Deuteronomy 16-18

Thursday Evening Bible Study

November 18, 2010


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision

The name Deuteronomy means “second law”. It is Moses’ final address to the people. It covers the last 1½ months of Moses’ life.  He’s 120 years old.  It’s God’s “review” for the people to make sure they understand His ways before they go into the land.

Deuteronomy 16

We’re going to get a review of three of the major feasts, all of which are to be celebrated at the “Central Sanctuary” (Deut. 12), eventually in Jerusalem.

16:1-8 Passover/Unleavened Bread

:1 “Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover to the LORD your God, for in the month of Abib the LORD your God brought you out of Egypt by night.

:1 Abib – “tender”, as with fresh green ears of barley

Also known as the month “Nisan” (not “Toyota”). It corresponds roughly with our March to April time.

:2 Therefore you shall sacrifice the Passover to the LORD your God, from the flock and the herd, in the place where the LORD chooses to put His name.

:2 in the place

Moses is going to review the three major feasts that in which the Jews were required to go to the “central sanctuary” to worship (eventually Jerusalem).

:3 You shall eat no leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat unleavened bread with it, that is, the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste), that you may remember the day in which you came out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life.

:3 unleavened bread

Attached to the Passover was the seven-day “Feast of Unleavened Bread”.

It was to remind them that when they fled Egypt, they didn’t have time to let the bread rise, but had to eat unleavened bread.

:3 remember



Paul said to “forget”
(Php 3:13–14 NKJV) —13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

There is value in letting the past go, not allowing the past to control where you are now.

But here the lesson is to “remember”
It’s not a bad thing to remember where you’ve come from.
Don’t ignore where you’ve come from.  It’s a part of your testimony.
It’s where you aren’t going back.
Our past keeps us humble.  We remember what God has delivered us from.

:4 And no leaven shall be seen among you in all your territory for seven days, nor shall any of the meat which you sacrifice the first day at twilight remain overnight until morning.

:4 nor shall any of the meat … remain

On the night of the Passover, the lamb was to be consumed entirely on the first night.  There were to be no leftovers of lamb for the next day, all was to be eaten. The Lamb was to be eaten with unleavened bread.  The people were to continue to eat unleavened Bread for the next seven days.

There’s a picture here –

Leaven is a picture of sin in the Bible.  Jesus is the Lamb.
When Jesus was sacrificed, He was “without sin” (eaten with unleavened bread).
When He died, He died once to take away sin.  There are no “leftovers”.  But after Jesus died, our sins are taken away, and so the people were to continue to eat unleavened bread for an entire week – He frees us from sin.

:5 “You may not sacrifice the Passover within any of your gates which the LORD your God gives you;

:6 but at the place where the LORD your God chooses to make His name abide, there you shall sacrifice the Passover at twilight, at the going down of the sun, at the time you came out of Egypt.

:7 And you shall roast and eat it in the place which the LORD your God chooses, and in the morning you shall turn and go to your tents.

:8 Six days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a sacred assembly to the LORD your God. You shall do no work on it.

:6 at the place

The Passover was supposed to be celebrated at the place of the “Central Sanctuary” (Deut. 12), not just any old place.

The idea was to keep the Israelites from falling away from the Lord and developing their own sets of practices based on what part of the country they lived in.  Instead, they all were to come to one place where there could be adequate oversight by the priests and Levites, and so the worship of God could stay consistent and on track.

It also would serve another purpose.

As the Central Sanctuary eventually became moved to Jerusalem, and then the temple was built, it meant that all of Israel was to go to Jerusalem for the sacrifice of the Passover Lamb.

And one day, there would be a special Passover Lamb sacrificed in Jerusalem.  Jesus.

16:9-12  Feast of Weeks/Pentecost

The Feast of Weeks, also known as Pentecost, was celebrated 50 days after the Passover.

The Passover began the harvest season.  Halfway through harvesting, the people were to take a break and remember God.  They were to give to God from the “first fruits” of their labor.

It would also become the day that the church was born when the Holy Spirit fell on the church and brought in the “first fruits” of the gospel.

