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Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage

Over the last several months we have been approached concerning our “position” on the subject of divorce and remarriage. The following is the result of much study, prayer, counsel, and discussion. Some have told me not to attempt to deal with this issue, as it is too personal, yet we at Messianic Home have never been concerned with building subscription numbers, but rather have attempted to offer up solid Biblical positions on “home” related topics. With that in mind we simply cannot back off this potentially divisive topic.

As a point of reference for the reader, I have been married to the same woman for almost 19 years. I, unfortunately was not a pure bridegroom. I have no ax to grind on this issue and only seek the truth. I have heard or read most of the arguments on all sides of this issue attempting to understand the position of each one. In the end the only opinion that counts is the one of YHWH. I humbly submit to you the best presentation on this topic that I can put forth at this point in my journey with Messiah.

When we study any topic in Scripture we need to consider a few concepts very carefully. First of all, we must use the whole counsel of the Word from Genesis through Revelation. Secondly, we must consider the audience of the writer and/or speaker. Third, please realize that the Son cannot contradict the Father. Last but not least, we need to acknowledge that there are some points in Scripture that are a mystery and we are to be faithful to study thereby unlocking the mystery as we grow into the image of Messiah.

We see the first marriage in Scripture early on as YHWH realized that Adam needed a helpmeet. At this time, obviously the newly created world was in the perfection state. The fruit was still on the tree. This is a very important distinction to make when looking at the first union of a man and a woman. In YHWH’s perfect order, the union of a man and woman is one of becoming “one flesh”. Through the physical act of becoming “one flesh” YHWH has given us a beautiful picture of His design for our union with our heavenly bridegroom.

There are some clear distinctions between this garden union and our worldly unions of today. Besides the perfection of the garden, we see that Eve was created from the very rib of her husband. While at this point in my marriage I consider my wife to be part of my own flesh, I have had to grow into this belief. Adam did not even ask for this helpmeet - YHWH saw that he needed help and companionship. Most men today search and search for the perfect bride. Despite our failings some of us even are fortunate enough to find her. Adam just had to take a little nap. In the perfect garden setting things were a little different than they are today. Until Messiah returns to clean up this mess in which we live we will continue to stumble our way towards His perfect will.

Moving forward in Torah, we see many marriages, some good and others with problems. The wisdom of the patriarchs was not always perfect concerning their personal lives. In Deuteronomy 24:1-4 we encounter the topic of divorcement. This is the only time that divorce is mentioned in Torah. When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife. And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before YHWH: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the YHWH thy Elohim giveth thee for an inheritance. Moshe in this section of Torah is laying out the various decrees of the Father to Israel. Considering the context again we see that Moshe is talking to a separated people who are about to enter into a special piece of geography which we today call Israel. In verse 4 we see how YHWH feels about the return of a wife to her former husband. Again, we must realize that the Son did not contradict His Father. Messiah explains to us in Matthew 19:8 why divorce was permitted, because of the hardness of your hearts. The rebellious Israelites demonstrated their hardness of heart many times throughout their wanderings in the wilderness. Some would say that the Israelites of today are still wandering in the wilderness and still possess a hardness of heart. Only through the redemptive work of Messiah dwelling within us is our heart softened.

This hard heart syndrome which leads to rebellion was prevalent throughout the wilderness wanderings. Ultimately, it led to YHWH using a bill of divorcement on His chosen people. And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also (Jer. 3:8). The Father establishes His ways for specific purposes. In the case of divorce, it seems that YHWH has it in place to deal with the issue of hard heartedness. However, in Jeremiah 3 we see a possible argument for a wife’s return to her husband after divorce. This is just not so! Notice that the wife, hast played the harlot, (Jer. 3:1) not entered onto a marriage covenant with another. Furthermore, YHWH has never married another - Israel (native born and sojourners) is and always will be the only people who have a covenantal relationship with YHWH. Is it His perfect will for couples to be divorced? Is it His will for His people to have hard hearts? Absolutely not! There are different eras throughout Scripture and YHWH establishes specific instruction for specific eras. For instance, today we cannot keep the sacrificial instructions because the Temple is not yet reestablished. That however does not nullify the sacrificial system but only suspends it until YHWH causes His house on earth to be rebuilt (Ezekiel 42). In the Adamic era we had perfection on earth and during the Messianic era we will once again. So, what do we do in the meantime? Is divorce one of those instructions that is for a specific era? Again, let us consider the work of Messiah in our lives.

