Christian Churches of God
Law and the Tenth Commandment
(Edition 2.0 19981011-20120512-20120819)
It is written: 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. This paper explains the entire structure of the Law of God, as applied to its Commandment as explained by the prophets and the Testament in compliance with the reading of the Law in the Sabbath years.
Law and the Tenth Commandment
It is written: “You shall not covet.”
Exodus 20:17 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)
Deuteronomy 5:21 Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour's wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour's. (KJV)
The tenth commandment establishes the law on a higher and spiritual plane. It establishes the law in the mind and heart and regulates the conduct of the elect. A breach of this commandment regarding coveting, as with the other commandments in the structure, breaches the law entire.
Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. (KJV)
The structure of the tenth follows that of the Two Great Commandments as well as the other nine commandments all of which are centred on the love of God.
Matthew 22:36-38 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. (KJV)
God’s System and Authority as Law
God has established His law until the complete fulfilment of His plan over the entire age and the resurrections to life and judgment.
Matthew 5:17-32 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 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. 19 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. 20 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. 21 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: 22 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. 23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing. 27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. 29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 32 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. (KJV)
The entire structure of the law was interpreted correctly and placed on the Spiritual plane through Messiah. He gave the law to Moses and then, as Messiah, gave the understanding as to how it had to be kept.
Deuteronomy 27:26 Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen. (KJV)
All power is from God, even to that power conferred on and permitted to Satan and the Host in the last days. God is not a respecter of persons as we have seen (Lev. 19:15; Deut. 1:17; 16:19; 2Sam. 14:14; 2Chr. 19:7; Prov. 24:23; 28:21; Rom. 2:11; Eph. 6:9; Col. 3:25; Jas. 2:1; 2:9; 1Pet. 1:17). God allocates power and privilege within His plan.
Monotheism is the system whereby all will is in subjection to the will of the One True God, under Jesus Christ whom He sent (Jn. 17:3).
Persecution of God’s people through envy
Exodus 1:1-14 Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob. 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, 3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, 4 Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. 5 And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already. 6 And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation. 7 And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them. 8 Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. 9 And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: 10 Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land. 11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses. 12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. 13 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour: 14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour. (KJV)
Pharaoh and the Egyptians here dealt shrewdly with Israel. Similarly, by coveting the growth and well being and fearing the power of God’s people, the adversary promotes their destruction. However, the Lord raises up the deliverance of His people while it is yet far off.
Exodus 2:16-25 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father's flock. 17 And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock. 18 And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that ye are come so soon to day? 19 And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water enough for us, and watered the flock. 20 And he said unto his daughters, And where is he? why is it that ye have left the man? call him, that he may eat bread. 21 And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter. 22 And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land. 23 And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. 24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.
Exodus 3:1 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. (KJV)
God then calls His deliverer for the purpose for which he has been set aside. God undertakes the deliverance in His own good time. The tenth commandment teaches patience and perseverance in the will of God.
Wills in rebellion
Having a will in rebellion to the Will of the One True God is Polytheism and rebellion. It is as the sin of witchcraft. Polytheism merely seeks to establish wills in opposition to or external to the will of the One True God. Christ did the will of the Father in all things (Jn. 6:38-40).
God knows what our needs are and all things are catered for in His plan. Covetousness strikes at the faith by doubting the adequacy of the provisions God has set aside for us. The children of Israel were given manna so that their bread and water would be sure; which is His promise to us in the last days in the wilderness (Ps. 37:25; Isa. 33:16; cf. also Num. 11:1-35).
We are to give thanks in all things – to be thankful for what the Lord has given us. For in lust and covetousness is the wrath of God.
Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft (1Sam. 15:23). So too witchcraft and enchantment stem from the desire to circumvent God’s will. Observing times and divining times is a desire to know the future and to determine will in opposition to the will of God.
Deuteronomy 18:10-14 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, 11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. 13 Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. 14 For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do. (KJV)
Stargazing and communing with spirits is the antithesis of faith; and the just shall walk by faith (Rom. 1:17; 2Cor. 5:7).
