78 Comments
  1. I’m really glad this topic was brought up. I’m still haunted by George W. Bush’s famous (and shocking) statement mimicing Jesus while leading up to the Iraq War: “You’re either for us or you’re against us.” I know Bush’s speechwriter was a woman who knew how to tap into the “religious right’s” psyche with the inclusion of Biblical-sounding language. For some of us, it also begged the question, “Who would Jesus bomb?” Because Jesus is known as a model of compassion (“Love your enemies”) throughout the world. The Son of God did reveal Himself to have strong convictions and great integrity; no marshmallow was He. He cut right to the core of all the issues. But He also had the authority, and we can try to imitate Him in many ways, but we don’t have His authority or His ability to judge righteously, either. As James reminded us, too, who are we to judge another? “There is one judge, who is able to save and to destroy.” So certainly we should temper that tendency to enlarge and inflate ourselves to a position we can’t occupy.

    The Master did leave us clear instructions on the subject of how we are to approach one another when something needs correcting. On the subject of stoning, we have: “He who is without sin, cast the first stone,” which tends to echo the idea behind “Take the plank out of your own eye, then you can see to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye.” In other words, examine yourself and overcome what is within you before you try to fix what’s in someone else. Amd isn’t that a common enough thing, that sometimes the person who despises and hates a trait in someone may have the same tendencies within themselves and isn’t willing to face it? Is it accidental that it’s a beam in our own eye and a splinter in our brother’s eye — making it sound as if the problem is bigger in us than in our brother? (I’m just asking there. ) And of course, there’s: “Do unto others as you would have done to you.” If you or I were troubled by same-sex attraction, what treatment from our Christian brothers and sisters would we want? And finally, I remember when the prophet Nathan told King David the story about the man who took the other man’s only ewe, David was outraged and wanted “that man” to die!…Until the moment it dawned on him that he was that man.

    So the essence of loving is putting ourselves in another’s place. We can hate the sin but we are bound by the Master’s “new commandment” to love the sinner. I know I’ve been guilty of some self-righteous bashing also, and I know it’s easier to speak about compassion than to show it. It possibly comes from a sense of inadequacy that wants to puff itself up by dragging another down.

    Polemic issues do tend to create an Us versus Them mentality anyway. And the “political spirit” is very often combative, highly competitive, always concerned with the presentation of image instead of being willing to quietly work on a win-win outcome or willing to receive no credit for a solution. Non-violent resistance was so effective because it martyred the victims for the cause, changing world opinion. Had they taken an approach which was as ugly as their dominators, what might have transpired instead?

    I think the essence of the Master’s teaching on this topic was that we are to let the light of examination shine upon ourselves first, receiving healing and correction for our own maladies, giving us compassion for our brethren, enabling us to put ourselves in the shoes of The Other…knowing we have all fallen short in some way or another… and let that guide us in how we should approach our brother’s healing…

  2. I’m surprised and frankly insulted that Dr. Brown would ignore so many of my video’s salient points, opting to construct a Molotov that does not exist to spar with. This imaginary Molotov is a theological ignoramus who cherry-picks Scriptural mandates to suit his political agenda, who is clearly incapable of being consistent in his support of Old Testament Laws. But as the real Molotov, I do not cherry-pick. For example, I fully support the death penalty for adultery among other O.T. prescriptions, Dr. Brown, just not as a retroactive measure (that would be completely unjust). Start the death penalty up for adultery tomorrow and watch our marriages last for a lifetime…it would be the summer of love forever 😉
    I support any law God has given man in the Old Testament, unless He has nullified it in the New Testament (so no, it would be wrong to bring back sacrificial or dietary laws, of course). You simply presumed too much, Dr. Brown. Why didn’t you just debate the points I made, instead of theorizing so much, playing thought police with a fellow Christian apologist? I don’t cherry-pick; I am fully committed to the Truth, as unpopular as it may be.

    Dr. Brown, you appear to be the cherry-picker. By what authority do you choose to accept the death penalty for certain things but not others? By what authority do you scoff at bringing back the laws that God Himself fashioned to promote the greatest amount of justice and peace for all who heed it? When Jesus told His disciples to pray that it would be on Earth as it is in Heaven, do you think He was deluded? Do you think that Heavenly Law is merely “pie in the sky” or could the application of His Law aid us greatly in this godly pursuit? Well, I for one do believe Him and I believe that if we apply the government He designed, it can be on Earth as it is in Heaven.

  3. I would just like to qualify a rhetorical question I asked earlier: “If you or I were troubled by same-sex attraction, what treatment from our Christian brothers and sisters would we want?” In thinking this through, I could answer that. I know I would want to know what the law clearly states in terms of God’s view of homosexuality. Gay activists are trying to “normalize” homosexuality and equate it with other conditions in which the sufferer has been martyred, but a careful examination of the Holy Scriptures makes the Lord’s position quite clear, and we can’t change that, no matter how much we might love someone with those tendencies. But once the Lord’s position on this matter is fully clear to our brethren, what is the best way to proceed? With compassion, certainly. They have to have the means of healing made clear to them: Prayer, supplication before the Lord, who can heal anything. This takes great faith and trust, but anything can be overcome with genuine trust in He to whom nothing is impossible. Fervent prayer and resisting the message of activists who would try to make what is unclean seem clean and “just okay,” just another lifestyle. There is no Scriptural basis for that position, and we just can’t let them believe we think so, too. We have to hold firm that line, but at the same time, let them know there is hope, there is healing in His wings, there is redemption with submission to His authority in all matters. To handle the word of truth skillfully is not “judging,” but is a warning that could save our brother’s life.

  4. Personally I’m at awe of how continually church leaders have mixed the faith with national politics to disastrous results pretty much each time. Its as though we think things will be different for us?!

    Europe which for many centuries has been called a Christian continent has been most bloody during its Christian era. Should we consider the wars that followed the reformation? Or the extreme and violent persecution protestants faced in England during Queen Mary’s reign? Should we consider how apparently Christian countries and their citizens would continually fight each other. Christian against Christian all for political reasons!

    Two world wars in which Christians on both sides of the war fought and killed one another. What an example of love! This is usually because of politics!! I think Christians really need to use discernment to navigate the political waters as they are a very dangerous river to paddle through!

    As christians we must also see each other as first christians and citizens of the same kingdom, with One Lord and King. Then we can look at our earthly citizenships and how those can be used to God’s glory. Unfortunately many Christians are patriotic first and then Christian second. This leads to many problems.

    During Nazi Germany, because many Christians did not refuse to be led to an ungodly war- many people died. Because many refused to stand for justice by protecting their Jewish neighbors..many Jewish people died. Even the Catholic Church made deals with Mussolini, Franco and the Nazi’s early on, though they later spoke out against these regimes. This is sad!!

    We are one body and this means we must consider the world wide church before we consider our own countries of earthly citizenship. But it also means that when issues like what is happening in Uganda come up. If there are Christians in Uganda supporting the anti-homosexual bill, then Christians in other countries have a right to speak on the issue as it involves the Name of Messiah.

