One of the most popular types of film which we have been treated to in the cinemas over the past 80 or so years are those which tell tales of trials of endurance. People who set out on a quest against hopeless odds, overcome every difficulty along the way, and who finally win the crown of victory, inspire within us - at least for the duration of the film and a short while afterwards, perhaps - the desire to face the challenges of life and become victors ourselves.
"... let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Yah'shua (Jesus), the author and finisher of our faith ... " (Hebrews 12:1-2, NKJV)
Throughout the scriptures we are told that Christian/Messianic discipleship is a trial of endurance that requires much faith and self-discipline. Despite our very best attempts to avoid trouble and difficlties, we can never entirely escape them. And that has its purpose.
If walking in imitation of Christ, not despising the sufferings along the way, is a great feat, then living Christian/Messianic polygamy must surely be in a league all of its own, and most especially because of the time and location in which we are trying to live it. It is one thing to be met with riddicule and often hatred from unbelievers because one is true to the Word of Elohim (God) - not to mention lukewarm or nominal Christians and Messianics who can be almost as bad - but it is quite another thing to get a 'double dose' of hostility because one is living biblical polygamy as well. And usually the worst persecutors are those who name the Name of Christ.
Amongst the most guilty offenders of the crime of persecuting Christian/Messianic polygamists must surely by those who profess to be saved and yet who walk no kind of Christian path in their lives at all. The Baptist Press recently wrote:
Had the key of the allegorical marriage of Christ to the Church (Messianic Community) always been in sight, and had a greater stress been placed on human marriage (and especially polygamous marriage), the kind of 'once saved, always saved' (OSAS) heresy would never have blighted the Body. Who in their right mind would claim, after all, that 'once married, always married'? If you neglect a marriage by failing to cultivate it, at the end of the day you will have little more than a written certificate to prove that there is a marriage at all ... assuming that doesn't get torn up because of divorce.
"Ask Aunt Josephine's relatives, and they'll say she was once saved, always saved. The reason: she walked the aisle at age 8. She may not have darkened the church doors in recent years. She may not have read her Bible in 50 years. But at least she was baptized.
Many Baptists nevertheless say with certainty those fruitless Josephines are regenerate, saved, assured of heaven.
But, is this the biblical teaching on perseverance? Is this understanding of baptism and 'making a decision' any different from the sacramentalism of Catholicism? Not really, argues Thomas Schreiner and Ardel Caneday in their recently released book, The Race Set Before Us, published by InterVarsity Press. Schreiner is professor of New Testament interpretation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. Caneday is professor of Bible at Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minn.
'It's struck me lately that there is a danger that Baptists can be as sacramental as Catholics,' Schreiner said. 'Catholics may say, 'At least they were baptized, while Baptists may say, 'At least they came forward.'' In both instances the physical act may be understood as saving. It is in this sense that there is a comparison between the sacramentalism of Roman Catholics and the view of some Baptists. We must beware of understanding faith as something that was expressed once and then no further fruit is evident.'
This covert sacramentalism stems from an unbiblical view of perseverance and assurance, Schreiner said. And it is the authors' hope that their book will stem the tide of this burgeoning misunderstanding.
'Our goal is that people would have biblical understanding of perseverance and assurance,' Schreiner said. 'That's foundational to what we were trying to accomplish. ... I think many people have traditional understandings of one sort or another, but they're not biblically oriented.'
What is the biblical teaching? Schreiner and Caneday believe the Scriptures consistently teach that, just as a runner must strive to stay in the race with the finish line as the goal, one must fight to stay in the faith with the eternal goal in mind, always clinging to the cross of Christ -- hence the title of the book.
'At every point of the race we must say to ourselves, 'I must run until the end,'' Schreiner said. 'We strain to reach the goal that looms before us, just as a marathon runner strategizes on how to finish the race.'
Too many churches teach that the finish line is obtained by just entering the race, Schreiner said, describing such 'easy believism' -- whether theoretical or practical -- as a dangerous doctrine.
