Divorce and Remarriage:


the Covenant of


MAR'RIAGE, n. The act of uniting a man and woman FOR LIFE; wedLOCK; the legal union of a man and woman FOR LIFE. Marriage is a covenant both civil and religious, by which the parties engage to live together in mutual affection and fidelity, TILL DEATH shall separate them. (Webster's 1828 Dictionary)

PRO' FANE, v.t. TO VIOLATE ANY THING SACRED, or any ordinance of God (such as marriage). To treat it with abuse, irreverence or contempt. To put to a wrong use.

DIVORCE, v.t. TO DISSOLVE the marriage contract, and thus to separate husband and wife. To separate, as a married woman from the bed and board of her husband. To force ASUNDER. To take away; to put away; to part.

...they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let NOT man put ASUNDER. Matthew 19:6

Table of Contents
It is highly suggested that this treatise
be read in order without skipping around.

    The divine institution of marriage is under attack by the church

    A counterfeit grace

    The enemy reproaches us for our rebellious, lukewarm, careless living

    Dumb Dogs

    We must fight for the truth

    In the beginning

    The Purpose of Marriage

    Marriage is permanent


    Reality Graphics

    "It is not lawful for thee to have her."

    "But what about the 'exception clause' in Matthew?"

    "But what if a man is beating me?"

    Marriage VOWS

    "But what shall I do?

    "Well, can I go back to my old spouse?"

    "You are condemning me."

The divine institution of marriage is under attack by the church.

God Almighty instituted marriage in the garden of Eden before the fall of man. Marriage is a DIVINE ordinance, regulated by DIVINE laws that are outlined in the scriptures. Man did not invent marriage and therefore he cannot make the rules of engagement for it. God has made what he calls LAWS for marriage. These are the rules and regulations that govern marriage.

One of the laws of marriage is that it lasts until one of the partners dies. As long as both spouses are alive, they are married in God's eyes.

I Corinthians 7:39 The wife is BOUND BY THE LAW AS LONG AS HER HUSBAND LIVETH; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.

Romans 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he LIVETH?
Romans 7:2 For the woman which hath an husband is BOUND BY THE LAW TO HER HUSBAND SO LONG AS HE LIVETH; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

In spite of this clear teaching, many church people not only divorce their spouses, they commit further iniquity by remarrying while their spouses are still alive. God calls this NEW MARRIAGE adultery. The divorcee is romping around in bed (and having children) with a stranger instead of his or her spouse--

Romans 7:3 So then IF, WHILE HER HUSBAND LIVETH, SHE BE **MARRIED TO ANOTHER MAN**, SHE SHALL BE CALLED AN **ADULTERESS**: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

Let's turn to the gospel of Mark. Here, the Lord Jesus Christ calls divorce and remarriage adultery--

Mark 10:11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, COMMITTETH ADULTERY against her. 10:12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she COMMITTETH ADULTERY.

ADUL'TERY, n. Violation of the marriage bed; a crime, which introduces or may introduce, into a family, illegitimate offspring.

Divorce and remarriage with one or both persons having a living spouse is adultery. The professed church is FULL of adulterers, adulteresses, and bastard children!

A counterfeit grace.

Some statistics indicate that divorce rates are higher among church people than among the unchurched. If this is true, the problem lies with the humanistic/man-centered false gospel that is being preached today. It says that God wants man's happiness and that if you make a "mistake" it's under the blood and you are free to do as you please. Not so. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not about your happiness, it is about your obedience to Jesus Christ. If you are not obedient to Christ you are not saved--

Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal **SALVATION** UNTO ALL THEM THAT **OBEY HIM**

Someone may say, "Are you saying that God won't forgive adultery? He can forgive everything. We are saved by grace. We must remember grace." It is true that we are saved by grace, BUT YOU HAVE THE WRONG DEFINITION OF "GRACE". Definitions are important. Many church people are taught that grace excuses and tolerates sin. That is a lie. GOD IS SO INTOLERANT OF SIN THAT HE BRUISED HIS HOLY, PERFECT, BLAMELESS, BELOVED SON THAT OUR SINS WOULD BE PAID FOR AND WE COULD BE FORGIVEN OF OUR SINS AND ABLE TO LIVE A HOLY LIFE AND LIVE WITH HIM. HOLINESS IS THE LAW OF GOD'S HOUSE (EZEKIEL 43:12). God HATES sin and his grace does NOT condone sin.

God's grace (his divine favour and sweet influences) is laid up for those who love Jesus--

Ephesians 6:24 GRACE be WITH ALL THEM THAT LOVE OUR LORD JESUS CHRISTin sincerity. Amen.

"But I love Jesus." If you do not obey Jesus, you do not love Jesus--

John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, AND KEEPETH THEM, HE it is that loveth me...

II John 1:6 And THIS IS LOVE, that we walk after his commandments...

I John 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

I John 3:24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him.

God's grace is not for the rebellious and disobedient. It will not cover up and ignore your sins. In fact, Titus tells us that God's grace will actually teach you (1) to DENY (not make excuses for) ungodliness and (2) to live right.

Titus 2:11-12 For the GRACE of God THAT BRINGETH SALVATION hath appeared to all men, TEACHING us that, **DENYING ungodliness** and worldly lusts, WE SHOULD LIVE SOBERLY, RIGHTEOUSLY, AND GODLY, in this present world.

God's grace will not cover up sin. IT WILL REPROVE AND REBUKE SIN. If you are not DENYING SIN, you are not working under grace. God's grace is for the righteous, not for rebellious adulterers and whoremongers. It is evil to imply that God's grace is to be used to excuse your adulteries. The Bible says that it is wicked people turn God's grace into lasciviousness (indulgence for base desires--see Jude 1:4). If you repent and turn from your sins, THEN God's grace will be upon you.

The enemy reproaches us for our rebellious, lukewarm, careless living.

