The Ten Commandments

God has given us the Ten Commandments as a line that must never be crossed.

In the old covenant:

And the Lord said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel. And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.
- Exodus 34:27-28 (KJV)

And in the new covenant:

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
- Hebrews 8:10-11 (KJV)

The Ten Commandments are eternal and are a reflection of God's character. The Ten Commandments on Mt Sinai were given to Israel as a powerful reminder that no one would ever forget. Even today we talk about the phrase "written in stone", and most people know the "Thou shalt not kill" part, so it worked.

The Ten Commandments are based on principles, and there are many subtleties to it.

To print or download the Ten Commandments, please click here.


Index

Click the links below to study each commandment, or simply scroll down to read them all.

1. No other gods
2. No idols
3. No blasphemy
4. Keep the Sabbath (Friday sunset to Saturday sunset)
5. Honour your father and mother
6. No murder
7. No adultery
8. No stealing
9. No lying
10. No coveting


1. No other gods

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
- Exodus 20:3 (KJV)

There is only one God. The Living God. Who sent His only begotten Son.

But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.
- Jeremiah 10:10 (KJV)

Satan is the self-proclaimed 'god' of this world.

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
- 2 Corinthians 4:4 (KJV)

Satan wants you to worship him. In order to achieve this, he must first destroy the relationship you have with God, so that he can claim you as his own. He does this by tempting you with the things in "the world" (fleshly desires such as food, lust, etc) which will lure you away from the living God.

Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.
- Philippians 3:19 (KJV)

If you're not a child of God, then you're a child of the devil.

In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
- 1 John 3:10 (KJV)

Worshiping other 'gods' (created by satan, or by man himself) is a direct insult to God.

Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.
- Deuteronomy 6:14-15 (KJV)

God explicitly warned Israel not to inquire how others worshiped their 'gods'.

When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.
- Deuteronomy 12:29-31 (KJV)

Some people place themselves before God, which is the ultimate fulfillment of satan's lie (in the Garden of Eden).

For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
- Genesis 3:5 (KJV)

We can never be God, nor can satan.

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.
- 1 Timothy 2:5-7 (KJV)

When people reject God, they are forced to fill the gap with something else, e.g. false 'gods', big bang theory, evolution theory, etc.

The bottom line is that God will never force you to love Him. It is simply a choice you have to make for yourself.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
- John 14:6 (KJV)

Put God first.

Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
- Luke 22:42 (KJV)

Here are some additional quotes:

Jehovah, the eternal, self-existent, uncreated One, Himself the Source and Sustainer of all, is alone entitled to supreme reverence and worship. Man is forbidden to give to any other object the first place in his affections or his service. Whatever we cherish that tends to lessen our love for God or to interfere with the service due Him, of that do we make a god.
- Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, chapter 27

Whatever shall draw away the heart from God must be given up.
- Ellen White, Steps to Christ, chapter 5

What about "I am the Lord ..."?

Should the first commandment be like below?

I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
- Exodus 20:2-3 (KJV)

The answer is no, because not everyone was brought out of the land of Egypt, so it makes no sense for it to be in the first commandment.

There is only one Law of God, and not multiple versions.

Jehovah revealed Himself, not alone in the awful majesty of the judge and lawgiver, but as the compassionate guardian of His people: "I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage." He whom they had already known as their Guide and Deliverer, who had brought them forth from Egypt, making a way for them through the sea, and overthrowing Pharaoh and his hosts, who had thus shown Himself to be above all the gods of Egypt-He it was who now spoke His law. The law was not spoken at this time exclusively for the benefit of the Hebrews. God honored them by making them the guardians and keepers of His law, but it was to be held as a sacred trust for the whole world. The precepts of the Decalogue are adapted to all mankind, and they were given for the instruction and government of all. Ten precepts, brief, comprehensive, and authoritative, cover the duty of man to God and to his fellow man; and all based upon the great fundamental principle of love. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself." Luke 10:27. See also Deuteronomy 6:4, 5; Leviticus 19:18. In the Ten Commandments these principles are carried out in detail, and made applicable to the condition and circumstances of man.
- Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, chapter 27

So, the introduction comes first, and then the law is spoken.


2. No idols

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
- Exodus 20:4-6 (KJV)

Graven image = "a carved idol or representation of a god used as an object of worship".

No one has ever seen the face of God the Father (God is a Spirit), so it makes sense that there should be no idols.

