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Doctrine of Divorce

July 15, 2010

Doctrine of Divorce
A.  Definition.
1.  The word “divorce” is derived from the Latin word DIVORTIM, which means separation.  It was used as a part of Roman law during the Republic.  The husband could divorce the wife, but the wife could not divorce the husband until the later Empire.
2.  It must be remembered that marriage is a divine institution belonging to category number one truth (establishment) for both believers and unbelievers.  The laws of marriage apply to both believer and unbeliever.
3.  In American law today, divorce is a legal declaration dissolving a marriage and breaking the marriage contract.  There are two categories of divorce today.
a.  The judicial separation of a husband and wife, which does not dissolve the marriage bond.
b.  A legal divorce which dissolves the marriage bond, and gives the right of remarriage as far as American law is concerned.
4.  The Bible limits the number of reasons for dissolving a marriage and even fewer reasons for the right of remarriage.
a.  Divorce was permitted under the Mosaic Law.
b.  Pre-salvation marriage, divorce, and remarriage is not an issue.
c.  Marriage is dissolved by the death of a spouse.
d.  Adultery is a legitimate basis for divorce and remarriage by the innocent party.  If the guilty party remarries, that is adultery, and causes the second husband or wife to be living in adultery.
e.  Desertion is a legitimate basis for divorce and remarriage.
f.  The divorce gimmick is a legitimate basis for divorce and remarriage.
5.  In cases where divorce is legal and gives the right of remarriage, two things must be remembered.
a.  It is always the innocent victim in the adultery case, desertion case, or gimmick case who has the right of remarriage, not the guilty person.
b.  If the guilty person remarries, he or she is living in adultery.  However, there is a solution to that as well.
6.  The Scripture is silent on other reasons for divorce.  Incompatibility is no reason for divorce.  The Scripture is silent on such reasons as: brutality, drunkenness, drug addiction, sexual molestation, especially of children, violence, insanity, criminality, and suicidal tendencies.
a.  The Bible is silent regarding obvious reasons for divorce.  Any time the person is in a life threatening situation they have the right of divorce.
b.  The Bible is silent because those who have the right of divorce in these cases have no right of remarriage.  This is because the victim is not qualified to handle another marriage.  But if the guilty party remarries or dies, then the victim has the right to remarry.
c.  Several things are in favor of the divorced victim in cases not specified by the Bible.
(1)    The elapse of time in single status to recover from the horrible experience by growing in grace.
(2)     If the guilty party dies or remarries, then the marriage is officially dissolved for remarriage by the innocent party.
(3)  The guilty party is not permitted to remarry, Mt 5:32, “I say to you that any one who divorces his wife, except for the cause of adultery, causes her to become an adulterous.  And anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”  If the guilty party remarries, then he or she causes his or her new spouse to be living in adultery.
7.  Legitimate Biblical divorce is analogous to the death of one partner in the marriage.  To you, that mate is dead.  This category gives the surviving mate the right of remarriage, Rom 7:14; 1 Cor 7:39.
8.  Before we can begin an objective discussion of divorce, some grace principles must be remembered.
a.  Any sin or failure regarding marriage or divorce on your part before you became a believer was blotted out at the moment of salvation, Isa 43:25; Ps 103:12; 1 Jn 1:7.  Therefore, you are not held accountable for any sin or failure before salvation.  Every sin of marriage, divorce, and remarriage were all judged on the cross by God the Father.  They are no different than any other sins.
b.  If you are now divorced and remarried contrary to Biblical mandate, do not try to resolve the problem.  No matter how many sins and failures have gone into your marriage, do not seek divorce as your first option, but remain in your current status quo!  Don’t use this doctrine as an excuse to get out of the marriage.
c.   Two wrongs do not make a right.  Under many circumstances divorce becomes a second wrong.  Carry on with your Christian life; i.e., “go forth and sin no more.”
d.  If you are living in adultery, do not change your status quo.  You cannot rectify past failure in marriage and divorce by leaving your present spouse in a second, third, or forth marriage and go back to a former spouse.
e.  The solution to living in an adulterous marriage is the grace of God, which begins with rebound and logistical grace, and continues through spiritual growth and the attainment of spiritual adulthood.
f.  All sins related to marriage and divorce are forgiven immediately through the use of the rebound technique.
g.  Do not try to make adjustments for your past failures in marriage, divorce, and remarriage, but remain in your present status quo.  Remain as you are until the Bible clarifies your present status from the standpoint of Bible doctrine and your next move from the standpoint of Bible doctrine.
h.  If you are still alive after any failure in the sphere of marriage, divorce, and remarriage, then remember that God still has a purpose for your life – to glorify Him.
i.  Finding God’s purpose requires learning Bible doctrine, not jumping from the frying pan into the fire.
9.  Principles.
a.  People are no better in marriage than they are as people.
b.  People who are losers in single status are losers in marriage.
c.  People who are winners in single status are winners in marriage.
d.  It takes two winners to make a successful marriage, because each is responsible for his own decisions and modus operandi.
e.  A good marriage is not designed for happiness, but for virtue.  Virtue is designed for happiness.  Virtue in marriage means happiness in marriage.
f.  Marriage is not designed for happiness, because happiness comes from sharing the perfect happiness of God (+H).
g.  Marriage is not designed for happiness, but for winners, because winners have both understanding and use of the problem-solving devices.
10.  Before marriage, you should consider the compatibility checklist.
a.  There must be spiritual compatibility.
(1)  Understanding that salvation is by faith and faith alone.  Understanding that your partner is a believer.
(2)  Understanding or agreement as to what constitutes the Christian way of life.
