Preface: Prophets to the Nations.

Preface:  Prophets to the Nations.

The only way the Old Testament Prophets can be out of date is if nations of the world are out of date, for God the ruler of the universe made the Prophets International Prophets, the “Prophet to the Nations”.  Since God is eternal, immutability, and determinative in world history, if you want to see and know where nations are ultimately headed then the Prophets are the key, and further if you want to know then end goal of all history, it is:  (1) the literal Forever Kingdom to such up all other nations and kingdoms, (2) the Day of the Lord with a “cup of wine of wrath” (Jeremiah 1:5;1:10; and 25:15) for most nations, and (3) After the Second Coming of Christ, God the Father plants New Jerusalem on His favorite spot of Mount Zion in its present location of Israel.

NOTE:  Lest you think the nations are out of date, the oft repeated islands of the seas takes care of many including the US, however in the language it again shows God preference for Mount Zion in Israel to plant both Himself and New Jerusalem.

Since God thinks that spot is so important, as we near the End of the world you notice that focus more and more becomes centered on the Middle East and in particular on Megiddo Israel and the Jezreel valley as the site of World War III, the terminal war to end all wars.  Take Damascus as an example, now in Syria and the attention of much of the internal strife in Syria, and you must stop to consider that once it was part of the Northern Kingdom (10 tribes) of Israel as they separated from Judah of the Southern Kingdom, that in the Samaria of the first century Roman Empire, Jesus preached at Jacob’s well to the Samaritan woman about the water of life, and later in Damascus of Samaria Paul on the way to persecute Christians there saw a vision of the Ascended Christ and was converted, later believers were first called Christians in Antioch of Samaria.

“Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations.  Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe.  Come, go down; for the whimpers is full, the vats overflow–for their wickedness is great.  Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision!  For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.  The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will diminish their brightness.  The LORD also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; the heavens and earth will shake; but the LORD will be shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel.”  (Joel 3:12-16)

It is easy to tire of all these predictors of the END, such as the one correlating Turkey with Damascus and Israel as Turkey (we have no evidence now that Turkey will be the prime attacker, but the indications are for Syria, Iran, and Russia); however this sensationalist bases his predictions of the Old Testament Prophets on the complete destruction of Damascus, perhaps the oldest continuance city in the world.  Take for example the Prophet Isaiah’s proclamation against Syria and Israel, in particular against Damascus once a powerful and prosperous city in the world from Isaiah 17.

“The burden against Damascus.

“Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city,
And it will be a ruinous heap.” (Isaiah 17:1)

Granted that Damascus has been destroyed and rebuilt many times, one notable being when Assyria took the Northern Kingdom captive and deported most of the residents filling the city and Northern Kingdom with other foreign immigrants, but as you read these words and the rest of Isaiah 17 you get as Carroll states a sense of partial fulfillments of a prediction to be completely fulfilled at or near the END.  If you have opportunity read please Isaiah 17 and you will note that it stresses often “in that day” with a reminder of the Day of the LORD and Lord of the whole Bible; and you can not help but think with the total message of 17, especially with the bottom line of 17:12-14, that this is the same cup of wine of the wrath of God as with the other Prophets.

Woe to the multitude of many people
Who make a noise like the roar of the seas,
And to the rushing of nations
That make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!
13 The nations will rush like the rushing of many waters;
But God will rebuke them and they will flee far away,
And be chased like the chaff of the mountains before the wind,
Like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.
14 Then behold, at eventide, trouble!
And before the morning, he is no more.
This is the portion of those who plunder us,
And the lot of those who rob us.  (Isaiah 17:12-14)

P-1:    To the Nations — Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and Isaiah

We must distinguish between these four major Writing Prophets.  If God called Jeremiah to be a Prophet to the nations, and He did, how is it that Daniel, Ezekiel, and Isaiah also had much to say about the destiny of the nations, yet were not called Prophets to the nations; or were they?

First, the call of Jeremiah, the priest, to be a Prophet.

“I have appointed thee a prophet unto the nations….I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow….Take this cup of wine of wrath at my hand, and cause all the nations to whom I send thee to drink it.”  (Jeremiah 1:5;1:10; and 25:15)

Our problem is that nowhere are we told that Jeremiah actually visited other nations, except Egypt near the end of his ministry.  Somehow we know that Jeremiah delivered these messages to the 21 nations that are named after 25:27, since he tells us in 25:27 that he did take the cup at Jehovah’s hand and caused all those 21 nations to drink of it.  He must have either visited these nations or wrote down the messages and sent them to the nations to read.  Is there the possibility that he did some of the work through Ezekiel and Daniel.  Ezekiel and Daniel were already captives to the North.  Ezekiel was taken captive to Babylon in 598 B.C. where he like Jeremiah preached the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem.  Daniel was taken captive earlier, in 605 B.C., the first year of Nebuchadnezzar invasion of Syria and Palestine.  While Jeremiah and Ezekiel were both priests, Daniel was a statesman and governor.  Ezekiel was called to be a Prophet five years after with King Jehoiachin he was taken captive to Babylon.

It is clear from the call of Ezekiel to be a Prophet recorded in Ezekiel 1,2 that Ezekiel was called to be a Prophet only to Israel in Exile.  The call begins with in the first chapter a vision from God.

“Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.  And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking (Ezekiel 1:29)…And he said to me, ‘Son of man, sand upon your feet, and I will speak with you.’  And when he spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me upon my feet; and I heard him speaking to me.  And he said to me, ‘Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to a nation of rebels, who have rebelled against me; they and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day.  The people also are impudent and stubborn:  I send you to them; and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD.’  And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that there has been a prophet among them.”  (Jeremiah 2:1-5 RSV)

What a ministry as a Prophet, to Israel a nation of rebels who may not listen to him, and that the bottom line of his ministry is that the people must know that there is a prophet of God among them.

The beginning of Daniel is more historical that a call to be a Prophet like Jeremiah and Ezekiel.

“In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.  And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the vessels of the house of God; and he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and placed the vessels in the treasury of his god.  Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family and of the nobility, youths without blemish, handsome and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to serve in the king’s palace, and to teach them the letters and language of the Chaldeans….Among them were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah of the tribe of Judah.”  (Daniel 1:1-4,6  RSV)

I think herein we have found a way that some of Jeremiah’s messages to the nations could get at least to the Chaldeans.  As we know from the history of Daniel in Chaldea,  Daniel became a leader in the palace of the kings.

P-2:  Messages to Five Nations.

Also Jeremiah 27 tells us of how the messages got to five kings of the 21.

“In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD to me:  ‘Make for yourselves bonds and yokes, and put them on your neck, and send them to the king of Edom the king of Moab, the king of the Ammonites, the king of Tyre, and the king of Sidon, by the hand of the messengers who come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah.”  (Jeremiah 27:1-3 NJKV)

It is interesting that the word came to Jeremiah as to what to do at the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, but it was to actually happened during the reign of Zedekiah.

Following the commission of Jeremiah of how to get messages to five of the nations, God gives the message.

(1).  The Great Maker of History explains Who He Is.

  1. LORD of hosts, the God of Israel.
  2. Creator of earth, man, and animals.
  3.   By His power and His arm that is active in history, this God has given the works of His Creation to whomever it seemed proper to Him.  (Wow, what a Great Maker of History!)

(2).  God tells them that He has given all these lands over into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon who is His Servant.  (Jeremiah 27:5)

NOTE:  Hopefully in this context and the verse of Jeremiah 27:5, our concept and knowledge of progressive revelation in the Bible leads us to see how early in ancient history God let Himself be known, not only as the God of Israel, but also as the LORD of Hosts, alias the God of all nations and the Universe.

“I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are on the ground, by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and have given it to whom it seemed proper to Me.”  (Jeremiah 27:5)

And if you fail to see the control of God in human history and among nations operating here undeniable, then I feel sorry for you. Either you have a severe problem with intellectual honesty, or you have failed to comprehend this Scripture and many others which teach God as always and ever at work in human history.

  1. All nations shall serve him, his son, and his grandson
  2. The end of this reign is determined as “until the time of his land comes”.
  3. God will punish the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon with sword, famine, and pestilence.
  4. A warning not to listen to your nation’s prophets, your diviners, dreamers, soothsayers, and sorceress who tell you not to serve the king of Babylon.
  5. The nations that serve the king of Babylon, God will let them remain in their own land to till it and live in it.

These same words were spoken to King Zedekiah of Judah, also to the priests and the people., “Until the Time of His Land Comes”, no doubt a phrase that we have never heard and perhaps never read in the Bible; however, which not only implies but states:  (1) God sets the lands of the nations, past and present; (2) God determines the time in history that a nations will rise and fall.  The implications of this phrase and this scriptural context are awesome:  it implies, yes demands, that the same God who determined in detail all the nations and their boundaries will do the same today for the United States and their neighbors.  It would far harder to prove that God dealt that with nations in the Sixth Century B.C., then stopped.  In fact, we cannot possible believe that as we know that another Prophet about to considered in this chapter, Daniel, prophesied concerned the Greek and Roman nations as well as the everlasting kingdom of Christ.

Edom?  At first, it may confuse us to find that the promise is also to Edom as well as the other close neighbors of Judah, for we know that hundreds of years ago, the Prophet Obadiah, 840 B.C. recorded for God the prediction of the destruction of Edom, to the extent that the nation would disappear.  Now, here in Jeremiah during the reign of the last king of Judah,  Zedekiah (597-587 B.C.), it is finally in the patience and work of God to be executed.  Jeremiah 49:7-22 is almost identical to Obadiah, and the message of complete destruction the same.

“As when Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighbor cities were overthrown, says the LORD, no man shall dwell there, no man shall sojourn in her.”  (Jeremiah 49:18 RSV)

P-3:  Isaiah on Edom, Other Nations, and Earth’s End.

Like Carroll indicates, you go to Isaiah for the whole spread of Prophesy, both predictive and the message for the time.  The introductory words of Isaiah place it at a time before Jeremiah.

“The vision of Isaiah the sons of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.”  (Isaiah 1:1  RSV)

For one thing the well-established historical event of 710 B.C. from secular and Biblical history, the destruction of Sennacherib’s army, is at the center of Isaiah.  Also it is known from both histories that this same year marked the beginning of a great political movement in the Gentile World, the foundation of the Median monarchy that finally broke the yoke of Babylon.  Sampey writes of the period of Isaiah.

“Isaiah’s prophetic ministry covered the stirring period during which Assyria, under the leadership of Pul, Shalmaneser IV, Sargon, and Sennacherib, repeatedly invaded Syria and Palestine,  From his watch-tower Isaiah surveyed the nations, from Assyria and Elam on the east to Egypt and Ethiopia on the southwest, and Jehovah asserted by the mouth of His prophet, His sovereignty over all the earth.” 

