Divorce & Remarriage #1

Fred R. Coulter—July 25, 1987

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What is the meaning and purpose of marriage? Human beings are the only ones that marry. Look at the animal kingdom. There are some who mate for life, but others don't. Look at all of the different things that God has created—male and female; yet, none of them have a ceremony where there is marriage. Marriage is designed by God; it's an institution from God. It's meant to be based upon love and relationship with God and relationship with each other in a way that designed to preserve and protect the society, the family and each individual.

Let's go back to the beginning. This is where marriage began, at the beginning. This gives us one of the keys and clues as to the understanding about marriage. I think one of the biggest reasons, for example, that evolution has made such big inroads into people's lives is because religion has made a fool of itself, or it's been so oppressive. Like I saw on the Oprah Winfrey Show, there were five people on there, and when this one black lady got up and said, 'The Bible is of no private interpretation.'

She quoted 2-Peter 1:20, that you have to be led by the prophets, you have to be led by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit and that is the only interpretation. The Catholic priest said, 'The Holy Spirit isn't with us.' Everybody lit into just an argument you couldn't believe. They were all arguing!

This one gal stood up and said, 'What if I'm a Buddhist in China and I'm studying Buddhism and you say the only way is with Christ. You mean that I can't receive salvation?' The other gal said, 'No, you can't.' They started arguing and they were about ready to have a knockdown drag out:

  • all because people don't know why they're here
  • all because people don't know the purpose of life

One of the biggest purposes in life and the meaning of life is brought out to us by the fact of God's creation and the institution of marriage.

Genesis 1:21: "And God created great sea-animals, and every living creature that moves with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged fowl after its kind. And God saw that it was good."

Man's not content with that today. He's got to have genetic engineering and we're soon going to have 18 lb. Chickens, and we're going to have specialized cows, calves, and pigs that can all be patented.

Did you realize that? That they're going to be able to have a patent on each one. Now man becomes 'god.' Well, you know what the result of that is going to be. The way that God created everything, He saw that it was good.

Verse 22: "And God blessed them, saying, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters of the seas, and let the fowl multiply in the earth.'"

I want you to remember that blessing, because when we get to the blessing of men, then we're going to see that it's a little different. He tells them something a little bit different.

Verse 24[transcriber's correction]: "And God said, 'Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind—livestock, creeping things, and beasts of the earth—each after its kind.' And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the livestock after their kind, and every creeping thing upon the earth after their kind. And God saw that it was good" (vs 24-25).

Then God comes to the most important part of His physical creation. Of course, God saved the best to the last.

Verse 26: "And God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness…'"

Right there in that one verse holds the key as to why we are here and the reason for humankind, and the reason why people are people. We're made after the image of God! None of the animals did He say were made after His image. He didn't even say that they were made after the image of angels, but we see in other parts of the Bible that some angels look like certain of the animals that God has created, although, it doesn't say so directly here.

This is the whole thing, and the rest of the Bible then tells us that not only are we made in the likeness of God, in His image, but we're also going to be after His kind, to be His very offspring in the Kingdom of God. We'll get to that a little later as we get a little further into the study.

Since God gave us minds and God gave us abilities, He said, v 26: "'…and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of heaven and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that crawls upon the earth.'"

That's a tremendous responsibility. God certainly gave us a lot as far as being able to have responsibility and development. Here's the whole earth! Isn't that something! How God said, 'Here, you have the whole world.'

Verse 27: "And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him. He created them male and female. And God blessed them. And God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of heaven and over every living thing that moves upon the earth'" (vs 27-28).

Did you catch the difference between what He told humans to do and what He gave in blessing to the animals?

In the blessing of the animals, v 22: "And God blessed them, saying, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters of the seas, and let the fowl multiply in the earth.'"

But He said to man, v 28: "…'Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth…'" Man's rule and dominion is different! To replenish means to re-populate or replace! It's the exact same word that is used when God blessed Noah after the Flood. and said, 'multiply and I bless you, and replenish the earth.'

So, here again, this gives us another clue and indication that the angels, when they were with God, lived on this earth, developed the earth and they're the ones who had rule over the earth.

So it says, "'…replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of heaven and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.' And God said, 'Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree upon which is the fruit of a tree bearing seed—to you they shall be for food.'" (vs 28-29).

It doesn't mean a replacement for meat. That means for food. Most vegetarians turn there. The first education that I had in dealing with a Seventh Day Adventist was he turned right there and this shows that we're to have vegetables for meat. But this is for food. It is still true, whether we eat meat or whether we eat the vegetables; it all comes from the things that God has created.

