Article

The Spirit of Fornication

Michael Beck Michael Beck

“… The spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err” (Hosea 4:12)

Pornography is an outgrowth of the spirit of fornication. This underlying spirit of fornication, or “whoredoms,” is spoken of twice in the Book of Hosea: “They will not frame their doings to turn unto their God: for the spirit of whoredoms is in the midst of them, and they have not known the LORD.” (Hosea 5:4) “…The spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err” (Hosea 4:12)

A spirit of fornication is the driving force behind an addiction to pornography. This spirit can control an entire populace. “All” in Hosea’s generation had been affected. “I have seen an horrible thing in the house of Israel: there is the whoredom of Ephraim … they are ALL hot as an oven.” (Hosea 6:10; 7:7) A fornicator is enslaved to a spirit of fornication. It is this spirit that causes him to cater to his lust. “…For they have made ready their heart like an oven.” (Hosea 7:6) A fornicator may wear his shame proudly, surrounding his home, his workplace, even his car with images that celebrate the spirit within him; or, he may be embarassed by such outward displays, but secretly decorate his heart with the imagery that fuels his lust.

The disturbing rise of the sexual predator in our day is directly due to the spirit of fornication running rampant in our society.

The lust of the fornicator knows no bounds. In the evening he is in the “harlot’s house,” but in the morning he is lusting after his neighbor’s wife. They “assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses. They were as fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbour’s wife.” (Jeremiah 5:7,8) Whether it is the harlot making herself available at night or his neighbor’s wife going about her own business in the morning makes no difference to the fornicator. All are fair game.

The disturbing rise of the sexual predator in our day is directly due to the spirit of fornication running rampant in our society. In the end, the fornicator becomes such a slave to his lusts that anything is indeed possible. The betrayal of adultery, the excesses of sodomy, the shame of incest, even the degradation of bestiality are not out of the range of a fornicator’s unbridled lust.

The spirit of fornication will not and cannot be contained by one woman. Though a fornicator is married to the most beautiful woman on earth he will not be content with her alone. So God says, “Thou hast enlarged thy bed …” (Isaiah 57:8) The fornicator is ever on the lookout for new fuel to fire his imagination. He is on the prowl each time he leaves his house. Every woman he sees is a potential object of his lust. He is especially pulled with a strong and hidden cord to every place where women are willing to “market” their wares. He is drawn to the beach every summer like lead to a magnet. Although his eyes continually consume the image of the human body he is not satisfied. He is in search of a contentment he cannot find.

The fornicator is in search of a contentment he cannot find.

Sadly, the fornicator is often under the delusion that his raging passions are not shameful but to be celebrated. “The unjust knoweth no shame.” (Zephaniah 3:5) He not only “glories in his shame” but takes delight in those who share similar shameful passions. As scripture says, they “not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1:32) Men who have abandoned themselves to such excess, think their “virility” is a badge of honor. Those who do not share their enlarged appetites are deemed “abnormal.” But it is the desires of the fornicator that are not normal.

One who has been taken over by a spirit of fornication has become a sexual glutton whose sexuality, far from being enhanced, has been damaged. The spirit of fornication produces sexual gluttony. The Hebrew word for fornication comes from a root word which means “highly fed.” Gluttony is not the natural response to hunger. The glutton’s appetite far exceeds the satisfaction of his hunger. Hunger moves the normal person to eat; but, even when the glutton’s belly is full, appetite still stirs him to satisfy a longing that exceeds the bounds of hunger. The enslaving, consuming compulsions that rage within the fornicator’s breast are not simple, natural, biological urges. The fornicator does not “still” a normal desire; he fuels a voracious appetite that enlarges beyond its normal bounds every time it is catered to. The sexual system of the fornicator is as overtaxed, enlarged and abused as the digestive system of the food glutton. The apochryphal Wisdom of Sirach summates: “To a fornicator all bread tastes sweet…” (Sirach 23:17)

Fornication is a sin committed “against” one’s own body.

