by Walt Giddings
April 24, 2022
Scripture Reading: 1 Timothy 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
Who among us has witnessed “rebuke before all” in any church assembly? Who has witnessed someone in church assembly being rebuked “before all”? Is this rare or nonexistent? According to the verse above, when are we commanded to rebuke? Are we commanded to rebuke when sin is in active commission? Is watching the Stupid Bowl a sin? Greetings kindred and fellow sheep. Who here does not see the need for this lesson?
Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
If Jesus was in this pulpit right now, and said “take heed to yourselves”, what would we do? Does it sound very dangerous if we do not “take heed” to ourselves? Is it unthinkable to mess this up?! How difficult is it to think of ourselves being in law enforcement? Does rebuking someone sound risky? Before we try this risky rebuking stuff, would we want to know a lot more about it?
What is “rebuke”? Rebuke is translated from the Koine Greek word G2008 epitimao, ep-ee-tee-mah’-o, whose seed meaning is to censure. Have we heard of legislative bodies censuring one or more of its members? G2008 epitimaho is also translated elsewhere charge. In two places in The Gospels Jesus charged the Apostles not to tell anyone he is The Christ, or Messiah.
In our Opening Scripture 1 Timothy 5:20, “Rebuke” is translated from G1651 elegcho, el-eng’-kho. It is also translated tell a fault, [Matthew 18:15] and reprove [Ephesians 5].
Luke 17:4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.
Is God’s Family Business “forgiveness”? “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” [Acts 5:31]. Is God’s Family Business “Salvation” of his Family on earth? Are “rebuke”and “forgive” connected?
How early in The Library of God does our Duty to Rebuke our Brother appear? Is this Commandment found only in The Scriptures from Matthew unto Revelation? Or was this Doctrine known unto “the church in the wilderness”? Did our forefathers, the Commonwealth of Israel, have a clear duty to rebuke? When, or under what circumstance did this Duty accrue?
Leviticus 19:17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.
Keep this Verse before your eyes. Who is “thy neighbour” in Verse 17? Dispersed or scattered among the nations, and in captivity under man’s law and not God’s Law, how risky could it be to “rebuke thy neighbour”? But, is this “the church in the wilderness"?! According to Verse 17, then, who is “thy neighbour”? Is he kindred? Is he “thy brother”?
Hold it! Stop right there! Preacher you have gone too far! Out of bounds! Foul Ball! (Ever think Baseball might be a Scriptural game?) That is not my job! That job belongs to the Pastor and the Elders.
Really! What if Moses dodged the job of rebuking Pharaoh? Are you nuts LORD? This guy is not even a brother! He does not know Joseph? The power of life and death is in his tongue! What if Nathan the prophet refused his assignment to rebuke David? Are you nuts LORD? This guy has already killed to conceal his Sin! He is king. The power of life and death is in his tongue! How can the Pas-tors and Elders stay in the Word if they are all the time holding Court?!
Preacher, I know you are a herald of the Gospel. When, or under what circumstance does the duty fall to me?!
This Herald is asking The God of our Fathers through The Great Shepherd of the Sheep to use the Crook in His Staff to turn our stiff Neck back toward Verse 17 to keep it before our eyes. Is this a brother to brother job?
Does failing “in any wise” to rebuke our neighbour constitute hating thy brother in thine heart? Selah! According to Verse 17 what is the purpose or goal of “thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour”? What do we attempt to accomplish in rebuking a brother?
“Thou shalt … not suffer sin upon him”!
Over the years Pastor Jerry has consistently, insistently, and persistently instructed the members of the Christian Reform Fellowship that the Beginning of every major Doctrine of Scripture can be found in The Book of Genesis. This is a cardinal Statute applying The Laws of Bible Study. Do we find a brother’s rebuke of a brother in Genesis?
