GOD’S TEN COMMANDMENTS
The Principles of God’s Instructions
Central Highlands Congregation of God
The Ten Commandments
Table of Contents
And the dragon was enraged against the woman, and it went to make war with the remnant of her seed, those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jeshua. Revelation 12:17
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The Principles Of God’s Instructions
The Ten Commandments are God’s spiritual ruler. They show us how we measure up spiritually against the basic points of God’s Instructions. They can reveal areas in our lives where we need God’s help.
The Ten Commandments also form the basis for a healthy society’s moral and legal structure. Genuine application of these laws to all areas of a society would lead to true civilization.
The Ten Commandments are based on the two great principles that Jesus states in the book of Matthew, chapter 22, verses 37 to 40:
Jeshua (Jesus) said to him, “‘You shall love Jehovah your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind.’ 1
“This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ 2
“On these two commandments hang the Instructions and the Prophets.”
The first four of the Ten Commandments show us the basis for establishing a correct relationship with God (Exodus chapter 20, verses 1 to 11). The fifth commandment involves our relationship with our parents and also with God as our ultimate parent (Exodus 20:12). The final five commandments provide the basis for building good relationships with our neighbours. The full text of the Ten Commandments is given here:
And God spoke all these words, saying:
1 I am Jehovah 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.
2 You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or 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, Jehovah your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on 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.
3 You shall not lift up the Name of Jehovah your God in a worthless way, for Jehovah will not leave anyone who lifts up His Name in a worthless way unpunished.
4 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of Jehovah 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.
For in six days Jehovah made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.
Therefore Jehovah blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
5 Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which Jehovah your God is giving you.
6 You shall not murder.
7 You shall not commit adultery.
8 You shall not steal.
9 You shall not testify a false witness against your neighbour.
10 You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbour’s.
And all the people observed the thunderings, the flashes of lightning, the sound of the ram’s horn, and the mountain smoking; and the people saw it, they trembled and they stood a long way off.
Then they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but do not let God speak with us, lest we die.”
And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come to test you, that His fear may be on your faces, so that you may not sin.” Exodus 20:1 to 20
The Bible says that disobeying God’s Law (Instructions) is sin and leads to eternal death (1 John 3:4, Ezekiel 18:20 to 22). Do you know the basics of His Law? Are you keeping God’s Instructions? Do you think Christ removed the need to keep the Ten Commandments? Let us look carefully at what the Bible teaches on these questions.
God commands us to keep these laws, as shown in Deut 5:29 and Joshua 22:5. If you restrict your attention to the words of the Ten Commandments alone, one can see that they only require respect. They do not insist that we actually love God or our neighbours, but simply teach us how to be fair to them. But even in the Ten Commandments Jehovah promises to be merciful those who do choose love Him (Deut 5:10).
Jeshua says God wants far more than mere obedience from us, as we read in Matthew above. But did you know that what Jeshua said was nothing new? The command to love Jehovah comes directly from Deuteronomy 6:5, while the command to love our neighbours is quoted from Leviticus 19:18. Remember, God does NOT change. He gave us His Instructions for our good (Deuteronomy 6:1-4). If we love Him, how can we not want to please Him by obeying His Laws (1 John 5:3, John 14:15, Deut 11:1)?
Yet there are some who think that we do not need to do even this minimum amount. They say that the Ten Commandments do not apply to Christians, thus destroying the basis of God’s Law.
Jeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) confirms that we should keep God’s Law. He says:
“Do not think that I have come to remove the Instructions 3 or the Prophets. I did not come to remove but to fulfill.
“Truly, I say to you, that until heaven and earth pass away, not even one yohd or one stroke will pass from the Instructions until everything has happened. 4
“Therefore everyone who removes even the smallest of these commandments, and teaches this to the children of men, will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But everyone who will do and will teach them, that one will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.
“For I say to you, that unless your righteousness becomes greater than that of the scribes and the Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 5:17 to 20
Opponents of God’s Law often claim that the Apostle Paul has done away with the requirement to keep God’s Law. However, in Romans 2:25 to 29 Paul clearly shows that fulfilling God’s Instructions is a desirable thing which should go beyond the letter, all the way to the Spiritual intent of the Law. Paul restates this theme in Romans 7:6, emphasising in verse 12 that “Therefore the Instructions are holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good.”
