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 EXODUS 20

Ten Battles You Can't Lose!

spiritual warfare over the ten commandments of god!

 A Preacher in his Study

 

 

 

LESSON 1, THE FIRST COMMANDMENT:

In one of the most attacked Texts ever written, God plainly said to Moses: "And God spake all these words, saying, 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." Exodus 20:1-3

Here Almighty God establishes the fact that He alone is to be our Object of worship!

The verb "spake" is in Hebrew spelled "dabar." In its major forms, all using the three consonants "dbr," several word families are found. Foremostly it means "to declare, converse, command, promise or talk." Yet it can also mean "pestilence!" That's what happens when we do NOT obey God's Commands! Thirdly, it can indicate "pasture" also! That's what happens to a soul that follows and submits to God's Word, peace and nourishing fulfillment!

Notice the Name by which God issues this First Commandment. He is "the Lord thy God." Specifically these Names are "Jehovah" and "Elohim" respectively.

Jehovah is the Name of God usually associated with His saving ability, His covenant nature, His love and grace! And Elohim is His Name that indicates power and might!

Realize that initially these Commands were given to God's Own people! They were NOT for the world at large, at least not in this Text. God is the God of Moses and his people! THEY are to follow His rules!

I know we are saved by Grace! I know we are kept by Grace! BUT that does not alleviate our need to obey the Lord God Almighty! In fact, Jesus gave us commandments by which to live also! Not to mention Paul! I once taught a Bible Study series on "The Commandments Of Paul" and thought I would never complete the task! Some of you Preachers look at how many times Paul uses the imperative mood in his preaching!

Next God capitalizes upon a practical aspect of His two major Names. "I brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage" said the Lord. The Lord was the Agent Who delivered His people from Egypt. That "bringing them out" involved blood sacrifice too, the blood of an innocent little lamb! The noun "bondage" translates "ebed," meaning slave or slavery. Our great God redeemed us and delivered us ... then taught us how to live!

No one will ever understand God's Commandments until he does so through the lens of His salvation!

We are saved to serve the dear Lord!

Then here it comes, the first of the Ten Commandments: "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me."

This precept is under attack today in America, perhaps as never before in all our history.

As a lad growing up in the southern United States, at least in my little world, these words were LAW! No one would have ever even remotely thought of any other god! There is but One! He is the Lord God of Heaven and earth, of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, of the Holy Scriptures!

The idea of the verb here, "shalt have," is interesting. "Haya" means "to be or to exist." God is telling us that life itself for the Believer consists of knowing God and loving God and obeying God! The verb's "incomplete action" reveals that God is to be our Only God ... from now on ... for the rest of our lives ... then into eternity!

The prohibitive "no" is so important that it is the first word in the Hebrew Text of verse three! Often sentence position demonstrates priority of meaning or distinct emphasis in ancient languages.

God is here demanding exclusiveness!

He alone is to be worshipped!

Then the word for "gods," as opposed to The One True God, to Jehovah, is "elohim" again! Only the context of a verse, with the Holy Spirit's leading of course, can a student tell who is meant by this great noun.

Usually it is Elohim God, our great Creator and Redeemer!

Occasionally it is one of the gods, false gods, of this world!

But that's the whole point today.

The gods of our age are claiming to be and to do all that the True God is and does! They are usurping His Place!

And He, Jehovah Elohim, forbids it!

Friend, sometime today get alone with God and acknowledge His uniqueness, His power, His saving grace! Thank Him for being the One Who is unlike any other! The only True God!

Then freshly pledge yourself to Him forevermore!

God ahead and promise Him!

Vow to have no other gods in your life ... at all!

Amen!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2, NO OTHER GODS:

The first of the Ten Commandments is the special target of today's liberal and godless culture!

Our God clearly said: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Those words are recorded in Exodus 20:3.

The very thought!

That God should require exclusive worship!

There may be several reasons why this Command is so grievously neglected in our time ... and so viciously attacked.

First of all, the Bible is no longer accepted as God's perfect Word! Enemies of the Scriptures have questioned its very historical foundations and spiritual pertinence! If the Bible is not the Word of God, they wrongly reason, why should we obey it?

Still God demands: "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me."

There's another reason why Jehovah God, the God of Israel, is no longer exclusively worshipped in our land. Multitudes have flooded into our country from every corner of the globe, bringing their gods with them! Moses warned about this in places like Deuteronomy 6:14. "Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you." Every conceivable religion and church one can imagine exists on our soil these days. Yet there remains but one True God, the God of the Bible.

Still God demands: "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me."

A third issue may be Jewish in nature. The God of Scripture is the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and Joseph! Jews are they all! And Anti-Semitism is raging across the world! To despise anything with a Hebrew influence is in vogue nowadays! That might include Jehovah God as well!

Still God demands: "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me."

Then comes the rise of feminism! Fanatical radical fundamental activist feminism is of the devil! Such folks have introduced a hatred for what they call patriarchy! That means anything led by a man! And, in case you have not noticed, God is a Man! Our Heavenly Father presents a masculine Nature! These rebellious females will not have it! They have reverted to a heathen concept of less civilized days, a mother goddess to compete with Almighty God! She will receive their allegiance!

Still God demands: "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me."

Then the atheists have had their say! And, while now a dying breed, their "no god" theories have had a detrimental impact on true religion. "Separation of church and state" they demand, while really meaning "separation of God and state" or "separation of holiness and state!" Their frivolous lawsuits, when heard in front of pagan judges, always seem to reach the same verdict! God is "out!" And the religion of secularism is "in!"

Still God demands: "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me."

