"Not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of
the heart."---2.Cor.3:3 last part.
When were the Ten Commandments given to Moses?
1450 B.C., but keep in mind that before Moses, Abraham already kept them
[Genesis 26:5] and before that, it has always been in heaven under GOD'S
throne [Hebrews 8:1-5]. The law is the knowledge of sin, Paul wrote
[Rom.3:20] And he himself as a Pharisee had not known if it wasn't for this
holy moral law [Rom.7:7]. And again, "Sin is the transgression of the
law" [1.John 3:4].
The Ten Commandments: Exodus 20:2-17 by Dwight Moody
Weighed in the Balances
IN THE FIFTH CHAPTER of Daniel we read the history of King Belshazzar. One chapter tells us all we know about him. One short sight of his career is all we have. He bursts in upon the scene and then disappears.
THE EASTERN FEAST
We are told that he made a great feast to a thousand of his lords and drank wine before them. In those days a feast in Eastern countries would sometimes last for six months. How long this feast had been going on we are not told, but in the midst of it, he
While this impious act was being committed,
We are not told at what hour of the day or the night it
happened. Perhaps it was midnight. Perhaps nearly all the guests were more or
less under the influence of drink; but they were not so drunk but that they
suddenly became sober as they saw something that was supernatural- a handwriting
on the wall, right over the golden candlestick.
Every face turned deathly pale.
In haste he sent for his wisest men to come and read
that handwriting on the wall. They came in one after another and tried to make
it out; but they could not interpret it. The king promised that whoever could
read it should be made the third ruler in the kingdom; that he should have
gifts, and that a gold chain should be put around his neck. But the wise men
tried in vain. The king was greatly troubled.
At last, in the midst of the consternation, the queen came in, and she told the monarch, if he would only send for one who used to interpret the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar, he could read the writing and tell him the interpretation thereof. So Daniel was sent for. He was very familiar with it. He knew his Father's handwriting.
If someone had told the king an hour before that the
time had come when he must step into the balances and be weighed, he would have
laughed at the thought. But the vital hour had come.
The weighing was soon over. The verdict was announced, and the sentence carried out.
Darius and his army came marching down those streets.
There was a clash of arms. Shouts of war and victory rent the air. That night
the king's blood mingled with the wine of the banquet hall. Judgment came upon
him unexpectedly, suddenly: and probably ninety-nine out of every hundred
judgments come in this way. Death comes upon us unexpectedly; it comes upon us
Perhaps you say: "I hope Mr. Moody is not going to compare me with that heathen king."
I tell you that a man who does evil in these gospel days is far worse than that king. We live in a land of Bibles. You can get the New Testament for a nickel, and if you haven't got a nickel, you can get it for nothing. Many societies will be glad to give it to you free. We live in the full blaze of Calvary. We live on this side of the cross, but Belshazzar lived more than five hundred years on the other side. He never heard of Jesus Christ. He never heard about the Son of God. He never heard about God except, perhaps, in connection with his father's remarkable vision. He probably had no portion of the Bible, and if he had, probably he didn't believe it. He had no godly minister to point Him to the Lamb of God.
Don't tell me that you are better than that king. I believe that he will rise in judgment and condemn many of us.
All this happened long centuries ago. Let us get down to this century, to this year, to ourselves. We will come to the present time. Let us imagine that now, while I am preaching, down come some balances from the throne of God. They are fastened to the very throne itself. It is a throne of equity, of justice. You and I must be weighed. I venture to say this would be a very solemn audience. There would be no tiring. There would be no indifference. No one would be thoughtless.
Some people have their own balances. A great many are making balances to be weighed in. But after all we must be weighed in God's balances, the balances of the sanctuary. It is a favorite thing with infidels to set their own standard, to measure themselves by other people. But that will not do in the Day of Judgment. Now we will use God's law as a balance weight. When men find fault with the lives of professing Christians, it is a tribute to the law of God.
"Tekel." It is a very short text. It is so short I am sure you will remember it: and that is my object, just to get people to remember God's own Word.
Let me call your attention to the fact that God wrote
on the tables of stone at Sinai as well as on the wall of Belshazzar's palace.
These are the only messages to men that God has written with His own hand. He wrote the commandments out twice, and spoke them aloud in the hearing of Israel.
If it were known that God Himself were going to speak once again to man, what eagerness and excitement there would be! For nearly nineteen hundred years He has been silent. No inspired message has been added to the Bible for nearly nineteen hundred years. How eagerly all men would listen if God should speak once more. Yet men forget that the Bible is God's own Word, and that it is as truly His message today as when it was delivered of old. The law that was given at Sinai has lost none of its solemnity. Time cannot wear out its authority or the fact of its authorship.
I can imagine someone saying, "I won't be weighed by that law. I don't believe in it."
Now men may cavil as much as they like about other parts of the Bible, but I have never met an honest man that found fault with the Ten Commandments. Infidels may mock the Lawgiver and reject Him who has delivered us from the curse of the law, but they can't help admitting that the commandments are right. Renan said that they are for all nations, and will remain the commandments of God during all the centuries.
If God created this world, He must make some laws to govern it. In order to make life safe we must have good laws; there is not a country the sun shines upon that does not possess laws. Now this is God's law. It has come from on high, and infidels and skeptics have to admit that it is pure. Legislatures nearly all over the world adopt it as the foundation of their legal systems.
Now the question for you and me is- are we keeping these commandments? Have we fulfilled all the requirements of the law? If God made us, as we know He did, He had a right to make that law; and if we don't use it aright it would have been better for us if we had never had it, for it will condemn us. We shall be found wanting. The law is all right, but are we right?
