THE EFFECTIVITY OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

IS UNTIL THE END OF DAYS

 

Many Christian groups of today teach that the TEN COMMANDMENTS of God (Exo. 20:1-17) given unto ancient Israel through Moses is no longer valid in our time. This present-day outlook on the Ten Commandments was actually initiated by the Catholic Church even in its early stages. An obvious reason why they have to discourage its full observance and teach against its validity in our time is the specific commandment of God prohibiting idol creation for worship, a commandment of God that they strongly disobeyed. A common reason shared by the Catholic Churches with many Protestant and Independent Churches regarding their outlook on the Ten Commandments, is the fact that they do not anymore advocate the practice of the Sabbath and has in fact designated Sunday as The Lord’s Day. Let us understand that God’s commandment concerning the Sabbath is the Fourth of the Ten Commandments.

 

As a disclosure, although we continue to advocate the observance of Sabbath, however we do not promote its observance based on Jewish practice nor on any other Sabbath observing Christian groups.

 

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS IS GOD’S COVENANT

In order to arrive at an objective conclusion concerning the continued validity of God’s Ten Commandments even at present time, we first need to understand its value and God’s purpose of giving them unto His people.

 

(Deuteronomy 4:12-13)

12 And the Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of the words, but saw no form; you only heard a voice. 13 So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone.

 

The Almighty God gave the Ten Commandments unto ancient Israel to be His Covenant unto them – a living testament that they truly are His chosen people. Does it remain to be in effect even in our present time?

 

OLD PARADIGM ON THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

As time went by, ancient Israel seemed to forget the very reason why God gave them His Covenant, that it was given as a testament of God’s love and faithfulness unto them. Instead, the focus has shifted more towards the punishment when one disobeys any of the commandments. This created a legalistic outlook unto what should have been an instrument of God’s love. To make matters worse, because the focus has shifted to the repercussion instead of appreciation, unto fear instead of joy - they have infused their own reasons and processes by adding more programs and regulations that over the course of time has made God’s Commandments seemed burdensome and has seemed to evolve into an instrument of punishment and death. This mentality has driven them to become not only very legalistic in approach but worse, judgmental. Death and judgment have befallen many of God’s people as the guilty have to be subjected to being stoned to death or, as a more minor punishment, be driven away from among the people.

 

Let us take note:  It was not God’s Commandments that were judgmental but rather the people’s attitude or outlook towards them.

 

NEW WINE MEANS NEW PARADIGM

In the time of The Lord Yeshua as God’s Salvation (Isa. 49:6), He changed the attitude towards God’s Commandments in such that He realigned the emphasis back towards the purpose why they were given in the first place. And that purpose is love, for God gave them these Commandments to be His Covenant and with His intent to show them His love.

 

Since we are now in the time of The Messiah, we should learn to read these commandments only through His eyes, heart and mind. How could that be?

 

(Luke 5:33, 36-39)

33 Then they said to Him, “Why do the disciples of John fast often and make prayers, and likewise those of the Pharisees, but Yours eat and drink?… 36 Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. 37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. 39 And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’”

 

The Jews since the very beginning of The Lord’s ministry have been very critical of Him simply because of His different approach. This passage shows how they noticed that The Lord’s disciples do not fast like the disciples of John the Baptist as well as of the Pharisees, that instead of fasting His disciples merrily eat and drink. Because of their observation the Jews even mocked Him by calling Him a glutton and a drunkard (Mat. 11:19). Imagine the impact that The Savior’s ways have brought unto a highly judgmental people who are very rigid with their perspectives on the laws and commandments. Because they viewed His approach to be very radical and had mistaken Him to have lacked the integral rigidity on the laws and commandments, they did their best in finding fault in Him so that they could put Him in trouble under their laws.

 

How did The Savior present unto them the right paradigm with regards to God’s Commandments? Through His parable cited above, He taught them how the New Wine needs to be put into new wineskins for the simple reason that the New Wine has not fully aged yet and would continue to ferment thereby bursting the old wineskin or vessel. No one would benefit from the wine if the wineskins got damaged as this would spill the wine. In this parable, the wineskins or vessels point to the people as the recipients, while the wine points to their paradigm or mindset on God’s Commandments. The New Wine is the mindset of The Savior which contrasts with the old wine or old paradigm that is very legalistic and judgmental. For one to benefit from the New Wine, he must be willing to be made into a new wineskin – this is one’s rebirth unto the Spirit, the same process of being born again mentioned in the Gospel of John 3v5-8.

 

What is the New Wine, or outlook or paradigm or mindset of The Savior?

