Remarriage, the Restored Truth about it, by Herbert W. Armstrong. Does your group still hold fast to this understanding? Check up on it, beware changes that subtly creep into the Church.
Presented by the Church of God Faithful Flock.
Never a charge, presented freely without cost.
No Departures from the Doctrine in place at the time of Mr. Armstrong's Death.
Many groups today are committing fornication by engaging with so called main stream Christianity and it's doctrines. They have left their first love and are watering down doctrines set in place by God's End Time Apostle, Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong.
God's Word tells you to FLEE FORNICATION!
You are instructed to return to your FIRST LOVE!
The Church of God Faithful Flock provides a refuge for the truly converted in these perilous times.
Contact Pastor, Alton (Don) Billingsley today (simply click the "contact tab" at the top of the page).
Coming soon more links on this page to our understanding of Remarriage.
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Divorce and Remarriage:
The Church supports and teaches the change made and announced regarding Divorce and Remarriage in 1974 by Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong.
“Actually what happened in 1974 was not a CHANGE in the Church's definition of God's law, but the ADDITION of a second reason for divorce and remarriage we, should have, but did not, see before - so now we have the TWO categories” (Herbert W. Armstrong, “SPELLING OUT THE OFFICIAL DOCTRINE ON DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE”). Mr. Armstrong came to understand that all worldly marriages were not bound by God, and subsequent divorces could be forgiven. This first point - that judgment is now on us, the Church of God, and not the world - was key to further understanding.
Divorce and Remarriage regarding Unconverted People:
Marriages in this world are recognized by God to be bound . . . bound by man. Marriages are also 'recognized' by God to be 'unbound' when legally processed by state courts.
The Church therefore recognizes the legality of divorces of those who are not members of the Church of God.
Divorce and Remarriage regarding Converted Members of God's Church:
In I Corinthians, Paul there speaks verses 8-9, to the unmarried and widows. In verse 10-11 he speaks to the married. Beginning verse 12 he speaks to "the rest," If a converted man has a wife who is an unbeliever, causing trouble and disrupting the marriage because of the man's religion (NOTICE IT CAREFULY), if she is pleased to live with him, he must not divorce her- he has NO GROUNDS for divorce and remarriage.
Likewise the woman in God's Church, if she has an unbelieving husband, and he is willing to live with her despite her religion, she shall not leave him (verse 13).
But if the unbelieving one leaves - cuts off the marriage because of the Church member’s religion - let him or her depart. Now NOTICE THIS! The believing Church member is not given grounds for breaking off the marriage. It is only IF the unbelieving one leaves - severs the marriage relationship - then and only then is the believer (Church member) no longer bound and free to obtain a divorce (verse 15).
Mr. Armstrong stated he conceived of this occurring in at least two ways:
1) The believing Church member has been newly converted, and the mate refuses to live with him or her because of the religion.
2) Both had been in the Church, but one falls away, turns bitter against the Church, refuses to live as husband or wife with the still loyal member. In this ease the embittered one, leaving the Church, has become an unbeliever.
Sanctified by the converted mate:
The Apostle Paul gives an important REASON for the converted mate CONTINUING in the marriage, IF the unbelieving one is willing. Notice verse 14: "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now they are holy."
"Sanctified" does NOT mean made Sanctimonious or Holy.
"Sanctified" means "set apart" or put in a separate category.
To thoroughly understand this we need to go clear back to Adam and Eve. When God drove them out of the Garden of Eden , and with sword flaming angels barred anyone from going back in- or having access to . the tree of life (the HOLY SPIRIT) -God said, in effect:
"You have made your decision. You have rebelled against me, denied me as your Gob, your Revealer of knowledge your Ruler. Therefore I sentence you and the WORLD that shall be born from you to 6000 years of being CUT OFF from me, except for the VERY FEW I shall specially call into my service to prepare for the KINGDOM of GOD."
Jesus confirmed this when He said, "No man can to me except the Father which hath sent me draw him" (John 6:44).
Now the nation of ancient Israel was specially called by God the Fatther for a special purpose - even though they were still cut off from receiving the Holy Spirit.
