(545) I am reading Deuteronomy and thought I would share a few thoughts [chaps 1-8]. As Moses is standing on the edge of the promised land he asks God ‘can I please go into this land’ God says ‘no, and don’t ask me any more about it’. It seems kind of harsh. It also seems like God is saying ‘I know I have called you to this place. Your whole desire to see the land is something I put in you, but because you represented me in a wrong way before the people, I can’t let you in [yet!]’. Did you know that I found a verse where God let him in? I am not spiritualizing it either. You know the verse also. The Mount of Transfiguration! After all those years God said ‘now I will let your feet touch the land my son!’ it’s like God knew how bad Moses wanted to posses it, so during the true time of inheritance, the coming of Messiah, God said ‘inherit’. God gives a lot of promise’s and lessons in these first 8 chapters of Deuteronomy. He also tells Israel ‘because you didn’t believe me when I told you to go into the Promised Land, therefore I made you wander in the wilderness for 40 years and I caused you to learn a lesson’. What was the lesson? He taught them that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God! How did he teach them this lesson? He gave them plain Manna every day for 40 years. They couldn’t store it up, they had to trust him for ‘beggars bread’ if you will. Hey, if they took the one big step of faith 40 years earlier they would have had tons of great food that they didn’t have to ‘believe for’ every day, it would have just been there, in abundance! But instead he showed them what it means to trust his word. They got to a point after 40 years where if some stranger showed up and said ‘how are all you guys getting fed?’ they would have said ‘no big deal, every morning God gives us Angel food’. It would have seemed like a big deal to the stranger! God taught them to believe in his consistency. They learned that to believe for the big moment [40 years earlier] would have been better than to believe for the ‘little moments’ thru out the 40 years! We just finished Hebrews. Why does God allow Samson to be in the great ‘heroes of the faith’ chapter? Samson had a lot of problems; he had moral failures and was actually quite the playboy. He also had moments of ‘great faith’. He knew when to lay it all out on the line and risk it all. He pulled down the pillars and killed all the enemies of Israel, and oh yes, he knew he would die too. That made up for a lot! I think it would be easier for us to believe God at the edge of ‘our promised land’ than to go 40 years learning the same lesson, in little bits at a time! They still displayed a lot of faith, but it took 40 years of it to make up for that one day!
Deuteronomy 9-11 In chapter 10 God tells Moses ‘this time when you come up and get the 2nd set of commandments, build me an ark [box!] so you don’t ‘accidentally’ drop them again’. It is a little funny, Moses broke the first set of commandments out of anger. God says ‘lets do it one more time, but just in case you loose it again, bring a box to put them in!’. Moses had an anger problem. This is what kept him out of the Promised Land! But God even uses this as a prophetic type. Moses actually led the people thru their journey under a ‘second covenant’. Of course the 2nd set of commandments had the same words on them as the first. But it was a type of the prophetic ministry of Moses who was a symbol of Jesus. Jesus of course would establish a new covenant in his blood, so Moses was symbolizing that 2nd covenant thru this act. Also if you review the first 10 or so chapters you will see Moses emphasize again and again the need for obedience. He tells the people ‘if you obey, your kids and land and businesses will be blessed. God will take away all sickness and disease from you. All will go well with you and your kids and you will prolong your days in the land’. God also says ‘you have been at this mountain long enough, it is time to move on. Go north’ I felt like the Lord was telling us to begin looking ‘northward’ see beyond where you have been. You might have spent 40 years in a wilderness place, begin obeying and believing God for new things. Look to him alone. When God called Abraham he called him by himself and took him and brought him to a strange land and made of him a great nation [the children we are reading about right now!] Can’t you remember when God called you in the early days, how it was just you and him? Rekindle that original flame, tell God ‘it’s just me and you again Father, show yourself strong on my behalf’. God wants to do great things with you again. One more thing, when God told Moses to come up the 2nd time to get the 10 commandments, he said ‘bring blank slates’. God asks us to bring a clean slate to him. Sort of like a blank canvas that he can paint on. If we have too many preconceived ideas on how we think things should be done, then that hinders God from painting the beautiful picture that he has in mind. Let your life be clean and open for him to do what he wants. God bless you guys, and don’t forget ‘don't brake what he paints this time around!’
