Q. What does the Bible says about revenge? How should a righteous person respond when being abused?
A. Yahshua the Messiah in Matthew 5:43-44 states, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”
Out of all the teachings we find in the New Testament, this is one of the hardest to follow. The last thing our human nature desires to do is to pray for those who mistreat and persecute us. However, as believers we are called to follow a different standard, one that reflects the Messiah.
However, this does not mean we place or leave ourselves in a situation that’s abusive. While we are not to hold grudges or animosity against those who have wronged us, there is no scriptural command to remain in that condition. Therefore, if we are being unjustly maltreated, we can take corrective action to alleviate that abuse.
For example, if we are being abused by our spouse, there is no scriptural mandate that requires us to remain in that relationship. In this case separation may be justified. However, in this specific instance, we must biblically remain unmarried or reconcile with our spouse, 1Corinthians 7:11. Marriage is for life and remarriage is not permissible as long as our spouse is alive, Romans 7:2-3. If someone is harassing you at work, the Bible allows a person to seek mitigation through management.
In summary, while there is no biblical requirement to stay in an abusive situation where we are being unjustly persecuted, we should not hold animosity or resentment, but must forgive by letting go of that anger. But again, this does not mean we cannot take corrective action to alleviate the abuse.
Can a man divorced and remarried qualify as a minister? Also, what if the divorce and remarriage occurred before baptism?
Paul in 1Timothy 3 and Titus 1 states that a minister (i.e., elder or deacon) must be a man of one wife. “A bishop [elder] then must be blameless, the husband of one wife…. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well,” 1Timothy 3:2, 12.
While the meaning of the phrase “man of one wife” is debated, it is generally assumed to refer to a man married only once or to a man who has not been divorced and remarried. As we explain in the Restoration Study Bible, “This expression denotes a man that has been married but once or a man that is not divorced and remarried. The New Revised Standard Version reads, ‘married only once.’ The New English Biblesays faithful to his one wife. The Jerusalem Bible says he must have been married once. Moffatt reads, He must be married only once. Smith-Goodspeed says only once married. The Anchor Bible explains, ‘Literally a man of one woman (1Tim. 5:9 contains a mirror image of the expression.)’ It has also been historically noted that both remarriage and polygamy were practiced during the time of the Messiah. OT priests were also prohibited from marrying a divorced woman (Lev. 21:7). This is also a standard found for priests in the Millennium, the one-thousand year rule of Yahshua the Messiah (Ezek. 44:22),” note on 1Timothy 3:2. Since baptism only washes away sin and not previous marriages, it would not matter whether the divorce and remarriage occurred before or after baptism in regards to ordination. In both instances, a person divorced and remarried, whether before or after baptism, would be disqualified to serve as an ordained minister.
What is the law for a man who gets a divorce then marries a woman who has never been married? Then the couple finds Yahshua and are baptized together?
Even though the Bible is clear that marriage is for life (Romans 7:2-3) and that if we separate / divorce we are to either remain unmarried or reconcile the marriage (1Corinthians 7:10-11), it is not so clear regarding those who divorced and remarried not knowing the standard. In that case we do not believe couples should separate or divorce to make amends for their ignorance. Instead, from that point on they are to accept the standard and agree that divorce can never again be an option.
We base this on three passages. Acts 17:30 states that Yahweh winks at our ignorance; Paul in Romans 7:1 states that he was speaking to those who knew the law, and based on the fact the an elder and deacon could not be divorced and remarried – they had to be a man of one wife (1Timothy 3:2) – shows that there were divorced and remarried believers in the assembly at that time.
We encourage you to remain in your present state and realize that for you and your spouse divorce can never again be an option.
Your live, online sermon today brought up the woman accused of adultery in John 8, but no one was there to accuse her. Go back to Numbers 5. The law was that if two people were caught in the physical act, both would be stoned. There has to be three witnesses and the husband has to be there at the temple with the witnesses to bring this charge. John 8:6 says, “And this they said, trying Him, so that they might accuse Him.
The issue in the sermon was, is this passage even legitimate in the first place? It is missing in many manuscripts. The Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary documents the many Greek and Aramaic manuscripts where this passage is missing, “It is wanting in the four oldest manuscript—the newly-discovered Codex Sinaiticus (‘Aleph (‘)), the Alexandrian Codex (A), the Codex Vaticanus (B), and the Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus (C) – and in four other valuable Uncial manuscript, although two of these have a blank space, as if something had been left out; it is wanting also in upwards of 50 Cursive manuscripts: of ancient versions, it is wanting in the venerable Peshito Syriac and its Philoxenian revision, in one and probably both the Egyptian versions—the Thebaic and Memphitic-the Gothic, probably the Armenian, and two or three copies of the Old Latin: several of the fathers take no notice of it—as Origen, Tertullian, Cyprian, Cyril, Chrysostom: it is wanting in the most ancient tables of the sectional contents of the Gospels, though afterward inserted as an additional section: the variations in the manuscript which insert it exceed in number and extent those in any other part of the New Testament: and of those manuscript which insert it, four Uncials and upwards of fifty Cursives have an asterisk or other critical mark attached to it, as subject to doubt or requiring investigation.
