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         33
      Closed Communion
      James Foley
       
      I Corinthians 11:17-34: "Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's Supper. For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come."

      INTRODUCTION

      Historic Baptists, true Baptists, have believed in and still believe in closed communion. Baptists impose upon themselves the same restrictions that they impose on others concerning the Lord’s Supper. Baptists have always insisted that it is the Lord’s Table, not theirs; and He alone has the right to say who shall sit at His table. No amount of so called brotherly love, or ecumenical spirit, should cause us to invite to His table those who have not complied with the requirements laid down plainly in His inspired Word. With respect to Bible doctrines we must always use the scripture as our guide and practice. For Baptists, two of the most important doctrines are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. These are the only two doctrines we recognize as Church Ordinances. The Bible is very clear in teaching how these doctrines are to be practiced and by whom.

      We only have two ordinances that we must never compromise or we risk our very existence, they are Baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

      The moment we deviate from the precise method God has prescribed we have started down the slippery slope of error. True Baptists have held fast to the original doctrine of The Lord’s Supper from the time of Christ and the Apostles.

      Unfortunately, in this day of what the Bible describes as the age of luke warmness, Baptists are becoming careless in regard to strictly following the pattern laid out for us in Scripture. Many of our Bible colleges are graduating otherwise sincere, Godly and dedicated pastors and teachers who have not been taught the very strict, biblical requirements that surround the Lord’s Supper. Any Bible college that neglects to teach its students the differences surrounding Closed Communion, Close Communion and Open Communion is not simply short changing its students; it is also not equipping their students to carry on sound Bible traditions. The result is men of God and churches that fall into error. And as we will see, this is serious error.

      Should we as Baptists ignore the restrictions made by our Lord and Master? NO! When we hold to the restrictions placed upon the Lord’s Supper by our Master, we are defending the "faith which was once delivered to the saints" Jude 3.

      The Lord’s Supper is rigidly restricted and I will show this in the following facts:

      IT IS RESTRICTED AS TO PLACE

      A. I Corinthians 11:18 says, "When ye come together in the church." This does not mean the church building; they had none. In other words, when the church assembles. The supper is to be observed by the church, in church capacity. Again this does not mean the church house. Ekklesia, the Greek word for church, means assembly. "When ye come together in the church," is when the church assembles.

      B. When we say church we mean an assembly of properly baptized believers. Acts 2:41-42: "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."

      The church is made up of saved people who are baptized by immersion. In the Bible, belief precedes baptism. That’s the Bible way.

      Acts 8:12-13, "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."

      When we say properly baptized, we mean immersed. No unbeliever should take the Lord’s supper, and no non-immersed believer should take the supper. Those who are sprinkled are not baptized and cannot receive the supper. The Greek word for baptize is baptizo, and it always means to immerse.

      "In every case where communion is referred to, or where it may possibly have been administered, the believers had been baptized Acts 2:42; 8:12; 8:38; 10:47; 6:14-15; 18:8; 20:7. Baptism comes before communion, just as repentance and faith precede baptism".

      C. The Lord’s Supper is for baptized believers in church capacity: "When ye come together in the church," again not a building, but the assembly of the properly baptized believers.

      D. The fact that the Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, to be observed in church capacity, is pointed out by the fact that it is for those who have been immersed and added to the fellowship of the church.

      E. The Lord’s Supper is never spoken of in connection with individuals. When it is referred to, it is only referred to in reference to baptized believers in local church capacity I Cor. 11:20-26).

      I want to quote Dr. W.W. Hamilton,

      "The individual administration of the ordinance has no Bible warrant and is a relic of Romanism. The Lord’s Supper is a church ordinance, and anything which goes beyond or comes short of this fails for want of scriptural example or command".

      “The practice of taking a little communion kit to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. is unscriptural and does not follow the scriptural example.”

