Christian Churches of God
Role of the Family
(Edition 2.0 20071112-20071204)
Why did God create humans to function as a family unit? The Scriptures reveal that a family structure existed within the spirit realm before the creation of humans. Scriptures also reveal that responsibilities were given to the spirit-created sons of God to guide the human family into a loving relationship with the Father of creation. In the human family, God-ordained responsibilities are given to the father, mother, children, brother, sister, and grandparents in order to maintain the family’s physical and spiritual welfare. What are these responsibilities? This paper will deal with those questions. It is crucial for society’s survival to understand God’s purpose for the family, and vital to understand each member’s responsibility within the family structure.
Role of the Family
Before the creation of man, the family of God existed. The reality of family structure came into existence when the Most High God thoughtfully planned and created His spirit-generated sons. The Hebrew word for son is ben (SHD 1121). It is used over 5,000 times in Scripture, and has various applications to humans as well as the heavenly beings that are the sons of God. The Old Testament refers to the heavenly court as consisting of the "sons of God" (Job 1:6, 2:1).
Job 1:6 in the New Living Translation (NLT) reads: “One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the LORD, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them.” In addition, the language of Psalm 82:6-7 makes it quite clear that these sons are divine beings. This was understood anciently, but it has been lost within modern Christianity’s understanding.
God fathered these sons through the power of His Holy Spirit. It is through His Holy Spirit that the singular True God is united with His spirit-sons to form the God-family, known as Elohim (SHD 430). Reference to the “sons of God” in the Book of Job would have no meaning if a family structure did not exist within the elohim, and if these sons did not have a beginning through a Father. However, these spirit-generated sons do have a Father, and they have a beginning by the creative powers of their Father. The Most High God, whose name is Eloah (SHD 433), is their Father (Prov. 30:4-5). In Hebrews 12:9, He is referred to as the “Father of spirits”.
For a detailed explanation of this astounding event surrounding the creation of these spirit-generated sons of Eloah, and how they are united through His Holy Spirit, see the papers How God Became a Family (No. 187), and The Holy Spirit (No. 117).
Eloah created the family structure in a sequence beginning first with His spirit family. The heavenly family structure would eventually be replicated in a physical structure with the creation of the human family. It is crucial to understand the sequence in which Eloah planned to create His entire family, both spirit-created and physical, and to understand the importance of its structure. He first created His spirit family with the plan for His sons to ultimately have a positive, loving, and teaching relationship with the human family, which was to be created much later.
Ephesians 3:14-15 in the Philips translation reads:
14 As I think of this great plan I fall on my knees before the Father 15 (from whom all fatherhood, earthly or heavenly, derives its name),
Eloah caused humans to be created by delegating to His sons within the Council of Elohim the power to create the human family. “Let us make man in our image” (Gen. 1:26) is a reference to this creative power given by Eloah through His Holy Spirit to the elohim to create man.
It is through His spirit-sons that the Lord God Eloah reveals Himself, His true nature, and His Laws to humans. When God caused humans to be created, His spirit-sons were tasked with the responsibility to be messengers and ministering spirits in His service to man (Heb.1: 14). In Acts 7:35-38 we see that it was the Angel of the Lord who spoke to Moses in the burning bush and delivered the Law to Israel at Sinai. The sons of Eloah are to administer their Father’s Law of Commandments and ordinances to man.
Ultimately, understanding the family structure within the spirit-family is critical to understanding the true nature of the Most High God Himself, and the nature of His spirit-sons. Although denied by mainstream Christianity, Elohim is pluralistic to the singular God-being named Eloah. The Elohim consists of many sons of Eloah that form the heavenly family (Job 38:4-7).
Only Eloah, the Father of life and Author of family, is inherently immortal and without beginning (1Tim. 6:16). Only He is omnipotent, omniscient (Isa. 46:8-10), and invisible (Jn. 1:18; 1Tim.1:17), and no human being has either heard His voice or seen His shape (Jn. 5:37). See the paper The God we Worship (No. 2).
Eloah is the God of gods of whom we read in Psalms136:2 (RSV):
“O give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
In Isaiah 46:9-10 we read:
9 “remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
Eloah is the absolute God, who is the Creator and Father of His spirit-sons, including the spirit-son known to man as Jesus Christ. Messiah tells Mary Magdalene after his resurrection by his God and Father:
"Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." (Jn. 20:17)
In John 20:17, Christ states that he has a God, who is his Father. It is a matter of logic that he who has a God is not absolute God. Only the Father, Eloah, is absolute God who does not appeal to a higher power. He is the source of all life, whether spirit life or physical life. Life originates from this One True God, Eloah, who is Christ’s Father, and ours (Jn. 5:26). He is revealed to us through Christ His Son (Mat.11:25-27; Lk. 10:21-22). See the paper The Pre-Existence of Jesus Christ (No. 243).
