101: Works of the Flesh; Adultery

Jesus Christ made mankind male and female and instituted the holy state of marriage.  It was His intention from the very beginning that one man and one woman be united as one flesh in total fidelity to each other for their lifetime.

All sexual activity outside of marriage, including before marriage; is contrary to the intent and the commandment of the Creator; and is a betrayal of the marriage commitment to be faithful to one another.

This institution of marriage and family, besides its many physical advantages; is also an allegory of the relationship that we are to have with Jesus Christ.

WE, the collective called out, are espoused in marriage to Jesus Christ and await our wedding day.

As physically we are to have NO OTHER before our marriage; so spiritually we are to have NO OTHER before our spiritual wedding day!

And as physically we are to have NO OTHER during our physical marriage; so spiritually we are to have NO OTHER during our eternal, spiritual marriage to Jesus Christ.

As our physical marriages are binding until the death of one of the parties; so our spiritual marriage is binding until death; and since those changed to spirit will never die; their spiritual marriage to Jesus Christ will never end.

Baptism is a type of death of the old self with all its spiritual fornication with false gods; and a rising up of a new person now committed and engaged to Jesus Christ, in baptism as a espoused bride to Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ was married forever to physical Israel; who was a very bad wife full of adulteries against her full Husband, yet Jesus remained faithful to that marriage until his own death liberated him from that relationship; so that He upon his resurrection could marry another.

Physically we are married until the death of one of the partners, yet we shall all die whether for an instant or for thousands of years; and when we are raised up we shall be free to enter into a full marriage with Jesus Christ

Our baptism was a commitment to an espousal to Jesus Christ, as a part of his collective bride.  It is not a full marriage; which will come at the marriage of the Lamb with the resurrected bride!

We are in a period of espousal, a period of trial and testing; and God is judging us RIGHT NOW as to whether we will make a fit bride for Christ.

Are we absolutely faithful to him in all things; or do we flirt with other gods? Are we intent on our own ways; or do we seek to please him in all things? 

Remember that idolizing men and allowing them to come between us and our LORD; is spiritual and emotional adultery. 

To blindly and unquestioningly obey the words of any person contrary to the Christ inspired whole word of God, is adultery against our espoused Husband Jesus Christ. Just the very same as a partaking of unlawful sex by a physical person.

Yes, there are issues regarding physical marriages.  This post is about the spiritual analogies that the Creator intended.  There will be other posts on the problems in physical marriages, which are virtually always the result of some sin by one or both of the parties.

You see, sex makes two people ONE flesh; and faithful zeal for our spiritual Husband makes two beings of ONE spirit!

Spiritually we must be absolutely faithful to our espoused Husband Jesus Christ; to have any chance to be chosen to have a part in the resurrection of the collective bride to spirit and enter into marriage with the Lamb of God forever!

This following of the teachings of men and cleaving to their ways after they have been proved wrong, is adultery against our espoused Husband Jesus Christ!

We should know that Jesus Christ is the perfect Husband; therefore any potential spiritual adultery would be on our part. 

Therefore let us continually examine ourselves and let us be absolutely faithful to Christ and his word; proving ourselves to be good and faithful spouses worthy of entering into an eternal full marriage and UNITY with HIM!

Advice from Proverbs about the Dangers of Adultery

This week we begin a series of Bible studies on the “Works of the Flesh” as listed in Galatians 5 beginning with what the Bible has to say about adultery/fornication and the pitfalls of fulfilling the lust of the flesh in this way. In this post I draw much of what I found about this subject from the Book of Proverbs which has a lot of instruction about how we should live our lives seeking to live God’s way and not be drawn away by the enticements of ” strange women”; but instead, ‘to rejoice with the wife of thy youth.”

Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

If we really want to be blessed in our “walk in the Spirit” as God instructs us, not only in Galatians 5, but throughout His whole Word; then we will let His words of wisdom “sink down into our ears” about this very sensitive subject. Solomon speaks to his son and says:  “My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding” (Proverbs 5:1)

The Book of Proverbs is an instruction book about how we are to become wise and walk in all the ways of God. In many places in Proverbs, we are counseled to seek God’s wisdom and understanding with all our being and all of our heart; and that the fear of the LORD is the beginning of understanding.