AN INFIDEL'S TESTIMONY
It is related of a clever infidel that he sought an acquaintance with the truths of the Bible, and began to read at the books of Moses. He had been in the habit of sneering at the Bible, and in order to be able to refute arguments brought by Christian men, he made up his mind, as he knew nothing about it, to read the Bible and get some idea of its contents. After he had reached the Ten Commandments, he said to a friend:
The former infidel remained to his death a firm
believer in the truth of Christianity.
We call it the "Mosaic" law, but it has been well said that the commandments did not originate with Moses, nor were they done away with when the Mosaic law was fulfilled in Christ, and many of its ceremonies and regulations abolished. We can find no trace of the existence of any lawmaking body in those early times, no parliament, or congress that built up a system of laws. It has come down to us complete and finished, and the only satisfactory account is that which tells us that God Himself wrote the commandments on tables of stone.
Some people seem to think we have got beyond the commandments. What did Christ say?
The commandments of God given to Moses in the Mount at
Horeb are as binding today as ever they have been since the time they were
proclaimed in the hearing of the people. The Jews said the law was not given in
Palestine (which belonged to Israel), but in the wilderness, because the law was
for all nations.
Jesus never condemned the law and the prophets, but He did condemn those who did not obey them. Because He gave new commandments, it does not follow that He abolished the old. Christ's explanation of them made them all the more searching. In His Sermon on the Mount, He carried the principles of the commandments beyond the mere letter. He unfolded them and showed that they embraced more, that they are positive as well as prohibitive. The Old Testament closes with these words:
Does that look as if the law of Moses was becoming
The conviction deepens in me with the years that the old truths of the Bible must be stated and restated in the plainest possible language. I do not remember ever to have heard a sermon preached on the commandments. I have an index of two thousand five hundred sermons preached by Spurgeon, and not one of them selects its text from the first seventeen verses of Exodus 20. The people must be made to understand that the Ten Commandments are still binding, and that there is a penalty attached to their violation. We do not want a gospel of mere sentiment. The Sermon on the Mount did not blot out the Ten Commandments.
When Christ came He condensed the statement of the law into this form:
But does this mean that the detailed precepts of the Decalogue are superseded and have become back numbers? Does a father cease to give children rules to obey because they love him? Does a nation burn its statute books because the people have become patriotic? Not at all. And yet people speak as if the commandments do not hold for Christians because they have come to love God. Paul said:
It still holds good. The Commandments are necessary. So long as we obey, they do not rest heavy upon us; but as soon as we try to break away, we find they are like fences to keep us within bounds. Horses need bridles even after they have been properly broken in.
Now, my friend, are you ready to be weighed by this law
of God? A great many people say that if they keep the commandments they do not
need to be forgiven and saved through Christ. But have you kept them? I will
admit that if you perfectly keep the commandments, you do not need to be saved
by Christ; but is there a man in the wide world who can truly say that he has
done this? Young lady, can you say: "I am ready to be weighed by the
law."? Can you, young man? Will you step into the scales and be weighed one
by one by the Ten Commandments?
Now face these Ten Commandments honestly and prayerfully. See if your life is right, and if you are treating God fairly. God's statutes are just, are they not? If they are right, let us see if we are right. Let us get alone with God and read His law- read it carefully and prayerfully, and ask Him to forgive us our sin and what He would have us to do.
The First Commandment
I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.
MY FRIEND, are you ready to be weighed against this
commandment? Have you fulfilled, or are you willing to fulfill, all the
requirements of this law? Put it into one of the scales, and step into the
other. Is your heart set upon God alone? Have you no other God? Do you love Him
above father or mother, the wife of your bosom, your children, home or land,
wealth or pleasure?
If men were true to this commandment, obedience to the remaining nine would follow naturally. It is because they are unsound in this that they break the others.
FEELING AFTER GOD
Philosophers are agreed that even the most primitive
races of mankind reach out beyond the world of matter to a superior Being. It is
as natural for man to feel after God as it is for the ivy to feel after a
support. Hunger and thirst drive man to seek for food, and there is a hunger of
the soul that needs satisfying, too. Man does not need to be commanded to
worship, as there is not a race so high or so low in the scale of civilization
but has some kind of god. What he needs is to be directed aright.
This is what the first commandment is for. Before we can worship intelligently, we must know what or whom to worship. God does not leave us in ignorance. When Paul went to Athens, he found an altar dedicated to "The Unknown God," and he proceeded to tell of Him whom we worship. When God gave the commandments to Moses, He commenced with a declaration of His own character, and demanded exclusive recognition.
Dr. Dale says these words have great significance. The Jews
Someone asked an Arab: "How do you know that there is a God?" "How do I know whether a man or a camel passed my tent last night?" he replied. God's footprints in nature and in our own experience are the best evidence of His existence and character.
ISRAELITES EXPOSED TO DANGER
Remember to whom this commandment was given, and we
shall see further how necessary it was. The forefathers of the Israelites had
worshiped idols, not many generations back. They had recently been delivered out
of Egypt, a land of many gods. The Egyptians worshiped the sun, the moon,
insects, animals, etc. The ten plagues were undoubtedly meant by God to bring
confusion upon many of their sacred objects. The children of Israel were going
up to take possession of a land that was inhabited by heathen, who also
worshiped idols. There was therefore great need of such a commandment as this.
There could be no right relationship between God and man in those days any more
than today, until man understood that he must recognize God alone, and not offer
Him a divided heart.
If He created us, He certainly ought to have our homage. Is it not right that He should have the first and only place in our affections?
This is one matter in which no toleration can be shown.
Religious liberty is a good thing, within certain limits. But it is one thing to
show toleration to those who agree on essentials, and another, to those who
differ on fundamental beliefs. They were willing to admit any god to the Roman
Pantheon. One reason the early Christians were persecuted was that they would
not accept a place for Jesus Christ there. Napoleon is said to have entertained
the idea of having separate temples in Paris for every known religion, so that
every stranger should have a place of worship when attracted toward that city.
