In November 1999 it seemed that the Lord wanted the writings which are
published on this web site to be rearranged from alphabetical order to
date order to enable the spiritually growing Christian to follow a path
that had already been trodden, as it were.
Because our journey is one of distance and time and the path out from the
prince of this world unto that of the spiritual "way", to the presence
of the throne of the Majesty on high, is so full of Satan's red herrings,
many truths that the Bible teaches us are just not understood and further,
can frighten the "average christian".
This book is therefore to be read by the born again believer who is seeking
to worship God in Spirit and in Truth. As there are many teachings herein
that will be found unpalatable to the "fleshy christian" or the "babe in
Christ"; those who are still consuming the milk of the word of God are
pleaded with to refrain from reading this publication until they are prepared
to follow the Lord Jesus Christ "unto blood".
This is such a large subject and so illuminates the Christian walk of mankind
that the Lord saw fit to feed this writer with small, digestible bites
at a time, over a period of years, and has used other brothers and sisters
to point out certain angles that would otherwise not have been included
for our knowledge and blessings.
What a wonderful word the Bible is, under the empowerment of the Holy Spirit
of God. Hallelujah!
Oh, the magnificent majesty and mercy of God! Ever since the days of the
wanderings of the children of Israel in the desert, He has said through
His servants :
But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto
a disobedient and gainsaying people.
And in the following writings we shall see how He has continued to call
all mankind, we that are made in His image, to worship Him in Spirit and
in Truth - to have no other Gods more important than Him.
From reading the Scriptures, we know that "the law and the prophets" are
still applicable to us, nor shall "one tittle" be removed therefrom.
We shall therefore examine the relevant Scriptures in the matter under
discussion, both in the Old Covenant and in the New, to find out God's
will so that we can be privileged to be obedient to it.
If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray
the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide
with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot
receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him;
for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless:
I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more;
but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall
know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that
hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he
that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will
manifest myself to him.
He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and
the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
Someone once wrote: If we belong to God, His promises belong to us.
May this quotation apply to you and may the reality of God's presence round
about you every moment of your life be able to strengthen you at all times.
Just yesterday a fellow Christian was sharing how God's Providence was
present in his life, evidence that God was still faithful, encouraging
him to continue to the end. Without a commitment to God these things would
Someone else wrote They that watch for Providence will never want a
Providence to watch for.
To fully understand the potential and receive the blessings of this teaching,
it's recommended that the first three parts of Heart of the Gospel
be read or reread and understood. I'll go so far as to state that without
understanding the ramifications of the Blood Covenant, very few will understand
this teaching fully.
What does the phrase "One Flesh" really mean?
Wedlock in its most perfect form, means that the two people who are One
Flesh are totally in accord in all walks of life, doing their utmost to
please their other half. When they are separated by distance they are two
halves of the whole and feel anxious until the whole is together again;
and the phrase therefore doesn't solely mean the oneness of the marriage
The perfect example of Oneness is that between Jesus Christ and His Father.
To save mankind, which was the purpose of the Messiah coming onto the earth,
He had to take over the sins of mankind and die for us. As He stated in
John chapter fifteen Greater love hath no man than
this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
However this was no mere man, but part of the Godhead; God actually came
down and allowed Himself to be killed by those whom He had made, for the
"grand plan" to become effective. This was agreed to by God and the person
that we know as the Lord Jesus Christ. Because they are one in purpose,
mankind was shown a door into heaven that heretofore was closed and bolted
due to the sin of Adam.
If we study the following passages of Scripture carefully in the light
of the above, we begin to get the idea of "One Flesh".
Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth
not on me, but on him that sent me. And he that seeth me seeth him that
For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which
sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should
speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever
I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now
is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God be glorified
in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify
These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father,
the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal
life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that
they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast
sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which
thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own
self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have
manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world:
thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of
thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they
have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee,
and they have believed that thou didst send me.
And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I
am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are
in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name
those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have
I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself,
that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for
these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their
word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and
I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe
that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given
them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in
me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that
thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father,
I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am;
that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst
me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath
not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast
sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it:
that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.
You know, what isn't fully realised by mankind is the extent of the love
and obedience that the Son has for His Father. A little of it shines through
when we read the above, but this oneness, this singleness of purpose is
so above the imagination of paltry men that we can only wonder at it and
mere words are not descriptive enough to lay out the depth of this supernatural
relationship between two perfect spiritual beings.
