Study on John 8:1-11 – The Woman Caught in Adultery
We’re going to look here at a very well known passage of Scripture, that in spite of how commonly it is known, is also in my opinion one of the most misunderstood and most twisted passages of Scripture. And that would be John ch 8 verses 1-11, where a woman caught in adultery is brought to Jesus. Many use this to try to justify a belief that Jesus actually rebuked the Law of Moses, to justify the common belief that Jesus does not condemn sinners, and to justify the common belief that any and all confrontation of sin or opposition to sin is equivalent to casting stones at people. We will see here how twisted and inaccurate such beliefs are. And hopefully we will see well what this passage of Scripture really is dealing with and comprehend some important lessons which we should really get out of it.
So in reading about this event recorded in John ch 8:1-11, it is good to use this as a reminder that the books of Scripture were written as books which contained no chapter breaks (nor verse numbers either). As we start John chapter 8 then we are not dealing with a different time nor a different scene than what John chapter 7 ends with. There are obviously shifts in scenery and shifts in dates which are recorded within the books of Scripture. Yet the chapter breaks do not necessarily mark such. The text itself will mark out such shifts when they happen- and such shifts can happen within a certain chapter just as easily as they can happen from one chapter to the next. So in John chapter 7 Jesus is teaching at the Feast of Tabernacles. It is a very heated, controversial occasion marked by intense debate among the people about whether Jesus is the Messiah spoken of in the Hebrew Scriptures, scorn and derision from most of the Jewish leaders against Jesus and those who claim that He is the Christ, and even an attempt by some of the Jewish leaders to arrest Jesus near the end of the feast which ends up failing.
Reading from John 7:37-53: “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified). BTW: The time that the Spirit was so given is recorded in Acts chapter 2, hence the significance of that chapter. 40 Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. 41 Others said, This is the Christ (we know that the Great Prophet that Moses said God would raise up is the same as the Christ, but at the time there was uncertainty about this among the Jews). But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? 42 Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? (Actually both were true, showing the importance of really trying to impartially understand the whole story of a matter) 43 So there was a division among the people because of him.44 And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him. 45 Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him? 46 The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. 47 Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived? 48 Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? 49 But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed. 50 Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them, 51 Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth? (Understand that Christ’s opponents who claimed faithfulness to God’s Law, the Law of Moses, did not actually have that- see Proverbs 20:6) 52 They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet. (They were wrong, by the way, at least Nahum and Jonah did come out of Galilee- perhaps Elijah also- and maybe more) 53 And every man went unto his own house.”
The Feast of Tabernacles was, along with the Feasts of Passover and Pentecost, one of the three feasts which every Jewish man was required to attend each year. So many had come many miles from other places to Jerusalem for this feast; but for many others, Jerusalem was home and the intensity of the debate regarding Jesus did not end with the close of the feast. So Jesus sticks around Jerusalem and continues teaching in the Temple even after the feast is over. And many who had been hearing Him continue to come and hear Him. Some of the Jews who are His enemies are angry and jealous, but they are afraid to arrest Him because of their fear of the common people; and this is not an easy thing anyways since even the Temple’s own officers, whom some of the leaders had commanded to take Him, didn’t have the courage to do so. So they need a strong reason to arrest Him which the common people will be in agreement with and which the Temple officers will be compelled to comply with. Or perhaps, they might even cause Him to be arrested by the Romans. They hatch a plot, not to put the Law of Moses on trial- that would be considered ridiculous- but rather, a plot to entrap Jesus and make Him look like a villain before either the Jews or the Romans who ruled over the Jews. This plot would put Jesus into a tight place where (they thought and hoped) that He would either have to deny the Law of Moses and directly get in trouble with the Jewish people and the Jewish authorities for doing so OR that He would say something which the Jews could accuse Him to the Romans about so He would be seen as a rebel against the Roman Empire.
I’m reading then from John 8:1-6 (we’ll get to verses 7 to 11 soon): “Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. 2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. 3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.”
Understand then that this was an insincere trial. These men are tempting Jesus and seeking to put Him on trial actually by how he handles this woman which they have brought to Him. We already saw in the previous chapter, and we see all over the Gospels, that Jesus’ enemies are unjust men, who despite their professed zeal for the Law of Moses, were out of line with the Law of Moses. That is what made them hypocrites! They sought to abuse the Law to condemn Jesus when the Law really testified against them and their unjust behavior. This basic truth is seen various ways, and said in different ways, throughout the Gospels.
