DIGEST OF DIVINE LAW
by Howard Rand (1942)
AND THE JUDICIARY
While God has delegated to men the right to administer His laws and has provided His people with a perfect constitution; yet, by virtue of the fact that the citizens of His Kangdom recognize the immediate sovereignty of God, the Kingdom itself is a Theocratic state. In that state the people are represented by those who are elected from among their numbers and authorized to supervise the affairs of state.
Now jurisprudence in that state can be defined as the philosophy of positive or Divine law and its administration. It is, therefore, the science by which the laws are reduced to a system and their principles analyzed and judicially applied under Divine guidance and direction. The judiciary is the department of government which administers the laws relating to civil and criminal cases and it pertains to courts and their proceedings and applies to the judges of the court considered collectively. It is this phase of Kingdom administration with which we are now to deal as we analyze the application of the law in the handling of cases: civil and criminal.
In an orderly procedure it is necessary that judges be appointed to hear complaints and try cases in conformity with the law. After Moses received the law it was necessary to reduce its administration to a system and analyze and apply that law. This work of administration became burdensome for Moses to handle alone and he recounts the conditions leading to the establishment of a governmental system and judiciary which relieved him of that burden. Moses said, "How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife?" Israel was then instructed by Moses: "Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you." The people answered and said, "The thing which thou hast spoken is good for us to do." Because the people were favorable to the plan, Moses said: "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. 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."
"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." (Deut. 1:12-17).
Later, under the law, instruction was given regarding the setting up of local government and the appointment of judges. "Judges and officers shaft thou make in all thy gates (cities and villages), which the Lord thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment." Ferrar Fenton translates this last, "To control you, and to govern the People with honest government."
Moses' charge to those responsible for judicial and administrative acts cannot be improved upon: even after these many years. Every officer of government and judge who will five up to these requirements will serve the people with honesty and uprightness. The charge is as follows: "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. That which is altogether just shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and inherit the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." (Deut. 16:19-20,)
Court of Appeals
A court of appeals was established to which cases could be taken and the judgments of this court were final (Deut. 17: 8-13). "According to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do: thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall show thee, to the right hand, nor to the left."
Death is decreed for the man who refuses to abide by the judgment rendered by this court of appeals.
Under what would be equivalent to our civil service the members of the Levitical order (those handling the affairs of state) were not subject to military service (Numbers 1:47). Their tenure of office was twenty-five years and the retirement age was fifty (Numbers 8:25). The services of the Levites were paid out of the tithe (Deut. 14:27-29).
The giving and taking of evidence is very important, for the testimony of witnesses in criminal cases will either free or convict a man; while in civil suits, it will either take his goods or restore to him his property.
Under modern criminal procedure a man, though innocent, can be convicted and, though guilty, be set free. The prosecution is determined to convict regardless of guilt and the defense to free regardless of whether the defendant be innocent or not. It is a test of skill between the two; with the defendant the victim, and justice a secondary issue.
Witnesses have been known to often perjure themselves and in some cases have even been drilled in giving testimony with this end in view. Each witness is assisted by listening to the testimony of those preceding him.
In case of minor offenses, men are given the alternative of paying a fine or going to jail. The wealthy pay their fines while a man without means goes to jail. Now the man with money escapes jail, not because he is innocent but because he possesses money. The poor man goes to jail, not because he is guilty but because he is poor and without funds. The hardship of confinement is experienced by the poor and freedom is gained for the wealthy — all of which is a travesty on real and equitable justice.
Even in civil cases the time and expense involved is often not worth the effort in undertaking to secure justice. Verdicts won may be far more costly than any loss sustained or injustice experienced. Court action is often merely a license to fight: with justice in the balance and often outweighed by methods of procedure.
Purpose of Trial
Rendering of true justice under the law of the Lord was the immediate purpose of every trial. With this end in view the judges examined the witnesses without the hindrances imposed in modern procedure when attorneys often fight to prevent the whole truth from being told. Thus, under the law, the procedure was such that it contributed to the maximum efficiency in the rendering of justice.
Examination of Witnesses
In the taking of testimony the witnesses were examined separately, and those who were to testify were not permitted to hear the testimony of the witnesses preceding them.
