Temple School of Taphim 2:
The First Commandment
Introduction to the Ten Commandments
1. Beloved children, I welcome you back to the House of the Lord, in the Name of Jesus Christ, whose House this is. Today you will begin a course of instruction on the Ten Commandments which are the foundation of both the Old and New Covenants.
2. In the last session you were taught a little about the difference between spirit and matter and how to judge correctly. You were told about the different kind of people who live in this world and how you must learn to discern their true natures by using the spiritual knowledge you will obtain as you are faithful to the commandments.
3. The Ten Commandments were given by God to the prophet Moses on Mount Sinai to teach the children of Israel what God required of them to enter into heaven. They were also given so that people could live together in peace and happiness. Whenever a nation has observed the Ten Commandments, that nation has prospered.
4. There are no nations in the world that observe the Ten Commandments today because all nations have rebelled against God. No government fully obeys God's laws, as Israel did at different times in her history. For this reason God's Kingdom on earth is no longer a visible country as it used to be but an invisible Church made up of Christians.
5. Now this doesn't mean that Christians are invisible. We all live in a country and we are expected to obey its laws. But we also belong to another "country" and that "country" is called "Heaven" or the Kingdom of God. We therefore are citizens of two countries -- one in heaven and one on earth. Both have got governments. When Jesus comes back to the earth to rule for a thousand years all the governments of the world will be overthrown and a theocratic government will be established.
6. The word theocratic means "God rules". It is the Kingdom of God where God is King. Because God will not come personally to the earth He will send His Son, Jesus Christ, to be its ruler. Jesus is therefore King of the Kingdom of God.
7. Just as worldly governments have laws or rules of behaviour, so too does the Kingdom of God. The Ten Commandments are the foundation of God's Law.
8. In the first House of Taphim which you attended last time, you were told that you had a spirit inside of you which you can't usually see, and a physical body "outside" which you can see. God sees both, and knows both. He knows not only what you do but also what you think and feel.
9. Because God made both your physical body and your spirit He is rightly the King of both. Whereas worldly governments can only control what you do they cannot control what you think or feel. For example, if you wanted to go and set someone's house on fire, the police -- who work for the government -- couldn't do anything to you. You haven't broken and laws just by thinking something bad.
10. But the same is not true with God. The moment you think or feel something bad -- like wanting to burn someone's house down -- then you are guilty of breaking His Law and must be punished, unless you repent -- say you are sorry and promise not to think or feel that way again. To break God's Law is to sin. The apostle John said: "Everyone who sins breaks the Law; in fact, every sin is lawlessness" (1 John 3:4, NIV).
11. Sin is a terrible reality, a curse that inflicts the whole human race. It is present whether we like it or not. We are all born with a nature that is imperfect, some of it inherited from our parents, and some which we have brought with us from our previous life in the spirit world.
12. However, God does not hold us accountable for sin until be become aware of it. A person who does wrong cannot be condemned or punished for that wrong until he understands that it is wrong. For this reason we often say that a baby or small child is without sin. This does not mean that they do not have a sinful nature. It means that they are not guilty of sin because they don't understand what it is. They are therefore innocent in God's eyes.
13. There are two ways that we become aware of sin. Firstly, through our conscience. We have an internal barometer which tells us the difference between right and wrong. When we do wrong we feel guilt. When we do right, we feel good. Unfortunately, our conscience is not always reliable. Now this is not because God gave us an imperfect conscience -- not at all. What God makes is perfect. It is not reliable because it becomes changed by man. This I will now explain to you.
14. In order to know the difference between right and wrong we need two barometers. One is internal and the other is external. And we need both because we are essentially made of two parts -- an inner spirit and an outer body. The internal barometer is the Light of Christ, or conscience, which you can't see but which you can feel. The outer barometer is God's Scriptures or Written Law. The two are very much needed together for a person to properly discern truth from error.
