Awesome Hands – Part 150: “The mouth of two”

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Awesome Hands – part 150

“The mouth of two”

March 2, 2019

Our study for this evening finds us reviewing a few concepts which I am sure all of us have or will encounter in our Christian walks. At first glance, these topics may not seem applicable in the 21st century, but the spiritual concepts behind them are applicable in any age.

The first set of verses are found in Deuteronomy 17.

Deu 17:1  Thou shalt not sacrifice unto the LORD thy God any bullock, or sheep, wherein is blemish, or any evilfavouredness: for that is an abomination unto the LORD thy God.
Deu 17:2  If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant,
Deu 17:3  And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded;
Deu 17:4  And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel:
Deu 17:5  Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.
Deu 17:6  At 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.
Deu 17:7  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.

It should be apparent that worshiping or serving other gods is a bad thing with the Lord. In fact, the person found doing so was to be put to death.

However, the focus of this set of verses is on the witnesses that finds or hears of a fellow Israelite doing this.

It was very important that someone found to be worshiping other gods within the gates of Israel, who was transgressing the covenant with the Lord, be found out and dealt with. Equally as important was that this issue had to be diligently pursued because the death penalty was involved.

When a person was found to be partaking in such activity, a second or third witness had to know of this in order for it to be brought to the judges. Bringing a false accusation out of the mouth of only one person was never enough. There must be a second witness minimally.

Afterward, the witness must be the first person to put their hands on this person to bring them to justice, and then everyone else could participate. Stoning was the way death was to be carried out.

All of these steps were necessary to deal with abomination that required the death penalty.

Then what is the first lesson which must be applied in order to follow these same steps in the new testament?

Mat 18:15  Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
Mat 18:16  But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

Everything that the Lord is doing must be established by two or three witnesses because that is the way the Lord has set up creation.

God the Father could have easily just created everything, but He created Jesus Christ first.

Rev 3:14  And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

By creating Jesus, God has a witness to what is happening. If this is how the creator decided to do things from the very foundation of everything, then it must be important that we get this concept right.

Stoning was the method used to kill those who brought the abomination of worshipping other gods into Israel. Stones are very significant when you connect the idea behind “out of the mouth of two or three witnesses EVERY WORD may be established.”

Jacob used stones to make various altars to the Lord. The ten commandments were written on tables of stone. Goliath was taken down with a stone. Stones were used to cut off the river Jordan for the crossing of the Israelites. Stones were used as boundary markers for land, for writing the names of the tribes of Israelites upon, to be part of the high priest’s garments, etc.

Stones are important markers to the Lord. This is because the Lord Himself is THAT STONE which we reference.

Mat 21:42  Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
Mat 21:43  Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
Mat 21:44  And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

Rev 2:17  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

Stoning someone to death should not be taken lightly. We don’t generally see people being stoned to death today, but it does happen in the news from time to time in cultures which still hold onto this form of the death penalty.

What we do see much more is stoning to death in the spirit. All this means is that the Word of God is the stone which is cast at those who are being cut off from His people, but this process is not to be taken lightly or looked upon casually.

The Lord requires us to be diligent because this topic is one which we must be certain how to handle. In our lives today, we are not going to be simply seeing who is worshiping the sun, moon and stars within our midst.

What we will see are various forms of god worship being taught as if it is worshiping the Lord. This is what we must be diligent to guard against. We will continue to look at this as we progress through the rest of this study.

It may come as a shock to some, but we are all human. We all make mistakes in actions and mistakes in our judgments. When these things happen, we must have fail-safes in place which allow us to recover peaceably in these cases.

An example of this thought process can be found in our next set of verses.

Deu 19:1  When the LORD thy God hath cut off the nations, whose land the LORD thy God giveth thee, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their cities, and in their houses;
Deu 19:2  Thou shalt separate three cities for thee in the midst of thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it.
Deu 19:3  Thou shalt prepare thee a way, and divide the coasts of thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee to inherit, into three parts, that every slayer may flee thither.
Deu 19:4  And this is the case of the slayer, which shall flee thither, that he may live: Whoso killeth his neighbour ignorantly, whom he hated not in time past;
Deu 19:5  As when a man goeth into the wood with his neighbour to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and lighteth upon his neighbour, that he die; he shall flee unto one of those cities, and live:
Deu 19:6  Lest the avenger of the blood pursue the slayer, while his heart is hot, and overtake him, because the way is long, and slay him; whereas he was not worthy of death, inasmuch as he hated him not in time past.
Deu 19:7  Wherefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt separate three cities for thee.

This example of the slayer is a perfect example of a situation that requires diligent judgment concerning a matter that could be looked upon the wrong way, especially when all of the details are not known.

