by John and Ruth Greene
It is often reported that marriage in modern culture is on the decline. However, among those that are married, the expectation is most often one of ‘fidelity’ instead of hypocrisy. For example, 91% of Americans in a recent poll considered ‘infidelity’ to be morally wrong, compared with 50% in 1980. The issue today is betrayal; compared to public humiliation of the past. According to media sources, being truthful is now considered to be the cornerstone of modern marriage along with greater personal freedom within a marriage. When that marriage isn’t sufficient by whatever rules are decided by the couple, it is often considered just to cast off that marriage for another marriage. (Mark 10:2-15; 1 Corinthians 7:3-5) While infidelity and adultery have often been considered to be the same, the word ‘infidelity’ is now preferred because it is easily redefined by personal and community standards.(“Are You a Christian First or Last?“; “The Bible & Higher Authority“; “Bible Truth: What is a Christian?“)
“Anyone that commits adultery with a woman lacks heart: he brings destruction on his soul.” – Proverbs 6:32, direct translation
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” – Matthew 5:27-28, NKJV
It was said in Atlantic magazine that modern marriage now reflects a thoroughly modern mix of tolerance and puritanical censoring. Standards of what are ‘moral’ and ‘ethical’ are continually being redefined because they can be. Morality and ethics are not Biblical, but creations of secular humanism that sound religious in an attempt to make the ideas of man or human matters sound religious. To the world, it matters little whether they are on a slippery slope. Those that oppose Father YHWH’s standards will bring up the sin of patriarchs past as an excuse for any standard. (Genesis 16:3; Judges 14:1-17; 1 Chronicles 3:1-9; 1 Kings 11:3; 2 Corinthians 6:14-17) The modern marriage is being publicly defined as any monogamous sexual relationship rather than strictly by the ‘traditional definition’ presented throughout recorded history. In the same sense, because of the summary destruction of the family model, the family is becoming whatever authority or culture says it is. (Proverbs 5:3-22, 6:23-29, 7:5-27) Marriage and the family have become a grand experiment of social engineering by many powers and authorities of the world. (“The Bible & Higher Authority“; “Discipleship & Singles Ministry: Sex is Marriage“)
The Bible is strong medicine that clearly lays out conduct that is righteous. In Proverbs 6:32, the adulterer “lacks heart.” To be heartless is to be mad, to throw oneself into perversity, a form of suicide that rebels against the Set-Apart Father’s righteousness. Righteous conduct is easily compared to conduct that is rampant in the world, as well as in the death of any relationship – notably within adultery and divorce. (“What is the Standard of Life Conduct in a Disciple of Messiah?“; “Do You Take Sin For Granted?“)
“These six matters YHWH hates, and seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands shedding innocent blood, a heart devising wicked schemes, feet quick to run to evil, a false witness breathing out lies, and one who causes strife among brothers.” – Proverbs 6:16-19, ISR98
These are all behaviors that world authority considers as normal behavior in modern relationships, illustrating how far the culture of man has fallen and how low expectations typically are. All of these behaviors often run rampant as the fabric of trust in a marriage unravels. These abominations prevail in public court documents and courtrooms of law without regard to truth. Professed Christians have become like the world, but worse. Why worse? Christianity has become mere window dressing for millions of marriages that are ruled by secular law and dissolved in a secular court. Yet marriage is a covenant before Father Elohim [YHWH]. Brotherly love in marriage has become the exception, probably because most marriages reside in lust and convenience. Brotherly love in marriage and family life is rarely taught or practiced. Brotherly love is a requirement for disciples of the Messiah, evidence of the Holy Spirit. (“Christians & Leadership Crisis“; “Disciples of Messiah & the Authority of Man“; “The Garden of the Marriage Relationship“)
Seductions and the lie have become the norm in relationships. (Proverbs 2:16-19, 7:5-27, 23:27; Ephesians 5:11; 2 Timothy 3:6; Exodus 22:16) This dark picture can be remedied when a married couple keeps YHWH in their midst while removing legalistic thinking, rekindling a new love and respect in righteousness. As they live in righteousness, they learn to cast aside the unwarranted demands of strangers in society from their life. (“Seductive Persuasion Breaks a Good Man“; “Prospering Your Family“)
“A couple is better than one, because there is a better reward for their toil. For when they fall, one will stand by his companion: but how can only one of them remain warm? While one will prevail, two stand as a front together; a third cord is not quickly torn.” – Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, direct translation
