly, 10 percent of adolescent boys and 18 percent of adolescent girls have made some attempt to take their own lives (parentingministry.org).

The preceding statistics speak volumes when it comes to the decline of today’s youth. The increase in illicit behavior should be concerning to all parents. While it may not be possible to help every child, we can take steps to ensure that our children and those children within our influence understand the difference between right and wrong. They are the future of this nation.Knowing that this world will likely only become worse with time, our children must be strong in the faith and remain faithful through many more challenges than faced by earlier generations. So as parents, how do we ensure that they are ready for such a time as this one? We must instill within them a love for Scripture and our Father’s moral values and precepts.


Be an Example

Deuteronomy 6 provides a method for achieving morally and spiritually upright children. It reads, “And thou shalt love Yahweh thy Elohim with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up,” verses 5-7. In Hebrew, this passage is called the shema, meaning, “to hear.” Our own good examples are the best ways to teach our children. As believers and parents, we are to love Yahweh with our heart, soul, and might. That means with our entire being. Yahweh should always come first in our lives. This includes fully obeying Him and following in the examples of His Son, Yahshua the Messiah. John in his first epistle says that it’s impossible to know Yahweh if we ignore or refuse to obey the commandments. So as parents, we must first set the example. Then we’re to teach Yahweh’s Word “diligently” to our children. This word comes from the Hebrew shanan. The Brown Driver and Briggs Hebrew Lexicon defines this word as, “to sharpen or to teach incisively.”

This means to be active and not passive when it comes to teaching our children Yahweh’s Word. We’re to spend time daily with them in the truth of our Heavenly Father. If we’re not doing this now, we’re falling short as parents. As Scripture commands, we’re to be teaching them all day long in various ways and circumstances. If we follow these instructions, Yahweh promises that our children will continue in the faith. We find this promise in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” If we raise our children in Yahweh’s Word, Scripture confirms they will not forsake His truth. This is a promise upon which we can rely.

The question is, how is it accomplished? The answer is in the shema. We’re to spend time with them daily, teaching them diligently, i.e., incisively, from Yahweh’s Word. For those parents who are negligent. in this, understand that if we take a passive approach, the likelihood of that child’s accepting and following the faith is greatly diminished. This information is not intuitive, but learned.

The sad reality is that many adults today, including countless parents, have little understanding of virtue and integrity. For this reason their children also lack this knowledge. People are asking today, why are children killing children and behaving in such violent ways? The answer lies with their parents and the fact that today’s generation is ignorant of simple morality. With so many now supporting gay marriage and abortion, how is it possible for today’s youth to accept Yahweh’s truth? This is why Deuteronomy commands that we as parents must first love and follow Yahweh with all our heart, soul, and might. If we’re going to help the next generation, we must ensure our generation is first living up to those standards.


Abraham More Than a Prophet

One man who understood this, and more importantly lived it, was Abraham. Not only was this patriarch faithful to Yahweh, but as we see in Genesis 18:19, he was also a good father. It reads, “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of Yahweh, to do justice and judgment; that Yahweh may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” Scripture recognizes Abraham for many achievements. He left his family and home; he believed Yahweh when others would not, and he was a prophet. One of his greatest accomplishments, however, was his parenting. The Bible says that he taught his children to walk in the way of Yahweh and to follow in His justice and judgment.

Walking in the way of Yahweh is the same as obeying Him. If we as parents don’t impress upon our children the sanctity and holiness of His Word, then there’s little hope for their spiritual future. If they don’t learn how and why it’s important to honor the Sabbath, then they will likely never understand the sanctity or holiness of this day. The same applies to marriage and all other moral principles in the Word.

In the fourth chapter of Proverbs, Solomon explains why it’s important that our children follow Yahweh’s Word.  “Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live. Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.”   Solomon is speaking to the children. He says that children are to listen to the instruction of their father. He gives four key benefits they will reap from it: understanding or knowledge of Yahweh’s Word; good doctrine or teaching; wisdom or discretion; and blessings.

When we obey our father we’ll be blessed and free from many of life’s other problems. This assumes that the father is living a life of righteousness. If the father is rebellious, then he will not be equipped to pass on these values to his children. There is one inescapable truth that impacts all men and that is that sin has consequences. For example, when we commit fornication, not only do we dishonor our own bodies, but we run the risk of pregnancy, STDs, and other life-changing factors. It’s amazing how one sin can change a person’s life forever. Contrary to what many want to believe, sin has real consequences. The simple truth is this, if we follow Yahweh and teach our children the same, we and they will be blessed. However, if we refrain from this parental responsibility, they will likely never have a love and concern for the Bible when they are grown. It’s amazing what we as parents can do when it comes to influencing our children. We have the ability to impress upon them the standards of Yahweh’s Word or the standards of this world.


Be Available for Questions

Be honest and forthright in answering your children’s questions. In Exodus 12:26-27 is an example of this principle: “And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of Yahweh’s Passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped.” This principle applies far beyond the Passover. If our kids ask us about Yahweh’s Word, we’re to use that as an opportunity to ingrain a love and interest in Scripture. If a child understands the reason why Yahweh says what He does, they are more likely to follow it. As parents, we’re not only to take time out and read to our children but also be available for questions. The mind of a child is like a sponge, soaking up everything it encounters. Having two girls of my own, I’m often surprised at their ability to process and understand information. They often grasp much more than we realize. It’s for this reason that we must be actively teaching them Yahweh’s Word.

Admonition of a Father

In Ephesians 6:4 Paul speaks specifically to fathers when he says, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Master.” The NIV reads, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of [the Master].” This is a reference to the father as the disciplinarian. Regardless of what some people want to believe, there are differences between mothers and fathers. One difference is how they respond and relate to their children. While mothers are normally more nurturing by nature, fathers are more inclined to be the disciplinarian. This is why Paul addresses this passage to the fathers. Fathers must not discipline excessively or abusively. This type of correction is not only counter-productive, and often creates long-lasting animosity between the child and parent.

Adam Clarke, in his well-known commentary, provides this insightful observation, “Avoid all severity; this will hurt your own souls, and do them no good; on the contrary, if punished with severity or cruelty, they will be only hardened and made desperate in their sins. Cruel parents generally have bad children. He who corrects his children according to [Yahweh] and reason will feel every blow on his own heart more sensibly than his child feels it on his body. Parents are called to correct, not to punish, their children. Those who punish them do it from a principle of revenge; those who correct them do it from a principle of affectionate concern.” Parents should never forget the reason for correcting their children. The motivation for correction should be rooted in love, not anger or hatred. The goal is to see that the child repents and changes his or her ways. Paul goes on to say that parents are to bring their children up in the training and instruction of Yahweh’s Word. The King James Version calls it, “nurture and admonition.” So along with correction, fathers should be active in teaching them Yahweh’s Word. Remember that Abraham was praised for instructing his children.


Nurturing of a Mother

From 2Timothy 1:5 we learn that mothers, too, have a responsibility of imparting Yahweh’s Word to their children. “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.” Paul praises Timothy’s mother and grandmother for Timothy’s devotion. Some people view the role of full-time mothers as degrading and unneeded. Those who hold this opinion could not be more wrong. Full-time mothers should be praised for their commitment to their families. Being a full-time mom isn’t easy and it’s no less important than any other position. A full-time mom might possibly have the most important position in the family. Mothers spend the most time with their children and have more opportunities to share Yahweh’s truth and be an influence. Their role in the development of that child is enormous. It wasn’t a coincidence that Paul praised Lois and Eunice for their nurturing and guidance of young Timothy.

As seen from the Bible, both the father and mother have pivotal roles in the upbringing of their children. This is why children often suffer in single parent homes. Fathers and mothers fill different needs in a family and when one parent is missing there is going to be a deficiency in the raising of that child. The story of Timothy continues in 2Timothy 3:15. “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Messiah Yahshua.” Paul says here that Timothy knew the Scriptures from a child. It was his childhood that made him the man he was. This goes back to what Yahweh says in the shema and what Solomon says in the book of Proverbs. If parents teach their children Yahweh’s Word early, they will retain that knowledge when they are grown. Timothy’s success can be traced back to the devotion of his mother and grandmother. If not for them and Yahweh’s Word, his life may have been vastly different. Many children suffer today simply because they lack the nurturing that Timothy had, as well as others like him. It cannot be impressed upon parents enough the impact and influence they have on their kids. If we use our time wisely, we can impact our children in ways that will follow them all their days.


Two Examples, Two Outcomes

In closing, let’s consider two examples of parenting. In 1Samuel 2:18 we find the example of the boy Samuel. It reads, “But Samuel ministered before Yahweh, being a child, girded with a linen ephod. Moreover his mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice…And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with Yahweh, and also with men.”

Who was this extraordinary boy? He was the son of Elkanah and Hannah. The Bible says that Hannah was barren or unable to have children. One year when Elkanah and Hannah went to Jerusalem to worship Yahweh, Hannah prayed for a son and promised Yahweh that if He would answer her prayer, she would dedicate her son to His service. Yahweh answered Hannah’s prayer; she kept her word and gave her son to Eli the priest. From the beginning, the Bible confirms that Samuel’s parents were people of devotion and integrity. It says that they would go up every year to worship and sacrifice unto Yahweh. The Bible says that Samuel grew in favor with both Yahweh and men.

In the end, Samuel proved to be one of the greatest prophets in the Old Testament. He never deviated or forsook Yahweh’s truth; he remained strong and was a beacon of light for those who served Yahweh. It’s important to realize that Samuel’s walk began as a child; he served Yahweh as a child, and continued serving Him when he was grown. The same cannot be said about the sons of Eli. “Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people. Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make Yahweh’s people to transgress. If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against Yahweh, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because Yahweh would slay them,” 1Samuel 2:22-25.

The Bible states that Eli’s sons were wicked and rebellious. They defiled Yahweh’s worship and caused Israel to sin. While the Bible doesn’t provide much detail as to how Eli raised his sons, he obviously fell short. However, with the exception of his sons, Eli was a good man and served Yahweh faithfully. The sad reality is, parental neglect by ministers isn’t all that uncommon. Many ministers are so concerned about others that they become complacent with their own families. Even though it’s often difficult, those who minister must achieve a balance between the ministry and their families. They cannot neglect the one for the other. Consider this, if a minister has problems in his personal life, how is it possible for him to effectively minister to others? Raising children is an enormous responsibility, but well worth the work and effort. There is nothing more rewarding than to watch your children grow up as respected adults with a love for you and their Heavenly Father.  For more info like this please read our booklet: Restore the Lock in Wedlock


by: Randy Folliard


abortion bible, is abortion murder?

The Value of Life

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From the beginning this nation has stood as a beacon of hope to the world. The principles that formed the foundation of this once great country were different from all others before it. As John Adams, a founding father, once stated, “Suppose a nation in some distant Region should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence… What a Utopia, what a Paradise would this region be” (Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, Vol. III, p. 9).

Clearly from the writings of John Adams and other founders who shared his view on government and morality, it was a widespread hope that every person would live life based on the moral precepts of the Bible. If they did, we would have a much different world today. It’s not hard to see, however, that something has gone horribly wrong, especially with the ever-increasing acts of violence committed by today’s youth.

In 1973 one key court decision greatly contributed to the moral decline of our culture and that was the federal ruling to allow abortion. Since this infamous day, millions of legalized abortions have been committed under the banner of pro-choice and women’s rights. Even though many see the abortion issue as only political, the truth is, it is a deeply moral issue that every Bible believer should stand up and cry out against. It is a travesty of complete disregard for the lives of children.

We hope that after reviewing this publication you will agree that abortion is not only morally wrong, but it is also up to every believer concerned about the future of the culture to stand against the practice. To understand the gravity of the issue, let’s begin with the number of abortions here and abroad.

Abortion Statistics

In 2008 there were 1.21 million abortions reported in America, down from the 1.31 million in 2000. According to the National Right to Life Committee (the largest and oldest pro-life organization) and the Guttmacher Institute, in 2011 the number of abortions dropped to 1.05 million.

Even though we’ve seen a decrease in the number of abortions, we’re still seeing over a million abortions per year. Since the notorious court case of Roe vs. Wade in 1973, we’ve seen over 50 million legal abortions. The current population of the state of California is 38,332,521, according to a July, 2013, census report. This means that one child has died for every man, woman, and child living in California … plus 12 million more!