The nation can go any direction it chooses, apparently away from God!

But for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord!

He, and He alone, is my God!

I say so unashamedly!

How about you?

I will have no other gods before Him, before the Lord God Almighty of the Bible, our Creator and Redeemer!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, THE SECOND COMMANDMENT:

The Lord in His omniscient Wisdom forbids our making any material "images" to serve and worship! Idolatry is expressly forbidden!

God wants us to know Him "in spirit and in truth," not in silver and gold or wood and stone!

He furthermore prohibits the use of icons that would become "mediums" of adoration and praise, even praise ultimately directed toward our True Lord Himself!

Let's examine the Text where such prohibitions are written.

In Exodus 20:4 God states: "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."

The word for "graven image" is "pecel" and is derived from the root verb "pasal" which means "to hew or hack or cut into shape." In the culture of the Old Testament world such idols were made by hand! Isaiah 40:18-20 describes the process. "To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him? The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains. He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved."

The noun "likeness" translates "temunah" and means "semblance or form." It, according to Psalm 17:15 is what we Believers will some day enjoy in the eternal future. We will literally see God's "likeness!" In Psalm 17:15 David says: "As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness."

The distinctive features of this commandment must be noticed too. No images are allowed ... of things in heaven above, earth beneath or underwater! See God's "separate" categories of creation? God made things in order ... and intends them to stay that way! Our Lord is NOT the Author of confusion! Mankind today, including the feminists, are determined to "mix" what God has separated!

Now one might ask: "What's the big deal here?"

Why not some little "image" to aid in worship?

Well, God further warns us: "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." Exodus 20:5

To "bow down" before such idols translates "shachah" and means "worship" nearly a hundred times in the King James Bible! It also means "to reverence, to do obeisance, to reverence, to stoop or to crouch."

To worship such dead chunks of stone or silver is to invoke God's holy and jealous wrath! He will "visit" that iniquity, that disobedience, that false worship upon a man's children for generations! "Paqad" means to visit in this sense: "to number reckon or punish!"

"Iniquity," with its Hebrew root being spelled "avon," means that which is twisted or bent ... deviated from its original shape! I know a good word to describe it: perverted!

Yes, children can reap the foul consequences of their father's actions!

The exciting point however is that one's children can also reap the blessings of a godly Father's life, perhaps to a thousand generations here!  In Exodus 20:6 God promises He will be ... "Shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments."

The verb "hate" (in Hebrew = "sane") speaks of one's very enemies or foes and is so translated six times in Scripture.

This is serious business!

To practice idolatry is to hate God!

It also is to bring judgment upon one's children!

It most certainly is also blatant rebellion against the Almighty!

And it invokes the Lord's holy burning jealousy! A jealousy that exists for our own good! To protect us!

Now ... we must meet God, the only Real God, in the pages of Holy Scripture. That's Scripture where we learn to love, adore and worship Him spiritually as He is revealed to us! And through the Word we also experience the power and illumination of the Holy Spirit Who, by the way, is divine too!

No "images" please!

I'll just worship the Real God, the Awesome Creator, the Loving Redeemer of Scripture!

By the way, He has now been most clearly revealed through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ!

That's Jesus, Who according to Paul in Hebrews 1:3 is ... "the Brightness of God's glory, and the Express Image of His Person."

Amen!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, NO GRAVEN IMAGES:

It's quite plain!

"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image" says the Lord God Almighty in the second of His great Ten Commandments.

But today this lost world has long since either forgotten these words ... or blatantly rebelled against them.

You see, if mankind disregards the first commandment, the one where God says "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me," he will invariably invent a god of his own making!

And the god man devises will be one that can be see and touched and idolized!

Think of the golden calf in the days of Aaron and Moses!

Ever since, man has been creating his own gods!

I recently learned of a whole religious group in America whose "icon," whose "idol," is a serpent! They worship the thing! It's not difficult to figure the origin of that one!

In certain pagan religions dolls and miniature charms are worshipped. I mean placed on mantles or makeshift alters and honored and reverenced!

Of course affluent folks might not always sink to those depths!

Instead they worship more prestigious gods!

Here's one idol of our day: $ 

Did you get it? $$$

Money!

The god of this age!

Furthermore some so-called religious "traditions" venerate and pray to certain little statutes they call "saints!" These are still just idols if they claim a person's heart and soul and mind and emotions!

Then enter the post-modernists. They worship nothing or no one ... but themselves! Picture a man ... or a woman, there's god! So will they brashly tell you! Still, this is reprobate idolatry!

The western world is also rapidly bowing before the altar of sex. Illicit, twisted perverted sex! The images of pornography, naked men or women, have become the gods for multitudes!

Modern culture has become no different than the Greek-Roman world of Paul's time. "Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry." They even had an idol to an "unknown god," just in case they had missed him or her! "For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD" said Paul in Acts 17:23.

I personally wonder if even in professing Christianity there's not some "idol" worship! Let me announce something. The Cross is NOT where Jesus is nowadays! He is risen! And there is not one thing holy about a church "steeple" either! In fact, it may have a rather sensual history!

Folks, it is not the things that were around Jesus that we worship!

It is Jesus Himself, the darling Son of God!

God the Father "is a Spirit" said Jesus in John 4:24.

He is "invisible" added Paul in Colossians 1:15.

He cannot be represented by an image or idol!

It is forbidden!

And no matter what lost mankind next produces, if it does not focus on Jesus ... and it won't ... it is idolatrous!

For you see, Jesus ... and Jesus Alone ... is the Image of that Invisible God!