Eloah is the One True God, who alone is to be worshipped (Ex. 20:3; 34:14; Mat. 4:10; Jn. 4:21-24; 1Cor. 14:25; Rev. 4:8-11; 5:13-14; Rev. 22:8-9). Eloah’s spirit-generated sons became subordinate god-beings to Him (Ps. 82:1-6; 1Cor. 8: 5).
The Trinitarian concept of the nature of God misrepresents the nature of the Father and falsely limits Elohim to a God consisting of three hypostases or persons that are supposed to be co-eternal and co-equal within a triune structure. Similarly, Binitarianism and Ditheism present false concepts of God’s nature by asserting that there are two co-eternal God-beings within Elohim. These concepts are in error because they misrepresent the spirit family of God. They deny the truth and reality of the One True God (Ps. 82:1-8; Isa. 46:8-10) creating a family, beginning first with His many spirit-generated sons, as we see in Job 1:6, 2:1 and 38:4-7.
False concepts of the nature of God also prevent man from understanding Eloah’s Plan to include the human creation into the family of Elohim. It is man’s destiny by the will of Eloah to be adopted into His immortal spirit-being family. The human creation will be given the opportunity to attain immortality and placed in Elohim under Jesus Christ (Ps. 82:6; Jn. 6:51-58; 10:34; 1Cor. 15:22-27). See the paper The Elect as Elohim (No. 1) for an in-depth discussion of man’s adoption into the God family.
The sons of Eloah are to administer and teach their Father’s Law of Commandments and ordinances to man. From the time of the creation of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and at the direction of Eloah, His sons were involved in teaching our ‘first parents’.
The concept of the term trees that were present in the Garden is used as a term for spirit beings. This matter is explained in detail in the paper The Doctrine of Original Sin Part I The Garden of Eden (No. 246).
In Acts 7:35-38 we see that it was the Angel of the Lord who spoke to Moses in the burning bush, and delivered the Law to Israel at Sinai. This Son of God fulfilled important roles in service to man at the direction and representation of his Father. It is also important to understand who this Son is that served as the Messenger of God, appearing several times in the Old Testament (see paper The Angel of YHVH (No. 24)).
Hebrews 2:2 is further evidence that it was the sons of God that delivered their Father’s Law to man: “For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward”; (RSV).
Contrary to the teachings of Christ, false ministers claim that God’s Law of Commandments is no longer required to be observed. However, Christ answers the young man’s question about this matter in Matthew 19.
Matthew 19:16-19 And behold, one came up to him, saying, "Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?" 17 And he said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? One there is who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments." 18 He said to him, "Which?" And Jesus said, "You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (RSV)
Christ Himself states that he did not come to abolish His Father’s Laws (Mat. 5:17-19).
Included among these spirit-sons was the rebellious one who became known as Satan, the Adversary. This rebellious son acted contrary to the will of his Father. In his vanity, he took on an adversarial position against His Father’s Plan for the spirit family to have a positive influence in serving and guiding the human family into a righteous relationship with their Father (see Isa. 14:12-15; Ezek. 28:14-19). Instead of being an instrument of righteousness in nurturing the mortal family to its potential to inherit the Father’s gift of eternal life within the spirit-structure, Satan became an instrument of death and the father of lies (Jn. 8:44).
Satan set his energies to destroy the human family after his failed attempt to disrupt and destroy the spirit-family structure. He attempted to exalt his throne above the other stars (sons) of his Father, and utterly failed at his pompous attempt to make himself co-equal with his Father (Isa. 14:14). He continues to deceive man today by promulgating false teachings relating to the structure of the spirit family and preventing man from understanding the divine nature of his Father and the true nature of Jesus Christ.
He was present in the Garden to deceive our first parents, Adam and Eve, into sinning through disobeying God (Gen. 3:1-24). See the paper The First Commandment: The Sin of Satan (No.153).
See also papers: Doctrine of Original Sin Part 2 The Generations of Adam (No. 248), and The Cross: Its Origin and Significance (No. 39) for further discussion on how the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden adversely influenced man’s religious thinking to this very day.
When Eloah separated men into fixed boundaries and gave them their inheritance, He apportioned each of His sons to lead and guide the nations in His Laws, and to worship Him, the One True God, their Father. The Son who later became incarnate and the only born-god, Jesus Christ, was apportioned to Israel. In Deuteronomy 32:8-9 we read:
8 When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of men, he fixed the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God. 9 For the LORD’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage. (RSV)
It is this spirit-son, Jesus Christ, who was foreordained from the foundation of the world (1Pet. 1:18-20) to vacate completely his spirit-state of being and become a born human to live a sinless life in the flesh and to be sacrificed. He was given the awesome responsibility to sacrifice his life to reconcile creation, both the spirit-sons in Heaven who sinned and the entire sinning human population.
From the following Scriptures we understand that the fallen spirit-sons of Eloah have the opportunity to repent from sinning and accept the sacrifice of Christ on their behalf for forgiveness.
