The Ten Commandments

7–You Shall Not Commit Adultery

an article based on a sermon

by Jon Bowles*

given 28 July 2007

(Audio of original sermon)

The Seventh Commandment is very straightforward. Exodus 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery. As we read this commandment, it is important for us in God’s Church to understand that we are living in a time where this commandment is under more pressure than at any other time in history. This is largely because of the media today. Today, Satan can get to each of us through the world’s media in a way that was utterly impossible previously.

The current state in which we find ourselves regarding morality – including adultery, and the attitude towards adultery – can largely be traced back to World War I. Immorality mushroomed at that time. Standards eroded. World War II then saw the barriers to immorality weakened even more. There was an attitude of, “I may not be alive tomorrow. Better get it now, or not get it at all.”

But it was in the decade of the ’60’s that the rules of morality themselves were rewritten. During the time of the world wars, adultery was clearly seen as immoral. The rules were still there, but they were broken using the justification of the pressures people were subject to. In the ’60’s by contrast, there was an orchestrated attempt to attack and throw away the rulebook itself, specifically the Bible. This decade tried to rewrite the rules themselves by advocating “free love,” and it was this approach that then led to the amorality that we see today. We now have all around us the “New Morality” that Mr. Armstrong talked about when he was alive, which is basically that there are no rules. “Do whatever is right for you.” As long as you do not impinge on somebody else, whatever you do is completely and totally up to you.

In the Kingdom of God, not only will God’s rules of conduct be established on the earth, but also the very spirit of the law, the attitude, the approach. The New Covenant rulership in the Millennium is going to be rulership by Christ and His bride. What we are learning today as physical human beings within God’s Church should be teaching us, preparing us for that relationship.

As we have covered before in previous articles, the New Covenant deals largely with relationships and the laws that apply concerning those relationships. When you go back to the Old Testament and sort out the laws that apply today, the laws on relationships apply. The laws governing sacrifices and areas like the washings and ordinances do not apply. They are the “works of the law,” that were added due to transgression.

Therefore, the relationships that we in God’s Church are experiencing today, certainly within the marriage area, are teaching us things that will carry over into the future and will even train us for the relationship between Christ and the Church. Human beings in the Millennium will see this relationship and the true love that is within the Church. They will see the Queen ruling at that time: the Church, which will then be married to Christ.

God’s law is to be written on the very heart so that we have something there (not just a list of rules and regulations) that we can take forward into that future and use within that relationship between Christ and the Church. This “Way”, written on the heart, will then be taught in the world tomorrow and will establish the foundation for the very society. Where does such a society come from? It comes from families, from the family relationship. That is how each and every generation arises.

I would encourage everyone to re-read The Missing Dimension in Sex by Mr. Armstrong. The missing dimension mentioned in the book is “revelation from God.” It is vital for us in God’s Church – living within a society that has been forged on the immorality from World War I and World War II, then the “free love” of the ’60’s, resulting in the amorality of today – to learn this missing dimension, this God-breathed revelation found within scripture and apply it in marriage. This involves having the laws of God written on our hearts.

How are God’s laws written on our hearts? They are written by the love of God that is shed abroad in our hearts by the Spirit of God (Romans 5:5). The Seventh Commandment is not just a case of, “Do not commit adultery.” We must also put the love of God into marriage and, by extension, learn that way of love so that we can teach it in the future, and apply it in the future in the relationship between Christ and His Church.

There are six areas we will cover in looking at the Seventh Commandment.

The Letter and Spirit of the Law

The law itself states: Exodus 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery. However, in the subsequent laws that we find in Exodus 21-23, there are other areas that deal with relationships within this context. Be aware that when you are looking at these chapters, even though they were relationship issues, you are looking at the application of these laws to those people at that time.

For example, Exodus 21:7 And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do. The state of marriage at that time was not like it is today in the western world. It is more like what you will find today in certain African countries where there is a “bride price.” If you pay the bride price, you get a bride. It is almost like a transaction.

Exodus 21:8-11 If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her. (9) And if he have betrothed her unto his son [he has paid the bride price, and the girl has then become his son’s wife], he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters. (10) If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. (11) And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.

