Saturday, August 6, 2011

Flee Fornication

Keeping the Marriage Bed Holy

"Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." Hebrews 13:4

The above verse has been so abused that it is used to give a virtual "anything goes" approach to sex between married couples. It is often misinterpreted to read, "Everything sexual between married people is okay, but any sex between people who are unmarried is forbidden."

Yet, the distinction that this verse is dealing with married vs. unmarried individuals is a false one.  Does not adultery involve someone who is married?  Sure, they are not married to the person with whom they are committing adultery, but they are in a marital relationship.  The command against being an "adulterer" is relevant for the married person; so also is the command against being a "whoremonger".

The entire verse is addressing how the marriage bed is to be kept holy.  God is giving an admonition for married couples to keep their marriage bed undefiled by avoiding sexual perversion and adultery.  Several other Bible translations make the meaning of this text more evident:

"Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous."  English Standard Version, Hebrews 13:4

"Let marriage be held every way in honour, and the bed be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers will God judge." Darby Translation, Hebrews 13:4

"Let marriage be held in honor (esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear) in all things. And thus let the marriage bed be undefiled (kept undishonored); for God will judge and punish the unchaste [all guilty of sexual vice] and adulterous." Amplified Version, Hebrews 13:4

The latter half of Hebrews 13:4 is not primarily for the unmarried, but for the married.  It is possible to be married, yet be an adulterer.  It is also possible to be married, yet be a whoremonger.  In both instances, the marriage bed is defiled and brings about the judgment of God.

"But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints...For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God." Ephesians 5:3, 5

Part of the confusion in this area is that many do not understand what the New Testament refers to as "fornication".  Fornication - as appearing in the Scriptures - is not simply a reference to sex amongst unmarried persons.  The word for fornication in the New Testament is the Greek word porneia.  It is where we get the English word pornography from, and it is detestable to God.

As early as the 6th Century B.C., Greece had a flourishing sex trade which comprised of their setting up porneias or houses of prostitution.  The word porneia literally means "illicit sexual intercourse" and refers to all acts of sexual perversion including adultery, sodomy, bestiality, incest, etc. - anything which the Lord our God has condemned as an abomination (Leviticus 20:10-21). 

Scripture not only condemns illicit sexual relationships, but also illicit sexual acts.  Who's to say what is an illicit sexual act?  God is to say.

For example, although sex was given as a gift by God to be enjoyed in marriage, even the union between a husband and wife during times of her menstruation was determined by God to be unclean (Leviticus 20:18).  Clearly God has never had the view that "anything which is done in the marriage bed is holy and acceptable".  Similarly, while same sex attraction is condemned by God, so are the "unclean, vile, unnatural, and unseemly acts" performed in such relationships, i.e. oral/anal sex (Romans 1:24-27).

When Christians practice acts of porneia - even in the bounds of marriage - they become whoremongers according to Hebrews 13:4.   The word for "whoremonger" is pornos which means "one who practices porneia or unlawful sexual intercourse".  Such acts are not to be found among the saints of God (Ephesians 5:3).

"I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.  But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? Do not ye judge them that are within?" I Corinthians 5:9-12

The mind of man has become so perverted, that even that which God calls unclean and defiled is justified in the modern day churchworld.  Man has wandered so far from God, that many can no longer even recognize what is holy vs. what is profane...even in the midst of the church!  

I pray that those with a heart to truly serve the Lord in Spirit & in Truth seek Him in this matter and ask for spiritual wisdom regarding how to honor marriage and keep the marriage bed holy. 

"Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body." I Corinthians 6:18


  1. Well written and so true, I don't know how we can take the scripture that says the marriage bed should be undefiled and twist it to make it seem that we can do whatever we want in the bedroom. Thank the Lord that he showed me the truth. I need some words of encouragement and prayer. My husband is not saved. This really drains me and I feel defeated at times. I really want to be filled with the Holy Ghost. I have been saved 3 yrs and have not been filled yet and I know it's because I focus on the issues around me rather than focusing on Jesus. How should I act toward my husband? He still goes clubbing and I gave that up when I gave my life to the Lord. I need help and prayers. Sorry for the long comment I just really need some encouragement. God bless.

  2. Hi Anonymous,

    I have actually been in your shoes because I got saved before my husband. I can even remember my husband going out to a club once alone because I wouldn't go. I prayed the whole time that God would open his eyes to see that it had nothing to offer him; that he would see the spiritual death in such places. I prayed that God would take away such desires from his heart. When he got home, I asked how it was and he stated that he didn't have a good time at all. He just couldn't get into it. I was inwardly very glad. :-) That was the last time he went to a club.

    I am not saying things will be easy or quick because the Lord knows these were some hard and trying times. Yet, I am saying that the fervent prayers of a righteous man/woman avails much. Keep him in prayer.

