The definition of Spiritual Adultery is quite simple and straightforward. However, the proof text for determining what it is gets rather involved. The reason for this is because the definition can only be found in the Gospels. Jesus built an argument for defining this phenomenon while discussing this issue with the Pharisees, Saducees, and Scribes during several of his confrontations with them.

The New Testament epistles do not define or redefine the meaning of Spiritual Adultery. It is assumed in the NT epistles that the reader knows and understands what it is and to whom the scriptures are identifying. Once, it its known, it can be easily observed that the NT also uses the same definition that our Lord used to describe this act.

For readers who do not wish to engage the proof texts for determining Spiritual Adultery, you may quickly review the definition and conclusion here. . .

The answer to the above question is absolutely crucial to understand the implications and consequences of Spiritual Adultery in the Church. Christians are warned many times in the New Testament to avoid and abstain from Adultery. However, it soon becomes obvious to many Bible students that the sin of Adultery as described in the New Testament Epistles is referring to more than the fleshly sinful act of immorality among the married. Reference to Adultery in the Epistles is somehow related to the Church as some type of Spiritual action and therefore this act is referred to herein as "Spiritual Adultery".

Understanding and identifying "Spiritual Adultery" is necessary to grasp the meaning and heed the warnings contained in Scripture. This importance is climaxed when we observe that The Church of Thyatira in Revelation chapter 2 is involved in both adultery and fornication. The fact that these sins are of a Spiritual nature is obvious from the context. This passage alone makes a distinction between what is known as "Spiritual Adultery" and " Spiritual Fornication". Our focus in this Bible topic study is on Spiritual Adultery whereas Spiritual Fornication is covered in another Bible topic study.

From a previous Bible topic study on "Adultery and Fornication- What's the Difference?", we learned that in the Physical and Fleshly realm, the "ACT" of Fornication and the "ACT" of Adultery are IDENTICAL. The difference between the two depends on the Marital status (RELATIONSHIP) of the OFFENDER.

Fornication =>  Illicit Sexual relationship by an unmarried, never been
married, or "betrothed" (engaged) person

Adultery => Illicit Sexual relationship by a Married or previously
married (divorced) person

Unlike the Physical realm, Gender is not a factor in Spiritual Adultery. The focal point is no longer centered on illicit Man/Woman relationships, but is on the single most important Christ/Man relationship. Needless to say both Spiritual Adultery and Spiritual Fornication involve an illicit relationship with the Kingdom (body of Christ, the Church). It will be shown in this Bible topic study series that in the spiritual realm, the "ACT" of Fornication and the "ACT" of Adultery are also IDENTICAL. The difference between the two depends on the RELATIONSHIP of the OFFENDER to Jesus Christ.

A relationship with Jesus Christ either exists or doesn't exist. A person is either "Born Again" or Not "Born Again". You are in the Kingdom of God or Not in the Kingdom of God. You are of his sheep or Not of his sheep. There is no middle ground with respect to a person and their RELATIONSHIP to Jesus Christ. Through the new birth, You are either a Child of God or NOT a child of God.

The issue of Fellowship is different from the issue of Relationship with Jesus Christ. For growing and maturing Christians, Fellowship increases and improves over a period of time through the Believer's increasing knowledge and understanding of His Word by the Grace of God and by the working power of the Holy Spirit through revelation.

John 16
12 "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
14 He will glorify Me, for He will TAKE OF WHAT IS MINE and DECLARE IT TO YOU.
15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.

Fellowship with Jesus Christ is a variable and can change at any given time due to our actions and understanding of His Word. A Believer's Relationship with Jesus Christ is a constant and does NOT and CANNOT be changed because of the New Birth experience. That which is born of the SPIRIT is SPIRIT (Jn 3:6). If you are a Believer, you already have a Relationship with Jesus Christ as a "Child of God" and it is this Author's hope that this topic study will increase your Fellowship with Jesus Christ through wisdom and understanding of this portion of His Word. May the Spirit of God take the things of God, through the Word of God and reveal them unto us - - - Amen.

Our priority in this topic study is to determine what the act and sin of "Spiritual Adultery" actually is. Throughout the remainder of this study you will notice that the dialogue between our Lord and the Jews in the Gospels is keyed to the fact of whether the Jews BELIEVE in Jesus Christ or not. The people he refers to as Adulterers are the "Unbelievers". Keep this point in mind as we look at the scriptures and develop proper correlations.

VIEW OF SPIRITUAL ADULTERY

A View of Spiritual Adultery is obtained in the Gospels as follows - - - .

