In the pages of this book, we are going to take a deeper look at these Ten Commandments and see just what God says in regards to each Commandment, and then we will also look to see if they are still applicable or to see if God really did annul these. Through our study, therefore, we are hoping that all of us will come to appreciate God’s laws and commandments more!
The true Author of the law
Mankind today has lost a great respect for law and authority because they have forgotten who the true source of that law and authority is—they have forgotten the true Author of the law and authority. “There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy”—James 4:12. That Lawgiver, the one who is able to save or to destroy, is the Almighty God. In their modern search for a humanly-devised “peace of mind” or a religion that they believe will satisfy them, man has forgotten about the Eternal who actually rules all of the universe with His laws and His commandments. It is no wonder that some of the young people—those leaders of tomorrow—have become lawless. One of the world’s foremost educators had said that “I have no quarrel with the present emphasis placed on science, but today we are paying for support of schools which act from September 1 to June 30 as if there were no God”—Dr. Rufus von Klein Smid. Yes, our schools today are not even teaching the very basic Ten Commandments—rather, they teach today that there is no God, that there is an evolution which has taken place and continues, and they teach children to do whatever they want and that there are no real consequences.
When you take the true God out of the picture, when you remove His laws and commandments, then you have no real standard which controls our behavior left—therefore, you have removed what has made all law and you begin to recede into nothing and you begin to cause lawlessness. This is not what God has purposed—rather, this is what Satan wants! Satan the devil wants man to forget their Creator and to turn to a false system—a system of which denies the very existence of God and looks rather to a false and misleading way of life.
In most all of the modern “Christian” denominations and churches today, there is the tendency to try to bring God down to a human level and make Him sound as if He has no laws, but that He is a democratic form of God who doesn’t have a set of commandments which govern mankind. There are very few true God-fearing people and they know and realize that today, God’s laws and commandments are still binding upon all of mankind. While there are those who do not fear their God, but who walk in their own paths, who do things on their way and their terms rather on God’s ways and terms, there are still those who know and understand that God is a God who has in place laws and commandments which, if were obeyed, would create true peace and happiness in a world filled with so much violence and evil.
When Jesus Christ came preaching His Message, He preached about a God who truly created all things and who blesses men for their obedience. He came preaching a God who does love, but at the same time also will punish those who refuse to obey Him and His laws. The very Jesus of your own Bible always preached the Gospel of the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:14; Luke 4:43). In modern language, He preached the Good News of the coming Government of God—God’s rule of all the earth. He said for us to “Repent, and believe the gospel”—Mark 1:15. Before we can actually believe and accept Jesus Christ as our own Savior, and to have His shed blood covering our sins, we must therefore repent of our sins. But, we have to understand that repentance means that we will obey God—for sin is when we do not obey God, but go against His laws (1 John 3:4). Sin is when we break the Ten Commandments.
Sin is definitely when we go against God’s ways and do as we want, and we break what He has commanded. Before God will be able to forgive us of our past sins, we must therefore repent first of breaking His laws! We need to learn to love and respect God as the very Ruler of the universe and as the real Lawgiver who has given us His laws and commandments which are truly binding upon our lives. Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, had been inspired by the Eternal to write that “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge”—Proverbs 1:7. This fear is a deep and personal respect and reverence for the authority and the position of God—for His great power, wisdom, and His love. Sin has cut off mankind from the true God who is the true Author of law and order and thus, mankind is empty and frustrated because he finds himself confused and cut off from God. The way out of modern man’s confusion and chaos is for us to get back to His ways and to His laws and commandments which God has given us! Thus, the truth is that man must quit worshiping false gods and start worshiping the true God. We must return to the biblical foundation—the foundation upon which all truth is truly built. God therefore said that “The end of the matter, all having been heard: fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole man”—Ecclesiastes 12:13, Moffatt Translation. Mankind is therefore very frustrated and is very incomplete without this living, vital contact with God—without walking in His ways, keeping His commandments and being obedient to Him. It is the real answer to all of our problems which we now face. It is the way of life that Jesus Christ will teach all men when He returns to rule the world (Micah 4:2).