James (Jacob) chapter 2 shows that we must have faith, but that our faith is made perfect when it is combined with good works (see vs 22). 5 Let us not merely keep the letter of God’s Commandments, but fulfil the spirit of His Law.
It is also good to remember that Jeshua the Messiah is the Word of God (John 1:1) and is thus the one who spoke the Ten Words (the literal Hebrew name for the Ten Commandments). I Corinthians 10:1 to 4 clearly states that it was Jeshua who was with the Israelites throughout the Exodus. This means that the laws given at Mt Sinai are part of Christ’s commandments. In John 14:15 Jeshua says: “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (Another of our articles titled Free to Obey God explains how God enables us to live a new and joyful life free from sin by placing His Spirit within us. It also exposes the twisted arguments used by many supposedly Christian leaders to deceive their followers into disobeying God).
We will expand on each of God’s Ten Commandments, because they teach us how Jehovah wants us to live. Obeying Him will give you a satisfying and challenging life.
We will also see that no one except Jeshua the Messiah was able to always keep God’s Laws, placing all of us under a death sentence. Jeshua has provided the only way that our transgressions can be forgiven, thus saving us from destruction. However, our salvation requires genuine repentance – remorse and a deep desire to turn away from sin and towards God. Then God will cleanse us and give us his Holy Spirit and the ability to keep His Law.
The result of repentance is spoken of by God in Ezekiel 36:25 to 31:
“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
“I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
“Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God.
“I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you.
“And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations.
“Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and your abominations.
God’s First Commandment Says:
“I am Jehovah 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.” Exodus 20:2-3
God’s Name is revealed to Moses in this passage, after Moses has been attracted by the burning bush:
Then Moses said to God, “Behold, when I come to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?”
And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
And again God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel: ‘Jehovah God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My Name forever, and this is My memorial to generations of generations.’ Exodus 3:13 to 15
When God says He is the “I AM”, He is saying He is the one all-knowing being who is responsible for all things. Jehovah is God’s name. It means ‘Self-existing Creator’. Just as He freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, He, through His son Jeshua the Messiah, can free us from our bondage to sin.
Remember the former things of eternity, for I am God, and there is no other God, there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from the past things which were not yet done, saying, ‘My purpose shall stand, and all My desire I will do, calling a bird of prey from the sunrise, from a far land the man who will do My purpose. Yes, I have spoken it. Yes, I will bring it to pass. I have formed it. Yes, I will do it.’
Isaiah 46:9 to 11
When Jehovah says that He alone is God, He does not mean that all gods are simply different aspects of himself. The confrontation between Elijah and the priests of Baal given in 1 Kings 18:17 to 46 illustrates this clearly. Note Elijah’s challenge to the Israelites and God’s instructions to them:
And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If Jehovah is God, follow Him; but if Baal (the LORD), then follow him.” But the people answered him not a word. 1 Kings 18:21
“You shall totally destroy all the places where the nations which you are dispossessing served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. And you shall smash their altars, shatter their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden pillars with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place.
“You shall not do these things which are against Jehovah your God. Deuteronomy 12:2 to 4
Contrary to current popular opinion, the New Covenant also distinguishes sharply between Jehovah and the gods of the pagans. This distinction is preserved in the Aramaic New Covenant, which is the language of Jeshua dn the Apostles, where Jehovah God is referred to as Lord Jah. The Apostles Paul and Barnabas confirmed this when they rejected an attempt by pagans to worship them as the gods Zeus and Hermes. This occurred after God healed a crippled man through them. Paul said to them:
“Men, what are you doing? We are also sons of men and are passionate like yourselves. We are preaching to you that you should turn from these useless things to the Living God who made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, 6 He who in previous times allowed all the nations to go in their own ways.
“Yet He did not allow Himself to be without witness, in that He did much for them, and He caused rain to descend from heaven and He caused fruit to grow in season, and He filled their hearts with joy and gladness.”
And though they had spoken these things, they barely restrained the crowds from sacrificing to them, to a man.
Acts 14:15 to 18
And about that time there arose a great commotion about the Way of God. For there was one, a silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines for Artemis, and he enriched his fellow craftsmen with great profit.
This one gathered together all his fellow craftsmen and those who worked with them and said to them: “Men, you know that all our prosperity is from this work. And you are hearing and seeing that the descendants of Ephesus are not alone, but the multitudes of all Asia this Paul has persuaded and turned away, saying that those which are made by the hands of men are not gods.
