All 37 Death Penalties in the Old Testament

Included on this list

  • Death penalties revealed by God to be enacted by men on other men.

Not included on this list

  • Death penalties coming from man’s fallible judgment. Eg. Judah and Tamar; Jacob with Laban, etc.
  • Death penalties where God took the life, but did not command government to take the life. Eg. Nadab and Abihu; Uzzah ,etc.

Legal categories

  • Moral: Laws for all people of all times
  • Civil: Laws for the society of Israel
  • Ceremonial: Laws for the time before the Cross
 First TextCauseOther PassagesLegal category Mor.       Civ.       Cer.
 1.Gen. 9:5-6MurderEx. 21:12, 14; Lev. 24:17 ,21; Num. 35:16, 17, 18, 21, 30; Deut. 19:12XX
 2.Gen. 17:14Rejecting circumcision XX
 3.Ex. 12:15, 19Eating leaven during Passover XX
 4.Ex. 19:12Touching Mount Sinai when God comes down XX
 5.Ex. 21:15Assaulting parents XX
 6.Ex. 21:16Kidnapping or slave tradeDeut. 21:7XX
 7.Ex. 21:17Cursing parentsLev. 20:9XX
 8.Ex. 21:29Negligent homicide XX
 9.Ex. 22:18SorceryLev. 20:6, 27XX
 10.Ex. 22:19BestialityLev. 18:23; 20:15-16XX
 11.Ex. 22:20IdolatryNum. 25:5; Deut. 17:5XX
 12.Ex. 30:33, 38Imitating the anointing oil X
 13.Ex. 31:14, 15Working on the SabbathNum. 15:32-36XXX
 14.Lev. 7:20Eating the sacrifice while uncleanLev. 7:21X
 15.Lev. 7:25Eating the fat of the sacrifice X
 16.Lev. 7:27Eating the blood of the sacrifice X
 17.Lev. 17:4, 9Offering sacrifice without bringing it to Jehovah at the tabernacle Sacrificing to false gods or to your own religion XXX
 18.Lev. 18:6-18IncestLev. 20:11-12, 14, 17xx 
 19.Lev. 18:19Sexual relations during a woman’s cycleLev. 20:18  x
 20.Lev. 18:20AdulteryLev. 20:10; Deut. 22:21, 22, 24xx 
 21.Lev. 18:21Ritual child sacrificeLev. 20:2xx 
 22.Lev. 18:22SodomyLev. 20:13xx 
 23.Lev. 19:8Eating the sacrifice late   x
 24.Lev. 21:9Prostitution of a priest’s daughter xxx
 25.Lev. 22:3Coming to holy things unclean  xx
 26.Lev. 23:29-30Profaning the day of atonement  xx
 27.Lev. 24:14-16Blasphemy xx 
 28.Num. 3:10Joining the priesthood from outside Levi   x
 29.Num. 3:38Coming near the Tabernacle   x
 30.Num. 4:15, 20 May have been a divine judgment, a penalty only enacted by God Himself.Touching or looking on the tools of the Tabernacle when moving them   x
 31.Num. 15:30Presuming on GodDeut. 17:12xX 
 32.Num. 18:7Taking the priest’s office  XX
 33.Num. 19:13, 20Defiling the tabernacle or sanctuary  XX
 34.Deut. 13:5, 9, 15Promoting a false god XX 
 35.Deut. 18:20False prophecy XX 
 36.Deut. 21:21Rebellion against parents XX 
 37.Deut. 22:25Rape XX 


  • There is no clear division between the traditional 3 categories of the law as moral, civil, and ceremonial. The overlap between these categories is so fluid as to make them inaccurate for understanding the Mosaic law. Covenant Theology needs these 3 categories, and yet they are not accurate.
  • The death penalties of the Mosaic law do not allow for freedom of religion: idolatry, blasphemy, promoting a false god, neglecting the Sabbath, and false prophecy. The NT repeatedly assumes freedom of religion. Therefore, the OT laws cannot control the society in the times of the NT. Theonomy implements these death penalties, and yet it also tries to defend freedom of religion.
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7 Guides for Biblical Preaching from Balaam

For his decades of obedience, Moses was called the most humble man in the world (Num. 12:3). Three chapters record the story of Balaam in the middle of Moses’ life so that we can see the difference between the two men. Yet Numbers 22-24 has memorable wisdom for a Biblical preacher.

Balaam is the man who was hired by Moab’s king, Balak to curse Israel just a few months before they enter the promised land. Hired? Balaam never actually curses Israel, and so he does not get his pay for cursing. Three times in a row from different mountains, he blesses Israel according to God’s Word after the Angel of the Lord opens the donkey’s mouth.

1. Preaching is faithfully conveying God’s Words and intentions.

“I will bring you word again, as the Lord shall speak unto me” (Num. 22:8). “I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more” (Num. 22:18). “The word that God putteth in my mouth, that shall I speak” (Num. 22:38).

In the content or essence of the message invention is not needed or wanted. Balak needs to hear God’s message undiluted and unaltered. For this reason, preachers must spend significant time in reading, questioning, memorizing, and praying from the actual words of Scripture. As we have a book group discussion once per week now through Isaac Watts’ Logic, I am reminded again how the study of clear thinking and definitions will help the preacher to discover the substance and truth of the words God has given.

