True Happiness

“Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in His commandments.” Psalm 112:1 (KJV)

Happiness from the world in which we live is fleeting.  We can laugh and be “happy” one minute, then, sadly defeated, depressed, and discouraged the next.  Where we were “happy” for an hour or two; we are the other for days and weeks on end.

Let me give you three things that lead to true happiness;

  1.  Fear the LORD; and that means you want to do nothing to anger Him, but you live in love for Him;
  2.   Praise the LORD;  you make much of Him, and little of yourself.  He is your reason for being, for living.  Lift high the glorious name of Jehovah, through His only begotten Son Jesus;
  3.   Delight in His commandments; rejoice in His Word.  Hide it in your heart, that you might not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11).

Let your life be a life filled with the Spirit of the LORD, and you will be Blessed – happy; truly joyous.  The only way to be able to live this is through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ the Son of God, and God the Son.

The Right Ones

“Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? Do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men? Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth.” Psalm 58:1-2 (KJV)

It seems that when men get power they begin to think in their own minds that they are right.  No matter what they do it is right in their own minds and heart they are convinced of that.  Men and women who get into politics seem to think they better know what is right for the State government or the Federal government; and the people have no clue.  They are right the people are wrong.

In David’s case the “congregation” evidently believed they were the righteous ones; but they were against God.  They are in fact the wicked, and are working wickedness.  It may be that David has king Saul, and his people in mind here.

As followers of Jesus Christ we need to know that “Power does not make right”.  Those in authority do not have permission to suddenly change what is right and what is wrong; making right wrong and wrong right.  And in the United States of America the Supreme Court does not have the right, nor the power to change the laws of God.  Just because they have deemed something legal, does not make it right.  They are in fact, before the eyes of God, declared unrighteous, unholy, and wicked.

I want to ask all Christians to pray for our Supreme Court of the U. S. of A. as in a few weeks they will hear arguments concerning “Same sex marriage”; an abomination in the eyes of God, and according to His Word.  Let us pray that the court will make a godly decision, and uphold the law of God.  If they do not, then they break His law; and are indeed wicked, vile and evil.

O turn to God through His Son Jesus.  Hear Him, believe and be saved.

The Power Of The Ten Commandments

“And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:   And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.   And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:   And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.
And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.”  Mark 12:28-34 (KJV)

THE POWER OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

Jesus is asked by a scribe, “Which is the greatest commandment?” Jesus’ answer is one which shortens the whole of the Ten Commandments into two short commands. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy mind, and with all thy strength…”. I have done a study of the Ten Commandments and find some very amazing thoughts of the first four commandments God gave us. The first four Commandments have to do with mankind’s relationship with God. In the first Commandment the “Heart” can have no other gods – there can be only one. In the second, the “Soul” of man cannot unite with other god’s by building an image – we are made in God’s image, not He in ours – thus the soul must be knit only to God. The third, the “Mind” of man must not think thoughts that make the mouth say vain things of God, or curse His name. In the fourth, we need “Strength” so God commanded a day of rest and so that we could devote one whole day for worshipping Him and renewing our physical and spiritual “Strength”. Just as a means of summing up these matters, we must come to the conclusion that there is no place in man’s heart and life for any other god, but the God who created all things, seen and unseen.

On the matter of the second commandment which Jesus gave, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself…” we see that the final six of the Ten Commandments have to do with mankind’s relationship to his/her fellowman. From one’s mother and father, marital faithfulness, preciousness of life, sacred ownership, speaking of others, and the possessions and being of your neighbor.

The scribe acknowledges that there is no greater law than these; to love God with all the heart, soul, mind and strength is better than “whole burnt offerings and sacrifices”. This man was a wise man, and even Jesus tells him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God”. Not by keeping commandments is one saved, but in knowing and loving God, and only God can give that to us.

For a list of other studies on the Ten Commandments you may follow this list.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Jesus, The Commandments and Tradition

In verses one and two the scribes and Pharisees had travelled to Galilee from Jerusalem to confront Jesus with the issue of eating meals with “unwashed hands”.  They would suddenly find themselves confronted by the  holy God in person Jesus the Christ.

It is something that happens, of which they seem very slow to learn.  You don’t ask Jesus questions without questions being asked by Him.  In doing this Jesus knew their motives.  It was evident by the way they lived their lives and by the way they asked the questions. 

These hypocrites concerned over the absence of unwashed hands before eating a meal, had no problem whatsoever deceiving their  parents, and of that is what Jesus speaks in verses three and four:

“But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.” Matthew 15: 3-4(KJV).

The matter of washing hands was a man made tradition.  The only basis for it was the ceremonial cleansing/washing of the hands and feet of the priests of Exodus 30, and the brazen laver.  There is nothing concerning washing of hands before a meal for the average Hebrew man or woman.

The fifth commandment, however, gives us clear command, and guidance concerning our parents; and that is that we are to honor them.

These so called law keepers, legalists is what they were; and especially when it came to Jesus, tricked, deceived and manipulated their wealth – little or much – so that when a parent had a need the son could say, “I have dedicated all I have to God”.  In saying that they were saying to their parents that since it was dedicated to God it could not be used to help them out.  This was not honoring to their parents.  God is not pleased with such deception, manipulation, and just plain ole, outright SIN.

Hear the indictment Jesus brings against them:

“But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.”  Matthew 15:5-6 (KJV)

By their tradition they condemn a man and his followers for not washing their hands before they eat a meal.  By the word of God, men are condemned for not washing in the eternal Word of God (Ephesians 5:26).

It was their tradition which condemned Jesus for eating with unwashed hands; and it was their tradition that let them withhold what was due to their parents.  Neither were righteous; and neither stood the muster before the Lord Jesus.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Law Fulfilled (2)

THE LAW FULFILLED (II)

The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:29-31 (KJV).

In this article we will look at the “second” which Jesus speaks of, and has to do with the final six of the Ten Commandments.

The fifth commandment, which is the first commandment in our relationships with our fellowman is, “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” Ex 20:12 (KJV). If you will notice this is the first commandment that has a promise attached to it (Eph. 6:2). The strength of a good society begins in the families of that society. If mothers and fathers are not respected, revered, honored, and obeyed, then that home will not be strong. If a complete society is full of dishonored parents, then that society will fall. Honoring our parents will bring respect for other people and strengthen other homes and societies. Remember, there is the promise of long life to those who “Honor your father and mother”.

The sixth commandment is, “Thou shalt not kill.” Ex 20:13 (KJV). That is the shortest one yet, but is greatly needed. One who “Love(s) thy neighbor as thyself” will not commit the act of murder. This is not a commandment against protecting one’s own life or possessions. It means, to commit no murder. The act of premeditated murder, where it is plotted and planned and even setting a “trap” to kill someone. That is the act that is forbidden here. Of course, the child of God would not desire to even take the life of anyone whether in an act against our own person, a family member or a neighbor.

This commandment does not take away the God-given right to government for sentencing and carrying out the sentence of death for a murderous or criminal offense which calls for the death penalty. Basically, this law holds the utmost respect for all human life. It should be applied to the SCNT, and abortion controversy. If we are to err let us err on the side of LIFE. SEE ALSO Matthew 5:21-22.

“Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Ex 20:14 (KJV), is the seventh commandment, and it to has to do with our relationship with our fellowman. Adultery, of course, is speaking of what is called today as, “Having an affair”. One married individual with another married individual who are not married to one another, and it could be adultery also, if one is not married and the other is. Would you want your wife sleeping with another man, or with a woman? Would you want your husband sleeping with another woman, or a man? The act of adultery is actually the act of a thief as well (Proverbs 6:20-35). God desires that we hold sexuality in very high regard. It is cheapened when marriage is given to homosexuality, polygamy, and what ever else could follow. See what Jesus said in Matthew 5:27-28.

“Thou shalt not steal.” Ex 20:15 (KJV). All of these commandments show that there is to be respect for individual rights given by Holy God. The right of parents to be honored and respected. The right to a life without fear of someone else taking it away. The right to have a good, solid, godly home where husband and wife trust one another, and there are no others, and this one the right to one’s own property. It also teaches to respect personal property. If you take something belonging to someone else, you have no respect for the rights of others. Others have worked hard to get what they have. They have earned the income which gave them the power to purchase that thing that you steal. You have no right to it. “Love your neighbor as you love yourself”. Would you want something that you have worked so hard for to be stolen from you? Of course not. Neither does your neighbor. Who is your neighbor? Anyone you meet or know, and those you do not know.

The next commandment has to do with how you speak of others – your neighbor. “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” Ex 20:16 (KJV). How many times have the reputations of others been damaged, by knowingly false information, given by someone out to destroy them? You may think, “Well, I would never do that”. Really!!! Have you ever told a story you had heard on anyone, and it was nothing but gossip. Even if it is true, it is sometimes best to not pass on a story you have heard of someone. Not only can it destroy the person whom the story is about, but it could also come back on you. The question I have asked of the others carries over here as well. Would you like someone to tell a story on you? A person can be a “False witness” even in telling a true story, by the wrong intention of the heart. When Christ is in the heart, and reigns supremely these laws are written there with great desire to obey them for His honor and glory.

The final commandment is, “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.” Ex 20:17 (KJV). In the New Testament “Covetousness” is called idolatry (Col. 3:5). Basically, this could be called the capstone of all the commandments. It is certain that if your heart is on other things, it is certainly not on God alone, thus, breaking the first four commandments, and it is not right with your fellowman, because you want what she/he has. Jealousy, envy, whatever you want to call it is there, and you care nothing for your neighbor. This command has to do with being satisfied with your own. Look at these admonitions from God’s Word – “And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.” Luke 3:14 (KJV). “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” Eph 5:5 (KJV). “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Phil 4:11 (KJV). “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” 1 Tim 6:7-8 (KJV).

The Law of God written in our hearts just as God declared to the prophets. See Ezekiel 11:19 and 36:26. Without Jesus death on the cross the Law condemns us, because we are powerless to obey these laws, but with Jesus as our Savior He abides in us thus fulfilling the law in our lives. Glory be to Jesus our Lord and Savior.

-by Tim A. Blankenship

The Law Fulfilled (1)

The Law Fulfilled (I)

And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:28-31 (KJV).

Read Exodus 20:1-17

The law of God is shunned if not just completely forgotten. Is it necessary to know God’s law, in particular the Ten Commandments? In our society it seems so. With a television series on called the DESPARATE HOUSEWIVES, promoting adultery, even though that seems to be prevalent throughout our society anyway; the law of God definitely needs to be promoted.

As I stated in an earlier post, Jesus shortened the Ten Commandments into two, as printed above. I want, in this post, to show how these two relate to the ten. I will begin with the first four of the Ten Commandments.

First of all Jesus said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart…”. The first of the Ten Commandments states, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Ex 20:3 (KJV). The heart is the seat of our emotions, and the place of our commitments. When you love the Lord with all your “Heart” there will be no other to take His place. Whole hearted devotion and commitment is what God desires of His worshippers.

Secondly, Jesus said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God… with all thy soul…”. The second commandment states, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.” Ex 20:4-6 (KJV). In short that says, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.” Why does God make this command? There is only one image that can represent Him and that is the crown of His creation – living, breatheing, man; in particular the second Adam, God’s Son Jesus Christ. He is the exact representation of God (Heb. 1:1-3). To love God with all the “Soul” is to have only one image of Him in the person of Christ. Jesus is the only one who can fill that spot of the soul.

Thirdly, Jesus said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God… with all thy mind…”. The third commandment says, “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.” Ex 20:7 (KJV). Is it not from the mind that we reason, and even speak. The words we speak will either build up or tear down. If the mind is not sound in God we will thus speak words that take His name in “Vain”. “Vain” according to Random House Dictionary means, “Without real value or worth”. God’s name is valuable and really worthwhile. Give your mind to Him, and speak of Him as He is worthy.

For the final one concerning our relationship with God, Jesus said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God… with all thy strength…”. The fourth commandment is, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Ex 20:8-11 (KJV). God gave the Sabbath day as a day of rest. A day for worshipping God and renewing one’s physical strength. It is so sad to see that there is no day that is holy, and set aside for God and His glory. There are some who say this day has been done away with. None of these laws have been done away. They were fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Being fulfilled in Jesus only means that when we have faith in Him we now have these laws written on our hearts. We now have a longing hunger to do these things for pleasing and glorifying the name of God. Of course, our true Sabbath rest is in Christ. Being in these physical bodies, though we do need rest and that should be one day a week.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” JESUS

When we are right with God our relationship with our fellowman will also be right. The next six commandments concerning Jesus’s second will follow, and have to do with our relationship to our fellowman.

This law of Jesus, and these first four commandments are only fulfilled in the hearts of those whose hearts are perfect toward the Lord, and that is those who have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. We are powerless to keep the Law. Apart from Jesus Christ the law condemns us.

-by Tim A. Blankenship

One Greater Than the Sabbath

Greater Than the Sabbath

“At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day. But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.” Matthew 12:1-8 (KJV).

It seems that there are several times in the gospels where Jesus is doing something on the Sabbath day. In doing so He gains the attention of the religious leaders, where He evidently doesn’t in His teaching and preaching, or in the miracles that he does. These religious leaders believe in the Sabbath day celebrations, and worship. It is odd, but it was for their violations of the Sabbaths that Israel went into Babylonian captivity. At least that was one partial reason. They were in Babyonian captivity one year for each Sabbath which had been violated. This includes the sabbaths of the land, jubilees, and other (Read Leviticus 26). There is much said about Israel profaning the holy things in Ezekiel 20 – 23. One of those holy things is the Sabbaths of the LORD. When the LORD is speaking to them, warning them of the the dangers of disobedience He told them, “I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it. And I will scater you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies’ land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths.” Leviticus 26:32-34 (KJV). This warning was carried out according to Jeremiah the prophet, “…To fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil three score and ten years.” 2 Chronicles 36:21.

It could be because of the past that these Jewish leaders had taken such a strong stance on the sabbath. Not a good excuse or reason. It is nothing short of blindness. They are really not so concerned with the keeping of the sabbath day or special sabbaths as they are their power and authority. They were more concerned with popularity, than truth. The reason I make that judgment is because Jesus Himself told them they were blind, and in the above passage they seem to be unfamiliar with the Scriptures they are so fond of. They had the written truth, were familiar with the truth, but when the Truth was standing before them, they knew Him not.

“For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.” How can religious leaders be telling the Creator that it is unlawful to walk through a field on the sabbath day, “harvesting and eating” grain? It is a very foolish effort on their part. Being the Creator He is greater than the sabbath day. He is the greatest rest. When we know Him we rest from our foolish attempts at righteousness, and rest in His righteousness alone.

