Christian Churches of God
Law and the Ninth Commandment
(Edition 2.0 19981011-19990525-20120510-20120822)
It is written: Thou shalt not bear false witness. This paper explains the entire structure of the Law of God, as applied to its Commandment as explained by the prophets and the Testaments in compliance with the reading of the Law in the Sabbath years.
Law and the Ninth Commandment
It is written: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour” (Ex. 20:16; Deut. 5:20).
The ninth commandment concerns the concept of man as the creation of God and Israel as the witness of God, both aspects being representative of God and His Law-order. All justice or righteousness (tsedek) is dependent upon true witness, and thus the concept of the lie is contrary to God’s Law. Satan, the adversary, is the father of lies (Jn. 8:44). His system is contrary to God’s Law-order and based on a lie.
Witness of God and His system
The nation is an extension of God’s system.
Isaiah 43:1 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. (KJV)
We are called to be witnesses to the Living God both as the elect and as a nation.
Isaiah 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. (KJV)
Thus we must be true witnesses of God’s system.
Universality of the law
The law is universal and covers all who dwell as part of our nation.
Numbers 15:13-16 All that are born of the country shall do these things after this manner, in offering an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD. 14 And if a stranger sojourn with you, or whosoever be among you in your generations, and will offer an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD; as ye do, so he shall do. 15 One ordinance shall be both for you of the congregation, and also for the stranger that sojourneth with you, an ordinance for ever in your generations: as ye are, so shall the stranger be before the LORD. 16 One law and one manner shall be for you, and for the stranger that sojourneth with you. (KJV)
The law stands uniformly before the nations and all men. Men can still sin in either ignorance or in full knowledge of the law but are judged individually according to the same law.
Numbers 15:29-30 Ye shall have one law for him that sinneth through ignorance, both for him that is born among the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them. 30 But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. (KJV)
The same punishment is accorded to all.
Deuteronomy 10:18-19 He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. 19 Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. (KJV)
Sanctification under the law
We are all sanctified under the law of God as a holy nation.
Deuteronomy 7:6-11 "For you are a people holy to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his own possession, out of all the peoples that are on the face of the earth. 7 It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love upon you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples; 8 but it is because the LORD loves you, and is keeping the oath which he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, 10 and requites to their face those who hate him, by destroying them; he will not be slack with him who hates him, he will requite him to his face. 11 You shall therefore be careful to do the commandment, and the statutes, and the ordinances, which I command you this day. (RSV)
Our sanctification comes from the Covenant of God through the Messiah. In that way we are built up into an holy people as the family of God without blemish (Lev. 19:2; 22:17-25; cf. the paper ). Through the word of God which is the true witness, we are led in the truth (Ps. 119:105)
In true witness there is no idle speech, for in idle speech is false witness; and we shall give an account of every idle word that we utter.
Satan is the father of lies (Jn. 8:44) and those not of the faith surround the elect with lies and hatred, and fight against us without cause (Ps. 109:3). Those who cast off the faith become tattlers and busybodies (1Tim. 5:13). “A hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbour but the just are delivered by knowledge” (Prov. 11:9)
Matthew 12:35-37 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. 36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. (KJV)
We often judge others before we judge ourselves and in that wrong judgment we thereby bear false witness.
Matthew 7:1-5 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. (KJV)
Our trust should be in God and His truth, not in our own strength.
Psalm 52:1-5 To the chief Musician, Maschil, A Psalm of David, when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul, and said unto him, David is come to the house of Ahimelech. Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of God endureth continually. 2 Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. 3 Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah. 4 Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue. 5 God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah. (KJV)
We are to speak the things that are based on and are conducive to sound doctrine.
Titus 2:1-3 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: 2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. 3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; (KJV)
All accusation comes from the adversary. The Kingdom of our God and His Christ is soon coming where the accuser of our brethren is cast down. The saints – those who keep the commandments of God and who “loved not their lives unto death” – overcome him with the blood of the lamb. Soon the accuser will be bound for the duration of the millennial reign of Messiah (Rev. 12:1-11; 22:14; 20:1-4).
False freedom as anarchy
The freedom of the world comes through the laws of God as a true witness. Freedom without the law is false freedom and is anarchy. Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (Jn. 1:17). Those who worship the Father must worship Him in spirit and in truth, for they are the ones the Father seeks to worship Him (Jn. 4:23, 24ff.). Only the truth shall set us free (Jn. 8:32).
Witness against man and the fallen host
We are committed to operate in truth, for it is written:
Deuteronomy 6:16 Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah. (KJV)
We are to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
Matthew 4:3-10 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. 5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (KJV)
Christ worshipped God and refuted Satan with the words: “It is written: You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.” If Christ worshipped no one else but God, what sort of witness is it if we do not? Worship of Christ is bearing false witness and a breach of the commandments that he himself would not breach.
The first lie was given by Satan to Eve and that was the lie of immortality: “And the serpent said unto the woman ye shall not surely die” (Gen. 3:4, KJV).