No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
- John 1:18 (KJV)

Let's face it, what is an idol ever going to do for you? Will it love you?



And yes, depending on how you use it, jewelry can also be an idol (if you use it like a good luck charm for example). Pagan symbols have also made it in "christianity" (like that stupid "fish" for example).



The Roman Catholic Church have deliberately removed the "no idols" commandment from their version of the "law".



You can make an animal out of clay for biology class, but you're just not allowed to bown down before it (as the Israelites did).

And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.
- Exodus 32:1 (KJV)

Please note that the KJV uses the word "visiting", whereas the NIV uses the incorrect word "punishing". God will visit multiple generations to see if certain sins are happening again, but will only punish the actual sinner.

The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
- Ezekiel 18:20 (KJV)

God is jealously guarding us from worshiping false gods. This is for our own good, because worshiping false gods leads to destruction.

Idols can also be things that interfere with your relationship with God, e.g. food, TV, etc.

Anything that stands between you and God, can be considered as an idol.

An idol is essentially anything that man made. How can that be like God?

Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands.
- Acts 19:26 (KJV)

Some people idolize other people, e.g. celebrities, etc. Idolize = admire, revere, or love greatly or excessively.

"Self" can also be an idol, e.g. people worshiping themselves, and think they are like God.

For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
- Genesis 3:5 (KJV)

That's a lie of course. No one is like God.

Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.
- Jeremiah 10:6 (KJV)

It can certainly be hard submitting to God, because our pride gets in the way.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
- 1 John 2:16 (KJV)

A picture in your home of "jesus" can also lead you astray, because now you will almost certainly have a distorted view of what Jesus looked like.

Jesus in His glorified state looks more like as in the verse below.

His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
- Revelation 1:14-16 (KJV)

Are you worshipping the true God?

Thousands have a false conception of God and His attributes. They are as verily serving a false god as were the servants of Baal. Are we worshiping the true God as He is revealed in His Word, in Christ, in nature, or are we adoring some philosophical idol enshrined in His place? God is a God of truth. Justice and mercy are the attributes of His throne. He is a God of love, of pity and tender compassion. Thus He is represented in His Son, our Saviour. He is a God of patience and long-suffering. If such is the being whom we adore and to whose character we are seeking to assimilate, we are worshiping the true God.
- Ellen White, The Faith I Live By, p. 59

Most "christians" seem to believe that God will torture the wicked in hell forever. What a horrible way to look at God.

The wages of sin is death, and not eternal life in hell.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
- Romans 6:23 (KJV)

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
- Revelation 20:14 (KJV)

God is Love.

The idea that love is connected to the commandments can be seen in the phrase "them that love me, and keep my commandments".

It's also in the book of John.

If ye love me, keep my commandments.
- John 14:15 (KJV)

Here are some additional quotes:

The second commandment forbids the worship of the true God by images or similitudes. Many heathen nations claimed that their images were mere figures or symbols by which the Deity was worshiped, but God has declared such worship to be sin. The attempt to represent the Eternal One by material objects would lower man's conception of God. The mind, turned away from the infinite perfection of Jehovah, would be attracted to the creature rather than to the Creator. And as his conceptions of God were lowered, so would man become degraded. The close and sacred relation of God to His people is represented under the figure of marriage. Idolatry being spiritual adultery, the displeasure of God against it is fitly called jealousy. It is inevitable that children should suffer from the consequences of parental wrongdoing, but they are not punished for the parents' guilt, except as they participate in their sins. It is usually the case, however, that children walk in the steps of their parents. By inheritance and example the sons become partakers of the father's sin. Wrong tendencies, perverted appetites, and debased morals, as well as physical disease and degeneracy, are transmitted as a legacy from father to son, to the third and fourth generation. This fearful truth should have a solemn power to restrain men from following a course of sin. In prohibiting the worship of false gods, the second commandment by implication enjoins the worship of the true God. And to those who are faithful in His service, mercy is promised, not merely to the third and fourth generation as is the wrath threatened against those who hate Him, but to thousands of generations.
- Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, chapter 27

Mammon is the idol of many. The love of money, the desire for wealth, is the golden chain that binds them to Satan.
- Ellen White, Steps to Christ, chapter 5

God has given us many things in this life upon which to bestow our affections, but when we carry to excess that which in itself is lawful we become idolaters.... Anything that separates our affections from God and lessens our interest in eternal things is an idol. Those who use the precious time given them by God-time that has been purchased at an infinite cost-in embellishing their homes for display, in following the fashions and customs of the world, are not only robbing their own souls of spiritual food, but are failing to give God His due. The time thus spent in the gratification of selfish desires might be employed in obtaining a knowledge of the Word of God, in cultivating our talents, that we might render intelligent service to our Creator.... God will not share a divided heart. If the world absorbs our attention, He cannot reign supreme. If this diminishes our devotion for God, it is idolatry in His eyes....
- Ellen White, That I May Know, chapter 316


3. No blasphemy

Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
- Exodus 20:7 (KJV)

This commandment is pretty self-explanatory, e.g. God does not like being insulted. (Who would?)

