The Importance of Understanding and Keeping God’s Commandments
According to the Scriptures (Part 3)
by Joseph E. Lahud
Can Man Change God’s Laws?
The Roman Catholic church has thought to have changed God’s Ten Commandments by removing the words in the fourth Commandment and deleting the instruction regarding the “seventh day” so it only reads “The Sabbath.” This helps them in their attempt to change from God’s true Sabbath day, the seventh day, to Sunday, the first day. Just open any Catholic Bible and read it for yourself. Also, it thought to change the second, which commands, “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” (Exodus 20:4, 5). This is to accommodate the worship of the dead, images; saints, etc. Also, Since they removed the second, they divided the tenth into two, to make up for the one missing. This is paganism in the church today, under the cloak of Christianity. Most people, out of ignorance or spiritual slumber, accept this as Biblical truth.
Notice how boldly the Catholic Church admits to their attempt to change the day for Sabbath:
“Question—Have you any other way of proving that the church has power to institute festivals of precept?
“Answer—Had she not such power, she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change which there is no Scriptural authority?” (Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism, 3rd ed., p. 174).
Jesus “came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read” (Luke 4:16). Jesus kept the seventh-day Sabbath. Jesus said, “The Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him” (John 8:29).
“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). Can we confess that we worship Him in “truth” while “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men”? (Mark 7:7). Sunday is a man made institution, there is no scriptural counsel for its observance.
Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments… He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” (John 14:15, 21). Isn’t this enough to drop Sunday and follow Christ?
Jesus admonished, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love” (John 15:10).
“And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him” (Acts 5:32).
“And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight” (1 John 3:22).
Is ‘Grace’ the Ticket to Continue in Sin?
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14). We are not under the ceremonial law, we are now under the blood of Christ. Therefore our sins are forgiven, not by the blood of an animal offering but by the blood of Christ. This is the grace of God, that while we were yet sinners, Christ came to redeem us from our sins. To make atonement. To reconcile us back to God. To give us life eternal. So, now that we are redeemed, does that make us “free” to trespass God’s Commandments? Sound absurd? It is! Think about it.
The only way a law can have dominion over you is if you break it. lf you obey the speed sign, the lawman can’t give you a ticket for breaking the speed limit. We cannot keep the Law of God on our own. But, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).
Considering Paul’s Writings
Paul instructed the Galatians that they should not consider the law in the same way as the Jews had done for years. They were so critical and strict about the Law yet they disregarded the principles the Law was intended to promote. Specifically, circumcision had become all-important, while love for others was neglected. Christ, the Messiah, had come! There had been a change in the ceremonial services, and sacrificial laws. This is what Paul was preaching!
Paul was a deep thinker. We need to carefully consider his words when we read his writings so that we understand his message, for it can be easily misunderstood. In times past, you did not have to explain which law was meant when referring to the law. It was easy for others to know which law was meant when you spoke. Today we can say; “I bought it online.” We know what this means, but several decades ago this would not make sense, it would be confusing language.
Peter’s counsel in regards to Paul’s writings is: “in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16).
“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet” (Romans 7:7). Notice he is speaking of the Ten Commandments. He continued, “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good” (Romans 7:12).
“Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God” (1 Corinthians 7:19).
To those who would misuse the book of Galatians to attempt to prove that the Ten Commandments are abolished, this would be a contradictory passage.
“I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin” (Romans 7:25).
Please examine Romans 6:23; 7:20-25; and 8:2-4. These are laws that, through Christ, will be fulfilled in us. Yet, some, in blazing ignorance, will declare that the Law is done away with! These individuals should consider their accountability for misleading others to sin against God’s Commandments, specifically, the day which identifies the Creator.
“For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works… Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts… There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief” (Hebrews 4:4, 7, 9-11).
When God creates something and He declares it “perfect” how can mere man believe he can improve it or alter it? Would this not be rebellious, or disobedient and contrary to God’s design?
“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” (Psalms 19:7, 8).
Jesus Christ, the Mediator of the New Covenant
“To Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. Hebrews 12:25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven… Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Hebrews 12:24, 25, 28). Abraham was called righteous because of faith and obedience.
The New Covenant Includes God’s Law
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them” (Hebrews 10:16).
Notice Paul is quoting Jeremiah 31:33, 34. God is speaking through His prophet a prophecy or promise that He is going to do something. What is it He is going to do? God is referring back to the Moral Law, the guideline by which the universe operates. He says He is going to put those laws (the Ten Commandments) in our hearts and minds, so we shall be a Holy people unto Him. A covenant is an agreement between two or more parties, declaring the obligations which, when met by the parties involved, constitutes the fulfillment of same.
“That he may establish thee to day for a people unto himself, and that he may be unto thee a God, as he hath said unto thee, and as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath; But with him that standeth here with us this day before the LORD our God, and also with him that is not here with us this day” (Deuteronomy 29:13-15).
Do you desire to be “established” by God? Are you content today in your life—in your walk with God?
The Ten Commandments existed before being given to the Hebrews on Sinai. To further introduce evidence that supports the fact that the Moral Law existed before given to the Israelites, please examine, for example, the following Scripture: “Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no. And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily” (Exodus 16:4, 5). This took place before the Law was given on Sinai.
Here is evidence that it was already known that the seventh day, as declared in God’s Moral Law, was in effect. God was saying to them, through Moses, that not only was He going to provide manna from heaven, but that on Friday, they were to gather twice as much, in preparation for the next day (the Sabbath). God wanted them to understand clearly that He did not want them out in the fields working on the seventh day, not even gathering food, for this is His day. It was not to be used for regular work. They were not even to go out and gather firewood. God really wanted them to grasp the importance of honoring Him. His day is to be devoted with reverent honor and love to Him.
