Have We Considered That State Marriage Licenses Are Not GOD’S Marriage Licenses?

This article was written and posted by: Pastor Matt Trewhella at http://www.hushmoney.org/MarriageLicense.  It is re-posted here for your convenience.  It has not been edited or altered in any way.

marriage license1jpg (1)

Every year thousands of Christians amble down to their local county courthouse and obtain a marriage license from the State in order to marry their future spouse. They do this unquestioningly. They do it because their pastor has told them to go get one, and besides, “everybody else gets one.” This article attempts to answer the question – why should we not get one?

1. The definition of a “license” demands that we not obtain one to marry. Black’s Law Dictionary defines “license” as, “The permission by competent authority to do an act which without such permission, would be illegal.” We need to ask ourselves- why should it be illegal to marry without the State’s permission? More importantly, why should we need the State’s permission to participate in something which God instituted (Gen. 2:18-24)? We should not need the State’s permission to marry nor should we grovel before state officials to seek it. What if you apply and the State says “no”? You must understand that the authority to license implies the power to prohibit. A license by definition “confers a right” to do something. The State cannot grant the right to marry. It is a God-given right.

2. When you marry with a marriage license, you grant the State jurisdiction over your marriage. When you marry with a marriage license, your marriage is a creature of the State. It is a corporation of the State! Therefore, they have jurisdiction over your marriage including the fruit of your marriage. What is the fruit of your marriage? Your children and every piece of property you own. There is plenty of case law in American jurisprudence which declares this to be true.

In 1993, parents were upset here in Wisconsin because a test was being administered to their children in the government schools which was very invasive of the family’s privacy. When parents complained, they were shocked by the school bureaucrats who informed them that their children were required to take the test by law and that they would have to take the test because they (the government school) had jurisdiction over their children. When parents asked the bureaucrats what gave them jurisdiction, the bureaucrats answered, “your marriage license and their birth certificates.” Judicially, and in increasing fashion, practically, your state marriage license has far-reaching implications.

3. When you marry with a marriage license, you place yourself under a body of law which is immoral. By obtaining a marriage license, you place yourself under the jurisdiction of Family Court which is governed by unbiblical and immoral laws. Under these laws, you can divorce for any reason. Often, the courts side with the spouse who is in rebellion to God, and castigates the spouse who remains faithful by ordering him or her not to speak about the Bible or other matters of faith when present with the children.

As a minister, I cannot in good conscience perform a marriage which would place people under this immoral body of laws. I also cannot marry someone with a marriage license because to do so I have to act as an agent of the State! I would have to sign the marriage license, and I would have to mail it into the State. Given the State’s demand to usurp the place of God and family regarding marriage, and given it’s unbiblical, immoral laws to govern marriage, it would be an act of treason for me to do so.

4. The marriage license invades and removes God-given parental authority. When you read the Bible, you see that God intended for children to have their father’s blessing regarding whom they married. Daughters were to be given in marriage by their fathers (Dt. 22:16; Ex. 22:17; I Cor. 7:38). We have a vestige of this in our culture today in that the father takes his daughter to the front of the altar and the minister asks, “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?”

Historically, there was no requirement to obtain a marriage license in colonial America. When you read the laws of the colonies and then the states, you see only two requirements for marriage. First, you had to obtain your parents permission to marry, and second, you had to post public notice of the marriage 5-15 days before the ceremony.

Notice you had to obtain your parents permission. Back then you saw godly government displayed in that the State recognized the parents authority by demanding that the parents permission be obtained. Today, the all-encompassing ungodly State demands that their permission be obtained to marry.

By issuing marriage licenses, the State is saying, “You don’t need your parents permission, you need our permission.” If parents are opposed to their child’s marrying a certain person and refuse to give their permission, the child can do an end run around the parents authority by obtaining the State’s permission, and marry anyway. This is an invasion and removal of God-given parental authority by the State.

