Now, in Genesis chapter 4, the part that I wanted to focus on is down there in verse number 19, which is the first example in the Bible of someone having more than one wife. What we would commonly refer to as polygamy, or sometimes if it's only two they refer to it as bigamy, but in Genesis 4:19 we find the very first instance of someone having more than one wife. It says Lamech took unto him two wives. The name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other, Zillah. That's what I want to preach about tonight. The subject of polygamy.
Now, before we get into polygamy, let me show you the first mention in the Bible of monogamy, or someone having one wife. The word monogamy is broken down from mono- meaning "one", -gamy meaning "wife", or polygamy "many wives", bigamy "two wives", etc.
Go back to Genesis chapter 2, right at the beginning of the Bible, there's so many subjects that are introduced. Early in Genesis, God introduced His subjects, and a lot of times if you look at the first time something's mentioned it really sheds a lot of light on that subject in the Bible. It's always smart when you're learning about a certain subject in the Bible, to go back to the very first time God mentioned that subject and start there, learn about it, and then kind of follow that subject through the whole Bible. It makes a lot of sense when you look at things that way. Now, look at the first mention of monogamy in the Bible, Genesis 2:23 it says, "Adam said, this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." They were both naked, the man and his wife and were not ashamed.
Now, flip over, keep your finger in Genesis, but go to Matthew 19. Jesus quotes this scripture in Matthew 19. When he does, it's even more clear that God's intention is for a man to be married to one wife. There's a lot of scripture throughout the Bible that teaches that, but yet there are religions our there that teach that polygamy is okay. Even in vary small numbers, there are Christians who will try to claim that polygamy was okay.
Believe it or not, we had a guy from Cox Cable come to our house, all right, and he was selling Cox Cable door-to-door, and he saw something, I don't know if the church van was at our house for some reason, or he saw something that told him that we were Baptists, and my wife started talking to him about the Gospel, or something. Somehow he got on the subject of, he said that he's Baptist but that he believes in polygamy. He believes polygamy is fine. That had gotten him kicked out of his Baptist church, for having this strange doctrine. He was telling us that. Believe it or not, there are people out there that are mixed up on this subject and there are definitely millions and millions of people that are mixed up on this subject that are part of other religions like Mormonism, and Islam, etc, that teach polygamy. What does the Bible say about polygamy? I've had people ask me about certain scriptures in the Bible, confused, saying, "Does the Bible teach polygamy?" Let me make it real clear tonight, that the Bible teaches that we should only have one wife, and that polygamy is a sin, and has always been a sin, and always will be a sin.
Look if you would at Matthew 19 where Jesus quotes this in verse 4, "And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife:" singular, "and they," what? "twain shall be one flesh?" So God's plan for marriage is that a man and wife, the two of them, "the twain" would become one flesh. Then he says right after that, "Wherefore they are no more twain." They aren't two, he is saying, "But one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." Flip back to Genesis, you could see the same thing in Mark 10, don't turn there for sake of time, but he says the same thing, "They twain shall be one flesh. What God has joined together, let not man put asunder."
That's the first mention of monogamy in the Bible, Genesis chapter 2 teaches that two people, a man and a woman come together, become one flesh. Now the first mention of polygamy is in Genesis chapter 4, now let me explain to you the context of who these people are, and what the situation is. Early in the chapter of Genesis 4, we have the story of Cain and Abel. These are two sons of Adam and Eve, and Cain murders his brother Abel, because he's angry about the fact that God accepted Abel's sacrifice and he did not accept Cain's sacrifice. Cain, therefore, murders Abel and God's punishment for him is that he will be a fugitive and a vagabond, but Cain is afraid that someone will take revenge on him. Cain is afraid that because he has murdered his brother, someone will kill him.
So, therefore, God puts a mark upon Cain, and says that anyone who kills Cain will be avenged sevenfold. God did not have the death penalty in place for murder in Genesis 4, did he? No, the death penalty was not there for Cain when he killed his brother Abel.
Later on in the chapter, we have this man Lamech, the first man who has multiple wives, look at verse 19, "Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah." This is one of Cain's descendants, okay, and then genealogy there is given. Jump down to verse 23, "And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and the young man to my hurt. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold."
Here's a guy who kills someone now and he points back to the story about Cain, and he's using that as a justification saying, "Well, nobody can take vengeance on me, because if Cain was avenged sevenfold, I should be avenged seventy and sevenfold." He's saying, "I was more justified in killing this guy, than Cain was. Then, if we jump forward to chapter 6, flip over to chapter 6, it says in verse 11, "The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence." Then we look at verse 13, it says, "And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth."
Why is God going to destroy the earth? The earth is filled with violence. Man has become completely corrupt, that's why he's going to send the flood, and Noah's going to build the ark, and all that. Two times he says, it is because the earth is filled with violence. It starts out one murder: Cain kills Abel. Then we follow the story and here's another guy who says, "I'm going to do the same thing." Kills somebody, no consequence, or less of a consequence than what it should have been. Then what's the result? The whole worlds filled with violence, because there's no death penalty on murderers.
Now after the flood, God changes that law, look at chapter 9. The Bible says in verse 6, "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man." That's no coincidence that God institutes the death penalty right when they get off the ark. Why? So that the same thing doesn't happen again, where you have this escalation of violence. God says, "we're going to stop the violence by putting to death murderers, that way the whole earth isn't going to be filled violence once again." Now, tell that to people today who think that the death penalty is cruel, or inhumane. In reality God put it in place for our protection, because he didn't want us to be in a situation where people are committing murder, getting away with it, or being punished lightly. Then we live in a dangerous place where violence abounds.
