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  #1  
Old Oct 22, '10, 7:20 pm
dominikus28 dominikus28 is offline
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Default Moses and Divorce

Why did Moses allow divorce for Jews and then Jesus came and prohibited it again? Can someone please explain this to me.

I understand that God created man and woman, but why would God allow Moses to say that divorce is ok, and then make Jesus forbid it? Doesn't this mean that teachings can change over time? Maybe pro-choice Catholics see it that way and that is why they persist. I don't get why it would change. If "it was not so from the beginning", why couldn't Moses just say you cannot get divorced because God made it that way?

Also, I am confused about when Jesus says that a man cannot divorce his wife except in.. and then I think he gives the exception of fornication or something. Can someone explain this to me too?

Thanks
God Bless
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  #2  
Old Oct 23, '10, 7:07 am
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Reuben J Reuben J is offline
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Default Re: Moses and Divorce

Moses was not just a prophet but a ruler too. Remember when his father in-law, Jethro asking him to delegate some of his power to his subordinates so that he could govern more effectively on important matter.

In this respect he needed to look after his people welfare too. For example, who will take care of the widows, the orphans and single mother? Remember women were not given much right in his society; and if he is to be a just ruler their needs had to be taken care of.

Thus basically the ruling for the divorce was an administrative arrangement whereby provision would be given for the wellbeing of the divorced wife.

It is wrong to divorce or to separate what God has joint together. By allowing the divorce it did not make it right in God’s eyes. However, it was necessary administratively for the systematic governance for the people.

God bless.
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  #3  
Old Oct 23, '10, 5:42 pm
Todd Easton Todd Easton is offline
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Default Re: Moses and Divorce

I think of the Mosaic law as an intermediary step in fallen mankind's moral rehabilitation; fallen mankind, lost in immorality, first needed to re-learn how to walk in the moral laws of Moses before it could run again in the higher moral laws of Christ.
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Old Oct 24, '10, 2:28 am
Mailman Mailman is offline
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Default Re: Moses and Divorce

Quote:
Originally Posted by dominikus28 View Post
Why did Moses allow divorce for Jews and then Jesus came and prohibited it again? Can someone please explain this to me.

I understand that God created man and woman, but why would God allow Moses to say that divorce is ok, and then make Jesus forbid it? Doesn't this mean that teachings can change over time? Maybe pro-choice Catholics see it that way and that is why they persist. I don't get why it would change. If "it was not so from the beginning", why couldn't Moses just say you cannot get divorced because God made it that way?

Also, I am confused about when Jesus says that a man cannot divorce his wife except in.. and then I think he gives the exception of fornication or something. Can someone explain this to me too?

Thanks
God Bless
God’s marriage law is clear. Once bound by God (God alone binds a marriage), the marriage remains bound for life (Rom. 7:1-3). God’s law has no provision which allows it to be broken. For example, Christ never said, “Thou shalt not steal, unless it is imperative to feed your family.” Nor did He say, “Remember the Sabbath, but you may do a little work to prevent losing your job.” The ox in the ditch, Jesus’ examples of healing, the disciples’ picking of corn in order to eat – these are not circumstances under which we are permitted to break the fourth commandment. They merely define actions which the fourth commandment does not cover – does not prohibit.

Likewise, the same is true with Jesus’ statement, “except it be for fornication” (Matt. 5:32; 19:9). It defines actions which the law of marriage does not cover. It defines cases where the marriage has not yet been bound by God. Therefore, there is the possibility that the marriage may be “annulled,” as the term is used today. The “divorce” that Moses allowed (Deut. 22:13-21 and 24:1-4) also applies to a marriage not bound by God.

The case of Joseph and Mary shows the meaning of “except it be for fornication.” Notice that the Bible refers to a betrothed woman, prior to the marriage ceremony, as the “wife,” and the betrothed man, prior to being bound in marriage, as the “husband.” Mary “was espoused” – betrothed or formally engaged – to Joseph. But, “before they came together, she was found with child… Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily” (Matt. 1:18-19). Joseph could have put Mary away for fornication (premarital sex) unknown to him according to the provisions of God’s law found in Deut. 22:13-21 and 24:1-4. He would then have been free to marry another woman. This is the Bible explanation of “except it be for fornication.” Notice that only Matthew records this “qualifying clause.” Why? It’s because Matthew is the only Gospel writer to record Joseph’s thoughts concerning the putting away of Mary, his betrothed wife.