So for those who don’t know, the Judicial aspects of the Law of Moses were given to be executed under the oversight of Israel’s judges, not things which people were to just independently carry out on their own. They were given also with the obvious implication that Israel is a sovereign nation not subject to any foreign rule. Israel was so when God gave the Law through Moses. God had threatened Israel that subjugation by foreign nations would be a judgment if it was disobedient to God; and such subjugation had happened at various times throughout Israel’s history and was surely happening in Jesus’ time. Israel was not an independent nation now, as it had been conquered by the Romans (it wasn’t really even known as Israel then, at least by the Romans- yet Judea, Galilee, and Samaria were Roman provinces that basically covered most of what had been considered to be the land of Israel. That entire region was under Roman rule). We also know from the Gospels, and from history in general, that the Romans recognized Judaism as a religion and basically allowed the Jews to practice their religion and follow their Law. But one key exception, and we see it by how the Jewish leaders delivered Jesus to the Romans when they eventually did wind up arresting Him, is that the Jews did not have the legal power to execute the death penalty. That was something which the Romans had to condemn someone to in order to be legal under their rule. So the basic plot of those tempting Jesus is to either get Him to say that she should be stoned so they can deliver Him to the Romans as a rebel to their Empire OR to get Him to say she shouldn’t be stoned to legitimize His arrest by the Jewish authorities, with the charge that He was speaking contrary to their Law. This is really nothing but an attempt to trap Jesus in His words and to make Him out to be a criminal to either the Romans or to the Jews. Furthermore, understand that though Jesus is the Judge of all mankind, and will act in that capacity when He returns, and even in some ways is acting in that capacity now, when He was a man on earth He was not a Judge in either criminal or civil matters, so He would not be the person on this occasion that you brought an adulterer in front of if you were sincerely seeking to bring an adulterer to justice- especially if you refused to even believe that He was the Jewish Messiah like His enemies refused to believe!
So be clear that there is no sincerity on the part of the accusers here and that Jesus’ verdict here is not a pronouncement on whether the Law of Moses’ prescribed punishment on adulterers is valid! Jesus is the one who gave the Law to Moses, He is the Word made flesh, and anyone who believes He’d ever speak contrary to the Law of Moses is a Marcionite (and we talked about such in our study on the Error of Judaizing Part 2; and we also talked there about how the Judaizers wrongly process the fact that Jesus always spoke and acted in accordance with the Law of Moses). A Marcionite is basically anyone who would put Jesus at odds with the God of the Old Testament and the words which God spoke in the Old Testament. Marcion was a heretic who taught that the God of the Old Testament and the Father of Jesus Christ are different gods (Marcion teaching that the God of the Old Testament was really the devil). This is obviously a wicked and easily refuted heresy!
The Law of Moses indeed commands that adulterers be stoned. But it also commanded that there be multiple witnesses, impartial witnesses, who initiate the stoning after the accused is found guilty. And it commands that all the parties involved in the adultery be stoned, not just the woman and not just the man.
Leviticus 20:10: “And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.”
Deuteronomy 22:22: “If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.”
And BTW: The Bible calls Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father, a just man for wanting to put Mary away instead of having her stoned as a public example when they were betrothed and he found out that she was pregnant. And that must have to do with the fact that even though Joseph didn’t understand that this baby had been conceived miraculously in Mary’s womb by the power of the Holy Spirit when she was still a virgin, he still didn’t know exactly what happened and there was no man he could accuse justly of committing adultery with her. So he assumed the best and sought to save Mary’s life, knowing he didn’t really understand what happened- and he was considered by God a just man for this (even though many misled Jews with misguided zeal would have been forward to have her stoned if they had heard about her pregnancy.
So back to John ch 8, obviously there was sin in this matter among each and every one of these accusers. Otherwise they would have brought the man to be stoned too! And since this was a set-up, and since they obviously didn’t care to faithfully carry out the law, it is quite possible that they had a married man offer this woman, possibly a very poor woman, a very large sum of money for her service so they could catch her in adultery and bring her to Jesus. So there may very well have enticement to sin here, something which God’s Law rebukes and forbids too. There was definitely at least some type of entrapment here and there was SURELY partiality here. And partiality in the Law, and the respect of persons which is inherent in such partiality, is something which God also rebuked Israel for often and severely!