The command is one having to do with relationship issues, but in a time very different from anything we can imagine today. Nevertheless, the “letter of the law” did apply.

Exodus 22:16-17 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. (17) If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins [the bride price].

As I said, in certain African countries this command would be readily understood to a greater degree than it would be in the West.

Exodus 22:19 Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death.

This command, as well as others concerning sexual sins – the prohibition against homosexuality, for example – amplifies the basic commandment, “You shall not commit adultery.”

Another command that amplifies the Seventh Commandment is: Exodus 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

The law against covetousness was applied physically against any form of fraud. In other words, you do not work to defraud somebody in the sexual area. You do not work towards seducing somebody else’s wife or husband.

Christ specifically talks of the law regarding covetousness as a means of defrauding. Mark 10:19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. But Christ extends the law beyond the concept of someone actively working toward defrauding somebody of his wife and shows the attitude of adultery. Matthew 5:27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery [this is the basic law]: (28) But I [“But I, Christ, at this time”] say unto you [the disciples], That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

God’s laws must be written on the heart, governing our behavior – when we are watching television, when we pick up a newspaper, a magazine. What kind of books do we read? Do the women in God’s Church read romantic novels to get away from the reality of their marriages?

Often, dramatic action is needed to apply the spirit of the law. Christ goes on to say in Matthew 5:29: And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out [get it away from you], and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell [Gehenna].The application of this is to flee fornication. I Corinthians 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. If you find yourself in a particular position, you get out of that position quickly. Do not dally with it. Otherwise you will certainly break the spirit of the law, and you run the risk of, perhaps, breaking the law physically as well.

Matthew 5:30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell

We in God’s Church must not be telling dirty stories. We must not be watching pornography. In today’s society pornography is defined very differently from the way it was defined in the time of World War I and World War II, when there was censorship. The nudity that you find on page 3 of the Sun Newspaper in the U. K. would have been considered hard-core pornography in the days of the world wars. Today it is considered appropriate to put on the coffee table.

It is interesting to note that in Nigeria the only girls who are dressed in a western way are the prostitutes. They are recognized as prostitutes by their western dress. In the U. K. you walk down the street, and the girls are dressed like that. You go into the newsagents, and the pornography is on open display, unlike in the U. S.

The morality bar has been raised. The idea of pornography has become something that is more perverse than in the past, something that involves children, or bestiality, for example. We in God’s Church need to be aware of how much the morality bar has been raised as to what society considers pornography. We must not be involved with it in any way. We must not even become totally absorbed in romantic fiction, as that also can make us dissatisfied with our marriage.

Matthew 5:31-32 speaks concerning the binding nature of marriage: It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: (32) But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery... [within the Church].

In I Corinthians 7 this binding nature of marriage is amplified and clarified by the apostle Paul. He shows how the passage above is speaking specifically to Church members and then goes on to illustrate how the command should apply where you have a “mixed marriage,” where one spouse is in the Church and the other is not. Within the Church, with both spouses being led by the Spirit of God, both having “the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5), having the mind of love, there should be nothing and I mean nothing in a marriage that cannot be resolved. That is why Christ said, “whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication [for fraud at the time of marriage], causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

The command is very plain. Again, it is clarified by Paul in I Corinthians 7, talking specifically about Church members, about you and me. The law against adultery must be in our hearts. We are to be led by the very Spirit of God, having a different approach to everything, having that love shed abroad in our hearts, that love given to our spouses.

There is another aspect of this subject of adultery found in Jeremiah 3:6-10: The Eternal 1 said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot. (7) And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she [Israel] returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it. (8) And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce.. [This was a carnal marriage, a marriage with physical Israel. Therefore divorce was permitted in this case.] ..yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. (9) And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks. (10) And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the Eternal.

God, the One who became Jesus Christ, is applying the law of spiritual adultery where we turn away from God and to the way of Satan. As we go through this subject, we will find that the ideas and thoughts of Satan are what is at the heart and core of having the spirit of adultery in our minds and hearts.

The Purpose of Marriage

What is the purpose of marriage? Physically speaking, it is to assure, through stable families, a stable society.