In addition to domestic abortions, the number of international abortions is nothing short of a travesty. Based on a study conducted by the Guttmacher Institute, in 2008 there were 43.8 million abortions worldwide. Below is a breakdown by region:

Region                                 No. of Abortions (millions)

Developed Countries………………………………………..6.0

Excluding Eastern Europe………………………………..3.2

Developing Countries………………………………………37.8

Excluding China………………………………………………28.6




Latin America…………………………………………………..4.4

North America………………………………………………….1.4



In addition to the number of abortions, it’s important to understand the demographics behind this epidemic. According to the Guttmacher Institute:

  • Eighteen percent of U.S. women obtaining abortions are teenagers; those aged 15–17 obtain 6% of all abortions, 18 to19-year-olds account for 11%, and teens younger than 15 account for 0.4%.
  • Women in their 20s account for more than half of all abortions: Women aged 20-24 obtain 33% of all abortions, and women aged 25-29 obtain 24%.
  • Non-Hispanic white women have 36% of the abortions, non-Hispanic black women 30%, Hispanic women 25% and women of other races account for 9%.
  • Thirty-seven percent of women obtaining abortions identify themselves as Protestant and 28% identify as Catholic.
  • Women who have never married and are not cohabiting account for 45% of all abortions.
  • About 61% of abortions are obtained by women who have one child or more.

Why are so many teenagers having abortions? The most obvious answer is that they are not waiting for marriage and are not being reared to respect the sanctity of both marriage and life; instead they are promiscuous and with little concern about the consequences.

Abstinence is a novel idea today, relegated to the era of “Father Knows Best” and “I Love Lucy.” Instead of teaching moral principles, schools are handing out birth control pills and by doing so encouraging illicit behavior.

Abortion is a moral problem and it begins with our children. Instead of ingraining the values and virtues of our Father’s Word, our culture instead is communicated a very different message. This message is one of total tolerance and acceptance, and the result is what we are witnessing in the breakdown of today’s family. When we refuse to take moral stands and to impress upon our children the concepts of abstinence and the sanctity of marriage, we will lose their hearts and minds.

Women in their 20s account for more than half of all abortions. This is the result of not raising our young people with the morals and ethics we find in the Bible. Many consider the Bible old-fashioned and out of date, but the Bible has stood the test of time. While our growing secular nation continues to fall apart, the Bible is the very source needed to cure our moral sickness. As a nation we need to repent and return to the virtues that our Father Yahweh has given us in His Word. Without His teachings we will continue the downward spiral.


Reasons Given for Aborting

Out of all the information regarding abortion, possibly the most concerning are the reasons why most women choose this path. In 2004 the Guttmacher Institute did an extensive survey on why women have abortions. Some of the reasons may surprise you:

Why Women Abort   (in percentages)

Having a baby would dramatically change my life………………………………………74

Would interfere with education………………………………………………………………..38

Would interfere with job/employment/career…………………………………………….38

Have other children or dependents………………………………………………………….. 32

Can’t afford a baby now…………………………………………………………………………….73


Student or planning to study…………………………………………………………………….34

Can’t afford a baby and child care……………………………………………………………..28

Can’t afford the basic needs of life……………………………………………………………..23


Can’t leave job to take care of a baby………………………………………………………….21

Would have to find a new place to live………………………………………………………..9

Not enough support from husband or partner…………………………………………….14

Husband or partner is unemployed…………………………………………………………..12

Currently or temporarily on welfare or public assistance………………………………8

Don’t want to be a single mother or having relationship problems………………..48

Not sure about relationship…………………………………………………………………….. 19

Partner and I can’t or don’t want to get married………………………………………….12

Not in a relationship right now…………………………………………………………………..11

Relationship or marriage may break up soon……………………………………………….11

Husband or partner is abusive to me or my children……………………………………..2

Have completed my childbearing……………………………………………………………….38

Not ready for a(nother) child……………………………………………………………………..32

Don’t want people to know I got pregnant…………………………………………………..25

Don’t feel mature enough to raise a(nother) child………………………………………..22

Husband or partner wants me to have an abortion……………………………………….14

Possible problems affecting the health of the fetus……………………………………….13

Physical problem with my health………………………………………………………………..12

Parents want me to have an abortion……………………………………………………………6

Was a victim of rape……………………………………………………………………………………1

These alarming statistics show that most often abortion is done for personal convenience or finances. Medical reasons amount to a small percentage; only 1% is for rape. What do we hear, though, from most abortion advocates? They will justify abortion for the health and safety of the mother. The greater part of abortions is committed to simply avoid personal responsibility or inconvenience.

As created beings we’re to be accountable for our actions. When we make a mistake, we’re to own up to that mistake and do what is necessary to make it right. This includes both the biological mother and father. That unborn child has two parents, each of whom is responsible for their actions and must step up and take responsibility.

Injury and Emotional Impact

A common misconception is that abortion is harmless and without much risk; the facts show otherwise. According to the Pro-Life Action League, the consequences of abortion include both physical and psychological problems.

“Contrary to the claims of many abortion advocates, there are many serious physical and psychological risks to abortion. Among the physical risks are infection, perforation of the uterus, hemorrhage, cervical incompetence, cancer, and even death. Among the psychological risks are regret, nervous disorders, sleep disturbances, suicide, alcohol and drug abuse, eating disorders, child neglect or abuse, divorce or chronic relationship problems, and repeat abortion.”

While the physical risks are real, the psychological problems are more common. The following list of those consequences is provided by the American Pregnancy Association:

  • Regret
  • Anger
  • Guilty feelings
  • Shame
  • Sense of loneliness or isolation
  • Loss of self confidence
  • Insomnia or nightmares
  • Relationship issues
  • Suicidal thoughts and feelings
  • Eating disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

With so many risks involved, abortion is anything but safe. It can leave both lifelong physical and psychological scars. The emotional scars are often hardest to live with.


Testimonials from Mothers

Consider the following testimonials from those who experienced an abortion (Source: Silent No More Awareness):

“For seven years I’ve not allowed myself to think about it. I’ve blocked it out so that I wouldn’t hate myself for my decision. I still haven’t fully forgiven myself, although the more I speak about it, the more healing I find.” – Melissa, MD

“Regardless of my outward appearance, I’d personally given up the hope of ever feeling whole. I constantly battled rage and self-loathing. I’d suppressed the memories of my abortion so deep, yet the reality of them was evident in how I lived my self-destructive life.” – Tammi, PA

“I will never know if my babies were boys or girls – what they would have been like, what they would have liked doing…I hope my story will help someone, or keep someone from having an abortion. It was the worst thing I have ever done in my life – I will never escape the pain!” – Laney, AL

“I am a wife, a mother, and a grandmother. My appearance of normalcy deceptively masks the reality of my abortion experience. There is nothing normal about aborting one’s child…I am writing my true story to warn others who may be considering abortion to carefully consider not making the same fatal choice that I made over four decades ago.” – Charlotte, CA

“I made my unborn child suffer. I made myself suffer. I don’t know how I couldn’t see that no one was going to win, that this wasn’t a game. It’s been four days, and I don’t know how I can go four weeks or months or years.” – Lucie, FL

“It was so easy to believe the lies, that what would be removed was simply a piece of tissue, and that, by having it removed, I could simply go on with my life, never looking back. Everything and nearly everyone was pointing to abortion. This was not just my choice, this was the choice of a society.” – Cindy, OR

“The bottom line for me is this: No matter how much noise pro-choice people want to make, there’s something speaking even louder in each human being. It is called our conscience. Whatever argument you want to tell yourself to believe that abortion is right, your conscience will tell you it’s not.” – Marisela, WA

“Do I wish I had made a different choice…that I would have even been told I had a choice? Absolutely! But it is important to not condemn the young women who made this choice; from experience, I know how much it hurts them…If telling my story helps even one woman, saves even one baby, then it’s worth it. I want all women to know that taking your baby’s life destroys your own…that’s why I am Silent No More.” – Marie, WI

From the above testimonials, there is no denying the guilt and emotional grief that many women suffer from after an abortion. While many abortion advocates desire to mask or hide this, the fact is, it’s very real! The only solution is to bring awareness to this important issue and to change the hearts and minds of this culture.


Alternatives to Abortion

It’s crucial to realize that there are other answers than abortion. Alternatives can be categorized in two ways: pre- and post-pregnancy. The obvious preventive measure to ensure that abortion is not needed is to remain celibate before marriage. Even though this concept is viewed by many as old-fashioned, not only is it biblical, but it also provides the only solution to ensure that pregnancy does not happen prior to marriage.

For women who find themselves pregnant, there are three alternatives to consider:

The first is parenting. For those not married, this option can be especially challenging. It’s not easy being a single mother. However, even though this may be a difficult option, it is also the most rewarding. Being a parent offers rewards not found with anything else in life. Caring for your child brings a connection of love and hope not found in any other relationship. This also shows character. Our character is often defined during moments of trial. As the Apostle Paul shares in the fifth chapter of Romans, “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of Elohim is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us,” verses 3-5.

A second option is interim foster care. This choice provides a loving and safe home while the mother can adapt to and prepare for the needs of the child. It can offer assistance from a few hours after the child’s birth to a few months after the pregnancy. Options for caretakers include foster and family members, including the family of the biological father.

A third option is adoption. While this option is more permanent than interim foster care, it provides for a lasting solution for the child without the need of terminating his or her life. There are several types of adoption programs available, including: open adoption, semi-open adoption, and closed adoption. Open adoption allows for continued contact between the child and biological mother. In some cases, the mother will choose the parents and draft the terms of the adoption, including the frequency and type of communication allowed. While semi-open adoptions also allow for communication between the biological mother and child, the contact is normally through an intermediary source, e.g. adoption agency.

The last option, closed adoption, allows for no contact between the biological mother and child.

Even though some mothers feel that they are abandoning their child through adoption, they should also realize that they are saving the life of that child and giving him or her an opportunity to survive and thrive.

Adoption Story of Judy V.

“As a senior in college I found myself pregnant after a fling. There was no chance of marrying the father, and abortions were not legal at the time. Besides, it was not the baby’s fault that I was pregnant. With the help of the county’s social services department, I went to a home for unwed mothers in a distant city.

“During counseling sessions with a social worker, I analyzed my past, my character, and my potential. She emphasized that, in deciding whether to raise my baby or to put it up for adoption, I should consider the results of raising a child as a single woman. It was possible that in trying to be responsible, I could condemn us both to lives of poverty and unfulfilled potential. We could be isolated, as well, for unwed mothers and their children were shunned in the society at that time. For these reasons, I might also end up resenting the child. It was very important that both of us be loved. Ultimately, I realized that an adopted baby was loved twice – not only by the family that received the child, but also by the mother who gave the child to them. I opted for adoption.

“In those days, there were no open adoptions that allowed the birth mother to keep track of her child. But I did have one last opportunity to hold my baby girl and say goodbye…Then she was gone, given to a young couple who could not conceive and who were anxious to love and guide her.

“I felt empty, yet full. Gone was the baby who had been within me for nine months. Some wonder if I ever had guilt over giving up my baby. I can truly say, never! I did the best I could for my child. I gave her life, not death, and offered her to a family that welcomed and loved her.

“When she was twenty-one, my daughter searched for and found me. I welcomed her, and our families were united successfully. She has blended with her three younger half-sisters and now has nine children of her own. Her family resides in Germany, where she currently serves as the prayer partner and advisor to the president of the Hessen area military women’s Christian outreach program. Adoption works.”

Support for Mother and Family

One of the greatest ways to avoid abortion is support from the biological father and family members. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 14% of mothers choose abortion because they were pressured by their partner or spouse. The influence of a loving spouse and family can make the difference between life and death. For this reason, it’s crucial that support be given to the mother, regardless of the situation.

Another place where support can be found is in crisis pregnancy centers. There are more pregnancy centers than abortion clinics. As of 2013, there were 2,500 pregnancy centers and 1,800 abortion clinics nationwide (“Pregnancy Centers Gain Influence in Anti-Abortion Arena,” New York Times). Most of these clinics offer various programs and assistance for both the biological mother, father, and child, including peer counseling concerning abortion, pregnancy, adoption, and other related topics. They can also offer financial assistance and classes on child-rearing. Some even offer programs allowing you to earn clothing and other items for your child.

Development of a Baby

To understand that an unborn baby is a human being, one must simply look at the development of a child. Once a person understands such facts as the heart begins to beat six weeks after conception, there should be no doubt that the unborn is a living, growing, human being.

The following is provided from the U.S. National Library of Medicine. We will consider weeks 5 – 21 and the development of the child at various stages:

Week 5

  • The embryo’s cells multiply and start to take on specific functions. This is called differentiation.
  • Blood cells, kidney cells, and nerve cells all develop.
  • The embryo grows rapidly, and the baby’s external features begin to form.
  • Your baby’s brain, spinal cord, and heart begin to develop.
  • Baby’s gastrointestinal tract starts to form.

