The Nine Commandments of God

by David J. Stewart

And God spake all these words, saying...

  1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
  2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain.
  4.  
  5. Honour thy father and thy mother.
  6. Thou shalt not kill.
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  8. Thou shalt not steal.
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
  10. Thou shalt not covet. . . any thing that is thy neighbour's.

Look in Exodus 20:1-17 for the complete text.

 

Commandment four is a "ceremonial law" which was ONLY for Old Testament Israel. Ceremonial laws were a specific set of laws, for a specific group of people (Israel), for a specific time period (Old Testament). When Jesus died on the cross, He became our Sabbath. The six day work week in the Old Testament pictured man foolishly trying to earn salvation through self-righteous good works (which is impossible). The Sabbath day of rest represented our precious Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who died in our place to pay for our sins. 2nd Corinthians 5:17, "For He [God the Father] hath made Him [God the Son] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."

We are saved by ceasing from our own self-righteous efforts and resting upon the finished redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Jesus paid a debt that He did not owe, because we owed a debt that we could not pay. Only through the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ can anyone be saved. Romans 3:25, "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through FAITH IN HIS BLOOD, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God." Salvation is undeserved and wholly by the grace of God toward us sinners.

Colossians 2:14, "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross." When Jesus died on the cross, the 6" thick veil in the Jewish temple was torn into two pieces, signifying a new covenant between God and His people. The ceremonial laws were done away with. Ceremonial laws were "reminders" to Israel of divine truths. Please understand that the way of salvation did NOT change, all people of all times have been saved the same way—by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 10:43; Ephesians 2:8,9). 

The Sabbath Day is not enforced today, which is why the Bible further states in Colossians 2:16,17, "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ." It is certainly appropriate for Jews to observe the Sabbath Day in honor of the Lord, but it is not required anymore. The Israelites were forbidden to even light a fire on the Sabbath (Exodus 35:3). Obviously, the Sabbath is not enforced today. Circumcision, the Sabbath, eating of swine, and other Jewish restrictions in the Old Testament were ceremonial laws, which were all done away with at the cross (as far as being mandatory). As we just read in Colossians 2:17, the Bible called the ceremonial laws, "a shadow of things to come." When the sun is directly overhead, the shadow is gone. Jesus was the fulfillment of the Sabbath, in Whom we rest for salvation.

There is nothing in the New Testament about keeping the “ten” commandments. I called this article the “nine commandments”; but in actuality there are HUNDREDS of commandments of God throughout the Scriptures. Jesus summarized them in “two” commandments in Matthew 22:36-40... Love God and your neighbor. There's certainly nothing wrong with displaying the Ten Commandments; but I think it's important that we realize the Sabbath Day is no longer in effect. Instead, we honor the Lord on the first day of the week, which is Sunday. This is not the Sabbath; but I think very important. America was a much better nation when stores used to close on Sundays. In fact, many stores lowered their window shades on Sunday, so people couldn't window shop. This was out of respect for the Lord. Nowadays, greedy companies require employees to work midnight shift, Sundays, Christmas, and have no regard for God nor man.

If the Sabbath were still in effect today, then everyone who worked on the Sabbath (Saturday) would be put to death. Exodus 31:15, "Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death."

Also, moral laws are applicable 365 days a year (all the time). We are never to violate a moral law! We are never to commit murder. We are never to commit adultery. We are never to bare false witness, etc. However, the Sabbath Day was ceremonial and to be kept only ONCE a week. This it was not a moral law. 

Also, moral laws apply to ALL humanity, the Sabbath was only for Israel, it was a ceremonial law. As a matter of fact, Jesus broke the Sabbath! Jesus would never break a moral law! Jesus was strict on moral law, but lenient on the Sabbath because He was the fulfillment of the Sabbath. This should make very clear that the Sabbath is not valid today. So when you here people talking about the "Ten Commandments;" in fact, there are only nine remaining, which are moral laws (which do not change). Still not convinced?  The Sabbath Day—Moral or Ceremonial Law?

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God's Commandments are NOT rules to obey as a personal favor to God. They are the fundamental principles without which mankind cannot live together.

They are not laws—they are the LAW.


There are Hundreds of Commandments!