2. Neither money nor men may move the message.

King Balak promises Prophet Balaam honor and money (Num. 22:17-18), and Balaam knows the value of the offer. Biblical preaching does not sway to the left or right based on the promises or threats of powerful politicians or the hope of more tithers. Whether the Cultural Marxists threaten to block you from FaceBook or to sue you, the message of Biblical preaching still rebukes feminists, homosexuals, money lovers, those who divorce the wives of their youth, Muslims, Catholics, and liberal protestants.

3. Faithful preachers should expect the Divine Spirit to help their preaching.

“The Spirit of God came upon him [Balaam]” (Num. 24:2). We ought to expect the Spirit to be present changing those who listen to us. Goats ought to be transformed, and the sheep ought to follow the Shepherd more closely. Lack of conversions should weigh on our souls as preachers, and we must not be content with a counterfeit “sinner’s prayer” when we want nothing less than New Life!

4. Everyone should know what kind of preaching a preacher does.

Seven times Balaam tells Balak, “Told not I thee saying, ‘All that the Lord speaketh, that I must do?’” Our posture of absolute submission to God and His Word should anger, but not surprise. It should be clear in our website, and the scent should reach any visitor almost before the service. How else will they fall on their faces and say that God is truly present (1 Cor. 15:25)?

5. Biblical preaching deals with God and His people.

Balaam blessed Israel 4 times—twice in 23 and twice in 24. Each time, he speaks of God’s mercy and grace to His people, the nation of Israel. His message is not only angering to Balak, but it is largely irrelevant to him. The only way Balak could apply God’s Word to his own situation is if he realized that he was entirely separate from this blessed nation, and then with all his heart he sought to enter Israel in complete submission to Jehovah. The Word of God was otherwise not concerned with this mere king who controlled thousands of people and hordes of wealth.

6. The world will try to manipulate the preacher to produce a worldly message.

King Balak is remarkably persistent. He sends the highest elders of his nation (22:15). He offers 21 bulls and 21 rams. He takes him to three different mountains. He stays with Balaam for multiple days. He tempts Balaam repeatedly with worldly honors and wealth.

The spirit of this age, the god of this world will offer large audiences and a million views to any man who will be willing to deviate from God’s revelation.

7. A man who has once been a faithful preacher may yet fall terribly.

In Numbers 31 it is revealed that Balaam was killed by Israel for his ongoing relationship with Balak. The NT records Balaam’s name in 3 different books as an example of false teachers who claim to be Christian. They do some good things. They preach some good sermons. But secretly they loved the world. With these cross references, we see what Balaam’s heart was really like all along. He was not glad or eager to exalt the Word of God. Why did Balak stay with him for 3 successive blessings? The pagan king had reason to believe that this man would change at any moment. And sure enough the next story shows that Balaam did eventually give Balak what he wanted.

A good sermon may hide an evil serpent. One honest statement of truth may open the door for deceitful lies.

If women are to be saved by a life submitted to God’s design for them in motherhood (1 Tim. 2:15), then is it any surprise when pastors are saved not by one good sermon, but by preaching that continues in true doctrine (1 Tim. 4:16)?

Thank you, Father, for giving us this gripping, instructing, and sobering story of Balaam.

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13 Observations from the Leprosy Laws

Medical matters occupy 4 chapters in the book of Leviticus from 12-15. What should the church learn from these old covenant laws? Have you ever read these laws and wondered what to do with them?

Three separate matters are covered including child birth, leprosy, and other infectious situations. The purpose of these laws is to separate the children of Israel from uncleanness (15:31) which theme is not only stated, but also shown by the repeated words priest and clean or unclean. I found 13 observations for the church from these chapters and from them a renewed love for the work of our Savior.

1. Between the sexes lie a permanent and obvious distinction. Lev. 12:2-5

For a boy baby, a mother must be unclean 40 days, but for a new daughter she is purified 80 days. Boys are listed first in the passage, and they are marked in their bodies by circumcision. But they are the same in that offerings must be made for both.

2. Filth spreads more easily than purity. Lev. 13-14

Nature, time, life, eating, drinking, marriage, and work can bring filth. But purity requires revelation, priests, and sacrifices.

3. Sin complicates life. Lev. 13-15

Diseases come from sin. That is the ultimate cause, and in a world without sin, there will be no disease. God has not yet removed all disease because that would decrease our desire to be in a world without sin. Yet because of disease, spawned by sin, we must have a complex set of laws for purity. Life could be as simple as the Garden of Eden with only one law, but sin has ruined it.

4. Holiness requires constant vigilance. Lev. 13:3, et. al.

“Look” and words like it are found all through chapters 13 and 14. The patient and the priest must be constantly checking, watching, and looking for any change in condition. Cleanliness before God is not something to be found quickly during the half time of the football game.

5. Hard times and pain still come to God’s people. Lev. 13:2; 14:34

Though chosen by God, the Jews still had sickness, pain, and death. In fact, 14:34 says explicitly that God sends leprosy. We live in this painful, complicated world as a constant reminder of sin and the next world.

