Wednesday, August 1, 2012

"Legal" Marriage -- Who judges? / Who declares, "I am the Christ"?

I have finally gotten to answer a question about marriage, and thought I would post it here.

I am pregnant out of wedlock and my partners Mother (who is Jehovah Witness) will not attend my Baby Shower. She said she would attend if her son and I were married, but since we are not it is against her religion to attend. Is this true??


Dear Xxxx,
I could answer your question with one word; but if I did, I would feel that I neglected giving you the full picture you deserve. If you decide to speak to your partner's mother over this issue, I would also like to prepare you well.
I hope you don't mind me being thorough. According to your question above, I see the following issues and questions as being raised...

Is it really against the religion of "Jehovah's witnesses" to attend a baby shower, if the parents of said child are not legally married?
Are you really married in the eyes of God?
Is your partner's mother really acting as a Christian, as she believes?
Is her decision really in imitation of Christ's example?
Does your baby deserve to be treated according to YOUR perceived "sins"?
Does a marriage certificate provided by the government, really constitute marriage?
Does attendance at your baby shower break God's law, or warrant God's disapproval?

I will take them one at a time.

Is it really against the religion of "Jehovah's witnesses" to attend a baby shower, if the parents of said child are not legally married?

Simply stated, yes. Please let me help you to understand why.
The child is viewed as a product of "fornication". To attend a celebration of such a conception, is viewed as condoning and approving of the means by which that child has come into existence. Therefore, to avoid being seen as approving of "fornication", "Jehovah's Witnesses" will decline attending a celebration of a perceived illegitimacy.

Yet, as you might reason, such a belief is unfounded if this view is incorrect. This is what I hope to demonstrate by answering by means of the Bible (the very guide which your partner's mother claims to follow), the rest of those questions.

Are you really married in the eyes of God?

In the Bible, Jesus told us God's definition of Marriage, and how it is made "official".
We find his words, at Matt.19:4,5,6. It reads:
Jesus answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Jesus tells us what constitutes marriage "from the beginning". In the beginning, Adam and Eve did not have a marriage certificate, but rather, they became "one flesh", and were "joined together" by God. Can you see this clearly?

In fact, as regards certificates given by officials, in Matt.19:3,7,9; Jesus compares "lawful" "certificates" to God's Laws, and declares that the laws of men (for marriage and divorce), are invalid (see also Matt.5:31,32).

So then, did you notice when GOD considers two people husband and wife?
According to God's Son Jesus Christ; it is when they leave their previous household and live together, and have sex (become one flesh). These acts IN GOD'S EYES, constitute marriage.

However, there is great gravity in Jesus' last words...
"Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate."

This means that once these two things occur, with or without a marriage certificate; the partners are to regard the union as life-long, without the option of separation (except on the grounds of adultery/fornication Matt.5:32; 19:9).

Because of the slack attitude which has developed in society, "living together" is viewed as independent of a lifelong commitment. Does this decline of society, away from God's standard, change God's Laws on marriage? Are Jesus' words then nullified?
Just because society views "becoming one flesh" as separate from marriage, Jesus has taught us God's unchangeable view.

If you are living in the same home with your partner, and are "one flesh" with him...
you are viewed as married in God's eyes, and are bound to your partner for life as married.
This carries infinitely greater force than a man-made certificate, according to the words of Jesus Christ.

Is your partner's mother really acting as a Christian, as she believes?

First of all, I am sure both you and your partner already know his mother's view of your so called "unlawful" union. Were she to attend the baby shower, it would not insinuate to you, that she changed her view of your relationship. So, this basis for not attending, is not valid.

Surely your partner's mother knows that you have not been thoroughly educated in the Bible and it's requirements for Christians. Yet, she imposes her imagined Christian standards onto you, along with the consequences of transgressing them.
Was this truly the example Jesus Christ set for his disciples?

Is her decision really in imitation of Christ's example?


