Questions & Answers
When is killing "murder"?
First posted: May 27, 2005
When would you say that killing another human is not murder?
In essence, the difference between "righteous killing" and "murder" lies in the laws being applied. When someone takes the life of another human being, he or she is "executing a death sentence", and that death sentence is born out of the application of some law. Every law has three aspects:
In a previous article,
we share on how James 4:11-12 says that we are not to take God's place as "lawgiver". In other words, I cannot make up my own laws or discard God's laws when judging others. If I do so, I become a judge of God's laws, because I would be giving myself the right to determine which of God's laws sound "nice" to me and which don't.
"I am killing Y because I feel like it. It causes me personal pleasure to see Y dead because I personally dislike Y"
In other words, X is not killing Y because he is applying a righteous law that sentences Y to death. He is killing Y because he simply "feels like it"; he has
arbitrarily decided that Y should no longer live because Y's death causes him a sense of personal pleasure that has nothing to do with a
zeal for righteousness.
Context of application
Besides having a "lawgiver", laws also have a "context of application". For example, laws in the United States operate only within the United States and cannot be applied in the
United Kingdom. Laws in Major League Baseball apply only to the people related to that organization and cannot be applied to people outside the organization. I cannot send someone to jail for a sin they have committed against me if that sin does not break any criminal law, even if the sin is a
grave sin. Why? Because a criminal law cannot go outside the boundaries for which it was set. If a criminal law outlaws "bank robbery", for example, it cannot be applied to someone who wrongfully robbed me of my "peace of mind".
"And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold." (Luke 19:8)
"5And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: 6And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity." (2 Samuel 12:5-6)
"13And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. 14Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die." (2 Samuel 12:13-14)
[Notice that God forgave David because he had truly repented. However, the Lord still sentenced the child to death. Why? Because our true repentance gives God the freedom to destroy all the fruits that were "born" out of our unrighteousness. When we truly repent, we allow God to "clean our house" through His purifying fire judgments.]
Since the young girl
in the Florida case is breaking God's spiritual laws, the sentencing must be done in the context of the
spirit realm, not the natural realm.
"8For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. 9Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. 10For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 11For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter." (2 Corinthians 7:8-11)
[Notice the reference to "zeal" and "indignation" in verse 11. This shows that the application of God's justice may involve the manifestation of strong emotions, but those emotions will be birthed out of a disinterested zeal for righteousness, and not out of self-interested personal gratification.]
From examples like the death of Ananias and Sapphira, we can see that spiritual judgments can cause
literal deaths. However, Peter did not kill Ananias and Sapphira with a literal sword because there was no human law that he could apply against them, and even if there was such a law, he was
not a humanly appointed judge with the authority to declare a sentence,
nor was he a humanly appointed executioner authorized to carry out the "execution".
"13And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. 14And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? 15And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. 16And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? 21So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." (Luke 12:13-20)
When Jesus heard the request to act as arbiter over the inheritance dispute, He did not say, "OK, I am the Lord of Lords and King of Kings; I'll go to your brother and force him to share the inheritance with you". Instead, He said, "Who made Me a judge or divider over you?" (v14). In other words, Jesus was saying, "I am the Son of God in the flesh, but I have no natural jurisdiction over this issue, so I have no natural authority to force your brother to share the inheritance with you". After saying this, Jesus began to speak against the sin of covetousness. Why? Because He did have spiritual jurisdiction over that sin, even when He did not have natural jurisdiction over the inheritance dispute. As believers, you and I, as sons and daughters of Jesus' Father (John 20:17), have spiritual authority to judge sin, even when we may not have natural authority to physically "beat somebody up" when they have done something wrong. As believers, we have all been appointed by God Almighty to be "spiritual judges", and we will be held accountable before God if we don't carry out our "judge duties":
Verse 1 speaks of God "standing in the congregation of the mighty" and "judging among the gods". These "mighty gods" are not a reference to "false, mythological gods". According to verse 6, these "mighty gods" are you and I!!! We are gods, because we are children of the Most High God. The Lord Jesus reaffirms this in John 10:34.
As "mighty gods", we have an inherent authority to make spiritual judgments. Notice that the Lord calls us to "do justice" in verse 3, and He condemns us in verse 2 for making "unjust judgments", not for making judgments per se. Notice what the Lord declares in the following passage:
"1Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? 2Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?" (1 Corinthians 6:1-3)
When verse 3 above says that "we shall judge angels", it is referring to the latter-day Church that will rise up to judge the "intermediary angels" that have tried to maintain an Old Testament separation between God and His people. As we have said before, 1 Timothy 3:16 prophetically speaks of how God will vindicate His prophetic remnant in the sight of the intermediary angels who have worked to oppose it.
Notice that verse 2 above says that the saints shall judge the world, without making any particular reference to "full-time ministers". The Body of Christ is One (1 Corinthians 12:12), and there are no "spiritual castes" within it. All believers have been appointed as "spiritual judges" by the Ultimate Lawgiver, God Himself, and we can exercise our "judgeship" when we choose to operate in the Spirit:
"15But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ." (1 Corinthians 2:15-16)
Notice that verse 16 above says that "we have the mind the Christ". It doesn't say, "The pastor has the mind of Christ", or "The full-time ministers have the mind of Christ", or "The TV preachers have the mind of Christ". Fellow believer, you are a judge appointed by God, and you are capable of making judgments because He gave you the mind of the Anointed One.
As you pronounce spiritual judgments, the logos words that come out of your mouth set things into motion in the spirit realm that will have repercussions in the natural realm. This is how the judgments you pronounce get executed.
As we said at the beginning, the Hebrew word for "murder" is very similar to the word for "pleasure". As we have said before, the spirit that is most related with the concept of "pleasing others" is the Canaanite spirit. In an atmosphere where Canaanite spirits are prevalent, a strong "peer pressure" is developed. People are constantly compelled to please the rest of the crowd, even at the price of their own convictions.
As we said above, the relationship between "murder" and "pleasure" in Hebrew reveals that murder is, in essence, killing motivated by a desire for personal, emotional pleasure, not by a zeal for God's justice. Therefore, the Canaanite spirits promote an atmosphere where people will be willing to "murder" others (literally or spiritually), if that's what it takes to give some personal pleasure to the crowd:
"14Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him. 15And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified." (Mark 15:14-15)
"22And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee. 23And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom. 24And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist. 25And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist. 26And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath’s sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her. 27And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison, 28And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother." (Mark 6:22-28)
[In this passage, Herodias' daughter wanted to please Herod (v22). Herod then wanted to please her back (v22,23). Herodias' daughter then tried to please her mother (v24), and Herod ended up trying to please both Herodias' daughter and the crowd that sat with him (v26). All of this Canaanite people-pleasing resulted in the murder of John the Baptist.]
From the above, we can see that people influenced by Canaanite spirits are willing to perform "character assassination" in order to please those with whom they have strong "soul communion". This is what the Democrats in the U.S. have done with people like John Bolton, Priscilla Owen, and Janice Rogers Brown. In order to please their party leaders and promote their party agenda, they are willing to assassinate people's characters by exaggerating facts and taking them out of context. This is equivalent to murder in the eyes of God, and none of these politicians shall go unpunished, for there is a prophetic remnant pronouncing judgments over them!!!
To conclude, a killing is not "murder" when it is the application of a law that one did not make up at one's own pleasure, i.e.- if the "death sentence" is the application of a law that is independent from one's personal interests. When applying the sentence, one must determine if the application fits within the law's "context of application", and one must determine if one has been appointed to apply that law.