    In regards to the Uganda case, I think its really hard for Christians to become judges of humanity now as we know that our Messiah did not sit on a bema to judge a man as Divine Judge during his visit on earth. We know that He spoke out against sin and preached repentance, as for issues concerning judgement etc. He left those things to the authorities. I think for too long we Christians have become meddlers in politics. Perhaps we should stick to preaching and living righteously and leave judgement to God when he shall judge the world through His Divine Messiah. Legislation doesn’t stop the sin, renewed hearts can stop committing the sin though. But I must concede that there are good reasons to support some legislation and not others. I find the whole topic complex personally.

  5. The Anabaptists have tried to remain totally unpolitical and take their stand separate from the world system. They typically do not vote or run for office as they think they are ambassadors of the Kingdom of Heaven and thus are not citizens of any world government. It seems that they take it very seriously that it is by the “foolishness of preaching” that people will come to Messiah and that this will be the only way that righteousness will pervade society. They have some good points.

    Jumping into the political fray and making our fight with “flesh and blood” instead of with the evil spiritual beings and ideas that are behind them, is akin to the “Holy Roman Empire’s” concept of forcing the Kingdom of Heaven by physical force. I like the idea of reaching out to the sinner while taking a firm stand on the truth (calling a sin a sin).

    That there should be righteous laws is a no-brainer. That Sabbath breaking is wrong to YHWH is scripturally obvious. He prescribed the death penalty for one who was a member of Israel and ignored this command. To enforce a death penalty on such by our (USA) secular government would constitute violating the current interpretation of our free exercise of religion clause. But sovereign nations can and do make laws about such things.

    The members of the body of Messiah are part of a kingdom that is “not of this world,” so enacting the death penalty is not appropriate or possible for us. Also, there would have to be at least two witnesses to the crime that would be willing to cast the first stones, according to the scripture. This would rarely happen as people would be smart enough to only commit capitol crimes in private. Scripture (Paul) does require us to excommunicate members that continue in sin though. This would go for any presumptuous / willful sinning. Sabbath breaking included.

    It would be good for any nation to use the scripture as their guide in making laws, and punishing those that break them for that matter. It would be a deterrent to public display and acceptance of all kinds of abomination. It would bring blessing and keep the curse away.

    It would be good to have a Sabbath law. (Amazingly, the U.S., or at least many states, used to have blue laws forbidding certain business on Sunday.) This law would not produce righteousness, though, just as the one in scripture could not produce righteousness. But good laws (and YHWH’s law is perfect) encourage righteous behavior and inform the conscience. Good laws bring blessings upon a nation especially if they are followed. But I doubt that many politicians, “Christian” or otherwise, are so truly bent on pleasing YHWH to go in this direction. I doubt many of the people that elect them love YHWH and His law enough to go along with it either. The fear of man truly brings a snare. YHWH’s ways and thoughts are higher than ours.

    I wonder if there wasn’t such a huge “lobbying group” in the body of Messiah that is against keeping YHWH’s rules, including Sabbath, if we would be in such disarray before the enemy of our souls. But the carnal mind just cannot be subject to the law of YHWH. The body of Messiah desperately needs to “cast the beam out of our own eye.” YHWH gave Israel a promise that other nations would be impressed by how wise our laws were if we would just obey His ideas. Those other nations were supposed to notice how YHWH blessed His obedient people and want to join because they would see how close YHWH was to them. But YHWH also promised that other nations would notice how badly it went for us if we would not love Him by keeping His commandments.

    Acts 5
    32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that OBEY HIM.
    33 When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.

    John 14
    12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on (totally commits himself to) me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
    13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
    14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
    15 If ye love me, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS.
    16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

    The apostles were not very popular for preaching “obedience” either. If we want manifestations of YHWH’s spirit it behooves us to start truly living by “EVERY WORD that proceeds form the mouth of YHWH.” I truly hope that this does not make you mad also.

    Acts 5
    29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

    Shalom

  6. I forgot to answer the question, “Should Sabbath breakers be stoned”?

    Yes they should. Otherwise YHWH would not have so said. I will have to confess, “I wouldn’t have judged it that way.” But His thoughts and ways are higher than mine. I wonder if it is only Shabbat breakers that have joined themselves to Israel that should be stoned as Paul says that YHWH judges those that are without. Now what should be done and what can be done are two different stories. But we do know YHWH’s heart on the subject. He does not like sabbath breaking one bit.

    Shalom

  7. Bo,

    We are worlds apart on these issues, and from my perspective, you do not realize some of the radical newness brought about by Yeshua’s life, death, and resurrection.

    These are very serious matters, and I am concerned when I hear people advocating the view that, say, in Israel today, ideally speaking, Sabbath breakers should be stoned.

    I know you have taken time to articulate some of your views here and I have explained that at present, I won’t be engaging the subject in depth on this forum. But I post this for you and for other readers: This is a very serious error and those I know who have held to such views have continued to drift further and further from the New Covenantal truths.

  8. Dr. Brown,

    I did not say that Sabbath breakers should be stoned in Israel today. Israel today, is a secular country not the Theocracy it once was. The kindom of Israel has not been restored yet. That happens when Y’shua returns.

    Please answer this. Do you think YHWH was wrong in commanding the Sabbath breaker stoned to death?

    Shalom

  9. Hmm, interesting discussion here. I personally grew up in a Christian home, and for me Sunday was always the worst day of the week, because it was the day when my father was at home. And we were always Church goers.
    What the Sabbath truly means I only got to know in Israel/Jerusalem. Not that the people in Israel/Jerusalem are always perfect, but there is a certain concept about the Sabbath that Yahweh intended to give us, which we as Christian Church goers just didn’t get.

    The Sabbath is not just about physical rest, it is MAINLY about connecting with Yahweh again after a busy week. That is why the Sunday never can replace the Sabbath for me. The Sabbath is Yahweh’s day – the Sunday-rest is manmade.
    Thank you Yahweh for giving us the Sabbath – the opportunity to get to know YOU through your son Yeshua! Shabbat Shalom!

  10. I believe Rabbi Yeshua, Lord Messiah, eliminated stoning people! His focus is clearly on LOVE and treating others as we would want to be treated. Only LOVE and LIGHT can overcome the darkness.

    It’s interesting that when Erika (see above post) went to Israel and saw a POSITIVE example of Sabbath or Shabbat-keeping, that her opinion and heart were transformed about it. Now she loves the seventh-day rest and holy convocation.

    The Sabbath or Shabbat is meant to be a delightful and restful day, and if it is, it makes a huge difference throughout the week. I literally look forward to Shabbat. But I’ve been going to a Messianic congregation and there the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are praised and it is a very joyful experience!

