CHRISTIANITY OASIS ON LINE
  Where Christianity is ...
C-O-O-L
TYPE IN WHAT YOU SEEK WITHIN OUR CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY

CHRISTIAN DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE
Christianity Oasis Ministry has provided you with this Christian Divorce and Remarriage study on Christian Divorce and Remarriage verses. This Christian Divorce and Remarriage book on Christian Divorce and Remarriage meaning looks at the Christian Divorce and Remarriage message and asks what are the Christian Divorce and Remarriage laws, who do the Christian Divorce and Remarriage verses apply to, why is the Christian Divorce and Remarriage message important, what is the Christian Divorce and Remarriage message and how the Christian Divorce and Remarriage message affects your Christian walk. Come and let us seek within the Bible and find the truth of Christian Divorce and Remarriage verses with Christian Divorce and Remarriage message together in this Christian Divorce and Remarriage Bible study, shall we?


 

CLICK ON LINK BELOW TO LEARN MORE ABOUT CHRISTIAN DIVORCE

CHRISTIAN DIVORCE


 

CHRISTIANITY OASIS

PRESENTS

PURITY PUBLICATIONS
 


Divorce and Remarriage

God’s Law and God’s Grace

By Pastor Anthony Tillotson
 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Something About the Writer
Preface
Introduction - Law Versus Grace
Chapter 1 - Prayer, and Working at Relationships
Chapter 2 - Dealing With Adultery in the Church
Chapter 3 - The Domino-Effect of Adultery
Chapter 4 - Forgiveness?
Chapter 5 - Paul’s Judgment in this Case
Chapter 6 - What the Bible Teaches About Relationships
Chapter 7 - The Absolute Sanctity of Marriage
Chapter 8 - The Faithfulness of God
Chapter 9 - Appreciating the Brevity of Life
Chapter 10 - Financial Implications
Chapter 11 - Is the Holy Spirit Within You?
Chapter 12 - Grace and No-Grace
Chapter 13 - Encourage Respect in Marriage
Chapter 14 - Last-Resort Situations
Chapter 15 - Hiding the Sin of Moral Decay
Chapter 16 - After Adultery and Remarriage
Chapter 17 - Age and its Ravages
Chapter 18 - Can an Adulterous Couple be Accepted in a Church Again?
Chapter 19 - Scriptural Facts About Relationships
Chapter 20 - The Glorious Grace of God
Chapter 21 - Illicit Love Will Pass
Chapter 22 - Jesus and His Rival Preacher
Chapter 23 - Duty of Loving Brethren
Chapter 24 - The Power of Grace
Chapter 25 - Adultery - Not the End of Faith
Chapter 26 - Dangers for Young Women
Chapter 27 - Scriptural Proof for This Angle of Grace
Chapter 28 - Chaotic Family Life After a Parent Leaves
Chapter 29 - Bathsheba Remained David’s Wife
Chapter 30
Chapter 31 - What About Homosexual Christians?
Chapter 32
Chapter 33
Chapter 34 - Forgiven… But What Hinders Restoration?
Overview
APPENDIX

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

Something About the Writer...

 The writer is a pastor with 55 years experience in all aspects and branches of the church. It is his desire to help the unfortunates caught up in the saga of sexual sin particularly adultery, fornication, divorce and remarriage.

The writer is also an avid theologian, as well as a pastor of some standing. He is Evangelical in that he believes in the fundamentals of the faith and practices the same. "Being one with the brethren in the service of the Gospel."

There is a great need to view this subject from the point of view of the findings in the word of God about grace. How much grace we still need, when reprehension grips us as we look at these detestable sins in the church.

The Law, unyielding and relentless in pointing every man to a lost eternity, must bow to Grace as a central theme in God's heart. "Where once I was blind, now I see!" However I may view my performance in life as a Christian, it fades into insignificance when faced with The Law! How terrible is its scope! It banished me with a look; it savagely detested my attempts at righteousness! It scorned my religion of self-works!

‘Only by grace are we saved’, is the motto we should adopt for all of our lives. Grace to be saved; grace to live right before God; grace to forgive our sins and our iniquities; grace to oversee us when we do things in our own way; grace to meet our needs; grace to find us when we are slack and becoming worldly; grace in sickness and in dire need; grace which calls us home to Glory in the victory of Christ. Oh, and let us not forget - Grace to forgive others when they sin against us; Grace to repent and to forgive ourselves! THANK GOD FOR GRACE.

 

Preface

This subject has been written about - many times, by various writers - yet all of them have been very vague as to the necessary and clear instruction from God's word concerning repair of the spiritual damage caused by the sin of adultery. It needs dealing with.

The writers of books on Adultery and Re-Marriage, do not seem to want to be on the side of, or to be helpful to, the adulterers. They rather side with the local churches and what appear to be denominationally-motivated Overseers.

Indeed, such reasoning is shown very plainly in the Elim Divorce and Re-Marriage Committee Manual. After deep research into the subject, the book ends with uncertainties concerning the raising-up of a fallen pastor. In short they did not go far enough to restore the fallen pastor, all the way to the restoration of his ministry.

Their ruling is this: Pastors, or any members, who have been guilty of sexual sin, such as adultery, may be allowed back into the Movement (after full restoration of course). Or, any members who had been found in this position. Fine! Then comes the body-blow to the whole principle of forgiveness after repentance.

The ’small print’ insists on another view: if a pastor wishes to return to his ministry within the Movement, having gone through all the disciplines imposed upon him, he, nevertheless, realistically, is restricted by the opinions of the local church, who might consider his suitability for a pastorate. The Elim Movement would obviously tell the local church of this pastor's previous demise. Who is going to allow him a pastorate after that knowledge is revealed?

It becomes a no-go situation for this poor pastor, who has repented truly and is yet barred from his calling. He will have to try again in other local churches to find one prepared to give him an opportunity to prove his ministry again! How will he be able to surge forward, with this revealed knowledge about him firmly in the local church elders' heads, hearts and hands?

Yet, brethren appointed to the task of writing of such a book, in reality, offer no final end-product to back-up the ‘green light’ they have taken great pains to show is available to the previously fallen pastor. It remains practically impossible to re-admit any minister back into fellowship with a local church. Who’s going to open the congregation to a pastor who had fallen?

Admittedly, sexual sin in the local church causes havoc and strife, but isn't there room for grace? Even this sin can be forgiven. Can we not ‘keep the door open’ for brethren who, hopefully, will come to their senses and repent? (After all, this is what scripture tells us). We should be there for such men who fall! Are we not in a battle with principalities? A wounded soldier needs help!

This book contains a useful biography, necessary to clarify much that has been studied in the exegesis by the Elim Movement. The fact remains that adultery is a vile sin firmly condemned by the word of God, and therefore it must be judged as such by a local church where the sin has been perpetrated. Any other conclusion than this is untenable.

I hope that what has written here is a very easy-reading book of absolute truth and logic, for readers who want to see how the local church should act and react, when trouble arises in the matter of adultery amongst its members.

The book is written for us to realise that we, likewise, are all sinners every day, and we all need the cleansing blood of Jesus to wash our sins away. Jesus said: "Let him that is without sin cast the first stone!" We all need saving grace in our own lives.

It is the intention of this writer to show, through the scriptures, The triumph of Grace over The Law, and that there is clear judgment upon the sin of adultery. But I also want to show that, under Grace, it is necessary for the Church to help forgive and restore the willingly repentant adulterers, whose sin is perpetrated in this manner, and which has come before the church for judgment.

We are supposing that a couple is regretting their transgression of The Law of God. If and when Christians who sinned in this manner come seeking direction, and are prepared to fully repent, let it not be the sin of the Oversight to deny them forgiveness.

What did Jesus say about the measure of forgiveness we ought to show? See Matt. 18 v 22: "Seventy times seven!" This is the Lord's yardstick when folks repent.

Eventually, when the tears of repentance are shed and righteousness prevails in the situation, it is right and proper in the sight of God that true forgiveness should be a spiritual action we cannot afford to skimp on! It is a matter of Grace vs The Law.

I have found in life that as I treat others with respect and graciousness, so it becomes easier to forgive others. It is a sadness of mine when I find, to my dismay, that comparatively few folks have a ready-to-forgive spirit.

It is sure that God forgives, and it should be the case that Christians forgive folks whom they have had acquaintance with, who have sinned perhaps against others. Even more so, those who cause direct harm to a person. Forgiveness is a wonderful quality. May we all exercise this wonderful, godly, quality. It is a mandatory obligation on our part as Christians to forgive, because Christ forgave us! Therefore, our responses are vital as to our proof of spiritual life. We forgive, for the Lord’s sake, and we strive to forgive for our own sakes! (See the actual scriptural definitions of forgiveness).

Those not affected by the sins of others, of course, are not called upon to forgive, but, rather, to accept forgiven adulterers on the recommendation of the oversight of the church, when their judgment is scriptural.

The idea here is that when the pastor and elders have forgiven a person, in scriptural manner, it follows that the church members should also accept the judgment upon the adulterers. Preferably, members should not treat the forgiven adulterers any differently from other members of the local church who sin. Treating others as you would like to be treated.

 
 

Law Versus Grace

Introduction

As I have written in the preface, the subject has been treated vaguely by writers on the subject, for various reasons:

  1. Some consider the subject too difficult to deal with, for when dealing with adulterers in the right way, some folk in the congregation - and indeed amongst the Christian media - will be very often offended and even outraged. Some members would leave the church if too much leniency were afforded to the offending adulterers. These refuse to show compassion towards others who have sinned badly, but who now wish to be reconciled to the Lord and to His Church.
     

  2. A writer might be over-lenient as to the adulterer's case, and churches would not agree with such leniency. Therefore, the Christian establishment would not give credence to the writer of such a book. Writers are very unwilling to be on the side of repentant adulterers, Christians or otherwise.
     

  3. Dealing with the adulterers means confronting the seamier side of human nature, our flesh. The couple involved in the sin of adultery, called upon to answer the charge of adultery, must be given full privacy by the elders and the pastor of the local church.
     

  4. Confidentiality. That is, of course, if the adulterers have been willing to make full confession before the elders of the local church. The alternative should not be contemplated, because they will be openly exposed before all the church. Yes, all the dirty laundry of the affair.

It is regretable that when perpetrators of the sin of adultery will not reveal all the facts of their sordid relationship, that the case must be heard publicly before all the church. Grace will need to prevail in these situations, as well as sound judgment.

The obvious reason for this is to protect the unity of the Fellowship. It is also necessary to protect the repentant adulterers. Grace, to my knowledge, under such conditions, is the answer to unyielding Law. When we are willing to confess all our sin, our God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

The Stubbornness of the Law-Demanders

A writer of a book dealing openly with Grace over The Law, could be reviled by his own congregation. Possibly, it might cause an exodus of some of the members, because Grace is just simply not taught anymore - at least not as doctrine. Yet, Grace, to the true Church of God, is everything. "By grace are ye saved, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God." Are we not God’s elect?

Many congregations would treat adulterers as lepers, to be cast-out, to be ostracised, without any Christian counsel and love. Who is going to help such a sad man or woman to have the confidence again to serve the Lord?

What chance would they have of finding another local church where they can be nurtured in the things of God? They will desperately need fellowship. Even if they are cast-out after refusing counsel, they will be very bruised and hurt by it all. Inwardly they would want the church’s care and friendship, which is now denied them.

I don’t think it is a case of not showing remorse, but much rather that they just cannot give each other up. Their sin is that they should never have fallen in love as two adulterers in the first place. Having done so, they are confused, unable to give each other up, and the church they love has turned against them.

Like Adam and Eve they are banished from the Garden of Privilege in the church and are left quite on their own.

Of course, there are couples who have no conscience about adultery because they are not saved at all. It is crucial that Oversights do know their members as faithful servants of the Lord, so that something practical can be done – eventually – for these folks when they fall off cloud nine. The dreadful thing about this so-called ‘love’ is that there is no conscience, no conviction of their sin, and they will reason their situations out to the last. Even the most loyal of members have fallen this way.

Only in the event of such a couple defiantly opposing any scriptural disciplines invoked upon them, should there be cause for the sad pair to be banned from the Fellowship until they fully repent. This might mean for always. The Church has to be prepared for this eventuality.

The weight of the matter should not be overdone by some churches. We have to adopt the stance, ”there go I but for the grace of God.” It is so obvious that this sin is a sin common to man.

I guarantee that if a young female in the church was a good-looking woman and a very handsome young man came on the scene to tempt her, then it is more than possible that she could, similarly, be tempted, even as the unfortunate adulterers were. WE ARE DESPERATELY HUMAN. Only by the grace of God we are what we are.

The whole point is clear: human nature is very vulnerable to these affairs flaring up. Therefore we have to be a lot more understanding about them. Of course, we need to be strictly scriptural, but with that understanding in mind:“There go I but for the grace of God!

 

The ‘Innocent Party’

Very often it will be the case that the innocent party, who is also a member of that local church, will be too broken to face an elders' meeting. Also, the innocent partner might eventually become very malevolent towards the guilty pair, to the extent that it would be impossible for both parties to co-exist in the same fellowship.

Can it be said that the aggrieved innocent party (or parties, as the case may be) is innocent in the sense of being sinless? Motives are hidden deep in the heart of man. "The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked ABOVE ALL THINGS - AND WHO CAN KNOW IT?" Very often, over the years, I have found that the rancour in the so-called ‘innocent party’ corner can be foul and unspiritual to say the least.

Jealous; incensed; the desire to get-even with the partner in the legal marriage who had so badly sinned, and who has been found out. A hellish atmosphere is produced and the result is predictable. How innocent, then, are the innocent parties? Yet, who would dare challenge her or him?

Why do we grovel to the innocent partner’s bitterness of spirit? Don’t they also need counsel? It is rare to find an innocent partner to be humble and sorrowful and pliable in the hand of God in this situation. Instead, there lies within these folks enormously mixed feelings of great hurt, sorrow, grief, disbelief, that the guilty partner has brought about this dreadful betrayal.

However, it is true that other feelings come into the equation, which bring the innocent partner to anger, to get back at the guilty partner, and, eventually, hatred takes over. The hatred comes as a form of jealousy that her husband, in the case of the wife, has bowed to the advances of another woman. The same attitude also goes for the husband who has been betrayed in this manner. 

Yet, an attitude of humility is the only way to find God’s will in the whole saga. It could well turn out that the guilty partner may come back into this atmosphere of real love from the wounded partner. He will find it easier to say no to the partner he had sinned with.

 

Excommunication?

Possibly – but only in the case of an heretic, such as adjudged by John Calvin. Servatus was hounded by Calvin and brought to trial. The judgment imposed was out of Calvin's hands and the penalty for heresy was death - in the most cruel of ways. Servatus died in absolute agony of body and soul! Burnt at the stake.

Who has the right to excommunicate a brother or a sister? Only The Church of Rome uses such a term. Consider the argument for ex-communication: When a couple marry, they enter into a contract. They become married to each other, married to the Church of Rome, and also married to Christ.

It follows. Then, that in accord with Romanist thinking, if a couple wish to divorce, the contract of marriage in their eyes would forbid it. In the eyes of this Roman Church, the offending adulterers would be denied communion, denied access to all grace, and also denied fellowship with God.

The thinking is this: a marriage broken also breaks the covenant between God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost. Something terribly wrong here. The Law prevailing; the Roman dogma also prevails. Here is where the word ‘excommunication’ comes from – the Roman Catholic Church.

Yet it is also true that the Protestant Church must deal with this type of sin by the eventual putting-out of the Church the offending brother or sister. If no repentance is found in them, who, despite being found out and adjudged guilty of such an offence of adultery, try to make evil good, and thereby maintain an outward show of self- righteousness before the whole church… such must be ejected from the church.

God's grace aboundeth more? Unfortunately, this seed of Romanism has passed into the Protestant Church, and is the big reason why churches throw out erring Christians for sins like adultery. We must give such folks our best compassion and practical help. We should not throw such folks out forever, but we should always offer them hope of reconciliation when they cease from their sin.

When challenged, illicit love hurts. Feelings are very real, therefore we must deal with these very real people with a very real problem. Love blinds these folks so much, that they cannot see the wood for the trees. They are not heretics; they are not criminals or vagabonds. They are (assuming the relationship is not just about lust) in love - rightly or wrongly - and they need loving help from loving people, who are gentle and firm in the way of the scriptures.

The Church must try to establish, by discernment of spirit, whether love alone is blinding such folks, or simply plain lust. Tragically it will be many a day before one or other of the party recognizes that she or he has been, and is, an item of lust! The break-up will be inevitable.

We must not read out to them the riot act without first addressing them with much more feeling than church protocol allows. Even democracy has its fair side. It is the attempt to use theocracy against the accused that is reprehensible. We are dealing with real people involved in a much bigger saga than intelligence allows, and it can include pastors as well as church members. Folks do not realise what drives them until it is too late. We fight against principalities and powers, who work on our feelings and weaknesses.

Years later - many years later - a fallen pastor might say, regretfully, “if only I had not looked at her, then I might not have fallen so dreadfully. I have lost my ministry and my wife. I am, of all men, most miserable.”

The local church would have to be seen to be on the side of the innocent party under these conditions. But there is always a possibility that the Oversight will err too much on the side of the wounded party, when they fail to discover the evil of strife breeding great danger in the innocent party’s camp.

Is it any use for the Oversight to be counseling the guilty partners if the innocent partners have long since decided to fight their way through every vestige of sanity left to them, thus making it impossible for the Oversight to reconcile the legal couple? This area must be looked into first before tackling the whole business to hand.

The harmony of the local church is paramount. The fact that the guilty parties will not be able to co-exist in normal harmony in the local church, is more probable than not. No forgiveness from the fellowship, and no way back again into the fellowship.

This is why the local church must work together to bring about an atmosphere where the miracle of restoration may come to pass – that is assuming that the guilty pair have seen the error of their ways, and are ready to go back to their legal partners.

Of course the spiritual innocent party would not be unhappy with this state of affairs. He/she would feel vindicated and relieved to have the guilty partner back. I wish all cases were that simple. I have found that, generally, the innocent partners want to get their own back and, consequently, they worsen the situation. Certainly such folks get a lot of people sympathising with them. All of them make sure the conversations are one-way traffic! 

 

The Rejected Guilty Partner

Under these difficult conditions it is much better for the guilty partner who has repented and who is forgiven of God, yet who has been rejected by the innocent partner, to start all over again in another fellowship. As for the aggrieved partner, the broken heart needs to be channelled into a spiritual pathway, even if that partner cannot accept the guilty partner back again.

It also is my experience that love does work, in some cases, as the innocent partner determines to forgive her guilty partner in a gesture of love for Christ. She or he will be much better suited to fellowship with the local church in the blessing of God under the terms of Grace for the innocent party.

It may be that the innocent party can forgive his/her erring partner, but as for forgiving the other guilty party in the scenario, it may be beyond the innocent party's ability. In this case, the co-respondents should be counseled and encouraged, even if they are repentant, to leave the fellowship - for unity's sake. We are all so terribly human and thus vulnerable to the enemy’s attacks in the wake of this mayhem in the local church, caused by the adulterous pair.

Human compassion has its limits. Besides, it is a lot to expect of anyone. Grace, to them, will need to be prayed about, so that they will be able to forgive, and allow the offence to be left with the Lord. Again, it may be better that the offending party finds fellowship elsewhere and, by compliance, he will show understanding conerning the sensitivity of the situation. Time is a great healer.

None of us is above being tempted! In fact, in many places around the world, where those who people have been fiercely judgmental over another's adultery, those same people have found themselves in a similar position months, or even years, later.

"Let him who is without sin cast the first stone," Jesus said. Sin not only happens with all of us, but many sins escalate - and this is one of them. The sin is so conceived in the mind and brought into the reality of sexual sin. Truly, “the heart is deceitful and wicked above all things, and who can know it."

I remember well a situation where a couple went into a local church and, after the first meeting, they stayed behind to confide in the pastor and his wife about their adulterous relationship.

When the couple returned home the ‘phone rang. It was the pastor they had sought counsel from, and whom they had seen just a short while before. This pastor tore into them so much they were devastated and damaged by this verbal assault.

There was no constructive counsel, no love, no place to go, and no help whatsoever. They were simply cast off from fellowship in that church – period. Here is a classic description of excommunication in a Protestant church.

 

Churches Should Not Use The Word ‘Excommunication’

Where there is an opportunity, there is hope of reconciliation. This is grace.

It transpired that this same condemning pastor and his wife broke up some time later because of adultery. They are no longer married. How careful we must all be when judging others.

Necessarily, there must be discernment and insight into the whole episode, not allowing for human sin, but allowing kindness and firmness. Yet, at the same time, pointing out very lovingly the scriptures they had violated by this illicit love. Time should be offered to the perpetrators of this evil they wrongly call ‘love’, so that in a given time, a way might be found to a satisfactory scriptural outcome for the church and the couple involved in the sin.

Avoiding further mayhem is the wisdom of counseling - but not with compromise. The word of God is the supreme factor which we must honour and vindicate. Whatever the outcome of such debate in the Church, The word is final and conclusive.

 
 

Chapter 1

Prayer, and Working at Relationships

A loving church must understand that there will be many tears and hurts, and attempts by the unfortunate adulterer to run away from the discipline imposed. It is indeed hard for any person who has gone this way of adultery.

There will also be great mayhem in the innocent party's camp as the situation goes on and is not yet resolved. Many folks love to advise and get in on the act. They stir up such a war. Now is it not very obvious that such mayhem will cause the adulterers to run away and begin somewhere else, instead of returning to their former partners? They will sin again by re-marrying as adulterers.

It is vital that the innocent party should make it easier for the repentant partner to return to the family home! Here is the crunch after all is said and done. Is this badly-hurt innocent partner indeed ready to forgive the wayward partner, without reserve and in an atmosphere of calm and humility?

How rare this is! One can sympathise with the hurts of the innocent partner because it is probably the truth that the guilty partner wants to continue in the adulterous relationship, and it is this begrudging attitude that forbids a return to normality in the marriage. It is also sad that the innocent partner does not seem willing to seek counsel because he or she is ashamed.

It is more probable that things have become so badly out of harmony that things have become very sour, if not hostile. The reasoning is simple: the guilty adulterer wants to continue the affair behind the partner’s back in an illicit relationship. Sadly, the innocent partner is very often too ashamed to ask for counsel and help.

The further scenario is that of an innocent party (so called) who is incensed and ready for a war with her husband (or wife), which attitude will end in much aggravation for all concerned in the situation.

Such an aggrieved partner will stop at nothing to get even with the aggrieving partner. Fights might ensue; stone-throwing will intensify the boiling-point atmosphere caused by much malice, so that neither partner can be allowed back into the fellowship. The point here is this: Both sides are in a no-go situation where the so-called innocent party takes the law into her/his own hands.

The whole principle here is to keep the unity of the fellowship at all costs. Only if the parties involved can meet amicably should any church attempt to bring about reconciliation between the parties – there should be an atmosphere where they could at least talk and receive counsel and obey that counsel.

Of course there will be scenarios where one of the parties is bent on having that illicit partner, whereas the other one in the sinful scenario could perhaps show signs of weakening towards common sense and the appeal of the church Oversight.

There will be a tug-of-war, probably ending in the pliable partner being persuaded by the stubborn guilty partner. The relationship is already floundering. This relationship will not last long. The lesson here is for the innocent partner to be absolutely firm, in that the guilty partner must never again meet the other adulterous partner in the saga. Secondly, that true repentance is seen to be working.

The innocent party might not seek for help and counsel and thereby allows the guilty partner to return to the marital home. It is very doubtful that this couple will ever be able to reconcile the marriage whilst the guilty partner has serious sexual problems about the opposite sex! Counsel is absolutely necessary if the couple is to avoid a further and worse situation in their marriage.

Returning to the marital home after one or the other partner has been unfaithful, can only be possible if there is a genuine repentance and a terrible sorrow at what he or she has done to the injured partner and family. The unfaithful partner comes back to a wrecked partner, and a wrecked home life and environment! How will the children view the return? If they are young, it might be relatively easy. But, for older children, they will find it very hard indeed to accept the return.

A beautiful calm lake is rent apart by someone throwing a small stone into it. The ripples go from side to side in minutes. Aggravating this sensitive situation is simply non-productive, and damaging to any hope of return to the harmony the couple had at the beginning, when they were first married!

Only an atmosphere of willingness and of putting away the past is going to help create any sensible conclusion in these cases. Wisdom is to throw no stone that might cause a ripple of further discontent. Ripples turn to waves and waves to torrents. TSUNAMI! 

The church should also understand that the repentant adulterers need to feel love, agape, from the fellow church members. He and she will need trusted folks in the local church to confide in and pray with, as they wrestle together against spiritual enemies. It is the ulitimate anathema that any secret confidences should leak out from the elders to the church.

Very tender pulses drive the repentant heart. It is yet tender and certainly not at all ready for rigorous interrogation. Little by little, let the Holy Spirit bring such a person back to life and sanity in the church. Keep the church alive with readiness to help those who fall in this manner.

Use extreme patience and loving counsel and much prayerful love towards this unhappy person or persons, as the Holy Spirit uses with each one of us! We are those who must give account!

How relevant it is that we who are leaders in the Household of God SERVE those who are in the membership of the local church rather than dictate from the respective denomination’s riot book.

Sometimes, it is necessary that such repentant souls might benefit by going to another Fellowship, rather than to suffer even one careless and unforgiving word from a member. It may be better, after all is said and done, and when all judgment is given, and time and effort has been spent by the pastor and his Oversight. It is not always the best thing to do, to rejoin a couple back into fellowship. Human nature cannot forget. It is a pity that all local churches are not instructed concerning the rights and wrongs of such cases, from the scriptural point of view.

It is very important that the whole church is educated in the art of how to deal with, and to respond to, the situation a local church Oversight is dealing with. It is more than important, but rather it is vital, because in all these cases of immorality dealt with in the church, lack of knowledge of what is going on can so unnecessarily bring gossip and even upset to the unity of the church. The members will then be well-versed in the scriptural aspects of each case.

It may not be possible to mend the damage such relationships have caused in the local church. Under such conditions, the wise thing to do is to move out and start again in a church elsewhere! A good pastor will happily give these folks a good reference.

However, I would admire anyone who is determined to face all the various attitudes of the members of the local church in the spirit of humility. I believe that, in time, the repentant soul will find favour again amongst the Fellowship. God will raise-up such a genuinely born-again soul! He or she might then be in a position to be used of God again in the future.

If someone in the local church is disgruntled for too long, despite the scriptural arguments and appeals for unity, then let them be the ones to leave the church. Bad attitudes stop the flow of God’s blessing. Even after instruction, some folks rather give vent to their feelings. Knowing the scriptures is no guarantee that, in these situations, the parties concerned will behave as instructed. “Ichabod” (the glory has departed) is always the fear even in a good church. It will be a tragedy if a once lovely and useful member of the church is so misguided in this way.

How unthinkable. We, as the Church, must not grieve the Holy Ghost. Better to put out of the local fellowship such a person who is wallowing in accusations and bitterness, or tongue wagging - because scripture demands it, that he/she forgives entirely the sins of others.

The Lord will raise-up the born-again, repentant, adulterers. It is His prerogative to do so. It is His Church! Did He not say, “And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it?” Are we not hewn from the same rock? Are we not vessels made of the same clay?

 
 

Chapter 2

Dealing With Adultery in the Church

The first step of redress is to charge the offender with adultery. Probably, by sheer chance (God sees all) or, should we say by divine intervention, a member of the church has seen the sad couple in a car engaged in more than passing conversation! The blindness of hurried love can be easily found out!

Such illicit meetings in the car would become the regular pre-arranged meeting place. Now, it is the solemn duty of the member who has witnessed that too-close encounter in a car, to face the couple and to demand that they cease from their ‘stolen love’ activity. The alternative would be to inform the pastor of the church.

Of course, only if they will not hear the brother or sister who had seen them so close, or worse, deny it, should the pastor be brought into the situation. Lies come easily to determined lovers. How foolish of them to suppose that Christians are fools who would not find out.

Lying and adultery go hand in hand, even those who had previously never lied since their conversion! Here is a make-believe situation – a fantasy enacted – but it will end in much sorrow. It is also to be understood, that from puberty, when our sexual powers begin to be felt, some adolescents cannot hold their feelings sufficiently when tempted this way.

The weakness continues into adulthood. Others who sin this way know full well what they should be doing when they are tempted, but they choose to ignore their conscience. They are enjoying the attention of a woman not their wife (and vice versa). Other folks do not have such unlawful tendencies towards the opposite sex.

This is a large subject in itself. Only the Holy Spirit conscience is needed in these situations where one is tempted: by a glint in the eye, a wry smile, a forward move on the part of the temptress or tempter. These follow their base instinct. The problems first arise because their pride brings out the sexual weakness. 

 

Are Church Members Blind?

To the contrary, church folks are not dumb or blind. They will find out! Church folks are very smart in finding out about the actions of sinful folks in the congregation! One of them is bound to see or hear something that will lead to the exposure of the adulterers. I am certain that the Holy Spirit of God is very quick to bring to attention these illicit meetings to the flock of God. He will show someone, and the ‘game’ will soon be over (the game of deception).

Unfortunately, the adulterers do not suspect that the church will find them out. It is the one scenario they will not have anticipated. The Lord has many ways of making the truth about the sin of adultery become known to the local church.

There are eager principalities; there are myriads of angels who are sent from the Lord as His messengers! God is on the side of the married partner who is left in the dark as to the escapades of the traitorous partner.

Such a situation will eventually be reported to the pastor and fellow elders. They will have no alternative than to put the adulterers out of the local church – that is, of course, if the offenders do not quickly repent and seek forgiveness from the Lord and counseling help from the local church.

Much harm can come to the local church. One or more folks will be badly affected. The quicker it is dealt with, the better, for the healing of the church.

It is imperative that the pastor, along with the other elders, have great insight into human nature, so that they shall not easily find aspects of the adultery too distasteful to mention and deal with.

The work of the oversight is to bring to light the sinful works of adultery the adulterers committed (from the scriptural point of view) in the course of the examination, and then to expect repentance from the adulterers. There can be no other conclusion.

Without the couple’s repentance the church has no other choice but to turn them out of the fellowship. The motive of the discerning and wise Oversight is to stop the offensive sin in the church. (2) They will be seeking confessions of repentance from the offending parties. They will need godly wisdom and discernment. If the couple ‘comes clean’, then it will be the mercy and graciousness of the Oversight not to demand the sordid details being revealed. Sin must be stopped immediately. 

If the adulterers cannot honestly and openly admit the sin, and be willing to show repentance to put away the sin, it is sad, but also imperative, that the couple be put out of fellowship.

The responsibility of the erring couple is to be open and willing to accept the elders’ kind words and to repent immediately. Such openness revealed in this manner will lead the couple to have their eyes opened, and the truth revealed thereby. It is also vital that the innocent party is counseled to forgive the guilty partner, and that much interaction between church and the now restored couple is undertaken, because the innocent party is not perfect yet. No-one is.

It is also worthy of note that the innocent party will know the scriptural texts, i.e., that she or he can divorce if this is preferred. It has to be faced by the now repentant adulterer that the aggrieved partner does not wish to seek conciliation. She is scripturally entitled to a divorce.

In this case it might be worth the effort by the oversight to plead for the repentant adulterer, who is now willing to return to the aggrieved partner. There is also the scenario where a partner has had several affairs.

It is when the facts are clearly known, that it is very usual that the partner will know all about the scriptures that reveal permission to divorce! She or he may not seek reconciliation. Have the adulterers realised this? What if things go wrong with the illicit relationship? Supposing this love of your life, this ‘beautiful’ illicit relationship, was to end and your marriage is over?

The Guilty but Repentant Adulterer Returning to the Legal Wife

There will be times of deeper hurt than at other times – and for a long time to come. Hurts like this take a long time to mend completely; that is, if they ever really go away. However, God’s grace is always given liberally to the saints who are hurting. The innocent partner is a brick, as we say, to take the adulterer back into the marriage.

However, let not the innocent partner lord it over the guilty partner. Neither let the guilty partner assume too quickly any familiarity that makes the sin of adultery look a mild thing. This sin, committed against God, should cause the repentant adulterers to give due reverence to Him, and also towards the innocent partner. In other words placing new values on the MENDING of the relationship.

 
 

Chapter 3

The Domino-Effect of Adultery

We, in our church, experienced the break-up of our new church because adulterers amongst the flock were found out too late. It was discovered that there were TWO COUPLES caught up in this terrible adulterous wickedness.

This great work had begun with six members and in the 18 months that followed we were in the position of having 150 members. I call the work great, or rather unique, because the work flourished so quickly, and we saw every age group joining the church. Converts and healings were witnessed, showing the Holy Spirit’s presence with this church. 

Unfortunately, probably because of the magnitude of these sins in the new work, there took place an exodus from the church of these same fine people. Can you imagine the hurt, the loss, the failure I felt, as I looked at this broken work in the local church for the last time? “Ichabod” (The glory has departed) was in place in the form of unconfessed sin, and this is how the church was lost. I say broken church, because these sins are devastating even to a well-established church.

The church had bought a one-and-a-half hectare piece of land and was looking forward to building a fine church there. Instead, we had to sell the land and left the area. I was devastated and crushed by all these tragic circumstances. It took a long time for me to recover! A fire station now occupies that parcel of land.

I had to go elsewhere to pastor a church. You will understand something about the anguish I suffered. I even felt responsible for not seeing these scurrilous actions of secret sin within the church much sooner. Perhaps I could have nipped it in the bud, but in reality things had gone too far! It was too late! I will never forget the hurts I suffered when the church finally closed down.

The folks could not believe it, nor did most of them want to stay and learn to eventually forgive those who had perpetrated the sin of adultery. Many folks badly stumbled. It was a pioneer work.

 

The Apostle Paul on this Subject of Adultery

The Apostle Paul gave the following judgment, which, eventually, would become the practice in the Corinthian Church. The erring brother or sister must repent sincerely of his / her sin before God, as shown in 2 Cor. 2 v 6: “Sufficient to such a man is this punishment which was inflicted by many.”

The perpetrator of this sexual sin, of having his father’s wife, was a gross sin, and had to be judged similarly to the charge of adultery. Paul, not being ignorant of the devil’s machinations, taught that this erring brother should be brought back into the fold. We are not told at what stage of the saga he was asked to return, but I guess it would be due to the sorrows of this man. Paul exercises Grace over The Law.

If only, in this century, we were as caring as the great Apostle Paul! This is the way all churches should act when confronting adulterers or fornicators in the church.

 

If No Repentance, Put Them Out

We may not favour any-one into the sin of adultery! Is he / she your best ‘tithing contributor’? Maybe she / he is very wealthy, or very influential with the elders and pastor. It matters not. He / she must be warned firstly, as the news of the adultery has come out. If he / she quickly repents then the whole episode should end in forgiveness and peace for all concerned.

However, if the adulterer / adulteress will not repent, then that person must be put out of the church, no matter who it is. This is the grim decision the church must make. God demands it. The procedure the elders would adopt is to give the offenders at least three warnings. If the adultery is publicly known then the whole church should be party to the decision to cast the erring souls from fellowship.

The man referred to in the 1st and 2nd Books of Corinthians needed to get to a place of real spiritual understanding of his crime against God’s certain laws. He had been put out of the local church as the judgment upon his sin of having his father’s wife.

“Handed over to Satan for a season!” See 1 Cor. 5 v 1-6. The Apostle does not say grace covers this sin! It does not, except, of course, if repentance by the adulterer/adulterers is obvious.

To be “handed over to the devil for a season” should always be the outcome of the Oversight’s banishment from the local church when sin like this is perpetrated against the Laws of God and not repented of.

The judgment of The Law is upon every sinner who is outside of God’s grace. But all who enjoy God’s grace can be forgiven and restored. Those who hesitate in these sins will be put out of the Fellowship, BUT NOT EXCOMMUNICATED. Rather, “for a season.” (A period determined only by the time it takes to repent)

There have been cases (rare, I hope) where a couple has refused to leave the church. How does an oversight react to this scenario? The church officers should get together with the local church, with the motive of full approval being sought by the whole church, to ignore (shun) the offensive couple or person. Being ‘sent to Coventry’ as we say is a hopeless situation for the stubborn adulterers. They will leave eventually.

The only reason they stay is because one or two members are not sure of the facts or not sure of the seriousness of this sin, and will converse with the banished couple and be brought into a compromise situation: dangerous liaisons. Gossip almost always creeps around the fellowship and so an unease with the situation agreed by the pastor and elders might develop. Any undue liaison has to be challenged. 

Why? They may even like the offending couple, so that when the issue is resolved and the couple are asked to leave the church, these misguided members will give them audience and fellowship. They may leave too. The Fellowship must be absolutely solid in their commitment to put out of fellowship those who sin willfully.

If the couple is sent out of the Fellowship “for a season,” it may be that the couple will never return anyway. These are the risks in a scenario where there are folks being judged guilty of adultery, and who are unpredictable in their reactions.

In any event, The local church must stand firm when a member (or members) commit adultery. ‘Every case stands upon it own merit’ is the way forward. The essential ingredient is that these folks are offered a time for them to repent and thus return to the local church in the spirit of humility. What joy there is when this happens.

 
The Criteria

It is imperative that the validity of the accusation of adultery is verified. Without decisive proof, rancour will come, and the couple involved will seek to exploit this lack of evidence. Confusion will surely follow. The couple can lie their way out of being disciplined, and we should not be surprised if this happens. Lying always follows easily along with, and after, adultery.

Their sin-hardened hearts will cause them to leave the fellowship for always. Those who sin, rebuke before all, the scriptures teach. If a couple will not leave the church after this discipline of being cast out of fellowship because of their sin of adultery, it is the wisest approach to offer no fellowship and no co-operation from any member.

In this way there will be no reason for the couple to stay in the fellowship. They are to be ignored. The contempt by them for the church protocol in these situations will make it impossible for the local assembly affected to ever see them return to the fellowship after their sad departure. They grow contemptuous and impudent and Holy Spirit hardened.

However, thank the Lord for those who having been reprimanded and cast out of the assembly, but who return after a time of the Lord‘s chastisement. Just as a lost lamb coming back into the fold is a wonderful blessing. May we always look longingly for his/her or their return, like the father did for the Prodigal son.

 
 

Chapter 4

Forgiveness?

 

The Principle Theme of Grace

Without Jesus dying on the cross and thereby paying the price of our sin, there could be no answer to The Law. But, thank God, Jesus died upon the cross; He was raised from the dead for our justification, our sanctification, our glorification. God’s elect have a rich inheritance.

Therefore, it is paramount that we understand this New Covenant in Jesus wherein all who are His elect, may drink freely of the water of Life. However, it is my strong belief that many who are in adultery, and who are the Lord’s children, should never be put out of fellowship without first pointing out the terrible implications of their sin before an angry God.

Such folks are exposed to His anger without grace. Adultery breaks that Covenant until their sin is confessed. Of course, the couple involved will say: “We are saved for time and eternity!” But are they? The bible qualifies only folks bound for eternal life – the redeemed, the elect, who walk by faith in the footsteps of Jesus. Paul said: ”Examine yourselves to see if you be in the faith.” 

“Whosoever committeth sin is of the devil,” John declares. Adulterers should be counseled in this manner. Committing sin means to practice sin. Adultery is practicing sin. “Because the devil sinneth from the beginning,” John declares; it is obvious that Christians MUST stop committing adultery and thus sinning in this manner. Born-again Christians ought to practice righteousness!

Once the Oversight of the church have lovingly pointed out these condemning scriptures, including the scriptures showing God’s terms of grace, the couple will be made to face the decision that will change the situation or worsen it. Give up the relationship or suffer the grim alternative, to be put out of the church. Like Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden.

Counselors must be sensitive because these folks might love each other very much, or else they would not have been blinded in this situation. Pointing out to them that there is no argument as to whether they love each other or not, the spiritual yardstick is clear:

‘Are they practicing righteousness or are they committing sin?’ If Counselors go for the jugular and say “what they have is lust and it’s got to stop now,” then there is a risk of losing this couple altogether. Love, if it is a strong love, is a blindness which they are (hopelessly) hoping will turn out to be beautiful to all the saints – eventually. This is their mentality. The real sin is in falling in love with partners who are not the legal partners. This is the gross sin. No-one must be under any illusion, falling in love is not an innocent venture when it involves a partner other than the present legal wife or husband. They commit sin from the very first wrong feelings for another partner.

The necessary step of putting out of fellowship the erring couple should nevertheless be a sad step to take by the church, who should pray without ceasing that the couple be convicted of their sin and return to obey the disciplines of the church.

 
The Righteousness of Christ Imputed to Us

The couple could not have understood this, or else they would never have done such a dastardly thing as to commit adultery. Grace tells me that the only terms of this grace are that we walk in grace and value that inner righteousness of Christ. Faith is the spearhead of our inner righteousness in Christ. It pours out as we think, speak, have faith, and live, for Jesus Christ.

It follows then that such couples who have, in principle, sold their birthright (Christ’s righteousness) for a mess of pottage, so to speak, are always in danger of having their faith blown apart. The scriptures tell of folks who “make shipwreck of their faith.” The scriptures tell us that some confessed, with tears, that they had become the enemies of God. It is unfortunate that we all are capable of bringing into fellowship those who seem to be saved.

All we have is their evidence of repentance, initially anyway, and their faithfulness to most of the meetings. How do we know who are heirs of eternal life and those who are imitating these heirs? It is sometimes very difficult to discern. Yet it is crucial in the local church that we do discern who is coming into fellowship (unless they outrightly declare unbelief). Particularly in this generation.

 

A Nice Club?

It is logical in this age of so much violence in public places, that there will be those folks who will opt for a nice club of folks where they can be sure of no violence. To many of these folks a church offers a good club atmosphere. They do not drink, they do not fill up the place with smoke because the members of the church don’t smoke. It is a clean environment for them to be in. They will join in or seem to join in; they will always be there at functions in the church, although they are not very keen on devotional meetings. They always have a golden excuse for not being in them. But they are nice people, very courteous and obliging. But they are wells without water! They are not the redeemed – not the elect.

 
How is this State of Affairs Posible?

It has to be faced that the Church at large is Laodician – neither hot nor cold. There was a time when these folks I mention (who like the church as a good club) would never dream of staying in a church BECAUSE THE HOLY SPIRIT WOULD BE SO STRONG IN, AND UPON, THE PEOPLE IN THE CHURCH, THAT THESE ‘CLUB’ FOLKS WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO STAND IT. It is more than possible that amongst the adulterers in the church are these unsaved folks, masquerading as saved saints. Otherwise, spiritual counsel would be heeded much more than we are witnessing today.

 

Genuine Saints Come Back to the Lord

Nevertheless, it has been proven, countless times, that our lovely Lord Jesus has brought back to the Fold the worst-dyed sinners who started off very well as Christians. God does not forget His own, even when they go astray.

 

Love Shown for a Brother Put Out of Fellowship 

See Paul's entreaty for the condemned man, in 2nd Corinthians, who was put of fellowship for a season. In 2nd Cor. Ch. 2 verse 7: "So that, contrariwise, YOU OUGHT RATHER TO FORGIVE HIM AND COMFORT HIM, LEST PERHAPS SUCH AN ONE SHOULD BE SWALLOWED UP BY OVERMUCH SORROW. WHEREFORE, I BESEECH YOU THAT YOU WOULD CONFIRM YOUR LOVE TOWARD HIM." Here is a classic case of The Law of God being superseded by grace. Undeserved favour.

The kindness and grace of the Apostle is seen in these words above. "Otherwise He could be destroyed." We have no proof in the text referred to, as to whether the fornicator had given up the co-offending woman or not. Grace is that wonderful substance that holds out the olive branch of hope and forgiveness, but if the erring couple are set in their adultery and refuse to leave each other, then there is no other way than to put them out of fellowship – forcibly if need be.

It has to be said that for all the fellowship, including the pastor and the elders and deacons, this decision will be a sad parting, and the sadness of a loved one going away for the last time.

This is, of course, love extending hope from the hearts of all the church that the erring souls will eventually return in the spirit of humility, the humility that is willing to bow to the Lord’s demands. May the Lord grant grace to the Fellowship to love such an one, or both parties, as they rejoice over those who return with repentant hearts. It is a regret for all fellowships when a couple bluster their way through the disciplinary hearing, and will not heed the pleas of that hearing to repent and give up the adulterous partner.

Such a couple who refuse to part from each other should be put out of the local church until they repent. No matter how much love is shown by such a couple, expulsion is the only option. But, equally, it is paramount that the sinning souls must be brought back into loving fellowship, when it is seen by all that true repentance has been made. But otherwise the couple must remain out of fellowship until this Biblical requirement is obeyed.

It is the more likely scenario that the man in the Corinthian Church who was having an affair with his father’s wife had repented, and had given up the woman. Paul is very concerned for the man’s spiritual state if he be left out of fellowship for too long. This is the emphasis and sense of the text. Grace is God's undeserved favour to us who love Jesus. If we do not love in that divine love fashion, then how can we rule in the House of God? “By love compelled.”

In 2 Corinthians Chapter 2 v 11 you will see the sense that I had intimated earlier, "Lest Satan should get advantage over us - for we are not ignorant of his devices." Christian influences are more likely to be beneficial if such folks who had sinned adulterously were disciplined within the church, rather than out of it. Being “handed over for a season to Satan” is a curse no one should want to face. 

 

Wisdom from Above

Paul, no doubt, remembered dire escalations of violence and oppositions by reason of Alexander the coppersmith, who did him much evil! Or Demas, whom Paul failed to keep on course for the Lord, and who went back to his former life and lifestyle. (We do not know to what degree Demas went back "into the world." He could have gone back to his job and his source of income, and family cares. He would compromise in some areas as his family grew up and things got very introverted to the family only. We stop and muse this thought).

