The Ten Commandments are the code of ethics of Christianity.
The Ten Commandments are also called a spiritual law [Rom.7:14]
The Ten Commandments are contained in heaven's ark of the testament in heaven [Rev.11:19] and will judge Christianity [James 2:10-12].
The Ten Commandments were actually given by our Lord JESUS CHRIST Himself, and He is the only one who ever kept them perfectly, therefore we must follow JESUS and do the same. GOD'S biddings are His enabling's.
The Ten Commandments do not save us, JESUS does, but we can never be saved in sin transgressing and disobeying them.
The apostle Paul says that the O.T. ROCK is CHRIST [1.Cor.10:4] Our Lord also claims to be our great "I AM", meaning the self-existing one of the O.T. [John 8:58] and when GOD JESUS gave the Ten Commandments to Moses, Moses ask GOD to give His name. And GOD said: "I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM has send me to you".---Exodus 3:14
The Ten Commandments are also called the Decalogue.
The Ten Commandments are also known as the testimony [Ex.25:16]
And again, The Ten Commandments are called the words of the covenant [Ex.34:28]
Are all the 10 Commandments for Christians? Who did God give them to and why? Are we Christians really keeping them and what is the difference between the Jewish Torah and the Ten Commandments?
God gave the 10 Commandments in awful grandeur at Mount Sinai to Moses and they were for God's own people only. At that time it was the Jewish race. But what about for people in the New Testament time?
1.) Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and Him only shalt thou serve Matthew 4:10; Rev.19:10
2.) Little children, keep yourselves from idols 1.John 5:21;Acts 17:29.
3.) The name of God not to be blasphemed 1.Tim.6:1
4.) The Sabbath Mark 2:27,28; Hebr.4:4; Revelation 1:10; Matthew 12:8; 24:20,21, Acts 16:13; 13:42,44, Luke 23:56 [Col.2:16=ceremonial Sabbath nailed to the cross]
5.) Honor Father and Mother Matthew 19:19 Eph.6:1-3
6.) Thou shalt not kill Rom.13:19 James 2:11
7.) Thou shalt not commit adultery Matthew 19:18
8.) Thou shalt not steal Rom.13:9
9.) Thou shalt not bear false witness Rom.13:9
10.) Thou shalt not covet Rom.7:7
"Do we then make void the law through faith? GOD forbid! Yes, we establish the law!"- Romans 3:31
Any unprejudiced mind may see the two laws in the New Testament, by carefully searching for the truth. One is called a yoke of BONDAGE; Gal.5:1 the other is called a royal law of LIBERTY; James 1:25; 2:8
One was a law of "carnal ceremonies" [Hebr.9:10] the other was the Apostles delight, holy, just, good, and spiritual. Here I will add the testimony of Jesus in His sermon on the Mount.-Matth.5:17-33. Think not that I came to destroy the law...... (we are not even to think it)
"And the Temple of God was opened in Heaven, and thee was seen in His temple the ark of His testament." - Revelation 11:19
Did John see the ark of the 10 Commandments in Heaven? Yes, so he testifies; and none who believe the Bible will doubt his testimony. Then if the Commandments are preserved in Heaven, they are not abolished on earth.
The Handwriting of GOD vs. Moses!
The Handwritings of ordinances by Moses are fulfilled in CHRIST and nailed to the cross: " Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to the cross."
Q.: What did they contain? A.: "Let no man judge you in meat [food], or in drink, or in respect of any holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days"----Col.2:14,16
Note: Jewish sabbath days such as Passover, sheaf and wave feasts, rest for the land etc. [Lev.23:15] were 7 sabbaths altogether and could fall on any day of the week unlike GOD's Sabbath which is part of the "Handwriting" of GOD".
"And He gave to Moses, when He made an end of communing with him upon Mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of GOD..........
....................................And the two tables of testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written.
And the tables were the work of GOD, and the writing was the writing of GOD, graven upon the tables.---Exodus 31:18; 32:15,16.
So as we can clearly see, both handwritings are quiet distinct and separate. One ceased and the other continues [1.Cor.7:19].
"Not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart."---2.Cor.3:3 last part.
"This is the new covenant...........I will put my laws into their mind, and write them into their hearts."---Heb 8:10
"For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, GOD send His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.".---Rom. 8:3,4
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh...........But if ye be led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law".---Gal.5:16-18.
GOD has designed that the Ten Commandments must reside inside our hearts [2.Cor.3:3,last part] and our minds [Heb 8:10] and not on cold tables of stone. To be under the law, means to be under its condemnation and in bondage to sin.
Most Christians believe in the fall of angels and human beings for breaking God's commandments. They also believe that Christ is coming soon in judgment. But when will the living be judged if we are alive when Jesus comes? Christ has a real problem. Satan is the accuser of the brethren. He says to Jesus, if you take one Christian to heaven that is still breaking the Ten Commandments, then you have to take me and all my fallen angels back into heaven as well. So Satan brings pressure on all Christians to keep them sinning on.
Satan's 'life insurance' depends on Christ's inability to have a commandment-keeping church at the judgment of the living.
When were the Ten Commandments given to Moses?
In 1450 B.C., but keep in mind that before Moses, Abraham already kept them [Genesis 26:5] and before that, it has always been in heaven under GOD'S throne [Hebrews 8:1-5]. The law is the knowledge of sin, Paul wrote [Rom.3:20] And he himself as a Pharisee had not known if it wasn't for this holy moral law [Rom.7:7]. And again, "Sin is the transgression of the law" [1.John 3:4].
The Commandments constitute the reason and ground of the atonement! [Romans 8:3+4]. it is one thing for man here on earth to lightly change the day of the Sabbath. It is another thing for them to touch the eternal law of GOD, which is the foundation of His throne in heaven above.
A copy of this law was kept in the sacred ark in the most holy place of the sanctuary on earth, a place which none but the high priest could ever enter. Its sacredness was such that when on a certain occasion a man touch the ark, he was immediately smitten. [1.Chronicles 13:9,10]. What would have happened if he had put his hand into the ark of the covenant and attempted to change GOD's writing on the tables? Yet men impiously consider such a possibility! They forget GOD's holiness and the sacredness of the law, not to mention the impossibility of changing what is engraved in stone by GOD's own finger!
No "day of the resurrection" is found in the New testament. The resurrection is experienced by the power of the risen Saviour, and not by liturgical practice associated with Sunday worship. Biblical institutions such as the Sabbath, Baptism, and the Lord's supper, all trace their origin to a divine act to establish them. But there is no such divine act for the institution of a weekly Sunday or annual Easter Sunday memorial of the resurrection.
Has the law of the Ten Commandments which is the ground of the at-one-ment and which necessitated the death of the Lord been changed? If the Sabbath command has been changed, have others also been changed? If the Ten Commandments have been changed, has the ground for the atonement also been changed? If so, did CHRIST die for one thing in the Old Testament and for another in the New?
Did GOD demand the death penalty for willful transgression of the Sabbath commandment the day before CHRIST died on the cross, and not the day after? Or is there a neutral zone as to the death penalty? Take away the law of the Ten Commandments, and there is no longer any need of atonement. on the other hand, if there is still atonement, there is still moral law.
The Westminster Confession of faith
"The moral law does forever bind all, as well as justified persons [by the blood of Jesus] as others, to the obedience thereof; and that not only in regard to that matter contained in it, but also in respect of the authority of God the Creator who gave it. Neither does Christ in the Gospel in any way dissolve but much strengthen this obligation.-chapter 19, art.5
People do not search Scriptures for themselves!
The people do not search the Scriptures for themselves, and judge for themselves as to what is truth; but they yield up their judgment, and commit their souls to their leaders. By His life and death, Christ proved that God's justice did not destroy His mercy, but that sin could be forgiven, and that the law is righteous; and can be perfectly obeyed. Satan's charges were refuted. God had given man unmistakable evidence of His love.
Another deception was now to be brought forward. Satan declared that mercy destroyed justice, that the death of Christ abrogated the Father's law. Had it been possible for the law to be changed or abrogated, then Christ need not have died. But to abrogate the law would be to immortalize transgression, and place the world under Satan's control. It was because the law is changeless, because man could be saved only through obedience to its precepts, that Jesus was lifted up on the cross. yet the very means by which Christ established the law Satan represented as destroying it. Here will come the last conflict of the great controversy between Christ and Satan.
That the law of the ten commandments was spoken by God's own voice is faulty, that some modification should be made, is the claim Satan now puts forward. It is the last great deception that he will bring upon the world. He needs not to assail the whole law of the ten commandments; if he can lead men to disregard one precept, his purpose is gained. For "whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all."--James 2:10. By consenting to break one precept, men are brought under Satan's power. By substituting human law for God's law, Satan will seek to control the world. This work is foretold in prophecy. Of the great apostate power which is the representative of Satan, it is declared: "He shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hands."--Daniel 7:25
John saw one door being opened in heaven [Revelation 11:19] in it he saw the ark of the testament. So which door did he see? The ark contains the Ten Commandments and therefore John saw the "Most Holy Place" [MHP]. Christ's Seventh-day Sabbath is in the center. So when was it opened?
The previous chapter holds the answer. In Rev.10 a mighty angel comes and makes a big announcement comparing it to the roar of a lion. When the lion roars in the jungle, everybody listens because he speaks with power. So with heaven's authority everyone should listen. The angel quotes from the fourth of the Ten Commandments and swears that prophetic time would be no longer. The book in the angel's hand was open. This infers that it was closed before just as the door in heaven.
The only closed prophetic book of the Bible is that of Daniel. It would be opened at the end of time. Here the great and bitter disappointment of 1844 A.D. is portrait and seen from the very next verse that the measuring or judgment in heaven is taking place. Here is the reason why Christians could not see it. It was because the door was closed.
The Ten Commandments: Exodus 20:2-17 by Dwight Moody
1. "I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me."
2. "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the Earth beneath, or that is in the water under the Earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My Commandments."
3. "Thou shalt not take the Name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh His Name in vain."
4. "Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the LORD made heaven and Earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath Day, and hallowed it."
5. "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee."
6. "Thou shalt not kill."
7. "Thou shalt not commit adultery."
8. "Thou shalt not steal."
9. "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor."
10. "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbour's."
Weighed in the Balances
IN THE FIFTH CHAPTER of Daniel we read the history of King Belshazzar. One chapter tells us all we know about him. One short sight of his career is all we have. He bursts in upon the scene and then disappears.
