More people in the world today are seeing the Ten Commandments as suggestions and not required of us because of the covenant with Jesus. How can they truly live with themselves when Jesus himself said that He was here as a fulfillment of the law not the abolished or changer of it. We are still bound by these Commandments no matter how you size it. We are not bound by the sacrifices and feasts but are still bound by the moral and ethical statutes that are encompassed by the Commandments and spelled out in Leviticus. Let us look at them with open hearts and eyes.
Moses went up on the mountain and stayed for many days worshipping and learning from God. Upon his return, Moses lifted two tablets and written on them were Ten Commandments. These Commands are the basis for the Levitical Laws that cover rituals, morals and ethics, and the disciplinary actions which are set in place to ensure a healthy and prosperous life for the Children of God.
1 No Other God
“You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3
Probably the second most powerful phrase in the Old Testament after “In the Beginning God Created”. This verse sets the message and the mood for the Law of God. This is how God wants us to live. This is where we see that our lives are in the hands of One. How glorious are the Words of the Father who gave us life. It is for Him that we live, worship and give all praise. Yahweh, Elohim, Hashem Elohim, Adonai, Jehovah. All names with which we know the name whom God told Moses simply, I AM that I AM, ehyeh ašer ehyeh. He is our God and we are His people.
In those days there were many gods that were worshipped. Some had only altars some actually had been made from wood, stone, metal, or mud and clay, ok basically they were man made representations of what they believed their god to look like. These gods were prayed to and sacrificed to and some of the things came to be out of happenstance, come coincidence, and others by pure dumb luck. Later even after knowledge of the One True God spread there were still many places who could not give up their old ways. The Greeks and Romans worshipped many gods who had specific duties and were given human form and situations. The Celts and Druids worshipped nature
I looked at Isaiah 44:6 in many different translations and they all proclaimed the same thing, “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.”
That’s right, and now look at what Jesus states in John 10: 30, “I and My Father are one.” So when Jesus came and put a stop to many things and becoming the final sacrifice, giving himself, God was showing that He was truly willing to give up everything for all of His creation.
You see, our God is a jealous God but also kind and loving. He created us and when the world thought they were better off on their own, He let them try for a time and flooded the earth hoping to set things right. God stepped in again after many years and found Abraham who in faith gave all things to God. Including the life of his son, whom God did not take but gave back to Abraham.
Our God has a personal relationship with us and we will have no other gods before him.
2 No Graven Image
The world today has many objects and people we call idols. There is the popular T.V. show that finally ended. There are celebrities, money, fame, fortune, perversions, images, and many more things that take our attentions away from God. In simpler terms, anything that takes our focus, attention, desires, love, and worship, away from God could be considered an idol. Something to remember here though. God is not saying to ignore your family, just to understand that even though they are whom we love, we are to love and worship God.
How many idols did God tear down by human hands? Golden statues, graven images, wood and metal images. How many did He take out by His own power using nature as the hand?
The Graven Image also speaks of what became known as Icons. This was taken to extreme in some places where not a picture, a statue, rug, or mosaic is found with any pictorial representation of what one believes God or Jesus may look like. There are places where you will not even find pictures or statues of doves, or visual representations of the Angel of God at all.
There are three common idols in churches today:
- The Place
A church building is over 100 years old and has been remodeled 3 times inside. Relocation is needed because the church is just too old and a bigger place is needed. This is an example of places of gathering moving from a tool for transformation to an object of worship. We must remind people that the building is not the church, His people are the church. God does not live in the place where we gather; He lives in the hearts of His people.
- The Past
Living in traditional ways and not expanding with new revelations which help the Body of Christ increase is also an idol. Because the Lord worked in amazing ways in the past, the past can become an idol where people long for the past more than they long for the Lord. Old things pass away but their memories live on. Some traditions do not fit in today’s worldview of Christians.