But the unconverted mate is put in a, special category -- NOT CALLED NECESSARILY TO RECEIVING THE HOLY SPIRIT OR SPIRITUAL CONVERSION - but simply NOT CUT OFF from God. They are free to seek God, IF THEY WILL, and to become converted. They are placed in a special category, neither converted, or CALLED for God's special duty in conversion - but on the other hand NOT actually CUT OFF - not in the category Jesus spoke of, saying no such unbeliever CAN Come to Jesus, except by special call to salvation by God the Father. They are free to SEEK God and to SEEK conversion IF THEY WILL - not CUT OFF!
Applies to children also:
This same status applies to the children of the converted mate. They are neither CALLED to salvation NOR cut off from God. They may be taught by the believing parent and reaching maturity, IF they will, to SEEK CONVERSION. They are free to seek it - no longer CUT OFF from Christ.
Notice I Corinthians 7, verse 16: "For what- knowest thou, o wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou. 0 man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?" If the husband or wife who is IN the Church divorces the unbelieving non-member who is willing to continue the marriage, that Church member puts unconverted mate in the cut off- category-whereas such nonmember mate might have been saved for eternal life in God's Kingdom.
A converted person can only marry another converted person:
"The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 7:39). God’s Word says that a converted person should not marry an unconverted person. If they marry anyway, they sin. The converted mate must ask God's forgiveness. However, the converted mate has entered into a marriage covenant that is binding unto death.
The Scriptures show that there is a difference between “converted” and “unconverted”. A “converted” person is being judged by God now - and is responsible to God now. The “unconverted” person will be judged in the second resurrection.
A converted person is bound by God to keep a covenant -- with their mate and with God. Paul clearly explained this. In Corinth, people came into the Church who had had multiple marriages, extra-marital relationships, multiple wives, divorces, etc. What was Paul's judgment? Paul's judgment shows that God forgave ALL of their past sins at baptism (repentance). The present status of their marriage covenant and vow was ratified by God. At conversion, a Christian is accepted by God in the status in which they are called. Paul's judgment was that they stay with the one to whom they are married - whether that mate is converted or unconverted. "...As the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches... Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called... Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God." (1 Corinthians 7:17,20)
Those in God’s True Church are being judged now. It does not matter if the original marriage took place before a judge, or in a mainstream , so called, Christian Church. When God called both partners - they came into God's Church already married - their baptismal vows ratified their marriage vow - making them fully accountable to God at this present time. They are "bound" to remain that way. They have a marriage covenant unto death.
When two people are married and God calls one of them into the Church, they have a covenant unto death. "If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away." (1 Corinthians 7:12) The converted person must do everything humanly and spiritually to build a Godly relationship within their covenant marriage. If a converted person were to decide to divorce a non-believer who was pleased to dwell, that converted mate would not be free to remarry because the marriage would remain bound.
In the case where the un-called mate leaves the marriage, i.e., breaks the covenant - the converted mate may remarry - he or she is not bound or "in bondage." God does not intend that the innocent person's life be on permanent hold. "But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace." (1 Corinthians 7:15) God desires and makes it possible for the converted person to live a normal married life (only to a converted mate) - wherein they can grow in grace and knowledge and Godly character.
Cases of "Porneia", or premarital fraud:
Jesus gave fornication (prior to marriage) as the grounds for nullifying a marriage. This clearly was a form of fraud. When discovered (in nearly all cases) immediately after marriage, it simply meant God, knowing of this fraud, had actually not bound the marriage - and what followed therefore was actually an annulment, not a divorce. However this did not apply in Cases of marriage by unconverted people. God never bound them anyway - they were bound by man's law, and any divorce and/or remarriage would be according to man's civil law. But the Church would not apply this annulment if the couple had continued living together for a period of time. There could be other types of fraud - such as a marriage enforced at the point of a gun.
The matter of fornication or other fraud prior to marriage CANNOT BE USED AS GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE after the couple have gone on living together. Unless such fraud is acted on at once - as soon as discovered, IT is NO GROUNDS for divorce and remarriage! Jesus said plainly, "whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultry (Matt. 5:32)