Isaiah is the great landmark writing Prophet of the Bible, considered the prophet of Prophets.  Before him were Obadiah, Joel, Jonah, and Amos; contemporary with Isaiah were Hosea in Israel and Micah in Judah.  B.H. Carroll in his volumes of AN INTERPRETATION OF THE ENGLISH BIBLE divides the Writing Prophets into three Periods:  first, the Prophets of the Assyrian Period–Obadiah, Joel, Jonah, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Micah, and Nahum; secondly, the Prophets of the Chaldean Period–Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel; and thirdly the Persian Period–Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.  Isaiah 13-23 is called “The Book of Foreign Prophecies” as it deals with these other nations around Judah and Israel.  Messages are recorded for ten foreign nations and in this order:  Babylon, Assyria, Philistia, Moab, Damascus, Ethiopia, Egypt, Dumah, Arabia, and Tyre.

Dumah is Edom in this list:  that is found in Isaiah 34.  Yet the passage of Isaiah 34 implies much more scatological judgement than on Edom, as if Edom has become a symbol of all on whom God will rain out His final wrath.  You see both the eschatological and the general nature of world judgment at the beginning of chapter 34.

“Come near, you nations, (see, to all nations), to hear; and heed, you people!  Let the earth hear, and all that is in it, the world and all things that come forth from it.  For the indignation of the LORD is against all nations, and His fury against all their armies;  He has utterly destroyed them, He has given them over to the slaughter….All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll; all their host shall fall down.”  (Isaiah 34:1-4 NJKV)

In the last verse you see God’s judgment on the heavens as well as the earth, definitely an eschatological event of the end of the last days.  But one thing that will help us in our study is that we can see judgment against the particular nation named Edom has already been pronounced.

Isaiah deals with many nations in his book.  A summary follows.

  1. A Prophesy Against Babylon (Isaiah 13)
  2. A Prophesy Against Assyria (Isaiah 14:24-27)
  3. A Prophesy Against the Philistines (14:28-32)
  4. A Prophecy Against Moab (15:1-16:13)
  5. An Oracle Against Damascus (Isaiah 17)
  6. A Prophesy Against Cush (Isaiah 18)
  7. A Prophesy Against Egypt (Isaiah 19)
  8. A Prophecy Against Egypt and Cush (Isaiah 20)
  9. A Prophesy Against Babylon (Isaiah 21:1-10)
  10. A Prophesy Against Edom (Isaiah 21:11-12)

“An oracle concerning Dumah:  Someone calls to me from Seir, ‘Watchman, what is left of the night?  Watchman, what is left of the night?’  The watchman replies, ‘Morning is coming, but also the night.  If you would ask, then ask; and come back yet again.’”  (Isaiah 21:11-12 NIV)

  1. Prophecy Against Arabia (Isaiah 21:13-16)
  2. A Prophesy About Tyre (Isaiah 23)

Isaiah on Devastation of the Earth

While God is letting Isaiah know and tell all about the destruction of nations, and some with eschatological content, He lays the ultimate devastation on the earth.  This is one of the few times that it is so clearly spelled out and with so many details.  We need to know the message; and we need to know the words so that we recognize those word when they are being quoted in the words of other books of the Bible.  This will enable us to distinguish between predictions that have more short time and then final time fulfillment.

  1. This is a judgment on the earth and its inhabitants.

“See, the LORD is going to lay waste the earth and devastate it; and scatter its inhabitants–”  (Isaiah 24:1 NIV)

  1. It will be a democratic judgment on all peoples.

“it will be the same for priest as for people, for master as for servant, for mistress as for maid, for seller as for buyer, for borrower as for lender, for debtor as for creditor.”  (Isaiah 24:2 NIV)

  1. The earth completely laid waste and totally plundered.

(1).  You must see that this word is spoke by the LORD Himself.

(2).  The earth dries up like a drought and withers, and at the same time the exalted people of the earth languages (it takes time).

“The earth dries up and withers, the world languishes and withers, the exalted of the earth languish.”  (Isaiah 24:4 NIV)

  1. A curse has come on the earth because of the guilt of the people. (Isaiah 24:5-10)

(1).  The Earth has been defiled by the people:  they have disobeyed laws, violated statutes, and broken “the everlasting covenant.”

(2).  Earth’s inhabitants are burned up with very few left; wine and merriment are gone; gone also is the sound of music instruments and revelers, and of the joyful harp.

(3).  Gone is wine and song, the taste of the beer, cities lie desolate, houses boarded up, cries come for wine, joy turns to gloom, and there is no gaiety on the earth.

The city is left in ruins, its gate is battered to pierced.  So will it be on the earth and among the nations, as when an olive tree is beaten, or as when gleanings are left after the grape harvest.  They raises their voices, they shout for joy; from the west they acclaim the LORD’s majesty.  Therefore in the east give glory to the LORD; exalt the name of the LORD, the God of Israel, in the islands of the sea.  From the ends of the earth we hear singing:  ‘Glory to the Righteous One.’  But I said, ‘I waste away, I waste away!  Woe to me!  The treacherous betray!  With treachery the treacherous betray!’  Terror and pit and snare await you, O people of the earth.  Whoever flees at the sound of terror will fall into a pit; whoever climbs out of the pit will be caught in a snare.”  (Isaiah 24:12-18 NIV)

  1. The Heavens are Shaken and the Earth is Shaken “in that day” (like the “one day of the LORD” of many other predictions), and the spiritual wickedness in high places will be punished as well as the people on the earth; and the sun and the moon will be affected; and the LORD Almighty will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem with the elders, gloriously (Isaiah 24:18-23)

Jeremiah on Other Nations.

A look back at our outline of chapter 5 of the book of Jeremiah, we will see that Jeremiah 46 is a prophecy about Egypt, Jeremiah 47 about the Philistines, chapter 48 about Moab, chapter 49 about Ammon, Edom, and others; and then in chapters 50 and 51 the fall of Babylon is predicted.

Daniel on the Nations

First, we should note a very significant change in Daniel 5:30 as Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians is killed, and Darius, the Mede took over the kingdom at the age of 62.

“That very night Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians was slain, and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom, at the age of sixty-two.”  (Daniel 5:30 NIV)

P-4:  Another Look at The Gospel Explained.

Where then do the Apostles come in?  They complete the Gospel story that God the Holy Spirit started in the Prophets, and of course the Lord Jesus Christ fulfills as the Prophet Messiah predicted by the Prophet Moses, the Gospel and all things.

NOTE:  Do not forget that the Magic Outline, or the Outline of the Old Testament according to the New Testament, and New Testament quotes is in this Top 12 Topics of the Bible outline, placed under the headings of (1) the Old Testament quote itself under “The Gospel Proclaimed”,  (2) “Presented” From Matthew, the location in this most thorough gospel as related to quotes, often by Jesus, (3) “Explained” with quotes in Hebrews and Romans, (4) “Reinforced” with the Old Testament quotes in Luke, and (5) Append sized with the Old Testament quotes in Mark. Or from the top headings of the Appendix of this volume 1, below.

Hebrews and Romans are as surely as much the Gospel, the Gospel according to Paul as are Matthew, John, Luke, and Mark.  Hebrews being Paul’s original Gospel address to the Jewish synagogues is the Gospel especially to the Jews, and Romans is the expanded Gospel version of Hebrews to the Gentiles.  You have previously noted that while Psalms quotes dominate the book of Hebrews, the quotes from Isaiah dominate that of Romans.  {It should be added that before Paul from imprisonment in Roman published Hebrews, he made certain additions for the Christians to whom it was sent.}

You should free download this Bible study for further reading and study at www.biblecombibleman.com/101ProphetsToNations.pdf.http://biblecombibleman.com/101ProphetsToNatons.pdf

THE BIBLE IS ONE!

knowing the author

Part I:  Deuteronomy Bible and It’s NT Quotes Introduction.

This section of Bible based on Deuteronomy reminds us that the BIBLE IS ONE.  Even as the Trinity is the Godhead of three persons and “God is One”, so also the Bible is two major divisions of Old and New Testament with the Bible as One large Book from God of 66 books.  We appreciate men like Hester who have given us outstanding Bible study in two semesters with “Heart of Hebrew History” and the “Heart of the New Testament”, and the Bible teachers of Ouachita and Baylor who taught us; also Samey’s “Heart of the Old Testament” which is a pleasure to read now; however at some point of maturity in our Christian lives of Bible, we need to bring the Bible back to One.  It is noteworthy that historical criticism and so many commentaries today, and study Bibles out of DTS with duplicate Scofield notes, enjoy separating one Bible book from another for study; and that is the way more denominations as man’s creations are born, or worse the Scofield Reference Bible movement is enhanced as the DTS graduates are now striving to do with their Study Bible creations and through selling on the Lifeway of the SBC.

This Literal Bible series encourages the understanding of the Bible as ONE, getting it all back together as it should be with One author the Spirit of God.  Granted is so hard for sceptics and unbelievers, also those Christian leaders on the outskirts of belief to begin to fathom the Miracle that God generated in a period of one thousand years and many Old Testament Prophets and NT Jesus and Apostles of Jesus, ONE BOOK.  It is indeed a marvel of a miracle hard for them to swallow and admit, for one reason because of their failure to see the unity in the Bible of the love of God and the teaching of that love, and to be aware that God worked then and works now continually in the world for the benefit of those believers “chosen from before the foundation of the earth’.  The more todays pastors and denominational leaders today strain at the realities of the Trinity at work, the more they fail to practically see the Bible as One; and vice versa.

For example, how few today even of the most studious in the Bible recognize the ROYAL LAW OF LOVE , establish in Leviticus and made evident in the Prophet Messiah in the book of Deuteronomy.

James 2:8 (NKJV)

8”If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,”[a] you do well…”

Footnotes:

  1. James 2:8 Leviticus 19:18

Deuteronomy 18:18,19

 “I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. 19 And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.”

NOTE:  If you look for divisions in the Bible you get them, if you look for the unity and consistency in the Bible you get that.  “If two agree” speaks of two witnesses that agree, also the consistency of the Bible Itself, the OT and the NT agree, the royal law of the OT and the NT and exemplified in Christ and His death on the cross.

Part II:  The Outline of the Literal Bible of Deuteronomy and Its NT Quotes and Explanations.

2-3:  THE COMPOSITE WITNESS OF THE BIBLE

  1. The Importance of Witnesses.
  2. Deuteronomy 5:16, Exodus 20:12 and 21:17, Leviticus 20:9, and Mark 7:10 where with Honor to parents and the law of death with dishonor, Jesus teaches that what is inside man rather than what goes inside him is defiling.
  3. Importance of knowing the Commandments: Deut 5:16-20 and Mark 10:19.

You know the commandments, DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, DO NOT DEFRAUD, HONOR FATHER AND MOTHER.

(Mark 10:19  NASV)

  1. What Commandment is Foremost? Mark 10:28-31 and Luke 10:26,27.

(1).  First is THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD, Deut 6:4,5 and Mark 10:29,30.