Let me ask you this: Is the first man in the Bible who practiced polygamy, was he a good guy or bad guy? Everything points to him being a bad guy. First of all, he was a descendant of Cain, and the descendants of Cain were wicked, all right. Where as the descendants of Seth, on the side, they began to call upon the name of the Lord, and so on and so forth. They were children of God. Cain's descendants were a lot like dad, children of the Wicked One. So, this guy was a bad guy. What does the Bible teach about polygamy in the Mosaic Law? When we say the Mosaic Law, we're talking about the first 5 books of the Bible, Genesis to Deuteronomy.
Well, first of all, we do have a few stories that involve polygamy, don't we? Not only this guy, that committed polygamy, but another story that would involve a good guy committing polygamy would be Abraham, now Abraham was married unto Sarah his wife. Then, if you remember, he was promised a son and he got so old that he started to lose faith in having that son. His wife began to lose faith. His wife said, "Here is my maid, Hagar, go in unto her and have a child with her, and then I'll adopt that child, or raise that child, and that will be a way for you to have a son, Abraham." Let me ask you this, was that God's will, or God's plan? Clearly not the case.
A lot of people would try to justify polygamy just by saying, "Well, people in the Bible did it." But just because someone in the Bible did something, doesn't make it right. Even if they're a good person, good people sometimes do bad things. Bad people sometimes do good things. Just because a good person did something in the Bible doesn't make it right. Abraham was a good guy, but he was wrong when he went in unto Hagar and that child Ishmael was produced. You say, "well, prove that that was wrong. Prove that was a bad situation." God made it clear to Abraham that the promise involved Isaac. He said, "In Isaac shall thy seed be called." He tells Abraham, and I'm not going to turn there for sake of time, in Galatians 4, this is quoted again, and in Genesis, "Cast out the bond woman and her son, for the children of the bond woman shall not inherit with the children of the free."
When Abraham goes in unto Hagar, and Bible says that Sarah gave her to him to be his wife, it's a union that is not blessed by God, it was not in the plan of God, it had nothing to do with the promises of God, and it produced this child Ishmael, who was a wild man, and who was a man that later, his descendants would persecute the Israelites. Just as Ishmael even persecuted Isaac when he was a little kid. When he was first weened, Ishmael is making fun of him, and persecuting him, but then when they grow up and they have all kinds of children, the Ishmaelites would sometimes persecute the Israelites.
One example that I just happen to be reading was in Judges chapter 8, with Gideon, the Midianites, the Bible says that also in that group were the Ishmaelites, and talked about they all had earrings in their ears because they were Ishmaelites. We see that that was not blessed and Hagar and Ishmael end up being thrown out of the house. This is not a harmonious, wonderful example of a man with two wives: Sarah and Hagar. They hated each other. Sarah and Hagar fought, hated each other, and one of them ended up leaving. Then he's just there with Sarah once again. Bad example.
Another example is Jacob. Now, if you would look at Genesis chapter 29. Genesis chapter 29, lets look at the example of Jacob. When we look at the example of Jacob, we will see that he should not have had more than one wife, and the circumstances by which he ended up with more than one wife were bad circumstances that were a retribution to him for a lot of sin and deception that he had committed in his life. First of all, Jacob had a brother named what? Esau. Now Esau was a bad guy in a lot of ways. He wasn't as bad as some people make him out to be, but he did marry some heathen women. He married multiple wives, another problem with Esau. He also despised his birthright, that was a bad thing that he did. He married a couple of heathen wives, of the Hittites, then he married a third wife of the Ishmaelites. Jacob when he sets out, there's no indication in the Bible that he's setting out to marry multiple wives. The Bible teaches that he is going out to marry a wife. Singular. He's going to marry a wife.
What happens is, when he gets there, he's deceived by his uncle Laban, because he wants to marry Rachel. He loves Rachel, and he says I'll serve with you for 7 years for your daughter Rachel. The Bible says he was so happy, and he loved Rachel so much, that he basically, it just went by really quick for him, the 7 years. At the end of the 7 years, he goes to Laban and says, "Okay, I've done my duty, give me my wife now." Of course, Laban deceives him, and tricks him by switching Rachel for Leah, and by the time he realizes that it was Leah that he has married, it's too late.
Then Laban suggests to him, "Well, in our country, we give the older daughter first, but it's no problem because you can just have both." This is what Laban explains to him and he says, "You're going to serve me 7 more years, and then you'll have two of my daughters." Really, Laban just wanted to get 14 years of work out of this guy. That's what it comes down to. He just wanted a free worker for 14 years instead of 7, so he switched out with the wife that he did not want. Look if you would at Genesis 29 verse 30. It says, "And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years. And when the Lord saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren."
You could see right away, that the reason why Rachel is barren, according to this passage, and the reason why the one has the womb open and the other has the womb closed, is because God sees that Rachel is loved and that Leah is hated. This is not a good situation, where he's married to 2 wives, through deception, and the reason that God allowed this to happen to him is because he deceived his father, and he stole his brother's birthright by deceiving his father and lying to his father and saying that he's Esau. Guess what? When you deceive people, you're going to be deceived, because what goes around comes around, you reap what you sow.