Colossians 1:19-20 reads in the Complete Jewish Bible (CJB):
19 For it pleased God to have his full being live in his Son 20 and through his Son to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace through him, through having his Son shed his blood by being executed on a stake.
Christ went from the tomb and preached to the fallen Host confined in Tartaros.
1Peter 3:18-19 For the Messiah himself died for sins, once and for all, a righteous person for the unrighteous people, so that he might bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh but brought to life by the Spirit; 19 and in this form he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits, (CJB).
That which is preached to is logically and necessarily the object of salvation. Thus the demons can be saved as they were (and are) subject to the ministry of Jesus Christ. For a detailed discussion see the paper The Judgment of the Demons (No. 80).
It is from Christ’s faith in His Father and obedience to Him that he was elevated above his companions, that is, above the other spirit-sons of Eloah. Psalm 45:7 and Hebrews 1:9 reference Christ being elevated after His resurrection by His Father. These Scriptures state:“you love righteousness and hate wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”
Mainstream Christianity – including most of today’s Churches of God – fail to grasp the significance of these two Scriptures. Their promulgating the false idea that Christ is co-eternal with His Father is an absurd error stemming from the philosophies of Hellenism and Gnosticism prevalent in the Greco-Roman world prior to the incarnation of Christ. He was erroneously declared co-eternal with His Father in a Binitarian Godhead structure at the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE. This Council forged the way for the Chalcedon Council in 451 CE to place Christ and Eloah’s Holy Spirit in a triune Godhead structure. Satan is now poised in his attempt with his Greco-Roman Church system to destroy all knowledge and understanding of the nature of His Father, and the purpose of the family God created.
The fallen spirit-sons of God know that there is One True God, who is their Father, and they tremble. It is what awaits them for their rebellious and lawless behaviour that makes them tremble. James 2:19 states: “You believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe, and tremble” (KJV).
Christ is not ashamed to refer to as his brothers and sisters those who are now called and placed into the Body of Christ, according to our heavenly Father’s purpose. Hebrews 2:10-17 reads:
10 It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, 12 saying, "I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters, in the midst of the congregation I will praise you." 13 And again, "I will put my trust in him." And again, "Here am I and the children whom God has given me." 14 Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. 16 For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. (NRSV)
From the beginning when Eloah created His spirit-sons, He ultimately planned to extend to the human family through the husband and wife blessings to procreate human life and to nurture and raise children. The blessing associated with producing a family bears tremendous responsibility and is not to be taken lightly. Parents have the same responsibility in raising their children as the spirit-sons of God have towards the human creation. Parents are required to teach their children to have a close relationship with the One True God Eloah, and to know and obey His Laws.
The capstone of these parental responsibilities is stated in Deuteronomy 6:4-9:
4 "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD; 5 and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. 6 And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart; 7 and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (RSV)
Godly parents are fully rewarded in a wise son (Gen. 27:46; Prov. 10:1). Great emphasis is placed on the parents' responsibility to instruct the son in the Law (Ex. 13:14; 20:10; Deut. 11:19; Josh. 4:6). On their part, sons are to honour their parents. In this connection it is important to note that the verb honour elsewhere in the OT takes as its object a person or that which has a sacral character.
Eloah does not create any of His sons and then destroy them. He creates from His nature, which is love, and He nurtures His sons from the motivation of love. Parents are to follow His example. That is why abortion is wrong and is considered murder, except when the life of the mother is at stake. Eloah’s Laws are an extension of His nature and He does not murder any of His children. Abortion for the convenience of not bearing a child is destroying the moral fabric and conscience of our societies.
It is important for parents to understand the meaning of the word “worship” and its use in Scripture so that they are equipped to teach their children to whom they are to pray and worship. Prayer is a form of worship to be reserved for only the Father. Matthew 6:6 reads:
But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (RSV)
Satan led Christ into the wilderness to tempt him by offering the kingdoms of this world to Christ if he would only fall down and worship him. Satan tried to trick Christ into sinning – and he would have sinned had he complied. Christ rebuked Satan. Matthew 4:10 reads:
Then Jesus said to him, “Begone, Satan! for it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve."
Christ never directed prayer or worship to himself. He never claimed to be God. However, Christ did claim that He is the Son of God.
John 10:36 do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?
The Greek word for worship is proskuneo (SGD 4352) derived from pros, which is towards, and kuneo, to kiss. Proskuneo is the most frequent word rendered "to worship" and has different meanings. It means to make obeisance; do reverence to. It is used of an act of homage or reverence.
Worship can also be defined from different Greek verbs. They are:
Notes: (1) The worship of God is nowhere defined in Scripture. A consideration of the above verbs shows that it is not confined to praise; broadly it may be regarded as the direct acknowledgement to God, of His nature, attributes, ways and claims, whether by the outgoing of the heart in praise and thanksgiving or by deed done in such acknowledgment. (2) In Acts 17:25 therapeuo, "to serve, do service to" (so RV), is rendered "is worshiped."
