When we say something is written in stone we are speaking of its having the quality of permanence. Do you know there is one part of the Bible that was originally written in stone by God Himself – in His own handwriting?! And when that small section of the Bible was destroyed by none other than Moses himself, God re-wrote it and again wrote it in stone?
“And He (God) gave unto Moses, when He had made an end of communing with him upon Mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God” (Exodus 31:18). Note: All comments, single words or phrases, placed in parentheses are the comments of the author of this study.
“And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables” (Exodus 32:16).
These stone tablets were smashed to pieces by Moses a short time later, as “it came to pass he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf (the golden idol Aaron had made), and the dancing; and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and broke them beneath the mount” (Exodus 32:19).
“And the Lord said unto Moses, ‘Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which you broke.’” (Exodus 34:1).
And just what was written on those two stone tablets? “And He wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS” (See Exodus 34:28).
Notice that after smashing the first two tablets, Moses was ordered by God to carve out two replacement tablets, yet still God Himself re-wrote the Ten Commandments with His own finger!
There is one other interesting and very revealing circumstance involved in the giving of the Ten Commandments: “And the Lord spoke unto you out of the midst of the fire: you heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude (no shape, no physical manifestation), only you heard a voice. And He declared unto you His covenant, which He commanded you to perform, even Ten Commandments; and He wrote them upon two tables of stone” (Deuteronomy 4:12-13). Notice, too, God commanded His people to perform, to keep, to OBEY these commandments! They were NOT given merely to show them what God identified as sin. God fully expected them to KEEP His commandments.
The entire nation of Israel stood transfixed as the voice of their Creator God boomed from Mount Sinai the Ten Commandments one after another. But a voice becomes only a memory when no more is spoken. So God, with His own finger, wrote the Ten Commandments on one of the few substances that will last through the ages – solid stone!
At the same time God gave the Israelites the Ten Commandments, He also had them construct a receptacle in which to place the sacred tablets – the ark of the covenant, also known as the ark of the testimony. This was then placed in the most holy place in the tabernacle, the holiest of holies. (See Exodus 30:1-6; Exodus 26:33-34). God then decreed “over the testimony (the Ten Commandments)…I will meet with you” (See Exodus 30:6). “Do you want to talk? Let’s talk with me hovering over these Ten Commandments.” What point do you think God was trying to make? What point was He trying to make when He wrote the Ten Commandments in stone with His very own finger? What point was He trying to make when THE ONLY TIME Israel heard God’s voice was when He thundered the Ten Commandments from Mount Sinai?
Moses wrote, “these words (the Ten Commandments) the Lord spoke unto ALL your assembly in the mount out of the midst of fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, WITH A GREAT VOICE; and He added no more. And He wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me” (See Deuteronomy 5:6-22).
Again Moses wrote, “Know therefore that the Lord thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which keeps covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep his commandments TO A THOUSAND GENERATIONS” (Deuteronomy 7:9). Less than a hundred generations have passed since Moses wrote those words!
Among Moses’ very last words was this statement: “From His (God’s) right hand went a fiery law for them. Yea, He loved the people” (See Deuteronomy 33:2-3) You might say the Ten Commandments were God’s love offering to mankind.
In the 78th Psalm, we read these words: “For He (God) established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers that they should make them known to their children (their descendants) that the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born, who should arise and declare them to their children: that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments, and might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God” (verses 5 through 8).
Again the Psalmist writes, “But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear (reverence) Him, and His righteousness unto children’s children, to such as keep His covenant, and to those that remember His commandments to do them” (Psalm 103:17-18).
From everlasting to everlasting goes well beyond a thousand generations, doesn’t it? Although a thousand generations alone would extend many thousands of years into the future, and scripture plainly says God fully expects the Ten Commandments to be kept “to a thousand generations!” (See Deuteronomy 7:9 again).
“ALL His commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever” (See Psalm 111:7-8). The Hebrew word for “sure” in that verse is aman (pronounced aw-MAN’), and means “firm, PERMANENT!” Notice, God’s inspired Word says ALL His commandments ARE PERMANENT!!! This would include the fourth commandment, “Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy.” (See Exodus 20:8-11). And the context of that 111th Psalm shows clearly the Ten Commandments are spoken of here.
