Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Personal from... Capital Punishment

Greetings Everyone! For this Personal this month, I would like to talk about punishment – as in parents spanking their child/children in this 21st-century world. This subject comes to the forefront of my mind because a friend of my wife’s and mine brought this very subject up in a conversation and had stated most assuredly that “we cannot raise our children the way our parents raised us. Our parents raised us to be prejudiced and segregationists.”

Now, there are different issues in his statement. Yet, he conjoined those issues into one. I, as politely as possible responded, “We are going to have to agree to disagree.” My parents both spanked me when my wrong behavior needed to be modified.

WHAT our friend is unaware of is the fact that there is a resentment in this world toward Authority. And that Authority being God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. Would one not agree that whatever God says should go!? There is also a grave lack of authority when it comes to young children and religion!

Notice what this professing Christian world is like even today –

“ … there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, … 2) And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom THE WAY OF TRUTH will be blasphemed. … 10) and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries [as in, a person in GOVERNMENT] – 2 Peter 2:1, 2, 10.

It's difficult to raise children to respect others and to respect authority when parents don’t even respect each other. Large portions of our societies DO NOT respect the law. Yet, they want to repeal it, annul, emasculate and tear down every last vestige of right authority and law enforcement! And an ever-greater majority (like our friend) complain bitterly against any capital punishment. And what our friend had no knowledge of nor even thought about is the fact that there are currently 53 prisoners on federal death row. 22 of those prisoners are white, 23 are black, seven are Latino and one is Asian. And I could have easily mentioned to him that America has by far the largest correctional system in the world and that most commonly cited stats claim that there are about 2.3 million inmates in jail on any given day! Does our friend know how to put a stop to this!? Does he know more than God!? As God asks Job, “’ Who is this who darkens counsel By words without knowledge?’” So, whatever “punishment” he has in his mind for children in this present evil age is certainly NOT WORKING!

It is and has been, this basic, underlying hostility toward AUTHORITY, and the belief that corporal punishment in regards to children is WRONG and capital punishment, the death penalty, of convicted criminals of serious and violent crimes is WRONG that is and has been, pervading every cranny of our diseased and decaying civilization.

Now, I could have also easily stated to our friend that in America alone according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 19.7 million children in America – more than one in five – live WITHOUT a father in the home!

WHY this FEAR of corporal punishment?

Well, with the ushering in of this new Woke movement – which has been with us for quite a bit longer than most realize, called “progressive education.” The rise of such prominent “thinkers” of our time the likes of William James – considered to be a leading thinker of the late 19th century, one of the most influential philosophers of the United States, and the “Father of American psychology” along with even the likes of Dr. Ruth after having earned her doctorate in the late ‘50s – these prevailing and false concepts rooted themselves into even today’s confusion over child-rearing – notice these tidbits of “progressive human knowledge” -

“Any kind of punishment either by means of words or force, or even mild reprimands on the subject, is extremely unwise,” advises a foremost source in 1952 assuring young and impressionable parents that they should NEVER punish “or even reprimand” their child/children. “The chief danger of punishment is that it makes the child feel guilty — that he is bad, naughty. The child is likely to have a stronger feeling of guilt about his activity than about the other things he does. His ideas are vague and confused and his imagination vivid. He may build up pictures of the terrible things that will happen to him because of his naughtiness, thus sowing the seed of more fears and more anxieties, and increasing his emotional difficulties” 1

Friends, in these statements alone, they denounce ALMIGHTY GOD! – who gives them the very breath they breathe! Our great God spends a large amount of time in His living word detailing the frightful PUNISHMENTS to be inflicted in a God-rejecting sin-filled world than He does describe rewards! And what is ever-more important, God means what He says and He backs His words up! He DOES PUNISH!

