Let’s talk about a very difficult subject – judging others and separating sinners from our congregations. This is something we are scared to death of – judging others and separating sinners from us. We are all highly sensitive to our own sins and fearful of the judgment that could come upon us from YHVH by separating ourselves from sinners because we have been taught that this looks like “not love”. To us humans, all separation is evil even when YHVH requires it.
WHY DOES YHVH REQUIRE SEPARATING SINNERS FROM HIS HOLY CONGREGATION?
To understand that, we need to understand that YHVH Elohim is more concerned about the congregation than the individual. The congregation of the Kingdom must be comprised of the creme de ‘la crème of all humanity and there are standards set forth by YHVH as quality control measures to bring this about. YHVH cares about individuals in the congregation because of their place in the congregation but He requires a certain level of enthusiasm and patriotism of the heart for His Kingdom, akin to that of peoples’ national patriotism, that brings forth the fruit of a high standard of conduct.
YHVH’s standards requires the removal of the defective, the blemished, the defiled members of the congregation. Leaving the defective, blemished and defiled members within the congregation defiles the entire congregation. Thus, YHVH requires that His people clean His House and He tells us how to do that. Well-trained children know how to clean their parents’ house. Only a congregation with non-defective people, righteous people, can be called a holy congregation. And someone can be righteous but still imperfect the way man looks at imperfection. This is why YHVH gave His people His justice system. His justice system is how He expects us to keep His House clean and it is His justice system that keeps individuals clean.
A righteous person wants to stay righteous. But sometimes things happen that the righteous person does not know about but which cause him to have a blemish, a defect, as it were. We were given YHVH’s justice system so that all the individual sheep of the congregation can check out all the other individual sheep to see if everyone is in compliance with YHVH’s high standards.
To this end, YHVH’s people are called to be judges and to separate the defective people from among us. Every offeror of a sacrifice must go through his flock or herd separating out the defective animals. He must judge the animals and their conditions. This agricultural object lesson applies in every way to how people are to judge each other for defects. There is coming a day when Yeshua will judge and separate His flock based on blemishes and defects. But for now, He expects us to learn how to properly identify defects and judge them according to His laws of what is acceptable in the congregation and what is not acceptable in the congregation just as a sheep herder would for his flock.
We learned in church that judging others is evil and self-serving and separating someone from a congregation is abominable to YHVH. That’s Christianity. Let’s see what YHVH actually says about judging and separating the defective – the sinful people – from the righteous congregation.
Every nation on earth has a police force except the Kingdom of Israel. We are the Israelite police. Individuals within the congregation always have their eyes open for defects in themselves and others in order to protect the integrity of YHVH’s congregation and His Name. Spiritual and behavioral defects and lack of care for YHVH’s standards result in profaning His Name.
In our duty as police, fighting sin in the congregation takes constant judging, constant watching. When you know someone is sinning you are required to act. How do you act? You bring the offense to the attention of the sinner.
The unrighteous will say they don’t want to be constantly under people’s scrutiny. The righteous will be glad for it because when the Biblical policeman comes calling the righteous person will be ready to repent to keep his life in line with the Word. Besides, we are all under people’s scrutiny all the time which is why we must also avoid even the appearance of evil. The problem is, though, the judgments coming forth from people most of the time are from their personal Torah. These are criticisms with no foundation in YHVH’s expectations of us. These criticisms only point out our lack of suitability to the person making the criticism but to YHVH. I will talk about this later because this is what we must avoid while learning to do right judgment.
We are told from the start to rebuke our brother. Well, we cannot rebuke if we cannot make righteous judgments.
Leviticus 19:17 You shall not hate your brother in your heart: you shall in any wise rebuke your neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him.
WHY ARE WE TO JUDGE?
We are to put evil away from YHVH’s congregation which protects all of the individuals in the congregation.
Deuteronomy 17:12 And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not heed the priest that stands to minister there before the LORD your God, or to the judge, that man shall die: and you shall put away the evil from Israel.
Israel is the congregation.
Deuteronomy 22:22 If a man is found lying with a woman married to a husband, then they shall both die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shall you put away evil from Israel.
