Why Follow The Commandments?

There are many doctrines that are alive today that seem to discount or downplay the commandments of God. Many say that when Jesus died, the old covenant passed away and we are now “free from the law.” These doctrines (based on half truths) have led many to neglect looking deeply into themselves to see whether they are obeying the commandments of God, and rather has caused many to only focus on the sacrifice of Jesus. It is easy for anyone to simply ‘believe’ in Jesus and expect that he will save us no matter what our condition is and regardless of our desire to continue in sin, right? I mean, why study the bible, or why learn about God’s ways when Jesus will save us regardless, right? Not according to the bible. In the Revelation of John, he refers to those that are truly saved two separate times- ‘here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus’. The second mention says ‘Blessed are they that do His commandments that they may have the right to the tree of life.’ In another mention in Revelation of the church it mentions: ‘And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.’  If these commandments and laws have passed away, why do they remain important in the end of time? Rather, the bible indicates that these very commandments identify God’s chosen people on this earth. In the end, those that keep God’s commandments, belong to God- those that don’t belong to the beast.

There is also in many doctrines a reference to the commandments of Jesus, upon which rests all of the law of all of the prophets- Love God with all your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself. What does this mean?  Paul helps to clear this up with his teaching in Romans:

Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.  For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” ~ Romans 13:8-10

Ask yourself, if the law of God had passed away, why would it still need to be fulfilled?  Looking to Jesus’ first great commandment of “Love God with all of your heart, soul and mind”- This concept of loving the Lord our God wasn’t new, rather it came from the time of Moses (See Deuteronomy below).  Apostle John also explains to us in scripture what it means to truly love God:

“In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.” ~ Deuteronomy 30:16

“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” ~ 1 John 5:3 

Jesus’ commandments in no way “changed” God’s commandments, rather they simplified and clarified for us the condition that our heart must be in, in order to fulfill God’s laws.  From the words of Jesus himself- Matthew 19:17- ‘If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.’ , and John 14:15- ‘If you love me, keep my commandments’.  Here Jesus acknowledges both God’s commandments, and His own commandments.  It is one thing to say that we love God and Jesus, but it is another thing to prove it by keeping his and God’s commandments, in Jesus’ own words.

Paul also confirms the need to continue honoring the Sabbath Day in Hebrews Chapter 4.  We recommend you read this also, as Paul says that because Jesus didn’t create any other sabbath day, ‘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.’  In summary, because Jesus didn’t change the Sabbath, Paul is saying that the Sabbath day stands for God’s people.  The “Gospel of Thomas” was an early Christian writing that is traced back between 50-140AD.  This book was not included in the bible when the bible was compiled, yet many of the sayings of this book are direct quotes from Jesus, and are also found in the other gospels.  In the opinion of many scholars, Mark used some of the sayings and teachings written in the Gospel of Thomas, as Thomas’s Gospel was a much earlier writing.  One saying that can be found in this book is in regard to the Sabbath:

“Jesus said, “If you do not fast as regards the world, you will not find the kingdom. If you do not observe the Sabbath as a Sabbath, you will not see the father.”” ~ Verse 27, Gospel of Thomas

Looking to history- we can clearly see the original Apostles honoring the Jewish Sabbath as they always had before.  Jesus also said that until heaven and earth pass away, not one tiny part or piece of God’s commandments will pass away (Matthew 5:18-19).

“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” ~ Isaiah 8:20

What Law Did Pass Away?

You are probably wondering- what part of the law did pass away with Jesus death? According to the Old Testament when studied closely, there were two types of “law.”  There were the commandments and statutes that were law (God’s Law) since the time of Abraham- the first recipient of God’s covenant, and then there were Mosaic and Levitical ceremonial sacrificial laws (Known as the Law of Moses) added later in Moses’ time where animals were slaughtered, and their blood was offered to God in atonement for the sins of the disobedient Israelites. The covenant of God began with Abraham obeying God’s laws and statutes, yet the Mosaic and Levitical Sacrifical laws were added over 400 years later in the time of Moses.  Some say the Apostle Paul tells us that the 10 commandments no longer apply, but when you look closely, Paul is saying exactly the opposite:

“And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave to Abraham by promise. Wherefore then serveth the law? it was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.” ~ Galatians 3:17-19