In reading Deuteronomy God tells Israel to tear down the altars and high places where the pagan nations worshipped their god’s. Later in Israel’s history we find out that they didn’t fully obey God in this. Eventually Israel would wind up offering their children on the altar of Moloch. Moloch was a god [demon] that the pagans made an idol of. This statue was heated up by fire until the arms of the idol were bright red. Then the people would place their babies into the arms. God told Israel they made their babies pass thru the fire unto Moloch. They eventually adopted the practices of the other nations. We do this today, in a much more hidden environment. We allow for a woman to go to an abortion clinic and for a doctor to insert a knife and dismember the baby. We do this under the guise of ‘a free and open minded society’. We lie! I have found it sad how those who pride themselves in being liberal minded often hold to the most bigoted idea’s one could espouse. In Darwin’s last book [descent of man] he taught a type of evolution that said ‘the whites are further along down the path of evolving. It is obvious that the Negro is still much closer to the Monkey/Ape than the white. Both physically and mentally’[paraphrase]. Now, for any liberal to hold to this mans ignorant ideas, and to hold to them in such a way that he is proud to say ‘I believe in Darwin’ is total stupidity. Darwin’s theory has come apart at the seems in the world of science. Many scientists have come to the conclusion that the theory can lo longer be honestly held. There are tons of scientific reasons for this. But the simple fact that many in today’s society pride themselves in being ‘disciples’ of Darwin then also think that those who oppose his views are ‘bigoted’ these same people hold to one of the most racist ideas ever put in print. Hitler himself read and was a believer in Darwin’s theory. He actually believed that the extermination of the Jews was a faster way to eliminate the inferior races. This theory of Evolution is demonic at its core. It makes it easy to abort children with no consideration of the actual life of the child. We have our own Moloch’s today! NOTE; God Said that men who did not retain him in their minds would be given over to foolishness. Recently the fossil ‘Lucy’ has been making the rounds to different countries by way of airplane. Many scientists were up in arms that the flying around of this ‘precious fossil’ might endanger it. There were all sorts of debates on how to protect it and all, the best first class service for sure. How satan must be laughing at the stupidity of men who go to great lengths to protect the flying bones of a monkey, while at the same time aborting thousands of children on the planet who were created in the image of God!
(550) Deuteronomy 13-18 The Lord instructs the people that he will meet all their needs financially, and that they will always have the poor among them. Just like Jesus taught! The balance is that God would give more than enough provision into the community, and whether or not all the needs were met was up to the generosity of the community. The same thing you see in the book of Acts. Certain rich people gave and the poor had their needs met. To develop a doctrine from Deuteronomy that says to the poor ‘if you just had faith you would be rich’ violates Paul’s teachings in Timothy [chapter 6] where he says certain teaches in the last days will teach that gain is godliness [that is you can measure godliness by material wealth] from such turn away, they have erred from the faith. So in context God will bless us all as a family of people, but do not teach a material gospel. Also the Lord tells Israel ‘when you get into the land and set up a King over you, don’t let him accumulate great wealth unto himself’ interesting, God says make sure your leaders are not living high on the hog thru your money. We violate this all the time in today’s church. How many stories of teachers with million dollar condos and homes, all the while appealing to a broad audience of Christians to give sacrificially. God isn’t saying that leaders can’t prosper, but he is saying they should not be getting rich from the overall giving of many average wage workers. It is so easy to simply read all the wealth verses in this book and to look right past all these warnings. Why do we do this? We all have a tendency to ‘see’ what we want to see and overlook the rest. The Lord also gives instruction on Prophets, he says ‘if a Prophet prophesies something and it comes to pass, but he leads you away from the true God, don’t listen’ also ‘if he prophesies something and it doesn’t happen, don’t listen to him’. It is easy to recognize the second one as false, but we often overlook the first one. I have heard so many times over the years ‘well brother, I know my teachers teach that Jesus was a millionaire, and it works for me, that’s all that counts’ no it isn’t! Whether it works or not is irrelevant [in this instance] God says if it leads you away from the truth, then it’s false! Let all of our teaching and instruction bring us back into alignment with the character and nature of God, he is the goal.
