The Pain of Adultery
by Mrs. Sharon White
Many of the articles I write evolve out of my own struggles and also the sins I see in those around me. We have been misled by society into accepting Adultery as a part of human nature and a normal aspect of life. However, what I hope to accomplish with this article is to bring a powerful illumination of Elohim's truth into all souls and allow us, my trembling self included, to see how despicable and grave is the act of adultery. It is the denial of love, the betrayal of loyalty and the cause of unceasing harm in all parties involved. It is a wretched sin, which in Biblical times was punishable by death. Those of us who have been corrupted and scarred by the world, tend to have a lot of compassion and wish only to warn others of impeding doom. Be on guard, my readers, and learn how to protect your innocence under the all seeing eyes of [Yahweh].
"Adultery is an exceeding sinful sin, for it is the rebellion of a vile lust, not only against the command, but against the covenant, of our [Elohim]. It is the violation of a divine institution in innocency, by the indulgence of one of the basest lusts of man in his degeneracy." - Reverend Matthew Henry in 1706.
When two people join together in Holy Matrimony, they promise (vow or enter into a covenantal agreement) to love, honour, and cherish one another until death parts them. This promise is broken when one becomes the offender. (Throughout this article, I will use the example of the wife as the one in the wrong, although we all know this is certainly common among men.)
It is easy to be drawn away by temptations. The sanctity and purity of marriage has been erased by the world with free love taking its place. "If you are not happy," says the world, "get a divorce and find someone else." It is too easy to leave the promise. Marriage is thought of lightly and, certainly in this Heathen nation, it is no longer considered to be [Yahweh]-ordained or blessed. Therefore, those who are agnostic tend to do as they please. Most of those around us are not [Yahweh]- fearing citizens. Thus we have become softened by their influence and relaxed our own philosophy of sin. "They have made void thy law." Psalm 119:126.
Trouble in marriage is inevitable. The couple will certainly have many times of sadness, disagreement and anger. This is not a way out or an excuse to leave. It is simply a part of life and we must not run away. We promised to be faithful. The couple must remain as one throughout their entire lives. The reason so many are having affairs is because they do not realize how evil and wicked adultery is.
In the days of the Puritans, a punishment of death by hanging was the law for those who committed adultery. This is Biblical. Leviticus 20:10 "And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbor's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death."
Some may think this is harsh or extreme (since we live in a day where evil is normal and acceptable.) They also quote John 8:1-11 where a woman is brought before Jesus for the crime of adultery. The men who accused her sought to trap the Lord by asking for his counsel. The law was clear that an adulterer should be stoned to death. However, [Yahshua] could see into the men's hearts and said "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." (v.7) This is according to the law in which the witnesses must throw the first stone. John MacArthur goes on to say that "Only those who were not guilty of the same sin could participate." Therefore, to be in line with the law, the men must be guiltless themselves of adultery in order to partake of the execution. Some are confused with this point and think that we are all sinners and should be forgiven (or get away with whatever we do!) It is not really forgiveness they seek, but immunity from punishment. This gives us a mistaken understanding of the wickedness of our sins. The reason the men walked away and no longer accused her was because "they... being convicted by their own conscience went out one by one." They realized they were also guilty of the sin in their own lives and could not proceed with the punishment. In no way does this mean that adultery is okay and we should never think that [Yahweh] will forgive us without punishment for our sins, particularly the sins which we commit knowing full well they are wrong. Yes, [Yahshua] died on the cross for our sins and took our punishment. But the punishment he saved us from was eternal death and doom in hell. We are still held accountable for our actions and chastened for wrongdoing!
What exactly happens when a woman commits adultery? She betrays the loyalty and trust from her husband. She sears his heart with torment. The children are affected and most often, the family is broken up and destroyed. The pain and torments never leave the hearts of those involved. Regret is often played out in her mind over and over again. If she simply guarded her heart and treated her purity and marriage as a Holy institution with respect unto [Yahweh], the suffering would never have occurred because the sin would not have happened.
Over the past 15 years in the tiny villages of Iran, it is estimated that 1,000 women have been stoned to death for their sin of adultery. Others, who lived in the cities, were sentenced to death by hanging for their crime. This is going on right now!
In earlier centuries, here in America, it was considered a crime to commit adultery. Either time in jail or death was the punishment. Sadly, in this present moment, it is no longer considered a sin, but normal. How far away have we gotten from [Yahweh's] laws that we have no sorrow, no compassion no loyalty for the ways of Elohim?
