“Thou shalt not commit adultery

(Exodus 20:14)

Welcome to the Foundational Tutorial lessons on the Ten Commandments! These lessons are intended for you to learn what you need to learn; they are not meant as a condemnation or judgement. As born-again followers of Jesus, we’re all still here on Earth because we’re all still learning about the Kingdom and how to live in it. As much as he was the Messiah, Jesus was also a teacher during his time here. His followers are likewise expected to teach others, after they themselves have learned what they need to learn, and practiced it.

We aren’t expected to be perfect (even Jesus wasn’t perfect), but we are expected to strive for perfection (“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect”) and to constantly work at improving ourselves.

The foundation of Jesus’ teachings was the Ten Commandments and everything that stemmed from the Commandments, so we clearly need to focus on them. They are the lifeline for staying on God’s Way, particularly in times of trouble and temptation. You’ll note that there are no asterisks (*) on any of the Commandments. That means there are no exceptions to these ten rules. You break them, you pay the price.

For an overview of the blessings that come from keeping the Commandments and the curses that come from not keeping them, see Deuteronomy 28.





What Is Adultery?

Physical Adultery

Spiritual Adultery

Are You Committing Spiritual Adultery?

How to Avoid Committing Spiritual Adultery


Is Your Marriage Adulterous?

Will You Do the Right Thing or Look the Other Way?

3. tl;dr: SUMMARY



When I started this blog several years ago, I made a point of stating that I wouldn’t shy away from speaking God’s Truth, even if it drove people away. My personal experience has been that when I hear something in God’s Word that makes me turn away, it’s because I need to hear it. I’m resisting hearing it because I need to hear it.

I mention this because I’ve been resisting doing something that I should have done months ago, and that’s to present the teaching on adultery as part of the Ten Commandments foundational series. In direct violation of what I said I wouldn’t do, I have shied away from speaking God’s Truth, solely because I knew it would hurt some people to hear it. It wouldn’t just prick them; it would hit them like a tidal wave, and I didn’t want to do that to them. God let me shy away for a while, but now he’s on my case, and I have to go forward with it. I have to speak God’s Truth, because to do anything else is unacceptable to me.

I heard someone ask recently why people don’t preach (or teach) on sin anymore, and I guess one of the reasons is because they don’t want to discourage and alienate anyone, knowing that many people who consider themselves Christians are so deep in sin, they no longer realize that what they’re doing is actually sin.

So without any further ado, and with my apologies both for delaying the publishing of this installment of the series and for any (hopefully short-lived) grief this may cause you, I present the teaching on God’s Commandment not to commit adultery.


As I mentioned in the preamble, I’ve been putting off dealing with this Commandment because I know it’s going to hit some people hard and I don’t, despite the force of my words on this blog, enjoy hitting people. I don’t want to be the bearer of the message that causes them emotional suffering. I understand that people steeped in this sin don’t want to think of their marriage as adulterous and therefore illegitimate in God’s eyes. They don’t want their back pushed to the wall, forcing them to choose between God and their lover.

But I’ve finally gotten to the point where, firstly, I have to do what’s right in God’s eyes (not necessarily in people’s eyes), and secondly, my business isn’t your feelings: My business is your soul. I’d rather hurt your feelings if it leads you to repentance, than to coddle your emotions and leave you wallowing in sin.

If you’re in a relationship that puts you in violation of God’s Commandment on adultery, you need to end it. You can choose to stay in the relationship (you have free will), but it would be the wrong choice and you’ll suffer for it. Every part of your life will be adversely affected by your wrong choice, and you will contribute to the sin of others. You will not only be the sinner in that case; you will also be the tempter.


The Bible defines two types of adultery – physical adultery and spiritual adultery. Both are equally sinful in God’s eyes and both require the sinner to repent and not to sin that sin again.


Physical adultery is illegitimate sexual relations, that is, sexual relations that are illegitimate in God’s eyes. They may be legitimate in the world’s eyes, but if they’re not legitimate in God’s, they are adulterous. Jesus is very clear that marriage forms the sole basis for legitimate sexual relations. His definition of marriage is God’s definition, which is the life-long union of one biological man and one biological woman, joined in a life-long contract with, by, and under God.

Life-long means just that – you remain married until one of you dies. It is not an eternal union, but an earthly union that ends at death. Jesus tells us that in Heaven, there are no marriages and no people living as husband and wife. Marriage is only for our time on Earth.

