Silence Screams

There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
(Proverbs 6:16-19 ESV)

Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), is a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court on the issue of abortion. Decided simultaneously with a companion case, Doe v. Bolton, the Court ruled that a right to privacy under the due process clause of the 14th Amendment extended to a woman’s decision to have an abortion, but that right must be balanced against the state’s two legitimate interests in regulating abortions: protecting prenatal life and protecting women’s health. Arguing that these state interests became stronger over the course of a pregnancy, the Court resolved this balancing test by tying state regulation of abortion to the trimester of pregnancy.

The Court later rejected Roe’s trimester framework, while affirming Roe’s central holding that a person has a right to abortion until viability. The Roe decision defined “viable” as being “potentially able to live outside the mother’s womb, albeit with artificial aid”, adding that viability “is usually placed at about seven months (28 weeks) but may occur earlier, even at 24 weeks.”

In disallowing many state and federal restrictions on abortion in the United States, Roe v. Wade prompted a national debate that continues today, about issues including whether and to what extent abortion should be legal, who should decide the legality of abortion, what methods the Supreme Court should use in constitutional adjudication, and what the role should be of religious and moral views in the political sphere. Roe v. Wade reshaped national politics, dividing much of the United States into pro-choice and pro-life camps, while activating grassroots movements on both sides.

Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and did not wholly follow the LORD, as David his father had done. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Moloch the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem. And so he did for all his foreign wives, who made offerings and sacrificed to their gods.
(1 Kings 11:1-8 ESV)

God had forbidden the Israelites to worship Chemosh or Molech. Both of them are the gods of fire, Chemosh is Moabite god and Molech is the Ammonite god. But what did they sacrifice to these gods? The people of Moab and Ammon sacrificed their firstborn sons to these gods. Some say the children were to pass through the fire, the fire would be on two sides and the children would walk through the middle. But that is not what Isaiah, Jeremiah or Ezekiel understood. It is clear from reading the prophets that the children were killed and burned. The whole point of the offering consisted, therefore, in the fact that it was a human sacrifice. For what reason? To bring blessing upon the family. The father, with his arms outstretched, holding his firstborn son, he walked toward this statue of a man with the head of a calf and turned down horns. The statue would have its arms out to receive the sacrifice. The child was put in a iron mold of Molech and placed in the fire. Now we see why God called this an abomination.

You may say, how barbaric, and you may be repulsed that people acted in such a way. How can civilized people sacrifice their children in such a way? It is indeed interesting that you are repulsed at all with societies current attitude toward abortion. Actually you may even be taken back by the passage we read. How could such a smart man like Solomon, such a godly man as he was, turn to such a practice? How could Israel which had seen the mighty workings of God, turn to this detestable god, who is no god at all?

The gods of the Egyptians, Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites are still very much alive and well. These demons used people like Norma Leah McCorvey,  better known by the legal pseudonym “Jane Roe“, was the plaintiff in the landmark American lawsuit Roe v. Wade in 1973. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned individual states’ laws against abortion by ruling them unconstitutional. Later, McCorvey’s opinion on abortion drastically changed, and she is now active in Pro-Life causes.

On January 22, 1973, the United States Supreme Court deemed abortion a fundamental right under the United States Constitution, thereby subjecting all laws attempting to restrict it to the standard of strict scrutiny (Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113). The Court ruled that the right to privacy under the due process clause in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution extends to a woman’s decision to have an abortion. This court ruling allowed abortions on demand in America. Before this decision, abortions could only be performed to save the mother’s life.

Why are children aborted? The Alan Guttmacher Institute (the research arm of Planned Parenthood) states that one percent are of abortions occur when the expectant mothers are victims of incest or rape, one percent of aborted babies allegedly had fetal abnormalities, four percent of abortions are performed when a doctor stated that the expectant mother’s health would worsen if she were to continue the pregnancy, fifty percent of expectant mothers who received abortions said they didn’t want to be a single parent or they had problems in the current relationship, sixty-six percent of expectant mothers who had an abortion said stated they could not afford a child, and seventy-five percent of expectant mothers who elected to have an abortion said the child would interfere with their lives or career.

This survey says four percent of expectant mothers who received abortions had doctors who said their health would worsen. C. Everett Koop, the former Surgeon General of the United States of America, stated that during his 35-plus years of practicing medicine, “Never once did a case come across my practice where abortion was necessary to save a mother’s life.”