6. Clean or unclean are the only two options.

Those two words are found 91 times in 157 verses. If you are not clean, you must stay separate from the rest of the people until you are. There is no “partly sorted” or “work in progress” or “giving it a good try” status in God’s law.

7. True judgments are both subjective and objective.

The law is objective, but it must be applied to people which immediately makes it subjective. In 13:7, “If the scab spreads farther on the skin…” How much farther? What if one edge is a little farther, but the other edge has receded? What if the naked eye cannot tell if it has spread or not? We have the objective Word of God, but it still must be applied subjectively to people. In the NT, a man may not be a pastor unless he is “able to teach” (1 Tim. 3:2). How skilled must he be? Another from 1 John 3:8-9: A man “who practices sin is of the devil. … No one who is born of God practices sin… he cannot sin…” How much sin shows a man to be a child of Satan? This must be determined subjectively by godly men through the objective Word of God.

8. Authority is ordained by God.

The priests were chosen by God from Levi and then from Aaron. They were directed in their clothing, years of service, and actions. Special authority was also given to them to direct the society. 11 of the 12 tribes were not on that level. Most of the families of the tribe of Levi were not on that level. Not all men were equal in their calling, gifts, or station. God placed some on top of others.

9. Truth is discovered by careful observation.

Our senses are generally trustworthy. Only a fool would give final or absolute authority to his eyes, ears, nose, or mouth. But as a servant, the senses can do much good for a child of God. Our minds must always consider the evidence brought before our eyes though no Christian gives his eyes the position of King.

10. The priest is active while the people are passive.

In chapter 13, the priest is looking and making decisions. In chapter 14, he arranges the sacrifices and offers them. The patient is almost entirely passive. We make the mess, and then the Priest has to repair the damage.

11. Truth about purity must be revealed. Lev. 12:1; 13:1; 14:1, 33; 15:1

Who could have thought of the priests? Who could have arranged the sacrifices? God reached down in grace to speak to those whom He called. If He had not come down from Heaven, we could not have known.

12. Religion influences all areas of life.

Child birth in chapter 12. Disease in chapters 13 and 14. House buying in chapter 14. A woman’s way of life in chapter 15. And back in chapter 11, the diet of the people of God. There is nothing outside the scope of religion.

13. Atonement is essential.

Atonement is necessary after child birth (Lev. 12) and in the case of leprosy (Lev. 14). They cannot be clean without it. They cannot approach God without it. Every man desires cleanliness and spiritual harmony, but these are absolutely impossible without atonement.


The world’s religions cannot accept these plain observations. Islam wants no atonement. Buddhism has no absolute truth. Secularism has no place for religion. Hinduism wants no revelation. These chapters quietly build in the mind the necessary structure for the thinking of a NT church member even though the specific laws are not binding on the NT Christian.

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An Above Average Pastor

Failure is still possible for those who are above average if the average is dismally low. In the village of Bungeni where we have been evangelizing since January 2021, I met a pastor who teaches in a large, beautiful building. Early on after greeting, he told me that he watches Adrian Rogers on television, a conservative Southern Baptist pastor.

I told him that I preach Christ, and I do not love money. The pastor offers agreement, but it is hard to tell if that is mere head-nodding or an “Amen” through Christ to the glory of God. “Well, I tell myself. Perhaps this man loves the Lord. I will invite him to the Bible studies, and offer to return to his house.”

These offers being made with all the willingness of my natural effusion, I left him back 3 years ago. In January, when I began preaching on a street corner, who should show up, but this pastor whom I will call Pastor Nkuna (not his real name). For 6 weeks now, he has been at the preaching points where we have memorized numerous verses, the first books of the NT, and the 5 Solas. I have spoken almost exclusively of man’s depravity and Christ as the forgotten Savior in the false Christianity all around us.

Wednesday, 7 February, a 23-year old man named Trevor listened quietly in the corner, and this discussion followed.

Seth: “Trevor, I’m glad you have listened today. Do you know if your name is in the Book of Life, or are you unsure about that?”

Trevor: “No, my name is not in the Book.”

Seth: “OK, thank you for being honest. Can you ask me if my name is in the Book?”

Trevor, laughing: “OK, pastor is your name there?”

Seth: “Yes. Now, can you ask me how I know?”

Trevor, “Mi swi tivisa ku yini leswaku vito ra n’wina ri tsariwile?” [How do you know?]

Seth: “Because Christ died for me! Christ chose me! Christ took away my guilt. He washed my stains. He rose again for me! He is right now sitting on the right hand of the Father praying for me. He gave me His Spirit. He teaches me His Word. It is all of the Son of God! He has done everything for me.”

Turning directly to pastor Nkuna, who had heard all this, “Sir, what should Trevor do since his name is not in the Book?”

Pastor Nkuna: “Trevor, you must pray. And go to church.”

Seth: “Let us not forget the Lord Jesus. [etc.]”

About 20 minutes later after prolonged preaching to the rest of the dozen or so people listening, I asked in closing, “Are you truly saved?”

Pastor Nkuna: “Yes, I am saved.”