Weeks 6 – 7

  • Arm and leg buds start to grow.
  • Your baby’s brain forms into five different areas. Some cranial nerves are visible.
  • Eyes and ears begin to form.
  • Tissue grows that will become your baby’s spine and other bones.
  • Baby’s heart continues to grow and now beats at a regular rhythm.
  • Blood pumps through the main vessels.

Week 8

  • Baby’s arms and legs have grown longer.
  • Hands and feet begin to form and look like little paddles.
  • Your baby’s brain continues to grow.
  • The lungs start to form.

Week 9

  • Nipples and hair follicles form.
  • Arms grow and elbows develop.
  • Baby’s toes can be seen.
  • All baby’s essential organs have begun to grow.

Week 10

  • Your baby’s eyelids are more developed and begin to close.
  • The outer ears begin to take shape.
  • Baby’s facial features become more distinct.
  • The intestines rotate.

Weeks 11 – 14

  • Your baby’s eyelids close and will not reopen until about the 28th week.
  • Baby’s face is well-formed.
  • Limbs are long and thin.
  • Nails appear on the fingers and toes.
  • Genitals appear.
  • Baby’s liver is making red blood cells.
  • The head is very large–about half of baby’s size.
  • Your little one can now make a fist.
  • Tooth buds appear for the baby teeth.


Weeks 15 – 18

  • At this stage, baby’s skin is almost transparent.
  • Fine hair called lanugo develops on baby’s head.
  • Muscle tissue and bones keep developing, and bones become harder.
  • Baby begins to move and stretch.
  • The liver and pancreas produce secretions.
  • Your little one now makes sucking motions.


Weeks 19 – 21

  • Your baby can hear.
  • The baby is more active and continues to move and float around.
  • The mother may feel a fluttering in the lower abdomen. This is called quickening, when mom can feel baby’s first movements.
  • By the end of this time, baby can swallow.

Another key fact is that a baby can feel pain near the 20th week of pregnancy. This, along with the stages of development, verifies that a “fetus” is a human life. Knowing that a new life begins at conception, it is clear that abortion is the killing of a human being.

Yahweh Knows the Unborn Child

Now beyond medical science, we also find evidence for life beginning at conception in the Bible. David in Psalm 139:13 wrote, “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.” The word “possessed” here is from the Hebrew qanah, a primitive root in Hebrew meaning, “to erect or create.” The word “covered” comes from the Hebrew cakak, meaning, “cover over or to protect.” The Bible confirms that not only did Yahweh create David, but He also protected him while yet in his mother’s womb. So from a biblical standpoint, this shows that a “fetus” is a human being created and protected by our Father in heaven. But David wasn’t the only one known while yet in the womb.

Jeremiah 1:5 verifies that Jeremiah was also known by Yahweh before his birth. It reads, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Not only was Jeremiah known, but he was also sanctified while yet in his mother’s womb. The word “sanctified” comes from the Hebrew qodesh and means “to consecrate or dedicate.” As Scripture clearly relates, Jeremiah was consecrated as a prophet while yet in his mother’s womb, providing undeniable evidence that a human life begins at conception. A baby in the womb is no less a human being than any other person.

Another individual known before birth was John the Baptist. Luke 1:15 states, “For he shall be great in the sight of Yahweh, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb…And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit,” verses 15, 41. There was something very special with the conception of John the Baptist. He received the Holy Spirit while yet in the womb. If this doesn’t provide biblical support that a human is alive at conception, what does? Surely the ability to receive the Spirit shows proof of life.

Another person known in the womb was the Apostle Paul: “But when it pleased Elohim, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood,” Galatians 1:15-16. Paul was “separated” from his mother’s womb. This word comes from the Greek aphorizo and refers to “the Divine action in setting men apart for the work of the gospel, Rom. 1:1; Gal. 1:15” (from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words). Like Jeremiah before him, Paul was divinely appointed by Yahweh from his mother’s womb.

Beyond the examples showing that we are known from the womb, Exodus 21:22-23 provides a passage verifying that the unborn is considered a human being. It reads, “If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life.”

According to the Torah, or Old Testament law, if two men fight and accidently injure a pregnant woman, causing a miscarriage, the person responsible for the injury had to provide a settlement for his action. Keep in mind that this was unintentional. What happened in the event that the guilty person continued to fight? As we read, if mischief or hurt followed, the person had to pay life for life.

In other words, if the initial injury was accidental, the person responsible had to pay what the husband and judges determined. However, if the conflict continued and death followed, he was to give his life for the life of the unborn.

Pro-choice Views

Not for the purpose of condemnation, but to understand the view of the other side, let’s now consider an excerpt from an article that was written by a pro-choice advocate:

“At the outset, let me say that from a pro-choice point of view, the status of the fetus is a peripheral issue. Regardless of whether a fetus is a human being or has rights, women will have abortions anyway, even if it means breaking the law or risking their lives. Even women who believe that abortion is murder have chosen to get abortions, and will continue to do so. That’s why we should leave the decision up to women’s moral conscience, and make sure that they are provided with safe, legal, accessible abortions. Because ultimately, the status of a fetus is a matter of subjective opinion, and the only opinion that counts is that of the pregnant woman….”

One key sentence here summarizes the error with the pro-choice point of view. The author says, “Regardless of whether a fetus is a human being or has rights, women will have abortions anyway….”

It does matter whether a “fetus” is a human being, which is the crux of the issue. If the “fetus” is not a human being then there is little debate on either side. From the evidence, a “fetus” is alive; that unborn baby has a beating heart six weeks after conception.

The other argument that women will have abortions regardless of its legality is extraneous. The same argument could be made for any offence, whether murder, theft, drug use, etc. What people will do does not justify wrongdoing. We can’t set standards by the actions of society. Regardless of personal opinions or bias, everything about the abortion issue comes back to whether that “fetus” is a human being, and from medical science and Scripture we find undeniable evidence that life begins in the womb.

Ancient Parallels of Child Sacrifice

Even though widespread abortion is a recent phenomenon, we find similar acts of violence involving children in Scripture and history. One such practice included the worship of Molech. He was the national god of the Ammonites, also known as “Milcom.” To show their devotion to this deity, worshipers would kill their children and then lay them upon the arms of Molech. The child would slide from the arms into a fiery inferno. This worship was so vile that Yahweh called it an abomination.

The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary further explains Molech worship, “A Semitic deity honored by the sacrifice of children, in which they were caused to pass through or into the fire. Palestinian excavations have uncovered evidences of infant skeletons in burial places around heathen shrines. Ammonites revered Molech as a protecting father.

Worship of Molech was stringently prohibited by Hebrew law (Lev. 18:21; 20:1-5). Solomon built an altar to Molech at Topheth in the valley of Hinnom. Manasseh (c. 696-642 B.C.), in idolatrous orgy, also honored this deity. Josiah desecrated the Hinnom valley altar, but Jehoiakim revived the cult.

The prophets sternly denounced this form of heathen worship (Jer. 7:29-34; Ezek. 16:20-22; 23:37-39; Amos 5:26, marg.). No form of ancient Semitic idolatry was more abhorrent than Molech worship.”

Even though there are obvious differences between abortion and the worship of Molech, they have one fact in common, the intentional murder of children! Why do you suppose our Heavenly Father abhorred the worship of Molech? Was it the deity itself or the worship involved? There were many gods and idols in the ancient world and while Yahweh warns against idolatry, He was most concerned about the worship of Molech. He loves and values human life, including both the born and unborn. As Scripture confirms, life does not begin at the moment of birth, but at the moment of conception, which is actually a continuation of life from the father and mother.

Without Natural Affection

Paul, writing to young Timothy, provides a prophecy that partially speaks to abortion: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come…Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,” 2 Timothy 3:1, 3.

Notice that these prophecies are for the last days, which may very well mean today. Paul says here that “perilous” time shall come. This word is derived from the Greek chalepos, meaning, “difficult or dangerous.” In this difficult time, Paul states that people and society will be without natural affection.

Along with abortion, this can be seen in many facets of today’s society, including the plague of bombings and shootings in public places. As a culture we’re becoming numb and callous to these horrible crimes and acts of violence. Abortion is the taking of a human life. With over one million abortions per year, this cannot be denied!

The blame, however, cannot be wholly applied to women receiving abortions. As a culture we’ve given abortion acceptability and legality. If there is any hope for change, we must as a culture reverse course by acknowledging the sanctity of life.

Is Forgiveness Possible?

Perhaps the number one concern of women who have had abortions is: Can I be forgiven? The answer is yes. Forgiveness can be found for those who have aborted their babies, particularly for those who did not understand the full scope of their actions.

The Apostle Paul in the sixth chapter of 1Corinthians states, “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of [Yahweh]? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of [Yahweh]. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the [Master Yahshua Messiah] and by the Spirit of our [Elohim]” (verses 9-11, NIV).

While we don’t find abortion specifically mentioned here, we see that forgiveness is possible if we repent and seek baptism. There were those in the early assembly once guilty of these sins, but they had been washed and justified through the blood of Yahshua the Messiah by the waters of baptism.

In addition to what Paul says, we find the forgiveness of King David. Paradoxically, David, the most famous king of Israel, was guilty of adultery and murder in his actions with Bathsheba and her husband Uriah. Even though he would suffer because of his sins, he found forgiveness from Yahweh through humbly repenting.

Nothing captures his sincere remorse greater than Psalm 51, “Have mercy upon me, O Elohim, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O Elohim; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.”

Evident in this Psalm is David’s deep sorrow and profound remorse. This is what Yahweh seeks of us when we transgress. He wants to forgive us as well if we would just submit to Him and change our lives.

It is the hope and prayer of this Ministry that this publication will change not only the hearts and minds of those seeking or contemplating abortion, but of society as well. Until the people of this nation and world realize the immorality of abortion, this sin will continue.

Pray that hearts will soften and eyes will be opened to this worldwide plague. And just as with David, those who sincerely repent and follow up with baptism into Yahshua’s Name will find forgiveness of their transgression.

Watch “Abortion Facts” with National Right to Life President Carol Tobias below:

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How to be a good father from the Bible

Fathers and Scriptural Leadership

The most important building block of any society is the family. The family is the foundation, the cornerstone, of civilization. Within the family one of the most important roles is the father. Today the father’s significance has largely been diminished. One area in which this is painfully evident is with his authority. Paul addresses the family structure in his epistle to the Ephesians.

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Master. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Messiah is head of the Assembly; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the Assembly is subject to Messiah, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Messiah also loved the assembly and gave Himself for her” (Eph 5:22-25).

In today’s politically-correct-driven climate, most individuals simply refuse to accept that the husband is the authority within the family. However, this is what our Father in Heaven says in his Word. Paul says that the wife is to submit to her husband as to the Messiah. He went on to explain that as the assembly is to obey the Messiah, the wife likewise should also obey her husband. According to Scripture, the father is the final authority within the scriptural family.

Paul also said that the husband is to love his wife as the Messiah loved the assembly. It is important to note that our Savior, Yahshua the Messiah, never abused his authority over the assembly. In the same way the husband should never use his given authority to abuse his wife or family. The husband is to love his wife.

Over the years there have been many published studies on the importance of fathers. Without a father a child is much more likely to engage in activities that are abusive or harmful. In an article entitled The Plight of Fatherless Children from Gazette.net the following discoveries were noted with children without fathers:

  • Sixty-three percent of young people who commit suicide are from fatherless homes.
  • Eighty-five percent of children who exhibit behavioral disorders are from fatherless homes.
  • Eighty percent of rapists are from fatherless homes.
  • Seventy-one percent of high school dropouts are from fatherless homes.
  • Seventy-five percent of all adolescent patients in chemical-abuse centers are from fatherless homes.
  • Seventy percent of juveniles in state operated institutions come from fatherless homes.
  • Eighty-five percent of youth in prison are from fatherless homes.
  • Seventy percent of pregnant teens are from fatherless homes.

In the majority of studies documenting the impact of fatherless homes, there is one recurring theme —without strong fathers at home children suffer in many profound ways. Yahweh knew what he was doing when He created man and woman and brought them together as a family. Without this core unit that our Father in Heaven established, no culture has a chance for long-term survival.

What does it mean scripturally to be a father? What responsibilities do we find within Yahweh’s Word for the father? Perhaps the most basic role of a father is the provider.