Notice, Paul first says that the covenant (which began with Abraham which implies that if the people obey God’s voice, commandments, statutes and laws, he will be their God and they will be his people-See “God’s New Covenant” Page), was confirmed before God in Christ.  The law which came 430 years after Abraham does not “disannul” the covenant that it should make the promise of no effect.  The law that came 430 years after the covenant of Abraham was the Mosaic sacrifical “laws of Moses”.  Then Paul says, “wherefore then serveth the law? it was added because of transgressions.”  This quote points us to exactly which law Paul was referring to.  The law having to do with transgressions was the sacrificial law of Moses, which involved sacrificing animals in atonement for the sins/transgressions of the people.  Because the people were disobedient to God’s law, these laws were added.  Please understand, the 10 commandments weren’t added because of “transgressions”, rather a transgression is defined as the breaking of these commandments.  A transgression, is a breaking of “God’s law”, also known as sin.- See article “What is Sin?

“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” ~ 1 John 3:4

“… 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

To summarize, Paul was expressing that the Mosaic sacrificial laws of atonement were added, because the people kept breaking God’s laws of the covenant (because of their “transgressions”).  When Jesus died, all sacrificial law ceased because Jesus became the atonement for all sins. The people became free from the sacrificial law at this point, but Jesus himself along with the early Apostles confirmed that the commandments of God stand as a part of the covenant (promise). This is very important to know- that the commandments of God are still relevant today, and God is very specific.  If we obey God’s commandments, he will be our God, and we will be his people.  Those that obey God’s commandments are the “seed” that will come according to whom the promise/covenant was made.  So you see, the law that actually passed away with the death of Christ, was the Mosaic sacrificial system that was added (because of their transgressions / violations of Gods commandments) 430 years after the covenant was given to Abraham.  These commandments and laws of God, when obeyed, identify us as God’s chosen people today.

“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” ~ 1 John 3:9-10

“And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.  He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” ~ 1 John 2:3-4

Apostle Peter warned us that many would twist the writings of Paul because they were hard to understand, and many men have done this successfully teaching the multitudes that God’s commandments don’t apply any longer, and that people in the flesh can’t overcome sin, so “why try”:

“…even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also 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 3:15-16

However, when you study closely all of Paul’s writings, you will understand his teachings, and you will see that Paul never said that the ten commandments passed away, rather he tells us the opposite.  He indicates that when we are reborn in Christ, we become dead to sin, and through the Holy Spirit God’s law is written into our hearts and our minds causing us to no longer walk in sin (sin=disobedience to God’s laws)- rather we become servants of righteousness (obedience to God’s laws):

“Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” ~ Romans 3:31

“For there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” ~ Romans 2:11-16

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” ~ Romans 6:1-2

“What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” ~ Romans 6:15-18

“But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.” Galatians 2:17-18

“To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ), that I might gain them that are without law.” ~ 1 Corinthians 9:21

“Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.” ~ 1  Corinthians 14:34 (If the law passed away, why is Paul using the law to instruct the people here?)

You can see here in several instances where Paul explains that we cannot be justified by Christ if we continue to sin (sin=disobeying God’s laws).  Rather through Christ and with the helper, the Holy Spirit, we no longer disobey God’s laws but rather we walk in obedience, truth and light.  We then become alive in the Spirit and choose to obey God.  We walk in righteousness.  Then the question arises, what is righteousness- and again we refer you to the sayings of the bible:

“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

james

Here the book of Luke speaks of the parents of John the Baptist (Zacharias and Elisabeth), and it refers to them as a righteous couple.  It then explains what righteous means- “walking in the commandments and ordinances of the Lord.”  This made them blameless.  If we are to walk in righteousness, we too must walk in the commandments and ordinances of the Lord.  We encourage you to study Paul’s teachings in their entirety, in order to see the full truth of the the gospel message revealed through him.  Do not be deceived, rather study the gospel to see the truth.  James also had something to say with regard to the ten commandments.  He concludes that if we are guilty of transgressing the law on even one point, we are guilty of all:

“If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For 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. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. ~ James 2:8-12

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. ~ James 1:22-25

Apostle John also indicates that if we are born of God, we don’t sin (break God’s laws), but rather we “keep ourselves”.  He also says that those that “transgresseth” (again break God’s laws), do not have God in them:

“We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.  And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.” ~ 1 John 5:18-19

“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

“And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us. ~ 1 John 3:24

“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

Isaiah the prophet when prophecying about when the earth will be destroyed in the end by God, explains why the earth is being destroyed- because of disobedience to the law, and breaking God’s covenant.  This is another indicater God’s laws remain until the end:

“The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” ~ Isaiah 24:4-5

“Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever.  That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.” ~ Isaiah 30:17-18

Jesus on another occassion expressed the importance of God’s commandments when scolding the Pharisees for keeping the commandments and traditions of men, rather than keeping and observing the commandments of God:

“Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” ~ Mark 7:5-9

Here lies the danger in Christianity today, many doctrines that have to do with tradition and commandments of men, that are not founded in the doctrine of the bible- in effect worshipping “in vain” in Jesus’ own words.  Below is a list of biblical verses that involve the 10 Commandments from the very beginning to the very end of the bible:

~ Genesis 26:4-5 …..‘And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

~ Exodus 16:28 …..‘And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?’

~ Exodus 20:6 …..‘And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

~ Deuteronomy 4:2 …..‘Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.’

~ Deuteronomy 28:9 …..‘The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways.’

~ Psalms 89:34….’My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.’

~ Psalms 111:7-10….‘The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.  He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.’

~ Psalm 119:47 …..‘And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.’

~ Psalm 119:142 …..”Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.” ~

~ Psalm 119:151 …..“Thou art near, O Lord; and all thy commandments are truth.”

~ Psalm 119:172 …..‘My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.’

~ Proverbs 7:2 …..‘Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.’

~ Ecclesiastes 12:13 …..‘Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

~ Daniel 9:4 …..‘And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments.’

~ Matthew 5:18…..’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.” (Jesus)

~ Matthew 5:19 …..‘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.’ (Jesus)

~ Matthew 19:17 …..‘if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.‘ (Jesus)

~ John 14:15 …..‘If ye love me, keep my commandments.’ (Jesus)

~ John 15:10 …..‘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.’ (Jesus)

~ 1 Corinthians 7:19 …..‘Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.’

~ 1 John 2:3 …..‘And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.’

~ 1 John 5:2-3 …..‘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.’

~ 2 John 1:6 …..‘And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, that, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

~ Revelation 12:17………….‘And the dragon was wroth with the woman, 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 14:12 …..‘Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.’

~ Revelation 22:14 …..‘Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.’

early christ

Also often overlooked are the early Christian writings that were not included in the bible.  The books of 1 Clement and 2 Clement were letters written by a gentile Christian elder living in Rome to the congregation at Corinth during the first Christian generation.  This elder also had some interesting things to say about the commandments of God:

“Blessed were we, dearly beloved, if we should be doing the commandments of God in concord of love, to the end that our sins may through love be forgiven us.” ~ 1 Clement 50:4

“Let him that hath love in Christ fulfill the commandments of Christ.” ~ 1 Clement 49:1

“Receive our counsel, and ye shall have no occasion of regret.  For as God livith, and the Lord Jesus Christ livith, and the Holy Spirit, who are the faith and the hope of the elect, so surely shall he, who with lowliness of mind and instant in gentleness hath without regretfulness performed the ordinances and commandments that are given by God, be enrolled and have a name among the number of them that are saved through Jesus Christ, through whom is the glory unto Him for ever and ever. Amen.” ~ 1 Clement 58:2

“But wherein do we confess Him?  When we do that which He saith and are not disobedient unto His commandments, and not only honor Him with our lips, but with our whole heart and with our whole mind.  Now He saith also in Isaiah, This people honoreth me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.” ~ 2 Clement 3:4-5 

“Let us therefore not only call Him Lord, for this will not save us, for He saith, Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, shall be saved, but he that doeth righteousness.” ~ 2 Clement 4:1-2

“For this cause, if ye do these things, the Lord said, Though ye be gathered together with Me in My bosom, and do not My commandments, I will cast you away and will say unto you, Depart from Me, I know you not whence ye are, ye workers of iniquity.” ~ 2 Clement 4:5

