"What Is the Simple Truth About Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage"

BJ Clarke

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Notes on popular sermons delivered once a week.


42 Responses

  1. Those who keep a part of the law (Moses's precept of divorce and remarriage) are indebted to the law and must keep all of the law regardless if Christ has fulfilled it or not. This includes moving to Israel and rebuilding the temple. I choose to follow Christ's commands.

  2. I been looking for his help clinic for those that follow his advice and scriptural understandings. So far nothing. To preach splitting families apart then just walking away is only half of the job. So get busy preacher and start helping those you advise. I know your just telling them what the bible say it's not really you. Never have I seen one of these preachers give a help line for those that follow their teachings. Here is the end result of this sermon, more broken families, newly divorced trying to break up their first spouses family, more blended homes (the children have to go somewhere ) right, possibly putting an abusive spouse back in a home, by the way where do the children go? Please preach a sermon on what would be the most correct way to handle that and take all possible scenarios into account (I'm sure you can find a bible verse for that). Does this sound harsh or just truthful. Remember his words I know this is hard. Really do you?

  3. Since no where in the scriptures does it tell remarried people to divorce to repent it is only one's opinion of scriptural understanding that would direct them to commit this action. Christ came and openly said he did not come to change the law but to fulfill the law. Some think this means the law is dead. The word fulfill means to complete one's obligation and it is through Christ our obligations are fulfilled. To put Jesus in discord with Moses would make the first five books of the bible suspect and as we all know God is holy and does not change. Quite clearly deuteronomy 24 states remarried are not to return to their first spouse and the only way this could happen is if there was a effect divorce and remarriage. This is not up for argument it is clearly written. The only thing left is do you accept these scriptures. To call someone a heretic because they understand scripture differently than you clearly shows a prideful attitude and heart. Bottom line no one should give life changing advice to people on YouTube. Put your pride away and urge those in need to seek qualified help.

  4. I love how people look at this and think if they follow this rule they can earn their way into heaven. What then was the point of the cross? Why did Jesus die, if anybody could earn their salvation this way?

  5. Jesus stated it is adultery to look at someone with lust. Jesus never stated the marital status of the person looking with lust. So even single people could be committing this form of adultery. Not the traditional thought of adultery but adultery none the less according to Jesus. So could we then securely say that adultery is any deviation of one man one woman for life? To anyone throwing stones refer to the above and see if you have met the criteria of adulterer. Did the stone suddenly get heavier? Now the term one flesh many assume it is upon consumation. How about if you are not married? Have you become one flesh, just committed adultery, fornicate, or possibly all of the above. How does a couple become one flesh? You make vows and suddenly you are one flesh? One flesh would certainly make it impossible to separate or could one flesh mean when the couple have children? Biology would certainly bear out the latter. Would it not be very possible an unmarried couple that has children are one flesh? If one were to state that all sexual contact constitutes one flesh would they not be then married to their first mate? What if they had more than one partner would they be polygamous and most certainly adulterous? No one says anything about never officially married that may fall into one of the one flesh categories and decides to get married. Must be okay to be an adulterer, fornicators, polygamous just so you didn't make it official. Now comes a person from a failed marriage and any chance of having another relationship is adultery and perpetual. They can't repent and move forward after their sins have been forgiven and must wait till their eggs are unscrambled. Interesting. Now a divorced person gets married again and is informed they are in a adulterous marriage. They choose to listen to possibly previous adulterers and get divorced again. Wait a minute some of them are possibly one flesh married and then got married making them adulterous polygamous and in judgement of someone who officially divorced. Interesting how complicated it gets when you can't repent and move on.

  6. You close to it but you really don't know what you're talking about would you close we got to talkin about a married woman cannot commit fornication she commits adultery now that means the woman that is married commits adultery a woman that unmarried commits fornication learn the difference

  7. The Pharisees posed a legal question to Jesus (Matthew 19:3. Mark 10:2). Instead of getting caught up in the legal argument of that time, Jesus circumvented that argument by appealing to how it was suppose to be. He appealed to God’s creative design for marriage (Matthew 19:4-6, 8b). Ideally and by God’s design marriage was to be lifelong, realistically (because of hard hearts) it was allowed to prematurely end. Accepting the tension that creates is part of understanding this issue.

