The Biblical Examiner
An Examination of Biblical Precepts Involved in Issues at Hand

November 1995

                                                                     
  • Contents

  • 1) Against Theft
    2) Bondmen—Freemen
    3) The "Goel"
    4) Love and Hate (Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin?)
    5) Gaining From Losing

                                                                         
  • Against Theft

  • This pastor recently heard a tape on which Dr. Rushdoony stated that of the several books he had written, the least popular books were, "Tithing and Dominion," and "The Roots of Inflation," books dealing with finances. Christians do not want to hear about their financial responsibilities to God.

  • The god Mammon

    Therefore, a word of warning to those who worship mammon, viz. the following deals with some financial precepts established in the Law of the Lord for God's people, maybe in a little different light than has been previously considered.

    The book of Leviticus contains some very practical applications of the commandments as given by the Lord through Moses in Exodus. Leviticus also gives various laws for atonement and "restitution" as required when one sinned against the Lord, viz. specific sacrifices and offerings. Though the sacrifices and offerings pointed to the future coming work of Christ for His people and were ALL fulfilled in Christ, the specific moral sins mentioned are still sin, 1 John 3:4.

    Lev 5:14-16, deals with the tithe, the priest's portion: "As touching the firstfruits or tithes, due to the Priests and Levites." [Geneva] The tribe of Levi was given for its support in Canaan not land, but the Lord's portion, viz. the tithes and offerings of God's people. After the Lord's required portion was removed from the people's payment to the Lord, the remainder belonged to those whose occupation and calling was the Lord's service. The Lord's command was clearly given several times concerning the Levites portion, Nu 18:20. [v. 21 And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.], Deut 18:1. The Levites could purchase property, but in Canaan's division, they had no portion other than ten percent of all Israel's increase, e.g. Jer 32:9. Levi's income, hence, was determined by the faithfulness of God's people, and there was no human authority (no union nor church discipline) to see that Levi received what God gave him.

  • in the holy things of the Lord.

    Lev 5:15, yhe tithe and priest's portion belonged to the Lord whether the individual gave it or not. If he kept it for himself, he kept the Lord's holy thing. V. 15 (If a soul commit a trespass, and sin through ignorance) assumes a person inadvertently failed to give all that belonged to the Lord to the Lord, e.g. maybe he did not realize it belonged to the Lord. Realizing his error, the sinner first made restitution by bringing the Lord's portion plus 20% to the priest - and we think man's interest rate is high! The sinner also brought a ram for his trespass offering. The priest made the offering of the ram, and the sin of fraud against the Lord was forgiven after restitution was made.

    Lev 6:1-7, one man defrauds another. The amount of restitution was the same as when a man defrauded the Lord - principle plus 20% given to the one defrauded. The sinner also brought the required offering to the Lord for his trespass against his neighbour, v. 6. (Compare 5:6 with 6:6.)

    It is surprising how many times the Lord makes the point that the holy thing, i.e. the tithes and offerings, belongs to those who are called to labour in God's Law-Word and service. [This pastor hesitates to use the term, "Full time service," for every Christian should be in "full time service" to the Lord, or he is in sin.]

    Lev 22:14, those who ate of the holy thing unwittingly (through ignorance, error or inadvertently) were considered thieves. The thief had to make restitution according to the law of restitution for theft: He had to add a fifth part (20%) to a like amount of what he ate, and return the total to the priest. Fifth part was the "interest" paid for a tithe that had been withheld from the Lord, and it was the amount of "interest" required to be added to what was stolen when the thief made restitution.

    The meat (the holy thing) belonged to God first, then it belonged to the priest. If one even mistakenly used the holy thing for personal use, it was considered theft from the priest to whom it belonged: It was given for the support of him and his family. Thus withholding or misusing the Lord's portion - tithes and offerings, the holy thing was considered by the Word of God theft from the Levites, the priests. As one reads the laws concerning the holy thing, he will no doubt be surprised at the Lord's firmness concerning to whom the holy thing belonged, and the laws given to enforce that ownership. Those laws clearly said that the holy thing belonged to those who served God in the temple and in training God's people in the Word of God.

    Judges chapter 17 records a Levite who went to work for Micah in service to Micah's false gods. The apparent reason the Levite had departed from the city of Bethlehemjudah was because Israel had departed from its King, and was doing that which was right in his own eyes, v. 6. The result was that the Levite, to whom God had given support from the tithes and offerings, had no support, so he went out looking for a job, v. 9. The question is raised: Whose fault was it that the Levite went to work for Micah in Micah's service to the false god? Clearly, the Levite was personally responsible for the decision, but was he driven to the decision by Israel's departure from his King? Moreover, if the Levite[s] had taught the Word of the Lord to Israel better, would Israel have departed from His King? The point, however, is that the Levite was forced to take a "secular" job because of unfaithfulness on the part of those professing to be God's people, Israel. How many good pastors are forced into similar situations today?