'How many people in our churches are unregenerate? What are the statistics?' he asked. 'One-third, some studies say, never go to church. One-third go to church sometimes. ... This is not just a problem among Baptists. It is a problem in evangelicalism generally.'"
http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/bpnews.asp?ID=11459 (August 2001)
There is no better illustration of the Gospel Dynamic and what actually constitutes final, Taw/Omega-Salvation than a living example of successful Christian/Messianic polygamous marriage. And that is why I believe it has always been Yahweh's will that there be polygamous marriages in each congregation to serve as rôle models for those congregations. And ideally, it is a lifestyle that ought to be lived by the leaders.
The subject of this 100th article is 'endurance', and specifically, endurance 'against the odds', because the odds stacked against polygamy being lived succesfully, victoriously and joyfully in the West are enormous. And the same is true when it comes to making a local assembly or congreation really 'work' and come to a perfect unity where love gushes out of every human spring and where durability against hardship becomes its distinguishing mark against the onslaughts that the devil throws at it. Show me an empowered Christian/Messianic polygamous marriage and I can show you the foundation of an empowered local fellowship of believers.
It is one thing to say, 'once saved, always saved' (or 'once married, always married') but quite another to claim victory over sin through Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) our Lord:
Christianity today is plagued by the so-called 'Prosperity Gospel'. People are claiming to be kings and queens, princes and princesses, priests and priestesses just because they have named a Name. And there are many claiming to be called into polygamy with the same fluffy ideas in their head.
"If we endure, We shall also reign with Him" (2 Timothy 2:12, NKJV).
The stuff of royality is not based on cheap grace, however, but on the ability to endure trial and hardship with courage, determination, generosity of spirit, patience, long-suffering and perseverence. If we hope to reign one day with Christ, then we had better start learning 'fast' that we must start from humble beginnings and work our way upwards as King David did.
His crime against Uriah and Bathsheba aside, and one or two other sins, we are supposed to look at the life of King David - the "friend of Yahweh" - as a kind of model of our own salvation by trial. It is no accident that Yah'shua (Jesus) is called the "Son of David", the inheritor not only of his kingly mantle but also of his humble beginnings as a man of the soil. True kingly material is birthed in the fields of ordinariness and is followed by a long struggle to the top. Silver-spoon beginnings, like Solomon's, may show initial promise but not infrequently end up in disaster. We all know Yah'shua's (Jesus') teaching on the handicap the rich face in the race for Heaven (Matthew 19:23-24).
If Yah'shua (Jesus) is the ultimate, perfected David, then we, as sons and daughters of David, must imitate the humble beginnings of Christ, be prepared for His deprivations, and learn how to endure in perfect, joyful submissiveness to the will of Yahweh until His purpose is achieved in us. And that purpose is, of course, to make of us snow-white pure brides.
The casualty rate is, however, high. Very high. Of the ten brides invited to the wedding of the Lamb, only five made of it (Matthew 25). There was a 50% failure rate. Even those who make it as far as polygamy, and have crossed the hurdles of the false imprisoning doctrines of their forefathers, must still get into the act of trimming their lamps to ensure that they do not become spiritually extinguished.
Now I want to briefly pause and look at the Parable of the Ten Virgins because there are keys in this story that we have not turned on this website yet. We all know that the Ten Women are 'virgins', meaning that they are spiritually pure. A virgin, used in this context, means not only sexually untouched but also spiritually pure. They are, as it were, unspotted by the world. They are walking in obedeience to the commandments and are overcomers. You might think looking at them that they had made it, but you would be wrong. For if it is possible to be wise and pure as well as foolish and pure (as five were) then there must also be another basis of failing to gain the coveted prize of a seat at the Marriage Feast of the Lamb.
The ten virgins had large torches, not Alladin-like lamps
The issue that confronts us is one of OIL. But before we look at that, we do need to make a correction of our faulty Greek texts and return to the original Hebrew and Aramaic where we learn that the vessels carried by these ten women were not little house lamps but great big chunky "TORCHES". Little Alladin-like lamps, the image we have been taught to fix in our minds when reading this parable, would have been hopelessly inadequate to light up the way on a street at night.
The slightest gust of wind would have blown them out. The "lamps" these virgins carried were large TORCHES such as one found on the walls of mediaeval castles - great big things wrapped in large swathes of cloth and drenched in oil. When lit they gave off a huge amount of light, not a tiny flicker coming from a wick the diameter of a piece of string.