We know that if Messiah truly dwells within us then He causes our heart to be renewed. Through His sacrifice we are redeemed. The curse of Adam’s disobedience is cleansed from us and we can enter into a personal relationship with YHWH through our faith in Messiah Yahshua. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous (Romans 5:19). While the world around us still operates under the hard heart syndrome, we have been given soft hearts that are willing to obey and find joy in following His commands. So when our hard heart is removed so is our need for divorce. We learn how to love our spouse through His instruction as we grow in the knowledge of His ways. As we are transformed into the image of Messiah we learn how to sacrifice our personal desires for the desires of our mate and family. Our selfish, lustful flesh is no longer our driving force as our desire to serve is increased. Of course we are still, “works in process,” but we are being transformed into a beautiful form. No longer bound by our sinful desires, we are free to follow His commandments and experience the blessings therein. Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of YHWH your Elohim, which I command you this day... (Dt.11:26 & 27). The need for divorce is nullified because we have been redeemed and are to be separate and peculiar people from the world. Our lives are to cause the world to be jealous as they witness the difference in our actions and responses to the actions of those around us. Once redeemed, divorce is no longer an option. Divorce is not applicable to redeemed Israelites. The very cause of adultery (a hard heart) has been eliminated. HalleluYAH!

But as we look around us we find “Believers” getting divorced. We see pastors, teachers, and elders getting divorced or turning their head to those who are. The world’s imperfections have seeped into the body of Believers. As our leaders have turned a hard heart to Torah, they have turned away from accountability and responsibility. Marriage is looked upon as a contract rather than a covenant. Faithfulness is replaced by feelings, commitment is overshadowed by our perverted concept of “love”. How are we to respond? What should our stance be when dealing with those who have been divorced? Real life issues need real life solutions. Fortunately, we have the example and teachings of Messiah to follow when dealing with these issues.

In the gospels we have several instances of Messiah dealing with “sinners”. If we define sin as anything that YHWH hates then divorce certainly falls into that category. Divorce is the result of sin. Some would teach that those who are remarried are in a constant state of adultery due to Messiah’s teaching in Matthew 5:32. Adultery is sin. But, if we are going to use Yahshua’s teaching we have to use His definition, ...whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart (Mt. 5:28). More importantly, we must attempt to deal with these issues as Yahshua would have. Some treat divorced and remarried people as lepers, especially if the action took place after they were “saved”. Which sin is too big for Messiah’s bloodshed to cover? Are there any sins that are unforgiven if one truly repents? Do we not nullify the very essence of Messiah if we choose to have a hard heart toward repentant sinners? While the Israelites were given the ability to divorce due to their hard hearts, we see today similar hard hearts taking harsh stances on this issue. Many are throwing “spiritual stones” at those who have erred concerning the past choices they made for partners. Messiah came to teach His lost sheep a better way of life. A life of forgiveness, redemption from our mistakes, and access to the Holy of Holies through His blood. When looking at this topic we cannot forget this important tenant.

Some congregations will not allow divorced and remarried couples to join their assembly. If we choose to hold fast to one commandment and hold people accountable to lifestyle choices then we should be willing to hold equally fast to all the commandments. What about those who continually break the 1st commandment through violating or being ignorant of Torah? Many “Believers” still celebrate the pagan holidays of christmas, halloween, and easter thereby violating the second commandment. Often, we consider those who curse the Father’s name as breaking the third commandment, but what about those who do not even use the name of YHWH or Yahshua? What about all of the sabbath breakers; are they doomed...? The list goes on and on as we consider our shortcomings in light of His instructions (Torah). We simply cannot treat the Scriptures as a buffet, taking what tastes good and leaving the rest. This is not an excuse to throw the whole thing out and run rampant in sin. Rather, it is a warning to those who would hold to one command more strictly than the others.

