Adventist Online

Can God ask us to do something contrary to what the commandments say

In the bible there are times when God instructed the children of Israel to do contrary to what is stated in the commandments, for example when he told them to kill everything when they went to war, yet the commandments say do not kill. Can He still do likewise in our days, like tell us to do something contrary to the commandments for a greater reason?

Views: 101

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

That is because you are confused by the 6th Commandment.  It says to not Murder.  God is not a murderer, therefore He has not contradicted His own law.  It is merely confusion by a KJV passage that does not correspond to the original language.  So, confusion on our part does not in any way impute sin onto God's part.

I don't really know of anything that contradicts in the bible.  In reference to the commandment you mentioned I always interpreted it as though shalt not murder, not though shalt not kill.   And since the Israelite were carrying out God's judgement they did not break the commandment to not murder based on my understanding.  

I believe God leads people to do thing's other people may mis-interpret as breaking his commandments such as when Jesus healed on the Sabbath and rabbis scorned him for breaking the laws.  However, the God I worship would never have someone sin or do evil because he despises it.

Matthew 7:15-20
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

The answer is no. Sometimes in the bible things often appear contrary to God's character, as in the example you cited when He instructed the Israelite army to destroy a nation, including the sucklings on breasts. To some it may seem as if God is a despot who takes pleasure in the destruction of a race or nation, but in reality when such an event occurs its because God has to destroy such or else their influence and lifestyle would spread and cause the disease of evil to permeate other societies. Rather than allow such a race to live and suffer in a grossly sinful atmosphere to cause irreparable damage further down the road, He spares that race the agony. So everything that God does is JUST and GOOD.

The same principle will apply to those who are cast in hell fire. God will put an end to their lives to prevent them living in sin eternally. Such an existence would run contrary to God's character.

There is always a higher calling of love rules, but we are not able to bear them now, so we continue living in the love as best we know....and that is God's eyes...but not His ideal....

Joh 16:12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

There are many examples where God allows us to live in the culture of His love where we are at, and this understanding grows slowly over time to a higher ideal.

Abraham had polygamy and God allowed his act to reap what he had sown, even blessing the consequences of their sinning...

Often Jesus does tell his  prophets new teachings for accommodating their dysfunctional love state, hoping that they might become a state of more functional this might answer your question....

 De 24:1 ¶ When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.

Why was this commandment of Jesus given ?

Mt 5:31  It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
 32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

And here Jesus speaks of changing the old commandment back to the original intent He had all along...

Mt 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

This verse implies marriage occurs only once in your lifetime, so that is the ideal intention of marriage...

so the question asked is why do we divorce....?

Mt 19:8 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.
 9 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.

SO Jesus gives a tighter restriction on divorce, than the OT one, to make his people come back to a higher calling of love....

There are many examples where Gods commandments are broad so to accommodate dysfunctional states of love, but in the ideal living in heaven, we have a higher calling of love, as Jesus spoke about in the NT....

Let me give you one last example we all are guilty of breaking everyday...its a commandment too....

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

We never have other gods before us do we, so every SDA believer can claim to be obeying the first of the Ten commandments can't we ?

But notice Jesus tightens this commandment to become even an attitude:-

Ho 13:4 Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me.
 5 ¶ I did know thee in the wilderness, in the land of great drought.
 6 According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me.

The commandment ideally was supposed to say : (1) I AM your SAVIOUR.

Now how many of us allow a Saviour into our life every day ? doing what you might ask to our hearts?

Making us humble, not proud....

SO the ideal fruit of the first commandment is this (1) Be humble, not proud....

Can we obey this commandment ? Not anymore, because it beyond our human strength,

only in a Saviour can be do this requirement....

Jesus spoke the same thing in the NT

Mt 5:2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
 3 ¶ Blessed are the poor humble in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

(typo error when writing Hebrew to Greek, proving Matthew was written first in Hebrew)

Hope that helps


Just to add my two penn'orth...

My response to your question is, Yes, He can. I cite the case of Abraham and Isaac.

I regard to the example of going to war, this is a different scenario. Remember that Israel was a true theocracy at the time - the only true theocracy that has ever existed. That is, they were ruled directly by God. When God ordered other nations killed it was because they had filled their cup and brought judgement upon themselves. That no longer applies. Today Israel's reason for fighting/attacking others is "self defence", they cannot claim instruction by God because modern Israel is not a theocracy.


Stories are often told of people believing that they were having direct communication with Jesus, or angels, and only realised that it was a devil in diguise when they were told to do something contrary to the Commandments or Biblical teaching.

I will give you an example where Jesus speaks to the people where they are, not where He wants them ideally to be....He doesn't start where He wants them to be ideally because they would not understand....

Mr 10:17 ¶ And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?

A man comes to Jesus loaded with the wrong questions, He wanted to know what good things He could do to inherit eternal life?

Mr 10:18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
 19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

First Jesus challenges the question, saying humans cannot be good, than asks him about the ten commandments....beginning with ones humans find easy to obey in human strength alone....

Mr 10:20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.

The man responds confident He had observed all the ten commandments from His youth...

Mr 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

Jesus begins by actually loving the man in the way God saves us as sinners, but than asks the man to do something He knew the man could not do in his own human strength.

Where does the commandment to sell all your possessions come from ?

John Wesley comments the young man was not obeying commandment two

"One thing thou lackest-The love of God, without which all religion is a dead carcass. In order to this, throw away what is to thee the grand hinderance of it.  Give up thy great idol, riches".

I really don't think the young man was trapped by his riches, and maybe was also generous in helping others...