Judges 20:13 Now therefore deliver us the men, the children of Belial, which are in Gibeah, that we may put them to death, and put away evil from Israel. But the children of Benjamin would not listen to the voice of their brethren the children of Israel:
The Benjamites protected their brothers who had raped and murdered a Levite man’s concubine. This resulted in a war between the other 11 tribes and Benjamin with heavy casualties on both sides. The Benjamites were wicked because they would not separate the sinners from the congregation and thus were left with only 1,000 of their men by the time the war was over. It all but decimated them. For us, it is a lesson of what YHVH allows to happen to a congregation that will not separate sinners from its midst.
1 Corinthians 5 is a chapter dealing only with one issue – sin in the congregation. Paul indicts the congregation more than the man who is sinning.
1 Corinthians 5:1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles, that one has his father’s wife.
1 Corinthians 5:2 You are arrogant, and didn’t mourn instead, that he who had done this deed might be removed from among you.
1 Corinthians 5:3 For I most certainly, as being absent in body but present in spirit, have already, as though I were present, judged him who has done this thing.
1 Corinthians 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, you being gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
1 Corinthians 5:5 are to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
The man was sinning and the congregation was refusing to put him out of the congregation. Paul says this attitude, this unwillingness to put him out, is being “puffed up”, or arrogant. The Greek word for “puffed up” is ‘fooseeo’ and it means arrogant. Arrogance is one of the 7 things that YHVH hates and says is an abomination to Him in Proverbs 6:16-19. This whole congregation was arrogant for not judging the man and separating him from among them, thus putting the evil away from them.
What is the purpose of putting the evil away from the congregation? That we may be holy as YHVH is holy.
Leviticus 11:45 For I am the LORD that brought you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: you shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
Why is it so important for YHVH’s congregation to be holy?
Ephesians 5:27 That He might present it to Himself a glorious congregation, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
This is talking about the Bride, folks. No one with sin – blemishes, defects – will be a part of the Bride.
There is a great separation coming in the wilderness where “the woman” of Revelation 12:6 will flee to that I will talk about later on. Separating rebels away from the congregation will be done and will be necessary for Yeshua to have an unblemished and equally-yoked-with-Him Bride that He can bring into His city, Jerusalem.
BUT WE DON’T WANT TO JUDGE
No one said righteous judging was easy. It has to be done in the right way and for the right the reason. A person judging unrighteously, in the wrong way and for the wrong reason is also guilty of sinning. So, when we judge, we must be sure that our motives are Kingdom-oriented and intended to put the evil out of the Kingdom and not for the purpose of getting some sense of personal satisfaction or simply to cause trouble for the person. The accused really must have committed a Torah sin for judgment to be judgment and not malice.
The first place people go regarding judgment is…
Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
They stop there but they should continue reading.
Matthew 7:2 For with whatever judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you.
This has to do with manmade laws and personal preferences, a person’s personal Torah that we measure others with but that we do not measure ourselves with. This is not referencing righteous judgment but man’s judgment.
John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
We have this Kingdom mandate from the beginning. We have the mandate to judge. In fact, we must all submit to judgment, as well. None of us can see our own defects and blemishes. Again, the righteous desire to have their defects and blemishes known in order to get this fixed because they can be fixed through repentance. Unlike a sheep with a physical defect that cannot be changed, humans can have their spiritual and behavioral defects changed by someone noticing and caring enough to say something for the purpose of helping the person to repent.
I am not talking here about personality issues but real sins that another person can point to in the Torah with scripture to show what the sin is.
Let me add right here that when we don’t bring our brethren’s defects, his sis, to his attention, we are not loving him as we do ourselves. In fact, we are hating him as it says in:
Leviticus 19:17 You shall not hate your brother in your heart: you shall rebuke your neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him.
It is interesting, don’t you think, that YHVH thinks His people have this duty and right but His people think any such rebuke is evil? Just mention that someone won’t meet face to face with you to work out a sin between you, and he won’t take the advice of the 1 or 2 other people that have been asked to assist in the situation and now we have to go to the next step in both Deuteronomy and Matthew and see what happens. The accusation against the one trying to work through a problem of sin with another will be accused of dividing the congregation when the whole congregation is called to do its congregational duty as given by YHVH from the beginning!
