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The 12 Books of Abraham


    The Levitical Gambit:
    Conflicts in Exegesis
    Amongst Christian Polygamists

    Today I take up a topic which I feel needs to be addressed in some detail by the Patriarchal Community because I believe a misunderstanding of it has contributed to the current divisions amongst polygamists in scriptural interpretation. Recent, as well as older, debates on such topics as the lawfulness of a man marrying two sisters have brought this matter to the fore again. This article will be a brief review of the covenants - and and priesthoods that administer(ed) them - and try to show just where Christian polygamy 'fits' into the biblical scenario.

    There are many patriarchs today who are under the misperception that Bible history can essentially be divided into two covenants: the Old and the New.

    • 1. PROTESTANT: Some believe that the 'Old' has been 'done away with' on the cross leaving only that which we have in the New Testament, and especially that following the crucifixion and resurrection, viz. Acts to Revelation.

    • 2. MESSIANIC JUDAIC: Others believe that there is only One Covenant with two parts - a temporary and defective Mosaic Covenant (administered by the High Priest and the Levitical/Aaronic Priesthood) and a completed - filled-up - New Covenant with the ceremonial law and its priesthood suspended, Christ being now our eternal High Priest. Acordingly, they believe that all the statutes revealed in the Torah - minus the sacrificial system - is applicable today especially in the government of polygamous marriage.

    Most patriarchal Christians seems to slot in to one or other of these positions, with minor modifications here and there. The first is an essentially anti-Law Protestant paradigm and the second a pro-Law 'Messianic Judaic' one (I use quotes here because there are actually two major types of "messianism", as we shall see).

    We here at this ministry take a third and - what we believe to be - correct biblical approach to these matters which for wont of a better term we shall call Messianic Israelite or New Covenant Patriarchal.

  • 3. NEW COVENANT PATRIARCHAL: The 'Third Way' is basically a modification of the 'Messianic Judaic' model which it considers to be pointing in the right direction but is itself incomplete and therefore defective. It is defective inasmuch as it exalts the Law minus the Ceremonial & Sacrificial aspects. And whilst it is perfectly true that both of these have been fulfilled in Christ and are therefore excluded entirely from the New Covenant, this does not mean that the rest of the Moral and Ethical Law of Moses is perfect.


    We cannot, I maintain, simply discard the sacrificial system, ceremonial statutes and Levitical Priesthood and claim that as Christians we are bound by what is left as a great many Messianics do. And the reason we cannot do this is because Christ Himself declared that parts of the Mosaic Moral Law were defective. We shall briefly take a look at these in order to underline this point.

    • 1. "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder,' and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of hell fire" (Matthew 5:21-22, NKJV);

    • 2. "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:27-29, NKJV);

    • 3. "Furthermore it has been said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery" (Matthew 5:31-32, NKJV);

    • 4. "Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.' But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God's throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No.' For whatever is more than these is from the evil one" (Matt 5:33-37, NKJV);

    • 5. "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away" (Matthew 5:38-42, NKJV);

    • 6. "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:43-48; cf. Luke 6:27 NKJV).

    Each and every one of these was a modification of a Mosaic statute. Each and every one of these elevated the Torah (Law) from a lower plane to a higher one, demonstrating that even on the moral and ethical front that the Levitical Law was spiritually defective and was given only to adapt to the hardheartedness of the people to whom it was given. Each and every one of these was a RESTORATION of something which once was but was taken away from Yahweh's people because of spiritual insensitivity. Though there are only six modifications to the Torah (Law) in these verses, they effectively turn the Law upside down, requiring that we approach the it from an entirely different perspective. In these 6 hallakhic statements, Yah'shua (Jesus), in six strokes, turns the Torah (Law) from being something apparently harsh and apparently merciless into something altogether beautiful and lovely.


    Long before the Levitical Law was given to Moses by Yahweh, the patriarchs - from Adam to Joseph - lived a very different way of life. We find little in the law of written laws anywhere in the first book of the Bible, Genesis. Certainly there was nothing remotely like the ceremonial system that was instituted at Mt. Sinai. Because it was a pre-Messianic society there were, of course, animal sacrifices. We discover animal sacrifice in operation amongst the first humans when Abel offers a righteous sacrifice of blood and Cain, the murderer, offers a false one of cereals. According to the pseudepigraphic Books of Adam and Eve, which may have some basis in fact, our first parents offered animals sacrifices following the Fall to show their need of an atoning sacrifice for their redemption.