Notice here the insipid and ignorant depths to which this “progressive education” sinks in its lawless doctrines of “just do as you please” –

“The ineffectiveness of this form of punishment [spanking children] has been demonstrated repeatedly. Of the problem cases described by 100 teachers, not one was improved by whipping. School social workers frequently report that a child’s emotional difficulties are aggravated by beatings at home. … Many parents have said ‘The more I whip him the worse he gets.’” 2

Notice that this “professional” lumped the words “whipping” and “beatings” together in his statement!? As if they are one and the same! And, again a complete lack of information from “100 teachers” is used to “demonstrate” that corporal punishment doesn’t work. Nothing was said at all about the frequency with which it was done, the consistency, or whether it was correctly and thoughtfully done. Rather that punishment for the sake of punishment is wrong. My wife and I came face-to-face with this insipid ignorance when we were going to adopt a child. In their “discipline policy,” they have stated: “The adoptive family doesn’t engage in the following …” and “engagement in the following prohibited practice may result in an investigation by Child Protective Investigations. …” And, of course, they list spanking as prohibited – in which they deem “hitting” a child.

Many child psychologists appear to believe the idea that parent-child relationships are as difficult as governmental diplomacy. So many and varied are the suggestions on the tactful employment of “modern psychology” in the parents’ dealings with their children that one is certainly confused by the utter nonsense and complete lack of statements, and unanswered questions. My wife and I were told that we were to punish with a “time-in.” Unlike a time-out, which traditionally involves sending a child to his room or some other solitary place, a “time-in” involves having a child sit quietly in the same room with a parent. Yet, according to Dr. George Holden, chair of the Department of Psychology at Southern Methodist University, “We’re currently doing research on whether time-ins work, but to my knowledge, there’s virtually no evidence on whether time-ins are effective.” 3

John Watson, an American psychologist who popularized the scientific theory of behaviorism, wrote, “The word punishment should not appear in our dictionaries except as an obsolete word, and I believe this should be just as true in the field of criminology as in that of child-rearing.” 4

“PUNISHMENT should NOT appear in our dictionaries!” O’ what were you smokin’ Dr. Watson!? Oh, how the gullible, untrained, and inexperienced young parents of the 20th century were warned against fearsome and unpredictable evils of parental discipline OF ANY FORM WHATSOEVER!

Corporal punishment, as in spankings, as we just saw from prominent “thinkers” of our time has labeled it bestial, inhuman, brutal, hateful, unreasonable, and useless as well as harmful. I saw first-hand that parents are threatened to “reason” with their unruly child/children or the authorities would get involved if spankings were used. Now, you can go on and read an innumerable amount of documented sources attacking the “old fashioned” methods of child-rearing from men and women doctors, from social workers, and a whole host of others – and you are more than welcome to do that at your leisure – but in this Personal, I want to get to the real heart of the matter.

Does God use capital punishment?

To properly understand God’s kingdom, we must first study His Way of governing people. And we can learn this from the Way that He dealt with ancient Israel in the past. We also need to learn how God deals with us even now, and what He will do in the immediate future. You are going to need and use this vital information.

The administration of the civil government of ancient Israel actually reveals to us God’s method of dealing directly with unconverted, fleshly, sinning people. To be factual – the government of ancient Israel had church and state combined – though it was physical, the administration of civil and religious statutes and ordinances was combined. Bear in mind, as Minister Michael Garrett reminds us over and over – ancient Israel was NEVER promised salvation at that time. The promises under the Old Covenant were material – cf. Leviticus 26:3-12. They were not converted, nor did they have God’s Holy Spirit, hence they could not understand spiritual things. They were like the majority of people today. God dealt with them in a purely physical manner – PUNISHING THEM FOR THEIR CRIMES.

The Ministry of Death

As I have written about before – the Ten commandments are entirely separate and distinct from the law of Moses. The Ten Commandments is a spiritual Law that lasts forever –

“The works of His hands are verity and justice; All His precepts are sure. 8) They stand fast forever and ever, And are done in truth and uprightness” – Psalm 111:7-8.

The apostle Paul wrote of this ministry of death – or the “ministration of death” as the Authorized Version renders it –

“But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, 8) how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious?” – 2 Corinthians 3:7-8.

