Government Restraint in the Ten Commandments


This is the fourth segment in our series on Christian Service and Human Government. We continue with the exploration of the relationship of our Christian service and the impact on that service by human government. The human viewpoint philosophy of secular humanism is fighting today a merciless battle to stop divine viewpoint philosophy of biblical Christianity from influencing American life and American laws. That is the word to describe it: "merciless." Secular humanism is fighting a merciless battle to silence divine viewpoint influence in our society today. You would be interested to hear the reactions that I have received during the last few weeks because of the series that we are in and what I have been telling you. Some people are appalled. Some people are offended. Some people are distressed. Some people are glad that other people aren't here to hear. One man said, "Boy if so-and-so had been here, he would have been so indignant that he'd have been throwing chairs around the room." What is this telling us? This is telling us that the human viewpoint philosophy of secular humanism is in there to win. They are riding high. They are in the saddle because we have been negligent, and they don't intend to knuckle under to the rising tide of Christians who are saying, "We made a mistake. We want to take back our country."

American Christians unfortunately do not know the historical chain of events which have made it possible for the courts today to be making laws which contradict the Bible. If Christians knew what their heritage was as a nation they would understand. They would have seen the trends of the courts in contradicting the principles of doctrine and thus undermining our human personal liberties. Human laws today are more and more divorced from God's higher law in Scripture, and that inevitably leads to tyranny and to sufferings. Christians in the United States do not know the nature of the unique freedoms that they possess. They do not know the background of the origin of the American governmental structure. They are never going to learn that in a public school, and I'm not sure how good a job we are doing this in the Christian schools even though we are making attempts to do it. We are not training the students in our schools to know the unique background, the historical training, of the American governmental structure--where it came from, and what the people were like who put it together. What was in their minds when they created the structure?

Americans do not realize that they have been defrauded, consequently, of their civil heritage because they don't know what that civil heritage was. They do not see the formation of the United States as a specific divine act in order to produce the client nation as Israel once was. And that's what we are. The United States is today God's client nation. It is the nation that is in the best position to make known divine viewpoint truth. It has the capacity. It has the treasures. It has the people. It has the knowledge to do that. That was once true of Israel, and Israel forfeited that position.

Therefore, when the United States was put together as a nation, it was not just a helter-skelter incidental accidental thing that came together. There was an enormous moving of the hand of God upon a variety of people, some of whom were not themselves Christians, but all of whom operated on the basis of Christian principles. So today, the average American Christian is intimidated by the secular humanist and its majority human viewpoint opinions as expressed in the news media and in the various publications. And we have failed to fight back. It is my hope that this series will inform you and the thousands who will listen after you to what we say here; to what this heritage is; and, to why we should start fighting back; and, fighting back, not in the comfortable "I don't get hurt" resistance, but to fight back without respect of who the individual is in his power structure or without fear of who the individual is in his position, fighting back in terms of the fight that the Christians of the New Testament fought back, to say, "I will resist, and you have the power structure to impose the consequences on me, and I will take the consequences, whether it's the lions in the arena or whether it's to be made a piece of garbage in the face of society, ridicule, or whatever." I'm not sure to what extent we are capable of rising to that kind of resistance. I assure you that the forces of humanism are vicious and determined, and if you do not resist with that kind of determination, they will win.

The Ten Commandments

The problem is that we have become divorced as a nation from the higher law upon which the Constitution and all that flows from it was established. We have gone over this in several directions. The thing that we are talking about when we say "the higher law" is the law of God such as basically the Ten Commandments.
  1. Other Gods

    For example, you know that the first commandment is, "You shall have no other gods before me." Now how in the world is that supposed to come into the picture of human government? What this law is saying is that you will not have a god such as the Roman and Greek mythological gods were presented to a society. God condemned Greek and Roman mythology. You will not have gods that are made up of angels, whether elect or fallen angels, and you will not worship those gods. I talked to a man yesterday who has been involved with Berean tapes and he's a great supporter of the Berean ministry. I got to talking to him about the fact that we are presently in a series where the American religious mind is today, and what has happened in terms of our rejection of our Christian heritage and the substitution of Eastern mysticism.