A recent poll of couples in New England revealed that if they were able to know the future one percent would abort a child on the basis of sex, six percent would abort a child likely to get Alzheimer’s disease, and incredibly eleven percent would abort a child predisposed to obesity.

Abortions happen in America, a nation founded under Godly principles for all people. The United States Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The Declaration of Independence states that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are God given inalienable rights.

The Preamble to the United States Constitution says, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary says that the definition of posterity means:

  1. The offspring of one progenitor to the furthest generation.
  2. All future generations.

Just reading and applying the Preamble to the United States Constitution anyone can easily see that the Constitutional Rights of the unborn child are being violated, Where is the justice, domestic tranquility, common defense, general welfare, and the secure the blessings of liberty of our posterity of the innocent blood that was just slaughtered as a medical procedure. Abortion is the only medical procedure in the world that intentionally kills at least one of the  patients.

It is not the Court’s job to decide whether banning abortion is morally or socially acceptable; it is the Court’s job to decide whether or not the statute in question violates the Constitution. In Roe v Wade, this Court ruled that a pregnant woman’s “right of privacy” through the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause’s guarantee of liberty allowed for the termination of pregnancy through abortion. Clearly, the posterity was denied liberty in this ruling.

Abortion proponents state that, “It is a fetus, it is not alive yet.” Medical authorities determined a person to be “alive” if the is either a detectable heartbeat or brain-wave activity. It is eye opening to realize that a heartbeat is discernible less than 18 days after conception, and there are detectable brain waves in less than 45 days after conception. What is so disturbing is that essentially all abortions occur after the seventh week, more than fifty days after conception.

How many babies are aborted? Worldwide about forty-two million babies are aborted every year. And those are only the reported cases. In the United States alone over 1.31 million babies are aborted every year. Nearly half of pregnancies among American women are unplanned, and about four in ten of these unplanned pregnancies are terminated by abortion. Twenty-two percent of all U.S. pregnancies end in abortion. What happened to the “unalienable rights” of these murdered children to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” that were “endowed by their Creator” and guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution? The Preamble to the United States Constitotion states, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Posterity is the succeeding or future generations and all one’s future descendants. Posterity includes the child that was murdered in the process of the abortion.

The Bible does not specifically mention the word abortion, but it has a number of significant things to say about unborn children. These biblical statements indicate that the unborn are people. Therefore, abortion is wrong since it is the unlawful killing a human being. Most Rabbinical scholars would agree that abortion is required when it is necessary to save the life of the mother (refer to Dr. C. Everett Koops above statement). However, once the head has been birthed, the child and mother both have Constitutional Rights that need to be safeguarded. If the mother dies and the child survives, that is what God intended. Likewise, if the child dies and the mother lives, that is also what God intended. Furthermore, if both the mother and child die in the process of delivery, that is also to be considered part of God’s plan and design.

There are few objections to the notion that it is wrong to murder a person. Murder is the unlawful taking of someone’s life, while killing is the lawful taking of someone’s life. Biblical passages that forbid murder include Genesis 9:6, Matthew 15:19, Matthew 19:18, Mark 10:19, Luke 19:20, John 8:44, Acts 3:14, Romans 1:28-29 and Romans 13:9.

Unborn children are human beings. It is this fact which is disputed by many in our culture today. However, the Bible clearly teaches that unborn children are human beings.

The unborn possesses personal attributes such as sin and joy. In Psalm 51:5, David says, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.” In Luke 1:44, “For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy.”

The Bible also uses personal pronouns to describe unborn children. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Matthew 1:20-21 states, “But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.’”

Regarding the conception of Jesus, Matthew 1:20 says, “But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.’” The fact that the angel tells Joseph that “the Child who has been conceived” is “of the Holy Spirit” indicates that Jesus certainly was a person at the moment of conception.

The unborn are called children. Luke 1:41-44 states, “And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.’”

Perhaps the strongest argument against abortion from Scripture is the fact that the same punishment is applicable to someone who kills or injures an unborn child as for one who kills or injures an adult. Exodus 21:22-23 states, “If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges decide. But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life….” This passage strongly indicates that Mosaic Law viewed the unborn as persons worthy of the same protection and rights as adults.

