Casting “Boomerang Stones”

 
 
 
 

Casting “Boomerang Stones”

 
 
Boomerang-Stone

Have you ever tried to confront another person with their genuine sin, only to have them retort, “Well, he who is without sin, let him cast the first stone”? I have, many times. In fact, I just had a woman write me over the weekend who “hurled” this very misquote of Scripture at me…only to have it “boomerang” right back at her through her own words. (Hence, the graphic to the left.)

If you genuinely care enough about people to tell people the truth, then I am quite sure that you have encountered this same “comeback” too. You may be truly concerned about their welfare and how that sin is affecting their lives, or even concerned about their salvation. Alternately, you might be warning a person about a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” (see Matthew 7:15-16) with plenty of evidence to back up your claims about the danger such false ministers pose to their soul (and wallet).

Yet, no matter how much you truly care or what your motives might be, or how much evidence you present to them, the person you are confronting for their sin (or in the case of heretic false ministers, the followers that you may be warning) often reply with that self-refuting “stone” comeback. The woman who’s self-contradicting message triggered this post was upset with me because we expose numerous DOCUMENTED wolves in sheep’s clothing on our KennethCopelandBlog.com website. So she would rather ignore the evidence that she can see with her eyes—which willful ignorance is to her own detriment—while she lauds her “idols” with undeserved compliments. (Frankly, I could not help but wonder if she had an alter in her house where she burns incense to photos of Kenneth & Gloria Copeland, Jesse Duplantis, Creflo Dollar, & etc., given the pagan adoration that she expressed about them.)

Of course, whenever a person retorts with that weak “stone” comeback, their tone is not usually nice. Typically, they are mocking or angry as they try to convince you how “unloving” you are for bringing up such righteous criticisms. So it is easy to discern that they do not care about your welfare at all as they hypocritically try to “correct” the one who is lovingly trying to correct them (or who is exposing the danger of their favorite wolf-preacher). Their sole desire and objective is to try and shut you up so that you will leave them (or their favorite false preacher) alone.

You probably know what I am talking about here already, but what are you to do? How do you respond to their misuse (and misquote) of a famous Bible passage like that?

Well, I am about to show you how to deal with that anemic “comeback.” I will do so by demonstrating—both biblically and logically —that it is the people who reply in such a manner who have actually “cast stones” at themselves. In fact, I will explain why these verbal “Boomerang Stones” hit them in the head the moment they left their own mouths.

Please study this page thoroughly so that you are ready to handle this situation whenever you encounter it in person. You might want to bookmark this article for future reference too, just in case you need to share it with people online from time to time. It is important for this particular teaching to spread wide and far in order to end the “carnage” that is caused by people who habitually “stone” themselves with the “Boomerang Stones” of their own hypocrisy…in an effort to ignore or hide their own sin (or the sin of their favorite wolf-preachers), to the detriment of their own souls.

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Start with the Full Quote, Then Move to Supporting Scriptures

The first thing to do in order to understand how to address this feeble, “He who is without sin let him cast the first stone!” statement is to review the actual story in the Bible from which it was inappropriately stolen. So I will begin with the Bible’s account of the “Woman Caught in Adultery.” I suggest that you do the same whenever you run into this situation yourself (or just send them this article if you are online). So let’s take a look at the passage now:

Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.

So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?

She said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.

(John 8:2-11, NKJV, emphasis mine, words of Christ in red)

Please take notice of the words that I have put in bold emphasis above. Those passages will provide the focus for each of the next five subsections.

 1. Jesus DID Confront Sin

The first thing that should jump out at you is the closing commandment from Jesus Christ for her to “SIN NO MORE.” Jesus did NOT ignore her sin (as the people misquoting verse 7 want you to do). Nor did He brush it aside by saying something like, “Don’t worry about it. Everybody else sins too.” No, Jesus Christ directly CONFRONTED her sin at the close of His conversation with her by adding the command “SIN NO MORE.”

Thus, the hypocrisy of people replying with what Jesus said in verse 7 about throwing stones should be clear. When you are confronting them about obvious sin (or the sins of their favorite wolf-preacher), you are actually doing what Jesus did. You are probably trying to tell them to “sin no more” or to stay away from false teachers that would lead people into sin and apostasy. Is that not what Jesus was doing with this woman?

Moreover, did you notice that Jesus ALSO confronted the sins of her accusers? Yes, the idea that somehow this story is intended to deter someone from addressing one’s sin is rather absurd, since Jesus opposed EVERYBODY’S sin in this story!