What is so magnificent and majestic is the undisputed fact that the Son
joyfully - for the love of the Father - obeyed the Father's wishes and
willingly humbled Himself, came onto the earth in a fleshly body called
Jesus of Nazareth and allowed those that He had created, to whip, torture
and spill His blood out. All this so that mankind could have the chance
of being reconciled and deemed again from the sin of Adam by God the Father
and Creator of all.
We, the children of Abraham, should be one with our Lord, Jesus Christ,
in a similar manner; and to help us understand how to do so, and the pitfalls
that Satan puts in the way, we have been given the example of the marriage
covenant that we experience on a daily basis in the world, guided by the
teachings in that wonderful living book, the Bible. That this collection
of words is there for us through the supernatural power of God is undoubted,
even though Satan has done his best to change its contents, lessening its
value to save.
So, let's carry on and see what's in store for all of us.
Firstly a passage of Scripture that is disputed by some, but nonetheless
comes from the throne room of God:
But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the
head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
(1 Corinthians 11:3)
We see here that there is a divine order, levels of authority laid out
by God and we must realise that if we obey God's authority we shall be
With that out of the way, let's also say that we will leave the milk of
Christian doctrine behind us and are now about to digest some tough spiritual
And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto
carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk,
and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither
yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is
among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk
(1 Corinthians 3:1-3)
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on
unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead
works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying
on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
And this will we do, if God permit.
Another factor that we should bear in mind while studying this writing
is that of the differences of culture. Our modern culture is far removed
from that of the Bible and we must understand the culture and customs of
the time before we can understand the teaching of the time that uses that
culture as examples.
From reading Behold the Bridegroom Comes and studying the Bible,
we understand something of the marriage customs of the Jews of the time.
We gather firstly that virgin daughters were under strict
parental control and secondly that marriages were arranged for their daughters.
It's yet so on many parts of the globe.
In certain European countries, we still have the tradition of the chaperone,
an aunt or older relative of the girl being courted being present (three
is a crowd) so that matters of the heart don't get out of hand. This helps
ensure that the girl remains a virgin until her wedding night.
In England the United States and other "western" Nations, this custom has
fallen away to such an extent that very often parents don't know where
their daughters spend their leisure hours, sometimes even supplying contraceptives
to their children to avoid embarrassment to themselves. Often it's reported
in the press of the police bringing young girls of fifteen and sixteen
home from drug raids, the parents sometimes being horrified and sometimes
having a couldn't care attitude.
In Africa, the culture of the indigenous people is completely different
and promiscuity is a way of life. It's not uncommon for a wife to have
numerous casual affairs with various passing acquaintances on a daily basis.
Even the marriage customs encourage this, because a girl must fall pregnant
and bear at least one healthy child before she is accepted as being suitable
for wifely duties. This is accepted with the parents of the girl and now
the young man is in their power, for they can wring as much lobola (bride
price) from him as he can bear. Even uncles and aunts are in on the deal.
It must be apparent to everyone that the moral standards of the world (Satan's
kingdom) have degenerated greatly in the last century and the real reason
is not hard to find; the "falling away" from God's wishes and the rise
of the great I. I want, I wish, I need, etc. This is Satan's weapon
and even that great "free" nation, the USA, can say to other weaker nations
"do as I say or else" through its President.
However, to get back to the subject in hand, it can be understood that
cutting through the cultures of all the nations of the world are God's
laws - that we should obey for our own protection and do, because we love
Him and can demonstrate our love in obedience.
This is a great truth and is stressed here: the amount of love (agapé)
that we bear our Creator is in direct proportion to the amount of obedience
that we have for His wishes. And we can all categorically state that God
is a righteous God that cares for us and won't ask us to do anything to
our eternal detriment.
Someone once wrote: Obedience is the fruit of faith; patience, the bloom
on the fruit.
Moreover, God takes delight in manifesting Himself to those who love Him
on this present world - imagine what it's going to be like in the New Jerusalem!
He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he
delighted in me. The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according
to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.
God's Laws for Marriage
To clear some smoke away before we go any further: it must be realised
that in God's eyes, all Christians, both male and female, are equal; all
are the spiritual bride of Christ.
For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is
neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Recently, the world watched as the Queen of England's youngest son, Edward,
was married to his sweetheart, Sophie. Fortunately someone taped the ceremony
so that the words and promises could be transcribed.