    It always reminds me of Isaiah 56:1-8

    “Thus saith the LORD: Keep ye justice, and do righteousness; For My salvation is near to come, and My favour to be revealed. Happy is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that holdeth fast by it: That keepeth the sabbath from profaning it, And keepeth his hand from doing any evil. Neither let the alien, That hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying: ‘The LORD will surely separate me from His people’; Neither let the eunuch say: ‘Behold, I am a dry tree.’ For thus saith the LORD concerning the eunuchs that keep My sabbaths, and choose the things that please Me, and hold fast by My covenant: Even unto them will I give in My house And within My walls a monument and a memorial better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting memorial, that shall not be cut off. Also the aliens, that join themselves to the LORD, to minister unto Him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from profaning it, and holdeth fast by My covenant: Even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer; their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices shall be acceptable upon Mine altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. Saith the Lord GOD who gathereth the dispersed of Israel: Yet I will gather others to him, beside those of him that are gathered.” (The Holy Scriptures, Jewish Publication Society, copyright 1957-1960, Leonard S. Davidow)

    I know that Paul urged us to not judge one another in relation to special days — Paul was chosen to minister to the Gentiles — I believe Paul’s emphasis was on each one being sure in his own conscience before God. Some people have grown up loving Sunday and love it now ~ I am not one to argue about it. There is a long tradition about Sunday that goes back to the 4th century, when the Roman Catholic Church decided to change it. Different Protestant leaders throughout the ages have argued for the seventh-day Sabbath, but custom seems to have prevailed in the west by and large among Christian churches. God can heal every day of the week, let us remember. For me, personally, I enjoy the seventh-day Sabbath, and feel it is special, especially in concert with my Messianic Jewish brothers and sisters who love Messiah Yeshua, also known and loved by millions as Jesus, our Risen Lord!!

  11. Ruth,

    Thanks for quoting Isaiah 56. It is such good evidence to show that the strasnger (Gentile) is supposed to keep Sabbath.

    You wrote:
    “I believe Rabbi Yeshua, Lord Messiah, eliminated stoning people!”

    Do you have a scripture that declares this?

    Shalom

  12. I think the point is that it is always sin to live against Yahweh’s order and perfect will. And if we know His order and perfect will and don’t live accordingly, we will be accountable for that. The question is now
    “What actually is Yahweh’s order and perfect will?” I think that this is the question that Bo is directing to Dr. Brown.

    I think that the main purpose for the Sabbath is to enter into Yahweh’s Shabbat-rest, as described in Hebrews chapter 4.

    Verses 11-13 we read

    “Let us therefore give diligence to enter into that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience. 4:12 For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
    4:13 There is no creature that is hidden from his sight, but all things are naked and laid open before the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”

    We see here that the Shabbat is not about certain rituals or habits, but about the right heart towards Yahweh. Faith without works is dead as James says – so yes, we have to keep the Sabbath, but we have to keep it in Spirit and in Truth – after the Spirit of His Word and not just the letter of it. And certainly not after any manmade tradition.

    I personally did not find the Shabbat rest in our Sundays. They did not break the mindset of “it’s all about me”. On the Shabbat we begin to see what life really is about. It’s not about us – it’s about Yahweh.

  13. Bo,

    You asked me to provide Scriptural proof that Messiah Yeshua, aka Jesus, “eliminated stoning.”

    Firstly, let us concede that YHWH the Father has made it clear through his prophets that he takes no delight in the death of a sinner:

    “Cast away from you all your transgressions, wherein ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit; for why will ye die, O house of Israel: For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD; wherefore turn yourselves, and live.” Ezekiel 18:31-32.

    God desires that we repent and turn away from sinning because He takes NO PLEASURE in the death of him that dies. Therefore, let us seek to please God, to give Him pleasure in the holy work of repentance, first within ourselves, and then so that we may help our brethren to do the same.

    Again and again, God makes it clear that MERCY triumphs over JUDGEMENT:

    Micah 7:18-19:

    “Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth the iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage: He retaineth not His anger for ever, because HE DELIGHTETH IN MERCY. He will again have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities, and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.”

    Remember, God sent His Son as our Salvation. He, Rabbi Yeshua, Messiah, taught us a new commandment which is the greatest of all: LOVE, first for YHWH (who delights in mercy) and then LOVE for our fellow man as for ourselves. Luke 10:25-27.

    Where would we want to be stoned? On the eyes, bursting them? On the ankle, shattering the bone? On the ribcage, splintering it? What a slow and agoning death. Circled by people, each capable of hurtling several stones, it is like being beaten to death with rock-hard fists. Who would want this done to them? Who could do it?

    This same Jesus, this same Lord, gave us this example:

    Yochanan (John) 8:3-11

    “The Torah-teachers and the P’rushim (Pharisees) brought in a woman who had been caught committing adultery and made her stand in the center of the group. Then they said to him, “Rabbi, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in our Torah, Moshe commanded that such a woman be stoned to death. What do you say about it?” They said this to trap him, so that they might have grounds for bringing charges against him; but Yeshua bent down and began writing in the dust with his finger. When they kept questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “THE ONE OF YOU WHO IS WITHOUT SIN, LET HIM BE THE FIRST TO THROW A STONE AT HER.” Then he bent down and wrote in the dust again. On hearing this, they began to leave, one by one, the older ones first, until he was left alone, with the woman still there. Standing up, Yeshua said to her, “Where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No, one, sir.” Yeshua said, “Neither do I condemn you. Now go, and don’t sin any more.”

    Is adultery still a sin? Of course! Does God delight in repentance or in condemnation? Repentance! If they’d killed her, she would have died in her sins. Instead she received forgiveness because the Son of God is able to forgive sins, and He charged her to not sin “any more.” This is mercy! This is what Yeshua came to do, to show God’s faithfulness to Israel and the whole world, to show how SALVATION is possible through faith, repentance and works, but not by works alone. “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the man of iniquity his thoughts; and let him return unto the LORD and He will have compassion upon him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” Isaiah 55:7

    A circumcision of the HEART — means true devotion and submission within our heart, not by outward performance alone. If God had delighted in the destruction of sinners, He could have destroyed us all a long, long time ago because we are ALL transgressors. Instead He chose forgiveness of sins. This is the New Covenant uttered through the prophet Jeremiah:

    Jeremiah 31:31:
    “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; not according the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; forasmuch as they broke My covenant, although I was a lord over them, saith the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the LORD, I will put My law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people, and they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying,’Know the LORD’; for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD; FOR I WILL FORGIVE THEIR INIQUITY AND THEIR SIN WILL I REMEMBER NO MORE.”

    It is clear that repentance, forgiveness, mercy, compassion — these are what the LORD has always desired! James, one of the chosen by our Lord Messiah, also echoed this: Ya’akov (James) 2:13: “For judgement will be without mercy toward one who doesn’t show mercy; but mercy wins out over judgement.”

    Stoning is not only an extremely painful and brutal death (remember that Stephen was stoned for preaching the gospel, and before Paul’s conversion, he approved his murder!), but stoning is surely an act without mercy and compassion.

    Knowing the LORD and His Son do not delight in such judgement, how can we, knowing of the atoning blood shed for the whole world by God’s own perfect Son, even entertain the thought of it today? Again, I ask you, would you want to be stoned? Wouldn’t you rather receive forgiveness of sins through God’s abundant, unfailing mercy? Wouldn’t you want your brother to patiently explain your folly so that you could sin no more? Removing a splinter from a brother’s eye — is this not a delicate operation? If we do it wrongly, we could further damage his eye. That is not the point. The point is to do it skillfully, AFTER we’ve removed the obstruction from our own “eye” that we may see to do it right.

    Let us remember that Yeshua, the Messiah, aka Jesus, bore our wounds that we might be healed! We were the transgressors, ALL OF US, not Him. But this is the mercy and compassion of the LORD GOD that He sent His Son to bear our iniquities. If we, deserving of death, were given forgiveness and mercy, it behooves us (moreover, it is commanded of us) that we forgive as He forgave.