      IT IS RESTRICTED TO A UNITED CHURCH

      A. The Bible in I Cor. 11:18 is very strong in condemning divisions around the Lord’s table. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
      19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
      20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

      There were no less than four divisions in the Corinthian church.
      I Cor. 1:12: "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."

      Because of these divisions, it was impossible for them to scripturally eat the Lord’s Supper. Division in the local church is reason to hold off observing the Lord’s Supper. But there are also other reasons to forego taking the Lord’s Supper. If there is gross sin in the membership we do not take it. Here is scriptural evidence for this: 1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:
      8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
      10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

      B. At this point, I want to ask these questions: Are there not doctrinal divisions among the many denominations? Is it not our doctrinal differences that cause us to be separate religious bodies?

      IT IS RESTRICTED BY DOCTRINE

      A. Those in the early church at Jerusalem who partook "continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine" Acts 2:42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      B. Those that do not hold to apostolic truth are not to partake. This means there is to be discipline in the local body. How can you discipline those who do not belong to the local body? You can’t. The clear command of scripture is to withdraw fellowship from those who are not doctrinally sound.

      II Thes 3:6: "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us."
      Rom. 16:17: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
      To commune together means to have the same doctrine.
      II Thes. 2:15: "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."
      II John 10-11: "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."

      C. Some Baptists in our day have watered down this doctrine by practicing what they call “Close Communion.” By this they mean that they believe that members of another Baptist church may take communion with us because they are of the same beliefs. Once again, this is unscriptural.

      The welcome to the Lord's Table should not be extended beyond the discipline of the local church. When we take the Lord’s Supper there is supposed to be no gross sin among us and no divisions among us. We have no idea of the spiritual condition of another church’s members. If there is sin or division in the case of this other church’s members, we have no way of knowing it. We cannot discipline them because they are not members of our church. This is why we practice “Closed” communion, meaning it is restricted solely to our church membership. 
      So then, in closing I would like to reiterate the three different ideas concerning the Lord’s Supper and who is to take it. 
      Closed Communion = Only members of a single local church. 
      Close Communion = Members of like faith and order may partake. 
      Open Communion = If you claim to be a Christian, or simply attending the service, you may partake. 
      It is no small thing to attempt to change that which was implemented by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 
      Mt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 
      Many of our Baptist churches have a real need to consider the gravity of the act of observing The Lord’s Supper. It is not a light thing that is to be taken casually or without regard to the spiritual condition of ourselves or our church.
      1Co. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

       28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

       29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

       30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

1Cor 7: Divorce and Remarriage


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26 minutes ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

My response to the argument is as follows:

 

First, I have no dispute with premise #1.  The gospel of Matthew does indeed appear to focus upon Jesus as the promised King of the Jews, and as such does indeed appear to be written with a Jewish audience primarily in view.  Second, I have no dispute with premise #2.  Historically, it does appear that the Jewish covenant of espousal was legally binding and did require a legal divorce to nullify.  In fact, the case of Joseph with Mary in Matthew 1:18-19 appears to present a Biblical example of this cultural practice.

 

However, I myself do have a dispute with premise #3.  On the one hand, I would contend that the word “fornication” (as well as its related words) generally encompasses any and all sexual sin both outside of and against the marriage covenant.  As such, the word “fornication” would include the sin of adultery as a subset of its meaning.  On the other hand, I would acknowledge that in some contexts (primarily in listings of sins) the words “fornication” and “adultery” are distinguishable from one another, with the word “fornication” focusing upon sexual sin outside the marriage covenant, and with the word “adultery” focusing upon sexual sin against the marriage covenant.  Indeed, Hebrews 13:4 would appear to be one example of this distinction – “Marriage is honourable in all, and the be undefiled: but whoremongers [fornicators, in this context, those who commit sexual sin outside the marriage covenant] and adulterers [in this context, those who commit sexual sin against the marriage covenant] God will judge.” 