The Sabbath as a Sign of God and His power
God establishes His system according to His times and His calendar and not according to the god of this world. That is why the entire calendar of the world’s system, including the false calendar of the Hillel system under Talmudic Judaism, must be overthrown and returned to the calendar of the Temple period (cf. Lev. 23:1-44; Num. 15:3; 29:39; 1Chr. 23:31; Ezra 3:5; Neh. 10:33). The Solar Calendar and the Jewish Hillel Calendar are in opposition to the Will of God and God has said that He hates their feasts (Isa. 1:14) because they have polluted His Feasts.
The entire Sunday-keeping system is based on pagan theology in opposition to the will of God and His specific laws given in the fourth commandment system (cf. Law and the Fourth Commandment (No. 256)). The entire theology in defence of Sunday-worship is based on a perversion of the Scriptures and a distortion of the creation narrative, which places the Sabbath rest of God on the seventh day Sabbath. The first day of the week has no basis in this narrative, other than as the beginning of the seven day creation narrative. The mindset of itself is based on the covetous mindset of the demons, again in breach of the tenth commandment.
Covetousness as Breach of the Second Great Commandment
Covetousness strikes at the law in a spiritual fashion and sets the mind on the downward path to physical sin. We are sons of God and are meant to worship in Spirit and in truth.
It is written:
Matthew 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (KJV)
Romans 13:9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (KJV)
The thrust of the law is encapsulated in this statement: “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” How then does the tenth commandment relate to this concept?
Offences against neighbour
Leviticus 19:13 Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning. (KJV)
The basic crimes of fraud and theft are, as we have seen above, physical actions but they are all based on a thought process that yields to sin. Sin attacks the fabric of a society and the freedom of a people.
The strength of a nation rests on the premise of a free and independent people. Slavery is an anathema to God’s system and the spirit of family, which embraces the concept of the sons of God. Coveting a manservant interferes with the capacity to administer and observe the law.
A servant who escapes from his master is deemed to have done so with just cause, and the servant is not to be returned by those who find him; rather, he is to be given sustenance in the place to which he flees.
Deuteronomy 23:15-16 Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee: 16 He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of thy gates, where it liketh him best: thou shalt not oppress him. (KJV)
This legislation also goes to the spirit of the refugee who escapes for just cause in preservation of his life; it does not simply condone the idle movement of the populace in pursuit of better standards of living. Most of the people escaping are in dire necessity through the failure of the nation to observe the laws of God in the first instance.
The “eye for an eye” legislation was put in place to deal with malicious wounding caused by covetousness and malice.
Leviticus 24:19-20 And if a man cause a blemish in his neighbour; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him; 20 Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again. (KJV)
Christ had much to say about our attitudes to these offences and our love of our neighbour and the capacity for forgiveness. Nevertheless, the law is there to be used under circumstances which make it appropriate.
Covetousness as Idolatry
The system is on a higher level in the tenth commandment and that fact is seldom fully appreciated.
Ephesians 5:5 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. (KJV)
Covetousness is of itself idolatry and precludes the individual from the kingdom of God.
The structure of the law and the gift of God is often resented and misapprehended in covetousness and respect of persons.
Matthew 20:13-16 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? 14 Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? 16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen. (KJV)
We all labour for the same wages and we are all granted salvation, which is the gift of God by grace. It is the same no matter how long and hard we labour in the vineyard of the Lord. The reward is also of talents and cities. Nevertheless, we are all saved with the blood of Christ as one price for our labour. Obedience to God’s Laws does not grant salvation and eternal life. However, obedience to the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ is the method by which we keep the gift of grace and eternal salvation. We are not saved by keeping the law. We are not saved by works. However, we retain our position in the kingdom according to our obedience to the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ (Rev. 12:17; 14:12) and that is the fundamental difference between faith and works which is not understood by mainstream Sunday-keeping Christianity, Rabbinical Judaism and Hadithic Islam. And we know that faith without works is dead (Jas. 2:17).
Those who do not glorify God but seek to elevate themselves or others to His level through covetousness are fools. Many being called lose their positions in the kingdom through this error of thinking (cf. Rom. 1:22; 8:29-30).