We have the record of the interesting trial of Susanna where this procedure disclosed the plot of those who, because she refused them, sought to have her executed. The account is given in the Apocrypha when two elders in Israel bore false witness against Susanna. They accused her before the court of having committed adultery with a young man and, because they were elders in Israel, their testimony was accepted against her without an examination: until a young man named Daniel interfered, and asked that the witnesses be properly examined.
The two elders who had borne false witness were then separated and each examined alone. Because they were unable to hear what each had to say their statements convicted them of evil desires and their own testimony resulted in freeing Susanna and bringing about their execution.
Now the Divine law requires that when false witnessing is detected, the case rests and the judges make diligent inquisition and, if it be found that the witness has testified falsely, then it shall be done to him as it would have been done to the one against whom he testified. The law states that the effect of such swift judgment against false witnessing would result in the people fearing to commit such evil (Deut. 19:16-21).
Under such conditions, there would be very few cases of perjury in our courts. In the first place, with the examination of witnesses out of hearing of all the other witnesses, the chances of detecting falsehood would be much greater than at present. And with the trial for perjury taking place immediately, falsehood would be detected and men would fear to perjure themselves, especially so if the punishment that would be meted out to the defendant, if guilty, must be borne by the one who perjures himself.
Number of Witnesses
Regarding the number of witnesses required for conviction, the law is clear, "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." (Deut. 19:15.)
Treating Poor and Rich Alike
What about the punishment of those adjudged guilty of minor offenses for which, today, we impose a fine; or imprisonment when they are unable to pay the fine? This is not equitable and just, for the rich escape jail by means of wealth —while the poor man suffers confinement because of the inability to purchase freedom.
Under the Divine law: "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. And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number. Forty stripes he may give him." (Deut. 25:1-3.) This was the maximum number of stripes allowed under the law.
Where punishment was necessary the rich would suffer as much humiliation as the poor and the possession or lack of money would have no bearing as to the type of punishment inflicted. The judge would render a judgment for from one to forty stripes according as he deemed necessary in the case. Thus the law would administer justice to all regardless of wealth, position, or power.
Stealing human beings to hold them for ransom has been prevalent for centuries. God decreed, "If a man be found stealing any of his brethren . . . and maketh merchandise of him, or selleth him; then that thief shall die." (Deut. 24:7.)
Our Federal Government has made the death penalty operative in the case of kidnapping and thus in this respect is conforming with the Divine command.
(IT SURE IS NOT ANY MORE. IN FACT THE DEATH PENALTY HAS BEEN REMOVED BY MOST WESTERN COUNTRIES; EVEN CHILD AND COP AND SERIAL KILLERS DO NOT GET DEATH, EXCEPT IN SOME STATES IN THE USA - Keith Hunt)
No provision is made under the Divine law for imprisonment for capital offense. The only cases where imprisonment is required is in the cases of accidental killing. Those who had accidentally killed another were to be confined in a city of refuge and remain there until the death of the High Priest. In some cases this might amount to life imprisonment. It certainly produced a respect for life that made a man careful of the life of his fellow man.
Such a law in operation would soon reduce accidents to a minimum, for no one wants to forfeit his freedom, and this would make all careful of the lives of others.
We spend enormous sums maintaining prisons, but under the Israel laws the following methods were used in punishment:
1) The death penalty for capital offenses.
2) Whipping, from one to forty stripes for minor offenses.
3) In case of stealing and destruction of another man's property, restitution: to which must be added from one hundred to four hundred per cent as punishment.
4) Those who were financially unable to make restitution, or pay the fine, were compelled to contribute their work and labor until the debt had been fully paid.
5) Confinement in a city of refuge for accidental killing.
The death penalty was mandatory for murder, kidnapping, adultery, certain other immoral acts, blaspheming God, desecration of the Sabbath, idolatry and for the leader that undertook to turn the people from following the Lord and also for the stubborn and rebellious son who had become a perpetual soth and drunkard. Physical whipping was the punishment for all other offenses not subject to the death penalty.
At first those may seem like harsh judgments and yet, in operation, very few cases would come up for such judgment as men and women would fear to do such evils when certain, sure and swift punishment followed the committing of these crimes. Instead of having a land filled with violence and crime we would, under the operation of the Divine laws, have a land where men, their property and their rights would be respected; while the criminally inclined would soon be removed forever from society.