We see in the scripture the examples of where polygamy was allowed but got the man into a heap of trouble with Yahweh in the end, i.e. David, Solomon. Aside from these examples in scripture, can you tell me why polygamy is wrong today?
Is polygamy found in the Word? Yes. Is polygamy what Yahweh intended when He created a man and woman for marriage? No. Is polygamy how Yahweh defines a family? No. Did Yahweh give Adam more than one wife? No. Did he ever tell Adam he could have more later? No.
Genesis 2:24 defines marital boundaries: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Notice the singular “wife,” not “wives.” Yahweh never intended a man to have more than one wife.
What Yahweh may have allowed in the Old Testament (because of man’s hard heart) Yahshua raised the bar on in the New. Yahshua said even to look on a woman with lust is committing adultery, Matthew 5:28. How can lusting after another woman be adultery if additional wives are allowed?
The following passages are meaningless if Yahweh approves of polygamy:
• Matt. 19:9: “And I say unto you, Whoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, commits adultery…” In Yahweh’s eyes the man is still married to the woman. But the sin of adultery is irrelevant if polygamy is sanctioned.
• 1Tim. 3:12: “Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.”
Elders and deacons set the standard of behavior for the whole assembly. A key to that standard is one wife, a truth the next reference reinforces.
• 1Tim. 3:2: “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach.” The limit of one wife per man is Yahweh’s prerequisite for sacred office and anything less disqualifies a man from pastoral positions.
The word fornication comes from three separate words in the Bible, two from the Hebrew and one from the Greek. These words all share similar connotations. Each can mean literal fornication between two unmarried persons in a marriage contract; however, it can also signify adultery, whoredom, or an act of unfaithfulness on the part of Yahweh’s people.
The first place the word fornication is used in the Old Testament is found in II Chronicles 21:81. The word fornication found in this passage is from the Hebrew, No. 2181, Zanah, and is defined by Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible as follows: “to commit adultery (usually on the female, and less often of simple fornication, rarely of involuntary ravishment); fig. To commit idolatry (the Jewish people being regarded as the spouse of [Yahweh])…”
One thing that might be noted is that the Strong’s only offers a broad definition and not an exact definition. Therefore, to completely understand the usage of a particular word in the Hebrew or Greek, one must examine the context of the passage in question.
Many times you may find a more detailed definition in a word study or a lexicon. While, these sources often prove to be valuable in the understanding of many Hebrew and Greek words, a person also must acknowledge the fact that these were written by man and can be inaccurate in some instances.
For example, The Complete Word Study Old Testament offers a more decisive definition than found in Strong’s. It notes on page 2312 in its Lexical Aid, “To fornicate, commit fornication, be a harlot, play the harlot, commit adultery; to apostatize, have intercourse with false g-ds or foreigners; to seduce. The main idea is to commit illicit sexual intercourse, particularly with women. However, this strong image is used in a figurative sense to describe illegal contact between Israel and other nations and their g-ds…”
The Complete Word Study Old Testament suggests three possible meanings for the Hebrew word “zanah.” The first being fornication (pre-marital, illicit sex), the second being adultery (marital, illicit sex), and the third being idolatry (worship of a person or thing besides Yahweh).
The second word denoting fornication in the English is found only once in the Hebrew, in Ezekiel 16:29. The word fornication in this passage is from the Hebrew, No. 8457, taznuth, and simply means a type of idolatry. Being that this word is only used once, the quest for an exact definition should not be too exhausting.
The third word signifying fornication is found in the Greek and is first used in Matthew 5:32. This word derives from the Greek word, No. 4202, porneia and is defined in the Strong’s as follows, “from 4203; harlotry (incl. Adultery and incest); fig. Idolatry: – fornication.”
Again, we only find a broad definition for this Greek word, “porneia.” Porneia is used 32 times in the New Testament and conveys many different definitions.
For example, the word fornication in Matthew 5:32 is often taken to denote an act of adultery, however an in-depth study will prove this understanding false, and confirm the real usage of this Greek word “porneia” in this particular passage, which is fornication, pre-material sex.
In the fifth chapter of 1 Corinthians Paul admonishes the Corinthian assembly to remove the sin that they were allowing in the assembly. One of the sins listed by the Apostle was a gentile committing “fornication” with his father’s wife. Now this is not what we consider fornication, but more accurately this signifies incest with his stepmother.
Trying to pinpoint this word without examining the passage in question is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Fornication in either the Hebrew or Greek can have and denote a wide range of definitions. It can mean literal fornication, adultery, harlotry, incest, pedophilia, bestiality, or any other sexual restriction that Yahweh has placed for mankind to observe.