So if you are trying to get a person to repent and they “throw” the “stone comeback” at you, then you could quickly reply with a short-version response along these lines: “Yes, Jesus said that. However, Jesus also said, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and SIN NO MORE!’ I am not condemning you for your sin, but telling you in the light of the Bible that your own sin has condemned you before God already!” (Please note John 3:14-21.) “Moreover, Jesus has already commanded you in the very story that you have referenced to stop it! Thus, you have just confirmed even more strongly that you need to repent.”

Be clear about this biblical fact: Confrontation of sin is NOT the same thing as condemnation of the person. (So please do not confuse the two, regardless of whether you are on the “sending” or “receiving” end of the correction.) There is a difference. Jesus clearly confronted the woman’s sin BUT openly said that He did NOT condemn her when He did so. In fact, confrontation about sin is a demonstration of pure biblical love, and thus, a commandment in and of itself:

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.

(Revelation 3:19, NKJV, words of Christ in red)

Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

(James 5:19-20, NKJV)

Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.

(Luke 17:3, NKJV, words of Christ in red)

Jesus REBUKES the people that He loves. Moreover, compare the first and last quote above. Jesus also commands us to do the same thing!

Thus, for a person to omit (or ignore) the fact that Jesus DID confront/rebuke the woman for her sin by addressing it at the close of His conversation with her, while using Jesus’ earlier statement in an effort to get you to stop confronting/rebuking them (or their favorite wolf-preacher), is utter hypocrisy. This is especially true in the light of the fact that Jesus also confronted the sins of her accusers very plainly.

(Note: Please also review my article “Judging”: Hypocritical vs. Biblical for further points that will balance this teaching more fully. Jesus did also command us to avoid being hypocrites whenever we correct others. So please review that article also. I do not want you to think that I am encouraging people to go around “correcting” everyone they know while they ignore those same issues in their own lives.)

2. “Stones” vs. “Words”

There is also a second point of difference here between confronting a person with their obvious sin (or exposing a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” with factual evidence of their true nature) with the events of story at hand: Namely, the men in this story were planning to actually KILL the woman, not just rebuke her so that she might get her life straight.

In other words, while it is true that people have used the “casting stones” statement as a metaphor for insults and criticism for as long as anyone can remember, it is equally true that this demonstrates BAD logic (i.e., error in reasoning). This story is not about “insults” or “criticism,” but about killing people by a misapplication of God’s Word. There is an informal fallacy known in the field of logic as “false analogy.” That is what people are using ( often unintentionally) whenever they attempt to improperly connect the REAL stones of the story and their false interpretation with regard to “word stones.”

I will explain how we properly use analogies first, so that the fallacy becomes more clear.

We think using analogies all of the time. (Click here to read the definition of analogy if you are not familiar with this term.) We learn about things by comparing them with the things with which we are already familiar, and drawing conclusions due to the similarities. The Bible demonstrates this principle frequently. For example, here is one use of analogy for comparing two things, so that something about the second thing can be understood more clearly:

For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

(Isaiah 55:10-11, NKJV)

The Lord God made great use of analogies throughout the Bible, such as in the example above (and the parables of the New Testament). Here we see the Word of God compared to rain, and we are to learn a lesson about God’s Word from the behavior of the earth’s water cycle (i.e., the rain comes down, waters earth, returns to the atmosphere by evaporation, and the cycle begins again). Instruction by analogy is quite biblical, and we even think in analogies (but I will refrain from explaining this concept more fully for the sake of time).

The fallacy of “false analogy” occurs whenever a person tries to compare two things that are NOT similar, in hope of drawing a false inference from the bad comparison. Typically, people do this in order to support a preferred belief or agenda. The two things being compared are NOT similar (except perhaps in superficial ways), and thus, the analogy is NOT valid, NOR are the proposed inferences true.

In this specific case, people who use the “throwing stones” analogy in order to apply it to criticisms. This is a violation of many passages of Scripture that tell us TO CRITICIZE people for their actual sin (three examples of which I have already provided above). Other valid types include the public rebuke of wolves and ministers in error (e.g., 1 Timothy 5:19-21; Galatians 2:11-21; Titus 1:10-16; Matthew chapter 23; etc.), confrontation of people who are leading people astray into false doctrines (e.g., Acts chapters 5 and 8; Acts 13:6-12; Revelation 2:12-29; Jude; 2 Peter chapters 2-3; etc.). In fact, Paul said quite clearly that we are to expose error openly:

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth),  finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says:

“Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”
Walk in Wisdom

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

(Ephesians 5:1-17, NKJV, emphasis mine)

But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

(2 Thessalonians 3:13-15, NKJV, emphasis mine)

Jesus said to rebuke them—even publicly! Moreover, both Jesus and James said that is true agape-love for the people being rebuked (as we saw in the passages further above). Now Paul weighs in on the subject by making the very same point!