The unborn are even called by God before birth. Almost echoing the prophetic commission of Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:5, Isaiah 49:1 says, “Listen to me, O islands, And pay attention, you peoples from afar, the LORD called me from the womb; from the body of my mother He named me.”

The unborn are known personally and intimately by God in the same way He would know any other person. Describing David, Psalm 139:15-16 says, “My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written; the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.”

The Bible definitely teaches that the unborn are persons because they possess personal attributes, they are described by personal pronouns, Jesus is called a child at conception, they are called children, they are protected by the same punishment as for adults, they are called by God before birth, and they are known personally by God just like any other person. Since abortion is murdering a person, abortion is morally wrong (Genesis 9:6, Romans 1:28-29).

We need to look at is what God did to Israel because of their grievous sins.

God also raised up as an adversary to him, Rezon the son of Eliada, who had fled from his master Hadadezer king of Zobah. And he gathered men about him and became leader of a marauding band, after the killing by David. And they went to Damascus and lived there and made him king in Damascus. He was an adversary of Israel all the days of Solomon, doing harm as Hadad did. And he loathed Israel and reigned over Syria. Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephraimite of Zeredah, a servant of Solomon, whose mother’s name was Zeruah, a widow, also lifted up his hand against the king. And this was the reason why he lifted up his hand against the king. Solomon built the Millo, and closed up the breach of the city of David his father. The man Jeroboam was very able, and when Solomon saw that the young man was industrious he gave him charge over all the forced labor of the house of Joseph. And at that time, when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him on the road. Now Ahijah had dressed himself in a new garment, and the two of them were alone in the open country. Then Ahijah laid hold of the new garment that was on him, and tore it into twelve pieces. And he said to Jeroboam, “Take for yourself ten pieces, for thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Behold, I am about to tear the kingdom from the hand of Solomon and will give you ten tribes (but he shall have one tribe, for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city that I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel), because they have forsaken me and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of the Ammonites, and they have not walked in my ways, doing what is right in my sight and keeping my statutes and my rules, as David his father did.
(1 Kings 11:23-33 ESV)

God handed them over to their enemies, Israel became a divided nation that was eventually carried off into captivity. God removed his blessing on Israel and made them a poor nation that would continually be overrun by others. Eventually they became a dispersed nation and for nearly 1,900 years they were a people without a home, wanderers around the earth, like Cain. That could very well be our future as well.

What could we do as a nation? We can teach our children right and wrong. We need to educate ourselves. We could talk to our neighbors about the sanctity of all human life and only support political candidates who share our views. We could volunteer to work at prevention centers, opening our homes to shelter women in crisis situations if necessary. Finally, we can repent and pray.

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV)

The American Holocaust is continuing, these unborn children need us to speak for them. We can educate people and show them there is a choice, and help them choose life. No longer sacrificing children to the god of convinence. In Israel, Josiah tore down the altars to Molech and the other gods, we can do the same by simply teaching others the truth of life and the gift of salvation and forgiveness we have through Yeshua Ha’Mashiach (Jesus Christ). Abortion is not an unforgivable sin. Those who have had abortions and those who performed them can and will be forgiven if they repent of their sins and receive the gift of salvation.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
(John 3:16-21 ESV)

Heidi Begley writes, “Abortion is the greatest delusion to ever hit mankind. The argument that an unborn child is not a life and therefore disposable is a lie. As mother after mother believes these lies, and doctors and nurses snuff out these lives without any remorse of conscious, the blood of the unborn cry out before God. Unfortunately, after almost 40 years, our young women of child bearing age have come to believe this lie. 40 years of propaganda by politicians, media, women’s rights groups, planned parenthood, drug companies and population control freaks have made abortion an acceptable option. The peer pressure has shifted and now you are considered irresponsible if you bring a child into this world before you finish your education. I know, I have talked to several young ladies. I was actually shocked one night as I sat at work with several young college girls and all but one had already had an abortion.”

“The conversation came up because I was working in the hospital with a suicidal young lady who was grieving from having an abortion. She was suffering from post-abortion syndrome. No one told her that 80% of all young women who have an abortion will suffer from depression. As she struggled with her emotions, her values, her religious beliefs and the choices she made, she became overwhelmed, and felt that all was lost. She felt she had no hope, no where to turn and no one to talk to.”