Judgments of the Lord
We cannot stress too strongly that in the judgments rendered as recorded by Moses we have principles of law set forth for our instruction. While the exact conditions under which these judgments have been rendered do not now exist, or have been so modified by advancements in civilization, yet the principle illustrated in the judgment is still operative. That principle is fundamental. In order to illustrate this point let us follow a few of the judgments, rendered under the law for our guidance, in their application to cases today.
If a man assails another so that he dies, he shall be put to death, but if he did not lie in wait, and death came as an accident, as they strove together, then the man was to flee to a city of refuge. Thus, if a man lay in wait for another, planning to kill him, it is murder, but if they fought with each other and one died, though not construed as murder, yet this accident compelled a man to flee to a city of refuge where he was confined until the death of the High Priest.
Whoever assaults or curses his father or mother shall die.
When a man assaults his neighbor with a stone or other instrument and he does not die, but is confined to his bed and finally recovers from all injuries, except the loss of time, he shall be completely compensated for the time lost, and the physician and all his expenses paid.
Punishment to Fit Crime
The law, "Life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe " is a rule governing the administration of justice, demanding that the punishment fit the crime and that there be no excessive punishment in any case. If a hungry man steal a loaf of bread he should not be punished as would be the thief who robs his neighbor of his goods.
Jesus referred to this law and declared it was the law, but He counselled individuals not to conduct their personal relations, one with another, in accord with this rule of law governing the judges who must make the punishment fit the crime. Individuals can forgive and forget all manner of trespasses committed against them, but the judge cannot forgive and must administer the law in justice.
(IMPORTANT TO NOTE HERE: LIFE FOR LIFE, EYE FOR EYE ETC. WAS "PUNISHMENT TO FIT THE CRIME!" ISRAEL WAS NOT A NATION OF ONE EYED PEOPLE, ONE HAND PEOPLE, ONE LEG PEOPLE ETC. - Keith Hunt)
This is well illustrated by Jesus when he said, "But I say unto you (a counsel to the individual and not instruction to the government), that ye resist not evil." Under this decision of our Lord no city, state or national government will allow an individual to take the law into his own hands. He must suffer wrong or else take his case to the judge. Even while two individuals are on the way to court there is yet time for them to forgive and forget, but the moment the case has been brought to the attention of the magistrate the judge has no alternative but to render just judgment. So we find our Lord counselling agreement with an adversary while the opportunity is at hand, for when the case is delivered to the judge he declares the guilty must pay to the last farthing (Matt. 5:25).
The Law Unchanged
Jesus never changed the law, "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, etc.," but He did say that individuals were not to use this rule of administering justice in their dealings one with another. The observance of the provision of this law will prevent the infliction of punishment out of proportion to the crime committed.
If an ox kill a man or a woman, the ox shall be put to death, but if the owner was aware of the fact that the animal was vicious, then the owner would be guilty and subject to the death penalty. But a man could ransom his life in such a case by paying the fine the judge might impose upon him after which he would be free.
Under the principle of law involved in this decision modern industry would be compelled to place every possible safeguard around machinery and eliminate bad working conditions: dangerous to life. If failure to do so resulted in death, then the individuals responsible for such failure would forfeit their lives or pay exceptionally heavy fines. With this principle of law in operation a few judgments would make men realize that they had a responsibility to protect their fellow man.
In line with the above responsibility is the judgment rendered regarding the following: If a man opens a well, or digs a well, and does not cover it, and an ox fall into it and is killed he must pay the owner the full value of the ox.
Men are thus made responsible for the things they do that may bring harm and damage to others, even the things they refrain from doing when the doing of them will eliminate dangerous conditions. Under the operation of these laws there would be far less carelessness and men and women would be more thoughtful one of the other, especially when they become personally responsible for any damages following their careless acts.
The Financially Irresponsible
But what of the man who is financially irresponsible and unable to meet the conditions imposed upon him? Can he go about doing things that may damage others and escape the consequences because he has nothing? Such a condition of affairs exists today. Is it right that men shall escape responsibility, because of the lack of funds, to make good the losses sustained through their negligence or carelessness? No, under Divine law such a one must work out the fine and is sold into servitude until the debt is paid.
