Many have heard of the Ten Commandments. Many today are asking what they are, and how are they to be obeyed.
Some today have heard that obedience to the Ten Commandments is necessary for salvation. Others have heard that salvation is dependent only upon one’s faith in Yahushua [Jesus], for the forgiveness of sins. Still others have been told that those who have been Born-Again, by believing in Yahushua, need not obey the Ten Commandments. But what do the Scriptures tell us?
In this short writing we will look at what the Ten Commandments say, and then see what the Scriptures themselves have to say about the Ten Commandments. We will look carefully at a few of the least understood Scripture passages themselves, to see what they actually say. Only when we read the Scripture passages for ourselves, are we better able to make our own decisions as to what the Ten Commandments are, and how we should respond to them.
We will take special note of who it was that spoke these commandments. We will also see to whom they were given, and how the Ten Commandments fit in with all of Scripture. We will then see what the Scriptures tell us about those who do obey the commandments, and what they say about those who do not.
What are the Ten Commandments?
After Yahuweh brought the Israelites out from slavery in Egypt (Exodus 20:2), He led them into the wilderness of Arabia. It was there that Yahuweh gave them His Marriage Covenant, summarised in the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments (Galatians 4:25; Exodus 34:27-28; Deuteronomy 4:13).
We must first understand, that it was the person of Messiah who appeared to Abraham as the Word of Yahuweh (Genesis 15:1,4), and as the apostle Paul tells us in (1Corinthians 10:1-4), it was Messiah who accompanied the Israelites in their journey through the wilderness. This bit of information is a key piece of the puzzle, that enables us to understand and to learn Father’s Ways, as we shall see below.
It was also on Mount Sinai that Yahuweh spoke to Moses by the Word of Yahuweh, who is Messiah (Num 3:16,51; 15:31; 36:5). It was Messiah who spoke the Ten Commandments, also called the Ten Words. Likewise it was Messiah who wrote these Words on tables of stone with His own finger — ‘the finger of God’ (Exodus 31:18; Luke 11:20), and gave the tables to Moses, to give to the people. The entire account can be seen in the Bible, in Exodus chapter 20. Some of the details of this Covenant are discussed in the article, The Two Witnesses of Devarim by Brick Parrish.
After receiving the tablets of the Ten Commandments, Moses descended from the mountain. When he reached the base of the mountain, Moses saw the Israelites celebrating in an unrestrained manner, and worshipping a golden calf they had made. Moses threw down the stone tablets and broke them, giving us a prophetic picture of God’s people who would break Yahuweh’s Everlasting Covenant, in preparation for the coming of Messiah who would permanently restore Yahuweh’s Everlasting Covenant.
Moses then returned to the top of the mountain, to commune with Yahuweh. Through a series of events, Moses then descended with a second set of stone tablets, whose wording was identical to the first set. This second set of tablets gives us another prophetic picture of the Second or ‘New’ Covenant that would be written internally, on the heart, and whose wording would be identical to that of the First or ‘Old’ covenant, seen prophetically in the first set of broken tablets, and mentioned in (Hebrews 8:7, 9:1).
It was later in the wilderness wanderings that the Word of Yahuweh gave to Moses further details of the commandments, which were written in the Book of the Law [‘Torah’], the collection of Father’s instructions for His people. The tablets of the Ten Commandments were placed into the ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25:21; 1Kings 8:9), which is prophetic of placing the words of the Law [Torah] into the hearts of His Disciples within whom Messiah would dwell (Prov 7:2-3; Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 8:10; Hebrews 10:16; 2Corinthians 3:3; Colossians 1:27).
The Book of the Law was also placed in the side of the ark, as a witness (Deuteronomy 31:26), which is another prophetic picture for us, showing us how we become aware of exactly what sin is (Romans 3:20; Romans 7:7). It is only by having the Law of God written internally in our heart that we begin to know [perceive or become aware of] sin, which is unrighteousness (Psalms 37:31; Isaiah 51:7; Romans 3:20, 7:7; Hebrews 8:10; Hebrews 10:16; 1John 5:17).