Let us take a closer look at the concept of adultery through the light of the whole counsel of His Word. Messiah Yahshua gave an expanded definition of adultery when asked in Matthew 5:28. It is important to note here that He was using a specific teaching method, using hyperbole to drive home the point that divorce is wrong. Messiah used this type of teaching many times, especially when attempting to define the difference between the two major schools of rabbinic teaching at the time (Hillel and Shammai). We must consider the context and audience when looking at Messiah’s words or we will misinterpret the intended message. There are many examples of adultery throughout Scripture. One could argue that anyone who strays from the pure Truth of YHWH’s Word commits adultery against the Father. Then, of course, we have Yahshua’s expanded definition of which most “Believers” would be guilty of at some point. Fortunately, in both these cases we can repent and return to a right relationship with YHWH. We have an example of His forgiveness in King David. Here is a man who had many wives yet will still be prince of Jerusalem under Messiah’s reign. Here was, “a man after YHWH’s own heart”, yet he obviously violated the concept of “one flesh” continually.

Let us take an abbreviated look at some of the teachings on this divorce/remarriage issue that are floating around today. First there seems to be a belief that divorce is a necessary tool in today’s adulterous world. It goes that it is impractical to expect couples to actually stay together. As long as you attempt to seek “religious” counsel and then things do not work out, at least you have tried. Of course when many pastors, elders, and other leaders have been divorced, it is hard for them to take too hard a stance against divorce and remarriage. Or when many in their congregation are divorced it creates a financial burden if they take too hard a stance on this issue. They tend to treat divorce as if someone just broke a contract. Contracts themselves are established in the belief that one of the parties will eventually break the agreement. They are there to protect the one who upholds the agreement through outlining certain punitive damages for those who break the deal. However, we know that marriage is not a contract but rather a blood covenant.

Which brings us to another teaching. This teaching hinges on the concept that it is not the state who has the authority to unite a couple. Only YHWH has that ability. According to this teaching a person is “married” to whomever they first were intimate with. In Bible times, when a marriage was consummated the bridegroom presents the stained bed garment to witnesses indicating that his bride was pure and that the couple was united as “one flesh”. This blood covenant is unbreakable as long as both parties are alive. If this is a correct interpretation of YHWH’s will for a marriage then many reading this article are married to the wrong person. Very few of us today have married our first bed chamber partner. In the perfect world, this teaching would be applicable and certainly is a goal towards which we should train our children. I was not trained up this way, quite the contrary, I was encouraged to pursue young women in a very unscriptural manner. We see here the attempt to apply a “perfect world” teaching to an imperfect environment.

Then we have the teaching that espouses the belief that you are married to the first person you married until one spouse dies. Divorce is not allowed except for cases of fornication. If marital unfaithfulness is found, you may separate but still you may not re-marry until the other spouse dies. What about Ezra’s instruction to Israel, Now therefore let us make a covenant with our Elohim [God] to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our Elohim [God]; and let it be done according to the law (Ezra 10:3). There are times when it seems it is Scripturally correct to divorce. Notice that this verse states that it be done “according to the law (Torah)”. Let us train up our children not to be lured by “foreign wives” but rather to remain faithful to those their parents choose for them to marry. Once again, this would not be applicable if we lived in “the garden”. This teaching could certainly lead someone to wish for the death of their former spouse thereby committing “murder of the heart”. Were the Israelites of Ezra’s time still married to their former wives? Or were there marriages nullified in the eyes of YHWH due to the mistakes of their training? Were they held guiltless due to being led astray by their parents?

Some would take the above teaching a step farther and promote the concept that if you are divorced and remarried, you should divorce your current spouse and return to the first. Again, we see that this is a violation of Torah. In Deuteronomy 24:4 YHWH calls such an act an “abomination”. If YHWH truly hates divorce, how can one wrong make right another wrong? Remarriage to a former spouse, after marrying another, is obviously not approved of by YHWH.