    The spirit of the Good News is that of LOVE. We are living in New Covenant times! The best teachers teach through example, not through force!

    I hope I have answered your question. The Holy Scriptures make it clear that God takes no delight in death. Nonetheless, on the final Day of Judgement, God will deal righteously with all who have refused to partake of the opportunity for repentance and forgiveness which are abundantly available today.

    Let us “do unto others and we would want done to us” that we may be counted among those who took the Messiah’s words to heart: “Always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that sums up the teaching of the Torah and the Prophets.” Mattityahu (Matthew) 7:12, Jewish New Testament.

  14. Ruth,

    I agree that YHWH does not want people stoned. The issue is that if stoning is the correct judgement for Sabbath beakers then so be it. YHWH does not delight in sacrifice for sin, but He instituted it for a reason. Just because YHwh does not desire the death of the wicked doesn’t mean that they sould not get the death penalty if they are caught. Even repentance does not do away with the penalty. Do you think that a thief should not pay the money back just because he says he is sorry?

    The woman caught in adultery was not stoned because there were not two qualified witnesses to testify against her. Please read “Pericope de adutera” by Floyd Nolan Jones for a wonderful, scripture upholding explanation. I think you will like it. Here is the link:

    http://av1611.com/kjbp/articles/jones-pericope.html

  15. That is well said Ruth, but I think that today people don’t have such a hard time to figure out if stoning is for today or not, but they do have a really hard time to figure out the difference between God’s love and humanism. Most people today think that they are one and the same. That’s why the message of Yeshua does not accomplish what it is meant to accomplish in our current society. Throwing out the Torah is throwing out Yeshua. Not that you are doing this – but this is the problem that we have in today’s society.

  16. Bo,

    With all due respect, brother? sister?, I know that I am bound by the New Covenant to treat another as I would want. I have great faith in the power of God’s mercy, forgiveness and redemption to change the heart of the sinner, thus bringing DELIGHT to the LORD. If it weren’t for His “amazing Grace,” that saved a “wretch like me” I would be dead, I’m sure. Thus, I am grateful that He is a God of compassion…!

    I simply don’t believe that stoning someone is in keeping with God’s intention as revealed through His Son…!! It may take much more effort than punishment does to rehabilitate the sinner, but I believe it is our duty as believers to be willing for that work…also, let us not forget, that when we transgress God’s laws, we experience a sense of separation from God which is an acute form of suffering in itself — I know this from personal experience!

    (I will check out your link on another day as I am preparing for Shabbos.)

    May God Bless You

  17. Concerning the adulterous woman: One translation actually says:
    “The one of you who is without THIS sin, let him cast the first stone!”

    Guess what – they all had slept with her – or why else didn’t they bring the man also, only the woman? And why did they get convicted so easily? And why did Yeshua react as He did? He wanted to give everyone a second chance, not only this woman!

  18. When anyone relegates Jesus to a mere, perfect Torah-keeper, they would seek (whether willingly or unwillingly) to nullify His message.

    This from The Jewish New Testament: Mattityahu 9:10-13: “While Yeshua was in the house eating, many tax-collectors and sinners came and joined him and his talmidim (disciples) at the meal. When the P’rushim (Pharisees) saw this, they said to his talmidim, “Why does your rabbi eat with tax-collectors and sinners?” But Yeshua heard the question and answered, “The ones who need a doctor aren’t the healthy but the sick. As for you, go and learn what this means: “I want compassion rather than animal -sacrifices.” For I didn’t come to call the ‘righteous,’ but sinners!”

    Compassion rather than animal-sacrifices! Let us not sit in judgement (because there is NO true justice in this world; God will judge on the Last Day, and whenever that is only HE knows).

    Meanwhile, let us preach Messiah’s atonement. Let us turn with compassion to our fellow man, pointing to our Redeemer, who offers a new, true LIFE.

    Also: Messiah, known as Jesus (the greatest light to the Gentiles we have ever known; God’s perfect Son) has certainly accomplished a deep transformation in ethics throughout the earth in these some two-thousand years, because what He offered was much more than the law. (I am beginning to understand what Paul was up against, and Paul was the perfect Pharisee before he began to really understand the difference between “compassion” and “animal-sacrifices!”)

  19. Ruth, I think I can understand Bo, that he is really fed up with all the love-talk of today that simply supports lawlessness. So no, I’m NOT for stoning people – but we really have to look on our heart and see what our true motive is for not wanting it. Do you think that the ancient Israelites wanted it?? Certainly not too!! But it was Yahweh’s way of teaching them to loathe sin. And if WE don’t loathe sin, there is a serious problem with us! Believe me, it is FAR more terrible to suffer in hell than to suffer from stoning!!!

  20. Ruth,

    Let us know what you thought of the link I posted. Please know that I do not agree with a lot of what Dr. Floyd Nolan Jones believes on some topics. But I find Him to be a man that was very concerned about the truth and who did much study of the scripture. He put out a very good book “The Cronology of the Old Testament.”

    Shabbat Shalom!

  21. Erika,

    Regarding John 8:7, the translation that says “without this sin” is NOT a translation. The Greek for “without sin” is one word, and it’s meaning is quite clear. Whoever added “this” was not translating but adding an interpretation — a bizarre one at that.

  22. Erica,

    I’ve got to question the motive of anyone who, after learning of Messiah’s atonement, and reading His message of treating others as we ourselves would want to be treated, could want to bring back something as tortuous as death by stoning at all.

    I would think that a spiritual transformation of the heart would reveal the truth of His intentions that we all really do love one another. This message is still so radical, no nation, however it chooses to call itself “Christian,” has fully adopted it yet. If we have yet to see His idea of LOVE fully manifested on earth, isn’t it somewhat anti-Christ to want to go back to the practices of a time before He literally came to earth to give us a better way?

    Even before Rabbi Yeshua walked the Gallilee, YHWH desired that His people love one another: Leviticus 19:18, “Thou shalt not take vengeance, nor bear a grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.” (Jewish Publication Society, c. 1957-1960, Leonard S. Davidow)

    Sha’ul (Paul) gave us a definition of Love which has rung true to so many for hundreds of years: “Love is patient and kind, not jealous, not boastful, not proud, rude or selfish, not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not gloat over other people’s sins but takes its delight in the truth. Love always bears up, always trusts, always hopes, always endures…” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

    If we are busy loving, we will be hopeful for the salvation of our fellow man, and not eager to see him punished. Those that advocate severe penalties as a means to discourage lawlessness should examine the histories of governments or groups which have followed that approach. Only an inner transformation of the heart by the cleansing of the Holy Spirit can do what fixation on the law could never do. Thus, we should pursue that holy transformation, first in ourselves, and then for our brethren.

    “Beloved friends, let us love one another; because love is from God; and everyone who loves has God as his Father and knows God. Those who do not love, do not know God; because God is love. Here is how God showed his love among us: God sent his only Son into the world, so that through him we might have life. Here is what love is: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the kapparah for our sins.”

    1 Yochanan (1 John) 4:7-10, The Jewish New Testament

  23. Shabbat Shalom, Everyone!

    Bo, I’ll get to your link…I take care of my Dad, who has Alzheimer’s…But I will definitely keep my word and check it out.

