She and I are SO much in love and we want to serve the Lord together as husband and wife.
Thanks for your help.
[EVANGELICAL OUTREACH Bible Answer on Divorce and Remarriage]]
Greetings in Jesus' name. You said you really need some input. As a person who has spent thousands of hours reading and studying the Bible, and one who pastored for over 6.5 years in the Pittsburgh area, the following is my input:
(1) To divorce over "incompatibility and neglect" is not a legitimate reason, according to the Word of God! Please note Matt. 5:32:
"But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to commit adultery, and anyone who marries a woman so divorced commits adultery."
"I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery" (Matt. 19:9).
"Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery" (Lk. 16:18).
"Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, 'Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?' 'What did Moses command you?' he replied.
They said, 'Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.' 'It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,' Jesus replied. 'But at the beginning of creation God "made them male and female." "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.' When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. He answered, 'Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery' " (Mk. 10:2-12).
"Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery (KJV)."The Apostle Paul gave these instructions about remarriage to the Christians of his day:
"And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart [or separate as some translation have it] from her husband: But and if she depart, LET HER REMAIN UNMARRIED, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife. But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace" (1 Cor. 7:10-15).The Greek word for "depart" in verses 10, 11 and 15 is also found at Matt. 19:6 and Mk. 10:9 as used with divorce:
"Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."But then on the other hand that same Greek word does not have to refer to divorce:
"What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."
"After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth" (Acts 18:1).
"For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever" (Philemon 15).
"For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man" (Rom. 7:2,3).
"A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord" (1 Cor. 7:39).(2) You mentioned getting forgiven for "divorcing our spouses." Please know that there is no such thing in Scripture as getting forgiven from the sin of divorce! This subtle twisting of the Word regarding getting forgiven over the sin of "divorce" has led some to go through with it, then remarry, hence committing adultery themselves and causing their new "spouse" to become guilty of the same sin. Without a doubt, in many cases, a remarriage is the world's term for what the Lord taught is adultery. Remarriage would be adultery in God's eyes because it is an unrecognized marriage as far as He is concerned. (A remarriage is justified when the spouse dies.)
(3) When Jesus spoke of committing adultery over an illegitimate marriage, as cited in Matt. 5:32 and 19:9, a CONTINUOUS-TENSE ADULTERY is what would result. This would be impossible if one would illegitimately marry a person, then repent of his sin of divorce and an illegitimate marriage and go on as if it was now a marriage recognized by Almighty God.
"For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, whom he had married. For John had been saying to Herod, 'It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife.'"NOTE: Even though Herod had "married" Herodias, she was still considered "Philip's wife." That is why John said it was not lawful for him to have his brother's wife. In other words, adultery was being committed by both Herodias and Herod.
(5) You say you are so much in love and desire to serve the Lord together as husband and wife. Such is an impossibility. Neither of you two will be recognized from God's perspective as bound together by Him as husband and wife! This statement, though it may seem hard, is the truth, based on Scripture. The best way for you two to serve the Lord is to begin by stop entertaining the devil's sexual temptation that you two would like to get married. This is like two people saying "We want to rob a bank and then serve the Lord with the money."
(6) To say you know of other "Christian couples" who are both divorced and remarried and have good solid marriages and serve the Lord is meaningless! To be guilty of adultery excludes one from being a real Christian. What other people have or don't have or do or don't do has nothing to do with us individually. We are to go by the Word of God regardless if anyone else goes by it or not. It seems like you are trying to find every possible reason to "marry" outside of the will of God to justify your desires, even to the point of looking at others who have done a similar evil thing.
There are many people, even in the "church," who are illegitimately married. Such are committing continuous adultery from God's perspective and really are not "Christian" as they may profess to be. It is impossible to be a Christian and to be sexually immoral at the same time, in spite of what some are teaching. Do not be deceived: There is no such thing as once saved always saved, also known as eternal security or the perseverance of the saints. So if you think you can both divorce, then marry each other and be spiritually safe, based upon eternal security, you are Scripturally mistaken. The teaching of eternal security is a rampant heresy that has multitudes in danger of Hell without such knowing they're in this type of danger. [Please see our other information exposing and refuting the heresy of eternal security, perseverance of the saints or once saved always saved.]
"It [wisdom] will save you also from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words, who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God. For her house leads down to death and her paths to the spirits of the dead. None who go to her return or attain the paths of life. Thus you will walk in the ways of good men and keep to the paths of the righteous. For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it; but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it" (Prov. 2:16-22).COMMENT: Please note, the adulteress in the above passage is really a divorcee, for she left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God. Marriage is a covenant between two people and God. Also, a "wayward wife" is called elsewhere in Scripture an immoral person, a prostitute and an adulteress:
"For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life, keeping you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife. Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life" (Prov. 6:23-26).
