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Introduction                                                          

As we know it, the family is the foundation of society and country as well.  Husbands and wives are the center of families.  Today we need strong, good marriages and families to establish our church. Similarly, society and country need good families to produce the next generation, as well as to develop a strong society and nation.

In the second quarter of 2007 when I studied the lessons about “The Foundation of Family,” I discovered that Adventist Church’s intention was to establish happy and healthy marriages and families.  The quarterly emphasizes the following thoughts: “He designed man and woman. He blessed the first marriage, and He made marriage the foundation of the family.  And, as we all know so well, a strong and stable family is a crucial component in creating happy lives.... In the family we can experience love and happiness.  It is for this reason that the Word clearly says, ‘Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate’” (Matt 19:6, NIV).  The Lord desires His children to understand that if they marry, they have made a covenant to be faithful to each other for as long as they live.... The family that abides by the Word of God will experience the joy of His presence as they follow His commandments.”[1]

Since God permitted earthly marriages and families, the lesson says, “The Lord desires His children to understand that if they marry, they have made a covenant to be faithful to each other for as long as they live.” According to Ellen White’s writing, the New Heaven and New Earth in Revelation, is the restoration of the Garden of Eden. If the marriages and families are so important, then when God restores all things as at the beginning of the Garden of Eden, will God abolish what He saw as something very good?  Recently many asked me whether there is still marriage and family in the new world to come. It is a very interesting question. If every saint has his/her spouse to love and enjoy the perfect happiness of marriage and family, what an excellent good news to every faithful Christian?

Recently, I made a research whether there is marriage in heaven. Thank God for I have discovered something new which is harmony with the Bible and Ellen White’s writings.  I have written an article, “Marriage in Heaven.” If you read it through carefully, you will discover that it is derived from the Bible and Ellen White’s writings. 

Today most, if not all, denominations do not understand the concept of “marriage in heaven” because they base on Matthew 22:30 (or Mark 12:25) and simply jump into the conclusion that there is no marriage in heaven.  However, through my recent research, due to Matthew and Mark’s short and simple record, both missed some important words. If believers do not study carefully with other relative texts, it will be easily to misunderstand the meaning of the Lord. Actually, it was not Jesus’ denial that there is marriage in heaven.  Due to Adventists leaders and members do not search with other relative texts, and also simply jump into the wrong conclusion. This results in a denial of the wonderful, perfect and eternal marriage. What a waste! 

 

The Word of God is Perfect and Infallible 

God is good, holy, perfect, infallible and eternal; Christ and His Word are perfect and infallible as well.  Ellen G. White has the inspiration, saying, “The writers of the Bible were God's penmen, not His pen. Look at the different writers.”[2]  The authors were influenced by their personal education, experience, knowledge, materials, memory and character. Thus, the word of God through sinful persons who wrote the Bible cannot avoid mini mistakes and even missing some words.

Why until today most of them, if not all, do not understand the marriage in heaven? It is because they take the Bible as the perfect and infallible Word of God.  However, this view cannot stand the test.  Actually, the Bible has recorded the Word of God, the truth, the action, the authority, the judgment of God, the life and words of Christ, etc.  Bear in mind that not all the texts and every word are the Word of God and His inspiration.  Within the Bible there are many lies and sins that people committed.  There were wars between Israel and other countries. They rebelled and were captured and brought to Babylon, etc.  All these sinful acts were recorded in the Bible as well.  Take for instance Adam who committed sin, rebelled against God, but he did not confess his sin, rather he pointed to Eve. Eve blamed the serpent; Cain killed his brother and told a lie. These words and actions were recorded in the Bible too (Gen 3:1-19; 4:8-11).

 

The Bible’s Record is not Infallible

Moses who wrote the Pentateuch has the inspiration directly from God, God told him to speak to the rock to yield water, but he was influenced by the people’s emotional demand, thus he made a mistake by hitting the rock twice with the rod. God sentenced him to death. He lost his leadership and died on Mount Nebo shortly (Num 20:7-13; Deu 32:52).  Miriam the sister of Moses was a prophetess. After passing through the Red Sea she led the women to sing and dance beside the seaside and praising God for His salvation.  But later because she criticized Moses who had married the Ethiopian woman, God punished her with leprosy for seven days (Ex 15:20-21; Num 12:1-15).

In addition to losing his children and his properties Job suffered painful boils from head to feet.  While he was suffering, his three friends came to see him but they did not know the background about why God allowed Satan to test Job for his faithfulness.  They spoke about what they thought it was right. They debated for many hours and discussed about what caused the suffering. They misunderstood the cause and sinned against God. When God appeared before them out of the whirlwind, God showed His anger to them and pointed out their wrong assumptions.  Job admitted his error, and said, “Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer You?  I lay my hand over my mouth.”  They all had nothing to say (Job 40:4).  God wanted them to offer seven bulls and seven rams as burnt offering, lest God would deal with them according to their folly (Job 42:7-9).  They spoke according to what they thought was right. They did not know the background of Job’s suffering. They simply made to their own conclusion about Job’s situation, which was not according to God’s nature, character, truth and action.  Their errors (words, views and opinions) were recorded in the Bible in Job chapter 4 to chapter 25.  Therefore, when we read the Bible, we ought to study and understand what we read and not simply accept all the words without thinking, just because they are written in the Bible.

