The Chemists among you will know that when you put certain chemicals together under certain conditions that certain reactions occur. In simple reactions you add the ingredients and you get one or more products, the original ingredients disappearing as in:
A + B = C + D
There is another type of reaction which, if you add the ingredients A and B, where C and D appear but not all of A and B disappear. What you get is an equilibrium wherein a certain balance occurs:
A + B ↔ C + D
In echad marriage a third type of equation may be said to exist. It is an equilibrium like the second type only the original 'ingredients' do not diminish but remain constant. Somehow 'out of nothing' (ex nihilo) a new product is created. Thus:
Elohim + Man ↔ Elohim:Man (mystical personal echad relationship)
Elohim + Woman ↔ Elohim:Woman (mystical personal echad relationship)
Elohim-man + Elohim-woman ↔ Elohim:Man=Woman:Elohim (mystical echad union relationship)
Elohim + the Redeemed (Body) ↔ Elohim:Redeemed (mystical echad echad union of the Church)
Contrast this with:
Man + Woman ↔ Man-Woman (carnal union)
where : represents a divine union between man and Elohim (God), = represents a divine eternal union between man and woman, and - represents a temporal, carnal union between man and woman.
At any time the spiritual link between husband and wife can degenerate into a carnal union followed by complete disintegration by a process of spiritual entropy caused by sin:
Elohim:Man=Woman = Elohim + Man + Woman
or even other combinations such as,
Elohim:Man=Woman = Elohim:Man-Woman(c) or Elohim:Woman-Man(c) or Elohim + Man (c) + Woman(c)
where (c) represents one of the partners descending into carnality.
Equilibrium reactions, as any chemist will tell you, are very fragile ones. They have a unique dynamic. There is constant interchange beween the molecules so that, in fact, nothing ever remains static. Divine-Human relationships are, however, much, much more complex than simple organic or inorganic chemical reactions, and until properly developed are one of the most fragile things on earth. And it is for this reason that Satan so vigorously attacks them.
I love Christ's parable of the leaven (yeast) which He uses to illustrate the nature of the Kingdom of Heaven. He said:
"To what shall I liken the kingdom of Elohim (God)? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened" (Luke 13:20-21, NKJV).
As we know from our extensive studies on this website, there is a direct relationship between the Kingdom of Elohim (God) and our marriage unions, for the Kingdom is described in terms of an allegorical marriage between the Bridegroom, Christ, and His people, the Church or Messianic Community.
In a second Parable, Yah'shua (Jesus) again says:
"What is the kingdom of Elohim (God) like? And to what shall I compare it? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and put in his garden; and it grew and became a large tree, and the birds of the air nested in its branches" (Luke 13:18-19, NKJV).
The cooks among you will know that a baking loaf of bread can easily be destroyed by slamming the oven door. Morever, you have to bake it for the correct length of time and at the right temperature unless you want a burnt offering or a rock cake. If the yeast isn't given enough time to cause the bread to rise it will likewise be hard.
Similarly, the gardeners amongst you will know how vulnerable young seedlings are to sun, over-watering, predators (like birds), frost, disease, and the like. Looking at a vast mustard tree (or any big tree like a cedar or oak) it is hard to imagine that there was a time you could crush it under foot. In both cases, though - the loaf and the tree - we know that there is a time of great fragility and risk. Unless the processes that lead to the baked loaf (which can no longer collapse by carelessly slamming the over door) or the mature mustard tree (which can no longer be trampled underfoot) are allowed to complete themselves, the result is an abortion - an aborted loaf or an aborted tree. And the same is no less true for the marriage relationship, and especially one which is in the Elohim (the Godhead).
It is not my purpose to detail all the ingredients and conditions required for a happy and successful echad marriage as these have been detailed elsewhere and at some length. What I do want to do, however, is give you an illustration or how vulnerable a marriage which is not fully sanctified ('baked' or 'grown') is, how to identify the symptoms of one which is being endangered by destructive forces, and how to put it right as quickly and as painlessly as possible.
A few days ago my fourth wife and I had a disagreement over a seemingly trivial matter that had far reaching spiritual consequences. As you know, my fourth recently went through an encounter with demonic forces that caused us to briefly separate last summer whilst she wrestled with, for her, a totally new phenomenon. Since that encounter with a demon, its exposure, and defeat, she has, from time to time, been subtly tricked backed into its seductive spirit for short periods of time. That has required all of us to be spiritually sensitive and alert.
