Ten Commandments Or Four

The following study is a book within a book. It is written for those deep Bible students who want to know the difference between the laws that Jesus Christ gave for Christians to follow and the laws Moses gave for Israel to follow.

Jesus told us to teach HIS commandments (ENTELLOMAI, GREEK). The Greek word appears in the New Testament only 16 times (One double reference in Young's Complete Concordance -- which is Luke 4:10, might cause the investigator to mistakenly think there are 17 references to the word ENTELLOMAI.)

It is used concerning JESUS' commands 7 times. It is used concerning GOD'S commands 5 times. It is used concerning MOSES' commands 3 times. It is used concerning JOSEPH'S command 1 time.

Joseph's command was concerning his bones and the story of its fulfillment is in Heb. 11:22. Due to the fact that this is only one specific isolated case and it has been fulfilled -- we dismiss Joseph's command from our analysis because we cannot do anything about it -- it was not given to us -- it is fulfilled -- and we are not involved in it.

However, we should analyze the instances when commandments were made by God. Moses and Jesus in the New Testament because we are involved with those commands.

In reference to EVERY scripture wherein God gave commandment (ENTELLOMAI) in the New Testament, all except one had a parallel section of scripture in the Old Testament and in EVERY one of those Old Testament cases the Hebrew word "TSAVAH" has been shown to be a parallel to the New Testament Greek word "ENTELLOMAI." These two words indicate God's prime commands from which all the other statutes, ordinances, judgments, etc. are derived.

It should be noted that there are 15 Greek words which have been translated "command." We have chosen to analyze ENTELLOMAI because it is the prime command upon which the associated laws are based. The other words translated "command" have been listed at the end of this report along with a fairly exhaustive study of the ways the Old Testament words have been translated.

I. GOD'S COMMANDMENTS: Matt. 15:4; Luke 4:10; Matt. 4:6; John 14:31; Heb. 9:20 (ENTELLOMAI)

A. Matt. 15:4 -- God commanded saying, "Honor thy father and mother." This scripture equates the word ENTELLOMAI with the 10 commandments Deut. 5:16 (TSAVAH).

B. Matt. 4:6, Luke 4:10 -- Both cover the same event. The Devil tempted Jesus, quoting: He (God) shall give his angels charge (command ENTELLOMAI) concerning thee: they shall bear thee up lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. From Psa. 91:11. Connects ENTELLOMAI with TSAVAH.

C. John 14:31 -- Jesus said the world might know that He agapes the Father and the Father gave Jesus commandments (ENTELLOMAI). He does them. This introduces the idea that Jesus' received commandments from God like Moses. Doing them proves love (agape). No equivalent Old Testament passage that I can find.

D. Heb. 9:10 -- Moses said, "this is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined (ENTELLOMAI COMMANDED) unto you." This connects the Greek word ENTELLOMAI with Moses and the blood sacrifice and command of God. Since it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins (Heb. 10:4) it seems to indicate that the command of God, which in the past had to be of God which in the past had to be obeyed, was superseded by the NT. This is more than just setting aside a few OT rituals. The same commandment word (ENTELLOMAI) was a parallel to (TSAVAH) in the OT which describes far more than rituals.

This is a complete report on EVERY time GOD commanded (ENTELLOMAI) in the NT.

II. MOSES' COMMANDS IN NT Matt. 19:7; Mark 10:3; John 8:5.

A. Matt.19:7 -- Why did Moses command to give a writing of divorcement? In Deut. 24:1 the command is given. It is in a list of commands that are identified as TSAVAH in Deut.19:7,9 and 20:17. This confirms again that the ENTELLOMAI of the NT is the same as TSAVAH of the OT.

C. John 8:5 -- Moses, in the law, commanded that such should be stoned. From Deut. 22:22. Same analysis as above Matt.19:7.

In EVERY case the translation of ENTELLOMAI in the NT, in reference to Moses' commands, has been shown to correspond to the TSAVAH of the OT.

This is a complete report on EVERY time Moses' commands (ENTELLOMAI) were referred to in the NT.

III. JESUS' COMMANDS Matt. 28:20; Mark 11:6; 13:34; John 15:14,17; Acts 1: 2;

A. Matt. 28:20 -- "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded (ENTELLOMAI) you." This seems to indicate that when we teach about NT rules and laws and commandments -- we will never go wrong when we teach the instances Jesus commanded (ENTELLOMAI). We will discover how simple Jesus' commands are when we see there are only 4 things Jesus commanded us to do. Only four! All the other stuff has been added to Jesus' commands by well-meaning religious practitioners. We are not ENTELLOMAI commanded to teach, so teaching is not listed as a general command to everyone. James warned us about being many teachers. Rather, I believe this is a general instruction to all Christians when they teach. It is not a command for everyone to teach. But when we are called to teach we are commanded to teach specific things. We will study what those things are later in this report.