(3)  Understanding to see if you have general compatibility in the field of Bible doctrine.
(4)  Understanding and agreement as to your local church preference.
b.  Soul compatibility.
(1)  What are your priorities in life?  What are their priorities in life?
(2)  What is their general mental attitude?  Do they boss you around?  Do they whine and complain?
(3)  Do you have agreement in norms and standards?  Is there mental and emotional compatibility?
c.  Physical compatibility.  Are you attracted to their appearance, grooming, dress, etc.?
d.  Economic compatibility.
(1)  Is there agreement on how money is going to be administered?  There should be a pre-marital agreement so a man cannot touch a woman’s money after marriage.
(2)  There should be agreement on whether or not the wife should work.
e.  Family compatibility.
(1)  There should be agreement on the desirability of children.  Children often become the source of great antagonism in marriage.
(2)  There should be agreement on the rearing and training of children.
f.  Stability compatibility.  Avoid marriage where there is substance dependence such as alcohol or drugs, a compulsive gambler, a psychotic or a neurotic person.

B.  The Dissolution of Marriage by Death.
1.  The death of a spouse does dissolve a marriage, Rom 7:2-3.  “For example, a married woman is bound by the law to her husband as long as he is alive.  But if her husband dies, she is released from the law [contract] of marriage.  So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is classified as an adulterous.  But if her husband dies, she is released from that contract, and is not an adulterous even though she marries another man.”
a.  This illustration applies equally to men as well as to women.
b.  Personal love outside of the integrity envelope is the most dangerous situation for you.  The most dangerous people in the world are people who fall in love outside of the integrity envelope.  Nothing is more dangerous than a lover with no virtue.
c.  If a woman is not willing to submit to the authority of a man during courtship, then she should never marry him.  The woman has greater influence in submitting to the authority of her husband than she has in exercising authority over a husband.  No woman’s beauty is complete until she has accepted the authority of her husband.  To accept the authority of her husband the woman must possess impersonal love as the integrity envelope for her personal love.
2.  1 Cor 7:39, “A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives.  If, however, the husband dies, she is free to be married to whomever she wills, but only in the Lord.”
a.  If a husband or wife dies, the surviving spouse is free to remarry.  Age is not the issue.
b.  The surviving spouse is free to remarry, but only under the leading of the Lord.  Remarriage does not necessarily bring all the happiness you envision.  You must make sure you have completely recovered from the loss of your previous spouse.

C.  Divorce in the Old Testament, Dt 24:1-4.
1.  Verse one says, “When a man takes a wife and he marries her, and it comes to pass that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found in her a matter of shame [dishonor, indecency] in her, then he writes her a certificate of divorce and he places it in her hands, and he sends her out of the house.”
a.  Ordinarily, “a matter of nakedness” would refer to adultery.  But under the Mosaic Law adultery was a criminal offense punishable by death, Dt 22:20-24.  So this phrase does not refer to adultery.
(1)  The Rabbinical school of Hillel interpreted this as meaning divorce for any flimsy reason, anything that displeases a husband.  For example:
(a)  By causing her husband to eat food that had not been first tithed.
(b)  By not keeping a Temple vow.
(c)  By walking in public with her hair loose (down).
(d)  By flirting with a man.
(e)  By being noisy, so that neighbors can hear her arguing.
(f)  If the man found a woman who was more beautiful.
(2)  This phrase is also found in Dt 23:14, “….therefore He [the Lord] must not see a matter of nakedness [anything indecent] among you and turn away from you.”  This use also does not refer to adultery.
(3)  Therefore, the best translation for this phrase should be “a matter of shame, a matter of dishonor, or a matter of nakedness.”  Whatever was meant by “a matter of shame” is not really known, but they understood it at that time.
(a)  Dt 23:15-16 defines a matter of dishonor or shame as simply returning an escaped slave.  It was dishonorable to return an escaped slave to his owner.
(b)  Becoming a cult prostitute was considered a matter of shame, Dt 23:17.
(c)  Dt 23:18 defines a matter of dishonor as tithing the wages of a homosexual prostitute.
b.  This is the first reference to divorce in the Word of God.  There was a legal, civil procedure for divorce.  The civil case was tried by a Levite.  Divorce was a civil matter; adultery was a criminal matter.
c.  We can also deduce from this verse that divorce was legal under certain circumstances called “a matter of shame.”  Why isn’t an explanation of this recorded in Scripture?  Because the Mosaic Law was rescinded by our Lord during the dispensation of the Hypostatic Union and restated what it meant.
d.  Whatever “the matter of shame” was, it became the basis for the divorce gimmick.  The woman was not the guilty party, but the victim of a gimmick used by the husband to get rid of his wife.  Therefore, she had the right of remarriage.
e.  The divorce gimmick.
(1)  “Gimmick” is a slang word for an ingenious device or a scheme of deception.  A gimmick is tricky and deceptive.  The divorce gimmick can also be called the Herod syndrome, because Herod the Great had nine or ten wives, which he divorced to get the next wife.  The same thing occurred with his son.
(2)  The divorce gimmick is based on a sly, self-justification to get rid of an unwanted spouse.  It is defined two ways.
(a)  The husband divorces his wife on some false pretext because he has someone else in mind for remarriage.
(b)  The wife divorces her husband on some false pretext because she has someone else in mind.
(3)  The innocent victim has the right of remarriage, but only after an elapse of time to recover from the shock.  The guilty party does not have the right of remarriage.
(4)  The divorce gimmick is simply a flimsy excuse to divorce one spouse for the purpose of marrying someone else.