The third cord is YHWH. YHWH Elohim hates the destruction of His sanctified covenant, a rebellion to His Word. (Deuteronomy 24:1-4; Mark 10:2-15; Luke 16:18; 1 Corinthians 10:8, 13; 2 Peter 2:9-10, 14) Disciples of the Messiah are not to fall to temptations that are common to all. He prefers that we win one another over through love, respect and submission in brotherly love. (1 Peter 3:1-2) This is Father’s model for marriage of His people, a life bond between husband and wife, a man and a woman. (Matthew 19:1-9; Malachi 2:16; Genesis 2:24) Because of the hardness of their hearts, Jews were allowed to divorce their wives on the condition of sexual immorality. This practice has continued through the age into today. (Matthew 5:32) Yahshua [Jesus] wants His disciples to have pure hearts, to avoid secret adulteries of the heart, even to reconcile with one another while opportunity exists. (Matthew 5:27-28; 1 Corinthians 7:10-16; Malachi 2:15; Jeremiah 3:1, 8; Romans 7:2-3)
“Let marriage be respected by all, and the bed be undefiled. But Elohim shall judge those who whore, and adulterers.” – Hebrews 13:4, ISR98
All are to flee from sexual immorality at all times in life. Adultery always requires at least two people, a sexual relationship outside of marriage. (John 8:4-11; Jeremiah 5:8; Proverbs 31:3) Porneia, the word commonly used in original Greek texts, is any kind of sex outside of a marriage. Porneia is absolutely simple to understand. Sex outside of marriage is Biblically prohibited. Sex outside of marriage is spiritual perversion, a rebellion to YHWH’s Word and Will. Some in the world seek to blur the lines with argument. They seek to argue about what immoral conduct and marriage is, even though this is well defined by the righteousness of scripture. As their first line of argument, mockers of YHWH sanctified marriage want you to believe that anything “done in love” is perfectly acceptable. Once they have done this, they will be happy to further redefine everything else as well.
There are two ways that the Greek word “porneia” is translated in scripture. Many older Bible translations often translate porneia as “fornication,” and newer translations often translate porneia as “sexual immorality.” The Greek Lexicon by Thayer & Smith defines porneia as “illicit sexual intercourse.” Scripture is not pointing at some generalized idea of immorality. The Greek Lexicon defines porneia to include adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals, sexual intercourse with close relatives (Leviticus 18), or sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman (Mark. 10:11-12). Even our own dictionaries define adultery as “voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a partner other than the lawful spouse.” Marriage has been defined since the beginnings of mankind as the union between a husband and wife. None of this information is new.
Sexual immorality, including adultery, always springs from the roots of an impure heart. (Acts 15:20; 1 Corinthians 6:15-18, 7:1-5; 2 Corinthians 12:21; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5; 1 Timothy 1:5-11; Galatians 5:21; Romans 13:13; Job 31:9-12) A pure heart is determined by Father YHWH’s standard of righteousness that is set out in scripture, not by the conventions of men and women.
“For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,’ and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” – Romans 13:9, NKJV
When you step away from Father YHWH’s standards and flirt with the world, your heart and mind are subject to corruption and temptation. When you subject yourself to corruption and temptation, you easily fall into unrighteousness through sexual sin. (Ephesians 4:17-19; 1 Corinthians 5:1-5, 10, 6:8-10; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:7; Ephesians 5:6)
In the nation of Israel and through the time of Yahshua [Jesus], adultery among Jews was often promptly punished with death. Since the sacrifice of Yahshua [Jesus], adultery has been handled in various ways depending on the views of a particular culture, but the judgment of YHWH is always superior to the traditions, rules and decisions of men and women. Those that subject themselves to the violation of YHWH’s righteousness are subject to suffer from the ‘curse of nations’ along with other cursed people. (Deuteronomy 28:15-68; Jeremiah 23:10; Matthew 12:25) In the end, anyone left in an unrepentant condition where sin is concerned is subject to death. YHWH knows your heart, the inner depths of your soul. All mankind is judged by His standard of righteousness. (Deuteronomy 22:22; Exodus 20:14; Numbers 5:29-31; Jeremiah 7:10, 29:23; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Romans 1:28-29, 32; James 4:17; Jude 1:7; Revelation 9:21, 21:8, 22:15)
“Become, then, imitators of Elohim as beloved children. And walk in love, as Messiah also has loved us, and gave Himself for us, a gift and an offering to Elohim for a sweet-smelling fragrance. But whoring and all uncleanness, or greed of gain, let it not even be named among you, as is proper among set-apart ones – neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather thanksgiving. For this you know, that no one who whores, nor unclean one, nor one greedy of gain, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the reign of Messiah and Elohim. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these the wrath of Elohim comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partakers with them.” – Ephesians 5:1-7, ISR98
Through the Holy Spirit, disciples of the Messiah are to be made new through the teaching and sacrifice of Yahshua [Jesus], the Master of all that are willing to listen and obey. (Colossians 3:1,10; Ephesians 4:24; 2 Corinthians 5:17; James 2:20-24) This is not salvation by works, but through trust in YHWH. (James 2:14-16, 26) How you live shows what you believe. (Matthew 7:16-23) As you learn to live this new life in marriage, you learn to submit to YHWH and you learn to submit to one another.