A December 21, 1999 Barna Research report begins, "...A new study by the Barna Research Group (Ventura, CA) shows that one out of every four American adults have experienced at least one divorce. One of the surprising outcomes to emerge from the study is that born again Christians are more likely to go through a marital split than are non-Christians."1

In 2001, another Barna poll indicated that "born again" Christians and non-Christians have essentially the same probability of divorce. "'Born again Christians' were defined in these surveys as people who said they have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in their life today and who also indicated they believe that when they die they will go to Heaven because they had confessed their sins and had accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. Respondents were not asked to describe themselves as 'born again' or if they considered themselves to be 'born again.'"2

George Barna, president and founder of the Barna Research Group, reportedly commented: "...the research also raises questions regarding the effectiveness of how churches minister to families. The ultimate responsibility for a marriage belongs to the husband and wife, but the high incidence of divorce within the Christian community challenges the idea that churches provide truly practical and life-changing support for marriages."3

What a blemish on the name of Christ! God is not the God of a group of whoremongers and adulterers. He does not condone divorce and remarriage nor does he accept it. A person may get man's paperwork saying that he is divorced, but in God's eyes, he is still married as long as his wife is alive on this earth. If he remarries he is in a state of adultery.

The Barna survey apparently caused quite a stir. As a result, George Barna wrote a letter to his supporters saying that he is standing by his data, even though it is upsetting. He allegedly commented that, "We rarely find substantial differences" (between the moral behavior of Christians and non-Christians). Barna Project Director Meg Flammang said: "We would love to be able to report that Christians are living very distinct lives and impacting the community, but...in the area of divorce rates they continue to be the same.

Romans 2:24 ...the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you...

The following is taken from the internet--

Ron Barrier, Spokesperson for American Atheists remarked on these findings [from the Barna divorce study] with some rather caustic comments against organized religion. He said: 'These findings confirm what I have been saying these last five years. Since Atheist ethics are of a higher caliber than religious morals, it stands to reason that our families would be dedicated more to each other than to some invisible monitor in the sky. With Atheism, women and men are equally responsible for a healthy marriage. There is no room in Atheist ethics for the type of 'submissive' nonsense preached by Baptists and other Christian and/or Jewish groups. Atheists reject, and rightly so, the primitive patriarchal attitutdes so prevalent in many religions with respect to marriage.' AANews, Posting #699, issued by American Atheists on 2000-JAN-2." 5

The name of God is PROFANED by the people who call themselves by his name and that sit in church pews week in and week out.

Ezekiel 36:20 And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the LORD, and are gone forth out of his land.
36:21 But I had pity for mine holy name, WHICH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL had PROFANED among the heathen, whither they went.

Dumb Dogs

Preachers are not warning their flocks about divorce and remarriage. In fact, pastors (in direct opposition to God's word), remarry divorced people all the time. Church buildings have become adultery factories.

Pastors are supposed to be our watchmen watching for our souls (ref. Heb 13:17), but the preachers are dumb dogs that cannot bark. They won't speak out against divorce and remarriage as adlutery. What kind of watchdog can't bark? PASTORS ARE ASLEEP ON THE J-O-B.

Isaiah 56:10 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.

The dogs don't bark and the people perish for lack of knowledge.

Ezekiel 22:26 Her PRIESTS have violated my law, and have PROFANED mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and PROFANE, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I AM PROFANED AMONG THEM.
Jeremiah 23:11 For BOTH PROPHET AND PRIEST ARE PROFANE; YEA, IN MY HOUSE have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD.
Jeremiah 23:15 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for FROM THE PROPHETS of Jerusalem IS PROFANENESS GONE FORTH INTO ALL THE LAND.

We must fight for the truth.

God's doctrines/teachings for the family are under attack BY THE PROFESSED CHURCH. The true church of the living God must boldly guard against all such assaults by speaking forth God's word on all matters. The church must be jealous for the testimony of God in the midst of an evil, perverse, and wicked generation.

Divorce and remarriage is an explosive issue because it affects so many and intrudes right into the home life. It is not without great thought, trepidation, and somber consideration of the scriptures, that this treatise is written. We must be careful to not let our feelings dictate which gospel truths we will fight for. Jude admonishes us to EARNESTLY CONTEND FOR THE FAITH WHICH WAS ONCE DELIVERED TO THE SAINTS. We must revive the old doctrines that have fallen into disuse...And in this case, God has said that marriage is binding until DEATH. It is a violation of his word to divorce and remarry.

Although this issue affects a great many and will undoubtedly stir up much anger and hostility, that's the way that war is. God's word must be magnified no matter who it may fall on and convict. God's people are a warrior people. We fight FOR the truth and AGAINST the devil and his works.

MANY marriages in the church house are forged in the fires of Satan. MANY are the individuals that find themselves in this horrible situation--those of us who are not in this situation should be very sober because it is only by the grace of God that we are not in it. In the days of our sin and ignorance, many of us could have committed the same grievous error.

It is the goal of this treatise to examine:

  • what marriage is,
  • what it represents,
  • its permanency,
  • how divorce and remarriage is adultery according to the scriptures; and,
  • how God calls men to repent and forsake this sin.

In the beginning...

At the beginning of the creation, God ordained the institution of marriage. He took one man and one woman and joined them together as a single, permanent unit. From that day to this one, this is the pattern for a marriage. The fusion is so complete that God no longer sees the husband and wife as two separate people.

The Lord Jesus appealed to the original creation to establish that marriage permanently joins two people together--

Matthew 19:4 ...Have ye not read, that he which made them AT THE BEGINNING made them male and female, Matthew 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and THEY TWAIN SHALL BE ONE FLESH? Matthew 19:6 Wherefore THEY ARE NO MORE TWAIN, BUT ONE FLESH. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. [also see Mark 10:2-9]

The Purpose of Marriage

God created marriage for specific reasons. In studying the scriptures, we find out that marriage is not ultimately about a man and his wife. It is about Christ and the church. As we continue to gaze at the scriptures, we will see some of the reasons why God made marriage binding until death.

* * *

Point 1 -- There is no marriage between people in heaven. Our earthly marriages are temporary, not eternal. What we need to learn about marriage, we need to learn now.

