Qualifications for and elder! Marriage bound or not?

Fred R. Coulter—July 10, 2021

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to Sabbath services!

We recently had an Elder's Conference, and I want to cover a couple of things that we had, but before we do that, I want to again let you know about the book God's Plan for Mankind Revealed by the Sabbath and Holy Days, 2nd expanded edition.

If you're on the mailing list you don't have to request it. You will automatically get it. It will come with two CDs for all the messages. Most of the book is transcripts, which makes it very easy to learn and read.

Don't be overwhelmed with the book, there will be 80 messages covering all the Sabbath and Holy Days. We had the first publication of it, but this is so improved that there is not another book in the world that will even come close to having what's in this book.

Today, I know that a lot of people will say, 'Oh, that's a lot of material.' Well, it is! But God's plan is so great that you can't put it on a 'wicky-leaks' where they summarize everything. Eventually we will have it all online so you can download it on your smart phone. But this is meant to be so you can study it by:

  • listening
  • reading
  • marking

so you can really learn about the Holy Days of God!

It starts out with The Beginning and the Ending! That's the first message. If someone is not in the Church, they can still follow along if they apply themselves. But they will have to really apply themselves, because it's nothing like that is out there in fake Christianity!

Qualifications of an Elder:

One of the things that we covered at the conference was how we need to conduct ourselves as elders, and what is it that we need to be doing.

We'll start with what is the beginning of it, which is what are the basic initial qualifications for an elder. One of the mistakes that was made years ago was that they had 17-year-old men and women come to college, study for four years, ordain them at 21, and send them out to pastor churches that had people twice or three times, some maybe four times, their age. It didn't work very well.

There can be young elders like Timothy, because Paul said, 'Don't let anyone despise your youth.' But Timothy started with Paul perhaps when he was 16-years-old. So, he had a lot of time.

1-Timothy 3:1: "Faithful is the saying, 'If any man aspires to be an overseer…'"

Sidebar: the King James says bishop. Why is that there? Because the head of the Church of England is the crown! You can't go against the Church of England even if you're translating. There are a good number of errors in the KJV because of that.

An overseer is just like the word says: over see. It's, as we will see:

  • not to lord over
  • not to oppress

But it is all designed so that the one who is an elder brings to the people the Word of God, and a great responsibility lies upon the elder in his prayer and study, which he is to do every single day. As a matter of fact, everybody is! But that's the only way he can serve the people.

Verse 2: "Now then, it is obligatory that the overseer be blameless, the husband of one wife…."

Back then men could have two, three, four wives! One wife!

"…vigilant…: (v 2):

  • toward yourself
  • disciplining yourself
  • with the Word of God
  • serving the brethren

"…serious-minded…" (v 2)—not some comedian! Now, it's good to have a little humor, but serious-minded.

"…respectable, hospitable, skillful in teaching" (v 2).

That's what it has to be, teaching, teaching, teaching! Here's the thing for all of us, not just the elders: IF you're studying the Word of God with the Spirit of God, He is teaching you!

What we are to do as elders is to take what God gives us from His Word, and what He gives with His Spirit, and teach the people. Every one of the brethren are qualifying to be kings, priests and teachers. So, they need to be taught the Word of God.

Verse 3: "Not given to much wine, not a bully, not greedy for selfish gain; but kind, not a quarreler, not a lover of money; one who rules his own house well, having his children in subjection with all respect; (For if a man does not know how to rule his own household, how will he take care of the Church of God?)" (vs 3-5).

You need to understand that for elders… Read Paul's Epistles carefully; Satan was after him a lot of times. Many times Satan doesn't come with force or ugliness, but with good! That's how false doctrine gets in; with something that is good to the mind and the eyes, but it's not in the Word of God.

Think about this for a minute: One of the last things that the Apostle John wrote in the Epistle of 1-John 5 was, 'Beloved, flee idolatry!'

  • What does that tell you? Those who were compromising the Truth were bringing in idols!
  • What do you suppose was the first idol?
  • Especially when they wanted to differentiate themselves from those nasty Jews?