Is YHVH wrong in His thinking and in His commandments for His people to judge each other? Maybe YHVH just doesn’t know what He’s doing! Right? Wrong! We are Israel’s judges according to YHVH, for as far as we can take a matter up to the point of going before the entire congregation. The reason for the priests and the judge being appointed in Deuteronomy 17 is because they represent the entire congregation of Israel! Logistically, as the Kingdom grew in population, it would not be possible for every single case that is too hard for the two individuals wrangling over an issue to come before the entire congregation. So YHVH created offices to represent His congregation in these matters – priests and the judge – when no judgment could be reached locally, that is within the local congregation.
Leviticus 19:17 has a strange combination – not hating your brother in your heart coupled with a command to rebuke him. Literally, what it is saying is we hate our brother if we refuse to rebuke him. Why? Because, first, it suffers sin on him by not showing him how he sinned in case he doesn’t realize he has sinned, and second by letting him know his sin is not secret. If he sinned and knew he was sinning (which is deliberate sin), he may also think no one knows about it or those who do know won’t care. But now, here you come to show that either he is not aware of his sin or that his sin has found him out. Oh boy… what will the reaction be? The deliberate sinner, the unrepentant kind, will lash out at you and cause a scandal wherein you are the center of attention and at fault.
HOW ARE WE TO JUDGE?
We just by following the steps.
Let’s go to Deuteronomy 17:8.
Deuteronomy 17:8 If there arise a matter too hard for you in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, being matters of controversy within your gates: then shall you arise, and get you up into the place which the LORD your God shall choose;
Let’s go to Matthew 18.
Matthew 18:15 Moreover if your brother trespasses against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone: if he shall hear you, you have gained your brother.
Matthew 18:16 But if he will not hear you, then take with you one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
Matthew 18:17 And if he shall refuse to hear them, tell it to the congregation: but if he refuses to hear the congregation, let him be to you as a Gentile and a Publican.
Yeshua said anyone has not only the right but the authority but also the mandate to approach a person he knows is sinning to rebuke him, to reason with him from the Torah’s laws to bring that person to repentance. If that person is unrepentant and we do not separate that person away from us, we will be guilty of binding their sins in heaven, tying their sins to God. That is what the scripture says in the next verse. Let’s take a look at that.
Matthew 18:18 Most certainly I tell you, whatever things you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever things you release on earth will have been released in heaven.
Yeshua said this right after, and in reference to, putting a sinner away from the congregation. What this means is that our allowing the sin to remain tied to our congregation causes it to be tied to Heaven. This is why YHVH has such a bad reputation through His people! It is why nonbelievers reject Him. Our testimony when we just overlook the sins of people in our congregation is that we tie YHVH’s reputation as a sinning “God” to our own sinning reputation!
I know you have not heard this before. “Binding” means to tie or knit something together. Yeshua just told us to put a sinner away from us and then goes directly to “whatever we knit together in our congregation here on earth will be knit together in Heaven”! Is it any wonder that YHVH is coming to punish His people? We are literally tying or knitting sin into His congregation and right into His heavenly abode! Israel has been doing this for the last 3500 years. Yeshua was teaching the Disciples to not do this. We are expected to not do this.
BACK TO WHY ARE WE TO JUDGE?
If we don’t judge others and learn how to do it righteously and execute the judgments we will not be fit to rule and reign with our King. Being capable of making righteous decisions in the upcoming Kingdom of Yeshua during the Millennium requires learning how to do it during the lifetime we were given whether that be now or anytime within the last 3500 years. Do you think Yeshua, the King, will want those who do not judge sin at all, do not judge sin righteously or those who judge improperly being Priests and Kings ruling with Him?
Psalms 1:5 Therefore the wicked shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
HOW TO SENTENCE A REBELLIOUS BROTHER
We get disturbed and confused about Matthew 18:17, the part that says if our brother won’t heed us even when we come with one or two more people to establish the truth, that we are to treat him like a tax collector (Publican) and a Gentile.
Matthew 18:17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the congregation. If he refuses to hear the congregation also, let him be to you (collectively as a congregation) as a Gentile or a tax collector.
We don’t know the cultural context of that today so let me explain.
