From the Beginning It Was Not So

In chapter 19 of Matthew we find the record of Jesus going to the coast of Judea, with “great multitudes” following Him. The Pharisees also came but, unlike the multitudes, they did not come to hear Jesus teach or have Him heal them of their infirmities. They had come to tempt Jesus with this question: “Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?” (v. 3). Jesus answered them by saying, “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so” (vv. 4-8).

The answer Jesus Christ gave is very clear to any who would ask if it is lawful to put away your wife or husband. Combine His statement with other portions of Scripture such as Exodus 20:14; Matthew 5:32; Mark 10:11, 12; and Luke 16:18, that speak against divorce and remarriage unions that constitute the sin of adultery, and Matthew 19:9; 1 Corinthians 6:9; and 1 Corinthians 7:2, which address and repudiate the unlawful unions of fornication. These verses of the Bible reflect the established doctrine of The Church of God’s teaching regarding a biblical marriage of one man with one woman for life.

“From the beginning it was not so,” are the words of Jesus, and they speak volumes when we consider how far man has removed himself from the will of God regarding the first divine institution God established at the beginning of creation. It is a clear declaration that God’s established and designed blueprint for marriage between people of the opposite sex at the time of Genesis, during Christ’s time on earth, and now over 2,000 years later, has not changed. This was and still is God’s blueprint for any man or woman who desires to live by the biblical standard of a blessed and successful marriage in the eyes of God.

Christ answered the question the Pharisees posed and included that God “AT THE BEGINNING MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE” (v. 4), then went on to say, “For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife” (v. 5). Jesus quoted from Genesis 2:24, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 1:26, 27 reiterates that God made the human race and each human was appointed a specific sex of which there are only two genders – male and female. In God’s sight there are no such things as neutral sexes, preferred sexes or in-between sexes. Man has no right or authority to choose to be different from God’s design, for the Bible teaches that He made man in His likeness and image. It should be considered no mere coincidence Jesus mentions that God created male and female at the beginning and then continues the conversation to point out that man will leave his parents behind or depart from them and join himself to his female counterpart – his wife. Like anything good to the taste buds, the things that are consumed must have the appropriate ingredients and proper amount of those ingredients must be included. A good marriage that is delightful in the eyes of God and that gives off a sweet smelling scent to Him has two main ingredients – male and female – and the proper amount is one of each.

When God looked at all of His creation He saw that it was good, except for one thing.  “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Gen. 2:18). Adam was created a perfect man physically and spiritually. Adam was complete and there wasn’t anything God forgot to give or place in him to enable him to do all the Lord purposed for his life. God made him with all his abilities, strengths, weaknesses, and all his mental power of reason and memory. God did not say man was not good, but rather that his being alone was “not good.” Of all the things He had created – the cattle, fowl of the air, and beast of the field – “there was not found an help meet for him” (Gen. 2:20). If God had thought a “help meet” – or an adequate help – meant creating another male to be Adam’s companion He would have done so, but God established a pattern that is to be followed and obeyed in the marriage relationship and it is not two males and it is not two females. Some, of the opposite sex, may argue that when God finished the creation of Adam He stepped back, scratched His head and said, “I can do better than that,” and so God created Eve. It is an amusing way of looking at it, but the truth of the matter is that God made no mistake when He created Adam or Eve. The female was not created to do everything that a male could do but instead, and in fact, to do all the things that the male cannot do – therein is found her strength, beauty and her necessity. The male and the female needed one another so they could grow together and understand unity of thought, interpersonal harmony, styles of socialization and the importance of building a relationship that pointed toward that eternal foundation of a mutual love.