 

However, I would contend that such a distinction is not universally the case when both the word “fornication” and “adultery” are used in the same context, as premise #3 indicates.  Rather, in some contexts the words “fornication” and “adultery” appear to be used somewhat interchangeably.  This appears to be the case in Revelation 2:20-22.  In Revelation 2:20 God’s Word states that “that woman Jezebel” taught and seduced the Lord’s servants “to commit fornication.”  Yet then in Revelation 2:22 the sin that they committed with her is described as “adultery.” 

 

Even so, I would contend that in Matthew 5:32 & 19:9 the words “fornication” and “adultery” are employed, not in the distinctive manner, but in the more interchangeable manner.  I would contend that the word “fornication” is employed in the “exception clause” in order to encompass any form of sexual sin, from sexual lewdness to sinful sexual intercourse.  Furthermore, I would contend that the word “adultery” is then employed in order to precisely describe an unrighteous “remarriage” as a sexual sin against the original covenant of marriage.  As such, the sin of adultery would not be distinct from the sin of fornication in this context.  Rather, the sin of adultery would be encompassed within the sin of fornication in this context.  Even so, the word “fornication” within the “exception clause” would allow for the “exception clause” to be applied unto the covenant of marriage, not just the covenant of espousal.

I would agree. I was just curious as to your thoughts on the matter.

So then my question would be, if fornication would be a exception, then would it stand to reason that if your spouse looks on someone to lust after them (thus committing fornication in their heart) that you are allowed to divorce her.

I am not rambling, I do have a point as to where I am going. I've been forced to give this subject much thought recently and have done some thorough study on it. I just want to run my train of thought by some other people to see if I'm overthinking things or not.

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Well, THAT is quite annoying.  When Brother Middlebrooks presented his response above, I noticed that I had created a typographical error in my quotation of Hebrew 13:4 (employing "be" instead of "bed").  However, when I attempted to edit my posting in order to correct that typographical error, I received yet another error message informing me that I was not permitted to do so.  Indeed, the inability to edit my spelling and grammatical errors IS going to annoy me a bit, especially if those errors are contained in Biblical quotations.

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48 minutes ago, Musician4God1611 said:

I would agree. I was just curious as to your thoughts on the matter.

So then my question would be, if fornication would be a exception, then would it stand to reason that if your spouse looks on someone to lust after them (thus committing fornication in their heart) that you are allowed to divorce her.

I am not rambling, I do have a point as to where I am going. I've been forced to give this subject much thought recently and have done some thorough study on it. I just want to run my train of thought by some other people to see if I'm overthinking things or not.

The Bible specifically says that "fornication" is an actual sin against "the body" so I would say no.  I'm assuming that means it has to be "physical" before divorce would be a consideration.

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19 minutes ago, heartstrings said:

The Bible specifically says that "fornication" is an actual sin against "the body" so I would say no.  I'm assuming that means it has to be "physical" before divorce would be a consideration.

Hmmm. Interesting thought, worthy of some consideration.  Thank you for that thought, Brother Wayne.  I will indeed engage in consideration before providing my response to Brother Middlebrooks (and I DO already have a response "brewing").

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3 hours ago, heartstrings said:

The Bible specifically says that "fornication" is an actual sin against "the body" so I would say no.  I'm assuming that means it has to be "physical" before divorce would be a consideration.

Agree 100% particularly from the context of earthly consequence for it. Sin in the heart is between us and God. Sinful acts on earth are between us, the person(s) done wrong and God.

 

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14 minutes ago, 1Timothy115 said:

I have a comment for those who may consider remarriage after divorce. Only in this context, of two divorced people remarrying while their prior spouses remain alive. There will be trouble or at the least issues which arise in the described remarriage. 1 Cor. 7:28 Troubles or issues may not necessarily be between the new formed spouses but may take other forms which will require a lot of prayer time and self-sacrifice. If there is any doubt about your willingness to lay aside self and be fully dedicated to your marriage and a permanent outcome do not remarry. Ask yourself if you were ready to lay aside self in the first marriage. If anyone here or anyone you may know is contemplating divorce, I council against it. Find a way to put humility first and reconcile. Seek the peace God has called you to. Just my two cents.

