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THE SIN OF REMARRIAGE ADULTERY

by Dr. Fred Wittman

      In these days of turmoil, terrorism, threats of war, busyness, hurry and scurry, various kinds of serious storms, and year-round sports activities, how much time is given to consider or attention paid to Eternity and judgment to come? Much less do people give thought to the tremendous burden of sins unforgiven and the consequences of them. Solomon in all his wisdom said, “Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things” (Prov. 28:5). And yet God says, “. . . it is scheduled for the humans to die off once for ever but after this, 0 judging” (Heb. 9:27 APT*). This judging for unregenerated, unforgiven sinners takes place at the Great White Throne at the end of time, at least one 1007+ years from now. The result of this judging will be banishment from The True God, the New Heavens and the New Earth, and from forgiven, regenerated loved ones and to the Eternal Lake of Fire and Brimstone in outer darkness and unrelenting torment for ever and ever with Satan, the god of this world and his angels. (Mt. 8:12; 22:13; 25:41,46; Rev. 20:11-15) So little does the average person realize how consequential it is to procrastinate or put off settling this serious eternal matter of obtaining eternal salvation which results in forgiveness of all sins and regeneration. My friend, please continue reading with careful attention, and then examine yourself and act accordingly so that you be among those whose sins are forgiven. “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered” (Romans 4:7).

      Providing forgiveness of sin the root and sins the fruit cost The Only True God the life of His only Begotten Son in excruciatingly painful physical death in addition to bearing the Almighty and Holy God’s fiery wrath upon sin on Calvary’s cruel cross. Jesus became sin and bore all the sins ever committed and which ever shall be committed before He comes in the air to take his bride, The Church to Heaven. God had to abandon His Son while dying and bearing your sins and mine on that dreadful Cross and enduring the wrath of and banishment from The One True God in order to provide forgiveness for each human being. Since forgiveness has been provided by The Loving Holy God, it remains for each one of us to avail ourselves of and appropriate this wonderful forgiveness.

       The word translated forgive and forgiven is Ahféeaymee. This is also the same word translated ‘abandon’ which means ‘to give up with the intent of never again claiming a right to or interest in” (Webster). God can only forgive i.e. abandon our sins if we really mean business and abandon our sins ourselves. If we want The God to forgive our sins, we must repent of and abandon our sins; Lk. 24:47; Acts 26:18,20; Heb. 10:6; 1 Pet. 2:24 APT*). Peter called it departing in death to sins.

Who Himself bore up our sins in His body upon the wood in order that we, ones becoming departed ones in death to the sins, absolutely live in the righteousness; by Whose lacerations you were cured (1 Pet. 2:24 APT*).

Paul called it being crucified with Christ. We must die to sins as Paul did (Rom. 6:6; Gal. 2:20) and to the flesh and its lusts (Gal. 5:24; Col. 2:11) and to the world (Gal. 6:14).

Knowing this, that the old human of ours is crucified together |with Him| so that the body of the sin become ineffective so that we no longer continue serving as a bondslave to the sin. For the one |who| died off stands justified from the sin (Rom. 6:6,7 APT*).

I stand crucified together with Christ, but I absolutely live. No longer myself, but Christ absolutely lives in me. In fact what I now absolutely live in flesh, I absolutely live by means of faith |namely| the one of The Son of The God, Who loved me and delivered Himself over in my behalf (Gal. 2:20 APT*).

Now the ones belonging to The Christ are crucified with reference to the flesh together with the sufferings and the passionate lusts (Gal. 5:24 APT*).

In Whom (Christ) also you were circumcised by means of circumcision not made with human hands, in the stripping off from the body with reference to the sins of the flesh by means of the circumcision by The Christ (Col. 2:14 APT*).

But may it never be for myself to boast except in the cross of The Lord of ours, Jesus Christ, through Whom world is crucified to myself and myself to the world! (Gal. 6:14 APT*).

Furthermore Paul wrote to the Corinthian church which was plagued with sexual immorality and carnality,

So that if (and it is true) anyone be| in Christ, a new creature! The early things passed away. Lo! the all things are permanently become a new kind. Now the all things |are| by means of The God, Who reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:17,18a APT*).