(The above was extracted from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words.)
Roles in Marriage
God ordained the family structure in mankind with the first man and woman as husband and wife (Gen. 2:24). By God’s command man was to leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife to become one flesh. In Genesis 2:25, “The man and his wife” is a clear directive of the relationship man was intended to have with woman. This directive of God is contrary to the Apostle Paul’s first opinion concerning man found in 1Corinthians 7:6, as it is stated, “not of commandment,” but rather was Paul's first thoughts on the matter. See also the paper Marriage (No. 289).
From Genesis 1:26-28, we find where the elohim made man in their image and after their likeness. From man's creation it was not only for us to resemble God in a physical likeness of the elohim but also it was planned for us to become elohim in the process, by first giving responsibility to the elohim to nurture those made in their likeness in a family relationship. We understand this by Christ's own words, “Has it not been written in your Law, 'I said you are Gods'… and the Scripture cannot be broken” (Jn. 10:34-35), quoted from Psalm 82:6: “I have said, You are gods, and all of you are sons of the Most High”.
We therefore join our spiritual brothers, the elohim, as sons of the Most High God. As the human creation was made through Christ, Christ is also known as our brother, for it was the power of his Father and our Father, his God and our God (Jn. 20:17), that was the source of the creation of humankind.
Romans 8:29 because whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, for Him to be the First-born among many brothers.
We are also known as brothers to the rest of the spiritual Host of our Father in Heaven.
Revelation 12:10 And I heard a great voice saying in Heaven, Now has come the salvation and power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ, because the accuser of our brothers is thrown down, the one accusing them before our God day and night.
God’s commandment to man in Genesis 1:28 was to multiply and fill the Earth by procreating in the family structure of Genesis 2:24 as husband and wife. Why did God give man this command? Man was to learn from existing in the physical state he was created in, under the Laws of God, the spiritual lessons of the Kingdom or family of God. As an example, the Holy Days are physical days and times teaching the greater lessons symbolic of the stages in the Plan God has in bringing the physical children of God into the spiritual family of His Kingdom. As God has ordained the core social unit of husband and wife, it represents the relationship of Christ and the Church found in Ephesians.
Ephesians 5:22-33 Wives, subject yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord, 23 because a husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is Head of the assembly, and He is the Savior of the body. 24 But even as the assembly is subject to Christ, so also the wives to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the assembly and gave Himself up on its behalf, 26 that He might sanctify it, cleansing it by the washing of the water in the Word, 27 that He might present it to Himself as the glorious assembly, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such things, but that it be holy and without blemish. 28 So, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies, (he loving his wife loves himself), 29 for then no one hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, even as also the Lord the assembly. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. 31 "For this, a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh." 32 The mystery is great, but I speak as to Christ and as to the assembly. 33 However, you also, everyone, let each one love his wife as himself, and the wife, that she give deference to the husband. (LITV)
From these Scriptures we can clearly see that Jesus Christ was responsible for leadership of the Church, which is part of God the Father’s family. The role of a male is to lead the family following Christ’s example. Christ is described as the last Adam (1Cor. 15:45,47). That means that the first Adam had the same responsibilities, but failed in fulfilling them.
1Corinthians 15:45-47 Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual which is first but the physical, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.
It is because Adam failed to lead according to the instructions given to him that Christ had to come and fulfil those responsibilities. This sequence is described as a great mystery by the Apostle Paul.
Ephesians 5:29-32 For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ 32 This mystery is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church;
The first Adam was to look after his wife in the same caring way that Christ looks after the true Church of God. The first Adam failed, but the second Adam has succeeded, as we can see from Mathew 16:18.
Matthew 16: 18 ….I will build my church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
Christ is our role model in understanding what men are expected to do in their respective family relationships.
In Ephesians 5:23, we see that the male is “head of the wife”, which means that he has both authority as well as responsibility for his nuclear family, beginning with his wife. Unfortunately, there are many males who exercise their authority without any sense of responsibility. These individuals are then used as a reason for women to seek liberation from their responsibility in the family structure. The end result is that the family suffers in one way or another, along with society as a whole. Escalating divorce rates show the nations are in decline. Divorce is violence against our children with repercussions that last a lifetime.
From 1Corinthians 11:3 we see that God the Father gives authority to Christ, and Christ gives authority to men, and that men are required to give tasks and authority to women in order to accomplish whatever aims and objectives are required within the family (cf. 1Pet. 3:7).
1Corinthians 11:3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is her husband, and the head of Christ is God [i.e. the Father].
1Peter 3:7 Likewise you husbands, live considerately with your wives, bestowing honor on the woman as the weaker sex, since you are joint heirs of the grace of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered.