Again in Colossians 1, speaking of God's dear Son, Paul adds; "In Whom we have redemption through His Blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the Image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of every creature: For by Him were all things created."

Amen!

That's why Jesus could say to His Disciples: "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father." John 14:9

I need no graven image today!

That's sin!

I have Jesus!

And I don't even need a picture of Him!

He is quite clearly presented ... in the precious Word of God!

Worship Him today!

Hallelujah!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, THE THIRD COMMANDMENT:

The Bible commands us: "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain." Exodus 20:7

The verb "take" is spelled "nasa" and means "to lift up" or just "to bear" something. Grammatically speaking, to take God's Name in any manner involves "lifting it up" with some specific interest. To simply "speak" the Name of our great Lord Jesus ... we need to reverently be aware of its meaning and worshipfully elevate its significance in our lives!

The Hebrew noun for "name" here is "shem." It, in addition to a person's name, indicates his fame, reputation, renown or even character!

Both Lord (Jehovah) and God (Elohim) are here used as proper Names for the Divine Being we worship. Jehovah implies His saving Nature and God relates to His awesome Power!

The term "vain" is spelled "shav" in Hebrew means that which is empty or worthless! It can also imply "lying," stark untruth!

To speak God's Name with no respect and acknowledgement of Its value ... is to speak It with emptiness and to consider it worthless!

Such rude speech will not be treated lightly by our Lord. He will not hold such perpetrators "guiltless," which translates "naqah" and means unpunished or acquitted! God will not ignore such disobedient speech! Judgment is coming!

Again, God's Name represents His character, His essence, His very being.

Treat Him reverently!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6, thou shalt NOT TAKE GOD'S NAME IN VAIN:

The wild world in which we live has lost all sense of respect!

Unless you mean reverence for a woman's right to murder her unborn baby!

Or a sissy "effeminate" man's right to flaunt the Laws of God concerning marriage and childbearing!

Or an anti-American's so-called privilege to burn the flag or curse Almighty God!

But in the United States where I was reared things were different.

God's Name was never vainly heard on the television or radio. Even the newspapers, today's citadels of secularism, did not spill irreverence toward the Almighty!

To be head saying "God" in a secular way ... even in the forth or fifth grades of elementary school ... would bring certain and sudden rebuke from a Christian teacher!

No, back then "Christian teacher" was NOT an oxymoron!

But today few television programs are fully aired without God or Jesus or Christ being mentioned casually, if not downright sacrilegiously!

Even at Church now often one hears God's Name being taken vainly!

"Lordy, Lordy!" used to be a term of exasperation! It also is a vain use of Jehovah's Name!

I even think we preachers can far too carelessly use one of God's Great Names in vain ... even when in the pulpit! "Bless God this" and "less God that" can become a habitual expression ... more than a term of reverence.

And who would have ever thought that "Jesus" would become an empty by-word?

And I have not even mentioned the "by-words" or substitute terms that imply God's Name. "Gosh" and "Gee" and "Gee-Whiz" and "Jeeze" all are synonymous terms that use God's Name casually and in vain.

Christian friends, let us not be guilty!

Let's ask the dear Lord to help us discipline ourselves so that each time we utter that "ineffable" Name (unexplainable, so great that it's incomprehensible) we do so with respect and forethought and intelligence and reverence!

Amen!

So my last sentence here is written with forethought and honor: "Lord, hallowed be Thy Name!"

                                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7, THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT:

The Text reads: "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy." Those words are found in Exodus 20:8.

The verb "remember" here translates "zakar" which means to recall or bring to mind or to mention something. It's an infinitive here in the active voice. The action being pictured is on-going, continual.

"Sabbath" means "cessation" in Hebrew. To cease or desist! Thus, it means "rest!" It was (and still is) the seventh day of the week in the Jewish calendar.

To keep that day "holy" ("qodesh" in Hebrew) means to set it apart, to keep it as a distinctive and different day of the week! To honor the "apartness" of the day!

Other things we are told to "remember" in Scripture include: the day of our redemption (Exodus 13:3)! Past victories God has given us (Deuteronomy 7:18)! Various judgments God has put upon His Children (Deuteronomy 24:9)! The diverse attacks from the enemy (Deuteronomy 25:17)! And the precious Word of God (Joshua 1:13)!

And now, remember the Lord's Day!

It is simply a matter of obedience ... or disobedience!

Which will it be?

Of course today we worship God on the first day of the week, Sunday, the day of Jesus' Resurrection!

Yet sill surely it should be a special and sanctified day of rest and adoration and praise!

Amen!

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8, REMEMBER THE SABBATH DAY:

The idea of a day being "holy" now is nearly absurd!

I mean to the world in which we live.

As a child I remember Dad and Mom would do certain things on Saturday. Mom cooked Sunday dinner, the meal served right after the Sunday morning Church service ... somewhere around 1:00 PM or so. Dad had already put gas in the car so we could make it to Church and back home, twice!  We made sure any prescriptions needed had been properly filled.

Why?

Because no service stations were open on Sunday! Or even pharmacies or grocery stores or nearly anything else!

Oh yes, now I recall ... the hospitals still operated as did the police and fire departments!

Yet it was more complicated than that!

No one at the Bagwell household ever started a lawn mower on Sunday! Or washed a car! And, if I remember accurately, no television on the Lord's Day either!

Again someone asks, why?

It was the Lord's Day!

We had all been taught to honor it and respect the fact of Christ's Resurrection, which occurred on the first day of the week, Sunday.

This was all done in a sweet obedient spirit too ... the spirit of a Bible command, "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy." Exodus 20:8

Nowadays all that is different!