Genesis 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: (KJV)
With that false witness they both tempted God and both the woman and the Covering Cherub (i.e. Satan) thereby incurred the death penalty (Gen. 3:1-24; Isa. 14:12ff.; Ezek. 28:1-19).
We are to be selective as to how and with whom we deal in the truth, as we are enjoined to “Give not that which is holy to dogs nor cast your pearls before swine.” Christ spoke in parables as it was prophesied (Isa. 6:9) so the people would not understand and turn and be saved before it was time (Mat. 7:6; 13:10-13; Mk. 4:11-17). The mysteries of the kingdom of heaven were given to us for safekeeping, but now it is the end of the age and time for plain speaking. Over the next few decades the nations and the world’s system of the last days will be brought to nothing, and the demons will also be brought down to the pit for safekeeping until the second resurrection.
We worship God in truth and in plain speaking. Our prayers are not to be as the heathen with vain repetitions.
Matthew 6:5-8 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. (KJV)
God hears us through plain speaking and not through the cries of the priests of Baal (1Kgs. 18:28). We witness to God by our actions within His law (Ps. 2:1,2).
False prophecy will be removed with the return of Messiah. It will be destroyed at the time of the judgment following the millennial system and the second resurrection.
Deuteronomy 18:15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; (KJV)
The prophet in Deuteronomy 18:15 was Messiah whose word is true. And the prophet that presumes to speak a word in the name of the Lord “that same prophet shall die.” Thus all false prophets die and enter the second resurrection.
Deuteronomy 18:20-22 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. 21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? 22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him. (KJV)
If the prophet is a false prophet we should not be afraid of him, as God will deal with him. A prophet cannot be prevented from doing his job until God determines it is finished.
Jeremiah 11:21-23 Therefore thus saith the LORD of the men of Anathoth, that seek thy life, saying, Prophesy not in the name of the LORD, that thou die not by our hand: 22 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will punish them: the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine: 23 And there shall be no remnant of them: for I will bring evil upon the men of Anathoth, even the year of their visitation. (KJV)
The capacity of the prophets is tied to their fidelity to the Law of God (Jer. 23:9-40). The greatest prophets worked miracles through the power of God, because the earth is the Lord God’s to do with as He wills; and He is about to bruise Satan under our feet (Ex. 9:29; Deut. 10:14; Rom 16:20).
Some prophets, such as Balaam ben Peor, speak with or are spoken to by God through the Holy Spirit, even though they are not His chosen people. He has used and can use them for specific purposes. There are a number of instances such as this in the Bible. The test of validity is if they speak according to the Law and the Testimony. If they do not speak that way there is no light in them (Isa. 8:20).
Witness of God through the Prophets and Messiah
God spoke through the prophets from the Patriarchs onwards. He does nothing without first revealing it through His servants the prophets.
2Kings 17:23 Until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day. (KJV)
(cf. Amos 3:7)
God then spoke to Judah through Messiah. The high priest rent his clothes and said “What further need have we of witnesses?” although he did not fully understand the implications of what he said and did. Then they condemned Yahoshua the Messiah to death (Mk. 14:63ff.). He was the faithful witness and the prince of the kings of the earth, and the beginning of the creation of God (Rev. 1:5-6; 3:14). His coming as Messiah had been prophesied long ago.
Deuteronomy 18:16-19 According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. 17 And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. 18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. 19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him. (KJV)
Messiah witnessed of the Father who is in the heavens. We call no man father on earth for we have only one Father who is in the heavens (Mat. 6:9; 23:9). No man has seen God ever, save he who was of God. Through the witness of Christ, the only-born elohim, the Father is revealed to us (Mat. 11:27; Jn. 1:18; 6:46; 10:15). If we do the works of God then we are true witnesses and can be believed (Jn. 10:34-38). “He that believes in the son has eternal life; he that does not obey the son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him” (Jn. 3:36). “For the Father raises up the dead and gives them life, so also the son gives life to whom he will” (Jn. 5:21).
That is the purpose of the witness of Messiah: he came to reveal the Father. It follows, therefore, that the witness of truth is central to the faith.
False witness in society
False witness and the lying tongue
God hates false witness and a lying tongue, for by them discord is sown among brethren.
Proverbs 6:16-19 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. (KJV)
Proverbs 12:22 Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight. (KJV)
Proverbs 19:5 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape. (KJV)
The punishment for lying to the Holy Spirit is death, sometimes instant and visible.
Acts 5:3-5 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. 5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. (KJV)
Paul told us not to lie to one another seeing we have put off the old man and his deeds (Col. 3:9).
Christ condemned his fellow Jews when they sought to kill him. They wanted to kill him because his word had no place in them. He who is of God hears God’s words (Jn. 8:31-59). This should have been the very test with Adam and Eve; they should not have been beguiled nor made excuse for having done so (cf. Gen. 3:1-24).
Christ is called faithful and true because he is faithful and true. He makes war in justice and in truth (Rev. 19:11).
