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The Twisted Commandments - Week Two

Jun 1, 2022
by Christopher Atkinson

The Twisted Commandments - Week Two

A Little Review

Last week we looked at how relevant the Ten Commandments are to today. And we also noted that the Antichrist will rewrite those commandments to suit his endeavors. After all, his goal is to subvert all things God and..... to do everything to make himself the only god worshipped during his reign.

Freedom For All

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.  (Ex 20:2, NKJV)

And we also noted that while the Antichrist will take freedom from everyone, God gave us these commandments to set us free. Free to stay free or to go back into slavery is the main choice. Unfortunately, the Israelites had a problem with staying free, choosing to go back to Egypt where they were slaves, but they had security and stability, well in their minds these were the things they valued over having God as their protector and provider.

No Other Gods

Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4 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. 5 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; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. (Ex 20:3-6, KJV)

 This commandment is one that a lot of people today consider irrelevant. According to them, no one is worshipping Baal or Ashtoreth by sacrificing children or dancing wildly around an altar dancing and reciting weird chants. Well, not the majority of people, although I have seen some rock concerts that come pretty close to replicating this. And I’m not being facetious.

We Worship Many More Gods Than We Realize

You see, idolatry is not just the obvious false gods this conjures up in our minds. We have so many idols it is mind boggling. We just don’t see them as idols because many of them are actually good when put in their proper place. Things like money, art, education and even love fall into this category.

Let’s Define This Better

God clearly says that He will not have any other gods before Him. “Before Him” can mean a few things. First it can mean “before my face” or “in my presence.” Since God is omnipresent this means you can’t worship any other god without Him knowing. To do so is pretty arrogant and selfish. It can also mean “no other gods over against me” means insulting God to His face, a direct assault on what one knows to be wrong. Think golden calf on this one.

It’s Personal

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: 5 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. (Deut 6:4,5, KJV)

Note that the commandment says “you” shall not have any other gods before Him. God makes this personal because He wants the attention of each individual on Him. And the rest of the commandments don’t work unless this one is followed.

Biblical Monotheism

According to Dennis Prager, this is a big deal. Here’s how he puts it:

“The point of biblical monotheism is that there is only one God and that only this God, the Creator of the universe who demands that we keep these Ten Commandments, is to be worshipped.  Why? First, because one God means one human race. Only if we all have the same Creator, or Father, as it were, are we are all brothers and sisters. Second, having the same parent also means that no person or group is intrinsically more valuable than any other. And third, one God means one moral standard for all people. If God declares murder wrong, it is wrong for everyone, and you can't go to another god for another moral standard.”

And About Being The Wisest Guy Ever

A good example of getting this whole idolatry thing wrong is King Solomon. He started out right and built the temple his father was prohibited from building. It was he who penned a great majority of the book of Proverbs mainly because he valued wisdom over wealth. But as we see in his life history, he became quite idolatrous and did so knowing that God would judge him and the nation of Israel harshly for it.

Money, Sex And Power

And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, 10 And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the Lord commanded. 11 Wherefore the Lord said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant. (1 Kings 11:9-11, KJV)

These were the idols that Solomon fell to and it led to him falling to the idols of his day as well. He had lots of money and spent more on his own house than he did on the temple. He was forbidden to marry more than one women and none from the surrounding nations. He married 700 many from other nations and had 300 concubines. These women coaxed him to allow their idols into Israel. He was told to not build an army but built one instead just because he could. It was his undoing. Idolatry is always a godly person’s undoing.

And The Antichrist Will Make This Commandment His Own

You will have only me as your god. You will make me into a graven image, a likeness of me to worship. You will bow down yourself to me and any image of me for I am a jealous god, and you will give me all your freedom and rights so I can protect you. But if you don’t I will show you no mercy. You will starve before I behead you.

God offers continued freedom, but the Antichrist says worship him or die. And according to the Bible, he will make war on the saints, those who will not bow down to his tyranny. Take his mark as a sign of worship and in essence make all the things he lets you keep more important that God. Trust in the Antichrist to take care of you in exchange for your soul. A very bad choice and yet a tough one if you are a parent with kids to support.