B. Mark 11:6 --"What do ye, loosing the colt? Even as Jesus had commanded (ENTELLOMAI) and they let them go," This is a command to two men. We wonder what would have happened in Moses OT time if two men loosed a tied-up colt and took it away without asking permission from the owner. Many people would call this stealing. But, it is not theft when Jesus' command supersedes Moses' command. Another conclusion to draw is that you will never get in trouble if you follow Jesus' command even if it seems that it is against Moses' command. If you are in trouble it could be because you did something you wanted -- not what Jesus commanded. We suspect that further study will reveal a symbolic interpretation of the command to "loose the colt." It may be that we shall discover how to apply it to our own lives right now -- not by literally untying a pony but by symbolically loosing something else in our lives. But for now we shall treat this example of a command the same way we treated Joseph's command -- for the same reasons -- it was given specifically to two people -- we cannot do anything about it -- it was not given to us (except possibly symbolically) -- it is fulfilled -- and we are not involved in its specific case.

C. Mark 13:34 -- "The Son of Man is as a man who left and gave command (ENTELLOMAI) to watch. Watch therefore for ye know not when the master cometh." This command is to watch for the coming of the Son of Man. It also implies to watch for the signs of His coming given just before the command in the same chapter. This we take to be our authority for teaching prophecy and the importance of the signs (Mark 13:24) of the opening of the sixth seal of Revelation 6:12. Thus, we believe that our books KEY TO REVELATION and KEY TO TRIBULATION are in partial fulfillment of this command.

D. John 15:14 - "Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command (ENTELLOMAI) you." Earlier in this study John 14:31 showed that Jesus' obedience to God's commands (ENTELLOMAI) proved that Jesus agaped God. Now in this verse, Jesus adds the concept that when we obey Jesus' commands (ENTELLOMAI) it proves we are His friends. This seems to be a general instruction to all Christians.

E. John 15:17 - "These things I command (ENTELLOMAI) you that ye agape one another." This continues the thought of the above scripture. Love among Christians proves friendship to Jesus because it is in obedience to one of His few commands. Though this was an answer to Judas' (not Iscariot) question, I believe it should be applied to all Christianity. Though this discourse was given to His disciples, I believe it is to be taken as a general instruction to all Christianity because of the total time frame it covers.

F. Acts 1:2 -- "Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments (ENTELLOMAI) unto the apostles." These commandments seem to be in Matt. 29:19; Mark 16:15; John 20:21; and Acts 10:41,43. We preach and testify that Jesus was ordained of God to judge the living and dead and that whoever believes in him shall have remission of sins. Acts 10:41-42 "Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead and he commanded (ENTELLOMAI) us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the judge of quick and dead."

G. Acts 13:47 -- "The Lord commanded us saying, I have set thee to be a light to the Gentiles for salvation to the ends of the earth." Paul and Barnabas turned from the Jews and went to the Gentiles on the authority of this command. This seems to be a command to Christians regarding their ministry. This has to do with the gospel of uncircumcision rather than the gospel of circumcision (Gal. 2:7).

We have now analyzed EVERY reference to the word command (ENTELLOMAI) in the NT. This has been complete and exhaustive. Nothing has been left out.


A. Jesus' two (2) general commands to Christians are:

1. Watch for the return of the Son of Man (Mark 13:34)

2. Love each other (John 15:17)

B. Jesus' two (2) commands regarding the public ministry of the Christians are:

1. Preach and testify that (Acts 10:41-43):

a. Jesus was ordained of God b. Jesus brings remission of sins to believers

2. Be a light to the Gentiles (Acts 13:47)

The two commands to the public ministry are applicable to all Christians. They should not be considered to bring a division between the laity and clergy. All Christians should engage in ministry and testimony and these commands apply to all. As far as I can see, a layman becomes a clergyman when he is ministering and a clergyman becomes a layman when he is not. Therefore I cannot see any difference.

However, also notice that the command to preach and testify was not given to everyone. Acts 10:11, "Not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before of God, even to us He commanded us... " -- indicating that the command to preach and testify was not given to all the people but rather to chosen ones.

The scriptures also say, "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" Rev.19:10 -indicating that whenever anyone testifies about Jesus Christ that person is a prophet. Also, remember that James reminded us to " Be not many masters (teachers)" -indicating that we should not seek to perform the public ministry but rather to perform when chosen.

C. His one (1) command to specific individuals regarding one specific instance was:

1. "Loose the colt."