(2).  Second is Love Neighbor, Lev 19:18 and Mark 10:31.

  1. Worship God only and serve Him: Deuteronomy 6:13 and Luke 4:8.
  2. The importance of a special people to bear witness to God begins here and runs throughout the Old Testament: Deut 7:6 and Titus 2:14.
  3. Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4, and Luke 4:4: Man should not live by bread alone.
  4. OKAY, HOW IS MAN TO LIVE?
  5. Live by Listening to what Jesus, the Prophet Messiah has to say: Deut 18:15,19, Acts 3:22,23, and Acts 7:37.

Listen to the Apostle Peter as he preaches quoting from the Prophet Moses in Deuteronomy: Moses said, ‘The Lord God shall raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren; to Him you shall give heed in everything He says to you.  And it shall be that every soul that does not heed that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.   (Acts 3:22,23 NASV)

  1. Live by Listening to the testimony of God the Father to God the Son: Mark 9:7, a paraphrase of Deut 18:15,19 except from God Himself, and a direct quote in Psalm 11:7.

Then a cloud formed, overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, ‘This is My beloved

Son, listen to him!   (Mark 9:7  NASV)

  1. Live by Listening to other reliable and trustworthy witnesses: Deut 19:15.

One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth; at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.   (Deut 19:15  KJV)

(1).  Deut 19:15 and Matthew 18:16:  if your brother sins against you but refuses to listen, take your grievance to him byway of two or three witnesses; and if that does not work take it before the local church.

(2).  Deut 19:15 and II Corinthians 13:1:  Listen to the Apostle Paul!

This is the third time I am coming to you, EVERY FACT IS TO BE CONFIRMED BY THE

TESTIMONY OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES.   (II Cor 13:1)

(3).  Deut 19:15 and John 8:17:  Listen to Jesus Himself!

Even in your law it has been written, that the testimony of two men is true.  I am He who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me.   (John 8:17,18)

(4).  Deut 19:15 and I Timothy 5:18:  Listen to the elder of any local church (same as the pastor or bishop) right up to the point that any accusation against him has been established in that local church at the mouth of two or three witnesses.

  • How Can you Listen to a Common Criminal Like Jesus of Nazareth who was cursed in that

He was hanged or crucified on a tree (cross)?  Deut 21:22 and Galatians 3:13

  1. Deuteronomy 21:22.

And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree; His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day;(for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled; which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.   (Deut 21:22,23  KJV)

NOTE:  Jesus was very familiar with this portion of the Word of God as He was with all of the Old Testament, and when crying

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me a cry of grief more than questioning He knew that God had to turn His back on such a curse on Christ for the sins of the whole world.

  1. Galatians 3:13.

ALL OF GODS WORDS AND WORD IS SERIOUS AND TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY WHETHER WRITTEN IN THE OLD TESTAMENT OR NEW TESTAMENT!  Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us for it is written, ‘Cursed is every one who hangs on a tree.

(Galatians 3:13  NASV)

(1).  We were cursed by the Law since striving to live by them and therefore keeping them, we knew ourselves to come far short; and therefore without real life!

(2).  Jesus in the death on the Cross became a curse in our place.

  1. Listen to Jesus seriously on a few other matters.

NOTE:  Especially if you think you were not under a curse because of your failures to live up to the Law and therefore did not need for Christ to become a curse in your place!

  1. Deuteronomy 24:1, Matthew 5:31, and Mark 10:4.

(1).  Deuteronomy 24:1.

When a man hath taken a wife (this is not necessarily the way you are cursed), and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favor 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.  And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another mans wife.   (Deut 24:1,2  KJV)

(2).  Matthew 5:31.

And it was said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of dismissal; but I say to you that every one who divorces his wife, except for the cause of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.   (Matt 5:31,32  NASV)

(3).  Mark 10:4.

And some Pharisees came up to Him, testing Him, and began to question Him whether it was lawful for a man to divorce a wife.  And He answered and said to them, What did Moses command you? And they said, Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.  But Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment.  But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.  For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, And the two shall become one flesh; consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh.  What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.   (Mark 10:2-9  NASV)

  1. Deuteronomy 25:3-5 , I Corinthians 9:9, and I Timothy 5:18.

(1).  Be just in judgment in that the punishment correspond with the violation; don’t muzzle the ox as he treads the corn, and let a brother raise up children to his dead brothers wife.

(2).  It was written for our sakes more than for oxen in order that the worker may work with hope of reward for his works.

(3).  The elder (pastor or bishop) that works hard at preaching and teaching should receive likewise double compensation.

  1. Deuteronomy 25:6, Luke 20:28,38, and Mark 12:19.

(1).  Your dead brothers name is not to disappear from Israel.

NOTE:  Why should the eternal laws of God be so concerned about this one single name of a brother who died before he could have any children.  After all the last name of the dead childless and the brother would be the same!

(2).  According to Jesus it is more important to realize that in heaven there is no marriage, rather men are like the angels; and that men do not did who believe in God and Christ like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, because they are still alive with the Living God!  (Luke 20:28,38 and Mark 12:19)

NOTE:  The real concern is that any mans name, alias himself and his real existence, not disappear from the eternal Israel of Gods real people of believing Jews and Gentiles!

  1. Listen also to a few other matters from the Apostle Paul in the Word of God!
  2. Deuteronomy 27:26 and Galatians 3:10.

(1).  Cursed is every man that does not confirm all the laws of God by doing all of them!

(2).  None can truly be justified by the Law, only by faith.

  1. Deuteronomy 32:12 and I Corinthians 10:20.

(1).  The LORD God led Israel and their was no strange gods among them.

(2).  The Gentiles sacrifice to demons not to God, and the Christian is to have no part in this worship of demons.

Part III.  The Paraphrase.

Then in Top Topic #3 of the Bible, based on the Literal Bible outline above, we paraphrase this Deuteronomy section of the OT with its quotes and explanations in the NT as follows__

Top Topic # 3:  Listen to the Consistency of Content

The subject of Top Topic #3, “The Composite Witness of the Bible”, can be stated also as “Listen to the Consistency of the Bible.”  At first, one might think of all the great subjects or topics of the Bible such as the Living God, that men still live after death {the Living God of the Living, Top Topic #1}; the characteristics of God such as holy and righteousness; the one salvation God has provided whereby man can be declared like God righteous and actually achieve a measure of righteousness in this life through the new birth and sanctification; that to pause in this Bible study for such a mundane subject as THE COMPOSITE WITNESS OF THE BIBLE is busy work or space filler; and when you consider so many great subjects or topics still to be considered as “What Happened to the Jews as the People of God”  {by the way a subject being used by itching ears Bible teachers today, and perverted}; or the Gospel of Jesus Christ in both the Old and New Testaments, such great subjects as the Day of the LORD {includes the Second Coming of Christ}; the New Earth, even a new people of God of a few Jews and many Gentiles; and a new capability to live up to the righteous demands of God with a new heart and new spirit, alias the new birth and sanctification {the salvation of the one baptism is a two step process}, then it would seem that such a subject as the consistency of the Bible is just a way to get from Topic # 1 and #2 to Topic #4 and beyond.  No, in many ways this Top Topic #3 is more important than all of them; for it helps you develop a concept of consistency for the Bible that can be a helpful, really indispensable, foundation for the study of all the other 12 Topics.

Composite Witness of the Bible:  Principle of Witnesses

3-1:  The Principle of Two or Three Witnesses.

This “principle of the Bible”, from God Himself, will get us down to the very practical level of a little nitty gritty on the composite nature of the Bible. {Hopefully you will come to the point in this Bible study and any time you see the words “composite” or “consistency”, you will also think of the “Principles of Two or More Witness” of the Bible. This consistency is the highest level, that is how the Old Testament and New Testament speak with one common voice and message; starts with the very fundamental “principle” or “law” as given by God Himself in the book of Deuteronomy.  It continues with I John, along with the second and third epistles of John, and after the writing of Revelation and the Gospel in that order, which is the bottom line of the whole Bible–the last to be written–even as the Apostle John was the last of the long line of message bringers from God to earth of Jesus, the Prophets, and the Apostles. Even as below we look at Deuteronomy 19:15 and I John 5:6-13, first from a Prophet and the second from an Apostle, the first from the Old Testament and the second from the New Testament, you should see a CONSISTENCY or COMPOSITE nature from the truths and messages of the Bible; one that begs a common source and author, that of God the Father Himself sometimes writing through the Spirit of Christ, sometimes through the Holy Spirit, sometimes through the teachings of Jesus; but always with “oracles of God” {this is an internal Bible word for Bible} written in order to communicate to a certain number of people on the earth with the right attitude.

  1. Deuteronomy 19:15.

“One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established.”  (Deuteronomy 19:15)

Do you mean that you are going to use a trite example about a false or true accusation that one man makes about another, and way back there in history as a matter of fact, to describe such a generalization as the COMPOSITE WITNESS OF THE BIBLE?  Yes, because it is another example of how God is striving to get man to behave after His own character and will.

Yes, it is not trite:  (1) it was given by God Himself as a fundamental principle that is echoed and re-echoed many times throughout the Bible, this within itself providing a composite witness on COMPOSITE WITNESS; (2) like all truths of the Bible, it is based on the character of God which He is trying to communicate to man, for example when we say God is obligated to forgive our sins because that is the way it is written in the Bible, what we are really saying is that God forgives sins because that is the very nature of God Himself, and what He has had written in the Bible is a testimony to His own character {in other words, it is so not because simply it is in the Bible; but it is so because that is the way God is!}; (3) and the Bible, far from being a scholarly treatise for intellectual studies, is a unique book that provides a way God can communicate on very practical and realistic levels to man.   {“All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for….”, bespeaks of this profitability to man, and of the desire of God to communicate to man.}  Well, this communication of God to man began when God called Abraham out of Iraqi to a new land, after a long time through the families of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and 400 years in Egypt, the communication emerged as God told Moses in the wilderness that He was “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob”; first and simple ways to begin to tell man about Himself; and then continued on Mount Sinai as God Himself first tried to speak to all the people, then as they begged God to talk through Moses, God wrote not only the Ten Commandments down for man with many rules, regulations, both civil and religious, for man to follow.  This fundamental principle as it turns out is both civil and religious, this principle of not allowing any truth to be established as truth without two or three witnesses.

  1. And it continues on through the Bible all the way down to the bottom Bible line of I John 5:6-13.
  2. The 3 witnesses of Heaven.

“For there are three that bear witness in heaven:  the Father, the Word {notice that John here uses the new word, “Word” for Jesus that he learned in the book of Revelation and applied in the epilogue of the Gospel of John}, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. {We talk about the ONEs of Ephesians 4:4-6 describing the top topics of the Bible, major doctrines and beliefs; and sometimes along with the One Baptism for the One Salvation, the One God the Father and the One Lord Jesus Christ with the One Body, the church, we wonder why there is not a ONE for ONE Bible.  Yet the closest for that, and so much more closely related and composite than we think is the “One Faith”, which is faith in the sense of not only what we personally believe about Jesus, but is a summary of all that Christians have come to believe and that they were given and believed originally, at the same time being written in the Bible, “the faith once for all delivered to the saints” of Jude 3.}

  1. The 3 witnesses on Earth.

“And there are three that bear witness on earth:  the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.”  (I John 5:8)

  1. “THESE THREE AGREE AS ONE”.

