This study is available in Spanish here.
Visit the Wisdom of God Forum and discuss this study here.
To view a list of all studies in this blog, click here.
Recommended before reading this study,
Believers are commanded to not associate with sinners,
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— (1 Corinthians 5:9 [NIV])
But this passage is not speaking of sinners among unbelievers,
I was not including the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. (1 Corinthians 5:10 [BSB])
For although believers are commanded to not have friendships with unbelievers,
You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. (James 4:4 [NIV])
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Master. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”
(2 Corinthians 6:14-17 [MODIFIED-NIV])
It is necessary for believers to associate with unbelievers in order to spread the gospel to them and call them to repentance,
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. (Mark 16:15 [NIV])
While Yeshua was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this, Yeshua said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:15-17 [MODIFIED-NIV])
But the ones believers are not to associate with are with sinners among believers,
But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. (1 Corinthians 5:11 [NIV])
For just as the Israelites who were disobedient in the desert were cut off,
While Israel was staying in Shittim, the men began to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women, who invited them to the sacrifices to their gods. The people ate the sacrificial meal and bowed down before these gods. So Israel yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor. And the Yehovah’s anger burned against them. Yehovah said to Moses, “Take all the leaders of these people, kill them and expose them in broad daylight before Yehovah, so that Yehovah’s fierce anger may turn away from Israel.” So Moses said to Israel’s judges, “Each of you must put to death those of your people who have yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor.” Then an Israelite man brought into the camp a Midianite woman right before the eyes of Moses and the whole assembly of Israel while they were weeping at the entrance to the tent of meeting. When Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, saw this, he left the assembly, took a spear in his hand and followed the Israelite into the tent. He drove the spear into both of them, right through the Israelite man and into the woman’s stomach. Then the plague against the Israelites was stopped; but those who died in the plague numbered 24,000. Yehovah said to Moses, “Phinehas son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, the priest, has turned my anger away from the Israelites. Since he was as zealous for my honor among them as I am, I did not put an end to them in my zeal. Therefore tell him I am making my covenant of peace with him. He and his descendants will have a covenant of a lasting priesthood, because he was zealous for the honor of his God and made atonement for the Israelites.” The name of the Israelite who was killed with the Midianite woman was Zimri son of Salu, the leader of a Simeonite family. And the name of the Midianite woman who was put to death was Kozbi daughter of Zur, a tribal chief of a Midianite family. Yehovah said to Moses, “Treat the Midianites as enemies and kill them. They treated you as enemies when they deceived you in the Peor incident involving their sister Kozbi, the daughter of a Midianite leader, the woman who was killed when the plague came as a result of that incident.” (Numbers 25:1-18 [MODIFIED-NIV])
Although believers now do not execute the penalty of death required by the Law,
You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from Yehovah your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. (Deuteronomy 13:9-10 [MODIFIED-NIV])
Believers must cut off any believer who is in sin by expelling them from the assemblies,
What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.” (1 Corinthians 5:12-13 [NIV])
Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Master Yeshua Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. (2 Thessalonians 3:6 [MODIFIED-ESV])
If anyone comes to you but does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your home or even greet him. Whoever greets such a person shares in his evil deeds.
(2 John 1:10-11 [BSB])
I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. (Romans 16:17 [ESV])
Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed. (2 Thessalonians 3:14 [NIV])
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. (Psalm 1:5 [NIV])
Even if it is someone in the natural family of the believer,
Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies. So he stood at the entrance to the camp and said, “Whoever is for Yehovah, come to me.” And all the Levites rallied to him. Then he said to them, “This is what Yehovah side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.'” The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died. Then Moses said, “You have been set apart to Yehovah today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and he has blessed you this day.” (Exodus 32:25-29 [MODIFIED-NIV])
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even their own life–such a person cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26 [NIV])
Where some may even die because the spirit of God himself will kill believers that sin,
Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Set-Apart Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.” When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him. About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?” “Yes,” she said, “that is the price.” Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Master? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.
(Acts 5:1-11 [MODIFIED-NIV])
For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 11:29-30 [NIV])
Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Set-Apart Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an aeonial* sin.”