To truly understand this subject we must consider what is a Biblical marriage. If we only deal with the divorce issue, then we are picking out one point in a continuum in the marriage issue. YHWH likes marriage. While some are to remain single, He gave us the marriage covenant as a blessing through which we could effectively serve Him. An effective marriage begins early in life as children are trained up to be good husbands and wives. This starts (hopefully) at a young age, as girls and boys are taught how to fulfill their rightful roles by their parents. Concepts such as discipline, faithfulness, stewardship, hard work, and patience should be a part of every home training environment. Later in life these well trained young men and women are betrothed to their intended spouse. This betrothal period is a time of great anticipation and preparation, usually lasting about one year. The bridegroom is to prepare a place for his bride under the auspices of his father. The marriage is then performed by the elders with the consummation taking place thereafter. This is only the beginning as now the real training begins. For the first few years of marriage it is critical that the couple receive good counsel from the elders and their parents concerning home based issues. As the years progress and children are brought up in the home, the couple will then enter into the fullness of the blessing of marriage truly understanding what a Scriptural marriage is all about.

We should not just focus on the issue of divorce without considering the entire marriage continuum. When a marriage fails there is typically a problem with the training of the individual involved. A lack of patience or faithfulness are common causes of divorce. Let us deal correctly with those involved in the training, counseling and teaching of the divorced couple as well. To do less would allow the errors to multiply into the future.

Most of the confusion concerning this issue comes from those who just look at the New Testament’s teachings on this subject. Let us look at a few verses remembering that the renewed testament does not contradict the first (Old) Testament. In Matthew 5:31-32 (KJV) we read: It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. Now this obviously makes things pretty clear; until we remember that scripture cannot violate scripture. If Moshe allowed for divorce then we must be missing a piece of the puzzle here. Just perhaps, it is due to the translation. We see this in many instances throughout Scripture, where one or two verses seemingly contradict the rest on a particular topic (look at the dietary laws for instance). Using George M. Lamsa’s translation of the Aramaic Peshita (an ancient eastern text) this passage reads like this: It has been said that whoever divorces his wife, must give her the divorce papers. But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife, except for fornication, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is separated but not divorced, commits adultery. We see here the distinction between being separated but not divorced. In Biblical times (and in some congregations today) the elders would meet to consider the grounds for divorcement. If they felt that there were Scriptural grounds (i.e. fornication, adultery, or abandonment) then a “get” (bill of divorcement) would be written. This paper would state the findings of the Elders and would serve as legal paper for the act of divorce. Obviously, in the Peshita, we see the distinction between a separation and a legal divorce. Could Yahshua be stating that a man who marries a woman without the bill of divorcement causes her to commit adultery?

Furthermore, according to George Howard’s study in The Hebrew Gospel of Matthew, the translation of Matthew 5:31 from the original Hebrew would read, ...And I say to you that everyone who leaves his wife is to give her a bill of divorce. But concerning adultery, he is the one who commits adultery and he who takes her commits adultery. Again, we see that the issue here is the act of legally divorcing rather than just “putting out” a wife. Howard writes, “Here Y’shua supports the requirement that a man must give his wife a divorce certificate (sefer keritut or get), otherwise if he sends her out still legally married, then he makes both her and her new husband commit adultery. Therefore, if the man truly wants a divorce he must pay the ketubah settlement (a kind of lump sum maintenance) and do a proper separation.”

Later in Matthew 19:3-9 we see Yahshua addressing this topic again. Notice the audiences, first we have His response to a cunning group of Pharisees and later to His disciples. These Pharisees were obviously attempting to trip up our Messiah through asking Him, “Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?” Again, we must be careful to consider the whole Scripture for in his passage we see Messiah delineating between the school of Hillel and Shammai concerning the meaning of the Torah phrase of Dt. 24:1, “indecency of thing” (i.e. uncleanness). Yahshua here sided with the stricter Shammai stating that divorce could not be for any “thing” but only for the “thing” of immorality.

Messiah further blasted back at the Pharisees saying it was due to their hardness of hearts that Moshe gave the bill of divorcement. Compare this last passage with Mark 10:2-12. We can see a big difference in Mark 10:10-11 vs. Matthew 19:9. Notice who He is addressing in Mark - His disciples. Could it be that again our interpretation is a bit off? Let us consider that Messiah was taking a hard stance against divorce for His disciples. This would be appropriate in light of the Scriptural qualifications for eldership. Obviously these men were to be held to a higher standing for their personal conduct. Messiah was making it clear to that specific audience (as Torah does for the Levites) that divorce and remarriage would be a grievous error.