Covetousness in society as it affects the Family
Covetousness must never interfere with the well being of the family, which is the basis of the nation.
Exodus 21:3-11 If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. 4 If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself. 5 And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: 6 Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever. 7 And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do. 8 If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her. 9 And if he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters. 10 If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. 11 And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money. (KJV)
The law does not allow any person to be mistreated by covetousness or neglect. The mindset that seeks to deny salvation to the Gentiles so that they can be extorted in usury and increase arises from a gross perversion of the laws of God and blasphemy against His system of love and order. This is apparent, even to the extent of denying that they are entitled to have their lives saved in emergencies such as we saw in Talmudic Judaism (cf. Law and the Sixth Commandment (No. 259)). It is the reason the Messiah condemned the Pharisees and is the reason they killed him rather than repent. The same evil mindset gave rise to the attitudes against Judaism in Islam and the persecutions in Christianity.
Covetousness in Murder and Adultery
All murder springs from anger and lust arising out of covetousness or envy. This is the basic lesson of Messiah.
Matthew 5:21-28 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: 22 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. 23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing. (KJV)
The mindset extends to hatred among one’s neighbours. The term Raca is left untranslated in the West because it is not understood. It is an Aramaic term which means: “spit in your face.” It is used in bargaining and is a term of contempt for the terms of trade offered by the other party (cf. notes to Lamsa’s translation of the Peshitta version).
It is the terms we use that defile us.
Matthew 15:10-20 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: 11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. 12 Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? 13 But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. 14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. 15 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable. 16 And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? 17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man. (KJV)
Here we see the power of thought and covetousness in undermining our spirituality.
Micah 2:1-2 Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand. 2 And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage. (KJV)
This was given effect by Ahab’s wife Jezebel (1Kgs. 21:1-29) and also by David with the wife of Uriah the Hittite (2Sam. 11:1-12:9). In both cases covetousness led to murder through false witness and abuse of power and authority against loyal men. In each case the Lord raised a prophet to deal with the abuse of power.
The breach of the tenth commandment through covetousness results in adultery, as seen with David and Bathsheba.
Matthew 5:27-28 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (KJV)
This higher law strikes at the preparation of the mind and the spirit for the role of a son of God.
Covetousness as Theft
Covetousness also leads to theft as seen in 1Kings 21 with Ahab and the field. Covetousness leads to the breach of the orders of God and loss of position in the kingdom as we saw with Achan (Josh. 7:19-21).
The entire structure of the tenth commandment is the key to the intent and spirit of the law and is the first commandment to fall when the spirit of the law is breached. Thus the law proceeds from God and is upheld by spiritual perfection and completion in the tenth commandment.
Leviticus 6:1-7 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and lie unto his neighbour in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his neighbour; 3 Or have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein: 4 Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found, 5 Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering. 6 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD, a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest: 7 And the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD: and it shall be forgiven him for any thing of all that he hath done in trespassing therein. (KJV)
We have seen in the section Law and the Eighth Commandment that this text shows a physical restoration. The text in verses 6 and 7 describes the trespass offering, which then progresses to the healing of the breach of the tenth commandment and its effect on the mind and the spiritual condition.
All sin comes between us and God. The nation perishes and the people are disqualified from the covenant and the first resurrection.
Leviticus 20:10-11 And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. 11 And the man that lieth with his father's wife hath uncovered his father's nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. (KJV)
This is a severe penalty. Christ showed that it was the ultimate sanction under the law. He showed how the handling of this sanction was to be undertaken when the adulterous woman was repentant, and he stated that whoever was without sin let them cast the first stone. We can only speculate what was happening there. However, being convicted of its own sins, the crowd dispersed (Jn. 8:1-11). This method of dealing with the law shows us its full intent and application.
The extension of the term brother to the alien and the sojourner in the land is seen in the text of Leviticus 25:35-55. Thus usury and increase are not to be exacted from anyone in the nation, including the aliens and sojourners among us.