Notice Mark2:15,16,17
 "Now it happened, as Jesus was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?”
When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

So tell me...
Is your partner's mother imitating the attitude of Jesus, or the attitude of the "scribes and Pharisees"? I do not judge you as a sinner, but even if your partner's mother should she treat you?

Also under this question, is the similar judging your partner's mother is forming toward your unborn child. This brings us to the next question...

Does your baby deserve to be treated according to YOUR perceived "sins"?

In the Bible, there is a story of a man called Jephthah. He enjoyed a very close relationship with God. God richly blessed this man, because Jephthah was favored and cherished by God. This man, was the son of a prostitute. If you would like to read about him, you can find his story in the Bible, in the book of Judges, chapter 11. Although Jephthah's brothers of the same father treated him as inferior, unclean, and unworthy to be among them; God saw things very differently.
Even if you were a sinner, God does not punish children for their parent's sins
(see Eze.18:1,2,3,4,9,14,17,18,19,20; Jer.31:29,30).
Your partner's mother is not more righteous than God, is she?

Does a marriage certificate provided by the government, really constitute marriage?

We have already shown through Jesus' own words, what God considers marriage.
But let's look at the view of your partner's mother (and of "Jehovah's Witnesses" in general).
One of the reasons "Jehovah's witnesses" claim that a marriage license is necessary to officiate a union, is the claim that the government requires it in order to recognize the marriage.
This is untrue.
The government does not require that relationships be legally registered (unless you are seeking certain benefits). Also, the government recognizes marriages that have not been so registered. These marriages are called "common-law"....meaning that the demonstrated applicable law, is self-evident. This is in harmony with what Jesus claimed God's recognition of marriage is.

Does attendance at your baby shower break God's law, or warrant God's disapproval?

Jesus once said:
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John13:34,35)
The foremost trait of True Christians, is love.
We can find the other requirements of God, at Micah6:8, which reads:

"God has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you?
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?"

Justice, mercy, humility. This is what pleases God.
Humility... in what way?
Here is the kind of humility Jesus taught us to display, when we are faced with the sins of others....

"Now early in the morning Jesus came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.
So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

(2Cor.5:19; John3:17; Matt.5:45; Luke6:35; Acts14:16,17)

Xxxxx...If we are not humble in our walking with God,
we are given this warning....
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you."

I am certain that your partner's mother is not without her own sins.
For, the Bible tells us;
"All sin and fall short of the glory of God". (Rom.3:23)

Jesus told us that within the two greatest commands of God, there is an obligation to love our neighbor (Matt.22:38,39,40). When asked to specify the identity of who we should display this love to...Jesus answered by giving an illustration (Luke10:27,28,29,30). If you would like to read his reply, it is this: Luke 10:30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37. Can you discern that we must consider as neighbor (and as those to whom we should show love), even those who are not the same religion as we are? Jews normally disdained Samaritans, and thought them as beneath themselves in a spiritual sense...which was true (John4:22). Yet Jesus made clear, that our very life (Luke10:25,27,28) and the approval of God (Luke10:25; Matt.22:40),
rests upon practicing a proactive and humble love toward all (Matt.5:43,44,45,46,47,48; Luke5:32; Micah6:8)...
without regard to what we may think of them, or their spiritual standing as compared to us
(Luke10:29,36,37; Matt.5:7; Luke18:9,10,11,12,13,14).
The Jews who passed by the injured man, did not obey God's command to love neighbor.
The Samaritan, did. Who then, receives life from God?
Yes, humble love is required, no matter how spiritually superior we esteem ourselves to be.
Your mother-in-law fulfills the commands of men...not of God (Matt.15:9).
Christ's command is to love everyone (John13:34; 15:12; Matt.5:46,47,44) in imitation of him (John3:17; 1Pet.2:12; Matt.5:42; 1Tim.6:18).

Thank you for your question, Xxxxx. I wish the best for your new family. May you continue to learn about the love and mercy of God, and enjoy his favor and blessing forever. If there is any other way I can help you, please ask.