The tables of the Ten Commandments form the basis of all civil life and relationships for all of Yahuweh’s people. They are the basics of how Yahuweh’s people are to relate to Him, and to each other. The Ten Commandments are the basic and essential part of Yahuweh’s instructions for His people, and they are the foundation of Father’s ‘Rules of the House’ by which His children are expected to live.
The Ten Commandments
The Scripture passages containing the Ten Commandments are listed in the table below, as seen in Exodus 20:2-17. These are shown first as Biblical Hebrew, then as the KJV listing, and finally the World English Bible.
The Scripture verses, along with references for each commandment, are shown above, for the Reader’s benefit. This information is shown because many religious groups divide up the Ten Commandments in various ways, as a means of hiding some of the words. Some religious groups completely remove certain words altogether, and the Reader is thus robbed of knowing the Truth!
What is important is not how these Commandments are divided up, but that all the words of the Commandments be shown in entirety, so that the Reader may benefit from ‘every word’ that proceeds from the mouth of Yahuweh (Matt 4:4; Luke 4:4).
The New Covenant Importance of the Commandments
Why are the Commandments important?
It is important to understand that we can not be saved by being obedient to the Commandments. The first step to our salvation is to first understand that we have been disobedient to the Commandments, and as a result, we are called sinners. Thus in order to be saved, we must have a Saviour to save us from our sins. In order to be saved, we must first realise that we are all sinners, and that we all have need of a Saviour to save us [rescue us] from our sins.
One might then ask, “What is sin?” The Scriptures tell us sin is transgression of the law (1John 3:4), which means disobedience of Yahuweh’s commandments. If we have disobeyed any commandment of the Scriptures that would apply to us, we are sinners by the Biblical definition. It is only by our understanding of the Commandments that we know what sin is; and it is only by the conviction of the Holy Spirit that we know that we ourselves are personally guilty of sin. And so it is by understanding the commandment, and by knowing I have disobeyed the commandment, that I am convicted by the Holy Spirit, and know that I need a Saviour, to save me from my sins.
To understand how the Saviour forgives us of our sins, see How Do I Receive God’s Forgiveness for My Sins?.
After we become Born-Again, why are the Commandments important?
As new Believers, we are exhorted to give our hearts to Yahushua, and to let our eyes observe [delight in keeping, and walking in] His Ways (Proverbs 23:26). Father’s ways are seen throughout the Torah, and are taught in the places of assembly each Sabbath, just as the Jerusalem council tells us in Acts 15:19-21.
As we learn Father’s Ways in the ‘Old’ Testament writings, we begin to see that His Ways are ways of Righteousness, and ways that are holy [‘set-apart as special’]. These are ways wherein we allow Him to lead us away from the ways of sin, iniquity, and defilement, and toward a Biblical lifestyle of Righteousness, and of being set-apart unto Him.
Yahushua [Jesus] exhorts all those who have been saved from their sins, to stop sinning (John 5:14; 8:11; 1Cor 15:34; Eph 4:26; 1John 2:1; 3:4, 8, 9). Even for those who have been saved and forgiven of their sins, continued sin thereafter blocks the intimate relationship that Yahushua desires of each of His children. If we sin, we can confess our sins to Yahuweh as soon as we become aware of them (1John 1:8-9), and He then forgives us of our sins, and cleanses us from all unrighteousness.
But how are we to know what things are considered sin?
The apostle Paul tells us that by the Torah comes the knowledge of sin [the awareness of what is considered sin, so that we might avoid it] (Romans 3:20; Romans 7:7). The value of the commandments found throughout the Torah, is that they define for us what Yahuweh considers sin, unrighteousness, iniquity, and wickedness. The commandments tell us in plain and simple terms, what we are to do, and what we should avoid doing, if we want to stop committing sins!