Matthew 12:39
But He answered and said to them, "An EVIL and ADULTEROUS generation seeks after a SIGN, and no SIGN will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.

Matthew 16:4
A WICKED and ADULTEROUS generation seeks after a SIGN, and NO SIGN shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah." And He left them and departed.

Matthew 12:38
Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, "Teacher, we want to see a SIGN from You."

Matthew 16:1
Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a SIGN FROM HEAVEN.

Luke 11:16
Others, testing Him, sought from Him a SIGN FROM HEAVEN.

John 2:18
So the Jews answered and said to Him, "What SIGN do You show to us, since You do these things?"

John 6:30
Therefore they said to Him, "What SIGN will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work (Miracle) will You do?

John 11:47
Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, "What shall we do? For this Man works many SIGNS (Miracles).

John 12:37
But although He had done so many SIGNS before them, they did NOT BELIEVE in Him,

Our first view of Spiritual Adultery reveals that it has to do with the action of SEEKING SIGNS and is attributable to UNBELIEVERS.

THE "ACT" OF SPIRITUAL ADULTERY

Spiritual Adultery is manifested in the request for Signs, Wonders, and Miracles by the unbelieving Jews. Therefore, we can conclude that - - -

THE "ACT" of SPIRITUAL ADULTERY => SEEKING AFTER SIGNS

The "Act" of Spiritual Adultery by these Unbelieving Jews is the DESIRE for Signs so that they may witness wonders and miracles. This will be expanded when we get to the New Testament Epistles to include:

  • Belief in Signs, Wonders, and Miracles
  • Teaching of Signs, Wonders, and Miracles
  • Practice of Signs, Wonders, and Miracles

THE ADULTEROUS GENERATION

In the Gospel records our Lord confronts the Unbelieving Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees. Jesus is no longer referring to Adultery which is in the flesh and has to do with illicit man/woman relationships and which was condemned in the Old Testament - "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery". His reference to Adultery in the following takes on a new and different meaning. The Adultery of which our Lord is speaking will be referred to as, "Spiritual Adultery" - - -

The following verses describe the characteristics of the Unbelieving Jews who are seeking after Signs - - -

Matthew 12:39
But He answered and said to them, "An EVIL and ADULTEROUS generation seeks after a SIGN, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.

The first correlation He has revealed to us is - - - -

(1) SPIRITUAL ADULTERY => EVIL GENERATION

Jesus condemns the actions of these Jews who request that HE provide additional signs and wonders.

Matthew 16:4
A WICKED and ADULTEROUS generation seeks after a SIGN, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah." And He left them and departed.

The second correlation He has revealed to us is - - - -

(2) SPIRITUAL ADULTERY => WICKED GENERATION

Jsus again condemns their request for signs and wonders and tells them that the only sign they will receive is the sign of Jonah. The sign of Jonah to which He is referring is the "Resurrection" of Jonah. After three days of "Death" inside the belly of the great fish from which his Soul is in sheol, Jonah is resurrected from the dead and spit out on the beach. Jesus Christ will also die and after three days be resurrected. His resurrection from the dead will be the miracle (SIGN) from heaven given to these unbelieving Jews.

Matthew 12
40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish (DEAD), so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (DEAD).
41 The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the PREACHING of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.

The sign that will be given to this generation WILL NOT BE SIGNS FROM HEAVEN, but WILL BE the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the Preaching of Jesus Christ on earth. The relationship is as follows - - -

1)  The Resurrection of Jonah   =>   The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
2)  The Preaching of Jonah      =>   The Preaching of Jesus Christ

Mark 8
11 Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a SIGN FROM HEAVEN, testing Him.
12 But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, "Why does this generation SEEK A SIGN? Assuredly, I say to you, NO SIGN SHALL BE GIVEN TO THIS GENERATION."
38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My WORDS in this ADULTEROUS and SINFUL generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels."

The third correlation He has revealed to us is - - - -

(3) SPIRITUAL ADULTERY => SINFUL GENERATION

Jesus previously fed five thousand men not counting wives and children with five loaves and two small fish. This SIGN that HE performed did not satisfy their craving for a SIGN FROM HEAVEN. Jesus refers to them as sinful.

The parallel to Seeking Signs and Wonders is "Ashamed of Me and My Words" - - -. Jesus is saying that these unbelieving, Sign Seeking Jews are REJECTING the WORD OF GOD. They are OPPOSED to the WORD OF GOD ! ! !

