The current war between feminism and ultrapatriarchy stems from an improper understanding of the relationship between Old Covenant and New, between Torah (Law) and Grace, and between Male and Female. Even within Christian/Messianic polygamy circles it is largely still not understood, and so the gender wars continue unchecked with an ever widening circle of conflict.
Today I wish to reveal the final key in a set of spiritual principles that I have been trying to share in the articles on this website. Delaying sharing it has been deliberate because shared too early it would have resulted in yet further misunderstanding and confusion. The truth must be revealed line upon line, and principle upon principle.
The basic principle of the Old Covenant Torah is unconditional surrender - the unconditional surrender of man to Yahweh, and of woman to man. In this there is not one iota of compromise. The surrender is absolute. Yahweh has absolute authority over man, and man has absolute authority over woman within the constrictions of Torah.
Contrary to popular, modern 'itching-ear' theology, Torah remains the bedrock of the Gospel of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). It has not been dissolved, abolished, removed, or set-aside. Yah'shua's (Jesus') own teaching on this subject in the Gospels is without any kind of ambiguity - a doctrine taught to His disciples and propagated in the apostolic era and beyond. Not one single letter-stroke of it will pass away (Matthew 5:18), He said. And until we are reconciled with this, we can never make further progress in understanding and implementing the echad doctrine of the Saviour.
Upon this bedrock of absolute Truth, Yah'shua (Jesus) built some fascinating things. Yes, much of the ceremonial Torah was abolished because they (like animal sacrifices and the priestly system which administered it) were fulfilled in His Person and Mission. His atoning sacrifice on the Cross of Calvary swept all the types away, leaving the moral and ethical Torah, some ceremonial aspects still having application in the New Covenant. To these He added many new commandments (new Torah), and modified some of the ethical principles which were only shadows of the fullness which was to come ("It is written ... but I say unto you ...").
The Scriptures teach - again without apology - that all authority was given to Christ to effect this "filling up", "completing" or "fulfilling" of the Old Covenant Torah:
He is herein proclaimed the Judge of all mankind and elsewhere as the Torah-giver. He judges all men and women at the last day (John 5:25-29) and we learn in the Sermon on the Mount that people will say things to Him and how He will respond (Matthew 7:22ff). The Parable of the Tares (Matthew 13:24-30,36-43) and the Great Judgment scene (Matthew 25:31-46) graphically depict His supreme Judgeship and our proper attitude to Him.
"And Yah'shua (Jesus) came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth"" (Matthew 28:17-19, NKJV).
This claim to absolute authority is an extraordinary one. If we try to imagine anyone else making it we shall perhaps see something of the daring involved but we have grown so used to reading it in the Gospels that we have ceased to be surprised by it. Interestingly enough, though, when writers like myself start proclaiming a parallel authority of husbands over wives, it arouses the greatest hostility imaginable. People think I am crazy, demented, 'cultic', and doubtless many other things as well. And yet for the most part they haven't a clue what I am talking about and arrive at all the wrong conclusions. Of course, husbands do not have the same authority as Christ does inasmuch as husbands cannot override Torah. Yah'shua (Jesus) was obedient to Torah in every particular and thus qualified Himself to be the sinless offering for our sins. And what He abolished, modified and added was with the express permission of His Father Yahweh only - indeed, by Yahweh's command. For we know that He, Yah'shua (Jesus), was obedient in all things, and it was this obedience - coupled to His total love for the Father - that qualified Him for the task. It was the reason that Yahweh gave Him all authority in heaven and on earth! Remember that! The absolute authority of Yah'shua (Jesus) over us was predicated upon His total obedience and submission to His Heavenly Father in Love.
The ultrapatriarchs and the feminists are both wrong. They present only half of the truth and ignore the rest. And what truth they do have becomes twisted and perverted by the very ommission of the rest which lends balance and harmony to the whole.