If we had to have one text to summarize the gist of THE COMPOSITE WITNESS OF THE BIBLE, it would be this quote, repeated twice in the witnesses of heaven and earth, first in I John 5:7 and then in I John 5:8.  And we begin to get composite on composite upon composite; so that you begin to see that not only is this a TOP TOPIC of the Bible, but perhaps the single most important for Bible study and understanding as it describes the very unities of all other top topics of the Bible!

  1. Some of the consistencies about COMPOSITE itself is in the revealed truths of the Bible between Deuteronomy and I John, between the law and the grace of Jesus, between the Prophets and the Apostles, between Old and New Testaments.

(1).  The “How Can Two Walk Together Unless They Be Agreed” of the Prophet Amos.

(2).  The “if any two Christians agree on anything in prayer” they shall receive the request of God of the teachings of Jesus in Matthew 18:19.

(3).  Discipline in churches and among Christians as requiring two or more witnesses to corroborate an accusation.

Even as Hester and Sampey have written short surveys of the Old Testament, and Hester also on the New Testament, referring to them as “the heart” of the OT, because there is so much to cover, so this Top Topical approach sort of skims the gravy off the top; however the assumption is made that what God the Holy Spirit considered most important in the Old Testament Bible was quoted and explained in the New Testament.  Therefore the quotes with explanations and interpretations are the majors of Old and New Testament survey, here in the book of Deuteronomy even as in the other of the 12 top topics of the Bible.  We dare not come out of a survey course on the Bible with facts, dates, history, stating that we have failed to LISTEN to the prime message and messages of the Bible.  {Do not be fearful, we will strive to get some of it all, history and message, even if supplements are required.}

Whether you read from a Prophet of the Old Testament or an Apostle of the New Testament, the message is the same; whether you read from the law of Moses or from the “grace and truth” of Jesus from John, Matthew, Mark, or Luke the message is the same; whether you read the epistles of the Apostle Paul or the five books of the Apostle John, the two agree on all accounts although they perhaps never met; and so on and on through the Bible the agreement is so consistent and so large as to first lead one to think of “How can two walk together except they be agreed?”; or the composite witness of the Bible of this section of the Bible in Deuteronomy with teachings on the agreement of two or more witnesses, that you know the source of all 66 books of the Bible must be the same, from God the Father!

Since the world thinks the opposite, that there are so many inconsistencies in the Bible, so much contradiction and differences between for example Paul and John, between the law and grace, between the Old Testament and New Testament, between even the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, that we must labor this “Consistency of Content”; and not because we are apologetic, but because the consistency, integrity, sameness–or whatever you want to call it-are so obvious to those who have met all  the conditions of hermeneutics, the science of biblical interpretation which is just another way of saying the rules the Bible itself lays down for understanding and interpretation.

3-2:  Introduction to the Dynamic Nature of the Bible, the Word of God.

  1. First of all, the Bible is (1) divine in origin, all 66 books of the Bible came from God the Father Himself through the Spirit of Christ and the Holy Spirit; (2) absolute in authority in that while you might want to bring science, or human wisdom, or even religious authority above the authority of the Word of God as a criterion for understanding and interpretation, it just will not work; (3) sufficient in its message, and if we do not find what we are looking for and need, it is from a lack of effort or of hermeneutics; for the very purpose of the Bible as entrusted to the Hebrews as oracles of God, is that God might in each generation and in each nation of peoples communicate–it is for communication and not simply study or scholarly research; (4) it is high fidelity in communication, what God tries to do in the Bible, God will do with just a little amount of cooperation on your part in proper Bible rules for understanding {hermeneutics}; and (5) the Bible is self-interpretative–why in the world do you think the Apostle Peter told us “no scripture is of any private interpretation”? And let me answer that as it is because what the Prophets said in the OT the Apostles and Jesus explained in the NT, and vice versa, also what the Apostle Paul wrote in his 14 epistles that was hard to understand, and even as “some wrested to their own destruction”, like the Apostle Peter wrote, Peter interprets, and vice versa; and so on and on and on through the 27 books of the NT and the 39 of the OT; and finally (6) the same Spirit of God that wrote these books is the Spirit that explains these books to us.
  2. Secondly, you must get into the hermeneutics habit, and if you do you will be surprised how much more open the message and messages of the Bible are to you, which is to allow some other part of the Bible to explain and interpret a verse or chapter in a place of the Bible where you are puzzling. It is the hermeneutics principle of “Compare Scripture with Scripture”.  In short, it is to say that the same God who wrote Romans also wrote I John and Jude, etc., so that what God wrote, or had written, one place will not only be consistent with all other places, but will amplify and explain and interpret if you would. And furthermore as you have started your journey through the whole Bible in these TOP 12 TOPICS, a journey originating from the OT quotes in the NT, and since each place such is quoted there is an explanation and interpretation either by Jesus or an Apostle {also the two associates of Paul, Dr. Luke and John Mark}.  And furthermore sometimes it is the other way, the usage in the

OT makes clear what is in the NT.  ISN’T IT MARVELOUS WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR US IN BOTH PROVIDING A BOOK FOR GUIDANCE AND LIFE, AND THEN PROVIDING ALL THESE ASSURANCES THAT WE WILL, WITH THE PROPER ATTITUDE, UNDERSTAND IT!

  1. The Bible is a book about Jesus. One way to know if you are getting the proper message and messages from God in the Bible is if you (1) learn more about Jesus, (2) Learn Jesus properly for as Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:20 “this is not the way your learned Christ”, an obvious indication that Christ can be learned improperly, and (3) get that awareness in the heart that the Bible is “alive and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit”–yes, the Bible is much larger than leather, and pages, and words as it is the living and active Word of God; that is it is like having God set down in our living room and talk to us, and (4) you get closer to God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. Always be on the look out for subtle or just plain outright statements, predictions, and understandings about the Lord Jesus Christ.

(1).  When in John 1 the Apostle John tells us that Jesus was the Word made flesh, the Word from the beginning with God and was God, and that Jesus was there as the Word in the acts of Creation, this tells us about Genesis chapter one how all members of the godhead, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit were there at Creation.

(2).  When in Genesis 3:15 it speaks of, from God, that Satan will bruise the heel of Christ and Christ bruise the head of Satan, it is talking about:  (1) how Satan hurt Christ in leading Satan’s followers to crucify Christ; and (2) how the crucifixion was really the plan of God all along, and Christ bruised the head of Satan on the cross, freeing with faith on the part of many individuals, those individuals from servitude to Satan, and more which is the long subject of many books in the NT.

(3).  You will be surprise when you read and study Deuteronomy, and you should along with a look at this TOP TOPIC, how much clarity with which Moses speaks of the other Prophet like himself, the Lord Jesus Christ.

“The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren.  Him you shall hear.”  (Deuteronomy 18:15) 3-3:  Some Historical Background of Deuteronomy.

By the way, has it been mentioned that for an up-to-date {after historical criticism and rising above it unscathed, even showing scholarship on it} and conservative set of detailed exegetical commentaries you can not beat THE NEW INTERNATIONAL COMMENTARIES of both the Old and New Testament, for which the beloved F. F. Bruce wrote and for a time was chief editor.  Peter C. Craigie of the University of Calgary wrote the short {short compared to many of the others in the set} commentary on Deuteronomy; and his very introductory words serve to show you something of the difference between history and the message, between ABOUT the Bible that has become famous lately in our pulpits and in Bible teaching instead of the Bible itself, letting the Bible speak to us.

“Deuteronomy is a book about Israel’s preparation for a new life.  Hardship and the wilderness lie behind; the conquest of the promised land lies ahead.  What remains at this crucial stage in Israel’s history–the end of the Mosaic Age–is a call for a new commitment to God and a fresh understanding of the nature of the community of God’s people.”

In this age of knowledge explosion and in your lifetime, you will be able to cull only a certain amount of knowledge and message from the Bible; and although background info like this helps, you must count on the fact that is what most important for you to know has been quoted and interpreted in the NT.  And it at least helps to know that we are gaining some focus on the historical context of Deuteronomy with such statements as above and with a brief look at the text outline of Craigie.

NOTE:  I recall a NT survey course at Baylor in 1953, by the way where the official text was Hester and it was required reading; but the teacher used as the primary text the RSV of the Bible, starting each class with prayer for understanding because it knew and set a good example of how the Bible is not a scholarly treatise, but an alive and dynamic Book through which God speaks, and if we are wise we listen.  This along with a similar survey of the book of Acts at the Bible chair of the University Baptist Church in Austin Texas were highlights of my Bible education, that professor also using Scripture itself with the Moffat version.

Outline of Text and Commentary from Craigie on Deuteronomy:

  1. Introduction to Deuteronomy (1:1-5)
  2. Address of Moses: Historical Prologue (1:6-4:43)

III.          Address of Moses:  The Law (4:44-26:19)

  1. Address of Moses: Blessings and Curse (27:1-28:69)
  2. Address of Moses: A Concluding Charge (29:1-30:20)
  3. Continuity of the Covenant from Moses to Joshua (31:1-34:12)

Certainly in the Topical, exegetical, and expository outline to follow on this Topic #3 of “Listen to the Consistency of the Bible”, you will find like in Craigie’s outline:  some of the history, about the Law and the 10 commandments which while given in Exodus 20 are rehashed here in different words; yes the choice that God set before this new nation, like He still sets before His own people as a group today, of either a Curse or a Blessing, the charge before his death from Moses and the Covenant, emphasizing in our sweep of the Bible as always the “everlasting covenant” over the other two covenants of the Old and New Testament.  {Yes, the book of Hebrews, perhaps with Romans and Galatians, explain primarily the Old and New Covenants with differences.}  A quick look at Sampey’s outline in THE HEART OF THE OLD TESTAMENT, and we will have the historical perspective we need to proceed.  {Of course there will along the way in our Top Topic #3 outline, some references to both great and helpful works.}  Sampey has two of the 14 chapters of his book to cover this historical context: chapter 4 on “The Era of Moses and Joshua” {of course most about Joshua is in the book of Joshua} and chapter 5 on “The Law of Moses”.1

Era of Moses and Joshua

  1. After the death of Joseph and when there was a Pharaoh who did not know Joseph, the family of Jacob now almost a nation, was subjected to rigors of bondage. (Exodus 1:14)
  2. Preservation and Education of Moses.
  3. The Choice and Call of Moses. (Exodus 3:1-12)
  4. Contest Between Moses and Pharaoh.
  5. The Passover.
  6. Guidance with the Pillars and Deliverance at the Red Sea.
  7. Giving of the Law at Mount Sinai.
  8. Breach of the Covenant and Its Renewal. (Exodus 32:1-6)
  9. Tabernacle Built (Exodus 35-40)
  10. From Mount Sinai to Kadesh in the Wilderness. (Numbers 10-12)         11.  Years of Wandering and Sin of Moses and Aaron.  (Numbers 20)
  11. Closing Labors of Moses (Numbers).
  12. Deuteronomy.