Husbands delegate authority as does God and Christ. No male is to abdicate responsibility. Adam abdicated from his responsibility in the Garden of Eden. Eve was left exposed to a force that she was not capable of handling. As a result the “gates of death” did prevail against the woman and all mankind (cf. Gen. 3:1).
Men are to lead their wives and teach their children. In this responsibility men are to teach their children by example and keep God’s Calendar correctly and explain to them the symbolism of the Sabbath, New Moons, Feasts and Holy Days.
Now let us look at the institution of marriage as Jesus Christ sanctioned it (Mat.19:1-12).
Matthew 19:1-12 Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan; 2 and large crowds followed him, and he healed them there. 3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, "Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?" 4 He answered, "Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, `For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder." 7 They said to him, "Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?" 8 He said to them, "For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery." 10 The disciples said to him, "If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is not expedient to marry." 11 But he said to them, "Not all men can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. 12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it." (RSV)
From verse 5, Christ is saying that men and women are only to participate in monogamous relations, “the two shall become one flesh”, not three or more, and only in marriage, “joined to his wife”. Christ also brings out that man and wife no longer work from the realm of individualism but now live in a dualistic nature, as verse 6 clearly points out: “they are no longer two, but one flesh”. As only death will part a man from his flesh, so the same goes for the monogamous life of man and wife instructed by Christ.
By this, God has commanded that all or any sexual union outside of the confines of marriage is unlawful and barred by the family of God. When man slights this Law of God and becomes sexually promiscuous the consequences are clear for everyone to see, from venereal disease and infidelity in marriage to the now active business of babies for sale on the black market, and the horrors of abortion and infanticide. One of the repercussions of sex outside of marriage and a major cause of societal decline and destruction is well described from the article on Family in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE) under the 7th Commandment.
“While it is true that in the laws of Israel sex sin outside the family relation was treated as a subject by itself, yet when we remember how early in life marriage came in those ancient days, and that betrothal in childhood was deemed as sacred as marriage itself, we see that even then the sweep of the commandment was well-nigh universal and over what a broad range it protected the family. The family is the primal eldest institution of man – the greatest and the holiest. Over this institution this commandment stands sentry. It prevents men from breaking up in complete individual isolation, from reverting to solitary savagery. Think to what a child is born outside of the family relation! Then think of all children being so born, and you have the picture of a low plane of animalism from which all trace of the moral responsibility of fatherhood has disappeared, and where even motherhood will be reduced to simple care during the short period of helpless infancy, to such care as belongs to animal instinct. Put up now the idea that marriage shall be universal and that the children born in marriage shall belong genuinely to it, and you have a new heaven and a new earth in the sex relations of the race of man.”
According to God's training method of physical matters representing spiritual matters, the family directives given to mankind are also lessons pointing to the spiritual relationships between the Father's harmonious Host to and with Him.
God has given man the command to procreate: “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Gen. 1:28). Thus by this, man is to have an active role in expanding the family of God by learning the relationship of fathering and mothering children, teaching the Law of God, and nurturing them to follow in the same path of parenting and grand-parenting their children from one generation to the next within monogamous marriages.
Let us look now at the relationships of each as God has intended in His physical creation.
Role of the Father
The role of the father in the family is as the representative of the Almighty God and Father. His responsibility is as provider for the family’s needs of sustenance, leadership and protection in both physical and spiritual matters.
It is no small matter if the father denies the material provisions of his wife and children, as we see from Paul's rebuke of the ones who did not look after their family's needs.
1Timothy 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially his family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
This is also seen in Solomon's mocking the lazy man to stir him to action in Proverbs 6:6-11.
While the responsibility of breadwinner is given to the father when God told him that he would eat bread in the sweat of his face (Gen. 3:19), he is also responsible and cannot neglect the spiritual provisions of the family.
Before the priesthood was established in Israel the father had responsibility to sacrifice on his family's behalf, as we see from Abraham's example in Genesis 12:8 and Job's in Job 1:5. As the co-educator with the mother of the children, the father has been given the main responsibility to lead the family in teaching the Law of God (Ex. 12:26-27; Deut. 6:6-7; Prov. 22:6; Eph. 6:4).
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 And these Words which I am commanding you today shall be on your heart. 7 And you shall teach them to your sons, and shall speak of them as you sit in your house, and as you walk in the way, and as you are lying down, and as you are rising up. (LITV)
Ephesians 6:4 And fathers, do not provoke your children, but nurture them in the discipline and admonition of the Lord. (LITV)
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a boy on the opening of his way, even when he is old, he will not turn aside from it. (LITV)
As spiritual leader, the father has the responsibility as spiritual protector to educate against evil practices and habits of the world that are becoming more commonplace to our children and their peers, while running contrary to the Law of God.
Romans 16:19 For your obedience reached to all; therefore, I rejoice over you. But I desire you to be truly wise as to good, but simple toward evil. (LITV)
If we are to be innocent about what is evil and teach our children the same then we must not allow them to be exposed to the type of entertainment in television, movies, video games, and the Internet that is contrary to the Law of God. It is easy to use modern media and entertainment as a substitute parent, but even if the messages are benign, any of these in excess will instil idleness in a child's character. See the paper The Devil's Designs (No. 43).
