But wait a minute! Jesus did not state the FIRST commandment
either. The commandment not to take the name of the Lord in
vain was not mentioned by Him, nor was the command "thou shalt
not covet." The SECOND commandment was not listed by Christ
Does this mean (and following the logic of the argument above it
would) we can break these other commandments with impunity and
inherit the Kingdom? No Christian church that I am aware of
openly teaches its members that they can use "profanity," carve
some idol out of wood, set it up in their house or back yard,
worship it, and have eternal life.
Please let me reiterate, remember that God does not have to
repeat Himself in FULL all the time.
There is at times enough said by the Lord in His word for you to
be able to get the CLEAR INTENT of His message to you. This I
have expounded. before with the example of Divorce and
Remarriage when Jesus took the Pharisees back to the intent of
God from the beginning in Genesis 2.
The answer of Christ to the rich young man, and the commandments
He did list, show the intent of Jesus. The young man and the
disciples would have got "the picture" - they knew what
law of God Jesus was referring to. They knew it was the TEN
commandment law! And if we are willing to be honest, we KNOW IT
It is not so hard to understand. Suppose you were born into a
family where your father had beenan alcoholic at one time but was
now a member of the AA. From a child you had seen him every week
go off to attend AA meetings. As you grew older you became
aware of what that organization was all about, and how they had a
set of commandments its members should follow if they want
victory over their alcohol problem. You may have seen your
father fall at times and get drunk, repent of it, go off to the
AA meeting for more help and encouragement to overcome. You had
grown up in this environment, you knew the basic rules and the
list of commandments the AA had for such persons as your father.
Then one day after your father had been overcome by alcohol, he
comes to you crying and asking what he should do to gain
life from this problem. You answer him by saying he must follow
the rules, commandments, of his AA organization. He answers you
further by asking "which" commandments. You reply by quoting
three or four of their basic well known list. You would NOT HAVE
TO QUOTE THEM ALL for your father to get the point - the
intent - that you mean ALL OF THEM!
It is a common usage of speech. The intent is clearly understood
in such a situation. Nobody is trying to teach that commandments
are "done away" with under those circumstances of
conveying your intent of speech.
And so it was with Jesus' speech and answer to the question
posed by this rich man on how to have eternal life. The intent
of the answer was "keep the commandments - all ten of them."
Then we should be willing (unless we have some carnal axe to
grind) to realize from this passage that Jesus had the golden
opportunity to state that under the New Covenant, all of the ten
commandments should be obeyed EXCEPT the 4th one, for it
would be abolished at the cross - at His death, or when the NEW
covenant came into effect. Yes, what an opportunity for
Christ, but He didn't even give it a "close encounters" of the
1st, 2nd, 3rd, or any kind. The intent of Jesus was not to void
any of the big ten, but to establish them! Ah, and that was
one of the things the prophets foretold the Messiah would do when
He came. He was to ESTABLISH and MAGNIFY the law, and make it
HONORABLE - Isaiah 42:21.
Then we should also realize that the gospel of Matthew was not
written as Jesus actually said these words, but many YEARS AFTER
Christ had risen from the dead and ascended to heaven.
If some new revelation had been given to the early apostolic
Church of God concerning the abrogation and revoking of the 4th
commandment, after the ascension of Jesus, then here was
an occasion for Matthew to INSERT in parentheses a remark to
clarify the NEW covenant position of no Sabbath command.
Matthew, inspired by the Holy Spirit, could have easily written
something like: Jesus said, Thou shalt not murder, Thou shalt
not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear
false witness, Honor thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt
love thy neighbor as thyself (Thus Jesus was showing we should
obey the ten commandments - nine of them for we now know the
4th commandment is abolished).
How easy it would have been for the writers of the four gospels
to somewhere in the course of Jesus talking about the
commandments of God, to have inserted a parenthetical statement
to the effect that the Sabbath command was under the New
covenant, either void or changed to any one day in seven. It
would have been so easy to do if that had been the case, BUT IT
WAS NOT DONE BECAUSE IT NEVER HAPPENED. JESUS NEVER TAUGHT THE
SABBATH COMMAND WOULD BE ABOLISHED OR CHANGED. ON THE CONTRARY,
JESUS TAUGHT THE SABBATH WOULD BE OBSERVED BY HIS FOLLOWERS RIGHT
DOWN TO THE TIME OF HIS RETURN TO EARTH AND THE FIRST
JUST BEFORE JESUS' RETURN - THE SABBATH IN EFFECT
Matthew chapter 24 is a prophetic chapter that concerns the TIME
JUST PRIOR TO AND UP TO THE COMING OF JESUS IN GLORY TO
This chapter has really nothing to do with 70 A.D. and the
destruction of Jerusalem by the armies of Rome. The intent
(there's that word again) of this prophetic message of Christ's
was NOT FOR 70 A.D. The very beginning words give you the plain
truth of the matter. Read them friends, they say what they mean
and mean what they say, you just have to believe them!