Did Jacob/Israel rebuke his son Joseph for dreaming that his father, mother, and brothers all made obeisance to him bowing with their faces to the earth? [Genesis 37:6-11]. What was the result of that rebuke in Egypt? Does this rebuking business sound risky?
Did Jacob/Israel rebuke his father-in-law Laban for changing his wages ten times? What was the result of that rebuke? Do the meanings of the geographical names Galeed and Mizpeh explain the immediate results? [Genesis 31:38-49].
Preacher, I am neither under sacred oath of public office, nor drawing pay from the Public Treasury. Why on God’s green earth would I want to be in law enforcement?
Son of Abraham, are you living the Jesus Way or the Heathen Way? Are you Spirit led, or fleshly minded? Are you God’s Law enforcement through the unction of theHoly Spirit on all four hooves galloping? Son of Abraham, are you as Householder, the Head of Your House, enforcing The Law of the God of Israel, training your children up in The Way they should go? Did Jesus equate The Way to Himself? Did Jesus say, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life”?
Does failing “in any wise” to rebuke our neighbour constitute hating thy brother in thine heart? Selah! Did Laban, absent from his brother, Jacob, sin against him again? Look it up on your own time. I am running out of mine.
Is this major Doctrine of Scripture mentioned earlier in Genesis? Yes.
Is this startling? How difficult is it to be in Law Enforcement?
Genesis 4:9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?
Does failing “in any wise” to rebuke our neighbour constitutes hating thy brother in thine heart? Selah! If we abdicate law enforcement here, to whom are we like?
1 John 3:12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.< p>
When or under what circumstance does the duty of rebuking our neighbour fall to us? Is there any one of us that fails to see the need for this lesson? In order to see our brother’s need, would we have to be a witness he is committing sin? “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart.” No Cain behaviour among Christians. “Thou shalt in any wise”, no escape here, a clear duty! “rebuke thy neighbour”! Are we more fortunate than the members of churchianity? At least we have training concerning our neighbor, our kindred. We will not be rebuking cannibals in the equatorial regions to become dinner!
Who here feels sufficient for the task ahead? Let the record of these proceedings show my hand is not raised. Did the Apostle Paul ask in 2 Corinthians 2:16 “and who is sufficient for these things”? According to the Koine Greek word G2425 hikanos, hik-an-os’ translated sufficient, have we arrived, are we fit in character? The overriding purpose “not suffer sin upon him” is before our eyes.
Where do we find more instruction from Jesus on how to rebuke a neighbour?
Who among us have had a lesson on Matthew 18:15-20. Who can explain in 2 to 3 sentences the subject matter of these verses? What is Matthew 18:15-20 about? Whose words are these: Moses or Jesus?
15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, .. ” If my brother has not trespassed against me, do I have any duty to rebuke him? If my brother has trespassed against my best friend and deer hunting buddy, is it my duty to rebuke him? Who has incurred the duty to rebuke my brother? My best friend and deer hunting buddy?
Why did my best friend and deer hunting buddy tell me about my brother’s trespass against him? What are Jesus’ instructions to my best friend (as well as to me)? Does Verse 15 clearly say, “Go and tell him his fault between him and thee alone.”?
Why did my best friend do the exact opposite of Jesus’ Instruction? He did it for the same reason I did. My natural inclination is to do the exact opposite of God’s Way. That big S on the comic book hero’s chest stands for Superman. I have two big S’es on my chest. They stand for Stupid Sheep.
What does Scripture call not going and telling him his fault “between thee and him alone”? (Leviticus 19:16). For the answer to that question we have to go back to the words of Moses in the 3rd of the 5 Books of Moses.
16 Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD.
“I am THE GREAT I AM.” Are there only two things we can bring to our LORD’s GREAT NAME? Shame or Glory? Would either talebearing or standing against the blood of our neighbor bring Shame to His Great Name? How much is at stake here?