- The Programs
Because God changed lives through a program or event, people can elevate a program to an unhealthy place. Programs can become ends in themselves and not tools used in a church’s discipleship process. When this happens, they exist as modern-day bronze snakes. An example of this is when praise bands become the center-point of worship (become the celebrity) and the Word is not prevalent.
We are a lost generation trying to find our place in the universe. Why are we searching on earth and out in the stars when the best place to start is our own hearts? God wrote His Word on our hearts so we would never forget Him. Some have stained their hearts so black with sin that the transgressions have become their gods.
How do we help them wash away the stain? How can we, as Christians reach others? Did not God give us those instructions? Did not God make a sacrifice so that we all could be white as snow? We need to remember and conduct ourselves in the manor prescribed by the moral and ethical laws and above all give direct and all attention to the 10 Commandments while worshiping God. The other thing, paying attention and conducting ourselves in the teachings of God Incarnate (Jesus) and following the Great Commission. We do these things: giving our lives to Christ and taking up our crosses daily, sharing His Word, His Truth, and Hi(s)Story mixed with our redemption story then we are showing the proper love and will have No Image that Replaces our Relationship with Him
3 Taking God’s Name in Vain
Have you ever been in a church where you accidentally let out a darn or one of the less considered curse words and one of the older members of the congregation deride you and say that you are breaking a commandment? Someone needs to look at that verse again….
Now, do not get me wrong because the vile tongue is covered in Scripture (39 times in fact) and is a big no-no for us, but it is only a small minute part of the Third Commandment. Before we go on, let us look at the NKJV translation of Exodus 20:7,
“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.
Reminder, the first four commandments are specifically covering God and worship. The other six are the short but concise morality laws from which come the 672 Mosaic Laws.
As you can see it says nothing about using vile (curse) words which are demeaning in nature. It isn’t totally meant to address the use of words, phrases, and even gestures that may be socially uncouth or vulgar. The Third Commandment is specifically addressing the misuse of God’s name.
The fact of the matter is that God didn’t want the Israelites to say that He’d said something that He, in fact, had not. This makes sense doesn’t it? God has a reputation to protect. He doesn’t want anyone saying, “Thus saith the Lord”, if the Lord did not thus saith it. From a legalist standpoint, do not commit perjury for God opposes it. If you make a vow in His name, KEEP IT.
We hear people today say that God told him or her this or that. Did He really say it? Supposed prophets or seers today use this for emphasis and getting people’s attention. All those dreamers on You Tube who swear up and down that “God said to me that the rapture will take place on such and such date.” The time passes and oops. Many are using God’s name to say that some disaster will happen on specific dates, the day passes and oops, wrong. These are just the minions of the false prophets that will come (some of which are already here). Misinterpretation of Scriptures that turn into gospels (i.e. Prosperity Gospel and others) are examples of misusing God’s name.
Some of the conversation starters to look out for are:
- “Thus saith God to me…”
- “God told me to tell you…”
- “I have a word from the Lord…”
- “God says that if you send in this much money, you will be blessed.”
How about, for safety’s sake of souls, we hear the key terms like “I think” and others followed by interjections as afore mentioned; therefore taking the verbiage out of God’s mouth and into our own. That way God’s reputation is safe and we are not committing sacrilege against God.
Now, this is not a license to use vulgar language (even young children now a days use OMG in their texts and social media). We still need to do right by the Father and keep our minds, hearts, and mouths clean from all forked tongues.
So what does this mean for us??
We are to be on our guard not to make false claims or promises we know we cannot keep in God’s name. If a vow is made in God’s name keep it (Ordinances, Sacraments, and Covenants). Tread lightly but understand we do not always walk on pins and needles, we will make mistakes.
4 Rest and the Sabbath
The 4th Commandment starts out simple, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy”, but today’s world makes it ever so hard to do so. The day of Sabbath is traditionally Friday evening to Saturday night, it is on the weekend. It is the time for dates, dining out, games, concerts, and other things where people either work or watch others work. This is not what God had in mind. Sabbath is a day of rest and worship that must be taken to revere Our Father. As you read further you will see how Sabbath is transformed for Christians.