Deuteronomy 16:18-20: “Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the Lord thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment. Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous. That which is altogether just shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and inherit the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”
Malachi 2:1-9: “And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. 2 If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.3 Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it. 4 And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the Lord of hosts. 5 My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name. 6 The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity. 7 For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. 8 But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts. 9 Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law.”
Obviously respect of persons and partiality in the Law were so unfitting and hideous in Israel’s Judges and Priests because they are wrong for everyone! And though we don’t know for sure what Jesus wrote on the ground as this woman was accused before Him, we know that the consciences of these men were convicted and they backed out of their scheme. It is quite possible then, and best theory that I know of about this, is that Jesus, when He wrote on the ground here, wrote verses from the Law and the Prophets which rebuked things along the lines of partiality in the Law and respect of persons. Regardless, we know that in everything Jesus said, did, and wrote (and I believe this is the only occasion in the Bible where we see Him writing as a human) He would have been in agreement with the Law of Moses and faithfully upholding it!
John 8:45-47: “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.”
( Psalm 119:142: “Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.”
1 John 3:4-5: Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.”
Hebrews 1:8-9: “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity (i. e. lawlessness); therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”)
Matthew 23:1-3: “Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, 2 Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: 3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.”
No one can say then that Jesus would have ever done or said anything contrary to the Law of Moses without being a hypocrite and without Scripture’s commentary as a whole on His character being false.
Continuing then with John ch 8, going on to John 8:7-11:
“So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
Those who hear this should understand well then, by what has been said in this study to this point if they didn’t understand already, that Jesus was not saying here that those who actually stoned people in accordance with the Law of Moses were hypocrites who should have never done such a thing. Nor was He saying that things were at this point changing so that an impartial, just stoning was morally unacceptable now, even if it might have been right before. God has still ordained human governments, composed of men tainted by sin, to carry out His principles of justice on earth. And God ordained the death penalty for certain crimes that reach a certain level of severity in His eyes, which He deems the best remedy for to involve the death of the perpetrator. That has never changed, even when Israel was subjugated by the Romans that didn’t change, even though Israel faced complications as a result of the Roman Empire not having the same exact list as the Law of Moses regarding which crimes deserve the death penalty nor the same excellence in establishing whether one accused of such a crime is certainly guilty so that the death penalty would be warranted in their case. And that is still true, even as God has sent the Gospel among the nations, nations with political Governments which are separate from His church (unlike when His visible people was the nation of Israel, which was both a political entity and had religious authorities which were also political authorities of the nation). We are to honor the political powers in our nations and agree with, cooperate with, and appreciate it when they carry out the Law in a way which is at least to some measure consistent with how He appointed Israel to be governed through its judicial authorities in punishing crime and openly immoral deeds which undoubtedly corrupt the entire society. And if a Government (and only if!) agrees with the Law of Moses that this or that crime is worthy of death, we should support the death penalty for that crime being carried out when (and only if!) the accused is deemed guilty through a fair trial (hence no partiality and respect of persons to our knowledge influencing the outcome of the trial) and the punishment is carried out under the authority of the same Government (i.e. not private citizens taking the law into their own hands). Such is good and consistent with Christianity! You cannot even be a faithful Christian if you do not agree with this nor if you obstruct such justice knowingly in any way! Hence we read in Romans 13:
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.” (Romans 13:1-7)
And this is all consistent with, and even obviously a necessary component of, our duty of love towards all men, as the chapter thus continues:
Romans 13:8-14: “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. 11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.”
It is an eternal principle that righteousness before the true God means recognizing the distinction between things like right judicial action and the protection of the oppressed from oppressors versus personal revenge and taking the law into one’s own hands. This is why it was right for David to kill Goliah but to spare King Saul; this is why Moses had stonings performed under his authority of blatant malignant rebels (which God had prescribed and didn’t require true witnesses to be perfect before they threw stones at them), yet prayed for Miriam and Aaron when they spoke against his own person. This is why Jesus as a man did good to His enemies, prayed for them, and even died to make a way for them to repent and be forgiven- yet as the judge of mankind He will still condemn His unrepentant enemies to the eternal fire of hell on Judgment Day! And He even has throughout history made examples of some of His more blatant enemies and killed them in His fury. It happened in Old Testament times (remember the flood in Noah’s time, Sodom, etc); it happened in the New Testament (remember Ananias and Sapphira being killed in judgment of their hypocrisy), it happened later in the first century, though not recorded in the New Testament (sending the Romans to execute His judgment and destroy Jerusalem and about nine years later Mount Vesuvius erupting and destroying the rebuilt Sodom in principle that was the city of Pompei); and it will probably yet happen again even before His ultimate coming to judge the entire world in righteousness (and don’t be surprised if we see such a thing very soon even if we aren’t yet alive at Jesus’ second coming)!