:9 “You shall count seven weeks for yourself; begin to count the seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the grain.

:10 Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to the LORD your God with the tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give as the LORD your God blesses you.

:9 seven weeks

The first green ears of barley were offered to the Lord on the second day of Passover.  Forty-nine days after that was the next feast.  The Feast of Weeks was started with the offering of a sheaf of new wheat.

:10 Feast of Weeks

Seven weeks of days (7 x 7) plus one = 50.  Pentecost is another way of expressing this. It was celebrated 50 days after Passover, or, 49 days (7x7) after the second day of Passover.

It was also known as the feast of firstfruits.  Passover began the Harvest season, and after fifty days, the people were to stop and give back to God from their first fruits.

:10 give as the LORD your God blesses you


Giving is proportional.

We are to give as the Lord has blessed us.  If you’ve had a hard year financially, it’s okay to slow down on your giving.  If God has prospered you, it’s okay to increase.
Paul wrote,
(1 Co 16:1–2 NKJV) —1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: 2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.

:11 You shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the Levite who is within your gates, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are among you, at the place where the LORD your God chooses to make His name abide.

:12 And you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and you shall be careful to observe these statutes.

:11 you and your son and …


Worship is for everyone

Even the servants were to take the day off and come to worship the Lord.  Right when the harvest is just getting off the ground, everyone takes a break and comes to worship.
Some of you have become servants in the church.  There are lots of things that you do around this place.  But you also need to learn to sit down and worship. 
Some of the folks we are most appreciative of in our church aren’t here because they are serving.  They too need a break.
Don’t lose that taste of your first love.  Let your love for the Lord continue to grow.  Serve Him because you love Him.

16:13-15  Feast of Tabernacles/Ingathering

:13 “You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress.

:13 Feast of Tabernacles

The Feast of Tabernacles (Booths, Sukkoth) falls in our September – October time frame.  It was called the Feast of Tabernacles because the people would build temporary shelters (booths, tents) out of branches and leaves and live outside for seven days.  It was to remind them of how they lived in tents for forty years in the wilderness.

It was also called the Feast of Ingathering because it was a celebration of the end of the harvest.

Note how the Feasts have a dual meaning – not only historically, remembering the events in Egypt, but also economically – tying into the new life the people will be leading in the Promised Land – an agricultural farming people instead of a wandering people.

:14 And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates.

:15 Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to the LORD your God in the place which the LORD chooses, because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice.

:15 surely rejoicesameach – joyful, merry, glad

According to Jewish tradition, no marriages were allowed to be celebrated during these great festivals, that no personal or private rejoicings might be mingled with the demonstrations of public and national gladness (JFB).


Worship should be joyful.

During the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, when the people had come back from Babylon and rebuilt the city of Jerusalem, they began to re-learn how to celebrate these feasts.
When they got everyone together for the first time, some of the people were overcome with sorrow as they heard the words of the Law.
(Ne 8:9–12 NKJV) —9 And Nehemiah, who was the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn nor weep.” For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law. 10 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” 11 So the Levites quieted all the people, saying, “Be still, for the day is holy; do not be grieved.” 12 And all the people went their way to eat and drink, to send portions and rejoice greatly, because they understood the words that were declared to them.
This took place on the Feast of the Tabernacles.  The people went on to celebrate the feast with great joy.
By the time of Jesus, the traditions and customs had grown with these feasts, including rituals of pouring out water in the Temple, and waving palm branches.
Jesus was in Jerusalem during one of these feasts.

(Jn 7:37–38 NKJV) —37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

It was a time of great joy and celebration.  It was said that “Whoever had not witnessed it had never seen rejoicing at all” [Lightfoot].
There is a sense that as we come before the Lord, we realize the depth of our sin.  We realize just how different He is from us.  But we also need to recognize His grace and mercy, and that ought to make us REJOICE!

:16 “Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed.

:16 Three times a year

Three weeks out of every year you were to spend in Jerusalem.

