Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 3, 1963

Moyer's Reply To Frost's Review -- (No. 2)

Lloyd Moyer

After exposing the sophism which characterized the larger part of brother Frost's "review" of my position on Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage, we are now ready to notice the only three arguments he used to try to refute my position. The three are (1) An argument from the Greek in which Frost insists that the tense of "commits adultery," in Matt. 19:9 must be "continued action" because it is "present, indicative mood' ; (2) An argument from Rom. 7:1-3; and (3) An argument from 1 Cor. 7:10-11. We shall take them in order.

"Living In Adultery"

1. His argument from the Greek deals with the tense of "commits adultery" in Matt. 19:9. His argument is concisely stated by his quotation from Dana and Mantey, page 182, which states, "It signifies action in progress...." Had brother Frost read the introduction to this tense written by Dana and Mantey, his own authority, he would not have blundered as he did. On page 181, his authority plainly states that:

"The fundamental significance of the present tense is the idea of progress. It is the linear tense. This is not, however, its exclusive significance. It is a mistake to suppose 'that the durative meaning monopolizes the present stem' (M 119) since there is no aorist tense for present time, the present tense, as used in the indicative, must do service for both linear and punctiliar action." (A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament by H. E. Dana and Julius R. Mantey, p. 181,) (Emp. mine, L.M)

Brother Frost, your own authority states that you made a mistake. Will you admit it or will you continue in your frenzied efforts to find "living in adultery" somewhere? All students know that you can't find it in the scriptures. False conclusions are inevitably reached when one verse of scripture is used to the exclusion of others dealing with the same subject. Someone has said, "a text out of context is a pretext." Your quotation of Greek authority has proven to be a pretext. The truth of the matter is that the present tense of the Greek does not always demand "continued action." I quote from J. Gresham, New Testament Greek for Beginners, p. 65, "122. In present time there is no special form of the verb in Greek to indicate continued action — there is no distinction in Greek between I loose and I am loosing." I have shown in previous arguments, the context of Matthew 19:9 does NOT demand "continued action"; in fact, that to make it do so would be making this passage contradict itself and other passages dealing with the subject. Brother Frost mentioned with his argument on the Greek, "see Col. 3:5-8...." Since he made no argument on the passage, but assumed that it included people who had married, divorced and married again, and that such would constitute "living in adultery," which he has failed to prove, I shall make no reply except to say that mere assumptions are not enough. I think I have taken care of his "tense" argument.

"Bound" And "Loosed" In Marriage.

Frost's second argument is based on Rom. 7:1-4. His conclusion from the passage is that the marriage is never completely severed for both parties until death.....but she still commits adultery with him. Why? Because she is still bound to her husband; God has not and does not loose the guilty party!" (G. F.)

Brother Frost has Paul teaching that the woman is married to two men at the same time. "Paul says that the woman is married in Ram. 7:1-3, but she still commits adultery with him (second husband, L.M.). Why? Because she is still bound to her husband (that is to her first husband, L.M.)...." Frost also teaches that "the guilty party forfeits marital privileges." Hence, according to Frost, the first husband has a wife who is "bound" to him. But he cannot cohabit with his wife because she, being the guilty party, has "forfeited" her "marital privileges." The second husband commits adultery if he cohabits with his wife. Even though the wife has committed adultery, Frost says she "is still bound" to her first husband. So, the poor first husband cannot get married because a woman "is still bound" to him as his wife. Neither can the woman be married again because Frost says she "commits adultery" if she does. The inevitable conclusion, according to Frost's reasoning (?), neither party can be married again because the "bond" of marriage has not been broken; therefore, physical death is the only thing that will sever the marriage. Now if this innocent man, whose wife has married another man, marries again (as Frost argues in another place that he can) he has TWO women "BOUND" to him as his wives. Gene says, "The one exception by which one may be loosed is when fornication is present. But adultery per se does not waive the law. It only gives the innocent party the right to be loosed."

Now, you have the innocent man "loosed" even though his wife is "still bound" to him as his wife.. You say that this man who still has a wife "bound" to him can get married again, that is, get himself a second wife, thus you have the man with two wives "bound" to him. Better be careful here; you may have to follow the Mormons another step and get "a new revelation" to replace the one you now advocate; that is, a man may have two wives "bound" to him!

Paul simply uses the figures of marriage to show the relationship that the brethren sustained with Christ. He pointed out that they had "become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another...." (Verse 4) To what law did they become dead? The law of Moses! But this law taught that a husband could cease to be a husband of a woman who was released from him, and she could be married to another man though the first husband still lived. (Deut. 24:1-2) "When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it came to pass that she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her; then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife." Rom. 7, gives no cause for remarriage except physical death. Those addressed knew that, so long as a man remained the husband of a woman, the woman was bound to the law of her husband as long as he lived.

In speaking of the close relationship of God and Israel the figure of marriage is used. The same is true of the close relationship of Christ and the church. (Eph. 5:22-31) God said, "....For I am married unto you." (Ter. 3:14) Again, "For thy Maker is thine husband...." (Isa. 54:5) In the next verse, "....and a wife of youth." (Ezek "....and thou becamest mine." No amount of twisting or quibbling or juggling words can off-set the fact that God and Israel are represented as being husband and wife. And that the law was the binding covenant between them.

The scriptures plainly teach that Israel, represented as God's wife, committed fornication, (also called adultery, 'whoredom, etc.) Note, (Ezek. 18:15) "But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and played the harlot ....and pouredst out thy fornication on every one that passed by...." (Ezek. 18:213) "Thou hut also committed fornication...." (Isa. 57:8 "....for thou hast discovered thyself to another than me." God said, "I will judge thee as women that break wedlock...." (Ezek. 16:38) God says that the sin of fornication (adultery) "breaks wedlock." This is exactly what I teach about the matter. According to the figure used, God said he would "put away" Israel, his wife (the guilty party). This was accomplished by abolishing the law which bound Israel or the Jews. Paul affirms that it was done by the death of Christ on the cross. (Col. 2:14; Rom. 7:1-4) Paul also affirms that It was done that they (the guilty party) might be married to another. The other one to whom they might be married is Jesus Christ. Please, remember the Jews' husband did not die. He divorced His wife. The consequences of brother Frost's teaching forces the conclusion that no Israelite or Jew could ever be married to Jesus Christ, and if they did become married to Christ, both they and Christ would be "living in adultery." As brother Frost says, "Who would have ever thought that any gospel preacher would ever affirm" such a thing? Frost says that "God has made no provision for the guilty party." He flatly says that if the "guilty party" (the one put away for fornication) ever marries again he "commits adultery" and that means "continued action" or "Living in adultery." Frost says such marriages as that represented between Jesus Christ and the Jews who obeyed the gospel is "adulterous." "BELIEVE IT WHO CAN!" Every charge Frost made against my position on marriage, divorce and remarriage is automatically a charge against Christ and every Jew who obeyed the gospel, and thus became married to Christ. God, Christ and Paul teach exactly that which I set forth in my tract: that fornication (illicit sexual intercourse) "break wedlock," and when the third party is involved, it ceases to be what God ordained, i.e., two becoming one flesh, When this sin is committed, the cause for the severance of the marriage is present. (Matt.19:5-9) The above scriptures prove that "the guilty party may be "married to another." (Rom. 7:4)

In my next article I will deal with brother Frost's third argument (which was his last) and bring my "reply" to a close.

— 41325 Kathleen, Fremont, California