    Jesus words were applicable to whom He was speaking. He was speaking to His covenant people Israel. When contextually understood He was conveying to them the inadvertent consequence of the divorce concession. This He did to dissuade them from putting away their wives. When Jesus speaks to divorce and remarriage He is speaking of them as effective events (as all biblical writers do). The answer Jesus gave to the Pharisees question (Matthew 19:3, Mark 10:2) was derived from God’s original creative design for marriage (Matthew 19:4-6,8b), not the law of Moses.

    We should understand Moses and Jesus congruous, not as one opposed to the other. Jesus’ teaching on this issue is pointing out to His covenant people that allowing divorce was not without it’s casualty. Allowing marriages to end violates (in principle) God’s lifelong creative design. Moses allowed divorce primarily because of women caught up in domestic conflict, it was a mercy for them. Subsequently he didn’t force them into a life of singleness because they were put away, he allowed them to remarry. Having a husband allowed them to have the provisions they would need, so remarriage was a gracious concession also (Deut. 24:4).

    It’s imperative we understand that Jesus is not speaking negatively against divorce as a concession, but rather negatively about the reason divorce needed to be conceded. The concession itself was not a mistake on Moses part as some suggest. Jesus was not criticizing Moses, He was being critical of that which prompted the need for the concession. Jesus blatantly reveal to the Pharisees that the reason for the concession was an accommodation of Israel’s hard heart (Matthew 19:8). Hard hearts ultimately were the cause of marriages being terminated which in turn caused the exclusivity of the one-flesh union to be transgressed. This causes the adultery the way Jesus described.

    Always read God’s Word with the understanding that Moses didn’t contradict Jesus or Jesus didn’t contradict Paul. Read God’s Word with a congruous understanding of all who spoke to this issue. Both Jesus and Paul gave extenuating circumstances when they spoke to this issue. Jesus as He addressed His covenant people Israel told them “except for fornication” (Matthew 19:9) which is a comprehensive word for illicit sex. Paul speaking to the Church stated that a believer is not under bondage if the unbelieving spouse repudiates the marriage (1 Cor. 7:15). Paul addressed different circumstances throughout chapter 7. He didn’t give a one size fits all conclusion for every situation. Verses 10 and 11 address a believer married to a believer.

    Paul then has a change of address in verse 12 (something others conveniently leave out). There he speaks to a situation were a believer is or was married to an unbeliever. If an unbeliever repudiates the marriage, the believer is no longer under bondage. “no longer under bondage” is an explicit phrase the speaks of emancipation. They are free from former obligations. Don’t let anyone convince you that Paul gave a “one size fits all” conclusion in verses 10 and 11 when in fact he spoke to different situations.

  8. Who gets to decide? Jesus. Jesus said "I have come not to change the law, but to fulfill it". (Fulfill means to complete or end something) Then he said he came to give us a new Covenant.. Divorce is permissible. Re-marriage is not. You do not need Psalms or the OT or Paul, for that matter, to find the answer to questions about anything. Read the Gospels. It really is all in the Gospels. When someone starts going on about Old Testament teaching, I immediately turn them off. Like I'm doing right now.

  9. You cannot make up terms to a contract (Marriage) that you are not a party to. Go and read what you actually agreed to. I guarantee it was not what all of you are claiming. If that was the case you would not have a state marriage license….I have never seen such. Anyone making such a claim show it to me otherwise keep it moving.