THE EASTERN FEAST
We are told that he made a great feast to a thousand of his lords and drank wine before them. In those days a feast in Eastern countries would sometimes last for six months. How long this feast had been going on we are not told, but in the midst of it, he
- "commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein. Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them. They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone." (Daniel 5:2-4)
While this impious act was being committed,
- "in the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote." (Daniel 5:5)
We are not told at what hour of the day or the night it happened. Perhaps it was midnight. Perhaps nearly all the guests were more or less under the influence of drink; but they were not so drunk but that they suddenly became sober as they saw something that was supernatural- a handwriting on the wall, right over the golden candlestick.
Every face turned deathly pale.
- "The king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another." (Daniel 5:6)
In haste he sent for his wisest men to come and read that handwriting on the wall. They came in one after another and tried to make it out; but they could not interpret it. The king promised that whoever could read it should be made the third ruler in the kingdom; that he should have gifts, and that a gold chain should be put around his neck. But the wise men tried in vain. The king was greatly troubled.
At last, in the midst of the consternation, the queen came in, and she told the monarch, if he would only send for one who used to interpret the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar, he could read the writing and tell him the interpretation thereof. So Daniel was sent for. He was very familiar with it. He knew his Father's handwriting.
- "This is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians." (Daniel 5:25-28)
If someone had told the king an hour before that the time had come when he must step into the balances and be weighed, he would have laughed at the thought. But the vital hour had come.
The weighing was soon over. The verdict was announced, and the sentence carried out.
- "In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom." (Daniel 5:30-31)
Darius and his army came marching down those streets. There was a clash of arms. Shouts of war and victory rent the air. That night the king's blood mingled with the wine of the banquet hall. Judgment came upon him unexpectedly, suddenly: and probably ninety-nine out of every hundred judgments come in this way. Death comes upon us unexpectedly; it comes upon us suddenly.
Perhaps you say: "I hope Mr. Moody is not going to compare me with that heathen king."
I tell you that a man who does evil in these gospel days is far worse than that king. We live in a land of Bibles. You can get the New Testament for a nickel, and if you haven't got a nickel, you can get it for nothing. Many societies will be glad to give it to you free. We live in the full blaze of Calvary. We live on this side of the cross, but Belshazzar lived more than five hundred years on the other side. He never heard of Jesus Christ. He never heard about the Son of God. He never heard about God except, perhaps, in connection with his father's remarkable vision. He probably had no portion of the Bible, and if he had, probably he didn't believe it. He had no godly minister to point Him to the Lamb of God.
Don't tell me that you are better than that king. I believe that he will rise in judgment and condemn many of us.
All this happened long centuries ago. Let us get down to this century, to this year, to ourselves. We will come to the present time. Let us imagine that now, while I am preaching, down come some balances from the throne of God. They are fastened to the very throne itself. It is a throne of equity, of justice. You and I must be weighed. I venture to say this would be a very solemn audience. There would be no tiring. There would be no indifference. No one would be thoughtless.
Some people have their own balances. A great many are making balances to be weighed in. But after all we must be weighed in God's balances, the balances of the sanctuary. It is a favorite thing with infidels to set their own standard, to measure themselves by other people. But that will not do in the Day of Judgment. Now we will use God's law as a balance weight. When men find fault with the lives of professing Christians, it is a tribute to the law of God.
"Tekel." It is a very short text. It is so short I am sure you will remember it: and that is my object, just to get people to remember God's own Word.
Let me call your attention to the fact that God wrote on the tables of stone at Sinai as well as on the wall of Belshazzar's palace.
These are the only messages to men that God has written with His own hand. He wrote the commandments out twice, and spoke them aloud in the hearing of Israel.
If it were known that God Himself were going to speak once again to man, what eagerness and excitement there would be! For nearly nineteen hundred years He has been silent. No inspired message has been added to the Bible for nearly nineteen hundred years. How eagerly all men would listen if God should speak once more. Yet men forget that the Bible is God's own Word, and that it is as truly His message today as when it was delivered of old. The law that was given at Sinai has lost none of its solemnity. Time cannot wear out its authority or the fact of its authorship.
I can imagine someone saying, "I won't be weighed by that law. I don't believe in it."
Now men may cavil as much as they like about other parts of the Bible, but I have never met an honest man that found fault with the Ten Commandments. Infidels may mock the Lawgiver and reject Him who has delivered us from the curse of the law, but they can't help admitting that the commandments are right. Renan said that they are for all nations, and will remain the commandments of God during all the centuries.
If God created this world, He must make some laws to govern it. In order to make life safe we must have good laws; there is not a country the sun shines upon that does not possess laws. Now this is God's law. It has come from on high, and infidels and skeptics have to admit that it is pure. Legislatures nearly all over the world adopt it as the foundation of their legal systems.
- "The Law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the Testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The Statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the Commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes." (Psalm 19:7-8)
Now the question for you and me is- are we keeping these commandments? Have we fulfilled all the requirements of the law? If God made us, as we know He did, He had a right to make that law; and if we don't use it aright it would have been better for us if we had never had it, for it will condemn us. We shall be found wanting. The law is all right, but are we right?
AN INFIDEL'S TESTIMONY
It is related of a clever infidel that he sought an acquaintance with the truths of the Bible, and began to read at the books of Moses. He had been in the habit of sneering at the Bible, and in order to be able to refute arguments brought by Christian men, he made up his mind, as he knew nothing about it, to read the Bible and get some idea of its contents. After he had reached the Ten Commandments, he said to a friend:
- "I will tell you what I used to think. I supposed that Moses was the leader of a horde of bandits; that, having a strong mind, he acquired great influence over a superstitious people; and that on Mount Sinai he played off some sort of fireworks to the amazement of his ignorant followers, who imagined in their fear and superstition that the exhibition was supernatural. I have been looking into the nature of that law. I have been trying to see whether I could add anything to it, or take anything from it, so as to make it better. Sir, I cannot! It is perfect!
"The first commandment directs us to make the Creator the object of our supreme love and reverence. That is right. If He be our Creator, Preserver, and Supreme Benefactor, we ought to treat Him, and none other, as such. The second forbids idolatry. That certainly is right. The third forbids profanity. The fourth fixes a time for religious worship. If there be a God, He ought surely to be worshiped. It is suitable that there should be an outward homage significant of our inward regard. If God be worshiped, it is proper that some time should be set apart for that purpose, when all may worship Him harmoniously, and without interruption. One day in seven is certainly not too much, and I do not know that it is too little.
"The fifth commandment defines the peculiar duties arising from family relations. Injuries to our neighbor are then classified by the moral law. They are divided into offenses against life, chastity, property, and character; and I notice that the greatest offense in each class is expressly forbidden. Thus the greatest injury to life is murder; to chastity, adultery; to property, theft; to character, perjury. Now the greatest offense must include the least of the same kind. Murder must include the least of the same kind. Murder must include every injury to life; adultery every injury to purity, and so of the rest. And the moral code is closed and perfected by a command forbidding every improper desire in regard to our neighbors.
"I have been thinking. Where did Moses get that law? I have read history. The Egyptians and the adjacent nations were idolaters; so were the Greeks and Romans; and the wisest or best Greeks or Romans never gave a code of morals like this. Where did Moses obtain that law, which surpasses the wisdom and philosophy of the most enlightened ages? He lived at a period comparatively barbarous; but he has given a law in which the learning and sagacity of all subsequent time can detect no flaw. Where did he obtain it? He could not have soared so far above his age as to have devised it himself. I am satisfied where he obtained it. It came down from heaven. It has convinced me of the truth of the religion of the Bible."
The former infidel remained to his death a firm believer in the truth of Christianity.
We call it the "Mosaic" law, but it has been well said that the commandments did not originate with Moses, nor were they done away with when the Mosaic law was fulfilled in Christ, and many of its ceremonies and regulations abolished. We can find no trace of the existence of any lawmaking body in those early times, no parliament, or congress that built up a system of laws. It has come down to us complete and finished, and the only satisfactory account is that which tells us that God Himself wrote the commandments on tables of stone.
Some people seem to think we have got beyond the commandments. What did Christ say?
- "Think not that I am come to destroy the Law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till Heaven and Earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled." (Matthew 5:17-18)
The commandments of God given to Moses in the Mount at Horeb are as binding today as ever they have been since the time they were proclaimed in the hearing of the people. The Jews said the law was not given in Palestine (which belonged to Israel), but in the wilderness, because the law was for all nations.
Jesus never condemned the law and the prophets, but He did condemn those who did not obey them. Because He gave new commandments, it does not follow that He abolished the old. Christ's explanation of them made them all the more searching. In His Sermon on the Mount, He carried the principles of the commandments beyond the mere letter. He unfolded them and showed that they embraced more, that they are positive as well as prohibitive. The Old Testament closes with these words:
- "Remember ye the Law of Moses My servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the Statutes and Judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the Earth with a curse." (Malachi 4:4-6)
Does that look as if the law of Moses was becoming obsolete?
The conviction deepens in me with the years that the old truths of the Bible must be stated and restated in the plainest possible language. I do not remember ever to have heard a sermon preached on the commandments. I have an index of two thousand five hundred sermons preached by Spurgeon, and not one of them selects its text from the first seventeen verses of Exodus 20. The people must be made to understand that the Ten Commandments are still binding, and that there is a penalty attached to their violation. We do not want a gospel of mere sentiment. The Sermon on the Mount did not blot out the Ten Commandments.
When Christ came He condensed the statement of the law into this form:
- "Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength... [and] thy neighbour as thyself." (Mark 12:30,31)
- "Love is the fulfilling of the Law." (Romans 13:10)
But does this mean that the detailed precepts of the Decalogue are superseded and have become back numbers? Does a father cease to give children rules to obey because they love him? Does a nation burn its statute books because the people have become patriotic? Not at all. And yet people speak as if the commandments do not hold for Christians because they have come to love God. Paul said:
- "Do we then make void the Law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the Law." (Romans 3:31)
It still holds good. The Commandments are necessary. So long as we obey, they do not rest heavy upon us; but as soon as we try to break away, we find they are like fences to keep us within bounds. Horses need bridles even after they have been properly broken in.
- "We know that the Law is good, if a man use it lawfully; knowing this, that the Law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine." (1 Timothy 1:8-10)
Now, my friend, are you ready to be weighed by this law of God? A great many people say that if they keep the commandments they do not need to be forgiven and saved through Christ. But have you kept them? I will admit that if you perfectly keep the commandments, you do not need to be saved by Christ; but is there a man in the wide world who can truly say that he has done this? Young lady, can you say: "I am ready to be weighed by the law."? Can you, young man? Will you step into the scales and be weighed one by one by the Ten Commandments?