As we grow in our walk with Yahushua, we learn to run to Him daily, or as often as necessary, to confess our sins, so that He may wash us, and cleanse us from all sin [unrighteousness] (1John 1:7-9; 1John 5:17). And as we continue to study the Scriptures, we become more and more aware of what to avoid. We also become more aware of the Great mercy He has shown to us by giving us His forgiveness, and the Great Grace He has given to us to enable us to do what is right. For further discussion of what constitutes sin, see Sin: According to the Scriptures.
Are We Aware — or Ignorant — of What Sin Is? Two Examples from the Ten Commandments
As we look at some practical examples of becoming aware of what sin is, let’s focus on two of the Commandments shown above, the Second Commandment and the Fourth Commandment.
Example 1: The Second Commandment
As our first example, notice carefully the wording of the Second Commandment. Notice that the Hebrew word לא (Lo) has been highlighted in bold type, in the Ten Commandments table above. This is a particularly interesting feature, in that the Hebrew word ‘Lo’ means “You shall not.” Thus wherever we see the word ‘Lo’ in these commandments, we know this is a stand-alone command, which does not depend on any other passage to give further context, to qualify or change its meaning.
The significance of the Hebrew word לא in verses 4 and 5 of the Second Commandment, is that verse 5 does not supply the context for verse 4, but verse 4 is to be understood within its own context. This tells us that one need not ‘bow down’ or ‘serve’ a forbidden object, as seen in verse 5, for that object to be classified as an idol.
In verse 4, Yahuweh tells us not to make a particular shape of object. Notice however, the Hebrew word translated ‘make,’ Strong’s number <06213>, has many additional meanings, including the ideas of “do, make, fashion, acquire, have, maintain, prepare,” and a number of additional meanings.
And because verse 4 is a stand-alone command, it tells us that to ‘make’ <06213> [make, prepare, keep, acquire, maintain, attend to] the described object is forbidden, without regard to whether the owner bows down to it.
This stand-alone command feature is especially important as we look at the practical meaning of the Second Commandment, as revealed in verses 4 and 5. Let’s now look closely at these two passages, to see what they are actually saying:
Thou shalt not make <06213> unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: (Exodus 20:4)
Now notice what Yahuweh tells us next:
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve <05647> them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me. (Exodus 20:5)
Verse 4 tells us not to make, fashion, acquire, or have a graven [carved or fashioned] image of any living being, which includes art objects, statues, figurines, and toys commonly found in the home or office.
But as it begins to dawn upon us what verse 4 actually says, many would say, “But I do not bow down to it, as verse 5 warns — so perhaps it is acceptable to ‘make, fashion, acquire, or have’ the object in my possession, in my home or office.”
This is a grave error, to think that verse 5 supplies ‘context’ or meaning to verse 4. Instead, as we have noted, each verse, Exodus 20:4 and Exodus 20:5, are separate, stand-alone “Do not” commands, each containing the Hebrew word ‘lo.’ This information sheds new light onto these passages, and reveals to us a further depth of meaning.
Thus in verse 4, we are told not to “make, fashion, acquire, or have” the described object — and in verse 5 we are told not to bow down to them, even if they had been “made or fashioned” by someone else. Each passage is a separate command, each independent of the other for contextual meaning.
Nevertheless, many today will consider their valued objects, think about their expensive collections of figurines and statues, art objects, and decorations, and will hold them too dear to abandon. They will continue to ignore Yahuweh’s Word regarding the command, “do not make” [or have] these described objects. Instead, many will substitute their own understanding of what this command is saying.
Again, they reason, “But I am not bowing down to this object, so it’s OK to have it.” But this way of thinking is exactly what King Saul did, and this is exactly why Yahuweh considers stubbornness as the sin of idolatry — when we exalt our own understanding above what Yahuweh’s Word actually says.
So if we reject Yahuweh’s simple and clear Word to us in verse 4, and instead choose to follow our own understanding, thinking “But I do not bow down to it, so perhaps it is acceptable to make, fashion, acquire, or have,” then we are in essence, doing as King Saul did. This is idolatry in Yahuweh’s eyes.