    Summarizing the Lord's claim upon the holy thing at the end of the Old Testament, the Lord speaks the harsh words of Malachi 3:8ff.; though a well-worn and often misused and abused passage, it is one of the contexts for stealing. There the Lord lays claim to the tithe, calling all who fail to give the holy thing to Him thieves: Ye have robbed me in tithes and offerings.

    Thus one readily understands why Antinomianism (belief that the laws and precepts found in the Old Testament no longer apply) has such wide appeal: Antinomianism permits one to be guided by his/her conscience (fallen we must add) and pocketbook. Follow the money trail, and you will find the culprit, 1 Tim 6:10. Covetousness formulates a vast amount of theology.

    To sum up the doctrine of Christian freedom as opposed to Antinomianism, we may say that Christ does not free us, as the Antinomian believes, from he law as a rule of life. But he does free us (1) from the law as a system of curse and penalty; this he does by bearing the curse and penalty himself. Christ frees us (2) from the law with its claims as a method of salvation; this he does by making his obedience and merits ours. Christ frees us (3) from the law as an outward and foreign compulsion; this he does by giving to us the spirit of obedience and sonship, by which the law is progressively realized within. [Systematic Theology, by Baptist minister and theologian, Agustus Hopkins Strong (1836-1921. Among many things, 40 year president of Rochester Theological Seminary), p 876, ©1907.]

    Note (3): If one only obeys God's laws because of "outward and foreign compulsion," then he has not the marks of "the spirit of obedience and sonship."

  • The Freewill Offering

    Before moving to the New Testament, there is an interesting observation to be made from the context of Lev 22, viz. evidently, neither the building nor the upkeep of the house of God came from the holy things of the Lord in Lev 5:15, for the law of the freewill offering (Lev 22:18) follows the law of the holy thing, Lev 22:15. The freewill offering, over and above the required tithes, was used the first time to build the tabernacle, Ex 35:29; thereafter, it was used to maintain the tabernacle. Thus the house of the Lord and its maintenance did not come out of the holy things of the Lord, belonging to the tribe of Levi. The tabernacle was not only built under Moses with the freewill offering, but the temple was built under Solomon with personal funds, repaired under Jehoiada with the freewill offering, 2 Kings 12:9, and rebuilt under Ezra with the freewill offering, Ezr 1:4; 3:5; 7:16, &c. If people freely gave to the upkeep of the Lord's physical property over and above the required tithe under the law of Moses, how much more freely should they give under the law of Christ, 2 Cor 9:7?

    [This pastor knows of a main-line church currently growing by "leaps and bounds," and is involved in quite an extensive building program financed with a bond issue. This pastor has been told that if the people do not give regularly to that church, they are removed from it within a very short time. Moreover, the people's eternal security is closely connected with their willingness to give. Was this not the Lord's charge against Israel's religious leaders through both Isaiah and Jeremiah, e.g. Isa 3:14; Jer 50:6, &c.? They viewed the flock as present for their own personal well-being. We will have to admit, though, that many of us pastors are quite tempted at times to make financial support a little closer connected with "salvation."]

    There are two more short points worth mentioning about the freewill offering: First, there were at least two distinct freewill offerings mentioned in Lev 22, for v. 29 opens with, And when...; second, an imperfect offering could be given as a freewill offering, but the imperfection had to be a birth "defect," not something developed after birth. Comp vv. 22, 23 & 24. An application is that a factory "defective" item can be given to the Lord, but not something worn out by use.

    Clearly, we are told that the specific laws pointing to the work of Christ, e.g. the meat offerings and such, were fulfilled and done away with in Christ, Col 2:13, 1 Cor 5:7, &c. But if Old Testament laws are not specifically removed by the Word of God, they are still in effect, Rom 13:8ff. The Old Testament books of the law (Ex-Deut) expand on and apply the commandments reemphasized by Paul in Rom 13. (This pastor finds it interesting that many who say, "We are under grace, not under law," and that only Paul's writings apply for the "Church Age," avoid Rom 13:8.)

    Paul clearly reinforced the Ten Commandments, including, Thou shalt not steal, Rom 13:9. Since stealing is an Old Testament term, it is defined by its Old Testament contexts. The contexts we are presently concerned with are those dealing with giving the Lord's portion to its proper owner- as seen above. The Lord's portion, i.e. the holy thing, specifically belonged to the Lord, and those who laboured in the Word and service of the Lord were supported by it.