With the role of spiritual leader also comes the responsibility of discipline for the children. We know from the Psalms and Proverbs that children are not inherently good, and that a natural bias toward evil is in every human being. David admitted to this sinful human nature that started from his birth.
Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.
Many of the Proverbs refer to the need of correcting the child from his errors in sin.
Proverbs 22:15 Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a boy, the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
Proverbs 23:13-14 Do not withhold correction from a boy, for if you strike him with the rod, he will not die. 14 You shall strike him with the rod, and you shall deliver him from Sheol. LITV
By correcting our children with the rod of correction in love we not only procure their lives from entering the grave too soon, but we also protect our lineage or otherwise our children's children.
1Samuel 3:13 And I declare to him that I am judging his house forever, for the iniquity which he has known; for his sons have been making themselves vile, and he has not restrained them.
Each child must be taught what is expected from them and where these boundaries lie, just as our heavenly Father does with us in giving His Law. Once children have been made aware of these standards the punishment administered for disobedience must be consistent, otherwise the child will naturally lose the proper fear of justice and respect for those in authority. Consistent correction will also reaffirm that our Father in Heaven means what He says, and doesn't make false threats. According to Scripture, to be permissive and to take the path of least resistance when correction is needed is, in essence, hating our children.
Proverbs 13:24 He who spares the rod hates his son: but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.
It is very clear that the father is held responsible for controlling his children's sinful tendencies through discipline.
From the example in Judges we see what happens when righteous fathers fail to raise righteous children.
Judges 2:10-22 And also all that generation was gathered to their fathers, and another generation arose after them who had not known Jehovah, nor yet the works which He had done for Israel. 11 And the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of Jehovah, and served the Baals. 12 And they forsook Jehovah, the God of their fathers, who brought them out from the land of Egypt. And they went after other gods, of the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed themselves to them, and angered Jehovah. 13 Yea, they forsook Jehovah, and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. 14 And the anger of Jehovah glowed against Israel, and He gave them into the hand of plunderers; and they plundered them. And He sold them into the hand of their enemies all around, and they were not able to stand before their enemies any longer. 15 Wherever they went, the hand of Jehovah was against them for evil, as Jehovah had spoken, and as Jehovah had sworn to them. And it distressed them very much. 16 And Jehovah raised up judges, and they saved them from the hand of their plunderers. 17 But they also did not listen to their judges, but went whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves to them. They quickly turned aside out of the way in which their fathers walked to obey the commands of Jehovah. They did not do so. 18 And when Jehovah raised up judges to them, then Jehovah was with the judge, and rescued them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge. For Jehovah took pity because of their groaning before their oppressors, and those that crushed them. 19 And at the death of the judge, it happened that they would turn and act more corruptly than their fathers, to go after other gods, to serve them, and to bow themselves to them. And they did not fall away from their own doings, and from their stubborn way. 20 And the anger of Jehovah glowed against Israel. And He said, Because this nation has transgressed My covenant which I commanded their fathers, and has not listened to My voice, 21 I also from now on will not dispossess any from before them of the nations that Joshua left when he died; 22 so that by them I may test Israel, whether they are keeping the way of Jehovah, to go in it, as their fathers kept it, or not. (LITV)
In our world’s governments of today, Communism, Socialism and even the Democracy/Republic have given the State the responsibility to educate the nation’s children, and have made steps through law to weaken the role of the father in the family by removing his authority over his children at a young age. This has moved the basic element of society further away from the family and closer to the individual. Our literature, media, and even our schools reinforce these ideas of individual superiority, while our governments pass laws in support of diminishing the role of father and mother in the family. As a result, the respect and obedience of children towards their parents has diminished, leaving a greater degradation of the people of the nation, despite the general distress that has formed toward the separation of these most crucial familial bonds of authority and order that God instituted through His creation.
With this increased revolt toward discipline in the home, an increase towards idleness and perversity occurs, which results in the loss of the wealth reserved for the children by the work of their fathers and grandfathers. A few generations of this, and the father's authority is lost, and the society begins its downward spiral.
Charles de Ribbe, writing about Le Play’s studies on what composes the social body, makes pertinent comments for this generation of families that lack paternal authority and our governments that support them.
“If we return authority to the father, we will restore the ministry of God in the temporal order .… The more time that passes, the more we become aware that it is necessary to return to the family its autonomy. It is impossible to constitute good governments with men given up to error. In the sad state in which we find ourselves, salvation can only come from that unique authority, which, by virtue of natural law, remains devoted to its subordinates. Only paternal authority can accomplish that which is superior to the force of any public authority.”
The Scriptures make clear that lines of authority are ordained by God and are meant for the stabilization of the family and state.