8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.9 Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.
This is the fourth Commandment given to the Hebrew nation while running from Egypt. Each Seventh Day belongs to the Lord and is not a day of work but set apart as Holy. It is a day set apart for rest and worship. There were many physical reasons for this as well as the main fact of the rest day of God after the creation. Understanding this means that Moses had everyone travel and gather food and water in a six day period but on the seventh they stayed still, rested and worshiped. Jews celebrate Sabbath on Friday sundown to Saturday evening. This is a time for a big meal and worship through a set of prayers songs and a reading.
Want to know something interesting? Paul, when writing to the Christians in Colossi, said this, ”Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” Col 2:16-17.
Before you get crazy here, Paul did not say that Jesus says that ALL the Mosaic Laws are now cancelled. There is nothing there about the morality laws and Paul persistently ensured the morality laws are still adhered to. He was just saying that because we are under new management (the Covenant in Christ) we no longer adhere to the dietary restrictions, required ritual celebrations, and sacrifices. With Christ, Paul even said, the 4th Commandment (Sabbath) is no longer needed to be celebrated because these were mere shadows pointing to Christ. Christ is the reality, the Truth and He set us free.
I am not saying that we do not need to observe the practice. We still need to take time for rest. It is good for the body and the soul to relax and reflect on Jesus and the day. The day of worship (thinking of, praying, praising, spending time with God) for us is every day, every moment, we must rest when we can and in our rest, worship.
Here is something that people who claim Jesus abolished the laws instead of fulfilling them read too much into. Paul says in Galatians 5:14,
“For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But he goes on to say, “If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” This is what happens when a law is broken, judgement. If you do not love (break a law) then I’m sorry, you have to deal with the consequences. Yes Jesus loves us but we must love Him back. Just because we accepted Him as Lord and Savior does not mean the slate is clean and you can sin all you want without truth in worship. NO. He will stand for you but if you did not stand for Him in obedience then you will be like the goat who was separated never to see the master again.
Tell that one to the next person that says that they can do all those things marred as bad in Leviticus because Jesus abolished them.
5 Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother
Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Exodus 20:12
The first of the moral laws for living on this earth given by God in the Ten Commandments is the easiest one to fall from. This one is basic to all other social relationships and the foundation for decent human society. The first true social interactions happens with the parents and siblings. There are many Scriptures which speak of honoring our parents. There is no limit to the honor that is due our parents. Children must not shame their parents, bring heartache or pain, and never be angry towards their parents. The Apostle Paul restated this commandment in Ephesians. He also says,
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4
The Books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes are wisdom books which hold moral and ethical truths that are still poignant to today’s society. Why have we failed? We failed because of our love. Love has turned from Godly things to worldly advances. Love has changed the people in the world. We have redefined love. It is one thing to show love for one another but another thing to ignore God’s great love for His creation. How has this happened???
Brothers and Sisters, Sons and Daughters, we have dishonored our parents by failing to uphold and require the 5th Commandment.
One of the problems today is that parents are bowing to the children. This world has gone from respecting elders to “let the child explore things and they will learn on their own”. By doing this, we have lost the art of our basic rights as parents regarding proper teaching and disciplining (the whole thing known as rearing) the children in the way of the Lord. We have become desensitized through the whims and teachings of child psychologists who have given more power to children causing a lack of discipline, respect, and other godly values that we, as Christians, are ordained (under strict obligation) to observe and teach. We have failed our parents by not following their teachings which were of God. Yes there has been mistranslations and nowhere in Scripture does it actually say to spare the rod (physical discipline with an implement) spoil the child. The rod spoken of in Scripture is the teachings, the wisdom of God. If we do not teach the children right, then we have spoiled their chances of being right with God. We have to reign ourselves in and honor our parents by presenting tough love to our children through godly wisdom.
