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Questions & Answers

When is killing "murder"?

First posted: May 27, 2005



When would you say that killing another human is not murder?



A matter of laws

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:

  1. A lawgiver, i.e.- a person or entity that decreed the law

  2. A context of application, i.e.- the context within which the law is applicable

  3. Judges & Executioners, i.e.- people authorized to declare a sentence and carry it out



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.

The Hebrew word for "murder" is ratsach (this is the word used in the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" in Deuteronomy 5:17). Interestingly enough, ratsach is very similar to another Hebrew word, ratsah, which means "to be pleased with". Why are these words so similar in the Hebrew? Because "murder" carries an element of human pleasure. In other words, when person X murders person Y, X is saying, 

"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.

When a judge sentences a criminal to the electric chair, he or she is not "murdering" the criminal if he or she is simply applying the laws that are already written in the books. The judge did not make up the law; he or she is not the "lawgiver"; he or she is just the "applier" of an established law. If the judge sentences a criminal to the electric chair because he or she has a personal grudge against the criminal and not because of the laws that are in the books, the judge then is wrongly assuming the role of "lawgiver"; at that moment, the judge becomes a murderer.


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".

In the Old Testament, God established a law saying that those who sacrificed their children to Moloch should be stoned to death (Leviticus 20:1-5). Such stoning would not constitute "murder" because it was the application of an objective and independent law given by God the Lawgiver. This law's "context of application" was during the days of the Old Testament in Israel. When the Lord Jesus died on the cross, the law of Leviticus 20:1-5 was not abolished, but its context was elevated from the natural realm to the spirit realm. Why? Because the literal laws in the Old Testament were shadows of spiritual laws (Hebrews 10:1), and the spiritual laws are eternal and irrevocable.

As we have shared before, the Church is currently full of Moloch worshippers who are passing their seed "through the fire" for Moloch, even when most believers may not know who "Moloch" is. The crime of "Moloch worship" is now being committed in a spiritual sense, and the "stoning" that must be carried out must be executed in the spirit realm. Through judgment prayer, remnant believers are currently stoning "Moloch worshippers" inside the Church, even when they may not be casting a single literal stone at anyone.

A few weeks ago (in early May 2005), there was a case on the news regarding a 13-year-old girl in Florida, USA, who has been living in foster homes most of her young life; this young girl got pregnant and wants to have an abortion. Anti-abortion people immediately launched a court fight in an effort to prevent her from committing the abortion. By attempting to use the Florida legal system to stop the abortion, the anti-abortionists were taking the legal system outside of its "context of application". The laws in Florida, as they are now (at the time of this writing), do not require a teenager to have parental permission of any type before committing an abortion, so it is futile to prevent the abortion within the context of Florida's current laws. A judge would be wrong to prevent the abortion because he or she would be making up a law that is not in the books. The judge would turn into a "lawgiver", and his or her judgments would be legally wrong. Therefore, the best that anyone could do was to talk to the young lady and exhort her not to take the fatal decision of killing her unborn baby.

However, this does not mean that the abortion is not a sin against God. All human actions fall within the "context of application" of God's spiritual laws, meaning that believers have the authority to confront young girls like the Florida girl through prayer in the Spirit, and we can unload the weight of God's convictions upon the life of these young girls so that they may be wise enough to recognize their original sin of fornication and to recognize the sinfulness of abortions. If they decide to carry out the abortion anyway, we can ask God to make their lives a "miserable ordeal" until they break down and repent of their sin and seek forgiveness from God. According to Florida's laws, the young girl in question would not be "murdering" anyone because she is acting within her legal rights, but, according to God's spiritual laws, she would be sentenced a "murderer", and that sentence would not be removed from her until she repented and asked God to help her "restore" the damage done by killing her baby:


"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 Davidís 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.

The same can be said about doctors who commit abortion. They are not breaking earthly laws, so they cannot be judged within the earthly realm, but they are breaking spiritual laws, meaning that they can be judged in the spirit realm. If you pray for disease, despair, and even death to befall these doctors, you would not be committing "murder" because you are acting as the judge and "executioner" of God's spiritual laws against abortion. You and I have the right as spiritual judges to pray for these men and women to restlessly toss and turn in bed at night and to be haunted by nightmares of the lives they take away every day, and we can pray for God to literally take the lives of those whose hearts are so hardened that they will never be willing to admit that abortion is wrong. James 4:12 says that God is able "to save and to destroy", meaning that He is capable of distinguishing between those who are "savable" and those who are "beyond salvation" and who therefore must be "destroyed". When we apply judgments in the Spirit, those judgments will literally destroy only those whom God deems as "beyond repair", and He will restore those who are "savable". This restoration, however, will entail suffering that will pressure them unto repentance:


"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.]

When we apply judgments in the Spirit, those judgments will always address the spiritual root of the issue. As we have said before, the reason why the Church has been incapable of stopping literal abortions in the U.S. is because it continues to allow spiritual abortions to be committed inside the Church. A person's prayers for judgments against literal abortions will be ineffective if he or she "turns the other way" when it comes to the spiritual abortions that are being committed inside the Church. The spiritual root of abortions is an atmosphere that fosters the Perizzite spirit, and those who are judging abortions in the Spirit will attack that atmosphere no matter where it is manifested, and, according to 1 Peter 4:17, that attack must always begin against that evil atmosphere inside the Church.

When Ananias and Sapphira lied about their "donation" to the Church (Acts 5:1-11), they were not breaking any human laws, but they were breaking God's laws. Therefore, the judgment that Peter pronounced on them happened in the spirit realm. He did not take out a literal sword to kill either of them. He just spoke judgment word, and they both died. Before dying, they were both given a chance to repent, but both passed up on that chance. Remember, Peter was the same person who a short time earlier had tried to "save" Jesus from Judas Iscariot's mob using a literal sword, and he even cut Malchus' right ear in the process (John 18:1-11). At that time, Peter did not understand that the battle had to be fought in the spirit realm. Jesus gave him an opportunity to do so when they were praying at the Garden of Gethsemane, but Peter and the other disciples fell asleep (Luke 22:46); they were not able to wage the battle in the Spirit.


Appointed judges & executioners

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".

If I've not been appointed as "judge", I cannot declare a sentence. In Luke 12:13-20, a person asked Jesus to act as a judge over an earthly matter:


"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 manís 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":

"1God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. 2How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah. 3Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. 4Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. 5They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course. 6I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. 7But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. 8Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations." (Psalm 82:1-8)


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.


The pleasure principle

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 oathís 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.