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“If you love me, keep my Commandments”  Page 1.

Click here for a really good introductory message on Law and Commandments, Exodus 20.    (by Martin Skinner)

Yahshua said (John 14:15) "If ye love me, keep my commandments." Here we have a challenge. What exactly did He mean? Did He mean purely the instructions He gave to His disciples while He walked on the earth two thousand years ago, or does this imply that we are to look further into the scriptures, even into the Old Covenant? (Testament) As it was He Himself who stood on Mount Sinai and spoke 'face to face' with Moses (Joh 1:18 "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.") is He suggesting that the initial 10 Commandments given to Israel are important to us today, and included in this statement? Let us look carefully at other references He made to the Commandments.
In Matthew 23:37-40 Yahshua stated, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two Commandments hang (hinge) all the law and the prophets.”
A 'hinge' holds a door, which, when opened allows us to pass through. Therefore, we may ask, 'What are those two commandments a doorway into?' Perhaps it is that these two commandments are a way through which we can enter into a fuller understanding of their meaning.
In Hebrew the word 'Commandment' means, a command, whether human or divine (collectively the Law): - (which was) commanded (-ment), law, ordinance, precept. The Greek word for Commandment pronounced means, injunction, that is, an authoritative prescription, commandment, precept.
These two Commandments are a heading, underneath which and in consecutive scriptures the meaning is expounded. For example "...love thy neighbour..." is further qualified in "thou shalt not covet thy neighbours ox..." and "...and if your neighbours ox falls into a ditch... then pull it out" etc. Yahshua Himself declared that in no way did He desire to put an end to the Law, but to expound it, and help us to 'unpack' and understand it. This takes time and effort. We need to desire to study in order that we may understand how His Laws are relevant to us in our day.
Yahshua set those of us who are not familiar with Yahweh's Commandments in their entirety, on an exciting journey of discovery. We need to pass through the doorway and look into what these Commandments actually mean. This entails looking into the Old Testament (Covenant) scriptures which are the foundation for all New Covenant scriptures.
In Exodus 20 we have the first 'breakdown' of the meaning, as the 10 Commandments can be divided into those showing us how we are to love Yahweh, and the rest, how to love our neighbour as ourselves. Then, as we continue to read Exodus into Leviticus, Deuteronomy and in fact all the Old Covenant scriptures we are able to discover further 'qualifications' of what these commandments mean in every day life.
Yahshua was bringing our attention to the law! How else could we understand what He was meaning in Matthew 23? He further qualified the Commandments in the fifth chapter of Matthew. This chapter is wonderful in its explanation of the Commandments. For example, Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. Mat 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments... Mat 5:21-22 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: 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. Mat 5:27-28 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
See how He qualifies the Commandments and Far from demeaning or doing away with them, He brings their full meaning!
We are fine with some of the Ten Commandments, but we tend to 'steer clear' of others. Why is this? Maybe because of wrong teaching by the Church over Centuries? Perhaps Yahshua does require us to honour His Name, to keep the Sabbath day, not to bear false witness about others, not to have idols. The word "New" as in New Testament actually should read, "Renewed" i.e. made anew, certainly not to forget what has been declared before! Yahshua came to qualify and tighten up the Old Covenant requirements, not to abolish them!
Yahshua did not negate the law on covetousness, or the law requiring us to honour our parents, or the law re. the seventh day Sabbath. In fact, He claimed to be the Master of it! Mat 12:8 "For the Son of man is Lord (Greek kurios = supreme in authority, controller, master, ) even of the sabbath day."
( More about the Sabbath in its place.)
Now to deviate for a moment. Some attempt to 'get around' keeping the Sabbath by claiming that we have been given a 'continual' sabbath rest, in resting from our sins. If you are in this camp, then dare to read this page!
To carry on our thought, we would not idolise any person or thing, we would desire in fact to keep all His laws to show our love, and if we loved our neighbours as ourselves, we would not covet their goods, or hurt them in any way, thus fulfilling the laws saying ‘thou shalt not…’ It is an attitude of the heart. I once heard someone give an interesting thought. He said, that rather than "Thou shalt not" being read in a negative way, as a demand, we could read it as a positive promise, as in... "because you are trusting Me, then I will give you ability, and so 'you shall not...' A more positive way of thinking!
