Chapter Three 
Further Male/Female Relationships 
A Previous Marriage 
Someone might say: 
"I got divorced and remarried before becoming a Christian. When I became born again, God forgave me all my sins, not so?" 
"I got divorced, became born again, where all my sins were forgiven, met this present wife in the church, were married from the church by the Pastor and are now happily married. I'm not in sin!" 
God does say that He will forgive us all our sins:
Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: 
(Mark 3:28-29)
Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes. I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake. 
(1 John 2:8-12)
However the conditions are: 
  • We must repent of all of our sins 
  • We must forgive others who have sinned against us. 
  • Jesus Christ must become our Lord (Master). 
Also, being married the second time is not the only sin that was committed, as is described below. 
Let's assume that the above scenario applies to me: 
Now that I am born again and Jesus Christ is my Master, I will search the Scriptures daily to find out His wishes for me, because I love Him so much and delight to do His will. In this diligent search, with the guiding of the Holy Spirit, I shall discover that I made an unbreakable covenant with the first wife by the will of God and that my second marriage is unlawful in God's sight. 
Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love. And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger? For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings. 
(Proverbs 5:18-21)
When I become aware of this fact for the first time, after much heart rending thought, I should once again repent before God, asking forgiveness, because according to the word, God will forgive my sins because I am filled with remorse. However, by further study I discover that every time that I have sexual relations with my present (second) wife, I am committing adultery in God's sight - because, although He forgave me the sin of divorce, the wife of my youth is the one with whom I made the covenant. No other. 
Yet ye say, Wherefore? 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. 
(Malachi 2:14-16)
A covenant is willingly broken at peril of one's eternal life, so if I continue the marriage relationship, I cannot repeatedly come before Him in repentance because this is hypocrisy. 
We see here that we are dealing with more than marriage and divorce, but with repentance and obedience. 
God hates sin because He is purer than the falling snow of Antarctica and from reading part one of Heart of The Gospel, we see that He will not tolerate willing sin. 
For example, if your marriage partner came to you and said "I have sinned before God and you and have committed adultery, will you please forgive me." Being a Christian, you will forgive that sin. But if the statement is repeated again a short while later, you would have difficulty with forgiveness a second time, not so; and a third and fourth. 
So it is with God. 
To continue with the scenario:
I love my second wife very much and she loves me. We are very happy together and go to church every Sunday, in fact in our enthusiasm for the Lord we have both accepted positions of leadership in the church. 
Now what do I do, listen to what the Holy Spirit has shown me, or listen to our Pastor who says that God is such a loving God, He shall forgive our mistake.
And here my friend is where the majority of professing Christians fall down - they love their marriage partners and position in society more than God. 

We read once again: 
For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart. 
(2 Corinthians 5:1-12)

Here is the choice that you have to make, the choice that Adam was faced with; will you stay with your Eve for the worldly pleasures that this entails, or will you be obedient to the loving heavenly Father who sent His only begotten Son to release you from Adam's sin? 
It's not easy to be pure and white in the eyes of the Lord Jesus Christ. Only those who overcome. 
Sanctification by Covenantal Power 
But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife? But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches. 
(1 Corinthians 7:12-17)
From the Chamber's Dictionary
Sanctify: to make, declare, regard as, or show to be, sacred or holy; to set apart for sacred use; to free from sin or evil; to consecrate, bless; to invest with sacredness. 
This passage is an extension or New Testament equivalent of the never ending Covenant that God made with Abraham. God declared Abraham to be His friend because of Abraham's obedience; promising that his seed would be as the stars in heaven. However, those children of Jacob (Israel), Abraham's grandson, who were disobedient to the terms of their Covenant with the LORD through Abraham, were punished. 
We see also, that those nations who were not part of Abraham's Covenant are disregarded by God. 
Hear this word that the LORD hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities. Can two walk together, except they be agreed? 
(Amos 3:1-3)
Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 
(Ephesians 2:11-13)
This means that the unbelieving spouse and the children have the potential to be saved because they are sanctified by the believer. The rest is up to them. 
God chose the Children of Israel and did not look at the other nations. He will look at your family because of you, where he will not even look at your unbelieving neighbour's family. 
For example, imagine how difficult it would be to learn about the Lord Jesus Christ if you were a child in a household that worshiped another god. 
