THIS IS PART 1 OF STUDY (PART 2, Pt 3, Pt 4, Pt 5, Pt 6)

(Matt 5:18-19 [KJV])

18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.


Should Christians keep the commandments? (You can read email correspondence on subject - download)


This doctrine on the commandments mentioned in the New Testament has been met with much confusion and misunderstanding. Here we will attempt to explain the doctrine about commandments mentioned by Jesus using a series of steps. Try to understand a step at a time, when you get to the end you should develop a better understanding as to what the commandments mean and if they should be followed by believers. This is a very important doctrine as you can see from Matthew 5:18-19, so feel free to contact TTGM, should you need clarification. Watch Presentations HERE.


In the first step we will define what is meant by the word commandment(s).


A commandment is an instruction given by a person(s) in authority for someone else (in submission) to carry out.


A commandment is a rule that must be obeyed, especially one handed down by God. A divine rule given by God to Moses such as the rule that "Thou shall not kill" is an example of a commandment.


Important to note: All commandments from God come with a consequence if not kept. It is known as sin. The penalty for sin is death. Read how the commandments are structured according to he word.



What are the sources of commandment(s) in the Bible?


In the Bible there are three sources that give commandments.

1. God

(Gen 2:17 [KJV])

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.


2. Satan ( Seducing Spirits and doctrines of Demons)

(1Tim 4:1-3[KJV])

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.


3. Man (kings etc)

(Dan 3:22 [KJV])

Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.


TTGM will only focus on the commandments that Jesus asks the believers to keep.


When Christians are asked how many commandments are in the bible, they usually say ten; this is a grossly inaccurate answer. There are actually about 613 commandments in the Torah (OT) alone that was given by God. However, ten were written on two tables of stones. When the commandments were mentioned in Psalms 119 by David, he was referring to all.


Please note all 613 commandments in the Torah did not apply to men, as some were commandments for women only.


Even to this day Jews that practice the Torah still obey all 613 commandments and apply them to their lives. When Jesus stepped into time and space, He too obeyed all the commandments mentioned by David.


Are the commandments mentioned in the New Testament (NT) the same as the commandments cited in the Old Testament (OT)?


In the following scripture the word "commandments" used by John (1 John 5:3) is mentioned. Please note we understand a word by its meaning and sound - this is true in every language.

(1 John 5:3 [KJV])

For this is the love of God, that we keep his COMMANDMENTS: and his COMMANDMENTS are not grievous.


Now let us look at the same word used in the NT before Christ was born.

(Luke 1:5-6 [KJV])

There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the COMMANDMENTS and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

It is important to note that the Greek word used in both instances (John and Luke) is the same:
Commandments - G1785 ἐντολή entole (en-to-lee') n.


The word for commandments in Luke 1:6 is the same word used by John in 1 John 5:3. All religious Jews (as in the case of Zacharias in Luke) prior to Jesus and present keep the same commandments that David spoke about in Psalms 119.

Now let us listen to Jesus speaking about the status of the believer in relation to keeping the commandments (rem: same Greek word as before) – as described in Psalms 119.

Matthew 5:19
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least COMMANDMENTS, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Now let us examine church history.

Early church history confirms that believers kept the commandments and it was only after the implementation of the Roman church’s doctrines that changes were made. This body we call Rome (Roman Catholic Church) changed both times and laws in its early existence.

A voice from the past and a historical fact – Saint Methodius.

In the late 3rd or early 4th century, Greco-Roman Bishop Saint Methodius of Olympus taught that the Feast of Tabernacles (part of the commandments of God) was commanded to be observed by Christians and that it held valuable lessons for them. He also tied it to the millennial reign of Christ. He wrote, "we are commanded to keep the feast to the Lord, which signifies that, when this world shall be terminated at the seventh thousand years, when God shall have completed the world, He shall rejoice in us."

Within Christianity – abstract taken from wikipidia
(you will note the early church observed the holidays)

Within mainstream Christianity, the practice of observing Jewish holidays has received varying degrees of criticism and support. Although much more common in the early church, their observance is now generally viewed as either legalistic or merely unnecessary by mainstream Christianity, and many tend to echo the comments of the Fourth Century theologian John Chrysostom who said, "The festivals of the pitiful and miserable Jews are soon to march upon us one after the other and in quick succession: the feast of Trumpets, the feast of Tabernacles, the fasts.

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Consider Daniel’s words that speak about the times and laws being changed:

(Dan 7:25 [KJV]) - A clear and direct prophecy that points to Rome.
And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High,
and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

The question is what or who has changed times and laws (including days we were instructed by God to remember)?

Answer: The system now known as the Roman Catholic Church.

Read the following abstract from

The separation

Believers, soon after the Roman empire destroyed the city of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., came back to rebuild it. The church in the city remained under the direction of Jews who had been converted. All was peaceful in the church until early in the second century.

During the Jewish led Bar Kochba revolt in 135 A.D. leaders of the uprising began to persecute Jews who had converted and became a Christian. Soon after the revolt ALL racial Jews were forbidden, by the Romans, to live in Jerusalem. This left the church in the city governed by Gentile converts. Around this same time Jewish believers in Jesus began to be branded as heretics. Without the presence of Jews who had converted to being a Christian, the Jerusalem church began to weaken doctrinally.

History tells us that by the 2nd century Christian churches existing in large cities were independently ruled not by a collection of church elders (like the churches that existed in the days of Paul and Peter) but by a local bishop. Although the entire church was not ruled by a single bishop most held the church in Rome in high esteem due to wealth, size and association with the apostles Paul and Peter.


