Sermon preached on 23rd April 2010
Welcome to you all, I am so filled with great joy that we can be here tonight together, to come and remember Our Wonderful Saviour and His finished work, amen! Making change is not always easy, and so it is with great love and perseverance that we endeavour to continue to love our God Yahweh with all our heart, soul and strength. So why the Sabbath, what’s the deal? Well Sabbath is a sign between Yahweh and us His Covenant people, His Bride.
Ezekiel 20:20 “Keep My Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us. Then you will know that I am Yahweh your Elohim.”
Exodus 31:12-13 “Then Yahweh said to Moses, 13 “Say to the Israelites, “You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am Yahweh, who makes you holy.”
It is Yahweh who makes us holy, set apart, sanctified for Himself!
Keeping Sabbath is a sign between us and Yahweh, just as a wedding ring is the sign of the covenant between a man and his wife. Try telling your spouse that you no longer wish to wear your wedding ring and see how they respond!!!
The Commandment in Torah regarding Sabbath is to remember to keep it – it existed in Eden and is a lasting instruction spoken and written by Yahweh Himself! The principle in NOT to keep one day in seven a rest – any day you choose – no that is the teaching of man. The commandment of Yahweh is to rest on the day He rested – the 7th day. We are to remember what Yahweh has done for us. Yeshua was resurrected on the day after the Sabbath and we can therefore see that Sabbath is a reference for the resurrection, not replaced by it!
It seems only fitting for us as we take another step in walking in total obedience to His instructions that we go back tonight to the ‘Ten Words’ or as we know them as being called the “Ten Commandments”. As we will see, these ‘Ten Words’ are in effect 10 ways to express our love to Yahweh our Elohim. Now we all want to love Him, and how are we told to: lets read what is known as the ‘Shema’ in Hebrew which means ‘hear’ and in the Hebrew mind this is a prayer that is declared daily:
Deuteronomy 6:4-6 “Hear, O Israel: Yahweh our Elohim, Yahweh is one. 5Love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.”
Yeshua repeated this command in:
Matthew 22:37 “Yeshua replied: “Love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart and with all your mind.” 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.”
These two Scriptures are clear that they teach that the Law or rather Torah is all about loving Yahweh with your all, all your heart, soul, strength and mind – and so everything in Yahweh’s instructions hangs on this command of love. Leviticus 19:18 and Matthew 22:39 teach us also that Living in His instructions is also about loving one’s neighbour as oneself. So in essence as we look today at ‘The Ten Words’, we will see that they are in effect ‘Ten Principles’ of righteousness and justice – the very foundation of Yahweh for it is certainly the right thing to do in His eyes, amen! They are ten principles of life and true freedom. In Exodus 20 these ‘Ten Words’ are introduced by: “And Elohim spoke all these words: I am Yahweh your Elohim, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”
He was clearly reminding them that He has saved them – and it is by Grace through faith in Him that they were saved out of slavery. This introduction to the “Ten Words” does not teach us that if you keep these He will bring them out – No – He had already brought them out. I want to clearly reiterate that Salvation is and always has been by Grace through Faith in Yahweh – a clear picture of the Abrahamic Covenant in which there were only blessings and promises and the only requirement was to believe – Abraham believed Yahweh and it was credited to Him as righteousness. These words we are looking at today are known as the Mosaic Covenant – His marriage contract as we discussed last week. He has called us out, delivered us by Grace through the Blood of the Lamb and set us apart as His Bride, giving us the Marriage vows showing us how we live out our new set apart life as His Bride, amen! Now the sign of this marriage is Sabbath – Remembering to keep it is a sign between us and Him of this Covenant that we may know that He is Yahweh our Elohim, amen! The Law’s or Torah’s primary function is simply how to “stay free” and live out the life of love and justice in relationship with Yahweh and with each other. The ‘Ten Words’ can also be for us 10 warning signs if you will – warning signs that will keep us from potential slave masters who are ready to ruin our freedom. So having said all this let’s take a look at the Ten Commandments or rather Ten Words spoken by and inscribed by Yahweh Himself in Exodus 20:1-17. Yeshua said in Matthew 4:4 when being tempted by the devil: “It is written: Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of Elohim.” He was quoting Deuteronomy 8:3. So as we read these words of Yahweh our Elohim, let us realise that these are from His mouth and are His words to live on, amen! (Read Exodus 20:1-17)
I know most of you, if not all are acquainted in one way or another with the Ten Commandments, but let us look at these words individually. As I said earlier the introduction of Yahweh is once again a reminder that we are saved by grace, not by works so that no man can boast. The Abrahamic Covenant reveals this Covenant of grace, as I have said and then He led His bride out and gave them a marriage contract, outlining how they were to live as His Bride, which had conditions attached. Let’s see how each one the Ten Words written on stone and Now written on our hearts expressed through obedience reveals our intimate love for Him.