  10. I understand that you feel that you are being compassionate toward those who are in this situation, one that I was also in for 15 years, but you are not telling people what they need to hear when it comes to covenants with God and teaching falsely. The damage is being done by giving false hope for remarriage after a divorce which is a 500 year old false gospel that was not practiced in the first 1500 years within any church. Biblical grounds for remarriage after a divorce is a lie and total nonsense that is settng people up and keeping them from inheriting the kingdom of heaven. Two becomming one-flesh is more than an "intention" or "idea", but covenants with God are permanent until death. Ok…answer this…does Jesus not say in Matthew 5:32 "That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery?" What is so difficult for most people to understand about this scripture? The woman in this case is not guilty of fornication during Jewish betrothal (which is the Mosaic Law that is clearly outlined in Deuteronomy 22:13-21), but is in danger of comitting adultery with another man because she is now divorced . Any pastor or teacher should know that Matthew was written to the Jews (Romans 1:16), and is the first of the synoptic gospels with over 20 specific characteristics that speak directly to a Jewish audience. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees that were preaching like this video and who believe that hardness of hearts that caused divorce and remarriage was ok. Jesus reaffirms the one-flesh covenant when he says to the Pharisees "Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so" (Matthew 19:4-8). More proof that this video is in error is by teaching from the Old Covenant Law regarding David when Jesus addresses the Pharisees in Luke 16 as seen here: "And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail. Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery" (Luke 16:14-18). Jesus clearly is telling the Pharisees that the Law and the prophets were until John the Baptist began preaching the coming of the kingdom. Preaching on divorce and remarriage from the Old Covenant is serious error because it denies the authority of Christ through the New Covenant. This video is mocking the scriptures and scoffing at those who are following the scriptures and not man's interpretation. To further prove this is teaching falsely is that it also takes 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 out of context in an attempt to apply it to divorce and remarriage when the entire chapter of 2 Corinthians 6 is about ministry from beginning to end. What is not being made clear is that Paul already dealt with the topic of divorce and remarriage in his first letter to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 7 and would  not have repeated this in a chapter about ministry. We need to divide the word and allow it to affirm other scriptures but some either do not yet know that 2 Corinthians 6 is speaking specifically about ministry or deliberately ignore it in order to justify remarriage after a divorce. It should be simple but we have teachers like in this video sowing confusion and preaching to itchy ears. Another proof that some are teaching falsely is by telling you that 1 Corinthians 7:15 disolves a one-flesh covenant but is not telling you that Jesus is speaking through Paul when he says "not I but the Lord" when he commands the departing spouse to "remain unmarried or else be reconciled" just four scriptures above in 1 Corinthians 7:11. This is literally attempting to teach that Paul overruled Christ and says that the brother or sister is no longer "bound", but that is not what the actual scripture says. Here is the actual scripture, "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 Corinthians 7:15). The phrase "not under bondage" means slavery to sin against God by force with an unbelieving spouse, not a release from the one-flesh covenant as this teaching suggests. The word bondage always refers to slavery not marriage. The Word is clear. Matthew is written to the Jews first and was speaking on the Jewish betrothal found in Deuteronomy 22:13-21, and clearly proves Luke 16:16 true in John 8:11 by forgiving the adulteress. By telling her to sin no more he is telling her to repent and return to her covenant husband just as God commanded Hosea to take back Gomer. The matter of being equally yoked in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 is regarding ministry, not marriage. This is easily proven by 1 Corinthians 7:12-14 where the unbeliever accepts that the believing spouse has found faith in God but wishes to remain and not hinder their beliefs. Many also falsely use the woman at the well as an excuse to remarry but this is easily explained by Matthew 22:23-28, where Jesus is being told of a similar situation where a widow marries seven brothers, each after the previous brother dies. This both legitimizes and reaffirms the one-flesh covenant as well as the nature of Jesus's acknowledgement of the five husbands of the Samaritan woman, as well as the illegitimacy of the 6th man. If the five husbands of the woman at the well were not covenant husbands then Jesus would not have acknowledged that they were. This video is also teaching falsely when it comes to God's divorce with Israel. The reason some find it difficult to understand Jeremiah 3:1 is that they make two mistakes while reading the parable of Israel as the divorced wife. Many error by only reading half the parable. Let’s first examine this parable more closely. Jeremiah’s purpose in using this parable is two-fold. First, the prophet wishes to vividly illustrate Israel’s spiritual disloyalty to its Creator. Second, and most important, unlike the twice-estranged wife whose original husband cannot return to her, the prophet appeals to the Jewish people to repent and proclaims that it is their sacred mandate to be restored as God’s chosen people. What is impossible with the forsaken woman is the destiny for the children of Israel. Let’s look at the entire verse in context: They say, “If a man divorces his wife, and she goes from him and becomes another man’s, may he return to her again?” Would not that land be greatly polluted? But you have played the harlot with many lovers; “Yet return to Me,” says the Lord (Jeremiah 3:1). The central feature of the prophet’s exhortation that you overlooked appears at the very end of the verse, ” ‘Yet return to Me’, says the Lord.” Jeremiah makes this plea five times throughout the chapter. The message conveyed by prophet clear: The mercy and compassion of the Almighty is far beyond the scope of man’s comprehension. God has made it clear that Israel has been unfaithful but still his wife. Teaching that God has remarried the church (which is the bride of Christ, not God), who is only betrothed to Christ until the Wedding Supper of the Lamb, is uncatigorically false and presents a major conflict in scripture. By doing this you present God as a polygamist in an attempt to void all scriptures that pertain to the one-flesh covenant. Please seek the scriptures for confirmation and answers before entering into or remaining in a situation such as an adulterous marriage that requires total repentance. God bless.

