1. Series: Realities
    Title: The Decalogue
    Teacher: Jacob Bender
    Date: September 13, 2015

    The word we translate as “commandments” is the Hebrew word dabar, and it really has a much simpler meaning than you would think. It means “words.” So the Hebrews said it this way, “The Ten Words” – or like we talk about in this teaching, they called it a ten word Ketubah. It was the terms of their marriage.

    In the Greek, the Ten Commandments are “deka logos” – again, on the surface, it means, “the ten words” – many of you who grew up in a Catholic tradition or Lutheran or any more traditional denominations, you have probably heard of the ten commandments referred to as “The Decalogue.” And this is where get this term from. From “deka logos.”

    So “the Decalogue” is a pretty famous name for the Ten Commandments, and it is the way the Greeks translated it.

    Well, deca, as we said means ten, and logos which we just said means word, comes from the word… “Logue” means logic… and in the Greek it is the principle behind reality. You know the phrase “it’s only logical….” Well that may be a better way to look at the commandments… It’s really pure logic. It’s more of a reality than it is a law.

    When you think of laws, you probably think of things like “No skateboarding” – but if you are a skateboarder, most likely, that sign is not going to stop you. Unless there is a police officer right there or someone of authority who can enforce the regulation that the sign is placing on you, then it is just a sign. Its more like a request that should you choose to not obey, may be met with a consequence of some sort.

    A speed limit sign represents a law.

    A “Do not Liter” sign represents a law.

    But these, these are realities:
    Caution signs for poison, explosives, flammable liquid, etc.

    When you look at it this way, rules seem nice, don’t they? Rules you can break. Most rules you can screw up some times, and even if you do get caught, you will pay a price, in most cases do your time, and move on.

    But with these, there is no slipping through the cracks… There is no “NOT getting caught”… and in fact you may not walk away at all. And if you do walk away, there is permanent damage.

    And that is the Ten Commandments. Each and every one of these, if you do not follow them… You are going to crash. You are going to get burned.

    You are going to hurt yourself. You are going to hurt your community. It is going to destroy you. Not because God is mad at you because you did something he said not to do so now you are getting punished… No, it’s not like that.

    These things in and of them themselves are toxic.

    Dr. Frank Seekins was the first one that I heard use an example like this, he gave the example of a speed limit sign vs. a low clearance sign and the differing consequences of ignoring the two… and in fact it was that description that inspired this entire series on the Ten Commandments that we are calling “Realities.”

    So we hope that you will join us over these next 8 weeks as we look at an ancient text, hopefully through fresh eyes.

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  2. Title: gods & murder
    Series: Realities
    Teacher: Jacob Bender
    Date: September 20, 2015

    Observing Jews wake up every single morning, and they quote this verse.

    “Hear Oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.” They say it at everything. Of course, they aren’t quoting Jesus, they are quoting the verse that Jesus is quoting, which is Deuteronomy 6:4-5.

    Jesus answered the scribes question here in Mark, by quoting an old testament passage known as the SHEMA.

    They ask him, “What is the most important thing?”

    and he quotes Deuteronomy. He says, what is most important? Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ But Jesus adds the second part: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

    and the scribe responds to Jesus, and says, “you are right. He is one. God is one. And there is no-one else besides him. You know the scriptures. We can move on now.

    It seems this would sum it up. If we could just grasp this concept fully, with all of our hearts, it would solve just about all of our problems. God comes first. People come second, and you are included in the second, but you are not above it. You treat people just like you would treat yourself… If you believed this, and we lived this, we wouldn’t need the Ten Commandments. We would already be doing them.

    But the problem is that we don’t grasp this. And that is why we are still hurting each other. We are still talking bad about each other, we are still gossiping and slandering, and belittling each other.

    We can’t even get our mind around “love your neighbor as yourself” – and if you can’t love your neighbor as yourself, could you possibly love God with all of your heart?

    Moses wrote the SHEMA in Deuteronomy six…. its the chapter right after he gives us the Ten Commandments… Its almost like he was doing the same thing that Jesus does… he is saying, “Here are Ten words to live by.” But if ten is too many, here is one.

    If we understand the principles behind the SHEMA, we would automatically do the Ten Commandments.