Jesus is accused of profaning the sabbath and it happened many times. He dealt with His accusers justly, and with righteous judgment, and for the good of the people. The accusations of profaning the sabbath day was more rejection; and had no merit. The “righteous-guilty” are really the one’s who are first to condemn those who are really most righteous. Despite overwhelming evidence these self-righteous men continue to be bound by the one Jesus called their father.

Many of the people who came to Jesus, the multitudes who were fed of the five thousand and the four thousand, would later turn from Him. Many seek to follow wonders and signs, then, reject the Lord. To ask the Lord for signs in order to believe is not faith.

-by Tim A. Blankenship

Key Commandment

A KEY COMMANDMENT

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. Ex 20:17 (KJV).

This one final commandment is a KEY COMMANDMENT, because it will have an affect on all the others.

Covetousness is the heart of envy, greed, and lust. Marriages are ruined, friendships are wrecked, and even churches have been destroyed because of this “little” sin of coveting. It is not so “Little”. It will affect your actions toward the rest of the commandments.

COVETING IS THE SECRET SIN – no one can see this sin, or knows you commit it; except God and yourself.

There are some Bible examples of covetous behavior. Achan, when the Israelites conquered Jericho, saw a nice garment, some silver and gold, and took it, even after hearing the commandment of the Lord not to do so. Because of this disobedience Israel failed in its attempt to conquer Ai, and people of Israel died (See Joshua 7). There is also king David; as he was walking upon the roof top of his palace he viewed an attractive woman bathing, and he coveted her. Someone put it like this – HE SAW HER, HE SENT FOR HER, HE SINNED WITH HER. Because of this action of covetousness, it is very clear that he broke all the others, and he murdered the husband of the woman (See 2 Samuel 11:1-5ff.). Another one is Ahab, the vineyard thief; Naboth had a vineyard which Ahab coveted, and with the designing aid of his deceiving queen clearly broke the ninth commandment with false witnesses, and murdered Naboth to get the thing he longed for.

WHY THIS IS A KEY COMMANDMENT. James tells us, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” James 2:10 (KJV). Get that, “Guilty of all”. Now that can be said of all the others too, but here, I hope you can see why it is important to realize that covetousness is a seed of evil, that breeds evil, and leads to the decay of the whole law in the hearts of people.

According to the book of Colossians it is Idolatry to covet. “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:” Col 3:5 (KJV). Even the book of Ephesians backs this up by saying, “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” Eph 5:5 (KJV). Note that Paul has written there, “Nor covetous man, who is an idolater…” O, the sad thing is there are many, many, too many people who live for the grasping and holding on of things, or people, or positions, or power; do I need to go on. I think you get the point.

If this commandment is broken, then there is absolutely no value left in any of the others, for the one who is coveting. If she/he can get what they want by falsely accusing another they will do it. If they can get it by fraud in the company they work for (stealing), they will, by all means possible. If he/she sees another person they desire, married or not, they will do what ever to get them. They will not stop at murder to get someone out of the way to obtain their goal. Certainly by these things there will be no way they are honoring their father or mother, and most sure have nothing to do with God who created them.

COVETOUSNESS LEADS TO ENVY, ANGER, MALICE, GOSSIP, ETC.. The goal of gossip is always to try and show one’s self better than the one who is being talked about.

LET’S SEE WHAT JESUS SAID, “Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” Luke 12:15 (KJV). Again Jesus says, ” Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Matt 6:31-34 (KJV). Now if this is not a word for those who covet things and such, I am mistaken about the whole issue, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matt 6:21 (KJV). If your heart is on the things of the world, that is your treasure. However, if your heart is on the Lord and His righteousness and glory, that is your treasure. If you are going to covet; covet the godly things, that will glorify the Savior.

-by Tim A. Blankenship

Precious Truth

PRECIOUS TRUTH

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Ex 20:16 (KJV)

To some today truth is fairly well meaningless. I wonder though, if someone had been seen at the scene of a crime, but were not guilty of the crime, how important the truthfulness of the witness would be to them at that junction of their life? I dare say it would become very important, if that witness could speak the truth and acquit the accused.

How important is the truthfulness of a witness? In some and in many cases it is the difference between life or death; or life in prison, and/or a life of freedom. Is the truth important to you, even if it applies to others? It is my belief that we should be as concerned, if not more concerned for the truth to prevail for the good of others, as well as ourselves. Truth matters in being a witness. It matters for the accused but innocent individual. It matters for the family of the innocent accused, or even the guilty. It matters for the home, the church, the local government, State government, National government. It matters for the sake of justice.

When looking at these 10 Commandments, and as we look in particular at the final six and our human relationships we should ask ourselves, “Would I want someone to commit any of these prohibitions against me?” “Would I want my children to dishonor me?” “Would I want someone killing me, or someone I love?” “Would I want another man sleeping with my wife?” “Would I want someone stealing from me?”, and coming to the present one, “Would I want someone being a false witness against me?”, and the final one; “Would I want someone desiring my things so much that they would do anything to get them?”. I will be daring and say that their is not a sane person living who would want any of these things happen to them.

Now back to the subject at hand. The law of God says, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” What exactly does this involve. Is it for the individual who is witnessing in court? Yes! Is it for the individual who is witnessing to a neighbor? Yes! You are witnessing as you share a word of gossip. You are witnessing as you defame the character of someone you do not care for. Is this a good witness? No! This is as true in politics. When one candidate charges the other with things they have heard, but are not proven. When one charges the other with something they know is not true.

In his book “Love, Liberation and the Law” J. Vernon McGee has a three point outline on this ninth commandment –

I. THE ORIGINATION OF THE LIE.

II. THE IDENTIFICATION OF THE LIE.

III. THE DESTINATION OF THE LIE.

JUST WHERE DOES THE LIE BEGIN? According to Jesus Himself, the devil is the father of lies, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8:44 (KJV). We see clearly from the One who is the author of all of creation where the lie originated.

Why would we want to be associated with the Lie? His end is destruction. His end is eternal flames. His end is eternal torment, and anyone who follows his path will go there with him.

JUST HOW WOULD YOU IDENTIFY THE LIE? McGee writes, “Did you know that there are more words for breaking this commandment than all the other commandments put together?….some of them – lying, mendacity, prevarication, slander, backbiting, defamation, detraction, belittling, censoriousness, gossip, depreciation, derogation, rumor, vilification, aspersion, forgery, mudslinging, falsehood, guile, hypocrisy, insinuation, innuendo, railing, whispering, talebearing, libel, fib, fable, equivocation, disparagement, fabrication, aberation, deceit, trump up, forswear.” (From LOVE, LIBERATION, & THE LAW by J. Vernon McGee pg. 150). That is a terribly long list of bad words, which are words in action to destroy another.

This law is just as viable and meaningful today as it was the day God gave it. It is good for the courtroom, the living room, the sunday school room, the board room, and over the backyard fence. Can this commandment be broken even when speaking the “Truth”? It was when Jesus was on trial. Words can be twisted making a truth into a lie. Doing this makes you a false witness against your neighbor.

JUST WHAT IS THE DESTINATION OF THE LIE? Just a few Scriptures will bear out for us the lies destination. “A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.” Prov 19:5 (KJV).