The last words "and the bride" do not appear in our Greek MSS. And we are also apt to forget the word "then" which refers back to the previous chapter. This is a prophecy for OUR day, when the "abomination of desolation" is revealed and when Christ returns.
"Then will the Kingdom of Heaven be compared to ten virgins, which took their TORCHES, and went out to meet the bridegroom and the bride" (Matthew 25:1, HRV - Hebraic Roots Version, Shem Tob Hebrew & Aramaic MS variation).
When this time comes, there will already be a Bride with whom Christ is returning. There are already saints in heaven, there are already believers who have won the crown of eternal life, there are already Yahweh-fearers who are allegorically betrothed to the Bridegroom. This verse is for our time, and it's telling us enormously important things.
To begin with, it is telling us that the remnant Church (Messianic Community) that Christ is coming back for will be a polygamous one. Secondly, it is telling us that 50% of those who get that far won't make it because of carelessness (foolishness). And thirdly, it is telling us that the 50% who don't make it forget a vitally important ingredient in the Christian life: OIL.
Their torches were all made up and ready, and they had probably dipped them in oil expecting that to last their wait. But they didn't reackon on a long wait. They didn't take into account the fact that there might a time requiring great patience and endurance which might exhaust their meagre oil resources - their once-dipped ('once baptised/once saved') torch - until the Bridegroom came. And as we subsequently learn, they were probably hoping to 'take a short cut' to the wedding feast by borrowing the oil of the five wise wives-to-be and their many times dipped torches. But there was not enough to share - each woman had only enough for herself.
"The five foolish [virgins], when they took their TORCHES, took no oil with them" (v.4, HRV)
The oil, as we know, is a symbol of the anointing of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). To be useful, it has to be obtained at the beginning of our Christian/Messianic walk. If we imagine we can obtain it by purchase at the end, we will find that the grains of sand will have run out and that it is too late. When Christ returns you're either ready or you aren't.
The post-apostolic Christian Church (Messianic Community) had a tradition of a seven-fold baptism in water. Though the Bible does not mention such an ordinance per se it is maybe hinted at in several places (e.g. Hebrews 6:2), and most particularly in the Johannine writings where the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) is described as being a plural seven (Revelation 1:4; 3:1; 4:5; 5:6). The distinguishing mark between the ministries of John and Baptist and Yah'shua (Jesus) was, of course, immersion in the Ruach (Spirit) (Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:8; Acts 1:5). With seven overcomings facing each disciple of Christ (Revelation 2:7; 2:11,17,26; 3:5,12,21; 21:7) a mandate to overcome the world through Him who has overcome through the cross (1 John 5:4-5), and a seven-fold Ruach (Spirit) to be immersed in, it begins to look as though our race consists not of one but SEVEN rebirths, the first (or Alef/Alpha) rebirth being the one that puts us on the 'starting-line'. And though we do not know, and have no way of proving it, it would not surprise me in the least if the five Wise Virgins needed to dip their torches seven times to keep them alight until the Bridegroom came.
How utterly foolish it is, then, to enter Christian/Messianic polygamy unequipped with the resources to make it work. It is useless to make a pretense at Christianity - either you are a blood-purchased, overcoming servant of Yahweh or you aren't. Seeking an anointing of the Ruach (Spirit) after Christ has come back won't do you any good, and Christ will say, "I know you not" (v.12).
And why will Christ say He doesn't know them? Simply, because they are not owned by THE Bridegroom:
Are you just a little bit mystified? A wife is 'grafted' back on her husband as his missing 'rib'. She becomes him. She becomes Adam. A person purchased by the blood of Christ becomes Christ by being grafted into Him as His Body, being thus supplied with eternal life, like a babe across the placenta of faith.
"He who has the bride is the bridegroom" (John 3:29, NKJV).
As Eve was taken from Adam, so a
wife must return to her husband
The Messiah is identified by THE Bride. That Bride is the Seven-fold Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), His allegorical Bride is us. The question then becomes not so much as to whether we have been immersed in the Ruach (Spirit) but how many times and by which aspects.
