by Paul Sides
The Plan of Salvation - the real story - begin here
Extreme self-condemnation and problems in relationship have developed over the MIS-conception that pre-marital sex is fornication and the very severe consequences of fornication in the Bible.
The question is: "Does the Biblical references to FORNICATION apply to two Saints who are in a commitment, in love, of the opposite sex, who are not married to each other or anyone else, and who have consensual sex? Does the references to the woman as a whore, prostitute, or harlot apply to the woman of God because she had sex prior to marriage?"
The answer is no. Fornication IS NOT pre-marital sex. Fornication is the highest form of sexual sin that is committed during the act of idolatry.
To understand pre-marital sex, we must know and understand how the Torah, the law of God, addresses such an act. And in the Torah, pre-marital sex is not address as a "sin against God", but rather addressed in the context of "Social Order".
The penalty of pre-marital sex is the DOWRY, not DEATH which is the penalty for Fornication. Pre-marital sex is not cause for DEATH.... it is cause for MARRIAGE!
Below, I explain this in much detail with all the scriptural references.
Please understand, God does not condemn pre-marital sex... He expects two people who engage in sex to be in love and on the road to marriage. If you chose to have sex at random, you lose personal value, disrespect the value of love, sex, and marriage, and disrespect the portrait of marriage between God/Israel, and the Messiah/Church. That is all another email.
CAUTION: If you have sex for sex sake... outside of a loving commitment centered on the Lord on the road to marriage, you are in danger of worshipping the creature over the creator and in danger of committing the very act of sexual idolatry... worshipping sex. Fornication.
FORNICATION = IDOLATRY
John 8:41 - "we are not born of fornication, we have ONE father, even God."
Here we see a clear picture of the severity of fornication. The spiritual implication and the physical act are both forms of idolatry.
The highest crime against the living God is IDOLATRY. When exploring the spiritual basis for God condemning almost every sin we find that the act in question has its roots in IDOLATRY.
First, let me give you the literal Biblical definition:
Fornication (porneia) - A sexual act of idolatry. The sexual act of worship with a temple prostitute, whore, or harlot. (Porne) - The Greek word for harlot who is a prostitute in the sexual practice of idolatry.
Let's look at references in scripture:
Genesis 38:15-22 - A "harlot" is a village prostitute. Serving the purpose of sexual worship to BAAL the god of furtility.
Ezekiel 16:15 - the acts of a harlot (prostitution) is called FORNICATION... Worshipping another god through the act of sexual union.
Uniting the Temple of God with a Harlot
A common practice from the days of old and very prevalent in the days of the Messiah and the early church is that men would go to the Temple of Baal and have sex with the high priestess of Baal in an act of worship to the fertility god. IDOLATRY! The man having sex with the priestess of BAAL represented the fertility of the land. This is, in context, what Paul was addressing when he commanded we not unit our bodies, the temples of the Holy Spirit, with a Harlot, the temple of BAAL. You can clearly see why this is condemned. This act of sexual idolatry is called FORNICATION.
Given the true meaning of fornication, we can clearly understand the consequences of such acts:
1 Corinthians 6
15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of the Messiah? shall I then take the members of the Messiah, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.
In Revelation, we again see a clear link between the act of fornication and idolatry:
14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication....
20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
John is clearly speaking out against the practice of committing the sexual act of idolatry and then eating meat sacrificed to idols in that act of worship.
If you do a word study on Fornication, you will see that it is condemned in context to Idolatry EVERY time. 100% of the references to fornication are in context to idolatry.
FORNICATION given as the Only Reason for Divorce
Now, if Fornication was PRE-marital sex, Yahshua in the statement below would have said Adultery not Fornication. But He didn't. NOW... let's explore the reasoning behind this statement:
9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
Fornication is listed by Yahshua as the ONLY reason for divorce. Understanding the consequences of having a partner that is worshipping another god through sexual union, you can clearly see the danger to a Saint to be in such a relationship. Consider King David, Solomon, Samson, and many others. Many a man of God has been led astray to the worship of foriegn gods by WOMEN. Unequally yoked with women who WORSHIP other gods... i.e. fornication.
Fornication is translated Sexual Immoratlity or rather Sexual Idolatry.
How is Pre-Marital Sex Adressed in the Torah?
In the Torah, God lists EVERY form of sexual sin in detail. Men with men. Men with the mom. Women with animals... etc. NOWHERE in the context of Sexual Sin will you find a man with a woman neither of whom are married and the sex is consensual.
The laws of Sexual Sin are listed in detail in Leviticus 18. The PENALTY of Sexual Sin is listed in Leviticus 20. None of these laws or penalties cover an act of sex between two consenting adults of opposite sex who are not married and both children of God.
So where is this act covered?
Now leaving SIN and going on to "Social Order" in Leviticus 19: We see an example of a man having sex with a female "slave" not his own we see punishment but NOT TO THE DEATH. vs 20-22. The punishment is minimal and the offense if forgiven.
That is close... but not quite. Surely the Bible addresses the issue at hand... two Saints in a relationship, not married, who have sex?
Now let's look at "Proper Conduct" in Exodus Chapter 22. God addresses the VERY ISSUE at hand. Let's look at the precedence given by God that we MUST follow:
16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife.
17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.
And there you have it. Problem solved, mystery understood. Just takes a little knowledge of the Bible. So, we clearly see that Fornication is very different than pre-marital sex. Fornication is joining your body (the temple of the Holy Spirit) with a temple of another god in a sexual act of idolatry.
The penalty for pre-marital sex was NEVER death. It was the DOWRY!
Fornication is the act of worshipping SEX. The creature above the creator in a sexual union. Pornography is fornication. Prostitution is fornication. Having sex for sex sake outside of commitment with a stream of partners outside of love is fornication.
Within the Biblical context of fornication, we can clearly see why it is a cause for divorce and why fornicators will not inherit the Kingdom of God... because they are IDOLATERS!