    Lo and behold, I discovered that he used to be a participant in one of the greatest of the Eastern mystical cults, Rosicrucianism. We have touched upon that in passing and he said, "That was my God. I was really in there with this. I had the capacity to learn how to be passive, to just wipe my mind clean. And my wife and I could communicate with others by our mental communication alone. I'd be out on the job and she'd have something to say to me about the kids being sick or something, and I maintained a condition of receptivity, and I'd get the message, and I'd know before I ever got home. I didn't realize, even though I was a Christian, that the powers and what I was worshiping were spirit powers." He had another god before him.

    He said, "You know, one day you were responsible for my taking all those materials that I had, and I spending three hours burning them, stirring the ashes until there was not a fragment left. It was when I listened to the Berean Jude series that I realized what I was in." He said, "This is power--the capacity that I had for hypnosis and to use that power to become anything you wanted, and to become influential and wealthy. That's the world that's out there of Eastern mysticism. That's the reality. That's why people go forward and say, "Forget that Christianity stuff. Here is where it's at. Here's where things are moving."

    Now the word of God comes along and says, "You will not have spirit beings before you as gods; nor will you establish any human being as your god. Some of you may have been following the recent television series on cults. There is one here locally in Texas, and boy I just cannot believe that it's the Jim Jones syndrome all over again. It's all the same exultation of the leader to godhood. You'd think they'd learned their lesson, but here they are doing it all over again. And God says you cannot do that.

    The absolute arbitrary power of government can be a god which is worshipped instead of the living Creator God. And this is an expression in a variety of ways where government assumes the role of deity. For example, the Supreme Court assumed the role of deity when it condemned the concept of capital punishment. The Supreme Court said that God was wrong, and they assumed the role of deity and established themselves as right. Then when they found all the uproar and fury against them, they began to compromise that a little bit. They said, "Well, it's the way you're doing it that is at issue. If you'll do it the right way, we will allow you to do it. But the implication of that liberal court was that the Bible is wrong in saying, "Take a life for first degree murder."

  2. Graven Images

    The second commandment says, "You shall not make unto yourselves any graven image." That means you don't worship something that you have made with your human hands. You don't worship something that's the god of an element of nature. Some of these people who say, "Well, I don't go to church, but I have a little place out here on the lake, and I love to go out to my little cabin, and I love to worship God. I go outside and I look at the clouds and I'm so inspired. And I go out and I walk through the rustling leaves of the forest, and I commune with God." And nature has become your God.

    Or it is the god of some material possession or ambition that you have. That material thing has become your god, and everything you do is devoted to promote that god. There are a variety of ways that you may have a substitute for the real God. And don't forget that idolatry historically is usually accompanied by sexual immorality. Pornography, prostitution, and homosexuality are evils in our day which are an expression of making another god image. Any kind of a substitute for God is condemned by the Word of God. Even if something is legalized that the Bible declares to be sexually defiling, it is still condemned by the higher law of God.

    So how should civil authorities act? Well, civil authorities say you should legalize prostitution. Then you can control it. Here is something associated with idolatry that they say should be legalized, then it would be acceptable. But it would still be condemned by the Word of God.

  3. Taking God's Name in Vain

    The third commandment said, "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain." This commandment forbids the use of God's holy name for trivial and deceptive purposes. For example, it condemns a person for saying something, "As God is my witness," when it is not really true. This is saying something in a trivial manner. This is like sometimes something happens and I hear people say, "Oh God." And they get into it, and they're repeatedly saying it, instead of at least coming up with something more suitable, like say, "Oh, fat mama," or "Fish heads and rice," or something more suitable that would convey what they wanted to say. Instead they use God's name in a trivial insignificant manner. That's what this commandment forbids, because God's name represents His supreme authority and His supreme sovereignty in the universe. God's name represents His sovereignty. You don't throw it around.

    Curse words which use God's name are an attempt to establish authority for one's actions. Curse words which use God's name are your way of trying to establish an authority for what you're saying and what you're doing. Cursing readily moves, of course, from words associated with God as the power base in the universe by which you're seeking to establish something, to words that are associated with Satan as the power base. So, you descend from words that had to do with the name of Jesus Christ and God used in curses to words that are associated with the devil like "hell" and "damn" and obscenity words right down the line to crudities of all kinds that are associated with Satan. But they're all designed for calling upon a power base. The person who has to use words like this is the person who has a weakness of spiritual maturity and who is willing to violate the third commandment. Foul language in general is forbidden to man who is made in the image of God, and he should not treat God with such disrespect. He is not made in the image of Satan.