Thank you for your willingness to be frank and honest about such a touchy subject. It's much appreciated.

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On ‎3‎/‎6‎/‎2017 at 11:02 AM, Musician4God1611 said:

So then my question would be, if fornication would be a exception, then would it stand to reason that if your spouse looks on someone to lust after them (thus committing fornication in their heart) that you are allowed to divorce her.

I am not rambling, I do have a point as to where I am going. I've been forced to give this subject much thought recently and have done some thorough study on it. I just want to run my train of thought by some other people to see if I'm overthinking things or not.

Brother Middlebrooks,

Your question above approaches the "exception clauses" of Matthew 5:32 & Matthew 19:9 more from the perspective of permission to divorce, than from the perspective of exceptions to the sinfulness of divorce.  As such, we are brought to consider the structure of these "exception clauses" in themselves.  In Matthew 5:32 the "exception clause" is presented as follows -- "Saving for the cause of fornication."  In Matthew 19:9 the "exception clause" is presented as follows -- "Except it be for fornication" (wherein the two words "it be" are italicized in the King James translation in order to indicate that they have been added for the grammatical structure of the English). 

As we compare these two "exception clauses," we find that Matthew 5:32 includes (what I believe to be) a key word that is not found in Matthew 19:9.  It is the word "cause."  Now, since Matthew 5:32 & Matthew 19:9 are the only two places wherein we find this "exception clause" in the New Testament, and since Matthew 5:32 is presented first of the two passages, I believe that the significance of this word "cause" in Matthew 5:32 should be viewed as governing both passages.

So then, what IS the significance of the word "cause" in the "exception clause" of Matthew 5:32?  In Matthew 5:32 this word "cause" is translated from the Greek noun "logos."  The basic meaning of the Greek noun is "word."  However, this Greek noun does not simply encompass a singular word of usage, but can indeed encompass an entire body of information on a subject.  As such, I would contend that when this Greek noun is employed in the "exception clause" of Matthew 5:32 to speak concerning "the cause of fornication," it encompasses more than simply a momentary commission of fornication.  Rather, I would contend that it encompasses the sinful commission of fornication itself, as well as the continuation of that sinfulness, either through an ongoing practice or simply through an unrepentant spirit.  I would contend that this is "the cause" of fornication about which the "exception clause" speaks.  (Note: I would further contend that the use of the Greek noun "logos" in the "exception clause" of Matthew 5:32 also requires that there be a genuine "case" of fornication with genuine evidence, not simply a strong suspicion thereof.)

On the other hand, if fornication is indeed committed, yet a spirit of genuine repentance is pursued, then "the cause" of fornication is no longer present.  Rather, I would contend that in such a case the Biblical principles of forgiveness and reconciliation are now required, rather than any permission for divorce.

 

I pray that this answer may be of some help to you in your consideration of the matter.  Concerning Brother Wayne's reference unto 1 Corinthians 6:18 in relation to the New Testament definition for the word "fornication," I wish to present my thoughts is a separate posting (if I may).

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There is no exception clause Brother Markle.  All the Lord Jesus did in Matthew 5 was to reiterate the Old Testament Scriptures to those troublemakers.  The Apostle Paul gave us our current doctrine on divorce and remarriage.  To say they are both correct is confusion and God is not the author of confusion.

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6 hours ago, swathdiver said:

There is no exception clause Brother Markle.  All the Lord Jesus did in Matthew 5 was to reiterate the Old Testament Scriptures to those troublemakers.  The Apostle Paul gave us our current doctrine on divorce and remarriage.  To say they are both correct is confusion and God is not the author of confusion.

