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Monday, November 29, 2010

The Commandments Of Men By Art Mokarow

When The Pharisees and scribes came from Jerusalem they asked Jesus why His Disciples did not wash their hands before they ate.  He answered, “Why do you also transgress the commandments of God by your tradition?”  He called them hypocrites.  Why did He call them hypocrites?  But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men (Matthew 15:9).  What are the commandments of men?

The difference between the commandments of men and the commandments of God are:

          Man’s commandments are a heavy burden.
          God’s commandments give liberty.

Heavy Burdens

Christ stated The Pharisees and scribes sit in the seat of Moses:  All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not you after their works: for they say and do not.  For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers (Matthew 23:3-4).

The doctrines of the scribes and their interpretations were to use God’s Law so they would benefit from them personally.  These human ideas produced heavy burdens upon the people.  Read one of their human “man-made” commandments.  In Mark 7:9-31 Christ says their false doctrines taught them to break God’s commandments.  The Pharisees and scribes said the people should dedicate their money (corban) to the temple and by doing so many can dishonor their father and mother who might need that same financial help.  By giving their money to the temple they support the ministry or Pharisees.  The Pharisees may have caused a hardship for their families which transgresses God’s commandment to honor father and mother.  Many churches advocate such teaching today.  It lays a heavy burden upon their family when they believe they must give money to the ministry instead of having their whole family on stable ground, financially.

The Jews were burdened by the continued request of tithes or offerings.  Everything from The Talmud, The Mishna along with other books describes the proper way to keep The Law or The Torah.  But, it is only according to man’s commandment or their human tradition.  These traditions “of men” placed burdens upon the people.

Today, many Christians are confronted in this same way.  Denominations differ with a variety of different requirements for Christians.  Again church leaders place burdens upon fellow Christians.  It becomes a matter of attempting to control the members.  The ministry becomes a career instead of a profession or calling.  As well intentioned the leaders might be, like Nicodemus, they are part of a system which has become a career with great expectations of raises, cars, houses and even jets.  That is why Jesus accused The Pharisees and scribes of making His Father’s house “a house of merchandise.” The spiritual leaders are causing a burden to God’s people.  It became so bad that the least who could afford it had to pay them.  Notice what Jesus said about the poor widows.  Which devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation(Mark 12:40).

Another time Christ states a widow only had 2 mites and The Pharisees took the last two she had (Mark 12:41-44).  This infuriated Jesus and He prophesied; “Behold, your house [temple] is left unto you desolate (Matthew 23:38).

Does this mean the preaching ministry shouldn’t be helped?  Of course not.  The point Jesus is making is when money or mammon becomes a constant problem and creates a burden for God’s people, then the interpretations of men and their human commandments transgress God’s commandments.

Commandments Of God

A Christian must understand what is “of God” and what is “of man” which can be determined by their fruits.  Obviously, when the preaching ministry is living better than the average member of the church it is not “of God.”  What is the difference between God’s commandments and the “Commandments of Men?”
God Gives Liberty

God is love - agápé love.  Agápé love is willing to lay their lives down for the people (John 15:13).  That is what Jesus did.  He that loveth not [agápé] knoweth not God; for God is love [agápé] (I John 4:8).

If one does not possess God’s love (agápé) in them they do not understand or know The One True God!  Love [agápé] worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling [completion] of the law (Romans 13:10).

Commandments of God always results in love.  Commandments of men produce “a burden.”  That is the difference.  One produces “liberty while the other a burden.” “Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God (Romans 8:21). God’s commandments result in freedom and liberty.

How clear and simple.  Any religious system which results in self gain instead of liberty for the church goers has created “commandments of men” and not of God.  Liberty” in Greek means “without restraint” (no burden, no difficulty, no strain).  None of the commandments of God leads to a burden.  There should never be any poor in the church of God.  Read Acts 5 and 6.

Here is what Jesus had to say to those who follow Him.  Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden [burden] and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek [humble] and lowly in heart [not self centered] and you shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light(Matthew 11:28-30).  This couldn’t be any plainer.