  11. If you base your interpretations of Yeshua's and Rabbi Shaul's words from the NT alone, you are building on the wrong foundation.
    Everything those men taught came from the Torah, God's Instructions to His children on how to worship God, live, and treat each other AFTER coming into His Family.
    There is only ONE instruction on divorce and remarriage in Torah, Deut 24:1-4. THERE IS NO SIN OF DIVORCE.
    The sin, the abomination to God, is for a person to REMARRY the SAME person after being divorced from that person.
    Yeshua was clarifying how to walk out Torah in Matthew; He was speaking to the religious leaders who wanted to know if He subscribed to the school of Hillel or the school of Shammai who had different ideas of what an "indecency" was from the Deut. passage. (BTW, this canNOT be adultery as the punishment for adultery was death.)
    When you all quote Paul from Corinthians you are forgetting that's HIS ideas, NOT Torah, which he so CLEARLY delineates at the beginning of the passage!

    Those saying divorce is a sin and those saying you can't remarry are being just like the pharisees of Yeshua's day putting a non-Biblical burden on the people, ie the Traditions of Men Yeshua so vehemently fought against.

  12. Does not matter when the Books were written, but what do they TEACH.Did Jesus tell You He did not come to DO HIS NEW COVENANT WILL WILL. John 6:38 Did not Jesus tell You HIS DOCTRINE WAS NOT HIS John 7:16 verses 2 John 9-11 AFTER THE CROSS Does John 7:16 Harmonize with 2 John 9-11? Not in a Billion Years. Do these False teachers know the difference between a Long or Short range PROPHESY verses a COMMAND? Is Jeremiah 31:31-34 New Testament doctrine or a LONG RANGE PROPHESY Hebrews 8:8-12 ? Any one with an ounce of common sense can figure this out. Is John 3:3-6 A Prophesy of Acts 2-Revelation 22? Sure is.If Mathew 19:9 is new testament and it SURE IS NOT, then so is Mathew 19:16-21 Are You keeping the 10 Commandments today According Romans 3:19-21 Romans 10:1-6? Mr Clark is a False teacher PERIOD. He can't rightly divide Gods word by the COVENANTS.. Mr Clark and all these hard headed false heresy loving false teachers can't figure out that AFTER The CROSS in MATHEW 28:18-20 and Mark 16:15-16 when Jesus was given all authority do teach His new testament will. Mr Clark can't see NO NEW TESTAMENT DOCTRINE WAS MADE KNOW TO ANYONE IN OTHER AGES. EPHESIANS 3:3-5 In John 13:34 did Jesus give this old covenant new command to Christians or Jews STILL UNDER THE LAW Of MOSES? Did He say wait till the new Covenant begins or were they to do it RIGHT THERE and THEN STILL UNDER THE LAW OF MOSES? The Answer is SO OBVIOUS. Are Christians going to be JUDGED by the Law of Moses in John 12:48-49 Romans 15:8 King James version? Are You kidding Me? No WAY. How many marriages have these FOOLISH FALSE TEACHERS RUINED because of NOT RIGHTLY DIVIDING GODS WORD CORRECTLY????? 1 Corinthians 7:27-28 is the NEW TESTAMENT ANSWER, not Mathew 19:9 they do not even HARMONIZE. WAKE UP. 1 Corinthians 7:39 is the LAW OF THE HUSBAND PEOPLE.ROMANS 7:2-3 The Law of The Husband Simply stated means if a Woman is still married to Her Husband She can't go marry another Man. There is no LAW Of THE WIFE. Under the law of Moses a Man could have more than one wife although God wanted one Man one Woman Period. In the new covenant an Elder and a Deacon MUST Be The HUSBAND of ONLY ONE WIFE TITUS 1:6 1 Timothy 3:12 New American Standard version . The new covenant never once said anything about not being married to more than one wife, even though God wants one Man one Woman, there is nowhere in the Law of Moses or New covenant that forbids it. I am not CONDONING IT, I simply am showing the PROOF.Mathew 27:51-66 Mathew 28 Mark 15:38-47 Mark 16 Luke 23:47-56 Luke 24 John 19:31-42 John 20 John 21 Acts 1 is the time period between the Covenant when there was no salvation. You can't be saved without having covenant access to God period. Wake Up