15. This may be a little hard to understand at first but it is very important. Just as in the First House of Taphim you learned it was hard to know whether someone is good or bad just by looking at them or even getting to know them over a period of time, so it is hard to know the difference between good and bad just by listening to your feelings. And the reason why our feelings are not always reliable is because they become corrupted by many different things.
16. Firstly, they become corrupted by wrong teachings such as what may be taught at school, by friends, by parents, and even at church. Your conscience is not fully developed when you are born or even when you are a youth -- it must be taught. And it can only be taught what you allow it to be taught. Whatever you believe through faith becomes a part of your conscience, even if your belief if wrong. Thus you will find people reacting negatively sometimes to what is right, and positively to what is wrong.
17. Actually, the Light of Christ within you -- that portion of Christ's own spirit -- is all you need to know the difference between right and wrong. The problem is what gets "added" to it. Let me explain with an illustration. The Light of Christ is a bit like a library of books of instructions. It is complete when you are born. But when you are young you can't read. What's worse, the wrong things you are taught is a bit like tearing out certain pages and adding pages, or even whole books, which are misleading.
18. By the time you reach the age of accountability, which is about eight years old, you are sufficiently developed to allow you to make conscious choices between right and wrong. It is around this age -- sometimes earlier, sometimes later -- that you become aware of sin for the first time -- things about you, the things you do, the way you react and feel, etc., that you know isn't right. Yet you still do things which you don't know are wrong.
19. I'm going to use a different picture to explain how the Light of Christ works. I want you to imagine that the Light of Christ is your teachers at school. Every school has teachers. Usually one teacher will teach a particular subject. Let's assume that each teacher only teaches one subject. You arrive at school for a typical day's work.
20. The teachers arrive one by one. The Mathematics teacher gets a bad cold and loses his voice. He tries to communicate as best he can to you but can't because he can't speak. He has to write his instructions down and communication is very slow. The Geography teacher's father is very ill and perhaps dying so he can't concentrate very well, so he doesn't teach as well as perhaps he might be able to. The Art teacher is in a filthy temper because his dog has bitten him and he isn't very nice to you that day. The History teacher is really kind and helpful and her lessons are fun. And so on.
21. Try to paint a picture of a school with different kinds of teachers all with different problems. Things happen to them to make them kind, irritable, angry, unable to communicate, or whatever. That is exactly what your soul is like.
22. The Light of Christ is like the teaching staff in your school of life but they become handicapped by different things. Someone does something nasty to you so you stop be open to others. You got hurt trying to help someone and have stopped helping people. Someone you trusted broke that trust. Each time something happens that is painful, and you react in a negative way, you literally hurt yourself more than the people who hurt you, like attacking the person who is feeding you or who is teaching you.
23. In the process of time the Light of Christ which was whole and undivided, becomes fragmented. It is no longer working like a team of teachers. Indeed, if you can imagine the teachers at school all fighting with one another, confusing the pupils, that's what sometimes happens to your conscience. Now the Light of Christ is still pure but life's circumstances, and the choices you have made, have divided it up into unrelated bits.
24. A good headmaster at a school will soon get his teachers in order. Once the teachers are happy, the pupils will usually be happy too. In order for our lives to be in order we need a headmaster to take control, so sort out the different parts of ourselves which are fighting. That headmaster is Jesus Christ.
25. Getting our act together doesn't happen overnight. It may take time. When there are pages missing from the book of living, and wrong ones have been put in, that has to be sorted out too. You need to know what is right and wrong.
26. It is here that an external book becomes important. If you own a book that's all damaged and you want to restore it, you need a plan of restoration -- a set of instructions, a blueprint, a repair manual. The scriptures are just that for us.
27. Teachers at school are given a curriculum from which to teach their children. This is a series of instructions saying what should be taught and when. They may want to teach other things but must teach the curriculum anyway. Likewise, your feelings may, because they are damaged, want to do this or that even when the Word of God tells you to do something else. Like the teacher who must obey the headmaster, you too must learn to obey your spiritual headmaster, who is Christ even if inside you don't want to.
