CALL TO OBEDIENCE #441
Reimar A.C. Schultze
"When God Wrote With
His Own Finger (Ex. 31:18)"
By Reimar Schultze
The Bible ends with these sobering words: ...If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life... (Rev. 22:18-19).
Beloved of God, most precious, this warning refers to Scriptures written by men moved by the Spirit. This warning should be even taken more seriously with the Ten Commandments (also called the Ten Laws) for these compelling reasons:
1. These Ten Laws, unlike any other Scriptures, were written not by the pen of men but by God Himself, with His own finger of fire. In other words, here is the only place in the Bible where God acted as His own scribe!
2. These Laws are the only Laws for which God designed a custom-made box into which these Ten Laws were to be placed.
3. This box enshrining these Laws was so precious, so holy that it became the meeting place of God with man. God said to Moses: And there I will meet with thee... (Ex. 25:22).
4. All men will have to answer to God on the basis of these Laws on Judgment Day.
5. These Laws distinguish themselves from all other laws in that they are perfectly applicable for every generation, and for every culture, ethnic and tribal group. In short, they are universally binding on every man on the face of the earth.
6. These Laws were given as one complete unit, written in one continuous stroke causing James to say: For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law (James 2:10-11).
7. These Laws were given without an expiration date. They were given without a right for amendments, excuses or get-out clauses.
Law and Love: The perception that the Old Testament is about “law” and the New Testament is about “love” is most erroneous. It is proven incorrect when we consider that, at the same time that God called on men to obey His Ten Laws, He also commanded them to love Him with all their hearts. This is the reason why Moses, in his farewell address to Israel, cited law and love in tandem. In Deuteronomy 5, he quotes the Ten Laws and in Deuteronomy 6, we see him quoting the premier Laws of love that we should love the Lord our God with all our heart, and with all our soul and with all our might.
You cannot unite with God except by law and love. Yet of the two, love is more demanding than all other laws in the world put together. How law and love are linked together is also illustrated by the words of Jesus as follows: He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him (John 14:21).
Although no sinner is ever justified by obeying the law, so no Christian can go to heaven by breaking any of the Ten Laws. Liars, thieves, adulterers, idolaters and such like shall be cast into the lake of fire. The blood of Jesus is not given to cover our sins and to let them fester and putrefy below this cover, but rather it is given to remove our sins as far as the east is from the west (Ps. 103:12; Micah 7:19).
Further Proof of the Immortality of the Ten Laws: 1. Before the Ten Laws were written on stone with the finger of God, they were written into the human conscience. Every man from Adam on is born with a moral compass which is the conscience containing the Ten Laws, all of them. Adam knew when he violated one of those Laws and he became ashamed (Gen. 3:10). Cain knew that he violated one of those Laws after he killed his brother, Abel, and was afraid for his life (Gen. 4:13-14). All men are born with this moral apparatus within their bodies and therefore, they know right from wrong. Of course, every time man overrides his conscience, he dulls it and he becomes more wicked (Rom. 2:15, 1 Tim. 4:2).
2. After the Ten Laws were written into the human conscience, they were written in stone as a public affirmation, as a moral constitution for the elect nation of Israel, and by extension to all nations of the world.
3. Then these Ten Laws will be written in the hearts of men to become an inner force when Christ is received, as we read in the prophecy of Jeremiah: ...After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people (Jer. 31:33).
The giving of the Laws called for the greatest biblical spectacle that ever occurred on the earth, eclipsing the 10 plagues in Egypt, Elijah’s encounter with God on Mount Horeb, or events accompanying the crucifixion and resurrection. I am not rating here the importance of specific events but the magnitude of supernatural manifestations accompanying them. Here is what happened in preparation for the giving of the Ten Laws: 1) men were commanded not to sleep with their wives; 2) all people were instructed to wash their clothes; 3) a fence was constructed around the perimeter of the mountain and anyone who would break through the fence, man or animal, would be put to death (Ex. 19:12).
The visitation of God was accompanied by the following: thick smoke, thunder, lightning, the quaking of mountains, fire and the voice of an exceedingly loud trumpet. The end result was that people, the whole nation (2.5 million people), was quaking and shaking in their boots. It was the only time that an entire nation heard God’s voice and was made to stand before Him with fear and trembling (Ex. 19:16; Deut. 4:9-13). This never occurred again at any event, and will only be eclipsed when Jesus Christ Himself returns in the heavens.
So what did God have in mind when He Himself wrote these commandments and why did He accompany them with such a great fanfare? It was done for this overarching purpose: to definitively and publicly establish His holiness through revealing the moral moorings of what holiness consists of, by positing these Ten Laws. God is holy, holy, holy. The word holiness and all its synonyms occur 610 times in the Bible. No attribute of God has received greater attention than holiness. No man can come into the presence of God except on the ground of holiness. Hebrews says: ...without [holiness] no man shall see the Lord (Heb. 12:14). These Ten Laws form the core of holiness teaching, of how man is to live morally with both his Maker and his fellow men. His fellowship with God is broken by any violation of any of these Ten Laws.
Yet, we should look at these Ten Laws as only a foundation, similar to the skeleton of a man’s body. When Jesus came along, He hung the soft tissues and the organs on this skeleton by giving us the Sermon on the Mount. Then through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, God gave us the fruits of the Spirit to dress up this man and to bring him into the full stature of the image of God. This was the sole purpose why God created man in the first place.
Now, knowing all this, who are you to meddle with the Ten Laws, also known as the Ten Commandments, and create an amendment or an escape clause for any of them? What authority do you, my friend, have on this matter? Who do you think you are to contend with the Mighty One?
One of the strongest demonstrations of no excuses, no escape clauses and no exceptions for any commandment is given by Jesus when He discussed the seventh commandment (concerning adultery) with the Pharisees in Matthew 19. When He was done expounding how narrow this commandment was meant to be, to protect the sacredness of marriage, His apostles then said in deep consternation: ...it is not good to marry, meaning “if there is no escape from my obligation to my first wife as long as she lives, I would rather be single.” Yes, this is exactly what God had in mind from the beginning when He said: What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder (Matt. 19:6). Of course, after the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles, then they gladly and fervently promoted this teaching in their writings to the churches (Rom. 7:2-3; 1 Cor. 7:10-11).
So, my friend, you may not like this or that Law, but it is written in your conscience, on stone, and in your heart. It is written in three places. How do you propose to get a law out of all three places, amend it and then reinsert it back into place with the other ones? This is impossible, ridiculous and incredibly dangerous if you could ever succeed in doing it.
Please do not get the idea that the original Ten Laws no longer fit this day and age with its new cultural manifestations. No, one thousand times no! These Ten Commandments were written with eternity in mind, with God’s total knowledge of all the cultural changes of the future. Do not bend these Laws, but bend yourself to obey them, lest God send a plague upon you, or worse yet, blot your name out of the book of life. The Ten Commandments were placed in a box because they were and are in the heart of God. Let them also be in your heart.