Are the ten commandments some type of horrible burden? Some seem to think so, but what does the Bible say?
In the next section, Jesus will be quoted about the ten commandments. Notice that He tends to state or imply that keeping each shows love or that breaking any is evil.
Commandment 1 "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment" (Matthew 22:37). "And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment" (Mark 12:30).
Commandment 2 "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:24). "Nevertheless, I have a few things against you, because you allow...My servants to...eat things sacrificed to idols..Now to you I say...who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden" (Revelation 2:20,24).
Commandment 3 "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts...blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man" (Matthew 15:19-20). "...blasphemy...All these evil things come from within and defile a man" (Mark 7:22-23).
Commandment 4 "Therefore, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath" (Matthew 12:11-12). "The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath...Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy?" (Luke 6:5,9). "'Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?'...And they could not answer Him regarding these things" (Luke 14:3,6). "are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath?" (John 7:23).
Commandment 5 "For God commanded, saying, 'Honor your father and your mother'" (Matthew 15:4). "Honor your father and your mother" (Matthew 19:19). "Honor your father and your mother" (Mark 7:10). "Honor your father and your mother" (Mark 10:19). "You know the commandments:...Honor your father and your mother" (Luke 18:20).
Commandment 6 "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment'. But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment" (Matthew 5:21-22). Similarly John wrote, " He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you no that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him" (I John 3:14-15). "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders...These are the things which defile a man" (Matthew 15:19-20). "You shall not murder" (Matthew 19:18). "...murders...All these evil things come from within and defile a man" (Mark 7:21,23).
Commandment 7 "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery'. But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:27-28). "But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery" (Matthew 5:32). "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts...adulteries" (Matthew 15:19-20). "...adulteries, fornications...All these evil things come from within and defile a man" (Mark 7:21,23).
Commandment 8 "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts...thefts...These are the things which defile a man" (Matthew 15:19-20). "...thefts...All these evil things come from within and defile a man" (Mark 7:22-23).
Commandment 9 "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts...false witness...These are the things which defile a man" (Matthew 15:19-20). "For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God" (John 3:20-21). "...deceit...All these evil things come from within and defile a man" (Mark 7:22-23).
Commandment 10 "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts...These are the things which defile a man" (Matthew 15:19-20). "...covetousness...All these evil things come from within and defile a man" (Mark 7:22-23).
Notice how Jesus tied evil thoughts with breaking several of the commandments.
Remember, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).
Jesus Also Taught
"Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and Prophets" (Matthew 22:37-40); in other words the law of God is involved in showing love to God and your neighbor!
Perhaps that is why Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15) and "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him..." (John 14:21) and "He who does not love Me does not keep My words (John 14:24) as well as "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love" (John 15:10).
For further proof, Jesus said of the future, "And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold" (Matthew 24:12). Breaking the law (lawlessness) is linked to lack of love. Jesus magnified the law by explaining its direct link to love or evil! The fact He was to exalt the law was even prophesied! "He will exalt the law and make it honorable" (Is 42:21). Since Jesus was to "exalt the law and make it honorable", should His followers violate it?
"Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, 'Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?' So Jesus said to him...'You know the commandments'" (Mark 10:17,19) and then He listed half of the ten commandments (also in Luke 18:19-20).
In His own words, Jesus taught that keeping the Ten Commandments was good and breaking them was evil. Notice something that the Apostle Paul was inspired to write:
3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, 4 he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, 5 useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.
6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. (1 Timothy 6:3-11)
Why is the "love of money" the root of all kinds of evil"? Because it is covetousness, something that the Ten Commandments teach against!
Who do all things work together for good for?
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
Many claim to love God, but what really is the love of God for Christians?
Notice what the Apostle John wrote:
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome (1 John 5:3).
Now by this we know we know Him if we keep His commandments. He who says 'I know Him', and does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk just as He walked...These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you (I John 2:3-6,26).