In our twenty-first century how raw is this church. How Laodicean; how slack in every part. How many of these 21st century Christians would be able to do better than Demas? Living in the thick of the world around us many amongst us do not know what is worldly and what is not worldly! Our goal is holiness – our standards are Jesus only! Our common commission is to be like Jesus.

It is unlikely that Demas gave up his faith. Paul would never have taken on a man as his close ally who had not first had the credentials of a born-again Christian. I have no doubt that he is in the glory today. This is why we have to be careful in our examination of those who we find in the throws of this terrible sin, which, Jesus says, is amongst the sins common to man. Some we counsel are not saved and have fallen as is their nature. With those we counsel who are indeed born-again, we need to tread carefully, wisely, and thoroughly, stating the facts, and also stating the scriptural reminders of who they are supposed to be – children of light.

See 1 John 1 v 6-9: ”If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and the truth is not in us. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ God’s Son cleanseth us from all sin. (Darkness is this sin particularly.) If we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”

Now here is the crunch for these folks: It cannot be denied by adulterers that they are sinning, so they need to repent, as shown in the following verse: “IF (IF and we will, or IF and we might, or IF and we will not, are the possible Greek meanings for the word “if”) WE CONFESS OUR SINS, HE IS FAITHFUL AND JUST TO FORGIVE US OUR SINS AND TO CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS!” Here are the plain Holy Spirit-anointed words to those born-again saints who commit sin! Don’t be “IFY!” Confess your sin and put it away forever. 

We should take note of Paul's clear ministry of self-denial! Beware lest an innocent-looking task in the family takes up time we need to serve the Lord. It happens. But, equally, it has its antidote in repentance and the washing away of all sin in the blood of Jesus. Do not procrastinate! Do not exhaust God’s patience! Draw on God’s grace whilst you can, by making a full repentance and turning away from the source of your sin.

Perhaps Paul's lifestyle was just too hard for Demas. Paul would lament over him. Paul found the calling of God possible to engage upon and fulfill, because God gave him the strength to go through. "My grace is sufficient for thee.”

He had to live the life of faith to survive. It was too much for him and he returned back to his previous life, which Paul calls “the world.” He could not walk as narrow a way as the Apostle. Of course, this is my opinion of how I see Demas and Paul in their appearance in the word in this place.

Even with John Mark, Paul had to guard against demanding of this dear young man his own disciplined brand of lifestyle. Paul expected a Spartan life-style for John Mark. A problem escalated, and John Mark was relieved of his position as assistant to Paul.

Barnabas, however, was able to bring John Mark to maturity - where, it seems, Paul could not! It was later, when Paul was again imprisoned, that the dear Apostle Paul requests that John Mark should come to assist him again. John Mark had graduated under Barnabas.

I must quickly state that the Apostle Paul was not wrong over John Mark. The whole area of this story concerning John Mark with Paul is to show that we all have differing personalities and that some people respond to some folks more than others. My school days proved that to me.

Teachers who seemed to be kind to me, I responded to, but others I did not respond to. They were very good teachers, but quite detached from sentiment towards the pupil. I felt that the teacher did not like me at all, and that I would not learn much from him.

It is the way we react to certain folks. Maybe Barnabas was different from Paul altogether. Whereas Paul was unrelenting in his deportment from day to day, perhaps Barnabas had a little more time for this learner John Mark, and was able to do more with him than Paul – in a less demanding situation. It is right, therefore, that the whole oversight are not clouded by the dominant views of the others, even the views of the pastor himself. The whole oversight must be guided by the Holy Spirit, to come to a harmony of agreement by the Spirit. 

 

Sowing and Reaping

It is right to suggest that there is a principle here of sowing and reaping. We reap what we sow. Paul was not wrong, but his example and how he lived was perhaps beyond John Mark at that time for him to follow; but the seed had been planted and little by little John Mark was growing in the Lord. John Mark reaped a great deal from working with dear Barnabas. 

See how one person's influence can be effective on a person, whilst another person might not wield such influence. Elderships need this conceding attitude one to the other as they realize how valuable each one is in the counseling of others. Church ministering as it should! How vital is the whole-Body ministry of the local church.

Perhaps Paul could have treated John Mark more delicately – but this is how it was and we have to know that God was ruling overall. Paul taught the merits of the grace of God, but his lifestyle was hard. Barnabas was perhaps gentler, and in a more comfortable environment in which to encourage growth in John Mark. Barnabas was gentle but equally as uncompromising as Paul, as to the Holy Spirit’s requirements in his and Mark’s life.

It is certain, however, that it is God who has His way in the lives of His children, no matter what, and by the lowliest of helps along the way - or the mightiest. He steadily brings His children to maturity. God uses whom He will to help each one of us when we are in need of help in our spiritual walk.

The point of these observations is to show that sometimes when adulterers are brought before the oversight of a local church moving in the principles of the word of God, then it is that same God Who chooses elder brethren who can minister life-giving grace to such folks, and yet WITHOUT COMPROMISE.

In no way are other men necessarily better folks than others when judgment is required. God will use whom He will. Equally so, it is absolutely necessary for there to be strict adherence to the judgment “inflicted of many.” There is no room for lenience beyond the boundaries of the word of God by any of the elders in the local church – repentance, or out of fellowship. Barnabas could have done nothing more with an adulterer if such folks persisted in their sin! Even the Apostle Paul could do nothing, except warn them of the consequences of their sin.

Some elders may be compassionate, yet full of compromising words. Compassion must be confined to the situation and the offending person, and that compassion must be shown with understanding of the person’s plight, weighing it up against the faithful word of God.

Yet that compassion is not mixed with feelings of wanting to ‘get the person off the hook!’ Other elders can be unrelenting, and adamant that punishment should necessitate excommunication.

The point here, again, is the need to detach ourselves from the persons we have to counsel, and judge only as the word of God allows. Showing compassion is not an open cheque to unlimited graciousness outside of God’s word. The Oversight will need to be strictly in command of the situation, allowing for no leniency that might offer a way through for the adulterers to continue in the church. There must be no compromise shown by any of the persons making up the Oversight.

The Apostle Paul shows us the right way to counsel any brother or sister found in the sin of adultery. His attitude was one of ready compassion and care for the offending brother. It is clear that the Oversight should refrain from judgmentalism. Sin is always at the door where tongues speak judgmentally without knowledge! (Judgment is a scriptural command of God, but ‘judgmentalism’ is an human sin.)

 

Terms of Acceptance or Rejection by a Local Church

  1. Full admittance of the offence as charged.
     

  2. That the couple will need to be removed from any officership or position they might have held in the local church.
     

  3. A set time of probation – perhaps 12 months – before resuming any position in the church.
     

  4. They must be under close observation by the Oversight who should, after 12 months, give their recommendations that the brother or sister resume their duties in the church if they have not continued their sin.
     

  5. Restoration is absolutely vital to them, for they also must give account of their works of faith and of righteousness, and of faithfulness in the works they had abandoned when the sin was discovered.
     

  6. The couple should never be seen in company with that opposite sex member he/she had sinned with ever again, without others being present. The innocent partner must be counseled very lovingly and delicately as to whether this situation and conditions are suitable to her. If she is too badly shaken by the whole episode, then it may be that she should be advised to seek fellowship elsewhere, or the guilty pair might be advised to do this even though they have repented. Indeed, if the repentance is genuine they will see it as quite right under the circumstances. It may well be a consequence of the sin they had committed.

 
 

Chapter 5

Paul’s Judgment in this Case

In one Corinthians chapter 5 vs 1-8, Paul saw that trouble could escalate for this church if the fornicator was left undisciplined in the fellowship, without chastisement for his sin of having his father's wife.

The underlying problem might have been that if this man got away with it, other incidences of fornication might follow. In Revelation Chapter 2 v 14, we read about the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. The doctrine Baalam taught was to force idolatry and the resultant moral laxity upon the Israel of his time, and this was a false doctrine designed to seduce many of the people into sexual sin. In the same chapter we also see evidence of the Lord's condemnation of this terrible sin. They ate things offered to idols and committed fornication.

The man guilty of having his father's wife, might well have become embittered. The word "fornicator" is used to describe this unusual sexual relationship. Why the word “fornicator” is used is uncertain. We would call it adultery and/or incest today.

We can be sure that this was a terrible sin which had to be addressed by the oversight of the local church at Corinth. Paul insists that the man be put out of the church. This is what the local church did in obedience to Paul’s instructions.

Paul is equally adamant that such a sinner should not be left out of membership in the local church for too long! "Lest the devil gain an advantage." 2 Cor. 2 v 10-11.

Here is a very grey area in the local church. God forgives, but it is almost impossible for some saints to forgive others who have sunk into the sin of adultery or fornication. Yet here is a classic case of Grace superseding The Law. God forgives. WE MUST FORGIVE.

 

Adulterers Found Out - The Church Aware

There are those who would comment, quite pompously, "If he / she has done it once he / she will do it again." Consider that our God is able to keep such folks from falling. Because of their calling in grace and election, there is always the hope of these folks returning in triumph as they are reconciled to the Lord and to the church. We must be there for them.

If you think it is true, that “if she or he has done it once, he or she will do it again” or that folks would never say that, think again. I know first hand that a couple went to the pastor of a church for help in their plight as adulterers. This pastor said exactly as quoted above: "If you have done it once, you will do it again.”

The facts concerning human nature show how dangerous the tongue is when sharpened by a judgmental mind! In a local church I attended some years ago, there was a question about whether they should accept a couple who were into adultery. A sister was overheard to say: "Why should we forgive them?"

Because Jesus taught it as necessary to our spiritual development! "God is the one lawmaker and judge!" It is God's prerogative to judge how He will. If Jesus could say to all of us who love Him, “Love your enemies,” then we should have far more care and understanding of another’s weakness for sexual sin. It is good to put on record that the pastor who was so dreadfully vilified in this manner, is today married and forgiven and the pastor of a lovely church. God has raised him up again.

 

What Jesus Said to an Adulteress

"Go and sin no more.” He didn't condemn the woman. Why then does it follow that so many get in on the act, so to speak, and spread evil abroad concerning the messy sin of adultery? Judgment is always going to belong to God the Judge, and not to any human being, so "Beware lest ye also be tempted." Do not be deceived.

 
 

Chapter 6

What the Bible Teaches About Relationships

Matthew 5 v 27-32; Matthew 19 v 3-12; Mark 10 v 2-9; Luke 16 v 18. John gives us the account of a woman caught in the very act of adultery. But Jesus said: “Neither do I condemn you – go and sin no more.” He who fulfilled the Law in every jot and tittle saw this woman freed from her tormentors and the devil in particular! Grace does not condemn God’s children, but He gives grace to overcome or go through the fiery trial.

John shows us that grace is always the vital substance in which forgiveness begins and matures in God. The overall emphasis is on the words: “Go and sin no more.” Adulterers, stop sinning and go and sin no more.

See 1 Corinthians Chapter 7, where we see perhaps the only solid New Testament teaching on this vital subject, which gives the local church the authority when dealing with sexual sin.

The Apostle Paul says only what the Ten Commandments taught, and particularly, "Thou shalt not commit adultery." Such commandments are written in the hearts of His own. The Church’s stand is always against sin but, equally, it must show grace where grace is required in a given situation. Grace does not substitute the Law! Grace gives His people power to keep the Law. Grace will come into its own – IF we sin we have an Advocate, and the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanseth us from all sin. Let none of us do despite to the Spirit of grace!

The actual scriptures Jesus used in His debate with the Pharisees are found in Matthew 5 v 27-32, and following from v 28 to v 29 and then v 32.

"But I say unto you that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Verse 27 to 32 reads as follows:

"It hath been said, whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 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.”  Marriage is shown to be indissoluble in the Lord’s debate with the Jews.

We should note that adultery begins in the heart and in the mind and in the eyes. Jeremiah says about the heart: “The heart is desperately wicked and deceitful above all things!”

Chapter 19 vs 3: “The Pharisees also came unto Him, tempting Him, and saying unto Him, ‘Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?’ and Jesus answered and said unto them: "Have you not read that He which made them at the beginning, made them male and female?”

He further went on to say: "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore, they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together let no man put asunder.” It is simple enough what Jesus taught here.

Jesus, speaking to the disciples after the debate with the Pharisees, beginning from v 10: Later, His disciples said unto Him, "if the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry."

But He said unto them: "All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs which were so born from their mothers 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. NOT ALL MEN CAN RECEIVE IT.” Oh consider your position and repent, lest endless grief takes hold upon you!

So there we have it. Thank God we have grace today and not the strict letter of the Law, for many have re-married and are living in sin according to The Law of Moses. I will be showing as best as scripture allows, that Grace is indeed greater than the Law, in that where sin abounds, grace does much more abound. The Law is for Law-breakers who have not received of the grace of God. Jesus (God) has fulfilled the Law in every jot and tittle – FOR US! Yet, let no Christian be a Law-breaker.

Does this make me wrong in my assessments of the rights and wrongs of this sticky subject? No it does not. But what it does do is to highlight the ignorance with which the local churches view sin, particularly sexual-behaviour sin. Attitudes have to change in the churches. Otherwise we will be running out of good men and women in the various positions in the church. If such folks repent, forgive them and restore them completely, as the Lord most surely does.

Can any church today afford to keep putting our of fellowship so many folks who fall by the wayside, without making sure that when they do put them out of fellowship a couple, or any single individual, must be restored to fellowship as soon as they stop sinning? They must come back into the welcoming and loving arms of the fellowship. They must be made to understand that either the position they held will always be there waiting for them, or a similar position at least, upon their return. Obviously, of course, there must be ample evidence of their repentance. Churches must be prepared to show them agape and not lip-service, false-smiling deception!

Jesus alone fulfilled the Law in every jot and tittle so that He might offer grace to us all.

Grace to be saved; grace to give us faith; grace to forgive sins AFTER we are saved. The Law does not come into the equation unless we prefer to live by the Law. Jesus said that if we insist on, or live by, the Law, we will be judged by the Law. Grace helps us to live as the Law would like us to live, but if we fall short we should not be condemned with, or by, the world.

Our rule of conduct is that we abide in His grace. To abide in His grace means that we seek to live as Jesus lived, we love God and His word, we seek to be the best that God can make us, and we go through our trials and temptations by faith in the risen Lord. We wear that glorious robe of the Lord’s righteousness (by faith we stand).

Now, who amongst us has not sinned after his salvation? "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Does the Lord dismiss us as sinners without hope of redemption because we sinned after we were saved? The Law forbids sin, period; but grace is always the gateway to repentance and forgiveness. Indeed, it is only by the mercy and goodness of God that we are able to define what sin is as Christians grow in the Lord. We who have received abundant mercy must show mercy to the Lord’s people who sin but who are today back in the fold.

An elder once advised a repentant pastor, “Sit back in the congregation for four years!” The fact is that no pastor may necessarily be around for four years outside his calling as a pastor. His ministry is called upon as he who must give account. This church should have given the dear man all the help they could to be restored. His work will be cut out as it is, proving himself as a pastor – as he gets the opportunity. As I have said already, he might not get the opportunity. How sad for this man who must stand before the Lord and give account of his life and ministry and works. 

Jesus paid the debt of our sinfulness, we who are the elect of God. He who perfectly fulfilled the Law is able to save His people from their sins, past, present and future. We do not refer to the condemnation of the Law. Christ is the end of the Law.

We can see ample room for grace to be employed here, but under the Law there is no leeway. Under the grace of God there is a host of scriptures to help a couple find peace and forgiveness.

In the Old Testament, stoning was the punishment for such a sin. It has never been modified or rescinded by the Lord God. Where there is no repentance, God is not about to grant anyone grace.

Yet God is faithful where repentance is found. He giveth more grace – to His people, of course. It is gross error to suppose that because two people are in love they can sweep away the Law, the common vows of marriage, and decency itself. God has definitely not designed grace to ignore such unrepentant sin under the banner: “Covered by the blood of Jesus!” 

So what did the Lord recommend? Whose side did He stand by when He was here on earth as the God Man? "Thou shalt not commit adultery" is as clear in the Old Testament as "Thou shalt not kill." But, thank God, Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness. Because it is the Law of God, Jesus came to be our Redeemer TO SET US FREE from the curse of sin and of death. Nothing in the Bible is plainer than these scriptures. Christ is the end of the Law and His righteousness abides with us who love Him.

Jesus, in the New Testament, took God's stand against the Pharisees, confounding them before all, taking on the debate of the Pharisees about this thorny subject, and saying to them clearly, "It was not so in the beginning." He stood on the side of the Law. It was imperative that He should fulfill the Law in every jot and tittle.

Jesus did not come to prove that we could keep the Law. Neither did He command that we live any more by the Law. By becoming the end of the Law, Jesus is the Mediator of this better covenant in His blood. Jesus is our Intercessor and High Priest Who intercedes on our behalf with the Father, Who responds to grace offered on our behalf by His Son.

Being ‘one flesh’ is the real issue in the Lord's debate with the Pharisees. Two becoming one flesh! He knew that these Pharisees could never be one with their wives without them being spiritual people. They were, in the main, hypocrites. They were not going to be corrected by Jesus.

 

Deuteronomy 24

In those days, in theory, a man could have up to four wives, and, using the Deuteronomy 24 scriptures, they interpreted these words to make right their own inability to be satisfied with one wife! Any trumped-up charge against the faithful wife was used to divorce her.

She could be brought before the elders by her husband, who would announce that the marriage was over. All he had to say before the witnesses was: "I divorce thee, I divorce thee, I divorce thee”, and that was that. The poor wife had little to say in these procedures. Yet in no way was this law introduced to make the Deuteronomic Law void.

Eventually, as the centuries rolled by, the Jews could have had up to three or four wives at a time and were almost polygamous by the time of the Lord's ministry. Who were they to judge anyone?

The Pharisees were out to trick and trap Jesus, but, always, the Lord had wise words for them. However, Jesus never openly taught the rigidity of the divorce argument of today as was adopted in Old Testament times.

"I came to set the captives free and to have compassion towards the sick in body, mind, heart and spirit." In another place Jesus said: "I came, not to those who are whole, but to those who are sick." Those who have genuine needs. He is always our Great Physician. Here is grace in operation before He died on the cross.

Indeed, what theologian amongst us can deny that Grace has been shown to the sons of men all down the centuries. Grace to Adam and Eve, even though the couple were thrust out of the Garden of Eden; grace even for Cain, for Samson, for King David, and so on throughout the Old Testament.

We have to include grace in the Old Testament just as surely as we are shown those theophonies (reflections of the Christ) in the Old Testament. He was there as The Word; He was there as the means of grace to Noah in the Great Flood. There would be no world today if there was no grace for fallen man. Christ was offered in eternity, for us.

Now here is something I must present to all who read this book. There are instances in the Bible where there is no normality in the records given to us. What we have come to in our generation, are regulations on relationships purely thought out by the Catholic religion. There is an element of truth in the principles of Romanism on this subject, but much has been added so that the whole of the area of marital relationships has been designed to be for life… or else.

Consider now what the Bible states, the accounts of which are a bewilderment to many who have studied this subject thoroughly. (1) Abraham knew two women, his wife and his concubine who conceived seed by Abraham, who, as the result, brought forth a son called Ishmael – who was thought to be the son of promise – but he was not. In fact the line of Ishmael has caused great problems, and still does in our world today.

Certainly it was not God’s order of the one-woman relationship, and this action by Abraham was so wrong. Yet that is how it was, and why the bondwoman had to be ejected from the home of Abraham, along with the child Ishmael. The point here is that God never for a moment forgot Abraham, and he was still the man whom God chose to be the father of the faith. God always chose grace for His elect.

Now consider David the King of Israel, the sweet psalmist of Israel, who had four wives: Michal (given to him by Saul), Ahinoam, Abigail and Bathsheba. Saul later gave Michal, David’s wife, to another man (Phalti the son of Laish of Gillam).

A further scenario in the Bible that is difficult to ‘theologise’ away is the story of Hosea. God told him to marry a woman of harlotry. He did so, and she ran away as one would predict, but Hosea goes after her and she stayed again with him. How can any rational thinker understand God to be a person who would bring two people together when one partner is a prostitute and the other is a man of God?

God could do this because of the Son of God who should come to redeem His elect – by grace. If the union between husband and wife is so dreadfully binding for life, then this story is a ‘misfit’ picture in the bible. The rigidity of the marriage state is made a mockery of! 

The Bible shows us the purpose - as an allegory of the spiritual state of the people of God, the Israelis. But the whole story conflicts with understanding the pure state of marriage. Gomer was the name of this woman, and she had two children by Hosea. How crazy was that? The genealogy was certainly confusing as Gomer produced children to Hosea the minor prophet of God.

Consider Samson, whose libido, to say the least, caused him to be wildly sexual and completely ungodly. Yet he was a Judge in Israel at the time. He committed adultery countless times no doubt. God allowed the judgment to come upon him for his escapades with women and particularly with Delilah. But he was totally forgiven in a time of strict Law.

Yes, the sin cost him dearly, but he is not brought to account over these women, who included Delilah. He was forgiven. However, he was made a captive of the Philistines and he died as one of the consequences of his sin. But grace made sure this man is in heaven today. He was not meant to end his days the way He did, but that is how it worked out.

I write these examples to show that God has been flexible with His own children when they had sinned. In Hosea’s case imagine how he would have tried to explain this unthinkable association with a prostitute, to the elders of Israel? How does God justify the bringing about of this relationship? Dare any of us judge God?

I write this to show that God is free to do as He wishes in all judgment and justice! The Children of Israel learned by this living horror of Hosea’s relationship with a harlot, about how God saw Israel in His eyes. I also write this reminder of Hosea to show that none but God can justify His own actions, and that even the weakest saints amongst us who fall into adultery can be forgiven by God. Whether in remarriage or not.

Having said that, the greatest problem adulterers face, of course, are the unknown actions of this flexible God, for He is never flexible where sin is concerned! He will forgive one case of a couple of adulterers, but not, perhaps, another couple. God sees the hearts of all. This is His prerogative. None of us can put God into a tightly-shut bottle as the genie of Aladdin’s lamp.

The Christians who engage in adultery, expecting God to forgive them, and continue to go headlong into this remarried situation, may have a great shock as blessings are withdrawn and their spiritual future becomes bleak. No Christian who is thoroughly born-again will lose his salvation by reason of remarriage, but the fact that they will stand before the Judge of all the earth to give account is awesome. “TRIED AS BY FIRE,” Paul reminds us.

The question is, do we deal with cases of adultery by the Law or by the mercy and grace of God? I think that we would do much better to appeal to the scriptures concerning the stewardship of the saints, that they to abstain from adulteries and all anger and sin, and instead cling to grace.

Despite the Spirit of Grace as Hebrews 10 shows us, adulterers are in danger of treading underfoot the holy covenant of God. There is an abundance of helpful scriptures that show every believer who has fallen this way, that they are committing a gross folly. Ejecting them from fellowship if they will not receive counsel is right.

What I am reaching for in these illustrations is to show that marital relationships give a specific responsibility for two people to love one another as much as possible. If things break down and the couple do separate, it is lamentable, but not the end of their spiritual progress. God will work things through according to their decisions, whether right or wrong.

Our earthly sojourn is governed by the Lord Who redeemed us. We who are seen from before the foundations of the world as heirs of grace, shall never fall completely. We are in a fight of faith, and we shall be judged according to our faith and works of faith. Our wrong actions and the works that follow will also be tried. Many of us will indeed be tried as by fire. It is inevitable. Our vision should be to be presented spotless before the King of kings, with our works of righteousness firmly testifying before the hosts of the Lord our spiritual integrity in this life.

I am saying that God is not about to throw folks out of the running for heaven and home, because two people have made a ghastly mistake. Whatever we do in this flesh, we learn lessons by the mistakes we make. All children of God will be chastened, but, equally, such folks shall be brought forth as pure gold. It cannot be denied. Scripture is all for the child of God! God wills our success. “It is God who worketh in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure.”

I know the mighty words oversights use, such as the indissolubility of marriage; the reasoning that these sins are unforgivable, and beyond God’s ability to repair the sinning adulterers’ lives. But, the facts remain, that God has done it before – forgiven and raised up adulterers, remarried or otherwise – despite the predictions of the churches. “His Grace aboundeth more.”

Solomon had 1,000 wives, so how on earth can we pontificate over what folks should, or should not, do in the light of these Bible characters and their actions? We can at best appeal to the couple to have common sense and spiritual values. To remind them of their first obligation to Christ, and the fact of His enormous sacrifice for them. We can show them the teachings of Jesus when He debated the subject with the Pharisees, and say, “If Jesus was the speaker here, which He was, then what you are doing is wrong.”

Look at the splendour of Solomon and his achievements spiritually, in obeying to the letter the instructions of God regarding the building of the temple. The Shekinah glory fell! Yet look to his end. He is eventually found pleasing his heathen wives by allowing their idol groves to appear again. He apparently backslides. The moral can be drawn here that sinning partners will cause both adulterers to backslide. Their idols are each other - for a time anyway - until both wake up and realize their desperate condition before the Living God. 

Two people become one flesh. “Whom God has joined together let no man put asunder.” So, if Jesus emphasised this, albeit under the terms of the Law, then it is right and good to do as Jesus said we should do. The Law demands it, but grace appeals that we live under the favour of God in gratitude. Gratitude is a quality that wants to please God. So do not try to find scriptures that let you off the hook – there aren’t any. Obedience is better than sacrifice.

 

The Illicit Lovers’ Trap

“Oh I love him/her so much I want to risk everything for her/him. I will plead our love on the Day that tries by fire.” Because none of us knows God as He will reveal Himself to be in all His glory and fullness, dare any of us presume upon God in this manner?

How blind such couples become. Despite all our understanding of grace we should remember that God can do as He likes with us and still show Himself to be just. If any of us should insult His Holy Person in this manner, we can never tell how God will act or judge.

God will judge such sins of presumption. The Judgment is supposed to be a judgment of the good works of the saints, when we shall receive golden crowns. What crown will these adulterers wear, who throw away all caution and remarry anyway?

Paul gave us rules about relationships based on the gospels-debate between the Pharisees and Jesus. Again, we should compare the wishes of Jesus and the wishes of Paul, that we ought to be clean in our relationships, and pure in our acceptance of God’s Word as a whole; that sin is sin, and that it needs putting away. We may not excuse ourselves.

The appeal in the light of this evidence is to show that the central issue was given by the Lord, where he says “They two became one flesh,” and “What God has joined together let no man put asunder.” Yes, it is the Law, but it is grace that gives us the power to obey the Lord’s commands. 

Here is a definitive area for the couple to scrutinize before they decide to break-up and leave the legal partners. See that it is the spiritual we have to deal with, and not the letter of the Law.

We can educate such folks in the reminders of the scriptures which teach total devotion to Christ, the need to run the race with patience; we can show from the scriptures how the man in adultery ought “to love his wife as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for it.” For the woman caught up in adultery, we are shown by the scriptures: “wives love your husbands.”

It is right and proper that the expected walk of a Christian is one of self-sacrifice and devotion to the Lord. Those brought before the oversight should be made to see that what they contemplate is against God, and against the nature of spiritual inner conscience.

Working on a couple set on being together regardless of the counsel given, is a difficult one, but if the Oversight can handle the counsel of spiritual responsibilities, then these folks might think again. Oversights should show the couple their unreserved love for these sorry folks, lest they make a mess of their lives and, of course, their potential in the Lord. Spirituality at all costs. If Oversights choose to lean upon the Law and counsel these unfortunates as lawyers, do not be surprised if the sorry pair do not return to the church. No, appeal to the spiritual every time.

Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead, and preached unto the people the Gospel of the Kingdom. “Those who are well do not need a physician." He came to save the lost and the broken-hearted - those who badly needed a physician. The Law has been contested by Grace! It is Grace that dominates the word of God and not the Law.

Jesus took on a disciple named Judas Iscariot, knowing that he would betray Him. He became one of the disciples. Jesus never once reviled him. We should likewise follow Jesus' example. Let us also never revile saints who fall in this manner – lest we also be tempted.

 
Grace in the Local Church

Always, it should be the character of a Christ-like soul to think no evil, leaving judgment to God alone. In a meeting with the elders, and them alone, should a case of adultery be judged as before the Lord. Even then there is a great need for careful and fair scrutiny of the facts. Judgment can only come within the limitations of the word of God, and preferably we do not push the Law at them!

Rather, we appeal to the light of their salvation, their walk in the Lord and the spiritual strengths they had. Show them what they are throwing away. The previously clear testimony which they will be changing for this “mess of pottage.”

It is vital that the whole business be confined to as few folks as possible, so that the accused brother or sister may repent and come back into the fellowship without the other brethren and sisters pointing the finger, for "judgment belongs to the Lord!" However, should the whole sordid business be the latest gossip in the church, it will take the whole church to judge this issue. 

Two Corinthians Ch 2, and reading from verse 6, shows us how to behave when this sin is perpetrated against God and the Church. Paul says, quite clearly, that even though an erring brother or sister has sinned in a wrong relationship, nevertheless such a person should never be left out of the Fellowship for ever.

"Bring back the erring saint, lest he be broken too badly”, and, most importantly, the fellowship will benefit spiritually by its members showing love and care and forgiveness. Embracing the forgiven adulterer is absolutely paramount if the church is to recover and go on with the Lord. Ichabod (the glory hath departed) is always near when we judge others wrongly or discourteously, in dismissing them from the fellowship.

We must give such a man or woman the help to recover himself / herself spiritually and to make sure that those persons grow again amongst the fellowship without recriminations - "LOVE COVERING THE MULTITUDE OF SINS." GRACE HAS ALL THE QUALITIES NECESSARY FOR THE RE-ESTABLISHING OF THE ERRING SAINT.

 
 

Chapter 7

The Absolute Sanctity of Marriage

Where do we get the idea of the sanctity of marriage from? Jesus. He said: “Whom God has joined together let no man put asunder.” He also said of the married couple that “they become one flesh.” It then becomes a holy joining together because God is seen to have joined them so. Here is the great divide.

Christians must understand that for them there is no legal breaking of a marriage that God has joined together. The world will get worse and worse and with it the values of godliness and the need for sanctity in marriage. It is not so with the believer. We have this solemn responsibility to be faithful until death.

How else can children feel safe and look to a freedom of family sanctity too? They need their mothers and fathers; they need the aunts and uncles and grandparents, to feel they are all secure together. The sanctity of marriage is essential for their confidences and their security. It is good, also, to find that going back in the generations, there has been a steady genealogy. It is vitally important.

It might be prudent to remind ourselves of the genealogies found in the Bible going back for thousands of years. This is how our forefathers lived, in faithfulness to their own partners. Christ Himself came through the line of David, and David from the line of Ruth and Boaz.

A sign of the weakness of a generation is immorality and laxity of sexual behaviour. Unfaithfulness. We should be very much into preserving our marriages because we want to please God, and also please our children. Such behaviour will have a huge effect on the behaviour of the following generations.  

Now, let us see exactly what the teaching is from these scriptures on divorce and re-marriage. See v 10 -16 of 1 Cor. Chapter 7: Clearly, marriage, according to the Law of Moses, is indissoluble, but for the exception clause of Matthew 5 v 32 and Ch 19 v 9-12.

I believe it is right, to the best of human ability, to keep marriage vows and laws. I am well aware that the Law is abolished in Christ, but if we are in Christ we will seek to keep His Laws as much as is in us. “His Laws are in our hearts.”

 
Celibacy

"Being eunuchs for Christ's sake" is the final analysis of the Lord's teaching concerning the adulterers who want to be re-married. "Not all men can receive this saying." Jesus here shows that He knew the way of a man and that it would be too hard a saying.

So, can we inflict such a command on a couple? No. The Lord left that word about celibacy open to what a man can take upon himself to do. “Not all men can receive this saying.” They certainly are not able to be celibate unless, of course, they are ‘natural’ eunuchs. That the guilty partner may not remarry is the natural outcome of the argument about the Law. Such an one must remain celibate. I will deal with this aspect later in the book.

Therefore, it is unreasonable for Oversights to insist on this drastic course of counsel for Christians who are in adultery. Again we cannot keep pumping the Law at them. Grace will cause us to try to keep the Law, but the sting of death for non-compliance is, for the Christian, just wonderfully undertaken for him in Christ.

Christians will sin and break the Law – but the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanseth from ALL sin. Hallelujah. Such sinning Christians will repent, and that is precisely what grace awaits. Under the Law, adulterers may not be forgiven and the death penalty is required. However, under the covenant of Grace, there is much forgiveness from the God of Grace to those who sin.

 

The Devoted Adulterers

They are in no mood to end their relationship, vowing to stay together against all opposition. Celibacy will be the very last thing on their minds. We have to reach for the loving but spiritual counsel as an appeal, and not as a Law they HAVE to obey.

This counsel is earthly and does not turn one hair on the adulterers’ heads. They will need grace, and more grace given to them, so that they will know what it means to have the truth presented to them. There is a breaking-point in all true believers’ makeup, when genuine conviction of the Holy Spirit takes hold of them.

Counselors should aim to disarm the couple by this agape love for these blind lovers who once loved the Lord in obedience, to HIM. Disarming by entreaty, by great love for them, by accurate scriptural persuasion. If they do not accept the counsel, then all that is left should be the continuing love for them, even as they are put out of fellowship.

“Cast your bread upon the waters and it shall return after many days” may be the final silent attitude and vision of the Oversight, after casting the couple out of fellowship. Spiritual counseling is to be with faith that this couple will be delivered from such blindness and seek a return - however long that may be. Oversights must pray to this end, as the couple blindly oppose themselves. 

 
The Scriptural Yardstick

See Psalm 103 v 17: “But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting TO THEM THAT FEAR HIM, AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS UNTO THE CHILDREN’S CHILDREN. To such as keep His covenant, and those that remember his commandments TO DO THEM.”

The Oversight’s work will be cut out in presenting the purity of these words, and in showing that what the couple is doing has nothing to do with the essentials of Christianity as exampled above. Christians should always revere His covenants, both the Covenant of the Law and the Covenant of Grace, e.g., Jesus said: “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

Such reasoning is essential when Oversights are counseling adulterers. Reminding the Christian (illicit) couple before them of the glory of Christ; their so-great salvation, and the complete nonsense they are making of their lives. They are doing what the hell-bound sinner is doing. How can God bless their adultery?

Careful building on these suggestions can help the saved adulterers to see their sin as enormous in the sight of God, and, by that renewed sight, they may be persuaded to change course and repent, and give up the adultery. The unsaved adulterer will be turned out of the church anyway, because he will not give a hoot about scriptures – only his lust. 

If the born-again couple can feel that their leaders and Oversight have their welfare at heart, they will respect that loving counsel. They might not, after all is said and done, do as the Oversight appeals for them to do, but it is much more reasonable for them to be leaving the church as mutual friends, and not enemies.

They just might turn right around at some stage and repent, knowing that they are amongst friends who care. Ending on a note of friendship does not have to be hypocritical, because we are dealing with the sin and not the souls who sin in this manner. We put them out of fellowship in the saddest of spirits. I hasten to add that parting as friends does not mean the Oversight agrees with any part of the adultery.

If the adulterers feel they have not been supported, they may also feel they only have one another to turn to. Under the Law, there can be no further association or relationship. But under grace there is an open two-way possible communication with the pair that could eventually repair the whole situation.

Of course, there is the innocent partner. But we hope that she will be praying to that end. It is her solemn responsibility, surely, to encourage her husband back to the Lord and to the legal marriage. She is under spiritual obligation to honour the husband’s sincere repentance, by beginning again to find a place of restoration in the marriage. If it does not happen like this, than the marriage is doomed anyway. Under the terms of the Law she is freed from her obligations to stay with an adulterous husband.

Under the Law, the penalty for non-compliance was death. However, after genuine repentance by the adulterers, grace may provide the grounds to stay in a marriage together - as it was with David and Bathsheba. God does not show favour to one born-again child and not another. We are all His favourites - by faith we stand.

God will bless them both individually and He will see that they are well looked after. But look at David and Bathsheba who suffered blight as the sons of their marriage were killed. The chastisements of God are very hard to bear, and the hurts and memories can last for a lifetime. Consequences come as the result of decisions made. Are the adulterers ready for more problems? They will come anyway.

Have you considered this? Outside of grace, eating of that “mess of pottage” so to speak, David suffered a lost child, a difficult remarriage, a worsening of his kingdom’s situation, and, to boot, a hardened heart as to what he had done. No doubt the whole of the Palace would be a dreadful place of gossip with the hear-say of this situation. David covered up his sin just as adulterers do, according to the nature of adultery. The devil’s attack against David came in this way, by his adultery with Bathsheba. Beware, then, that such a dreadful aftermath will not happen to you by your illicit behaviour.

Was this the sweet Psalmist of Israel? He was “A man after God’s own heart?” None of us can pontificate in these situations, even if the word of God condemns the adulterous couple in their sinful relationship. At the final hearing before the elders of the church, it is the decision of the guilty couple that judges them, as they leave the church still unrepentant. 

In David’s adulterous situation, Grace came in the form of the prophet, Nathan, who revealed the sin of David to him and to those within the hearing of his words. How far away from grace was David now? Only as far as God would allow. Divine intervention came to David when his spirit was most vulnerable. David then repented.

Do we forget these things? I never have. If God is sovereign (and He most certainly is), then He will deal with His elect in His way and timing. With grace came judgment. David had to suffer many things as the direct result of decisions made along his perilous pathway of sin. God did not directly punish David, except by the death of the child born to this misguided pair, and the death of Uriah the Hittite. “He was held to account.”

The rest of the circumstances were as the result and consequence of his children being so rebellious towards him. God will deal with all His elect in His way and timings, too. With grace came judgment. David had to suffer many things in life that would hurt him terribly, not because God punished him so, but because of the natural outcome of a wrong relationship.

God forgave David. How gracious God is. He who saves from the “guttermost to the uttermost” can take care of His wandering children in the hour of their greatest need. There is great hope, even for those who set aside grace and Christ’s imputed righteousness, and who choose again to partake of the fleshpots of Egypt for a season.

Yes, they are in terrible danger. Yes, they could be hardened in sin for a very long time. Yet, A fish jumps off the hook, and yet, because of the patience the fisherman shows, that same fish is finally caught. God will surely bring home to glory his erring children. The local church may lose all patience with the sad adulterous couple, but God never does. One way or another, God will bring his erring children to eternal glory.

There is a peculiarity about today’s church. Who is saved and who is not? The spiritual qualities that used to pervade the meetings are simply not there today. The direct consequences of this lack of spirituality inevitably brings the inquisitive into the midst of assembly life. Souls who are not the Lord’s children by faith, but who merely love to enjoy fellowship with safe people whom they know, do not practice violent behaviour or uncouthness.

Amazingly, such folks graduate in the church. They are well thought of. They are good and faithful in their tithing. They are always there at the meetings, though if they were honest, they do not particularly like the prayer time, the worship times, and devotional times.

They sacrifice something in exchange for the parts of the church times they do like (these types are usually in larger churches). The point is, that these folks need to be rooted-out as unsaved. It appears today that the power of God in the preaching of the Gospel, are not present to convict them of sin and of the judgment to come. In short, such folk are not God’s elect, and never will be. We do not choose God; He chooses us.

To further press the point, it may be that the souls who have persisted in adultery were never the Lord’s children at all. In which case the couples found in these situations have to be questioned and observed carefully, to see if there was any fruit in them.

If they are not saved, then a much different kind of examination should take place before the Oversight of the church, and they must be put out because they are not behaving in a manner expected of a Christian. They will not come back again and they will persist in the sin of adultery.

 

Fallen Pastors and Elders

If you are a pastor who has fallen to this sin, Grace takes care of the sin-barriers when repentance is sincerely offered to the Lord. But, you were once a trusted pastor, a responsible steward of the flock of God, and so it may not materialise as a future ministry in similar manner.

A fallen pastor may never ascend to the position of ministry again. It is a very real fact of assembly life. Have you really considered that possibility? You cannot plan your future in the ministry when other lives are looking in on that future, as the churches will surely do. People will spoil your plans! To put it bluntly, who wants a pastor who has fallen in a sexual sin and in a public manner?

Such a mindset will appear wherever you seek for ministry. You will see that it is God Who will dictate the way you will go. Whether in the ministry, or not in ministry, God controls people.

I read a book by Jamie Buckingham, entitled "Where Eagles Soar." This pastor fell very badly into sexual sin with a young woman. Worse, a child was born out of this sordid relationship. After the terrible mayhem of the scandal caused by his sin, he was put out of ministry in the local church. He eventually secured a pastoral position thousands of miles away. He didn't tell the new church about his terrible sexual sin whilst in charge of the previous local church. He thought it not prudent to reveal it to the Oversight.

You guessed it. He was challenged by accusations about the scandal that occurred in his previous church. Someone recognised his name and ‘blew the whistle’ on this sad pastor. This is how the enemy of souls works in these situations. God allows it to happen, too, if the terms of grace are not satisfied.

350 people in the church signed a document to have him removed from office. Their first complaint at this meeting of the members was that he deceived them, by not telling them of his sin in the previous local church.

Jamie thought it unwise to reveal everything he had done in another State, but the church did not see it that way. They reasoned that if he could deceive them like this, he could deceive them again. He was ‘whipped and on the floor’, so to speak, and he was thrown out of the church. Jamie Buckingham never again assumed the position of a pastor.

He wrote books - good books such as ‘Where Eagles Soar’ - but then he eventually turned to archaeology. He was very keen on discovering biblical sites such as Jericho, and other areas of archaeological interest. He is with the Lord today, praise God. His pain is over. He doesn't have to re-live anymore the horror that put him out of ministry.

 
 

Chapter 8

The Faithfulness of God

God is faithful to both His faithful children and His erring children. Only by grace, through the merits of the Lord's sacrificial death, can it be possible for God to forgive and restore such a person who has violated His laws. Grace says, “Despite The Law and its demands, I will persevere with you until you are firmly secured within the righteousness of Christ!”

Despite these comforting remarks, it is just unthinkable that any of us should take advantage of God’s grace by presumption! We cannot know all about the mind of God. This is why Christians should fear the Lord, holding forth that holy awe of our mighty, holy and glorious God. Christians do not sin willfully without serious redress by the Almighty. 

Now, clearly, God does forgive His children when they repent. But, it is also clear that the Sovereign Lord will decide Himself which way He will apply forgiveness and how He will best deal with that erring but forgiven child.

God may, in His wisdom, only ask of these forgiven souls to remain faithful to the Lord unto death. To others He may choose to re-equip them for higher service. Dare any of us challenge God by saying that He should be impartial and treat all alike? How can any of us judge this omnipotent, omniscient God?

After all, does it really matter about a minister returning to what he thinks is a vital necessity of calling, when the highest ministry is to be faithful unto death? It could well transpire that God will try as silver, the pastor who sinned and who has repented. He would come under the chastisements of God, but then under the guiding hand of the Lord, until he proves his worth in the local church. Let the Lord mould you again!

If such a forgiven pastor works in this humble capacity he may well become a staunch elder and assistant to a pastor, ministering under his leadership. This role you may play “under observation” until God finds you suitable again for the ministry.

This procedure is very necessary, for he who is able to take instruction is also able to lead others. It will do no harm to put yourself under another pastor. You may go further and eventually have a church of your own again. BUT DON’T COUNT ON IT.

There is great joy and reward in serving the Lord in the local church. On the other hand, God can also re-instate an erring, but forgiven, pastor to full ministry. It is entirely God's decision that such a man may go forward into the future in His will, whatever that might turn out to be.

Admittedly. there are pastors who are eventually restored to ministry, but there are also many who are laid aside from the ministry. Think about your precious pastoral calling when you are tempted to commit adultery. It is not worth losing your place in the Church of God! You cannot guarantee that God will reinstate you.

One pastor’s new wife may never be accepted as legitimate wife by a local church! Another pastor’s escapades may already be known to too many people, and therefore he would be refused a ministry application. The list is very large. Only God can make a way where there would otherwise be no way. Be warned.

Who can know the mind of God and the many ways He may deal with these sins? Particularly if your present association with fewer saints is infrequent. Who is going to sponsor you now?

The caution is this: Do not take it for granted that God will forgive you and allow you to be with this new woman of your choice whilst you are in ministry as well! You will need either to have put things right with your wife in reconciliation; or you will need to have truly repented of your terrible sin, forgiven of the Lord, and also forgiven by the local church, to even begin to seek a place in the church again.

If you are re-married it makes the picture more complicated. However, it is not impossible. God may well not use you as He did in your previous marriage. In any case it would not work in the same area where you ‘had let the side down’, so to speak.

None of us can predict how God views individual adultery and its affect on the future, and the after-shocks of it. God is all-wise. He doesn't think like us; His ways are higher than ours. His thoughts are higher than ours.

Are you ready to be willing to take a back seat - even when it seems that things in the church look pear-shaped without you? After adultery and the necessary repentances, there is indeed life, but who can predict how God will work things out in your life? Certainly you cannot go along in ministry as if nothing had happened. Too much has happened for things to role on as they did before your sin.

Only the innocent party in the broken marriage can legitimately be re-married, the Oversight will advise, and quite rightly. But for the adulterers who are cast out of the church, they will inevitably still commit adultery as he/she persists in the relationship. Grace does not compete with the Law in this area.

 
The Web of Remarriage

Marriage, for this sinful man/woman (who will marry, if it can be called marriage) is not, in God's eyes, the end of adultery for this couple. They marry into continual adultery until they repent. As I have said in this book already, under the Law they have no chance of any forgiveness even if they did repent.

Only under the terms of grace can there be any hope of reconciliation with the Lord. Further, it is possible, but not guaranteed, that God can forgive the remarried adulterers – if He chooses. If He should forgive the blighted couple, then He is prepared to take them on in their present marriage. They would not need to divorce. 