    Now public cursing is condemned by this commandment. Public cursing reflects the level of rebellion in our society against the law of God. There was a time when you could not curse publicly. There was a time when legal action would be taken for public cursing in entertainment. There was a time when that just wasn't there. You could go to movie after movie after movie, and you would not hear a single word of cursing. It was not until Gone with the Wind came along, and in that final desperate scene where Scarlett O'Hara is saying, "But Rhett, what's going to happen to me?" And Rhett is standing at the door ready to go out, with the magnolia blossoms odor breezing through the door. And he says, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn." And everybody was shocked. The censor said, "Wait a minute." But they let it through. One word--the final word of the film--and from then on the floodgate was open and cursing became a way of life in public entertainment, and in our day to the most degrading levels.

    Government should have stepped in and said, "Public cursing and public foreign language is demeaning to our spiritual heritage, to our Judeo-Christian culture, and we do not permit it in public entertainment." Now they not only permit the language, but the nudity and everything else which is associated with degrading the image of God in which man was made. Society is not to tolerate the use of God's holy name in verbal emotional releases. That ridicules God, but it shows the level of our rebellion. The use of God's name in curse words is a perverted use of divine authority to establish some point that you're trying to make. Civil government should resist this.

  4. The Sabbath Day

    The fourth commandment says, "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy." Within the context of the church age, this is a principle that calls for a legal holiday in every seven-day period. One legal holiday in every seven-day period is the way this would apply within the church age. To Israel, it was a special covenant day, the Sabbath day, the Saturday, one day in seven. Their covenant base with God was reflected by that day. The individual and the nation will prosper when a day of rest and a religious activity is set aside. But the day of rest, the Sunday that we know, has been secularized by the courts because the courts have ruled that Sunday is the day of rest provided by the state for its citizens. It isn't a day which we recognize as a day provided by God. The courts have ruled, in so many words, that Sunday is a legitimate day for preventing certain businesses from operating, for example. Why? Because it is the day that God has set aside? No, it's a day that the states have given to the people, and that is the justification. The day of rest is provided in fact by God to honor Him.
  5. Honor Parents

    The fifth commandment says, "Honor your father and your mother." This preserves the divine institution of the family. Parents represent God's authority on earth in the family, and parents are therefore to be obeyed. To honor one's parents is thus to honor God, and thus, as the commandment further explains, it puts one in the position of divine blessing. When you honor your parents, you open the door to personal blessings. Honoring parents does not mean obeying them if they direct you to do that which is evil, any more than a wife reverences her husband by doing that which he wants her to do when it is against the Word of God. That's evil. Then she does not reverence and obey him.

    Court decisions have now undermined in our country, in large scale, parental authority because of the humanist concept of children's rights. Children may now rise up and sue their parents. Organizations are provided for children to sue their parents and to say they don't want to be part of that family anymore because they don't like the restrictions in the way that family is treating them, so they can find another family. Any family that would take a kid like that deserves to have him. In Russia, children's rights extend to the point that it is illegal for parents to give their children religious instruction. The Bible requires such instruction.

    Now here's a nice test case for all the fine strong Christians. What would you do? You're a member of a communist society. You're a member of a police state. You're told that the rights of your children are such that they have the freedom to grow up without religious contamination and indoctrination so they can make their own decision when they get older. The Bible says, "Train up a child in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord." The state has denied a biblical principle. The state says, "If you do it, we're going to send you to Siberia." What are you going to do? That's the kind of a choice that's clear and clean and tough. And if you make the biblical choice, I guarantee you, you will have to be prepared for the consequences as have many Russian parents who are believers. The government bureaucracy calls parental spanking today abuse, and it takes legal action against the parents even though the Bible says that you will drive foolishness, which is in the sin nature in a child, far from him if you will spank him in his earliest days. The Bible says you may even bruise him, but he will not die.

  6. Murder

    The sixth commandment that restrains governments says, "You shall not murder." This forbids the illegal taking of a human life--first degree murder. The divine punishment for willful murder is death. Now it is quite obvious how human government has violated this rule. All over this country, there are people who have willfully taken human life. They are put into prison for life. They are given prison sentences and then paroled. They are put into institutions where they can be examined by psychiatrists who need the business, and who will then decide whether this person can be turned loose on society which they have no way of possibly knowing whether he can or not. The divine punishment for willful murder is evaded. The legislative bodies and the courts have rejected the divine penalty, and they often will free the murderer again.