The fourth correlation He has revealed to us is - - - -

(4) SPIRITUAL ADULTERY => REJECT WORD OF GOD

Jsus further creates a link between their request for SIGNS and ADULTERY with the introduction of the term HYPOCRITES. He does so in the following - - -

Matthew 16
1 Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a SIGN FROM HEAVEN.
2 He answered and said to them, "When it is evening you say, "It will be fair weather, for the sky is red";
3 and in the morning, "It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening." HYPOCRITES! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.
4 A WICKED and ADULTEROUS generation seeks after a SIGN, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah." And He LEFT THEM and departed.

The fifth correlation He has revealed to us is - - -

(5) SPIRITUAL ADULTERY => HYPOCRITES

Hypocrisy is a basis for committing (spiritual) adultery by these Unbelieving Jews and will be expounded upon later.

The practice of performing Signs, Wonders, and Miracles is also associated with false and unbelieving Jews who are Adulterers in the Tribulation period.

Matthew 24:24
24 "For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great SIGNS and WONDERS to DECEIVE, if possible, even the elect.

The key objective of the Sign Performing Jews (Adulterers) in this case is DECEPTION - - -

The sixth correlation He has revealed to us is - - -

(6) SPIRITUAL ADULTERY => DECEPTION

The ADULTEROUS Sign Seeking Jews are describe by our Lord as "UNBELIEVERS". - - -

John 4:48
Then Jesus said to him, "Unless you people see SIGNS and WONDERS, you will by no means BELIEVE."

Matthew 5:20
For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

The seventh correlation He has revealed to us is - - -

7) SPIRITUAL ADULTERY => UNBELIEVERS

Therefore we conclude that "Spiritual Adultery" is associated with Unbelievers. Signs include the pursuit and request by the Unbelieving Jews for SIGNS, WONDERS, and MIRACLES from Heaven. They did not believe in the signs which our Lord did - - -

Acts 2:22
"Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by MIRACLES, WONDERS, and SIGNS which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know-

We can summarize to this point the characteristic traits of this ADULTEROUS generation which we now refer to as committing Spiritual Adultery as follows - - -

1)  Evil            4)  Reject Word of God      7)  Unbelievers
2)  Wicked          5)  Hypocrites
3)  Sinful          6)  Deceivers

The main question before us at this point is, "Will the New Testament Epistles confirm that Seeking After Signs in the Church is Spiritual Adultery?

The characteristics of the unbelieving and adulterous Jews is now complete. Jesus does not associate with such - -

Matthew 16:4
A WICKED and ADULTEROUS generation seeks after a SIGN, and NO SIGN shall be given to it except the SIGN of the prophet Jonah." , - - -

"AND HE LEFT THEM AND DEPARTED"

ADULTERY AND LEAVEN

Jesus now turns our attention away from the nature or characteristics of the Unbelieving Jews who are seeking after signs and now reveals to us the overall effect of Spiritual Adultery in the Kingdom (The Church). Jesus now introduces a new correlation between their request for SIGNS which we call SPIRITUAL ADULTERY with the introduction of the term LEAVEN. He does so in the following

- - -

The Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees - - -

Matthew 16
5 Now when His disciples had come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread.
6 Then Jesus said to them, "Take heed and BEWARE of the LEAVEN of the Pharisees and the Sadducees."
7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, "It is because we have taken no bread."
8 But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, "O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread?
9 Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up?
10 Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many large baskets you took up?
11 How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? -but to BEWARE of the LEAVEN of the Pharisees and Sadducees."
12 Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the LEAVEN of bread, but of the DOCTRINE of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Having previously proved that the "Act" of Spiritual Adultery is Seeking after Signs by the Unbelieving Jews, Jesus now introduces a new correlation which is associated with Spiritual Adultery or the Seeking of Signs - - -

SPIRITUAL ADULTERY => LEAVEN of PHARISEES and SADDUCEES

Spiritual Adultery is associated with LEAVEN and the Leaven is the SEEKING of SIGNS, and the disciples are warned to BEWARE of it.

Beware of the Leaven of the Pharisees and Herod

Mark 8
11 Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a SIGN FROM HEAVEN, testing Him.
12 But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, "Why does this generation seek a SIGN? Assuredly, I say to you, NO SIGN shall be given to this generation."
13 And He LEFT THEM, and getting into the boat again, departed to the other side.
14 Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, and they did not have more than one loaf with them in the boat.
15 Then He charged them, saying, "Take heed, BEWARE of the LEAVEN of the Pharisees and the LEAVEN of HEROD."
16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, " It is because we have no bread."
17 But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, "Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened?
18 Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember?
19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up? They said to Him, Twelve."
20 "Also, when I broke the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of fragments did you take up?" And they said, "Seven."
21 So He said to them, "HOW IS IT YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND?"