    Paul made a special point of bringing the law concerning the support of the tribe of Levi with the holy thing forward into the New Testament church, applying it to those whose callings and occupations are in the work and Word of God, 1 Cor 9:13:

    Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live [of the things] of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?

    Consequently, according to St. Paul's words, those who do not give the Lord His portion, the holy thing, not only steal from the Lord, but they steal from those who have been given (by God's Word we must say) that portion for their livelihoods. It is a hard saying, but the non-tither not only steals from God, but he steals from those whom God has ordained to live by the holy thing.

    Lev 22:16, the Lord concludes this section with a warning not to take the above requirements lightly: "for I the LORD do sanctify them; both the priests, to whom the holy things belong, and the holy things for their use, and the use of their families, and them only.- [John Gill.]

    Accordingly, the Lord is the One Who establishes the "code of conduct" for His people, both the average Christian and those ordained by Him into the service of His Word and work. He sets the penalty for violating His standards. Furthermore, the Word of God gives no human power to enforce His laws concerning the holy thing, but Hebrews 10 presents a very unpleasant picture for those who ignore God's Word in the mammon area, and, for that matter, other areas also.

  • Conclusion:

    1) the "payment for atonement and forgiveness" for sin against one's neighbour is the same "payment" for sin against the Lord with the holy thing: They are both sins against the Lord, Lev 5:14-16, 6:2.

    2) the sin listed first is, therefore, the more important: the sin against the Lord in the holy things, Lev 5:15. Fallen man, however, reverse the order, and feels it a far greater sin to steal from one's neighbour than to steal the Lord's portion from Him. The Lord tells us that both thefts are equally bad, requiring the same offering for atonement. Theft from Him, however, is worse because it is listed first.

    3) only the Lord can (and He will) "reward" the first theft from Himself and from those He ordained to labour in His Word and service, but the second theft from one's neighbour is enforced by man's authority.

    4) Heb 7:25, we have continual forgiveness of sin through the Lord Jesus Christ- He made atonement to the Holy Heavenly Father for the sins of His people, 1 John 1:9, Pro 28:13, 14. But the Lord in His atoning work did not make the restitution to God and to man for theft: If either and/or both are defrauded, the stolen amount must still be returned with the fifth part added.

    Theft of the holy thing was theft not only from the Lord, but it was also theft from those to whom it was given for support of themselves and their families. [See Lev 23:18-22 - note the priest's income & responsibility to the needy; 2 Cor 9:5-12 & Eph 4:28 - —note v. 28's context, vv. 20-32, and the responsibility to the needy. Do we steal from the needy?]

    Moreover, building and maintaining the house of the Lord in the Old Testament did not come out of the holy thing, for that belonged to those who laboured in the Word of God.

    1 Tim 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

                                                                         
  • Bondmen—Freemen

  • Rigourous Service

    In Leviticus 25, the Lord gives Moses various and sundry laws of liberty, e.g. the sabbath looked forward to the liberty as would be found in Christ, the jubile - which kept people free from debt, and the laws of redemption. Furthermore, the laws found in this chapter prevented one Israelite from oppressing another by debt or by ruling rigorously over his brother. This chapter, therefore, tells us why those in authority (occupation, civil, &c.) are so oppressive, demanding rigourous service from those under them. Moreover, it gives man the answer to the problem.

    This chapter, additionally, tells us the poor will always be with us, requiring continued social spending. Poverty was/is not to be a normal way of life, but it is an obvious fact of life. Thus the Law of the Lord made provisions for the poor both before and after Christ, e.g. Gal 2:10, Eph 4:28, James 2, &c. If God's people would reassume their responsibilities for social spending, one of the most powerful arms of the state would be cut off.

    Interestingly, Lev 25:36, 37, forbad taking usury from the poor brother, yet makes no mention of taking usury from those outside Israel nor from Israelites who were not poor. In other words, if the Israelite was controlled by a covetous spirit demanding "consumer goods" beyond his ability to pay cash, then he could be charged usury: He was in bondage to his covetousness, and freedom from usury could not solve his bondage problem. This Law of the Lord concerning covetousness and debt is also given to the New Testament church, Luke 12:15; Rom 1:29; 13:8; Eph 5:3; Phil 4:11; Col 3:5; 1 Tim 6:8; Heb 13:5; 2 Pet 2:3 (how can the false prophets make merchandise of those not controlled by covetousness?), &c. Who can complain about confiscatory usury if he borrowed to satisfy his own lusts? No one forced him to borrow, and, therefore, pay usury. Would not the phrase, he shall bear his sin (Lev 24:15, &c.) apply to those forced into usury bondage by their own lusts? The poor, however, forced by uncontrollable circumstances to borrow were not to be charged usury: It was outlawed.

