Num 35:11                                        The Manslayer                                            10/7/2012     

·        Whoso Sheddeth Man’s Blood (Gen 9:3-6, 1:27, Josh 20:3)

 

 

 

 

#1.       Who Is a Manslayer? (Matt 5:13, Deut 19:4-5, 1John 5:8)

 

 

 

 

·        They Shall Look on Him Whom They Pierced (John 19:37, Zech 12:10)

 

 

 

 

·        Who Qualifies as an Evil Murderer? (John 19:37, Zech 12:10)

 

 

 

 

#2.       A Theological Conundrum (Ecc 7:20, Psalm 51:4, Num 15:27-31, 1Tim 1:13, Heb 10:38, Rom 5:5)

 

 

 

 

 

#3.       Manslayers of a Different Color (John 8:44, 1John 3:15, 4:20, Matt 5:22, Jam 5:9, 3:5-6)

 

 

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Prophecy of Genesis, Gen 9:4 (2X). The title of today’s sermon is, The Manslayer”. The sermon of today is a continuation of the sermon I preached two weeks ago about the Cities of Refuge. You did not think that I was done with that topic, did you? It is not my style to leave you with only a historical description of the Cities of Refuge. God spent more than three chapters in the Bible on this subject matter. The spiritual implications of this topic must be huge, or else God would not write about these things so extensively. And so, the first question I want to bring up today is this: Why was it necessary for God to address this subject matter? Why did it come up in the first place? The answer is here in Gen 9:4-6,

·        Whoso Sheddeth Man’s Blood (Gen 9:3-6, 1:27, Josh 20:3)

Gen 9:3-6,  3 “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.” 4  But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. 5  And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. 6  Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.”

The blood of man is the blood of someone whom God made in His own image, for we read in Gen 1:27, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Therefore, when someone has been killed, the person who killed him has insulted God by a crime that screams for vengeance. If an animal has killed a man the animal shall be killed, and if a man has killed another man the manslayer must be killed. But if the manslayer did not plan to murder his fellow man, if it was an accident, then God provided a way of escape for this manslayer. This is why God commanded Moses and Joshua to appoint six Cities of Refuge throughout the land, so that the manslayer could find refuge in that particular City of Refuge. We read in Josh 20:3,

Josh 20:3, “That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they (anyone of these six cities) shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood.” And who shall be the avenger of blood? The answer is in Gen 9:5, “At the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man.” In other words, the brother of the victim, or the nearest kinsman of the victim, shall be the avenger of blood who must kill the guilty murderer. Let us see now, why does God use this kind of language. If the slayer has killed anyone unwittingly, or by accident, and flees to one of the Cities of Refuge, the slayer is still a worshipper of the God who has made man in His image. But if the slayer has killed someone deliberately the slayer is a hater of the true God, and he worships a god in the image of man. Now this is the real difference: People will always worship someone, either it is the God who made man in His image, or it is the god who was made in the image of man.

Today we will look carefully at the Manslayer. Please turn to the prophecy of Deuteronomy, Deut 19:4 (2X). Here is an example of a man who unwittingly became a manslayer. Throughout the Bible God spoke in types and figures with the intent that we seek to apply those types and figures to our daily life. This is how the Bible comes alive and becomes the living Word of God. The Bible is not a dry historical book like any other book of man, which lists all the facts of history. The Bible is not such a book. The Bible was written by the inspiration of God for the purpose of saving the souls of men. Something must be changed in our soul when we read the Bible. It is as if God is speaking to us.

Who is the manslayer fleeing to when he flees to the City of Refuge? We have already seen two weeks ago that the manslayer flees to Christ who dwells within the City of Refuge, for the City of Refuge is a symbol of the City of God, the New Jerusalem.

