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Does the expression Commandments of God in

Revelation 14:12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.( ESV )

refer to the ten commandments on stone tablets given to Moses?

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Looking at John's other writings in his use of the word entole, he records Jesus saying :

The Father which sent me gave me a commandment, what I should say (in conversation) and what I should speak (in formal statement). And I know that his commandment is life everlasting, John 12 : 49,50.

Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life ... and ... take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father, John 10: 18.

Jesus' speech and Jesus' actions were in obedience to the commands of his Father. And of his Father he said :

I love the Father and as the Father gave me commandment, even so do I, John 14 : 31.

I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love, John 15 : 10.

In this same vein John records Jesus commanding the disciples :

A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love another ; as I have loved you that ye also love one another, John 13 : 34.

This is my commandment : that ye love one another, as I have loved you, John 15 : 12.

These things I command you, that ye love one another, John 15 : 17.

John, himself, writing about half a century after the resurrection and ascension, says of the Lord Jesus :

And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments, I John 2 : 3.

Speaking of God, he says :

And this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son, Jesus Christ and love one another, as he gave us commandment, I John 3 : 23.

And he that keepeth his commandments (that is, the two commandments in I John 3 : 23) dwelleth in him (that is, God) and he in him, I John 3 : 24.

And John further says :

And this commandment we have from him (that is, from context, God), that he who loveth God love his brother also, I John 4 : 21.

I would say that these are the commandments that John writes of in Revelation 12 : 17 and Revelation 14 : 12 and Revelation 22 : 14.

For the disciples of Christ are 'dead to the law by the body of Christ', Romans 7 : 14. They 'are not under the law, but under grace', Romans 6 : 14. The 'law of the Spirit (of life in Christ Jesus) hath made' them 'free of the law of sin and death', Romans 8 : 2. They are 'through the law, dead to the law' that they might 'live unto God' Galatians 2 : 19. The law was merely a 'schoolmaster to bring them to Christ', Galatians 3:24. they are 'led of the Spirit, ye are not under law', Galatians 5 : 18.

And if it be said that all these texts refer 'only to ceremonial law' and that they who are called 'saints' are still under what is termed (but not by scripture) 'moral law' then how on earth can a man be alive to one bit of the law and dead to another bit of ? If he is dead, then he is dead.

The commandments spoken of in Revelation are not the commandments of Moses, they are, undoubtedly, the commands above which Jesus uttered to his disciples whilst he was upon this earth


All references are to the KJV.

  • Does the "the law of sin and death" refer to the Law of Moses? In these scriptures we see only one "new commandment". In Revelation plural is used "commandments". How do we account for this difference? – Siju George Apr 14 at 17:04
  • While the book of the laws was kept by the side of the ark of the covenant ( Deuteronomy 31:24-26 ). The tablets of 10 commandments were kept inside the ark. While the book of the Law was written by Moses. The 10 commandments were written by the finger of the LORD (Deuteronomy 9:10). Why were the 10 commandments special? – Siju George Apr 14 at 17:07
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    @SijuGeorge 1. Believe on his name 2. Love one another. Two commandments. Plural.I would need a whole book to explain your second comment. And I just happen to have such a book :) Yes, the tree of knowledge of good and evil (also called 'law') is a ministry of sin and death. – Nigel J Apr 14 at 18:23
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    Thank you so much :-) – Siju George Apr 14 at 19:00
  • @SijuGeorge Glad to be of service. – Nigel J Apr 16 at 19:43
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The Greek word "entole" translated "commandment" is used in the following senses:

  • “Commandment” can mean any (or all) of the requirements contained in the Torah (Matt 5:17-19) and the Old Testament more generally. See also Luke 1:6.
  • Matt 22:36, Jesus is asked which is the greatest commandment and replies (Matt 22:37-40, Mark 12:29-31) that there are two about love (Deut 6:5 & Lev 19:18). Neither come from the 10 commandments. Other examples of divine commandments that are not part of the 10 commandments include: John 13:34, 15:10, 12, 1 Cor 14:37, Heb 7:5, 16, 18, 1 John 2:3, 4, 7, 8, 3:22-24, 4:21:5:2, 3, 2 John 4, 5
  • However, the New Testament also explicitly refers to various of the 10 commandments such as, Matt 15:3, 19:17-19, Mark 7:8-10, 10:5-7, 19, Luke 18:20, 23:56, Rom 7:8-13, 13:9, Eph 6:2
  • The word can also mean an order from a human that is unrelated to the Torah: Luke 15:29, John 11:57, Acts 17:15, Col 4:10, 1 Tim 6:14, Col 1:14
  • “Command” or “Commandment” can also mean an instruction from God the Father to Jesus: John 10:18, 12:49, 50, 15:10.
  • In 1 Cor 7:19 Paul distinguishes between the law of circumcision and the commandments of God! There is a similar inference in Eph 2:15 where, again, Paul appears to distinguish between the ceremonial commandments and the “other” (more important?) commandments.
  • In Heb 9:19 it is unclear if the “commandments” are just the ceremonial commandments or the all of the various regulations in the Levitical code.
  • “Sacred Commandment” (2 Peter 2:21) is used as a kind of collective noun for all Christian ethical life. In 2 Peter 3:2 there is a similar use that may allude to John 13:34. See also John 15:10, 12, 1 John 2:2, 3:22-24, 5:2, 3, 2 John 6, Rev 12:17, 14:12.

Thus, Rev 14:10 speaks of the commandments of God which included all the ethical requirements of God, whether found in the Torah or otherwise. Presumably, this does include Deut 6:5 & Lev 19:18 as well as the other 10 plus others.

  • What does 'all the ethical requirements of God' mean ? Paul speaks of 'the righteousness of God' and this is a matter of faith. But what of the 'ethical requirements' ? – Nigel J Apr 13 at 22:42
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    Ethical requirements are those rules that govern our daily lives and interpersonal relationship with each other God - all relationships are governed by some set of rules and the Torah original set these out but the NT gives a new slant to many of them. Ethical requirements do NOT include ceremonial and ritual requirements. Ethical requirements are things like consideration for other's property, respect for marriage, honesty, respect for parents, etc, etc. – user25930 Apr 13 at 23:41
  • @Mac'sMusings So 'ethical requirements' (according to your own definition) means : law. – Nigel J Apr 14 at 13:24
  • Law yes, but not the entirety of the Torah by any means. Commandments were always part of the law which contained ethical/moral laws, ceremonial laws and civil laws. here I mean only the moral and ethical laws (Rom 2:14-16, 3:27b, 7:21, Gal 6:2, 1 Cor 9:21, Rom 8:7, Heb 8:10, 10:16, Rom 8:2, Rom 3:27, James 1:25, 2:8, 12, Rom 9:31, etc). – user25930 Apr 14 at 21:40

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