Such plans are directly opposed to the Divine One. God sounded no uncertain note
in this commandment. It is plain, unmistakable, uncompromising.
We may learn a lesson from the way a farmer deals with the little shoots that spring up around the trunk of an apple tree. They look promising, and one who has not learned better might welcome their growth. But the farmer knows that they will draw the life-sap from the main tree, injuring its prospects so that it will produce inferior fruit. He therefore takes his axe and his hoe, and cuts away these suckers. The tree then gives a more plentiful and finer crop.
"Thou shalt not"
is the pruning-knife that God uses. From beginning to end, the Bible calls for
wholehearted allegiance to Him. There is to be no compromise with other gods.
It took long years for God to impress this lesson upon the Israelites. He called them to be a chosen nation. He made them a peculiar people. But you will notice in Bible history that they turned away from Him continually, and were punished with plague, pestilence, war, and famine. Their sin was not that they renounced God altogether, but that they wanted to worship other gods beside Him. Take the case of Solomon as an example of the whole nation. He married heathen wives who turned away his heart after other gods, and built high places for their idols, and lent countenance to their worship. That was the history of frequent turnings of the whole nation away from God, until finally He sent them into captivity in Babylon and kept them there for seventy years. Since then the Jews have never turned to other gods.
Hasn't the church to contend with the same difficulty today? There are very few who in their hearts do not believe in God, but what they will not do is give Him exclusive right of way. Missionaries tell us that they could easily get converts if they did not require them to be baptized, thus publicly renouncing their idols. Many a person in our land would become a Christian if the gate was not so strait. Christianity is too strict for them. They are not ready to promise full allegiance to God alone. Many a professing Christian is a stumbling block because his worship is divided. On Sunday he worships God; on weekdays God has little or no place in his thoughts.
FALSE GODS IN AMERICA TODAY
YOU don't have to go to heathen lands today to find false gods. America is full of them. Whatever you make most of is your god. Whatever you love more than God is your idol. Many a man's heart is like some Kafirs' huts, so full of idols that there is hardly room to turn around. Rich and poor, learned and unlearned, all classes of men and women are guilty of this sin.
A man may make a god of himself, of a child, of a
mother, of some precious gift that God has bestowed upon him. He may forget the
Giver and let his heart go out in adoration toward the gift.
Many make a god of pleasure; that is what their hearts are set on. If some old Greek or Roman came to life again and saw man in a drunken debauch, would he believe that the worship of Bacchus had died out? If he saw the streets of our large cities filled with harlots, would he believe that the worship of Venus had ceased?
Others take fashion as their god. They give their time and thought to dress. They fear what others will think of them. Do not let us flatter ourselves that all idolaters are in heathen countries.
With many it is the god of money. We haven't got through worshiping the golden calf yet. If a man will sell his principles for gold, isn't he making it a god? If he trusts in his wealth to keep him from want and to supply his needs, are not riches his god? Many a man says, "Give me money, and I will give you heaven. What care I for all the glories and treasures of heaven? Give me treasures here! I don't care for heaven! I want to be a successful businessman." How true are the words of Job:
But all false gods are not as gross as these. There is the atheist. He says that he does not believe in God; he denies His existence, but he can't help setting up some other god in His place. Voltaire said, "If there were no God, it would be necessary to invent one." So the atheist speaks of the Great Unknown, the First Cause, the Infinite Mind, etc. Then there is the deist. He is a man who believes in one God who caused all things; but he doesn't believe in revelation. He only accepts such truths as can be discovered by reason. He doesn't believe in Jesus Christ, or in the inspiration of the Bible. Then there is the pantheist, who says: "I believe that the whole universe is God. He is in the air, the water, the sun, the stars," the liar and the thief included.
MOSES FAREWELL MESSAGE
Let me call your attention to a verse in the thirty- second chapter of Deuteronomy, thirty-first verse:
These words were uttered by Moses, in his farewell
address to Israel. He had been with them forty years. He was their leader and
instructor. All the blessings of heaven came to them through him. And now the
old man is about to leave them. If you have never read his speech, do so. It is
one of the best sermons in print. I know few sermons in the Old or New Testament
that compare with it.
I can see Moses as he delivers this address. His natural activity has not abated. He still has the vigor of youth. His long white hair flows over his shoulders, and his venerable beard covers his breast. He throws down the challenge: "Their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges."
Has the human heart ever been satisfied with these false gods? Can pleasure or riches fill the soul that is empty of God? How about the atheist, the deist, the pantheist? What do they look forward to? Nothing! Man's life is full of trouble; but when the billows of affliction and disappointment are rising and rolling over them, they have no God to call upon. They shall
Therefore I contend "their
rock is not as our Rock."
My friends, when the hour of affliction comes, they call in a minister to give consolation. When I was settled in Chicago, I used to be called out to attend many funerals. I would inquire what the man was in his belief. If I found out he was an atheist, or a deist, or a pantheist, when I went to the funeral and in the presence of his friends, said one word about that man's doctrine, they would feel insulted. Why is it that in a trying hour, when they have been talking all the time against God- why is it that in the darkness of affliction they call in believers in that God to administer consolation? Why doesn't the atheist preach no hereafter, no heaven, no God in the hour of affliction? This very fact is an admission that "their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges."
The deist says there is no use in praying, because nothing can change the decrees of deity; God never answers prayer. Is his rock as our Rock?
The Bible is true. There is only one God. How many men have said to me: "Mr. Moody, I would give the world if I had your faith, your consolation, the hope you have with your religion."
Isn't that a proof that their rock is not as our Rock?