Now face these Ten Commandments honestly and prayerfully. See if your life is right, and if you are treating God fairly. God's statutes are just, are they not? If they are right, let us see if we are right. Let us get alone with God and read His law- read it carefully and prayerfully, and ask Him to forgive us our sin and what He would have us to do.
The First Commandment
I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.
MY FRIEND, are you ready to be weighed against this commandment? Have you fulfilled, or are you willing to fulfill, all the requirements of this law? Put it into one of the scales, and step into the other. Is your heart set upon God alone? Have you no other God? Do you love Him above father or mother, the wife of your bosom, your children, home or land, wealth or pleasure?
If men were true to this commandment, obedience to the remaining nine would follow naturally. It is because they are unsound in this that they break the others.
FEELING AFTER GOD
Philosophers are agreed that even the most primitive races of mankind reach out beyond the world of matter to a superior Being. It is as natural for man to feel after God as it is for the ivy to feel after a support. Hunger and thirst drive man to seek for food, and there is a hunger of the soul that needs satisfying, too. Man does not need to be commanded to worship, as there is not a race so high or so low in the scale of civilization but has some kind of god. What he needs is to be directed aright.
This is what the first commandment is for. Before we can worship intelligently, we must know what or whom to worship. God does not leave us in ignorance. When Paul went to Athens, he found an altar dedicated to "The Unknown God," and he proceeded to tell of Him whom we worship. When God gave the commandments to Moses, He commenced with a declaration of His own character, and demanded exclusive recognition.
- "I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me." (Exodus 20:2-3)
Dr. Dale says these words have great significance. The Jews
- "knew Jehovah as the God who had held back the waves like a wall while they fled across the sea to escape the vengeance of their enemies; they knew Him as the God who had sent thunder, and lightning, and hail, plagues on cattle, and plagues on men, to punish the Egyptians and to compel them to let the children of Israel go; they knew Him as the God whose angel had slain the firstborn of their oppressors, and filled the land from end to end with death, and agony, and terror. He was the same God, so Moses and Aaron told them, who by visions and voices, in promises and precepts, had revealed Himself long before to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We learn what men are from what they say and from what they do. A biography of Luther gives us a more vivid and trustworthy knowledge of the man than the most philosophical essay on his character and creed. The story of his imprisonment and of his journey to Worms, his Letters, his Sermons, and his Table Talk, are worth more than the most elaborate speculations about him. The Jews learned what God is, not from theological dissertations on the Divine attributes, but from the facts of a Divine history. They knew Him for themselves in His own acts and in His own words."
Someone asked an Arab: "How do you know that there is a God?" "How do I know whether a man or a camel passed my tent last night?" he replied. God's footprints in nature and in our own experience are the best evidence of His existence and character.
ISRAELITES EXPOSED TO DANGER
Remember to whom this commandment was given, and we shall see further how necessary it was. The forefathers of the Israelites had worshiped idols, not many generations back. They had recently been delivered out of Egypt, a land of many gods. The Egyptians worshiped the sun, the moon, insects, animals, etc. The ten plagues were undoubtedly meant by God to bring confusion upon many of their sacred objects. The children of Israel were going up to take possession of a land that was inhabited by heathen, who also worshiped idols. There was therefore great need of such a commandment as this. There could be no right relationship between God and man in those days any more than today, until man understood that he must recognize God alone, and not offer Him a divided heart.
If He created us, He certainly ought to have our homage. Is it not right that He should have the first and only place in our affections?
This is one matter in which no toleration can be shown. Religious liberty is a good thing, within certain limits. But it is one thing to show toleration to those who agree on essentials, and another, to those who differ on fundamental beliefs. They were willing to admit any god to the Roman Pantheon. One reason the early Christians were persecuted was that they would not accept a place for Jesus Christ there. Napoleon is said to have entertained the idea of having separate temples in Paris for every known religion, so that every stranger should have a place of worship when attracted toward that city. Such plans are directly opposed to the Divine One. God sounded no uncertain note in this commandment. It is plain, unmistakable, uncompromising.
We may learn a lesson from the way a farmer deals with the little shoots that spring up around the trunk of an apple tree. They look promising, and one who has not learned better might welcome their growth. But the farmer knows that they will draw the life-sap from the main tree, injuring its prospects so that it will produce inferior fruit. He therefore takes his axe and his hoe, and cuts away these suckers. The tree then gives a more plentiful and finer crop.
"Thou shalt not" is the pruning-knife that God uses. From beginning to end, the Bible calls for wholehearted allegiance to Him. There is to be no compromise with other gods.
It took long years for God to impress this lesson upon the Israelites. He called them to be a chosen nation. He made them a peculiar people. But you will notice in Bible history that they turned away from Him continually, and were punished with plague, pestilence, war, and famine. Their sin was not that they renounced God altogether, but that they wanted to worship other gods beside Him. Take the case of Solomon as an example of the whole nation. He married heathen wives who turned away his heart after other gods, and built high places for their idols, and lent countenance to their worship. That was the history of frequent turnings of the whole nation away from God, until finally He sent them into captivity in Babylon and kept them there for seventy years. Since then the Jews have never turned to other gods.
Hasn't the church to contend with the same difficulty today? There are very few who in their hearts do not believe in God, but what they will not do is give Him exclusive right of way. Missionaries tell us that they could easily get converts if they did not require them to be baptized, thus publicly renouncing their idols. Many a person in our land would become a Christian if the gate was not so strait. Christianity is too strict for them. They are not ready to promise full allegiance to God alone. Many a professing Christian is a stumbling block because his worship is divided. On Sunday he worships God; on weekdays God has little or no place in his thoughts.
FALSE GODS IN AMERICA TODAY
YOU don't have to go to heathen lands today to find false gods. America is full of them. Whatever you make most of is your god. Whatever you love more than God is your idol. Many a man's heart is like some Kafirs' huts, so full of idols that there is hardly room to turn around. Rich and poor, learned and unlearned, all classes of men and women are guilty of this sin.
- "The mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself." (Isaiah 2:9)
A man may make a god of himself, of a child, of a mother, of some precious gift that God has bestowed upon him. He may forget the Giver and let his heart go out in adoration toward the gift.
Many make a god of pleasure; that is what their hearts are set on. If some old Greek or Roman came to life again and saw man in a drunken debauch, would he believe that the worship of Bacchus had died out? If he saw the streets of our large cities filled with harlots, would he believe that the worship of Venus had ceased?
Others take fashion as their god. They give their time and thought to dress. They fear what others will think of them. Do not let us flatter ourselves that all idolaters are in heathen countries.
With many it is the god of money. We haven't got through worshiping the golden calf yet. If a man will sell his principles for gold, isn't he making it a god? If he trusts in his wealth to keep him from want and to supply his needs, are not riches his god? Many a man says, "Give me money, and I will give you heaven. What care I for all the glories and treasures of heaven? Give me treasures here! I don't care for heaven! I want to be a successful businessman." How true are the words of Job:
- "If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence; If I rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much; If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness; And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand: This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above." (Job 31: 24-28)
But all false gods are not as gross as these. There is the atheist. He says that he does not believe in God; he denies His existence, but he can't help setting up some other god in His place. Voltaire said, "If there were no God, it would be necessary to invent one." So the atheist speaks of the Great Unknown, the First Cause, the Infinite Mind, etc. Then there is the deist. He is a man who believes in one God who caused all things; but he doesn't believe in revelation. He only accepts such truths as can be discovered by reason. He doesn't believe in Jesus Christ, or in the inspiration of the Bible. Then there is the pantheist, who says: "I believe that the whole universe is God. He is in the air, the water, the sun, the stars," the liar and the thief included.
MOSES FAREWELL MESSAGE
Let me call your attention to a verse in the thirty- second chapter of Deuteronomy, thirty-first verse:
- "For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges."
These words were uttered by Moses, in his farewell address to Israel. He had been with them forty years. He was their leader and instructor. All the blessings of heaven came to them through him. And now the old man is about to leave them. If you have never read his speech, do so. It is one of the best sermons in print. I know few sermons in the Old or New Testament that compare with it.
I can see Moses as he delivers this address. His natural activity has not abated. He still has the vigor of youth. His long white hair flows over his shoulders, and his venerable beard covers his breast. He throws down the challenge: "Their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges."
Has the human heart ever been satisfied with these false gods? Can pleasure or riches fill the soul that is empty of God? How about the atheist, the deist, the pantheist? What do they look forward to? Nothing! Man's life is full of trouble; but when the billows of affliction and disappointment are rising and rolling over them, they have no God to call upon. They shall
- "cry unto the gods unto whom they offer incense: but they shall not save them at all in the time of their trouble" (Jeremiah 11:12).
Therefore I contend "their rock is not as our Rock."
My friends, when the hour of affliction comes, they call in a minister to give consolation. When I was settled in Chicago, I used to be called out to attend many funerals. I would inquire what the man was in his belief. If I found out he was an atheist, or a deist, or a pantheist, when I went to the funeral and in the presence of his friends, said one word about that man's doctrine, they would feel insulted. Why is it that in a trying hour, when they have been talking all the time against God- why is it that in the darkness of affliction they call in believers in that God to administer consolation? Why doesn't the atheist preach no hereafter, no heaven, no God in the hour of affliction? This very fact is an admission that "their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges."
The deist says there is no use in praying, because nothing can change the decrees of deity; God never answers prayer. Is his rock as our Rock?
The Bible is true. There is only one God. How many men have said to me: "Mr. Moody, I would give the world if I had your faith, your consolation, the hope you have with your religion."
Isn't that a proof that their rock is not as our Rock?
Some years ago I went into a man's house, and when I commenced to talk about religion he turned to his daughter and said: "You had better leave the room. I want to say a few words to Mr. Moody." When she had gone, he opened a perfect torrent of infidelity upon me. "Why did you send your daughter out of the room before you said this?" I asked. "Well," he replied, "I did not think it would do her any good to hear what I said."
Is his rock as our Rock? Would he have sent his daughter out if he really believed what he said?
NO CONSOLATION EXCEPT IN GOD
No. There is no satisfaction for the soul except in the God of the Bible. We come back to Paul's words and get consolation for time and eternity:
- "We know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in Heaven or in Earth (as there be gods many, and lords many), but to us there is but one God, the Father, of Whom are all things, and we in Him; and one LORD Jesus Christ, by Whom are all things, and we by Him." (I Corinthians 8:4- 6)
My friend, can you say that sincerely? Is all your hope centered on God in Christ? Are you trusting Him alone? Are you ready to step into the scales and be weighed against this first commandment?