(Mark 3:28-29 [MODIFIED-NIV])
Just as the spirit of God killed Israelites that were disobedient in the desert,
“Say to the congregation, Get away from the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.” Then Moses rose and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. And he spoke to the congregation, saying, “Depart, please, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest you be swept away with all their sins.” So they got away from the dwelling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. And Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the door of their tents, together with their wives, their sons, and their little ones. And Moses said, “Hereby you shall know that Yehovah has sent me to do all these works, and that it has not been of my own accord. If these men die as all men die, or if they are visited by the fate of all mankind, then Yehovah has not sent me. But if Yehovah creates something new, and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them up with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into Sheol, then you shall know that these men have despised Yehovah.” And as soon as he had finished speaking all these words, the ground under them split apart. And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the people who belonged to Korah and all their goods. So they and all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol, and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly. And all Israel who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up!” And fire came out from Yehovah and consumed the 250 men offering the incense. (Numbers 16:24-35 [MODIFIED-ESV])
“Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. Pay careful attention to him and obey his voice; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgression, for my name is in him. (Exodus 23:20-21 [ESV])
In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. Yet they rebelled and grieved his Set-Apart Spirit. So he turned and became their enemy and he himself fought against them. (Isaiah 63:9-10 [MODIFIED-NIV])
Where whoever commits a sin that deserves the death penalty in accordance to the Law of the Master, such as adultery, or a man sleeping with his father’s wife, must be expelled immediately,
If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he should ask God, who will give life to those who commit this kind of sin. There is a sin that leads to death; I am not saying he should ask regarding that sin. All unrighteousness is sin, yet there is sin that does not lead to death. (1 John 5:16-17 [NIV])
“‘If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife–with the wife of his neighbor–both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10 [NIV])
You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife; it is your father’s nakedness… For everyone who does any of these abominations, the persons who do them shall be cut off from among their people.
(Leviticus 18:8-29 [ESV])
It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. (1 Corinthians 5:1-3 [ESV])
And for sins that do not deserve the death penalty in accordance to the Law of the Master, such as theft,
…”Anyone who steals must certainly make restitution, but if they have nothing, they must be sold to pay for their theft. If the stolen animal is found alive in their possession–whether ox or donkey or sheep–they must pay back double.
(Exodus 22:3-4 [NIV])
Where the judgment against a thief is that he must pay back up to seven times what he stole, twofold since all restitutions must be paid back in double amount, plus fivefold if what was stolen was an animal, like an ox, and was killed, for food,
People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger when he is starving. Yet if he is caught, he must pay sevenfold, though it costs him all the wealth of his house. (Proverbs 6:30-31 [NIV])
“Whoever steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it must pay back five head of cattle for the ox and four sheep for the sheep. (Exodus 22:1 [NIV])
Or not giving to the poor,
“If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that Yehovah your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart and you say, ‘The seventh year, the year of release is near,’ and your eye look grudgingly on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to Yehovah against you, and you be guilty of sin. (Deuteronomy 15:7-9 [MODIFIED-ESV])
These are to be warned twice, for we are all commanded to rebuke a brother who is in sin,
Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. (Titus 3:10 [NIV])
“‘You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. (Leviticus 19:17 [NHEB])
Be careful. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him. If he repents, forgive him. (Luke 17:3 [WEB])
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.
(Galatians 6:1 [ESV])
And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete. (2 Corinthians 10:6 [NIV])
Just as I urged you to remain in Ephesus when I was going to Macedonia, so that you might warn certain men not to teach other doctrines, nor to give heed to myths and endless genealogies, which bring speculations rather than God’s stewardship, which is in faith.
(1 Timothy 1:3-4 [BLB])
Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,
(2 Timothy 2:25 [NIV])
My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
(James 5:19-20 [NIV])
Where unless the sin is committed against a believer specifically, where a warning can be done privately,
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. (Matthew 18:15 [ESV])
All warnings and expulsions must be done in the witness of two or three, before everyone in the assembly,
Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.
(1 Timothy 5:19-20 [ESV])
And by the third incident, these must also be expelled from the assemblies also,
Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? It is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ, and all for your upbuilding, beloved. For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder. I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced. This is the third time I am coming to you. Every charge must be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. I warned those who sinned before and all the others, and I warn them now while absent, as I did when present on my second visit, that if I come again I will not spare them— (2 Corinthians 12:19-13:2 [ESV])
And because of this is why it is said that judgment begins in the house of the Master,
For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”
(1 Peter 4:17-18 [NIV])
Where aside from being expelled, the elect have authority to deliver such people over to Satan,
you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Master. (1 Corinthians 5:5 [MODIFIED-ESV])
Where the purpose of delivering someone to Satan is to cause them to be afflicted, by things like disease and disaster,
And Yehovah said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.” So Satan went out from the presence of Yehovah and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. (Job 2:6-7 [MODIFIED-ESV])
Yehovah said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of Yehovah. One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, and the Sabeans attacked and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the heavens and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
(Job 1:12-19 [MODIFIED-NIV])
Since afflictions like these are brought by Satan, and also his angels,
When Yehovah goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down. (Exodus 12:23 [MODIFIED-NIV])
How he had wrought his signs in Egypt… He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them.
(Psalm 78:43-49 [KJV])
Hence why an angel of Satan was appointed to Paul, to afflict him, but not because he was disobedient, but to keep him humble because of the exaltation of all the knowledge he was given,
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. (2 Corinthians 12:7 [KJV])
Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.
(2 Corinthians 11:23-27 [NIV])
In order to teach the disobedient to obey, that through these afflictions that are caused by Satan, they may perhaps come to repentance, and thus be saved,
Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme. (1 Timothy 1:20 [NIV])
and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
(2 Timothy 2:26 [NIV])