Installment 74

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The month of November 2013 contained a major event for me – would I or would I not accept myself? In a way, I accepted myself, but that didn’t mean I had accepted what accepting myself meant.

On November 14, 2013 during interactive prayer, I was led to give a blessing: Blessed are you Jehovah our God, Sovereign of the Cosmos, who shines into the dark places. The Divine responded:

Yes. But you missed it. Again.

I offered another blessing: Blessed are you Jehovah our God, Sovereign of the Cosmos, who gives second chances. The Divine responded:

Yes. But again.

So, I offered another blessing: Blessed are you Jehovah our God, Sovereign of the Cosmos, who brings about his will. The Divine responded:

Now that’s what I’m talking about, my will.

That was not the first time that the Divine had asked me to start with a blessing, and had me give repetitive blessings before the prayer moved forward. Yet, remember, there are moments that the Divine led me to understand that prayers do not have to begin with blessings. But this prayer began with a leading to give a blessing and it required three before I found where the Divine intended to go – will. So the Divine added:

My will is for you to accept yourself, you love more than one woman…

Look, like I have said in other places, other men do not seem to have this personal issue. At least it seems that way.

But I did. Even though I had corresponded with a woman during 2013, I had a tremendously difficult time accepting myself. I have explained in other places why. The biggest issue is that if I accepted myself, then I would not be accepted by other people, people that were/are an integral part of my life.

About my unwillingness to accept myself, the Divine conveyed:

…you pride yourself curbing your desires, living a false and feigned reality, you are pretentious in this, you put on a face and pretend to be someone you’re not…

Quite frankly, I almost despise that. I had been raised up, trained by my religious heritage to curb my desire. For instance, I was taught drinking alcohol was giving in to your desires. Another instance is that I was taught that any marriage other than monogamy-only was giving in to desires.

From intense personal biblical study, I had learned that drinking alcohol is not the problem. The loss of self-control is the problem. So, in essence, if you’ll pardon the analogy, not only can you have a drink, you can multiple drinks, as long as you do NOT lose self-control.

So, I began to drink responsibly, and still do. Doing such goes against my religious training. But it sure doesn’t go against the Scriptures.

Similarly, I learned that multiple wives were not a problem. Unfaithfulness is the problem. Unfaithfulness is hiding the relationship. That is not self-control. Faithfulness is discussing the concept with your wife. That is self-control, showing fidelity.

Yes, my wife and I believe that God has led us to this doctrinal understanding. Yes, my wife and I believe that God has helped us accept that this is the direction we should go. So for my wife and I, fidelity means that God permits, and that we ourselves permit.

Consider this concept, God permits alcoholic consumption, but if my wife and I believe that alcoholic consumption is unacceptable for us, then we shouldn’t consume alcohol.

Similarly, God permits multiple-wife marriages, but if my wife and I believe that a multiple-wife marriage is unacceptable for us, then we shouldn’t have a multiple-wife marriage.

So, in essence where God permits, it becomes a personal choice, and personal choice should not become religious doctrine or social constructs, but it often does, in both spheres.

Yet, my religious heritage taught that it was sinful to have even one drink of alcohol, and went through elaborate measures to establish this doctrine. The Scriptures prove otherwise. Yet, when I abstained from drinking alcohol, I didn’t simply abstain from drinking alcohol, I taught that drinking alcohol was unscriptural, and took pride in the fact that I didn’t drink and didn’t believe that God permitted it.

Then I learned differently. I was humbled. The Scriptures permit drinking alcohol. I, as a believer, had to accept that what God permits, humanity cannot condemn.

Like I took pride in curbing any “desire” for alcohol, I curbed my desire for an additional wife, doing the very thing that my religious heritage taught me to do, abstain for the sake of the conscience of those around me.

It took me that entire time to realize that while the Apostle Paul spoke in such drastic measures, that declaration was from his own advice, and not necessarily from the Divine. That leads to much larger questions about the Scriptures, but I leave that discussion for another area. Suffice it to say that had I not been seeking the Divine, experiencing personal prayers, it would have been difficult for me to make the transition.