We are therefore identified by two things - we are known because we are possessed by Christ, and we are known because we possess His Ruach (Spirit). We are known because we possess the oil (Ruach/Spirit). If we do not possess the oil (Ruach/Spirit) then we are unknown and He will say to us, "I know you not". It doesn't matter that the imprudent virgins were "virgins" - it didn't matter that they lived clean and holy lives (I can think of a lot of Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses who do this), though this was not unimportant since all ten were obligatory virgins in order to be candidates in the first place. What was important was that the lives of the Wise Virgins were "crucified in Christ" (Galatians 2:20) and that they no longer lived, but Christ lived in them, which life is lived by "faith in the Son of Elohim (God)".
If you are living in the power of your own spirit (psyche) as opposed to the power of the seven-fold Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), the literal Bride of Yah(weh)'shua, then how can you be possessed by Christ? How can a woman, who is living in her own spirit and will, be possessed and redeemed by her husband when she has not conformed herself to his image and will in Christ? How is it possible? And what good is it, ultimately, going to be for her if he is not on the Seven-Fold Walk of Discipleship? For us to be the Bride of Christ, we must first possess THE Bride, by which we are grafted into Christ through not just one dipping but seven, just as Naaman was commanded to do (2 Kings 5:10). It is the presence of the Bride, the Comforter, which marks us as Christ's.
The seven-fold washing of Naaman is
a type of the cleansing of the sevenfold
Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit)
That which distinguishes a wise redeemed Spirit-anointed Christian/Messianic from an unwise nominal one is that the former has fully overcome the seven overcomings and been anointed with the seven-fold Ruach (Spirit) whereas the latter only has a small anointing because he has not fully overcome, have not recognised that there is a sevenfold path (represented by the seven annual festivals of Israel), or who simply don't want to know. They thought they could enter the Kingdom of Heaven on the basis of their initial trusting (the first anointing) and ignored the repeated exhortation to "go on to perfection" (Hebrews 6:1) through the remainder of the six. They thought that getting to the start line was enough and forgot that the Way was a race requring great ENDURANCE which comes only from the hard training of suffering and overcoming. They wanted a cheap Gospel of endless Grace with no responsibility for obedient works.
You need a bright torch to lighten the darkness of the world outside - a little lamp won't possibly do. That torch, to burn brightly, needs lots of oil. The rags wrapped around that torch need constant trimming and redipping in our flaggon of oil to maintain that flame. Otherwise it will flicker out and the initial alef/alpha-salvation will be lost. The alef/alpha is no use without the taw/omega, for without it there is no eternal round (Rev.1:8,11; 21:6; 22:13).
The end time Christian/Messianic especially includes the polygamist burning brightly in the Ruach (Spirit), shedding light wherever he or she goes. He is symbolically, and oftentimes literally, in a seven-fold relationship (Isaiah 4:1). He will have to be a polygamist because the remant church (messianic community) will, on average, consist of seven times as many women as men. If it doesn't, then it probably isn't that complete "alef/alpha and taw/omega" church/assembly (Revelation 1:8; 21:6; 22:13).
But living polygamy isn't enough - you have to be baptised in the Seven-fold Ruach (Spirit) too. As in the wider Body of Christ, there are going to be the 'nominal polygamists' who don't want to walk the hard road, who want the blessings of polygamous marriage but not responsibilities of leadership and spiritual accountability. They want the extra women to consume upon their lusts but not the burdens of leadership which devolve upon the true patriarch.
More than half of the polygamists out there are fakes. Christ doesn't know them, because they do not possess the seven-fold Bride. And they do not possess the Bride because they aren't walking in the commandments and aren't willing to endure the trial of their faith. They compromise with the world and with the whore church and are in truth in spiritual captivity. They must be discerned, ministered to, and urged to repent and order their ways. If they won't, then a very clear division has to be made between the true overcomers and those pretending to be.