Another example is that of David Wilkerson, who writes in one of his books that he was the third Pentecostal minister in three generations in his family. 
Therefore, if one of the marriage partners is saved it means that the person has accepted the Covenant with God through the Lord Jesus Christ, and if that person continues in Covenant as is explained in Heart of the Gospel he or she shall one day be a citizen of heaven. The other spouse (they are in covenant) who is not at that time saved, but sanctified by the Covenant of the believing spouse, is under the blessing of God in his or her lifetime and given ample opportunity to accept the spiritual Covenant with God. This also goes for the children. 
Some people believe that the Bible contradicts itself on this issue, saying in one place (here) that the unbeliever is sanctified by the actions of the other, and in another (Romans 10:9) that we must believe ourselves. This is but an example of that person not understanding God's word, nor being sufficiently interested in finding out and then being obedient. 
You see, it has to do with Covenants. The Covenant of most importance is the one between God and the believer and is of a spiritual nature. The other covenant is between spouses and, because they become one flesh, God honours that covenant. The unbelieving spouse receives Covenantal blessings through the Covenant of the believing spouse. When the partners die however they are no longer in covenant with each other (there is no marriage in heaven) and the unbeliever will receive judgement for his or her unbelief. The sanctification therefore is only of a temporary, worldly nature. 
It is so important for mankind to understand the importance of covenants and in particular the Blood Covenant of the Sacrifice of Jesus of Nazareth, that Satan has, to a large degree, hidden its ramifications from many and it's only by searching the word, with the revelation of the Holy Spirit that this crucial truth can be understood. 
By the by:
Some "teachers" give desertion as a reason for divorce, quoting the 1 Corinthians passage as proof thereof. If the one partner wants to separate from the other that is acceptable, but this does not mean divorce. If a couple separate they can easily come together again, but if divorced, they have to remarry. Let's look at the passage again. 
And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife. But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife? But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches. 
(1 Corinthians 7:10-17)

Children of the Marriage 
Although Abraham had at least another son (Ishmael) before Isaac was born, Isaac was the only begotten son of Abraham because he was the son of the covenant, of the wife of Abraham's youth, Sarah. 
And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. 
(Genesis 22:1-2)
But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. 
(Galatians 4:23)
Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 
(John 3:16-17)
Today, when a marriage breaks up, it is usually for the "poor me" reason. Always it's the children who come off worst, who have their lives wrecked. This is Satan's aim, he's looking to the long term. 
Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. 
(Psalms 127:1-5)
We all know the story of Joseph, not so.
And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, and captain of the guard. 
(Genesis 37:36)
This is the last verse of the chapter and the story is taken up two chapters later 
And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither. 
(Genesis 39:1)
But what came in between? Something most interesting!
And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her, and went in unto her. And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er. And she conceived again, and bare a son; and she called his name Onan. And she yet again conceived, and bare a son; and called his name Shelah: and he was at Chezib, when she bare him. And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar. And Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him. And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother. And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also. Then said Judah to Tamar his daughter in law, Remain a widow at thy father's house, till Shelah my son be grown: for he said, Lest peradventure he die also, as his brethren did. And Tamar went and dwelt in her father's house. And in process of time the daughter of Shuah Judah's wife died; and Judah was comforted, and went up unto his sheepshearers to Timnath, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. And it was told Tamar, saying, Behold thy father in law goeth up to Timnath to shear his sheep. And she put her widow's garments off from her, and covered her with a vail, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which is by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto him to wife. When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face. And he turned unto her by the way, and said, Go to, I pray thee, let me come in unto thee; (for he knew not that she was his daughter in law.) And she said, What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me? And he said, I will send thee a kid from the flock. And she said, Wilt thou give me a pledge, till thou send it? And he said, What pledge shall I give thee? And she said, Thy signet, and thy bracelets, and thy staff that is in thine hand. And he gave it her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him. And she arose, and went away, and laid by her vail from her, and put on the garments of her widowhood. And Judah sent the kid by the hand of his friend the Adullamite, to receive his pledge from the woman's hand: but he found her not. Then he asked the men of that place, saying, Where is the harlot, that was openly by the way side? And they said, There was no harlot in this place. And he returned to Judah, and said, I cannot find her; and also the men of the place said, that there was no harlot in this place. And Judah said, Let her take it to her, lest we be shamed: behold, I sent this kid, and thou hast not found her. And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt. When she was brought forth, she sent to her father in law, saying, By the man, whose these are, am I with child: and she said, Discern, I pray thee, whose are these, the signet, and bracelets, and staff. And Judah acknowledged them, and said, She hath been more righteous than I; because that I gave her not to Shelah my son. And he knew her again no more. 