Understand what? They did not understand that the SIGNS FROM HEAVEN which the Jews were requesting had actually been given them in THE BREAKING OF BREAD

John 6:51
I am the LIVING BREAD which came down FROM HEAVEN. If anyone eats of this BREAD, he will LIVE FOREVER; and the BREAD that I shall give is MY FLESH, which I shall give for the life of the world."

Jesus now introduces another correlation which is associated with Spiritual Adultery - -

SPIRITUAL ADULTERY => LEAVEN OF HEROD

Is the "Leaven of Herod" and the "Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees" the same thing? We shall see - - -

Luke 9
7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by Him; and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had risen from the dead,
8 and by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the old prophets had risen again.
9 Herod said, "John I have beheaded, but who is this of whom I hear such things?" SO HE SOUGHT TO SEE Him

At this point we are not certain why Herod "Sought to See Him", that is Jesus. It is not until Jesus is in the process of being condemned to death by crucifixion that we know conclusively why Herod desired to see Jesus - - -.

Luke 23
6 When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked if the Man were a Galilean.
7 And as soon as he knew that He belonged to Herod's jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.
8 Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was EXCEEDINGLY GLAD; for he had DESIRED for a long time to SEE Him, because he had HEARD many things about Him, and he hoped to SEE SOME MIRACLE done by Him.
9 Then he questioned Him with many words, but HE ANSWERED HIM NOTHING.
10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him.
11 Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate.
12 That very day Pilate and Herod became friends with each other, for previously they had been at enmity with each other.

Now we know why Herod "Sought to See Him", that is Jesus. He wanted to see "MIRACLES". Jesus had no response to his questions and had NO interaction with him whatsoever ! ! ! Jesus previously LEFT the Jews who were requesting SIGNS ! !

The Leaven of Herod and the Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees ARE the same thing ! ! ! The Leaven is premised on the fact that they were - SEEKING AFTER SIGNS, WONDERS, and MIRACLES

Now we have proof that - - -

LEAVEN of HEROD = LEAVEN of PHARISEES and SADDUCEES

Leaven is associated with Seeking for Signs

The correlation we can now make is that - - -

SPIRITUAL ADULTERY = SEEKING SIGNS => LEAVEN

Pilate and Herod having condemned our Lord to death are now UNITED in friendship !

Notice that while the Pharisees and Sadducees were seeking SIGNS from Him, Jesus was emphasizing to His disciples that He has just performed a Sign from Heaven in the BREAKING of the Bread. The breaking of bread was done by the hands of Jesus, put into the hands of His twelve disciples and then distributed to both believing and unbelieving Jews so that ALL could eat and be filled. This Miracle and Sign from Heaven continues until this present day and the bread that is broken is the WORD OF GOD. . . . .

John 6:35
And Jesus said to them, "I am the BREAD OF LIFE. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who BELIEVES in Me shall never thirst.

Not only did the Jews WITNESS that sign, but they ATE of the loaves and fishes ! ! !

Luke 11
29 And while the crowds were thickly gathered together, He began to say, "THIS IS AN EVIL GENERATION. IT SEEKS A SIGN, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.
30 For as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation.
31 The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here.
32 The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.

The point of Jesus statements above is that - -

  • Spiritual Adultery or the "Seeking of Signs" is in contrast to the "Wisdom of Solomon"
  • Spiritual Adultery or the "Seeking of Signs" is in contrast to the "Preaching of Jonah"
  • Spiritual Adultery or the "Seeking of Signs" is in contrast to the "Teaching of Jesus"

Therefore, as shown above, Spiritual Adultery works as Leaven and Leaven, the Seeking of Signs, is OPPOSED to the Word of God.

LEAVEN AND HYPOCRISY

The "Act" of Spiritual Adultery, Seeking of Signs, works as Leaven in the Kingdom (The Church). Jesus now turns our attention away from the EFFECT that Spiritual Adultery has in the Kingdom to focus on the main ingredient of Leaven. In other words we can think of Leaven as having a primary ingredient. This primary ingredient is the basis for Leaven and is a foundation for its permeating effect throughout the Kingdom. Jesus now introduces a new correlation between the Leaven described above which is the action of SPIRITUAL ADULTERY, that is the SEEKING of SIGNS with the introduction of the term HYPOCRISY. He does so in the following - - -

Luke 12:1
In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, "BEWARE OF THE LEAVEN OF THE PHARISEES, WHICH IS HYPOCRISY.

Another correlation which develops is that the very nature of the LEAVEN is based on Hypocrisy.