An absence of leadership

Without the spiritual guidance of Jerusalem's early Jewish Christians, changes in doctrine began to emerge - especially among places outside of Judea. Vague references to observing the "Lord's Day" of rest on the first day of the week, instead of on the seventh day, began to emerge. Soon, seventh day Sabbath keeping began to be condemned. By 150 A.D. some were zealously promoting the idea that the day of sun worship, or SUNday, was THE day a Christian should rest on and worship God.

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The word Commandments in all the New and Old testament refers to all God’s commandments (Torah).

Note: Whenever the word “commandments” is used without an adjective category before it, it means that the speaker is referring to ALL the Commandments. This applies to both OT and NT;

Example: Let us look at the word LAW (the law of the land).

In our country we are expected to keep the laws. In this context it means all the laws of the land.

Now here is the same word with an adjective describing category being used before it.

When driving in our country we are expected to keep the "traffic" laws. In this context it refers to the traffic laws only and not all of the law.

TTGM Conclusion:
The reference to commandments in the NT refers to ALL commandments as spoken of by David in Psalms 119 (total 613). Watch these presentations on Torah (commandments of God) HERE.

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Now let us examine verses that Christians point to say that we are not to keep the commandments (or keep only nine).


This is one of the most common texts used to say that believers do not have to keep the law.

(Gal 3:10-13 [KJV])
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. 13 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. 13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

If you read the verses above, one may conclude that Paul is saying that we should not keep the law. However we must look at the full context of his message. Let us look at how Paul starts the chapter (below verse).

(Gal 3:1-4 [KJV])
O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.

In the above text, Paul is addressing false doctrine and referring to the Galatians as foolish. What is the false doctrine? Somehow the Galatians believed that the works of the law will save them (they will get the Spirit by keeping the law). Paul is reminding them that the works of the law is not able to give them the Holy Spirit (eternal life). He is reminding them that it is by “faith” (in Christ) that they are able to receive the Spirit of God to gain eternal life. Paul goes on in the chapter to let them know that if they believe the works of the law will justify them in God’s eyes, they are cursed.

Consider this statement by Paul, “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse”. Translation; if a believer thinks (as are of the works) the law will justify them before God, they are cursed to think so. Why? No man can keep the whole law and gain eternal life.

Here is another text in the same chapter (below) that is used to support believers are not under the law of God.

(Gal 3:25-27 [KJV])
But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

What is Paul saying? Paul is saying, before Christ we were under the schoolmaster (law), after Christ, we that believe by faith are now under Him (Christ) – Christ is the Head of the Church (believers are under their head). The law could not save us, but because we have come under Christ we can now be saved because of FAITH in Him, which brings “GRACE”. That is why it is written, by grace we are saved, not of works (law). Under the schoolmaster (law), brought death. Why? The wages of sin is death. Again, no man could keep the law, further more we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. Also, all righteousness is as filthy rags (all attempts by sinful man to keep the law, is not possible).

Now the question is, do believers still keep the law even though we are no longer under the schoolmaster? Let Paul speak (remember the scripture does not contradict itself and we must let scripture interpret itself).

(Rom 3:28-31 [KJV])
Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. 29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: 30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

(read the entire chapter and you will see it is in the same context as what was conveyed to the Galatians)

Another parallel example (using the law of the land); if we say, “do we then make void the law of the land? God forbid (no way), yea we establish it”

What does Paul mean by establish the law? Let us examine the word establish in the Greek. You will see it can be translated, “continue”

G2476 ἵστημι histemi (hiy'-stee-miy) v.
 στάω stao (staō') [used in certain tenses] to stand.
{transitively or intransitively; used in various applications, literally or figuratively}
[a prolonged form of a primary stao stah'-o (of the same meaning, and used for it in certain tenses)]
KJV: abide, appoint, bring, continue, covenant, establish, hold up, lay, present, set (up), stanch, stand (by, forth, still, up)

Conclusion: Believers are expected to keep the law, it cannot save us, but it is necessary for us to keep all of the commandments of the law, even the least as per our Lord.

Keeping the commandments (law) cannot save us,

 but by grace we are able and are expected to

 continue in the commandments.

Let us now look at the criteria to have or obtain eternal life:

A young man met Jesus and asked Him what he must do to gain eternal life. Read what Jesus said he must do.

(Matt 19:16-23 [KJV]) And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 23 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. 23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Breaking it down.

Question from young ruler: How do I (you) have eternal life?

Our Lord’s Answer:

1st requirement: Keep the commandments. The young ruler met this first requirement.

2nd requirement: Remove everything you have in the world as your god and accept Jesus (follow me as your God)

We can see that our Lord stated two requirements that are to be met to have eternal life. Now some would say that there are only ten commands because Jesus only mentioned the commandments written on tablets.

Did He? Here in Matthew Jesus is referring to two commandments, one can be found on the tablets and the other not.

(Matt 5:27 [KJV]) – commandment found on tables
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

(Matt 5:31 [KJV]) – commandment not found on tablets
It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:

Fyi: A series of commandments are referred to as the law

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TTGM: We have concluded that the divine commandments are all that God has spoken to his people in the Torah; the question is, will you be called the least in the Kingdom of heaven?

For additional clarity, listen to these presentations on the subject of the commandments - HERE

Key notes to remember:
Whenever God speaks (He is the King of His Kingdom), His word is established after it goes forth and it is for all time. Man’s culture and ways do not change the commandments of God. Everyone will be judged against the commandments of God and not the traditions of men. Sin is the transgression of the law. What is the law, TORAH.


The Greatest Love of all (John 3:16) 

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life"

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All quotations have been taken from the "King James Version" of the Bible
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