Old Commands or New?

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17
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There are many references to following the commandments of Yahweh written in the New Testament, sometimes referred to as an inspired commentary of the Old Testament. Many people do not study the Bible enough to realize there is not very much that is “new” in the New Testament.

When Jesus was tempted by the adversary, He quoted one of the first commandments.

Luk 4:8 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’”

This command is found throughout the Old Testament. Yahweh gave the Ten Commandments in an audible voice to the twelve tribes at Mount Horeb.

Exo 20:2 “I am Yahweh, your God, who brought you out from the land of Egypt, from the house of slaves.
Exo 20:3 “There shall be for you no other gods before me.
Exo 20:4 “You shall not make for yourself a divine image with any form that is in the heavens above or that is in the earth below or that is in the water below the earth.
Exo 20:5 You will not bow down to them, and you will not serve them, because I am Yahweh your God, a jealous God, punishing the guilt of the parents on the children on the third and on the fourth generations of those hating me,
Exo 20:6 and showing loyal love to thousands of generations of those loving me and of those keeping my commandments.

I have mentioned in other blog posts that at best we are only 80 generations in the future from the giving of the Ten Commandments. Yahweh is looking forward to thousands of generations, which includes right now, in 2021.

In the book of Acts, the early leaders needed to help the new converts that were coming into the faith from the nations. These new converts were steeped in idolatrous practices that would attract demons and cause them to be defiled. The road map to righteousness begins with removing the idols and things polluted by idols from your life.

Act 15:19 Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God,
Act 15:20 but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood.
Act 15:21 For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.”

These are not new commands. Unfortunately, many of the traditions of the nations’ gods were brought into the church and still remain today. A study of what was worshiped at the pagan altars will reveal many of the practices in the church present day. After purging the things polluted with idols, sexual immorality and blood, the new believer would then grow and learn what else Moses taught according to verse 21. This letter from the Apostles has been largely ignored.

Deu 12:29 “When Yahweh your God has cut off the nations whom you are about to go to, to dispossess them before you, and you have dispossessed them, and you live in their land,
Deu 12:30 take care so that you are not ensnared into imitating them after their being destroyed from before you, and so that you not enquire concerning their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods, and thus I myself want to do also.’

In the Apostle’s letter to the new pagan converts, the command not to eat blood was stated.

Lev 17:11 Indeed the flesh’s life is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your lives, because it is the blood with the life that makes atonement.
Lev 17:12 Therefore I said to the Israelites, ‘None of you may eat blood, nor may the alien who is dwelling in your midst eat blood.’

The third commandment, often misunderstood and mistaken for cursing, tells us not to take the name of Yahweh in vain.

Deu 5:11 ‘You shall not take up the name of Yahweh your God for a worthless purpose, for Yahweh will not leave unpunished anyone who uses his name for a worthless purpose.

Joh 17:25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me.
Joh 17:26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

Taking the name in vain or for a worthless purpose could be viewed as a person saying they are His, yet not doing anything He said or not walking as He instructed. Similar to a marriage vow, taking the name of Yahweh as your own is serious business. It is not something to be taken lightly.

Rev 3:15 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot!
Rev 3:16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.

The fourth commandment, concerning the Sabbath, may be one of the most talked about commands in the Bible. From my experience, it is an amazing instruction from Yahweh, that I wish I understood years ago. Yahweh said not to forget the Sabbath, and there are few that have remembered it. Often it is said that the Sabbath was removed in the New Testament, that Jesus rested for all of us and now we just rest in Him. That is ridiculous and a deceptive lie. Tricking Christians from abandoning the very thing that marks them as followers of the God that created the world, steals the power of God from them.

Deu 5:12 ‘Observe the Sabbath day to make it holy, just as Yahweh your God has commanded you.
Deu 5:13 Six days you shall work, and you shall do all of your work,
Deu 5:14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath unto Yahweh your God; you shall not do any work, or your son, or your daughter, or your slave, or your slave woman, or your ox, or your donkey, or any of your domestic animals, or your resident alien who is in your towns, so that your slave and your slave woman may rest as you rest.
Deu 5:15 And you shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and Yahweh your God brought you out with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm; therefore, Yahweh your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath.