God will not accept a divided heart. He must be absolute monarch. There is not room in your heart for two thrones. Christ said:
- "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the One, and love the other; or else he will hold to the One, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." (Matthew 6: 24)
Mark you, He did not say, "No man shall serve ... Ye shall not serve" but "No man can serve.. .Ye cannot serve." That means more than a command; it means that you cannot mix the worship of the true God with the worship of another god any more than you can mix oil and water. It cannot be done. There is not room for any other throne in the heart if Christ is there. If worldliness should come in, godliness would go out.
The road to heaven and the road to hell lead in different directions. Which master will you choose to follow? Be an out-and-out Christian. Him only shall you serve. Only thus can you be well pleasing to God. The Jews were punished with seventy years of captivity because they worshiped false gods. They have suffered nineteen hundred years because they rejected the Messiah. Will you incur God's displeasure by rejecting Christ too? He died to save you. Trust Him with your whole heart, for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness.
I believe that when Christ has the first place in our hearts- when the kingdom of God is first in everything- we shall have power, and we shall not have power until we give Him His rightful place. If we let some false god come in and steal our love away from the God of heaven, we shall have no peace or power.
The Fourth Commandment
Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the LORD made heaven and Earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath Day, and hallowed it.
If the Sabbath is just a law God made and which we keep religiously, it may well be a sign of legalism. I believe that God put His Sabbath in the heart of His law especially to combat legalism. It is though He said, "Don't get the idea that I am giving you ten tips on how to earn My love. Remember Eden's rest. You didn't have to earn My love then and you can't earn it now. Just rest in My love and show Me your love by obeying.
THERE HAS BEEN an awful letting-down in this country regarding the Sabbath during the last twenty-five years, and many a man has been shorn of spiritual power, like Samson, because he is not straight on this question. Can you say that you observe the Sabbath properly? You may be a professed Christian: are you obeying this commandment? Or do you neglect the house of God on the Sabbath day, and spend your time drinking and carousing in places of vice and crime, showing contempt for God and His law? Are you ready to step into the scales? Where were you last Sabbath? How did you spend it?
I honestly believe that this commandment is just as binding today as it ever was. I have talked with men who have said that it has been abrogated, but they have never been able to point to any place in the Bible where God repealed it. When Christ was on earth, He did nothing to set it aside; He freed it from the traces under which the scribes and Pharisees had put it, and gave it its true place.
- "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath." (Mark 2:27)
It is just as practicable and as necessary for men today as it ever was- in fact, more than ever, because we live in such an intense age.
The Sabbath was binding in Eden, and it has been in force ever since. The fourth commandment begins with the word remember, showing that the Sabbath already existed when God wrote this law on the tables of stone at Sinai. How can men claim that this one commandment has been done away with when they will admit that the other nine are still binding?
I believe that the Sabbath question today is a vital one for the whole country. It is the burning question of the present time. If you give up the Sabbath the church goes; if you give up the church the home goes; and if the home goes the nation goes. That is the direction in which we are traveling.
The church of God is losing its power on account of so many people giving up the Sabbath, and using it to promote selfishness.
HOW TO OBSERVE THE SABBATH
"Sabbath" means "rest," and the meaning of the word gives a hint as to the true way to observe the day. God rested after creation, and ordained the Sabbath as a rest for man. He blessed it and hallowed it. Remember the rest-day to keep it holy. It is the day when the body may be refreshed and strengthened after six days of labor, and the soul drawn into closer fellowship with its Maker.
True observance of the Sabbath may be considered under two general heads:
- cessation from ordinary secular work, and
- religious exercises.
1. CESSATION FROM SECULAR WORK
A man ought to turn aside from his ordinary employment one day in seven. There are many whose occupation will not permit them to observe Sunday, but they should observe some other day as a Sabbath. Saturday is my day of rest, because I generally preach on Sunday, and I look forward to it as a boy does to a holiday. God knows what we need.
Ministers and missionaries often tell me that they take no rest-day; they do not need it because they are in the Lord's work. That is a mistake. When God was giving Moses instructions about the building of the tabernacle, He referred especially to the Sabbath, and gave injunctions for its strict observance; and later, when Moses was conveying the words of the Lord to the children of Israel, he interpreted them by saying that not even were sticks to be gathered on the sabbath to kindle fires for smelting or other purposes. Inspite of their zeal and haste to erect the tabernacle, the workmen were to have their day of rest. The command applies to ministers and others managed in Christian work today as much as to those Israelite workmen of old.
- WORKS OF NECESSITY AND OF EMERGENCY
- In judging whether any work may or may not be lawfully done on the Sabbath, find out the reason and object for doing it. Exceptions are to be made for works of necessity and works of emergency. By "works of necessity" I mean those acts that Christ justified when He approved of leading one's ox or ass to water. Watchmen, police, stokers on board steamers, and many others have engagements that necessitate their working on the sabbath. By "works of emergency" I mean those referred to by Christ when He approved of pulling an ox or an ass out of a pit on the sabbath day. In case of fire or sickness a man is often called on to do things that would not otherwise be justifiable.
A Christian man was once urged by his employer to work on Sunday. "Does not your Bible say that if your ass falls into a pit on the Sabbath, you may pull him out?" "Yes," replied the other;"but if the ass had the habit of falling into the same pit every Sabbath, I would either fill up the pit or sell the ass."
Every man must settle the question as it affects unnecessary work, with his own conscience.
No man should make another work seven days in the week. One day is demanded for rest. A man who has to work the seven days has nothing to look forward to, and life becomes humdrum. Many Christians are guilty in this respect.
- SABBATH TRAVELING
- Take, for instance, the question of Sabbath traveling. I believe we are breaking God's laws by using the cars on Sunday and depriving conductors and others of their Sabbath. Remember, the fourth commandment expressly refers to the "stranger that is within thy gates." Doesn't that touch Sabbath travel?
But you ask, "What are we to do? How are we to get to church?"
I reply, on foot. It will be better for you. Once when I was holding meetings in London, in my ignorance I made arrangements to preach four times in different places one Sabbath. After I had made the appointments I found I had to walk sixteen miles; but I walked it, and I slept that night with a clear conscience. I have made it a rule never to use the cars, and if I have a private carriage, I insist that horse and man shall rest on Monday. I want no hackman to rise up in judgment against me.
My friends, if we want to help the Sabbath, let business men and Christians never patronize cars on the Sabbath. I would hate to own stock in those companies, to be the means of taking the Sabbath from these men, and have to answer for it at the day of judgment. Let those who are Christians at any rate endeavor to keep a conscience void of offense on this point.
- SABBATH TRADING
- There are many who are inclined to use the Sabbath in order to make money faster. This is no new sin. The prophet Amos hurled his invectives against oppressors who said, "Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the Sabbath, that we may set forth wheat?" (Amos 8:5)
Covetous men have always chafed under the restraint, but not until the present time do we find that they have openly counted on Sabbath trade to make money. We are told that many street car companies would not pay if it were not for the Sabbath traffic, and the Sabbath edition of newspapers is also counted upon as the most profitable.
The railroad men of this country are breaking down with softening of the brain, and die at the age of fifty or sixty. They think their business is so important that they must run their trains seven days in the week. Businessmen travel on the Sabbath so as to be on hand for business Monday morning. But if they do so God will not prosper them.
Work is good for man and is commanded, "Six days shalt thou labor"; but overwork and work on the Sabbath takes away the best thing he has.
- NECESSARY AND BENEFICIAL
- The good effect on a nation's health and happiness produced by the return of the Sabbath, with its cessation from work, cannot be overestimated. It is needed to repair and restore the body after six days of work. It is proved that a man can do more in six days than in seven. Lord Beaconsfield said: "Of all divine institutions, the most divine is that which secures a day of rest for man. I hold it to be the most valuable blessing conceded to man. It is the cornerstone of all civilization, and its removal might affect even the health of the people."
Mr. Gladstone recently told a friend that the secret of his long life is that amid all the pressure of public cares he never forgot the Sabbath, with its rest for the body and the soul. The constitution of the United States protects the president in his weekly day of rest. He has ten days, "Sundays excepted," in which to consider a bill that has been sent to him for signature. Every workingman in the republic ought to be as thoroughly protected as the president. If workingmen got up a strike against unnecessary work on the Sabbath, they would have the sympathy of a good many.
"Our bodies are seven-day clocks," says Talmage, "and they need to be wound up, and if they are not wound up they run down into the grave. No man can continuously break the Sabbath and keep his physical and mental health. Ask aged men, and they will tell you they never knew men who continuously broke the Sabbath who did not fail in mind, body, or moral principles."
All that has been said about rest for man is true for working animals. God didn't forget them in this commandment, and man should not forget them either.
2. RELIGIOUS ACTIVITY
But "rest" does not mean idleness. No man enjoys idleness for any length of time. When one goes on a vacation, one does not lie around doing nothing all that time. Hard work at tennis, hunting, and other pursuits fills the hours. A healthy mind must find something to do.
Hence the Sabbath rest does not mean inactivity. "Satan finds some mischief still for idle hands to do." The best way to keep off bad thoughts and to avoid temptation is to engage in active religious exercises.
As regards these, we should avoid extremes. On the one hand we find a rigor in Sabbath observance that is nowhere commanded in Scripture, and that reminds one of the formalism of the Pharisees more than of the spirit of the Gospel. Such strictness does more harm than good. It repels people and makes the Sabbath a burden. On the other hand, we should jealously guard against a loose way of keeping the Sabbath. Already in many cities it is profaned openly.
When I was a boy, the Sabbath lasted from sundown on Saturday to sundown on Sunday, and I remember how we boys used to shout when it was over. It was the worst day in the week to us. I believe it can be made the brightest day in the week. Every child ought to be reared so that he shall be able to say that he would rather have the other six days weeded out of his memory than the Sabbath of his childhood.
- PUBLIC WORSHIP
- Make the Sabbath a day of religious activity. First of all, of course, is attendance at public worship. "There is a discrepancy," says John McNeill, "between our creed about the Sabbath day and our actual conduct. In many families, at ten o'clock on the Sabbath, attendance at church is still an open question. There is no open question on Monday morning- 'John, will you go to work today.'"
A minister rebuked a farmer for not attending church, and said, "You know, John, you are never absent from market."
"Oh," was the reply, "we must go to market."
Someone has said that without the Sabbath, the Church of Christ could not, as a visible organization, exist on earth. Another has said that "we need to be in the drill of observance as well as in the liberty of faith." Human nature is so treacherous that we are apt to omit things altogether unless there is some special reason for doing them. A man is not likely to worship at all unless he has regularly appointed times and means for worship. Family and private devotions are almost certain to be omitted altogether unless one gets into the habit and has a special time set apart daily.
