BIBLE STUDY SERIES #485, 486 and 487

11 March, 2001

DEUTERONOMY 5:22-33

By Douglas C. Nesbit, B.A.

Our series of Bible Studies on the Great Plan by which The Almighty God is steadily drawing His Creation towards the perfection of His Kingdom reveals that this plan centres upon the formation of one selected line of people chronicled in The Scriptural Record, which descends through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and thence the whole nation of Israel, and therein to provide, in the person of Jesus Christ, the focal point of His mighty purpose. This series has brought us from the call of Abram in Genesis 12, and the formation of a national entity through which it has pleased Almighty God to work in accomplishing that task, down to Deuteronomy, and the prospect of The Promised Land upon the borders of which Israel now stood.

If we wish to gain some appreciation of the situation and attitudes of mind of this younger generation of Israel which now stands across the Jordan River from the Land of Canaan and thus on the border that Promised Land to which their whole life's direction has been guided, we must remember that, for the majority of those present, the years of their mature life have been passed in the regimented and guarded tribal encampments of Israel as they moved or encamped in an ordered existence, ruled by tribal discipline. Life was always at the direction of The Almighty Yahweh, God of all the earth, and husband to their corporate Nation of Israel. They had moved from one encampment to the next in a constant atmosphere of somewhat stress-filled alertness for not all dwellers in the dry landscape were friends, and thievery from flocks and herds would be an ever-present danger. Also, the time of their next move was in general unknown from day to day and hour to hour. They had been under direction of Moses and constantly guided by that ever-present pillar of fire by night and cloud by day, moving here and there, and never knowing when the trumpet would distantly be sounded, and the order would come down to them once again to break camp, pack up what might be carried, and form up with their specific tribal banner prominent at their head, for a yet further movement to some new location about the Sinai wilderness.

For most of these young men and women, the years within their memory are ones which have passed, not in the lush deltaic flats of Nile River mud in the land of Goshen, nor under the lash of the times of slavery and bondage which later arose in Egypt, but rather in the rugged, quite arid, and challenging Sinai wilderness. Their experience had included continual dependence upon the miraculous supply of daily bread in the form of manna, and therewith, the necessary weekly round of laborious collection of that necessary sustenance. The miraculous aspect of that supply of manna was perhaps no longer appreciated as a miracle because they had, for the most part experienced no other major source of food and we might even imagine with the loss of appreciation of the miracle, their irritation at the unvarying menu available to their families as the years passed. Water, often a problem, was miraculously supplied on occasion. One by one, and sometimes in large numbers, their older members died and were buried and left behind on the way to a land they did not know except by prophetic promise. We might imagine matters now, as we would if we were standing somewhere amidst the great multitudes of the Children of Israel within the sound of Moses' voice, to listen to his words as Moses reviews the events at the foot of Mount Sinai where the fathers of this present generation of the tribes of Israel received The Ten Commandments.

Today, in Deuteronomy 5, we have just completed studies on each of those Ten Commandments and, as we did when introducing this chapter several months ago, we are now, once again, considering the closing passage which completes it. The Ten Commandments are followed by many subsequent amplifying details as further Judgments and Ordinances flesh out the thoughts which are so briefly presented in those ten "words" of this legal code. This is as we should expect when the whole national life of this gathering of Tribes is being reformed as an holy people, a kingdom of priests, in fact, towards the rest of humanity by Yahweh, the God of their forefathers. After reviewing the Commandments Moses, as we have seen, continues his discourse with a review of the circumstance which immediately followed upon the sound of God's Voice in the hearing of the former generation of Israel. The people were naturally afraid of the awesome presence, and sought, instead, that Moses, their representative, would receive further words on their behalf.