(5)  The divorce gimmick seeks to maintain a superficial righteousness, and even self-justification.  Hence, it becomes a combination of hypocrisy and sinfulness.
2.  Verse two, “And when she leaves his house, and goes her way and becomes the wife of another man.”
a.  Because she is the innocent victim of a divorce gimmick, she has the right of remarriage.
b.  God the Holy Spirit led Moses to anticipate what would happen for the next 400 years.
3.  Verse three, “then if her second husband hates her [the divorce gimmick] and writes her a certificate of divorce and places it in her hand and sends her out of the house, or if her second husband dies who took her to be his wife,”
a.  Hatred is not a legal basis for divorce.  Just because a spouse hates their partner, that is no basis for divorce.
b.  God the Holy Spirit uses this example to show the thinking of someone using the divorce gimmick for self-justification.  Hatred was the motivation of the divorce gimmick.  Hatred indicates that “the matter of shame” is being distorted by the hatred of the husband.
c.  Our Lord explains Dt 24:1 in terms of scar tissue of the soul in Mt 19:8, when He said, “Because of your hardness of heart [scar tissue of the soul] Moses permitted you to divorce your wives.”
d.  Dt 24:3 gives two reasons for dissolving a marriage under the Mosaic Law.  An illegal reason – her husband hates her; a legal reason -her husband dies.
4.  Verse four, “then her first husband, who previously divorced her is forbidden to marry her again, since she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the Lord, therefore you will not bring sin into the land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance.”
a.  She is not defiled in the sense that she has done something wrong.  But it means that she has had sex with her second husband, which has permanently destroyed the authority of her first husband.
b.  Therefore, the Bible says never go back to your first husband after divorcing your second husband.  His authority has been destroyed; and he is vulnerable to the sins of hatred, revenge, jealousy, bitterness, and vindictiveness because of the second husband.  He will be hypersensitive regarding his sexual ability in comparison with the other husband.
c.  The phrase “you will not bring sin into the land” includes two concepts: criminality – adultery; and violation of civil law – the divorce gimmick.  Two categories of sinfulness infiltrated the client nation of Israel.
(1)  Degeneracy under the pattern of implode, explode, and revert.
(2)  Divorce gimmicks which destroyed the stability of the nation under the laws of divine establishment.  The stability of the nation depends on the existence of a pivot of mature believers, and the stability of marriage and integrity of family life.
5.  Our Lord not only rescinded the Mosaic Law during the dispensation of the Hypostatic Union, but actually limited legitimate divorce to adultery.  Paul was given the opportunity of adding desertion as a legitimate reason for divorce.
6.  Therefore, Scripture gives three reasons for legitimate divorce and the right of remarriage: the divorce gimmick; adultery; desertion.
7.  But our Lord limited legitimate divorce to only adultery, and permitted Paul to add desertion.  Furthermore, our Lord explained that Moses had been liberal in granting divorces because of Jewish scar tissue of the soul.
8.  Jewish client nations had a three category system to prevent illegal divorce.
a.  The divorce was certified by a legal written document.
b.  The divorce decree was delivered to the woman with the husband’s signature stamped or sealed in the presence of at least two witnesses.
c.  The husband had to take the responsibility for the decision made, since his signature was on the decree.  Most of the time he was wrong.  Whoever gets a divorce today, whether man or woman, they are responsible for the decision and become the guilty party.
9.  There are five things that dissolve a marriage and give the right of remarriage.
a.  Anything by way of divorce and remarriage before salvation.  All pre-salvation sins are blotted out as of faith in Christ, Isa 43:25, 44:22; Ps 103:12; Eph 1:7; Col 1:14.
b.  Adultery, Mt 5:32, 19:9; Mk 10:11-12.  But adultery does not mean that the marriage must breakup.  “Forgive as Christ forgave.”
c.  Desertion, 1 Cor 7:15.
d.  The victim of a divorce gimmick, Dt 24:2.
e.  The death of a spouse, Rom 7:2-3; 1 Cor 7:39.
10.  In cases where divorce occurs without the right of remarriage, the death or remarriage of the divorced spouse who is guilty gives the right of remarriage.  But proceed with caution.

D.  Our Lord’s Clarification of Divorce in the Dispensation of the Hypostatic Union.
1.  In three sequential dispensations, the Bible states a legitimate reason for divorce.
a.  In the dispensation of Israel, the innocent victim of the divorce gimmick found in the phrase “a matter of shame” of Dt 24:1 had the right of remarriage. Dt 24:1, “a matter of shame.”
b.  In the dispensation of the hypostatic union, adultery became a legitimate reason for divorce and remarriage.  Mt 5:32, 19:9; Mk 10:11-12.  In these passages our Lord changes adultery from a criminal action to a civil case.
c.  In the dispensation of the Church Age, desertion is a legitimate basis for divorce.
d.  Other factors that dissolve the marriage bond are:
(1)  The death of the spouse, Rom 7:2-3; 1 Cor 7:39.
(2)  The divorce gimmick, which gives the innocent victim the right of remarriage, but not the guilty party.