5. When you marry with a marriage license, you are like a polygamist. From the State’s point of view, when you marry with a marriage license, you are not just marrying your spouse, but you are also marrying the State.

The most blatant declaration of this fact that I have ever found is a brochure entitled “With This Ring I Thee Wed.” It is found in county courthouses across Ohio where people go to obtain their marriage licenses. It is published by the Ohio State Bar Association. The opening paragraph under the subtitle “Marriage Vows” states, “Actually, when you repeat your marriage vows you enter into a legal contract. There are three parties to that contract. 1.You; 2. Your husband or wife, as the case may be; and 3. the State of Ohio.”

See, the State and the lawyers know that when you marry with a marriage license, you are not just marrying your spouse, you are marrying the State! You are like a polygamist! You are not just making a vow to your spouse, but you are making a vow to the State and your spouse. You are also giving undue jurisdiction to the State.

When Does the State Have Jurisdiction Over a Marriage?

God intended the State to have jurisdiction over a marriage for two reasons – 1). in the case of divorce, and 2). when crimes are committed i.e., adultery, bigamy. etc. Unfortunately, the State now allows divorce for any reason, and it does not prosecute for adultery.

In either case, divorce or crime, a marriage license is not necessary for the courts to determine whether a marriage existed or not. What is needed are witnesses. This is why you have a best man and a maid of honor. They should sign the marriage certificate in your family Bible, and the wedding day guest book should be kept.

Marriage was instituted by God, therefore it is a God-given right. According to Scripture, it is to be governed by the family, and the State only has jurisdiction in the cases of divorce or crime.

History of Marriage Licenses in America

George Washington was married without a marriage license. So, how did we come to this place in America where marriage licenses are issued?

Historically, all the states in America had laws outlawing the marriage of blacks and whites. In the mid-1800’s, certain states began allowing interracial marriages or miscegenation as long as those marrying received a license from the state. In other words they had to receive permission to do an act which without such permission would have been illegal.

Blacks Law Dictionary points to this historical fact when it defines “marriage license” as, “A license or permission granted by public authority to persons who intend to intermarry.” “Intermarry” is defined in Black’s Law Dictionary as, “Miscegenation; mixed or interracial marriages.”

Give the State an inch and they will take a 100 miles (or as one elderly woman once said to me “10,000 miles.”) Not long after these licenses were issued, some states began requiring all people who marry to obtain a marriage license. In 1923, the Federal Government established the Uniform Marriage and Marriage License Act (they later established the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act). By 1929, every state in the Union had adopted marriage license laws.

What Should We Do?

Christian couples should not be marrying with State marriage licenses, nor should ministers be marrying people with State marriage licenses. Some have said to me, “If someone is married without a marriage license, then they aren’t really married.” Given the fact that states may soon legalize same-sex marriages, we need to ask ourselves, “If a man and a man marry with a State marriage license, and a man and woman marry without a State marriage license – who’s really married? Is it the two men with a marriage license, or the man and woman without a marriage license? In reality, this contention that people are not really married unless they obtain a marriage license simply reveals how Statist we are in our thinking. We need to think biblically. (As for homosexuals marrying, outlaw sodomy as God’s law demands, and there will be no threat of sodomites marrying.)

You should not have to obtain a license from the State to marry someone anymore than you should have to obtain a license from the State to be a parent, which some in academic and legislative circles are currently pushing to be made law.

When I marry a couple, I always buy them a Family Bible which contains birth and death records, and a marriage certificate. We record the marriage in the Family Bible. What’s recorded in a Family Bible will stand up as legal evidence in any court of law in America. Early Americans were married without a marriage license. They simply recorded their marriages in their Family Bibles. So should we.

Matt Trewhella pastors Mercy Seat Christian Church, a non-incorporated non-501c3 free-church. This article is used with his permission.

Pastor Trewhella has been marrying couples without marriage licenses for ten years. Many other pastors also refuse to marry couples with State marriage licenses.