As I no longer live a false and feigned reality with alcohol and therefore encourage responsible alcoholic consumption, I no longer live a false and feigned reality about loving two wives. I could no longer pretend that alcoholic consumption was sin. I can no longer pretend that loving two wives is wrong.

If I had been raised in a culture that was favorable to men having multiple wives then the direction of my life would not be nearly as controversial. But I was raised in a culture, religious and social, that historically, has frowned on, if not out-rightly condemned, the marriage of a man to multiple women.

As I have had time to walk through these months, see what transpired, experienced different responses from people, I have come to one conclusion. Many believers are strident monogamy-only defenders because of the culture around them. I know that with certainty, because the things that are culturally acceptable, both socially and religiously, they do not struggle with, in particular, alcoholic consumption and interracial relationships. What I learned is that it is far more prominent for culture to shape not only individuals themselves but also religious convictions.

Is it any wonder that I struggled? I was struggling to determine if I was ready to break the tradition of the culture and face the consequences of those who were shaped by culture. In November 2013, I stopped my pursuit of the thought of another wife dead in its tracks.

Mary was convinced that another wife was the proper direction. She was unwilling to change from that. But considering the social ramifications from family and friends, I put a personal halt to it. Since I aimed to end that pursuit, I was truly contemplating ending my relationship with Mary. I discussed divorce with her, truly considering departure from her as my wife and our family.

Scripturally, there is absolutely nothing unrighteous about a man having multiple wives, it is the religion and the society that condemn such. As such, my family and Mary’s family condemned such. In November 2013, I believed, strongly believed, that the right thing to do was to divorce Mary and let her pursue what she believed God was leading her to.

As I contemplated, I knew that if I divorced Mary, there would be no way that I would ever gain favor with in-laws or other family, because I would be wrong for divorcing her. So I was in a situation where I was damned if I did, and damned if I didn’t.

I did accept that there was no possible way for me to save face. In fact, the only way to regain favor, if it is possible, is to actually simply move into my life with two wives and prove two things: one, that it is scriptural; two, that such a marriage can be healthy. But back then in late 2013, I was ready to throw it all away.

I spent serious time in prayer, I spent serious time in private discussions with Mary, I spent time in serious discussions with my wife and children. November 2013 became a turning point for me.

On November 15, 2013 during interactive prayer, I was led to pray without my tallit, but to give a blessing: Blessed are you Jehovah our God, Sovereign of the Cosmos, who humbles his beloved. The Divine responded:

Now that’s what I mean. And yes I do.

That is not where I wanted to be – humbled. At that moment, there was part of me that would have rather stayed prideful, but losing my wife Mary for the sake of trying to look “righteous” to the people around me was simply too much. So, after much mediation, reflection, and discussion, I chose not to end my marriage in divorce.

Yet, it is difficult to accept that God would be so diligent to humble those he loves. So it is important that the Divine continued:

Why? Not because I am mean, but my beloved’s work is that serious. To not be humble is to fall and fail. I know my beloved does not want to do either. Do you beloved?

My response: No.

I didn’t. I don’t.

Faithfulness, fidelity, is what matters to me.

Not binding where God has not bound is part of that fidelity. Permitting what God permits is part of that fidelity. Not creating doctrine where God has not created doctrine is part of faithfulness. Teaching what God permits is part of that faithfulness.

Enjoying what God permits is part of fidelity and faithfulness.

On November 16, 2013 during interactive prayer, I was led to wear my tallit and remove my shoes and to give a blessing: Blessed are you Jehovah our God, Sovereign of the Cosmos, who speaks with his son. The Divine responded:

Yes, I do, and I like that one, from you it was, not me. Well done. Now give a blessing to Yeshua.

I did as instructed, the Divine responded, then later the Divine added:

Now let me tell you something, you truly did just barely pull your proverbial bacon of out the fire. Yeah, I said it, used an unclean word, but you son almost became unclean, so the word fits.

