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:
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.
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.
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
And here my friend is where the majority of professing Christians fall
down - they love their marriage partners and position in society more than
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
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.
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
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
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
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
(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.
But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he
of the freewoman was by promise.
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.
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.
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.
This is the last verse of the chapter and the story is taken up two chapters
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.
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
By interrupting the story of Joseph, one of the great teachings of
the Bible, we see, among other things, how God stresses the importance
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
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.
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.
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
"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
In both cases there is no binding covenant preventing another covenant
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
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