  13. This is totally irrelevant that Adam only had one wife. It is not even relevant that God did not make a husband for him. We know that God's Word condemns homosexual actions in Leviticus and Romans 1, but God's Word NEVER condemns having more than one wife!

  14. The BEST thing I've ever read concerning this subject is THE BIBLICAL TEACHING ON DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE, by Mr. Leslie McFall, which you can find a free PDF of online just by googling McFall's name or the title of the book. It will scare many people nigh unto death to find out the truth, BUT it is also very cleansing to find out. Our Christian churches are riddled with slaughtered marriages and adulterous remarriages while a first spouse is still alive, and these marriages are very often filled with so much trouble or at the least a nagging back-of-the-mind fear that something is not right. People never get this right, because adultery is listed several times in Christ's lists of what sends people to damnation eternal.

  15. "The cause of fornication (porneia)" is the cause of him finding his wife to not be a virgin. Deuteronomy 22v21 says that him finding her to not be a virgin means that she committed fornication (zanah in the Masoretic Text;  ekporneuo in the Greek Septuagint). Since the Law of Moses did not require this man to "bring occasions of speech against her" (Deu 22v14), he also had the option to "write her a bill of divorce" because "he found some uncleanness in her" (Deu 24v1).

    These are the two options that Joseph had the moment he found his betrothed wife Mary to be pregnant: 1. "to make her a public example", or 2. "to put her away privily" (Mat 1v19). The first option corresponds to Deu 24v14 (bringing occasions of speech against her), and the second option corresponds to Deu 24v1 (writing her a bill of divorce). At that moment, Joseph thought Mary had conceived by fornication; and the Pharisees would continue to believe that for her entire life (John 8v41). But before Joseph could put Mary away, an angel convinced him that she had conceived by the Holy Spirit; and because of that, Joseph chose neither option.

    In the case where the wife commits adultery, the Christian husband gives her two simple options: 1. stop it, or 2. leave him. If she chooses the first option, he forgives her because he is a Christian (Mat 6v14-15); and if she chooses the second option, then she is the spouse who does the putting away. Either way, the Christian husband does not put away his wife for adultery.

  16. Great teaching I pray we will stay true.

    I will say, scripture tells us we are still under the old covenant!

    We need to read Hebrews carefully;

    The Mediator of a New and Better Covenant

    8 Now this is the main point in what has been said: we have a high priest such as this, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 a minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord set up, not man. 3 For every high priest is appointed in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices; therefore it was* necessary for this one also to have something that he offers. 4 Now if he were on earth, he would not even be a priest, because there* are those who offer the gifts according to the law, 5

    Harris, W. H., III, Ritzema, E., Brannan, R., Mangum, D., Dunham, J., Reimer, J. A., & Wierenga, M. (Eds.). (2012). The Lexham English Bible (Heb 8:1–5). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

    This would be in past tense if we were in the new covenant, right!!


    Scripture proves we are all still under the Old Covenant until this heaven and earth pass away

    Why do we keep pagan fesivals?


    Why do we keep man's calendar and reject the Creator's Calendar

  17. Scripture clearly teaches anyone who divorces and remarries while their covenant spouse is still living (with the exception of fornication) is an adulterer or adulteress (Matthew 5:31-32; Matthew 19:3-9; Mark 10:2-12; Luke 16:18; Romans 7:2-3; 1 Corinthians 7:10-15; 1 Corinthians 7:39).

    Additionally, scripture clearly teaches in order to receive God's mercy one must repent or they won't inherit the kingdom of Heaven (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Luke 13:3).

    God saves anyone who genuinely repents. Repentance has two elements: Confessing AND forsaking our sins.

    Proverbs 28:13, says: "He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses AND forsakes them will have mercy."

    Remaining in an adulterous remarriage is not repentance.