God bless.
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  #5  
Old Oct 24, '10, 3:05 am
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Reuben J Reuben J is offline
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Default Re: Moses and Divorce

Hi Mailman

Your argument is pretty convincing regarding marriage and divorce because of fornication. My Church does not allow divorce for a properly administered Sacramental marriage; I have to look deeper at what you said.

However I beg to differ in the case of the commandment about the Sabbath. Jesus said he is the Lord of the Sabbath; he demonstrated that by ‘transgressing’ it. If he is the fulfillment of the Law thus with his coming then that Law does not bound on us anymore.

God bless.
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  #6  
Old Oct 27, '10, 3:51 pm
Mailman Mailman is offline
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Default Re: Moses and Divorce

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Originally Posted by Reuben J View Post
Hi Mailman

Your argument is pretty convincing regarding marriage and divorce because of fornication. My Church does not allow divorce for a properly administered Sacramental marriage; I have to look deeper at what you said.
Thanks for the positive response.

About the marriage covenant, I believe it is God alone who can bind a marriage. He alone has the authority to bind. What the church does is merely conduct a ceremony. But it is Almighty God who ties the knot – who binds husband and wife.

If you will notice, the marriage institution started long before there ever was a church. It started at man’s creation when, “the Eternal God said, It is not good that man should be alone; I will make an help meet for him… Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Gen. 2:18, 24).

Here, we can see that God binds a marriage when a man and a woman 1) leave father and mother and, 2) cleave together and become one flesh. This makes marriage an institution that started at the creation of man. It applies to all mankind, not just to the converted. It applies to all races, creeds, and regardless of religion.

If we say it is the church that binds a marriage, then couples who have not had a church wedding have not really entered into a marriage union and therefore can divorce and remarry without committing adultery.


Quote:
However I beg to differ in the case of the commandment about the Sabbath. Jesus said he is the Lord of the Sabbath; he demonstrated that by ‘transgressing’ it. If he is the fulfillment of the Law thus with his coming then that Law does not bound on us anymore.

God bless.
We would have to agree to disagree on that.

God bless.
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  #7  
Old Oct 27, '10, 4:23 pm
dominikus28 dominikus28 is offline
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Default Re: Moses and Divorce

So when Moses allowed divorce, wasn't he going against God's will, that a man should leave his family and become one flesh with his wife?

Sorry, but I still don't understand why Moses did this if it was not supposed to be so. Did Moses do that because he thought he was doing the right thing, and God didn't correct him until Jesus came?
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  #8  
Old Oct 27, '10, 5:14 pm
Joe Kelley Joe Kelley is offline
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Default Re: Moses and Divorce

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Originally Posted by dominikus28 View Post
So when Moses allowed divorce, wasn't he going against God's will, that a man should leave his family and become one flesh with his wife?

Sorry, but I still don't understand why Moses did this if it was not supposed to be so. Did Moses do that because he thought he was doing the right thing, and God didn't correct him until Jesus came?
I would note that these were not sacramental marriages; so could be dissolved for sufficient cause - e.g. Pauline and Petrine privileges

Just my speculation. I have no source for that.
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  #9  
Old Oct 28, '10, 3:30 am
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Reuben J Reuben J is offline
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Default Re: Moses and Divorce

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Originally Posted by Mailman View Post
Thanks for the positive response.

About the marriage covenant, I believe it is God alone who can bind a marriage. He alone has the authority to bind. What the church does is merely conduct a ceremony. But it is Almighty God who ties the knot – who binds husband and wife.

If you will notice, the marriage institution started long before there ever was a church. It started at man’s creation when, “the Eternal God said, It is not good that man should be alone; I will make an help meet for him… Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Gen. 2:18, 24).

Here, we can see that God binds a marriage when a man and a woman 1) leave father and mother and, 2) cleave together and become one flesh. This makes marriage an institution that started at the creation of man. It applies to all mankind, not just to the converted. It applies to all races, creeds, and regardless of religion.

If we say it is the church that binds a marriage, then couples who have not had a church wedding have not really entered into a marriage union and therefore can divorce and remarry without committing adultery.

God bless.
You are at home with us by saying this, for that’s exactly what we believe.