    Pacifist groups are calling for disarmament, for nuclear freezes, for gun control. All of these are under the illusion that they will prevent murder--that the violence will be prevented. The Word of God says the way you prevent violence is that the person who has the audacity to take somebodies life is to be executed himself.

    There were no prisons in Israel. You know that, don't you? There were no prisons under the Judaic system in the Old Testament under the Mosaic Law. There were no prison houses. There were six cities of refuge that a person could flee to in order to be under protective custody while his case was being heard and adjudicated, but there were no prisons. If you were guilty of willful murder, you are put to death. They didn't mean a prison. There was no life imprisonment. If you stole something from somebody; if you were an embezzler; or, if you were a felon of some kind, you were not put in prison for a number of years. Instead you were handed over to the man that you had stolen from. It was established that what you had taken from this man has this much worth, and you were his slave until you had worked out and returned what you had taken from him, plus a penalty which the law clearly established. They didn't need prisons. The crimes were given an adequate punishment, and the execution was made.

    For children who were incorrigible, they didn't have reform schools. For a son or a daughter who would not obey their parents; who were repeatedly violating the laws and disobeying their parents; and, who were disrespectful to adults, they executed them. That's what they did to teenagers. Boy, talk about clearing out the troublemakers from your classrooms. All they had to do was send one down the pike to the death house and all the rest of them said, "No, I don't think I like that game. I think I'll be a little nicer this time. The Word of God knows what it's talking about.

    And by the way, you know the sixth commandment is, "You shall not murder." That's what the Hebrew says. You must know that there are going to be all kinds of Pollyanna characters who will try to con you out of human government acting upon that principle because they say, "You shall not kill." I heard a poor poor lady on the radio program the other day. She was for the nuclear freeze. Do you know what her main reason was? "I am a Christian and the Bible says, 'Thou shalt not kill.'" I thought to myself and I said, "God how ironic it would be if we are ever invaded by the enemy, that she's the first that gets raped. What ironic injustice that would be." While she calls for peace with an enemy that God says you bring peace to by destroying his capacity to make war upon you, and that you stop his capacity to murder. But for a soldier to kill in a field of battle is honor. And for a Christian soldier to kill, particularly if he's a soldier who is well-versed in doctrine, it makes him an expert in combat situations that his very knowledge of doctrine gives him a conscious mental capacity to survive. He knows how to survive because he is programmed by the Word of God to make the right moves.

  7. Adultery

    The seventh commandment says, "You shall not commit adultery." This principle preserves the divine institution of marriage. Sex is restricted very clearly in the Bible to the context of marriage with one's own spouse. This principle implicitly forbids premarital sex. Sexual perversions of bestiality and homosexuality are forbidden by divine decree, and are not to be viewed as mere alternate lifestyles to be exercised by preference. But now look at the courts today. The Bible is very clear on this subject, but the courts ignore the Bible. They tolerate the public promotion of immorality, and they call it a more open society. I was listening to a herpes program. There are lots of herpes programs these days. I was listening to another one on television. The lady stood up and she was a young lady and really pathetic, really sad. She was saying, "You know, we have a more open society today." Her point was that we need some way of dealing with this problem because we have a more open society, which was a euphemism for we have a more "immoral" society today. That's what she meant. They use these cute cover-up words for the reality of the evil that we now have.

    The Word of God says that human government is responsible for promoting godly morality. It is responsible for promoting the use of sex within the context that God has designed it for. Therefore, pornographic literature, even though it is legalized, is deliberately designed to undermine biblical morality, and government has the duty and the right to stop it. Everything else that's associated with sexual immorality, including nudity in public entertainment, is condemned by the Bible, and civil government has the right and the duty to seek to undermine and to prevent it. Instead it is wide openly promoted as an alternate life style.

  8. Stealing

    The eighth moral principle says, "You shall not steal." Now this one forbids government to permit any taking of the possession of the fruits of another person's labor without that person's permission. The socialist mentality of the United States for the past 50 years has violated increasingly this divine principle by a policy of forceful confiscation from producers and redistribution to favored non-producers. This is not redistribution to everybody, but only to favored non-producers. God forbids one man to live off the sweat of another man's brow. That's what this principle says. You shall not live off the sweat of another man's brow unless he chooses for you to live off of it. Government is authorized by God only to perform the duties of an umpire to maintain order in a society as people exercise their God-given freedoms to enjoy their lives. Government is only authorized to keep the game fair. The Bible declares that he who will not work, will not eat. The Bible declares, updating that statement, that he who will not take a job is not to be provided with food anyhow in spite of the fact that he will not take a job. Now that is a pretty tough principle to apply. How many of us have the spiritual capacity to say to someone who is hungry who has refused to take a job, "The bible forbids me to give you food because you have refused to take a job."

