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THE TRUTH ABOUT THE 10 COMMANDMENTS!
The First Commandment!
The Commandments and the Law have raised numerous debates, arguments and divisions amongst all peoples.
What is the truth regarding these?
Who do they apply too? Jews only? Christians? All peoples?
I will avoid covering all the usual controversial points which have been covered by numerous writers and scholars over the years. Instead I will focus on the relevance of the Commandments in the 'here and now' - End Times!
Firstly, however, It is necessary to put the Commandments into a summarised perspective.
We know there are 3 types of Law referred to:
1. Torah Law- used by the Israelites and Jews and can be found in the Tanach which is the first five books of the Bible, from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah Law consists of 613 Laws, 248 of these are positive laws ' to do something' and 365 negative laws i.e. 'not to do something'.This Law was given when God made a covenant between Himself and the people and gave the commandments via Moses to God's people ,when they were freed from slavery and on their way to the promised land!
2. Noah's Law - God gave Noah and his son's Laws to follow which would be applicable to all people's as descendants of Shem, Ham and Japheth (Noah's sons). A covenant was also made at this time between God and Noah's family. These Laws are found in Genesis chapt 9:4. This Law was given after the flood.There were 7 key Laws which incorporated the main 10 Commandments, but in a simplified version.
3. Thirdly, The New Testament Laws consisting of 10 of the Commandments found in the Torah Law. It is important to recognise that God gave his people many laws that expanded on the ten commandments. In other words the 10 Commandments are a summary of all the other commandments. In other words God explained in fuller detail exactly what the 10 Commandments entailed. For example: The 10 Commandments are set out in Exodus and explained or expanded to include other laws, in the book of Leviticus 11. The New Testament focuses on the 10 Commandments and Yeshua also expands on them. For example: Yeshua (Jesus) says that committing adultery also includes when you look at a person (other than your husband or wife) with lust in your eyes (lustful thoughts). I often see men with a woman on their arms, eyeing another female (usually a younger one) up and down. When men are confronted about this behaviour, their excuse is that it is what men do, it is natural. No it isn't! It is natural for sinful man to do. Many Godly and 'born again' men do not behave this way, because they have the Holy Spirit in them that helps them to understand the principle of this commandment. If a man truly loves his wife then he would not do these things! If a man does not honour the woman in his life by marrying her and plays the promiscuity game, then he does not love her! All of this and more is the negative behaviour under the heading of adultery! Yeshua expanded on the 10 Commandments which falls in line with Torah law. I have counted 113 laws quoted by Yeshua in the New Testament, there may be more! Many of these can be cross referenced to Torah Law. Others are relevant to these end times to provide mostly guidance for our practice as believers and followers of Yeshua.
The above three groups of Laws were all founded from the base group 10 Commandments given initially through Moses to the Israelites and later transferred in a format that is appropriate for the peoples of that time. The Israelites had the full version of the laws. The Gentiles were offered a shorter version and the Christians were given part of the Law and the rest through Yeshua's examples of how to behaviour and live.
Additionally, we cannot forget that the pharisees in the ancient times and strict orthodox Jews of today observe oral Law and man-made or (Rabbi made) laws which have been added and still practiced today.
The above is a brief explanation of the groups of people who were given the Commandments and Law.
In Genesis God created man and woman and for some reason chose to plant a tree of knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden - the dwelling place of Adam and Eve and where God walked. Why?
God at that point gave Man only one commandment, "Do not eat from the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil"...The result of which would be death! Now we know Adam and Eve did not die instantly, therefore, death must have another meaning. Adam and Eve both disobeyed God by ignoring his commandment! They therefore had, through this act, shown rebellion, which is said to be that of witchcraft, 1 Samuel 15: 23.
Interestingly, God had placed the tree in the Garden for a reason, he must have known that it would stir up curiosity, it was a test of their ability to withstand temptation. The same is relevant to today. We are constantly faced with many temptations in the world that lead into evil and witchcraft (rebellion). God is no fool and nothing is coincidence!
God had provided Adam and Eve with everything they needed. They did not have to toil for their food, they did not experience sickness or pain, there were no wars or strive, only peace and the fullness of life, which was eternal! They chose to eat from the tree, and gambled with the possibility of death. because the serpent said 'it will be okay'. How many times have we heard those words and afterwards fallen flat on the ground, lost everything, because we strayed from God's protection? The alternative to eternal life- walking with God himself in the Garden (representative of His Kingdom) is - eternal death!
This death is a sentence that occurs over a period of time. It meant for Adam and Eve that life drastically changed from a life where they walked with God, where everything was provided easily, there was no sickness, do death, no war, no coldness, no pressure, no sorrow, no hurt, no pain! Instead they acquired a hard frightening life cast out from God's presence and without God's companionship, where they toiled for their food, where they were vulnerable to the elements of their environment.
Why were they cast out?
Not because they listened to the serpent,
Not because they were curious,
Not because they succumbed to temptation
Not because they ate the fruit of the tree,
But because they rebelled against God - they disobeyed his ONE Commandment!
And this is the essence of the Commandments!
All through scripture is evidence of how God reacts towards those who demonstrate rebellion and disobedience! And how he rewards those who are faithful and obedient!
THis is the knowledge of Good and Evil!!!
We read in Genesis 2:10 how after they broke that one Commandment they suddenly, for the first time, felt ashamed! They saw there exposure to the breaking of that commandment as 'nakedness'.