Why have we had so many incidents with children doing wrong? It has gotten worse in the last 20 years. Some children were not taught right. If they were taught then the follow up and constant observance did not happen. The thing is, we let society take over once the child is in school. Children are becoming engulfed in outside negative influences from other children who were not reared in the ways of the Father and adults who think they know what children need. Disrespect, sexualization of women, and mockery are society’s pull into acceptance. Sin is the norm. I wonder what happened. Did someone’s parents go overkill on biblical traditions and forced the child into disbelief as an adult? Or, was there a free thinking parent that let everything go too far? I mean really, parents are even being sued by their own children for what they consider to be “neglect”. Come on folks.
Dr. James Dobson addressed D.C. on the National Day of Prayer with some perfect yet condemning thoughts. He let them know that all these recent immoral and thoughtless decisions are corrupting our youth. He really let the people listening understand that the U.S. needs to straighten their act up and take many things into consideration including the media and politics. He explained that parents need their rights back; also the media and LGBT communities need to back off because they are causing mental, emotional, and spiritual breakdown of the children; manipulating them into believing they are the norm.
We need to kick this country’s preverbal butt. Show a renewed love and compassion built on God to our children and let it flow outward. We need to fight evil with love. Show a different form of compassion never seen before so that the sinners see their folly and Jesus can revive us again.
Exodus 20:13 “You shall not murder” (NKJV). “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:” (KJV) Matthew 15:19 This one is not as easy to define as many may think. Murder is more than causing one physical harm leading to the demise of the individual. It is mental as well. The Ancient Jewish sages say that it applies only to illegal killing, not for the actions of killing the enemy during war. Man, being made in the Image of God and therefore all lives of mankind are precious. ONLY GOD has the right to give and take a life.
Like I said above, this Commandment is more than just a physical act, what about the feelings and actions of the heart. Does not Jesus say that sinning in the heart is just like actually committing the sin in the flesh? One does not have to actually shed blood in order to violate this Law. Think of it like this, public shaming, harmful gossip, and slandering attack a man’s dignity and therefore is abject murder. The Jewish Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Father), says this, “The evil tongue slays three persons: the utterer of the evil, the listener, and the one spoken about”.
Now as I mentioned before, killing of the enemy during wartime is not technically committing murder. Since time began, we have had many wars and police actions in which there were atrocities committed. Those atrocities are considered murder, yes, even though some would say they were just victims of the war it was much more than that. Killing during a firefight is much different than intentional raiding, killing just for killing, raping, and looting. These actions are against the 6th Commandment.
Thou Shalt Not Murder therefore is more than just the physical act of premeditated murder, it involves inappropriate feeling from the heart and extremely harmful words. So we really have to watch what we say or do no matter how we feel. Remember, as much as we want to say words of condemnation we must be vigilant in not letting emotions get overridden by hatefulness and disgust no matter the situation. Be wary when taking up certain causes because this day and age there are so many with deep rooted evil intentions that start out as peaceful.
Would God approve of the senseless killing that is going on today in the world? No. When we destroy our very brothers and sisters (humankind) which He created for misunderstood and misinterpreted reasons, we are committing murder. When we kill the unborn we are committing murder. Brother and Sisters in Christ, we are in a period of spiritual war with the world. Stay in the Word and keep it on your heart and God will provide strength, guidance, and comfort. May God bless you all in this time of tribulation.
7 Adultery and Thievery 8
Exodus 20:14, 15 “Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal.” (KJV).
These two are the 7th and 8th Commandments. I find these two kind of close in that the adulterer is also a thief. Now remember, adultery punishment is equal for both male and female. The penalty for adultery was more severe than it is today:
If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die. You must purge the evil from Israel. Deuteronomy 22:22
And the man that commits adultery with another man’s wife, even he that commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. Leviticus 20:10
Then there is the one who thinks nobody is watching has another thing coming
The eye of the adulterer watches for dusk; he thinks, ‘No eye will see me,’ and he keeps his face concealed. Job 24:15
Sorry Charlie, God sees everything. He even knows your heart’s desire.
