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Fornication vs Adultery
3 The Pharisees also came unto Him , tempting Him, and saying unto Him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?
4 And He answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain (two) shall be one flesh?
6 Wherefore they are no more twain (two), but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
8 He (Jesus) 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.
9 And I (Jesus) say unto you, Whosoever shall put away (divorce) his wife, except it be for fornication*, and shall marry another, committeth adultery*: and whoso marrieth her which is put away (divorced) doth commit adultery.
(Matthew 19:3-9 KJV)
*vs 9: two very different words with two very different meanings explained throughout
I hope that you will be able to comprehend what I am getting ready to convey below as this is a very deep subject that I have only begun to scratch the surface of — as God in His merciful grace allows me to grasp HIS intention for the Married.
Before we begin: Father I ask You in the Name of Jesus, the Name above all Names – to impart to each of us Your Holy Spirit Who alone guides us into all Truth and understanding. I ask that the spiritual eyes and ears of those reading this be opened to YOUR Word. Speak to their heart and their mind. Bind the enemy who would come against the one reading this, the one who would need to hear this. Be a hedge of protection around them Lord and keep their spirits in your care. In Jesus’ Name I ask it. Amen
A Little Tidbit About Me
All of us in this society have been raised to believe in the disposable convenience of everything — including Marriage. I believed in the tragedy of divorce and remarriage. I am an adult child from a divorced home and all four of the children in my immediate family are now divorced. Two of them remarried, one divorced twice and now is “married” for the third time. My Grandparents were divorced and REmarried. I also believe it goes as far back as my Great Grandparents. Divorce runs rampant in my family. As I sit and write this, knowing what I know now, that blows my mind because my side of the family also has a long line of Missionaries. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that there was a determined demonic attack on my ancestors who were missionaries preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ — and because they succumbed to divorce and REmarriage, there is a generational curse over my family. The generational curse stops here. As God is my Witness, I am devoting my life to change this for our children and grandchildren — and beyond as long the Lord shall tarry. Looking back, it makes me wonder what the devil was trying to stop God from doing in my family — and whether or not he ever succeeded at doing it. My Husband and I are going to be first-time Grandparents next year. I am already praying for our Son and his wife and their unborn baby.
Back on point — Even before my divorce I was being prodded along by those around me to start over. I fully believe that if I hadn’t sought to do that, I would have already been reunited with my precious Husband whom I miss with every fiber of my being. But being sold out to and believing in the lie of REmarriage, I thought that’s what I was supposed to do. The demonic lie that society flatly states is that we are “single and free” to be on the way to a new relationship after a divorce. Oh Father forgive me but that’s exactly what I started to do. I mean it’s what everybody does, right? Who ever heard of Marriages being put back together? I never questioned it. Fully armed and loaded with the “Biblical excuse” called an “exception clause,” I went and jumped off the bridge because everybody else was doing it. . . .
Prodigals, listen… the Holy Spirit, our Teacher unto all Truth and Understanding, was beckoning to me through the darkness. He caused me to seek HIM for what HE wanted me to do. I had been the spiritual lead in our household. I knew exactly what God’s Word said – except for this. I didn’t understand the contradictions of the “escape clause” when weighed with the other Scriptures on Marriage and divorce. But because I knew enough of the gospel to know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Lord — and because I didn’t want to ever go through a divorce again, I started to seek His Face. As a result of what God had been very clearly speaking to me and through a string of very grim events, I left a relationship that I had started to build. I have NEVER looked back. I had become a Stander before I knew what standing in the gap was all about. I have been called by God to stand in the gap for my Husband. In updating this blog post, I can say I have been faithfully and seriously standing since November 2007 for the restoration and reconciliation of my one-flesh Covenant Marriage… Folks, that’s not a badge of pride to be marked on a score card but it is rather suffering for doing what is right.
