Thanks to Satan's malice and God's mercy, I am uniquely qualified to write about polygamy. I became a
polygamous second wife at four and again at forty-four. Becoming a polygamous second wife at four is
obviously child abuse. I'd like to write a few lines about the effect of child abuse on me, for the benefit of
anyone who thinks it does not cause harm. I suffered from recurrent nightmares for many years. In
addition to the nightmares, I became a severely phobic child. I was terrified of heights and falling and
elevators and spiders.

In one nightmare, I was climbing a tree, terrified, trying to escape. An elephant's trunk was chasing me
through the leaves. The symbolism of that dream is fairly obvious. The other dream was more
complicated. I climbed a set of stairs, and then I had to jump across a gap to the top of a second set of
stairs. Each time, to my horror, I fell. I grew up in a house build before 1825. Sometime in its history, a
large kitchen and servant's quarters above had been added to the house. The second floor servant's
room had a tiny staircase down to the kitchen and was also linked to the top of the main staircase by a
hallway. The beginning of the abuse took place in that second floor room between the tops of the two
staircases. The dream displaces the horror of the betrayal that took place in that room to the staircases
and the "gap."

As an adult, I have been unable to maintain a marriage because I could not accept the small betrayals
inherent in relationships. Like most abused children I was promiscuous in my youth because I had been
programmed in childhood to provide sex on demand.

The Bible Law protects children from sexual abuse. "There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel,
nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel." (Deut. 23:17). Since sexuality is learned (ask your homosexual
friends about their first sexual experiences) the surest way to make a whore of your daughter or a
sodomite of your son is to use them for sex partners while they are children.

Also God's Law says: "None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their
nakedness: I am the Lord. Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter, neither
shalt thou take her son's daughter, or her daughter's daughter, to uncover her nakedness: for they are
her near kinswomen: it is wickedness. Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is
abomination." (Deut. 18:6,17,22). This is a protection for children and grandchildren from both fathers and
stepfathers. Young boys are protected from all homosexuals.

Here is what Christ says: "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in Me, it were
better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of
the sea. Woe unto the world because of offenses! For it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to
that man by whom the offense cometh! Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and
cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt and maimed, rather than have two hands or
two feet to be cast into everlasting fire." (Matt. 18:6-8). If your sexuality craves children, you should have
yourself castrated. "And there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of
heaven's sake." (Matt. 19: 12.) In God's Kingdom, once caught, child abusers do not repeat their crimes.
Child abuse is a castration offense. Woe indeed!

God's justice is perfect. He doesn't punish the victims of child abuse by depriving them of their homes.
God doesn't free the guilty abusers to harm other children, His judges render them incapable. And He lets
the words of Christ warn His people.

I have said that I would defend polygamy. On the surface that seems impossible. Polygamists like David
Koresh in my church have made polygamy seem synonymous with mistreatment of women and girl
children. Their actions however are a perversion of God's Law. Before I explain God's thinking on
polygamy (as given in the Bible), I'd like to discuss the nature of man and satanic deception.

One of the fundamental tenets of my ministry is that Satan could not lie to Christ's face. So when Satan
told Christ that he ruled the world, he told the truth. "And the devil, taking Him into a high mountain,
showed unto Him the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto Him (Christ), all
this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me: and to whomsoever I will, I
give it." (Luke 4:5,6). The powers of the world are under Satan's control.

Satan is known as the great deceiver; "that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the
whole world." (Rev. 12:9). One of Satan's best deceptions, encoded into law by the powers he controls, is
this: except for slips, human beings are monogamous. Back in my youth, when Kinsey published his
famous report, about half of all spouses admitted to infidelity. Now we are in an age of fornication and
serial marriage, and even some of Christianity's leading men have debauched themselves.

The truth is that the world bows to Satan's cheating and lying polygamy and calls it monogamy. In defiance
of Christ's admonitions, people discard their spouses. "He (Christ) saith unto them, Moses because of the
hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I
say unto you, Whosoever put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and marry another, committeth
adultery; and whosoever marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery." (Matt. 19:8,9).

