Of Adultery, Polygamy And Divorce Among Born-Again Christians
Marriage is a covenant or an agreement between a man and a woman to carry out the purpose of God Almighty for the union on earth. In the eyes of God, when a man and a woman are joined together in holy matrimony as husband and wife, God considers the two one and not two individuals anymore. “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2: 24). To recapitulate once again as explicated in previous articles in this column, the plan of God when Eve was created was for her to be a “helpmate” to Adam and thus assist her husband to carry out three basic functions on earth namely: power, authority and dominion over the earth (Genesis 1: 27 & 28).
Power is the ability to enforce a will. Authority is the legal instrument to exercise power and dominion is the extent to which both power and authority can and should be exercised. There are two ways through which authority to power can be obtained namely: de jure and de facto. Adam possessed these two types of authorities before he and Eve sinned. Feminists may rile against the biblical narrative of the role of Eve, but this is the rubric laid down by God Almighty the King of kings and the Lord of lords. When the Lord God said He would create Eve to be a helpmate to Adam as recorded in Genesis 2: 18: “The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him,” misogynistic stags and feminists have erroneously mistaken that to mean God subordinated Eve to Adam, but this emphatically No. Spiritually speaking, what it means was that, Adam would be incomplete and unable to function without Eve, while Eve too would be incomplete and unable to function without Adam. Consequently, Adam and Eve needed each other and must be in agreement and love at all times to exercise these three objectives stated by the Lord God for creating them in Genesis 1: 26: “Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." For emphasis, the Lord God reiterated these three objectives furthermore in Genesis 1:28.
The word: “mankind” which can also be rendered “human kind” doesn't refer to Adam and Eve but a generic name for a group of creatures that God Almighty in His infinite wisdom wanted to rule the earth. This “mankind/human kind” refers to both male and female. This is like using the word: “angels” as a generic name for angelic beings that inhabit the spirit realm. As heretofore stated, the Lord God Almighty patterned marriage between a man and a woman along the Godhead of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The Triune Personality of God, even though distinct in His being yet one. That is why in the eyes of God, a man/husband and a woman/wife are one; they are not two separate individuals just as God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are One.
Our Lord Jesus Christ made this spiritual truth known to the Israelites in John 10: 30 “I and the Father are one." But the Israelis of Jesus days didn't get it and lamentably, many human beings and even some born-again Christians still don't get it today. When we say two human beings are one in the spirit realm, what we mean is that, the two in this case husband and wife operate in agreement, unison, covenant, trust and in love and in everything, they are in unison; they think alike, act alike, reason alike and hold same views and opinions on virtually everything, because there is love.
To be “one” doesn't mean to be “equal.” This was the point our Lord Jesus Christ meant when He was addressing his audience when He said He and the Father are one (John 10.30) but He also made the point in John 14:28 "You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.” So if the Father-referring to the Lord God Almighty-is greater than Jesus Christ, how then can they be one at the same time? Is that not contradictory? No. Greater is different from One. To be One is different from to be Equal.
The Godhead operates in harmony and love and the three are one so there is no room for disagreement. For example, in creating the earth, we saw how these three distinct Beings divided the work into three in Genesis 1: 1-3: “In the beginning God (referring to God the Father) created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God (referring to God the Holy Spirit) was hovering over the waters. And God (referring to God the Son-that is Jesus Christ) said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.” Don't let your head explode; there is no college or university where these spiritual things are taught except by the Holy Spirit. Similarly, we saw these three Beings in action in the work of redemption and salvation of fallen human beings after the disobedience of Adam and Eve.
God the Father purposed and laid the plan for salvation in the Old Testament, God the Son-our Lord Jesus Christ-carried it out in the New Testament, and now in the Generation of Grace which we is here beginning from Acts 2: 1 until the Second Advent, God the Holy Spirit is applying salvation in the lives of all those who believe in this Word of Life and prepare to reign with Our Lord Jesus Christ in eternity.
The marriage institution is modeled after the three Triune Beings and the way they operate, hence marriage is called a testament or covenant by the Lord God Almighty (Malachi 2: 14). That is why human beings are said to be created in the image and likeness of the Godhead. When angels look at human beings, they marvel at us, because we are children of the Lord God Almighty-for those who have put their faith and trust in our Lord Jesus Christ who is God the Son-whereas they-the angels-are ministers to us (Hebrews 1: 14).
