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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The Greek word "entole" translated "commandment" is used in the following senses:
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.
There are three passages in the Old Testament which make specific reference to the Ten Commandments:
The LXX renders that phrase either as δέκα λόγους or δέκα ῥήματα:
It is not obvious to me why a translator would see a difference in Deuteronomy 4:13 and use ῥῆμα rather than λόγος. However, the general sense of both is "word" and so "ten words" or "ten discourses" is intended.
Neither λόγος nor ῥῆμα are used in Revelation:
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. (Revelation 14:12)
ὧδε ἡ ὑπομονὴ τῶν ἁγίων ἐστίν οἱ τηροῦντες τὰς ἐντολὰς τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τὴν πίστιν Ἰησοῦ
And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12:17)
καὶ ὠργίσθη ὁ δράκων ἐπὶ τῇ γυναικί καὶ ἀπῆλθεν ποιῆσαι πόλεμον μετὰ τῶν λοιπῶν τοῦ σπέρματος αὐτῆς τῶν τηρούντων τὰς ἐντολὰς τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ ἐχόντων τὴν μαρτυρίαν Ἰησοῦ
In each case, "commandment" is ἐντολή. This is also the case for "commandment(s) of God" in Matthew 15:3, 6; Mark 7:8-9; Luke 1:6; 1 Corinthians 7:19. Based on how they are identified in the LXX, the "commandments of God" in the New Testament should not be understood to mean only the Ten Commandments.
The commandments of God are not limited to the ten words or the ten discourses. While the Ten Commandments do lay the foundation for man's relationship to God and towards others, the New Testament states they do not include all commandments of God:
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. (1 John 5:2-3)
An essential commandment of God is love of others. In the Old Testament this is described as love of neighbor (Leviticus 19:18). In the New Testament this grows to love of others (John 13:34) and states the necessity of belief on the name of Jesus Christ (1 John 3:23).
That verse is in reference to all of the teachings, commands, and instructions including (the 10 commandments) which were given and instructed for the Israelites (including the mixed multitude that dwelt amongst them-Ex 12:38-as there was one law for the homeborn as the stranger Ex 12:49, Lev 24:22) on Mt. Sinai (Exodus 20:1-17) to follow as you read in subsequent chapters. There are 613 commandments in all (365 Negative & 248 Positive, See Makkot 23b:18... https://www.sefaria.org/Makkot.23b.18?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=en).
Reading Revelations 7 & 12 (Ch.7 identifies who are the 144,000 specifically and also mentions a mixed multitude of nations), Zechariah 14 (With an emphasis on verses 16-17: Feast of Tabernacles/Sukkoth is one of the appointed seasons in which all the Israelite males must make their appearance and cannot come empty-handed-Leviticus 23:33-44), Ezekiel 37 19-28, and Matthew 5:17-19 together with Jeremiah 31:31-40 also gives insight to what is in reference to those commandments mentioned in Revelations 14:12.
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 : 4. 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.
With the simplicity that is in Christ (2Cor. 11:3), I present the following in an effort to answer the question:
i) You shall LOVE the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind; and
ii) You shall LOVE your neighbor as yourself. (Matt. 22:34-40; Mark 12:28-31). Apostle Paul declared in Romans 13:8-10 saying the LOVE to one another fulfills all the COMMANDMENTS of the law (Exo. 20:12-17), and all are summed up in this saying; and LOVE is the fulfillment of the law.
The short answer to this question, and I will provide this without any fluff, is yes. It does refer specifically to the 10 commandments.
I could go into dozens of bible texts as to why, but in all honesty, none of that is necessary.
Instead I will refer you to Genesis Chapter 4.
You will remember the story of Cain and Able and particularly Gods question to Cain "where is thy brother?". After Cain answered "am I my brothers keeper" God said, "your brothers blood cries out to me from the ground".
Clearly Cain knew that he had done wrong. There is no question that Cain knew that he had sinned in
Finally, remember Cain's complaint to God that he needed protection least others see he has been cursed and should also kill him too!
This story alone is solid evidence for the existence of the moral law long before Israelites were given them. So the moral laws (ie 10 commandments) are not an Israelite specific institution.
Does the expression “Commandments of God” in Revelation 14:12 refer to the ten commandments on stone tablets given to Moses?
In short to your question, the answer is "NO", Why?
The Mosaic Law blotted out.
John was writing to the Christian congregations which were not under the Law, hence the expression "Commandments of God” does not refer to the ten commandments given to Moses.
The Scriptures clearly state that Christ’s sacrifice abolished the Mosaic Law of commandments consisting of decrees, and nail it to the cross. Nine of the Ten Commandments given to Moses were adopted into the Christian scriptures-the observance of the Sabbath was not included as a Christian requirement. (Read Acts 15:28-29)
Colossians 2:13-14 NASB
13 And [a]when you were dead [b]in your wrongdoings and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our wrongdoings, 14 having canceled the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
Romans 10:4 NASB
4 For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone who believes. Then,what did John mean by the "Commandments"?
Then, what did John mean by the "Commandments"?
1/ The Greatest Commandments:
When one of the scribes approached Jesus and ask," Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered,
Mark 12:29-31 NET
29 Jesus answered, “The most important is: ***‘Listen, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love[d] the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’[***e] 31 The second is: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
2/ Worship God alone.
Jesus gave his Apostles and followers many commandments to observe, one of the foremost was to worship God and Him alone.
Matthew 4:10 NASB
10 Then Jesus *said to him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and [a]serve Him only.’”
3/ Excercise faith in Jesus Christ:
For our faith to be acceptable to God, we must exercise in Jesus Christ which gives us a righteous standing before God.
Galatians 2:16 NET
16 Yet we know that no one is justified by the works of the law but by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by the faithfulness of Christ[and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.
Some of the commandments to be found in his Word the Bible, are :
4/ Forbids sexual immorality, idololatry and drunkness.
1 Corinthians 5:11 NET
11 But [a]actually, I [b]wrote to you not to associate [c]with any so-called brother if he is a sexually immoral person, or a greedy person, or an idolater, or is verbally abusive, or habitually drunk, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a person.
5/ Do not Steal, do not lie
Ephesians 4:28 NASB
28 The one who steals must no longer steal; but rather he must labor, producing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with the one who has need.
Colossians 3:9 NASB
9 Do not lie to one another, since you stripped off the old self with its evil practices,
Under inspiration Paul wrote:
2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB
16 All Scripture is [a]inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for [b]rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man or woman of God may be [c]fully capable, equipped for every good work.
Note Paul said all Scriptures are inspired by God, this must include the entire Bible. Actually, the two parts of the Bible complement each other, blending harmoniously to develop an overall theme. Observing God's commandments in His Word the Bible involves living in harmony with the teachings and moral standards found in both OT and NT