    The Lord "lays down the law" concerning Israelites forced by poverty to sell themselves into bondage to other Israelites, vv. 39ff.: The "purchased" Israelite could not be treated as a bondservant; rather, he had to be treated as an employee. Vv. 43ff., the Law of the Lord forbad the "buyer" from forcing his "purchased" Israelite "servant" to serve with rigour; however, it gave no such protection to the foreigner. And thus we are presented with some very interesting and applicable precepts from the perfect law of the Lord, the law of liberty:

  • First, though the poor had to sell himself and his family because of poverty beyond his control, he had to be treated with dignity.

  • Second, evidently, the Israelites could "buy and sell people," but not fellow Israelites, v. 44. But before jumping to conclusions, note that if the purchased bondservant converted to Israel's God, he had to be treated as an hired servant, v. 40. Thus if one remained a bondservant who could be forced to serve with rigour, it was his own fault, for he had rejected Israel's God.

    There is a point here that could be overlooked, viz. the one purchasing the heathen would have to consider that the one he is about to purchase would probably not remain a purchased servant for long - maybe only until he learned about the law, v. 44. Among other things, this law would require the owner to treat "his investment" (the non-Israelite bondservant) with great respect. An Israelite working off restitution could be a different matter: He probably could be forced to rigourously work off his debt, for he "sold himself" to sin, and sin is a very hard task master.

  • Third, the ones who could be purchased could not be of the seven nations displaced by Israel, for those nations were to be totally destroyed, v. 45.

  • Fourth, the purchased servant could be left as an inheritance forever. But remember, all the bondmen had to do was convert to Israel's God. Thus they chose to remain in bondage to paganism; they could, accordingly, be treated as bondmen, with rigour. V. 46, the bondmen could be treated as a purchased possession (bought, sold and even left as an inheritance) but a fellow worshiper of Israel's God could not be treated with such impersonal attitudes. Notice also that the freedom of the jubile did not apply to those who remained pagans.

  • Rigour

  • Fifth, Rigour, v. 46 - harshness, severity, cruelty. The word is used in several interesting places. It describes how:

    A) Israel was made to serve in Egypt:

    Ex 1:13 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour: (14) And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, [was] with rigour.

    B) a fellow Israelite must not be treated, which is our text. The Lord made sure this law was understood, adding to vv. 43 & 46, v. 53. Vv. 54, 55, the Lord reminded Israel that they had served with rigour in Egypt, and His bringing them forth from that rigourous service set them free; they were not, consequently, to force one another back into such service. The purchased bondmen, however, did not have the protection against rigourous service.

    C) Israelites were latter treated by their ungodly Israelite leaders.

    Eze 34:4 The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up [that which was] broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.

  • Why

    Why did the Lord permit bondmen to be treated with rigour? Strongly implied is that if they willingly submitted to the rigours of paganism, then they really had no room to complain about being treated with rigour in their daily lives under a master, e.g. Lev 24:15, &c.

  • Sixth, Lev 26 gives an if/then scenario, vv. 3, 4. Vv. 11, 12 are clearly New Testament (New Covenant) verses. V. 13 (vv. 14ff.), gives a purpose in the redemption of God's people, that ye should not be their (the pagan's) bondmen. The Lord places a choice before His people, summed up in the "if/then" scenario, e.g. "If you will claim your freedom from paganism provided in My redemption and walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them, then you will be free men. Otherwise, you will be bondmen, rigourously serving paganism." The choice belongs to His people, and through the ages, they have chosen to be bondmen to paganism.

    Thus we must conclude from Lev 25 that the root of the problem of rigourous service demanded by those in authority (occupational, civil, &c.) is that individuals are committed to paganism, NOT with the authorities who demand rigourous service.

    In passing, Lev 25 can not be construed to support slavery (buying and selling people) as we think of slavery, for these verses clearly say that though purchased, the bondmen did not have to remain in bondage: The Bible bondmen could, upon conversion, become servants of Israel's God and thus free men.

  • Today's Work-Place

    Though workers complain about being treated with disrespect in the work place, this chapter shows us the problem is not with the work- place, i.e. their company is harsh, sever and cruel. [Admittedly, working for a modern corporation is far different than working for individuals of yesterday. The corporation looses its individual servants in its sea of faces, so one becomes simply a number to help make the bottom line look good.] The problem of oppression stems, though, from servants willingly serving paganism.