In short: If you do NOT confront sin in others when it is necessary, or expose wolves when they are evident, then you do NOT love people with true biblical love (despite any false claims that you may make otherwise).

Thus, the threat of a LITERAL EXECUTION of this woman by REAL STONES does NOT compare with imagined “stones” of criticism or TRUE accusation. It is a false analogy to assert that people should never criticize/confront others simply because Jesus spared this woman from being stoned to death with REAL stones. That is quite absurd and unscriptural. Jesus was NOT trying to convince His audience to stop CRITICIZING the woman, but rather He was trying to keep them from KILLING her! Yes, there is a big difference between what really happened on that occasion and what people try to make it out to be.

Stated another way: NOBODY is trying to LITERALLY “stone” a person (i.e., KILL them) when they point out their sin, or when they expose a wolf-preacher for being what they truly are (i.e., with evidence of what they are doing or teaching). Thus, for the sinner (or wolf-follower) to claim otherwise is tantamount to them to “hurling” a false accusation in response.

So once again, we see the utter hypocrisy of a person saying “He that is without sin let him cast the first stone!” Nobody is throwing REAL rocks here, nor is anyone trying to physically hurt anyone. Thus, this story does NOT apply to the things to which people falsely try to apply it.

3. What Did Moses Say?

Now let me move on to point out something that is perhaps not evident to many readers when they consider the full text of this story. I have already posted this portion of the text above, but I will restate it here for the sake of convenience:

Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him.

What “law” are they claiming to apply to this situation? They said “Moses…commanded,” but what did he actually command? Oh, this is where the rubber meets the road, my friend! Reading the law in question is critical in order to understand why Jesus reacted to the mob in the way that He did. We find the passage in question in the Book of Leviticus:

The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death.

(Leviticus 20:10, NKJV, emphasis mine)

Please notice that the passage from John 8 states clearly that they caught the woman “in the very act” of committing adultery. “In the very act” COULD NOT have been done by herself! She had to have been WITH an adulterer for her to have been committing “the very act” of an adulteress!

So, um… where was the GUY????

Why did the Pharisees leave the man out of this? In fact, how did they know where she was in order to “catch” her “in the very act” to begin with? Was this a set up between one of their own guys in order to entrap this married woman in adultery? Regardless of how they set her up, WHY did they leave the GUILTY MAN out of this, in VIOLATION of the Law of Moses?

The general motive of the crowd is given when the passage says, “This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him.” This had NOTHING to do with their wanting to fulfill the Law of Moses. They set this woman up (as they obviously knew where to find her in order to catch her “in the very act”) so that they could use her as a pawn in their scheme, while leaving their “good buddy” out of the picture so that he did not get killed too.

So what did Jesus do in response to their hypocrisy? He began to write on the ground with His finger…

4. When the Finger of God Writes

Jesus Christ was no ordinary man. He was “God manifest in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16; compare also John 1:1-5 & 14; Hebrews 1:8-9; Isaiah 9:6-7; etc., etc., etc.). Thus, God Himself—the Lawgiver Who actually provided the Law to Moses—was the One to Whom the mob was making these accusations about the woman. They were accusing her to the One Who gave the commandment that is found in Leviticus 20:10! (So He knew what Moses REALLY said!)

Thereafter, Jesus bent down and began to write something with His finger. There are only TWO times in the Bible in which it is recorded that God wrote something with His finger. The second occasion was this passage in John 8. So let’s now compare the first time God wrote with His finger with this second time, and see if we can infer from the two events what Jesus was doing when He wrote on the ground:

And God spoke all these words, saying:

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
“You shall have no other gods before Me.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
“You shall not murder.
“You shall not commit adultery.
“You shall not steal.
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

(Exodus 20:1-17, NKJV)

And when He had made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.

(Exodus 31:18, NKJV)

Remember! Do not forget how you provoked the Lord your God to wrath in the wilderness. From the day that you departed from the land of Egypt until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against the Lord. Also in Horeb you provoked the Lord to wrath, so that the Lord was angry enough with you to have destroyed you. When I went up into the mountain to receive the tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant which the Lord made with you, then I stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights. I neither ate bread nor drank water. Then the Lord delivered to me two tablets of stone written with the finger of God, and on them were all the words which the Lord had spoken to you on the mountain from the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly. And it came to pass, at the end of forty days and forty nights, that the Lord gave me the two tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant.

(Deuteronomy 9:7-11, NKJV)

The above passages describe the first time that God wrote with His finger in writing the Ten Commandments upon the two tablets of stone. Now, please look again at what Jesus did:

Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.

So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?

She said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.

