A QUESTION OF SEXUAL PURITY
Messianic Evangelical Thoughts on Sex
Inside and Outside Marriage
The following material contains explicit instructions about the conduct between the sexes which is only really suitable for those who are married. We do not advise single, unmarried persons to read this interview.
Q. I am very happy that the leadership has agreed to discuss the very sensitive question of sexuality as up until now I know you have been reluctant to do so. Why the change of mind?
A. We have always taught, and still teach, that sex is a private matter between husband and wife and it is not the fellowship's business to interfere in the way they conduct their sex life. However, we have, in recent times, been confronted by questions coming from the United States which have virtually forced us to now come out in the open and make a clearer stand for the sake of the purity not so much of NCAY but of the Messianic Community (Christian Church) in general.
Q. Could you give us an illustration?
A. Well, recently I received an e-mail from a young man in California who is a Christian. His girlfriend is a Christian too. He told me how they had undressed and were being extremely intimate to the point that he could hardly stop himself from having full intercourse with her. For some reason he had the impression that what the Bible calls "fornication" is the act of full intercourse, and that anything else goes. And, I reasoned to myself, if this is how many other young Christians/Messianics look upon fornication, then there is a major problem with purity in the wider Body of Messiah.
Well, Messianic Evangelicals, who take the Bible literally at its word, may well be shocked to hear such a scenario, but in actual fact it is very common, even in conservative evangelical Churches and I dare say in some messianic assemblies too. An acquaintance of mine a few years ago mentioned to me once how he had spoken to a young lady in one of the largest Pentecostal Churches in Oslo and asked her to tell him truthfully if the sexual standards of Pentecostal youth in the city were any different from those of the secular society, and she ashamedly told him that there was little difference. The values of the surrounding neo-pagan culture as regards sexuality were the same as those held by Pentecostal youth.
Q. I know you have mentioned this before, and it is quite shocking given the biblical standards for sexual conduct. So I wonder if you could give us a resumé of what the Bible actually teaches and what some of the modern revelations have to say in amplification...
A. The biblical teaching is explicit: there is to be no kind of sexual contact whatsoever, and that includes petting and kissing, until a couple are married.
Q. Not even a peck on the cheek?
A. Anything that might be remotely construed as sexual belongs solely to the marriage covenant. Cultures vary considerably in what is permissible with regard to such social customs as kissing. As Messianic Evangelicals we are only interested in the culture that will prevail in the Millennium. In Hebrew times it was forbidden to touch another woman unless she was your wife, mother or sister. In India men and women do not, in the more traditional parts of the country, shake hands, though women may shake women's hands and men may shake men's. This is a good custom even though someone coming from the morally lax West might consider this extreme.
Q. What of the Arab custom of men holding hands?
A. When I first saw this in Jerusalem many years ago I wrongly thought that this was a sign of homosexuality. In some parts of Asia it is common for women to hold hands too, and this might be construed as being lesbianism when it isn't.
Q. How does one resolve these different cultural approaches to intimacy? How should believers deal with it?
A. The bottom line in all of this is whether any kind of physical contact is sexually stimulating or not. If it is, it should be shunned. As the world becomes ever more permissive and sensual, I believe it is perfectly correct to avoid contact altogether. I will not give an apostolic rule here because in some situations, where deliberate avoidance of contact might be interpreted wrongly when no sexual intentions are meant, it might look rather ridiculous. A Messianic Evangelical moving amongst different cultures should always seek, when it comes to opposite sex, contact to minimise contact wherever possible.
Q. I suppose this could be a problem with same sex contact?
A. Unfortunately, yes. A key must here be to keep the physical contact as short as possible. A hug, a kiss on the cheek, or a handshake, where this is socially the norm, should be kept brief. If a man is holding on to a woman's hand after it has been offered for a handshake, she should firmly remove it or, if she is aware that such a person has sexual intentions, refuse physical contact at all.
Q. I can see in the future where immorality gets out of hand that some sort of standard code will be necessary for NCAY members. Would you agree?
A. Speaking personally, I would agree with you. I like the traditional Indian custom a lot. Refusing to shake hands might be considered an insult by many but the Indians have a non-contact greeting which consists of putting the hands together as in prayer. I also like the Japanese custom of bowing very much which, together with a short heel-click, is also an old Scandinavian and a German tradition, though it has largely disappeared.
