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Bronzesnake
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« on: April 11, 2006, 02:34:32 AM »

 I get a weekly Bible study by Dr.Jack Van Impe, and this is the first of a series on "Ten Suggestions or Commandments?" It looks really good so I'll post the entire study as I receive it each week.

A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE

Ten Suggestions or Commandments?

Multitudes are convinced that they possess salvation. However, the reasons they give for being saved are erroneous. They talk about their efforts to please God and gain heaven. They mention baptism, confirmation, the Golden Rule, the Sermon on the Mount, and the Ten Commandments as means of salvation. How sad! While it is true that God gave us many of these wonderful ordinances, rules, and commands, it is equally true that none of them were ever presented to mankind as a means of obtaining eternal life. God gave us something greater -- He gave us His own Son.

John 3:16, the gospel in a nutshell, states, For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. This Christ is the only way. All of man's meritorious efforts fall flat, because salvation is through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, he that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life (1 John 5:12). In the light of this introduction, let us investigate God's purpose in presenting to the world His glorious Ten Commandments.

The law's purpose

Contrary to most modern thinking, the Commandments were never given to save men's souls. For the law made nothing perfect (Hebrews 7:19). Therefore, one must find another reason for Sinai's demands. It is found in Romans 3:20 which declares, By the law is the knowledge of sin.

Again, James tells us in chapters 1 and 2 that God's law is like a mirror. It reflects one's image, reveals the dirt, and drives the soiled sinner to Christ for cleansing. The mirror cannot change the condition, only reveal the situation. It is Christ who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood (Revelation 1:5).

This is the clear meaning of Galatians 2:21 which states, If righteousness come by the law [Ten Commandments], then Christ is dead in vain. How useless Christ's death is if man can produce his own salvation by following a code of ethics or a series of commands. Because this is an impossibility, God sent His Son to shed His sinless blood for hopeless transgressors. By doing this, He said once, for all, and forever, This is the way, walk ye in it (Isaiah 30:21).

So, we see that the Law was never intended to save, but rather to reflect one's sinful condition and then to condemn and to destroy the sinner. That is why Romans 4:15 states, The law worketh wrath and 2 Corinthians 3:6 declares, The letter killeth. This is its purpose -- not salvation. For by the works of the law [Ten Commandments] shall no flesh be justified (Galatians 2:16). With this explanatory background, let us look in the mirror and see if we have sinful faces.

The Ten Commandments

God's Ten Commandments are found in Exodus 20:3,4,7,8,12-17. They are as follows:

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.
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Honor thy father and thy mother.
Thou shalt not kill.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Thou shalt not steal.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
Thou shalt not covet [desire] thy neighbor's house...wife, nor...any thing that is thy neighbor's.
Millions simply cry, "I have never broken any of the laws of God." Even the rich young ruler audaciously uttered such nonsense. What folly! A simple probe into the New Testament's interpretations of the Commandments silences the arrogant forever.

God gave His laws that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God (Romans 3:19). Yes, He gave these standards to shut the mouths of self-righteous humans who constantly boast about their morality, works, and goodness. Friend, there is none righteous (Romans 3:10). Let's prove this statement as each commandment speaks for itself. Hear God!

We will look at the first three commandments this week, and the remaining seven in the coming weeks.

The Commandments interpreted

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

One may think that because he is not a Buddhist, Mohammedan, or a Moonite he automatically is absolved from all guilt concerning this first commandment, but Satan is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). When one places material values before spiritual blessings, he automatically bows at the wrong shrine. He worships another god. That god may be one's home, car, family, or money.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:24, No man can serve two masters [two gods]: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Imagine, Christ called money another god, and millions worship filthy lucre today. That is why they cheat, lie, and even rob God of His tithes see Malachi 3:8

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.

God hates idolatry. Three times in Romans 1, we find the words God gave them up. God was appalled at the abominable practices of the people and gave them over to their vile desires.

One of the sins that grieved Jehovah God was they changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man (Romans 1:23). Idolatry is so loathed by God that Revelation 21:8 says, Idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. Is it any wonder that God cries, Little children, keep yourselves from idols (1 John 5:21)?

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.

This commandment is broken millions of times daily. God is used to damn everyone and everything in this age of blasphemy. Ladies have become hardened in their usage of gutter language. Scores, even among the socially elite, sound like tramps. Romans 3:14,18 truly pictures today's society. Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness, and there is no fear of God before their eyes.