(John 8:3-11, NKJV, emphasis mine, words of Christ in red)

Let me be clear that the passage in John 8 does not explicitly tell us what Jesus wrote upon the ground with His finger. However, in the light of the passages from the Old Testament, and in the context of the event recorded by John, we can conclude the following points very clearly:

  1. The only thing that God wrote with His finger in the Old Testament was the Ten Commandments, which is the essence of the entire law. (Compare Romans 7:7-12 where the tenth commandment is equated with “the Law.”)
  2. As I stated above already, Jesus was “God manifest in the flesh,” and thus, it was God Himself writing on the ground with His finger in John 8.
  3. The context of the event in John 8 was that they claimed to want to stone the woman according to the “Law of Moses,” although they were themselves violating that same law by unjustly excluding the MAN with whom she had committed adultery.
  4. When Jesus stood up to reply, He said to them “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 1 John chapter 3 defines “sin” as “lawlessness,” for the very definition of sin is to break God’s commandments (compare also Romans 7:7-12 again, along with Leviticus chapter 4, etc.).

Thus, in the light of the points above, it is very reasonable to infer inductively from these facts that—in all probability—Jesus was writing some portion of the Law of Moses (perhaps Leviticus 20:10 itself, and/or part of the Ten Commandments) on the ground for everyone to see.

Regardless of what He wrote on the ground, however, Jesus Christ stood up and confronted THEIR SIN too!  And Jesus’ confrontation of THEIR SIN was based mainly upon these facts:

  • They were NOT righteously applying the Law of Moses, as they falsely claimed.
  • Thus, they were LYING to Him about the woman and their true motives, as they tried to entrap Him.

Consequently, everyone standing there with a rock in their hand knew full well that they were sinning in what they were doing. THAT is the MAIN reason why they were “convicted by their own consciences”: They misapplied justice and told outright lies. Therefore, their “conviction” was primarily for the sins at hand, and not because of other sin that they likely had in their lives.

Stated another way: The implication being pushed whenever a sinner cites this passage that we are “all sinners” and therefore a person should NOT confront the sinner (which again is not supported by this passage from John 8 because they were going to kill her, not merely confront her). However, story itself indicates that the accusers were convicted mainly by the CURRENT sin that they were committing right then and there in front of Jesus! THAT is why they threw down their stones and walked away. They knew that Jesus had turned their false accusations back against them, by pointing out their own violation of this VERY SAME passage of the Law of Moses!

In short, their own words were “Boomerang Stones,” just like it is whenever a sinner (or wolf-follower) quotes this story in an effort to silence those who are genuinely concerned about their behavior.

Yet, this raises another question: What would have happened if the crowd had brought BOTH people—the adulteress AND the adulterer with whom she sinned—to Jesus to inquire about carrying out Leviticus 20:10 properly?

5. Jesus Kept the Law

One rather shocking fact about Jesus Christ that people too often seem to miss is that He KEPT the Law of Moses perfectly. Of course, that makes complete sense to anyone who realizes that Jesus Christ GAVE the Law to Moses, because Jesus Christ is God. Certainly, He would keep His Own Law because it expressed His Own attitude toward sin (and revealed why we all need the Savior). Nevertheless, the New Testament also makes this point explicit because it is one of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity:

Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

(Matthew 5:17-18, NKJV, emphasis mine, words of Christ in red)

Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

(2 Corinthians 5:20-21, NKJV)

One of the things that qualified Jesus Christ to be our Savior is the fact that He NEVER sinned! He was the sinless “Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Thus, in order to KEEP the law (which Jesus had to do in order to be “sinless,” and He Himself said He came to “fulfill” it in every way), then Jesus would have had to AGREE with the Law—but only if it was being properly applied.

Therefore, if the accusers had brought BOTH the man and woman to Him in a genuine application of Leviticus 20:10, then Jesus Christ would have had to agree with them that this was the penalty pronounced by the Law, and both of them would have died that day.

Do you doubt this? Then please note this description of Jesus Christ, and then His subsequent statements against sin:

Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood [compare this description with that found of this same scene in Isaiah 63:3], and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:

KING OF KINGS AND
LORD OF LORDS.

Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.”

And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.

(Revelation 19:11-21, NKJV, emphasis and added note mine)

And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

(Revelation 21:6-8, NKJV, emphasis mine, words of Christ in red)

And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write,

‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass: “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.”

(Revelation 2:18-23, NKJV, emphasis mine, words of Christ in red)

The Lord Jesus Christ of the Bible is NOT kind to willful sin, my friend. Yes, people will DIE when He returns to the earth to take control of the nations in Person. Hence, Psalm 2 clearly warns:

Now therefore, be wise, O kings;
Be instructed, you judges of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear,
And rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,
And you perish in the way,
When His wrath is kindled but a little.
Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.