In Proverbs 4 and 5, Solomon gives advice and instruction to his children; but as the inspired Word of God recorded for all those who would read these words and be warned, it can also be viewed as our heavenly Father admonishing all people, but especially His children, about the dangers and pitfalls of being swayed or seduced by an adulteress [immoral woman].

In chapter 4 of Proverbs, a wise father (representing God our Father) lovingly calls his children to listen to him, to consider his good advice and attend to it so that they will know understanding and not to forsake God’s laws. We can apply this charge from Proverbs 4:1-5 to keep His laws, which includes the seventh commandment, in regard to remaining pure and chaste in all sexual matters, to Proverbs 5 which specifically instructs us concerning the subject of adultery and its consequences (Exodus 20:14, Deuteronomy 5:18).

Proverbs 4:1 Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. 4:2 For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. 4:3 For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. 4:4 He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live. 4:5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.

This is the best advice any child could receive from a parent, is to seek wisdom and to keep God’s laws, whether it comes from a physical parent, or from God Himself from His Word. These words come straight from the heart of our Father in heaven, and if we give attention to what He says here; we will be wise and will put this advice to use and keep it set in our heart to keep His commandments always. If we obey Him it will lead us to life, and eventually to eternal life, if we are being called and if we follow this instruction with all our hearts.

We are also to apply this teaching to the area of keeping our temple [body] pure and holy, because it is so very important in our walk with God to be holy as He is holy, and to be like Him in every respect. Proverbs 5 targets in on this area of our lives and is a call to wisdom to reject all temptation regarding sexual sin and to turn quickly away from all who would try to tempt us, whether it is a man or woman.

Further down in the Proverb; are listed the blessings of marital fidelity and staying true to a person’s one and only true love, their spouse. Further, the Proverb celebrates and commends those who are faithful. Marriage is spoken of as honorable and a blessing; in contrast to adultery and sexual sins of all kinds which are condemned, and the reader is warned that these kinds of sins only lead to destruction and death.

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

*Proverbs 5:1 My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding: 5:2 That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge.

In many places in the New Testament, Jesus instructs his disciples about various important subjects and then very often says “who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” He wanted to make the point that what he had to say was important and to pay strict attention to His words and to let them sink down into their ears or to stick in their minds. This was an exhortation to heed what He was telling them, just as the son in Proverbs 5 is told to listen up and take in the wisdom that is being offered and to be attentive to apply it.

Matthew 13:43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Faith.  Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. (see also Matthew 11:13, 13:9, 13:9, 13:43, Mark 4:9, 4:23, Mark 7:16, Luke 8:8, 14:35)

Luke 9:44 Let these sayings sink down into your ears… 

This seems to be a favorite saying of Jesus as He adds it at the end of many of the parables and teachings that He was trying to get across to His disciples.

This somewhat similar exhortation shows up here in Proverb 5:1: to give ear to the wisdom and understanding of what is being taught. Why? Because as a rule humanity does not listen, even though we hear things, we often don’t really “hear” what is being said; or we may fail to follow up on what we hear and are supposed to be learning.

Notice that Christ gives this warning at the end of each of His messages addressed to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3. “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (Revelation 2:7, 2:11, 2:17, 2:29, 3:6, 3:17, 3:22).

It is a form of expression designed to admonish us to give Him our full attention, and to denote that what is being said is of utmost importance. It is a signal to us that what is being said needs to be fully understood and retained in our learning for own good and for gaining the wisdom that God is offering.

*Proverbs 5:3 For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:

The Hebrew word for strange is zuwr (Strong’s #2114) and means: come from another man, place, fanner, go away, estranger, thing, woman, A primitive root; to turn aside (especially for lodging); hence to be a foreigner, strange, profane; specifically (active participle) to commit adultery [an adulteress], (come from) another (man, place), fanner, go away, (e-)strange(-r, thing, woman).

