The commandments of Yeshua (Jesus) can be found in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These four books contain the story of the birth, life, teachings, miracles and death of our Savior. They hold great importance in the lives of Christians today, as Yeshua said:
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” ~ John 14:15
Many of these commandments we can find in the Sermon on the Mount, where Yeshua taught the people plainly. Please consider the teachings of Yeshua in the beginning of this sermon:
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. 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. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” ~ Matthew 5:15-20
This teaching of Yeshua is extremely deep and carries volumes of meaning when prayerfully studied. First, Yeshua proclaims “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” Here He made his intentions clear. He did not say he came to change the law, He did not say that he came to destroy or remove the law, rather He proclaimed that He came to fulfil it. This contradicts today’s Christian teaching that the law is no longer relevant or binding. Please note- the “law and the prophets” was the Hebrew term for the Old Testament. These were the five books of Moses, and the writings of the OT prophets. Regardless, Yeshua came not to destroy the OT, but to fulfill it. He continues to explain and says “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” The term “jot” and “tittle” had to do with the Hebrew form of script when writing in Hebrew. Hebrew writing contained jots and tittles. When the law of Moses was written, it was written in Hebrew with jots and tittles. Yeshua proclaims that not a single jot or tittle will pass from the law until two things occur: #1- till heaven and earth pass, and #2- till all be fulfilled. The logical person would ask, has heaven and earth passed yet? Is all fulfilled yet? Of course the answer is no. Yeshua reveals to us that nothing of the law has passed away yet. It remains, and yes it is binding even today. Why would Yeshua say this, if he didn’t mean it? Would he one day change his mind and click the delete button on the law? Does God change? These are all questions that can easily be answered by the Word found in scripture. At the end of the day the logical man after reading this passage would conclude- heaven remains today, earth remains today, all isn’t yet fulfilled and therefore the law of God remains. To say anything different would make the Son of God, Yeshua a liar.
Yeshua continues with his explanation saying “whosoever therefore shall break one of the least commandments, and teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven.” This is an extremely interesting passage in the explanation given by Yeshua. He indicates a consequence for breaking the commandments of God and teaching others to break the commandments of God, that consequence being that these will be called “least in the kingdom of heaven.” We can gather much from this statement. #1- we shouldn’t break God’s commandments, #2- we shouldn’t teach others to break God’s commandments,” and #3- if we do break God’s commandments and teach others to break them, we will be called “least” in the kingdom of heaven. The next question of the logical person would be- Why would those that break God’s commandments be in the Kingdom of Heaven at all? Wouldn’t they be cast into the lake of fire with Satan? Today there are many Christians that disobey God’s commandments in ignorance, because of teachings passed down from generation to generation, yet many hearts have pure and loving intentions. Many preach Christ, but miss His instructions or lack knowledge of the gospel. Could this be those that are in this category. We won’t know until we get there, but it is interesting that he mentions that even though these will be called “least” in the kingdom of heaven, they could possibly still be there. Yeshua knows the secrets of the hearts of all men and is the only perfect and righteous judge in any case.