    Sabbath Peace !

  24. Ruth, the point is that it indeed has to be a better way than stoning – Yeshua’s way and not a human idea. What I see in today’s society is that we always make a treaty with the devil because of political correctness. This is no better way in my opinion. This is the confusion that confuses a lot of people today.

    Leviticus 19:18 has nothing to do with stoning! If we believe that the Bible in ONE book, we see that Yeshua came to bring the first covenant to its full meaning.

  25. Are we still arguing over whether or not people should be stoned?

    Listen to what the LORD said through His prophet Micah:

    Micah 6:6

    “Wherewith shall I come before the LORD,
    and bow myself before God on high?’
    Shall I come before Him with burnt-offerings,
    with calves of a year old?
    Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
    With ten thousand rivers of oil?
    Shall I give my first-born for my transgression,
    The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
    It hath been told thee, O man, what is good,
    And what the LORD doth require of thee:
    Only to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly
    with thy God.”

    The adulteress was not stoned for “lack of witnesses,” as has been suggested previously. Does the text not say she was caught in the act? Therefore, she was observed, i.e., witnessed. She was not stoned because Messiah Yeshua was demonstrating the above principle. God always desired mercy, not sacrifice, and He sent His Son to demonstrate that clearly. He has come to bring forgiveness of sins. No one was qualified to stone her because none were “without sin.” Therefore, none of us are qualified to stone another either, because we are all sinners.

    He came to bring LIFE, not death. He offers forgiveness of sins and this is what we are to “offer” each other: that we know the way of the Messiah > forgiveness. This is what we’re supposed to emphasize, forgiveness is possible through His shed blood. For us to consider stoning others after all the proofs of His desire that we “love mercy” — and that he doesn’t want sacrifices (which were surely part of the Law; the Sinai Covenant) — what more need He say? Didn’t He say it all when He said, “Do unto others as you would want done to you?” A quote so famous it needs no citing, though I will cite it: Matthew 7:12.

    One of his chosen twelve, John, in Chapter 13, verse 34-35, tells us what Our Lord wants us to focus on, now that He has brought atonement: “I am giving you a new command: that you keep on loving each other. In the same way that I have loved you, you are also to keep on loving each other. Everyone will know that you are my talmidim (disciples) by the fact that you have love for each other.”

    What was the way that he loved us? With mercy and forgiveness. The adultress had broken the command of God. If Yeshua had wanted us to the fulfill the Old Covenant, He would have enjoined the others to perform the law and stone her. Instead, He showed us His desire is still for mercy. This is a fine example of why we should not even dream of stoning one another for breaking the law…

  26. I will not add another post to this discussion, friends. If these citations are not convincing to you, I would suggest: fall upon your knees and ask the Most High God in the name of Yeshua, aka Jesus, what is His will in regard to stoning law-breakers. As for me, I’ve done that, and I am convinced it is not in His will that we do that.

  27. Yeshua came to bring the Spirit of His Word to us – so that its letter won’t kill us. Yeshua never condoned the transgression of His Word – on the contrary – He even sharpened His Word (Matthew 5:17-48).

    And believe me, I still don’t support the stoning of people – the same way I still don’t support loving sin.

    Is a judge in Amerika qualified to enect capital punishment for a murderer? Why then? Because the judge is without sin?? Is the problem solved by just loving the murderer? So why is this then not done in Christian Amerika? Why do prisons exist? Is that so unlawful? Does a judge act out of VENGENCE if he imprisons people?? Is it really a bad habit to put people in prison at all??

    Why these two different measurements between Amerika and ancient Israel??

    The whole problem is that we still love sin!

  28. Please forgive me, brothers and sisters, I just have to qualify a statement I made earlier: “If Yeshua had wanted us to the fulfill the Old Covenant, He would have enjoined the others to perform the law and stone her. ” What I meant was: If Yeshua had wanted us to fulfill the Old Covenant laws regarding stoning, He would have enjoined the others to perform the law and stone her. Yeshua’s mission of clarifying the law, and His ultimate atonement, for the sins of all who will come to Him for forgiveness obviously transformed everything. He simplified the Law as well for all for us. There have been additions upon additions to the “Law” by numerous rabbis before and after Rabbi Yeshua that it is such a vast subject. Nonetheless, only the transformation of the heart through the cleansing of the Holy Spirit can please God. It makes us want to act in ways that bring delight to Him. It makes us want to learn more about Him. Scriptural references in both the Old and New Covenant writings make it plain: God delights in justice and mercy! God wants us to “do right” not out of fear of punishment, but out of love! Only a cleansed, renewed heart can know this love. A slavish approach to the law does not bring this renewed heart.

    We have a prison system in America. And we are instructed to care about the lives of these prisoners. God is keenly concerned with justice.

    “This shall be wirtten for the generation to come;
    And a people which shall be created shall praise the LORD.
    For He hath looked down from the height of His sanctuary;
    From heaven did the LORD behold the earth;
    To hear the groaning of the prisoner;
    To loose those that are appointed to death;
    That men may tell of the name of the LORD in Zion,
    And His praise in Jerusalem;
    When the peoples are gathered together,
    And the kingdoms, to serve the LORD.” Psalms 101:19-23

    Food for thought in the above.

    Our prison system, as anyone who knows will tell you, is quite a mess. Great injustices have occurred in it and through it. Great abuses have been reported througnout. Just because we have a justice system, that doesn’t mean it operates flawlessly. Since the development of DNA-related technology, many people who were serving life sentences have been found not guilty. Are there corrupt judges in America? Isn’t corruption found throughout the earth, not just here? What is the solution?

    A renewed heart through faith in our Lord, the risen Messiah of all Israel and the world: Jesus, as He’s most famously known — Yeshua as His name is in Hebrew…same being.

    God can open any door, including prison doors! Remember how Kefa (Peter) was supernaturally released from prison. Remember how God shut the mouths of the lions surrounding his servant Daniel. Nothing is impossible for God.

    Let us turn to Him, let us offer Him our whole being, our whole heart! He will transform it. He offers forgiveness through faith. And when we are forgiven, we are to forgive as we have been forgiven. What a release of the burden of anger and pain that we have carried. What a joy it is to love the Lord God, who loves mercy, who is overflowing with compassion, through whom we have Life! Let us pray in the quietness of our room, let us offer our whole hearts to God.

  29. YHWH does not delight in the death of a sinner. YHWH also does not delight in what they do. He hates sin. He loves the sinner, but he loves those that the sinner sins against too. He has a responsibility to both. YHWH does not like for sin to spread or for a sinner to continue to hurt others.

    YHWH instituted the death penalty. Sometimes it is better to stop the sinner at all costs, for the sake of others. We do not take sin as seriously as YHWH. We can’t see all the damage. He can. We do not feel all the hurt. He does. We have a hard time judging righteously. He does not.

    YHWH has done all he can to fix the sin problem. He even died in the sinners place. His compassion for the sinner is great. Sometimes He knows the best thing to do is to put his creatures out of their misery. We do the same with our hurting animals. When sin gets too bad He sometimes sends nations to judge other nations by war. And people die. And He takes no delight in it. When sin gets too bad He sometimes strikes people dead even in the New Covenant (Ananias & Sapphira). And people die. And He takes no delight in it. When sin gets too bad He sometimes asks us to deal with it. And people die. And He takes no delight in it. But He still knows it has to be done.