#1.       Who Is a Manslayer? (Matt 5:13, Deut 19:4-5, 1John 5:8)

Can every person in the world flee to the Lord Jesus Christ? The answer is: NO! We can clearly see that when we apply the spiritual meaning of the Cities of Refuge. Only those who lived in the land of Israel had the benefit of being able to flee to a City of Refuge. Let us apply that to our time. Today you can only flee to the Lord Jesus Christ if you have heard the true Gospel. But if you are in a church where the true Gospel is not heard, then you are not at all aware of that privilege. If you are in a false church where the wrath of God is not preached, and where hell is never mentioned, or if you are in a church which preaches that Christ has done all He could, that Christ has done His part and now you must do your part by accepting this salvation that has been offered to you, people call it “A Well Meant Offer”, then you are in a church where the true Gospel is not heard, and all that preaching is in vain; it cannot lead to salvation. The Lord Jesus said of this kind of free-will preaching in Matt 5:13, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” Salt is a symbol of the wrath of God. Any church that preaches the wrath of God without mentioning hell, preaches a gospel that is “good for nothing but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” Now that is a church full of manslayers, for they spiritually kill the members of their congregation, and they do it deliberately. They have heard the true Gospel, but they do not want to preach it, because it takes away their self-respect. It takes away their free-will, and that is something they worship more than God. But the honest manslayer has heard the true Gospel. The honest manslayer is described in Deut 19:4-5 as someone who accidentally killed someone. We read in Deut 19:4-5,

Deut 19:4-5, “4  And this is the case of the slayer, which shall flee thither, that he may live: Whoso killeth his neighbour ignorantly, whom he hated not in time past; 5  As when a man goeth into the wood with his neighbour to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and lighteth upon his neighbour, that he die; he shall flee unto one of those cities, and live:” Is this man guilty of sin? The law of God says that this man is definitely guilty of sin. When you break the law intentionally or unintentionally, in either case you have broken the law. We can clearly see this when we have broken any of the traffic laws today. But if we have broken the law unintentionally we can expect that the judge will be lenient in his judgment. Let us now apply this to the manslayer who flees to the City of Refuge. Is God speaking about you and me? Is God saying that those who flee to the Lord Jesus Christ must first be guilty of manslaughter? Am I guilty of manslaughter unwittingly? God says to all mankind: Yes you are! Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle of 1John, 1John 5:8 (2X) The Lord Jesus is hanging on the cross. He is already dead. Then a soldier pierced His side with a spear, and out came blood and water. How was this possible? His heart was not pumping blood, and so there was no blood flowing. But God provided this miracle to let us understand what God was doing and saying in 1John 5:8, and there we read,

“And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.” This miracle at the cross was a sign that was pointing to the birth of the church. The church was born at Pentecost after Christ rose from the grave. But how did God do that? For every conversion of a sinner to a saint there must be present three ingredients: #1, the Spirit, referring to God the Holy Spirit who must cause the sinner to become Born Again; #2, the water, referring to the Gospel declaration out of the mouth of the evangelist, for the preaching of the Gospel flows like water out of the mouth of the evangelist; and #3, the blood refers to the blood of Christ, for Christ must have given His life for the sinner who becomes a saint.

·        They Shall Look on Him Whom They Pierced (John 19:37, Zech 12:10)

Please turn now to the Gospel According to John, John 19:37 (2X). This is the event of the soldier piercing the side of the Lord Jesus, and of the miracle of blood and water. We read in John 19:37,

John 19:37 “And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.”

This was not only a fulfillment of a previous Scripture, but it also identified who they were who pierced Him at this point in time. What has come to pass at the cross was a fulfillment of what has been written in Zech 12:10. Please turn to the Prophecy of Zechariah, which you will find just before the Prophecy of Malachi. There in Zech 12:10 God used the same words that were used in John 19:37, which proved that these two passages belong together. We read in Zech 12:10,

