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Something to Do
What is a command? “Silly question,” you might say. We all know what a command is… don’t we? Isn’t a command basically a law or dictate given by someone in authority?
I was always taught that if I was told to do something by an authority figure that I was indeed supposed to do it, especially if it had been my parents commanding me to do something. I might add, there was punishment waiting if I disobeyed them.
If you’ve been in the military, then you know that you’re to do what your commanding officer tells you to do. If you refuse, you’ll more than likely face some form of disciplinary action by that officer.
So when it comes to obeying the commands of our Heavenly Father Yahweh, doesn’t He deserve even more respect than our fellow man does? Doesn’t He even promise to discipline us if we disobey? Isn’t there something to do?
There are a number of commandments throughout the Bible. Most notably are the Ten Commandments (Ex 20:2-17). Are they something we’re to do? Are they an important part of Yahweh’s will for us today? The Apostle James, a blood brother of Yahshua the Messiah (Mark 6:3), thought so. He says in James 2:10,
For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
How did he define what the law was? He goes on in the first part of verse 11 saying, in reference to the Ten Commandments,
For He that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill.
James made reference to the Ten Commandments, just as Yahshua the Messiah did at times in the New Testament.
When we take a close look at the Ten Commandments in particular, we find something very interesting. Notice in Ex 20:2-17 that the first five of these Ten Commandments are focused on our relationship with our Creator Yahweh, while the last five are focused on our relationship with our fellow man or neighbor.
Yahshua emphasized and magnified the law when asked in Matt 22:36,
Teacher, which is the great [est] commandment in the law?
And continuing in verse 37 through 40 Yahshua replies,
You shall love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your mind. This is the first and great command. And the second is like it; you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commands hang all the law and prophets.
Some would say, because of that last verse, we don’t have to do any of those other Old Testament laws. But, He is simply showing that indeed if you do the former that you will do the latter automatically, because they all stem from these two things: serving Yahweh and your neighbor. The Ten Commandments, if boiled down, outlined, or if just plain “looked at closely,” give us these two greatest commands within its frame and they fit perfectly together. Would it be any other way? What a great foundation in which to work from!
Yahshua set the example for us by teaching and doing all of the commandments and having done them to the point of not even thinking any wrong (read all of Matthew chapter 5).
You’ll notice in Matt 5:20 TS that Yahshua said,
For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall by no means enter into the reign of the heavens.
Even though the scribes and Pharisees had an outward appearance of righteousness, Yahshua still saw them as being lawless. We read in Rom 2:23 TS,
You [Pharisees] who make your boast in the law, through the transgression of the law do you disrespect Elohim?
Yahshua was in no uncertain terms strongly reprimanding them for transgressing the law…sinning! You’ll find in 1 John 3:4 that sin is clearly defined as the transgression of the law.No wonder Yahshua called the Pharisees hypocrites. If the law was ever going to be “done away with,” or ever was “done away with,” then evidently no one told our Savior about it.
To make even clearer that indeed we are to do something, we find Yahshua again scolding those who claimed to be doing the law but were falling short. We read in Matt 23:23,
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgement, mercy and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Notice especially the very last part of verse 23.
Yahshua picked a point in the law that they would do very openly—paying tithes—which others would see their righteous acts. What a perfect point in the law to bring out, as I’m sure it touched a nerve with them, bringing them to shame, because they were in fact doing the one so flagrantly while ignoring other aspects of the law.
“The weightier matters of the law” was an interesting choice of words. If we look up the word “weightier” in Strong’s, number 926, we find the Greek word “barus” (bar-ooce’) which means “heavy” or “heaviness.” The root word for “barus” is the word “baros” (bar’-os), Strong’s number 922, meaning “burden” or “burden-some.” Now with that in mind, what’s easier to do, give a 10th of your paycheck to Yahweh for the work (i.e., your tithe) or give some time to the local shelter, say serving food or perhaps visiting with the sick in the hospital? Even more important, would it not be to sit down with someone to help explain the Scriptures, if given the opportunity (read Acts 8:31)? Did you ever hear someone say, “it’s easy to throw money at a problem?” It’s easier to give a 10th of your income, in most cases, than it is to actually go and do something.
Matt 7:14 states, Because straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be who find it.
The word “narrow” in Strong’s is number 2346, the Greek word is “thlibo” (thlee’-bo), which would more accurately be translated “afflicted,” “troubled,” or “distressed.” The straight and narrow path is what we are to choose, and it is not an easy one, it takes some effort to walk it.