Q. Which do you follow?
A. I follow the Scandinavian-German tradition. A bow shows humility and respect and avoids personal contact.
Q. What about hugging, which is very popular in Scandinavia?
A. Unfortunately, it has gone to an extreme now. Non-sexual hugging is, I believe, the most intimate form of greeting that believers can give one another. But I am mostly here speaking of Christian-pagan contacts. I think we must leave this to personal conscience. They key is, as ever, keeping all forms of physical greetings except between those who are heterosexually married to a minimum.
Q. I can imagine how the secular world will react to your counsel, and even many Christians...
A. So can I. But purity is very important to Yahweh. Yah'shua (Jesus) taught, in the Sermon on the Mount, that those who live pure lives live in a state of blessedness. We must conclude that those who live impure lives are not. Purity is a central theme of the Besorah (Gospel) of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). Without it we cannot enter into heaven, nor enjoy the ministry of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) here whilst in mortality.
"Nothing impure will ever enter into [the New Jerusalem]," it is written in the Book of Revelation (Rev.21:27, NIV). Paul said:
It is written in the Torah (Law):
"Elohim (God) did not call us to be impure, but to live a qodesh (holy, set-apart) life" (1 Thess.4:7, NIV).
"No immoral, impure or greedy person ...has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Messiah and of Elohim (God)" (Eph.5:5, NIV).
So let us be perfectly clear - believers are to have absolutely nothing to do with impurity.
"Keep away from everything impure" (Dt.23:9, NIV).
Q. Obviously purity is extremely important to Elohim (God).
A. Elohim (God) is pure, and all those who would be one with Him must likewise be pure. To be pure we must live our discipleship in obedience to the Torah (Law), repenting when we sin, and calling upon the blood of Messiah to cleanse us from all sin. Thereafter we are to avoid sin like the plague.
Q. If I may, I would like to bring the question of purity around to the matter of sex. Is sex impure?
A. No. Sex is neutral. It is the Catholics, who were influenced by the Gnostics, who taught that sex was impure and evil. Common sense alone ought to tell us that Elohim (God) is the author of sex because you only have to look around at the Creation to see that we are surrounded by sex at every hand. Without it, nothing would reproduce. Elohim (God) commanded Adam and Eve to reproduce and fill the earth with their offspring. In order to do that, sex is needed. It would be a strange Elohim (God) who commanded a race to multiply whilst condemning the means of multiplying as evil.
Q. What of Adam and Eve? Were they sexual beings?
A. They were made with sexual parts and had the commission to multiply, and this before the Fall.
Q. So there was sex in Eden?
A. I think that conclusion is inevitable. The Garden was full of life which must have propagated itself.
Q. How can you be sure of that?
A. For the simple reason that the trees made fruit. And trees make fruit only so that they can propagate themselves.
Q. Perhaps the fruit was seedless?
A. One can speculate about many scenarios but I opt for the most likely one.
Q. How could animals and plants eat if there was no death in the Garden of Eden?
A. All living things, including our first parents, were vegetarians. They ate fruits and nuts. Plants were created to make fruits to be eaten from the beginning. Part of the plan was that in the process animals would disperse the seeds. And all this before there was any death.
Q. So plants were reproducing themselves as they do today?
A. In most cases, yes; and animals too.
Q. If Adam and Eve were sexual beings before the fall, why weren't there any children before Cain and Abel?
A. Well, we don't know that for sure. We only know Cain was their firstborn after the Fall. But we are within the realm of speculation here where nothing can be proved. What I am saying is that we must look at the most probably scenario. And the fact is that God created our first parents with the ability to reproduce.
Q. And presumably, if they had sexual relations, it was pure.
A. Paul said:
This does not mean, of course, that things which are by definition 'impure', such as adultery or homosexual activity, suddenly become pure by some mystical process. It means that what which can be either impure or pure, depending on how you approach it, is pure only as a person is pure.
"To the pure, all things are pure" (Tit.1:15).
Q: What do you mean?
A. Well, for example, there is righteous and unrighteous anger. Yahweh is rightly angry at sin. That comes from pure motives. We also have the right to be angry at sin. There is also righteous and unrighteous jealousy. Yahweh is jealous for us, meaning that He wishes to protect us from sin. That is righteous jealousy. A husband has the right to be jealously protective of his wife against the marauding advances of an adulterer, but he has no right to be jealous of someone who is more skilled in something than he is. One if born of righteousness and the other of evil.