And David writes, “All your commandments are truth. Concerning your testimonies, I have known of old that you have founded them FOR EVER”(See Psalm 119:151=152). David knew that because David had read and often meditated upon God’s Word, the books of Moses, the first five books of the Bible commonly known as the Pentateuch.
“Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel (the One mankind would come to know as Jesus Christ – the only descendant of Israel who was truly holy through and through, our Redeemer), ‘I am the Lord your God which teaches you to profit, which leads you by the way that you should go. O that you had hearkened to my commandments! Then had your peace been as a river (continuously flowing), and your righteousness as the waves of the sea (continuously thundering upon the shore)’” (Isaiah 48:17-18). God, through His Holy Spirit, will always lead His faithful children of all ages, to a thousand generations, to keep the Ten Commandments – ALL of them!
All Christians have heard and probably often used the Bible term “righteousness.” But just what IS righteousness? David, in the 119th Psalm answers that question: “All your commandments are righteousness” (verse 172). And through Isaiah the prophet, God declares, “My righteousness (God’s commandments) shall not be abolished” (See Isaiah 51:6). God then urges, “Hearken unto me, you that know righteousness (those who know and KEEP God’s commandments), the people in whose heart is my law, fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their reviling….my righteousness shall be forever” (see verses 7 and 8). God knew His faithful commandment-keeping sons and daughters would be reviled and scorned by deceived religious types who would insist that Jesus Christ abolished the Ten Commandments when He died on the cross.
But didn’t the apostle Paul write, “you are not under the law, but under grace?” (See Romans 6:14). Yes, he did, but if one will only look at the context in Romans 6, where Paul makes that statement, he will see that Paul is merely saying obedient believers are not under THE PENALTY of the law, but that God has graciously extended mercy to us due to our repentance and belief and acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf! Paul then goes on to say, “Know ye not, brethren, for I speak to them that know the law, how that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives!” (See Romans 7:1). And it is clear that it is the Ten Commandments Paul refers to in this text as the next few verses expound upon the seventh commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery!” Paul says as long as we live we are obligated to keep God’s Ten Commandments! Only a fool would think Calvary frees a believer to ignore or break God’s holy commandments, that we are now free to lie, steal, commit adultery, kill, etc. Paul then writes, “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good” (verse 12). Why would God do away with a holy, just and good law that He wrote with His own finger on stone and clearly stated would be in force and effect for a thousand generations, indeed, forever and ever??!!!
Notice how Paul exhorts the believers at Ephesus to KEEP the Ten Commandments: “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor,” that is keep the ninth commandment! (See Ephesians 4:25). Again, “Let him that stole STEAL NO MORE…” that is keep the eighth commandment! (See verse 28, same chapter). Again, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth…” that is keep the third commandment against taking God’s name in vain and the ninth commandment forbidding bearing false witness! (See verse 29, same chapter). Just because Paul doesn’t expound further and exhort the believers at Ephesus not to kill anyone, or worship idols, or desecrate God’s holy Sabbath doesn’t mean he believed these commandments had been done away with. How absurd to even think so!! Remember, the early church had no New Testament, no Greek scriptures. The last words of what would eventually become the New Testament would not even be penned until near the close of the First Century. An apostle’s “Bible,” the Bible of the early church was what would much later be called the Old Testament – that is, the Hebrew scriptures. For twenty years and more the early church had only the Hebrew scriptures, the Old Testament, to guide them in formulating their beliefs. Other than that guide the apostles had only the words spoken by Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry to instruct the early church in God’s way. Of course, some members of the early church were present in Galilee and Judea and personally heard the teachings and instruction of Jesus Christ.
Imagine for a moment one of those members, who is present at a meeting of believers in Jerusalem or Capernaum, is asked to share with the congregated followers of the Lord. The year is 36 A.D. Not one word of the New Testament has yet been penned. This eighty year old gentleman was present several years before when on a small mountain near the Sea of Galilee Jesus sat down and began to teach His disciples, saying, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill…” (See Matthew 5:17). All grow silent as this dedicated follower of the Lord says, “Jesus said quite clearly and fervently, ‘Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men they have been abolished shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven, but whosoever shall keep them and teach others to do the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven!’” (See Matthew 5:19). A voice in the back of the assembly calls out, “Of which commandments did the Lord speak when He said that, brother?” The old gentleman replies, “He was speaking of the Ten Commandments, as He went on to quote two of them word-for-word, ‘Thou shalt not kill’ and ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery!’” (See verses 21 and 27, Matthew 5).