And this distinction between righteous judicial vengeance versus sinful personal retaliation is why you might meet someone who is thirsty and have a duty to give him drink, but yet have an obligation to play a part in condemning the same person to death someday if you should ever be a jury member, a judge, or an executioner as he, through due process of law, is found guilty of a crime that warrants the death penalty. And this distinction also might mean that you would have an obligation to say a certain person, whom you don’t like at all, is innocent and should be let go, if you were to be a juror at their trial where the prosecution failed to provide overwhelming evidence of their guilt in the crime which they are accused of. And those who don’t recognize, understand well, and honor this distinction are virtually guaranteed to be promoters of unrighteousness somehow, in some way. This is a huge deal! Look at those who use Jesus’ command to love your enemies as a pretext for fighting against the death penalty and promoting illegal immigration. These are just as bad as those who don’t rightly apply Jesus’ words about loving your enemies where they ought to apply them. Those in that category do things like retaliating for perceived wrongs and withholding needed emergency help from people out of spite.
So when Jesus said in verse 7 of John ch 8 here “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her”, He would have been speaking against the Law of Moses if He had meant that its verdict about stoning was wrong or at least impossible to carry out. Saying such a thing would have actually provided an occasion for His enemies to accuse Him (like they were looking for!) if that is what He meant. But obviously He meant that those who were without sin in this matter should be the ones to cast the first stones at her. This was speaking in accordance with the Law of Moses and clearing Himself of any wrongdoing before both the Jews and the Romans. If these witnesses were so zealous to carry out the Law of Moses’ verdict about stoning adulterers (which they were pretending to be, but weren’t) they should risk the wrath of the Romans in doing so. And if they are partial (and hence false) witnesses (like they were indeed), then they would be violating the Law of Moses by carrying out the stoning!
Deuteronomy 17:6-7: “At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. 7 The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you.”
Deuteronomy 19:16-21 lesson: Those found to be false witnesses were to receive the same punishment which those they testified against would have got.
Again, where is the man? He was to die too according to the Law. Remember, God rebuked Israel for respect of persons and partiality in the law. Such bias inherently makes a person a false witness (consider: “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”).
Leviticus 19:15: “Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor.” (Remember also Deuteronomy 16:18-20 and Malachi 2:1-9 quoted above)
“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” (Exodus 20:16)
Were these men not telling the truth? They were surely not telling the truth! Otherwise, they would have told the whole story- one that involved the man, the set-up, and their ultimate intent to destroy Jesus! Hence they had sin, not just sin in the past nor sin in a vague, general sense nor were they even convicted about sin in other matters in the present. They had sin in this matter here and now! And by how Jesus handled this they were convicted of their sin in this matter and awakened to the potential danger that they would be in were they to proceed, and which they might even be in already, with both the Roman and the Jewish authorities (the latter were probably more corrupt and biased than the Romans really, but even these feared the people enough that they had to at least feign being just men). Hence they abandoned their plot and went away.
Jesus, who had been stooped down and writing, is left alone with the woman. He inquires where her accusers are and asks whether any man had condemned her, obviously knowing that no man had done so, yet for some reason wanting her to acknowledge this. She tells Him that no man has condemned her; and He tells her “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” (vs 11) Obviously in context, meaning that no man had stoned her and that He was not going to stone her now, as He surely knew that this was a set-up and He had not witnessed the adulterous act anyways. But that wasn’t the end of it, as He made sure to tell her to “go, and sin no more.”