Verse 30: "'And to every animal of the earth and to every fowl of heaven and to all the living creatures that crawl upon the earth, every green plant is given for food.' And it was so. And God saw everything that He had made, and indeed, it was exceedingly good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day" (vs 30-31). That's why they say that man's number is six!

It's interesting that this latest prayer thing that the pope had—speaking of six—was held on the sixth month, the sixth day, and it went to 12 nations, which two times six; carried on 18 satellites, which is three times six. It's interesting, when man gets involved to do something, six is always there. It's like six and human nature are just kind of locked in together.

So, God says that it was fine, it was good, it was beautiful. We'll bypass where it talks about the giving of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. We're not going to get into that at this particular point.

Genesis 2:18: "And the LORD God said, 'It is not good that the man should be alone….'"

It just isn't good, and that means that it's not good for woman to be alone. That's one of the reason that we're going to have a wedding tomorrow, so that we can make sure that it's going to be something good and take care a little deficit here.

"…I will make a helper compatible for him.' And out of the ground the LORD God had formed every animal of the field and every fowl of the air—and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them…." (vs 18-19). That tells us a lot!

Adam was created with a language, a thought process, a reasoning process. How is he going to name the animals unless he could speak? God obviously was there talking to him and whatever God called the animals or however He brought them by, He said, 'Okay, Adam, what do you think of this? What are you going to name it?' Whatever the names were at that time, I imagine that derivation of some of the names that we have for the animals today go clear all the way back to Adam and Eve and crosses over with the changing of the languages there at the Tower of Babel.

There also was a lesson in it, v 20: "And Adam gave names to all the livestock, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field, but there was not found a helper compatible for Adam."

God made them male and female and brought all the animals and everything by, and there was nothing for Adam.

Verse 21: "And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall over Adam, and he slept. And He took one of his ribs, and afterward closed up the flesh underneath. Then the LORD God made the rib (which He had taken out of the man) into a woman, and He brought her to the man" (vs 21-22).

Someone always comes up with the argument: Do men have one less rib? God could take it out in such a way that it would grow back. Even if it didn't grow back, it didn't change the genetic creation of Adam, so it wouldn't be passed on his children. There are even some blind parents who have sighted children. There are people who lose their hands, arms, etc., and their children aren't born handless or armless.

Verse 23: "And Adam said, 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man.' For this reason shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife—and they shall become one flesh" (vs 23-24). And that's the whole purpose of it!

God created each human being deficient being alone. That's just the way God made it, so that there could be this institution of marriage and of love. Of course, the best way for a marriage to work is for both people to love God and love each other. That's the way that it's going to work.

This being of one flesh is a very, very important thing. We find that Adam and Eve were both naked, v 25: "And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and they were not ashamed."

We find in Heb.13 that it says that 'marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled.' The reason that God has marriage for the purpose of sex and procreation, as well as love and the other things, is that to bring children into the world—as we see around us—creates a tremendous responsibility. Therefore, to have the unit of society begin with a husband and wife is the greatest factor

  • for love
  • for economic stability
  • for companionship
  • for longevity
  • for all the good things that people want to have out of life.

However, just like every good thing we have in human life, it can also be turned around the other way and become something very difficult and very dangerous and very bad. God has created laws whereby that the marriage will be blessed by Him, and they will have a good and a happy life.

Happiness is not based upon just being in love. Being in love also carries with it a responsibility. Happiness is something that you work at and produce. Love is something you work at and be responsible in. All of these things then help the marriage be what it is. God is the One Who invented marriage!

Eph. 5 tells us one of the secrets of marriage. It's one of the things that God teaches us and shows how God wants things run. This is really the antithesis of today. I suppose if you got up and read this to the National Organization of Women that you would get shouted down just holding up the Bible. This is the way that God has ordained that it should be. It does not give the husband the right to intimidate and beat up on his wife. And it does not give the wife the right and so forth to cause problems one way or the other.

Ephesians 5:22: "Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord."

I think if people would follow that—because it's a living Law of God—that there wouldn't be the problems and difficulties in marriage that you would have. I think it would eliminate an awful lot of divorce and remarriage. I think it would eliminate an awful lot of wife-beating. I supposed today, husband-beating.