"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. 'I hate divorce,' says the LORD God of Israel, 'and I hate a man's covering himself with violence as well as with his garment,' says the LORD Almighty. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith" (Malachi 2:14-16).As Scripture says elsewhere, what God has joined together, let not man separate:
"So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate" (Matt. 19:6).Notice the rest of the dialogue:
"'Why then,' they asked, 'did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?' Jesus replied, 'Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.' The disciples said to him, 'If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.' Jesus replied, 'Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.' " (Matt. 19:7-12).
"What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?" (Mk 8:36).Again, it is NOT always God's will to remarry, as 1 Cor. 7:11 clearly states. Ponder the apostle's teaching on this, under grace, if you are thinking about doing such:
"But and if she depart, LET HER REMAIN UNMARRIED, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife" (1 Cor. 7:11).Stay in the Bible and go by its counsel. Live in the fear of God. Think beyond the grave and ponder your own judgment before God. No person, regardless how much you may be drawn to him or her, is worth going to eternal punishment over.
Many remarried people are resting their salvation on the sexual immorality of their former spouse, which they think has freed them through a divorce to remarry without being guilty of adultery, based on Mt. 5:32 and 19:9. How sound is that? To expand the possibility of what those verses are saying one should focus on Mt. 1:19:
Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her [Mary] to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.Joseph was planning on divorcing Mary. What is significant is, that was BEFORE they were actually married, that is, while they were only pledged (engaged) to be married (Mt. 1:18,19; Lk. 1:27)! Also, the same Greek word for divorce as found in Mt. 1:19 is also found in Mt. 5:32 and 19:9! Could it be that only during that engagement time (as we would say in our day) is divorce permitted and that being only for sexual immorality? This could be the intended meaning of Mt. 5:32 and 19:9. If that is how we should understand Mt. 5:32 and 19:9, then there are no exceptions for divorce once a person does actually get married, as is clear in the law of marriage (Rom. 7:2,3) and even at 1 Cor. 7:39. Please study this subject out for yourself, especially if it applies to your situation. Such a study could benefit your soul or the souls of your loved ones. This information is important for Christian singles to know, who are looking for a life-long godly spouse to serve God with.
A divorced and/or remarried believer should not feel any less loved by God, even if the divorce and/or remarriage is not covered under the possible exception clause of Matthew 19:9. God often uses even the sinful disobedience of Christians to accomplish great good. (S. Michael Houdmann, What does the Bible say about divorce and remarriage, emphasis mine)In other words, heretics want us to believe an adulterous marriage is sinful disobedience (really CONTINOUS TENSE ADULTERY), but somehow great good can come out of it! [Where does the Bible say great good comes out of adultery. That's what the devil wants us to believe.] Houdmann is also saying there are Christian adulterers, which fits his doctrine and contradicts 1 Cor. 6:9,10! Should we just trash what the Bible says and believe the multitude of teachers, like S. Michael Houdmann, who declare such garbage? GOD FORBID!
(a) They are causing another to commit adultery through their teachings:
" 'But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble' " (Mal. 2:8).
Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. (Rev 2:20)(b) Such ministers would also be indited by Lk. 17:1-3:
"Jesus said to his disciples: 'Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. So watch yourselves.' "
"Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast--as you really are" (1 Cor. 5:6, 7).
"But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat" (1 Cor. 5:11).Ministry is not a popularity contest. A true shepherd is to preach the truth, and guard the sheep that have been entrusted to him, even if it is unpopular as it was for John the Baptist.
For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man (Rom. 7:2,3).
A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord (1 Cor. 7:39).Did you notice the similarities in each passage? It is repeated for emphasis: ...woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive.... The hushand and wife bond can change only by the death of the spouse, based on scripture. That's why Paul also wrote:
To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife (1 Cor. 7:10,11).
He answered, "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery." (Mark 10:11,12)
Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery (Luke 16:18).
IF the devil already has you in remarriage adultery (as multitudes of professing Christians are in), he already has you in an emotional bear trap with a heavy anchor chained to your neck and heart. YOU BETTER ESCAPE WHILE YOU STILL CAN. You're getting CLOSER TO HELL everyday. How are you loving your adulterous companion by taking him/her to hell with you through adultery? Your SOUL, and his, are too valuable. Reject what the devil has provided. Remember how forbidden human love brought Solomon into idolatry and a desire to thwart God's will by killing Jeroboam.
I'd like to share what happened to me when I was about 2 years old in the Lord at the age of 25. This was back in the '70s. A bunch of us young adults from church fellowshiped as a group. One of our number was a woman who was divorced. I was never married. One day, suddenly, I fell in love with her. I mean hard. I finally had to tell her how I felt about her. Then, she told me she felt the same about me!