Physical adultery also includes intense flirting, fantasy, and pornography. As Jesus says, for a person to lust after someone other than his or her spouse is the same as committing adultery with that person. Even just thinking about someone other than your spouse in a sexual way is the same as committing full-fledged adultery. So when those thoughts come to you (and they will come to you as a temptation, be sure of that), you need to pray to God to take them away. Let God know that you don’t want to entertain those thoughts, and he will take them away from you. If you don’t ask God to take them away, if you purposely entertain adulterous thoughts, you are guilty of committing adultery.

God permits you to be tempted, but he will always be there to remove the temptation, if you ask him. And if you do ask him for his help (always recommended), you then need to do whatever he tells you to do.

Fornication, which refers to sexual relations prior to the consummation of a marriage, falls under the category of adultery as well. You don’t have to be married to commit adultery; any illegitimate sexual relationship – however fleeting – outside a God-sanctioned marriage is considered adulterous in God’s eyes.

The devil has been working overtime over the past few centuries to discredit God’s Law on adultery and fornication as “old-fashioned” and irrelevant. People even joke about the word fornication now, the way they joke about the word “sin”. But who cares what the devil is telling people to think and believe; as born-again believers, we should only be concerned with what God is telling us. The world, inspired and guided by the devil, celebrates and encourages adultery through condoning pre-marital sex, multiple marriages and divorces, civil unions of people who are biologically the same sex, civil unions of people and their pets, etc., all of which is adulterous behaviour. We don’t have to participate in what the world encourages us to do; we need to stay on the strait and narrow course set for us by God. Understanding and following God’s Commandment on adultery is part of that course.


The Old Testament is full of warnings against committing spiritual adultery, but what is it, and how do we know if we’re committing it?

We need to know what spiritual adultery is, because like sexual adultery, spiritual adultery is forbidden by Commandment. Spiritual adultery is just as much a sin as physical adultery.

To commit spiritual adultery is to give your love, adoration, and worship to someone or something other than God. The children of Israel were notorious for committing this type of adultery, and they suffered accordingly for it, but modern-day Christians aren’t much better. I know people who call themselves Christians, but who have Buddhist statues in their house and do yoga (including chanting mantras). Then there are the so-called ecumenical Christians who believe that all of the “Abrahamic” religions worship the same God. Or they believe that all religions deserve the same respect, and so bow down to whatever idol is presented to them so as not to offend the idol worshipers.

When you stray from God and embrace other “gods” (a.k.a. fallen beings), even out of politeness, you’re committing spiritual adultery. It’s not only a sin, it’s breaking the Commandment on adultery and so leading you away from God. Your back is to God when you’re committing spiritual adultery: You turn your back on God. That is not the way to Heaven.


Let’s take a moment to take stock. It’s possible that you’re committing spiritual adultery without knowing it.

  • If you do yoga, you’re committing spiritual adultery.
  • If you have a dream catcher, you’re committing spiritual adultery.
  • If you have statues, effigies, or pictures of any “god” or “saint”, and if you defer to those items in prayer or touch them for “good luck”, you’re committing spiritual adultery. The Bible calls such things “abominations” that have no place in the life of believers.
  • Superstitious cultural beliefs are a very deep well of spiritual adultery and should be banished from your mind and heart.
  • Using the services of spiritual mediums is a huge no-no, even when they claim to be channeling God’s Spirit or a holy angel or the spirit of a departed loved one.
  • Anything or anyone that takes your spiritual focus off God and his Word is a temptation to spiritual adultery.


There is only one God and only one Messiah. God should take all your love, adoration and worship, and Jesus is your one and only leader and so the only one you should be following. As a born-again believer who has God’s Spirit with you night and day, you don’t need to go through Jesus to get to God; you can pray to God directly, as Jesus promised us we would be able to do, but you still need to go to God in Jesus’ name, as a follower of Jesus. Jesus doesn’t need to intercede for us (he did that already); we can go to God directly as Jesus’ born-again, Spirit-filled follower. Note that you do not go to God in your own name or in the name of your pastor or priest or in the name of an angel or a saint; you go to God in Jesus’ name and Jesus’ name only. Going to God in any name other than Jesus’ is spiritual adultery.

I could go on, but hopefully you understand. Scripture tells us that God is a “jealous God”. We need to grasp not only that God is intensely jealous over us, but that his jealousy is for our benefit, to keep us on the strait and narrow and from consciously or unconsciously straying down paths of demon worship. We should never invoke or pray to angels or saints or try to ‘make contact’ with a deceased loved one or the spirit world in general. Our prayers should exclusively be directed to God (in Jesus’ name) and to Jesus (as Jesus’ follower and friend). We should NEVER, under any circumstance, talk to the dead or to other spirits, unless we are casting a spirit out (sole exception). We should ONLY and EXCLUSIVELY talk to God and Jesus, through the power of God’s Holy Spirit.