- A REMINISCENCE
- I remember blaming my mother for sending me to church on the Sabbath. On one occasion the preacher had to send someone into the gallery to wake me up. I thought it was hard to have to work in the field all the week and then to be obliged to go to church and hear a sermon I didn't understand. I thought I wouldn't go to church anymore when I got away from home; but I had got so in the habit of going that I couldn't stay away. After one or two Sabbaths, back again to the house of God I went. There I first found Christ, and I have often said since, "Mother, I thank you for making me go to the house of God when I didn't want to go."
Parents, if you want your children to grow up and honor you, have them honor the Sabbath day. Don't let them go off fishing and getting into bad company, or it won't be long before they will come home and curse you. I know few things more beautiful than to see a father and mother coming up the aisle with their daughters and sons, and sitting down together to hear the Word of God. It is a good thing to have the children, not in some remote loft or gallery, but in a good place, well in sight. Though they cannot understand the sermon now, when they get older they won't desire to break away, they will continue attending public worship in the house of God.
But we must not mistake the means for the end. We must not think that the Sabbath is just for the sake of being able to attend meetings. There are some people who think they must spend the whole day at meetings or private devotions. The result is that at nightfall they are tired out, and the day has brought them no rest. The number of church services attended ought to be measured by the person's ability to enjoy them and get good from them, without being wearied. Attending meetings is not the only way to observe the Sabbath. The Israelites were commanded to keep it in their dwellings as well as in holy convocation. The home, that center of so great influence over the life and character of the people, ought to be made the scene of true Sabbath observance.
- HOME OBSERVANCE
- Jeremiah classified godless families with the heathen: "Pour out Thy fury upon the heathen that know Thee not, and upon the families that call not on Thy name: for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate." (10:25)
Many mothers have written to me at one time or another to know what to do to entertain their children on the Sabbath. The boys say, "I do wish 'twas night," or, "I do hate the Sabbath," or, "I do wish the Sabbath were over." It ought to be the happiest day in the week to them, one to be looked forward to with pleasure. In order to this end, many suggestions might be followed. Make family prayers especially attractive by having the children learn some verse or story from the Bible. Give more time to your children than you can give on weekdays, reading to them and perhaps taking them to walk in the afternoon or evening. Show by your conduct that the Sabbath is a delight, and they will soon catch your spirit. Set aside some time for religious instruction, without making this a task. You can make it interesting for the children by telling Bible stories and asking them to guess the names of the characters. Have Sunday games for the younger children. Picture books, puzzle maps of Palestine, and such things can be easily obtained. Sunday albums and Sunday clocks are other devices. Set aside attractive books for the Sabbath, not letting the children have these during the week. By doing this, the children can be brought to look forward to the day with eagerness and pleasure.
- PRIVATE OBSERVANCE
- Apart from public and family observance, the individual ought to devote a portion of the time to his own edification. Prayer, meditation, reading, ought not to be forgotten. Think of men devoting six days a week to their body, which will soon pass away, and begrudging one day to the soul, which will live on and on forever! Is it too much for God to ask for one day to be devoted to the growth and training of the spiritual senses, when the other senses are kept busy the other six days?
If your circumstances permit, engage in some definite Christian work, such as teaching in Sunday school, or visiting the sick. Do all the good you can. Sin keeps no Sabbath, and no more should good deeds. There is plenty of opportunity in this fallen world to perform works of mercy and religion. Make your Sabbath down here a foretaste of the eternal Sabbath that is in store for believers.
You want power in your Christian life, do you? You want Holy Ghost power? You want the dew of heaven on your brow? You want to see men convicted and converted? I don't believe we shall ever have genuine conversions until we get straight on this law of God.
Men seem to think they have a right to change the holy day into a holiday. The young have more temptations to break the Sabbath than we had forty years ago. There are three great temptations: first the trolley car, that will take you off into the country for a nickel to have a day of recreation; second, the bicycle, which is leading a good many Christian men to give up their Sabbath and spend the day on excursions; and the third, the Sunday newspaper.
Twenty years ago Christian people in Chicago would have been horrified if anyone had prophesied that all the theaters would be open every Sabbath; but that is what has come to pass. If it had been prophesied twenty years ago that Christian men would take a wheel and go off on Sunday morning and be gone all day on an excursion, Christians would have been horrified and would have said it was impossible; but that is what is going on today all over the country.
- THE SUNDAY NEWSPAPER
- With regard to the Sunday newspaper, I know all the arguments that are brought in its favor- that the work on it is done during the week, that it is the Monday paper that causes Sunday work, and so on. But there are two hundred thousand newsboys selling the paper on Sunday. Would you like to have your boy one of them? Men are kept running trains in order to distribute the papers. Would you like your Sabbath taken away from you? If not, then practice the Golden Rule, and don't touch the papers.
- Their contents make them unfit for reading any day, not to say Sunday. Some New York dailies advertise Sunday editions of sixty pages. Many dirty pieces of scandal in this and other countries are raked up and put into them. "Eight pages of fun!"- that is splendid reading for Sunday, isn't it? Even when a so-called sermon is printed, it is completely buried by the fiction and news matter. It is time that ministers went into their pulpits and preached against Sunday newspapers if they haven't done it already.
Put the man in the scales that buys and reads Sunday papers. After reading them for two or three hours he might go and hear the best sermon in the world, but you couldn't preach anything into him. His mind is filled up with what he has read, and there is no room for thoughts of God. I believe that the archangel Gabriel himself could not make an impression on an audience that has its head full of such trash. If you bored a hole into a man's head, you could not inject any thoughts of God and heaven.
I don't believe that the publishers would allow their own children to read them. Why then should they give them to my children and to yours?
A merchant who advertises in Sunday papers is not keeping the Sabbath. It is a master-stroke of the devil to induce Christian men to do this in order to make trade for Monday. But if a man makes money, and yet his sons are ruined and his home broken up, what has he gained?
Ladies buy the Sunday papers and read the advertisements of Monday bargains to see what they can buy cheap. Just so with their religion. They are willing to have it if it doesn't cost anything. If Christian men and women refused to buy them, if Christian merchants refused to advertise in them, they would soon die out, because that is where they get most of their support.
They tell me the Sunday paper has come to stay, and I may as well let it alone. Never! I believe it is a great evil, and I shall fight it while I live. I never read a Sunday paper, and wouldn't have one in my house. They are often sent me, but I tear them up without reading them. I will have nothing to do with them. They do more harm to religion than any other one agency I know. Their whole influence is against keeping the Sabbath holy. They are an unnecessary evil. Can't a man read enough news on weekdays without desecrating the Sabbath? We had no Sunday papers till the war came, and we got along very well without them. They have been increasing in size and in number ever since then, and I think they have been lowering their tone ever since. If you believe that, help to fight them too. Stamp them out, beginning with yourself.
PUNISHMENT OR BLESSING?
No nation has ever prospered that has trampled the Sabbath in the dust. Show me a nation that has done this and I will show you a nation that has got in it the seeds of ruin and decay. I believe that Sabbath desecration will carry a nation down quicker than anything else. Adam brought marriage and the Sabbath with him out of Eden, and neither can be disregarded without suffering. When the children of Israel went into the Promised Land, God told them to let their land rest every seven years, and He would give them as much in six years as in seven. For four hundred and ninety years they disregarded that law. But mark you, Nebuchadnezzar came and took them off into Babylon, and kept them seventy years in captivity, and the land had its seventy sabbaths of rest. Seven times seventy is four hundred and ninety. So they did not gain much by breaking this law. You can give God His day, or He will take it.
On the other hand, honoring the fourth commandment brings blessing:
- "If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it." (Isaiah 58:13-14)
I do not know what will become of this republic if we give up our Christian Sabbath. If Satan can break the conscience down on one point, he can break it down on all. When I was in France in 1867, I could not tell one day from the other. On Sunday, stores were open and buildings were erected, the same as on other days. See how quickly that country went down. One hundred years ago France and England stood abreast in the march of nations. Where do they stand today? France undertook to wipe out the Sabbath, and has pretty nearly wiped itself out, while England belts the globe.
- A FIRM STAND
- We have a fighting chance to save this nation, and what we want is men and women who have moral courage to stand up and say:
- "No, I will not touch the Sunday paper, and all the influence I have I will throw dead against it. I will not go away on Saturday evening if I have to travel on Sunday to get back. I will not do unnecessary work on the Sabbath. I will do all I can to keep it holy as God commanded."
But someone says: "Mr. Moody, what are you going to do? I have to work seven days a week or starve."
Then starve! Wouldn't it be a grand thing to have a martyr in the nineteenth century? "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church." Someone says the seed is getting very low; it has been a long time since we have had any seed. I would give something to erect a monument to such a martyr for his fidelity to God's law. I would go around the world to attend his funeral.
We want today men who will make up their minds to do what is right and stand by it if the heavens tumble on their heads. What is to become of Christian Associations and Sunday schools, of churches and Christian Endeavor societies, if the Christian Sabbath is given up to recreation and made a holiday? Hasn't the time come to call a halt if men want power with God? Let men call you narrow and bigoted, but be man enough to stand by God's law, and you will have power and blessing. That is the kind of Christianity we want just now in this country. Any man can go with the crowd, but we want men who will go against the current.
Sabbath-breaker, are you ready to step into the scales?
- PUBLISHER'S NOTE: The author of this book was not an advocate of the tenets of Seventh Day Adventism.
Can you answer this?
On the 24th day of October, 1895, a great mass meeting of ministers of all denominations was called to meet in the Methodist Episcopal church in Baltimore County, Maryland, U.S.A. The purpose of this meeting was to endeavour to call a halt in the matter of Sunday law violations.
Among the invitations to attend this mass meeting, one was extended to a Roman Catholic priest, Father M. O'Keefe, pastor of a Roman Catholic church at Towson, Maryland. But the Roman Catholic priest declined the invitation and refused to attend the mass meeting on the basis that the so-called Protestant clergyman were en- deavouring to bring about a more strict observance of Sunday in the name of religion. The priest took vigorous exception to the claims made for Sunday, as set forth by Protestant ministers, from which we make the following very interesting quotation:-
"Reverend Sirs, let me admonish you that no Protestant true to the principles of his religion and conscientiously obedient to his teacher, the Bible, need ever have misgivings as regards the freedom of Sunday; nay, more, his teacher is consistent in impressing on him in every page of the New Testament as well as of the Old, that God has appointed the Sabbath, or Saturday, as the day set apart by Him for His worship.