28. When a teacher sees the fruits of following a good curriculum his initial objections will usually disappear. Likewise when a disciple begins to see the fruits of following God's Law, the heart stops reacting negatively and begins to taste the enjoyment of a life centered in Christ.
29. In time the teachers begin to work as one harmonious team. When that happens, a school thrives. Likewise, as you subject your own will and feelings to the will of God by obedience to His truth, in trust and faith, so your feelings will undergo an inner change. The commandments become a pure pleasure. You will be able to say with King David in the book of Psalms: "Your commandments are my delight" (Ps.119:143, NIV - mod.).
30. The side of us that rebels against God and His commandments is called our "natural man" or our "sinful man". Have you ever grumbled or complained about doing something and then, after you've done it, actually enjoyed yourself? That is because you are at war in yourself -- your natural, sinful self is always rebelling against the Light, trying to drag the real "you" away from God.
31. Throughout your life you will have to fight with this sinful nature. However, you can tame and discipline it, like taming and disciplining a horse or a dog. A wild horse cannot be ridden -- it is quite useless to man when it is wild. Likewise, your natural self is quite useless to you and to God so long as it remains undisciplined.
32. When a horse becomes ridable, we say that it has become "broken" -- that is, its will to resist the control of its master is broken. The horse becomes peaceful, disciplined, and responsive. And actually, it is quite happy too. Likewise your natural will -- sometimes called the "carnal will" -- must be broken as well. It must be tames to be obedient to the spiritual self, which is controlled by Christ.
33. Your lower, carnal, fallen, sinful or natural "self", if it is in control, will destroy you. It will cut you off from the presence of God. It must be broken. Now that work "break" is quite a strong one. The carnal will is very strong, and that is the first lesson you must learn. Don't expect it to be an easy task.
34. The second lesson you must learn is that if you try to break it on your own you're going to have a tough battle. You probably won't succeed. You need help. And God, through Christ, promises you an easy way to get control if that lower nature, and turn it into something beautiful. To do that, though, and to restore the Light of Christ within you which is all broken up into little bits because of sin, you must OBEY HIS LAW. And the heart of the Law is the TEN COMMANDMENTS.
The First Commandment
35. Today we are going to look at the First Commandment which is the most important commandment of all. If you obey the first commandment you will find obeying the others quite natural. You will learn, in your journey through the Holy Order, that the Lord reveals truth in this way. He will make a statement -- give a commandment -- and then make other statements expanding on the first -- other commandments explaining the original one.
36. The First Commandment is as follows:
"I am the Lord your God...you shall have no other gods besides me" (Ex.20:2-3, NIV - variant translation).
Now this word "God" is a very big word indeed and we need to spent a little time explaining it. Firstly, God is a PERSON -- He looks just like you and me but is a billion times more pure, more holy, more wise, more loving. In fact, we use some quite long words to describe Him as a person and His power which we'll look at in a moment.
37. The word for "God" which we use in our language comes from the Hebrew word meaning STRENGTH or MIGHT. One of His titles is El Shaddai which means GOD ALMIGHTY. That is the very first quality of God that you must understand -- that He is almighty. There is no-one stronger or greater than Him. His is in control. He is all-powerful. These things are true even if you cannot always see it.
38. This is the first quality of God that you must believe in faith. He has demonstrated it in history in the lives of His people so even if you have not experienced this might for yourself yet, you can study in the Scriptures where He has, and in modern stories where He still does. That is another reason you must study the Scriptures -- so that your faith can grow strong by seeing Him at work in the lives of people, past and present.
39. God, as I have said, is a person. And every person has a NAME. When Moses asked God what His Name was, he was told that it was YAHWEH. This has been changed over the centuries to JEHOVAH through a series of linguistic accidents. So His Name is YAHWEH.