(551) Deuteronomy 20-25 You read ‘the elders of the city’ a lot in these chapters. Paul will eventually choose to use this terminology to describe the leadership of the New Testament church. These were plural leaders among a group of believers in a city. Not singular preachers of groups of people in buildings on a set day of the week! You did have the singular model in Paul’s day. Where? In the system of the Pharisees and Synagogues! The concept of a ‘president’ of the synagogue leading the people on Sabbath day in Christian [Jewish] instruction was being carried out in Paul’s day. Paul used to be part of the system! He chose the concept of elders over a city, instead of a singular title over a part of the people that met in a building. I think we need to get back to the better model. Also instruction is given that when the children enter the land they are to share the fruits of the land with the stranger. They are not to totally reap all the fruit from the trees or the fields. The stranger can walk in your fields and eat whatever he wants; he just can’t take it with him. These guidelines are given for the benefit of the alien [stranger]. God says I want you to remember that you too were strangers in Egypt. This cuts to the heart of so much of the present debate over the illegal alien issue of our day. I do understand the anger that some have over this issue, God says ‘remember, you were all aliens at one time or another, don’t get so self righteous. If I tell you to share your goods with those who don’t deserve it, then do it. I am the one who brings forth the produce, so share it with others’. God has blessed us financially and materially, he requires us to share it with others. A few difficult verse’s 23:1 God says if a man is wounded in the ‘private area’ he cannot come into the congregation. God is not telling people if they have had some sexual accident that they cant serve God, he is saying he wants people who can ‘procreate’ in his church! He wants people to be able to ‘reproduce’ [soul winners] for his Kingdom. 23:14-15 God says when you ‘go to the bathroom in the land’ dig a hole and bury it, because he is in the land and your land must be sanctified. If it isn’t then he can’t ‘walk among you’. The spiritual lesson is we can’t accomplish anything without God’s presence. We need him, stay clean so he can work among us. Only by the blood. Also when a man dies without having children, his widow shall marry the brother so he can have seed remain in his name. If the brother says ‘no, I do not want to raise up seed to my brother’ then he is taken before the elders and they take off his shoe, spit in his face, and his name is called ‘the man who has no shoe’. What’s this all about? God is saying be willing to build others up, your gift is not given for you to build your ministry, or the people who relate only to you [church members]. But I have given you gifts to raise up ‘seed to your brethren’ as well. Use your gift to help others, others who can’t repay you [I think I heard this somewhere before? Jesus!] If you don’t, all the people will know your church well, it will be the one in town where every body where’s one shoe!
(552) Deuteronomy 28-31 The Lord promises much material blessings in these chapters, but he also says the Levites who receive the tithes are not to own anything. They could not use the tithe as a means to accumulate wealth. I find it funny that the modern church teaches the tithe, but leaves this part out! Also Moses is told ‘you will not go into the land, but help Joshua go in’. Moses must see his gift as something to use to build others and help them achieve goals that he himself will not achieve. Moses learns the true principle of the least being the greatest. He will be the only one who will enter in after death! Out of all the adults who were in the wilderness, only Joshua and Caleb go in to the Promised Land. Moses goes in after death at the mount of transfiguration. He fulfills the symbol of Christ as the first fruits unto God. Moses tells Joshua ‘you must go in with this people’. In the world of church and Pastoral ministry, I have seen how good men will start a ‘work’ and sometimes out of fear begin to look for someone to ‘take it over’. God tells Joshua ‘you must go in too!’ In Moses case the word of the Lord was ‘don’t go in’ [yet!] in Joshua’s case ‘don’t not go in!’ Have you allowed fear and intimidation to lead you to think it’s time to ‘get out’. Only move [remove] as God directs, don’t start looking for a replacement, you have too many years to fulfill, you must go in with this people! NOTE; I thought I just ‘heard’ someone say ‘is this guy talking about me’? Hey, if it’s for you, then yes!