It is right and proper that these two folks recognise the horror of their sin before a holy God, and deeply repent of this association in re-marriage. It is ludicrous to expect this couple to part company, as some churches try to insist upon. They need to flee to the grace of God where He will, under the terms of grace, forgive such a couple as they repent from the deep recesses of their hearts. They will learn the hard way that adultery does not pay and that only God’s grace can help them in their time of crisis. 

Such humility before the Lord will bring His compassion to bear such folks in His arms and He may well forgive them both. There is the possibility that according to the circumstances of compatibility (as God sees it) there may be no need to part from the marriage, although the Lord, even then, might require of them a willingness to separate for the Lord's sake.

 
Supposition?

Not in the flow of biblical sense. Sin is a substance that God can remove when His children repent. David and Bathsheba did not separate after repentance. Does God change His mind when similar folk get caught up in these affairs, especially when such sagas have developed over many years and the couples are remarried for a long time.

God is looking at the hearts of these folks and their spiritual ability to find peace with God, and a harmony in the ongoing relationship. It is in the sincerity of the repentance that the will of God is to be found. No two couple found in these circumstances are the same. Gods will do as He pleases in these situations. He alone will decide the future of such couples who sincerely repent. Remember, I am not referring to the Law but to Grace. It is the unmerited favour of God.

How many Christians break that first commandment, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, with all thy soul, with all thy strength and with all thy might?” We all claim so much but, in practice, there is so much lacking. Nevertheless, The Law is broken and the human race would have perished just the same! One has to admit that Grace is that glorious substance that COVERS OUR SINS BY THE APPLICATION OF THE BLOOD OF JESUS.

We are covered daily. Because we are human we are judged by the Law every day – but our Propitiation, Jesus our Redeemer, has taken the sin (original sin) away in His body on the tree! Past, present and future! John points to this in 1 John. Our sins after we are saved are covered by the blood of Jesus.

Some sins we do not recognize as sin for some years into our pilgrimage. Hence John’s writings about “Little Children, Young men and Fathers in the faith. The facts are that as we become aware of our sins, which in some cases are besetting sins, the Holy Spirit works upon us and brings us to repentance.

There has to be both covering and propitiation to shield us from the wrath of God upon both sin and sinner. We are justified for all eternity but still we are accountable to God for our walk down here. Who could stand if we were judged as finely as we deserve? 

Read Matthew Henry on the issue of the broken marriage. He states categorically that sexual unfaithfulness breaks the legal marriage. Where there is no marriage such a guilty partner and the faithful partner are free from the marriage. Celibacy was the natural result of the clever discourse with the Pharisees, by the Lord. In reality it really is too much to expect of an ejected adulterer. 

In reality, appealing to God’s grace is our right today as born-again believers. Wherever repentance comes to those believers caught up in this dreadful sin, He is able and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all righteousness. I could write many words on these truths. The Law is abolished, and today Christ is our Great High Priest Who ever intercedeth for us – thank God.

When we do not keep the Law, God’s grace is available as we learn to repent freely every day. The Law is abolished so that we are able to live freely under grace. The curse is removed from off His people.

Therefore, the Law-Insisters are out to show great mercy to His own – who, in any case, are not Jews bound under the Law. We are Gentiles who have never been under the Law until God opened our eyes to its existence. Now that we are free from the Law anyway, we bathe in the joy of grace.

I hasten to say that Grace does not conflict with the Law, but, rather, Grace found its birth in the death and resurrection of Christ our Propitiation. Thus, Christ is the end of the Law as our Judge. Christ alone is our Judge! Therefore, provided the adulterers are the Lord’s elect, it is absolutely certain that God knows all about it and has already set in motion their deliverance – sooner or much later.

That is not to say that the patience of the local church who are involved with this couple, will not be long exhausted. God is willing to give all His children time “to work out their salvation with fear and with trembling.” The time will come for every one of His own to leave behind the “sin that so easily besets them.” Rewards in heaven may well be small for these folks, but, nevertheless, these sorry folks will be in heaven when he calls each one home, or arrives in great power and glory. They are the Lord’s elect. 

I know the distinctions that are placed upon the guilty partner. This is why we as Christians must lean hard on the grace of God and not keep harping on about the Law which is abolished in Christ. Only the Law gives any credence to the arguments you put forward. Christians are under The Covenant of Grace.

Not all couples who have remarried in the circumstances of adultery are suitably matched in God’s sight, and these remarriages will prove unworkable. He will surely break up such marriages as one or the other partner is convicted of this sin - and so much so that she or he will leave the marriage.

The local church may never see this because it will, perhaps, be far into the future. In a bad match it may be the case that the couple, or one of them, knows the marriage is not good, not spiritual, yet remains in it for the partner’s sake. Such procrastination may be fatal for one or the other. Death may be early for the ‘aware’ partner. John says, “I do not say he shall pray for it.” God is not mocked.

Another example may show that not all couples would be able to have this privilege of staying in the remarriage, simply because of circumstances not conducive to a marital state: Non-suitability for a long-term relationship (God sees all as the Omnipresent and Omniscient One); if the couple remain remarried it could be too costly on the relatives on both sides in terms of hatred for what the couple had done. It is not as straight-forward as it first appears, for a remarriage to continue.

In yet another scenario, a couple would be very unwise to have children together. It was the children, in David’s case, who eventually broke David’s heart. There would be a confusion of genealogies. The case of the pastor and his remarriage is working out and God is blessing them wonderfully. Admittedly they are an older couple – but as I have pointed out, there is no marital intimacy. Neither the husband or the wife are fretting over this, but rather accept it as God’s way for them. 

Only God decides in these cases. David and Bathsheba’s case was very bad, but some relationships, if allowed to continue, could wreck many more lives, including their own, in greater ways than some relationships that God might allow. Grace and God’s foreknowledge is the deciding factor. Otherwise, God would be seen to be unjust.

 

Valid Marriage

The first legal marriage is undoubtedly the one the Lord honours. However, sexual intercourse with another partner who is not the legal wife breaks the contract of marriage. (Matthew Henry says that adultery breaks the marriage contract). In short, there is no marriage.

Putting back the marriage to the state as it was, is not going to be easy, nor is it going to be blessed by the Lord for a long time. I personally think it cannot be done because it had seriously broken that threefold cord promised to the legal marriage.

The difficulty here is, of course, the scriptures themselves on the subject. The only valid marriage is the first marriage. If the adulterers, who are indeed forgiven, marry again, the scriptures from the Law will still condemn them. Yet the problem remains, that sin is always forgivable even in the worst-case scenarios. We must leave room for the intervention of God under the terms of grace.

Yes, as it was for David and Bathsheba. Grace that neither of them deserved. Bathsheba, possibly (and this is conjecture), would have had to consent to the murder of her own husband. If the plot was all David’s own invention then did he ever disclose this foul act to Bathsheba? Was it a tightly held secret of David? Shocking story. Yet grace prevailed. It is inconceivable that they should be dealt grace, however scarce they might have thought it to be in those days. Grace is always extravagantly afforded to all of us Who love Him.

I have shown the caution, that we cannot judge from scripture how God will react to the deliberate failures (love-sicknesses) of Christians found in the web of adultery and remarriage. Only grace is our tangible, freely-given merit, when a soul truly repents. It is the opinion of the writer that born-again Christians who were once filled with the Spirit can be filled again as they walk in obedience to the Lord. There are many fillings.

Grace may, or grace may not, move when saints are caught up in this horror and nightmare situation. Who can tell the mind of God? The remarriage may be a disaster and God knows it. The adulterous partners go headlong into the situation of remarriage only to find that they are not, in the long term, compatible in the reality of living permanently with one another.

At the Bar of God, David was forgiven and restored and his marriage to Bathsheba survived. That is pure grace. This same David wrote: “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul”: this law is not the Ten Commandments, but the law of grace! The LAW NEVER CAME CLOSE TO CONVERTING ANYBODY, BECAUSE NO-ONE EVER KEPT THE LAW, INCLUDING DAVID. Here is another great error in the church in mistaking this law David is writing about, for The Law.

The Law indeed was as a schoolmaster in the Old Testament as Galatians 4 describes. Only Enoch, perhaps, came close to keeping the whole Law of God: “and he was not for God took him. And Enoch walked with God.” I do not read of anybody coming close to his record, even including New Testament saints. The Law had to be abolished because it threatened to slay everyone. Thank God for Grace. It is a covenant of hope and victory over sin.

I am of the persuasion that there is life for those adulterous couples who have married again, but only on God’s terms. I know of a situation where a couple re-married because the legal partners did not want to have them back. Yet these remarrieds have no sexual union at all and they live as brother and sister.

I see their whole situation as ordered by the Lord in a non-scriptural situation. Grace, nevertheless. They have deeply repented and are going on well with the Lord. The downside is the sadness that this pastor experiences, being disgraced in this manner of adultery, he can only pastor the few.

It is a chastisement he must suffer until God sees it otherwise. Yet, how faithful is this pastor. He preaches to the few as he would to a thousand! He is godly, humble and deeply spiritual again. How blessed he is. He is restored, to a degree, as one would expect. He may never aspire to be a great figure in the Church universal. This is God’s way of protecting him from the wolves!

It might be prudent to state that the Covenant of Grace affords forgiveness for not keeping the whole Law, but the terms of grace are very clear – we must obey God and attempt to keep the Law as best we can. They are God’s Laws. If we break the Law, then thank God there is this Covenant of Grace that promises victory over the Law by the shed blood of Jesus (after full repentance of course). God does not forgive those who commit sin! Who practice sin. See John 1 Ch. 3 v 7: “he that doeth righteousness IS RIGHTEOUS even as he is righteous. He that commiteth sin is of the devil because the devil sins from the beginning.”

God knows our hearts – none can deceive Him. He knows us afar off. Be real with the Lord and allow His grace and your repentance to work in you both to the glory of God. In His grace He may allow the re-marriage to continue. But, mark this well: he will not help these folks at all if HE has counted their re-marriage as invalid.

He does not excuse us for breaking His Laws. He expects us to keep His Laws as best we can. Serious sins like adultery are to be so repented of that such a dastardly deed will never surface again in this couple’s lifetime. God is an all-wise God – none can deceive Him. 

Those who remarry determinedly, regardless of the cost, are particularly foolish. Yes, they are cast out by their partners because of their unfaithfulness, but that in itself constitutes no permission to remarry.

The remarried’s situation would be more likely to remain if the couple, having repented deeply, were to refrain from childbearing. Much confusion would be safeguarded by this wise decision. The products (children) of a sinful relationship would be unacceptable to the couple’s spiritual ongoing status.

We have to concede that it was the children of Bathsheba that were the problems in David’s marriage and lifetime. Truly the consequences are dreadful. God sees every situation of a remarriage brought about by the circumstances of adultery and He it is who will judge wisely and justly every case. How vital it is for such repentant couples to be in the Spirit when He speaks His will in grace into each situation.

David’s marriage to Bathsheba was illicit, and of this there is no question, but after much tears and repentances God allowed the marriage to stand. Grace made a way where there was no way. The Church’s observations can only be backed up by the Law of Moses – which is abolished in Christ. Yet we all have to acknowledge that it will be God’s decision alone in such a situation, as adulterers find themselves in, when faced with re-marriage. God alone knows the future.

If you are not sure, DO NOT RE-MARRY. Do not compound the sin. If a re-marriage is formed, and formed because the couple were very desperate, having been abandoned by every friend in the church, then despite the fact that the second marriage is seen in God’s eyes as illicit, nevertheless the mercy of God can prevail in this situation you have put yourself in. It means that you will have to abandon yourselves to the grace of God.

Consider what the Lord taught about those who look longingly after the opposite sex with that evil eye: "Better to have the evil eye plucked out than to go to hell with both eyes." Yes, it is a very hard saying. Can it be, as you look back at the whole of your grown-up life, that you see the trail of events that tie you with a hindering spirit of inward lust? One or both of you could have had this evil eye since puberty. This evil eye will surface as actual sin as time goes by. Fact.

Jesus said that even to look at a woman with lust in the heart is still committing adultery with the woman. Many men have this problem. How many men have lusted after a woman by thinking adulterous thoughts? They sin as is if they actually were committing the physical act of adultery. We cannot use the Law as our guide in these cases, otherwise half the men in the church would be guilty!

Most men are tempted this way who are normal hot-blooded souls. Men are tormented in this way – even Christians at times. How does a born-again believer stop unclean thoughts invading his mind? Again one has to admit that under the Law a man is condemned on these grounds, as Jesus revealed 2,000 years ago. Only redeeming grace is able to cause a man to see it as sin and to seek cleansing in the blood of Jesus. Thank God I do not have such a problem. I have a clean mind. But many men still do not, and they surely need deliverance.

 
One Flesh in Marriage?

Absolutely, Jesus taught that when the first marriage is formed, there is a joining together as one flesh. Adultery severs this vital joining. You have to face the fact that what your are contemplating after adultery, and the after-effects of your divorce, and the mayhem in the home and in the church has died down, that all attempts to find excuse for a re-marriage is against all scripture.

None of us should be looking to find a way out of God’s ways and Laws. If God doesn’t agree with you, give up that illicit partner. Why not agree with God? Why mess about with God’s grace? Do you not know that there is a reckoning day?

God recognises all future joinings outside of the first legal marriage by sexual intercourse as illicit and sinful. Also, the legal marriage was doomed when intercourse took place with the illicit partner.

Therefore, it is vital, if the forgiven adulterers are found to be in a remarriage, that a new oneness is sought as a gift from the Lord. Prayer together will change this marriage, by a clear repentance, by a willingness to part company because the union has displeased God, thereby finding forgiveness and God’s sanction upon the union. I am happier with this state of affairs, but then I know what human nature is like and how long it takes some folk to fully repent. I do not condone remarriage, but I do state that it is possible for God to leave the remarriage alone if He sees fit to allow it to be so. 

Dealing with those who are adamantly in disagreement with my judgments and seekings about this, it cannot be the position of grace to see this couple as in continual adultery if they have truly repented before the Lord.

The objections to this premise, that such folks are in continual adultery, are many. One is that the financial aspect of finding new homes, new furniture, new beginning, particularly if the couple are in middle life could prove too difficult to bear (2) The couple might not be able to be celibate for very long if they in good intention try to do things the church’s way, for not all men can receive this saying of Jesus.

The hardness of the hearts of the angry adulterer-haters have motive: “they must not be happy at any cost. They must pay, pay, pay.” The whole idea of celibacy for the adulterer delights them. They want them at the dead-end of the benefits of blessing. God is not into this dreadful attitude of the many. 

Grace has no meaning to them when it comes to the adulterer. They believe nothing has changed and all the spiritual sincerities the forgiven couple make would make no difference to these vehement adulterer-haters. Human nature is like this. 

I hasten to say that a second marriage can never be the same as the first marriage. That blessing of God in the joining together of man and wife will be missing, and such folk will find that life after remarriage will take on a very different way forward as they find their sinful nature to be an abhorrence to themselves.

The remarriage will be a discipleship in the art of respect and spiritual seekings together. God will bless them, but, to begin with, not as in the first marriage. God’s blessing will come in a very different way from that blessing of “becoming one flesh” with the first and legal married wife. There will be blessings of one kind or another, for that is God’s nature - to bless. His blessing is always “pressed down and shaken together and running over!”

When the sanctity of marriage is broken by immorality on the part of wife or husband, there is a way, the way of grace, and clearly taught in scripture. Of course this does not apply to the unsaved.

 
Royal Road Back to the Legal Partner

Repentance is always the right thing to do. Turn right around and go God's way. Tell your legally married partner, with great sorrow, how you had deceived him/her. Take the royal road of morality and spiritual righteousness. God is able “to restore all the years the locusts have eaten in their lives.”

Ask for her forgiveness. If the legal partner will begin again with you, try with all your heart to mend the breach in the marriage and pray together, so that eventually the marriage will be mended.

On the other hand, if the stubborn adulterers continue their reckless actions in this sexual sin, and by it break the marriage, the only thing there is left is most certainly divorce for the innocent party.

What of the guilty party? “He must remain celibate” is the natural scriptural progression for the guilty partner. Why? The Law demanded the death penalty for the guilty partner. Only grace suffers a guilty partner to live and to continue living and thus be able to find grace for himself in life again.

This way is hard on adulterers too. "The way of the backslider is hard." No one wins in these situations. Second marriages do not always work, for when the sweet fruits of adultery are eaten, there is a blindness that encourages this sin of continuing adultery. According to scripture, God blinds the eyes of the determined sinner.

Christians who divorce will always find the grass is no greener in one field than another! The facts are that the marriage formed by the adulterers, after divorce is over, shows that they simply change one set of circumstances and habits for another.

God's chastisement will inevitably come upon the Christian divorcees and adulterers who re-marry. Only in the event of real repentance over remarrying the adulterer one first became unfaithful with, can any sense be made of anything. They will still face repercussions as they find difficulties and trials raining down upon them.

When true repentance comes to both parties, there will be much sorrow and deep grief over their sin against God. Then they will have to face the awesome sins they committed against their faithful partners in that blessed marriage they had broken by their infidelities.

The mountain they face is seemingly unsurmountable. Such God-given humilities will surely be heard of the Lord. I do not believe that such couples who repent in this manner are far from the hand of God, Who will abundantly pardon and bring that couple to a new beginning together. Separation may not be the only way out for them. God is gracious and He does understand our woes and emotions and drives. He also knows our breaking points. He may not agree with us, but He will pardon anyone who truly repents.

Such folks will be brought to repentance one way or another. There will be a terrible hue and cry over the scandal - where would they fellowship? How can they find a Fellowship that will take them in?

How do they find a new fellowship with the Lord together? How do they find sweet communion with the Lord they both once had? It is a much worse scenario than that which they had calculated or anticipated.

 
Married to an Unbelieving Partner

Even though one is married to an unbeliever, it is no reason in itself to divorce and re-marry. You might show, by your practical Christianity, a place where the unsaved partner is sanctified by your testimony and unblemished spiritual life.

Only if the partner who is unsaved cannot tolerate your Christian testimony can you separate. The unbelieving partner will eventually want to get out of this marriage in which you are the Christian. See 1 Cor. 7 v 12-13.

Probably this unsaved partner will leave the marriage for someone else who is not a Christian. Such a person will most likely live with someone else anyway. A divorce will need to be made by the unsaved person - and they most certainly will. The situation is very plain to see in these scriptures laid out by the Apostle Paul.

 

God, as the Judge, Brings Chastisement Upon Erring Children

God will make the adulterers know that they have sinned dreadfully against their first married partners. They offend against the church, and the God who redeemed them, and those who are so affected by this sin in the church.

The church trusted and embraced them, the church was taught by the pastor how to behave, but they have now fallen in adultery. The church will be deeply affected, and some will leave the church and perhaps vow not to enter a church again.

 

A Solemn Reason Why we Should Not Cause Others to Slacken Their Grip on Eternal Life

Such a sin as adultery is against God, even though that cocoon of so-called beautiful love they claim speaks contrary to the word of God. Love is blind. We men, and women, could, perhaps, all fall in love with other partners. But is it worth it?

Love is fragile in its early stages. Love is also very selfish in that the desire for each other (even in a loving relationship) makes a couple think of little else. Looking back, I was so much in love with my new girl friend (who later became my wife) that I would spend all my free time with her, at the expense of my own dear mother's feelings.

She was so devoted to me. I was selfish with the time I gave to my mother because of my new love. I never saw her pain and hurts. When she was gone from me, then, and only then, did I feel the sorrow and the hurt of this sudden bereavement. Oh I loved her so much - but it was too late to relate that love to her.

Love is a very important feeling, but human love can be a blindness and therefore it is not careful where it loves! My mother's love was completely unselfish. She gave to me over and above the call of duty! She was a wonderful person, who died instantly of a massive heart attack at the age of 56, before I really appreciated her love. I was just 21.

It was then that I had feelings of deep sorrow - so much so that I hurt all the time, day and night, for three months. She was my mentor; she was my ideal model Christian; I could not believe that my mother could die. I had to learn, too late, a love arising in me for my mother that I should have shown to her all along.

She was a godly woman and so gifted with an operatic voice. She got saved not long after I did and she became sold-out for God. She oozed with the love of Jesus! Out of her innermost being flowed those rivers of living water.

She lived a life of fasting and prayer and of seeking God's best for her life every day. She would witness constantly in the open air and she would sing from Handel's Messiah the great songs of Handel's genius! I remember one song particularly, as "I know That My Redeemer Liveth!" She was a mezzo-soprano with the depth of a contralto.

Imagine hearing "The Holy City" thundering out over the waters and the beach. People came from everywhere to hear this woman preach and sing. I could write a book about this exceptional woman. "Come unto Me Ye who are Heavy Laden and I will Give You Rest" was another favourite she sang.

 
 

Chapter 9

Appreciating the Brevity of Life

It was well that David said, “Lord, teach us to number our days.”

Life is so brief. The point of this revelation about my mother is that I was shown love - real love - the love that is sold-out to the welfare of others; she thought of others before herself! How I wish I reacted spontaneously as my mother always did. I do not think I have emulated my mother in my character - but I think I am getting there slowly, by the grace of God.

She was all for me, her son, and, indeed, all who met her. However, she embarrassed me so much that I would walk off the beach when she fearlessly witnessed about the Lord! I was far too proud in those days! As for her singing, it was so strong and so clear in her message of the Gospel in song. She was only concerned with witnessing for her Lord.

I recall that every dinner time when I came home, she would cook the absolute best she could prepare for me - the finest cuts of meat; the creamed rice puddings with nutmeg - MMMM! Yet I spent the time talking to my girl friend on the ‘phone.

How selfish was my love. Mum wanted my attention and time - but I spared no time with her. Human nature can be callously indifferent at times. OFTEN, SUCH IS THE NATURE OF WHAT WE CALL LOVE.

 
We Live in a Sick Society

We live today in a sick society, where the word 'love' is so abused that we say, commonly, "I love that jacket”, or “I love that car", or use some other variety of meaning for this word love.

Feelings in marriage must not direct our relationships if they are contrary to the word of God. I know it is hard and almost impossible - BUT SUCH A LOVE OUTSIDE OF A CLEAN MARRIAGE HAS TO DIE. God can give you the emotional strength you need - but you have to want it and you have to believe it.

My mother had many offers of marriage from very wealthy men - but she would never think of it, even though the circumstances of her marriage were tragic and sad. Her stand was always, even in those singing days on the stage, of the highest moral standard. She once sent Richard Tauber packing because of his advances upon her. A swift clout around the face soon cooled his ardour! It was the end of that duo!

That’s the spirit God requires of you who might be very flattered by the sinister attentions of the opposite sex. Don’t be foolish enough to fall in love outside your marriage.

If your excuse is that you never loved your legal partner and now you know what it means to fall in love with your illicit partner, consider carefully this following story: My mother was seriously ill at one time in her life with a huge abscess behind the nose.

Fortunately, the abscess burst after many months of extreme agony. In those days she had to travel home from Halifax Infirmary by ‘bus. It transpired that on the ‘bus she spoke to a man who said he would look after her in her convalescence. She knew him, but not very well.

He took her instead to a hotel and raped her. That man was my father. The love she had came to the fore when she found out she was pregnant. She actually married my father because, she said, she could not bear to have any child with no father, makingthe child a bastard.

My mother's first husband died from a tumour on the brain, or, I should say, a tumour the size of a carrot right through the brain! She loved him so much. He was 28 years of age when he died. He was a brilliant musician who had his own dance band, in which he played the saxophone. He played the cornet in Black Dyke Mills Brass Band, and the tenor horn in Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band. He also played in the local Sowerby Bridge Brass Band. He won the tenor horn soloist competition at Crystal Palace in 1920. He was also a cabinet-maker of exquisite furniture.

How did he accomplish so much in so short a life? How tragic was his departure. I write this to show the vast difference in a man whom my mother loved so dearly, in comparison with a man whom she determined to marry and to live with for my sake.

She was told by the physician in the hospital where she was having the baby, that the birth would have to be by Caesarian Section. There would be very serious problems if the pregnancy went the full term.

In those days it was a very dangerous operation and life-threatening. She also had Mytral Stenosis (valvular heart disease). The Mytral valve was leaking and this was a complication in itself (leading to the later heart attack).

Now, it transpired that the physician had to warn her that he could not guarantee both lives would come through the Caesarian Section. He could save either the baby or he could save her. My mother said: "I've had a life, so please concentrate on saving the baby."

She prayed to God and asked Him to save the baby. She wasn't born-again then, but she knew Church of England teachings. She believed, in her way. The miracle that followed stunned the physician - both mother and baby survived.

Her life was happy with my sister by my mother's first marriage, and myself. She lived every day in frustration with my father, who was a very rough and difficult man. After the Caesarian operation, she learned that she had 59 stitches inside her and 59 outside.

That wasn't the only thing she learned. When she married my father he had nothing of this world's goods. She had to buy the wedding rings for herself and my father, and his clothes for the wedding. She found that he was always drunk. Yet she did not leave him - for my sake. Imagine anyone doing what she did, today.

The point of this story is to show that love conquers everything in our human demise. Real love is faithfulness and selflessness. Such love, as I have shown, is to be preferred over illicit love flawed by selfishness. It regards no-one but each other.

You may be fascinated, no doubt, by the intrigue of your adulterous relationship, but looking at it from God's point of view, He knows the future, and He also knows your new love to be disguised and squalid in the light of true love. You are also in uncharted waters.

By this love you will sweep aside every tender link with the reality of your marriage treasures and responsibilities. You will surely come to know that your love is absolutely selfish and that it breaks every solid foundation you once had. I mean the spiritual bonds of your marriage; I mean the trusting fellowship you had in the church; I mean the rejection by your friends and peers who have now turned against you.

Do not blame them in your selfishness, but rather turn against this ‘wonderful, but illicit, experience of love’ you have found. You cannot blame those who will not understand you, but rather the blame is fairly and squarely upon your own shoulders. The mayhem that is sure to follow is totally your own fault in these circumstances.

Do not blame your wife, because you loved her in the first instance and married her. You were happy for a while; you worked together for a while - until this other woman or man burst in and threatened the sanctum of your marriage.

In any case, what about the work the wife did under your roof; think of her suffering labour pains and having your babies! Or think of the husband being cheated-on by you, deceitfully going behind his back and seducing his wife. It is indeed a ghastly sin.

I mean, also, that your children will be devastated by your new love! Do not expect them to understand, because they will never accept it. You could lose their love for life. Young children can be scarred for life by the trauma of divorce and subsequent remarriage. Two families, destroyed by your infidelities.

 
 

Chapter 10

Financial Implications

Your innocent wife/husband could be so devastated, they may not be well enough to continue looking after the family home in your absence. If a wife is left holding the reins of the marriage, how is she going to cope?

Who is going to keep up the mortgage and the mounting bills? The children's schooling is always affected by these cases. Yet the carefree adulterers are oblivious to the mayhem they cause. In all too many cases neither do they care. They will not even acknowledge what they have done. These folks are the ones I doubt are saved. Many know the devastation they have caused, but they prefer not to deal with it or even acknowledge it! 

God is always on the side of the sanctity of marriage for life - and the following family life together. The husband is there to protect his wife and children. When the evil of illicit love raises its ugly head at one or the other partner in the marriage, one has simply got to count the cost. The unknown is not worth contemplating.

The adulterous partner abandons his wife and family wherever fate may take them! Broken lives. Devilish consequences wreck the peace and harmony of those left behind. Nightmare thoughts of the possible escapades the husband in involved in; the children weeping day and night as the full horror of the family situation is thrust upon them. Now they all must fight to survive without the breadwinner and beloved father. If it is the mother who is the guilty partner, how devastated must the children be. How let down. The one person they trusted the most has gone. 

Pause and consider the consequences. What appears so wonderful to you is, from God's perspective, vile and destructive to the sanctity of your marriage. Charity cares too much to hurt others; charity puts others before itself. Leaving your wife could destroy her. Some may even commit suicide. Sadly, illicit love does not consider that possibility.

If it is the husband who is left behind, are you calculating that he must try to bring your children up without damage to their young minds? The husband must work with more earnest and find care-minders to look after the children until he returns from work each day.

It is, after all, essential, that a certain amount of money is earned each week to properly educate the children. The children may lose heart and become embittered towards the unfaithful wife or husband, whichever is the case. They may become disinterested in life generally; or they may become introverted and untrusting of anybody. They may also go ‘off the rails.’

They may be pulled from pillar to post and greatly penalised in so many ways by your selfish love. Did you ever know at all what true love was? Looking at 1 Corinthians Chapter 13, note the high quality of love:

Love is unselfish; love is never rude or churlish; love, or charity, as Paul puts the substance of love, does not behave itself unseemly; "charity suffers long; charity envieth not (covets not); Charity does not seek for its own way; it thinketh no evil.”

However, consider the so-called 'superior' but nevertheless illicit love: "All that glitters is not gold." If this love is not as pure as the quality of love spoken of by Paul, it is inadvisable to continue your illicit love.

Selfishness riddles your relationship already. How will it work out? In your first marriage both of you, the man and the woman, loved unselfishly, and, married before God. The children came, and the harmony and the buzz of general living with a family, made you both happy.

Life shows us that one can never go back in years and try again with another partner because each is older and set in their ways. How are you going to reach back for a love that was innocent and new and place it in this illicit love relationship? However much we all like to be loved, you don't need to reach outside of the marriage God sanctioned for you. God's blessing was upon that first marriage.

True love is ready to out-pour its treasures upon all who look to be blessed by it. True love does not go out of its way to hurt anyone. Love is selfless and of a pure nature towards those around its wonderful influence!

Charity, Love, is the highest quality a man or woman can possess. Aim high. Sacrificial love is the highest love a man can reach for. Your wife is worth it. The children are worth it.

Solomon seems to have been a man for the ladies, but he learned that only pure love satisfies the longing heart. Solomon's Song is a masterpiece above masterpieces in its broad spectrum of exciting, pure, innocent love. Of course the allegory in the Book of Solomon is spiritual and reaches for Love in its richest form - Divine love.

I would recommend that you read it, again and again. See Chapter 8 v 7: "Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it; if a man gave all the substance of his house for love, it would be utterly contemned (held in contempt)."

Now before you try to make out that the illicit love you have is the same quality as the love the Shulamite woman had for her lover, it will not do. Sacrifice is the root of love, and that sacrifice must be the giving of yourself and all you have to your original legal wife / husband.

This new love you profess is second-rate compared to your first love. True love WORKS FOR A LIFETIME! Only selfishness wrecks it. Rebuild, together, the first principles of that wonderful love that reaches for agape love.

Solomon's Songs are a great favourite of mine, and it is difficult for me to restrain myself from writing so much more. "His Name - Jesus - is as ointment poured forth." Highly recommended reading if you wish to know what true love is all about.

Animals have sex, and are generally faithful to their offspring, but only with regard to the procreation of their species. Animals, such as dogs, show tremendous qualities towards their owners, but not towards other humans. The ‘pack instinct’ remains dominant.

They know nothing about sharing love with other human beings. Because we are made in the image of God, love is of a higher substance - the substance of love - unites for a lifetime the people who have committed their whole lives to each other in marriage. The love that comes from God; love that unites; Love towards the lost and the dying; Love for God and His Christ.

Grace is God's love towards His elect. Every day God is angry with the wicked. Every day the elect hate the conversation of the wicked. Grace is a beautiful love gift from God to His chosen ones, who have been chosen in Christ from before the foundations of the world.

 
Sexual Love – Not Always Charitable

In the raw world all around us, both men and women can be very lusty and earthy and ready for anything. Today, playing the game of notching-up new partners seems to be the norm. These relationships are totally gratuitous and sinful in their nature and fulfillment.

Which one amongst these many women can cook an omelette properly? Or, care for their homes and offspring? Sex, as practiced all down the centuries in empires long gone, played a tremendous part in the lives of the populace. Empires crumbled and fell.

Sex became a god to be worshipped above all gods. The Roman Empire fell, as did the whole of the people of Rome who had debauched themselves. The Greek Empire fell likewise. Pompeii fell in the very same way. Sex goddesses are many today. The worship of sex is not new, yet, throughout the ages, its obsession has broken down all peoples of this wicked world.

Some say sex is what causes the world to turn around, the merry-go-round of human existence. The truth, however, is the very opposite. Lord Shaftesbury once said: "Democracy hangs on the thin thread of morality." If democracy fails it is because of the low morals of the people. No morality, no democracy. Really, it is a simple fact.

Which man amongst men sees an opportunity to commit sexual sin, but looks instead to a higher integrity that forbids such actions. The real man in a marriage has his finger on the pulse of the marriage and works well so that he might maintain it. Consider also that there are many men and women who do not have contact with Christian influences, and who are not saved, but yet they are scrupulously squeaky-clean before the whole world. Blameless before all men in their moral integrity.

How grateful we ought to be. We have been chosen in Christ from before the foundation of the world, Let us determine to be full of good works and good morals and show it everywhere, as examples of what a Christian really is.

Be like Joseph, who fled from a woman who wanted him to satiate her filthy desires for extra-marital sex. How majestic is his record of godliness. "How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” She would have been so beautiful, but Joseph ran from the very smell of sin.

Therefore, it is reasonable to expect that Christians, too, ought to be 'squeaky-clean'. Sins such as the ones we are examining, should never once be named amongst the saints. It follows that if the world around us is so filled with these unimaginable sins, including adultery and fornication, then at all costs we ought not to be caught up in the same things as the world enjoys. They are going to a lost eternity.

Neither would “The “Just" lead a girl astray and into the pathway of sin. You do not need to be saved to have high moral values! A Christian is born of God and as such he is a new creation of God in Christ Jesus! Resist this evil and be delivered from it.

 


Chapter 11

Is the Holy Spirit Within You?

The Holy Spirit is indeed within the believer, persuading him/her of the course of faith and godliness. Moral integrity should be paramount to a Christian because he is born of God. This is the high-ground of normal spiritual thinking. We move along our pathway by faith, and overcome by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony.

How, then, can any Christian stoop so low that he betrays his wife and children by his secret sins of extra-marital relationships? Why cannot such folks recognise there is no way that God can bless such actions, and that they face the judgment of God if the sin continues and is not repented of? Can anyone say how God will judge His people who fall into these sins?

We should never take the great chance that God will be merciful upon those who do these things contrary to His laws. What we do not know about God is too dangerous to simply take a chance. There is a day coming very soon - the final day when the hearts of all men are opened before the Judgment Seat of Christ. Ephesians 4 v 30: “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”

Remember that God has the power to cast both body and soul into hell and the Lake of Fire! Do you really know God? We know only what God is willing to share with us. DO NOT SIMPLY ‘TAKE YOUR CHANCES.’ Do I really know God? Only as He sees fit to reveal Himself to me. Usually through the word of God and by spiritual revelation.

But as to His overall Person and mind and spirit we know only a very small part. He is the divine sovereign who inhabits eternity; He is in command of all principalities; He commands all nature and its movings; He controls the mass of planets and stars and asteroids; He controls the suns in their myriad spherical orbits and plots their course.

In short He is a mass entity, for there is nowhere where He is not. He is Omniscient and Omnipresent. He is indeed The Mighty One who inhabits eternity. David said: “Though I make my bed in hell, thou art there.” Would to God such folks who are contemplating illicit meetings with the opposite sex had such awareness of God’s Holy and Awesome Person!

How can anyone who knows the Lord, who is born-again, commit sin of any kind? I can only say that such children of God have been walking apart from the sensitivity of the Spirit for a very long time and so they become an easy target for the devil to prey upon. The lesson here is that we should all walk with Jesus in all spiritual integrity “Lest we also be tempted.”

How can any person guarantee that his/her illicit relationship will pan out to the glory of God? We cannot see the future! Consider your actions well, before taking such drastic actions as casual sex or adultery, that are sure to lead to divorce. It is no good saying to your hurt partner, “I didn’t mean to,” or “I could not help it!”

These actions will not bring happiness and joy. On the contrary, they will cause you to be seared in your conscience, and will hinder the Holy Spirit's great work in your life. Repent now and trust the Lord for a future without the partner you lust after.

The longer you procrastinate, the harder it will be to put off this work of the flesh! Do you honestly think God will overlook your adultery and not chastise you? The Law will judge such who do these things. Therefore the quicker the sad pair repents of this sin, the better. It is of God's grace that He chastises His children.

Consider this: How can you ever say that the memories of the romantic and sexual sin you committed are ‘beautiful’, when God condemns adultery? If you marry as an adulterous couple, and find that you look back to the supposed sensational times with your new mate, you will be terribly condemned by your own memories. Fact.

Reading from 2 Peter 2 v 10-22. Here is a damning list of folks who had lives deserving of eternal punishment. V 14: "Having eyes full of adultery, and who cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: a heart they have exercised with covetous practices - cursed children."

Be absolutely sure you are cleansed from these sins, because they will lead you to hell and the Lake of Fire. You who claim to be God’s elect must consider these words. Only in repentance can grace begin to help such folk. What is repentance? A willingness to do what God would have us to do.

Turn around and do the first works of repentance. Then resolve to do the right thing. You must be willing to give up that illicit partner. If it is not possible to go back to the original partner, it may be a choice for you to marry in the Lord. But be cautious and feel right before embarking on such an adventure together. I state this, but in reality I cannot advise you to do so. You alone must decide, without any encouraging advices from anyone. Choose, knowing that God is listening to your sincerities and repentances. The royal way is to remain celebate.

Again, I give David and Bathsheba as a model, an example of God making things all right despite the terrible trauma in his family after that forgiveness. The Holy Spirit will prevent it or sanction it, or bring you to account. Yet, if God should demand separation from each other, then do it for Jesus' sake.

The blessings will flow and God will honour you for it. We only know that God allowed the marriage between David and Bathsheba. We have no record that they lived happily ever after. To the contrary they walked into a nightmare of ongoing consequences which lasted for most of their lives! They did not receive wonderful blessings from God.

Despite us, God chose us as His own. But was forgiveness everything for David? I think not. What an unhappy man David must have been after the sweat meats of sin had been discovered and his sin found out. I see the Hinderer the devil, The Lawless One, marauding the peace of David by constant hurts over his children who were finally all killed. He suffered great grief; a conscience of personal fault that he had these children yet lost them again BY REASON OF THE MARRIAGE TO BATHSHEBA. He could blame no-one but himself. Hear his deep and pitiful lament, “Absalom, Oh Absalom, my beloved son.”

In all the argument, it cannot be discarded as rubbish what I have written, because we do have this example on scriptural record concerning David and Bathsheba. WHAT DOES IT TEACH? God is able to forgive any sin, however grave, by grace, once the right attitude and actions are shown by His children. It shows that God sees the future far better than we can guess – so He has this vast advantage over the sons of men.

We can shun a man or a woman who has remarried, when it could be of the Lord’s love to bring forth such as pure gold. I have not written anywhere in this book that the adulterous couple will get their own way in everything. “What goes round comes around” by the circumstances we place ourselves in. No born-again couple will have it easy after their adultery and remarriage. The circumstances of life can be very cruel and can be a very hard way for long-term remarried adulterers.

How bitterly some adulterous partners have wept, having come to the awful realization that through their folly they lost the best partner in the world – their first wife. Yes, they make a go of it, there are even some bright times, but overall “the sticky throat” comes when they contemplate what they had going for them, and what they have now. Perhaps the lesson in all this is for them to realise they were not quite grown up, and that now it is too late to go back and start again. Remorse.

So, in a situation similar to David’s, it is safe to say that when all is lost and a re-marriage does take place, God’s grace can still meet every need. Provided of course that God’s conditions are met, such as:

  1. Total acceptance of God’s terms of grace which will mean total repentance of the marriage and its very wrong principle.
     

  2. It will mean that this couple must walk in the light as He is in the light “that they might have fellowship one with another.”
     

  3. It will mean all-out love for their master and friend Jesus Christ.

God may well allow the remarriage to stand as His wisdom dictates.

  1. David had his finest and most faithful soldier murdered so that he could get this woman for himself and thus cover-up the fact that Bathsheba was pregnant by him. Awesome sin was committed.
     

  2. He did not repent for some long time after the perpetration of this act of adultery with Bathsheba.
     

  3. neither did he repent of murdering Urriah the Hittite for as long a time, so as to put himself in the clear, or so he thought.

How could even grace cover these sins? Yet we know that grace did cover these sins after David was shown them by the prophet, Nathan. Psalm 51 is on view to anyone who needs to know what real repentance is all about.

Now it is not quite like condoning the sin – and it might be pointed out that Urriah was dead and technically David was freed from continuing to commit adultery with Bathsheba, but what of his other wives? He continued to sin within the remarriage because he had no right to Bathsheba because he had wives already. She was stolen as the fruits of sin. She committed adultery with David who was married thrice over. Yet serious sin can be forgiven. Souls can be restored. An unscriptural marriage can be forgiven. We have a bountiful God. The Law-Insisters have no case. 

There is grace afforded to any soul who has gone so far into sin; even for those adulterers who re-married. True repentance may come, even though it may come a long while after that first illicit meeting between the guilty pair.

Grace always triumphs over the Law when one sincerely repents. As I have mentioned here already the whole question of dealing with this sin is in the hands of God alone. He may forgive you, he may restore you, but He reserves the right to do as He pleases.

Now it is the problem for all adulterers who pass this way that they may never know God’s view and judgment in each case. Certainly there is no scripture to help them. All are to the contrary. Uncertainty in scripture is unsafe ground.

It is sure that as each case comes before the grace of God at repentance, no-one is qualified to say every case of adultery will turn out as David’s marriage turned out in the grace of God. But, it is the only option for remarried adulterers to trust their Maker and Saviour to see them through their earthly pilgrimage.

My experience of God is that He is a just and merciful God. My advice to those found in this situation is to put their eggs in the one basket and follow closely the Lord Jesus until He come. There are no specific scriptures to condone what you are doing or have done, but the drill is to fall upon the grace of God. He alone can pardon every transgression. There is no text that condones remarriage under the circumstances of adultery. But it is certain that God will judge each case as He sees it – whether He gives grace or does not give grace in a remarriage situation.

Whenever born-again souls are willing to repent in all sincerity (and only God knows that to be so or not), God will grant to them His grace and thus His tender mercy, which will bring forgiveness and a forgetting of their sins as far as the East is from the West. There is no guarantee, however, that God will necessarily allow a continuance of the relationship in every remarriage.

God will not force any couple either way. God will be very much in the driving seat in a wrong marriage. By stirring up dissatisfaction, unrest, the marriage not working out, disagreements between the couple, God’s will would be finally done as they find themselves having to separate, admitting that it just did not work out. Such unrest could begin in one of the partners and stretch to the other.

Yet again, I stress that we will never know this side of eternity how God will judge these unscriptural marriages. Such people will certainly have to give account. The Church cannot state the case for re-marriage. Only God alone will judge His people. This case with David is not a sanction to all following cases of adultery that they can re-marry. To the contrary, this pathway is a very dangerous one to pursue, and such a pathway has to be a last resort to a desperate couple in a desperate situation. 

Here is where grace supersedes the Law. Jesus, being the end of the Law, is able to grant forgiveness after repentance. How is that? Jesus, being the end of the Law, by His merits on Calvary, has now become Our Righteousness. Imputed righteousness.

We, deserving eternal damnation, and condemned by the word of God and by the Law of God, find that Grace is the over-riding quality of God through the sacrifice of His Son for us. Amazing Grace.

 
What we Have Gleaned thus Far
  1. That adultery is the one sin we must run far away from.
     

  2. Love outside of marriage is destructive to the spiritual life and sinful altogether.
     

  3. That the conscience is seared and thus the enormity of the sin is diminished in the guilty pair’s eyes.
     

  4. Such folks lose all respect for themselves in the church.
     

  5. It will take years to find yourself in God again.
     

  6. The uncertainty as to how God thinks about you now in your illicit re-marriage not blessed by God.
     

  7. How does repentance come into it?
     

  8. You will always feel as if you are a second-class Christian.
     

  9. You will feel insecure as a spiritual person.
     

  10. As you throw yourself on the love of Jesus you will be seeking for the peace of God which passes all understanding.
     

  11. God will give you peace as the deep reality of what you did comes upon you and then it is that God will finally give you His peace. Forgiveness is sweet and beautiful. Time will be the essence – a quality which only comes with the passing of time. Aim to this end. 

 
Porneia

Worse than being in love and causing the mayhem that follows, is the sin of lusting after another partner for sexual purposes only. Such folk are not blindly in love. These folks look for sexual satisfaction all the time.

Porneia! Sexual love is not the love that forms good marriages. It is vile in every shade of action. Yes, it is true that the word PORNEIA is indiscriminate concerning adultery and the reasons for the sin.

Yet even though one ‘loves to bits’ the new, but illicit, partner, the partnership can never be blessed by God as an innocent and pure relationship, in which He is happy to be a part of. Stop that relationship even if it paralyses you with upset and emotional distress. In the long term God will bring you through to a wonderful place in Him that is totally satisfying.

It is better to be ill for a while with an emotional backlash, but you will have done the right thing. Better to live eternally than to die eternally. Eventually, you will feel clean and right again in the eyes of the Lord if you have repented.

Receive of His grace, which is so abundant, before it is too late and you slip into a ‘seared conscience mode’, when the sin no longer bothers you. These who persist in sin will die eternally. This state is blindness, bringing deadly danger.

I see the casual sex thing as more diabolical because it destroys the lives of the rejected adulterers. The adulterer who goes back to his wife, the female adulterer who goes back to her husband, is soon exonerated and allowed back into the church. The adulterer who now finds himself alone is the one who needs help and counseling.

 

Going Back to the Original Partner

There is, admittedly, the real chance that the faithful partner will not want the adulterous partner back. Such drastic action by the wife or husband is justified; they can divorce the betraying partner if one or the other partner wills it.

