By Jim H. Yohe
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“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath mitted adultery with her already in his heart “(Matt.5:27-28). In making this statement, Jesus elevated the Old Testament prohibitions against adultery from lust-in-the-heart to adultery-in-the-heart! Stepping out from the shadow of Moses, Jesus revealed the substance of -God’s teaching on adultery. You don’t have to commit the physical act of adultery to be an adulterer! Adultery is committed first in your heart! As Christians, we must guard our thought-life against the seductive siren call of the spirit of adultery!
Though our modern pluralistic society tries very hard to ore these exacting words of Jesus, Satan, our adversary very much aware of them! Never forget that Satan is committed to his purpose of destroying your soul! “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy”(John 10:10). Since your eyes are the window of your soul, Satan’s goal is to make your eyes the window to destroying your soul! Jesus warned, “The light of the body is the eye . . .but if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall he full of darkness . . . ” (Matthew 6: 22-23).
Both within and without the church, God’s standards of sexual purity are under attack! In the secular realm, pornographic magazines, adult videos, strip clubs, male & female prostitution have been the front lines of Hell’s war upon Christian morals! The social stigma attached to involvement in such activities has served as a necessary public deterrent. However, Satan has recently recruited the sewers of the Internet to pour on-line pornographic filth right into your home via your personal computer. Behind closed doors, beneath the cloak of anonymity, Satan has found a new way of attacking a Christian’s marriage and a family’s moral purity!
A shocking liberal wave of sexual tolerance has swept over the Christian community! Asked by a horrified gospel singer why an open homosexual was functioning as the church’s music director, the politically-correct pastor simply replied, “His sin-struggle may be more evident than yours and mine! Are you perfect? Are you without sin? Well, neither is he! With Christian understanding and love, we allow him to use his musical gifts while he struggles to overcome homosexuality!”
Even the traditional lines of sexual behavior within marriage has come under attack! This writer has talked to professing Christians who feel that sexual activity outside of their marriage is all right with God as long as it doesn’t involve intercourse!!! To defend themselves, they draw on Old Testament customs of polygamy, attempt to discredit the rule of having one wife set by the Apostle Paul, interpreting it to apply only to those who hold the office of a bishop (I Timothy 3:2), and further assert that we are monogamous in America simply because polygamy is against the law!
Heard enough? These Christian libertines go on to declare that man’s inherent nature is promiscuous and if the ban against polygamy were lifted, the newly legalized practice of polygamy would eliminate extra-marital affairs, divorce and adultery! They further contend that polygamy would unclog the court system and would be a virtual panacea for all the family ills of society!
So how do they justify their personal involvement with blatant sexual activity outside of their marriage? Chillingly demonic, their various arguments reek with the seductive logic of Hell! Attempting to rationalize their sin, they reason, “Adultery is sexual intercourse outside of my marriage. I would never do that! So, I can have outside al activity but not intercourse! If polygamy was legal, I’d simply many additional wives. Since God allows polygamy and the United States government doesn’t, so essence, I am obeying God rather than man! ”
Some deceived Christian men have taken it a step further by conducting a bogus marriage ceremony and then calling their partners-in-adultery–spiritual wives! In western South Dakota, there is a thriving charismatic fellowship that believes that God is only concerned with the actions of the spirit, NOT the actions of the human body! Consequently, Members of this group talk in tongues and operate in the s of the spirit while in the worship service, and then proceed to commit fornication, adultery or whatever sin their body feels like doing in their everyday lives!
Why? Because their spiritual leadership has convinced them that since the body will return to the dust, it doesn’t matter to God what the body does! To this way of thinking, God is only interested in the eternal spirit! But what does the Bible say? In I Corinthians 6: 19-20, the Apostle Paul reveals that this sexual heresy is not unique to our time! He asserts, “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own! For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s!” When you become the bride of Christ, your spirit AND your physical body are His!
When Jesus was tempted of the devil, he turned to the word of God for His answers! To each demonic suggestion, Jesus responded, “It is written . . .” (Matt. 4: 4, 7, 10). To repel the attempts of the spirit of adultery to seduce mankind, we will follow that same example in refuting such overtly false teaching.
Contention: Only intercourse outside of your marriage is considered adultery! Not other sexual activity! In Matthew 5:27-28, Jesus revealed that adultery is committed first in the heart. It is impossible for a man to have sexual activity without lust in his heart. The Apostle James warns the self-righteous adulterer, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1: 14-15). I doesn’t take a doctorate in theology to understand that all sexual activity outside of your marriage is adulterous.