Seth: “You know my rule that I have used for weeks, if anyone says they are saved, then they must tell us what God has done for their souls. What has God done for your soul, Mr. Nkuna?”

Pastor Nkuna: “God has preserved me to this day.”

Seth, to the rest of the listeners, “What did he forget to say? What did he not mention?”

Several other people: “Jesus Christ.”

Turning to the pastor: “Sir, you forgot Jesus after I just preached of His actions, after we asked Trevor a few moments ago, after you have been here for 6 weeks, and after we just looked at John 3:36! You are in great danger. You are lost. Christ did not come from your mouth because He is not in your heart. If you do not confess Him before men, He will not confess you before the Father.”

A few moments later before I leave, I spoke individually to pastor Nkuna, “Sir, please do not be angry that I spoke so plainly. I love you, but you said nothing of Jesus Christ. How can you hope to be accepted by the Father if you can’t say anything about His Son? And this just after I gave you the answers?”

Pastor Nkuna: “Jesus is with me all the time! I have Jesus.”

Seth: “Only after I told you again and again. But when you were asked in public twice, what did you say? And whom did you forget?”

Here was a man who said yes when I spoke about preaching Jesus. He gave certain words at certain times that sounded Christian. But twice in one sitting, with the answers told to him moments before he spoke, he could not find anything to say about Jesus from the most basic, “Jesus died for me,” to a lively testimony of Christ’s forgiveness of his sins. On other weeks, he like everyone else, has told me that he has never read the whole Bible or even the whole New Testament.

Yes, I sometimes, but rarely meet someone who references Jesus. As a few days ago, a man told me Jesus was his Savior, but then in the very next question he told me that he loved money.

If this pastor is a Christian, then African missionaries should go home since much of the continent has this kind of Christ-less or Christ-lite salvation.

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A Healthy Church Checklist

There are 50 points in this list, and each one is worth 2 points. How healthy is your church?


  1. Allowing as members only those who have been born again
  2. Testimonies of conversion required for membership
  3. Humility as a mark of the members
  4. Holiness as a mark of the members
  5. Wide-spread Bible reading and memorizing
  6. Members are consistent in their church attendance
  7. Church discipline practiced when necessary
  8. Building and maintaining a meeting place


  1. Only men in leadership
  2. Multiple men in leadership
  3. Godliness and Biblical wisdom as the chief requirements for leadership
  4. Men being trained for leadership
  5. Leaders enjoy reading
  6. Leaders’ families love the Lord


  1. Encouraging men to lead their homes
  2. Encouraging women to be homemakers
  3. Training children to be Christians
  4. Consistent family worship among members


  1. Talking about evangelism, missions, and conversions especially from the pastor.
  2. Actively trying to evangelize in the community
  3. Supporting missionaries from other churches
  4. Sending missionaries from their membership
  5. Energy and creativity to start ministries in the church’s unique time and place
  6. Strengthening other churches or pastors


  1. Verse by verse teaching
  2. Preaching the person and work of Christ
  3. Adherence to the Five Solas
  4. Adherence to the doctrines of grace
  5. Speaking the truth boldly on controversial matters
  6. Pleading with sinners in pulpit, Bible studies, and children’s classes
  7. Rejecting false doctrines unambiguously
  8. A written doctrinal statement
  9. Looking for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ

Public meetings

  1. Music driven by the fear of God and chosen by mature judgment
  2. Mature and prolonged prayers in public services
  3. Clothing that does not distract from thoughts of God
  4. Baptizing believers only
  5. The Lord’s Table consistently administered
  6. Warm toward visitors, other members, and Christians
  7. Rejecting entertainment in worship


  1. Regular offerings
  2. Giving something to the pastor
  3. Full support of the pastor
  4. Standing without outside support
  5. Generous toward the poor and the lost


  1. Consistent church wide prayer meetings
  2. Majority of members attend prayer meetings
  3. Significant time spent praying for spiritual requests
  4. Praying for missionaries consistently
  5. Commonly seeing answers to prayer

____ Total Score (2 points per mark)          

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7 Biblical Reasons Parents Should Spank Their Children

Recently, my wife told me about a book that argues the Bible does not encourage parents to discipline their children with corporal punishment. Both of us grew up in homes where our parents taught us as children by using paddles, spanking, or the rod. Nevertheless, we have been surprised to hear from different Christians that they are not using the rod, and so here are some Biblical reasons to use spanking in the training of children.

1.  The seriousness of sin is matched only by the seriousness of spanking.

When a child sins, a parent must respond. Every parent responds in some way, and his response speaks about the nature of sin. Spanking says something about sin. What do the other methods say about the nature of sin?

  • A child sins and a parent laughs: Sin deserves laughter.
  • A child sins and a parent talks: Sin deserves the transfer of information.
  • A child sins and a parent ignores: Sin deserves to be overlooked.
  • A child sins and a parent cries: Sin deserves sadness.
  • A child sins and a parent spanks: Sin deserves punishment.

If you believe in the evil of sin, that it brings eternal torment as a just consequence, then why would you not teach that to your child?

And nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Revelation 21:27

2.  Kids are happier with spanking.

When children live under the attention, order, and authority of a strong but kind man, they can flourish more than in any other scenario. David did not discipline his children (1 Kings 1:6), and one of his sons raped a sister, one killed a brother, and one tried to usurp the throne. Who wants a home with a nightly fight about going to sleep? Who wants to shop with a child who cries for every candy or trinket that catches his fancy?

If we love our children, then with all that lies in us we ought to give them a peaceful home. If the peacemakers are blessed, then who more so than a wise father who looks into the future to create a long-term peace? Biblical discipline with the rod does that more efficiently than any other method.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9

3.  Disobedient kids are painful to everyone.

We do not love our neighbors if we give them an uncomfortable environment. When other people have to deal with my child who is loud, rude, and distracting, they feel ashamed, annoyed, and eager to leave.

But turn the scenario the other direction: Who does not love a happy baby or child? When children play happily, when they relate well to others, it is a special delight equal to a work of art being brought into this other person’s presence. Christian parents have the chance to bring beauty, laughter, and pleasure to every one they meet by letting them see and talk with their children in appropriate ways. Societies need children to keep them humane and humble, but disobedient children exhaust every one. It is not loving to your neighbor to raise disobedient children. It is not kind to others to make them endure your bad parenting.

You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:39

4.  Spanking is an effective tool for creating habits of obedience.

No, spanking cannot create a new heart nor can it produce the miracle of regeneration, yet it can bring small children to a place of submission. The habitual use of this method forms an instinct of obedience. Since fathers will answer for how they have formed their homes, they ought to be specially concerned to use those tools that are most likely to bring this about. A devoted, happy father can form a habit of obedience in his children which will become a great help for each of them as they strive against their flesh and toward true character.

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4

5.  The Bible teaches spanking.

The previous four points are each Biblical. But I have saved this reason for the fifth position because it is sometimes thought that this is the only reason to discipline. Here are some Biblical instructions to spank children.

  • Proverbs 13:24 He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.
  • Proverbs 23:13 Do not hold back discipline from the child, Although you strike him with the rod, he will not die. 14 You shall strike him with the rod And rescue his soul from Sheol.
  • Proverbs 29:15, 17 The rod and reproof give wisdom, But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother. 17 Correct your son, and he will give you comfort; He will also delight your soul.
  • Hebrews 12:7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
  • Revelation 3:19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.

Notice that Solomon, Hebrews, and Jesus all taught on this subject. The word commonly used is “discipline” but that discipline brings “sorrow.” What kind of discipline brings sorrow, shocks, awakens, and even threatens? The NT teaches a painful discipline.

Some say, “Proverbs are only general statements. They are not absolute commands.” Fair enough: Then they should be generally followed. In nearly all circumstances, with nearly all parents, and in raising nearly all children, let us use the rod, discipline, and striking.

The arguments that were used in the book I read which opposed spanking, were not arguments that the normal Bible reader would bring up. Just read the Bible, and put away the experts. The Bible is actually very clear on most things.

6.  Spanking has been used throughout a diverse number of cultures for all history.

When the collected judgment of hundreds and thousands of people from many language groups and time periods all finds wisdom in a certain tradition, we need to ask why.

Perhaps someone could argue that they are pagan without the Bible. Yes, but pagans did do some good things like practice marriage, oppose thievery, and promote male headship. Nearly every society in the history of the world has tried to do these things, and each of these three is Biblical. They moved toward the right position, though in no pagan culture can you find the best marriages, truest wisdom on private property, and wisest male leadership.

How can we tell if spanking among the pagans is the wisdom of common grace or the folly of demonic religion? We who have the light of Scripture start there whenever we try to make such cultural judgments. But with Scripture informing us, it is helpful to see that spanking is such an obvious technique that even those without the Bible knew about it. Spanking is a mark of common grace found in many cultures because it works even though those places did not all have Bibles.

For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, Romans 2:14

7.  Worldly people hate it.

The reverse of the previous argument is to look at the world’s loves and hates. The modern world hates spanking. Is that overspeak? They are trying to make laws to take a father’s freedom away because they so strongly oppose spanking. Well, someone says, they are only trying to stop child abuse. Really? Then why make a law blocking the rod, but no law blocking a child’s disobedience?

  • Feminists hate spanking because they do not like strong men.
  • Marxists hate spanking because they want the destruction of the nuclear family.
  • Evolutionists hate spanking because they do not agree with original sin or total depravity.
  • Globalists hate spanking because they want the family dependent on the state.

Not everything hated by the world should be hated by Christians. But when the world’s hatred lines up perfectly with an evil agenda, Christians must take special care not to be conformed to the world.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, Romans 12:2

There may be arguments and objections that can be raised against spanking children. But Scripture gives a Christian good reason to raise his children with a loving, consistent use of the rod in corporal punishment as a measured amount of physical pain combined with gracious demeanor, self-control, and wise words.

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The Charges Laid on a Man

As I prayed this morning, I realized that a common grid for prayer shows itself while I am praying. Having arranged this list in my mind, I thought it maybe helpful for your prayers too. What would happen to our world if our prayers followed these priorities?

  1. His soul

Life is the greatest call to self-interest. What words are more bracing than the teenage Jonathan Edwards in Resolution 22?

“Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can, with all the power; might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.”

  1. His wife

Noah is a great man because he saved his wife and children. Where would we be had he left her outside the boat? But our Lord is greater because He paid for His bride’s passage to safety with His own blood. The most innocent distractions from a husband’s eye toward his wife’s spiritual good must be trampled on for she is a charge resting on him higher than any other outside his own soul.

  1. His children

That love is hate that neglects the evangelism of the children it has sired. A good man’s life and every decision in it should be influenced by the effect it will have on his children following the faith of their father.

  1. His posterity

A wise man encouraged me to “parent my grandchildren” before their birth. Have we no responsibility to think and plan for future generations? Deuteronomy 31 and 32 are warnings that the future generations will fall away. Then God gives them a song to sing about how quickly they leave Jehovah. If they sang such a song constantly, would they not be guarded from falling?  

  1. His church

The body of Christ is the new family, the new nation, and the bond thicker than blood because it is bound together by the precious blood of the Lamb. As the church has been loved by the Son of God, shall we disregard it and yet be His younger brothers? Ought our joys not to be tied to the success of the church so that our hearts rise and fall with its welfare?

  1. His community

A good man is a good citizen. He ought to love all those with whom he lives and works. A Christian is the model citizen because of his honest, hard-working, gracious character. No one can surpass him in friendliness, kindness, and civic dependability.

  1. His age

By the word “age” I mean all the people alive in the world during a man’s life. The weight of the nations falls on his shoulders because the Master sends us to all the world, to every ethnicity, and to cross all boundaries of culture, language, and geography. This last category should be the most costly since the scope reaches all around the globe. It is a marvel to me that with all the mature churches in South Africa, I have not heard much talk about sending missionaries, giving money, or praying for the nations of the world. Some pastors and assemblies certainly do emphasize missions, but my experience tells me that this is a shocking neglect among nearly all established churches.

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What is a Puritan?

From 1580 to 1720 a group of Christians originated in Britain, sprouted in places in Europe and dominated New England. The church of England refusing to follow Scripture or take seriously the fear of God compelled the most dedicated to live so as to earn the name “Hot Protestants.” But more commonly, they were called Puritans.

No single definition seems to squeeze in all the people who look and sound like Puritans. Jonathan Edwards ministered after 1720. William Carey left England in 1793, and Robert Murray McCheyne lived in Scotland in the 1800’s as well as Spurgeon. Are any of these men in the group?

George Whitefield was an Anglican as was John Newton who wrote “Amazing Grace.” Also, J. C. Ryle and other lesser-known men. Can any of these take the title Puritan?

Some theologians question the theology of Richard Baxter and John Milton, yet they are usually included as Puritans. Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists, and Anglicans are all commonly included in the group.

If the definition of Puritan is decided by time, then William Tyndale, Robert McCheyne, Charles Spurgeon, and Martyn Lloyd-Jones do not make the team. If the definition is by geography such as Britain, that won’t do at all since it cuts out Edwards, Davenant, and Zinzendorf. If the definition is by denomination, then we have a broad enough group to include Methodists, separatists, and churchmen who preach in robes.

Like Gallio in Acts 18, I care for none of these things. In my mind, if an author is published by the Banner of Truth he can fit in the group. Who is helped, save academics in their footnotes, by a technical definition of such a historically profitable group?

Why not define the group by the spiritual characteristics which have kept them in demand for hundreds of years and which have sprouted at least 6 modern publishing companies? Therefore, I propose that the fear of God is the defining mark of a Puritan.

A high view of God that trembles at His Word receiving every commandment with joy is what makes a Puritan to me. These were men who wrote books that had no time for explaining reasons Isaiah wrote the book which bears his name. They believed in inerrancy, young earth creation, the new birth, repentance, a glorious Heaven, a Hell with literal and eternal fire, and deep experiences with the saving, personal love of God. They loved conversion, preaching, and the gospel. They sought as Leland Ryken documents in his pleasing book, Worldly Saints, to be consistent Christians for each day they were stationed here on earth. They expected persecution and mockery, yet a constant refilling of joy and faith. They tried to work through doctrines of Scripture in meticulous statements of faith like the Baptist Confession of 1644 (which came before the Presbyterian Westminster Confession) and theological works like A Display of Arminianism by John Owen in 1642. They loved their families enough to be specially marked as the group that does family worship often twice per day. They were serious Christians.

He is no Puritan who questions the Bible. If he thinks evolution “makes some good points,” he is out of the group. If his nuance is bigger than his wonder, if he plays at religion, if he rationalizes why he can skip a church meeting to be at a sporting event, he may rightly have many names, but not Puritan.

When I think of the Puritans, I think of the fear of God. When I listen to Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ sermons, I hear in his voice what I read in Gurnall or Brooks or Watson.

And that is the kind of religion I aspire to. I want my kids to be Puritans according to that lengthy paragraph. I want to plant Puritan churches.

I am not agreeing with all the decisions of different good men from the past, most notably the death penalty for Baptists or political disagreements. Many Puritans were baby sprinklers and theonomists. There was not a strong emphasis on missions, though the best of them were very evangelistic such as Baxter, Bunyan, and Boston.