Isaiah 57:1-4 The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. (2) He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness. (3) But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore. (4) Against whom do ye sport yourselves? against whom make ye a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue? are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood,

What is our current concept concerning “children of transgression,” where a woman bears a child out of wedlock? Our concept, as I said in the introduction, has been fashioned by World War I and World War II and the ’60’s; and that concept is wrong. We cannot have that concept, take it forward into the world tomorrow, and be able to teach this subject adequately and correctly in God’s Kingdom.

What do we find in the newspapers as regards the “seed of the adulterer and the whore”? A child born out of wedlock is referred to as a “love child,” as if all other children are not loved. Another term used is “disadvantaged children.” In other words, there is a single-parent family. How does God, the One who became Christ, refer to this? “The seed of the adulterer and the whore....are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood.

Why is God so scathing in this passage? What is so vitally wrong about a child that grows up in a single-parent family, for instance, where the parent has chosen it as a lifestyle? These scriptures give us a peek into a bygone age that in our society we do not really understand in the same way. We do not understand it in the way we need to understand it.

Hebrews 12:5-6 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: (6) For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth [spanks] every son whom he receiveth.

Today’s society is trying to ban spanking completely. Yet it is clear here that, if you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons. Hebrews 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

At the time this was written, it was unthinkable that a father would not spank his son if the son did something which was wrong, and would not receive guidance from him.

Hebrews 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

This is reflecting the same kind of thing that we read about in Isaiah 57. Yet in today’s society we are indoctrinated with a different view. That different view is that the father can almost be ignored – pushed to one side – and the mother is the one responsible for the child. This is not right. It must be father and mother in a stable relationship, bound together by marriage, that enables the children to have stability. Only then do you have strength and stability within society. This is the kind of society that must be formed, and is how the world must be put back on track in the millennial rule. We must learn that now

If we are imbibing in the ways of this world, then we must repent. Whether it is the way of the Catholic Church that says sex is evil or whether it is the way of the ’60’s that promotes free love for all, it makes no difference. Marriage is holy. It is the only stable, crucible from which the next generation can effectively be generated. In looking at the subject of adultery in a New Covenant context, we need to understand that repentance is necessary for each of us, because we live in a society that is going in a totally wrong direction in this area.

Ephesians 5:15-16 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, (16) Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

This is the problem of today. The days are evil.

Ephesians 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

We must fully respect what God’s word says. What is the missing dimension – in sex, or anything else for that matter? The “missing dimension” is revelation from God. This verse is saying that we are to submit ourselves one to another in the fear of God, according to that revelation.

The passage then begins to elaborate on that submission: Ephesians 5:22-24 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. (23) For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour [rescuer] of the body. (24) Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

This command goes down like a lead balloon in today’s society – yes, and even in the Church sometimes as well! Yet this is what the verse says and means. Wives are to be subject to their husbands in everything. That is the spiritual intent because the Church is submissive to Christ in everything. That is the reality, and it will be so for eternity. The physical type of this is the marriage relationship, and this is the way wives are commanded to relate to their husbands.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

But the submission is not just one-sided! Remember, it is the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit that must be applied within our marriage. Christ does whatever is necessary to make sure His bride is going to be ready and fit for her job.

Ephesians 5:26-28 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (27) That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. (28) So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

Christ sanctified and cleansed the Church “with the washing of water by the word.” We in God’s Church know that we are not to divorce. We husbands who have wives in the Church must realize that our wife is covered by the blood of Christ. Therefore, we can look at her as clean, as completely sinless. This is how Christ looks at His Church. “..a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies...” Husbands are to look on their wives in the same way in the Church. Do we husbands do that?

Ephesians 5:29-31 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: (30) For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. (31) 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.

We husbands need to converse with our wives, to share with our wives what is on our mind so that we are “one flesh” and one mind.

Ephesians 5:32-33 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church [looking forward to the future time when the Queen, the Church, will rule with Christ in the Millennium]. (33) Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence [have the right respect towards] her husband.

The spiritual purpose of marriage is clearly laid out in these scriptures. It behooves all of us to recognize this purpose, because we are going to be teaching it, the attitude and the frame of mind, in God’s Kingdom.