“For, if we do the will of Christ, we shall find rest; but if otherwise, then nothing shall deliver us from eternal punishment, if we should disobey His commandments.” ~ 2 Clement 6:7

“For after that we have departed out of the world, we can no more make confession there, or repent any more.  Wherefore, brethren, if we shall have done the will of the Father and kept the flesh pure and guarded the commandments of the Lord, we shall receive life eternal.” ~ 2 Clement 8:3-4

“And let us not think to give heed and believe now only, while we have departed home, let us remember the commandments of the Lord, and not suffer ourselves to be dragged off the other way by our worldly lusts; but coming hither more frequently, let us strive to go forward in the commandments of the Lord, that we all having the same mind may be gathered together unto life.” ~ 2 Clement 17:3

“He speaketh of that day of judgment, when men shall see those among us that live ungodly lives and dealt falsely with the commandments of Jesus Christ.” ~ 2 Clement 17:6

“Let us therefore practice righteousness that we may be saved unto the end.  Blessed are they that obey these ordinances.  Though they may endure affliction for a short time in the world, they will gather the immortal fruit of the resurrection.” ~ 2 Clement 19:3

Polycarp was an early Christian bishop in the congregation of Smyrna.  Polycarp would go on to be martyred by the Romans in 155AD, but prior to being killed for his faith, he wrote a letter to the congregation at Phillipi sometime between 120-140AD.  This letter today is called “Polycarp to the Philippians” and also has some information about keeping the commandments:

“Now He that raised Him from the dead will raise us also; if we do His will and walk in His commandments and love the things which He loved, abstaining from all unrighteousness, covetousness, love of money, evil speaking, false witness; not rendering evil for evil or railing for railing or blow for blow or cursing for cursing.” ~ Polycarp 2:2 (Letter to the Philippians)

“Knowing then that God is not mocked, we ought to walk worthily of His commandment and His glory.” ~ Polycarp 5:1 (Letter to the Philippians)

“Let us therefore so serve Him with fear and all reverence, as He himself gave commandment and the Apostles who preached the Gospel to us and the prophets who proclaimed beforehand the coming of our Lord; being zealous as touching that which is good, abstaining from offenses and from the false brethren and from them that bear the name of the Lord in hypocrisy, who lead foolish men astray.” ~ Polycarp 6:3 (Letter to the Philippians)

apostles

Another early Christian writing is the Epistula Apostolorum, also known as the Epistle of the Apostles.  The earliest known manuscripts were written in Greek, and date sometime between 140-150AD.  There are also Coptic manuscripts that have been found dating to the 4th or 5th century AD, and Ethiopian manuscripts that date back to the 18th century AD.  What is interesting about these epistles, is that they contain conversations between the Apostles and Jesus, and the overall theme of Jesus teachings here, is “Keep the Father’s and His commandments”, also in unison with the testimony of the bible:

“But what ye will, tell it me, and I myself will tell you without grudging: only keep ye my commandments and do that which I bid you, and turn not away your face from any man, that I turn not my face away from you, but without shrinking and fear and without respect of persons, minister ye in the way that is direct and narrow and strait.” ~ Epistula Apostolorum 24 (Epistle of the Apostles)

“Verily I say unto you: the flesh shall arise, and the soul, alive, that their defence may come to pass on that day in regard of that that they have done, whether it be good or evil: that there may be a choosing-out of the faithful who have kept the commandments of my Father that sent me; and so shall the judgement be accomplished with strictness. For my Father said unto me: My Son, in the day of judgement thou shalt have no respect for the rich, neither pity for the poor, but according to the sins of every man shalt thou deliver him unto everlasting torment. But unto my beloved that have done the commandments of my Father that sent me will I give the rest of life in the kingdom of my Father which is in heaven, and they shall behold that which he hath given me. And he hath given me authority to do that which I will, and to give that which I have promised and determined to give and grant unto them.” ~ Epistula Apostolorum 26 (Epistle of the Apostles)

“….But if any man believe on me and do not my commandments, although he have confessed my name, he hath no profit therefrom but runneth a vain race: for such will find themselves in perdition and destruction, because they have despised my commandments. ~  Epistula Apostolorum 27 (Epistle of the Apostles)