We have also created an idol of the heart, by substituting our ‘own understanding’ in place of what Yahuweh’s Word actually says.
What verse 4 actually says is, “Do not make, acquire, or have” the described object. Period!
And verse 5 actually says, “Do not bow down to, or serve the [above described] objects, even if they were “made or fashioned” by someone else. Period!
Read together in this manner, verses 4 and 5 say, “You shall not make [have, acquire, maintain, etc.] for yourselves a graven image, nor any likeness of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; Neither shall you bow yourself down to them, nor serve them.”
In simple terms, the Second Commandment is plainly telling us:
The Second Commandment:
- Neither make [have, etc.] the object (verse 4);
- Nor bow down to it, nor serve it (verse 5).
Now let’s look at another feature of these two passages, the “cause-and effect” relationship seen in these two verses.
Cause and Effect
Not only do Exodus 20:4 and Exodus 20:5 give us two separate, explicit commands, but they are a classic example of a Biblical “cause-and-effect” relationship. “Do not do [Action 1], because it will inevitably lead you to do [Action 2], which you are also forbidden to do.”
The not-so-obvious, hidden cause-and-effect relationship between verse 4 and verse 5 tells us that to make, acquire, or have a forbidden object, inevitably leads to a hidden attachment to them, a bowing down to them [hidden in our heart, not seen or perceived], and a hidden serving of them [hidden in our heart, not seen or perceived].
Yahuweh knew if we were to make or have these objects, we would become attached to them, and that is a form of worshipping them. Through our natural sentimentality toward an object, we can create an attachment to that object, creating an idolatry of the heart. This idolatry will only strengthen the stronghold of the enemy, bringing into our homes various torments — such as strife, discord, anger, rebellion, sicknesses, troubles, and unbelief.
This stronghold of idolatry is the inevitable outcome of this cause-and-effect relationship seen in the Second Commandment.
What does this mean for Believers today, in a practical sense?
When we consider the truth that many types of art objects, decorations, statues, figurines, and toys are simply fabricated representations of male or female living things, we then realise that these are forbidden objects, and are off-limits to Believers.
Thus if we make, prepare, keep, acquire, have, maintain, or attend to them, we have disobeyed the 2nd Commandment, which according to the apostle John, is sin (1John 3:4).
Yahuweh does, however, give us a choice. He watches us, to see whether we will follow Him, by careful obedience to what He has said in His Word — or whether we choose to follow our own sentimentality toward an object, thus clouding our own understanding.
Father is also looking for a Bride for His son, and so He is looking for hearts that are soft and teachable, and fully yielded to obedience to His Word. The choices we make reveal our heart.
Here is what Father sees, based on the choices we make regarding the Second Commandment:
The Second Commandment: Choices Reveal the Heart
- The deceived heart, in an attempt to justify its own actions, will do everything possible to twist the meaning of what the Second Commandment actually says, looking for a ‘loophole’ that would allow one to have, and to keep, one’s forbidden objects.
- The soft heart, however, says, “Whether I am convinced or not, I do not want to gamble on even the slightest odds that I might be wrong.”
- The teachable heart then says, “I will not take even the slightest chance, that I might offend the Bridegroom because of a few earthly trinkets, so I will destroy or discard these objects from my home!”
- The yielded heart is one that is quick to discard or destroy anything, regardless of its cost or value, that might cause a sin or offense against the Bridegroom, or a stumbling-block to a fellow Believer.
What can we conclude? As the apostle Paul tells us (Romans 3:20b; Romans 7:7b), it is by the Torah [law] that we have knowledge of sin — that we become aware of what sin is — so we can avoid committing sin.
The Ten Commandments form the most basic list of commands that reveal to us what sin is. If we choose to disobey any of these commands, we know we have transgressed the Law — we have committed a sin (1John 3:4).
