Capital Punishment in Scripture

By Brandon Staggs

Quote from Wikipedia:

In 1999, Clayton Lockett kidnapped, beat, and shot nineteen-year-old Stephanie Neiman and ordered an accomplice to bury her while she was still breathing. She died from two wounds from a shotgun fired by Lockett.

At his 1999 murder trial both DNA from the dead victim, fingerprints from the duct tape used to bind the victim, and eye witness testimony led to his murder conviction.

In 2000, he was convicted of murder, rape, forcible sodomy, kidnapping, assault and battery and sentenced to death.

He was executed on April 29. As you probably know, his execution didn’t go smoothly.

One of the drugs used in lethal injections, sodium thiopental, is in short supply. The EU has banned the export of this drug for purposes of lethal injection and the only US company that produced it discontinued doing so in 2011.

Oklahoma tried a different mix of drugs. These drugs had been used successfully by Florida but with different dosages.

Of course, Lockett wasn’t exactly cooperating; he had to be tasered after cutting himself before the execution. He asked for an expensive last meal, and when that was denied, he refused to eat anything at all. According to the currently available information, they had a hard time finding a suitable vein to give him his lethal injection and it’s possible they were not properly administered. This could be due in part to him being dehydrated.

But in the end, Lockett died within an hour of his schedule execution.

Many have used this situation to call for more restrictions on capital punishment. On May 5, President Obama ordered Attorney General Eric Holder to “review the application of the death penalty” in the US. He called what happened in our state “deeply disturbing.” He spoke of racial bias and exculpatory evidence. What’s deeply disturbing is his willingness to use this incident as an opportunity to lash out against capital punishment.

The Lockett conviction had nothing to do with his race and his guilt was clearly determined. Obama is more concerned with his liberal agenda and disseminating propaganda than having justice for Stephanie Neiman served and is shameless in exploiting this incident for his political gain.

We could get into a lengthy discussion about the merits of capital punishment in society. Typically people come down to whether or not the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder or whether or not it is justice served. And those are interesting and valid points.

But,

God’s word is my final authority, so I’d like to talk about the Death Penalty for Murder out of the Bible.

Most people think of the death penalty being the “eye for eye” part of the Bible. In the Law of Moses.

Ex 21:24Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

But actually, the Death Penalty for murder was codified when Noah and his family stepped off the Ark hundreds of years before that.

Ge 9:6Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

This makes the penalty for murder a divine decree.

It also gives the divine reason for this penalty, which transcends any earthly reasoning we could give.

It is because man is made in God’s image.

Ge 1:26“likeness”

Jas 3:9Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.

God abhors the unjustified bloodshed of the human race so much that even animals are to be put to death when they kill a man:

Ex 21:28-29If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit. 29 But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death.

And even the owner is responsible as a murderer if he was wilfully negligent.

Virtually every civil society in history has had the death penalty, but as our cultures have embraced secularism and atheism en masse, the death penalty has been steadily done away with.

There are about 200 countries in the world. The UN recognizes 195 “independent states.” Of those 195, 100 of them have outright abolished capital punishment, and another 48 of them allow it by law but have not used it for more than 10 years. 7 more countries allow the death penalty only in exceptional circumstances such as certain crimes committed during a time of war. Only 40 of those 195 countries still practice capital punishment. That’s about 20%.

Europe: Only one European country, Belarus, is still using capital punishment. That is one country out of 49.

In 2012 there were less than 3000 [only 2678] legal executions in the world. China accounts for approx. 2000 of those.

These statistics come from articles on Wikipedia.

Even in our country where it is still the law, it is rarely used.

Out of our 50 states the death penalty is illegal in 18 states.

In 2010 there were 3,108 convicted criminals on death row and there were only 39 executions. That’s less than 2%. Compare that with 14,772 murders in the same year.

Ge 9:6Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

Evolution has taught us that we are not created in God’s image. If we understand the Scriptural reason for capital punishment we should not be surprised that as cultures abandon even the basic belief in Creation they will turn against this just law and even begin to believe it is immoral to have it.

Isa 5:20Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

It is not good to withhold the justice of capital punishment when God has decreed it to be so. It is actually evil, and modern culture calls this evil good.

If you want to see more of this you can look up the Deaith Penalty Information Center. Their website is devoted to making people think God’s decree about capital punishment is wrong and evil. People need to be careful when they decide to call God’s decrees immoral.

Shouldn’t this have gone out with the law of Moses?

Well it is part of the law of Moses,

The Bible shows a high standard of evidence required for administering the death penalty

De 17:6-7At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. 7 The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you.

I don’t believe we live under the law of Moses, but I do believe we can learn from it. God wants people who serve him to put away evildoers from among them. The death penalty still serves as a means of putting the worst offenders in our society away from us, and you don’t need to be a Christian to benefit from that.