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)  “Lips” or “mouth” indicates seduction and it commonly begins with deceptive flattery. Lips of honey indicate “sweet talk”, flirtation, or even facial expressions of an immoral woman. We all see it in movies and in advertising, a very sensuous look that is suggestive and inappropriate for any godly woman.

Proverbs 6:24 To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. 6:25 Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids. 6:26 For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adultress will hunt for the precious life.

Added to that, we are told that her words are smoother than oil. She knows just what a man wants to hear and speaks them with impunity, ensnaring him to think that what she has to offer him is good and pleasurable. In reality, the smooth words have the power of drawn swords that will pierce his heart and soul with destruction if he takes her bait.

David talks of this in Psalm 55 where he refers to the deceptive betrayal of a friend that deceived him with kind words and feigning love for him.  Afterward, David could perceive that his smooth words had been hiding war [hatred] in his heart; and that he really met harm for David and wanted to get his trust as a friend so he could then entrap him and take advantage of him.

Psalm 55:21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.

A prostitute or immoral woman uses this kind of “method of operation” in her enticement to get those she is tempting to get involved with her. Potiphar’s wife tried to use this beguiling approach on Joseph, but he wanted nothing to do with her intentions for evil and refused her (Genesis 39:7-12).

*Proverbs 5:4 But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. 5:5 Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell. [Sheol: Hades, the place of the dead]

If a man succumbs to this kind of temptation and gets involved with an immoral woman, it will be his undoing. Her ways are the way of death and she intends to take her victim with her. The enticement may seem desirable, pleasurable and flattering to a person in the beginning, but falling for it is the same as eating sweet cake that have sharp razor blades imbedded in it. It may look so very good, but in reality it has the sting of destruction and death lurking within hidden in all her allurements, which in the end will take him down to the grave.

*Proverbs 5:6 Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.

The immoral women has lost her bearings [has no morals] and has lost sight of, and does not walk in the paths of life; and a simple or unwise person cannot perceive what she is up to. If he is not staying close to God, seeking Him on a daily basis and striving to walk in all of His ways, he can very easily become entrapped because he just cannot see it. He foolishly sees the sweet cake but not the razor blades.

Also, if a person is going after the ways of the world which teaches us that sexual sin is just fine, that chastity is not that important or to be concerned with; then he/she can very easily fall for this kind of temptation to partake in adulterous affairs and succumb to an evil person’s seductions.

*Proverbs 5:7 Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth. 5:8 Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house:

Here again, like a very concerned and protective father, Solomon is telling his children to get away from such an evil person, don’t go near her and run away as quickly and as fast as you can. Don’t even go close to her or where she lives. “Avoid even the appearance of evil”.

When we realize that we are weak and of the flesh it behooves us to not allow ourselves to get into a situation where we know we will be tempted. This includes not only in sexual kinds of sin, but any kind of temptation to sin. Bible gives many admonishments to resist temptation.

Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 6:19 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? 6:20 For ye are bought with a price:  therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

2 Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 

James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, [and overcomes]  he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him

Revelation 3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man [or woman] take thy crown.

*Proverbs 5:9 Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel: 5:10 Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger; 5:11 And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed,5:12 And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; 5:13 And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!

An adulterer/adulteress may think that they can hide what they are doing and get away with it; but in effect, they are sinning against their own souls and their own well being.

They risk losing everything they have ever worked for as a result of the consequences of their affairs. The consequences can produce an unwanted child who then has to suffer all its life because of their parent’s sins; or it may be a disease that afflicts the body and finally brings about death.

And all this misery could have been avoided if the son (or daughter) had just listened and obeyed his/her father’s instructions, or the instructions of men of God, or the Word of God in the Bible.

*Proverbs 5:14 I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly.

This is saying that the sin of adultery is considered one of the worst kinds of evil in the estimation of the congregation and in the community in his day.  But now in our day, adultery and fornication are thought of as “no big deal” which fits with the end-time scenario described by many prophets and apostles of what the end times would be like.

*Proverbs 5:15 Drink waters out of thine own cistern [of a pure marriage relationship], and running [refreshing] waters out of thine own well. 5:16 Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets. 5:17 Let them be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee.