    We hear reports of forced slave labour, even cruel child labour in several foreign nations, e.g. China, but the same reports never mention that those nations actively persecute those standing for Christ. In other words, proper care for the servant ("worker") is a natural result of Christianity, Pro 12:10. When Christianity is lost, so are the tender mercies of Christianity.

  • Rigourous Service-Its Root

    There are several confirming passages that the root of the problem of rigourous service is services to paganism, not with masters who demand rigourous service. Geneva's 1599 comments on the following verses are extremely applicable:

  • Malachi 1:6

    A son honoureth [his] father, and a servant his master: if then I [be] a father, where [is] mine honour? and if I [be] a master, where [is] my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?

    Besides the rest of the people he mainly condemns the priests, because they should have reproved others for their hypocrisy, and for not yielding to God, and should not have hardened them by their example to do greater evils. He notes their great hypocrisy, who would not see their faults, but most impudently covered them, and so were blind guides.

    The Lord's servants refuse to be the Lord's servants, choosing rather to be bondmen to paganism, yet the same servants complains against human masters who force them to serve with rigour. The Lord expresses amazement over the hypocrisy.

  • Colossians 3:22

    Servants, obey in all things [your] masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: (23) And whatsoever ye do, do [it] heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; (24) Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. (25) But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons. (4:1) Masters, give unto [your] servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.

    V. 22- Of servants, that fearing God himself to whom their obedience is acceptable, they reverently, faithfully, and from the heart, obey their masters. V. 24- Because you will have duly obeyed your masters, the time will come, that you will be changed from servants to sons, and you will know this for certain, which will be when you are made partakers of the heavenly inheritance. V. 25- He requires of masters, that being mindful how they themselves also will render an account before that heavenly Lord and Master, who will avenge wrongful deeds without any respect of masters or servants, they show themselves just and upright with fairness to their servants.

    The following instructions to servants, as was Col 3:22, are given between instructions concerning proper family relationships and instructions to masters.
  • Ephesians 6:5,

    Servants, be obedient to them that are [your] masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; (6) Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; (7) With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: (8) Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether [he be] bond or free.

    V. 5- Now he descends to the third part of a family, that is, to the duty both of the masters and of the servants. And he shows that the duty of servants consists in a hearty love and reverence for their masters. He moderates the sharpness of service, in that they are spiritually free even though they are servants, and yet that spiritual freedom does not take away physical service: insomuch that they cannot be Christ's, unless they serve their masters willingly and faithfully, as much as they may with clear conscience. With careful reverence: for slavish fear is not allowable, much less in Christian servants. V. 6- To cut off occasion of all presences, he teaches us that it is God's will that some are either born or made servants, and therefore they must respect God's will although their service is ever so hard (with rigour, ed). V. 7- Being moved with a reverence for God, as though you served God himself. V. 8- Although they serve unkind and cruel masters (rigourous, ed), yet the obedience of servants is no less acceptable to God, than the obedience of those that are free.

  • 1 Timothy 6:1

    Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and [his] doctrine be not blasphemed. (2) And they that have believing masters, let them not despise [them], because they are brethren; but rather do [them] service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.

    V. 1- He adds also rules for the servant's duty towards their masters: upon which matter there were no doubt many questions asked by those who took occasion by the Gospel to trouble the normal manner of life. And this is the first rule: let servants that have come to the faith and have the unfaithful for their masters, serve them nonetheless with great faithfulness. The reason: lest God should seem by the doctrine of the Gospel to stir up men to rebellion and all wickedness. V. 2- The second rule: let not servants that have come to the faith, and have also masters of the same profession and religion, abuse the name of brotherhood, but let them so much the rather obey them. Let this be sufficient, that with regard to those things which pertain to everlasting life, they are partakers of the same good will and love of God, as their masters themselves are. A general conclusion, that these things ought not only to be simply taught, but must with exhortations be diligently learned by them.

    The following passage in Titus is also given in the context of the family,

  • Titus 2:9,

    [Exhort] servants to be obedient unto their own masters, [and] to please [them] well in all [things]; not answering again; (10) Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.

    V. 9- The seventh admonition, concerning the duty of servants to their masters.(all things) Which may be done without offence to God.

  • Obedience Qualified

    Geneva's note on all things is the Godly view of 1 Pet 2:13 (and Rom 13, &c.), Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man..., as can be done without offence to God. When obedience to men's ordinances offends God, then men's ordinances must be ignored, or God is offended. Woe to those who offend Him, for He is a far more dangerous enemy than any civil government ever dreamed of being.