The Age of Noah

As we discussed, today’s society has been defined by the generations of World War I, World War II, and the ’60’s; but the problems began much earlier. To begin at the true beginning, we need to return all the way back to the time of Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve believed Satan. They did not believe God when He said, “Of all the trees in the garden you may freely eat, but not the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, because when you eat from it, dying you will die. At the point you eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, then you begin the process of death.” Adam and Eve took it upon themselves to choose what they were going to do, what they were going to eat, what they were not going to eat -- and the process very much involved what they decided to "eat" mentally! They believed Satan’s word on the subject. What was the result?

Genesis 3:7-8 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. (8) And they heard the voice of the Eternal God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Eternal God amongst the trees of the garden.

Genesis 3:10-11 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. (11) And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked?2 Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

Who told them they were naked? It was Satan. Satan had also told them that if they ate from the forbidden tree, they would not surely die, that they were an immortal soul, and that if they took of the tree, they would have the same kind of powers as God. But the passage also implies that he had undermined various other instructions God had previously given, particularly those regarding sex and marriage, and the result was the shame that they both felt.

But there was more: Adam and Eve had also committed spiritual adultery. They believed Satan over their Creator's Word. What about in the days of Noah? Matthew 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark. The implication is that they were marrying and divorcing wrongly. They were breeding, if you like, in a wrong way.

Genesis 6:1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,

The preceding chapter is an inset chapter and is described in verse one as "the book of the genealogy of Adam". Chapter 6 should therefore be taken as a continuation from chapter 4:26. Viewed without the inset, it would read: 4:26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Eternal. 6:1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, (2) That the sons of God [the ones that were calling themselves by the name of the Eternal] saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

There was intermarriage. There was some kind of confusion, some breeding that was wrong. Whatever it was that was going on was not the way God specified. Adam and Eve had believed Satan. They committed spiritual adultery, and from that spiritual adultery flowed the death of their son Abel at the hands of their son Cain. You can imagine the contention that was in the family, the fighting of the parents. It was no longer what God designed -- a loving crucible in which the next generation can form.

Genesis 6:3-4 And the Eternal said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. (4) There were giants [Hebrew: nephyl, basically meaning a strong one, one who causes one to fall down before, worshipping the wrong source] in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them [from this wrong breeding], the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

Genesis 6:9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect [upright] in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

We just read how it was talking about breeding, and here it is saying that Noah was “perfect in his generations.”

Genesis 6:10-12 And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth [again, talking about generations, Noah’s progeny]. (11) The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. (12) And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

The end time is a similar kind of time. Today we have clones being made, and I would not be surprised if there are not cloned human beings already in laboratories somewhere. We have genetic engineering being done on plants and animals. Before that there was irradiation of seed by gamma rays, not as easily controlled as genetic engineering, but still an attempt to change the genetics of plants to try to increase, for example, gluten in wheat (the result probably being all the problems that we are having with wheat today – allergies, food intolerance, etc.).

As in Noah’s day, it seems we are heading toward a time when all flesh on the earth is going to be polluted. Noah was kept separate. He was perfect in his generations. But the entirety of the world, all flesh, was becoming corrupted at that time. But where did this corruption come from? Where were the ideas originating from? Not only was there a flood at that time, but it appears there was a spirit source restrained at that time as well, and that source was Satan and the demons.

I Peter 3:18-20 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened [made alive] by the Spirit: (19) By which also he [Christ] went and preached unto the spirits in prison; (20) Which sometime were disobedient [notice, they had been disobedient], when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

These spirits were disobedient going way back as well. You can bracket off the beginning of verse 20, “Which sometime were disobedient,” looking at the disobedience long ago when the demons rebelled against God and were cast down to the earth. There is indication as well that at the time of Noah, these disobedient spirits were active, and then they were restrained and were preached to during the time of Noah by the One who became Christ (I Peter 3). These spirits were involved with the corruption of all flesh. It was both a spiritual and a physical corruption.

It is spiritual adultery that takes place first, where one rejects the knowledge of God, rejects the way things are, rejects the genetics that are within the world, for example. You decide, “We’re going to do better. We’re going to manipulate and change genetics. We’re going to take some genes from a jellyfish and shove them into a tomato. We’re going to do whatever we want to do. We will not recognize that there is a Creator God who made things the way they are today for a purpose, and that we had better be under that purpose.”