Yah'shua's (Jesus') verdict will be the final verdict on mankind. No-one will be able to appeal to the Father by 'going around' Him. We must not be misled - as many in this movement are - into believing that the Bible contains many errors. Some critics of patriarchy and polygamy even are very free in their handling of the Scriptures. They find some things to be the very word of Elohim (God) and accept them but at the same time they think of others as the errors of a particular age and culture (and predictably always 'less enlightened' than our own), and accordingly reject them.
No such equivalent attitude existed amongst the Jews of the first century. They regarded every word of the Old Testament as truly the word of Elohim (God). Not one word, not one syllable, not one letter was to be rejected. As Yahweh was the Author of it all the only course open to man was to accept it and obey it. Yah'shua's (Jesus') attitude to the Torah (Law) must be understood in the light of agreement as to its divine origin. He laid down authoritative provisions which modified those contained in the Torah, as we have seen. And in the Sermon on the Mount there is something of a refrain, "you have heard that it was said to the men of old ... But I say unto you ...". Many polygamist patriarchs forget this, so it bears repeating. Each time Yah'shua (Jesus) lays down some new provision which is to be observed in place of the old.
Again, he did not lack in reverence for the old Torah. Quite the contrary, He constantly appealed to it as final, and there is not the slightest indication that He wanted men to sit loose to its authority.
The source of contemporary error is basically ignorance of the Bible (Matthew 22:29) and I am repeatedly surprised - and yet not surprised - when I hear people expressing strong opinions about subjects like marriage and authority who reveal an abysmal ignorance of what the Scriptures actually say. And when confronted with it, a string of self-justifications usually follows, commonest of which is that some Torah commandments are lust 'local', 'cultural' or of a 'lesser light'.
A close examination of the Sermon on the Mount shows that when Yah'shua (Jesus) was modifying Old Covenant Torah His expression involves the use of the emphatic 'I'. He was not saying that man had authority to handle the Scriptures, but only that He, being what He was, had this authority. The way He puts it is itself a claim to the very highest place, the claim to issue pronouncements as authoritative as those of Yahweh the Father.
It is the same with His attitude to marriage. Although He recognised that there was provision for divorce in the Old Testament He proclaimed the indissolubility of the marriage bond (Matthew 19:6). So with the Sabbath. This was established in the Torah by a divine command, but Yah'shua (Jesus) said, "the Son of man is lord even of the sabbath" (Matthew 2:28 - compare this to his reference to "something greater than the temple" in Matthew 12:6).
In our Greek translations of the New Testament the form of the verb is enough to tell you whether 'I' or 'you' or 'he' is the subject, and there is no necessity for the personal pronoun to be expressed. If it is used it is to give a special emphasis. But Yah'shua (Jesus) often used it, even when there seems to us no special reason for stress. Take, for example, the invitation to heal the centurion's servant. Yah'shua (Jesus) did not reply simply, "I will come", but "I will come" (Mt.8:7). When He sent the disciples on a preaching tour He said, "I send you out" (Matthew a10:16). He drew attention to His own Person also when speaking of the significance of His explusion of demons, "If it is by the Spirit of Elohim (God) that I cast out demons ..." (Luke 10:16). Seeing Him is seeing the Father (John 14:9).
Much more could be quoted. The Gospels are shot through and through with expressions like these which are lost to us in our English translations. Perhaps, of the Protestant translations at least, only the Amplified Version of the Bible attempts to incorporate this.
When Yah'shua (Jesus) made demands of His disciples they didn't go and check up in the Torah. He made the most far-reaching demands on men that, were He a mere man only, would have made Him a 'cultist' by modern definitions. His qualifying for total obedience on our part was based not just on His Deity (which is the implication of the emphatic 'I' statements) but on the fact that He was the living embodiment of Torah which He lived sinlessly. Though He makes far-reaching demands on men and women we know, do we not, that He was in the last degree exacting without being in the least degree arrogant. And this is a key to true patriarchal authority in marriage.
