The Holy Spirit provides an encapsulated environment, the Divine Dynasphere. The stage of life is part of the unfolding of the Plan of God in the life of the believer. Every believer is given a stage along with the corresponding divine support for every day of his life on this earth. The Holy Spirit produces the play. The Angels provide security as well as protection for the believer. No one enters the stage of life without authorization from the Supreme Court of Heaven.
Due to the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the Church Age, it is possible to go back to the Garden of Eden in marriage. Mature believers may reach this special place of blessing. The ultimate in marriage is to get back to the perfection and happiness of the Garden and to demonstrate before all the angels the adequacy of the Plan of God to handle the problems of mankind. By executing the Plan of God, it is possible to receive experiential sanctification, which, in turn, provides blessing in the marriage relationship. When one of the partners is promoted, both are blessed under the grace of God.
Marriage is a big deal, a major part of this life. It is center stage in the life of homo sapiens today, just as it was in the Garden. The difference is that man is no longer born perfect but with the sin of Adam. The Old Sin Nature reeks havoc on personal relationships; however, through the perfect Plan of God, the Holy Spirit is able to provide the Filling of the Holy Spirit to empower and control the soul of the believer and thwart the impact of human shortcomings.
So the illustration of the Grace Support System is a portrayal of the Plan of God for the individual. The Right Man and Right Woman under the ministry of God's Grace Support System have the opportunity, no matter what their social status or genetic traits (IQ, appearance, etc.), to go back to the Garden in marriage. The intimate love relationship designed for the Garden can be part of the new Spiritual life of the believer who is willing to advance to maturity by means of the daily metabolization of Bible Doctrine and experiential sanctification. The marriage relationship is improved not by orientation to society but by orientation to the grace of God.
THE PERFECT PLAN
God has a perfect Plan for every believer that includes marriage. Apart from some rare cases of the spiritual gift of celibacy, everyone has a Right Man or Right Woman. In order to be blessed in the marriage, however, man with an Old Sin Nature must be sanctified. This does not happen completely at the point of salvation, or there would be no need to leave us in this life. Nor does it happen through some emotional, one-shot experience. It requires spiritual growth and the daily sanctification from the world just as a tree must grow through the underbrush before reaching the light and a life of prosperity.
Experiential sanctification is accomplished only through the daily metabolization of Bible Doctrine and execution of the Spiritual Life. God has a perfect Plan for every believer; but that perfect Plan must be obeyed. Prayer or miracles is not the answer. God does not want to work miracles in our lives to alleviate suffering, He wants to bless us in Grace when we are willing to follow the perfect Plan. The Plan is guaranteed to be the perfect solution to all of our shortcomings and failures. We cannot do it though emotion, human ability, or activism. All human merit is set aside in the grace solution of God. It does not depend on us. It depends upon Him.
Every believer has a new Spiritual Life which is given to him at the moment of salvation. However, he must choose to live that new Spiritual Life every day. Only by living the new Spiritual Life every day will it be possible to achieve the destiny of the return to the Garden. The perfect Plan need merely be executed to receive the blessing of the return to the Garden in this life. God's Plan is perfect for every believer. It contains no shortcomings; and nothing depends on us. All the power and intelligence that is needed is available, compliments of the grace of God. It is, therefore, a matter of daily decisions to accept the grace of God in our lives.
Spiritual growth and experiential sanctification are the key elements of the solution. Just as eating and exercise are keys to the physical life. Spiritual growth requires daily decisions to learn Bible Doctrine so that metabolized Bible Doctrine will be available in the soul for application. Experiential sanctification requires application of Bible Doctrine to experience. This separates the believer from the world and places him under the grace of God inside the Grace Support System.
The believer on the stage of life is under the protection of the Grace Support System as long as he is alive on this earth whether he is operating in the filling of the Spirit or whether he is in reversionism. The big difference is that the road of reversionism leads down and gets worse; whereas, the road of grace leads to promotion and blessing. Experiential sanctification is a matter of rejecting the world in favor of the grace of God. However, as long as the believer is alive, he will be given a stage of life with support from God and the Elect Angels. He will be protected from the ravages of Satan's Cosmic System.