At the risk of being called "legalistic" by some, I will voice my opinion too. I like things the way they used to be!

When the Lord's Day was special!

When Sunday was given to worship, church, rest, family and the study of God's precious Word!

In this young century ... one day is as good as another! One can curse God Monday, Wednesday, Friday ... or even Sunday it seems! Or commit adultery. Or hate, fight and steal. In fact, weekends are apparently now the peak times for such activities!

America today has overtly rejected the Ten Commandments of God!

They now, if publicly displayed, are often declared illegal by our courts!

But since God's Word has been "excised" from Western society, some things have at first gradually ... then more rapidly ... fallen to pieces!

Things like families divorcing, children killing one another, pornography, sexual perversion, filthy talk, epidemic theft, and utter lack of contentment!

Nothing now can turn this Nation around ... apart from a miracle of Almighty God!

We have rejected God's Law a few million times too many!

Woe be unto our Land!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 9, THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT:

The Word of God commands: "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee." Exodus 20:12

The opening verb "honour" is spelled "kabad" and has an unusual meaning! It literally implies treating something or someone as being "heavy" or "weighty." This needs some explaining. The idea is that of holding a person in such high regard that whatever they say carries great weight with you, whatever they do impacts you heavily!

Furthermore the verb is in the piel stem, indicating that the action being described is to be intensive, dramatic and whole-hearted! It also is an imperative, clearly iterating a command!

No room for any disrespect here!

Whom are we to honour?

Our father and mother!

Notice this is a two parent home, God's ideal!

I realize a parent can tragically die during a child's upbringing. Or one parent may be unfaithful to another and leave him or her to raise the youngsters alone. In both of these circumstances the remaining mate should be respected and treated with dignity.

But God's original plan was Dad and Mom rearing the children together ... and being obeyed and respected as they did so.

Why is this so important to God?

Notice that the first few commandments focus on our relationship with God Himself: No other gods before Him, no graven images, no taking of His Name in vain, remembering His Sabbath. Then realize that the last few commandments center on man's duty to his fellow human beings: Don't kill, steal, commit adultery, bear false witness or covet. But in the middle ... comes this command: Honor thy father and thy mother!

Why?

Because it undoubtedly ties the two groups together!

One's attitude toward his parents is decided by his attitude toward God! If a man is really right with God ... he will be right with his parents as well!

That "authority" figure in a man's life ... bleeds influence upward or downward to his other relationships.

A man who is "right" with God will seek to be "right" with his boss, the local policeman, his pastor and all other authorities who come into his life!

Then, quickly, look at the reward for keeping this fifth commandment! "That thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee." Exodus 20:12b

One will live longer for obeying his or her Mom and Dad!

It's a promise!

Several times God promises length of days for following His Word! "Thou shalt keep therefore his statutes, and his commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days upon the earth, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, for ever." Deuteronomy 4:40

Even fair and honest business practices seem to carry this reward! "But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee." Deuteronomy 25:15

To ignore or disobey such is to ask for diminished days too! "When thou shalt beget children, and children's children, and ye shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, and shall do evil in the sight of the LORD thy God, to provoke him to anger: I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed. And the LORD shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the LORD shall lead you." Deuteronomy 4:25-27

Those little "yes mams" and "yes sirs" are more important than we've ever imagined!`

                                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 10, HONOR THY PARENTS:

There was a day in American history when the term "parents" meant a Mom and a Dad. During that era children were actually expected to obey their Mother and Father too. A loving parent could back then actually discipline his or her child, lovingly yet firmly. Such adults, one's parents, were actually considered wise. And surprisingly, all of this occurred in a context where "family" included a male Daddy and a female Mother plus usually more than one or two children!

There were Biblical expectations for each family member.

"Husbands, love you wives" preached Paul the Apostle!

Love them "even as Christ loved the Church!"

Be willing to die for them!

Then to the ladies, in the presence of such sacrificial love, Paul added: "Submit yourselves unto your own husbands!"

Even "as unto the Lord!"

Then comes the family, the children.

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right."

Then comes the New Testament's classic restating of the fifth commandment, "Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth."

The Old Testament reading states: "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee." Exodus 20:12

Today parents are prosecuted for chastening their children. Or at least they can be! Do not misunderstand me here. I am NOT advocating brutality or meanness here, just proper Bible based correction. But many courts and local governments now totally reject the idea of parental leadership and discipline!

And the contemporary media, from pop psychology magazines to television shows to full length movies, "mock" the idea of a wise parent, especially the Dad! Many are now portrayed as bumbling idiots, behind the times and filled with hypocrisy!

Young girls now grow up and graduate from high school ... not to mention college ... having learned that motherhood and homemaking are dirty words nowadays! It's the career woman who is successful!

And children are a "blight" in our culture. Abort them! Or at least limit their number! The little devils will create too many problems and cramp our lascivious lifestyles! Long gone is the idea David had back in Psalm 127. "Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward."

By the way, if parents hate kids and try to eradicate them ... is it little wonder that kids do not respect such people anymore?

Society is disintegrating before our very eyes!

One reason, while certainly not the only one, the terrorists hate us ... the "religious" terrorists anyway ... is that we are morally rotten to the core!

And where did all this "junk" begin, the unraveling of the American way of life with its original Judeo-Christian principles?

It started when our families began to break into pieces.

When Mom and Dad quit being parents ... and when young folks quit respecting and honoring their elders.

Like it or not, God is all wise!

He has a monopoly on truth!

He IS The Truth! Jesus said so. "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." And our Lord's attitude toward the Bible: "Father. Thy Word is Truth." John 17:17

God's "ideas" are still best!