I want now to move on to my main theme which is authority in marriage. Recall that Yah'shua (Jesus) built His teachings on the foundation of Torah. He did not abolish it - He modified and filled it - brough it to completion. When you reject Torah you reject patriarchy and embark on a spiritual course that leads to feminism and Jezebelism. But that is not the end of the journey. It is the beginning.
Yahweh demands our absolute obedience to Him in love as revealed in Torah. Torah demands the absolute obedience of wives to husbands within the parameters of Torah. Yah'shua (Jesus) modified some of these, restoring the meaning of Torah to its original intent. But that foundation remains. It is absolute, unmovable. Without it, there is only anarchy and a playground for female demons.
Yah'shua (Jesus) demanded complete obedience of His disciples too. He demanded adherance to Torah - to the New Torah. He demanded complete sacrifice - constantly. And He demanded constancy. But never was He arrogant. His appeal was love through attraction. He was strict - yes - but also graceful and merciful. The righteous simply knew He was worthy of all authority.
Throughout His three year ministry He loved, rebuked, and taught. And then, quite suddenly, He did something remarkable - something immeasurably risky and fraught with danger:
Prior to this time they did not have such authority. Having received it, they went out and exercised it. They were amazed. Sometimes they were humble, sometimes arrogant. They often had to be corrected so that they used this authority righteously. But they were given authority nonetheless.
"Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick" (Luke 9:1-2, NKJV).
That authority was not uncondional. They were not given authority to do whatever they liked. Implicit in this authority was complete submission and obedience to the Master. Throughout His ministry Yah'shua (Jesus) gave them more and more authority and finally informed them that after He had returned to heaven they would - with the authority they possessed - do even greater miracles than He did. And they did.
The initial authority was given only to the apostles who were the first disciples. In the end we see that a wide range of authoritative powers were given to all believers, to the Royal Priesthood consisting of both men, women and young people.
This transferrence of authority to the subjected, obedient Bride is important for us to understand for the marriage relationship. The ultrapatriarchs assume - quite wrongly - that all authority is theirs, absolutely, over their wives in perpetuity. They accordingly treat their wives in the same way women were treated in the Old Testament.
The allegorical marriage of Christ to His submitted, obedient Church (Messianic Community) is the model we are given in the New Covenant to base our marriages on. There are parallels everywhere to be discerned and implemented. The whole thrust of echad polygamous marriage is based on this model. The submission and obedience that the Church (Messianic Community) is expected to give to Christ is repeatedly paralleled by an equivalent submission and obedience of wives to their husbands. We all know this, even if many resist it. But what the ultrapatriarchs disasterously forget is that once this submission and obedience has been voluntarily and joyfully given without compulsion, a transfer of authority is mandated!
The Father gave all authority to His Son. The Son gave selective authority to His disciples depending on their state of sanctification. He gave, as we saw, authority to heal and cast out demons. And we saw that at the end He gave a wide range of authority to the rest of the diciples, including the authority to bind and loose. It is a desirable and worthwhile exercise to run through the New Testament and to see what authority believers have been given by Christ and to remember that they - we - were promised that as a result we would do works even greater than Christ.
A husband who is operating in the Spirit of the New Covenant will be doing no less to His wives. He will be transferring more and more of his authority to them!
Now I am sure you are wondering what that means in practice. We need to divide this into two principal areas:
We'll start with the latter by asking ourselves: what authority does a husband have that he can transfer/delegate to his wives? It is written that he who blesses a prophet receives the blessings of a prophet (Matthew 10:41). I am convinced, from personal experience, that when a husband unites with his wives in echad that the giftedness of all is shared. Throughout my life I have had the gift of seership, prophetic dreams and interpretation, pastoral skills, etc.. I have noticed how quickly these have passed to my wives simply by virtue of our echad union - their being submissive to me as their family priest and teacher.
- (1) domestic; and
- (2) ecclesiastical.