Using the imagery of waters from a well, the blessings enjoyed from a faithful marriage is compared to the tragedy and heartbreak of infidelity. “Cistern and well” refer to the wife from whom the husband is to draw all his satisfying refreshment, only her affection and intimate love, and forsaking all others.

“Should your offspring be dispersed abroad as water brooks in the streets? [Confine yourself to your own wife] let your children be for you alone, and not the children of strangers [not the children of other men being supported by you] with you.” (Verses 16, 17- Amplified Bible)

The consequence of such indiscriminate sexual activity or sin is called “rivers of waters in the street,” an expressed description of the illegitimate street children that were conceived from whoredom.

*Proverbs 5:18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.

These fountains of living waters in verses l6, 17, and 18, are figurative of a husband and wife relationship and their children. The children being the result of the married couple who are happy with each other and find their delight with each other.

Also, verse 18 says to “rejoice with the wife of thy youth,” not thy “wives” [plural] which seems to be telling us that God’s ideal for marriage is with one wife; not for polygamous marriages. It is the one man/one woman couple that God will bestow His blessings on. He created men and women to be just two in the marriage ordinance that become one flesh, cherishing each other and delighting in each other. These is His divine purpose for men and women, and anything else is a deviate from his plan and purpose and is an abomination.

*Proverbs 5:19 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.

The hind or a female deer, (doe) has a graceful beauty in her eyes and facial expression and has a elegance about her movements and in her form. The hind is commonly used in poetry writings of ancient times symbolizing the beauty of a woman. Breasts are an imagery of love and affection; as depicted in The Song of Solomon.

In summary, Solomon is instructing his son to stay at home and enjoy the wife of his youth, the wife that he is in covenant with right now and enjoy the blessings that God is providing for them and their family.  He is instructing him: “don’t go looking elsewhere thinking that you are going to find greener grass on the other side. Be content with such things as you already have and don’t go after illicit fleeting pleasures that will only ruin you, destroy your family, and your family lineage.”

What is the solution or the alternative to living a promiscuous life which includes adultery and fornication? In these verses the virtues of marriage are extolled and the son is admonished to save all of his love and affection for the wife of his youth [his life-long wife] that he entered into a marriage covenant with and to seek to be intimate with her only.

Of course all of this advise is just as pertinent to a wife, as she too must only seek her husband’s love and affection and not turn aside to any other man or allow herself to be seduced by someone who is immoral. (Titus 2:3-5)

*Proverb 5:20 And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?

The father becomes very adamant and pleads with his son to not even consider the folly of going to a prostitute or an adulteress to satisfy his longings for love or sexual fulfillment especially now that the son has been warned of the horrible consequences of such behavior: “why would you want to, when you know it leads only to misery and death?”

*Proverbs 5:21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondereth all his goings.

Everything we do, say, or even think, cannot be hidden from God and yet most of humanity has no clue to this reality and ignorantly think that they can keep things hidden.

In our modern world it is common for people to openly talk about their affairs. They really don’t care who knows about their co-habitation or immoral lifestyle and have no shame. It used to be that there was still shame involved with the sin of adultery; it was usually a hidden sin that was kept from the world and especially from the mates of the adulterers. (Like David thought he could keep his adultery with Bathsheba hidden, before he repented.) God also says in many places that He will bring the hidden things of darkness to light if not repented of.

Jeremiah 23:24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.

1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God. (see also Job 12:22, Ephesians 5:13)

*Proverbs 5:22 His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins. 5:23 He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.

Solomon gives dire warnings about God who sees everything that we do and even what is in the innermost part of our heart; and He will reward us accordingly. The great folly of going after affairs will ensnare those who pursue such things.

If a person refuses to listen to wise instruction regarding remaining faithful to his spouse, or to not indulge in promiscuous behavior before marriage, he will get off the path of the strait and narrow and it will be his undoing; eventually leading to eternal death if he refuses to repent.

