There has always been controversy concerning the subject of capital punishment. Should one who deliberately takes the life of another be put to death? Should he be sentence to a life of imprisonment? Some say that taking the life of a murderer is on the same level as the murderer. Is this subject just guesswork? Is it just the matter of someone’s opinion?
It isn’t possible to come to a just and loving conclusion without knowing the very purpose of our existence on this earth.
This article is written to those who believe God has a purpose for all of his children and that the Bible should be the initiative by which we come to a right and just understanding.
God’s Plan For His Children
To make a sound judgment concerning capital punishment, we need to know and understand the purpose of why we are going through this 2nd earth age.
2nd Peter 3:5, ’For this they are willingly ignorant of, that by the word of God, the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water’: verse 6, ’Whereby the earth that then was being overflowed with water, perished’.
You can read of that destruction in the fourth chapter of Jeremiah
Jeremiah 4: 22, ’ For My people are foolish, they have not known me; they are Scottish ( stupid ) children and they have no understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.
Finish reading Jeremiah to the end of the chapter. Many think that these verses are talking about Noah’s flood but they are not. This is Peter’s statement concerning the world that then was, the first earth age. God did not create the earth without form ( tohu ua bohu, meaning waste and empty ) and void. We are told it became that way because of the angels that sinned. We can read of the peace that was part of the first earth age and before the destruction that is stated in the 4th chapter of Jeremiah. There was peace and joy during the age before the creation of the earth.
Job 38:7, when the morning stars sang together and the sons of God shouted for joy (at the creation of the earth)’.
God’s children were at peace until some of them sinned. (Revelation 12:4, refers to Satan’s first rebellion or those who followed him). Rather than destroy His children, God gave every one who rebelled against Him the opportunity of being born into this 2nd earth age in a flesh body for the purpose of knowing if they would love God or choose to be independent of God and love the god of this world, 2nd Corinthians 4:4. Satan, our adversary.
2nd Peter verse 7, ’ but the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and the perdition of ungodly men’.
All of God’s children will pass through this earth age in a flesh body. That’s the reason Jesus took on the role as the last Adam, 1st Corinthians 15:45, and came in the flesh.
Hebrews 2: 14, ’ Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; ( born of a flesh and blood woman), that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is , the devil’.
God would not ask His children to do anything He wouldn’t do Himself. Father wants all His children to willingly have a change of their stony heart to a fleshly heart, be obedient to Him, and keep as our goal what Peter tells us:
2nd Peter 3:13, ’ Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for a new heaven and new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness’.
God doesn’t want any of His children to perish but to repent and have a change of heart and purpose.
2nd Peter 3: 9, ’the Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us–word, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Innocently or Deliberately
In the book of Deuteronomy, we have two examples of the killing of a human being. During the days of the wanderings of the nation of Israel, three cities of refuge were set aside for anyone who killed another. The three cities of refuge were used as a place of protection for an alleged perpetrator. God had instituted the cities because He knew that any blood relative would try to avenge the killing without knowing all of the facts. Many times emotion drives the action rather than common sense.
Deut. 19: 4, ’ And this is the case of the slayer, which shall flee thither, and that he may live: Whosoever killeth his neighbor ignorantly, whom he hated not in the past’; verse 6, ’ as when a man goeth into the wood with his neighbor to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree and the head slipped from the healve, and lighted upon the neighbor, that he die; he shall flee to one of these cities and live’:
11, ’ But if any man hate his neighbor and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him mortally that he die and flee to one of these cities’: 12, ’ Then the elders of the city shall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him to the avenger of blood, that he may die’. 13, ’ Thine eye shall not pity him, but thou shalt put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with thee’.
These are laws that the nation of Israel were to follow and be obedient to the very God who freed them from bondage, laws executed not for vengeful purposes, but when understood in all of their content would make sense. Jesus amplified the law of murder in the new testament.
Matt. 5:21, ’ Ye have heard it said by them of old time. Thou shalt not kill and whoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment.
The word kill is number 5407 in Strong’s Concordance and it is the word phoneuo from the root word 5406, a murderer, a criminal homicide. Why would Christ use the word judgment?
Heb. 9: 27, ’and as it is appointed for men to die, after this the judgment’.
Father can’t judge anyone except after death. What happens when a person dies?
Ecc.12:6, ’Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel be broken at the cistern.
Ecc. 12: 7, ’Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth’? ’Then shall the dust (flesh body) return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return to God who gave it’.
Notice the first part of verse 6, ’ or the silver cord be loosed’.
We all came into this world fed by our mother through an umbilical cord. Silver being much more precious than organic matter that eventually perishes is used symbolically of the lifeline that the Holy Spirit uses to connect our Heavenly Father to every individual to what the Bible calls the inner man.
Eph. 3:16, ’ That he would grant you the riches of his glory, to be strengthen with the might by His Spirit in the inner man’.
Our heavenly Father is telling us that when the silver cord departs, we are through with our flesh bodies and the Spirit (intellect of the soul ) returns to the Father. All of Gods souls were created before there was ever flesh and blood. That’s the reason God says, all souls are mine in Ezekiel 18:4. A person can’t give himself to God because He already owns him.
God’s Love and Justice
God’s laws are for the purpose of restoring justice not endless punishment on an infraction of the law.
Exodus 22:1, If a man shall steal an ox or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it, he shall restore five oxen for an oxen and four sheep for a sheep. Verse 7, If a man shall deliver unto his neighbor money or stuff to keep ,and it be stolen out of the man’s house; if the thief be found, let him pay double. (Types of God’s law) .
God’s laws are for the restoring the criminal through paying off whatever debt or infraction had occurred. It is not for the purpose of a man to carry a criminal record for the rest of his life. God’s laws and justice have forgiveness built into them. A person would be able to work off his debt or by making restitution by some other means.
But how would a man restore a victim because of murder? How would a rapist make restitution to his victim? These crimes could not be undone, so God’s expects His people to remove these deliberate criminal actions by executions. In doing so, these crimes will be worked out in the Divine Court where God could administer true justice.
Without knowing God’s purpose and plan He has for His children, we might never understand the meaning of capitol punishment as defined by the Word of God.
1st John 4: 8, ’ He that loveth not knoweth not God: for God is love’.
But what about a country defending itself in a war? True Christians don’t start wars and wars are not premeditated killings. God’s children are living in these flesh bodies that are only temporary. There is a grander purpose for our lives. We should be working for and looking to our eternal home with our Father.
2nd Peter 3: 13, ’ Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for a new Heaven and a new Earth , wherein dwelleth righteousness.
A murderer needs to work out his wrongdoing with his victim in the Divine Court so that he be granted forgiveness and both will enter that new age. There needs to be a change of heart for all of God’s children. God’s instructions are never in the light of punishment or revengful purpose but of helping and serving us in a common sense way. Human love is quite a bit different than Godly love . Hopefully, men would put away his own ungodly righteousness and submit to the will of God.