Our peace and happiness was once again shattered - though in a much subtler way this time - three days ago when on the day before she had laid out my Sabbath clothes. This was not something she had ever done before. She had asked if she could select my clothes for me according to her own preferences and I agreed. As if often the case, unforseen circumstances crop up (the lot of a pastor) which can result in one having to rush to get everything done on time. She had carefully laid out the neatly folded clothes for me on her table and it ought to have been a simple matter for me to pick them up. As it happened, I had not only forgotten where she had laid them (because of the rush) but our son had inadvertantly covered them with the bedspread so that all I saw was another pile of clothes on the nearby sofa. These happened to be another set of clothes which I picked up, not paying much attention to the fact that there were two pairs of socks instead of one ... though in the harsh winters here I often wear two pairs. So I changed into these.
As this was the first time she had ever selected my clothes for me, and she had taken a great deal of time to find what she thought was best for me, she was understandably upset to find a completely different mismatched set on me. My decision to change into the set she had chosen for me the following week instead of there and then precipitated an unexpected (and undesired) inner revolt in her that led to her placing a wall between us and spiritually and emotionally withdrawing. It was not long before she slipped back into the old Hecate spirit and a hostile stranger was once again in our midst:
Elohim:Stan=Kasia + Hecate = Elohim:Stan-Kasia:Hecate
When this sort of equation results a terrible dilemma has to be faced. The divine union is shattered because of the presence of the demon but there is a union nonetheless. The relationship is unnatural, defiled, polluted, and can go in one of three ways:
Elohim:Stan=Kasia <--- Elohim:Stan-Kasia:Hecate ---> Elohim:Stan + Kasia:Hecate
This finds a direct parallel in the Garden of Eden after Eve had fallen:
Elohim:Adam=Eve:Elohim <--- Elohim:Adam-Eve:Serpent ---> Elohim:Adam + Eve:Serpent
although the possibility of the couple returning to Elohim:Adam=Eve was not at that time possible. Adam could have chosen to remain in Eden in right relationship with Elohim (God) or (as happened) fall with her, both being cut off though still joined as man and wife (Serpent:Adam-Eve:Serpent).
Though it was not a conscious decision, I chose in my spirit to remain 'united' to her, as presumably Adam chose to remain with Eve. As a result, I noticed subtle changes taking place in myself too. A slight coldness and indifference came over me which I had to resist, which was both disconcerting and frightening because of our usual deep closeness. This went on for three days until I was woken up in the middle of the night by a dream.
In the dream - which was intense and 'engaging' - I found myself in a tiny apartment which I knew belonged to my fourth. I had never seen it before and felt uncomfortable there. Moreover, people off the street seemed to be able to wander in and out of it at will which, though it did not bother her, was profounbdly disturbing to me. I then saw a newborn baby in a carrier sitting on the floor. I somehow knew it was ours. When I picked it up by its handles I noticed that the place of attachment - where the handle connected to the carrier - was worn through, and that the handle was made of cheap plastic. I could see that the handle could snap at any time and so put the carrier back on the floor again.
I found myself staring at this baby, which I had never seen before, and wondering about it. Quite suddenly, as in the story of Pinocchio, the baby's nose began to grow not only straight out but to the side to, revealing a pig's snout. It was wet and moving about as pig's snouts do. I was appalled. At once the snout withdrew back into the baby and it was a normal nose again, but seconds later, there was the pig's snout again. I felt sick in my stomach and woke up.
I knew the meaning instantly upon gaining consciousness. Babies in dreams very often symbolise relationships. When I was courting my first wife years ago I dreamed that we had a son. At the time I mistook it to be literal (our first child was a girl, in fact) and only later learned that it represented our relationship. People often get shocked by dreams when they have children with those they are not married to but all this means is that a spiritual fertilisation has taken place, the baby representing a friendship or something deeper ... for good or evil. Dreams of babies dying often depict the relationship ending or dying.
