Good Day to each of you reading this column—Before we get into the 6th commandment, I wish to share an article that, I hope you will enjoy:
A different drug problem
The other day, someone at our store in our town read that a Meth lab had been found in old farmhouse in an adjoining county and asked me the following, “When we were growing up, do you remember us having a drug problem in our town? Yep, I replied, sure do—Cause when I was young: I was drug to church on Sunday morning. I was drug to church for weddings and funerals. I was drug to family reunions and community socials no matter the weather.
In fact, I was drug by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults. I was drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie, brought home a bad report card, didn’t speak with respect, spoke ill of the teacher or preacher, or if I didn’t put forth my best effort in everything that was asked of me.
I was drug to the kitchen sink to have my mouth washed out with soap if I uttered a curse word, I was drug out to pull weeds in my mom’s garden and dad’s fields. I was drug to the homes of family, friends and neighbors to help out some poor soul who had no one to mow the yard, chop some firewood, or paint a fence, and, if my mom had ever known that I took a dime as a tip for kindness, she would have drug me back to the woodshed.
Even today, those drugs are still in my veins and they affect my behavior in everything I do, I say, or I think. They are stronger than heroin, crack, cocaine: and, I bet you will agree, if today’s children had this kind of drug problem, our country would be a better place.
Did I touch a nerve? I was spanked, and I am alive today and glad for the spanking—I knew when my father got home, then I was going to get it, but I was a wild buck and I needed the discipline. It wasn’t just the spanking, it was knowing that it was coming and the sooner it came, the sooner it left. In fact, I learned not to do that wrong deed again—We could have all saved ourselves a bunch of spankings, disciplinary actions, and standing in the corner if we would only listen, but we are too smart, too know it all, too self-centered to take the advice of those who have been there and done that. Thank God, He has patience and He has given my parents patience also—Now I understand discipline and listening.
Let’s prepare to tackle the sixth commandment—You shall not murder Exodus 20:13—Four words, Simple or complex? God says, You shall not murder—We are strictly talking about human beings purposely taking another person’s life.
Man has made this a complex issue in his quest of thinking of what is right, moral and legal. What happens if a person is on death row and put to death and yet he is found innocent later due to evidence. Yes, this has happened, and this is very sad for the person and for the family, but God has a solution to ALL of man’s problems.
Turn to Deuteronomy 19:15 (NIV) One witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offence he may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.
Deuteronomy 17:6 (NIV) On the testimony of two or three witnesses a man shall be put to death, but no one shall be put to death on the testimony of only one witness.
Numbers 35:30 (NIV) Anyone who kills a person is to be put to death as a murderer only on the testimony of witnesses. But no one is to be put to death on the testimony of only one witness.
In fulfillment of the law, Jesus teaches how to treat a believer who sins—Mathew 18:15-16 (NIV) If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won a brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.
There are more verses that could be added on this issue, but I ask that you turn to John 8:13-18 (NIV) The Pharisees challenged him (Jesus), “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.” Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. But, if I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone. I stand with the father who sent me. In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid. I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.”
Oh, the Pharisees, men who thought they could outsmart Jesus—And yes, we have modern day Pharisees who do the same—why try to outsmart the Creator?
Before the punishment issue is tackled, we must first establish that one witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offence. Remember, we did not have cameras, televisions, picture phones, or devices showing the perpetrator creating the offence. Does this negate the word? No, remember, it takes someone to record the crime as a second witness.
In cases, where the perpetrator has admitted to the crime, then the punishment should fit the crime and justice served in a swift manner. We don’t need long trials, lawyer proceedings, and a waste of taxpayer money. Look at Deuteronomy 21:22-23 (FF) When a person has committed a crime condemnable to death, you shall kill him and hang him upon a tree. You shall not however leave him upon the tree, but bury him the same day, for God abhors the hung, consequently you shall not defile your country that your EVER-LIVING GOD has given you to possess.
As you read the Bible, I must believe God struck down Israel’s enemies or Israel’s people in a quick manner when they sinned against God. Another example of the time element would be the death of Christ by crucifixion. There are many examples in the Bible illustrating quick deaths by punishment against God’s laws.
As a last example of many in the Bible, look at Leviticus 10:1-2 – Nadab & Abihu—oldest sons of Aaron the priest and primary candidates to become high priest after their father. They treated God’s direct commands lightly and fire consumed them, and they died before the Lord.
Our God is a God of order who through his son Jesus Christ has established that anyone who kills a person is to be put to death as a murderer only on the testimony of witnesses. But no one is to be put to death on the testimony of only one witness. Jesus establishes the double witness in John by saying: “In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid. I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.” The timeline for a crime condemnable to death is found in Deuteronomy: 21:22-23 (FF) When a person has committed a crime condemnable to death, you shall kill him and hang him upon a tree. You shall not however leave him upon the tree, but bury him the same day, for God abhors the hung, consequently you shall not defile your country that your EVER-LIVING GOD has given you to possess.
So, here is my question to each of you—When did the first murder occur? Simple, when Cain attacked and killed his brother Abel and kill him. Genesis 4:8
Look at Genesis 4:13-15 (FF) But Cain answered to the Lord, “My punishment is heavier than I can bear. Since you drive me today out from off the face of this land, I shall be deprived of Your presence and be a wanderer and a vagabond upon the earth; and whoever meets me will kill me.” But the EVER-LIVING replied, “Not so; whoever kills Cain shall be punished sevenfold.” Therefore, the LORD put a mark upon Cain, so that he might not be attacked by anyone who met him.
Why did God not kill Cain within a day of the murder of Abel? Is it because the Ten Commandments were not established yet? Are we to question God?
By Jeff Casillo
Understanding God’s Laws
Editor’s Note: This is such a good article from Mr. Casillo’s website, “Understanding God’s Laws” that it needs to be widely published. In his final paragraph, he poses an interesting question. I asked our esteemed Bible scholar, President Bob Vermaat, to give us his thoughts and here is what Mr. Vermaat wrote: “The question was recently asked me, why, since the Bible states that murder is punishable by death, did God allow Cain to go on living after he had killed his brother Abel? This is a very confound question since there is no Scriptural guideline to be found in the Bible, thus any analogy would be strictly supposition or conjecture. The first fact, if it may be called so, is the fact that at that early date in our history, the law, thou shalt not kill, had not yet been given, thus the punishment that God meted out to Cain was that the land where Cain dwelt would no longer yield its fruit and also Cain was banned from the land where he lived and from the face of God. (Gen. 4:12,14). In other words, Cain would dwell in complete isolation, away from everything he was familiar with and in complete desolation away from God. (Gen. 4:14).
Cain’s time was most probably a time of survival of the fittest and killings were most likely a common occurrence among the primitive nomadic creatures of its time, a fact that is born out in Cain’s fear of being killed by anyone who might find him. (Gen. 4:14). Anyway, this punishment was probably worse than if the Lord had killed Cain; besides God is judge of all things but He is not an executioner. The first time the “Thou shalt not kill” mandate is given is in the Noahic Covenant as given in Gen. 9, where we read, “Whoso sheddeth man blood, by man shall his blood be shed;” (Gen. 9:6) There are other places in the Bible where it seems that some got away with murder, case in point, Joab killing Abner, Absalom killing Ammon, and even David orchestrating the death of Uriah. To all these there is no straight answer, conjecture is the only thing we have”