2002 was the 'year of thrashing' for Christian Patriarchs in the polygamy movement worldwide. And I intend to be amongst the first to admit that I got a thrashing as part of the disciplining of El Elyon, the Most High and Sovereign Lord.
"Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;
The apostle Paul says that there are two ways we can be thrashed:
The rod of correction will drive it far from him"
(Proverbs 22:15, NKJV).
The one corrects and the other as a rule simply entrenches a man in his rebelliousness.
- (1) One that profits the soul; and
- (2) One that does not.
The last couple of weeks (January 2003) has seen me going through all my earlier articles on this site both to cosmetically make the appearance better as well as to see whether I have changed my opinions in anything. Though I have needed to correct spelling mistakes, make some historical updates and add a few theological clarifications, as well as substitute in the Divine Hebraic Names for the Greco-Latin ones we have been more accustomed to using in our English Language, basically I have not found grounds to change anything. I find that the message Yahweh has been giving me is consistent, and scripturally and internally harmonious. It's me as a person that's had to change.
As most of our readers know, my family went through a dual crisis last year (2002) - and mine wasn't alone. And though he hasn't fully admitted it publically yet, the leader of another leading polygamy ministry in the USA with as many wives as I had went through something comparable and ended up, to all intents and purposes, as a monogamist. Though we are not in communication with each other, I know we have, in many ways, been through parallel experiences. I do sincerely pray that Yahweh will restore his family as He has restored mine once the thrashing lessons have been learned.
Before I give you my story - which I promised some months ago but which I strongly felt led to defer until now - I wish to reiterate a vital principle of patriarchy as well as to underscore the difference between Yahweh's form and Satan's. And that principle is submission. As we all know - or ought to know - from scripture, the Kingdom of Heaven is a strict hierarchy of total obedience of man to Yahweh (James 4:7), of wives to husbands (Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 3:18), of layfolk (specifically the heads of households) to ministers (1 Corinthians 16:16), of youth to elders (1 Petet 5:5), of servants to masters (Colossians 3:22), and of children to parents (Colossians 3:20). But as it stands, such a system is open to grotesque abuse - especially when you consider that obedience is to be in "all things" - and indeed has been abused, by false systems of patriarchy in the Christian/Messianic polygamy movement. The thrashing that has been taking place is partly to do with that. There is, however, a second vital ingredient in the equation of submission which if omitted, leads to tyranny, revolt, and dissolution. And that is what the apostle Paul calls mutual submission in love (Ephesians 5:21) - not in anything but in Yahweh's statutes - "in the fear of Yahweh" (Ephesians 5:21) - a concept which lies at the heart of the New Covenant. It means that everyone submits to each other - husbands, wives and children - when it comes to the truth. The truth of Yahweh requires everyone to prostrate themselves no matter who it is who reveals it. And if a little child reveals truth to his father, that father is bound to prostrate himself before it - submit to it. That is why Yah'shua (Jesus) told His disciples to allow the little children to come to Him.
In December 2001 and for the first three months of 2002 I entered into a disasterous fifth marriage. My purpose here is not to point fingers or name names but simply to confront some sobering facts. I consider it an object lesson for everyone in my family, a disciplining and thrashing for all concerned, and a reminder that no-one is mature, old or wise enough to be beyond making serious mistakes. Moreover, it is a reminder that Yahweh disciplines the heads as much as he does the servants, the pastors as much as the lay people, because He is no respector of persons. I thought I had learned my lesson and was above making serious error - and though I am still not certain of all the ins and outs of what actually happened, there is no doubt in my mind a serious blunder was made.
The match seemed so perfect in many ways even though we were all aware that the background of parental abuse, drugs, alcoholism, etc., of my fifth wife-to-be might cause some problems. The events that led to our marriage seemed divinely ordained. And there was plenty of high adventure on the way. Her family tried to have her put into a mental assylum to prevent the marriage taking place (this was not to be thr first time relatives have tried to do this in order to prevent a marriage) - she was horribly abused by them and what should have been a preliminary visit to determine whether we were compatible and the marriage right, had to be cancelled, and everything degenerated into a race to stay ahead of those who wanted to lock her away. The events that led to her escape from imprisonment had all the marks of the Divine Hand, adding to our belief that all of this was in the divine will. (It is never wise to seek revelation when under stress - we are commanded in Scripture to seek stillness so as to be able to hear the Spirit.)
The problems began pretty well from day #1 that over four months led to such terrible stress for everyone that all my wives and eldest children were threatening to leave home if the situation was not quickly resolved, and I was on the verge of a physical collapse. And my new fifth wife had so many accidents falling on ice, falling down stairs, etc., that she was rapidly heading towards a wheelchair. The events did contribute in pushing my fourth wife over the edge and she subsequently left home with our son for several months to wrestle with a demon problem of her own. It was then I closed the ministry down in utter desperation for several months, not expecting the wonderful restoration that was to subsequently take place. That is a story in itself and will be told presently. (This is not to be confused with the far longer shut-down that lasted for 15 years from 2003 to 2016 caused by my fourth wife finally leaving for good).
