[Exodus 20: 13]
“You shall not murder.”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
When somebody preaches that we have to keep the Ten Commandments, some people very easily say that they keep all of them.
But most of them respond like that because they do not understand the spiritual meaning contained in the Ten Commandments and not because they really keep them properly.
In most cases they don’t even realize that they are breaking the commandments. That is the case with today’s 6th commandment.
Because it says, ‘You shall not commit murder,’ some people just think, ‘I have never murdered anybody’, and with great confidence they insist that they are keeping the sixth commandment.
But once they learn the spiritual meaning of the commandment, not many of them can still respond so confidently that they keep the Ten Commandments.
But I urge you in the name of the Lord that all of you Manmin members will be able to say Amen loudly to this question for you are changing through the holiness gospel.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you won’t violate of any of the commandments and you will be confident before God, so that you will be able to experience the Father God who answers His children as they ask.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this is the 7th session on the Ten Commandments, and I will talk to you about the 6th commandment telling us not to murder.
Everybody recognizes the fact that a murder, which is to deliberately take the life of somebody without extenuating circumstances, is a grave crime.
But you should remember one more thing here, not only killing somebody else but also killing yourself is murder.
You cannot just take your own life just because it’s your life nor are you able to revive it.
It’s because the authority over life and death strictly belongs to God. It’s the same in the case of abortion.
Although the fetus is in the womb, it is also a human being, so parents cannot just kill a fetus as if it were something at their disposal. Even though the baby is in the womb, the authority over the life of the fetus still belongs to God.
Murder itself is a great sin, and as a parent, abortion is to take away the life of one’s own child. It must never happen.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, if one has common sense, he would know it is sin to kill somebody, even though we don’t explain why. But when God tells us not to murder, it does not have just the literal meaning that we must not kill a physical life.
God is prohibiting us from committing spiritual murder, too. What, then, is a spiritual murder?
First, it is to make somebody stumble with words and actions that are against the truth. To stumble is to trip when you walk or run. To make somebody stumble in the truth is to cause harm to another soul by making him go away from the truth.
For example, suppose one member asked a leader saying, “I have a very important family occasion on Sunday, and is it OK to miss the Sunday service?”
Now, if the leader answers, “If it’s that important, you cannot help but violate the Sabbath,” then this leader is leading that member to the way of death. Therefore, it is spiritual murder.
Now, let us suppose another case. One member who is in charge of church money is in need of money very badly, and he has some of the church’s money with him.
Now, suppose this person asks a leader, “I’ll only need it for a short while and I can pay it back in a couple of days, so can I spend some of the church’s money for a personal reason?” Now, if the leader teaches him that it’s OK only if he pays it back, it is also directly against the will of God, and thus, it is to make that soul stumble.
It is just like a blind man guiding another blind man and both of them falling into a pit.
If you teach untruth to somebody and that leads the person away from the way of life, it is spiritual murder.
Also, sometimes when a new-believer or a member consults you leaders, although you do not know the answer, you just give wrong answers because of your pride.
But because you give an answer that is not right at all, this member comes to suffer more and suffers from more trials.
I hope you won’t make anybody stumble this way. If you are not sure you can give the correct answer, you can just tell that person you will let him know later. And then, you can pray about it or ask somebody who is higher than you who is more likely to know the answer. Then you can give the correct answer to that person.
Also, if you speak evil words that you must not speak out and make somebody stumble, it is also spiritual murder.
It’s the case if you judge and condemn somebody, or if you make a synagogue of Satan and slander and alienate others from one another.
Through this, you make brother hate brother and act evil toward them.
Especially, if you spread the words of slander about a particular pastor or a church even without seeing it yourself, God will certainly hold you accountable for it. You saw many cases like this during the ྞ and ྟ incidents.
So many people stumbled upon hearing evil words that were not true, and just like the spread of a contagious disease, some people spread those words and they caused others to stumble, too.
Because people did not act according to the truth, many people had to fall into trials, and until they thoroughly repented before God, they had to suffer from difficulties.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, but in some cases, nobody causes them to stumble, but they stumble all by themselves because of their own evil.
Jesus acted only in truth, but the evil of the Jews or of a person like Judas Iscariot stumbled even under the guidance of the light of the Lord.
This was not that Jesus made them stumble, but they made themselves stumble with their own evil.
When somebody has some transgressions, if you stumble because of that, you should realize that you have evil in you, too. For example, suppose there is a kind of new-believer who has not cast off habits of old days. When somebody sees him, this person thinks, “Why does a Christian act that way? I will not attend church because of that kind of person,” and stumbles by himself.
This case is not that the other person made him stumble, but because of his own evil of judging and condemning others, he stumbled by himself.
Or in some other cases, because a person whom they thought was worthy of trust did some untruthful thing, they get disappointed and leave God.
For example, they become a surety for another person with trust, but they came to suffer because of that.
But by doing this they prove that their trust and faith were not true.
Especially, I have been teaching all the time not to put up security for anybody and not to exchange any money between brothers in faith. So, if anybody asks you to become a surety for him, you should be able to discern with the truth.
But if you weren’t able to clearly discern it, but disobeyed the word of God and became a surety for him and suffered a loss, then it is not something by which you stumble, but something that you have to repent.