God’s commandments produce only love (agápé) and lead you to God’s “rest.”  In God’s rest,” God does “the work and not man.  “Commandments of Men” only produce a burden and results in the benefit of all the ones wanting to receive the donations for personal use. 

Commandments of Men
Following Christ’s example of how God’s Commandments are dishonored lets us compare two human commandments against God’s Word.
What day of the week does God clearly command to be the Sabbath?  Exodus 20:8-11 clearly states the 7th day is the Sabbath.

Again, Genesis 2:1-3 plainly reveals God sanctified the 7th day and not any other day.  It cannot be the first day or the fifth day or any other day of the week if you are to honor the commandments of God.  How does Christianity dishonor God’s commandments?  By using human interpretation or human imaginations (II Corinthians 10:5).

Churches using their human interpretation, say Jesus was resurrected on The First Day of the week, so many observe the 1st day of the week as God’s Sabbath.  So what could be the matter with doing so?

It makes no difference what type of human logic is used to dishonor the commandments of God.  The 7th day is the only day God commands.  By changing the day, it dishonors your Father’s commandments.  They have created another commandment by commanding Christians to observe another day, other than the one God has commanded you to observe.

This human reasoning is just what The Pharisees did to gain more money for the temple by breaking one of God’s commandments.

Another example is how Christians unknowingly rob God.  What does God command concerning tithing?

Malachi 3:8-11 reveals, “Will a man rob God?  How will he do this?  It is defined by not bringing the tithes into the temple, God’s house.  This can’t be any clearer.  What does God’s Law have to say about tithing?  In Deuteronomy 18:1-5, God’s Law demands The Levites have no inheritance in the land and must live off the temple.  Therefore, all tithes are The Levites property, so states God’s Law.

How do some Christians dishonor God?  They rob God of the tithes which belong to The Levites.  This is exactly what Christ said in Matthew 23:23.  Jesus said in Matthew 23:1-2 do what the scribes and The Pharisees say because they sit in Moses’ seat.  Christ told them to do The Law, the weighty things, but also to tithe according to The Law of Moses.  Tithes by The Law belong to The Levites.  How do some Christians dishonor God (Matthew 23:23)?  Simply, there are those who say that with “the change” of The Law because of “the change” of Priesthood, in Hebrews 7, that Christian preaching ministers are now The Levites.  There is absolutely no scripture in the entire Bible which transfers tithes to The Christian preaching ministry.  The human interpretation transferring tithes to the ministry doesn’t exist.  There is no such scripture in The Bible.  To use human reason because Abraham tithed to Melchizedek is plain robbery from God according to The Law (Malachi 3:8).

The Law states tithes come from the labors on God’s land.  Abraham’s 10% was not from labor but warfare.  In fact, Abraham kept none of the wealth from the battle.

Abraham tithed to Melchizedek to show God prospered him.  Jacob later did the same, if God would protect him in his journey.  Their tithing had nothing to do with their labors as The Law demands which goes to The Levites.

No Levites

The real lie states that Christian preaching ministers are Levites because of a change of Priesthood.  This is purely “a commandment of men.”  How?

Melchizedek has no Levites.  Hebrews states that Melchizedek has no Father or mother.  The Priesthood of Melchizedek has no genealogy.  To be a Melchizedek Priest is “by oath.”  Read all of Hebrews 7 and 8:4.  Melchizedek can only be appointed by God through an oath without genealogy to follow or pass on from father to son, as with The Levites.

Paul said in Hebrew 8, if Christ were on earth today he would not be a Priest because The Law only appoints men living on earth to be Priests.  The Levites genealogically are from father to son of The Tribe of Levi.  How simple and clear (Hebrews 8).

Tithing to “Christian preaching ministers” is robbing God.  By doing so, dishonors God your Father through the keeping of “the commandments of men” rather than “the commandments of God.”

This is another example of Christ’s warning not to steal from God’s temple, which now is in heaven until Christ returns and restores the earthly temple and then tithes will be reinstituted to be paid to The Levites.

The Lord Our God is so simple.  Diligent Bible studying Christians must be like The Bereans.  They must check to be sure Christianity lives by “the commandments of God” rather than “the commandments of men (Acts 17:11)!