However, you would have a problem here:
You wouldn’t know whether the marriage is tied by God or not. You have no way of knowing that. There are many kinds and types of marriages and you have to choose which one is really bound by God. We know that some marriages are only in the name; they are anything except marriages.

Peace.
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You are the Savior of the world.


Life begins at conception not implantation.
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  #10  
Old Oct 28, '10, 7:11 pm
Todd Easton Todd Easton is offline
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Default Re: Moses and Divorce

Quote:
Originally Posted by dominikus28 View Post
So when Moses allowed divorce, wasn't he going against God's will, that a man should leave his family and become one flesh with his wife?

Sorry, but I still don't understand why Moses did this if it was not supposed to be so. Did Moses do that because he thought he was doing the right thing, and God didn't correct him until Jesus came?
Perhaps my earlier physical-rehabilitation metaphor for mankind's moral rehabilitation was too obscure...

After the fall of Adam and Eve, mankind fell deeper and deeper into immorality with each passing generation. (Genesis 6:5) It seems to me, because of man's weakened and stubborn nature and the great depth of immorality into which it had fallen by the time of Moses, it was necessary to bring it back to the perfection of the original (pre-fall) morality in two separate stages: first, to the less-than-perfect morality of the God-given law of Moses; and then, to the perfect morality of the God-given law of Christ. Mankind was too weak and stubborn to make the leap from the utter immorality it found itself in before Moses to the high morality of the law of Christ all at once. Though it is a less-than-perfect morality, the law of Moses was the highest level of morality that mankind could possibly attain at the time. It would take a thousand years or so of observing the law of Moses before mankind was ready for the leap to the perfect morality of the law of Christ.
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  #11  
Old Oct 29, '10, 6:25 am
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Reuben J Reuben J is offline
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Default Re: Moses and Divorce

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Originally Posted by Todd Easton View Post
Perhaps my earlier physical-rehabilitation metaphor for mankind's moral rehabilitation was too obscure...

After the fall of Adam and Eve, mankind fell deeper and deeper into immorality with each passing generation. (Genesis 6:5) It seems to me, because of man's weakened and stubborn nature and the great depth of immorality into which it had fallen by the time of Moses, it was necessary to bring it back to the perfection of the original (pre-fall) morality in two separate stages: first, to the less-than-perfect morality of the God-given law of Moses; and then, to the perfect morality of the God-given law of Christ. Mankind was too weak and stubborn to make the leap from the utter immorality it found itself in before Moses to the high morality of the law of Christ all at once. Though it is a less-than-perfect morality, the law of Moses was the highest level of morality that mankind could possibly attain at the time. It would take a thousand years or so of observing the law of Moses before mankind was ready for the leap to the perfect morality of the law of Christ.
Todd, though this is an admirable attempt to salvage what’s left to justify Catholic’s prohibition on divorce, the problem with it is your introduction of the two separate stages of receiving ‘the perfect morality of God-given law of Christ’. How valid is this and is there any exception that this principle was being subscribed before to explain the New Covenant? I guess not; and there lies your problem with this approach.

I would go with the principle that God cannot and does not compromise on sin. It is a yes or no thing; black and white and no grey area. So your presupposition in my view is unthinkable and unlikely that God should allow it.

Mailman didn’t even bother to try this but instead saying that there are instances where God’s commandments do not cover, for example adultery in marriage and compassion as reason to transgress the Sabbath.

His explanation seems rather persuasive; the only problem he doesn’t have the Church to determine the legality of the marriage or to decide on its authenticity.

Look like we are still in a quandary. I would stick to my presupposition that some Mosaic ruling like divorce is secular. It was a practical justice for the people but not necessary right in God’s eyes.

God bless.
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  #12  
Old Oct 30, '10, 9:23 pm
Mailman Mailman is offline
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Default Re: Moses and Divorce

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Originally Posted by dominikus28 View Post
So when Moses allowed divorce, wasn't he going against God's will, that a man should leave his family and become one flesh with his wife?
The OT law on divorce is not Moses’ law. Moses is not the lawmaker. God is. Speaking about the laws which he was about to give – the law on divorce being one of them – Moses tells the people: “Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep HIS charge, and HIS statutes, and HIS judgments, and HIS commandments, always” (Deut. 11:1). Moses merely relayed to the people all the laws that God set in motion.

