The Commandments of God Are Not an Option :: By Vanessa Panas

The Ten Commandments and the Law of Moses

Who is it that God spews from His mouth? Lukewarm Christians. He demands that either you are for Him or against Him. There is no in between. He also said “I know your deeds; you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were one or the other.”  That’s pretty powerful. He seems to be saying He would rather you openly defy Him than pretend to follow Him and pretend to live in righteousness.

All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God; there is accepting you are a sinner and needing Him or accepting you are a sinner and you want nothing to do with Him. Make up your mind. Either be with Him or be against Him.

One of the most common “accusations” used against Christians is that Christians do not follow all 613 of Gods commandments. Many people are under the belief that Christians are bound to the Law of Moses. The Law of Moses was given by God to Moses for the Jewish people that left Egypt. These laws were part of a covenant God made with the Jewish people. These included ceremonial laws, dietary laws, property rights laws, courts, marriage, business practices etc.

When Jesus came, not only did He fulfill the Word that prophesied of Him, but He made a new covenant: First to Israel and then to the Gentiles. In Gods new covenant, Jesus came to fulfill the Law of Moses.

Matthew 5:17 “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.Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

The Law of Moses foretold of the Messiah and prepared us for the Messiah. The law isn’t meant to save man from their sin, but meant to show us that we need to be saved through Jesus. Under the new covenant created by God through His Son Jesus, we are not held to the penalty of the Law. Jesus paid the ultimate penalty for us.

The “Ten Commandments” and the “Law of Moses” are separate laws; they were separated physically inside the ark. God commanded that the Law of Moses be placed on the side and the Ten Commandments placed inside.

Deuteronomy 31:24-26, “And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished, That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord, saying, Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.”

Exodus 25:16, “And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee.”

The Bible tells us there is clearly a difference between the two.

2 Kings 21:8, “Neither will I make the feet of Israel move any more out of the land which I gave their fathers; only if they will observe to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that my servant Moses commanded them.”

Deuteronomy 4:13-14, “And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone. And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it.”

There are God’s Ten Commandments to all, Gentile and Jew, and there is the Law of Moses. The Ten Commandments were written by God’s own finger, and we are all bound by these commandments. God didn’t ask if we wanted to follow His commandments; He COMMANDED us to.

Exodus 31:18 “And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon Mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.”

Exodus 32:16 “And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.”

The Law of Moses was written in a book.

2 Chronicles 35:12 “And they removed the burnt offerings, that they might give according to the divisions of the families of the people, to offer unto the LORD, as it is written in the book of Moses.”

Didn’t Jesus also tell the Pharisees that they were more concerned with the Law of Moses than of His coming?

In Matthew 23:2-4, Jesus said that the scribes and Pharisees teach the Law of Moses but they themselves do not follow it. Jesus, in front of all, calls the teachers of the Law of Moses out for their sins. They held themselves guiltless and sinless but Jesus knew their hearts. They condemned others under the Law but refused to follow the Law.

Matthew 23:13-15 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.”

Jesus was the Messiah they were waiting for. They read the Law of Moses and taught the Law of Moses but missed the fulfillment of the Law.

Jesus said, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me” (John 5:39).

The word “scriptures” refers to the old covenant, the laws and statutes given to Moses on Mt. Sinai. Jesus said “If you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me” (John 5:46).

John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” This means in the beginning there was always Jesus, and Jesus was always with God because Jesus IS God.

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him…” (John 1:1-2).

What are the Ten Commandments in the order that God gave them, and why is it so important that we as Christians follow them?

God’s first commandment:

“You shall have no other gods before Me.”

God is a jealous God. He said He is a jealous God. At first thought, one might think, how can God be jealous? God created you. He knows you and loves you. If we can feel jealousy, He can. We are made in His image. He loves us, tries to protect us and we are constantly looking somewhere else.

“You shall not make for yourself a carved or graven image.”

Does this mean I can’t wear my cross as some Christians say? I don’t believe so. To me, my cross tells everyone upon meeting me that I am a Christian. The cross to me represents victory.  Graven images represent paganism and false gods. Take the arch of Baal for instance; these are graven images made for false gods in order to worship.

Another graven image is Mary worship. Many Catholics unknowingly worship graven images at mass every week. Before Christianity began to spread in Rome, there were many false pagan gods. When Constantine became a “Christian,” he ordered the pagan statues of gods to be renamed or changed in some small way. These statues, once worshipped as pagan gods, suddenly became Peter, Mary and even Jesus.

Below is an excerpt from http://gotquestions.org on Baal worship in Israel.

Before the Hebrews entered the Promised Land, the Lord God warned against worshiping Canaan’s gods (Deuteronomy 6:14-15), but Israel turned to idolatry anyway. During the reign of Ahab and Jezebel, at the height of Baal worship in Israel, God directly confronted the paganism through His prophet Elijah. First, God showed that He, not Baal, controlled the rain by sending a drought lasting three-and-one-half years (1 Kings 17:1). Then Elijah called for a showdown on Mt. Carmel to prove once and for all who the true God was.