In marrying my fifth wife I failed to take my own advice on this site and married her too soon after her arrival. My other wives and I were buoyed with hope and confidence that everything would work well and bent over backwards to make things work. A little over a week after we were married I was in prayer and Yahweh spoke to me directly about her, and I heard His voice speak to me as clear as day, saying: "She is not your wife." You can imagine, I am sure, the consternation that that caused me. And I doubted it, pushing it aside, and launched ahead into the marriage determined to honour my vows and do everything in my power to make it work. But it was not to be. What had otherwise been a peaceful and harmonious family atmosphere rapidly turned into a siege and reached a climax some four months later. Emmigration requirements forced her to return to her home country and new laws meant that she could not return. So even though I did my best to bring her back as a matter of honouring my vows, Yahweh ensured that it did not happen. I even provided a home for her, through the help of a brother, in her home country which she could have gone to. In the end she asked me to take down her website and unilaterally renounced our marriage covenants. And so the unhappy business came to an ignominious end.
Had I retained her - and I am one of those persons possessed of such will (it's called stubbornness) that when I set my mind on something that I believe to be true - heaven and hell cannot move me as a rule (a rule since 'refined' somewhat by the adversity of Yahweh's thrashing) - I know I would have permanently lost my other three wives, just as 'Sheldon Brown' lost his. I know that he, too, has had the thrashing of his life but I don't think he has understood what it is all about yet, nor made the right decisions, but is hiding away from the truth. I do know, though, that he has lost three fine wives who were pushed over the edge and endured more than most could or would. In the end, though, it was he who abandoned them to his great, great shame!
Yahweh intervened to save all of us. We finally parted as brother and sister in Christ (something which is pretty rare in such circumstances - most from failed plural marriages seem to become bitter enemies) and were in sporadic contact. We have resumed our lives here she hers in her own country. (Unfortunately she did not remain friends for long and like so many who succumb to bitterness briefly made herself an adversary for about a year or two, starting a small website what she eventually abandoned and was removed, before complete disappearing from the internet, and unsuccessfully tried to join another poly family.)
John the Baptist, speaking of Yah'shua (Jesus), said:
The people of Elohim (God) must be threshed as wheat and pass through the fire to burn off the chaff of all sin. We must all be thrashed - the leaders first, and then the others.
"I indeed baptise you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit (Ruach haQodesh) and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire" (Matthew 3:11-12, NKJV).
When we give ourselves to the living God, Yahweh-Elohim, through His Son Yah'shua (Jesus), of us is required obedience "in all things":
"For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of Elohim (God); and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now
"If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?"
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 4:17-19, NKJV).
If we are to have eternal life it must be on the basis of faith - a faith whose fruits are obedience to Torah, even as Christ Himself said in response to the question, "What good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?" (Matthew 19:16, NKJV) His response was uniquivocal:
"For everyone who depends on legalistic observance of Torah command[ment]s lives under a curse, since it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who does not keep on doing everything written in the Scroll of the Torah' ... legalism is not based on trusting and being faithful, but on a misuse of the text that says, 'Anyone who does these things will attain life through them'" (Galatians 3:10,12, JNT/CJB).
This life of obedience we must live through faith. Legalism does not save. If we don't, then we must expect a thrashing. We who are pastors and teachers must expect to be judged all the more severely until our wills are properly aligned with His. If not, there remains only a fall.
"If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments" (v.17).
The whole of Christendom is presently going through a thrashing and even now we are seeing many of the 'great ones' reveal their true satanic colours - the Hagins, Hinns, Copelands and others who worship the devil in their hearts but who wear sheep's clothing, pretending to be ministers of the Most High. There are hundreds like them, deceiving the flock.
The restoration of polygamy is a vital part of the end-time remnant Church (Messianic Community) and it will not go away, but like every other truth of the Gospel it is open to abuse both by leaders and followers. As the many articles I have written on this site warn, this principle has been seriously abused. Yahweh is cleaning up the acts of the several ministries, and if they do not repent, they will fall and return to the obscurity from which they came. Changing names, focus, or content of a falling ministry will not save it - only repentance and reformation will.
My fourth wife left me last summer and for several months we went through a living hell. She returned a new woman - stronger in love, deeper in faith, and determined that nothing like it will ever happen again. (I was over-optimistic.) Our family has spiritually regrouped and is more solid than ever - wiser and grateful for the providence of El Elyon. There were some who rejoiced when they thought this ministry was going to disappear, and publically said so, and others who remained faithful supporters whose prayers we remain ever grateful for. We shall be continuing this work and completing the race. (There was similar rejoicing in 2003 when we went for 15 years and our return will not be welcomed for sure.)
Yahweh blessed us with the watchcare of 8 polygamy-practicing churches (assemblies) in East Africa at this time. They had been spurned by other 'Christian' churches because they continued in the polygamous and Bible-sanctioned ways of their forefathers. (These congregations were to leave us when we insisted they stop the barbaric practice of female genital mutilation. But during our 15 years absence we were instrumental in raising twice as many congregations in Africa as before, all of which have polygamists in them, many of whom have been trained to serve in responsible ministerial positions.)
A polygamous family from South Africa (not one of ours)
May Yahweh guide you as you receive your thrashing and keep you true as He conforms you into the image of His Torah. Amen.