Gifts have been transferred differently between wives. My third and fourth wives and I have for some time walked in singleness of mind. We have an unspoken understanding, empathy, sympathy, comprehension of people, human nature, and spiritual things. They are every bit as competent as I am as instructors and long ago I gave them carte blanche authority to teach other women and selective authority to teach some men. They both operate in the calling of Eldresses though my fourth is only formally ordained as a Deaconess in the local assembly (church). She is very gifted in dream and vision interpretation, and my third in simply understanding people. Because of their submission to me, they have both matured in my own image as well as in my gifts. The gifts have been shared.
Over the last few months my fourth has been progressively entering into new and deeper marriage covenants of submission in Christ to me as new truths have been revealed to her by the Holy Spirit. This has meant profound changes for both of us. We now dream about the same things when asleep and face spiritual issues together. I am often in open vision describing what the Spirit is showing me as she discusses personal and other peoples' problems and she in turn interprets. We constantly pause for deliverance, declarative, and other prayers as we pray for each other as a single echad.
I mentioned risks above. It is risky, and dangerous, to 'merge' like this if the proper order is not in place (leading to co-dependency) - sacrificial loving on the part of the husband and submission and obedience on the part of the wife. She is going to write on this subject herself to explain what has happened so this will be my perspective and experience.
The human psyche has at least seven different 'levels' or 'planes' of consciousness, layered rather like an onion. Echad merging of these can only safely take place when the spiritual issues associated with each have been dealt with. Yesterday my fourth and I merged on a new level after the Spirit revealed to her a sin issue deriving from Jezebellic programming by her family. She discovered that she was 'controlled' by them in a way that had actually prevented marriage on this level. Through a series of Spirit-mediated interactions this morning (visions, etc.) we dismantled the strongholds and expelled the dark spirits associated with them. These in turn revealed bondage in myself caused by the demonic control in her. What she discovered was that she was not only 'open' to me as a wife in a bona fide way but that she was 'open' to the control of her mother and sisters where a very feministic spirit reigns. This was revealed in dreams and visions in which they were present in our bedroom, which is the exclusive domain of the marriage parties. We all do this. We allow others to tresspass in the domain of our marriage even if it is only on a mental level. It can be emotional too in which case ungoldly soul-ties can be created which musty be broken.
Once these ungodly links had been broken between herself and the female members of her family who had been emotionally controlling her (her whole family is controlled by this female spirit - see her article on Hecate), she was freed. Though she had been delivered of this demoness on other psychic levels, the control remained on this one.
Something quite astonishing occurred as we cleaned this level out. A change took place within me at the same time as it did with her. The Spirit led me to say to her: "I give you authority to act as I act. You are free to do whatever you please."
This stunned her and at first she did not know what to say or do. She understood, without my saying anything, that though she was free she was nevertheless bound to my authority still and that whatever she did was as an extension of my own authority from Yah'shua (Jesus). She will explain this in her own words. To put it another way, she received - not just by my word but in actual fact, the authority to lead in male-position, but not apart from me, but as a part of me. Prior to this, because of the demonic strongholds and false family patterning, she had been open to all sorts of demonic interference which had kept me busy in spiritual warfare. I always knew when something was wrong and she was subsequently taught by Yahweh in dreams what the actual problems were.
The result of this deliverance was that two of the children became sick. Because children naturally bond to us and imitate us - especially mothers - when a mother (or one in a mothering rôle) is suddenly delivered, there is a psychic disturbance in the children. The channel that was there - which was not pure - is suddenly gone and their spiritual equilibrium is upset.
A friend of mine went through the same experience some years ago. He was delivered from a cult and kept on vomitting. It lasted for days. His entire biological system had been 'wired' to the occultic diet he had had and suddenly it was gone - replaced by Christ. Once the upheavel was over he settled into a Christian life and was whole.
Many of the illnesses we have are related to our psychic condition. These often stop after deliverance. But they do affect our children, underlining the sacred calling that parenthood is. Small children are completely helpless without our covering, and if we cover them with impurity, they pick that unpurity up. That is why children often inherit the vices of their parents. We are a viaduct to them.