This is true with sex also. Sex, as I have taught numerous times, is an ethically neutral force like electricity. It becomes good or evil depending on what you use it for. To use electricity to illuminate a house is good, but to use it to torture a person by electrocution is evil.
Elohim (God) defines His moral torot (laws) and He hangs the whole operation of the universe, on both the spiritual and physical planes, upon it. The effects of breaking such laws may not always be immediately apparent but the ultimate consequences are always the same - destruction.
Sex outside marriage is fornication. Fornication is sin. Paul says unequivocally:
Q. What if those living in common law marriages? Are they fornicators?
"Fornicators...shall not inherit the Kingdom of Elohim (God)" (1 Cor.6:9-19, KJV).
A. If the couple have entered into a life-long contract of mutual fidelity in the presence of witnesses, then in the eyes of Elohim (God) they are married whether they go through the State-sanctioned system of marriage or not. The key is a life-long contract. If their intention is to experiment and break up later 'if it doesn't work out' then they are fornicators. If they have signed a 'sunset contract', making the marriage valid for only a certain number of years, to be renewed later if they choose to continue in the estate, then they are living in fornication. To be entitled to have sex with another person means to enter into a life-long commitment in front of two or more witnesses.
This is how Elohim (God) defines legal sex. Anything else is illegal and, by the Creator's definition, impure.
Q. Might there be any exceptions? What of those who do not know about Elohim's (God's) requirements?
A. There are always exceptions for the ignorant. In this case, Elohim (God) judges the intentions of their hearts. A man who does not know Elohim's (God's) requirements and who has a 'one night stand' is guilty of breaking Torah (Law) but is unconscious of it. Once he has become conscious of it, he must repent.
But I think you have in mind the couple who genuinely love one another and in their heart-of-hearts want to be with each other for ever, who have no intentions of ever separating, and who have never made any formal agreement?
A. Well, they key word here is 'genuine'. If it is a matter of just physical forces or 'chemistry' then obviously the couple who in their heart-of-hearts have determined to remain together even if one were to become incapacitated, would be justified in the eyes of Elohim (God), for they would be building their marriage upon eternally true principles. If they are building their union upon selfless Messiah-like ahavah (love), then they are justified.
Q. But how would they know they were, and how would Christian/Messianic society know?
A. Only Elohim (God) would know, and He is the judge. However, we do not live our marriages in isolation and must interact with the wider community. A clear signal must be given to the Christian/Messianic community that the couple is married to preclude adultery from prospective suitors. Elohim (God) has provided the marriage covenant for this purpose. Thus the couple should make a public commitment, even if it is to only a couple of witnesses (Dt.19:15).
Q. So the covenant is important?
A. Once a couple is aware of Yahweh's law in this matter, yes, it is very important. The whole Besorah (Gospel) is build up on covenants. Elohim (God) recognises them, and there is therefore no more important thing to do to validate a marriage by seeking the required quorum of witnesses from amongst others.
Q. Paul said that we should be "pure and blameless" (Phil.1:10) -- how does "blameless" fit into this equation?
A. I'm glad you brought that one up because many Western Christians believe that those who do not get a State marriage are fornicators. But Elohim (God) nowhere empowers the State to marry and, indeed, this is a relatively modern idea. Marriage was always independent of State authorities before.
A person who has entered into a marriage contract in the presence of two or more witnesses is BLAMELESS and cannot be accused of fornication or adultery. They cannot be accused of 'living in sin' because they have fulfilled Yahweh's qadosh (holy, set-apart) requirements. Society and ignorant Christians/Messianics will often blame those who live such, but they are not justified in Elohim's (God's) eyes.
Q. Is this true of those living polygamous marriages apart from State sanction are likewise blameless?
A. Yes. Polygamy is nowhere proscribed or defined in the scriptures as sin or adultery. If all those concerned have entered mutual covenants in the presence of witnesses then they are blameless in Elohim's (God's) eyes, irrespective of what any State or misinformed or bigoted Christians/Messianics may have to say on the matter. The State is not, in any case, blameless or pure, and cannot be if it, for example, sanctions homosexual 'marriage' or 'partnerships' (as it is called here in Scandinavia). Whatever moral authority the State may have had in sanctioning marriage (and I personally doubt it ever had that authority even before our times of gross immorality), it lost it when it legalised Sodomy.
Q. I would like now, if I may, to turn to a sensitive topic as there are many who are asking what is, and what is not, permitted sexually in marriage. In other words, where do the sexual boundaries lie?