What we need to learn about marriage, we need to learn now because our earthly marriages will not exist in the kingdom of heaven. The heretical Mormons (aka, Latter Day "Saints") with their teaching of "eternal marriage" have got it wrong.

Luke 20:34 And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, NEITHER MARRY, NOR ARE GIVEN IN MARRIAGE:neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Luke 20:36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.
Mark 12:25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they NEITHER MARRY, NOR ARE GIVEN IN MARRIAGE; but are as the angels which are in heaven.

Being married is not the pinnacle of mankind's existence. In fact, Paul advises that it is good to abide unmarried so that you can serve the Lord without distraction. But all men cannot receive this saying. To avoid fornication, people should get married (only in the Lord).

1 Corinthians 7:1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
7:7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
7:8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
7:9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
7:25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.
7:26 I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.
7:27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.
7:28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.
1 Corinthians 7:32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, HOW HE MAY PLEASE THE LORD:
1 Corinthians 7:33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, HOW HE MAY PLEASE HIS WIFE.
1 Corinthians 7:34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
1 Corinthians 7:35 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.
1 Corinthians 7:36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.
1 Corinthians 7:37 Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well.
1 Corinthians 7:38 So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth BETTER.

At one point, after the Lord Jesus taught on the permanency of the marrige bond, his disciples said,

Matthew 19:10 ...If the case of the man be so with his wife, IT IS GOOD NOT TO MARRY.

The Lord Jesus did not rebuke this response as wrong, but said that all men could not receive it. Some folks need the marriage bed to avoid fornication, meanwhile others make themselves eunuchs (a man who forgoes the physical pleasures of a woman) for the kingdom of heaven's sake.

Matthew 19:11 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.
19:12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

In summary, there is no marriage in heaven and earthly marriage is a distraction. What we are supposed to learn from marriage, we are to learn now (we will more of these lessons in Points Two and Three below). A person does not have to be married to be fulfilled. But those who are weak should marry in order to avoid fornication.

POINT 2 -- Marriage is THE place where a godly seed is raised unto God.

Malachi chapter 2 tells us one reason why God made twain into one flesh. THAT HE MIGHT SEEK A CLEAN, GODLY SEED--children that come as a result of the marriage.

Malachi 2:15 And did not he make one? ...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.
2:16 For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that HE HATETH PUTTING AWAY [divorce]: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.
2:17 Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?

It is clear here in Malachi 2:15 that God has made a man and his wife one so that they can raise up a godly seed to him. In the very next verse he says that HE HATES PUTTING AWAY. When a man puts away his wife and begins a new seed, that is NOT a godly seed. The godly seed was with his lawful wife. Now he has the seed of adultery with his concubine. GOD HATES THIS.

POINT 3 -- Marriage is an allegory, a picture, a type of a greater reality.

We've learned that our marriages are not eternal. We've also learned that a person does not have to married to serve God and that, in fact, marriage is a distraction. What then is the purpose of marriage?

To illustrate how Christ
is joined to the church.

The Bible teaches that God the Father is making a marriage for his Son (ref. Matthew 22:2). Jesus Christ is the bridegroom (ref. Matthew 25:1-13) and the church is his bride.

Across the span of history, the Father has been drawing men, women, boys, and girls (ref. John 6:44) into his kingdom that they might know Christ and dwell in his house forever. The Father selects those that love Christ with all of their heart, soul, mind, strength, and understanding. He selects those that will be obedient to him (ref. Heb 5:9) and submissive to his word--just like a good wife is submissive to her husband.

In Ephesians chapter 5 verses 22-33, Paul gives rules for man and wife and likens this relationship to Christ and the church. For instance,

Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

Ephesians 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Ephesians chapter 5 ends in a strange and interesting way (see v. 32)--

Ephesians 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
5:30 For we are members of his BODY, of his FLESH, and of his BONES.
5:31 For this cause shall a man LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Ephesians 5:30-32 is a quote from Genesis. Adam said this to Eve--

Genesis 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

But in Ephesians 5:32, Paul says this joining ACTUALLY describes Christ and the church--


The first man and woman, Adam and Eve, truly existed and were married, but we must understand that they are for an allegory (a symbolic representation) to show the realtionship between Christ and the church.

Adam represents Jesus Christ who is called, "the last Adam" in I Corinthians 15:45. Adam is called, "the figure of him that was to come" in Romans 5:14. Eve, as the wife, represents the church. Our marriages are symbolic of Christ and the church.

Let's take another look at Ephesians 5:31-32--

Ephesians 5:31 For this cause shall a man LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

When a man marries, he leaves his parents to establish a new home with his wife (Eph 5:31, Gen 2:24). Likewise, a woman leaves her father's headship to be under her husband. But in Ephesians 5:32, Paul says that this is actually referring to Christ and the church. When Christ came to the earth, he left his Father in heaven to take on flesh. He came in our likeness to be joined to us. The Lord Jesus also left the care of his mother Mary (ref. John 19:26-27) in order to purchase and be joined to his bride. Likewise, when we get saved, we leave our father and mother (ref. Luk 14:26) to be under the headship of Christ.

When we come to Christ, God no longer sees us as separate entitites, we become one with Christ--they twain shall become one flesh. We are no longer twain making separate decisions, we are ONE under the leadership of Christ and his word. LET NO MAN PUT THIS RELATIONSHIP ASUNDER. In fact, no man can do it (John 10:29). NOTHING shall separate us from the love of Christ (Rom 8:35-30)

In light of all this, it should be easy to see why marriage is permanent. Divorce/putting away perverts the pattern so that people cannot see great and wonderful spiritual realities.

If you are going to be married,
you should work hard
at symbolizing Christ and the church.
That is what marriage is for.

Here are other scriptures confirming that Christ is the bridegroom and that the church is his bride--

Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB is come, and HIS WIFE hath made herself ready.
19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of SAINTS.
19:9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

The following passage says that we are married to Christ that we should bring forth FRUIT unto God. In earthly marriage, fruit is children. In marriage to Jesus Christ, fruit is good works--those are our children with Christ--


More scriptures confirming our marriage to God--

Isaiah 54:5 For THY MAKER IS THINE HUSBAND; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.