“Wives, subject yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Master. Because the husband is head of the wife, as also the Messiah is head of the assembly, and He is Saviour of the body. But as the assembly is subject to Messiah, so also let the wives be to their own husbands in every respect.
Husbands, love your wives, as Messiah also did love the assembly and gave Himself for it, in order to set it apart and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, in order to present it to Himself a splendid assembly, not having spot or wrinkle or any of this sort, but that it might be set-apart and blameless. In this way husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but feeds and cherishes it, as also the Master does the assembly.
Because we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This secret is great, but I speak concerning Messiah and the assembly. However, you too, everyone, let each one love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she fears her husband.” – Ephesians 5:22-33, ISR98
Disciples of Messiah learn to abide in the Holy Spirit grounded in personal Bible understanding and full appreciation of the sacrifice of Yahshua [Jesus] Messiah. This is trust, often called ‘faith.’ In a scripturally-grounded marriage of disciples of the Messiah, brotherly love is the rule, just as it is in the ekklesia, the gathering of YHWH’s people. This agape love is a secret among genuine disciples and in sanctified marriage, a love that the world doesn’t understand. This same love nourishes the devotion, the genuine attachment between each active disciple and the Father, Son & Holy Spirit.
“Therefore, since Messiah suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so that he no longer lives the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but according to the desire of Elohim. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the desire of the gentiles, having walked in indecencies, lusts, drunkenness, orgies, wild parties, and abominable idolatries, in which they are surprised that you do not run with them in the same flood of loose behavior, blaspheming…” – 1 Peter 4:1-4, ISR98
“And the works of the flesh are well-known, which are these: adultery, whoring, uncleanness, indecency, idolatry, drug sorcery, hatred, quarrels, jealousies, fits of rage, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, murders, drunkenness, wild parties, and the like – of which I forewarn you, even as I also said before, that those who practise such as these shall not inherit the reign of Elohim.” – Galatians 5:19-21, ISR98
The modern world continues in ongoing upheaval, seeking to redefine and blur the lines as an excuse to do what is pleasurable or desirable at the moment. In the world, for example, it is commonly held that extramarital sex between consenting adults is acceptable. It is commonly held that often nobody gets hurt by this conduct. It is often perceived that no ill occurs from such a relationship. Despite the tendencies of rebellious mankind, science has discovered that premarital and extramarital sex is every bit as dangerous as a blood transfusion. The perversion of YHWH’s instructions has great spiritual ramifications, including emotional baggage grounded in the blight of spiritual and demonic corruption. Once exchanged, bodily fluids cannot be un-exchanged! The damaging spiritual component in immoral sex is very real. The results of coital exchange cannot be entirely undone in the physical world that we live in now. The implications to the sexual are physical, emotional, mental and spiritual, whether you as a person recognize the effects or not. All sin is the same way with far reaching potential effects, many of them unknown or unrecognized to man. All sin damages. All sin offends YHWH because sin is rebellion against Him, against His way of life and against what He wants for you. Man and woman have deceived themselves into believing all manner of rebellions against Elohim [YHWH]. How much easier when you resist the temptation and stay on the right track! (2 Samuel 11-13)
Perhaps there is no uprising more demonstrative in our time of deception than the fight for homosexuality, including the legal expansion of marriage. By “homosexuality,” we mean the “sexual orientation” in a person which develops “romantic attachments” with another person of the same gender. While this definition identifies the focus of this human identity crisis, the root sin that is being actively practiced does not make it a greater sin in Bible text. It is no different than other sins that by the admission of scripture will not allow the inheritance of YHWH’s Kingdom. (“Homosexuality: Sex and Personal Identity Crisis“)
When a person continues to follow a life course because of a depraved heart or a reprobate mind, YHWH must allow free will to be exercised in accord with His promise. The disciple of the Messiah must be willing to agree with YHWH. You can’t debate relationship or play the immunity card. The same provisions apply to all of YHWH’s people and to the world. There are only two kingdoms. You give yourself to one or the other.
The world, with its shallowness and selfishness seeks to express love by another definition apart from YHWH. As a result most of mankind suffers from a real identity crisis. The idea of love in the English language covers virtually all affection from friendship to marriage to sex and everything in between. In this way, the understanding of love has been lost in a slush of misunderstanding and deception. Most of mankind is truly trapped through conditioned behavior through rebellion. Scripture explains the Elohim [YHWH] that creates does so because He loves. (John 3:16; 1 John 3:17, 4:8-9; Galatians 2:20; Romans 5:8) You are free to choose how you will respond to His love, along with the cost of your decision. YHWH wants a loving response in return and made that response possible through His Son. His love does not make YHWH lax and permissive. YHWH’s love is not an excuse for inaction or pretense. When you trust in Yahshua [Jesus] Messiah, you will not pay the penalty for sin, which is death eternally. (1 Peter 2:24; Romans 5:18; “Welcoming Trust With Sincere Hospitality“)