Christian Churches of God

No. B10iv




The Shepherd of Hermas Part 4


(Edition 2.0 20000414-20060722-20221004)


Part 4 deals with Commandments 7 to 12 given to Hermas.



Christian Churches of God

PO Box 369,  WODEN  ACT 2606,  AUSTRALIA






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 The Shepherd of Hermas Part 4





"Fear," said he, “the Lord, and keep His commandments.” For if you keep the commandments of God, you will be powerful in every action, and every one of your actions will be incomparable.  For, fearing the Lord, you will do all things well.  This is the fear which you ought to have, that you may be saved.  But fear not the devil; for, fearing the Lord, you will have dominion over the devil, for there is no power in him.  But he in whom there is no power ought on no account to be an object of fear; but He in whom there is glorious power is truly to be feared.  For every one that has power ought to be feared; but he who has not power is despised by all.  Fear, therefore, the deeds of the devil, since they are wicked.  For, fearing the Lord, you will not do these deeds, but will refrain from them.  For fears are of two kinds: for if you do not wish to do that which is evil, fear the Lord, and you will not do it; but, again, if you wish to do that which is good, fear the Lord, and you will do it.  Wherefore the fear of the Lord is strong, and great, and glorious.  Fear, then, the Lord, and you will live to Him, and as many as fear Him and keep His commandments will live to God." "Why,” said 1, "Sir, did you say in regard to those that keep His commandments, that they will live to God?" “Because," says he, "all creation fears the Lord, but all creation does not keep His commandments.  They only who fear the Lord and keep His commandments have life with God; but as to those who keep not His commandments, there is no life in them."




Seventh Commandment: Fear God, Fear not Satan

1Peter 3:12-18  For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil." 13Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened." 15But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, (NIV)


The elect saints are those that keep the Commandment of God and the Faith and Testimony of Jesus Christ (Rev. 12:17; 14:12). Under no circumstances has the Law of God (L1) been done away. Those who claim such are antinomian Gnostics and are not Christians (Mat. 5:18; Lk. 16:17).


By fearing God, we will keep Satan away. We will become strong, great, glorious and better able to discern the truth from error. For example, at the end of the Millennium when Satan is turned loose for a season, those who are alive at the end of the Millennium will be self-righteous. This is because they have never known Satan and they will be easily deceived. By knowing Satan’s characteristics they will be better prepared.





“I told you," said he, "that the creatures of God are double, for restraint also is double; for in some cases restraint has to be exercised, in others there is no need of restraint." "Make known to me, Sir," say I, "in what cases restraint has to be exercised, and in what cases it has not." "Restrain yourself in regard to evil, and do it not; but exercise no restraint in regard to good, but do it.  For if you exercise restraint in the doing of good, you will commit a great sin but if you exercise restraint, so as not to do that which is evil, you are practising great righteousness. Restrain yourself, therefore, from all iniquity, and do that which is good." "What, Sir," say I, "are the evil deeds from which we must restrain ourselves?”  “Hear," says he: from adultery and fornication, from unlawful revelling from wicked luxury, from indulgence in many kinds of food and the extravagance of riches, and from boastfulness, and haughtiness, and insolence, and lies, and backbiting, and hypocrisy from the remembrance of wrong, and from all slander.  These are the deeds that are most wicked in the life of men.  From all these deeds, therefore, the servant of God must restrain himself.  For he who does not restrain himself from these, cannot live to God.  Listen, then, to the deeds that accompany these." "Are there, sir," said 1, "any other evil deeds?" “There are," says he; "and many of them, too, from which the servant of God must restrain himself - theft, lying, robbery, false witness, overreaching, wicked lust, deceit, vainglory, boastfulness, and all other vices like to these." "Do you not think that these are really wicked?" "Exceedingly wicked in the servants of God.  From all of these the servant of God must restrain himself.  Restrain yourself, then, from all these, that you may live to God, and you will be enrolled amongst those who restrain themselves in regard to these matters.  These, then, are the things from which you must restrain yourself.