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looks on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Matthew 5 27-28
Don’t let your eyes direct the desires of the heart. Our eyes should be fixed on God and on the person He chooses for our life mate. Sometimes people listen to the lustful desires or wish to experiment outside of God’s design. Acting upon that temptation and even the mere thought of it leads to sin either of the body or in the heart.
Adultery violates the sworn promise of parties to a sacred covenant. It also perverts the picture of our sovereign union with God Himself. In other words, don’t do it. If you have, then be true and ask forgiveness.
As for the thief, well it is a basic understanding not to steal from others but there is a deeper meaning here, stealing from ourselves. This self-burglary involves our inner honesty within our very being. When we lie to ourselves we are rationalizing an injustice and taking away our blessing of inner peace.
Here is one for you, sin constitutes theft from God.
Then they shall confess their sin which they have done: and he shall recompense his trespass with the principal thereof, and add unto it the fifth part thereof, and give it unto him against whom he hath trespassed. Numbers 5:7
Let me explain. Jim borrows the pressure washer with the intended purpose of washing the walls and concrete around his property. Jim then also uses it to do the same for his son’s house 5 miles away. Jim stole a usage of an item by taking it elsewhere and using it without your knowledge thereby abusing a privilege. If something happened to it even in transit would you not be a little upset. Well, God lends our souls the five senses etc. to live a life for which He intended. If we misuse it such as for speaking evil, or doing things for which are not His intent then we have stolen the gifts for our own gratification. We have sinned.
Therefore, thievery has eternal ramifications because the outer action causes the inner dysfunction known as sin against God. Our thoughts can betray us. This action shows a lack of trust that God meets all our needs.
Well, what do we do? Recognize that God truly does meet all our needs, has given us a life mate, and makes our lives easy as long as we stay in Him. An exit to sin can lead to eternal darkness unless recompense is made.
9 The False Witness and Selfish One 10
We close out our look at the Ten Commandments with a look into the final two.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s. Exodus 20: 16-17
The 9th Commandment talks about more than lying against your neighbor. Have you ever looked deeper into this? Why would God use the term that translates into neighbor? What about not speaking the Truth at all times to all people. After all, everyone is considered as neighbor, not just the people next door. Are we not also to be witnesses of the Truth which is Christ and His work in our lives? The Hebrew word for truth has the first, near middle, and last letters of the alphabet. This brings new meaning to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. If we cannot speak the truth (bearing false testimony) in any fashion then we are denying our relationship with Christ who is recorded by John saying, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” John 14:6.
The 10th Commandment talks of coveting. Some have come to understand coveting to mean being jealous of, then acting upon it through theft or adultery. It is more than that, coveting refers to selfish desires and or lusting after another’s possessions or partners. When the intentions of the heart are not scripturally sound nor within godly standards, are we not breaking this commandment. Do not think that just because we do not confess it that God has no knowledge of it, He knows. We need to reveal our hearts to ourselves to understand our need for the saving grace of God to deliver us from sin. What are we commanded to do in order to deny ourselves from the desires of temptation that lead to sin? Paul tells us in Galatians 5:24, “Walk in the spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh”.
We may be physically bound by the law of man but we are spiritually and physically bound by God’s Commandments and Statutes which override man’s law. Not just Jews and Christian believers, but all God’s Creation. Scripture indicates that God was known about by many peoples and was praised for His works. Our Father was feared by many and His Statutes were known of and written about since the beginning. We as Christians are given the purpose of sharing God’s Word with the world through Love and understanding. We must not give in to the evils of this world which will cause us to sin. Take special care in all you do not to go against God’s Law. Paul reminds us that we are still required to follow His Commandments because Jesus came to fulfill them with Love.