The Family Provider

“But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1Tim 5:8). For a father there is no greater basic responsibility than to provide for the necessities of his family. Besides obeying our Father in heaven, there is no obligation more important for a father.

As fathers we can be the best Bible students, but if we lose sight of our basic obligation to our families then all our efforts are for naught. As fathers we must always provide for our families. Yahweh has no patience for fathers who are lazy or refuse to provide for their immediate household. The only obligation more important than reading the Word is living the Word. If we read the Word without putting that knowledge into action then that knowledge is worthless.

Another duty of a father is the responsibility of disciplinarian. It is clear from scripture that this is primarily a father’s role, which explains why children require a father’s influence.

Head Disciplinarian

An amazing fact of Scripture is that many characteristics of the father are the same as our Heavenly Father. According to the author of Hebrews, His discipline is one of them.

“And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of Yahweh, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom Yahweh loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” If you endure chastening, Elohim deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons” (Hebrews 12:5-8).

According to scripture, those whom Yahweh loves he rebukes and chastens. If we are not being rebuked, we are not considered legitimate sons of Yahweh. Why is this? Through discipline Yahweh shows his concern for those whom He loves.

Correction or admonition should not to be considered bad. Correction is often the catalyst to change. A person who receives no admonition is a person who often does not change. Scripture is clear that is it Yahweh’s will that all of mankind would be saved (Ezek. 18:23, 1Tim. 2:4); however, it is written that salvation is given to those who obey (Heb. 5:9). Obedience is not the means of salvation but is the responsibility of a believer (Rom. 7:1, Acts 5:32).

As Yahweh’s correction is advantageous to those whom He calls, a father’s correction is also beneficial to his children. In the Book of Proverbs, Solomon speaks of the benefits of a father’s admonition. For instance, in Proverbs 3:12, Solomon compares the discipline of Yahweh to the discipline of a father. “For whom Yahweh loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.”

Solomon in his wisdom wrote that as Yahweh corrects those whom he loves, a father does the same. If as parents desire our children to be well behaved and sons and daughters of the Most High then correction is crucial. Those who receive no admonition are those who often leave the path of righteousness. As a parent we should discipline with a desire to see our children succeed morally. Again, correction or admonition should not be viewed negatively. There is more hope for a child who receives correction than for one who is spoiled and does not know correction.

Correction is becoming increasingly taboo today, but not in Yahweh’s Word. Solomon in Proverbs 23:13-14, wrote, “Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from [the grave].”

Yahweh’s Word specifically says that a parent is not to withhold correction. Matter of fact, it says that if a parent uses a rod of correction that he or she would save the child from the grave. The word for “beat” in the above passage is derived from the Hebrewnakah, which is a primitive root meaning to strike. To be clear, the Hebrew word nakah does not promote the idea of physical abuse.

As with all things within the Word, there is a balance in discipline. This passage is not to be used to justify physical abuse that causes harm to a child. Nothing good comes from child abuse. Studies have shown that when a child is abused he will often later in life rebel and go the opposite way from the parents’ admonition. Moderation and discretion must be the corner of all actions, including with admonition and discipline.

Even more important is the good example of a parent. As we find in this passage, to spank a child is scriptural; to abuse or to cause harm, however, is not to be tolerated. As parents we need to remember that our correction of our children is a reflection of how Yahweh rebukes us. While Yahweh shows correction or admonition, he never shows abuse.

Spiritual Guidance from the Father

Solomon in Proverbs 22:6 offers a nugget of truth that if followed will benefit a child for all of his or her life. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” How is this accomplished? Besides correction and admonition, a parent must be willing to spend time with his or her child. Nothing is more important in this life than our families. Many fathers do not realize the impact that they have on their families. As a father there is nothing more important than spending time with your child. It is truly sad to find fathers ignoring and not fulfilling this fatherly role.

And no more important time is there than that spent in Yahweh’s Word and especially doing so with a son or daughter.

Our Father in Heaven commands that we teach our children of Him throughout each day of our lives. “You shall love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:5-7).

As we find within this passage, before we can train our children we must first have Yahweh’s words within our own hearts. There is nothing worse than a hypocritical parent who does not live what he himself is teaching.

In this passage we find that we are to teach these words diligently to our children. The word diligently comes from the Hebrew word shanan, which is a primitive root meaning, “to point (transitive or intransitive); intensively, to pierce; figuratively, to inculcate” (New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance).

To accomplish this goal, we find that we are to teach our child Yahweh’s Word when we sit in our house, when we walk by the way, when we lie down, and when we rise up. In other words, we not only teach our children Yahweh’s Word every day, but we also live its precepts ourselves

A Father Nurtures

Along with the duty of being chief provider, disciplinarian, and instructor in the family, the father shares the task of nurturing. While this responsibility seems to be dominated by the mother, the father also plays a significant part in the nurturing of his children. In doing sohe must be cautious not to discourage his children. “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of Yahweh” (Ephesians 6:4).

Paul refers to punishment that is excessive and unwarranted, which will ultimately provoke a child to harbor resentment and anger.

“That is, by unreasonable commands; by needless severity; by the manifestation of anger. So govern them, and so punish them — if punishment is necessary — that they shall not lose their confidence in you, but shall love you. The apostle here has hit on the very danger to which parents are most exposed in the government of their children. It is that of souring their temper; of making them feel that the parent is under the influence of anger, and that it is right for them to be so too.” (Barnes’ Notes, note on Ephesians 6:4).

As with all things in life, there is moderation in discipline. Is it a known fact that many children who live in abusive homes frequently do the opposite of what the parent attempted to reinforce through punishment. Remember that our Father in Heaven never promotes the abuse of a child, which as we find in this passage will only kindle enduring anger and animosity. If we are harsh in our correction, we may defeat the very purpose for that correction. It is important for a father to remember that when discipline is required that the result of that discipline is to nurture and not to create enduring anger or animosity.

Along with the role of nurturing, a father must show kindness and compassion to his child. There are many examples where Yahweh’s love for His people is compared to the love found between a father and son. One such passage is found in the Book of Psalms: “Yahweh is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father pities his children, so Yahweh pities those who fear Him” (Psalm 103:8-13).

Through this Psalm we find Yahweh is full of mercy and compassion. We also find that as a father pities his children, Yahweh pities those who fear him. The word “pity” comes from the Hebrew word racham, which means, “to love or to have compassion.” Solomon wrote that there was a time for every season. As there is a time for correction, there is also a time to show lovingkindness. Often the show of compassion will impact a child more than correction. If Yahweh only showed correction and admonition and disregarded mercy and compassion, where would his people be today?

In one final passage, Paul sets an example that is relevant to all generations. “You are witnesses, and Elohim also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe; as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children” (1Thessalonians 2:10-11).

Paul said that he exhorted and comforted those in Thessalonica as a father would his own children. Following in this example, a father should also encourage and comfort his children. Children require their father’s approval and encouragement for a well-balanced emotional state. A son and daughter look to their father for encouragement and guidance as they mature to adulthood.

 In summation, a father’s role is vital to the physical and emotional needs of the family. Without a father, a child often suffers from emotional problems, which in some cases leads to crime, immorality, and other forms of sin. Yahweh established the family unit with one father and one mother. When this is tampered with, confusion is frequently the result. However, when we live within the confines that Almighty Yahweh established we experience peace and blessings that can only be found with His Word.

by Randy Folliard

Watch “Guide to Proper Parenting” Below

restore your marriage

Restore the Lock in Wedlock

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This study will show the permanence of marriage as Yahweh designed it, with the hope of breaking today’s cycle of broken homes. Our purpose is not to vilify those who are divorced, but to uphold the sanctity of marriage. Yahweh Himself ordained marriage and family as the fundamental social institution.

While some consider it a secular institution, Scripture teaches that marriage is a sacred union that Yahweh himself ordained at the very creation of man and woman. This fundamental institution has served society well for thousands of years.

But since the 1970s marriage has come under attack like nothing in history.  As it functions today, the family institution is weak and no longer provides stability and a sense of well-being to millions of children. The undermining of the moral framework sustaining marriage and family has teamed up with an assault on Biblical faith, leading to even shakier marital unions and assisting in their unprecedented failure.

The root problem is that human wants and priorities have usurped Biblical standards in a majority of homes. True fear and respect of Yahweh are rare. An honest and zealous pursuit of His will is even more rare.

A growing number of disillusioned ministers are refusing to perform weddings out of sheer frustration with the brevity of today’s marriage unions. “I marry them one week and the next week they want a divorce,” a pastor lamented.

While the phrase “until death do you part” and Yahshua’s words, “let no man put asunder” are repeated in wedding after wedding, the reality is that these words are considered mostly ritualistic and have little holding power today when marriage-threatening problems arise between couples. Rather than remembering their solemn vows and working through the difficulty, couples at risk are much more willing to follow the advice of a marriage counselor suggesting they just call it quits.

One major cause of broken unions is that many modern marriages are preceded by cohabitation, which statistics reveal increases the likelihood of a future breakup by 50 percent. Getting married today is more like going steady: if it isn’t working, give it up and try again with someone else.

The stigma surrounding divorce is mostly gone. A century ago only 7 percent of Americans were divorced; today a staggering 60 percent of marriages fail, triple the rate of 1960. Half of all weddings now involve the remarriage of at least one spouse.

According to 2000 census data, since 1950 the rate of married couples in households has declined by nearly 30 percent.. Married couples now make up only half of all households. Meanwhile, the number of unmarried partners living together has risen from 523,000 in 1970 to approximately 4.9 million in 2000.

Suffer the Children

The epidemic of fractured families is a strong contributing factor to the failure of our society to produce well-adjusted and balanced children. That consequence, more than any other, will impact future of society itself. The children of broken families suffer the most, thrown into an emotional free-fall when dad and mom call it quits. Consider for a moment the cost paid by these innocents:

Nearly one-third of all children today are born out of wedlock, and more than half of U.S. children will spend all or part of their childhood in a broken family. The number of children living with mothers who have never married increased to 36 percent in 1996, up from 7 percent in 1970, according to the Center for Law and Social Policy. A child raised by a single mother is seven times more likely to live in poverty than a child raised by both biological parents. Over 1 million children each year experience their parents’ divorce; a total of 15.8 million children are now living with a single parent. The consequences are staggering:

  • 25% of those children will be high school drop-outs.
  • 40% need psychological help.
  • 65% never build a good post-divorce relationship with their fathers.
  • 30% never build a good post-divorce relationship with their mothers.

Compared to those who have grown up with both parents in the home, adult children of divorce are 60 percent more likely to have problems in their own marriage. This last fact is the cycle that must be broken if there is going to be any hope for the family and society itself.

They Shall Become One

The “lock” is missing in wedlock and it is time to put it back in. Almighty Yahweh takes vows very seriously, and the vow joining husband and wife in marriage lies at the very core of the family as Yahweh designed it. To violate this contract is called in Scripture a sin against Yahweh the Creator Himself.

Ultimate success in marriage hinges on the proper attitude and understanding that couples share going into it. Few couples are given marriage counseling before they go to the altar. If both spouses fail to grasp the gravity of their commitment and don’t enter it with full resolve to make it work – whatever may come – then the probability is high that their marriage will eventually implode from the inevitable strains that test every marriage (Matt. 12:25).

From the beginning Yahweh created marriage between one man and one woman (Gen. 2:22). This union of male and female is the only institution that Yahweh’s Word allows. At the creation of Adam and Eve the concept of one flesh was established. “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh…” (Gen. 2:23).

From the beginning Yahweh made one man and one woman who complement each other perfectly in marriage. From the start Yahweh excluded same-sex unions. Activists pushing for homosexual marriage seek to revolutionize our entire culture by breaking the backbone of society itself – the traditional man-woman family. The family should be where moral values are taught and engendered, but if the family can be redefined to include same-sex couples, then its values can be redefined and altered as well. Moral restraints lose their impact when the forbidden is being openly practiced daily.

When two people commit to marriage they are no longer two but one. The greatest unifying force between a husband and wife is in their faith. Since Yahweh commands loyalty to Him above all (Acts 5:29), both people considering marriage are to be believers. If after marriage Yahweh calls only one spouse into His Truth then the believing mate should place Yahweh first while secondarily striving to please his or her spouse, 1Corinthians 7:12-14.

All Unions Need a Leader

An important key for a successful marriage is the understanding of the spousal roles: “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Messiah; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of the Messiah is Elohim” (1Cor. 11:3). The same hierarchy that exists between Father and Son also exists between husband and wife. From the beginning Yahweh established this relationship when He told Eve: “…and your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you” (Gen. 3:16). According to theKJV Old Testament Hebrew Lexicon the word “rule” found in Genesis 3:16 implies to “have dominion or to reign over.” The Apostle Paul also confirms this relationship, “Wives submit yourselves unto your husbands, as unto the Master. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Messiah is the head of the assembly” (Eph. 5:22).