But with everything there is balance that can be achieved. Yahweh’s Spirit (a portion), when given upon repentance, immersion, and the laying on of hands (Acts 2:38), can and does provide strength and guidance for that person, unless that person refuses to yield to it. Refusal to obey Yahweh’s laws, once having received the set apart Spirit, will mean a certain eternal death for that person (read Heb 6:4-6). This is not something to take lightly.
We are to run a race as the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Cor 9:24. Running takes effort, sweat and endurance. That is, if you’re trying to win. We can’t think that “it” was all done for us, that we don’t have to do anything but just sit back in a rocking chair, or to put our feet up on the desk, or even just to sit on the side lines, so to speak. We are to run and run to win! The Apostle Paul said it, not me.
Can’t we just love one another and have a good feeling in our hearts for Yahweh? More than in any other time in recent history the hippie culture of the late 60’s and early 70’s were full of what they thought was love for one another, and many felt they were even close to Yahweh at times. Certainly, if you take a mind-altering drug you may think and feel many things. But to what end was this kind of love, what were the fruits that came from such love? Children out of wedlock, destroyed minds, and bodies, to name a few.
Wouldn’t Yahweh instruct us in His Word about love? In fact, He tells us exactly how to love one another and how to love Him. Notice in 1 John 5:3,
For this is the love of Elohim, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous.
And backing up a little, we read in chapter 4:21 of 1 John,
And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth Elohim love his brother too.
Remember how the first five of the Ten Commandments focus on Yahweh and the last five focus on our fellow man, brother or neighbor?
To love is not a passive thing, we are to obey and do not only the Ten Commandments but every word that proceeds out of His mouth (Deut 8:3), and in doing so we show our love.
"For this is the love of Elohim, that we keep
His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous." - 1 John 5:3
Going back a little to the quote of 1 John 5:3 you may have well noticed the term “not heavy.” Well, if we read in Matt 23:4 it says,
For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
It was the Pharisees that had the heavy burdens. Notice the “grievous to be borne” is saying much more than just heavy, it’s saying that they were hurting the people…period. Yahweh’s laws do not hurt people, they help people. Without Yahweh’s laws being obeyed, what is the effect? We see so much suffering and death today. And there is more coming, I’m sorry to say.
Thankfully, Yahweh won’t let the sufferings in this world continue for much longer. He will put a stop to it, but not until this world learns a lesson. We must learn to do what our Eternal Father wants us to do. Man messes things up when trying to do things his own way and apart from Him.
Just look at the Pharisees. They added their own little self-righteous rules that twisted everything from the command of the Sabbath (read Matt 12:1-13 and John 5:8-16) to the washing of hands (read Matt 15:2-3 and also Mark 7:3-9). What they did was legalistic! Legalistic is what they made the law when they twisted it and added to it. This is not what Yahweh intended. They made themselves and the righteous laws of Yahweh, of which we are to obey, unbalanced and warped. How could they believe they were so right, when they were so wrong?
Rev 12:9 points out that Satan deceives the whole world. These men should have known better. They knew what the Scriptures said, but were deceived anyway.
A word of warning for us today: Satan has since changed his strategy. Satan now tries to get people believing that there is nothing to do, but as we have been seeing, that line of thinking is incorrect. Now, today, again we find men (ministers) around the world versed and some not so versed in the Scriptures, and believing they are teaching truth when they say the law was done away with. They may sincerely believe that, but are in fact sincerely deceived.
We find Paul teaching at his residence that he had for a couple years, in Acts 28:23 NKJV,
So when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of Yahweh, persuading them concerning Yahshua from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening.
Paul taught from the Law of Moses and the Prophets. We find that the Law of Moses was indeed the Law of Yahweh. In 1 Kings 2:3 NKJV we read,
And keep the charge of Yahweh your Elohim: to walk in His ways, to keep His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn.
The Prophets we know spoke what Yahweh gave them to speak. We know they also kept the commands, laws, and precepts thereof. They did what we are to do today; we are to do something; we are to obey. In Eccl 12:13 we read,
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear Elohim and keep His commands: for this is the whole duty of man.
Do you believe what your Bible says?
"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole
matter: Fear Elohim and keep His commands: for this is the whole duty of man." -Eccl. 12:13
But can’t I just do what I want to do as long as I believe? After all, doesn’t Yahshua the Messiah say in the first part of John 11:26,
And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die.
Let’s look at what he said a little earlier in John 10:27,
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
To follow someone is to do what that person does; that person sets an example for those that follow. Yahshua followed the narrow path and so do His followers. He says, “I know them.” He recognizes that they are doing His will. What is Yahshua’s will? In John 5:30 NKJV Yahshua says,
I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I seek not My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.
