Leviticus 19:26 - 20:27

Sunday Evening Bible Study

October 5, 1997


God is trying to teach His people what holiness is all about.

God is holy, and He wants those who come to Him to learn to be a little more like Him.

Leviticus 19

:26 blood

We dealt with this two weeks ago, see chapter 17. Blood was intended to be a symbol of life, and it was intended to be used to atone for sins. (Lev. 17:11)

:26 enchantment

nachash – to practice divination, divine, observe signs, practice fortunetelling, take as an omen.

Many ancient pagan peoples looked for signs, an eagle flying in the sky, a red sunset, etc., to try and discern direction from God. (Eze. 21:21-22)

It's not just in ancient times either. I remember talking to a brother who was completely caught up in finding symbolic meanings in absolutely everything, though it didn't start out that way. Example: One day he saw a billboard for "Bugle Boy" = Be + Ugly, God thought he was ugly.

Don't mess with this stuff.

:26 observe times

`anan – to observe times, practice soothsaying, spiritism, magic, augury, witchcraft

I can't help but think of these astrologers and fortune-tellers who like to put their predictions in the tabloids. God doesn't want any of His people messing with this stuff.

I heard some statistics from David T. Moore about this stuff. Studies have been made of the 10 leading psychics in the tabloids, and they’re only correct 2% of the time!

This stuff can be pretty addicting. A little thing that comes true every once in a while keeps you hanging on, until these predictions are running your life. And guess who's the person pulling all the strings behind the scenes? Satan. You're listening to Satan.

:28 cuttings in your flesh …

This along with the previous verse refer to ancient practices of the pagans to honor their gods.

Some of the pagans honored their god (the Arabian god Orotal) with the cutting of their hair, or making cuts in their flesh.


Be careful that you don't let your appearance make people think that you worship anybody other than Jesus Christ.

1Th 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

I think there’s a balance to this.

I’ve known some Christian musicians who look pretty "rocked out", but it’s so they can have an opening into the lives of people who wouldn’t listen to them otherwise.

I think we need to be careful that we aren’t glorifying the enemy and his ways by our appearance.

I wonder about how this could apply to us...

Listening to secular heavy metal music?

Having old drug-paraphernalia laying around your house, for "art's sake".

:31 familiar spirits … wizards

familiar spirits – both these and "wizards" deal with much of the same stuff. It is one who is either trying to contact the dead, or one who is trying to contact demonic forces (which are really one and the same thing). NAS – "mediums", "spiritists".

(Isa 8:19 NLT) So why are you trying to find out the future by consulting mediums and psychics? Do not listen to their whisperings and mutterings. Can the living find out the future from the dead? Why not ask your God?

Resist calling those "psychic hotlines".

Notice – you are "defiled" by these things. It’s the word that means "unclean".

:32 hoary head

NAS - LEV 19:32 'You shall rise up before the grayheaded, and honor the aged, and you shall revere your God; I am the \Lord.\

Today many people think of older people as "throw-aways".

We need to honor them.

Try just sitting down and talking, you'll find out that they have tons and tons of wisdom!

Convalescent ministry.

:34 thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers

I can’t help but thinking how this can even apply to visitors at church, especially the young, new believers.

You were once there yourself.

Perhaps think about helping out in the New Believers’ Class, to come alongside those that are new.

:36 Just balances, just weights,

Be an honest business man.

May the title, "Christian owned and operated" someday become synonymous with integrity. It is not so today.

Leviticus 20

Up to now, we've had quite a few laws detailing out to God's people just what God has in mind when He says to them, "Be ye holy".

Here we enter the "penalty phase" of the law, the results of sin.

How are we to apply this portion of Scripture?

Are we to literally go out and kill people who are supposed to die for these particular sins?

These laws were given to a nation, God's nation, a nation in which God was the king, chief ruler.

God's standards have never changed, but the government that is ruling over us has.

Though these should be considered as ideals for a society which chooses to be governed by God, the fact of the matter is that our government is not.

We don't take matters into our own hands either.

We can learn though the relative consequences of sin. God is serious about sin.

:2 that giveth any of his seed unto Molech;

As we mentioned last week, (Lev. 18:21), the worship of Molech involved human sacrifice, as the little babies were placed in the red-hot arms of the god Molech.

Those that practice this kind of worship were to be put to death.

He was to be put to death by the people stoning him.

Everyone participated in the stoning, probably as a way of making clear to all what the penalties were for these offenses.

:4 hide their eyes from the man,

It’s interesting that God would provide for when the people didn’t want to "get involved".

If the people refused to be "involved", then God promised to still take care of it.

:5 I will set my face against that man,

In the event that the human government did not prosecute such a person, God would make sure that they didn't get away with it.


God is just. (one of God's character traits)

Every sin will be accounted for.

No one gets away with anything.

(Ezek 18:4 KJV) Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

The only escape of God's sure judgment is in letting someone else pay the price for your sins - Jesus Christ.

:6 the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits,

It’s not just the mediums that were in trouble, but the person who uses them as well.

We see an example of this in King Saul.

(1 Sam 28:6-7 KJV) And when Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets. {7} Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.

Because of his rebellion against God, God wasn’t responding to Saul’s prayers.

And so, rather than confess his sin and be right with God, Saul sought after a medium, a witch.