This pamphlet is not comprehensive in scope. Rather, the purpose of this pamphlet is to make you think and give you a starting point to do further study of your own. If you would like an audio sermon regarding this matter, just send a gift of at least five dollars in cash to: Mercy Seat Christian Church 10240 W. National Ave. PMB #129 Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53227, or go to http://www.mercyseat.net

This pamphlet is available in print form.

For further information and discussion on this topic go to: the Marriage License topic on our 501c3 Church Forum at http://hushmoney.org/phpbb2

Notes by Peter Kershaw:

Pastor Trewhella expresses some valid and important points herein. As a Pastor, he well articulates God’s Law. However, Pastor Trewhella would be the first to admit that he is not an expert in civil law, and particularly in those matters touching on divorce (“dissolution of marriage”).

Tragically, a great many Christian marriages end in divorce, and many even for biblically valid reasons (e.g. adultery). We, therefore, believe it wise and prudent to take certain necessary steps in advance of marriage to ensure that, should the worst happen (a divorce) both husband and wife, as well as their children, are guaranteed their respective rights. No such guarantees are afforded should the couple merely sign their names in a family Bible.

I’m currently researching this matter and is looking forward to publishing a book later in 2005 on the subject of the marriage license, along with being able to offer specific recommendations that are more legally substantive than merely signing the family Bible.

It would be wise for any pastor, prior to refusing the to use or sign a State marriage license in any wedding ceremony he performs, to carefully consider whether his church’s corporate 501c3 status legally obligates him to use the State marriage license (the legal fact is that it does).

For more information on how to organize and operate as a free-church, contact:

Heal Our Land Ministries

PO Box 220

Bristol, Virginia 24203

417-337-7533, ext. 1 (voice mail)



Please Reference The following: MARRIAGE DEFINED

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Marriage joined together

I met someone today who reminded me of how totally prejudice and unloving some so-called Apostolic, Pentecostal Christians can be with regards to their opinions and treatment of divorcees. 

According to this particular Non Denominational Church member, without any knowledge of the particular mitigating circumstances, a divorced person is prohibited from ever marrying again in the Faith.  They are doomed to live a lonely and loveless life because if they dare to marry anew or marry a divorced person, they are excommunicated and ostracized out of the fellowship of their church and pronounced as a practicing adulterer and a damned soul by the church and the pastor.

Thank God that these self-righteous zealous bigots don’t have a hell or a heaven to put me or anyone else in.  Hallelujah!  Thank You Jesus.

We must pray for their enlightenment and their freedom from spiritual ignorance and the twisted, deceitful, unintelligent, hypocritical Scripture interpretations of Satan and her demonic forces.  We must pray for those who hypocritically hold the form of godliness but deny GOD’S Eternal Ten Commandments and reject His Seventh-Day Sabbath by observing sun-god day – the first day of the week- as their sabbath and who turn the Liberty of the Spirit of Christ into a Burdensome Legalistic Version of Literally Interpreted Written Codes. (2 Corinthians 3:17)

“Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared.  They forbid marriage…”  (1 Timothy 4:1-3)

But The Apostle of Christ Taught Us This Truth. And That Is That “We Have Liberty In Christ And Not Imprisonment.” (2 Corinthians 3:17)

1 Corinthians 7:15-16 says:
”But if the unbeliever (Those who don’t keep The Commandments of God and of Christ Jesus) leaves, let him (her) leave.  A brother or a sister is not bound (Not married but divorced) in such cases.  God has called you to live in peace.  For you, wife, how do you know whether you will save your husband? Or you, husband, how do you know whether you will save your wife?”

These scriptures are speaking to marriages that took place under the jurisdiction of the Faith and not under the jurisdiction of a civil government authority or license. 

There is a difference. One was joined by mankind’s judicial/civil institution and the other by the hand of GOD Himself.

Caesar is governing authority over one and God is the governing authority over the other.  Thus we render unto Caesar those things that belong to Caesar and unto GOD those things that belong to GOD.

