"Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously. Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied Him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and He delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgement?" (Malachi 2:1417)
If God hates putting away (divorce), why do His people continue divorcing their mates? The twisting of the Word of God is seen in these last days and the sin of ADULTERY is spewed across the land. Misconceptions on the part of many ministers of the Gospel regarding Matthew 19:312 and other scriptures have caused havoc in the church which are
largely responsible for the downfall of the body of Christ in America. Let us briefly examine these issues.
The Pharisees' purpose in coming to Jesus in Matthew 19:3 was to tempt him or trick him by saying, "Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for any cause?" Jewish men were haphazardly divorcing or putting away their wives for any reason at all. The women were not permitted to put away their husbands, but, if a woman spilled the food or talked too loudly he could divorce her.1 MOSES TRIED TO PREVENT THIS ADULTEROUS MADNESS by issuing a BILL OF DIVORCEMENT or annulment IF PROOF OF PRIOR SEXUAL INVOLVEMENT TO THE MARRIAGE WAS GIVEN. He was here also trying to protect the wife, as well as keep Israel clean from diseases caused by promiscuity. The blood line must be pure. The word for "fornication" is "Pornea" (porneia) in Greek, and "ervat devar"
(RBD TWRE) in Hebrew, which means unclean thing.
Under Jewish law, after the final marriage vows were made and the sexual act consummated, the husband had to bring proof of his bride's virginity to her father. A cloth showing the blood from the breaking of her hymen was said proof given. (See Deut. 22:13-21)
1 Jesus and Divorce Heth and Wenham p. 46, para. 2 Nelson, 1984
In Jewish society in Biblical days, the term "HUSBAND" and "WIFE" was used for ENGAGED COUPLES as well as MARRIED COUPLES. An engaged couple in that society could not separate without getting a legal divorce. (See Matthew 1:18-20.) "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was ESPOUSED to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph, her HUSBAND, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to PUT HER AWAY privately. . But while he thought on these things, behold the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary, thy WIFE, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost."
Under the law, "If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman, so shalt thou put away evil from Israel." (Deut. 22:22) The woman found in adultery herein was to be stoned to death. Marital unfaithfulness was not grounds for a divorce under the Mosaic ruling, but death. Now Jesus separates the issue of PORNEA or "FORNICATION" (sexual uncleanness before marriage) and points out the absolutes on a marriage COVENANT relationship.
"And he answered and said unto them, 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 no man put asunder." (Matt.19:46)
What purpose had Moses to issue such a bill of divorcement? Jesus points the purpose out in Matthew 19:8, "Moses because of the HARDNESS OF YOUR HEARTS suffered you to put away your wives BUT FROM THE BEGINNING IT WAS NOT SO." Jesus further elaborates on the holy covenant of marriage in Matthew 19:9 by explaining, "And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, (except it be for fornication,) and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery."
The thing to note here is that even the rejected innocent party commits adultery, and causes another to commit adultery if he or she remarries. In other words, the man or woman who has been left behind, after the spouse asks for a divorce, cannot remarry under judgement of the sin of adultery. Jesus gives no loopholes, nor does he excuse in any way the sinfulness of remarriage.
Notice the profound emotional reaction of the disciples, "If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry." (Matt.19:10) They were shocked because this teaching was radical, and not what they were accustomed to hearing. The Phari
sees could stone a woman, but they themselves were marrying and remarrying, issuing their bills of divorcement.
Jesus gives an answer to His shocked disciples with a blatant reply... "All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given." (Matt. 19:11) In other words, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." (Rev.3:6) Jesus further elaborates upon the kind of life-style that one needs for the repentance of remarriage... "For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves
"eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it." (Matt.19:12)
Jesus is saying the very same thing today. This message is still radical when it should have been burned into our hearts by now. We have had His Word for almost 2000 years.
Why, in this day with the completed written Word before us, should we be confused and not see the symbol of the unity between God and man? Paul speaks of this symbolism when he says, "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. THIS IS A GREAT MYSTERY: BUT I SPEAK CONCERNING CHRIST AND THE CHURCH" (Eph.5:3132). Hence, we see why GOD
HATES DIVORCE. MARRIAGE IS THE SYMBOL OF THE HOLY COVENANT THAT GOD HAS WITH MAN.
God has shown us in the books of Hosea and Jeremiah that, although Israel played the harlot, HE IS MARRIED TO THEM AND WANTS THEIR RETURN. "Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel: for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood." (Hosea 4:12) "Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning, and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth." (Hosea 6:13) "They say, If a man put away his wife, and she goeth from him, and become another man's, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou has played the harlot with many lovers; yet RETURN AGAIN to me, saith the Lord." (Jer.3:1) God expects the repentant to come back for cleansing under his blood. He expects him to perform his vow. Hosea had to receive his wife back even though she was out committing adultery. God was showing
us that His desire is for us to forgive. The word "divorce" comes forth out of one's mouth because of selfrighteous and carnal spirits.
We must recognize that Mark and Luke did not deal with the Mosaic bill of divorcement as Matthew did, because they were addressing the Gentiles. Matthew was addressing the Jews. (See Mark 10:212 and Luke 16:18) We also see that Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 7, gives no "loopholes" whatsoever. He brings out the unconditional love strongly in verse 14. "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." God teaches us that the "young women are to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet (chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." (Tit.2:45)
Today, GOD'S WORD IS BEING BLASPHEMED by "lying loopholes". Mark, Luke and Paul never spoke of exceptions for remarriage outside of the death of the spouse. (Rom. 7:2-3)
"Thou hast despised mine holy things, and has profaned my sabbaths. In thee are men that carry tales to shed blood: and in thee they eat upon the mountains: in the midst of thee they commit lewdness... And one hath committed abomination with
his neighbor's wife; and another hath lewdly defiled his daughter in law; and another in thee hath humbled his sister, and his father's daughter." (Ezek. 22:8,9,11)
There was a minister who just would not tell his wife that he loved her, even though she agreed to return to him if he would. He blamed her for desertion and used the scripture in 1 Cor. 7:15, ".. a brother or sister is not under bondage...". He was in delusion not to see the adultery in his own heart, in his refusal to love. Had he said yes to loving her and called upon God's love for his wife, he would have learned what Calvary love was all about. AGAPE (unconditional) LOVE IS THE ONLY ROUTE HOME TO JESUS. This pastor goes on preaching the cross and doesn't live it. He sets an unholy standard for the church to follow, as do many ministers today. So, the wolf continues to devour the sheep.
There are many books encouraging this selfrighteous attitude. These books on remarriage sound so convincing. They present intellectual arguments which are treason to God's Holy Word! "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." (2 Tim. 4:34)
"Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." (Heb. 13:4)
The Lord woke me up one morning to talk about the way His people are defiling the marriage bed. He told me to speak about repentance now. He shows me that a drunkard must no longer take alcohol into his body, nor a drug addict, drugs. An ADULTERER MUST NO LONGER DEFILE THE MARRIAGE BED WITH ANOTHER ONE'S SPOUSE. They must openly REPENT. This, and only this repentance, can bring about the blood covering of the Lamb for soul cleansing. Those with children, who did not understand this teaching or have been misguided, may opt to parent side by side, if possible, as brother and sister or separate completely. Fathers are still responsible for the physical and spiritual support of the children. Those who do will be instruments in God's hands to bring forth repentance in others and will be blessed. This could bring back some order in the Church and country, if well heeded. To leave the bed of adultery is God's directive and HIS WORD WILL JUDGE IN THE END!