Notice that John is writing that the love of God is perfected in him who walk as Jesus walked. Jesus kept and taught the ten commandments. He absolutely did not teach that we can disobey them and teach others to disobey them. Recall that Jesus taught:
Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:19).
An article of related interest may be What Did Jesus Teach About the Ten Commandments?.
The Psalms Teach that the Commandments Are Truth
The Bible makes it clear that the law of God and the commandments of God are truth and righteous, and are tied to salvation, but that the wicked are far from God's law. Notice a few verses from Psalm 119:
101 I have restrained my feet from every evil way, That I may keep Your word.
126 It is time for You to act, O LORD, For they have regarded Your law as void. 127 Therefore I love Your commandments More than gold, yes, than fine gold!
142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And Your law is truth.
144 The righteousness of Your testimonies is everlasting; Give me understanding, and I shall live.
150 They draw near who follow after wickedness; They are far from Your law.
151 You are near, O LORD, And all Your commandments are truth.
152 Concerning Your testimonies, I have known of old that You have founded them forever.
155 Salvation is far from the wicked, For they do not seek Your statutes.
160 The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.
163 I hate and abhor lying, But I love Your law.
165 Great peace have those who love Your law
166 LORD, I hope for Your salvation, And I do Your commandments.
172 My tongue shall speak of Your word, For all Your commandments are righteousness.
While the basic Church of God view is that the commandments show love, the basic Protestant view (followers of William Tyndale not withstanding) seems to be that the law contained in the ten commandments is done away and that they (most Protestants) show love apart from the law. In the view of the Church of God, the cause of many of the problems people now experience is because they have rejected God's governance over their lives, including keeping His laws. The main Protestant view seems to be that most of the problems people have are because they live on the Earth, and that for some reason other than obeying God's commandments, paradise--which they define as being in heaven--will be better than Earth.
(An article of possible interest may be Hope of Salvation: How the Church of God Differs from Protestantism).
While this paper would be too long to list all the curses in the Bible for breaking the ten commandments, in this section I will list one set of curses from the Old Testament, and what essentially amounts as a curse from the end of the New Testament.
First, notice Deuteronomy 28:
15 "But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: 16 Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country. 17 Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. 18 Cursed shall be the fruit of your body and the produce of your land, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks. 19 Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.
20 "The LORD will send on you cursing, confusion, and rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your doings in which you have forsaken Me. 21 The LORD will make the plague cling to you until He has consumed you from the land which you are going to possess. 22 The LORD will strike you with consumption, with fever, with inflammation, with severe burning fever, with the sword, with scorching, and with mildew; they shall pursue you until you perish. 23 And your heavens which are over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you shall be iron. 24 The LORD will change the rain of your land to powder and dust; from the heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed. 25 The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you shall go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them; and you shall become troublesome to all the kingdoms of the earth. 26 Your carcasses shall be food for all the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and no one shall frighten them away. 27 The LORD will strike you with the boils of Egypt, with tumors, with the scab, and with the itch, from which you cannot be healed. 28 The LORD will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of heart. 29 And you shall grope at noonday, as a blind man gropes in darkness; you shall not prosper in your ways; you shall be only oppressed and plundered continually, and no one shall save you. 30 You shall betroth a wife, but another man shall lie with her; you shall build a house, but you shall not dwell in it; you shall plant a vineyard, but shall not gather its grapes. 31 Your ox shall be slaughtered before your eyes, but you shall not eat of it; your donkey shall be violently taken away from before you, and shall not be restored to you; your sheep shall be given to your enemies, and you shall have no one to rescue them. 32 Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people, and your eyes shall look and fail with longing for them all day long; and there shall be no strength in your hand. 33 A nation whom you have not known shall eat the fruit of your land and the produce of your labor, and you shall be only oppressed and crushed continually. 34 So you shall be driven mad because of the sight which your eyes see. 35 The LORD will strike you in the knees and on the legs with severe boils which cannot be healed, and from the sole of your foot to the top of your head. 36 The LORD will bring you and the king whom you set over you to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other gods--wood and stone. 37 And you shall become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword among all nations where the LORD will drive you. 38 You shall carry much seed out to the field and gather but little in, for the locust shall consume it. 39 You shall plant vineyards and tend them, but you shall neither drink of the wine nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them. 40 You shall have olive trees throughout all your territory, but you shall not anoint yourself with the oil; for your olives shall drop off. 41 You shall beget sons and daughters, but they shall not be yours; for they shall go into captivity. 42 Locusts shall consume all your trees and the produce of your land. 43 The alien who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower. 44 He shall lend to you, but you shall not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail. 45 Moreover all these curses shall come upon you and pursue and overtake you, until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you. 46 And they shall be upon you for a sign and a wonder, and on your descendants forever.