Supposing they have gone back to the legal partner and the other guilty party is left standing, feeling empty and devoid of any further emotional strength? That sorry soul must return to the cross of Jesus and simply pour out the repentance he/she might feel. Jesus is waiting for such folk to come to Him.

Return to your God, for He has been awaiting your sorrow for those sins you committed (practiced). "Turn your eyes upon Jesus; look full into His wonderful face; and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace."

Grace is, as always, the only help left to such folks. Outside of grace the Law will condemn them - no matter how one may repent. There is no remedy for sin outside of God's grace in Jesus Christ, and therefore you will die eternally.

What are the terms of grace? Making a U-turn from the sin, which means that the illicit partner must be dropped out of your life. We dare not tempt God with our sin.

"BUT I AM A CHRISTIAN WITH ETERNAL LIFE IN ME, SO I CAN MAKE AS MANY MISTAKES AS I LIKE! GRACE STILL COVERS ME."

Are you sure? If what you have said is true, that you have eternal life dwelling in you, think again. Such a claim is ANTINOMIANISM RUNNING RIOT. No-one is excused when adultery and sexual sin dominates their lives.

Jesus paid the price for your sins, but beware, for the longer you linger in sin the longer it will be before you are able to pull away. God may blind you still further and where would you be then?

ANTINOMIANISM means, loosely, that one can very much do what one likes and still lay claim to a Christian life with the benefits of the hereafter in heaven.

The true reality of the word of God shows that Grace is afforded only to repentant sinners. Repentance is the only power that can cause you to turn from this sin. Repentance is firstly obedience, then practical actions, that show God and others your sincerity. Then grace will act on your behalf.

Otherwise, you will be judged by the Law of God, which has no provision for mercy, but, rather, gives eternal death. Without grace you will perish. Do not ask God to sympathise with your emotional refusals to leave the partner you sinned with.

God does not offer grace under a no-repentance deal. It is also fatal to interpret Calvinism so that you think that you can accommodate this illicit relationship sin "before you go to heaven."

John Calvin would be horrified at such a twisting of his Works of Grace! Only by true forgiveness can anyone receive of God’s grace. Arminians likewise. You who insist on the Law know that no-one gets away with sin.

In fact, the works sown will surely reap the works of death and destruction to your soul. It is a fact that all Christians need to examine themselves to see if they be in the faith, as the Apostle Paul said. God understands the reasoning of such illicit love, but in no wise does He condone it. See 1 Cor. 11 v 28.

 
 

Chapter 12

Grace and No-Grace

There are limits to the grace of God when its pure substance is abused. We cannot strain at grace, or pull the stops out when grace cannot, and will not, respond. To find grace we have to repent of all known sin.

Throughout the New Testament, Grace has the authority to assume the elect will be the recipients of divine favour. The cross has given His divine favour to us.

However, it is abundantly clear that to claim the grace of God, one must follow the commands of the Lord Himself. "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another - AS I HAVE LOVED YOU."

Here is a text that should prompt you to work righteously in love for Jesus. How hard are you who fail to be moved by this text. If you love Christ then there is no contest: you should return to your first love – the Lord of Glory Himself, Who abundantly pardons.

Here is the crux of the dilemma adulterers have to face. Sin has been perpetrated. Fact. The culprits have said sorry to God - partly. “Obedience is better than sacrifice.”

The commandments of Christ are really very simple really. Loving one another in the bonds of agape love is always the goal of Christians. Grace is abundant upon all who seek her divine favour. Grace calls His own, "My beloved." "My child." Glorious Grace, it reaches me. "Pure, exhaustless, ever-flowing, Wondrous grace it reaches me." Why will you stand outside of this grace given to you by the works of Calvary?

Herein is the substance of grace - that we might believe and practice the way of agape love. How can sin be overlooked? It is impossible! You may wish to continue in this grace, but sin will mar your progress. You can’t have grace to sin.

Putting the adulterers in the same mold, they may wish to live happily ever after when the sin has been dealt with and they say they have repented. Yet the rewards of adultery will not be easy to accept, because The Holy Spirit will sift as wheat, those who have offended grace in this way. Grace is the living expression of God's love to His own.

Antinomianism is a phrase concocted by the Arminians to describe free-will grace. Basically, they say, free-will grace covers everything we could do in this life that is sinful! Does it? Grace, I venture to say, is afforded only to the elect of God, who are heirs of His Kingdom. It follows that the highest moral pinnacle is required of every one of us. How else are we to know the elect? Free will-ism could make a wrong marriage right in their own eyes and thus become totally self-righteous.

The elect are enthusiastic about fulfilling the will of God in their lives. They are there in the local church, or on the mission field, or have an office in the church, or they are soundly supporting their local church in all humility.

Now the word does not say, "When we sin we have an Advocate," etc., but "IF" we sin. Sin is never the norm, but all Christians are to practice RIGHTEOUSNESS. Adultery is not an "if we sin" problem. It is deeper than that. Adultery in the heart is much more serious than it appears on the surface, and it will destroy all attempts to be godly if not discerned and put away under the blood of Jesus.

Repent and lean upon His love. This will lead you to the blood of Jesus that cleanses from all sin. Don't live out your lives hoping that the God of all flesh will say to you: "Well, you muffed it, but come on in to the glory promised to the elect." It will not happen! For your soul's sake STOP AND CONSIDER THESE WORDS.

Consider, also, that because of your willingness to continue to practice this illicit sin, it is more than possible that you were never saved in the first place. Salvation is a wonderful experience when one is changed from death to life. Now, backsliding is one thing, but to engage in sexual sin is the lowest pit of the backslider's making. DON'T PRACTICE SIN.

Check yourself out and make certain of your salvation. The Day of Judgment will reveal many who professed Christ, BUT WHO ARE NONE OF HIS. Jesus shows us parables to this effect. Certainly, grace is afforded only to the elect. Why take a chance? Eternal death is too horrible to contemplate. Do you think that down the ages God’s elect have acted in this manner of adultery?

How will you defend yourself when the words of Christ sear into you because you have found out too late that you are indeed as "wells without water - clouds that are carried with a tempest TO WHOM THE MIST OF DARKNESS IS RESERVED FOREVER?” Read carefully 2 Peter 3 v 17: “Ye therefore beloved, seeing that ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own (previous) steadfastness.” 

See that under these circumstances, it is a gross folly to assume that at the end of time the Lord will not judge such folks in the same way as He will judge the reprobate, who are described in 2 Peter 2 v 10-22. I would say that such people who ignore the Word of God and continue in their sin were never saved in the first place.

Tares, wearing the cloak of deceit. Remember the parable of the wedding feast? The picture is of a guest who had no wedding garment on. The Bridegroom (the Lord) was meeting all the guests, and picked out this one.

Once discovered, that sorry soul is cast out of the wedding feast and into outer darkness. Wow! Does that not scare you? Another picture is painted by the Lord of a man who had cast out devils in His name, but Jesus says to him: "Depart from me, ye workers of iniquity, I never knew you.”

Notice that grace has no scope whatever for the persistent sinner who claims he is saved, but who does what he thinks he should do outside the confines of grace. He is living an illusion and worse, a delusion. Grace is the favour of God for His elect who are known by their fruits.

Now, as for the elect couple who have fallen into such sin, it is only a matter of time before they will have to repent. The Bible states clearly that the time to repent is NOW! Every sinner will try to put off this command of God. The Holy Spirit will work and work upon you until that nauseating feeling of revulsion of sin comes upon you. The illicit relationship has gone on and on until the legal marriage is broken and the pair of adulterers are re-married. Is there hope of forgiveness from Jesus?

Grace is abounded towards them, but only when they truly repent. It may mean tears of repentance; It will mean full surrender to the God who paid the price of sin for them by the blood of His Son Who gave Himself for them. I mean they must give up their illicit partners.

If the two do re-marry, they will inevitably have to repent and live before Him by faith in God's mercy for them, though there is no guarantee that God’s grace will necessarily bless them whilst in the relationship. The Church is powerless to help in this couple’s sin saga and consequential remarriage. Only time will tell. Time not one of us has to lose in any pursuits other than to win Christ and the eternal rewards of our works of faith.

The two of them will have lived all their sinful remarried lives never knowing how God views them. Only after many years may such folks know by their experiences whether the blessing of God had returned in the form of deep repentance or not. Is it worth losing that quiet confidence and loving hand of His blessings and His wonderful Holy Spirit-given peace and tranquility? 

Tears of remorse are not acceptable, because these kinds of tears go no further than the ceiling. Tears like this say, "I AM SORRY I GOT FOUND OUT; I'M SORRY BECAUSE IT HAS MADE ME SAD AND TEARFUL. I'M SORRY THAT I CAN'T CONTINUE THIS AFFAIR."

However, some do repent. God CAN work that out too, but only on the grounds of real repentance such as King David showed. "Against thee and thee only have I sinned and done this great evil in thy sight.” You, likewise, have to see that this sin is gross evil in the sight of God.

Never again will you sin in this way. Wronged partners are alive today and the guilty parties continue to re-marry. Yet can it be that there is no grace for the souls who have lost their way in this manner?

I would say without hesitating that provided the child of God who has fallen foul in this most horrible sin deeply repents, then he or she is going to be freed from condemnation by God’s grace. It may mean separation. It may mean great sacrifice. But it is better to obey God isn’t it? Didn’t Samuel say to Saul, “it is better to obey God than to hearken after the fat of rams?”

I also hasten to say that repentance will be much harder to come by as the years roll by. Sin hardens the soul all over again. The couple, perhaps now well into the remarriage, will settle down and thus get used to the wrong and barren situation. They will have no conscience and that troubles me. The real risk is that these souls may never repent – then what? No one will or can help any adulterer who is indeed hardened in sin. He must bear the consequences of his sin in this life and the next.

The word does not state the case for adulterers who never repent – except to be classed as the unbelievers on the Day that tries by fire. There is no grace for unbelievers on that day. Who wants to appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ in this hardened heart condition? What will the outcome be?

We can theorise all we like, but at the end of the Day we are not Christ and therefore it is sure that He will judge in righteousness every soul who had at one time partaken of the grace of God here on earth. Will grace save them? I do not know. If I do not know, and no-one else can know, what are you doing procrastinating with the woman you are besotted with?

 
The Problems of the Still-Alive Innocent Partner

The problems of the innocent partner being still alive are very real if the Law is seen as our yardstick and not grace. The legal marriage has been shot to pieces by the adulterous actions of the married partner. According to the law there is no possible alternative than to state, categorically, that this person is doomed to hell!

Only by grace is there a possibility of forgiveness and that the persons forgiven need not be executed, and lose their lives here and in the hereafter, but to the contrary and according to the depth of repentance and by grace, such folks are allowed to be free of that Law. Yes, it is hard for the innocent party in a break-up to see the ex-partner to be seemingly prosperous with another woman. But this is how it will be, and therefore the innocent partner must move on, leaving all judgment to God. The innocent party must remain innocent. 

 
Grace For Repentant David, the ‘Sweet Psalmist of Israel’

Grace saved David and Bathsheba in a time of the Law. They did not have to divorce, but, after repentance, they stayed married together. God forgave them. This is the criteria - that we repent. The story of David has many wonderful facets, even though he blotted his copy book as we say, by his adulterous and murderous acts. We need to see that in his case God forgave him and He also allowed the remarriage. God does what He does in all righteousness. Who will judge Him?

It is not safe to separate the two acts as the sin of adultery and the remarriage as OK. It certainly was not all right. His wives should have sufficed him. David married for the fourth time. In 1 Sam. Ch. 30 we read that his wives then were Michal, Ahinoam and Abigail. David married Bathsheba where the Law forbade more than one wife. David was enlightened by the Holy Spirit and knew God’s grace. It is surprising that God overlooked the three women David had married when he forgave David.

He got married to Bathsheba, knowing all about his evil of adultery and he married Bathsheba beyond his adultery and murder. Whatever it took, David was going to have Bathsheba. He deliberately covered up his sin. He was as guilty as ever a man could be found guilty. His marriage was a farce. Yet David was forgiven his sin and also the remarriage, though his children suffered greatly by the wrong marriage. We see in 2 Sam. 12 v 27: “And when the mourning was over, David sent and fetched her to his house and she became his wife.” 

It is no good stating that God’s laws were relaxed for David and that he could have women when he wanted them – but these supposed relaxed laws are tightened, air tight, in our days! Because he was King it gave him no rights at all over women in the cause of fornication with concubines or adultery with more than one wife. It was strictly forbidden to the Israelis!

Remarriage is a terrible tragedy. But it does happen and it will continue to be so even to some in the church. What I have written is a way of hope for those who are rejected by the Church for their misconduct and improprieties which lead to re-marriage, and, by it, perhaps a new life in the Lord as they have repented and walking with the Lord again.

Are you saying that souls go to hell because they have messed up their marriages? If you cannot say that with conviction, then there must be another way for these folks and I say it is to err on the side of His grace. Can no re-married person qualify themselves ever again as being a Christian before our loving God? These are children of grace who have messed up - just as David most surely did.

We cannot use the argument that the elect would not do this. The elect have done many things as human nature dictates in moments of weakness. Yet I have no doubt that they sing before the throne of God today, hallelujah!

 

Insincere Repentance

One feels sorry for himself or herself because he/she had been found out. Why did Judas fall short of the glory of God and die by suicide? He was only feeling sorry for himself in his self-pity. Remorse is not repentance! Remorse is often the only sorrow a man without Christ feels. Only the Holy Spirit convicts of sin and of the Judgment to come.

Only Jesus can save from the ‘guttermost to the uttermost’. Only Jesus, by His grace, can forgive sinners who, we well know, will also still sin after conversion. Yes, even adulterers and fornicators who deeply repent of their sins. There is sufficient grace still abounding towards the repentant soul.

Allow, then, the brooding of the Holy Spirit to bring you to true repentance. The matchless grace of Jesus will overshadow you and forgive you of your sins - all of them. Deep and lasting repentance causes us to shun forever that illicit tendency of our old nature. We inherit so much garbage from our ancestors! Sin is in the blood.

Sin works against us all the time. Some think moral betrayal is alright. Some are not worried when something is shown to them of an immoral nature (e.g., pornographic literature); and even when advances are made upon them of a sexual nature they willingly give in, thinking it to be just natural. Such folks are born with these inherent weaknesses that do not show up until puberty.

To these folks it might be ‘natural’, but to every upright soul around them it is a nauseating thing! These folks are always in danger of being overcome by the enemy of souls. They need deliverance. They need to confide in a good spiritual person about this fact of their personality and character.

The counselor will counsel such folk from the word of God, and he/she will also pray with them for their deliverance. Sometimes there are spirits of lust or unclean spirits. Prayer changes things. Jesus spoke about some kinds of spirits that do not come out except by prayer and fasting. The Holy Spirit will have spoken to this weak character about these tendencies that spoil the pilgrimage of the soul. Yet the problem may not be addressed until far into an affair and subsequent re-marriage. Then the deliverance came and one consulted the spiritual counselor.

After sincere repentance and renewal by the Holy Spirit, God will open up another door for you, because God’s chastisement is not forever. You, however, will be standing on the crossroads of your life.

Supposing that the illicit partner has gone back to the wife or husband, and you are left stranded without anyone to soothe or care for your tears? Is it not better to be found out by the Holy Spirit, sufficiently for you to really see yourself as you are before The Living God?

Here is an example of redeeming grace over-ruling the Law! Grace is divine favour, mercy and kindness, towards us who are the elect of God. Grace does not condone any sin, but, particularly, because we are on this subject of adultery, when the perpetrators of the sin of adultery have repented, then God's grace is abundant and free towards these Law-breakers.

 
Having a Fling?

How many men and women have ‘had a fling’ and then expected their partners to take them back? Sexual love outside of marriage is terribly wrong for Christians. There is a physical love in sex but the higher love is born of that sweet love which binds one to another for life.

The first experience of real committed love you had was in the first loving and good marriage. It was pure, kind, considerate and faithful, and blessed by the Lord! It lasted, it endured, until you messed up and by it you had broken the marriage.

 

 

Chapter 13

Encourage Respect in Marriage

HUSBANDS WHO ARE UNFAITHFUL - YOUR WIFE WAS NEVER YOUR LACKEY! You probably treated her like one until the episode of your sin was found out. Enough is enough.

Don't blame your wife; don't blame your husband. You may have to start again without her/him who has been as a rock in the marriage. He/she was your best asset, particularly where the children were concerned. Her love and unselfish and sacrificial giving of her labours in the home were priceless.

It is another story when marriages are not based on love, and that those marriages were formed for the wrong reasons. These marriages we call horrendous do not only exist, but they work very well. It is the point then that God’s Laws on marriage still stand, richer or poorer, sickness and in health, ‘til death do us part.

Many folks in our world who have never heard the gospel would not dream of divorcing their wives, or indeed being unfaithful. The key may be that these folks are generally very poor and work too hard to be looking at someone else. If vows are made, God expects you to keep them.

The faithful husband worked many hard hours to fund the lifestyle you both enjoyed. You went behind his back for some while, until the adultery was found out. How should he react? It takes a good and highly gracious man to eventually forgive his wife for these acts of adultery against him and the family - and, most of all, the Christ who redeemed you. It takes a very devoted, loving wife to forgive such a battering upon her. It is like stripping her naked before the world and leaving her half dead.

The chastisement of God will still come upon you - even when you go back to your partner. Both of you will take some knocks as you both desire to make a go of your marriage. You may find your partner being edgy and alarmed as the enemy of souls suggests she or he is a fool and that the partner in the marriage is still cheating.

That late appearance from your place of work, or that phone-call to whoever, ‘number withheld’. There will be those emotional times when the wife disappears because she is weeping and sobbing to herself.

If it is a husband, he will be working in his shed and in the garden in his spare time more than he used to! Here is normal behaviour in the innocent party's soul as he/she wrestles with the unfaithfulness of the legal partner.

When the guilty husband returns to his wife, or wife to her husband, it will not be an immediate welcome back home! Adjustments have to be made until the aggrieved partner is able to be open and frank with the partner who sinned against her/him. Amazing grace will mend this marriage as they both co-operate with the Holy Spirit.

Getting to grips with life after the betrayal of adultery is mind-bending for some, after the episode of revealed adultery has been found out and eventually forgiven. We do not act like God. Rather, we are very human and weak in these situations.

The marriage could flounder for a while, even after all the promises of devotion on either side. It may seem hopeless, but now is the opportunity to become a rock again in your home. "I understand how you feel, darling, but we will work it out." That's the spirit.

As for the forgiven adulterer, it will take almost forever in this life to fully forget the trauma caused by his/her actions in an adulterous relationship. Chastisement comes in this form. It is the natural outcome of such sin, even if God forgives you and your partner! It won't simply go away.

There is also that threefold cord that cannot be broken as God comes in on that sweet love to cement the three together - "one another, and God's blessing in marriage." You, your scriptural legal partner and the Lord are that three-fold cord. Success will come. God is no respecter of persons and He will do it for you as unto His own glory and majesty.

 

How Can This Be?

Whilst we are on this subject, it is a fact that pastors and others who have had affairs, allow the practice that any member can be forgiven and restored, as long as they go back to their partners. Is this right? Then what about the adulterers who have gone so far and actually re-married? What happens to them? Broken lives God can mend.

The Church, generally, looks upon such marriages as marriages without the sanction and blessing of God. "Oh, you are in continual adultery," they judge. But this is a debatable subject that is inconclusive, for such a re-married couple cannot be proved to be in continual adultery. The couple, admittedly, are going to have serious problems getting back into fellowship again.

The Fellowship will not accept their remarried status and therefore the church will not allow them to hold an office - or, perhaps, not even to be welcomed back into the fellowship again. My reply is to show that God is rich in mercy and grace and that He can afford sufficient grace even to the worst-dyed sinner.

Whatever our differences, it needs to be shown that with any one of us who might commit this hideous sin and go so far as remarriage, and have since repented, there is still hope of life in the Lord. Equally, these repentant folks should be re-admitted into fellowship with the church on an equality basis. No stigmatism. Give them free rein to prove themselves in the assembly again. Give them room to show their good intent before the Lord. Time will heal and time will show the gratitude these people will have for the Lord’s second chance. 

God is infinitely more ready to forgive than we are. It is the confusion of the Law that deters folks from taking much more notice of God’s grace even in these situations. There is no ambiguity about this comment for our God is going to show grace despite the foolishness of the adulterer. Why is that? He leads his children to repentance. He restores the souls of such and maketh such to lie down in green pastures. 

 
Going Back to the Legal Partner - Never Out of the Scenario

Of course it is a heartless thing to do, to woo an illicit partner. Yet, all the time the two are together, it never crosses the mind of such an adulterer to leave his own legal partner. Just an affair. Such actions are criminal in God's sight.

It usually transpires that the ‘naughty boy’ or ‘naughty girl’ is forgiven and tucked back into their positions again in the local church. Yet what of the other party - the humiliated adulteress or adulterer? How do they fair?

Probably devastated and crushed and having no-one to turn to. "I always knew she was a hussy!" Or, "He was a right one! He fancied all the ladies!"

The local church would not want to know. Perhaps the adulterer had no place to go. An angry husband's attitude to his wife's unfaithfulness could be to throw her out into the street. An adulterous man could be slain by an angry husband. These things do happen.

Proverbs states this to be a certain possibility. Such souls seem to me to be forgotten and cast off to their own fate by the local church. It is so terribly sinful and destructive for that man or that woman's spiritual survival. The Church ought to care for these rejected souls. They belong to the Lord, but the road ahead is almost too hard for them to bear. The local church sees to that.

The Judge of all the earth will judge them in righteousness. God is always on the side of a wronged partner or wronged woman in these cases. Yet He has a heart for the elect who have gone astray in this manner adultery.

If it is possible, the Lord seeks to help such an one to be repaired and revitalised in his/her faith. Have we forgotten the precious Holy Spirit (our Paraclete) Who is sent to be alongside us – even when we sin He never leaves nor forsakes us. If all is of God in our salvation and course in life, He will see us through to the end of our lives. He is faithful that promised.

There is no sin that God cannot forgive. Except of course the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. No child of God would do that – but he might commit adultery, in which case the Lord of glory will cause that soul to repent. Now I do not say that the church will see it that way, and to the contrary will not accept your repentances because you have re-married.

Don’t blame them but pray that in time the Lord will make a way for you again in the church somewhere. Everything hinges upon the acknowledgement of your sin and the willingness of your spirit to comply with the Holy Spirit’s will and purpose in your lives – which is repentance.

Consider also, that the attitude of rejection you suggest will only give them fuel for the flame. They must be made to see love demonstrated to them and by much prayer. The real problem grace faces is the attitude by the so-called innocent partner and the camp that stand on that side. There will be rancor, bitterness and eventually contempt. We cannot class God as being against the adulterers in such a manner. God is love. God deals in love with His own.

Show to all those who are in such a plight, particularly those who might confide in you, that Jesus means more to you than life itself. As for the adulterous partner who decided to go back to the legal partner, accept that the partner had repented and had gone back home to the hurt wife or husband and the children, as is right in the eyes of the Lord. Perhaps it will be a time when you will be melted enough to do the same. God can turn it all around for the honour of His holy Name. 

This sin probably convicted him or her so much that he/she had no choice but to go back to the original wife or husband. This also happens and it is always the risk that born-gain adulterers must face. Tell those who are interested in your testimony how Jesus cares. How the Holy Spirit drew you to repentance and joy again.

The joy of your so great salvation. Show much love to these sorry folks. But rejection? Never. Such sorry folks would be melted as they saw charitableness oozing from the members of the church. The adulterers who had remarried before they repented will know their sin, but especially they will then know how Christians stand together and love one another. The desired effect is that such formerly ejected souls will be drawn back to the local fellowship and with a ready heart to be counseled and eventually they may well be brought back into fellowship.

"Cloud nine" love is surely the mountain we all gladly climbed when we fell in love and then married. However, all that ‘first love’ will eventually turn to the reality of marital love with all its responsibilities. Faithfulness is the brand of love God demands of us.

 
The Sanctity of Marriage

However, we all know life has many twists and turns, hurts, difficulties, trials and heartaches. We all know these situations are very much the realities of life. Yet it is all part of our love, made the stronger through holding up one another, trusting one another, helping one another, etc. Does not redeeming grace show every one of us about true love – the love of our Redeemer Who has given His all for us?

 

Considering the Consequences

It is very much more difficult for second-time-round married couples who have come out of the havoc of divorce through adultery. It is a true statistic that second-time-round married couples could all benefit from the saints in the local church if they would show unreserved love. Thinking and ministering love to those who have so many needs in their lives.

Love can still cover a multitude of the sins of others. Agape love is all-embracing towards the erring brother or sister, even in the matter of adultery and the tearful sorrows of repentance. God is also concerned for the one who has to be rejected after the adulterous relationship has been uncovered by confession and repentance.

Putting sin away is one thing, but forgiveness and restoration for these sad people by the local church, is, more often than not, ignored. The church must change these irregularities - for the Lord's sake, for goodness' sake and for the erring couple’s own sakes. FORGIVE AND RESTORE SUCH AN ONE IN THE SPIRIT OF HUMILITY.

Say to yourselves, "There go I but for the grace of God." There was a case recently of a pastor and his wife who gave another couple a bad time because they were in an adulterous relationship. They vilified them dreadfully.

The gross pontification this pastor used against them was cruel and inexcusable. Now, it transpired later that this same judgmental pastor’s marriage broke up because of his unfaithfulness. He went off with another woman. Never judge others like they did, because they were judgmental rather than seeking to show care for them. It was not the place of this pastor to judge so anyway. Counsel was not sought from him. Judging righteously is the Lord’s way. We all could, if we engage in like judgmentalism, be put in that same position.

Hurts and heartaches take their toll, and, over a period of time, such folks who admit to breaking God's sacred law on marriage, have turned the unhappy souls into very private and deeply wary persons. Such have a cast-iron cover over their feelings. How long will it be before these folks are mended again? It will take years off their lives if love from the Church is denied to them.

Jesus “tied the Pharisees up in knots” by pointing out that as soon as a person commits adultery he/she will always be an adulterer in the next relationship, particularly if it is the fact that the same man or woman who had caused the break in the marriage in the first place marries again.

No-one can ignore this fact about God’s laws on marital relationships. The adulterers cannot push ahead with a remarriage just to spite the church’s rejection. The motive must be deep recognition before a holy God that what has happened has been a terrible sin against Him. They will need to make precious vows not to commit adultery again, along with their deep repentances, before making any decision about their situation.

Even the innocent party would commit adultery if God's laws are broken and if she/he remarries an adulterer. It is happening all the time in the world round us. It is indeed a hard saying. Yet it is the Lord Himself who says this. Jesus answers the Pharisees by the written Law.

The woman who seeks to keep her lover is also doomed to be an adulteress. Just because the law in this country makes it easier these days for adulterers to come together and form a marriage, IT IS, NEVERTHELESS, AN ADULTEROUS ‘MARRIAGE’ IN GOD'S SIGHT.

Such marriages should be addressed by the Church. Is there a way out for such couples guilty of adultery, and worse, remarriage? There is a way out, as I have reasoned already in the book – to repent and throw themselves on the mercy of God for His will and His wisdom to be revealed to them. We have no control over anybody who has been ejected from the church. The decisions now are firmly in the hands of the adulterers. This is why someone must write a book of this nature to guide them into God’s purposes again whatever the couple do outside of the church’s blessing.

The elect will do the right thing in the end – even if they do not find the truth for a while after remarriage. God does not banish them in this period as folks tend to think. God did not forget David, but chose to worry his conscience until repentance came. I am saying that all God’s children who are soundly born-again and yet commit this wrong, do have a great chance of full recovery – because it is in God’s nature now, since Christ died and rose again to bring His children through to victory for His name’s sake. We have to be there for them when at last they see the light as to their situation, and repent.

 
 

Chapter 14

Last-Resort Situations

When every good feeling and advice fades into insignificance, as to God's part in these situations, where the perpetrators of this sin remarry, the sole judge is the Lord of Heaven. How will He judge such couples?

All these folks can do is repent and throw themselves upon the mercy of God. Forgiving an adulterous marriage is God's prerogative. Who knows the outcome of such a union in God's holy eye? Only He.

At the very best it will not be an easy ride in this life. The couple will have to live by faith in the righteous and faithful love of a bountiful God. The relationship will bring them closer in strict obedience to God. He alone can work things out as the couple seek to please God in their lives and spiritual conduct together.

There is no scripture to help these folks except the areas I have mentioned which, in themselves, are still no guarantees that God must adhere to what He did long ago in David’s life. I would be guessing and that is not the point of this book. However, it is my feeling that God will work your life out to His honour and glory and perfect will (whatever that may entail).

The Holy Spirit is a glorious Paraclete, Who will never leave us nor forsake us. We ought to trust much more in His ability to convict of sin and of the Judgment to come. In many cases we ought to make way for God to decide the fate of these couples.

I have the confidence that all His redeemed who have been found in this condition will come through even this test and its resultant chastisements. Beyond guess-work I have witnessed cases where such couples are obviously very well ordered, having returned long ago to the Lord they had sinned against. I found no fault in them.

Their sorrow has been a nightmare to them, but I have witnessed the Holy Spirit’s work in their lives. One couple were so upset over their situation and the constant memories forced upon them by their previous lives of sin.

In the meeting one Sunday morning it was clearly seen by the congregation the evidence of the Holy Spirit moving upon the couple. Since that day they are free and full of joy, and the dreadful memories have gone. They are fully delivered. Seeing this first hand is a proof in itself that Grace can over-rule our stupid mistakes. Of course I concede that there will be many professing Christians amongst the many who come before the church for these reasons of adultery.

It is almost impossible for oversights to really tell the difference between the elect and the unsaved pretenders. It has to be a case of seeing how things pan out. Quite rightly the sinning couples are ejected from the church. However, the pretenders are soon exposed, and the real called people of God will go no further than God will allow. Therefore, how essential it is for God’s people to be there for these dear folks whom the enemy of souls has bound hand and foot, but who eventually are gloriously released

Can any couple sinning in these situations find a powerful testimony again when they do not know how God will shape their futures? See how it is so much more less complicated to do things God’s way.

It is possible in the rare case for the adulterers to be remarried under the terms of grace, though marriage is strictly termed indissoluble. The Law does not give anybody any license to break up the marriage union. Therefore, the sorry couple must work it out together before the Lord. Erring on the side of righteousness.

Adultery is the dead-end ditch where the very foundations of love have sunk and the ground of the heart has become barren. The ideal of marriage has long since left them both. What is the ideal?

The husband loving the wife as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it, and the woman respecting her husband and complementing all that the husband does - for their sakes and for the Lord's sake!

God seals the lawful marriage, by His own presence being very much a part of it for all of the rightly married couples' lives. Without His presence and obvious approval (by the blessing of God) upon that re-marriage you will find that you will by then have seen that what you had done was to compound the sin, and that it was a very serious breach of "the peace that passes all understanding." How you will need the blessing of God.

You will feel as two separate units. One in sexual union maybe, but never one in the spiritual union that only God can bring. When God is not a part of your relationship and you feel a void spiritually, it may be better to part from each other altogether and remain single. God will work that out to the honour of His name. 

 

Deuteronomy 24

There are many folks who try to make out that this chapter is an opt-out clause, "finding some uncleanness" in the partner that made it possible for the accusing husband to be able to divorce his wife (and much later in the centuries the men-folk could also be charged with uncleanness and thus procure a divorce). It is not possible to make scriptures fit the agenda of the adulterers.

The scriptures are clear that uncleanness was the important thing when judging a married woman according to the Deuteronomic law in Ch 24 in those days. Perhaps she smelled foul! Or she was vile in her habits; or perhaps she was not capable of keeping the home clean. She might be very lazy and careless with her personal hygiene, and the hygiene of the home - especially when she prepared food. She could be intolerably lazy. The law in Deuteronomy 24 did not include sexual sins.

Those who committed adultery in those far-away times were stoned to death. Just because we live in a relaxed society and morals are so low, it does not make the Bible void when we decide to join this long list of adulterers by our own version of relaxed ideas.

 
What Does Deuteronomy 24 Teach?

The chapter shows that a man could divorce his wife if she had some form of uncleanness. There is a disease of the sweat glands which could make life intolerable for a partner to endure. Who could endure such a smell and waft? She might have a continual menstruation. 

As there was no understanding of the methods women use today to cover the smell of menstruation, it is certain that cloths alone could not cover up such a bad smell. Some women wore flowers at menstruation times, but whether these flowers were used as far back as the times of the Israelites I do not know. It is certain that such a smell would be intolerable for a husband to bear.

The wife may have other bad and unclean habits, things that were intolerable. She could be very uncouth and loudly unclean in her conversation, she may be lazy and leaving the children unattended and filthy.

Husbands brought many charges and complaints against their wives, but, the husband could have a very lazy spirit and would not work. Unfortunately, there was no one to correct his misdemeanours. He could stink like a pig by reason of BO, but the poor wife could not divorce him.

Life was all designed to please the men-folks in those days. The poor wife was very often a victim of her husband's determination to be rid of her.

A husband may suspect his wife of sexual unfaithfulness, and could ask for the test of faithfulness or non-faithfulness. A Hebrew husband in the camp of the Israelites could approach the elders in the camp if he suspected his wife of unfaithfulness, and subsequently bring her before Moses, who would take a bowl of unclean water and make the suspected wife drink of it.

If she was guilty she would fester and swell up and become very ill and die. If she was not guilty, she would not suffer any disease at all. A crude method? No, because God honoured this form of judgment and no-one would be wrongly tested and no-one would die innocently.

However, it would be contradictory if Deuteronomy 24 was instituted to give the men-folk a right to divorce. It would have been a direct contradiction to the Law “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” As it is, the Jews have taken this Deuteronomic law too far and have included the contents of the chapter to mean that they could freely divorce!

The situation got so bad that they could have up to four wives! This was a mockery of God’s strict law, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”

This was the more serious crime because the people lived in tents, so there would be a greater risk of covered-up adultery and the spiritual disease of adultery could be activated throughout the camp. Moral decay would begin right there in such a relaxed Law.

Venereal diseases were God's physical punishment for sexual sin! Today, added to a large increase in these sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS, that scourges the earth! Homosexual sin brought about this terrible terminal disease, but today it is now spreading amongst the rest of society – even amongst heterosexuals. Death is the judgment of God upon men and women who engage in the vile sins of Sodomy.

Because so many folks everywhere engage in illicit sex, we are seeing millions of sufferers from this disease, which has no cure. I feel terribly sorry for those who contracted the disease by blood transfusion or by being accidentally spotted by the blood of those with AIDS, when perhaps a Christian nurse attended them.

There was a case some years ago of a woman nurse who was a fine Christian missionary. She loved her job tending the sick in Africa. Tragically, she contracted the disease by the blood of a patient accidentally being spilled on a cut on her leg. She died of AIDS.

 
“We Are Not Under Law, But Under Grace!”

Grace is limited to the elect of God. The elect of God will behave in a way pleasing to God. This principle challenge is for all of us to observe. The saved adulterer will eventually return as the prodigal son did. Yes, the Law is abolished and Christ fulfilled the Law in every jot and tittle; Christ was the end of the Law. Christians are indeed covered by that glorious robe of His Righteousness. Yet adulterers have yet to experience that peace with God, having not understood the basis of reconciliation to God in the first place. That glorious Robe has been left off for a long time.

Now the devil, on the other hand, says to those contemplating sin: "YE SHALL NOT SURELY DIE." Never listen to the lies of the devil. You could die early in this life! God is never mocked without dire consequences. Remember, also, that when this temptation to look at and hold another partner comes to knock on your door, it will soon overcome you if you are not well prepared and faithful in your marriage. You might even die in the course of this sin! What then?

Will the Doctrine of Grace save you then? Never leave anything to chance. Either God will or He will not save you from this sin. Are you a gambler? Who is stupid enough in this life to take chances with the next glorious life? The Lake of Fire is the only alternative to this Glorious life with the Lord of Glory.

The Elect of God will not go too far into this sin of adultery before the Holy Spirit will pull them out of it. Even if they re-marry before repentance comes. However, it does behoove every one of us to examine our lives as those soundly saved and who are going on with the Lord. If you have had that wonderful up and down experience of salvation, and that change from death to life, then you have to run away from these sins that cripple the soul.

Now, it is so wrong, this illicit love, that sooner or later it must be confessed before the Lord. Real love has its taboos in the contract of marriage. All married couples who are justly in a God-honouring marriage must cling only to each other.

As for illicit lovers, it is only when the Holy Spirit convicts them of their sin, that with it will come the shame. They will recall the illicit relationship with horror and remorse and repentance, instead of the happy memories of that first marriage, which was right in the sight of God.

There may be a scenario where two folks run away from marital obligation, but the one adulterer is saved, albeit sinfully set, and the other adulterer is unsaved. The relationship is absolutely forbidden in at least two areas.

  1. The unequal yoke of unbeliever and believer.
     

  2. There can never be a union of any dimension of spiritual blessing.
     

  3. The relationship is doomed if the couple engage in a remarriage.

Such is the reality of this foolish scenario. I have shown that God’s mercy can extend to these foolish people – but serious lessons must be learned about unselfish love, faithfulness and lifelong commitment to each other for life. Obviously the overriding commitment will be to the Lord of Glory and grace.

 

Marrying an Unsaved Partner

How can such an one, who has known the way of the Lord, join in such a “holy estate of matrimony” with an unbeliever? Whether it is legal in the eyes of the Law of the land, does not come into the equation. With all your might, give up the unsaved partner. Why step into the unknown? You will never be certain, ever, of God’s blessing again. Fact.

Marriage is a covenant of spiritual unity. If there is no spiritual life in the one partner and you have the life of the Holy Spirit in you, there can be no fellowship – period! Never marry anyone who is unsaved.

 

The Nightmare in the Mind

Can any Christian, locked into this terrible sin of adultery, look back without shame to the private scenes in the mind, of those sexual gropings and secret liaisons, with all the passions involved? Can they say ‘this is love, pure love’? Of course they cannot.

 

Does God Work It Out When We Mess Up?

It is my experience that when true repentance takes place, after much travail and trials, God's Plan is to bring that person or persons to a place of grief over the sins THAT HAD BROKEN THE MARRIAGE AND ITS SANCTITY. Then, after great sorrow and tears of repentance, God will bring the penitent souls to a real new beginning and He will bless these folks again, as they are willing to repent and obey the instruction of the word of God.

If not, then God will also expose the unreality of the professing ‘Christian’ who is not really born of God. If you are God's elect, you will repent, whether at the time of the local church's examination, or later, when you will finally cease from this sin. It is inevitable that God will bring you to judgment over this sin. Judged down here, on this earth. Have you thought of the consequences of your sin? Chastisement is a very large ordeal to go through.

It is better to be judged down here than for God to judge the sin of adultery at the Great Judgment Seat of Christ. Who wants to be tried as by fire before the Judgment Seat of Christ? God would rather seek the repentance of all his erring children - sufficiently enough for this sin never to occur again in folks who had so badly erred.

Judging our sin down here is the way it should be, and not in the hereafter and before the Judgment Seat of Christ (Bema). Repentance brings one to admit, like King Saul, who had to confess before the Lord and Samuel, God's godly prophet: "I have played the fool and erred exceedingly." We must all acknowledge that the fruits of sin are never comparable to the fruits of the Spirit in an obedient saint.

I have always wondered after this hugely popular King as to what became of him in the hereafter. Is he in heaven or is he lost for all eternity? How ignoble was his death. What shame he suffered. Did he automatically lose all rights to the hereafter and its wonderful glory because he brought up the spirit of Samuel and consulted him for his advice?

Friends, whoever you are who are living in adultery as Christians, can this ‘wonder’ after you, be like I have suggested over King Saul? Have you erred exceedingly and played the fool? And as King Belshazzar, are you found wanting? It is unthinkable that Christians should be placed in these questionable categories!

 
 

Chapter 15

Hiding the Sin of Moral Decay

Moral decay begins almost without noticing it. The overdone look at another of the opposite sex; same-sex adultery is never to be tolerated and the people involved in this hideous sin are definitely not saved and filled with the Spirit of God. Not regenerated. As for couples who are heterosexual, outward sin begins in the lingering smile, the need to be the centre of attention. Drawn into lust and the craving to fulfill the desires of the flesh - something will arise so that that lust can be satiated.

Once bitten by sin it will follow through into actual sexual gratification under the pretext of love. Oh, if only we knew our own inner-selves as our Holy God knows us.

I know a pastor – a friend - who fell for four women in his church (not all at once of course) and it caused dreadful confusion. He subsequently repented went back to his wife each time, and was invited back into the pulpit two years later after the last affair was over.

I compliment the church for their love for their pastor, but this story is one in a millionFour women? Today he is well loved and respected in his retirement. He is well saved, he has a very good thriving church and now that he is retired his son is now the pastor there. But this story is unusual in the sense that not many ever get back into the pulpit again. He did. But it may never happen for another pastor.

As long as the adulterer goes back to his wife, it seems to be all right. But is it? We can only imagine the struggles for the hurt partner to really forgive her/his legal but erring partner. The case above, which I have quoted, has a very rare ingredient that saved the marriage and the church – a very spiritual wife; a loving wife, who at all costs was out to save her marriage and the pastorate for her husband.

She soldiered on as acting pastor of this quite large church whilst her husband sat disciplined in the congregation. Only a renewed life by the Holy Spirit's impartation of grace can help these hurting folks get along and eventually make something of their marriage. The pastor’s wife in this case is an example – a model of how possible it is to retrieve a broken marriage by sexual misconduct.

If you are into sexual sin in the church, and you are reading this book - the days ahead will be a real test of your willingness to submit to the mighty hand of God. He alone is able to mend you both so that you will be able to feel at the last the forgiveness necessary for your spiritual progress.

You will pray much. You will love much the God you betrayed in this matter of adultery. You will be constantly tested by the enemy of souls as he forces his graphic reminders and memories and wishes to return to the adulterous partner.

However, The Holy Spirit will always seek to bring back these Christians who were caught up in adultery. Only God alone can forgive you both - but will He or won't He? This battle of the mind is for life! Has He really forgiven me?

Even though the comforts of the Word are applied to your innermost being, the doubts are there. It is good to check up on your theology, reading The Doctrine of Grace for correction and comfort.

 

THE OTHER WOMAN/MAN WHEN YOU HAVE GONE BACK TO YOUR FIRST PARTNER

The other woman, or other man, who sinned with you in this illicit relationship, may be so broken and with no-where to run. Lonely and forsaken, what of her/him? The wife of this pastor I have mentioned above, "was a brick" as we say.

She 'carried the can' so to speak, and still majored in the home and in the church as the acting pastor for two whole years! But her Trojan actions are not usual. She was one in a million.

The erring pastor, forgiven, was then restored to full ministerial duties. Both the pastor's wife and the church folks were magnificent. I know him well and I am delighted that the marriage is still active and real today. My friend is now retired. My thoughts are very often with them. Life is never easy, whether you are a Christian or not.

Mark well that the situation with my friend, as shown above, is very rare and mostly very unlikely. God forgives, after true repentance, but people do not, neither do they forget. Beware, then, the temptation to trap one of the opposite sex into a relationship which will not end up right before God.

The aftermath of the discovery of your sin can mean broken lives filled with problems and searching questions, that your mind cannot solve in the immediate term or even in the future. It becomes a no-man's land and a position you cannot escape from. Memory Lane becomes a curse to you. LOVE IS NOT EVERYTHING UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES.

The memories come flooding back and which over-rule the peace you have begun to find back with your original partner! Oh the guilt, the remorse, the indelible memory-pictures still in the mind of that love you should never have pursued!

These pictures will return over and over again to your mind. Count on it! The devil will make sure you remember well all the events of your affair with another woman/man. He wants to get you to lust after another partner, or the same one you have left.

 

TELLING YOUR CONFIDANT OR COUNSELLOR ABOUT THE SITUATION

He or she will tell you that God forgives and forgets your sin when it is repented of. However, it is infinitely more difficult to forgive yourself. You will go over the past events like a dog chewing a bone. Our arch-enemy, the devil, uses many tools to bring you back to this 'square one'.

 
What No-one Knows About the Illicit Partner

Love is a cloud-nine experience to begin with, and, when all the ‘good’ things are going for a lasting relationship, things LOOK very promising.

However, when the dust settles, particularly where there is conviction of sin because of one's adultery, in which activities one has his/her own way, this person will slowly but surely recognise that the new partner is as full of faults as the first wife - if not more so.

The problem is that the new partner has faults you did not see (or ignored) in her/him and now you find it just as hard to live with. That is life! Here is where you will learn that faults are all about our human demise.

If it isn't one thing it is another. A humorous word I heard a long time ago goes like this: "Before you were married, you loved her so much, you could almost eat her. After you were married you wish you had!" I hope that this is never the case with you. Mind you, I pity some wives and some husbands who have highly volatile partners.

The best way to tackle your feelings now is to concentrate upon your own faults and spend all your time correcting those faults, rather than spending time picking on your own partner. Jesus said: "Pluck the beam out of your own eye before you try to pull the mote out of another's eye." Or, He that is without sin first cast the stone.”

The new partner is probably so much more different from the first wife, and it is so very hard to keep the peace all the time. These are well-proven facts. Love is heavenly, but not for very long, as a cloud-nine existence. Your stomach churns, you have shortness of breath and palpitations; you can't stop thinking about your illicit partner and, when you do, the time drags so.

You would not be able to stand these feelings all the time. "Cloud-nine" love hurts, but a bump is coming. Time soon brings all of us to realize that one cannot stay in bed all day, simply sharing each other. There are important things to be done, like work for example, and cleaning the house, cooking the meals, or painting the house both inside and out. The daily routines of a normal busy household.