1 – “You shall have no other gods before Me.”
No other god’s before or besides Him. This is the very first way our love is expressed toward Him – making Him the only Elohim, the true Living Elohim in our lives. Nothing else is to take His place of worship and centrality in our lives – He is first, above all, and He commands our all for we are His, amen! Today you may not see people worshipping physical or visual ‘gods’ as we would understand in the days of Moses, yet in fact they are very physical and visual, only they carry a seemingly different appearance. Think about all the ‘gods’ there are – besides all the ‘other religions’ how about things like ‘sport’ – the soccer world cup is coming up and there are many, even ‘Christians’ I might add who will put that before their worship unto Yahweh. Rugby, Cricket you name it – not that there is anything wrong with sport – I enjoy sport – it cannot become a god stealing away our worship to Yahweh. Careers is another – total devotion to climbing the ladder – forsaking all to get to the top – sounds a little like Babel! Relationships can be another ‘god’ that comes before or besides Yahweh. People worship other people. I have known people who will put their parents before Yahweh and Yeshua warns against this
Yahweh is the one and only Elohim, amen! Devotion to Him in this declares our true love for Him. In Matthew 4:10 Yeshua rebuked the devil and said, “Away from me Satan; is written ‘Love Yahweh your Elohim and serve Him only.”
2 – Make no idols in any form!
Yahweh is a jealous Elohim punishing to the 4th generation of those who hate Him but showing love to a 1000 generation to those who love Him and keep His commands. 1000 generations!!! Our devotion and love impacts our future generations – let us impact it well by loving Him faithfully, amen! We don’t love Him by putting Him in a box so to speak – by substituting who He is by some fixed image. We cannot substitute any image or object for His dynamic living presence speaking and acting in our daily lives, for He is the Living God – The Living Elohim. This shows our reverence toward Him – we cannot bow down to images or idols in any form. Once again we can easily see how people make for themselves ‘idols’ in many shapes and sizes and worship it with their all. Don’t make anything become an idol – idols are simply objects of worship unto a false ‘god’. What things do you have to have or else!!! You can’t live without it – cause everybody has one!!! Well what are they worshipping?
Remember Yahweh is jealous for us!
3 – Do not misuse His name!
Our first act of verbal communication is to speak the name of another and saying often and with respect sets the stage for the relationship. We are to learn the name of Yahweh and His Son Yeshua and speak it with respect. Proverbs 30:4 asks us the question, “who knows His name and the name of His Son, can anyone tell me?” We His Bride know His name, how – because He called us out set us apart and declared, “I am Yahweh your Elohim”. His name is above all names, salvation is in His name – Yeshua – Yahweh is Salvation! Knowing and speaking His name is the third way we express our love to Him. For centuries leaders suppressed the love of speaking His name and reserving it only for the High priest, declaring that it was blasphemy to speak His name, and so substituted His name with a title. Around 6823 times is the name of Yahweh mentioned in Scriptures – His name is to be known, and proclaimed amoung the nations – and we His Bride know His name and are to speak it with great joy and respect – honouring Him! How crafty the enemy has been to silence the Bride over the years, but His true Bride will not be silenced, amen! When we speak His name our lives must reflect the name that we are married to and not misusing it.
4 – Remember the Sabbath by keeping it holy!