In this example, we have seen how our heart is revealed, dependent on how we respond to the Second Commandment.
We have also seen how the sin of idolatry is revealed, in anyone who chooses to disobey the Second Commandment.
For further insight into some of the effects in our homes of continued disobedience to the 2nd Commandment, see What Your Pastor Never Told You About The 2nd Commandment, and Graven Images and Idols: the Scriptural Definition.
Now let us look at another practical example of becoming aware of what sin is, as we look at the Fourth Commandment.
Example 2: The Fourth Commandment
The Fourth Commandment is given in Exodus 20:8-11. Let’s look closely at these passages, to see what they are actually saying:
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, 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 [set it apart]. (Exodus 20:8-11)
In this command, Yahuweh tells us that we are to remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy [set-apart as special unto Him], in certain, specified ways. We see most of the Sabbath Day basics in the above Exodus 20:8-11 passage, and a few other details in other Bible passages.
In verse 8, we see that Yahuweh first tells us to remember to keep the Sabbath Day set-apart as ‘holy’ — that is, to keep it separate from all the other ‘common’ days of the week.
In verse 9, Yahuweh tells us that we are to do all our week’s work in six days.
Then in verse 10, we see the reason we are to do our work in six days — because the seventh day is designated as Yahuweh’s Sabbath Day, in which we are not allowed to do any work, nor are we to require anyone else, including work animals, to work for us.
In verse 11, we then see the reason Yahuweh gives for our honouring the Sabbath Day. We are told that Yahuweh Himself worked six days in creating the heavens and the earth, and then Yahuweh Himself rested on the seventh day, and set that day apart as ‘holy,’ and separate from the six work days.
Which Day is the Sabbath Day?
It is interesting to note that remnants of Yahuweh’s Sabbath Day can be seen in all cultures down through history, and that the seventh day, is called ‘Sabbath’ [or some slight variation thereof] in many languages worldwide.
According to historians, the ‘Jewish’ Sabbath Day was known in ancient, pagan Rome as “the Day of Saturn,” and is called Saturday in modern times. Through corruption of man-made doctrines, many Religious groups today have their own sabbath days, but Yahuweh’s Sabbath Day remains unchanged.
The apostle Paul tells us that the Oracles of Yahuweh were committed to the Jews, for our profit [to be a light and witness to the world]. It is interesting to note, that in order to confirm which day of the week the ancient Sabbath Day fell upon, we need not go back any earlier than when Messiah walked on the earth.
Yahushua Messiah Himself did not sin, so we know He observed the true Sabbath Day of Yahuweh. Note that He observed the same Sabbath Day as did the Jews — which over a time span of 2,000 years, down to the present day, has not changed at all. The true Sabbath Day remains the same to this day — as attested to every Saturday, by every Jewish synagogue in the land!
Despite calendar changes that designate Sunday as the seventh day, and despite corruptions introduced by Rome, the true Sabbath Day remains as a witness that Yahuweh is indeed the Creator, and that Yahuweh continues to have a remnant of those who continue to honour Yahuweh, by keeping His Sabbath Day holy.
It is said that those who do not observe Yahuweh’s Sabbath Day, are giving testimony that they do not believe in Yahuweh as Creator! Might it be true, that those Believers who do not observe Yahuweh’s Sabbath Day, are teaching evolution — simply by the testimony of their example of not observing the Creator’s Sabbath Day?
What does this mean for Believers today, in a practical sense?
When we consider the Fourth Commandment, here is a summary of some truths to consider:
The Fourth Commandment: Truths to Consider
- Yahuweh calls His people to remember to keep the Sabbath Day holy, in the ways He has specified;
- Yahuweh’s true Sabbath Day is the seventh day;
- The seventh day is today called Saturday;
- On the seventh day [Saturday] we are not allowed to do any work ourselves, nor are we to require anyone else — including employees, service personnel [waiters], or work animals — to work for us;
- Messiah tells us, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” Since it was the pre-incarnate Messiah Himself who gave the commandment to keep His sabbaths, our response to this commandment reveals who loves Him, and who does not love Him.