I contend that the Holy Moral Laws and Divine Principles of Holy Scripture cannot be applied to the sinner nor can a sinner understand them.  For they are spiritually discerned through the Holy Spirit by revelation and not through the spirit of intellectualism, religion and denomination or apostolic theology.

I personally know of divorced folks who have been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ by burial under water and who have been gifted by GOD with the Holy Spirit who spoke out of them in tongues and prophesied.  These same individuals later married again within the body of CHRIST and have lived a holy and blessed life ever since.  After they were married to new spouses in the Body of Christ, some of these Saints’ health improved and their happiness increased along with their love and service for GOD.

Now if their divorce was unjust, immoral and ungodly and the intentions of their hearts were so wicked and adulterous, why would God cause His Holy Spirit to live in them?  And since God accepted them by giving them the Holy Spirit, who are we to disavow and disqualify them as Saints of YHVH.

Acts 15:8-9 says:
“And God, who knows the heart, showed His approval by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as He did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he cleansed their hearts by faith.…”

We better be careful who we curse and damn.  We may just curse who God has chosen to accept and bless.  Thus making ourselves an enemy of GOD.

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Copyright © Othealor W. Prince 2016
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Fools Gold


Just because you struck worthless dirt while searching for treasure doesn’t reflect negatively on you.  And it doesn’t mean that you should stop searching.  Just dig a little deeper and in a different spot next time.  You may just hit the jackpot.

Copyright © Othealor W. Prince 01/01/2015
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The Question of Marriage Summary

2012  owpPSE CookinecutterIn regards to my posts on FaceBook and on WordPress about the definition of marriage:

It is interesting to note that of all the replies and comments I received, not one person said that “love” was a requisite for marriage.

Umm? How interesting.

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The Question of “Marriage”


Hello Everybody!

I have a question that I would love to have you help me with. I have posted the question on several different social sites. You are invited and encouraged to please give your considerable insights into the question. THIS IS NOT A TRICK QUESTION! There are no wrong or right answers and I assure you that I will NOT challenge or criticize your responses. Your responses do not have to be Bible based.  I only want to know what you really and truly think and feel about the question.

Allow me to thank you in advance for your input and insight.

“What do you feel constitutes, defines and/or determines whether or not a marriage is a legitimate marriage? Is it …

A. Marriage License by The Civil Authorities
B.  A Sanctioned Union by a Church or Pastor
C. A Man and Woman’s verbal covenant (vow) to each other
D. The Sexual Act of becoming one flesh
E. The the unity of Faith
F. All of the above
G. None of the above
H. Something else (Please Comment Below)

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Marriage, Divorce & Remarriage

Two wedding rings, elevated view

Here is a scenario that I have personally faced and need your insights on. Please don’t worry about my feelings or any such nonsense as that. Just keep it real.

Many Ministries, Churches and Denominations, particularly some of those who call themselves Baptist, Apostolic or Pentecostal, have stated plainly that they will not allow divorced persons to preach in their pulpits or pastor in their churches.

Although the person was innocent of any wrong doings or adultery and legally and morally divorced before they were saved according to the Commands of YHVH in HOLY SCRIPTURES (John 3:3-7 and Acts 2:38), many churches, denominations and believers still scorn divorcees and view them as disqualified, especially if they are remarried.  In other words, they have rejected what God has accepted.

Now in view of 2 Corinthians 5:17 that says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new,” what is your position on such matters?  How can a born again Saint of Almighty YHVH whom GOD has accepted and gifted with His Holy Spirit still be treated as if he never repented.

Please state your convictions in comments.


Here is my response and I believe God’s position.