“All the more reason 14 year old young women have no business taking a morning after pill without their parents permission. Where is their support group? How is their mother suppose to know how to console her daughter? Why shouldn’t her mother be able to help her sort through this decision.”

“So is this really about women’s right to do what they want with their body? No! This has a much more sinister motive. The population can be controlled, the schools teen pregnancy statistics go down, the drug company can sell it’s drug and a young woman can commit the murder of her own child in an acceptable and even expected manner. For women to be able to exercise their rights they need to have the truth represented to them so they can make informed decisions.”

“It is not only a temporary sadness. I also took care of a woman in her late thirties that became suicidal on what would have been an 18th birthday of her unborn child. 18 years later, this woman did not have closure, who could she turn to?”

“So what do you do if you find yourself in this situation? There are all kinds of reasons you would contemplate abortion, being a teenager, career plans, money, husband or boyfriend pressure, fear of parents, or God forbid a young girl is the victim of a rapist or a family pedophile.”

“First thing is, get information from lots of different sources. Find a woman mentor, if you don’t have a mom or a mom you can confide in, try your pastor’s wife, the grandmother in the pew a woman of a good repute, that can give you wisdom.”

“Adoption is always an option, but it also carries with it emotional repercussions.”

Heidi, I have to somewhat disagree about repercussions from adoptions. My bother and I were both adopted into a loving Christian home. I cannot speak what the parents who gave us up might be feeling, but the children turn out very well.

“The greatest thing you can do for a young woman who is faced with this is offer her support and love. Know that these decisions come with a price and we are placed on this earth to love, not to judge. We in no way condone abortion, but so many women sit in the pews with an unspeakable secret, that I felt we need to address those that have had an abortion.”

“If you have had an abortion the best resource that I have found is in Chattanooga, TN where there is a National Memorial to the Unborn They do a very good job of the steps of healing that are needed after having an abortion.”

“Know that God is with you and never turns his back on you. God hears you and can heal your heart. Feel free to ask for prayer.”

Heidi Begley’s blog is located at http://heidibegley.blogspot.com/. Paul Begley, Heidi’s better-half has several of his own ministries. Paul can be found at http://www.paulbegleyprophecy.com/http://www.youtube.com/user/paulbegley34, and https://www.facebook.com/paul.begley.37?fref=ts,

Thank you, Heidi for allowing me to reference your blog and link to it. Something needs to be done or we are finished as a nation.

Fishers of Men

Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him.
(Mark 1:16-18 ESV)

How often God chooses the most improbable people to move forward his purposes. A cowardly Jonah fled from God’s commission to preach to the Ninevites (Jonah 1:1-3). Israel’s great King David committed adultery and eventually murdered the husband of the woman he committed adultery with (2 Samuel 11:2-5). God does not call theose who are worthy (I myself am that example personified), He chooses those that He calls to serve Him.

Yeshua called His disciples to be “fishers of men” (Mark 1:16-18). Where does this metaphor come from? Again, we must look to the Tanakh, as the Tanakh and and Brit Chadashah almost always have shadows of each other to proclaim that which has been or that which will be.

The Prophet Jeremiah wrote, “”Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when it shall no longer be said, ‘As the LORD lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ but ‘As the LORD lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.’ For I will bring them back to their own land that I gave to their fathers. “Behold, I am sending for many fishers, declares the LORD, and they shall catch them. And afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks. For my eyes are on all their ways. They are not hidden from me, nor is their iniquity concealed from my eyes. But first I will doubly repay their iniquity and their sin, because they have polluted my land with the carcasses of their detestable idols, and have filled my inheritance with their abominations” ( Jeremiah ESV).

Therefore,  it is through the apostles that Yeshua the Messiah, the seed of David and the only begotten Son of God, will restore Israel. They are the “fishers” spoken of by Jeremiah. However, the disciples primary purpose is not to lead people back to the land, but leading people to Messiah. In Him, God’s promises of restoration will be fulfilled.

Capital Punishment: A Biblical Perspective

Capital punishment is the sentence of death upon a person by a court order and carried out by the government as a punishment for a criminal offence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences.