The husband’s authority is no license to abuse or exploit his wife. Because marriage between a man and a woman mirrors the unique relationship between Yahshua and the assembly, it should be apparent that Yahweh wants the relationship based on mutual love and honor.

Love Makes a Strong Union

The Apostle Paul compares Yahshua’s love for the assembly to the husband’s love for his wife. “Husbands love your wives, even as Messiah loved the assembly, and gave himself for it” (Eph. 5:25). Yahshua through his death and atonement demonstrated the greatest love known to man for the assembly (John 15:13). This is the same love that a husband is to have for his wife. As the Messiah died and gave all for the assembly, the husband should be willing to do the same for his wife. Once again this type of supernal love precludes the sin of spousal abuse. Yahweh’s Word gives no justification for abusing one’s spouse. Yahshua never abused or mistreated the assembly but cherished and valued it. In like manner, the husband should cherish and love his wife.

Paul in Titus 2:4 commands older women to  teach the younger women to “love their husbands.” Love in a marriage cannot be a one-way street, but must be shared by both spouses. As Yahshua loved the assembly, the assembly loved Yahshua. A marriage will not be blessed with strength and happiness if sincere love is not at the center for both spouses.

Yahweh’s Standards Ignored

Today’s high divorce rates are a result in large part to a rejection of Yahweh’s Word as the ultimate, moral authority. Yahweh from the beginning established marriage between one man and one woman as a lifelong union. When Yahweh created the first man and first woman he gave no provision for divorce or remarriage.

One common error among professed Bible believers is thinking that Yahweh built divorce into Old Testament regulations. There is no Old Testament statute in which Yahweh provided for divorce between two individuals lawfully united by vow.

Yahweh addresses the divorce issue in Deuteronomy 24:1-4: “When a man has taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favor in his eyes, because he has found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife. And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and gives it in her hand, and sends her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before Yahweh: and you shall not cause the land to sin, which Yahweh your Elohim gives you for an inheritance.”

In this passage Yahweh is speaking about a specific circumstance. Yahweh is addressing the condition where a spouse marries another after she has been sent out or divorced by her first husband because of uncleanness. Again, it is important to understand that Yahweh is not giving justification for divorce, but is focusing on a specific situation that He tolerated because of  the hardness of man’s heart. The statement “…she had been defiled” in verse 4 shows that even in the Old Testament divorce and remarriage was an adulteration, even after the second spouse had died. Notice that it occurred with the second marriage while her first husband was yet alive. This understanding is no different from what Yahshua and Paul taught in the New Testament.

The Commentary on the Torah discusses Deuteronomy 24:1: “This law (vv. 1-4) has been taken as the biblical law of divorce, but it is not. It is the law governing a specific instance in which a couple might want to return to each other after they were divorced and she was remarried and then was divorced again or widowed. Divorce law in general has been derived in part from this case because of the curious fact that there is no law in the Torah telling how to get married and no law telling how to get divorced” (Richard Elliott Friedman, p. 639).

If Yahweh did command divorce in the Old Testament, why then did Yahweh command in Deuteronomy 22:19, 29 that if a husband had dishonored his wife in some fashion that he was not to “put her away all his days”? The examples in Deuteronomy 22 and 24show without question that divorce and remarriage was not Yahweh’s will in the Old Testament. Malachi 2:16 reads, “For Yahweh, the Elohim of Israel, says that he hates putting away…” A unique situation is in Ezra 10, where the prophet tells Judah to straighten out their sin of marrying strange wives by separating from them, which they did.

Moses’ Toleration of the People’s Hard Hearts

Most who advocate Yahweh’s allowance for divorce will say that Moses had the authority to grant divorce in the Old Testament. From the New Testament it is evident that while Moses tolerated or allowed divorce, he never gave commandment from Yahweh for or against divorce.

“They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your heart suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so” (Matt. 19:7-8).

According to Yahshua, Moses only “suffered” divorce because of the hardness of man’s heart. This word “suffered” is far from a command in the Greek. It is from the word epitrepo, which according to the KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon means, “to permit or allow.” Scholars speculate that the reason for Moses’ toleration or allowance for divorce in the Old Testament was partly to protect the safety of wives. To this point Matthew Henry adds, “[Messiah] rectifies their mistake concerning the law of Moses; they called it a command, [Messiah] called it but permission, a toleration. [Messiah] tells them there was a reason for this toleration, not at all to their credit. If they had not been allowed to put away their wives, when they had conceived a dislike of them, they would have used them cruelly, would have beaten and abused them, and perhaps have murdered them” (Matthew Henry Study Bible, study note onMatthew 19:8).

The New Testament ‘Exception Clause’

Those who believe that the new Testament allows divorce and remarriage will point to Matthew 5:32: “But I say unto you, that whoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced commits adultery.” Here some will point to the word “fornication” and maintain that the grounds for divorce is adultery.

The word fornication is from the Greek word porneia, and is defined by the New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible as, “harlotry, adultery, incest, idolatry, or fornication.” From this definition the word porneia has numerous meanings. Since this is the case, this word must be interpreted in accordance with the overall context of the passage.

One point of interest for those who believe that the word porneia implies adultery instead of fornication is the fact that Yahshua used a different word in this same verse to denote adultery: “…whosoever shall marry her that is divorced commits adultery.” The word “adultery” in this passage is from the Greek word moichao, which according to the New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of theBible means only “adultery.” Question: If Yahshua meant adultery in the place of fornication in Matthew 5:32 (KJV), why did He not use the Greek word moichao or its Hebrew equivalent? Why did Yahshua use two different words to express the same thing? This passage clearly shows that he was expressing two different acts – fornication, which applies to the premarital state of engagement – and adultery, respectively.

The Significance of Engagement

To understand what Yahshua meant by the use of the word porneia in Matthew 5:32, a grasp of scriptural engagement is necessary. Scriptural engagement was seen much differently than it is today. In the Bible betrothal was understood as a binding relationship, the entering into of marriage. Nave’s Topical Bible under “Marriage” says, “Betrothal, a quasi-marriage, Matt. 1:18; Luke 1:27.”

The KJV Study Bible verifies this, “There was no sexual relations during a Jewish betrothal period, but it was a much more binding relationship than a modern engagement and could be broken only by divorce (v. 19). In Deut. 22:24 a betrothed woman is called a ‘wife,’ though the preceding verse speaks of her as being ‘betrothed unto a husband’” (study note at Matthew 1:18).

Through the example of Joseph, Yahshua’s use of “fornication” in Matthew 5:32 is now clear. Joseph’s contemplating divorcing Mary is the only account of a divorce in the New Testament, which occurred while Joseph and Mary were engaged but the marriage was yet to be finalized, Matthew 1:19.

Let Not Man Put Asunder

If any doubt existed in the minds of the Pharisees who approached Yahshua in Matthew 19, Yahshua emphatically put those doubts to rest by his statement: “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore Elohim has joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matt. 19:6). Yahshua categorically states in this passage that once two people have made the commitment and consummated a marriage that they are no longer two, but one. He also verifies that once this happens that no man can separate that which Yahweh has joined.

Just as it is today, Yahshua’s teaching was hard for many to accept. This is obvious in His statement in verse 11: “…All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.” Yahshua’s teachings on divorce and remarriage were not for the lukewarm, but for those sincerely seeking Yahweh and His will in their lives. Yahshua was reaffirming what his Father had established from the beginning:. For those who would point to the Old Testament as justification to break wedding vows, Yahshua explained, “Moses…suffered you to put away your wives…but from the beginning it was not so” (Matt. 19:8). At the beginning in Genesis it is clear that Yahweh made marriage between one man and one woman for life.

Till Death Do Us Part

In accordance with what Yahshua said in Matthew 19, the Apostle Paul reiterates the message in Romans 7:2-3: “For the woman which has a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long that he lives; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she is married to another man.” The concept that marriage is a lifelong union might seem strange in a day of runaway divorce rates. Apathetic attitudes of marriage notwithstanding, it is clear from Paul’s statement that the permanence of marriage still stands.

Paul, under the inspiration of Yahshua the Messiah, taught that marriage was a lifelong institution that was broken or dissolved only by the physical death of a spouse. Paul said that if a spouse remarried while the other spouse was yet alive that the spouse who remarried would commit adultery. This is the same thing that Yahshua taught during his ministry and the same doctrine that Yahshua was referring to when he said that not all men could receive this saying.

Not Under Bondage

The last passage to consider is 1Corinthians 7:15: “But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage is such cases…” Those who maintain that Yahshua and Paul permitted divorce in the New Testament claim that the word “bondage” in the above passage suggests that the believing mate is no longer obligated to his or her first spouse and is therefore free to remarry.

The first contradiction to this interpretation is found in verses 10-11: “And unto the married I command, yet not I, but Yahweh, let not the wife depart from her husband: But if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.” According to Yahweh’s command, not Paul’s, if a husband and wife separated they were either to stay unmarried or be reconciled. Notice that divorce was not an option.

The other point to consider in this passage is the meaning of the word “bondage.” The word bondage is from the Greek word douloo, which according to the KJV New testament Greek Lexicon means, “to make a slave of or to reduce to bondage.” The “bondage” that this word is referring to means the marital responsibilities that one is subservient to that Paul speaks of in verses 3-6. This word, however, is not speaking of the dissolving of the martial vow or covenant.

Yahweh Judges on the Basis of Understanding

We must follow every word that proceeds out of the mouth of Yahweh, and Yahweh makes it clear that He hates divorce. Yahshua never taught divorce. Rather, He raised the bar and restored marriage to the position it was originally meant to have before the hardness of man’s heart took over. Yahshua said, “What Yahweh has joined together, let no man put asunder.” How then can man separate what Yahweh has joined?

When we consider Matthew 5:32, addressing those that are engaged rather than married, the pieces of the puzzle fit perfectly. This understanding ties together all the loose ends that other arguments leave hanging. The only example in the New Testament of a man considering divorce was Joseph, who was not married but engaged.  Romans 7 says that a marriage covenant can only be terminated upon death. Man cannot terminate a marriage covenant through divorce.

What does this mean, then, for those who were divorced and remarried before coming into the knowledge of the Truth? Does this place them in a constant state of adultery or sin? While there is no passage in Scripture where Yahweh says specifically that divorce and remarriage in ignorance before baptism is forgiven and washed away, what the Bible does say is that Yahweh winks at our ignorance, but commands that we repent after coming to the knowledge of His truth, Acts 17:30.

It is our understanding that Yahweh will acknowledge repentance that takes place at baptism, and consider the present situation. If this situation could not be forgiven then He would never call the divorced person into His Truth in the first place. His grace and mercy extend to all who repent of past mistakes and who now go on to live for Him.

Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry acknowledges Yahweh’s standards as they are. We don’t accept excuses for an individual’s personal situation.  Once immersed into Yahshua’s Name, couples must not seek divorce or remarriage, having a much better understanding of the marital vow and how inviolate Yahweh considers it.

Marriage is a sacred covenant. Yahweh’s marriage laws are designed to form a stable family environment that will produce happy, well-adjusted children reared by both a loving father and mother. Children must be taught the permanence of marriage and toward that end to choose their future mates wisely from among believers, 1Corinthians 7:39.

The cycle of broken homes must end, and it starts with knowing your future spouse very well before you recite your vows, realizing that marriage is for life.

Analysis of a study Divorce and Remarriage is NOT Adultery

Analysis of a study called ”Divorce and Remarriage is NOT Adultery.”

(The Biblical issue of divorce and remarriage is as divisive as it is misunderstood. Many today are seeking to water down the institution of marriage by writing studies that accomplish little more than do damage to the sanctity of the marriage union and further weaken the general perception of the marital vow. We have been asked to comment on one such study found on a Sacred Name website. The following constitutes our analysis right from the Bible. The study is called, “Divorce and Remarriage is NOT Adultery.”)

Looking for Truth in All the Wrong Places

The author of the study, Stephen Jones (not a Sacred Name believer), makes this statement at the start: “Many people today who are divorced and remarried are being expelled from their churches.” If Jones were writing in 1930, that statement may have validity, but few churches today will speak out against the decline of marriage in society, let alone disfellowship anyone because of it. In an era when homosexuals are becoming accepted at the pulpit, the church is nearly nonexistent that has the courage to speak out against a trend where 60 percent of all marriages end in divorce. Doing so would mean a sure loss of membership and income.