When we consider the above truths of what the Fourth Commandment is telling us, we now face a decision.
Will we choose to follow Yahuweh, by obedience to His Word — or will we choose to follow some Religious group’s Sabbath, by obedience to their words? The apostle Paul tells us that whose Commandments we choose to obey, reveals which master we have chosen to serve (Romans 6:15-17; Joshua 24:15).
If we choose not to observe Yahuweh’s Sabbath Day, even though we may gather for religious worship on some other day, then we are in disobedience to the 4th Commandment, which according to the apostle John, is sin (1John 3:4).
Like Messiah’s Disciples, we may gather together in Messiah’s name every day of the week, but we are still called upon to observe Yahuweh’s Sabbath Day.
If we choose to observe Yahuweh’s Sabbath Day, but in a way other than as He specifies, then we are in disobedience to the 4th Commandment, which according to the apostle John, is sin (1John 3:4).
If we choose to work on Saturday, then we are in disobedience to the 4th Commandment, which is sin (1John 3:4).
Again, Yahuweh does give us a choice. He watches us, to see whether we will follow Him, by careful obedience to what He has said in His Word — or whether we choose to follow our own dictates, choosing instead to remain in the convenience of our own lifestyle.
Again, Father is looking for a Bride for His son, and He is looking for hearts that are soft and teachable, and fully yielded to obedience to His Word.
What can we conclude? As the apostle Paul tells us (Romans 3:20b; Romans 7:7b), it is by the Torah [law] that we have knowledge of sin — so that we become aware of what sin is — so we can avoid committing sin
The Ten Commandments form the most basic list of commands that reveal to us what sin is. If we choose to disobey any of these commands, we know we have transgressed the Law — we have committed a sin (1John 3:4).
In this example, we have seen what the Fourth Commandment is, and some of the details of how to observe Yahuweh’s Sabbath Day.
We have also seen how our sin is revealed to us, when we compare what we are currently doing, against what Yahuweh has said in His Word, about the Fourth Commandment.
For further insight into the Biblical Sabbath Day as a sign or ‘token’ [a distinguishing mark] of the Everlasting [New] Covenant, and the great importance of Born-Again Believers observing the Sabbath Day, see The Sabbath Day is a Sign.
When we as Born-Again Believers read the Ten Commandments, we may cloak ourselves in willful ignorance, but we cannot hide from the eyes of Yahuweh, whose eternal rewards [‘recompense’] will be according to what we have done (2Cor 5:10; Rev 2:23, 26), regarding our obedience to His Word.
It is for this reason that Messiah continues to call out to us today, calling lovingly [and repeatedly] to His Blood-Redeemed Ones, to repent — to cease walking in our own ways of disobedience to Messiah’s Commandments, and begin to walk in obedience to His Word (Rev 2:1 – Rev 3:22; Isaiah 44:22).
If You Love Me: The Goal Is Love
When Yahushua Messiah was asked which is the greatest Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40), He answered by stating the two greatest Commandments found in Torah:
- “Love Yahuweh” (Deuteronomy 6:5)
- “Love Your Neighbour” (Leviticus 19:18)
It is important for us to understand, that all the Commandments in Scripture do not ‘boil down’ to just these two Commandments, such that all the rest have somehow disappeared.
Instead, notice that the two ‘Love’ commandments above, quoted from the Torah by Messiah, are seen simply as categories or ‘headings’ from which all the other commandments descend or hang.
This clue given by Messiah tells us that the Ten Commandments, as a whole, can be seen be in two parts, coming under the two Great Commandments as two main ‘headings’ or summaries:
The Ten Commandments: Two Parts
- Love Yahuweh (Deut 6:5)
- Commandment #1
- Commandment #2
- Commandment #3
- Commandment #4
- Love Your Neighbour (Lev 19:18)
- Commandment #5
- Commandment #6
- Commandment #7
- Commandment #8
- Commandment #9
- Commandment #10
Notice that the first 4 Commandments are in the First Group. These describe how we are to love Yahuweh.
