God Didn’t Give Us Ten Commandments

Grace and peace, Saints.

For years, I had wanted to teach my children the Ten Commandments. I know that we are under grace and not under the law, but I thought that if my children could understand how difficult it is to keep the law, then perhaps they would have a greater appreciation for grace and for the blood of the Lord Jesus.

I always thought that the best way for them to learn would be “by the numbers,” learning each commandment by the order it appears in Exodus Chapter 20 (i.e. Commandment 1: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me, Commandment 2: “Thou shalt not make unto thyself any graven images, etc.), and had tried several times to make this happen. But every time we would start, I found myself unable to do it consistently, and would go weeks, months, and years without ding it. Eventually, we just left off doing it altogether.

This troubled me slightly because, though I do forget things from time to time, rarely do I forget to do something to the extent it never gets done—especially in matters of faith. At some point, I will get it done. Not so with the Ten Commandments; we never got around to learning them, and I could not understand why.

By the grace of God, However, today I learned what hindered me for almost a decade from learning the Ten Commandments and teaching them to my children: it was the Lord Jesus Himself. And the reason is simple: there are no Ten Commandments!

Turn with me, if you will, to Exodus Chapter 20, and let us discuss what we know as the Ten Commandments. Commandments. Only instead of considering each imperative as a separate commandment, as is commonly done, let us consider each contextual whole; for, in so doing you will see that there are not really ten commandments, but eleven.

First, it is generally accepted by Protestant theologians that verse 5 deals with idolatry:

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the water under the earth.

“Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them…”

But if we consider the passage contextually, then we will see that verses three, four and five all deal collectively with idolatry.

Verse two defines idolatry as worshipping any god other than the Lord God:

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

While verses four and five expand the definition of idolatry to 1. making statues and images, and 2. worshipping statues and images.

“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the water under the earth.

“Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them…”

Verses 3-5, therefore contain three commandments rather than two:

1. Thou shalt not worship any gods besides God.
2. Thou shalt not make statues or anything else in the likeness of birds, humans, animals, or marine creatures.
3. Thou shalt not worship statues or anything else in the likeness of birds, humans, or marine creatures.

It continues:

4. “Thou shalt not take the name of thy Lord in vain (v. 7).
5. “Remember the Sabbath day (v. 8).
6. “Honor thy father and thy mother.” (v. 12).
7. “Thou shalt not kill (v. 13).
8. “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (V. 14).
9. “Thou shalt not steal” (v. 15).
10. “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor” (v. 16).
11. “Thou shalt not covet anything that is thy neighbor’s” (v. 17).

As you can clearly see, there are actually eleven commandments. And it was right there before your eyes all along. It’s true: the best place to hide something is right out in the open.

It is important to note that Protestant theologians have often pointed out that Roman Catholic Bibles omit Exodus 20:4 (Thou shalt make no graven images) and split Exodus 20:11 (Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife; thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house), replacing verse 4 with the first part of verse 11 (Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife), thus keeping the number of commandments at ten. But, as we have already seen, Exodus 20:2-11 actually contains eleven commandments, not just ten.

Right now, you’re probably asking yourself where the notion that there are only Ten Commandments came from? Well, I submit that Rome, the age-old enemy of The Word of God, is responsible; for statues; likenesses of things in heaven, things in earth, and things in the water under the earth; and false gods are in great abundance in the Roman Catholic Church, adorning the walls—inside and out—as well as the roof and grounds of every Roman Catholic edifice in the world, including the Vatican.

One oft-used tactic of Satan is to create a false argument that diverts our attention from what we should be looking at onto something that is really of little or no consequence. Concerning the “Ten Commandments,” By highlighting the prohibition against worshipping statues (Exodus 20:4-5) and making Mary worship the principle point of contention, Rome attempts to divert our attention from an even more egregious matter: the worship of false gods (Exodus 20:2). In the romish church, that false god is known as the Eucharist, the consecrated piece of bread Roman Catholics believe contains the body, blood, soul and divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ.  This makes the Eucharist “another Jesus” (2 Corinthians 11:3).

Besides this, the priest is another Jesus in the Roman Catholic Church. The priest, according to Roman Catholic doctrine, holds many of the powers attributed to the Lord Jesus Christ, including the power to forgive sins. That makes the priest too, “another Jesus.” Priests even hold the title of alter Christus–literally “another Jesus” in Latin.

One can see therefore, why the Roman Catholic Church would want to minimize the importance of the First Commandment by diverting our attention to Mary worship. From priests, to the Eucharist, to the Pope himself, the Virgin Mary is far from the only idol in the romish church. We would know this, if we, as Protestants, would do something Rome doesn’t want us to do: believe the Bible as it is written; and the Bible makes no mention at all of the Ten Commandments.

Since God will not allow the Roman Catholic Church to destroy the Word of God, it has settled for changing the way you and I understand the Word of God. Are you going to let them get away with that?

Be encouraged and look up, for your redemption draweth nigh.

TSM

 

 

 

 

 

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