 

(John 8:10-11, 15)

10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”

11 She said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”…

15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 

 

This scenario happened when the judgmental scribes and Pharisees brought unto The Lord a woman who was caught in adultery. In reality, they were testing the rigidity of The Lord’s view unto God’s Commandments in their cheap attempt at finding something to accuse Him (Jn. 8v6). Based on the Jewish laws and traditions, the woman should be punished by stoning her to death. They thought that they have brought upon The Savior a dilemma that could expose Him as one who teaches against God’s Commandments - but it was them who were in a state of shock and embarrassment when The Lord diffused the situation based on His own perspective.

 

In this instance, The Messiah found an opportunity to realign people’s mindset towards God’s Commandments without discrediting its value and importance. How did He do it? He did not even contradict their law and tradition to stone the woman to her death. He simply asked that the first stone be thrown by the one who ‘is without sin’ from among the crowd (Jn. 8v7). How many stones were thrown as punishment to the woman? Zero! The Gospel or Message of The Christ Yeshua has prevailed! His New Wine has outdone the old wine of the Jews - that it is not for a sinner to judge another sinner! What else did The Messiah prove unto the world? That even Himself, being the only One who has not sinned, does not judge according to the flesh (v15).

 

Let us take a close look and analyze this scenario in the life of The Savior. It was not The Lord’s intent to teach that adultery is already tolerable. However, by saving the woman The Lord simply wanted us to be compassionate and not judgmental as we all strive to do our best in obeying God’s Commandments.

 

THE MESSIAH IS AN ADVOCATE OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

Many Christian preachers teach on the irrelevance of The Ten Commandments in the Christian Era. Some even preach that The Savior himself discontinued its observance when He performed miracles and good works on the day of the Jewish Sabbath. However, that is simply not the case. In fact, here are some of His notable statements that show His high regards unto The Ten Commandments and its relevance even in His time:

 

(Matthew 12:7-8)

7 But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

 

(Matthew 5:17-19)

17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 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. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 

 

(Matthew 22:37-40)

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment.39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

 

It is a fact that The Savior never spoke once against the Ten Commandments. In fact, He is its biggest advocate as shown in His own claim to be ‘Lord even of the Sabbath’.  He further the proof by promoting that everyone should teach God’s Commandments, even if he has transgressed any one of them. He has renewed its effectiveness by packaging them with love – unto God first and foremost, unto self and others. When He stated how unto ‘these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets’, He simply wanted them to view God’s Commandments based on pure love – love that is free from man’s judgment, the old wine (judgmental paradigm). This evangelical truth very well ties up with His parable on the New Wine that we have studied above.

 

CHRISTIANS’ ERRONEOUS UNDERSTANDING

What prompted many Christian groups to devalue The Ten Commandments of God? They are misled by their wrong understanding of The Lord’s statement pointing to ‘the law and the prophet’ to be until the time of John (the Baptist).

 

(Luke 16:16)

16 “The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.

 

Some preachers teach that the statement of The Christ in Luke 16v16 put an end to the efficacy of the Ten Commandments. But it is simply not the case as proven by the other declarations of The Lord. Which were ‘the law and the prophets’ that ended in John the Baptist’s time?

 

(Matthew 15:2-9)

2 “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”

3 He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? 4 For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ 5 But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”— 6 then he need not honor his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. 7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:

8 ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
9 And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”

 

The law that was pointed by The Savior to have ended in the time of John was the set of traditions and doctrines that are based on the commandments of men. This set of man-made traditions and doctrines is their version that has truly corrupted God’s Commandments.  And we know very well how Judaism as a religion could not come short with this kind of doctrines. It did not amuse The Savior how they have created volumes of doctrines and commandments from out of The Ten Commandments that God had spoken unto them.

 

How about His mention of ‘the prophets’ who will also end in the time of John? What did He mean with this reference of the prophets?

 

(Isaiah 8:16)

16 Bind up the testimony,
Seal the law among my disciples.

 

Just as prophesied by the prophet Isaiah, there would be a time when his testimony or prophecies will be bound. When will this be? When his prophecies, as well as the rest of the ancient prophets who foretold about The Messiah, will be fulfilled. And the time is very well pinpointed by The Savior to be the time of John the Baptist. Why that time? Being the last Personality who was prophesied by ancient prophets, The Messiah’s time has officially come in the time of John the Baptist as he (John) would be the prophesied ‘voice in the wilderness who will prepare the way of The Savior.’

 

How about the ‘sealing of the law’ among The Lord’s disciples? Which is this law that will be sealed among them? This topic will be given some clarifications towards the end of this article.

 

MISREPRESENTATION OF THE NEW COVENANT

Another seemingly logical argument used by many preachers in teaching about the invalidity of The Ten Commandments at present time is their misrepresentation of The Lord’s teaching about the New Covenant, and how it supposedly replaced The Ten Commandments as God’s Covenant. This is the statement of The Christ that they misrepresented:

 

(LUKE 22:20)

Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.