“A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish.” Prov 19:9 (KJV)

“Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.” Psalms 101:5 (KJV)

Now look in the New Testament, “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life” Rev 21:27 (KJV)

“For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” Rev 22:15 (KJV)

“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” Matt 12:36 (KJV)

People who are given to lying, bearing false witness will end up in the same pit of destruction as their father. There will be no joy, no peace, no God. There will be torment, maybe even by your own lying tongue. There will be no water there to quench the thirst for lying or dryness.

Keeping the law will not save you. It is, however your schoolmaster, showing you your need of Jesus as Savior.

-by Tim A. Blankenship

A Precious Ownership

PRECIOUS OWNERSHIP

Exodus 20:15 – “Thou shalt not steal”.

Remember Jesus’s commandment? “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”. (Mark 12:31).

In giving this commandment God shows that He favors personal ownership. Ownership only in the sense that we realize that it is given to us by God, and we are really only stewards of His property. God shows us the Ownership is Precious. In Exodus 22:1-4 God gives the law for a thief caught stealing an ox or a sheep. For stealing an ox he is to return 5 oxen; for sheep he is to return 4 sheep. That is a pretty steep penalty for theft, and it is not prison. It is restitution.

Restitution. according as God directs, is the requirement of God’s law. In thievery restitution is the penalty which fits the crime.

Adultery is compared to theft in Proverbs 6:27-35. For adultery though the penalty was death

The greatest theft of all is when one steals from God (Malachi 3:8-10). If a man would steal from God, by not tithing, or giving back to God His portion, then, this individual could not be trusted with anything you or I own. If a person can steal from God they will steal from you.

  • The New Man in Christ will steal no more (Eph. 4:28).
  • Steal = To take something that belongs to someone else; by deceit or by force.

To name some ways of stealing. Gambling is a method of stealing; it offers people who cannot afford it the chance for great gains with little hope and much promise. It takes from the family of the man who uses the money for food to throw the money at the lottery, casinos, dog racing, horse racing, football, hockey, what ever event, and then, come home with no money and no food. Businesses who overcharge for a product because it is in demand due to destructive storms, earthquakes, or some other tragedy is stealing from the people who trust them. When you can go into a store previous to the tragedy and buy a chainsaw for one hundred and fifty dollars, and then that chainsaw when the tragedy occurs is three hundred dollars that is theft. When an individual decides to no longer tithe to their local church; as is God’s plan; and gives it elsewhere, this is stealing from God. And if the person just decides I can no longer afford to tithe or give – that is stealing from God. When a man owes a debt to another and does not pay it, whether out of anger, or just lust for the money itself, it is theft. Our debts are to be paid to our fellow man.

Of the first seven commandments; death is the penalty for the violation. This is a second division, though less visible.

This eighth commandment does not call for the death penalty – it calls, rather for restitution (Ex. 22:1; Luke 19:5-10).

There is one exception, that is if they “Kidnap” – steal a human being (Ex. 21:16). This called for the death penalty.

Let’s take a look at how Gambling Is Stealing. It gives the false hope of something for practically nothing. It robs people of being productive members of society. What does winning the lottery contribute? You could say, “Well, I could give to charity”, so could the person who lost their money have given to a charity with what you took from them. It is destructive to families, and to society. It takes the money of many poor families through the false hope of getting more. The lottery has been nicknamed, THE TAX ON THE POOR. Lotteries, casinos, bingo, work paycheck pools, raffles, and even TV game shows are guilty of false hope. Gambling robs people of self-worth. “He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.” (Prov. 22:9). “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.” (Prov. 22:29).

When a business Overcharges That Is Stealing, “Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.” (2 Cor. 8:21). Let me show you what God says about “False balances”, “A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.” (Prov.11:1). “Divers weights are an abomination unto the LORD; and a false balance is not good.” (Prov. 20:23). “Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure. Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt. Therefore shall ye observe all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: I am the LORD.” (Lev. 19:35-37). In our day many businesses raise prices in an exorbitant manner then, complain of paying their employees too much. Underpaying of employees is stealing as well.

The matter of Robbing God “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.” (Malachi3:8). It is a matter of withholding from God what is His. Your tithes and offerings. A tithe being 10% of your income. It is how the gospel is proclaimed by the local churches, and their agencies. It is a matter of knowing to do good and not doing it; “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). It would be a lack of worship or an unholy worship.

When A Debt Is Owed To Another and it is not paid. It has to do with financial debts and obligations. The debt every Christian owes their neighbor. The debt we owe of living the Christian life before them. The debt we owe of sharing the sacrifice and love of Jesus with them. It almost seems that that may have been what Paul meant when he said, “Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law” (Rom. 13:8). Avoiding this debt could be stealing our neighbor’s eternal soul.

In conclusion, if we love one another we will not desire what another has, and take and steal. We will practice what Paul taught the Ephesians, rather, “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). There will be no need for gambling, stealing from those who are more needy – doing it legally. When one loves their neighbor there is also a love for God and for being a faithful steward of God’s resources He has put in our trust. Also there will be the need to see that all debts are paid in full, especially the debt to our neighbors that could be the redemption of their souls.

-by Tim A. Blankenship

A Most Precious Institution

A PRECIOUS UNION

“Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Exodus 20:14

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” “It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” Matthew 5:27-28 and 31-32.

“The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” Matthew 19:3-9.

We have been looking at THE LAW OF GOD AND THE MODERN MAN. We have come through six of the commandments of God four of which deal with our relationship with God, and the latter six dealing with our relationship to our fellow man. We have come to the seventh commandment which has to do with the husband and wife relationship. It is to be one of fideltiy, ie., being faithful to one’s spouse.

Sadly, this commandment has been broken too many times, even in the point Jesus makes in Matthew chapter five. The look of lust is an act of adultery. What male/man, in all honesty, can say, “I have not looked with lust at any woman”? Only Jesus could say that.

The Seventh Commandment deals with all sexual sins. Premarital sex is adultery against the future spouse and marriage. Extra-marital sex is adultery to the present marriage and the spouse. It is a betrayal of trust and confidence. One of the quickest ways to ruin a marriage is to commit adultery. Somewhere in most wedding vows is the words, “…Prefering no other…” or something similar. It not only breaks the promise you made to your spouse, it also breaks the promise you made to God. It does not matter if you had a church wedding or if you were wed in the courthouse, the promise was made before God. You have a relationship with another and you are guilty. Homosexuality is an abomination. Beastiality is an abomination and gross perversion. These latter two are still in the class of adulterous relationships, breaking God’s laws. There are no degrees of adultery.

The First Institution God Ordained. This first institution is MARRIAGE. This blessed institution is falling by the wayside in our modern society. Our government penalizes married couples by the paying of more taxes in some cases. Elderly couples can receive more Social Security benefits by living together without marrying. This, in essence, is government, our government of the United States; rewarding immoral behavior.

Young couples are living together more and more without marriage. They want to “Test drive” the relationship, similar to test driving a car they want to purchase. This is a relationship not a piece of property. If you test drive a car and buy it there will come a day in a few years, at the most, where you will get rid of that car. If you “Test drive” that relationship, that is what most likely will happen to the relationship too. Why? Because there is need for commitment, and where there is no commitment, there is no power or permanance to the relationship. Either party in the relationship can leave at any time. It is with sadness that I must admit, there are many who enter marriage with this attitude as well. If you are not prepared to spend a lifetime with someone do not marry, but do not make a sham of marriage by living in rebellion to God’s law by cohabitating. There is little to no respect for the institution for marriage, and it seems due to the fact of no respect for God and that which is holy, righteous and good.