Including "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee."

Amen!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 11, THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT:

We usually don't think of the Ten Commandments individually. I mean in this fashion, "Name for me the sixth commandment."

It succinctly states: "Thou shalt not kill." Exodus 20:13

The verse is quite brief.

It's first word in Hebrew is "lo," which is a negative particle meaning "not" or "no!" It's place in the sentence suggests emphasis! NO killing! NO murder!

All ten of the Commandments are negative except the one about the Sabbath which we are to "remember" ... and the one about our parents whom we are to "honour."

The verb "kill" translates "ratzsah" which actually means "to murder or slay" someone. Using the Hebrew "piel" stem, the Holy Spirit is energetically demanding this behavior!

God honors and respects life.

This prohibition particularly means human life.

Mankind is special in the eyes of God!

He is no mere animal.

He is a unique being created in the image of God!

As such he is higher than the brute beasts.

His life is protected by divine decree!

By the way, if life begins in the womb ... at conception ... then abortion is a violation of the sixth commandment.

I believe Psalm 139 clearly teaches that life, even in the womb, is ordained of God Who oversees and superintends its development!

Yes, before birth!

Then, the abortionist is guilty of killing ... murdering ... the little baby boy or girl.

Of course that guilt must be shared by a group of Supreme Court judges also! They made such atrocity legal!

And the Nation that sat idly by and allowed it to happen will not go guiltless either!

"Thou shalt not Kill" does not apply, I sense, when it comes to defending one's family or wife or nation for that matter!

It applies to the deliberate ending of human life.

I can only think of one more exception. "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man." God, in Genesis 9:6 here, just advocated capital punishment!

Again, "Thou shalt not kill."

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 12, THOU SHALT NOT KILL:

The Lord God thousands of years ago taught us "Thou shalt not kill." Exodus 20:13

This well known precept basically prohibits murder.

It is one of the commandments that even the liberals have not attacked! I don't even know of an atheist who questions the wisdom of this law. And they are not particularly known for clear thinking!

Yet if we do not accept the fact that man is created ... created in the image of God ... and if we hold to the view that man evolved from some lower life form and is just an advanced beast of some kind ... murder is a lot harder to restrict!

In the United States there are about 16,000 murders each year!

That's a lot of disobedience!

When a man kills another man or a woman, that's homicide.

When someone kills a baby, that's infanticide. Even an unborn one I believe!

When a person kills himself, that's suicide.

When liberal theologians kill God, which they say that have now done, that would be called deicide.

When an army targets a whole group of people, say the Jews for example, that's called genocide. It is also the deadliest mistake that army has ever made!

I am told that when an assassin murders a king, that's regicide.

What a minute!

I have just realized something.

We sure do have a lot of terms for murder don't we!

I guess it takes all these to cover 16,000 deaths a year!

Plus ... in America "social planners" are already figuring how to commit more murders!

Legalized abortion gave them great impetus!

Next expect euthanasia, even the state mandated kind! That means killing old folks, especially if they are no longer productive.

And while you're at it, especially since life operates on Darwin's "survival of the fittest" motif, kill the handicapped and unfit and mentally inept also! So say some today. Give the superior genes a chance!

And since I mentioned Israel a little earlier, there's always a so-called world "ruler" advocating their annihilation! Wouldn't that be mass murder?

And in some countries today "birth control" is being practiced by pre-natal murder! Once an unborn baby is discerned to be a little girl, the least desirable sex in many nations right now, abort her! That's just an euphemism for "kill" her, you know.

For everyone to have said they agree with the sixth commandment, there's a whole lot of killing going on right now!

And get this!

You can't just pick one commandment and obey it alone!

They all have linkage.

If number one is rejected, "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me," they will all fall eventually!

Mark my words!

Better yet, mark God's Words!

He more than once said: "Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live." Proverbs 4:4 and Proverbs 7:2 and Deuteronomy 8:1 and Deuteronomy 30:16 and ....

Ignoring God's Ways, boldly rejecting His Commandments, invariably leads to anarchy, chaos, and ... according to the verses I just mentioned ... death!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 13, THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT:

The Bible prohibits adultery.

It's a sin!

Exodus 20:13 briefly says: "Thou shalt not commit adultery."

While this verb is not an imperative, it certainly forbids it just the same. It's in the qal stem with an "incompleted" sense of action. That means God is clearly making a statement! It concludes: No adultery! And the verb demands continual action ... never quit avoiding adultery!

The Hebrew word "naaph" has the general idea of "breaking wedlock!"

Nearly the only way it's translated in the King James Bible is "adultery, adulterer or adulteress or adulterous."

Only once, in Ezekiel 16:38, does God say: "And I will judge thee, as women that break wedlock are judged." I've underlined the words that here translate "naaph."

The first word of the Hebrew verse is "lo," meaning "no" or "not." The term has the sense of absolute prohibition!

Surprisingly, the Book of Proverbs only uses our word twice!

And Exodus only once as well as Deuteronomy!

But Jeremiah preaches about it 8 times! Ezekiel another 6 times! And little short Hosea, whose life was pierced by adultery, incorporates the word 5 times!

"Adultery" is a sin preached against by the Prophets of God!

Where are the Prophets today?

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 14, THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY:

God's idea of marriage excludes any unfaithfulness on the part of husband or wife.

Clearly under the leadership of the Lord, Moses wrote: "Thou shalt not commit adultery." Exodus 20:14

I yesterday read that in the United Kingdom 78% of British men admit to having committed adultery! I know that sounds unbelievable, but the statistics have what appear to be solid documentation.