  • I Peter 2:18

    Servants, [be] subject to [your] masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. (19) For this [is] thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. (20) For what glory [is it], if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer [for it], ye take it patiently, this [is] acceptable with God.

    V. 18- He goes to the duty of servants towards their masters, which he describes with these bounds, that servants submit themselves willingly and not by force, not only to the good and courteous, but also to the perverse and severe (rigourous, ed) matters. V. 19- The taking away of an objection: indeed the condition of servants is hard, especially if they have perverse masters (and, therefore, must serve with rigour, ed), but thus their subjection shall be so much more acceptable to God, if his will prevails more with servants, than the masters wrong treatment. Because he makes a conscience of it, to offend God, by whose good will and appointment he knows this burden is laid upon him.

    Our last reference passage will draw our conclusion, 1 Pet 3:1,

    Likewise, ye wives, [be] in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; (2) While they behold your chaste conversation [coupled] with fear. (3) Whose adorning let it not be that outward [adorning] of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; (4) But [let it be] the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, [even the ornament] of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

    V. 1- In the third place he sets forth the wives' duties to their husbands, commanding them to be obedient. He speaks namely of those who had husbands who were not Christians, who ought so much the more be subject to their husbands, that by their honest and chaste conversation, they may win them to the Lord. V. 4- Who has his abiding place fastened in the heart: so that the hidden man is set against the outward adorning of the body. Precious indeed and so taken of God.

    All the above passages spoke FIRST to the one under authority, the servant, who is at times forced to serve rigourously. Then 1 Pet 3 tells us that God uses the one under authority to win the one in authority when the "servant" follows the Law of the Lord in word, thought and deed. Obviously, Peter does not override God's command that the child of God avoid close relationships with the unconverted- especially in marriage, 2 Cor 6:14.

  • Failed

    Based, consequently, upon the Law of the Lord in Lev 25, though no doubt unions started with good intentions to protect the servant from the master's harsh, sever and cruel actions, the unions replaced Godly action on the part of the servants, viz. the demanded rigourous service was/is the call for the servants to convert to Israel's God, the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus the union movement has failed miserably to protect the servants from the employer's harshness, severity and cruelty. Unionization of the servants did not change the attitudes and actions of the masters. Actually, the actions of the servants made the masters more oppressive. A result of the servants' refusal to repent and be converted has been NAFTA, and the mass exodus of good, highly paid jobs to other countries.

    1 Timothy 6:3-5, explicitly tells us that those who teach contrary to the Biblical servant/master relationship (those who offer another answer than conversion to Biblical Christianity) are proud, perverse men of corrupt minds who are destitute of the truth.

    Lev 25 tells us that the harsh rigours of masters toward servants is God's call for the bondmen to paganism to repent and be converted to the Israel's God. If the non-Israelites willingly stayed under pagan bondage, they had not God's law with them to protect against the rigourous treatment from their authorities; in fact, God's law did not forbid His people from treating the pagan bondmen with rigour protection applied here only to the Israelite brother.

    Only upon genuine conversion of spirit and actions can the Lord God work in the hearts of the masters. The New Testament shows us that God commands those under authority first- the servants; then He works His way up to the masters as the servants do what they have been commanded.

    Those in rigourous bondage to paganism have no cause for complaint against rigourous bondage in the work-place; rather, they have only more rigourous bondage ahead.

    We may thus draw this conclusion: If America society continues its departure from Biblical Christianity, rigourous service will continue to increase, and the exodus of highly paid, skilled jobs will continue. The American work-place, and thus living conditions, will be little better than China's.

  • America's Hope

    Rigourous job requirements are calls to examine one's relationship with the Lord, to prayer and to Godly action and attitudes; they are calls to the unconverted to convert to Christ.

    The call of God and the hope of America is for the bondmen to paganism in the work-place to repent and to convert from paganism to Biblical Christianity.

                                                                         
  • The "Goel"

  • Let us finish the chapter, Lev 25:47. This section deals with an Israelite selling himself to a non-Israelite, and assumes the non-Israelite lives in the land. Obviously, the non-Israelites, in order to abide in the land, was bound by the same laws as were the Israelites, including the law of the jubile. Moreover, the non-Israelites could not buy land outside the walled cities, so their investments had to be property within walled cities or in purchased goods and servants, bondmen.

    This section provides instruction for a near kin of a poor Israelite to purchase the one who had to sell himself into bondage. But if the Israelite bondman had to remain in bondage to the non-Israelite, the non-Israelite still had to treat the poor Israelite with respect- as a hired servant.