And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 11 To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:10-11 NASB
Some think I’m crazy – even my Covenant Husband – but I can tell you, if God hadn’t put the brakes on me, I wouldn’t be here typing these words at this moment. If it weren’t a serious call on my life, I would not be sitting here all this time later still praying for the restoration of my Husband to his God — and the restoration of our Marriage. If this weren’t of God, I would be long gone living the lie of the enemy of my soul… Though I did love my Husband so very much when we divorced, we both hurt each other so with the things we did and even the things we didn’t do. In my blinded mind, I saw no other option — and taking the advice and opinions of others over that of God and His Word, I walked away. I had come to see my Beloved Husband as the enemy (a lie from the pit of hell). – I lost hope. I lost faith. I lost everything. But God has taken all that away to remember it no more. He has restored my relationship to Him through His Love, Mercy and Grace — and HE, no one else, has given it back to me. Because of what He did, I have a renewed and unconditional love for my Covenant Spouse. We cannot get that from within ourselves. GOD has to give that to us. By the world’s standards, our Marriage was as good as dead. But it’s not… God resurrects the dead to life here on earth by giving them Life – and when He comes again, the dead in Christ will rise first and we who remain shall be caught up to be with Him in glory forever and ever. God is the God of the living — not the dead. Since then I have studied and prayed. God is faithful to a sincere cry to know Him and His Truth. If we are truly seeking HIM, He promises to lead us into ALL Truth and understanding. He has and He is still… (I should note here that my parents never skewed my thought process in either direction. They NEVER told me to divorce my Husband. They listened to my broken heart, felt my pain, and loved me and prayed me through. They still are.)
This is who I have become. This is who I am.
I do not pretend to know it all with reference to this subject, but I do know that God does not contradict Himself in His Word. If we don’t understand what He says or just plain don’t want to believe what He says, that does not make what He says any less true or less relevant to our lives. In the end, we will all stand before God and be judged by what He says. We will be held accountable. Count on it.
Know this: Above all else the Commands and Laws of God SUPERCEDE the laws of man. Not one of man’s laws can stand eternally in the Face of God Who decrees ALL things. A divorced couple is divorced ONLY with regard to the law of man. GOD did not ordain divorce and HE has declared that they are ONE in flesh until DEATH and that they are NOT to REmarry another person UNLESS their Covenant Spouse dies. Death is the ONLY thing that can break a Covenant Vow WITH God this side of the heavens! If they do fly in the face of God and REmarry, they live in a perpetual state of sinful adultery. God says adulterers will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.
In the Scriptures above, you will see that I have underlined the words “fornication” and “adultery.” If they weren’t two very different words, God would not have used different words in His divinely-inspired Word to describe the same thing. Some versions have errantly used the word “adultery” in both places. This is not correct according to the original language.
- Adultery – (Greek: Moichao) Illicit intimate sexual relations with another person whereby at least one offender is currently married. Even if the other partner is not married, that person still commits adultery with the one who is married. All it takes is one person within the relationship to be married.
- Fornication – (Greek: Porneia) Porneia comes from the Greek root word porneuo. Illicit sexual relations between two people who are NOT married. These are SINGLE never-married people. The relationship is illicit because God ordains sex within the boundaries of Marriage.
- Porneuo comes from porne (femine) — which means a woman who sells her body for sexual uses; a prostitute, whore, harlot (one who yields herself to defilement for the sake of gain).
- Pornos = The masculine form; is a man who prostitutes his body to another’s lust for hire; a man who participates in unlawful sexual intercourse; whoremonger; a fornicator.
- The word pornos interestingly enough comes from piprasko which means to sell, as into slavery. The Spiritual metaphor indicates that one is selling themselves as a slave to sin. They are wholly controlled and given unto and love sinning. They sell themselves into another’s will…
What an awful word…
Who Are The Unmarried in Scripture?
The question is often asked, “Who are the Unmarried?” It is said the unmarried includes the following:
1. Virgins (Never been married)
2. Divorced (Formerly married, but currently “single”)
3. Widowed (Formerly married, but spouse is deceased)
Number 2 above is a doctrinal issue and one that is open to a lot of liberal misinterpretation with regard to man-made tradition — not to mention mistakes in the interpretation’s accuracy with regard to the Hebrew and Greek languages. If the Scriptures above were the only Scriptures written on the subject that would still be enough to make it clear that one who is divorced is NOT single being free to REmarry!
The divorced individual is not “single.” Marriage is a one-flesh Covenant relationship between two people – but more importantly it represents and is a type of salvation (reference Ephesians 5:21-32). God-ordained Human Marriage is a picture of the relationship between Christ and His Church (the Bridegroom and the Bride). Yes, the Marriage Covenant can be seriously abused — just as our relationship with Christ can be abused. We use the term “broken” but it cannot be broken any more than our Covenant relationship with Christ can be broken — but it can be harmed. A Father/child (God/us) relationship is a forever relationship regardless whether the two speak. It is so by the virtue of the Blood — be it Spiritual Blood or physical blood. However, where the one-flesh Covenant relationship is abused is where grace and mercy are applied — as is with Christ and His backward and wayward Bride (Church).
