Position: Same-Sex Marriage
[YHWH] God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And [YHWH] God commanded the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." Then [YHWH] God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him." Now out of the ground [YHWH] God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So [YHWH] God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while He slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that [YHWH] God had taken from the man He made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (Gen 2:15–25)
The Genesis creation narrative of Adam and Eve and of marriage as the union of one man and one woman—the woman created from the man—comes to modern humanity from antiquity, with this narrative going back to at least the 9th-Century BCE and the northern kingdom of the House of Israel, Samaria. This creation narrative appears to be told in the outer wraps of the Scroll containing the Law of the Covenant, and appears to have been damaged, missing, or unreadable when workmen for King Josiah discovered the book containing the Law of the Covenant in the dilapidated temple, this book apparently lost for a very long time. For the Books of the Kings records that following discovery and verification of the book of the Law, Josiah “commanded all the people, ‘Keep the Passover to the Lord your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant.’ For no such Passover had been kept since the days of the judges who judged Israel, or during all the days of the kings of Israel or of the kings of Judah. But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah this Passover was kept to [YHWH] in Jerusalem” (2 King 23:21–23 emphasis added).
The Genesis creation narrative of Adam and Eve contains theological and biological problems that causes its historicity to be questioned, but this creation narrative serves well as a prophetic account for the creation of the last Adam and of Body of Christ as the last Eve. The Genesis creation narrative of Adam and Eve seems to be in a literary genre that was not recognized for what it was by Imperial Hebrew scribes in the post-Josiah era. Hence, what was prophetic became accepted as historical.
The last Eve created from a wound in the side of the last Adam and from the breath [spirit] of this last Adam placed inside the spirit of the person [to pneuma tou ’anthropou] (from 1 Cor 2:11) unites chosen disciples with the last Adam so that these two are one spirit, having one spirit and being one spiritual entity with these disciples having in them the mind of Christ (v. 16). Hence Paul wrote,
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made [us] alive with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised [us] with [Him] and seated us with [Him] in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus, so that He might in the ages coming [show] the surpassing wealth of the grace of Him in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your [doing]; [it is] the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast. For we are His masterpiece having been created in Christ Jesus for good works, which the God previously prepared that in them we should walk. Therefore remember that once you, the Gentiles in flesh, called "uncircumcised" by [ones] called “circumcised” in flesh by hand—that you were at that time without Christ, having been alienated from the citizenship of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He is the peace of us, the One having made the two one and the middle wall of the partition having broken, the hostility in the flesh of Him, by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that the two He might create in Himself one new man, making peace, and He might reconcile the two in one body to the God through the cross, having killed the hostility by it. And having come He preached peace to you, the ones far off, and peace to the ones near because through Him we both have access in one spirit to the Father. (Eph 2:4–18 translation modified to better reflect the original Greek)
What Paul declares in this epistle that probably was to a general audience, but was appropriated by the saints as Ephesus as pertaining to them [the phrase, en Ephes(us), from Ephesians 1:1 seems to be a local addition], is that both uncircumcised Gentiles and outwardly circumcised Jews have been brought together in a marriage type relationship in which two become one so that both are “one” in Christ Jesus, united with Christ in one spirit; therefore, the two—Jew and Greek—lose their outward identity as circumcised or uncircumcised (as male or female, from Gal 3:28) and become one with Christ as the first Adam and the first Eve were one flesh.
To the carnally minded—to Paul’s 1st-Century Circumcision Faction—the fleshly body of the person defines the person; hence, an uncircumcised Greek needed to first become a circumcised Jew before the Greek could become an “Israelite,” joined to God through Moses and the Law. But Paul declares this not to be true:
For circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision. So, if a man who is uncircumcised keeps the precepts of the law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? Then he who is physically uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law. For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God. (Rom 2:25–29)
With the creation of the second or last Adam, circumcision of record moved from being of the flesh to being of the “heart,” a euphemistic expression for the inner self of a person, with circumcision of the heart representing a “cutting away” of stubbornness (from Deut 10:16) that prevents the person from believing God, with the person believing what eyes see and ears hear and fingers touch—those elements that are subject to scientific inquiry … the inner self of a person, consisting of spirit [pneuma] and soul [psuche], both non-physical and therefore outside of the realm of measurements, is circumcised when the person hears the word of Jesus and believes the One who sent Jesus into this world and thereby passes from death to life without coming under judgment (John 5:24). It is hearing the word of Jesus and believing God the Father, whose words Jesus spoke, that is the antithesis of being stubborn, believing only what can be read from Moses or from the Qur’an or from any other holy book, including An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore and Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky.
For the last Eve, Moses is modified; for Moses received from the God of Abraham the following: “If a man lies with his father's wife, he has uncovered his father's nakedness; both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them” (Lev 20:11). But when Paul was confronted by this very abomination, Paul told the saints at Corinth,
It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father's wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. (1 Cor 5:1–5)
For the last Eve, marking and shunning a transgressor of Moses, thereby delivering the person to the Adversary for the destruction of the flesh, is spiritually analogous to physically stoning a person for having broken the Law (for figuratively having broken the stone tablets on which the Law was initially inscribed). And this doesn’t mean that it is all right to transgress Moses as in a man lying with another man as he would a woman—“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination” (Lev 18:22)—but means that the Christian is to deliver this transgressor to the Adversary for the destruction of the flesh through marking the person and shunning the person, not eating with the person.