Some years ago I went into a man's house, and when I commenced to talk about religion he turned to his daughter and said: "You had better leave the room. I want to say a few words to Mr. Moody." When she had gone, he opened a perfect torrent of infidelity upon me. "Why did you send your daughter out of the room before you said this?" I asked. "Well," he replied, "I did not think it would do her any good to hear what I said."
Is his rock as our Rock? Would he have sent his daughter out if he really believed what he said?
NO CONSOLATION EXCEPT IN GOD
No. There is no satisfaction for the soul except in the God of the Bible. We come back to Paul's words and get consolation for time and eternity:
My friend, can you say that sincerely? Is all your hope centered on God in Christ? Are you trusting Him alone? Are you ready to step into the scales and be weighed against this first commandment?
God will not accept a divided heart. He must be absolute monarch. There is not room in your heart for two thrones. Christ said:
Mark you, He did not say, "No man shall serve ...
Ye shall not serve" but "No man can
serve.. .Ye cannot serve." That means more
than a command; it means that you cannot mix the worship of the true God with
the worship of another god any more than you can mix oil and water. It cannot be
done. There is not room for any other throne in the heart if Christ is there. If
worldliness should come in, godliness would go out.
The road to heaven and the road to hell lead in different directions. Which master will you choose to follow? Be an out-and-out Christian. Him only shall you serve. Only thus can you be well pleasing to God. The Jews were punished with seventy years of captivity because they worshiped false gods. They have suffered nineteen hundred years because they rejected the Messiah. Will you incur God's displeasure by rejecting Christ too? He died to save you. Trust Him with your whole heart, for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness.
I believe that when Christ has the first place in our hearts- when the kingdom of God is first in everything- we shall have power, and we shall not have power until we give Him His rightful place. If we let some false god come in and steal our love away from the God of heaven, we shall have no peace or power.
The Fourth Commandment
Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 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: 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.
THERE HAS BEEN an awful letting-down in this country
regarding the Sabbath during the last twenty-five years, and many a man has been
shorn of spiritual power, like Samson, because he is not straight on this
question. Can you say that you observe the Sabbath properly? You may be a
professed Christian: are you obeying this commandment? Or do you neglect the
house of God on the Sabbath day, and spend your time drinking and carousing in
places of vice and crime, showing contempt for God and His law? Are you ready to
step into the scales? Where were you last Sabbath? How did you spend it?
I honestly believe that this commandment is just as binding today as it ever was. I have talked with men who have said that it has been abrogated, but they have never been able to point to any place in the Bible where God repealed it. When Christ was on earth, He did nothing to set it aside; He freed it from the traces under which the scribes and Pharisees had put it, and gave it its true place.
It is just as practicable and as necessary for men
today as it ever was- in fact, more than ever, because we live in such an
The Sabbath was binding in Eden, and it has been in force ever since. The fourth commandment begins with the word remember, showing that the Sabbath already existed when God wrote this law on the tables of stone at Sinai. How can men claim that this one commandment has been done away with when they will admit that the other nine are still binding?
I believe that the Sabbath question today is a vital one for the whole country. It is the burning question of the present time. If you give up the Sabbath the church goes; if you give up the church the home goes; and if the home goes the nation goes. That is the direction in which we are traveling.
The church of God is losing its power on account of so many people giving up the Sabbath, and using it to promote selfishness.
HOW TO OBSERVE THE SABBATH
"Sabbath" means "rest," and the
meaning of the word gives a hint as to the true way to observe the day. God
rested after creation, and ordained the Sabbath as a rest for man. He blessed it
and hallowed it. Remember the rest-day to keep it holy. It is the day when the
body may be refreshed and strengthened after six days of labor, and the soul
drawn into closer fellowship with its Maker.
True observance of the Sabbath may be considered under two general heads:
1. CESSATION FROM SECULAR WORK
A man ought to turn aside from his ordinary employment
one day in seven. There are many whose occupation will not permit them to
observe Sunday, but they should observe some other day as a Sabbath. Saturday is
my day of rest, because I generally preach on Sunday, and I look forward to it
as a boy does to a holiday. God knows what we need.
Ministers and missionaries often tell me that they take no rest-day; they do not need it because they are in the Lord's work. That is a mistake. When God was giving Moses instructions about the building of the tabernacle, He referred especially to the Sabbath, and gave injunctions for its strict observance; and later, when Moses was conveying the words of the Lord to the children of Israel, he interpreted them by saying that not even were sticks to be gathered on the sabbath to kindle fires for smelting or other purposes. Inspite of their zeal and haste to erect the tabernacle, the workmen were to have their day of rest. The command applies to ministers and others managed in Christian work today as much as to those Israelite workmen of old.
2. RELIGIOUS ACTIVITY
But "rest" does not mean idleness. No man
enjoys idleness for any length of time. When one goes on a vacation, one does
not lie around doing nothing all that time. Hard work at tennis, hunting, and
other pursuits fills the hours. A healthy mind must find something to do.
Hence the Sabbath rest does not mean inactivity. "Satan finds some mischief still for idle hands to do." The best way to keep off bad thoughts and to avoid temptation is to engage in active religious exercises.
As regards these, we should avoid extremes. On the one hand we find a rigor in Sabbath observance that is nowhere commanded in Scripture, and that reminds one of the formalism of the Pharisees more than of the spirit of the Gospel. Such strictness does more harm than good. It repels people and makes the Sabbath a burden. On the other hand, we should jealously guard against a loose way of keeping the Sabbath. Already in many cities it is profaned openly.
When I was a boy, the Sabbath lasted from sundown on Saturday to sundown on Sunday, and I remember how we boys used to shout when it was over. It was the worst day in the week to us. I believe it can be made the brightest day in the week. Every child ought to be reared so that he shall be able to say that he would rather have the other six days weeded out of his memory than the Sabbath of his childhood.