As I have said this is the sign that we are married or betrothed to Him and we rest on His Sabbath. We show love to Him by working unto Him and we also show our love to Him by stopping our regular work and remembering Him, honouring Him, taking time out to be with Him. It is the first of His 7 appointed feasts, that reveal the Messiah and is a prophetic calendar for us His Bride. One of the key words here is to remember, and we remember His Sabbath by keeping it holy, set apart for Him – not doing what we would normally be doing – but devoting it to resting in Him – showing as a sign our love for Him. I am excited that we as a fellowship or assembly of Believers have crossed the Jordan so to speak – the Jordan was in effect a barrier to promises and so by faith in His instructions we have stepped into His promises by getting our feet wet and passing through dry ground into His designated inheritance for our lives, amen! Let us never forget His Sabbath, set art for Him.
5 – Honour your Father and Mother!
Honour means to treat with respect – and we are to treat with respect those who have been Yahweh’s instruments in bringing us life and truth. Anybody who plays these roles (however imperfectly I might add) is to be honoured, as this shows love to The One who sent those He chose to use in our lives. Yahweh chose your Father and Mother – honouring them is showing love to Him for His choice. Ephesians 6:2 repeats this command and reminds us that this is the first command with a promise!
6 – Do not Murder
The Words now turn toward relating to others and still reflects love for Him as we follow these obediently. We show love to Yahweh by protecting life – the life that He has created. I love that Yeshua came, not to take away the Torah, but to reveal the heart of Torah. In Matthew 5:21-22 “You have heard it was said to the people long ago, “Do not murder. And anyone who murders will be subject to judgement.” But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgement. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca’, is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”
Yeshua was not abolishing the Torah command, He was revealing the heart of it – He sees our heart and often we may even say and think that our heart is ok by justifying our actions – understand that in Jeremiah we are told that the heart is deceitful above all things and we must allow Him to renew a pure heart within us – and He does this through His Word – through His Torah – His instructions are a great gift to purify and perfect His Bride. Yeshua was revealing that murder begins in the heart and so having now the commands written on our hearts equips us to follow the heart of Torah, amen!
7 – Do not commit adultery!
What Yahweh has put together let no man separate. We show love to Yahweh by protecting relationships that He has put together. Marriage is such relationships we are to protect - adultery is an attack or violation of a covenant relationship.
In committing adultery we are in effect violating our marriage covenant relationship with Yahweh. Marriage is an institution given by Yahweh that reflects His marriage to His Bride, the body of the Messiah; and so in the same way we show love to Him by not adulterating ourselves with other ‘gods’. Yeshua once again in Matthew 5:27-28 reveals the heart of this command: He gets right to heart of the issue and says that ‘…anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
Our eyes are to be fixed on Yeshua our Messiah as we run with perseverance the race set before us. When our eyes are fixed on Him then they will not lust after another. Yahweh is jealous for us and He sees our hearts. Let us embrace His marriage covenant written in the Blood of Yeshua on our hearts, amen!
8 – Do not steal!
Ephesians 4:28 “He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.”
We are to protect the material infrastructure that others have. Yahweh knows what we need, what we need to eat, what to wear and where to sleep and we must not worry but be diligent in working unto Him with our all. We are not to go and take what others have. Ephesians here is greatly revealing the heart of this command – you see stealing is about self – what I need, what I want and so selfishness leads to taking for oneself irregardless of the effect on others. Paul writes here, listen stop stealing and work, work so as that you can actually help and give – do you see the heart – stop looking at self – don’t always look inward – start looking up and out – then Yahweh can use your greatly. Stealing harms where equipped to give heals and reveals our love and devotion to Yahweh, working diligently!
9 – Do not lie!!!
Avoiding falsehood, gossiping, slander truly reveals how much we love Yahweh and is expressed toward others as we speak the truth in Love. Paul tells us in Ephesians to put off falsehood and speak truthfully. When we lie then the truth is not in us!
James 2:3-4 “We know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands. The man who says, “I know Him”, but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth in not in him.”
We would do very well in loving Yahweh by putting off falsehood and stop speaking falsely of others, and boy do we all find ourselves doing that at times – hear today this command – do not lie and speak falsely about others or anything for that matter.
10 – Do not covet!