Solomon again reiterates the dangers of going after strange women in this last verse with heartfelt warning to stay away from them and not let them ensnare us with seduction. But as is often the case, this dire warning is figurative in nature of spiritual implications that go far beyond just the physical sin of committing adultery or fornication.

He is warning us as Christians [God’s children] to stay away from those who would seduce us away from our faithfulness to Christ, our espoused Husband, by departing from Him with any commandment breaking or seeking after false religion as well.

What is the Spiritual Meaning of Strange Women?

In Proverbs 5, the Bible warns us about strange women, so it behooves us as God’s people to learn about who they are and what they are cunningly trying to achieve. What is their real goal?

In Proverbs 7, Solomon again reiterates his warning to his son to stay away form the strange woman, from the stranger who flatters with her words.

How? By keeping God’s commandments and His law as the apple of our eye, bound upon our fingers and written on the tablet of our heart. Doing so will put up a guard or a hedge of protection from the strange woman.

Proverbs 7:1 My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. 7:2 Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. 7:3 Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart. 7:4 Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman: 7:5 That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.

Solomon  introduces the “strange woman,” again in this chapter and gives a graphic scenario of a simple young man devoid of understanding being captivated and enticed by this strange woman as the King James version calls her. She is depicted as a “seductress,” “adulteress,” “wayward wife,” “loose woman,” “adventuress,” or “foreigner.”

The Hebrew word translated “strange” is zuwr (Strong’s #2114) and indicates lacking qualities in this person: zuwr also means to turn aside. To be strange represents something that does not measure up or is lacking, or incomplete in comparison to a standard or God’s ideal of something. This woman does not live up to the standard or ideal of a godly woman, (or more specifically of a godly wife) and so the Scriptures labels her as “strange”.

The English definition for strange is:

1. Not previously known; unfamiliar, a person who is not recognized.

2. Out of the ordinary; unusual or striking.

3. Differing from the normal.

4. Not of one’s own or a particular locality, environment, or kind; exotic.

5.Unusual or surprising in a way that is unsettling or hard to understand. 6. Odd, curious, peculiar, funny, bizarre, weird, not previously visited, seen, or encountered; unfamiliar or alien.

(*Please note: As we know, being a stranger is not necessarily to be bad or evil. God in many places speaks lovingly of the stranger and gives instructions on how we are to care for them. All of us have been strangers in that sense by being either an outsider, or one that others may not recognize or know yet. This study is only concerned about being strange or a strange woman when the context indicates that it means a sexually immoral person, whether physically or spiritually.  And the whore spiritually depicts a false religion as being contrary to God’s law.)

God defines a strange woman as a person who is a stranger to and does not live by His ways, by His laws, and has turned aside from His standard of how a godly woman should conduct herself (and especially a godly wife). He doesn’t recognize her; He doesn’t know her; she does not belong to Him; she is not a part of his beloved lawful bride; but is outside of his Covenant of marriage to those called to be a part of his bride.

In Proverbs, chapters 5, 6, and 7, Solomon warns of the danger of being seduced and led astray by a person (a strange woman) who does not live up to godliness. He illustrates her ways of alluring men in these chapters and while this is a very evil ploy in the case of a seductress or sexually immoral woman, there is an even more sinister and subtle application that entails a seduction on the spiritual level.

There is physical and there is spiritual seduction, with the physical kind being representative of the spiritual kind that goes on when wicked people or deceived people try to lead us away from our spiritually betrothed Husband, Jesus Christ.

They attempt to entice us to put other gods before Him and persuade us to break His commandments and statutes by their example or by their clever arguments and human reasoning. They may even claim to be the “authority” over us and that we must believe what they say just because they say it, even if their teaching is contrary to what God says in His Word.

Many places in the Book of Proverbs, and throughout the whole Bible, there are warnings to us about seduction from false teachers and false prophets tempting God’s children into following their pernicious ways. These can be even be COG leaders and ministers who entice God’s people to abandon the laws of God and to come exalt and follow them; therefore causing the one who is being enticed to be unfaithful to the God that he or she is in covenant with.

We know that ancient Israel entered a marriage covenant with God in Exodus and she became His wife. The children of Israel promised that what so ever He said they would do.