But We’re under grace now, we should forgive, right? No more of this eye for eye stuff?

Note that Ge 9 is hundreds of years before God gave Moses the Law.

And besides that, the stated reason for capital punishment has not changed: we are still a race made in the image of God.

We know what the legal definition of murder is, but: Murder is emulation of Satan

Satan was a murderer from the beginning

Joh 8:44Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Shouldn’t Christians seek to abolish the death penalty?

Paul didn’t (cite the situation, Ac 25:11)

He trusted the Roman system of justice to properly adjudicate the matter. Verse 16 shows their standards.

Ac 26:10 – Paul admits some were put to death unjustly, but still never suggests the penalty itself is unjust.

While we are under grace and should not seek an “eye for an eye,” the just administration of capital punishment is still the purview of a civil government. (Ro 13:4)

Optional section

Capital Punishment for Causing Miscarriage

Ex 21:22-25If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. 23 And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, 24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

Note that:

–         Fruit is a child.
Ps 127:3Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

–         No mischief follow = nobody dies, including the child. Premature birth

–         Mischief follow = either the woman or the child dies. Miscarriage caused by the men striving.

–         (Non-lethal harm is described in verses 18-19 and referenced again here in verse 22)

What wickedness when our culture makes a virtue out of something God hates so much!

Bible Codes: Are Scripture-based word find puzzles real?

By Brandon Staggs

There seems to be no end to the clamoring for “hidden evidence” of the veracity of the Bible. So-called Bible Codes are one manifestation of the human interest in the “hidden” and “secret.” There is an endless supply of modern-day, self-proclaimed prophets who claim to have unlocked secrets in the Bible with the application of mathematical and statistical analysis of Scripture text. All you have to do is buy their books, and suddenly, God’s secrets are yours.

The real question for a Christian believer is whether or not there is any Scriptural support for hidden messages in the Bible that can only be discovered with computers, but I’ll get to that in a moment. First let’s examine what these Bible codes are, how subjective they are, and whether or not they actually produce accurate predictions of future events.

Equidistant Letter Sequence (ELS). This is a fancy term for finding words by picking an arbitrary starting letter, counting ahead by an arbitrary number, and repeating the process until you’ve found some words. All sorts of “hidden messages” can be found with this method, because the person designing the code system is free to align the letters in any manner they wish (why a 20 column grid instead of a 21 column grid?) and skip ahead any count of letters they like (why three and not four letters?). The proofs for the validity of an ELS system can be persuasive if you don’t bear these facts in mind: the system can be continually tweaked until the desired outcome is achieved.

The hidden picture codes. One type of “code system” is the “picture Bible code,” where one is supposed to be able to see prophetic images by “connecting the dots” between Hebrew letters to form pictures. The obvious problem with this system is that it is visually subjective. Our brains are designed to find shapes in what we see. Cloud-watching is all about imagining form where none exists. People claimed to be able to recognize faces in the smoke of the World Trade Center fire and collapse. Mary-worship is replete with people finding forms in tortillas, grilled cheese sandwiches, and dirt. Further, as with ELS, who says how the words are to be organized? Why 10 columns of letters and not 11? And why connect in a circular pattern to form a head instead of a polygonal pattern? Unless, of course, you are just seeking for what you’ve already decided must be there: a head.

Problems with any Bible code system:

Which text? Ah, one of my favorite questions to ask someone who knows “the original language text” of the Bible. Which one? Do you start with the Ben Chayyim Hebrew text or the Ben Asher Hebrew text of the Old Testament? Do you use the King James Version in English, or find some other translation that gets you the results you’re looking for? If you’re working in Greek, which of the many different Greek texts do you use to base your work on? Whichever one you can find a code in, of course!

Subjectivity: As we saw with the picture code method, there is a high level of subjectivity involved in interpreting Bible codes. There is no getting around the fact that “finding” a Bible code message involves completely arbitrary choices.

Prophetic error: Do these Bible codes even yield actionable information? Not really. The “prophesies” found within these Bible codes are either conveniently already fulfilled, or when the “code prophet” actually does go out on a limb and make a prediction of significance, they are found wrong. For example, Tom Mack, a Bible “coder,” predicted that Al Gore would be installed as president of the United States. When that didn’t happen, Mack revised his prophetic algorithm to prove that the Bible actually predicted Bush’s presidency. There are numerous examples of Bible code proponents getting it wrong on prophecy, and I don’t see any need to line them all up now.

By the way, how many incorrect predictions can a prophet make? Biblical answer: none.

De 18:21-22  And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

The Bible has a “one strike and your out” policy for prophets. If this rule is applied to Bible coders, they should all be ignored.

