Christian Churches of God
Law and the Fifth Commandment
(Edition 2.0 19981008-19990526-20120522-20120804)
It is written: Honour thy father and thy mother that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. The Fifth Commandment is the first commandment with a promise and forms the basis of the society. It is the first of the sequence of commandments which form the Second Great Commandment namely: To love one’s neighbour as one’s self.
Law and the Fifth Commandment
The Fifth Commandment is stated in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5.
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)
The fifth commandment is the first commandment with a promise. It is the first commandment, or commencement point, for the Second Great Commandment: to love one’s neighbour as one’s self.
Matthew 19:18-19 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (KJV)
Like all of the commandments, it is reinforced by the New Testament.
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)
Family as the basis of society
The creation was based around the family from the Garden of Eden (see The Doctrine of Original Sin Part I The Garden of Eden (No. 246) and The Doctrine of Original Sin Part 2 The Generations of Adam (No. 248)). The family forms the central building block of the society. The human family was made in the image of God, and was intended to multiply and to further the image of God, and become a temple for God (cf. Gen 1:27-30; Gen 2:7, 18).
The father is the strength of the house as is the mother. She has equal and great responsibility for the internal function of the family, as we see from Proverbs 31:10-31. The father has responsibility also for the functioning of the family as it relates to society. The purpose of Proverbs 31 is to demonstrate the smooth and orderly function of the family and society, and as it also relates to the spiritual structure of the Church. As the mother is to the father so is the Church to Christ and both to God (see also the paper Proverbs 31 (No. 114)).
The family has also extended responsibility under the law, which is not to be abdicated or taken lightly. For this reason the mark of slavery is a defect on the society, signified by an awl in the ear (Ex. 21:6). In the same way, the head of the house bears responsibility under the law (Ex. 22:8). In all this we are children of the Most High and sons of God. Is it not written: “I said ye are gods?”… children of the Most High all of you” and Scripture cannot be broken (cf. Ps. 82:1-6; Jn. 10:35).
Psalm 82:1-6 A Psalm of Asaph. God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. 2 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah. 3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. 4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. 5 They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course. 6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. (KJV)
The entire structure is as a family of sons of God, both spiritual and physical.
All the creation is subject to man as a family, within the plan of God (Gen. 1:28). So too there is order in the family, as there is in the family of God.
1Peter 3:1-7 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. 3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: 6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. 7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. (KJV)
Disobedience to parents also has a promise.
Proverbs 30:17 The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it. (KJV)
The family becomes the basis of society. Society as an order is founded on the family, through the grace and appearance that God sent us in His image, namely his son Jesus Christ.
Titus 2:1-15 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: 2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. 3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. 6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. 7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, 8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you. 9 Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; 10 Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. 11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. 15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee. (KJV)
In this manner the parents are to lay up and provide for their children and to look towards the future not back towards the past.
2Corinthians 12:14 Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children. (KJV)
In this matter, there is only one firstborn inheritance in the family, regardless of how many wives.
Deuteronomy 21:15-17 If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated: 16 Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn: 17 But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his. (KJV)
Also the children are responsible to the parents and subject to the death penalty (Deut. 21:18-21). This death penalty vests in the parents, and then in the state through the elders, and extends then to the people.
Deuteronomy 21:18-23 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: 19 Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; 20 And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. 21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. 22 And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: 23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance. (KJV)
We see now that the basis of society is the family and the family is the building block of the nation. All discipline of the society vests in the family as the primary unit, and the right to discipline and take life stems from and vests in the family. Our parents gave us life by marriage and procreation, thereby participating in the creation through the power of Almighty God.
Commandment to be holy
Hence the family exercises in a physical way the responsibility of God in the spiritual form. We have only one Father.
Malachi 2:10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers? (KJV)
God created us and by His will we exist and were made.
Revelation 5:8-10 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints; 9 and they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy art thou to take the scroll and to open its seals, for thou wast slain and by thy blood didst ransom men for God from every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 and hast made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on earth." (RSV)
Note that all texts read, “they shall reign on earth.”
He who sanctifies and they who are sanctified have one origin.
Hebrews 2:11 For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified have all one origin. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brethren, (RSV)
We are to call no man father, for our father is God alone in heaven and He is our God and Father and the God and Father of Jesus Christ whom He sent.
Matthew 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. (KJV)
He alone is the object of our devotion and our prayer.
Matthew 6:1-15 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. 2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. 5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. 9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. 14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (KJV)
The relationship with the Father is the primary aim, but only through the Second Great Commandment can we realise the object of the First Great Commandment, namely the love of God. Thus you shall be holy and all that you do shall be holy, from what you consume to what you produce.
Exodus 22:31 And ye shall be holy men unto me: neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the dogs. (KJV)
Leviticus 11:44 For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (KJV)
The individual is holy and not to be defiled, because it was God that redeemed us to be holy.
Leviticus 11:45 For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. (KJV)
Leviticus 20:26 And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine. (KJV)
Purpose of the creation of mankind
The holy family
As Israel is holy, so the family is holy. The nation is of God, and the Kingdom is set up for Christ in David’s line forever. We are of that household as one family, and that family is ruled by judges under the household of David, which is of Messiah and the priesthood of Melchisedek. For My king is righteousness (Melchisedek) or My Lord is righteousness (Adonizedek) is the hereditary title of the king of Jerusalem forever (cf. Gen. 14:18; Ps. 110:4; Josh. 10:1; and also G. Vermes, The Dead Sea Scrolls in English re Melchizedek and its meaning).
2Samuel 7:10-16 Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime, 11 And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house. 12 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. 14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: 15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. 16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. (KJV)
Messiah is thus granted fatherhood over the children of men, as sons of God.
Isaiah 9:6-7 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (KJV)
He shall be called the son of God.
Luke 1:32-35 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. (KJV)
With him, justice is established for the family of men (Isa. 11:4, 5) as part of the seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:6, 9). He is appointed heir of all things having been sent to speak to men (Heb. 1:1,2) and will confirm the immutability of his counsel with an oath (Heb. 6:17). It is by faith that we were warned of God through Noah in the first generations, for the saving of the household of God, and by the Son in the Second generations of Adam, and by faith we follow his counsel (Heb. 11:7). If we are Christ’s by faith, then we are Abraham’s offspring and heirs according to the promise (Gal 3:16, 29), being also sons of Adam and sons of God (Lk. 3:38).
In the first Adam we bore the earthly image; in the second Adam we bear the heavenly image.
1Corinthians 15:45-49 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. (KJV)
(cf. Mat. 28:18,19; Ezek 21:27)
His family is our family because we do the will of God (Jn. 19:25-27). So also the family is on two levels: a physical or earthly and a spiritual or heavenly family.