Exodus 19:8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord. (Also Exodus 24:3,7, Deuteronomy 5:27)

Jeremiah 3:14 “Return, O backsliding children,” says the Lord; “for I am married to you”.

Isaiah 54:5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.

2 Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.5:28  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 3:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 3:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Matthew 25:6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

Revelation 21:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.

Individuals who come to believe, repent, become baptized, and receive God’s Spirit, enter a Marriage Covenant with Christ; and they are the ones who become the Spiritual Israel of God who collectively become the Bride of Christ.

These are the saints who are in training, who are in the process of qualifying to be married to Christ at the Marriage Supper if they remain true and faithful to Him even before they are married to Him.

Before conversion and before being called out, we were slaves to sin and its consequences. Now, under the New Covenant, we drink from Christ’s cup and agree to His terms of the Covenant.

When we repent and seek forgiveness and apply the sacrifice of Christ to our past sins, it frees us from the penalty of those sins, as well as making us responsible to remain faithful to this spiritual engagement.

We are then in a espousal relationship and we are to honor those terms by our faithfulness; the same terms that are applied to the wife after the marriage. In this way we are qualifying to be married to Jesus in all its fullness after we are resurrected, becoming spiritual beings and after we have been proven faithful during the engagement period.

But we also see that these strange women, as depicted in these scenarios in Proverbs, are rightly named as women whom God does not recognize, and who do not live up to the standards that He has set for His children.

The whore is an allegory of a false religion or false teacher enticing a person away from his passion for the LORD of his covenant. Since they are wicked themselves, they then become instruments that Satan can use to entice and tempt men to get involved in shameful acts with them.

They are not only examples of what prostitutes and immoral women are like but Solomon is also using this as a metaphor of what happens when false teachers, false ministers, and false religious leaders, and even false brethren come to us as deceivers and seducers to try to entice or convince us to depart from God’s Commandments and His true doctrines.

They too use similar methods of operation that these immoral women use in enticing His people to pollute His commandments, to depart from sound doctrine and to go after other gods.

The same advice that he gave to his son, and by extension to all God’s people, is to RUN from them, don’t even go near their dwelling!  “Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house.”

The apostle John gave a stern charge about this very thing, warning in his epistle to stay away from deceivers and antichrists. As we read his warning in his letter, it may seem to be mild, concerned, general advice, so we can miss the emotion that John must have been feeling for these people. These are his brethren that he addresses as “beloved” in all of his letters.

The people who he was writing to were his beloved brothers and sisters that he had the pleasure and honor of being used to plant the seeds of the gospel in them. He had taught them about all the commandments and what it had been like to have been taught by, and to live in the very presence of the Master. He may have baptized some of them; had watched them grow in the faith; had counseled them in their struggles against sin; and had anointed them with oil when they became ill and afflicted; laughed and cried with them in the many times they had been together.

And now he was seeing evil deceivers come in the very midst of them, trying to entice them to embrace other doctrines that were not based on sound Biblical truth that he had so painstakingly taught them. He could see that they were being lead away from the very LORD and Savior who had bought them with the sacrifice of His own blood; and these false teachers, and even a church leader, (Diotrephes) were beguiling them away from their inheritance and their place in God’s Kingdom.

They were on the road to forfeiting even their chance for eternal life to live forever with God if they continued to tolerate and listen to these teachers that were teaching against Christ’s teachings. John used very strong language calling these false teachers deceivers and antichrists. He commanded them not to welcome them or let them into their homes and not to even bid them God-speed [bid them a prosperous journey, success, farewell or any kind of encouragement for what they were doing!].

 2 John 1:6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

2 John 1:8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.

2 John 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

2 John 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 1:11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

As parents watching over our own dear children and grieving over their choices of evil friends and peer groups that we know will be a bad influence on them, we can only imagined how the apostle John must have agonized over having to write this letter to his congregations, to his children in the LORD.

He was very concerned for them; wanting them to heed his warning to stay away from these deceivers at all costs, perhaps with tears streaming from his eyes as he penned this letter and had it sent out.