This doesn't mean we are superior to angels, rather it shows we are dearer to the Godhead more than all other creatures of the Lord God Almighty. This is why it is a pity and a tragedy for any human being to die Christless. A life without Jesus Christ is a wasted life. All those who live and die with having Him in their lives end up with Satan and his demons in the Nether Gloom, period! WHY ADULTERY IS ABHORENCE BEFORE GOD: The wife that you avowed as your partner in a covenant or testament or agreement-pick your choice-is the rightful partner before God and hence the legitimate helpmate for you. When you now go outside that agreement to have sex with another woman you aren't legitimately married to in the Presence of God as witness, you have adulterated your life.
Now we have the genuine and the fake. Try mixing water with gasoline and pump them together inside your car/vehicle and watch what will happen. Your car/vehicle will not function. The same with having a wife you are legitimately married out and keeping a paramour by the side. Adultery not only complicates your life; it makes your life out of whack and provides a veritable opportunity for Satan and his demons to put pepper in your eyes. As Solomon warned in Ecclesiastes 10: 8b: “…whoever breaks a hedge, a serpent shall bite him.” Solomon should know.
The “edge” there refers to the walls of protection that the Lord God erects round those who worship Him in truth and in deed and the moment you sinned as a Christian, especially adultery, Satan who is the old serpent or snake has every legal right to bite you. Whether you are a husband or wife, this spiritual principle applies. But thank God Almighty for His favor and grace; if you committed this sin, you have a second chance. Repent of it, ask for forgiveness and do not repeat it again and move on.
Here is how Apostle John directed all Christian to do right, if you are caught in the web of adultery: “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1: 8-10) CAN A BORN-AGAIN CHRISTIAN DIVORCE? In the Old Testament, the Lord God Almighty commanded that a woman must be a virgin till the time she was ready to be married and if the husband discovered she wasn't a virgin on the day of her wedding, such a woman/lady/girl had played the harlot.
The punishment for such an egregious sexual perfidy before the Lord God Almighty was dearth by stoning. Here is how the law was stated in Deuteronomy 22: 13-21 “If a man takes a wife and, after sleeping with her, dislikes her and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying, “I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,” then the young woman's father and mother shall bring to the town elders at the gate proof that she was a virgin. Her father will say to the elders, “I gave my daughter in marriage to this man, but he dislikes her. Now he has slandered her and said, 'I did not find your daughter to be a virgin.' But here is the proof of my daughter's virginity.” Then her parents shall display the cloth before the elders of the town, and the elders shall take the man and punish him.
They shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give them to the young woman's father, because this man has given an Israelite virgin a bad name. She shall continue to be his wife; he must not divorce her as long as he lives. If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman's virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father's house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father's house. You must purge the evil from among you.”
But this was the law in the Old Testament, but in the New Testament, God Almighty gave all human beings a general amnesty. Joseph the carpenter was not willing to invoke this Mosaic Law on Mary when she was found pregnant with our Savior and so decided to separate from her privately so she would not be stoned. Of course, we know the rest of the story. When our Lord Jesus Christ came to fulfill the law, He didn't abolish the law but indeed fulfill the letter of the law.
He said as much in Mathew 5: 17: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” The Mosaic Law on divorce still stands, but with a tweak; the woman who wasn't a virgin before marriage shouldn't be stoned, rather she should be given grace. Jesus Christ made this point to the Israelites who wanted to invoke this Mosaic Law on the woman caught in the act of adultery in John 8: 1-11. The son of man had come to save not to destroy; consequently, there was room for repentance.
On the issue of divorce, a woman and her husband are supposed to stay together for life as long as they are both alive and cannot divorce, but, here is the great but; if after a man had married a woman and the woman, while married to the man committed adultery-that is, have sex with another man other than her husband while she is still married to the man- the man/husband has the legitimate legal and spiritual right to seek dissolution of such a marriage. Here is how our Lord Jesus Christ put it in Mathew 2: 31-32: “It has been said, 'Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce. But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
The Lord repeated the same words in Mathew 19: 9 thus: “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery." The only reason a born-again man can divorce his wife, according to our Lord Jesus Christ is on the ground of “sexual immorality.” Now, what is “sexual immorality?” All Bible translations refer to the words: “sexual immorality” as “marital unfaithfulness.” This simply means; the woman had sex with another man other than her husband while still married to her legitimate husband. Here we call it cheating. But not so fast, because the next question is; how can a man prove that his wife had cheated on him? Was she caught red-handed? Can you-the man/husband-provide evidence: unassailable, cast-iron and irrefutable evidence that your wife had sex with another man other than you? Are you guessing or have the feeling, rather than prove it beyond doubt? How does a born-again Christian establish that something or an event has taken place while you weren't privy to such an incident or a witness of such an incident, event or act, including a sensitive matter such sex between two adults which normally occurs in
In the Old Testament under the Mosaic Law referenced above, the Lord God Almighty directed that an accusation against anyone and on the issue of adultery and marital unfaithfulness for that matter; unless two people can come forward and say; “Yes, we were there, we saw these two adults-man and woman-having sex,” the accusation shall be discounted and dismissed. Here is how Deuteronomy 17: 6 directed: “On the testimony of two or three witnesses a person is to be put to death, but no one is to be put to death on the testimony of only one witness.”