To the hypocritical Pharisees, Jesus Christ warned, “This people honors me with their lips (in their hymns, sermons and testimonies), but their heart is far from me. (Howso?) Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men, for laying aside the commandment of God (the Fifth Commandment), ye hold the tradition of men….Full well ye reject the commandment of God that ye may keep your own tradition, for Moses said ‘Honor thy father and thy mother…’ but ye suffer (a man) no more to do ought for his father or his mother, making the word of God of none effect through your tradition which ye have delivered (to the people)” (See Mark 7:6 through 13).
Today, and for many centuries past, Satan has deceived professing Christians to lay aside the Fourth Commandment, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy,” replacing the same with a common day – Sunday, the day long honored by pagans in their worship of the sun. (Or didn’t you know that is WHY it is called “sun”day?!! Christianity doesn’t even have the foggiest idea of how clever and deceitful and intelligent Satan really is. He fooled the super-religious Pharisees into rejecting the Fifth Commandment and he has fooled multitudes, yes, millions of professing Christians into rejecting the Fourth Commandment while they continue to honor Jesus Christ with their lips though their heart is far from Him in such glaring disobedience. Give the devil his due, friend. He IS a master at his craft.
And you better believe Satan has a passage here and a passage there that he twists and distorts so that these deceived believers “honestly” think they have scripture authority for trampling on God’s eternal HOLY Sabbath and calling the day of the sun sacred. They will quickly turn to the Book of Acts, or Colossians, or Galatians, or Romans and thump their Bibles saying, “It says right here blah, blah, blah…” And their understanding of the texts they cite is as clouded as their judgment. Acts 20 does NOT say believers came together each and every Sunday, observing that period of time as a holy day, God’s “new” Sabbath. Paul had told them that he was departing the area never to return (verse 25). It took them until the first day of the week to assemble themselves together to hear him one last time. Had it been Tuesday or Wednesday before they could so assemble themselves, would that have made Tuesday or Wednesday God’s “new” Sabbath? Of course not! And if “preachers” would carefully examine with an open mind and unprejudiced heart each and every other text they THINK validates Sunday observance as God’s new “holy” day, they would quickly see how clever Satan is in his efforts to confuse and blind those who desire to follow Jesus Christ in an obedient walk. But, since they don’t have the spiritual insight, judgment or wisdom to see that the Good Friday-Easter Sunday TRADITION portrays Jesus Christ as a phony Messiah, they are equally unable to see what God is actually saying in these other sacred texts of scripture. They are utterly blind to the fact that Jesus Christ told the Jewish people He would give them but ONE SIGN as proof positive He was indeed their long awaited Messiah. Think long and hard on the following:
“But I say unto you that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment, for by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (See Matthew 12:36-37). Note well what Jesus has just said. He has said when someone makes a statement of any kind time will tell whether that person has been justified as having spoken truly or revealed to be a deceiver. After having made that statement, holy inspired scripture then says, “Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered (baiting Christ in the light of His plain, clear statement), saying, ‘Master, we would see a sign from thee (proving to them He was indeed the prophesied Messiah of Israel).’ But He answered and said unto them, ‘An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign (as He had already given them many such miracle signs that He was indeed come from God), and there shall no sign be given unto it, BUT THE SIGN OF THE PROPHET JONAH, FOR AS JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE WHALE’S BELLY SO SHALL THE SON OF MAN BE THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE HEART OF THE EARTH.’” (See verses 38 through 40, Matthew 12).