Divine protection of the Grace Support System does not mean that negative decisions are without judgment, however. Every time the Plan of God is rejected, the Justice of God must decide the case. The believer with a free will can use his freedom to sin and get involved in the evil of the devil's world; however, the justice of God will decide the punishment.
It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:31, NAS)
Every believer must answer for himself under the function of the Priesthood of the Believer in the Church Age. Regardless of race, social status, or genetic traits, every believer is always responsible for his own decisions in this life. Whatever a person thinks, says, or does, he is responsible to the Justice of God. So each marriage partner must orient to the grace and the Justice of God individually. However, marriage is a union of two, a partnership, one complete whole - not two separate parts. Therefore, the marriage as a unit is also subject to the Justice of God.
This is the basis for experiential sanctification in the marriage. Not only can an individual be sanctified, but the marriage relationship can also be sanctified (1 Corinthians 7:14; Ephesians 5:25-26; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5). That is why it is called "holy matrimony" - because God sanctifies it. However, in the marriage as in the individual, sanctification is not a single, once in a lifetime experience. It occurs daily. So the marriage is either advancing or retrogressing. It is either advancing back to the Garden or going down. And the key to everything is the Grace Support System. By advancing in the Plan of God through experiential sanctification, the marriage relationship either advances in blessing or falls into cursing.
Sanctification is based on the premise that the Righteousness of God demands the Justice of God. So if anyone wants to be justified by the Justice of God rather than cursed, it is a simple matter of advancing in the Righteousness of God. When we get God's Righteousness, we also receive His justification, which is the whole concept of sanctification. It works the same way for the marriage. When either partner qualifies for justification and receives grace promotion, the marriage is promoted. It is advanced another step toward the Garden of Eden.
TEETER TOTTER MODEL
The concept of marriage sanctification is illustrated by the Teeter Totter Model. The Right Man and Right Woman are inseparably united from the point of birth.
In the Teeter Totter Model, the Justice of God decides all issues - whether to bless or curse, promote or demote. The marriage may be sanctified for blessing or delivered into judgment by the Lord Jesus Christ, the judge who administers the marriage relationship. It doesn't matter if Right Man and Right Woman have married yet, or have even met. From the moment of birth, the Teeter Totter Model is effective. In this model, one partner may be up and have power over the other and one may be down under the suffering caused by the other; but regardless, they are still on the Teeter Totter related to each other. What affects one, affects the other, albeit not necessarily in the same way. One may go up and the other down. One may react and move the opposite direction, or respond and normalize the relationship (meaning level).
The man and the woman can fight each other or respond to each other in loving adoration, but neither will advance the Teeter Totter toward the Garden. The Teeter Totter is the bottom leg of an isosceles triangle. How far down it is depends on the Justice of God. So the sanctification of the marriage relationship depends on the Justice of God - not the efforts of mankind. The man and the woman cannot promote the marriage. That was the meaning of operation fig leaves whereby Adam and 'Ishah attempted to work out their problems after they sinned. They could not do it then, and such is still the case in the marriage relationship.
Notice that on the isosceles triangle the base gets longer as it moves down. This illustrates retrogression in the marriage. Retrogression occurs when the Lord demotes. He demotes when there is no justification for experiential sanctification. If the couple are not the recipients of experiential sanctification, they are subject to the Justice of God and demotion. Conversely, if the Lord justifies the relationship though experiential sanctification, there is qualification for promotion. The Lord can only promote when it does not compromise His divine essence, which includes His integrity, or holiness.
SANCTIFICATION IN MARRIAGE
So, how do two separate believer-priests qualify for sanctification of a relationship? The only right answer is by the grace of God. They cannot achieve it by their own efforts. This means that trying to work out their own problems will not achieve the grace of God. That knocks out counseling. The Holy Spirit is the only useful counselor.