If we need a revival of dedicated Christians—those who are not afraid to commit to the church, face mockery by the world, call Sunday the Lord’s Day, and in short make every minute and every dollar a religious test, then we need modern Puritans.

Call me what you will, but those are the marks that by God’s grace, I want to be mentioned at my funeral. For short-hand, I will take that name. I am a Puritan.

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Is Gender the Right Word?

Why is the word “gender” used constantly today rather than the word “sex”? Are there any benefits to the term “gender” that are not included with the term sex to refer to male and female? Should Christians use the word gender when referring to the male or female sex? 

The word gender though perhaps technically synonymous with sex or binary kind has been increasingly dominated by feminist activists around the 1960’s, homosexual activists around the 1980’s, and now the transgender activists of the 2000’s. 

Some time ago I was surprised when I searched Apple’s dictionary for the definition of gender and found a note at the bottom on usage saying that this term was popularized around 1950 in order to promote feminism and now it is being used to promote transgenderism. Apple’s dictionary has since changed its usage note, and I wish I had archived their previous comment. When I checked some popular dictionaries today, they all had notes on this term supporting an activist definition. 

Apple’s dictionary:


1 either of the two sexes (male and female), especially when considered with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones. The term is also used more broadly to denote a range of identities that do not correspond to established ideas of male and female: a condition that affects people of both genders | someone of the opposite gender | everyone always asks which gender I identify as. 

• the fact or condition of belonging to or identifying with a particular gender: video ads will target users based only on age and gender | traditional concepts of gender | I’m a strong believer that gender is fluid. 


The word gender has been used since the 14th century as a grammatical term, referring to classes of noun designated as masculine, feminine, or neuter in some languages. The sense denoting biological sex has also been used since the 14th century, but this did not become common until the mid 20th century. Although the words gender and sex are often used interchangeably, they have slightly different connotations; sex tends to refer to biological diferences [sic], while gender more often refers to cultural and social differences and sometimes encompasses a broader range of identities than the binary of male and female.

According to these new definitions, gender is different from sex. Gender means something like the way you act, and this new mushy, cloudy, play-dough definition does “not correspond to established ideas.” What are these established ideas that the new gender definition does not fit with? The traditional, Biblical views of Western culture that there are two sexes determined and defined by God. The new meaning of gender is something that is different from the “established ideas.”

Just look at the silly, dishonest, and ugly examples of the usage: “everyone always asks which gender I identify as.” No, they don’t. No one has ever asked me which gender I identify as. No one has asked the great majority of people which gender they identify as. They wrote that “example” sentence to try to teach you how to talk and how to get ready to hear other people talk. Dictionaries are largely manipulated by a small group of cultural Marxists who having failed to dominate economically, will now try to take the cultural reins of power such as schools and media. As a great example of this the Cambridge University Dictionary lists 5 different definitions of “gender” with the first 3 being political revisions of traditional, Biblical sexuality.

The same is true for the sentence: “I’m a strong believer that gender is fluid.” Not only does that sentence sound like it was written by artificial intelligence, it represents such a small minority that it cannot be helpful in establishing the usage of a word for society unless it was designed as an activist’s effort.

But I am glad that they still acknowledge over at Apple that something changed 50 years ago in Western culture. Once communism failed militarily, they began their infiltration of the culture. says: 


either the male or female division of a species, especially as differentiated by social and cultural roles and behavior: the feminine gender.

Compare sex1 (def. 1).

a similar category of human beings that is outside the male/female binary classification. See also third gender (def. 1), genderqueer (def. 3), nonbinary (def. 3).

Merriam Webster dictionary says for the usage: 

…In the 20th century sex and gender each acquired new uses…. Usage of sex and gender is by no means settled. For example, while discrimination was far more often paired with sex from the 1960s through the 20th century and into the 21st, the phrase gender discrimination has been steadily increasing in use since the 1980s and is on track to become the dominant collocation. Currently both terms are sometimes employed with their intended synonymy made explicit: sex/gender discrimination, gender (sex) discrimination.

Words should be defined by God whenever He has spoken. So for example, man is the one who stands as representative of woman. Where did that definition come from? All the usage of Scripture. Solomon says, “My son” not “my child.” If we cared to learn Hebrew or Greek, we would see masculine terms used throughout the entire corpus of God’s Revelation. When teaching pastors to pray, Paul through the Spirit says that God desires all men to be saved where men means all humans.

If God meant “all humans” then why not write that? Because God actually meant something more than all humans. He meant all males and all females as imagined in a collective group whereby men are the representative head. It is that imagination or “metaphysical dream” to use Richard Weaver’s term that unsaved people hate. They despise a certain kind of imagination. But revelation does not care about your feelings. It was given for your good, not your good vibes.

All the worst people use the word “gender” when the word sex would fit better. Why are they all united in this modernism? Perhaps the same reason that same group hates Donald Trump. They are intent on destroying Western culture because it has been most influenced by Jesus Christ. Some institutions stand in their way like the family and the church. Some politicians stand in their way. And some words stand in their way.