Note well, and I guarantee you Satan made note of the Savior’s words that day, Jesus has just stated that the ONLY SIGN He was going to give the Jewish nation that He was indeed their Messiah was the fact that He would come back from the dead after three days and three nights – seventy-two hours! And did they remember what Jesus said would be the only sign He would give them that He was their Messiah? You better believe they remembered His exact words, for after His crucifixion they went to Pilate and said, “Sir, WE REMEMBER THAT DECEIVER SAID, WHILE HE WAS YET ALIVE, AFTER THREE DAYS I WILL RISE AGAIN!” (See Matthew 27:63). The sign was NOT merely that He would arise from the dead as several had come back from the dead, brought forth by Christ Himself, and they weren’t the Messiah. Many would come out of their tombs following His resurrection, and none of them were the Messiah. (See Matthew 27:52-53). No, the ONLY SIGN was HOW LONG HE WOULD REMAIN IN THE TOMB. He was telling them He would step forth from the tomb three days and three nights after being placed in the tomb. You can very well believe He, therefore, fulfilled that prediction to the letter! And here is where the Good Friday-Easter Sunday TRADITION goes down the drain where it belongs. Count forward from Good Friday sunset (Jesus was placed in the tomb as the sun was going down) till Easter Sunday morning. How many days and how many nights are there between Good Friday sunset and Easter Sunday morning? That’s right. You have Friday night and Saturday night. And you have the daylight part of Saturday. Now count again. Isn’t that one day and two nights???
Jewish rabbis can count to three. Ask them why they reject Jesus as their Messiah. Many of them will quote the passage from Matthew 12 to you. They will remind you that Jesus said His words concerning the only sign He would give them to prove He was their Messiah would either justify Him or condemn Him for making that claim. The rabbi will say, “That deceiver said He would be in the tomb for three days and three nights! You Christians freely admit, even teach as a glorious tradition of your faith that He was in the tomb only two days and one night, that He died and was placed in the tomb on Good Friday and came forth from the tomb at sunrise Easter Sunday morning. So keep Him as your Messiah. He plainly wasn’t ours!” And how do you answer the rabbi, Sunday observer. (After all that IS why you spurn God’s holy eternal Sabbath and call Sunday your Christian “holy” day – because you believe Jesus came out of the tomb on Sunday and thereby abolished the Sabbath and made that day holy. Isn’t that right?)
God have mercy on the preachers that have perpetuated a devil’s lie that causes God’s chosen people to have good cause to reject Him as their Messiah. “Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture, saith the Lord. Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock,and driven them away, and have not visited them (with the truth). Behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:1-2). (Remember, I warned you that Satan is super-intelligent and a deceiver without equal in all of history and in all the universe. He took Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, and wrapped him around his little finger. Or maybe you haven’t read the 11th chapter of I Kings either! He reached into Jesus Christ’s small pool of anointed apostles, leading Judas to betray the Lord and prompting Peter to deny three times in one night with ranting and cursing that He didn’t know Jesus Christ. And you think you are a match for him with your scant knowledge of scripture and spurning of the Hebrew scriptures, crowing, “I don’t get my doctrine out of the Old Testament”? God have mercy on you, preacher.)
If you really know your Bible, especially the Hebrew scriptures, you know that there were TWO Sabbaths crucifixion week – an ANNUAL Sabbath as well as the weekly Sabbath. And when scripture says they hastened to get our Lord’s body in the tomb as the Sabbath drew near, it wasn’t talking about the weekly Sabbath, Friday evening, but the ANNUAL Sabbath, which fell on Wednesday that week. So, indeed our Lord WAS in the tomb three full days and three full nights. He was in the tomb the dark part of Wednesday, the dark part of Thursday and the dark part of Friday as well as the daylight part of Thursday, the daylight part of Friday, and the daylight part of Saturday. As the sun began to set in the heavens Saturday evening, Jesus Christ came out of the tomb – exactly three days and three nights after He was placed in the tomb. So, as stated, the Good Friday Easter Sunday myth is exploded. Jesus is shown to be truthful, and the rabbis have no argument. (Read the entirety of Leviticus 23).
Easter Sunday observer, haven’t you ever noticed that it “was yet dark” when Mary Magdalene came to the tomb “the first day of the week” and found that Jesus was already GONE?!! (See John 20:1-2). And there goes your Easter Sunday sunrise service TRADITION! Of course He was already gone. He had arisen roughly twelve hours previously, at sunset Saturday, coming out of the tomb at the same time as He was placed in the tomb seventy-two hours before – at sunset, not sunrise!
And if my reader knows nothing about any annual Sabbaths, I would urge that reader to read Leviticus 23 as well as the four gospels slowly and carefully and prayerfully. Quit portraying Jesus Christ as a deceiver. Quit confusing the rabbis and giving them a valid argument to reject Jesus as their Messiah. And quit setting yourself up as a teacher of God’s Word if you don’t know what it says. I assure you my harsh words won’t begin to match the harsh words Jesus Christ will have for you when you face Him at the judgment and He demands that you give a full accounting for why you taught such gross error to unsuspecting men, women and children who looked at you as a teacher of divine truth.