 

Upon reading the phrase ‘New Covenant in His blood’ some Christian groups jumps into a hasty conclusion that The Savior’s New Covenant has already put out of commission The Ten Commandments of God. Who started this erroneous teaching that the New Covenant made the earlier Covenant or the Ten Commandments (Deut. 4:13) obsolete? It was first taught by Paul and later on echoed by many other Christian preachers until present time:

 

PAUL MISREPRESENTED THE NEW COVENANT

How did Paul erroneously teach about the Ten Commandments in relation with the New Covenant?

 

(2 Corinthians 3:6-7)

6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

7 But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away…

 

Paul taught that The Ten Commandments, being that which was ‘written and engraved on stones’, was the ministry of death. How could the Ten Commandments, having been given by God Himself as a Covenant ever be a minister of death? How could it be so (minister of death) when it was God Himself who spoke these words and wrote them on the stone tablets? This is such a blasphemous claim and could only come out from someone who has a misaligned understanding of God’s Covenant, which God honorably gave unto His people.

 

How else did Paul misrepresent The Ten Commandments?

 

(Hebrews 8:7, 13)

7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second…

13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

 

This is Paul’s badly drawn conclusion about the Ten Commandments based on His insights on Jeremiah’s prophecy concerning the New Covenant. His conclusion is that the First Covenant (or the Ten Commandments) have faults, and that supposedly God had made it obsolete by creating the New Covenant. He further his supposition that since The Ten Commandments is now growing old and obsolete that it is ready to vanish away. This is a big mistake on the part of Paul, and his blunder has become a foundational teaching with many Christian churches.

 

Why are we sure that Paul was mistaken with his outlook on The Ten Commandments? Why do we say that his misaligned understanding of the Ten Commandments as a Covenant (Heb. 8:7-13) was based on his flawed interpretation of the prophecy in Jeremiah 31v31-34. Let us then compare his supposition with the recorded prophecy of Jeremiah:

 

(Jeremiah 31:31-34)

31 “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

 

Although God mentioned how ancient Israel broke His Covenants with them (Ten Commandments-Deut. 4:12-13), never did He say that His Covenant was at fault nor faulty. The Lord God also did not mention that He is making His First Covenant obsolete, nor did He say that it is growing old and vanishing away – only Paul made this irrational comments about God’s Covenants based on his faulty rationalization of Jeremiah’s prophecy.

 

THE NEW DID NOT MAKE THE EARLIER COVENANT INVALID

While Paul taught on the obsoleteness of the Ten Commandments as the earlier Covenant, however that is simply not the case. Paul’s aberrant insight regarding this is just the result of his lack of understanding on the evangelical New Covenant. Let us bring into focus the Gospel about the New Covenant and how it relates with the earlier Covenant, the Ten Commandments:

 

THE NEW COVENANT IN THE CHRIST YESHUA

The New Covenant in the blood of The Savior (Luke 22:20) is the same prophesied New Covenant of God with the houses of Israel and Judah as prophesied by the Prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 31:31). The mention of the term New Covenant in the prophecy of Jeremiah as well as in the statement of The Savior tie up with the prophecy of Isaiah pointing to The Christ Yeshua as God’s Servant who was given as God’s Salvation unto man at the time ‘ends of the earth’. God’s salvation through Him is the restoration of the tribes of Jacob as well as of being the light to the Gentiles or simply, the world (Isa. 49:5-6).

 

GOD’S COVENANT IS HIS WORD

God’s Covenant given to ancient Israel in Mount Horeb is God’s Word (singular as collective sum of the whole) that He spoke unto them:

(Deuteronomy 4:12-13)

12 And the Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of the words, but saw no form; you only heard a voice. 13 So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone.

 

How is this parallel with the New Covenant of our time, The Savior Yeshua? The Savior Yeshua is also God’s Word:

 

(John 1:1, 14)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

 

(Revelation 19:13)

13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 

 

God’s Word who ‘became flesh and dwelt among us’ is none other than His Son Yeshua. What should we notice that is the common denominator of The Ten Commandments and of The Savior Yeshua? As the Ten Commandments is God’s Word, so is The Christ Yeshua!

 

THE NEW IN THE NEW COVENANT

If God’s Covenant has always been His Word, what then is new? Whereas in The Ten Commandments the Covenant is God’s Spoken Word (no form), in The Christ Yeshua God’s Covenant is His Word-in-Person (with form)! The Word that was spoken in the Ten Commandments (Deut 4:12-13) is the same Word who became flesh (Jn. 1:1, 14). Its physical state has changed – in person (form) vice spoken (no form) – and thus, referred as NEW. Why is there a need for God’s Word to become flesh? In order for God’s Covenant (and Word) and Salvation (Isa. 49:6) to become personal with mankind, that it may ‘dwell among us’ (Jn. 1:14).