Notice that when Moses, in Deut. 11:32, said, “And ye shall observe to do all the statutes and judgments which I set before you this day [and that include the law on divorce]” it was not his statutes and judgments which the people was to observe, for Moses (in verses 26-27), had just told the people: “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day.”

Quote:
Sorry, but I still don't understand why Moses did this if it was not supposed to be so. Did Moses do that because he thought he was doing the right thing, and God didn't correct him until Jesus came?
The law Moses gave did not allow for divorce of a bound marriage. Advocating divorce [and remarriage] in the OT would mean that God was teaching one thing then and another in the NT. But God says He does not change (Mal. 3:8, Heb. 13:8). All His laws are immutable, unchanging and inviolate (Matt. 5:18, Luke 16:17).

What Jesus “corrected” when He came was the application of the law – and all of God’s spiritual laws. Jesus restored these laws as they were from the beginning. What God commanded Moses was to give the laws to ancient Israel only in the letter – they were to obey them only in the literal letter, not in their spiritual principle and intent. When Jesus came, He commanded for Christians to not just keep the law in the strictness of the letter, but also according to its spirit and intent.

The “divorce” which Moses allowed was the putting away of what God had not yet bound. The statute is found in Deuteronomy 24:1-4. It says: “When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that he find no favor in his eyes, because he found some uncleanness (Hebrew, ervah dabar, ‘a matter of nakedness’] in her…”

Notice the time setting is when the man “married” the woman, and “it come to pass.” What this tells us is that this is right after the kiddushin wedding ceremony – most probably at the wedding night – when this “matter of nakedness” was discovered and the wife rejected. But has God bound the union at this point in time? Remember, God alone binds a marriage. His law says that a man and a woman is legally bound when they 1) leave father and mother (this has obviously happened here) and 2) cleave together – that is, joined together in a binding relationship between each other and God (they took their vows at the kiddushin ceremony so they have “cleaved together”), and 3) become one flesh.

Now, that last element of the marriage law is fulfilled only when a couple sexually consummates their marriage. If the rejection and eventual writing of divorcement happened before the couple came together in sexual union, then the divorce that was allowed was for a marriage not yet bound by God. And this indeed is the case here. Since the couple was yet to “become one flesh,” the marriage has yet to be bound. The “divorce,” then, in this particular provision of God’s law is not for a marriage bound by God.

Here is proof why this law could not be speaking of a bound marriage. Notice that verse 4 states that the husband could never take back the wife he rejected. She was free to be another man’s wife, but was forbidden to return to her former husband if her second husband died. But, God’s law forbids a bound mate from remarrying until death of the partner. Moreover, there is no restriction under God’s law against a husband taking back a bound wife (I Cor. 7:11, Rom. 7:1-3, Mal. 2:14-16). Deuteronomy 24 therefore could not be describing a bound marriage.

Also, if we are to take God’s example of His own marriage to ancient Israel, God, who was bound to Israel at Mt. Sinai but had to write a “bill of divorce” because of her adulterous ways, did not forbid Israel to return to Him. In fact, He pleaded for her to return because He was His wife. He said, “Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married to you” (Jer. 3:14). Here we see that God indeed had a bound marriage to Israel but was willing to take her back upon repentance.

The evil Israel did was no small matter because God, in verse 1, had just said: “They say, If a man put away a wife, and she go from him, and be another man’s, shall he return unto her again? Shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers.” Yet, in spite of this, God continued, “yet return again to me, saith the Lord.” God was willing to forgive upon repentance and take back His wife Israel. That would not be pollution, but repentance, and forgiveness in taking back the true wife – the “wife of thy youth… and the wife of thy covenant” (Mal. 2:14). If Deuteronomy 24 is about a bound marriage, it would go against this example of a bound marriage involving God Himself.

God bless.
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Old Oct 30, '10, 9:30 pm
Mailman Mailman is offline
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Default Re: Moses and Divorce

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You are at home with us by saying this, for that’s exactly what we believe.
Hi Reuben,
It's nice to hear that. Thanks.

Quote:
However, you would have a problem here:
You wouldn’t know whether the marriage is tied by God or not. You have no way of knowing that. There are many kinds and types of marriages and you have to choose which one is really bound by God. We know that some marriages are only in the name; they are anything except marriages.