Jesus tells us the following concerning the Sabbath:

Mar 2:27 And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
Mar 2:28 So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”

The Pharisees tried to make something more out of the Sabbath than was intended. They heaped rule upon rule, adding to the Word of God. It started out with good intentions; that they would not forget it as commanded, but it soon turned into bondage to simply take a day to rest. Jesus spent a lot of time exemplifying what to do and what not to do on the Sabbath. Jesus said, “So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath”. If He is lord of the Sabbath, and the Sabbath is nothing, does that mean Jesus is lord of something that is nothing? Again, absurdities. The writer of Hebrews told us we still have a Sabbath rest. I have used both the King’s James Version and the English Standard Version to show how the Greek name Iesous was translated to Jesus in one, and Joshua in the other. Which is it?

Heb 4:8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
Heb 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
Heb 4:10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
Heb 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

Heb 4:8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on.
Heb 4:9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,
Heb 4:10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.
Heb 4:11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.

The letter to the Hebrews was likely not written in Greek. That’s just a suspicion that I have. If that assumption is correct, we are trying to read something that started in Hebrew, was translated to Greek, then translated from Greek to English. There truly is something that is lost in translation. We can’t ignore the rest of scripture to make this say whatever we want it to say. Let’s look at the preceding verses to gather some context.

Heb 3:15 As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
Heb 3:16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses?
Heb 3:17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?
Heb 3:18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient?
Heb 3:19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

The writer of Hebrews is reminding us of the rebellious acts of the Israelites that left Egypt. There is at least one event, specifically, that happened concerning the Sabbath. Everyone had recently heard Yahweh speak the Ten Commandments in an audible voice at Mount Horeb. They all agreed to do what Yahweh said. Right after this, one guy decided to go gather wood on the Sabbath in direct rebellion to everything that had happened. It did not end well.

Num 15:32 When the Israelites were in the desert, they found a man who was gathering wood on the day of the Sabbath.
Num 15:33 The ones who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses, Aaron, and to all the community.
Num 15:34 And they put him under watch because it was not made clear what should be done to him.
Num 15:35 And Yahweh said to Moses, “Surely the man must be put to death by stoning him; all the community must stone him with stones from outside the camp.”
Num 15:36 So the entire community brought him out to a place outside the camp, and they stoned him to death just as Yahweh commanded Moses.

There are two key verses in Hebrews that indicate what is being said. First, there remains a rest for God’s people. Hebrews 4:9, “So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God”. The word translated to “Sabbath rest” is Strong’s G4520.

G4520
σαββατισμός
sabbatismos
Thayer Definition:
1) a keeping sabbath
2) the blessed rest from toils and troubles looked for in the age to come by the true worshippers of God and true Christians
Part of Speech: noun masculine
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from a derivative of G4521

Looking closely at the definition, one can see the bias of the Thayer Lexicon that was inserted. Was a first century definition really, “2) the blessed rest from toils and troubles looked for in the age to come by the true worshippers of God and true Christians“, or did this just fit popular 19th century doctrine? The related word, Strong’s G4521, removes any doubt.

G4521
σάββατον
sabbaton
Thayer Definition:
1) the seventh day of each week which was a sacred festival on which the Israelites were required to abstain from all work
1a) the institution of the sabbath, the law for keeping holy every seventh day of the week
1b) a single sabbath, sabbath day
2) seven days, a week
Part of Speech: noun neuter
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: of Hebrew origin H7676

The second key verse is: Hebrews 4:11, “Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience”.

What disobedience is spoken of here if not the disobedience of the Israelites continually breaking the commandments, and Yahweh keeping them from entering the land? How can we get an “eternal rest” if we cannot be obedient enough to rest on the day Yahweh says not to work?

Exo 31:16 The Israelites will pay attention to the Sabbath in order to fulfill the Sabbath throughout their generations as a lasting covenant.
Exo 31:17 It is a sign between me and the Israelites forever, because in six days Yahweh made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh he ceased and recovered.”

So the question becomes, “Are you part of the Israel of God?” If the God you worship is Yahweh, then the answer is yes. Paul tells us that we have been brought into the Commonwealth of Israel. Ephesians 2:19, “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God”.

Eph 2:11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands—
Eph 2:12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

I have purposely spent this much time on the subject of the Sabbath due to its importance. There are not many that doubt that we should not murder, covet, speak or act falsely, or love our neighbour. Revelation 21:8 lists some New Testament commandments that will keep a person out of the kingdom, burned up in sulphur.

Rev 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.
Rev 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Rev 21:5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Rev 21:6 And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.
Rev 21:7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
Rev 21:8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Idolaters:

Deu 5:7 “‘You shall have no other gods before me.
Deu 5:8 “‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

All liars:

Deu 5:20 ‘And you shall not falsely bear evidence against your neighbour.

Murderers, adulterers :

Deu 5:17 “‘You shall not murder.
Deu 5:18 “‘And you shall not commit adultery.