Jones focuses 25 percent of his study on the Code of Hammurabi, a non-Biblical set of ancient laws. This approach should immediately send up a warning flare to any person sincerely seeking Truth. The Truth Seeker should be very careful about going outside the Scriptures in  attempting to explain the Scriptures. Often those lacking understanding will seek answers in church fathers, historians, seminary professors, contemporary religion writers, ancient prophecies—anyone and anything but the Bible.

The Bible interprets itself, 2Timothy 3:16, and the Bible is the only authority one needs for Truth. Going outside of the Bible to analyze finer points of doctrine is irrelevant as well as dangerous. Does it matter what code of laws ancient pagans followed, or does Yahweh’s Word itself constitute the true guide for True Worshipers? The reason for discussing Hammurabi’s Law finally becomes clear when the author attempts to justify his own private interpretation of Yahshua’s words in Matthew 5:32. We will get to that later.

As we start reading the study, we immediately come across the first of many contradictory statements. In one breath the writer says that Yahweh gave His laws to correct the Code of Hammurabi, and in the next breath he twice states that Yahweh’s laws are older than Hammurabi’s. So which is it? And where in the Bible does he derive his evidence that Yahweh was correcting these pagan sets of laws when He gave His laws to mankind? Nothing in the 66 books of the Bible ever states such a thing. Yahweh’s laws, which were in effect since Genesis 1, were given to His people as a reflection of His own standards and as a pattern in how to live blessed lives.

The writer states: “[Yahweh] himself is a divorcee” and refers to Jeremiah 3:8. This statement borders on blasphemy. How could Yahweh be a “divorcee” and still say, “I hate divorce”? (Mal. 2:16). In Jeremiah 3:8 Yahweh gives Israel a bill of divorce for her adultery. Does that make Him a “divorcee”? Not if we read further in the chapter: “Turn O backsliding children, says Yahweh, FOR I AM MARRIED UNTO YOU: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion,” verse 14. Yahweh still considered Himself married to Israel. He will once again be united with His bride when the Kingdom is established on this earth,Acts 1:6. Israel was never removed from the covenant. In fact, the True Believer is to become a part of Israel. Paul is crystal clear on this fact in Romans 9 and 11. The question is, was Yahweh ever truly divorced from Israel? Not according to the rest of the chapter or the rest of the Bible. See Addendum at the end of this study.

The only New Testament justification for remarriage is upon the death of a spouse, 1Corinthian 7:39. Yahweh was able to “marry” the gentiles into the Covenant only after the death of His own Son, Yahshua. The Messiah Yahshua was the one who interracted for Yahweh in the Old Testament and made the covenant with Israel. But Yahweh is going to have both Israel and the repentant gentiles in a marriage union once again. His was not a divorce, but a temporary separation “until the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled,”Luke 21:24.

The writer takes up a few more points about what is found in the Old Testament concerning divorce (Moses’ writings), but they are irrelevant to this discussion because Yahshua overruled what Moses had allowed, as we will now see.

Yahshua Clarifies Divorce and Remarriage

Jones attempts to answer Mark 10:2-9, where Yahshua said that divorce was not the original intent of marriage. He ignores verse 9, however: “What therefore Yahweh has joined together, let not man put asunder.” And he continues to bring in what Moses had allowed, but not what Yahweh intended.

The difference between Old and New testaments on the issue of divorce is that men’s hard hearts caused Moses (not Yahweh) to allow divorce in certain instances. But Yahshua teaches plainly that we are to go back to the abiding sanctity of the original institution of marriage. He indicts Moses’ allowance of divorce in Matthew 19:8 and Mark 10:5, saying it was not what Yahweh commanded. That allowance was caused by sinful, hard-hearted man. To justify divorce and remarriage today on the basis of what was once allowed because of man’s sinful heart is to say that we, also, are justified to divorce and remarry because of our sins. Yahshua says no, we are now to attain a higher standard.

In the last book of the Old Testament is a clear call to return to the true sanctity of the marriage union that was established in the Garden of Eden, where no provision is made for divorce: “Yet you say, Wherefore? Because Yahweh has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously: yet is she your companion, and the wife of your covenant. And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a righteous seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. For Yahweh, the Elohim of Israel, said that he hates putting away: for one covers violence with his garment, says Yahweh of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that you deal not treacherously.”

Jones writes, “[Yahshua] did not abolish [Yahweh’s] Laws on divorce and remarriage.” True. Yahweh’s original laws should be observed. Yahshua commanded a return to the high, spiritual intent for marriage that was originally set by Yahweh in the Garden. At creation of man and woman Yahweh gave no provision for divorce. This is the standard Yahshua advocated, not the standard Moses allowed in Deuteronomy 24:1-4 because of man’s rebellion.

In His Sermon on the Mount, Yahshua was not quoting what was “interpreted in the synagogue” or “the Pharisaical interpretation” when He referred to Deuteronomy 24:1. He was quoting Scripture, and He said that what Moses allowed in Deuteronomy 24 is not Yahweh’s will. He simply raised the standard on marriage, as He did with the sins of lust and murder.

In his explanation of Matthew 5:31-32, Jones tries to say that Yahshua’s point of contention was with those who divorced without the proper divorce papers. At this point we see why he introduces the Code of Hammurabi at the start of his study. He claims Yahshua’s purpose was to correct the Babylonian procedure of simply issuing a verbal divorce statement without the “proper divorce papers.”

Absolutely nothing in Yahshua’s words even hints at the issue of lacking “the proper divorce papers” before a divorce can be legitimized. Jones inserts his own private interpretation, which the Bible nowhere supports. Divorcing someone properly and with the proper documentation is not the issue with the Messiah here. A higher and more binding formula for marriage is, however.

Yahshua’s exact words in Matthew 5:31-32 are: “It has been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced commits adultery.” Yahshua is defining the only reason one can justify a divorce, which has nothing to do with divorce papers.

The issue is fornication, pure and simple. Why does the Savior not use the word “adultery” throughout this passage? The reason is that he is making a distinction between fornication (illicit sex before marriage) and adultery (sex with a married person not one’s spouse). His exception clause deals with the ONLY acceptable grounds for divorce: sex before marriage.

We see a clear, scriptural example of this with the earthly parents of the Savior. Joseph wanted to divorce Mary when she was found pregnant with Yahshua. Even though they were only engaged, he wanted to “put her away privily,” Matthew 1:19. This is the only instance in the New Testament where divorce was condoned, and it fits perfectly with the only reason Yahshua ever gave for divorce: illicit sex before marriage (fornication). Engagement had the effect of marriage in a husband-wife bond, Deuteronomy 22:23-24.

The only other New Testament chapter the writer deals with is 1Corinithians 7. In verses 10-11 Paul admonishes: “And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Master, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.” Jones goes to great length to explain that Paul does not refer here to a divorce but only to a separation. Under conditions of a mere separation, then, the wife must return to her husband and not get remarried.

The major flaw with this argument is that if a woman were merely separated, she OBVIOUSLY could not get remarried or she would be committing adultery. The point Jones tries to argue is moot and self-evident. Paul is not going to great pains to merely state the obvious. Rather, he is admonishing that those who claim a divorcement cannot remarry. This is proved again in verse 27: “Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.”

He makes the same mistake many do in the following verse, 28: “But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.” Paul in verse 28 is speaking to virgins, both male and female, not to those who seek remarriage. This is clear by verse 25: “Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of Yahweh: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of Yahweh to be faithful.”

The writer fails greatly in seeking to justify and condone divorce and remarriage. By omitting many other passages in the New Testament that explain clearly that divorce and remarriage are almost in every case unacceptable to Yahweh, he causes some to err.

One plain passage that is nearly always ignored in such studies is Romans 7:1-3: “Know you not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.”

What could be clearer? Remarriage is allowed only upon the death of a spouse. This is certainly not popular with our culture, which has mostly lost the sanctity of marriage, but it is Yahweh’s standard. Paul repeats this standard in 1Corinthians 7:39, which a True Believer is obligated to uphold once he or she knows better.

To recap…

*Yahweh separated from Israel, but will take her back. Reconciliation as the acceptable remedy for a broken marriage is also commanded in the New Testament (1Cor. 7:10). Remarriage is not supported in the New Testament other than for fornication during engagement (illicit relations before marriage) or upon the death of a spouse.

*Separation, not divorce, is the only arguable remedy for believers in the New Testament who face unfaithfulness.

*Yahweh’s law that established a binding marital union from the beginning of creation of man and woman has not been abolished. In fact, Yahshua reinstituted that standard, in contrast to Moses who had allowed divorce because of the sin of man, Matthew 5:31.


Ancient Israel and True Worshipers today are betrothed to Yahshua. We have not yet completed the marriage, which is signified by a ceremony called the marriage supper of the Lamb, which will occur when He returns to earth, Revelation 19:9. In essence, we are engaged to Him. Ancient Israel was also engaged to Yahweh and that is why He could lawfully issue her a bill of divorce (for her fornication). But as we have shown, even then He will soon take Israel back because He considers Himself still married to her,Jeremiah 3:14.

When we see how Yahweh treated marriage, we can truly grasp its binding nature, which ignorant man is desecrating today by divorcing and remarrying at whim. May Yahweh have mercy.

Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible

Divorce and Remarriage

The Bible has much to say on the subject of divorce and remarriage. Our culture has liberalized the marriage institution even while the Bible remains constant in upholding marriage and family as foundational to civilization itself. Most groups, realizing the volatile nature of this subject and not wanting to lose membership and funding, either  ignore it, dance around it or make excuses for the sorry state of marriage today–but will do nothing to stem the tide. In fact, they will justify the sad situation. For those who may read this, I ask that you study and prove what I feel Yahweh has clearly placed in His Word for our guidance.

We begin with the one verse many point to as giving permission to divorce and remarry (even many times over). The words are the Savior’s in Matthew 5:32, “But I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.”

This passage is commonly used to justify divorce in the case of adultery in a marriage. However, with a concise and clear understanding of the Bible and what it says concerning this subject, we will find a different understanding.

The word fornication found in Matthew 5:32 is the Greek word porneia.  Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance defines porneia as follows: “No. 4202, porneia – from 4203; harlotry (incl. Adultery and incest); fig. idolatry: – fornication.” No. 1403 has the following definition in Strong’s: “porneuo from #4202; to act the harlot, i.e. (lit.) indulge unlawful lust (of either sex), or (fig.) practice idolatry:–commit (fornication).”

Strong’s does not offer an exact definition for the Greek word porneia; instead it gives only a broad definition. This is why we must consider all the evidence as a collective whole. For example, the Greek word pleroo, which is translated “fulfill” in Matthew 5:17, also has a broad definition. Strong’s shows: “Number 4137, pleroo from 4134…accomplish, *after, (be) completed, end, expire, fill (up), fulfill, (be, make) full (come), fully preach, perfect, supply.”

Notice that pleroo can also mean “end” or “expire.” This is valid evidence that the Concordance only offers a broad definition. To find the understanding of what the Messiah meant by the wordporneia, we must examine the entire Bible and evaluate what is found in Yahweh’s Word concerning divorce and remarriage.

Also worthy to be noted is that two Greek words are used to translate fornication and adultery in Matthew 5:32. We looked at the word porneia, which is translated fornication in Matthew 5:32 in our King James Bible. The other Greek word for our English word “adultery,” found in Matthew 5:32, is from the Greek word moichao. Strong’s Concordance defines moichao as: “Number 3429,moichao from 3432; (mid. voice) to commit adultery: –adultery.”

If Yahshua intended to use the word adultery instead of fornication, why would He have used two different Greek words? Why did He not just use the word from which we get adultery, moichao? The Greek word moichao is much more precise than the Greek wordporneia when speaking of adultery. Why the use of two different and distinct words by our Savior Yahshua the Messiah? The answer obviously is that He was making an important distinction in meaning.

Within the eastern countries of the world a vow and a promise are taken quite seriously, unlike in the Western world today. The Jewish people still hold marriage between two people quite sacred. When a couple becomes engaged, the Jewish people see them as if already married, with the exception of the consummation of the marriage. It was the same in the New Testament. Note these revealing references:

“Betrothed to Joseph: Betrothal was the first part of marriage, constituting a man and woman as husband and wife. Subsequently infidelity was considered adultery. The betrothal was followed some months later by the husband’s taking his wife into his home, at which time normal married life began” (The New American Bible, Study Note on Matthew 1:18).