(Psalm 2:10-12, NKJV, emphasis mine)

In short, if you have a mental picture of Jesus always being kind and meek, then the Jesus your “Jesus” is nothing more than a figment of your imagination. (And a figment of your imagination can NEVER save you…so you had better learn Who the REAL Jesus of the Bible is.) Yes, Jesus was gentle with the contrite and penitent people with whom He came into contact. Yes, Jesus is still merciful to the penitent sinner today! However, Jesus was also quite stern and angry with sin at times too!

  • The REAL Jesus Christ made a whip of cords and turned over tables in the Temple (John 2:15).
  • The REAL Lord Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and Scribes with vehement warnings of eternal damnation (Matthew chapter 23).
  • The REAL Jesus Christ even today judges people, as the example is Revelation 2:18-23 reveals clearly above.
  • And the REAL Jesus Christ will return one day to kill the armies of the Anti-Christ, throw him and his false prophet into the Lake of Fire…along with everyone who rejects His grace (see Revelation chapter 20 in addition to the quote above).

Thus, the REAL Jesus Christ would have watched as the woman AND her lover were stoned to death, if the Law of Moses had been CORRECTLY applied.

It was the hypocrisy of the law-breaking accusers that enabled the Lord Jesus Christ to spare her in His mercy that day. The Bible does NOT say a thing about her having repented of what she had done. No, Jesus had to command her to NEVER do that sin again! Thus, it was not faith on her part that delivered her that day, but simply the failure of her accusers to apply the Law of Moses correctly. In other words, she was delivered on a “technicality” and not because she was either penitent or innocent.

This fact is clear by the Scriptures I have provided here (and many more that could be provided). It is also clear in the fact that Jesus commanded her to “SIN NO MORE!” He did not give her a “pass” on what she had done. She was guilty as charged, and she knew it.

Now, some people will want to argue against this despite all of the Scriptures that support this truth. Thus, let me point out that any argument that Jesus somehow would NOT have applied the Law of Moses (i.e., if the man-adulterer had been brought along with the woman too), necessarily implies the following:

  • Such an argument that Jesus would not have carried out the sentence (if the man was present too), implies that Jesus would NOT have kept the Law of Moses.
  • If Jesus ever failed to keep the Law of Moses, then He would be a sinner under that Law (i.e., to state that Jesus would have EVER failed to keep the Law is to imply that He was sinful, and willing to break the Law).
  • If Jesus was a sinner, then He could NOT be the Savior.
  • If Jesus is not the Savior, then we are all still dead in our sins and are hopelessly damned (see John 3:18).

Jesus came to “fulfill” the law, not to break it. So to even imply that He would have made an exception in this case had the law been faithfully applied, is to imply that He did not come to fulfill the Will of God His Father after all.

Thus, to deny that Jesus would have carried out the Law of Moses—IF it had been CORRECTLY applied to BOTH the man and woman—is to also deny the validity of Christianity itself.

Yes, it is quite evident that the Bible confirms that Jesus Christ would have seen to it that the penalty of Leviticus 20:10 would have been carried out for BOTH people “caught in the very act” of adultery, but only IF the accusers had not been hypocrites by violating that law themselves.

(Thus, it was a good thing for her that Jesus saw through their hypocrisy! Yikes! 😯 )

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Summary Conclusion:

So what do we have here? I have covered a whole lot of material to this point, so let me bring out the key points very clearly in the light of the foregoing teaching. Here are the key facts that we have covered:

  • Whenever a person tries to use “He who is without sin cast the first stone” in reply to confrontation of sin (or the exposure of a wolf in sheep’s clothing), they are self-refuted by their reference to this story. This story CONFIRMS the need to expose sin; it does NOT deny it. This is because two different groups of people are directly confronted for their iniquity within this story:
    • The crowd of accusers who misused Leviticus 20:10 by not bringing the man forth for punishment too.
    • The woman, for her sin, when Jesus told her “Sin no more!”
  • Additionally, the idea that the REAL stones in the story are analogous with mere “words” of criticism is absurd. That is a false analogy. There is nothing similar about using real stones to kill a real person due to a misapplication of God’s Law, and a sinner (including false wolfish preachers) being confronted by concerned Christians.
  • Jesus Christ paid the full penalty for sin, and is the TRUE Savior because He was sinless Himself. However, He is also the Judge Who will NOT excuse the sins of people who refuse to repent and accept His saving self-sacrifice. So Christians can and will be judged on earth for their habitual sin (e.g., Acts 5:1-11; Revelation 2:18-23) and non-believers (including false converts who think that they are Christians but who are NOT) will find themselves spending eternity in the Lake of Fire (Revelation chapter 20; 21:6-8; etc.).