“Nor is this exposed matter even finished, for the palace of the great goddess Artemis is going to be counted as nothing and this goddess whom all Asia and the world worship will be despised. And when they heard this, they were filled with rage and cried out, saying, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
Acts 19:23 to 28
There is no doubt that the craftsmen were well aware that the Christian God was in direct opposition to the goddess they were manufacturing.
He alone is the true God. Worshipping other gods or making gods of power, possessions, rock stars, or even ourselves cannot save us from permanent death.
The letter of the first commandment simply requires us to accept the Jehovah is the only True God. However, as Jeshua made clear in the quote from Matthew, God actually wants us to not merely accept Him, but to love Him with all of our being. This is the spirit of the law.
God’s Second Commandment Says:
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or 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, Jehovah your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on 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. Exodus 20:4 to 6
People who disobey God usually raise children who also disobey God, bringing His wrath on them too. Thankfully, God’s mercy far overshadows His wrath.
God prohibits making any images for worship and bowing down to the images. 7 He expressly forbids any use of images that are supposed to represent Him:
“To whom will you liken me, and make me equal and compare me, that we should be alike?...They hire a metalworker, and he makes a god. They fall down, yes, they worship...yet it cannot answer nor save...”
“Remember this...I am God, and there is no other. I am God and there is none like me.” Isaiah 46:5-10
“Thus says Jehovah, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, Jehovah of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; and besides Me there is no God.
“And who is as I am? Let him declare it and set it in order before Me, since I appointed the ancient people. And the things to come, and yes, which shall come, let them show these things.
“Do not be alarmed nor afraid; have I not told you since that time, and declared it? You are My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? Yes, there is no other Rock; I know not one.’”
“Those who make a carved image, all of them worthless, their precious things shall not profit; and their witnesses - they do not see; neither do they know, that they may be ashamed.
“Who has formed a god or cast an image for no profit?”
Isaiah 44:6 to 10
Note that in Exodus 20:4, Jehovah God expressly forbids making images of things in heaven (thus excluding the making and worship [some cults call this worship ‘honouring’ or ‘adoring’] of images claimed to represent Him, Jeshua, Mary, the saints or angels), things on earth (thus excluding the worship of ‘nature’, animals, trees, crosses, rocks or crystals, etc.) and under the water (thus excluding the worship of fish, sea serpents, etc.).
The Spirit of this Law is to worship Our Father in Heaven alone as God, to give to Him all the love and respect He deserves, and to understand that He is greater than anything we can make or imagine.
God’s Third Commandment Says:
“You shall not lift up the Name of Jehovah your God in a worthless way, for Jehovah will not leave anyone who lifts up His Name in a worthless way unpunished” Exodus 20:7
God does not like people abusing His name, nor the name of His son, Jeshua the Messiah. He is the source of our existence, and worthy of respect. Profaning His name is disrespectful and puts one under His condemnation. Such behaviour is offensive to all people who love God.
This commandment covers more than the use of God’s name as a curse. God’s Name is trampled on when a person makes a promise in God’s name which he (or she) later does not keep. This sin often harms more than one person, as shown in Leviticus 9:11-13: ‘You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. And you shall not swear by My name falsely, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am Jehovah. You shall not defraud your neighbour, nor rob him.’
Two examples of how seriously God regards misuse of His Name are given here:
Then he said to me, “This is the curse that goes out over the face of the whole earth: ‘Every thief shall be expelled,’ according to what is on this side of the scroll; and, ‘Every perjurer shall be expelled,’ according to what is on that side of it.”
“I will send out the curse,” says Jehovah of hosts; “It shall enter the house of the thief and the house of the one who swears falsely by My name. It shall remain in the midst of his house and consume it, with its timber and stones.”
“Again you have heard that it was said to the ancients, ‘You shall not lie in an oath, but you shall complete your oaths to Jehovah.’ 8 But I say to you, you should not swear oaths at all: not by heaven, for it is God’s throne; and not by the earth, for it is the footstool beneath His feet; and not by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
“And you should not swear by your head, because you cannot make one part of a hair white or black.
“But your word should be ‘Yes’ for ‘Yes,’ and ‘No,’for ‘No.’ Anything that is more than these is evil.”
God’s Fourth Commandment Says:
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of Jehovah your God. You shall do no work in it: 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.
