Do Not Commit Adultery
You shall not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14)
“Do not commit adultery” is a fundamental commandment. God has determined for a man and a woman to be united and become one flesh as husband and wife. It was not this way from the beginning when they were to reproduce and increase in number.
However, from the time man received God’s covenant, the such commandment was given. So this started since the time of Adam and Eve; prior to that such commandment had not been given. Therefore, before that time, polygamy was not a sin. That was God’s will because it was needed that they have many offspring. That is what animals do. They mate, have babies, separate mate with one another and so on. By doing that, they can have more offspring.
But now, the purpose of man is not a reproduction. Man is to prepare the way for the Son of God to come. Thus having many children is not the goal. Instead, by understanding the relationship of husband and wife, we are meant to understand our relationship with God. So “Do not commit adultery” in the Old Testament, words such as adultery, sexual immorality appear continuously. It says that the people worshipped Moloch or listened to prophets as though they committed adultery before God.
Our relationship with God is a covenant. We made a covenant that He is our God, and we are His people. We made that covenant and established our relationship with Him. So we promised to be with Him forever, which is Immanuel and marriage, which means we must look unto Him only and no one else. Therefore we mustn’t commit adultery for our own pleasures and desires.
It is a covenant. It’s a contract. Marriage is a contractual relationship. There are so many beautiful women in the world, so why should I look unto my wife only? Likewise, why should I only set my eyes on my husband? It would be foolish to live like that according to our natural instinct, wouldn’t it? But we made a contract to live that way. Two people make a vow before God, according to God’s commandment. From that time, we don’t turn our eyes to any other man or woman, no matter how charming they are. Because we made a vow, if we turn our eyes elsewhere, it becomes adultery.
In the same way, because we made a contract with God, even if God is not the most powerful, even if we find out after making a contract that He is not the supreme almighty, we still have to keep our covenant with Him. Even if another great god was to appear before us, the moment we turn our eyes to that god, it becomes adultery. But our God is the one and only God, and it is with Him that we made a covenant. So we couldn’t dare turn our eyes elsewhere, can we?
Hence to worship another god itself is adulterous. No one who has made a covenant with God openly worships another god. But it is without even realizing that people worship other gods. People don’t even realize themselves. Let’s read Leviticus 20 about this. “Then I will set My face against that man and against his family; and I will cut him off from his people, and all who prostitute themselves with him to commit harlotry with Molech.” They worshipped Molech adulterously. They worshipped another god. By that they committed adultery.
It is hard to find people who believe in God that worship other gods. As it says in verse 6, “The person who turns to mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people.” They claimed to believe in God but turned to mediums which is adulterous.
And the such warning is still given in the New Testament also. Let’s turn to 2 Peter 2. 2 Peter 2:1-2. “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.” It’s speaking of false prophets. They bring in destructive heresies and deny the Lord. “And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.” It says “destructive ways,” but when we interpret the meaning, it means adultery, to commit adultery. So people might think this adultery is between a man and a woman, but when you look at the context, that’s not what it is implying.
It says here that they will do what is adulterous, which refers to what verse 1 says about the false prophets. Because of this, the truth is blasphemed. Because of such false teachings, people will deny the Lord and bring on themselves destruction. And it continues to say in chapter 2 that such people will face judgment. 2 Peter 2:4 says, “For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;”
Those false prophets will go to hell before the devil. How on earth is it that they go to hell even before the devil does? They get special treatment. The devil goes to hell much later, but these false prophets will fall into hell the moment the Lord returns. They will go to hell first and wait. They are pretty much the devil’s prophets.
Although they claim to believe in the Lord, to believe in God, they bring that which is not a revelation from God and speak falsely under the pretence that it is from God as a prophet. That’s even worse. Not only is worshipping other gods terrible, but so is claiming to believe in God while denying the Lord with false revelations.
What is the ultimate goal of this? Why do people keep doing that? It’s because of covetousness. Verse 3 says, “By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.” It’s all because of their greed. By covetousness, they will exploit you.
Actually, it is easy to be enticed by this way. As you work in ministry, you find people that don’t listen very well. Because of those people, you want to show your authority to them even by making things up. For example, you find out about a person’s weak points from someone. And when that person doesn’t really listen to you, you say, “God revealed something to me yesterday. You did something wrong, didn’t you?” They would say, “How did you know?” And from that time on, you would keep doing that. You say, “God showed me something,” and speak as though you saw it yourself, and tell that person, “You committed such and such sin, didn’t you?”
Personally, I can do something like this if I choose to. For example, I hear news about a person in Beijing from Harbin and various sources, so I know a lot about that person even if he didn’t tell me. So if I decide to do this, I can just say, “God keeps revealing to me in my dream that you are oppressing the saints legalistically. God told me to warn you that you can be in trouble if you continue like this.” If I were to deal with people in this manner, everyone would listen to me, won’t they? They’d feel intimidated. This actually happened. People would lie like this and continue to do more for their own gains.
Among the people in China, there were some who lied to the saints to make people do pyramid sales. They said that God inspired the pastor to help the church members so that they should obey the pastor. If those pastors continue in that manner, they become completely numb in the end, making up lies and bringing destruction to themselves. Such is adulterous. While other sins can be forgiven, such spiritual sins cannot. We must be on guard against this, making false claims in the name of God and pretending to have received revelations that never came. We must not only be cautious but pray that we never fall into such temptation. Let us pray that we never fall for such adulterous temptation.
God our Father, help us so that we never do things for our own profit under the pretence of God’s name while claiming to serve God. Protect us Lord, that we never commit this terrible spiritual sin, and keep us so that we don’t fall into temptation. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Ki-Taek Lee
The Director of Sungrak Mission Center