Therefore - -

SPIRITUAL ADULTERY => LEAVEN => HYPOCRISY

The EFFECT or WORKING of Spiritual Adultery is similar to the EFFECT that Leaven has when placed into bread. The basic ingredient or substance in the Leaven is Hypocrisy ! !

This correlation links the effect of Spiritual Adultery to the ones who Practice Spiritual Adultery. You recall that in the reference verses above, Jesus included their characteristic nature as HYPOCRITES. Therefore their Seeking for Signs (Leaven) within the Kingdom (The Church) is based on HYPOCRISY. We have previously shown that the other characteristics of those who commit Spiritual Adultery were sinful, wicked, evil, hypocrites, deceivers, unbelievers, and ashamed (opposed) to the Word of God.

Jesus has now established firm correlations between Adultery, Signs, Wonders and Miracles and Leaven - -

SPIRITUAL ADULTERY   =>  UNBELIEVERS  =>  LEAVEN   =>  HYPOCRISY
(Seeking for Signs)

There remains but one additional correlation to complete the description of Spiritual Adultery and identify those who practice such - - -

SPIRITUAL ADULTERY AND DOCTRINE

Up to this point we have learned the following aspects of Spiritual Adultery - - -

  1. The "Act" - Seeking Signs
  2. Characteristics - Wicked, Evil, Sinful, Reject Word of God, Hypocrites, Deceivers, Unbelievers
  3. Effect - Similar to Leaven

Next Jesus is going to reveal the method by which Spiritual Adultery will propagate itself. Similar to a computer virus, Leaven must have a program to infiltrate the Kingdom (The Church). In other words, if there was no motivational force or program to continue the spread of Spiritual Adultery, then it is just as likely that this undesirable Effect on the Kingdom could and would just expire. The Pharisees and Sadducees to whom Jesus addressed could be the last generation that were ever charged with the sin of Spiritual Adultery. This is not the case however, Spiritual Adultery will grow and spread throughout the Kingdom similar to the action of Leaven. The dynamo behind the sin of (Spiritual) Adultery is described as follows - - -

Matthew 16
5 Now when His disciples had come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread.
6 Then Jesus said to them, "Take heed and BEWARE of the LEAVEN of the Pharisees and the Sadducees." - -
11 How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread?-but to BEWARE of the LEAVEN of the Pharisees and Sadducees."
12 Then they understood that He did not tell them to BEWARE of the LEAVEN of bread, but of the DOCTRINE of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Jesus has now revealed the nature of this virus if you will, the method for propagating Spiritual Adultery. His disciples were able to interpret Jesus reference to Leaven as Doctrine (Teaching) by these unbelieving Jews. The resultant correlation is now - -

The woman who is hiding the leaven in three measures of meal reveals that . . .

SPIRITUAL ADULTERY (acts as) LEAVEN (and propagates by) DOCTRINE

SPIRITUAL ADULTERY AND DECEPTION

Mark 8
11 Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a SIGN from heaven, testing Him.
12 But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, "Why does this generation seek a SIGN? Assuredly, I say to you, NO SIGN shall be given to this generation."
13 And He left them, and getting into the boat again, departed to the other side.
14 Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, and they did not have more than one loaf with them in the boat.
15 Then He charged them, saying, "Take heed, BEWARE of the LEAVEN of the Pharisees and the LEAVEN of Herod."

If the disciples fail to Take Heed and BEWARE, then they will become victims of the doctrine. Another correlation which develops is that the OBJECTIVE of the LEAVEN is DECEPTION.

Therefore the correlations now include - - -

SPIRITUAL ADULTERY  => UNBELIEVERS => LEAVEN => HYPOCRISY => DECEPTION
(Seeking for Signs)

The action of the above can be expressed as - - -

SPIRITUAL ADULTERY (acts as) LEAVEN (propagates by) DOCTRINE (yields) DECEPTION

The Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees and of Herod is going to exist in the Kingdom of God and propagate itself throughout the Kingdom by DOCTRINE (Teaching). This virus, this Leaven, will permeate itself throughout the Kingdom by the TEACHING of ITSELF ! ! ! However, from the recipients standpoint, this doctrine cannot propagate unless the hearers of the Doctrine are Deceived. Therefore, the objective of Spiritual Adultery is DECEPTION.