This bad situation ends up with him having a wife that he loves, and a wife that he hates. God causes the one to have her womb opened, and the other to have her womb closed. Ideally, in a perfect world, Jacob would have married one wife, the one that he actually wanted to marry, Rachel, and her womb would have been open, and he would have had a bunch of kids with Rachel and lived happily ever after. But because he was a deceiver, he ended up being deceived.
This is again, not a good example of polygamy in the Bible. The two wives hated each other. They're at each others throats and so on and so forth. He doesn't even love the one at this time anyway, he only loves the first wife, or the second wife, however you want to look at it. Anyway, bad example.
Then, not only that, but Jacob ... Go ahead and turn if you would to Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy chapter 17. Not only that, but because he has these two wives, his two wives will later talk him into taking there handmaids as additional wives, just so that they can end up with more kids. Again, we see another principle in the Bible, that when the parents do something, the children will follow in the footsteps and commit those same sins. Often what the parents will do in moderation, the children will do in excess. Because Abraham had done this thing of taking the handmaid as an additional wife, that president had already been set, he set that bad example for his grandson, Jacob, who basically, takes the two handmaids and ends up with 4 wives. Not a good example. Not right, just because he did. In between that, you have Isaac, who was a Godly man, who only had one wife, Rebekah.
Let's look at some laws now. We saw some stories from the books of Moses that involved polygamy and they all were stories that went bad. Not a harmonious happy family whatsoever. Now let's look at some commandments that God gives in the Mosaic Law that involve multiple wives. Look at Deuteronomy 17, first of all it says, verse 15, "Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord they God shall choose: one from among they brethren shalt thou set king over thee; thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not they brother." If he is born in Kenya or something, you know, you're not supposed to choose him, he has to be locally born.
Then it says in verse 16, "But he shall not multiply horse to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the Lord hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way."
Verse 17, "Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold."
Here, God is saying of the king, he shall not multiply wives. If we look at all the kings of Israel and Judah, guess what every single one of them did? Every single one of them did what? They multiplied wives. That's probably why God said, "He shall not multiply wives", because he knew that they were going to have a tendency to do that, because all that wealth and power would give them the ability to easily do that.
There's no command in the Bible, or no teaching in the Bible that says, "Hey, it's okay to have 2 wives. Hey, have 3 wives. Go ahead and take a second wife." Yet we do have this verse that's saying that the king shall not multiply wives. Go, if you would to chapter 21, I'm going to show you a couple of scriptures that confuse people. These are the 2 scriptures that people will point to, to say that God is okay with polygamy, or that the Bible teaches polygamy. I'm going to show you the two passages that people would use to teach that.
First of all, Deuteronomy 21 verse 15. Deuteronomy 21:15, look what it says in the first words there, "If a man have two wives." Now, stop right there. Does this say, "Hey, go out and marry two wives. It's great to have two wives. It's perfectly fine to have two wives." Is that what the Bible is saying here? No. The Bible is simply saying, "If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children," now doesn't that sound like a familiar situation? "Both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated: Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn: But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his."
This law is dealing with inheritance. It's saying that the firstborn son will receive a double inheritance, and that if a man has two wives and he prefers the one over the other, he cannot say, "Well, you're the firstborn son of the wife that I prefer, so I'm going to give you the double portion." Legally, when his goods are divided, when he dies the firstborn son's getting double, it doesn't matter which wife the firstborn son came from.
People will take this path, and say, "See, God's fine with polygamy. Right there, he says." No. In reality, what this passage shows us is that people at that time were practicing polygamy. We already knew that, because it was happening all the way back in Genesis 4, and we see examples of people doing it throughout the Bible. God has put laws in place that are there to deal with the reality of polygamy. He's not condoning, he's not telling them to do it, but it's just a reality, because think about it. Once a person has married two wives, they've married two wives. Let's say for example, you're a missionary right, and you go in as a missionary and you're preaching the gospel to some kind of a tribe somewhere, or some kind of a really strange culture, maybe you're in Africa or India or someplace like that. What if you came upon people, that some of them had two wives. Let's say you ... They don't know any better, they're part of some false religion that tells them that's fine, and then you preach the Gospel to them, and you win them to Christ, and you're teaching them, "Okay, here's how you're going to live your life now. Here are the rules to follow." What are they supposed to do with those wives? What are they supposed to do with that second wife? What does the Bible teach?
In reality, if they've made a vow and sworn and married these wives, they're stuck with these wives, is what I believe the Bible would teach. Not that it was right to marry those wives in the first place, but they have married them. They are married to them. It's that simple.
God is just recognizing the reality, and let me give you a perfect parallel, just to prove that this verse is not condoning of polygamy, because it says, "If a man have two wives." How about this verse? From 1 John 2:1, "If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." Is that condoning sin? No. "If a man sin, we have an advocate with the Father." If a man have two wives, here's how deal with the legalities when he dies. That's all it's saying. Because a polygamy was a reality at that time, God is just providing laws that have to do with polygamy. Go to Exodus 21, we'll see a similar teaching where God gives a law that has to do with people who are practicing polygamy, and what to do in that situation.
See, marriage is permanent, Biblically speaking. Marriage is permanent relationship, it's supposed to be "til death do us part." Now, a lot of people prematurely end that relationship through divorce, by what the Bible calls divorce or putting away, but the Bible says that the Lord hates putting away. God has taught, what God has joined together, let not man put asunder. Once somebody is married, they're married, so that's why God has these laws that involve people who have 2 wives. Even though it's not an issue in the United States, in most places, it could be an issue in other parts of the world, or in other time periods.