Men seem to think they have a right to change the holy
day into a holiday. The young have more temptations to break the Sabbath than we
had forty years ago. There are three great temptations: first the trolley car,
that will take you off into the country for a nickel to have a day of
recreation; second, the bicycle, which is leading a good many Christian men to
give up their Sabbath and spend the day on excursions; and the third, the Sunday
Twenty years ago Christian people in Chicago would have been horrified if anyone had prophesied that all the theaters would be open every Sabbath; but that is what has come to pass. If it had been prophesied twenty years ago that Christian men would take a wheel and go off on Sunday morning and be gone all day on an excursion, Christians would have been horrified and would have said it was impossible; but that is what is going on today all over the country.
PUNISHMENT OR BLESSING?
No nation has ever prospered that has trampled the
Sabbath in the dust. Show me a nation that has done this and I will show you a
nation that has got in it the seeds of ruin and decay. I believe that Sabbath
desecration will carry a nation down quicker than anything else. Adam brought
marriage and the Sabbath with him out of Eden, and neither can be disregarded
without suffering. When the children of Israel went into the Promised Land, God
told them to let their land rest every seven years, and He would give them as
much in six years as in seven. For four hundred and ninety years they
disregarded that law. But mark you, Nebuchadnezzar came and took them off into
Babylon, and kept them seventy years in captivity, and the land had its seventy
sabbaths of rest. Seven times seventy is four hundred and ninety. So they did
not gain much by breaking this law. You can give God His day, or He will take
On the other hand, honoring the fourth commandment brings blessing:
I do not know what will become of this republic if we give up our Christian Sabbath. If Satan can break the conscience down on one point, he can break it down on all. When I was in France in 1867, I could not tell one day from the other. On Sunday, stores were open and buildings were erected, the same as on other days. See how quickly that country went down. One hundred years ago France and England stood abreast in the march of nations. Where do they stand today? France undertook to wipe out the Sabbath, and has pretty nearly wiped itself out, while England belts the globe.
On the 24th day of October, 1895, a great mass meeting of ministers of all denominations was called to meet in the Methodist Episcopal church in Baltimore County, Maryland, U.S.A. The purpose of this meeting was to endeavour to call a halt in the matter of Sunday law violations.
Among the invitations to attend this mass meeting, one was extended to a Roman Catholic priest, Father M. O'Keefe, pastor of a Roman Catholic church at Towson, Maryland. But the Roman Catholic priest declined the invitation and refused to attend the mass meeting on the basis that the so-called Protestant clergyman were en- deavouring to bring about a more strict observance of Sunday in the name of religion. The priest took vigorous exception to the claims made for Sunday, as set forth by Protestant ministers, from which we make the following very interesting quotation:-
---A tract by Evangelist George Burnside
The Ten Commandments and Roman Catholic Dispensation
Latin: dispensatio. It is also a Roman Catholic license to sin. The Priest or Bishop as superior grants dispensation, i.e. relaxes the Law, especially the Ten Commandments Law and allows you to sin.
The Roman Catholic Church claims prerogative over Christ's words, whosoever sin you remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosoever sin you retain, they are retained. If this is being mis-used to give license to sin, than Christ died in vain. The crucifixion of Christ is made a mockery.
Besides, they appeal to the fact that the Sabbath was changed to Sunday-contrary, as they say, to the Ten Commandments. No case is appealed to and urged so insistently as the change of the Sabbath, for thereby they (Catholics) wish to maintain that the power of the church is indeed great because the church has dispensed (dispensation) from and altered part of the Ten Commandments.---Augsburg Confession,p.50,1980
I here with challenge all Antinomian Heretics of lawlessness in Protestantism to repent and turn back while there is still time left before human probation closes. Not in order to save yourselves by it (legalism), but because you have once received the new heart and love from God and the power of his spirit for obedience of faith.
"We ought to obey God rather then man.......and so is also the Holy Spirit whom God has given to them that obey Him".---Acts 5:29,32).
The Ten Commandments and some Protestant Daughters of Babylon the great
The 1830's are the start of Protestants falling. This was the start of the great
heresy of Antinomianism ( lawlessness ). (here also Protestantism broke up into many splinter groups)
The Church of Rome only removed two of the ten commandments of which the bible says that you are guilty of violating all ten and therefore become the man of sin and lawlessness. (James 2:8-12).
Rome calls herself the Mother of Christendom and the Protestants her naughty daughters run away from home (Rev.17). Since 1830 her daughters started to turn around on their way home. Whereas the Mother was called Antichrist, her daughters are now outdoing the mother by doing away with all ten of the commandments and nailing them to the cross.
Jesus came to promote His holy law of morality, the ten commandments (Matthew 5:17-19) where He indicates that it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away that the tiniest little bit from His ten commandments.
And speaking of the new heaven and the new earth God will create, from one Sabbath to the next Sabbath shall all flesh come to worship before Me, says the Lord.---Isaiah 66:22,23
Then Jesus was asked how to have eternal life, and He answered by keeping the ten commandments (Matth.19:16-19) and because Jesus knows we cannot keep them in our own strength, added, and come and follow Me (v.21).
Most Protestants are now saying that there is no difference between God's holy moral law of the ten commandments and the ceremonial law of Moses so that they can better do away with both. But Jesus makes a difference by saying that the law and the prophets were until John (meaning the Baptist) but that the ten commandments keep on going (Luke 16:16)
Paul also makes a line between the ceremonial and moral law by saying, circumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God (1.Cor.7:19).
