The Ten Suggestions?

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Note from Blow the Trumpet

 

    The article that follows was written by Dr. Robert J. Thiel, a longtime member of God’s church and a well respected authority on a variety of issues effecting God’s people today. Dr. Thiel attends the Living Church of God and is the architect of one of the most visited COG websites (COGwriter). Additionally, although Dr. Thiel is not affiliated with Blow the Trumpet we feel his writings with respect to Biblical subjects reflect a forceful yet mature perspective.This particular article was selected by Blow the Trumpet because of its thoughtful analysis and succinct approach to an issue that profoundly impacts the lives of God’s people. The article has been formatted to be consistent with the design of our website. However, virtually no edits of the text were made.

 

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Are the Ten Commandments Still in Effect?

By Dr. Robert J. Thiel 

 

   

    Are the ten commandments still in effect? Some who claim to based their religion on the Bible do not believe that Christians are to actually try and keep the ten commandments. Many people who feel the ten commandments are not in effect today think: 1) They were not in effect before God gave them to Moses on Mount Sinai, 2) Jesus fulfilled them so we do not have to obey them, 3) They were "nailed to the cross" at the crucifixion, 4) Paul taught they were done away and 5) the other New Testament writers did not teach them. Are any of these opinions biblically correct? This article will quote the Bible to see if each of the commandments was in effect before Mount Sinai, if Jesus taught that His followers should keep them, if each of them is shown to be in effect after the crucifixion, if Paul taught if they were done away with, and finally if the other New Testament writers taught them.

 

Mount Sinai and the Ten Commandments

 

    To address these issues, we need to start by letting the Bible define the ten commandments. In Exodus 19:19-20 God called Moses up to Mount Sinai. In chapter 20, the ten commandments were listed as shown below (NKJ throughout):

 

Commandment 1

 

    "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me" (Ex 20:2-3).

 

Commandment 2

 

     "You shall not make for yourself a carved image--any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments" (vs. 4-6)

 

Commandment 3

 

    "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" (v. 7).

 

Commandment 4

 

     "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. In it you shall do not work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, no your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it" (vs. 8-11).

 

Commandment 5

 

    "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you" (v. 12).

 

Commandment 6

 

    "You shall not murder" (v. 13).

 

Commandment 7

 

     "You shall not commit adultery" (v. 14).

 

Commandment 8

 

    "You shall not steal" (v. 15).

 

Commandment 9

 

     "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor" (v. 16).

 

Commandment 10

 

    "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" (v. 17).

 

The Ten Commandments Before Mount Sinai

 

    Now that we can see what the ten commandments were, it is time to see if they were invented around Mount Sinai or before. In this section, we will see that the Bible shows that each one of the ten the commandments are mentioned as being applicable before they were codified in Exodus 20. If not, how would the patriarchs (i.e. "Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws", Gen 26:5) know about them?

 

Commandment 1:

 

     "I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur" (Gen 15:7); "I am Almighty God, walk before me and be blameless" (Gen 17:1); "I am the God of your father--the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob" (Ex 3:6). "Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves" (Gen 35:2). "and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD" (Ex 12:12). "Now I know that the LORD is greater than all the gods; for in the very thing in which they behaved proudly, He was above them" (Ex 18:11). "This also would be an iniquity deserving of judgment, for I would have denied God who is above" (Job 31:28). "Then Job answered the LORD and said, 'I know that you can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from you'" (Job 42:1-2).

 

Commandment 2:

 

    "'Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves'...So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods which were in their hands, and the earrings which were in their ears and Jacob hid them" (Gen 35:2,4). "If I have observed the sun when it shines, or the moon moving in brightness, so that my heart has been secretly enticed, and my mouth has kissed my hand; This also would be an iniquity deserving of judgment, For I would have denied God who is above" (Job 31:26-28) (note this is believed to be part of idol worship).

 

Commandment 3:

 

    "It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts" (Job 1:5). "Curse God and die!" (Job 2:9). Interestingly, those called of God are not to be cursed either, "And I will curse him who curses you" (Gen 12:3).

 

Commandment 4:

 

    "And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made" (Gen 2:2-3). "Tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD...So the people rested on the seventh day" (Ex 16:23,30). "The Sabbath was made for man" (Mar 2:27).