40. As you probably know, a name is not just a sound. It also has a meaning. God's Name, Yahweh, has a meaning too. It literally means, "I am that I am" or "I will be that I will be". That's quite hard to understand, isn't it, but remember we are talking about Almighty God. Yahweh can also be translated to mean "The Eternal One" or the "Self-Existent One". However, I will explain "Yahweh" this simply in two words. If you can remember these two words you will have a pretty good idea of what Yahweh means. They are faithfulness and unchangeableness. The Scriptures put it in this way: "God is the same YESTERDAY, TODAY and FOR EVER".
41. This means that God can be trusted. He doesn't go changing His mind like human beings do. If, for example, He promises He will do something in the scriptures, then you can be 100% certain that He is going to do it. He never breaks His promises. He is always true and faithful, even if we aren't. He is unchangeable also, meaning that His laws don't change.
42. The Ten Commandments, which you are to be taught in the House of Taphim, are eternal laws. Jesus Himself taught this when He said that not one full-stop of the Law would disappear until the end of time. So the first thing you must accept is that the Ten Commandments are here to stay. If you want to know God, then get to know and live the Ten Commandments.
43. Because God is a person, He has a character, like you and I. The difference between Him and us, however, is that His character is perfect. On earth we make friends, lose them sometimes, and make new friends. We look for really good friends -- those whom we can trust, those who are loyal. We always find faults in them, just as we do in our husbands and wives, but in God there is no fault. Thus when you have made friends with God, you will know that you'll never find a better friend now or throughout eternity.
44. God has a character and that character is made up of many different qualities, many of which you should already know, if not in your heart, then certainly in your mind. Every single good characteristic you can think of in people, God has in perfection. Therefore God is perfectly just and perfectly loving. No matter where you search throughout the world or throughout the universe, you will not find a being more loving or more just. God is therefore JUSTICE and LOVE.
45. God is also perfectly INTELLIGENT and perfectly WISE. He knows everything. The word we use to describe that is OMNISCIENT. Unlike us He has nothing else to learn since He knows it all. But this intelligence of knowledge isn't just facts, such as you might learn at school. He is also WISE. You can get knowledge through studying from a book or with a teacher, but you can only get wisdom through EXPERIENCE.
46. God has experienced everything. Now that doesn't mean that He has done bad, but it means that He is so closely connected to us that He experiences everything that we do, right and wrong. You will remember that the Light of Christ is in everything -- in you, in animals and plants, even in rocks and water. It is the power which keeps everything together. It is LIFE itself.
47. The Light of Christ is actually what directly connects you to God, when it is whole and unfragmented. Because of sin, you are cut off from Him. As you repent, trust in Him, and obey His commandments, so the Light of Christ is restored within you, you become whole, and you are fully connected to Him. Sin means that we are fully disconnected, until you repent. As you repent and live righteously, having faith in all God's promises, so you are reconnected to him. The word we use to describe being "connected" is to have "fellowship" with Him again.
48. God is incredibly personal. Just like us, He doesn't like to be alone. He wants to share everything He has with those whom He loves, and that's us. But He can't do that unless we let Him. That means we must put Him FIRST.
49. And this is the first commandment: "You shall have no other gods besides Me." Now what does He means by "other gods"? The second commandment, which we shall be looking at tomorrow, is concerned with idols and idol-worship.
50. God, or Yahweh, is the Creator. He is the God of Creation. He is the only absolute Being. All other "gods" are therefore illusion. They don't exist, except in man's fantasy, because there can only be one all-powerful God by definition.
51. If you wrote a book and then someone stole it from you and claimed to be the author, how would you feel? You would rightly call that person a thief and an impostor. If you were kidnapped as a baby, and the man who kidnapped you posed as your father, how would you feel if you found out that he wasn't, and that he had kidnapped you?
52. There is only one Creator. We have only one Heavenly Father. And yet Satan, evil spirits, even animals, stars, and bits of wood, not to mention human beings, have all claimed -- and still claim -- to be "God". All have robbed the True God of the honour that is rightly His.