Marriage is more than, “Just a sheet of paper…”. It is in fact the bringing together of two – one man and one woman – before God and they two become “One flesh” (Gen. 2:24; Eph. 5:31). It is in fact a life-time commitment with binding vows that promise one another, and God, that whether “…rich or poor, in sickness or in health, loving no other, until death do we part.” That is more than a sheet of paper; it is a “binding contract” with God, and has serious repercussions if the bond is broken any way other than by death.

Adulterous Relationships Are Harmful. Adultery is against society. It breaks down the morality of a good society. Biblical morality has been completely rejected. Things once considered wrong are right, and what was right is now wrong (Isaiah 5:20). Teenage premarital sex is increasing. Homosexual activity is also a form of adultery, and is aggressively pursuing the right of marriage in our country. Thank God that the State Supreme Court of the State of Washington upheld the law declaring marriage is between a man and a woman (July 26, 2006).

When it comes to nations and people – a society which continues in this adulterous path are “Given up” by God (Rom. 1:24-27). It is against the nation. By a nation’s acceptance and tolerance of adultery – homosexuality and teenage sex it degrades the nation – “Sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov. 14:34). If this degradation continues, there will come a judgment on our nation unlike anything that has ever been seen. “Adultery is treason; the adulterer should be tried as a traitor to his nation”. UNKNOWN.

Adultery is against the race. It is against the human race. It is against every race of man.

Worst of all, adultery is against God. David, the man “After God’s own heart” committed the sin of adultery. He was confronted by the prophet Nathan (2 Samuel 12:1-14). David confessed he had sinned against God (Ps. 51:1-5). David had lost his joy (Ps. 51:12-13). ADULTERY IS A SIN AGAINST ALMIGHTY GOD.

In order to understand this issue of adultery we need to maybe, ask, What Is Adultery? The Old Testament seems to relegate it to a physical act alone. In the New Testament Jesus (See above verses) equates it to a look, and a thought – the lingering, longing look and thought that is fed (Matthew 5:27-28″. “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:13-15). The New Testament is much more powerful and condemning than the Old Testament law. Adultery becomes more than an act, but a look and a thought. The look and the thought is what leads to the actual act. Left to itself this law offers us no hope. We are guilty. We are condemned.

THERE IS FORGIVENESS (John 8:1-11). In the Bible the penalty for adultery is death. The Scripture given previously to the last sentence shows this was what was in the heart and mind of this woman’s accusers. Quick to pick up the stones of accusation, slow to mercy, slow to forgiveness. With this woman caught in the act of adultery, Jesus gives her forgiveness.

Notice Jesus’s words, “…Go, and sin no more”. It was not just a blanket forgiveness without responsibility. She had been forgiven, and now her life would reflect the cleansing and forgiveness she had received. Muse on these questions for awhile. Where was the man who was caught in the act with her? What did Jesus write in the dirt on the ground? Why didn’t they throw the stones?

The only one who could have stoned her forgave her instead. THERE IS FORGIVENESS FOR THE SIN OF ADULTERY. There is forgiveness for all sin, when you put your faith in Jesus Christ.

In conclusion, The Seventh Commandment Is Valid Today. Matrimony is still a sacred institution and it is reserved for one man and one woman for a lifetime together, and can only be broken legitimately by death of one or the other. Adultery still affects lives and societies, governments, churches, and families in a detrimental way. God still judges adultery. There is forgiveness for adultery. When we love God, we will truly love our spouse, and loving God and spouse is stronger and more valuable than the law. That is this law written in the heart.

-by Tim A. Blankenship

Human Life is Precious

HUMAN LIFE IS PRECIOUS

Exodus 20:13 – “Thou shalt not kill.”

Mark 12:29-31 – “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Why has God given us Commandment that we are not to kill one another? Because we are each one made in the image of God, and though that image is marred by sin God still finds specialness/sacredness in humanity.

There are people today who want to use this commandment; when it comes to what we call “Capital Punishment” – the putting to death of an individual because they have, in cold-blood taken another human life – to argue against the putting to death of such an evil person as one who would cold heartedly without any inhibition take the life of another. May God forgive them their error. The putting to death of a cold hearted murderer shows the sacredness of the life that was taken. To allow the murderer to live is to say the murderer’s life is more valuable than the murdered individual.  “Thou shalt not kill” does not prevent the soldier who fights to defend his/her country, or one protecting their own life, family’s lives, the life of another, or property.

God shows us by this commandment that He sees human life as being set apart from other life, and that it is valuable, special and sacred.

This commandment really has nothing to do with whether governments have the right or duty to put a killer to death. It has to do with the life of any human being.

Any murderer who takes the life of another in anger, or by malice, or for greed, envy, lust, etc. is worthy of death themselves. We must, however, realize that murder is not the unforgivable sin. With all sin there is forgiveness with God. Jesus Himself paid the sin debt, even for murder. There is forgiveness at the cross of Jesus who you could say by virtue of man, Jesus was murdered. Falsely accused by the religious establishment, wrongly convicted by the judge, but O, what a Savior. Our sin debt is paid.

When we hold God’s law/commandments as dear to us we will have respect for human life and hold it as sacred, and will view all life as special.

A law for the State of Missouri passed in November of 2006 that made “Stem Cell Research” legal. It was fought vigilantly by those who were for life. We saw through the smoke screen of wording on the ballot which made it seem that they were protecting life when in fact they were for embryonic murder for research. They called it legalizing “Stem Cell Research”. It is actually a plan to take embryoes and butcher them for the stemcells to do “Research?”, supposedly to improve the health of Missourians, and people of the world, I suppose. What is involved is what is called Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) which is actually a form of cloning. This form (SCNT) is done by the emptying of the egg and implanting a human cell into it and, then nurturing it (understand, now this is the way I understand it; I am not a doctor, nurse, nor am I the son of one), just like invitro-fertilization is done (In glass). Then, they take this developing embryo and begin doing their “Research?”. There are a lot of questions I have of this, and one of them is, WHEN ARE WE GOING TO STOP PLAYING GOD? This is life. Let God be God, and the health of us all would be much better. The battle in the State of Missouri continues on this. There are attempts to present another ballot in an upcoming election that would definitely outlaw “Embryonic Stem Cell Research”. Let us pray that this will be made illegal and respect for all human life will continue in Missouri and around the world.

There is already evidence that Adult stem cells do more in helping people, and there is only theoretical evidence that the Embryonic stem cells will. To “harvest” and use embryonic stem cells is to kill and take human life.

All of life is in God’s hands. What if someone had taken your embryo and destroyed it? There would be no you. We also need to let God do the selecting for life. He does it far better.

The Christian’s view of life should come from our heart and Scriptures; “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:15). Jesus said in Matthew 5:21-22, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” Murder can be just hatred in the heart. Do not think that that can be without guilt or punishment, and the judgment of Jesus Christ Himself.

Here is some Scripture to reconcile the sixth commandment with capital punishment – “And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’ brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man’ blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” (Gen. 9:5-6). “And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.” (EX. 21:15). “And if men strive together, and one smite another with a stone, or with his fist, and he die not, but keepeth his bed: If he rise again, and walk abroad upon his staff, then shall he that smote him be quit: only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed.” (EX. 21:18-19). Then a New Testament passage, ” Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.” (Romans 13:1-7).