Matthew 12:46-50 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. 47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. 48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? 49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. (KJV)
Hence, we are not the sons of the bondwoman but sons of the true line and therefore heirs (Gen. 21:10; 25:1-6). This distinction is of the line of the faith, in the inheritance of God, set in the law, as a distinction to separate the infidel.
Leviticus 25:45-46 Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. 46 And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour. (KJV)
Thus the physical establishment of the nation precedes the spiritual, and the distinction is established to show that only by salvation and entry to the nation will all men come into eternal life.
In order that we are able to do that a period of training is set up under Messiah and the new priesthood (cf. Rev. 20:1-9). In that day we shall be as gods (elohim) as the Angel of Yahovah at our head (Zech. 12:8). And his seed shall be established forever (Ps. 89:4).
Zechariah 12:8 In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them. (KJV)
Following the second resurrection and the period of training of all beings (Isa. 65:20), we will all, each and every being, go on to our final destiny. God then will become all in all and we shall be the dwelling place of God, as the Temple of God forever.
Ephesians 4:6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (KJV)
This is the final result of what God was to become (Ex. 3:14).
Sanctification and cleanliness
In this process we are to be sanctified and clean. There is an extensive legislation on the matter, which concerns the cleanliness of the people and the planet and its environment.
The food laws are found in Leviticus 11:1-47 and Deuteronomy 14:1-21 (cf. the paper The Food Laws (No. 15)).
The nation and the people were sanctified and set apart so that God could come to them. However, in the physical nation He set bounds and spoke through the Angel of Yahovah. These bounds were listed in Exodus 19:10-25,
the full text of which should be read in the seventh year. These bounds represented the way in which God would operate through the nation and then through the Church. The law was originally given to the seventy and then to the nation. The people were first sanctified and this sanctification process is undertaken by the Church and nation on a yearly basis, from the First day of the Sacred Year. It proceeds to the Seventh day of the First month, on which the simple and the erroneous are sanctified (cf. the papers The Sanctification of the Temple of God (No. 241) and God’s Feasts as they relate to the Creation (No. 227)). The distinction was made to show the nation that there was a distinct process by which they could approach God. Messiah set that process in place in the Church through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Thus sanctification is a part of the process of making oneself a holy receptacle for the living God.
Leviticus 20:7 Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God. (KJV)
Establishment of authority
God has established His authority on the earth through His appointed leaders. God spoke through intermediaries with His servants the prophets (Amos 3:7). This activity is then done in sequence of authority from God’s prophets to the leaders of nations also.
Exodus 4:11-23 And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say. 13 And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send. 14 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart. 15 And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do. 16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God. 17 And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs. 18 And Moses went and returned to Jethro his father in law, and said unto him, Let me go, I pray thee, and return unto my brethren which are in Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive. And Jethro said to Moses, Go in peace. 19 And the LORD said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought thy life. 20 And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the rod of God in his hand. 21 And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go. 22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: 23 And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn. (KJV)
God determines the leaders of Israel.
Numbers 27:12-23 And the LORD said unto Moses, Get thee up into this mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given unto the children of Israel. 13 And when thou hast seen it, thou also shalt be gathered unto thy people, as Aaron thy brother was gathered. 14 For ye rebelled against my commandment in the desert of Zin, in the strife of the congregation, to sanctify me at the water before their eyes: that is the water of Meribah in Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin. 15 And Moses spake unto the LORD, saying, 16 Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, 17 Which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the LORD be not as sheep which have no shepherd. 18 And the LORD said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him; 19 And set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation; and give him a charge in their sight. 20 And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient. 21 And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before the LORD: at his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation. 22 And Moses did as the LORD commanded him: and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation: 23 And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses. (KJV)
Thus the priest of the Urim and the Thummin stands for counsel before the Lord, with the Leader of Israel. The Leader as king is determined according to the customs of the nations. Christ, not man, is king; nevertheless God established this role under the law.
Deuteronomy 17:14-20 When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; 15 Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. 16 But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. 17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. 18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: 19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: 20 That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel. (KJV)
Only a person of the tribes of Israel may rule over Israel. The king is bound by the laws of God and his own ordinances within those laws.
The covenant of circumcision rested with Israel and the prophets were required to demand it on pain of their own lives.
Exodus 4:25-28 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. 26 So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision. 27 And the LORD said to Aaron, Go into the wilderness to meet Moses. And he went, and met him in the mount of God, and kissed him. 28 And Moses told Aaron all the words of the LORD who had sent him, and all the signs which he had commanded him. (KJV)
The covenant of circumcision pointed to the covenant of the heart in the Holy Spirit, so circumcision was not required of the Gentiles on conversion. Moses was of uncircumcised lips (Ex. 6:30) but he was healed and made an elohim to Pharaoh (Ex. 7:1; cf. Law and the First Commandment (No 253) and Law and the Second Commandment (No. 254)).
This circumcision of the family given by Abraham and re-established by Moses and Joshua (cf. Josh. 5:8; Jn. 7:22) pointed towards the circumcision of the Holy Spirit and the responsibility of the elect (cf. Acts 7:8; 10:45-11:2). The Gentiles were spared the requirement on entering the congregation of Israel in the Holy Spirit. For in the higher law it is not all the circumcised that are of Israel, and not all the uncircumcised that are excluded from the covenant of the Fatherhood of God.
Exodus 12:49 One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you. (KJV)
At that time Moses then gathered the elders and Moses and Aaron spoke to them (Ex. 4:29-31).
Exodus 4:29-31 And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel: 30 And Aaron spake all the words which the LORD had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. 31 And the people believed: and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped. (KJV)
The authority of the nation is the way that God also deals with His extended family in order.
Numbers 12:1-16 And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. 2 And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it. 3 (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) 4 And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. 5 And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. 6 And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. 7 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. 8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? 9 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed. 10 And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous. 11 And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned. 12 Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother's womb. 13 And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee. 14 And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again. 15 And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again. 16 And afterward the people removed from Hazeroth, and pitched in the wilderness of Paran. (KJV)
The due exercise of authority is of God. For this reason rebellion is as witchcraft, because rebellion is establishing a will in opposition to the will of God and hence is polytheism (cf. 1Sam. 15:23).
Exercise of authority
Even God’s anointed was subject to the laws of the fifth commandment and its relationship to the family by marriage. Moses’ relatives were similarly bound. So too wisdom came through another priest and prophet. In Exodus 18 we see that Moses had entrusted his wife and sons with his father-in-law whom he honoured. Jethro was also priest of Midian; he returned Moses’ family and gave him counsel in the judgment of Israel and its system of justice and control.