Brother "Swathdiver,"

Grammatically, both Matthew 5:32 & Matthew 19:9 do indeed contain an "exception clause."  In Matthew 5:32 that "exception clause" begins with the words "saving for" -- "But I say unto you, That 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."  In Matthew 19:9 that "exception clause actually begins with the word "except" -- "And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery."  Whether the teaching of Matthew 5:32 & Matthew 19:9 applies unto the New Testament believer in the present time is a different question.  Indeed, that is a question of New Testament doctrine.  However, the existence of the "exception clauses" in the text of these two verses is a Biblical fact.  That is a reality of the grammar, and to deny their very existence is to deny a portion of God's own Word.

Now, concerning the DOCTRINAL implication of your statement, I believe that I understand your intention and position.  I believe that you are indicating that only the teaching of the apostle Paul's writings on this subject are valid and applicable unto the New Testament believer for the present day, and that the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ in the gospels on this subject were only valid and applicable for the Old Testament Israelites.  (Note: If I am wrong in my understanding of your position, I am certainly open to a better understanding thereof.)  If I am correct in my understanding of your DOCTRINAL position on this matter, then I presently stand in disagreement thereof.

By the way, Matthew 5:32 was NOT written "to those troublemakes."  Matthew 19:9 WAS communicated in response to the Pharisee-troublemakers, as per the context of Matthew 19:3-9.  However, Matthew 5:32 was delivered in the Sermon on the Mount, which according to Matthew 5:1-2 was delivered primarily unto our Lord Jesus Christ's own believing disciples (which is the reason that our Lord continually makes reference unto "your Father which is in heaven" throughout that "sermon").  Furthermore, in Matthew 5:31-32 our Lord Jesus Christ did NOT simply reiterate the Old Testament Scriptures in His teaching.  Rather, He said, "It hath been said, . . . but I say unto you."

 

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle
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Actually, Brother Markle is correct; there is an "exception clause" and by using the word "whosoever" in Matthew 5:32 and again in Matthew 19:9 , it means "anyone"; not just an Israelite under Old Testament law.. Furthermore, according to Old Testament Law, if a spouse committed fornication/adultery the marriage was to be ended by capital punishment anyway(stoning).

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On ‎03‎/‎09‎/‎2017 at 1:08 PM, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Brother Middlebrooks,

Your question above approaches the "exception clauses" of Matthew 5:32 & Matthew 19:9 more from the perspective of permission to divorce, than from the perspective of exceptions to the sinfulness of divorce.  As such, we are brought to consider the structure of these "exception clauses" in themselves.  In Matthew 5:32 the "exception clause" is presented as follows -- "Saving for the cause of fornication."  In Matthew 19:9 the "exception clause" is presented as follows -- "Except it be for fornication" (wherein the two words "it be" are italicized in the King James translation in order to indicate that they have been added for the grammatical structure of the English). 

As we compare these two "exception clauses," we find that Matthew 5:32 includes (what I believe to be) a key word that is not found in Matthew 19:9.  It is the word "cause."  Now, since Matthew 5:32 & Matthew 19:9 are the only two places wherein we find this "exception clause" in the New Testament, and since Matthew 5:32 is presented first of the two passages, I believe that the significance of this word "cause" in Matthew 5:32 should be viewed as governing both passages.

So then, what IS the significance of the word "cause" in the "exception clause" of Matthew 5:32?  In Matthew 5:32 this word "cause" is translated from the Greek noun "logos."  The basic meaning of the Greek noun is "word."  However, this Greek noun does not simply encompass a singular word of usage, but can indeed encompass an entire body of information on a subject.  As such, I would contend that when this Greek noun is employed in the "exception clause" of Matthew 5:32 to speak concerning "the cause of fornication," it encompasses more than simply a momentary commission of fornication.  Rather, I would contend that it encompasses the sinful commission of fornication itself, as well as the continuation of that sinfulness, either through an ongoing practice or simply through an unrepentant spirit.  I would contend that this is "the cause" of fornication about which the "exception clause" speaks.  (Note: I would further contend that the use of the Greek noun "logos" in the "exception clause" of Matthew 5:32 also requires that there be a genuine "case" of fornication with genuine evidence, not simply a strong suspicion thereof.)

