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The Great Commandments

Mat 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Mat 22:37 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.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

The Great Commandments also are about this system of society which God has planned for us. Remember from the previous chapter:

Current society ="the needs of the one, out weigh the needs of the many"
Gods society ="the needs of the many out weigh the needs of the one"

The Great Commandment is basically stating that the needs of the many out weigh the needs of the one.

Notice last verse. "On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets". What that means, is that the entire meaning of the Bible is summed up in those two commandments. If you don't think that is true, you don't understand those two commandments correctly. So it is like a test to see if you truly understand them.

You might say, two simple commandments, how could a person possibly misunderstand them, but most people do misunderstand. Two things need to be properly understood, to understand those commandments. The real meaning of the word "love", and what is God.

Most people think love is all about feelings. That is not true, and actually that is quite possible a major reason for there being so many divorces. Feelings are body chemistry which changes from day to day.

There is a feeling associated with love, but that is not what love is. When two people meet for the first time, they may have very strong feelings, but no love. After they've been married for 20 years, the feelings may be quite mild, but their love is very strong.

Does a normal person have such feelings for himself or herself?

In the Russian language, for the English word "dear" they use a word which means "valuable". They often also use a word meaning "golden". Words which seem to place a sort of monetary value on a person. This is actually very close to the truth.

What is more important to you, your car or your child? Your car has a monetary value, but no matter how expensive, your child should have greater value to you.

The wording of those two commandments are basically placing a comparison value, just like I did with your car and your child. The first saying to love God more than you love anything else, including your life and even your soul. The second saying to love your neighbor equal to your love for yourself.

I was talking in an internet christian forum a while ago about saving mankind, and about the Great Commandments. The people there seemed to believe that I was at risk of loosing my soul to eternal damnation, and said I should worry about saving my own soul and not worry about saving mankind. They asked me, which is more important, to save your eternal soul, or to save mankind.

Which would God want you to do? Which would make you a better person? Save your soul = selfish/greedy. Save mankind = selfless/benevolent.

If you love your neighbor, and you see your neighbor's house burning down with his children in it, do you try to save your neighbor's children? Doing so would put yourself at serious risk of a torturous agony that might seem like it lasts an eternity. Sort of like walking into Hell, to save your neighbor's children. Still, if you love your neighbor, and you think there's a chance, you do it.

The Great Commandment says to place God above your own soul. If you place your own soul before God, what makes you different than those people who hang around rich and famous people, pretending to be their friends, hoping some of their wealth and fame will rub off on you? Those people do not love the rich and famous people.

God is not stupid. You can not fool God by pretending to love God. You can easily fool yourself into thinking you love God, but that is not love.

God did not create the laws of the universe, or even the laws of morality. God simply told us what those laws are. God can not save your soul, only you can do that.

Which do you think would make you a better person, and more worthy of being saved? If you do a good thing for a bad reason, or if you do a bad thing for a good reason. If you come to St. Peter and say "I saved a man's life", and Peter says "yea, but you wouldn't have done it if you didn't expect to make a huge profit on it." Do you think you'd get in? Or if you came up to St. Peter and said "I don't deserve to go to Heaven, because I killed a man", and Peter says "but you only did so because you were trying to save a bunch of children", and you say "but I didn't save them." Do you think Peter will let you in?

Peter would say "you love God, you followed the Great Commandment". It is not a question of score. It is not how many people's lives you saved. It is whether or not you truly love God.

Love is basically what priorities you set in your heart. What is truly important to you. Do you love your country? Are you willing to die for it? Are you willing to die for your children?

God's commandments are defining what those priorities must be.

You might notice, your country is not listed. When it says to love your neighbor, it doesn't say anything about which country your neighbor comes from or lives in.

Nations bicker and fight like little children, but that doesn't mean that you must hate who your nation's leaders wants you to hate. God has commanded you to love, not hate.

There's nothing wrong with loving your country of course. I love my country very much. I just don't allow that love to exceed my love for God or for the people.

Even in the Pledge of Allegiance which they make you do in school, it says "one nation under God". This states that God is the higher authority. That the nation is under the authority of God. To pledge allegiance, setting the nation above God, would be unconstitutional, 'cause it would deny freedom of religion.

When you go out to a battlefield to die for the cause, it should not be for your country, but rather it should be for God. If you thing God really wants you to fight. Is it the right thing to do for mankind? Is your allegiance to your nation, or to its leaders? What your nation's leaders want, is not necessarily in the best interest of your nation. The leaders change every 4 years, but the nation stays.