From the time of the curse in Eden, women were restricted to one husband. "Unto the woman He (God)
said ... thy desire shall be to thy husband (note the singular), and he shall rule over thee." (Gen. 3:16).
Therefore a woman commits adultery by taking a lover or remarrying after a divorce. A man commits
adultery by divorcing a virtuous wife. Christ rebuked the people of His time as "an adulterous
generation." (Matt. 12:39).

Things haven't changed for the better. In our day men are deceived by Satan, who convinces them that
one of his governments can issue a document that absolves them from the sin of marriage breaking
(adultery). For most this is a trespass (a sin committed in ignorance) and even before Christ a trespass
could be atoned for with temple offerings. (See Lev. 5.)

But it is not sin that is at issue herein; it is the nature of man. Clearly from the Bible, God accepts that men
are polygamous. God has dealt with polygamy through the mouth of Moses as a protection to bond
women. "And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the men servants do.
If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then he shall let her be redeemed: to sell
her to a strange nation shall he have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her. And if he hath
betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters. 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 she shall go free without money." (Ex. 21:7-11). In codifying prevailing practice, God was
extending the rights of wives to women who were essentially slaves. From this we infer that a man who
takes a second wife is required to maintain the level of food, clothing, and sexual fulfillment that his first
wife has. If he takes a third wife, he must maintain his first two wives in the married state to which they are
accustomed. Godly polygamy is not for the fainthearted.

Claims have been made that polygamy has been banished from God's Law. Indeed, for some key-men of
the church, it has been. "A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of
good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach ... Let the deacons be the husband of one wife, ruling
their children and their houses well." (1 Tim. 3:2,12). For the majority of men, no scripture forbids
polygamy. It has however been outlawed by Satan, who calls it bigamy and will imprison you for having
more than one wife.

The difference between God's position on polygamy and Satan's is simple. God believes that many of you
are polygamous and he wants all of you to be open, honorable and righteous in your dealings with your
fellow humans. Satan also knows many of you are polygamous and he wants to entangle you in deceit and
iniquity so he can cause you to be damned like him. If you are deceived into thinking that God's Law is
harder than it is (because it is contrary to human nature) and you resort to lying and sneaking around and
discarding wives and children to live within Satan's rules, he'll watch your damnation with a smile.

God hates to see men discard their wives and children. He wants you to remember his Law instead.
"Remember ye the law of Moses My servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the
statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and
dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the
children to the fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." (Mal. 4:4-6). Note particularly that
this deals with the restoration of polygamy, which is found in a judgment in the Mosaic Law. Fathers are to
stay with their children, to raise them in Christ and the Commandments.

The angel Gabriel speaking to Zacharias identified his son John The Baptist as the Elijah of this prophesy.
"And he (John) shall go before Him (Christ) in the spirit and power of Elias (so Elijah is referred to in the
New Testament), to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of
the just ... " (Luke 1:17).

Christ, living in a society that condoned polygamy, preached against divorce. (See Matt 19:8,9 quoted
above.) In Christ's day men put aside their wives for frivolous reasons, but kept the children born of
these wives. So some children lost their mothers and resented their fathers, an estrangement Christ
sought to prevent. In our day, the estrangement between fathers and children is often physical as well as
emotional.

After Christ's crucifixion, "the great and dreadful day of the Lord" (Mal. 4:6), which followed the Elijah
message, was the destruction of physical Jerusalem in 70 A.D. In our day, "the great and dreadful day of
the Lord" will be the judgment on spiritual Jerusalem, the house of God, the Christian Church. "For the
time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God..." (1 Peter 4:17).

The Elijah message that precedes this destruction must include a call for the restoration of polygamy.
"And He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive
until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets
since the world began." (Acts 3-20,21). The mouth of Moses brought forth God's Law of Polygamy. It must
be restored along with the rest of God's Law before Christ returns to rule on earth.