No man was allowed to hide behind the fact that because he owned nothing he would be free from punishment. Because of this law regarding servitude for the financially irresponsible the Divine laws cover what people have construed as a system of slavery. But the slavery under the law was the required servitude of those who, because of judgment, must work out their debts, and in certain cases such gained their freedom in the seventh year of release (Deut. 15:12).
One of the causes for discontent today with the method of handling cases is that when a thief is caught and punished the victim is often not reimbursed for the loss he has suffered. He may have the satisfaction of seeing the one responsible for his troubles punished, but unless his losses are made good there is really no justice for him. The law of the Lord requires that the thief make full restoration: and with from one hundred to four hundred per cent interest. Stealing was very unprofitable!
"If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for one ox, and four sheep for a sheep." But if it be found in his hands alive he shall restore double. Men would hesitate to steal or take another man's property with the possibility of such heavy liabilities if caught, for even though they may not be financially able to make that restoration they would face months and even years of servitude in order to pay the judgment.
The purpose of the law was to deter men from evil in that the severity of the punishment would make them hesitate to commit a crime. There would only have to be a few cases where men were brought to judgment before all men would see and fear to violate the law.
While the law required that individuals be punished for their evil doings, yet it also held cities responsible for crimes committed within their borders when those responsible for the crime were not apprehended and punished. The community had to make atonement for crimes in which the criminal had not been apprehended. This produced a civic consciousness of community responsibility and made for the strict enforcement of the law and the quick apprehension of the criminal (Deut. 21:1-9).
Protecting Property Rights
The law is definite regarding property rights, but those rights must be protected, so under the judgments of the Lord certain principles are established governing compensation for damages to and destruction of property. The equitable method on which judgment was based was restoration of his property to the owner with damages for depriving him of his possessions. In some case the restoration was to be 500 per cent.
If a man cause his neighbor's field to be destroyed, out of the best of his own field and of the best of his own vineyard shall he make restoration. This principle applies to all property that might be destroyed by the carelessness or deliberate action of another.
Custodian of Property
A man might deliver unto his neighbor money or goods to be kept for him and while they are in the neighbor's possession a thief might break in and steal. If the thief is found he will pay double, but if he is not found then the neighbor is brought before the judges and examined to see if he is free from guilt in the matter. Whom the judges condemn he must pay double to the one whose goods were lost.
This law prevented one from being careless regarding the goods entrusted to his keeping and made him diligent regarding apprehending the thief if they were stolen while in his custody.
When a man has delivered to his neighbor livestock to keep and it dies, or is hurt, or torn, but not in his sight, an oath is taken between the two that he has not put his hand upon his neighbor's property. The owner is to then take what remains and no compensation is paid him. Proof must be presented, such as the slain animal, or the pieces of the animal if partly consumed. But if it has been stolen from him, then he must compensate the owner.
If a man borrow ought of his neighbor, and it be hurt, or die, the owner thereof not being with it, he shall make good, but if the owner is present with it, then it is the owner's responsibility.
This judgment would apply to anything one might borrow, making the borrower responsible for its safe return unless the owner was with it, then it would be the owner's responsibility.
"Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off " are the words of the Psalmist (Ps. 101:5), and in this statement the Psalmist expressed the prohibition of the law, "Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people." (Lev. 19:16.)
Solomon declared, "Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer the strife ceaseth." (Prov. 26:20.)
Let it be noted that this prohibition is against all talebearing, regardless of whether the subject detrimental to another be true or false.
(THIS LAW IS AMEDED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT REGARDING "ELDERS" OR "MINISTERS" OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH. SERIOUS ERRORS ON THE PART OF THOSE IN THE OFFICE OFF LEADERS IN THE CHURCH, MUST BE BROUGHT FORTH, EVEN WITH PUBLIC DENOUNCING. ALL THIS IS COVERED IN DETAIL IN MY STUDIES ON CHURCH GOVERNMENT - Keith Hunt)
Regarding false reports, the law states: "You shall not make a false oath. You shall not set your hand to commit fraud. You shall not be a false witness. . . . You shah not plead for the powerful to make excuse for their wrongdoing. And you shall not turn away from the poor man when he pleads. . . . You shall not pervert justice from the destitute when he pleads. . . . Keep far off from false pretence. You shall not kill the innocent, and the righteous, for I will not acquit the wicked. And you shall not receive bribes, for bribes blind open eyes, and pervert the words of the righteous . . . you shall not oppress a foreigner." (Ex. 23:1-9, F. F. Trans.)