God called for an opposition to this declaration of lawlessness and sin by raising up men like Bengel in Germany, Edward Irvine in the British Isles, Wolff a Jew in Asia and William Miller a Baptist in the new world, the Americas. They were directed to the heavenly sanctuary or temple of God where the ten commandments are deposited under God's throne or mercy seat called the 'ark' or chest and it is not the ark of Noah.
Great ignorance regarding God's temple in Christianity misled these brethren to look down here and thought it was this earth Jesus was coming to cleanse it by fire and brimstone.
We Christians are commanded to worship God in heaven directly by entering the holy of holiest by faith (Hebr.10:19) by the blood of Jesus who died for us so that His glorious righteousness of the ten commandments law finds a home inside us (Romans 8:3+4).
But fallen Protestants are now saying that there is no sanctuary in heaven and that Jesus is now our new temple. In Revelation 14:17 it says, "And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven." Q.: "Is the angel coming out of Jesus"? This is not just a gross misinterpretation of the bible, but utter nonsense. Light becomes darkness whenever we reject any truth of God. If Jesus was the Sanctuary Temple of God in heaven, then Dan. 8:14 the cleansing of the Temple at the end of the 2300 days of years prophecy would suggest that it was Jesus that needed cleansing, and this borders on blasphemy.
But instead of Jesus returning back to this earth, He came to His Father, the 'Ancient' of days surrounded by clouds of angels to sit in judgment (Dan.7:9-13), the day of Atonement.
LAODECEA (Rev.3) means judging the people to show us that we are living in the time of God's judgment now. We are told to worship in the holy of holiest above by faith. In 1844, it was Methodist Protestant Hiram Edson who first saw the ark in the open temple in heaven on judgment day (Rev.11:19,18) and it contains the ten commandments (1.Kings8:9).
And notice that the dead stand before God in judgment now and not in real life (Rev.11:18; 20:12). The measuring of the worshippers (us), in the Temple above, is a type of judging and Jesus is measuring up a new wedding suit tailor made. At this wedding, Jesus is said to coming in to inspect the guests (Matth.22 ; Revel.11:1,2).
The garment of salvation (Isa.61:10) is a robe of righteousness provided by Jesus and our own righteousness is as filthy rags (Isa.64:6). This kind of moral righteousness is only found in the ten commandments. If it was so easy to set them aside, Jesus would have spared the agony of the cross. But He came to magnify the law and make it honorable (Isa.42:21; cf. Matth.5:17-19) and that it may find fulfillment inside us (Rom.8:3+4).
Most Protestants interpret the word fulfill in Matthew 5:17 as meaning that Jesus came to do away with the ten commandments so they can get rid of Christ's seventh day Sabbath of the fourth commandment. If this was so, then this verse would read: " I came not to destroy the Law, but came to destroy it". Loving our neighbors would also be done away with (Rom.13:8).
Most Protestants also mis-interpret 2.Cor.3 to proof that the ten commandments are done away with so promote the heresy of lawlessness and sin further. It is the glory on Moses face and the vail that is taken way and not the law itself. This same vail was taken away (Matth.27:51) when Jesus died to signify that the earthly temple services and the sacrificial law ended when the supreme sacrifice was made on the cross of Christ. Which is also that same vail mentioned in Hebrews 10:20.
In 2.Cor.3 the contrast is made between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. The ministration of death was not the glorious law but the daily killing of animal sacrifices polluting the sanctuary with sin. This was not God's intention. Paul says that the law was glorious, so he does not detract from it, but that which remains is more glorious (2.Cor.3:11). How?
The cold letter of the law on cold stone and stony hearts hardened by sin is legalism. But now under the new covenant/testament, God takes away the stony heart and gives us a new heart and He Himself writes His holy moral law of the ten commandment from the chest in heaven into our new hearts and minds (Hebr.8:9- ; 10:16- ) but only if it is coupled with the forgiveness and forsaking of sin. Jesus does not save us in sin, but from sin (Matth.1:21) and only His people. The ten commandments are not only given by the spirit, they are intrinsically a spiritual holy law (see Rom.7:7,12,14).
This same glory which Paul writes about in 2.Cor.3 is also confirmed by James, the glorious Law of freedom (James 2:8-12) and again by John in Rev.14:6,7,12).
So why do we talk Jesus and the ten commandments? Because what the heart is full of, the mouth runneth over. This is why we behold Jesus like in a mirror and go from glory to glory by the spirit (not the letter) of the Lord Jesus (2.Cor.4:4).
Fallen Protestantism is much responsible for the decay of morality in our society for declaring the holy moral law of God done away since 1830. Did you know that Charles Darwin wrote the first part of his evolutionary thesis in 1844? Since 1844 the three Angel's messages of Rev.14:6-12 by Adventists preached in a loud voice: "Fear God and give 'glory' to Him who made heaven and earth, the sea, and the springs of water'.
Who is our creator God? It is our Lord Jesus Christ, the rightful owner of the seventh day Sabbath (Mark 2:28;Matth.12:8) which answers to the fourth of the ten commandments (Ex.20:8). There has always been ten, but most Protestants say there are only nine in the N.T. or even nil because we have done away with them and put them in the deleted item bin.
Where is the missing one? Is it found in Matth.5:17-19 where Jesus says that they are all there? Or in James 2:8-12 where the N.T. says that they are all there? Or in Matt.24:20 where the flight should not be on the Sabbath day years after His death and the resurrection? Or where His closest followers knew nothing of the Sabbath being done away with and waited the full period from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown with such an important job as embalming the master they loved so much (Luke 23:56)?
Jesus Himself kept the Sabbath so sacred after His crucifixion that he rested on the Sabbath the complete period of 24 hours. When they returned early Sunday morning, Jesus was already risen. That could mean that He probably rose on Saturday night when the Sabbath was over, which is the biblical start of the first day of the week and not midnight.
