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Out of WHOSE Belly?

John 7:37-39 KJV

37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

 

The traditional interpretation of this passage has puzzled and confused me for many years. In the past, it was not at all clear to me what Jesus meant when He said “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”

 

To what scripture was Jesus referring when He said “as the scripture hath said”? And why did He say that when someone believed on Him (and thus, by implication, received the Holy Ghost) they would have “rivers of living water” flow out of them?

 

Here’s the way most everyone explains what Jesus is saying in these verses:

 

  1. “If anyone thirsts let him come to Me (i.e., Jesus) and drink” – this part is fairly obvious and does not present any confusion. “Thirst” here represents a spiritual desire for the things of God. Jesus is clearly stating: that which humanity lacks spiritually can only be supplied by coming to HIM (i.e., Jesus) and “drinking”, i.e., receiving, what HE (i.e., Jesus) will give.

 

  1. “He that believes on Me (i.e., Jesus)” – whoever puts their trust in Jesus as their Messiah and Savior; the traditional understanding of this phrase links it to what follows – “as the scripture has said”;

 

  1. “as the scripture has said” – he that believes on Jesus in the manner prescribed by what has been written already in scripture; in other words, we must believe on Jesus precisely as the scripture instructs us to believe on Him in order for our belief to be valid;

 

  1. “out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” – referring to the believer – “out of the believer’s belly”, implying that when someone believes on Jesus they will have multiple outlets of the Spirit flowing from within them in very large volumes, apparently for the purpose of filling others (?);

 

  1. “(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” – the process of “drinking” from Jesus and subsequently experiencing the “outflow” of “rivers of living water” is explained as being a prophetic fore-view of Pentecost and the era in which we now live when men experience salvation by receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost.

 

The trouble I have accepting the traditional interpretation of this passage is it results in rivers of living water flowing out of the belly of the believer – ostensibly for the purpose of satisfying the thirst of others.

 

This, however, does not fit with what we know about salvation as revealed in the rest of scripture. The rivers of living water actually flow from Christ – He alone is the source of the waters of life with respect to actually filling believers with the Holy Ghost. When someone receives the Holy Ghost they are not then able to give it to others. Jesus is the only one who can give someone the Holy Ghost!

The answer lies in the way the KJV has punctuated the text.

 

Consider the following rendering of this passage:
In the last day, that great day of the Feast,

Jesus stood and cried, saying,

If any man thirst let him come unto me and drink – he that believeth on me;

as the scripture hath said,

out of His [i.e., Christ’s] belly shall flow rivers of living water.

(But this spake he of the Spirit,

which they that believe on him should receive:

for the Holy Ghost was not yet given;

because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

 

Jesus actually put a restriction on who actually would be able to come unto Him and drink – only someone who believed on Him.

 

Then, Jesus refers to the OT prophecies concerning the time when the Lord would “pour out” His Spirit – “out of His [i.e., Christ’s] belly shall flow rivers of living water”. Of course, it makes perfect sense that Jesus would point out that those who THIRST should come to HIM and DRINK because RIVERS OF LIVING WATER WERE GOING TO FLOW OUT OF HIM, precisely as the scriptures had foretold!

 

Scholars say that there is no OT passage of which this is an exact quotation, but the thought is certainly expressed in scriptures like these:
Isaiah 44:3
For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:

Joel 2:28
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh;

 

Clearly, the thought being conveyed is that rivers of living water were going to come from Messiah; yet the traditional interpretation of this passage has rivers of living water flowing from the belly of the believer.

 

Apparently, the traditional view of this passage has conflated it with the words of Jesus to the Samaritan Woman at the Well in John 4:14:

 

But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

 

However, it should be noted that there is quite a difference between a well and a river; and the water from the well is for the individual believer, not for others to come to and drink. On the other hand, the rivers of living water that flow from Jesus are for “whosoever will”:

 

Revelation 22:17

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS

The Jews had a tradition where the priests would pour water out as they ascended the temple steps during the 7 days of the Feast of Tabernacles prior to the last “great day of the feast”. It was in this context that Jesus stood and cried, “If any man thirst let him come unto me and drink.”