Today we shall re-read Deuteronomy 5:22-33, and we will insert a few additional comments on the passage, in order, at several points, to amplify the meaning of what is recorded:

22. These words the LORD spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me.

Here, we ought to note that the word translated "assembly" is qahal, #6951 in Strong's Concordance, and the sense of the word is given as "assembly, company, congregation, convocation." By way of amplification, we find "1a) assembly 1a1) for evil counsel, war or invasion, religious purposes 1b) company (of returning exiles) 1c) congregation 1c1) as organised body." We find the further information that the AV translates this word in 123 places, and the translation of it is "congregation" in 86 of them, "assembly" in 17, "company" in 17, and "multitude" in 3. Thus the general or most common usage in Scripture is to denote the qahal as the nation assembling in the form of a congregation for a purpose which is of a religious type.

As we, of the British-Israel-World Federation, understand that the main body of the descendants of Israel are today found to be the generally Anglo-Celto-Saxon and kindred peoples, we believe that this concept is important, for those who are thus descended from these Tribes of Israel of old time. The words at this point correct the modern misconception which holds that "church" and "state" must be distinctly detached from one another! Under God's Scriptural direction, these are to be totally fused as one, for all are citizens of the nation and in acknowledging their fealty and duties in that regard, they are thus called upon to form a national religious family and congregation before Him to be guided in national affairs by His Laws. Continuing at verse 23:

23. And it came to pass, when ye heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, (for the mountain did burn with fire,) that ye came near unto me, even all the heads of your tribes, and your elders;
24. And ye said, Behold, the LORD our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth.
25. Now therefore why should we die? for this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any more, then we shall die.
26. For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?
27. Go thou near, and hear all that the LORD our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the LORD our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it, and do it.

As we have previously noted, the people were afraid when they heard the loud, majestic voice out of the flames. That was something completely beyond their past experience. Being filled with fear, they assumed that their proximity would cause their deaths. The sense of the passage leads one to the conclusion that there was manifestly present an awesome and overwhelming power and a sense of imminent danger, from which the people fled. We might be reminded in that connection of the passage in II Thessalonians 1:7-8, which describes in prophetic sweep a related and yet-future time which ought to be of the utmost concern to all who dwell upon the earth:

7. And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8. In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

That passage continues in words which we may outline thus: "Those who do not obey His Word will suffer catastrophe while His saints and all believers will admire and glorify Him." The prospect is stated in terms designed to comfort those persecuted for their Christian work and witness, but there is, in that passage a statement of a yet-future manifestation of the same awesome and fearful power of the Living God of all the earth, as there was at Mount Sinai. Incidentally, evidence for our descent from ancient Israel is found in the fact that in Deuteronomy, the Hebrew word for fire is "'esh", and the Greek word in the New Testament passage is "pur." Both words have continued to be used among Israel's descendants who speak the English words "ash" and "pyre" or "fire."

28. And the LORD heard the voice of your words, when ye spake unto me; and the LORD said unto me, I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken unto thee: they have well said all that they have spoken.
29. O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!
30. Go say to them, Get you into your tents again.
31. But as for thee, stand thou here by me, and I will speak unto thee all the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which thou shalt teach them, that they may do them in the land which I give them to possess it.
32. Ye shall observe to do therefore as the LORD your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.
33. Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.

This ends Deuteronomy 5 and we shall be studying further passages which follow on subsequent Bible Studies in this series.

18 March, 2001

DEUTERONOMY 6:1-9 - LAW TRANSMISSION

By Douglas C. Nesbit, B.A.

Our series of Bible Studies on the Great Plan by which The Almighty God is steadily drawing His Creation towards the perfection of His Kingdom reveals that this plan centres upon the formation of one selected line of people chronicled in The Scriptural Record, which descends through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and thence through the whole history of the nation of Israel, and therein to provide, in the person of Jesus Christ, the focal point of His mighty purpose. This series has brought us from the call of Abram in Genesis 12, and the formation of a national entity through which it has pleased Almighty God to work in accomplishing that task, down to Deuteronomy 6, and the prospect of The Promised Land upon the borders of which Israel now stood.