Now the international community has thrown another spanner in the works by starting the new international calendar with Monday, the first secular working (but not business) day so with making Sunday the seventh day of the week.
The most popular Protestant evangelist Billy Graham is no longer a Protestant. He stopped his protest long ago and had his doctorate cancelled from the Protestant Uni and is now become a fully Catholic Jesuit Priest. His fall occurred gradually. Billy had a Seventh day Adventist, Emilio Knechtly, on his team. Whenever Emilio would talk to Billy about the obligation of Christ's Sabbath and the moral law, Billy would say he pray about it. Now when something in the new testament is written so plainly, you do not need to go away and pray about unless you want to talk yourselves out of it!
There is no record in the Bible that anyone kept Sunday. Protestants are making excuses for their tradition and Roman Catholicism! Protestants are using two texts to support Sunday. But the mere mentioning of the first day of the week does not attach any holiness or sanctification to it. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that God transferred the sanctity or withdrew it!
1.Corinthians 16:1,2 is being misused and misquoted. It does not speak of a church service. It simply says that Paul told them to lay by him in store on the first working day of the week, his first earnings or income so that there was enough money for when he would return to collect it.
The second text they misquote and mis-use, is when they gave a farewell party for Paul on th first day of the week (Sunday). But the biblical day starts Saturday night and not midnight. The Party began at sundown Saturday and lasted through to midnight and into the morning. You can break bread on any day and any time.
I am appealing to Protestants with spiritual discernment having senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Hebr.5:14) to see that this battle or war of Armageddon is not over territory in the middle east, but over the commandments of God and the spirit of prophecy (Revelation 12:17) and those Adventist Protestants who proclaim the three angel's messages since 1844 are said to have the ten commandments of God and the faith of Jesus (Rev.14:12; 19:11- in righteousness does he judge and make war).
Read these Authoritative quotations were made by several Protestant churches before 1830:
Baptist: "We believe that the law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of His moral government."---"Baptist Church Manual," Art.12.
Lutheran: " I wonder exceedingly how it came to be imputed to me that I should reject the law of the Ten Commandments........Whosoever abrogates the law must of necessity abrogate sin also."---Martin Luther, Spiritual Antichrist, pages 71,72.
Methodist: "This handwriting of ordinances' our Lord did blot out, take away, and nail to His cross. (Col.2:14) But the moral law contained in the Ten Commandments, and enforced by the prophets, He did not take away........The moral law stands on an entirely different foundation from the ceremonial or ritual law........And every part of this law must remain in force upon all mankind and in all ages."---John Wesley, "Sermons on Several Occasions," 2-Vol.Edition, Vol.I, pages 221, 222.
Church of Christ: "There is no direct Scriptural authority for designating the first day the Lord's day."---Dr. D. H. Lucas, Christian Oracle, Jan.23, 1890.
"I challenge any priest or minister of the Christian religion to show me the slightest authority for the religious observance of Sunday. And, if such cannot be shown by them, why is it that they are constantly preaching about Sunday as a holy day?.......The claim that Sunday takes the place of Saturday, and that because the Jews were supposed to be commanded to keep the seventh day of the week holy, therefore the first day of the week should be kept by Christians, is so utterly absurd as to be hardly worth considering......... that Paul habitually observed and preached on the seventh day of the week, is shown in Acts 18:4- 'And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath' (Saturday)."---Henry M. Taber "Faith or Fact", p.112
Note: the Sabbath is not Jewish because it was declared holy and sanctified by God in the garden of Eden 2500 years before the first Jew was born (Gen.2:1-3) and before that, it is found in the "Holy of Holiest" presence of God, the Temple in heaven (Revel.11:19 cf. 1.King 8:9) and Jesus not as a Jew but Lord of the seventh day Sabbath (Matth.12:8) made not for Jews only but for all mankind (see Mark 2:27).
The Ten Commandments-dispensation, speaking in tongues, rapture, prophecy about Israel and the new identity of Antichrist, was never part of the Protestant Reformation. It belongs to fallen Babylon the great.
WHAT THE GREAT MEN OF PROTESTANTISM SAY ABOUT THE 10 COMMANDMENTS
This is a
WorldNetDaily printer-friendly version of the article which follows.
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Saturday, October 13, 2001
TESTING THE FAITH
Sunday, holy Sunday?
Pastor resurrects Sabbath debate
with $1 million reward
© 2001 WorldNetDaily.com
One of the longest running disputes in the history of Christianity Saturday vs. Sunday is having new life breathed into it with a cash reward of up to $1 million toward a resolution.
A. Jan Marcussen, a Seventh-day Adventist pastor in Illinois, is starting with $50,000 of his own money if someone can produce "a verse from the Holy Bible showing that God commands us to keep holy the first day of the week" Sunday "instead of the seventh day" Saturday "as is commanded in the Bible."
He says the reward will increase in $25,000 increments each week for 40 consecutive weeks if no one sends him such a verse, with a final cap at $1 million.
"The $50,000 offer is to wake people up out of a stupor," Marcussen tells WorldNetDaily. "People wake up when there's money involved."
Marcussen, who says he has the money ready to pay if someone is successful, is making the offer to encourage people to read the Bible for themselves, instead of accepting without question what religious leaders have been instructing.
"Millions of people believe and have confidence in their clergy that what they're being taught is true," says Marcussen. "They'll find out that the clergy is not teaching from the Bible."
Marcussen, 52, is not only a preacher in his local church, he's also a physical therapist, nutritionist, marriage counselor and author of six books. One of those works, "National Sunday Law," focuses on the Saturday-vs.-Sunday debate. Marcussen is asking people to read that book before applying for the reward. (It can be read for free online.)