Please read them with care, because God's law of matrimony applies to every
person on the face of the earth, whether they are married in church; or
in a Christian, or pagan ceremony. Marriage is ordained of God.
Words in brackets and those emphasised, are by this writer.
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here in the sight of God and in the face
of this congregation, to join together this man and this woman in holy
matrimony, which is an honourable estate, instituted of God Himself, signifying
to us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and His church, which holy
estate, Christ, adorned and beautified with His presence and first miracle
that He wrought in Cana of Galilee. And it's commended in Holy Writ to
be honourable among all men and therefore is not by any to be enterprised
nor taken in hand unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly; but reverently, discreetly,
soberly and in the fear of God.
Duly considering the causes for which matrimony was ordained.
First, it was ordained for the increase of mankind according to the will
of God and that children might be brought up in the fear and nurture of
the Lord and to the praise of His Holy Name.
Secondly it was ordained that the natural instincts and affections implanted
by God should be hallowed and directed aright, that those who are called
of God to this holy estate, should continue therein in pureness of living.
Thirdly it was ordained for the mutual society, help and comfort that the
one aught to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity.
Into which holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined.
Therefore if any man can show any just cause why they may not lawfully
be joined together, let him now speak or else, hereafter, forever hold
(A hymn was sung)
I require and charge you both, as you will answer at the dreadful day
of judgement, when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, that
if either of you know any impediment why you may not be lawfully joined
together in matrimony, ye do now confess it, for be well assured that so
many as are coupled together otherwise as God's word doth allow, are not
joined together by God, neither is their matrimony lawful.
Edward, wilt thou have this woman to thy wedded wife, to live together
according to God's law in the holy estate of matrimony, wilt thou love
her, comfort her, honour and keep her, in sickness and in health and
forsaking all other, keep thee only unto her so long as ye both shall live?
Who giveth this woman to be married to this man? (Here we see the authority
for the woman transferred from the father to the bridegroom. She is given
I, Edward Anthony Richard Louis (EARL), take thee Sophie Helen, to my wedded
wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish,
till death us do part, according to God's holy law, and thereto,
I give thee my troth. (vow)(he here offers her a lifetime covenant)
I, Sophie Helen.....and obey, ..... troth. (They have now made a covenant
vow to each other)
(The following is a prayer)
Bless, oh Lord this ring, which we hallow in thy name, that he who gives
it and she who wears it, may abide in thy peace, continue in thy favour,
go on and grow old in thy love, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The ring is put on and the following is repeated by the bridegroom.
With this ring I thee wed, with my body I thee honour, and all my worldly
goods, with thee I share, in the name of the Father and of the Son and
of the Holy Ghost. Amen. (Here the bridegroom makes an oath before God
Oh, eternal God, Creator and Preserver of all mankind, Giver of all Spiritual
grace, the Author of everlasting life, send thy blessing upon these thy
servants, this man and this woman whom ye bless in thy name, that living
faithfully together, they may surely perform and keep the vow and covenant
betwixt them made, whereof this ring given and received is a token
and pledge, and may ever remain in perfect love and peace together, and
live according to thy laws, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
They now join their right hands - here's the covenant ceremony!
(The Bishop speaks:)
Those whom God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.
Forasmuch as Edward and Sophie have consented together in holy wedlock
(they are locked together) and have witnessed the same before God and this
company and thereto have given and pledged their troth, either to other
and have declared the same by giving and receiving of a ring and by
joining of (right) hands, I pronounce that they be man and
wife together in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy
(Then comes a benediction:)
God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, bless, preserve and keep
you; the Lord, mercifully with His favour look upon you and so fill you
with all spiritual benediction and grace, that ye may so live together
in this life, that in the world to come, ye may have life everlasting.
(End of marriage ceremony.)
How can any Christian even think of divorce after this?
We have seen, through the marriage ceremony of Edward and Sophie, that
prior to that ceremony they agreed to get married, but only at that ceremony:
They were gathered together in the sight of God, understanding that marriage
is instituted of God Himself and is written down in Holy Writ (the Bible)
for anyone to understand.
They understood that the first reason for marriage was to increase mankind;
to have children, whom they were to bring up to reverence God.
It was made clear that marriage was there for their mutual benefit, that
the new whole (oneness) was previously made up of two halves.
They each then made a covenant vow - they plighted their troth to each
other. They became betrothed (be-troth-ed).