But listen," says he, "to the things in regard to which you have not to exercise self-restraint, but which you ought to do.  Restrain not yourself in regard to that which is good, but do it" “And tell me, sir," say I, "the nature of the good deeds, that I may walk in them and wait on them, so that doing them I can be, saved." “Listen," says he, “to the good deeds which you ought to do, and in regard to which there is no self-restraint requisite.  First of all there is faith, then fear of the Lord, love, concord, words of righteousness, truth, patience.  Than these, nothing is better in the life of men.  If anyone attend to these, and restrain himself not from them, blessed is he in his life.  Then there are the following attendant on these: helping widows, looking after orphans and the needy, rescuing the servants of God from necessities, the being hospitable - for in hospitality good-doing finds a field - never opposing anyone, the being quiet, having fewer needs than all men, reverencing the aged, practising righteousness, watching the brotherhood, bearing insolence being long-suffering, encouraging those who are sick in soul, not casting those who have fallen into sin from the faith, but turning them back and restoring them to peace of mind, admonishing sinners, not oppressing debtors and the needy, and if there are any other actions like these. Do these seem to you good?" says he.  "For what, Sir," say I, "is better than these?" "Walk then in them," says he, "and restrain not yourself from them, and you will live to God. Keep, therefore, this commandment.  If you do good, and restrain not yourself from it, you will live to God.  All who act thus will live to God.  And, again, if you refuse to do evil, and restrain yourself from it, you will live to God.  And all will live to God who keep these commandments, and walk in them."



Eighth Commandment: Shun that which is evil and do that which is good

Restrain from evil and iniquities such as adultery, fornication, unlawful revelling, wicked luxury, indulgence in food, extravagance of riches, boastfulness, lies, backbiting, hypocrisy and slander.  Deeds of evil are things like theft, lying, robbery, false witness, overreaching, wicked lust, deceit, and boastfulness.


That which is good is faith, fear of God, love, words of righteousness, truth and patience. Deeds of good are helping others, rescuing the servants of God from necessities, never opposing anyone, being quiet, few needs, helping (i.e. reverencing) the aged, practising righteousness, watching out for brethren, encouraging those with a sick soul,


These are the basis of the majority of the commandments: thou shall not steal, thou shall not kill, thou shall not commit adultery


In previous texts, sin such as adultery is held to cause the failure of the elect. Here the person who is fallen into sin is not to be cast from the faith but admonished. Major sins can be forgiven as many as three times as we see from the Scriptures, but sin is limited as we re-kill Christ again. Minor transgressions are forgiven by the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper at Passover (see The Sacraments of the Church (No. 150)).  







He says to me, “Put away doubting from you, and do not hesitate to ask of the Lord, saying to yourself, ‘How can I ask of the Lord and receive from Him, seeing I have sinned so much against Him?’ Do not thus reason with yourself, but with all your heart turn to the Lord, and ask of Him without doubting, and you will know the multitude of His tender mercies; that He will never leave you, but fulfil the request of your soul.  For He is not like men, who remember evils done against them; but He Himself remembers not evils, and has compassion on His own creature. Cleanse, therefore, your heart from all the vanities of this world, and from the words already mentioned, and ask of the Lord and you will receive all, and in none of your requests will you be denied which you make to the Lord without doubting.  But if you doubt in your heart, you will receive none of your requests.  For those who doubt regarding God are double-souled [double minded], and obtain not one of their requests. But those who are perfect in faith ask everything, trusting in the Lord; and they obtain, because they ask nothing doubting, and not being double-souled.  For every double-souled man, even if he repent, will with difficulty be saved.  Cleanse your heart, therefore, from all doubt, and put on faith, because it is strong, and trust God that you will obtain from Him all that you ask.  And if at any time, after you have asked of the Lord, you are slower in obtaining your request [than you expected], do not doubt because you have not soon obtained the request of your soul; for invariably it is on account of some temptation or some sin of which you are ignorant that you are slower in obtaining your request.  Wherefore do not cease to make the request of your soul, and you will obtain it.  But if you grow weary and waver in your request, blame yourself, and not Him who does not give to you.  Consider this doubting state of mind, for it is wicked and senseless, and turns many away entirely from the faith, even though they be very strong.  For this doubting is the daughter of the devil and acts exceedingly wickedly to the servants of God.  Despise, then, doubting, and gain the mastery over it in everything; clothing yourself with faith, which is strong and powerful.  For faith promises all things, perfects all things; but doubt having no thorough faith in itself, fails in every work which it undertakes. You see, then, says he, “that faith is from above - from the Lord - and has great power; but doubt is an earthly spirit, coming from the devil, and has no power.  Serve, then, that which has power, namely faith, and keep away from doubt, which has no power, and you will live to God.  And all will live to God whose minds have been set on these things."      