A cross, so that everybody would know they were not Jews! The reason all of these instructions are given:

Verse 6: "Not a novice, lest he become conceited and fall into the same condemnation as the devil."

Did that not happen with a good number of those young ministers who went out and when they couldn't get control of the congregation, they became tyrants? Yes!

Verse 7: "It is mandatory that he also have a good report from those who are outside the Church, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil."

This book, God's Plan for Mankind Revealed by His Sabbath and Holy Days, has the shortest bibliography ever. What is it? The Bible!That's the only bibliography there. No writings of men!

Now, here is the whole basis of how we are to operate as elders:

2-Timothy 3:15—Paul is talking to Timothy: "And that from a child you have known the Holy Writings… [all the Old Testament; you need to know the O.T.; you can't do it with the New Testament alone] …which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus."

There are 356 references to Jesus Christ in the Old Testament. Today, because of 'translating committees' they don't except all Scripture as Truth. The best one from the Greek, the Byzantine Text, they don't use. They use the one from Alexandria Egypt. What have we learned about Egypt in the Bible?

It is faulty text, missing words, and we have a whole booklet on that—New Testament Scripture Comparisons—where Joseph Ackermann compared 27 translations of the New Testament. He charted them all out and showed where there were missing words and changed words. Only the Byzantine form, the Received Text, the Faithful Version and most of the King James had it right. In many of those translations, they are missing—just in the New Testament—2,200 words. Yet, that's the Received Text that the United Bible Society puts out.

That's why we do what we do!That's why here with Christian Biblical Church of God we go by what the Hebrew and the Greek—the proper text—tells us. We translate from that for the Faithful Version.

Verse 16: "All Scripture is God-breathed… [because God inspired it to be written] …and is profitable for doctrine… [we have to teach that] …for conviction… [teaching so that we all have resoluteness and know and believe the Truth] …for correction…"

That doesn't mean that the elder or minister does the correcting. What's the best kind of correction? With God's Spirit, self-correction! The best way we need to have correction is to teach the brethren how to study the Bible, and let God correct them with His Spirit and His Word.

Don't you think that's a lot better than being 'beaten up over the head' coming to church. Have you ever come to church and have a blasting corrective sermon, and everybody went out with their hands dragging on the ground?

"…for instruction in righteousness… [there it is right there] …so that the man of God… [to any person who studies the Bible] …may be complete, fully equipped for every good work" (vs 16-17).

2-Timothy 2:15—here's how an elder is to do: "Diligently study to show yourself approved unto God…"

Not with the hierarchy, not with people, but with God! If that's correct you will be teaching the Truth.

"…a workman who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of the Truth" (v 15).

The Bible is to be put together 'line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little (Isa. 28).

Verse 16: "But avoid profane and vain babblings because they will only give rise to more ungodliness, and their words will eat away at the body like gangrene; of whom are Hymeneus and Philetus" (vs 16-17).

Human beings like to try and add to the Word of God. Or think that they could come up with something better than the Word of God. They can't!

Now, here is the sacred charge that all elders are to do. We are to have, with God's Spirit, a direct connection with God the Father and Jesus Christ.

2-Timothy 4:1: "I charge you… [that's a stern command] …therefore, in the sight of God, even the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is ready to judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His Kingdom: Preach the Word!…." (vs 1-2).

That's what it is! Can't get any simpler. Remember those three words "… Preach the Word!…." Combine that with the other three words that we know: Obey My voice! If you preach the Word and obey the voice of God, you'll be fine.

"…Be urgent in season and out of season… [don't be dull and boring] …convict…" (v 2).

  • Isn't that something?
  • How do you convict people?

Remember, it doesn't say to shame them. That's what's going on today with this 'woke'; they're shaming people into believing something they shouldn't. Conviction comes because of the Word of God rightly spoken. You can add onto that, the Sabbath Day for the blessing of God, because it's His Holy Day.

"…rebuke… [that may be necessary from time-to-time] …encourage, with all patience and doctrine" (v 2). Paul knew what was coming!

I've been doing some reading and studying about how Sunday became the day of worship. That goes back even before the Apostle John died. It was all because the Romans and the Gentiles stirred up the hatred against the Jews. The Jews were constantly rebelling. The Jews were complete standoffs and didn't represent God, because Judaism is not from God.

