Why Marriage

Posted Feb 24, 2016 by Ruben Olschewsky in The Son of God Hits: 391

When asked the question, what is the purpose of marriage? the following responses may be heard;

 

  1. To make us happy
  2. To bear children
  3. To minister to others
  4. To produce stable generations
  5. Security

 

The list, no doubt, goes on and on.Iwould like to consider the purpose of marriage from the perspective of the great controversy. To explain this more clearly we will look at some foundational principles of thought to set the thinking upon the right path.

When God made man the bible records that the Father was speaking to His Son and said “let us make Man in OUR image” (Genesis 1:26). The word man here is gender neutral and thus referring to mankind. This is made more apparent by the next verse of the Genesis account using the following words;

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:27

Though we are created in the image of God we are a made a little lower than the angels. Although this may seem contradictory at first, it is clarified within scripture and the spirit of prophecy;

Psalms 8:4-5 (KJV Strong's)What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

Hebrews 2:8-9 (KJV Strong's)Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

The spirit of prophecy adds the following amplification;

Men in responsible positions should improve continually. They must not anchor upon an old experience, and feel that it is not necessary to become scientific workers. Man, although the most helpless of God’s creatures when he comes into the world, and the most perverse in his nature, is nevertheless capable of constant advancement. He may be enlightened by science, ennobled by virtue, and may progress in mental and moral dignity, until he reaches a perfection of intelligence and a purity of character but little lower than the perfection and purity of angels. (Testimonies for the Church 4:93)

The Lord placed man upon probation, that he might form a character of steadfast integrity for his own happiness and for the glory of his Creator. He had endowed Adam with powers of mind superior to any other creature that He had made. His mental powers were but little lower than those of the angels. He could become familiar with the sublimity and glory of nature, and understand the character of his heavenly Father in His created works. Amid the glories of Eden, everything that his eye rested upon testified of his Father’s love and infinite power. – {Con 12.1}

The angels offered to become a sacrifice for man. But only He who created man had power to redeem him. Christ was to be made “a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death.” Hebrews 2:9. As He should take human nature upon Him, His strength would not be equal to theirs, and they were to strengthen Him under His sufferings. They were also to guard the subjects of grace from the power of evil angels. – {EP 32.2)

It is evident then that man was not created with the same mental, physical and spiritual powers as Angels were, however;

He tested his loyalty. If the holy pair should be obedient, the race would, after a time, be made equal to the angels. As Adam and Eve failed to bear this test, Christ proposed to become a voluntary offering for man. – {Con 18.2}

So if God is greater physically, mentally, spiritually than all beings created, and man was created in His image but lower than the Angels, to what was Moses referring in Genesis 1:27?

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Jesus expands on this when talking to the spiritual leaders in Israel;

Matthew 19:3-8 (KJV Strong's) The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, -- Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

The focal point appears to be that male and female in a relationship reflecting the divine pattern and the ability to produce a begotten offspring that God used the term " in His image". But why?

Paul takes this explanation to the next level in the following reference;

1 Corinthians 11:7-12 (KJV Strong's)

For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but  the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. -- Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.

Paul identifies an equality struggle between woman and man and goes back to creation before the fall not only to clarify and solve the issues between man and woman, but also to address the deeper principal issue of marriage in the first place, namely "because of the Angels"

As Adam was created first from the dust of the ground, made into the form which God intended and was brought to life through the breath of Christ, he was made in the image of God. Eve, whose beginnings differed from that of Adam, was in the image of God through Adam as she came forth from Adam and thus his second self and his glory. After Eve was given to Adam in the garden a blessing was pronounced upon them as God officiated the first ever marriage.

In this manner of creation there is a vast difference between angels and mankind. The bible records by the words of Christ himself that angels do not marry nor are given in marriage which makes clear also that angels do not procreate;

For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. Matthew 22:30

Having looked into the creation of mankind to understand the purposes of God, let us now turn our attention to heaven to understand more fully the divine plan.

We understand that sin began with him who was exalted above all created beings. His path began with exaltation based on a spirit of independence in which he rejected the truth that all life flows from the Father through His Son to the universe and returns through Christ in love and adoration (the circuit of beneficence Desire of Ages 21.2). In his desire for self exaltation Satan changed the centre of his worship from God to himself and thus his value system was changed requiring more glory, more attention, and so on. The stumbling stone or rock of offense to his quest for power was the Son of God who was exalted above him. Satan could not understand why this being should be exalted above him. He was in the presence of the Father just as Christ was. The rays of the Fathers glory rested upon him also. Angels loved to fulfil his orders and commands just as they did Christ’s. So what was so different between them? He wanted to be made equal by performance with Christ. The spirit of prophecy has the following to say;

The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate—a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” John 1:1, 2. Christ, the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father—one in nature, in character, in purpose—the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6. His “goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” Micah 5:2. And the Son of God declares concerning Himself: “The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting.... When He appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him.” Proverbs 8:22-30. – {PP 34.1}

The Father wrought by His Son in the creation of all heavenly beings. “By Him were all things created, ... whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him.