Ninth Commandment: Prayer must be to God without ceasing and with unwavering confidence.

And it must be only to God. (see Teach us to Pray (No. 111); Praying to Christ or beings other than the Father (No. 111B); The Power of Prayer (No. 111C)).

Pray with all our heart; with a pure heart, pray and ask God. God will answer those prayers in His time, not ours.  If there is doubt when we pray, then the request made to God will be slowly answered.  It must be a prayer totally from a sound mind and heart. That is why one must be patient and trust the faith which is in the heart. Never pray with doubt in our heart. 

Ephesians 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (NKJV)






Chapter I

Remove from you," says he, "grief; for she is the sister of doubt and anger." "How, Sir," say I, “is she the sister of these? for anger, doubt and grief seem to be quite different from each other.” “You are senseless, O man. Do you not perceive that grief is more wicked than all the spirits, and most terrible to the servants of God, and more than all other spirits destroys man and crushes out the Holy Spirit, and yet, on the other hand, she saves him?” “I am senseless, sir,” says I, “and do not understand these parables. For how she can crush out, and on the other hand save, I do not perceive.” “Listen,” says he. “Those who have never searched for the truth, not investigated the nature of the Divinity, but have simply believed, when they devote themselves to and become mixed up with business, and wealth, and heathen friendships, and many other actions of this world, do not perceive the parables of Divinity; for their minds are darkened by these actions, and they are corrupted and become dried up. Even as beautiful vines, when they are neglected, are withered up by thorns and divers plants, so men who have believed, and have afterwards fallen away into many of those actions above mentioned, go astray in their minds, and lose all understanding in regard to righteousness; for if they hear of righteousness, their minds are occupied with their business, and they give no heed to all. Those, on the other hand, who have the fear of God, and search after Godhead and truth, and have their hearts turned to the Lord, quickly perceive and understand what is said to them. For where the Lord dwells, there is much understanding. Cleave, then, to the Lord, and you will understand and perceive all things. 


Chapter II

“Hear, then," says he, "foolish man, how grief crushes out the Holy Spirit, and on the other hand saves. When the doubting man attempts any deed, and fails in it on account of his doubt, this grief enters into the man, and grieves the Holy Spirit, and crushes him out. Then on the other hand, when anger attaches itself to a man in regard to any matter, and he is embittered, then grief enters into the heart of the man who was irritated, and he is grieved at the deed which he did, and repents that he has wrought a wicked deed.  This grief, then, appears to be accompanied by salvation, the man, after having done a wicked deed, repented. Both actions grieve the Spirit, because it did what was wicked.  Both these are grievous to the Holy Spirit - doubt and anger.  Wherefore remove grief from you, and crush not the Holy Spirit which dwells in you, lest it entreat God against you, and it withdraw from you.  For the Spirit of God which has been granted to us to dwell in this body does not endure grief nor straightness.  Wherefore put on cheerfulness, which always is agreeable and acceptable to God, and rejoice in it.  For every cheerful man does what is good, and minds what is good, and despises grief but the sorrowful man always acts wickedly.  First, he acts wickedly because he grieves the Holy Spirit, which was given to man as a cheerful Spirit.  Secondly, Grieving the Holy Spirit, he works iniquity, neither entreating the Lord nor confessing to Him.  For the entreaty of the sorrowful man has no power to ascend to the altar of God." "Why," say I, "does not the entreaty of the grieved man ascend to the altar?" "Because," says he, "grief sits in his heart.  Grief, then, mingled with his entreaty, does not permit the entreaty to ascend pure to the altar of God.  For as vinegar and wine, when mixed in the same vessel, do not give the same pleasure [as wine alone gives], so grief mixed with the Holy Spirit does not produce the same entreaty [as would be produced by the Holy Spirit alone].  Cleanse yourself from this wicked grief, and you will live to God; and all will live to God who drive away grief from them, and put on all cheerfulness."



Tenth Commandment: Grief, and not grieving the spirit of God that is in us

Hermas is told that grief is the sister of doubt and anger. Hermas is confused because he does not understand how grief, doubt and anger can be related, because they are so different. The Shepherd tells Hermas that of all the spirits, grief is the most wicked of all. It can destroy a man and crush out the Holy Spirit but grief can also save a person.