There are many ways to insult the creator, some even without you knowing it. For example, I used to say "crikey" a lot (from Steve Irwin), until I found out that it meant "Christ". One can even argue if "Oh my gosh" is offensive as well. Even using the word "holy" in front of "unholy" things can be insulting to God as you now compare one with the other, and make them equal.

Tuning into your favourite TV show that you know contains blasphemous words, is not any better either.

Everything is wrong with worldly entertainments; they are ungodly, profane, blasphemous, and unworthy for Christian, for light and darkness should not have any fellowship.
- SalvationCall

We're meant to be separate.

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
- 2 Corinthians 6:17, 18.

Once, you become "comfortable" with all the blasphemy, it's like you "approve" (or "agree with") it.

Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.
- 1 Timothy 4:2 (KJV)

Best to stay clear of anything the world has "to offer".

Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
- James 4:4 (KJV)

enmity = a state or feeling of active opposition or hostility

That's why loving the world is so dangerous.

(I learned that the hard way)

While on this subject. Why curse at all? I mean, as a child of God, why not take all cursing out of your language? You are an ambassador of God's kingdom after all.

But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
- Colossians 3:8 (KJV)

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
- Matthew 12:36-37 (KJV)

You're probably not even aware of how much you curse, so set up a swear jar, and you'll be shocked.

I've added the verses below, because I feel they are somewhat related.

Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
- Matthew 12:33-37 (KJV)

The concept of "no blasphemy" is also found in the Lord's prayer.

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
- Matthew 6:9-13 (KJV)

Here are some additional quotes:

This commandment not only prohibits false oaths and common swearing, but it forbids us to use the name of God in a light or careless manner, without regard to its awful significance. By the thoughtless mention of God in common conversation, by appeals to Him in trivial matters, and by the frequent and thoughtless repetition of His name, we dishonor Him. "Holy and reverend is His name." Psalm 111:9. All should meditate upon His majesty, His purity and holiness, that the heart may be impressed with a sense of His exalted character; and His holy name should be uttered with reverence and solemnity.
- Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, chapter 27


4. Keep the Sabbath

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
- Exodus 20:8-11 (KJV)

Remember! As in don't forget.

It's not just for the Jews.

And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
- Mark 2:27-28 (KJV)

We're meant to keep the commandments - all 10 of them!

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
- James 2:10 (KJV)

The Sabbath is just as important as the "Thou shalt not kill" commandment.

The Sabbath commandment can also be broken up into two parts:

  • Work six days (Sunday - Friday)
  • Rest one day (Friday sunset - Saturday sunset)

So, we're supposed to be working on the six days. Not wasting our time, etc.

The Sabbath ("rest") commandment is also known as a sign between the Creator and us:

Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.
- Exodus 31:13 (KJV)

The Sabbath is a perpetual (never-ending) covenant.

Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.
- Exodus 31:16-17 (KJV)

And yes, we are the children of Israel, better known as spiritual Israel.

The Sabbath commandment is also known as a seal.

A seal has a name, a title, and a domain. In this case:
NAME = The LORD thy God
TITLE = Creator
DOMAIN = heaven and earth

The seal of God (Sabbath) is the opposite of the mark of the beast (Sunday).

Sabbath is kept from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. That's important.

I see the Sabbath as a date with the Creator of the universe. Best day of the week.

The Sabbath is blessed, and hallowed, and it "feels" completely different from any of the other six days. If you're not convinced, then try to keep the Sabbath at least once, so you can see for yourself.

Fore more information on the Sabbath, check out this article.