I think that people now are more likely to assume that verse 11 says “I will never condemn thee; go, and sin some more.” That’s not what Jesus said though! Look at what the verse actually says and consider the context! And we know what “sin no more” means. And though many need better instruction about the true nature of sin and about the boundaries of sin, when you talk to someone, they know what you mean by the general principle of “sin no more.” You know that they know what this means! At least in principle. And many argue against the reasonableness of this principle and against the realistic expectation of the principle laid down here regarding man’s obligation before God. And by studying the contrast in the Bible between those whom God deemed righteous, those whom God deemed wicked, and how people turned from wickedness to righteousness and vice-versa, we will be equipped to better understand, define, and defend this principle.
God delights in showing mercy, but He doesn’t offer mercy unconditionally. The need to surrender yourself to God through His Son the Lord Jesus, while totally breaking off from the pleasures and perceived securities which sin brings, is the strict condition of obtaining God’s mercy through Jesus Christ. And one aspect of this is even agreeing to support the death penalty for those sentenced to death in a manner consistent with God’s Law, even if they are your own relatives or friends! There is no other way to avoid partiality in God’s Law and being a respecter of persons (Deuteronomy 13:6-11- related to this see also Matthew 10:34-39 and Luke 14:25-33). Remember what Jesus said “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14) People want to forget about this and misinterpret the passage about the woman caught in adultery so as to pit Jesus against Jesus, as people twist many passages of Scripture to pit Scripture against Scripture (remember that Jesus is the Word made flesh, so this is ridiculous)! A key reason we are studying this passage is that those who deny this narrow way of salvation in Christ will twist this passage to promote an overall light view of God, Pacifism, universalism, easy-believism, cheap grace, unconditional eternal security, etc as well as to minimize God’s wrath overall, as if He really ought not to be feared much. This passage has been so twisted that NOW someone who tells a sinner to go and sin no more might even be accused of casting stones at people!
This passage is also twisted to make it sound like punishing evil and standing against evil is outside of man’s jurisdiction completely, when as we saw, we each have a duty in certain capacities to do this- at least in promoting and cooperating with judicial action that is consistent with God’s Law as much as possible under the present circumstances. This passage actually teaches that we should not be partial in God’s Law, not act contrary to it, not use it to falsely accuse Jesus, and that any attempt which man may make to twist the Law of God to make Jesus sound inconsistent, or to seem in any way at enmity with the Law, will be cast down and proven foolish! You could see someone doing something similar today in many ways, such as approaching a Christian and saying “We’ve got an adulterer here. The Bible says to stone someone like this! Are you going to obey the Bible? If you don’t stone this adulterer, you’re a hypocrite.” Well if that happens you have the principles laid out in this study to protect yourself and to shed light on such a scheme so that it will be exposed as the foolishness that it really is! And obviously, if any would try something like this, even if the Christian whom they try to put to shame doesn’t handle such an attempt too well, the tempter will still surely be proven a fool on Judgment Day (at least) when God reproves their folly and proves it to be such!
It is true that this woman who got caught in adultery got a reprieve, as well as a wake up call. Yet if she did not eventually obey and stick to Jesus’ admonition to go and sin no more, then she eventually went to hell despite this reprieve. All the patience and long-suffering of God with sinners is given with the intent that we come to our senses and be obedient to this admonition!
Romans 2:3-11: “And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? 4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 10 But glory, honor, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11 For there is no respect of persons with God.”
So you can be sure then that no one who continues in adultery, or in any deed contrary to the Law of God and the glorious Gospel of Christ will have any part in Christ’s kingdom. The hammer of God’s wrath, which the just stonings in the Bible carried out in accordance with God’s Law previewed, will surely come on down on them and they will be sent to the fire of hell with no remedy and no hope of escape. And that is why we call people to turn from sin and to seek God with their whole hearts before the Great Day of His wrath comes. No passage in the Bible, when rightly divided and understood, provides anyone who can understand this call with any discharge from siding with God in His great conflict with man; and from needing to cooperate with His great aim of bringing man out of his sin to worship and serve Him, even to suffering and not loving his life unto the death. In Revelation chapter 4, before Judgment Day has come, we see a rainbow (and look at how that symbol has been hijacked!) around God’s throne, symbolizing His patience with mankind and His offer of mercy to man on earth. But then in Revelation chapter 20, when all men, small and great, stand before God on His Great White Throne, that rainbow is gone.
Isaiah 55:6-7: “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”
Galatians 5:19-21: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Mark 9:43-44: “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”
Ephesians 5:5-6: “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.”
For any questions or clarification on this study, contact bro Aaron at [email protected].