“…But all they that have offended against my commandments and have taught other doctrine, (perverting) the Scripture and adding thereto, striving after their own glory, and that teach with other words them that believe on me in uprightness, if they make them fall thereby, shall receive everlasting punishment.” ~ Epistula Apostolorum 29 (Epistle of the Apostles)

“…And again we said unto him: Lord, will not then the nations say: Where is their God? And he answered and said unto us: Thereby shall the elect be known, that they, being plagued with such afflictions, come forth. We said: Will then their departure out of the world be by a pestilence which giveth them pain? He answered us: Nay, but if they suffer such affliction, it will be a proving of them, whether they have faith and remember these my sayings, and fulfil my commandments. These shall arise, and short will be their expectation, that he may be glorified that sent me, and I with him.” ~ Epistula Apostolorum 36 (Epistle of the Apostles)

“….And wherefore hast thou confessed me and yet denied me? hath not every man power to live and to die? Whoso then hath kept my commandments shall be a son of the light, that is, of the Father that is in me. But because of them that corrupt my words am I come down from heaven. I am the word: I became flesh, and I wearied myself (or, suffered) and taught, saying: The heavy laden shall be saved, and they that are gone astray shall go astray for ever….” ~ Epistula Apostolorum 39 (Epistle of the Apostles)

“…Ye were not afraid of their riches, nor ashamed before their face, but ye kept the commandments of my Father and fulfilled them. And ye shall have a great reward with my Father which is in heaven, and they shall have forgiveness of sins and everlasting life, and be partakers in the kingdom of heaven.” ~  Epistula Apostolorum 42 (Epistle of the Apostles)

Do you notice the trend?  The consistent message is “Keep the Father’s and His Commandments!”  Let me first say that in no way can we “earn” our way to heaven.  Also please understand, that by no means can we “justify ourselves” before God because we have chosen to obey God’s commandments either.  While obedience to the commandments reveal that we desire to know God, without the redeeming blood of Christ to cover our consistent shortcomings and sins, we are still lost.  We have to be keepers of both the commandments, and the saving testimony of Jesus Christ.  Remember, from scripture that in the end, many will say that they did great works in the Lords name and testified in his name, etc., yet Jesus said to them “I don’t know you.”  These will be missing one of these two components.  There are two very dangerous, but widely accepted doctrines to God today- The “justification doctrine” and the “salvation doctrine“.  The justification doctrine teaches that you must do X, Y, and Z to get to heaven because these acts justify you before God.  The salvation doctrine in many cases teaches that you must only believe in Jesus Christ and you are saved.  The true doctrine that is found in God’s word in the bible, reveals not just one or the other, but rather a combination of the two.

If we seek only justification before God, we are seeking an empty path that leads us away from Him.  If we seek salvation in Jesus Christ only, and ignore God’s laws and choose to continue in our sinful lives, this path also leads us away from Him.  If we are seeking true salvation, we’ve realized how evil we truly are, we are humbled and we’ve realized the enormous impact of Jesus’ sacrifice for us.  Seeking true salvation means seeking a true relationship with the Father and Son out of a repentant heart, asking the Father for cleansing and rehabilitation in the blood of His son our Lord Jesus Christ, accompanied by a transformation of our lives centered around obedience to the Father and His commandments, and growing in the fruits of His Holy Spirit.  This is the “putting on of the new man” that the bible speaks of.  In the same sense, we put away the “old man”- the wicked and evil ways of our past.  This is a big difference.  For those that constantly believe that they are (justified by their works) “good”, and are “in good standing” with God because of their works, this is a dangerous place to be.  There is only one that is good, and that is God.  This arrogant feeling of being in good standing with God because of our works, doesn’t come from God.  Rather it comes from the evil one to deceive many into self righteousness.  Beware of this condition.  No matter how successful we have been in transforming our lives for Christ, we have fallen short and we must seek cleansing through the blood of Christ by repentance.  This keeps us in the condition of humility, and helps us to grow in love for the salvation of all souls.  It is only through Christ that we can boldly go before the throne of God. It is only through faith and by grace that any of us are saved, but remember that without works and actions of obedience to God’s voice, commandments, laws and statutes- our faith is dead.    It is our calling to see to it that our faith is alive at the coming of Christ.  Also, please take the whole word of the bible into account, Old and New Testament.  It is God-breathed and will help to correct us.