So, they separated themselves by a clever argument of the 8th day. Jesus ascended on the first day of the week after seven days and that's the 8th day. You can look at different eights in the Bible and you can make it appear that it's justifiable. But it's written up in such a way that it looks like it was a normal and natural accepted transition. But that can't be so, because it didn't come from God. So, here's what happened:

Verse 3: "For there shall come a time when they will not tolerate sound doctrine…"

Sabbath and Sabbath-keeping and Holy Days and Passover are sound doctrine!

"…but according to their own lusts they shall accumulate to themselves a great number of teachers… [here's why]: …having ears itching to hear what satisfies their cravings" (v 3).

What happens then? Look at the final result of this with Catholicism and Protestantism today!

Verse 4: "And they shall turn away their own ears from the Truth; and they shall be turned aside unto myths."

Every major doctrine of Catholicism and Protestantism is a myth!

  • Sunday
  • Halloween
  • Christmas
  • Easter
  • New Years

They're all myths!Their doctrines, though they read from the Bible, they read certain sections so they sound like they're following the Bible, but they're not!They are creating cunning deceptions.

Verse 5: "But as for you, be vigilant in all things, endure hardships, do the work of an evangelist; fully carry out your ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand" (vs 5-6)—ready to die!

Remember that Peter—because he thought when Jesus said these things were going to happen to Him and He was going to be crucified—said, 'O Lord, be that far from You, I'm willing to go with you and die with You.'

What did Jesus say to Peter? 'I tell you tonight, in this very day, that you're going to deny Me three times, and he did, and he learned an awfully tough lesson from it: No man can do something for God that God does not want done!

After His resurrection Jesus came to them and they were out fishing on the Sea of Galilee and they looked up and there was Jesus. He told them to throw the net over the side and they caught so many fish they didn't know what to do. Then they came and Jesus had already had fish cooked for them. I wonder how those fish got there? Did Jesus create them for this? I don't know, it doesn't say that Jesus was fishing along the shore of Galilee!

Everyone who is an elder—I don't care what church you're in, what flock you're feeding—you better remember this from Jesus Himself:

John 21:15: "Therefore, when they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, 'Simon, son of Jonas, do you love Me more than these?'…." Those were his best friends, all the apostles!

"…And he said to Him, 'Yes, Lord. You know that I love You.'…." (15).

We need to look at two words here:

  • when Jesus said "…do you love Me…" that was 'agape'
  • when Peter answered, he answered 'phileo,' which is friendship love

There's a difference! 'agape' is Godly love!

Now notice this follows the pattern of the three denials:

Verse 16: "He said to him again a second time, 'Simon, son of Jonas, do you love Me?' And he said to Him, 'Yes, Lord. You know that I love You.'… [again Jesus asked in 'agape' and Peter answered in 'phileo'] …He said to him, 'Shepherd My sheep.'" Look at that!

  • "…Feed My lambs…."(v 15);
  • "…Shepherd My sheep" (v 16).

Verse 17: "He said to him the third time, 'Simon, son of Jonas, do you love Me?'… [this time Jesus went down to 'phileo'] …Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, 'Do you love Me?' And he said to Him, 'Lord, You know all things. You know that I love You.' Jesus said to him, 'Feed My sheep.'"

That's the whole scope of everyone who is an elder. That covers everything! You feed them with the Word of God:

  • so they can grow in grace and knowledge.
  • so they can overcome personal problems
  • so they can be inspired and want to go forward

All of that is required of an elder!

When you have a hierarchy it gets all distorted, but the question remains: Did Peter learn that lesson? You can see by the way that Peter wrote that he learned an awful lot in his ministry. This was written sometime before he died, because he mentioned later in the 2-Peter 1 that 'I know that my time has come.'

Remember what Jesus told him when He had that episode with three times, 'Peter, when you're old you're going to be led about where you don't want to go.' So, let's see if Peter learned it.

2-Peter 1:1: "Simon Peter a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained the same precious faith as ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord" (vs 1-2).