This baby represented the new relationship my fourth and I had as a result of her admitting the demoness back three days earlier, and my passively accepting it. One might think that I should have reacted at the time to resolve the problem but it has to be remembered that there are often questions of agency to be worked out and that can take time. We often suffer in defiled relationships waiting for decisions to be made by the one who has been doing the defiling. That is not wrong by any means but it is very uncomfortable and at times draining. Those of you who have been in defiled relationships but have patiiently suffered will know what I am talking about. The Christian principle of 'bearing one another's burdens' finds a direct application here for as believers we are commanded to love the unlovable (spouses embraced by semons) in the same way that Christ loved us in our sins to the point of bearing them in atonement for us. Husbands in particular, as the coverings for their wives, are supposed to be their wives' shields and to bear them up as head of the relationship. Thus Adam had to follow Eve into her world because of their connectiveness and vow. (The fact that he later blamed her for the decision is another matter). But because men are not Christ, they can only 'bear' their wives' impurities for so long if the wives refuse to be cleansed through Christ. By means not always understood, Yahweh often intervenes to terminate the relationship for the good of all, much as He divorced Samaria and Jerusalem but with the promise that He would wed them again when they had turned away from sin.
The moment I understood the dream I went and woke my fourth up and explained it to her. It was Yahweh's timing for she had by this time come to understand what she had done, regretted it, and wanted to be restored to where we had been. And so I went into prayer and in the Name of Yah'shua (Jesus) and by the power of His blood, dissolved the relationship as symbolised by the baby with the pig's nose (representing uncleanness and carnality, the pig being an unclean animal ... one reason we are forbidden to eat pork), and asked Yahweh to restore us to where we had been. There was an instant change in atmosphere, thinking, feeling and awareness generally, the sweetness returned, and the incident was erased from our being.
She afterwards described how the decision she had made to be angry with me for not doing what she wanted (matriarchy) had set off a chain-reaction that had invited the demoness back in again and led to such spiritual chaos for both of us. It illustrated, above all, just how fragile we actually are, and how quickly we can fall away from the Light. The next stage (assuming it had ever got that far ... and we doubt it because of the lessons learned the previous summer) would have (ultimately) been dissolution of the marriage. (Some years later the same process would again be initiated leading this time to complete severance and a painful and destructive break-up of the marriage after it has descended into adultery and abandonment of Christ.)
Now this may sound strange to some but I assure you it is happening all the time. We are secure and safe only if we are in Christ! Your salvation - your marriage relationship - all depend on that focus. The dissolution may not take place all at once (it can take many years - it took 7 years to unravel my first marriage by which point I was burned out, and four months my fifth marriage) but it is a process nonetheless and has to be halted by repentance and an effort to re-establish the original relationship. Adam and Eve were profoundly shocked by the consequences of eating one fruit. That intimate relationship they had had with Elohim (God) in the Garden was suddenly blasted away and they felt alone, defiled, naked, and guilty. Their sin was to believe the lie of the serpent by exchanging it for the truth that Yahweh had spoken. They did not understand Yahweh's reasons for doing what He did and they weren't supposed to: the relationship was supposed to be built up on trust - trust that what He said was best for them. The point I am making, though, is that her belief in the lie is what gave Satan direct access to her. The eating of the fruit was the second stage of the process of the complete fall - the actual physical breaking of the commandment not to eat it.
Our family has talked much about this incident in the last few days and learned much. For one think I myself came to realise just how dangerous it is for a man to be a polygamist. He has to cover several women when they are out of alignment with the Spirit and that can be a living hell. I have known men who have thrown out wives because they could not cope (whilst inventing excuses unrelated to the real issues). Sometimes Yahweh has had to drive them out Himself in order to preserve the family and sometimes - because the husband was an unrepentant evil man - He has had to cause the whole marriage to disintegrate for the sake of everyone concerned. Plural marriage is no game! And that is why so few are called into it.
The biggest casualty to rebellion is always trust. My fourth told me that once she had decided to withdraw, one of the first things she noticed was that she started distrusting me again. There was no rational reason to do this - it was simply the consequence of rebelling against a divine principle, viz. headship. Now it may be for many people that trusting in headship is a hard thing because they have had bad fathers who ought, by their good example, to have enabled them to trust - but because the fathers were themselves untrustworthy, never allowed the principle of trust to adequately grow in their daughters. The result can be a mistrust of all men and a spontaneous recoiling from any male imperfection (for we all fall short of the perfection required of us). Allowed to go too far in a negative direction, this mistrust can lead to an inversion of spiritual and psychic dispositions within and result in lesbianism (or homosexuality for men).