I heard on one of these talk shows about intimidated husbands. There's a whole group that are beat up almost every night by their wives. I was shocked to hear that! We don't live out there in the world. We are in the world, but we are not of the world, so we're not used to all this kind of thing.

Even though we all have our troubles and ups and downs, even in our own marriages there are little fights and arguments that come along, at least we're striving and going the way that God wants us to go. That's the important thing: to be going in the way that God wants us to go, based upon the principles that God has given. God says that He will bless when these things are done.

Verse 23: "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the Head of the Church; and He is the Savior of the Body."

  • How far did Jesus go to serve His wife?
  • How far did Jesus go to serve the Church?
  • What did He do?

First of all, He emptied Himself of His Divinity to become human. Then He lived a perfect life for all those who would accept His sacrifice. He gave Himself!

That's a tremendous example for every husband to keep in mind, of how much that Jesus Christ did for the Church and ultimately for all mankind, but especially for the Church, because there's a special relationship that's going to be with the Church that won't be with other people who will come into the Kingdom of God. We're going to see that that is going to be a marriage-type relationship, because the first resurrection will be a special covenant relationship with Jesus Christ for all eternity, that's going to be different for those who come into the Kingdom of God after the first resurrection. No one is being slighted!

For example: My wife and I have a special relationship that no one else has. Even our own children don't have it. But they are part of our family. They are part of us. Likewise, when Christ returns and the Church enters into this relationship with Christ, that is going to be that kind of relationship that a husband and wife have—which is going to be a tremendous working relationship. It also implies, as we have seen in other Scriptures, co-ownership of the inheritance with Jesus. That boggles my mind. Every time I think of that, that boggles my mind. That's an awfully big statement.

Right now, Joan Collins is having this divorce. They sat down and had a pre-nuptial agreement, which says, 'My property is my property, and your property is your property. In the event that we split up, I keep mine and you keep yours.' What a way to start out a marriage! Think about it!

Rev.19 is where it talks about Christ and the Church being married. There's always the question:

  • How is it that women can be the 'sons of God' in the Kingdom of God? They're women!

People have spent an awful lot of time asking that question.

  • How is that men, being men, when they're in the Kingdom of God going to be married to Christ? You think on that for a minute!

Obviously, as Jesus said: there's 'no male or female, and they aren't married or given in marriage' in the Kingdom of God. But it is to teach us the relationship that the Church is going to have forever with Jesus Christ! We are called to this!

Revelation 19:7: "Let us be glad and shout with joy; and let us give glory to Him; for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.'" We have work to do to make ourselves ready! There is a time, and it is going to take place.

Sometimes it isn't in our minds, we go along from day-to-day and we do some planning, but not all the plans that we plan will work out the way that we want. But sooner or later there comes the time when something has to happen. There's going to come a time when we're going to enter into that covenant relationship with Jesus Christ. Once we enter into that covenant, then we will be in that relationship with Jesus Christ forever! It's called the marriage of the Lamb.

Verse 8: "And it was granted to her that she should be clothed in fine linen, pure and bright; for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints. And he said to me, 'Write: Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.'…." (vs 8-9). So, there's a tremendous blessing in it!

It talks about this wedding and about those who are called to the wedding:

Matthew 22:1: "And again Jesus answered and spoke to them in parables, saying, 'The Kingdom of Heaven is compared to a man who was a king, who made a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast; but they refused to come. Afterwards he sent out other servants, saying, "Say to those who have been invited, 'Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and the fatted beasts are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding feast.'"…. [there is time when this is going to take place] …But they paid no attention and went away, one to his farm, and another to his business. And the rest, after seizing his servants, insulted and killed them'" (vs 1-6).

Almost like us going out into the world and preaching the Gospel in this particular case! That's exactly what it's likened to, because the Gospel is the calling to the wedding; that's exactly what it is. Answering the call is accepting the invitation to the wedding.

Verse 7: "Now when the king heard it, he became angry; and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding feast indeed is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy; therefore, go into the well-traveledhighways, and invite all that you find to the wedding feast.' And after going out into the highways, those servants brought together everyone that they found, both good and evil…" (vs 7-10).

It doesn't depend on who you are, it depends on what your attitude is. That's what it is! Are you willing to follow God?

"…and the wedding feast was filled with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not dressed in proper attire for the wedding feast; and he said to him, 'Friend, how did you enter here without a garment fit for the wedding feast?'…." (vs 10-11).

What did we read what the wedding garment was? The fine linen, clean and white, which is the righteousness of the saints! We're to be clothed with that righteousness of Jesus Christ!