    Because the Book of Genesis lists no commandments as the other books of the Pentateuch do, many people wrongly assume that the first patriarchs lived by none. Far from it, we quickly discover that commandments clearly behind many of the actions of Elohim's (God's) people. We also know, from the Creation Mandate, that Yahweh's people were required to observe the seventh-day Sabbath in perpetuity.

    We also see very clearly that certain standards had to be met in courtship and marriage, and that by implication ADULTERY was considered a sin. From the experience of Noah after the flood, we are also warned about DRUNKENESS and not exposing our bodies to anyone except our spouses.

    The fact that JUSTICE was enjoined implies that there was a System of Justice, and that implies laws, whether written or oral. Indeed, as you carefully comb through the scriptures on the time prior to Moses you will find all Ten Commandments in place. The Decalogue revealed through Moses was not, therefore, something 'new', but a moral and religious code that predated the Israelites but which had been lost owing to apostacy during the Egyptian sojourn.

    That there was a 'religion' which the Patriarchs subscribed to is conclusively proven by the fact that there was a PRIESTHOOD SYSTEM AS WELL. The patriarch Abraham paid his tithes to the King of Salem, who was Yahweh's High Priest on the earth, and who went by the name of Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18; cp. Psalm 110:4). There was therefore a religious order upon the earth administered by a priesthood system long before Moses came on the scene and long before the Torah was given at Mt.Sinai.

    The Epistle to the Hebrews (especially chapters 5 & 7), which our readers should study very carefully in light of what I am saying here, makes it very plain indeed that the Gospel of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) is the same as the ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK minus the sacrificial system. In other words, the Gospel of Christ is a return to the PATRIARCHAL ORDER predating Moses. Almost as significant as this is the fact that the writer of Hebrews declares that the Levitical Priesthood System has been done away with - lock, stock, and barrel - because it has been replaced by another one, the Melchizedek.

    In order to accomplish this restoration, with Christ as the eternal High Priest interceeding for us in heaven before the Throne of Yahweh, the Mosaic Law had to be substantially changed, as we have seen even in the six hallakhic changes Yah'shua made in His Sermon. Indeed, as we read through the New Testament we are struck by the fact that major changes have been made not just in elevating the moral law to a higher plane, not just in dispensing with all the ceremonial paraphanalia which pointed to Christ, but in instituting new ordinances such as Baptism and the Lord's Supper (a modification of the Passover Meal). We discover from Paul that circumcision, which was an outer mark of the Abrahamic and Mosaic Covenents, is now a matter primarily of the heart and has been replaced by baptism to outwardly indicate entry into the New Covenant of those spiritually regenerated (born again).


    As Christians/Messianics we belong to a new order or discipline {discipleship} called the New Covenant Melchizedek. The Levitical system has no bearing upon us where it is not already in place in the Patriarchal Period (minus the sacrififical and covenant ordinances which have been superceeded). Of course, that is not to say that the Levitcial system is entirely defunct. We are told by Christ that not one single part of it will pass away until everything has been fulfilled at the end of time (Matthew 5:18). This would include not only the Old Melchizedek law restored through Moses but also its amplifications, and most especially those pertaining to the operation of a large theocratic society like Israel.

    But we must be very careful not to re-enshrine Levitical laws which were "added because of transgressions, till the Seed [Christ] should come to whom the promise was made" (Galatians 3:19, NKJV). Yah'shua (Jesus) details six of these and explicitly draws a line between the 'old way' and the 'new' - we are to alter our behaviour accordingly.