Some now would tell us that God's seventh Commandment here is outdated and no longer relevant.

The Bible says otherwise. Adultery is too dangerous to be trivialized. "But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away." Proverbs 6:32-33

Stay away from this sin!

Notice also where God places this Commandment.

It's between "Thou shalt not kill" and "Thou shalt not steal!"

Know why?

To commit adultery in Bible days was a capital offense and often led to death! And many other times the adulterer was simply murdered by an enraged family member!

Furthermore, to commit adultery with a man or woman is to steal his or her mates' wife or husband!

Thus the seventh commandment (no adultery) has negative "linkage" with the sixth (no killing) and eighth (no stealing) ones too!

Then Jesus, when He came to earth, intensified the meaning of this verse.

Our Lord said that adultery did not consist merely in the outward act itself ... but in the lustful thoughts and desires that preceded that very act! "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." Matthew 5:28

But I really believe that the utmost reason God so hates adultery and the divorce adultery usually brings is this: the husband-wife relationship is a picture or type or symbol of the Christ-Church relationship! Paul writes: "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church." Ephesians 5:22-29

To violate such a trust ... is to cast mud on the greatest union in the universe!

To the Christian, life is "Christ in us" and reciprocally "We in Christ!"

As Jesus twice said, "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." Matthew 19:6 and Mark 10:9

This is important.

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 15, THE EIGHTH COMMANDMENT:

You can read it for yourself. It's found in Exodus 20:15. "Thou shalt not steal" commands the Lord God of Israel!

The qal imperfect Hebrew verb is spelled "ganab" and means "to carry away" or "to bring away" or just "to steal" something.

It is used 39 times in the Word of God.

It is found in Genesis 31:19 where  we are told: "Rachel had stolen the images that were her father's."

It is possible to "steal" a man too! Kidnapping! "And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death." Exodus 21:16

One can steal things other than material! "And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel." 2nd Samuel 15:6

In 2nd Samuel 19:3 "ganab" is translated "stealth" in the King James Bible.

Eventually Israel so neglected this commandment that Jeremiah accused them: "Ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not." Jeremiah 7:10

And if a Preacher does not proclaim the whole counsel of God to the people, all the written Word, he is guilty of theft too! "Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour." Jeremiah 23:30

Here then we have a widely ranging prohibition.

In a real way stealing is an affront to God.

Is He, the Lord of all the ages, not able to provide for His people?

What could we possibly need that the Lord has not supplied?

Critically the Jews once asked: "Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?" Psalm 78:19

Well, Jehovah God did feed a few million Jews "in the wilderness" for forty years!

Jesus would not even make for Himself a loaf of bread ... turning a stone into a meal ... fearing He would step ahead of His Father's provision! "And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God." Matthew 4:3-4

Child of God, we need nothing He does not supply!

Paul, to the growing Believer, promises: "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

What else could we need?

Why would we ever want to "take" anything?

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 16, THOU SHALT NOT STEAL:

Yes, the Bible does command us: "Thou shalt not steal." This prohibition is simply known as the eighth commandment. It's recorded in Exodus 20:15.

But I am not about to write an article here today on ... say ... "robbing a bank!" I just don't think any burglars are studying these pages right now.

Yet this modern world in which we live has come to the place where it ignores even this eighth commandment! Of course ... it has rejected the first seven, why not the eighth also?

And in keeping with the lukewarmness of this Laodicean age ... churches too have absorbed the world's thinking!

For example ... to talk about someone, gossiping and slandering them recklessly, is to steal their good name and reputation!

To "loaf" on the job, maybe getting a little "nap" while on the clock, is to steal from the company that hired you to work eight full hours!

To be immoral with a person of the opposite sex, seducing and alluring them into the sin of adultery or fornication is stealing their purity ... or maybe stealing their vows of faithfulness to their marriage partner!

To hire workers at your company and pay them poverty wages, knowing they have families to support, is stealing from their ability to be responsible providers!

Not tithing one's income, giving 10% back to the dear Lord, is stealing from God! Malachi calls it "robbery!"

Hope this one's not too plan, but Paul said it first. To withhold sex from your husband or wife ... just because you're "punishing" or "teaching" him a lesson, is stealing from his expectations as your Mate. The Apostle called it "defrauding" one's husband or wife.

To not teach one's children the Word of God, neglecting their spiritual growth incessantly, is to certainly steal from their godly heritage!

And just in case any of us should think that "stealing" is not an appropriate topic for Believers in Christ, read Paul again. He, writing to the spiritual Ephesians nonetheless says: "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth." Ephesians 4:28

I suspect that if each of us took a few more minutes and thought about it, other common examples of dishonesty, of plain old theft, would come to mind!

God, keep us honest!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 17, THE NINTH COMMANDMENT:

The Text just says: "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour." Exodus 20:16

God is interested in truth!

The Hebrew verse here is a little more involved than the previous three have been.

It begins with the negative particle "lo." It means no! Or not! Again I remind you that by putting this word first in the Hebrew sentence the Holy Spirit is clearly giving it prominence. Here is something we can not do!

To "bear" false witness means to "answer, respond or testify." It is spelled "anah." It is not here expressed as an imperative, just a declarative statement of fact.

The adjective "false" or "sheqer" in Hebrew means "lying" or "deceptive" in nature.

"Witness," which is expressed as "ed" in Hebrew, is used 69 times in the Bible, each occasion being translated just as we have it here, witness! It usually deals with evidence or testimony in a legal sense.

The preposition "against" can also mean "among, in, at, with or towards."

