Church of God, New World Ministries

The Ten Commandments - Part 2

The Sixth Commandment

This is an age of Hate and violence. It is an age of intense competiton, strife and personal tensions. Men have forsaken God and His law. Modern man does not know and does not fear the true Creator God. He breaks with impunity the great spiritual law of God. And now he is beginning to pay the penalty.

Obedience to the Ten Commandments would stop the growth of a living HELL which is rapidly festering in what we call civilization today.

Amid the thunders and lightnings and the literal shaking of Mount Sinai, God’s voice thundered the sixth commandment: “Thou shalt not murder” (Ex. 20:13) Bibical authorities agree that “murder” is a more correct reading of the original inspired Hebrew word than the word “kill.” For it is possible to kill and yet not to murder. And it is important to understand that only the letterof God’s Law was given to ancient Israel, whereas Christians are to live even by the spirit and fullest intent of that Law as magnified by Christ Himself.

Under the original letter of the law, it was intentional killing to murder which was forbidden. Remember that in this same “book of the Covenant” given to Israel, God commanded them to kill or execute those guilty of major crimes (Ex. 21:12-17). Also the instructions in (Numbers 35: 9-34) show that accidental killing was not regarded as murder.

Man is given lif, by his Creator. He did not give it to himself. Neither may he take it from himself, or from others. Mankind has been made in the very image and likeness of God. Of all the physical creation, only man has the type of mind that God possesses. God is the Ruler of all that is. But out of human flesh He is forming literal sons who will some day share in that rule.

The giving of life, and breath, and ability includes all. It is the most wondeful gift of which man has knowledge. The taking of life ends all. It cruelly and unexpectedly crushes all the hopes and dreams and plans of a man or woman made in the very image of God Himself. It is a wicked usurpation by man of a preogative belonging to God alone who gives life in the first place and who alone has the authority to take it away (Job 1: 21-22).

That is why any form of murder is one of the ten great sins. It is destroying the highest creation of Almighty God! In effect, it is an attempt to thwart the very purpose of the great, soverign Ruler of this universe.

The giver of all life is God. And puny, mortal man has no business whatsoever interfering with God’s greatest gift.

Jesus Christ came into this world to “magnify” God’s law and make it honourable (Isa. 42:21). Jesus cast a spotlight as it were on the Ten commandments, and showed their real spiritual intent and meaning in the full Christian life. (Matt. 5: 21-22). We find here that murder is traced to its source, HATE and ANGER. Christ declared that if personal anger filled the heart of one of His subjects, such a person is in danger of judgement. If we harbor hate and anger in our hearts, we are harboring the “spirit” of murder. Action follows thought. First we think, then we do! The Spirit of Christ guides us not only to control our actions, but to control our thoughts and our attitudes.

In part, the New Covenant is the process of God writing His law in our hearts and minds, and inward parts (Heb. 8:10). God spoke through the Apostle Paul: “ Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” ( Rom. 12:19).

How, then, should you deal with your enemies? “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; If he thirst, give him drink: For in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (verses 20-21).

It takes real strength of character to help and serve your fellow human being when he has directly tried to harm you. It takes the spiritual wisdom to realize that he is a fellow human being, made in the image of God, and simply misguided for the time being in his thoughts and actions.

God is the giver of every good and every perfect gift (James 1:17). He has given us our lives, our strengths, our minds, our abilities, everything we have or hope to have comes from God. In order to live happily forever as God’s sons and daughters, we must learn to give, to serve, to love, this is the great lesson of life.