Understanding God’s commandments
David the prophet had been a man who was after God’s heart (Acts 13:22). He was used as a forerunner of Jesus Christ, and will also rule directly under Jesus Christ when He returns. David will be given rulership over the entire nations of Israel in the Kingdom of God (Ezekiel 37:24). David was used to write that “Oh, how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day”—Psalm 119:97. David had learned how to apply the Law of God in his own personal life with every situation. He therefore was writing this no doubt to both show how he loved the law and also to encourage the Christian to love God’s laws and to obey them in every situation. David therefore learned wisdom from obedience to God’s laws. “You, through Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies”—v.98. God’s law had allowed David to learn great wisdom which we too would learn if we were willing to obey. Through obedience to God’s laws, we then can also learn the way of life, “Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path”—v.105. Through this Psalm, David was declaring how he kept fixed upon God’s laws and how His laws brought him to have truth in his own life through obedience. How much more then would we also learn truth if we were willing to obey God’s laws?
Do you understand what it means to obey God’s ways? Do you really understand that through obedience to God’s laws, we can enjoy a more meaningful life and more happiness in life?
Most people have been taught that God’s laws have been done away with and that they therefore are no longer applicable in our modern era. But, we will see as we continue in our study that God’s awesome laws will bring us more closer to having a more meaningful life—a life that will surely be blessed and will contain perhaps the greatest treasures in living because we have learned obedience to His ways. God commands us to “Be holy, for I am holy”—1 Peter 1:16. Through obedience to God’s laws, we then can live a holy and righteous life—having God’s very ways within us and through us. We therefore have to remember that there is only a few people on the earth who live daily God’s ways in their lives. Jesus had said that the “little flock” as Jesus called His people, “who know the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ”—Revelation 12:17 within them are those who are righteous. Further, God says of His saints that “Here is the patience of the saints: here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus”—Revelation 14:12. If you are to be among God’s faithful saints, then you must be willing to learn to be obedient to His laws, then you will also be able to escape the seven last plagues which will be poured out upon the earth the final year before Jesus Christ returns. This obedience will require us to go through many various trials and tribulations, but, at the same time it will be totally worth the effort.
God of Israel
To properly understand and feel the real impact of living the Ten Commandments, we then have to understand the God of Israel and realize that the setting in which they had been given to ancient Israel. We have to remember that Moses and the nation of Israel had preserved the knowledge that their God was indeed Creator of everything which exists. He is the Great Ruler of all the universe and He had brought Noah through the flood, delivering Israel from Egypt and now, He had brought them to Mount Sinai. Here, God then was about to give to Israel something that would establish once and for all man’s relationship with their Creator as well as with their fellow man.
God began to deal with Israel since the time that they passed through the Red Sea and He began to remind them through various ways of His laws and that they may have a part in God’s Family if they would be obedient to God and His laws. For example, God showed to Israel the Sabbath command before the even reached Mount Sinai. He reminded them through a series of miracles about the Sabbath (Exodus 16). Moses was then already judging the people according to God’s laws and statutes (Exodus 18:16). Now then, the time came for them to come to Mount Sinai. Here, God had proposed—not to give them a new law—but rather to enter into a covenant with them His special people, that He would be their God and that they would be His people if they would obey Him and keep His laws and statutes which He would give to them. Since these Ten Commandments were and always will be the very basic spiritual law which are literally written for us (Romans 7:14), they were made therefore a part of the agreement between God and His people. Today, His people are literally the spiritual Israel or the Church of God! Therefore, we have to understand that God’s laws are binding in our very day and that they have been binding since they were given—and even before they had been given through Moses at Mount Sinai.
Even Abraham knew and understood these basic Ten Commandments which had been given to him. We find that “Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws”—Genesis 26:5 and therefore, God had specifically blessed him as the “father of the faithful”—Romans 4:11. Therefore, Abraham had knew and understood the Ten Commandments and he obeyed them.
Since the Ten Commandments were Go’s holly and spiritual law in which He was now giving to His people, He was proclaiming them with great power, and unlike the rest of the covenant, wrote them with His own hand. God had commanded the people to clean themselves up and be ready against the third day when He would come down to them (Exodus 19:10-11). “Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the cam trembled”—v.16. Therefore, God was showing them His awesome power as the very Creator. Then He began to speak with His own voice the Ten Commandments as He wrote them into stone. Then we find that as He had descended upon Mount Sinai in His glory that “Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly”—v.18.
Literally, God spoke His Ten Commandments in great power and glory—showing that they were going to be a part of His awesome agreement with all of mankind from that time forth. His voice must have literally shaken these people with its very power as it boomed all across the land in the most awesome power ever to be displayed (Psalm 104:7).
Now then, let us take this journey into what those Ten Commandments are as we learn God’s way of life for all of mankind!