"Our Saviour, while on earth, kept no other day; and we learn that for over thirty years after His death, the Acts of the Apostles record the fact that the apostles consistently kept their divine Master's Sabbath (the Sabbath which the Jews have kept ever since for over eighteen centuries, they having the same teacher, the Bible, as you have) according to the practice and teachings of Christ and His apostles, without modification, as testified by the New Testament from Matthew's gospel to the Revelation. This statement is absolutely true and unsusceptible of successful contradiction.
"Imagine then, my surprise on reading the city papers yesterday of the anomalous and self-stultifying position occupied by you, as accredited ministers of the Christian religion, laying snares and traps to inveigle the unwary that you might drag them before the civil courts for violation of a purely civil law, forbidding the sale of liquor on the first day of the week. On what grounds, may I ask, can you justify such proceedings? How were these people interfering with you in the practice of your religious acts? Place your finger on any page of your acknowledged divine teacher, the Bible, and show the world the proof that, on your own principles, they had violated any ordinance of the Christian religion. I hereby denounce your conduct in this matter as not only highly reprehensible, but as being in direct violation of the revealed will of God as taught by your Bible.
"You had succeeded in getting a verdict against them before the civil courts for transgression against the civil law. I now, in the presence of the public, pronounce you, on your principles, guilty of the grossest misdemeanor, thousands of times over, against the divine law. "When, let me ask you, have you even once, in your lifetime, kept the commandment of God: 'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy'? Which day is the Sabbath? I answer: 'The last day of the week, the day kept by God Himself, and for that reason assigned by Him for observance by man, the Sabbath, or the day kept by the Redeemer and His apostles whilst they lived on earth.'
"You pose before the world as models of Christian morality, and behold, every week of your lives you are guilty of gross violation of one of God's most positive precepts, "Remember the Sabbath", etc. Let me illustrate in order to prove God's earnestness in this respect: 'And it came to pass when the children of Israel were in the wilderness, and had found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day; and they brought him to Moses and Aaron, and the whole multitude. And they put him into prison, not knowing what they should do with him, and the Lord said to Moses: 'Let that man die, let all the multitude stone him without the camp. And when they had brought him out, they stoned him and he died as the Lord commanded.' Num. 15:32-36
"Such, Reverend Sirs, was the punishment meted out by the command of God to a man who was guilty by once of an infraction of the law of the Sabbath, whilst each one of you is guilty of a similar desecration of the Sabbath (Saturday) each Saturday of his life -- and this on the unerring testimony of your own teacher, the Bible. 'Out of thy mouth I judge thee, thou wicked servant.'
"Nor have God's counsels changed by the exercise of infinite patience. He can afford to bide His time for the vindication of His authority and contempt of His commands. The precept, 'Remember the Lord's day to keep it holy', is as obligatory now as it was in the old law, as in the instance above quoted. Can you offer the slightest pretext or palliation for your abandonment of your teacher, the Bible, which enjoins absolutely the keeping of that day, kept by God Himself first, after the creation? You pursued the violation of the civil law unrelentingly and did not cease, until you secured a conviction. How, may I ask, will you fare when cited before the divine tribunal, and compelled to answer from the pages of the Divine Record, which you boast of as your guide, and the truth is, you have never once obeyed the Sabbath precept, and that you stand today before heaven and earth as the most unmitigated Sabbath-breakers on earth? Do I exaggerate in the slightest degree the unscrupulous antagonism to the law of the Sabbath evinced by you, every week of your lives? Not in the least....... I have already designated you, among the champion Sabbath-breakers on earth, as God's Word, your guide, proves you to be."
---A tract by Evangelist George Burnside
Nothing is more debated in the New Testament than the Seventh Day Sabbath between the Jews and Jesus. His miracles usually took place on the holy Sabbath, the fourth of the Ten Commandments. Because evil forces had that sacred day so defaced and turned into a revolting heavy burden that no one wanted to keep it holy anyway.
This Jesus came to rectify by declaring Himself Lord of that day and showing us how it really benefits us for our good always. Rather than preaching against His own day like it is so popular to do in modern Christianity (it never was that way before), Jesus relaxed purposefully, the hundreds of extra by-laws like forbidding to pluck corn in the field as the disciples did. Rolling them in their hands to get the husk off was considered threshing.
Commandments are not options but what is commanded us, unlike the Jewish Torah people are trying to tell us. They call it' Aseres Hodibros', meaning, the 'Ten Statements' and they added 613 Torah Laws. But God tells me that there are only Ten, and they are plenty for us today.
Luther and Justice Lee Roy Moore may look like the Ten Commandments advocates, but they are far removed from the real thing seen in the Bible. See Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5
Without the fourth command the other nine could belong to any God, but Paul preached on Mars Hill about the unknown God to the Greeks and declared to them the God who made heaven and earth, and this is none other than Jesus Christ who is God made flesh.
The Ten Commandments and Roman Catholic Dispensation
Latin: dispensatio. It is also a Roman Catholic license to sin. The Priest or Bishop as superior grants dispensation, i.e. relaxes the Law, especially the Ten Commandments Law and allows you to sin.
The Roman Catholic Church claims prerogative over Christ's words, whosoever sin you remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosoever sin you retain, they are retained. If this is being mis-used to give license to sin, than Christ died in vain. The crucifixion of Christ is made a mockery.
Besides, they appeal to the fact that the Sabbath was changed to Sunday-contrary, as they say, to the Ten Commandments. No case is appealed to and urged so insistently as the change of the Sabbath, for thereby they (Catholics) wish to maintain that the power of the church is indeed great because the church has dispensed (dispensation) from and altered part of the Ten Commandments.---Augsburg Confession,p.50,1980
The Ten Commandments and the Protestant Dispensation originated with Protestant John Darby and the Brethren Movement in the 1830's. It promotes the idea that God was all Judge and no Mercy in the old testament and that He became a Santa in the new. His writings became footnotes of the 'Schoefield reference Bible' and exported from England to America where they became the text book for all Protestant Seminaries and Colleges.
They teach that in the old testament people were saved by keeping the law, but in the new testament or rather the new dispensation, they are saved by grace doing away with the 10 Commandments. This teaching is not only contrary to the Bible but also to reason itself. If this were true, then the men who lived before Christ's time would have been able to save themselves by their own works. While those who have lived since Christ's ministry on earth, finding themselves powerless to meet the obligation of God's law, have been obliged to depend wholly on Christ for salvation. Therefore the doctrine that men were saved by law in the old dispensation and one saved by grace in the new, makes a divided heaven.
In this doctrine, those saved before Christ's death will be extolling their own virtues that entitled them to heaven. The truth is that the old testament teaches the same Saviour from sin, namely the "Lamb of God" that takes away our sin, Jesus Christ!
That men were not saved by works in the old dispensation is clearly stated by the apostle Paul: 'even as David also describes the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputes righteousness without works'.- Romans 4:6. In David's time, therefore, it is clear that men understood salvation by grace without the works of the law. the sacrificial law of the old testament taught that blood and God does the saving and not we ourselves, just as it is now. Their problem, so Paul tells us, was that they did not seek salvation by faith as a nation.- Romans 9:32; Hebrews 4:2
The difference between those who were saved individually, is that by faith they looked forward to Christ and we by faith look back. Jesus Christ is to us the power of God and there is no other name whereby we must be saved (Acts 10:43). There can be only one true Gospel. That which Paul preached to the Galatians and to the Corinthians: 'Jesus Christ and Him crucified', was the Gospel preached by Noah, Enoch, Abraham, Moses and Isaiah.-Acts 10:43
There are no two standards of right and wrong. That which brings a curse today would have produced it 5000 years ago. The way of salvation has been exactly the same in every age. The Gospel preached to Abraham.-Galatians 3:8. Dispensation given to the apostle Paul as a revelation and not as a time schedule or excuse to do away with God's holy moral law, as they would have us believe.- see Ephesians 3:2 Romans 3:31; 7:7,12,14; 8:3,4,7; 1.Cor.7:19; James 2:8-12; Revelation 14:12; Matthew 5:17-19 etc.
I here with challenge all Antinomian Heretics of lawlessness in Protestantism to repent and turn back while there is still time left before human probation closes. Not in order to save yourselves by it (legalism), but because you have once received the new heart and love from God and the power of his spirit for obedience of faith.
"We ought to obey God rather then man.......and so is also the Holy Spirit whom God has given to them that obey Him".---Acts 5:29,32).
The Ten Commandments and some Protestant Daughters of Babylon the great
The 1830's are the start of Protestants falling. This was the start of the great heresy of Antinomianism ( lawlessness ). (here also Protestantism broke up into many splinter groups)
The Church of Rome only removed two of the ten commandments of which the bible says that you are guilty of violating all ten and therefore become the man of sin and lawlessness. (James 2:8-12).
Rome calls herself the Mother of Christendom and the Protestants her naughty daughters run away from home (Rev.17). Since 1830 her daughters started to turn around on their way home. Whereas the Mother was called Antichrist, her daughters are now outdoing the mother by doing away with all ten of the commandments and nailing them to the cross.
Jesus came to promote His holy law of morality, the ten commandments (Matthew 5:17-19) where He indicates that it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away that the tiniest little bit from His ten commandments.
And speaking of the new heaven and the new earth God will create, from one Sabbath to the next Sabbath shall all flesh come to worship before Me, says the Lord.---Isaiah 66:22,23
Then Jesus was asked how to have eternal life, and He answered by keeping the ten commandments (Matth.19:16-19) and because Jesus knows we cannot keep them in our own strength, added, and come and follow Me (v.21).
Most Protestants are now saying that there is no difference between God's holy moral law of the ten commandments and the ceremonial law of Moses so that they can better do away with both. But Jesus makes a difference by saying that the law and the prophets were until John (meaning the Baptist) but that the ten commandments keep on going (Luke 16:16)
Paul also makes a line between the ceremonial and moral law by saying, circumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God (1.Cor.7:19).
God called for an opposition to this declaration of lawlessness and sin by raising up men like Bengel in Germany, Edward Irvine in the British Isles, Wolff a Jew in Asia and William Miller a Baptist in the new world, the Americas. They were directed to the heavenly sanctuary or temple of God where the ten commandments are deposited under God's throne or mercy seat called the 'ark' or chest and it is not the ark of Noah.
Great ignorance regarding God's temple in Christianity misled these brethren to look down here and thought it was this earth Jesus was coming to cleanse it by fire and brimstone.
We Christians are commanded to worship God in heaven directly by entering the holy of holiest by faith (Hebr.10:19) by the blood of Jesus who died for us so that His glorious righteousness of the ten commandments law finds a home inside us (Romans 8:3+4).