53. We have a Father in Heaven who made us and who loves us. Whenever we place someone or something higher than Almighty God, we worship a false god. "You shall have no other gods before Me" can therefore be retranslated to mean, "You shall not put anything and or anyone in My place."
54. How can you tell whether or not you worship other gods? If your time, if your interests, if your service occupies you more than with Almighty God, then you have broken the first and most important commandment. If you have placed anything between you and God -- time, hobby, friendship, or anything else -- then you have committed idolatry. You have, in effect, said that these things are more important than God. You have in fact said that what God has created is more important than the Creator. This is the first a greatest sin. All other sins lead from this one.
55. To obey the first commandment is first of all to acknowledge that GOD IS CREATOR. Kind David praised God and said: "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands" (Ps.19:1, NIV).
56. Do you worship God as your Creator, the One who gives you air to breathe? That is part of worshipping the true God. When you see beautiful flowers, or the sea, or a lake, or corn fields, do you automatically think of God the Creator? You should, for that is worshipping Him. When you see a baby, or a bird, or a horse, or a dog, or a cat, do you think of the Creator? You should do, for that is worshipping Him.
57. The greatest idolatry in the world today is the doctrine of evolution which teaches that nature, the world, the planets, the stars, even the whole universe, made itself. It denies the Creator-God. This philosophy is the basis of all education in schools today, all politics -- everything. Governments deliberately disobey the First Commandment and teach children to do the same. This is one of the greatest sins in the world today. And from it a whole host of evils have come into being.
58. The doctrine of evolution denies the existence and power of the Creator-God. You cannot worship Him and obey the First Commandment and believe in evolution. Not only is God the Creator but the Scriptures testify that God sustains and rules His Creation. He intervenes in the affairs of His servants to guide, bless and deliver them. It is the Creator God who guides and leads this Holy Order, as well as the local Colonies of the New Covenant Church of God.
59. King David, whom God said was His special friend because of His love of the commandments, said: "The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold" (Ps.18:2, NIV). David discovered that trusting in the Creator-God for his strength was far better than trusting in his own strength. If you read about his life in the Bible you will see why.
60. Almighty God is also a God of healing, not just of the body when it is diseased or injured, but of the mind and the heart too. When you are ill, do you go to God for healing? What do you do? The apostle James said: "Is any of you sick? He should call the elders of the Church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the Name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" (Jas.5:14-16, NIV).
61. Do you pray over those who are sick? Notice James does not just say pray for those who are sick, but over them. When your mother or father, or brother or sister is sick, do you pray over them? Do you go to their bedside and pray for them? To do so is to trust in Almighty God. Do you just trust in medicine, or in the body's natural ability to heal itself? These things are good, but do you trust them more than you trust in God's supernatural ability to heal? If you do, then you are disobeying the First Commandment.
62. The only real healing comes from God. He is able to cut short any sickness or disease if He is asked in faith to do so. But you must ask, and have faith. To do this is a wonderful way of acknowledging that He is first in your life; it is to acknowledge His power and the promises He has made in scripture.
63. And closely associated with healing is of course PRAYER. Do you pray often? How often are your thoughts turned to God in either silent or vocal prayer? Coming to understand what prayer and, even more important, loving to prayer, is essential to your life as a Christian. Prayer is to God and His disciples what breathing is to the body. Without it your spiritual life dies.
64. I am sure you all have at least one good friend. And I'm sure you all know that friendships have to be made in order to last. You have to make the effort to be with your friends, or write to them, if that friendship is to last. Once you stop seeing a friend, stop contacting him or her, that friendship begins to lose its force. So it is with God. He is the best friend you'll ever have. Don't lose contact! And remember, the postal service to heaven is free -- all it will cost you is a little time.