Let us believe what Yahshua Himself said and says for us today in Matt 7:21 TS,
Not every one that says to Me, “Master, Master,” shall enter into the reign of the heavens, but he who is doing the desire of My Father in the heavens.
He that is doing the will of Yahweh will be acceptable! Many claim to have faith today and will go up for an altar call calling upon Him, or when praying call out to Him, but they go about their day not giving thought to our heavenly Father’s will or desire, His commands, laws, precepts, and statutes.
Many of today’s religious bodies proclaim “grace covers all” and they’ll take scripture out of context, such as Rom 6:14 ASV, which reads,
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under law but under grace.
This is used to attempt to prove we don’t need to do anything but believe. But if we read on we find that the Apostle Paul also said in the very next verse, verse 15,
What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under law, but under grace? Yahweh forbid.
Paul was very clear that even after we are baptized and receive forgiveness and grace, that we are to obey the commandments and laws of Yahweh.
Saul, whose name was changed to Paul, had been raised as a student in the law from his youth. He could have said anytime that what he was taught was no longer necessary, and that we just need to believe in Yahshua, but he didn’t. Notice that Rom 3:31 says basically what Rom 6:15 does; Paul was consistent in stating that even though we need to believe, we also need to obey. It’s not one without the other, it’s both. Read Rev 14:12,
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of Yahweh, and the faith of Yahshua.
"Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of Yahweh, and the faith of Yahshua." -Rev. 14:12
Old and New Covenant
As with a quilt that is sewn together to make one piece, we have the Bible from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation. There are those that would say, “the Old Covenant was done away with.” Let’s think for a moment: What if all law was done away with for just one day? I don’t even need to list the possibilities. I’m sure you’d expire before the day’s end, as there would be no stop signs and it would be a risk just to walk across the street. What about Yahweh’s universal laws that keep the earth in orbit just close enough to the sun so we stay warm, but far enough away from it that we don’t become toast. What about the law of gravity; without it we wouldn’t have our two feet planted on the ground. It’s then inconceivable that our Heavenly Father would give us laws to live by in His Scriptures, then have His Son come saying, “Nope, His will has changed.”
According to Yahweh, He changes not. In Mal 3:6 we read,
For I am Yahweh, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
Yahweh continues on in Mal 4:4 and tells us,
Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
As we continue to study, we find one of the first things Yahshua said in His ministry was,
Do not think that I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to complete, Matt 5:17 TS.
Read also verse 18. He made it clear, very clear, that the law was not done away with. He again reinforces the law by saying in Matt 7:23 TS,
And then I shall declare to them, I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work lawless-ness!
It’s interesting to note that those that the Savior is talking about in Matt 7:22-23 are evidently very religious, otherwise why would they be casting out demons and prophesying? This is all, of course, referring to a yet future judgement. Having said that, we might reflect and ask ourselves, how can judgment come without law in place? Judgment and law go hand in hand. You cannot have the one without the other.
Yahshua and Satan both know the Old Covenant was not done away with. In Matt 4 we read that Yahshua rebuked Satan three times, each time Scripture was taken from the Old Covenant. Satan knew the Old Covenant was not done away with, otherwise he could have rebuked Yahshua, but Satan was unable to. Remember that Yahshua came in service of Yahweh and each time Satan was rebuked, both Yahweh’s Name and will was brought forth. As we have already seen, Yahshua’s will is that His Father’s will be done.
The Prophets of the Old Covenant were for Yahweh’s will also. Ezekiel, being one, knew better than to disobey Yahweh. Yahweh told Ezekiel that a yet future people, a New Covenant people, would be given His Spirit and that they would obey Him. Notice in Ezek 36:26-27 TS,
And I shall give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you. And I shall take the heart of stone out of your flesh, and shall give you a heart of flesh, and put My Spirit within you. And I shall do this so that you walk in My laws and guard My right rulings and shall do them. And you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers. And you shall be My people, and I shall be your Elohim.
Did you notice why His Spirit is now given? It is so we can do what He says to do. His Holy Spirit gives us the power and guidance that we need to fully obey His commands. Sure, we will slip and fall sometimes, but just as a runner will fall, he’ll also get back up again to keep running. We need to do the same. His Spirit sets us apart as His people; we need to be dedicated to finish the race.
Keep in mind also that we are to be as obedient as we can, even before receiving His Spirit (read Acts 5:32).
All in all, we need to put into practice the commands that we find in the Scriptures. They’re as valid now as they were back then. We do have something to do, and with Yahweh’s help we can do it! HalleluYah!
(Note: I’ve covered just a little here, but there is much more. Please request our free mini-studies going into greater depth into subjects such as: Old and New Covenant, faith, law, kingdom, and many others.)
-Elder David Brett
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