Deuteronomy 32-34 Moses tells the people after he dies they will fall away from God and spend years in judgment. This is a necessary failure. He will hide his face from them and they will realize that God alone is God and they will find help no where else. God does stuff like this a lot! One of the verses in chapter 28 says ‘you will have confusion for the sight of your eyes’. This summer I had a terrible case of vertigo. I eventually found out it was from damage that is done to the inner ear from a viral infection. I researched some natural supplements and had to choose between 2 types. I chose St. Johns Wort and also eventually took Valerian root as well. The ‘St. Johns Wort’ seemed ‘prophetic’ enough, it has my name in it! But I never saw any prophetic indications with the Valerian Root. I have a homeless friend who is a deep bible student, he has been asking me to look up Spikenard for him. It is a biblical thing. He has been talking about it for a while. Yesterday we were at my house fellowshipping and I gave him a bible dictionary and said ‘look it up’. He reads the definition, it comes from Valerian Root, Oh well there’s the ‘prophetic’ thing. The real point is God allowed me to go thru a season of ‘disorientation’ cause of ‘the sight of my eyes’. You mean to tell me brother that God chastens you? Oh my, I would never go thru stuff like that. You lie! In the last chapter Moses dies and scripture says ‘no man knows where his tomb is till this day’. I like this. Moses is still fulfilling prophetic imagery in death. Years later a prophet would arise in Israel whose name is Jesus. He will claim to be sent from God. Many will challenge this claim. He will do no wrong, and no deceit will ever be found in his mouth. They will get tired of him. They will finally railroad him in an unjust court and bring false witnesses to testify against him. They will crucify him in front of his friends and family. They will put him in a grave and 3 days later he will come back to life. He will give instructions to his followers and ascend into heaven. This fact is the singular most historical fact of the first century [of all centuries!] many will testify to this. Because of the significance of this movement many will do their best over the centuries to disprove his story. They will search high and low for ways to disprove Jesus. They will spend years and millions looking for ‘the tomb of Jesus’ with a body in it. They will never find one. Just like the people of Moses day would never find his body in a tomb either. NOTE; a few verses that I liked at the end. God says ‘a fiery law shall proceed out of thy right hand’ ‘everyone shall receive of thy words’ and ‘my doctrine shall drop down like rain’. I like these images. I have prayed the scriptures ‘pour out your Spirit on my seed, your blessing on my offspring’ ‘I will pour water on him that is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground’. I felt like the Lord was saying he is going to give power and authority to those who are truly speaking what the Spirit is saying. Not just motivational stuff! God raises up prophetic voices to deal with real issues, not just to motivate you into a successful life. They said of Jesus ‘he speaks with authority, not like the regular preachers’ if you want this type of effect, then you must say what the Spirit is saying.
(556) Started reading Joshua. As God brings them into the land Joshua is like Jesus in Revelation, leading the people into a triumphant victory. In both books you see 2 spies [witnesses] you have the harlot Rahab getting judged [she is declared righteous, a Divine act of justification-Hebrews 11] and you have the great whore of Babylon getting judged in Revelation. You have the Old Testament Joshua which means Jesus in the New. As the children of Israel take Jericho they see how God is working supernaturally on their behalf. They then go to the next city, Ai, and only send in a few thousand troops. They loose around 36 men. Joshua overreacts to this loss and falls on his face. Tells God ‘why did you make us come over this Jordan, we could have stayed on the other side. When all our enemies hear about this they will surround us and kill us’. He has quite a pity party! It’s like God is looking down and telling Jesus ‘hey, I know I picked the boy, but who would have thought he was going to take it this bad!’ It’s funny, the Lord finally appears to him and says ‘get up, what are you doing on your face? You have encountered a problem, so deal with it’ God reveals to Joshua that one of his men has some of the goods hidden in his camp and that’s the sin that caused the defeat. They get the guy, make him confess, and everything is O.K. Not! They stone the brother to death and then to make sure he’s dead, they burn the guy! Ouch! I could just see one of our local gangs standing by thinking ‘and we thought our gang was bad’. The Lord deals with the sin and they regroup. I find it funny how Gods leaders all have a tendency to overreact to problems. I think it’s in our nature. Leaders have the ability to see farther than the rest of the community, they also come to more drastic conclusions when things go wrong. Elijah, Moses, etc... The Lords solution was ‘deal with the problem, do what you have to do, get up off of your face for heavens sake, and let’s get on with the program’. I don’t like these types of answers either. I wish the Lord would give me a special response like ‘son, I see the problem. Your right. I will rapture you and destroy all your enemies. And I will make all those people who talked about you feel bad that you aren’t around anymore. We’ll show them’ God doesn’t do this, he tells us ‘get off the ground and start moving’ are you moving forward yet?