    V. 48, whereas the non-Israelite could be held in servitude forever, and even passed down as an inheritance regardless of the jubile, the Israelite had the protection of God's law though sold to a non-Israelite: He could not be treated with rigor as could the non-Israelite servant; he could be purchased out of his servitude at any time by a kinsman, and he could not be held past the jubile. The same servant/master relationship law applied to the non-Israelite master as applied to the Israelite master. The non-Israelite lived and prospered in the land; thus he was bound by the same laws of the land as were Israelites.

    V. 25, notice the same basic law applied to the man and the land, viz. the works of the man's hands could be "bought and sold," but not the man himself- produce of the land could be "bought and sold," but not the land itself. The purchaser could not refuse to properly "sell the man" when the redemption price was paid, nor could he refuse to properly "sell the land" when the redemption price was paid, and a near kin could redeem both the man and the land. The near kin, however, had to be very near, no further away than the bond-servant's father's brother or son of a father's brother, v. 49. Neh 5:8, tells of the congregation redeeming the poor Israelites.

    There are some important points here in vv. 25 & 48:

    1) the "purchaser" could not refuse to let the "purchased" be redeemed though the "owner" was a non-Israelite. The decision to redeem that which had been sold, property or person, was in the hands of the one qualified to make the purchase- the one who was near kin with both the funds and desire to do so. The rich relative, however, was not required to redeem the property nor his nephew or cousin who had sold himself into bondage.

  • Goel

    This qualified near kin was called the "goel."

    In Hebrew the participle of the verb _gaal_, "to redeem." It is rendered in the Authorized Version "kinsman," Nu 5:8 Ru 3:12 4:1, 6, 8 "redeemer," Job 19:25 "avenger," Nu 35:12 De 19:6 etc. The Jewish law gave the right of redeeming and repurchasing, as well as of avenging blood, to the next relative, who was accordingly called by this name. [Revised Easton's Bible Dictionary, Online Bible, CD, V.6.13.]

    #1350 -gaal {gaw-al}, redeemer, kinsman, revenger, avenger, kinsfolks, deliver, &c. "To redeem, act as kinsman-redeemer, avenge, revenge, ransom, do the part of a kinsman (including marrying a brother's widow to raise up seed for him) to redeem from slavery, to redeem land, to exact vengeance. [Ibid.] Boaz fulfilled the part of "goal" in the Book of Ruth. In passages such as Numbers 35:12, Deut 19:3, 6, &c., the "goel" had the right and, yes, the responsibility to take the life of the one who slew his near kin.

    2) the whole office of the kinsman-redeemer ("goel") was fulfilled by Christ. He became man, and through the incarnation, became of the same nature, the same flesh and blood, and in all things became like unto us. Hence, He could fulfill all the requirements of the law, especially the law of the kinsman-redeemer, i.e. the "goel." Fallen man is totally poverty-striken, owes an impossible debt, in bondage to Satan, to sin and to the law. No man can redeem himself, nor does he have any human kinsmen who can pay the debt for him: Every natural born child of Adam is in the same poverty-stricken bondage, Ps 49:6.

    The Kinsman-Redeemer did not pay the price with sliver nor gold, but with His own precious blood, 1 Peter 1:18, 19. Nor can Satan prevent the redemption of the bondman, though he was sold into extremely rigourous servitude to Satan by his first parents, and he was passed down as an inheritance in bondage to Satan.

    God, moreover, established civil government to revenge the evil doer, Rom 13, but if civil government refuses to exercise proper vengeance against the evil doer, there is no human authority given for personal vengeance. If God's ordained men refuse to take proper vengeance, then God Himself will be the avenger against the wicked who are both in and under authority, Ps 7:11, Heb 10:26.

    Christ is the New Testament "goel" for His people, fulfilling all that was required of the Old Testament "goel."

    3) the non-Israelite could be held indefinitely in rigourous bondage and servitude. Redemption must take place for one to be lawfully freed from the bondage to the harsh taskmaster. If he was not redeemed, he had no hope of being freed, for the jubile did not apply to the non-Israelite.

    4) Christ has redeemed His people; there is, therefore, absolutely no lawful reason to serve the enemy, Ps 130:8. Though redeemed, the Israelite could willingly sell himself back into even rigourous bondage. How foolish! Yet so many do just that.

    Vv. 50-54, the Israelite forced to sell himself to the non-Israelite had to both be treated as a hired servant and paid as one. His yearly wage had to be figured according to the next year of jubile. The one who sold himself was not released at the sabbatical year; rather, everything was figured to the jubile when he would receive back the land of his possession.