    The liar has to repent and stop lying; the thief has to repent and stop stealing; the homosexuals have to repent and stop committing homosexual acts; and the adulterers and adulteresses (including those in adulterous remarriages) must repent and stop committing adultery.

    Sharing the scriptural truth about divorce and remarriage infuriates people who are supposed to be followers of Christ. Jesus's words regarding this issue anger his alleged followers like no other topic. Perhaps, it's time to obey Jesus Christ, and to begin believing He means what He says.

    Most importantly, ALL sins are unforgivable without repentance…including remaining in adulterous remarriages. According to the clear, easy to understand words of scripture: Jesus most definitely sends unrepentant adulterers and adulteresses to hell.

  18. This guy drops the ball on the exception clause. Fornication in Mathew 5:32/19:9 is referring to the betrothal period. And a couple in a covenant marriage DO NOT commit Fornication when they cheat or remarry. They commit Adultery. 2 separate words with different meanings. That is why no exception is found in Luke 16:18, Mark 10:11-12, 1 Cor. 7, Romans 7:1-3

  19. Stephen W. Wilcox in reference to Jesus in Matthew 5:31,32 says “He has in this passage of Scripture, abrogated the Moses allowance for divorce and remarriage, which allowed the woman to remarry after divorce if she wished to do so (Deut. 24:1-4).”

    The abrogation supposition imagines Moses as the villain for divorce by allowing it against God’s will. That’s why it’s referred to as “Moses allowance for divorce and remarriage.” Stephen imagines Jesus opposing and reversing this concession thereby abrogating it. Then in this make believe world divorce and remarriage becomes ineffective at that point. The imagination takes you any where you want to go with this issue, unlike scripture, it has no bounds. By claiming Jesus abrogated the divorce concession Stephen has positioned himself to believe other supposition. He believes that marriages no longer end.

    “Indissoluble marriage” advocates are so bent on defining the adultery of divorce and remarriage with their definition, they fail to see the simple reality that adultery can occur another way. For them Jesus is no longer describing an adultery that’s a result of divorce and remarriage but rather an adultery that results from the absence of these events. Do you see the difference? Can you see how the word of God can be altered by adding information to it? Can you see how Jesus’ teaching on divorce is changed by ignoring His very words? Words have meaning, when you mentally discard them as Stephen does you have changed “the means to an end.” You have altered the very factors that resulted in the conclusion Jesus made.

    Stephen’s propositional statement (above) contains an important fact that most views on this issue acknowledge, the divorced were allowed to remarry (Deut. 24:2). Both divorce and remarriage were legally binding. Thus they were not in violation to the law that governed Israel. This acknowledgement allows us to begin from a mutual understanding and biblical precedents. Remarriage was tolerated, had legitimacy, was a binding marriage and divorce actually dissolved the first marriage. These realities must be deconstructed in order to postulate the idea of “indissoluble marriage” Stephen propagates. Stephen’s way of doing that is by convincing us that Jesus “abrogated the Moses allowance for divorce and remarriage.” Abrogation is added to scripture and the sequence of events that result in the adultery Jesus described is altered. Divorce and remarriage from Stephen’s perspective are no longer real realities as Jesus spoke of them. Consequently Stephen is putting forth the belief that unlike in the Old Testament divorce and remarriage no longer occurs, is ineffective and therefore no longer changes the marital status of those involved.

    To affirm this let’s look at some propositional statements advocated by Stephen. Let’s look at where supposition leads. By contrast remember that Jesus’ teaching doesn’t advocate the following (below) convictions if understood within it’s original context. We would then have every reason to oppose the following illusions (below) masquerading as Truth. The “abrogation supposition” is the theory that Jesus abolished the Old Testament divorce concession which in turn made divorce impossible.

    Stephen Wilcox, a prominent pastor in the Permanence of Marriage Movement reiterates these propositional statements by believing the “abrogation” supposition. He is summarizing the position of some early Church leaders in his message, “Restoration of Christian Marriage”. So these propositions represents what he believes also.