Also this second verse is part of the instruction for all elders. When an elder doesn't study, when an elder doesn't pray, sooner or later the people in the congregation can pick up on it, because it won't be right, it won't sound like the words of God the way that it should.

Verse 3: "According as His Divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and Godliness… [that's why we have the Word of God] …through the knowledge of Him Who called us by His own glory and virtue."

He's got the point right there, because he's writing to the brethren, and he's telling them the same thing that John did, that it is the Father who draws, and we're taught of God. When we teach the Word of God with the Spirit of God, and we ourselves are studying, praying, growing and overcoming, then we can help the brethren. That's what it's all about.

Verse 4: "Through which He has given to us the greatest… [he's understanding the calling completely here] …and most precious promises… [can't get any better; nothing to replace it] …that through these you may become partakers of the Divine nature…"

He understood the complete plan of God and what conversion is all about! So, at the resurrection we have the Divine nature, not carnal nature. Didn't Peter experience some of that carnal nature with Jesus? Yes, he did!

"…the Divine nature…" Think of that! That's why all the brethren are precious to God. That's why we need to teach God's way to them all the time!

"…having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" (v 4).

You come to the point of spiritual maturity, that you—with the Spirit of God and the Word of God—can overcome the 'lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.' That's what it's all about.

Verse 5: "And for this very reason also, having applied all diligence…"

This tells us how we are to do it. It's not like Christianity in the world. They come to church on Sunday and have a nice social gathering. They maybe go with some of their friends or whatever it may be, and they go home and they're back in the world and don't do anything about growing in grace, knowledge and understanding. Maybe some few would.

 "…all diligence… [means it's a full-time thing] …besides, add to your faith, virtue… [right conduct] …and to virtue, knowledge" (v 5).

  • knowledge of the Truth
  • knowledge of the Word of God
  • knowledge of the Son of man
  • knowledge of God the Father

Verse 6: "And to knowledge, self-control…"—with the Spirit of God!

That's the secret of correction! Each one of us with the Word of God and Spirit of God—through prayer, study and the Word of God—recognize what sin is, and we correct ourselves! That's self control!

"…and to self-control, endurance; and to endurance, Godliness… [here's where we find that Peter learned the lesson of John 21] …And to Godliness, brotherly love… ['phileo'] …and to brotherly love, the love of God"—'agape.' Peter learned the lesson!



I might mention that last Thursday I turned 87. Here in the congregation we have two that are older than me: Jack Hasler and Betty Hyles, who is approaching 90. We're thankful for the extra time God has given us. I appreciate all your prayers for me that I can continue as long as God wants me to, to serve Him and teach the Word of God.

I was married 56-1/2 years; good marriage, so we're going to talk about divorce and remarriage today. That was another topic that we had, which took almost one whole day to cover. Today, the way it is, who is to say who is bound? And who is loosed? Because of the way the world is!

There are so many things going on with people and marriages and sexuality. Today their trying to teach children in kindergarten things that they should not be teaching concerning sexuality.

So rare is the couple that has not had divorce and remarriage. So, to get our ground where we need to be, I'm going to read the Sacred Wedding Ceremony and this will give us some guideposts from which we can answer the questions:

  • Who is bound?
  • Who is not bound?
  • What are the things that may loose a marriage?

The Sacred Marriage Ceremony

This is a happy and joyous occasion. Marriage is a natural union, but a Divine institution, ordained created relationship at creation by Almighty God for man and woman.

Today, we have it for man and man, woman and woman, man and animal and animal for woman, and pretty soon robots for men and women. Don't laugh, it's coming!

Originally, this intimate love relationship was created by God Himself, for GOD IS LOVE.

Physically and spiritually the marriage estate portrays mankind's supreme destiny of ONENESS with God in His family, in His eternal Kingdom.

Since Almighty God is the Supreme Sovereign Ruler, and He is our Creator, therefore, it is only fitting and right that we use the laws sand principles as the fundamental authority, which governs this sacred marriage covenant into which you are both now entering.

This is what we have when we have a marriage ceremony!