The situation is that one person is dead, but it was an accident. However, the person who may not be able to see it this way, because “their blood is hot”, will not be willing to wait upon proper judgment because they have already judged the matter.

So, the Lord has created cities of refuge to which the slayer of the dead can run for safety until the matter is judged.

If, as a people, we adhere to these proper ways of understanding and judgment, and walk in the ways of the Lord, He promises to continue to bless us to be able to do more of the same.

Deu 19:8  And if the LORD thy God enlarge thy coast, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, and give thee all the land which he promised to give unto thy fathers;
Deu 19:9  If thou shalt keep all these commandments to do them, which I command thee this day, to love the LORD thy God, and to walk ever in his ways; then shalt thou add three cities more for thee, beside these three:
Deu 19:10  That innocent blood be not shed in thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and so blood be upon thee.
Deu 19:11  But if any man hate his neighbour, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him mortally that he die, and fleeth into one of these cities:
Deu 19:12  Then the elders of his city shall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die.
Deu 19:13  Thine eye shall not pity him, but thou shalt put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with thee.

The Lord gives us plenty of examples of how to judge matters properly, and the judgment comes from using the Word of God properly.

The very act of looking upon the Word of God for guidance requires that the judges of these things must themselves be looking into the Word of God for two or three witnesses in all matters.

Establishing doctrine based on one verse alone will never work because this is contrary to how the Lord has set up all of creation.

Therefore, when we are judging matters within ourselves, within others or within the body as a whole, we must rely on the Word of God properly divided to help us judge matters for what they are.

When comparing the ways things were done in the old testament versus how we are to handle them today, the example is there for us to apply if we are conscious to what to do.

For example, let’s look at these verses again and see if we can glean anything significant from them:

Deu 17:2  If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant,
Deu 17:3  And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded;

There are certain situations that may be hard to judge due to a lack of details.

For example, when someone comes to us for advice, they probably will hold back the most embarrassing details of a situation because they are embarrassed. They may hold back details because they are trying to judge things on their own, but don’t want to give all of the details for various reasons.

In contrast to that, maybe we hear of someone in the fellowship who is partaking in things we believe are not becoming of a Christian in some way. What should we do in that situation?

Did you notice that God specifically mentions “transgressing His covenant” in the verse above? There are specific situations that REQUIRE specific actions, but those sorts of things are always easy to spot. Otherwise, we may not have specific guidance on what we are to do.

Another example can be found in some familiar verses to us:

Mat 18:15  Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
Mat 18:16  But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

“If your brother shall trespass AGAINST THEE …..” is a specific situation. Your brother has trespasses against you and you KNOW the details. In this situation you are given directions on how to solve this issue. You go to your brother ALONE.

This is equivalent to diligently searching a matter out and being certain on the topic at hand. Maybe a brother didn’t know how they trespassed against you or that they even did. Maybe they did know they did this action and that it was a sin against you.

Going to them alone will reveal these details. When the details are known, then the situation can be talked about and a conclusion made. If the conclusion results in needing more judgment to take place, then you go and take another one or two with you.

There is safety in doing these things properly and not offending the Word of God or offending with Word of God.

If I merely hear rumors and think I have the whole story on a situation, which has nothing to do with me, then I am inviting a world of pain into my spiritual household if I take actions on something that has nothing to do with me personally.

Overseers of the flock certainly have a somewhat different role in various matters because matters are usually brought forth to be judged. In these cases, judgment can be made without personal involvement because that is the point of having arbitrators to help in various situations.

The focus of this study is to continue to help us all think clearly on when to act and not act in various situations in which we may find ourselves.

Praying to the Lord to help guide us on how to make decisions is always a great place to start. When we need to move toward taking additional steps, the Lord does give us various guidances throughout the Word of God.

When we are unsure what the Word of God might contain on a various topic, the Lord has providers helpers so help us go in the “Way” in which we should go.

I will finish with a few Psalms which help me personally follow a set of steps which the Lord inspired king David to pen. These “steps” as I call them are very good at helping guide me in the way I should go.

Psa 32:5  I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
Psa 32:6  For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.
Psa 32:7  Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.
Psa 32:8  I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
Psa 32:9  Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.
Psa 32:10  Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.

  1. Confess and acknowledge who you are and what you have done. The Lord will know the sincerity of your acknowledgement.
  2. Pray.
  3. Hide in the Lord, rest in the refuge of being still and knowing that you know Him. Believe in your deliverance.
  4. Believe you are in the path and on the way which you must go because the Lord is guiding you.
  5. Know that the Lord has given you understanding in Him, and do not listen to that old serpent which will try to strip away your confidence in simple belief that you are the Lord’s. Trust in the Lord always.

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