If we worship only God and follow only Jesus, and if we direct all our prayers to God and Jesus, we’ll be safe from committing spiritual adultery.



Jesus said that divorce, which is the process of ending a marriage before death, has only one legitimate grounds in God’s eyes, and those grounds are fornication. Note that the fornication must occur before the consummation of the marriage. The best example in the Bible of a marriage that could have ended because of fornication was, ironically, that of Jesus’ own parents. When Mary got pregnant with Jesus, she was betrothed (that is, married, but the marriage had not yet been consummated) to Joseph. He could have divorced Mary based on fornication, as he knew he wasn’t the father of her child, which meant she must have had sexual relations with someone else. However, God intervened and assured him that Mary was still a virgin and that the child was conceived by none other than his Holy Spirit.

Based on God’s assurance, Joseph did not divorce Mary. However, you can imagine that the couple would have been the source of village gossip about Mary’s pre-marital pregnancy, and Jesus would have suffered from the gossip as well. Even during his ministry years, Jesus’ adversaries made snide remarks about his parentage. In any case, Joseph could have legitimately chosen to divorce Mary, according to Jesus’ explanation of the one acceptable grounds for divorce, but he chose not to.

Adultery is not grounds for divorce. Adultery is a sin, but it is not grounds for divorce. The mainstream church has for centuries willfully or out of ignorance misinterpreted Jesus’ teaching on adultery, and in so doing has led millions of souls into sin by permitting them to divorce on the grounds of adultery. The mainstream church then throws oil on their conflagration by “remarrying” those who have received an illegitimate divorce, plunging them even deeper into an adulterous situation. Many high-profile preachers are living in adulterous marriages according to Jesus’ definition of adultery and divorce. You can bet that Satan put those high-profile preachers in front of people as a way to normalize and condone adultery through illegitimate divorces.


Jesus’ teaching on adultery is as plain as plain can be. It hasn’t changed for thousands of years and will not change now. If you are born-again and living in an adulterous relationship or engaging in fornication through intense flirting, fantasy, or porn or through a relationship that is illegitimate in God’s eyes, you know you need to stop. I’m not the one telling you to stop – God and Jesus are telling you to stop. I’m just the messenger.

If you’ve divorced and remarried, and your first spouse is still alive, then your second marriage is illegitimate. There is no arguing that; it’s a scripture-based fact.

If you’re in an abusive marriage, you leave the abuser and live separately from him or her, but you don’t divorce and you don’t remarry. You remain living separately and celibately until you reunite with your spouse. If you don’t reunite, you remain living separate and celibate until you or your spouse dies.

Jesus presented his teaching and then left it for people to choose on their own. He didn’t strong-arm them or force them this way or that; he simply made it abundantly clear which choice they should make, which one was the right one in God’s eyes. (That’s what I’m doing here.) But whether they chose to remain in their sin or do the right thing he left up to them, even while strongly urging them to do the right thing in God’s eyes. (That’s also what I’m doing here.)

Jesus told us that considering the dangers of sexual temptations, it’s better not to marry or have children. The path Jesus chose (to remain unmarried and childless) was the optimal one for those in the Kingdom who are Homeward-bound, but he also cautioned that being a spiritual eunuch for the Kingdom of Heaven’s sake is not for everyone. When the disciples got the call and started following Jesus, the first thing Jesus had them do was to leave their spouse and children, along with their jobs and homes and everything that had previously defined them. So even if you’re married and have children, those ties need not prevent you from following Jesus with the same commitment as the disciples, if you’re called to do so.  You’ll know you’re called because you’ll know: There will be zero doubt in your mind. When Jesus calls, he doesn’t whisper. His call is loud and distinct, and his sheep clearly hear his voice.

3. tl;dr: SUMMARY

  • If you’ve been breaking the Commandment on adultery without knowing it, now is the time to stop; tomorrow may be too late for you.
  • Marriage is a life-long contract between a biological man and a biological woman that only ends with the death of either of them. The marriage does not continue in Heaven.
  • Adultery is a physical (sexual) relationship that takes place outside of marriage, and spiritual adultery is the spiritual worship, adoration, or reliance on anything or anyone other than God. Spiritual adultery is just as sinful as physical adultery.
  • Divorce is only valid in cases of proven fornication, which must take place prior to the consummation of the marriage. Mary falling pregnant while betrothed but before consummating her marriage with Joseph is a good example of the one legitimate grounds for divorce in God’s eyes.
  • The best way to avoid all these potential problems is to live single and celibate – to become, as Jesus called it, a eunuch (spiritually) for the Kingdom of Heaven’s sake.