    2 Corinthians 3:10 says, "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some who walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busy bodies. Now them that are such, we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ that with quietness they work and eat their own bread from their own sweat. But you brethren be not weary in well-doing." "With quietness they work and eat their own bread." I don't know how you can be any clearer about it. The Bible is specific on the business of government stealing from those who work to give to those who do not work who could work. What we're finding today is that we have economic hard times. We are going through the trauma of what for 50 years our mounting socialism has done.

    I read an article where the Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill said, "People say I'm one of the biggest all-time spenders. I want to tell you something. They're right. I want to tell you that at one time I used to be able to sneak into the bills the spending programs for various causes that I considered good. It's harder to do now, but I used to be able to sneak them in and nobody would ever see them, and they would go right on through. One time I provided $50,000 for a study of why children have knock knees." It would have been better spent on trying to figure out why politicians have dumb heads. But he was very proud of the fact that he had slipped this in for this and this in for that. He wasn't making any bones about it.

    Who can Create Wealth?

    There are always Americans who think that the Socialist Party is really out there to do something good, and it just does not mean to create this disaster. They do mean to do it. That is their concept because they are violators of the Word of God. You should recoil from them with horror like you would a leper. Anytime you join hands with them, the curse of God is upon you. Now you can be mad about that and it's OK with me. Any time you join hands with them, the curse of God is upon you. God does not contradict himself. He is immutable. He is unchangeable. He is consistent. Government can never produce wealth. God has designed only one unit of human society that can produce wealth, and that is the family. Only the family can produce wealth. I don't care how you try to vary this, it is only the family unit. That family unit may consist of a single unmarried person, but as that single unmarried person becomes married and that family expands, its capacity to make wealth is increased. As children come along, the families increase (and in an agricultural society particularly this was evident), the family has capacity to create more wealth. That is the only thing in our society that can create wealth because that's how God designed it.

    When the government comes in, which cannot produce wealth, and claims the divine right to distribute the wealth of families, then the government is guilty of stealing, and that's what the government has been doing. It has come in and said, "We have the right to take what you produce and to distribute it." The bible forbids the government from doing that. But how many Christians are rising up and saying, "No. No more." This is particularly difficult when those Christians have lost their jobs and they're hurting because the economy is shifting. As the analysts are telling us, it is shifting more to services to people. These people are going to go back to work in services that they perform rather than in products for people. The nation is in the throes of coming out of violating economic principles of the Bible which is part of this commandment.

  9. Bearing False Witness

    Commandment number nine says, "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." This prohibits making false statements about other people. This prohibits slandering. This prohibits saying anything unkind (particularly about the preachers) of any nature whatsoever. This is sometimes telling the facts but not the truth. You can tell the facts but not the truth, and that is used to slander. It is bearing false witness. This deals with the crime of perjury in a court of law. It deals with swearing to something on the Bible. When you swear to something on the Bible, you are in effect calling upon God to be witness to your veracity in a matter. That's why when you take an oath in a court of law, you end up with the words, "So help me God." When you use the words, "So help me God." you're calling upon the living God to be witness to the fact that what you say, you're going to do. That is true.

    That's why, for example, people who are in Masonry who take the first oath that if they ever reveal the secret handshakes, the secret symbols, and all the secrets that they have learned in the lodge that they would call upon their fellow members to tear out their hearts and to bury them in the sands where the sea ebbs and tides 24 hours a day (something to that effect--I'd have to look up my book to get you the exact words). But the final phrase is, "So help me God." And you might say, "Are you swearing to have your heart torn out and buried on the seashore if you ever reveal the secret handshake?" They would say, "Well, of course I don't really mean it." And you might point out to them, "But you said, 'So help me God.' You called upon God as your witness that you would have that done, and furthermore that you would do it to anybody else." That's how sloppy we are in what the Word of God says, pretending that those words do not mean something. All human authority would collapse if God's authority to punish perjury were not recognized. God delegated authority to man to punish perjury. Perjury is a serious thing. It is rightly punished because you call upon God to be your witness that you're telling the truth when you're lying. When you are witness to a crime, you are divinely obligated to testify truthfully to your knowledge of that crime.