Now what I am not saying in this experience with my fourth is that the Yahweh-appointed Torah Order was being overthrown. She did not suddenly obtain headship over, or co-headship, with me. That headship is immutable. But what it means was that by her voluntary and joyful act of complete submission on the levels spoken of, she became a head too. She became an Eldress with one of the Seven Ruachs (Spirits) previously denied and now equipping her for ministy in that sphere.
The New Covenant dispensation is often (correctly) described as the dispensation of the Ruach haQodesh or Holy Spirit. The Spirit cannot, however, be released without the bedrock of Torah in place as Her vessel, as it were. As soon as you dismiss Torah you invite counterfeits in and you very soon start worshipping another 'God'. Many 'Christians' and 'Messianics' have been doing this all their lives and know nothing else - they interpret the supernatural activity in their lives as being of divine origin. Supernatural it may be, but divine it rarely is.
We know from the testimony of the apostles that the letter of the Torah is dead without the Spirit of the Torah (2 Corinthians 3:6). Similarly, male without female is dead. We are in a new dispensation now where the Melchizedek Priesthood has been conferred upon both men and women whereas the Levitical (Aaronic) was for men only. But though this Priesthood has been conferred to women it is not given to them independently of the men but through them. And the only way this can be done is through marriage.
Yah'shua (Jesus) the Bridegroom gave authority to His disciples (the Bride) at a point revealed to Him by Yahweh, and progressively gave more and more. This doesn't mean that today women 'automatically' receive this authority as some sort of 'right' any more than it is the 'right' of men. All authority is spiritual in the New Covenant. There are no more big bosses who inherit rank and power through aristocratic blood lines. The 'new aristocracy' is of the Spirit when and after it is built on the bedrock of Torah.
This means that Apostles and Pastors cannot go calling Deaconesses and Eldresses in the same way as they call Deacons and Elders, respectively. Permission must be asked of the husbands before their wives can serve in a position of authority in the local assembly (church) and this position will only be given (if the proper order is being followed) if he has attained to the position where he can give it. This means that there is never a husband who is a Deacon and a wife who is an Eldress! Were that to be so she would be in authority over him!
This principle extends to every realm of married life, including the sexual. I have before mentioned the 1-in-7 principle wherein a husband should allow his wife to be in male-position as the 'sabbath queen'. This pertains to what we call 'Zadokian marriage' (Levitical/Aaronic) which is the equivalent in the local assembly (church) of the Deaconate. But in the Millennium, as we know, there is a universal sabbath where the 1-in-7 principle no longer applies in the Spirit in the same way. Every day is a Sabbath then, and it is a 7-in-7 condition. Spiritually, this position is approached rather than 'leapt into', so that it progresses from 1-in-7 to 2-in-7, 3-in-7, 4-in-7, etc..
And this is what happens in the spiritual life generally. As the Spirit anoints more and more areas of our life (there are always areas that are holding out against Christ and sanctification) so we become more and more Spirit-filled.
A word of explanation. It is assumed by many Christians/Messianics that we are 'completely filled' all in one go and remain that way. They also say this is a New Testament phenomenon. This is wrong on both counts. Firstly, people were 'filled' with the Spirit in the Old Testament too (Bezalel and various gifted artisans are examples, gifted for specific jobs - Exodus 28:3; 31:3; 35:31). The same happened at Shavu'ot ('Pentecost') when the believers were filled with the Spirit enabling them to speak foreign languages (Acts 2:4). Peter (Kefa) was occasionally filled so that He could minister (in one example) to the Sanhedrin and speak with power (Acts 4:8). There are other examples of incidents where whole groups were Spirit-filled so that Yahweh could bear a specific witness (Acts 4:31). These supernatural acts of grace were given for specific times and eventually ebbed away, the giftedness being local. But what I am speaking of here is the progressive 'filling' that takes place as we overcome and become sanctified, and which remains unless we sin or turn away from the Light. We have indeed received a commandment to be filled with the Spirit as something to aim for, a commandment contrasted with, and in opposition to, drinking alcohol (Ephesians 5:18).