We read of so many times Jesus warns us to watch out for those who would try to seduce us and lead us astray from Him and His Father and all that they have planned for us. And also the other apostles who wrote under Christ’s inspiration to beware of those who would try to entice us away from following after God and God alone, just like the Strange Woman in Proverbs 7 who came after the simple young man with her flattery and allurements.

He was described as a simple one among the youths, a young man void of understanding. He was passing through the street near her corner, and went by the way to her house, in the evening, in the darkness of night. What was he even doing by going so close to where she dwelt and at that time of night; we might ask ourselves? Could he not even discern how much danger he was in by just walking in her area? If she was in the habit of doing this on many occasions when her husband was out of town did she not have a “reputation”?

How about us; how close do we get to those we know have a reputation for teaching false doctrines, allowing them into our homes via television, radio, computers, or even visitors that come to our homes and want to argue with us about what we know as the truth and have proven it from Scripture? False teachers that want us to believe them in lieu of believing what God has taught us from His Word? God is saying to Watch Out and stay Loyal to Him!

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Matthew 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Mark 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

Luke 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

The sin of sexual immorality is symbolic of spiritual unfaithfulness to God, the One we are betrothed to marry and we collectively are called the Bride of Christ.

Revelation 14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. 14:2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: 14:3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. 14:4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. 14:5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

In Revelation 14:1-5 the people who are with the Lamb (who is also the Christ) and are a part of the collective bride; have some very special spiritual qualities and in these few verses, is a description of what the Bride of Christ will be, what she does, and what she will be like.

1.They have their Father’s name written on their foreheads; in their minds.

2.They are the only ones who can learn the new song that the is being sung before the God’s throne and before the four beasts and the elders.

3.They are redeemed from the earth.

4.They are not defiled with women [not defiled with false religious teachings] : for they are virgins.

5.They follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.

6.And they are redeemed among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

7.Also, they are without guile [deceit] in their mouths: for they are without fault.

They are “not defiled with women and are virgins” is, of course, a spiritual analogy of being pure from being tainted or corrupted by false doctrines and false religions. The word “women” in verse 4 is used as a symbol of false churches just as the great whore in Revelation is depicted as a woman and represents a powerful false religious system; specifically false Christianity that permeates our modern end-time world.

And in Proverbs, a “strange woman” can be symbolic of anyone or any system or any group that tries to entice God’s people into committing spiritual adultery against Him.

Therefore a “strange woman” can be either men or women if they are being used as Satan’s instruments to mislead and seduce us away from our betrothed Husband into following them and embracing their deceptions.

In Revelation we learn about the one “strange woman,” the great whore that sits upon many waters.

Revelation 17:1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: 17:2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. 17:3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 17:4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: 17:5 And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth.

We are commanded to come out of Babylon so that we are not partakers of her sins and will not receive her punishment with her.

Revelation 19:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. 19:5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. 19:6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. 19:7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. 19:8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her. 19:9 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,

As stated above, John writes that he heard a voice from heaven commanding true Christians, [those who follow Christ wherever He goes] to come out from Babylon spiritually. To remove themselves from being influenced by or from embracing any of this vile wicked system [or her false doctrines] that has overtaken the earth. We must resist and reject all of her ways, and have no love for the ways of this present evil world.

1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Before we were called out of this world, we were all part of this evil system and all of us walked according to the course of the world (Ephesians 2:2-3). We were the children of disobedience, conducting ourselves in the lusts of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and mind and going after the things of the world. We drank from the cup of this woman of Babylon by taking in her false religion, or drinking of the vile sinful culture we live in that God says is filthiness.

God, through John, commands us to come out of Babylon, not to buy into what she is selling or promoting to the world. And it is because He does not want us to share in the sins that she offers from her promiscuous cup and then reap the consequences (plagues) that God warns that He is going to pour out upon her.

Paul tells us that God is jealous toward His bride, and that those who make up the bride must choose to whom they will obey and be loyal to.