Where there is mistrust, the channel to loving profoundly can so easily become blocked. And so long as the mistrust is blamed on the wrong source, that channel will remain permanently closed. Remember, demonic problems are started by believing in a lie (like 'adultery is OK') - the actual act of sin (like committing adultery) simply entrenches the demon in the soul causing what is known as a 'demonic stronghold' The sweetest kindest, people can have these too simply because they were starved of proper affection as they grew up and reacted by believing some lie of Satan that they were of no worth. Once believed, habits can result that simply entrench the demon. Release comes from gently having the lie exposed, the stronghold dismantled, and the demon formally expelled. The lie is exposed by inviting Yah'shua (Jesus) into your situation, asking Him to reveal the truth of it, and then asking for His healing. Often the demon will simply disappear when this happens because it has no place to be any longer so that no formal 'casting out' is needed.
Only a unconditionally loving environment can ultimately ensure that such problems are solved. Most people are abused in one way or another, be it spiritually, mentally, psychologically, or physically. The contemporary Christian/Messianic polygamist man must know how to deal with such things or he will be overwhelmed. Sometimes, of course, events are out of his control, and no amount of love, patience or long-suffering will make any difference. Ultimately, the victims of abuse have to make their own choices, stop blaming, stop expecting they deserve 'special treatment' and learn to yield in trust. But she cannot do that until she has found a man worthy of such trust. And as so often occurs, such women often find themselves unequally yoked to brutes and control freaks who do not care about their wives' inner needs (and as such provide them with no spiritual protection) and who in truth don't know how to help them because they don't know how to help themselves. Such men often throw wives out, run away, or preside over the destruction of their whole family. Men, no less than women, are the victims of abuse and of emotional starvation as they grow up in our careless world and are in no position to marry polygamously, let alone marry at all.
We are seeing the débris all over the fields of modern Christian/Messianic polygamy. People we thought strong and godly have revealed the demonic bondage they have been under as they kick out 'irritant' wives or as their families fall apart. Little wonder that so many women are hesitating to enter this lifestyle even though they know they are called into it. Which is why I advise them to take their time because people are not always what they seem to be.
More important to claims to fame is the evidence of an overflowing heart. More important than success or wealth is a home saturated with love. More important than doctrinal orthodoxy (whatever that is - for one man's orthodoxy is another's heresy) is genuine sacrificial concern on the part of men for their women, and the yieldedness of women to their men.
Which brings me to another important point: husbands cannot expect their wives to yield to them spontaneously if they themselves are not loving them as Christ loved the Church or Messianic Community. Christ did not go kicking out those who did not instantly conform but went out looking for the missing sheep and waited patiently for the prodigal to come home. We in our turn must be prepared to do that.
Of course - and I add this as a footnote and not at the top of the list as some are wont to do - there are, in addition to false shepherds/husbands, also tares (false wives) who look like the real thing until they come to maturity and are exposed for what they really are. We know only too well that ungoldly women are trying to infiltrate godly polygamous families with agendas of destruction - some conscious, and some unconscious. However, it is not for us as mortals to 'pull them up' until they come to maturity and are seen by all for what they are, because their works are unmistakably of the devil and not of Christ. Thus wheat and tares must grow side by side until the harvest season reveals which is which and Yahweh does the separtating. Remember who the reapers are in the parable? That is something husbands should remember.
You men, do not enter polygamy unless you are willing to bear your burdens and be the coverings you have a duty to be. You women, do not enter polygamy unless you are truly willing to yield to your husbands in all things AND have the confidence to do so because of the evidence of what you see - therefore take your time before you marry. Do not be bamboozled and cudgled into polygamy by impatient men who say you can't afford to waste time ... more so in the light of the current wars and their consequences which I can forsee being used by ungodly men to pressure women to come under their safety net .. which may not prove to be safe at all. Our Heavenly Father will look after you and see you right if you remain patiently yielded to Him.
How fragile indeed we are! I am impressed by this truth more and more. Relationship is sacred, and the echad union of marriage is nothing less than an enactment of the Relationship of all relationships: our union to Elohim (God) as His uniplural polygamous Bride. In these dangerous times, however, I suggest that any marriage goal that does not have eternity as its goal is not worthy of our attention for it will never motivate us to give our all.