When Samuel was a young child, one night God called him, but he thought Prophet Eli called him. This misunderstanding was repeated three times. Finally, Eli reminded him that it was God who called him. It is clear that even if God calls or reveals something to someone, he/she may misunderstand God, for God does not reveal the mistake immediately, but let him or her discover the real message by himself/herself (1 Sam 3:1-14).  God through Samuel anointed Saul as the first king of Israel, later because Saul did not obey by destroying all the cattle and lambs completely, God rejected him as the king. At last Saul had no choice but to contact the witch and called the spirit of Samuel.  Next day he and his three sons were killed at the battle (1 Sam 15:1-3, 7-31; 31:1-6).  God indicated to Prophet Samuel to anoint the son of Jesse as Israel’s king. When he arrived in Jesse’s home he saw Eliab, a tall and big size young man. He thought that this was the man, but God revealed Samuel’s error this time. God did not look on man’s outward appearance, but He looked at the heart (1 Sam 16:1-13).

King David was the man of God. He had composed many expressive hymns, committed adultery with his general’s (Uriah) wife and then killed him through enemy’s hands. The result was that the sword never departed from David’s family.  His son Absalom wanted to kill him and take his kingdom (2 Sam 11:1-27).  Prophet Nathan agreed that David should build the sanctuary; however, it was not God’s will. Because David had killed many in wars, so God did not allow David to build the sanctuary. God let his son Solomon to do it (2 Sam 7:1-17). King Solomon had obtained wisdom above all kings. He built the sanctuary, composed many hymns, proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of songs. However, when he was in his old age, he was deceived by many concubines. His conscience was degraded and he built many temples and worshipped other gods in the temples (1 Kg 11:1-8).

A man of God (also a prophet), had obtained the message and power to perform wonders. God told him neither eat nor drink in Bethel, but when he was very hungry and thirsty, he was deceived by an old prophet. Without examining the old prophet’s words, he ate and drank in Bethel, which were contrary to God’s command. As a result he was killed by a lion on the way home (1 Kg 13:1-32).  It is clear that the materialistic world may influence even God’s man or prophet to disobey God’s command. Actually, the Bible says even angles committed sin, God used the chain to bound them and put them into the prison of darkness for the day of judgment; the saints will judge these fallen angles on the judgment day (2 Pet 2:4; Jud 6; 1 Cor 6:3).

Prophet Elijah was afraid of Jezebel. He ran for 40 days to escape Jezebel’s killing.  He arrived at Mount Sinai and lived in a cave.  When God came to the cave and called him, he accused Israel that whole nation rebelled God, only he was faithful. However, God revealed his error and told him that he was not the only faithful one.  There were 7,000 in Israel who had neither bowed nor kissed Baal (1 Kg 19:1-18).  It is clear that even Prophet Elijah who was taken to heaven had an erroneous concept about God’s deed.

Prophet Jonah had got the message of God, but he escaped to Tarshish rather to Nineveh. God caused the storm, and he was cast into the sea. God arranged a big fish to swallow him, and brought him to Nineveh. The fish threw him on the beach. He warned the city that in 40 days God would destroy Nineveh.  Due to the residents’ repentance, God did not destroy Nineveh. Jonah was angry with God, and wanted to die, but fortunately God taught him with patience and helped him to understand that He is a God of grace (Book of Jonah).

 

Four Gospels Have Their Missing Words

If we compare four gospels, we find that the writers have different records and seem to have missing words. We need to combine them together, just as the relative pieces of a puzzle need to be put together. Then we may see the picture clearly. For instance, only Luke recorded the birth of Christ while the other three gospels do not (Luke 2:8-21).  Only Matthew recorded about a  few wise men who came from the East to find the new born baby Jesus, but the other three were silent (Matt 2:1-12).  According to Mosaic law, a woman giving birth to a male child needs to stay at home for 33 days, after she has fulfilled the days, she need to offer an offering to clarify her blood.  Luke said, after they had done the cleansing, they went back to their own home in Nazareth (Luke 2:22-39). Luke had nothing to say about what King Herod threatening to killing baby Jesus and His parents took Him and escaped to Egypt.  Only Matthew recorded this historical matter, and also telling that after Herod’s death, God called His Son out of Egypt, and this event has fulfilled the prophecy (Matt 2:13-23).  Only Luke recorded about Jesus when He was 12 years old, He went to Jerusalem with His parents for the Passover and His parents “lost” Him for three days. They finally found Him in the temple (Luke 2:41-46).

Jesus was baptized in the Jordan river, then the Holy Spirit led Him to the wilderness where He fasted for 40 days. During that time He was tempted by Satan and His experience was recorded by three of His disciples except John. Matthew recorded Jesus’ temptation three times.  First, Satan asked the Lord to change the stone to bread; second, Satan asked Jesus to jump down from the top of the temple; third, Satan showed all the glory and treasure of the world to Jesus and he would give them to Jesus if Jesus just bow and worship him once.  However, Jesus cast him away.  But Luke changed the order, the second temptation to the third, such simple order has two editions, then who is right and who is wrong (Matt 3:13-4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-15)?  According to Matthew’s record, Satan was cast out when he asked Jesus to worship him.  Thus, it is impossible for Satan to ask Jesus to jump down from the top of temple on the third temptation. So according to this logical sequence, Luke may be in error.

Jesus went up to the mountain and taught eight beatitudes. It was His first sermon.  Matthew recorded that Jesus went up to the mountain, sat down and taught the eight beatitudes.  Luke, however, did just opposite. He recorded that Jesus came down from mountain and stood on a piece of flat land and taught four blessings and four vows, rather than eight blessings (Matt 5:11-2; Luke 6:17).  Matthew recorded what the Lord said, “So you must be perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matt 5:48).  But Luke recorded what the Lord said, “You must merciful just as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:36). The question is: whether Jesus went up to the mountain and sat down to teach, or went down from mountain and stood on a piece of flat land and taught; Jesus wanted us to be perfect as the Father is perfect or to be merciful, as the Father is merciful--these two authors have two different editions. Which one is right? Let readers make their decisions. 