"And as He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto
Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and
WHAT SHALL BE THE SIGN OF THY COMING, AND OF THE END OF THE
Jesus had just told them that all the stones of the Jerusalem
Temple would be thrown down to the ground - not one stone left
upon another (verses 1,2).
THAT HAS NOT YET TAKEN PLACE FRIEND!!
The so called "wailing wall" now standing in Jerusalem WAS APART
OF THE TEMPLE IN JESUS' TIME. THOSE STONES ARE STILL ON TOP OF
This prophecy of Christ's is YET TO BE FULFILLED. IT WAS A
PROPHECY. THIS WHOLE CHAPTER 24 OF MATTHEW IS FOR THE END TIME,
SHORTLY BEFORE AND LEADING UP TO THE RETURN OF CHRIST AND THE
The disciples asked Jesus for SIGNS of His COMING and the END OF
THE AGE (original Greek).
Jesus went on to give them the signs to watch for.
A child can see this. I was a child once. I had a red letter
Bible then as I do now - all the words of Jesus are in red
letters. As a child I had read over and over again the words of
Jesus as recorded in the four gospels. I had read Matthew 24
many times as a child. I did not understand it like I do
today, but one thing was VERY PLAIN to me. THIS WAS A PROPHECY
CONCERNING THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST, AND THE SIGNS TO
WATCH LEADING UP TO HIS RETURN AND THE RESURRECTION.
As a child I knew NOTHING OF 70 A.D. I had never been taught it
in my grade school(remember I was attending a Church of England
school) or Sunday school. I was completely oblivious to the
history of some Roman armies devastating Jerusalem in 70 A.D.
But I was not oblivious to what I could read with my own eyes in
the first few verses of Matthew 24. There it was as plain as the
nose on your face. The disciples asked Jesus about HIS COMING AND
THE END OF THE AGE! You need to forget about this 70 A.D.
Someone has put it in your head. It probably was not there
before someone came along and fed it to you. 70 A.D. is GONE -
it came and went a LONG TIME AGO - forget about it. This
prophecy of Christ's is FOR OUR TIME AND BEYOND!
There is YET coming an ABOMINATION that makes desolate the city
of Jerusalem - armies will yet surround Jerusalem and destroy it
- see the parallel account as given in Luke 21 and note
verses 20, 21.
When this is about to take place, when the time is very near that
Jerusalem is to be desolated and the stones of the temple of
Jesus' day will be thrown to the ground, "not one left upon
THEN THOSE CHRISTIANS LIVING IN JERUSALEM AND JUDEA ARE TO FLEE
TO THE MOUNTAINS!
Notice what Jesus said should be a part of the prayers of His
people at this END TIME, THE TIME LEADING TO HIS COMING AND THE
RESURRECTION: "But pray that your flight be not in the
winter, NEITHER ON THE SABBATH DAY" (verse 20).
This is FOR THE END TIME. The next verse also proves it. Verse
21 - at that time there is to come a time of trouble such as "was
not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever
shall be." This is the SAME TIME as foretold by Daniel in his
12th chapter and verse one.
Also by the prophet Jeremiah, chapter thirty, verses one to nine.
The time of trouble in 70 A.D. for Jerusalem was bad but not as
bad as the Second World War of 1939-45. The Second World War did
not lead up to the coming of Christ and the Resurrection, so this
prophecy of Matthew 24 is still YET FUTURE! And the desolation
of Jerusalem is yet to take place. When it does God's true
people living in Judea are to be praying their fleeing to the
mountains will not be on THE SABBATH! The Sabbath day is Holy,
it is to be kept holy, it is not to do "our own thing" on. It is
a day to rest physically, to worship the Lord in spiritual ways,
and not a day to be concerned about saving your physical
AT THIS TIME IN HISTORY, AT THE END TIME, WHEN ALL THAT HAD BEEN
NAILED TO THE CROSS AND "DONE AWAY WITH" WAS LONG TIME AGO CAST
OUT WITH THE ANIMAL SACRIFICES AND CIRCUMCISION, WHEN THE 4TH
COMMANDMENT WAS LONG TIME FORGOTTEN ABOUT, JESUS IS TELLING HIS
FOLLOWERS TO PRAY THEIR FLIGHT WILL NOT BE IN THE WINTER (winters
are still taking place today) NOR ON THE SABBATH DAY! JESUS
EXCEPTED HIS CHRISTIANS TO BE OBSERVING THE SABBATH - TO BE
REMEMBERING THE SABBATH DAY TO KEEP IT HOLY - IN THE DAYS
SHORTLY BEFORE HIS RETURN AND THE RESURRECTION (verses
ISAIAH'S PROPHECY ABOUT JESUS' RETURN IN GLORY AND THE SABBATH
The prophecy of Isaiah in chapters 54, 55, and 56, is in the main
one large prophetic utterance that is dealing with the end time -
the last few years before the Messiah's coming in glory to rule
and re-establish the 12 tribes of Israel, at the beginning of the
Kingdom of God on earth.