“I have sworn and I will perform it,

that I will keep thy righteous judgments.”

Psalm 119:106

FOUNDATIONAL TUTORIAL: THE TEN COMMANDMENTS: Deuteronomy 28: The rewards of obedience and disobedience

Lesson One of the Foundational Tutorial (on coveting) will be posted shortly. However, I think what’s in order first is to remind ourselves of the very clearly stated consequences both for obeying and for disobeying God’s Commandments. God gives us equal capacity to obey and to disobey him, and he also lets us know in no uncertain terms the rewards for our obedience and disobedience. He lays all the cards on the table for us. He always does. It’s up to us how we choose to play them.

References to these rewards for obedience and disobedience appear throughout scripture, but Moses gave the most complete and detailed run-down of them in Deuteronomy 28. As you read through them, note how many of the blessings and curses came to pass already in Old Testament times, and how many of them are coming to pass today.

Below is the chapter in its entirety. The contents were originally included as a companion to the 10 Commandments, so that whenever the Commandments were read aloud to God’s people (which was at least once a year, at Passover), the blessings and curses were also read aloud. That tradition fell away over the centuries, with only occasional come-backs (depending on who was king), but the tradition has been completely lost in Christianity. It needs to come back. Even a cursory reading of Deuteronomy 28 helps to explain a lot of what’s happening in the world today, both on an individual and a collective level. In fact, Deuteronomy 28 pretty much explains everything that’s happening.

Take a read through the chapter and see how you measure up. It can be very sobering to see aspects of yourself, as a born-again believer, reflected in the list of curses.  But it’s better that you know now, than to find out too late on Judgement Day. If you are living the rewards of disobedience, you need to find out what you’re doing wrong, and you need to stop doing it. That’s the main reason for the Foundational Tutorial on the Commandments: To help you get right and stay right with God.

Deuteronomy 28 (King James Version)

28 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:

And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God.

Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.

Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.

Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.

Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.

The Lord shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways.

The Lord shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

The Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways.

10 And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee.

11 And the Lord shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers to give thee.

12 The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.

13 And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:

14 And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:

16 Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field.

17 Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store.

18 Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.

19 Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out.

20 The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.

21 The Lord shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it.

22 The Lord shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish.

23 And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron.

24 The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed.

25 The Lord shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.

26 And thy carcase shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray them away.

27 The Lord will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed.

28 The Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart:

29 And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee.

30 Thou shalt betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her: thou shalt build an house, and thou shalt not dwell therein: thou shalt plant a vineyard, and shalt not gather the grapes thereof.

31 Thine ox shall be slain before thine eyes, and thou shalt not eat thereof: thine ass shall be violently taken away from before thy face, and shall not be restored to thee: thy sheep shall be given unto thine enemies, and thou shalt have none to rescue them.

32 Thy sons and thy daughters shall be given unto another people, and thine eyes shall look, and fail with longing for them all the day long; and there shall be no might in thine hand.

33 The fruit of thy land, and all thy labours, shall a nation which thou knowest not eat up; and thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed alway:

34 So that thou shalt be mad for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.

35 The Lord shall smite thee in the knees, and in the legs, with a sore botch that cannot be healed, from the sole of thy foot unto the top of thy head.

36 The Lord shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone.

37 And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the Lord shall lead thee.

38 Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shalt gather but little in; for the locust shall consume it.

39 Thou shalt plant vineyards, and dress them, but shalt neither drink of the wine, nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them.

40 Thou shalt have olive trees throughout all thy coasts, but thou shalt not anoint thyself with the oil; for thine olive shall cast his fruit.

41 Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt not enjoy them; for they shall go into captivity.

42 All thy trees and fruit of thy land shall the locust consume.

43 The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low.

44 He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail.

45 Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee:

46 And they shall be upon thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever.

47 Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things;

48 Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.

49 The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand;

50 A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young:

51 And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee.

52 And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.

53 And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the Lord thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee:

54 So that the man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which he shall leave:

55 So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat: because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates.

56 The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter,

57 And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates.

58 If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, The Lord Thy God;

59 Then the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.

60 Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee.

61 Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the Lord bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed.

62 And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the Lord thy God.

63 And it shall come to pass, that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.

64 And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.

65 And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind:

66 And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life:

67 In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.

68 And the Lord shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you.