Isaiah 62:4 Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be MARRIED.
62:5 For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and AS THE BRIDEGROOM REJOICETH OVER THE BRIDE, SO SHALL THY GOD REJOICE IN THEE.

When Old Testament Israel was unfaithful to the doctrines of the Lord, he likened her actions to those of an adulterous woman (e.g., see Ezekiel 23:37 and the book of Hosea). Let us be found faithful to the doctrines of our Lord.

Jeremiah 3:14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I AM MARRIED UNTO YOU...

Marriage is Permanent

We have often heard the marriage vow, "Till death do us part". This is not scripture, but it has its basis in scripture. As we discussed in the beginning of this article, the Bible teaches that the only thing that can sever a marriage is DEATH.

When we examine Romans chapter seven, we see that the permanency of marriage is a type or a picture of a great spiritual reality--the fact that in Christ we became DEAD TO THE LAW so that we could be MARRIED TO ANOTHER HUSBAND, CHRIST.

Romans 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
7:2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
7:3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
7:6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being DEAD wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

Heretical groups such as the Seventh Day Adventists try to be married to the Old Testament dietary and other laws (according to their versions of them) and Christ at the same time--it will never work. You are either married to the law or to Christ.

Paul illustrates this great spiritual reality by appealing to the permanency of God's marriage law. This is not difficult to understand, but because men have discarded God's laws concerning marriage, they cannot truly understand passages like these. The rampant divorce and remarriage in the church obscures and DENIES these Bible truths.


The Lord Jesus was asked about the matter of divorce--

Matthew 19:3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away [divorce] his wife for every cause?

The Lord Jesus responded,

Matthew 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

Here the Lord Jesus commands man not to divorce/put away his wife. When two people make their vows before God, God JOINS them together permanently. The only thing that can separate them is death. GOD HATES DIVORCE--

Malachi 2:16 For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away [divorce]...

"But God permits divorce in the old testament!" Yes, and the Lord Jesus explains WHY-
Matthew 19:7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
19:8 He saith unto them, Moses BECAUSE OF THE **HARDNESS OF YOUR HEARTS** SUFFERED YOU TO PUT AWAY YOUR WIVES: BUT FROM BEGINNING IT WAS NOT SO. Mark 10:2 And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him.
10:3 And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you?
10:4 And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.
10:5 And Jesus answered and said unto them, FOR THE **HARDNESS OF YOUR HEART** HE WROTE YOU THIS PRECEPT.

What we learn here is that divorce is for the HARD hearted (Matthew 19:8, Mark 10:5).

H`ARD, a. not easily penetrated, unyielding, unfeeling; insensible; not easily moved by pity; not susceptible to kindness, mercy; unkind; implying blame of another; severe; rigorous.

Moses suffered the people to write a bill of divorcement because the people would have done it anyway, their hearts were so hard--BUT WHEN GOD MADE MAN AND WOMAN, HE NEVER INTENDED THAT THEY SHOULD DIVORCE. He HATES divorce (Malachi 2:16). Divorce papers were enacted to curb the sinful excesses of the Jewish nation--NOT THAT GOD EVER ORDAINED DIVORCE. God's priesthood was forbidden from marrying a divorced woman (Leviticus 21:14), in spite of the writings of divorcement.

A remarriage (while your spouse is alive) constitutes adultery.

The Bible clearly teaches that it is adultery to remarry while you have a living spouse walking this earth.

Romans 7:2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
7:3 SO THEN IF,WHILE HER HUSBAND LIVETH, SHE BE MARRIED TO ANOTHER MAN, SHE SHALL BE CALLED AN ADULTERESS: she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

Some people say, "I got divorced and remarried before the cross, so I'm alright." No, you are not alright because the Bible does not say that. Adultery is not a sin that dies with time. No sin does. If you have a living spouse on this earth and you are married to someone else, Jesus says that you are CURRENTLY an adulterer and whoever is married to you is also an adulterer. Marriage is PERMANENT and binding for ALL men, saved or unsaved. The scriptures are clear.


It is not only adultery for the one who has the living spouse, it is also adultery for the one who is married to the person with a living spouse--

Luke 16:18 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and WHOSOEVER MARRIETH HER THAT IS PUT AWAY FROM HER HUSBAND COMMITTETH ADULTERY.

It does not matter that you went to man's court and got some divorce and remarriage papers that separate you from your spouse in man's eyes. God's law says that you are an adulterer.

The awful reality is that many of the women in our churches today are concubines (live-in girlfriends) and not wives. We are not speaking of the concubines of the Old Testament who were lesser wives, we are speaking of another definition of the word concubine.

CONCUBINE, n. [L., to lie together, to lie down.] A woman who cohabits with a man, without the authority of a legal marriage; a woman kept for lewd purposes; a kept mistress.

Pastors, deacons, and laity in these relationships have households of concubinage.

CONCUBINAGE, n. [See Concubine.] The act or practice of cohabiting, as man and woman, in sexual commerce, without the authority of law, or a legal marriage. (aka shacking up)

Reality Graphics

In the following graphics, you will see the dynamics of what happens in divorce and remarriage...


"It is not lawful for thee to have her."
-- Matthew 14:4

John the Baptist, an holy man of God, died for these words.

The situation was thus--King Herod had married Herodias, his brother Philip's wife (Mark 6:17). John understood the gravity of the situation and told Herod that it was not lawful that he should have his brother's wife (Mark 6:18). Philip and Herodias may have gotten a divorce, but in God's eyes, Herodias was still married to Philip. The adulteress got herself a new husband--and then had John murdered for calling it unlawful. The woman in transgression did not want to hear any opposition to what she had done. She did not want to be called an adulteress even though it was true. It is the same way today. This treatise is sure to stir up some murderous spirits. Dear reader, if this word falls on you, don't justify yourself in your wicked practices. Justify God and the integrity of his word because it is right.

God is AGAINST divorce and remarriage--whether it is a divorced woman or a divorced man. He calls their remarriages adultery.

"But what about 'exception clause' in Matthew?"

