“I am the Eternal your God (Heb. – Elohim), who has brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” (Ex. 20:2).
It is important to now quote two paragraphs of what has already been written in this series regarding this first statement God made, which is not only part of the First Commandment, but it also sets the stage for the rest that follow.
“When giving these commandments, God began by revealing Himself as the authority and power to deliver ‘Israel’ (both physical and spiritual) from Egypt – from bondage. But God actually revealed much more in that first sentence. He referred to deliverance from the ‘house’ of bondage. This word for ‘house’ has a specific meaning in the context as a ‘household’ or ‘family.’ God is revealing that His deliverance is from a household (of Egypt) that holds its servants captive.”
“God begins by revealing that He is the Eternal – the Ever-lasting Self-existing (Yahweh) God. The Eternal then states that He is the one who has delivered us out of the household (family) of Egypt into His household or family – Elohim. He said, ‘I am… your Elohim.’ Once we are called out of this world, God begins to deliver us out of spiritual Egypt – out of the household (the family) of bondage into a new relationship and into a new family – into a new fellowship.”
The first four commandments that have already been covered show how one must live in order to have a right and true fellowship with God. All the commandments are about relationships – about how to have true fellowship with God and His begotten family. The commandments are first and foremost for God’s Church – spiritual Israel. They are not for the world, but they reveal a moral code for the world of which some few use to guide part of their conduct in life. The commandments do, however, reveal the very law by which God judges mankind.
In short, the world is not capable of keeping the commandments, nor do they want to do so. Even Israel did not keep the basic physical application of God’s commandments. Their whole history is one that is witness to this truth. Until mankind is “called out of” spiritual Egypt – out from the bondage (captivity) of sin, they cannot “keep” the physical application of God’s law. The reason this is true is because the law is spiritual. It requires access to, and help from, God’s spirit to keep the physical and spiritual application of God’s law.
Except for a very few whom God called and gave of His spirit, physical Israel had the spirit of the world – the spirit of carnal human nature that is void of God’s spirit. Only when someone is called into a true relationship with God (called into His Church) can one begin to truly keep not only the physical application of the law, but also the spiritual.
“Now we have received (those called into the Church), not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God, so that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God, which things we also speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the holy spirit teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural (carnal, physical) man (which included physical Israel) receives not the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them (even the Ten Commandments), because they are (only) spiritually discerned (received and understood)” (1 Cor. 2:12-14).
Again, the commandments are first and foremost for God’s Church – spiritual Israel. Physical Israel did benefit from God’s law to the degree they applied it to their life, using it as a moral guide in a limited physical relationship toward God and in their physical behavior toward others.
True fellowship with God and those in His family is spiritual – can only exist on a spiritual plane. God’s law – the Ten Commandments – reveal how we (those in God’s Church) are to live toward others. This is first in how we live in our relationship (fellowship) toward God who is the Father of His family and toward our elder brother Jesus Christ.
Last Six Commandments
The last six commandments reveal how we are to think and live toward all other people. Though we (the Church) are to think and live toward others as God reveals by these commandments, the reality is that “true fellowship” can only be experienced among those who live the same way in return toward us. This obviously means that this can only be experienced within the environment of Church fellowship itself with those impregnated with God’s spirit and who have God’s spirit continually living (dwelling, abiding, remaining) in them. Those in the world around us cannot be expected to live toward us in the same way God requires that we live toward them.
So those who become disfellowshipped from a spiritual relationship with God, His Son, and His Church are separated from the one and only “true fellowship” that man can be offered in life. As we have already covered, anyone (in the Church) who then chooses to fellowship with someone whom God says not to – one disfellowshipped – then they break each of the first four commandments concerning how to have a right relationship with God. They also break each of the last six commandments, which reveal how we (in the Church) are to live in a right relationship toward anyone among mankind – that which we are to practice (live) toward them.
“Honor your father and your mother so that your days may be long upon the land which the Eternal your God gives you” (Ex. 20:12). The physical application of this is basic in how a child is to treat (honor) their physical parents or guardians (those who are as parents to them). Yet spiritually, even people in God’s Church have not fully grasped this commandment. Understanding how to apply this commandment or any commandment is to remember and live the 1st Commandment and the primary principle that one must learn from it – that God is to be first.
How is God first in this commandment? We are to first honor God as our Father and His Church (spiritually begotten Jerusalem/Zion) as our spiritual mother (Gal. 4:26, Rev. 21:10). The very best way to honor a father and mother is to honor God first through living His ways (being obedient to His laws). In doing so, one will bring (give) honor to the physical family (parents). However, such honor cannot be meaningfully received by them (the mother and/or the father) until the parent or parents are brought into a true fellowship with God.
So someone who chooses to disobey God by deciding to have fellowship with someone disfellowshipped has then dishonored God, the Church, and even their own physical parents (whether affecting them immediately, in the Millennium, or in the Great White Throne period).