When there is rejection of the grace of God, the curses upon the Client Nation are worse with each succeeding generation. Moses used the Head and Tail Model to explain the cursing. According to this model, those who rejected the teachings of Bible Doctrine would become like a tail. Now, marriage is the leading indicator of the status of the Head and Tail Model. Marriages prosper when the head is sound, and they fail when the tail is followed. Both the legalism and lawlessness from the tail destroy marriage. So marriage and the Head and Tail Model are directly associated with each other.
THE GENERATIONS OF ISRAEL
The beginning of the nation of Israel illustrates the Four Generation Curse even though it had not been given as a part of the law. Abraham was promised a son to be his heir. God's Plan was to give Abraham the son through his Right Woman, Sarah; but when it appeared that God would not honor His word, Sarai (as she was called) convinced Abraham to try an alternate plan. She provided her Egyptian servant girl, Hagar, to Abraham. Now, this was customary at the time, but it was not Right Man - Right Woman. The result was that Abraham fathered Ishmael by Hagar.
Ishmael is called a Hebrew, ar#P# (pere'), a wild ass. The correct name is Onager, Equus hemionus, classified by zoologists as a "half-ass." The wild ass was not the same as the domesticated donkey. It ran wild in the open plains. It had great speed and was hunted by horsemen and dogs for its meat. Onagers were domesticated by the Sumerians (2500 BC). However, references to the wild ass in the Bible generally describe it as wild and untamable.1
Ishmael is further described as being a pariah with everyone against him:
Ishmael, who was called a "wild donkey." However, his half-brother Isaac was not a great believer, even though the blessings of Abraham were passed down through him. Isaac did not maintain spiritual maturity. He took advantage of his spiritual prosperity to become lazy and full of self-absorption. However, the two half-brothers remain a contrast in grace provision for children: One was wild and the other civil. One was a social misfit and the other an aristocrat in the social order. This is what mismarriages do to society, and the current unrest between the Jews and the Arabs is a good example of social unrest caused by mismarriage (and, of course, anti-Semitism from Satan).
There are other references to animals in the Bible that describe generations. In Jeremiah 2:24 Israel is described as a wild ass in the desert in animal heat. This is a reference to the Phallic Reversionism of the people.
In conclusion the generations of the Four
Generation Curse can be represented in terms of their animal counterparts:
||Spiritual Maturity||Spiritual Blessing, Happiness, Prosperity||Abraham, Sarah, David|
||Camel, Donkey||Self Absorption, Unrestrained Excess||Isaac, Ishmael, Solomon|
||Mule||Non-offensive, Lawless||Joseph, Dinah|
From the preceding table, after Abraham achieved spiritual maturity and passed down spiritual blessing to his sons, they did not advance to maturity. Instead they used their blessings to become lazy in the case of Isaac and to be a wild ass in the case of Ishmael. The sons entered self-absorption. Isaac was a camel type and Ishmael a wild ass (donkey) type. In spite of the spiritual heritage of blessing passed down by Abraham, the second generation was on its way down.
In the other example, David reached maturity, but passed the spiritual heritage to Solomon, who was a camel type, entered into self absorption and squandered his heritage. It appears that David was a wild child also (Psalm 51:5 "in sin did my mother conceive me"); and Solomon was also a wild child, since Bathshebah was not David's Right Woman. In the case of David and Solomon, the wild streak was related to marriage and lack of respect for the Doctrine of Right Man - Right Woman as opposed to being anti-establishment.
Going back to the line of Abraham, Jacob like Isaac also had his right
woman. However, Jacob also had children by wrong women, Leah, Bilhah,
and Zilpah. His Right Woman was Rachel.