Notice what Charles Spurgeon wrote:

"If he loved God supremely, as the law required, here was a test for him.  We are not all called to relinquish our property; but if Jesus bade us do so, and we refused, it would prove that we loved the world better than God, and therefore were very far from keeping the commandments."

That is a nice comment, perhaps Jesus was testing him, but as our author of this thread, Florence, wants to know, something's Jesus commands us to do this different from Bible contexts....I am not aware of any Bible text that says to sell all your property and give it to the church, but the early people in Acts did that, nowadays we don't...even in Acts they didn't and Jesus calls them that they lost their first obviously selling all things your own and living as a common assembly is an ideal for Jesus...question is we don't do this anymore do we?

The comments of William Burkitt are interesting here

Observe here, 1. Christ's compassion towards this young man.  He loved him with a love of pity and compassion, with a love of courtesy and respect.
There may be some very amiable and lovely qualities in natural and unregenerate man; and goodness, in what kind or degree soever it is, doth attract and draw forth Christ's love towards a person.  If Christ did love civility, what a respect has he for sincere sanctity!
Observe, 2. Our Lord's admonition:   One thing thou lackest, which was, true self-denial, in renouncing the sin of covetousness, and the inordinate love of worldly wealth.
We ought, upon God's call to maintain such a readiness of mind, as to be willing to part with all for God's sake which is dear unto us in this world.
Observe, 3. Our Lord's injunction:  Sell what thou hast, and give to the poor.  This was not a common but a special precept, belonging particularly to this young man.  It was a commandment of trial given to him, like that given to Abraham, Ge 22:1-24. to convince him of his corrupt confidence in his riches:  yet it is thus far of general use to us all, to teach us so to contemn worldly possessions, as to be willing to part with them when they hinder our happiness and salvation.
It follows, And take up thy cross; an allusion to the Roman custom, when the malefactor was to be crucified, he bore his cross upon his shoulder, and carried it to the place of execution. It is not the taking, but the patient bearing, of the cross, which is our duty.
Learn, That all Christ's followers should prepare their shoulders for Christ's cross.  To bear the cross, implies faithfulness and integrity without shifting, patience and submission without murmuring, joy and cheerfulness without fainting.
Observe, 4. The effect which our Saviour's admonition had upon this young person:  He was sad and grieved at that saying.
Thence note, That carnal men are sad and exceeding sorrowful, when they cannot win heaven in their own way.
2. That such as are wedded to the world, will renounce Christ rather than the world, when the world and Christ stand in competition."

Burkitt says the trial was also a test, but not for all of us....The main point I could stress here  is Jesus does not give the man the normal steps of salvation, but rather challenges the legalism question with a legalism answer.

If a man asked Jesus what good thing could I do for salvation, Jesus gives you a good thing He knew you couldn't do...The answer meets your request in the culture you understand, after did want a human based work you could do, but He doesn't tell the man any other method of salvation, because the man didn't understand any other method of salvation. SO he went away sad because He couldn't do this work of humanism....

Why than doesn't Jesus challenge the man with a different approach for coming to Jesus ?

Ho 13:4 Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me.
 5 ¶ I did know thee in the wilderness, in the land of great drought.
 6 According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me.

The man's problem is here, in the first commandment of the Father, but Jesus adds a solution only sinners can keep. The god in our lives kept before GOD in heaven is us, we are our own god....nobody can keep this law and be saved...the fruit of being your own god according to this passage is self exaltation, or pride.

This the young man had, he was proud He was obeying the ten commandments since his youth, and thought He could obtain salvation in keeping them....he didn't see this was an impossibility

Notice Jesus adds things to the Father's ten commandments....

I am your Saviour, have no saviour but me....

Why didn't Jesus simply say the young man, I am your Saviour, follow me and allow me to remove the self powered spirit in you....and I will make you less proud and more humble....Jesus didn't say the salvation process that way, but He did challenge the man in his problem....

Since we as a church are so steeped in legalism, perhaps we do not understand Jesus love any more as well? Maybe we should also be challenged the same way, on a certain day globally the SDA church should ask us to sell all our assets and give them liberally to the church for finishing the work of the many of us would respond?...when Sunday law globally strikes ?

Ellen White says in Christ Object Lessons that Jesus "gave him a test that would make manifest the selfishness of his heart"....The young man "cherished an idol in the soul; the world was his god". chap28 391.5

These are similar comments of the other godly man as they comment....

Ellen White adds, the young man "did not posses true love for God or man"...She writes that "he must give himself unreservedly to God" ...And she writes the man was "not ready to accept the Saviour's principle of self-sacrifice"

Was the young man really so caught up in his own self importance ? Peter John and Andrew were equally as sinners, yet they gave them willingly to Jesus, and gave them their all...

Ellen finally writes "the soul that is bound in service to mammon is deaf to the cry of human need"

Mammon is a deadly disease....a cruel form of Baal worship, common even today.... study of Baal  study of mammon

In summary Jesus confronted the man with a command not found in the steps for sinners becoming saved, and was a special test to specific individual trapped in legalism and mammon. Jesus meets people where they are and challenges them in the culture they understand, another example of this is Lazarus in burning torment of hell....we have in Scripture all the contexts of love for salvation, and so we can walk in the torah of salvation or not, loving Jesus little or much, as our conscience is prompted by the Holy Spirit and Jesus....

Hope this helps with a modern NT example



Site Sponsors


Adventist Single?
Meet other Single
Adventists here:
Join Free

USA members:

Support AO by
using this link:


© 2020   Created by Clark P.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service