But fallen Protestants are now saying that there is no sanctuary in heaven and that Jesus is now our new temple. In Revelation 14:17 it says, "And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven." Q.: "Is the angel coming out of Jesus"? This is not just a gross misinterpretation of the bible, but utter nonsense. Light becomes darkness whenever we reject any truth of God. If Jesus was the Sanctuary Temple of God in heaven, then Dan. 8:14 the cleansing of the Temple at the end of the 2300 days of years prophecy would suggest that it was Jesus that needed cleansing, and this borders on blasphemy.
But instead of Jesus returning back to this earth, He came to His Father, the 'Ancient' of days surrounded by clouds of angels to sit in judgment (Dan.7:9-13), the day of Atonement.
LAODECEA (Rev.3) means judging the people to show us that we are living in the time of God's judgment now. We are told to worship in the holy of holiest above by faith. In 1844, it was Methodist Protestant Hiram Edson who first saw the ark in the open temple in heaven on judgment day (Rev.11:19,18) and it contains the ten commandments (1.Kings8:9).
And notice that the dead stand before God in judgment now and not in real life (Rev.11:18; 20:12). The measuring of the worshippers (us), in the Temple above, is a type of judging and Jesus is measuring up a new wedding suit tailor made. At this wedding, Jesus is said to coming in to inspect the guests (Matth.22 ; Revel.11:1,2).
The garment of salvation (Isa.61:10) is a robe of righteousness provided by Jesus and our own righteousness is as filthy rags (Isa.64:6). This kind of moral righteousness is only found in the ten commandments. If it was so easy to set them aside, Jesus would have spared the agony of the cross. But He came to magnify the law and make it honorable (Isa.42:21; cf. Matth.5:17-19) and that it may find fulfillment inside us (Rom.8:3+4).
Most Protestants interpret the word fulfill in Matthew 5:17 as meaning that Jesus came to do away with the ten commandments so they can get rid of Christ's seventh day Sabbath of the fourth commandment. If this was so, then this verse would read: " I came not to destroy the Law, but came to destroy it". Loving our neighbors would also be done away with (Rom.13:8).
Most Protestants also mis-interpret 2.Cor.3 to proof that the ten commandments are done away with so promote the heresy of lawlessness and sin further. It is the glory on Moses face and the vail that is taken way and not the law itself. This same vail was taken away (Matth.27:51) when Jesus died to signify that the earthly temple services and the sacrificial law ended when the supreme sacrifice was made on the cross of Christ. Which is also that same vail mentioned in Hebrews 10:20.
In 2.Cor.3 the contrast is made between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. The ministration of death was not the glorious law but the daily killing of animal sacrifices polluting the sanctuary with sin. This was not God's intention. Paul says that the law was glorious, so he does not detract from it, but that which remains is more glorious (2.Cor.3:11). How?
The cold letter of the law on cold stone and stony hearts hardened by sin is legalism. But now under the new covenant/testament, God takes away the stony heart and gives us a new heart and He Himself writes His holy moral law of the ten commandment from the chest in heaven into our new hearts and minds (Hebr.8:9- ; 10:16- ) but only if it is coupled with the forgiveness and forsaking of sin. Jesus does not save us in sin, but from sin (Matth.1:21) and only His people. The ten commandments are not only given by the spirit, they are intrinsically a spiritual holy law (see Rom.7:7,12,14).
This same glory which Paul writes about in 2.Cor.3 is also confirmed by James, the glorious Law of freedom (James 2:8-12) and again by John in Rev.14:6,7,12).
So why do we talk Jesus and the ten commandments? Because what the heart is full of, the mouth runneth over. This is why we behold Jesus like in a mirror and go from glory to glory by the spirit (not the letter) of the Lord Jesus (2.Cor.4:4).
Fallen Protestantism is much responsible for the decay of morality in our society for declaring the holy moral law of God done away since 1830. Did you know that Charles Darwin wrote the first part of his evolutionary thesis in 1844? Since 1844 the three Angel's messages of Rev.14:6-12 by Adventists preached in a loud voice: "Fear God and give 'glory' to Him who made heaven and earth, the sea, and the springs of water'.
Who is our creator God? It is our Lord Jesus Christ, the rightful owner of the seventh day Sabbath (Mark 2:28;Matth.12:8) which answers to the fourth of the ten commandments (Ex.20:8). There has always been ten, but most Protestants say there are only nine in the N.T. or even nil because we have done away with them and put them in the deleted item bin.
Where is the missing one? Is it found in Matth.5:17-19 where Jesus says that they are all there? Or in James 2:8-12 where the N.T. says that they are all there? Or in Matt.24:20 where the flight should not be on the Sabbath day years after His death and the resurrection? Or where His closest followers knew nothing of the Sabbath being done away with and waited the full period from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown with such an important job as embalming the master they loved so much (Luke 23:56)?
Jesus Himself kept the Sabbath so sacred after His crucifixion that he rested on the Sabbath the complete period of 24 hours. When they returned early Sunday morning, Jesus was already risen. That could mean that He probably rose on Saturday night when the Sabbath was over, which is the biblical start of the first day of the week and not midnight.
Now the international community has thrown another spanner in the works by starting the new international calendar with Monday, the first secular working (but not business) day so with making Sunday the seventh day of the week.
The most popular Protestant evangelist Billy Graham is no longer a Protestant. He stopped his protest long ago and had his doctorate cancelled from the Protestant Uni and is now become a fully Catholic Jesuit Priest. His fall occurred gradually. Billy had a Seventh day Adventist, Emilio Knechtly, on his team. Whenever Emilio would talk to Billy about the obligation of Christ's Sabbath and the moral law, Billy would say he pray about it. Now when something in the new testament is written so plainly, you do not need to go away and pray about unless you want to talk yourselves out of it!
There is no record in the Bible that anyone kept Sunday. Protestants are making excuses for their tradition and Roman Catholicism! Protestants are using two texts to support Sunday. But the mere mentioning of the first day of the week does not attach any holiness or sanctification to it. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that God transferred the sanctity or withdrew it!
1.Corinthians 16:1,2 is being misused and misquoted. It does not speak of a church service. It simply says that Paul told them to lay by him in store on the first working day of the week, his first earnings or income so that there was enough money for when he would return to collect it.
The second text they misquote and mis-use, is when they gave a farewell party for Paul on th first day of the week (Sunday). But the biblical day starts Saturday night and not midnight. The Party began at sundown Saturday and lasted through to midnight and into the morning. You can break bread on any day and any time.
I am appealing to Protestants with spiritual discernment having senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Hebr.5:14) to see that this battle or war of Armageddon is not over territory in the middle east, but over the commandments of God and the spirit of prophecy (Revelation 12:17) and those Adventist Protestants who proclaim the three angel's messages since 1844 are said to have the ten commandments of God and the faith of Jesus (Rev.14:12; 19:11- in righteousness does he judge and make war).
Read these Authoritative quotations were made by several Protestant churches before 1830:
Baptist: "We believe that the law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of His moral government."---"Baptist Church Manual," Art.12.
Lutheran: " I wonder exceedingly how it came to be imputed to me that I should reject the law of the Ten Commandments........Whosoever abrogates the law must of necessity abrogate sin also."---Martin Luther, Spiritual Antichrist, pages 71,72.
Methodist: "This handwriting of ordinances' our Lord did blot out, take away, and nail to His cross. (Col.2:14) But the moral law contained in the Ten Commandments, and enforced by the prophets, He did not take away........The moral law stands on an entirely different foundation from the ceremonial or ritual law........And every part of this law must remain in force upon all mankind and in all ages."---John Wesley, "Sermons on Several Occasions," 2-Vol.Edition, Vol.I, pages 221, 222.
Church of Christ: "There is no direct Scriptural authority for designating the first day the Lord's day."---Dr. D. H. Lucas, Christian Oracle, Jan.23, 1890.
"I challenge any priest or minister of the Christian religion to show me the slightest authority for the religious observance of Sunday. And, if such cannot be shown by them, why is it that they are constantly preaching about Sunday as a holy day?.......The claim that Sunday takes the place of Saturday, and that because the Jews were supposed to be commanded to keep the seventh day of the week holy, therefore the first day of the week should be kept by Christians, is so utterly absurd as to be hardly worth considering......... that Paul habitually observed and preached on the seventh day of the week, is shown in Acts 18:4- 'And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath' (Saturday)."---Henry M. Taber "Faith or Fact", p.112
Note: the Sabbath is not Jewish because it was declared holy and sanctified by God in the garden of Eden 2500 years before the first Jew was born (Gen.2:1-3) and before that, it is found in the "Holy of Holiest" presence of God, the Temple in heaven (Revel.11:19 cf. 1.King 8:9) and Jesus not as a Jew but Lord of the seventh day Sabbath (Matth.12:8) made not for Jews only but for all mankind (see Mark 2:27).
The Ten Commandments-dispensation, speaking in tongues, rapture, prophecy about Israel and the new identity of Antichrist, was never part of the Protestant Reformation. It belongs to fallen Babylon the great.
To put it simply the law is still in effect. However, it only applies to those who transgress it. Someone who lives in the Spirit does not transgress the law but lives out their faith expressed through love. There is no law against love (as defined in the Bible).
So we do not live our lives trying to remember what not to do wrong (so you don't break the law). Because if you make it through a day without breaking the law you would feel self-justified, instead of Christ-justified. The correct way to live is to love, as this fulfills the law. Love is a positive command. So you are focused on only Love, you mind is on all positive aspects. By focusing on the Law you focus on only what's wrong/negative. And you begin to be judgmental when you see others breaking the law. But focused on Love, you heart is ever forgiving instead of condemning.
I hope that makes some sense.
What a wonderful reply. I think of the Israelites of old when it was written on tables of stone hidden inside the ark in the holiest of holies where no one had access to. Yet all suppose to know what it contained.
Then I think of heaven where all the angels know that the two tables of stone are under God's mercy seat where they cannot read it for themselves either, yet know that it is there.
Then I think of God's new testament covenant where it is written not on cold stone, but inside our brand new hearts. Heb.8 2.Cor.3 etc.
Thanks Arc for putting this together so well, you certainly must have had help from above.
Others have hinted that justifying grace annulled the righteousness of God's holy law and produces lawlessness. They also are in need of the new heart and spirit.
WHAT THE GREAT MEN OF PROTESTANTISM SAY ABOUT THE 10 COMMANDMENTS
Some people seem to think we have got beyond the commandments. What did Christ say? "Think not that I am come to destroy the law and the prophets; I am not come to destroy but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one title shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." The commandments of God given to Moses in the Mount at Horeb are as binding today as ever they have been since the time they were proclaimed in the hearing of the people. The Jews said the law was not given in Palestine (which belonged to Israel), but in the wilderness, because the law was for all nations.