Two chapters later, the Lord God Almighty warned: “One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses,” (Deuteronomy 19: 15). In accordance with spiritual harmony, Apostle Paul reiterated this principle in 2 Corinthians 13: 1 "Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses." What this boils down to is simple; can two people come forward to swear that they saw your wife having sex with another man?
But even at that, there is still room to kibosh an impending divorce between two born-again Christians. After these two witnesses have been established which is a minimal threshold for establishing the veracity or otherwise of marital unfaithfulness, the husband is to confront the woman/wife and ask; “Here is what I have been told, is it true that you committed such an egregious act?” If the woman denies, there is a silent and obscured bible principle to invoke which most churches do not teach today but is biblical and spiritual.
TWO BIBLICAL GROUNDS TO EXTRACT A CONFESSION IN A DIVORCE CAUSED BY MARITAL UNFAITHFULNESS OR SEXUAL IMMORALITY IN A CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE
When a man/husband has been told by two witnesses who swore that they saw or caught the man's wife in a sexual relationship with another man, naturally the man/husband will be incensed. If after confronting his wife and she denies cheating on you, at that point, the Bible says a spirit of jealousy will overcome the man. This is natural, especially for a born-again Christian man who is spiritually educated and wanted to save his marriage. Since the man/husband really wants to know the real truth from his wife to meet the full requirement of three witnesses, the man is supposed to approach their church pastor and explain everything to him. Please listen carefully here; if the woman/wife affirms the allegation and dares the man/husband, three witnesses have been established according to Deuteronomy 17: 6, 19:15 and 2 Corinthians 13:1 quoted above, consequently, the man/husband should just go ahead and divorce the woman, because with her own mouth, she has affirmed the allegation thus making three witnesses: the two witnesses and her mouth establish the grounds for divorce. As it is written in Matthew 26: 64: "You have said so," Jesus replied.”
When an accused person affirmed an allegation with his/her own mouth, it is spiritually deemed to be evidentiary and thus valid. However, if the woman is still contesting the allegation and discounting the testimonies of the two witnesses that saw/caught her in the marital unfaithful act, here is what the pastor of their church should do according to Numbers 5: 12-31: “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'If a man's wife goes astray and is unfaithful to him so that another man has sexual relations with her, and this is hidden from her husband and her impurity is undetected (since there is no witness against her and she has not been caught in the act), and if feelings of jealousy come over her husband and he suspects his wife and she is impure—or if he is jealous and suspects her even though she is not impure—then he is to take his wife to the priest. He must also take an offering of a tenth of an ephah of barley flour on her behalf. He must not pour olive oil on it or put incense on it, because it is a grain offering for jealousy, a reminder-offering to draw attention to wrongdoing.
The priest shall bring her and have her stand before the LORD. Then he shall take some holy water in a clay jar and put some dust from the tabernacle floor into the water. After the priest has had the woman stand before the LORD, he shall loosen her hair and place in her hands the reminder-offering, the grain offering for jealousy, while he himself holds the bitter water that brings a curse. Then the priest shall put the woman under oath and say to her, “If no other man has had sexual relations with you and you have not gone astray and become impure while married to your husband, may this bitter water that brings a curse not harm you. But if you have gone astray while married to your husband and you have made yourself impure by having sexual relations with a man other than your husband”— here the priest is to put the woman under this curse—“may the LORD cause you to become a curse among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell. May this water that brings a curse enter your body so that your abdomen swells or your womb miscarries. “Then the woman is to say, “Amen. So be it.”
The priest is to write these curses on a scroll and then wash them off into the bitter water. He shall make the woman drink the bitter water that brings a curse, and this water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering will enter her. The priest is to take from her hands the grain offering for jealousy, wave it before the LORD and bring it to the altar. The priest is then to take a handful of the grain offering as a memorial offering and burn it on the altar; after that, he is to have the woman drink the water. If she has made herself impure and been unfaithful to her husband, this will be the result: When she is made to drink the water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering, it will enter her, her abdomen will swell and her womb will miscarry, and she will become a curse. If, however, the woman has not made herself impure, but is clean, she will be cleared of guilt and will be able to have children. This, then, is the law of jealousy when a woman goes astray and makes herself impure while married to her husband, or when feelings of jealousy come over a man because he suspects his wife. The priest is to have her stand before the LORD and is to apply this entire law to her. The husband will be innocent of any wrongdoing, but the woman will bear the consequences of her sin.'”
