Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
Understanding the principles for freedom contained in the Decalogue.
We have now begun a study on the first commandment: The first commandment is where true liberty begins, EXO 20:3, “You shall have no other gods before Me. Or literally, 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. This is no way detracts from the doctrine of the Trinity. Remember that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only revealed Member of the Godhead, as well as the Creator and Savior of the universe.
The verb translated “You shall have no” literally means “There shall not be.” This then, is not a THOU SHALT NOT commandment, but rather THERE SHALL NOT BE other gods commandment.
The reference is to the prohibition of any form of idolatry or prohibiting believers to not put anything ahead of the Lord in your life.
MAT 6:24, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
The Jews were the nation of people appointed by God to receive the Gospel from Him and transmit it to Gentile peoples. They were His people chosen for this purpose, and in this sense, they were His possession. Keep this in mind when we later encounter the passage, “I the Lord thy God am a JEALOUS God.”
Jealousy is a sin, and God does not sin. 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. God is possessive of your freedom.
When God says, “No other gods beyond me,” God is saying, “Beyond Me there is nothing.” This means that God stands there with His arms open, but you have to be free to come into His arms.
So, in order to maintain freedom, the Source of its origin — God — must be recognized. The principle is also clearly stated in JOH 8:32, and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Who said it? Jesus Christ said it! The same One Who also gave the first commandment to Moses. 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.”
Therefore, 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. You have the freedom to take in Bible doctrine; and no matter what adversity you may face, Bible doctrine is your source of strength and stability.
Bible doctrine can never be separated from the soul nor the soul from doctrine when you are functioning daily under GAP (grace apparatus for perception). No matter what happens to your body, your soul cannot be touched. No nation ever survives the violation of God’s principles. “There shall not be to you other gods beyond me.” This is a nation’s protection against slavery.
By way of summary, this first commandment recognizes human volition, which is the basis for maintaining freedom — by knowledge of the truth. The commandments were not given to the Jews until after God had freed them physically.
This is why you need to understand the real reason for the Mosaic Law or the Decalogue or the 10C’s. Therefore, we need to note again not all but some of the principles of the Decalogue or the 10C.
And I am going to communicate these principles in twelve different ways.
Under the doctrine of numerology, which uses the meanings of numbers to reveal Biblical principles I am going to use the number 12 as a guideline to what God the Holy Spirit would have us understand.
For the number 12 denotes the following principles: 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. It can also symbolize completeness or the nation of Israel as a whole.
For example, Jacob (Israel) had twelve sons, each of which represented a tribe begun by a prince, for 12 princes total. The Lord Jesus Christ 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, the Lord 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 the Lord 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 (REV 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). In fact, 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. Over each gate will be one of the names of Israel’s twelve tribes. The walls are 144 cubits high (12 multiplied by itself - Revelation 21:16-17), with the city itself being 12,000 furlongs square.
I could keep on giving you more proof of the spiritual significance of the number 12 if I wanted to, some of which many do not really care about! 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. Each stone represented a tribe of Israel.
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.