This year will mark four years since our Heavenly Father shared His love for me, as well as His intense love for all humanity. It was a moment I’ll never forget and an event that’s changed me forever. With one sentence He broke my chains of bondage.
Once I was freed I shared in a podcast how I felt the Ten Commandments had become an idol, and that really there were only two commandments we needed to follow. “Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. And love your neighbor as yourself.” On the outset this does seem right, especially to professing Christians. However, since my revelation Adonai has been teaching me and has corrected me. Recently I was reading a blog in which a fellow believer shared somewhat of the same view point I once held. Today, I want to share this gentleman’s blog post, as well as my response. I believe it’s important to note that we are not made righteous by the law, however, the Commandments were given for a reason. The most liberating aspect of following Yeshua-Jesus is realizing that everything He asks of us is not meant for our detriment, but for our betterment. Once our submission and obedience is steadfast that’s when we can experience the freedom, peace and fulfillment He promises in His word. Below is a portion of the blog and my response, I hope you are blessed.
This is what the author of the blog posted regarding the Ten Commandments:
I have proved in the Scriptures that Jesus did not expect or require Gentile Christians to keep the Ten Commandments as a moral system or a salvation system. Rives and others like him are only using philosophy and not the Bible to teach falsehoods.
Can Richard Rives prove that Jesus required his Gentile followers to keep the Ten Commandments in the Gospels?
No of course not.
Also notice that rives avoids any statements that mention that the Ten Commandments are a Christians morality. Mostly because he knows any statements that he would dare utter would be disproved by his critics simply by using the Bible itself.
Jesus taught on the Law of Moses and easily shows what he thought were the most important Commandments. See Matthew 22:34-40 and this teaching is repeated in other Gospels like:
And echoed by the Disciples in:
To conclude this post.
Yes we CAN AGREE that people can uphold different opinions about Christianity. But what good is a opinion when it attacks Christianity and labels it ‘pagan’ without specific evidence to prove those claims? IF his evidence comes from antichristian teachers and is not historically accurate then why should anyone believe his claims?
I find it very sad that my fellow Christians are so easily fooled by a false teacher. How is rives right? He is not and all his followers have to do is open up their Bibles and read what Jesus said and did.
However because of sin those who follow rives will only keep a philosophy not Christianity.
This is my response to the blog:
Hello and thank you for posting this blog. I want to say upfront that I know very little about Richard Rives and so my response to your opinions have nothing to do with defending him.
I do however find it very troubling that you state:
“I have proved in the Scriptures that Jesus did not expect or require Gentile Christians to keep the Ten Commandments as a moral system or a salvation system.”
So, are you saying Jesus taught only the Jews to keep the commandments and all the gentiles needed to do is “love”?
When you begin teaching people that they don’t need to “keep” the Ten Commandments, I believe you are running a very great risk of judgment upon yourself. And I’m sharing this with you simply because I care and hope you will see the truth as God shares in His word.
First off, the Ten Commandments were never intended to be “a salvation system”. That wasn’t the intent even in the Old Testament. The only way sin could be atoned for was through the shedding of blood.
Leviticus 17:11 “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.”
Leviticus 5:11 “‘If, however, they cannot afford two doves or two young pigeons, they are to bring as an offering for their sin a tenth of an ephah of the finest flour for a sin offering. They must not put olive oil or incense on it, because it is a sin offering.”
Hebrews 9:22 “And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”
Jesus death upon the cross was the payment for all of humanities sin debt. However, it never scratched out the commandments.
Jesus Himself tells us in Matthew 5:17-20 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
My only thought is you believe He was only instructing the Jewish people at that moment and that verse doesn’t apply to future gentile believers. Then my question for you is which verses are for future gentile believers and which were meant for the Jewish followers?
In the same chapter of Matthew Jesus teaches: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.”
Was that only meant for the Jewish people He was teaching at the time OR is that meant for everyone?
And if you believe He meant only a portion of His teachings for future gentile believers can you please clarify which verses?
In my opinion I believe you are attempting to separate Jewish believers and gentile believers. If you are, I’d like to know why you would want to make that distinction?
I’m certain you are familiar with Ephesians 2:8-10.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
But if we look at the rest of chapter 2 a bit more closely there is something amazing we will see. Verses 11-22 read:
“Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”
Now, I’m sure you will be quick to point out the verse that states “by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations.”
But what Paul is saying there is Jesus became the sacrificial lamb, the blood sacrifice, that His death, burial and resurrection have fulfilled the law and all the requirements of righteousness and so there is no need to argue over keeping all the regulations for righteousness, and I want to reinforce that word, argue. But what I really want to point out here is what God’s desire is: “His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two”
It is NOT God’s purpose for there to be gentile believers and Jewish believers. That is not the plan of God. We are supposed to be ONE body being built together, worshiping together and serving together.
As far as the Commandments are concerned in Romans 3:1-19 we read why we have the Ten Commandments and why they are important.
“What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? Much in every way! First of all, the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God.
What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar. As it is written:
“So that you may be proved right when you speak
and prevail when you judge.”
But if our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.) Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world? Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?” Why not say—as some slanderously claim that we say—“Let us do evil that good may result”? Their condemnation is just!
No One Is Righteous
What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”
“Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
“Their feet are swift to shed blood;
ruin and misery mark their ways,
and the way of peace they do not know.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.”
The law was given so that we would be conscious of sin. How then if we ignore it can we be conscious of our sin? How are we held accountable for our sin? How do we know when we need to repent of sin?
In Romans 5:18-21 Paul writes:
“Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
I think it’s interesting here how Paul writes “just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for ALL people”.
Do you believe when he says, “the law was brought in so that the trespass might increase.” was he speaking to only the Jewish people or was he speaking to ALL people?
In closing all I would say is continue to study God’s word. Continue to pray for understanding and please keep in mind the words of our Lord and Savior from Matthew 7:21: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.”
James 3:1 “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”
So, in teaching people about not keeping the Commandments I would be very careful.
“For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
My desire is that no one be lead astray and all of us, Jewish believers and gentile believers be united in love and follow our Messiah and share His love and truth with the rest of the world.
Again I’m not taking up for Mr. Rives. Rather I wanted you to see the danger in the philosophy you are sharing with others and my hope is you will be a bit more careful in the future.
Take care and God bless.