 

Commandment 5:

 

    "Adam, the son of God" (Luk 3:38), "Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat it of it": Cursed is the ground for your sake" (Gen 3:17). Notice that later a blessing of land is promised for those who obey this commandment (Ex 20:12; Deut 5:16).

 

Commandment 6:

 

    "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning" (Jn 8:44) (since the devil was a murderer from the beginning it seems clear that murder was not allowed before Mount Sinai). "Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him...And He said, 'The voice of your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground. So now you are cursed from the earth" (Gen 4:8,10). "Then the king of Egypt spoke...'When you do the duties of a midwife for the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstools, if it is a son, then you shall kill him'...But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them" (Ex 1:15-17). "The murderer rises with the light; He kills the poor and needy" (Job 24:14).

 

Commandment 7:

 

     "his master's wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, 'Lie with me.' But he refused...'How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?'" (Gen 39:7-9). "The eye of the adulterer waits for the twilight, saying, 'No eye will see me'; and he disguises his face" (Job 24:15). Job, a married man, said, "I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman?" (Job 31:1).

 

Commandment 8:

 

    "So my righteousness will answer for me...everyone that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and brown among the lambs, will be considered stolen, if it is with me" (Gen 30:33). "'With whomever you find your gods, do not let him live. In the presence of our brethren identify what I have of yours and take it with you.' For Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them" (Gen 31:32). "How then could we steal silver or gold from your lord's house. With whomever of your servants it is found, let him die" (Gen 44:8-9). "He kills the poor and needy; And in the night he is like a thief" (Job 24:14).

 

Commandment 9:

 

    "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it " (Jn 8:44). "Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die"...The woman said, 'The serpent deceived me, and I ate'. So the LORD God said to the serpent: 'Because you have done this, you are cursed'"(Gen 3:4,13-14). "But you forgers of lies, you are all worthless physicians" (Job 13:4). "Now if it is not so, who will prove me a liar, and make my speech worth nothing?" (Job 24:25). "My lips will not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit" (Job 27:4). "Should I lie concerning my right?" (Job 34:6). "For truly my words are not false" (Job 36:4).

 

Commandment 10:

 

    "So when the woman saw...a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate" (Gen 3:6). "Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Gen 6:5); because this law in effect God decided to destroy humankind with the flood (Gen 6:7). "The enemy has said, "My desire (AV "lust") shall be satisfied on them" (Ex 15:9). "Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness" (Ex 18:21). "I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman?" (Job 31:1). "If my heart has been enticed by a woman, or if I have lurked at my neighbors door, then let my wife grind for another, and let others bow down over her. For that would be wickedness; yes it would be iniquity deserving of judgment" (Job 31:9-11

 

    "How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws?" (Ex 16:28). There are other biblical examples, but the above scriptures prove the point. Isn't it interesting that God made sure that each of the ten commandments was shown to be important before Mount Sinai? Even the ancients knew, "God is mighty...He also opens their ear to instruction, and commands that they turn from iniquity...But if they do not obey, they shall perish" (Job 36:5,10,11).

 

    "Sin is lawlessness" (I John 3:4) or as it says in the AV "transgression of the law". Breaking the third and seventh commandments is listed as sin prior to Mount Sinai. How could there be sin if there was no law, since "sin is not imputed when there is no law?" (Rom 5:13). If the law was not in place, there would have been none who were "hating covetousness" (Ex 18:21). Paul apparently agreed with these positions when he wrote, "I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, 'You shall not covet'" (Rom 7:7). More about Paul later.

 

    Some have argued, that even if the ten commandments are mentioned throughout the Bible that since they are not listed in one place until Exodus 20, no one would have known what they were. This is particularly strange to argue since 1) all are mentioned at or before Exodus 20. Abraham obeyed them and must have known what they were ("Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws", Gen 26:5) and 3) Noah knew what clean animals were {Clean and unclean animals are not listed in the Bible as such until Leviticus 11}, yet Noah must have known what they were since God told Noah "You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female, two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female" (Gen 7:2).