For in six days Jehovah made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore Jehovah blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”
Exodus 20:8 to 11
God has set apart the seventh day of the week as a reminder of His creative works. He gave us this day as a day for us to rest, just as He rested after creating our universe (Genesis 2:2 &3). He also commanded us to gather together to worship Him on the Sabbath. (Ie – the Holy Convocation spoken of in Leviticus 23:3). It reminds us how we were set free from being slaves to sin, just as the Israelites were set free from being slaves in Egypt (Deuteronomy 5:15). It is a sign between God and His people (Exodus 31:12 to 17). Only urgent, undelayable work should be done on this sacred day. God’s Sabbath goes from dusk Friday to dusk Saturday. 9
God’s Sabbath was not given just to the Israelites, as this passage shows:
Thus says Jehovah: “Keep justice, and do righteousness, for My salvation is coming near, and My righteousness is to be revealed. Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who holds on to it; keeping from defiling the Sabbath, and keeping his hand from doing every evil.”
Do not let the foreigner’s son who joins himself to Jehovah speak, saying, “Surely Jehovah has separated me from His people”; and do not let the eunuch say, “Behold! I am a dried-up tree.”
For thus says Jehovah: “To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, and choose things I am pleased with, and take hold of My covenant, I will even give to them in My house and within My walls a hand and a name better than that of sons and daughters; an everlasting name I will give them that shall not be cut off.
And the sons of the foreigner who join themselves to Jehovah, to serve Him, and to love the name of Jehovah, to become His servants; everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and takes hold of My covenant; 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.” Isaiah 56:1 to 7
That the Sabbath extended into the New Testament era is illustrated by this passage from Hebrews:
Therefore, while the promise of entrance into His rest remains, let us fear lest any of you come short of entering. For the Good News was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not benefit them, for it was not joined with faith in those who heard it.
But we who believe are entering that rest. But just as He said: “So I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest,” 10 for behold, the works of God have existed from the creation of the world. 11 For He spoke this about the Sabbath: 12
Therefore, because there exists a place where each man may himself enter, and those who were called first were not convinced and did not enter in, again, after a long time, He has appointed another day, just as it is written above, saying to David, “Today, if you will listen to His voice, do not harden your hearts.” 15
For if Jeshua, the son of Nun, 16 had given them rest, He would not have spoken about another day after this.
Therefore, it remains for the people of God to keep the Sabbaths. 17 For whoever enters His rest has himself also rested from his works just as God rested from His own.
Let us therefore be careful to enter into that rest, lest we fall in the manner of those who were not convinced.
The Sabbath rest mentioned in this passage also refers to the Thousand Years of Peace spoken of in Revelation and God’s Annual Sabbaths. These are other aspects of the Sabbath, as it reminds us of the coming peace in God’s Kingdom and of how our redemption from our sinful works through Jeshua the Messiah is making it possible for us to live in that beautiful rest.
The Spirit of the Law again requires us to go beyond merely resting and attending a religious service. We can do the above and still regard the Sabbath as an annoying interruption to our worldly activities. Instead, let us remember that the Sabbath is a special time that God has blessed for the purpose of allowing us to draw closer to Him and deepen our relationship with our Creator and Saviour. As God reminds us in Isaiah 58:13, His Sabbath is intended to be a delight. Jeshua also confirms this when He says that God made the Sabbath for man’s benefit (Mark 2:27).
Our free booklet entitled The Sabbath in Scripture provides further detail on these topics.
God’s Fifth Commandment Says:
“Honour your mother and your father, that your days may be long upon the land which Jehovah your God is giving you.”
We owe our very existence to our parents. They have nurtured us and taught us all our basic values. They deserve our respect, and our help as they grow older. It is also good to remember that God is ultimately everyone’s father. 18 Obedience to this commandment leads to strong, healthy families, and by extension, to a strong and stable society. As is the case with all the other commandments, this commandment is repeated in the New Testament:
Children, obey your parents in our Lord, for this is right. “Honour your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with a promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” 19
Parents, do not provoke your children, but nurture them in the discipline and teachings of our Lord. 20 Ephesians 6:1-4
Paul shows that it is also necessary for parents to act in an honourable manner towards their children.
Jeshua shows honour for his mother even when he was dying on the stake at Calvary, when he arranges for one of his disciples to care for her:
And there near the stake of Jeshua stood His mother, and His mother’s sister, and Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. Jeshua and the disciple whom He loved saw His mother standing there.