Even more important, Jesus rode a donkey and entered Jerusalem with the multitudes. He entered the temple of God, and drove all who bought or sold in the temple, casting all the cattle, lambs and doves out of it.  This important event was described by three writers except John who said nothing about this event. It seems that there was no such event that happened.  Matthew and Luke said Jesus entered the temple and cast the people out on the same day, but Mark said, Jesus entered the temple, because it was late, He looked around and went out.  Next day morning Jesus entered the temple again and drove them out.  This same event was recorded in two different editions. Who is right and who is wrong (Matt 21:1-13; Mark 11:1-17; Luke 19:35-46)?  Jesus cursed the fig tree, Matthew recorded it after the cleansing of the temple, but Mark said that it was before the cleansing. Which is right and which is wrong?  Luke and John said nothing.  Did the fig tree dry up immediately or the next day?  Matthew and Mark have different sayings, not agreeing with one another. Who should we believe (Matt 21:18-22; Mark 11:12-14, 20-21)?

Matthew and Mark wrote that two days before the Passover Mary held a very costly fragrant oil to anoint Jesus who was at Simon’s home for the banquet, but John wrote that it was six days before the Passover.  Due to two different editions, we have been confused whether two days or six days before the Passover (Matt 26:2; Mark 14:1; John 12:1).  Did Mary anoint Jesus’ head or His feet?  Matthew and Mark said she anointed Jesus’ head, but John said she anointed His feet. Which edition should we accept?  It is difficult for believers to make a decision (Matt 26:7; Mark 14:3; John 12:3).

There were more important events that occurred in the Passover meal. John described in detail how Jesus washed the disciples’ feet (John 13:4-17), but totally ignored the use of the bread and grape juice as a symbol for His flesh and blood to make covenant with the disciples. All three disciples recorded this matter (Matt 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:14-20), but these three totally ignored the feet washing.  If we read the first three gospels, there is no record of Jesus washing the feet of disciples.  When Jesus indicated that Judas intended to betray Him, only John recorded what Jesus said to Judas, “What you do, do quickly.” Except for Judas the eleven disciples misunderstood what Jesus’ meant. They thought Jesus told Judas to buy some things they need for the feast, or that he should give something to the poor (John 13:27-29). Obviously, even Jesus who was the Word became flesh, told the disciples face to face, but they always misunderstood His meaning, as the child Samuel misunderstood when God called him.

The parable of the prodigal son is the most impressive story that is the symbol of the love of the heavenly Father who accepts sinners’ return home, but except Luke, three of other gospel writers do not mention it (Luke 15:11-32). 

Only John recorded the man who was born blind was healed, and he testified to the Pharisee, but the other three mentioned nothing about it. It seems no such event happened (John 9:1-41).

When Jesus was arrested Peter took a sword to fight, and cut the ear of the servant of the high priest. Jesus stopped him at once, and said some words. The other three recorded what Jesus said, except Mark had no record of it. The other three writers’ records were totally different. Which one recorded the actual words that proceeded from the mouth of Jesus (Matt 26:51-54; Mark 14:47-48; Luke 22:50-51; John 18:10-11)?  Peter denied Jesus three times. Four of them recorded Peter’s words differently. Which was the real one (Matt 26:69-75; Mark 14:66-71; Luke 22:55-60; John 18:17, 25-27)?

In the morning of Christ’s resurrection, how many angles came to His tomb? Matthew and Mark said one angel came, but Luke and John said two.  Matthew said there was one angel sitting on the covering stone outside the tomb, and telling the resurrection of Jesus, but the other three said the angles were inside the tomb.  Luke said two angels stood by the side of the women, but Mark and John said the angles sat at the stone on which the body of Jesus had lain, and told them Jesus has been resurrected.  The questions are: Were there one or two angels that came?  Were they sitting or standing on the stone outside or inside the tomb to tell the women of the resurrection?  Four of the writers reported about the resurrection of Jesus, but all of them in different ways; which one is the original truth that we should believe in (Matt 28:2-7; Mark 16:5-7; Luke 24:4-8; John 20:2, 11-14)?

At the very night that Jesus appeared to the ten of the twelve (because Judas was dead, and Tomas was absent), however, Luke and Mark said mistakenly that there were eleven who came together to see Jesus for the first time from death. It is a small mistake, but no matter how small it cannot deny its error (Mark 16:14; Luke 24:33; see John 20:24-25).

Only John recorded Jesus appearance at the seaside and ate breakfast with the disciples. Three times Jesus asked Peter, “Simon the son of John, do you love me?” Through Peter’s recognition, he confirmed his leadership among the eleven (later they added one to make it twelve).  This important event was not recorded by the other three gospel authors (John 21:15-19).  There are still many differences among them, due to the time limit, I don’t have to mention them one by one.

These mini differences and mistakes had no effect on the salvation of the believers. Through these differences we can see that the authors of the Bible sometimes record differently and even missed some important words. Readers must compare its relative texts, and integrate them accordingly.  It is just like the manuscripts of the Scriptures (For the original of the 66 books do not exist). Many scrolls of the copies seem to have missing words or repetition similar thought or ideas. Biblical scholars through cooperation, adjustment and integration, finally made an almost perfect copy of the Bible. There are, however, still some very minor different texts from Majority Text and Critical Text (NU-Text) not compromising yet.