Here are some additional quotes:

The Sabbath is not introduced as a new institution but as having been founded at creation. It is to be remembered and observed as the memorial of the Creator's work. Pointing to God as the Maker of the heavens and the earth, it distinguishes the true God from all false gods. All who keep the seventh day signify by this act that they are worshipers of Jehovah. Thus the Sabbath is the sign of man's allegiance to God as long as there are any upon the earth to serve Him. The fourth commandment is the only one of all the ten in which are found both the name and the title of the Lawgiver. It is the only one that shows by whose authority the law is given. Thus it contains the seal of God, affixed to His law as evidence of its authenticity and binding force. God has given me six days wherein to labor, and He requires that their own work be done in the six working days. Acts of necessity and mercy are permitted on the Sabbath, the sick and suffering are at all times to be cared for; but unnecessary labor is to be strictly avoided. "Turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and . . . honor Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure." Isaiah 58:13. Nor does the prohibition end here. "Nor speaking thine own words," says the prophet. Those who discuss business matters or lay plans on the Sabbath are regarded by God as though engaged in the actual transaction of business. To keep the Sabbath holy, we should not even allow our minds to dwell upon things of a worldly character. And the commandment includes all within our gates. The inmates of the house are to lay aside their worldly business during the sacred hours. All should unite to honor God by willing service upon His holy day.
- Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, chapter 27

The Sabbath is a test to this generation. In obeying the fourth commandment in spirit and truth, men will obey all the precepts of the Decalogue. To fulfill this commandment one must love God supremely, and exercise love toward all the creatures that He has made.
- Ellen White, The Faith I Live By, p. 291


5. Honour your father and mother

Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
- Exodus 20:12 (KJV)

To honour your father and mother is important to God, and it comes with a reward (the only commandment that comes with a reward in fact).

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
- Ephesians 6:1-2 (KJV)

The father and mother are very much the heart of the family. There must be respect for them.

For me this means to make my parents proud, and not to embarrass them.

Training a child to be obedient from an early age, will also help them in the longterm.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
- Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)

What if the parents are bad?

But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
- Luke 6:27-28 (KJV)

If that fails, honour God (your heavenly Father).

We should also obey God, even if we don't fully understand why. That requires submitting to God's will. Understanding that God always does the best for you (and others) will make this easier to do.

Here are some additional quotes:

Parents are entitled to a degree of love and respect which is due to no other person. God Himself, who has placed upon them a responsibility for the souls committed to their charge, has ordained that during the earlier years of life, parents shall stand in the place of God to their children. And he who rejects the rightful authority of his parents is rejecting the authority of God. The fifth commandment requires children not only to yield respect, submission, and obedience to their parents, but also to give them love and tenderness, to lighten their cares, to guard their reputation, and to succor and comfort them in old age. It also enjoins respect for ministers and rulers and for all others to whom God has delegated authority. This, says the apostle, "is the first commandment with promise." Ephesians 6:2. To Israel, expecting soon to enter Canaan, it was a pledge to the obedient, of long life in that good, land; but it has a wider meaning, including all the Israel of God, and promising eternal life upon the earth when it shall be freed from the curse of sin.
- Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, chapter 27


6. No murder

Thou shalt not kill.
- Exodus 20:13 (KJV)

Most modern Bibles these days will say "thou shalt not murder".

In 1611 when the KJV was translated "kill" and "murder" were identical, but nowadays there's a subtle difference.

Kill: taking of a human life
Murder: unlawfully taking of a human life

This YouTube video does a really good job at explaining the difference.

Causing accidental death is not the same as murder. Intentional killing is murder (abortion for example).

Only God can give life, and take it away. Not us.

God can give permission to kill however, as frequently happened in the Old Testament (Philistines, etc). These battles were considered to be "judgments".

In the New Testament "hating a brother" is seen as murder.

Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
- 1 John 3:15 (KJV)

The first recorded murder in history was from the story of Cain and Abel:

And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.
- Genesis 4:10 (KJV)

Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous.
- 1 John 3:12 (KJV)

Murder is horrible, and God hates it.

In my opinion, the following activities are a form of breaking this commandment.

  • Playing shoot 'em up games
  • Watching violent TV/movies
  • Playing paintball games

All of these activities change how you feel about pulling the trigger on someone.

And it doesn't matter whether it's "just a zombie" or whatever.

Self-murder (or suicide) is a form of murder as well.

A common question is whether someone who committed suicide can still be saved. The story of Samson says that it can.

Interestingly enough, smoking (and other harmful additctions) can also be seen as "murder", e.g. "murdering" your own body.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
- Romans 12:1 (KJV)

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
- 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (KJV)

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
- 1 Corinthians 10:31 (KJV)

War is "mass murder", and it's just awful. It never stops (because of retaliations, etc). It just keeps going.