“Mary had been promised in marriage to Joseph, but the wedding had not yet taken place. In NT times, betrothal was a form of engagement (but more binding than engagement today) and it could be broken only by divorce. Although a couple did not live together until the marriage ceremony, unfaithfulness on the part of the betrothed was treated as adultery and punishable by death” (Believer’s Bible Commentary, Note on Matthew 1:18).

“Espoused: Not completely married, but contracted (engaged, betrothed, pledged, to be married: nevertheless, sexual relations were strictly forbidden until marriage. Ed. Note: Jewish betrothal was a much more binding relationship than modern engagement; it could be broken only by a formal divorce” (Matthew Henry Study Bible, Note on Matthew 1:18).

There are numerous accounts within the Old and New Covenants showing this great respect toward marriage, and the seriousness of that commitment. Genesis 19: 8, 12  graphically shows that Lot had two daughters who were virgins; however, it says that as Lot was warned to flee from the land of Sodom that he also warned his two sons-in-law (notice the word “sons-in-law” even though his daughters were not yet married). The two daughters were still virgins, unmarried, yet they were engaged. This shows by example that when a couple becomes engaged it is considered a type of marriage vow. When two people make that vow of engagement, it is much more then a simple promise, but also a very sacred and solemn vow in the eyes of Yahweh (see Numbers chapter 30).

Matthew 1:18-19
Matthew 1 is the account of the birth of Yahshua. Notice that Joseph and Mary were not yet married, but only engaged to each other. It is essential that one understands this verse, because this is the ONLY account found in the New Testament showing a man contemplating divorcing his wife. Note the following versions:

“Now the birth of [Yahshua Messiah] was on this wise: when his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put here away privily” (Matthew 1:18-19, King James Version).

“This is how the birth of [Yahshua Messiah] came about. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph: before their marriage she found she was going to have a child through the Holy Spirit. Being a man of principle, and at the same time wanting to save her from humiliation, Joseph made up his mind to have the marriage contract quietly set aside” (Matthew 1:18-19, Revised English Bible).

“Now this is how the birth of [Yahshua Messiah] came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet not unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly” (Matthew 1:18-19, New American Bible).

“This is how [Yahshua Messiah] came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being an upright man and wanting to spare her disgrace, decided to divorce her informally” (Matthew 1:18-19, New Jerusalem Bible).

Through these accounts we can understand the following key facts:
1. Joseph and Mary were engaged, betrothed, but not married.
2. Even though the two were not married, the Bible referred to Joseph as Mary’s husband, as if already together.
3. Joseph sought to divorce her, even though they were not officially married.
Again, this account is the only account of an actual or attempted divorce in the entire New Testament.

If we consider the key facts and apply these facts to Matthew 5:32, we can say that Yahshua is speaking of an engaged couple, and not a married couple! Therefore, Yahshua said that the only cause for divorce is fornication, not adultery. Fornication is pre-marital sex. In Matthew 1 it is quite clear that Yahshua was speaking of engagement. This is clearly brought out through Joseph’s and Mary’s example, the ONLY example Yahweh presented in the New Testament concerning a divorce.

Yahshua says that when a couple becomes engaged they are bound together; however, He says only for the cause of fornication can the engagement be terminated. He goes on and says that if the one that is divorced marries another, he or she will be causing the person they marry also to commit adultery.

This raises an important question: Why after the divorce does one who remarries still commit adultery against the one they have divorced (see Romans 7:1-3). The answer is that the marital VOW they previously made still stands. And in Yahweh’s eyes they are still married (if they had consummated that marriage, of course).

Yahshua’s Death Necessary Before Remarriage Possible
Jeremiah 3 shows Israel’s rebellion and unwillingness to follow Yahweh’s commands. In return for their disobedience, Yahweh says that he had given Israel a bill of divorcement.
“And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorcement; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, and went and played the harlot also…Turn, O backsliding children, saith Yahweh; for I am married [Heb. Baal, Husban] unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will you to Zion” (Jer. 3:8 KJV).

Israel was married to Yahweh, but due to their backsliding Yahweh said that He was going to divorce Israel. Yahweh could not tolerate their sin any longer. We know that old Israel was not able to stand in Yahweh’s commandments, and for that very reason we as Gentiles are given an opportunity to partake in that same promise. No longer is the promise only offered to Israel, but also to all those that fear Yahweh and work righteousness. But what had to be done to establish this New Covenant, and to allow all to partake of Israel’s promise?

“For where a testament (covenant) is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator [appointed victim]. For a Testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator lives” (Hebrews 9:16-17).

The writer of Hebrews explains that to establish a second covenant there must be a death, and the death of the one that ordained the first covenant. We know that this passage is speaking of the sacrificial system, and the role Yahshua had in establishing the New Covenant. Yahshua had to die to establish the New Covenant, and by so doing He also became the mediator for all people that would work righteousness.

“Messiah had redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written ‘cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree:’ that the blessings of Abraham might also come on the gentiles through Yahshua Messiah; that we might receive the promise through faith…For you are all the children of Elohim by faith in Yahshua Messiah. For as many of you as have put on Messiah. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male or female: for you are all one in Messiah Yahshua. And if you be Messiah’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:13-14).

We find an interesting analogy here. We know that Yahshua was the pre-existent Savior of the world, and was the one that Yahweh used to speak for Him regarding those of the Old Testament. He was also the one married or in the process of marrying Old Israel, but due to their unwillingness to follow Yahweh’s covenant and their idolatrous acts, Yahshua separated from Israel and established a New Covenant through His blood and sacrifice on the stake. Through His death sacrifice came the ability to bring the gentiles into the covenant promise of Israel, to marry the obedient gentiles. To establish the covenant that allowed the gentiles to share the covenant promise of Israel, Yahshua had to die a physical death. For us as physical human beings there isn’t any difference. We can remarry after the death of a spouse, which  terminates the vow or covenant set at marriage.

Romans 7: “Till Death Do We Part”
In Romans 7 : 2 Paul says that marriage is for life. “For the women which hath an husband is bound by law to her husband so long as she liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of the her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man” (Romans 7:2-3).

Paul says that law, Yahweh’s law, binds us till death, and if we remarry while our mate still lives we commit adultery. Divorce is not an option when two people become married and are one. They have not only made that commitment, but have also become one flesh. How can “one” flesh be separated? This passage is very clear: a married couple is bound until death. “Till death do we part.” Is this not indeed a vow? Do we not say this in our marriage ceremonies today? Is this not a vow for believers and nonbelievers alike? Does not Yahweh expect us to fulfill our vows?

Yahshua said, “For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh. Wherefore that are no more twain, but one flesh. WHAT THEREFORE ELOHIM HAS JOINED TOGETHER, LET NO MAN PUT ASUNDER,” Matthew 19:5-6. But what does man do? He allows divorce. And sanctions remarriage, causing spouses to commit adultery. “If a man vow a vow unto Yahweh, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bound; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth” (Num. 30:2 KJV). “When thou vowest a vow unto Elohim, defer not to pay it; for he has no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed” (Ecc. 5:4 KJV).

The word “dead” in Romans 7:2 is from #599, apothnesko in Strong’s Greek Dictionary, and has the following definition: “apothnesko– from 575 and 2348; to die off (lit. or fig.): – to dead, death, die, lie a dying, be slain.” In Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament we find a deeper meaning for the Greek word apothnesko. “1. Of natural death of man: Mt. 9:24; 22:24; Lk. 16:22,Jn. 4:47; Ro. 7:2, and very often; subject to death, mortal.”

A common interpretation of this word “dead” in Romans 7:2 is dead at baptism, or a type of spiritual death. However, the Greek gives a different interpretation. The Greek word implies a physical or mortal death, not a death at baptism. Romans 7:2 shows exclusively that a married couple is bound to each other till death. “The law of marriage is binding till death of one of the parties, no matter which and no longer. The death of either discharges both. I speak to them that know the law. The law has power over a man as long as he lives…The women is bound to her husband during life; so bound to him that she cannot marry another; if she does, she shall be reckoned an adulteress” (Study Note for Matthew Henry’s Study Bible on Romans 7 : 1 – 2).

Malachi 2:16
In the Book of Malachi, Yahweh gives warning to those that would heed the call. “I hate divorce, says Yahweh Elohim of Israel, and I hate a man’s covering himself with violence as well as with his garment, says Yahweh Almighty” (Malachi 2:16 NIV). Yahweh says that he hates divorce of any type. Yahweh abhors the putting away of any type of vow or covenant. A marriage and even an engagement is a vow, and Yahweh takes vows very seriously.

Matthew 19
In Matthew 19, starting with verse 3, Yahshua speaks again of divorce and remarriage when the Pharisees question him. The Pharisees ask Yahshua whether it is lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause. The first thing Yahshua says is that at the very beginning Yahweh made male and female, and for that reason shall a man leave his parents, and shall adhere to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.

Yahshua shows that the practice of polygamy was not intended at the very beginning, but Yahweh intended one man and one wife for life, and for them to become one flesh. Yahshua says, “What therefore Yahweh has joined together, let not man put asunder.” Yahweh does not teach divorce, but only tolerated the practice in the Old Testament because of the hardness of Israel’s hearts.

We have now received the Holy Spirit as Yahweh’s called-out ones, and in so doing Yahweh has given us a mind to follow Him with a pure heart, unlike old Israel. Yahshua came to this earth to fulfill or complete the law. Yahshua enhanced many of the laws, and one of which is the law of marriage as seen in Matthew 5:32 and Romans 7:2-3.

Yahshua shows in the seventh and eighth verses that Yahweh suffered old Israel to divorce their wives because of the hardness of their heart. This was not Yahweh’s wish or will, but He only allowed it because of their rebellion.

“Messiah rectifies their mistake concerning the Law of Moses; they called it a command, Messiah calls it but permission, a toleration. Messiah tells them there was a reason for this toleration, not at all to their credit. If they had not been allowed to put away their wives, when they had conceived a dislike of them, they would have used them cruelly, would have beaten and abused them, and perhaps have murdered them. There is not a greater piece of hard-heartedness in the world, than for a man to be harsh and severe with his own wife. Without virtually owning the hardness of their hearts. The Law of Moses considered the hardness of men’s heart, but the good news curses it…” (Matthew Henry’s Study Bible, study note on Matthew 19:8).

Matthew Henry explains that because of their hearts it was more profitable for Yahweh to allow divorce then to allow cruel behavior by the men of old Israel. We as Yahweh’s people today must portray Yahweh’s and Yahshua’s own ethics and morality. It is essential to understand the vow and seriousness of marriage, and what Yahshua truly taught. Yahshua never gave one reason or excuse for divorce after marriage proper. In the ninth verse Yahshua again re-states his statement in Matthew 5:32. Again, the word used is fornication, not adultery. Refer back to Matthew 5:32.

1 Corinthians 7
In 1Corinthians 7, starting with verse 10, Paul gives a commandment from Yahweh. He states, “But to the married I give charge, not I, but Yahweh, that the wife depart not from her husband (but should she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled with her husband); and that the husband leave not the wife” (1Cor. 7:10-11).

Notice that Yahweh’s commandment is that the husband and wife stay together, and if one should leave, let them be reconciled to each other. Never do we see divorce as an option in this passage. We know by the Torah that once a husband gave a bill of divorcement, that man and wife could not be rejoined (Deut. 24:4). Yahweh would not go against His own law. Thus, we can conclude that when Paul said, “but should she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled with her husband,” he was not speaking of divorce.

Starting with the 12th verse Paul gives his opinion (not Yahweh’s command) to unbelievers: “But to the rest I say, not Yahweh: if any brother has an unbelieving wife, and he is content to live with her, let her not leave her husband. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified in the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified in the brother: else were your children unclean; but now they are holy. Yet if the unbelieving departs, let him depart: the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases: but Yahweh has called us in peace. For how do you know, o wife, whether you shall save your husband? Or how do you know, o husband, whether you shall save your wife?” (1Cor. 12:12-16).

We must consider that Paul said that this was not Yahweh’s command, but his own opinion, his suggestion. In the 15th verse, where the word bondage is mentioned, most interpret that as bondage out of marriage. However, the Greek says otherwise. The Greek word is No. 1402, douloo and means: “to enslave, bring into bondage, servant.” The beginning of 1 Cor. 7 speaks of the duties of married couples. It says that neither have control over their own bodies, and in essence both are in bondage to each other. The husband and wife have a duty to each other. Paul says that if an unbelieving wife or husband leaves (separates) that mate is no longer under bondage. That person is no longer responsible for marriage duties for that unconverted mate, but according to Romans 7 they are still husband and wife. Only death ends the marriage covenant.