Our world hates the Father and His Son, so we should expect them to make an attack on sex. It is not a sin to use the word “gender” to refer to sex, but it is conceding a point and making their argument easier. Unless you have a good reason, why concede anything to the children of Marx?

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33 Shadows of the New Covenant in Esther

If you have read Esther, I can assume you have seen the Invisible Hand of providence working all things for the good of God’s chosen people. The theme is “Deliverance of God’s People.” And those people are the Jews, the nation of Israel, the ones who had received the Law and the sacrifices.

But when we read the Old Testament, we should read it as Christians. Sacrifices in Leviticus make us think of our Savior who died for sinners. In some ways those sacrifices are just like the Cross, and in some ways they are different. Esther’s book, too, can be—and should be—compared and contrasted with the second half of the Bible.

6 Ways the book of Esther differs from the New Covenant

  1. There is no fault or guilt on those who need to be saved in Esther.
  2. There is no atonement in Esther.
  3. There is no conversion in Esther.
  4. There is no explicit statement of God or His presence.
  5. There is no righteous King.
  6. There is no church: the heroes are not united to Jesus, baptized in His Spirit, and living stones in His body.

As thrilling as the book of Esther is, it is still revelation from the time of the shadow.

But the text of Esther often sounds like the New Covenant.

Chapter 1

  1. Vashti, like the Old Covenant, must be replaced.

Chapter 2

  1. Mordecai, like Christ, has a mysterious origin. 2:5
  2. Mordecai, like Christ, adopts and guides the heroine. 2:7
  3. Esther, like the Church, obeys Mordecai precisely. 2:20

Chapter 3

  1. Haman, like Satan, is full of pride. 3:2-5
  2. Haman, like Satan, hates God’s people. 3:6
  3. God’s people, like the Church, are spread throughout the entire world. 3:6
  4. The Jews’ laws, like the laws of Christ, stand in contrast to all the other laws of all the other groups of the world. 3:8
  5. The Jews, like the world, are threatened with absolute destruction. 3:13
  6. The king and Haman, like the world, despise God’s people. 3:9-15

Chapter 4

  1. Mordecai, like the Church, must weep over his own danger. 4:1
  2. Mordecai, like Christ, wept over the danger before it happened. 4:1
  3. Mordecai, like the Church, cannot be saved without mourning. 4:4
  4. Mordecai, like Christ, refuses premature comforts. 4:4
  5. Esther, like the Church, has communion with Mordecai depending on and obeying his counsel. 4:4-17
  6. Esther, like the Church, yearns for corporate prayer. 4:16
  7. Esther, like Christ, offers herself willingly. 4:16
  8. Mordecai, like Christ, does what his loved one requests. 4:17

Chapter 5

  1. Esther, like the church, approaches the king with deep reverence. 5:1
  2. The king, like Christ, receives Esther gladly and generously. 5:2-3

Chapter 6

  1. The king, like Christ, delights to honor his servants. 6:6
  2. Mordecai, like Christ, is held in honor above his enemy. 6:11
  3. Mordecai, like Christ, is honored in part before the final honor. 6:11

Chapter 7

  1. Esther, like the Church, forsakes all for the good of God’s people. 7:4
  2. Haman, like Satan, is defeated before all the enemies are destroyed. 7:10
  3. Haman’s plans, like all sins, work out for the good of God’s people. 7:10

Chapter 8

  1. Esther, like the church, weeps before she rejoices. 8:3
  2. The Jews’ deliverance, like Christian salvation, produces saving faith in others. 8:17

Chapter 9

  1. Mordecai, like Christ, terrifies sinners and grows in fame. 9:3-4
  2. The Jews, like the Church, destroy their enemies. 9:5
  3. The Jews, like the Church, have misery removed and honor added. 9:15-19
  4. The Jews, like the Church, experience deliverance through the work of providence more than miracles.

Chapter 10

  1. Mordecai, like Christ, thinks of his people.

What is this list? 30 examples of how to allegorize? Will the next post be: 16 reasons America is the New Israel? Or 9 Truths the Original Author Knew Nothing About? Am I just finding things I like and squeezing them into OT passages? Or worst of all, is a list like this an example of self-centered “me-time” where every passage of Scripture must get back to me and my little group and current concerns?

I hope none of those things! But rather ask yourself one question: Does the book of Esther glorify Jesus Christ? If so, how? How was the Spirit of God intending this little book to glorify the Son of God? My answer is that many important truths are quietly foreshadowed here. Esther is not an identical copy of the New Covenant, but there are notes in this symphony that should make you think of the Composer’s Great Masterpiece. The OT and NT are Different works by the same Author. And the lesser—Esther—should make you think of the greater—the Cross and the Church. There is no mathematical correspondence between Esther and the New Covenant, but there is a matching scent—two different soccer victories by the same unstoppable athlete.

Did the Jews 400 years before Christ think of this? Of course not! Neither did Moses and Caleb and Zelophehad think of the Lamb of God when they read Leviticus 1-7. But if you don’t think of the Lamb of God and “It is finished!” when you read about the sacrifices, you are a bad reader.

If the bread is sweet, there’s sugar in it, and after preaching through this book, it delights my Jesus-hungry palate.

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