Rexella and I were seated near a group of cursing women in a restaurant. Their language was fit only for a brothel. When I heard one of them curse my God, I walked to their table and said, "I wonder if you women would watch your language, because I have a lady at the next table!" These liberated sinners could have gnashed me to death with their false teeth after that shocking episode! Wow!

If this bothered them, think of their fate when they meet God at the Judgment Day, for the Lord will not hold him [or her] guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

At this point, may I caution many of you who use euphemisms that are equally blasphemous. A number of dictionaries mention the following terms as profane shortcuts in cursing God: Gee, Gee-whiz, Gees, Oh, my God, Gosh, Golly, and a slew of others. The Bible states, Holy and reverend is his name (Psalm 111:9). Let's praise His matchless name!
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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2006, 05:53:22 AM »

Hello Bronzesnake,

AMEN BROTHER!

The LAW is the schoolmaster that brings all of us to the knowledge of sin. The more we study the Holy Bible, the more we know that there are no righteous men without sin. Once we learn of our lost condition and the curse of sin and death, the absolute REALITY OF JESUS AND THE CROSS becomes the most precious event in the history of mankind. No man could keep or fulfill the LAW, but JESUS CHRIST, our Lord and Saviour, DID!

Brother, I'm reflecting on some beautiful things right now, and I hope that everyone who reads this article will have the same thoughts. I'm giving thanks that I don't have my faith, trust, and hope in men or myself. I know how often I fail, but I know that JESUS never fails.

I'm especially giving thanks that the Blood of JESUS on the Cross bought me, and I am a purchased possession of JESUS. All of my faith, trust, and hope is in JESUS. JESUS will never fail us, never forsake us, and HE will always keep HIS Promises perfectly and completely. I have no doubt at all in JESUS, and HE holds me in HIS Mighty Hands FOREVER!


Thanks be unto GOD for HIS unspeakable GIFT!, JESUS CHRIST, our Lord and Saviour forever!

Every day is a good day to worship, praise, and thank our Lord and Saviour, JESUS CHRIST. HE loved us enough to die for us, even when we were wallowing in darkness and sin. We know that HE arose from the dead and LIVES because HE LIVES in our hearts and walks with us. We don't just think that HE arose from the dead - we KNOW that HE arose from the dead and is our LIVING LORD over our lives. We are now the children of the KING OF KINGS, and HE allows us to talk and pray to HIM. HE has given us a full inheritance with the Saints in LIGHT, and HE has prepared a place for us for Eternity. These are beautiful facts for us to think about many times each day. This is why Christians should be the happiest people on earth. We know that our time here on earth is short and we are just passing through. Our citizenship is in Heaven, and our Eternity is with the ONE who loved us the MOST, JESUS CHRIST!

Love In Christ,
Tom

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 NASB  But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
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Bronzesnake
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« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2006, 09:24:12 PM »

Amen brotherTom.
What an inspirational brother you are and continue to be for me and others!

Here's more of the study...

We want to continue in our study of the Ten Commandments this week. Last week we covered the first three, and today we will cover the remaining seven.

4. Which day is the Sabbath? Is it Saturday? On which day should a Christian worship? I believe it is Sunday. The Saturday Sabbath was given to Israel. Ezekiel 20:12,20 states: I gave them [Israel] my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD and also hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you [Israel]. This was the first covenant to Israel.

Christians have a new covenant. Jesus made a surety of a better testament (Hebrews 7:22). He [Christ] is the mediator of a better covenant (Hebrews 8:6). He [Christ] is the mediator of the new testament [or new agreement] (Hebrews 9:15).

Because of His death and this new agreement, we are no longer under ceremonial laws involving days. Moral laws are in effect in believer's hearts, but not the ceremonial laws. Proof? God says in Colossians 2:14,16 that Christ [blotted] out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.... Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy- day, or of the new moon, or [Get it!] of the sabbath days.

We are not under the law, but under grace (Romans 6:14). God's moral law is written within and upon the hearts of believers, but ceremonial laws involving days have been nailed to the cross. We honor the Saviour of the new covenant on a new day -- the day of His resurrection, which is Sunday, the first day of the week. This we do out of love, not servitude, not through law, but through grace.