 

Jesus and the Ten Commandments

 

    Some said Jesus did away with the ten commandments. They say that by leading a sinless life, He fulfilled them for us. Although it is true that Jesus lead a sinless life (Heb 4:15), does that mean He wanted us to continue in sin? What did Jesus teach about each of the ten commandments? At risk of repetition, His teachings are quoted in this section as often as they are quoted in the New Testament. Before you read them, ask yourself, if Jesus was doing away with the ten commandments, why would He have spent so much time teaching people to keep them and allowed so much space in the New Testament to be devoted to them?

 

Commandment 1

 

    "You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve" (Mat 4:10). "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and the great commandment" (Mat 22:37). "And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment" (Mk 12:30). "You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve" (Luk 4:8).

 

Commandment 2

 

    "You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve" (Mat 4:10). "You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve" (Luk 4:8). "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (Jn 4:24). "But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam...to eat things sacrificed to idols" (Rev 2:14). "Nevertheless, I have a few things against you, because you allow...My servants to...eat things sacrificed to idols" (Rev 2:20).

 

Commandment 3

 

    "Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men" (Mat 12:31). "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts,...blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man" (Mat 15:19-20).

 

Commandment 4

 

    "What man is there among you who has one sheep, and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath" (Mat 12:11-12). "And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath" (Mat 24:20); there would be no reason to pray this if the Sabbath was not going to be in existence. "And He said to them, 'The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath'" (Mk 2:27); this verse tells all who will see which day is the Lord's Day. "And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue" (Mk 6:2). "And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read" (Luk 4:16). "Then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbaths" (Luk 4:31). "The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath...Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy?" (Luk 6:5,9). "But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath...The Lord then answered him and said, 'Hypocrite...So ought not this woman...be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?'" (Luk (13:14-16). "'Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?'...And they could not answer Him regarding these things" (Luk 14:3,6). "are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath?" (Jn 7:23).

 

Commandment 5

 

    "For God commanded saying, 'Honor your father and your mother' and 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death'" (Mat 15:4). "Honor your father and your mother" (Mat 19:19). "Honor your father and your mother" (Mk 7:10). "Honor your father and your mother" (Mk 10:19). "You know the commandments:...Honor your father and your mother" (Luk 18:20).

 

Commandment 6

 

    "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder', and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment" (Mat 5:21-22). "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders...These are the things which defile a man" (Mat 15:19-20). "You shall not murder" (Mat 19:18). "...murders...All these evil things come from within and defile a man" (Mk 7:21,23). "Do not murder" (Mk 10:19). "You know the commandments:...Do not murder" (Luk 18:20).

 

Commandment 7

 

     "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery'. But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Mat 5:27-28). "But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery" (Mat 5:32). "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts...adulteries, fornications...These are the things which defile a man" (Mat 15:19-20). "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery, and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery" (Mat 19:9). "You shall not commit adultery" (Mat 19:18). "...adulteries, fornications...All these evil things come from within and defile a man" (Mk 7:21,23). "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery" (Mk 10:11-12). "Do not commit adultery" (Mk 10:19). "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery" (Luk 16:18). "You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery" (Luk 18:20). "'Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery'...And Jesus said to her...'sin no more'" (Jn 8:4,11). "Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation" (Rev 2:22).

 

Commandment 8

 

    "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts...thefts...These are the things which defile a man" (Mat 15:19-20). "You shall not steal" (Mat 19:18). "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer', but you have made it a den of thieves" (Mat 21:13). "...thefts...All these evil things come from within and defile a man" (Mk 7:22-23). "Do not steal" (Mk 10:19). "You know the commandments:... Do not steal" (Luk 18:20).

 

Commandment 9

 

    "Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord. But I say to you, do not swear at all" (Mat 5:33-34). "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts...false witness...These are the things which defile a man" (Mat 15:19-20). "You shall not bear false witness" (Mat 19:18). "Do not bear false witness" (Mk 10:19). "You know the commandments:...Do not bear false witness" (Luk 18:20). "And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars" (Rev 2:2).

 

Commandment 10  

 

    "Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on" (Mat 6:25). "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts...These are the things which defile a man" (Mat 15:19-20). "...covetousness...All these evil things come from within and defile a man" (Mk 7:22-23).