Exodus 18:1-27 Jethro, the priest of Mid'ian, Moses' father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel his people, how the LORD had brought Israel out of Egypt. 2 Now Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, had taken Zippo'rah, Moses' wife, after he had sent her away, 3 and her two sons, of whom the name of the one was Gershom (for he said, "I have been a sojourner in a foreign land"), 4 and the name of the other, Elie'zer (for he said, "The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh"). 5 And Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife to Moses in the wilderness where he was encamped at the mountain of God. 6 And when one told Moses, "Lo, your father-in-law Jethro is coming to you with your wife and her two sons with her," 7 Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, and did obeisance and kissed him; and they asked each other of their welfare, and went into the tent. 8 Then Moses told his father-in-law all that the LORD had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel's sake, all the hardship that had come upon them in the way, and how the LORD had delivered them. 9 And Jethro rejoiced for all the good which the LORD had done to Israel, in that he had delivered them out of the hand of the Egyptians. 10 And Jethro said, "Blessed be the LORD, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of Pharaoh. 11 Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods, because he delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians, when they dealt arrogantly with them." 12 And Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, offered a burnt offering and sacrifices to God; and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses' father-in-law before God. 13 On the morrow Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood about Moses from morning till evening. 14 When Moses' father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, "What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand about you from morning till evening?" 15 And Moses said to his father-in-law, "Because the people come to me to inquire of God; 16 when they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between a man and his neighbor, and I make them know the statutes of God and his decisions." 17 Moses' father-in-law said to him, "What you are doing is not good. 18 You and the people with you will wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you; you are not able to perform it alone. 19 Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God be with you! You shall represent the people before God, and bring their cases to God; 20 and you shall teach them the statutes and the decisions, and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do. 21 Moreover choose able men from all the people, such as fear God, men who are trustworthy and who hate a bribe; and place such men over the people as rulers of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. 22 And let them judge the people at all times; every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves; so it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. 23 If you do this, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace." 24 So Moses gave heed to the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. 25 Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. 26 And they judged the people at all times; hard cases they brought to Moses, but any small matter they decided themselves. 27 Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went his way to his own country. (RSV)
Moses was to act towards God as mediator, and the men who were free of graft and corruption were to be selected to be rulers over the tens, over fifties, over hundreds and over thousands; these men became judges in Israel. Matters which were too great for them were taken to higher authorities.
From this structure we see families set in tens, and from tens to fifties, and then in hundreds, and then in thousands, and from there to the captains of the ten thousands and the tribes. The divisions are of 28,000 people. From the tribes we then have the seventy as the Council of the Elohim of Justice. Thus the family became a nation, which in turn became a family of nations, all in order and under authority stemming from God and His law.
Under His authority we act in His name and we then obey the third commandment, following on from the first and the second commandments. As the sons of the One True God we become one true people, who in turn are destined to become gods as elohim, in which Eloah is all in all. We are thus the Temple of God.
1Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (KJV)
We are all called to be sons of the Living God (Hos. 1:10). Eloah is extending Himself to become Elohim as an extended being.
Deuteronomy 6:13 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. (KJV)
The name of God is an extension of His authority among His people, either spiritual or physical. Thus the term elohim is applied to the heavenly Host and to the judges and rulers of the physical nation of Israel (Ex. 22:28).
Deuteronomy 16:18-20 Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment. 19 Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous. 20 That which is altogether just shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and inherit the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. (KJV)
There shall be justice in all our judgment for justice is righteousness.
The angels of God are all termed Yahovah when they act for Him (cf. Gen. 18:3, 27; the term is applied to multiple beings in the plural throughout Genesis 19 for example). Yahovah was also used of the other two angels who came with the third being termed Yahovah. He remained with Abraham while they went to Lot at Sodom, where they were again referred to as Yahovah (cf. the paper Angel of YHVH (No. 24)). From the time of Adam’s son Seth, men began to call on the name of Yahovah (Gen. 4:26).
We see that, from the third commandment, we then proceed to the fourth commandment as a demarcation of holiness in time as well as of authority.
Leviticus 19:1-3 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy. 3 Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God. (KJV)
From the First Great Commandment we see the fifth is then tied to the first four commandments and flows from them.
The authority for the resolution of the power to act is vested in one person and not in both. This is so with God and the Host, where all act under the will of the One True God (Jn. 17:3). Christ can thus do nothing of his own accord (Jn. 5:30). This understanding is important to the structure of the Host, both physical and spiritual; it is also reflected in the family relationships.
Where there is conflict, then the oath of the woman cannot bind the family; the will of the husband can be used to break the oath when it runs contrary to the perceived interests of the family. So too God’s will prevails among the Host. We see the law set out in Numbers 30:1-16, which is required to be read in the Seventh or Sabbath year. A woman’s husband, or father if she has no husband, can annul an oath of the woman. If he remains silent in the day that he heard it, then it is binding. If he annuls it, then it is void. Only the vows of a widow made after her husband’s death stand in their own right.
Thus a woman is subject to her husband. She is taken from the family and given to the family of the husband. This represents the elect as the Church who are taken from the tribe of the parent and placed in the tribe of the husband, under one family, subject to the One True God. As the head of the woman is the man, so the head of the Church is Christ under the Father.
The head of the woman is the man (within the family) and the head of every man is Messiah, and the head of the anointed Christ is God.
1Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. (KJV)
The physical family extends only to death, but the spiritual is eternal, where we neither marry nor give in marriage, but are equal to and as an order of angels (Lk. 20:34-35) as elohim (Zech. 12:8). Like the Messiah, the angels are our brothers (cf. Ps. 22:22; Rev. 3:5; Mat. 10:32; 6:11; 12:10).
The family as the tribe in Israel
The families are organised by tribes and also within tribal groupings. This is recorded in Numbers 2.