When I thought about all this....
every time the "witnesses" tell someone to leave the person they are living with, (because they do not have a marriage license)
they are "putting apart" that which God has already joined together...all because they do not realize the truth of what Jesus said.
Sometimes an unbelieving mate is willing to stay together for life, but unwilling to legalize the union. "Witnesses" pry such a union apart. In doing so, they violate God's laws of Marriage.
I have seen "divorced" couples who later made up, disfellowshipped because they did not re-marry legally first. The Bible even tells such separated ones, that they should "make up" and rejoin (1Cor.7:10,11). Yet the "witnesses" discipline such ones, due to an unscriptural view of the "legalities" instituted by men
These couples are actually being punished and shamed, for doing what is right in God's eyes.
A "sister" in my local congregation was with her husband for over 30 years. They had a son together. While she was studying, she was told that unless she left her husband, she could not be baptized. Her husband did not want to legalize the union. This poor woman left her husband in order to be baptized.
To compel a person to do this by tyrannical decree, violates 1Cor.7:13, which reads:
Also, if any woman has an unbelieving husband and he is willing to live with her, she must not leave her husband."
And, Matt.19:6...
"They are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God  has joined together, let no one separate.”
Yet the leaders of "J.W.'s" are so blinded by their own sense of enamored with their own sense of rectitude...they have no room to yield to God's (Matt.6:33; Prov.20:9,10,11; 25:16; Ec.7:16; Rom.12:3).

At the root of these misconceptions, is a trust in men, their authority, and their institutions, as being above the Bible's.
Yet, in the case of "Jehovah's Witnesses", should this inclination surprise us? 
Within the organization men are served, followed, and obeyed, above and beyond the scriptures.

Jesus once said, "Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, but give to God what belongs to God." (Matt.22:21)
Does authority over marriage belong to
Caesar (secular government), or God?
Jesus' words make the answer clear:
"Therefore what God  has joined together, let no one separate." (Mark10:9)
Marriage belongs to God,
and His authority over it, should be recognized, 
and given to Him.

Since the leadership of "J.W.'s" fails to recognize this;
...what are the implications for all those who are in subjection to that leadership? (Matt.5:20; 15:14)

Jesus told his Chosen brothers...
"Be careful," Jesus said to them. "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees." (Matt.16:6)
What did this "yeast" include?
Verse 12 tells us...
"Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the yeast of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees." (Matt.16:12)
That yeast also includes pride and hypocrisy. They claim to listen to God's Word, but their doctrines prove otherwise (Luke12:1; Matt.15:8).
"Jehovah's Witnesses" have forgotten, that their salvation rests, not upon their self-righteous condemnation of others, but rather,
upon their ability to humbly forgive (Matt.7:2; Ec.7:16; Matt.6:14,15; 1John1:8; Luke15:7,10; 18:11,12,13,14).

What was wrong with teachings that defy what Christ established regarding marriage and God's right to officiate over it?
Jesus exposed their error, when he said:
"They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules."..."Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition." (Matt.15:9,6)
Jesus told his own Chosen that they themselves had to beware of doing these very things. (1Cor.5:7; Luke5:38)
Do we see professed anointed leaders today, nullifying God's Word for the sake of secular tradition?
Have they ignored Christ's warning about imitating the hypocrisy of the previous leaders of God's Nation? 
(Luke12:1; Mark7:6,7)

God's Word clearly identifies what marriage is, and who it is that officiates over and establishes it.
Has His Word been "nullified" by religious leaders,
who imitate the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees?
If you recognize this, then also grasp what this implies for God's Nation today, being guided by the present "steward" (Eze.14:10; 1John4:1; John7:18,17; 8:47)....