 

    So it is clear that Jesus taught everyone of the ten commandments. Remember, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Heb 13:8).

 

Jesus Also Taught

 

    "And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one jot or tittle of the law to fail" (Luk 16:17); in the next verse He then discussed the seventh commandment. Interestingly, although Jesus said, "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law" (Mat 5:17), that is what many have concluded. When He also said, "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" (vs.17-18), some have concluded that "fulfill" means that Jesus came to destroy the law (interestingly, Jesus fulfilled baptism by being baptized, not eliminating baptism 3:13-16). In many of the verses following (5:19-37, several of which are quoted above) Jesus proves that He did indeed come to "magnify the law and make it honorable". How? "Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and the great commandment. And the second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and Prophets" (Mat 22:37-40); in other words the law of God is involved in showing love to God and your neighbor! Perhaps that is why Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (Jn 14:15) as well as "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love" (Jn 15:10). "He who does not love Me does not keep My words" (Jn 14:24). For further proof, Jesus said of the future, "And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold" (Mat 24:12). Breaking the law (lawlessness) is linked to lack of love. Jesus magnified the law by explaining its direct link to love; in particular (as quoted above after each respective commandment) He expanded the peoples' understanding of the first, fourth, sixth, and seventh commandments! This was even prophesied! "He will exalt the law and make it honorable" (Is 42:21).

 

    Do true Christian's keep God's commandments? "And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Rev 12:17).

 

    Jesus said, "If you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words? (Jn 5:46-47). Not every one that says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven" (Mat 7:21). "The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire" (Mat 13:41). "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin" (Jn 8:34).

 

    Jesus condemned the Pharisees because they did not keep the commandments, "Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?...And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men" (Mat 15:3,9). "He answered and said to them, 'Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, hypocrites, as it is written, This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me, And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men...All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition'" (Mk 7:6-9)). "But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments" (Mat 19:17). "Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, 'Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?' So Jesus said to him..."You know the commandments" (Mk 10:17,19) and then He listed half of the ten commandments (also in Luk 18:19-20).

 

    "In the beginning was the Word...All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made" (Jn 1:1,3); would not "all things" include the commandments? The last words of Jesus in the Book of Matthew were, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matt 28:18-20). Should you be keeping His commands? Jesus answer remains, "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord' and do not do the things which I say?" (Luk 6:46) and "My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it" (Luke 8:21). "If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them" (Jn 13:17).

 

Paul and the Ten Commandments After the Crucifixion

 

    Some try to ignore Jesus' teachings on the ten commandments by saying they were done away at the crucifixion. Some try to teach that the ten commandments were "nailed to the cross". Is that what the Bible teaches? There is only one only scripture that uses the "nailed it to the cross" expression (AV/NKJ), it is Col 2:13-14, in which Paul states, "And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross". Were the ten commandments the "requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us"? Let us examine the scriptures to see.

 

Commandment 1:

 

    Paul said, "God, who made the world and everything in it...they should seek the Lord" (Acts 17:24,27). Paul also said, "I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law" (Acts 24:14). "And what agreement has the temple of God have with idols?" (II Cor 6:16). "you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God" (I The 1:9). "Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God" (2 The 2:3-4).

 

Commandment 2:

 

    "we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols" (Acts 15:20). "Now while Paul waited for them in Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols...Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said...'God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshipped with men's hands, as though He needed anything'" (Acts 17:16,22,24-25). "Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man--and birds and four footed animals and creeping things" (Rom 1:22-23). "But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is...an idolater" (I Cor 5:11). "Neither... idolators...will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Cor 6:9-10). "And do not become idolaters as were some of them...Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry" (I Cor 10:7,14). "And what agreement has the temple of God have with idols?" (II Cor 6:16). "Now the works of the flesh are evident...idolatry" (Gal 5:19,20). "For this you know that no...idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God" (Eph 5:5). "Therefore put to death...covetousness, which is idolatry" (Col 3:5). "you turned to God from idols" (I The 1:9).