The children from the wrong women were lawless, rebellious, rednecks. They were involved in criminality and were negative to Bible Doctrine. The children of the Right Woman (Rachel) were entirely different. They were the children of the promise, who became the source of deliverance for the nation. Joseph bucked four generations of negative volition and turned history around. He advanced from slavery to spiritual maturity and set the stage for the birth of the Client Nation of Israel. His children, Ephraim and Manasseh, were recipients of the double blessing. By advancing to spiritual maturity, Joseph secured for his children blessing throughout their generation from the grace of God. He also provided blessing for his paternal family (the brother and half-brothers) as well as splash-off blessing for the nation of Egypt, a Gentile nation.
A generation of believers who advance to spiritual maturity can turn history around as did Joseph. They don't have to be born of Right Man and Right Woman. The grace of God is available to all. Not everyone (in fact, almost no one) is fortunate enough to be born from Right Man and Right Woman. However, there is a difference in wild children like Ishmael and the children of the promise (and Right Man - Right Woman) like Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.
Wild children are the products of mismarriages. They are social misfits, wild, and lawless. Marriage Culture is a big deal; and when it is violated due to the spiritual immaturity or arrogance of mankind, there are serious consequences. Just as there are serious consequences to producing a bastard child, the consequences for marrying wrong man or woman and producing children are even more serious.
It is one thing to be born without some of the amenities of life; but it is quite another thing to be born with a curse, and that is what a wild child receives from birth. In David's words,
In this verse, David traces the origin of his sin with Bathshebah all the way back to his birth and back to his conception. Although it is not a recommended procedure during Rebound to dig up skeletons in the closet, this had some bearing on the case since it is recorded in the Word of God. David concludes that he was born in total depravity. He also uncovers his disposition to sexual sin, i.e. he was an unwanted child and apparently also a wild child from a mismarriage.
Wild children are under cursing from birth. They are like children born in the wild, the wild west, or outside civilization. The children of Right Man - Right Woman, however, are born with grace blessing from God. They are protected by divine authority and justice.
Wild children are born with a stigma. Every child fears rejection by parents. It is very real for the child who is totally dependent upon the parents for everything. However, the wild child is rejected, especially as regards parental love. Just as parents shun an unwanted child, the wild child does not receive love, the thing a child craves the most. Now, this does not mean the wild child does not receive affection and attention, or even that it is the victim of parental neglect. It means that parents who reject the grace of God to mismarry are incapable of giving a child the love they don't have. True love comes from God. Conjured up human good and gushing emotion are poor substitutes for true love.
The consequence of lack of true love in the life of the wild child produces a hardened shell with a void where grace and love should live. The wild child is likely to be insensitive and even harsh in dealing with peers - especially in childhood. The only hope is for the wild child is to orient to authority. If good, fair authority is present, the wild child may orient to that authority and save himself from the destructive consequences of acting out the desires of his hardened heart. And if he responds to authority, he can later be taught. If he is teachable, there is hope - hope that he will respond to the gift of salvation and hope that he will respond to Bible teaching. Only the grace of God can fill the void in the life of the wild child.
Those wild children who do not responded to the grace of God are doomed to a turbulent life. They will be social misfits. In school they will exhibit a variety of patterns of unacceptable behavior. They may be delinquent, abusive, intolerant, unloving, unkind, haters, disobedient, uncontrollable, hyperactive, disrespectful, spoiled for attention, show-offs, daring, overly ambitious. The wild child is missing the love that enables him to relax and belong. He feels left out, which he is from birth. He will forever strive to achieve what he can never hold - that missing parental love. He may quietly bide his time until the opportunity to strike; or he may be openly disruptive and rebellious. Even when he gets attention, the void inside leaves him unable to be placated. He has no peace, no rest, only stress.
Wild children will buck the tide. When everyone else is floating downstream, they will swim upstream. They will seek the source. They will forever strive to outdo, outlast, outperform. They covet attention; yet when they receive it, they are still empty. The void inside is incapable of responding to expressions of love by others. They shun the very ones they try to impress. They are driven by jealous ambition to have the unreachable star. They think that by attaining that star they will not be rejected, the thing they fear the most.