He continues by teaching: “but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” We can gather a number of observations from this statement- #1- it is good to fulfill God’s commandments (just as Yeshua did), #2- it is good to teach God’s commandments (as Yeshua did also), and #3- if we fulfill the commandments and teach others to obey them, we will be called “great” in the kingdom of heaven. Here we can see clearly, that along with the high calling of Yeshua to eternal life, one of our obligations of love, is that we fulfill God’s commandments and we teach others to fulfill them as well, with the same mind of Christ. This important life changing teaching of Christ can’t go unnoticed and must be publicized for all of the world to hear! He is the same yesterday, today and forever! His commandments have not changed in all of this time that has passed, and his teaching has not changed either. Yeshua continues by saying: “except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” This is a confusing saying, as it was the duty of the Pharisees to teach the law of God to the people. Righteousness by very definition means to continue in obedience to the laws and commandments/ordinances of God:
“And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us.” ~ Deuteronomy 6:25
“My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.” ~ Psalm 119:172
“Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law“ ~ Isaiah 51:7
“And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.” ~ Luke 1:6
To understand this saying, we refer you to the teaching of Yeshua in the last week of His life:
“Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.” ~ Matthew 23:1-3
This is a very important commandment from Yeshua himself, and it clears up our understanding of the saying in Matthew 5. We can see here Yeshua commands that His followers “observe and do” what the Pharisees were teaching- as they taught the laws of Moses and sat in “Moses’ seat.” He goes on to say “do not ye after their works; for they say and do not.” These Pharisees were hypocrites. They taught the law but didn’t obey the law, and rather added many other laws and burdens upon the people that were not from God. Though they taught others how to become righteous, they weren’t found righteous themselves. They had no love or mercy in their hearts, and they lacked faith in God. Yeshua indicated, our righteousness MUST EXCEED the righteousness of the Pharisees- in other words- we are to hear the law of Moses, and live it out from the heart. Observe and do the things of the law of Moses, given by Yeshua (THE WORD) at Mount Sinai. Yeshua died on our behalf, to offer us the knowledge of the narrow way to salvation (which can only be fulfilled through Him), and to bring us this message. This is a difficult teaching for today’s Christian to swallow, yet it is truth. Again, Yeshua told us “if you love me, keep my commandments.” The Apostles of Christ were also found teaching the commandments when establishing the teaching throughout the world. See the “Why Follow The Commandments” page for a deeper bible study on this topic. In Colossians 2, it can be found that Paul had taught the gentiles to observe holy days, new moons, Sabbath days, meat and drink laws etc. What has changed today?
We live in a time where God’s law is not known by many of His people. Over the past 2,000 years, God’s law has been replaced with the “laws of men” (via the Fourth Beast) as predicted would happen in the book of Daniel:
“And 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 hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” ~ Daniel 7:25
To understand who the beast is, we encourage you to read the “Identifying Antichrist” page where all eight “Beast” prophecies are discussed in detail that identify this fourth beast. This is not a future event, this is history. The “times and the laws” have been changed already by men. Concerning the “times,” the Sabbath Day was changed in early Rome/Catholicism (the Fourth Beast), to the day of the Sun God- Sunday. In addition, the times were changed in that the 7 holy feast days of God which were to be celebrated throughout the year, were removed all together from Christianity and replaced with pagan holidays- Christmas, lent, Easter etc. all rooted in idolatry. The “law” was changed in that the Second Commandment of Exodus 20 was removed completely by early Rome/Catholicism. This was the commandment against idolatry/worshipping things made with men’s hands. It’s removal has led to worship at man-made altars, statues, buildings declared “Holy,” worship of holy items like chalices and rosary beads etc. Christianity today resembles the idolatry that was found and harshly condemned by God in the OT scripture.
“Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made:” ~ Isaiah 2:8
If men will consider the teachings in the Word, these things will be seen clearly:
“Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made all these things? Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.” ~ Acts 7:48-51
“God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things” ~ Acts 17:24-25
“And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” ~ 2 Corinthians 6:16
Today, you can still heed the Word and commandents of Yeshua our Savior. The gospel teaches that when we realize the truth, we are to repent for our disobedience to God’s law (also known as sin). We then can become baptized with water and the Holy Spirit, which under the New Covenant writes God’s law into our hearts and we obey it from the heart going forward. We become a new creature that desires to obey God out of love for Him and love for our neighbor. Then we become free from the bonds of sin and this world, and we walk as Yeshua taught us- obeying the commandments and teaching others also to obey them! Then we can take part in the resurrection to life that comes on the Day of the Lord at the last trumpet, where we will forever be with Yeshua. Yeshua not only died to cover your and my sin, but to give us an understanding of the narrow path to salvation. Please don’t allow His words to fall on deaf ears. This promise of eternal life is true, it is real, and He is coming again soon! We pray that you hear His call, understand, and accept this wonderful gift that is being offered today, coming to the same conclusion as the original Apostles:
“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” ~ Acts 5:29