Notice that the last 6 Commandments are in the Second Group. These describe how we are to love our neighbour.
These two groups of Commandments tell us how we are to love Yahuweh, and how we are to love our neighbour, in the ways that Yahuweh has defined for us:
- Those who choose to love Yahuweh, will choose to obey the first 4 Commandments.
- Those who choose to love their neighbour, will choose to obey the last 6 Commandments.
- Those who choose to love Yahuweh and their neighbour, will choose to obey all Ten Commandments.
With this in mind, let’s see how ‘love’ is described in the Scriptures.
The apostle Paul tells us that the goal of our keeping Yahushua’s Commandments is “Love from a pure heart” (1Tim 1:5). Our goal is to love Yahushua, and to love the Brethren. But then the apostle John tells us, “This is love — to walk according to His Commandments” (2John 1:6). Here we see Paul and John both confirming what is said in the 2nd Commandment (Exodus 20:6), that to love Him is to keep His commandments.
Yahushua reminds us, “If you love me, keep MY Commandments” (John 14:15). And so we see everywhere in the Scriptures, that love is measured by our voluntary obedience to Yahuweh’s Commandments.
Let us remember, these are all Yahuweh’s Commandments, which Yahushua Messiah spoke. Thus if we truly love Yahushua, we will begin to keep His Commandments, beginning with the most basic ones Messiah spoke to Moses — the Ten Commandments.
The Ten Commandments seen above are only a small part of the overall collection of statutes, commandments, precepts, laws, judgments, ordinances, testimonies, words, and sayings which Messiah has spoken from The Beginning [from the Book of Genesis onward]. The Commandments of God are not considered to be only ten, or 613, or any specific number, but are seen in Scripture as the ‘voice’ of God, and consist of ‘every word’ that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4).
Taken together, all of Messiah’s statutes, commandments, precepts, laws, judgments, testimonies, words, and sayings, are eternal, and they speak of Father’s eternal, unchanging will. They tell us Yahuweh’s definition of how we are to be holy, and how we are to walk in His ways. They also tell us of those things in which He delights, and of those things He considers abomination. It is from all of His Words, that we learn His Ways.
And as we continue to observe His Ways, and as we become obedient to His Words, He causes us to grow in our love for Him. We begin to love what He loves, and to hate what He hates. We thus come to know Him, as we walk with Him, day-by-day.
These Ten Commandments are more than simply broad categories of commandments seen throughout the Scriptures. They are also literal Commandments that express Father’s will, as ‘House Rules’ for His children.
House Rules for His Children
The external commandments were given as a ‘schoolmaster,’ to accomplish two objectives. First, they were given to bring conviction of sin to us, that we might realise our need for a Saviour, and run to Messiah for salvation (Gal 3:24); and second, to train Father’s children in how to live according to Father’s House Rules, and according to Father’s Ways.
As Father writes His external Torah on the inward tables of our hearts, and as we become more obedient, we come to rely less and less on the external schoolmaster, instead relying on the conviction of the Holy Spirit to illuminate and bring to our remembrance all the Words of the Covenant written on the heart (Gal 3:25). It is the rebellious children that abandon all that the Schoolmaster taught; and it is the strange woman [estranged congregation of Believers] that forsakes the Schoolmaster, and forgets Yahuweh’s Covenant (Proverbs 2:17).
We might ask, “How does Father train His children to keep His Torah and His judgments, His statutes and His Commandments?”
In the Psalms, Father tells us the answer. Speaking prophetically of Yahushua Messiah, and of His children — the Born-Again Believers of today — notice what Father tells us:
Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. 28 My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. 29 His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven. 30 If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; 31 If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; 32 Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. 33 Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. (Psalms 89:27-33)
In the above passage, we see how the Born-Again, Holy-Spirit-filled Believers, as children of Messiah, will undergo the discipline of a loving Father. Here we are told that Father will visit our transgression with the rod, and our iniquity with stripes, if we break Father’s statutes, and refuse to walk in His judgments — that is, if we forsake His Law [Torah], and do not keep His Commandments.