    We hope you will join as we explore the SHEMA, and why that is the way that he responded the the scribe.

    # vimeo.com/139916238 Uploaded 19 Plays 0 Comments
  3. Exodus 34:14 says this: “(For you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God),”

    Now, when the Ten Commandments were given the first time, the second command said this same thing… I am a jealous God. But the second time it is given, it actually says “the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”

    That seemed like grounds for digging a little deeper.

    The word Jealous, is a peculiar name for God. It is the Hebrew word qanna’ (can-ah), it is a word that only speaks of God and is not used in human terms, and it means that “God doesn’t bear any rivals” another translation puts the verse this way: “For you must worship no other gods, but only Jehovah, for he is a God who claims absolute loyalty and exclusive devotion.” (The Living Bible)

    Its like in a marriage. If my wife says, “Hey, I am going out with Steve today.” Heck no, you aren’t going out with Steve today. Who is Steve? It doesn’t even matter. You aren’t going to be spending time with other dudes. She could say to me, “we are just friends, and you hate going shopping and Steve is cool with it.”

    Now, She would never do that, but that would be the automatic response from me if it ever came up. I wouldn’t even need a moment to think about it. The answer is no. I am jealous for her… but it is not because of this Steve guy, or anybody else. It is all because of Dawn.

    I am jealous for her, no matter what she is doing. Because I do not bear competitions. I do not bear rivals. I already won this one, and nobody else even has a chance.

    It is obvious that most people would never deal with a marriage to a spouse who was constantly unfaithful, yet that is exactly what God continuously went through over and over and over again with the Hebrew people.

    The word adultery, in Hebrew as it is used in Exodus 20:14 is the word na’aph (nah apth) and it means “to break wedlock.” or the obvious translation is what it is translated as, simply, “to commit adultery.”

    But what is fascinating is that it is the same Hebrew word used in Jeremiah 3:8 and Jeremiah 5:7 when it says that Israel “committed adultery” against God by their idol worship.

    And I also thought that this was interesting:

    Most people (who have put any thought into it) assume that the English word adultery comes from the word adult. Like, “maybe this is a bad thing, but we are adults, so if it is consensual…”

    But it actually comes from the Latin word adulterare, which means “to alter, or corrupt.”

    This is not an “adult” thing to do, in fact it is incredibly immature. You are altering the design that God created… You are corrupting what was supposed to be. You are corrupting what God created it to be.

    Adultery is an incredibly hard top to talk about. Its a hard topic to study, or to even convince yourself that you need to study it, but God put it in the Ten Commandments for a reason… because this hits home, in one way or another, for just about everyone. And God himself is not excluded from that.

    # vimeo.com/140619619 Uploaded 44 Plays 0 Comments
  4. Series: Realities

    Title: giving & taking

    Teacher: Jacob Bender

    Date: October 4, 2015

    The word “vain” is the Hebrew word “shav’” and it means “to not be real.”

    Most people think that the third commandment is telling us to not swear. Or to not say “God – blank”

    But the third commandment literally says “You must not take the name of the Lord in unreality.”

    You use his name in a way that makes it not real.

    There is something about the name of God, is there not?

    And man, there is something about the name of Jesus.

    Something powerful. Something everlasting. Something that just makes you feel, in the darkest hour of your darkest day, like there is light. When it feels like everyone everywhere has abandoned you… that Someone still has your back. Someone still cares. God’s name can heal, it can redeem, it can provide, it can bring peace.

    It is incredibly powerful.

    But because of its incredible power, it also can be incredibly manipulated. If that wasn’t the case, then it would not be in the ten commandments.

    It is a name that carries weight. A lot of weight.

    But throughout history, various religions and religious leaders have misrepresented that name and have used it for selfish things. Wars have been started in the name of God. People have been killed. People have been robbed. People have been hurt. All, in forms of manipulation by people taking the Lords name in vain.

    If you use the name of the Lord for selfish reasons, you are stealing. You are taking his name, and manipulating it for your purposes. You are not associating it to the power that it has, and that is why so many will be crushed by it.