Christ tells us in Mark 4:11-19 that those who are with God will understand the parables which are told to them. This is because they are the ones who have received the Holy Spirit. The grief that can save is that which is followed by salvation. When a deed is done and the sinner asks for forgiveness with a pure heart then the Holy Spirit will continue to dwell with that person. The Holy Spirit cannot live where there is confusion, doubt and despair. It must work in a postitive environment.


Heavenly spirit versus the earthly spirit. The earthly spirit is that which tempts us, such as material things, riches, business, and wealth. These things become more important than God. Heavenly spirit is believing in God, receiving His Holy Spirit and walking with God and learning God's word.








He pointed out to me some men sitting on a seat, and one man sitting on a chair.  And he says to me, "Do you see the persons sitting on the seat?" "I do, Sir," said I. "These," says he, "are the faithful, and he who sits on the chair is a false prophet, ruining the minds of the servants of God. “It is the doubters, not the faithful, that he ruins.  These doubters then go to him as to a soothsayer, and inquire of him what will happen to them; and he, the false prophet, not having. the power of a Divine Spirit in him, answers them according to their inquiries, and according to their wicked desires, and fills their souls with expectations, according to their own wishes.  For being himself empty, he gives empty answers to empty inquirers; for every answer is made to the emptiness of man.  Some true words he does occasionally utter; for the devil fills him with his own spirit, in the hope that he may be able to overcome some of the righteous.  As many, then, as are strong in the faith of the Lord, and are clothed with truth, have no connection with such spirits, but keep away from them; but as many as are of doubtful minds and frequently repent, betake themselves to soothsaying, even as the heathen, and bring greater sin upon themselves by their idolatry.  For he who inquires of a false prophet in regard to any action is an idolater, and devoid of the truth, and foolish.  For no spirit given by God requires to be asked; but such a spirit having the power of Divinity speaks all things of itself, for it proceeds from above from the power of the Divine Spirit.  But the spirit which is asked and speaks according to the desires of men is earthly, light, and powerless, and it is altogether silent if it is not questioned." "How then, Sir," say I, “will a man know which of them is the prophet, and which the false prophet?” “I will tell you," says he, “about both the prophets, and then you can try the true and the false prophet according to my directions.  Try the man who has the Divine Spirit by his life.  First, be who has the Divine Spirit proceeding from above is meek, and peaceable, and humble, and refrains from all iniquity and the vain desire of this world, and contents himself with fewer wants than those of other men, and when asked he makes no reply; nor does he speak privately, nor when man wishes the spirit to speak does the Holy Spirit speak, but it speaks only when God wishes it to speak. When, then, a man having the Divine Spirit comes into an assembly of righteous men who have faith in the Divine Spirit, and this assembly of men offers up prayer to God, then the angel of the prophetic Spirit, who is destined for him, fills the man; and the man being filled with the Holy Spirit, speaks to the multitude as the Lord wishes.  Thus, then, will the Spirit of Divinity become manifest.  Whatever power therefore comes from the Spirit of Divinity belongs to the Lord.  Hear, then," says he, "in regard to the spirit which is earthly, and empty, and powerless, and foolish.  First, the man who seems to have the Spirit exalts himself, and wishes to have the first seat, and is bold, and impudent, and talkative, and lives in the midst of many luxuries and many other delusions, and takes rewards for his prophecy; and if he does not receive rewards, he does not prophesy. Can, then, the Divine Spirit take rewards and prophesy?  It is not possible that the prophet of God should do this, but prophets of this character are possessed by an earthly spirit.  Then it never approaches an assembly of righteous men, but shuns them.  And it associates with doubters and the vain, and prophesies to them in a corner, and deceives them, speaking to them, according to their desires, mere empty words: for they are empty to whom it gives its answers.  For the empty vessel, when placed along with the empty, is not crushed, but they correspond to each other.  When, therefore, it comes into an assembly of righteous men who have a Spirit of Divinity, and they offer up prayer, that man is made empty, and the earthly spirit flees from him through fear, and that man is made dumb, and is entirely crushed, being unable to speak.  For if you pack closely a storehouse with wine or oil, and put an empty jar in the midst of the vessels of wine or oil, you will find that jar empty as when you placed it, if you should wish to clear the storehouse.  So also the empty prophets, when they come to the spirits of the righteous, are found [on leaving] to be such as they were when they came.  This, then, is the mode of life of both prophets.  Try by his deeds and his life the man who says that he is inspired.  But as for you, trust the Spirit which comes from God, and has power; but the spirit which is earthly and empty trust not at all, for there is no power in it: it comes from the devil.  Hear, then, the parable which I am to tell you.  Take a stone, and throw it to the sky, and see if you can touch it.  Or again, take a squirt of water and squirt into the sky, and see if you can penetrate the sky." "How, Sir," say I, "can these things take place? for both of them are impossible." "As these things," says he, "are impossible, so also are the earthly spirits powerless and pithless.  But look, on the other hand, at the power which comes from above.  Hail is of the size of a very small grain, yet when it falls on a man's head how much annoyance it gives him! Or, again, take the drop which falls from a pitcher to the ground, and yet it hollows a stone  You see, then, that the smallest things coming from above have great power when they fall upon the earth. Thus also is the Divine Spirit, which comes from above, powerful.  Trust, then, that Spirit, but have nothing to do with the other."