It says in Exodus 21:7, "If a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do." Now, this is not something that we do today in America, either, this is not legal. You can't sell your daughter in the United States of America to be a maidservant in 2014, can you. Back in these Bible days, what would happen is, if people would get themselves in to a financial situation where they couldn't pay their debts, they couldn't just bankrupt it, back then you had to pay your debts. When people would get into a situation, where they could not pay, then they would have to be forced to work it off, sort of like you go a restaurant and you don't have the money to pay, "Oh, my wallets gone." You don't have the money to pay the bill, what do you have to do? Yeah. Has anybody ever actually done that in real life? No, that's only on tv. All right, but any way, it's the proverbial washing of the dishes because you don't have your wallet to pay the bill. That's kind of how this is. You have to work it off, if you haven't been able to pay the money that you owe, you have to be put in a position of servitude to work off your debt. It's a temporary situation.
If you're a man, and you would be in debt and so forth, then you would basically indenture yourself to go work for somebody for a period of 3 years or a maximum that the Bible would allow is 6 year. Six years is the maximum that God put on it, and He said after 6 years, they have to let you go free, and they have to also give you liberally of there goods, and out of their wine press, and so forth. So that you could go out with some money in your pocket after 6 years.
In this situation, this is a man selling his daughter basically to be someone's wife. Again, not saying, "Hey, this is a great way to live your life." All right. This is just saying it's what people do. "If a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do." Basically meaning, it's not a 3 year or a 6 year thing, because they are going to buy her to be a maidservant, usually to be his wife, because it says in verse 8, "If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself." Okay, what is "betrothed her to himself," referring to obviously? Marriage.
"Then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her. And if he betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters." This is saying ... now, verse 9 is kind of a parenthetical here because verse 9 he's talking about a different situation. Verse 8 is really connected to verse 10. Verse 9 is just throwing out a different scenario about the son. It says, "If he take him another wife," and this could got for either verse 8 or 9, if this woman who is a bond maid is purchased as a wife, then it says in verse 10, "If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money."
What does is the Bible saying here? That if he takes on the second wife, he still has to feed her the same way, clothe her the same way, and also the duty of marriage would refer to, obviously, he has to have that physical relationship with her in the same way. Again, these are the two passages that people would use, Exodus 21 and Deuteronomy 21 to teach that God is for polygamy, God's okay, polygamy is fine. It's condoned in scripture. But if we take all of scripture as a whole, it's pretty easy to show that that's not the case. You never want to let your doctrine just rest on one or two passages, especially when those two passages do not come out and say what you're saying. They don't come right out and say, "Polygamy is permissible. It's okay, go ahead and do it." In fact, we can show you other passages, especially in the New Testament, that condemn it. Even in the Old Testament, we saw that the admonish not multiply wives.
Before we get into the New Testament, let's think of some other examples of people in the Old Testament who practiced polygamy, of good guys. We saw Abraham, we saw Jacob, also Gideon, now you saw, "How do we know Gideon practiced polygamy?" Because Gideon had 70 sons, now if you have 70 sons, you did not have those all with one woman. That's not going to happen. Let's see if God blessed what Gideon did. Go to Judges chapter 9, look, we've seen all the examples of polygamy, the first one was a murderer, the man who murdered someone and was trying to get away with it, okay. Then we saw good guys who committed polygamy. Abraham, did that situation work out well? It worked out horribly. She ends up leaving and almost dying and her and her son are just forsaken. They hate each other and there's all this strife. Look, the situation with Jacob. There's all kind of hatred, finally, you know what Jacob ended up doing, he has them living in separate tents. He's got this wife over here, this wife over here, this wife ... He has to maintain all these different, separate households and families. Bad examples, no good came of it.
Then we see Gideon. Let's see how Gideon worked out. He had 70 sons. I'm sure that he was proud of the fact that he had 70 sons, because men like to have children and have sons, especially to carry on their name. Obviously, he had 70 sons, because he wanted to have a lot of sons, because he's taken a lot of wives, and producing a lot of children. He wanted his heritage to be great after him. Look what happened to Gideon, look at Judges 9 verse 5. This is after Gideon died, is says in Judges 9:5, "And he went unto his father's house at Ophrah, and slew his brethren," this is Abimelech the son of Gideon. "Slew his brethren the sons of Jerubbaal, being threescore and ten persons, upon one stone: notwithstanding yet Jotham the youngest son Jerubbaal was left; for he hid himself." Jerubbaal is another word for ... another name for Gideon, if you read the story.
Out of Jerubbaal's 70 sons, how many of them survive? Abimelech, and then this other one son. How many sons ended up surviving? Two. How would you like to have 70 sons, plus one, because he has 71. How would you like to have 71 sons, and 2 of them survive? That's not God, is that the blessing of God on your heritage? Is that God blessing your legacy? When you produce 71 sons, and 69 of them are killed. Then how about this? Just within a few years, Abimelech is going to be killed also. So, really only one is going to end up surviving, which is Jotham. That's the only one that makes. Bad example isn't it?
Then the next example of good guys who practice polygamy that we can show would be the kings of Israel. Pretty much all of them did it, or at least most of them did it. Starting with King Saul. Not exactly a great example of a godly king. He started out good, for a very short time. Then he was an ungodly king in many ways. Bad example of a guy.