2.  Our Lord comments on Dt 24:1-4 in Mt 5:31-32.  “Now it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, he must give her a certificate of divorce’; but I say to you that any one who divorces his wife, except for the cause [or reason] of adultery, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
a.  Divorce in Israel was always a civil procedure.  The judge was a Levite priest.  He was responsible to counsel the couple, then admonish them, then to render a decision.  He either granted a divorce or he did not.  If he granted the divorce, the Levite wrote the decree.  The decree was then signed by the husband and delivered to the wife in the presence of at least two witnesses.
b.  The Greek word PORNIA is a general term for every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse.  Adultery was the only legitimate cause for divorce.  Our Lord now amends the concept of adultery from that in the Old Testament.  In the Old Testament, adultery was a criminal offense punishable by death.  Our Lord now makes adultery a civil offense punishable by legal divorce.
c.  Our Lord gives new meaning to the phrase “a matter of shame” of Dt 24:1.  The phrase now refers to adultery only.  All reasons for divorce in the Old Testament are now rescinded, including the gimmicks that were practiced.
d.  The adulterous marriage originates from divorce and remarriage.  But the innocent party in an adultery divorce has the right of remarriage and there is no adultery involved in the remarriage.
e.  If the guilty party in a divorce remarries, they commit adultery and cause the new spouse to be in a state of adultery also.
f.  The Scripture authorizes remarriage for the innocent victim of the divorce gimmick, of an adultery divorce, and in the case of desertion.  Outside of these areas the Scripture is silent.
(1)  When the Bible is silent on legitimate reasons for divorce that are obviously right, no right of remarriage is given.  Any life threatening situation is certainly a legitimate reason for divorce.  Examples of this include:
(a)  Brutality and injury to spouse and children.
(b)  Substance abuse such as drug abuse and alcoholism.
(c)  Sexual abuse of spouse and children.
(d)  Homicidal and suicidal tendencies on the part of a spouse.
(e)  Criminal activity by a spouse against the family.
(2)  Why is the Scripture silent?  While any abusive activity or life threatening situation is a legitimate reason for divorce, it is not a legitimate reason for remarriage.  This is similar to our concept of legal separation.
(3)  The law protects an abused wife and children, and part of that protection is divorce.  However, the purpose of divorce is the protection of life and limb, not the basis of remarriage.
(4)  Where the Bible is silent about legitimate reasons for divorce, there is no right of remarriage.  There is one exception: if the guilty party dies or remarries, the innocent party is free to remarry.  But proceed with caution because the innocent victim has become damaged goods that must first be repaired by spiritual growth.
3.  Our Lord’s second commentary on Dt 24:1-4 is found in Mt 19:3-9.
a.  Our Lord is under attack by the Pharisees who taught that you could divorce your wife if you found someone better.  Our Lord countered this teaching, and the Pharisees were angry about it.
b.  “So the Pharisees came to Him, testing Him and saying, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any or every reason?’  Then He answered and said to them, ‘Have you not read [Gen 1:27 and 5:2], that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female,’ and said [Gen 2:24], ‘For this cause a man shall leave father and mother, and be united to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh?  Consequently, they are no more two, but one flesh.  Therefore what God has joined together, let no man tear apart.’  They replied to Him, ‘Then why did Moses command to give her a certificate and divorce her?’  He said to them, ‘Because of your hardness of heart [scar tissue of soul], Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning [the Garden] it was not so.  In fact I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for the cause of adultery, and marries another person commits adultery.”
c.  In verse 4, the Lord goes back to the first marriage on earth, which was a flop even in perfect environment.  The first marriage was the precedent for all marriage in the Old Testament.
d.  Divorce tears the “one flesh” apart.  A divorced person, even for legitimate reasons, is torn flesh and is not marriage material.  Therefore, where authorized, remarriage demands the elapse of time for the healing of torn flesh.  The wounds will never heal until the innocent party in a divorce case has attained spiritual adulthood and is using the problem-solving devices and maximum doctrine in the soul.
e.  Scar tissue of the soul can be either moral or immoral degeneracy.  Either type of degeneracy can destroy a marriage quickly.  The divine institution of marriage demands the ultimate in compatibility in marriage, a compatibility that can only exist with virtue.
f.  Jesus is saying that marriage is the indissoluble will of God, except for the case of adultery.  As a civil matter, adultery is a legitimate basis for divorce.
4.  Our Lord’s third commentary on Dt 24:1-4 is found in Mk 10:2-12.
a.  “Now the Pharisees approached Him, testing Him, and began to interrogate Him whether it was lawful for a man to divorce his wife.  Then He answered and said to them, ‘What did Moses command you?’  And they replied, ‘Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.’  But Jesus said to them, ‘Confronted with your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment.  But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.  For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and the two shall become one flesh; therefore, no longer two, but one flesh.  Therefore what God has yoked in marriage, let no man separate.’  When they were in the house again, the disciples began questioning Him about this subject.  Then He said to them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman, commits adultery against her [the second wife]; and if she herself [the opposite side of the coin with the woman involved in the divorce gimmick] divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.’”
b.  In the case of verse eleven the second wife is the innocent victim.  The man allegedly loves his second wife but commits adultery, not with her, but against her.
c.  The woman in verse eleven is an innocent victim; the woman in verse twelve is not.
5.  The problem of an adulterous marriage, Lk 16:18.  “Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and he who marries a woman who is divorced from a husband commits adultery.”  At the time of writing men, not women, initiated the divorce in most cases.
a.  By definition there are two kinds of adulterous marriages.
(1)  The situation in which a person divorces his or her spouse in order to marry another person.  There are three subcategories, each of which includes the Herod syndrome.  The Herod syndrome is defined as motivation to divorce by a desire to marry someone else.
(a)  The husband gambit.  Husband number one is married to wife number one, and he falls in love with another woman.  Husband number one will sacrifice his wife to marry what will be wife number two.  The second marriage is an adulterous marriage.  Wife number one, who is the victim, has the right of remarriage.
(b)  The wife gambit.  She falls in love with another man, and will sacrifice husband number one to marry husband number two.  This is also an adulterous marriage, and the husband has the right of remarriage.