He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son! And He said to that disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her with him. John 19:25-27
Disobedience to parents and those placed in authority leads steadily to the total disintegration of our society. God does not promise to sustain such a population.
Again, the letter of this commandment only requires us to respect our parents. But the spirit of this law is to do all we can to help them, support them and show them how much we love them.
God’s Sixth Commandment Says:
“You shall not murder.” Exodus 20:18
God’s definition of murder, and his method of dealing with murder, is very different from what is accepted by our nations today.
God says that all intentional murderers are to be put to death, to prevent pollution of our land. He also forbids allowing a rich man to buy his way out of this judgement (Numbers 35:29 to 34). Rather than jails, God told His people to set up a series of cities of refuge where people who killed someone accidentally could safely stay until their case was heard in the courts (Numbers 35:9 to 28).
But note that God’s idea of an accidental slaying is much more strict than ours:
‘These six cities shall be for refuge for the children of Israel, for the stranger, and for the sojourner among them, that anyone who kills a soul accidentally may flee there.
‘But if he strikes him with an iron implement, so that he dies, he is a murderer; the murderer shall surely be put to death.
‘And if he strikes him with a stone in the hand, by which one could die, and he does die, he is a murderer; the murderer shall surely be put to death.
‘Or if he strikes him with a wooden hand weapon, by which one could die, and he does die, he is a murderer; the murderer shall surely be put to death.
‘The avenger of blood himself shall put the murderer to death; when he meets him, he shall put him to death.
‘If he pushes him out of hatred or, while lying in wait, hurls something at him so that he dies, or in enmity he strikes him with his hand so that he dies, the one who struck him shall surely be put to death, for he is a murderer; the avenger of blood shall put the murderer to death when he meets him.
‘But if he pushes him suddenly without enmity, or throws anything at him without lying in wait, or uses a stone, by which a man could die, throwing it at him without seeing him, so that he dies, while he was not his enemy or seeking his harm, then the congregation shall judge between the manslayer and the avenger of blood according to these judgments.
‘So the congregation shall deliver the manslayer from the hand of the avenger of blood, and the congregation shall return him to the city of refuge where he had fled, and he shall remain there until the death of the high priest who was anointed with the holy oil. Numbers 35:15 to 25
John expands on this commandment in I John 3:15 when he says; “Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has everlasting life abiding in him.” Again we see that the spirit of the Law includes the letter (Do not murder) but goes beyond the letter to the root of the problem- we must allow God’s Holy Spirit to remove the hatred in our hearts.
If mankind lived by the essence of this commandment, there would be no more wars, no more racial violence, no more attacks, no more hatred. We would begin to experience the blessings that obeying God brings.
God’s Seventh Commandment Says:
“You shall not commit adultery.” Exodus 20:14
Adultery undermines the stability of families and spreads disease. God intended sexual intercourse to be a special joy between husband and wife (Hebrews 13:4). Adultery is a perversion of God’s purpose. Pre-marital sex is committing adultery on your future spouse before you are even married. (And it is also forbidden in God’s Word as shown in the accounts of Dinah (Gen 34:1-7) and Tamar (2 Samuel 13:1-32).
God says that intercourse is both a physical and a spiritual union. Just as sexual union can transfer physical diseases, it can also transfer spiritual diseases (1 Corinthians 6:12 to 20). Clearly, casual sexual encounters are not condoned by God.
Homosexuality is also condemned by our Maker as unnatural and corrupt (Romans 1:18 to 32).
The widespread disregard of God’s commandments on sexuality and fidelity are rapidly destroying the basic fabric of our society. If our society is to survive, we must immediately stop the media from producing and screening material which presents infidelity and sexual perversion as desirable, or even acceptable, things. As God has warned us, “If we sow the wind, we will reap the whirlwind.” (Hosea 8:7)
Request our free pamphlet Sex, God and Families for more details on this commandment and interpersonal relationships.
Jeshua shows us how to move from the letter to the spirit of this law :
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ “But I say to you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has immediately committed adultery in his heart.”
God knows that sin begins in our hearts. That is why He wants to place his spirit in us and change us from within. Changing our hearts will change our actions.
Some people claim that everything should belong to everyone for the use of whoever needs it. Is this what God believes?