 

Commandment 3:

 

    "they are all under sin...Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness" (Rom 3:9,14). "Let all...evil speaking be put away from you" (Eph 4:31). "But now you yourselves are to put off all these:...blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth" (Col 3:8). "they may learn not to blaspheme" (I Tim 1:20). But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be...blasphemers" (II Tim 3:1,2).

 

Commandment 4:

 

    "Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures...And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks" (Acts 17:2;18:4 see also 13:14,27,42,44). "let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give to him who has need" (Eph 4:28) and "For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: 'If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat'" (II Thes 3:10); (recall that the requirement to work is also part of the Sabbath command, thus even that portion of the commandment is repeated in the New Testament.) "And to whom did He swear they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey?" (Heb 3:18). "For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: 'And God rested on the seventh day from all His works'" (Heb 4:4). "There remains therefore a rest (literally sabbatismos, 'Sabbath rest') for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His" (Heb 4:9-10).

 

Commandment 5:

 

    "being filled with all unrighteousness...disobedient to parents" (Rom 1:29,30). "Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 'Honor your father and mother', which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth" (Eph 6:1-3). "the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience" (Col 3:6). "Children obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord" (Col 3:20). "But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be...disobediant to parents" (II Tim 3:1,2).

 

Commandment 6:

 

    "being filled with all unrighteousness...murder" (Rom 1:29). "You shall not murder" (Rom 13:9). "Now the works of the flesh are evident...murders" (Gal 5:19,21). "the lawless and insubordinate...murders...manslayers" (I Tim 1:9).

 

Commandment 7:

 

  "being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality" (Rom 1:29). "So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress" (Rom 7:3). "You shall not commit adultery" (Rom 13:9). "But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral" (I Cor 5:11). "Neither... adulterers, nor homosexuals...will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Cor 6:9-10)."Nor let us commit sexual immorality as some of them did" (I Cor 10:8). "Now the works of the flesh are evident...adultery, fornication" (Gal 5:19). "For this you know that no fornicator...has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God" (Eph 5:5). "the lawless and insubordinate...fornicators...sodomites" (I Tim 1:9,10). "fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Heb 13:4).

 

Commandment 8:

 

    "You shall not steal" (Rom 13:9). "nor thieves...will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Cor 6:10). "I have been...in perils of robbers" (II Cor 11:25-26). "Let him who stole, steal no longer" (Eph 4:28).

 

Commandment 9:

 

    "You shall not bear false witness" (Rom 13:9). "Therefore, putting away lying" (Eph 4:25). "Do not lie to one another" (Col 3:9). "the lawless and insubordinate...liars...perjurers" (I Tim 1:9,10). "Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy" (I Tim 4:1-2). "But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be...slanderers" (II Tim 3:1,3). "God, who cannot lie" (Ti 1:2). "it is impossible for God to lie" (Heb 6:18).

 

Commandment 10:

 

    "being filled with all unrighteousness...covetousness" (Rom 1:29)."You shall not covet" (Rom 7:7). "You shall not covet" (Rom 13:9). "But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is...covetous" (I Cor 5:11). "nor covetous...will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Cor 6:10). "we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted" (I Cor 10:6). "you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (Gal 5:16). "For this you know that no fornicator...nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God" (Eph 5:5). "Therefore put to death...covetousness, which is idolatry" (Col 3:5). "For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness" (I The 2:5). "Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have" (Heb 13:5).

 

    "Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city" (Rev 22:14). Since "those who do His commandments...have the right to enter...the city" (Rev 22:14), the ten commandments could not be "contrary to us". So then, if the ten commandments were not "nailed to the cross", what was? What does the Bible say? "having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross" (Col 2:14). It was the handwriting of requirements. Which requirements were wiped out? It appears that two things were wiped out. One would be the requirements of the Levitical priesthood (Heb 9:1,6-10). And why? "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins...By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus once for all" (Heb 10:4,10). The other (which is related) would be the death penalty, as "the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom 6:23). It is of interest to note that the expression "the handwriting of requirements" is a Greek legal term that signifies the penalty which a lawbreaker had to pay--through Jesus the penalty was wiped out ("the handwriting of requirements"), not the law! "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them" (Heb 10:16).

 

    Some will argue that you still cannot keep the ten commandments (for "all have sinned, “ even if they are all mentioned as being in effect after the crucifixion. Does this mean one should not try?