Peace.
I really can’t see any problem there. The church ministry’s responsibility is to make known God’s teaching on the subject of divorce and remarriage, and the parties involved would have to make their own decision as to the disposition of their particular case. This is an area so intimate that only God is fully capable of discerning hearts and minds. The ministry, for example, would have no way of knowing if there is fraud and deception involved, and so refuse to marry a couple.

Where the problem comes, as I see it, is when you say it is the church that ties the knot – that she has that authority to bind. For if she has that authority then every marriage she conducts would be binding at the very moment she declares it to be so. But we can see that the church annuls marriages she has already bound which are later proved to be invalid. This goes against the very meaning and essence of authority, in that any agreement executed by a proper legal authority is a valid agreement.

But the more serious problem is this. If the church could decide which marriages are binding, and which are not, then it – the church – and not God, would bind and loose marriages. But this contradicts Matthew 19:6 which clearly prove that only God has this power.

God bless.
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Old Oct 30, '10, 9:54 pm
dominikus28 dominikus28 is offline
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Default Re: Moses and Divorce

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Deuteronomy 24 therefore could not be describing a bound marriage.
So a Jew cannot get married and divorce once the marriage has been consummated? My jewish friend's father has been married and divorced multiple times and has children from multiple marriages. So is this against what Deut. 24 says or have the Rabbis misinterpreted this and allowed divorce and remarriage in this case?
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Old Oct 31, '10, 4:04 am
Mailman Mailman is offline
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So a Jew cannot get married and divorce once the marriage has been consummated? My jewish friend's father has been married and divorced multiple times and has children from multiple marriages. So is this against what Deut. 24 says or have the Rabbis misinterpreted this and allowed divorce and remarriage in this case?
That’s right. Once the marriage has been consummated, the Jew cannot divorce and remarry. God’s law applies to all. He does not give one law for one group of people, and an entirely different law to others (Rom. 2:11). The Rabbis misused Deut. 24 to mean divorce can be allowed for bound marriages.

There were two schools of thought during Jesus’ day as to what the “matter of nakedness” in Deut. 24 meant. One school of interpreters (the Hillel School) interpreted this to mean that divorce was permissible for any and every reason – anything in the wife the husband finds offensive or disagreeable are grounds for divorce. Those of the Shammai School, however, allowed divorce and remarriage only on grounds of adultery or other sexual perversion, and even then, only immediately after the wedding ceremony.

When the Pharisees asked Jesus, “Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?” (Matt. 19:3), they wanted to know which side Christ was on. But Jesus sided with neither, for both interpretations were wrong. Jesus’ answer (verse 4-6) plainly showed that God’s law concerning marriage, effective from the beginning of man’s creation, means that when a man and a woman are bound by God, they are both bound for life – no exceptions.

But Jesus’ plain answer did not satisfy the Pharisees and they questioned Him further, citing Deut. 24: “Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement and to put her away?” Jesus knew their trickery in trying to make Him contradict Himself. If He now gives an exception whereby man may put asunder what God had bound, He was a liar – and you and I would have no Savior! Jesus answered: “Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.”

From the very beginning of Creation there was no such provision for “divorce” in God’s law. But the application and administration of that law was different for the unconverted Israelites in the OT because of their hard-heartedness. They were allowed to put away of what God had not yet bound. But even then, this was only under limited circumstances due to undisclosed sexual uncleanness.

Christ’s message for us of the New Covenant is not to be stiff-necked, hard-hearted and rebellious. We are told to “… harden not your hearts, as in the provocation” of Israel in the wilderness (Heb. 3:15). Even in the OT, we are exhorted to, ”Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the Lord…” (II Chron. 30:8). We are not to hardheartedly put away our mates for any cause.

Jesus came to magnify God’s law (Isa. 42:21), to make it more inclusive by enlarging it from the physical letter of the law to the spiritual principle – the way God intended it from the very beginning. He said He came not to destroy, but to “fulfill” the law (Matt. 5:17). We are to follow His example and fulfill the law – make it full, bring it to its full expression, apply it to perfection in its full intent and purpose, apply it in principle.

Jesus’ expansion to the spiritual intent of God’s law in Deut. 24 is this: “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for the cause of fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” Jesus magnified, but did not destroy the law in Deut. 24.

God bless.
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