Life & Death; Marriage & Divorce 

By Jeff Belknap

Matthew 10:28

“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”



God creates earthly life through union of the body (physical) and the spirit (spiritual).

Whether with or without a person’s consent, death causes separation of the spirit from the physical body, though the spirit lives on (Jas. 2:26).

It is possible for man to kill innocent, unwilling people (Jn. 16:2), and thus cause the victims to suffer actual death upon that killing. Though the spirit lives on after the time of that separation, the innocent, unwilling person is precluded from the ability to perform any action that would change the status of their soul’s destination.  [Please read: Recognizing The Reality of Man’s Sin Via Human Agency.] 

When Jesus was turned over to Pilate after undergoing a mock trial, the governor inquired of the Lord, “…knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?”  Jesus answered, “Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin” (Jn. 19:10-11). 

In Hebrews 11:37, we read of some Old Testament people who were unjustly and unwillingly “stoned,” “slain with the sword” and those who were “sawn asunder.”  Just as man may unlawfully saw ASUNDER a physical body, man may unlawfully put ASUNDER the partner of his “one flesh” (Mt. 19:6; Mk. 10:9).

Matthew 19:6, 9

“Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder…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.”



God creates a bond (spiritual) through the joining of a man and a woman when they come together in a lawful marriage (physical).

Whether with or without a mate’s consent, divorce causes the dissolution (death) of that marriage, though the spiritual bond that God enjoined upon that marriage, may still remain.

We recognize that man can kill (murder), thus causing separation of the body and spirit – even of those victims who are innocent and plead for their lives.  Likewise, man can divorce, thus separating that which God joined together in marriage (Mt. 19:6, 9; cf. I Cor. 7:10-11).  Even though there is spiritual life that remains after physical death and a spiritual bond remaining after the death of some marriages, the opportunity to change God’s prescribed consequences upon the dead and divorced, is precluded by His law at the conclusion of those separations.

Murder and divorce are both treacherous acts against the innocent.  Our hearts cry out for the victims and their families who suffer because of these heinous crimes.  However, we are not helping ourselves (or anyone else for that matter), when we deny the reality of their unfortunate consequences.  We must not be deceived: after the unlawful execution of an individual (without exception), the executed person is DEAD!  Likewise, after the unlawful sundering of a marriage (without exception), the put away person is DIVORCED! 

What are the Consequences of Being Divorced by a Lawfully Bound Spouse? 

“…and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” Mt. 5:32 

“…and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” Mt. 19:9 

“…and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.” Lk. 16:18

Reconciliation is the only divine exception given to the rule above after an unlawful divorce (I Cor. 7:11), as long as one’s bound spouse is still alive (Rom. 7:2-3).

The liberty to “put away” is ONLY authorized, while the marriage is intact / alive. There is absolutely no scripture which authorizes someone to “put away” an already sundered marriage partner as long as “the bond” is unbroken!

If there is a book, chapter and verse to prove that it is possible to Biblically “put away” / “divorce” (apoluo); “put asunder” / “depart” (chorizo) or “leave” (aphiemi) AFTER ONE’S marriage has been dissolved, where is it? 

Scripture:  ______________________________  

The New Testament speaks of unlawful putting away, leaving and departing from a bound person.  Where is the verse which teaches that a person can (under any circumstances) “put away” their bound mate who has already made them a put away person

Scripture:  ______________________________ 

Where is the passage which reveals that a person whose spouse has departed from them / put them away, can (under any circumstances) further “separate” (put asunder) themselves from the very one who has already separated from them? 

Scripture:  ______________________________ 

There are some people who have been raised from the dead (Mt. 11:5; Jn. 11:43-44; Heb. 11:35), and we are taught that it is also possible to resurrect a marriage that has been sundered (I Cor. 7:11).  However, we have no Biblical precedent which teaches that man can kill a dead person (Mt. 10:28), nor can man more fully divide a marriage which has already been broken in two (Mt. 19:6, 9)!

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Last Updated:  Thursday, January 26, 2006 12:41 PM