On the other hand, if fornication is indeed committed, yet a spirit of genuine repentance is pursued, then "the cause" of fornication is no longer present.  Rather, I would contend that in such a case the Biblical principles of forgiveness and reconciliation are now required, rather than any permission for divorce.

 

I pray that this answer may be of some help to you in your consideration of the matter.  Concerning Brother Wayne's reference unto 1 Corinthians 6:18 in relation to the New Testament definition for the word "fornication," I wish to present my thoughts is a separate posting (if I may).

Ok. So here's my question I've been getting around to bringing up. Concerning Matthew 5:32 (at this point I'm not referring to Matthew 19:9 because I feel like that is a different part of the discussion), if you look at it grammatically, is he saying it is wrong to put away your wife except for the cause of fornication, or is he saying if she's committing fornication you don't CAUSE her to commit adultery because she's already doing it. Therefore not saying it's "ok" to put her away, but rather dealing with what causes her to commit adultery.

I'm seriously curious about your thoughts.

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As some back ground for the discussion I would add one thought, the biblical act of divorce takes place in three stages with the intent to restore the marriage.  There is much time involved, much more time than today's divorces.  It is this very process that is mimicked in church discipline also designed by God to restore the one who is in sin to a right relationship with God and with the believer's community. 

The three stages are as follows.

1.Presentation of charge (s) God said that he had written Israel a bill of divorcement i.e. a lit of charges brought against her.

2.Presence of witnesses; Witnesses are there to try to offer reasons for the marriage to continue

3.Disolvment of the marriage; it was this part that Jesus said "for the hardness of your heart"

 

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16 hours ago, Orval said:

As some back ground for the discussion I would add one thought, the biblical act of divorce takes place in three stages with the intent to restore the marriage.  There is much time involved, much more time than today's divorces.  It is this very process that is mimicked in church discipline also designed by God to restore the one who is in sin to a right relationship with God and with the believer's community. 

The three stages are as follows.

1.Presentation of charge (s) God said that he had written Israel a bill of divorcement i.e. a lit of charges brought against her.

2.Presence of witnesses; Witnesses are there to try to offer reasons for the marriage to continue

3.Disolvment of the marriage; it was this part that Jesus said "for the hardness of your heart"

Brother Orval,

1.  Could you provide some Biblical evidence that the "bill of divorcement" was "a list of charges," and not a legal document of "authentication"?  I myself could NOT find any such Biblical evidence, thus I would like to know what Biblical evidence you would provide for your statement #1 above.

2.  Could you provide some Biblical evidence that witnesses were required in the process of divorcement?  I myself could NOT find any such Biblical evidence, thus I would like to know what Biblical evidence you would provide for your statement #2 above. 

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1 hour ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Brother Orval,

1.  Could you provide some Biblical evidence that the "bill of divorcement" was "a list of charges," and not a legal document of "authentication"?  I myself could NOT find any such Biblical evidence, thus I would like to know what Biblical evidence you would provide for your statement #1 above.

2.  Could you provide some Biblical evidence that witnesses were required in the process of divorcement?  I myself could NOT find any such Biblical evidence, thus I would like to know what Biblical evidence you would provide for your statement #2 above. 

It will take me a while brother Scott, I did the study many years ago.  Nearly 30 would be closer but I seldom get rid of books so I will take a look later this week and try to put evidence where my mouth is.  ha 

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3 hours ago, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Brother Orval,

1.  Could you provide some Biblical evidence that the "bill of divorcement" was "a list of charges," and not a legal document of "authentication"?  I myself could NOT find any such Biblical evidence, thus I would like to know what Biblical evidence you would provide for your statement #1 above.

2.  Could you provide some Biblical evidence that witnesses were required in the process of divorcement?  I myself could NOT find any such Biblical evidence, thus I would like to know what Biblical evidence you would provide for your statement #2 above. 