Numbers 2:1-33The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 2 "The people of Israel shall encamp each by his own standard, with the ensigns of their fathers' houses; they shall encamp facing the tent of meeting on every side. 3 Those to encamp on the east side toward the sunrise shall be of the standard of the camp of Judah by their companies, the leader of the people of Judah being Nahshon the son of Ammin'adab, 4 his host as numbered being seventy-four thousand six hundred. 5 Those to encamp next to him shall be the tribe of Is'sachar, the leader of the people of Is'sachar being Nethan'el the son of Zu'ar, 6 his host as numbered being fifty-four thousand four hundred. 7 Then the tribe of Zeb'ulun, the leader of the people of Zeb'ulun being Eli'ab the son of Helon, 8 his host as numbered being fifty-seven thousand four hundred. 9 The whole number of the camp of Judah, by their companies, is a hundred and eighty-six thousand four hundred. They shall set out first on the march. 10 "On the south side shall be the standard of the camp of Reuben by their companies, the leader of the people of Reuben being Eli'zur the son of Shed'eur, 11 his host as numbered being forty-six thousand five hundred. 12 And those to encamp next to him shall be the tribe of Simeon, the leader of the people of Simeon being Shelu'mi-el the son of Zurishad'dai, 13 his host as numbered being fifty-nine thousand three hundred. 14 Then the tribe of Gad, the leader of the people of Gad being Eli'asaph the son of Reu'el, 15 his host as numbered being forty-five thousand six hundred and fifty. 16 The whole number of the camp of Reuben, by their companies, is a hundred and fifty-one thousand four hundred and fifty. They shall set out second. 17 "Then the tent of meeting shall set out, with the camp of the Levites in the midst of the camps; as they encamp, so shall they set out, each in position, standard by standard. 18 "On the west side shall be the standard of the camp of E'phraim by their companies, the leader of the people of E'phraim being Eli'shama the son of Ammi'hud, 19 his host as numbered being forty thousand five hundred. 20 And next to him shall be the tribe of Manas'seh, the leader of the people of Manas'seh being Gama'liel the son of Pedah'zur, 21 his host as numbered being thirty-two thousand two hundred. 22 Then the tribe of Benjamin, the leader of the people of Benjamin being Abi'dan the son of Gideo'ni, 23 his host as numbered being thirty-five thousand four hundred. 24 The whole number of the camp of E'phraim, by their companies, is a hundred and eight thousand one hundred. They shall set out third on the march. 25 "On the north side shall be the standard of the camp of Dan by their companies, the leader of the people of Dan being Ahi-e'zer the son of Ammishad'dai, 26 his host as numbered being sixty-two thousand seven hundred. 27 And those to encamp next to him shall be the tribe of Asher, the leader of the people of Asher being Pa'giel the son of Ochran, 28 his host as numbered being forty-one thousand five hundred. 29 Then the tribe of Naph'tali, the leader of the people of Naph'tali being Ahi'ra the son of Enan, 30 his host as numbered being fifty-three thousand four hundred. 31 The whole number of the camp of Dan is a hundred and fifty-seven thousand six hundred. They shall set out last, standard by standard." 32 These are the people of Israel as numbered by their fathers' houses; all in the camps who were numbered by their companies were six hundred and three thousand five hundred and fifty. 33 But the Levites were not numbered among the people of Israel, as the LORD commanded Moses. (RSV)
The twelve tribes are in four groups of three tribes. These groupings also have significance for the reorganisation.
The Bible states the tribes were numbered and recorded. The inheritance of the tribes was given according to the size of the tribe, by the number of names of the males of war age, that is, from twenty years and upwards.
Numbers 26:1-62 After the plague the LORD said to Moses and to Elea'zar the son of Aaron, the priest, 2 "Take a census of all the congregation of the people of Israel, from twenty years old and upward, by their fathers' houses, all in Israel who are able to go forth to war." 3 And Moses and Elea'zar the priest spoke with them in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, saying, 4 "Take a census of the people, from twenty years old and upward," as the LORD commanded Moses. The people of Israel, who came forth out of the land of Egypt, were: 5 Reuben, the first-born of Israel; the sons of Reuben: of Hanoch, the family of the Ha'nochites; of Pallu, the family of the Pal'luites; 6 of Hezron, the family of the Hez'ronites; of Carmi, the family of the Carmites. 7 These are the families of the Reubenites; and their number was forty-three thousand seven hundred and thirty. 8 And the sons of Pallu: Eli'ab. 9 The sons of Eli'ab: Nem'uel, Dathan, and Abi'ram. These are the Dathan and Abi'ram, chosen from the congregation, who contended against Moses and Aaron in the company of Korah, when they contended against the LORD, 10 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up together with Korah, when that company died, when the fire devoured two hundred and fifty men; and they became a warning. 11 Notwithstanding, the sons of Korah did not die. 12 The sons of Simeon according to their families: of Nem'uel, the family of the Nem'uelites; of Jamin, the family of the Ja'minites; of Jachin, the family of the Ja'chinites; 13 of Zerah, the family of the Zer'ahites; of Sha'ul, the family of the Sha'ulites. 14 These are the families of the Simeonites, twenty-two thousand two hundred. 15 The sons of Gad according to their families: of Zephon, the family of the Ze'phonites; of Haggi, the family of the Haggites; of Shuni, the family of the Shunites; 16 of Ozni, the family of the Oznites; of Eri, the family of the Erites; 17 of Ar'od, the family of the Ar'odites; of Are'li, the family of the Are'lites. 18 These are the families of the sons of Gad according to their number, forty thousand five hundred. 19 The sons of Judah were Er and Onan; and Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan. 20 And the sons of Judah according to their families were: of Shelah, the family of the Shela'nites; of Perez, the family of the Per'ezites; of Zerah, the family of the Zer'ahites. 21 And the sons of Perez were: of Hezron, the family of the Hez'ronites; of Hamul, the family of the Hamu'lites. 22 These are the families of Judah according to their number, seventy-six thousand five hundred. 23 The sons of Is'sachar according to their families: of Tola, the family of the To'laites; of Puvah, the family of the Punites; 24 of Jashub, the family of the Jash'ubites; of Shimron, the family of the Shim'ronites. 25 These are the families of Is'sachar according to their number, sixty-four thousand three hundred. 26 The sons of Zeb'ulun, according to their families: of Sered, the family of the Ser'edites; of Elon, the family of the E'lonites; of Jahleel, the family of the Jah'leelites. 27 These are the families of the Zeb'ulunites according to their number, sixty thousand five hundred. 28 The sons of Joseph according to their families: Manas'seh and E'phraim. 29 The sons of Manas'seh: of Machir, the family of the Ma'chirites; and Machir was the father of Gilead; of Gilead, the family of the Gileadites. 30 These are the sons of Gilead: of Ie'zer, the family of the Ie'zerites; of Helek, the family of the He'lekites; 31 and of As'riel, the family of the As'rielites; and of Shechem, the family of the She'chemites; 32 and of Shemi'da, the family of the Shemi'daites; and of Hepher, the family of the He'pherites. 33 Now Zeloph'ehad the son of Hepher had no sons, but daughters: and the names of the daughters of Zeloph'ehad were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. 