Just what is this ministry of death, which was written on stones!? Was Paul referring to the Ten Commandments!?

Turn with me if you will to the Book of Deuteronomy chapter 27 –

“Now Moses, with the elders of Israel, commanded the people, saying: ‘Keep all the commandments which I command you today. 2) And it shall be, on the day when you cross over the Jordan to the land which the LORD your God is giving you, that you shall set up for yourselves LARGE STONES, and whitewash them with lime. 3) You shall write on them all the words of this law, when you have crossed over, that you may enter the land … 4) … you shall set up these stones, which I command you today, and you shall whitewash them with lime. … 6) You shall build with whole stones the altar of the LORD your God, …” – Deuteronomy 27:1-3, 4, 6.

So, Moses commanded the children of Israel to set up LARGE STONES, and whitewash them with lime, and write upon them all the words of the CIVIL LAWS – which he had repeated to them.

The administration of these CIVIL LAWS embodied the “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” principle – cf. Deuteronomy 19:21. And the penalty for breaking many of these civil laws was DEATH! This is what Paul is speaking of – NOT the Ten Commandments!

The very principles of the Ten Commandments form the basis of the civil statutes and judgments. A violation of these principles was punished by civil authority only in as much as they were later repeated in the civil statutes and judgments. The administration of death was the civil execution of punishments for the violation of this civil law which Moses commanded the people.

Now certainly some of these punishments seem rather harsh. But a careful study reveals an all-wise purpose behind them. Such things as murder, kidnapping, and adultery were punishable by death! They certainly show evil-doers the enormity of their sins!

A provision to protect the sanctity of the home and parental authority is set forth in the law regarding a rebellious son. If he obstinately refused to obey his parents, his life was forfeited – cf. Deuteronomy 21:20-21. Is this a stern measure!? Yes. But this certainly helped prevent children from growing up with an attitude of contempt and rebellion against everything good and decent. As God’s living word says, “all Israel shall hear and fear.” As I was saying earlier, too many young people in the United States of America do not respect Authority, or parental and government authority. And in this present evil age, parents are being threatened if they exercise authority over their children - cf. Isaiah 3:12.

And I want to address any who are saying that I am an advocate for child abuse. Spankings are not child abuse – they are a form of discipline. There are a growing number of people who believe that spanking means the same as beating or hitting. And if beating and hitting are bad (which they are), then to them spankings are bad. Spanking is not the same as a beating or hitting. Beating and striking are designed to inflict harm. A spanking is designed to promote good character. Surely, King Solomon was spanked – cf. Proverbs 13:24.

Today, as never before, people take crime lightly. But God wants people to fear doing wrong. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” – Psalm 111:10. People must learn to revere the LORD our God and His Law.

The ministry of death was instituted to show the children of Israel the result of wrong conduct. It was part of the law code – which was added: “because of transgressions” – Galatians 3:19. And, this law code – the Mosaic Law – was to last until “the Seed should come.”

The Ministry of the Spirit

Upon the acceptable year of the Lord, God the Father sent Christ Jesus to begin a new ministry. Why!? Because the first ministry gave only death for disobedience. Human judges are not able to impart eternal life, they could only minister death. What was needed was a new ministry – the Ministry of Jesus Christ! Which could pardon and offer eternal life to those who repent and are baptized and want to obey.

The promise of the Holy Spirit was given to all believers for the FIRST TIME – and instead of ministering the death penalty for sins, our Lord Jesus Christ, the apostles, and His ministers today minister and teach people the Way to eternal life through Jesus Christ.

So, do you see the vast difference!? The children of Israel under the Old Covenant only understood the letter of God’s Law. Being unconverted, the majority of them didn’t even obey the letter. So God gave them civil laws and prescribed punishments, or judgments, for breaking those civil laws. Ancient Israel’s judges punished transgressors of this civil law code by fines and even death. Thus, the apostle Paul called it the “ministry of death.” And it was necessary because the house of Israel was a kingdom of unconverted people. However, it was to only last until our Lord Jesus Christ came, who introduced a new spiritual ministry – the New Covenant – to reconcile us to God.