The words “Thou shalt” appear 965 times in the Old Testament. The words “Thou shalt not” appear 204 times in the Old Testament. Of course, not all of these are God speaking, but most of them are. The Ten Commandments do not forbid homosexuality, but God's Law does forbid homosexuality in Leviticus 20:13 and elsewhere. It is important that people be taught all of God's Word.

It is interesting that Jesus summed up all the Law and prophets into TWO commandments . . .

Matthew 22:36-40, "Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

Yet, in the Old Testament God gave Moses TEN commandments to give to the Israelites. And then further still we see that there are literally hundreds of commandments in the Bible for Christians to obey. Jesus wasn't superseding the whole of God's Law with TWO commandments; but rather, He was simplifying the Law of God for us to understand. The Bible doesn't tell us not to hit our neighbor with a baseball bat, but if we love our neighbor as our self as Jesus commanded, then we won't do that. All of the commandments in the Bible fall under the umbrella of the Ten Commandments. The first five commandments are based upon loving God with all our heart; and the last five commandments are based upon loving our neighbor as our self. This is why Jesus summarized them as such. If a man loves God and his neighbour, then he will do no harm to either (and in so doing fulfil the Law).

A man recently said to me that the Bible only forbids men from committing homosexuality in Leviticus 20:13, but it does not forbid women from doing so. Yet, if people love God then they won't commit such wickedness. In fact, the Bible does condemn lesbianism, as we read in Romans 1:26, "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature." It's sad how people attempt to justify sin with the Scriptures. We must take the Bible as a whole and not overlook any portions of it. If we take to heart the TWO commandments that Jesus emphasized: 1) Loving God with all our heart, and 2) Loving our neighbor as our self, then we will fulfil all of the Law of God in obeying those two. That is, a man who loves his neighbor won't toss cigarette butts into his swimming pool, et cetera.

Jesus taught that all of the Old Testament Laws were based upon loving God and loving one's neighbor. If we get those two commandments right, then everything else will fall into place. A man who loves his neighbor won't deliberately hurt his neighbor in any way. If a man loves God, then he will live for God and keep His commandments.

So as much as we hear about the “Ten Commandments,” the Word of God contains many more commandments than that, hundreds in fact. The Ten Commandments are a symbol of God's intolerance for sin. Galatians 3:24,25, "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster." The purpose of the Law was never to get anyone to Heaven, nor to promote better human relations. God gave the Law that "sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful" (Romans 7:13). The purpose of the Law is to show us just how rotten and sinful we are; thus revealing our desperate need for a Savior to redeem us from hellfire. Jesus paid for our sins that we might be redeemed to God. In view of all the possible sins mankind is capable of committing, the Ten Commandments were given as a moral benchmark (a measuring stick) for the Jews to compare themselves against. Everyone has broken God's Commandments. Those who die in their sins without Christ as Savior will be judged by the Law at The Great White Throne of Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15).

The Sabbath, whenever mentioned in the scriptures, always without exception, designates the seventh day of the week. Clearly, the Sabbath Day was for a specific people (the Jews), during a specific time (the Old Testament), in a specific region (Palestine). Nowhere in the Bible is it affirmed that the first day of the week is given in place of the Sabbath. It is part of the new covenant and with a new significance, the day which our blessed Lord was raised from death according to Mark 16:9, "Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils."

America was a much better nation back when we honored God enough to close our businesses on Sunday, refuse to work on Sundays, and go to church on Sundays. 1st Corinthians 16:2 evidences that Sunday had become the accepted day of going to church in the New Testament, "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come." Acts 20:7, "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight." Colossians 2:16 says, "Let no man therefore judge you... in respect of... the sabbath days." This proves that the Sabbath Day is not a command for believers today, for we are not to judge anyone concerning the keeping of it.

Christ is our Sabbath in Whom we rest for salvation. We are saved by HIS righteousness, and not our own self-righteousness! Unfortunately, Catholics don't believe this and are hellbound in their own self-righteousness. It is not the Church that saves us, nor ourselves; but rather, the blood which Jesus shed for our sins. We are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8,9).

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Is the Sabbath for Christians?

By Pastor David Reagan

If recent emails I have received are any true indication, Sabbath worship among those who claim to be Christians is becoming more and more popular. Recently, I have heard that the Sabbath was never changed by God; that we are still under obligation to keep it; that refusal to keep it is the mark of the beast; that it was invented by Roman Catholics in order to worship the Sun god. We will go to the Bible and a little history to get at the truth.