God’s Eighth Commandment Says:
“You shall not steal.” Exodus 20:15
As Creator, God regards everything as belonging to Him. He sees us as temporary guardians of His property. As He is generous with us, He expects us to share what we have been given with those in need. 21 However, He does not approve of people taking what they want from others. Possessions, for the most part, are a reward for hard work. Stealing undermines the joy and value of work and destroys trust.
There are many ways to steal. One can steal wages from their employer by not working to their potential. Employers can steal from their employees by not giving them fair wages for their labours. Citizens can steal from their country (and each other) by not paying the taxes they owe. Authorities can steal from their citizens by improper use of the taxes they collect and abuse of their authority.
God condemns all of these practices.
If you are guilty of any of these things, you are under God’s condemnation. If you do not turn away from these practices and seek God’s forgiveness, He will have to destroy you.
God’s method of dealing with theft is to require the thief to return double, and in some cases five times what they stole (See Exodus 22:1 to 4, Leviticus 6:1 to 5).
In Ephesians, God shows us how to go beyond the letter of this commandment to the generous spirit which He wants us to develop:
And whoever has stolen, from now on let him not steal, but let him labour with his hands and let him produce well, that he will have something to give to the one who has need.
God’s Ninth Commandment Says:
“You shall not testify a false witness against your neighbour.” Exodus 20:16
There are many reasons for a person to want to lie about another person, or indeed about themselves. Common reasons are jealousy, fear, spite, greed and a desire to let someone else take the blame.
God knows the trouble that is caused by people lying about each other and commands us to resist the temptation to take the “easy” way out.
“And he who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I shall be his God and he will be My son.
“But the cowards, and unbelievers, and the evil, and the defiled, and murderers, and sorcerers, and fornicators, and idol worshippers, and all liars shall have their part in the Lake of Fire burning with brimstone, which is the second death.”
Again the Spirit goes beyond the letter. God actually wants us to move from merely not tell lies to standing up and speaking the Truth.
and you should be made new in the spirit of your minds, and you should put on the new man who God has created in righteousness and in the purity of the Truth.
Therefore, you are to put aside lying, and each one speak the truth with his neighbour, for we are members of one another.
Ephesians 4:23 to 25
God’s Tenth Commandment Says:
“You shall not desire your neighbour’s house; you shall not desire your neighbour’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbour’s.” Exodus 20:17
The first step in stealing is allowing yourself to want something (or someone) that already belongs to someone else. Similarly, allowing yourself to lust for someone who is not your spouse is the first step in committing adultery. Disobeying this command led King David into an adulterous affair with Bathsheba which resulted in the murder of Bathsheba’s husband and the death of their first child. Paul said this was the commandment which he was unable to keep. It brought him into condemnation from which only Christ could free him. (See Romans 7:7 to 12.) This commandment is the most difficult of the Ten to keep because it cuts to the root of most sin. It deals with our thoughts. The other commandments mostly focus on our actions, which are usually easier to control than our thoughts.
God’s method of combatting covetousness is quite simple on the surface:
Do not let your mind love money, and be satisfied with what you have. For Lord Jah has said, “I will not forsake you nor will I let go of your hand.” 22
So we can confidently say: “Jehovah helps me; I will not fear what man does to me.” 23 Hebrews 13:5-6
This desirable attitude flies in the face of media advertising, which is designed to foster covetousness. It can only be achieved by the action of God’s Holy Spirit working in our lives.
Some people think that if they can keep the Ten Commandments, God will be required to give them everlasting life. This idea is not supported by scripture. There is nothing we can do to force Jehovah to give us everlasting life. It is a precious gift that we can never deserve, and is only given through our acceptance of the sacrifice that Jeshua made in our place (John 3:14-17, Titus 3:4-8, Rom 6:22-23).
However, God does promise you that you will have a long life if you keep the Fifth commandment, as we read above. If you keep all of His Instructions, He also promises you great prosperity:
“Therefore know that Jehovah your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments; and He repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slack with him who hates Him; He will repay him to his face.
“Therefore you shall keep the commandment, the statutes, and the judgments which I command you today, to observe them.
“Then it shall come to pass, because you listen to these judgments, and keep and do them, that Jehovah your God will keep with you the covenant and the mercy which He swore to your fathers. And He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your land, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flock, in the land of which He swore to your fathers to give you.
“You shall be blessed above all peoples; there shall not be a male or female barren among you or among your livestock.