We are today reading from the passage found in Deuteronomy 6:1-9, and, as is our custom, we shall be inserting comments which we trust will serve to illuminate the verses as we come to them. The Ten Commandments were codified and given by Yahweh, (Jehovah), The God of Mount Sinai, to the nation of Israel gathered at the foot of that austere location for what we would account to be their marriage ceremony to The Almighty, their national husband. Perhaps we might insert a few words regarding the status of Moses, as explained by Keil and Delitzsch. They point out that Moses had not only been selected by God for his service as mediator to the nation of Israel, but also by the people. In fear, they had retreated from the Mount upon hearing God speak His Commandments out of the awesome flames, and had asked Moses to hear the rest of God's words in their place, and then speak the words to the people himself. Thus Moses was well positioned to relay an authoritative summary of God's Law to the people. This marriage relationship of God with His Israel Nation is clearly established and confirmed by Jeremiah in Jeremiah 3:8 and 31:32 and it is also quite obviously the central subject of the whole chapter in Hosea 2, where Hosea's message to the Northern House of Israel was concerned with that preponderant segment of the children of Israel and their divorce from, and later re-marriage to, God. Regarding that future re-marriage, we can pick up further details which are granted to us in Revelation 19:7-9 and 21:2, 9.

Incidentally, perhaps having said that, I ought to add some points of explanation. Many ministers and pastors do not have the advantage of understanding that the racial descent of "Israel" is largely comprised today of the generally Anglo-Celto-Saxon and kindred peoples. The Israel which prophetically partakes of the marriage relationship to The Almighty involves vast numbers of folk who are not now, and whose ancestors have never in history been accounted, "Jews." Such church leaders will, in consequence, not be aware that the marriage of The Lamb is with the Israel Nation, composed of "all the families of Israel" which shall be "saved" (Jeremiah 31:1, also 31:31-34: Hebrews 8:11, Romans 11:26). The Scriptures reveal that the Christian "Church" is the body of Christ, of which He is the Head. The Bride is the Israel Nation. We must see that in Matthew 21:43, Christ clearly states by way of contrast to the barren "fig tree" of the Jewish nation then living, that another national segment (which, in order to fulfill God's covenant, must be of Israel) is in view. The Kingdom of God is to be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. That does not mean a church. In Acts 1:6, the disciples asked the Risen Christ "Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" Obviously, as they, themselves, formed the nucleus of His Church, it was not they who needed to have His Kingdom "restored" to them at some time not yet revealed. They clearly knew that their task, being the leadership and nucleus of Christ's "Church" on this occasion, was to "go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matthew 10:5-7) to tell the house of Israel that "The kingdom of heaven is at hand."

With that digression, we can return to the scene wherein Moses is presenting the Deuteronomy discourse and review of God's Laws to the younger generation of the children of Israel. These were with very few exceptions, born of those who died in the Sinai wilderness during the 40 years which God laid upon the nation as their punishment for their refusal to enter The Promised Land under His Powerful hand. The Deuteronomy version of these same national Laws having been reviewed, Israel now required some additional guidance in regard to their import and the manner in which they must be transmitted and preserved to the succeeding generations of the nation. A summary of what had to be implemented must be presented before they proceeded to enter The Promised Land, and the aged Moses is at pains to clarify their importance for all the nation at this time. Let us read this portion of his oration to the whole people of God's flock:

1. Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it:
2. That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.
3. Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.

At this point we meet the famous words which, in Hebrew, will be known as "Shama' Yisra'el" (Shaw-mah yis-raw-ale), and the first words to follow are those which address the unity of God, stating that "Yehovah 'elohiym" (a plural word) is one "Yehovah."

4. Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
5. And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Keil and Delitzsch point out that this is not an additional Law to the Ten Commandments, but the beginning of the expository amplifications on each of them, starting with The First. Now note how these words concerning The Almighty and ever-living God are to be guarded and transmitted:

6. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
7. And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
8. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
9. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

The transmission of God's Laws is here stressed with amplification of the means by which this ought to be done. It is an essential and invaluable heritage to the children of that generation, and to their children after them down through all the generations yet to come from the families of Israel. It begins with the parents themselves holding God's words in their own hearts first, for parents who do not themselves adore the God of their forefathers will not succeed in that which follows. Here it will be of greatest service if those parents are definitely conscious of their own connection to, and heritage in, the Israel family. Then these parents are to teach the word of God diligently, and more than this, they are themselves to talk of the Scriptures, taking the greatest interest in their meaning and application. This is to be done at home, and when travelling, at evening and in the morning, setting time apart for constant review of their import for the family. They are not to be ashamed of the words of God, but to have them at hand, and be ready to speak to others of them. This means that they are to encourage one another with such discussion, for others may grow apart if we do not continue to bring God's word into our daily conversations however gently, simply to keep others conscious of our own devotion. God may provide the opportunities to do this with common sense and integrity of character. And then we are to write God's Laws and passages from His word in places of honour and prominence so that they may form a reminder to visitors, as well as to ourselves on entering and on leaving our house. It is important to do this for, on leaving our home, we do not know what may befall us before we return and we should always pray for safety and that we will be kept in God's will when travelling. There are many accidents during times of travel, and we ought always to commend our going out and our coming in, that is to say, our return home, into God's hands. True, accidents may happen to us all, but it is God's injunction spoken by the Prophet Moses in this present passage which we are considering, that all should take the attitude which is imparted by a swift glance at God's words, and thus a reminder at our door as we emerge into the world's traffic, that we ought to carry with us those attitudes which God would have His followers to demonstrate. Courtesy and patience are often the means of avoiding the worst aspects of calamity on the road, and carrying before us the thought of God's presence and His words as we leave home can become a guiding force within our daily round of activities. May this assist your thoughts for the coming week.

25 March, 2001

DEUTERONOMY 6:10-25 - LAW FOR GENERATIONS

By Douglas C. Nesbit, B.A.

Our series of Bible Studies on the Great Plan by which The Almighty God is steadily drawing His Creation towards the perfection of His Kingdom reveals that this plan centres upon the formation of one selected line of people chronicled in The Scriptural Record, which descends through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and thence through the whole history of the nation of Israel, and therein to provide, in the person of Jesus Christ, the focal point of His mighty purpose. This series has brought us from the call of Abram in Genesis 12, and the formation of a national entity through which it has pleased Almighty God to work in accomplishing that task, down to Deuteronomy 6, and the prospect of The Promised Land upon the borders of which Israel now stood.

We are today reading from the passage found in Deuteronomy 6:10-25, and, as is our custom, we shall be inserting comments which we trust will serve to illuminate the verses as we come to them. The Ten Commandments have just recently been reviewed by Moses to the next generation of Israel. These Israelites, were generally youthful and had been hardened to the stress and concerns of the encampments and disciplines of existence, the sustenance of the miraculous daily provision of manna while they moved camp from place to place within the arid Sinai wilderness. These were the children of Israel, born of those who had incurred God's displeasure for failure to enter The Promised Land in spite of His assurances of guidance and assistance those thirty-eight years before, and were cursed, in consequence, to pass the remainder of their lives wandering in the Wilderness of Sinai.

We had, in our imagination, stood among these more youthful Israelites as the aged Moses reviewed the events which were experienced by their parents, and the Laws given by The Almighty Yahweh, (Jehovah) from the thunderous flames of the heights of Mount Sinai those thirty-eight years before. God's word must now be passed into the hands of the generation as a trust, as they would enter the Promised Land, with all of its dangers, both internally within the nation, and externally from those presently inhabiting that Land of Canaan. These youthful Israelites must meet the challenges of their day, and also transmit to their offspring in turn, the assured covenant promises of God. Moses was most concerned that their children's children for many generations to come should not be deprived of that heritage through any tendency to neglect by those now standing before him as he continues this discourse which Deuteronomy records.