Another chastising from the Divine, comparing my actions to uncleanness. While that may sound surprising to many believers, it is quite common for the Divine to express such concepts. It is a part of the motif of the Scriptures. So I had been compared against something unclean, but didn’t become it. However the Divine added:

Had you really done as you were contemplating, your end would have been far worse than the ‘Prodigal Son’ for he had an inheritance to waste and squander, not you, you would not have.

From that point, the Divine continued enlightening me about my situation and what would have become of me. But my reader may ask why?

Here is the reality. If I had divorced Mary over that matter, I would have dealt with her in a way that was completely unnecessary, and it would have been a type of infidelity. I know that is tremendously difficult for some believers to grasp, but it is true.

A man having two wives is not, I repeat NOT, against Scripture, against the Church, or against God. It no longer matters to me that some teach monogamy-only. This teaching of monogamy-only is flat out wrong and to teach it as the only God approved marriage -I am going to use a strong descriptor- makes one a false teacher. I know that sits uneasy for many believers, but it is false to teach that God demands monogamy-only.

But this part of the prayer reveals much, or it should anyway. It should help reveal the length to which I was ready to go to look good in the eyes of humans, that was my pride. That is what had to be stripped from me. In essence, that part of my ego had to die.

Later the Divine added:

But in the face of that temptation to great failure, you chose life. Life with… servitude toward MY daughters, and serve them you will, just as Yeshua serves the church.

Think about that. I did want to throw it all away. My pride was strong. I wanted to look good to others. The desire to be acceptable to them was almost more than my desire to be acceptable to God. Because I chose to have the Divine, it was described as me choosing life.

Life, the Divine clarified, is done by serving my wife Mary and life will include me serving the lady the Divine identified as Rachel. Then the Divine made a parallel to Yeshua, which is the same parallel that the Apostle Paul makes in Ephesians 5.25-30. The Divine then added:

He [Jesus] does not think himself less because he serves, instead he exalts the servitude, for without serving the church, the church would die, same as you with your wives.

Think about that. Jesus talked about servitude, examples of passages should not be needed. Servitude is preached still. Whether Jesus or sermon, the servant is the greatest. But a practical examination of the church shows that the servant is not extolled in any way.

Jesus serves the needs of the church. Without Jesus, the church would die. End of story. Jesus did not serve once. Romans 8.34 discusses Jesus in the present tense, not the past tense. Therefore Jesus serves the church even now, here in the 21st century. But to serve the church, the Savior had to die to himself, give of himself, in order to be placed into the position to serve the church.

As I mentioned above, the Apostle Paul spoke of the husband serving his wife. Yes, there are tremendous doctrines and arguments that come from that passage about marriage, and that it somehow supports monogamy-only. But such cannot be supported, as I have articulated in various places.

For now, what is important is what the Divine added:

Without your humility to serve their greater good, they will die, you humbled yourself, you are truly pierced, cut through, no longer ever to be Ray again, truly David Paul, accept the name.

I am NOT the Savior. Like John the Baptist did centuries ago, I too deny that I am the Savior. I cannot make a claim for something that I am not. I am NOT Jesus, Yeshua. Like the Apostle Paul, I am a believer, called to fulfill a specific role.

So I have died to my ego, I have died to my self, I have chosen to serve two ladies. One is my wife Mary, the other is the lady the Divine refers to as Rachel, whoever she may be.

Was I pierced? Oh, yes. My pride took a major hit. But I did humble myself, and learned to accept that new view over the course of the ensuing months.

And there it is, a reference to why I also go by the name David or David Paul. Why that combination of names? I am uncertain. I could surmise, but it is only speculation.

In November 2013 I had to make a choice. I made the choice to move forward to having two wives. It took me until 2016 to come to terms with that decision.

As my reader reads “My Story” it should be easily seen that I have made that choice and am actively making it known. I now look for my additional wife, and look forward to seeing who she is. The Divine has led me thus far, may the Divine lead me to this Rachel.

Blessings and Shalom