34 These are the families of Manas'seh; and their number was fifty-two thousand seven hundred. 35 These are the sons of E'phraim according to their families: of Shuthe'lah, the family of the Shuthe'lahites; of Becher, the family of the Bech'erites; of Tahan, the family of the Ta'hanites. 36 And these are the sons of Shuthe'lah: of Eran, the family of the E'ranites. 37 These are the families of the sons of E'phraim according to their number, thirty-two thousand five hundred. These are the sons of Joseph according to their families. 38 The sons of Benjamin according to their families: of Bela, the family of the Be'la-ites; of Ashbel, the family of the Ash'belites; of Ahi'ram, the family of the Ahi'ramites; 39 of Shephu'pham, the family of the Shu'phamites; of Hupham, the family of the Hu'phamites. 40 And the sons of Bela were Ard and Na'aman: of Ard, the family of the Ard'ites; of Na'aman, the family of the Na'amites. 41 These are the sons of Benjamin according to their families; and their number was forty-five thousand six hundred. 42 These are the sons of Dan according to their families: of Shuham, the family of the Shu'hamites. These are the families of Dan according to their families. 43 All the families of the Shu'hamites, according to their number, were sixty-four thousand four hundred. 44 The sons of Asher according to their families: of Imnah, the family of the Imnites; of Ishvi, the family of the Ishvites; of Beri'ah, the family of the Beri'ites. 45 Of the sons of Beri'ah: of Heber, the family of the He'berites; of Mal'chi-el, the family of the Mal'chi-elites. 46 And the name of the daughter of Asher was Serah. 47 These are the families of the sons of Asher according to their number, fifty-three thousand four hundred. 48 The sons of Naph'tali according to their families: of Jahzeel, the family of the Jah'zeelites; of Guni, the family of the Gunites; 49 of Jezer, the family of the Je'zerites; of Shillem, the family of the Shil'lemites. 50 These are the families of Naph'tali according to their families; and their number was forty-five thousand four hundred. 51 This was the number of the people of Israel, six hundred and one thousand seven hundred and thirty. 52 The LORD said to Moses: 53 "To these the land shall be divided for inheritance according to the number of names. 54 To a large tribe you shall give a large inheritance, and to a small tribe you shall give a small inheritance; every tribe shall be given its inheritance according to its numbers. 55 But the land shall be divided by lot; according to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit. 56 Their inheritance shall be divided according to lot between the larger and the smaller." 57 These are the Levites as numbered according to their families: of Gershon, the family of the Gershonites; of Kohath, the family of the Ko'hathites; of Merar'i, the family of the Merar'ites. 58 These are the families of Levi: the family of the Libnites, the family of the He'bronites, the family of the Mahlites, the family of the Mushites, the family of the Ko'rahites. And Kohath was the father of Amram. 59 The name of Amram's wife was Joch'ebed the daughter of Levi, who was born to Levi in Egypt; and she bore to Amram Aaron and Moses and Miriam their sister. 60 And to Aaron were born Nadab, Abi'hu, Elea'zar and Ith'amar. 61 But Nadab and Abi'hu died when they offered unholy fire before the LORD. 62 And those numbered of them were twenty-three thousand, every male from a month old and upward; for they were not numbered among the people of Israel, because there was no inheritance given to them among the people of Israel. (RSV)
The lands were to be divided by lot or ballot, which is often the case today. Thus the jubilee involves redistribution by ballot.
Of these men who were numbered at Sinai, there was not a man left at the numbering on the plains of Moab, save Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun, for the Lord said the others would surely die in the wilderness.
Numbers 26:63-65 These were those numbered by Moses and Elea'zar the priest, who numbered the people of Israel in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho. 64 But among these there was not a man of those numbered by Moses and Aaron the priest, who had numbered the people of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai. 65 For the LORD had said of them, "They shall die in the wilderness." There was not left a man of them, except Caleb the son of Jephun'neh and Joshua the son of Nun. (RSV)
This was to point towards those who did not want to enter the Promised Land of baptism into the Holy Spirit, during the forty jubilees in the wilderness, from the Messiah’s death to the second Advent. Those who did not repent and accept baptism did not enter Israel and the inheritance of God; they have fallen in the wilderness. Even though they are of the tribes, these people will not enter the family of God until the Second Resurrection.
Obedience to the law
The nation is set in order by families.
Numbers 2:34 And the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses: so they pitched by their standards, and so they set forward, every one after their families, according to the house of their fathers. (KJV)
Atonement by a blood sacrifice is according to the houses by families.
Exodus 12:3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: (KJV)
The families and the nation are preserved through obedience to the laws of God. No nation is permitted to be idolatrous, and the nation of Israel is pivotal in this law. By this the families of both man and beast are protected (Ex. 23:24-26).
Exodus 23:26 There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfil. (KJV)
The punishment for idolatry is captivity and destruction of the offspring and nation (cf. Amos 5:25-27; also Law and the Second Commandment (No. 254)).
The law is taught within families and observed from childhood.
Deuteronomy 32:46 And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law. (KJV)
The life of the individual within the family and the nation is prolonged thereby.
Deuteronomy 32:47 For it is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life: and through this thing ye shall prolong your days in the land, whither ye go over Jordan to possess it. (KJV)
This is the central theme of the law and the prophets. The law cannot be interpreted by tradition (Mk. 7:10-13), but according to the written word of God spoken through His servants the prophets.
Limitation of man’s authority
All power and authority, including that of Messiah, was and is from God, as is wisdom and understanding (cf. Mat. 21:23; Ps. 62:11).
Daniel 2:20-22 Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: 21 And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: 22 He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. (KJV)
The Most High gives authority to whom He will (Dan. 4:25). This can be given to Gentiles, or the fallen Host, or the Sons of God (Deut. 32:8 RSV). Therefore let all men obey lawful authority (Rom. 13:1-5).
God is to be obeyed in all things and where the edicts of men transgress the edicts of God, then God is to be obeyed.
Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. (KJV)
The obedience to God as our Father is obedience to His law (Deut. 28:58-59).
When the authority of God is delegated to men and when a king is given to rule over us, then that authority cannot be given to an alien (cf. Deut. 17:14-20 above). No person is fit to rule unless they comply with God’s law. His progeny are also tied to this obedience.
The advice and counsel of the family is to be sought (Prov. 23:22, 25). The family also is to provide early and proper correction. Discipline is the responsibility of the family and it is not a kindness to withhold timely physical chastisement with a rod of correction (Prov. 13:24; 19:18; 23:13-16; 22:15). The capacity to learn from correction is a mark of wisdom (Prov. 15:32, 33).