    # vimeo.com/141401309 Uploaded 32 Plays 0 Comments
  5. Series: Realities
    Title: Resting
    Teacher: Jacob Bender
    Date: October 18, 2015
    The word sabbath is the Hebrew word “shabbath” (sha-baath) and it means “To cease.”
    The Old Testament speaks of different kinds of Sabbaths. There is, of course the 7th day of the week. A day of rest. That is what we know as “The Sabbath Day” – then there is something called the Sabbath Year… and it was the same concept as the Sabbath Day, but it was the 7th year… and every 7th year, the Israelites were commanded to take an entire year off from labor. And then on the seventh year of the seventh set of years, so it would be “every 7th sabbath year” was something called “The Year of Jubilee” which we are going to talk about in the series we are doing in December so I won’t get into it today, but its absolutely incredible. But the point is that God laid out all of these incredible structures to make sure that his people were okay. Because nobody can go and go and go and still maintain sanity. So he said, every seventh day, rest. Every seventh year, really rest. Vacation. Stop everything, and let me show you that even when your world is paused, the world I created keeps producing. God commanded them (Leviticus 25) to not even work the land. Give the land a break, for a whole year.
    Now, if you do a little research, even now, studies have shown that the even today, land will produce more if every seven years you allow it to rest. Over the course of the next seven years, you would get more out of your land by letting it rest the seventh, and then working it the next sixth, than you would by working it all seven. God knows what he is doing.
    But this is how human minds think… We like to think we have faith, but we don’t like actually relinquishing control as if we truly have faith. So we hear, “take a day off…” or even, “take a year off…” and we think, “That sounds great, but too much would fall apart during that time. If we don’t work the land for an entire year, there will be no harvest, and there will be nothing new to grow.”
    Whatever that may look like in our lives… Take a day off…

    “yeah, but if I am mid-project, I have to finish this, and then I will rest.”
    Take a day off… “Yeah, but its “4 days” this week, so I will make sure to take a day off next week.”
    And so we go and we go, until what happens? We start getting sick. We start not functioning at the capacity that we know we are capable of… our work sort of starts to fall apart, our bodies begin to deteriorate, and before long we are FORCED to take a significant period of time off.
    Have you ever seen that happen to someone?
    Has that ever happened to you?
    I obviously, being a pastor, am most familiar with that church world, but i see this happen to pastors ALL THE TIME. A lot of people have no idea that they are going through it, but they have moments when they feel like they are literally dying.
    and they end up in the hospital, and nobody can figure out what is wrong with them. And suddenly they are forced to take extended periods of time off, and I can’t help but wonder, in the back of my mind, if those moments are God just getting his days back.
    God saying, “if you won’t break, I will make you break. You haven’t taken a day off in 14 weeks, so now you won’t work for 14 days.”
    You may say to me, “God wouldn’t do that.” But remember, this day is Holy. This day is set apart. There is more to this day than we think. This is one of the most significant issues in the whole bible. Let me tell you about what God allowed to happen to Israel.
    You see, God gave them this command. A day off… and every 7th year, a year off.
    They heard the command, take a sabbath. Give the land a sabbath.
    But nobody actually does that, right? We don’t rest.
    Now, this is incredible.
    They plowed the land anyway. On that seventh year, they relied on their own strength, just like we do so well today. And instead of trusting God, they plowed. They worked the land. They gave the land no rest and they took non themselves.
    And they did this for 490 years. 490 years went by, and Israel never, once took a Sabbath year as the Lord had commanded. And perhaps after 490 years they thought, “Ok, we are doing just fine.”
    But then something happened. Something that the bible makes very clear that God allowed to happen, and we have talked about it a couple of times before briefly, and we won’t get into to much today either… but The Israelites are attacked, and they are captured and put into exile in a place called Babylon.
    A place different than all they had ever known.
    And do you know how long they were in Exile for? Does anyone know?
    70 years.
    70 years they were removed from the land that they refused to let rest, and became slaves to a godless ruler.
    They become slaves. While the land enjoyed her sabbath.
    For 490 years they did not honor the command to let the land rest every seventh year, but God said “the Sabbath is Holy. It is set apart. Its unavoidable.
    The Israelites owed God 70 Sabbath

    # vimeo.com/142863385 Uploaded 39 Plays 0 Comments

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