 

Paul's Other Writings

 

    Paul wrote "For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins" (Heb 10:26). He also warned that those who break various of the ten commandments will not inherit the kingdom of God (Eph 5:4-5) and then said, "Let no man deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them" (Eph 5:6-7).

 

    Some have been confused about Paul's writings, but as Peter warned, "Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the scriptures" (II Pet 3:15-16). Perhaps the most confusing to some is, "For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle the wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity" (Eph 2:14-16). It is clear that Paul could not be talking about the ten commandments as he mentions parts of at least eight of them as still being in existence in the same book (see above, the other two are alluded to as well, Eph 5:31--anger, which is like murder according to Jesus; plus the comment about being a prisoner of the Lord also would show the first commandment, Eph 4:1). It needs to be remembered is that the wall of separation that was broken down the middle, was the large veil in the temple that split when Jesus died (Mat 27:50:51). Thus it was the ordinances of the Levitical priesthood which were abolished. This is what Paul also wrote elsewhere (Heb 9:1,6-10).

 

    The entire book of Galatians is confusing to many. Suffice it to say that at least four of the commandments are mentioned in that book, and for violating some of them Paul wrote, "those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God" (Gal 5:21). Paul is telling people that they cannot earn their salvation through works (Gal 5:4-5) which of course is true. He never tells anyone to violate any commandment (not in Galatians nor any other book) and reminds people that they will reap what they sow (Gal 6:7). Actually, he commended Christians who obey (Phil 2:12).

 

    Paul himself said, after his conversion to the leaders of the Jews, "Men and brethren, though I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans" (Acts 28:17). If Paul had intentionally violated any of the ten commandments (or advocated this of others) he could not have said this. Paul also said, "Therefore I urge you, imitate me" (I Cor 4:16) and "Imitate me, just as I imitate Christ" (I Cor 11:1); Jesus, as we saw earlier, both kept and taught observance of the ten commandments.

 

    Paul wrote, "for by the law is the knowledge of sin...I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, 'You shall not covet'...Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good" (Rom 3:20;7:7,12). Paul taught each of the ten commandments after the crucifixion (please see the commandments quoted after the crucifixion). Regarding faith and the law, Paul specifically wrote, "Do we make the void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary we establish the law" (Rom 3:31). Even after his conversion Paul state that he was, "concerning righteousness which is in the law, blameless" (Phi 3:6).

 

    Paul warned, "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ" (Col 2:8); Jesus kept the ten commandments! He also warns that "For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work" (II The 2:7). Lawlessness is breaking the law. Why would Paul warn about lawlessness if he felt all the law was done away?

 

Other New Testaments Writers

 

Did the other New Testament writers teach the ten commandments were to be followed after the crucifixion. In this section, the portions of the New Testament that Paul did not write, but which discuss the ten commandments individually will after the crucifixion will be quoted.

 

Commandment 1

 

    "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (I Jn 2:15); which is another way of saying, put nothing in the world before God. "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God" (Rev 14:9). "Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image" (Rev 20:4). "But the...unbelieving...shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Rev 21:8).

 

Commandment 2

 

    "we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols" (Acts 15: 20); "abominable idolatries" (I Pet 4:3). "Little children, keep yourselves from idols" (I Jn 5:21). "But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam...to eat things sacrificed to idols" (Rev 2:14). "Nevertheless, I have a few things against you, because you allow...My servants to...eat things sacrificed to idols" (Rev 2:20). "But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk" (Rev 9:20). "But ...idolaters...shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Rev 21:8). "But outside are...idolaters" (Rev 22:15).

 

Commandment 3

 

    "Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so" (Jas 3:10). "He is the antichrist who denies the Father and the Son" (I Jn 2:22).

 

Commandment 4

 

    "That day was the Preparation and the Sabbath drew near...And they rested on the Sabbath in accordance with the commandment" (Luk 23:54,56). "But when they departed from Pegra, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and sat down" (Acts 13:14), they seemed to be following this admonition from John, "He who says he abides in Him ought also to walk just as He walked" (I Jn 2:6), since Jesus always went to the synagogues on the Sabbath (Luk 4:16).