We all agree with the scriptures that say that our past lives are dead and have been forgiven through the blood of Christ by repentance and being buried with Christ by baptism into water in His Name and we are raised as new creatures in Christ Jesus. (John 3:1-7, 2 Corinthians 5:17, 1 John 1:7, Romans 6:3-4, Galatians 3:27, Acts 2:38)

Therefore, if we are new creatures, free from our former sins and transgression and their penalties, the former things have no claim or power over us. (Ephesians 2:1, Romans 6:12, Romans 8:11)

So why do we live as though we are still under the judgment and penalty of our former lives? Why do we allow the confused, hurt, hardhearted, unforgiving, uninformed, self-righteous, judgmental and damaged souls to dictate morals and parameters to us that govern our new life in Christ and make us miserable and lonely for the rest of our lives? (1 Timothy 4:3)

Why do we allow churches, preachers, pastors and others to chain us to our former unsaved lives and adulterous spouses when God has released us from such horrors through His blood and our former unfaithful and adulterous spouse have freed us through their sinful fornication? (Matt. 19:9, 1 Corinthians 7:15) Is it because we trust religion, religious leaders and church misinterpretation of scriptures more than we trust in the BLOOD of CHRIST and the WORD OF GOD and THE HOLY SPIRIT?

God is not the author of confusion nor does He force His little children to live in unsaved, adulterous, sinful and soul damning conditions. Nor does YHVH prohibit them from marriage within the body of Christ (The Ekklesia) after having been offended through infidelity in a former marriage. (1 Corinthians 7:15)

Why would a good, just and gracious GOD punish the innocent for the sins of the guilty by not allowing the innocent to marry anew?

God never sends a married person back to their former spouse as that would be an abomination. (Deuteronomy 24:1-5, Jeremiah 3:1, 1 Timothy 4:1-4, 1 Corinthians 7:8-9)  However many religions have done just that in the name of the LORD.

Parenthetically speaking, the HOLY SCRIPTURES never uses the term “Remarried” to describe anyone who has been morally divorced and married anew.  That term or stigma or stereotype  was created out of a false doctrine that was meant to demean and demonize folks who had resisted the idolatrous Church of Roman Catholicism from which sects of Protestant churches (denominations) derived their legalistic views of Christianity and holiness.  (Deuteronomy 24:1-4)

There is much individual and spiritual discernment regarding the question of marriage after divorce and it all hinges on the Grace of God in that particular situation.

We know that God’s Word doesn’t contradict itself and there is plenty of evidence that marriage after a morally legitimate divorce is not sinful but permissible within the Faith (EKKLESIA).  However, since only God knows the secretes of the heart and the wickedness of one’s soul, I must say that what God has joined together, man cannot give a reason for separation or divorcement. Only God can. But this assumes that the marriage was based upon the LAW of GOD to begin with and that God conducted and united the couple in the first place.

Wrong assumptions lead to erroneous conclusions and corrupt doctrines and practices. 

Let us be sure that it is God doing the joining and not we ourselves or civil government. Many folks mistake civil marriage for GOD’s ordained marriage but they are not the same.   There is a separation and a fundamental difference between “whom God joins together” and whom the cultural and civil authorities join together.  A civil marriage is a “civil union” registered with the county or state of legal jurisprudence.

This differences between “Whom God joins together” and whom the cultural and civil authorities join together has never been made more obvious than in the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage and effectively oppose and de-define God’s institution of marriage and family.

The secular civil government has its own laws governing their authorized licensed marriages.  That is why they have their own divorce courts and divorce lawyers and that is why they issue the marriage  licences and the churches do not.

Many heterosexual couples have entered into a civil union thinking that they have entered into a Holy Institution of marriage by God.  But when they purchased a marriage license from the civil authorities, they acknowledged that their marriage was not under GOD but under civil authority. (Please See Marriage Divine for more information)

Everyone who has the Holy Spirit must be directed by The Spirit and their own convictions regarding their own marital and/or divorce experience in the light of what God’s Word says regarding their particular circumstances.  It is a uniquely personal matter between the couple and GOD.  There is not one shred of Scriptural evidence that indicates that it is the work of other saints or Men of God to discern for a couple if their divorce is morally  legitimate in the sight of GOD.  Their confession should be to GOD who judges rightly the hearts and actions of all men and women. (Matthew 5:27-28)

YHVH is the only One who can declare a person clean and eligible for marriage or guilty of fornication (the breach of a marital covenant) and therefore ineligible for marriage after being divorced – their punishment for infidelity.

