Sent: July 20, 2021 4:41 PM
To: Victor Hafichuk
Subject: Divorce and Adultery
I am very concerned avout your teaching of divorce.
Now, Paul said that not he but God commands that thise who are married – not those who are married in the Lord – do not divorce, but if they do, they are to remain unmarried.
Paul addressed first the singletons and widows, then he addressed the married, but says his instruction is a command of God’s, then he says, “Now to the REST (neither married nor unmarried) I say…” and he discusses if a man or woman has an unbelieving boyfriend or girlfriend with whom the person is in a serious emotional or sexual relationship with (fornication) in which children may be involved.
The third group is being carefully catered to. These verses are for the church in Corinth, a godless city. People there would have had sexual partners and relationships as is the case today.
Imagine that today I am a young woman living together with my boyfriend and am pregnant. I become a believer. Now I suddenly have a problem on my hands that I did not habe before. Paul does not command but gives an instruction that if my unbelieving boyfriend consents to live with me, we may live together (he may mean this formalizes the union), but if he doesn’t (for example my being a Christian freaks him out and my behavior has changed a lot), then I am not bound to him. The fact that we have eother had sex or have had children does not bind us together. But this isn’t required for Paul says, “How do you know whether you will save your boyfriend?”
Now, you may be thinking Paul didn’t use the term “boyfriend or girlfriend.” In the Greek there are no express words for husband and wife. The KJV authirs and others have mistranslated the text. The Greek terms can mean man or woman and can be used to refer to one’s boyfriend or girlfriend just as well as one’s husband or wife.
What clues us into who Paul is speaking to is that Paul had first addressed the unmarried, then he adresses the married with God’s command not to remarry (and no stipulation about those joined by God or not), and then Paul states “to the rest.” This category has to be distinct from the married and the unmarried, and it is, it is the in betweens.
This fits EXACTLY with what Jesus says in Matthew: Except the cause be fornication (sex outside of marriage), a man who remarries another is in adultery. Meaning, unless the couple is actually not married and is in fornivation, to divorce and remarry is to commit adultery.
But I need to point you to Luke and Mark so that you have two witnesses. It is said much of the text of Luke and Mark comes from Matthew. Why did Luke and Mark choose to leave out the exception clause from their gospels? May I humbly submit that it is because the tect caused confusion.
Matthews text was not wrong or inaccurate or a lie
It caused confusion to thise looming to misread or abuse or who simply couldn’t understand the instructions. Jesus gives NO exceptiom clause in either Luke or Mark as to what constitutes adultery in the situation of divorce and remarriage. He does not say there is any reason a person can divorce or remarry. This fits perfectly with what Paul said God’s command was, that thr married may not remarry unless they reconcile with their original partner.
When we take this as the rule and reexamine Matthew, we will see that something else besides the exception clause appears in Matthew that is not recorded by the other gospels. It is the disciples of Jesus saying, “If the case be so with one’s wife, then it is better not to marry.”
What? Wait. Were the disciples saying it would be better for a man never to have sex than to marry, or were they saying it would be better for a man to have sex outside of marriage (fornication)?
Jesus’s response is basically saying, “It’s true, but not all men can receive this saying…only some men are willing to make theirselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake.”
Whatever the disciples meant, Jesus makes the true context clear, we are talking about sexlessness being an important value for ANYONE to receive which is spiritually fruitful and promotes the kingdom of heaven. Anyone should receive it who can, but not all can. This includes the married and unmarried alike. So sexlessness is a real value available to all im Christ who want to promote the kingdom of heaven.
However, let me get back on track here…the reason Matthew includes the confusing exception clause is because the other two don’t. Therefore we can absolutely conclude there is no exception clause. What Matthew said about an exception is directly relevant to the exclamation the disciples make, “Then it is better not to marry!” (Notice that no one made a distinction about unions wrought in God or not.)
Jesus had not made an exception at all. He basically explained something not very recognized today: It is not a sin or adultery to break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend or even to “cheat” on your boyfriend or girlfriend. It’s not even possible.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, what? If my high school sweetheart who I married had “cheated” on me in high school, I would have broken up with him. And most people today use that dating period to judge the character and faithfulness of their spouse. But that is not valid.
Any man who divorces and remarries another for any cause at all is in adultery, period. Whether God unioned you or not (but I will get back to that). Only men who are in sexual or serious relationships with no commitment are free to leave such entanglements.
Now, because I have examined all.of thus and I can see that neither sex nor children are the binding union of marriage, I have wondered, “What IS God joining two together?”
Here are my two thoughts:
(1) Marriage doesn’t have to exist as a human institution. It’s kind of like the days of the week being seven days long. There is no reason why marriage should exist just as there is no reason why the days of the week should be seven. Therefore, God “joining” a man and a woman may refer to the fact that they have observed marriage to be a thing and have chosen to enter it. It was created by God, and whether they are believers or unbelievers, they have come under the covenant of God in terms of marriage when they so choose.
Let me put it another way. If God created the Girlscouts, but no one is required to sign up…but anyone who wants to wear green must sign up and must bring a friend who will join and be the partner…let’s think about this.
Let’s say my name is Alice. Some other girls on my street are getting invitations from God to join the Girlscouts with a particular partner, but not me. However, I know that I can go sign up anytime I want.