Thus, it is demonstrated that there are only four (4) simple commands for New Testament Christians to follow. All others amplify these four basic concepts. Praise God that it really is so simple! Pray to God that all Christians will have eyes to see and ears to hear that being a Christian, serving God and doing what He said is really simple:

1. Watch for the return of the Son of Man (Mark 13:34).

3. When ministering, teach that (Acts 10:41-43)

A. Jesus was ordained of God

B. Jesus brings remission of sins to believers

We do not believe these are listed in an order of importance. Presently we believe that any one command of Jesus Christ to us is just as important as any other.

IV. In EVERY case where an OT scripture was parallel to the NT command -- the OT word TSAVAH was shown to be parallel to the NT word ENTELLOMAI.

Moses' commands (ENTELLOMAI - TSAVAH) were numerous. A few are:

Deut. 1:17

No respect of persons in judgment


Go through the wilderness


Go up and fight


Pass through the coast of Esau


Men arm for war -- wives and children at home


Do not fear -- God will fight


Perform Ten Commandments (words)


Teach statutes and judgments (in regard to 10 words)


Keep the statutes and commandments


Keep the Sabbath


Honor thy father and mother


Not kill


Not commit adultery


Not steal


Not bear false witness


Not desire neighbor's wife


Not covet neighbor's house or anything


Not turn to right or left


Fear the Lord thy God


Hear O Israel


Words which I command shall be in their heart -- shall teach -- shall

bind them on hand and eyes -- write on post of house and gates


Remember the way God led 40 years to prove you


Eat the seven blessed fruits and bless God after eating


Put the tables in the ark


Circumcise the foreskin of your heart -- be no more stiff-necked


Bring burnt offerings, sacrifices, tithes, heart offering, vows and



Not eat blood


Eat of roebuck, hart, clean--unclean alike

12:23 Eat no blood

12:26 Take holy things and vows to the place the Lord shall choose

12:30 Do not inquire after god of cut-off nations

13:1-5 Put to death a prophet or dreamer who says go after other gods -destroy brother, son, daughter, wife, friend who says to follow other gods

14:1 Not cut yourselves -- not make 'baldness between the eyes

14:3 Not eat abominable thing

14:21 Not eat anything that dies by itself -- give it to the stranger, sell it to an alien

Not seeth the kid in mother's milk

14:22 Tithe thy increase

14:27 Not forsake Levite

14:28 Tithe at end of three years

15:1 Release at the end of seven years

15:8 Open hand to poor

15:11 Open hand wide to brother, poor, needy

15:12-15 Release Hebrew slaves with liberal supply every seven years

15:17 Thrust awl through ear of slave forever who won't leave at end of 7th year

15:19 Sanctify the firstling

16:1 Keep the Passover

16:10 Keep the Feast of Weeks

16:13 Observe Feast of Tabernacles

16:16 Appear before me 3 times per year

16:18 Appoint judges

16:19 Not wrest judgment by taking gift

16:21 Not plant trees near an altar

16:22 Not set up a statue or pillar

17:1 No blemished sacrifice

17:5 Stone the wicked person

17:10 Obey the judgment of the priests

17:12 Kill the man who will not obey the priest

17:15 King to be from Israel, not stranger

17:16 King not to multiply horses to himself or cause return to Egypt

17:17 King not to multiply wives to himself or greatly multiply silver or gold

17:18 King to write and read the law of God

18:1 No inheritance for priests

18:9 No abominations after the nations, do not pass through fire--no divination, observer of times, enchanter, witch, charmer, consulter with familiar spirits, wizard, necromancer

18:19 Hear the new prophet

18:20 Kill the presumptuous prophet

19:1 Make three cities of refuge

19:11 Kill the hateful murderer -- fetch him from the city of refuge

19:14 Not remove landmark

19:15 Establish a matter with two witnesses

19:18 A false witness shall take the punishment of the one wronged

20:5 Return from battle man who built new house, planted new vineyard, betrothed a wife, fearful fainthearted

20:1 Offer peace to a city before fighting -- make inhabitants tributaries if they want peace -- otherwise kill every male -- keep the women and children and cattle -- all of foreign cities 20:16 Kill every living thing of the close cities and those in the land of the inheritance

20:19 Not cut down fruit trees for battle -- just wood trees

21:1 Behead a heifer for an unknown slayer

21:11 Beautiful captive woman to have one month before intercourse -

not sell her for money but free her if no delight after humbling her

21:15 Son of hated wife to have inheritance, if first born, over son of beloved wife, if second born