Zech 12:10, “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” What is this passage in Zech 12:10 saying? Who are “they”? Christ says “They are the ones who pierced Me.” Was the Lord Jesus referring to the Roman soldiers who crucified Him and pierced His side? Yes He was, but He also referred to a group of people who were responsible for nailing Him to the cross and who pierced His side. The Gospel of John 19:37 tells us that. In fact in Zech 12:10 God says that “they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” These are not words that refer to Old Testament Jews, but to New Testament saints who are mourning for their sins. In fact, most of the Old Testament Jews are still in denial of Christ as the promised Messiah, so much so that God calls them the Synagogue of Satan, in Rev 2 & 3. The majority of the blood descendants of Jacob have never repented of crucifying Christ. And so, what does God say in Zech 12:10? Who is responsible for nailing Christ to the cross? We, all the elect, are responsible for the crucifixion of Christ, for our sins have put Him there. If we would not have liked our sins so much, or if we would not have been born, the Lord Jesus, the Second Person of the Triune Godhead would not have to come down to earth to save us from our sins. Ultimately, it was God’s purpose that the Lord Jesus would be crucified, but we were the cause of that crucifixion. Zech 12:10 says that we have pierced Him. Therefore, the Jerusalem which is mentioned in Zech 12:10 is not the city there east of the Mediterranean, but it refers to the New Jerusalem, the city of God. The Old Jerusalem of bricks and mortar, according to Gal 4:25, is in bondage with her children, which refers to the fact that Old Jerusalem is part of the Synagogue of Satan. But we have pierced Him. O, not intentionally; not premeditated murder; but nevertheless we are guilty of His death. Did we sin? Most definitely! Did we become manslayers? Most definitely! Do we have to flee to a City of Refuge? Most definitely! Do we have to flee to the Lord Jesus Christ? Most definitely! We must run as fast as we can. Our eternal life is at stake. Are we mourning for our sins? Most definitely! And so, here we see that the story of the Cities of Refuge applies directly to us. This is not a dry historical fact, but it serves to teach us the mercy of God, for we are sinners who deserve to be cast into hell. But like the apostle Paul we realize the grace and mercy of God which draws us to the Lord Jesus Christ. Of course you remember the basic meaning of the grace and mercy of God. The grace of God is unconditional favor. The mercy of God is unconditional pardon. The mercy of God is withholding what we do deserve; we deserve to be cast into hell. But God has decided to pardon us, and He decided that long before the foundation of the world. The grace of God is giving us what we do not deserve. We do not deserve to go to heaven. We do not deserve to be cleansed from our sins by Christ on the cross. We do not deserve to be adopted as sons of God. We do not deserve to reign with Christ in the New Heaven and the New Earth. We do not deserve the love of God which He has shed abroad in our hearts, to love Him and to love our fellow man. We do not deserve so many more things which God gives us freely.

·        Who Qualifies as an Evil Murderer? (Num 35:16-21, Rom 6:23, Acts 4:24-28, Deut 19:11-13)

Please turn now to the Prophecy of Numbers, Num 35:16 (2X). How does God define a wicked murderer? Or how does God define those for whom there is no mercy? This is important, for we have a God who is full of mercy. But when someone knows who God is, and he has heard the law of God, but he deliberately violates the law of God for he sins presumptuously; he thinks that hell does not exist for a good God would not send anyone to a lake of fire, does He? This person inherits the wrath of God, and God will have no mercy on him. Here are some examples to go by. Two men go into the woods, but one of them intends to do evil. We read in Num 35:16-21,

Num 35:16-21, “16 And if he smite him with an instrument of iron, so that he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death. 17  And if he smite him with throwing a stone, wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death. 18  Or if he smite him with an hand weapon of wood, wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death. 19  The revenger of blood himself shall slay the murderer: when he meeteth him, he shall slay him. 20  But if he thrust him of hatred, or hurl at him by laying of wait, that he die; 21  Or in enmity smite him with his hand, that he die: he that smote him shall surely be put to death; for he is a murderer: the revenger of blood shall slay the murderer, when he meeteth him.”

Through the revenger of blood God shall take vengeance on the murderer. But taking the life of the murderer is not the final sentence against him. When God says in Rom 6:23, “The wages of sin is death” God did not mean that physical death would be the final payment for sin, for then nobody would receive the judgment of God. But our God is a righteous Judge, and He will not pass by any sin. When the murderers of the Lord Jesus Christ shall stand before the judgment throne they shall not escape. And their pleasure of doing damage to the plans of God shall also be taken away, as the account in the Acts of the apostles reveals to us. We read in Acts 4:24-28,

Acts 4:24-2824  And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: 25  Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? 26  The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. 27  For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, 28  For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.”