What else is NEW in the New Covenant? Its presentation unto mankind - the New Covenant simply summed up the earlier Covenant for its basis is the New Wine or mindset of The Savior Yeshua that is pure love as it is free from any form of man's judgment and condemnation.

 

THE BLUNDER OF PAUL IS THE DISGRACE OF OTHERS

How else was Paul blatantly wrong and blasphemous in teaching that God’s ‘First Covenant’ is an instrument of death and is already obsolete at the time of His Son? For a starter, The Savior himself taught in contrast with Paul when He showed how He valued and highly regarded God’s Commandments – He even declared that He is also ‘Lord of the Sabbath’ in reference to the Fourth Commandment.

 

How could The Savior be Lord of the Sabbath? By virtue of God’s desire that His Sabbath and His Covenant be continued to be observed by people as prophesied:

 

(Isaiah 56:2-7)

2 Blessed is the man who does this,
And the son of man who lays hold on it;
Who keeps from defiling the Sabbath,
And keeps his hand from doing any evil.”

3 Do not let the son of the foreigner
Who has joined himself to the Lord
Speak, saying,
“The Lord has utterly separated me from His people”;
Nor let the eunuch say,
“Here I am, a dry tree.”
4 For thus says the Lord:
“To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths,
And choose what pleases Me,
And hold fast My covenant,
5 Even to them I will give in My house
And within My walls a place and a name
Better than that of sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name
That shall not be cut off.

6 “Also the sons of the foreigner
Who join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him,
And to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants—
Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath,
And holds fast My covenant—
7 Even them I will bring to My holy mountain,
And make them joyful in My house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices
Will be accepted on My altar;
For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”

 

The prophesied Son of Man who keeps from defiling the Sabbath is God’s Son Yeshua himself. The Almighty God expressed His desire for His Sabbath and His Covenant (Ten Commandments-Deut. 4:12-13) be deemed highly by man until the end days, as evidenced in his declaration through the prophet Isaiah. He even offered His Salvation unto the sons of foreigner and eunuchs who will join Him through the prophesied Son of Man or Savior (v2/ Mat. 16:13-17), for as long as they ‘keep from defiling’ His Sabbath and ‘hold fast’ His Covenant. These people were unacceptable in the time of the prophets in Israel. Eunuchs are those who were castrated at a young age who were assigned to guard the queen and other females in the king’s household. They grow up to become gender challenged as a result of their altered hormonal changes – the modern day equivalent of homosexuals. On the other hand, the sons of foreigner point to the Gentiles who also become witnesses of God and disciples of His Son Yeshua (Isa. 43:10/ Jn. 8:31/ Isa. 8:16).

 

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS REPACKED BY THE SAVIOR

If God and His Son value The Ten Commandments, shouldn't we? Yes, we should! We therefore need to realign our understanding on it as God’s Covenant to His people even at present day and age. Most importantly, we need to learn and see them base on the mindset of His Son Yeshua for only then can the prophesy of God that He will WRITE HIS LAW OF HIS NEW COVENANT (HIS SON YESHUA-CHRISTOS) IN OUR MINDS AND HEARTS be fulfilled:

 

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

(Exodus 20:2-17 NKJV)

2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.

4 “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; 5 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, 6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

7 “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.

8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 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.

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

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

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

17 “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.”

 

And this is how God’s Son Yeshua, His own Word and New Covenant, has reissued God’s Covenant unto the whole world:

 

(Matthew 22:37-40)

37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment.39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

 

The New Covenant in The Savior Yeshua is LOVE (also in Jn. 15:9-10/ 1 Jn. 2:5). This is the law that was prophesied in Isaiah 8v16 that will be SEALED FROM AMONG THE LORD'S DISCIPLES.

 

CONCLUSION

We need to realign our understanding and valuation of the Ten Commandments with the mindset or paradigm of The Savior. We need to possess the understanding that all of God’s Commandments were given as a testament of His love unto His people and never as an instrument of death and punishment. In order for us to benefit from God’s love that is evident in His Covenant we must strive to be ruled by love and mercy. We have to be the new wineskins who receive the New Wine and not anymore with the old wine that is judgmental, for as the Apostle James stated, “mercy triumphs over judgment” (Js. 2:13).

 

RELATED READING:  https://www.spiritualhouse.info/sabbath-in-christ

 

(John 8:32) 

". .. the truth shall make you free.”

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