Things like shopping, and ironing the clothes after the clothes are left clean in the washing basket. Responsibilities! Then the children come and mayhem begins in the nursery. The endless nappies, the constant appeasing of little mouths that are hungry and thirsty all the time. Yet, the love that was in it all was precious, as you well remember.

Consider this, O man: If a man had the physical equipment to have the babies there would only ever have been one person born. No man would put up with the way women suffer by having their babies. Treasure her as the bearer of your children.

What is even more amazing is the fact that even knowing all this, many women would like to have more than one baby - sometimes two, three or four, and some have had 12 or more. John Wesley's wife had 12 children and she still found time to pray for one hour a day, shutting herself in with her Lord. She left no time for idle hands.

There is no way that a man would be able to hazard even a guess as to how he would have the fortitude and stamina to survive having 12 children or less. He would never have propagated the species at all. This is said in fun, of course, but how many times have men said that?

How we should value the women-folks in marriage. They are wonderful creations of God. As the weaker-bodied of the species they perfectly complement we men-folks in nigh on every way. Clever species these women. Husbands love your wives. Wives, love your husbands. Recognise that the first marriage had the best chance of success, because you were younger then, and the general circumstances in which you met together molded you into who you are today.

You knew your wife; you knew your husband; yet because of familiarities between you, there came this longing for something better in a marriage. You both worked tirelessly to provide for each other and you began to succeed as a married couple should do.

The partner, tempted to leave for another partner, will quickly form an "excuse conveyor belt." Suddenly, the faithful partner has all kinds of faults. "She nags constantly; she shouts at me more now; she's let herself go and she is fat;" or if it is the woman, she will say, "he's not here half the time; he doesn't do anything and he's just plain lazy. He won't do a thing for me."

"I wonder if I really loved him at all” is the usual outburst or, "He doesn't care for me as he did. I really don't love him anymore." Then, "I don't know what I saw in him in the first place." Words are living things in that they breed discontent in the marriage. This is the serious circumstance one can find him/herself in and it is dreadful, causing very unhappy feelings at the least.

It is a pity the erring partner did not take a good look at his/her own inner man (that each of us has inside of us). He/she could be moody, short-tempered, slovenly at times, and lacking in real appreciation of the faithful partner. "How fat she has become."

“There's nothing sexy about her anymore." Yes, the wife has probably let herself go, as we say. She doesn't dress to please her husband anymore, and she becomes a housewife simply concerned with pots and pans and dishes. In short she becomes like a machine. She grunts when her husband comes home from work and he grunts when he goes out of the door in the morning. Like ships in the night this marriage will soon be “on the rocks.”

It does not take much working out to deduce that this marriage is defunct. How they start these affairs baffles me! Neither partner can manage their own marriage let alone start an adulterous relationship with someone else's wife or husband.

All I can say is that one of the partners must be so bored and fed up that he/she wants to opt out of the marriage at any price. She is moving towards a very vulnerable position which could trigger off an affair at the least. A bored husband likewise.

A relationship formed from our species of humanity will work if the first marriage fell to pieces? I don’t think so. How hard up are you? Even if another partner is found to appease that appetite of boredom, it will be doomed to failure if the same attitude is allowed room in this already dubious remarriage.

Equally, some men simply shuffle around the house, being absolutely useless and expecting all the life and fun to come from the wife. So both are at fault. The illustration I give here is very real. Adulterers are suspect for these issues of the bored partner. Does your partner glue himself to the goggle-box every night? Does that partner shush you to silence every time you move? Will this marriage continue? At the least a door-way is open for the enemy of souls to whisper his lies in your ears.

As for this husband, the garden is a dump, the shed is falling to pieces through lack of attention, and as for the inside of the house it is practically a slum. He does only what he has to do these days. How does anyone expect this marriage to survive? The weeds are climbing up the wall.

Have you got the seven-year itch? Of course there could be many admirers attracted to both women and men, but is your marriage worth breaking up for even one of them? Is sexual intercourse your god? If you say definitely, "no," then you have to turn away - for your soul's sake.

Don't get hooked. Don’t be flattered. If your god is sexual gratification, there is no hope for you except radical conversion takes hold of you. Some women will find sexual interest irresistible as their pride takes over and they then cannot stop from enjoying the praises of lusty young men in the church. What danger this presents.

 
 

Chapter 16

After Adultery and Remarriage

For the second-time-round wife or husband, she, particularly, could be over-emotional and get worse as she gets older. He could get quite undesirable and the wife may well lose all harmony with her husband. We cannot tell how the future will turn out in years to come. Remember that you have chosen your own future together - outside the will of God. Only a solid relationship will stand the test of time. 

Consider these things before releasing your bottled-up, hot-blooded passion for another woman (and vice versa). You may change too. Yet it cannot be denied that your first wife put up with all your idiosyncrasies of human habits without complaining. Yet you will gamble everything on the love you have for this woman (and again vice versa). But will it stand the test of time? Can you not accept the statistics concerning second-time- round marriages – that there are greater risks of such marriages breaking down than the first marriages?

Recognise that in the first marriage situation it took years of molding together in the making of a strong relationship. Time brought the children into that harmony and stability which made such a good environment to be in.

Now, to try to make something much better in a shorter time IS IMPOSSIBLE. Marital love does not cover everything, and ongoing circumstances bring fresh challenges. You made it until now and then you muffed things up. It is certain that you have had the best times and now there is this present deep hole you have to fill in! It will take a lifetime.

What about their unforeseen lifetime of habits? How do they get along now with each other? Time will show that it is as hard, if not harder, to live with someone with all their faults as it was with the first partner.

When a wife is sick she is missed, terribly… Who cleans the house? Who makes the meals? Who makes a house a home? As a man, I appreciate these chores the wife does all the time. The only reward she gets from us men, usually, is an acceptance of her hospitality, which is taken for granted! We make an excuse by saying to ourselves, "she ought to be good in these departments."

In short, your new marriage will reveal that both of you are not the same people you thought you were! Faults emerge; attitudes emerge; illness may afflict one or the other;financial chaos could afflict you both, and the money coming in does not give either partner any leeway for enjoyment and entertainment.

It may be, also, that loss of employment, and constant attendance at the dole queue will prove to be very wearing on a new relationship. ‘Signing-on’ is a very humbling procedure and one in which will show you that you will never have sufficient monies until full employment is found.

It is far too late to look back and say "Oh, I never thought of that." It is generally far too late to change course and find that financially-firm ground upon which to stand. You could reap the whirlwind. How strong will this love be in the face of reducing finances?

Men try to take on the role of the wife in a time when sickness strikes his spouse, but it is never the same service. Husbands admit it. When you do your best to cook a meal, look at the mounting mound of pots and pans - it shows that one can never offer the same service as the wife of the house.

Husband, admit it. When you do your best to cook a meal, look at that mound of pots and pans piled high – it shows how your cooking is amateurish. Especially when you do not have a dishwasher. You will always miss an efficient wife in the kitchen – particularly if this second-time-round wife is not too good in this department.

 

The Same Human Nature is in All of Us

We all have faults. We all mess up. Yet, why is it that such feelings of dissatisfaction with one's mate fail to make one see that, at times, we are not very nice folks at all.Solomon must have been really "cheesed off," I think, when he wrote Ecclesiastes.

"What goes around comes around," we say today, and "there is nothing new under the sun," Solomon wrote. "What better thing to do than to eat and to drink and to be merry."

Ungratefulness - taking for granted all that the wife does and is! Both men and women can be very tactless and rude to their partners at times without knowing it. It must be said, though, it is very regrettable when a man ends up with a lazy woman, a slovenly woman, a selfish woman, or a brawling woman.

In his classic book of Proverbs, Solomon says: "It is better to live in the corner of a rooftop than in a wide house with a brawling woman." In another place: "A nagging wife is like a dripping tap on a very rainy day."

Oh yes, there are some loud women about and they get married to some poor fellow. Make sure the woman you have to live with is free of these terrible faults. Are you not concerned that you are going to get out of a marriage, only to find yourself remarried to someone you have nothing in common with? Or a man who is a disciplinarian, which you are not! Such equations are endless. At least you KNEW WELL your first wife.

 

The Demands of Sex

Generally, a young male expects to be a perpetual ‘stud’. When marriage is consummated, his sexual desires must be satiated by his wife all the time. Yet, we all have to understand that the women-folks are not all insatiable all the time. It would be unnatural. When the children come she will naturally ease off her interest in sex.

The nymphomaniac can sustain a great deal of sexual activity with various partners, but the good and faithful wife is not a nymphomaniac. Men, are you demanding too much of your wife?

Has it occurred to you that not all women like sex as they get older, yet perhaps you want her more and more as your bed-mate. Women have to be loved and to feel that love before they are willing to try to be what their men want them to be bed.

Why not love her and caress her and tell her that you love her, and don't expect her to use words that are designed to make you become aroused and cause you to end up taking her to bed. She will want, many times, simply to be loved and cuddled.

Love is what wives want - and I don't mean, necessarily, that it has to end in sex for the night. The wife craves LOVE. Unspoilt quality time with you alone. Sex very often spoils it for her. A woman is a complex creature. The Apostle Paul taught that it is the over-doing of sexual activity that invites sin to the door. 1 Cor. 7 v 5. The overall meaning is clear enough: “Lest Satan tempt you for your incontinency.”

Think about her feelings first and not your own. She wants you to share her concerns, her troubles, her worries about so many things, including the children's welfare. She may have a terrible problem with the thin walls that alone separate you from the children.

“Will my children hear us making love? Can they hear my husband grunting as he performs? Do they hear me as I sigh after the weight of my husband's body becomes more than I can bear?"

She is a perfectly normal and clean woman. She works and lives around her husband, showing a very practical love - keeping the home spotless; cleaning constantly so that the home is hygienically safe, healthy, and warmly - cheering to them as a family. She is worth a week's wages - as much as you men have in your pay packet - any time.

In fact, sex is usually a small part of a woman's free gift to her husband. She loves to be loved for who she is and not for what she can give. There is nothing worse for a woman who finds that sex is her husband’s dominant appetite.. In time he "rolls on" and "rolls off”, grunting as he is satisfied for himself. The wife is happy to go to sleep, satisfied or otherwise.

She likes to be cosseted and loved; she needs support from her family members and she is very prone to swings in her hormone cycle. She will be tearful at times; she will be cross at times; she will have times when sex is the last thing on her mind.

She will be dead-tired at times, and going to bed early is not necessarily a sign that she wants her husband's attentions in bed all night. Conjugal rights have their time and place.

"Only by mutual consent" is as plain in scripture as any other truth. Otherwise the devil gets in on the act and that "on and off"-most-horrible sex takes place to the destruction of the sacred joys of the marital bed.

 

Does a New Partner Settle this Male-Urge Thing?

Not any differently from the first wife, as time pans out. Sexual sin never gets tired of sex. The second remarried wife becomes just another woman. GENERALLY, IT IS US MEN WHO ARE THE CULPRITS for unfeeling sexual appetites. Women, however, can be just as open to temptation to have a fling as the men-folk. She longs to be loved and when she doesn't find love, there is something missing in the marriage.

It is the most solemn duty of both partners to give of all they have, unselfishly, to each other. Put your arm around your wife; tell her you love her no matter how she is as she grows ‘older.’ Let her see that your love for her is never going to cease.

By the time one is forty, there will appear that big stomach in men and also that similar large tummy in women. Both sexes will flop around rather than walk that once-proud strut you both thought made you look so good. That was a long time ago.

Yet this broad description of the problems experienced by both sexes are so natural. Bumps all over which tell you that life for you both is going to be as it was when you were younger. We all will inevitably get older. No-one looks like 20 when they are forty.

It gets worse when over fifty, and the decline continues until the ravages upon our humanity is over. So please stop the vanity of looking at yourself and your mate too often. Shakespeare wrote regarding age: "sans eyes, sans teeth, sans everything!" Fact.

 
 

Chapter 17

Age and its Ravages

Do not look at your wife and judge that she is getting less attractive. Otherwise, as with everything you have coveted, you will be looking for a new wife. Life is not forever. Look at yourself. You look your age, too.

Probably your abs have long since left behind those powerful sets of muscles; you are losing your hair; you are losing your teeth; you are puffing and gasping when you run to catch the ‘bus; women are not interested in you any more. Most of us blow up like balloons in those uncamouflaged areas. Thank goodness for clothes. They do such a lot of the camouflaging.

I feel as fit as a fiddle until I try to run fast, or jump over barrier bars in the roads. Swimming was my forte as a young man, but I soon found out that now when diving into a pool as expertly as ever, is no guarantee that today I have the energy to swim as I once did. One length takes a great deal of energy out of me.

My "Lats" are non-existent; I swim far too deep in the water and I can't rectify it. I am 67 years of age. They tell me it is quite normal for a man of my age. I have had to give it up as a serious hobby. Johnny Weissmuller could swim faster than most men in his 70's. Could you? So, few of us grow to be a Don Juan or an athlete of any stature. We quickly grow older.

Then stop comparing your wife with younger women. None of them would relish many days of marriage to you in your state of health. Yes, the father of six or three or even two. Vivacious girls are looking for the best of the rich handsome men that are about. Christian women are looking for love, but certainly not poverty with a man who has not done much as far as ongoing and well-paid employment is concerned. He doesn’t have the required credential any more.

Your wife has been too good to you, and you are looking elsewhere. Pack it in. Do not flirt with this danger. Molly down the road makes a fuss of you – she likes you – BUT NOT IN THE WAY YOU WOULD LIKE HER TO. Recognise that there will be more ladies in the church than men, so keep your eyes off them. They may well admire you and see something in you that is very likeable – but as for any other feelings they are not that desperate.

I hate my nakedness today. "Yuk," I think. Don't you? I do not like what I see reflected in the mirror. Inside of myself I feel 25, but outside I look and act my age. What wrinkles and jowls I have developed. How stupid I can be, as my age causes me to forget things and times and places. My fine chest has now sunken in comparison to what it used to be like. I am almost bald, and I can do nothing about that. Have I become an “old fogey?” Jesus doesn’t think so! He is the one who matters most in my life.

Women, generally, make sure their husbands do not see them in the raw lest they recoil at the way the wives' bodies have changed. Indeed, how much they have changed since those days of great girlish femininity, when they had a firm body and a beauty they once enjoyed - when they were about 20 or 25 years of age.

Sadly, those days have gone, never to return. Wisdom should tell women that the field is no greener in one field than another, and that with age comes more uncertainty about things like extra-marital relationships, especially when a man wants to hang on to you.

Why does he want to hang on to you? There are obvious reasons why a man should hang on to a woman! Usually it is for good sex and no commitment. Tragedy is just around the corner for women who think they still have so much to offer a man. They are ripe for an affair. 

 

Love Sees No Fault in Your Mate

Why cannot men simply love their wives as they are and for who they are? After all, the wife cooks your meals and satisfies your home requirements such as cleaning the house, and setting her womanly handi-work to make wonders of what you have together.

She washes and irons your clothes, so WHAT ARE YOU COMPLAINING ABOUT? She will be liked by the Fellowship and particularly by her peers in the church. She will always complement your position in the church, too.

She is your willing, unpaid skivvy! She does all she does, willingly and with gusto too She loves her home as much as you do. IT IS MADNESS TO CHANGE HER FOR A NEW MODEL, WHO MAY NOT KNOW ONE END OF A DISHWASHER FROM ANOTHER. CAN SHE COOK? WILL SHE PERSEVERE AS YOUR NOW LONG-GONE EX-WIFE DID?

 

The Devil You Know…

It is an expression widely used in our world, but it will do as an illustration.

In the next field there are unimaginable devils worse that the ones around you when you were in your first 'field'. They ‘cook up’ a welcome committee and seem to keep out of your affairs - for a while.

You see, in that quiet moment, these devils are busy fixing the skeletons in the cupboard so that they come out at an opportune time to bring maximum mayhem upon both unsuspecting partners. Devils encourage arguments.

What better argument than to fetch out that skeleton of your previous marriage? "My former husband would not do as you do." Or, "My previous wife would never do this or that." The rows escalate as the marriage continues. "DON'T YOU COMPARE ME WITH ’ER," the new wife shouts contemptuously.

Her disparagement of your previous wife will bring such explosive reactions to the surface. Defending the name of the partner you left is a classic reason for a row and its following escalation.

The husband will say his previous wife cooked steak in this manner, or he will say: "She took no time at all to cook a good meal." Now you well know what will come flying back at you, don't you? "Then clear off back to her then!"

Can you hear the one partner say, "Well, if you loved your Betsy more than me, why did you take me away from my faithful Fred? What a blow-up this causes. "Oh shut up," one partner says. So the other partner says, "You have the biggest mouth!"

Tears and sadness cloud the relationship for a while. Yet it will happen time and time again! I am talking about the state of Christians in this wrong relationship saga.

The field you will be in, and perhaps are already in, is the same colour green as your previous field, and because of this, life will not be any different than it is for all of us. The hazards are the same, the trials are the same, the experiences of life are the same, in that we are taught the same lessons by them.

If there is no going back (not recommended scripturally if the partner has re-married. See Deut. 24 v 4), then a new beginning with God is sought. Only when you know that free feeling - that God has forgiven you both - will you be able to pick yourselves up spiritually and carry on.

 
Going Back to the Original Partner

You went a long way away from the spiritual, the moment you looked at, or touched, the illicit partner. You will need to make a fresh commitment to the Lord and to find His will again for your lives. Jesus said: “If you look upon a woman to lust after her, then you have already committed adultery with her in your heart.” Sin drew you to that illicit partner and not love as you claimed.

The Lord knows, now that you have been fortunate enough to have returned to your legal wife, whether you are sincere and repentant, and such repentance that cannot be denied. Nothing is hidden from His eternal gaze. The lives broken by sin will be mended as time goes by and you find yourself again walking and talking with Jesus. His part in your renewed first legal relationship is to bind you together as one flesh. Allow the Lord to move freely in your daily lives.

 
Adultery Pursued and its Consequences

However, there is a scripture that comes to mind, 1 John 5 v 16. This specifically states: "there is a sin unto death - I do not say he shall pray for it." Beware lest in your case God demands more of you!

Where do I get my proof about this from? 1 Cor. 11 v 20-30 speaks about folks dying before their time, "Who take of the Lord's Supper unworthily." So you may abstain from the communion – but the same judgment will be meted out to all Christians who sin willfully, whether the sicknesses, and even death, come upon the adulterers or even innocent members of the local church in which you were sinning and trying to cover it up.

Sin in the camp brings death – spiritual death, and to some even cessation of life down here. Who can tell how God will judge every adulterer? If you are into this terrible sin of adultery can you say you are worthy? Can you take part in communion with the Lord and with the saints? Thank the Lord that as you have been put out of fellowship you cannot be taking of the Lord’s supper.

Not whilst you are in this limbo situation. You who take part of the things of God and live in secret sin have greater condemnation. Grace can only operate when we repent and put all these sins under the blood of Jesus

Earlier in the book we saw how Ananias and Sapphira died instantly for lying to the Holy Spirit. "Doing despite to the Spirit of Grace."

Fornication and adultery is so serious. The illicit lovers may be called away from this life and summoned to face the judgment of God in the next. How careful the repentant adulterers must be, in seeing to it that they put right all the wrongs (as is reasonably possible) this relationship caused.

The Holy Spirit will show you who you have to seek out and speak to concerning your sorrow over the sin against that brother or sister. You may have caused others to stumble. Put it right.

 
The Scary Unknown

The scary thing about our Holy God is that we do not know everything about Him. It will be too late if restoration is not made in this life. We do not know how He will judge your sin unless it is put away from you by repentance, and the godly life you will both need to seek, to live in Christ.

What is repentance? A turning around at whatever stage of the affair, repenting and shunning this sin altogether, along with the adulterous partner. Only in exceptional circumstances is it possible to go ahead and re-marry your once-illicit partner. The exceptional circumstance will be that godly sorrow over your sin and your ready responses to the Holy Spirit. In such a rare case it is essential that the couple contemplating such an action have come to the end of themselves. They will have deeply repented.

They will need to know that God has forgiven them. They ought to part at this time, but it is understandable for them that the dilemma they face may be too much for them. Remarriage is never an option taken lightly. I would not advocate such a move. Remember that your holy God sees everything. I have given much reading space here in the book to show the mercy and forgiveness of the God of Grace. But even so, beware of His awesomeness.

Yet despite these confident remarks, I certainly cannot tell anybody that it is alright to re-marry. God judges each case as He sees fit. It is a time for the couple to do as the Holy Spirit would dictate. There will be no further sexual unfaithfulness, and it will be expected of this couple that they value one another for life. The whole concept that the Bile teaches is to protect the husband and wife covenant. Indeed, see Deut. 5 v 10: “Showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me AND KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS.” Grace will teach us to honour the commandments of the Lord.

Just because I have shown that the Law is not our enemy today for we who are children of grace, nevertheless every child of God should value these sacred laws about faithfulness in marriage. Without them we might as well be pagan. Indeed, we seek to keep all the Law BY THE GRACE OF GOD. If we fail, then thank God that the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanseth us from all sin.

The prime example of our inability to keep the whole Law, is easily found in the First Commandment: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart and with all thy soul and with all thy might.” Who, even under this mighty Covenant of grace, does that? See how it is vital that we look upon grace as a cushion from the towering standards of the Law. It seems that Grace is the quality that brings the child of God to realise that God deserves all we have and all that should be and could be. Grace is that quality that coaxes His children, by love compelled, to reach for these higher standards found in the Law.

It is now necessary to compare with the mentality of some who think that the Covenant of Grace has lesser aims and values than the Law. Grace supersedes the Law in that it demands from us everything we are, as living sacrifices unto the Lord. By grace we come to the end of ourselves; by grace we agree with the Lord and God’s word, and strive to agree and to comply with its beautiful teachings.

In short, we walk in the footsteps of Jesus. Those who think that they can bend these rules of Grace to suit their base nature, and live their lives hoping for a way through the strict moral teachings on relationships found in the Law, are in for a shock. Grace will do everything it takes to bring us home to glory as sanctified vessels awaiting the glorious consummation.

Grace will insist that we all, at the very least, are moral in our behaviour towards the opposite sex. Grace does not mean we can be lax in our behaviour, but to the contrary, grace - God’s unmerited favour - brings His children to a place where they reach out to be like Jesus. The end result of our living down here is holiness (without which no man shall see God).

I have quoted the case of David and Bathsheba, but whether it could apply to all couples is not for me to say, because it is God's prerogative to bind a couple together, or to break the relationship (all things are of God. This means that all things are seen from before the beginning of time and nothing escapes His holy gaze. He allows and He disallows). In reality He allows dreadful things in our world but not all the evil that could ensue without His control. He is at all times Sovereign over all. Let Him decide your future. He will anyway. Under the terms of grace alone.

It will be of His grace if this affair you are into does not continue. It will be found out early on and nipped in the bud. Shame will ensue, but not all the shame it could bring. We cannot out-think God. He is always a step ahead. Adulterers will be found out, because God will not allow it to go unnoticed. He will bring every Christian to face his sin and to repent and to put it away.

 

The Peril of Remarriage

Remarriage is a serious business. All that any authority outside of the word of God can give you, is that you should fall upon God’s grace and mercy, trusting in these qualities of God together with the co-illicit partner. God will either cause the relationship to flounder, or He may bind both of you together for the rest of your lives. Sometimes it is true that genuine repentance will mean a parting from each other. Only the Holy Spirit will convict you both on this action. To disobey at the stage is perilous. 

Certainly, there is no easy answer to the consequences of this particular sin. If you are born-again then the Holy Spirit will speak clearly to you both, but do not let His voice fall on your deaf ears.

You face the very real rivalry of opinion in the Church because you have not ceased from adultery and you are contemplating a remarriage; it follows that you are compounding the sin in their eyes. Such a stigma may never go away. The stigma is so right! As far as known scripture shows, what you are doing is forbidden. The only possible area you can appeal to is the area of God’s grace.

The added agony lies in the fact that there is no way of knowing whether God’s grace will abound towards you whilst in the relationship. Yes, things could work out reasonably well for you (at best), but then the devil can make sure of that area so that you think all is well. 

I am afraid this attitude from the Church to such who err into this sin, is very normal in their eyes. Only time and God’s kindness towards you will help you get through this stressful and emotional time of your lives. It would be so much easier to simply part company and return to the church, throwing yourselves upon the kindness and love of the local church who have been waiting for such a moment. 

Only in the cases where the adulterers have already remarried before they had repented it may be possible to find true repentance of the marriage and of course the whole relationship, the Lord may over-rule and give this couple a new start. I say God MAY over-rule. Listen to God the Holy Ghost on this one.

Those folks who are too rigid never did understand grace in the first place. Clearly, God forgives every transgression of His elect. Adultery is not the unforgivable sin. Whether one perpetuates the offence of adultery by remarriage is not the question at all.

Rather, it is whether the couple have had a real move of the Holy Spirit within them after many tears and deep repentance. Only then may it be possible for the couple to stay together. I say, possible. It is a matter sometimes of the greater wisdom. Generally, it will be in the greater degree of repentance that the couple will have to part as the weight of conviction of the sin takes hold upon them to part. 

God wants our total surrender to His will and purpose. Once a couple have repented in this manner in which they want God’s best for their lives, we, the Church, have to make way for forgiveness because God will forgive such repentances. Whom God forgives, WE HAVE NO OPTION BUT TO FORGIVE. God can do anything and change anything as He so requires.

 

Remarriages Blessed of God

The Lord will begin again with this erring couple, just where they are. Technically, it would seem that there was no repentance because they were still staying together. Most folks say, ‘compounding their sin.’ Where grace comes in is to favour the couple by forgiving them.

Then He may (or may not) allow the marriage to continue as the wisest course under the circumstances. Christians need to wait and see the outcome of such a couple’s lives before God, rather than judge harshly the couple’s actions as “continuing adultery.”

There could be children involved for example. This brings its own problems and we have to concede that for the children’s sake it may not be the righteous way forward to part. In such an event God may well wipe them clean - AND THE MARRIAGE - in the blood of Jesus. “The vilest offender who truly believes.” It IS not a phrase of a hymn just for the unsaved. Circumstances of an adulterous marriage are important to God.

Once the forgiveness of God takes place, it is God who will change the circumstances, without necessarily breaking up the remarriage. Under the Law this could not happen – but thank God for this grace wherein we stand, which is able to change the circumstance by His intervention. His love will be renewed within this same relationship. From a state of death to life. Here is the crux of the subject – His grace abounding more. 

The greatest single reason for this book is to show conclusively that grace is always the way through any crisis, as souls who sin in this manner are prepared to allow God’s grace and forgiveness to fill their souls. The Book of Romans is a royal book of beautiful grace. Another reason is to show great compassion upon souls who pass this way and find themselves entangled, ensnared.

“By grace are ye saved, and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God.” (Principle 1). We know that the Law is what we should keep, but often we cannot. Therefore, grace has been secured for us at enormous price so that we might keep as much of those holy laws as is possible before we leave this scene of time. It is right that we attempt to keep the Laws of God for our edification and guidance, but not for fear of our lives if we do not keep all of them.

Herein is the way forward: to depend upon God’s grace. Principle 2: See Romans 5 v 1 – Justified by faith; we are the children of God by faith; 1 John 2 v 2: “If any man sin we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous and the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanseth us from ALL sin.” We are the sinners and when that sin is dealt with by confession and repentance, it is washed away.

In chapter 1 v 9: “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all righteousness.” See that the terms of grace here in this verse are a beginning WHEN we confess our sin. Confession is a word denoting complete willingness to bring to our holy God this despicable sin for cleansing - on His terms.

Consider also that every child of God will face the Judgment Seat of Christ “to give acount of the deeds done in this body.” See 1 Cor. 3 v 12-17. We read very clearly that sin is not worth contemplating nor indeed participating in. The mixed scriptures shown, reveal God’s willingness to forgive any of our sins.

However, it is equally clear that all of us stand at a crossroads of decision – whether to sin or not to sin. Adulterers sin but they can confesss their sin and turn again to the pathway of the Just.

Such folks need compassion because allowing themselves to be in love has been the source of their downfall. I call it emotional suicide. It makes one completely blind to reality; it brings complete ruin to their spiritual and physical integrity.

No one dare say to you with the authority of the word that Grace automatically covers anyone with the blood of Christ, no matter what we do. Christians will not take that chance, so where do you stand in the light of the scriptural evidence? Why take the risk of tempting God with your sin? God’s Law never changes. Only as you will run to the Lord for His grace in the situation you are found in, can He find a way through for you and still please God.

Jesus taught that it is better to enter the kingdom of God lamed, or blind in one eye, than to have a whole body and be cast into hell.

There you have it. The ‘see-saw way’ through your problem. A way through on the one hand, but on the other it seems to be a no-go area. This see-saw effect theme is running right through the book. How can anyone prove a solid outcome of the adulterer’s position before God except eternal death – that is predictable. Can anyone foretell the outcome of our lives played out in this life? It will be hard enough for all of us when we stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ to be judged according to the deeds of the body, let alone with the added baggage of adultery and its consequences in this life.

 
 

Chapter 18

Can an Adulterous Couple be Accepted in a Church Again?

It will always be difficult for you to find a spiritual home again, but it is a possibility that God has a new beginning for you in a local church somewhere. It ought to be a good distance away from the church who knew of your sin of adultery. You must commit every day to the Lord in gratitude, for His divine provision in this circumstance you are found in after the forgiveness of God has been given.

It is my experience that most of the pastors in this land will not give you a warm welcome if they know all the facts of your case. Be wise, therefore, as to how you handle this information and spread it to another soul. Keep your own counsel. You will have to prove your repentance and sincerity for a very long time. It will be hard for you, but then look at the pit you were in? Under the terms of the Law you would be executed for what you did.

Do not expect any favours in that same area. Go to a church, or several churches, for a while, and you will find that the Lord will open a way for you to join a local church. God is a faithful God.

 
The Erring Minister or Pastor

"To whom much is given, much is required!" A pastor has a calling; it is a trusted position. His qualifications of physical and moral deportment have been sullied. He is shamed before all. He cannot call upon his previous good behaviour to save him. The office of an elder, which Paul refers to as "being blameless and without offence", is in tatters.

"The husband of one wife! Faithful in all things!" Pervading with humility? Oh dear! How the man has fallen from his calling to ministry. How can he rectify his position? It is impossible without God intervening for him.

First, he must be re-charged by the Holy Spirit - after God's forgiveness, that is. Then he must be re-equipped. The Holy Spirit will do as much as can be done to set him in order again.

However, there is an almost unending number of people who are led on by devils to stop such a dear brother from ascending the pulpit again. There is life again for that forgiven pastor! God is in the business of restoration - thank God. But there are unbelievable odds against him ascending the pulpit again. Satanic warfare is certainly involved in the man’s agony as he seeks to complete the will of God as a pastor.

 
The Local Church’s Acceptance or Rejection of Erring Brethren

"There is no army like the Lord's army for non-forgiveness and for kicking the erring brethren down until there is no fight left in them."

I know of a pastor who is an undertaker today. He was thrown out of his church for his affair with a younger woman. I do not think he ever went back to his wife, otherwise things might have worked out differently. On the evidence I have to hand, this pastor remains lost to the ministry 20 years later.

Again, as I have pointed out, God misses nothing, but orders everything according to His own will and purpose. In such a pastor’s case it will be the will of God that he is removed from office. It might be worthy of note that there are many pastors in pulpits today who are definitely not called of God.

Being a fine and capable Christian worker is no recommendation in itself for qualification to the ministry. Beyond selling himself for this purpose there are very strict guidelines involving great faithfulness and spiritual ability; but more than all it is the qualification of that supernatural spiritual calling. How can a man be a true pastor without spiritual intuition and deep knowledge of the word of God with which to feed the flock of God?

It is my point really about pastors. One just has to be a ministry gift to the church or there will inevitably be problems, particularly relationship problems. We have a very vigilant and wicked enemy who will tear down the pastor who is without spiritual qualification. This is why it is so tragic when a real man of God – and it happens – is struck down in this way.

The Lord’s indictments to the Churches in Asia in Rev. 2 and 3, were leveled at the pastor and not the people. He is called ‘the angel to the church at… Ephesus’, for example. It follows that whilst “Antipas my faithful martyr” is commended by the Lord of Glory, in sharp contrast a pastor in the same seven churches in Asia is chided by the Lord for his lost love for the Lord.

“Remember, therefore, from whence thou art fallen and repent and do the first works.” At Laodicea, Jesus chides the pastor or angel of the church on this wise: “So because thou art neither hot nor cold, I will spew the out of my mouth!” How unthinkable that a fallen pastor should be so charged.

The pastor has a tremendous responsibility to preach the truth of God’s word and to live the life of a servant of God as the angel of God, or messenger. When a pastor falls, it is a fair question to ask that such a pastor, by the high calling he is called to, is conscious of the awesomeness of his sin and the height from which he has fallen to the lowest place.

Ephesians 4 v 11 shows the fact of ministry gifting. A pastor is a ministry gift to the Church. He has the unction upon him to pastor as a spiritual leader. In the lines above there is ample evidence of what a true pastor is – God’s messenger.

A true pastor is a Ministry Gift to the Church according to Ephesians 4 v 11 and Revelation 1 v 20; 2 v 1; 2 v 8; 2 v 12; 2 v 18; 3 v 1; 3 v 7; 3 v 14. Could an elder preach like Spurgeon? Of course not. The giftings are so different.

The indictments raised against the various churches are fairly and squarely placed at the pastor’s (or angel’s) door. A true pastor has the word of God for the sheep of the local church. He (if he is a true pastor, of course) sets the spiritual standards as he brings “the finest of the wheat” to the people.

An elder, on the other hand, is a man raised up in the local area to help in the leading of a fellowship. He will be a good man. He will fit the requirements called for in Tim. 3 v 1- 7. He will be a righteous man. He is equal to the pastor in only one area and this area is that he shares the pastoral responsibilities of the work of God in that local church. The pastor is also a serving elder.

I have read books about this prickly subject, and I think there is much in these words I have written to be of value to any soul caught up in this common sin. I am a fair writer in the sense that I will put the case for Grace, but also an accurate writer with grace in my heart for the sinner caught in troubles, in this book about the subject of divorce and re-marriage. However, fairness is never suggested as a reason to compromise God’s infallible Word.

Couples who have repented will have to do things God’s way – and God’s ways are higher than our ways. Be prepared to change with God’s demands for a holy life. Discipleship is that holy way which God is most certainly asking you to follow in your renewed life with the Lord. .

Adultery is not the end of your life, nor is it necessarily the end of your ministry. Trust the Bible, which is the infallible word of God! It is not so hard to understand and to follow its precepts. "His yoke is easy and His burden is light! Take his yoke upon you and learn of Him."

 
To The Churches

All of us should be more gracious towards those who sin, despite the despicable nature of adultery. All of us, without exception, sin every day. It means we have quite enough to do to steer our own boat, rather than to plot the course of others. Pray for such folks who err in this particular way. After all, they are BLINDED BY THE DEVIL, THROUGH THEIR OWN LUSTS, WHICH THEY MISTOOK FOR LOVE.

Of course, there are those coming into the local churches who are susceptible to lust and its fruits. Ladies beware. ALL such liaisons begin as lust, not love. Many a sincere couple have been trapped in this manner. Yes, there will inevitably be cases of lust in the church. But I do not think lust will go as far as a pledge of marriage ‘til death do they part.

We have to give credence and sympathy in some ways to love-sick folks who cannot see the wood for the trees. They looked and were hooked just as lovers are so enticed. ‘Love’, as in loving the opposite sex, is a power and that we cannot deny, I am afraid. A terrible gnawing that demands that love be satiated. It is the person with high moral values that can be so tempted and I am certain that even the best of folks can be enticed without sound spiritual strengths.

One can have spiritual strength, but poor control over their instincts about the opposite sex. Certainly such folks have no control if they allow themselves to ‘fall in love’. Yet despite all the teachings, all the warning signs, these folks, being vulnerable, are wide open and fall into an affair over which they have no control. ‘Sitting ducks’, we might say.

Love is a sickness. A terrible gnawing that demands that love be satiated.

 
To Lust With the Eye

The sin is in looking and not turning away. But when the damage is done and it is too late to say I wish I did not feel like this, it is already too late for them (those who are lustful). Suddenly these folks are drugged by love (or lust). How do you get them to stop and THINK WHAT THEY ARE DOING? Such really good people are ‘picked off’ by the enemy of souls. How vital it is for us to be strong spiritually and strong morally! In times of temptation these folks will be strong and not submit to the wiles of the devil. 

We must empathise with such folks and stop being so hard and indifferent. It is this sting of rejection by the church that hurts them the most. Let us be kindhearted to such, so that we might lead them in the pathway of the Just - by example.

YOU SIN BY MAINTAINING YOUR STAND AGAINST ANY OTHER PERSON'S SIN. PUT IT BEHIND YOU AND STOP YOURSELF PONTIFICATING OVER OTHERS. It is inexcusable, the way many elders of the local churches treat such pathetic creatures who become so defenceless in their foolish love.

 
How Should we Judge Adultery? 
  1. By the Word of God.
     

  2. By importunity of spirit that such folks will cease their blind madness.
     

  3. We should establish that any such liaisons of adultery are sinful and condemned by the Lord and also by the word.
     

  4. Offer sound spiritual help and the promise of counselors to help them get over the illicit partner. Follow up ministry is vital for them.
     

  5. Show them that you care for them and that you love them in the Lord.

The only record we have as the guide in these cases is the confines of the Law. It would be irresponsible of me to suggest that we do not need to observe the Law as a guide as to how we should live, but the covenant of grace is that substance that God has provided, by the sacrifice of His Son. Grace is sufficient so that we can look to its bountiful supply in times of great need. “Those who commit adultery lack understanding,” we learn from Proverbs. God is able to give His understanding in times of the Christian adulterer’s great need.

The Law is given for unbelievers, the abominable, the liars, the fornicators, the murderers and the adulterers, and so on. At The Great White Throne Judgment Seat, God will indeed judge the non-elect according to the Law. It is unthinkable that we who are under God’s covenant promises should appear at this Judgment in the hereafter because we were doing the same things as this reprobate wicked world around us.

The reasoning in scripture is plain: Can we sin as these folk,s who are already judged, are sinning without conscience? Grace is only helpful if the right attitude of humility is found in the heart towards pleasing God. Paul says, “do not do as they do and who are to be judged.”

Christ's righteousness saves any of us from deeper responsibility and deeper conviction of sin and the fiery judgment of an unrelenting God, as it was in the Old Testament. We were all dug out of the same pit. It is from this position that we speak to those in sin - like the adulterers who hold to the view “There go I but for the grace of God.”

"All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. There is none righteous, no not one." Only by grace can we enter the holy tabernacle of God. By His grace we enter His presence with fullness of joy.

The full horror of the cross was because of sin - OUR SIN - which was nailed to the cross for us. Jesus our Great Emancipator who knew no sin became sin - for us. Now, our God sees each of His redeemed through the spotless life of His Son. Yes - Only by grace!

Therefore, it is not in keeping with grace for anyone to judge another outside of scripture. We should leave folks well alone because we have quite enough sin in our own lives to give to the Lord.

Reading through what the Book of the Revelation says about the Seven Churches in Asia, it is very noticeable that there were other great sins in the church, equally as bad as adultery.

  1. Allowing unholiness to be prevalent in the church
     
  2. Slack morals
     
  3. Gossiping and maligning others
     
  4. Whispering and backbiting
     
  5. False sleights of doctrine
     
  6. Jezebelism (idolatry of sex);
     
  7. Being neither hot nor cold, or being spiritually slack (8) Christians having little love for others or for their Lord.

We are living in a world far worse than we can imagine. God sees our world as deserving judgment. We are living in a time when the Lord Himself will come back to receive His own elect. In the light of His coming we should be absolutely moral, at the least, in all that we do.

Likewise, we should be watching and waiting, and praying fervently so that we may be found in Christ, walking as holiness demands of us. Shouldn't we know that He is coming so very soon, and, therefore, would it not be horrifying for any of us to be found in the sinful shackles of adultery when He actually comes?

We should understand clearly that many generations of Christians have lived better lives than we do today. They stood and were massacred; they stood and were burned to death; they stood and were incarcerated until they died.

They withstood untold tormenting gadgets cruelly used upon them until they died under the mercy of God. They still kept the faith. ADULTERY DID NOT COME INTO THEIR EQUATION. They suffered and served the Lord in all faithfulness unto death.

Husbands and children were snatched from these wonderful saints and flung over cliffs and from mountains; wives and their children were thrown into coffins too small to take them and mercilessly buried alive. Others were mercilessly drowned.

Their persecutors would jump up and down upon unfortunates who were then thrown into small coffins along with their children, until life expired in them. Squashed into the coffins in this manner they became horribly mangled and then they were thrown pitilessly into areas dug for their burial. Think about this when you look at the opposite sex. Likewise, there should be NO COMPROMISE IN OUR SERVICE FOR JESUS.

 
 

Chapter 19

Scriptural Facts About Relationships

1 Cor. 7 looks back scripturally on all that has been written so far. Plainly, v 10-12 shows, without contradiction, "let not the wife depart from her husband." Paul heard from God, and he is an authority to listen to. If she does depart she cannot marry again, but must return to her husband or stay single. It is really very simple. Stay married or stay single. Grace will not argue with this.

What is not proved is Paul's insistence on the Law here as the yardstick for his teachings, as Jesus did when the Pharisees challenged him. Grace is not offered by the Apostle Paul in 1 Cor 7. Why? Because it is the wise thing to do to stay married to the one partner. It is also the righteous thing to do – particularly in the light of this present dispensation. How low are the morals of our generation? How careless folks are over God’s laws. Wickedness prevails. It is the light of this obvious fact that Christians should be squeaky-clean in their morals and social behaviour.

Like the Gospels on the subject, Paul offers nothing new from what the Lord taught. It may be that that Paul, knowing the hour in the history of his generation, where persecution was rife and souls were being executed and martyred for Christ, that strict guidelines were very necessary.

He advocated that those contemplating marriage should remain single, or if it was a couple who had separated for a while, “to go back to the marriage or else remain single.” I am aware that in our 21st century that such strict guidelines would not be tolerated. Neither would the guilty partner divorced by his legal wife accept a life of celibacy.

As for the Synoptic Gospels they all show the same accounts of the Lord’s discourse with the Pharisees on the question of divorce and remarriage. Nothing outside of the Law. The Pharisees were pressing the Lord for an answer to corrupt questions. But in no way did the Lord debate anything other than the strictness of the Law. He backed up His masterly answer by stating that it was not so in the beginning, for when Adam and Eve came together they became one flesh. “Whom God has joined together, let no man put asunder!”

It is obvious that the Jews, who were so insistent on the Law of Moses, would have torn him apart had He argued the case for grace. Paul chose wisdom as Christ did when faced with such a subject. They were not ready for the teachings of Grace v the Law, even in Paul’s day.

Paul in his wisdom does not open up the subject to include any dialogue of any kind to help adulterers, except his kind comments in 2nd Corinthians concerning the man who had taken his father’s wife. It is indeed this area that prompted me to write this book in compassion for outcast believers who have blotted their copy-book by sexual sin. Oh that we would bring back the outcast “lest he be destroyed.”

Not only did Paul have wisdom before the Jews and Pharisees, but he showed to the assembly life at Corinth his great concern for a clearly guilty man. Paul seems to be so hard and unyielding to me, yet here he shows what graciousness he was capable of showing.

The debate with the Pharisees was handled superbly by the Lord. He could have said so much to anger the Pharisees the more, but He out-foxed them with great wisdom and absolute truth according to the Law. Paul was not weak; to the contrary, he feared no-one. Yet even he had to be wise in certain quarters because of Jewish trouble-makers.

Paul, I am saying, did not fear men, but he had compassion on the folks who might get embroiled in the wickedness of severe persecution if they were married.

In this terribly wicked world, folks live together in unholy union, same sex or otherwise, not realising that the judgment of God is already upon them. The husband, the Bible says, must not engage in any relationship even if he/she has left the true partner and family home for a while. It is good to recognise that we should not be doing that which the Bible calls worldly sin. “Do not be like them,” Paul writes.

To the adulterers I ask the question: “Do you count these fleeting pleasures as valuable in comparison to the wealth of heaven above? Can you not see that you are both playing about with that mess of pottage which is the difference between life and death?” This is very serious. May God help you, through the gloom of your sin, to see exactly what you are forfeiting by this relationship.

That partner must return to his spouse and not divorce. Otherwise he/she must stay single. Lawful marriage is instituted by God Himself. Yet here is an example of a situation where a man leaves his wife, or the woman leaves her husband, so that they can live on their own.

Should the wife seek to live on her own, she can, but not in order to secure another relationship. She should remain single. The husband likewise. "Let not her husband put away or divorce his wife."

You see, there is no way divorce can be allowed except for a partner's unfaithfulness in marriage. Unfaithfulness by sexual adultery with another person other than the true mate of the one first marriage, is not valid in God’s eyes and therefore it is sinful.

The only other time a wife or a husband can leave and re-marry is when the unsaved partner will never agree to, or tolerate, the other’s Christian faith, or if he/she leaves the marital home for these reasons. See v 12-17. In this case the unsaved and provocative partner should be allowed to leave the Christian partner as one would in a divorce. Clearly, this is the only out-clause for Christians who do not commit adultery.

 

How Serious is Adultery in the 21ST Century?

It is as evil today as it always has been. From the point of view of Jewish thinking, their own genealogy would be threatened and the children of new marriages would find there are very great difficulties in following their ancestral lines.

In our generation it has already become a great problem. Moreso homosexuals, who bring up other people's children. Adopted, or embryo cells by sperm donors, only adds to the confusion.

Consider one area of confusion: what if a woman has had so many relationships that when she falls pregnant she doesn’t know who the father of the child is. In the future, that child could unsuspectingly enter into an incestuous relationship with a brother or sister. (It has happened).