How big a Problem is Talebearing among The Congregation of Israel? If God’s People are not congregating, if God’s People are not in weekly Assembly, how can the Herald of the Gospel, how can the Preacher bring this Lesson?! Does it stand written in Hebrews 10, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
This lesson can only be for those who have the habit of weekly assembly. Please do not despair if your greatest Desire is for Fellowship. Church is not hard! We will be reading these words shortly: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” How many local churches do we find in the Pages of Matthew unto Revelation who met in houses?
How big a Problem is Talebearing among God’s People?
Proverbs 26:17 He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.
Is it the natural inclination of Sheep to engage in talebearing?
Proverbs 11:13 A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.
Does the Heathen Way exactly match the natural inclinations of Sheep? Does the Jesus Way exactly match the opposite of the natural inclinations of Sheep?
Proverbs 18:8 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.
Is there any one of us that has not wounded others? Shall we abound in Sin that Grace may abound? God Forbid!!!
Proverbs 26:22 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.
Has God chosen to repeat himself in His Word? How much damage have we Sheep done?
Should we “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance”? Does the Book of Proverbs instruct us how to repent?
Proverbs 26:20 Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.
“The strife ceaseth.” Back to Matthew 18.
Matthew 18:15 .... Go and tell him his fault between him and thee alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
How much healing could just that alone cause among the brethren?
If my brother shall not hear me, what do I do?
Matthew 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
If my brother should neglect to hear me and my one or two witnesses, what then should I do?
Matthew 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
Does that sound like 3 strikes you’re out? 3 outs, you’re out of the Inning! (Is baseball a scriptural game?) Is it a sin to watch the Stupid Bowl?
Does it seem to be cruel and unusual punishment to treat anyone as an heathen or publican man? Or is my mercy misplaced? What if a man is left in the Holy Body of Christ, The Church, to practice the Heathen Way like a daily exercise program in opposition to the Jesus Way? Would that continuing perfect bad example be corrupting? Would one rotten apple gangrene the whole barrel?
What if it is my turn to serve as the perfect bad example? If that one rotten apple is still here in Christ’s Body gangrening the barrel with his corruption, how encouraged would I be to limit my perfect bad example to but one occasion?! Does corruption breed more corruption?
What if it is your turn to serve as the perfect bad example? How easy will it be for you to repent and limit your perfect bad example to one occasion?
Paul the Apostle addressed this very kind of problem in his first Epistle to the Churches of Corinth:
1 Corinthians 5:1-7
1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles [heathen], that one should have his father’s wife.
2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
3 For I verily, as absent in body but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed.
4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the Spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Look back at Verse 1. A man in that local body of Christ was openly holding himself out to be married to his father’s wife. And it was a form of unlawful wedlock that even the permissive Greek society of the liberal city of Corinth did not countenance. It was scandalizing that Church body before the whole city, and bringing shame unto the Great Name of Jesus Christ the Righteous. Verse 5. What did the Apostle Paul counsel the Church to do? “Deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh.”
What means was the Church to use to deliver him unto Satan for correction?
Corinthians 5:13 But them that are without, God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
What did God just say to do? If the Church had failed to let that wicked person be unto them as an heathen man, would God had been forced to judge the Church? When the Church abhorred him, did God judge him? When the Church did not become partaker of his sin and did not receive of his plagues, what was the result of that wicked person’s disfellowship? Did God work a miracle and that stray sheep was returned to the fold? [2 Corinthians 7]. Did what appears to be cruel to the world, appear to be mercy to the Church?!
What is the subject matter of these verses?
18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
What was bound, and what was loosed in Verse 17? The first time I thought to ask this question it stunned me. I looked at the Greek verbs translated bind and loose: no surprises there; customary use; predictable. In all of my wallowing around and wondering I had this firm, underlying conviction The Holy Spirit would give me unction to understand. I forget how long it took. The thought occurred to me to go to The Koine Greek on the 1st word, not just Verse 18, but all 3 Verses: 18, 19, and 20.