All the prophets foretell that at the coming of Christ in power
and glory, the tribes of Israel are in captivity in their enemies
lands, from which the Messiah delivers them and brings them back
into the Holy Land - the Promised Land of Palestine. There He
rebuilds and blesses them, pours out His Spirit on them and they
blossom as a rose garden to be a light of truth and salvation for
the nations of the world.
Chapter 54, verses 1-8 tell this truth just mentioned. Notice
verse 10. There will come great physical changes in the earth but
God's covenant of peace will never be removed. This has not
yet taken place - the tribes of Israel do not today have
perpetual peace. The children of the Israelites are not today
being taught of God by and large and peace and oppression and
terror has not yet ended, verses 13-17. When the Messiah Christ
comes it will.
Nations of the earth are not now running unto Israel to learn of
God. When these prophecies are fulfilled and Israel is glorified
the nations will run to them for knowledge of the true God -
Now chapter 56. Notice what the first verse says: "Thus saith
the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for MY SALVATION IS
NEAR TO COME, and my RIGHTEOUSNESS TO BE REVEALED." This is a
special time in history, a time when God's salvation and
righteousness is to go forth in a way that it never went forth
before. If you want to argue that this was foretelling the start
of the NEW covenant spiritual Church of God, fine, I will accept
your view, in fact that view will add double weight to the
permanence of the 4th commandment, so believe it that way if
you will and see the Sabbath firmly established for the age of
The context shows this to be at the end time, when the Messiah
comes to bring a time of salvation and righteousness that is
different than at any other time in history. A time when
salvation and righteousness will go forth to all nations as never
before, when Israel will go forth with joy, and be led forth with
peace, when the mountains and the hills break forth with singing,
when the Holy One of Israel shall be called the God of THE WHOLE
EARTH (chapters 55:12; 54:5).
In this setting, when salvation will go forth to all nations,
what does the Lord choose as THE commandment with a special
covenant relationship between Him and those who will serve
Him? Does He choose the commandment about lying, or the command
not to covet, or the one that says "honor thy father and thy
mother," or the command not to take the Lord's name in vain?
No! God chooses the command that by the time the Messiah will
come in glory and power, the world at large, and even the people
who call themselves God's children, will, for the MOST PART, have
forgotten and have not remembered - the FOURTH COMMANDMENT that
says "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy...." God says,
"Blessed is the man that doeth this, that KEEPETH THE SABBATH
FROM POLLUTING IT...." (verse 2). How important does God think
His Sabbath command is? Look at the words He uses in connection
with this "covenant" of His.
"For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs (those cut off from
God)that KEEP MY SABBATHS, and choose the things that please Me,
and take hold of MY COVENANT; Even unto them will I give IN MY
HOUSE AND WITHIN MY WALLS a place and a name BETTER THAN OF SONS
AND OF DAUGHTERS: I WILL GIVE THEM AN EVERLASTING NAME, that
shall not be cut off" (verse 4, 5).
Wooowww! Does God look upon the Sabbath command as the "least of
the commandment" as some today do? These words here sure do not
give me that impression. Acquiring from the Lord a name BETTER
THAN SONS OR DAUGHTERS is mind numbing, and the Lord ties that
language and promise of His TOGETHER WITH SABBATH KEEPING!! A
prophecy about Sabbath keeping, written under the OLD
covenant, for the NEW COVENANT!
Will the New covenant be in force shortly before the Messiah
comes in glory? Sure it will!
As the reign of Christ begins on this earth, will the New
covenant CONTINUE? Sure it will.
Notice what the Lord continues to promise: "Also the sons of the
stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to SERVE Him, and to
LOVE the name of the Lord, to be His SERVANTS, every one that
KEEPETH THE SABBATH FROM POLLUTING IT, and taketh hold of my
covenant; Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make
them joyful in my house of prayer....... the Lord God which
gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather other's
to him, beside those that are gathered unto him" (verses 6-8).
The world at large will have forgotten God's Sabbath command by
the time Jesus the Messiah comes to reign and rule this
earth and the nations upon it. The Lord's word shall go forth at
this time, it will not return to Him void (chapter 55:11). A
part of that word of salvation and righteousness will be for all
nations and peoples to REMEMBER "the Sabbath from polluting it."
The Eternal God has not promised in His word that being His
child, being a Christian, would be like eating an ice-cream
sundae - all sweet, smooth, and enjoyable.