In the beginning, after the Lord God had created Adam, He said, "It is not good for man to be alone…

Likewise you can add to that, and the Bible sustains it, that it's not good for a woman to be alone either.

…I will make a helper, suitable and compatible for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then God took one of the man's ribs, and from it God fashioned a woman, and God brought her to the man.

"And the man said…

when you read this, listen to what it says:

"…'This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man.'….

What does this tell you? In addition to naming all of the animals and everything, Adam knew what God was going to do! He understood where she came from. So God adds this:

…For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh."

That is the perfect arrangement! Men have tried everything else just like they're trying today. How is that working out? Not very good! It leads to terrible things: mentally, psychologically, emotionally, and every other evil thing under the sun.

Then God blessed them saying, "Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth."

So, God gave us the whole earth! What a gift!

Today, in the presence of these witnesses, we are asking the Lord God Almighty, in the name and authority of Jesus Christ, to bless this marriage with love, understanding, faithfulness and dedication to each other, knowing that marriage is honorable in everything.

Notice love, understanding, faithfulness and dedication! That's very important, because that's missing in so many marriages today.

Jesus upheld this honor by teaching, "He who created them in the beginning, made them male and female, and said, 'For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. Consequently, they are no more two, but one flesh.'

Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man put asunder.

How many marriages today has God bound? With all the evil that's going on, why are we called Sodom and Gomorrah? Because we're not doing anything what I just read, that's why!

He said, "Whosoever divorces his wife, except for the cause of sexual infidelity and marries another, commits adultery.

And if a woman divorces her husband, and is married to another, she commits adultery."

That is if the wedding was bound by God!

So we see that it is God Who joins a husband and wife together as one flesh.

Not man!

What God has bound, man is commanded by that authority not to separate. What God has bound, only God can loose as revealed in His Holy Word.

So, that becomes the question: What did He bind? What did He loose?

A marriage so bound and blessed by God is binding for life, for better or for worse, in sickness or in health, in want or in wealth unto death do they part.

Not many can say that today! I can look back and Dolores and I entered into our marriage with this in mind. We had a great marriage, and like all marriages, we had some ups and downs. Dolores was smart, she was caring, she was good, she was a great mother and wife. We had five children together, the first one died by being born premature. And all of the rest of the children.

We had our ups and downs with the children because of the society we live in, and because I had to be gone much of the time. But Dolores was great as a wife and director of the family while I was gone, and did well.

We loved each other, understood each other and we were faithful to the end. That's the way God wants every marriage to be. Today it never works out that way in too many cases.

Now, let us understand the New Testament instructions concerning the marriage estate:

"Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands…

that's a requirement of God

Steven Greene gave a very good message on that on Go To Meeting—What Are the role of Husbands and Wives, Removing the Curse?—I want to get that one, and put it up online. As long as the man is single and the woman is single they govern and rule their own lives. But when they're married, you can't have two heads. Jesus said, 'you'll either love one or hate the other, or despise one and love the other one.'

So, you can't have it that way. God made the woman as the 'weaker vessel,' but perfect for being a woman. There are certain things about women that men never understand, and there are certain things about men that women never understand.

Remember when Rex Harrison, in a movie, sang a song: 'Oh, why can't a woman be more like a man?' She can't! Look at what's happening today trying to have this gender change. Chemicals, operations and all of this is ruining and destroying lives.

So, the wife has to, by choice, voluntarily submit herself to her husband! The husband has to love his wife and treat her with honor and respect as the weaker vessel. He's not to rule over her with an iron fist; he's not to put her down! You work together!

That's how our marriage worked. That's how my wife was able to blossom into a full functioning woman her whole life. After the kids grew up and were gone, she was able to work and became an executive secretary for one of the leading real estate offices over in Gilroy: John Filice who was the head of it. She made good money.

The only thin I required of her with her money was, you buy the food, I pay the bills. She was happy with that. She got a lot of things for the house that way.

So, you have to come in the marriage to understand how you work together, because you're one flesh.

"Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as unto the Lord, because the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the Head of the Church…

How does Christ treat us? With love, understanding, forgiveness and kindness!