65. "I am the Lord your God...you shall have no other gods besides Me." Is worshipping God going to Church once a week or once a month? Is it something that you do in Church? No, true worship is something you do every day, every minute, and every second in your life. True worship isn't just singing songs and praying -- it is a way of being.
66. In everything you think, feel, say or do you either serve God or you serve yourself and your fallen desires. These fallen desires are called lusts in the Scriptures. The apostle Paul said: "Don't you realise that you can choose your own master? You can choose sin (with death) or else obedience (with acquittal). The one to whom you offer yourself -- he will take you and be your master and you will be his slave" (Rom.16:1, Living Bible).
67. You will notice that there is no middle ground -- you can't serve God and sin -- your fallen, selfish tendencies -- at the same time. You have to choose one or the other. You can't serve God and "gods" with a little "g" -- you must serve one or the other. Either you delight in God and His law and serve and obey Him -- or else you serve and obey your own lusts. The choice is as simple as that.
68. Now if you want to discover what kind of a life you are leading -- whether you are following God or your own lusts -- then there is a very simply key of truth that you can use. And it's this. Simply ask yourself: How am I using my time? The Apostle Paul says: "...be careful how you act; there are difficult days. Don't be fools; be wise: make the most of every opportunity you have for doing good. Don't act thoughtlessly, but try to find out and do whatever the Lord wants you to" (Eph.5:15-17, Living Bible).
69. How much time do you actually spend each week studying and meditating on God's Word and Law as David did? How much time do you spend in serious prayer with God? How much time do you spend in discussing the Bible with others and not just indulging in small talk?
70. Who do you seek to please first of all? Your friends? Your mother? Your father? Your brother or sister? Or God? What is it that you are most concerned about in your life? It ought to be God, He who created you, loves you, and takes care of you from moment to moment, even though you may not realize it. He should be first in everything. If He isn't...well, then you should be doing some serious soul-searching.
71. I know that most of us want to do what is right yet there is something that is holding us back. Ask yourself: what are the things that stop me from loving and serving the Lord first in my life? You might be surprised by the answers. Is it because you want to be accepted by others? Is it because you feel that people are more real than God, and therefore more important? That's quite normal. God can seem far away. But if that is true, then the fault is with man, not God. God is as near as you will allow Him to be. He is as near as you are willing to embrace Him as your nearest and dearest.
72. Listen well to this warning that God has given us: "You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God" (James 4:4, NIV).
73. Those are quite shocking words, aren't they? But think about them carefully and you'll see that they are true. What is the world? The world is the opposite of the Ten Commandments that you will learn in this house. The world is putting self first, and this leads to swearing, breaking the Sabbath, dishonouring parents, murder, adultery, theft, lying, lusting after material wealth, the praises of men, power, popularity, and other peoples' possessions. This is what the Scriptures mean by the "world".
74. Don't ever forget that friendship with the world is to be an enemy to God. You don't have to be an adulterer and a murderer to be God's enemy -- simply putting your self first is to become God's enemy. Selfishness is the great curse of humanity.
75. You may even think that you are living the Ten Commandments. If you do, then read carefully the story of the rich young man in Matthew's Gospel, Chapter 19, verses 16 to 22. This young man thought he was living God's commandments but actually he was breaking the most important one -- the First Commandment -- because he loved his wealth more than he loved God. Money was his idol. Yours might be something completely different. A very common one nowadays is popularity, being accepted by friends and peers at school, for example. There's alot of pressure on young people to conform with worldly customs -- to be tough, smoke, be rude and disobedient, have sex outside marriage, and so on. It might even be a hobby -- there are many people who have turned away from God because their hobby or special interest was more important to them than God. It caused their spiritual downfall.
76. Jesus Christ, our Master, has given all of us this commandment: "But seek first (God's) Kingdom and His righteousness, and (all you need materially and spiritually) will be given to you..." (Matt.6:33, NIV).
77. God gives you an absolute promise that if you put God first in your life then absolutely everything that you need, which will make you truly happy, will be given to you. But you have to believe that first. He doesn't promise to give you the things you think you need to make your happy, only the things which He -- as the all-knowing God -- knows that you need.