The noun "neighbor" is spelled "rea" in Hebrew and carries the idea of friend or companion or even brother or husband or lover. It is translated in all of these different ways in the Old Testament.

Putting it all together, it still means the same thing!

God forbids lying!

Society can only function when truth is the standard by which we live!

And America, for that matter much of the world today, is running short of that valuable commodity ... truth!

In our Universities and Colleges many so-called professors are now saying that truth is unidentifiable, maybe even non-existent!

If so, you can throw this eighth commandment out the window. It has no relevance!

But ... if you believe there is an absolute called truth, live by it daily!

Remember, Jesus said He is The Truth! See John 14:6!

He further said that God's Word is The Truth! See John 17:17.

And He also promised that if something was not so ... He would tell us!

That's good enough for me!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 18, THOU SHALT NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS:

The Bible demands of us Christians truthfulness.

In fact, Scripture ... and the God Who wrote It ... expects truth to be a way of life worldwide!

"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor" says Moses in Exodus 20:16.

It's accurate to say this was first written to Israel, God's chosen people. But later Paul says the Law was given to sinners as well. See 1st Timothy 1:8-9.

Do not lie!

Tell the truth!

These two categories, truth and untruth, engulf every area of existence!

The goal of the Christian life, or at least one of its main goals, is to be able to discern between truth and error.

John reiterates this by declaring: "We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error." 1st John 4:6

Look at this.

Satan is a liar! Jesus says the devil is ... "a liar, and the father of it." John 8:44

Jesus is the Truth! Again He Himself preaches: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6

As a teenager two verses of Scripture, verses concerning God's veracity, impacted my life.  I committed them to memory and they have always been with me.

Hebrews 6:18 says that it is impossible for God to lie!

And Titus 1:2 announces plainly that God cannot lie!

No wonder He commanded us NOT to bear false witness!

While John is best known for his use of the "truth" concept in Scripture, using the word 47 times ... Paul in His Epistles uses it 51 times!

"Truth" ... it's essential!

And praise the Lord, we Believers know where Truth is embodied!

Jesus taught us.

During prayer one day He asked His Father, "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." John 17:17

There we have it!

God's Word is truth!

God's holy inspired inerrant Word!

It will never lead anyone astray!

Now I will just say "Amen!"

By the way, "amen" means truth!

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 19, THE TENTH COMMANDMENT:

The commandment on not coveting seems to be linked to the prohibition on stealing!

If one has no desire for an item ... he is much less likely to steal that thing.

"Thou shalt not covet " covers a lot of territory!  Exodus 20:17

Following the pattern of the previous  few commandments, those in close proximity, our verse begins with "lo," the Hebrew negative particle.

God is saying for us to adopt a big NO in our lives when it comes to desiring things that are not rightfully ours.

But Scripture goes even further. It lists the major categories the Lord has in mind. "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." Again, this is Exodus 20:17.

The noun for "neighbor" is "rea" and means not only the person who lives next door, but also one's friend, companion, brother, husband, lover or fellow human being! This exempts no one!

The expression "any thing" ... do not covet any thing that is thy neighbor's ... translates "kol," a word that means "all, the whole, or the totality" of that neighbor's possessions!

Now to the our passage's double verb, "covet," which in Hebrew is "chamad" and means "to take pleasure in, to have delight in" hence, "to desire strongly!" Once in the King James Bible it's translated "lust."

Moses uses the same verb in the parallel reading of the Ten Commandments, Deuteronomy 5:21. But there it's rendered "desire." Notice: "Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour's wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour's."

But watch this. The verb "covet" in the Deuteronomy text is different! There it's the word "avah" and means "to crave" or "to wish or sigh" and can even mean "to be greedy" for something! This particular word also seems to emphasize bodily appetites, sensual things!

It's pretty clear! God wants us to be satisfied with His provision in our lives! Then we, with Paul the Apostle, might be able to say: "I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." Philippians 4:11

The individual that has reached that level of spiritual growth no doubt also realizes something else Paul preached. "My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

Paul, having been in a Roman prison for some time, can still sincerely say: "But I have all, and abound: I am full." Also he said: "Not because I desire a gift."

Again, "Not that I speak in respect of want," writes Paul!

This godly man will covet nothing!

He has found Christ Jesus sufficient for all of life!

Indeed, Christ IS Paul's life!

See! "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." Colossians 3:4

And "For to me to live is Christ." Philippians 1:21

As with every other commandment of Scripture; a full comprehension of Jesus as God's very Son and the Saviour of our souls, loving Him and worshipping Him as we should ... will bring one into harmony with all God's ways!

If Jesus is truly supreme in our lives, coveting would be an attitude of the past! "Things" would have lost their allurement!

                                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 20, THOU SHALT NOT COVET:

When God the Holy Spirit really "convicts" old sinners of their lost-ness, showing him and her the filth of their hearts, he most often uses Scripture to do so!

Especially the Law of God!

It's the "Law" that shows us how far short we really fall, short of God's Glory and God's standard of Righteousness!

According to Paul in his great Epistle to the Romans, it's the Law that declares "There is none righteous, no not one." Romans 3:10

Furthermore, the Law concludes: "For all have sinned." Romans 3:23

But the tenth commandment, particularly so, is in many ways the strongest of all! "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." Exodus 20:17

A man might argue that he has no other gods in his life. Or that he takes the name of no one in vain. Or that he does no steal or lie or disobey his parents.

But few alive today would contest the fact that he or she has wrongly "desired" certain things from time to time! If nothing but another serving of desert, banana pudding especially! Or better clothes! Or a different home! Or maybe a new car!