We have seen the effects of this legislation in the Law and the Eighth Commandment. The entire thrust of this legislation is to show how the citizenship of Israel was to be a valued thing, and that no one could be a citizen and remain idolatrous. The rejection of the notion that salvation was extended to the Gentiles in Jesus Christ, was resisted from a fundamental desire to deny salvation to the nations, and to acquire their property under unjust terms. This mindset persists even today.
All of the people who live in the nation are destined to become sons of God and the nation is to prepare them for that role. Salvation is of the Gentiles and all of Israel should be joyous that this has been allowed.
From the text of Exodus 22:1-15 (cf. Law and the Eighth Commandment (No. 261)) we saw the legislation for restoration of loss through theft. Much of that text deals with losses that arise as a direct result of a breach of the tenth commandment and consequent fraud. The text has also a section dealing with unjust claims at law. If a person claims ownership of something and he is not correct, then he is to be fined double that which he has claimed (Ex. 22:9). This penalty acts as a deterrent against attempted acquisition and litigation by false claims arising from covetousness.
In this text we see also the loss that arises from covetousness is to be made good under the law, and false claims in covetousness are penalised. Here in this text we also go to the concept of damages in fire and loss through negligence, arising in damages ensuing from secondary sources. The concept of due care of property in charge or in proximity is seen here, and this also follows to the tenth commandment. Care of our neighbour’s property flows from love and concern. Damages often flow from the lusts and ubiquities of the mind.
Arson arises from a diseased mentality; nevertheless, loss through arson is recoverable in damages. Arson is also a theft and is often simply destruction out of envy or jealousy. Jealousy stems from the desire to acquire that which another has, while envy is the desire to destroy something which another person has purely because we do not have it. This breach of the tenth commandment is a serious problem of mental attitude among a people, and prevents anyone of that frame of mind from entering the kingdom of God.
Covetousness leads to theft of lands and inheritance, of sustenance and livelihood.
Deuteronomy 27:17 Cursed be he that removeth his neighbour's landmark. And all the people shall say, Amen. (KJV)
Deuteronomy 19:14 Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour's landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance, which thou shalt inherit in the land that the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it. (KJV)
The Spiritual aspects of the Law entire
The spirit and intent of the law extends to the preservation of our enemy’s property, as well as our brother’s. When we extend the Law of God to the whole world in the Spirit, we have fulfilled the will of God.
Deuteronomy 22:1-4 Thou shalt not see thy brother's ox or his sheep go astray, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt in any case bring them again unto thy brother. 2 And if thy brother be not nigh unto thee, or if thou know him not, then thou shalt bring it unto thine own house, and it shall be with thee until thy brother seek after it, and thou shalt restore it to him again. 3 In like manner shalt thou do with his ass; and so shalt thou do with his raiment; and with all lost thing of thy brother's, which he hath lost, and thou hast found, shalt thou do likewise: thou mayest not hide thyself. 4 Thou shalt not see thy brother's ass or his ox fall down by the way, and hide thyself from them: thou shalt surely help him to lift them up again. (KJV)
We are required to restore all damage that we see without being asked and are to protect our neighbour as ourself.
No person is to make profit at the expense of another, whether by theft or usury, which is also theft and the desire to profit from another man’s labour.
Exodus 22:25 If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury. (KJV)
No pledge is to interfere with a man’s comfort, survival, or welfare; nor is to impinge on his ability to provide his livelihood.
Exodus 22:26-27 If thou at all take thy neighbour's raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down: 27 For that is his covering only, it is his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? and it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me, that I will hear; for I am gracious. (KJV)
A covetous attitude precludes a person with such an attitude from entering the kingdom of God, and leads to breach of the other commandments and, ultimately of the entire law.
When God placed Israel in its inheritance it was commanded to keep His laws, as seen in Deuteronomy 26. Israel was set up as an example nation: it was to be the portion of Yahovah and the focal point of the Plan of God.
Together with the blessings given by God there were some symbolic activities, as indicated in Deuteronomy chapters 11 and 27 (cf. these texts in Law and the Sixth Commandment (No. 259) and Law and the First Commandment (No. 253)).