In order to love YHWH surely we need to read about what pleases Him, and that actually means, reading his Laws and what He expects of those who love Him.
Do you think that someone who thinks that they are 'free from the law' is free to steal paper from the office, 'I'm not really stealing, I work there...' or pass on a piece of gossip about someone which may not be true? It just doesn't make sense to say 'I am being led by the spirit’ and ignore the requirements of the Commandments. The holy Spirit would never go against Yahweh's laws.
A person once quoted, "I'm a prophet, called out by a prominent christian minister, and I am free! So you will not bring me under the bondage of the Biblical Sabbath!" How bizarre! Would it therefore be alright to murder someone? Murder and keeping Sabbath are both part of the 10!
Are the Commandments as important today as they were to the ancient Hebrews? After all, it is the same Elohim (God) whom we are serving. Yahshua said ‘unless your righteousness exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees you shall not…’ Note also that in John 15:10 He says, “If you keep My Commandments, you shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s Commandments, and abide in His love.” Do we desire to 'abide in His love' like Yahshua did? Or do we somehow think we are able to abide in the Father's love in some other way? Strange thoughts...
Thus Yahshua was a Commandment keeper, and exhorted us to be the same. Have you noticed in Mark, how keeping the Commandments causes Him to love us? He talks in this chapter of loving Him meaning loving His Father. Mar 10:19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. Mar 10:20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Mar 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him...
Our interpretation of the scriptures can be over simplistic, and we think that as long as we "Love one another" this covers everything. It results a lot of the time in a 'wishy-washy' feeling of 'love' towards fellow believers. We forget the plurality of 'commandments,' we forget the more uncomfortable statements of Yahshua like 'whoever loves ... more than Me, is not worthy...' and 'take up your cross' and 'turn the other cheek' and the multitude of other commandments Yahshua gave which all strengthened and validated and explained the broad outlines to be found in Exodus 20.
Being believers in the Messiah, Saviour, Yahshua (Jesus ) we believe that He is the Son of Yahweh (YHWH, God). We believe that He is in fact the Word of YHWH (God). Therefore, we believe that He existed from the beginning – “In the beginning was the word, and the word was in YHWH and the word was YHWH.
He was more than a mere man. He was the One who appeared to Abraham, to the three Hebrews in the fiery furnace. Who was it then in fact, who talked to Moses ‘face to face’ and who was it that appeared to him on Mount Sinai and gave him the Commandments?
The scriptures are adamant. ‘No man has seen YHWH at any time.’ Therefore, it was His Son with whom He deals with mankind. Yahshua is the son of YHWH, with Him in the beginning. The Commandments are His, and He gave them. He was the mouthpiece of Elohim (God).
Yahshua Himself kept the commandments. He wasn't 'in bondage' to them, they were His Father's character. He expanded them, He filled them full of meaning. Read Matthew 5 for yourself. He mentions a commandment, and then says, ‘but I say to you’ and expands the meaning, He makes it watertight, He lifts the meaning higher, He expounds and explains what the commandment meant. He brings the 'fulness of meaning.' Not only should we not commit adultery, but if we look on a man or woman with desire, thinking of them with lust, it is the same thing, we break the commandment ‘thou shall not commit adultery…’

So Yahshua not only advocated keeping the Law, He expanded it. He also said, ‘Not one jot or the smallest part of a letter shall pass from the law until all is fulfilled’ and He meant just that. Some of us give the excuse (anything to keep us from actually being obedient…) that because Yahshua has come already, all is fulfilled, so this is another reason we think that we can ignore the Tanakh (Hebrew Scriptures) But Yahshua came to 'fulfill' in other words, to complete, to fill up, certainly not to take away!

2nd. Timothy 3:16 says; ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" What 'scripture' was being referred to here? Well, the early church did not have the New Testament because it was not yet written, so the ‘scripture’ mentioned here, means the Old Covenant (Testament) ( Note: Did you know that the work 'old' mentioned here actually means 'ancient' 'as in something to be treasured, antique!).
If you are still not convinced, if you still believe that the only commands we are to keep are the ones Yahshua mentioned, and that the Commandments of the Old Covenant (Testament) are now obsolete, then allow me to add a couple of water-tight comments made by John, which explain without a doubt that the Old Covenant Commandments are not obsolete. In fact, they are the proof that we love Yahweh and His children. 1Jn_5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 1Jn_5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments:and his commandments are not grievous.

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