The perfect definition of this highest of all attributes, that of Christian LOVE is given in the 13th chapter of I Corinthians. Read it, study it. The spirit of malice and murder is the exact opposite of this basic attribute which God requires of His sons. (I John 3: 14-15)

A continued lack of love in carnal human beings leads to hate. And hate leads to murder. God says the spirit of hate is murder. And this “spirit” of murder is not an indefinable nothing. Doctors and psychologists have clinically proved that people in the attitude of strife and malice and hate literally become sick physically, and have a form of mental insanity if this mental attitude is not changed. There are hundreds and even thousands of human beings in our society who take their own lives, but this, too, is violating the sixth commandment. It is God who gives life, and no ma has the right to take that God-given life. For such a person is refusing to fulfill the purpose for his or her creation and is in effect condemning and blaspheming the very Creator in one of the strongest possible ways!

The modern psychology of pleasing the “self” has led many to other forms of murder. Millions of women from all over this world are committing a crime against God and man which is far greater than most of them have perhaps realized. In their desire to evade responsibility or to cover up shame, they are willfully taking the lives of unborn babies still carried in their wombs! This practice is called abortion and it is clearly murder in the sight of the Almighty God who gave these little ones life.

So-called “mercy killings” is simply the revival of an ancient pagan practice. It advocates the medical “murder” of a patient suffering from an incurable disease or in great pain. But, once again, men who advocate such practices have left God completely out of the picture! They don’t think of God as Real. They have forgotten that God GAVE life and that He alone has the right to take it away. God has never given the right to puny, mortal men to carry on such a so-called practice of “mercy killing.”

is another species of murder that uses the tongue as its instrument. This is the case of a man so reviling, condemning and scandalizing his fellow human being as to lead him to physical and mental sickness, and possibly death or suicide. (Rom. 1: 29-30). Those who revile or scandalize their fellow man to the point of misery and distraction are guilty of the spirit of murder, and perhaps literal murder if such action leads to the death of a fellow human being. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof” (Prov. 18:21).

Perhaps the greatest international crime of humanity is the scourge of war. Millions of human lives created in the image of God have been mercilessly slaughtered down through the ages in useless, senseless, idiotic wars which in most cases failed utterly to accomplish their stated purpose.

Humanity’s “last chance” is to REPENT of the sin of war before human annihilation removes every vestige of life from this planet.

Jesus Christ came preaching the good news of the government or Rule of God. That rule is based on the Ten Commandments, God’s Spiritual Law. When God’s government does come, and very soon now to this earth, His law will go forth as the standard of conduct of all nations ( Micah 4: 1-2). At that time, God alone will wage war to punish rebellious nations in perfect wisdom and justice. As for the peoples of the world themselves? “Nations shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Verse 3). The essence of the matter is that Jesus Christ is against the spirit of murder in every form. He is against war, and someday He will put an end to it forever.

The Seventh Commandment

Is “sexual compatibility” the all important thing in marriage? In this age of broken homes, juvenile delinquents and modern psychology, many will say the answer is “yes.” What does God say about sex? Is it possible that the Eternal Creator could known anything about Sex? Well, He ought to! He designed and created sex, its stimuli, and its functions in the marvelous human body.

The Creator God devoted two of His ten great spiritual laws, the Ten Commandments, to protecting the relationships in the home and family. The first one is to “Honor thy father and thy mother.” The other law directly governing the home and family is contained in the 7th commandment: “Thou shalt not commit adultery” ( Ex. 20: 14).

In this “permissive” modern age, it is important to remind ourselves that God has promised to reward those who break this commandment with the penalty of DEATH. (Lev. 20: 10). Again, in the New Testament, God says: “For the wages of sin is DEATH” (Rom. 6:23).

Now, why is the sin of adultery so great as to merit death, and, in God’s judgement, eternal death in the lake of fire? The reason adultery is such a terrible sin in God’s sight is that marriage is such a precious, righteous, holy thing that must not be defiled.

The meaning of marriage and its great purpose in God’s plan needs desperately to be understood in this age of unhappy marriages and broken homes. To leave God out of the picture, as this modern age is doing, is to degrade the marriage union to mere animalism. Notice God’s purpose in creating man and woman! “And the Lord God said {after He had made only the man}, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make an help meet for him” (Gen. 2:18). God saw that man was incomplete by himself, and so He decided to make a help “meet” or suitable for the man, one with whom man could really share his life.