Thus, if Leviticus 20:10 had been correctly applied, the woman AND her lover would have died that day…and unless one repents, they will likewise perish today:

And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”

(Luke 13:2-5, NKJV, words of Christ in red)

Now, here is the “boomerang” irony:

  1. Those who “hurl” the “He who is without sin let him cast the first stone” reply at those who confront them (or who expose their favorite wolf-preacher) are themselves casting the same alleged verbal “stones” at their critics that they claim are being thrown at them! (Of course, this makes them self-contradicted hypocrites.)
  2. The very story to which they are referring when making such a reply CONFIRMS the need to confront that person with their sin so that they will “sin no more!” Thus, they have just confirmed the need to rebuke them for their sin even as they attempt to use this story to shield themselves from such scrutiny. (And once again, this fact makes them self-contradicted hypocrites.)

Thus, if anyone has hurled a verbal “stone,” it is the person who makes the very statement, “He who is without sin let him cast the first stone!” The statement that they have made has “boomeranged” right back at them the very moment that it left their mouth.

Most victims of their own “Boomerang Stone” are likely unaware of what they have just done to themselves, so you have to point this out to them in order for them to get the point. So feel free to share this teaching and this link with others, so that the “carnage” of “self-stoning” can perhaps cease. 😉

In closing, let me suggest that you all read my related article “Judging”: Hypocritical vs. Biblical too. It compliments this article very well, and brings out other points that help to balance this into a full teaching on the subject. Thus, these two articles work well together in order to help people understand how to biblically correct someone in love, versus trying to avoid such correction by using hypocrisy.

Additionally, please read The Supreme Value of Righteousness in order to learn what the Bible really says about KNOWING that you are truly saved by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I have discussed His role as Savior in brief within this article here, but The Supreme Value of Righteousness does so in far greater detail (plus it contains some of my own salvation testimony). So please read that right away too.

Again, please share this article with others. You can also “Recommend” it via the Facebook button, or “tweet” it via Twitter. Let’s help people understand that we really do love them when we confront them (or expose wolves), and thus, it is in their best interest to stop hitting themselves with “Boomerang Stones” in reply.

Peace to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

(Ephesians 6:23-24, NKJV)

Always in Jesus,

-Rich Vermillion

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Posted in Agape', Christianity, Confrontation, false teachers, Judge, Judgement, Ministry, Relationships, Religion, Repentance, Salvation, Sin and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

9 Comments

  1. This is an excellent article, Rich. You have laid everything out so simply and yet in great detail so that we can understand the message and be equipped to pass it on to others. Thanks for taking the time to research this and present it to us. God bless you!

    • Howdy, Loddie.

      This comment of yours is regarding a secondary point within my article above. So it runs the risk of taking this page very much off-topic. In order to avoid distracting from the core subject of this particular article, and to provide my readers an excellent exercise in critical thinking, I have moved your comment (in its entirety, and unedited) to the following new article on our website:

      Critical Thinking Exercise 1: Did Jesus Keep the Law?

      Please review that new article for further information and to consider the points I present, as well as those that may be presented by our other readers. 🙂

      Always in Jesus,

      Rich

  2. My beautiful (and ever-brilliant) wife pointed out another point that is implicit within my article above, but which I did not catch or mention. She noted out that whenever someone uses the false “Whoever is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone” comeback, they are forgetting that the Person Who said that (Jesus Christ) was the only Person Who was ever totally without sin. Thus, Jesus is the ONLY Person qualified to make that statement, and the person who uses that as a reply has demonstrated their hypocrisy in that respect, as well.

    Yes, this is surely a “Boomerang Stone” whenever a person attempt to use that story of Jesus to silence their critics.

    Thank you, Donna Vermillion, for adding such an excellent point. 🙂

    • That is an interesting viewpoint, Johnny. So let me start off my reply by our taking a look at the passage in question:

      Daniel 5:5 In the same hour the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and wrote opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace; and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. 6 Then the king’s countenance changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his hips were loosened and his knees knocked against each other….

      22 “But you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, although you knew all this. 23 And you have lifted yourself up against the Lord of heaven. They have brought the vessels of His house before you, and you and your lords, your wives and your concubines, have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, which do not see or hear or know; and the God who holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways, you have not glorified. 24 Then the fingers of the hand were sent from Him, and this writing was written.

      25 “And this is the inscription that was written:

      MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.

      26 This is the interpretation of each word. MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; 27 TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; 28 PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.”

      Please notice:

      (1) This passage never says explicitly that this hand was God’s Own hand doing the writing.

      (2) The passage explicitly DOES say that God “sent” the hand, which clearly implies it was not His Own hand, but that of a servant (i.e., an angel).