 

According to the Biblical Principles

If the record is not perfect and has missing or even mistaken ideas by the author, what should we do?  The readers need to search relative texts and compare them with one another and put together accordingly as if we play the puzzle game.  By putting the relative texts together we may see it more completely. As the Bible indicates, “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, there a little” (Is 28:10).  We need to interpret it according to the word of truth and the Biblical principle. And need to make in harmony with the creation and redemption of Christ, and harmony with the principle of nature.  We should not simply make decisions, especially on important topics, just according to a simple text, regardless the context and its relative texts, and jump into conclusion.  By this method believers always make mistake, just as the thousand pieces of puzzle, we should not just take one piece of them and then determine the whole picture.  Peter warned the believers that there are some things hard to understand of Paul’s epistles, this situation is especially true to those who are untaught and unstable people. If they twist the Scriptures and misinterpret the crucial text, which could lead to “their own destruction” (2 Pet 3:16).  Concerning to these matters, the intelligent readers, believers, and scholars and biblical interpreters need to be wise.

After we see clearly the background of the authors, we can easily understand Matthew and Mark, who recorded the words of Jesus concerning marriage in heaven. Because the text is too short and simple, they have missing few words.  If believers do not understand the background but just simply read the text without studying its relative texts, and immediately jump into the conclusion, it is easy and possible to make a mistake.  Marriage in heaven is a very important and meaningful big topic, which relate to eternal lives of the saints in heaven. If believers just base on this simple text and jump into the conclusion that there is no marriage in heaven, it just like putting a pyramid upside down, we need to reexamine it.  It also like someone takes a piece from a thousand pieces of puzzle and determine the whole picture, he/she may make a mistake easily.  Luke’s record has more details. Jesus answered them, saying, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage.  But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection” (Luke 20:34-36).  Compare Matthew and Luke’s record: Matthew recorded Jesus’ saying, “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven.”  Between the sentences “for in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage” and “but are like angels of God in heaven” have missed few important words which Luke had added in. Notice “nor can they die anymore.” This is a little different yet extremely important, let us see the new discovery.  Obviously, “like angels in heaven” indicates that they will not die, and live forever like angels; not saying they will neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

In this text, Matthew had missed few important words of Jesus, just like Peter who missed God’s introduction of His Son and told them, “Hear Him.” But Peter had missed these two words.  Similarly, Mark and Luke had missed another few words, “In whom I am well pleased” (see Matt 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35 and 2 Pet 1:17).  Obviously it is possible that the authors of the Bible recorded the Lord’s words but sometimes missed a few words and that would make differences.

Stephen was filled with the Holy Spirit and testified for the Lord. He said after the father of Abraham had passed away, God called Abraham out of Haran to the promise land, Canaan.  Actually, according to the Bible’s record, when God called Abraham out of Haran, the age of Abraham was 75, his father was 145 and he was still living. Tarah lived for another 60 years until 205 years old when he passed away.  Obviously Stephen had not studied the text carefully and misunderstood it, when in need he spoke inaccurately (Act 7:4; Gen 11:26-32; 12:1-4).

 

Peter’s Mistake in Words and Actions

Peter is one of the authors of the New Testament. He was the leader of the twelve apostles. He was very frank person, always spoke using wrong words. He denied the Lord three times.  He was filled with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. He obtained great gifts and was able to speak foreigner languages. He preached an impressive sermon and brought 3,000 people to Christ through baptism.  He performed many signs and wonders. He did the ministry with zealousness and boastfulness for God.  He was delivered out of prison two times by an angel, thus he avoided the death penalty.  By the power of the Lord he established churches, but one day he tried to disassociate himself from the Gentiles in order to avoid the criticism of the Jews who believed in circumcision. Paul reprimanded him for his hypocritical action (Gal 2:11-14). 

Jesus became flesh and suffered for the world. He was nailed to the cross, and gave His life for an atonement. In the beginning no one knew “the mystery which was kept secret since the world began” (Rom 16:25).  No one understood at that time even though Jesus told them many times. Peter protested and even rebuked Jesus. He said, “God be gracious to You, Lord! This shall never be to You.”  This good motive was rebuked by Jesus and called him Satan, for he was offensive to God’s will (Matt 16:21-23).

When Peter wrote the second epistle, he had made a mistake. Jesus transformed His image on the mountain, God descended to the mountain and spoke to James, John and Peter, but Peter thought that God spoke to Jesus, so he said, “a voice came to Him.”  Actually it should be “a voice came to us.”  Due to this wrong understanding, he had missed two words, “Hear Him” (compare 2 Pet 1:17 and Matt 17:5).

 

Paul Also Missed Some Things

Paul had many revelations, about one third of the New Testament is from Paul’s pen. Paul and Barnabas, with many others, continued to work in Antioch: preaching and teaching the word of God. When Paul invited Barnabas to visit again the places they had worked previously, Barnabas felt very strongly that they should take with them John Mark. Paul did not feel that John should go with them because previously he left them and went his own way home. This caused a strong disagreement between Paul and Barnabas. Finally they separated and went their own way.  After many years, just before Paul was beheaded, he wrote the second epistle to Timothy, he told Timothy to bring John Mark to Roman to see him, and acknowledged that John Mark was good and could gain benefit to his ministry.  In other words, Paul indirectly admitted that in that matter, he is too emotional, missing the important point of John Mark (Act 15:36-41; 2 Tim 4:11).

The Bible recorded that Saul (named Paul later) the first time on the road to Damascus, Jesus appeared to him, and spoke to him only three short sentences, according to New King James Version only 39 words.  But after many years, when Paul in Jerusalem told testimony to the Jews, the words of Jesus decreased to 36 words; finally, when he stood before the King Agrippa told the same testimony, the words of Jesus had increased 98 to 137. It is more than three times the original number. These red words (some Bible print Jesus’ spoken words in red) proceeded from the mouth of Jesus originally, or Paul through his own understanding and experience added more words after many years.  Why was so much different from the original (Act 9:3-6; 22:6-10; 26:13-18)?