A Publican and a tax collector are two terms for the same kind of person. Publicans earned a living by cooperating with the occupying Roman empire and some of them lined their pockets by stealing additional money from people through extortion. A stereotype was created in that day that meant in the Jewish culture that if you were a Publican, a tax collector, you were automatically ostracized from Jewish society.
We all know what a Gentile is – someone who is not part of YHVH’s Kingdom.
How were these people treated? Apparently, Yeshua did not disagree with some aspects of treating tax collectors and Gentiles in a certain way. So how were they treated that made Yeshua, our King, treat the unrepentant like that? After all, didn’t Yeshua preach only love and mercy and blessings on our enemies? No. That’s what Christian “mercy-naries” tout because they also teach that the God of the Old Testament is a wrathful God. They do that because they don’t understand that the God of the New Testament is the same as the God of the Old Testament. Those who understand the Kingdom know better.
So how were Publicans and Gentiles treated that Yeshua agreed with? They were treated like you would treat a stranger, someone you do not personally know and someone whom you don’t want to get to know. You don’t hang out with them; you don’t eat with them; you don’t do business with them; you don’t invite them to your home or go to their home. This is how tax collectors and Gentiles were treated in Jewish culture. They were separated completely away from the Jewish congregation. In other words, they were marked as non-Jewish. In the context of the 12-tribed Kingdom, a sinner put out of the congregation this is way is marked as “not Israelite” and becomes a Gentile. That is the mark Paul spoke about in Romans 16:17.
Romans 16:17 Now I beg you, brothers, mark those who cause discord and obstacles contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and turn away from them.
Some confusion comes in because we read that Yeshua had Publicans and sinners (no Gentiles) in His House.
Matthew 9:10 And it came to pass, as Jesus sat eating in the house, behold, many Publicans and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples.
These Publicans and sinners are people in need of Yeshua’s forgiveness. Being ostracized is the best way to make a person see his need to repent. Notice that Yeshua did not regularly seek out Publicans and sinners or Gentiles (Matthew was the exception). Notice that THEY, the Publicans and sinners, came to join Him and the Disciples in Matthew’s house without Him calling them! This is the Ruach drawing them to Him without the help of people.
There’s the difference and the point! When we ostracize people and separate them from us because they refuse to repent of proven sins because we went through YHVH’s Deuteronomy 17 and Matthew 18 process, He can work with them. He can draw them to His House for repentance. But if we won’t put them away from us, separate them from us, we are keeping YHVH’s judgment in our own hands, tying up His authority in that person’s life and defiling the congregation with that person’s sin and our own sin. What sin is ours? The sin of not doing YHVH’s justice system YHVH’s way. When we stand with the sinner, we become guilty of that person’s sin. That is simply a principle of law even throughout the nations worldwide today. A person who aids a criminal is liable for aiding and abetting the criminal.
We are to remove sin from the congregation and remove ourselves from the presence of sinners. Keeping an unrepentant sinner as personal friend and/or a member of our congregation does 2 things: 1) It puts us in agreement with their sin thus lowering the reputation of the entire congregation, and 2) prevent them from getting cleaned up spiritually by sending the message that there is nothing sinful about the sins they are committing. So you get defiled by the sinner and the sinner keeps on believing they are right with YHVH!
How can we say we love someone if we won’t turn their soul over to YHVH for judgment and their bodies over to Satan for the destruction of their flesh?
THE LAST GENERATION’S TIME OF TESTING
Here is the problem we face as we head into our time of cleansing as the Bride of Yeshua. Our ancestors in the first generation in the wilderness failed the test of not separating sinners from the congregation. They whined after Korah, Abiram and Dathan were killed by YHVH for their sins! They complained when the wicked spies returned from reconnoitering the Land and they were punished for their sins. The entire congregation were punished for disagreeing with YHVH (like people do today who refuse to judge sinners because it’s not loving and merciful). But even before these incidents, the people had celebrated being a newly ordained nation by sinning with the golden calf. The Levites earned their position in YHVH’s service because they stood against the sin and killed those involved thus putting away the evil away from the congregation.
Later, the people in the wilderness did not stop their young men from going to fornicate with the Midianite and Moabite women. They brought on themselves Balaam’s curse because they refused to keep the congregation free of sin.