1Kings 22:18-28 is a puzzling text, where it appears that God has instructed a lying spirit to enter the mouths of the prophets. The answer is given in that manner to make the king understand that the prophets of Israel had been given a lying spirit. They deceived by making a true prophecy appear false. The prophecy was: “Go up for Yahovah shall deliver it [Ramoth-Gilead] into the hand of the king” (1Kgs. 22:6). The problem was that this city was to be delivered into the hand of the king of Syria, not the king of Israel.
God nevertheless had sent His servant Micaiah, and when he was asked for the truth he spoke it (1Kgs. 22:19-23). Asking for direction without following the laws of God is an abomination and invites disaster. In this text we see that God also tests the spirits in these matters.
Tradition as false witness
Christ condemned the traditions of the Pharisees that were being introduced into Judah at that time, as seen in Matthew 15.
Matthew 15:1-14 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, 2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. 3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? 4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. 5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; 6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. 7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 10 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: 11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. 12 Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? 13 But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. 14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. (KJV)
The Pharisees and Scribes rendered the word of God as nothing by their traditions; hence they also were to be tested against the law (Isa. 8:20). As a result, they were sent into captivity in 70 CE, forty years after the death of Messiah in accordance with the Sign of Jonah (cf. the paper ).
Exodus 1:17-21 But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive. 18 And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men children alive? 19 And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them. 20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. 21 And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses. (KJV)
The protection of all people lies in their fear of God. Those who are called and chosen are all made houses or chambers in the Temple of our God.
Leviticus 19:14, 17-18 14 Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD.
17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. 18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD. (KJV)
The entire structure of justice is given according to truth without respect of persons, and is not meant to be in ignorance. There is to be no respect of persons in judgment (cf. Deut. 1:17 below).
True witness is to be examined by the people of God in every aspect of their lives. There is to be no false witness in any aspect of their operations, either in administration, or in justice, or in trade by weights or measures, or documents.
Leviticus 19:35-36 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure. 36 Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt. (KJV)
Slander (or libel) is theft as we have seen in the paper
By slander we steal another’s character and thereby we murder them. Their lives are diminished and their spirit is crushed. We have seen the injunctions against it above.
Slanderers are rejected of God.
Jeremiah 6:27-30 I have set thee for a tower and a fortress among my people, that thou mayest know and try their way. 28 They are all grievous revolters, walking with slanders: they are brass and iron; they are all corrupters. 29 The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; the founder melteth in vain: for the wicked are not plucked away. 30 Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the LORD hath rejected them. (KJV)
God shows the end result of the breach of the law through Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 9:1-6 Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people! 2 Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! for they be all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men. 3 And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the LORD. 4 Take ye heed every one of his neighbour, and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour will walk with slanders. 5 And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity. 6 Thine habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know me, saith the LORD. (KJV)
False witness precludes people from knowing God. People carry tales to shed blood (Ezek. 22:9).
Exodus 23:6-7 Thou shalt not wrest the judgment of thy poor in his cause. 7 Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked. (KJV)
Justice is not to be swayed by numbers or wealth. The truth is not to be misconstrued according to the views of a multitude.
Leviticus 19:16 Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD. (KJV)
Gossip kills people and destroys families. It is the mark of a reprobate nation.
Slander in the family
A man that slanders the chastity of his wife is to be chastised by the elders of the city; so also is a foolish woman who dishonours her house (cf. Deut. 22:13-21; and the and ).
All men should love their wives as Christ loves the Church. No man can slander his family and be in the family of God (cf. Eph. 5:28-29). Wives should dwell in such a way as to give honour to their husbands. Similarly, husbands are to dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour to their wives as being heirs together of the grace of life, and so that our prayers are not hindered (1Pet. 3:1-7). God does not hear a slanderer, or a person who fails to give due honour to the family of God. Neither should a man humble or demean a woman (Deut. 22:29; Ex 22:16,17).
Slander in the family is expressly forbidden.
Psalm 50:19-20 Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. 20 Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother's son. (KJV)
Slander as theft
We have seen that slander is the theft of someone’s character. We are supposed to have put off the old man and put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of God (Col 3:9-10).
Colossians 3:9-10 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him: (KJV)
The new man is the Holy Spirit in Jesus Christ, who is “the image of [H]im that created him” (KJV). This is one of three specific quotes (cf. Heb. 3:2; Rev. 3:14) regarding the creation of Messiah and is the only one that has not been unduly tampered with, as it is the most obscure.
Every man is to put away lying and is instead to speak truth with his neighbour (Eph. 4:25; cf. Prov. 11:9). We are admonished to:
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (KJV)
Titus 3:1-3 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, 2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. 3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. (KJV)
We are to obey the law and speak evil of no one.
James 4:11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. (KJV)
We should not condemn ourself as a fool out of our own mouth.
Proverbs 10:18 He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool. (KJV)
God has stated what He will do to the slanderer and the proud.