We are to have pure hearts – this is what Yeshua came to reveal and show us – pure hearts that thinks and wills according to Yahweh’s Word. Coveting simply wants what others have and can so often lead to lust, anger, greed, jealousy, envy, prejudice and even hatred towards another. Not coveting reveals our love for Yahweh and is expressed towards others. We cannot say we love Yahweh and we covet what another has. Coveting can lead to jealousy and hate and we are told that if we say that we love Yahweh yet hate our brother we are a liar. Coveting is a dangerous door that can just harm our relationship with Yahweh and others. Paul learnt to be content in all situations – whether he had or didn’t have. This reveals our trust and intimacy of our relationship with Yahweh. We live in a very materialistic world, and we must learn to be at peace and content with what we have – obey His commands brings greater blessings that what the world has to offer. We are to ‘throw off’ coveting – it hinders our ability to love.
Hebrews 8:8-10 “But Elohim found fault with the people and said: “The time is coming, declares Yahweh, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 9 It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares Yahweh. 10 This is the covenant I will make with house of Israel after that time, declares Yahweh. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts, I will be their Elohim and they will be My people.”
Yahweh found fault with the people not with the law – there was and is nothing wrong with His Law/ His Torah. The Israelites simply failed to obey and this quote in Hebrews is from Jeremiah 31 and the Greek word here for laws is ‘nomos’ meaning law, translated from the Hebrew word in Jeremiah31 – Torah! Yeshua came to refresh the Covenant made at Sinai and now His Torah is no longer on tablets of stone but now written in our hearts! The renewed covenant is based on the same commands. They are to be written on our minds which means we have to learn the commands and meditate on them day and night and they are to be written on our hearts showing that we should want to obey them as the meditation of our hearts becomes pleasing to Yahweh! 9 times in the N.T. the term New Covenant is used, and in Greek there is two words for New – one is ‘neos’ and carries the idea of brand new or numerically new and the other word is, ‘kainos’ which means refreshed, renewed, or repaired. 8 times out of the 9 the word ‘kainos’ is used and it is used in this passage we just read. Yeshua came not to bring a brand new covenant- He came to repair what was broken and to refresh and restore it so as to give us, by His life, death and resurrection a restored relationship with Him. We are no longer under Torah but live in Torah as we live in our Marriage Covenant with our betrothed. These 10 words of Yahweh were expanded, giving us clear instructions to live the righteous life and in the Apostolic writings or N.T. as we know it lists 1050 such instructions that define and reveal the heart of our walk of righteousness as Spoken and written by Yahweh. His commands are not burdensome – The yoke of Yeshua is easy – let us be filled as we truly see the wonderful heart of expressing our love to Yahweh in keeping His instructions living faithfully together as His bride, amen!
I just thought I would like to end with some of the words of David in Psalm 119. May we capture David’s heart - a man after Yahweh’ heart – who loved Torah. 23 verses where the words the law is translated from Torah – lets read:
Psalm 119: 1;18;29;34;44;51;53;55;61;70;77;85;92;97;109;113;126;136;142;150;153;163;174
To Love Him is to obey His commands – may we continue to love Him, amen!
Psalm 119: Torah verses!!!
1: “Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the Torah of Yahweh”
18: “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your Torah.”
29: “Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me through your Torah.”
34: “Give me understanding, and I will keep your Torah and obey it with all my heart.”
44: “I will always obey your Torah, for ever and ever.”
51: “The arrogant mock me without restraint, but I do not turn from your Torah.”
53: “Indignation grips me because of the wicked, who have forsaken your Torah.”
55: “In the night I remember your name, O Yahweh and I will keep your Torah.”
61: “Though the wicked bind me with ropes, I will not forget your Torah.”
70: “Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in your Torah.”
77: “Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your Torah is my delight.”
85: “The arrogant dig pitfalls for me, contrary to your Torah.”
92: “If your Torah had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.”
97: “Oh, how I love your Torah, I meditate on it all day long.”
109: “Though I constantly take my life in my hands, I will not forget your Torah.”
113: “I hate double-minded men, but I love your Torah.”
126: “It is time for you to act, O Yahweh, your Torah is being broken.”
136: “Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your Torah is not obeyed.”
142: “Your righteousness is everlasting and your Torah is true.”
150: “Those who devise wicked schemes are near, but they are far from your Torah.”
153: “Look upon my suffering and deliver me, for I have not forgotten your Torah.”
163: “I hate and abhor falsehood but I love your Torah.”
174: “I long for your salvation, O Yahweh, and your Torah is my delight.”