(c)  The husband/wife gambit.  A married man falls in love with a married woman, who is not his wife.  Husband number one and wife number two have fallen in love with each other.  They both use the divorce gimmick to get rid of their first spouse and marry each other.  After the two divorces, you have two innocent parties with the right of remarriage, and a double adulterous marriage.
(2)  A legitimately divorced person, who does not have the right of remarriage, marries anyway.  This does not involve the Herod syndrome.  For example, a woman has the right to divorce a man who is brutal toward her, but neither has the right of remarriage.  But often each will remarry another person anyway, thus creating an adulterous marriage.
b.  Whatever the Bible says legitimately dissolves a marriage, gives the right of remarriage.  And if the Bible does not say it is a legitimate basis for divorce, then there is no right of remarriage.  And if you get remarried anyway, then you have created an adulterous marriage.
(1)  What does the Bible say legitimately dissolves a marriage?
(a)  The death of a spouse, Rom 7:2-3; 1 Cor 7:39.
(b)  Biblically authorized divorce:  adultery, Mt 5:32, 19:9; Mark 10:11-12; and desertion, 1 Cor 7:15.
(c)  The innocent victim in a adultery case, a desertion case, or a divorce gimmick case, Dt 24:1-4; Lk 16:18 cf. Mt 5:32, 19:9; Mk 10:11-12.
(2)  The guilty party never has the right of remarriage.  When they do remarry, they have created an adulterous marriage.
(3)  The innocent party has the right of remarriage in an adultery case, desertion case, or divorce gimmick case.  But the right of remarriage does not belong to an innocent victim in an assault case, attempted murder case, a sexual molestation case, drug abuse, etc.  The innocent party has no right of remarriage unless their former spouse dies or remarries.
c.  In Lk 16:18, our Lord is simply defining an adulterous marriage.
(1)  Some preachers say this teaches that there is no right of divorce or remarriage.  But that is definitely not what the passage is teaching.  This passage is defining an adulterous marriage.
(2)  Our Lord does not qualify the meaning by using the phrase “except for adultery,” because He is dealing with a different category within the subject of divorce.  He is talking about the prohibition of adulterous marriages.  He is not saying that divorce is prohibited.  Adulterous marriages are not recognized by God even though they may be recognized by the state.  The persons involved are living in adultery.
(3)  Legalism says the Bible authorizes no kind of divorce, which is untrue.  Self-righteous, legalistic, arrogant people always want the guilty party to suffer in the dirt, but this doesn’t mean that the innocent party has to suffer along with them.  The innocent party has the right of remarriage.  If both are in the Herod syndrome, then neither has the right of remarriage.
(4)  Some people get divorced and remarry in ignorance that they are committing a sin or living in an adulterous marriage.
6.  The threefold solution to an adulterous marriage.
a.  If you now conclude that you’re living in adultery, do not develop a guilt complex, do not run and gossip to others about yourself, and do not divorce.  The first thing you do is remain in your status quo.  1 Cor 7:27, “Are you bound to a wife?  Do not seek a divorce.  Are you divorced from a wife?  Do not seek a wife.”
(1)  If you try to get out of the marriage, you have added sin to sin.
(2)  Example: David had an adulterous marriage to Bathsheba.  He did not attempt to get out of this marriage.  He rebounded, which purified the marriage.  And he suffered four-fold for his sins of volitional responsibility.  The line of Messiah came from the adulterous marriage – a demonstration of the grace of God.
(3)  If you are in single status and have the right of remarriage, do not start looking for a wife or husband.  Let some healing take place first.  You are “torn flesh.”  Remain single so you can recover.
b.  The second thing you do is to use the rebound technique.  You acknowledge the sin, 1 Jn 1:9.  Then you forget it and keep moving, Phil 3:13-14.
(1)  There are no sins in life which are too great for the rebound technique.  No failure must ever stop or hinder your momentum in the Christian life.
(2)  Rebound converts an adulterous marriage into a purified marriage.  Purification from the sin of an adulterous marriage means that the sins related to it are now forgiven.  And the marriage is now no longer an adulterous marriage, but a purified marriage.
(3)  You do not confess your sins to your husband or wife, but to God in the privacy of your priesthood.  God is not compromising His righteousness by forgiving and cleansing you, because He has already judged that sin on the cross.
c.  The third thing you do is develop spiritual momentum from doctrinal inculcation and the use of the problem solving devices.  You fulfill those things in your daily life necessary to execute the protocol plan of God: post salvation epistemological rehabilitation, learn and use the problem solving devices, and start becoming a winner in the spiritual life.
d.  You don’t have to get a divorce just because your partner commits adultery.  The innocent mate may wish to continue the marriage.  But that takes virtue to overcome the problem.  Adultery is a sin, and once forgiven, it is no longer an issue.  You are still married.  Virtue, honor, and integrity from the spiritual life will be your deliverance, and will convert your marriage into the glorification of the Lord.
e.  You cannot rectify past failure in marriage and divorce by leaving your present spouse and going back to a previous spouse.  You do not rectify your life by going backward.  You rectify your life by standing fast, using the problem-solving devices, and moving forward.  You can never go back to a previous marriage once you or your former partner have married someone else, even if her second husband has died or used the divorce gimmick, Deut 24:3-4.
f.  Summary principles regarding the adulterous marriage.
(1)  Consequences cannot be reversed; therefore, remain as you are whether married or single.
(2)  Your utilization of the rebound technique has changed the adulterous marriage into a purified marriage.
(3)  All sins related to marriage, divorce, and remarriage are forgiven and blotted out forever at the moment you use the rebound technique.