Wild children are often standout athletes, soldiers, entertainers, business people, activists, politicians. However, no matter how good they become, they are never satisfied, never content, never happy. They may madly pursue a relationship with an attractive person. They may give of themselves without measure; but they are forever afraid of rejection. They cannot handle rejection. Whereas, a stable person would take setbacks in stride, the wild child falls into a crisis - the crisis of rejection that he has feared all his life.
Wild children are not unusual during times of negative volition toward the grace of God. They are everywhere. They, however, are not without the opportunity to respond to the grace of God. The words of our Lord are always true:
Both the grace and the cursing are expressions of the essence of God. Grace includes love, happiness, freedom, and great blessing. Cursing includes slavery, suffering, and unhappiness. When man was given a free will, volition, he was free to choose his destiny. He could obey God and receive the best of grace blessing compatible with the essence of God; or he could disobey God by sinning, and receive the cursing of God, which is also compatible with the essence of God, His perfect Justice.
PRECEDENT OF THE GARDEN
As a part of God's grace blessing, man was not just created to have a relationship with God. He was created to have a relationship with his own kind, homo sapiens. The human race was created in pairs, male and female, per the type in the Garden of Eden. Every man had his Right Woman. They were not created to be alone. This in no way means that the social order has priority over the spiritual order. They both fit perfectly. It is not a matter of priorities. The two orders fit together. The social order is interwoven with the spiritual. Social relationships are to be executed on the basis of spiritual divine operating assets.
The primary activity of the human race was marriage. That has
not changed. It is still the same today as six thousand years ago.
After man sinned, the divine institution of marriage survived the fall.
Another divine institution, Family, was added; but marriage survived.
It is still extant; however, after the fall the perpetual honeymoon was
over due to sin in society. The Old Sin Nature just does not get
along well with anything - fellow man or God, animals or environment.
Man with an Old Sin Nature is a menace to himself and others as well as
As shown in the illustration (Marriage Union of Life and Love), man and woman were created for two diametrically opposite purposes: Life and love.3 The dilemma is how to join two unlike creations. Well, they were obviously designed to fit. The bodies are made to match. However, the souls, being invisible, are not that obvious. After the fall the rules for marriage were clearly spelled out in the Adamic Covenant: (1) Right Man has authority over Right Woman, (2) Right Woman will bear children, (3) and the Right Man will work for a living. The New Covenant to the Church says: (1) The Right Man is commanded to love his Right Woman, and (2) Right Woman is commanded to obey and respect her Right Man.
The Right Man must exercise authority in marriage on the basis of love. This prohibits bullying or any abuse of authority. God has prepared a special love gift for man and woman in marriage that can only be received when the rules are followed. If these rules are violated, the love will not exist. The Right Woman, on the other hand, is commanded to obey and respect her husband. When she links with the man's authority, the bond is complete. The man must lead and the woman must follow. If he goes in one direction and she goes in the other, there will be no union. The man will not have this marriage love until he finds his Right Woman. Without her, he has only life and, hopefully, a love for God. Apart from divine protection, the woman will have no protection and no freedom in this life until she responds to the authority of her Right Man. This protection includes not only enemies of the human variety, but also enemies in the Cosmic System (Satan and his demons).
Principle: The woman without the Right Man has a dead soul and is without the life that God made for her.
MARRIAGE RELATED TO CULTURE
Since marriage is a kernel, and atomic unit, of the Grace Plan of God and society, it is the source of blessing or cursing for the rest of society and the entire culture. The blessing and cursing is not a national model, a business model, an educational model. It is a marriage kernel model. Marriage is the kernel for life on this earth. As goes marriage, so goes the culture.
Healthy nations have healthy marriages. Healthy people have healthy marriages. Healthy businesses have employees with healthy marriages. Healthy educational and learning systems have students and teachers with healthy marriages. And healthy armies come from healthy marriages. When God can bless marriages in grace, everything else in the culture is also blessed.