1 Corinthians 10:21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.

It is clear enough from this and many other passages in the Bible that we must make a choice: We either drink of the cup of the Lord and remain faithful to our commitment to Him and to the terms of the Covenant, or we drink of the cup of demons and the Babylonish sinful system they propagate. These two cups are mutually exclusive; we cannot drink from both. We cannot have one foot in the world and one foot in God’s world and then expect to be on His team under His rulership in the Kingdom.

1 Thessalonians 4:1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. 4:2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. 4:3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, [God’s will is that we be holy, pure, and set apart] that ye should abstain from fornication: 4:4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; 4:5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: 4:6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. 4:7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

To come out of Babylon means an inner transformation, a change or conversion, from all that Babylon represents and we refuse to participate with it or in it anymore. When we get the ways of Babylon out of our hearts and minds and way of doing things, we too, go from the “stranger” that God does not recognize, to a child of God, someone that God does recognize and calls His very own.

Isaiah 43 But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, [and now Spiritual Israel]. Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.

The wanton strange woman represents all that is evil about Babylon; Satan’s own system that can seem so attractive. Like the mythical beautiful sea sirens who sang out to sailors with their sweet tunes and lured them to their destruction on the rocks surrounding their island…. so is Babylon that sings out to us to come and partake of all her luxuries and all the pleasures of the false and self centered teachings that she has to offer.

Consider again the words of warning that Solomon gave to his son that pertain to keeping him safe from this strange woman.  These are the things that will safe-guard us and put a hedge of protection around our hearts and minds. (Proverbs 7:1-3)

1. My son, keep my words

2. Lay up my commandments with thee

3. Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye

4. Bind them upon thy fingers

5. Write them upon the table of thine heart

This is our offensive and defensive strategy that we must use to avoid being led astray by “strange women”, whether its a real person, or by the symbolic spiritual harlot who tries to deceive us and lead us away form God. And this can also include men who are covertly seducers who participate and may even be teachers in the midst of God’s assemblies.

God’s first part to His instruction is to keep His words and to “lay up” His commandments, meaning to value and treasure the instructions He has given to us and keep them right in front of us at all times. He  emphasizes this in verse 2 with the mandate to keep His commandments and make His law the apple of our eye; that is, to see them as precious and guard ourselves from ever taking them for granted and letting them slip; that we always keep them right before us and regard them as most valuable treasure, a highly prized possession.

This present evil world, or Babylon, is diametrically opposed to God’s commandments and all that He stands for, in both the letter and spirit of His law.

And the people of Babylon who make up our culture will think of us as strange because they are not familiar with the ways of God that we keep and teach.

But brethren, no matter how much others may call us strange or weird, ostracize us and throw us out of their “synagogues”; or we are rejected by this world because we do not buy into their deception and ways of living; we must remain forever faithful to our One and only Espoused Husband.

He is counting on us to be a pure chaste Bride who will do all His will and follow Him wherever He goes, so that He can use “her” as His instrument to assist Him in rescuing the rest of the world from the clutches of the “Strange Woman” as workers for His Kingdom; in His perfect timing: “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 5:5)

As Jesus would say “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear!”


James Malm and Constance Belanger

Note-  Constance submitted the original rough draft of this article in 2016, which I then completed for posting.  

Proverbs 5

5:1 My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding:

5:2 That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge.

5:3 For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:

5:4 But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.

5:5 Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.

5:6 Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.

5:7 Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth.

5:8 Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house:

5:9 Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel:

5:10 Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger;

5:11 And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed,

5:12 And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof;

5:13 And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!

5:14 I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly.

5:15 Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.

5:16 Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets.

5:17 Let them be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee.

5:18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.

5:19 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.

5:20 And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?

5:21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondereth all his goings.

5:22 His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.

5:23 He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.

Summary Scripture

Revelation 19:7-9

Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him:

for the marriage of the Lamb is come,

and his wife hath made herself ready.

19:8 And to her was granted that she should

be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white:

for the fine linen of saints is

 the righteousness of the saints.

 19:9 And he saith unto me, Write,

Blessed are they which are called

unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.

And he saith unto me,

These are the true sayings of God.

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