5. Honour thy father and thy mother. This commandment is being flung to the winds by many young people who claim to love God. However, if one really loves God, he will love the words of God. Jehovah says, Honour your parents. Christ repeats the command in Matthew 19:19, and Paul says in Ephesians 6:1-3, Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. Did you notice that God pronounces a special blessing upon those who love and honour their parents, the blessing of a long life? It is so important that neglect along these lines should be confessed immediately

6. Thou shalt not kill. I will not waste time expounding this particular commandment. In fact, thousands of "murderers" may be reading this study this very moment. Why are you murderers? Because you hate your mother-in-law or your daughter-in-law. You would like to throw your son-in-law out the window -- head first! Some are ready to smash the face of a neighbor and let him have it the second time as he turns his cheek.

Some hate the preacher and his family. Others malign the deacons or church members or anyone who disagrees with them one iota. Guess what? That's murder, for, whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him (1 John 3:15). Be sure you are saved for, He that loveth not knoweth not God (1 John 4:Cool.

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Are you blameless along this line? You say, "Yes, sir. I have always been faithful to the little lady." Wait a minute. Jesus said, Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart (Matthew 5:28).

You say, "Not guilty! I have never had an impure thought in my life." I will get you when we hit the ninth commandment, Thou shalt not lie! But first, let's look at number eight.

8. Thou shalt not steal. Paul said, Let him that stole steal no more (Ephesians 4:28). If you do not put in your full eight hours daily, you are a thief robbing your employer in a very dishonest way. If you copy another's paper at school or cheat on an exam, you are dishonest, stealing a grade in a deceitful way.

Every ball-point pen and rubber band removed from the office is thievery. This sin must be confessed -- soon! Some of you have half of the factory or office stored in the cellar or attic. After death, you will have to transport it to hell, because no thief enters heaven (see 1 Corinthians 6:10).

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness. These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a LYING TONGUE, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that DEVISETH WICKED IMAGINATIONS, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren (Proverbs 6:16-19, emphasis mine).

The entire listing has to do with the sins of lying and gossip. Is an eternity of separation from God worth the practice of these abominations? That is the final outcome, for outside of heaven are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie (Revelation 22:15). Oh, turn from this wickedness to Christ who is the truth (John 14:6).

10. The final commandment is, Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house...wife, nor ...any thing that is thy neighbour's. The word covet means "to desire," and the world is full of desire. It is so bad, they even made a movie entitled A Streetcar Named Desire. Ha!

Certainly all of us have coveted at one time or another saying, "Oh, look at his big Colonial house and I have this dinky bungalow. If only I had his home." Or, "Look at the big Chrysler New Yorker he is driving and I have this Volkswagen. If only we could swap!" Or, "Look at his wife -- whew! and then look at mine -- ugh! If only we could switch!"

Have you ever desired anyone else's possessions? Then you have broken God's commandment. Someone resounds, "If that be true, we have all sinned." Exactly! That is why Isaiah 53:6 declares, All we like sheep have gone astray and Galatians 3:22 proclaims, But the scripture hath concluded all under sin.

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Bronzesnake
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« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2006, 06:45:58 PM »

Multitudes trust in commandment-keeping as a means of appeasing God and entering heaven. This is drastically wrong because it leads a soul into eternal separation from God who gave the Commandments. Does this seem contradictory? It isn't when one understands God's purpose in issuing Sinai's demands. Why, then, was the first Law given?

First, because the Commandments are spiritual detectives. Now detectives accumulate evidence in order to incriminate and convict law breakers. Likewise, God's detectives, the Commandments, also incriminate and condemn the breakers of heaven's laws. In fact, they find every member of the human race guilty as an enemy of righteousness.

Proof? Romans 3:20: Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Paul says in Romans 7:7, I had not known sin, but by the law [Commandments]. Romans 3:19 tells us that the Commandments were given that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

We are all sinners

So let's call God's policemen as witnesses and see if these things be so. Is it really true that all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)? There is no doubt about it! God's Commandments prove it. We listed them and explained all ten of them in the last chapter.

Have you ever broken one of these Commandments? Then you are guilty. If you egotistically, arrogantly, and proudly profess with self-righteous piousness that you have never broken one of these Commandments, you call Almighty God a liar. He said, There is none righteous, no, not one (Romans 3:10).

It's your word against God's. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us (1 John 1:10). Quit fooling yourself. Let God's detectives bring you to the place of seeing your sin-laden condition. Then call upon Christ for salvation.

Do you want further proof? Then let's go back and analyze commandments six and seven. Commandment six is, Thou shalt not kill. First John 3:14-15 states, We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

Yes, hatred becomes murder in God's eyes. Surely there has been a time in every life when bitterness, animosity, and hatred toward others existed. Be honest. Have you always been a kind, gracious, loving, tenderhearted person to all people? Of course not. Then you stand convicted by God's detectives, the Commandments.

