“Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:35-40; King James Bible Version (KJV).
The Ten Commandments were given to the ancients precisely to show humanity, then and now, what NOT to do. During the Christian era, Christ Jesus restated the ten original ‘thou shalt nots’ and replaced them with two, more positive directives: Love God, and love all others as ourselves. These two, newer commandments highlight universal love to be God’s only real law. That is why Jesus’ teachings tell us that by expressing universal love, we are fulfilling “all the law and the prophets.” (See quotation above.)
The first ten directives, however, are not to be thrown out. They still show us how NOT to live. Yet, obedience to universal love actually fulfills the older, ten commandments handed down by Moses from the Mount. For, by showing loving kindness to God and all people, the result automatically eliminates any hating, lying, stealing, envy, hostility, cheating, killing, adultary, bearing false witness, slandering, worshiping false gods, (like money) and forgetting to take a day to honor God—all the things that the original ten directives tell us to avoid.
The concept of universal love on the other hand simply tells us, more clearly, what TO do. It approaches the subject of right behavior and obedience to the divine Will, as the principle to follow. Having a loving spirit toward all shows us that by living and expressing this loving spirit, we are freeing ourselves, and others, from any restrictions that we often bring upon ourselves, for no good reason.
There really is no eleventh commandment. No other divine directive exists. Just love God and all others as we love ourselves, and our commitment to God is met; therefore, we are free to live our lives and go our own, individual way, as long as we obey the commandment to love universally. So, loving fulfils all the original commandments because the spirit of loving will automatically keep us from being destructive, in any way, shape, or form.
Now, we all know that human nature sometimes tries to add one’s own ‘commandments’ to the list, as if issued by God. But human commandments exist only in one’s imagination. We may think that we can create our own divine laws, but that can be fuzzy thinking. God says, “I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.” (Ezekiel 21:27; NKJV). In the spiritual creation of God, divine Spirit is the only real Lawmaker. Harmony exists because God, the Source and Origin of Its own creation, is smarter than we are. The Infinite Mind always ‘knows,’ while humankind is always guessing.
That is why divine power is so important to comprehend. God has no discord to correct. Divine Spirit’s creation never needs adjusting. It is always in perfect harmony, balance, and universal love. It is only in the material dimension (the collective, false, material-sense of reality, called the carnal or mortal ‘mind’) where discords seem to be real. However, when appealed to, the divine Laws take over and corrections are manifested in the human scene. These corrections harmonize what was out of divine order before, be it health, supply, peace, joy…all the other good and useful things that reside in God’s divine, spiritual creation.
This spiritual creation is invisibly present at all times; we just don’t perceive it with the five, physical senses. It takes our spiritual sense to realize and remember its presence. And when we express a loving spirit, there are no burdensome restrictions to follow. If enemies seem to come out of nowhere, or for no reason, we have only to remember the invisible presence of God’s harmonious creation and God’s power to reverse whatever wrong has been directed toward us. People may believe themselves to be right on some subject, but it is the divine Intelligence (Mind) that is the authority on what is Right; and God’s harmonious realm is always invisibly present to correct human conflicts. Thus, the divine Mind is always the ultimate Authority, on any subject. Infinite Spirit governs Its own creation.
We are here in this human experience to learn that we create our own heaven (harmony) and our own hell (punishment) upon ourselves. The bad consequences of wrong-doing show us not to do these bad, unloving things again. Yet, when we’ve done no wrong, it’s paramount to remember that the divine Mind protects us in ways we can trust. For there is still only One Authority over us, and that One is God. We need only stand in the trust of the divine Presence, always at hand to deliver us from unjust accusations or hostile human personalities. No one can pluck us out of the Creator’s hand, when we mentally set ourselves firmly in it.
For example: Once I had worked very hard on a business project that was going to be of great benefit to our city and involved a certain sale of land. I would earn a large commission on such a sale. I worked, alone, without telling anyone what I was planning. Finally, the project was finished, accepted and made public. Almost immediately after the sale was made public, an individual whom I didn’t know, (and the company he represented) attempted to take it out of my hands, proclaiming that the project had really been their idea. There wasn’t a bit of truth in that, but the company was well-known in the city.