      Now, if one is to assume that the hand was God’s, then you have a good point that perhaps it was three times that God wrote something with His Own finger. However, since the passage never states that it was His Own hand, and it explicitly states that it was “sent” by Him (i.e., at God’s command), then the account in question does not seem to support such an assumption. Hence, I would say that it was NOT the hand of God at all, based upon how the passage reads. Thus, there yet remain only two passages wherein it clearly states that God was doing the writing. 🙂

      So you had an intriguing point to bring up, indeed. However, I do not think the story supports your assumed premise that it was God’s hand, and thus, it does not support your stated conclusion.

      Thanks for popping by to engage me, nonetheless. I appreciate the dialog. Please have a wonderful week. 🙂

      Always in Jesus,

      Rich

  3. I agree with you about the misuse of this verse. However, I think you may be off base in the final part about what Jesus would have done if both had been brought. It is a speculation rather than a definite fact. I’m not disagreeing that Jesus kept the Law. I fully agree with that. But your assertion that if both had been brought He would have supported the stoning seems to me a possibility but not a certainty, because I see viable alternative paths there.

    I would present a couple of different arguments on that.

    The first, is that if their concern was truly with the Law, they would not have brought them to Jesus even if they were properly going to stone both. There was no actual reason to bring them to an itinerant teacher except for their desire to entrap Jesus. Nothing about the situation necessitated involving Him except for their desire to have something to make Him look bad.

    On that note, I would say it is a mistake to assume that they set the woman up and the man was a plant. It’s a possibility, but nothing about the situation *requires* it to be a setup. It could just as easily have been a situation where someone spotted the pair and reported it to the authorities, the man had connections and the woman didn’t, and they saw an opportunity to use it against Jesus in the moment. It does not inherently have to be a sting operation, so to speak, though that is a viable possibility. They were always looking for a way to get at Jesus, so this may have been an act of opportunity rather than pre-planned.

    But back on topic, if they had in fact brought both sinners to Jesus, the intention of their hearts would still be the same whether they brought one or both. And it is entirely possible that Jesus could have done the exact same thing in that situation. The woman was still guilty under the Law, so nothing about their sinful hearts vacated her sinful action. Jesus was still, as your wife rightly pointed out, the Sinless One who had the right to condemn her. The mob who brought her were still sinners who could be convicted by the Spirit in their own consciences, regardless of whether they brought one or both, and the same sequence of events could work in that situation. So there are two viable courses of action for Jesus in that situation. One to pass judgment, the other to confront them with their sinful hearts in the same way.

    One of the truths that leaped out at me for the first time a few months ago when re-reading this passage is that the woman’s sin did not go unpunished. Christ took death for her. He could pardon her not because of the wrongs of the religious leaders who brought her, but because He Himself was on earth to be the sacrifice for her adultery, just as for every other sin any of us has or will commit. The penalty required by the Law for her adultery would be paid on the cross by the Lawgiver Himself, for love’s sake. It was grace showing itself in action, an undeserved pardon that would be bought by His blood not long after.

    • Howdy, JB! 🙂

      Thank you for joining into the conversation with a reply. Your comment is a well-written and thoughtful response. I particularly like your last paragraph regarding Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice for her sin, and indeed, ALL of our sins. Of course, that took place sometime after this incident, so the price was paid for her adultery ex post facto.

      Your point about whether the woman was entrapped or simply discovered has merit, in that we do not have enough direct knowledge to conclude in an absolute sense (deductively) that she was set up. That said, I was not applying deductive logic, but inductive. Given the information we have with which to work, the I believe that the highest probability is that she was set up. I say that because the man was NOT brought before Jesus, as was noted in the article and your comment. Hence, he had favor with the crowd (and particularly, its leaders). That suggests that he was complicit with the scheme, which implies a set up. Nevertheless, it is entirely possible that something else occurred. Hence, my conclusion in the matter is to be understood inductively as being a probable conclusion (perhaps the most probable), and not as a statement of what I believe definitively happened.

      With regard to your point about the crowd’s desire to entrap Jesus, you are correct that their motive was NOT to bring about justice or to purge society of moral deviants. No, they were indeed focused on trying to find some grounds of accusation against Jesus Christ by which to discredit Him. That said, they did NOT consider Him a mere “itinerate teacher” as you suggested. Please remember that passages, like the following, indicate that MANY people considered Jesus to be the Messiah:

      ** John 7:25 Now some of them from Jerusalem said, “Is this not He whom they seek to kill? 26 But look! He speaks boldly, and they say nothing to Him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is truly the Christ?”