From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
- James 4:1-2 (KJV)

Once in heaven there won't be any of this.

Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
- John 18:36 (KJV)

And that includes animal killing by the way. A good reason to become a vegetarian today. <hint, hint>

Here are some additional quotes:

All acts of injustice that tend to shorten life; the spirit of hatred and revenge, or the indulgence of any passion that leads to injurious acts toward others, or causes us even to wish them harm (for "whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer"); a selfish neglect of caring for the needy or suffering; all self-indulgence or unnecessary deprivation or excessive labor that tends to injure health-all these are, to a greater or less degree, violations of the sixth commandment.
- Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, chapter 27


7. No adultery

Thou shalt not commit adultery.
- Exodus 20:14 (KJV)

Committing adultery goes much further than the actual act itself.

Jesus says it starts in the heart.

But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
- Matthew 5:28 (KJV)

Unfortunately this world is filled with temptation.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
- 1 John 2:16 (KJV)

Adultery breaks up families.

If you're married (in the Old Covenant), and you want to be with another woman, you would need to divorce first.

He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
- Matthew 19:8-9 (KJV)

God allowed divorce (because it is a real problem coming from a broken world), but He hates it nonetheless.

For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.
- Malachi 2:16 (KJV)

Lust can be a real challenge, but with God's help we can overcome it.

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
- Philippians 4:13 (KJV)

Here are some additional quotes:

This commandment forbids not only acts of impurity, but sensual thoughts and desires, or any practice that tends to excite them. Purity is demanded not only in the outward life but in the secret intents and emotions of the heart. Christ, who taught the far-reaching obligation of the law of God, declared the evil thought or look to be as truly sin as is the unlawful deed.
- Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, chapter 27


8. No stealing

Thou shalt not steal.
- Exodus 20:15 (KJV)

This seems obvious, but when is the last time you spend an hour on the internet at work? Or maybe you watched a pirated movie you didn't pay for? Or how about a business deal you knew wasn't "fair"? Or maybe not working as hard as you should? Etc...

It does sort of sneak in a bit sometimes, doesn't it?

Also, if you're not tithing, then you are robbing God.

Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
- Malachi 3:8 (KJV)

Steal no more.

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
- Ephesians 4:28 (KJV)

The idea of robbing God can also be seen in how you spend your time.

Those who fritter away their time or fail to put it to the best use are robbing God.
- Ellen White, That I May Know, chapter 319

Here are some additional quotes:

Both public and private sins are included in this prohibition. The eighth commandment condemns manstealing and slave dealing, and forbids wars of conquest. It condemns theft and robbery. It demands strict integrity in the minutest details of the affairs of life. It forbids overreaching in trade, and requires the payment of just debts or wages. It declares that every attempt to advantage oneself by the ignorance, weakness, or misfortune of another is registered as fraud in the books of heaven.
- Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, chapter 27


9. No lying

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
- Exodus 20:16 (KJV)

God hates lies.

Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.
- Proverbs 12:22 (KJV)

In fact, God doesn't lie at all:

God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
- Numbers 23:19 (KJV)

God is the Truth. (The absolute truth even)

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
- John 14:6 (KJV)

Everything that God says is Truth, and that's why we can rely on His promises.

Satan on the other hand, is known as the father of lies.

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
- John 8:44 (KJV)

Satan has painted a picture of God that simply is not true. That's how he gets you to worship him instead.

Although we're not supposed to lie, I have learned that I don't always have to tell everything either.

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
- Matthew 7:6 (KJV)

In other words, you can decline to discuss the sacred things if you don't feel comfortable talking about them.

Lying about someone (slander, or a form of gossiping) is not allowed either.

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
- Matthew 5:11 (KJV)

I have also noticed that a lot of politicians promise all sorts of things to get elected, but then they don't always follow through with it. They're very good at that actually. It's like they jumble all the words, and you can't really work out what they're saying.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
- Ephesians 6:12 (KJV)

The truth is straightforward, whereas a lie is "slippery", and confusing.

On a side-note, it's actually easier to spreak the truth rather than lie, because when you lie, you have to remember "what" you told to "who", etc. It's much harder in other words. Some liars have become really good at it however. They are cold hearted liars, and they just don't care. Whatever it takes to get what they want.

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
- Ephesians 4:25 (KJV)

People lie to cover up defects in their life, and come out "better of". I struggle with this myself when people ask me questions about things I don't want to talk about.