“This is one of the great books of the OT.  The aged lawgiver pours out his heart in earnest appeals to his people to love Jehovah and keep all His commandments. He reviews all the mighty acts of Jehovah in behalf of Israel {so that you see with a look at Deuteronomy we have much of the history of Israel…”

  1. Since with this Top Topic #3 from Deuteronomy, we come to the end of the five books of the Pentateuch, called by

Jesus and others in the NT the “Law of Moses” we will want to briefly look at what Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers as well as Deuteronomy are all about.  Never forget however like the Apostle John wrote, “while Moses gave the law, grace and truth came through the Lord Jesus Christ.”  (John 1:17)

God’s perspective, a summary of much of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers}, and exhorts Israel to be faithful and obedient.”

  1. Joshua Conquers Canaan.
  2. The Destruction of the Canaanites.
  3. Settlement of the Tribes of Israel (Joshua 13-21).
  4. Joshua’s Closing Days.

The Law of Moses

“The uniform teaching of the Bible is that ‘the law was given through Moses’

(John 1:17; 7:19; 5:45-47; Luke 24:27).”

  1. The 10 commandments fundamental.
  2. Christian Attitude Toward Sabbath. {You can see that Sampey does some topical and expository, even textual.}      3.  Duties to God.
  3. Duties to our Fellow Man.
  4. The Law of Love.
  5. First Draft of the Civil Law.
  6. The Ritual Law.
  7. What the Law Could Not Do.
  8. Lessons from Leviticus.

(1).  Offerings to God must be without blemish (1:3; 3:1).

(2).  First-fruits belong to Jehovah (Lev 23:10).

(3)  Sin unwittingly committed demands atonement as discovered.

(4).  Sins of rulers demand more expensive offerings.

(5).  Restitution must be made.

(6).  A clean life in every respect.

  1. The Deuteronomic Code.

“The great lawgiver plies his people with reasons for observing Jehovah’s commandments.  He does not quote the laws previously given verbatim; but presents them in a popular manner, sometimes enlarging upon the brief code found in Exodus 21-23.”

  1. Inferiority of the Mosaic Law to the Gospel of Christ.

3-4:  Importance of Witnesses in Deuteronomy as Background for Consistency Testimonies to the Bible as the Word of God.  (Deut 1-17).

  1. The Laws of the 10 commandments remained a consistent testimony to the consistency of the Bible, from Jesus, the Apostles, and the Prophets. Jesus uses in Mark 7:10 {with a quote from Deut 5:16, Exodus 20:12 and 21:17, and Leviticus 20:9}, and in answer to the criticisms of the Pharisees about His disciples, the commandment to honor father and mother as an example of how it had become distorted by these religious leaders as they:  (a) honored God with their lips and not their hearts; (b) practiced vain worship; and (c) substituted the commandments of God for teaching the doctrines of men.1

(1).  All they had to do was say “Corban”, this money is instead used as a gift to God, and they no longer had a responsibility to their parents.

(2).  It is important to get Jesus’ interpretation of what they were doing on this commandment as well as the others–a process of commandment perversion by interpretation that is also prevalent today, more on other commandments like adultery, murder, and covetousness than this one–as the horror, according to Jesus was, that they by giving a priority to their long standing traditions like this one which was making null and void the Word of God (Mark 7:13)

(3) Then Jesus dealt with the original complaint against His disciples–that they ignored “the traditions of the elders”, they ate bread with unwashed hands; and tried to make clear that it was what came out of the heart of man, not what went into his mouth, that defiled him.2

“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.”  (Mark 7:21-23)

  1. The Continuing Importance of the Laws of the 10 Commandments, Deuteronomy 5:16-20 and Mark 10:19.

What we have today on the Ten Commandments is the two extremes of religious practices, where (1) some try to make all of their morality, religion, and sometimes even Christianity as the Ten Commandments {you have heard it, “all the

  1. Here Jesus in the Mark 7:6,7 dispute quotes from Isaiah 29:13 to describe the false worship and religion of the religious leaders of His day. You notice that we make full circle as first Mark 7 and Jesus throw light on the proper interpretation of commandments like to honor father and mother, and then with another quote goes back to the OT in Isaiah to explain the behavior of the Pharisees, a long tradition among them of the nation of Israel that dated back to the time of the Prophet Isaiah.
  2. We should briefly look at Sampey’s “Inferiority of the Mosaic Law to the Gospel of Christ” here even before we get to the next subsection of “The Continuing Importance of the Laws of the 10 Commandments”. The inferiorities, which we will list now and refer to in more detail later, are:  (1) the Law was a yoke of bondage; (2) a ministration of condemnations and death; (3) a tutor to lead men to Christ (Galatians 3:24); and (4) typical of the new covenant, that is better than the law and sort of a prototype {please read the book of Hebrews}. religion I need is the 10 commandments}; but in reality like the religious leaders of Jesus day, also a common practice among the people, they have a surface and legalistic interpretation and application of the commandments which ignores all along, and in Deuteronomy and Leviticus itself, were summarized as love for God and love for fellow man; and (5) the other extreme of thinking that Christ and the Apostles, the teachings of Christ of the Bible, did away with the requirements of the Ten Commandments, the New Covenant and New Testament with the Old Covenant and the Old Testament.  Yet Jesus clearly taught that He came not to destroy the law but to fulfill it. Granted that many of the rules and regulations that were more civil than moral were nailed to the cross with sacrifice and religious rituals, the ten commandments and many principles, such as the principle of consistency, remained.
  3. Jesus came not to destroy the law.

Jesus taught and made clear with quotes from Deuteronomy and Leviticus how the 10 commandments all along have been summarized as love for God and love for fellow man.  These were not new teachings of Jesus, of the New Testament, and of Christianity:  they were there all along.  And when we place all this emphasis on faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, which by the way is the way God the Father has set it up and ordained it, we are not going past respect for God the Father as given in the first commandments.  Without respect for God the Father, there is nothing:  no religion, no salvation, no Jesus, no Gospel, and no new birth.  The person who takes God’s name in vain as a habit of life is defunct:  they have nothing, they are nothing in the sight of God, and in the teachings of Jesus and the Bible.  This is composite also!

  1. Jesus came to Fulfill the law.

What the “law could not do in that it was weak in the flesh”, God through Jesus provided a cure for.  With the atonement and faith in the atonement a proper attitude is established before God the Father that makes possible the two step salvation process of new birth and sanctification, one can not exist without the other even as “to believe” in John can not exist without the “believing”, and vice versa.

3-5:  Old and New Testament Consistencies with Quotes from Deuteronomy.

If we make a rapid survey of the many quotes of Deuteronomy throughout the New Testament, you will begin to appreciate somewhat this consistency between the Prophets and the Apostles, between the New and Old Testaments, between even grace and law. {Always keep in mind that while the Bible is a gradual revelation of the nature and character of God Himself, finally shown clearly in the Lord Jesus Christ, God has chosen that the central focus for salvation and the Bible be on the Prophet Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.  While we come to see Christ as the Messiah, actually Christ is Greek for the Hebrew word “Messiah” in books like Isaiah, during the divided kingdoms of Israel after David and Solomon, we start right here in Deuteronomy getting a lot of insight on Christ as the top Prophet to be heeded and listened to.}

  1. From the quote of Deuteronomy 5:16-20 in Mark 10:19, Mark 10:28-31 and Luke 10:26,27, with the consistency of God is first and love of fellow man is second, a steady theme of truth runs through both Testaments.

2  The “special people” of God theme runs throughout the Bible from Deuteronomy 7:6 to Titus 2:14; and although God gets disgusted with us today like with His original people, God’s righteousness today being broken even as the old covenant was done the same in the Old Testament, God’s intention then and now remained and remains the same:  (1) to get a holy people to the LORD your God, (2) a people for Himself, (3) “a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth”  (Deut 7:6) {there has been a lot of broken hearts for God the Father here}, and (4) a people “zealous of good works”, (5) redeemed for every lawless deed, and (6) a people “purified for Himself” (Titus 2:14).

NOTE:  Sometimes like above in Titus 2:14 while there is not a direct quote, there is so much of the thought and words of a particular OT verse and/or passage, that it is like a precis or paraphrase.  More of this consistency or composite nature of the Bible.

  1. You probably thought the saying “man shall not live by bread alone” started with the teachings of Jesus as recorded in Matthew 4:4 and Luke 4:4, but Jesus was actually quoting from Deuteronomy 8:3.

NOTE:  And by the way how about the consistency of the Gospel of Matthew with the Gospel of Luke, as well as Mark and John.  You can appreciate it more if you will study A HARMONY OF THE GOSPELS by A.T. Robertson, and keep in mind as one of the outstanding legal authorities on evidence, Simon Greenleaf, formerly of Harvard Law School, wrote, “the testimony of the four evangelists would stand up as a prima facie case in any court of law.”  And keep in mind about those who find inconsistencies in the Bible because of their own superficial study of the Bible and spiritual immaturity {the Bible is spiritually discerned}, makes such foolish statements as the Bible is inconsistent since one place Jesus feeds 4,000 and another 5,000.

Jesus, the Apostles, and the Prophets in their teachings and writings in the Bible all speak with one voice because God the Father is the one, same source for all their teachings {doctrines}.

  1. Moses in Deuteronomy 18:15,19 presented Jesus as the Prophet, albeit less clearly than Peter was able to do in Acts 3:22,23 as he quoted Moses because he just saw in the life and teachings of Jesus how it was so, also the germ and principle of salvation in “destruction from among the people” {the people of God}, and the overwhelming necessity of listening to this Prophet Jesus.

NOTE:  Listen is one of the main messages from God that we should get from Deuteronomy and all its quotes and explanations in the New Testament along with how to listen and what to listen to, also WHO!  This is also consistency in the Bible as a composite witness, established far more than two or three times.

  1. The testimony of God the Father to God the Son is consistent in Old and New Testaments from the transfiguration in Mark 9:7 and same wording from God in Deuteronomy 18:15,19, also in Psalm 11:7.

“Then a cloud formed overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, ‘This is My Beloved Son, listen to him!”  (Mark 9:7, Deut 18:15,19, and Psalm 11:7)

NOTE:  We will not pause to list all the consistent testimonies of the Father to the Son, like this, as listed like in the Gospels in the Baptism of Jesus and as in the quotes from Paul in Hebrews.