Deuteronomy 11:26-32 "Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: 27 the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you today; 28 and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known. 29 Now it shall be, when the LORD your God has brought you into the land which you go to possess, that you shall put the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal. 30 Are they not on the other side of the Jordan, toward the setting sun, in the land of the Canaanites who dwell in the plain opposite Gilgal, beside the terebinth trees of Moreh? 31 For you will cross over the Jordan and go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you, and you will possess it and dwell in it. 32 And you shall be careful to observe all the statutes and judgments which I set before you today. (NKJV)
Gerizim was the place of blessings of the people, who were commanded to say “Amen” to each blessing. To this day in the month of Abib, the Samaritans hold the Passover vigil of the afternoon of the Fourteenth slaughter and the Fifteenth Night to be Much Observed (as determined anciently according to the conjunction of the moon) on Mount Gerizim. They spend the night in vigil watching, and only return in the morning to the Holy Day Passover festivities. They then continue into the remainder of the Feast – the part termed the Feast of Unleavened Bread – until the holy Last Day of Unleavened Bread.
The blessings and the curses in this text were according to the nature of deeds that might be done privately; hence the nation was able to enter its inheritance with an avowal of public and private morality. The priests and Levites stood on the valley floor and made proclamation, which was shouted from both sides of the mountains by the balance of the twelve tribes, with six on either side.
The public avowal of the law of God in its entirety was through the erection of a public altar. Two great stone tablets were to be erected in a public place with the entire structure of the law written on them as a checklist for the entire nation. Thus all the law of God was to be publicly declared and publicly maintained in open affirmation of obedience. The notion of a private oral tradition – which runs counter to this public and written structure of law and justice – is absurd and is an accusation against our forefathers who were established under the One True God.
God gave the promise of the law to Israel, along with the details of the blessings and the curses of Deuteronomy 28:1-68.
God set Israel in the wilderness as an example to us, and to point towards the coming of the Messiah and the forty Jubilees in the wilderness under the Holy Spirit (cf. also Acts 7:1-60). The Holy Spirit was necessary in order to keep the law properly. The law of God proceeds from God and is aligned with His nature. Thus the image of God through the Holy Spirit is necessary to the keeping of the Law, which God writes in our hearts and minds (Jer. 31:31-40).
This Spirit was given at Pentecost in 30 CE. From 27 CE, God had begun to call the remnant of His elect, as was spoken of by the prophets and apostles (cf. Joel 2:28-31).
Acts 2:16-36 but this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17 'And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18 yea, and on my menservants and my maidservants in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. 19 And I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth beneath, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; 20 the sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and manifest day. 21 And it shall be that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.' 22 "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs which God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know-- 23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 But God raised him up, having loosed the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. 25 For David says concerning him, 'I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; 26 therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh will dwell in hope. 27 For thou wilt not abandon my soul to Hades, nor let thy Holy One see corruption. 28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou wilt make me full of gladness with thy presence.' 29 "Brethren, I may say to you confidently of the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne, 31 he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. 33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this which you see and hear. 34 For David did not ascend into the heavens; but he himself says, 'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, 35 till I make thy enemies a stool for thy feet.' 36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified." (RSV)
The last verse of the text in Joel points to the remnant the Lord shall call and the deliverance of some from Jerusalem.
Joel 2:32 And it shall come to pass that all who call upon the name of the LORD shall be delivered; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the LORD has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the LORD calls. (RSV)
These are those who are called in the covenant of God; they were established from Sinai, and continued to Messiah and beyond (Deut. 29).
The scattering of Israel was prophesied from the beginning, and God said that from this law their understanding would return. The law would be written on the hearts and minds of His people with the Holy Spirit and they would then be restored.
We note from Deuteronomy 30:1-20 that from the adoption of the Law Israel is saved and restored. The curses are then placed upon the nations which persecuted them in their dispersion and punishment. The parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25 comes from this text.
Matthew 25:31-46 "When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. 34 Then the King will say to those at his right hand, 'Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' 37 Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? 38 And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? 39 And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?' 40 And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.' 41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' 44 Then they also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?' 45 Then he will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.' 46 And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." (RSV)
We see in this text a transition from Israel as the nation of God being persecuted by the nations of the world, to Israel as the elect of God being persecuted, and then to the nations being judged according to their treatment of Israel. Here we have two witnesses: one is the physical aspect of Israel as the nation and the individual tribes within it; the second is that of Israel as the Church. These two aspects carry on to the end days.