Perhaps because I want to wear green or perhaps because I have a good friend, Joanna, who I know might get interested in the Girlscouts and join with someone else as her partner, I propose to her that we join together and be each other’s partner.
Then, in due course, Joanna and I have a falling out, or I develop a strong friendship with another little girl. Suddenly I want to stop beijg Joanna’s partner. And maybe I am even tired of Girlscouts in general and I want to leave Girlscouts.
Well, upon trying to terminate my agreement, God shows me the fine print. He explains that I can stop going to Girlscouts if I want to, but I cannot rejoin with a new partner, Joanna will be my lifelong partner.
I say, “You’re kidding! I don’t like Joanna anymore. She has even been really mean to me, found another best friends she spends time with and wears green with, and she says she hates me. She has been doing this for 15 years now…I should be eligible for a new partner.”
God says, “The rules are the same for Joanna as they are for you. What Girlscput partners I join together, do not let any other girl separate.”
Now, I get to thinking…”God, you sent invitations to certain girls to join as partners, but you didn’t send on to me and Joanna, that was MY idea.”
God answers, “When you joined the Gurlscouts organization woth your chosen partner, whether invited to or not, you were joining yourself to MY organization, and I accepted you as partners even if this was your plan and not mine.”
So because marriage IS God’s unique institution that does NOT have to govern sex or family formation, when two people enter, it is like entering into a building or an enclosure in which the owner and organizer of a particular event IS God.
You are saying if the couple isn’t called by God, they haven’t entered. I am saying they have entered even if not called, as long as they meet certain conditions.
Neither Jesus nor Paul in giving God’s command that the married not divorce, or if they do, they must remain unmarried stipulates that the marriage must be wrpught in God. All marriage is wrought in God because it is an institution made by God. The godless, in their own estimation, do not need to marry. They have no need to please God and should understand that marriage is not of society, but of God.
(2) My other consideration is oath or word – giving one’s word. God created the earth via His words.
In the law of Moses, a man and a woman who have sex together are encouraged but not required to marry. Their punishment is not severe. Now, if a woman is pledged to marry, she is betrothed or engaged, she has given her promise or word that she will marry. If she then cheats on her fiance she is treated the same way as an adulteress. Although the marriage had not been consummated via sexual intercourse, and the couple had not arrived to their wedding day and completed any ceremony, the woman was considered as good as a wife if she had given her word.
Consider that animals do not soeak the way humans do. They do not bless and curse. They do not have the power of life and death in their tongues.
But this is the very act that binds marriage, and it is given by God.
My sister and her estranged husband are athiest. They did not have to get married or call theirselves married or to believe that marriage existed and constitutes a certain set of behvaiors. Yet, they did agree with each other to carry out this God created act.
Let me tell you what it is: The man will leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.
This isn’t about sexual intercourse as the Hebrew doesn’t imply that and uses terms exclusively meant to denote close, personal relationship and living and working together.
So, if a man and woman both say that they will be married, and by that they mean be exclusive to one another and they cohabitate (within their means…not all people can accomplish cohabitation due to circumstances), then God joins them.
Notice, God does not say they must feel called. He says that a man leaves his father and mother (that’s Jesus) and is joined to his wife (that’s the church). That term is “yoked”. It’s not a sexual term. (“My yoke is easy….”) It’s a relational term. Two oxen in a yoke are work animals together.
If you have given your WORD at any time that you wouod marry someone, and if you were free to marry – never married before, not trying to marry your sister – younare officially married to the first spouse you married.
Even if you were spiritually dead at the time of that union, even if the spouse cheated on you, even if you cheated on them, even if they’ve been remarried 20 years and you’ve done the same. Even if you bith have other children from your subsequent unions.
An agreement to enter marriage IS God joining two people through their word and through the institution of marriage.
It helps to contrast marriage with friendship. Do you see what I’m saying? David and Jonathan were best friends, and theybwere free to swear oaths of friendship to each other if they wanted. But friendship, if it is an institution created by God is NOT binding. (We know that a friend loves at all times.) I can have more than one friend at any time. God might bund me to any oaths Insware to my best friend, but aside from that, the institution of friendship does NOT create a lifelong bond based on God’s estimation of my relationship with a particular friend of mine. There is no warning in the Bible that I can only have one friend and no new friends may divide me and my old friend.
Similarly, God did not create friendship at the beginning of time woth avsoecual declaration of what it is as an institution.
When it comes to marriage, things change. Entering into marriage creates the union.
I will repeat, as with going to college in the USA, no one is required to become married. The dwan of a college might tell a freshman looking to change roommates, “What dorm roommates I have joined together, let no other college student separate.”
If the student says, “Dean, you did not join us together,” then the Dean will say, “Well, how did you two get to be roommates? Did you sneak onto campus and take over a room and no one reported it to me? Why are you asking my permission, then, for a new roommate since you do not beling at all on campus. You need to go off campus and do whatever you like. But if you are under my roof, if you did apply to go to college here, and you have been in one of these rooms, then your roommate is your roommate.”
From: Victor Hafichuk
Date: Wed, Jul 21, 2021 at 4:36 PM
Subject: Divorce and Adultery
You’re wrong. You err with faulty reasoning, not knowing the Scriptures, their Power, nor their Author, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Is it any wonder you say to me, “I am very concerned avout your teaching of divorce..”
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