A. To begin with, there is pure sex, and impure sex even within marriage.
Q. I thought you said that all sex within marriage was pure?
A. No, I said that only those who are married are legally entitled to have sex in Elohim's (God's) eyes. For instance, the Torah (Law) of Elohim (God) (known as niddah) very clearly states that a man is not to have sexual intercourse with his wife when she is menstruating. To do so, the Torah (Law) says, is to render him impure for a week.
Q. And by definition, a person who is impure cannot enter the Kingdom of Elohim (God)!
A. If a man deliberately has intercourse with his wife during her period, and knows what Elohim (God) has said about this in His Davar (Word), then He is in rebellion if he does not repent. His spirit and body are defiled and he is not in spiritual communion with Elohim (God) as is true of all conscious sinning.
Q. What if he died during that week?
A. If he rebelled deliberately, he would be impure and would not be allowed to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. However strict that may sound, that is what the Davar Elohim (God's Word) says, and it cannot return to Him void (Isa.55:11, KJV). Having said that, only Yahweh knows whether such a man had a mind to repent or not, that is to say, whether he would have had he lived longer, so his final status in the eternities Elohim (God) alone knows. By why gamble?
Q. Isn't it true that the Bible says that a man may not have intercourse with his wife for a week AFTER the menstrual week?
A. Yes, it does:
A husband may have intercourse with his wife on the eighth day after menstruation has ceased.
"If she is cleansed of his discharge (has ceased menstruating), she shall count seven days, and after that she shall be clean" (Lev.15:28, NRSV)).
A. The Bible does not give a reason but a modern revelation does (NC&C 433). The revelation also tells us that a man is not to spill his seed on the ground but always plant it in his wife...
Q. The sin of Onan...?
A. Yes, though this has something to do with disobedience to another mitzvah (commandment) to obey the Law of Levirate (Gen.38).
Q. If a husband is not permitted to go into his wife 50 per cent of the time, this will surely put a lot of stress on him sexually?
A. Not if he is truly in Messiah. Yah'shua (Jesus) empowers. Messiah is not impotent. The Ruach Mashiach (Spirit of Christ) transforms the carnal man into a spiritual one so that if before being born again he has strong, uncontrollable sexual urges, afterwards he should have self-control. Too much sex, even legally within marriage, is not healthy, as indeed too little can be. A husband and wife must find a balance, and that is up to them. One of the definitions of Messiah-like ahavah (love) is self-control and sacrifice (Ac.24:25; 1 Cor.7:5; Gal.5:23; 2 Tim.3:3; 2 Pet.1:6). Paul teaches that a husband and wife should, by mutual agreement, abstain from sex so that they can devote more time to prayer, but that they should not deprive one another for too long (1 Cor.7:5).
Q. I would have thought that the two weeks of abstinence imposed by the Torah (Law= during menstruation and the week afterwards would be an ideal time for that!
A. Absolutely! Sex can be a terrible slave if it gets out of hand, even within marriage. It drains you of energy. It certainly drained Solomon who married to excess, as we know. This period of time would be ideal for non-physical spiritual pursuits.
Q. Does that mean that no form of sexual contact is permitted during that two week period each month?
A. The scriptures nowhere say anything about that. That must be a matter of personal conscience. But any sort of genital contact is clearly out. Most Messianic Evangelical couples would probably use the time to abstain from sex altogether and use it for scripture study, prayer and time with their children, or other pursuits.
Q. What kind of sex is permitted in marriage, and what isn't? What of oral sex, for example?
A. Man was created in the image of Elohim (God) to be pure, qadosh (holy) and blameless. And therefore within the act of sexual intercourse there is a pure way, and an impure way. Anal intercourse is quite obviously unnnatural, impure and forbidden, and we now know of the medical risks of that. The anus was designed for only one function, excretion, unlike the gentalia which were made for two.
Q. There is no revelation on that, is there?
A. Does there need to be? Anyone who is walking in the Ruach (Spirit) will be automatically repelled by such a thought. And though this is personally very distasteful for me to talk about, I feel I must do so now so that there is no room for doubt in the future - so that you have a written statement from the ledaership on the matter. Those organs created exclusively for excretion, are for excretion and nothing else. I will say it to you now, in the Name of Yahweh, that anal intercourse is an ABOMINATION and contrary to the created order.