The 1st word of Verse 18 is Verily. It is translated from the Koine Greek word G281 amen, am-ane’. It sources from the Hebrew H543 ’amen, aw-mane’. In both Greek and Hebrew the seminal signification is the forever Truth!
19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
What is the 1st Word of Verse 19? Again is translated from the Greek word G3825 palin, pal’-in. Its seminal signification is “on the other hand”, meaning here’s another way to say it. Does this mean that Jesus is expressing another way to say what He said in verse 18? The word agree translates a Greek verb signifying to be harmonious, and can carry the meaning to stipulate by compact. Does that sound like we are already under Covenant with our Covenant God? What does verse 20 tell us?
20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
What is the 1st word of verse 20? For translates the Koine Greek word G1063 gar whose seed meaning is assigning a reason. What do we call 2 or 3 gathered together in Jesus’ Name or authority and Jesus is in their midst?
Do we call that Assembly Church? Is Church really all that hard? What then is the subject matter of Verses 18, 19, and 20? Say it out Loud!
Why is Church government associated with a 3 stage procedure for settling controversies to prevent simmering resentments from boiling over to wreak Havoc on The Unity of the Brethren? Are there an entire Legion of ways we can tick each other off in the Flesh?
After release from Active Duty in The United States Army I worked my second job for a Town’s Department of Public Works. Six months into the job my fellow workers elected me Vice president of the local union of civil service employees. I quickly inherited 2 duties: contract compliance and grievance procedure. When I was ordered to do a dangerous job under patently dangerous conditions, I told management I was not required to like it. To set a good example for the men I filed 2 Grievances for breach of established safety protocols. The Union president was astounded. He said the grievance procedure had been in The Contract for years and nobody had ever used it, and you filed 2 of them! Relations between management and me swiftly went down the proverbial drain for night soil and the Town had to pay for the Hearing and the Administrative Law Judge to hear the case at the 3rd Stage. I won them both. 10 years later God dragged me back to The Bible. In Matthew 18:15-20, I saw the 3 Step Grievance Procedure of our Union’s Contract. The Relevance of our Bibles for today conked me on my thinking cap.
How does using The Grievance Procedure in Matthew 18 obey the Command to Rebuke “thy neighbour and not suffer sin upon him”?
“Tell him his fault” translates the Greek verb G1651 eleg- cho, el-eng’-kho, elsewhere translated as “rebuke” and “reprove”.
Our Forefathers who framed The Republic did not operate in a vacuum like Public Fool Graduates do today. They made no claim to be error free. Nor were they ignorant men. They downloaded Biblical Principles of Civil Government into our Framing Documents.
Where in The Constitution for the United States of America do we find Matthew 18:15-20? Where in The Constitution do we find “Rebuke”?
1 Timothy 5:20
Luke 17:3 “rebuke” thy brother.
[Acts 5:31] “forgiveness of sins.”
Luke 17:4 forgive 7 times.
Leviticus 19:17 “rebuke thy neighbour.”
[Genesis 31:38-49] “Galeed” and “Mizpeh”
Genesis 4:9 “my brother’s keeper
1 John 3:12 “Cain .. slew his brother.”
Matthew 18:15 “between thee and him alone.”
Leviticus 19:16 No talebearing
[Hebrews 10:24-25] Not forsaking assembly
Proverbs 26:17 taking a dog by the ears.
Proverbs 11:13 “talebearer revealeth secrets.”
Proverbs 18:8 wounds.
Proverbs 26:22 wounds.
Proverbs 26:20 “no talebearer.”
Back to Matthew 18:15 “thou hast gained thy brother.”
Matthew 18:16 witnesses.
Matthew 18:17 “hear the church.”
1 Corinthians 5:1-7 fornication.
[2 Corinthians 7] “repentance to salvation.”
Matthew 18:18-20 church government.
Homework: Where in The Constitution do we find “Rebuke”?