A Devotion for 11 September 2019 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto 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 the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Genesis 1:27-28 (KJV)
God leaves no doubt in His Holy Word concerning His high regard for the institution of marriage and between whom such a relationship can exist. He created man, “male and female created he them” to proliferate and replenish the earth. He did not create anything in between these two cardinal sexes, and He has not modified His creation since. It may seem strange to some who are not informed of God’s Word that the true Church places so much emphasis on the biblical form of marriage as existing only between one man and one woman. I believe the reason will become more and more clear as our devotion proceeds.
The manner in which God views marriage MUST be acknowledged by any true member of His Church. Marriage is the first institution God instituted on earth – He instituted only TWO. The critical importance of a proper understand and observance of marriage has its basis in what the marriage bond, between one woman and one man, represents to God. The man in the marriage stands as an example of the Lord Jesus Christ; and the woman represents the Bride of Christ. To mar and corrupt this arrangement is to cast blasphemous aspersions on the character of Christ and His Bride.
The will of God is always for the good of those who love and obey. “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” Genesis 2:18 (KJV) The righteous in Christ are never alone as well for Christ is always right beside: “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” Hebrews 13:5-6 (KJV) In reverse order, Christ is the helper of His Bride the Church.
Needless to say, there is no place in Holy Writ where marriage is ever described in any way other than that of one man and one woman. There is only one True Bride of Christ – the Church, and only one True Bridegroom. “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 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. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Genesis 2:21-24 (KJV) This definition has been observed by every civilization following that Creation Model of Eden (and Calvary) until the wickedness of our modern day crept in. Christ left His opulent domain by His Father’s side in Heaven to come and purchase His Bride, the Church.
Just as the bride of Adam was formed from the wounded side of Adam during sleep, so did our Lord fall asleep on the cross, His side pierced by a spear, to complete that divine and holy purchase.
That Holy Marriage in Heaven is very like that on earth. Just as Adam and Eve became one flesh in body, the believer and Christ become One in spirit with one another and with the Father. Our Lord’s final prayer in the Garden at Gethsemane revealed this point clearly: “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.” John 17:11 (KJV) Note that the members of the Body of Christ (the Church) are given to the Lord by the Father just as was the case of conventional marriages in Israel of that day, and just as surely as the woman was brought to the man by God in the beginning.
Note also that the two parties to the betrothal become One in Spirit with God the Father, and God the Son. “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.” John 17:20-23 (KJV)
Whenever the Scriptures make reference to a woman, or women, prophetically, the reference is always to a religious institution – whether good or bad. The reference to the Church is made by way of the woman of Revelations 12: “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.” Revelation 12:1-2 (KJV) God consistently points out His Church by way of the feminine, and His Son, by definition, the masculine side of the marriage.
The false church is also referred to in the same manner, except her bridegroom is the antichrist himself: “Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.” Revelation 17:1-6 (KJV)
God made and built the bride for Eve, and He built and made the Bride for His son. Like Adam, Christ fell into the deep sleep of death. His side was opened, His Bride was created – and both Adam and Christ awoke from that deep sleep to receive their brides.
When we consider the institution of marriage as an exact copy below of the Marriage above, we should be aware of the grave spiritual danger of defaming that sacred institution. God has proclaimed any marriage other than that lawful marriage of one man and one woman as an abomination in terms such as adultery, fornication, and running after ‘strange’ flesh.
“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 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; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” Romans 1:21-32 (KJV)
God brought the woman He had made to Adam. He brought the Church to His Son. Our Lord left His Father to join with His Bride as One flesh and Spirit. He also left His earthly mother, Mary, with the Apostle John for safe keeping just as man is to leave both father and mother and cleave to his wife.
To render the institution of marriage a dirty and blasphemous union will draw the wrath and judgment of God as surely as it did to old Sodom and Gomorrah.