Proverbs 15:32-33 He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding. 33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility. (KJV)
Hebrews 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. (KJV)
Correction given in training to the young will be rewarded in the future by correct conduct. Failure to train and correct the young will see a society destroyed. The fundamental problem within our societies is founded on the lack of biblical instruction and discipline in the early years, and the capacity of the young following from their education.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (KJV)
The education of the young cannot be delegated to others with success. It is the responsibility of the parents to educate and discipline their children. When this responsibility is removed or relinquished, the society begins to disintegrate.
Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. (KJV)
That is why divorce is so harmful, because it splits families and removes the influence from the young in God’s system of government.
This system of correction extends to all levels and ages in the society.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (KJV)
The instruction of the people comes through families and the family is the repository of the law. That is also why the law is required to be read every Sabbath year.
Deuteronomy 4:7-9 For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? 8 And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? 9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons; (KJV)
Likewise the injunction is repeated for the family and the household (cf. Prov. 4:10).
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (KJV)
This teaching of the law is then done every seven years, also as a nation (Deut. 31:10-13). This reading acts as the substantive check on all activity.
The protection of the environment is also tied in to the laws regarding the family and families of animals, and longevity coming from obedience (Deut. 22:6-7). This is applicable whether the animals are wild or domestic.
Leviticus 22:28 And whether it be cow or ewe, ye shall not kill it and her young both in one day. (KJV)
This extends also to seething a kid in the milk of its mother. This specific form of cooking was prohibited, because it strikes at the very concept of family; it also seems to have had some relationship to both the fertility cults and the mystery cults.
Exodus 23:19 The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk. (KJV)
The entire structure of the law is to be kept so that the individual and the family can endure (Deut. 4:40).
Deuteronomy 5:29 O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever! (KJV)
The commandment to act as a nation before God extends also to the lands that the Lord shall give to you.
Deuteronomy 7:12-26 Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the LORD thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers: 13 And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee. 14 Thou shalt be blessed above all people: there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle. 15 And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee. 16 And thou shalt consume all the people which the LORD thy God shall deliver thee; thine eye shall have no pity upon them: neither shalt thou serve their gods; for that will be a snare unto thee. 17 If thou shalt say in thine heart, These nations are more than I; how can I dispossess them? 18 Thou shalt not be afraid of them: but shalt well remember what the LORD thy God did unto Pharaoh, and unto all Egypt; 19 The great temptations which thine eyes saw, and the signs, and the wonders, and the mighty hand, and the stretched out arm, whereby the LORD thy God brought thee out: so shall the LORD thy God do unto all the people of whom thou art afraid. 20 Moreover the LORD thy God will send the hornet among them, until they that are left, and hide themselves from thee, be destroyed. 21 Thou shalt not be affrighted at them: for the LORD thy God is among you, a mighty God and terrible. 22 And the LORD thy God will put out those nations before thee by little and little: thou mayest not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee. 23 But the LORD thy God shall deliver them unto thee, and shall destroy them with a mighty destruction, until they be destroyed. 24 And he shall deliver their kings into thine hand, and thou shalt destroy their name from under heaven: there shall no man be able to stand before thee, until thou have destroyed them. 25 The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the LORD thy God. 26 Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing. (KJV)
These commandments were given to Israel, because the progeny of Canaan were cursed for idolatry.
The entire structure of the family, the nation, and the law looked towards Messiah, the family being the sheep of his fold.
John 10:7-16 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (KJV)
Thus the entire structure of the family and the law points toward one nation as Israel under God, standing with Messiah at their head.
Disobedience to the law
Disobedience in the family under the law is punishable by death (Deut. 21:18-23) as we have seen above. Thus the death penalty is at the hand of the parents in the first place and at the hand of the witnesses in the second place (Deut. 17:6-7). No person may be put to death except at the hand of two witnesses.
Deuteronomy 17:6-7 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. 7 The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you. (KJV)
The family is determined under the law. Whoredom and sodomy are forbidden to the family, and the proceeds from these are forbidden to the House of God. No whore or sodomite (nor funds from their hire) can enter the Temple and Kingdom of God.
Deuteronomy 23:17-18 There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel. 18 Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God. (KJV)
The entire family is responsible for the administration of the law and the death penalty.
Deuteronomy 13:6-10 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; 7 Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; 8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: 9 But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. 10 And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. (KJV)
Messiah showed us the correct view of the law in that the law is also broken and perverted by the traditions of the Pharisees and the rabbinical schools. These come under the same heading as the destroyers of the law.
Mark 7:6-13 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. 10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: 11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. 12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; 13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. (KJV)
For this reason, Judah and Levi were allowed to be destroyed now over many centuries. They still do not hear the word of the Living God, but set the commandments at nothing for the traditions of men (Deut. 28:58-68).
Authority in the family
The authority of the family is set under the father, as is the house of God. For this reason we have seen that the oath of a man to God is binding, and the oath of a woman is subject to the consent of her husband. The father and, later on in marriage, the husband may repudiate the oath of the daughter or wife if it runs contrary to his authority and responsibilities. This is one of the reasons Adam was held responsible for the sins of Eve also. Christ is responsible for presenting us to God without spot or blemish. This comes from the law of offerings.
Leviticus 22:19-20 Ye shall offer at your own will a male without blemish, of the beeves, of the sheep, or of the goats. 20 But whatsoever hath a blemish, that shall ye not offer: for it shall not be acceptable for you. (KJV)
We are the first-fruits of the Harvest of God. As Christ was without blemish, so too must we be without blemish, as wives of the Bridegroom, made white in the blood of the Lamb (cf. Dan. 11:35; Rev. 3:18; 6:11; 7:13-14; 15:6-7; 19:7-10).
All of these responsibilities are set in the family and with the parents in the first instance. In this way God is responsible for providing for His children under His own laws. Thus all of the Host are provided for within His omniscience and omnipotence and within His will and perfect love. A being that does not know all the future cannot be God. Therefore, God, as an omniscient being, has provided for His children in His perfect love represented by the law and the two Great Commandments (cf. Num. 30:1-16 and the paper Lost Sheep and the Prodigal Son (No. 199)).
The authority of the family is vested in the head. Hence, the vows of a woman can be nullified by the head of the household, where there is a perceived conflict with the interest of the family. Silence is taken to be confirmation of the decision or contract (Num. 30:1-16 above).
Vows to God through the Church are binding and punished with death if made through the Holy Spirit, as was the case with Ananias and his wife Sapphira who were both consenting parties to the oath (Acts 5:1-10).
Responsibility in the family
The parents are responsible to provide for the family. He who does not provide for the needs of his own family is worse than an infidel. The responsibility vests in the father in the first instance, the mother in the second, the grandparents in the third, and then the extended family or the Church.