All men are born mortal into sin – cf. Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:18-19. All men are in need of God’s Spirit – the begettal of eternal life. Also, all men need to stop sinning – which means breaking God’s Law! All men need the love that fulfills the Law –

“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” – 1 John 5:3; see also Romans 5:5; 13:10.

Recall, one of the fruits of the Spirit is love – cf. Galatians 5:22-23. Godly love.

Unless we have that love which only the Spirit of God can give, we sin – and “the wages of sin is death” – Romans 6:23.

What is sin!? “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness” – 1 John 3:4. Now, the Law spoken of here by the apostle John is NOT the ministry of death written and engraved in stones. The “ministration of death” only lasted until “the Seed should come.” This Law which the apostle John speaks of is the Ten Commandments. Law in which NOT ONE jot or one tittle shall pass till ‘heaven and earth pass away’ and ‘all is fulfilled’ – cf. Matthew 5:18; Revelation 21:1-2, 5.

True Christians are being judged by this perfect and just Law!

“So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty” – James 2:12.

Friends, Christ came to free us from sin through His atoning sacrifice – cf. Hebrews 2:14-15.

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus [the spiritual Commandments of the New Covenant] has made me free from the law of sin and death [the physical civil law of the Old Covenant] – Romans 8:2.

The law of the Old Covenant was an extremely physically oriented ritualistic grouping of ideas for people who were unconverted and very carnal, very physical – naturally human. But the Old Covenant, even though it had its place for a time, it ultimately could not solve your problems, because there was never life – there was never a promise of eternal life – contained in the tenants of the Old Covenant. The New Covenant, under which we now live with Jesus Christ being not only our Savior but now our living High Priest. That’s an agreement that has the PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE!

Ten Commands NO LONGER Written On Tablets Of Stone

True Christians are to have God’s spiritual Law – the Ten Commandments written in their hearts and minds – not on tablets of stone as under the Old Covenant. Nor are they to have them in tefillin or in phylacteries in regards to grave misunderstandings of Deuteronomy 11:18!

The apostle Paul writes that God’s holy Law is not at all abolished – that it is “written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart” – 2 Corinthians 3:3. I don’t know how it could be any clearer!?

And since we, by our human nature, violate God’s holy and relevant Law, we certainly need His pardon – GRACE! The awesome power of God’s Spirit within us to fulfill them. Our Lord Jesus Christ died for all of our sins – cf. Romans 3:10-12. He made it possible to receive the Holy Spirit from Father God. And His ministers are to teach people how to quit sinning and to gain eternal life – by ministering or teaching the people how to be reconciled to God the Father and to receive His gift of the Holy Spirit.

True Christians are to forgive men their trespasses – Matthew 6:14-15. We are NOT to avenge ourselves, but rather rely on God’s holy and righteous judgment upon those who violate His Law in harming us –

“Repay no one evil for evil. …” – in other words, two wrongs don’t make a right. “ … Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 19) Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. 20) Therefore ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in doing so will heap coals of fire on his head.’ 21) Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” – Romans 12:17-21.

Nor should we judge another – cf. Matthew 7:1-2.

the Authority of Civil Governments

Understand – God is allowing these worldly governments, ruled by Satan the devil, to rule themselves in this present evil age. We are to be subject to these civil leaders and to realize that they hold their authority from the appointment of God to carry out the enforcement of law and order – cf. Romans 13:1-8. There are no nations in this present evil age carrying out the righteous judgments of Almighty God. Yet, it is His will that nations administer civil government to maintain law and order.

The apostle Paul explains to us –

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made FOR ALL MEN, 2) for kings [presidents, prime ministers] and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3) For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior” – 1 Timothy 2:1-3.

Are civil leaders sinning when they condemn a criminal of a serious crime to death!?