    V. 50, speaks primarily of one being redeemed and how much is needed to redeem him. In other words, the cost to the kinsman for redeeming the Israelite servant who sold himself (his labour that is) is not based upon what he sold himself for, but how many years left to the jubile. He sold himself according to the years to the next jubile, and he is redeemed by the same measure, e.g. if 40 years remained to the jubile when he sold himself -a better term is- hired himself out for a set amount per year," money paid up front to pay the man's debts and he is redeemed (the money repaid) by a kinsman after 5 years, or by some twist of circumstances he redeems himself, the redemption price was the original agreed price minus 5 years worth of hired servant wages.

    The law of equity and justice was always maintained between the buyer and seller. If he was not redeemed by a kinsman, he went free at the year of the jubile regardless of what he might still owe, which the purchaser knew when the agreement was made.

    And his children...: the master had agreed to care for the entire family, so all the family went free.

    V. 55, the Lord repeats His claim that HE ALONE owns the body of the person. The poor man's labour was marketable, but not his person, v. 42, &c. Moreover, the Lord owns the land. The use of the land was marketable, but not the land itself.

    The jubile emphasized that the person's labour alone could be sold; it emphasized that only the produce of the land could be sold, for both the land and the man belonged to God to do with according to His good pleasure. Both in the law of redemption and in the jubile, we see that redemption was not determined by any work on the part of the bondman, but on the provisions provided in the law of God, viz. the jubile, and/or willingness of a near kinsman to pay the price of redemption.

  • The Freeman

    True freedom and liberty is through redemption, and that redemption found in the finished work of Christ. Moreover, the redemptive work of Christ resulting in man's freedom from bondage to sin was so clearly presented in the law and the prophets that men must be supernaturally blinded to it, Rom 11:7, 2 Cor 3:14. See Luke 16:16.; John 1:45; Acts 13:15.; Rom 3:21, &c.

    Luke 24:44 And he said unto them, These [are] the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and [in] the prophets, and [in] the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And ye are witnesses of these things.
    Finally, the great Apostle Paul worshiped God according to the Old Testament law and prophets. Those who do any less today have departed from the faith once delivered to the saints: They have departed from the faith as presented by both Christ and Paul:

    Ac 24:14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets...

                                                                         
  • Love and Hate

  • Can one love the sinner yet hate the Sin? Listen to Baptist Theologan, A.H. Strong:

    Gen 18:25; Deut 32:4; Ps 5:5, 7:9-12, 18:24-26; Mat 5:48; Rom 2:6; 1 Pet 1:16. These passages show that God loves the same persons whom he hates. It is not true that he hates the sin, but loves the sinner; he both hates and loves the sinner himself, hates him as he is a living and wilful antagonist of truth and holiness, loves him as he is a creature capable of good and ruined by his transgression.

    There is no abstract sin that can be hated apart from the persons in whom that sin is represented and embodied. Thomas Fuller found it difficult to starve the profaneness but to feed the person of the impudent beggar who applied to him for food. Mr. Finney declared that he would kill the slave-catcher, but would love him with all his heart. In our civil war Dr. Kirk said: "God knows that we love the rebels, but God also knows that we will kill them if they do not lay down their arms." The complex nature of God not only permits but necessitates this same double treatment of the sinner, and the earthly father experiences the same conflict of emotions when his heart yearns over the corrupt son whom he is compelled to banish from the household. Moberly, Atonement and Personality, 7 "It is the sinner who is punished, not the sin." [Systematic Theology, © 1907, pp 290, 291.]

    In other words, sin cannot be seperated from the sinner, for one cannot starve the lazy bum as required by God without starving the man, nor can one kill the sin of murder as required by God without killing the murderer. "Love the sinner, but hate his sin" is impossible for both God and man.

    Pastor Need

                                                                         
  • Gaining from Losing

  • The great composer Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) lived much of his life in fear of deafness. He was concerned because he felt the sense of hearing was essential to creating music of lasting value.

    When Beethoven discovered that the thing he feared most was coming rapidly upon him, he was almost frantic with anxiety. He consulted doctors and tried every possible remedy. But the deafness increased until at last all hearing was gone.

    Beethoven finally found the strength he needed to go on despite his great loss. To everyone's amazement, he wrote some of his grandest music after he became totally deaf. With all distractions shut out, melodies flooded in on him as fast as his pen could write them down. His deafness became a great asset.

    Christian, have you experienced a great loss? Don't lose hope. Call on the Lord, trust Him, keep listening and do His perfect will. If you do, you will gain from loss.

    GOD USES LIFE'S REVERSES TO MOVE US FORWARD. (Most of the time against our will, I must add.) (Copied)


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