    Punishment for perjury in the Bible was very interesting. If you were guilty of perjury in the Bible, the punishment was what the victim would have received if they had believed you. If your perjury would have cost that person his life, and then they discover that you are lying, and they were almost ready to execute this man upon your lying testimony, they would have executed you in place of him. You would receive the punishment that the victim would have received for you for your perjury. That is a good system. Freedom of speech, of course, does not extend to libeling another person; to slanting news reports; or, to misleading ads. All of that is perjury. All of that is bearing false witness. The advertising world is full of false witnessing. The news reports are full of false witnessing. The activist judges are pressing the causes of humanism which are lies in relation to reality. If judges do not act in keeping with the laws of God, they will act according to the views of men which are satanic concepts.

  10. Coveting

    The final commandment, the final principle of freedom is, "You shall not covet." This forbids the indulgence of the intense desire for something which one cannot legitimately have--the intense desire for something you cannot legitimately have. If you have an intense desire for want of Mary Kay's pink Cadillacs, that is not an evil. But if you have an intense desire for one of Mary Kay's Cadillac's that I happen to have, then it is evil. If you want to have one of Mary Kay's pink Cadillac's, and you have an intense desire for it, and you proceed to sell the products to gain the status to get the Cadillac, that's all right. But this is an intense desire for something you don't have a right to have.

    Thus it refers, the Bible says specifically, to another's mate. The way it is stated, it says that you won't desire someone else's wife. But, of course, the reverse must also be true--not desiring somebody else's husband. It refers to possessing someone else's possessions or to having somebody else's status. Covetousness in the Bible carries with it the idea of dishonest gain. Covetousness is usually dishonest gain. The courts, again, are used to justify satisfying the poor who covet taking from the rich. That's the basis of the welfare state. This includes those who have less coveting what those who have more of, and using the power of the state to secure it. The Bible tells us that covetousness is a form of idolatry because covetousness has made something else your God. Covetousness degenerates, if not satisfied, into envy. Then it's even worse because envy is a quality which seeks to destroy what you covet but what you cannot have. You covet my Mary Kay pink Cadillac, but because you cannot have it, you put a bomb in it and blow it up. That is envy. Envy is to destroy what the other person has if you can't get it and you can't take it by force.

    Covetousness leads to the exploitation of others who are helpless and weak for your personal gain. Legalizing covetousness makes it organized lawlessness, and that's all. It is under the coercion of the state, but it's just as sinful. There's a great deal of legalized covetousness because the courts do not obey this rule. Covetousness seeks to make everybody equal, and that is again the cry of the liberal; the secular humanists; the activist lawyer; the activist judge; or, the activist court. That type of person hates with a vengeance. Matthew 25:29 says, "For unto everyone that has shall be given and he shall have abundance. But from him that has not shall be taken away even that which he has." How's that for a statement of equality? Here is the sovereign God saying that everybody that has shall be given more, and he shall have an abundance. But from him that has not shall be taken away even that which he has, because God recognizes that those who apply themselves on the basis of biblical principles will be prospered. Their needs will be met, and more will be added to what they have. But those who have little and try to gain on the basis of covetousness will lose what they have and they'll have even less.

    The Bible does not envision people becoming equal in their possessions--only equal in their ability to pursue possessions. When governments legalize covetousness, they are anti-family. They are preventing the wealth that is produced by the family to continue in the family. You know we have people now who do want to make laws that your children cannot inherit your fortune beyond a certain level--that there's only so much your children can receive. The rest has to go to the state treasury. That is covetousness. And don't say, "Oh well, that's not going to happen here." It has happened in countries all around the world. In time, unless we take apart the federal government, piece by piece by piece, and bring it back into line with the restrictions of the Constitution, it will happen here. Covetousness thinks that having something desired will make one happy. But the Bible says for you to be content with such things as you have as a result of your labors. It is a terrible thing when government encourages covetousness.

Now there are many more things in the Bible that are guidelines for directing the function of government. But just this code of ten principles was given to Israel after they crossed the Red Sea. They had been slaves for centuries. They now had something they hadn't had for 400 years--personal freedom. And the first thing God says to them is, "I'm going to give you 10 basic principles by which you will now preserve the freedom into which I have led you. If you violate these principles, you'll be back in slavery." They learned their lesson the hard way and it seems that we must do the same.

Dr. John E. Danish, 1982

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