All of these verses indicate that the one who has been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and truly saved by The Lord Jesus Christ is a new creature in Christ and has abandoned his or her sins. When The Lord Jesus Christ saves a soul, that soul is saved from the penalty of sin so that he or she will never see the Lake of Fire to be punished for his or her sins (Rom. 6:23). Jesus bore that punishment or penalty for sins in the saved sinner’s stead. But additionally, Jesus saves from the plight of sin, which is sin’s predominance in the life of unregenerated mankind (Rom. 3:23; 6:12,14), from the power of sin so that he or she no longer serves as a bondslave to the sin (Rom. 6:6,7 APT*), and He also saves from the pleasure and practice of sin (Rom. 6:1,2: 8:10-13; Heb.11:25,26 cf. Ps. 16:11). Then some day in the near future He will save us from the presence of sin when He comes again in the air to change our vile bodies like unto His glorious body (1 Thes. 4:13-17; 1 Cor. 15:51,52; Phil. 3:20,21). Therefore The Lord Jesus Christ provided a full and complete salvation from sin the root and sins the fruit. He did not provide a fragmentary or partial salvation (see our paper entitled Fragmentary or Full Salvation? ) as the “easy believism” gospel of salvation from the penalty of sin that is being proclaimed by so many today. This is why so many persist in immoral lifestyle while claiming ‘to know’ Jesus Christ as Savior.

      These truths are clearly stated in The Word of The God. They are practical and expected by The True God to be realities in every one who claims to be a regenerated child of The God. But alas! There are so many professing this to be true, who have not forsaken or abandoned all their sins. It was also true in the first century Church. Therefore Paul wrote to the church in Galatia in the summer of A.D. 49,

Now the works of the flesh are conspicuous, which are: Adultery, sexual immorality, uncleanness, excessive unbridled shameless life-style, drug abuse, enmities, contentions, jealousies, passionate wraths, strifes, dissensions, heresies, envies, murders, intoxications, revelries, and the similar ones to these, which I am foretelling you, according as I also told before, ‘‘The ones practicing such things shall not inherit God’s Kingdom’’ (Gal. 5:19-21 APT*).

Then later from Ephesus he wrote in late in A.D. 57 or early A.D. 58 to the church in Corinth which was plagued with sexual immorality and carnality,

Or you are aware that unjust ones shall not inherit God’s Kingdom, are you not? Stop erring! Either fornicators or idolaters or adulterers or effeminate ones or homosexuals or thieves or covetous ones or drunkards or revilers or greedy plunderous ones shall definitely not inherit God’s Kingdom (1 Cor. 6:9,10*).

Later in prison in Rome in, Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus,

For this you are constantly knowing, that every sexually immoral one or unclean one or covetous one, who is continually an idolater, is continually not having inheritance in the Kingdom of The Christ and of God (Eph. 5:5 APT*).

Please note at the top of the list which Paul wrote to each of these churches concerning those who definitely are not regenerated are sexually immoral ones -- adulterous ones, fornicators, effeminate ones, and homosexuals -- all these are covered by the Greek word Pohrneh-éeah - a sexually immoral one. Paul equated sexually immoral ones with idolaters (Eph.5:5). So did God equate these two sins in calling for the same punishment to each . Whoever was guilty of adultery or idolatry was put to death (Deut. 17:2-7; 22:22,23). And again God equated adultery with idolatry when He directed Ezekiel to prophesy concerning Samaria and Jerusalem by other names, “that they have committed adultery, . . . and with their idols have they committed adultery” (Ezek. 23:4, 36,37). But then when the Ten Commandments The God gave to Moses on Mt. Sinai, which were engraven in stone and reported to the Israelites when he descended, are analyzed such correlation can be recognized. The first two commandments deal with idolatry.

And God spoke all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments (Ex. 20:1-6).

