Christian Churches of God

No. 257

 

 

The Second Great Commandment

(Edition 3.0 19981008-19990526-20070228-20120804)

 

The Second Great Commandment is like the First: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. The Ten Commandments were divided into Two Great Commandments. This structure is easily identifiable, in that the first four commandments deal with the love of God and the last six deal with the love of fellow man.

 

 

 

Christian Churches of God

PO Box 369,WODENACT 2606,AUSTRALIA

 

Email: secretary@ccg.org

 

(Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2007, 2012 Wade Cox)

 

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The Second Great Commandment

 


[This paper is to be read before the exposition of the Fifth and subsequent Commandments.]

 

God gave the structure of the Law to Moses in Exodus 20. The Ten Commandments were divided into two great commandments as we saw in the examination of the First Great Commandment (cf. the paper The First Great Commandment (No. 252)).

 

Exodus 20:1-17 And God spake all these words, saying, 2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

[I] 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (KJV)

[II] 4 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: 5 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; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

[III] 7 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.

[IV] 8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 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: 11 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.

[V] 12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

[VI] 13 Thou shalt not kill.

[VII] 14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

[VIII] 15 Thou shalt not steal.

[IX] 16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

[X] 17 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. (KJV)

 

The division of the Law into the two Great Commandments is given later in Deuteronomy. The structure is clearly identifiable, in that the first four commandments deal with the love of God, and the last six commandments deal with the love of fellow man. The Law was then instilled into the populace.

 

Our duty is to God and then to our fellow man. Our duty is to become a fit and proper receptacle for the Living God. He is the God of the living and not the dead.

Matthew 22:29-40 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. 31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, 32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. 33 And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine. 34 But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. 35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (KJV)

 

The first section of the law deals with the love of God. It is to be with all the heart and mind and soul. The second section is to love our neighbour, as our self. For if we do not love our neighbour whom we have seen, how can we love God whom you have not seen?

1John 4:20-21If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. (KJV)

 

The structure of the First Great Commandment forms the basis for the Second Great Commandment and on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Thus the Ten Commandments are a subset of the two, and the rest of the law is as subsets of the ten.

 

The Second Great Commandment is comprised of the last six of the Ten Commandments. It is in our spiritual execution of the Second Great Commandment that we demonstrate our capacity to enter into judgment on the higher aspects of the Law.

 

The structure of the Second follows from the same sequence of thinking or logic as the First Great Commandment. As God is central to the First, so are the physical father and mother central to the Second. The family of God as elohim is the objective of the First, and the family of man as elohim is the objective of the Second Great Commandment. Both Commandments proclaim the extension of God (as Eloah) to become elohim to and within both the heavenly and physical host.

 

[V] 12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

The First Commandment with a promise relates to the plan of eternal life as elohim. It was to have been so from the beginning.

 

[VI] 13 Thou shalt not kill.

The capacity to kill comes from sin and a desire to see the destruction of another being. Such a view is of the adversary. It is not Godís will that any flesh should perish, and so they will all be brought to salvation in due time, even the Host. For such is the perfect love of God (cf. the paper Lost Sheep and the Prodigal Son (No. 199)).

 

[VII] 14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

 

The protection of the integrity of the family and the fidelity of the unit is a reflection on the integrity and fidelity to God. Marriage is a reflection of the relationship between Christ and the Church. We cannot breach one without doing damage to the other. Any relationship which interferes with the integrity of the family, and reduces the role of the husband in relation to the wife, is quasi-adulterous. Thus churches that place ministry in a position, which interferes with the relationship of husband and wife, are adulterous and have the effect of developing a quasi-adulterous mindset on the part of the wife. The husband is the priest of his own house, while he is obeying Godís Laws. Much of modern so-called Christianity develops this mindset and places the priesthood or ministry between husband and wife. Some sects even condone adultery with the ministry on demand.

 

Size of the sect or celibacy of the clergy appears to be no limitation to the practice.

 

[VIII] 15 Thou shalt not steal.

The welfare of the individual is reflected in the structure of the Law, as it relates to the capacity to protect the individual in their personal effort, and the life that they are obliged to construct. The society and its organised structure steal from the individual in a more systematic way than common criminals in modern society. In these last days oppression and feudalism are more gilt edged, but are none the less effective. We are about to experience the full horror of the false system in the last days.

 

[IX] 16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

The entire system of justice rests on truth. The entire plan of salvation can only be secure if it is based on, and protected by, truth. We are obliged to witness to the system of Godís Law and His truth.

 

[X] 17 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. (KJV)

 

The spiritual aspects of the Law are covered in this aspect of the Tenth Commandment, where all breaches are products of the mind and are breaches of the Law entire. Only by resisting the temptations of the mind can we truly learn to love one another in spirit and in truth.

 

1Corinthians 13:1-13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. (KJV)

 

The end of the Law is love or charity. The Law itself is designed to protect on a physical plane what the Holy Spirit is designed to instil on a spiritual plane. One cannot exist perfectly without the other. The Holy Spirit is necessary to be able to properly follow the Perfect Law of Liberty.

 

Godís Perfect Law of Liberty is designed to establish us in a perfect relationship with Him and with each other. Thus the fifth and subsequent commandments go to this end, that we should love our neighbour as ourselves.

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