Please notice that they were still in the wilderness at this time. It was not until four chapters later, in chapter 20, that they reached Mt. Sinai, where they were given the Ten Commandments, where they formally agreed to enter into a covenant with God. He would be their God, and they would be His people. This only lasted a few days, for shortly thereafter, while waiting for Moses’ return from the top of the mountain, they rebelled, fabricated a golden calf (in the image of one of the sun idols of Egypt) and worshiped it. People do not wish to hear this truth, however, Sunday keeping has its roots, its very foundation, in sun worship. Paganized Christianity! The Sabbath is a test of our loyalty to God. It was Christ who spoke with Moses face to face at mount Sinai. It was Christ, therefore, who gave the Ten Commandments, along side His Father! These are not suggestions, but Commandments.
The true covenant for mankind was in effect long before any human being ever walked upon the face of this Earth. It had been discussed and agreed to by our heavenly Father and His only-begotten Son, Christ Jesus. “The counsel of peace shall be between them both” (Zechariah 6:13). (This subject is worthy of further study.) God looked into the future of mankind and saw their fall, that they could, of themselves, never keep any covenant on their own; it wasn’t in their nature. God, in His desire for us to be free moral agents, would allow us the free choice to choose Him or not. To accomplish this He did not make us as “robots” to obey Him. This would not then provide a willing choice for man, it would have made us as mere robots, programed to obey. God wanted us to truly desire allegiance to Him. Would you be content if your child “loved” you only because he or she was trained or programed to “say” to you, “I love you”? Would this not be just shallow and superficial?
The Controversy—Who Will You Worship?
The Sabbath issue is the center of controversy between those who will follow the Lord and His Commandments and those who will not. This has been waging since the days of Adam. What will our decision be? What will we choose? By refusing to honor the Commandments of God, the very day He has chosen, blessed, and sanctitied for our benefit, and commanded for us to keep, so that those that are called His people will be set apart from this wicked world which wants nothing to do with Him, you honor not the Lord, but another—an impostor of truth.
Jesus said, “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath” (Mark 2:27). Notice it does not say, “The Sabbath was made for the Jews.”
The Law Cannot Save!
Salvation is only through faith in Christ Jesus. We keep the Commandments of God because we are saved! God measures the heart, He searches the mind. This is why He declares that for us to keep His “new” covenant, He will help us to do it—He will write it upon our hearts and minds through His Holy Spirit. If this world would obey God’s Moral Law there would be only one true religion. We would love God in unity. We would not worship false gods, there would be no murder, no coveting, no theft. We would honor our parents and love each other as ourselves. The earthly governments would uphold peace amongst the Nations. This world would value human life and it’s condition. We would honor God and His creation; including planet Earth. This was God’s plan. Remember that when God creates something it is perfect. Man fell from grace by Satan’s deception—through disobedience. Satan knows, as he did to Eve, that if he can deceive you into disobedience, you will sin!
Satan hates God ‘s Laws by which he is condemned. He hates God and His government. Satan hates God’s laws. He hates God’s children. He is the accuser of the brethren. He will tempt mankind with sin (lawlessness), and once His victim is under the curse of sin, he Accuses him before God, claiming him as his own. For this reason the only-begotten Son of God came to die to redeem mankind from his sins.
“Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy” (Romans 7:12). The trespass of such a holy law required a special type of sacrifice for atonement. A million oxen could not deliver a sinner from death.
It is a terrible and ignorant assumption to teach others to believe that the very reason Christ had to give His life to redeem us, the broken Law, can now be disregarded because “we are under grace.” If it didn’t matter, why would our heavenly Father have to witness the suffering, humiliation, and agony of the crucifixion of His only-begotten Son? He paid a terrible and very great price for our lives! Satan’s clever deceit is that you are not required to obey God’s Laws. “Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them” (Deuteronomy 11:16).
As in the Days of Elijah; An Appeal to Christians Today
Finally, the reader has to make some choices:
1) You must decide whether or not you truly desire to follow Christ.
2) Choosing to follow Christ means obedience to God’s Commandments. You may say, “I am a good person, I love the Lord, I go to church, I don’t steal, or kill, or lie, or commit adultery.” Does this mean you are obedient to His precepts, or yours? What about the day He has called His? Are you in covenant with God? what is required for faith perfected? Action!
“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).
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
Christ instructs us in the communion service as to how we are to celebrate His death and resurrection, this is the cup of the “new” covenant in His blood (Read 1 Corinthians 11:23-29.)
This is contrary to the popular, but unscriptural, “reason” to celebrate Sunday observance, because Christ rose from the dead on Sunday, the first day. Sunday worship is clearly not found in the Scriptures. Instead it is a pagan impostor to true worship.
“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).
“And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes” (Luke 12:47). (Uzzah did not prepare himself as God had commanded him.)
“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” (1 John 5:2, 3).
“Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son” (2 John 1:9).
“And the dragon was wroth with the woman [church], and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17).
“These are they which were not defiled with women [false churches]; for they are virgins [pure]. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault [no sin or lawlessness] before the throne of God” (Revelation 14:4, 5).
“Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” (Revelation 14:7). These are the same words used by the Apostles when they prayed after being arrested, as described in the book of Acts. They identified, and honored openly the Creator (Acts 4:23, 24). These are also the same words found in the Fourth Commandment, which begins with “Remember the Sabbath day…” (Exodus 20:8-11).