(1).  Listen to Jesus is the word directly from God, from the Prophets, and from the Apostles–the consistent message of the Bible; and this is listening to the extent of believing, for this kind of listening is required for salvation, most generally expressed as the only way “not to be cut off from the people”, the people, of course, meaning the people of God.

(2).  Immediately after the cloud cleared at the Transfiguration where the Prophets Moses and Elijah disappeared as God spoke, then the Bible said “Jesus remained alone”.  Just one more way to emphasis as Jesus is alone as a provider of solid teachings and salvation!

  1. Matthew 18:16 for Christians and churches, that of taking a grievance to a brother by way of two or three witnesses and then to the local church, is based on the “Principle of two or three witnesses” of Deuteronomy 19:15.
  2. When Paul wrote to the church at Corinth (II Corinthians 13:1), quoting from Deuteronomy 19:15 on the Principle of Witnesses, and basing the whole argument for two epistles to Corinth and correcting them 3 times, it was based on that famous principle of consistency of the Bible.
  3. When Jesus in John 8:17 speaks of the witness of Himself as Son of God and the witness of God the Father {you know John thought of this as he later wrote near the end of the first century of the 3 witnesses on earth and from heaven}, also an echo of what happened with testimony from the Father both at baptism and transfiguration, He appealed to those schooled in the Law and the Prophets, and on the well known “Principle of Witnesses” of Deuteronomy 19:15.
  4. Likewise the Apostle Paul in I Timothy 5:18, on how not to accept any accusation or gossip about a pastor {bishop}, without two or more witnesses, was quoting from the Principle of Witnesses in Deuteronomy 19:15.

NOTE:  Once again the Principle of Witnesses is larger than one verse, Deuteronomy 19:15, as it is as large as the whole book of Deuteronomy, the whole law of the five books of the Pentateuch, called in the Bible “the law of Moses”.  It is as large as the mind and character of God Himself.  This is not only the way God wants man to behave in civil matters, in social matters; but also in the church and in the establishment of all truth, Bible or otherwise.

  1. The subject of the cross, like that of the Prophet and Messiah Jesus, is consistent throughout the Bible as in Deuteronomy 21:22 and Galatians, where first of all there is a curse on everyone hanged from a tree, and then second as in the Crucifixion of Christ He was cursed by God for man, once and for all, which we now consistently identify as the atonement, or in the words of the Bible “Christ died on the cross for our sins.”

NOTE:  This is another example and place where you can learn facts and history of the Bible and not get the message.  The message is for you to accept the atonement from God, not simply learn about this agreement on the Cross and the blood from the Old and New Testaments.  It, the Scripture, “is profitable” (II Timothy 3:16,17).  It can correct you, it can instruct you, and it can bring you all the way into spiritual maturity.  It is a textbook for living, not a scholarly treatise; and God far from trying to hide secret messages in the Bible, had in the writing of the Bible with over 40 human authors over a period of thousands of years, the goal of direct communicate of humans with the right attitude.

  1. Granted that Moses granted a writ of divorcement in Deuteronomy 24:1, but that this was not to be an easy way of marriage for those who would seek a younger wife, turning their back on the wife of their youth (Malachi 2:14), Jesus clarified in Matthew 5:31 and Mark 10:4 {more consistency of teachings from Jesus as recorded by the Apostles, the Gospel writers, of course Mark was sponsored by the Apostle Paul, the chief editor with 14 epistles of the New Testament}, how it was always intended that there be only one cause for divorce; where adultery or fornication had been committed, and once again established among two or more witnesses; and the reason Moses even permitted such a writ of divorce {and keep this in mind when you consider divorce, and of course this is old and past stuff for the many who have already asked for and received forgiveness and “cleansing from all unrighteousness” from God in prayer} is because of their hard hearts.

NOTE:  In other words divorce is only a last resort when one or more members of the marriage has gone all the way into a hardened heart; and although this wrong and condemned by God and Jesus, it like all sins, if confessed, can receive from God the Father, immediate forgiveness.  And if it is from God the Father, you need nothing from anyone else!

  1. The Principles from God of Deuteronomy, like in 25:3-5 about not to muzzle the mouth of the ox in order that he can eat as he plows, are as practical to just payment of the pastor of a church (I Timothy 5:18), religious law if you would, as they are to civil and social law. {A notable characteristic of the people of Israel, like God had Moses established it, was that the civil law was the same as the religious law; and Paul who would later write 14 epistles of the NT, being the chief quoter of Old Testament scriptures second to Jesus, was a lawyer of Israel, established in civil and religious law, also whose prime ministry was as chief editor of the New Testament.}  The details get juicy in I Timothy from Paul as it is even specified that double compensation should go to any pastor that both teaches and preaches.
  2. Deuteronomy 25:6, Luke 20:28,38, and Mark 12:19: the consistent testimony of the Bible is that (1) all like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who died in the Lord are still alive, (2) that there is no marriage in heaven and on the New Earth as living souls {with resurrection bodies} are like the angels; and that (3) that the dead are as living as the Living God Himself.
  3. Deuteronomy 27:26 and Galatians 3:10: even as the principle is established in Deuteronomy that every man is cursed, alias guilty and damned, that does not live up to the whole ten commandments and law, it is clarified in Galatians that on one can be justified by the law, only by faith.

NOTE:  Paul makes the case very well in Romans how the law, ten commandments and otherwise, is our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ.  Only guilt, not morality and justification, can come from the law.  We are justified by faith!

  1. Deuteronomy 32:12 and I Corinthians 10:20: even as in Deuteronomy God led Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel and who with 12 sons became a nation of the 12 tribes of Israel, preserved and protected until Christ could be born of their lineage, and who “with him was no foreign gods” (32:12), so Paul urges Christians and church members in I Corinthians not to have “fellowship with demons”, with Gentiles of idols or gods other than the God of the Bible and of the Universe.  Prime loyalty to God the Father, that God of the Universe, the Son of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Great Creator, the One taught in the Bible, is a consistent message of the whole Bible, only the form of idols and secondary gods change from year to year.

3-6:  Prophet and Prophets in Deuteronomy and the Bible and Today.

Yes, this is very much a contemporary issue today in this time of “the heaping up” of itching ears Bible teachers and preachers who would expect you to accept them like a Prophet, or Prophets; and who with their special revelations, extracurricular words and concepts and revelations to the Bible, to accept them as a special spokesman for God.  (The following outline is based on Deuteronomy 18:15-22.)

  1. The Prophet Lord Jesus Christ in Deuteronomy.

If you fail to get salvation from God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and then learn how to live like Christ, then you miss the message of the Bible.

  1. Peter’s quote and explanation of the Prophet like Moses of Jesus.
  2. Did you get the message of the Transfiguration about Prophets?
  3. Establishment of the Office and Work (prophecy) of the Prophet. The Principle of Which Prophet and Prophets to Listen To.  {Which ones are you listening to today?}

3-7:  The Flavor of Deuteronomy {Selected passages for Exegesis}.

  1. Deuteronomy 4:9-24. {Craigie in his commentary likes to call this passage “The Law and the Nature of God”, and about God and how we are to think about Him we will learn some amazing things, even more from the Scripture itself in Deuteronomy than Craigie.}

(1).  You can see in Moses {Deuteronomy 4:9-9} much basis for the admonitions and encouragements of the former lawyer Paul in his epistles as Moses tells the people just before his death and their entrance into the Promised land to: (a) guard themselves carefully, (b) guard very carefully your desire {what this word “desire” and “wants” remind us of is II Timothy 4:3,4 about the Falling Away, which of course is a second historical event of our own time based on the very example of what Moses is talking about to the children of Israel as he addresses the second generation in the wilderness to remind them of what happened to the first generation in the wilderness, that is in the second stage of development after “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine”, church members and other Christians will be motivated more by their own desires and wants than by Christ and the Holy Spirit, and certainly we see the germ in Warren’s Purpose Driven where church member desires are replace the Spirit and Christ for motivation}; (c) do not forget what you have seen and experienced in the wilderness {Paul in Hebrews–“Brethren, beware lest there be in you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the Living God” (Hebrews 4:12)–uses what happened to the first generation in the wilderness–that is, all over 20 years of Age fell from among God’s people based on their evil heart of unbelief–as an example of what could happen to any Christians, also as a basis for the final great Falling Away of II Thessalonians, before the Second Coming of Christ; and (d) make them known to your children and your grandchildren.}

(2).  God called the assembly of the congregation. (Deuteronomy 4:10)  {Paul as we will look at later in Hebrews 12:18-29 uses Horeb, the coming to Mount Zion, as a stepping stone, with the messages of Moses in Deuteronomy where he rehashes the recent history in the wilderness as an example for contemporary assemblies, never forgetting that sometimes the Greek word for church, “ecclesia”, is translated assembly in the Bible.}  God gave to Moses at Sinai the reason for the assembly of the whole congregation:  (a) so God could cause His own people to hear His own words; (b) and thus God’s people would learn “to fear”  {see the “Fear and Faith”, last chapter of REPORTS TO BELIEVE AND FOR BELIEVING at www.biblecombibleman.com/Reports_for_Believing/} God all the days of their lives that they were alive; and (c) lastly to encourage them to teach their children these first two things.

(3).  Moses in Deut 4:11-14 rehearses the exact history of what happened to the congregation of Israel at Mount Sinai:  (a) the people approach Mount Sinai and stood below the mountain so as to have a good view, which of course is where they got much more than they wanted, so much so that at the end of this encounter with God Himself, they essentially said, “no more”; (b) the mountain was a picturesque sight with the sky as a background as it was “burning with fire”, the brightness of the mountain itself was contrasted by the darkness that surrounded it from the darkness, cloud, and dense mist {as you will see later one reason that no one saw a “form” for God, and based on which God will tell His people to never make a form or image for Him, for one thing they have never seen one}; (c) However God did speak directly to the people of God {something that had never happened and never has happened since to a whole assembly of God, although many assemblies today try to fake it–see “Fake Worship” from HIDEOUT FOR BAD HABITS online at www.biblecombibleman.com/Hideout_For_Bad_Habits/} out of the midst of the fire, God Himself stressing that while they heard “the sound of words”, God repeats the word “sound” twice, they did not see a “form”  (Deut 4:12); (d) God declared to them His Covenant, namely the Ten Words {Ten Commandments}, and God Himself with His own finger wrote them on two Tablets of Stone, twice; (e) and at the same time God commanded Moses to teach the people of the assembly “statutes and ordinances” {much of what else you see in Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy besides the Covenant of the Ten Commandments}.

.NOTE:  Perhaps you have never thought of the Ten Commandments as the Covenant of God with His own people, but according to the words of God Himself that is exactly what it is; of course, Moses repeated these words and wrote them down so that the people of the second and third generation and the generations to follow up to the present would not forget them. Don’t every kid yourself about the fact that the old covenant of the 10 commandments still exist between God and man, like Jesus said He “came not to destroy but to fulfill the commandments”; and check the book of Hebrews on what was nailed to the cross at the same time of the Crucifixion of Christ, it was most of the civil statutes and ordinances with burnt sacrifices and temple worship.