We see that Moses then spoke to Israel of the future and taught Israel his Song, together with the Song of the Glory of the Lord given to him. These two Songs mark the elect of the Last Days and the time of the restoration. With the Lamb a new Song is given to the twenty-four elders (Rev. 5:9) and that Song is also given to the 144,000 (Rev. 14:3). Until that time, these two Songs form the basis of the elect in the baptism of Messiah (cf. Deut. 31:1-30).
God foresaw all that was to befall the nation. We are commanded to read the law at the end of every seventh year of the cycle during the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths so that the people do not forget or lose sight of the law or the fear of their God.
One problem concerning the law of God is that people attempt to implement only part of it, discarding the things which are inconvenient or with which they do not agree. For example, the Sabbath system was eliminated from the early days of the Church on the pretext that Christ had changed the Sabbath to Sunday when not one shred of evidence supports such a contention. The entire system of God’s Calendar was done away in order to placate pagans and implement their own holy day systems. The laws governing finance were subverted by the wealthy in order to make slaves of the people and exploit them, in contravention of the law. The adulterous and ascetic priests watered down the laws to allow their own adultery. Israel was completely taken over by false systems; it is now in captivity to sin – that is, acting contrary to the laws of God – and does not even understand the fact. The entire planet is being destroyed by false religion, and the law of God is nowhere implemented or taught. At the instigation of the Roman Church, the last relatives (the desposyni) of the Messiah were all killed systematically, following their call for the reintroduction of the law to Christianity. These profound events were foretold in one of the earliest prophecies given through Moses.
Where possible, this Song of Moses may be cantillated in the original Hebrew in the seventh year at the Reading of the Law, and then explained. The Song of Moses is found in Deuteronomy 32:1-52 (see also the paper Law and the First Commandment (No. 253)).
The Wilderness of Zin (or Sin) pictures the desolation of the false system of worship identified by the keeping of Sunday, the festival of Ishtar or Easter, and worship of a triune deity. We have been in that wilderness continually over the last two thousand years. Soon Messiah will return to deal with Israel and the nations. We will then be placed in our inheritance, both inside and outside of Israel.
There will be a new Exodus, and the first one will no longer be brought to mind.
Isaiah 66:1-24 Thus says the LORD: "Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool; what is the house which you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest? 2 All these things my hand has made, and so all these things are mine, says the LORD. But this is the man to whom I will look, he that is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word. 3 "He who slaughters an ox is like him who kills a man; he who sacrifices a lamb, like him who breaks a dog's neck; he who presents a cereal offering, like him who offers swine's blood; he who makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like him who blesses an idol. These have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations; 4 I also will choose affliction for them, and bring their fears upon them; because, when I called, no one answered, when I spoke they did not listen; but they did what was evil in my eyes, and chose that in which I did not delight." 5 Hear the word of the LORD, you who tremble at his word: "Your brethren who hate you and cast you out for my name's sake have said, 'Let the LORD be glorified, that we may see your joy'; but it is they who shall be put to shame. 6 "Hark, an uproar from the city! A voice from the temple! The voice of the LORD, rendering recompense to his enemies! 7 "Before she was in labor she gave birth; before her pain came upon her she was delivered of a son. 8 Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall a land be born in one day? Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment? For as soon as Zion was in labor she brought forth her sons. 9 Shall I bring to the birth and not cause to bring forth? says the LORD; shall I, who cause to bring forth, shut the womb? says your God. 10 "Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourn over her; 11 that you may suck and be satisfied with her consoling breasts; that you may drink deeply with delight from the abundance of her glory." 12 For thus says the LORD: "Behold, I will extend prosperity to her like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream; and you shall suck, you shall be carried upon her hip, and dandled upon her knees. 13 As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem. 14 You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice; your bones shall flourish like the grass; and it shall be known that the hand of the LORD is with his servants, and his indignation is against his enemies. 15 "For behold, the LORD will come in fire, and his chariots like the stormwind, to render his anger in fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. 16 For by fire will the LORD execute judgment, and by his sword, upon all flesh; and those slain by the LORD shall be many. 17 "Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one in the midst, eating swine's flesh and the abomination and mice, shall come to an end together, says the LORD. 18 "For I know their works and their thoughts, and I am coming to gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and shall see my glory, 19 and I will set a sign among them. And from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Put, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands afar off, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations. 20 And they shall bring all your brethren from all the nations as an offering to the LORD, upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the LORD, just as the Israelites bring their cereal offering in a clean vessel to the house of the LORD. 21 And some of them also I will take for priests and for Levites, says the LORD. 22 "For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before me, says the LORD; so shall your descendants and your name remain. 23 From new moon to new moon, and from sabbath to sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, says the LORD. 24 "And they shall go forth and look on the dead bodies of the men that have rebelled against me; for their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh." (RSV)
The Lord will establish His system, and His Sabbaths and New Moons, and all people will keep His Feasts. All nations will send their representatives to these Feasts in Jerusalem or they will receive no rain in due season; they will also be given the plagues of Egypt.