The woman was a creature equal with Adam, another person with whom he could share everything. And she was created to be a suitable “help” to him, and to be his wife and companion. For God said: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh”

God made us male and female. God created sex as a beautiful and holy thing to be used to His glory. And, as we have just seen, God instituted marriage, not man, or the laws or courts of man.

The first and primary purpose of marriage is to make man and woman complete. Each is incomplete without the other.Man alone was not able to fulfill the purpose for which God created him, was not able to learn the lessons of character which God intended, so God created the woman as a “help” to the man. And in the very creation, God showed that they were to dwell together as man and wife in one fleshly union, to share everything in this life, and so make their lives meaningful and complete in a physical sense as least.

The second purpose of sex and marriage is the begettal and training of children. For God had told the man and the woman: “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it” (Gen. 1:28).

The Divine purpose in sex attraction is to kindle love and intensify it until there is complete and mutual surrender of two lives. Love in its highest sense is union. The marriage union is of mind, heart and body. It is made sacred by God’s command, for He instituted marriage to be the perfect expression of this love of man and woman.

As ordained by God, the marriage union is a Holy thing. It is so holy that in His Word God uses the marriage union as a type of the relationship between Christ and His Church. (Eph. 5: 22-23). How can we ever be faithful to the living God throughout all eternity if we selfishly refuse to be faithful to the mate to which we are bound in this life for only a few years, and to learn the lessons of patience, kindness, longsuffering, self-control, love and faithfulness in the sacred marriage union.

Adultery is not only an offence to the grieved husband or wife involved. It is an offence to their home and their children. It is an offence against society, because it strikes at the very basis of all decent society. But, most of all, it is an offence against God Himself and against an institution which He has ordained and made holy.

The dress and clothing styles of modern women emphasize one thing — sex. Our newspapers headlines emphasize and exploit things having to do with sex. Most modern magazines emphasize sex continually, and often think that they will not be able to sell enough copies unless they can get the word “sex” in the title of some article appearing on the magazine cover!

This sort of thing is simply the lowest form of degrading human filth! And yet this type of literature, and advertisements and articles are literally flooding the markets.

Sex is NOT a “toy” to be played with and experimented with. It should be regarded as a God-given blessing in the holy and sacred marriage union which the Creator God Himself has ordained. It should always be thought of with reverence, and as an expression of unselfish LOVE in a Christian union which pictures the everlasting FAITHFULNESS of Christ and His Church.

The Eight Commandment

We live in a society that is sick and dying. We have lost the right values! We have cut ourselves off from God. With our increasing disobedience to God’s living laws, we are suffering the consequences in physical as well as in spiritual ways. In God’s Law, the most important thing is our Right relationship with Him, covered by the first four commandments, and the protection of the home, the family and human life itself, covered in the next three commandments.

The rebelliousness of the human mind is remarkably evidenced by the fact the human laws have reversed this order of importance. At the present moment, there are far more laws on the books protecting property than there are to protect human life, the home, and the true worship of God.

After the God of heaven thundered from the top of Mt. Sinai the Commandments ordaining the true worship of Him, and laws protecting the most sacred human relationship, the home, the family, and human life itself, God gave the 8th commandment. This is God’s law protecting all private property and possessions: “Thou Shalt Not Steal” (Ex. 20: 15).

Because men do not think the God who gave this command is real, and do not fear to disobey His law, we have more theft than ever before. But we also violate the 8th command in hundreds of ways through a “watered down” system of morality. After discussing some debased scheme by which to cheat a business competitor, executives shrug their shoulders and say: “well, that’s just business.”

Or, after a deception involving false measurement, poor quality or misleading advertising, a businessman will say: “What’s the difference? If I don’t do it, somebody else will.”