Q. What of oral sex?
A. The mouth has a completely different function from the genital organs and some therefore argue there should be no contact between them. There is considerable merit in this position. Some suggest that the Song of Solomon gives a poetic representation of oral sex in 2:33 (woman to man) and 4:16 (man to woman). Whilst this is certainly an interpretation it is by no means the only one - indeed, it is possible to read too much into poetry if one is not careful. My council would be caution since there is nothing explicit in either the Bible or in our modern revelations about this. Whilst before I would have said a definite 'no' I would today give a cautious 'maybe'. Let each individual follow his conscience carefully in the matter. If either one or both partners are unsure, abstain for righteousness' sake.
Q. What of other parts of the body?
A. Breasts were made for mouth and hand contact. The Bible says to husbands:
And you may remember Solomon speaking of having one hand under his belovèd's head and the other on a breast.
"..may [your wife's] breasts satisfy you always..." (Prov.5:19, NIV)
The matter of fondling with the hands generally is up to the couple. Let the Ruach (Spirit) lead in this matter. I do not think it is right to say any more as this has already been quite explicit enough.
Q. Another question that we are sometimes asked is whether it is right for a woman to have intercourse while she is pregnant or while she is lactating?
A. This is an extremely difficult question. There are many cultures, particularly polygamous ones, where intercourse is not permitted during either. The simple answer is that we have no revelation in the Bible or in the modern revelations that answer these two questions, and therefore this must be a matter of personal conscience.
Q. What is your personal view?
A. There was a time when doctors believed having intercourse during pregnancy was dangerous for the child. I don't think that this is true, and few believe it is any longer. I would, however, like to point out something very important, and that it is that the unborn child shares the same chemicals passing through its mother's blood stream. This means, as we all know, that if a woman drinks alcohol or smokes cigarettes, that the baby will absorb alcohol and nicotine and other poisons which could severely injure or handicap it. By the same token, a pregnant woman having sexual intercourse will have a lot of female sex hormones wandering around her blood which will be picked up by the foetus across the placenta. The question I would ask is whether these sex hormones are going to affect either its development or sexual disposition. Will a child absorbing its mother's sex hormones become highly sexed?
Q. And what's the answer?
A. I don't honestly know but common sense and my knowledge of Biochemistry would suggest that there will be some sort of effect, though whether it is positive or negative I do not know. I do know, however, of a story of a pregnant women who had an affair with a priest. The son became a homosexual. Subsequent therapy traced the origin of his homosexuality of these sexual events which led the unborn child to hate the priest even while in the womb. His hatred against the priest led to a general hatred against men which caused the flip to homosexuality (as is so often the case). He was, praise Elohim (God), later cured by coming to Messiah. This, however, is more likely to have been a spiritual stimulus rather than a chemical one, though there may have been some connection.
But perhaps we can answer this question by dealing with the second one you raised: is it right for a husband to have intercourse with his wife who is breast-feeding? Many cultures say no. The reason probably has something to do with the belief that sex is only for procreation, and since a woman cannot usually become pregnant whilst she is lactating, sex is therefore pointless.
Q. What do the scriptures say about this?
A. Well, as we have seen, we are told that sex is also for pleasure, otherwise the husband in Proverbs would not have been told to be satisfied with his wife's breasts.
Q. You said 'also' for pleasure - does this mean that sex is primarily for the propagation of the species?
A. We must seek a sensible balance here, I believe. Sex purely for the sake of sex is egocentric and contrary to Elohim's (God's) purposes because it was created for procreation. But Elohim (God) would not have made it so enjoyable were we not to enjoy it too!
There can be no doubt that having a child can, and often does, disturb a couple's sex life, and that this can cause stresses. But this need not be the case if the object of sex, at least in theory, is to create children. In other words, if a wife gets pregnant, the first reaction of both should always be simcha (joy)! For conception is the end of sex, meaning, its ultimate purpose. If a couple get depressed or angry or in any way react negatively because conception occurs, THEN THE ATTITUDE TO SEX IS FUNDAMENTALLY WRONG.
Now I know I run the risk of hurting those who are childless but such, who are in Messiah, should always consider that Elohim (God) promises the faithful couple seeking for children that they will have them. Whether it comes by natural conception or by adoption is besides the point. Or even by artificial insemination. They will be blessed. What they must do is be sensitive to Yahweh's will. What does Elohim (God) want? Natural conception? Artificial conception? Or adoption?
Q We have a revelation on artificial conception, don't we?