Psalm 101:5 Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer. (KJV)
The System of Justice
Basis of natural law
Leviticus 24:22 Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God. (KJV)
The principles of natural justice demand that every person must face the same laws. Each person must know the charges against him in writing and must be given the opportunity to consider what he is to do about it. The accused or plaintiff must be given a fair hearing free of bias, and his judges must be impartial and not in respect of persons.
For this reason God has given us His laws in writing and the charges made against us are made by the prophets and put in writing. We are given time to consider the charges, and God is slow to act in judgment in order that no flesh should perish. The same legal format exists in the society that operates under the Laws of God, with the established judiciary acting on God‘s behalf.
We are given a series of tests by which we are tried. The elect are under judgment now and judgment begins at the house of God.
1Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? (KJV)
The rest of the world is not to be judged until the second resurrection, when they will all be raised, then corrected in judgment and given the opportunity of salvation (Rev. 20:4-15).
Acting at the behest of another
It is breach of natural justice and God’s Law to exercise one’s judgment at the behest of another. Christ exercises judgment as he was delegated authority by God. He came not into the world to give judgment but to give the world teaching by which it would be judged. Those who accepted him and became part of the House of God would be judged from then until now and the first resurrection (1Pet. 4:17). Those who did not accept him were to be judged at the last days; in this case meaning the second resurrection of the dead referred to in Revelation 20:11-15.
John 12:46-48 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. 47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. (KJV)
Thus Messiah was not sent to judge the world then, he was sent to save it. The last day is a period of a thousand years from the Advent and the first resurrection to the second resurrection at the end of the Millennium (cf. Rev. 20:1-14; see also the paper ).
Trials by ordeal
The Lord established some systems of trial by ordeal for specific psychological reasons in the nation. All of these aspects were designed to preserve the family intact.
Numbers 5:11-31 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 12 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man's wife go aside, and commit a trespass against him, 13 And a man lie with her carnally, and it be hid from the eyes of her husband, and be kept close, and she be defiled, and there be no witness against her, neither she be taken with the manner; 14 And the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be defiled: or if the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be not defiled: 15 Then shall the man bring his wife unto the priest, and he shall bring her offering for her, the tenth part of an ephah of barley meal; he shall pour no oil upon it, nor put frankincense thereon; for it is an offering of jealousy, an offering of memorial, bringing iniquity to remembrance. 16 And the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the LORD: 17 And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water: 18 And the priest shall set the woman before the LORD, and uncover the woman's head, and put the offering of memorial in her hands, which is the jealousy offering: and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causeth the curse: 19 And the priest shall charge her by an oath, and say unto the woman, If no man have lain with thee, and if thou hast not gone aside to uncleanness with another instead of thy husband, be thou free from this bitter water that causeth the curse: 20 But if thou hast gone aside to another instead of thy husband, and if thou be defiled, and some man have lain with thee beside thine husband: 21 Then the priest shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing, and the priest shall say unto the woman, The LORD make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the LORD doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell; 22 And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen. 23 And the priest shall write these curses in a book, and he shall blot them out with the bitter water: 24 And he shall cause the woman to drink the bitter water that causeth the curse: and the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter. 25 Then the priest shall take the jealousy offering out of the woman's hand, and shall wave the offering before the LORD, and offer it upon the altar: 26 And the priest shall take an handful of the offering, even the memorial thereof, and burn it upon the altar, and afterward shall cause the woman to drink the water. 27 And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people. 28 And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed. 29 This is the law of jealousies, when a wife goeth aside to another instead of her husband, and is defiled; 30 Or when the spirit of jealousy cometh upon him, and he be jealous over his wife, and shall set the woman before the LORD, and the priest shall execute upon her all this law. 31 Then shall the man be guiltless from iniquity, and this woman shall bear her iniquity. (KJV)
These laws are for the protection of the family and the individual from aberrations in the household. We see this also in Deuteronomy 22:13-21.
Slander and disruption in the household are punished by fines and an inability to divorce in the future, even if this divorce should be considered desirable on the basis of sound evidence. False witness in a matter thus affects future testimony in the same issue; in this case the fidelity of the wife.
This law regarding false testimony has many other applications as well. If testimony has been falsified to wrest judgment, or given in bias, such testimony must be discounted in matters which flow from it. This position has sometimes been called the Doctrine of the Tainted Tree but it must be applied carefully and only in specific circumstances (cf. Deut. 22:13-21; and ).
The law of God is the witness against the world.
Romans 3:9-23 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17 And the way of peace have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes. 19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (KJV)
No person is justified by the law, but by the witness of the Law and the prophets God is shown to be righteous. The creation itself was trial by ordeal, and all have sinned and all have come short of the Glory of God.
Establishment of the judicial system and judges
All authority is constituted by God. All action is to be in accordance with God’s Law as it proceeds from His nature (cf. the paper ). All the Law and the prophets stem from the Two Great Commandments of the Law. It follows that action contrary to biblical law is contrary to the Will of God.
Laws enacted in excess of biblical law must not be detrimental to other people. By-laws can be established to regulate society, as control is given to the nation in rulership.