Then we have David, who has more than one wife. Course, one of his wives hated him, basically mouthed off to him, and he basically told her what was the deal, and he says he never went in unto her again for the rest of their marriage. Does that sound like a good marriage? The original wife, Michal, David's original wife, he became so estranged from his original wife, that he never had any marital relationship ever again. Therefore, she was childless, and he's just on to wife number 2, 3, 4, 5, whatever. Does that sound like a good situation? Are these good advertisements for polygamy?
How about Solomon, who took polygamy to a whole new level? Who took it to its complete extreme by having 700 wives and 300 concubines? Taking it to a just a complete extreme, and the Bible teaches that even though he was a godly, wise, righteous man, these wives turned away his heart from serving the Lord. His strange wives caused him to get so back-slidden, and get so far away from the Lord, and Bible blames the fact that he married these wives, that he actually built temples to the false gods that these heathen wives worshiped. They worshiped a false got, he actually built temples unto their gods. That's pretty bad, when you're building temples unto a false religion, you're pretty bad. The whole kingdom ends up getting divided because of that, and there's all kinds of blood shed because of that, and really bad example.
Let's go to the New Testament. We've seen what the Old Testament teaches, there's nothing in the Bible in the Old Testament that tells us that's okay to have two wives, or 3, or 4, or whatever. Everybody who did it, it was a bad example. There aren't examples of a harmonious situation or a good example of just a really happy family with multiple wives. Because you say, "Well, what about Alimelech ... not Alimelech, what's his name? What's the guy that was married to Hannah and Peninnah, oh Canaan, yeah. What about Canaan, he was married to the two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. The Bible talks about how the one provoked her adversary. It calls them adversaries. The two wives are known as enemies, adversaries, provoking each other, fighting with each other, that's a bad situation. Every example is a bad example. No where does the old testament teach it, God's original intent is laid out in Genesis 2, right out of the gate. Second chapter, they two shall be one flesh, a man and his wife, they join together. Every example after that, starting with Cain's descendant are just examples of polygamy gone wrong.
Yeah, there are a couple of laws that basically saw, "Okay, in a case of polygamy, here's how the legalities work." But that's not saying that that's an ideal situation, or the best situation, or a right situation.
Let's look at some scripture in the New Testament. We already saw where Jesus said, "They two shall be one flesh." Where Jesus taught that marriage is a man and a woman. Pastor Anderson, why are you even wasting your time preaching about polygamy? Why don't you cover the real issue that everybody cares about: gay marriage? That's the big issue right now in our nation. Why don't you cover that for a while? Why are you covering polygamy? Here's why I'm covering polygamy, because the Bible covers polygamy. You know what the Bible does not cover, "gay marriage." You know why? Because the Bible says that homosexuals should be executed. So, whether they're married or not, kind of becomes a moot point when Leviticus 20:13 says, that "if a man lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman," they have both committed abomination, they're blood shall be upon them. That kind of makes marriage an after thought. I often say to people, "I have no problem with gay marriage, as long as they're executed. I don't mind if they get married." Again, it's just the world wants you to think a certain way, so they get you brainwashed and they get you thinking a certain way, and they get you all into this queer marriage debate, like there's even a debate. Like any sane, normal person thinks that a man being with another man is normal in any way, shape, or form, like it's even a question.
We as God's people shouldn't even ... it shouldn't even be something that we would even think about, "Is this okay? Or what are we ..." If you have to ask yourself questions about queer marriage, you are light years away from understanding the Bible. If you're like, "Oh, man. Marriage, should we recognize this?" I don't even recognize homos, forget recognizing their marital status. I won't even recognize them. Again, the devil wants to get us arguing about the wrong thing. The reason I'm talked about polygamy is cause it's something the Bible actually addresses. Here's what's funny about it too, the people out there that are for queer's and queer marriage, they actually think polygamy is horrible. Now, here's the thing, I'm preaching a whole sermon about how polygamy is a sin, and I'm showing scripture to prove to you that polygamy is sinful, and that God condemns polygamy, and that it's not the will of God. Let me tell you something, polygamy is about 5 million times more normal than being homo. Did you hear me? Polygamy is about 5 billion times more normal than being a homo.
I mean, "Oh, man, you know. Be careful not to accept homos getting married, cause you're opening the door to polygamy." (screams) "You know, say it isn't so." Good night. Being a homo is so much weirder. I mean, good night. But, anyway, I don't want to get off on that. I just threw that out there, that was just a little commercial break.
Anyway, go to 1 Timothy 3 let's look at the New Testament teaching. We've already seen that Jesus clearly said that at the beginning, God made them male and female, and that it was a two becoming one flesh, but look at this scripture right here in 1 Timothy 3. It says in verse 2, "I bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach." Jump down to verse 12, it says, "Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well." Now, the Bible's very clearly commanding here, that a pastor, bishop is another word for pastor, that a pastor or a deacon must be the husband of one wife. Now, let me ask you this: If it were okay to have multiple wives, why is it not okay for the pastor, and why is it not okay for the deacon?