"…But he had no answer. Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind his hands and feet, and take him away, and cast him into the outer darkness.' There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen'" (vs 11-14).

That's quite a statement, too. This shows the whole process of the Gospel, the whole process leading up to the wedding of Christ, and leading up to the work that we will be doing. There's one other thing we need to cover concerning Jesus Christ and what He's going to be doing with that work.

Isa. 9—here's concerning the prophecy and the birth of Jesus. I've had people ask me: How can God the Father be the Father, and Jesus also be called 'the everlasting Father'? Do we have one Father or two Fathers? Somehow that is difficult for their minds to grasp.

Isaiah 9:6: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and over His kingdom, to order it and to establish it with judgment and with righteousness from henceforth, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this" (vs 6-7). You can be guaranteed it's going to be done!

Now, how is it that Jesus is going to be a Father? The wedding that takes place between the Church and Christ is going to take place after the resurrection, but prior to the return of all of us back on the earth. Then the work we have to do in running the Government of God and bringing salvation to all mankind is going to produce children for the Kingdom of God. At that time, Jesus will be a Father! He's not one now, but He will be. Just like with my own children. None of my sons are fathers, but they will be fathers when they marry and have children. Then I'm a father, and they're a father and so forth. That's exactly how it's going to work with Jesus Christ.

Let's see part of the work that it's going to depict, spiritually speaking, as to what Jesus Christ and the Church is going to do.

Revelation 22:17: "And the Spirit and the bride say, 'Come.' And let the one who hears say, 'Come.' And let the one who thirsts come; and let the one who desires partake of the water of life freely."

This is going to be the work of the Church and of Christ. The Spirit here is referring to Christ in this particular place. We're going to be doing this work together, bringing salvation to all humankind. Isn't it going to be absolutely fantastic when that happens? I tell you, this world is just set for disintegration; you can see it happening every day. People are polarized. Things are so bad that people go along and get so frustrated, angry and hateful that they just pick up a gun and start shooting at people. The world is headed for a lot of disintegration. We're going to have the opportunity

  • to really bring it back
  • to show them God's way
  • to bring them eternal life

That's going to be fantastic. This is showing what the work of the Church and Christ is going to be.

I don't know what it's going to be like in New Jerusalem, but you talk about a tremendous wedding present from God the Father. You think about that! That's going to be the wedding present from God the Father. You read about people who get married and they're rich and whatever and that have some great mansion someplace. Well, God the Father is going to provide all this for us, which is going to be absolutely marvelous beyond belief!

There's one other thing we need to do and follow and what our lives need to be, not only for marriage but everything we do.

Romans 12:1: "I exhort you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, Holy and well pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service." That is to love and serve each other the way that God wants us to!

Verse 2: "Do not conform yourselves to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind in order that you may prove what is well pleasing and good, and the perfect will of God." That's what we need to do, also, in marriage and in serving each other that way!

Here's the thing that's going to make any marriage work. It comes back to the practical things, attitude, service and love:

1-Corinthians 13:1: "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give away all my goods, and if I deliver up my body that I may be burned, but do not have love, I have gained nothing. Love is patient and is kind…" (vs 1-4). That goes a long way in any marriage!

"…love envies not, does not brag about itself, is not puffed up…. [How many marriages have been ruined because of these things right here?] …Love does not behave disgracefully, does not seek its own things, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil, does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the Truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…." (vs 4-8). That is implied in all the work that needs to be done to make these things come together.

I can see that just by living, a lot of things in experience, I've learned. I can see very clearly that love has a lot of work and labor to it. Lots of times it has to always have the attention and be stroked. It isn't going to work, because these things are done in a private and individual basis to where love becomes very responsible. That's a really key and important thing. That's one of the things I've learned down through the years that we've been married.

I'm happy for this opportunity for this wedding tomorrow; it's going to be a wonderful occasion and I'm just looking forward to it an awful lot. It's going to be a mighty happy event and it's going to be good for everybody concerned.

Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • Genesis 1:21-22, 24-28, 22, 28-31
  • Genesis 2:18-25
  • Ephesians 5:22-23
  • Revelation 19:7-9
  • Matthew 22:1-14
  • Isaiah 9:6-7
  • Revelation 22:17
  • Romans 12:1-2
  • 1 Corinthians 13:1-8

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • 2 Peter 1:20
  • Hebrews 13

Transcribed: 7-22-11
Reformatted/Corrected: 4/2020