No other gods before The Jehovah God and no gods including idols after Him. The True God is a Jealous God and He calls idolatry, iniquity which he imposes upon the offspring of those committing such for three and four generations after them. He indicates idolatry and iniquity is committed only by those who hate the only True God. And these shall absolutely not be committed by those who love Him. Then in the seventh and tenth commandments, He deals with adultery.

Thou shalt not commit adultery. . . . Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s (Ex. 20:14,17).

In the Hebrew there is only one verb meaning ‘to commit adultery’ and its cognate noun ‘adulterer’ or ‘adulteress’. It refers to either sex violating the marriage bed with one other than the first spouse. There is another noun meaning ‘adulteries’ referring to repeated sex acts violating the marriage bed. There are two verbs in the Greek: one describing the man ‘defiling a married woman’; the other is simply referring to the act of either sex violating the marriage bed with one other than the first spouse. There is a feminine noun and a masculine noun as well as the noun for ‘adulteries’ referring to repeated sex acts violating the marriage bed. The word for ‘covet’ in the Septuagint is the Greek word for ‘passionately lust’ even as it means this in some contexts in the Hebrew, especially here. Therefore coveting another man’s wife is adultery even as the Lord Jesus taught the multitudes with His disciples present in the Sermon on the Mount:

You heard that it was declared by the ancient ones, You shall not commit adultery! but I Myself am saying to you, Everyone who looks at a woman toward the act of passionately lusting after her, already commits adultery with reference to her in his heart (Mt. 5:27,28 APT*).

Throughout the Old Testament there are numerous references to the act of committing adultery. It is to be noted that those who committed adultery were to be put to death even as those who committed incest. The God would not have them in the congregation of His people. Read Leviticus 20:1-27. There are passages in the Pentateuch which bear on this subject and would be most beneficial to the reader. These indicate how The God’s chosen people were to deal with adultery. Especially read Numbers 5:11-31; Deut. 22:13-21.

      The Lord Jesus Christ taught differently to Jews than He did to Gentiles. The Gospel by Mark was written to Romans and the Gospel by Luke was written to Greeks. Each of these Gospels relate The teaching of The Lord Jesus on adultery for Gentiles with emphasis on the Kingdom of The God, while Matthew wrote to the Jews with emphasis on the kingdom of Heaven.

And He says to them, Who ever divorce his wife and marry another, he of himself is continually committing adultery against her. And if (and it may take place) a wife divorce her husband and be married to another she is continually committing adultery (Mk. 10:11,12 APT*).

Mark uses the word meaning "adultery which defiles a married woman". In both propositions it is the married woman who is defiled. In the second case she defiles herself.

Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another perpetually commits adultery. And everyone who marries one who has been divorced from a husband perpetually commits adultery (Lk. 16:18 APT*).

However, Luke turns the proposition around and uses the word for adultery by either sex. Thus the man defiles the second wife in each case, (whether the man divorce his wife and marry a second wife or the women divorce the man and he marries a second wife). Since The God has made it clear that no unclean or defiled person is having inheritance in the Kingdom of The Christ and of God (Eph. 5:5) the one defiling himself and the second woman is excluded from the kingdom and from eternal life. If one truly loves the second spouse would that one not rather forego sinful pleasure rather than defile him or her again and again and forfeit eternal life for them both.

      But the question is raised, What about the exception clause in the Gospel by Matthew? In Adar (March) A.D. 30, Jesus prefaced His exception clause in the Sermon on the Mount, in which He gave His regulations for the Kingdom of Heaven, with this statement concerning why He came in relation to the Law,

Do not presume that I came to nullify the law or the prophets. I did not come to nullify, but on the contrary to fully fulfil (Mt. 5:17 APT*).

Since the forefathers added certain stipulations and their own interpretations to the law, it was absolutely necessary to clarify the law. Therefore Jesus referred to that which was declared which needed correction.

Now it was declared, Who ever divorces his wife, he is to give to her a repudiation! But I Myself am saying to you, ‘‘Who ever divorce his wife, with the exception of a statement of fornication, makes her to commit adultery. And who ever marry a divorced one perpetually commits adultery’’ (Mt. 5:31,32 APT *).

