Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
The first commandment is where true liberty begins in EXO 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.
“There shall not be to you any other gods beyond Me.”
What is actually being said is that there is room for only One at the top, and that place is to be occupied by the God of Israel, Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ, is the only revealed Member of the Godhead, as well as the Creator and Savior of the universe as well as the God of Israel.
The verb translated “Thou shalt have no” literally means “There shall not be.”
Idolatry always begins in the soul with Soul Idolatry.
The first commandment is dealing with idolatry in the soul, while the second commandment deals with overt idolatry.
Freedom begins in the soul.
Most of you recall the story of the golden calf that Aaron and the Jews built when Moses was on Mt. Sinai receiving the 10C.
Their bodies were free, but their souls were not…….just like many of God’s people today.
God freed the bodies of the Jews; but God could not free their souls because that requires individual volition.
“Operation Golden Calf” demonstrated that the Jews of the Exodus generation had NOT freed themselves from idolatry: they had idolatry in their souls.
Slavery of the soul is a part of the emotional revolt of the soul; such slavery is the most subtle slavery in the world.
(1) Mental attitude sins, such as fear or guilt reaction; (2) Lust pattern, such as approbation or power lust; and (3) human good, such as pseudo-brotherly love or social action, or any combination of the three — all of which are an abomination to the Lord!
God has set up a “squad” a god-squard, if you will, in the soul of every normal human being and has designed the right lobe as “squad leader.”
Let us note the Comparison Between Moses’ and Jeremiah’s Generation.
The slavery of the soul inevitably leads to the slavery of the body.
It took a decadent generation forty years to get into the land, and it took a decadent generation forty years to get out of the land.
The Mosaic Law was designed to free the souls of the Jews; thereby their freed souls would be compatible with their freed bodies.
Even though Moses constantly taught them the Law, the Jews of the Exodus generation NEVER understood it as principles of freedom.
That, and their failure in the sphere of the faith-rest technique, were the two reasons why that generation, with the exception of Caleb and Joshua, and their families never went into the promise land.
The next generation of Jews who went into the land lived in freedom as a nation through the provisions of the Decalogue, referred to subsequently by Jeremiah as the “Covenant.”
The overt manifestation of soul slavery was the same in both generations — idolatry.
In the Exodus generation, it was revealed by “Operation Golden Calf”; and in Jeremiah’s generation, it was revealed by “Operation Baal.”
Both forty-year periods were characterized by the constant pouring out of God’s grace; in fact, both periods of time could be called eras of “super grace.”
Freedom Through Doctrine. The Jews were the nation of people appointed by God to receive the gospel from Him and transmit it to Gentile peoples.
Jealousy in reference to God is an expression of possessiveness based upon the fact that God is free. If you are going to respond to God, you must be free to do so.
When God says, “No other gods beyond me,” God is saying, “Beyond me there is nothing.”
In order to maintain freedom, the Source of its origin — God — must be recognised. The principle is also clearly stated in John 8:32: and ye shall know the truth (doctrine), and the truth shall make you free.
Knowing the truth and having the soul freed by Bible doctrine, whether it be from the slave market of sin for the unbeliever, or from the Mosaic Law for the believer, are one and the same with the commandment, “There shall not be to you other gods beyond me.”
You, as a citizen of the United States of America, are twice blessed: you have freedom of soul in what is still a free country, and freedom of body, although this freedom is rapidly being destroyed.
Martin Luther expressed this so beautifully in that great hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is our God”: “… the body they may kill, God’s truth abideth still!”
Summary of the first commandment.
By way of summary, this commandment recognizes human volition, which is the basis for maintaining freedom — by knowledge of the truth.
The meaning of 12, which is considered to be a perfect biblical number, is that it symbolizes God’s power and authority, as well as serving as a perfect governmental foundation.
Jacob (Israel) had twelve sons, each of which represented a tribe begun by a prince, for 12 princes total.
TLJC called and choose twelve men to bear witness to what He did and to spread the good news of the gospel to the entire world.
After He was raised from the dead, TLJC told the eleven disciples (Judas had killed himself) that God had given him ALL power and authority in both earth and heaven (God’s divine authority – Matthew 28:18).
Little did they know at the time that TLJC had a twelfth apostle being prepared to change the world, not Matthias but Saul of Tarsus who later changes his name to Paul.
Also there are twelve thousand from each tribe of Israel (144,000 total) will receive salvation during the end time’s Great Tribulation (Revelation 7).
A set of 144,000 (12 x 12,000), possibly the same as those in chapter 7, will be taken from earth in order to serve and follow the Lamb of God (Revelation 14:1-5).
Christ’s bride in Revelation 12, the church, wears a crown containing, (how many stars?) twelve stars.
The New Jerusalem, which is made in heaven and brought to the earth by God himself, contains 12 gates made of pearl which are each manned by an angel.
The walls are 144 cubits high (12 multiplied by itself – Revelation 21:16-17), with the city itself being 12,000 furlongs square.
The Scripture’s first recording of Jesus’ words occurs when He is twelve years old (Luk 2:42).
The high priest’s breastplate, also called the breast-plate of decision, had twelve stones embedded in it.
Of all the numerals found in scripture, twelve, along with three, four, seven and ten, are unmistakably used in a symbolic fashion in God’s word.
- 1. A believer under the ML-or the 10C, makes Christ a minister of sin if he thinks that’s the only way God can be pleased with him, Gal 2:17.
- Believers have received all the benefits of the Spirit through faith not through obeying the Law, Gal 3:1-5.
- The Mosaic Law brings nothing but condemnation, Gal 3:10-14.
- God’s blessings to Abraham of which all believers partake of, Jews and Gentiles, Rom 11, came hundreds of years before the giving of the Law.
The Law had and has nothing to do with the promises that God made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Gal 3:15-17.
- The Mosaic Law and the 10C has no power to give life or to sustain life, Gal 3:21.
- The Mosaic Law can become a bondage to the believer if he allows it to, Gal 4:9.
- The Mosaic Law and grace are mutually exclusive principles; therefore, as believers we must choose one or the other, Gal 4:21-31.
- The believer has an abiding freedom in Christ never in the ML!
- If a believer thinks that he should be under the ML-10C, the apostle Paul says that the believer must keep all of the ML, if he would attempt to keep even part of it, Gal 5:2-4.
- This deception to put the believer under the ML-10C is not from God, Gal 5:8.
- In the believer’s life, all the ML-10C is fulfilled by God the Holy Spirit, Gal 5:16-24.
- The life of the believer must be sustained on the same principle as his new birth or regeneration, Gal 5:25, by means of faith and the Holy Spirit.