Do you see what I'm saying. So, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. I mean, if something is sin it's sin, if it's right it's right. Why would God sit there and say, "Hey, if you're choosing someone to be a pastor ..." Because if we go to Titus, go to Titus chapter 1, in 1 Timothy 3, it's from a perspective of, "If [any] man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife." So in 1 Timothy chapter 3 it's talking to you saying, "Hey, if you want to be a pastor, here are the qualifications that you need to live up to." In Titus chapter 1, he's telling Titus that he needs to ordain elders in every city of Crete, as Paul had appointed him. He says in chapter 1 verse number 6, well let's start reading in verse 5, "For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, and I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly."
Now, stop and think about this. You say, "Well, that's different. It's a different rule for the pastor." Some people will say this, "It's a different rule for the pastor, than the guy in the pew. It's a different rule for the bishop or the deacon than the guy in the pew." Some people will say this, "He's being held to a higher standard." Okay, well, that means that ones better than the other. At least that it would be better to [inaudible 00:39:58]. But stop and think about how ridiculous it is to say, "Well, it's a different standard for the pastor and deacon, than everybody else." Here's why that is a ridiculous statement: because guess what every pastor was before they were the pastor? A church member, right? So, before you can ever be the pastor, you're just Joe Church Member. Think about this, all these people in Crete, before Paul got there, before Titus got there, all these people in Crete are living their lives.
What if there were just a great godly righteous man, who just marries a second wife because he has no idea that he's going to need to pastor a church someday? So, he just marries multiple wives, and it's like, "Well, sorry you can't be a pastor. You have two wives. What in the world?" But the reason why you can't be a pastor is because it's wrong to have two wives. He's not blameless. He's taken two wives. He's made that mistake. That is a bad example to the congregation. Why does God not want the pastor to have two wives? Because it's a bad example to the congregation, cause then they'll go out and get two wives. If every pastor was once a church member, the Bible is saying they should already not be given to wine. I've heard people say this, "Well, it's okay for church members to drink, just not the pastor." Except to be chosen to be the pastor, you already have to be someone who's not given to wine. Does everybody see what I'm saying? How every pastor used to be a church member, every deacon used to be a church member. It's not like it's a different set of rules, because people have to be found already following these rules to be eligible for those positions.
They have to be a non-pastor who follows these rules. A non-deacon who follows these rules. The Bible says that "Let these also first be proved, then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless." That right there proves that not only did Jesus say, "Hey, it's the will of God, that two become one." But now also we have scriptures flat out saying, "Look, you cannot be a pastor or a deacon if you practice polygamy, or if you're given to wine, or if you're given to much wine." That puts it in the same category of just wrong things, things that are wrong with you that would be so wrong with you that they would stop you from holding that position.
What are some religions that teach polygamy? I'm going to get into a last biblical reason why polygamy doesn't make sense, and why it's not biblical. What are some religions that teach polygamy? First of all, Islam teaches polygamy. Islam teaches that it's okay for you to have up to 4 wives. They put that ceiling on it right there of 4 wives. Now Mohammed, on the other hand, he had more than that. I've often asked Muslims, "What's the deal with Mohammed?" They said, "Well, God made an exception for Mohammed." By the way, Mohammed was a completed perverted man. He actually married a 6 year old, and consummated that marriage with a 9 year old, that is pedophilia, he's rotting in Hell. He's a wicked false prophet. Every Muslim I've every spoken to confirmed that, they'll even admit that. They don't even hide that. This is what they say, "Back then it was normal." On what planet? That's never been normal, and by the way the Bible condemns it in 1 Corinthians 7. That's never been normal, to marry a child.
You know what? Polygamy always leads to child marriage, and let me explain to you why. Because when you look at Mormonism and you look at Islam, and those are the two big religions that we think ... There are other religions out there, and other cultures in India, and other places where they do practice polygamy. But the two that kind of come to mind in the United States are Islam and Mormonism. Those are the two you're going to think of the most. Have you noticed how these Mormons, these Fundamentalist Mormons that are up in northern Arizona, have you noticed that they're always marrying such young women, and such young girl? Have you noticed that? Why? Why does it lead to that? I'll tell you exactly why. It's a very simple reason. Everybody brace yourselves, okay. There are the same amount of men and women in this world, okay, there you know, this world is made up of 50/50 men and women. So, does polygamy even make sense? Why would God have his will be that a man have multiple wives, there wouldn't be enough wives to go around. Because half the people in this world are men and the people in this world are women. So if men are practicing polygamy somebody's going without. Somebodies got zero.
It doesn't make any sense numerically. Here's what happens, you get these communities of polygamy and what happens is, they start marrying seventeen year olds, sixteen year olds, fifteen year olds, it just keeps getting younger, because they have a shortage of women to go around to fulfill all these polygamist that want to have multiple wives. Because numerically, polygamy doesn't work. Then that cult up in northern Arizona, of the Fundamental Mormons, you know what I like to call them, the "Real Mormons". "The Real Mormon." Not like the fake Mormons, that don't even practice what their founders gave them, and what Brigham Young, and Joseph Smith gave them. What is says in their scriptures? But the "Real Mormons" the FLDS, you know what, they even go even further than just taking younger and younger wives. Here is the next thing it leads to. The next thing is leads to is they start taking wives away from one to give to another. Their cult leader Warren Jeffs, actually had the power to, like, reward people, whoever where the most faithful cult members, he'd reward them with more wives, and the ones who were disobedient, he's take away their wives, and give them to somebody. It's that just bizarre and sick?