Prophetically, there seems to be a connection between the priests pouring out water on the temple steps and the scripture where the Lord declares “I will pour out my spirit in the last days”.

I am not trying to suggest that believers will not have “a well of water” as Jesus stated in John 4. But I don’t believe Jesus used the word “river” in John 7 to indicate what he had previously identified as a well in John 4.

I understand Jesus to be inviting believers to drink from the living waters that were soon to be flowing from him when he poured his Spirit out. This does not mean believers will not have the Spirit in them like a well springing up. I just don’t see how that idea has any contextual alignment in this passage. The thought Jesus is conveying is not what will result in the lives of believers but how believers will receive what he is going to pour out.

 

Conclusion

Here is a summary of what I understand this passage to be expressing:

Jesus invites those who thirst to come to Him and drink if they believe on Him, because He is the source of rivers of living water, according to the scriptures. And the whole “drinking of living water” experience is what happens when someone receives the Holy Ghost.

 

Final Thoughts on LIVING WATER….

There are 2 distinct passages in Jeremiah [2:13 & 17:13] where the LORD identifies Himself as “the fountain of living waters“.

 

Also, Jesus told the Woman at the Well in John 4:10 that He would give her living water.

 

And there is also a reference in Rev. 7:17 where the Lamb (Jesus) will lead them to living water.

 

With all these explicit scriptures using the term “living water(s)” and applying it to the Lord, would it not be in the realm of possibility that Jesus’ words in John 7 could be construed in that sense?

 

Jesus said in John 4:14…. “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”

 

So, in the same passage (John 4) Jesus says he will give living water, and for those who receive it it will become a well springing up into everlasting life. I see a subtle but marked difference in these two expressions—“living watervsa well springing up into everlasting life”.

 

 

Rev. Tim D. Cormier

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Theological Implications of the Geocentric Flat Earth Hypothesis

 

Non-scientific Proof that the Flat Earth Model is Incorrect

 

The belief that the earth is flat, with all the objects in the heavens revolving around it, has been trending at an astonishing rate in the last few years. This Flat Earth hypothesis, also known as the Geocentric Earth Model hypothesis, claims to be more Biblically aligned than the Globe Earth Heliocentric Model (i.e., the Earth and other planets of our Solar System actually revolve around the Sun), and thus boasts that it alone properly portrays true Divine design. In so doing, all who subscribe to the Globe Earth Model are consequently consigned to the evolutionary side of the theological tug-of-war between Biblical Creationism and the Theory of Evolution, as far as the Flat Earth proponents are concerned.

 

There is, however, a monumental discrepancy between the spiritual symbolism and implications of the Flat Earth Model and what the Scripture actually teaches concerning the relationship between God and Man as well as the influences of Good and Evil on Mankind. In the Cosmic Model portrayed in Scripture, the Sun rules the Earth by Day, while the Moon rules the Earth by Night.

 

And God made two great lights; the greater light (i.e., the Sun) to rule the day, and the lesser light (i.e., the Moon) to rule the night: he made the stars also. –Genesis 1:16

 

We know that Satanic forces are “the rulers of the darkness of this world,” according to Ephesians 6:12, while God Himself is “the Sun of Righteousness” of Malachi 4:2, “the Day Star” of 2 Peter 1:19, and “the Bright and Morning Star” of Revelation 22:16 – “the most high God [who] rules in the kingdom of men” (Daniel 5:21). Furthermore, it is clear from the Scripture that the Earth represents Man, the Adamic race, for “the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground” according to Genesis 2:7.

 

Thus, in the language of symbols, the Flat Earth Model puts MAN at the CENTER of existence, with everything spiritual or heavenly revolving around MAN. Therefore, the Geocentric Model spiritually represents an Ego-centric world, where everything centers around SELF, the MAN who reigns supreme in his finite world of self-centered hedonistic secular humanism. Furthermore, GOD, the Greater Light representing the ultimate force for GOOD, revolves around MAN–the Earth that is the Center of this hypothetical model.