(557) Joshua- As Joshua takes Jericho, they experience failure at Ai. They violate the principle of God being with them as a community. They split off and send a few thousand to Ai, God stayed in the camp! Our victory comes when we see all of our brothers in our region as the corporate people of God, don’t divide the Body of Christ, it is certainly not limited to the Christians who meet in buildings on Sunday. It is also not divided into all these different ‘churches’. We are all the Church, even the ones who don’t ‘go to church on Sunday!’ [That is if you are a believer]. Gibeon sees Israel’s victory and pretends they are travelers going thru the land. They put old clothes on and have moldy bread. They tell Joshua ‘we are traveling thru the land, make a league with us’ Joshua does, and they find out that they are really inhabitants of the land. The people blame the leaders for this bad decision, even though they all thought it was a good idea at the time! This happens all the time in church situations, if you haven’t experienced it yet, you will. So as the children of Israel start possessing land, it becomes easy. They form a habit of possessing! God will bring you to a place where you begin overcoming obstacles on a routine basis. Another dynamic that takes place is the inhabitants of the land begin forming alliances against Israel. One alliance forms, and Joshua conquers them. Then another one forms. Scripture says God put it in their hearts to do this so Joshua would cover more territory rapidly. God was allowing Israel to ‘kill 2 birds with one stone’ so to speak. Do you see your enemies forming alliances against you? Sort of like ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’. Do people who could never agree on things unite now in opposition to you? Then praise God, he is giving you possession rapidly! The tribe Of Joseph asks Joshua for more land, they have 2 tribes to represent [Ephraim and Manasseh] Joshua says ‘you are right, go take the wood land [forest]’ they say ‘it’s to hard to take’ Joshua says ‘be strong; you would be surprised what you can do with Gods help’ Joshua learned this lesson from experience. Some times we are like the tribe of Joseph, we want people to give us opportunities. We want land given to us free and clear. We have developed this entitlement mentality in the church [and country!] Often times the answer to our problem is ‘overcome it’. We don’t like this answer.
A few more things from Joshua. He tells Israel to build cities of refuge, so when someone is guilty of the blood of another person he can flee into the city for refuge. This is a type of the church. The bible calls the church the New Jerusalem, John calls her the city of God coming down from God out of heaven, the bride the lamb’s wife. All men are guilty of the blood of Jesus, he died for our sins. We can flee into the Body of Christ and find refuge in the church. Those who fled to the cities of refuge stayed there until the death of the high priest. After his death they could go out from the city and live the rest of their days in their land. The death of our high priest, Jesus, allows us to ‘go out and come in and find pasture’ we have release thru the death of Jesus as well as thru his life! The 2 and a half tribes, Rueben, Gad and Manasseh go back to the other side of the Jordan to posses their land. They build an altar on the coast of Jordan. The tribes in the Promised Land hear about it and confront them ‘why did you build this altar? Are you rebelling against God?’ They reassure their brothers that it is an altar of witness only, they will never sacrifice an animal on it. It is standing there alone, away from the tabernacle and is free from all animal sacrifice. What a picture of the Cross! And last but not least Joshua commands all the people to honor God, he makes them publicly commit to serve the Lord. He then sets up this ‘great stone’ and says ‘this stone is a witness for you, it has heard all the words you have spoken. Don’t go against what you have said’. This is another type of Christ. Jesus is the ‘great stone’ that all judgment has been given to. He has ‘heard all the words we have spoken’ and seen our thoughts and intents. Don’t rebel against him. He also is the ‘capstone/headstone’ that completes the temple of God [the church]. In the prophets [Haggai/Zechariah] they shout ‘grace, grace’ unto it as it is being placed at the temples completion. Jesus will return someday and complete the glorious temple of God, the church, and he does it with absolute grace. He is the great stone!