Many people say that Matthew permits divorce and remarriage for the cause of ADULTERY. But what do the scriptures say?

Matthew 5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of FORNICATION, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

Matthew 19:9 And 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.

The exception is for the cause of FORNICATION, NOT ADULTERY. Fornication is criminal relations between unmarried persons. This exception in Matthew is for the case of a man who marries a woman whom he thinks is a virgin and finds out on the wedding bed that she is not. This is proven in Deuteronomy chapter 22. This is how it goes. A man gets married and on his wedding night he is looking for the tokens of virginity but there were no tokens--no bloody sheets proving that his woman was a virgin--

Deuteronomy 22:13-14 If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid:

The passage goes on to say that if it was found out that she was not a virgin, she was to be stoned--

Deuteronomy 22:20 But if this thing be true, AND THE TOKENS OF VIRGINITY BE NOT FOUND FOR THE DAMSEL [bloody sheets (or cloth) from the marriage bed] :
22:21 Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.
The "exception clause" that so many tout as a opt-out for marriage is actually for the deceived man who was lied to. He thought he was getting a virgin for a wife and didn't. He got a whore. The woman he married was a fornicator. She had spread her feet for another man. In this case, God allows that man to put her away and marry someone else. If a man is going to marry a woman and have her raise his children and provide for her now and into the future, why should he not expect her to be clean and exclusively his? In today's whoremonger society, most grooms have already plowed with their heifer before they got married so this is not an issue. It would be safe to say that those few who have not plowed generally know that they are not getting a pure, virgin woman, they should have asked and the woman should have told the truth. But for those who are indeed deceived, there is Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9. [Aside: Our righteous sons need to be taught to look for the tokens and they need to let their potential brides know that they are looking for them and if they do not find them, they will put them away. And we need to snatch our children out of the "dating game." When our sons become men desirous of (and able to provide for) a wife, they go out to find a good, clean wife, not a bunch of silly women to waste time on--dating is for the unclean. Time is winding up and America and the world will never be the same again so anybody thinking about marriage needs to think soberly about the state of things before taking that course. Our daughters need to be expected to produce the tokens when their marriages are consummated--and they need to know this from a young age. I discourage marriage in accordance with Paul's advice--it causes trouble in the flesh--but should my daughter marry, I expect it to be (1) only in the Lord and (2) to a good man who has saved himself. I also expect to receive, and keep, the tokens.]

"I still object. Fornication and adultery are the same thing. So if my wife cheats on me, I am free to remarry." Not true. Fornication is unlawful commerce between unmarried persons, whereas in adultery at least one of the criminals is married. In the scriptures, fornication and adultery describe two different sins--

Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

I Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

It must be acknowledged that there are times in the scriptures that both the words, "fornication" and "adultery" can be used somewhat interchangeably to describe unlawful commerce between either married or unmarried persons, but it is obviously not the case in the "exception clause".

Being guiltless in a divorce does not free up a person to remarry.

(1) Matthew chapters 5 and 19 teach that if a BLAMELESS, GUILTLESS woman is put away (divorced by her husband), THROUGH NO FAULT OF HER OWN, SHE IS STILL COMMITTING ADULTERY IF SHE REMARRIES.

Matthew 5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, CAUSETH HER TO COMMIT ADULTERY: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

So if a man divorced his wife just because he did not want her anymore, SHE IS NOT FREE TO REMARRY even though she is blameless. If she does, she commits adultery because she has a living spouse.

(2) If a man puts away his wife because she committed adultery, HE IS BLAMELESS AND GUILTLESS concerning the marriage fidelity. But in the above example, the woman was BLAMELESS AND GUILTLESS YET SHE WAS STILL CONVICTED OF ADULTERY IF SHE REMARRIED. Being guiltless is no grounds for divorce and remarriage.

The "exception clause"of Matthew chapters 5 and 19 does not refer to ADULTERY. It refers to "FORNICATION"--that is the word which is used. Those passages refer to putting away and remarrying in the case of deception on the part of the woman. On the marriage bed, the husband finds out that the woman he married deceived him. This is backed up by the Deuteronomy 22 passage.

So what do we glean from all of this?

  • The husband that puts away his wife and marries another commits adultery.
  • His new spouse is guilty of adultery.
  • The guiltless wife who has no blame for being put away is guilty of adultery if she remarries.
  • Her new spouse is guilty of adultery.

THE VISIBLE CHURCH IS FULL OF ADULTERERS AND ADULTERESSES. What a stunning pronouncement. Yes, the professed church has taken on the world's attitude concerning divorce and remarriage, but God still hates it. It is a violation of his direct and explicit command. We do not hear this thundered from the pulpits because the professed church is worldly. Pastors preach on politics, the 6 o'clock news, the latest movie, their favorite tv show, novels, pet doctrines, etc. But who is warning the people about God's wrath and anger? We are too busy looking at Left Behind (a fiction book) and 666. 666 is going to the lake of fire and GOD IS THE ONE THROWING HIM IN. The church is scared and fearful of the wrong things. WHO fears God enough to run away from sin knowing his wrath?

Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

Let's talk about everything that God does not like, not just sins that go against our "sensibilities." Under the Old Testament, adultery was a capital crime--

Exodus 20:14 Thou shalt not commit ADULTERY.

Leviticus 20:10 And the man that committeth ADULTERY with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, THE ADULTERER AND THE ADULTERESS SHALL SURELY BE PUT TO DEATH.

Deuteronomy 5:18 Neither shalt thou commit ADULTERY.

Proverbs 6:32 But whoso committeth ADULTERY with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.

Under the New Testament, adulterers do not inherit the kingdom of God--

1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, NOR ADULTERERS, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, SHALL INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; ADULTERY, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that THEY WHICH DO SUCH THINGS SHALL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

We are commanded not to keep company with professed brethren who are guilty of fornication--

I Corinthians 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. [yet the church is full of such people]

Whoremongers will have their part in the lake of fire--

Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

"But what if a man is beating me?"
Most of us don't have that problem but nevertheless, the solution is in the scriptures--

I Corinthians 7:10-11 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: BUT AND IF SHE DEPART, let her REMAIN UNMARRIED OR BE RECONCILED TO HER HUSBAND: and LET NOT THE HUSBAND PUT AWAY HIS WIFE.