 

Commandment 5

 

    "They have a heart trained in covetous practices and are accursed children" (II Pet 2:14). "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God" (I Jn 3:1).

 

Commandment 6

 

    "But let none of you suffer as a murderer" (I Pet 4:15). "For He who said, 'Do not commit adultery,' also said, 'Do not murder'. Now if you do no commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law" (Jas 2:11-12). "You lust...You murder" (Jas 4:2)."Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and we know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him" (I Jn 3:15). "And they did not repent of their murders" (Rev 9:21). "he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword" (Rev 13:10). "But ...murderers...shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Rev 21:8). "But outside are...murderers" (Rev 22:15).

 

Commandment 7

 

    "Do not commit adultery" (Jas 2:11). "You lust...Adulterers and adulteresses!" (Jas 4:2,4). "having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin" (II Pet 2:14). "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes...is not of the Father but is of the world" (I Jon 2:16). "Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation" (Rev 2:22). "And they did not repent of ...their sexual immoralities" (Rev 9:21). "But the...sexual immoral...shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Rev 21:8). "But outside are...sexually immoral" (Rev 22:15).

 

Commandment 8

 

    "But let none of you suffer as...a thief" (I Pet 4:15). John seems to have expanded on the theme of this commandment when he wrote, "whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him" (I Jn 3:17). "And they did not repent of ...their thefts" (Rev 9:21).

 

Commandment 9

 

    "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie...You have not lied to men but to God" (Acts 5:3,4). "They also set up false witnesses" (Acts 6:13). "having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who defile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed" (I Pet 3:16). "By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not stumble" (II Pet 2:3). He who says 'I know Him', and does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (I Jn 2:4). "I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth" (I Jon 2:21). "And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars" (Rev 2:22). "But ...liars...shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Rev 21:8). "But outside are...whoever loves and practices a lie" (Rev 22:15).

 

Commandment 10

 

    "By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not stumble" (II Pet 2:3). "You lust...and covet" (Jas 4:2)."They have a heart trained in covetous practices and are accursed children" (II Pet 2:14). "For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world" (I Jon 2:16).

 

    It is of incidental note, but most of the other New Testament writers wrote after Paul and seem to mention the commandments as a matter of obvious fact. James wrote, "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves" (Jas 1:22); similarly he warned, "But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and destroy" (Jas 4:11-12). James even emphasized that you must keep all of the commandments, "If you really fulfill the royal law according to scripture, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself,' you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, 'Do not commit adultery,' also said, 'Do not murder'. Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law" (Jam 2:8-11). John similarly wrote, "Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness" (I Jn 3:4).

 

    John also wrote, "Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil...In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother" (I Jn 3:7,8,10). What does the Bible teach is righteousness? "For all Your commandments are righteousness" (Ps 119:172).

 

    It is of incidental note, that none of the first four commandments are cited verbatim after the crucifixion (by Paul or the other writers), but from the scriptures cited it is obvious that they all are to still be obeyed. The last six are essentially verbatim from the Exodus 20, except the tenth which is a shortened version. Thus, after the crucifixion, the Bible shows that all ten commandments are still to be followed. And it does this several times for each.

 

To Summarize

 

    "Now by this we know we know Him if we keep His commandments. He who says 'I know Him', and does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk just as He walked...These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you" (I Jn 2:3-6,26). Interestingly, Jesus praised those at Ephesus for doing this same thing, "And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars" (Rev 2:22).

 

    Who are true Christians? Let's see what the last book of the Bible says. "And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Rev 12:17). "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus" (Rev 14:12).

 

    All of the ten commandments are mentioned as being in effect before Mount Sinai, Jesus taught all ten of them, Paul taught all ten of them, they were all in effect after the crucifixion, Paul specifically taught they were not done away (Rom 3:31), and all of them are mentioned by the other New Testament writers. The opinions that state otherwise seem to be "traditions of men" which Jesus warned against (Mat 15:6). The last chapter of the Bible states, "Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city" (Rev 22:14). Therefore, it would not appear wise from a biblical standpoint to teach that the ten commandments are not in effect. "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all" (Ecc 12:13).

   

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