At that time in my Christian walk, I [wrongly] held the common view that there were two grounds for a remarriage of a divorced person - adultery, based on how everyone I knew took Matthew 19:9; and abandonment of an unbelieving spouse as 1 Corinthians 7:15 was interpreted. Since this woman met both conditions, I felt spiritually free to pursue marriage with her.
My feelings of love for her possessed me every waking moment of every day. LIKE BEING DRUNK OR HIGH ALL DAY LONG. We either saw or phoned each other constantly. It was never enough for me. "My appetite grew on what it fed on." Except for the utter joy of the first few weeks of being saved (which joy is pure and on another plane), nothing ever had had, or ever would have, such an overwhelming effect on my emotions. David's first born son Amnon's feelings for Tamar his half-sister and mine were the same: "Sick with love." Except this woman and I never had relations like Amnon ...[raping] Tamar (2 Sam. 13)....
One night, after about a month of my involvement with her, I had a dream. I was driving with her next to me, my right arm around her. We were on the same road that we drove the night we confessed our feelings for one another. Behind us, the blinking traffic light that we had just passed under detached from the cables and flew up and hovered directly in front of my windshield. Its bright, red light kept blinking. "Stop. Stop. Stop." I woke up.
Its message was unmistakable: End your relationship immediately. I had no idea why though. She had scriptural grounds to be married to me [or so I thought]. Her unbelieving husband had left her and was remarried. She was free. As it soon turned out, the woman (mercifully, as I see it) broke things off with me in favor of another man. Like a thick rubber band stretched to the limit suddenly snapping back I was tormented with pangs of rejection equal in power to the delirious feelings of love I had had for her.
However when I prayed the Lord for help, I can almost attest to a shield passing over me under which I felt an instant, complete peace. I was astounded at that more than anything. It happened every time I asked Him for help. The Lord met those arrows with more powerful gifts of peace. In a short time, the arrows stopped altogether. The trial was over and I had grown in some grace and knowledge of the Lord.
But more needed to come: It was not till many years later I learned that these "exceptions to divorce and remarry" were groundless. I finally saw Jesus and Paul's "one-flesh until death" truth in the Word. The dream's urgent command to Stop I now fully understood: I was in a state of adultery of the heart, eyes and hands with another man's wife. One more step - the altar - ...unaware I was going "down to the chambers of death."
My conclusion was that it was a devil's trial in which he was allowed to excite my emotions to a high fever state (ala Amnon). He meant to end the fledgling teaching ministry I had been given along with my eternal soul. But God stepped in....
I give God all the credit and thanksgiving for having mercy on me, and for working patiently with me all this time to sanctify me by His truth and delivering me from the wicked one. Jesus' blessings to the reader, Stan (from New Jersey).
[FYI: God still speaks, at times, through dreams (Acts 2:17). Read about all the dreams in the Bible, including those from the devil (Deut. 13:1-5).]
Moreover, The Lord Jesus and his apostles knew all about King David and Bathsheba, yet they still taught as they did about divorce and adultery. There is nothing that can justify a divorce and remarriage, when the spouse is alive. Remember the law of marriage (Rom. 7:2,3), which parallels what Jesus taught.
Again, God would not hold the new husband accountable for adultery. He's doing a virtuous thing, marrying and providing for a divorced woman (David S. ______, The Disciple Making Minister, Ethnos Press, 2005, p. 128).Folks, are you repulsed by that as much as I am? The bible truth is, God will hold ANYONE accountable for his actions, including for adultery. God shows no partiality. It could never be virtuous to materially provide for another, while leading her in adultery. NEVER. Be sure ALL adulterers will be excluded from God's kingdom (1 Cor. 6:9,10; Eph. 5:5-7; Rev. 21:8; etc.). Do NOT be deceived.
I wanted to let you know how much your information on divorce and remarriage has meant to my salvation. My husband never stopped praying for me since we divorced 24 years ago. He didn't always understand the state of a divorced and remarried person as being in a constant state of adultery; but when he found your web page and read this, he contacted me to let me know what he read and now believed.
I didn't agree with him but the Holy Spirit let me know that it was truth. Long story short....I am in the process of getting the false marriage of 15 years nullified through the courts with the cooperation of the person who was in the adulterous relationship with me. We did not have any children, thank the Lord!
My husband and I are ready and willing to renew our vows as soon as we can legally accomplish this. I ask for your prayers that this be a witness to anyone who is considering marriage, divorce or entering into an adulterous relationship. May He bless your ministry.
Letter We Received: Been looking for this type of book [The Believer's Conditional Security] for years as it supports my doctrinal belief. Unfortunately, churches who don't teach "once saved, always saved" are very small and dying. Pick any church and announce this message, "Will all people who have been divorced and subsequently remarried please exit the door." There might not be too many left. My [former] pastor told me he remarried two divorced people because had he not done it, he would have lost four families.