    The statute in the Mosaic Law forbidding sisters to marry the same husband, for example, very definitely comes under this category. A clause was added in the Levitical system warning against marrying sisters who envied each other or who were likely to being vexation to the family because of rivalry. Such a statute never existed in the Patriarchal era and never has the marrying of two sisters ever been considered a sin by Yahweh except in this instance. This was an 'added clause', designed to call to the attention these stiff-necked men their responsibilities to choose wives according to spiritual principles. By the time the Israelites had come out of the Egyptian exile, and indeed later when they started coming under the influences of the cruelty of the neighbouring pagan nations, they had become a bit stiff-necked. Hence the less-than-satisfactory divorce laws which Yah'shua (Jesus) repealed.

    Another example would be inheritance rights. Under the Law of Moses, inheritance rights belonged solely to the sons, with special exceptions being made only in the case of the daughters of Zelophehad who received inheritance rights because they had no brothers (Numbers 27:1-11). Now contrast this with the inheritance rights which prevailed under the Melchizedek Order, when Job lived. After his ordeal and acquisition of seven more sons and three more daughters, we discover that Jemimah, Keziah and Keren Happuch received "shares of his property, along with their brothers" (Job 41:13-15, CEV). Do you see that, you Levitical patriarchs?! Now I don't know how you feel but to my way of thinking this was a much more advanced system than the Levitical!

    Let it be stated again that I am not making a blanket condemnation of the Law of Moses, which was good and holy for the people and at the time it was given, adapted as it was to specific situation. Neither am I suggesting that we should ignore the Mosaic statutes, many of which, we are informed, are enjoined in perpetuity (i.e. so long as each shall exist and so long as they have not been fulfilled).

    In the matter of polygamy, which is really what this article is all about, I am going to follow the Melchizedek before the Levitical if there is a disagreement between the two, not because I disdain the Levitical but because as Christians/Messianics we have been moved to a higher place in the Melchizedek.

    There can be no accident, I feel, that through the course of Mosaic history the Levitical Priesthood eventually passed to the sons of Zadok who alone remained pure during the apostacy during the monarchy (Ezekiel 44). Derived from the Hebrew meaning 'righteous', we must not miss the symbolic significance of the fact that these 'sons of righteousness' were, under the New Covenant, to have their priesthood dissolved in favour of MALCHI-ZADOK (Melchizedek), the Lord Yah'shua (Jesus) and His spiritually begotten sons and daughters, meaning thing the King of Righteousness. That is why Christians/Messianics belong to a ROYAL Priesthood (1 Peter 2:9), this being the priesthood of the King of kings.

    Levitical Priests Ministering

    What this means is that the common people's law has now been elevated into that of a kingly law. Why would the redeemed of the King otherwise be called "kings and priests" (Revelation 1:6; 5:10) if we aren't supposed to live higher moral lives than the Mosaic Israelites?

    We are seeing, sadly, two types of 'Christian patriarch' arising in these last days - one lot follows the inferior Zadokian (Levitical) way and the other the superior Malchi-Zadokian (Melchizedek) one. One can see with this two very different spirits, one of which borders on oppression and the other which exalts the freedom of Christ. That two such wings should arise in patriarchal Christanedom is not really surprising because people have been mixing the Old Covenant with the New for the last two millennia. And few have understood that there was a Patriarchal Covenant predating, and superior to, the Mosaic one that was to temporarily replace it.

    I realise that much more probably needs to be said on this topic, for its implications are wide indeed. We are witnessing the creation of different kinds of polygamous Christian movements within the larger one - movements that borrow to differing degrees from different covenants. One of our callings at this ministry is to shine a spotlight on these trends and remind our brethren and sisters who have overly succumbed to Talmudic Judaising influences that there is a 'better way' in Christ which it behooves all of us to follow.

    The Law of Yahweh is strict (a hundred times stricter than most Protestants realise!) but it isn't nearly as harsh as some Messianics seem to believe it to be. As I have said throughout this site, this ministry represents a THIRD WAY for Patriarchal Christians, the one we believe will prevail in the Millennium. We're not saying 'take your pick', mind you, though that's what people will do based on misinformation about Yahweh's Law, but to get into focus the THREE MAIN COVENANTS in the Scriptures (one could argue for Seven Covenants, but most of these are covenants within covenants) and to make sure you live the RIGHT one!

    May Yahweh bless you all. Amen.

    Author: SBSK

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    Updated on 12 February 2016

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