Also, if you judge and condemn another person and stumble, you also have the possibility to make other people stumble with your evil.
If you have a truly good heart and true faith, even if you see some shortcomings of other people, you will only have compassion on them and pray for them.
If you do attend church because of somebody, or on the other hand if you do not attend church because of somebody, how can we say it is faith?
If you looked up to God and the Lord, you don’t have any reason to stumble because of these things, but because you were attending church looking at people, you may stumble.
In some other cases, there are some people who stumble because of the word of God, because they feel offended when the word of God is preached.
Because they do not act in the light but live in darkness, when they listen to the word of truth, they feel offended in their heart, act out evil, and leave the church.
For example, when the preacher points out some sins, they think, “This pastor is talking about me. He is offending me.” They then feel offended and upset and leave the church.
Also, still other people stumble because the word of God, which is the truth, does not agree with their education or their worldly knowledge.
For example, the Bible tells us that the tithe belongs to God and we will be blessed when we give proper tithes. But if the preacher says that they may feel uncomfortable thinking the church is always emphasizing money.
Also, when the preacher talks about God’s powerful works, some people do not believe them because of their fleshly thoughts and have uncomfortable feelings in their heart and stumble thinking, “He is talking nonsense.”
But in Matthew 11:6 Jesus said, “And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.”
John 11:10 says, “But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”
If you have goodness in heart to accept truth in you, you won’t stumble because of God’s word that is light. Because you dwell in darkness, you stumble by the word of God who is light.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, when one stumbles like this, it’s because his faith is weak and he has evil in his heart, but, the one who makes this brother stumble also has the responsibility. For example, even though you are teaching the truth, you should be wise to teach according to the listener’s measure of faith.
To a brand-new believer who has just accepted the Lord and received the Holy Spirit, if you say, “Quit drinking and smoking if you want to be saved,” or if you just say to a person who does not have faith, “You must never open your shop on Sundays,” or “It is a sin against God to stop praying, so you must come to church everyday and pray,” then, what will happen?
This is just like feeding a newborn baby with a chunk of meat.
Even if they may obey by being forced, they will feel “Christian life is hard,” and they may even give up attending church.
Matthew 19:7 says, “Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!”
You may say you said it for the other person, but because it was not appropriate for that person’s measure of faith, and as a result you murdered that soul spiritually, and consequently, you receive various trials.
If you truly love the Lord and the souls, you will be very careful even about one word so that you won’t make anybody stumble but give grace and edify him.
Although you teach the same truth, the important thing is whether you are offending and burdening the person or you are giving hope and strength to practice the word.
Our Jesus always taught the will of God correctly. He never caused anybody to stumble, but rather He taught with love so that sinners could come to act according to God’s will. He even gave His life to lead them to the truth.
Just as countless souls could come to the way of life through this Jesus, I hope you will also be able to guide many people to the way of life.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the second kind of spiritual murder is to hate your brother.
1 John 3:15 says, “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”
It is just to hate somebody in heart, and why does God say it is same as murder?
It is because a murder originally comes out from the root of sin called hatred. Even if you just hate somebody in your heart, if that hatred develops, you may express that evil towards that person with action, and finally, you may even murder that person.
In the case of Cain, the first case of murder in human history, also had the root of sin in hatred.
Cain could not love his younger brother Abel. He was very jealous and envious that Abel was more loved by God.
If he loved his brother, he wouldn’t have been jealous even though his brother was loved by God.
He would have rejoiced as if he himself were loved, and he would have done the will of God more in an effort to be loved by God more. But it was not the case with Cain.
God did not accept his offerings, which were given in disobedience, but God pleasingly accepted the offering of Abel, which was given in obedience. So, Cain’s hatred against Abel reached the extreme, and finally, he killed his own brother.
Matthew 5:21-22 says, “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’  “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.”
If you have hatred against a brother, you will do many evil things like above.
You may get angry and curse at him, fight with him, and if he is well off, you will be jealous. You will judge and condemn him and spread his transgressions.
You cause damage to him by cheating him. Sometimes, you have enmity with him and do not interact with him at all.
These evil acts caused by hatred are, after all, spiritual murder.
In the Old Testament times, the Holy Spirit had not yet come, so it was not easy for people to circumcise their heart and become sanctified.
But in the New Testament times, we have Holy Spirit in our heart, and He gives us strength to cast off even the sinful natures in our heart. Therefore, God wants His children today not to commit murder in action and at the same time He is telling us to cast off the root of sin called hatred.
If you cast off sins and evil from your heart and fill it with love, you will dwell in the love of God completely, and you will enjoy the evidence of His love.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today, I explained that we should not commit either physical murder or spiritual murder with the sixth commandment telling us not to murder.
Spiritual murder, first of all, is to become a stumbling block to a brother by words and actions that are against the truth, and secondly, it is to hate your brother.
1 John 4:11-12 says, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.”
If you love the other person, his faults or spots will not be seen. Even if you find a great transgression in him, you will have compassion on him, and you will try to strengthen him looking at him with faith so that he will change.
Because our Lord gave us this kind of love, you and I, who were sinners, can now be saved and go to heaven.
I hope you will love everybody with the love of the Lord who loved even His enemies.
Therefore, may God be delighted with you and lead you to New Jerusalem, and let you dwell in the love of God forever, I pray in the name of the Lord!