Now the correlation components are complete which reveal to us what Spiritual Adultery is, the characteristics of the offenders, its effect on the Kingdom, its method of propagation, its foundational basis, and its objective - - -

      SPIRITUAL ADULTERY

1)   Seeking Signs   =>  THE ACT
2)   Wicked          =>  the Character
3)   Unbelievers     =>  The Offenders
4)   Leaven          =>  The Effect
5)   Doctrine        =>  The Method
6)   Hypocrisy       =>  The Basis
7)   Deception       =>  The Objective

DOCTRINE OF LEAVEN AND THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN

Our Lord presents the issue of Spiritual Adultery as being associated with LEAVEN. The reason for doing so is that this undesirable and sinful DOCTRINE will infiltrate the Kingdom of Heaven (The Church) similar to the action that LEAVEN has in meal (bread). This doctrine will have a permeating effect until the whole lump of BREAD (Word of God) is LEAVENED (Corrupted) and the members DECEIVED. This is the characteristic effect that Spiritual Adultery will have in the Church. The Church HE is talking about in NOT the entire Church, but is the Church of Thyatira described in Revelation Chapter 2.

If only there was a parable to describe this Leaven effect in the Church ! !

Behold ! --- Our Lord gave a parable to demonstrate the analogy between Spiritual Adultery which is Leaven and the effect it will have on the Kingdom of Heaven (The Church). The FOURTH Kingdom of Heaven Parable that Jesus told in Matthew 13 is - - -

Matthew 13:33
Another parable He spoke to them: "The kingdom of heaven is like LEAVEN, which a WOMAN took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened."

THE CHURCH OF THYATIRA

This Church is involved in both Spiritual Adultery and Spiritual Fornication. In this Church, the Leaven is actively working and will work until the whole lump of bread (The Word of God) is Leavened. Completion will occur just prior to our Lord's return.

Could Spiritual Adultery and Spiritual Fornication be the same thing? We will discuss this fully in the next Bible topic study relating to Spiritual Adultery and the Church.

SPIRITUAL ADULTERY DEFINED

From the above proofs, it can be readily determined that Spiritual Adultery is the seeking after Signs with all of its attributes and characteristics and effect and is associated with Unbelievers only. Therefore, the definition of importance which is necessary to properly understand and interpret the Scriptures which relate to Adultery is - - -

SPIRITUAL ADULTERY
is the seeking of
SIGNS WONDERS MIRACLES
by
UNBELIEVERS

Just as Physical Adultery is associated with the married only, Spiritual Adultery is associated with Unbelievers only---

The definition of Spiritual Adultery will be further refined to show that it exists in THE CHURCH which we shall see from scripture and therefore our complete definition of Spiritual Adultery is

Spiritual Adultery => The Belief, Promotion, or Practice of Signs,
                      Wonders, and Miracles in The Church by an
                      Unbeliever 

SPIRITUAL ADULTERY VERSUS PHYSICAL ADULTERY

Spiritual Adultery mentioned above is only attributable to Unbelievers. Some aspects of Jesus teaching refers to these Adulterers from the aspect of their UNBELIEVING nature while not specifically addressing the issue of SEEKING SIGNS.

Physical Adultery is "OF THE FLESH". Similarly, Spiritual Adultery is also "OF THE FLESH".

While Physical Adultery is "Sexual" through unfaithfulness, Spiritual Adultery is "Sensual" through hypocrisy.

The only ones who can commit Spiritual Adultery are the Unbelievers, The Lost, The Unredeemed, The Unsaved.

SPIRITUAL ADULTERY REMEDY

Since before being Born Again, we are ALL Married to the World. The only way to stop being an Adulterer is for the Spouse to which we are married to DIE. The spouse must die, before a new relationship can occur without Adultery. In this case it is WE who must DIE - - -

Romans 7
1 Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives?
2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband DIES, she is RELEASED from the law of her husband.
3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an ADULTERESS; but if her husband DIES, she is free from that law, so that she is NO ADULTERESS, though she has married another man.
4 Therefore, my brethren, YOU also have become DEAD to the law through the body of Christ, that YOU may be MARRIED to another--to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.
5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death.
6 But now we have been delivered from the LAW, having DIED to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

Now that we (The Spouse) have died, then we are free to be engaged (espoused, betrothed) to Christ - - -

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

One example of Spiritual Adultery is found in Luke where the Pharisees, who are identified as Adulterers, encounter Jesus:

Luke 16
14 Now the Pharisees (Adulterers), who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him.
15 And He said to them, "You (Adulterers) are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men (Works of the Flesh) is an abomination in the sight of God.
16 "The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.
17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.
18 "Whoever (you pharisees) DIVORCES his WIFE (Works of The Law) and marries another (The Kingdom) commits ADULTERY; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband (Works of The Law) commits ADULTERY.