Romans 13:1-7 Let every soul be subject to higher authorities, for there is no authority except from God, but the existing authorities have been ordained by God. 2 So that the one resisting authority has opposed the ordinance of God, and the ones opposing will receive judgment to themselves. 3 For the rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the bad. And do you desire not to fear the authority? Do the good, and you will have praise from it; 4 for it is a servant of God to you for the good. But if you practice evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword in vain; for it is a servant of God, an avenger for wrath to the one practicing bad things. 5 Because of this, it is necessary to be subject, not only on account of wrath, but also on account of conscience. 6 For on this account you also pay taxes, for they are ministers of God, always giving attention to this very thing. 7 Then give to all their dues: to the one due tax, the tax; to the one due tribute, the tribute; to the one due fear, the fear; to the one due honor, the honor. (LITV)
A warning from God comes through the prophet Malachi regarding this generation of man.
"See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse." (Mal. 4:5-6)
It is evident from this verse that the fathers and their children of the end times are against each other, and have lost sight of the relationships that have been ordained by God through the keeping of His Law; and that the Elijah prophesied to come will bring this truth of the family structure to the forefront once again.
The father's life is the example of what the sons are to become and what the daughters are to look for in a husband. He is the authority figure of the family as the true image of the Almighty God, who is the universal Father of all. The father, through God’s delegated authority, is the transmitter of the lives of his children and is the conserver of life, just as God the Father is in the ultimate sense. In like manner, the children are sanctified by his wisdom and teaching of the Law (2Chr. 13:18; Jn. 17:19; 1Cor. 7:14). He is the image of the Father of all and should behave according to this image as representative, as the giver of life and sustainer of those lives of his children by raising them up in the knowledge and love of the Eternal Father. His children will reflect upon their creator Father from the example their father gives them. See also the paper Christianity and Childrearing (No. 186).
Role of the Mother
The mother’s role is one of nurturer and the one through whom life is given. The father and the mother procreate the children, symbolic of the Father with His sons creating man in the beginning. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness… So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them,” (from Gen. 1:26-27). Each child born in turn is made in the likeness of its physical father and mother.
In John 1:3-4 speaking of a son of Eloah, the word of God, “All things came into being through Him, and without Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (LITV). As the Father gave life to man through the Word, the father in the physical state gives life to his children through the mother. Then the mother takes the more active role in bringing life to the child by carrying the unborn child in the womb for the gestation period, and developing close ties to her offspring to whom she helped give life. Once born, it is then her responsibility as primary caregiver to nurture the child through feeding and interaction to see that the child grows to its full potential to eventually replace the father or mother in these leadership roles of procreators and teachers as heads of their own families.
1Timothy 5:14 Therefore, I desire the young women to marry, to bear children, to rule the house, giving no occasion to the adversary on account of reproach. (LITV)
Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a boy let loose causes shame to his mother. LITV
From this passage in Proverbs we see that it is a responsibility of the mother to educate and instruct the children in the Law of God as a part of childrearing. Her failure to do so brings shame upon her.
In the early years of the children's lives the father assists the mother in childrearing as well as being the counsellor and source of strength of the family. As the children mature these educational roles equal out and sons will naturally be more influenced by their fathers and daughters by their mothers. Each child's development will be enriched by the unity between the father and mother. There is much to be gained in the stability and security of the children's lives by witnessing the outward love and affection of a husband toward his wife and vice versa with the gifts and acts of love from day to day that make the other feel special and loved.
Along with sharing the responsibility of childrearing, the mother/wife also has the responsibility of managing the domestic operations of the family, which include keeping the home orderly and preparing healthy meals according to the Law of God. She assists her husband in the duties of tithing, honouring the Law of God and the implementation of and keeping holy the Sabbaths of God. See the paper Role of the Christian Woman (No 62).
Role of the Children
The roles of son and daughter are ones that ultimately replace their parents as father and mother, and then grandfather and grandmother. It is the process of being student first and then teacher. In the same way humans are being taught by God through His spiritual sons, or elohim, to become gods or elohim. This is also well depicted by the role of either older brother or sister with authority being extended through them from the parents to help educate the younger children of the family. When this granted authority to the elder siblings is taken lightly or even abused, it runs parallel with the actions and punishment of the disobedient spiritual sons of God. The elder sibling that takes this granted authority to care for with utmost sincerity could be likened to the role of our elder brother Jesus Christ.
Our Eternal Father seeks obedience (1Sam. 15:22). Then Samuel said: "Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams”. And He requires obedience be given to the fathers and mothers from their children directed from the Fifth Commandment (Ex. 20:12 and Deut. 5:16, cf. Eph. 6:2-3).
Exodus 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. (KJV)
Deuteronomy 5:16 Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. (KJV)
Due to the nature of love that flows from our heavenly Father to His children, the necessity of this Law is greater than the parents’ duty to their children.