This wasn’t just a vacation, it was more like a retreat, time dedicated to worshipping God.

We know that from the example of Jesus’ family when he was a boy, women and children also went to the feasts as well (Luke 2:42-50).

:16 they shall not appear … empty-handed

When you came to Jerusalem, you were to bring your offering to the Lord.


Come to give.

Sometimes when we come to church we are just barely hanging on and we drag ourselves in the door to be refreshed by the Lord.  God understands that.
But for the most part, God wants us to come with something to give.  He wants to use you.
Giver or taker?
To serve or be served. I see two kinds of people in church.

One type of person comes in order to be served.  They are looking for others to minister to them.  They are always aware of what they need for themselves.  They rarely pay attention to the needs of those around them.

The other person is the giver, the servant.  They seem to have a sense of what is needed by those around them.

Which are you?

16:17-22 Giving, judges, misc.

:17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.

:18 “You shall appoint judges and officers in all your gates, which the LORD your God gives you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with just judgment.

:18 in all your gates

The “gates” of a city was where things happened.  It’s where the city market was.  It’s where the leaders hung out.  It’s where the judges judged.

In northern Israel, they’ve excavated part of the gates of the ancient city of Dan.  As you walk into the opening to the walls and turn the corner, there is a place for a seat, a throne.  That’s where the leaders would hang out.

:19 You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous.

Judges were charged by God to make wise, impartial decisions.

:20 You shall follow what is altogether just, that you may live and inherit the land which the LORD your God is giving you.

:21 “You shall not plant for yourself any tree, as a wooden image, near the altar which you build for yourself to the LORD your God.

:22 You shall not set up a sacred pillar, which the LORD your God hates.

:21 wooden imageAsherah (or Astarte) a Phoenician goddess; also an image of the same.

Many of these images and pillars were quite pornographic.



God does not want His people involved in idolatry.  We are connected to God, and God is pure.
A.W.Tozer wrote in 1959:
The period in which we now live may well go down in history as the Erotic Age. Sex love has been elevated into a cult. Eros has more worshipers among civilized men today than any other god. For millions the erotic has completely displaced the spiritual....
Now if this god would let us Christians alone I for one would let his cult alone. The whole spongy, fetid mess will sink someday under its own weight and become excellent fuel for the fires of hell, a just recompense which is meet, and it becomes us to feel compassion for those who have been caught in its tragic collapse. Tears and silence might be better than words if things were slightly otherwise than they are. But the cult of Eros is seriously affecting the Church. The pure religion of Christ that flows like a crystal river from the heart of God is being polluted by the unclean waters that trickle from behind the altars of abomination that appear on every high hill and under every green tree from New York to Los Angeles. 
-         Born After Midnight, 36-37.

Deuteronomy 17

17:1-13 Judgment

:1 “You shall not sacrifice to the LORD your God a bull or sheep which has any blemish or defect, for that is an abomination to the LORD your God.

:2 “If there is found among you, within any of your gates which the LORD your God gives you, a man or a woman who has been wicked in the sight of the LORD your God, in transgressing His covenant,

:3 who has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, either the sun or moon or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded,

:4 and it is told you, and you hear of it, then you shall inquire diligently. And if it is indeed true and certain that such an abomination has been committed in Israel,

:4 inquire diligently

It’s always good to check things out and not listen to rumors and gossip.

Just a note:  My wife’s “black eye” is not from me hitting her or her being mugged.  She had surgery to remove some cancerous tissue.

When you hear something bad about a person, it’s a good idea to check out the facts.  It may be a false, vicious rumor.  J

:5 then you shall bring out to your gates that man or woman who has committed that wicked thing, and shall stone to death that man or woman with stones.

Those that are guilty of idolatry are to be put to death.

:6 Whoever is deserving of death shall be put to death on the testimony of two or three witnesses; he shall not be put to death on the testimony of one witness.

A rule of law.  A capital offense (requiring the death penalty) must have two or more witnesses.

:7 The hands of the witnesses shall be the first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So you shall put away the evil from among you.