C. H. SPURGEON http://www.the-highway.com/Spurgeon4.html
Jesus did not come to change the law, but he came to explain it, and that very fact shows that it remains, for there is no need to explain that which is abrogated. Upon one particular point in which there happened to be a little ceremonialism involved, namely, the keeping of the Sabbath, our Lord enlarged, and showed that the Jewish idea was not the true one. The Pharisees forbade even the doing of works of necessity and mercy, such as rubbing ears of corn to satisfy hunger, and healing the sick. Our Lord Jesus showed that it was not at all according to the mind of God to forbid these things. In straining over the letter, and carrying an outward observance to excess, they had missed the spirit of the Sabbath law, which suggested works of piety such as truly hallow the day. He showed that Sabbatic rest was not mere inaction, and he said, "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." He pointed to the priests who laboured hard at offering sacrifices, and said of them, "the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless." They were doing divine service, and were within the law. To meet the popular error he took care to do some of his grandest miracles upon the Sabbath-day; and though this excited great wrath against him, as though he were a law-breaker, yet he did it on purpose that they might see that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath, and that it is meant to be a day for doing that which honours God and blesses men. O that men knew how to keep the spiritual Sabbath by a ceasing from all servile work, and from all work done for self. The rest of faith is the true Sabbath, and the service of God is the most acceptable hallowing of the day. Oh that the day were wholly spent in serving God and doing good! The sum of our Lord’s teaching was that works of necessity, works of mercy, and works of piety are lawful on the Sabbath. He did explain the law in that point and in others, yet that explanation did not alter the command, but only removed the rust of tradition which had settled upon it. By thus explaining the law he confirmed it; he could not have meant to abolish it or he would not have needed to expound it.
John Wesley http://gbgm-umc.org/umhistory/wesley/sermons/serm-025.stm
It is a proverbial expression which signifies that no one commandment contained in the moral law, nor the least part of any one, however inconsiderable it might seem, should ever be disannulled... From all this we may learn, that there is no contrariety at all between the law and the gospel; that there is no need for the law to pass away, in order to the establishing of the gospel. Indeed neither of them supersedes the other, but they agree perfectly well together.
Martin Luther http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/luther/catechism/web/cat-09.html
Thus there would be occasion enough, both at home in our own house and abroad with our neighbors, to practise the Ten Commandments, that no one need run far for them.
JOHN BUNYAN http://www.gotothebible.com/HTML/Sermons/ignorant.htm
Q. What is sin?--A. It is a transgression of the law (1 John 3:4).
Q. A transgression of what law?--A. Of the law of our nature, and of the law of the ten commandments as written in the holy scriptures (Rom 2:12-15; Exo 20).
Q. When doth one sin against the law of nature?--A. When you do anything that your conscience tells you is a transgression against God or man (Rom 2:14,15).
Q. When do we sin against the law as written in the ten commandments?--A. When you do anything that they forbid, although you be ignorant of it (Psa 19:12).
Q. How many ways are there to sin against this law?--A. Three: by sinful thoughts, by sinful words, and also by sinful actions (Rom 7:7, 2:6; Matt 5:28, 12:37).
Q. What if we sin but against one of the ten commandments?--A. Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all; 'For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now, if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law' (James 2:10,11).
G. Campbell Morgan, Matthew Simpson, Presbyterian Westminster Confession of Faith http://dedication.www3.50megs.com/greatmen.html
"For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome."
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Saturday, October 13, 2001
TESTING THE FAITH
Sunday, holy Sunday?
Pastor resurrects Sabbath debate
with $1 million reward
By Joe Kovacs
© 2001 WorldNetDaily.com
One of the longest running disputes in the history of Christianity – Saturday vs. Sunday – is having new life breathed into it with a cash reward of up to $1 million toward a resolution.
A. Jan Marcussen, a Seventh-day Adventist pastor in Illinois, is starting with $50,000 of his own money if someone can produce "a verse from the Holy Bible showing that God commands us to keep holy the first day of the week" – Sunday – "instead of the seventh day" – Saturday – "as is commanded in the Bible."
He says the reward will increase in $25,000 increments each week for 40 consecutive weeks if no one sends him such a verse, with a final cap at $1 million.
"The $50,000 offer is to wake people up out of a stupor," Marcussen tells WorldNetDaily. "People wake up when there's money involved."
A. Jan Marcussen (right), and wife Vennita
Marcussen, who says he has the money ready to pay if someone is successful, is making the offer to encourage people to read the Bible for themselves, instead of accepting without question what religious leaders have been instructing.
"Millions of people believe and have confidence in their clergy that what they're being taught is true," says Marcussen. "They'll find out that the clergy is not teaching from the Bible."
Marcussen, 52, is not only a preacher in his local church, he's also a physical therapist, nutritionist, marriage counselor and author of six books. One of those works, "National Sunday Law," focuses on the Saturday-vs.-Sunday debate. Marcussen is asking people to read that book before applying for the reward. (It can be read for free online.)
As a college student in the 1970s, Marcussen made a similar, albeit smaller, challenge. He posted an ad in a local newspaper starting with a $500 reward and ending up at $1,000. "Certain preachers really got excited," he says. "But the only thing they couldn't do was produce a Bible verse [as proof]."
Experts on biblical scripture tell WorldNetDaily that Marcussen has little need to worry about paying out the money.
"I am afraid that you are not going to find an exact Bible verse to counter the good pastor's challenge and collect," says James Efird, professor of biblical interpretation at Duke University Divinity School in North Carolina. "As far as I know, there is no verse which specifies that Sunday is the day for Christians to observe the Sabbath."
Indeed, neither the words Saturday nor Sunday appear anywhere in most translations of the Bible. Days of the week are referred to by number, starting in the first chapter of Genesis in the account of creation. It was after the work of creating that God made special note of one day of the week: "And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made" (Genesis 2:3).
In the Ten Commandments, the seventh day was made the focus of the fourth mandate: "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy ... thou shalt not do any work ... For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it" (Exodus 20:8-11).
The word sabbath comes from the Hebrew root word "shabbat," meaning to rest, cease or desist. Scholars say the word in Bible scripture not only refers to the weekly day of rest, but also the annual festivals of God such as Passover and Day of Atonement. It additionally refers to a sabbatical year, and it's the term denoting one week. The phrase "first day of the week" occurs eight times in the King James translation of the New Testament, mostly dealing with the circumstances of Jesus' resurrection.
In the lexicon of modern society, the debate over which day is holy – that is, set apart to God – goes unresolved by the editors of Webster's New World College Dictionary. While the first definition of sabbath calls it "the seventh day of the week (Saturday), set aside for rest and worship and observed as such by Jews (from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset) and some Christian denominations," its second meaning defines it as "Sunday as the usual Christian day of rest and worship."
"There's a fear factor among preachers," says Marcussen, on why churches don't have their members look into this issue. "They're afraid their sheep will start reading the Bible, and they know they'll lose their sheep."
One expert who has spent his career researching and explaining the Sabbath debate is Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi, a retired theology professor at Andrews University in Michigan. He tells WorldNetDaily two factors are responsible for the shift from one day to another: "Anti-Judaism caused the abandonment of the Sabbath, and pagan sun worship influenced the adoption of Sunday."
Bacchiocchi says the Church of Rome, which grew into the Roman Catholic Church, had great influence in promoting Sunday observance. "The Church of the capital of the empire, whose authority was already felt far and wide in the second century, appears to be the most likely birth-place of Sunday observance," he writes in his book, "From Sabbath to Sunday: A historical investigation of the rise of Sunday observance in early Christianity."
In May 1998, Pope John Paul II issued an apostolic letter on the subject, entitled Dies Domini (The Lord's Day). In it, the pontiff refers to the origins of Sunday-keeping.
"In the weekly reckoning of time, Sunday recalls the day of Christ's Resurrection," writes the pope. "It is Easter which returns week by week, celebrating Christ's victory over sin and death, the fulfillment in him of the first creation and the dawn of 'the new creation.'"
The pontiff goes on to state that though Sunday has become a time for cultural, political and sporting events, it has a significance that shouldn't be ignored. "Unfortunately, when Sunday loses its fundamental meaning and becomes merely part of a 'weekend,' it can happen that people stay locked within a horizon so limited that they can no longer see 'the heavens.'"
Though Protestant churches have some significant differences with Catholicism, one thing often agreed on today is Sunday observance.
"The church always met on Sunday throughout the New Testament," says Rev. Jerry Falwell, chancellor of Liberty University in Virginia. "Saturday is clearly the Sabbath as is recorded many times in the Old Testament. In Christian Church tradition, Sunday became 'the Lord's Day' when Jesus rose from the grave."
The actual times of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection are not universally agreed on either. "I personally believe he was crucified on Wednesday evening ... and rose after 6 p.m. Saturday evening," Falwell tells WorldNetDaily. "Others believe he died on Friday ... But the point is, he did rise on Sunday, which, in Jewish tradition, started the evening before at 6 p.m."
Falwell is among those who believe which day is chosen is not of great significance. "I don't think Saturday or Sunday are more sacred than other days," he says. He also points out there have been so many calendar changes over the years, chronologists are not even certain that a day of the week in the 21st century matches the same day from centuries ago.
Most scholars agree that biblical references to "the sabbath day" denote the seventh day of the week. But in the years to come after Jesus rose, the first day of the week came into competition with Saturday, and at times both days were being observed side by side. The ostensible church was divided on the issue, choosing different days to regard as holy.
"It may be that Sunday was originally one of the [pagan] Roman festival days," explains Professor Efird at Duke, "but so were several others that the church adopted in its evolution, [for example:] Christmas."
Marcussen condemns the change in day of observance. "It's the greatest hoax of all time, foisted upon the world for hundreds and hundreds of years," he says. His zeal on the matter reflects his belief that citizens of the United States and other countries will be forced to choose sides on the issue in the so-called "end time" mentioned in Scripture.
"Sunday worship is the mark of the Papacy's authority," Marcussen writes in his book. "Sunday worship is the 'mark of the beast!'" Yet he insists he is not attacking anyone's faith, but rather trying to lead people to the Bible, Jesus, and eventually Heaven.
"I love all these ministers who teach falsehoods," Marcussen says. "Many are honest – they're not all crooks – they believe Sunday is God's day ... this offer will help them find the truth."
Marcussen expects his challenge to be eye-opening for many who never thought about the issue, and he thinks it will spark serious global attention. "The impact of this is going to be like an atomic bomb, it will mushroom all over the world."
Editor's note: Marcussen is accepting regular mail from those seeking to claim the reward at: PO Box 68, Thompsonville, IL 62890
Joe Kovacs is executive news editor for WorldNetDaily.com.