Calling a tree an apple tree doesn’t make it an apple tree, but that tree must bear the characteristics and its fruit to truly be an apple tree. Likewise, calling something a marriage does not make it marriage. Biblically, and traditionally, marriage has always been a covenant between a man and a woman. A union between two males or two females denies the very obvious differences – biological, physiological and psychological – between men and women. Again, God made no mistake in creating Adam and Eve, for in their marriage relationship those differences would complement one another. The same-sex movement, the homosexual movement, is a social movement of open rebellion against God’s divine order. It is a sinful manifestation of those who live a life far from God and His love. Regardless of this, God loves all sinners unconditionally and in His great love God is willing to forgive and wash away their sins and save the life of that sinner who lives this kind of a lifestyle if he repents, humbles himself, and seeks his Creator and Redeemer.

One of the first things God commanded this newly established institution of marriage to do was to “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Gen. 1:28). This basic aspect of marriage, of course, cannot be fulfilled in same-sex unions because fertility is not a natural fulfillment of their relationship. On the other hand, God’s blueprint marriage, by Divine design, was established having in mind the procreation of children and the unity and wellbeing of the spouses. God gives the husband and wife the opportunity to partake in His creative power by the act of giving birth to children. Procreation is a joint creation which is a product of unconditional love between a couple (male and female) that has been brought together in holy matrimony. The natural tendency of marriage is to have children and create a family. I say “natural tendency,” recognizing the existence of infertile opposite-sex couples who are not able to naturally conceive for reasons known only to God Himself. At the same time, I recognize that the archenemy of God has always stood in direct opposition to all of His commands and in this case the command is to “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.”

Even so, the fact remains that God considers same-sex unions an abomination and in Leviticus 20:13 we read, “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death.” This act of men lying with men and women with women is detested and abhorred by God – it is moral and ethical confusion and wickedness. It was for this very same reason God informed Moses and commanded the children of Israel,  “And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them” (Lev. 20:23). God was grieved and sickened at the abominable acts taking place in the nations of the world, and He destroyed those nations with their inhabitants who practiced such things.

Same-sex unions stand in direct opposition to God, and for this reason God rained down “…upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground” (Gen. 19:24, 25). He not only destroyed them, but God erased the two cities from off the face of the earth because of their sin of homosexuality. Same-sex unions were never intended by God and they frustrate natural law. Paul mentioned natural law in Romans 2:14, 15 and speaks about the Gentiles who were without the Law of God yet did “…by nature the things contained in the law… Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness…”

God wrote in every man a law, and gave to every man a conscience, and by man’s natural reason he is able to understand what is morally good or bad. The Bible tells us in Romans 1:24-28, “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” When man is determined to ignore the plan of God and not acknowledge Him, the Bible states that He leaves him to travel down his own path, which only leads to uncleanness and dishonor. Men abandon and try to change the truth of God that was established from the beginning, and they are given up to vile affections. According to Scripture, women with women and men with men “is against nature” and an “error” and there is a recompense that will be received for it, and said recompense will be that which is to come to all those who live ungodly in this world.

At the time when the Pharisees approached Jesus to pose their question, men had already taken the liberty to make an attempt at rewriting the law of God. Men everywhere and in all places can write and rewrite earthly laws all day long, but there is one law that was written and settled long ago that all the hammers and chisels and all the paper and ink in the world will never be able to change or rewrite and that, my dear friend, is the law of God that is forever settled in heaven. If it were possible for man to extend his arm from earth and reach up into heaven where God’s Word is forever settled and take hold of God’s book where His Word has been engraved on the pages of eternity, then it would be possible for man to change God’s law by which we will be judged. Dear reader, it is impossible!

Today men rewrite laws to their convenience and according to their lusts. They give new definitions to words that appease and calm their own conscience or the conscience of the multitude who want to live according to their carnal and fleshly appetites. Since God established and ordained marriage it should be understood that it was not created by the state, therefore man has no authority to redefine it. Many people are making the mistake of believing that if man says it is okay then it must be okay with God. Living by that kind of thinking will most certainly lead one down the path which “seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 14:12). It must, first of all, be approved by God and then accepted and obeyed by man.

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