:7 put him to death

Two witnesses were required.  You had to be sure enough of your own testimony to be willing to cast the first stones.

The guilty party would be led out of town and placed on a high platform.

The first witness pushed him off the scaffold; the second dropped a large stone on his head or chest. Then bystanders pelted the dying man with stones. No mourning was permitted for the dead man.

Making the witnesses throw the first stones helped insure that the accusations weren’t done rashly or half-heartedly.

It is one thing to make accusations behind someone’s back, but to actually face them and throw the first stone is another issue.
If the witnesses proved to be false, they would also become guilty of murder, having thrown the first stone.

:8 “If a matter arises which is too hard for you to judge, between degrees of guilt for bloodshed, between one judgment or another, or between one punishment or another, matters of controversy within your gates, then you shall arise and go up to the place which the LORD your God chooses.

:9 And you shall come to the priests, the Levites, and to the judge there in those days, and inquire of them; they shall pronounce upon you the sentence of judgment.

The priests and Levites in Jerusalem were a kind of Supreme Court.  They were to get all the tough cases.  This is appropriate since they were to be the ones most familiar with God’s Law.

Eventually this was the Sanhedrin; they became this last court of appeals.

:10 You shall do according to the sentence which they pronounce upon you in that place which the LORD chooses. And you shall be careful to do according to all that they order you.

:11 According to the sentence of the law in which they instruct you, according to the judgment which they tell you, you shall do; you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left from the sentence which they pronounce upon you.

:12 Now the man who acts presumptuously and will not heed the priest who stands to minister there before the LORD your God, or the judge, that man shall die. So you shall put away the evil from Israel.

:13 And all the people shall hear and fear, and no longer act presumptuously.

:12 that man shall die

If someone wanted to say, “Well I don’t have to do what the priests and Levites tell me to do”, then they are automatically put to death.

17:14-20  Rules for a King

:14 “When you come to the land which the LORD your God is giving you, and possess it and dwell in it, and say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations that are around me,’

:15 you shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother.

:14 a king

This is quite prophetic. This is exactly what the people did four hundred years later during the time of Samuel.

(1 Sa 8:4–5 NKJV) —4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, 5 and said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.” 6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the LORD. 7 And the LORD said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.
This was a difficult thing for Samuel to accept.  He felt like the people were rejecting him as a leader.
And even though there was a sense in which the people were rejecting God as a leader, it wasn’t wrong for the people to have a king.  God provided for it here in Deuteronomy.

:16 But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the LORD has said to you, ‘You shall not return that way again.’

:17 Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.

:16 he shall not

There are four things a king is of Israel was supposed to avoid:

1)  Horses.

This is really a way of saying that a king shouldn’t be trusting in military superiority.

2)  Egypt.

They weren’t to copy the Egyptians or look to them for help or advice.

3)  Wives.

It wasn’t uncommon for a king to have multiple wives.  This was one way to promote political and national security.  You married the neighboring king’s princess.  That way if your neighbor wants to attack you and conquer your kingdom, he’ll have to think twice because you’re married to his little girl.
God wanted the people trusting in Him for security, not in their marriages.

4)  Wealth.

When we become wealthy, it’s easy to forget the Lord.  It’s easy to stop trusting in Him and to start trusting in our money.  It’s the economy, stupid.

Billy Graham used to say that the three things that will bring a man down are:

Sex, money, and power.


Take God seriously

The king who ruled during the height of the kingdom of Israel was also the one who started the downhill slide.  He didn’t pay attention to the four rules that God had for kings.  Look at what Solomon did.
1)  Horses
(1 Ki 10:26 NKJV) And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen; he had one thousand four hundred chariots and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king at Jerusalem.
2)  Egypt
(1 Ki 10:28 NKJV) Also Solomon had horses imported from Egypt and Keveh; the king’s merchants bought them in Keveh at the current price.
This is in addition to the fact that he married the daughter of the Pharaoh of Egypt!
3)  Wives
Solomon had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines.
(1 Ki 11:4 NKJV) For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David.
4) Wealth
(1 Ki 10:23 NKJV) So King Solomon surpassed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom.
Some would call Solomon the wisest man that ever lived.
Yet he chose to flaunt God’s commands here in Deuteronomy.
Did he get away with it?  No.
Listen carefully to what Solomon wrote at the end of life:
(Ec 12:8 NKJV) “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “All is vanity.”
(Ec 12:13 NKJV) Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all.