Finally, a word about the nine-fold gifting of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) (1 Corinthians 12:8-10; cp. Hebrews 2:4). Here Paul tells us that the Ruach (Spirit) distributes the gifts to the various members of the Body according to the will and determination of Yahweh. These gifts are:
This is a promise to the Body of Christ (Messianic Community), a Body which to be complete and properly functioning, needs all 9 giftings. Since the polygamous family is supposed to be both a reflection of, and a reflector of, the Body, you should expect to find this same pattern. And you do. Isaiah 4:1 represents the 'typical' polygamous family as consisting 7 women to 1 man. But that unit is not complete without Christ. 1 Christ + 1 Patriarch + 7 Wives = 9, showing us again the divine tavnith or pattern (333). A similar patterning is found in Peter's declaration of the nine-fold evidence of discipleship which consists of:
- (1) Wisdom (Hochma/Sophia - a Name of the Ruach/Spirit Herself);
- (2) Knowledge (2 Peter 1:5-9);
- (3) Faith/trust;
- (4) Gifts of healing;
- (5) Working of miracles/power;
- (6) Prophecy;
- (7) Discerning spirit(s);
- (8) Different kinds of tongues/languages; and
- (9) Interpreting tongues/languages.
The 9-fold Petrine keys are summarised by Paul into 3 -- (Perseverance, Character and Hope - Romans 5:4) in terms of the blessings brought by tribulation, or what I call the 'Pauline Tribulation Factors' -- in much the same way that the 9-componented Godhead is summarised into a 'Trinity' of 3.
- (1) Diligence;
- (2) Faith (trusting);
- (3) Virtue;
- (4) Knowledge;
- (5) Self-control;
- (6) Perseverance;
- (7) Godliness;
- (8) Brothely Kindness; and
- (9) Love (1 Peter 1:5-7).
(*Recall that the Ruach/Spirit is/are Elohim's (God's) - the Spirit of Elohim (God) - e.g. Exodus 31:3)
- A. The Godhead: Father (1), Son (1) and Ruach haQodesh/Holy Spirit (7) = 9
- B. The Polygamous Family: Christ (1), Patriarch (1) and 7-fold "Wife" = 9
- C. The Ruach/Spirit Giftings: Wisdom* (1), Knowledge** (1) and remaining 7 Gifts = 9
- D. The Petrine Keys of Discipleship: Diligence (1), Faith (2) and remaining 7 keys = 9
(**Knowledge of Christ - e.g. 1 Peter 5:8)
The polygamous family, the Pauline Spiritual Giftings, and the Petrine Keys of Discipleship are three witnesses to the Divine Pattern of the Godhead (2 Corinthians 13:1; Hebrews 10:28). There are many more which time does not permit me to go into here. Notice, in the context of this essay, the prominent position of endurance and perseverance in the obligatory trials of discipleship, the character-forming sufferings of the Christian way:
The purpose of Christ is to not only redeem individuals but to integrate them into one Body (Community) united on Him, and to present them to Yahweh. The purpose of the Christian/Messianic Patriarch is not only to marry individual women but to integrate them into one symbolic 'wife', and to present them to Christ (Ephesians 5:25-28; Jude 1:24). This is what my second wife saw in her prophetic dream when I went to Yahweh prior to present my wives to Him.
"Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of Elohim (God) commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator" (1 Peter 4:19, NKJV)
"Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of Elohim (God) rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified" (1 Peter 4:12-14, NKJV).
The stewardship of every Patriarch is to present his wives as a single 'unit', loved, led and formed in his own image, which should be in the image of Christ, to Christ, just as Christ presents the Saints as a single "Bride", to Yahweh our Father.
Marriage isn't just about finding a help-meet and making children, or making a temporary home - it is much, much more than that. If only the men knew exactly what there responsibilities were! The trouble is, most don't want to. And that is why they don't qualify for polygamy.
Now a woman, in light of the Biblical model, ought to be soberly considering in the choice of a partner, not just someone whom she can love and bear children for, but one who will lead her righteously into joint spiritual perfection with her sister-wives and husband:
The calling of a husband is to bring his wives to perfection in him even as He is in Christ and as they in their turn are in Christ. This is a cooperative effort, a joint dynamic. It is a consolodated team effort. It is the story of women joined to a polygamous husband, and of men joined to an allegorically polygamous Christ, "I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one" (John 17:23, NKJV). But unless there is proper joining on the first level, there won't be joining on the second either.