Paul gives a warning to Timothy about the church in the last days. He compares these people to Jannes and Jambres, who were equally opposed to Moses. Their account can be found in the book of Jasher. I have only highlighted a few of the characteristics of lawless people. The reader can easily find the rest throughout the law and prophets if the time is taken to do so.

2Ti 3:1 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.
2Ti 3:2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
2Ti 3:3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,
2Ti 3:4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
2Ti 3:5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
2Ti 3:6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,
2Ti 3:7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
2Ti 3:8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith.
2Ti 3:9 But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.

All of these traits are from the Old Testament instructions, and still found to be contrary to the way Yeshua (Jesus) taught us to live.

Disobedient to parents:

Deu 5:16 ‘Honor your father and your mother, as Yahweh your God commanded you, so that it will be good for you in the land that Yahweh your God is giving to you.

Eph 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
Eph 6:2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise),
Eph 6:3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”

Sorcery and witchcraft:

Deu 18:10 There shall not be found among you one who makes his son or his daughter go through the fire, or one who practices divination, or an interpreter of signs, or an augur, or sorcerer,
Deu 18:11 or one who casts magic spells, or one who consults a spirit of the dead, or spiritist, or one who inquires of the dead.
Deu 18:12 For everyone doing these things is detestable to Yahweh, and because of these detestable things Yahweh your God is driving them out from before you.

Unholy:

Lev 11:43 You must not defile yourselves with any swarmer that swarms, and you must not make yourselves unclean by them and so be made unclean by them,
Lev 11:44 because I am Yahweh your God, and you must keep yourselves sanctified, so that you shall be holy, because I am holy. And you must not make yourselves unclean with any swarmer that moves along on the land,
Lev 11:45 because I am Yahweh, who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be for you as God. Thus you shall be holy, because I am holy.
Lev 11:46 “‘This is the regulation of the animals and the birds and all living creatures that move along in the water and concerning all the creatures that swarm on the land,
Lev 11:47 to distinguish between the unclean and the clean and between the animal that is to be eaten and the animal that must not be eaten.'”

Paul tells us if we are lead by the Spirit we are not under the law. This is true because the Spirit will keep us from being disobedient to the law, and disobedience puts us under the curse of the law, which is death. The penalty for rebellion against the law remains unchanged.

Gal 5:16 But I say, live by the Spirit, and you will never carry out the desire of the flesh.
Gal 5:17 For the flesh desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, for these are in opposition to one another, so that whatever you want, you may not do these things.
Gal 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Gal 5:19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are sexual immorality, impurity, licentiousness,
Gal 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, factions,
Gal 5:21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, things which I am telling you in advance, just as I said before, that the ones who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Impurity, uncleanliness:

Lev 20:25 And you shall distinguish between the clean and the unclean animal and between the unclean and the clean bird; and you shall not defile yourselves with the animal or with the bird or with anything that moves along the ground that I have set apart for you as unclean.

The link can easily be made with the word in Galatians 5:19 for impurity. It is Strong’s G167. This is the same word used in the Greek Septuagint for unclean, speaking of unclean meats in Leviticus 20:25.

G167
ἀκαθαρσία
akatharsia
Thayer Definition:
1) uncleanness
1a) physical
1b) in a moral sense: the impurity of lustful, luxurious, profligate living
1b1) of impure motives
Part of Speech: noun feminine
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from G169

Some may think I have made quite a stretch to say Paul is speaking about eating unclean meats in the letter to the Galatians. Maybe so, but there may be a difference from disobedience due to ignorance, and disobedience due to rebellion. Do we really believe Paul is talking about washing? Many times we search scripture to find out what we can get away with instead of searching for how the Father wants us to live our lives in perfect obedience to Him as our Messiah, Jesus, lived His life.

Heb 10:26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
Heb 10:27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.
Heb 10:28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses.
Heb 10:29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?

The point that I am making is that the God of the Old Testament is the same God in the New Testament. He wants us to live the same way He always wanted His people to live, and it is not too hard. He has given us the Spirit of Grace in order that we can walk in His ways. Our own works that we make up are like filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away”. His righteous instruction with Spirit of Grace enables us to do His righteousness. Acts that were considered transgressing the law in the Old Testament, are the same acts that are considered sin in the New Testament. The apostle John makes this clear.

1Jn 3:4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.
1Jn 3:5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.
1Jn 3:6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.
1Jn 3:7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.
1Jn 3:8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
1Jn 3:9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.
1Jn 3:10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

Repent and practice righteousness! Warning others is loving your neighbour.

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