Jesus told those to be the last  remnant of his Chosen brothers...
"See to it  that no one misleads you . For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many." (Matt.24:4,5,24,25) (Mark13:21)

Christ is the English term for the Greek Χριστός (Khristós) meaning "the anointed". 
When the Hebrew scriptures were translated into a Greek version called the Septuagint; Khristós was used to translate the Hebrew מָשִׁיחַ (Mašíaḥ,) (Messiah), meaning "[one who is] anointed with holy anointing oil."
Christos is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word Mashiach (now customarily rendered in English as "Messiah"), which means "one who is anointed." 
The faithful slaves of Christ's body, would be included as Christs (Zech.4:14; 2Cor.1:21; 1John2:20,27), or, Messiahs.
These can prove faithful and true "wheat", or unfaithful and false "weeds".

For us to understand the prophecy at Matt.24:5, we need to understand a modern translation of this foretold claim.
To claim to be the "Christ", is by definition, also to
claim to be the faithful and true "anointed" and Chosen of God. 
("Who claims, 'I am the Christ'?")
This is the modern equivalent of claiming to be the anointed "faithful and discreet slave" that Jesus referred to at Matt.24:45. If someone asserts and promotes this exact claim about themselves; they fulfill this prophecy. Jesus tells us not to believe them (Mark13:21; 1John4:1).
Does this mean that such a slave does not exist?
Such a slave is  appointed by Christ, to provide spiritual provisions (Luke12:42; Matt.7:17,19; John15:8). But the true faithful anointed, would not declare themselves to be such (Luke17:10), because they realize such an identity is for their master alone to bestow (Matt.25:23). They would not dare assume their approved standing and it's reward, prematurely (1Cor.10:12; Isa.47:8,9,7; Rev.18:7,8; Luke12:19,20,21) (Matt.25:23; Rev.22:12; 2Thess.1:7) (Matt.16:27; 1Cor.11:26) (Matt.24:13; Rev.3:11; 2:25; Dan.11:35).
Yet Jesus asks us all  to contemplate his question... "Who really  is?" (Matt.24:45)
It would obviously not  be the ones touting the claim...
             (and enforcing it with persecution by an army of Gentile "elders" 
              -Zech4:6,14; Jer.17:5; Luke12:45; Rev.9:3; 13:15) 
...but rather, the ones really providing the proper food (scriptural truth) at the proper time (alert and awake as to the hour of need, holding fast their testimony of Jesus (Matt.24:45,46; Luke12:37,36,35; Matt.5:14; Rev.12:17). 

  The FDS would also be those who provide the spiritual food according to the method  Jesus indicated.
What method is that?
Rather than being clearly announced, extolled, and possessing an established place (Matt.24:23; Luke21:8; Matt.24:26);
as Christ's representatives (2Cor.5:20; 13:3; Rom.15:17,18; Luke12:3; Matt.10:27,20), they would simply be "flashing" "light" around the globe (Matt.24:26,27,28; 5:14; John8:12). 
"Eagles" would have to use their keen discernment to search out these "slain ones"/"carcass" (Mark8:35; Rev.6:9,11; 12:11; Matt.24:28; Rev.12:14,6; 11:3,8). 
They would be recognized by their true/fine fruit....not by a menacing self-proclamation. (Matt.7:20; Mal.3:18)

The true "light"/"food" would be sourced in the true vine (John15:4,5), and this light of truth would be a manifestation of Christ himself, unified with his faithful cloud (John16:13,14; 14:26; Rev.11:3; Matt.10:27; Luke12:12; 21:15; Mark13:26; Heb.12:1; Matt.25:31; Heb.2:5,16).