But what about the Scripture itself?

Here we come to the real bottom line for Bible believers. Does Scripture allow for the teaching that there are all sorts of encrypted messages in the Bible that can be revealed to us with computers and mathematical equations?

Hidden sequences are inconsistent with Biblical principles of God’s word.

De 30:11-12  For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?

De 29:29  The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.

Isa 45:19  I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.

God’s word is meant for us to live on. How can we do that if it is only in secret codes that we can obtain the full revelation of God?

Mt 4:4  Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Conclusion

An examination of Scripture itself — not hidden strings of letters derived from it — shows us that there is no need to seek answers with fancy algorithms, picture codes, or ELSes. There are certainly as yet not understood aspects of God’s mind as revealed in the Bible, but understanding of these truths will come from study and enlightenment from the Holy Spirit.

2Ti 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

1Jo 2:20  But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.

I’ve often received requests from users and prospective users of my Bible study software to add “code tools,” but I’ve never been interested in doing so. Finding secret messages should be left to characters like Ralphie Parker with his Secret Decoder Ring in A Christmas Story, or Nicholas Cage with his special Ben Franklin glasses in National Treasure. Students of the Bible must instead focus on studying the actual text of Scripture with the guidance and illumination of the Holy Spirit, instead of using Scripture as a basis for a word find puzzle.

 

Biblical Reasons to Homeschool

Offered here are just a handful of verses from God’s word which apply to raising, training, and educating children. There are hundreds of reasons to reject the usage of the government education system, including social, moral, academic, ethical, political, and “religious” reasons. For a Christian, especially a Christian who values the authority of Scripture, God’s own words on the matter should settle the issue. So here we attempt to explain a conviction we have through the only objective way possible: Holy Scripture.

-Brandon and Rebekah Staggs

Update, Dec 2005: I’m removing the most commentary from this text. Some people have responded to this article by latching on to, and complaining about, phrases I used, rather than paying attention to the precepts I was expounding on. So I think perhaps it is better to simply quote Scripture and let people do as they wish with that information. I’m still leaving in enough commentary so that you can see “where I am going” with the quotes. -Brandon

God gave you children as a steward and gave you the authority over them:

Ps 127:3-5 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

Ge 33:5 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? And he said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant.

Ge 48:8-9 And Israel beheld Joseph’s sons, and said, Who are these? And Joseph said unto his father, They are my sons, whom God hath given me in this place. And he said, Bring them, I pray thee, unto me, and I will bless them.

Isa 8:18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.

Heb 2:13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.

On rendering to GOD’S what is GOD’S:

Mt 22:21 They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

(People tend to ignore the latter portion of the verse. Our children are not Caesar’s!) Children belong to God:

Eze 16:20-21 Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter, That thou hast slain my children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them?

God’s commandments to us regarding our stewardship of the children He has given us include:

Eph 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.De 6:6-9 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

Pr 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

2Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

How someone thinks in their heart is what makes them. How do children learn to think of the world, of God and His creation, in school?

Isa 54:13 And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

Jer 10:2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.

Mt 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

Again, a child’s mind is trained in school.

Ro 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Pr 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Does a child receive this kind of training in public school?

Pr 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

Does a child “walk with wise men” in public school?

1Co 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

That’s communications as in “community.” Is it a good idea to put children in that situation?

Jas 3:13-18 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Mt 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Ps 119:97-104 MEM. O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me. How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.

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Dr. Ruckman Kindle Books

Dr. Ruckman was a pastor, artist, writer and defender of the King James Bible.  He went to be with the Lord on April 21, 2016.  Of all the King James Bible defenders Dr. Ruckman is by far the most controversial.  At the same time his controversial nature has brought much needed attention to the King James Bible issue.  Dr. Ruckman has been accused of being caustic in his writings attacking those that attack the King James Bible.  He names names of those that make their living from pretending to be Bible believers.  He is confrontational.  He is direct.  He tells you what he thinks.  He does not hold back.  Their is no guessing what he means.  If you want it hard and straight on the King James Bible issue, then you can select Dr. Ruckman’s books below to purchase from the Amazon links.

Why I Believe the King James Bible is the Word of God

The Professional Liars in Action

The Christian’s Handbook of Biblical Scholarship

About the New King James Bible

Custer’s Last Stand or The Scholarship of Bob Jones University

Satan’s Master Piece the New ASV

The “Errors” in the King James Bible

King James Onlyism versus Scholarship Onlyism

The Christian Liar’s Library

The NIV an in depth Documentation in Apostasy

The Christian’s Handbook of Manuscript Evidence

How to teach the “Original” Greek

Differences in the King James Version Editions

Bible Babel

The Mythological Septuagint

 

Happy Anniversary, KJV

Alexandrian Cult Series