By RANDY WHITE, D.Min.
Founder and CEO
(Read Part 11)
We are in the mist of considering the new revelation that God gave to govern the dispensation of conscience, and we remember that the main part of the covenant covers God’s obligations. He has revealed these obligations by way of promises that He made to man.
Last time, we considered the initial obligation that God placed upon man in the Noahic Covenant: People were, for the first time, allowed to eat meat—yet they were not to eat blood.
Today we will see that man’s second area of obligation is the requirement to enforce capital punishment.
The Groundwork for Government
Here is God’s second obligation for man at the time following the flood:
Surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from every man, from every man’s brother I will require the life of man.
“Whoever sheds man’s blood,
By man his blood shall be shed,
For in the image of God
He made man.
“As for you, be fruitful and multiply;
Populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.” (Gen. 9:5-7, NASB)
The implementation of capital punishment, of course, implies the establishment of the institution of government. Someone would obviously have to carry out this command, and we infer that an accusation of murder would usually require something like a jury trial, as well. In fact, we can even envision how governments may have naturally begun to grow from that point.
The basic command to practice capital punishment, however, was given here—and has never been rescinded! Mankind today has that same responsibility to carry out this command under the authority of a government. Notice that this is not something that an individual is free to carry out on his or her own, nor is it given primarily for the well-being of man. That may be one benefit of the command, in that it deters people from committing murder because that crime carries such a stiff penalty.
But the ultimate reason for this command is given in verse 6:
. . . for in the image of God made he man.
God so wants to protect the sanctity of life that He sets blood aside as a symbol of it. And He so desires to protect the image of God within man that, in the case where one man kills another man (notice—not an animal), God requires that the killer’s life must be forfeited. The image of God is the foundation of it all!
For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. (1 Cor. 11:7)
The fall tarnished the image of God in man, but remember that all of the events of Genesis 9 also took place after the fall had occurred. As long as mankind exists in the image of God, this concept will be valid.
I must admit that I have not always been a conservative. I thoughts I was—I was even a pastor, and other people told me that I was a conservative. But I was not very Biblical back at that time, years ago. To be a conservative, you have got to be Biblical.
In my young adult years, I did not believe in capital punishment. I based this, first of all, upon my own feelings—which is never a good basis for anything. Secondly, I based it upon what I thought Jesus would do. Scripture states of Him:
Jesus was tender, kind and merciful, and I could not imagine Him sentencing anyone to death through capital punishment. But my thought process was flawed.
You see, Jesus stated in John 8:15, “I judge no man.” So we find that Jesus did not serve as a judge in human government during His first coming to Earth. He was not the king of any nation at that time.
One day, however, Jesus will return to this Earth, and He will wear a sash across His chest that states:
KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. (Rev. 19:16)
He will come as the King! Of that day, we read,
And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. (Rev. 19:15)
In fact, He will even annihilate and crush His enemies. We read also in Psalm 110:1:
The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
This is a very different picture of Jesus, isn’t it?
When we consider what Jesus would do, we have to take into consideration more than just the three years of His earthly ministry. That is a period of time of which the following statement characterized our Lord:
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Phil 2:6-8)
If we only look at Jesus during the humility of His first coming, we are not seeing the entire picture of our Lord, which includes viewing Him in His future role as king over all people!
As the angel told Mary in Luke 1:32-33:
He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
As Isaiah also prophesied,
. . . and the government shall be upon his shoulder . . . (Isa. 9:6)
These things did not happen during Christ’s first coming. But someday they will take place, just as predicted by Holy Scripture.
Will you be ready for Him when He returns?
Editor’s Note: This blog article is taken from the following sermon, which you can watch in its entirety here:
(Read Part 13)
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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the King James Version.
Scripture quotations marked NASB are taken from the New American Standard Bible®,
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