47 "Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything, 48 therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the LORD will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of everything; and He will put a yoke of iron on your neck until He has destroyed you. 49 The LORD will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies, a nation whose language you will not understand, 50 a nation of fierce countenance, which does not respect the elderly nor show favor to the young. 51 And they shall eat the increase of your livestock and the produce of your land, until you are destroyed; they shall not leave you grain or new wine or oil, or the increase of your cattle or the offspring of your flocks, until they have destroyed you. 52 They shall besiege you at all your gates until your high and fortified walls, in which you trust, come down throughout all your land; and they shall besiege you at all your gates throughout all your land which the LORD your God has given you. 53 You shall eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and your daughters whom the LORD your God has given you, in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you. 54 The sensitive and very refined man among you will be hostile toward his brother, toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the rest of his children whom he leaves behind, 55 so that he will not give any of them the flesh of his children whom he will eat, because he has nothing left in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you at all your gates. 56 The tender and delicate woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground because of her delicateness and sensitivity, will refuse to the husband of her bosom, and to her son and her daughter, 57 her placenta which comes out from between her feet and her children whom she bears; for she will eat them secretly for lack of everything in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you at all your gates (Deuteronomy 28:15-57).
The USA is getting into more and more debt with aliens being owed more and more (see also Anglo - America in Prophecy). This is a curse for this age. The starvation mentioned will be coming unless people will repent and keep the commandments--God's commandments are not burdensome (1 John 5:3), as many seem to claim.
Now let's go to the end of the Bible:
14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie (Revelation 22:14-15).
Not being able to enter the kingdom is a curse for the age to come.
God is clearly trying to tell humans that breaking the ten commandments is not good. Those who do not keep them are practicing a lie.
The results of breaking the ten commandments are crime. On a physical level this means thefts, frauds, and murder. Additional evils from breaking the sexual laws often include betrayal, divorce, sexually-transmitted disease, and abortion (see also Abortion, the Bible, and a Woman's Right to Choose)--furthermore, breaking them distorts the development of true love.
Hate, oppression, greed, terrorism, and wars are also the result of not keeing the ten commandments (see also Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare?).
"Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil" (Romans 12:9).
"Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery', 'You shall not steal', 'You shall not bear false witness', 'You shall not covet', and if there is any other commandment, all are summed up in this saying, namely, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself'. Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law" (Romans 13:8-10).
"Abstain from every form of evil" (I Thessalonians 5:22).
"For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows" (1 Timothy 6:10).
The point of the law, the point of the Ten Commandments, as Paul writes above is love!
Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war (James 4:1-2).
James even emphasized that you must keep all of the commandments to show love:
If you really fulfill the royal law according to scripture, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself,' you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, 'Do not commit adultery,' also said, 'Do not murder'. Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law (James 2:8-11).
The Ten Commandments lay the foundation for an ethical way of life.
Did you know that Paul also wrote the following?
Now the purpose of the commandment is love...(1 Timothy 1:5)
Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4).
Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil...In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother (1 John 3:7,8,10).
What does the Bible teach is righteousness?
For all Your commandments are righteousness (Psalms 119:172).
Peter added, by quoting the 34th Psalm,
For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the LORD is against those that do evil (I Peter 3:12).
Peter contrasted the righteous (those who keep the commandments) with the evil (those that do not).
John also wrote,
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 burdensome (1 John 5:2-3).
We should not let any person, or group, deceive us on this matter. The Ten Commandments reflect love, breaking them is evil.
B. Thiel, 1999/2006/ 2007/ 2009 /2010/2011/2012 0519
Appendix: Was the Commandment to Love the Only Command?
Some have suggested that when John wrote about commands, he only meant that Christians should love one another. The most commonly quoted verses are probably I John 3:23 which states, "And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment" and I John 4:21 which states, "And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also."
John also wrote, "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep his commandments" (I John 5:2). This also agrees with Paul and James who made it clear that you must keep the commandments to love your brother/neighbor (Romans 13:8-10; James 2:8-11).
John apparently felt all ten commandments must be kept as he wrote most of the following:
Commandment 1 "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (I John 2:15); which is another way of saying, put nothing in the world before God. "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God" (Revelation 14:9). "Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image" (Revelation 20:4). "But the...unbelieving...shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Revelation 21:8).
Commandment 2 "Little children, keep yourselves from idols" (I John 5:21). "But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam...to eat things sacrificed to idols" (Revelation 2:14). "Nevertheless, I have a few things against you, because you allow...My servants to...eat things sacrificed to idols" (Revelation 2:20). "But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk" (Revelation 9:20). "But ...idolaters...shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Revelation 21:8). "But outside are...idolaters" (Revelation 22:15).
Commandment 3 "He is the antichrist who denies the Father and the Son" (I John 2:22).
Commandment 4 "These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum" (John 6:59). "He who says he abides in Him ought also to walk just as He walked" (I John 2:6)--remember Jesus always went to the synagogues on the Sabbath (Luke 4:16; John 6:59).
Commandment 5 "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God" (I John 3:1).
Commandment 6 "Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and we know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him" (I John 3:15). "And they did not repent of their murders" (Revelation 9:21). "He...who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword" (Revelation 13:10). "But ...murderers...shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Revelation 21:8). "But outside are...murderers" (Revelation 22:15).
Commandment 7 "For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes...is not of the Father but is of the world" (I John 2:16). "Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation" (Revelation 2:22). "And they did not repent of ...their sexual immoralities" (Revelation 9:21). "But the...sexual immoral...shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Revelation 21:8). "But outside are...sexually immoral" (Revelation 22:15).
Commandment 8 Peter wrote, "But let none of you suffer as...a thief" (I Pet 4:15), but John seems to have expanded on the theme of this commandment when he wrote, "whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him" (I John 3:17). "And they did not repent of ...their thefts" (Revelation 9:21).
Commandment 9 "He who says 'I know Him', and does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (I John 2:4). "I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth" (I Jon 2:21). "And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars" (Revelation 2:22). "But ...liars...shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Revelation 21:8). "But outside are...whoever loves and practices a lie" (Revelation 22:15).
Commandment 10 "For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world" (I John 2:16).
John also wrote,
"Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter the through the gates into the city" (Revelation 22:14).
"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 burdensome" (I John 5:2-3).
"Now by this we know we know Him if we keep His commandments. He who says 'I know Him', and does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk just as He walked" (I John 2:3-6).
It seems then, when John wrote about the commandments in plural, he was referring to the ten commandments and when he wrote about the commandment singular, he was referring to love (which he also tied to keeping the commandments, i.e. I John 5:2-3).
Notice what the Apostle John wrote:
"Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God" (3 John 11).
"These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you" (I John 2:26).
Be not deceived, the ten commandments do reflect love. Breaking the ten commandments is evil.
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