As a college student in the 1970s, Marcussen made a similar, albeit smaller, challenge. He posted an ad in a local newspaper starting with a $500 reward and ending up at $1,000. "Certain preachers really got excited," he says. "But the only thing they couldn't do was produce a Bible verse [as proof]."
Experts on biblical scripture tell WorldNetDaily that Marcussen has little need to worry about paying out the money.
"I am afraid that you are not going to find an exact Bible verse to counter the good pastor's challenge and collect," says James Efird, professor of biblical interpretation at Duke University Divinity School in North Carolina. "As far as I know, there is no verse which specifies that Sunday is the day for Christians to observe the Sabbath."
Indeed, neither the words Saturday nor Sunday appear anywhere in most translations of the Bible. Days of the week are referred to by number, starting in the first chapter of Genesis in the account of creation. It was after the work of creating that God made special note of one day of the week: "And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made" (Genesis 2:3).
In the Ten Commandments, the seventh day was made the focus of the fourth mandate: "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy ... thou shalt not do any work ... 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" (Exodus 20:8-11).
The word sabbath comes from the Hebrew root word "shabbat," meaning to rest, cease or desist. Scholars say the word in Bible scripture not only refers to the weekly day of rest, but also the annual festivals of God such as Passover and Day of Atonement. It additionally refers to a sabbatical year, and it's the term denoting one week. The phrase "first day of the week" occurs eight times in the King James translation of the New Testament, mostly dealing with the circumstances of Jesus' resurrection.
In the lexicon of modern society, the debate over which day is holy that is, set apart to God goes unresolved by the editors of Webster's New World College Dictionary. While the first definition of sabbath calls it "the seventh day of the week (Saturday), set aside for rest and worship and observed as such by Jews (from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset) and some Christian denominations," its second meaning defines it as "Sunday as the usual Christian day of rest and worship."
"There's a fear factor among preachers," says Marcussen, on why churches don't have their members look into this issue. "They're afraid their sheep will start reading the Bible, and they know they'll lose their sheep."
One expert who has spent his career researching and explaining the Sabbath debate is Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi, a retired theology professor at Andrews University in Michigan. He tells WorldNetDaily two factors are responsible for the shift from one day to another: "Anti-Judaism caused the abandonment of the Sabbath, and pagan sun worship influenced the adoption of Sunday."
Bacchiocchi says the Church of Rome, which grew into the Roman Catholic Church, had great influence in promoting Sunday observance. "The Church of the capital of the empire, whose authority was already felt far and wide in the second century, appears to be the most likely birth-place of Sunday observance," he writes in his book, "From Sabbath to Sunday: A historical investigation of the rise of Sunday observance in early Christianity."
In May 1998, Pope John Paul II issued an apostolic letter on the subject, entitled Dies Domini (The Lord's Day). In it, the pontiff refers to the origins of Sunday-keeping.
"In the weekly reckoning of time, Sunday recalls the day of Christ's Resurrection," writes the pope. "It is Easter which returns week by week, celebrating Christ's victory over sin and death, the fulfillment in him of the first creation and the dawn of 'the new creation.'"
The pontiff goes on to state that though Sunday has become a time for cultural, political and sporting events, it has a significance that shouldn't be ignored. "Unfortunately, when Sunday loses its fundamental meaning and becomes merely part of a 'weekend,' it can happen that people stay locked within a horizon so limited that they can no longer see 'the heavens.'"
Though Protestant churches have some significant differences with Catholicism, one thing often agreed on today is Sunday observance.
"The church always met on Sunday throughout the New Testament," says Rev. Jerry Falwell, chancellor of Liberty University in Virginia. "Saturday is clearly the Sabbath as is recorded many times in the Old Testament. In Christian Church tradition, Sunday became 'the Lord's Day' when Jesus rose from the grave."
The actual times of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection are not universally agreed on either. "I personally believe he was crucified on Wednesday evening ... and rose after 6 p.m. Saturday evening," Falwell tells WorldNetDaily. "Others believe he died on Friday ... But the point is, he did rise on Sunday, which, in Jewish tradition, started the evening before at 6 p.m."
Falwell is among those who believe which day is chosen is not of great significance. "I don't think Saturday or Sunday are more sacred than other days," he says. He also points out there have been so many calendar changes over the years, chronologists are not even certain that a day of the week in the 21st century matches the same day from centuries ago.
Most scholars agree that biblical references to "the sabbath day" denote the seventh day of the week. But in the years to come after Jesus rose, the first day of the week came into competition with Saturday, and at times both days were being observed side by side. The ostensible church was divided on the issue, choosing different days to regard as holy.
"It may be that Sunday was originally one of the [pagan] Roman festival days," explains Professor Efird at Duke, "but so were several others that the church adopted in its evolution, [for example:] Christmas."
Marcussen condemns the change in day of observance. "It's the greatest hoax of all time, foisted upon the world for hundreds and hundreds of years," he says. His zeal on the matter reflects his belief that citizens of the United States and other countries will be forced to choose sides on the issue in the so-called "end time" mentioned in Scripture.
"Sunday worship is the mark of the Papacy's authority," Marcussen writes in his book. "Sunday worship is the 'mark of the beast!'" Yet he insists he is not attacking anyone's faith, but rather trying to lead people to the Bible, Jesus, and eventually Heaven.
"I love all these ministers who teach falsehoods," Marcussen says. "Many are honest they're not all crooks they believe Sunday is God's day ... this offer will help them find the truth."
Marcussen expects his challenge to be eye-opening for many who never thought about the issue, and he thinks it will spark serious global attention. "The impact of this is going to be like an atomic bomb, it will mushroom all over the world."
Editor's note: Marcussen is accepting regular mail from those
seeking to claim the reward at: PO Box 68, Thompsonville, IL 62890
Joe Kovacs is executive news editor for WorldNetDaily.com.
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