    How should you act toward your husband? Not much differently than if he were saved. Scripture says:

    "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." I Peter 3:1-6

    Even if our husbands are not saved, we are still called to respect the office they walk in as the head of the family. Now of course, that doesn't mean you should submit in things that are unrighteous. I wrote a little about this in the following article: Unequally Yoked

    This may also help you: Women, Reverence Your Husbands

    Lastly, remember this:

    "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." I Cor. 7:14

    There is power in God, a power that we have access to as His children. A power so complete that it can even sanctify an unbelieving spouse and provide spiritual covering for your children. That is an awesome promise! You are not powerless, but you are equipped by God to stand and fight for your family. Pray and intercede for your husband while continuing to do as God leads you. He is able to work this out for you.

    Don't focus on your husband and what he is or is not doing, but let God continue to forge you into a vessel fit for His use. As He does so, the change He is working in you will speak louder than anything you can say to your husband about the Lord.

    God Bless!

  3. Hi,
    Praise the Lord!! What a blessing you have been. Thank you for allowing the Lord to use you. The articles you recommended were very helpful and your testimony gave me so much encouragement. I now realize that the enemy has been using this situation to drain me of my energy and as a result my prayer life has been hindered, also it causes me not to read the word the way I should. I have been giving the enemy too much by not doing my part, which is "doing the mechanics" as Pastor Price says, prayer, reading, fasting.I will commit to fasting regularly. I am currently nursing and when I fast I usually do 8- 10 hrs a day, is that ok or must I completely go without? Thank you for your response. May the Lord richly bless you and your family.

  4. Another right on post my friend. I used your Baal Peor article at our Home Church a couple Sundays ago. (I hope you don't mind haha)

    Such an eye opener and really opens your eyes all grace and glory to the Holy Spirit!

    God Bless, found your site around last year from newine.


  5. Hi Rosaline,

    I am so glad that those messages encouraged you. Yes, it is just as Pastor Price says: doing the mechanics.

    Fasting is one of those subjects that is easy to become legalistic about. All it is really is taking time to weaken the flesh (not indulging it) and strengthen the spirit.

    You may do this by fasting from food, but it doesn't have to be. You can fast from just certain types of food (meats, desserts, etc.), from tv, from idle conversation... Instead of doing those things, you spend that time in prayer and/or study.

    Whatever our fast, we must ask the Lord to guide us as it is ultimately a sacrifice unto Him for His glory. If you are nursing, you will likely need your strength, for you and the baby. So a partial food fast (or maybe a fast from just certain foods) is likely wisest...if you decide to do food at all.

    We'll keep you and your family in prayer. I know it may seem like a long and lonely journey, but God is with you. The salvation of your husband is His desire, just believe in Him and let Him do the work in your lives, no matter how hard it seems.

    Much love in Christ!

  6. Hi Jonathan,

    It is nice to meet you. :-) You are welcome to use anything here howsoever you choose. It has been freely received from the Lord and it is freely given. My only hope is that anything posted will bring God the glory and bring more people into His Kingdom.

    May you and Newine continue to bask in the presence of the Lord and be filled with His anointing always!

  7. Praise the Lord!
    Thank you for your response. I love your blog it has been a blessing and very encouraging.I just found out about Omega Ministries and the rest of the ministries about 2 months ago. What a breath of fresh air!!I love the truth of the Lord and you guys are walking in it. May the Lord continue to keep you all till His return. God Bless you all.

  8. I love how it says "flee" fornication as if it is something that we should be running from as opposed to something we should just walk away from.

  9. Hi Anonymous,

    I sure think that is the imagery. Afterall, God could have just said, "Don't fornicate." There certainly seems to be some urgency He attaches to this admonition.

    "Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body." I Cor. 6:18

  10. how can you explain to someone that oral sex is not of God?

    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Here is an article on the topic in case it is helpful: The Worship of Baal Peor

      However, to answer your question, I don't think you can. Let me offer an example. It is said that there is an obesity problem in America. Yet for years, there has been media campaigns to promote awareness about the importance of exercise, reorganize the food pyramid, focus on healthy living, examine health risks of being overweight, offer weight loss programs... None of that knowledge has stemmed the problem. Obesity continues to be a growing concern for Americans (Adult Obesity).

      To put it plainly, no amount of explaining or information is going to change someone who desires to live after the flesh. It is only the power of the Spirit of God which enables us to crucify the flesh and the lusts thereof. Without that we will be a slave to sin and the old fallen nature...even when such actions are harmful or perverse. There are people I have discussed this with over the years and - while they do understand that it is sodomy in God's eyes - they just do not want to change.

      The answer is that folks need to be born again. Apart from that, even if they understand their actions are unGodly, they will have no power to change.

  11. Thank You. I will check out the article

  12. Dear Latter-days,

    I have read your blog for years and you never disappoint! With this article in mind, what is your stance on polygyny? Personally, I do not endorse this way of thinking but I have read "christian red pill" blogs claiming that If God had wanted to declare female-female sexual contact to be a sin, He would have done so. Whilst many argued against the writer, many, women and men alike, agreed. One argument was that both Solomon and King David engaged in polygyny. Curious to know your thought - keep up the good work!


    1. "But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh." Mark 10:6-8


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