Even on our very best day, we fall far short of what God expects of us (the reason for the sacrifice of Jesus), yet obedience to God’s commandments is the expression of our love for the Father and the Son.  Obedience (even though we may fall short many times over) identifies us as God’s chosen people.  Our relationship with the Father through the blood of Jesus Christ the Son covers these failures if we constantly seek to be cleansed and rehabilitated in that blood, and if we constantly seek to obey God.  Many might say- “Well this news is ok, I follow the 10 Commandments.” These commandments include putting God first before all other things, honoring your parents, not desiring what you don’t have but rather being thankful for what you do have, etc. They include special holy days/days of feasing. You can find a detailed list of the main 10 commandments on the “God’s Rules” page of this website.  There are however two key commandments that have been compromised worldwide. One of these two commandments identifies God’s chosen people from the rest.  The other has been completely removed by many Christian churches. Let’s examine where the commandments have been compromised.

SPECIAL NOTE: We must always remember that in the book of James it mentions that in the end we are judged according to what we know, not according to what we don’t know.  Many Christians fail to obey this commandment without even knowing, yet the time is coming where all the world will know, and all the world will have to decide whether to keep all of God’s commandments, or deny them.

Compromise #1- The Commandment Against Idolatry:

The first compromise has to do with the second commandment of Exodus 20, and reads 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.”  This commandment was removed all together by the Catholic Church around 300AD.  Removal of this commandment has led to the worship of statues, saints, crosses, roseries, alters, prayer to saints and Mary the mother of God, and the list goes on.  Many churches have established “holy places” within thier churches or have “holy objects” that they serve ceremonially, objects that only the lead ministers/priests are allowed to touch.  Other churches have created “holy alters” that are made with man’s hands, and many adorn and serve these alters as if God was in them, or they believe God would be pleased by this.

These activities are thought to be ok, because many aren’t even aware of God’s true second commandment.  A short study of the old testament will reveal that these activities fall in line with idolatry, the very thing that God hates.  Some churches have even created Gold and Silver scrolls representing the “Word of God”, and they require thier people to kiss the scroll out of respect for the word.  Others have a tradition of “Worshipping at the Cross”, also a graven image.  Many denominations have erected church buildings that they claim belong to God, or that these buildings are the only place that one can find God, and they serve and upkeep these properties as if they are serving God.  According to the bible, serving God means serving people, not idols or buildings.  Jesus said “whatever you do unto the least of these my brethren, you have done unto me.”~ Matthew 25:34-46.   Many religous teachers teach the brethren to serve God by taking care of the building, while they themselves care for the people.  The message of Christ to all is, serve the people, not the building.  This isn’t reserved for an elder or leader, it is for all to obey.  Service to idols is what the bible refers to as “dead works.”  They will profit you nothing.

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

Idolatry takes on many shapes and forms in many different denominations of Christian churches, yet these all violate God’s second commandment.  Remember, God doesn’t dwell in temples, objects or places, and he is not bound by anything.  True service to God, comes through serving “the least” of his people.

Compromise #2- The Commandment of the Sabbath:

Exodus 20:8-11“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all they 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, they 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.”

In Revelation, there is another mention of worshipping the God that made the Heaven, Earth & Sea in the end time.  This is speaking about how in the end, the gospel will be preached to everyone on the earth, instructing all inhabitants of the earth to worship our creator.  This worship for our creator is accomplished through honoring the Sabbath that God established above in Exodus, where it says he “Blessed” and “Hallowed” that day.  Let’s look at Revelation 14:6-7:

6And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 7Saying with a loud voice, 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.