All day long, 450 prophets of Baal called on their god to send fire from heaven—surely an easy task for a god associated with lightning bolts—but “there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention” (1 Kings 18:29). After Baal’s prophets gave up, Elijah prayed a simple prayer, and God answered immediately with fire from heaven. The evidence was overwhelming, and the people fell prostrate and cried, ‘The LORD–he is God! The LORD–he is God!’” (verse 39).

In Matthew 12:27, Jesus calls Satan “Beelzebub,” linking the devil to Baal-Zebub, a Philistine deity (2 Kings 1:2). The Baalim of the Old Testament were nothing more than demons masquerading as gods, and all idolatry is ultimately devil-worship (1 Corinthians 10:20).

– From “Who Was Baal?” at gotquestions.org

“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.”

Many think this means to simply say “Jesus Christ” out of anger, or GD out of anger. But there is more to using God’s name in vain. His actual name is so holy that we don’t even know it. Nobody but Him knows it. God has many titles, and when praying to Him or when speaking of Him, there should be reverence.

If you pray to God for a raise at your job but then don’t give God a thought any other time, you are using His name in vain. When you laugh at Jesus jokes, you’re using His name in vain. Using the letters OMG is another way of taking the Lord’s name in vain. Again, using His name with no reverence is using His name in vain.

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God.”

Many Christians fall short when it comes to keeping the Sabbath day holy. God takes a backseat to work, football, movies, and bingo. God didn’t say “you worked all week; you deserve a break today.” He said this is MY day. Not your day. The Sabbath is a day to pray, read and spend with family honoring God. We give thanks every day, but on the Sabbath we honor Him and Him alone.

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”

This is something that has been missing from the home for a long time. There is no respect for authority of any kind when it comes to many younger adults and teenagers. Young children don’t even have a reasonable fear or respect for their parents; they certainly are not going to show it to a teacher or police officer.

We have an entire generation of young adults that are as mature as they were in kindergarten. Many young adults today think they are still kids when they are in their 20’s. They want the respect of being treated as adults with none of the responsibilities. When they fail it’s because of their parents; when they succeed it’s because they worked hard. That is the mentality.

“You shall not murder.”

Many use this as some sort of proof that God is against the second amendment. In Luke 22:36 Jesus said, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.”

A Christian can absolutely defend himself. God commanded us not to murder, that is the shedding of innocent blood. Jesus warned us that we will be persecuted for Him. Christians will be killed because of Him.  He commanded us to not deny Him. We will be killed for Him, but it doesn’t mean we have to stand there with our necks stretched out and make it easy for the enemy. Put on the whole armor of God and defend not only your faith but defend yourself. Jesus said He did not come to bring peace, but a sword. His sword is His word.

“You shall not commit adultery.”

God takes an oath or a covenant very seriously. When you get married, that is to be an unbreakable bond. You entered into a covenant with your partner, and that covenant doesn’t end because you grow bored or feel you grew apart. One thing that makes the last couple of generations so different than all previous generations is that, previously divorce was not something taken lightly. If it broke, you fixed it.

When you have a married couple with two separate lives, there are bound to be some issues. Christ commanded husbands to love their wives as He has loved the Church. A covenant is the same as giving your word. When you marry under God, you made Him a part of your marriage; you gave your word to Him that you would honor your husband and love your wife, just as He loved you.

“You shall not steal.”

If it’s not yours, don’t take it. There is nothing worse than someone you can’t trust. Proverbs 29:24 says “He who is a partner with a thief hates his own life.” How true. Imagine having a partner that stole from you constantly. You put money into the business and he pulled money out.

You may hate your life. God is always merciful though, when mercy is needed. If you stole because you were hungry, you must repay it, and God does not want you despised.

Proverbs 6:30-31 says, “Men do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy himself when he is hungry; But when he is found, he must repay sevenfold; He must give all the substance of his house.”

There is a difference between stealing a loaf of bread to fill your stomach and stealing a TV to fill your entertainment needs.

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

When you lie about someone or make things up, you can destroy that person’s life if the lie is big enough. Right now in Pakistan, the blasphemy laws are being used by Muslims to accuse Christians of blasphemy against Allah. These Christians are arrested, beaten, raped and murdered all because of people bearing false witness against their neighbor.

One Christian man accused of burning the Koran by his neighbors was beaten to death. Christian children as young as 9 have been arrested and beaten, accused of burning the Koran. An 11-year-old Christian girl was accused and arrested, causing dozens of other Christians to flee. Bearing false witness against someone is wrong; bearing false witness against a Christian is usually done knowing that Christian will be put to death.

“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.”

Be content with what you have. As you are wishing for the material things of your friends, perhaps they are wishing they had the close relationship you have with your spouse or children, maybe even God. God will always give you enough; it may not always be what you want, but it will be enough. If you are so busy obsessing over what your neighbor has, then you are missing all the blessings you do have.

Love what God loves and hate what God hates. Honor Him by following His commandments. Love God with all your heart, soul and mind. If you do that, then His commandments will come easy. The Bible also says that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. There is one way. That way is through Jesus. He is the way, the truth and the life; whoever believes in Him has everlasting life.

Vanessa Panas