Perhaps many of the troubles we go through in life may result from our continuing to listen to Preachers and other Spiritual Leaders who tell us we need not ‘keep the Law,’ and thus we become disobedient. Many spiritual Leaders today tell their followers it is not necessary to pay attention to Yahuweh’s Commandments. Those Leaders who contradict the Scriptures are leading their followers to what the apostle Paul calls ‘shipwreck of the Faith’ (1Timothy 1:19), and what Yahushua tells us is a ‘house built upon the sand’ (Matthew 7:26).
Ruling and Reigning in the Kingdom
Let’s look briefly in Scripture, to see who obeys the Ten Commandments, and who does not obey them. To see this, let’s fast-forward in time, to have a prophetic glimpse of what each group has as their future destination.
Our first picture is of those who overcome all the obstacles, because they have been given patience and endurance:
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus (Revelation 14:12).
These are called saints who have patience and endurance at the end time. Notice that the saints are described as those who do keep the Commandments of Yahuweh, and [‘which is’] the Faith of Yahushua.
We see yet another picture of those who do keep the Commandments of Yahuweh:
Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. (Revelation 22:14)
In the above passage, we are told of those who become “DO-ers” of His commandments, ‘that’ [in order that] they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city [the New Jerusalem, the City of the King].
Notice that the above passage clearly tells us that having right to the Tree of Life, and entering-in through the gates into the City, are both dependent upon doing His Commandments!
Now let’s look at the next verse in this passage, to see those who do not keep His Commandments:
For without [outside the city] are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie (Revelation 22:15).
In the above two verses, we are first told of those who are allowed to enter into the New Jerusalem — they that DO His commandments. We are then given a description of those who will not be allowed into the New Jerusalem, the City of the King — they that were disobedient to His commandments.
Those that must remain outside the City include those who had been redeemed by Messiah, but continued to be disobedient to the Commandments spoken by Messiah — which is all of Torah. The prophetic picture of this as applying to Believers today, is clearly seen in (Isaiah 44:22), where all His Redeemed ones are exhorted to return to Father. We return to Father, simply by obedience to His Word (Deut 4:30; 30:2,8).
From the above passages, we see that only those who keep Yahushua’s Commandments [which are His Father’s Commandments (John 14:24)], will be allowed into the City of the King, to rule with Him [Yahushua], and to reign with Him.
We have seen that the Ten Commandments are Father’s Commandments, and yet they are Messiah’s Commandments. We have seen that Messiah, as the Word of Yahuweh, spoke the Ten Commandments, and wrote them with His own finger, and gave them to Moses.
We have seen that the Ten Commandments form a small part of the many Commandments spoken by Messiah. We have seen the importance of the Commandments to reveal sin, and the importance of walking in obedience the Commandments, in order to show our love for Messiah.
We have seen that Messiah’s sayings [all of Father’s Commandments] make up a part of Father’s House Rules. We have fast-forwarded to the future, to see who will keep these commandments, and who will not keep them.
Beloved, over the past 2,000 years we have lost sight of who it was that spoke the Ten Commandments. Let us re-gain that understanding, so that we might choose to return to Him, and to love Him, by keeping His Commandments!
Many Believers today have not yet realised that Messiah is the WORD of Yahuweh, who spoke to Abraham, and to Moses, and to all the Prophets — and that Messiah’s words include all the Commandments of the Law [Torah].
And so it is, that Messiah continues to cry out to His Born-again children today, asking this question:
And why do you call me, Master, Master, and do not do the things which I say? (Luke 6:46)
Dear Reader, What are the Ten Commandments?
They are Messiah’s Commandments to us today!
If ye love me, keep my commandments. John 14:15
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