On our last Bible Study we read these words which introduce Deuteronomy 6:

1. Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it:
2. That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.
3. Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.

It remains vital to the ongoing continuance of God's blessings for His people that they should continually teach the youths, born and brought up by the parental succession of promised generations, of God's marvellous offers, bound up with promises of national blessings, for compliance with His words. We ought also to remember that youths absorb, perhaps as much from the reverend attitudes of those of more senior years as from the actual injunctions which are to be learned. They must see that God's will is displayed with the greatest wisdom and with the utmost love to all His people. They should realise that His words are filled with firm assurances, and worthy of attention, holding forth as they do, the utmost security for belief by all who form the generations which follow in time's concourse to take their place in the cavalcade of history. Keil and Delitzsch point out that at this juncture we have the start of the negative side of the statements, as a warning lest the word of God be ignored. Let us now pick up the Scripture account at Deuteronomy 6:10-13:

10. And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not,
11. And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full;
12. Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
13. Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.

Those of us, particularly those of us who realise that we are, in fact evidently descendants of Israel of old time, ought to keep this fact before us. It is from God The Almighty, that we gain blessing and wealth. Our selfish tendencies and pride may cause us to believe that we are the authors of our own successes. We are here cautioned to remember that it is from Our LORD that all honestly obtained wealth and the good things in life come to us. Thanksgiving Day is a good thing, but it just may be counter-productive if it leads us to assume that one day is enough for giving of thanks! We must keep thankfulness as part of our character every day throughout the year and for all the years which Our God may yet grant to us.

Thus the words given by The Almighty God through His servant, Moses are of great importance, telling us that we, as a God-fearing community are to be concerned with these very first and most important statements of priority regarding God's Laws.

Let us note that the Israel peoples of today are now being told by the multi-cult brigade and internationalist planners that our sovereignty as a nation, which we require in order to observe the Law Code of The Almighty, must never appear in any national or civic context in our nations today, lest, by so-doing, we offend the feelings of someone who might object to our service to Our God! God's Laws are forbidden. They must not undergird prayer for guidance in our legislatures, or our courtrooms, and must be removed from the walls of our civic buildings. They must never be read as an authoritative guide for ethical conduct in our public school system, nor can they be proclaimed aloud in public places if they thereby may be deemed offensive to anyone who is not in agreement with the same. Shame covers all who would support such "human rights", for they deny us the benefits of God's rulership in His Nation. At Christ's Second Advent, God's Kingdom will sweep away this tissue of lies and Satanic rulership. God desires our freedom from all practices which prevent us from enjoying their benefits. God's Commandments were presented to our forefathers, by The Almighty God of all the earth Himself, in order to convey His loving wisdom and guidance to His people of Israel, and with full knowledge of consequences of venturing from their path. Hear the rest of the chapter:

14. Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you;
15. (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.
16. Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.
17. Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee.
18. And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the LORD: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers,
19. To cast out all thine enemies from before thee, as the LORD hath spoken.

Here, Keil and Delitzsch remark that the teaching of the children, which was briefly hinted at in verse 7, is now more fully explained. They "were to instruct their children and descendants as to the nature, meaning, and object of the commandments of the Lord."

20. And when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD our God hath commanded you?
21. Then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh's bondmen in Egypt; and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand:
22. And the LORD shewed signs and wonders, great and sore, upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his household, before our eyes:
23. And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers.
24. And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.
25. And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us.

The command to love God with all the heart, as Keil and Delitzsch explain, does not actually conflict with the gospel of the righteousness of faith, as to love God with all the heart "... is altogether impossible without living faith.", a statement to which we are led to say "Hallelujah" and "Amen." We intend to continue our studies in this area next week.

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