Well, going back to the Book of Romans chapter 13 – God answers this question –

“For he [this civil leader] is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he [this civil leader] does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil” – Romans 13:4.

Now, these civil leaders will be held accountable if they willingly abuse the authority God has allowed them to wield. Theirs is a most serious responsibility! As I’ve said before – like a minister of God, civil leaders too should be above reproach.

The Penalty for SIN Is Still DEATH!

God’s living word says, “the soul who sins shall die” – Ezekiel 18:4. And for posterity and importance, it is repeated in verse 20!

The penalty of death is STILL in effect for those who break God’s holy and relevant Law! It is time for all true Christians EVERYWHERE to wake up and realize that God means what He says!

The apostle Paul teaches us clearly –

“For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27) but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28) ANYONE who has rejected Moses’ law [speaking of the physical Mosaic law – the Old Covenant] dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.

29) Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant [meaning, the New Covenant] by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?

30) For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. And again, ‘The Lord will judge His people.’ 31) It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” – Hebrews 10:26-31.

So, it is unmistakable that a far worse punishment than just “sleep” will befall those who willfully trample on God’s holy Law than that which was visited upon the children of Israel. For that punishment will be eternal death! The “ministration of death” of the children of Israel was only a lesser physical type of the eternal punishment in refusing to obey God’s Law once God’s knowledge has been revealed.

So, we see clearly, the Way that the LORD God dealt with ancient Israel in the past, in just how the soon-coming King of kings and Lord of lords – Jesus Christ – will stamp out serious crimes and lawlessness in His Millennial Reign!

God’s living word says –

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” – Hebrews 13:8; Malachi 3:6.

He was the very LORD God of ancient Israel who enforced capital punishment in national physical Israel. The nations of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord (God the Father) and of His Christ (Jesus Christ), and He shall reign forever and ever! – cf. Revelation 11:15.

Those nations will still be physical humans, carnal, ruled by Christ Jesus and the saints – then made divine members of the Kingdom of God.

There will be swift law and order! And there will be no escape for the guilty! There will be no miscarriage of justice. Men will fear to do wrong that such serious crimes will be a thing of the past.

Now, there may be some who think that spanking (or not spanking) a child/children is not relevant to capital punishment of deserving criminals. Yet, God’s living word says –

“He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly” – Proverbs 13:24.

In a nutshell, it means: If children are not spanked when they do wrong, their personal development could suffer.

We, whom God is now calling unto salvation, are to teach God’s holy and relevant Law then – notice: “ … and books were opened. …” – Revelation 20:12. The word books in Greek is biblion, as in Psalm 56:8; 139:4, 16; Malachi 3:16; Romans 2:16, 16; John 12:48 – and to enforce His Law. Our life is now in training to educate and prepare us for that grave responsibility and glorious opportunity.

Let us brethren learn the lesson from these examples that our God intended, and STOP trying to use human reasoning to justify wrong deeds.

“DO NOT BE DECEIVED, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” – Galatians 6:7.

Do you believe God’s living word!?

Sadly, many of you have been trying to hide your eyes from God’s Law. You spend much time and effort in vain attempting to excuse or justify your beliefs.

God’s living word says that your reward for sin is DEATH!

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” – Romans 6:23.

Yes – in this case, God’s word teaches CAPITAL PUNISHMENT!

If you haven’t done so already, you’d best take the apostle Peter’s advice to “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” – Acts 2:38.

God dearly loves you. He wants to give you eternal life! □


1) The Complete book of mothercraft : a collection of expert advice for successful parenthood by twenty-five leading specialists, New York, Greystone, 1952, pg. 391.

2) Strang, R., An Introduction To Child Study, The Macmillan Company, New York, 1938, pg. 382.

3) Heid, M., Are Time-Outs Harmful to Kids? The Latest Research Says Otherwise, Time, 15 Oct. 2019, Reviewed 8 Feb. 2022.

4) Watson, J. Psychological Care Of Infant and Child, George Allen and Unwin Ltd., London, 1928, pgs. 58-59.

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