They joined right hands as each accepted the other's vow. An unbreakable
covenant in the sight of God was now made and no-one could separate them
in God's eyes this side of death.
This marriage ceremony, with a few pagan frills added, is very similar
to that of the Children of Israel and the Jews of the days of Jesus of
Nazareth, except that the betrothal in those days was some months prior
to the marriage feast and consummation of the union.
However, we as Christians must be aware of the marriage customs of the
Jews of the time because they are a shadow of the relationship between
the heavenly Bridegroom (the Lord Jesus Christ) and the bride (born again
The reason is that when we understand the customs and conditions of the
Jewish marriage covenant, we shall understand what the Lord Jesus Christ
(our betrothed) expects of us.
And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to
put away his wife? tempting him. And he answered and said unto them,
What did Moses command you? And they said,
Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.
And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness
of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the
creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave
his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be
one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore
God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. And in the house
his disciples asked him again of the same matter. And he saith unto
them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry
another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away
her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.
Here we see the Pharisees question Jesus of Nazareth about the law and
that His reply goes beyond the law to the reason why the law was given.
This passage also gives a clear indication of the perfect relationship
between God and His Son, they are One "flesh". Although they may be two
spiritual beings, their purpose is exactly the same, they are "One" and
always have been, since before the world was.
So what Jesus is saying here is that once a man and woman are united in
marriage, besides physical union (oneness), they should be one in purpose.
Brides are traditionally dressed in white to show purity (a virgin), not
so. This comes from the understanding that the bride of Christ will be
dressed in white raiment.
One day when our Bridegroom comes to fetch us to the wedding feast, our
faithfulness and obedience will be rewarded beyond what we can imagine.
Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and
repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief,
and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Thou hast a few
names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall
walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same
shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out
of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and
before his angels.
White is also the royal colour of Israel.
This is exactly opposite of what usually happens in marriage of worldly
people - they are thinking of themselves and what they can each
get out of it: "and if she (he) does things unacceptable to my way
of thinking and it gets too unbearable, I can divorce her (him)."
At this time I would like to insert a portion of an article from our local
newspaper, dated Thursday 9 September 1999:
Handy way of getting to kiss the bride early
Cape Town - No longer, if the South African Law Commission has its way,
will soon-to-be newly-weds, palms sweating, be required to grasp each other's
right hand before their union can be legally concluded.
The commission yesterday proposed doing away with the words "an thereupon
the parties shall give each other the right hand" in the marriage formula.
This is the final step before the marriage officer may state "I declare
that AB and CD here present have been lawfully married."
The proposal is contained in a discussion document on proposed changes
to the Marriage Act. ....
Some people even say that there is no Satan, that he is just some imaginary
power! They loved not the knowledge of the truth.
Not by might, nor by power, but by My
Spirit saith the Lord
Remember when you became born again, you had to submit your will to God,
you had to repent of your worldly ways and come under His will. It was
a decision you had to make, to give up living for you and to start living
for Him. When you did this you enabled God's power to act on you and His
Holy Spirit to bless you.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Someone once wrote: God does not commit Himself to the uncommitted.
What was Adam's sin? He was uncommitted to God. This allowed Satan to control
him through Eve, who was uncommitted to Adam. In today's parlance, if Adam
had submitted his will to Him who made him and Eve had submitted to Adam,
from whom and for whom she had been made, the whole of mankind would not
be suffering at the hands of him to whom Adam gave God's gift.
If the Children of Israel had been joyfully obedient to the Covenant that
they made with God under Mount Sinai as described in Exodus chapter nineteen
and obeyed the law as laid out in Exodus chapter twenty, then they would
not have been cast out as a nation and taken into captivity as described
in Jeremiah chapter thirty nine. Isaiah and Jeremiah warned them to come
back into Covenant or God would abandon them as a nation; and after this
happened and they were in Babylonia, Ezekiel did the same. God called them
a hardhearted and rebellious people and only those who would submit themselves
individually were blessed. The following names spring to mind - Joshua,
Caleb, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Nehemiah, Zerubbabel.
Why was Ruth blessed - submission.
Let's take this teaching into our own lives, into our marriages.
As we have already seen, God's divine order is as follows - God, Jesus
Christ, man, woman. The Bible states that if the woman submits her will
to her husband, God shall bless the marriage. If the man submits his will
to Jesus Christ, God shall bless the marriage.
Let's see how this works by reading the following scenario that explains
God's idea of Covenant in marriage; which shall illuminate God's idea of
Covenant with the Christian.