A. Yes, its in Section 33 on 'Surrogate Motherhood'. Those listeners who are interested in this topic can read the revelation for themselves afterwards.
But to return to the main theme. Whilst sex is for pleasure, it is not first for pleasure. It's a bonus, if you like.
Q. But if Elohim (God) only intended us to have sex for conception He wouldn't have allowed for times in a woman's menstrual cycle when she is infertile for possibly just sex for pleasure?
A. That is fair comment, and I would not contradict your point.
Q. What of contraceptives?
A. NCAY has always been opposed to contraceptives, especially with those that physically or chemically interfere with fertilisation. We are completely opposed to the pill and to inter-uterine devices placed within women. Both are known to cause a variety of medical problems, including cervical cancer. NCAY has always advocated self-control and thus we would counsel those to either have sex during the infertile period of a woman's menstrual cycle (the week before menstruation begins) or practice coitus interruptus. The latter is not particularly popular as it is not particularly fulfilling. Though we discourage the use of condoms we consider them the least objectionable. They are, in any case, not 'safe' in preventing AIDS or fertilisation. But you should also remember that they are encouraging the spilling of seed on the ground. Thus condoms, it may be argued, encourage the sin of Onan.
Q. How does NCAY regulate the sexual behaviour of its members? I mean, how does it ensure purity?
A. By an appeal to the Davar Elohim (Word of God) and peoples' consciences. At least for ordinary members. Those entering Priesthood Orders are annually interviewed as to their stewardship and part of the questioning will include a question such as whether they are living pure sexual lives with their spouses.
Q. Do you mean the interviewer goes into explicit detail??
A. Absolutely not. He will simply ask a question such as: "Have you been living a sexually pure life within the marriage estate?" Details are not required nor desired. The Priesthood officer is under covenant to live a life of set-apartness (holiness) and will be expected to measure up to NCAY's high standards. This means that he will be expected to live by what Elohim (God) has revealed in Scripture, ancient and modern, and by any Apostolic instructions, such as I am giving today.
Q. And if he is not living up to the standards required?
A. He will be released from his priesthood duties for a probationary period to allow him time to get himself right with Elohim (God). Then he will be reinterviewed and allowed to resume his duties if he has successfully overcome any serious deficiencies.
Q. This applies to the wives too, of course?
A. Of course. Priests and priestesses are under the same covenants of sexual purity.
Q. Sexual sin is one the most difficult in the modern world. Indeed, it seems to be everywhere. How do we deal with it?
A. Confront it head-on and not brush it under the carpet as something that can't be spoken about. General instruction such as I am giving today is important and will be given in the Priesthood Schools. Sexual purity and chastity is emphasised a lot in NCAY, and must be, as values plummet into hell itself. We must be strict as well as loving. Impure sex is spiritually very dangerous. It must be, otherwise Elohim (God) wouldn't exclude those who are impure sexually from the kingdom of Heaven.
Impure sex inside marriage is an affront to Elohim (God). Impure sex outside marriage is an affront to the whole of Creation as well. I'll make no bones about it - impure sex leads to DEMONIC CONTROL. Demons love it, because they can't have sex. So they congregate in hordes around those who engage in illegal and impure sex. Sexual perversion is part of the satanic way to take people away from Elohim (God) to the point of elevating it as a religious act. There are many fertility cults which have done just that. The New Age, Hinduism, Satanism, and animistic cults are full of perverse sex. Because impure sex is such an affront to Elohim (God), Satan causes rebellious men and women to indulge in it as often as possible. I'll say it in another way - IMPURE SEX WILL DRAG YOUR SOUL DOWN TO HELL.
Q. Is it so serious?
A. Elohim (God) has said it. So serious is it, in fact, that adultery, homosexual acts and bestiality (sex with animals) merited instant execution under the Old Covenant Torah (Law).
Q. But hasn't the Torah (Law) been revised on this matter?
A. That's what liberal Christians want you to believe. The penalty for adultery, homosexual acts and bestiality still has the death penalty over them. The only difference between the Old Covenant and the New is that execution is stayed to give offenders a chance to repent and accept Messiah as their Master and Saviour, and to thereafter live a pure, qadosh (holy, set-apart) and blameless life.
Q. And if they don't?
A. Then they will suffer the Second Death (Rev.2:1; 20:6,14; 21:8). The penalty will be carried out in the next life.
Q. How then would you counsel, not just Messianic Evangelicals, but Christian and Messianic youth in general, to conduct themselves before marriage?