Notice how Adam, transfers responsibility for his sin onto Eve, Eve transfers responsibility onto the serpent. But when God punished he did so to the serpent first, then the woman, then the man. All three were equally and individually responsible for their own involvement and their own rebellion! Both Adam and Eve were responsible for breaking God's one commandment.
God went straight to the original source of the rebellion - the serpent, the one that instigated the temptation by using deceptive words, God placed a punishment on him - a curse!
God said "There will be enmity between (the serpent) you and the woman (verse 15) and between your offspring and hers."
The next few words refer, prophetically to Yeshua crushing the serpents head and the serpent will strike his heel. (Reference to the final battle - in the book of Revelation, in particular). The enmity and the woman again is cross referenced to the book of Revelation and is symbolic of Israel (the woman) and her offspring (Christians). Rev 12:13.
To anyone reading this who still disputes the validity of the scriptures and authenticity of the book of Genesis ( as many believe it to be fiction or fairy tale and not applicable to real situations). The link between the first book of the Bible (Genesis) and the last one (Revelation) where thousands of years are between these books, yet they link and cross reference- can only prove it to be a true account!
Then God turned to the woman. He punishes her with painful childbirth, she loses her equality status with Adam and becomes dependent on her husband and his headship. This punishment becomes the lot of all women.
Finally God turned to Adam (verse 17) to administer punishment. The whole earth became cursed because God's one commandment was broken! Adam was the first to be given the commandment, and he submitted to his wife's temptation. His punishment was painful toil (hard work all of the days of his life). He would have to provide for himself and his wife, the food etc.
A vital point - God said " If you eat of the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil you will die!". The interpretation of that is 'no longer would Adam and Eve enjoy fellowship with God in the Garden, they would be separated from him and have to survive on their own. They had lost their innocence and purity and now became aware of the evil that existed. They had experienced the good, now they will experience evil. They will experience not only spiritual death, as mentioned as separation from God, but also physical death.
In verse 22 God says " The man has now become one of us (trinity) knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat and live forever." So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. A cherubim was placed to protect the tree of life so that Adam or Eve could not reach it.
A number of important points here!
1. Neither of them physically died, therefore, when God said 'If they eat the fruit...they will die', he meant there life would change, they would not be covered by God's protection or cared for - they would be cast out of the Garden (God's Kingdom- which consists of eternal life). Their new life would be hardship and separation from God and finally lead to death.
2. The implications of this is that mankind, for centuries have been striving to return HOME! To return to that original 'walk with God' in the garden, where there was no pain, toil, wars, danger or fear, only joy, peace, wellbeing, warmth, security etc. Mankind was cast out of the spiritual connection to God into a physical disconnection to God = humanism!
3. Every human being since the day Adam and Eve was cast out, their offspring has been born into sin, guilt, and striving between good and evil. Human beings strive to re - connect to God spiritually, they constantly search for this in their subconscious.
4. God has prevented Adam and Eve from having eternal life because of their sinfulness. (Verse 22-24). Because of their uncleanness - lack of holiness in other words! They lost their inheritance - eternal life! Instead their lifespan has an end - death!
To summarise all of this:
Mankind disobeys and rebels against God (and Yeshua). he chose to reject God's gifts and blessings and all of his provision for a moment of curiosity and taking note of a mere serpent's deceptive lies!
Adam and Eve were cast out of God's presence, protection and provision into a world of self preservation and survival. Their lifespan was now limited, they experienced sickness, pain, hardships, aging and death.
Does God leave them totally? Of course not! He is a loving God. He continued to communicate with them -at a distance. He continues to communicate with us - at a distance. There is now however, a way to communicate with him close up!
He sent Yeshua as a man, to become a mediator between us and God, by covering our sins so that all God sees is holiness, that is why salvation and eternal life can only come through Yeshua. His sacrifice did it all!
He became the high priest who entered the Holy place, he became the lamb that was sacrificed, once and for all, as the atonement sacrifice for our sin!
Through Christ there is no more need for animal sacrifices or for a holy priest to enter the Holy place- it is Done!
God gave examples to the people in the time of the Israelites, of ways in which they could still win his favour. This was through appropriate offerings indicated through the life of Abel who pleased God with his behaviour and the way to displease God is by following Cain's example. This is a relevant message to people today. Except Abel is now replaced by Yeshua as our example of holy living.
God has provided a way back into his presence through Yeshua- the living Torah!
Through him we are washed, cleansed from our past sins and unintentional sins that we commit every day, intentional sins need repentance and he will honour that by forgiveness of these.
Through his sacrifice as a sacrificial lamb, the scapegoat and the red heifer, we have been made pure and consecrated, made holy and acceptable to enter God's presence again in the time to come. But that is only through acceptance of Yeshua and being 'born again'.
Only then may we qualify to enter the Garden again, to fellowship with him for ever.
Once we have learnt the hard lesson and understand the difference between good and evil and stop twisting it or turning it up side down. The world is saying 'good is evil and evil is good, Justice is given to those who commit evil and punishment to those who do good. Where victims and the poor are persecuted and the rich and powerful are given their freedom.
Once we truly understand the difference between these two concepts we have achieved our goal!
God intends for us to come to a point in our lives when we can:
understand evil and reject it!
Acknowledge good and accept it!
He is looking for those who are righteous of heart and who look to him and his ways.
Then we can have fellowship with him!