(Genesis 38:1-26)

By interrupting the story of Joseph, one of the great teachings of the Bible, we see, among other things, how God stresses the importance of children. 
This also means, today, that if any widow or widower gets married again and has children, all the assets that were accumulated by the partners of the first marriage (the covenant marriage) belong to the children of the first marriage, because they are the children of that covenant. 
At this point, I wish to insert an account of a discussion that took place at a dinner party that we were present at. 
Most of those present were members of the Dutch Reformed Church and they were discussing the fact that children, under their parents eyes, were taking wine and drinking it at the time of the (monthly?) nagmaal (communion). When it was pointed out to these dinner guests that the children were taking the communion unworthily as Paul explained in 1 Corinthians chapter eleven, they agreed, but were more concerned that the children could acquire a taste for alcohol. It was evident that these "christians" were more concerned about the worldly sins than the heavenly. What is more, they were unimpressed when asked who shall be responsible for those children when standing before God? 
The fathers, because they didn't take responsibility for their Biblical privilege of being the head of their house. They each let their team down. 
Before Marriage 
Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. 
(1 Corinthians 6:15-20)
"I'm a Christian young woman who is in love with, and wishes to marry an unbeliever. We are very much in love and I have difficulty in remaining chaste. Moreover, I'm sure that when I show him how much the Lord Jesus loves him, he will be converted." 
Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. 
(1 Peter 3:1-6)
This very real experience has happened to countless Christians of both sexes; and especially for young people, whose emotions are mostly raw and unrefined, it can be very difficult to act in a manner fitting for a potential citizen of heaven. 
However, let it be understood that we cannot convert any heathen because this is the work of the Holy Spirit. We can talk, which may open that person's heart to Him, but it's a mystery that we cannot comprehend - that some people are not chosen. 
That is why Paul wrote:
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 
(2 Corinthians 6:14 - 7:1)
For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife? But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. 
(1 Corinthians 7:16-17a)
It's therefore presumptuous to believe that one of us can convert anyone, and act on that premise in advance. 
I know of a young lady that met the Lord Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit and she was on fire for the Lord, phoning for encouragement, phoning when she had discovered something new in the Bible; He was just about all she could talk about in her joyfulness. 
But she had a boy friend that was not saved and when she was told that she would have to make a choice between him and the Lord, she was in great distress and couldn't make up her mind. 
After a while she gave up phoning and broke off the contact. 
It's not easy to be a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Not the First Time 
Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. 
(Romans 7:1-6)
In this passage Paul is actually dealing with the subject of the law and uses marriage as an example to explain what he's getting at. However, it does give us a broad teaching on marriage as well. 
"So, I'm a woman who is not a virgin and wish to get married for the first time, what about the blood covenant between bridegroom and bride that is explained elsewhere?" 
"I'm a widower and wish to marry a widow, we've both been through this before, what about a blood covenant between us?" 
Yes, we'll have to get some distance from the trees to see the wood. 
As mentioned earlier, the Pharisees questioned Jesus of Nazareth about the law and that His reply went beyond the law to the reason why the law was given. 
In both cases there is no binding covenant preventing another covenant being formed. 
The Jewish marriage customs are as a result of God's will for His chosen people. He ordained those customs so that all children of Abraham would come to understand them. All Christians must come to a knowledge of the truth by studying the word, so that we may understand the conditions of the Spiritual Covenant between the Lord Jesus Christ (Bridegroom) and us (bride). 
Once we understand the terms of the marriage covenant, we shall understand the terms of the Spiritual Covenant. That is one purpose of the marriage covenant, that it's the shadow of the eternal Covenant. 
Once we understand the terms of the marriage covenant, we don't need the physical evidence of blood to form such a covenant. 
So, we can each make another marriage covenant, but only in the Lord. 
By the by, if a widow marries again, the new husband has to support her, she must not be expected to provide any goods from her previous marriage to the new one. Any husband expecting anything else, married for the wrong reason.