    * “Death alone terminates the marriage covenant”
    * “Marriage survives remarriage and precludes it”
    * “Marriage is a lifelong covenant that will never be invalidated by God while both parties live”
    * “A marriage is for life. No matter what a spouse turns out to be, or how they may act, what they do or don’t do, or the sins they commit, the covenant remains fully in effect. A remarriage while a former spouse lives is not marriage at all, but sinful adultery. God does not divide the one flesh relationship except by physical death”
    * “It is necessary therefore to warn those who have remarried while a former spouse lives that they are in a continuing state of adultery according to the scriptures, and must repent of it by confessing that sin and vacating that relationship”

    While Stephen should be admired for defending the sacredness of marriage it is imperative that you understand the difference between what he is postulating and what Jesus actually said. Stephen is actually claiming the opposite of both Christ and scripture. All because he imagines Jesus doing something He didn’t do. It is imperative that you remain objective when interpreting scripture. There are ramifications for altering the words of Christ. Stephen’s conclusions will cause a conflict between Jesus and Moses, between Old Testament and New. This should be a hint that something is amiss.

    In contrast to Jesus, Stephen creates the illusion that the adultery of divorce and remarriage is not the adultery of divorce and remarriage, it’s that simple. He doesn’t differentiate between the adultery Jesus describes and the adultery of being unfaithful while married. If you actually end up concluding the opposite of what Jesus said, you pervert the text. If you believe Jesus abolished divorce, you thereby have been programmed to believe the conclusions advocated by Stephen above. It sets you on a trajectory of claiming all the propositions stated by Stephen as if they were true. The bottom line is, Stephen and all who think like him have came to their conclusions by adding to God’s Word. This is no different than the Pharisees who opposed Jesus. By adding their rules to the law of Moses, they made the law more stringent for others and more lenient for themselves.

    I writing this in hope the reader will gain an understanding of the issue of divorce and remarriage from it’s chronological unfolding. This way of interpreting this issue will be different from those who pick out a New Testament verse and builds a new starting point from it. The new starting point often causes the interpreter to dismiss relevant factors in biblical history that wouldn’t support their conclusion. This is why “abrogation” becomes necessary. If you’re going to make claims the bible doesn’t make you have to convince others that former factors found in the bible have changed. Simply put, a right interpretation must maintain biblical truth as it flowed from Moses to Jesus to Paul. To have an understanding of this issue as it historically unfolded is paramount. To understand Paul’s teaching on this issue we must properly understand Jesus who spoke before him. To understand Jesus we must maintain Old Testament truth set forth by Moses. Paul speaks to what Jesus spoke of and Jesus speaks to what Moses spoke of. We should never believe they contradicted each other. The right interpretation will maintain truth from Moses to Jesus to Paul.

    Conversely, some have concluded from Jesus’ teaching that “remarriage is adultery” and therefore must be repented of. How? By divorcing their present spouse. Their suppositions create a conflict with biblical precedents because Moses spoke of remarriage as the marriage to whom one was obligated. Therefore a harmonious interpretation of all the biblical writers on this issue cannot be achieved if one is allowed to add (false) suppositions to what Jesus said. These suppositions come from rewording the words of the Lord so that there is no difference between the adultery Jesus described and the adultery that was punished in the Old Testament. While adultery always speaks of infidelity, it does not always transpire the same way. Nor was the culpability for this transgression placed on the women who was divorced by their husband. Therefore you must be open to a view that defends what Jesus actually said over against false supposition. Please note…

    I’m not arguing against the fact that adultery ensues because of divorce and remarriage, although I do believe there are extenuating circumstances given by Jesus and Paul. I’m arguing for HOW Jesus describes the adultery and the PROPER response to it. I’m arguing for a congruous view of Old and New Testament, no need to make them contradict. No need to try to convince others that Old Testament truths are not relevant to New Testament understanding. I believe if you follow a chronological unfolding of this issue you will properly understand Paul’s New Testament instruction in 1 Corinthians 7. If you don’t, then others will tell you what Paul meant in the vacuum of biblical history and the introduction of extra-biblical suppositions.

    Most Christians don’t know why adultery follows divorce. It just doesn’t make sense because of their fixed definition for it. They believe adultery only occurs within marriage. That fixed definition doesn’t allow them to grasp that Jesus reveals that adultery entails more than being unfaithful while married. Therefore many of them have come up with theories such as “indissoluble marriage” or “still married in God’s eyes” or “a marriage covenant can’t be broken” or “the one-flesh union can’t be separated except by death” in order to explain the ensuing adultery. None of these theories follow the actual words of the Lord for He is describing the premature end of a marriage, the separating of the one-flesh union, and the consequence of covenant breaking, all which are true in God’s eyes. In God’s eyes scripture is true the way it reads. Don’t let anyone fool you by saying that scripture reads one way but “in God’s eyes” it’s another.
    (Continued in the reply thread).

