Question: Where does the Bible compare being unevenly [unequally] yoked [in marriage] to a cow and horse being unevenly yoked and trying to plow together?; Is Polygamy okay?; Musical instruments in the Church; How do I love an enemy that hates me?
Answer: We have had a lot of Bible questions that we have not answered for you, so I apologize for this, and thanks for being so patient with us. Here are the ‘short’ answers with the Scripture verse or verses:
- Where does the Bible compare being unevenly [unequally] yoked [in marriage] to a cow and horse being unevenly yoked and trying to plow together?
It is interesting that you mention this because when I first gave the illustration I had forgotten that it was in Scripture. God gives us the natural to relate to the spiritual. It is kind of like a railroad track with two rails parallel to each other, one is the natural (or in nature), the other is the spiritual. Jesus always spoke in parables, a parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. This is how God set the world and the Bible up, everything is speaking of Christ and the Church in some way, even in the Old Testament and nature all around us.
So it is the same on this teaching to the Church about marriage in the New Testament, that we are not to marry unbelievers. By the way, Jews knew they were not to marry unbelievers as well. So the illustration St. Paul uses of yoking two animals together is taken from the Old Testament Scripture. So Jews or Christians, at that time, would remember this verse and know what Paul was talking about in the marriage relationship, “You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together.” (Deuteronomy 22:10)
- Another question, that was asked some time ago, is also about marriage. “IS POLYGAMY OKAY?”
The short answer of course is, NO! You may say, “Well why did God allow it in the Old Testament for the Jews?” God did ‘permit’ it, and even gave regulations for it, but it was never God’s perfect will. You will see in every single case mentioned in the Old Testament of polygamy it caused serious problems in the family.
So lets look at what God’s perfect will was for men and women in the Old and New Testament for marriage. We will see, also, that in the New Testament, polygamy is strictly forbidden for Christians in the Church Age.
“And 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 a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:23-24) “And He [Jesus] answered and said to them, ‘Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?’ So then, they are no longer two but one flesh.” (Matthew 19:4-6a)
The above verse also makes it clear that it is only a male and a female that God wants married! Now here are some other verses, though, that make it clear in the Church Age we are to have only one wife or one husband. “.if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination.” (Titus 1:6) And, yes, this is speaking of the office of bishop or elder, but it also applies to all Christians. “Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33) “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.” (1 Peter 3:7) “Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?” (1 Corinthians 9:5) Not, to get off the subject here, but this verse really shoots holes in the theory of the Roman Catholic Church that leaders could not have a wife. As far as we know Paul was the only one of the apostles that was not married, but again, to only ‘A’ ‘WIFE’ singular. So, no, polygamy is not okay.
- Yet, another question, and another subject: “Musical instruments in the Church.”
This is one area that it is hard for me to understand, and that is, how Christians can get so confused about a subject like this. Just because instruments are not talked about in the churches of the New Testament, that is not to say they did not use them in their worship. This was something that was well established in Scripture, so why would it need to be repeated. God doesn’t go into detail about creation either in the New Testament, because it is an established fact in the Old Testament. So it is with many subjects that apply to believers in New Testament times.
All through the Old Testament musical instruments were encouraged in worship, not discouraged. Instruments are a wonderful tool, if used correctly, to bring people into a worship of God. They were used in the Temple, by David, and most assuredly by the Christians in their churches in the New Testament. They are used in heaven, and will be used in heaven throughout eternity to bring honor, glory and worship to God!
Here are just a few of the verses: “PRAISE the LORD! Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty firmament! Praise Him for His mighty acts; praise Him according to His excellent greatness! Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! Praise Him with loud cymbals; praise Him with clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the LORD, Praise the LORD!” (Psalm 150)
A few of many other verses like: “1 Chronicles 6:31-32; 15:16; 23:5; 25:6-7. 2 Chronicles 7:6; 34:12. Nehemiah 12:27, 36. Psalm 33:2; 57:7-8; 81:1-23; 92:1,3; 98:4-5; 108:1-3; 144:9; 147:7; 149:3; 150. In heaven when Lucifer was a holy angel he had instruments he played for the LORD, Ezekiel 28:13b, “The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created.” Also in heaven glorified beings are seen playing instruments, “Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song.” (Revelation 5:8,9b)
- Question: “How do I love an enemy that hates me?”
Pray for them, and do good to them. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I [Jesus] say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43-48)
Your brother in Christ,
Gary T. Panell
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