A. According to the divfine tavnith (pattern) received by Elohim (God) in the Scriptures. Paul said:
Youth are under tremendous temptation for not only do they have all the pressure of the outside world but also the conflicting desires that arise out of their fleshy natures which propel them first in one direction, and then in another. A youth not grounded in Yah'shua (Jesus), His Davar (Word), prayer, and active discipleship is going to have a really hard time staying pure.
"Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, emunah (faith), ahavah (love) and shalom (peace), along with those who call on Yahweh out of a pure heart" (2 Tim.2:22).
The Scriptures mean what they say - all of them. Purity is not an option for a professing Christian/Messianic - it's his whole way of life, and the only way which will keep him in communion with his Saviour and bound for heaven.
The path of discipleship requires a believer to overcome some fundamental flaws in his character caused by the Fall, something he cannot possibly hope to do on his own. Only the Ruach haMashiach (Spirit of Christ) can help him. With Messiah in His life he can overcome and obtain the following:
- 1. The right to eat of the Tree of Life (Rev.2:7)
- 2. Protection from the Second Death (Rev.2:11)
- 3. The right to eat of the hidden manna and to receive a white stone (Rev.2:17)
- 4. Power over the nations (Rev.2:26)
- 5. His name inscribed in the Book of Life (Rev.3:5)
- 6. Become a pillar in the Temple of Elohim (God), receive the name of Elohim (God), and the name of the City of Elohim (God) (Rev.3:12)
- 7. The right to sit on the throne of Messiah having overcome as Messiah overcame (Rev.3:21)
- 8. The right to inherit all things, and to become a son or daughter of Elohim (God) (Rev.21:7)
Q. You've said in the past that you would tell us about these 'overcomings' and what they mean. Will you do that now for us?
A. Only in the context of sexuality because this is a big subject. Suffice to say that the reward of a pure sex life is Eternal Chayim (Life), and the reward of an impure one is the Second Death. Please note that overcoming implies active struggle, the same struggle, in fact, that Messiah had (Rev.3:21). We must resist the temptation to indulge in impure sex even if - and especially when - our bodies are burning with passion. The intensity of our desires and feelings are not to be trusted if they run contrary to Elohim's (God's) explicit mitzvot (commandments) - they lead only to the lake of fire. Fight it! Pure passion in Messiah is glorious with your spouse; impure passion with your spouse, and especially with someone who is not, is death.
Q. So you're saying that sex is a positive, up-building force in marriage?
A. Very definitely. It is a gift of Elohim (God) to be used wisely, discriminately, and in moderation. It can so easily become a drug, an idol, and consume a soul in hell if misused. It is like nuclear energy - allow it to get out of control and disaster is heading your way.
Indeed, I would say that the degree to which one has control over one's sexual energy, using it wisely within marriage, is quite a good indication, in some respects, of one's progression in Messiah.
Q. There are some for whom this energy is a real problem - it's as though they have too much of it, can't understand it, and it drives them crazy. What should they do?
A. It is true that we are all different. Some people can happily do without sex altogether and consecrate themselves to lives of celibacy and full-time service for the Master as singles. They are the exception rather than the rule. Paul also advised couples to abstain during times of persecution for the sake of the children; and Yah'shua (Jesus) said it would be tough for mothers with small children when the Tribulation started.
In all things we must be sensitive to Elohim's (God's) will. Because something is lawful doesn't mean it is necessarily right for you, or for you at that particular time.
Q. Can you explain...?
A. For example, just because sex is lawful in marriage doesn't give a husband the automatic right to demand sex from his wife.
Q. But Paul said that our bodies weren't our own - that the husband's body belonged to his wife, and the wife's to her husband (1 Cor.7:4)..
A. The scripture says that the body doesn't belong to the wife alone, or to the husband alone. The word 'alone' is the key here. Their bodies belong both to themselves, as well as to each other. There is a reciprocal ownership here - this is not a licence for one or the other having sex on demand. And there's a third, more important factor: we are told that our bodies aren't our own anyway, because Messiah purchased them with His blood. Therefore what we do with them is ultimately up to HIM. And He gives us the freedom to use them according to His Torah (Law).
What we do with our bodies, and especially here in regard to sexual activity, must bring glory to Him.