The Philadelphia Church (Philadelphia) is a Sabbatarian sect of those believers dubbed Anabaptists (rebaptizers) by the Reformed Church and by the Roman Church. Philadelphia holds that only a Believers Baptism is a valid baptism, but Philadelphia doesn’t hold the dogma that with baptism, a disciple receives the Holy Spirit [pneuma ’agion]. Rather, Philadelphia holds that no person can come to Christ Jesus unless first drawn from this world by God the Father (John 6:44), and no person can come to God the Father except through Christ Jesus (John 14:6), thereby forming a mostly closed access loop to the Father and Christ Jesus until the Second Passover liberation of a second Israel at the beginning of seven endtime years of tribulation—a loop that looks like the Greek majuscule Ω (omega).
Philadelphia holds that when God the Father draws a person from this world, God does so by giving to the person the earnest of the spirit, which will then cause the person to seek separation from the Adversary, the basis for a person to begin keeping the Commandments by faith, with baptism being the outward expression of the person’s appeal for a good conscience:
Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which He went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to Him. (1 Pet 3:18–22)
Philadelphia holds that when a person receives the Holy Spirit that is the glory of God (from Ezek 1:26–28) and not just the earnest of the spirit, the person is truly born of spirit through the indwelling of the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou] in which dwells the spirit of God [pneuma Theou] and which in turns penetrates the spirit of the person [to pneuma tou ’anthropou] as a husband penetrates his wife for the purpose of procreation.
Philadelphia holds that all sexual activity outside of marriage between one man and one women is a transgression of Moses, and is justification for Philadelphia to mark and shun the individuals involved until fruit [deeds] worthy of repentance is brought forth. In the case of cohabitation by a man and a women outside of marriage, fruit worthy of repentance is separation followed by lawful marriage within the Church, or immediate marriage performed by a civil authority. In either case, the transgression of Moses has been rectified, and no remembrance of the transgression shall be retained.
Philadelphia holds that because of the symbolism represented by marriage—that of the last Adam creating the last Eve when the glorified Jesus breathed His breath on ten of His first disciples, saying, “‘Receive spirit holy [pneuma ’agion]’” (John 20:22)—no spiritually bound marriage can occur outside of the Church; that marriage contracts and unions made between sons of disobedience are governed by the present prince of this world, the prince of the power of the air. … Philadelphia has no theological position on marriages between non-believers, or on marriages between self-identified Christians who by their deeds disclose that they have not been born of spirit through having the indwelling of Christ Jesus, thereby giving to each the mind of Christ.
The Apostle Paul addressed a situation unique to the creation of the last Adam and the last Eve in the 1st-Century CE:
Now concerning the matters about which you [Corinthians] wrote: "It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman." But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion. To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife. To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. (1 Cor 7:1–17 emphasis added)
An Israelite, either circumcised in the flesh or circumcised of heart, is not to marry a Gentile; hence, the marriage of a person circumcised of heart should only be to another person circumcised of heart. But where a marriage has occurred when neither were circumcised of heart but both were spiritual Gentiles—and when in this marriage, God draws one of the spouses from this world, delivering the spouse to Christ Jesus to call (John 15:16), justify (Rom 5:8), and glorify through the indwelling of the spirit of Christ, the marriage becomes, through no fault of either spouse, a marriage that should not have occurred: a marriage between believer and nonbeliever. Thus, because neither spouse is at fault or to be blamed for what God has done in drawing a person from this world, if the unbelieving spouse remains content to dwell with this spouse’s believing mate, the marriage is bound. If the unbelieving spouse is not content to dwell with a believer, the marriage is dissolved on the basis of porneia, a marriage that should not have occurred such as a marriage between a brother and his sister, a marriage that should not have occurred under Moses.
Philadelphia now dwells in a unique situation that has marriage being defined as a human right, unrelated to Adam and Eve, or to the last Adam and the last Eve. Marriage bestows on a person certain legal rights that unmarried individuals do not have. But legal rights, human rights do not come from God, contrary to what founders of the United States of America declared. Human rights, even human nature comes from the Adversary until dominion over the single kingdom of this world is taken from the Adversary and his angels and given to the Son of Man, uncovered Head and covered [by grace] Body. Therefore, Philadelphia as a religious institution only exercises authority over those individuals who willingly associate themselves, one with another, as a reading community that takes meaning from Holy Writ via typological exegesis.
Marriage within this community is only between one man and one woman, both of whom have reached the age of their majority. No other marriage is theologically recognized. And new marriages are only between believers, with Paul’s admonition pertaining to the conversion of a spouse within an existing marriage also being relevant.
Philadelphia does not seek confrontation with spiritual Gentiles, married or unmarried; but Philadelphia will not shy away from such confrontation, but will vigorously defend the integrity of its private assemblies … again, Philadelphia does not recognize those individuals who do not, by faith, keep the Commandments as having been truly born of spirit even when physical evidence exists of the person being “good” by worldly standards. The criteria for assembling with Philadelphia on the Sabbath is evidence of having the mind of Christ and thus understanding the mysteries of God.
All persons having sexual relations that transgress Moses’ commands to Israel identify themselves as spiritual Gentiles, sons of disobedience who have not yet received mercy from God (Rom 11:32). The time for them to receive mercy remains ahead of them; so Philadelphians should treated them with the respect that Abraham had for the Amorite Mamre, under whose oaks Abraham dwelt for years.
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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."