But what about Romans 7:1-3? Once again we need to consider the context and read carefully. First of all the topic here that Paul is addressing is not divorce, but rather obedience to Torah. Furthermore, we see in verse 2 that the woman is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth. But if a legal “get” was given the man in question would no longer be her husband! Obviously the husband’s death would end the marriage as we see in the next verse upon which she is free to remarry. In any case, the context in this passage is one of Torah obedience not divorce and remarriage.

In 1 Corinthians 7, we see this subject being addressed by Paul (Shaul). We again must consider the context. Paul here is, of course, lining up his words with YHWH’s Torah and Yahshua’s explanation thereof in the Gospels. The major issue he is addressing is the forgiveness of your spouse. In, Messiah - Understanding His Life and Teachings in Hebraic Context (Vol. 1), Avi Ben Mordechai writes, “To say, ‘God has called us to peace’ means God has called us to repair broken relationships, a concept that comes from the word shalom, whose Hebrew root is shalem meaning to make payment in full; to fully reconcile an account. ...If the marriage is irreconcilable due to marital infidelity, and the unfaithful spouse wants to leave, you must let him or her leave and you will incur no guilt, as long as you were willing to forgive.”

So where does this leave us? How do we reconcile the issue of divorce and remarriage in today’s society? We can see that through the counsel of the whole Word we may have a different conclusion than if we just consider the Tanakh (O.T.) or the Brit Hadasha (N.T.). Obviously, we also must be careful to consider the context, translation, and audience when interpreting Scripture. After all these considerations, we can form a more accurate conclusion on any Scriptural matter. Let me be crystal clear in stating that YHWH hates divorce. He no doubt hates it for several reasons perhaps paramount of which is the fact that He desires His people to be blessed. Divorce carries curses along with it, especially if children are involved. There are always questions to be answered, faithfulness to be questioned, and a stigma attached that just will not go away. YHWH seeks the best for His people and divorce hinders His will. We must train up our children properly thereby causing them to have the heart of YHWH and hate divorce also. Furthermore, we must offer wise counsel to marriages that are in trouble, divorce is simply not the will of the Father for any marriage. However, there are specific acceptable reasons for divorce. This is not a long list! Let me be specific in stating that they are dealing with the immorality within the marriage that Yahshua spoke of, fornication, adultery, and (in the case of the unbeliever) abandonment. In no way do I offer up these reasons as an “out” for anyone who is married. Please remember that YHWH HATES divorce! Anyone who takes part in any act that YHWH hates will have to answer to the Almighty one day. Let us not forsake the eternal reward due to some temporal difficulties. Just because the Father gives us reasons for divorce does not mean that we should get divorced. Remember, you will have to answer for your actions. YHWH is still in the miracle business. So, if you are in one of these situations keep praying, not looking for the easy way out, but rather praying for YHWH’s miracle that may be closer than you think. Different congregations may define these reasons for divorce differently but I will stick my neck out and offer up a suggested definition of each considering their original definition in the Greek and Hebrew language and Yahshua’s words. I will also put these definitions in light of the imperfect world we live in today:

Fornication - adultery and any act of a sexual nature that is committed out of the marriage relationship, homosexuality and the use of pornography.

Adultery - the physical or mental act of physical intimacy with anyone other than one’s spouse.

Abandonment - the act of leaving, not providing for, or physically abusing one’s spouse.

If one is in such a state there are specific steps they should take. First of all pray; because YHWH is indeed capable of working miracles. Secondly, look at your action (or lack of action) that could have caused this situation to occur, repent, and fix it. Third, seek counsel from the wise. Fourth, if all else fails and you must go through with a divorce, bring the request in front of a group of true Elders and submit to their authority. Request that they hear your plea and grant you a written get with the Scriptural cause of divorce clearly stated. If that is accomplished then today you must receive a bill of divorce from the state as well. Finally you must repent. Repent! True repentance will bring about a change, a new heart, and put you back under the covering of YHWH.