“And Jehovah will take away from you all sickness, and will afflict you with none of the terrible diseases of Egypt which you have known, but will lay them on all those who hate you.”
Deuteronomy 7:9 to 15
However, the only person who ever managed to keep all of God’s Instructions all of the time was Jeshua the Messiah. As the Apostle Paul says:
But we know that all the things the Instructions say, they say to those who are in the Instructions, that every mouth may be shut, and the entire universe may be guilty before God. Because by the works of the Instructions no flesh will be justified before Him, for through the Instructions sin is made known. 24
But now the righteousness of God is revealed apart from the Instructions, and the Instructions and the Prophets are testifying to this, for the righteousness of God is through the faith of Jeshua the Anointed to everyone and upon everyone who believes in Him. For there is no difference; because they have all sinned and they were deprived of the glory of God, but they are freely justified by grace and the redemption which exists in the Anointed Jeshua.
God chose this One beforehand as the Atonement through faith in His blood, because of our sins which we have already sinned, 25 to display His righteousness at the present time, for He is being just and the justifier of the one who has the faith of our Lord Jeshua the Anointed.
Therefore, where is the boasting? It is eliminated by Him. By what Instructions? Of works? No, but through the Instructions of Faith.
Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith and not by the works of the Instructions. Romans 3:19 to 28
Let us all seek this saving grace through Jeshua, God’s Anointed Son. But let us not abuse God’s grace by turning his willingness to forgive our sins into a licence to continue in our sins. God places his Spirit in us so we will be able to live righteously (Romans 8:3-5). As John said:
Everyone who believes that Jeshua is the Anointed is born from God and everyone who loves the Parent also loves the one who is begotten by Him.
And in this we know that we love the children of God, whenever we love God and we do His commandments. For this is the love of God - to keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdens. 26 1 John 5:1 to 3
Indeed the Bible assures us that even in the last days leading up to the establishment of God’s Kingdom on Earth, His people shall still be keeping His commandments despite everything that Satan and his slaves do to stop them:
And the dragon was enraged against the woman, and it went to make war with the remnant of her seed, those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jeshua.
Some of our Other Resources Available:
Everlasting Life is God’s Gift - Does the Bible teach that you have everlasting life? How can you receive God’s gift of immortality?
Jeshua the Messiah: Is He the Son of God or Part of a Trinity? - Explores the relationships between God the Father, our Lord Jeshua the Messiah, the Holy Spirit and us.
Books of Moses - Fact or Fiction Series - Are the miracles recorded in Genesis and Exodus our true history? Do the facts support Special Creation or the Big Bang & Evolution scenarios?
God’s Calendar and the Sign of Jonah - Shows how God’s Calendar reveals that Jeshua truly kept the Sign of Jonah, His proof that He is the Messiah.
The Sabbath in Scripture - Has God’s Seventh-day Sabbath been ‘done away with’? - Does God want us to keep it?
The Holy Bible CHCoG Translation - This translation from the original Hebrew and Aramaic is accurate and readable, giving you a clear understanding of God’s message to you.
What is God’s Name? - How can we know what God’s Name is and how to Pronounce it? Does the Bible teach us to use God’s Name?
Sex, God and Families - Pamphlet exposing the dangers of sexual immorality and outlining the benefits of following God’s sexual principles.
Eastern Meditation and Jeshua the Messiah - Recounts experiences of a member of CHCoG who became a Christian while practising Eastern Meditation.
Spirit, Soul and Body - This booklet provides a deeper look at the Bible’s teachings about the composition of human beings and the role of our soul and Spirit.
Animals in the Bible - What does the Bible teach us about the animals that God created? Are they intelligent and capable of deep relationships?
Unclean Animals and Food - What does the Bible teach about unclean animals? Does the New Covenant allow us to eat unclean meat?
Radiocarbon Dating - Shows how changes in radioactive carbon levels can drastically alter radiocarbon dates. Not heavily technical.
Calculated Biblical Calendar - Calculates dates of Annual Holy Days, Crucifixion, Flood, Creation, etc, and allows you to test the new moon visibility locally.
Radiocarbon Dating - Calculates the effects that changes in the geomagnetic field and radiocarbon/carbon ratios on radioactive dating.
We have a large range of Christian and Creationist literature, CDs and DVDs that are available for borrowing within Australia. Please contact us for our list.