When looking historically, (and we encourage you to research this on your own), according to the ancient Hebrew texts, the original Israelites honored a lunisolar calendar, where every month began the day after the new moon occurred.  The new moon day would be a day of worship, and would set for that month the sabbath day, which would come seven days after the new moon day.  God’s Sabbath throughout history up until the early centuries of Christianity was based on a lunar calendar.  What changed? In and around 40AD, Emperor Claudeus excommunicated all Jews from Rome, leaving only Christian Gentiles there in the city (Acts 18:2). Again please research this as I’m summarizing- Emperor Constantine many years later around 300AD had a kingdom full of Gentile Christians (non Jewish) that held either the Lunar or Saturday Sabbath (or both), and Sun God worshipers who held Sunday worship. In a move to unite the entire kingdom under one religion (the Catholic Church), the emperor changed the Christian Sabbath day to Sunday (the day that the idol worshipers worshipped the Sun God), while forcing the Sun God worshipers to become Christians. This Sabbath commandment of God, was changed by man. You can read in more detail how God’s times and laws were changed on the “Identifying Antichrist” page of this site.  In Psalms (Psalms 89:34) we can read that God doesn’t alter anything that leaves his lips, which means that man finds himself in a dangerous situation.  Sunday worship has continued since this decree from Rome and has continued on into the Protestant churches as well, but the Sabbath Day established by God remains tied to the Lunar Calendar.  This is by no means convenient, as the true sabbath doesn’t always fall on the same day of the week, rather it is rotating.

In Exodus 31:12-17, God indicates that the Sabbath is to be kept by the children of Israel “forever” as a “perpetual covenant”:

12 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 13 “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you. 14 You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. 15 Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. 16 Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’”

The Sabbath is a sign of worshipping our creator, the one and only true God who created heaven and earth and the seas, for he created everything in 6 days, and on the 7th he rested. When Jesus died for our sins, the gentiles were also permitted to become “grafted in” to the people of Israel, and this covenant still stands for this people (Romans 11).  The Jewish people and the Messainic Jews (Jews that have accepted Jesus as the Messiah), to this day keep the Sabbath on Saturday, not knowing that the entire calendar has been changed to reflect “man’s” wisdom rather than God’s creation.  More information will be posted on the “God’s Calendar” page of this site.  In short, when Jerusalem was destroyed in 70AD, so were the Saduccees, which were the group that engaged in time-keeping by observing the moon cycles.  The Pharisees were left to interpret God’s law, and in the early centuries came out with the Talmud, which is a book treated as Jewish Law until present day.  They made many concessions on their calendar towards a new system of time keeping rooted in Ancient Babylon, a system based on a perpetual week, rather than the lunar cyclical week.  We encourage you to research this on your own.  We also encourage you to read “The Mark of The Beast” page, to understand how these things may tie together in the end.

I Worship on Sunday- What Do I Do?

I, nor anyone else can answer this question for you. This is a question that no man can answer for you personally. The focus of the Sabbath Day was to rest from all work, basically to dedicate that day to the “rest in the Lord”. What does that mean? You must prayerfully seek out God and His will for you, and prayerfully study his scriptures for guidance. It may help to start with looking at how you spend your current Sabbath whatever day that is. Do you honor God on this day? Could you honor the true Sabbath and still worship on Sunday too?- I don’t believe there is a specific commandment against that, but it is wise to know that we are identified as God’s children when we worship as he commanded us to worship.  You could worship God every day of the week, so long as you rest on the true Sabbath and honor God on that day according to his requirements in His confirmed law in scripture. God sees and knows our hearts. The point is that the true Sabbath that God instituted be recognized and honored. This is obedience to God’s law, and this identifies who His people are “forever”. While the whole world may ignore God’s true Sabbath, we are warned in scripture that the path to the Kingdom is narrow and few will find it. This may be a part of why that is.

We must mention, please refrain from judging other Christians in how they choose to worship, but rather we look internally to ensure that we ourselves are following Christ properly, and please always love everyone.  There is a reason that love is the greatest of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.  We are to be humble stewards of God’s word, and we must go to God directly to see how He wants us to handle His word, and how He wants us to use it in testimony to others out of true love.  We can’t forget that no matter how hard we try, we fall far short of what God wants us to be and for that reason, we approach all human beings from below, not above.  Seek God’s forgiveness daily through the blood of Jesus Christ.  We encourage you to research these things for yourself, research history, read your bible (search the scriptures daily) and pray (2 Timothy 3:16). We encourage you to pray for the salvation and soul rehabilitation of others through the blood of Christ as well.  We pray that God can lead us all to recognize, honor and obey all of His commandments in these end times. At the current time, we are free to worship God and honor His commandments by protection of the law, but the time will come where it may be illegal to obey God’s laws and commandments. Always remember, it’s better to be on God’s side than anywhere else.

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