When Paul wrote concerning virgins he sincerely admitted that it was his own opinion not the Lord’s (1 Cor 7: 25-40).  All the Apostles including Paul thought that the Lord will come very soon. They assumed that they will welcome the Lord while they were alive and their bodies will change and ascend to heaven. Thus Paul promoted the idea of living single lives.  But after almost two thousand years later, we know that this was the wrong instruction, for the Lord has not come yet. Paul was beheaded before he was changed to incorruptible and ascended to heaven (1 Thess 4:15-18; 2 Tim 4:6; 1 Cor 15:51-52).

Paul’s epistles have some missing words. Before the first epistle to Corinthians, he wrote an epistle to the Corinthian Church (excluded in the Bible). He told them not to keep company with sexually immoral people, but he did not indicate the members of the church. Thus the members misunderstood that to all sexually immoral people, the result was created a great problem for them. For in the Corinthian community sexually immoral people were everywhere.  After that when he wrote the first epistle to Corinthians, he indicated that only to those who were the brothers of the church should not be keep company (see 1 Cor 5:9-11).  Paul in first Corinthians said that God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers.... But between second and third he has missed two points, in the epistle to Ephesians he added third evangelists, and fourth pastors, fifth teachers (compare 1 Cor 12:28 with Eph 4:11).

Some events were forgotten by Paul, such as when he baptized the household of Stephanas, he cannot remember the others. He said, “Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other” (1 Cor 1:16).  When talking about the sanctuary within the things in the first veil.  Paul missed the golden altar, but he said that the golden censer is behind the second veil. It is not so according to Moses. The golden altar was put before not behind the second veil (compare Heb 9:4 with Ex 40:26).

 

John also Had Errors and Missing Words

At the age of 96, the Apostle John twice bowed before the angel’s feet and wanted to worship him, but was rejected by the angel who corrected his error (Rev 19:10; 22:8-9). At the age of 98 he had completed the gospel of John. It was 67 years apart from Jesus’ resurrection. One thing we have been confused by him, which is John 18:24. It should follow the same chapter verse 14 become verse 15, then the matter will flow logically, otherwise the readers will be mislead that the first time Peter denied the Lord at the court of Caiaphas’s father-in-law, Annas.  Actually, if we compare the three authors, three times in a row Peter denied the Lord at the court of Caiaphas. Except John said differently, three of them all said that Jesus was sent directly to the high priest Caiaphas, none said that Jesus was sent to the high priest’s father-in-law first, then send to the high priest Caiaphas’ court.  Take note that, in verses 19 to 23, the high priest Caiaphas already asked Jesus, why suddenly in verse 24 said, “Then Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.” It makes the readers confuse, the time seems reverse to its beginning.  This is one of the man-make mistake in the Bible (John 18:12-27; Matt 26:57-75; Mark 14:53-72; Luke 22:54-62). At the end of the gospel of John, he put a note to indicate that even many words and deeds, included the signs and wonders, the preaching of Jesus were missing too, not recorded in the Bible (John 20:30; 21:25).

Think about it, even Adam and Eve were perfect children of God, and dwelt in the midst of a perfect holy Garden of Eden. However, they sinned easily. How much about after 6,000 years later. How could we avoid making mistakes?  Fortunately, we have Christ who serves as an Advocator in the Heavenly Sanctuary. His grace is sufficient for us.  Thanks to the Lord, and praise His name!  For we are saved by His perfect grace and His infallible intercession for atonement, and His perfect word.  Do not dependent on the Bible whether it is infallible record. Put it in another word; the Lord’s word and His grace are perfect, not the records of the Bible (John 5:39-40).

The word and truth of God are perfect. However, if the writers made mistakes, they should bear the responsibility. God will judge them, as Moses made a mistake for God’s indication, he was penalized by God. Not long after that he passed away on the Mount Nebo (Num 20:7-13; Deut 32:48-52).  The readers necessary to pray before they read the Bible; we need to understand rightly according to the word that God helps those who help themselves.  This is the responsibility of the believers and the readers.  The Bible says, “Whoever reads, let him understand” (Matt 24:15).

 

We Saved by Grace, Not by the Bible

Think about this: 2,500 years before Moses began to write the Bible, how can the patriarchs be saved?  They were saved by faith through offer sacrifices, not by the Bible; today we are saved by Christ’s perfect grace, not because whether there is error in the Bible.  The Bible is like the treasure map, after the treasure has been found, the map has no more value.  In the new heaven and new earth God will wipe away the tears of the saints and proclaim that the former shall not be remembered or come to mind (Is 65:17-18; Rev 21:1-5).  The Bible which has recordings of many people who rebelled against God, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contention, jealousies, out bursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, etc, these sinning criteria is not a necessity to let the saints read in the new world to come. When Christ returns with His glory, and we see Him face to face, we will obtain the great treasure, and our hearts are satisfied.  When everything has been revealed to the entire universe, the Bible has fulfilled its purpose and then it will be done away with. But the time has not yet come, so the Bible is still the best book to study, and it is the foundation of our faith. It is the authority and the standard to examine all doctrines; the believers need to study it without idleness. 

We have known the history and background of human beings. The possibility of the error of the Bible writers is there because sin through Adam, the first man, entered the world. All human beings became dying sinners. Everyone needed Christ’s salvation, Ellen White cannot be excluded. As we know that we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Even the Bible is not free from error, how can men’s writings are perfect and infallible (2 Peter 1:19-21)?