(4)  God’s grace policy has turned an adulterous marriage into a purified marriage.  Therefore, do not attempt guilt motivated solutions or adjustments which are related to your past failures and sins.
(5)  In God’s grace policy, sins related to marriage, divorce, and remarriage are no different from other sins.  Christ died as a substitute for all sins.
(6)  So once you have rebounded the adulterous marriage, it is no longer an adulterous marriage.  God has purified the marriage.  Therefore, remain in status quo.
(7)  Those believers who have rebounded an adulterous marriage have the same equal privilege and opportunity to execute the protocol plan of God as anyone else.
(8)  Neither the church or individual believers have the right to deny divorced believers the right of spiritual growth.
g.  The attitude of the church.
(1)  The Church or royal family of God is composed of all believers in Jesus Christ during the Church Age.  As such, all believers continue to possess the old sin nature, and enter into post-salvation sinning.
(2)  All believers have different areas of weakness which result in a variety of post-salvation sinning.  Sins related to arrogance and legalism are often mistaken for spirituality, while sins of lasciviousness are often judged as not belonging to a Christian.  Both judgments are wrong.
(3)  The tendency of legalism is to reject all believers who have failed in the area of marriage, divorce, and remarriage.  The pastor is responsible for correcting this through accurate teaching of rebound, marriage, divorce, and remarriage.
(4)  After rebound, the believer has the same equal privilege to execute God’s plan.  Therefore, the attitude of the church should be acceptance rather than rejection.  This means divorced individuals/couples can come to the church and benefit from the teaching of the Word of God.
7.  Why did Jesus make adultery an exception?  Just as fornication or premarital sex destroys marriage prior to marriage, so adultery destroys marriage after it occurs.  Adultery destroys the integrity envelope of impersonal love, so that personal love has neither virtue, honor, or integrity.  And in the woman, it destroys her obedience to her husband.
8.  The silence of Scripture on other legitimate reasons for divorce does not give the right of remarriage unless the guilty party remarries or dies.
9.  The problem of pre-salvation divorce.
a.  Any failure regarding marriage, divorce, or remarriage prior to salvation is blotted out at the moment we believe in Christ.
(1)  Isa 43:25, “I, even I, am He who blots out your sins for My own sake.  Therefore, I will never remember your transgressions.”
(2)  Isa 44:22, “I have blotted out your transgressions like a thick cloud; and your sins like a dense fog.  Come to Me, for I have redeemed you.”
(3)  Eph 1:7, “By whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins on the basis of the riches of His grace.”
b.  Before salvation a person could be married, divorced, and remarried several times.  And yet if that person is single at the moment of faith in Christ, they are free to marry one more time.
c.  If a person is living in an adulterous marriage prior to salvation, at the moment of salvation that marriage becomes instantly purified.
d.  Every sin related to marriage, divorce, and remarriage is blotted out after salvation by the use of the rebound technique, 1 Jn 1:9.  Ps 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
e.  No believer has the right to penalize another believer for what occurred prior to salvation.  When a believer has sinned and rebounded, no believer has the right to penalize that believer for his sinfulness.  Any discipline that occurs must come from the justice of God, not another believer’s legalism.

E.  Divorce in The Church Age.
1.  In three sequential dispensations, there are three legitimate reasons for divorce.  In each case the innocent party has the right of remarriage.  Each legitimate reason was never rescinded.  Therefore, there are three legitimate reasons for divorce.
a.  In the dispensation of Israel, the divorce gimmick.
b.  In the dispensation of the hypostatic union, adultery.
c.  In the dispensation of the Church, desertion is a legitimate reason for divorce, 1 Cor 7:15.
2.  The principle of evangelism in marriage, 1 Cor 7:12, “If any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, do not divorce her.”
a.  A marriage between a believer and unbeliever is classified as a mixed marriage.  A mixed marriage is not a racial marriage.  The Bible has no prohibition about cross-racial marriages, only a marriage between a believer and unbeliever, 2 Cor 6:14-18.
b.  Reasons why mixed marriages occur.
(1)  The believer is ignorant about the prohibition not to marry an unbeliever.
(2)  The believer is cognizant of the prohibition, but rejects it.  Libido is stronger than Bible doctrine.
(3)  Marriage occurs when both are unbelievers, but one spouse becomes a Christian.
3.  The status quo principle, 1 Cor 7:13-14, “Furthermore, a woman has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her.  Do not divorce your husband.  For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through the wife and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband.  Otherwise, your children are unclean, but now they are holy [set apart].”
a.  “Sanctified” or “holy” means set apart unto God.  It does not mean salvation here.  Rather it means separation for divine blessing.
b.  These two words are used to remind the believer that divorce is not the solution to mixed marriages.
c.  Under sanctification, God blesses the believer on the basis of the believer in marriage.  Therefore, God recognizes a mixed marriage as a part of divine institution number two: marriage.
4.  The exception is desertion, 1 Cor 7:15.  “Yet, if the unbelieving spouse deserts, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such a case.”
a.  Desertion is a legitimate basis for divorce.  And the innocent spouse has the right of remarriage.
b.  When an unbeliever deserts or divorces a believer, the believer has the right of remarriage.
c.  When a believer deserts a believer, the innocent party has the right of remarriage.
5.  The principle of status quo restated.  1 Cor 7:16-17, “For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband, or not?  Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?  Therefore, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord has assigned to him, the place to which God called him.  This is the rule I lay down in all the churches.”