That's what happens with polygamy, simple because, if you have a community with 500 people in it, 250 of them are men, 250 of them are women, all of a sudden you introduce polygamy, the math isn't going to add up folks. Then it leads to all this other stuff that was never God's will. There are all kinds of unintended consequences whenever you step outside of God's will, and God's plan. You say, "Well, I don't see a verse that just flat out condemns polygamy." But, you know what, the thought of foolishness is sin. If God's telling you, "It's my will that you have a wife, and that you cleave unto that wife, and that you two become one flesh, why are you looking for something different than that?" Why do you desire something beyond that, and want to have this lifestyle that the Bible never put it's stamp of approval on, and forbids to the pastor, and forbids to the king, and forbids to the bishop, and forbids to the deacon. Guess what? We're all priests and kings in the New Testament, and God said don't multiply wives.
We see these kind of consequences of polygamy amongst Muslims. You always hear about Muslims marrying these really young girls, and then you see the same thing amongst the Fundamentalist Mormons. But you say, "What about the Latter Day Saints? Do they teach polygamy?" Well, if you talk to the modern day Mormons, the modern day Latter Day Saints, the main organization, of which they claim that they have supposedly 14 million members. If you talk to them here's what they'll say, they'll say, "Well, we don't practice polygamy any more." They'll tell you, "The reason we don't, is because we believe in obeying the law of the land." Stop and think about what they just said. Here's what they're saying, "If it were legal, we'd do it." I mean that's what the Mormons are ... "If it were legal, we would do it. We just don't do it because it's not legal." They are just as morally guilty of wanting to do it, and they believe that they will do it in eternity.
Let me just give you some facts on Mormonism. Joseph Smith had give or take, 28 wives, that he married. But he did it all secretly, because Joseph Smith actually introduced the practice of polygamy in 1843 just to his small group of leaders of the church, so he didn't teach this openly to the rank and file. Rather, just to the leadership of the church, he introduced the doctrine of polygamy, he got a revelation from God about how they needed to practice polygamy in 1843. Well, he died shortly thereafter. In his lifetime, the Mormons did not openly, publicly teach polygamy. Then Brigham Young was the guy who took over after him, he began to openly teach polygamy. He began to just openly have multiple wives. Brigham Young had 55 wives. This guy is no Muslim. This guy would make Mohammed blush. He had 55 wives. In fact there is a Wikipedia entry "Wives of Brigham Young" and it lists them all, and pictures and their names, and a little bit about them. It just ... There's a whole listing of all his 55 wives.
Some of his wives are pretty homely, I'd rather just have one that I like to look at, you know, than 55 that add up to 1 pretty face. Just kidding. But away, he's got 55 wives. But Smith secretly, in 1843, he defined it as a new and everlasting covenant, including the eternity of the marriage covenant as also the plurality of wives. Now, let me ask you something: is the marriage covenant eternal? No. Because the Bible says, "In the resurrection, they neither marry nor are given in marriage." It's til death us do part, and then we part. It's not an eternal marriage. We're not married to each other for all eternity, that is a false doctrine. The Bible's clear on that. He also taught, besides the eternity of marriage covenant, also the plurality of wives. Now, the Book of Mormon, which you got to remember, the Book of Mormon came out in, I believe, I want to say 1830, is when the Book of Mormon came out. So when Joseph Smith came out with the Book of Mormon in 1830 he didn't come out with polygamy until 1843, secretly.
That's why the Book of Mormon actually condemns polygamy. Because that's his earliest teaching, so here's what the Book of Mormon says: the Book of Mormon, in the book of Jacob chapter 2 verse 24 says, "Behold David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines which thing was an abominable before me, sayeth the Lord." So the Book of Mormon says it was abominable that David and Solomon had all these wives. Then it says this also in verse 27 of the Book of Mormon, "Wherefore, my brethren, hear me and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any mane among you have save it be one wife, and concubines he shall have none." So there's the Book of Mormon right there stating: one wife. Don't have multiple wives. But then later in their book Doctrine and Covenants, which is were all the really weird stuff is, Doctrine and Covenants chapter 132 verses 61 and 62.
It says, "If any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then he is justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him ... And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified." Right there, and by the way Doctrine and Covenants is holy scripture to the Mormons, up there with the Bible.
Their holy scriptures are the Bible, the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, and general discourses, and so, in their holy book it just says, "Hey, marry ten wives, it's fine. Go ahead and do it." The only reason that they quit is because the federal government came down on them and threatened to come in seize all their property, and they would not allow Utah to become a state unless they stopped practicing polygamy. There was a lawsuit, and everything. Finally, and turn to 1 Corinthians 7, I'll close with this, but finally they had to abandon polygamy just because the feds were coming down on them. So they had to get rid of it. Not because they realized that is was wrong, not because they believed it was wrong, and they still believe that in heaven they are going to have all these multiple wives. The Muslims believe that in heaven they are going to have all these multiple wives.
Here's what the Bible says, in 1 Corinthians 7, and you know what, for this point in the sermon, I'm just turning to one place, but I could really turn to a lot of places, that talk about your wife, singular. We could just go to every scripture that talks to you about having a wife, having a wife. So, yeah, okay there are two places that talk about having multiples, what about all the hundreds of scriptures that just talk about you just having one, and how that works. Look at 1 Corinthians 7 verse 1, "Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me. It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife [singular], and let every woman have her own husband [singular]." That's what the Bible teaches, just a singular husband and wife. Polygamy makes no sense, 50% of people are men, 50% of people are women. As the saying goes, "There's a lid for every pot." There's not enough wives to go around for everybody to have 4, especially not at Faithful Word Baptist Church, for these single guys.