In Deuteronomy 19:1-3, 8-10 there is reference to cities of refuge for those who had accidently killed someone. They could flee here and if found “Not guilty” of murder could stay there until the death of the “High priest”, then the family of the “victim:” could no longer pursue the life of this man without committing murder.

There is a place which anyone can flee today as well. That place is to the safety of Jesus Christ.
FLEE, FLEE TO THE CROSS OF CHRIST.

-by Tim A. Blankenship

God’s Promise for Long Life

THE SECRET FOR LONG LIFE

It seems that there are many people who are trying to live a long life. With transplants for just about every part of the body I think that gives us ample proof of that statement. We all want to live. God gives us the means of long life. In fact He is the only one who can give us long life. Understand, the following is God’s pattern for a long life. It is God’s first commandment with promise. Children; Hear and obey.

“The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31).

“Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” (Exodus 20:12).

This is the first commandment following the four commandments having to do with our relationship to God. The focus now turns to our relationship with our fellow man – our fellow human being. It is not by accident or coincidence that this commandment comes first in this line. For when parents are honored, they have honored their parents, and so on and on. When the home is right, then, most of the times all these things which follow will follow accordingly. If there is respect for Mom and Dad at home their will be respect for other people’s rights and property.

I did things when I was young and foolish that dishonored my mother and father. I also did things which would have dishonored them had it ever been found out that I had did them. Both of those dishonor them. Now that I am grown and my parents are in the “elderly” range, I do respect and honor them, because of what they taught me when I was young, and because it is what God requires – it is also, what I desire to do. I know God has forgiven my times of dishonoring and disrespecting them, because I have asked Him.

The word “Honor” means to give superiority – superior in standing or outward respect. There is nowhere in Scripture that God tells parents to respect their children. Respect is due to all who are older and worthy of respect because of privilege and/or position.

NOTE: There is no age limit on honoring your mother and father; so you are to do it from birth to the grave. Children. Live the kind of life that glorifies God and in so doing it will give light, life, and glory to your parents.

FATHER AND MOTHER – your birth father and mother, but also those who have the “rule” over you. This could be adoptive parents. Respect for parents at home leads to respect for others who are in authority.

Mothers and fathers who are faithful to their Lord are worthy of all respect.

THERE IS CHASTISEMENT FOR DISOBEDIENT/REBELLIOUS CHILDREN IN THE OLD TESTAMENT. “If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.” (DEUT. 21:18-21). The basic reason fo our societal instabilities is due, at least in part, to disobedience to this commandment.

THIS IS THE ONLY ONE OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS WITH A PROMISE. “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. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (EPH. 6:1-4). Paul writes of this in the precedeing verses. The first commandment with promise. Notice, since Paul mentions this, following “Grace”, we can safely assume that this is an active commandment, which is to be practiced, by all who have parents. ‘We are no longer under the law’; will not wash.

If the children of Israel kept this commandment they would live long in the promised land – if not, they would be carried away.

One reason for the Babylonian exile was Israel’s disrespect for parents; “In thee have they set light by father and mother: in the midst of thee have they dealt by oppression with the stranger: in thee have they vexed the fatherless and the widow”. (Ezekiel 22:7); “Behold, therefore I have smitten mine hand at thy dishonest gain which thou hast made, and at thy blood which hath been in the midst of thee. Can thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with thee? I the LORD have spoken it, and will do it. And I will scatter thee among the heathen, and disperse thee in the countries, and will consume thy filthiness out of thee. And thou shalt take thine inheritance in thyself in the sight of the heathen, and thou shalt know that I am the LORD.” (Ezekiel 22:13-16).

Paul brings it all down to the individual – the Christian individual

THE POWER OF THE PARENT AND PARENTHOOD. Shape and mold your children. Remember the tongue is for praise and rebuke. Practice what you “Preach”. Let them see a good and godly example. If you promote daily Bible reading be sure they know you are reading yours. When you promote honesty, be sure you practice honesty. You get the idea.

The Lord Our Strength

THE LORD OUR STRENGTH

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (Exodus 20:8-11).

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. (Mark 12:30).

This is the fourth and final commandment having to do with our relationship with God. It is important to have this relationship. We are born into this world with that relationship in deadness. There is no spiritual heart for God. The law is pure evidence that this is so. There is no human being who has obeyed the law of God completely, except the Son of God Himself – Jesus Christ.

In the first commandment God says, “Thou shalt have no other gods”, and the title of the first article was, A REQUIRED HEART OF DEVOTION which says that the heart of the person of God is devoted solely to Him. The second commandment says, “Thou shalt not make any graven image…”, and the title of that article is THE SOUL SEEKS FOR GOD, because it is in every man to worship something, but due to sin is always looking in the wrong place, except by the grace of God and His calling unto Himself. The third commandment says, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain…”, and the article is titled SPEAKING FROM THE MIND, because the mind that is not given to God will use God’s name vainly, emptily. The final commandment of the four dealing with our God relationship says, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy….”, and the title is THE LORD OUR STRENGTH.

We will look at four things in this article;

I. THE SABBATH DAY OF GOD (Genesis 2:1-3).

II. THE SABBATH DAY COMMANDMENT (Deuteronomy 5:12-15).

III. THE SABBATH DAY AND THE CHRISTIAN (Hebrews 4:1-10).

IV. THE SABBATH AS A SHADOW (Colossians 2:16-17).

In the first place the Sabbath was initiated by God after the sixth day of creation when His work was finished. “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” (Genesis 2:1-3). In creation God established a work cycle for mankind. Contrary to some beliefs work is not a part of the curse. Laziness is a sin and is a part of the curse. God made it where every hard working person would have a day of rest and worship. It is still necessary to have a day to rest and to worship the Lord our God. It is a shame on our society in which people work seven days a week and never give God a thought. The only god some people worship is the “Greenback” which can do absolutely nothing for peace or joy.

Secondly, The children of Israel were commanded to honor/remember the Sabbath day, “Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee. Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.” (Deuteronomy 5:12-15). God gave them laws which told them if they did not rest and worship Him, then they would die, and do so by stoning, “And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him. And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses.” (Numbers 15:32-36). For Israel it was a day for renewing their strength after six days of laboring, and for worshipping God. The Christian is not bound by this commandment. We find our strength and rest in Him. He is in fact our rest and strength. That does not mean that we are to forsake the day of worship. It does mean that our worship is to be everyday, and when we join with our brothers and sisters on Sundays to lift up the name of our Lord and Savior, and God.

Thirdly, the Christian and the Sabbath is shown us in Hebrews 4:1-11. There we are told, “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, Today, after so long a time; as it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief…”. Because Jesus fulfilled this and all the law by His complete and perfect obedience to God, His Father, we are privileged and honored to join together on the first day of the week to do so, “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.” (Acts 20:7). “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.” (Romans 14:5-6). The reason we worship on Sunday is because of the fulfillment and completion of the law in Christ Jesus and His resurrection on Sunday morning. The Christian’s rest is in Jesus Christ, “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.” (Mark 2:27-28). Jesus said this before He died and was buried and rose again. That means it was so in the beginning as well.