(4).  NO IDOLS:  Deuteronomy 4:15-19.  With first another reminder, an early reminder if you would of the stages of development of the Falling Away, to guard their own desires and wants {“to obey is always better than to sacrifice”, and like Pastor James says the personal desires and wants of Christians and church members have to be guarded and watched because “the spirit within us lusteth to envy” and covet}, there are some surprising sounds from God about the dos and don’ts of idols:  (a) You didn’t see any “form” at Horeb therefore do not “act corruptly by making a form of God {Craigie likes to point out (1) this warning was not so much against the worship of other gods in the form of images, but rather attempts to represent the God of Israel and the Universe in any physical form; and (2) today, even without representations in wood or stone, like in Jeremiah, we are attempted to place God in our mind in such a form as to limit and contain him–remember “Your God Is too Small” by Phillips and the “God is Greater than Conscience” (I John 3:20) Jerry McMichael}; (b) do not make a statute or image in any form such as in the shape of any male or female, any animal, any beast or bird, or of any fish; (c) and lastly do not look at the host of the heavens, the sun, moon, and stars and with awe “bow down to worship and serve them”  {God has given and assigned these host of the heavens to all the peoples of the earth, not exclusively for His own people, so that it makes them sort of secular and of the world.

(5).  Moses is about to die, giving final warnings of this address or message of Deuteronomy 4:21-14.

  1. Guard against forgetting the covenant of the Ten Commandments that God made with all His people.
  2. Do not make an image of God in the shape or “form” of anything on earth and in the heavens that God has forbidden, by the way the subject of the first few commandments of the Ten and the Covenant.
  3. Moses provides an ending quote to Hebrews 12 for Paul with the concluding statement about the nature of God, a summary of much of what the congregation saw at Sinai and what God said, “For our God is a consuming fire” (Deut 4:24 and Hebrews 12:29), except Moses in that last verse includes something about God, also a summary of the nature of God in dealing with His own people, which Paul does not add but knew that the Hebrews to whom He wrote would know it from the law of Moses {the first five books of the Bible, the Pentateuch}, “He is a jealous God”; and don’t you ever forget it! {See “Prime Loyalty” from REPORTS TO BELIEVE AND FOR BELIEVING, a two step salvation process, at www.biblecombibleman.com/Reports_for_Believing/ .}

NOTE:  Please read the last four passage of Deuteronomy below as we are running out of space and time.

  1. Deuteronomy 5:22-33, Craigie Calls it “Moses’ Mediatory Role at Horeb”.
  2. What is Most Important from God Himself, TO LOVE GOD, Deut 6:1-9.
  3. The Prophet Like Moses, Jesus, of Deuteronomy 18:15-22.
  4. The Blessing and the Curse on God’s People and therefore on the nation and the people of Deuteronomy 30 and 11:26-28.

3-8:  Five Short Exegetical Messages Based on Deuteronomy.

NOTE:  Please also read devotional the five message below from the Apostles Peter, Paul, and John based on Deuteronomy and the Prophet Moses.

  1. The Apostle Peter’s Second Message in Acts 3:11-26 about Jesus as the Prophet like Moses based on Deuteronomy 18:15,18,19.
  2. What Have You As Christians and Church Members Come to? Hebrews 12:1829 based on the congregation before God at Mount Horeb and the summary of the same by Moses in Deuteronomy 4:9-24.  {The exegetical points and flavor of the last section is used for a basis just like it was when Paul originally wrote Hebrews on the Falling Away.}

NOTE:  Appreciation is expressed to Craigie with his commentary on Deuteronomy from the New International Series. Note 1

  1. Good Prophecy versus Bad Prophecy in I Corinthians 14 based on Deuternomy18:20-22.
  2. Setting forth of the Curse of disobedience on God’s People in Galatians 1:6-10 when even an angel delivers another of a different kind Gospel, like the current Gospel of Heath and Wealth {generally called the Gospel of Prosperity}, and the curse of false prophecy and special revelations of Revelation 22:18,19, both based on the true and false prophets passage of Deuteronomy 18:20-22, also the blessings of a National Blessing and the curses of a National Curse on the land and the people, because of a lack of righteousness and effectual, fervent prayer of God’s people, Deuteronomy 11:26-28 and Deuteronomy and Deuteronomy 30. {Actually this message although more exegetical in sections is topical in that it is on “The Curse, not Blessing, on a Nation because of the Shortcomings of God’s People”.}
  3. You have to admire the scholarship and conservative faithfulness to the Bible as the Word of God in spite of the current trends on interpretation and historical criticism. We have to give much credit for this to the late F.F. Bruce with his writing of many helpful and conservative books including a commentary on Luke in the same set of commentaries, and books such as THE BOOKS AND THE PARCHMENTS, but mainly because of his work as chief editor of this great set of commentaries that is head and shoulders above any thing else you can read today for a verse by verse exegetical commentary. B. H. Carroll in AN INTERPRETAION OF THE ENGLISH BIBLE in 17 volumes is more topical and is indispensable for understanding Bible in the total context, and you will appreciate as well as his part in the history of Southern Baptist as President of Baylor and founder of Southwestern Seminary {where by the way the notes from those 17 volumes took students all the way through the Bible}, you will appreciate his examples from life and sermons.  As yet the fighting fundamentalists that control the SBC and the Lifeway book stores have not had the nerve to remove Carroll and R. G. Lee from their bookshelves but as the Falling Away progresses all the way from (1) intolerance to sound doctrine, (2) to priority for the wants and desires of church members and leaders over Christ and sound doctrine, and (3) to the vast “heaping up” of Bible teachers and preachers with “itching ears” (II Timothy 4:3,4), that is from these first three stages of Falling Away development to where we are now–(4) turn completely away from truth and (5) turn into fables, then you will see this happen also just like now they are putting certain Gospel magazines under the counter.
  4. The Three Witnesses to Jesus of Heaven and Earth, {actually a total of 7 witnesses when you consider the internal witness in believers} the Prophet Messiah or Son of God, in I John 5:6-13 based on the Principle of Witnesses in Deuteronomy and the rest of the Bible, Deuteronomy 19:15-21.

3-9:  God the Father.

  1. God’s stringent requirements about a graven image or likeness are more for His own people not to make “any form” of Himself, since they never saw any form at Mount Sinai or otherwise, than not to make any image like men of women, animals, birds, fish; or even more so than to worship and serve the hosts of the heaven. {Many secular historians and even those of historical criticism like to think high thoughts and concept of God as coming from an evolution in truth from old civilizations, starting with the superficial concepts of a god made like the hosts of heaven, or animals, or birds, or even like some humans, then progression to the high character of God and His works with man like we know from the Bible; but in reality it is the other way around, like Paul makes clear in Revelation 1 and 2 in that even when the old civilizations knew God with much full truth on God from nature, conscience, and laws of civilization they did not “honor God as God” and they became vain in their hearts and imaginations, making gods out of those forbidden images of God–more a de-evolution from original Creation with Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden than a progressive evolution. However, it was after the experience of God’s first nation in Egypt where many images of animals as cows and frogs were worshipped as gods, and just before the Hebrews went into the Promised Land of Canaan where they would find many of the civilizations had evolved into the worship of gods like Baal, Astoreth, and hundreds of others, that God in Deuteronomy, after Egypt and before the Promised Land and for the specific reason of preparation for the Promised Land, as well as a consideration for all the Egyptians, like Jannes and Jambres, that came out of Egypt with them, warned against all these forms of humans, animals, and birds that should not be worshiped; primarily that God’s own people since they saw “no form” of God should not try to contain or limit or misrepresent Him any image. Anything they attempted to use to represent a form of the God of the Universe would be too small and too limited to be a high fidelity representation of the Original.}

(1).  Moses rehearsed before the new generation of the wilderness and just before Promised Land entrance under Joshua, “the Lord our God has revealed to us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice”, but you never saw a form so do not make any form of God. (Deuteronomy 5:24)

  1. Obviously any form that God’s people would make of Him in photos, statues, or art work would be far short of the “glory” and His “greatness”, so God says just do not try! (Deut. 4:15,16)  Resist your desires to make a form or image, and “do not act corruptly”.  (Deut 4:16)  {Just one of the first lacks of the righteousness of God man has experienced, and continues to experience today as God’s own people “act corruptly” in making an image or form of God in the mind and heart, if not elsewhere that therefore inevitably “contains and limits” the true God–just like Phillips wrote years ago “Your God is too Small” and Jerry McMichael wrote less years ago in the 1960’s when it was so popular to make the Conscience of the Boomers the sole criterion for faith and practice, and which even continues today in our churches as people take the attitude it is right if they feel good about it and bad if they do not, “God is Greater than the American Conscience” based on I John 3:20.}
  2. Yes, the people were right to say that they were lucky to live the first time they heard the voice of God and lived, not to take a chance any other times; and since when has it ever been heard in the history of mankind that man saw and heard God and still lived?

(2).  The wish of God, “would that they were continually of this mind” (Deuteronomy 5:29) to (a) fear God and (b) to keep the commandments {covenant} of God.

  1. You should remain aware in this 12 topic Bible Study to get all the major messages and message of the Bible that the truths or fact about the nature of the character and personality of God, including the way God deals with His own creations and in particular His own peculiar people, that this concepts of God came out of historical encounters with God: (1) Moses at the burning bush was told of “The Living God of the Living”, that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob still were alive and were living with the Living God, and that those three were the beginning of the nation of God’s people; (2) although Job with historical encounters with God Himself after so many years of bum advice from friends and foes, we are not sure when the book of Job was recorded as part of the “oracles of God”; in other words how much Moses and Israel in the wilderness knew of the lessons about the power and Creation by God of the book of Job–indeed their “departures from the living God” when times got hard, unlike the faith of Job in God when he suffered for no wrong which he had done, or who failed to blame God for these injustices, indicate they had not heard or at least learned the lessons about God in Job; so that as God tested them for 40 years in the wilderness they instead developed “an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God”  (Hebrews 3:12).  Likewise the listening to God Himself and what He told about Himself at Sinai was a historical encounter, a very rare one at that, of an appearance from God Himself to the whole congregation; and surely like they said, they were lucky to listen to God Himself and still live.  Other Prophets after Moses would talk to God and listen to God like the Prophet Isaiah, the Prophet Elijah, and Jeremiah; and as instructed, these Prophets would record those messages, primarily with a message for the current people of God and quite often shorter and integrated messages of a predictive nature.  Like most of the writers on the Prophets remind us the Writing Prophets, and even the others like Elijah, primarily had a message for their own generation, and the predictive element for generations way out in history was only a small percentage of their total message.  Even like in Joel and Amos when some of God’s judgments, or curses, were about to immediately come on that living generation, is was of such  the prophecy was of such a nature as to be within itself both predictive in a few years and also in the distant future.  {You see the main point is not a double nature of prophecy, but that God with the way and ways that He deals with man in any generation, especially about His justice and judgment and even curses and blessings is always the same.} That brings us naturally to consider what God had told Moses about Prophets, including how you are able to identify Prophets by that likeminded with Moses and Jesus, and how to distinguish between true prophets and false prophets.
  2. Prophets of God from Moses to Jesus and beyond.