 

By contrast, on the other hand, the Globe Earth Model, in the language of symbols, puts GOD at the CENTER of existence, with everything natural or earthly revolving around GOD. Thus, the Heliocentric Model spiritually represents a God-centric existence, where everything centers around GOD, the ONE who reigns supreme in his Creation. Furthermore, MAN’s existence centers around and completely depends upon GOD–the absolute focal point of all Creation.

 

Theologically, the Flat Earth Geocentric Model hypothesis is an egregious affront to the Creator of the Heaven and the Earth, because it subliminally promotes and serves the created Man more than the God who created him.

 

For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse…. Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, Who is blessed forever. Amen. –Romans 1:20, 25

 

 

 

Pastor Tim D. Cormier

A Paradox in a Pair of Proverbs

“Answer not according” vs “Answer according”

 

Proverbs 26:4-5
4 Answer not a fool according to his folly,
lest thou also be like unto him.
5 Answer a fool according to his folly,
lest he be wise in his own conceit.

 

On the surface, this pair of proverbs appears to be giving us two different instructions, each of which opposes and contradicts the other. But upon closer inspection and with more careful analysis, the true wisdom of these proverbs becomes apparent. And while they are not saying precisely the same thing, they are definitely not telling us to do one thing in one breath and the exact opposite in the next – contrary to superficial appearances.

 

“Answer not … according … lest thou also be like unto him.”

If you reply “in kind” then you have lowered yourself to the level of your antagonist – something that should be studiously avoided at all costs.

 

“Answer … according … lest he be wise in his own conceit.”

Your answer must be as skillfully loaded with wisdom as your opponent’s words were with folly so his designs will be fully defeated, thus preventing him from feeling smug and superior.

 

In this manner, BOTH proverbs can be understood as supporting each other and worthy of being carefully heeded.

 

Pastor Tim D. Cormier
Apostolic Faith Tabernacle

Sometimes You Have To Lose A Battle To Win The War

 

Philippians 3
7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ….

1 Corinthians 9
23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake….

In games of strategy, such as chess, there are times when individual pieces must be sacrificed for the sake of strategic advantage. This is also true in life itself, at times.

 

At the moment of “sacrifice” it may be seen as a defeat or a loss in the particular battle being fought. However, it is often the case that such a defeat plays a strategic role in influencing the overall success in the outcome of the campaign of war being waged.

 

We must learn to use “losses” and “defeats” in our daily battles and struggles as ways and means to produce victory in the spiritual war in which we are engaged!

 

Thinking in terms of interpersonal relationships, it is hard for us to concede defeat in a battle of wills, but there are times when it is a sure sign of superior strength — both spiritually and emotionally — to give ground in the short term in order to gain ground strategically in the long term.

 

Here’s a hypothetical example: a coworker may have a way of doing or saying things that are extremely annoying and offensive. It would be perfectly within your rights to say something to them or even file a complaint with HR, but you patiently and graciously endure his or her obnoxious behavior in order to have a chance to witness to them and share with them the gospel.

 

In such a case, it could be said that you lost a battle in order to have a chance at winning the war.

 

This concept speaks to the concessions and compromises we make in areas of our personal rights and freedoms in order to gain a benefit or advantage in a greater context or a broader scope.

 

The expression “choose your battles” arises from this idea: some things just aren’t worth the price you have to pay to get them.

 

You might win an argument but lose a friendship, for example. Then you would have won a battle but lost the war.

 

And that is why we “choose our battles” — some battles are not worth winning.

 

A word to the wise is sufficient….

 

Pastor Tim D. Cormier

The Bible Teaches Against Wearing Make-Up

 

Painting the face and the eyes is an ancient custom that has long since been associated with women of loose or questionable morals. Apparently, it was originally used by ungodly women to enhance their attractiveness and aid in the process of seducing men.