In other words, you should stay with your spouse, but if you cannot, then depart and remain unmarried or be reconciled to him.

"But what if he divorces me like in I Corinthians 7:15? It says I can remarry." No, it doesn't. Let's take a look. It does not even use the word "divorce". It say that if the unbelieving DEPART, let him DEPART. The situation is if the unbelieving leaves you--divorce or no divorce--

I Corinthians 7:15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is NOT UNDER BONDAGE in such cases: but GOD HATH CALLED US TO PEACE.
7:16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

"It clearly says that a brother or sister is not under bondage." This is not a reference to the marriage vow. It can't be. In the same passage, Paul says that a wife is bound by the law as long as her husband is alive--

I Corinthians 7:39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.

"Then what does it mean?" "Not under bondage" means that you are not under bondage to hunt down the departed spouse in order to perform the spousal role described in the preceding verses, e.g., due benevolence, etc. You are not under bondage to try to do these things as a good witness. The very next verse, verse 16, confirms this--For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife? If a person leaves you, you are called to peace of mind. Don't be sick with worry trying to figure out what your spouse is doing.

If you find yourself loosed from a marriage, let your body go to sleep as you serve God (do your part and keep yourself from evil (including television, etc.); God is able to relax you. Do your part and he will come in with that invisble part)--that is what we are here to do, to serve the Lord. Be loosed and live the work lifestyle.

I Corinthians 7:27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.

The following is an excerpt on the work lifestyle from one of our articles (interlude52.htm--it is about compulsive disorders, but there are precepts there that can be of assistance to any Christian.)--

  • Focus on living the work lifestyle, doing things for yourself, not just sitting around. We don't really work too much anymore. People generally go to a job (which often requires little skill) and then come home and seek out diversions for the rest of the evening. The work lifestyle is different from this. It is a Biblical (refs. 2 Thessalonians 3:10, 1 Timothy 5:14) and satisfying lifestyle. In it, one goes from one task to another. It is self-perpetuating. It has no end and it always seeks out the next good thing that needs to be done. It is on the lookout for what needs to be done. It is so satisfying because of its daily productivity and the results of that productivity--a series of finished products that you did and use yourself, an increase in your skill levels, an attention to your children who are also learning with you and cheering you on, a clean house, a tended garden, clean clothes, a book or article that you have written, something important that you have translated, etc. The work lifestyle makes you a more independent, whole person and reduces stress because things are not left undone. Things left undone bring about stress. The Bible says to be diligent to know the state of thy flocks. You may have no goats; however, you may have a checkbook that needs to be balanced, a house to be organized (clothes, books, cabinets, etc.) a garden that needs to be tilled, or a shelving unit that needs to be built. There is inside work to do and outside work to do. Even if you have no yard for outside work, you can care for the outside of your dwelling, cook your food outside on a small grill, complete useful carpentry projects, take a walk, compost your kitchen scraps, learn about your local fauna (animals) and flora (plants), etc.

    If the old habit calls, you can ask yourself a question, "What should I be doing?" and then you can go and do that thing that you should be doing (not a junk project, something that is good to be done). What happens is that one goes from doing one good thing to the next good thing and quickly finding that they live a life of productivity and usefulness. They find that there is always something to thank God for when rising early in the morning to present oneself before the Lord when rehearsing the previous day's events. I fill up my time with prayer, reading, a morning walk, housework, teaching, yardwork, studying, and communicating. The Bible teaches that we should do all things heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men (ref. Colossians 3:23) and that whatsoever our hand findeth to do, we should do it with our might (ref. Ecclesiastes 9:10). God is watching and helping and leading and guiding his people who are trying to do his will. Our whole lives should be consecrated unto the Lord, including all of our property (grass, leaves, couches, desks, tables, pencils, goats, cars, etc.), and we can serve him whether we are washing dishes or conducting a Bible study.

  • Once you have gotten a level of freedom (this can start from day one), stay free and don't go back and fetch up the old ways. Stay with the work lifestyle and the good new system that works for you as you simply walk onward. All of this advice presupposes that the reader is a Christian, a follower of the the holy scriptures. Stay on your guard because your adversary, the devil, walketh about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. If something is out of bounds (outside of your rules), call it out and stay in bounds. For instance, if your rule is no food outside of mealtimes, don't hearken to that call for an after-dinner "snack." Go do what you are supposed to be doing minding your real and true business, doing productive things. You will find that you are living a useful, productive life going from one completed task to another.


    Depression is not a compulsive disorder, but the simple principle of living the work lifestyle is critically important for those who experience depression. Fornication, whoredom, and naked movies (pornography) have torn up whole families, but I can testify that the evil years can be fruitful years, though they be long. Do not focus on what you do not have in this life. Focus on what you have and what you can do in this life while you are here.

    If you have children, one of the number one things to remember is that they need you. You may be tired and heavy and listless, but get up any way and go on that walk and build up your children's bone density. Identify wild edibles together. Teach them God's word and his requirements of man. Love your children and care for them, they need you. Time spent with them is time well spent. Those narrow shoulders of theirs are young and tender. Be tender, pitiful, and kind. Let your heart be soft, don't let the woes crowd out love and kindness, seek out loving ways and let your eyes be holden with love. Learn how to do this by doing it. Keep on doing this and don't stop. When they don't do what is right, correct them and seek reconciliation, keeping the bond of unity--let not the sun go down upon your wrath.

    You may want to sleep your life away, but get up anyway and do what needs to be done. Your mind may be foggy and forgetful, but concentrate on the task in front of you, take no thought for the morrow, don't focus on the past. You will see your own sort of life emerge, a productive one and you will find yourself fitting into it hardly thinking on what is not going right.