…and He is the Savior, Deliverer, and Provider of the body. In exactly the same manner as the Church is subject to Christ, even so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything in the marriage estate.

"Husbands, love your wives in exactly the same manner as Christ also loved the Church, and gave up Himself for her, in order that He might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of the water through the Word of God…

It's the same way with us! We are to treat our wives in such a way in loving them, that they become better, that they respond and love us and we love them. That's the way it has to be.

…that He might place her beside Himself as the glorious, untarnished Church, not having a single spot or stain, wrinkle or blemish, or any such thing; but that she might be consecrated, Holy and completely blameless.

"In exactly the same manner, the husbands are duty-bound and under obligation to God, to love their wives as their own bodies. The man who is loving his wife in this manner loves himself, because no one truly hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, exactly as the Lord does the Church: For this mystery is great, immense and supreme: For I am speaking concerning the relationship between Christ and the Church the Bride of Jesus Christ and their eternal destiny. However, let everyone of you, also, be loving his own wife as himself, and the wife see that she reverence her husband."

Notice that most of the instructions are placed on the man! What do we have today? Women ruling! In the case of Deborah, when there were no men strong enough to handle it, Deborah became a judge and she went to war and told Barak who was supposed to go and wage the war, 'I'll go with you but this is a woman's victory.'

Today, things are so upside down and backward. Now we have 'house husbands' and the wife goes out and supports the family. How does that work? I don't know, have to ask those who do it!

The Apostle Peter continues God's instructions, "In the same way, you wives be submissive to your own husbands from your heart…

Very important! You can't have double-mindedness of either one, husband or wife. What do you do when there's a marriage where both of them say 'I do' and one of them in their heart says, 'I don't, and if this doesn't work out the way I want it, I'm out of here.'

Do you think God is going to bind that marriage? Never! That's a fraudulent marriage! There are some people who do it that way, both men and women.

It's so bad today that people say that they're not going to get married, but live together. So, they live together, but that's not how God made it. There has to be the formal acceptance of the covenant. It's a covenant.

  • What did God to ensure the New Covenant? The death of Christ!
  • What do we do to join it? Baptism, which is a symbolic death!

If I don't raise you out of the water and hold you under there and take my hand off your nose, you're not going to come up alive. That's as close to death you can come.

"…you wives be submissive to your own husbands from your heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God….

And will melt the heart of your husband in love! Yes, it will!

…Thus, did Sarah obey Abraham, calling him lord. Likewise, you husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way…

The best you can! Women go through different things that men do not go through because of the cycle of life that she has in her body. There are times when she's very happy and all of this, and there are other times when she's grouchy and munchy because of the time of the month and so forth. That's all part of it. So, you understand.

…as with a weaker vessel, and grant her honor as a fellow-heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered."

A covenant must be entered into with no reservations. A covenant must be entered into with full and open knowledge You cannot be double-mined and be duplicitous in this ceremony, which happens too many times.

I've been dealing with a case lately that there are three marriages involved on both sides.

  • How do you figure out who is bound to whom?
  • How do you know whose telling the right story?

Look at some of the things that both men and women, but in particularly women, can be sly and sneaky, and conceal their inner thoughts more than men. So, you don't know what's going on. All of sudden after marriage things blow up because they're not following what it is here.

Sacred Marriage Covenant

We are here today in the presence of God, coming before His very throne in heaven above and we are asking God to join you as husband and wife. Therefore, in accordance with God's Word, each of you should solemnly promise...

A promise that you cannot break! A promise that you must enter into with full knowledge! You can't come into it with any hesitation or reservation in your mind. If you do, that's not a marriage. How can it be? Your promise is worthless! That's why we have to solemnly promise!

What if God treated us the way some men and women treat their spouse. He promises one thing and then later on says, 'I didn't mean that.' You promised eternal life! 'But I didn't mean that.'

...before God

not just to people

….and in the presence of these witnesses to accept the sacred marriage covenant according to the conditions set forth and imposed by Almighty God as revealed in His Holy Word.

Do you, [the man's first name], enter into covenant with God...

See what the emphasis is on?