"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 5:46-48, NKJV)
We are commanded to attain perfection through Christ
If Christian/Messianic polygamy is to rise above the human level and into its God-intended function, then it must immediately begin to set its eyes upon the Echad (Oneness) Doctrine of Christ in His High Priesthly Prayer. Most men and women are gazing no further than raising families per pro the Old Levtitical Covenant of Moses which, though an important part, is not the primary purpose of marriage per pro the New Melchizedek Covenant of Christ. Our calling is a Priesthood obligation, not simply an earth-bound commission to multiply and replenish the earth, for the New Covenant Priest has his eyes set first and foremost on Heaven and the Millennial Kingdom. And unless Heaven is his primary target - both for himself and his wives - then in marrying he will likely go far off the mark, seeing only through the spiritual lenses of the Old Covenant which has already passed away.
It therefore bothers me that the primary rationalisation for polygamy amongst Christians/Messianics is still the Old Covenant scriptures. In seeking to build upon this foundation, polygamous marriages which are created therefrom can only ever be shadows of what they were intended for in the New Covenant, notwithstanding the random tacking on of New Testament Scriptures to the Old in order to make polygamous marriage seem to be Christian/Messianic. Marriage in the New Covenant is an entirely new and different Order, having much more in common with the pre-Mosaic Patriarchs but still being on a much higher spiritual plane than even these. New Covenant Christian Marriage is supposed to be Taw/Omega-Marriage, not the primitive Alef/Alpha stuff of the first Israelites. And though the Alef/Alpha remains, it is only the beginning, and not the end.
These are, admittedly, deep concepts for some to grasp, yet not ungraspable in the spirit of the evangel. They do require a little bit of de Bonan lateral thinking in order to be grasped, just as a proper appreciation of the Johannine writings does. The problem in not grasping them lies in the rut which is Alef/Alpha-thinking, of those still standing on the starting-line who think that by not moving that the line will suddenly transform itself into the finishing line when life is over. It won't. It will still be the starting line, still the initiation into the Gospel and not remotely anywhere near its completion. And then, when Christ returns, they will panic, seeing that their torches went out decades before, and come begging to those who have completed the race to lend them what they have acquired by patient endurance. Impossible. It can't be 'given'. It will then be too late. And what will be left? A fearful prospect of the judgment for having buried their talent in the earth and done nothing with it.
The investment of your life in dynamic discipleship costs. It means difficulties, temptations, and even loss. But the final result is always gain if you stay the course and cheerfully accept the trials laid before you. To live plural marriage not only beings extra trials but also untold extra blessings. But it is not up to man to unilaterally decide what his trials are going to be. To suffer for our own willfull rebellion gains us nothing in the end.
As we look at the four Models of Nine presented above, let us take the first of each of these and build from them:
Diligence. Are you diligent? Do you know what it means? Diligence is steady and careful application, giving proper attention or care. Attentiveness, carefulness. The diligent disciple does not go in short spurts but is a long-distance runner, slogging it out until the course is finished. This is also what Christian/Messianic discipleship requires. It is is also a hallmark of the Christian Patriarch and his wives.
- 1. The Father, Yahweh-Elohim, the Most High God and Creator;
- 2. Christ, our Bridegroom, Lord and Saviour;
- 3. The Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), who is also called Wisdom (Hochmah/Sophia); and
- 4. DILIGENCE
Polygamy is not a 'flash in the pan', a sudden idea which may be dumped if it doesn't work. We do not have the licence to treat any kind of marriage like that. It is steady committment from Day Alef/Alpha until Day Taw/Omega. The starting line is but a brief and transient memory. It is a constant "moving on" (Hebrews 6:1) to the next mark, to the next spiritual anointing, to the next overcoming, to the next immersion. Polygamy is not for careless people or for those who cannot focus their attention on anything for longer than a few moments. Their eyes must instead be fixed on Christ, and only Christ, and His righteousness. Together - one husband, seven wives, linked to one Christ - they move forwards as a Holy Nine, longing for the final consummation in heaven. Together, they move with the Church (Messianic Community), itself a Holy Nine, their hope the New Jerusalem and the reward of the faithful.
And in case you hadn't noticed - two 9's = 18. And 1+8=9. You can't do that with any other digit. It repeats itself ad infinitum. It is the INFINITY CONSTANT, constantly multiplying and replenishing all those who operate within it (e.g. 3x9=27, 2+7=9; 4x9=36, 3+6=9, etc.). It is the mystical number of the Covenant of Patriarchal Marriage. It is the mystical number of Elohim (God).
May you be blessed with a the 'Nine Life'!