As a result of this, God had Saul die at the hands of the Philistines –

1Ch 10:13 So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, [even] against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking [counsel] of [one that had] a familiar spirit, to enquire [of it];

God is serious about His people not playing around with mediums, etc.

:9 every one that curseth his father or his mother

Contrast this with:

(Exo 20:12 KJV) Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Are your days prolonged because you're not put to death??? (a joke...)

One of the characteristics of people who are reprobate...

ROM 1:30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,

One of the characteristics of the apostasy in the last days...

2TI 3:2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,

There seems to be some kind of connection between how a person relates to God, and how they relate to their parents.

Honor God, honor parents.

Disobey God, curse parents.


Children need to learn respect.

I think we need to make sure we’re teaching our children to respect their parents.

This is a difficult thing, because it almost seems selfish of us, yet we’re doing our children a favor by teaching them to respect adults.


Forgive your parents.

Some of you have fallen into the trap of thinking that because you had rotten parents, or because they abused you in some way, that you have a right to live in a "cursing" mentality towards them.

You’re only hurting yourself.

You need to forgive. And yes, I know what I’m asking.

(Eph 4:32 KJV) And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

:10 the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

Death penalty for adultery.

How far have we come from God's standard, when God would put an adulterer to death, and the world would glorify adultery in television and movies.

Nowadays people pay money to watch people commit adultery.

We need to catch ourselves lest we adopt the world's standards of decency instead of God's standards.

:11 the man that lieth with his father's wife

We have an example of this in the New Testament, with the church at Corinth.

(1 Cor 5:1 KJV) It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.

Did Paul put them to death?

(1 Cor 5:4-5 KJV) In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, {5} To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

In a way.

The way we believe this works is to dis-fellowship a person who refuses to even try to admit that they’re sinning, and hence leave them for a time outside the spiritual protection of the church.

But this wasn’t to be forever. In fact, later on in 2Cor., Paul encourages the church to restore this person back to the fellowship, after they had repented.

:13 If a man also lie with mankind,

God calls homosexuality a "detestable act" (KJV - "abominable").

Hebrew (to-ay-baw) - a disgusting thing, abomination; something detestable, produces a sense of loathing.

God says it is worthy of a death sentence. Just as all these other "detestable" sins.

:13 their blood shall be upon them

This phrase, which we’ve seen before (vs.9) means that those who commit these acts are then put to death by the government, God doesn’t hold the government responsible for their deaths.

Regarding the death penalty, some people say, "Well you’re no better than they are, you’re just committing murder yourself".

Not in God’s eyes.

Summarize vs.14-21

Various specifics concerning immorality - incest, bestiality, etc.

These are all the kinds of things we went through back in chapter 18.

They’re basically almost all punishable by death.

We covered these issues back in Leviticus 18, get the tape if you need to.

:22 Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes,

Are we supposed to obey all these laws? How do we know what is applicable and what is not?

Guidelines in understanding the Law:

1) Is this a fulfilled ritual?

Things like sacrifices and festivals have been fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

We don't need to sacrifice any more little lambs.

HEB 10:14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.

2) Is this intended for the government, or individuals?

Understanding the difference between governmental responsibility versus personal responsibility.

ie - We personally don't punish adulterers with death since we personally aren't the government.

This is the government's responsibility.

But we can learn about what God's standards are, just because we aren't personally able to enforce the consequences.

If we could change the government, it would be best to hold the law as the example to follow.

3) Does the New Testament clarify the issue?

a) Food issues

All food is clean.

1TI 4:4-5 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude; 5 for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.

ACT 10:15 And again a voice {came} to him a second time, "What God has cleansed, no {longer} consider unholy."

b) The Sabbath

The Sabbath was designed for man's good, for his rest. (Mark 3:1-6)

It was not designed to put man into bondage and to be kept from doing good.

The Pharisees wouldn't even allow Jesus to heal a man on the Sabbath.

c) Sexual matters

1TH 4:3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; {that is,} that you abstain from sexual immorality;

Basically, the sexual laws don't change, they still apply.

4) A warning against legalism

The first church council decided –

ACT 15:10 "Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?

No matter how important we feel the law is, the bottom line is that we cannot be saved by keeping it. We are only saved because God is merciful enough to forgive us and accept us.

EPH 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, {it is} the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, that no one should boast.

All the law can be is a pattern for us to learn holiness by, to learn God's standards by.

5) Walk in the Spirit.

ROM 8:3-4 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God {did:} sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and {as an offering} for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

Here's the real bottom line: Don't set your eyes on trying to keep all the laws, set your eyes on walking in the Spirit. When you do, obedience to the laws happens naturally.

:23 ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation,

Again, the warning, be careful that you don't get your standard of morality from the world around you, it is constantly getting farther and farther away from God's standards.

Let the warning lights go off in your head when you find yourself performing certain actions simply because everyone else is doing it.

Any old dead fish can float downstream, it takes a live one to swim against the flow.

:27 that hath a familiar spirit,

This almost seems to be an afterthought.

We’ve already been told that those who listen to mediums are to be put to death.

Now we deal with the mediums themselves.

Today they make big bucks instead. There was an article in the newspaper about one of these "channelers" who has a counseling business.

He has on his front door something like, "John Smith & Co." The "& Co." refers to the demons, the spirits of these dead people he regularly speaks to, and who give advice to his clients. Big bucks, influential people.

This too is a sign of the times.

1TI 4:1-2 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron,

Are you ready for Jesus’ return?