 

Jeremiah 4:30 KJV

And when thou art spoiled, what wilt thou do?
Though thou clothest thyself with crimson,
though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold,
though thou rentest thy face with painting,
in vain shalt thou make thyself fair;
thy lovers will despise thee,
they will seek thy life.

 

Jeremiah 4:30 Amplified Bible 

And you, O desolate one, what will you do?

Though you clothe yourself in scarlet,

Though you adorn yourself with ornaments of gold,

Though you enlarge your eyes with paint,

You make yourself beautiful in vain.

Your lovers (allies) despise you;

They seek your life.

 

Jezebel, a woman whose name is notoriously connected with evil and immorality (see Rev. 2:20-22), attempted to seduce Jehu, the prophet of God, by applying make-up to her face.

 

2 Kings 9:30 KJV

And when Jehu was come to Jezreel,
Jezebel heard of it;
and she painted her face,
and tired her head,
and looked out at a window.

2 Kings 9:30 Amplified Bible

So when Jehu came to Jezreel,
Jezebel heard about it,
and she painted her eyes
and adorned her head
and looked down from the [upper] window.

 

Wearing make-up goes against the Bible teaching to protect the sanctity of the temple of our bodies.

 

1 Corinthians 6:19 KJV

What?
know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you,
which ye have of God,
and ye are not your own?

1 Corinthians 3:17 KJV

If any man defile the temple of God,
him shall God destroy;
for the temple of God is holy,
which temple ye are.

 

 

Supplemental reading….

 

At the time of Christ there was a view held among the sects that the use of make-up and jewelry was of demonic origin.

 

The Ethiopic Book of Enoch states:

8:1 And Azazel* taught men to make swords, and daggers, and shields and breastplates.
And he showed them the things after these (2v, a5) and the art of making them:
bracelets, and ornaments,
and the art of making up eyes and of beautifying the eyelids,
and the most precious and choice stones,
and all (kinds of) colored dyes.
And the world was changed.
8.2 And there was great impiety and much fornication,
and they went astray,
and all their ways became corrupt (2v, a10).
8.3 Amezarack taught all those who cast spells and cut roots,
Amaros the release of spells,
and Baraqiel astrologers,
and Kokabel portents,
and Tamiel taught astrology,
and Asradel taught (2v, a15) the path of the moon.
8.4 And at the destruction of men they cried out,
and their voice reached heaven.

 

NOTE: the Book of Enoch is not in the Bible, but it is quoted in the Bible by Jude….

 

Jude 1:14-15 KJV

14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these,
saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

15 To execute judgment upon all,
and to convince all that are ungodly among them
of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed,
and of all their hard speeches
which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.

Pastor Tim D. Cormier

 

_____________________________________________

* Who is Azazel?

According to the Book of Enoch (a book of the Apocrypha), Azazel was one of the chief Grigori, a group of fallen angels who married women [see Gen. 6:1-6].

Does James Disagree With Paul About Being Justified By Works?

 

 

Paul teaches that Abraham was justified by Faith alone, not by Works.

 

Romans 3

20 Therefore by the deeds [works] of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds [works] of the law.

30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.

Romans 4

2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.

10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.

11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.

13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:

16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;

24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

Romans 5

1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Romans 9

30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.

31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.

32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;

Romans 11

5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

 

Galatians 2

16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Galatians 3

2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

 

 

 

James teaches that Abraham was not justified by Faith alone, but by Works.

 

James 2

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

19 Thou believest that there is one God [literally, God is ONE]; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

 

 

 

Careful analysis of these teachings shows that Paul is speaking of the WORKS OF THE LAW [TORAH], while James is speaking of the WORKS OF OBEDIENCE TO FAITH.

 

Therefore, it is correct to maintain both positions simultaneously:

  • Paul: by the WORKS OF THE LAW no flesh is justified
  • James: by the WORKS OF OBEDIENCE TO FAITH a man is justified, and not by faith only

 

FAITH always demands OBEDIENCE!

 

Therefore, we understand that FAITH without WORKS OF OBEDIENCE TO FAITH is DEAD!

 

 

Afterthoughts….