I said earlier that Yeshua will not use those who refuse to learn how to judge correctly and then be willing to execute the sentence of separation as someone who will rule and reign with Him. But it goes even further than that. Not being willing to separate from sin and sinners is rebellion, in YHVH’s eyes.
Ezekiel 20:33 As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, surely with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out, I will be king over you.
Ezekiel 20:34 I will bring you out from the peoples, and will gather you out of the countries in which you are scattered with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out.
Ezekiel 20:35 I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face.
That’s how we’re supposed to deal with our brethren. By the way, that wrath that will be poured out is not on the world, but on YHVH’s own people.
Ezekiel 20:36 Just as I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you,” says the Lord Yahweh.
Ezekiel 20:37 “I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant.
Ezekiel 20:38 I will purge out from among you the rebels and those who disobey me. I will bring them out of the land where they live, but they shall not enter into the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am Yahweh.”
I guarantee that if anyone stands in the way of YHVH’s justice in this coming wilderness he, too, will be put out.
Do not confuse separating a sinner from among yourselves with being unforgiving. As soon as the person repents, take him back! Quickly!
2 Corinthians 2:5 But if any has caused sorrow, he has caused sorrow, not to me, but in part (that I not press too heavily) to you all.
2 Corinthians 2:6 This punishment which was inflicted by the many is sufficient for such a one;
2 Corinthians 2:7 so that on the contrary you should rather forgive him and comfort him, lest by any means such a one should be swallowed up with his excessive sorrow.
2 Corinthians 2:8 Therefore I beg you to confirm your love toward him.
Who is Paul talking about? The sinner that he exhorted them to separate from the congregation in 1 Corinthians 5 that has now been sorrowful and repentant. As soon as the sinner repents, he is to be restored to the congregation.
God can’t do His mercy until we stop doing our “mercy”. Our mercy never heals the person. Only YHVH’s mercy does. Our mercy only serves to keep the sin and the sinner among us defiling us. Our mercy is perverted and harmful to others. No matter how much we believe we are helping the sinner to change, the fact is that no one comes to repentance except he is called by God. It simply requires us to do our job so YHVH can do His. And our job is to get out of the way.
THE POST-CONFLICT SITUATION
Inevitably, separating a sinner from the congregation results in the loss of other people, friends and even family. Disagreements over whether or not the sinner actually sinned (even though proven through scripture and witness testimony) and differences in approach, i.e. whether the person should be kept within the congregation where he can be “helped” and even disagreements over people maintaining relationships with allies of the sinner, second- and third-hand relationships to the sinner, outside the congregation will arise.
The question to ask is whether it is wise to allow any connection to the sinner through second- and third-hand relationships? Don’t such relationships constitute an inroad for continued contamination of the congregation?
Psalms 1:1 Blessed is the man who doesn’t walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand on the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers;
Remember that when people sit with sinners, they are themselves sinners. Maintaining an ongoing relationship with those people who are allies of the separated sinner now makes you a sinner, as well. These are the people who counsel the wicked, separated person, that you’re hanging out with. These are those who reject YHVH’s justice system. Your friendship with the allies of the separated sinner makes you one of them by association.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Stop being deceived: “Wicked friends lead to evil ends.”
1 Corinthians 5:11 But as it is, I wrote to you not to associate with anyone who is called a brother who is a sexual sinner (fornicator), or covetous, or an idolater, or a slanderer, or a drunkard, or an extortionist. Don’t even eat with such a person.
It is unwise for any member of the congregation who has separated a sinner from its midst to allow members to continue relations with friends of the sinner. I have shown you that those who refuse to put the sin away from them are guilty of the same sin; they are standing with the sinner. Therefore, anyone who maintains friendship with people who are friends with the sinner is opening the door for problems to enter.
James 4:4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
John 17:14 I have given them your word. The world hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
David (2 Samuel 15:12), Jeremiah (Jeremiah 11:18) and Yeshua (Matthew 26:14) were recipients of conspirators within their close circle of brothers and friends. It is dangerous for connections between the marked sinner and a congregation to remain no matter how innocent those second- and third-hand relationships seem to be.
I spoke earlier of doing good to those who are outside YHVH’s of will.
Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that Yahweh your God himself is God, the faithful God, who keeps covenant and loving kindness with them who love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations,
Deuteronomy 7:10 and repays those who hate him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slack to him who hates him. He will repay him to his face.
It is difficult for us to be wise in regard to former relationships. Once we let go and change the status of our relationship with sinners and those who stand with sinners from “friend” or “brother” to just another person, YHVH can deal with them. If we keep our hands in YHVH’s pie, He cannot deal with them. God can be prevented from doing His work in peoples’ lives.
Mark 6:1 He went out from there. He came into his own country, and his disciples followed him.
Mark 6:2 When the Sabbath had come, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many hearing him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things?” and, “What is the wisdom that is given to this man, that such mighty works come about by his hands?
Mark 6:3 Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judah, and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” They were offended at him.
Mark 6:4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own relatives, and in his own house.”
Mark 6:5 He could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people, and healed them.
Mark 6:6 He marveled because of their unbelief. He went around the villages teaching.
It wasn’t that Yeshua could not do miracles there. It was that He would not because He would not give His pearls in front of scoffers and unbelievers. Neither are we to give of our precious pearls, the benefit of our approval of sinners and their friends even though they may be mutual friends.
Earlier I said, “Notice that Yeshua did not regularly seek out Publicans and sinners or Gentiles (Matthew was the exception). Notice that THEY, the Publicans and sinners, came to join Him and the Disciples in Matthew’s house without Him calling them”. When the Ruach draws a sinner without our intervention it creates an entirely different kind of connection to YHVH for that person. This connection is more intimate and stronger than before they committed the sin. I know this from personal experience after having left the church for over 20 years. I came back because YHVH called me, not because people kept “loving” me or witnessing to me or trying to “help” me. I was not capable of hearing them, anyway. My heart after returning to YHVH because His Ruach called me is toward the Kingdom and my mind seeks His mind and my heart desires only His will in a way that was not the case in the 15 years that I walked in the faith before walking away from the faith.
The hardest thing to do is stand back and get out of the way. There is nothing you can do once the sinner is separated. The Ruach has to draw them to Yeshua without your help. The only kind of help you can give is the fleeting moment of love that a believer would show to a stranger in need. Those fleeting moments are reminders to the sinner of what once was but now is not.
We can hinder YHVH from bringing a sinner to repentance by continuing our friendship with him or by continuing to run in his circle of friends. Hindering YHVH trying to bring someone to repentance while we are still hanging out with him or with his friends means that we are standing in the way, but YHVH can go around us to get to that person. But it is more likely that our former relationship with him will never be restored as it would have if we had changed his status to “Gentile” and treated him with only the kind of love afforded to Gentiles but which brothers do not receive. We must decide which is better: That we keep those relationships as they are or that we let them go so God can bring them back with new understanding about their sins after repentance.
How are we to love these people? We are commanded to love them but what does that mean? Pray for them. Be polite and kind to former friends who are now marked as Gentiles. If you see one of them struggling, in danger or in position of dying, needing food or water, help them (Luke 6:32, Matthew 5:44) as you would a Gentile but don’t seek their closeness in your life. These loving actions can help a former sinner see that real love is righteous love and righteous love is available to everyone in need. YHVH does not give His abiding presence to the rebellious yet He allows them to live and often thrive. Jeremiah expressed exasperation to YHVH over the success and happiness of the wicked (Jeremiah 12:1). A kindness performed while withholding friendship and brotherhood may make the sinner finally have remorse over his loss, the loss of you, and bring him to repentance so your relationship with him can be restored.
Proverbs 12:1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.
Proverbs 10:17 Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray.
Proverbs 27:5 Better is open rebuke than hidden love.
Jeremiah 12:5 “If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses? Though in a land of peace you are secure, yet how will you do in the pride of the Jordan?
Jeremiah 12:6 For even your brothers, and the house of your father, even they have dealt treacherously with you! Even they have cried aloud after you! Don’t believe them, though they speak beautiful words to you.
Let us begin to clean up our congregations now before the coming Tribulation gets in full force because it will be during that time that friends and brothers will become betrayers. That kind of betrayal could cost an entire congregation their lives if we don’t separate sinners away from us along with our mutual friends!
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