As an introduction:
And Moses spake unto the heads of the tribes concerning the children of
Israel, saying, This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded.
If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with
a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that
proceedeth out of his mouth. ¶ If a woman also vow a vow unto the
LORD, and bind herself by a bond, being in her father's house in
her youth; And her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath
bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her: then all her
vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall
stand. But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any
of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand:
and the LORD shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her. And
if she had at all an husband, when she vowed, or uttered ought out of her
lips, wherewith she bound her soul; And her husband heard it, and
held his peace at her in the day that he heard it: then her vows
shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she bound her soul shall stand. But
if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard it; then
he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with
her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect: and the LORD shall
forgive her. But every vow of a widow, and of her that is divorced, wherewith
they have bound their souls, shall stand against her. And if she vowed
in her husband's house, or bound her soul by a bond with an oath; And her
husband heard it, and held his peace at her, and disallowed
her not: then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she bound
her soul shall stand. But if her husband hath utterly made them void on
the day he heard them; then whatsoever proceeded out of her lips
concerning her vows, or concerning the bond of her soul, shall not stand:
her husband hath made them void; and the LORD shall forgive her. Every
vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband may establish
it, or her husband may make it void. But if her husband altogether hold
his peace at her from day to day; then he establisheth all her vows, or
all her bonds, which are upon her: he confirmeth them, because he
held his peace at her in the day that he heard them. But if he shall
any ways make them void after that he hath heard them; then he shall
bear her iniquity.
We see here that in each case the man must act promptly, he cannot "put
things off" until another day.
Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit
yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is
the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he
is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ,
so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave
himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing
of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church,
not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy
and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies.
He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own
flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For
we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause
shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife,
and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning
Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular
so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence
A man named Ben and woman named Anne fell in love, got married and said
basically the same words together as Earl and Sophie did. Everything was
wonderful as they explored each other and did things for each other joyfully.
Because they both needed to work to keep up their accustomed lifestyle,
they shared the chores of the common household and pulled together. They
were a happy couple, always doing things in each other's company. Then
they decided to have a child. When their daughter was born the strain of
the extra work began to tell and they started to drift apart. On or about
her fourth birthday, the daughter Dorothy was given a bottle of nail varnish
like mom's and her daddy told her in no uncertain terms that she wasn't
to open the bottle in her bedroom as the contents could permanently damage
the furniture if spilt. One day daddy came into the house barefoot after
leaving his wet and dirty footwear outside and on his way to put his slippers
on heard his wife say to their child "Look what you have done, you've spilt
the nail varnish on the coverlet of your bed; let's quickly clean it up
before your father finds out." A few weeks later he heard his wife speaking
to her mother on the telephone, openly discussing her marriage problems,
because all of a sudden her husband had seemed to distance himself from
her and the child. She carried on for quite a while and then listened patiently
while her mother, whose two husbands had left her, gave solid motherly
advice. At this time also, the wife gave up her outside work and stayed
home to look after their growing family. Needless to say the couple drifted
further apart than ever and the husband spent more time at the office,
sometimes till after the children had gone to bed, because now he was only
the policeman. When he did come home he was told - "this one and that one
were naughty and disobedient today, do your fatherly duty and beat them,
I can't handle them anymore and you're never here to support me." And when
in anger and frustration at his wife he beat them more than they deserved,
his wife turned on him and started trying to protect "her" children. Suddenly
he was an ogre to his whole family.
So he took up hunting and fishing. Hunting in the winter and fishing in
the summer. Now he was hardly home at all, coming in for food and clean
clothing only, spending weekdays at the office and weekends away with his
cronies. Moreover he was starting to abuse alcohol and was on the point
of becoming violent to his wife. In her time of nightmare and fear, the
wife realised that she was partly responsible for the circumstances of
the marriage and she turned to the Lord Jesus for succour. After a struggle
on her own, something that she was used to by now, she humbled herself
to God, confessing her sins and asking Him to forgive her of all the wrong
that she had done in her life. In this circumstance of crisis and commitment
she met the Lord Jesus Christ as her Saviour and received the blessing
of the Comforter living inside her.