    In the midst of the evils of this present world, I personally have found much pleasure in looking at a montage of dozens of large animal photographs that I cut out of magazines and mounted on kraft paper and hung across a wall. When I look at it, I marvel at God's power and creativity. I also derive much pleasure from being outdoors and working in the yard. When I had very deep and heavy sorrow to where I was almost paralyzed by it, God called me outside where I looked at the flowers and planted and landscaped. I could not think about too much. My mind was like, "Look at the pretty flowers," and that was about all I could think. It was during this time that I came to know God as my nurse.

    Psalms 41:3 The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.

    When I was at my lowest weakest point, I did not go to the seventh-floor mental ward and I did not go on any drugs and I did not go to a psychiatrist--it was God my Father that stepped in and took care of me in my extreme sickness, and he did it in the most pleasant, gentle, understanding way. God is a God that is nigh unto his people and he will continue to be there for his people even through all the pain and tears and loneliness. You may be very sad and heavy and even frustrated at times. Talk to God your Father about this because he can help you and counsel you and heal you in even the most trying of circumstances.

    Psalms 147:3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

    And always read God's word every day and let it break up the hard casing that always seeks to encase and harden the heart.

  • Marriage VOWS

    VOW, n. A solemn promise made to God. In a moral and religious sense, vows are promises to God, as they appeal to God to witness their sincerity, and the violation of them is a most heinous offense.

    When a man makes a vow, God takes it very seriously. In marriage vows, the Bible teaches us that God Almighty joins that man to his wife permanently, until one of them dies. That man and that woman said, "I do." For a man to break that marriage vow and then to make another marriage vow is a lawless, contemptuous act. The new marriage is UNLAWFUL. It is illegal. It is a violation. The words of John the Baptist still ring out across the millenia,

    "It is not lawful for thee to have her."

    The unrepentant will search to the death for a way to believe that their unlawful union is lawful. It is understandable that they want to find a way that God accepts it (especially if there are children involved), but they won't find support for divorce and remarriage in the scriptures. They will have to appeal to some book, some "feeling", some friend, some "scholar" or some pastor that taught them wrong. The confirmation will NOT come from God's word.

    "But what shall I do?"

    The first step in any transgression is to repent. The idea of repentance is more than being sorry for what you have done. It is turning away from your sin.

    There are several examples that we can look at from the scriptures that show us what God expects when he commands us to repent--

    Hosea: God told Hosea to marry Gomer, a woman of whoredoms, to demonstrate how Israel committed whoredom against God. Even after her marriage to Hosea, Gomer committed adultery and had at least one child with another man. The following is the admonition to Gomer--

    Hosea 2:2 Plead with your mother, plead...LET HER THEREFORE PUT AWAY her whoredoms out of her sight, and HER ADULTERIES FROM BETWEEN HER BREASTS;
    2:3 Lest I strip her naked, and set her as in the day that she was born, and make her as a wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and slay her with thirst.
    2:4 And I will not have mercy upon her children; for they be the children of whoredoms.
    2:5 For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink. [my lovers provide for me.]

    Ezra: In the days of Ezra, the Israelites made unlawful marriages with the people of the land. In Ezra nine, Ezra wept and confessed these sins before the Lord. And this is what a man named Shechaniah said to Ezra--

    Ezra 10:2 And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered and said unto Ezra, We have trespassed against our God, and have taken strange wives of the people of the land: yet now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing.
    10:3 Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God TO PUT AWAY ALL THE WIVES, AND SUCH AS ARE BORN OF THEM, according to the counsel of my lord, AND OF THOSE THAT TREMBLE AT THE COMMANDMENT OF OUR GOD; and let it be done according to the law.
    10:4 Arise; for this matter belongeth unto thee: we also will be with thee: be of good courage, and do it.

    The account continues--

    Ezra 10:10 And Ezra the priest stood up, and said unto them, Ye have transgressed, and have taken strange wives, to increase the trespass of Israel.
    10:11 Now therefore make confession unto the LORD God of your fathers, and DO HIS PLEASURE: AND SEPARATE YOURSELVES from the people of the land, AND FROM THE STRANGE WIVES.
    10:12 Then all the congregation answered and said with a loud voice, As thou hast said, so must we do.
    10:13 But the people are many, and it is a time of much rain, and we are not able to stand without, neither is this a work of one day or two: for we are many that have transgressed in this thing.
    10:14 Let now our rulers of all the congregation stand, and let all them which have taken strange wives in our cities come at appointed times, and with them the elders of every city, and the judges thereof, until the fierce wrath of our God for this matter be turned from us.

    Many men had trespassed in this matter, but Ezra takes the time to specifically list the sons of the priests who were in unlawful marriages and so will we. Look at all the names and think of all the families, wives, and children affected. All of these men put away their wives and the children that they begat by those wives because God was displeased--

    Ezra 10:18 And among the sons of the priests there were found that had taken strange wives: namely, of the sons of Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren; Maaseiah, and Eliezer, and Jarib, and Gedaliah.
    10:19 AND THEY GAVE THEIR HANDS THAT THEY WOULD PUT AWAY THEIR WIVES; and being guilty, they offered a ram of the flock for their trespass.
    10:20 And of the sons of Immer; Hanani, and Zebadiah.
    10:21 And of the sons of Harim; Maaseiah, and Elijah, and Shemaiah, and Jehiel, and Uzziah.
    10:22 And of the sons of Pashur; Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethaneel, Jozabad, and Elasah.
    10:23 Also of the Levites; Jozabad, and Shimei, and Kelaiah, (the same is Kelita,) Pethahiah, Judah, and Eliezer.
    10:24 Of the singers also; Eliashib: and of the porters; Shallum, and Telem, and Uri.
    10:25 Moreover of Israel: of the sons of Parosh; Ramiah, and Jeziah, and Malchiah, and Miamin, and Eleazar, and Malchijah, and Benaiah.
    10:26 And of the sons of Elam; Mattaniah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, and Abdi, and Jeremoth, and Eliah.
    10:27 And of the sons of Zattu; Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, and Jeremoth, and Zabad, and Aziza.
    10:28 Of the sons also of Bebai; Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, and Athlai.
    10:29 And of the sons of Bani; Meshullam, Malluch, and Adaiah, Jashub, and Sheal, and Ramoth.
    10:30 And of the sons of Pahathmoab; Adna, and Chelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattaniah, Bezaleel, and Binnui, and Manasseh.
    10:31 And of the sons of Harim; Eliezer, Ishijah, Malchiah, Shemaiah, Shimeon,
    10:32 Benjamin, Malluch, and Shemariah.
    10:33 Of the sons of Hashum; Mattenai, Mattathah, Zabad, Eliphelet, Jeremai, Manasseh, and Shimei.
    10:34 Of the sons of Bani; Maadai, Amram, and Uel,
    10:35 Benaiah, Bedeiah, Chelluh,
    10:36 Vaniah, Meremoth, Eliashib,
    10:37 Mattaniah, Mattenai, and Jaasau,
    10:38 And Bani, and Binnui, Shimei,
    10:39 And Shelemiah, and Nathan, and Adaiah,
    10:40 Machnadebai, Shashai, Sharai,
    10:41 Azareel, and Shelemiah, Shemariah,
    10:42 Shallum, Amariah, and Joseph.
    10:43 Of the sons of Nebo; Jeiel, Mattithiah, Zabad, Zebina, Jadau, and Joel, Benaiah.