1Timothy 5:1-16 Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; 2 The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity. 3 Honour widows that are widows indeed. 4 But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God. 5 Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day. 6 But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. 7 And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless. 8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. 9 Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man, 10 Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work. 11 But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; 12 Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith. 13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. 14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. 15 For some are already turned aside after Satan. 16 If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed. (KJV)
The word grandchildren (v. 4) is the Greek ekgonos, which is translated nephews in the KJV. At the time this text was translated into English it was common to use the word nephews when referring to grandchildren (cf. Shakespeare’s Othello).
The family is the provider, but the Church is the ultimate family and source of relief. It is the responsibility of the younger women to marry and raise families as they are blessed.
Right to life in the family
The responsibility to protect life in the family is vested in the parents and often this responsibility is ensured by God, as we see from Exodus 2:1-10.
Exodus 2:1-10 Now a man from the house of Levi went and took to wife a daughter of Levi. 2 The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. 3 And when she could hide him no longer she took for him a basket made of bulrushes, and daubed it with bitumen and pitch; and she put the child in it and placed it among the reeds at the river's brink. 4 And his sister stood at a distance, to know what would be done to him. 5 Now the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, and her maidens walked beside the river; she saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid to fetch it. 6 When she opened it she saw the child; and lo, the babe was crying. She took pity on him and said, "This is one of the Hebrews' children." 7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?" 8 And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Go." So the girl went and called the child's mother. 9 And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this child away, and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages." So the woman took the child and nursed him. 10 And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son; and she named him Moses, for she said, "Because I drew him out of the water." (RSV)
The god of this world seeks the life of the elect. He sought to destroy Moses and the children of Israel. In like manner he sought to destroy Messiah (Mt. 2:1-23), and he still seeks to destroy the nation and the Church, which is Israel (Rev. 12:13-18).
It is the responsibility of the family to protect the life of the nation. God will raise up our salvation: Messiah will return to save those that eagerly await him. Until that time the Church is tested and tried and refined in the fires of persecution. Any child who threatens the life of a parent forfeits his or her own life as seen in the above texts. This is also examined in the paper Law and the Sixth Commandment (No. 259).
The individual is responsible for his or her behaviour in relation to the family internally in the first instance (Ex. 21:15), and both in the family and within the society in the second instance.
Exodus 21:17 And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death. (KJV)
Leviticus 20:9 For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him. (KJV)
This injunction is repeated for the third time to stress its importance.
Deuteronomy 27:16 Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen. (KJV)
Age is to be respected.
Leviticus 19:32 Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD. (KJV)
Protection of strangers
The children of Jacob were seventy souls. Under Moses these elders represented the sons of Jacob and the government of Israel. From the Messiah came the seventy, and the demons were subject to them as the elders of the Church, which is spiritual Israel and the end result of the government of God (Ex. 1:1-22). For this reason the sons of God are persecuted by the god of this world and his system. Their protection is rewarded by God, as we see the midwives in Egypt rewarded. The reward for protection is also given in the parable of the sheep and the goats (Mt. 25:31-46).
Protection of the family as a geographic entity
The family is the basis of the tribal group, which is an extended family structure. The tribes then go to make up the nation. The tribes are protected in their lands under the laws of God. The protection of the tribes is recorded in Numbers 27:1-11 in the story regarding the daughters of Zelophehad. Zelophehad died in the wilderness in his own sin and had no sons. His inheritance was protected and passed to his daughters, who had the inheritance in their own right, but could not marry outside the tribe. This also reflects on the conversion and the inheritance of the elect. The inheritance was to stay within the family and pass to the next of kin, and this is a statute of judgment in Israel.
So also, those with inheritance shall marry within the father’s tribe; the family and the tribe are thereby protected (Num. 36:1-12). In this way, the family from the Royal Family down shall be protected and all lands maintained under the Jubilee system (Ezek. 46:16-18). Nothing is to be taken by oppression, and the structure is ongoing.
Protection of widows and orphans
God is the Protector of the defenceless and retribution follows from God.
John 19:26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! (KJV)
The Church is thus the repository of the responsibility of the family. Mariam had four sons and a number of daughters when Christ made the following statement to John.
John 19:27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. (KJV)
Christ’s brothers came into the Church and performed mightily as elders of the Church, but that did not affect the point being made here.
Psalm 68:5-6 A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. 6 God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land. (KJV)
God will take up the cause of the widow and the fatherless (cf. Isa. 10:2ff.; Jer. 49:11). Through the prophet Ezekiel, God strongly condemns the pollution of Israel. In that element the nation is condemned because they set light by father and mother and commit fornication and spiritual pollution (cf. Ezek. 22:1-16). God will scatter Israel as a result (cf. Deut. 4:27; 28:25,64).
Exodus 22:21-24 Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. 22 Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. 23 If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry; 24 And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless. (KJV)
Protection of the stranger and the hireling as the family of God
The law regarding oppression extends to all hired servants, free and bond, and to strangers.
Leviticus 25:14-17 And if thou sell ought unto thy neighbour, or buyest ought of thy neighbour's hand, ye shall not oppress one another: 15 According to the number of years after the jubile thou shalt buy of thy neighbour, and according unto the number of years of the fruits he shall sell unto thee: 16 According to the multitude of years thou shalt increase the price thereof, and according to the fewness of years thou shalt diminish the price of it: for according to the number of the years of the fruits doth he sell unto thee. 17 Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God: for I am the LORD your God.
Exodus 23:9 Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. (KJV)
We have only one Father, and One God made us all (Mal. 2:10). God as Father saves the children of Israel and restores them (cf. Isa. 49:15-26). Even our enemies are to be protected from their own negligence (Ex. 23:5).
“Love ye therefore the stranger for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.”
Deuteronomy 10:18-19 He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. 19 Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Leviticus 19:33-34 And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. 34 But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
The nations of the idolaters are permitted no quarter and are to be utterly exterminated from among the children of Israel and the sons of the Living God (Deut. 7:1-26). It is not because of the righteousness of Israel, but because of the unrighteousness of these nations that they are destroyed before Israel.