This last commandment, as much as any of them, goes to one's very heart! Maybe even more than the other nine!

As Moses miraculously received the Law, doing so under God's very guidance, to "steal" something would have required an overt act. You'd have to take something from a person! And to "bear false witness" you would have to go to court and open your mouth and lie! To dishonor the Sabbath a man had to go outside and do some kind of unlawful work! And to commit adultery, as the Jews understood it, required physical activity for sure.

My point being that the tenth commandment ... "do not covet" ... can be violated without one ever going anywhere, without using a hammer or chisel, without "taking" a person's belongings, without a single overt act!

To "covet" just involves one's thoughts!

His or her desires!

This sin can be committed and not one person has to know about it!

And, as James says, if a person's breaking ONE of the commandments is tantamount to breaking them ALL, equivalent to violating the whole Law ... we're all in trouble! "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." James 2:10

Everybody has at least "wanted" something they should not have desired! At least had the "thought!" That's coveting!

Now I am not saying you didn't get that thought under control, nearly immediately! But it was there running rampantly for a while!

Yes, coveting!

"Heart" thoughts!

Longings!

Cravings!

What an invasion of privacy!

Yet ... what sin!

Let me give you two quick examples!

The "rich young ruler" came to Jesus. "And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" Mark 10:17

Jesus repeated to him the Law of God: "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." Notice here that Jesus listed all the "second tablet" of the Ten Commandments but one!

Jesus did not quote the one about coveting, not yet anyway!

But when the young sinner man said, "Master, all these have I observed from my youth," Jesus responded with an exposition of the Tenth Commandment, the one about coveting or overly desiring things! "Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me." This means ... do not covet! "Things," mere "possessions," meant more to the man than Jesus! For we are lastly told ... "And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions."

What covetousness!

It was the tenth commandment that "got" him!

That brought him to the very "door" of salvation!

A salvation he rejected!

This tenth Law is awesome!

Then again, Paul, when writing about the role the Law plays in our "conviction," relates: "What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet."

Notice which "example" Paul used from his life!

Paul did not plead guilty to having some idol when he was young!

Or to violating the Sabbath!

Or to theft or adultery!

No!

He was an exceedingly moral man!

BUT he had desired things, too strongly!

He might have never been convicted of sin apart from commandment number ten! Say it again Paul:  "I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet."

Thank God for those words: "Thou shalt not covet!"

They may well have been used of the Holy Spirit to give the Church her greatest preacher ever ... outside of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Christian friend, today let that last commandment "work" on you!

Do we ever "covet?"

Are all our hearts' desires right with God?

Each of us probably right now should slip to our knees and repent over some little thing ... some small desire deep down inside!

Until we can sincerely say to our dear Lord ... "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever." Psalm 73:25-26

Amen!

He can dissolve all those worldly desires!

They "melt" in the Presence of His Glory and Grace!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 21, CONCLUSION:

Charles Darwin's theories have largely come to be know as the process of "evolution."

The Latin verb "volvere" means "to roll." With the added prefix "e" the meaning expands like this: "to roll out" or just "to unfold."

Evolution is said to be the process by which life on earth has expanded and advanced as it has.

But Biblically the very opposite is true.

Man did not accidentally "happen" as the Darwinians believe, God created him ... and her, Adam and Eve.

In fact I suggest to you that after man and woman first sinned, in the Garden of Eden, they did not "evolve" at all! They went backward! Downward!

They spiritually "devolved!"

And, yes, that's a word. I checked to be sure!

"Devolve" means "to roll" ... "downward!"

That's why that first human sin is called the Fall of man!

In Romans chapter one Paul fully describes this spiritual "devolution" that occurs in an unrepentant sinner's life!

And it's being graphically illustrated by millions if not  tens of millions in America today!

Let me describe such "devolution" in reference to humanity's attitude and beliefs toward the Word of God, especially the Ten Commandments. Particularly since we've been studying them for the past few days.

At first Israel listened to God's Commandments with reverential fear and willing obedience! At least for the most part! This certainly was the goal Moses had for his people, Joshua too!

Then glad obedience somehow became just obedience!

Then resentful obedience! I mean the attitude that says "I'll obey the Lord ... but only because I have to do so!"

Then comes skepticism! You know, "Are all those Laws really necessary? Isn't God being a little narrow-minded here?"

Next, disrespect ... mocking God's Word! A monogamous sex life? What a joke! Nobody believes that anymore!

Then comes disobedience, maybe a little shameful and timid at first, but disobedience nonetheless.

Then one drifts into more open disobedience! Unashamedly so!

Next rebellious disobedience! Defiance!

Finally the Commandments themselves ... and the God Who created them ... are despised and hated. War with God!

We have by now arrived at today's prevailing wicked philosophy, often called postmodernism. It consists of outright denial of truth, any truth, all truth! It says there is no such thing as absolute truth! Here America lives today, at least academic and political America. Truth is decided by the individual we are told! Something can be right for Tom but not true for Ralph! It all inthe eye of the beholder!

Such willful ignorance can only lead to one state, that of chaos! Ultimate confusion! The disintegration of society as we know it!

Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, has taken the spirit of this whole article today and condensed it into a few words, a very few. "The wages of sin is death!" Romans 6:23

Yes, those Ten Commandments, short and brief as they are, contain the very seeds for the survival of life on earth, at least civilized life!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS! THEY SURELY ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANY OF US EVER THOUGHT! OTHERWISE, THE DEVIL WOULD NOT BE FIGHTING THEM AS TENACIOUSLY AS HE IS!

 

 

 

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