Keep His Commandments

Every generation faces unique challenges, and through his servants the prophets, God gives directives to his covenant people in each generation, also known as commandments, according to the challenges of the days in which we live. By keeping His commandments given in our generation, and timeless commandments of past generations, we are able to walk in his light, unconfused by principalities of darkness.

Keeping His commandments means not only to obey them, but to preserve their meanings in their purity and hold them sacred from generation to generation. By so doing, God’s commandments do not become diluted, corrupted and powerless to save current or future generations from evil. In contrast, if we allow the pure intent of God’s commandments to be corrupted by popular, yet evil fads of society, then there is no power unto salvation remaining in the corrupted versions of His commandments.

The Original 10 Commandments

Let’s consider the pure intent of each of the original 10 commandments that God gave to Israel, through his prophet Moses. The first four commandments teach us how to love God with all of our heart, might, mind, strength, and soul; and the other six commandments, teach us how to love our fellowmen, as our selves.

The Lord introduces the commandments by saying, “I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” He first reminds us of the reality of our relationship to him. He freed Israel, his covenant people from bondage, and his commandments teach his covenant people how to remain free.

1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. The Lord created the heavens and the earth, and salvation cometh only through him. He was the Lord Jehovah of the Old Testament and Jesus Christ of the New Testament. After ascending to his Father, he became and is now our advocate before God in heaven.

2. 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. 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; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Jesus Christ alone offers power unto salvation; thus, our love, worship, delight, devotion, and adoration is best served by He who makes our lives fruitful. In contrast, a love of the world, which leads men to set their hearts upon things which are devoid of lasting worth or value—such as styles, fads, passing manners of speech, and the deportment of those who love the world more than God—is of no worth or value to us.

3. 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. It is vain and profits us nothing to say, “Lord, Lord,” but to not do his will and keep his commandments. It is also vain to use his name profanely. It is not vain to reverence him always and to obey his voice and live worthy to receive the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. It is profitable to pray for and sustain his servants the prophets and to ponder upon, fully measure, and prayerfully weigh their counsels. It is also profitable to keep directives/commandments that are given to you personally from God! It is vain for us to ask for His help, receive instruction, and then fail to act upon his divine instructions with exactness.

4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. The Sabbath is hallowed and has been set apart by the Lord to enable us to undo every yoke and heavy burden in our lives and in the lives of others, and to increase in righteousness, and to become more fruitful, and to receive the fruit of the Spirit more abundantly—even love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, meekness, and temperance (self-control). (See The Law of the Sabbath.)

5. Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Goodly parents seek to lead their children in the paths of righteousness. We honor our parents by walking in obedience to the truths they teach us and by living to receive further light and truth from God. Dishonoring goodly parents leads to a loss of light and truth in our lives.

6. Thou shalt not kill. In the Old Testament we find that the Lord commanded Israel to not kill; then, the Lord, as Jesus of the New Testament also taught against hard hearted ness and that we are to be gentle, kind, loving, patient, forgiving, and long-suffering toward all men. He commanded men to refrain from anger and to not call anyone a fool. Rather we are commanded to love, serve, and lift all within our circles of influence more fully to him.

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery. To adulterate something is to destroy and defile it. Unfaithful spouses destroy and defile that which is most sacred—the bonds of love that knit families together. This is forbidden by the Lord; moreover, every gift that is given to us from God is sacred and is to be used to do good. Whether it is the gift of procreation, or any other gift, using God’s gifts and talents for selfish purposes adulterates (defiles and destroys) the sacred intent for which they were given. In contrast, by using our gifts and talents within the bounds the Lord has set—to love, lift, and serve one another—we multiply and replenish God’s love upon this earth.

8. Thou shalt not steal. Stealing not only hurts the innocent, it corrupts the soul of a thief. Moreover, it is unnecessary, because the Lord has invited all men to ask for, and receive those things that they need to do his will from day to day.

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Satan lays claim upon every soul who bears false witness against those who are innocent, and Jesus cannot lay claim upon the Father’s mercy in the heavenly courts above for those who bear false witness. Unless they fully repent and make restitution for the damage caused, all such will suffer the full penalty for their crimes of injustice.

10. 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. Jesus Christ owned only a robe and a pair of sandals; yet, he was endowed with all power in heaven and on earth and asked and received from God all things that he needed to do and finish the work God sent him to earth to do—including food, assistance, ministering angels, and so forth (John 4:34).

We are commanded by the Lord to ask for and receive whatsoever we need to do his will. While coveting what is not ours is evil; to ask and receive such from the Lord, or to seek and find such blessings, or to knock and have all blessings be opened unto you, which are needed to do God’s will—are each acts of righteousness.

Personal and Generational Commandments

Every directive given to us directly by God, or indirectly through today's servants the prophets, is a commandment. When we obey his commandments we are brought to love the Lord with all our heart, might, mind, strength, and soul; and we are also brought to more fully love and serve our fellowmen.


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