78. The key is FAITH. You must first believe God's promises or you'll never be able to live the First Commandment. If you find it hard to believe, go to Him in prayer and ask Him to give you the faith. This is one thing He promises to give to the honest seeker after truth.
79. Jesus, the Saviour of mankind, was asked what the most important thing in life was. He answered by summarising all Ten Commandments into two very simple commandments which contain all the rest. This is what he said:
80. "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.' And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbour as yourself'" (Matt.22:37-39, NIV).
81. How do you love a God whom you cannot see? Well, He is the Creator-God -- go and look at His Creation! Find everything that is beautiful, lovely, and praiseworthy -- there you will find a window into the heart of God. When you find something beautiful, praise God with all your soul! Do it, and I promise you that a fire will be born in your heart which, if you take care of it, will never burn out. For in being touched by something lovely, and then praising the Creator, He in turn will fill you with more love, more appreciation, more awe. It will simply multiply.
82. Seek, most of all, the goodness in people. Try to see past the bad -- there's plenty of that -- and look for that which is beautiful and uplifting in their personalities. Think of those whom you love the most, ask yourself why you love them so, and then praise God, FOR HE IS THE AUTHOR OF THAT GOODNESS. Don't praise, them, PRAISE GOD. If they are servants of God, this is what they will want you to do any way.
83. As you make this first contact with God, so you will slowly come to understand that the beautiful things you love in people come because of obedience to the commandments. Then you will love the commandments more and more because you will want that self same beauty in your life. And you'll get it! You might not see it, but others will, because you'll change gradually into a new person. This is what is called being "born again" -- and in most people it occurs slowly over a period of time.
84. Whatever is good and praiseworthy is only good and praiseworthy because God put it there. Never forget that! The reason why King David was a man after God's heart was because he was simply filled with praise, worship and adoration. Read the Psalms in your Bible and if your desire is strong, you will be touched deeply by the sweet spirit that was in this man, and you will be able to join in with him and say: "I will extol you, my God and King; I will praise your Name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever" (Ps.145:1-2, NIV).
85. I told you earlier that a key to know whether or not you are living the first commandment is how you use your time. But there is another equally important key -- and that is how you worship God. When you worship as David worshipped, then the love of God has entered your heart and you have been truly born again. If that hasn't happened yet, but you still desire it, don't give up. If you are sincere in your desire to worship God and serve Him, He will work in a change in you. Be patient, keep yearning for His righteousness, and He promises you that you will receive it.
86. Learn to serve God with a willing and an obedient heart first of all. He will do the rest. Give yourself to Him. Commit yourself to Him, Change your life's direction around. Put your hand in His. Copy the great example of Jesus who always said to God: "Not My will, but YOURS, be done" (Luke 22:42).
87. This is true worship.This is how to keep the first commandment, the Great Commandment. And may the Lord bless you as you seek to do so. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Question and Answer Session
88. As before, we will now have a question and answer session in which you can ask whatever you like about what you have heard today. You should ask all your questions to myself and not talk with others. This is not an open discussion. You should only talk when given permission to do so. Questions will be answered either by myself, my assistant, or by a member of the Patriarchate. If you wish to ask a question, please put up your hand. Do not interrupt anyone speaking. I will now take your questions (See Taphim 1:49).
(Questions and answers -- max. 30 minutes)
89. Beloved, we will return here tomorrow for the Third House of Taphim in which we shall be discussing the Second Commandment. I hope this has been an interesting and enjoyable time for you in this holy space and that you will be inspired to think often about what you have heard. Be sure to search the Scriptures carefully so that you know what the Lord has said about what has been discussed.
90. May the Lord bless you and keep you safe and true until we meet here again in the Second and Third Houses of Taphim. Amen.
First created on 10 July 1998
Last updated on 10 July 1998
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