    "But that plan is too drastic!" If it pleased God to bruise his precious, blameless Son (Isaiah 53:10) for our wicked carcasses, do not think for one moment that God is not calling you to repent and keep a vow that you made. If Abraham sent away Hagar and Ishmael at God's command, do not think that God does not expect you to get right.

    If you are saved, you can tell God that you are willing to walk uprightly even if your flesh and emotions do not feel like it. Ask him to help you to do what your reason knows is right. You know and believe what the scriptures say, and therefore your reason is in tact because it is taught by the word. This is true even though your flesh and emotions may rant and rave. There is nothing wrong with your mind, you can turn from sin and do what is right by God's grace and help--but are you willing to walk uprightly?

    Nehemiah: Nehemiah lived in the times of Ezra and he too encountered the same problem as he sought to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. The children of Israel were contracted in unlawful marriages with the heathen. Did God say, "Stay with them anyway since you are already in that situation"? The answer is no.

    Nehemiah 13:23 In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab:
    13:24 And their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews' language, but according to the language of each people.
    13:25 And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves.
    13:26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin.
    3:27 Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our God in marrying strange wives?
    13:28 And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son in law to Sanballat the Horonite: therefore I chased him from me.
    13:29 Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites.
    13:30 Thus cleansed I them from all strangers, and appointed the wards of the priests and the Levites, every one in his business;
    13:31 And for the wood offering, at times appointed, and for the firstfruits. Remember me, O my God, for good.

    "Well, can I go back to my old spouse?"

    If you and your spouse separated or divorced and have both remained unmarried, you may reconcile--

    1 Corinthians 7:10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:
    7:11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.

    If you and/or your spouse remarried, then this following section is for your prayerful consideration...

    Moses' command in Deuteronomy 24 forbade going back to the first spouse after remarriage--

    Deuteronomy 24:3 And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife;
    24:4 Her former husband, which sent her away, may NOT take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

    Now in turning over to Jeremiah 3:1 we see that Israel had played the harlot with many lovers and that God divorced her for her adultery (Jer 3:8) but in verses 12-14 he says--

    Jeremiah 3:12 Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, RETURN, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever.

    3:13 ONLY ACKNOWLEDGE THINE INIQUITY, THAT THOU HAST TRANSGRESSED against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD.

    3:14 TURN, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; FOR I AM MARRIED UNTO YOU: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:

    Notice that in verse 14 God recognizes the marriage bond ("I am married unto you") even though he had divorced Israel in verse 8 in accordance with Moses' command in Deuteronomy 24. God told her to simply return and acknowledge her iniquity (v. 13). From the beginning, divorce was not God's will (Matt 19:8) and although God was justified in divorcing Israel, he was willing to forgive her and care for her for he was married to her.

    Israel's adulteries were an odious thing worthy of having her put away in accordance with Deuteronomy 24, and yet God calls her back because he is merciful and willing to forgive. He tells her to repent and return.

    Another example of mercy. When Joseph, the husband of Mary found out that Mary was with child, he, being a just man and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily, even though adultery was a capital offense in Israel (the adulterer and the adulteress were to die). He was minded to have mercy on her. He apparently did not HAVE to deliver over to others. [Note: Mary was no adulteress, she was virgin. The Lord made Joseph aware of what had happened.

    Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

    19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.

    20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

    21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

    22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

    23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

    24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

    25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.]

    Here is another consideration: the Lord Jesus teaches that divorce and remarriage is adultery because the first marriage is still binding. In God's eyesight you are still married to your first spouse.

    [Note: these things do not apply to the only lawful divorce--which is for the cause of fornication (a man though that his wife was a virgin and she was not). That putting away was lawful and permanent. If a man puts away a woman for that cause and then marries again, he is lawfully wedded to his new wife and not the one who deceived him--he will not go back to her.]

    This section contains considerations... The very careful may very well choose to remain to be on the safe side. These are fearful things and this writer cannot answer your question. Remaining a eunuch for the kingdom of heaven's sake is safe (there is much more to life than the marriage bed). God speaks to his people. We must look at the scriptures, repent, pray, live holily, and listen to what God says, not our own ideas.

    "You are condemning me."

    Dear friend, no man is condemning you, God's word is. Someone may say, "What about the woman taken in adultery? He that is without sin, let him cast the first stone." Nobody is trying to kill you, so that does not apply. The part of the story that you need to look at is what Jesus said to the woman--"Go and sin no more." Will you accept that part of the account? As long as you or your spouse has a second living spouse somewhere else, you are committing adultery every time that you are in the marriage bed. And if that is not grievous enough, by remaining remarried you deny that your first marriage is still binding.


    Keywords: divorce and remarriage, marriage, tokens, what does the Bible say about divorce and remarriage?, sin, wrong, exception clause, is divorce and remarriage a sin? scriptures, Authorized King James Version, 1611, is divorce and remarriage wrong?