Whenever an execution is imminent, many questions are often raised Should capital punishment be acceptable in a civilized society? Is it morally right for a government to administer capital punishment? What is the purpose behind capital punishment, and is it accomplished? How do we find the answers to such questions? For Christians who believe in Biblical inerrancy and infallibility, we must look to the Holy Bible (the Word of God) for answers.

In the Book of Genesis, we have an account of the first murder in history. Cain killed his brother Abel in a fit of anger and jealousy after God was pleased with Abel’s offering and displeased with the offering made by Cain. The punishment that Cain received from God for killing his brother was not death. Cain received exile from being in the presence of God and was sentenced to be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth. God then protected Cain from receiving harm or death at the hands of any man.

In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” And the LORD said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.” Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” Then the LORD said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the LORD put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him. Then Cain went away from the presence of the LORD and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
(Genesis 4:3-16 ESV)

Lamech was a descendent of Cain and the father of Noah. The scriptures tell us that Lamech killed a young man at one point for hitting him (Genesis 4:23) Throughout the generations wickedness continued to flourish and increase on the earth until every intention of the thoughts of mankind’s his heart was only evil continually. This made God sorry that he had made man, and it grieved him to his heart. So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them (Genesis 6:7).”

Noah found favor in the eyes of God. Noah and his wife, their three sons, and their son’s three wives were spared from the flood that destroyed the rest of mankind. Only eight people were selected for salvation. That is the problem with a society without just punishment for criminals. Lawlessness abounds and spreads like a disease until all of society is corrupted.

Immediately after the flood, God blessed Noah and his family saying to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood (Genesis 9:1-4).”

But they were also given a new and awesome responsibility. God told Noah and his family, “And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man. Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in His own image. (Genesis 9:5-6).”

God now is requiring mankind to account for their actions. He requires murderers to be put to death by mankind. This new requirement is based on one fact, the fact that God had made mankind in His image. To murder someone who is created in the image of God is a serious offense that is punishable by the death of the offender. Also, because mankind was created in the image of God, he possesses the ability and responsibility to exercise justice and righteousness. Mankind is capable of administering the sentence prescribed by God.

It would appear that before the flood people may have taken God’s protection of Cain as a license to murder without any consequences. With the flood, God administered a form of capital punishment upon a violent and corrupt society. After the flood, God gave mankind the obligation and responsibility to take the life of those who committed the crime of murder.

The Torah, or Laws of Moses, prescribed the administration of capital punishment for many additional offenses. These laws were both civil and religious laws and they have served as the basis for criminal justice in many other civilizations since first given by God. The Torah prescribes capital punishment for premeditated murder, kidnapping, striking an expecting mother which causes the child to be born prematurely and die, failure to keep a killer animal from killing, killing a thief in revenge, sorcery or witchcraft, bestiality, adultery, incest, homosexuality, being a medium or spiritualist, and even breaking the Sabbath among many other offenses.

Were the laws of the Torah good laws? The Apostle Paul said that they were “holy and righteous and good” (Romans 7:12). While the religious aspects of these laws were temporary (Galatians 2:23-25), the civil laws served their purpose well to govern and preserve a nation. Who would be so presumptuous to say that they could improve upon such a civil code of ethics? Many have arrogantly presumed they could do better, and crime has gotten worse, not better. In conclusion, capital punishment was ordained by God in the laws of the Torah.

Unlike the Old Testament, the New Testament is not designed to govern or regulate civil governments. It is designed for those in Messiah Yeshua’s kingdom, which is spiritual in nature (John 18:36). The purpose of the New Testament is to help mankind achieve and maintain a relationship with God through Yeshua,  His only begotten Son. So for the most part, it does not concern itself with telling mankind how to righteously regulate their civil affairs as these commandments had already been given to mankind in the Tanakh. However, in defining our relationship to civil authorities while subject to a higher law, there are references which reveal God’s attitude toward capital punishment

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
(Romans 13:1-7 ESV)

The Apostle Paul tells us that governmental authorities are established and instituted by God and that they serve as ministers of God, as “an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.” When a government fulfills its responsibility upon those who are evil, it “does not bear the sword in vain.” This is a clear allusion to the administration of capital punishment. Therefore, the New Testament supports the government’s right to exercise the death penalty on those who commit capital offenses.