Although the word for fornication is the word used to include all kinds of sexual immorality, in this case only one kind of immorality is intended. This is evidenced in the Old Testament reference covering the context of setting loose a wife (Deut. 24:1-4). The culture of the Jews concerning marriage is beautifully illustrated in the lives of Joseph of Nazareth and Mary (Mt. 1:18-25). The couple enter into contract to marry called espousal (much like present day engagement except espousal is more binding than engagement). Some time later at the agreed time, the marriage is consummated. According to the Deuteronomy 24 passage,

if, at the time of consummation the man discovers she is not a virgin and committed fornication, he may gave her a bill of repudiation, which is really annulment rather than divorce. (Joseph contemplated doing this privately rather than publicly which was the custom. However the angel of The Lord revealed to him that she was still a virgin and the conception was accomplished by The Holy Spirit.) The husband then sends her away out of the house. She may be married to another man with out committing adultery. But if she does marry, the husband who sent her away may never take her again to be his wife. From this scenario, it can be understood what Jesus meant by fornication and that the intended meaning of divorce in this case is annulment in present day usage.

      However, two and a half years later in Heshvan (November) A.D. 32, the Pharisees questioned Him in order to test Him, “Is it lawful for a human to divorce his wife according to every cause?” (Mt 19:3). This led to a long explanation, beginning with creation and God’s statement,

“ For this cause a human shall leave remaining /his\ father and mother and he shall attach to his wife. And they two shall be as one flesh. So that they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore stop letting a human put apart what The God yoked together” (Mt. 19:6,7 APT* cf. Gen. 2:24).

This led to the question as to why Moses gave the certificate of repudiation. He responded, "In accord with your hard-heartedness, but it was not this way from the beginning." Then He reiterated the exception statement He expressed in the first year of His ministry (see above). He reemphasized, “And the one who marries a divorced one perpetually commits adultery.” The disciples commented, “If and it is true) the cause of the human is in this way with his wife, it is not expedient to marry” (Mt. 19:10). However marriage is a holy union instituted by The God and it is not to be entered into lightly! And it is not to be entered into again by a divorced person. Neither is it to be dissolved by divorce or ‘setting loose’.

“Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. 16 For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away (divorce): . . (the ungodliness covereth thy thoughts -- LXX), saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously” (Mal. 2:14b-16).

 God hates divorce and He hates remarriage adultery. The apostle Paul described those who commit adultery, in his Epistle to the Romans written in early A.D. 59 from Corinth, in this way:

Or are you ignorant, O brothers, (for I speak to ones knowing law,) that the law exercises lordship over the human for as long a period of time as he absolutely lives? For the married woman stands bound by law to her absolutely living husband. But if (and it may be) her husband die off, she stands negated away from the law of the husband. Therefore really while her husband is absolutely living, if (and it may be) she become |married| to another husband she shall be given an identifying name, Adulteress. But if (and it may be) her husband die off, she is free from bondage away from the law, so that she is not an adulteress if she become |married| to another husband (Rom. 7:1-3 APT*).

The same is true of the man who marries another woman while his original wife is still living. He is looked upon by God as an adulterer. Both the remarried divorced man and the remarried divorced woman are living in perpetual sin as long as they cohabit. And The God says that their part shall be in the Lake of Fire and Brimstone and they positively shall not enter the New Heaven, the New Earth or the Holy city. This is so because in Revelation after John beheld the New Heaven and the New Earth and the Holy City descending out of Heaven, He heard the One on the Throne speak,

The continually overcoming one shall inherit all things. And I shall be his God and he himself shall be My son. But to frightful ones and to faithless ones and to sinners and to abominating ones and to murderers and to sexually immoral ones and to sorcerers and to idolaters and to all the lying ones, the part of theirs |shall be| in the lake, |namely| the one continuously burning with fire and brimstone, which is second death. . . . And every kind of defiling thing and one doing abomination and falsehood positively shall not enter into it, except the ones standing written in The Lamb’s Book of The Absolute Life. (Rev. 21:7,8,27 APT*).