    He asks us to pray for them…then warn them…then take witnesses…then bring them before the congregation…then excommunicate them…hen turn them over to the proper authorities…then give them a fair trial…then meet out the proper punishment. Sometimes the proper punishment is to put them out of their misery and protect the rest of us from further atrocities. Because He takes no delight in the suffering of His creation.

    I wonder if we (humanity) were to simply act on His instructions if we would be better off than we are now. Actually I do not wonder. I know we would.

    Psalm 19
    7 The LAW (Torah) of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the TESTIMONY (10 Commandments) of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
    8 The STATUTES of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the COMMANDMENT of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
    9 The FEAR of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the JUDGMENTS (even the death penalty) of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
    10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
    11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is GREAT REWARD.

    Shalom

  30. Bo,

    I’m really not sure how to communicate with you any more clearly, and I don’t mean to be rude, but I’ll say it once more (and for the last time): I am getting into a discussion about Sabbath and Torah law at this point here, so I’m not going to be answering questions which need qualification and which will lead to further discussions.

    And just to be clear: FEEL FREE TO POST HERE, BUT DO NOT ADDRESS ME IN YOUR POSTS OR EXPECT RESPONSES. Can you be civil enough to respect that request?

    When I do get into these discussions here, that would be the time to dive in.

  31. Dr, Brown,

    I will not address you any more as per your request. You are the one that brought up the Sabbath issue. I ask a simple question, “Is breaking Sabbath still a sin?” You refuse to answer. A simple yes or no will do. Please let me know before you do the shows on these topics so that I can be the first to know.

    I’m not so sure that it is only I that is not being civil. Please read my comment on your book on the unpardonable sin forum. Also, I will not expect a response as per your request.

    Thanks for your consideration in this matter.

    Sincerely,

    Bo

    Shalom

  32. Bo, I think that there is a lot of confusion out there about WHAT KIND of Sabbath is a sin or no sin to break. In view of this I’m very thankful for the work of Michael Rood who clarified once and for all the difference between the Bible and its content versus the Talmud and its content.

    So my response would be that it is a sin to break the biblical Sabbath, but no sin to break the talmudic Sabbath 🙂

    Now concerning the question if it is OK to stone a Sabbath breaker – this is how I see it: The stoning in the first covenant was a means of convicting people of sin.

    In Deuteronomy 13:5b we read:
    “… So you shall put away the evil from the midst of you.”

    Today the conviction of sin is the job of the Holy Spirit, which he is able to do quite effectively. I know that this circumstance is misused by so many Christians to harden themselves against the conviction of the Holy Spirit, since there seems to be no obvious consequence for hardening oneself against His speaking.

    So in a way we today are more challenged than the ancient Israelites – we are expected to be grown up already and to be able to discern what is good for us and what is bad for us.

    But if we indeed are grown up already is a whole different question of course. Most people today suffer because they are not grown up and cannot discern.

  33. P.S. not that the conviction of sin was abolished by Yeshua, if you know what I mean. He indeed fulfilled that law in its deepest sense. But if we don’t know the Law / the Torah, we also won’t know what He came to fulfill. That is why we LOVE the Law as also David says in Psalm 119 – it shows us Yeshua! 🙂

    All the Law speaks of Him. Luke 24:25 ; Psalm 40:7

  34. Dr. Brown,

    we really don’t mean to offend you, but if you never respond (except for my view on John 8:7) this will just remain a monologue and won’t encourage further posts in my opinion. Are you afraid of us??

  35. Ruth,

    How are you doing with that link? It is mostly the first part of it that deals with the woman caught in adultery. Jones was basically answering the modern Bible critics that would say that the account does not belong in scripture. So I’m not sure that you need to read the whole thing. But it all seems pretty good to me. I do not agree with his stance that the 1611 KJV is the only true English version of the Bible though.

    Shalom

  36. Erika,

    There are dozens of posts calling for my attention, and for the most part, I don’t have time to respond to them. No mystery here! There are other priorities more pressing, and this forum here remains the place for others to interact.

  37. Hey Bo,

    I haven’t forgotten your link — it’s definitely in an area of interest — I’ve just been handling other pressing stuff today — also, with my Dad being in the condition he is in, every day is “catch as catch can” as the old expression goes, for my computer-time. However, yes, I will be checking it out and…I guess this thread would be the one to respond to you about it on. I don’t want to give it a perfunctory glance, I want to give it my undivided attention…Realistically, it ‘s probably not going to be until tomorrow that I can delve into it…I appreciate your patience…

    Shalom~!

  38. Bo,

    The link opened to a very lengthy page, so I will have to respond to it piece by piece. Let me start.

    To do so, let me copy and paste the first part:

    “JOHN 8:1-11 The story of the woman taken in the act of adultery.

    Most New Versions: The story is omitted or footnoted.

    Comment: If the woman were caught in the very act, where was the man? God required that both should be stoned (Lev.20:10; Deu.22:22-24). Jesus knew the entire matter was a set up for the purpose of placing Him on the horns of a dilemma. If He said stone her according to the Law of the O.T., He would be in trouble with the Roman authorities. If He said to release her from the demand of the Law, the people would reject His claims as Messiah for Messiah would never go against the Word of God.”

    This is just the first paragraph! And there are some sweeping assumptions made about what Jesus was actually thinking.

    The “Comment” begins by doubting whether the woman was really caught in the very act. (“If the woman was caught in the very act, where was the man?”) Well, it’s a good question anyway — where WAS the man? We can infer that he was there if we want to, or we can infer that they were trying to trap him by failing to provide the man, too, I suppose. The law does say that both are to be stoned.

    But then the commentator goes on to imply some troubling things about Jesus’ character: “If He said stone her according to the Law of the O.T., He would be in trouble with the Roman authorities. If He said to release her from the demand of the Law, the people would reject His claims as Messiah for Messiah would never go against the Word of God.”

    Okay — Jesus clearly didn’t worry about being “in trouble with the Roman authorities.” That implies a condition of fear of government which Jesus obviously never had. His total persona as you can read about in the Scriptures is consistent with someone who never feared men. Jesus’ attitude toward who should be feared, however, is clearly expressed in Matthew 10:28: “Do not fear those who kill the body but are powerless to kill the soul. Rather, fear him who can destroy both soul and body in Gey-Hinnom.” Jesus knew where real power was concentrated! He wasn’t afraid of men! or powers or authorities on earth…!

    The other part of that theoretical stance: “If He said to release her from the demand of the Law, the people would reject His claims as Messiah for Messiah would never go against the Word of God.” Again, Jesus wasn’t afraid of how men would judge him. This is imputing a nature to Jesus that the rest of the texts do not support. A) He is the Son of God, with power to forgive sins while yet on earth! Whoever he “frees” from the demand of the Law, is free. He could have “mercy” on whomever He willed. B) He wasn’t worrying about solidifying His standing as Messiah in the eyes of the people, like a common politician. He was, and is Messiah, and always knew exactly what would happen to him: Luke 18:31: “Then, taking the Twelve, Yeshua said to them, “We are now going up to Yerushalayim, where everything written through the prophets about the Son of Man will come true. For he will be handed over to the goyim (Gentiles) and be ridiculed, insulted, and spat upon. Then, after they have beaten him, they will kill him. But on the third day, he will rise.” Jesus (Yeshua) knew what He was supposed to do while on earth. He knew how the story would inevitably enfold. He was NOT worried about whether or not they would reject him as Messiah for not following the Law.