When cheating the government or falsifying an income tax return, the common American’s phrase to solve one’s conscience is: “Let Uncle Sam sweat this time. The government is taking too much money anyway. So what?”

Well, it also happens to be God’s business, and He has set in motion a Law stating: “Thou shalt not steal.” When you break God’s law, it breaks you! For God’s laws are living, moving things, like the law of gravity. When you transgress them, the punishment is automatic, and it is sure.

According to the Bible, God’s Word, there are only two ways in which you can come into possession of anything. The first is by a free gift of another person, or from God Himself. The second way is by honest labour, which earns something as a legitimate return.

Young people today are learning to steal in an immensely large and organized fashion. Not only are they stealing articles by the thousands from stores, shops, schools and even churches, but they regularly organize an intricate system of cheating on tests and exams in schools and colleges. But what the young people may not have been told is that cheating is taking a score or grade illegally and is stealing.

Our nations and peoples need to wake up! Just because a sin can be made outwardly to appear respectable, remember that God is the real Judge.

The Eternal God has this to say: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit, the Kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor theives, shall inherit the Kingdom of God” (I Corth. 6: 9-10).

The definite, positive application of the 8th commandment is stated in the New Testament letter to the Ephesians. “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth” ( Eph. 4:28).

On the one side stealing is condemned in this passage, on the other, working and giving are outlined as the way of life, the positive application of God’s command. Property and possessions are to be gained by honest work, not merely to satisfy personal desires and need, so that any excess may be freely given to the brother in need.

As God’s begotten children, we are to become like Him ( Matt. 5:48). And Jesus said: “My father worketh hitherto, and I work” (John 5:17). God’s kingdom is a creating, a working, a producing kingdom. God creates and works in order to give and share with others. (James 1:17).

The positive lesson of the 8th commandment is also summarized in these all-inclusive words of Christ: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). If, through God’s Spirit, we can truly learn to live by those words, we will have indeed fulfilled the spirit of the 8th commandment.

The Ninth Commandment

This is the age of “payola.” It is the age of the sophisticated lie, the double standard of morality. This is the age of respectable appearing industrial leaders and college professors perjuring themselves on the witness stand and even before the United States Senate. This age also presents the peculiar spectable of people who believe in evolution attending churches which nominally at least believe in the Creator God of the Bible.

Jesus Christ of the Bible thoroughly condemned the Hypocrites of His day. What would He say about our generation?

No matter what other faults and weaknesses a man may have, if he is willing to speak the truth, live openly and truthfully what he really is, and acknowledge the truth when it is shown to him, that man can be respected and helped to overcome his personal weaknesses. The far-reaching spiritual application of the 9th Commandment is tremendous. Consider: (1) There is a personal, living Eternal God of this universe whose ways and laws are intrinsically “right.” (2) Therefore, a man who is honest, who is willing to speak the truth and acknowledge the TRUTH when it is revealed, must eventually be “converted” to the true God and His ways.

But a man whose word is no good, who is in the habit of lying to others and to himself, that man’s very character and mental processes are so twisted and perverted that he can never come to understand even the truth of God until his mind is literally “cleaned up!”

That is why it is so vitally important that, even though among humans there may be honest differences of opinion on many matters, we all learn to live and speak truthfully.

The 9th commandment protects every upright and decent person in that it helps guard their reputation. Perhaps there is no more despicable sin than that of slander, the lie invented and spread abroad with intent to harms one’s fellow man.

The thief takes only material goods, which may usually be replaced. But a false witness who slanders may rob one of esteem and reputation in the eyes of his fellow man, and make it difficult for it ever to be fully regained.

The very root principle of all sin is VANITY. “Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities, all is vanity” (Eccl. 1:2). The real reason most men and women reject the true God is that they want to be “gods” in their own eyes and in the eyes of their fellow men. It is all vanity. Every sin that is committed by mankind has its ultimate roots in this one principle. And so it is with every form of lying.