...in the presence of these witnesses to take her, [her full name], to be your lawful wedded wife until death as the Scriptures command, for better or for worse…

Nothing here about fraud; nothing here about wrong intensions; just for better or worse as life comes.

…in sickness or in health…

because everyone is going to get sick, that's just the nature of human beings

…in want or in wealth…

There are times when you won't have much, there will be other times when you have more.

…to cleave unto her, to love her as Christ loves the Church, to honor her, cherish her and provide for her?

Then he says, 'I do!'

Now then do you [woman's first name] enter into covenant with God

Both! The only way a marriage is going to be binding by God is if you both have pure hearts and motives, and nothing in the back of your mind that you're going to 'pull the trigger' on later on. Otherwise, that's fraud! Fraud falls into the same category as adultery.

…in the presence of these witnesses to take [man's full name] to be your lawful wedded husband, until death as the Scriptures command, for better or for worse, in sickness or in health, in want or in wealth; and to submit yourself to him in everything in the marriage estate, as the Church does to Christ; and to honor and reverence him?

She says, 'I do!'

Now then, when it is that way, that's a binding marriage. Just because there's a wedding ceremony and just because there's a minister reading these words, does not bind a marriage.

God alone can bind it based upon the pureness of heart and pureness of motivation when they have the ceremony!

Can you bind a woman to a man who is going to be a rough bully and she's beaten up. One minister beat up his wife and she came to another woman in the Church—she had this big black eye—and finally she had to pour out her heart and say that 'this man of mine is just a monster. He beats me, belittles me, puts me down and tells me how awful I am' and so forth.

That would be grounds for a proper divorce. God does not expect you to be married to someone who is going to beat you up. There have been cases like that. God doesn't want it.

I can tell you that in all 56-1/2 years Dolores never slapped me on the face, and I never slapped her on the face. We always worked things out. Sometimes it takes a while to work them out. But God is the only One Who binds!

In sitting down and talking to those who are divorced and try to figure out is this a bound marriage or not? Everyone is going to tell the best story about themselves! Are you going to sit down and tell someone how evil and mean and nasty they have been to your husband or to your wife? No, you're not!

You may bring out some things that are not right, but you're not going to confess to anyone how bad you have been as a wife or husband. That's why it's so difficult to understand who is bound today.

It has to be bound by God based on the promise, which has to be pure and no reservations. It's the only way it's going to be binding. Then each of you love each other, come together as husband and wife, and you're wanting to do the things that please each other and God.

But unfortunately, the world has crept into the Church too much! What about if the husband or wife had done things before their marriage that really affected their character? Really made them prone to evil? How would ever know unless he or she told you. You'd never know, but you find out later.

How about if you have a man or woman when they have problems and difficulties, and all they do is condemn and lie about you? I know a case of one woman that all she did every time her husband was not there at the house right on time, 'you're committing adultery!' Finally, she made things so bad that he had to leave her.

That can't be a bound marriage. How can that be a bound marriage? Is she saying, 'I love you and I appreciate your working so hard'? No! Falsely accusing! That can't be, and it makes it difficult.

Now, we can carry that out to things today. What about if there was homosexual activity in the past? Both male and female? Let me show you something in the book of Romans.

The only way that God is in our lives is if we submit to God, and His Word, His Truth, His laws and commandments. That we believe God! That we love God!

  • What happens when all of that goes out the window?
  • What happens when we have like it is today?

I need to give a sermon on genomics!

Sidebar: Why is China getting the DNA of people from every nation in the world? What are they going to do with that? It's going to be bad news! China has nothing to do with God, except China is a hand of punishment from God, and will be the hand of punishment for this nation because of what we do! We will see how that comes about right here:

Romans 1:20: "For the invisible things of Him are perceived from the creation of the world, being understood by the things that were made…

What make is go, the thing that was made, was something they can't see called the Spirit! The spirit of man in human beings, and the spirit of animals in animals, the power of life! Same way with plants.

"…—both His eternal power and Godhead—so that they are without excuse; because when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but they became vain in their own reasonings, and their foolish hearts were darkened. While professing themselves to be the wise ones, they became fools" (vs 20-22)—whatever it may be:

  • in science
  • in technology
  • in medicine
  • in the Word of God
  • in human relations
  • in human sexuality

"While professing themselves to be the wise ones, they became fools."

