I explained that I wanted us to spend some time investigating the “Famous 10.” What we have grown to know as the “10 Commandments.” Now, we are going to turn to the twentieth chapter of Exodus and see what the Scriptures actually say, rather than cover what we have always been taught.
I will admit that these verses can be rather complicated, and for some, controversial. If it is, good. I can say that because what we will discover is not for the feint of heart. But, if you hang with me and allow the Holy Spirit to teach you, I think you will come away with an even deeper love and understanding of our Father, and His written Word.
To start with, at the top of the page at the beginning of this chapter, it probably says, “The 10 Commandments.” Or something like that. Well, in your scholarly and theological circles, it is called, the “Decalogue.”
Ooh, wait! Before I go any further, I have to know if we are on the same page. How many of you will admit that the 10 Commandments are real, valid, and indeed God‘s word to His people? (Honest, this isn‘t a trick question.) OK, thank you for raising your hands. Okay, how many of these Commandments are we the Church, we believers, suppose to obey? Are the 10 Commandments a list we can choose from — pick a few that we like, disregard some that we don‘t?
What we will learn is that our cherished 10 Commandments are the beginning of the “giving of the Law” as it is often called. Immediately after Yahweh provides “The 10,” more Laws are presented and together they are known as the Covenant of Moses or the Mosaic Covenant.
What we need to understand is that the Covenant of Abraham was six hundred years older than the Covenant of Moses. However, both of them are made to stand alone on their own merits, while at the same time being organically connected. What I am trying to say is that they all work together towards Yahweh’s divine purposes. And, they all have a similar form. Also, each has an associated sign to those who participated in the covenants. For instance, the sign for the Abrahamic Covenant was male circumcision. Anyone expecting to be part of that covenant Yahweh required that they were circumcised. What I mean is that circumcision was an outward sign of their acceptance of the terms. The sign of the Covenant of Moses, as we will soon see, will be the Sabbath. What I am saying is that their observance of the Sabbath was the partially inward and partially outward sign of anyone who accepted the Law, the 10 Commands plus all the other laws and rulings, that formed the second of God‘s covenants. If you expected to be a part of God‘s separate and distinct people, Israel, then it was required that you celebrate the Sabbath.
Now, the third, and newest, of the covenants is the covenant of Jesus and the sign that signifies acceptance of this contract is the Holy Spirit! What I mean is that this is a covenant whose sign isn‘t outward, but inward. In the person who accepts the terms of and desire to participate in the covenant of Jesus Christ receives the Spirit of Yahweh. Let me say it another way: the sign of your salvation is that you are in union with Yeshua HaMashiach by means of the Holy Spirit that God placed in you.
I want you to notice an interesting progression: the sign of the first covenant is in the flesh, circumcision. It is a sign that you wear on your body. The sign of the second covenant is in the soul (which contains the mind and the will), in the form of your ongoing obedience to the observance of the Sabbath. The sign of the third covenant is in the spirit; God places within, or alongside, our human spirit. Receiving His Spirit is the sign that you become a new creation.
I want to look at chapter 20 very carefully because one of the most difficult challenges the modern Church, collectively and each of us as individuals, face today is untangling centuries of man-ordained doctrine from the God-breathed scriptural truth. What may seem like an insignificant turn of a word or phrase can, over time, lead to grave mistakes.
And, armed with some of the knowledge that the Lord said we would gain in the end-times, this is the perfect time for us to examine the Decalogue.
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