One great thing about the Hebrews and Jews was the great pains they took to preserve clear ancestral records. An example is in Matthew 1, where the genealogy of Mary is shown quite clearly back as far as King David. Both Rahab and Ruth have their names clearly written as being in the line of David and of Joseph or Mary.

Corruption of a line is so obviously very bad today, because tracing family roots becomes very difficult in comparison to the carefully-written genealogy of the line of David to Joseph and Mary, as exampled above. This is why God has been so insistent, in commanding the meticulous keeping of clear records of the lines from Adam and Eve onwards. See Exodus 33 v 7.

It is a scriptural fact that God judges sins of the ancestral line and punishes that line to the third and fourth generation. Judgment falls despite the innocence of the illegitimate children.

Adultery is a disease we can do without, but, of course, the Church will never be free of such sins until the Lord comes. As other sins, adultery will happen over and over again, and children will continue to be born as bastards, having no right to the family tree. For these reasons it is definitely better not to remarry if children are involved, and the couple are young enough to have further children.

God shows mercy in saving so many thousands who have no rights, and who are not under the curse of the Law - by the Lord's grace - and Who gives them salvation. Thank God for Grace! However, all God's children have a very grave responsibility to walk worthy of the Lord, to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ. Also, it is to show our clear conscience, by the revealing of the fruits of the Spirit in our lives, and the works of our salvation.

"By their fruits ye shall know them." These are our imperatives. We cannot do the things the world does without bringing upon ourselves the chastisements, and even the wrath, of God. Who wants to be saved “by the skin of our teeth?”

Are you a professing Arminian, or are you a loyal teacher of the truth of the scriptures scripture? It matters not what you believe or confess if your life is slack and dangerously so. Do not be antinomian (e.g., it doesn't really matter how you walk) in your belief, for it will not save you in the day that tries by fire.

One should fear God (which is totally healthy), lest one should be left out of the Kingdom. Don't be deceived. Cling to righteousness and depose those evil feelings of unbelief.

Holy awe is so very necessary from the Bible's perspective. Holy awe cannot allow loose morals, by which men and women sink into the sin of adultery or homosexuality. It is absolutely true that God will not tolerate persistent sin in our lives.

"Examine yourselves to see if you be in the faith," Paul teaches us. We all profess to love the Lord, and I am sure that sincere Christians all do, but the danger we create by over-emphasising the eternal concept of our salvation, can mean that we may well cloud our own judgment, at least for some, to think at some stage in our lives that we can coast along ‘on our laurels’.

The truth is plain: we cannot ease up until we see Him in the Glory. Every day is vital to our spiritual welfare in Christ. Press on, press in, fight with the sword of the Spirit, the word of God. Bring down principalities arrayed against you. Bring down those imaginations which exalt themselves against the knowledge of God. Through Christ you can prevail and you must! Overcoming is paramount.

 
Neither Hot Nor Cold

Sin is committed by His children when their lives have become less effective for the Lord. Such are careless with their prayer lives; they have little vision; they go to church but there is little enthusiasm in their walk with the Holy Spirit. Maybe we can be honest and admit that we are not always as spiritual as we might think. None of us can boast of great spirituality in this century. Laodicea is the real temperature of church profession both in America and in this country at least. There are no perfect Christians. They are in heaven!

In fact, it is clear that many saints are very shallow and do not understand that to walk with the Jesus of the Bible and the precious Holy Spirit, means that one is indeed on His wavelength, where obedience is the condition of that in-the-will-of-God service.

 
I Will Spue You Out of my Mouth

Am I teaching that God will literally ban you from heaven if you do these things? I have no authority to state any man’s destiny, other than the redeemed who are walking on the King’s highway. For the born-again Christians, who are unfortunate enough to be caught up in adultery, it might take a lifetime to fully come to repentance. Think about that as we who must give account. Constantly they (with us) must examine themselves to see if they be in the faith. The longer they stay in this adulterous relationship, the harder it will be to come out of it.

Getting back to a place with God after sin has had its way in you, means that you, at this moment, are teetering over the precipice of God's borderline of grace. Call upon Him whilst He is near. Call upon Him whilst there is yet time.

The timing for your major decision is very difficult and hazardous - BUT YOU HAVE TO REPENT AND BELIEVE GOD FOR YOUR FUTURE, WITHOUT THAT SIN OR ‘SIN'S PARTNER.’

It is healthy to know that Jesus could come back at any time. Today, tonight, tomorrow, or thereafter. Some clever students of the Bible think Jesus is coming in 2007. If He does, where will you be? Reading the word? Praying? Evangelising? Fully engrossed in local church activities? Looking and waiting in thriving expectancy of His coming soon? Yearning to be effective for God?

 
Time to Forgive Yourself

It will take time and heartache and pain before you feel God's acceptances again. His chastisement HURTS. Thoughts are living things, and some sad people have committed suicide because of relentless reminders of past sexual sins and the consequent memories and hurts.

A young pastor committed suicide. He fell into sexual sin and could not take the humiliation when he was found out. Imagine the sorrow of this young man. Who was there to help him?

It is not worth the heartache. What pain some folks have suffered, because their past misdemeanours vividly re-appear on the screen of their minds.

Meanwhile, time marches on, and time, which is so valuable to your creditable service in Christ, calls you to stand in Christ and for Christ. 

All sin is forgivable except, of course, the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, a sin which no Christian could commit. But procrastination is very near this sin! The elect of God are known by the obvious fruits of labourers in the Kingdom of God.

 
When Will You Give Up Sinning?

Twenty years can go by before you come to your spiritual senses. Time you cannot afford to lose. The Holy Spirit will keep on working in you until you come to repentance, but how long is it going to take you to agree with God and repent.

It will mean that no works of faith will be manifested in your life until you repent.

Grieving the Holy Spirit is a very dangerous habit to fall into. Meanwhile, the consequences of sin bite deeper and deeper into your conscience, life and environment.

Consider, as I have exampled earlier, the thought that in the time you take to repent and put right the wrong you have done (as much as possible) it may be the Spirit's final purpose to remove you from this earth altogether!

 

How the Bible Views God’s Will

Fortunately, God is infinite. His overall Plan for you, if you are genuinely saved, is to bring you, one way or another, the way He has designed for you from before the foundations of the world. Despite yourself, He will bring you forth as pure gold.

 

Antinomianism? Or, Beyond the Limits of Grace?

Grace is only shown unto His people when they are willing to be pliable in the Lord's hands. There is no grace for ‘crafty Christians’, if there could be some who are crafty in getting out of the responsibility of "OCCUPYING 'TIL HE COME."

The fact is this: God has a Plan for us all; it is a perfect plan. Do not kick against the pricks! The higher road is desired for all of us, but we do indeed fall short. That is not to say that we do not fall now and again. Grace is that substance which encourages us to stand again and believe as we first believed.

The Antinomian Christian (if there be one) is a soul who is slower than the snail as to spiritual progress. This ‘saint’ (is he really a saint?) thinks that grace is all he needs, so he stops the fight of faith; he neglects to read the word or be corrected by it.

He is always ‘putting the mockers’ on faith; he moans all the time; he throws a fit when he is asked to do something in the church; he gossips a lot; he comments on the pastor's sermons as if he knew so much better than the pastor! Are you like this?

However, God's Plan for all our lives goes on. He knew all about you, but He made divine provision for every default in your lives. He brings every erring child back to the road of obedience. Sooner, or later. Some saints make little progress. I wonder how they will fare on that Day.

In the 55 years I have been saved, I can testify that God has done all things well in my pilgrimage to glory. Hallelujah. Sometimes there were dodgy pathways when I became ambitious and wanted finally to become a bandmaster in the Royal Marines. I worshipped the cornet and excelled to a high standard. It was a wrong road for me. The cornet was the idol and it had to go. Musicianship is a problem to me sometimes, but the older I get the less the ambitions of this world attract me. Music is no longer the idol, nor indeed the cornet.

The instrument is here, but I no longer play it. I have a beautiful piano and that is a wonderful asset to me in the church here in my home where there is no pianist. Yes, I play the classics, but give me songs that exalt the King of kings and am more than happy.

Therefore, is it not true that the adulterers have the same ambitious streak to be with partners they cannot have? The idolatry, the blindness, the sin that doth so easily beset them? Such idolatry has to be slain. How long will you pursue your ambitions? When you have what you want it will become as sour milk. In my case I would have made it and become a bandmaster, but where would my idols have taken me? I will tell you: when the Lord finally brings you to your senses, it may be far too late to serve the Lord in any department in His church. How will you give account?

I am so glad that I became a pastor instead of a bandmaster. There is nothing better in this world than to serve the Lord in the ministry I have enjoyed for 35 years.

God chose you in Christ from before the foundations of the world. God did not make a mistake. He loved you and brought you into being for the divine purpose of bringing you forth as pure gold. Therefore, is it not a terrible travesty that you cannot be loyal and obedient until that Day when we all shall stand before our wonderful King of Glory?

It is the way forward, then, to stop those weak character blemishes from spoiling your walk with Jesus. Put right what you can, because, despite you and your foolish ways, Our God will "bring you forth as pure gold" despite the pain you might feel along the way.

"We shall all give account at the Judgment Seat of Christ." Paul declares. All our works will be burned as by fire, and only pure gold will survive for eternity. Do not allow the devil to mar you again.

Get indignant about the devil's infiltration that comes to destroy you. "Resist the devil and he will flee from you!" "Put on the whole armour of the Lord's righteousness" which is designed to set you free every time you need to be freed. The devil is a loser - BUT DO NOT YOU ALLOW HIM TO MAKE YOU A LOSER.

"Every imagination" is to be pulled down by his saints "which are set against the kingdom of God!" See the chapter on weapons of our warfare, laid out for us in Ephesians 6 v10-18.

Particularly v 12: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

See 1 Cor. 10 v 3-5: "For though we walk in the flesh we do not war after the flesh (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty to the pulling down of strongholds); CASTING DOWN IMAGINATIONS, AND EVERY HIGH THING THAT EXALTS ITSELF AGAINST THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD."

 
 

Chapter 20

The Glorious Grace of God

ANTINOMIANISM IS A WORD FROM THE ARMINIAN CAMP, TO DECRY GRACE AS IT IS TAUGHT AND PROVED EASILY, FROM SCRIPTURE.

‘Antinomianism’ has no place in God's sight and judgments. We are either walking with Jesus or we are not. If we are certain that we are His, then the works of grace will be shown in our lives! We cling to grace. "By their fruits shall they be known."

We yearn to be found always in His grace. We follow by faith and by vision even though sometimes we falter and slip. "The footsteps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord and He delighteth in His way. When he falls, the Lord will raise him up."

Never for a one moment did the Apostle Paul teach that it didn't matter about our walk. Rather, he said: "I count all things but dung that I might win Christ." He also said that he had “suffered the loss of all things and do count them but dung and that he might know the excellency of the knowledge of Christ!” Here is the standard required of all of us. Examine what Paul says in 2 Cor. 2 v 14-17. "We do not corrupt the Word of God."

The same apostle writes again about high standards for all of us, for we are the temples of the Holy Spirit. We must not defile this temple. God will destroy every so-called temple that persists in lewd and filthy sexual sin.

If one engages in a sinful and illicit relationship and refuses to stop his/her pursuit, then such men or women could well be taken out of this world by the Lord of Grace. "Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost." Let none of us “do despite to the Spirit of Grace.” Therefore, a Christian found in this spiritual quagmire of adultery, ought to rather fear God, to prevent sin.

"He who defiles the temple of God, Him shall God destroy." How plain is plain? Heed these words and run away from sin, whatever its form. Do not take a chance on your own interpretation of scripture, especially if it seems to ‘let you off the hook!’ Grace is not an opt-out clause to sin when we want to. We have to be ‘in grace’ and not ‘out of grace’.

However beautiful the woman, or however handsome the man you want to leave your spouse for, it is the devil's artful disguise. However beautiful a woman may appear, or however handsome a man may appear, it will turn to great and sinful ugliness. I guarantee it. Beauty is in the eye of a beholder, and the devil is a master of deception. He knows what one likes in a man or a woman. He comes as an angel of light to aid your perception of beauty in a woman he has carefully brought before you. Likewise the devil is going allure a woman through her eye-gate when a man of delight passes her way! The truth is that most men and women are really very ordinary. How we need spiritual perception as Christians. 

Even if you get your own way and marry the illicit partner, you cannot know the future and how things will turn out. This marriage between two repentant and forgiven adulterers will still reveal in themselves the ravages of time.

How many transplants will you have? You are going to lose your looks by and by. You will sag with gravity. You may lose your teeth; you may go blind; you might lose all work by reason of a serious fall. When poverty comes in through the door, love flies out of the window. FACT.

In Genesis 3 see the devil asking Eve, "Hath God said?" The devil has never stopped whispering this phrase. All of us have heard it at times. Once we question God or His word of Truth and Absolutes, then we are ready for further demonic infiltrations into our minds. STOP THE DEVIL IN HIS TRACKS, REBUKING ANY SUGGESTION THAT YOU DISOBEY GOD'S WORD.

 
How Much Sin Does God Tolerate in His Children?

NONE! Christ took every stroke of God's wrath upon every sin we, the Lord's people, could possibly commit, short of blasphemy and moral destruction. In the Book of Acts we read that God took Ananias and Sapphira out of the local church, because they lied to the Holy Spirit.

Thank God that the Father sees us as perfect through Christ. But you have to be in Christ. We qualify by our obedience to His word. We must BE HIS ELECT.

I like to think that they went to heaven even though the manner of their leaving this world was terrible. Yet is there not a lingering doubt as to their spiritual status? One way or another we must not guess our way to heaven.

Ananias and Sapphira could be in hell today because they were not saved. Now if that be the case, that there are some grave doubts as to the spiritual status of this long-gone couple, why take a chance on the outcome of your position before God?

They could well have been disobedient children of God. Can you take the chance that you are alright in your pursuance of illicit love? Let no-one take the chance about their own standing before God. It is too late when you are dead. We must all give account!

It is easy to dismiss this couple by saying they were not saved in the first place. We have no authority to judge either way, but it is the more likely picture that they were saved. They wanted to give to the Lord's work, but they were also very greedy and grossly proud. Call them both greedy and this became their ‘besetting’ sins.

Their need to impress the saints and the apostles overcame them. The property they sold fetched a certain amount - say £170,000 - but they only declared perhaps £120,000. The Holy Spirit was grieved with the ease with which this couple tried to deceive the saints, and He intervened in this drastic way. They died immediately.

The gravity of this picture in Acts shows us that it is possible for the Holy Spirit to be so grieved with lukewarm and sinful children of God, who do not seem to allow their correction by the Spirit of God, THAT HE TAKES THEM OUT OF THIS WORLD.

The basis of my understanding is to be found in 1 Corinthians 11 v 24-30. Grieving the Holy Spirit is simply not worth it, whatever your desire for illicit sex. YOU ARE TEMPLES OF THE HOLY GHOST. "GRIEVE NOT THE HOLY GHOST OF PROMISE WHEREBY YE ARE SEALED UNTO THE DAY OF REDEMPTION."

David said: "I would rather be a doorkeeper in the House of my God than to dwell in the tents of wickedness."

 
"But I Cannot Bear Not Seeing Him/Her Again"

I have every empathy for people in this kind of situation. Being truly in love is a terrible wrench on one's nature and inner emotions. Most of us have been through such emotional feelings. It can make one weak, vulnerable, and totally dependant upon this one love. I do not mean that I have every empathy for the sin committed by such folks, but much rather I weep for the souls who are beguiled in this manner. I understand how it can happen.

But if you are married, and you look and long for someone else – beware. The whole of your human desire and appetite is wrongly applied. It is godless and you will be doomed to failure in your spiritual life. Sin is sin in God’s eyes.

In God's sight it is a despicable sin against the true married partner as well as against God. David said in great lament: "Against thee and thee alone, have I done this great evil in thy sight!" How blinded by love (and lust) was this wonderful man.

However, it was several months, even years, before he acknowledged his sin before God and His prophet, Nathan - and only then because he was found out and told so in front of his courtiers. His child died, and he himself suffered great anguish through life by reason of His sons by Bathsheba and his previous wife's children.

He lost the sons he loved so much. You see, God does judge His people. "Oh Absalom!" His grief was unbearable. Yet God did not end his relationship with Bathsheba. In fact they were still together when David died.

Here is the root of the argument concerning this sin of adultery. If all else fails in their attempt to go back to the innocent partners, then God may well finally make way for them, but only after full repentance. I believe this sincerely so, after witnessing some who had fallen this way but who are today wiser, stronger, and more spiritual than before.

However, it is equally true that each case will be judged on its merit. God may or He may not provide in these situations. This is why the position of the adulterer is so complex and uncertain. It is certain, however, that all judgment is in the hands of our holy God.

 
David’s Punishment

God took the child born to them both, and He left it at that. However, the consequences of his marriage to Bathsheba were horrific. His sons were killed in battle and one of his sons was murdered by Joab, David’s general. David also lost his kingdom and suffered decline in his power as a monarch. Natural circumstances of a remarriage of adulterers can be devastating.

Here is the model from which I build my case for the repentant adulterers.

  1. The way will be hard.
     

  2. There may be some very sad repercussions by reason of this union. Of course, I must reiterate the fact that a marriage between the adulterers should only take place when all else has failed to bring the original partners back together. When folks remarry they will not necessary know they are sinning further.
     

  3. They genuinely repent before the Lord and in this case only the Lord will work out something in them. Should they part?

 
The Answer to the Unbearable - Fully Trust the Lord

No matter what it costs you - PULL AWAY FROM THAT ILLICIT PARTNER, EVEN IF YOU ‘LOVE HER TO DEATH.’ Obedience is better than sacrifice. Think of restoration to wife/husband and family. Think of the Holy Spirit and His moving in your lives towards restoration to your God and your Christ.

You have everything to gain by going back to your original partner. Yes, the hurt is going to be great for you, leaving the one with whom you had formed this illicit relationship, but the marriage can be mended.

The Lord wants you to see beyond yourself, and to look at the anguish of your wife's/husband's disbelief at your leaving for another partner, as well as the terrible sadness the family felt when they saw you for the last time, hurriedly running away down the pathway to your new love. Sure, time will possibly mend some of the damage - but not all.

You cannot put spilt milk back into the bottle. It has gone forever. A new beginning, though, is possible! It will be so very different, but it can work again as both partners determine to work it out together.

The offended partner had to deal with that sneaky feeling, when the partner is away from home, that something is going on behind his/her back. However, there is life after adultery and its consequences, but the quicker the cementation of your necessary relationship with your wife begins again, the better things will be.

Love each other all over again, and do not bring the subject up time and time again. Give it all to God and learn to trust one another all over again. Work at it.

 
 

 

Chapter 21

Illicit Love Will Pass

The Holy Spirit will deal with the heartache you feel. The godly wife or godly husband, if that be the case, will have been praying for your return and will rejoice at the union you will re-form together.

However, this scenario is the very best scenario when you do go back to your legal partner. Are you so repentant that you are willing to go back even if things are very tough for a while? You will be tested, you can be sure of that. You have to try with all your might.

 
What if You do not Make it With Your Legal Wife?

It is best to cross that bridge if it arises. Trusting the Lord is the very best thing you can do. He is not a disappointment. I feel that as the two get back together there will be a new bonding built upon the word of God. Both must work at it as is right in the Lord. 

It is then that you will see that what you had together was not worth losing, such as your home, your securities, and your lovely children who will also be so pleased you came back. In some cases children can be very resentful when the wandering partner returns to the marital home.

There could be hatred, malice, unforgiveness. True repentance on your part is the only powerful substance that will keep you from running away from this possible reality. Not only may the younger children not respect you, but the older children may never speak to you again. Strife might be inevitable in some cases. You have to think about all the possible scenarios that could arise. Your strength will be in making good your marriage by doing your part to show love for all the family as well as your wife.

You will learn from this episode. God is with you even in your darkest hour - something that those who have not known the way of the backslider do not agree with or understand. But it is true. The story of the Prodigal Son shows this to be true. "The way of the backslider is hard."

Yield to God. Pour out your sorrows before Him, for He will bring peace and restoration to your lives. Also, you will be a wiser man/woman through the whole experience. You are basically His and you have been bought with the price of the precious blood of Jesus.

You are God's elect. Return to the Father as the Prodigal Son did to his. You will most certainly know the Lord's forgiveness and great blessing. "All that I have is thine," the parable concludes.

 

Skeletons in the Cupboard

It is sure that arguments will come, but at all costs do not bring out the skeletons from the cupboard. Do not throw those wild reminders of your times away from the wife or husband, at your partner.

Festering sores like this can make both newly committed partners aggrieved at the least. The worse case scenario is to be found in the bickering and blaming of each other. AGREE NOT TO DO THAT. PUT IT ALL TO DEATH. Do not refer to it, nor antagonise each other with it. Let Jesus rule in your home, where for a long time He did not.

 
Begin a Brand New Life With Each Other

Make time to love your partner. Some couples pass as ships in the night. This is fatal for your relationship. You will say, "Oh, I am so busy." The other partner will say the exact same thing. STOP.

Freely admit your own failures to each other and determine "never to let the sun go down on your wrath." Talk it out. Make time. After all, you did make time for that illicit love. That stung, didn't it? Yet it is true. Make time for each other - at all costs.

Do not scoff at what your partner is saying to you in all honesty. Change to be what he/she imagines you ought to be. Marriage needs to be worked at. The Bible way of dealing with our pride is simple: "Do not let the sun go down on your wrath." In another place: "Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God and he will exalt you in due season."

There is no marriage on earth that does not experience each partner’s faults. Unfaithfulness is a state where one thinks the grass is so much greener in another field. BUT IT IS NOT.

Chew the cud in your own field always. It is the wisest course, and it is God's way for you. Just as you work out your salvation with fear and with trembling, so work out the best spiritual course for your marriage.

 
Getting it Right with the Lord

To feel anything spiritual is going to be difficult for a long time. The main problem is forgiving yourself. How do you pull yourself up to the stature of a spiritual man or woman again? The road you are on is long and sometimes uncertain as you battle with the memories of your unfaithfulness.

The devil is an evil adversary who will taunt you constantly. He will bring back memory after memory of the illicit times of your affair, and, quite frankly, it is very draining upon the emotions.

You cannot say things were ‘wonderful’ when you were being unfaithful, because God frowned upon the relationship in the first place. Perhaps the romance was wonderful, but the memory of those times becomes a curse to you.

If you find that you long for those times again, without checking the flow of past memories, then your repentance was not fully sincere. True repentance brings its own disgust at such an affair, that you had without conscience. Of course, the devil will try to tempt you into such thoughts about unfaithfulness again.

But the terrible trauma of the past, wherein you had been entangled by sexual sin, should keep you from the evils of further adulteries. Let repentance stop all future illicit liaisons. Strongly guard against any further temptations and falls into this same sin. God may not be so lenient next time. It is to be desired that true repentance will be so strong that the marriage will never again flounder.

Jesus said: "If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out." That evil eye for the opposite sex is admittedly ‘on the rampage’ today, everywhere. Jesus said: "But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery already in his heart."

You are children of God. As such, you cannot afford to look at the opposite sex with longing in your heart. Yes even just looking is sin to some folks. Because it stirs up what is really inside them.

 
True Repentance

Repentance is ongoing for the truly repentant soul. "Resist the devil and he shall flee from you!" 'No' must mean 'no'! The decision to stay with your first partner will need to be a commitment for life. Do not look back. Go forward in the name of the Lord. ”The couple or family that prays together, STAYS TOGETHER.”

Now, you might find that the heavens will seem as brass for a while. After the sinful relationship you simply cannot find a way through to feeling God in your circumstances.

This is completely normal. When you looked at another partner your heart hardened and you began to sin freely and thus you had your own way with the other person.

 
How do You Regain Your Former Softness?

Only by waiting at the feet of the Lord and pouring out your sorrow and love for Him. As you spend time in this attitude, the sensitivity will again return. Gentleness, rightness, genuineness with God, does begin to ease that hard attitude and, instead, there will come again a renewed love for the Lord.

It is only as far away as this before God will draw nigh unto you. The word says: "If you will draw nigh unto Him, He will draw nigh unto you."

 
Will God Use Me Again?

Always remember that God forgives and forgets your sin. He can also restore you to service again. If you are a pastor, He might put you back into the office again. It is always men who cannot forgive, and not our loving God.

Were you an evangelist? He can mend and make you anew. There is nothing impossible with God. WERE YOU A PASTOR? This is a very much more problematic because you will be working with both sexes. By the way, it is mandatory that no elder or counselor or pastor should ever counsel any woman on his own. Even visitation should be done with another woman present. YET THERE IS GREAT HOPE OF A NEW MINISTRY AND A NEW SUCCESS.

Others will have their eagle eye upon you, and the Evil One will do as much damage as he can to you in this new position, to put you off! Yet, by patience and faithful ministry, the folks in the local church will begin to trust you, as is right in the Lord. God will have raised you up again. Praise His wonderful Name.

WISDOM TELLS ME THAT IF YOU WERE A PASTOR, IT MIGHT BE THE WISE THING TO DO TO MOVE AWAY FROM THE AREA WHERE YOU HAD SINNED SO BADLY.

You ought to seek a post as far away as is possible from the area of your sin and its memories, and begin again the first works of your Christian life and ministry. Oh, and please explain to any likely Oversight that you had been into the sin of adultery, but that now God was again blessing you.

Such confession is good for your character in the long run. Wisdom is the key, for if you do not speak up about your past, the devil will surely make you regret the day you kept it silent. People are not usually capable of forgiving and restoring you. The Devil will stop you by all means if he can - and he moves into the hearts of gullible people - unfortunately.

 
Jimmy Swaggart

Jimmy is back in the church. I saw him on TV and instantly I was aware of criticism welling up inside of me. You see, the devil is indeed going about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. None of us have a right to be judgmental towards anyone, let alone towards Jimmy Swaggart. Whatever he has done in the past is forgiven and forgotten by the Lord. Woe to those who sneer with contempt at his obvious restoration.

The devil will not let anyone off the hook, yet Christians can be the very worst for pointing the finger. To Jimmy Swaggart I say "well done" for coming back with a repentant heart. Well done for putting on one side the taunts of those who were/are his critics. Accept God's Grace over the just deserts of the Law.

He is getting on with what God has called him to be and do. Leave him alone. He must be so proud to see his son going on so well for the Lord. He is as good as his dad was in that similar age group.

"Oh, but he sinned three times against that church and his poor wife." Didn't Jesus teach that we should forgive 70 times seven? In any case, mind your own business. Those who are judgmental in this manner are not following the Lord at all. God bless that brother and his ministry. May he see many souls saved as the reward for his labour.

I have grown to dislike intensely those busy-bodies and gossips and meddlers in other people's business. All judgment belongs to God alone. We should pray for those who fall, recognising that we all indeed fall short. Encourage your brethren and sisters. Lift them up; seek their good; expect that God will raise them up for His glory. Herein is the true spirit of Jesus.

 
 

Chapter 22

Jesus and His Rival Preacher

The disciples were up in arms because someone was speaking very well about the things of God. "Who is this guy? What right has he to preach?" Yet the Lord said quietly to them: "He that is not against us is on our part." (Mark 9 v 40.)

Leaving others alone is a hard thing for some Christians. Perhaps these folks feel they are not doing so badly if another is doing things worse than they are. It also may be that a brother or sister may feel put out if the pastor starts to bring the once-erring brother into recognition again in the local church, and grumble, "I didn't do what he/she did and I have not been asked to do anything."

When immorality surfaces in a church, possibly because of a deep psychological reason, they (usually men) tell themselves that they would not be able to get away with anything immoral. So, they see to it that such a brother never gets back into fellowship again. Hence one possible reason for that spirit of the Prodigal son's elder brother in the parable Jesus taught.

Those who have erred and repented are very necessary to the body of Christ. Their ministries are so needed. The church was made all the poorer when the enemy brought about their departure from the church. That brilliant and anointed pianist; that gifted Sunday School Superintendent, and so on.

If the grumbler’s ministry was so obvious, surely the pastor would know about it and would have used that soul? Don't envy other people's callings. Don't meddle and pretend you can do what they did. You cannot fulfill any other person's calling.

I was once short of a pianist, and an elder's wife said she could play. I fell for it. I said, "All right." Well, in all my days I have never heard a piano played like that. It was dreadful, and so loud - every note.

There was no variation at all. It turned out she was deaf, too. How do you put down a pianist when you have agreed to let them play for you? I do not recall how I got the dear lady to stop playing, but, mercifully, she didn't play piano after that first time. Her heart was in the right place… she wanted to help.

In the local church we so need the right folks for the right jobs. It taught me a big lesson. If you have not found a pianist, do not allow folks to play if they have little idea about a piano and how to make it talk. She fancied herself as a pianist, but then found it was more than she bargained for.

In another church a woman came up to the pastor and said she could sing. So he said, "All right." Oh what a fiasco that was. She introduced her boy friend, who was a carbon copy Billy Bunter, horned-rimmed glasses and all. She was very tall and she wore a hat full of imitation fruit.

As for the boy friend, he was very short! His feet wouldn't touch the pedals on the piano. She began to sing and, quite honestly, it was, to say the least, hilarious. She screeched and warbled the notes, and none of those notes were in tune. That poor pastor! My own local church, before I went into the ministry, had the same experience. A man told the pastor he would like to sing. Of course, wanting to accommodate him, the pastor said, "Yes."

Well! He began to sing the Brother James Air rendering of the "The Lord's My Shepherd." He began to sing, and at first it didn't sound too bad to listen to, but when he changed his voice to that of a falsetto a couple of verses into the song, it was horrendous. I am sorry to say, I just had to hold my sides to stop laughing. What a charade. That poor pastor! He would not forget that for a long time!

The point of these small stories is to show that we need godly ministries in the church and not those folks I have exampled, trying to impress others with a ministry they do not have. In both cases they would not be called upon again.

It isn't enough to say, "Oh, well, you have to give them a chance.” The disruption caused by these people does not make it worthwhile. Spiritually, for the local church, it is most distressing. Such misplaced humour in the church robs it of its spiritual integrity and dignity.

 
 

Chapter 23

Duty of Loving Brethren

Only by recognising that we ourselves were once in a deep sinful mire, can we say in reality, "I am just very fortunate to be a child of God." Why will those whom I have been writing about not see that it is the loving duty of every one of us to restore those who fall. We need those called men who fall and repent.

God did not select you to be judgmental, but only to judge according to scripture. We may judge our fellow believers so long as we are not guilty of the very same sins, so after careful consideration and any necessary loving disciplinary action, let them go, rejoicing in the forgiveness of God for you and for them. "Restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, lest you also be tempted." Gal. 6 v 1.

 
Sexual Sin is the Commonest

Therefore, we should have abundant grace as God has grace to forgive and restore a fallen brother or sister. God is not an ogre in relentless pursuit of all who sin in this manner. He is always gentle and kind towards those who repent, and is always ready to restore a forgiven soul. He understands, even if He doesn’t agree with us.

He knows our frame and He remembers we are but dust. God does not judge as we judge. He knows our sins well enough, and perhaps sighs over us at times, but He knows we are in this body of sin and that we are tempted by the devil every day.

There are cohorts of evil powers set against you being a winner. Learn to know the Lord's forgiveness by the sacrificial giving of Jesus Christ on the cross. "No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper." Get mad at the devil. "Resist him and he will flee from you."

Is your mind filled with unclean thoughts? You aren't the only one. Millions the world over will have the same problem.

Devils torment all who are susceptible to them. You have to take a strong stand against them, asking that God will destroy their works against you. Tell the devil and his evil suggestions to be gone in the Name of Jesus.

The blood still has its ancient power, because the power is eternal! Apply the blood to the lintels of your heart. In the name of Jesus you will prevail! It is the pleasure of God to give you the victory.

 
 

Chapter 24

The Power of Grace

Today, GOD SEES JESUS AND ALL WHO ARE IN CHRIST (HIS ELECT), AND AS FAR AS HE IS CONCERNED ALL IS WELL, BECAUSE JESUS PAID THE PRICE OF ALL OUR SIN. OUR SINS, PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE, ARE NAILED TO THE CROSS. GOD'S COVENANT OF GRACE IS SUFFICIENT TO KEEP US SPOTLESS UNTIL HIS RETURN.

Why, then, do some in the churches fight over this Grace? Grace is strictly the favour of God to us, who are the Elect, redeemed. But Grace is so much more. Life’s experiences as children of God reveal the depths of Grace so that we can understand Grace to be indeed greater than the Law, and that it is grace that convicts us of sin and of the judgment to come (Grace operating in the Holy Spirit). Grace points us to repentance, and Grace, through the cross, forgives every transgression His children make.

Grace is not simply an overdone Calvinistic doctrine. Grace is amazing. "How sweet the sound in a believer’s ear." Grace, as the song goes, "will lead me home." Grace is all of God and nothing of us. Grace is pure and perfect: it broods over us, it leads us to a deeper understanding of God.

It tells us that it will all be worth it when we see Jesus. Grace covers our sins, even those we are not yet aware of. The precious blood is the sure and certain antidote for all our sins. "By grace you are saved, and that not of yourselves, it is the Gift of God."

As long as we recognise that we are not perfect yet, there is hope for us. Our hope is in Christ. Our life is in Christ. Our destiny is in Christ. Perfection is what God sees in Christ and His Spotless Bride.

Our joy is in Christ; our deepest longing is in Christ. Perfection is, maybe, a long way off for us, but the Lord knoweth the way that you take, and when He hath tried you, you will come forth as pure gold. Trust, faith, and praise: these are the weapons of your warfare too. Use them "to the pulling down of strongholds."

We keep going on unto perfection - to win the race by faith. We read and we learn the word; we live the word and we grow up in God. This is how it should be. "If we sin, we have an advocate, and the blood of Jesus Christ God's Son cleanseth us from all sin." What grace - AMAZING GRACE.

 
The Love God Gives Us

It is a love for our Saviour Jesus Christ. It is agape love. It is unselfish love. It is a compelling love. My advice to all who read this book is that you simply trust Jesus every day. Talk things over with Him. Stop sinning against Him.

Know those things that God calls sin and do something about it for the good of your soul. If your weakness is for the opposite sex, then take it to the Lord. It is a very common sin.

Tell Him, Who is able to help you, to be that strong moral person you desire to be, but just cannot. Today you are into that habit. But, maybe tomorrow, you will be free as you employ the weapons of spiritual warfare.

 
Imputed Righteousness

Now, here is a great Bible teaching all of us need to take on board. All our righteousness is as filthy rags in His sight. Not acceptable. But the righteousness of Christ as we walk by faith is yours for always. How does it work?

As you express your faith and your testimony of love for the Lord, it will work for you. "I believe, I receive." Simple isn't it? Walking in His love fills us with His imputed righteousness.

We show the works of our faith by the way we behave before Him. "Blessed are those to whom the Lord does not impute sin." Stand firm and trust this glorious righteousness to bring you through victoriously.

Speak faith; live faith; shout his praise; expect a miracle every day when you pray. Perhaps you are not in the habit of asking God for much? Then begin again by asking for the best that heaven can give you. There is life after adultery and its evils. Take the opportunity to move out in God whilst there is yet time.

There is a new place of awakening. Stop looking back. Press forward unto higher heights and deeper depths. Time is short, so do all you can to enhance the kingdom of God, by your zeal for the House of the Lord. Determine never to fall again into this same sin.

 
Don’t Rob God

I do not speak about tithing here. Rather, I write about robbing God of His time with you. All your waking hours are the Lord's, so spend them wisely. Even if you had not fallen into sin, it may still be that you are not giving your best to the Lord and therefore are seen by the enemy to be a target anyway.

Sin comes because we neglect spiritual duties. It is our duty to pray fervently, not begrudging the time when we pray fervently. Give your time willingly and gladly to God.

Take time to read the word every day. Time to let the feast of God's word get into your system. Allow spiritual digestion just as you do with the digestion of your food. Do you eat like a horse, then go running a mile? I hope not.

Do you likewise eat and then dive into a cold pool and swim at a pace? Of course you don’t. After every meal it is advisable to let your food digest before doing exercises of a strenuous nature… a simple comparative for you to take on board!

Here, then, is the drill. We seek His face every morning. We pour out our gratitude and our love for the Lord; we get into prayer for a range of things that are upon our hearts; we pray sincerely and without thoughts of sin hanging around us and in us.

The Bible says God will not hear us if sin is in our hearts. "If we regard iniquity in our hearts He will not hear us." None of us can ‘kid’ God! He knows us entirely - afar off. Get to know sin's smell and thus avoid its ensnarement.

Whatever the pull, do not be with a member of the opposite sex on your own. Remember, for many men, there is no such thing as a ‘platonic’ relationship with the opposite sex, so don't allow yourself this time that often leads to sin.

 

Blaming the Devil for Everything

Friend, whoever you are, know that sin is committed by us and not necessarily by the devil. It is we who have the weaknesses and not him. He is everything that is against God.

He is the author of sin, but there are sins he doesn't need to instigate because the person concerned has a large dose of his own will in the process of self-destruction. BLAME YOURSELF. BE STRONG ENOUGH TO SEE THAT, AT LEAST.

 
Human Nature Can be Wicked, Perverse & Depraved

"The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked above all things, and who can know it." Jer. 17 v 9. Recognise its will to do all that it intends to do as time goes by. The devil's part is to ply you with those things you already lust after. He also knows what you are like. Oh, the bondage of the will. Plead with the Lord to bring His will to bear upon your heart.

Oh, to be supple and pliant to the Master's will and purposes. Will you start all over again? Will you take up the challenge to make your life to count in this fight of faith? Don't be a wimp! Stand and fight for the rest of your life - by faith, stand! It will be worth it all when you see Jesus in Glory.

 
 

Chapter 25

Adultery - Not the End of Faith

Friend, the Lord knows your weaknesses from adolescence, when you were finding out about your sexuality. He knows, too, how the evil one tries to warp something of great beauty, which God began to fashion within you as a man/woman. Strange feelings; wonderful feelings; unknown feelings, throbbed within you. Here is where the enemy can begin to play havoc with you.

The adolescent could feel, by the enemy's corruptive interference, the feelings of homosexuality; bi-sexuality; and wrongly transmitted sexual vibes. Lurid pictures in the mind are painted before them, bringing a completely wrong image of what sex is all about. ONLY LOVE IS A TRUE REASON FOR SEXUALITY AND ONLY IN A HETEROSEXUAL MARRIAGE FOR LIFE. Any other form of sex is gross sin.

 

Terrible Pictures in the Mind

Sometimes such pictures last well into adulthood and they cause much confusion for those who succumb to these filthy images of the mind. The thing to do is turn to the Lord and pour it all out to Him Who knows all about those pictures invading your soul.

Rape is suggested in such a mind; scenes of seduction, enticement, all leading to actual attempts on seducing real women. Likewise, women can also have lewd thoughts. How terrible is this taunting. By the wickedness of the mind.

Remember that these thoughts are not the natural thoughts of a sound mind. Homosexually-inclined people are also beset by horrible pictures in the mind of wrong same-sex relationships.

Do not say, "well, I'll live with it as a normal part of my development, since I am saved." Seek total deliverance and if you are determined to trust God, I believe these evils will pass from you. Do not let them return. Jesus spoke about the strong man holding sway in a life. The true ‘strong man’ is the Holy Spirit within you, Who will work with your faith to rid you of this besetting sin. Don't allow this sin to spoil your testimony of Jesus.

 
Taboo Language of Masturbation

Yes, it is a shunned description of a very real problem with so many people, young and old, no matter how sincere a Christian may be. It needs addressing. Young Christians are seriously impeded in their overall Christian service by this activity.

This practice causes them to always feel condemned and guilty. The pictures in the mind are many and the devil makes sure the images become more and more lurid.

 

Time to Resist the Devil!

Deny the images. Rebuke them in the name of Jesus. Cover your life in the precious blood of Jesus. Plead His sanctification from these things. As you want to be free, so with a great deal more urgency, be free in the Name of Jesus.

Know that masturbation is sinful. Flee from these things. Psychiatrists think it's alright, but spiritually it is devastating to your faith and on the input of Righteousness from the Lord.

Determine to leave yourself alone as you believe God's deliverance is near. It will take courage and faith and determination. I know that the might of the Holy Spirit is on the side of your determination to stop sinning in this area.

One man I knew was about 66 years of age, but he was troubled by this dreadful urge to masturbate. His turn-on was history books, showing detailed descriptions of rape and terrorised women who were subjected to untold vileness.

He broke down and wept when he told me about this. He said he had repented, but had he? Was he just too old to change? He was deaf and dumb. I have found that when a person hangs onto something tenaciously, like drugs for example, they will do anything to keep taking them so that they can be gratified again by the feelings drugs give.

I remember well a young woman who threw herself all over the room of her house, because she so craved for drugs. My wife and I tried to help her and the doctor came. He gave her a sedative and left. Then I said to her, "the Gospel is so wonderful," and I proceeded to preach the Gospel to her.

She responded to the call to repent (I thought) and then she said: "Can I have a fix now?" I took her to hospital and left her there. As I pulled out of the hospital car park, there she was - she had discharged herself. No-one can help anyone if they are basically tied to a fixation. You have to want to be free.

You will feel ten feet tall when the devil is beaten and you are perfectly clean again. But you just have to be real with the Lord. How can you have a beautiful relationship with the opposite sex when such dirt is in your mind? Thoughts are living things. God sees how we think and how we encourage those pictures in the mind.

Real love between a man and a woman is, first of all, innocent, then romantic and then a lifetime commitment of clean intimacy, devoid of those confounded pictures in the mind. Seek to love a woman, or if you are a woman with such pictures in the mind, seek to deny those pictures and cling to the reality of a pure relationship with a man, which demands a lifetime of faithfulness to one another.

 
The Problem With Human Nature

We lust after so many varied things. My wife doesn't like jewelry, whilst many other women adore jewelry. Life is like this for the human family anyway. So it is with sex. Appetite for sex is not wrong in the right place - in the marriage bed. However, like all other appetites there must be a ceiling on this sexual agreement between the married.

 
The Common Cry of the Married Woman

Very often she is deprived of that all-prevailing love in sex. She notices that, for the husband, the show of the evening is sex before sleep every single night. To a woman it is the most off-putting exercise of her life. "Does my husband love me or just sex?"

Does he ‘roll on’ and ‘roll off’ after several minutes and then grunt his way to a sound sleep, leaving the wife confused and hurt, wide awake and definitely not enamoured by the last ten minutes of so-called love? Love for who? Or what? "Certainly it isn't me," she will say to herself sadly.

 
Why Marriages go on the Rocks – a Central Reason

To run smoothly, a true marriage should be a friendship, with trust found in true love! Love that considers each other and works for the betterment of each other as a close unit. A TV advert ends with a young woman looking dishevelled and off-putting, looking as beautiful as a bale of hay; the man says: "Not tonight Josephine."

How can romance be on fire between the sheets where this sad woman is hoping for love? The same goes for men. Don't smell when you go to bed. A good shave is a good thing. A good bath is even better. Get something done about your snoring.

The final cream on the cake for a woman is your complete attention and very real and sincere loving time. Recognise that it is taboo to pass unkind comment on her unclad body, particularly if there are lumps and bumps.

It will be a long time before she will allow you to see her again in her unclad state. Have some common-sense. Are you the fit, handsome, athlete, without a speck of fat anywhere on your body? If that is the case (and I doubt it), how fortunate you are! Not everyone is.

Therefore, it is fair to say that both partners need to clean up their act by at least looking exciting for their respective mate. A clean bed, the effort by women to look alluring, and both mates making an effort to be spotlessly clean, is so much more to be desired than just any old way they go to bed. Check for warning signs and cracks.

B.O. is the obvious put-off for either party in the marriage bed. If those Israelites could have a divorce if their mate stank or had some bodily uncleanness, then what about your hygiene? It takes two to tango.

It matters. Be at your best, as it was when you first idolised your mate. Those subtle pervading perfumes women can wear, can send a husband mad with passion. Keep it that way. Love your husband; husband - love your wife as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for it. This is God's standard for your marriage.

Make a fuss of her; take her out as a surprise a few times a month, so that she doesn't get so bored stiff that she has the time to look at another man. The same goes for you, O man! And press your trousers well for the delight of your wife and not for that special young lady in the church. This is where sin begins. Does your husband dress immaculately for you… or for someone else?

Look out! When you start thinking about how another man or woman will like you in what you are wearing, it's a warning that you are already beginning to wander.

Does the wife also dress in the very best clothes she can find to go out on her own? Why does she want to go out on her own? Oh yes, it is true that sometimes it is good for a wife to go out with Christian friends. Yet, very often, a frequent arrangement can be a dead give-away. Who is she dressing up for? The dumb husband doesn't think anything about this. He ought to.

However, the discerning husband will notice it and make sure the game's up as far as his wife's early philandering is concerned. You have to fight for what is legally yours. You need to find out why the wife is on the philandering trip. Of course, vice versa too.

You may be very surprised! So, too, the wife. Is your husband doing anything unusual? Is he working later and later at the office, or is he also philandering? Find out the truth from him, and not second-hand from someone you know OR, WORSE, SOMEONE YOU DO NOT KNOW.

Then seek to know what can be done to make things better, so that he/she doesn't want to leave their partner for someone else. "Everybody's doing it," the devil says in you ear ever so quietly. Resist the devil. Talk it out with your mate in the marriage.

 
Fornication

Young people are usually more prone to be in a relationship of fornication, or sex between single folks, simply because it is there to take. Yet, you cannot afford to fornicate. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Amongst the young, is it fair for a man to love a woman and wait until they are married, only to find that someone else had been with his new wife first in a previous act of fornication? Just sex for the sake of sex on some supposed pretext of love.