Q. Do you mean that sex can bring glory to Elohim (God)?!
A. If it is pure sex, then of course it must! Anything that is pure is of Elohim (God). He is in it, sustaining it. Whatever is sustained by the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) brings glory to Elohim (God) the Father and Yah'shua (Jesus) the Son. And impure sex brings glory to whom?...
A. Right. Now this is a new thought for many Christians/Messianics who think that sex is something that belongs only to our fallen nature - that it is the result of the Fall itself. This is Catholic doctrine, which is why they exalt celibacy in the Priesthood (with disasterous consequences). They forbid their clergy to marry which is FORBIDDEN by the Davar Elohim (God's Word) (1 Tim.4:3).
Q. You mean Elohim (God) demands His ministry to be married?
A. He says two things:
Q. So the ministry is absolutely required to be married!
- (1) Forbidding anyone to marry is a sign of apostasy, of the antichrist:
"Now the Ruach (Spirit) speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the emunah (faith), giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which Elohim (God) hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the emet (truth)" (1 Tim.4:1-3, KJV);
- (2) Congregational leaders (Bishops, Pastors, Elders, Deacons) must be married and faithful to their first wives:
Of an Elder Paul writes that they must be:
"A bishop then must be blameless, a faithful husband to his first wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach....Let the deacons be faithful husbands to their first wives, ruling their children and their own houses well" (1 Tim.3:2,12, NCV).
"...blameless, the faithful husband of his first wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly" (Tit.1:6, NCV).
A. That's what the Davar (Word) says. To be a leader a man must be married, be faithful to his first wife (if he is a polygamist), and demonstrate that he runs an orderly household where his children obey and respect him. Needless to say, no sex, no family.
Q. I think a word is in order for our listeners who are not familiar with the New Covenant Version you have quoted because they will have heard Paul's passages rendered in a slightly different way.
A. I agree. Briefly, the English texts usually say that bishops (or pastors), elders and deacons are to be the "husbands of one wife", implying that a condition of ministerial leadership is felicity to monogamy, though apparently not requiring this of unordained members, as though it would somehow be a sin for leadership to be living polygamy but not the rest of the congregation.
These passages reflect bias on the part of Western translators who render the Greek miâ to reflect their cultural prejudice when elsewhere it is used to mean 'one of many' or 'one of a sequence', rather than 'one only'. This is dealt with at length elsewhere so I will say no more here.
Q. Since you have brought up the question of polygamy, how does that fit into the discussion we have been having?
A. Again, briefly, since this isn't actually what we're talking about today. A Christian/Messianic many not enter polygamy unless Elohim (God) has called him and his wives to it; and He will only do that if he is willing to live a life of purity and holiness. Specifically, he must have a shem tov or "good name".
Q. So this is not a principle open to all Christians?
A. Definitely not. It is lawful for everyone in the general sense but the word we have received from Elohim (God) is that it is not for this generation, most especially because of the total degradation of sexual values generally. The principle would simply be abused, as it indeed is in many cultures, where women are mere chattels.
Q. What is your final word on this subject of sexual purity?
A. I want to cite one of the revelations to you because I think it is to the point:
"There is a time to be celibate and a time to be sexually active according to the needs of each soul. And behold, not all desires are needs. Those who bridle their sexuality by transmuting it into other forms of spiritual and physical activity have begun to overcome, saith Yahweh....Act in your marriages and in your single states according to the torot (laws) that I have revealed, for all torah (law) is given as a blessing and a protection.. Do not suppose that ye know better than the Father, for ye have not overcome but are in bondage to forces and powers that ye understand not. I am the Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) and I have overcome all things that I might purchase your salvation. I am the Master of all forces, for all things are subject unto Me. And I have set an example for you in all things. I am the celibate and I am the bridegroom, else could not atonement have been made...celibacy is evil if it destroyeth that which is qadosh (holy, set-apart) and pure; and sexuality is evil if it destroyeth that which is qadosh (holy, set-apart) and pure...Seek the pure ahavah (love) of Messiah, and ye shall know all things..." (NC&C 146:7-8,12-13-16,19-20,28).
 The Pornography Page
 Are You a Sexaholic?
 Masturbation: Vision of Spiritual Realities & Masturbation: The Little Known Sin of
 Sex, Polygamy & Multiple Idolatry
Given in Kadesh-biyqah, Sweden, on Friday 2 January 1998.
This page was created on 3 January 1998
Last updated on 22 May 2017
Copyright © 1997-2017 NCAY - All Rights Reserved