Eleventh Commandment: Spirit and prophets to be tried by their works and the two kinds of spirit

There are doubters who believe in false prophets.  There are those who are the faithful and believe in the One True God. Those that believe in false prophets are empty and are given empty promises.  They are idolaters that believe in false prophets.  Satan's powers are only earthly powers which are powerless. We are clothed in the truth (Eph. 6:13-16).


One that truly has the Holy Sprit is:


One that has the earthly spirit:

Always puts himself first before others;






Chapter I

He says to me, “Put away from you all wicked desire, and clothe yourself with good and chaste desire; for clothed with this desire you will hate wicked desire, and will rein yourself in even as you wish.  For wicked desire is wild, and is with difficulty tamed.  For it is terrible, and consumes men exceedingly by its wildness.  Especially is the servant of God terribly consumed by it, if he falls into it and is devoid of understanding.  Moreover, it consumes all such as have not on them the garment of good desire, but are entangled and mixed up with this world.  These it delivers up to death." "What then, Sir," say I, "are the deeds of wicked desire which deliver men over to death?  Make them known to me, and I will refrain from them." "Listen, then, to the works in which evil desire slays the servants of God.”


Chapter II

Foremost of all is the desire after another’s wife or husband, and after extravagance, and many useless dainties and drinks, and in any other foolish luxuries; for all luxury is foolish and empty in the servants of God. These, then, are the evil desires which slay the servants of God. For this evil desire is the daughter of the devil. You must refrain from evil desires, that by refraining ye may live to God. But as many as are mastered by them, and do not resist them, will perish at last, for these desires are fatal. Put you on, then, the desire of righteousness and arming yourself with the fear of the Lord, resist them. For the fear of the Lord dwells in good desire. But if evil desire sees you armed with the fear of God, and resisting it, it will flee far from you, and it will no longer appear to you, for it fears your armour. Go, then, garlanded with the crown which you have gained for victory over it, to the desire of righteousness, and, delivering up to it the prize which you have received, serve it even as it wishes. If you serve good desire, and be subject to it, you will gain the mastery over evil desire, and make it subject to you even as you wish.”


Chapter III

“I should like to know," say I, “in what way I ought to serve good desire." “Hear," says he: “You will practise righteousness and virtue, truth and the fear of the Lord, faith and meekness, and whatsoever excellences are like to these.  Practising these, you will be a well-pleasing servant of God, and you will live to Him; and everyone who shall serve good desire, shall live to God." He concluded the twelve commandments, and said to me, "You have now these commandments.  Walk in them, and exhort your hearers that their repentance may be pure during the remainder of their life.  Fulfil carefully this ministry which I now entrust to you, and you will accomplish much. For you will find favour among those who are to repent, and they will give heed to your words; for I will be with you, and will compel them to obey you." I say to him, "Sir, these commandments are great, and good, and glorious, and fitted to gladden the heart of the man who can perform them.  But I do not know if these commandments can be kept by man, because they are exceeding hard." He answered and said to me, "If you lay it down as certain that they can be kept, then you will easily keep them, and they will not be hard.  But if you come to imagine that they cannot be kept by man, then you will not keep them.  Now I say to you, If you do not keep them, but neglect them, you will not be saved, nor your children, nor your house, since you have already determined for yourself that these commandments cannot be kept by man."