I'll tell you right now, it just doesn't make sense, and when you look at it in a microcosm, when you look at it in a small community like northern Arizona, the cult members up there with Warren Jeffs, you can see how it just creates all kinds of problems, because numerically it just doesn't work. Every where in the world that polygamy is practiced, these issues come up. Because numerically, it just does not work. Financially it doesn't work. Who can afford to have, you know, two separate houses, "yeah, I'll put them in the same house." Well, that's going to be great. I mean, two separate houses, like Jacob had them in separate tents and everything. Who can pay for all that? Who can afford all that? There is some tv show right now that promotes polygamy. It's a real ... You say, "Oh, Pastor Anderson, you're preaching on crazy stuff that nobody cares about." There's a show on tv right now. There's a reality show that's called Sister Wives, and it's about a man in Utah, who's a Mormon, who has 4 wives.
It's a super popular show, right now. Why? Because people are just fascinated by that which is ungodly. We ought not ... You ought never pull this show and just say, "I just want to see what it's like." You don't need to know. Be simple concerning that which is evil, be wise concerning that which is good. You don't need to just figure out what it's like, "How do you do that the ..." You know, it's some long haired geek, is the guy, the Bible, by the way the Bible also says men should have short hair, and women should have long hair, but this long haired geek, he's got 4 wives. They go to work. That's my understanding of the show, that's what I've heard is that, I guess, they go to work and I don't even know, does he even have a job? Does anybody know? Who, what worldly sinful person watches this filth?
I'm going to expose you right now. No. I'm just kidding. Anyway, this guy, from what ... Maybe I'm wrong, and you know what, if I'm wrong, so what, I don't want to know all the ins and outs of this weirdo. The bottom line is that what I've heard is that this guy sends them to work. They go to work, and pay for him. That's backwards. What I'm saying, I mean, I guess that's how you're going to make polygamy work for the average man in 2014. You're going to have to send them to work. That's not Biblical. The man is supposed to be the provider, the bread-winner, and the woman is supposed to marry, bear children, and guide the house. Not just, "well, hey, I'm just going to have 4 wives, send them all to work, and just sit back and let the 4 paychecks come in, and just be the boss." That's bizarre. It works on tv, you know why, because everything on tv is fake.
Now, look I've been on tv a few times, and every time I was on tv it's been fake. I mean, this Christian tv show came out and interviewed me about memorizing the Bible, because I had memorized a lot of the Bible. They came out and they said, "We want to get a video of you driving down the road, quoting the Bible, like working on your Bible verses as you're driving down the road just kind of reciting the Bible." They put me in my car, set up a camera and lights, and one them shook the car and another guy waved tree branches in front of a light bulb to make it look like I'm driving.
It was totally fake, I wasn't really driving. I'm thinking, "Man, everything on tv is so fake." Then I just did an interview, a tv interview, like a week ago, and I did this interview with a guy, and he calls me up and basically he's acting like he knows nothing about me, he doesn't know who I am, like I contacted him. They're like, "We're going to do it as if you contacted us." Because they are contacting me, saying, "Hey, we want you on the show. We want to interview you, or whatever." So, they're like, "but we're going to make it to where it's like you contacted us." Then at the end, this interviewer, I did the interview with the guy, at the end of the interview the guys like, "Sorry I had to pretend like I don't know anything about, I already know who you are, I appreciate what you do, and everything. I know everything about you. I was just pretending."
It just shows you that everything on tv is all fake. Anything you see on tv is fake. Just understand that. Even reality shows. Here's reality, you're living reality. Anything other than what you're living right now is not reality. Just because you see something on a reality show, doesn't make it the case. You see some reality show and you see these people and their kids are well behaved, and good kids, and their all this Christian family and the kids are all good and everything. You never see them take the kid over the knee and spank them. But you know it's happening if the kids are good. It has to be. But why don't you see it? So then the tv is giving you, not a realistic view. Cause if you came to my house, you'll see good kids getting spanked. That's what you're going to see, because it's real. It's real life.
All your kids are so happy, they're always smiling, they're so good. Right, because they're disciplined. That's part of the formula. But you're not going to see that on tv. What I'm trying to say is that everything on tv is fake. Your little idyllic polygamy show, that you have the VCR set recording right now, no I'm just kidding, I hope not, good night. It's not real, and every story in the Bible, they are at each others throats, and, I don't know, maybe in the show they are at each other's throats too, and maybe that's how they get the ratings. I don't know. Anyway, I just wanted to go through and show you everything in the Bible. We pretty much looked at everything, right? We looked at the stuff which the polygamist side would use. We looked at all teachings that condemn it. I think it's pretty much clear to everybody, don't make me do like that church did to that Cox guy, if you don't agree with the sermon. (laughs) Just kidding.
Anyway, the Bible is clear folks. One man, one woman, married for life. That's God's plan. Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer.
Father, we thank you so much for your word, Lord. We thank you for the things that we can learn from it. There are things in the Bible that are taken out of context, and misused, Lord. Help us to study the whole Bible. Help us to study everything in the Bible, so that we don't just take one passage and run with it, and start teaching false doctrine, Lord. Help us to just stick with your plan of just marriage being between one man and one woman, and that we would stay married until death do us part. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.