Many churches and pastors do not follow this principle today, because of either they are ignorant or they just feel this ritual is a pagan or voodoo ritual. But these are direct instructional words from the Lord God Almighty and the scripture cannot be broken. Once a man/husband that is cheated upon knows the truth and threatens to invoke this biblical injunction, a cheating and an adulterous woman/wife will confess. There are some churches today that even decree that once their members are married, they remain married for ever; adultery or no adultery. No wonder many are frustrated and tied down by boredom, rejection, melancholy and dejection; rather than enjoy the Christian freedom and what marriage is supposed to be; they are enduring the Christian Walk.
As our Lord and Savior said in John 8: 32:”Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." Brethren, please take caution here right now; this is not a license to begin to put in motion your ulterior motives toward seeking divorce, because you have read these now. Yes, these are the undiluted Words of Life and like I explained, the scripture cannot be broken. However, the Lord God hates divorce as He said in Malachi 2: 16 but He is also a God of freedom and liberty. Nothing is supposed to enslave us as children of the Most High God, including the institution of marriage. Our Lord Jesus Christ who is God in the flesh stated the ground for divorce as adumbrated above, but meeting those minimum thresholds can be daunting in most cases.
Even at this stage, divorce can still be averted. In the most extreme worst case scenario which we have pointed out in the Numbers 5: 12-31 scripture which may inexorably lead to divorce in a Christian marriage, the woman can still save the marriage. If after she is confronted by her husband and she confesses to the adulterous act and then follows it up by asking for forgiveness, the husband should forgive her. We are commanded in Mathew 18:15 to forgive one another if someone sins against us, including our spouses.
The woman/wife should go and gather the elders of the church they both attend to appeal to her husband for forgiveness. If all else fails and the man/husband cannot bear to stay with such a woman/wife; he is at liberty to seek the dissolution of such marital union. It is biblical and if the man continues to serve the Lord God Almighty with faith, sincerity and purpose by carrying out his God-given assignment on earth, he will enter paradise. These cases applied to Moses who was a divorcee yet made it to heaven; also David, Solomon, and Hosea.
NEXT WEEK: We will look at the issue of divorce from the woman's perspective. What can a woman/wife do when there are irrefutable proofs that her husband has cheated on her. How does she proceed with divorce in the light of biblical principles? We will also look at the issue of what is called: “reconciliation” among divorced couples. Can a man/husband and woman/wife that were once divorce come back together again as husband and wife under any circumstances? Is reconciliation permissible in the Holy Bible? Finally, if space permits, we will look at polygamous relationships in depth.
FULFILLMENT OF 2014 PROPHECIES: In the second and concluding part of our prophecies and predictions for the world in 2014, the Holy Spirit revealed to us that; “Five Hollywood movie stars will die this year 2014.” (Please see the prophecy link here: http://nigeriaworld.com/feature/publication/fayemiwo/010214.html). We are in the second month of the year and the prophecies have been fulfilled already. Here are the fulfillments:
Mr. Philip Seymour Hoffman dead at 46 Oscar winning actor http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/09/fashion/Philip-Seymour-Hoffman-AA-addiction-recovery.html?_r=0 Former Hollywood child star Shirley Temple has died at the age of 85, AP reports http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/agent-shirley-temple-black-dead-85/story?id=22457956 Mrs. Christopher Jones, Hollywood star died Jan 30, 2014 at 72 http://www.newsday.com/news/nation/christopher-jones-actor-who-quit-at-peak-of-career-dies-at-72-1.7006548 Mr. Richard Bull, who played shopkeeper and spouse Nels Oleson on TV's "Little House on the Prairie," died February 3, 2014 at the age of 89. http://www.boston.com/news/nation/2014/02/07/little-house-star-richard-bull-dies-age/2WulmooVpUddfRabiMELLM/story.html Mr. Maximilian Schell, Oscar winner and star at “Judgment at Nuremberg” died in LA on February 1, 2014 at 83. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-brill/maximilian-schell-and-how_b_4716761.html?utm_hp_ref=entertainment&ir=Entertainment
We will continue to explain the fulfillment of these prophecies monthly as we go into the year 2014.
Dr. Fayemiwo, CEO, Alternative Lifestyle Communication, DBA Chicago and co-author of the latest book: “Coming to America,” is head of Global Missions and professor of Biblical Exegesis at Kingdom Bible College and Seminary, Tucson, Arizona, USA. He can be reached at [email protected] Visit his company's website: http://www. allternativecommunication.net/