PART 1 THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
CONTENTS Introduction CHAPTER 1 There Are Two Ways to Formulate a View on Any Doctrinal Topic. CHAPTER 2 The Age of the Gentiles 1. Isaac Is to Keep God’s Commandments Genesis 26:1-5; 17:1-10 Genesis 26:5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. CHAPTER 3 The Age of the Jews From the Exodus of the Jews out of Slavery in Egypt to the Birth of Christ 2. I Will Give Thee Tables of Stone, a Law, and Commandments Exodus 19:1-19; 20:1-26; 24:1-18; 32:1-35; 34:1-4 Exodus 24:12 And the Lord said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them. 3. To Keep His Statutes, Commandments, Judgments, and Testimonies 1 Kings 2:1-4; Nehemiah 9:13 1 Kings 2:3 And keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself: 4. And the Tables of the Covenant Exodus 25:1-26; Hebrews 9:1-5 Hebrews 9:2 For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. CHAPTER 4 The Incarnation of Christ From the Birth of Christ to the Day of Pentecost 5. I Am Not Come to Destroy the Law, But to Fulfil Matthew 5:1-2, 17-18 17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 6. Which Is the Great Commandment in the Law? Matthew 22:34-40 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 7. All These Commandments Have I Observed from My Youth Mark 10:17-27 19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. 20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. 8. If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments. John 14:5-21 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. CHAPTER 5 The Church Age From the Day of Pentecost to the Rapture of the Church 9. That He through the Holy Ghost Had Given Commandments unto the Apostles Acts 1:1-5 2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: 10. The Gentiles Are Not Commanded to Keep the Law Acts 14:26-28; 15:1-30 Acts 15:5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. Acts 15:24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment: 11. For With My Mind I Serve the Law of God Romans 7:1-8:3 7:25 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. 12. Put on the New Man, Which Is Renewed in Knowledge Colossians 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 13. For Ye Know What Commandments We Gave You by the Lord Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 4:1-5 2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. 14. I Will Put My Laws into Their Mind Hebrews 8:1-13 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 15. And Hereby We Do Know That We Know Him, If We Keep His Commandments 1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 16. His Commandments Are Not Grevious: 1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. To Obey the Ten Commandments Or Not to Obey Them Endnotes Page Introduction The purpose in writing about the biblical topic of the Ten Commandments or on any other biblical topic is to allow the reader to look at this subject from Genesis to Revelation, see the related verses that pertain to it, and to be able to make up their own mind concerning whether obeying the Ten Commandments is for the Christian to observe or not. Some will say that obeying the Ten Commandments is for today, because this is the teaching that their church promotes, so therefore it must be true. Others might say that their church does not promote obeying the Ten Commandments, but promotes the view of thinking with the mind of Christ. What does it mean to be thinking with the mind of Christ? Still others might say who cares whether you are obeying the Ten Commandments or thinking with the mind of Christ as long as you are thinking Godly thoughts. If the church you are attending advocates obeying the Ten Commandments, then shouldn’t you know what the scriptural basis is for supporting this belief, and conversely if the church you are attending advocates thinking with the mind of Christ, then shouldn’t you know what the scriptural basis is for supporting this belief. In Acts 17:10-12, Paul and Silas have left Thessalonica and have arrived in the city of Berea. When they entered the synagogue, they preached unto those in attendance the gospel. What they found out was that the Bereans were willing to listen and examine as to whether the promises and types of the Old Testament corresponded with the alleged fulfillment in the person, works, and sufferings of Jesus Christ. The Bereans made a careful and exact research against the scriptures in order to see if what Paul had said agreed with what the Scriptures said. And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Beroea: who when they were come thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of the mind, examining the Scriptures daily, whether these things were so. Many of them therefore believed; also of the Greek women of honorable estate, and of men, not a few. Shouldn’t we have this same mindset? Like the Bereans, we should be attentive and respectful concerning the doctrinal teaching from those in leadership, however, we should not just take for granted what was spoken, but examine what was said by means of proper scripture analysis in accordance with the leading and guiding into all truth by means of the Holy Spirit. What I mean by proper scriptural analysis is the careful and exact research of what has been taught exegetically (hermeneutically), which refers to scriptural interpretation based on an analysis of grammatical features and historical background. This study will present two opposing views in regard as to whether a Christian should obey the Ten Commandments. What we will also learn is there are different ways of studying the bible, each of which could yield a different view on any biblical topic. So, let’s get started. Remember, as Paul wrote this verse to Timothy, so as an application, I am recording this verse here for you. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15) CHAPTER 1 There Are Two Ways to Formulate a View on Any Doctrinal Topic Before we attempt to read about these two views, we are going to take a look at a very important word, which is called dispensations. Let’s define it and take a look at where it is found in scripture. Dispensation: A dispensation is a period of human history defined in terms of divine revelation. The doctrine of dispensations is the vehicle by which believers living at a specific time can orient to God’s will, plan, and purpose for their lives. There are two words which we will take a look at from Acts 1:6-7 one of which is where the word dispensations comes from. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. The background of these verses is that just before Christ ascended into heaven his disciples asked him about when he would restore the kingdom of Israel. Jesus responded by saying it was not for them to know the times or the seasons. The word “times” is from the Greek word chronous and it refers to time as a succession of events, one following the other in chronological order. The other word is “seasons” which is from the Greek word kairous, which denotes an era, a system, or order of chronology. This noun is frequently used for the organization of historical events in their dispensational categories. So, there you have it. The word dispensations comes from the word “seasons”. 1. Dispensational: This idea states that time is divided into eras or dispensations. A dispensation is a period of time in which God relates to human beings in different ways under different biblical covenants. A dispensationalist believes that human history is divided into seven dispensations. The Age of the Gentiles: a period of time from Adam and Eve to the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt under Moses. The Age of Israel: from the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt under Moses to the birth of Jesus Christ. The Age of the Hypostatic Union: from the birth of Christ to the day of Pentecost. The Church Age: From the day of Pentecost to the rapture of the church. The Age of Tribulation: from the rapture of the church to Christ’s Second Coming (return to earth). The Millennial Age: from Christ’s return to earth to the end of his 1000 year reign. The Eternal State: eternity. According to the dispensationalist, the view on any biblical topic is to be derived from the scriptures that relate to that particular period of time. Some examples of a dispensational view on various biblical topics are: Example 1: Tithing (a mandate to give a tenth of; a way to give of one’s sustenance). During the Age of Israel, tithing and free will offerings were the protocol for giving under the institution of the Mosaic Law. However, during the Church Age, the age in which we currently live, tithing is no longer the protocol for giving. Giving is based on one’s free will while operating under the leading, guiding, and prompting of the Holy Spirit. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7) Example 2: Addressing sin which is committed by those in leadership. During the Age of Israel, King David committed adultery with Bathsheba, and had her husband, Uriah, killed. God dealt with David personally by sending the prophet Nathan to disclose to him the consequences for his sins. Under the Mosaic Law, the penalty was the same for committing adultery or murder, which was death. David was responsible to God alone concerning the addressing of and the consequences for his sins. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightiest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. (Psalms 51:4) During the Church Age, the age that we currently live in, if a person in leadership (e.g. apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor-teacher) commits adultery, then Matthew18:15-17 is to be followed. Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. The witness (eye or ear) to the sin of someone in leadership should approach them alone in order to address the matter. If an admission of guilt is made, then the issue is resolved. If the person in leadership refuses to admit guilt, then the person, who originally met with him/her, should go back and meet with him/her again this time bringing another eye or ear witness with them. If an admission of guilt is made, the issue is resolved. If the person in leadership still refuses to admit guilt again, then the issue is to be brought before those of the church who have been assigned to handle these kinds of issues. If it is determined that the person in leadership has committed such sin and still refuses to admit guilt, then he/she is to be removed from the assembly indefinitely. If he/she does admit guilt, then a church censure could be imposed, which would set forth the amount of time that he/she is to be removed from participating in any aspect of the assembly. Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. (1 Timothy 5:19) 2. Non-Dispensational: Principles, policies, traditions or particular emphasis are continued to be promulgated or promoted throughout history. Under this approach those in leadership can use any verse of scripture as the basis to formulate a view on any topic. Whatever view is derived should serve as the basis for interpreting any other verses which pertain to the same topic. Some examples of a non-dispensationalview on various topics are: Example 1: Tithing as instituted during the Age of Israel is still operative today. After the tithe is given, the believer may follow this up by giving a free will offering. Any verse which relates to giving will be interpreted as referring to tithing unless it is specified otherwise. Example 2: Addressing sin which is committed by those in leadership. Addressing someone in leadership, who has committed an egregious sin, is to be looked at in light of how God dealt with David, the king of Israel. David said unto the Lord, “Against thee and thee only have I sinned…” in Psalms 51:4. Any of the verses, which are contained in the New Testament epistles that relate to the issue of addressing the sin of someone in leadership, are to be interpreted according as to how God dealt with those, who were in the leadership positions of the Old Testament. When someone in leadership (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastor-teachers) commits a sin, such as adultery, he/she is accountable only to God and God alone. The verses that follow in this study will be looked at from both a dispensational and non-dispensational perspective. However, the scriptures will be grouped in a dispensational manner. There are four dispensations that this topic will be looked at from: The Age of the Gentiles: a period of time from Adam and Eve to the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt under Moses. The Age of Israel: from the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt under Moses to the birth of Jesus Christ. The Age of the Hypostatic Union: from the birth of Christ to the Day of Pentecost. The Church Age: From the day of Pentecost to the rapture of the church. For a non-dispensationalist, the sections that are grouped dispensationally should not interfere in his/her approach as to their choosing of a particular verse or verses from anywhere in the bible to support their perspective. At the end of each dispensational section, I will provide a summary. Along with this will be included a brief outlook of the topic at hand from the perspective of a dispensationalist and a non-dispensationalist as to how each of them would view the topic based on the scriptures, which had previously been covered. CHAPTER 2 The Age of the Gentiles From the Creation of Adam and Eve to the Exodus: This period of time encompasses the creation of man and the fall of man. Evil ran rampant after the fall. God decided to destroy all of the inhabitants of the human race by means of a flood, except for a God-fearing man named Noah and his family. Following the flood, the human race repopulated, and was of one language. God confused mankind’s language at the Tower of Babel effectively separating the human race into groups. God called a man named Abram, a Gentile, to be the father of the Jewish race. He had a son named Isaac, who had a son named Jacob. Jacob had 12 sons, who were the founders of the 12 tribes of Israel. At some point in time, Jacob and his family lived in the land of Canaan, when a great famine arose. One of Jacob’s sons named Joseph, who Jacob thought had died years earlier, became food commissioner of Pharaoh in Egypt. When Jacob and his sons came before him for food sustenance, Joseph recognized them and made himself known to them. Eventually, his family left Canaan and dwelt in Egypt. As the years passed, a new Pharaoh ruled over the land and the Jews became his slaves. This captivity lasted for 430 years. God determined that it was time to free his people from this bondage, so he raised up a man named Moses to bring them out from their captivity. Remember: A non-dispensationalist will look at scriptures, in which obeying the Ten Commandments were mentioned, and will choose those verses that support the perpetuation of this practice. A dispensationalist will look at scriptures, in which obeying the Ten Commandments were mentioned, and confine the conditions of this practice to the dispensation in which these verses were found. Before we take a look at scriptures from this dispensation I would like to say that if you asked me what my thought was on this topic in my younger years it would be a no brainer for me to say of course a Christian should obey the Ten Commandments. Why was this the case? This was the case because for most us we know what we have been taught. Another word, when we have