The Husband and Wife are One just as we are One with the Lord in eternal salvation. Because of the oneness, neither has authority over their own body but it belongs to the other (cf I Corinthians 7:4). The two are Spiritually and physically inseparable. The one complements the other and is in fact One in the realm of Spiritual implication — realizing that the two are individuals within the physical realm.
Here is an example of another set of Scriptures taken out of context and used as a “biblical justification” to remarry. Very wrong. An example of attributing the UNMARRIED as being the DIVORCED:
8 But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they abide even as I.
9 But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
(I Corinthians 7:8-9 NASB)
The Greek word for “unmarried” in verse 8 is agamos. It means “unmarried, single, unwedded.” Notice vs 9 doesn’t say “REmarry.” Folks misinterpret the UNMARRIED here as being or including the divorced. Paul is not speaking of the UNmarried here as being those who are divorced. Paul is speaking only to people who are free to Marry — not REmarry… Do you know about Paul? Paul was not married. He never had been married. The word he used reflected his own personal condition and status (“…it is good for them if they abide even as I.”) Because of the context surrounding what Paul was saying and because he was referencing his own personal status and condition, it tells you that he is not referring to those that are “divorced.” Also understand Paul was a prior Pharisee! In reading his own account of his life and in accordance with their Law, he was without fault. He was very well respected and very well versed in the Scriptures and the Jewish Law.
My point is that you cannot rightly interpret the word here rendered agamos (unmarried) as being of the divorced when it applies to those who have never been married.
Moses allowed divorce because of the hardness of men’s hearts. Read that again. MOSES allowed it — NOT God. In Moses’ time, women were a commodity. They were not treated as an equal, life-long loving mate and companion. Men were divorcing their wives as people buy and discard shoes. However, from the beginning it was not so. What Moses allowed in their law was recognition of a problem that was occurring among the Jewish people and this law was written to stave off even worse sins from occurring among the people. Some people will use the excuse that God divorced Israel as an entitlement to justify divorce. God issued a SPIRITUAL bill of divorcement to Israel for their spiritual harlotries. God will bring His Bride Israel home to Him when the times of the Gentiles are up. God has never disavowed His Bride Israel. He has disciplined her but He has never left her. Even in their spiritual whoredoms, they are still His Bride. And in the end, they WILL BE reconciled — the Bride to her Groom.
Know this: What Moses (not God) allowed was not a doctrinal precept but was rather a permission granted in their Jewish laws and culture. God’s precepts and man’s permissions are two different things.
Ask yourself a very important question: If a divorced person can be considered as SINGLE and UNMARRIED, how then can they be committing adultery against their wife or husband in a REmarriage with another individual as stated in the following:
- 18“Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery. (Luke 16:18 NASB)
- 9And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. (Matthew 19:9 KJV)
- 14. . . .Because the Lord was witness [to the covenant made at your marriage] between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you havedealt treacherously and to whom you were faithless. Yet she IS your companion and the wife of your covenant [made by your marriage vows]. (Malachi 2:14 NASB)
- 11And He said to them, Whoever dismisses (repudiates and divorces) his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; 12And if a woman dismisses (repudiates and divorces) her husband and marries another, she commits adultery. (Mark 10:11-12 NASB)
- 2 For [instance] a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives; but if her husband dies, she is loosed and discharged from the law concerning her husband. 3 Accordingly, she will be held an adulteress if she unites herself to another man while her husband lives. But if her husband dies, the marriage law no longer is binding on her [she is free from that law]; and if she unites herself to another man, she is not an adulteress. (Romans 7:2-3 AMP)
How can a divorced person commit adultery if they are single? The societal point of view is that the moment you are divorced, you become single. That’s NOT what the Bible says. Adultery as Biblically defined is committed only with regard to Married persons — both the divorced and the REmarried as well as those who remain within the bonds of the Covenant Marriage. The divorced man or woman who engages in another relationship that involves sexual intimacy commits adultery — not fornication. Fornication is reserved for the single person who has never been married. A misrepresentation of the correct position of the divorced as in number two above throws the definition off and deceives the masses who are not in understanding of the proper context. In order for one to keep from committing adultery after divorce, one must become celibate. The obvious in that statement is not what is obviously accepted in society at large — and sadly it pervades the Body of Christ.
In the Scriptures where Jesus spoke about divorce and REmarriage, His prohibition was all-encompassing. He pointed the Pharisee’s – and us – back to the starting point: from the beginning it was not so and no human being has the right to break apart what GOD has joined together. It doesn’t matter what Moses said or did. But it does matter what God says. Bottom line. End of story. It is finished. Period. The end.
Can I get an Amen?
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