Because of my experiences, I have a unique view of the nature of mankind. Most people see sexuality as
a river that can be dammed. I see it as a volcano that cannot be restrained, and most teenage boys would
agree with me. Women who do not do their best to satisfy their husbands sexually are chancing dire
consequences; the least of which is their husband going to another woman for sex, perhaps eventually
forsaking marriage and children. An even worse consequence is the sexual misuse of a convenient child.
A wise woman should always be willing and loving, if not always enthusiastic.

Personally, I regard testosterone with suspicion. I am inclined to believe that in excess it is responsible
for most of the world's ills: from serial murders, to atrocities on the defenseless, to war. Women don't
start wars, men do. Don't you think that once a month crankiness is insignificant when compared to war?
Women can be a force for peace. Each woman should keep one man from testosterone craziness. If a
woman marries a man who needs more than one wife to keep him from overly aggressive behavior, she
should accept another woman's help with good grace.

Ladies, your first reward is a peaceful home. Your eventual reward will be a peaceful world governed by
God and Christ. And there are no curses in God's Kingdom. "And there shall be no more curse: but the
throne of God and the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him." (Rev. 22:3).

The curses of Genesis are lifted in God's Kingdom. The curse on each women was to have only one
husband who would rule over her. Have patience ladies, in God's Kingdom, women are equal to men, with
all their rights and privileges. Personally, most of my life I felt that one husband was a surplus; however
eventually women who can put up with more than one husband can have more than one.

Nothing I've said means that any woman should accept spousal abuse. Either leave him or adjust his
attitude as was done to Willie Nelson, whose wife rolled him in the bedclothes while he slept and woke
him to a beating. Christ said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach
the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives
(in the jails), and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised (abused wives and
slaves).” (Luke 4:18). Despite Christ's abhorrence of divorce, abused wives are free to hand their abusive
husbands a bill of divorcement after the first bruise.

So where does this leave a generation raised to abhor polygamy? It is simple, actually, you don't have to
be polygamous, but you can't judge those who choose to be. And who knows, when we find ourselves
living a thousand years with Christ, polygamy may start to seem like an antidote to boredom.

AN ADDENDUM FOR THE BRANCH

Some Branch Davidians insist that Ellen White did away with polygamy. This ignores history; the Catholic
Church was the moving force that stopped polygamy. Biblically, the timing of White's message is also
significant. From Ezekiel 4 we know that there are 430 years of truth mixed with human error before we
come to a dawning of true understanding of the scriptures. Whether you add this 430 years to 1500, when
Martin Luther began studying the Bible (a date which points to the beginning of Houteff's message) or
1530, when Martin Luther married a nun and irrevocably broke with the Catholic Church (a date which
points to Ben Roden's restoration of the keeping of the Bible feast days), the conclusion is inescapable.
Ellen White taught her whole message during the time we must expect to find Bible truth mixed with
human error.

God commands us, as harpers, to teach two messages: "And they sing the song of Moses the servant of
God, and the song of the Lamb." (Rev.15:3). Ellen White preached a wonderful message, full of truth and
Bible illumination. But there is only one prophet with the stature of Moses the Lawgiver, and that is Christ,
who exceeded him. "And the Lord said unto me (Moses) ... I will raise them up a Prophet (Christ) from
among their brethren, like unto thee ... " (Deut. 18:17,18). Ellen White did not have the God given right to
change God's Law. While we will teach every truth of her wonderful message, we will sing no error before
the throne of God.

We are given a Biblical rule to evaluate messages. "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not
according to this word, it is because there is no light (illumination, truth) in them." (Is. 8:20). In applying
this standard, remember that while our later day prophets could be fallible (according to Ez. 4), Old
Testament prophets were infallible. (See Deut. 18:22). The Bible must be our guide. Just as there is no
justification in the testimony of Christ and the Bible prophets for moving the Sabbath from Saturday to
Sunday, there is no justification in their testimony for removing polygamy from the Law.

Amo Paul Bishop Roden
IN DEFENSE OF POLYGAMY