Chapter IV

These things he said to me in tones of the deepest anger, so that I was confounded and exceedingly afraid of him, for his figure was altered so that a man could not endure his anger.  But seeing me altogether agitated and confused, he began to speak to me in more gentle tones; and he said: "O fool, senseless and doubting, do you not perceive how great is the glory of God, and how strong and marvellous, in that He created the world for the sake of man, and subjected all creation to him, and gave him power to rule over everything under heaven?  If, then, man is lord of the creatures of God, and rules over all, is he not able to be lord also of these commandments?  For," says he, "the man who has the Lord in his heart can also be lord of all, and of every one of these commandments.  But to those who have the Lord only on their lips, but their hearts hardened, and who are far from the Lord, the commandments are hard and difficult. Put, therefore, ye who are empty and fickle in your faith, the Lord in your heart, and ye will know that there is nothing easier or sweeter, or more manageable, than these commandments.  Return, ye who walk in the commandments of the devil, in hard, and bitter, and wild licentiousness, and fear not the devil; for there is no power in him against you, for I will be with you, the angel of repentance, who am lord over him.  The devil has fear only, but his fear has no strength. Fear him not, then, and he will flee from you."


Chapter V

I say to him, “Sir, listen to me for a moment." "Say what you wish," says he.  "Man, sir," say I, "is eager to keep the commandments of God, and there is no one who does not ask of the Lord that strength may be given him for these commandments, and that he may be subject to them; but the devil is hard, and holds sway over them. “He cannot," says he, "hold sway over the servants of God, who with all their heart place their hopes in Him. The devil can wrestle against these, overthrow them he cannot.  If, then, ye resist him, he will be conquered, and flee in disgrace from you.  As many, therefore," says he, "as are empty, fear the devil, as possessing power.  When a man has filled very suitable jars with good wine, and a few among those jars are left empty, then he comes to the jars, and does not look at the full jars, for he knows that they are full; but he looks at the empty, being afraid lest they have become sour.  For empty jars quickly become sour, and the goodness of the wine is gone.  So also the devil goes to all the servants of God to try them.  As many, then, as are full in the faith, resist him strongly, and he withdraws from them, having no way by which he might enter them. He goes, then, to the empty, and finding a way of entrance, into them, he produces in them whatever he wishes, and they become his servants.        


Chapter VI

"But I, the angel of repentance, say to you Fear not the devil; for I was sent,” says he, “to be with you who repent with all your heart, and to make you strong in faith. Trust God, then, ye who on account of your sins have despaired of life, and who add to your sins and weigh down your life; for if ye return to the Lord with all your heart, and practise righteousness the rest of your days, and serve Him according to His will, He will heal your former sins, and you will have power to hold sway over the works of the devil. But as to the threats of the devil, fear them not at all, for he is powerless as the sinews of a dead man. Give ear to me, then, and fear Him who has all power, both to save and destroy, and keep His commandments, and ye will live to God.” I say to him, “Sir, I am now made strong in all the ordinances of the Lord, because you are with me; and I know that you will crush all the power of the devil, and we shall have rule over him, and shall prevail against all his works. And I hope, sir, to be able to keep all these commandments which you have enjoined upon me, the Lord strengthening me.” “You will keep them,” says he, ”if your heart be pure towards the Lord; and all will keep them who cleanse their hearts from the vain desires of this world, and they will live to God.”



Twelfth Commandment: Desire the commandments of God and fear not the devil

We are told to put away all thoughts of wickedness and to clothe ourselves with good and pure thoughts. If a follower of God arms himself with God's armour and has faith in God, then the believer can overcome all of Satan's falsehoods/deceptions.


Ephesians 6:13-16  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on he breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.  (NKJV)


Armed with God's armour we are to then keep God's commandments and walk in faith so that we shall grow. One must believe that the commandments are easy to keep and then they will be. Once they are thought to be hard to keep, then doubt enters and they become harder to keep.  Hermas is told that the elect of God must practice righteousness.


Those that teach that the commandments are done away are under a curse and will not enter the First Resurrection (No. 143) or the Millennium.


Comparison of the Ten Commandments to Moses with Two Great Commandments from Christ against the Twelve Commandments to Hermas:


The Ten Commandments with Two Great Commandments:


The first four represents love towards God:


The last six represent love towards your neighbour:


The Twelve Commandments:


See The Law of God (No. L1).


These issues will be further discussed in the Summary at Part 7.