This tells us that not only the elect are guilty of the death of Christ, but the whole world is guilty of the death of Christ. But there is a difference. The elect are guilty, but they stand guilty unintentionally, whereas the scribes and Pharisees stand guilty of murdering Christ intentionally. God in His omniscience sees all the sins the wicked are going to commit, and God has prepared His plans to incorporate the sins of the wicked. The wicked cannot fool God, for God has His avengers ready to take vengeance on those who are the deliberate murderers. We read in Deut 19:11-13,

Deut 19:11-13, “11  But if any man hate his neighbour, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him mortally that he die, and fleeth into one of these cities: 12  Then the elders of his city shall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die. 13  Thine eye shall not pity him, but thou shalt put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with thee.” These laws have never been rescinded. But you can see, when man takes over the law of God, and governments try to be more merciful than God, they truly make a mess of all the orderly things God has arranged.

#2.       A Theological Conundrum (Ecc 7:20, Psalm 51:4, Num 15:27-31, 1Tim 1:13, Heb 10:38, Rom 5:5)

Let us see if we understand the concept of the Manslayer correctly. Before we are Born Again we insult God all the time. God is not pleased with that, for we grieve Him all the time. What is sin? Sin is a transgression of the law. But sin is more than that. God says in Ecc 7:20, “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not,” and we have not always the law before our eyes when we sin subconsciously. And thus in our subconscious mind we act or we think sinfully, even during the acts of doing what is good. So, let us not be puffed up in our mind for the good things that we do, for all our works are at best tainted with sin. But our sins are not only against our fellow man; our sins are against God, for we read in Psalm 51:4, “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight:” Every sin is an insult to God. And so, our guilt of sin is a huge mountain of guilt before God. What can be done about that? God tells us that if we insult Him more, to the extent that we are the cause of the death of His Son the Lord Jesus Christ, we obtain the forgiveness of all those sins. Now, is that not a strange concept? First we insult God by committing all kinds of sin, but then if we insult Him more, so that His Son Jesus Christ, who is also God, will suffer and die under this barrage of insults, then all our sins are totally wiped away and we become saints in the sight of God. This is a theological conundrum. As you know, a conundrum is something that is an intricate and difficult problem. It is a mystery that has not been considered by the church in times past. But it is definitely true, for both the saints and the heathen are guilty of crucifying the Lord of glory. 

So, how can we understand this difficult problem? Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Numbers, Num 15:27 (2X). The first thing we observe is that there is a difference between our sinful acts in the sight of God before conversion and after conversion.  Before conversion we sinned continuously, not deliberately but unconsciously, and we were guilty and deserved to be cast into hell. Let God decide who sins deliberately and who sins ignorantly. For example, we read in 1Tim 1:13 that Saul of Tarsus, who persecuted the church, and imprisoned many, and consented to the death of Steven, who was a blasphemer, and injurious to the Christians, did it ignorantly.

1Tim 1:13 (I Paul) “who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.” Someone who sins deliberately against God will be condemned without mercy. But for someone who has sinned ignorantly there is mercy with God. It is a constant theme throughout the Bible: It is a dire warning against those who sin deliberately. From our birth we were under the law, and the law states that we must bring an atonement for our sins. For the Israelite it was a she goat of the first year. For us it will be a sacrifice of far greater proportions.

Num 15:27-3127  And if any soul sin through ignorance, then he shall bring a she goat of the first year for a sin offering. 28  And the priest shall make an atonement for the soul that sinneth ignorantly, when he sinneth by ignorance before the LORD, to make an atonement for him; and it shall be forgiven him. 29  Ye shall have one law for him that sinneth through ignorance, both for him that is born among the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them. 30 ¶ But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 31  Because he hath despised the word of the LORD, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him.” This is why God says in Heb 10:38, “If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” It is a dire warning against presumptuous sin.