So far we've defined love, as your priorities or your allegiances, what is important to you. What motivation defines your actions.

I define God as a super intelligent organism made up of all life on Earth. More on that later. God is the people. God is the animals. God is the plants. To love God, is to love all life.

If a person doesn't believe in God, it is still possible for that person to love God. To love God, is to love all life. To love the Earth.

You can go around telling everybody that you hate your father, but if you see him lying unconscious in a burning house, you still try to drag him out of the house and save him. Is that love or hate?

You can go around telling everyone you hate God, and do everything you can to help mankind. Is that love or hate? That is love. God knows you better than you know yourself.

Lately, it seems like there's more and more people who don't believe in God. So much so, that I suspect that God may be inspiring that disbelief, for the purpose of pulling people away from the incorrect teachings of the churches.

The beaten path is worn to a rut. A rut that leads to certain destruction. To get someone on the right path, you first have to get them out of that rut. Shock them, scare them, change their believes, whatever it takes to get them out of that darn rut. You have to push really hard to get someone out of a rut, but once they are out, it takes a much lighter push to get them in the right direction.

God wants to get people out of that rut, so they can follow God. If that requires getting them to not believe in God, than so be it. They don't need to believe in God to follow God or to love God.

The Great Commandment does not say to just love God. It is much more that that. It specifically defines and quantifies that love. It tells exactly how much you are to love God. With ALL your heart, and ALL your soul, and ALL your mind.

I like to include a little extension onto the Great Commandment, to get people to test their love. It doesn't change the meaning at all, only gives it more clarity. It goes like this, to love God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, AND all your money.

What are your priorities? What is most important in your heart?

Mat 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Mammon is wealth, so what Jesus is saying here is you can not serve God and the god of money. You have to choose which one you love. Either you love God, or you love money.

'Course, Jesus didn't just pull this stuff out of thin air. Moses gave us the law, long before Jesus. These are just rewordings, to help clarify it for us. Moses gave us what at first seems to be different commandments, but if you look closer you might understand how they are actually the same.

Exo 20:1 And God spake all these words, saying,
Exo 20:2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Exo 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Don't worship the god of money, or more accurately, in this verse, don't place the god of money above God in your heart. Which means the same.

Exo 20:4 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:
Exo 20:5 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;
Exo 20:6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Again, don't worship the god of money. According to merriam-webster.com one of the definitions of worship is: "extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem <worship of the dollar>".

Mat 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
Mat 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
Mat 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Mat 6:22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
Mat 6:23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
Mat 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Pretty wording, isn't it? And it is all true, 'course it wouldn't be pretty if it wasn't true.

In our modern World, where many people don't believe in God, I'd have to say that Spock puts it much more clearly, saying "logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few". The Great Commandment is simply to follow that logic and act accordingly. To place the needs of the many above your own needs.

Remember these two basic design philosophies of the two systems of society:

Current society ="the needs of the one, out weigh the needs of the many"
Gods society ="the needs of the many out weigh the needs of the one"

In the '70's, the hippies used to speak of "love". They started lots and lots of shared income communes, which are of the same basic system of society used by Jesus' Apostles.

What they were trying to do is create a love based society. Many of them were a bit confused on what love is, but the idea was good. They just didn't have all the pieces of the puzzle.

Here's a clip from John Lennon's song, called Imagine.

Imagine no possessions I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger a brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing for the world

Notice how that song is talking about a new form of society. This is the same type of society which God is creating.

It is a system which ends poverty "no need for greed or hunger", and it eliminates over use of resources which causes global warming "Imagine all the people, sharing all the world". And it has the potential to bring about World Peace by eliminating the main motivation behind war which is money and greed. As John put it, "Imagine all the people, living life in peace".

Now, back to the Second Commandment, given by Jesus.

Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Notice that "is like unto it", which means "about same as it". The two are basically one commandment.

What would happen, in capitalist society, if you gave every poor person you could find who needed money, your money. What would you have left over to live on? You'd pretty much be starving, wouldn't you?

In God's society, however, it is easy to do just that, and still have plenty for yourself.

Now, for the test, as I said earlier, this verse is a test to see if you truly understand:

Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

As I said, this means the entire meaning of the Bible is summed up in those two commandments. Are you starting to see how that is true? To be more accurate, the word "hang" suggests that the entire purpose of "the law and the prophets" is these two commandments. Or to setup God's society.

What Jesus is saying is that any information you think you know about God, which does not fit with this, needs to be discarded, because it is wrong. Don't be so arrogant that you think you know better than Jesus and God.

More about our plan to end poverty at endingpoverty101.com

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