Jesus is saying that the Pharisees are the Adulterers in this teaching by trying to get into the Kingdom by Works and not by repentance (Faith) thereby NOT Dying to the World (Fleshly Works of The Law). They intend to enter the Kingdom of God through Works of Law. They have not become DEAD to the Law and therefore they are in effect initiating a Divorce because their spouse has NOT died. Because they attempt to enter the Kingdom (join themselves to the Church Body) they are NOT DEAD to the LAW, therefore, they are Adulterers.

" . . . and whoever marries her who is Divorced from her husband (The Law) commits ADULTERY.

Jsus is saying that anyone who is not a Jew living Under the Law, ( i.e. a gentile proselyte) but attempts to enter the Kingdom by doing (keeping) the Works in THE LAW, ALSO becomes guilty of committing Adultery. The Pharisees had Not died to the Law but were divorced from the Law and had illegally and illicitly joined themselves to the Kingdom thereby committing Adultery. A proselyte comes along and sees the divorced woman (The Law) and joins (marries) himself to The Law (by works) and he also attempts to enter the Kingdom by keeping THE LAW. This too is Adultery.

The above passage in Luke is applicable to "Spiritual" Adultery as well as "Physical" Adultery . . .

Romans 7:4
Therefore, my brethren, YOU also have become DEAD to the LAW through the body of Christ,

Now those of us who have DIED to the World (The Law of Works) and are Born Again can be engaged, betrothed, espoused to Christ . .

We will see in another Bible topic teaching that the PRACTICE of performing Signs, Wonders, and Miracles is associated and relegated to a special and unique class of people in the Church. We can just by observation of Church practice say that Christians who are involved in the Belief and Propagation of Signs, Wonders, and Miracles by far out number those Christians who actively PRACTICE, perform, and demonstrate Signs before Church members. The thing that legalizes the PRACTICE of (Spiritual) Adultery is that it is done in JESUS' NAME - -

THE PENALTY FOR SPIRITUAL ADULTERY

Under "The Mosaic Law", Adultery required the Death penalty: . . .

Deuteronomy 22:22
"If a man is found lying with a woman married to a husband, then both of them shall DIE--the man that lay with the woman, and the woman; so you shall put away the evil from Israel.

Under the New Covenant, Spiritual Adultery also requires the ETERNAL DEATH penalty. We see first of all by example that the "Leaven of Herod" was used as an example to teach of Spiritual Adultery. Herod's fate is described as follows - - -

Acts 12
21 So on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne and gave an oration to them.
22 And the people kept shouting, "The voice of a god and not of a man!"
23 Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give GLORY to God. And he was eaten by worms and DIED.

Herod was in effect practicing Spiritual Adultery - - -The Sign that Herod was practicing by hypocrisy was "The Voice Of A God". He accepted credit for it by the people clamoring and shouting that it was so.

The belief, teaching, and practice of Spiritual Adultery which involves "Signs, Wonders, and Miracles" is a dynamic effort on the part of the offender and is void of the Spirit. By hypocrisy they attempt to duplicate the miracles of Jesus and the apostles. The fate for ANYONE committing and practicing Spiritual Adultery is as follows - - -

Matthew 7
21 "Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
22 Many (Spiritual Adulterers) will say to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we not PROPHESIED IN YOUR NAME, CAST OUT DEMONS in YOUR NAME, and done many WONDERS in YOUR NAME?"
23 And then I will declare to them (Spiritual Adulterers), "I NEVER KNEW YOU; depart from Me, you who PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS!"

In the above case, we see that Jesus is addressing the dynamic Practicers of Spiritual Adultery. These words are not applicable to just ANY Unbeliever who is a "TARE" in the Church or a Worldly sinner who rejects the Gospel of Jesus Christ. His words to those people will be - - -

Luke 13
22 And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.
23 Then one said to Him, "Lord, are there few who are saved?" And He said to them,
24 "Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
25 When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, "Lord, Lord, open for us," and He will answer and say to you, "I do not know you, where you are from,
26 then you will begin to say, WE ATE AND DRANK in Your presence, and YOU TAUGHT in our streets."
27 But He will say, "I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, ALL YOU workers of iniquity."

Notice in the above context that there is NO dynamic as Jesus stated to the unbelievers in Matthew 7. These words will be addressed to Unbelieving TARES who were in the Church while it was upon the earth.

The Unbelievers described in Matthew 7 above are NOT the same group as described in Luke 13. The False Teachers in Matthew were highly visible and actively and dynamically TEACHING and PERFORMING SIGNS in the Church whereas the False Professing Christians in Luke were NOT highly visible and NOT actively teaching or performing signs in the Church. Both groups are lost however.