He finally came to the conclusion that you can’t get around God’s ways.  God’s ways are best.

God is giving us some serious warnings about what is going to cause trouble in our lives.
PlayAlarm Clock Problems
God is serious about waking us up.  But it’s not a harmless alarm clock we need to worry about.  It’s not the annoying things in God’s Word that we think we can just avoid.  We have much bigger things to be concerned about.

:18 “Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites.

:19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes,

:20 that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel.

:18 a copy of this law

A king was supposed to make his own handwritten copy of the Scriptures and then read and study it every day of his life.


Products of the Word

There are some benefits from God’s Word if we read and study it correctly.
Obedience – “fear” … “observe” (vs. 19)
Humility – “that his heart may not be lifted up”
If you are reading the Bible correctly, it will be producing humility in you , not pride.
Endurance – “may not turn aside”
Blessing – “he may prolong his days”
Note that it affects the “children” as well.  Our walk in the Word affects our children.

Deuteronomy 18

18:1-8  Priestly Inheritance

These verses remind the people that the priests and Levites were to be supported from the people’s offerings.

:1 “The priests, the Levites—all the tribe of Levi—shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel; they shall eat the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and His portion.

:2 Therefore they shall have no inheritance among their brethren; the LORD is their inheritance, as He said to them.

:2 the LORD is their inheritance

Instead of being given vast tracts of land like those in the other tribes, the Levites were given houses in the cities.  Their major family security didn’t lie in the family farm, it was in the Lord.


Satisfied in Him.

David found that God’s love for Him was better than even life itself:
(Ps 63:3–5 NKJV) —3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You. 4 Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. 5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.
David found a deep, lasting satisfaction from thinking about the Lord and meditating on Him.

:3 “And this shall be the priest’s due from the people, from those who offer a sacrifice, whether it is bull or sheep: they shall give to the priest the shoulder, the cheeks, and the stomach.

:4 The firstfruits of your grain and your new wine and your oil, and the first of the fleece of your sheep, you shall give him.

:5 For the LORD your God has chosen him out of all your tribes to stand to minister in the name of the LORD, him and his sons forever.

:4 firstfruits

This was the main way that the Levite had to support his family, performing the sacrifices and then keeping a portion of the sacrifices as wages.

:6 “So if a Levite comes from any of your gates, from where he dwells among all Israel, and comes with all the desire of his mind to the place which the LORD chooses,

:7 then he may serve in the name of the LORD his God as all his brethren the Levites do, who stand there before the LORD.

:8 They shall have equal portions to eat, besides what comes from the sale of his inheritance.

:8 shall have equal portions to eat

If a country Levite wants to leave his hometown and go and serve in the temple in Jerusalem, he was to get the same wages as the guy who was born and raised in Jerusalem.

Even if the guy has sold the family home up in Galilee to make the sacrifice and move his family to Jerusalem, he still was paid equally for his work in the Temple.

18:9-22 True and False Prophets

:9 “When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations.

:10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer,

:11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.

:10 pass through the fire

This is probably referring to the worship of Molech, one of the gods of the Canaanites.

He was usually made of bronze, with his arms stretched outward.
He would be heated up in a furnace, then at the appropriate time during their worship, He would be placed on display, and live babies would be placed in his red-hot open arms.
This was one way the Canaanites dealt with unwanted pregnancies, which often resulted from their promiscuous sex practices.

:10-11 witchcraft … soothsayer …

Various forms of evil practices, casting spells, attempting to control people through evil spirits, people who interpret signs, fortune telling, contacting the dead, etc.

Why are these things forbidden?