 

Both of these concepts may be seen working together in perfect harmony in the Acts 2:38 New Birth experience.

  1. In REPENTANCE, a sinner BELIEVES the Gospel and acknowledges his own sinful nature while seeking God’s forgiveness.

    In response to TRUE REPENTANCE, Jesus FORGIVES the sinner and JUSTIFIES him, imputing RIGHTEOUSNESS to him by removing from him the GUILT of sin.

  2. In WATER BAPTISM, a sinner OBEYS the command of the apostles and follows the example of our Lord Jesus.

    In response to WATER BAPTISM administered in the Name of Jesus Christ, Jesus REMITS the SINS of the sinner and PURIFIES him, thus removing from him the DEFILEMENT of sin.

  3. In RECEIVING the GIFT of the HOLY GHOST, a JUSTIFIED and PURIFIED sinner is initiated into a NEW LIFE of SANCTIFICATION by the HOLY SPIRIT of JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF, empowering him to be VICTORIOUS over the DOMINION of sin!

 

Thus we see that REPENTANCE or BELIEF in Jesus ALONE is not sufficient in and of itself.

 

Mark 16

16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;
but he that believeth not [i.e., disobeys] shall be damned.

 

 

Pastor Tim D. Cormier

 

 

 

What does the Bible teach about a woman leaving her family and church to follow the man to whom she is engaged to marry?

 

While this question is not explicitly asked and answered in scripture, there are principles clearly spelled out in the Bible that leave no doubt as to God’s will in this matter.

 

First of all, the Bible teaches that a man should leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife.

 

Genesis 2
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.
24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

 

This does not mean that every man who gets married has to move away to another city. Rather, it means that he should leave his parents’ home and build his own home – i.e., buy or rent his own house, pay his own bills, support his wife and any children with which they may be blessed.

 

Next, the Bible teaches that the man is the head of the woman.

 

1 Corinthians 11:3
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.

The divine order that God has stipulated for every marriage and every home is that the MAN should be the HEAD OF or HAVE AUTHORITY OVER the WOMAN.

Ephesians 5
22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
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.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

It is clear from these passages that the wife has a biblical mandate to be in subjection to the husband.

When a man and a woman who attend different churches become engaged to be married, the woman must leave her church and home and move to the man’s church to begin a new life together with him in their new home.

 

We see a clear biblical example of this expressed allegorically in the story of Isaac and Rebekah in Genesis 24.

 

Genesis 24
1 And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things.
2 And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh:
3 And I will make thee swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:
4 But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.
5 And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest?
6 And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again.
7 The Lord God of heaven, which took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence.
8 And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again.
9 And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter.

37 And my master made me swear, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife to my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell:
38 But thou shalt go unto my father’s house, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son.
39 And I said unto my master, Peradventure the woman will not follow me.
40 And he said unto me, The Lord, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my kindred, and of my father’s house:
41 Then shalt thou be clear from this my oath, when thou comest to my kindred; and if they give not thee one, thou shalt be clear from my oath.

51 Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master’s son’s wife, as the Lord hath spoken.

56 And he said unto them, Hinder me not, seeing the Lord hath prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master.
57 And they said, We will call the damsel, and enquire at her mouth.
58 And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.
59 And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant, and his men.
60 And they blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Thou art our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them.
61 And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.

 

It is abundantly clear from this beautiful story that Rebekah’s suitability as a wife for Isaac was contingent upon her willingness to leave her home and family and go to live with Isaac.

 

A marriage that begins with the wife leading her husband and dictating where their home will be and what church they will attend is destined for trouble. A home can never be greater than its foundation. If the foundation of the home is out of order then there is little hope that the home will ever fully be in order.

 

A husband who meekly submits to his wife cannot be considered much of a man. This is a perversion of the divine order and as such will surely incur divine wrath and judgment instead of divine favor and blessings.

 

It should be noted that there are occasions where, due to exigent circumstances, exceptions may be made to this rule at the discretion of the pastors of both churches involved.

 

Pastor Tim D. Cormier

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