“But as Elohim hath distributed to every man, as the master hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all the assemblies. Is any man called being circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? Let him not be circumcised. Circumcised is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of Elohim. Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. Art thou called being a servant? Care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. For he that is called in the Master, being a servant, is Yahweh’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Messiah’s servant. Ye are bought with a price, be not ye the servants of men. Brethren, let every man, wherein he was called, therein abide with Elohim” (1 Cor. 7:17-24).

What is this passage saying? Does Yahweh say here that if a man comes to the knowledge of the truth and then is baptized, but has been divorced and remarried, that he is completely free from his first marriage and all obligations to it? Let’s consider this logic. Why would Paul say that a man and wife are bound till mortal death, and then later say that the marriage vow can be given up at baptism? Let’s take a closer look at the passage.

What does this passage mention? What are the situations Paul is addressing? If you examine verses 17-24, you will never see divorce and remarriage brought up. Paul never addresses this issue. Paul never says if you have been divorced and remarried and then baptized, that the first marriage is washed away and the vow no longer exists. To say that Paul taught that baptism annuls a marriage vow is contradicting his own statement in Romans 7. It is like saying a murderer repented and was baptized, and then could go murder again. If so, what is the difference between murder and adultery? Both are sins that Yahweh hates. The only issues Paul contends with here are circumcision, uncircumcision, slavery, and the freeman. Once again, nowhere within this passage do we find Paul addressing men or women who have been divorced and remarried!

“Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of Yahweh: yet I give my judgement, as one that hath obtained mercy of Yahweh to be faithful. I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be. Art thou bound unto a wife? Seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? Seek not a wife. But and if you marry [not “remarry”], thou has not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she has not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you” (1 Cor. 7:25-28 KJV).

Paul starts at the beginning of verse 25, and says that this is not Yahweh’s command, but his own, and notice that Paul addresses this specifically to virgins. Paul says that if one is married, seek not to be loosed, but at the start of this passage Paul says that this command was for virgins. Virgins are those that have not had sexual relations, so how then could these be virgins Paul was speaking too? If we once again consider the account of Matthew 1:18-19 and apply it here to Paul’s comments, we can understand that this is engagement Paul is speaking of. If you are bound to a wife (engaged to a wife) seek not to be loosed, but if you are loosed from a wife, seek not a wife. The second statement here refers to Yahshua’s comments in Matthew 5:32. Yahshua says that those that put away their wife (engaged wife), saving for the cause of fornication, cause her to commit adultery. Those mentioned by Paul in his second statement are those that are loosed by divorcement (divorcement while engaged, refer to Matthew 1:18-19). Paul says that they are to stay single.

Why would Paul make this statement? Why would Paul command that these virgins stay single? There are several reasons we can consider. One is that Paul said in verses 32-33 that when one becomes married, one is less careful to please Yahweh. Another possible reason is the persecution that was upon the early assembly.

We should consider the following. 1) Paul says that this was his command, not Yahweh’s, 2) Paul was speaking to virgins (V. 25), and furthermore, this is additional evidence that those that are engaged are looked upon as husband and wife. The key to understanding this passage is remembering and considering that Paul’s command was exclusively to virgins. He was not speaking to the married that had already consummated the marriage. At the point of consummation the two have become one, and in the words of Yahshua, “What therefore Yahweh has joined together, let no man put asunder.”

Conclusion on Divorce and Remarriage
We must follow every word that proceeds out of the mouth of Yahweh, and Yahweh makes it clear that He hates divorce. Yahshua never taught divorce. Yahshua said, “What Yahweh has joined together, let no man put asunder.” How then can man promote and practice such a doctrine? How can man dare separate what Yahweh has joined?

When we consider Matthew 5:32, addressing those that are engaged rather than married, the pieces of the puzzle fit perfectly. This understanding ties together all the loose ends that other arguments leave hanging. The only example in the New Testament of a man considering divorce was Joseph, who was not married, but engaged. Romans 7 says that a marriage covenant can only be terminated upon death. Man cannot terminate a marriage covenant by allowing divorce. There is no such word when a couple becomes one flesh. Again, how can one flesh be separated?

What does this mean, then, for those who are divorced and remarried before baptism? Does this place them in a constant state of adultery or sin? I cannot find in the Bible where Yahweh says specifically that divorce and remarriage before baptism is forgiven and washed away. But what the Bible does say is that Yahweh is a loving Heavenly Father who will look past our ignorance. I do feel that Yahweh will acknowledge repentance that took place at baptism, and consider the present situation. Once again, this report is not to condemn, but to simply establish Yahweh standards of marriage as contained in His Word.

We at Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry do not advocate that a person separate or file for divorce in this situation, but should acknowledge Yahweh’s standards for what they are, and then strive to live a life that is well pleasing to Yahweh. Marriage is a sacred covenant and one that should not be ignored. The entire purpose for Yahweh’s marriage laws is to form a stable family environment. Yahweh’s Laws are for our benefit. If we obey Him we will find that our family will prosper in His truth and in this fleshly life.

Man of One Wife

Can a man who has been divorced and remarried hold the office of a minister? Here is what the Bible says. First Timothy 3 and Titus 1 list the qualifications for the Overseers, or Elders, and Deacons of the assembly.

Yahshua clearly shows in the 19th chapter of Matthew that at the beginning Yahweh intended one man for one woman, and the two to be one flesh. Polygamy was not an option when Paul wrote this letter to Timothy, although polygamy was still practiced at that time. First Timothy 3:2 is referring to men who have been married more then once with the other spouse still living, but can also refer to men who are committing polygamy because of their disregard for Yahweh’s law. Consider the following references on this passage:

An Elder must be blameless and that includes one wife for life (refer to D&R study). An Elder or Deacon must also be “above reproach.” They are examples to the flock. They set the standard for the entire Assembly or ministry. Only 50 years ago this high standard for the ministry would go unquestioned. Sadly, not in this day of declining morality.“A bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach”(1 Timothy 3:2).

“Husband but of one wife. A general principle that applies to any violation of Elohim’s marriage law, whether in the from of polygamy or marital unfaithfulness” (NIV Study Bible, study note on 1 Timothy 3:2).

“Not having given a bill of divorcement to one, and then taken another, or not having many wives, which at that time was common among both the Jews and Gentiles” (Matthew Henry’s Study Bible, note on 1 Timothy 3:2).

“Confuting the celibacy of Rome’s priesthood. Though the Jews practiced polygamy, yet as he is writing as to a Gentile Church, and as polygamy was never allowed among even laymen in the church, the ancient interpretation that the prohibition here is against polygamy in a candidate Bishop is not correct. It must, therefore, mean that, though laymen might lawfully marry again, candidates for the episcopate or presbytery were better to have been married only once. As in Ch. 5:9, “wife of one man,” implies a women married but once; so “Husband of one wife” here must mean the same” (Commentary on the Whole Bible Jamieson Fausset and Brown, 1 Timothy 3:2).

“Wife of one man—in order not to throw a stumbling block in the way of the Jews and heathens, who regarded with disfavor second marriages. This is the force of “blameless,” giving no offence, even in matters indifferent” (Commentary of the Whole Bible James Fausset and Brown, 1 Timothy 5:9).

“The husband of one wife] lit. ‘a man of one woman’ Four meanings have been attached to the words: (a) The presbytery is not to be a Christianised Jew, who, in accordance with the Law of Moses, had previously taken two wives. (b) He is not to take a second wife after the death of the first. (c) He is not to marry again while his divorced wife lives. (d) He is to be faithful to his wife, ‘a man of one woman’ and ‘keep himself only unto her so long as they both should live, ‘whether it were a first wife or second wife. The last is probably the right exposition, as set forth by Theodore of Mopsuestia and Theodoret. In the case of the presbyter or bishop is contemplated as a married man” (The One Volume Bible Commentary, Edited by Rev. J. R. Dummelow, M.A., 1 Timothy 3:2).

“Now a bishop must be above reproach, married only once, temperate, sensible, respectable, hospitable, and apt to teach”(New Revised Standard Version, 1Timothy 3:2).

“Therefore a Bishop must be irreproachable, married only once, temperate, self-controlled, decent, hospitable, able to teach”(New American Bible, 1Timothy 3:1).

“Well, for the office of a bishop a man must be above reproach; he must be married only once, he must be temperate, master of himself, unruffled, hospitable, a skilled teacher” (The James Moffatt Translation, 1Timothy 3:1).

By the above commentaries and translations we find that this is a very confusing and difficult passage to comprehend, although considering Joseph and Mary’s situation in Matthew 1:18-19, and what Paul mentions in Romans 7:2-3, we can conclude that one is bound to his first mate till death. Once death occurs the living mate is free from the law of marriage. He or she may remarry and he may even be ordained; however, while the first mate is living and if the husband decides to remarry he will be bound to both, and committing adultery (refer to Divorce and Remarriage study online).

Yahshua the Messiah raised the standard of marriage. He said the ONLY legitimate reason for a separation would be if there were unfaithfulness during the betrothal period, as Joseph thought was the case with his betrothed Mary (Miriam). No other example exists in the New Testament of a Biblically sanctioned separation (divorce) between a legitimate husband and wife.

Baptism and Forgiveness of Sin

Yahshua promises that He will forgive all sins at baptism, and that a person will be white as snow. Consider the following passages.

“All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven unto men” (Matthew 12:31).

“Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18).

In the shed blood of Yahshua the Messiah we can all attain that cleansing of sins at baptism, and all sins will be forgiven, with the exception of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit; however, can we say that a past marriage is sin? Some will try to say that a past marriage was sin, therefore it was washed away at baptism! But can we call a marriage “sin”? The marriage is not sin; however, adultery in a marriage is indeed sin. Still, what can we conclude from the above statement?

First, we must consider the difference between a vow and sin. Are the two the same? Is sin the same as a vow? Sin is an offence or transgression of Yahweh’s Word (1John 3:4), and a vow is a covenant or a promise set before Yahweh. The point being, sin is washed away, but vows are not. Yahweh and many of his prophets have said that we MUST perform our vows, and what is the vow of marriage? Is it not, “till death do we part,” and did not Paul say that we are bound to our mate until physical death? Numbers 30tells us: “If a man vow a vow unto Yahweh, or swear an oath to bind his soul [whole responsible person] with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth,” verse 2. At the end of this chapter we read, “These are the statutes, which Yahweh commanded Moses, between a man and his wife…” verse 16.

The Hebrew word for our English word “vow” is #5088, neder, in Strong’s Concordance, and has the following definition: “A promise (to Elohim); also (concr.) a thing promised:–vow ([-ed]).”

The Hebrew word for our English word “sin” is #2403, chattaah, in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, and has the following definition: “An offence (sometimes habitual sinfulness), and its penalty, occasion, sacrifice, or expiation; also (concr.) an offender:–punishment (of sin), purifying (-fication for sin), sin.”

What is washed away at baptism? Can baptism wash away both sin and the vow of  marriage?

In Acts 2:38 Peter tells those that were gathered for the day of Pentecost to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins. Peter never mentioned a remission of vows, and we must conclude from the above statement and definitions that sin and a vow have two separate connotations. Sin is transgression of Yahweh’s law, while a vow is a promise.

As we saw earlier, marriage is a vow till death. Remember, a vow is not sin and cannot be washed away at baptism. Yahweh might overlook bad situations done in ignorance before baptism, but that does not mean that He will look past the vow.

Let’s take an example out of everyday life: let’s say you make a loan and purchase an automobile. You make monthly payments.   You later decide the car was not what you wanted or expected. Meanwhile you become baptized. Does your immersion wash that vow or promise away so that you no longer owe for your car? No, you would still be responsible for that promise and commitment you made. How much more important is the vow of marriage, done in the presence of Almighty Yahweh?   Yahweh established the marriage covenant, and therefore when a man and woman marry, they complete a pact not just to one another, but also in His sight. It is sealed by a vow before Yahweh Himself.

Yahweh says that a minister of His must be blameless, and those who have had more then one wife while the first or second wives are still living are not blameless. This is not to say that Yahweh will not look beyond their situation, considering their past, their ignorance in times past, and their present repentance. In the final analysis, however, Yahweh says ministers must be above reproach, they must be blameless. The ministers of Yahweh’s assembly are the example and the ones responsible for the well-being of the ministry. Therefore, they must have been married only one time.

We find no record anywhere in the Bible where a priest or apostle had more than one wife. Neither is there any record in which any of these leaders had been divorced and remarried.