According to the law, what must a person do who sins ignorantly? He must bring an atonement to make reconciliation to God. And what will be our sin offering? How much are you willing to offer to compensate for an eternity in hell? It must be the largest gift that we can bring. But even if the whole realm of nature were mine, that were a present far too small. And what gift can we bring that was not given by God in the first place? God comes to the rescue of those on whom His favor rests, His elect. God gives us, literally gives us, His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. We have come to know Christ and to love Christ as our dearest possession. We love Him more than anyone else in the world. Now Christ is no longer on God’s side as the one who has been insulted, but He is on our side, and has become our dearest treasure. But we must offer Him as our sin-offering. Only this is a sin-offering that can satisfy the righteousness of God. But we are not capable of sacrificing the Lord Jesus Christ. And here again God comes to the rescue. Through the actions of the Holy Spirit God will offer Christ in our place and imputes this sacrifice to our account, to atone for our sins. This is the only way we find the answer to this theological conundrum. Christ is not on God’s side as the one who has been insulted, but Christ is on our side as the one who will pay for the insults that we have done to Almighty God. The wrath of God has been appeased by the most valuable sin-offering in existence, and it has been credited to our account; and as a result “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Rom 5:5) We love Christ more than ever because He has done this, and we want to serve such a benevolent Savior. No not the dead Savior on the cross, but the resurrected one who has been given the charge over heaven and earth. He has become our leader and commander, and we want to serve Him in His army, for He is continuing His battle against all the forces of evil to bring us to the expected end in the New Heaven and the New Earth.

#3.       Manslayers of a Different Color (John 8:44, 1John 3:15, 4:20, Matt 5:22, Jam 5:9, 3:5-6)

Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel According to John, John 8:43 (2X). The Lord Jesus is here speaking to a bunch of very religious Jews, but they have no understanding. He says in John 8:

John 8:43-47, “43  Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. 44  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 45  And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. 46  Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? 47  He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” Satan was a murderer from the beginning. How did he murder? He murdered Eve and then Adam with his lies. He murdered hem spiritually so that they and all their posterity would stand before God dead in trespasses and sins. Satan cannot flee to the City of Refuge. He will receive his just penalty on the Last Day. Can these unbelieving Jews flee to the City of Refuge? NO! They are unbelievers. They do not believe Christ and they do not want Christ. That is the end of it.

Please turn now to the First Epistle of John, 1John 3:15, (2X). God sees the heart of man that it is wicked, and God declares the heart of unsaved man, the natural man. God says in 1John 3:15,

1John 3:15, “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” And if we drop down to chapter 4:20 we read there more of the same:

1John 4:20, “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” Can these people flee to the City of Refuge? NO! They have no intention to love their brother. They are as guilty as if they had killed their fellow man deliberately. God says, there is no City of Refuge for them.

Please turn now to the Epistle of James, Jam 5:9 (2X). Hating someone does not suddenly come upon us as if it fell out of the sky. Hating someone is a deadly sin, which indicates that we have never been saved. Hating someone is as deadly as becoming a manslayer. But this condition of hating someone gradually grew out of something very little, like having a grudge against someone, or something else very little. That is why God warns us in Jam 5:9,

Jam 5:9, “Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.” Do not bear a grudge against someone, for this grudge will grow more and more, and it will develop into anger, and anger will develop into gossip, and gossip is an evil tongue with which you can destroy careers, and marriages, and lives. Ad so, God warns us in Jam 3:5-6,

Jam 3:5-6, “5  Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 6  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” This is not a small matter for which we can flee to Christ in a City of Refuge. This is a major problem which may lead to getting denied entrance into a City of Refuge. And it begins with bearing a grudge against a fellow Christian. True, if we are among the elect we will not be developing into a murderer, for it is God’s will that we will abstain from such great evil. But how do we know if we are one of God’s elect in the beginning of our Christian life? And so, we should watch our attitude toward our fellow man, and we should especially watch our tongue, and listen to the desires of our heart. “Behold, the judge standeth before the door” (Jam 5:9) which tells us to watch out, for our life can be snuffed out any moment; and then we will stand before the Judge of all the earth; and then there will be no more City of Refuge to fall back upon.

AMEN                   Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.