      And the Jewish leaders mostly rejected Him as such, but instead considered Jesus to be a threat to their own political POWER and positions:

      ** John 11:48 “If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.”

      Thus, there was a POLITICAL agenda at work, and not merely a theological or judicial motive at hand. One has to understand that fact too in order to realize that if they HAD brought BOTH the man and woman before Jesus, their ulterior motive would have still been the same (as you noted too). However, it is also important to keep this context in mind to understand that even if they DID want to obey Leviticus 20:10 fully, they may have STILL brought the couple before Jesus in an effort to see if they could find grounds for accusation against Him. Stated another way, since He was not merely an “itinerate teacher” in their eyes but a threat to their status, etc., even a desire to apply Leviticus 20:10 correctly may have resulted in a similar scene since Jesus was obviously in town that day. Nevertheless, it was the fact that they had some reason to exclude the adulterous man from the punitive measures that these people opened up the door for Jesus to undermine BOTH their agenda against Him AND their plan to stone that woman.

      So this brings me to your initial point: Would Jesus have endorsed the law being applied IF they had brought both the man and woman before Him, as I asserted? First, let’s define sin itself. Please note:

      ** Deuteronomy 6:17 You shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, His testimonies, and His statutes which He has commanded you.

      ** 1 John 3:4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.

      ** Deuteronomy 28:15 “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you…”

      ** Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. 9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. 10 And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. 11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. 12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.

      ** James 2:10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.

      SIN it itself defined as “lawlessness” or, stated more clearly, breaking or ignoring the commandments of God. To violate even ONE commandment of God is to break ALL of the law. Thus, for Jesus to FAIL to keep the commandment (which commandments He Himself gave as the Divine Lawgiver), would mean that Jesus would have violated the law. The term “lawlessness” is a compound Greek word that means “without law.” So even the attempt to nullify a commandment via some excuse, such as the intent of the crowd which was confronting Him, would have been a “setting aside” of the commandment. Jesus rebuked such behavior elsewhere:

      ** Mark 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men —the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.”

      9 He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban”—’ (that is, a gift to God), 12 then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, 13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

      Moreover, the Bible is clear that Jesus was SINLESS — and HAD to be so in order to be our sacrifice:

      ** 2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

      ** Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin….9:11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

      ** John 8:46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?

      This last verse above is important: The Pharisees and other Jewish leaders kept trying to bring a “conviction” against Jesus Christ in an effort to “prove” that He was “not the Messiah.” The Greek word translated as “convict” in the passage above is “elegchō” (Strong’s #1651). The Complete Word Study Dictionary, NT edition, defines this word as, “to convict, to prove one in the wrong, and thus, to shame him….to convince of error.” This is a legal type of term that was used by Jesus in the Gospels, and by the apostles in their epistles, in several important ways. In this particular instance, Jesus was saying essentially, “Who among you is able to bring a charge and PROVE a single violation of the law by me?” Nobody could do so, of course. In the end, the leaders resorted to false witnesses in their efforts to try to falsely “convict” Jesus of some violation of God’s Torah (Law) so that they could turn Him over to Pontius Pilate to have Him crucified (Matthew 26:59-61).

      Thus, if Jesus had FAILED to adhere to the Law of God’s strict precept of Leviticus 20:10, then He would have been factually in violation of that commandment. This would have meant that He would have sinned, and therefore, could NOT be the sinless Lamb of God–Savior of the world. Such a clear attempt to set aside the clear commandment of God found in Leviticus 20:10 would have ALSO provided a publicly-understood “conviction” for the religious leaders to use against Him, which was, of course, their purpose (as you noted too).

      So it is of logical necessity (i.e., a deductive conclusion) that Jesus WOULD have DEFINITELY pronounced the judgment written against BOTH the man and woman IF they had both been brought before Him. Such action would be necessary for Jesus to (A) obey the commandment of God Himself, and thus, not sin; and (B) to avoid providing the religious hypocrites grounds by which for them to bring a public “conviction” against Him in an effort to discredit Him as the Messiah.

      With all of that said, I do agree with you that Jesus would have likely found SOME manner by which to confront the crowd regarding their sins, given that He certainly knew their ulterior motive. Nevertheless, I cannot agree with you that another scenario is possible with respect to what He would have done if they had obeyed Leviticus 20:10 and brought BOTH the man and woman to Him. Any other scenario would have caused a sin that would have disqualified Jesus as our Savior AND given the religious leaders of His day grounds for a biblical accusation of sin against Him.

      Of course, ALL of this discussion is based upon “what would have happened if…” analysis. The important thing to note with respect to my article above is what actually occurred, and how that applies to the false use of the phrase “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” comeback that people often misuse. You and I both agree on that point, which is the main purpose of this article. 🙂

      For more analysis on the “what would Jesus have done” subject, by the way, see my full article Critical Thinking Exercise 1: Did Jesus Keep the Law? on this same website.

      Thank you for coming by here and engaging with me in this discussion. Please have a wonderful week. 🙂

      Always in Jesus,

      Rich

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