Can we not understand that fornication is rampant in our society as well as adultery? Such partners just want to feel their feet and have what they should not have. Sex is sacred in marriage and it is thus an anathema for any girl or woman to give away her virginity to just anyone out there at the time of awakened feelings, brought on by a liking for a lusty lad.

If you give a man a chance to see you have feelings for that kind of thing he will take advantage of you, and think nothing of it. Men have an almost unending supply of testosterone! Never give a man the chance to seduce you. Sex is only right and honourable in the bonds of marriage.

 
 

Chapter 26

Dangers for Young Women

The Bible states that younger women in the local church will, after a while, "wax wanton”. It is better that they be married than to burn. However, fornication is sin and a poor newly-married husband is left confused and hurt by the revelation that his wife is not a virgin.

Using contraception does not negate the responsibility to follow God's Law on fornication. Christians must obey the word of God, i.e., any sex before marriage, with or without contraception, is forbidden. See 1 Cor. 5 v 1. See also 1 Cor. 6 v 18-20.

 
Common Malady for Young People

When I was a young married man in a local church, a young couple approached my wife and I and confided that they could not stop touching each other. They were afraid that full sex would soon be their demise and the results of shame would follow. They did not want that to happen.

My advice to them both, though ill-fated, and outlawed by the pastor, it seems, was simply this: "if you cannot stop yourselves from full intercourse, it is better to use some form of contraceptive so that a baby does not arrive prematurely, such sin bringing disgrace upon you, both families, and the church.”

I do not regret waiting and marrying my wife, who had never known a man. But I perhaps knew the scriptures better than this much younger couple. You can help yourself by taking command over those strong sexual impulses. You MUST ‘help it’. God always offers you a way through, whereby you can conquer, day by day, those strong sexual urges. If you are God's elect, then act like one.

Showing the Bible to someone with such high sexual feelings, like the couple I have mentioned earlier, might seem to be small comfort to them because they need inner strength and determination not to yield to their sexual impulses. Growing in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus must entail self-control.

It was only by the mercy of God that this bride proudly walked down the isle without outward disgrace. I am sure they appreciated my advice, and that they recognized that what I had said to them was said in kindness at the time of their weaknesses for each other.

Young man, young woman, you have a promising life ahead of you. The people you know believe in you and they believe God will use you. Your reputation goes before you as to who you are and who you will be.

Do not mess up in this area of your lives. Be strong in the Lord and commit all your feelings to Him who is able to deliver you from all temptation. Overcome your desires to be out of character, committing fornication.

God wants clean young men and clean young women to use in His service. Young man, reach for the calling God has for you. It may be evangelism, it may be pastoral, it may be to help in the overseeing of the church. He may well call you to preach to your peers in this time in which we live. Be ready to be used of the Lord.

Young woman, just because you are young in the Lord, it doesn't necessarily follow that you will start out in life marrying and bearing children! The Lord wants His way for your life. Women have been tremendously used of God down the ages. The apostles would have been the poorer if it were not for those mighty women of God on their side.

They risked their lives all the time so that the Gospel could go out all over the world. Set your sights higher than personal gratification with a lone fornicator. It is not worth losing your place in the latter-day race to see many souls saved, in God's programme for the Elect before Jesus comes. "Behold He cometh with clouds!"

For the Redeemed, it is simply not true that grace is limited, so some are stopped from knowing peace and tranquility. Grace is greater than the law Christ abolished! He is the absolute end of the law and He now stands for His Elect. The law condemns.

Yes, Grace is fathomless for the Elect. "The blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanseth us from all sin." Who can deny that? How can law teachers teach that the law is more important than Grace?

I have read those condemnatory books giving adulterers no possible way forward after divorce. They are left stranded and hopelessly confused by the charges of the authoritarian "law-demanders," and simply stand still, spiritually. How do they move forward? Can they move forward?

This limbo situation is cruelly damaging to any hopes of going forward in Grace!

 
What Can Adulterers Do After Remarriage?

If they are the Elect of God, then they will know that what they have done WAS TERRIBLY SINFUL and will have long since repented of their law-breaking sin; but these folks have been told they are in a sin-compounded marriage! They feel doomed, with nowhere to go.

Splitting up is wrong, too, because, eventually, new marriages would be sought by the broken-up couple, and thus more unnecessary marital relationships would be formed. The buck must stop with the relationship they sinned in. God was wise in the judgment of the case of David and Bathsheba. No more was David to add to his wives after Abigail.

Why? Because David had had enough wives and God could well see that these relationships were not good for the integrity of the nation. Mind you, looking at Solomon we see this situation with many wives accelerated to 300 wives and 700 concubines!

The miracle in Solomon’s case is the fact that despite these 1,000 women in his illustrious harem, God blessed him mightily. However, at the close of his reign he is found in a very backslidden state as he allows his wives to sacrifice to idols. The unions made with the many wives he slept with surely ruined his spiritual integrity.

Here is a good lesson. When unfaithfulness arises, it is most certainly spiritual integrity that flounders. The moral of the story of Solomon shows us that the union with foreign women ruined his whole character. He began to compromise. His end is hardly noticed in scripture. Yet what a mighty King he was.

As for the Oversights of churches, we must not lord it over these folks as if they are lepers. How can we dictate what folks must do, and the way folks must do what they should do? At the end of the day it is God who either vindicates or rejects men and women.

Our work is cut out in shepherding the flock of God. Without real Christian love how can they return to local church anyway? The ramifications may be varied, but principally the thought here is that we should love every couple who has been saved, with a love that is ongoing. Here is true agape love in operation. Then when they do return to the church there is good machinery in place to encourage a smooth return.

The church must be wise, too. The position the adulterous couple have found themselves in, is condemned by the Law, but Grace is greater than the law. The Law is relentless and damning upon us all. The devil accuses on the letter of the Law. (Grace is greater than the law but does not replace its due condemnation. Nor does it get rid of any earthly penalties due for the sin). Its condemnation was nailed to the cross. Grace always supersedes the Law. We are still justified by faith even in the face of the condemning Law.

"All have sinned and come short of the glory of God - There is none righteous no not one." So, under the terms of the Law there is none who could claim to be any better than another. "All have sinned."

 
 

Chapter 27

Scriptural Proof for This Angle of Grace

Many places in the Bible show us grace and the Lord's righteousness, releasing many who were in bondage. Deserving nothing but eternal damnation, we are definitely all lost without Grace.

There is no way that the Law, however righteous that may have been, is even remotely able to save anyone from their sins. "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." In any case, none of us could ever keep the Law. Only Jesus could wash away our sins and give us peace and joy. He is the sinless one; He alone was good enough to pay the price of our sin. "By grace we are saved, and that, not of ourselves, it is the gift of God." Did the killing of bulls and goats really pave a way for forgiveness? No it did not.

The sacrifices were symbolic of One Who should come to destroy the works of the devil and thus set us free by His grace. His suffering and death were acceptable in the sight of God. He perfectly fulfilled the Law and its demands.

He became the end of the Law. Now we have a much greater law of righteousness, in the shed blood of Jesus the Mediator of this wonderful Covenant. Built on better promises, we are the recipients of divine favour. Hallelujah! If we sin we have an Advocate with the Father, and the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanseth us from ALL SIN.

WHY DO THESE JUDGMENTAL TEACHERS PERSIST IN JUDGING THE SINS OF OTHERS AS A FORECLOSING OF ALL GRACE, AND INDEED ANY RIGHT TO THE FRUITS OF SALVATION? Such attitudes in the church should never be tolerated, nor should they be acceptable as the Lord's judgment on adultery. "There go I but for the grace of God."

Are we not sinners of the worst kind who have been bought with a price, the precious blood of Jesus? If we have no empathy for such folks who sin in this manner, then aren't we guilty of refusing to help in the mending of these lives so that they could be useful again in the work of God? 

 
Addressing Confused, Re-married Adulterers

Clearly, I have agreed with the many writers who say there is no help for the persistent adulterers who have ‘blotted their copybooks’ and who keep sinning in this manner. Quite rightly, The Immutable Law is unrelenting and fiercely gives promise of eternal death. "The soul that sinneth it shall surely die."

Adulterers may not come to their senses for some while, so it might take time for them to understand the magnitude of their sin of adultery. But, if the illicit lovers are Christians, and these folks are indeed the redeemed of the Lord, they will, slowly but surely, know they are not right with the Lord and not right to be in this adulterous relationship. As we say, time will tell.

It is sure, however, that by reading this book you who are looking for a ‘way-out’ clause will not find it, because you have been warned about your situation before God. Can you go on sinning now that you have read this book? You cannot remarry because I have shown you that it is a sin to do so. You cannot continue to commit adultery because you have seen how wrong it is before the living God. What step you take now is critical. 

The above does not address them.

 
But Remarried Adulterers are Guilty of Adultery for Life?

Under the terms of the Law, ‘guilty as charged’. Yet, under the terms of the Grace of God in Christ Jesus, it is abundantly clear that there is life after adultery, where the guilty ones repent and are forgiven. It is a glimmer of hope where the Law condemned outright and so many in Old Testament times perished under the penalty of being stoned to death.

It is already clear from reading 1 Cor. 7 v 27, that Paul has no objections to a remarriage after a divorce. The argument there is whether the woman loosed or divorced was in her predicament because the husband was unfaithful. The text does not say either way. “But if you marry, you have not sinned.” Was she the guilty partner? We are not told. 

Now, although it is true about God's grace providing a remedy for such sins, nevertheless when we have knowledge of what we are doing wrong, as I have laid it out in the book, then this grace is not going to save anyone from the effects of sin for a very long time, if not for always.

You always take a terrible chance if you say you will take your chances at the Judgment Seat of Christ. You will never know this side of eternity how God will judge you both in that day when the hearts of all men are read. How unthinkable is it, if Christ should banish you from eternal life altogether.

We ought never to take Grace simply as the ticket to heaven. Grace will always stand for truth, particularly the Law. Grace comes only in the event of our confession of foolishness and our real repentance. (This oversimplifies Grace and the sin itself).

Grace is fathomless for His Elect when they are obedient to His word. We may keep coming, and keep coming again and again, until at the last we are swallowed up with everlasting bonds. He giveth Grace to the humble. "The blood of Jesus Christ God's Son cleanseth from all sin." (This is separate from discipline and treatment of sinners)

To the adulterers: do not be slow in bringing your sin to the Lord. He is full of compassion and tender mercy. He understands where you are in Him even though He may not agree with you in your relationship. But He is grieved with your sin. Open your hearts and trust Him with this very difficult and sinful relationship you are unwilling to give up. Call your association SIN in its worst form!

What further mayhem will it cost you; what further sorrows and hurts and agonies of rejection by your peers? Stop and consider what God feels about this sin. The main point is that the sin grieves God, not us. Our hurts are secondary. It is not just a matter of opening up to God… the sin itself MUST stop immediately, or nothing can be done.

The Law is not more important than Grace, else we all would be in danger of losing our ‘so great salvation’ every time we broke the Law! Grace supersedes the Law. You will need to be willing to repent - deeply and not simply to justify that relationship. See how the word deals with this sin and agrees with God - "Go and sin no more."

 
What Can Adulrerers Do After Remarriage?

Is it an unpardonable sin? Can they be forgiven? At what cost? If such folks have any Christian salvation in them they will still be in love, but they will feel hurt and be confused for a long time to come.

The model case is that of David and Bathsheba, who, despite their horrible sin, were forgiven and STILL STAYED FORGIVEN IN THEIR MARRIAGE FOR LIFE. (see Psalm 51).

Their relationship and demise was dreadful before an unrelenting God of the Law - YET BY THE COURTESY OF GRACE - IRRESISTIBLE GRACE - THERE WAS LIFE AFTER ADULTERY. SUCH IRRESISTIBLE GRACE BRINGS HIS ELECT TO REPENTANCE.

 

Folks Who Stay Together Can Still Know God’s Smile?

Provided they are penitent before the Lord. Where do I get that authority from? From scripture. See the story of David and Bathsheba. The sin of adultery was hideous, and against God. David lost his child born of Bathsheba, and for most of his life he was an unhappy man because his own children were killed under horrific circumstances.

This wrong marriage (yet eventually sanctioned by grace and by Jesus, under the terms of grace), and consequential fruit of Bathsheba’s womb, was full of ongoing chastisements of God upon David. Time panned out as all relationships pan out, and we know the mayhem caused by adulterous relationships. "Yet where sin did abound, grace did much more abound.” David at the last is indeed the restored child of God.

However, Solomon was born. What a great blessing he was to his father, and the whole of David’s kingdom proceeded under Solomon’s leadership, as the new king over David's kingdom. (After much ignominy) Grace and grace and grace. Oh how we love our Saviour. He brought divine provision when there was practically none left.

Solomon was perhaps the greatest man among the greatest men who ever lived. We are shown here how Grace triumphed over the Law. The fruit of Bathsheba’s womb, the adulteress's womb, brought forth Solomon who was to show God’s goodness to David’s House.

We are showing clearly that I do not believe that to disobey the Law means death to the believer. Otherwise none could survive the temptations of the devil and their encouragement to sin in one way or another. No-one can prove that Grace is automatic for anything we do that is questionable.

 
 

Chapter 28

Chaotic Family Life After a Parent Leaves

Children may rebel and leave home with unforgiving spirits; some will not speak to the parent who left home for another partner; some might commit suicide, and even a wife might do just that! I had an aunt who's husband left her for another woman.

She DRANK A BOTTLE OF AMMONIA, AND SHE TOOK THREE WEEKS TO DIE IN AGONY AS THE TOXIC FLUID BURNED OUT ALL HER MAJOR ORGANS. Others sit in cars with the doors locked and gas themselves with car exhaust fumes. That ‘merciful tube to mental health in the hereafter’ - THEY HOPE. The balance of the mind disturbed. It is so terribly sad to hear of these cases.

Most women upset like this have simply taken drugs by the handful, and of great strength, and have ended up like cabbages. Not all partners are built like cast iron.

The hurts, the mental attacks on the mind, the glowing pictures of the imagined escapades of the partner with another partner outside of the legal marriage - all are scarring to the mind for life. Such despondent souls are so demeaned they are reduced to nothing in their own eyes. They have no fight left; they give up on life.

I know of a woman who was so distraught that she could not handle the trauma caused by her husband's betrayal. She eventually lapsed into Alzheimer's Disease and died at 63 years of age.

Now it is possible that one could argue that the trauma to this woman would not bring on Alzheimer’s Disease. But, it cannot be denied that the trauma suffered by this woman would be aggravated by the situation. She could not take it.

What I am reaching for here is an appeal for compassion and care for those folk the adulterous pair have dumped for this illicit affair. If one could see the unhappiness, the devastation felt by such unfortunates, it surely would melt the hardest of hearts.

Jesus is our compassionate friend. Is He not touched by the feelings of our infirmities? The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus, Who appeals to us to show compassion upon injured parties left behind by the selfish love of adultery. This love is certainly blind.

"Something here inside which cannot be denied," is a phrase from "Smoke gets in your eyes." My mother was a fine opera singer who also loved to sing the songs of the day and this was one of them. The illicit love of adultery is sexual and destructive and blindly unaware of anything but that inner feeling "not to be denied." DO NOT BE BLINDED. The Lord is coming soon.

However, the point here is that love is indeed blind. Love does not "See the wood for the trees." Oblivious love. All-important love. Love is a feeling and an emotion we have to guide into right channels because ‘love’ can come to anyone at any time, and in any situation. Such love, therefore, is not the be-all and end-all of all human responsibility.

Human love is generally very selfish in that it seeks out indiscriminately a person to love and, at times, whether it be a right relationship or not. Certainly it is nothing new. Extra-marital relationships are taboo to all who love the Lord - Period! Make the Lord the love beyond all others. Use that wisdom which is from above (see James 3 v 17).

Grace appeals, The Law commands and demands, Proverbs reveals ample scriptures warning all of us about such encounters with the opposite sex. Wisdom is our first instruction in righteousness. There is folly in every illicit relationship!

 

CONSEQUENCES DO HAPPEN AND THEY WILL SPOIL YOU, WHATEVER THE JOY YOU ARE FEELING WITH YOUR ILL-GOTTEN PARTNER.

It is a folly to suppose that just because you are in love it is OK in any circumstance. Love is indeed blind, so you must learn to decipher the spiritual values of your love. If you cannot engage in innocent and pure converse with your God, then your illicit relationship is the problem. Make Jesus your Lover and Friend. Always please Him.

Better to resist the advances of another's improper attentions, and to suffer for a while with aching emotions than to proceed and to feel, tragically, the experience of mayhem, and all things making no sense, and all your peers in the church avoiding you.

Aching and hurting emotions do pass as you listen to the voice of the word speaking against your folly of an illicit relationship. Being found out is bad enough, but to follow through this ill-conceived evil against God, will take all you have got and more besides - physically, mentally and spiritually. How long it will take to recover.

Grace does not afford license to sin. Certainly not to sin freely as in this illicit relationship. It is "practicing sin." Grace will always appeal to the New Man you are in Christ Jesus. We are to follow Him as our great example. This sin, particularly, will waste years off your life. The devil will use this folly to stop you being used of the Lord.

Grace tells us when we are wrong; Grace brings us to repentance and godly sorrow; Grace appeals to such folk to return to the former partner if at all possible; Grace shows us how hurtful this affair has been to the broken partner; Grace loves enough to cause you both to return to the place of first blessing in your marriage. God will honour you for it.

Grace is abundant. "Where sin abounds, Grace doth much more abound." Christians do not commit sin, as the Apostle John puts it. The translation of the word "commit" here is from the Greek, and the word in this case really means "to practice sin."

Most Greek words have many possible meanings, the correct one decided by the context. For example the word “if” is a very flexible word. “If” and you will; “If” and it maybe, “if” and you will not. We do not have so many. So with the word “commit.” The general meaning is to practice adultery or sin. 

Christians who commit adultery practice sin, but when they have returned to their right mind and have repented fully, GRACE ACCEPTS THEM AS IF THEY HAD NOT SINNED IN THE FIRST PLACE. GOD HAS CAST THEIR SINS INTO THE SEA OF HIS FORGETFULNESS.

So, we who love the Lord do not practice sin. Sin has to have its termination day. After which you will obey the Holy Spirit - if you are to again walk with the Lord. If you think I am saying it is all right to sin in this manner because God will forgive you by His grace, then the very idea wrong. If grace is to flourish and overcome your problems, then absolute readiness to obey God’s Word is the priority for grace to work. 

 
 

Chapter 29

Bathsheba Remained David’s Wife
God forgave David's sin and allowed the marriage to continue. David conspired with Joab, his Chief General, to make sure that Uriah the Hittite was sent into the thick of the battle, thus making sure that he was killed.

What a monstrous plot of betrayal upon any faithful soldier! King David committed adultery, but found later that Bathsheba was pregnant. David would not have thought of that. Lust rarely does.

Consider the terrible panic they both felt as sin took its wages for this evil work of adultery. What mayhem this would cause if the news of David's terrible sin got out. So they covered it all up and simply carried on with their lives.

It was later, when David thought he got away with it, that God sent His prophet to ‘spill the beans’, so to speak. See that Nathan was God's instrument of grace in a time of the Law. It is Nathan who points out the sin to David, in a way that brought immediate condemnation to his soul for the sins of murder and adultery.

It is significant that God held him to account over the killing of Uriah the Hittite. The prophet Nathan paints a graphic illustration before the King, who, in the end, is so stricken in his heart, like as an arrow to his soul; He breaks down; He has no reasonable excuse, and he feels doomed. See Psalm 51.

Yet Grace intervenes: David is spared by God, and he is also saved from certain disgrace before his subjects. God gives to David His assurance of allowing the marriage to continue! Bathsheba's baby died, and quite rightly, or he would have been a son born of adultery and in a murderous environment that could have brought far greater and much worse consequences in history to David!

So the picture of judgment is superseded by abundant grace even in this time of the Law. Therefore a way was given where there was no way to the repentant adulterers, even in their sin-compounded marriage.

There is a way. Grace is always superior to the Law. But the grace of God must be heard as the way forward in your lives and for the Lord. Grace knows your sincere reality or insincerity of heart.

However, the only way that Grace will take your case to the Higher Court of God is to demand that you totally repent, and I mean repent, right back to your first lingering look at the opposite sex, the one whom you refused to put down and denounce.

That illegal and illicit partner in your life must be refused, and you must go back to your legal partner! At all costs repent in this manner and you will find that Grace will help you! If there is no going back then grace does offer another door of opportunity.

The adulterers will re-marry under God's terms:

  1. Total repentance, with tears of godly sorrow.
     
  2. Commitment to lay down their lives in His service.
     
  3. They need to find an assembly who will have them.
     
  4. Prove themselves before God and before this local church as to their obvious desire to follow Jesus all the way.
     
  5. Determine to make the marriage a permanent and happy one with Jesus at its centre.
 
Are You God’s Elect?

The only folks who are going to heaven are the elect of God! Those whom God saw as His from before the foundations of the world! God is omniscient, meaning ALL SEEING, ALL KNOWING. Consider that thought when you who read this book and are likewise tempted.

Yet we have confidence in the scriptures such as Psalm 37 v 23-24: "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord - and He delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholdeth him with His hand."

It is always the fact that God's elect WILL REPENT AT SOME STAGE OF ADULTERY AND ITS CONSEQUENCES, and they will eventually see themselves as God sees them. The promise, however, is clear: God will lift them up with His hand.

Conviction by the Holy Spirit's demands for cleanliness of life; sorrow, deep sorrow, and it will fall like a blanket upon you; you will find tears begin to fall as your now hardened soul is being melted.

The Holy Spirit may well ask of you to give up this love and to seek a return to your partner in full repentance of heart. If He does not and your relationship is over with your legal wife, than the next action might be to stay in that wrong relationship but under the terms of grace.

Some churches would say that the couple should part company for good as a sign of their repentance. Here lies the need for great wisdom. No case is clear and opened and closed! It can be better for the couple to make a go of it, as we say, than to break up and go their separate ways. Yet it could also be quite the wrong thing to do for some.

The weaker scenario is to break up and then find other partners later on. This would mean another two partners would be in the equation, unless that couple have returned to the Lord and remained celibate. 

Can love blossom again as right in the Lord, in this scenario where they give up each other and then find other partners? It may be possible, but on the other hand it may well not work out to their total benefit. Is it right that marrying other partners is justified, when the relationships they had broken in the first marriages are as an open sore – a question as to their success as married people? It is a confusion.

This would be the ‘no-no’ situation. I would say that it is better to see these repentant and forgiven adulterers re-married under the grace of God. Falling in love is very important, and as the adulterers had both ruined their marriages, great lessons have, hopefully, been learned. They would not want to go through that again! Here is where godly and prayerful counsel is paramount.

They will still have to learn! Yet, when ultimately they re-marry, they will have formed a greater bond by their experiences! Thy will know the hang-ups which dogged their first marriage and thus they would be able to avoid them.

Their love stood through all the messy divorce procedures, and they will form a bond deeper than just upon the blind love which had been so hotly contested.

They must be re-married in God's sight as sinners saved by grace. Grace can afford this, where the Law would not! Hebrews tells us that Grace is built upon better promises! See, for example, Hebrews 8 v 6: "But now He (Jesus) hath obtained for us a more excellent ministry, by how much also He is the Mediator of a better Covenant, which was established upon better promises."

In v 12 "I will be merciful to their unrighteousness and their sins and iniquities I will remember no more!" What can be plainer? God gives every one who is redeemed, grace for all their lives. Even when you are in the depths of sin, grace awaits your attention.

We sin regularly in some way or another, yet God's grace over-rules when the precious blood of Jesus has been applied to the lintels of the heart! God's ‘super-weapon’ to us and for us is Grace.

How foolish is the church that teaches grace is so scarce it is only available to the sinless folks in the church, or the unsaved being saved under the terms of the Gospel. What nonsense. No-one is trying to be Antinomian about Grace, but really this is a foolish stand to take by such teachers.

THE TRUTH IS ALL ABOUT GRACE AND THE POWER OF THE LIVING CHRIST, AND NOT ABOUT US IN OUR FOOLISH RELIGION OF RULES AND REGULATIONS, WHICH MAKE GRACE SO RARE IN OUR EYES

Grace my every need supplies. Does not an adulterer also need grace? We should not condemn these sad people who sin so badly in this manner. Only under the Law of Moses did people die through disobedience of the Law. Only by comparing the Law with Grace can we find peace in our souls. Grace supersedes the Law every time.

"Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled; but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." Grace will not step in where clearly the Law is scorned. Grace helps us to keep His laws.

Flee from adultery. It is never worth it. The whole nightmare could be more than you could take! Better to stay faithful and to work it out. Let love be the dominant force between you.

The class of person the Apostle Paul is writing about, is people who revel in these sins without conscience. Christians of any worth know they cannot play with these sins and be justified, even by grace. I repeat: "Adulterers God will judge."

Indeed, if you who read this book and are indeed into adultery, then it is a fearful place to be, for grace is not grace if it does not lead you to repentance. Sin, when practiced, does not allow any of us to ask for grace. Hebrews 10 v 31: "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, or, angry God."

All of us should know about the goodness and the severity of God, so we should be especially warned against any sin, let alone the sin of adultery and other sexual sins. "Flee fornication," the Apostle warns.

We should not use Hebrews Ch. 10 v 26-30 as a place to judge sinning brethren. The clear thought here is to state the position of those who persisted in wanting to return to the killing of animals as the only offering for sin. Nothing more. Chapter 6 v 4-6, likewise refers to the unrest in this Hebrew church.

"It is impossible for those who had once been enlightened by the revelation of the Gospel for them to return to the killing of bulls and goats as the one method of offering for sin." If Christ is not the true Offering or Substitute, then we are still dead in our sins.

We could, I suppose, use the verses here to describe those who reject the Gospel by walking away from the truth. Yet even this explanation is not that which the Apostle alludes to. Any other interpretation than this would be false, showing that the person who has taught expansion of the sense of the verses mentioned is a novice indeed.

The emphasis, however, is upon God's anger in the Day that tries by fire! Do not be there to be judged because of your sin of adultery. Flee from the wrath of God. Flee from the adultery you are ensnared in! Without God's forgiveness you are dead while you still stand. The Law demands it.

 
 

Chapter 30

It is very difficult for me to understand where Andrew Murray is coming from in his book "The Holiest of All." His interpretation of chapters of Hebrews 6 and 10 is, to say the least, not scriptural. Yes, "How shall we escape if we neglect this so great salvation?" True.

However, Grace, once employed by the Holy Spirit in a life, will not relax its grip on one soul until we all are in the glory. Grace has nothing to do with our works. Grace is all of God and His Christ, so that He will in certainty bring His elect home.

We are to show works of faith, and consider how much better it is to practice this faith in the giving up of that illicit partner - for the Lord's sake.

Faith and its following works of faith are the great proofs of the elect being marked amongst this world's people. Many people who know not the Lord do indeed do great works, yet they are not even saved. I am thinking of Bob Geldoff who collected so much money and other gifts in kind for the poor of Africa, but it will not impress the Lord at all.

Works of faith are necessary as the sound knowledge of salvation which brings with it that God-given faith to believe and to receive as they pray daily. Faith is fed by the word of God. Faith to repent; faith to move forward in the things of the Spirit.

Therefore, it is needful for the adulterers, who are born again, to pull away from this sin as soon as it is possible - the sooner the better. Jesus may come today. How would you fare if Jesus really did come and you were oblivious to the call to repent? No matter how it hurts, REPENT.

 

We are exhorted to heed our position before God

What He begins He finishes. In any case, we are the Lord's children for time and eternity and not just at salvation. We can slip, we can go away from the Lord for a season, we can sin badly, as shown in this book, but God is magnificently wonderful in bringing his elect home as pure gold. "He who has begun a good work in you shall also perform it unto the Day of Christ." Act like the elect.

Despite us, the Holy Spirit has been working all the time to make sure we are brought to eternal salvation by the blood of Jesus! Heresy states that we can all do as we like; we can all take ‘pot luck’ and sin freely - but to our destruction, both physically and spiritually. How do you know you are God's elect? Only by following Jesus and His Love.

Will Grace look after us whilst we sin? What diabolical nonsense! God looks after no-one who deliberately continues in sin! There is the prime responsibility to heed the word of God and obey it! If we are into known sin we push the limits of God's patience with us.

No-one should gamble whether God will keep His patience with us. He may not have patience. Then what? Because eternity only has two doors for the sons of men - the one leading to life eternal and the other door leading to eternal death, why gamble on your supposed entry to life eternal?

The truth is that we Christians are all the children of God by faith! God does not make mistakes with any of us! Those who teach: "Some He got right, but equally the same number will be left over showing that He did not get it all right" are doomed to exposure and ruin.

What kind of a God is this? There is just a lot of unscriptural nonsense everywhere, it seems. "Whosoever does righteousness is righteous!" Christ came for the righteous but if you are not wearing the robe of His righteousness, will He come for you?

Those who call themselves Calvinists, yet are hyper-hyper-Calvinists - those who think they are God's elect, no matter what they do, will not be going to heaven at all if they live like the unbelievers. Quite simply, such folks are deceived.

The correct teachings of scripture tell us plainly enough that we will have trials and temptations, sorrows and hurts and sins which may cause us to stumble, BUT GOD STILL KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING - "BRINGING YOU FORTH AS PURE GOLD."

Grace is His prerogative and it has never been rescinded. The sons of Grace will always do right after their sins have been discovered and who have deeply repented. I question the salvation of anyone who thinks God will simply forgive him/her whether they give up this illicit partner or not. "He knows we are weak in this area," is the poor and lame excuse for not repenting. Practicing sin is dangerous and has to stop. Period.

Andrew Murray states clearly that a Christian can drift away and perish more terribly than those under the old covenant. He is a great writer but way off the mark as to what grace is all about! No Christian can live up to these misunderstood terms and conditions.

Admittedly, the non-elect might well come into that equation! No wonder Shakespeare wrote: "Men were deceivers ever." There is no greater deception than this, that a man or a woman appears to be a Christian, but yet is far away from the place of a born-again soul.

  • I could not live under the sentence of death like Arminian Andrew Murray states. "Drift and fall away?" Quote. Oh God forbid. Grace teaches us that whosever God has chosen in Christ will never fail completely. We who love Christ are saved for always. Nothing can pluck the elect out of His hand.

The repentant adulterer will see the Lord at the last because Jesus hath called him to the Marriage Feast! From the foundations of the world His elect are on schedule for the greatest banquet ever. "We shall see the King in His beauty."

Here is the source of our confidence and hope. We are the Lord's people who are recognised by the love we have for Jesus Christ! The elect will show the works of the Holy Spirit in their lives. "By their fruits shall ye know them."

Yet if any soul, who is the Lord's child, COMMITS ADULTERY AND PRACTICES IT, THEY ARE IN TERRIBLE DANGER OF GOD'S JUDGMENT. He could take these erring children out of this world altogether.

I WOULD SAY, RATHER, THAT SUCH WILFUL ADULTERERS WERE NOT SAVED IN THE FIRST PLACE – particularly if they commit sin willfully and do so without conscience. These are “Wells without water.” Devoid of the Spirit of God. Who wants that epitaph on their grave. To the Elect of God who are doing these things – STOP NOW.

The fact is that we will fail; we will fall, but we are never utterly cast down! The Bible states that God will raise up those who fall. Eternal death is not an option of God for any elect soul! Grace over-rules Law. But there is a limit to God's patience. "Examine yourselves - see if you be in the faith."

Forgiven adulterers take heart. Here is the truth. God loved you enough to go through your trials with you. He saw you and He knew you long before you sinned so badly, and has determined to see you through to an active Christian life again.

He saw you in your sin, He knew your every heartbeat of known sin and he willed your outcome in saving grace. You have to see that no-one can out-flank Grace. However, do not do what you did again, for God may not show you leniency as He has done this time! Do you want more chastisement?

However, and here is the crunch: Paul states that we must know beyond all reasonable doubt that we are saved - check it out - "examine yourselves to see if you be in the Faith." "He that doeth righteousness is righteous still." This is our yardstick.

Here is our common responsibility as Christians. We walk with the Lord in the light of His word. If such folks cannot do this, THEN THEY WERE NEVER SAVED IN THE FIRST PLACE. THIS IS HOW IT IS.

STOP PUSSY-FOOTING ABOUT WITH YOUR OWN IDEAS OF HOW “SOME CHRISTIANS CAN REMAIN VERY WEAK AND PUNY, AND I AM ONE OF THEM." SUCH FOLKS ARE NOT REDEEMED. ARE YOU REALLY BORN AGAIN? THEN FIGHT THE BATTLE OF FAITH.

Such souls who dither like this have as much as I have of the Holy Spirit because He dwells in all of us who are redeemed. He convicts of sin and of the Judgment to come.

Salvation is the gift of God and is not simply a religion. Can you look back and know the day and the hour of your great change of heart at salvation. It is imperative that you know that you have passed from death to life. You have to know the Holy Spirit's convicting power of sin.

The unsaved who think they are saved will do wicked things and still expect God to forgive them! He will not, because such a person is still a reprobate posing as a Christian! The Church at large is full of them.

These tares are nothing more than religious spirits. Such folks will never know the saving grace of the Lord. Only the Lord knows His own children. The posers are the chaff Jesus spoke of.

Are you sure that you are as pure wheat? Or are you, at the end of the day, as chaff in the wind, or as the tares, spoken of by Jesus? Growth in these folks show nothing but thorns and thistles.

Only by grace can we enter the holy courts of the living God! We who love Jesus come boldly to the throne of grace with our requests. But those who are false and who are imposters will fall by the wayside and die as chaff in the wind.

Adulterers and fornicators - flee from the wrath to come! Put aside your sin; put the Lord of Glory as your True Lover and Friend. He knows your need, too. Give it all to Jesus.

 
 

Chapter 31

What About Homosexual Christians?

There aren't any. Jesus, once firmly in the depth of a soul, changes death for life. Homosexuality is the way to death both physically and spiritually. It is an abomination in the sight of God. Now, if you are prepared to be celibate and spiritual then by all means ask God to save your soul.

He is able to keep you from falling in this direction, all your life. Being born-again is a life-changing experience - changed from death to life. Do you want deliverance from this evil sexual deviation?

As an illustration: Just supposing that a man has very high sexual desires for a woman, but he decides to remain celibate instead. He is able, by spiritual means, to conquer himself! He holds himself pure in his knowledge of Jesus. He wants to serve God; He hears the call of God and he also knows that a woman would greatly hinder his walk with the Lord and His calling upon his life.

The Apostle Paul was celibate all his Christian life. "For the Gospel's sake." So then, Mr. Homosexual, why can you not cope with this simple solution to your inward problem? Homosexuality involves the worst vileness a clean man can envisage, and more.

Here is a way out. Grasp it as is necessary in a clean heterosexual environment! God will indeed bless you for it! Go on, prove me wrong! Dare to stand for Christ and face the battles with your feelings firmly under the discipline of God's word.

Your case is not impossible. If you are born-again, then the strong man within is the Holy Spirit! He is your way out of any bondage. He convicts of sin and of the judgment to come.

What the homosexual perversion is, and what it does, repulses every man and woman on the face of this planet! Yet unsaved folks are willing to allow these indiscretions of homosexuality before the world. European law indeed is an ass.

In the church you cannot look anyone in the eye without coming to grips with the evil of the practice of homosexuality. If I am wrong and you are a born-again Christian with these vile impulses, be brave enough to give it to the Lord and ask Him to deliver you completely.

If you are very sincere, He most certainly will. Meanwhile, practice celibacy for the Lord's sake. Oh, and please note that there are no male or female gendesr in heaven and New Jerusalem! Be an overcomer. By faith and by the precious blood of Jesus, you will prevail.

Why are we, in this land, so desperately concerned about paedophilia? After all, we have opened the floodgates to homosexuality and there will be more child assaults than ever! The law is in effect, so we are not allowed to go too far in our protests, until something terrible happens.

There are many Garry Glitters in this country who are hell-bent on pornography and particularly child pornography. How many children must be destroyed or maimed for life by these evil people?

 
The Show Must Go On?

That is, until your child is molested or your beautiful daughter is raped and buggered by a pervert. Where are the morals of this country? Homosexuals are damned in God's sight, and we are supposed to uphold Christian values as a nation.

Thankfully, the Queen has stood up for the Christian position of this country. Why do we not follow likewise? Oh for a return to that clean time when we were safe from these perverted folks! Our once green and pleasant land is being ravished by gross sin as I write.

Under these conditions, if you are a practicing homosexual, but you are concerned about what God thinks, then why not practice celibacy for the Lord's sake?

Give your life over to the Lord's will and purpose, and the thing that is the strong man in you will be broken enough to allow the true strong man, the Holy Spirit, to possess you for eternity. Let Him have his way in your life. What a change He will bring. The new man in Christ Jesus.

Once the power of this sin is broken, you will feel a different person. The same goes for the adulterer! Oh the power of cancelled sin! Will you allow the grace of God to stream into your life? You must flee from the wrath of God that is upon adulterers, fornicators, whoremongers and homosexuals.

I do not care how much you are involved in these weak-character sins - escape at all costs the wrath of God! His judgment upon such folks is for an eternity in the Lake of

Fire! It is described as a place where their thirst is not quenched and where their worm dieth not, or their life core is not put out. An eternal, living hell.

It will perpetuate in a Lake of Fire forever. "Death and hell shall be cast into this Lake of Fire." There are no partners there to satisfy their cravings; there are no things to lust after there.

Their existence is fiery and awesome throughout eternity. Who in their right mind wants to go there? "Tormented night and day." Constant punishment is not for me. I am safe in the freedoms of grace.

Isn’t it so much more to be desired, to follow simply the way of the righteous? To live cleanly, to have perfect peace and joy in the fact of this so-great salvation? "After death, the Judgment," the bible teaches.

God is the Supreme Judge who will cast both body and soul into the Lake of Fire. I shudder to think of God's judgment upon those who, all their lives, sought to escape the plain commands of God. "Fear Him who hath power to cast both body and soul into hell."

 
Where Will You Go, Heaven or Hell?

The decision is so simple for some, but impossible for others, who will not believe and who will not accept the facts of eternal punishment. They like things just as they are. Remember the Titanic? Many factors brought about the sinking of this great ship.

 
An Allegory: A Couple Who Insist on Lingering in Adultery

Captain Smith's weakness was his age. This captaincy was his last before he retired. He thought Morse Code was more reliable than the up-to-date Marconi Wireless System. The Baltic, The Mesada, The Californian, The Athinia, The French ship La Tourine, and The Caronia, all warned the ship Titanic of the dangers of the presence of icebergs.

The Wireless Room did not pick up the signals. Captain Smith preferred Morse Code. Before the ship sailed, the editors of several newspapers wrote: "Even God could not

sink this ship!" Complacency brought about its demise. The facts were that God used these several factors which led to the ship sinking.

The new Marconi wireless communications equipment was not used. The Observation Point Watch saw the oncoming danger far too late. A shout of terror, "Iceberg ahead," was the only feeble attempt at stopping that great ship.

It was too late. How incredible that there were no binoculars on board the ship, making it impossible for the lookout post to see any definition like an iceberg. The word went out that an iceberg was right in the path of the ship. We all know the outcome of that story! Man's discrepancies! The iceberg tore the ship's heart out and it sank to the bottom of the ocean - two miles down.

 
 

Chapter 32

It also beggars belief that the Marconi wireless system on board the ship, that could have brought help quickly in such an emergency, was ignored by the captain! The architect and designer of the ship, Bruce Ismay, knew about the warnings of icebergs, signaled to the ship by THE BALTIC, but he put the telegram in his pocket!

Some have argued that the Marconi System had broken down. But the wireless operator was fully engaged in using the system for other reasons!

There were not enough lifeboats on board. Only Morse Code was used! The ship was bound to sink! The damage was horrendously severe; the ship became dead in the water. Only 705 people survived. 1,522 people perished.

The picture of this terrible accident, if it could be called that, shows that man is totally unaware of his position before God! Just as the great ship raced to its destruction, and the captain was oblivious to the impending danger that would bring doom to that great ship, so mankind blusters his way through life. He acts as if he held tomorrow as surely as today!

He eats of the fruits of sin, but knows nothing about the future and what it might hold, until the death-knell tolls for him! How many souls have lost their lives in tragic circumstances? How many never knew what happened until they were savagely snatched from this life and into eternity? How many folks are ready to meet their Maker?

The captain on board the Titanic shows us a classic description of the futility of humanity; people clamouring to live a life without God! The captain could save no-one; neither can you save yourself! You are as doomed as the folks on board the Titanic on that fateful night! “If only. . .", but it was too late.

Imagine for a moment that you are on a gigantic ship - the world - and there are no warning signals except the call of the Gospel which is regarded as a nonsense by so many. Yet, the gospel is the only way a man can get off this ‘Titanic’ (the world) and be saved, and eventually be snatched into heaven itself! How many are lost and in hell?

There is a warning signal, infinitely greater than the wireless room or the Morse code on the Titanic, and it is sounding throughout the world - "Be saved! Be saved! Lest ye perish! Jesus is coming soon! Will it be too late for you? Where are you going - heaven or hell?” It is, indeed, the narrow way that leads to life eternal!

How can you say you are the Lord's child, when you are determined to have the partner you illicitly coveted so much? You have no right to another person's partner who is married before the Living God!

Adultery. Think about what you are doing before the living God! Don't be stupid and naive! You will lose far too much by this action, and more, if you practice adultery. This is a guarantee!

Being in love feels nice, but like the proud captain on board the Titanic you say, "It can't hurt me; I am invincible in my position as ruler of my own life! I can cope with it! They won't find us out!" The iceberg in your path ahead, of discovery and the terrible judgement upon you, by others, will surely come upon you. You will sink so low!

The heartache will linger for a very long time, after that initial shock of discovery! All the compartments of your sinfulness will be smashed and the Titanic of your evil surmises. In his arrogance, the captain thought he knew just about everything to do with this ship that fateful night. Certainly the fact that icebergs were looming out of the darkness did not deter this great liner - until that awesome crash with a very large iceberg.

It is not difficult to interpret this allegory concerning the Titanic, as the Captain and the ship's architect were blinded by everything except winning the coveted prize of the Blue Riband. So you, too, are blinded by your complete abandonment of every moral principle you ever learned! Adultery is inexcusable for you who have professed salvation!

If you are born again, then this blindness comes from the enemy of souls, who wishes to cripple and hinder your walk in life with the Lord. He is our everything; He is our all! As you captain your own vessel now, and without the Holy Spirit's guidance, you will see, because of that blindness, that there is nothing amiss with your new illicit relationship.

Here is the real tragedy about those who sin wilfully. The conscience becomes seared in the one who makes excuses for his sin! Look at what you are doing from God's perspective if it is yet possible. Do not lose your vision of Jesus: "Many friends and their loved ones have gone astray, because the have lost their vision of Jesus!"

Arrogance, self-assertedness, covetous desires for each other, will drive you on and on, through those deep waters of condemnation by the Holy Spirit's inner voice - which you ignore to your peril - just as that captain did through the iceberg field. Don't think that the waters are not so deep. The eternal fiery Abyss is without a bottom. Use your spiritual binoculars. Be horrified by what you are into.

Remember the Lord's words: "What shall it profit a man if he should gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" You are standing as the Titanic stood in very deep water, without the means to stay afloat! You cannot stay afloat with the Lord whilst you are persistent in this sin.

A complete change is the only acceptable way forward for you. Will you look at the Crucified One and live? There is indeed a very real ‘iceberg’ in your way… the non-compliance of the Holy Spirit to sanction your union. He will not allow this union and if you go ahead He will not be a part of it.

A head-on collision with the Holy Spirit means a loss of direction He otherwise gives; you are on your own in this wicked world to fend for yourselves spiritually - and it is a very large problem for you both.

However, it is not too late, and Grace, glorious Grace, is open to you both as you repent and do something about your sin. Accountability is going to be awesome on that day when all men stand before the living God.

Run from this danger. I know it will hurt your emotions; you may think the world is ended for you, as you turn from your partner in the sin of adultery. You will say, "it is more than I can bear."

Give the God of heaven opportunity to turn this around for the good. All hell will break loose around you, and you will feel very alone even in your repentance, because it will take time for the Holy Spirit to re-create that peace you once knew at your salvation.

Very rich people were on board the Titanic, but it mattered not. Their money could not save them. This illustrates how prone to foolishness people are. God is above and below and everywhere, where man can call upon Him – but they do not.

Do they call upon Him whilst He is near? No they do not. They live their lives as if life will never end. They live as though God doesn’t exist at all. FOOLISHNESS.

They ignore all the warning signs of impending doom! When death knocks on their door, most folks are not ready to die. But die they must. This is a picture of life and death and it is terribly sad, as sad as the folks who lost their lives on the Titanic, for "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." All are bound for the depths of hell itself without the saving knowledge of Christ Jesus.

 
 

Chapter 33

Adultery is a terrible sin against God, and for this evil sin the perpetrators of it must give account to God. All of us must likewise give account for the deeds done in the body. "We must all give account to God." Therefore, it is far better to enter heaven as a repentant adulterer who has made his peace with God.

The passengers on board the Titanic never thought for a moment that it would flounder as it did. They slept soundly until the iceberg sliced through that great ship as a knife sliced through butter! What a rude awakening.

Water everywhere! Freezing water. Water that the majority of the passengers and crew would drown in. One of the major factors in this terrible accident was the desire by the owners, the White Star Line, the architect and the Captain of the ship, to win the prize for the fastest passenger ship crossing from Southampton to America. MOTIVE! What good was it? For the Blue Riband? How worthless the efforts were to secure this prize in comparison to the loss of so many lives.

The further human error was the design of the top deck where the lifeboats were. There were insufficient lifeboats; 16 lifeboats could only carry 962 passengers. The first design gave plenty of room for lifeboats; but the re-design showed pleasure areas, whereas the original design made way for sufficient lifeboats for all of those passengers.