It is interesting to note that Scripture only gives the ability to obtain a get to the husband. This is perhaps due to the patriarchal society of the time. Women were dependent on their husband for provision and protection. This, in part, is the reason that women did not abandon their husbands. Therefore, if a man divorced his wife it would be speculated that she had played the harlot. What a disgrace that would be. However, Jewish law gave the wife the ability to approach the elders of the synagogue in an attempt to force the husband to divorce her for specific causes such as her husband having leprosy, he was engaged in a dirty trade, physical abuse, or his becoming a heretic.

Let us also remember that the punishment for adultery in Torah was stoning. Of course this seems barbaric to most today, however, if all proven adulterers were stoned to death things would be much neater. The issue of remarriage of the adulterer would be eliminated and most would think twice before committing such a violation. With each stone, the guilty party would have the opportunity to repent and thereby enter the Kingdom of YHWH. But who would cast the first stone? Spiritual “stones” are being cast today by many who do not understand the whole counsel of YHWH’s Word and by others who are filled with pride and unforgiveness.

Remarriage may indeed take place if a Scripturally legal divorce has been accomplished. This is Scriptural, not the Father’s best, but allowable under the whole counsel of His Word. If you seek to be divorced to pursue another pre-identified spouse then you certainly have committed adultery under Yahshua’s definition and teachings. Therefore, any remarriage should not take place for a number of years. Remember that the divorced individual has some baggage that needs to be cleaned up before any remarriage should be considered. Perhaps there is a problem with faithfulness, obedience, patience, or other such issues. These must be cleaned up if the next marriage is to be successful. Typically, these are not quick fix areas of opportunity but rather life long issues. Give them time to be eradicated through good counsel and prayer. During this period the woman should be provided for by her father or the congregation. Let us not forsake our responsibility to those in need. Waiting on YHWH before rushing into a remarriage leaves room for repentance on the part of the adulterous spouse. YHWH divorced Israel and sent her away but still awaits for her repentant return to His covenant. We too should be careful not to close the door too soon. Some individuals are better off to remain single, For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake (Mt. 19:12). We should not force the issue, but truly be led by the Ruach HaKodesh which will never violate Scripture. Those who do choose to remarry need to do so with the utmost caution. The multiple divorce rates are enormous and YHWH hates divorce! Be careful not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

In closing, let me note that none of us can undo the mistakes of the past. We have all fallen short of His mark. We all are in need of His abundant mercy. For those of you who have been divorced in the past please realize that we cannot unscramble eggs but we can make a beautiful soufflé out of them! True repentance for our grievous ways will bring about a change in the Believer. We should be able to physically recognize a repentant individual. There should be a change of attitude that will improve their countenance as well as change their deeds.

In addressing this topic we need to realize that there are many factors involved in any unsuccessful marriage. Therefore, it is impossible to make a blanket proclamation on specific marriages without taking into account the different aspects of each. That is why it is so important to receive Scriptural counsel if you are in a troubled marriage. This counsel must be of YHWH and therefore cannot be void of Torah. The counselors must consider the entire Scripture in it’s original language, and not just a few passages.

Unfortunately, there are some Believers who judge others who have been divorced and remarried and refuse to fellowship with those who they feel are in a continual state of adultery. This teaching is based on an incomplete interpretation of the New Testament alone and ignores the instructions of Moshe because the teachers of this concept believe the Law of YHWH is done away with. When we point the finger at someone else there are three others pointing back at us. Let YHWH be the judge and jury. While we certainly should be careful with who we choose to fellowship, let us not be so unforgiving that we would have the “hard heart” of the Pharisees. If we choose to draw a hard line on this issue, we must draw an equally hard line on all sin or else we are hypocrites. This does not in any way make allowances for divorce and remarriage. It is not YHWH’s will and certainly not His best. However, we too must realize that we live in an imperfect world. Holding our brothers and sisters up to a standard of perfection will heap coals upon our heads. Instead, let us cling to the hope that Messiah is still completing the work He began within us. We are being transformed into His very image. It is an image of obedience, faithfulness, love, service, and humility...let it be so.

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