She realised that she had been expecting her husband's praise, offended
for not receiving it, for merely doing that which she has contracted to
do in the marriage covenant:
Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible
but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they
come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck,
and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little
ones. Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke
him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven
times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I
repent; thou shalt forgive him. And the apostles said unto the Lord,
Increase our faith. And the Lord said, If ye had
faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree,
Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it
should obey you. But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding
cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go
and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith
I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken;
and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant because
he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. So likewise ye,
when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say,
We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
Because she had now forgiven her husband all that he had done to her and
not done for the family, and forgave him as he continued to hurt her, her
new attitude became apparent to him and he unbent a little. Because he
wasn't prepared to give up his good time with the boys, he went so far
as to invite her to go with him on his weekend trips and "bring the kids
along as long as they don't disgrace me." Now they had been eating game
and fish, game and fish until the family was sick of the taste; and moreover
she was offended at his mocking tone of voice, so she refused the invitation,
time after time.
Until one day, in her journey through the Bible, with the guidance of the
Holy Spirit she read the following passage of Scripture and realised that
her Lord had humbled Himself unto death, even the death of the cross:
Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only
to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy,
if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.
For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye
shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it,
ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto
were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example,
that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found
in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered,
he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being
dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were
healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the
Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
(1 Peter 2:18-25)
Was she prepared to humble her pride to her husband, the man that she had
once made a covenant with, before God? The God that she now knew. Then
she read the next passage:
Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands;
that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by
the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation
coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning
of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not
corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which
is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old
time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being
in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling
him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid
with any amazement.
(1 Peter 3:1-6)
She looked hard and long at the above Scripture and made a commitment that
she would take God at His word and at the next time of asking she would
accept her husband's offer. She did this with the faith that God's way
was better than hers.
The next time that her husband asked her to come trout fishing with him
was at the dinner table and when she accepted, without any ifs or buts,
he nearly choked on his food. When they arrived at the cottage next to
the trout lake that Saturday morning, she realised what she had been missing;
moreover, even the children were quiet in the presence of nature and when
dad caught a nice trout everyone crowded around wanting to look and touch.
Suddenly dad was a hero and when he showed them the secret of cubed trout
steaks fried in butter and marsala they couldn't get enough. Suddenly the
cries of "Oh no! Fish again; ma I'll have bread for supper" were stilled.
On the way home that Sunday evening, after two pleasant and relaxing days
in the open, they kept on recalling the events of the weekend, the children
asking their dad when next they could come.
That evening, in the privacy of their bedroom, Anne said,
"Darling, you know that I have met the Lord don't you?"
Ben replied, "Yes, I see the difference in you."
"Well", she replied, "I've come to realise my sin and I ask that you forgive
me for usurping your authority in the home. I want to hand it back to you
and support you in future. Remember how wonderful it was when we were first
Need I go on?
As a reciprocal kindness he started going to church with his family and
one day, at the graveside of his brother, dad met the Lord Jesus.
Now they all go to church together and occasionally, when he goes trout
fishing the family goes along; and some of them are better fishermen than
In his journey through the Bible, he found the following Scripture to treasure:
Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge,
giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs
together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of
another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not
rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing;
knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
(1 Peter 3:7-9)
And remembered what his dad had taught him; With
every privilege comes responsibility.
God had given him the privilege of authority, of being the priest in the
house, now he was responsible to his Saviour, Jesus Christ, to act like
one and lead his family as he was being led by his Lord. We see here some
of the Scriptures that were used for this purpose:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present
your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is
your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye
transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is
that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through
the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of
himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according
as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many
members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being
many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having
then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether
prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth,
on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let
him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that
sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation.
Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly
affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one
another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them
which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice,
and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another.
Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise
in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things
honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in
you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves,
but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is
mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed
him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals
of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another
hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou
shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it
is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour
as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is
the fulfilling of the law. And that, knowing the time, that now it is
high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer
than when we believed.
By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost,
by love unfeigned,
(2 Corinthians 6:6)
Furthermore, as he faithfully practised the Biblical teachings to the best
of his ability, submitting himself to his Lord as his wife submitted her
will to him and as he understood more as time went by, it became apparent
that the family was being blessed in a spiritual way as God released power
through the Holy Spirit into their lives.
For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness
shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed,
saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.
And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall
be the peace of thy children. In righteousness shalt thou be established:
thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror;
for it shall not come near thee. Behold, they shall surely gather together,
but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall
fall for thy sake. Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals
in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I
have created the waster to destroy. No weapon that is formed against thee
shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in
judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants
of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.