On the other hand, nations on the verge of collapse have unhealthy marriages. Just look at the nation of Israel before the fall of the Northern and Southern Kingdoms. It was full of adultery and divorce just as it was in the Exodus generation. Divorcees are the curse of a business. They make poor employees and poor managers. Wild children in the educational institutions are the prescription for failure. Divorcees and adulterers in the ranks of the military are the harbinger of doom. Poor lovers make cowardly soldiers. Undisciplined civilians make undisciplined soldiers. So, when God curses, the evidence of that cursing is breakup of marriages.
Before the fall of the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 721 BC, the teen girls were fornicating with the Assyrian soldiers (Ezekiel 23:5-10). Marriage as the pillar of society crumbled, and with it, the nation. The teens had rejected the commandments of the Word of God on marriage. They became promiscuous and engaged in Phallic Reversionism and Idolatry. Prior to the fall of the Southern Kingdom of Judah in 586 BC, the same thing happened. Marriage meant nothing. The teen girls were fornicating with the Chaldean soldiers (Ezekiel 23:11-21). They were stuck in the attraction phase of romance. They boys were running wild like horses and fornicating with prostitutes (Jeremiah 5:7-8). Marriage was an open wound, and when marriage failure had weakened the Client Nation sufficiently, the Client Nation of Israel was destroyed by the Chaldeans.
When marriages fail, the stability of a culture is lost. Everything becomes unstable, the family, business establishment, educational system, political and military establishments. Wild children will be "disobedient to parents" (2 Timothy 3:2). When marriages succeed, then families are blessed, communities and nations are blessed as well as business, education, and the military.
Deterioration of a culture begins with rejection of God. What inevitably follows is the decline of the divine institution of marriage. Marriages begin to fail, divorce rates rise, and wild children are disobedient and rebellious. Marriage failure has dire consequences upon the psychological well-being of the person. The person takes his problems with him to his job, into his social relationships, and into every part of his life. Thus marriage failures are one of the leading indications that something is very wrong with a culture. Many of the failures in business and other institutions in the establishment are the result of stresses in the person caused by marriage problems, although it may not be possible to establish a one-for-one link between marriage and a specific issue in the business or institution.
Marriage Culture problems are cursing that God orders upon a people. Those people may be grouped in a national entity, business establishment, or institution. When people reject God, they become the tail and not the head per the Moses analogy. The tail has trends toward lascivious lawlessness and legalism. Since marriage is the closest human relationship, it will magnify the problem of the tail. When there are problems in the relationship with God, there will also be problems in marriage. That was the case in the Garden. When Adam and the woman sinned, they donned fig leaves to try to handle their social problems. Their marriage was dysfunctional. This is still the case today: When God is rejected, the marriage culture shows it.
Marriage problems at home, in turn, lead to problems in social behavior outside the home. Jeremiah described the behavior as the men acting like horses, "each man neighing after his neighbor's wife" (Jeremiah 5:8). The Lord Jesus Christ described it as mental adultery: "everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matthew 5:28). James described it as "friendship with the world" (James 4:4). John described it as "love of the world" (1 John 2:15-16). So the number of marriages that fail is a measure of the quality of life in a culture. When there are problems in marriage, there are problems everywhere else in society.
Adulterers have a problem in the Attraction Phase of the Right Man - Right Woman relationship, which may lead to divorce. Rather than be faithful, they go for the paramour. They failed their most intimate trust. They are left wounded and embittered. Afterward (with rare exceptions), they will not behave with standards of high moral excellence. They will be subjective. They will harbor frustrations of bitterness. They will suffer from garbage in the subconscious. They will make decisions based upon convenience and political expediency. When the truth is not the criteria for decisions and true love is not the criteria for relationships, then moral excellence will be compromised.
So, first God is rejected along with His grace for mankind. The inevitable result will be marriage problems. Marriage problems will cripple every aspect of society. If marriage problems are not corrected, the culture will collapse. This is the road down. However, if the grace of God is accepted, then marriages will be blessed along with the rest of society and the culture. Nations will be blessed and provide freedom for their citizens. Businesses will prosper. This is the road up.
AUTHOR Larry Wood