Under the law, men are required to go to the assistance of those who are in distress and to help save the property of even their enemies when that property is being endangered. Failure to help will cause the one thus refusing to become responsible for any damages resulting from that refusal. Such a situation would compel cooperation and make men realize that they are responsible for assisting others.
In the following judgment we can substitute any of the many modes of conveyance for the word ox and ass, for the principle involved is applicable at all times to the things that belong to another. "If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again. If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forebear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him." (Ex. 23:4-5.)
A Man's Word
Honesty in dealing one with another is imperative if there is to be peace and contentment in any community, for without faith in our fellow man, the result of equitable dealings and relationships, there can be no peace. The law says, "Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither he one to another." (Lev. 19:11.)
A man's word should be as good as his bond. God requires that when a man has given his word he must keep that word inviolate. Jesus emphasized the fact that all that was necessary between men in the pledging of their word was yes or no, for whatever exceeds this proceeds from evil. To promise, or declare with assurance — leading another to believe what one utters will be performed —binds a man in God's sight to the performance of his word. Thus Jesus could say to individuals in their personal relationships, let your language be yes, yes; no, no.
But under the law in court proceeding, in taking an oath of confirmation, in dedication of possessions or services to the Lord, solemn attestations when required must be made and performed.
The law of vows was as follows, "When you vow a vow to your Ever-Living God, you shall not delay to pay it, for the Ever-Living your God will demand it from you; — and that would be a sin to you. But if you do not vow, it will be no sin. You must carefully perform the utterance of your lips; whatever you vow to your Ever-Living God, you must give whatever you have promised with your mouth." (Deut. 23:22-24, F. F. Trans.)
(VOWING IS VOIDED UNDER THE NEW TESTAMENT. EVEN OUR COURTS ALLOW YOU TO "CONFIRM YOU WILL TELL THE TRUTH" - ALL DOCUMENTS USING THE WORD "SWEAR" SHOULD BE BLOTTED OUT AND USE THE WORD "AFFIRM" IN ITS PLACE - Keith Hunt)
Solomon emphasized the need of keeping our solemn promises to God when he said, "When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better it is that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? " (Ecc. 5:4-6.)
In listing those who will have no part in the coming new order of the ages when the Kingdom has been established in perfection upon earth, John, in Revelation, declares that all liars and those who practise depravity and falsehood will have no place there.
(VOWING IS PROHIBITED UNDER THE NEW TESTAMENT, PROVED IN MY STUDY ON THE BOOK OF JAMES, AS WELL AS WHAT JESUS CLEARLY TAUGHT IN THE GOSPELS. LEGAL THINGS A CHRISTIAN USES "AFFIRM." Keith Hunt)
Temperate in All Things
Speaking of those who run in races Paul said, "Every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things." He then said of the athletes that they were only seeking a corruptible crown, but we are seeking that which is incorruptible. So he says, "I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." (I Cor. 9:27.)
(PROVING THE NEW TESTAMENT TEACHES NO SUCH THINGS AS "ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED" - Keith Hunt)
When listing the fruit of the Spirit such as love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, Paul declares that against such there is no law (Gal. 5: 22-23). But what of those who refuse to be temperate? The following is a judgment of the Lord regarding the drunkard:
"When a man has a disobedient and rebellious son, who will not listen to the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, but disobeys them and will not listen to them, his father and mother shall take him and conduct him to the Magistrates of the town, and to the open court, and say to the Magistrates of the city, 'This son of ours is disobedient and rebellious. He will not listen to our voice. He is depraved and drunken.'" (Deut. 21:18-21, F. F. Trans.)
Both the father and mother had to be in agreement, indicating that their son was absolutely depraved and a perpetual drunkard. The case had to be heard in open court where all the people of the community could be present at the hearing and who would know if the charges were true or false. The verdict was death for the unruly and drunken son.
