“Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither (to the house of a harlot): and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.” – Proverbs 9:16-18
Proverbs is a book of wisdom full of deep revelation, avenues of understanding, and instruction in moral character. In proverbs chapter 9, warning is given against the entrapment of harlotry, including both premarital and extra marital sexual encounters. It warns the weary soul to steer clear of those that entice in such ways at all cost. Yet when we look closer at the original wording used here it brings the revelation of the warning being given so much deeper.
Now let me preface this by saying that both men and women can be guilty of harlotry since any act of premarital or extra marital sex makes you a harlot in God’s eyes. Having said that, we see in our opening verse the harlot’s enticing words that stolen water taste better and bread eaten mischievously is more exciting. These are obviously polite ways of saying that fornication and adultery with her is more exciting because you know it’s wrong. However if you look closer at the word for “eaten”, which implies the partaking of, we see that in the Hebrew this actually meant “to partake in sorceries”. Why would the writer of proverbs be telling us that a harlot is actually a sorcerer causing his or her consorts to partake in acts of sorcery?
For the answer we need only to read the next verse. She tells him how much more exciting this will be but “he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell”. At first glance we might assume this to mean that she will cause you to be sent to hell because of the sin she is drawing you into. While that is most definitely true, that is not actually what it’s saying. First let’s look at the word translated to “dead“, in the Hebrew this word was “Rapha” and it meant “ghost“, “evil spirit“, or “demon“. Next let’s look at the word “guest“, this word was “qara“, which meant “to summon” or “invite in“. So what this passage is really revealing is that the excitement is coming from the influence of demonic sources. It is literally saying that her house (and actually her herself) is full of demons that her sinful acts have summoned from the depths of hell and is enticing you to partake of them (or take them in) unknowingly.
Paul warns the church of Corinth of the same thing, while explaining it further when he says:
“What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” – 1 Corinthians 6:16-19
In this is Paul warning of not just a physical house, but your spiritual house. That is to say, the Temple of the Holy Ghost, which is your body. When you are joined to a harlot, you become “one flesh“, or “one temple“. Therefore, every “guest” she has welcomed becomes your guest also. In other words, every demon and evil spirit in her (or his) temple is now in yours, for they have become one temple. Whatever was in her (or him) is now in you. Their temple is defiled by the welcoming (or summoning) of the demonic through their sinful and rebellious actions, and now yours is also because you joined your temple with theirs, made it one temple, and invited in all their “guest” from the depths of hell.
“For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.” – 2 Peter 2:20
Just as was warned of in proverbs, the enticed didn’t know the devil’s agenda in it all, but it happened all the same because of his foolishness not to obey God’s words which are never given as mere advice or even for the sake of dictatorial control, but as a commandment for the sake of salvation and your own protection from the plots and plans of the enemy against your soul.
“O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!” – Deuteronomy 5:29
You see, these sexual sins seem exciting because the harlot’s demons are enticing you externally, but once you fall into the snare of acting on it, you have then welcome them in internally. You have given them your temple. You have given place to the devil, and since God will not share His glory with an other, the Holy Spirit is grieved and departs and the devil gains an other foolish victim. If this vise has been used against you, then repent, turn away from the wickedness, call on God to cleans your temple, evict the enemy, and return the joy of your salvation before it’s too late. Today is the day of salvation. Now is the appointed time. Call upon the Name of the Lord while He may be found. No one is promised tomorrow, you might not get an other chance.
“But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them.” – Ephesians 5:3-7
“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” – Luke 13:3