The Apostle Paul also said he was willing to die if he committed anything for which he deserved to die (Acts 25:11). This is a clear implication that in Paul’s opinion some crimes were worthy of the death penalty.Although the New Testament focuses on the responsibilities of the followers of Yeshua in His spiritual kingdom, there is certainly no indication that it is wrong for government to administer capital punishment when deemed appropriate. The principle established in Genesis 9:5-6, given to all of mankind before the saving grace that is provided by Yeshua’s atonement for our sins remains a responsibility placed upon the governments of mankind.

Some opponents of capital punishment will tell you that the Holy Bible says “Thou shalt not kill.” This is actually a mistranslation of the Hebrew word ‘ratsach.’ Ratsach is literally translated to murder. This commandment forbids killing with malice and premeditation (Exodus 20:13). Throughout the following two chapters of Exodus, God prescribes the death penalty for nine different crimes. The commandment not to murder is directed toward individuals; one must ignore the context and twist the Scriptures to apply this verse to the issue of capital punishment.

Ezekiel wrote that God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 18:32). However, one must consider the context of this passage of Scripture which states that the soul that sins shall die and no one else will bear the iniquity of any other person (Ezekiel 18:4). It also states that certain sins make one worthy of death (Ezekiel 18:10-13). God encourages the wicked to repent and do what is right (Ezekiel 18:21-23), but states that even the righteous person who begins to do wickedness shall die if they do not repent (Ezekiel 18:24). The entire contextual discourse of the passage is that mankind should repent before it is too late because God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that will not prevent Him from carrying out capital punishment when appropriate.

Some opponents of capital punishment claim that it does not work as it does absolutely nothing to deter crime. That is only true when the sentence is not carried out quickly. King Solomon said, “Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil (Ecclesiastes 8:11 ESV).” Capital punishment does keep an offender from killing again, escaping from a life sentence in prison, or possibly being paroled or pardoned in the future. The ineffectiveness of capital punishment in deterring crime by others is an argument against our system of administering capital punishment. It is not an effective argument against capital punishment itself.

Capital punishment is not just a deterrent. There is also the issue of justice, and justice always demands that the punishment fits the crime. This is what is meant by “an eye for an eye.” It is a reference to equal and just punishment, not the actual plucking out of another person’s eye. Some crimes are so heinous that any punishment other than the death penalty is an injustice.

Other capital punishment opponents argue that innocent people are executed occasionally. Unfortunately, this is a fact of life. But as before, this is an argument that pertains to a system in which capital punishment is administered. It is not an argument against the idea of capital punishment itself. The Holy Bible states that capital punishment could not be applied unless the crime was seen by two or more witnesses (Deuteronomy 17:6). If a single witness made an accusation that proved false, the penalty for the crime could be applied to the false witness (Deuteronomy 19:15-21).

Capital punishment should be applied to criminals that are convicted in cases in which there are two or more eyewitnesses, and there is no doubt about the guilt of the defendant. When the conviction is dependent upon laboratory evidence and there are no eyewitnesses, then the maximum penalty should be life in prison. Sometimes laboratory evidence is later proved faulty as it did in the case of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito who were convicted of murdering Meredith Kercher on the witness of Rudy Guede (who had already admitted to the crime and was brokering a deal with prosecutors) and tainted forensic evidence. In these type of criminal proceedings that rely almost entirely on circumstantial evidence, a convicted person can later be released from prison if the laboratory evidence is later proved faulty.

Does God approve of capital punishment? I have demonstrated that God gave mankind the responsibility of carrying it out after the flood, God’s own illustration of justice in the government He gave to Israel, how believers today are to acknowledge the right and responsibility given by God to governments to be His ministers in avenging wrath on wrongdoers. Obviously, any civilized nation detests violence and bloodshed. However, civilization cannot exist with violence and corruption running rampant. or when government fails to administer justice with punishment that fits the crime.

How does God view governments that fail to carry out their responsibility to execute wrath upon the wrongdoer? As with anything that takes away justice, with sorrow and distress (Isaiah 5:20-23), and as with anyone who fails to fulfill their responsibility, they are cursed (Jeremiah 48:10).

Many people may refuse to accept what the Holy Bible has to say about capital punishment, but let those who profess to be believers and accept the Holy Bible as the inspired, inerrant and infallible Word of God acknowledge that capital punishment is ordained by God.