Contention: Polygamy doesn’t matter to God! Moses allowed it. Really? Let’s see what Jesus said about the subject of proper marriage. “Have ye not read that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female? And said, “For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be ONE flesh. Wherefore they are no more twain, but ONE flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matt. 19:4-6).
Imminent scholars Bruce M. Metzger and Micheal D. Coogan comment in The Oxford Companion To The Bible (1993), “The covenantal relationship between Yahweh and Israel is likened to a covenanted marriage; this analogous usage begins in Hosea 1-3, by analyzing the analogy we can deduce some of the ideals concerning marriage in ancient Israel, at least for those who produced the texts. Two characteristics may be noted First, the relationship was monogamous. Israel had only One God, and God had chosen Israel over all other peoples. Second, mutual fidelity was expected” So, God chose one people and was faithful in His love to them, and expected them to be as faithful to Him!
When the Pharisees took the discussion a step further, they queried, “Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away” (Matt.19:7). History teaches that men were throwing out their wives and even killing them for little or no reason, even for burning their supper!
Being aware of these facts, Jesus quickly replied, ‘Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so” (Matt. 19:8). Reasoning that it was better to allow divorce than to allow the inhumane treatment of women to continue, a reluctant Moses accommodated their husbands. But Jesus vehemently asserted that this was not the plan of God from the beginning!!! It was the lineage of murderous Cain who first violated the plan of God concerning marriage by marrying two wives! “And Lamech took unto him two wives . . .” (Gen. 4:19).
Contention: Even if the law forbids polygamy, I am to obey God rather than man! Then you better practice monogamy! Because the word of God clearly teaches that monogamy is the perfect plan of God for marriage! Note the singular form of words that Paul uses in instructing us about marriage. “Let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband “(I Cor. 7:2). Note the apostle did not encourage every man to have his own WIVES, or every woman her own HUSBANDS!
Concerning the secular law? Christians are supposed to obey it! “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God! Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation” (Romans 13:1-2). What’s the bottom line here? The law decrees monogamy, therefore practice monogamy! If the law eventually permits polygamy, Christians still should practice monogamy because it is the perfect plan of God!
Contention: But the human male is naturally promiscuous. The shepherd King David concurs, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Ps. 51:5). The Apostle Paul assures us that Jesus Christ changes our sinful nature! “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold ALL THINGS BECOME NEW” (II Cor. 5:17).
Contention: Polygamy would eliminate extra-marital affairs, divorce and adultery! So would strict adherence to monogamy! That’s God’s perfect plan for a happy marriage! In the Ten Commandments, the Lord God revealed his will concerning sexual activity outside of marriage! In divine bluntness, God decreed “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). Satan may try to convince you that The Ten Commandments were actually The Ten Suggestions! But that simply isn’t true! The Complete Biblical Library
(1992) notes that in the Matthew 19:4-6 reference, “Jesus said, ‘ What God hath joined;’ not ‘whom’. God made the marriage relation; so every marriage is God-joined in principle by this divine provision made for marriage. Even where marriages are made out of God’s will, once the relation is entered into, God does not want it to be broken.”
Satan’s spirit of adultery goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour! No one is exempt from temptation’s clutches. But do not be deceived! Do not be drawn away from the will of God through your own human lusts! On Judgment Day, God will not be swayed by excuses or foolish arguments justifying adultery. Marry your wife or husband and love them and them only forever! Heed the prophecy of Malachi, “Another thing you do: You flood the Lord’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because He no longer pays attention to your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. You ask ‘Why?’ It is because the LORD is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his! And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. SO GUARD YOURSELF IN YOUR SPIRIT, AND DO NOT BREAK FAITH WITH THE WIFE OF YOUR YOUTH” (Malachi 2:13, 15)(NIV).
Echoing the prophet Malachi’s injunction to “Guard yourself in your spirit . . .” the apostle to the Gentiles, Paul continues, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (II Car. 10:5). With every temptation, just realize that the spirit of adultery has set out to snare your soul. Guard your thought-life and cast down every wicked thought! It’s very true what our Bro. T. F. Tenney once preached, “You can’t help what kind of bird flies over, but you don’t have to let it build a nest in your hair!”
The above article, “The Spirit of Adultery” was written by Jim H. Yohe. The article was excerpted from chapter 43 in Yohe’s book Believer’s Bootcamp.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.
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