Ancient Israel

During the time of Ancient Israel, spiritual adultery took place as well. Israel went away from God; and that then led to physical adultery.

Leviticus 18:1-5 And the Eternal spake unto Moses, saying, (2) Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am the Eternal your God. (3) After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances. (4) Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the Eternal your God. (5) Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the Eternal.

Leviticus 18:25 And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.

Notice what this verse says happens. The land itself vomits out her inhabitants. Remember the sins of the Amorites were “not yet full” during the time of Abram (Genesis 15:16). This indicates that the process takes a certain time -- but once "full", the inevitable result will follow. God's Laws are living Laws!

Leviticus 18:26 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you:

If you look at what these abominations are, you will find that they are sexual abominations. Most of them are sexually oriented.

Leviticus 18:27-30 (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;) (28) That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you. (29) For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people. (30) Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the Eternal your God.

The land actually spued out its inhabitants. The instruction from God, the One who became Jesus Christ, was for Israel not to go down that route (of sexual abominations) or else they would be expelled from the land also. He had just addressed incest, adultery, lying with a menstrual woman, and homosexuality in the preceding verses.

Today we find ourselves in a society that is amoral. There is no censorship being applied to the depravity of man. The worst sin you can commit is to criticize somebody else for whatever they happen to be doing. For this reason Jeremiah 5 is not just talking about the time in which it was written. It seems far more applicable to the time we find ourselves in today -- a time for which this passage of scripture seems to have been specifically preserved.

Jeremiah 5:7 How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses.

One of the greatest businesses on the Internet today is that of pornography and the sex industry. Around our western nations today, they truly “assemble themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses.” In your own home you can plug in your computer, get on the Internet, and assemble yourself in a harlot’s house.

Jeremiah 5:8-9 They were as fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbour’s wife. (9) Shall I not visit for these things? saith the Eternal: and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?

The land spued out the people of Canaan. The land spued out the nation of Israel and the nation of Judah, and today we find ourselves doing the same things they did and more. Is it any wonder that the land will spue us out as well? There are lessons to be learned from Ancient Israel.

The Church

My daughter was explaining for the first time the facts of life to my grandson. His reaction was one of open-mouthed amazement. “You mean you can actually create another human being?”

Procreation is amazing. The fact that we can make something like us, not just an animal that looks like us, that behaves with instinct like Nebuchadnezzar did when he was in the field scrabbling for roots (Daniel 4:32), but a thinking, cognizant individual like us, who thinks in a similar way, who has the potential of becoming the very son of God is truly amazing.

Satan cannot reproduce, and it must rile him greatly. As a result, the mindset today is either “sex is evil, therefore, you do not debase yourself with something so sordid and dirty,” or, “sex is so wonderful you can have it with whomever you want, however you want, whenever you want.” Both extremes are wrong as far as God is concerned.

God has given us sex and marriage as the most wonderful blessing. Satan wants to destroy that. We need to understand that a large part of Satan’s attack on God’s Church is directed specifically at our attitude of mind, our character. Again, God’s laws must be in the heart. The law against adultery must be in the heart. Satan is out to destroy our character, including the right approach towards marriage and sex, so that we cannot teach that right approach in the future. We must all examine our mindset in this area to make sure that we get our minds back on track, back to God’s standard.

Something that can assist us when conducting this examination, is to go back and read Mr. Armstrong’s book, The Missing Dimension in Sex. But don't just concentrate on the latter chapters, read it all carefully, because the beginning chapters in particular, are the ones that explain the "missing dimension" -- the foundation of God’s revealed knowledge about the subject.

When we really understand the facts of life, it is truly amazing. It pictures being born again literally as a son and daughter of God. Astounding! Yet Satan’s idea is either to pervert sex or to say it is evil.

The position we find ourselves in today is similar to that of the Church in Corinth. So widely known was the immorality of the City of Corinth, even within the Gentile world, that to “corinthianize” was to debauch. In chapters 1-4 of I Corinthians Paul reiterates, cements down, his authority as their apostle. He then addresses a problem within the Church that was coming out of this attitude of mind that was in Corinth. The Church at Corinth was accepting things that literally should not be accepted. We, living in today’s amoral society, are very similar to this in certain respects, because we sometimes accept things that should not be accepted as well.