Nothing can be added to the Testimony or taken away from it (cf. Rev. 22:18-19). The meaning of some texts is shut up until the time of the end and the Holy Spirit is now speaking plainly to those who would hear. No laws can detract from the freedoms and the structure outlined in the Law of God.
No civil law can contradict God’s Law
No nation can pass a law which validly contradicts the Law of God. No group can establish a tradition that alters, diminishes or adds to the Law of God. No Church can pass a law which alters or changes God’s Law, or His calendar set in the heavens and instructed in the Bible. The mainstream Christian Church has unlawfully killed more people who have refused to obey their man-made rules in contradiction of the written Law of God than any other system on earth. Truly they are drunk on the blood of the saints and the martyrs (Rev. 17:4-6).
Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. (KJV)
Judges and their responsibilities
God has established a system of judges within the law (Ex. 18:13-26). The appointment of judges is written in Deuteronomy 16:18.
Deuteronomy 16:18 Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment. (KJV)
The law is given to the seventy elders of Israel who are given their responsibilities and understanding by the Holy Spirit of the Lord.
Numbers 11:16-17 And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee. 17 And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone. (KJV)
The burden of the people rests with the interpreter of the law, the High Priest and the Council of the Elders of Israel. From there, judges are appointed in all of the cities of Israel within all of the tribes.
2Chronicles 19:1-7 And Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned to his house in peace to Jerusalem. 2 And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD. 3 Nevertheless there are good things found in thee, in that thou hast taken away the groves out of the land, and hast prepared thine heart to seek God. 4 And Jehoshaphat dwelt at Jerusalem: and he went out again through the people from Beersheba to mount Ephraim, and brought them back unto the LORD God of their fathers. 5 And he set judges in the land throughout all the fenced cities of Judah, city by city, 6 And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment. 7 Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts. (KJV)
The Lord is with the judges of Israel and there is to be no respect of persons or gifts as bribes, for they judge not for man but for God. This is based on the Torah.
Leviticus 19:15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour. (KJV)
Deuteronomy 24:17-18 "You shall not pervert the justice due to the sojourner or to the fatherless, or take a widow's garment in pledge; 18 but you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this. (RSV)
Judges were appointed as is described in Exodus 18:22-27.
Exodus 18:22-27 And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee. 23 If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace. 24 So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said. 25 And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 26 And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves. 27 And Moses let his father in law depart; and he went his way into his own land. (KJV)
Moses recounted the appointment of judges to Israel.
Deuteronomy 1:12-17 How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife? 13 Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you. 14 And ye answered me, and said, The thing which thou hast spoken is good for us to do. 15 So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes. 16 And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him. 17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it. (KJV)
Israel nevertheless had problems in their faith, even under just judges.
Judgment must protect the dignity of the person, both in procedure and in punishment.
Deuteronomy 25:1-3 If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked. 2 And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number. 3 Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee. (KJV)
The law requires investigation of crime and trial of evidence, as seen in the example of Deuteronomy 21:1-9.
Deuteronomy 21:1-9 If one be found slain in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it, lying in the field, and it be not known who hath slain him: 2 Then thy elders and thy judges shall come forth, and they shall measure unto the cities which are round about him that is slain: 3 And it shall be, that the city which is next unto the slain man, even the elders of that city shall take an heifer, which hath not been wrought with, and which hath not drawn in the yoke; 4 And the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer unto a rough valley, which is neither eared nor sown, and shall strike off the heifer's neck there in the valley: 5 And the priests the sons of Levi shall come near; for them the LORD thy God hath chosen to minister unto him, and to bless in the name of the LORD; and by their word shall every controversy and every stroke be tried: 6 And all the elders of that city, that are next unto the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer that is beheaded in the valley: 7 And they shall answer and say, Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it. 8 Be merciful, O LORD, unto thy people Israel, whom thou hast redeemed, and lay not innocent blood unto thy people of Israel's charge. And the blood shall be forgiven them. 9 So shalt thou put away the guilt of innocent blood from among you, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the LORD. (KJV)
In this there is a presumption of innocence between parties until judgment. The presumption of innocence is a thread of justice running through all of God’s Law, yet all men are guilty before the law (cf).
Even the adversary was placed on trial before his peers with Christ in the wilderness. It is Christ’s blood that purges our conscience from dead works to serve the Living God (Heb. 9:13-14).
When judgment is made and a verdict given then all monies are in lieu of life.
Exodus 21:30-32 If there be laid on him a sum of money, then he shall give for the ransom of his life whatsoever is laid upon him. 31 Whether he have gored a son, or have gored a daughter, according to this judgment shall it be done unto him. 32 If the ox shall push a manservant or a maidservant; he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned. (KJV)
Samuel as circuit judge
Samuel had an established circuit as judge in Israel and it is therefore permissible to establish a mobile court of judgment.