Again, commandment seven says, Thou shalt not commit adultery. You may think you are free from this sin because an overt act of gotcha146 with another, outside of marriage, has never occurred. Wait a minute! Jesus said in Matthew 5:28, Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. A lustful, mental longing for another becomes adultery in the sight of God.

Again you stand convicted before God's detectives if you have ever harbored impure thoughts. "Oh," you say, "I have never had an impure thought cross my mind." I have you where I want you, because you have just broken the ninth commandment, Thou shalt not lie. Every honest person knows that Satan has, at some point, thrown unclean images into his mental processes. This becomes sin because; The thought of foolishness is sin (Proverbs 24:9).

James 2:10 goes on to say, For whosoever shall keep the whole law [all Ten Commandments], and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. Think of it -- ten-fold guilt by breaking just one point of the Ten Commandments! No wonder the scripture hath concluded all under sin (Galatians 3:22).

We are all condemned by the Law

God's Commandments are also declarations of doom. Romans 4:15 states, The law [Commandments] worketh wrath. In Romans 7:10, Paul says, The commandment..I found to be unto death. Romans 8:2 calls the Commandments the law of sin and death.

Again in 2 Corinthians 3:6, Paul says, The letter [or the Law] killeth. Verse 7 labels the Law as the ministration of death [or condemnation]. Yes, the Ten Commandments pronounce a curse on all who are not 100 percent perfect, for cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them (Galatians 3:10). Therefore, because of our imperfections as human beings, we all stand condemned.

Now why is the law of God so demanding? Because it is holy and just (see Romans 7:12). So, since all have sinned and since the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), the Law not only uncovers our sin but also judges and condemns it. This exposure of sin through the Law is taught in Romans 7:7 where Paul says, I had not known sin, but by the law [by the Commandments]: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

Then after the Law exposes sin, it also condemns the wickedness it reveals because the Law is holy in nature. Please understand this truth! It is man's sin that causes death and destruction. The Holy Law simply exposes and condemns the sin practiced by the sinner. That is the summation of Romans 7:13. Was then that which is good [the Law] made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the [x-ray exposure of] commandment might become exceeding sinful. There it is! The Holy Law of God detects, exposes, magnifies, and finally condemns the sin that destroys the sinner.

Believers are not under the Law

Finally, the Commandments are also dead decrees to the believer. Praise God! We are not under the law, but under grace (Romans 6:14). A child of God is not saved by following the Commandments given to Moses. Study the Book of Galatians to further enlighten your mind to this blessed truth.

Salvation is by the grace of God, and grace means "unmerited favor" -- yes, favor from God that hopeless sinners do not merit. It is not man's tiresome strivings that make him saved, nor is this lifetime struggle to appease God that keeps him saved. Instead, the just shall live by faith (Romans 1:17). Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1).

Presently, the Commandments still expose and condemn the sinner. However, once the sinner is saved through the merits of the shed blood of Christ, the Law is no longer needed. Why? Because God now lives within the believer and can deal personally with His child. I don't need a letter of instruction from my wife concerning household chores when my wife is standing by my side pointing to that which needs fixing. So it is with the saved. Romans 7:4: Ye also are become dead to the law [Ten Commandments] by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him [Christ] who is raised from the dead.

In other words, now that one has the Lord, he no longer needs an instructional sheet of commandments because he has the Giver of the commandments living in his body, soul, and spirit. This is the beautiful teaching of Galatians 3:24,25: The law was our schoolmaster [teacher] to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. The teacher was needed until the day of graduation. Then his job was finished.

We see, then, that the Law was a temporary teacher pointing out right and wrong until the great Teacher would come and live in believers' hearts. At this point, His Spirit within each genuine Christian would take over the teaching position.You don't believe it? Here is proof. Galatians 3:19: Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come. What's that again? The Law was given to sinners to show them their iniquities only until the seed (Christ) should come.

Today, the Law still shows men their sins to point them to Christ. Then, as soon as He indwells the believer, the new Christian hears the voice of the Lord himself. A list of duties is no longer necessary because Christ himself does the instructing. We are also dead to the Law with respect to its damning effects because Christ has already experienced the curse of the Law in our place. Galatians 3:13 declares, Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. Yes, our blessed Lord took the curse the Law had placed upon us when He died at Calvary, and those who receive Him are no longer judged or cursed (see John 3:18).
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