As parents, we want the best for our children. We want them to succeed in every area of their lives, which often requires that we provide rules and boundaries so that no harm comes to them. In the same way, God creates spiritual boundaries and laws for his children so that we may be successful in our Christian lives. But what happens when his children, like our children, rebel and decide to break the rules they have been given?
In The Commandments of God, author Cornie Banman revisits the laws and commandments that God created for his children and addresses the question many twenty-first century Christians ask: are the Ten Commandments and other biblical laws still applicable to our lives today? Banman examines how Jesus and his first followers responded to this rebellious attitude and how today's traditional religious society responds to these commandments. He also explores how Satan, the great deceiver, continues to deceive us about God's laws and plans for our lives.
The Commandments of God seeks to provide answers to questions that have plagued Christians since the beginning of the Christian faith, allowing a better understanding of God's plan for our lives.
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The Commandments of GodAre They Burdensome? Are They Abolished?
By Cornie Banman
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2011 Cornie Banman
All right reserved.
Chapter OneHebrew/Greek/English Definitions for Yoke and Bondage
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Isaiah 10:27: And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing. Hebrew for burden: 5448. lbo cobel, so'-bel; a load (figuratively):-burden. Hebrew for yoke: 5923. le 'ol, ole; a yoke (as imposed on the neck), literally or figuratively:-yoke.
Jeremiah 27:8: The nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish ... Hebrew for Babylon: 894. lbb Babel, baw-bel'; confusion; Babel (i.e., Babylon), including Babylonia and the Babylonian empire:-Babel, Babylon. Hebrew for yoke: 5923. le 'ol, ole; (above).
Matthew 11:29-30: Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Greek for yoke: 2218. zugos, dzoo-gos'; (to join, especially by a "yoke"); a coupling (i.e., (figuratively) servitude (a law or obligation)); also (literally) the beam of the balance (as connecting the scales)-pair of balances, yoke. Greek for burden: 5413. phortion, for-tee'-on; an invoice (as part of freight), i.e. (figuratively) a task or service:-burden.
Acts 15:10: Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? Greek for yoke: 2218. zugos, dzoo-gos'; (above).
We can see that the use of yoke #2218 (zugos) in scripture refers to a coupling, a beam to balance (or equalize) the scale or load; a commitment to one's part of the terms and conditions of a contract, or covenant.
Exodus 1:14: And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner ... Hebrew for bondage: 5656. hdbe 'abodah, ab-o-daw'; work of any kind:-act, bondage, + bondservant, effect, labour, ministering(-try), office, service(-ile,-itude), tillage, use, work, X wrought.
Exodus 13:3: Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this place ... Hebrew for bondage: 5650. dbe 'ebed, eh'-bed; a servant:-X bondage, bondman, (bond-)servant, (man-)servant.
Nehemiah 5:5: We bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants, and some of our daughters are brought unto bondage already ... Hebrew for bondage: 3533. vbk kabash, kaw-bash'; a primitive root; to tread down; hence, negatively, to disregard; positively, to conquer, subjugate, violate:-bring into bondage, force, keep under, subdue, bring into subjection.
Acts 7:6: And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years. Greek for bondage: 1402. douloo, doo-lo'-o; to enslave (literally or figuratively):-bring into (be under) bondage, X given, become (make) servant.
2 Corinthians 11:20: For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face. Greek for bondage: 2615. katadouloo, kat-ad-oo-lo'-o; to enslave utterly:-bring into bondage.
Galatians 4:3: Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. Greek for bondage: 1402. douloo, doo-lo'-o; (above). Greek for elements: 4747. stoicheion, stoy-khi'-on; something orderly in arrangement, i.e. (by implication) a serial (basal, fundamental, initial) constituent (literally), proposition (figuratively)):-element, principle, rudiment.
2 Peter 2:19: While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. Greek for bondage: 1402. douloo, doo-lo'-o; (above).
Galatians 5:1: Stand fast therefore in the liberty where with Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Greek for liberty: 1657. eleutheria, el-yoo-ther-ee'-ah; freedom (legitimate or licentious, chiefly moral or ceremonial):-liberty. Greek for entangled: 1758. enecho, en-ekh'-o; to hold in or upon (i.e., ensnare);by implication, to keep a grudge:-entangle with, have a quarrel against, urge. Greek for yoke: 2218. zugos, dzoo-gos'; (above). Greek for bondage: 1397. douleia, doo-li'-ah; slavery (ceremonially or figuratively):-bondage.
We can see that bondage is used in all the definitions in scripture as a form of slavery: slavery #1397, "to enslave utterly" #2615, and so forth.
Chapter TwoThe Ten Commandments
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I'm assuming that you are somewhat familiar with the ten Commandments that God gave to mankind. They are the moral code that our Creator expects us to live by if we want to be called His children. I will briefly summarize them before we delve into the main topic of this book.
If you study them, you will see that the first stone tablet, which contains the first four commandments, is designed in a way that will train our heart and mind to worship the right God and put Him first in everything we do. Commandments five to ten on the second tablet are like the first four in that they are His instructions for us to always put others first or, at the very least, even with ourselves. This is how the Messiah summed them up:
Jesus said unto him, 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 [the first tablet]. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself [the second tablet]. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets (Matt. 22:37–40).
If we love Him and if we desire to attain eternal life, we will keep them: If ye love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15). If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments (Matt. 19:17).
Life is promised for keeping them; death is promised for not keeping them:
See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them (Deut. 30:15–20).