Here’s another piece of very good advice since it comes from the apostle Paul’s pen: “We dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves, but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves are not wise” (See 2 Corinthians 10:12). When we feel certain we have the truth simply because all our honored and respected fellow preachers and ministers believe as we do, Paul says we are not wise. The argument, “All these people cannot be wrong” is an invalid argument. It is the argument used by the Pharisees. Remember, scripture WARNS us that Satan deceives THE WHOLE WORLD! (See Revelation 12:9). If he deceived wise king Solomon, then you better believe he has the capacity to deceive any theologian, evangelist, Greek scholar, seminary professor you care to name. Scripture says that Lucifer was “sum FULL OF WISDOM” and no scripture says or even implies Lucifer lost one whit of his intelligence. It merely became perverted and used against God and His kingdom. Read Revelation chapters 2 and 3 once more. Meditate long and hard on what Satan did to the early church. Read the tiny epistle of 3 John and see what Satan was able to accomplish with an apostle still on the scene. Reflect upon Paul’s telling Timothy “This thou knowest that ALL they which are in Asia be turned away from me…” You DO know how many of the churches to which Paul ministered and wrote were in the province of Asia Minor, don’t you? They ALL were captured by Satan! (See 2 Timothy 1:15). Some read Paul’s letters of exhortation and warning and believe they worked, that they were successful in turning things around and preventing apostasy. They weren’t.
Our fathers have inherited lies, my friend, falsehoods – deceptions that have been accepted as scripture truth. Satan is better at his game than most ministers realize. That’s why “Christianity” is comprised of dozens and dozens and dozens of bickering, dissenting, finger-pointing, differing denominations – many teaching the exact and total opposite of what another “church” across the street is teaching and believing to be divine truth. Yet ask any minister of any of these denominations if he, or she, has been called of God to preach the truth, well, I think you know the answer you will get. Ask them then are you preaching the truth? Do you really know and understand God’s Word? Again, I think you know what they will answer. How many of them do you think then are deceived? And Christ’s words echo down the corridor of time, “Many will say unto me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we in thy name…………….”
I have lived long enough and interacted with a sufficient number of ministers, preachers,pastors to realize that few, if any, will be moved by the preceding words I have written and statements I have made. The Baptist preacher lives and dies a Baptist preacher. Likewise for the Methodist, the Lutheran, the Mennonite, the Presbyterian, etc., etc., etc. Preachers don’t change their beliefs, their doctrines, their teachings. You won’t hear the pastor preaching “once saved, always saved” in 1995 proclaiming from the pulpit in 2015, “You can most certainly lose your salvation, friend!” Nor will you hear the tongues-talking Pentecostal evangelist, who urged his audience to claim their heavenly language in 1986, condemning the practice in 2003. Jesus said if one will not listen to Moses and the prophets he, or she, wouldn’t be persuaded though one rose from the dead and said, “Now will you listen to me when I tell you to give careful attention to what God said through Moses and the prophets?”
The scary thing about spiritual deception is that when one embraces such deception they generally believe the same for the rest of their life. When one enters through that door of spiritual error it closes behind them and they rarely find the exit. Scarier yet, they don’t even look for it! PROOF of this truth is the fact just cited. A Nazarene preacher lives and dies a Nazarene preacher. A Church of Christ minister lives and dies a Church of Christ minister. A __________pastor lives and dies a________ pastor. (Fill in the blanks with any denomination you wish. I assure you, it will fit). When one denomination is teaching the exact opposite of another denomination another truth is quite evident: one of them is dead wrong, and maybe even both are in error! If my words have succeeded only in getting the reader to THINK, then I have succeeded marvelously well! My Lord gave me the capacity to think deeply long ago, to question and carefully re-examine all my inherited beliefs, simultaneously giving me the appetite of a starving giant regarding the Word of God whereby I read the Bible from cover to cover well over fifty times. My erroneous thinking and beliefs were gradually whittled away by the Word and I was finally able to fully “prove” all things of a spiritual nature. I now long to meet my Lord face to face and thank Him in person for His great mercy and gift of spiritual understanding.
Christ’s Servant (without apology, See Galatians 1:10),
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