    Now comes the thorny part: …”for Messiah would never go against the Word of God.” The commentator is using “Word of God” as a substitute for “Laws” here. Notice it is capitalized. But didn’t Yochanan (John) describe Yeshua Himself as the “Word” (capital “W”) of God? Yochanon (John) 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, And the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing made had being.” If you read on, it’s totally clear he’s talking about the Lord Messiah in this chapter. Pretty exalted description! So let’s look at that sentence again:
    …”for Messiah would never go against the Word of God.” Well, no, He was the “Word of God!” Again, the commentator really means “Law” in this context. He’s really saying, For Messiah would never go against the Law of Moses…

    Okay, now we know that the Law came through, not FROM, but through Moses. Yet Yeshua made some apparent changes to this Law, and here is one example:

    Matthew 19:3: “Some P’rushim (Pharisees) came and tried to trap him by asking, “Is it permitted for a man to divorce his wife on any ground whatever?” He replied, “Haven’t you read that in the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and that he said, “For this reason a man should leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two are to become one flesh?” Thus they are no longer two, but one. So then, no one should split apart what God has joined together.” They said to him, “Then why did Moshe (Moses) give the commandment that a man should hand his wife a get (divorce document) and divorce her?” He answered, “Moshe allowed you to divorce your wives because your hearts are so hardened. But this is not how it was at the beginning. Now what I say to you is that whoever divorces his wife, except on the grounds of sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery!”

    It’s pretty plain that Messiah, as the Son of God, spoke with authority. He was not constricted by the Law, nor was He worried about reframing an element of the Law, nor was He afraid of anyone’s opinion if He did away with any aspect of the Law. Remember, He was human, but also divine. He was not a mere mortal man from birth. He pre-existed in Heaven and His authority was genuine.

    That’s all I have time for at this moment, Bo. I’ll get back to the rest of it. As I said, it’s a long page, so I’ll have to take it piece by piece, which I’m willing to do, if you’ll accept my time constraints.

    Right off the bat, though, it is problematic. We’re only into the first paragraph and we’ve had to untangle a few major points which display a bias and a lot of assumptions about Messiah’s character which do not hold up to the light of Scripture. I’m already suspecting that the commentator/author has an agenda, and I think I know where this is going…

    Until later, respectfully,
    Shalom

  39. Ruth,

    The author did not believe that the Torah is applicable for us today. He was a main line Southern Baptist. His purpose for writing the article was to show that this passage of scripture belongs in the Bible. He was opposing modern theologians that claim that this was added centuries after the fact. He is correct that the scrpture says that both had to be stoned. If the accusers couldn’t or wouldn’t testify against both they were false witnesses. The punishment for bearing false witness was the punishment that would have fallen on the accused if they were found guilty. So they would have been risking their lives to go any further with the trial unless they could produce the guilty man.

    It is true that Jones fills out the story to show a possible scenario of what transpired in their thinking. This is for the sake of exploring why things happened the way they did and to show the complete probability that this story is true and truely scripture. I told you where Jones was coming from in a post above.

    You do not need to examine it bit by bit and comment on every flaw. I was hoping that you would see that Y’shua upheld the law perfectly. Remember He quoted Deuteronomy 8:3 to the devil when He was being tempted. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds for the mouth of YHWH.” If He did not do what He said, if he did not live a perfect life, if He did not do exactly as the Law specified then He could not be our Savior. He would be a sinner just like us.

    I maintain that He did uphold every jot and tittle. As a matter of fact He is the one that spoke those 10 words from mount Sinai. He is the one that spoke face to face with Moses.

    Also, His teaching on divorce and remarriage is exactly what the law and the prophets say. Also there are no capitol letters in the Greek to make a differentiation on the “Word” or “word” idea that you spoke of.

    Shalom

  40. Ruth,

    I am sharing this so that you can see where I am coming from.

    I posted this on 01/07/10 in the Dec 9th forum “Death Penalty for Homosexuals in Uganda?”

    Maybe this conversation is over, but I think the reasoning should go a little further.
    1. First: There are laws in our land that criminalize consenting adults. Drug laws and such.
    Second: The death penalty in the scripture is not only for the punishment of the crime but also seems to be intended as deterrent to corruption in society.
    Third: The “New Testament” in no way undoes the laws of the “Old testament”, but deals with a group of people that have no civil governing authority. The Assembly of Y’shua is an embassy of the kingdom of heaven, not a sitting government on earth. They can excommunicate a fellow believer for walking in sin, but have no jurisdiction as to applying penalties, death or otherwise.
    Fourth: “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone” is a call from Y’shua to the witnesses of adultery to testify against both parties. If they do not, they are false witnesses that deserve the penalty they hoped would be placed upon the woman that was accused. This statement of Y’shua is not a doctrinal statement that precludes every one that has ever sinned to keep their mouths shut when it comes to preaching against sin.
    Fifth: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them…1 ¶ Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?”
    Our job is to be reconcilers of people to YHWH not to justify their actions as understandable or OK. When we give sinners excuses to sin we become accomplices. It is also not our job to give the sinner what he has got coming, but offer him a way out of his eternal predicament. That means letting them know of Y’shua’s sacrifice and that it can be applied to them if and only if they repent.
    YHWH loves homosexuals, adulterers, fornicators, etc. and he wants all of them and us to come to Him for a better life than sin has to offer.

    Shalom

  41. Ruth,

    I also posted this on 01/10/10

    The way I see it, the laws of the “Old Testament” are righteous. This is stated over and over. PS. 19 is a good example. The state would do well to incorporate those laws with their prescribed judgments. The Assembly of Messiah is here to be salt and light to the world and its governments. We should set the example as to righteous living. We also should bring the message of the kingdom of YHWH to those around us. We should be able to offer the truth and the power to live it.
    1. The state already has laws that are along the lines of anti-fornication laws. There are anti-pornography laws. There are anti-prostitution laws. There are anti-public nudity laws. These laws go mainly unpunished. But they set a standard of minimal righteous behavior. So anti-sodomy laws would do the same. Most drunk drivers do not get prosecuted. Most drug dealers do not get prosecuted. But the state still has laws against such things so that they can prosecute those that are caught.
    The death penalty in scripture required 2 or more witnesses to the crime. Those witnesses would receive the same penalty as the one they accused if they were found to be false witnesses. Of course there were very few witnesses that would come forth to testify against adulterers and the like for the simple reason that those kinds of things were done in secret. Those kinds of sins should not be public things, and that is where the law against such comes in. It would at least keep sexual sin a private thing. It would keep it out of sight of children and those that are offended by it. Our young people would be insulated form temptation in these areas during there more influential years.
    I am not trying to say that believers should be lobbying for these sort of laws. I am more thinking that we should be influencing those around us to the point that such laws would be more of a default mode for society. It was that way here before. It could be again.
    The main job for believers is to bring the hope of peace with YHWH. But there can be no peace with Him while we live in sin. The gospel of the kingdom of heaven starts with the word repent. Peace with YHWH can only happen when we are in agreement with His thoughts and ways.
    Any habit that is enjoyable or exciting is hard to break. Bad habits grow from participating in sin. It would be good to have righteous laws in our country. But the laws of a county really only reflect the attitude or apathy of the people in it.
    I believe that Abraham Lincoln said, “The philosophy of the classroom in one generation will become the philosophy of the government in the next generation.” Or something along those lines. Our schools are inundated with the teaching of acceptance of sexual sins. Entertainment and the media have been there a long time. The only hope we have of seeing righteousness in the future lies with protecting and teaching of our children and standing uncompromisingly on the truth. If we make any excuse for sexual sin the foundation of future generations will be undermined.
    I see no alternative than to home school and be very, very careful to shun any questionable media. Bad company corrupts good morals. We need to be very careful when it comes to youth groups and church attendance also. Access to the Internet and cell phones need to be strictly monitored. This may sound controlling and Stifling to some, but I know of nothing else that will work.
    These are some things that are our job to do.