The Heresy of Sabbath-Keeping

The New Testament teachings of Paul, far from teaching the necessity of the Sabbath, show that such a teaching is pure heresy. First, consider this passage:

Colossians 2:16 “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:“ 17 “Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”

In this passage, Paul says that the keeping of Sabbath days was only a shadow of things to come. He told the Colossians not to let anyone judge them concerning the keeping of the Sabbath days (and other Jewish holy days). Since the Colossians were saved Gentiles who would not have originally kept the Sabbath, Paul is referring to those who would judge them for not keeping the Sabbath. In other words, Paul is clearly saying that the keeping of the Sabbath is no longer necessary. Those who would judge anyone else for not keeping the Sabbath are the ones who are wrong. Here is another important passage:

Galatians 4:9 “But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?” 10 "Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years." 11 "I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain."

In Galatians, Paul refers to the observing of days (which would include the keeping of the Sabbath) as one of the "weak and beggarly elements" which put men in "bondage." He is fearful (as he says in many ways throughout the book of Galatians) that they are ready to return to the bondage of Judaism after Jesus Christ has made them free.

The Sabbath as a Sign for Israel

The Bible clearly teaches that the Sabbath was given as a gift to the people of Israel. It was a special sign of God’s covenant between Himself and Israel. Exodus 31:12-18 teaches this special relationship between Israel and the keeping of the Sabbath. Note especially verses sixteen and seventeen:

Exodus 31:16 “Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.” 17 “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.”

To require Gentiles to keep the Sabbath is to attempt to make Jews out of them. It is true that in Old Testament times Gentiles went to the Jew to find the way of salvation. However, in this age of grace, the Bible is just as clear that Jews must come to the Gentiles to find the way to God. Peter, in referring to the salvation of the Gentile Cornelius and his household, said, “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.” (Acts 15:11). In other words, Jews (like Peter) must be saved according to the pattern of Gentiles (like Cornelius).

New Testament Worship on the First Day

These modern Sabbath-keepers teach that worshipping on the first day of the week was an invention of the Roman Catholics when they assimilated many pagan practices. First of all, Roman Catholicism was not really established as such until the fourth century after Christ. Up until that time, there were some minor moves toward giving an elevated place to the church at Rome, but there was nothing approaching Catholicism. In fact, it took several centuries after this time for them to consolidate their power into one head at Rome.

At any rate, worshipping on the first day of the week began immediately after the resurrection of Christ and continued from that time. Consider the following points: 

  1. Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the first day of the week (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2, 9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1).
  2. The day of Pentecost, when the Holy Ghost came down in power, was on the first day of the week (Acts 2:1; Leviticus 23:15-16).
  3. The early church habitually met on the first day of the week (John 20:19; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2).
  4. The first day of every week we remember the resurrection of our Lord as the beginning of a new dispensation in which we are no longer under the law but under grace (Romans 6:14-15; Galatians 4:21; 5:18).
  5. CONCLUSION: The Roman Catholic Church was not established until about three centuries after Christ. Christians meeting on the first day of the week began immediately after the resurrection of Christ.

Historical Support for First Day Worship

Finally, consider how early Christians began to worship on the first day of the week according to the historical records. It was mentioned as the day of worship by the following men or in the following writings:

  • Ignatius in his Ad Magnesios written about 115AD. 
  • An unknown author in The Epistle of Barnabas probably written between 107 and 120AD.
  • Justin Martyr who lived from about 100 to 165AD.
  • Tertullian who lived from about 160 to 220AD.

These are just some of the earliest examples. The evidence to the contrary just does not match up. Before the completion of the New Testament and immediately afterwards, the Christian day of worship was the first day of the week. On that special day every week we come together to worship God and to remember that we serve a risen Saviour. Those who teach otherwise try to bring Christians back under the bondage of the law. Their false doctrine should be rejected. Let us worship our Saviour truly on the day of His resurrection.

SOURCE

©2001-2009 Learn the Bible

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The Sabbath, a Time of Affliction

By David J. Stewart

Leviticus 16:29, “And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you.”

Leviticus 16:31, “It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever.”

Levities 23:27, “Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.”