In practical terms, there must be complete care taken to protect ourselves from adultery. One thing that greatly disgusts me is that a woman will attempt to go to Church without her husband. Perhaps he is ill or maybe he is not a believer in [Messiah]. She is often encouraged to attend Church without him and praised for her faithfulness. Do we even realize that she has betrayed her husband and begun on the road to destroying her marriage? The woman was made to be a helper of the man. She is to remain his, and by his side through all of life. If the family does not go to Church, it is then her duty to privately study [Yahweh's] word to reap the benefits of religion while at the same time obeying and remaining loyal to her husband. Many who have gone off on their own to Church, have ended up getting a divorce, either because she was led astray into someone "who was a better man" or because her husband felt her betrayal and sensed that she didn't want to be with him. He then pursued his own life, which eventually did not include her!
Women should never work outside the home. There is far too much temptation! She cannot serve two masters. She must be under the obedience and care of her husband and not be under the rule of an employer. Her loyalty will eventually be tried. It brings discord in the marriage. And, most important, in a weak moment, he may be led to enter into an affair with a man who seems to "love and understand her better than her own husband!"
To be more specific, I will give some general guidelines on how to protect ourselves from temptation:
A woman must never be alone with a man other than her husband. If she must visit someone or such, she needs to bring a friend or her husband along. This not only protects her from sin, but also the other man from sinful thoughts. "A genteel young lady risked losing her good name permanently if she were ever discovered to have spent time alone in the company of a man who was not a relative."
Modest dressing is a requirement. She must keep herself completely covered. This helps prevent lust in the hearts of onlookers and also helps her remember that she is to be pure and innocent under [Yahweh]. The Iranian chador is a very good idea! They care more about avoiding offense to their God than prideful fashions. "Women's dresses (in Puritan days) came all the way to the ground, and to allow a gentleman to glimpse a black - stockinged ankle while climbing into or out of a horse drawn carriage, by accident or on purpose, was to risk getting a reputation for moral looseness."*
She must not visit or travel, other than necessary shopping, etc. without the guidance and protection of her husband or some other relative who can be trusted such as a brother, father, uncle, etc. Thus her purity and actions are carefully guarded. (What man can commit a sin with a woman who is protected in such a way? And what woman can commit sin when she is so cautiously guarded?)
No woman should have a male friend, except her own husband. This goes the same for men. It is far too risky and unsafe because of temptation for either person.
Parents must carefully watch over their children. The Bible states in Deut. 22, that a young lady, who commits fornication, is to be stoned at her parents door. This is not only sad, but a shame to the parents for not properly caring for her. "It is intimated to parents that they must by all means possible preserve their children's chastity, by giving them good advice and admonition, setting them good examples, keeping them from bad company, praying for them, and laying them under needful restraints, because, if the children committed lewdness, the parents must have the grief and shame of the execution at their own door." - Reverend Matthew Henry
We must begin to fear the consequences of our sins so desperately that we will withdraw our hand from committing them before it is too late. If you have been guilty of the crime of adultery, know that you can begin fresh and new. [Yahshua] will wash away all our sins. But from here forward, you must guard your actions to prevent further sin. II Peter 2:20 - 21 "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the [Rabbi] and Savior, [Yahshua Messiah], they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them."
I can just envision the shame and grief of a woman who has committed adultery. She stands in front of her accusers. Those in charge, unveil her for all to see her shame. Soon the rocks are thrown. The suffering ensues and the woman enters into an eternal death.... I want to shout with tears to all who will listen, including myself, to avoid such wickedness! Avoid fornication, for it is in your power to do so. Do not grieve the heart of [Yahweh] any longer. The wrath of [Yahweh] may not abide on us now, but we have to fear his terror! Let us no longer look around us at the "Normal" living in this world without fear and trepidation. Guard yourselves and seek a Holy life while constantly remembering this Proverb (14:13) "Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded."
"It is clear that the legally mandated penalty for adultery in the Massachusetts Bay Colony was death. Still, the Puritan court exercised great discretion in cases of adultery, and though it was committed frequently, perhaps only on one occasion were a pair of adulterers put to death. More often than not, the court would declare that there were not enough witnesses to the crime, as required by law. . . Gov. John Winthrop, it seems, was particularly uneasy about carrying out the death penalty. Nevertheless, adulterers were, at the very least, beaten, branded, imprisoned , fined, and banished from Massachusetts Bay."*
Some examples from the Records of the Massachusetts courts:
John Bickerstaff was censured to be severely whipped for committing fornication with Alice Burwood . . . Alice Burwood was censured to be whipped for yielding to Bickerstaff without crying out and concealing it. (Boston 1638)
Dorothy Temple, for uncleanness and bringing forth a male bastard, is censured to be whipped twice; but she fainting in the execution of the first, the other was not executed. (Plymouth 1639)
* Taken from Understanding the Scarlet Letter by Claudia Durst Johnson.
Hebrews 12:8 "But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons."
[The names of Yahweh and Yahshua were restored throughout this article with permission from the author.]