(1).  Prophets like Moses and Jesus.

  1. Jesus and Moses were much alike. (Deut 18:18)
  2. These Prophets would come from the “midst of the brethren”, in other words from God’s own people and be like God’s people.

(2).  The ministry of these Prophets would be characterized by:  (18:18)

  1. The extent to which it was obvious that God Himself had “put my word in his mouth”, alias the high fidelity of the message; and
  2. The faithfulness with which that Prophet told all that God, without exception and bias and timidity, had commanded.

NOTE:  Although we know the nature of prophecy changed somewhat with the coming of the Holy Spirit to earth in great power and glory on the first day of Pentecost after the Ascension, in that it became more democratic or prevalent among all of God’s people, and to the extent in I Corinthians 14 that “prophecy” is used as almost all public speaking in the church, we can use the detailed messages of I Corinthians 14 to bring us back to the same original requirements of Deuteronomy 18:18, that is (a) “Is it obvious that the message was placed there by God”, and we are fortunate in that we have the objective writings of all 66 books of the Bible to compare against these self-proclaimed Prophets, and (b) the faithfulness, courage, and consistency with which that so-called Prophet delivers the message from God. {Is it like the barrier between the bad habits of II Timothy 3:1-8 and the Falling Away of II Timothy 4:3,4, that barrier of course is II Timothy 3:16,17 where (1) the sink hole of “ALL SCRIPTURE” must continually be filled, (1) the gap of church administration bridged as Scripture is presented that is profitable for “reproof and correction” as well as doctrine {today very skimpy} and “instruction in righteousness, today much instruction but little righteousness; and (3) the application to Christian living bridge as men, women, youth and children of God are matured and perfected unto all and every good work.  That is all that is necessary to keep contemporary churches from slipping from just bad habits into a falling into the falling away with all five of its stages:  (1) intolerance toward sound doctrine, (2) a congregation motivated more by their own “desires”, pleasures, and “wants” than by Christ and the Holy Spirit and total Word of God; (3) the vast and widespread “heaping up” of Bible teachers and preachers with itching ears and with something new and novel like the Gospel of Prosperity; (4) the turning away from truth, another way to say turning away from sound doctrine, and which also begs the issue that there can be unsound doctrine or teachings if there is a sound doctrine that correlates with the truths of God and Christ; and (5) the turning into fables.  Churches have been leaking for years from the bad habits, or follies, to the stages of the Falling Away; although it would be hard to make a case that especially among southern Baptists that there has as yet been a wholesale departure from truth with the adoption of fables; but there are obviously some leaks, perhaps the greatest of which are (a) the Gospel of Prosperity,(b) special revelations with the attitude that the Word of God came to us only or out of us only, (c) divisions and fights caused like Pastor James wrote by “the spirit within us that lusteth to envy” and covet, (d) the fighting spirit per se that John condemned when he wrote in I John to “test the spirits”, a spirit not of Christ and the Christ of peace among Christians {granted it would have been easier for us to distinguish the false from the true prophets and prophecy if John had specified that this bad spirit was a fighting spirt, not a loving spirit; but you see John knew his fellow Apostle and colleague, James, had already connected a fighting spirit like that of the fundamentalists with where wars and divisions come from in the first place, from “the spirit within us that lusteth to envy” and covet, obviously the desire for more status, recognition, and territory where the so-called “moderates” got in the way and had to be destroyed from Seminaries and pulpits, part of the heaping out in order to heap in their own kind and continue the “heaping up” process of the Falling Away}, and (e) the Scofield and Darby false concepts that deny or delay in Christian minds the Falling Away and the real events of last things.

  1. What guidance do we get from Moses, God, and Deuteronomy 18 on how to distinguish a true prophet, and true prophecy, for a false prophet and false prophecy besides the details of I Corinthians {please look at the chapter on I Corinthians in HIDEOUT FOR BAD HABITS, www.biblecombibleman.com/ Hideout_for_Bad_Habits/ and the two chapters on I Corinthians in the LCC set on the 14 letters of the Apostle Paul, “Believe and Be Baptized”, at www.biblecombibleman.com/product_LCCvol3/ }, the guidance of the Apostle John in the little epistles of John which are essentially guidelines for how to test the spirits and based on the criterion of the fellowship of the saints; those now recorded in the Bible for our help, the help on the Apostle Jude about “the faith once for all  {these doctrines of the faith then and now are complete without any special revelation} delivered to the saints”, Jesus on the many false prophets not only that will exist in the “beginning of sorrows” of early and continuous history but also the many more during the Falling Way–Jesus called it “love will wax cold as sin abounds”, and even of Paul to the Ephesian elders where savage wolves would come in from outside the church and from the local church bodies that would (a) scatter church members into other groups, and (b) make disciples to themselves?  Well the initial guidance we get on how to distinguish at the very time the office of prophecy and Prophets was established, of course you remember the changes Jesus made with the Holy Spirit, are:

(1) First of all the Word must be true and consistent (Deut 18:22); and I hope in this you see “the consistency message” of two or more witnesses where the witnesses are not only the Prophet Moses and Isaiah and Joel and Amos on through the Writing Prophets and the other Prophets like Elijah, but Jesus Himself who came to earth to teach everything that God had taught Him in heaven, and faithfully; and the Apostles like Paul, and John, and James, and Peter, and so on and on through the recorded words of the 39 Old Testament books and the 27 New Testament books, the 66 books from God and Prophets and Apostles of the total Bible.  And aren’t we fortunate to have something so objective, and consistent, and easy to understand with the proper attitude and enough time as this book now made out of leather and paper and words and ink; but in its dynamic nature, so alive and living, much more than ordinary books.

(2).  If there is any predictive element in the message of prophecy, or of the Prophet, then apply the ultimate test of time, that the message comes true. {You know Paul also had this in mind when he told the young minister that in spite of all the bad habits of the perilous times and in spite of the five stages of the Falling Away development, to “make full proof of his ministry”. Alias make it true by what you do of what you have said, and make it true what you speak of what you profess!}

NOTE:  Perhaps you previously thought that the Consistency and Composite Message of the Bible was more rhetorically or colorful; but you see, based on Deuteronomy and the consistency with the rest of the Word of God by the Prophets and the Apostles, even with “the faith once for all delivered to the saints”, and in history, it is not only a TOP TOPIC of the Bible, but perhaps the top topic for any old or young student of the Word of God who would learn even more, and far more, about the Bible.  You, the Word of God right here on Consistency and Composite is laying a foundation for the study of the rest of the 12 Topics, the two previous topics of “The Living God of the Living” and “The Righteousness of God and Man”, as well as the 9 to follow as we progress from the law of Moses to Malachi, and quote these OT books in the 27 books by Jesus and the Apostles.  Isn’t it grand!  It is hard to tell who is more blessed, the nation of Israel because God chose them and made them to be custodians of the “oracles of God”, like Paul writes about in Romans, or we Gentiles because by the grace of God we have been allowed to be wholesale, in the waning time of the “Fulness of the Gentiles” to be recipients of these 66 Oracles of God, the Bible.

  1. This third Top Topic grows long, albeit perhaps the chief topic for Bible study, and though we would go away from a short study of Deuteronomy with many helpful applications for our contemporary Christian and church life, we must hasten to the last of these applications: While you do not hear much in the New Testament about The Curse {actually the word “curse” is found approximately 19 times in the NT, however very few of them apply to the curse on God’s own people, more on the people enamored with the works of the law which causes them to ignore righteousness by faith as required by God, and the curses that come out of many mouths} consisting of many curses and many calamities as contrasted to The Blessing of God consisting of many blessings and also over a period of time and history, you do hear from Jesus in John 14 and the Apostle Paul in Hebrews 12, and well as many other places, of the equivalent Group Chastisement which is the same as a short term curse; and also you realize, hopefully, that the two curses of the NT, a curse on those who preach another Gospel and the curse of Revelation on those who take away from or add to the Bible, alias on the Prophets of special revelations, are also Group Chastisements on God’s People and as such as like the Curse of the OT and of Deuteronomy where God Himself sets before His own people, and His own people only {like in Hebrews 12 not “bastard children” of God}, a “blessing or a curse”, life or death.

NOTE:  Please read for yourself Hebrews 12:1-17 as well as the about the congregation before Sinai, and where we stand right now, of Hebrews 12:18-29, the last words of which “For our God is a consuming fire” reminds us that the God the Bible is a God of wrath, jealousy, and judgment as well as a God of love; and though it will take many sins and a long time, for that judgment to come eternal, He is not beyond chastisement {a curse} right now on you and your group of God’s people.  To think that God does not work in the now and present is to ignore so much of Deuteronomy and the Bible, so much of the very nature and way of God.  And as you do so, please note from Hebrews 12:  (1) the group nature of the message to the “we” of Christians and church members, and who all take the same Prophet Jesus as “author and finisher” of the one common faith, that once for all delivered to the saints, of the fellowship of the Apostles, and in the Bible (12:1,2); (2) you as Christians and church members have a guarantee like Job of enduring hostility from sinners to the extent you live consistently the Christian life even if you are not persecuted to bloodshed like those martyrs of the first centuries to now that “will live and reign with Christ for one thousand years” (12:3,4); (3) yes, the OT speaks of this same chastisement of Hebrews and of Deuteronomy in that “whom the LORD loves He chastises” (12:5,6 and Proverbs 3:11,12); and (4) all sons of God {God has special chastisement for His own people, and sometimes as contrasted on the sun that shines on the good and the bad, or the rain and storms, it is only for God’s own people–aren’t we lucky} are chastened that are not bastard children; (4) it may be a curse for a short time of the “present” (12:11), perhaps the training of a curse or curses or calamities may have gone on for a longer time until with eternity there is “the peaceable fruit of righteousness” for those who will accept the training of God.

What you will find in the bottom line discussions of Galatians, the curse on those who preach and teach another Gospel than that once delivered, and the bottom line discussions of Revelation 22 where the same curse is on those who add to or take away from Scriptures by special revelations, of course a very common practice today, those curses come on the behavior of some of God’s people, basically the only ones who will read and tamper with Scriptures like Galatians and Revelation, because their motivations are to substitute their own works of righteousness for the righteousness by faith as once for all delivered to the saints.  You see this same subject of righteousness in Revelation 22 with the let the righteous remain righteous and the filthy remain filthy of 22:11, and in Galatians where the whole discussion of the real Gospel is centered around a righteousness by faith instead of by the works of the law.