The inquest did not blame anyone and the captain was exonerated. Human errors and man's insistence on covering up his sin is traced in the findings of the inquest.

Don't be like the captain on the Titanic. Even with hindsight we can see human error as the reason for the sinking of the ship. The captain went to bed; Bruce Ismay did not look into the possible danger that the racing of this great ship could present. Especially when he knew how many lifeboats there were. Twenty two and a half knots in an iceberg field. Madness! The need to win a prize was not worth it.

Both men ignored the initial warning signs of impending doom. Man is like this in God's sight. Foolishly and arrogantly disposed to any danger that could take out his self-confidence. At the inquest on the many lives that were lost, the excuses poured out: "human error. No-one to blame." That is mankind. He rarely blames himself.

Being slack as to the method of communications between ships found the captain out, and thousands died including the captain! What a waste of life. 1,522 people perished that night as the ship sank in the freezing water, two miles deep - and down to the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean.

It matters not who we are, we all need Jesus. The tragedy need not have happened. If there had been just one shred of common sense and alertness on board that ship on that fateful night, the scene would have been very different. The accident defies any intelligent view of the situation.

God alone knows the way ahead and on into the future. We cannot possibly know fully yet, what lies ahead. Adulterers who practice the vile sin of adultery will not be saved in that Day when the hearts of all men are revealed before the host of heaven. Turn, turn again. Escape the Judgment of God, for today is the accepted time.

Better to be right with the Lord than to be found wanting, as Belshazzar was shown by the hand of God: "This night is thy soul required of thee!" Or, as many on this great ship were: "Nearer, still nearer to Thee," they sang desperately. Oh they were in deadly earnest, but how many were saved from eternal death that night? We can only guess.

Such is the sentiment for most, but thank God there would be some who found the Lord that night. This human error you are making shows you to be in mortal peril. Too much slackness; too much ‘airy-fairy’ complacency; then sudden destruction.

Don't wait until it is too late. Use your spiritual binoculars and see the iceberg of your judgment looming up well ahead of you so that you can turn around and save yourself from the wrath of God! Repent today, for now is the acceptable time to call upon Him whilst He is near.

Please give up this adulterous relationship now. You will find the strength if you really do want to be free, because God tells you to in His word. Stop this illicit love you have, which IS so wrong and turn around, and look to Jesus! For His sake and your sake, GIVE IT UP.

He is coming very soon, so you will need to do what you have to do quickly lest He finds you in this position at His coming! Do not face the Judgment of God in the hereafter.

Can you commit (practice) adultery when you know these things? You cannot. Go back to your wife if you are able to or go back to your husband, but if not, still be ready to give up this illicit love.

Walk away and put your hand in the hand of Jesus and say, "Lord I am so sorry, and I want to trust you all the way home!" God has many ways of restoring you and to bless you mightily. God is no man's debtor.

Grace may well help you when you are far down the road into sin, but why wait until it is a crisis to give up this love? You could be so messed up by this sinful affair! Grace is not to be spurned. You will, at the least, become a marred vessel.

Grace is to be received as your lifeline to LIFE ETERNAL AND JOY UNSPEAKABLE AND FULL OF GLORY. Don't throw away this great offer of grace to you. Grasp it with both hands and be free of this sin.

May the Lord help you to pull away from even the suggestion of sin; and I do hope by reading this book, that you have been encouraged to follow more closely the Lord Who has redeemed you. Paul the Apostle said: "Let not sin reign in your mortal body." You cannot remain in sin and expect grace to draw near to you. Repentance is His way for you.

The Law already demands that you come under the judgement of an angry God! Happily, the day of grace is here, and with it comes the offer of a way through your sin and your dilemma. Take it and live. Refuse it and die.

You have a choice! The Lord’s elect will choose life - will you? "For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." In Romans 8 v 10 we are reminded that "our bodies are dead because of sin.”

"Because the carnal mind is enmity with God. So they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” Paul follows: "For if you will live after the flesh you will die (eternally). But if you, through the Holy Spirit, do MORTIFY THE DEEDS OF THE BODY YOU SHALL LIVE."

V 5: "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh, but they who are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit!" Here are scriptures to show that Grace understands your position, but at the same time demands that you follow as “obedient children” the way of the Holy Spirit and of Christ! Grace, therefore, is your only way through to life eternal! Reject this Grace at your peril.

Quit sinning. Quit thinking (falsely) that there is a way to have the partner you are lusting after and who you are so madly in love with. Illicit love does not have any conscience concerning upon whom it settles.

Love as a word is abstract. Indeed, adulterous love such as you are experiencing, goes on all the time in our sin-sick world. If God does not approve of your relationship then you must pull out of the situation as quickly as you can. Do not be found wanting at His appearing.

Only with the wisdom and intelligence and the character of a child of God can you really know what love is - faithful, resolute; strong and ready to face anything in the defence of true, pure love.

A well-known definition of love goes like this: "The giving up of one’s self to another.” Now, as you promised your love to your first wife, how can you then break that vow of sacrificial love to another? How many times are you going to say it? Will you stay with this new partner unto death? God hears our vows.

Can you not see that marriage is not built on promises we do not keep. Those who condemn adulterers will put the question: "Who's to say that in a few months or years down the line they will not be in this same position with another partner?" How many times will you be promising that sacred vow before God: "Til death do us part"?

You have to make your love what it ought to be. Loving your wife or husband more than your own self. What guarantee have you that things will be any different in five years time than it was after five years in your first marriage?

Particularly if your love in either relationship has been anything but a denial of your own self? Only God can bring a man to the end of himself.

I believe with all my heart that if you take the instruction of God's word and call upon grace in the manner I have explained, then a new beginning will dawn for you. God will begin to bless you again with many wonderful blessings.

Be tall and upright and do what you have to do to please God! Let the buck stop right there in your new marriage. Give your love to your partner unreservedly. Bind yourselves together in the bonds of pure love.

Be encouraged. God is going to lift you up. Hold your heads high in the knowledge of his saving grace and his wonderful ability to work it out to his own glory and majesty.

The Bible teaches that the devil uses the tongue against a child of God who sins in this manner. The devil will use any one of us (if he can) with the intent to destroy the local church.

Read from Isaiah 54 v 15-16. "The waster to destroy." The Law condemns, and the Waster (the devil) has his way in the situation. It is really very simple as to the restrictions on forgiven adulterers. The devil and the tongues that are wagging, are the guilty ones now, because you have been forgiven by the Lord after you repented.

"They gather together, but not by Me," the Lord says in His Word. Grace has forgiven you as you have deeply repented. Yet the place of ministry is challenged so that you cannot return to the calling you had as a pastor or evangelist or teacher.

Look at v 17 and see the absolute victory the Lord wants for you - with or without your ministry and calling. "No weapon formed against you shall prosper." See in the same verse "every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgemnt thou shalt condemn."

We all find wagging tongues to be spurious. Put the venom behind you, because you are God's beloved. Do not let people bring you down, no matter who persecutes you in this way. Rise above them and live in the sunshine of God's forgiveness and good pleasure. The devil will use anyone - be it the reprobate or condemning Christian.

At all costs, keep that joy of the Lord bubbling over. Praise the Lord as never before and recognise that whatever the outcome in life, the Lord will have His way in you as was seen from before creation itself. "I have loved thee with an everlasting love."

 
What Is the Will of God For You?

As always, His will is found as you trust Him every day. Try by all means to find a niche for yourself in ministry, but do not be dismayed if it is contested. Accept that whatever your position from day to day, that it is God’s will for you. Are you His elect?

You will come forth as pure gold, with or without your ministry. His elect are those who repent and who see their position before God as being someone in His hands, who is willing and ready to do what His word commands – no matter what that is.

Do not force anything, but rather wait on the Lord for His timings. Do not allow the tongues of others, who are terribly sinful I might add, in holding judgments against you, to deter your progress. As Jesus taught: "if folks revile you, revile not again."

God is reigning over all, and "He knoweth the way, that you take and when He hath tried you, you will come forth as pure gold!" Count it as persecutions you are glad to suffer for the Lord's sake.

Know overall, that GRACE, GLORIOUS GRACE, has prevailed over the Law. Look at Isaiah Ch. 54 v 1-8. How many have been comforted by these words. Way out of exact context, but nevertheless it is also licensed for this interpretation to show that God is indeed reigning overall and that your faith and His strength will bring you through.

"Enlarge the place of your tent." Widen your thinking. Explore possibilities. Have a vision again. Move on by faith. Open your heart to greater blessings. See that God has many ways of bringing His sons to Glory IN VICTORY - WITH OR WITHOUT YOUR MINISTRY.

"Only to be what He wants me to be, every moment of every day. Just to be clay in the Potter's hands, ready to do what His Word commands; Only to be what He wants me to be, every moment of every day."

 
 

Chapter 34

Forgiven… But What Hinders Restoration?

The devil works through the power of the tongue, particularly in these situations. Jamie Buckingham repented and did that which is right by his wife. He went a long way from the area where he had committed the sin of adultery.

Now, it is true that the devil laughed at such attempts by this forgiven pastor to rise again, to be restored. He would soon set the ball rolling again wherever this dear man went. It was not very long before Jamie found a new local church to accept him.

So far so good. However, it wasn't very long before someone tipped off the church that Jamie Buckingham had blotted his copy-book elsewhere. How did this church get to know? After all, it was a very long way away for them to know! THE DEVIL KNEW AND THAT WAS SUFFICIENT TO SET THE BALL ROLLNG.

Principalities and powers will always contest with fallen pastors and evangelists TO KEEP THEM OUT OF THE MINISTRY. Principalities are many and the forces are many in an unseen world.

365 members of the church voted Jamie out of the pastorship in that church. He never pastored a church again. He became an archaeologist of some worth.

God is reigning overall! He alone is the Sovereign over all eternity. He allows and He disallows the weight of evil set against us. We have to accept the Sovereignty of God. "He knoweth the way that you take, and when He hath tried me I shall come forth as pure gold."

The bible teaches that it is the tongue that is set on fire of hell itself. The devil will use any one of us (if he can) in his intent to destroy the local church and its minister. Reading from Isaiah 54 v 15-16, a phrase appears: "The waster to destroy." The Law condemns, and the waster has his way in the situation.

It is really very simple, as to the restrictions on forgiven adulterers. The devil easily finds tongues to wag to the detriment of others. Forgiven one might be, but in the devil's estimation he wants you dead and out of the fight of faith, though Jesus has forgiven you as you have genuinely repented. Believe for the bonuses Jesus will give to you through the rest of your life. Jesus is not a disappointment.

 
Accepting the Consequences of Sin

Is it by chance, or by the hand of God? The advice I recommend to you is sound: Trust the Lord to bring you to a lowly place of humility, as if you knew nothing. You see, it is when you come to the end of yourself that you will find that God will use you again. Whatever ministry comes to hand, do it with all your might. Let the Holy Spirit have His way in your life.

There is not one sinner, like yourself, who truly repents, whom God does not send consequences peculiar to your sin. It must be. It is a reality, my friend.

Quit sinning. Quit thinking (falsely) that there is a way to have the partner you are so madly in love with. Illicit love does not have any conscience as to where it settles upon a person.

Love as a word is abstract. Indeed, adulterous love like you are experiencing goes on all the time in this sin-sick world. If God does not approve of your relationship, then you must pull away and out of the situation as quickly as you can. Do not be found wanting at His appearing.

Only with the wisdom and intelligence and character of the child of God can you know what love really is - faithful, resolute, strong, and ready to face anything in the defence of pure, God-given relationships.

As I have written here already, "Love is the giving up of one's self to another." Someone else has said: "All man’s dignity lies in the power of thought." Now, as you promised your love to your first partner, how can you then give that sacrificial love to another? Where is your dignity of thought?

Can you see that marriage is not built upon promises we can't keep? On the strength of that promise your partner gave all she, or he, had, to love you for always. Can you be sure that in five years time you will be aching for another's love? Your vow before God is recorded - "Until death do us part."

You have to make love what it ought to be. Loving you wife or loving your husband more than your own life. "As Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it" is the yardstick for a successful marriage.

I believe with all my heart that if you will take this instruction from God's word, and call upon Grace in the manner I have explained, then a brand new beginning will dawn for you. God will begin again to bless you with many wonderful blessings.

 
Returning to the Saviour’s House

As you take that step of faith without the illicit love in your life, or much later when you have gone ahead and re-married, God is with you as you repent together. He knows the way that you take, "and when he hath tried you, you shall come forth as pure gold."

Be encouraged. God is going to lift you up. Hold up your heads; hold them high in the knowledge that you are God's chosen ones. God has a wonderful ability to work it out for you to His own honour and glory.

The devil works through the power of the gossiping tongue in these regretful situations. Note how Jamie Buckingham repented and knew the Lord's forgiveness, but he never did get back into ministry again. Tongues wagged in the right places to bring the utmost damage to the poor man's ministry. How terribly tragic.

THE DEVIL KNEW AND THAT WAS SUFFICIENT TO "SET THE BALL ROLLING" AS WE SAY. Principalities and powers will always contest with fallen pastors and evangelists to render them powerless in spiritual warfare. Preachers annoy the devil. He will stop at nothing to prevent men in the pulpit from preaching the truth.

365 members in the newly found church voted Jamie Buckingham out of the ministry. He never pastored a church again. He became a harmless archaeologist even though of some worth in that field. What a waste.

God is reigning overall. He alone is the Sovereign of all eternity. He allows and he does not allow, as His wisdom dictates. He knows the weight set against you. We must accept the Sovereignty of God always. "He knoweth the way that you take, and when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as pure gold."

The Bible teaches that it is the tongue that is set on fire of hell itself. The devil will use any one of us to down another saint or tread down the local church. The minister rarely escapes criticism. The tongue is difficult to tame, and great is that man who can tame his tongue. God does not need our opinions.

Reading from Isaiah 54 and verses 15-16, a phrase appears, "the waster to destroy." The Law condemns, and The Waster (the devil) has his way in the situation. It is really very simple as to the restrictions on forgiven adulterers. The devil easily finds tongues that are willing to wag to the detriment of another. Forgiven one might be, but in the devil's estimation he wants you to be dead, out of the fight.

How do you define the term "imputed righteousness?" By faith we show that we do indeed wear the garments of salvation. By faith we live out our lives under His imputed righteousness. By faith and by the works of faith we live out our lives under His imputed righteousness. His righteousness instead of our righteousness! "Blessed is the man to whom God does not impute sin."

God said to Gideon, "Go in this the strength of thy might!" God is reigning overall and He knoweth the way that you take, and when he hath tried you, He shall bring you forth as pure gold." Count all as persecutions over which you have the victory by faith. It is good to suffer for the Lord's sake.

 
 

Overview

The book, essentially, works to show the Church which way to go, and how far to go, when the sin of adultery strikes at the pastor or other members of the church.

The book reaches the very heart of the study on such matters as adultery in the church. The Law is faithfully shown as a yardstick, but the reality of the situation is all about grace and not about the Law.

The Law is shown to be relentless and damning, sparing no-one. However, we Christians are no longer under the Law, but are favoured by Grace and the imputed righteousness of Christ. The book shows clearly enough that there is a way where there was no way under the Law - the Law of Righteousness.

Christ is Our Righteousness, Our Justification, Our Sanctification, our Holiness, our Boundless Wealth. Leaning upon grace overcomes the Law as the penitent seeks forgiveness through Grace.

Who can condemn or dictate impossible terms and conditions, when the Bible tells us that "He whom the Son sets free is free indeed." Our salvation makes us free from the curse of sin and of death.

Even after our salvation the Lord has provided the precious blood of Jesus, that washes EVERY SIN AWAY - AS WE ACKNOWLEDGE SIN IN US AND DEAL WITH IT DAILY. "Let him that is without sin cast the first stone."

There is a fair look at either side of the argument, but at the end of the day God forgives, He restores, we are forgiven. There it is, on a plate. The way forward in the local church is to encourage grace amongst folks in the local assembly life. There must be tolerance, restraint, kindness and care, along with restoration! They, too (the members), need to forgive. Sanctification involves walking in grace.

*******

I am indebted to the Elim Church for their good study on the subject of divorce and re-marriage. Whatever critique I have, it is simply to show the weakness of any Movement to handle this explosive problem in the local church.

The simple answer is to state: People are people - with varied temperaments - some are experienced Christians (who ought to know better than to judge anyone outside the limits of scripture), but many are the folks who like a say in the church and who do not care about the balanced views of others who have grace and much knowledge of the word. Love covers the multitude of sins.

 
 

APPENDIX

Divorce and Remarriage

GRACE - The Doctrine of Grace. The relevant scriptures are many, which show that Grace supersedes the Law. Otherwise no Christian has a walk with the Lord of any worth. Why? Because we, the people of God, cannot stop sinning.

If it is not lying it is presumption; if it is not presumption it is assumption. If it is not assumption it is being very short of the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ. We cannot live by the Law and thus receive eternal life, because we would utterly fail.

Simply put, we are human. The declaration of God is very clear: "Every man does that which is right in his own eyes." All have sinned and come short of the glory of God! There is none righteous no not one! All our righteousness is as filthy rags in His sight." The Law saves no-one.

We sin daily in so many ways BECAUSE WE ARE NOT DIVINE, AND ARE ALL DESPERATELY HUMAN.

Sin works in all of us according to our various characters. To one he is weak in sexual areas. Another saint does not have a weak character, but yet he is very proud in the knowledge that he is greater in his character than to stoop to immorality!

In another, his/her nature and character is prone to be introverted and to have an inferiority complex. This man or woman is withdrawn and has no gumption for expressive faith about him/her at all. Spiritual wimps.

They fail all the time to express their spiritual man. They do not show zeal for God of any kind. Their faith is so private that no-one knows them as spiritual people at all. Their enthusiasm is all about themselves.

They wallow in self-pity, they are always seeking counsel from anyone who will spare the time. These folks I mention have no intention of stepping up their paces for God or anyone else. They are not capable of putting into practice any advice given to them! Are they saved? Are they really capable of saying they are Christians? Perhaps they are the chaff or the thistles and thorns Jesus spoke of. How do you tell the difference these days?

These are still sins of the flesh. Such folks simply do not grow in the Lord. The list is endless concerning our various character weaknesses and consequent sins! So how would these folks with such characteristics ever fare under the Law? Weak characters and strong characters sin.

Mr. Molland is entitled to his opinions, but grace far outweighs conditions that prevailed in OT times when folks were asked to obey the Law. Outweighed, that is, by GRACE. Redeeming grace, fathomless grace, wonderful grace! "Pure, exhaustless, ever flowing, wondrous grace it reaches me."

Now there are other great sins not directly akin to the Ten Commandments. Pride is a terrible sin in some saints and more of a temptation than to most! Other sins are a loose tongue, a betraying tongue, a fiery tongue, a gossiping tongue, a treacherous tongue which spreads false witness - yes, Christians can be capable of this terrible sin.

A know-it-all tongue. Yes, people are saved all right, but it takes a lifetime to be completely rid of these faults in the human make-up of character. We are not sinless yet. We will not be perfect yet.

We press toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Who is holy in the Church? Who dare say that he lives close to God as He would like us all to live? Godly we might strive to be, but holy? Only God is holy.

However, it is also a fact of scripture that all His people should strive after holiness without which no man shall see God! Be Holy even as He is holy. What does holiness mean to us who are His people? What is holiness - beyond being godly?

Yes, we may obey the Law, we may shun the wrong and do the right, but still the higher plane is holiness. What is holiness? Holiness is Christ our Holiness; What is Righteousness? It is Christ our Righteousness. We should strive to be holy as He is holy, but the only One who has ever fully known that character-quality is Christ! Being like Jesus is our goal of life. His holiness then begins to be known in us as His holy character envelopes us.

Jesus died and rose again that He might be our holiness. Therefore, it is not a feasible stand to say "I am holy." Rather, He is holy. God sees us in perfection through the Glorious Son of God, and He only is our Emancipator and Deliverer. "When He looks at me He sees not what I do, but He sees Jesus."

Jesus is our Intercessor of this wonderful Covenant in His blood before the throne of God! Whoever we are, and whatever we are, in the Body of Christ, if we are all God's children, grace will bring every one of us home to glory, who love Jesus.

Now as you will discover in the bibliography, all the writers are on the side of the Law which would kill and condemn every one of us. Why, then, do these writers try to wrest the simple scriptures so that they can be seen to be a champion of the Church on the subject?

The truth is, Jesus has compassion, whereas these writers - blind writers I might add - show doom and gloom for the adulterer despite his or their repentance. Have they not heard the verse of scripture that says: "He is touched by the feelings of our infirmities?"

The fact that adultery is sinful is correct. The fact that it causes terrible mayhem is also correct. It is true, too, that adulterers who marry are compounding their sin. The law demands their death.

No forgiveness, no compassion, they are to die for this sin. Movements continue to boot out of the church the erring brethren and sisters, yet not understanding that we are not, as a people, in an abundance on the face of this planet! Just a small number! We need every soldier we can enlist, faults or no faults. We must learn to trust the Holy Spirit's care of every soul in The Kingdom of God.

Now, who in their right minds, clever minds or otherwise, can ignore the very reason Christ came to this earth - to save mankind from himself and his desire to self-destruct? Where the Law gave no hope except that the Hebrews and Jews obeyed the Law to the letter.

The killing of bulls and of goats could never wash away sin. The whole purpose of the butchery of animals in those days of the Hebrews, was merely symbolic of the coming of Christ Who alone paid the price of our sins, once and for all for His children.

The Law versus Christ, who became the end of the Law. Any infringement of the Law brought punishment and in some cases like adultery and murder they died, being stoned to death. Grace, however, gives life and peace to the worst sinner who repents and who truly believes.

It amazes me that grace is withheld when these cases of adultery or fornication emerge. Even the fact that these writers know what they know about the Law is hard to understand. Grace supersedes the Law. Are we not saved by grace and that not of ourselves it is the gift of God? What has the Law got to say about that?

John Calvin's Works are absolutely wonderful, yet even he doesn't seem to offer any grace to adulterous couples who have gone so far and married each other. Grace is boundless. "Where sin abounded, Grace doth much more abound." Despite the fact of the mayhem adultery causes, we must find a more scriptural way of dealing with adulterers.

In 1 and 2 Corinthians I have shown clearly how the Apostle Paul dealt with a similar sin. I repeat: a man had married his father's wife, or, more probably, he fornicated with her outside of marriage.

A truly terrible sin, but he is to be brought back into the fellowship "Lest he be broken" and destroyed spiritually. The principle thought here is that Paul shields this man from the destructive power of the devil by bringing him back into fellowship.

Totally against the Law - a deserving candidate for serious punishment. The Apostle Paul comes to learn that this man was still in the fellowship. He is very stern and he demands that this man be put out of fellowship.

The perpetrator of this vile sin does not repent and this is what happened and it was perfectly right as to the demands of the word of God. See 1 Cor. Ch. 5 v 1-8. "Turn him over to the devil a season," Paul says authoritatively.

The reasoning is sound. The verses here tell us that the unity of the whole church is threatened because of this one man being allowed to still fellowship with the church. Other sexual sins may well occur as the direct result of the reluctance of a brother or sister to split on a fellow member of the church.

However, it is more amazing as we read in 2 Cor. Ch. 2 v 1-13, that Paul orders the Church at Corinth to forgive the man and to restore him to fellowship with the believers. What has the church got to say to this? We have to address the whole subject from the point of view of Sovereign Grace without which we all perish.

W. H. Molland has written a book called "The Ten Commandments, The Abiding Law of God." In his book he slays the opposition by trying to make the fact that the Law is everything! However, quite clearly, the Law is abolished in Christ Who gave Himself for us.

Christ is the end of The Law! Christ fulfilled The Law - FOR US WHO COULD NOT KEEP THE LAW. It is enough that Christ stands for us by Himself keeping The Law in every jot and tittle. In this victorious manner He is also the end of the Law! The true revelation of Grace is that it affords the opportunity to fully repent, by the convicting power of the Holy Spirit.

How many adulterers are in the Kingdom of Heaven because they have fled to this grace that shows mercy and not judgement! Christians who sin in this manner are to be pitied in their dilemma.

Usually, they fall in love and, as I have shown, they get into a tangle of emotional stress so large that they cannot live without the partner - just as the first-time-round partners would do in a similar situation. We are complex creatures.

However, it is also possible that one member in the fellowship is battling with sexual feelings he wants to control, but inside of him he hopes something turns up for him as to a meeting with someone he would like to cohabit with. Fact. Private counselling and the subsequent confessions of the guilty parties often reveal this to be so.

Come on, it is a human weakness. The devil will always tempt a man or woman like this until, one day, that woman or that man fits the bill, and they soon will have broken the Law of God and thus commit fornication or adultery.

The Elim Committee Report on sexual sin in the Church is very good indeed, but then it goes on to show that they appear to be favourable to a pastor who has erred in this manner, but in practice it doesn’t work.

Who is going to take on a pastor when they know he has been in a relationship with a woman who was not his wife? He gets found out, the beans are spilled, he is disgraced and subsequently he is thrown out of the Movement.

If he should re-apply for ministerial status, the Movement will not be willing to give him a position unless a local church, chosen by the Movement, is told about his sexual sin, and despite that fact they will still take him on. The excuses come swiftly as the poor man applies to be reinstated.

"Oh well, you have to be re-married for six years before you can be looked at with a view to the ministry." When the six years are up, it will transpire that this time the excuse is that the Elim Bible College has turned out so many students who want to be pastors that they cannot consider you at this time. There are not enough churches to accommodate these young men.

Meanwhile, the poor forgiven pastor becomes too old to re-enter the Ministry in the Elim Church Movement. (They write a book, but do not believe the book, whilst making a show of some leniency and the real possibility of re-entry into ministry again.)

Older men have a vast experience of the ministry and the word of God and their walk with the Lord! How can young men suddenly become experienced? How can they counsel folks twice as old as themselves?

Surely these Movements need the experienced veterans of the faith? Doesn't it smell of that accusing finger of doubt that says: "You might do it again, or you might be tempted like you were before." Or, "We don't want the hassle of taking responsibility for you.”

However much we may be disappointed that a man has done something like this in the church and as pastor, we must forgive him and help him back into the ministry. He has a calling to fulfill! He will do better and he will have learned an almost unbearable lesson. It is also his livelihood. We are warring against principalities and rulers in high places for goodness sake.

It is doubtful, however, that any enterprising local church will want to take him on. Yet the Book on Divorce and Re-marriage is very well worth reading. The bibliography they have derived their information from is copied and is at the back of this book. A fine deal, but who can be the spiritual ones to restore such a person who has sinned in this manner?

The people who should fear God the most are those who have an agenda where no-one finds out about their sexual philandering! If they never repent, then where will they be on the Day that tries by fire? God will judge all adulterers and fornicators. (Grace may not be enough for these folks).

Those examples I gave, further back in this book, are described as PORNEIA in the Greek - the desire for illicit sex with a woman. Period. There are two words which describe the difference between the word "adultery" and "fornication." Adultery is the Greek word "MOICHEIA", whilst fornication is rendered in the Greek as "PORNEIA". Both are forbidden sins, but sadly both occur in many places today.

However, the Church can, at the very least, help some of these unfortunates who fall by the wayside in sexual sin, by showing graciousness and restoration. These poor folks need help; they must have help. Hell is too terrible a place to contemplate; we must pull them out of the fire if necessary.

W. H. Molland has forgotten about David and Bathsheba, or Samson. They muffed it completely, but grace won the day for both of them. David and Bathsheba lived together until David died, even though his sons died as the result of this marriage.

The consequences of sin will always haunt and remind such a couple of their sin. Yet it cannot be denied that David and Bathsheba were spared and David still led his nation until his death. He was the King of Israel still. Solomon was the new beginning and David knew it. He was the son of David and Bathsheba, showing God's grace in a time of the Law.

Samson was a fornicator and an adulterer. It wasn't until much further on - later, and towards the end of his life as a Judge in Israel, that he is finally caught in the snare of sexual sin with Delilah, the enemy of God. Now, was he brought before the elders and stoned to death? If they could catch him they might just have done that. But the facts are that God let him come all the way to the end of himself.

His eyes were put out. His life of freedom was over. He would need others to help him. See the poor man pushing that great grinding stone round and round and round for a long period of time. Yet it is only as long as it took for Samson to feel his hair growing, that the seeds of hope began to arise in his heart again. What grace God showed to his servant Samson.

The story is magnificent. Grace showed him a way where there was no way. His faith began to rise and we know how he went on to pull down that great amphitheatre and worship centre of the idol Dagon, thus killing more Philistines at once, than all the Philistines he had killed in all his life as a Judge in Israel!

Grace must never be forgotten by his Church. God tolerates far more than we can imagine from this weak Church of today. What sin she commits on a daily basis!

Can you really expect God to tally up our righteousness? We have none of our own; only by grace can we enter; only by grace do we live and are not struck down! Laodicea is the name of our 21st century church, in the West at least.

Only the righteousness of Christ will avail for any man or woman who claims salvation. How many are neither hot nor cold today? Ministers and congregations alike! The Apostate church is already risen up in our world as ecumenicalism threatens to destroy any hope of a move of God. Compromise has to be the Church of the devil's making. Run away from the lies of this Movement. Jesus prophesied that in the last days Apostasy would flourish.

Samson is in the Glory today. A classic adulterer - yet restored and forgiven. David is there too. Probably Bathsheba likewise. Adulterers the world over, and the fornicators whom God has redeemed are there also.

How then should we deal with adulterers who persist and will not yield to the authority of the local church?

  1. In the first instance it must be established as to whether the guilty pair are genuinely saved. Note the day of their salvation, and if they have come from another church, the references as to the quality of their characters should be sought from there.

    If the report is good and the pair have been faithful in the church, then according to their willingness to repent, forgiveness must be offered to them without delay.
     
  2. There will be a six-month watch by the oversight on this couple's behaviour to determine if that spark of adultery is still there or whether it has truly died.

Full restoration to their place in the church is recommended. The organist gets his job back, the Sunday School teacher, his/her's job is also restored if so be that one or the other perpetrators of this sin is seen to be fully repentant. Grace demands it. Mr. Molland thinks the administering of the Law will forbid any restoration - maybe that is true, but Grace aboundeth more. We are all children of Grace.

The argument Mr. Molland has is flawed by his conception of the validity of the Law as being necessary today. He will not accept that the end of the Law is Christ Who Abolished for us the Law. "Those who live by the Law shall be judged by the Law."

The Law of Righteousness is to be observed and lived out in a believer's life. Putting on the garment of His righteousness. By faith we overcome our enemies; by faith we stand in the righteousness of the Captain of our so great salvation. Without this grace we will always fail. Imputed righteousness is our wonderful Saviour's gift to his redeemed.

What is imputed righteousness? His righteousness in exchange for our self-righteousness. We wear it as a glorious robe. Instead of judging others, even in this way, of adultery and fornication, there should be understanding and care for the ones whom the devil has trapped in this manner.

Even if a couple is re-married after a messy divorce action, there is forgiveness and much grace to forgive this erring couple. He takes them as they are, sinners who need a saviour and a healer. He mends the hearts that are broken; He sets the captives free. The marriage made between this couple who are re-married may stay as it is. Whom God forgives, who can argue about it?

Yet again, if two are married and they should not be married because of the many affairs in their lives, caution should meted out to them so that they stay together under the watchful eye of the Fellowship. These folks must not break up again, otherwise the sanctity of marriage is mocked.

However, any attempt to split the pair apart when they have been married, is not always the right thing to be doing. Much prayer and sympathy and counsel is so necessary in the mending of these lives. Grace, both initially and in the long term, shows kindness and understanding and a forgetting of the past as to what this pair have done and caused.

 
God Will Judge Adulterers

Here is a fierce warning to adulterers. The Bible speaks of grace, so what are the properties of grace? Grace is the good pleasure of God to us who are His children. He covers, by confessed sin we commit, and sins we do not realise we do. The blood still has its ancient power. Thank God for the precious blood of Jesus.

Another gracious quality of Grace is its understanding as to why we do this or that, and "when we sin we have an advocate with the Father, and the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanseth us from ALL sin!" Here is grace in its narrow and broader simplicity! We are not condemned with the world.

However, it is inconceivable that adulterers should attempt to get away with this sin, by hiding themselves from discovery and appearing to be a real part of the Fellowship. These folks are in mortal danger. They could be taken home early in life. God will judge His people. Thank God for the discoverers of the sin of adultery in the midst of the local church. Grace has begun to find them out! Such folks hinder the work of God.

Adulterers should be very aware of the God who hates sin. To be judged before the host of angels and the host of the redeemed, and the host of principalities and people who are going to a lost eternity, is inconceivable. Just a few days of pleasure, then the Judgment of God. Flee these Sins. The day of Grace is here, but will it stand forever? Of course not. 

Jesus is coming back so very soon! Grasp hold of this wonderful grace that is afforded to you who are bound in your sin - whether by love or by lust, there is no difference in God's eyes. Don't be blinded by this illicit love.

Work it out today. (Grace stands by your side to melt you and to bring you to repentance!) The Holy Spirit is calling upon you to refrain from angering God by your persistence in this sin. The time is short and it is a useless exercise to try and find scriptures to validate your liaisons with your lover/adulterer.

There are none! Whether by the Law or even by Grace! Only by your obedience can you say that grace is working in your situation - which will bring you to repentance and grave decisions.

Don't be like the worldings around you, who trot out that silly expression, "Well, If my Mary is going to hell, then I want to go with her!" Or, "I'll take my chances." Are you a tare or chaff or a thistle or a thorn in the Church of God?

What rubbish to talk as the heathen do! Now is the accepted time! Make that decision, which will show that you are a child of God who simply wants to stand with the people of God until He comes. Grasp hold of the lifeline of Grace. Move forward in the confidence of Grace.

 

The Immutable Law of God

Why is the Law immutable? It has condemned already the vast multitude of people since Adam to eternal death, and it will also condemn all men at the Judgment Seat of God, called The Great White Throne Judgment. Revelation plainly states: See Rev. 20 v 12-15.

The Immutable Law stands as the great condemnatory power over all the sons of this flesh. Ezekiel 18 v 4: "The soul that sinneth it shall surely die." Those who disobey God's Immutable Law die both physically and eternally. Souls are in the balance all over the world as the Immutable Law records all men's sin.

The Law is immutable because it will always condemn men everywhere until the Day of Christ, when all men shall give account of himself to God.

 

Those Who Reject the Grace of God

Only by grace can we enter the Throne-room of God - otherwise all of us would be condemned by the Law.

Grace stands between the Law and its fiery judgments, for only one set of people, the elect, have any way through to heaven and home! Only by the cross; only by the Blood are we redeemed.

 
Immutable Law

By it we also will perish physically in this body. Our bodies are judged by The Law to be unredeemable! It still sins; it still behaves contrary to the ways of the Lord, and as the result it must die.

We are full of our own individual ancestry which is corrupted and vile. David said: "in sin did my mother conceive me!" Adam's sin is in our blood and, as a consequence, we all die in this life.

No-one escapes this ancestral judgment over all of us! Our vile bodies cannot be saved from death in this life. Thank God for the fact that we shall have new bodies in heaven and New Jerusalem like unto the Lord Jesus Christ!

Can you see how blessed we all are? We are His redeemed elect; we are children of the promise; we are children of the Most High God and our sins are forgiven for Jesus' sake!

 
Is God Unjust?

All men could be saved if it were in them to call upon the Lord and be saved! But it is not in man to do so. God must call, because man cannot call himself to Christ's righteousness. "Whosoever will may come," the Bible says frequently. BUT ONLY THE ELECT WILL COME!"

THE IMMUTABLE LAW OF GOD STANDS AS THE GREAT AND FEARSOME REMINDER OF OUR PLIGHT OUTSIDE OF CHRIST AND HIS FINISHED WORKS.

 

Now, what about GRACE?

When children of God sin it is tragic and awesome. Let us never forget that! Yes, we thank God for the Blood of Jesus that cleanseth us from all sin, but sin should never be looked upon as trivial and easily forgiven. It was not easy even for Jesus to pay the price of our sin.

Sin will kill millions of unregenerate folks, and has already killed millions more in the past! If you who have committed adultery would stop and think about this point, it could yet save you from practising this sin in the flesh, as you repent and turn around and go God's way - all the way home to glory! Grace is calling you even now to repent.

Do it whilst you have time on your hands and time well spent is to be sorry for your sin against God. David cried out in his agony of spirit over his sin - the same sin you are committing.

See Psalm 51 for a vivid account of that sorrow and emotional distress. It was very damaging to his soul - even as this sin is to your soul.

Now, if the Law broken will condemn all who are without Christ, why will you not see that to stand with the unregenerate's wilful sin before God, is very grave indeed, and you have to call yourself into question whether or not you are saved at all! It would be antinomianism run riot if Christians were free to do as the world does and still expect the crown of life!

The Apostle Paul wrote: "Adulterers God will judge!" Grace will not save adulterers unless there is a recognition of sin and the putting away of it in this life. You cannot expect Divine Favour in the next! Grace demands repentance before resuming its covering over you! Don't despise the blood of Jesus! Repent whilst you have time - please!

Paul teaches that we all must examine ourselves to see whether we be in the faith or not! Are you in this grace and faith? Then you cannot excuse this terrible sin even from an emotional point of view.

There is no choice but to repent. God's compassion is in His grace that allowed this sin to happen and to flourish, but He then expects of you the courage and the determination to put away sin and the person who had caused you to sin!

He knows men and women become unbalanced by this kind of emotional trauma where you "cannot see the wood for the trees!" But sooner or later it is demanded of our holy God that you repent and put away your sin!

How long will it be before you find this illicit relationship to be a horror you cannot be party to. The stakes are too high. Pull away with all your might lest you face the judgment of God.

Do not be judged by the Law, for there is no escape outside of grace. Are you doing it despite to the Spirit of Grace? THINK! TURN AROUND AND REPENT NOW BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE. AFTER DEATH THE JUDGEMENT!

Do not simply take your chances because you are very happy with this illicit partner you had found. Your love is unfounded and detrimental to all your hopes spiritually and eternally.

You cannot say that you are not warned as you read this book and, of course the One Final Authority, the Bible. It warns always of the consequences of sin.

There is no guarantee - even by the Doctrines of Grace - that God will automatically excuse your sin and forgive you on the Day that tries by fire. You are treading in deep waters. No one has the answer as to how God will react to you on That Day when the hearts of all men are read and judged!

You may HOPE all will go well with you - but it is not in His Word that you are safe at all when you sin willfully. How then can you afford to pursue this relationship? You do not know how God thinks. For His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and His ways are higher than our ways!

See Hebrews 11 v 24 how Moses "chose to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt - for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward!"

The verses can be viewed in two ways:

  1. The reward of faith and eternal life.
     

  2. He abhorred the way of death, respecting the fact of eternal death for choosing the way of this world. Moses respected God and Hs Word.

Moses and all the great men and women mentioned in Hebrews 11, denied the flesh and chose the hard way even unto death "of whom the world was not worthy."

"Now the just shall live by faith - but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." You will inevitably draw back for the sake of this relationship.

Hebrews 10 v 26: "For if we sin wilfully, after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins." The following verses are so condemning if we sin wilfully. Read them!

Now I am no novice and I do understand that the context of these verses was meant for the Jews of Paul's time, who contemplated going back under the Law and consequentially into the burning of sacrifices for forgiveness of their sins. This would be heinously dangerous and would take them outside of the grace of God, and back under the Law of sin and of death!

However, the principle is the same. No child of God who practices sin like adultery can use the sacrifice of Christ as his cover from eternal judgement. "Adulterers and whoremongers God will judge" (Hebrews 13 v 4), and you will come under this heading. For your soul's sake STOP AND CONSIDER - BE WARNED! RUN INTO HIS ARMS AND AWAY FROM THIS SIN.

Consider Joseph when he was tempted by Potiphar's wife. Note what he said to her: "How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?" You were in this same position, and you decided to ignore the spiritual warnings of your inner being.

1 Cor. 3 v 16-17: "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile this temple of God, HIM SHALL GOD DESTROY; FOR THE TEMPLE IS HOLY, WHICH TEMPLE YE ARE."

In verse 13: "Every man's works shall be made manifest - for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work as to what sort it is!"

See Galatians 6 v 7: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that also shall he reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption. But he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."

Consider Revelatian 2 v 4-5; see also Chapter 3 v 15: "I would that ye were either hot or cold!" See repeated throughout the three chapters the words "to him that overcometh shall white robes be given unto them and to sit with Me in my Father's Throne." HOW CAN YOU BE AN OVERCOMER IN THIS SITUATION? YOU CANNOT!

The crunch verse for those to whom this verse applies, as far as the facts are concerned, is found in Ch. 3 v 15: "So then because thou art lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I WILL SPUE YOU OUT OF MY MOUTH!"

Here is your enormous problem as you try to deceive yourselves in this relationship. You have become neither hot nor cold and your souls are "weighed in the balance and found wanting!"

Return to your first love with the Lord as when you were first saved, as soon as you can, for the Day of Christ will show what sort of works you have been involved with in this life. DON'T BE DECEIVED.

As you wade through the book, try not to put it down, but read on and on for it will, at the very least, cause you to think how God sees your sin, and not only your own point of view, which is heavily in your own favour! Of course you want to stay with your lover, but God says it is a wrong relationship! Yet there is ample grace for those who repent and do the right thing in God's sight!

May the Lord give you guidance and strength to pull out of this understandable emotional mess you have put yourself in. May the Lord give you the power over your inner emotions - to the glory of God. Allow Grace to have its perfect way in you.

I would be unfaithful to the word of God if I wrote this book in any other way. Let Grace abound more and more in your lives until Jesus comes. May the good Lord give you the strength to overcome that burning passion which is the sin God wants you to address.

If you have gone so far into this sin and you are still with your illicit partner after the divorce of your first wife or husband, there is still hope for you within the scope of Grace. God forgave David and Bathsheba and He allowed them to continue in the plainly adulterous marriage! However, it is paramount that you see your sin as heinous in God's sight and that you repent with great sorrow over your sin against God.

May the good Lord give you the grace to do what is right in His sight!

 
 

 

Divorce Committee Report. Appendix

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Adams, J. E. "Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage", Phillipsburgh, N. J.: Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing Co., 1961

Anderson, A. R. "Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage": An address to Pastors

Anderson, N.  "The teaching of Jesus", Hodder & Stoughton 1983

Atkinson, D. "To Have and to Hold: The Marriage Covenant and the Discipline and Divorce", London: Collins 1979.

Bailey, S. “The Mystery of love and Marriage”.

Berkhof, L.  “Systematic Theology”, Edinburgh: Banner of Truth.

Bruce, F. F. "Traditions Old and New", Paternoster Press.

Calvin, J. "Calvin's Commentaries", Edinburgh: S1. Andrews Press

Colquhoun, J. "Repentance"

Field, D. "Talking Points: The Divorce Debate-Where are we now"?

Heth, W. A. & Wenham, G. J.  "Jesus and Divorce", London: Hodder & Stoughton 1984.

Isaksson, A.  “Marriage and Ministry in the New Temple", Lund 1965.

Morris, L. "The Cross in the New Testament", Paternoster Press

Murray, J. "Divorce", Phillipsburg, N. J.: Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing Co., 1961; "Redemption Accomplished and Applied".

Palmer, P. F.  Christian Marriage, Contract or Covenant? A Theological Study". Vo1.33. 1972.

Robertson, A & Plummer, A. "A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians in a Critical Commentary by T. T. Clarke", 2nd Edition 1914.

Rushdoony, R. J. "The Institutes of Biblical Law", Craig Press 1973.

Strong, A. H. "Systematic Theology".

 

© 2006 Anthony Tillotson

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the author.

 

RETURN TO THE CHRISTIANITY OASIS

PURITY PUBLICATIONS FREE CHRISTIAN EBOOK STORE



YOU CAN ALSO CHECK OUT SOME OF THE OTHER CHRISTIAN ENTERTAINMENT, GAMES, MUSIC, BOOKS, MALL, STUDIES AND PROGRAMS WITHIN OUR CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY BELOW ...
 

C-O-O-L
CLICKS

C-O-O-L CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY DIRECTORY

CHRISTIANITY OASIS PATH TO FAITH, FRIENDSHIP, FAMILY, FELLOWSHIP AND FUN


SEARCH BY AGE RANGE
 

12 AND UNDER 13-17 TEENAGER 18 AND ABOVE


SEARCH BY THAT WHICH YOU SEEK
 

COUNSELING
SUPPORT
ENTERTAINMENT
FUN STUFF
FRIENDSHIP
FELLOWSHIP
STUDIES
PROGRAMS

LOOK AT EVERYTHING THE C-O-O-L CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY HAS TO OFFER
 
 
 
 
 

WANT TO BECOME A MEMBER OF THE MOST AWESOME CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY ON THE INTERNET?


CHAT ROOMS

PARTNERS IN PRAYER

MY C-O-O-L SPACE

MESSAGE BOARDS
 

CLICK HERE TO JOIN

 


 
C-O-O-L SEARCH
TYPE IN WHAT YOU SEEK WITHIN OUR CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY

 


C
HRISTIANITY OASIS ON LINE
WHERE CHRISTIANITY IS C-O-O-L

www.ChristianityOasis.com
 

E-mail: ChristianityOasis

This Christian Divorce and Remarriage study on Christian Divorce and Remarriage verses with Christian Divorce and Remarriage message and all of its Christian Divorce and Remarriage contents are copyright protected and should not be reproduced, copied or sold in whole or in part without express written permission from Christianity Oasis and/or the author.


Christian Divorce and Remarriage | Christian Divorce and Remarriage Verses | Christian Divorce and Remarriage Study

WEB SITE CREATED BY CHRISTIANITY OASIS