1Samuel 7:16-17 And he went from year to year in circuit to Bethel, and Gilgal, and Mizpeh, and judged Israel in all those places. 17 And his return was to Ramah; for there was his house; and there he judged Israel; and there he built an altar unto the LORD. (KJV)
Judgment is vested in the rulership of Israel as a nation. All judgment is to be in accordance with the worship of the Living God.
2Chronicles 6:23 Then hear thou from heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, by requiting the wicked, by recompensing his way upon his own head; and by justifying the righteous, by giving him according to his righteousness. (KJV)
All people who are made stewards are to be found faithful.
1Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. (KJV)
It is thus incumbent on the delegate to dutifully discharge authority and responsibility.
Courts and procedure
It follows from the appointment of judges that the courts and procedure must also be determined under the authority of the law. An investigative or forensic process is provided for (cf. also Deut. 21:1-9 above).
All matters should be resolved between parties first and only taken to court if the person will not heed the resolution.
Matthew 18:15-16 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. (KJV)
Difficult and controversial matters are to be referred to superior courts (cf. Deut. 17:8-11 below).
The elders of the city are to establish a court of justice, which is termed as being in the gate of the city, where anciently the elders sat in judgment (Deut. 21:19; 22:15; 25:7; Amos 5:12,15; Zech. 8:16).
The Court of Judgment established by Solomon was made of cedar and a throne of judgment was set on the porch of cedar. This was separate from the house of the king which had another court within its porch of judgment, which was of similar construction to the other (1Kgs. 7:7).
All complaints should be reduced to writing (cf. Job 31:35)
The structure of the court is to be treated with due solemnity and respect, as coming from God and the elohim of Justice (cf. Ex. 22:28). There is to be no contempt of court or its orders (Deut. 17:9-13).
God will take of the Holy Spirit that rested on Messiah and He will give of it to the judges and the rulers of Israel in accordance with their requests and obedience to Him.
1Kings 3:5-15 In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. 6 And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. 7 And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. 8 And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. 9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? 10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; 12 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. 13 And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. 14 And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days. 15 And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants. (KJV)
Even Solomon fell from grace after being given all this wisdom and power, and being allowed to build the Temple. So too can one of the elect forfeit their place in the first resurrection through idolatry or breach of the Spirit of the Law.
There is a system of the gathering and assessment of evidence to be established (cf. Deut. 19:3-13).
No one shall be put to death at the mouth of only one witness.
Numbers 35:30 Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die. (KJV)
One witness shall not rise up against any man for any sin.
Deuteronomy 19:15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established. (KJV)
This applies also to all elders (1Tim. 5:19).
Evidence should be disclosed in a hearing of both parties. There can be no withholding of evidence or of witnesses (cf. Mat. 18:15, 16).
The law given by Moses is the base law of God. Through the Holy Spirit all men are to receive grace.
Hebrews 10:28-29 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? (KJV)
In the days of the Judges guilt was determined by lot and then by admission (cf. Josh. 7:14-26). No duress was ever used to obtain evidence under biblical law. The word of the prophets was often used by God.
Failure to produce evidence in a trial is complicity in a crime (Lev. 5:1; Ps. 50:18).
Leviticus 5:1 And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it; if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity. (KJV)
False testimony is forbidden.
Exodus 23:1-3 Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. 2 Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment: 3 Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause. (KJV)
God’s system is one of regard for the poor and all people are given sustenance, but with effort on their own part.
Leviticus 19:9-11 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. 10 And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God. 11 Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another. (KJV)
No person is to deal falsely with another. This requirement extends to commerce and industry in all matters.
Deuteronomy 25:13-19 Thou shalt not have in thy bag divers weights, a great and a small. 14 Thou shalt not have in thine house divers measures, a great and a small. 15 But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 16 For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the LORD thy God. 17 Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; 18 How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God. 19 Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it. (KJV)
Using false weights and measures is also false witness. Taking advantage of weakness in attempting to destroy another group or people is against God’s Law, except where it is specifically ordered by God under the law.
There is to be no withholding of evidence. Inadvertent absence of testimony incurs guilt on discovery. Thus the testimony must be displayed unless it has been dealt with in a trespass offering as we see from the texts. Such trespass offerings and expiation do not go to mitigate testimony, which was known and required prior to repentance.
Leviticus 5:4-13 Or if a soul swear, pronouncing with his lips to do evil, or to do good, whatsoever it be that a man shall pronounce with an oath, and it be hid from him; when he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty in one of these. 5 And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing: 6 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin. 7 And if he be not able to bring a lamb, then he shall bring for his trespass, which he hath committed, two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, unto the LORD; one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering. 8 And he shall bring them unto the priest, who shall offer that which is for the sin offering first, and wring off his head from his neck, but shall not divide it asunder: 9 And he shall sprinkle of the blood of the sin offering upon the side of the altar; and the rest of the blood shall be wrung out at the bottom of the altar: it is a sin offering. 10 And he shall offer the second for a burnt offering, according to the manner: and the priest shall make an atonement for him for his sin which he hath sinned, and it shall be forgiven him. 11 But if he be not able to bring two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, then he that sinned shall bring for his offering the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering; he shall put no oil upon it, neither shall he put any frankincense thereon: for it is a sin offering. 12 Then shall he bring it to the priest, and the priest shall take his handful of it, even a memorial thereof, and burn it on the altar, according to the offerings made by fire unto the LORD: it is a sin offering. 13 And the priest shall make an atonement for him as touching his sin that he hath sinned in one of these, and it shall be forgiven him: and the remnant shall be the priest's, as a meat offering. (KJV)
The withholding of the truth in unrighteousness is also applicable to false teaching. We must not bear false witness concerning the revelation of the Holy Spirit in biblical interpretation and instruction. Ministers who teach contrary to truth and their conscience are guilty of this offence.
Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.
No Church has the right to introduce laws or teachings that conflict with the Law and the Testimony of the Bible. Every church council and every church canon that conflicts with biblical law is not only incorrect but also it is an offence against Almighty God. Every single person who committed such offence sentenced themselves to the second resurrection along with all who followed them. Truly, no greater anguish will be experienced than that at the second resurrection, when untold millions of people will realise they followed apostate clerics to their own loss and they have to start again. Not content with denying themselves the Kingdom of God, such people, as instruments of the dragon Satan, persecuted the church and those who kept the commandments of God and the testimony and faith of Jesus Christ (Rev. 6:9-11; 12:17; 14:12; 22:14).
The obligation to speak the whole truth is incumbent on all. Lying by omission to lawful authority is bearing false witness.
No person is to swear falsely.
Leviticus 19:12 And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD. (KJV)
Punishment for perjury is mandatory (Prov. 19:5,9 cf. 25:18). All false witness precludes entry to life (Mat. 19:17-19; Mk. 10:18-19; Lk. 18:19-20). See also Romans 13:8-10.
Luke 18:19-20 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. 20 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. (KJV)
Thus anyone who fails to keep the commandments has failed the faith and is to be removed from fellowship until repentance.
As we have seen false witness is sin against God.
Leviticus 6:1-7 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and lie unto his neighbour in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his neighbour; 3 Or have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein: 4 Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found, 5 Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering. 6 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD, a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest: 7 And the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD: and it shall be forgiven him for any thing of all that he hath done in trespassing therein. (KJV)
All false witness involves sin and loss and thus restoration is involved.
Deuteronomy 19:16-21 If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong; 17 Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days; 18 And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother; 19 Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you. 20 And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you. 21 And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. (KJV)
Hence the punishment for perjury is relative to the intent, and the crime and the punishment involved.
James shows us the spirit of the Law.
James 2:8-13 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: 9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. 10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. 11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. (KJV)
Judgment without mercy is unrighteousness. He who judges without mercy shall be judged without mercy (cf. Deut. 1:16).
The judge bears not the sword in vain and derives his power from God, no matter what the system.
Romans 13:1-4 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. (KJV)
God judges among the elohim (Ps. 82:1).
Psalm 82:8 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations. (KJV)
How can we judge angels if we cannot judge one another?
1Corinthians 6:3-4 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. (KJV)
By exercising judgment all are trained for the duties placed upon them in a higher, spiritual order. The judge is to exercise justice for without justice there is no righteousness – they are the same word in Hebrew (tsedek), as we have seen.
Justice is to be without blemish for justice is a sacrifice unto God in righteousness.
Deuteronomy 17:1-20 Thou shalt not sacrifice unto the LORD thy God any bullock, or sheep, wherein is blemish, or any evilfavouredness: for that is an abomination unto the LORD thy God. 2 If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant, 3 And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; 4 And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel: 5 Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die. 6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. 7 The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you. 8 If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, being matters of controversy within thy gates: then shalt thou arise, and get thee up into the place which the LORD thy God shall choose; 9 And thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days, and enquire; and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment: 10 And thou shalt do according to the sentence, which they of that place which the LORD shall choose shall shew thee; and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they inform thee: 11 According to the sentence of the law which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do: thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall shew thee, to the right hand, nor to the left. 12 And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the LORD thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel. 13 And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously. 14 When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; 15 Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. 16 But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. 17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. 18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: 19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: 20 That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel. (KJV)
The structure of justice involves a number of concepts that have been mentioned previously.
Deuteronomy 16:19-20 Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous. 20 That which is altogether just shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and inherit the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. (KJV) (cf. also Deut. 25:1-3 above)
No one can rule without preparing a copy of the book of the Law for themselves and studying it, writing out the Torah by sections. The sentence of judgment in mercy and justice is to be according to God’s Law, and is to be carried out in full.
Ward or detention
A man may be put in ward pending judgment (Num. 15:32-36). Judgment must be speedily done and punishment allocated according to the crime.
Ezra 7:26 And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment. (KJV)
Thus a person must be brought to trial without delay. Detention without trial is against the Laws of God.