Deuteronomy 9:1-29 "Hear, O Israel; you are to pass over the Jordan this day, to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourselves, cities great and fortified up to heaven, 2 a people great and tall, the sons of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you have heard it said, 'Who can stand before the sons of Anak?' 3 Know therefore this day that he who goes over before you as a devouring fire is the LORD your God; he will destroy them and subdue them before you; so you shall drive them out, and make them perish quickly, as the LORD has promised you. 4 "Do not say in your heart, after the LORD your God has thrust them out before you, 'It is because of my righteousness that the LORD has brought me in to possess this land'; whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is driving them out before you. 5 Not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart are you going in to possess their land; but because of the wickedness of these nations the LORD your God is driving them out from before you, and that he may confirm the word which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. 6 "Know therefore, that the LORD your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness; for you are a stubborn people. 7 Remember and do not forget how you provoked the LORD your God to wrath in the wilderness; from the day you came out of the land of Egypt, until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against the LORD. 8 Even at Horeb you provoked the LORD to wrath, and the LORD was so angry with you that he was ready to destroy you. 9 When I went up the mountain to receive the tables of stone, the tables of the covenant which the LORD made with you, I remained on the mountain forty days and forty nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water. 10 And the LORD gave me the two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them were all the words which the LORD had spoken with you on the mountain out of the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly. 11 And at the end of forty days and forty nights the LORD gave me the two tables of stone, the tables of the covenant. 12 Then the LORD said to me, 'Arise, go down quickly from here; for your people whom you have brought from Egypt have acted corruptly; they have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them; they have made themselves a molten image.' 13 "Furthermore the LORD said to me, 'I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stubborn people; 14 let me alone, that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven; and I will make of you a nation mightier and greater than they.' 15 So I turned and came down from the mountain, and the mountain was burning with fire; and the two tables of the covenant were in my two hands. 16 And I looked, and behold, you had sinned against the LORD your God; you had made yourselves a molten calf; you had turned aside quickly from the way which the LORD had commanded you. 17 So I took hold of the two tables, and cast them out of my two hands, and broke them before your eyes. 18 Then I lay prostrate before the LORD as before, forty days and forty nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all the sin which you had committed, in doing what was evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. 19 For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure which the LORD bore against you, so that he was ready to destroy you. But the LORD hearkened to me that time also. 20 And the LORD was so angry with Aaron that he was ready to destroy him; and I prayed for Aaron also at the same time. 21 Then I took the sinful thing, the calf which you had made, and burned it with fire and crushed it, grinding it very small, until it was as fine as dust; and I threw the dust of it into the brook that descended out of the mountain. 22 "At Tab'erah also, and at Massah, and at Kib'roth-hatta'avah, you provoked the LORD to wrath. 23 And when the LORD sent you from Ka'desh-bar'nea, saying, 'Go up and take possession of the land which I have given you,' then you rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God, and did not believe him or obey his voice. 24 You have been rebellious against the LORD from the day that I knew you. 25 "So I lay prostrate before the LORD for these forty days and forty nights, because the LORD had said he would destroy you. 26 And I prayed to the LORD, 'O Lord GOD, destroy not thy people and thy heritage, whom thou hast redeemed through thy greatness, whom thou hast brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 27 Remember thy servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; do not regard the stubbornness of this people, or their wickedness, or their sin, 28 lest the land from which thou didst bring us say, "Because the LORD was not able to bring them into the land which he promised them, and because he hated them, he has brought them out to slay them in the wilderness." 29 For they are thy people and thy heritage, whom thou didst bring out by thy great power and by thy outstretched arm.' (RSV)
This apparent conflict in the intent of the law is directed at the maintenance of the family and social relationships of the society, predicated on their relationship with God. Idolatry is to be exterminated from the society.
Family law and social control through the judiciary
Family law is an extensive legal framework in its own right. It follows from these texts and the text on Law and the Seventh Commandment (No. 260) that divorce is allowed; however, God hates divorce.
Adultery is grounds for divorce and is the physical counterpart of idolatry. Malachi was sent to Judah because the nation had commenced to introduce strange worship into Israel and had married the daughter of a strange God; for this reason they were finally sent into captivity. Thus chastisement of the individuals is the responsibility of the parent. The ultimate power and parent is God who punishes the nation as the national family (Mal. 2:10-17).
Divorce is allowed to the people because of the hardness of their hearts and the unconverted nature of their thinking, but it is not to be so with the elect.
Consequently there are two levels of marriage in the society: first is among the unbaptised or between the elect and the unbaptised; and the second is between two people of the faith. Originally, it appears that it was the intention of God that man should have one wife (Gen. 2:24), but this appears to have been set aside by the Patriarchs with the consent of God. The structure of marriage illustrates the relationship of the individual and the nation to God, and so fidelity is a feature of the marriage sacrament.
From the Torah, and the interpretations up to and including Christ, there are a number of aspects which require clarification with the seventh commandment. The limitation on the number of wives a man may have among the nations is a function of their own statutes. The Koran (Qur’an) follows most rabbinical tradition, which sets the number at four (some rabbis extend it to five) for the ordinary man, and eighteen for the king.
The New Testament sets the limit at one for elders, as no man can be an elder if he has more than one wife (1Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:6). Elders should marry, as marriage is the responsibility of all men under the charge given to Adam. Hence, a man can be divorced and remarried before entering the Church, but must not divorce once a part of the Church, except for the specified grounds. These are detailed by Messiah and are examined in the paper Law and the Seventh Commandment (No. 260).
The relationship to the family ends with marriage, and thus the parents’ consent is required under the law of God.
Exodus 22:16-17 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. 17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins. (KJV)
Under the law, the father’s consent is required for his daughter, even if she is compromised.
The marriage vows are severed on the death of one of the partners (Mat. 22:29-30; Mk. 12:24-25). The complex issues of marriage and divorce are covered in the laws on the seventh commandment. The family is the building block of the nation and also of the Plan of God. The attack on the institution of marriage is an attack on the family and the Plan of God. No person can be in the Church and disregard the laws of marriage and the obligations of the family. All life springs from the family unit and flows to the nation. So too, the control of life is vested in the family first, and then in the nation.
The fifth commandment points towards the Messiah, who acts as our everlasting father under his eternal Father, who is the God Most High. He alone is immortal, and no man has ever seen or can see Him (1Tim. 6:16; nor has heard His voice at any time (Jn. 5:37)). Each father stands in place of Messiah and his wife stands in place of the Church. They are responsible to God for their charges. The head of every man is Christ and the head of Christ is God (1Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:23).
“Thy throne is a throne of God. Therefore God thy God hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy partners” (Ps. 45:6-7; Heb. 1:8-9).
To him we look as the everlasting head of our family and prince of peace. The Bible tells us there are many fatherhoods (Eph. 3:14), and all are under the One True God (Jn. 17:3).
We are brides of Christ and under his rule we will instruct the world, as our family, both in the millennial system and at the Second Resurrection (cf. Rev. 20:1-15).
Only by understanding that we are required to become a family under God, with God acting in us as an extended being called and acting as God, can we understand the intention of the Second Great Commandment: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” We are destined to become Gods, all of us sons of the Most High – and Scripture cannot be broken (Jn. 10:34-35).
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