been taught about a certain biblical topic that’s all we know about it. We take for granted that what we have learned is true and that’s it. As the years went by, I began to realize not to take everything I have been taught at face value. So, here we are. Let’s take a look at whatever scripture sections relate to this topic of the Ten Commandments from the Age of the Gentiles. Enjoy! What are the Ten Commandments? The Ten Commandments are ten prohibitions that were given to Moses by God on two tablets of stone at Mount Sinai. The word “commandments” come from the Hebrew (baariym). They could also be called the moral law, the two tablets of the testimony, the tablets of the covenant, or the Decalogue. These commandments are a statement of the terms of the covenant God made with His chosen people Israel; and in this respect they are to be distinguished from the elaborate system of law known as the Mosaic. The vast legal system of Israel involving civil, criminal, judicial, and ecclesiastical, was framed after the covenant law, not with a view of expanding it, but to enforce it. This elaborate system was designed as an educator, to lead the people into the great principles of life embodied in the Ten Commandments and afterward exhibited in Christ. And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments. (Exodus 34:28) The Ten Commandments are as follows. (Exodus 20:1-17) Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 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 take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. 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 any thing that is thy neighbour's. Whenever the word “commandments” are used, do they always refer to the Ten Commandments? 1. Isaac is to keep God’s commandments: Suggested Readings Genesis 26:1-5; 17:1-10 And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. And the Lord appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; 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. (Genesis 26:1-5) And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.…and thou shalt be a father of many nations. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. (Genesis 17:1-2, 4, 6-10) There was a famine in the land of Canaan. Isaac, Abraham’s son, has an inclination to go to Egypt in order to escape this calamity, but God intervened and told him to stay in the land of Canaan in a place called Gerar. If Isaac followed God, like his father Abraham in: obeying His voice; keeping His charge (the special commission God had given him); keeping His commandments (mitswo - his teachings or instructions); keeping His statutes (an authoritative statement of some kind, the words I have spoken); keeping His laws (the great doctrines of moral obligation), then he will experience God’s blessings for himself and his descendants. These blessings are the blessings of: (God's presence, His blessing, possession of the land, and posterity as numerous as the stars). Keep in mind that the Ten Commandments were not given to Moses until years later. So, in this case the commandments that Isaac was to keep were not the same as the Ten Commandments, which were given to Moses on Mount Sinai. Summary ●If Isaac followed God, like his father Abraham, in obeying His voice, keeping His charge (the special commission God had given him), keeping His commandments (his teachings or instructions), keeping His statutes (an authoritative statement of some kind, the words I have spoken) and keeping His laws (the great doctrines of moral obligation), then he will experience God’s blessings for himself and pass them on to his descendants. Genesis 26:1-5; 17:1-10) There are many verses during this age which use the word “commandments”. However, I didn’t think it appropriate to introduce anymore, because the Ten Commandments have not been introduced yet. Even though we have only one section of verses to look at, how would the dispensationalist and the non-dispensationalist use this verse to support their view concerning as to whether a Christian is obligated to obey the Ten Commandments? The dispensationalist would not use any verses whether they contained the words “commandments” or “ten commandments”, because they would prefer to allow the verses which are contained within each age determine as to whether the observing of the Ten Commandments was mandated. In this case, because the Ten Commandments were not introduced in this dispensation those who believed in God as He was revealed were only responsible to obey God’s commandments (His teachings or instructions). The non-dispensationalist would say that obeying God’s commandments was a prelude to obeying the Ten Commandments. Another word, they would infer that these commandments were prophetic of the Ten Commandments, which were to be given by God to Moses at Mount Sinai for the children of Israel. While it’s true that not every leader who is a non-dispensationalist might share this same view, I believe that you will find that some of them do. 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Synopsis
Were Old Testament saints obligated to keep the Ten Commandments - the Age of the Gentiles?
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