21:18 Stubborn, rebellious son to be killed

21:22 Remove the body of a hanged man and bury it that day

22:4 Help brother in accident

22:5 Women wear women's clothes, men man's

22:6 Let the bird go but take its babies

22:8 Banister the roof

22:9 Not mix vineyard with other seeds

22:10 Not plow with ox and ass together

22:11 Not wear wool and linen together

22:12 Make fringes on your vesture

22:13-21 Reward to father of hated virgin -- death to a whore 22:22 Death to man and wife of another if found lying together

22:23-27 Death to raped engaged woman who does not cry, life to crying raped engaged woman - death to rapist 22:28 Rapist must marry non-engaged victim

22:30 No sex with father's wife

There are many more. We stopped here because we have analyzed enough to show a pattern. This analysis starts in Deuteronomy Chapter 1 and concludes in Chapter 22. It included every TSAVAH that we could find within this section.

The commandments (TSAVAH) refer to many forms of conduct. They refer to rituals. They refer to the Ten Commandments. They also refer to moral and civil matters as well as military rules.

I have here in front of me an article written to try to indicate that we should keep ALL of God's TSAVAH except the rituals. From the foregoing analysis of the scripture I cannot separate the rituals from other parts of the law. Who is to say what is ritual and to be discarded and what is not ritual and to be kept?

I find no rule of scripture to make such a division. It seems to me that if we are going to start keeping OT laws we must start beheading heifers and keep every law. There will be no more wool suits with linen linings. If an animal dies we will give it to a stranger or sell it to an alien. We will make rapists marry their non-engaged victims. This is what the OT commandments say to do!

I'm glad Jesus gave me four simple commandments, not all that OT stuff. I disagree with the idea that we should go back to keeping those commands.

I have noticed that the people who tell us to keep all the law wear suits with linings and the law says not to wear wool and linen mixed (Deut. 22:11). Now my question is: how can anyone know that it is right to wear a mixture of cloth which is against the commandment (TSAVAH) but feel that other laws are to be kept? Some want us to keep dietary laws, others want a restoration of governmental laws, etc..

As for me, it looks impossible to restore the OT law. I'm going to spend my time and effort trying to keep Jesus' simple commands to love my neighbors and watch for the coming of the Son of man. However, if God is telling you to keep a dietary law, you better keep it! No doubt because you need it.

But, friend, God has told me to do quite a few things that I do not expect you to do -- so why should you believe that your rules should be applied to my life?

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfill. 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" (Matt. 5:17-18).

I studied these passages in Young's and Strong's Concordances and checked on the meaning of the Greek words and the way they are used in other passages and came up with the following:

"Think not that I am come to destroy (KATALUO -- to halt for the night, lodge or be guest) the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy (halt for the night) BUT TO FULFILL (to fill up -- to cram). For verily (truly) 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 (ended, full, finished, divided)" (Matt. 5:18-19).

Jesus is saying that He did not come to temporarily halt, stop, or cause the law to rest. Rather, He was to fill up and cram the law full. He said that the law would remain in perfect place with every jot and tittle in place until it was fulfilled. What was to happen after it was fulfilled? After all, Jesus said He came to fulfill it. I suppose that if He came for that purpose, then He accomplished it.

If Jesus already fulfilled the law, that might indicate it is time for the jots and tittles to move out of place!

Continuing -- "Whosoever therefore shall break (loosen) one of the least (short, very little, smallest) commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called least (Paul) in the kingdom of heaven, but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great (Peter) in the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5:19).

Paul used the same Greek word meaning least (ELACHISTOS). He said, "I am the least of the apostles," perhaps in fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy because Paul certainly did loosen the commandments and teach men so, therefore that might be why Paul considered himself to be qualified to be the least of the apostles.

There are still some people around who want to put us back under Moses' law. As far as I can see Jesus Christ did fulfill the OT laws of God and gave us simply and only four NT commandments. The study of those four simple commandments has been developed in this report.

It is not an error to teach that Jesus said He came to fulfill the law. Col. 2:20 told us that submission to ordinances is nothing but a show of wisdom and does not do a thing to check the flesh. Jesus forgave my trespasses by blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against me (Col. 2:14). As God gives me grace I don't think I'll let any man judge me in regard to meat, drink, respect of holiday, new moon, or sabbath (Col. 2:16). I believe that I am justified by the faith of Jesus Christ and not by the works of the law.

"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ that we might be justified by the faith of Christ and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no man be justified" (Gal. 2:16). "If righteousness came by the law then Christ is dead in vain" (Gal. 2:21). "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage" (Gal.5:1). "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace" (Gal. 5:4).

"For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Gal. 5:14). "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster" (Gal. 3:24).

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