Let me be clear! This is divine principle can only be applicable to those who have surrendered to God, believed the Gospel, repented and have been baptized into water in the name of Christ Jesus and filled with His Holy Spirit. In deed this cannot be applied to the unsaved nor can we expect the disobedient and wicked to understand anything about God or His way. (Romans 8:9, 1 Corinthians 2:14) However, those who have been born again and received the precious gift of GOD’S Holy Spirit are approved by GOD and therefore eligible for marriage within the Ekklesia of CHRIST.

This is a very personal issue and is ultimately the decision of the male and female parties involved. Those who have never been divorced or forced to live in an adulterous household or who have been indoctrinated to live a lifetime as a slave in a loveless marriage should keep quiet about what they do not know and never have experienced. (Matthew 7:1-3)

Divorce Not Bound

So if the Son shall set you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36)

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The Separation of Church and State


“Separation of church and state” is a phrase used by Thomas Jefferson and others expressing an understanding of the intent and function of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ….” This was intended to create a virtual wall between the Christian Church and the secular Government.

The need for the separation of Church and state has never been clearer than it is today. With the onset of State sanctioned homosexuality and same-sex marriage, the Christian Church’s voice for holiness and Christian morality has been dwarfed by the government’s amoral policies on sexuality and its redefinition of marriage and family.  The government has effectively rejected God and His Word.  The government’s voice for sin seems to be greater and louder than the Church’s voice against sin.

Good Christian folks are being persecuted, criticized and sometimes ostracized because of their biblical and morally justifiedSONY DSC stand against the abominable sin of homosexuality.

The children of God are openly being ridiculed and labeled as “haters” by the media and those in powerful and influential positions within society. Christians who do not acquiesce to the antichristian policies and  immoralities of society may find themselves being characterized as homophobic or sanctimonious.  Many Christians dare not voice their true beliefs against homosexuality for fear of reprisals. Many Christian politicians dare not voice their true opinion on the subject of gay marriage for fear of losing voters. There are even a few pastors who avoid the subject altogether for fear of losing their mega church status and enormous incomes. There are some of us who are reading this article who have been cowardly disloyal to God’s stand against homosexuality. We have accepted and approved of homosexuality either by our silence, our indifference or our fellowship with homosexuals.

There are countless arguments for homosexuality. The world and her children have embraced it.  The god of this world has promoted it and rewarded its proponents with wealth, fame, prestige and power.

However, regardless of how one may color it, the world is wicked, homosexuality is evil and those who advocate for its right to be openly expressed, socially embraced, politically and legally recognized as an acceptable sexual orientation are going to hell.

20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)


Recommended Reading: “Friend or Foe”

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The Definition of Marriage ~ The Covenant of Marriage ~ Part 2


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In A “Relationship?”

2012  owpPSE Cookie resizedThis message is directed at those who profess to be Christians.

The term “Relationship” in our hip-hop culture is just another name for fornication. When someone says that they are in a relationship it is understood that they are having sexual intercourse. This is how it is in our Sodom and Gomorrah society.

Many would like to think that the same sexual faithfulness that belongs in a marriage applies to their relationship. They are sadly mistaken. How can any sense of morality be applied to them while they are engaged in sexual immorality themselves? What a bunch of hypocrites.

When a sexual partner realizes that they are no longer in an exclusive “relationship,” they accuse the other of cheating on them. But isn’t it ironic that no one considers that they have cheated on God with their bodies?

Now who cheated first?

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says:

Don’t you know that your body is a temple that belongs to the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit, whom you received from God, lives in you. You don’t belong to yourselves. You were bought for a price. So bring glory to God in the way you use your body.


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The Definition of Marriage ~The Components of Marriage ~ Part 1


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