In the final point, the Sabbath can be seen as a shadow or type of something better. The lamb without spot or blemish was a shadow/type of Jesus the true sacrificial Lamb. The Sabbath is only a shadow of better things. The sabbath of the law condemns us all. As it is fulfilled in Christ it gives rest for all eternity. Jesus Christ is the anti-type; He is the genuine article; He is the True. He is the total fulfillment of the law. He is our strength. Giving your life to Jesus is giving your life to “ceasing from your own works” and trusting in Him.

The law [all of it] was fulfilled in Jesus Christ, not nullified. To worship Him on the first day of the week is to say we have ceased from our own labor of keeping the law and we rest in Him.

Speaking From the Mind

SPEAKING FROM THE MIND

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. Exodus 20:7 (KJV)

Again, Jesus said, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” Mark 12:30 (KJV).

It is certain, at least to me, that many people of our society need a renewed mind. I know that Jesus also said that, “…From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh…” (Matthew 12:34; Luke 6:45), but is it not the mind that gives the mouth the ability to speak. And, we do often “Speak our mind”. We say things like, “…I will give them a piece of my mind…”, and usually when we cannot afford to give them any.

God’s name is often used, even by professing Christians who use His name without thought. It has been said that the Hebrew scribes, when writing the Scriptures would change “pens” to write the name of God. It was so special that the name of God is not even clearly revealed in the original languages. In the Hebrew language all we know of the name God is YHWH. That name has been transliterated to Jehovah or Yahweh. The best name we have for God is J-E-S-U-S. And, how often we hear His name used vainly.

The precious name of God. He is precious because there is no other like Him. God, of whom I am writing, is the Creator of all that is, both seen and unseen with the human eye. He also made those things that can only be seen by microscopic means, as well. Even those things that have not yet been discovered by the finite mind of man.

Often when we hear this commandment our first thought is of those who use the name in cursing or swearing. We often think that is the only way of “Taking God’s name in vain”. The name of God is precious we must use our lips and our mind to honor Him.

We have looked at loving God “…with all our heart, soul…” and now we look at loving God ” …with all your mind…”. That requires thought. Before you speak – THINK. From the way I have heard many people speaking their minds have gone into the “Amusement” mode. The word “Muse” means ‘to think’ and anytime you add the letter “A” to another word like “Muse” it means “No”. So to “amuse” is to not think.

His name is PRECIOUS. Let us THINK before we speak.

The heart that is abundant with the things of God and Jesus His Son will speak from that abundance. An abundant heart will have a clear, thinking mind. The abundant heart will speak things which will glorify the Father and the whole God-head. When your heart and soul are filled with God, are you going to speak vainly of God? No way.

There are those who use God’s name in vain by cursing and swearing. What about those who speak God’s name, seemingly in a reverent manner on Sunday at church, but the rest of the week live like the world in the way they speak? It seems to me to be the height of hypocrisy. Not just a hypocritical act but the act of a Hypocrite.

There is nothing that turns off a person away from God quicker than someone who professes Christianity on Sunday, but imbibes in the world the rest of the week. This is a taking of God’s name in vain as well. God help us to guard our minds, by always speaking reverently of God. “He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.” (Psalm 111:9).

What about those who do all the churchy, traditional things, but overlook doing right toward their neighbor? “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:” (Isaiah 29:13). “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:8-9). “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.” Luke 6:46-48 (KJV)

There is judgment for taking this precious, holy, loving, righteous name in vain. God says in the commandment itself, that, “…the LORD will not hold him guiltless…”. If you have ever used God’s name vainly/emptily you are guilty before God.

Give your heart, soul, mind and strength to the Lord through the Lord Jesus Christ. He took your guilt upon Himself, died for all our sins, carried them away, and was raised from death to life. “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13).

The Soul Seeks for God

THE SOUL SEEKS FOR GOD

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:4-6

Jesus said, “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” Mark 12:29-30

Oliver B. Greene once said, “Man could not have written this book (speaking of the Bible) even if he would have wanted to; and he would not have written it even if he could have.”

Likewise God is not the creation of man.

Man does, however, create his gods. Men make their gods after their own imaginations. The gods of men are non-restraining, non-threatening, require nothing of their creators. They have eyes, but cannot see; ears but cannot hear; feet, but cannot walk. They that make them are like unto them. If there is no other reason for not making a graven image, that seems sufficient for me. I want to be like the Creator, not these flimsy, wimpy, panty waist gods, who cannot know today from the future, and who has no power over the affairs of men.

THERE IS NO IMAGE OF GOD – EXCEPT MAN.

NOTE: To make an image for worship is to lower ourselves. “They that make them are like unto them; so is everyone that trusteth in them” (Psalm 115:8).

The “Zodiak” are images in the stars. The images of “Terot” cards. Some worship men, including themselves.

THERE IS A DESIRE IN MAN TO WORSHIP. We must worship something, someone. Even an atheist worships – either herself/himself,  education, academia, government, science or something. Wherever your heart is, there is what you worship.

Go to any continent, nation, city, or tribe and you will find worshipping people. In some places you will find people who worship the sun, moon, stars, and or planets. In other places people who worship the elements – water, wind, fire. There are many, probably on every continent who worship the dead through “seances” “necromancy” – wanting to know the future. In many places, and probably on every continent, there are those who worship God in Spirit and Truth.

God has placed this place in mankind’s hearts. Without God our lives are empty and without purpose. God has put “eternity in man’s heart” so that the things of this world can never satisfy (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NKJV, NIV).

Humans can search the world over for significance, peace, and for something worthy of their worship, but they will find none of those until they come to God by His Son Jesus Christ.

WORSHIPPING ANOTHER AND LESSER BEING. In God’s laws this is forbidden for the people of God.

Why does God forbid worshipping others? First of all, He says, “I am a jealous God”. He alone is responsible for our existence and sustenance. He is the One who has done everything to bring us to Himself. He is protective, loves us and desires that we be love Him. Secondly, He knows that whatever we worship is what we become in likeness. The Psalmist expresses this sentiment in Psalms 115, and 135. If we worship an impersonal idol with no restraints we will live with no restraints. The third reason is that He created us to worship Him, and to love Him and glorify Him.

When human beings devote themselves to another god they rob themselves of God’s glory.

To worship another is to add another burden to life. Idols have to be carried (Isaiah 46:1-2). I prefer the God who carries me.

WORSHIPPING ANOTHER AND LESSER BEING will not bring you peace, joy, fulfillment in worship, and will leave you condemned, and yet; in the end God will be glorified.

THE IMAGE THAT SEPARATES FROM GOD. “Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’ name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did. He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.” (2 Kings 18:4). It is obvious in looking at the totality of Scripture that images do not necessarily break the commandment. In Numbers God tells Moses to build a bronze serpent on a pole for the people to “look upon” – an act of obedience and faith in God (NUM.21:7-9). It is when the heart turns to that image and away from God and obedience to Him that is forbidden – to make the image an object of worship. In 2 Kings 18:4 the image of the bronze serpent on a pole is destroyed and called nothing but brass (“Nehushtan”= “That bronze thing”). King Hezekiah was angry with the people who worshipped this thing that had been a means of expressing faith in God.

Anything, from a “serpent on a pole” to a church building can become an idol. If it does it should be destroyed – at least in the heart of the one who worships it. Any object that is purposely built by another culture as an object of worship should be forbidden in our homes. To worship anything, but God is to worship demons; “What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?” (1 Corinthians 10:19-22).