That end-time light/fruit of Christ through his faithful, would contain some specific elements, including:

---the exposing of the "Man of Lawlessness" (Eph.5:11; 2Thess.2:8; Rev.3:9) by these last anointed (Rev.11:5; Jer.5:14; Isa.24:6; 1Cor.3:13; 4:5); 

---previous awakening and repentance by the faithful (Rev.3:19; 11:3; Joel1:13; Luke21:36; Mal.3:2,3; Micah7:9; Rev.3:2,17; Matt.25:5,6,7; Eph.5:14; Rev.3:18; Mal.3:3);

---condemnation of the apostate empire
(Rev.8:8; Zech.4:7; Mark11:23; Rev.18:21; 2:26,27; 17:14; 19:11,14,8) 
through a war between truth and lies 
(1Tim.4:1; Rev.16:13,14,15,16; 2Cor.10:4,5; Rom.12:2,1; 2Cor.6:7; 10:4; Jer.1:10; 2Cor.10:8; 13:10; 10:5) (Rev.12:7; 19:11,14; 17:14; 12:10-11)

---and a symbolic "death" for truth's sake (Rev.6:9,11; 11:7; 12:11; 20:4)].

The genuine faithful anointed slaves of God, do not need to blow a trumpet to announce who they are, or draw people to where they are located. They simply need to obey the Master, by producing fruit to feed his sheep.
Jesus Christ and all the genuine and sealed Chosen "Christs" (anointed) of Jesus' "Body",
would simply be "One" with the essence of the light they shine, as the vessels of it 
(John14:17; 1Thess.5:5; 2Cor.4:7; Luke1:78; 2Pet.1:19; Rev.22:16; 2Cor.4:6; Rev.2:27,28,29). 

The Christ/anointed who truly possess this holy oil of God's spirit, would be manifested by shining true light, devoid of an established religious affiliation, hierarchy, spiritual commerce, and notoriety...
They would not become manifested by claims, prominence, stature, physical holdings, worldly acclaim and accomplishments, honor by men, nor by their impressive surroundings and established location.  
(Luke 9:58; 1John 2:16,15; Hebrews 10:34; Rev. 2:9; Matt.6:19; Luke 12:20; Rev.18:14,19)
(1Cor.4:13; 1:25,27,28,29; Heb.13:13)
(Matt.24:1,2; John4:21,23 --

When we see these impressive physical things, Jesus tells us, "Do not believe it!"...
"For as lightening comes from eastern parts, and shines over to western parts; So the presence of the Son of Man will be". 
...And so the presence of the genuine Anointed "Sons of Oil" will also be (Zech.4:14; Rev.11:4; Matt.10:40) as they serve him (Col.3:24; John1:51; Rom.8:9; 2Cor.5:17). 

They are together with Christ, in spirit (1Cor.6:17; Matt.28:20) with their appearing bridegroom (John17:23,24; 14:20; 15:5; 6:56; Matt.25:6,10,13; 2Cor.11:2; Eph.5:27; John14:3; 12:26; 2Thess.1:7,10)(Isa.58:10; Ps.37:6; 97:11; Isa.58:10; 1Cor.3:13) 
and enter the marriage feast with him, 
along with all those who wish to attend and partake of the spiritual provisions 
        (Dan.7:13; Rev.5:1,5,7; John15:15;
          Rev.1:1; Matt.10:27; John21:17; 
          Matt.5:14; 1Cor.4:1; John7:38)
Rev.19:9; 22:17; 5:5; 10:2,7,8,11; 20:12; Rev.3:20).

"Who really is the faithful 
and wise slaves ("Christs"/anointed)?"? (Matt.24:45)
"By their fruits you will  recognize them."...both the fine,
 and the rotten (Matt.7:20; Mal.3:18).

Jesus identified two options before his Chosen slaves....
faithful/wise, and wicked/abusive/drunk/asleep.

Our lives depend upon identifying and distinguishing between the two, and whose provisions we will accept and obey. 
(Rom.6:16; 2Cor.13:3; 4:1,2; 1Cor.4:1,2; 1John4:1; 1Thess.5:21; Mark 13:37; Matt.7:15,20,24,26; Rev.13:11,8)


  1. As always, a wonderful and thought provoking response. Thank you.

  2. To Jehovah belongs the praise. He dwells in unapproachable light, is the Father of Light, and is the reason we can perceive it (1Tim.6:16; James1:17; Psalm36:9).


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