Men lie because they are more concerned with their own self-esteem and sense of importance than they are with the ultimate good of their fellow man. As John said even of the religious leaders of his day. “For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:43).

Men and women are often ashamed of what they call “failure” in a business or social sense. They will cheat, falsify and lie in order to avoid this “failure” or to cover it up.

But from the point of view of what is intrinsically “right,” and of eternal value, the thing they should fear is SIN. For, as the Apostle Paul said, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31).

Christ said: “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall speak all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake” ( Matt. 5:11).

Remember that many whom this deceitful world condemned have received God’s blessing and are heirs of eteranl life. Never forget that it was through the sin of false testimony and lying that Jesus Christ was murdered! “For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together” (Mark 14:56).

Those who follow Satan in his refusal to live by truth have a terrible fate awaiting them: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Rev. 21:8).

Remember, there are no “white lies” in God’s sight. They are all black. Half-truths, distortions and deceptions are condemned throughout the Bible. Jesus said: “Thy word is Truth” (John 17:17). Let us live by that inspired Word that we may inherit eternal life in the kingdom that is based on what is true and right.

The Tenth Commandment

Did you know that recent surveys have revealed that the financial troubles plaguing most families are not the result of low income? Rather, they are directly caused by overextending a normally adequate income for luxuries and personal indulgences, and by the American habait of installment buying! “Buy now and pay later,” say the advertisement. But do you really need to buy this item now? And are you sure you will be able to “pay later.” The nations of this world are on the brink of collapse because they have all followed this principle.

The incessant pressure to “get ahead” which usually means to acquire more money and material property, has become a thing of idolatry. It is blinding the minds and hearts of millions to the life of God. We live in a so-called “Christian” society which is literally based on lust and greed for more and more material things.

Most important of all, this form of idolatry leaves almost no time, strength or desire ever to become acquainted with the true God, whose living laws and ways alone would bring real inner peace and joy.

This present generation above all others need to understand and apply this 10th commandment in their personal and social life. “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s (Ex. 20: 17). Of all the commandments, the 10th refers most specifically to man’s relation to man.

Although this commandment deals most obviously with human and physical relationships, the spiritual requirement of the command is in some ways more rigid than any that has preceded it. This command regulates even the thoughts in the mind and heart of man. Most men look on sin as outward or a physical type of thing. They do not realize that the holy, righteous character which God purposes in us necessitates that even our thoughts be completely purified and made like His. Actions follow thought. What you think, you are.

Obviously, when all eternity is involved, God will not give eternal life to one who in his mind and heart disdains the very character and way of life God purposes for those in His Kingdom. And so when we come to deal with the true God, it is time to stop “kidding” ourselves about religion. We either come to love the Creator God and His ways and laws with all our being, or we will automatically begin to resent His authority and rule over our lives.

We must learn to think like God thinks! We must act like God before we can become part of His family. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” ( Philip 2:5).

Through God’s Spirit in us, we must fight the fight of faith, put down the lustful human nature within us, and ultimately succeed in “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” ( II Corth. 10:5). This is the ultimate goal of the true Christians, to be fully attained in the resurrection.

Our generation needs these words of the Son of God: “Take heed and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consiseth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth” (Luke 12:15). Did you get that? Your real success and happiness in life, Christ said, is not truly able to be measured by how new or powerful a car you drive, the kind of home you live in, the clothes you wear, or even the food you eat.

Happiness is a state of MIND. It comes from having the very Spirit and mind of Jesus Christ in you. Covetousness is a terrible thing, for it cuts you off from the fellowship and blessings and love of the Great God of Heaven who made all that is, but intended that this material creation be used in His service and for His glory.

If you strive to see how much you can give to others and serve them, you will find the true way to happiness and eternal life. You will need to ask God for His help and His Spirit. But you find that this positive approach is the only way you will be able to keep the tenth commandment.

 
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