The Father is mentioned first here in these two instances, but the mother is mentioned in Leviticus 19:3:
“Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and you shall keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.”
In all three verses the father and mother are treated and seen as equal. The position of the mother is clear, and whatever honour the father receives so does the mother. She is his equal and obtains equal reverence ordained by God's command.
The New Testament backs obedience toward parents from their children.
Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. (KJV)
Colossians 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. (KJV)
See also the paper Law and the Fifth Commandment (No. 258).
This command of God to honour one’s parents comes with the promise of prolonged days upon the land that God gives to us. The repercussion of disobeying God by mocking this Law and dishonouring our parents is to have our lives shortened upon the land. To show disrespect to one's parents was to God one of the worst crimes.
Exodus 21:15 Any man who gives a blow to his father or his mother is certainly to be put to death.
The honour owed to parents is dually owed to the grandparents.
Leviticus 19:32 "You shall rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the LORD.”
When the youth dishonour and behave proudly against the honourable, lawful, and aged, then a degenerate and disorderly society form in the land.
Isaiah 3:5 And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.
The grandparents of the family are responsible to hold the family to the core values of the Laws of God that they were brought up in and educated by. They are to anchor the family lines to the Law of God so that it doesn't sway to and fro with the doctrines of the false religions and customs of this world.
The grandparents have the responsibility to ensure that the children are staying on the narrow path and leading their children under the instruction that the generations before have been brought up in.
In recent generations in the Western society of the United States with the development of the nuclear family, children begin to alienate themselves from their parents as soon as they exit their youth. When society takes precedence over family our children will be sent away to schools of higher education, which begins the separation of the continuous life of the family that has been the core of instruction of the Laws of God. These migratory patterns then move into man's employment, and even though industries are local, man becomes the mover when trouble comes to his current job. He searches for a new location to employ himself and may or may not take his family with him. Sometimes this separation of the father leads to months, then years, then to abandonment and eventually divorce that tears apart even the nuclear family itself.
With the loss of extended families in communities which are the backbone to the clan, tribe, and nations, we degenerate into a loveless and disrespectful people that is warned about in Isaiah 3:5. In the nuclear family all honour dissipates toward the grandparents and they are left to die away from their children and grandchildren that were once dependent on them. As they are deprived of the love and affection of their offspring they live out their last days pining for their progeny in old folks' homes. In some instances with the mentally unstable and severely unhealthy, other care such as nursing facilities are required to support them, but the idea of the elderly among us as an inconvenience to our nuclear family is becoming more and more prominent. The repercussion of the failing to keep the Fifth Commandment then becomes very apparent and days in the land begin to shorten for each society that treads upon this Law of God.
Restoring honour to the aged in our families by looking after our parents into their final years of life allows for acculturation and socialization within the Laws of God to be passed from one generation to the next, and instil even further in children the respect for authority toward their elders and toward God.
These roles of the individuals in the family ordained by God are ideals to which His spiritual and physical children are held according to His Law. When mankind as a whole lives contrary to our heavenly Father's instruction and we fail to obey Him, these ideals become nearly impossible to reach. The anchors must first be firmly grounded in the Law of God, with the husband joining to the wife as one flesh and then within the span of two generations this blessed family structure can be established, taking into account that each family member takes to heart the command to unite in marriage with those that keep the Commandments of our heavenly Father (2Cor. 6:14-18).
2Corinthians 6:14-18 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership does righteousness have with lawlessness? And what fellowship does light have with darkness? 15 And what agreement does Christ have with Belial? Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement does a temple of God have with idols? For you are a temple of the living God, even as God said, "I will" dwell in them and "walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people." [Lev. 26:12; Ezek. 37:27] 17 Because of this, "come out from among them" "and be separated," says the Lord, "and do not touch the unclean thing," and I will receive you. [Isa. 52:11] 18 "And I will be a Father to you, and you will be sons" and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty [2 Sam. 7:8, 14; Isa. 43:6]. (LITV)
When any of these pieces are out of place a schism forms and families then live contrary to the will of God as the rebellious sons of God do presently. Christ prophesies of a persecution to come from family members and friends that walk not in the ways of God.
Luke 21:16-17 But you will be betrayed also by parents, and brothers, and relatives, and friends. And they will put some of you to death. 17 And you will be hated by all because of My name.
We are required to do what is in our power to develop the family structure that God has ordained in order for mankind to procreate and ultimately to give honour to God. However, our elder brother Christ gives mention that the fulfilment of family relationships one toward another ultimately lie within the family of God's obedient children. For these are the sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty and brothers and sisters to His first-born, Christ.
Matthew 12:46-50 But while He was yet speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. 47 Then one said to Him, Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak to You. 48 But answering, He said to the one speaking to Him, Who is My mother? And who are my brothers? 49 And stretching out His hand to His disciples, He said, Behold, My mother and My brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of My Father in Heaven, that one is My brother and sister and mother.
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