Eighth Commandment = don’t be a thief.
How many today know what the 8th Commandment is really all about? Some do not even know the Commandments, because they have never been taught them separately or in order and have never known the seriousness of keeping them. “Sure, it is one of the Ten Commandments, but who believes they need to strictly keep them today?” many say and think. And truthfully, who really thinks about what might break this Commandment? What does it even say, exactly?
Well, it simply says; “You shall not steal.” (Deut.5:19, NKJ) How hard is that to understand? Taking something that is not rightly your own is stealing! Yet most of the carnal minded feel that if they can get something thru whatever means they employ to do so, then it is alright. This is in total disregard for what God reveals as a right way to live. God says that He does not like “unjust weights” or trying to get more than what you pay for—taking advantage of the unsuspecting. That is stealing. (Deut.25:13-16& Prov.20:10)
Even during Christ’s time, this commandment was reiterated by Him, in Matt.19:18. Christ also tells us to lay up treasure where no thief can break in and steal. (Matt.6:19) The way of the carnal mind is to do the opposite of what God says. (Rom.8:7) It is also interesting that Christ contrasts what He came to do with what Satan is out to do, in this passage found in the gospel of John. Satan is the influence behind those who practice stealing from others. Christ says; "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10-NKJ) So Satan, the one who tried to steal God’s throne from Him, as the created Cherub Lucifer, (Isaiah 14:12-14) and tried to make himself equal to God, was thrown out of heaven, as Christ testified to seeing. (Luke 10:18—see also Ezek.28:14-15)
People here in the USA, and even among those who have been called and given a chance to be in the first resurrection, may become lukewarm and even try to rob from God; Mala 3:8-9 "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, 'In what way have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings. 9 You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation.”—which is true today here in the USA, because the majority do not pay tithes and of those who do, some try to find a way around giving a full tithe, according to the way God commanded in Deut.14 & other places. That is stealing from God and breaking the 8th Commandment. There are many who try to get from others, by various means, which is also a form of stealing.
There are those who also have the tendency to try and steal secretly or place oneself above this Law of God; Rom 2:21 You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach (This could be in ministry) that a man should not steal, do you steal?” Some in the ministry do this today and are caught, spending time in jail.
There is also what is considered corporate stealing and there is the individual who steals little by little from employer or the government thru lies about their time spent working, income on tax forms, reporting more deductions than are true, etc. Lawyers steal from clients by way of overcharging for little service, while encouraging their clients to steal from others thru law suites and divorce. Doctors steal from the government and their patients by overcharging. All of this is a violation of the spirit and intent of the 8th Commandment. However, Paul makes it plain for true Christians, one cannot have the inner heart of a thief, trying to take from another more than is rightfully due to you and still be a Christian!
Rom 13:7-10 “Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor. 8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
When a person promises to give a just amount of money or some other commitment for something they have received, or that is now already in their possession, then reneges on that promise and tries to get it for much less or even nothing, that is dishonesty and stealing which certainly breaks the 8th Commandment. In our world today this is done all the time. Dishonest women and men are constantly trying to get all they can from other men or women. Some do this through the divorce lawyers who will encourage them (either party) to lie and be deceitful to get all they can, as mentioned above, whether it is something rightfully theirs or not. This is a form of stealing and can sometimes include malice and deceit. (See the article “Broken Vows” for more) A truly righteous person led by the Holy Spirit does not do these things, resisting that mindset and temptation, as they are supposed to have repented of that way of living and begun to change, even before baptism. We all make mistakes or get caught off guard, however, no one can “steal” true conversion as it is God who grants repentance, by knowing the heart and mind of whom He gives the Holy Spirit to. (Acts 5:32) Many today even try to “steal” Christianity by applying the name but not the way. (See the “Third Commandment”.)
It is the one only pretending to be converted that will slide back into that old way of doing things when it is to their advantage, even if they are among those in the COG. This is their fruits showing up to betray the fact that they have not really committed themselves to totally live God’s way of life. They not only break the 8th Commandment, but all of the rest as well (James 2:10-11) and cannot have a deep love for God or fellow man when stealing. (John 14:15) No human beings are perfect like Christ was, but we cannot excuse ourselves and continue to knowingly break the Commandments and expect to be in the kingdom of God. Christ made this clear in Matt 5:19-20 "Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, (even by practice or example) shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 "For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (They will not even be there without heartfelt repentance.)
For those who are being led by the Holy Spirit of God, they will struggle to be overcoming the weaknesses & pulls of the flesh and will keep the 8th Commandment, as well as all of the others. We will all be judged and need God’s mercy, because we have failed on many occasions, but that is what repentance is all about. It is those who never really repent, but expect others to as they themselves keep trying to get, that may be in deep trouble. James 2:12-13 “So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” May God help us all to see how we can show mercy to others, still keep the laws of God and not go against His principles found in the Bible. The Holy Spirit will lead us in that way if we are willing to follow. That “Law of liberty”, the “Royal Law” of verse 8 is the Ten Commandment Law of God, that must be kept. This includes the 8th Commandment, which says; “You shall not steal.” This article has only given some ways this Command is being violated in our world today. The main point is, we need to be developing our minds to recognize any potential violation of God’s Commands and steer clear of them.
If we are striving to live a Spirit led life, we will keep the 8th Commandment, so it is important for us to examine ourselves to see if we may be subtly breaking this command and repent if so. This is something that a true Christian will want to correct and make right in God’s eyes as quickly as possible.
(Editor for TCOGMSO)
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