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Unleavened Bread Ministries with David Eells

Polygamy in the Church?

Question from a sister:

Someone told me that polygamy is allowed by God! I don't believe this but I had no way to refute this claim. I tried finding some scriptures but to no avail. When I looked this subject up on the internet I actually found a "Christian" web site promoting polygamy. What will they think of next? Can you share some scriptures that refute this claim?

My answer:

Under the Law they were permitted to have more than one wife and divorce their wives because of their "hardness of heart" but under grace there is no such permission. Jesus said a man could have one wife and "the two shall become one flesh". (Mt.19:5-8) and said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh? So that they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorcement, and to put [her] away? He saith unto them, Moses for your hardness of heart suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it hath not been so. From the beginning God gave Adam, the Son of God, one wife. It appears his righteous seed through Seth were monogamous also. Cain's evil descendant, Lamech, was the first to take two wives. (Gen.4:19) And Lamech took unto him two wives.

In order that a line of Israel not be extinct the next of kin was permitted to raise up seed to a dead man's wife. But the seed of New Testament spiritual Israel is passed on through the Word (seed or sperma) of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is spirit.

Although they disobeyed God, Kings of Israel were forbidden to multiply wives. (Dt.17:17-19) Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. 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: and it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life; that he may learn to fear Jehovah his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them.

The Apostles had one wife. {1 Cor.9:5} Have we no right to lead about a wife that is a believer, even as the rest of the apostles, and the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?

Of course all of God's people must be upright but Paul required elders to be "without reproach" and "blameless" in that they were to be the "husband of one wife". This is definitely one wife at a time because fornication is a legal grounds for divorce and remarriage (1 Cor.7) and death of a spouse is a legal grounds to remarry. (1 Tim.3:2) The bishop therefore must be without reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, orderly, given to hospitality, apt to teach. (12) Let deacons be husbands of one wife, ruling [their] children and their own houses well. (Tit.1:6,7) if any man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having children that believe, who are not accused of riot or unruly. For the bishop must be blameless, as God's steward... If the elders or the mature in the Lord need to be upright in having one wife, all need to be this way to be mature.

The husband is the head of one wife as Christ is the head of one church. (Epe.5:23-33) For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, [being] himself the saviour of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so [let] the wives also [be] to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it; that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself a glorious [church], not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Even so ought husbands also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his own wife loveth himself: for no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as Christ also the church; because we are members of his body. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great: but I speak in regard of Christ and of the church. Nevertheless do ye also severally love each one his own wife even as himself; and [let] the wife [see] that she fear her husband.

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