Taking God’s Name In Vain

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. (Ex 20:7, KJV)

If there’s one of the Ten Commandments that is misunderstood, it’s this one. Most people believe that it’s referring to cursing. Using God or Jesus as a profanity is wrong. But if you look at the context, this is the only one of the commandments that God won’t forgive. How much sense does that make? You can steal, murder or commit adultery, but resort to using a profanity with God or Jesus in it and it’s unforgivable by God?

A Better Translation Is Needed

In the original text, this should read more like “Do not carry or misuse the name of God in vain.” This gets us closer to the real meaning, but a little more clarification is needed. What is meant by carrying or misusing God’s name? Dennis Prager in his teaching on this subject put it this way:

“What does it mean to "carry" or to "misuse" God's name? It means committing evil in God's name.  And that God will not forgive.  Why not?  When an irreligious person commits evil, it doesn't bring God and religion into disrepute. But when religious people commit evil, especially in God's name, they are not only committing evil, they are doing terrible damage to the name of God… People who murder in the name of God not only kill their victims, they kill God, too.  That's why the greatest sin is religious evil.   That's what the Third Commandment is there to teach: Don't carry God's name in vain. If you do, God won't forgive you.”

A Good Example Is 9/11

The19 Islamic terrorists who flew the planes into the World Trade Center towers did so shouting praise to Allah or God. While we know Muslims don’t worship the same God we do, the point is the same. An act of violence in the name of Allah hurt the Muslim religion and our view of Allah. It killed both. And when a Christian does an act of violence like bombing an abortion clinic in the name of God it hurts God’s name. How many people point to such instances and use it to denigrate all Christians and Christianity as a whole? More than should be the case all because this commandment is not heeded.

And About Those Demons

Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. 14 And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? 16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. (Acts 19:13-16, KJV)

This is an example of people using the name of Jesus who had no real connection Him. They were using the name of Jesus as a formula because they saw Paul do miracles in the name of Jesus. As we see, the demons were not impressed.

Good Came Out Of This

And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.(Acts 19:17-20, KJV)

We see that the name of Jesus was magnified as a result of this. People realized that the name of Jesus was powerful when He is worshipped by living for Him. A revival broke out in Ephesus and God’s word prevailed.

Don’t Make A Vain Promise Or Oath

We must also be careful to not make our promises stronger by using God’s name and then we don’t fulfill them. Or we don’t really mean them in the first place which is really bad. When we do this, we misuse God’s name and bring His name into ill repute. Many a Christian’s witness is marred or soiled by saying we are going to do something using God’s name as the bond that makes it stronger and we never meant it or don’t follow through. The next time a Christian attempts to witness to the person who was part of such a vow, they are usually met with anger and scorn which could have been avoided. And the anger is usually at God and the person who represented Him.

The Antichrist Has His Commandment As Well

Here is the commandment with his twist on it:

You can misuse the name of Jesus and Father God because they are powerless now. Curse using those names all you like. It’s only my name that is important now. If you misuse my name I will not hold you guiltless. I will punish you mercilessly until you bow to me. And I won’t forgive the action. I will always have you on my list of those who I neither trust or reward.

You can believe that the Antichrist will have an enemy list. And he will make sure that anyone who doesn’t worship him will pay the price. He will demand to be worshipped as God, even having sacrifices to him being performed in the last day’s temple. He can’t stand to be ignored and anyone who brings his name down will be a target of his oppressive regime.

Perilous Times

Don’t be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. They’ll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they’re animals. Stay clear of these people. (2 Tim 3:1-5, The Message)

 I have highlighted words that show you the spirit of the Antichrist which refer to these two commandments in this lesson. These characteristics are in our world today, but they shouldn’t be part of us, the church. Pray that we heed the lessons of the Ten Commandments and get and keep our houses in order by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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