We may therefore be supernaturally endowed to meet an evangelistic moment, the filling subsequently diminishing (as the light faded from Moses' face as he came down from Sinai) - that is not in our control. Yahweh sends the Spirit for this purpose quite apart from our will and by His sovereign grace, coming and going like the wind (John 3:8). But there is another 'filling' which is permanent which comes only through obedience, faith and overcoming.
Sometimes Yahweh endows women spiritually to preach and teach men and women with authority when there are no men around to do the job. There are examples in the Bible like Huldah who judged Israel with Yahweh's blessing because at that time all the men were wimps. It was an exception to a rule made so that the nation would not become lawless. And the same is true in the Messianic Community (Church). Yahweh occasionally raises women ministers who act on their own when the men aren't walking in the Spirit as they ought to. This is, again, only temporary, and there are always dangers. I know of many women ministers who were initially called this way but who did not step down when they were supposed to and who were subsequently overwhelmed by counterfeit spirits. Exceptions, when they become rules, destroy the Body.
The authority of women I am speaking of today, however, is husband-derived. It is not only right but a part of the permanent landscape of the Messianic Community (Church) - or ought to be. Israel Lim, a Pentecostal polygamist minister in Singapore, followed this pattern. Two of his wives were co-pastors with him having been endowed with the same giftedness. And whilst there is always a danger of abusing this principle (as with any holy principle) when wives became 'first ladies' and occupied positions of authority without any kind of heavenly mandate or spiritual anointing, this does not mean that female ministry is invalid. It is part and parcel of the Holy Spirit dispensation. The ultrapatriarchs and many other 'conservative' groups do not like or accept this, though. They would rather keep their wives prisoners of the letter of Torah - to be seen but never heard.
Men cannot be fully liberated spiritually until their wives are. When men keep them bound they are strangling themselves too. But at the same time if they release them before they have learned submission and obedience as dependents they are digging their own graves too.
The same holds true for the men also. Until they are totally submitted and obedient to Yahweh and His Torah in love, being themselves 'filled' with the Spirit, they are but blind guides and hypocrites when they try to rule their wives. That does not mean they are expected to be perfect over night but it does mean that they have their eyes on the love of Christ and His Torah and are moving resolutely and uncompromisingly in that direction. We all - male and female alike - begin as infants and must grow stage by stage. There is for every man and woman a spiritual metamorphosis.
It is not a simple matter to explain profound spiritual truths in words. It is easy to be misunderstood, as many of my earlier articles have already been. There are still people who believe I am a 'christ' to my wives and that I require the same devotion! I do not. But there are definitely parallels on the human level.
The goal of the Spirit-filled patriarch should be to give all authority to his wife when she has learned humility and obedience to him (Philippians 2:8). When I yielded another area of authority to my fourth wife yesterday after her struggle and overcoming, we were both anointed and edified. Her joy was infectious! And Yah'shua (Jesus) was glorified.
Husbands, as we know, usually die before their wives, and this with a purpose. I have told my wives that when I have gone that they will have everything I had, and more. The Messianic Bride (Church) was blessed in exactly the same way when Christ left earth and ascended into heaven. We know that this separation was important for us and enabled Shavu'ot ('Pentecost') to happen. Yah'shua (Jesus) has given us authority to witness, heal, cast out demons, etc.. Will you, husbands, similarly bless your wives when the hour comes to do so? But first - and without exception - the wives must submit to their husbands. And until they do, they will be dreamers, reject authority, and revile those in positions of authority (Jude 8) to one degree or another. Similarly, there are men who are likewise dreamers because they will not submit to Torah, they walk according to the flesh and are presumptuous and self-willed (2 Peter 2:10). Repenting must be done all around.