Also, we learned previously that Adultery under Mosaic Law required the death penalty:

    Commit Physical Adultery  => Death Penalty

    Commit Spiritual Adultery => Eternal Death Penalty

Spiritual Adultery under the New Covenant requires the "Eternal Death" penalty . .

SUMMARY

Spiritual Adultery is committed by Unbelievers and is ALWAYS of the Flesh. There is a contradiction of terms in the strictest sense to call it "SPIRITUAL" Adultery, but it is Spiritual in the sense that Believers are required to know and understand it. Its existence and practice has a profound effect upon the Church. This explains why there are so many warnings in the epistles about NOT committing fornication.

Spiritual Adultery is committed by UNBELIEVERS (Not Born Again) who have developed a SENSUAL RELATIONSHIP with Christ's Body, the Church through Signs, Wonders, and Miracles. Any such relationship is illicit, immoral, and is called Adultery and is based on and executed in Hypocrisy.

Believers are Never referred to as having committed ADULTERY when it is of a spiritual nature. Can Believers commit Adultery in the physical sense? Of course they can, and this is condemned in both the Old and New Testaments.

Since an Unbeliever is NOT Born Again, they are of the Flesh. Therefore ANY Unbeliever's relationship with Christ's Body IS and MUST BE and CAN ONLY BE . . . . . . . SENSUAL . . . . ADULTEROUS . . . .

From the correlations observed and established, we know the characteristics of those who commit Spiritual Adultery. They are - - -

1)  Evil           4)  Reject Word of God       7)  Unbelievers
2)  Wicked         5)  Hypocrites
3)  Sinful         6)  Deceivers  

The nature of Spiritual Adultery is summarized as follows - - -

       SPIRITUAL ADULTERY

1)   Seeking Signs =>  THE ACT
2)   Wicked        =>  the Character
3)   Unbelievers   =>  The Offenders
4)   Leaven        =>  The Effect
5)   Doctrine      =>  The Method
6)   Hypocrisy     =>  The Basis
7)   Deception     =>  The Objective

Based on this Bible topic study, we find that Spiritual Adultery is spiritual in the sense that the spirit in question is NOT OF GOD. One who can commit Spiritual Adultery MUST be an Unbeliever, Unsaved, Unredeemed, and NOT a child of God. There is NO SPIRIT about it because the HOLY SPIRIT IS NOT and CAN NOT be joined and indwelt among Unbelievers.

1 John 4:1
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but TEST the SPIRITS, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

The correlation associated with Spiritual Adultery based on the gospel accounts is as follows - -

ADULTERY => UNBELIEVER => LEAVEN => HYPOCRISY => DOCTRINE => DECEPTION
Seeking     Offenders      The         The         The          The 
Of Signs     (Wicked)    Effect       Basis       Method     Objective
(The Act)

We will see from our continued Bible topic studies on this subject that the New Testament Epistles expand Spiritual Adultery (The Seeking after SIGNS) to include - - -

  • Belief in Signs, Wonders, and Miracles
  • Promotional teaching of Signs, Wonders, and Miracles
  • Practice of Signs, Wonders, and Miracles

Now, one of the ten commandments takes on an even greater significance when we realize that it has application for Unbelievers, that is the Unsaved in the spiritual realm as well as the physical realm - - -

Exodus 20:14 YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY

Understanding Spiritual Adultery is rather plain and straightforward because only Unbelievers can commit this sin. However the study is important because - - -

  1. The consequences of committing Spiritual Adultery are severe
  2. There is a SPECIAL reward to those who TAKE HEED and BEWARE of the LEAVEN

CONCLUSION

We now know that the Doctrine of Leaven to which our Lord was referring to has to do with the Seeking of Signs, Wonders and Miracles which is (Spiritual) Adultery. These Unbelieving teachers cloaked in hypocrisy will propagate this doctrine by corrupting the Word of God and thus deceive the members.

This appears to be what is happening today as the KEY for obtaining, witnessing, or performing signs, wonders, and miracles is based on KNOWLEDGE of the Word of God. The average Church member just entering a Church which promotes this doctrine was previously unaware of these things until they became EDUCATED to the Word of God and only then can they share in the EXPERIENCE ! ! !

Unsaved members in the Church are referred to as TARES in the first parable of Matthew 13. Every Church of Christ is composed of a mixture of wheat and tares, believers and unbelievers, saved and unsaved members.

But are all members of The Church who believe and propagate the teaching of signs, wonders, and miracles UNSAVED? The answer to that question will be found in the next Bible Topic Study - "Spiritual Fornication".

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