 

The Eight Marital Biblical Truth and Facts

After we understand the background of the Bible, and the writers who recorded the word and the revelation of God, there may be a possibility that a little differences or even missing words could happen. This is due to different personalities, background, education, character, understanding, personal experience, knowledge, and the material they obtain. The readers need to put together the relative texts all together to study in such a way that you may see the whole picture. Other wise it would be like one who sits in the well to see the heaven, seeing the heaven is small, which actually is not. What he sees is only a partial view instead of the whole.  As we are aware of this principle let us study the Bible and Ellen White’s writings.  Thank the Lord, for He does not disappoint us. He has shown the eight marital Biblical truth and facts, which is a review of the happy and perfect marriage and family lives in heaven.  Now let us study according to the Bible and the writings of Ellen G. White in detail:

(1) Through God’s Original Plan of Creation.  In the beginning God created the world. God did not only give Adam and Eve relationship and companionship but He also made males and females of animals, birds, insects, and fishes. Besides animals, other living creatures were also created in pairs, such as flowers, trees, plants, vegetables. Grains need bees or butterflies to make the pollen of male and female counterparts to fertilize its seeds for production of its kinds. It was the creation of God and had nothing to do with sin.

Likewise, God created Adam and Eve and matched them to be husband and wife, produced children, established family, and governed the whole earth. This was the original plan of God and had nothing to do with sin (Gen 1:27-31; 2:23-25). If Adam and Eve stayed faithful to God, they would develop the earth like heaven according to God’s original plan.  Their marriage and family throughout their descendants will be perfectly happy forever.

(2) Through Opposite Sexual Union for Production: Because Adam and Eve sinned, God cast them out of Eden. Their marital relationship and family continued and this same principle exists until today.  Animals and plants need male and female counterparts to fertilize their seeds for production of their kinds. This production principle does not change after Adam sinned.  When Jesus came into the world, He proclaimed that at the beginning God created male and female, and matched them as husband and wife. What God has joined together, let not man separate.  In ancient time, God said that He hated divorce, and covers one’s garment with violence. The New Testament emphasizes that marriage is honorable (Matt 19: 5-6; Mal 2:16; Heb 13:4).

(3) Through Rightly Diving the Critical Text: Most of the Christians, if not all, misunderstand Christ’s words. They deny the fact that there is marriage in heaven.  Actually, the record of Matthew and Mark are too simple and short, some words have missing. If believers do not check other relative texts properly they will be easily misunderstand. The truth is that Jesus simply said those who are counted worthy to attain that world, and the resurrection from the death, they need not marry nor are given in marriage, nor can they die anymore, they are equal to the angels. The Lord, actually, did not deny that there are marital and family lives in the world to come.

Let us explain in detail whether there is marriage in heaven. If the believers base on a simple text and jump into conclusion that there is no marriage in heaven, it just like putting a pyramid upside down, we need to reexamine the conclusion.  It also like a thousand pieces of puzzle, if someone takes one of them and said it looks like something, it is easy to make a mistake. Compare Matthew and Luke’s record. We discover that Matthew had missed few words that Luke had put them on, that is “Nor can they die anymore.” It seems a little bit different, but it has made a wonderful turning point, and let us see the new light (compare Matt 22:30; Mark 12:25; Luke 20:34-36).

 (4) Through God’s Promise: Isaiah 65:17-25, God through prophet Isaiah prophesied that in the New Heaven and New Earth, God will bless the saints that give birth to children. Verse 23. In the King James Version there is no word “children” mentioned in this verse, so many do not understand its original meaning.  Actually according to its context the following words “seed of the blessed,” and “their offspring” we know that “bring forth children,” not “produce of the earth.” Just like the sign saying “Maternity Ward” in the hospital, we know that it is delivering children not produce of the earth.

As study the original Hebrew word “Yalad,” in Isaiah 65:23, it means to bring forth children. This verse in Geneses 3:16 “bring forth” is the same Hebrew word “Yalad.”  New King James Version has translated completely, it says, “to bring forth children.” (“bear children” in NIV).  SDA Bible Commentary in Isaiah 65:23, Bring forth, saying, “Heb. Yalad, ‘to bring forth children.’”[3]  Since God has promised them to bring forth children as Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, so they will surely fulfill this prophecy in the new world to come. 

Sure enough, it has been fulfilled in Isaiah 11:6-9. In the holy mountain there is the wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.  The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den.  Where the children come from, there is no doubt that they are born through their parents in the New Earth. These are the offspring of their parents in love.  They are not from this world, because the New Heaven and New Earth is after the millennium on the new world to come.  Ellen White has quoted these texts many times to relate with Isaiah 65:17-25 saying that it is peaceful in the holy mountain in the New Earth.[4]

(5) Through the Original Text in Genesis:  Isaiah 65:23 and Genesis 1:28 are similar, God will bless the saints to give birth to many children just as He has blessed Adam and Eve—to be fruitful and multiply—to fill the earth and subdue it. Let us look closer in Genesis 1:27, the Bible says, God created human, and immediately in verse 28, God bless them to be fruitful and multiply and to fill the earth.  But before this text, the Bible does not mention God matched them as husband and wife.  As we know since God blessed them to have children, He had matched them as husband and wife. It makes sense!  However, the Bible does not mention about it, for the Bible does not mention everything in detail, so the readers need to read it by understanding.  Through the marital principle we should know that since God had matched them as spouse in the beginning and bless them to bring forth children, thus, we have reason to believe that during the millennium in heaven, God will match all the saints as husbands and wives, and then He will bless them to bring forth children in the New Heaven and New Earth (compare Gen 1:28 with Is 65:23).