6.  A mixed marriage is no excuse for dissolving the marriage.  In a mixed marriage between a believer and unbeliever, there are five reasons why you should stay in status quo.
a.  The possibility of winning the unsaved spouse to the Lord.
b.  The principle of accepting the responsibility for your own decisions, good or bad.
c.  The principle that two wrongs never make a right.
d.  The principle of providing a stabilized environment for the rearing of children.
e.  The principle of stability in the client nation of God.
7.  Believers often try to justify divorce in a mixed marriage on the basis of 2 Cor 6:14, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness with lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?”
a.  This is usually just an excuse for the fact they are bored with the situation.  Boredom comes from failure in life.  Bored people do not know how to entertain themselves.  Bored people are losers in life.
b.  You do not get your husband’s or wife’s attention through prayer, but through allurement.  A lady can always get her husband’s attention through a little imagination and allurement.
8.  Principles.
a.  God deals with the marriage as a whole.  Marriage is a collective divine institution.  God deals with us as individuals in marriage, but He also deals with us collectively in marriage.  God deals with the family as a collective unit, just as He deals with nations as a whole in blessing and discipline.
b.  God deals with families and nations as well as individuals.
c.  One believer in a marriage sanctifies the marriage.  One believer in a family sanctifies the family.
d.  An adult believer in a family is like the pivot of a client nation.  The family is blessed because one believer has attained spiritual maturity.
F.  The Dissolution of Marriages for Legitimate Reasons not Stated in Scripture.
1.  Examples include: brutality, drunkenness, drug addiction,  incest, compulsive gambling, sexual molestation of children, violence, a psychotic or neurotic spouse, criminality, a spouse with homicidal tendencies, a spouse with suicidal tendencies, life-threatening circumstances, bodily injury, the problem of the psyche of the innocent party.  All of these things are legitimate reasons for divorce before the law.
2.  There is no right of remarriage from the standpoint of the Scripture in any of these cases.  The innocent spouse in such cases has undergone a traumatic experience which does not warrant remarriage in the immediate future.  It takes time to recover, and during this period the innocent victim is not marriage material.
3.  The reason for the silence of Scripture is because at the time of writing divorce meant the right of remarriage.  So the Scripture is silent because the right to divorce is given, but the right of remarriage is not.
4.  These reasons for the dissolution of the marriage depend upon application of doctrine, divine guidance, and common sense.
5.  The example of the problem of psychoneurosis.
a.  A marriage is ruined by one spouse being either neurotic or psychotic.  Do not marry a neurotic or psychotic person.
(1)  Neurosis is an emotional disorder in which the feelings of anxiety, obsessive thoughts, compulsive acts, and physical complaints without objective evidence of disease occurring in various patterns, dominate the personality.
(2)  Psychosis is any severe form of mental disorder or disease effecting the total personality.
b.  Freud had four categories of psychoneurosis: anxiety neurosis; anxiety hysteria; obsessive compulsive neurosis; and hysteria in general.
c.  Psychologists do not have an agreed upon definition for neurosis, but certain characteristics of a neurotic person are recognized.
(1)  Mood disorders, such as periods in which there is oscillation between extremes of excitement and depression.
(2)  Manic speech is loud, rapid, and difficult to interpret.
(3)  Hyperactivity.
(4)  Rapid shifts from anger to depression.  The depression is expressed by tearful and suicidal threats.
(5)  Distractibility, as illustrated by rapid changes in speech or activity as a result of responding to various irrelevant external stimuli, such as background noises, signs, or pictures on the wall.
(6)  Inflated human self-esteem, based on uncritical self-confidence, which is delusional in nature.  This is followed by a sense of worthlessness from feelings of inadequacy.
(7)  Guilt is expressed in an excessive reaction to current or past sins or failures.
(8)  Difficulty in concentrating, slowed thinking, indecisiveness, thoughts of dying which include fear of death, wishing to die, making suicidal plans and attempts.
(9)  Fearfulness, irritability, fear, anxiety, brooding, excessive concern with physical health, delusions of persecution, somatic delusions of having a deadly disease, sulkiness, anti-social behavior, loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities of life, depressed, hopeless, loss of appetite.
(10)  Hence, the neurotic person has a wide emotional pattern.  When depressed, he has a feeling of inadequacy.  When excited, he has an inflated self-esteem.  He has social withdrawal on the one hand, and uninhibited people seeking on the other hand.  He sleeps too much, and has a decreased need for sleep.  He is excited one moment and depressed the next.
d.  What the single person should be aware of in a potential mate:
(1)  Feelings of inadequacy, self-deprecation, loss of self-esteem.
(2)  Lack of concentration, or the inability to think clearly.
(3)  Social withdrawal, a lack of interest in pleasurable activities.
(4)  Irritability, recurrent thoughts of suicide.
e.  Categories of neurosis currently recognized by psychology.
(1)  Phobic neurosis – irrational fear of a specific object, situation, circumstance, or activity which results in a compelling desire to avoid the dreaded object, activity, or situation.  Other examples include: fear of being alone, or in a crowded place from which you cannot escape, speaking in public, eating in public.
(2)  Anxiety neurosis – panic attacks, fear, terror, feeling of impending doom.  Symptoms include palpitations, chest pains, choking, dizziness, hot and cold flashes, feelings of unreality, faintness, doing something uncontrollable, going crazy.
f.  The neurotic personality.
(1)  Neurotic persons are suspicious.  They tend to avoid blame when they are actually at fault.  They are secretive, devious, scheming, tense, have no true sense of humor, lack sentimental and tender feelings; they are hostile, stubborn, defensive; they have an inordinate feeling of fear, or losing independence, or the power to shape events in accordance with their own wishes.
(2)  The neurotic person shows an excessive need to be self-sufficient to the point of egocentricity, and has an exaggerated sense of his own self-importance.