      No doubt this presents problems for those professing believers who are living in remarriage adultery. How can the question be answered what shall we do? In Israel the problem arose when Israelites married those whom God condemned and had forbidden His people to marry them. In Ezra’s time of returning to the promised land, Israelites disobeyed. It was reported to Ezra,

“They have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass” (Ezra 9:2).

After reading the Book of The Law they realized the fierce wrath of God was upon them so they made a covenant to separate from their wives and children and God’s Wrath was stayed (Ezra 10:3-17). Nehemiah had to deal with the same problem eighty years after Ezra dealt with it (Neh.13:23-30). Then when Paul wrote his fourth epistle to the Corinthian church which is the Second Epistle to The Corinthians in the Canon of Scripture, he wrote:

Then what fellowship |exists| with light toward dark? But what compatibility |exists| with Christ in accord with Behleéahl? Or what share |exists| with a faithful one |in association| with a faithless one? Now what agreement |exists| with Holy Place of God in company with idols? For you yourselves are a Holy Place of Absolutely Living God according as The God said, ‘‘I shall indwell among them and I shall walk about in |them| and I shall be their God and they themselves shall be My people.’’ Wherefore Lord is continually saying, Exit out of midst of them at once! And be segregated at once! and, Stop embracing an unclean one! And I Myself shall welcome you in and I shall be for Father to you and you yourselves shall be for sons and daughters to Me, says Lord Almighty. Therefore since having these promises, O beloved ones, let us cleanse ourselves away from every kind of filthiness of flesh and of spirit, in result perfectly accomplishing holiness in fear of God (2 Cor. 5:14-2:1 APT*).

Please note the tenses of The God’s! They all are future! To be as unto The God sons and daughters and He as Father to you, you must cleanse your self away from entanglement that defiles this includes remarriage adultery which is an unholy alliance. “Pursue: peace with all |people| and the holy relationship separated unto The God, apart from which not one shall behold The Lord!” (Heb. 12:14 APT*).

      What advice can be given to those in such a predicament? It is very difficult. Some went ahead to remarry aware that it is wrong. Others were not aware of the consequences and were not warned by a regenerated disciple of The Lord Jesus Christ. Some have come to a knowledge of and desired a relationship with The Lord Jesus Christ after they were remarried. Certainly another divorce is not the answer. It has already been recognized that The God hates divorce. Yet He requires separation from Sin and sins.

      In the 1930’s to the 1960’s Missionaries to Third World countries and Tribal Peoples whose culture included multiple wives had to face this problem. There were children involved who needed a father and a mother. Yet The Word of God is clear. What provision could be made to allow them into the local church or assembly? The conclusion to which they came was for the husbands to separate from all wives except the first one which God recognized. Separate quarters were provided close by for each of the other wives and their respective children in close proximity so that the father was able to relate to the children daily, but he was not to enter beyond the greeting room or the kitchen. All bedrooms were off limits. In this way there was no further cohabitation so no more adultery committed and no more defilement taking place.

      There are some in America who have followed a similar pattern to abstain from cohabitation adultery so as to please the Lord and abstain from uncleanness and defilement. Certainly those who truly love The Father and one another would prefer such an arrangement to that of being excluded from inheriting Eternal Life and the Kingdom of The God.

Never love the world, nor even the things in the world. If (and it may be) anyone love the world, the love of The Father is continually not in him. Because everything that |is| in the world: the passionate lust of the flesh and the passionate lust of the eyes and the arrogant display of manner of life is continually not of The Father, but on the contrary it is of the world. In fact the world is progressively passing away and the passionate lust of it, but the one continually doing the determined will of The God is continually abiding for /ever. . . . Everyone who continually has this hope upon him repeatedly purifies himself according as That One is pure (1 Jn. 2:15-1 7; 3:3 APT*).

It is imperative that the couple fall on their knees before God and seek His face and direction as to how to perform His will in this matter. But remember it is vital that we “Continually abstain from semblances of every wicked thing” (1 Thes. 5:22 APT*).

* A Precise Translation      | |understood       /the

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Last modified: May 26, 2005