    YHWH’s mercy and grace (empowerment) be upon us all.

    Shalom

  42. Bo,

    I am in agreement that sexual sin is rampant in the world today. I am unhappy about the state of things. I came “of age” in a time when immorality was hailed as some sort of “liberation.” As Joni Mitchell once said in an interview: “The sexual revolution was an experiment which failed.” There were a lot of contributing factors, however, and religious hypocrisy was one of the nails that closed the coffin on the previous generation’s way of thinking for many of us. A lot of that was reflected in our national politics at the time and in the ecological destruction of the earth. Even though caring for the earth is Scripturally-sound, it was treated as “rebellion.” Some ministers are still beating that drum. The 60’s and 70’s might have been chaotic on some levels, but I also see a lot of good which emerged from that. For a lot of people, it meant a renewed interest in Jesus’ teachings.

    We aren’t going to turn back the clock to any point in history unless someone figures out how to make a time-machine, right? We simply trudge on, hopefully learning all the while.

    I acknowledge that I need to study this subject (Torah law for today) in greater depth. However, I can see that Jesus gave us a view of God that is more fatherly than ever. “Our Father Who is in Heaven….” As a parent of grown children, I know that while I insisted on the respect of my children, I also preferred that they obey out of love and respect, not because I terrified them into obedience. I have seen children terrified of their parents and it is a sad sight to see. They may be trying desperately to do everything they can to keep their parent’s wrath away, but it breaks your heart to watch them. Could it be that our God, who will be a “Father” to us feels the same way? That He would rather we obeyed out of LOVE than terror? Is this the “perfect love” which “casteth out fear”? Yes, the fear of God is clean, but to love God (wholeheartedly) – isn’t that what He desires most of all? I wish to have a heart like the poet, prophet, and king, David. David was so full of deep love and admiration for God…Here he was, a commander of armies, and yet it was God’s rod and God’s staff which comforted him — not the might of his own military. And even though he was capable of deceiving himself in regards to his sins (of placing Bathsheba’s husband in the “front lines” so to speak so that he could get him out of the way; trying to get her husband to sleep with his wife once more to cover up her pregnancy; and well, adultery itself) — the Lord forgave David. I think the LORD’s compassion towards David was stirred all the more because He knew David’s heart. He knew David obviously dearly loved Him. Yes, David was blinded for awhile by his own desire for a woman who was already married. But the LORD knew that David’s heart was basically clean. Also, the LORD was faithful to His own plan for Israel through David.

    Doesn’t everything that Messiah said and did reflect that God wants us to love Him and be merciful? There will be lawbreakers and there will be those who make themselves the enemies of God and He will deal with all of these in the “wrath to come” — but we are charged to love, and to treat others as we wish to be treated. I don’t wish to stone anyone because I don’t wish to be stoned. This is a revolutionary idea. As Abe Lincoln put it, “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master.”

    I personally uphold the Ten Commandments. They make perfect sense to me. In fact, they are enscribed on a plaque on the wall of my living room. We are not to be ignorant of the whole book of the Bible; love of God impels us to search through the writings and let it work on our consciences. We get a clear sense of what God wants. But let us remember, Israel and Judah broke the first covenant with the LORD. But God never stopped loving Israel and Judah. He decided to make a “new covenant.” If an author decides to change anything he’s written, that’s his creative license to do it. If an artist decides to paint over a previous canvas, that’s their right to do it. God has creative license as the Creator to change anything, including natural law. As the ultimate supernatural spirit-being, He has the authority and wisdom to do this. So if God says the old covenant was broken and He is making a new one, who are we to say but wait, God NEVER changes His mind? Moses, as I recall, was able to persuade God at one point not to totally consume the people. God is Living and Dynamic and while His basic nature and desire remain apparently constant and faithful, He has creative control. He can institute new laws, interrupt natural forces — make a heap of dry bones turn into an army, even make new descendents unto Abraham from the stones of the ground… He simply has the right and the power as Creator. He’s made a new covenant as He said He would, through His prophet Jeremiah. His laws will be inscribed on our hearts — they are fulfilled, Messiah said, through loving Him first and foremost with all our hearts, minds and strength, and then loving our neighbor in the same way we wish to be loved. This means we won’t violate his laws if we love Him first and if we love others as we love ourselves, we won’t violate any of the rules regarding right conduct to our neighbor.

    As far as punishments go, I believe it was this tranformative love for one another and placing ourselves in eachother’s position (i.e., empathy) that gave rise to the slowing down of punishment. Maybe the wheels grind a little too slowly; but that is better than rushing to judgement. As for ultimate justice, we wait for that.

    This is a subject for deeper minds than mine, granted…and I hope to understand this more fully in time….

    Peace

  43. Ruth,

    You make some very good points. Please let me embellish a few of them.

    The two commandments on which all the law and the prophets hang are true love for YHWH and our neighbor. If I love YHWH, I won’t take His name in vain or commit idolatry or break His Sabbath. If I love my neighbor, I will not kill him or steal from him or bear false witness against him.

    I think that it is obvious that the 10 commandments fall neatly under the 2. I also think that the remaining commandments, judgements, statutes, and ordinances fit under the 10. Remember that all the commandments hang somehow on the 2.

    Let’s say there is an elaborate military dress suit consisting of a blazer and matching pants on a hanger in my closet that I am to wear it to an important gathering of noblemen. And let’s say that there are fancy chains and buttons and such decorating that suit. If I break one of the links of the chain that is attached to the pants, I also break the chain which messes up the pants which damages the appearance of the whole suit. The whole thing needs to be intact in order to pass the inspection of the commanding general.

    So as the little, seemingly unimportant, link is important to the whole suit, the statute, judgment, and ordinance is important to the whole law. When one of these is broken then one of the 10 is also broken and one of the 2 is violated which breaks the law as a whole. So those least commandments are integral to the whole.

    Matthew 5
    19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
    20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

    Luke 16
    10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.

    James 2
    10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

    Malachi 4
    4 ¶ Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
    5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
    6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

    Shalom

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