(QUITE THE LAW. PARENTS SHOULD NOT FEEL ANY SYMPATHY FOR A WICKED SON OR DAUGHTER THAT DESERVES THE PUNISHMENT THE COURTS DECIDE IS FITTING. THE LAW OF THE LORD EVEN GOES AS FAR AS THE DEATH SENTENCE ON SUCH EVIL CHILDREN, WITH PARENTS AGAIN SHOWING NO SYMPATHY IF SUCH CHILDREN DESERVE DEATH - Keith Hunt)
Men in the priestly office, serving God, were forbidden to drink intoxicating beverages, even in moderation (Lev. 10:9). While Solomon said, "It is not for kings to drink wine, nor for princes strong drink: lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted." (Prov. 31;4-5-)
Prohibition is the rule for those entrusted with the affairs of state and the judges before whom the people appear for just judgment as well as for those who serve in ecclesiastical office.
(THIS LAW WAS ONLY WHEN THEY WERE ADMINISTERING THEIR DUTY. IT DID NOT APPLY TO LEISURE TIMES. ANYONE IN ISRAEL COULD DRINK IN MODERATION IN PLEASURE AND LEISURE TIMES, AS LIKE IN THE LEISURE TIME OF THE FEASTS OF GODS - Keith Hunt)
"Who hath woe? Who hath sorrow? Who hath contentions? Who hath babblings? Who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth its colour in the cup, when it moveth itself right. At last it biteth like a serpent, and sting-eth like an adder." (Prov. 23:29-32.)
Thus Solomon condemns the evils of drinking while the law definitely instructs in the need of temperance for all, prohibition for some and death for the depraved and drunkard.
(PROHIBITION WAS ONLY FOR THOSE JUDGES ETC. DURING THEIR SERIOUS WORK OF THIER DUTY. MODERATION WAS MOST DEFINITELY TAUGHT UNDER THE OLD COVENANT - Keith Hunt)
Respect for Judges
Men are not to revile the judges nor curse the rulers of the people (Ex. 22:28). Due respect is to be shown unto them. When a case has been appealed to the highest tribunal and judgment made "And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not harken 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.
"And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously."
(OF COURSE THIS IS UNDER THE FACT THAT THE MINISTER [PRIEST] AND JUDGE ARE ACTING ACCORDING TO THE LAW AND SPIRIT OF THE LORD. OBVIOUSLY CORRUPT PRIESTS AND JUDGES WOULD BE SURELY EXPOSED AND REMOVED FROM OFFICE - Keith Hunt)
"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. But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously (deliberately with knowledge and forethought), 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. Because he hath despised the word of the Lord, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him." (Numbers 15:29-31.)
David recognized the enormity of presumptuous sinning in the sight of God and he prayed, "Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression." (Ps. 19:13.)
(IT IS MENTIONED MORE THAN ONCE IN THE LAW OF THE LORD, THAT ONE LAW WAS FOR ALL IN THE LAND OF ISRAEL. HENCE ANYONE WANTING TO COME INTO THE LAND OF ISRAEL WAS MADE TO UNDERSTAND THERE WAS ONE LAW FOR EVERYONE - THE LAWS OF GOD PERIOD. ALL WHO WOULD LIKE TO ENTER AND LIVE IN OUR NATIONS OF BRITAIN, CANADA, USA, AND ETC. SHOULD HAVE IT MADE CLEAR TO THEM THEY DO NOT BRING THEIR LAWS INTO OUR LANDS, BUT MUST BE WILLING TO LIVE UNDER OUR LAWS. IF WE WERE FOLLOWING GOD'S LAWS AS NATIONS TODAY, ALL PEOPLE SUCH AS MUSLIMS WOULD HAVE TO BE WILLING TO OBEY OUR LAWS, THE LAWS OF GOD, OR SIMPLY NOT ALLOWED TO LIVE IN OUR COUNTRIES - Keith Hunt)
Thus the law defines two classes of sin, those committed through ignorance and those which are done deliberately — knowing that such is against His word, law and judgment. For the first class there is forgiveness, but for the second class there can be no atonement because the sinner has despised His word.
Jesus confirmed this when of the law He said, "Whosoever therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so (this is presumptuous), he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven (even though through the acceptance of Christ he may enter the kingdom); but whosoever shall do and teach them", if in ignorance they fail Jesus is their righteousness), the same shall be called great in the kingdom." (Matt. 5:18-19.)