Sin originated with him who, next to Christ, had been most honored of God and was highest in power and glory among the inhabitants of heaven. Lucifer, “son of the morning,” was first of the covering cherubs, holy and undefiled. He stood in the presence of the great Creator, and the ceaseless beams of glory enshrouding the eternal God rested upon him. (PP 35.1)

Little by little Lucifer came to indulge the desire for self-exaltation….Though all his glory was from God, this mighty angel came to regard it as pertaining to himself. Not content with his position, though honored above the heavenly host, he ventured to covet homage due alone to the Creator. Instead of seeking to make God supreme in the affections and allegiance of all created beings, it was his endeavor to secure their service and loyalty to himself. And coveting the glory with which the infinite Father had invested His Son, this prince of angels aspired to power that was the prerogative of Christ alone. {PP 35.2}

He was beloved and reverenced by the heavenly host, angels delighted to execute his commands, and he was clothed with wisdom and glory above them all. Yet the Son of God was exalted above him, as one in power and authority with the Father. He shared the Father’s counsels, while Lucifer did not thus enter into the purposes of God. “Why,” questioned this mighty angel, “should Christ have the supremacy? Why is He honored above Lucifer?” {PP 36.3}

It is this question of Satan which highlights the central issue of the probationary test to which all the angelic host were subjected. The position of Christ above Satan and themselves was not understood because the power and authority of Christ was based on inheritance. The inheritance of Christ is directly related to His identity as the Son of God. However, the angels were not present when Christ proceeded forth from the Father as is clearly revealed in scripture;

Proverbs 8:22-30 The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him.

Colossians 1:15-17 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist

That this question posed by Satan was a probationary test is made clear in the following statement;

Angels on probation had been deceived by Satan, and had been led on by him in the great rebellion in Heaven against Christ. They failed to bear the test brought to bear upon them, and they fell {RH February 24, 1874, par. 26}

The question which Satan posed required that the Father express the true position of His Son. The following statement reveals this event;

The King of the universe summoned the heavenly hosts before Him, that in their presence He might set forth the true position of His Son and show the relation He sustained to all created beings. The Son of God shared the Father’s throne, and the glory of the eternal, self-existent One encircled both. About the throne gathered the holy angels, a vast, unnumbered throng—“ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands” (Revelation 5:11.), the most exalted angels, as ministers and subjects, rejoicing in the light that fell upon them from the presence of the Deity. Before the assembled inhabitants of heaven the King declared that none but Christ, the Only Begotten of God, could fully enter into His purposes, and to Him it was committed to execute the mighty counsels of His will. The Son of God had wrought the Father’s will in the creation of all the hosts of heaven; and to Him, as well as to God, their homage and allegiance were due. Christ was still to exercise divine power, in the creation of the earth and its inhabitants. But in all this He would not seek power or exaltation for Himself contrary to God’s plan, but would exalt the Father’s glory and execute His purposes of beneficence and love. {PP 36.2}

Satan took this declaration of the Father and coined the lie which brought about the terrible loss of so many heavenly beings;

The exaltation of the Son of God as equal with the Father was represented as an injustice to Lucifer, who, it was claimed, was also entitled to reverence and honor. If this prince of angels could but attain to his true, exalted position, great good would accrue to the entire host of heaven; for it was his object to secure freedom for all. But now even the liberty which they had hitherto enjoyed was at an end; for an absolute Ruler had been appointed them, and to His authority all must pay homage. Such were the subtle deceptions that through the wiles of Lucifer were fast obtaining in the heavenly courts. {PP 37.1}

Satan had taken the declaration of the Father and implied that only now had Christ been exalted as a reaction to his challenge. And tying the previous statements and notes together we can see that this comprised the central component of the probationary test for the angelic host as they had never before seen a birth and therefore could not truly understand the significance of the difference that was presented as separating Christ from the rest of the created beings. It was a test of faith just as was presented to the earthly couple (faith in the word of God). It is with this understanding as a foundation that we want to look at the purpose of mankind and the union of marriage.

God created man in His image; meaning that the relationship between the Father and the Son was to be reflected in the earthly couple. Additionally, this couple’s union in marriage would result in the “birth” of children thereby providing an object lesson for the angelic host and the rest of the universe identifying the righteousness of God in declaring that His Son was above all others. Only through a true understanding of inheritance would all doubt regarding the supremacy of Christ ever be silenced.

The absolute authority of the Father over Christ has already been evidenced in previous statements (pp36.2) and so we see that as is with God, so is the object lesson. The man was made first and Eve came forth from Adam. She was of his seed, of his substance, his second self. She was to exercise all the authority of her husband as a nurturing channel to their children just as Christ is a nurturing channel, to all created beings, of full authority and power under the Father. It was however the production of offspring and transference of blessing, honour, authority and power which formed the central focus for the object lesson which the angelic host were to observe;

All heaven took a deep and joyful interest in the creation of the world and of man. Human beings were a new and distinct order. They were made "in the image of God," RH Feb 11, 1902

Polygamy was practiced at an early date. It was one of the sins that brought the wrath of God upon the antediluvian world. Yet after the Flood it again became widespread. It was Satan’s studied effort to pervert the marriage institution, to weaken its obligations and lessen its sacredness; for in no surer way could he deface the image of God in man and open the door to misery and vice. {PP 338.1}

Satan knew that if Christ was indeed the Son of God, the world’s Redeemer, it was for no good to himself, that the Lord had left the royal courts of Heaven to come to a fallen world. He feared that his own power was henceforth to be limited, and that his deceptive wiles would be discerned and exposed, which would lessen his influence over man. He feared that his dominion and his control of the kingdoms of the world was to be contested. He remembered the words Jehovah addressed to him when he was summoned into his presence with Adam and Eve, whom he had ruined by his lying deceptions, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed. It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” This declaration contained the first gospel promise to man. {RH February 24, 1874, par. 27}

With this in mind it is clear that marriage has as its central purpose to exonerate the exalted position of the Son of God as the inheritor of that power and authority and not exalted through proclamation or performance. The object lesson of the blessed union between husband and wife, while providing joy and blessing on earth, will be an eternal reminder of the matchless charms of Christ to the heavenly throng and as we unite with them we will all be bound for eternity in a bond of unity that will never be broken.