“You shall not murder” (Ex. 20:13).
Someone who flaunts disobedience before others in the Church acts carelessly toward the possibility of causing another to stumble and thereby turn from God. If someone is the cause of another person stumbling and potentially dying spiritually, then this becomes murder of the very worst kind. Such a person who chooses to fellowship with someone disfellowshipped shows no care or concern (no true love) toward their spiritual brother or sister. Instead, they show hate (loving them less by comparison than the one disfellowshipped) toward the ones who are supposed to be their true family. God is quite clear about such a spirit and attitude that breaks this commandment.
“We know we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love (fails to love) his brother abides in death. Whosoever hates (by failing to show love in the way God commands) his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (1 Jn. 3:14-15).
Such a person, who shows by his actions that he hates his brother, has already been cut-off from God’s spirit – disfellowshipped by God.
“You shall not commit adultery” (Ex. 20:14).
The act of adultery is an act of deep betrayal. This highly repugnant act reveals the highest level of unfaithfulness to one’s own physical family. To a very large degree it reveals the “depth” of one’s own true selfishness. It is a great love of self to place (in a deeply uncaring and unloving manner) one’s own wants (desires, lusts) so far ahead of family (at their expense), that one is able to show little regard for the pain, suffering, and deep emotional scars that their actions will cause.
Christ even revealed that if a person “thinks” (that which begins in the mind) in a wrong manner so as to lust after (to covet) someone else than the one to whom they are married, then they have already committed adultery. However, this has more to do with the last commandment, which is yet to be covered.
This wrong “thinking” Christ spoke of is about a spirit of adultery that occurs first before the actual physical act. However, spiritual adultery is about spiritual betrayal toward God and His Family. It is about unfaithfulness exercised toward God. When someone chooses to have fellowship with anyone disfellowshipped, then they have chosen a “relationship” that is akin to adultery, which is indeed highly repugnant and horribly selfish. Anyone who embraces any other way than what God has revealed is true and right commits spiritual adultery as well as spiritually idolatry. An act of spiritual adultery is an act of great selfishness that reveals the true lack of concern or care (love) one actually has for the suffering, pain, and hurt that their actions will cause to God’s Family.
“You shall not steal” (Ex. 20:15).
To decide for oneself to turn against God’s clear instruction and then fellowship with someone disfellowshipped is to “take” something that is not theirs to take. God clearly reveals it is not theirs to take, just as he told Adam and Eve not to take of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They also rob themselves of the true purpose and true fellowship God created them to have, which can even potentially rob others as well if they follow such a wrong example.
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Ex. 20:16).
This commandment is quite simple. It means we are to speak only what is true and not to lie. We are not to carry (bear) anything that is untrue to another person or about another person.
For someone who chooses to fellowship with any disfellowshipped, they break this commandment on a physical and spiritual plane. The conversation and the spiritual act of defiance (a lie and a false witness) they portray to both the disfellowshipped and to those in fellowship is twisted, distorted, and in complete disunity with God. It sets an example to both (the disfellowshipped and those in fellowship) that something (being in fellowship with those disfellowshipped) is okay, which is in actuality, false – a lie.
“You shall not covet (wrongly desire, lust after) your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s” (Ex. 20:17).
The Hebrew word that is translated here as “covet” simply means “desire” or “to want.” This can be used in a positive sense or a negative sense. It is all a matter of the way it is used in context of whether God has established something as a right desire or has shown something to be a wrong desire for one to have.
It is clearly used in this commandment and in numerous other places as being a “wrong desire” for someone to have. This “wrong desire” is sometimes translated as “covet” or “lust,” which is more descriptive of the kind of thinking (spirit) that is at work.
This same word can be used in a positive manner when God is revealing a “right desire.”
“The fear of the Eternal is clean, enduring forever. The judgments of the Eternal are true (truth) and righteousness altogether. They are more to be ‘desired’ than gold, yes, than much fine gold and sweeter also than honey and the dropping of honeycombs” (Ps. 19:9-10).
“There is treasure to be ‘desired’ and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man spends it up” (Prov. 21:20).
This 10th Commandment is actually a key to understanding the spirit of matters, as it shows that the origin of the sin is in the thoughts and thinking of one’s mind. Even the use of the Hebrew word we have just covered reveals that God is the authority who establishes whether something is right or wrong, true or false.
Someone who has fellowship with any who are disfellowshipped has broken this law on a spiritual plane against God. They “wrongly desire” fellowship with those who God commands they shouldn’t – the disfellowshipped – with that which is antichrist.
When people sin, the depth of the seriousness of the sin is rarely considered. Every sin that one commits actually breaks each and every one of the Ten Commandments on a spiritual plane.
(Next week, Pt. 7 will conclude this series)