Imprisonment is for the purpose of paying back outstanding debts by work, in accordance with judgment. The funds are used to pay or make restitution for offence if the confiscation of goods does not repay the crime. It follows that the payment for labour must be fair as this then makes the state guilty of withholding the wages of the poor and goes to reduction of the sentence. Thus the prison factories using cheap labour, as we find in China, are against the laws of God. Each person may be confined to penal servitude in a City of Refuge for the life of the priest of the city. The labour in a City of Refuge is not to be construed as solitary confinement in a prison, which may be seen as a cruel and unnatural punishment. Restraint is for the protection of the individual and the society pending judgment (cf. also ).
Physical punishment was executed outside of the camp of Israel (Lev. 24:14).
Rehabilitation and Restitution
Following a trial without respect of persons or bias, we proceed to sentence. The first concept in sentencing is rehabilitation. All crime is sin and sin is transgression of the law. God desires that no flesh should perish but that all should serve him; thus the first consideration is repentance and rehabilitation in mercy.
All of Israel is to be holy to the Lord. Rehabilitation is to ensure that the person is returned to the society and advanced to the state of perfection. Remember in all judgement there is to be found the spirit of God.
Matthew 5:3-13 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. 13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. (KJV)
Through Christ salvation was extended to the Gentiles and the structure of judgment was given to all nations. Moab and Ammon were prophesied to be absorbed into Judah and thus enter the faith in the last days as part of Israel. Egypt will remain intact. All nations will become part of the temple of the Living God.
Deuteronomy 23:3-8 An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever: 4 Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse thee. 5 Nevertheless the LORD thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the LORD thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the LORD thy God loved thee. 6 Thou shalt not seek their peace nor their prosperity all thy days for ever. 7 Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother: thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land. 8 The children that are begotten of them shall enter into the congregation of the LORD in their third generation. (KJV)
Here we see the concept of brotherhood under the Law of God is extended beyond the tribes of Israel to sons of Abraham and the Syro-Phoenicians, who absorbed the Edomites (the Idumeans), and to the Egyptians, based on their hospitality to Israel. It is also extended to Assyria who walks hand in hand with Israel out of the north in the last days. Salvation was extended to the Gentiles.
The end of the law is also to ensure the well being of each person. Where false witness has resulted in loss then restitution is to occur. However, with all law there is the element of forgiveness and mercy. Where there is no forgiveness there has been no full rehabilitation. Each person must bear in mind what they have lost and what they hope to gain. It is better to be restored to one’s brother than one’s property.
Crime is accompanied by punishment and it is not always that of the magistrate. Restoration always involves repentance. Without repentance the curses of the law follow. These curses apply to nations even more than they apply individually.
Deuteronomy 28:18-19 Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. 19 Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out. (KJV)
There is always sin and trespass and restitution; however, God judges the heart of every person.
Numbers 5:5-10 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 6 Speak unto the children of Israel, When a man or woman shall commit any sin that men commit, to do a trespass against the LORD, and that person be guilty; 7 Then they shall confess their sin which they have done: and he shall recompense his trespass with the principal thereof, and add unto it the fifth part thereof, and give it unto him against whom he hath trespassed. 8 But if the man have no kinsman to recompense the trespass unto, let the trespass be recompensed unto the LORD, even to the priest; beside the ram of the atonement, whereby an atonement shall be made for him. 9 And every offering of all the holy things of the children of Israel, which they bring unto the priest, shall be his. 10 And every man's hallowed things shall be his: whatsoever any man giveth the priest, it shall be his. (KJV)
Each man now is responsible for his own sins and God has spoken through His servants the prophets concerning the sins of the fathers.
Numbers 14:18 The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation. (KJV)
This mercy of God has resulted in His Spirit being made available to all people, so that each person is now responsible for his own trespass or sin.
Ezekiel 18:19-24 Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live. 20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. 21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. 22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. 23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? 24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. (KJV)
Law to be re-promulgated every seven years
The law is to be studied and re-promulgated every seven years in the Sabbath year of the Jubilee.
Deuteronomy 31:10-13 And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles, 11 When all Israel is come to appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing. 12 Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law: 13 And that their children, which have not known any thing, may hear, and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it. (KJV)
Perfection of the individual and the system
The end result of the law and the plan of God is perfection in the Holy Spirit.
Deuteronomy 18:13 Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. (KJV)
We are also required to love our enemies; for if we love only our friends how do we differ from the normal?
Matthew 5:46-48 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (KJV)
This goal was achievable from the sons of Adam. We are to be perfect as Noah was perfect and as Enoch was righteous.
Genesis 6:9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. (KJV)
Through Christ God commanded Abraham to be perfect, even as Christ commanded us.
Genesis 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. (KJV)
Thus perfection in the Holy Spirit is not only possible but it is also commanded of us. We are commanded to love our enemies and to rehabilitate all those who have fallen from grace. Hence the extreme penalties under the law should only be administered when there is an admitted and complete and unrepentant failure.
Psalm 37:37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. (KJV)
All men are required to walk in the Holy Spirit under the Royal Law of Liberty.
Christian Churches of God
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