  20. Nobody ever wants to reconcile this teaching with the verse in Deuteronomy where it says that the husband cannot take back the first wife once she's been married again. If your interpretation of scripture does not agree with the whole Bible then you probably need to reconsider your interpretation. Everything he says about divorce is 100% correct but nowhere can you reconcile the teaching that you should leave your spouse that you were married to once you've been remarried. Once the sin has been committed you can't uncommit it. You can't unscramble eggs.

  21. There are no legitimate reasons for divorce and remarriage. It is important to know the context of a Jewish marriage as you study. (Matthew 1:18-25) Remember Mary was espoused to Joseph and the engagement was so binding as to call her his wife. They had not taken their vows yet which is when the marriage is official. Joseph was going to put her away for what looked like fornication but was told to take her as his wife.

    Matthew 19:9 Jesus says except for the cause of fornication can a man put away his wife. Notice in the verse the words fornication and adultery. They are not the same thing. The word for fornication is porneia which means harlotry. This is sex outside of marriage. The word for adultery is moichao which is to commit adultery. For the cause of adultery you cannot put away your wife, but only for the cause of fornication in the engagement period.

    Many would ask well if I got married before I became a Christian does God honor that as a marriage? Yes. The Bible speaks in 1 Corinthians 7 about staying with the unbelieving spouse and if the unbelieving spouse wants to depart, then let them depart. 1 Corinthians 7:39 says the wife is bound by the law as long as her spouse is alive.

    Marriage is honorable even among the heathen. Hebrews 13:4 says marriage is honourable in all. If you took vows to marry someone being unsaved or saved then you are married to that person until death do you part. If you remarry and are not a widow then you are in adultery. 1 Corinthians 6:9 says that no adulterer will inherit eternal life. I used to have some wrong views about this topic but thanks be to God for leading me in the light of His Word. This teaching of divorce and remarriage is encouraging disobedience to God's Word and many will go to hell as adulterers. My sincere desire is for people to know God, walk in obedience to His Word, and make it to heaven.

  22. Remarriage never was the adultery. Jesus was criticizing divorce and He did so by revealing what it caused for remarriage. God had not forced singleness on His covenant people even though they inadvertently committed this manner of adultery. Divorce is the primal cause because it prematurely ends a marriage therefore staging remarriage to violate the “faithfulness until death” responsibility. Jesus taught that divorce causes one to commit adultery when they remarry, not the marriage is the adultery. The focal point of criticism was on divorce. This manner of adultery is a two factor or two cause adultery, not one factor. Remarriage causes adultery because of divorce. That was the Lord’s point and that is why He admonished Israel to stop separating the one-flesh union (Matt. 19:6). That was His only instruction on this issue. Jesus did not teach that more divorce was the answer to this predicament. Neither did anyone else in scripture.

  23. I believe there are no exception to remarry while your spouse lives math 19 verse 9 is talking about someone who finds out his wife was not a virgin he was not force to continue his engagement no where in scripture does it say remarry if you been cheated on it only talks about remarriage when your spouse dies

  24. The fundamental question here…does “put away” mean the same thing as “divorce”. Bastardized modern English translations of the Bible say it does. Scholars of the original Hebrew/Greek languages say the two terms are not equal.

    Put away (apoluo) means to simply send away without a bill of divorcement (apostacion), a practice that was common in ancient Jewish culture. Jewish men treated women like a piece of property they could toss to the curb. Jesus said to put away and remarry is adultery. He did not say to divorce and remarry is adultery. Before preaching hell, fire, and damnation these modern preachers need to study the meaning of the original language in greater detail.

  25. This is an excellent teaching. I tried several times to write to one of the commenter's below who doesn't understand what this pastor is teaching, but finally deleted my comments. Not because I don't feel they're important, but because I know that when someone wants to believe that marriage, divorce and remarriage without just cause, is okay by God, there is nothing that I could say to them that will change their minds. They would just take my words and throw them back at me saying "and who are you?" Hopefully, they will listen to this pastor.

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