Verse 23: "And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed creatures, and creeping things."

The other part of the sermon that I wanted to bring today, which fits right in with this, but I'll have to bring it separately: they are working genetically to create a combination of human beings with animal genes. Even the United States government has committed $250 million to do it. They're trying to create 'centaurs' part man and part animal.

Remember Gen. 11 where it says, 'This they begin to do, now nothing shall be kept from them that they imagined to do.' That's where we are! They even say in one place what we can do with genetics is make man think right! I want you to grasp that; total mind control!

That's something, and here's what happens when they get to that point:

Verse 24: "For this cause, God also abandoned them… [When God abandons you, who moves in? Satan the devil!] …to uncleanness through the lusts of their hearts, to disgrace their own bodies between themselves."

The first thing they do is go after perverted sex! Isn't that the history? Isn't that what they're doing?

Verse 25: "Who exchanged the Truth of God for the lie… [called the Truth of God lies] …and they worshiped and served the created thing more than the One Who is Creator, Who is blessed into the ages. Amen."

Notice what happens if there's no change; notice what takes place:

Verse 26: "For this cause, God abandoned them to disgraceful passions; for even their women changed the natural use of sex into that which is contrary to nature." That comes first!

  • How did that begin? With Eve!
  • How did it begin here? Women's rights and abortion!

The reason we have everything going wrong in America today is not because we don't have the right economics or any of the other plans that they have. It's because they have left out God!

And the women, with the assisstance of doctors have killed 62 million unborn innocent blood! That is blood that God is going to revenge upon this nation, and there's no other nation more hateful to do it than China! That's where we are with this.

What happens? That causes a lot of homosexuality with men! Both ways!

Verse 27: "And in the same manner also the men, having left the natural use of sex with the woman, were inflamed in their lustful passions toward one another—men with men shamelessly committing lewd acts, and receiving back within themselves a fitting penalty for their error."

We've already fulfilled the first two God abandonments! Look what's next:

Verse 28: "And in exact proportion as they did not consent to have God in their knowledge…"

I want you to listen when you watch the news and see all the propositions for trying to straighten out the economy and trying to straighten out the border.

Let me tell you this, they'll never straighten out the border until they stop abortion—period! God is sending one immigrant legal or illegal for every one that has been aborted. We're not teaching our young people the seriousness of life, and the far reaching ramifications of sexuality.

"…God abandoned them…"(v 28).

You don't want Me with you, all right I'm going to leave you on your own

"…to a reprobate mind…" (v 28). That's what we're entering into with this genome! "…a reprobate mind…" is one who thinks they are 'God.' If you think you can change the genes of people, and if you think you're going to make the 'right' you are a reprobate from God, and sitting in the seat of God!

"…to practice those things that are immoral" (v 28). That's the way that it is!

How is this nation going to go forward? We don't know! But let me tell you that every day there is no rain, every dam in California loses water!

Pretty soon the dams will run so low that the water generating electricity will cease. Where will millions and millions of people be without water? Without electricity? You need to think on those things! That's where we are.

Sorry to bring you some good news mixed with all the bad, but that's the way that it is. We have to see it for what it is and understand it for what it is. That way we can draw closer to God so that we don't fall into the trap of the world!

Scriptural References:

  • 1 Timothy 3:1-7
  • 2 Timothy 3:15-17
  • 2 Timothy 2:15
  • 2 Timothy 4:1-6
  • John 21:15-17
  • 2 Peter 1:1-7
  • Romans 1:20-28

Scripture referenced, not quoted:

  • 1 John 5
  • Isaiah 28
  • Genesis 11

Also referenced:

  • Book: God's Plan for Mankind Revealed by His Sabbath and Holy Days, 2nd ed, by Fred R. Coulter
  • Booklet: New Testament Scripture Comparisons by Joseph Ackermann

Message: What Are the role of Husbands and Wives, Removing the Curse? by Steven Greene Go To Meeting:

Transcribed: 7/14/21

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