The sin of fornication is so ruinous that the Bible gives a singular warning to avoid it like a plague. “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18) Notice here that fornication is a sin in a class all by itself. Every other sin is done “without the body.” Fornication is a sin committed “against” one’s own body. The effects of engaging in fornication outlast the actual sin. The residual effects are experienced or felt within one’s body.

Even those who recognize they are “addicted” to pornography come to believe they have received a disease or sickness that is so deeply embedded in them that they cannot extricate themselves from it. The danger is made clear in scripture: “Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? So he that goeth in to his neighbour’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent … he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. A wound and dishonour shall he get” (Proverbs 6:27-29,32,33) The Hebrew word “wound” here is the same Biblical word for plague. Even as one’s body can be plagued with physical sickness, so one’s soul can be plagued by the effects of fornication. The fornicator has opened himself up to a spiritual plague, that destroys his mind, sears his conscience, dishonors his reputation and ultimately makes a mockery of the very sexuality he lives to serve. But even deeper than these effects, a pornographic mind is evidence that one has sinned against his own body, inviting the afflicting plague of an unclean spirit.

Once an unclean spirit finds a soul to inhabit it fills that soul with its own unquenchable lust.

The spirit of fornication does not operate in an individual apart from a personal unclean spirit that afflicts the soul. Unclean spirits delight in the impersonal sexual transactions that take place between the “porne” and the “pornos.” The mission of every unclean spirit is to find and use a human body in order to fulfill its own lusts. The body of a fornicator becomes the tool through which an unclean spirit seeks to satisfy his own raging lust for power and fulfillment. Even as a parasitic tapeworm transforms normal appetite into abnormal hunger, an unclean spirit is a foreign source within creating insatiable lust that continually “eats” but never is “filled.” Jesus described these unclean spirits as “restless.” (See Matthew 12:43; Luke 11:24) Once an unclean spirit finds a soul to inhabit it fills that soul with its own unquenchable lust. Every fornicator has unknowingly given place to an unclean spirit that controls their body, plagues their mind and warps their natural God-given desires.

Even as a “dumb spirit” caused “dumbness,” so an unclean spirit causes uncleanness. The Gadarene demoniac was inhabited by an unclean spirit that compelled him to publicly expose himself. (Mark 5:2,15) Unclean spirits drive men and women to the sexual excesses of fornication and into the most shameful forms of debauchery. All sexual uncleanness results from contact with unclean spirits. Such spirits oppress the mind with spontaneous lustful and perverse thoughts. These overwhelming desires which flood the mind and rule the will should not be confused with ordinary desire or temptation. Jesus, the Word made flesh, was tempted as we are, but let no one think that His mind was filled with visions of sodomy and bestiality. He was not tempted in these areas. Neither Satan or the spirits of unclean devils had any place in him. To be plagued with such evil imaginations is not normal or “common” temptation; rather, it is indication that the soul has been “breached” through disobedience and demonic traffic is freely at work.

God has not given anyone a body so that it would be yielded to an unclean spirit or fornication.

Unclean spirits do not care where the lusts of human beings are directed, they are power hungry and take their enjoyment in being obeyed. Did God create men to burn with lust for men, or women to burn toward women? Absolutely not. No one was born a homosexual. But neither did God create men to burn with lust for women or women to burn with lust toward men. God has not given anyone a body so that it would be yielded to an unclean spirit or fornication. “Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.” (1 Corinthians 6:13)

To commit the sin of fornication which God commands us to flee, is to open wide the door to a spirit of fornication. Unclean spirits enter “breaches” created by sin. Every soul that has been “breached” by the act of sin and overrun by controlling unclean spirits is in need of both repentance and salvation. Sin is a crime against God which needs to be repented of, but it is also a disease of the soul which has to be healed. One who is physically sick experiences symptoms in their body that are outside their control to stop. The Bible speaks of those who have “eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin” (2 Peter 2:14) The place surrendered in the soul to unclean spirits through the act of sin can and will be reclaimed only when one repents of disobedience to God and calls upon the Lord Jesus Christ for deliverance and restoration.


Michael Beck is a pastor in New York City and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.