Brother Scott, I went back in my records to find the original series of lessons I did.  But could not find them, however I did find my notes on the second time I taught a series on Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage in which I covered divorce in lesson five.  You will find this lesson attached with this proviso, I have been transcribing my messages for many years and seldom correct grammar because I am the only one to read them.  I did not foot note everything so it seems my thoughts on divorce were primarily drawn from my personal study including the thought of the three stages of divorce.  It is unlikely I jumped to those conclusions but entirely possible seeing I sometimes connect the dots with in my mind and do not always express myself clearly.  I will continue to look this week and try to isolate the seed thought sent my mind in that direction.  PS. it was not my intention to derail the topic please accept my apologies.

Marriage Divorce and Remarriage 05.doc

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On 3/9/2017 at 2:08 PM, Pastor Scott Markle said:

Concerning Brother Wayne's reference unto 1 Corinthians 6:18 in relation to the New Testament definition for the word "fornication," I wish to present my thoughts is a separate posting (if I may).

Concerning 1 Corinthians 6:18.

"Flee fornication.  Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body."

As I consider 1 Corinthians 6:18 within its immediate context (see 1 Corinthians 6:13-20), I see two possibilities for its intended meaning:

First, 1 Corinthians 6:18 could be presenting a parameter for the New Testament definition of the word "fornication."  If this is the case, then the word "fornication" in the New Testament would not encompass any and all sexual sin, both mental and physical, but would only encompass any and all sexual sin wherein the physical body is somehow engaged.  Even so, other words would encompass sexual sin that is only mental in nature, such as "lust," "lasciviousness," "uncleanness," etc.

Second, 1 Corinthians 6:18 could be presenting a descriptive for the specific form of "fornication" that is being specifically referenced within the immediate context.  This immediate context appears to begin in 1 Corinthians 6:13, wherein the apostle Paul provides the foundational truth that our bodies are made for the Lord's use, not for the use of fornication.  As such, this verse does not necessarily provide us with a definition for fornication; but it does focus our attention upon the physical ("body") aspects of fornication.  This focus continues in 1 Corinthians 6:15, wherein the apostle informs us that even our physical bodies as believers are joined with our Lord Jesus Christ as His members.  Thus 1 Corinthians 6:15-16 teaches that we should not join our physical bodies, as the members of Christ, "to an harlot" through an act of fornication with her.  As such, the immediate context focuses our attention upon the sin of fornication, not only as an action of our physical bodies, but more specifically as an action of sexual engagement with an harlot.  Would this then narrow the New Testament definition for the word "fornication" only unto sexual sin with an harlot?  The teaching of the entire New Testament concerning this word "fornication" would not appear to allow for such a narrowing of its definition.  However, within this focus of the immediate context concerning the physical aspect of fornication with an harlot, 1 Corinthians 6:18 then presents its truth that fornication is a sin of corruption and filthiness against one's own body.  Furthermore, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 teaches us that such a sin against our bodies should never occur, since our bodies are not our own to do with as we please, but are the temple of the indwelling Holy Spirit, bought with the price of Christ's precious blood, to be used in purity and holiness for the glory of God the Father.  As such, the truth of 1 Corinthians 6:18 would not be presenting a New Testament parameter for the definition of fornication, but would only be speaking concerning the physical aspects of fornication that are specified within the immediate context, that is -- the commission of fornication with an harlot.

As for myself, after consideration of the flow of thought within the immediate context,  I presently lean toward the second of these possibilities as I have presented them above.  

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Jude 1

7Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. 8Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.

The "filthy dreamers" in Jude are charged with three sins which are compared to three Old Testament sinners: the "angels which kept not their first estate" "despised dominion". The Israelites wandering in the wilderness for 40 years "spake evil of dignities" (Moses) and Sodom and Gomorrah "defiled the flesh" via "fornication and going after strange flesh" which shows us what "fornication" means: it "defiles the flesh". : it's physical sexual sin of which it does not specify. it could be premarital relations, relations with harlots, adultery(physical kind) and no telling what else.  It's not that hard. 

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