 (6) Through God’s Ten Commandments: God’s original Ten Commandments are placed in the Ark of the heavenly Sanctuary. It will be lasting forever and ever. It cannot and will not be changed throughout the eternity.  In the new world, all the saints need to keep it completely.  The fifth says, “Honor your father and your mother.” The seventh says, “You shall not commit adultery.”  The tenth says, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.” It proves that there are still parents, children and husbands and wives marital and family relationship in the new world to come (Ex 20:12, 14, 17: Matt 5:17-18; Rev 11:19).

(7) Through Other Unfallen Worlds: God through Christ had created un-number worlds (Heb 1:2).  Until today, they still enjoy their sinless and perfect marital and family lives, just as the beginning of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  Ellen White in her vision, saw other unfallen worlds.  She said, “The Lord has given me a view of other worlds. Wings were given me, and an angel attended me from the city to a place that was bright and glorious. The grass of the place was living green, and the birds there warbled a sweet song. The inhabitants of the place were of all sizes; they were noble, majestic, and lovely. They bore the expressed image of Jesus, and their countenances beamed with holy joy, expressive of the freedom and happiness of the place."[5]

Since Ellen White said, “The inhabitants of the place were of all sizes.” So we know that it includes children and babies.  We have no doubt that the babies are born by their parents. Their marriages and families are perfect, wonderful and forever.  

  (8) Through God’s Final Restoration: Ellen White in her vision she saw that the New Heaven and New Earth is the restoration of Garden of Eden. At the end, God will make the polluted and sin-sick world to its original status.  What Adam had lost, through Christ’s redemption, shall be restored completely to its fullness, including the original wonderful and perfect marital relationship (Rev 21:1-5; 2:23-25).[6]

The marital principles have indicated clearly that when God restores the earth, the perfect and wonderful marriage will be restored as that of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  Until then our dream will come true, such as “God bless the marriage and we will united as spouse forever.” Those who are faithful to the Lord will have perfect spouse, and match perfectly without trace, just as key and its lock.

I do not want to make it special, particularly pin point the mistakes of the Bible for show; nor deny the divine inspiration of the Bible which is the authority of our faith.  We agree that our faith should be base on the Bible and the Bible alone. The believers need to believe the word of God without doubt. In the spiritual battle we need to uplift the sword of Holy Spirit, that is the word of God (Eph 6:17).  Jesus in the temptation, quoted the Bible to reject Satan, He gained the victory completely.  He is our role model, we should learn from Him.  We believe that the word of God is perfect and infallibility.  However, the writers of the Bible are God’s penman, not His pen, so when the writers record God’s word and revelation, it is possible that some words may be missing or mistaken, through the comparing of the texts we know the fact.  Therefore, for the sake of believers to see the marriage in heaven clearly, I cannot avoid to point out the man-make mistakes of the Bible, lest those who believe the Bible is infallible, they may deny the truth, and say firmly, “Because the Lord said, ‘For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven.’  It is very clear that there is neither marriage nor giving birth of children in heaven.”  This out of contextual conclusion, is an error like a big mountain blocking their sight, so they will never see nor understand the wonderful and perfect marriage in heaven, what a pity!

In the end time now, millions of marriages and families are broken and end up in divorces; many people see the marriage and family are burdensome, and afraid to marry and establish families.  Thus, God has reviewed the perfect marriage in heaven to us; it will encourage the faithful members to serve the Lord faithfully until death.  They will have the beautiful spouse as angels and handsome lovers as reward to them. They may unite as lovely couples, which will match perfectly without a trace, just as key and its lock.  They will enjoy their sweet and lovely marital and family lives, to give birth to children and establish happy and wonderful families; they love one another and keep their marital covenant forever.  They stay together and live in pairs wherever they go, never part again, enjoy the happiness in heaven never end.  How great and wonderfully fantastic this message is!  Alleluia!!  Thanks the Lord and praise His name!!!

 

The Indication of Ellen White to the New Light

Ellen White is the messenger of God in the end time, she had seen many visions, and obtained much new light. She wrote many books which lead the people of God to heaven.  In such case, has Ellen White obtained all the light? After her death is there no more new light to be given to God’s church?  If someone says it is true, he/she need to see what Ellen White said, “We must not for a moment think that there is no more light, no more truth, to be given us. We are in danger of becoming careless, by our indifference losing the sanctifying power of truth, and composing ourselves with the thought, ‘I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing’ (Rev 3:17). While we must hold fast to the truths which we have already received, we must not look with suspicion upon any new light that God may send.”[7]

Should we be satisfied with the light we obtained and not necessarily dig into the Bible and discover the new light?  Ellen White said, “We must not think, ‘Well, we have all the truth, we understand the main pillars of our faith, and we may rest on this knowledge.’ The truth is an advancing truth, and we must walk in the increasing light.”[8]

She said, “New light will ever be revealed on the word of God to him who is in living connection with the Sun of Righteousness. Let no one come to the conclusion that there is no more truth to be revealed. The diligent, prayerful seeker for truth will find precious rays of light yet to shine forth from the word of God.” [9]

Ellen White acknowledges that there is no perfect man on earth, only God is infallible.  She said, “We have many lessons to learn, and many, many to unlearn. God and heaven alone are infallible. Those who think that they will never have to give up a cherished view, never have occasion to change an opinion, will be disappointed.”[10]

She was revealed and said, “When God's people are at ease, and satisfied with their present enlightenment, we may be sure that He will not favor them. It is His will that they should be ever moving forward, to receive the increased and ever-increasing light which is shining for them.”[11]