Although the requirement to keep the Sabbath was nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14-16), the teaching of being afflicted has not changed. On the Sabbath Day, Israel remembered the Lord. They turned their laughter into mourning, and their joy into sorrow, and their festivities into fasting. It was a time of subduing the flesh and remembering their God, thinking about holiness and reflecting upon life and what God expected of them. This is exactly what James 4:7-12 tell us to do if we desire to draw near unto God (there is no other way)...

James 4:7-12, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?”

God enjoys merry-making and we certainly will at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in Heaven (this will occur during the Tribulation Period). After the Rapture, the Judgment Seat of Christ immediately follows and then the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. The Church will NOT go through the Tribulation, just as righteous Lot and Noah were delivered before God judged and destroyed the wicked. The Bible teaches a Pretribulation Rapture.

Jesus attended marriage feasts and turned the water into grape juice. Wine in the Bible was never made with stills [highly concentrated alcoholic beverages, which the Bible calls "strong drink" (see Proverb 20:1)]. Jesus simply made grape juice type wine. This is why Proverbs speaks of tarrying "long at the wine," because you had to drink gallons to get drunk. Jesus did not make strong drink as foolish men claim.

God is not against having a good time within the boundaries of morality, decency and ethics; but the Bible condemns eating, drinking, marrying and giving in marriage (partying) as the sinful world does. The world party's with booze, worldly music, lewdness, immodest clothing, sexual immorality, sinful pride, lust, illegal drugs, et cetera. God did not create mankind to have a good time and party. God created humanity to please the Lord jesus Christ (Revelation 4:11).

Hence, the purpose of being afflicted is to share the heart's burden of our God. Look at the news! Consider that most of the people in this world are going to hell forever to burn (Matthew 7:13-14, 21-23; Luke 13:23-24; Revelation 20:13-15). Consider all the suffering in the world—the sick, the lame, the imprisoned, the hurting, the poor, the starving, the afflicted, the blind and deaf, et cetera. Consider all the wickedness, dishonesty, blatant crime and corruption being committed by our nation's leaders.

Our flesh by nature is corrupt (Romans 7:14-25), and our heart evil (Jeremiah 17:9). By nature we are prone to selfishness and doing what feels good to us. By nature we have all gone stray and turned to our own ways. Isaiah 53:6, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Thus, on the Sabbath Day the Israelites stopped everything and rested from their labors, which is a picture of ceasing from our own self-righteous works and trusting solely upon the Lord for salvation. Jesus is our Sabbath today!!!

God hasn't changed since the Old Testament (Malachi 3:6). Although the ceremonial laws have been done away with, including the Sabbath; we are still told by God to afflict ourselves (meaning, to realize one's misery) in order that we may humble ourselves before God and draw near to Him. God resisteth the proud, but helps (giveth grace, Hebrews 4:15-16) to the humble (James 4:6). Prayer and humility are synonymous. One who doesn't pray is sinfully proud (2nd Chronicles 7:14). The beginning of humility is to pray, letting God know that we know that we need Him.

Today we don't recognize a Sabbath Day; but rather, attend church on Sunday.

The purpose of every New Testament church should be:

(1) Exalt the Savior
(2) Evangelize the Sinner
(3) Edify the Saints

In conclusion, there is no where in the Bible where we are told to only obey Ten Commandments today; but rather all the Commandments of God (there are hundreds, which can all be summed up in just two commands: love God and love your neighbor). The Ten Commandments do not forbid homosexuality; but we know from many other Scriptures that homosexuality is a disgusting sin, listed next to bestiality (sex with animals, Leviticus 18:22-23). The Bible says in Leviticus 18:25 that God vomiteth homosexuals out of the land. God loves people, but He hates sins (1st John 3:16; Psalm 97:10)

The Sabbath Day is a ceremonial law, which only applied one day a week; whereas the other nine Commandments were moral laws, applying 24 hours a day, 7-days a week, all the time. The Sabbath was fulfilled in what is symbolized when Christ died for our sins. Today, Jesus is our Sabbath, in Whom we completely rest for salvation (Hebrews 4:2). Let us take time out of our busy schedule to be afflicted, to draw near unto our God, to humbly pray and seek God's face of approval, to turn from our wicked ways, and to trust upon the Lord with all our heart (Proverb 3:5-7). Amen and amen!


Repent America Honours Judge Roy Moore

The Honorable Judge Roy Moore