I Corinthians 5:1-2 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles [even the Gentiles would balk at this], that one should have his father’s wife. (2) And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.

The Corinthian Church’s attitude of mind, their approach, was totally wrong. It was permissive -- reflecting the decadent society in which they lived. They were not mourning. They did not see the need to put this person out of the Church.

I Corinthians 5:9-13 I wrote unto you in an epistle [not a canonized epistle, but another epistle Paul had written which we do not have today] not to company with fornicators: (10) Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. (11) But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat [you do not put up with it]. (12) For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? (13) But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

The Church of God at Corinth was to put away this individual. Paul, according to the power, the responsibility, and authority that he had (I Corinthians 4:15) commanded them to do this to get the Church sorted out. However, where did these ideas within the Corinthian Church come from? They came out of society, yes, but what was generating the idea that you can allow someone who had taken his father’s wife, to stay within the Church?

In II Corinthians we see again the spiritual adultery that takes place that leads to attitudes of mind imbibed from the world and, therefore, to physical adultery. II Corinthians 11:1-5 Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. [Paul being sarcastic.] (2) For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. (3) But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted [“to be shriveled and ruined,” in the original Greek] from the simplicity that is in Christ. (4) For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. (5) For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.

Certain false individuals were in the Church or had gained access to the Church, bringing with them spiritual adultery. Paul was intent on presenting the Church “as a chaste virgin to Christ,” but he was being subverted by their attitude.

II Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. (14) And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (15) Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Whatever and however these false apostles were teaching led the Church to tolerate this corrupt attitude of mind. Notice it starts with spiritual adultery, dabbling with ideas and concepts instead of holding on to what they had been taught by Paul, the apostle, the “one sent” to them.

As Paul said, “For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” Why? Because you are deceived by the serpent. Paul was trying to present them a chaste virgin to Christ, without spiritual adultery.

Do we in God’s Church today allow things into our minds that we would not have years ago, say in the ’50’s or ’60’s? What do we allow ourselves to view today on TV or on the Internet? If Jesus Christ was sitting beside us, would we view the same things? That is the acid test. Would we read aloud to Christ, for example, the romantic novel we are reading and say aloud what is going through our minds when we are reading it? Do we tolerate things today that we should not? The spirit of adultery is alive and well within society today. If it is in society, it can get into God’s Church. It starts with spiritual adultery, with the attitude of mind of dabbling with certain ideas that lead to an acceptance of the ideas of the world.

For us in God’s Church, it is not just a case of not committing adultery, physically or mentally. It is also a case of loving our spouses. It is that love of God shed abroad in our hearts by God’s Holy Spirit that is in the marriage from both spouses. That is what is necessary.

We just talked about physical pornography, checking whether what we are watching we would continue to watch if Christ were sitting beside us. But do we commit “spiritual pornography”? Do we dabble in spiritual things? There is a plethora of church organizations in the world today. As Paul said, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.” There are scores of them today. Do we engage in “spiritual pornography” by dabbling with what we know are deviant ideas?

I have had some of these deviant ideas brought to me, such as Satan being able to be saved and converted, for example. Where are these ideas coming from?

Matthew 24:49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;

It is talking of a church at the end time that is neither hot nor cold. It dabbles in things that are of the world and yet holds on to some things that it was taught. It is not wholehearted. It does not have the pure word of God, but a corrupted word, a confused word. That is the meaning of the word “Babylon” and “Babel.” It is a confused, corrupted word.

What does this “Babel,” this confusion of language, result in? Revelation 17:5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

It is not talking about harlots physically, but harlots spiritually. Spiritual harlot daughters come from the corruption of this word.

Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

We are commanded to get out of this adulterous system with these adulterous ideas. As I said, these ideas range from the two extremes of sex is evil to sex outside marriage with whomever you want, whenever you want, however you want.

Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

The individuals who will have the responsibility to teach in the world tomorrow, reigning with Christ for a thousand years, have not worshiped the beast, have not worshiped this world we are in today nor the European society that will come. They have nothing to do with the world’s system, but, instead, have the missing dimension in knowledge, which is revealed knowledge from God. They, under Christ, will implement, train, and teach people to have the love of God shed abroad by the very Spirit of God and to apply that in marriage. That is the foundation of the world tomorrow. The Church today must be rooted on that, not deceived by false apostles, false ministers, false brethren -- with alien ideas.

The Millennium

The following verses in Proverbs are worth noting for future study regarding adultery: Proverbs 2:10-22 (talks about “strange women” both spiritually and physically), Proverbs 5:15-20, Proverbs 6:23-37, and Proverbs 7.

In the Millennium the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit that is poured out in our hearts today, will be poured out “upon all flesh.” Joel 2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:

What will be the effect of God’s Spirit poured out on all flesh?

Isaiah 32:1 Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.

Isaiah 32:14-17 Because the palaces shall be forsaken; the multitude of the city shall be left; the forts and towers shall be for dens for ever, a joy of wild asses, a pasture of flocks; (15) Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. (16) Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. (17) And the work of righteousness shall be peace... and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.

The result of adultery within the world is chaos. It results in broken homes and damaged families. The term “disadvantaged children” is largely correct. Their parent's conduct has placed them at a disadvantage. But just as there is a source of this chaos, so there is a source that produces peace and happiness with stable families. We in God’s Church are destined to lead people to that True Source -- and teach this right way to the generation left at the start of the Millennium.

Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.

The “work of righteousness” will include teaching about the right use of marriage and the right use of sex within marriage. We may be influenced by things in today’s society, but that is something all of us must overcome.

Isaiah 32:18 And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;

You must have a stable home life for this to be the case. The stability within the family, within the marriage, has to be there for these words to be true. Truth and faithfulness within marriage are therefore absolutely essential.

Isaiah 51:1 Hearken [Listen!] to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Eternal...

Isaiah 51:7 Hearken [Listen!] unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law...

Isaiah 51:11 Therefore the redeemed of the Eternal shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.

This is the hope for the future – everlasting joy. The righteousness spoken of – “ye that follow after righteousness” – is the physical and the spiritual side of “Do not commit adultery” and the faithfulness that needs to be in the marriage relationship.

Isaiah 51:16 And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people.

This is why we learn – why God, through Mr. Armstrong, has given us the understanding from scripture – so that we eventually "may plant the heavens" in the future. But before that, in the Millennium, we must first "lay the foundations of the earth." And probably the most major "foundation of the earth," humanly speaking, is the family structure, the unity of marriage between husband and wife and their children. That is the building block of a stable society. This crucial area must be put right in the world tomorrow. This is why we in God’s Church have to learn it ourselves today, a fact that is true in whatever status we find ourselves. It is also true, even though the society is going in the opposite direction, with a plethora of alien ideas -- where "anything goes.

Isaiah 54:7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee [Israel]; but with great mercies will I gather thee.

Isaiah 54:10-11 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the [Eternal] that hath mercy on thee. (11) O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.

Society today is indeed afflicted, “tossed with tempest and not comforted.” It has lost even the little bit of morality it had. It is amoral. God will lay the foundations of the earth. That is why God’s word has been given to us. We do not have this knowledge about adultery and the spiritual implications just for our own benefit. The knowledge is there so that we can teach it.

Isaiah 54:12 And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. (13) And all thy children shall be taught of the [Eternal]; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

Who is going to do the teaching? It should be you and me, those within the Church of God. What will be the result of that teaching? "Great shall be the peace of thy children." What will they be taught? They will be taught faithfulness towards God and faithfulness toward their spouse -- vital parts of the moral foundation of the millennial rule and of the millennial society.

We need to make sure that we learn this fidelity, this faithfulness now, that we are, indeed, led by the love of God shed abroad in our hearts and that we keep in contact with God so that that is the case. The reason for this is so that we can teach. "All thy children shall be taught of the Eternal." That is our job, to teach the Eternal’s way, to teach the missing dimension, the revelation from God. And the result of this teaching? -- "Great shall be the peace of thy children."


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Transcribed in article form by KA. Edited by JB.
1
“LORD” replaced by “Eternal” our edit throughout.
2
Emphasis ours throughout.