Zechariah 14:16-21 Then every one that survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of booths. 17 And if any of the families of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, there will be no rain upon them. 18 And if the family of Egypt do not go up and present themselves, then upon them shall come the plague with which the LORD afflicts the nations that do not go up to keep the feast of booths. 19 This shall be the punishment to Egypt and the punishment to all the nations that do not go up to keep the feast of booths. 20 And on that day there shall be inscribed on the bells of the horses, "Holy to the LORD." And the pots in the house of the LORD shall be as the bowls before the altar; 21 and every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be sacred to the LORD of hosts, so that all who sacrifice may come and take of them and boil the flesh of the sacrifice in them. And there shall no longer be a trader in the house of the LORD of hosts on that day. (RSV)
The sacrifice will be re-established at Jerusalem, but it will only be the morning sacrifice. We will already have been given eternal life and the First Resurrection – represented by the evening sacrifice – will be past. Obedience will be given to the laws of God and Messiah or the nations will die by starvation. We will explain the Law and the Testimony, and all nations will know the way of God for a thousand years. Then the rest of the dead will be resurrected and corrected in the judgment of correction or crisis.
Revelation 20:4-15 Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom judgment was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life, and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and they shall reign with him a thousand years. 7 And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be loosed from his prison 8 and will come out to deceive the nations which are at the four corners of the earth, that is, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. 9 And they marched up over the broad earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city; but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, 10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. 11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who sat upon it; from his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done. 13 And the sea gave up the dead in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead in them, and all were judged by what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire; 15 and if any one's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (RSV)
This is the end of the Law and the Prophets: all men should reach salvation and see God. Moses and the prophets were until Messiah (Deut. 34), and the Law was then written in the hearts of the elect. Each was tried under persecution, and drawn out over forty Jubilees, represented by the forty years in the wilderness or the last forty years of Moses’ life.
Messiah was with Israel in the wilderness, then and now.
1Corinthians 10:1-24 I want you to know, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same supernatural food 4 and all drank the same supernatural drink. For they drank from the supernatural Rock which followed them, and the Rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless with most of them God was not pleased; for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things are warnings for us, not to desire evil as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to dance." 8 We must not indulge in immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 9 We must not put the Lord to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as a warning, but they were written down for our instruction, upon whom the end of the ages has come. 12 Therefore let any one who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 14 Therefore, my beloved, shun the worship of idols. 15 I speak as to sensible men; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. 18 Consider the people of Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices partners in the altar? 19 What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be partners with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he? 23 "All things are lawful," but not all things are helpful. "All things are lawful," but not all things build up. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. (RSV)
We are to seek God’s help always, and we are to treat others as we wish to be treated.
Matthew 7:7-12 "Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! 12 So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets. (RSV)
The end of the whole Law is this:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your might and with all your spirit, and you shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these precepts hang all the Law and the Prophets. AMEN.