Many of these things actually have a sense of reality and power about them.  Their power is real because there is a real entity behind them.  These things are all tied to Satan.  They are designed to suck people in, and eventually chain them to Satan.

:12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you.

:13 You shall be blameless before the LORD your God.

:14 For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not appointed such for you.

:12 because of these abominations …


Serious consequences

The Israelites need to keep in mind that the very reason they are allowed victory over these people, the reason these people are going to be judged is because they are practicing these things.
Paul writes,
(Eph 5:6–7 NKJV) —6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.

These are the very things that God is going to be judging the world over.  We should have nothing to do with these kinds of things.

Harry Potter, Vampire movies, “Charmed”, things like these – I’m not sure we ought to put these things on our “favorites” list.

The problem we have is that we don’t seem to take God seriously.  It seems that we seem to think God is just joking.
PlayFlip Wilson – The Devil Made Me Do It

I love that clip.  But doing thing’s God’s way is no laughing matter.

There actually is a devil.  And he is seeking to destroy and ruin you.

(1 Pe 5:8 NKJV) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

:15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear,

:16 according to all you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’

:17 “And the LORD said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good.

:16 in Horeb

When the people were gathered around Mt. Sinai, they were terrified when God began to speak and they heard Him.  They requested that God not speak to them directly anymore but that God just work through Moses instead.  God thought that this was an okay idea.

:18 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.

:18 a Prophet

The Jews at times have understood this to mean various prophets, but ultimately it was a reference to the Messiah.

(Jn 6:14 NKJV) Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.”

Jesus spoke the words that God gave Him.

(Jn 14:24 NKJV) He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.

:19 And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.

:19 I will require it

We are accountable to God to do what Jesus said because Jesus spoke God’s words.

(Jn 12:48–49 NKJV) —48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him— the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. 49 For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.

:20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’

:20 shall die

It’s a very serious thing to claim that you are speaking for God when you are not.  God doesn’t want people speaking for Him when He’s not speaking.

:21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’—

:22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

:22 spoken it presumptuouslyzadown – pride, insolence, arrogance

The person wasn’t speaking for the Lord, but they were speaking to get attention.


Prophet Test

In Deuteronomy 13 we had the first test of a false prophet.  The issue was doctrine.
Sometimes a person might do miraculous things, but if they are not leading you toward the God of the Bible, if their doctrine is not correct, then they are a false prophet.
Here the issue is fulfillment.
If a person has their doctrine correct and they claim to be speaking for Yahweh, but the thing they predict does not come to pass, then God has not spoken.
Over the last thirty years, I’ve seen a number of people claim to know the date of when Jesus is coming back.

The simplest way to test them is to wait and see.

The problem is that often people forget about the goofy prophecies and still continue to follow the false prophet.

The Seventh Day Adventist movement was started by a fellow named William Miller who got his fame from predicting the return of Jesus Christ on October 22, 1844.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses was started by a fellow named Charles Russell, who predicted the coming of Christ in 1874, and later changed to another coming in 1914.  Another leader predicted the resurrection of the Jewish patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, etc.) in 1925.  They later decided that Jesus did actually come back in 1914, but was secretly hiding in their headquarters in Brooklyn, New York.  Later, they predicted that the Millennium would start in 1975, which they’ve backed off from.

What do you say about people who make these kinds of predictions, and they don’t happen? You call them false prophets.

:22 you shall not be afraid

There is a kind of power that people can hold over others when they are claiming to speak for the Lord.  We can kind of hold these people in awe and fear.  Don’t.


A group of students at Harvard once tried to fool the famous professor of zoology Agassiz.  They took parts from a number of different bugs and with great skill attached them together to make a creation they were sure would baffle their teacher.  On the chosen day they brought it to him and asked that he identify it.  As he inspected it with great care, the students grew more and more sure they had tricked this genius.  Finally, Professor Agassiz straightened up and said, “I have identified it.”  Scarcely able to control their amusement, they asked its name.  Agassiz replied, “It is a humbug.” 

When you recognize a fake, don’t be afraid to call it a fake.  Call it a “humbug”