For several days, it appeared as if I was alone, with no help at hand, trying to protect myself against this kind of dishonesty. So I prayed for deliverance from this competition, which had involved an attempt at such theft and piracy.
Suddenly, I remembered something that Wendell Phillips was credited with saying: “One with God is a majority.” This brought me a sense of peace; and I knew that the divine Mind was reminding me that my deliverance against wrong-doers was already, and always, at hand. I also remembered the biblical passage that said, “Set yourself, stand ye still and see the salvation of the Lord.” (2 Chronicles 20:17; KJV).
I felt at peace then. Sure enough, the next day an individual who had known of the project from the beginning came forward to say that there was no truth concerning anyone else working towards this land sale. The wrongful attempt to steal this project away from me was made public, and those who had tried to do so were publically exposed.
When trusted, the divine Mind always has the last word, in any human conflict. Throughout our days in this material experience, we must realize that evil, in any form, is never a result of God’s power. It is only a manifestation of believing in evil’s power over us and believing in a power opposed to God. God’s ever-presence always comes with the divine Righteousness that saves the innocent, despite all temporary appearances to the contrary.
To this end, we need to realize that both forms of the commandments are important. These divine rules for living were set up for early humanity and the ancient world, which was in an extremely barbaric state, not unlike what the middle-east mirrors today. The early commandments were given to humanity to calm down Earth’s inhabitants from the conflicts that raged all over the globe. Some centuries-old conflicts live on, even today.
Turning to the concept of loving our neighbors and all others brings more harmony into our daily lives, than just using the ‘thou shalt nots’ alone; yet both perspectives are important. Universally loving others tell us exactly what to do, and the original ten commandments tell us what not to do. Both perspectives are important. Both attempt to move humanity to peace on earth.
But there is more, here. There are moments when we can see a fuller function of these commandments than to simply bring peace and harmony to the human experience. They also attempt to educate us and spiritually awaken us to our higher Selves—our true, spiritual, rather than physical identity. They attempt to show humanity that all of God’s children are equal to each other and of equal value to the Almighty. Despite all physical senses to the contrary, we are not children of the flesh. We are children of divine Spirit, God; and, ultimately, our temporary, physical sense of self will awaken to our spiritual Selves…our own Christ identities.
To this end, all the commandments of the Creator are spiritual principles, not restrictions. They were given to us as a guide to a safer, human experience, as we go through a transition back to our spiritual Selves. These directives guide us and guard us, when we pay attention and obey them. Eventually, we will awaken to our immortal, heavenly Home, as Christ Jesus did during his sojourn here and in his ascension beyond materiality.
So, to war against, or ignore, the commandments of divine Spirit is not a wise thing to do. It is never a benefit. It makes our time in this foreign land of materiality an unhappy time. When followed and heeded, these divine rules protect us and lengthen our days for a more pleasant sojourn here, in the earthly experience. Therefore, the commandments are here to help us, not hurt us.
So, stated as ‘thou-shalt-not’s, the commandments were, and still are, for humanity’s own protection. They show us what happens when we ignore them. When we steal, for example, we lose our good reputation, go to jail, lose our job, or some other punishment. Also, if we lie, cheat, or kill others, we will suffer the consequences of these acts, once found out. Natural consequences can be loss of reputation, financial loss, divorce and families torn apart, jail time, just to name a few.
Discords continue in this human experience because we like to do our own will in any and all circumstances that appeal to us. Refusing to weigh the value of divine Spirit’s call for loving God, and trusting in the divine power, along with the call to love all other individuals as we love ourselves, goes unheeded. We often give these divine principles no value at all. Then we wonder why, in this modern world, is this human experience in such a mess? Why, why, why?
But, it’s a question to which we already know the answer. We suffer disharmony at our own hands. Our resistence to obey the divine law to love, and our refusal to trust God to allow Its spiritual laws to come forward into the material-seeming realm, has kept our harmony at bay. Our refusal to love all others as ourselves naturally results in every kind of trouble. All along, these universal laws of love have been the way that would lead us back to our spiritual Selves, and our heavenly home. For, after all this time, and all that is said and done, the divine Intelligence of the universe is still smarter than we are.