Obedience to the ten Commandments is how God's love for mankind is defined. That is the only recipe there is to combat selfishness and pride. Throughout the scriptures, we find that His love and mercy for mankind is endless and way beyond what our carnal mind is able to understand. And obedience to His commandments is the only way by which mankind can attain that kind of love, which He wants us to have. The entire torah teaching and instructions dwell wholly on the theme of developing a character of love and mercy for mankind, without which we have no forgiveness:
And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise (Luke 6:31). Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful (Luke 6:36). And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors (Matt. 6:12). For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (Matt. 6:14-15; read also 1 John 1:9). Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy (Matt. 5:7).
The measure of love and mercy we have for others, is the measure of love and mercy God will have on us.
I will list the ten Commandments and follow up with a brief summary of them, as they apply to us today.
1 And God spake all these words, saying,
Tablet 1: Love toward God
First Commandment: 2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Second Commandment: 4 thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
Third Commandment: 7 thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LoOD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Fourth Commandment: 8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Tablet 2: Love toward Others
Fifth Commandment: 12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
Sixth Commandment: 13 thou shalt not kill.
Seventh Commandment: 14 thou shalt not commit adultery.
Eighth Commandment: 15 thou shalt not steal.
Ninth Commandment: 16 thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
Tenth Commandment: 17 thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.
In the first commandment, God clearly identifies Himself as the God who redeemed the people from the Egyptian bondage and slavery. In literal modern-day terms, it means that He is the God who redeemed us from the bondage to sin and death. Egypt is in a type of sin in scriptural terms in that they worshipped gods made by hand, and because of the hard slavery that they brutally forced upon the Hebrew people which greatly oppressed them (Exod. 1). Thus, the Hebrew people were in Egyptian bondage. They were descendants of Abraham and called the children of Israel. The Exodus story is an extremely colorful account about how the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob redeemed the Hebrew people from that bondage. God solemnly declares in the first commandment that He is the one who delivered them from that bondage, wherefore He says "worship me, and none other." In the same way, He is the same God who redeemed us from the bondage to sin and death, by dying on the tree to pay for the penalty of our sins.
In the second commandment, He defines Himself as a jealous God, wherefore we are to worship no other God but Him. He does not like it when other gods get the glory which belongs to Him. He promises blessings to thousands of generations for those who keep His commandments, and curses for three to four generations for breaking them. Please realize the seriousness of this commandment. He's talking to you and me about our children!
I will put this as plainly as I can because we need to understand how this commandment applies directly to our everyday life, to our children, to their children, and so on. I'll spend some extra time to explain the far-reaching implications of this particular commandment. And I'll follow up with an example from the exodus journey.
God is literally telling you and me that, if we refuse to keep His commandments, practice all ten of them, the next three to four generations will be cursed. It's just that plain. Let's put this into proper perspective. This literally means that our children, our grandchildren, our great-grandchildren, and potentially our great-great-grandchildren will be cursed for our not keeping the commandments of our Creator and for using some other instructions than His for the health, welfare, and success of us and our family. But, if we diligently practice His commandments, He will bless thousands of generations to follow. Can you see how great, excellent, and far-reaching His love is for us if we obey His Commandments? I know, it is way over our heads to comprehend how God contrasts between love and hate. But I don't think that He could have expressed the magnitude of His love any clearer.
Let's think for a moment about how God's love is defined. His love in the scriptural text is the Greek word #26 <agape>. It is a charitable love that the carnal mind cannot fully understand. The word comes from the base of word #25 <agapao>, which is the type of love that we're more familiar with, as a social love. If we chase it down, it eventually ends up as the word #5384 <philos>, which denotes a fond friend. I hope you get the idea. When you come across the word friend in the King James Version, it is translated from the word philos. So we can see that godly love is a charitable love of a very high degree, which can only come from the extreme depth within the main root system, which is our Creator, the God of Israel.
Knowing this, we can see that the love that God impresses upon us through the second commandment stands out tremendously and is easily overlooked. Let me explain what I mean by this, because this is very important to understand how God's love is involved even when He punishes us. When we look at His blessings for obeying His commandments, He applies them to thousands of generations. But when He promises His curses for disobedience to His commandments, He applies them to only a few generations. Please don't misunderstand me here. I don't mean by this that a few generations of curses aren't significant, because they are very significant, almost unthinkable. But what I'm trying to convey is the contrast between the curses and blessings in light of His love for His creation. He curses a few generations in hopes of correcting them, thus bringing them back to Him again. I hope you can understand this. And if you can't, please study it in the scriptures until you can.
If you want to learn more about these particular blessings and curses, they are described very intensely in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28. I urge you to study them to get a grasp of the vastness of His promises and of the blessings and curses. And if you continue to diligently study the whole book of Deuteronomy, you will see that those prophecies are still valid today and that all scriptural prophecies thereafter are based on what Moses already prophesied there, about 3,500 years ago, just before the Israelites crossed the Jordan River:
When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice. (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them (Deut. 4:30–31). (Continues...)
Excerpted from The Commandments of God by Cornie Banman Copyright © 2011 by Cornie Banman. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
1. Hebrew/Greek/English Definitions for Yoke and Bondage....................1
2. The Ten Commandments....................4
3. The Protestant system....................20
4. Unambiguous Scriptures in the Old and New Testaments....................24
5. Galatians: Justification....................40
5a. Justification and Faith....................47
5b. Acts 14: Heathenism in Lystra, Galatia....................74
5c. Paul's Doctrines....................79
5d. False Apostles....................84
6. Study God's Scriptures and Prove All things from It Because Ignorance is No Excuse....................89
7. God's Laws are Not Done Away....................92
8. Justified by Faith, through Love....................105
9. Of Faith and Works....................109
10. The Love of God....................119
11. The Ten Commandments are Still in the Temple....................123
12. God's Laws in the New Covenant....................126
13. God's Laws are Eternal, and His Word is Final....................132
14. Words of Wisdom....................134
16. Scripture References....................138
17. Hebrew/Greek/English Definitions....................153