(3)  The neurotic person avoids participation in group activities unless he or she can dominate.  They are often interested in mechanical devices, electronics, and automation.  They are keenly aware of power and rank, and who is superior or inferior.  They are often envious or jealous of those in a position of superior power.  They disdain people who seem weak, soft, sickly, or defective.
g.  Many of the characteristics of the neurotic person are merely functions of the sin nature, which are correctable through spiritual growth and the execution of the protocol plan of God.  Many of these characteristics may be undesirable in marriage.  Therefore, you should think about other things than simply physical attraction.

G.  Principles of Grace Applied to Divorce.
1.  Grace is the policy of God, in which God is free to do for mankind many wonderful things without compromising His divine essence.  All of us are beneficiaries of God’s grace.
a.  Grace is free, unmerited love and favor from God.  We cannot earn it or deserve it.  All things are received from God as a free gift.
b.  Grace is a manifestation of the power, mercy, efficacy, compassion, indulgence, virtue, forbearance, and pardon from God.
c.  Grace implies that all things including salvation never compromise divine essence in bestowing blessing on mankind.  All of us have old sin natures and have sinned.
2.  Any member of the congregation has the right to remain in the congregation and grow in grace.  We are all products of grace.  All of us have sinned and failed in different ways.  “Respectable sins” and “gross sins” are no different in the eyes of God.  Mental attitude sins are the worst sins; far worse than adultery or divorce.  Legalism and self-righteous arrogance always want to condemn others who have committed adultery or used the divorce gimmick.
3.  God has despised our sins for billions of years.  God the Father despised our sins when He imputed them to our Lord.  Our Lord despised our sins as He bore them.  We never earned or deserved all the things God gave us at salvation.  And in grace he has given each of us the same privilege and opportunity to execute God’s plan.  God does not discriminate against certain kinds of sinners.
4.  Grace is the policy of God in dealing with mankind in two categories: the grace policy for salvation and the grace policy for fellowship.  Relationship with God must precede fellowship with God.  You cannot have fellowship with God without having a permanent relationship with God.
5.  God has provided for us our own portfolio of invisible assets and problem-solving devices.  Our problems after salvation are always dealt with in grace.
a.  This is why Rom 8:31 says, “With reference to these things to what conclusion are we forced?  If God is for us [and He is], who shall be against us?  The God, who did not even spare His own Son but delivered Him over to judgment as a substitute for all of us, how shall He not with Him graciously give us all things?”
b.  James 4:6, “He gives greater grace.  Therefore it says, ‘God makes war against the arrogant, but He gives grace to the humble.’”
c.  Those who are self-righteous because they have never committed adultery or been divorced are at war with God because of their arrogance.  They are trying to use God as a weapon for their own vengeance.  Do you want others to hurt because they have sinned in an area in which you have not sinned?  You are arrogant.  You have lost track of God’s grace.  In death you will realize what a failure your life has been.
6.  James 4:14 says that our life is but a vapor trail in the sky.  The great thing in life is that while you are a vapor trail you can function under the grace of God so that your life counts for Him.
7.  Legalism is a monstrous and arrogant thing.  It is self-righteous arrogance.  It is looking down your nose at the adulterer and in your self-righteousness criticizing, maligning, and judging them.  As if somehow you were perfect and you attempt to take the place of God.  That is not grace orientation.
8.  If you are bitter, angry, or hateful toward others because they have committed adultery or divorced, then you are arrogant and have failed in this matter of grace.

H.  Conclusion.
1.  If you are living in adultery, rebound, keep moving, and do not look back.  Grow in grace together and glorify God through the execution of the protocol plan of God.  Compatibility is virtually impossible apart from the spiritual solution, which requires the consistent intake of doctrine.  Without consistent intake of doctrine, there is no consistent rapport over the long period of marriage.
2.  The attitude of the church toward a divorced couple has been rejection.  But God’s grace demands acceptance.  There is no need for ostracism on the part of the church.  Ostracism indicates failure of the church in the field of legalism.  The church is not to hinder anyone’s freedom or opportunity to grow in grace.
3.  In our Lord’s day there was no such thing as legal separation.  Divorce meant the right of remarriage.  In the case of a woman divorced by her second husband, she cannot remarry her first husband.  But if a divorced couple reconcile, and there has been no interim sex, then they can remarry.  The right of remarriage of the innocent party is presumed, since at the time of writing the Bible, divorce always meant the right of remarriage.
4.  Where marriages are dissolved because of personal inadequacy or tragic flaws, we must begin with God’s gracious provision of the rebound technique and remain positive toward Bible teaching.  Only the attainment of spiritual self-esteem will give you the capacity for a successful remarriage.
5.  Marriage is legitimately dissolved with the right of remarriage by the death of a spouse, being the victim of the divorce gimmick, or by a previous spouse remarrying or dying.  There are other legitimate reasons for divorce, but they are not mentioned in Scripture.  The silence of Scripture does recognize the right of divorce in certain cases, but does not give the right of remarriage.  Only if the guilty spouse dies or remarries, does the innocent party have the right of remarriage.  The guilty party of a divorce case does not have the right of remarriage.  If the guilty party does marry, they have created an adulterous marriage.
6.  The solution to an adulterous marriage is: remain married; rebound, which converts the adulterous marriage to a purified marriage; continue spiritual momentum to make the marriage successful.
7.  After divorce, which involves life-threatening situations, brutality, drunkenness, etc., the innocent party is “torn flesh.”  Hence, the elapse of time plus spiritual growth gives the innocent victim the opportunity to heal in single status.