What is THE IMAGE THAT SEPARATES FROM GOD? Anything or anyone that takes your heart and soul away from devotion to God and seeking Him.

THERE IS NO IMAGE OF GOD EXCEPT HUMANKIND. “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!” Psalm 8:3-9. Though that image has been marred by sin, it is fulfilled in Christ Jesus.

Man is the only part of God’s creation of which God has said is made in His image and after His likeness. Remember, everytime you look at another human being you are looking at the image of God. Though this image is darkened by sin; there is light for thier soul. To murder the unborn in the womb is to murder the image of God. To curse another human being is to curse the image of God. To lie about another is to lie about the image of God.

IN SUMMARY –

I. DIRECT YOUR DESIRE FOR PEACE, SHELTER, GLORY AND WORSHIP TO THE ONE WHO IS WORTHY.

II. TO WORSHIP ANY OTHER IS TO LOWER YOURSELF TO THAT IMAGE, AND BECOME LIKE IT – WORSHIP GOD.

III. WORSHIP THE GOD OF CREATION, AND NOT THE CREATION.

IV. YOU ARE MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD;

It has been marred by sin, but you can offer true worship to God through Jesus Christ – He is the image of God unmarred by sin.

Admit you have sinned, confess your sin and trust in Jesus who fulfilled all the law by meeting the demands of the law by His death on the cross, by His burial; carrying all our sins away, and by His resurrection.

A Heart of Devotion

The following article is a continuation of the study began last week.  Whether we admit it or not we are not free to violate the Law of God as born again believers.  We do however have the freedom in Christ Jesus to do as He did, and that was fulfill it through Him.

A REQUIRED HEART OF DEVOTION

And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Ex 20:1-3 (KJV)

How does the Ten Commandments, the New Testament and modern man fit together? Does modern man fit with the ten commandments at all? In some people’s minds we live in a civilized society that is better than any need for these “archaic” laws. Do these Commandments fit with the New Testament? Let’s see what Jesus said.

Jesus puts them into just two commandments; 1) Our relationship with God, and 2) Our relationship with our fellowman. “And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.Mark 12:28-31 (KJV). The apostle Paul teaches that the law is a “School master” to bring us to Jesus, “Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster 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. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Gal 3:21-26 (KJV)“.

Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the law according to Romans 10:4. Since Jesus Christ fulfilled the law is it ended? No man except Jesus obeyed the law, but in Christ all can be saved.

If we are “free from the law” does that mean we can break the Ten Commandments? Jesus answers that in the gospel of Matthew “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. 5:17-20 (KJV)“.

These commandments show us that we are always coming short of the glory of God. Complete obedience to these laws is required if one is to get into fellowship with holy God. Where does modern man fit into this?

It is quite apparent that much of modern man cares nothing for the law of God, and since caring nothing for the law of God, cares even less for the laws of men. With church burnings, vandalisms, and thefts of church property that shows there is no fear of God in the heart. With the lack of honor toward parents, teachers, and authority of any kind, and an increase in murders, adultery, stealing, lying, and desiring others property so badly they would do “anything” to get it shows there is no respect for our fellowman, or the things of our fellowman.

Seeing the above things, let’s look at this first commandment.

I. GOD IS GOD WHO SPEAKS – HE EXPECTS US TO HEAR.

Because He is the promise keeping God He is worthy of our obedience and trust. He speaks words of life. We are to have no other gods in our life at all. In truth there really are no other gods. Only One.

He speaks words of prevention and protection. Preventative maintenance on an automobile, or any mechanical thing; when it is needed; can prevent unexpected breakdown. God’s laws are prevention from breakdown – sin – when obeyed.

The modern individual would do well to hear the law of God, realize it is hopeless for salvation, then turn to the Holy One – Jesus Christ – and trust Him and His finished work of the cross for salvation.

II. GOD IS GOD WHO LEADS – HE EXPECTS US TO FOLLOW.

Israel had to follow God’s leadership out of Egypt. God not lonly led them out, but He led them out with much bounty from the people of Egypt. They came to the Israelites begging them and paying them to leave.

When you follow God’s leadership you will prosper, though it may not always be with material possessions.

When we follow His leadership He does give all spiritual blessings in Christ (Read Ephesians 1).

III. GOD IS GOD WHO DELIVERS – HE EXPECTS US TO TRUST HIM.

To trust is to place the utmost confidence in something or someone. Trust can be established by words and actions being complimentary of the other. It is also established by a proven record of reliability. God certainly has a proven record of reliability.

God’s words and actions are one, and the same. What ever God says He will do He does. All that is was established by His Word.

You can trust Him concerning salvation. You can trust Him concerning your health. You can trust Him concerning your material needs. You can trust Him with all your worries and fears. He has it all well in hand.

IV. GOD IS GOD WHO DESERVES WORSHIP – WORSHIP HIM AND NO OTHER.

If you worship many gods you do not worship the one true God. To worship is to give complete devotion and allegiance to that one, and no other. There is no room around God’s throne for the worship of more than Him. A man cannot love his wife as “Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself for her” (Eph. 5:23), if he has other women in his heart and life – he, in fact, is of a divided heart, “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:8. Someone “double-minded” is in fact committing an act of adultery, by having divided loyalties. The Lord likens a divided heart to Him as adultery. That is what the nation of Israel, in fact, was charged with by God through the prophet Hosea.

In Jesus’s temptation satan tempted Jesus to worship, but Jesus refused, saying, “Get thee hence satan: for it is written, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve” (Matthew 4:10). Satan was actually tempting Jesus to commit an act of adultery against God. Adultery is actually an act of betrayal; the giving of something you have, but do not own, to another. Worship belongs solely to God, and no other. Worship belongs to God. To give it to anyone other than the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is an act of spiritual adultery, and far more damaging than the physical act of adultery. No one who is truly worshipping God would commit the physical act of adultery.

To worship God is to be wholly devoted, and committed to Him alone.

V. GOD IS GOD OF GLORY – BE LIKE HIM.

Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the LORD, and with your children’s children will I plead. For pass over the isles of Chittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing. Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD. For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” Jeremiah 2:9-13.Moses spent time in the presence of God and his face radiated with the glory of God when he came out before the people (Exodus 34:29-35). He covered his face with a veil because it frightened the people. He also covered it so they could not see the glory fading; “And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:” 2 Cor. 2:13. The law was a frightening and condemning thing. It also would be fulfilled and lose its effect of condemnation and guilt by the precious blood of Jesus; whose blood, the blood sacrifices of the law represented.

The glory of God is His Son Jesus Christ. By faith in Him we rightly worship only one God. By that faith we are free from the fear, condemnation, and guilt of the law. By that faith we radiate the glory of God without a veil.

In conclusion, THE PEOPLE OF GOD MUST SET THE STANDARD AND LISTEN TO GOD WHEN HE SPEAKS. Secondly, WE MUST FOLLOW HIM WHEREVER HE MAY LEAD – it is better to be in a pit in the will of God, than in a mansion out of God’s will. Another thing, YOU CAN TRUST GOD TO DELIVER, but it may not always be like you think it should be. A fourth thing, WE MUST WORSHIP GOD ALONE – HE IS WORTHY, and there is no other. Finally, WE RADIATE HIS GLORY BY BEING LIKE HIM; He is holy, righteous, pure, and He tells us to be holy. “Be ye holy, for I am holy…”

In this way we show the HEART OF DEVOTION