Again she indicated that church has too much self-confidence. It has fallen asleep and not alert to the deceit of Satan. It is very dangerous.  She said, “The present attitude of the church is not pleasing to God. There has come in a self-confidence that has led them to feel no necessity for more truth and greater light. We are living at a time when Satan is at work on the right hand and on the left, before and behind us; and yet as a people we are asleep. God wills that a voice shall be heard arousing His people to action.”[12]

How do we test the new light, with what attitude we should have, Ellen G. White indicated and said, “Our brethren should be willing to investigate in a candid way every point of controversy. If a brother is teaching error, those who are in responsible positions ought to know it; and if he is teaching truth, they ought to take their stand at his side. We should all know what is being taught among us; for if it is truth, we need it. We are all under obligation to God to know what He sends us. He has given directions by which we may test every doctrine,--‘To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.’ If the light presented meets this test, we are not to refuse to accept it because it does not agree with our ideas.”[13]

 

Ellen White’s Writings neither Perfect nor Infallibility

Finely, the very important point I must point out, or else the message of marriage in heaven may not get through.  Because almost all Adventists believe Ellen White is God’s messenger, her writings were inspired by God, it is impossible to have any error.  However, the committee members of Ellen G. White Estate Board of Trustees know it is not true, in May 1996, they have published an special edition of Adventist Review “Meet Ellen White for Yourself” proclaims to the world that Ellen White never claims perfection or infallibility.[14]  Only those who do not understand thoroughly all the writings of Ellen White, they may uplift her writings to the infallibility position and take it as their perfect and standard beliefs.  Actually, it was against Ellen White’s will and not beneficial to her writings.  Ellen White spoke plainly that error is an error, need to make correction without excuse, saying, “It means to correct every error that exists in our thoughts and actions, lest we corrupt the Word of God.”[15]  She also said, “Little heed is given to the Bible, and the Lord has given a lesser light to lead men and women to the greater light.”[16]  That is the Bible which we may establish our faith in the firm foundation of the truth.  She said her writings are lesser light, so her writings neither are the standard, nor the ultimate authority to Adventists; it is necessary to subject to the truth, according to the Bible.  Therefore, the Bible, and the Bible alone is the foundation of our faith, her writings are the best reference sources, not for our foundation and standard of our faith.

In the first quarter of 2009 the adult Sabbath School quarterly "The Prophetic Gift," the author Gerhard Pfandl who has been associate director of the Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference since 1999.  He spoke frankly that God alone is infallibility but not His prophets. He said, "God alone is flawless; His messengers never are." Again he said, "Being a prophet, of course, does not make a person infallible or sinless.  Mrs. White made mistakes and had character weaknesses, as did other people." In the discussion questions, he brought a very serious question, "Some people use the writings of Ellen White as the final authority on every point.  Why is that wrong?  What great dangers does such an attitude present to our church?" The author has studied Ellen White's writings deep and wide, so he could bring a wake up call to us.  We want to express our thankfulness to him.

I accept Adventist 28 Foundational Beliefs, and I accept and respect Ellen White as the messenger of God, and want to express my praise and thankfulness for her zeal and faithfulness to God, the great result of her ministry, and her abundant writings.  I always quote her words in my articles and books, because she revealed the truth, and her expression was deep and wise, so precious and true, it contents many inspiration and teachings.  Among Adventists no one can match with her.  However, we should know that her writings are neither the next chapter of the Bible, nor infallibility.  Her books so far have been published up to 80 volumes, in accumulation is higher than us when stacked.  Since no one is perfect, her books are not error free. Except Lord Jesus, who is perfect?  She knew about this, so she told ahead, her writings are not perfect or infallibility. If her writings have some mistakes and errors, we Adventists can make correction according to the Biblical truth. No need to exaggerate and magnify it, because she also needs our understanding and forgiveness.  She wants to bring Adventists back to the Bible, and build our faith in the Biblical truth. This is the final aim of all her writings and because of this, Adventists highly respect her.

When you have read through the eight marital Biblical truths and facts, if you acknowledge that it is in harmony with the Biblical truth and Ellen  White’s writings, and you want to have further study, you may read the final version of my article “Marriage in Heaven.” It is my personal study, not representative of the church.  Hopefully, many will join the discussion and give their opinions.  May this interesting topic bring the discussion to its climax.  You may study it carefully with an open mind, and with a prayerful heart. The Holy Spirit will help you to see the beautiful and interesting marital picture in the new world to come.  Amen.  (The end)

[1]Adult Sabbath School Lesson, 2nd Quarter 2007, 118.

          [2]Ellen G. White, Selected Messages Book 1, 1958, 21.

[3]Francis D. Nichol, ed., The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol. 4 (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1977), 334.

[4]Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, 1911, 675-676; Manaratha, 1976, 353.

          [5]Ellen G. White, Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White, 1922, 98-99.

[6]Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, 671.

[7]Ellen G. White, Gospel Workers, 1915, 310.

[8]Ellen G. White, Counsel to the Writers and Editors, 33.

[9]Ellen G. White, Counsels on Sabbath School Work, 1892, 34.

[10]Ibid, 41.

[11]Ibid.

[12]Ellen G. White, Gospel Workers, 1915, 297.

[13]Ibid, 300-301.

[14]“Meet Ellen White for Yourself.” Adventist Review, Special Edition, May 30, 1996, 26.

[15]Ellen G. White, Mind, Character, and Personality, Vol 1, 1977, 49.

[16]Ellen G. White, Colporteur Evangelist, 1902, 37.


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