Sometimes Christianity is an ABEL - you may be persecuted and
killed by those closest to you.
There may be times when Christianity is a NOAH - the vast
majority may be going the other way, while laughing and
ridiculing your stand for God and His righteousness. At times
Christianity may be an ABRAHAM - needing lots of faith to obey
God. Then at other times Christianity may be a DAVID - loving the
commandments of the Lord to where you shed tears over seeing how
people make them void. Sometimes Christianity will be a DANIEL -
obeying and doing the simple things like praying, knowing it
could cost you your life. It is possible Christianity is like a
SHADRACH, MESHACH, and ABEDNEGO - willing to die before giving
in to the pressure of breaking one of the commandments of God.
Being a Christian may be like an apostle John - relatively
unharmed, living to a golden age and dying a natural peaceful
Jesus never said it would be easy to follow Him - to love the
Lord your God with all your heart, and soul, and mind. Jesus
never said it would be necessarily smooth and sweet to live by
every word of God, as He taught man should do (Matthew 4:4).
In His Olivet Prophecy He foretold that at the time of the end
(the years of today), because of the many false prophets
deceiving the many (Mat.24:11), "......iniquity SHALL ABOUND,
the love of many SHALL WAX COLD" (verse 12).
Sin - iniquity - in the last days would ABOUND. The breaking of
the commandments of God would greatly increase at the time of the
end because false prophets would teach many that they were at
liberty to do - to practice - sin, lawlessness, and still be
saved by grace through faith.
This heresy teaching would lead many to wax COLD with love. And
love - the love of God is ".......that we keep His commandments;
and His commandments are not grievous" (1 John 5:3).
Truly the attitude of the Church of God at Laodicea is upon us
today. God says: "I know thy works, that thou art neither COLD
nor HOT... So then because thou art LUKEWARM, and neither cold
nor hot, I will SPUE THEE OUT OF MY MOUTH" (Revelation 3:15,16).
Drinking ice cold or hot tea can be both enjoyable, but lukewarm
tea - yuck!
Many today in the Church of God are spiritually saying, "....I
am rich, increased with goods, and have need of nothing" (verse
17). Many are saying they can break the commandments of God with
impunity and are still under the grace of God in the New
covenant. Jesus answers them:
".....knowest not that thou art WRETCHED, and MISERABLE, and
POOR, and BLIND, and NAKED. I counsel thee to buy of me GOLD
TRIED IN THE FIRE, that thou mayest be rich; and WHITE RAIMENT,
that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness
do not appear..." Those who do lawlessness will have no white
garment when Jesus returns. They will be shocked and ashamed
when they hear "depart from me, I never knew you." To all such
people with such lukewarm attitudes Jesus went on to say, "and
anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, THAT THOU MAYEST SEE" (verse
Lukewarmness needs to be cut away with the word of the Lord that
is powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even
to the dividing asunder of the soul and the spirit, and of the
joints and the marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and
intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).
It was foretold in the pages of the NEW covenant that false
ministers, false prophets, and elders of the Church of God, would
arise within the body of Christ, who would bring in DAMNABLE
HERESIES! It was also foretold that MANY would follow them to
their own destruction.
You need to read Matthew 24; Acts 20; 2 Peter 2; 1 John 2;
If you are reading all the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, if
you are as a little child in belief and understanding of the
word, you will not be deceived, you can be a part of the very
The leaders of the WCG have already turned the Godhead into that
which is as the physical wind - a nebulous, impalpable,
ambiguous, confused, and intangible NOTHINGNESS! To them
the Godhead is now like the WIND, something that is an
Now, they say the Sabbath Day command is also a spiritual
nothingness. Like God, it also to them has no body - no
substance - no letter - no law.
The leaders of the WCG now teach you are not really the offspring
of God, not really His children, but something less than that.
What you are is also ambiguous, but they say you certainly
are not a child (literal son and daughter) of God.
Oh, if the great apostle Paul was here today, he would again be
shouting out these words of his:
"That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after
Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us:
For in Him we live, and move, and have our being, as certain
also of your own poets have said, FOR WE ARE ALSO HIS OFFSPRING.
Forasmuch then as WE ARE THE OFFSPRING OF GOD, we ought NOT
TO THINK that the Godhead is like gold, or silver, or stone,
graven by art and MAN'S DEVICE. And the TIMES OF THIS IGNORANCE
God winked at; but NOW COMMANDETH ALL MEN EVERYWHERE TO
REPENT" (Acts 17:27-30).
TO BE CONTINUED WITH A POSTSCRIPT
Written April 1995
All articles and studies by Keith Hunt may be copied, published,
e-mailed, and distributed as led by the Spirit. Mr.Hunt trusts
nothing will be changed without his consent.