For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
- John 12:43 (KJV)

Speaking the truth makes you vulnerable, but it does make you righteous in God's eye. And you can always say "I don't want to talk about that".

People will respect your honesty.

He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known.
- Proverbs 10:9 (KJV)

Here are some additional quotes:

False speaking in any matter, every attempt or purpose to deceive our neighbor, is here included. An intention to deceive is what constitutes falsehood. By a glance of the eye, a motion of the hand, an expression of the countenance, a falsehood may be told as effectually as by words. All intentional overstatement, every hint or insinuation calculated to convey an erroneous or exaggerated impression, even the statement of facts in such a manner as to mislead, is falsehood. This precept forbids every effort to injure our neighbor's reputation by misrepresentation or evil surmising, by slander or tale bearing. Even the intentional suppression of truth, by which injury may result to others, is a violation of the ninth commandment.
- Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, chapter 27


10. No coveting

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.
- Exodus 20:17 (KJV)

We should be content with what we have, e.g. don't covet the things that belong to someone else, and that we can't have.

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
- Hebrews 13:5 (KJV)

God is all you need.

Paul confirms this.

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
- Philippians 4:11-13 (KJV)

God doesn't tempt anyone, so I guess coveting is a form of responding to satan's temptations.

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
- James 1:13-14 (KJV)

Covetousness is also satan's original sin, e.g. he wanted to be like God.

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
- Isaiah 14:12-15 (KJV)

After coveting he then started lying, and murdering, etc.

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
- John 8:44 (KJV)

Pride led to his downfall.

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
- Proverbs 16:18 (KJV)

Coveting things your neighbour has just leads to madness, e.g. your neighbour has a new car, so you must have one too. There's just no end to it, and it just leads to unhappiness (because you're never content with what you have). By all means buy a car, but don't do it to "outdo" your neighbour.

Coveting money is especially bad.

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
- 1 Timothy 6:10 (KJV)

Coveting the world is not of God.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
- 1 John 2:16 (KJV)

That's how Adam and Eve were deceived.

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food [lust of the flesh], and that it was pleasant to the eyes [lust of the eyes], and a tree to be desired to make one wise [pride of life], she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
- Genesis 3:6 (KJV)

We all believed satan's lie, that we would be like God, that are eyes would open, if we just ate from the tree of good and evil.

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
- Genesis 3:4-5 (KJV)

And now look at the mess we're in.

From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
- James 4:1-2 (KJV)

Are we really like God now that we know good and evil, or are we better off with God's law in place?

And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
- Luke 12:15 (KJV)

Covetousness and idolatry (of self) are linked together.

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
- Colossians 3:5 (KJV)

What do you spend your time on? Is it on God, or on acquiring possessions?

Here are some additional quotes:

The tenth commandment strikes at the very root of all sins, prohibiting the selfish desire, from which springs the sinful act. He who in obedience to God's law refrains from indulging even a sinful desire for that which belongs to another will not be guilty of an act of wrong toward his fellow creatures.
- Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, chapter 27


The Ten Promises

Ellen White gives us another interesting insight about the Ten Commandments.

The Ten Commandments, Thou shalt, and Thou shalt not, are ten promises, assured to us if we render obedience to the law governing the universe. "If ye love me, keep my commandments." John 14:15.
- Ellen White, The Faith I Live By, p. 86

So if I obey God, the Ten Commandments are the things that I will be able to do.


Summary

The Ten Commandments came directly from God. Written by God Himself.

And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
- Exodus 31:18 (KJV)

They are eternal, and are a reflection of God's character.

The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.
- Psalms 111:7-8 (KJV)

They are the dividing line between good and evil.

While in this world, we should strive to keep the Ten Commandments the best we can.

God's law is very elegant.

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
- Matthew 7:12 (KJV)

God's law will change us.

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
- Psalms 19:7 (KJV)

We will be blessed when we keep God's commandments.

Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
- Revelation 22:14-15 (KJV)

Here's a psalm about it:

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
- Psalms 1 (KJV)

Love is the fulfillment of God's law, and His law is not burdensome.

Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
- Romans 13:10 (KJV)

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
- 1 John 5:3 (KJV)

It's not that hard.

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
- Ecclesiastes 12:13 (KJV)

That's it! That's all there is to it.

To print or download the Ten Commandments, please click here.

If you wish to learn more about the Ten Commandments, I can recommend this book.