(MISUNDERSTOOD BY THE AUTHOR AND MANY OTHERS. YOU CANNOT TEACH ANYONE TO PRESUMPTUOUSLY SIN AND STILL BE IN THE KNGDOM OF GOD. IT SIMPLY MEANS THAT A PERSON SUCH DOING WILL BE LOOKED UPON BY THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND THOSE IN IT, AS LEAST, AT THE BOTTOM SHALL WE SAY, AND SO NOT EVEN WORTHY TO ENTER THE KINGDOM. FOR PROOF OF THIS PUT TOGETHER LUKE 17:10 WITH MAT. 25:14-30 - WHEN DOING JUST THE BASICS YOU ARE UNPROFITABLE AND WILL NOT ENTER THE KINGDOM! NOW THAT MAY SHOCK MANY, BUT JESUS SAID IT NOT ME. THIS IS A FINE EXAMPLE OF LETTING THE BIBLE INTERPRET ITSELF, OR PUTTING SCRIPTURE WITH SCRIPTURE. A FINE EXAMPLE AGAINST READING THE BIBLE WITH TUNNEL VISION - Keith Hunt)
Peter informs us that the Lord will deliver the righteous from temptation, reserving the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished. The chief of sinners, he says, are those who are presumptuous, despising government, the authority of the law and speak evil of dignities (II Peter 2:9-10).
Now the law of the Lord is the highest of authority and God will not hold a man guiltless who despises His government and refuses to keep and acknowledge the righteousness of His law.
(AND YES, SO TEACHING MEN TO BE PRESUMPTUOUS IN KEEPING AND OBSERVING GOD'S LAWS, JUST WILL NOT GET YOU INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD, JUST THAT SIMPLE - Keith Hunt)
Swiftness of Justice
When in Anglo-Saxon lands justice has fallen by the way and crime has increased — with lawless men in control — our people unconsciously revert to their ancient laws of justice with summary trial and quick executions. Such action soon restores law and order. The swiftness of justice strikes terror into the heart of the ungodly.
Under the law of the Lord men were brought immediately to trial upon being apprehended. When the trial ended, the very next day judgment was passed and the sentence was immediately carried out. If that sentence was death: then before sunset of that day the execution had taken place.
The swiftness of justice, the certainty of quick judgment in case of guilt and the immediate carrying out of the penalty imposed, kept crime at a minimum and evil men in fear of violating the law.
(AND SINGAPORE IS ONE NATION THAT DOES THAT, HENCE THEY HAVE VERY VERY LITTLE CRIME - Keith Hunt)
Here is a system of Divine jurisprudence that cannot be excelled. Establishment of the administration of the law of the Lord, with a judiciary sworn to carry out the requirements of that law, backed by an over-seeing Providence can have but one effect: establishment of righteousness with justice and judgment for all!
While we have covered only a few of the laws and their application, yet sufficient has been given regarding such to guide those who would study further that they might know and understand His system of jurisprudence.
The rulings of earthly tribunals under the law of the Lord extend into the heavenly and the power of a Mighty God will bring upon evil men and nations the curses of their evil doings. If by chance men escape punishment for their crimes in earthly tribunals they cannot, nor will they be able to long escape the court of Divine judgment. Hiding from men their evil ways will have only postponed the inevitable justice and judgment that is ultimately destined to overtake them.
Moses pronounces that God's curses are upon the individuals who violate the law and instructs the Levites (those who administer national affairs) to declare them before the people. Then follows the list of evils which, committed, will bring the curse of God upon the individual (Deut. 27:15-26).
Following this Moses lists the blessings that would come upon the nation in its national life and activities if the law is administered in justice and equity and all its provisions are observed. Then he gives the national curses if the people refuse, as a nation, to keep and administer that law (Deut. 28). God is the Judge and He has executed judgment in accord with these pronunciations and today our nation is suffering under the punitive clauses of the law for refusing to do in accord with Moses' instruction to our forefathers.
To be continued
THE NEW TESTAMENT CHRISTIAN MAY STILL BE WONDERING, WITH ALL THE MANY LAWS OF MOSES, WHICH ONES APPLY TO THEM TODAY AS INDIVIDUALS.
I HAVE A FULL IN-DEPTH STUDY ON THIS WEBSITE CALLED "LIVING BY EVERY WORD OF GOD - HOW?" WHICH WILL ANSWER WHICH LAWS OF THE OLD COVENANT ARE FOR THE NEW COVENANT AND CHRISTIAN.