"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .

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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

LEVITICUS – A HOLY PEOPLE’s ACCESS to The HOLY GOD – Chapter NINETEEN & TWENTY

Contributing commentaries by pastors Sonny Islas, Albert Lopez and James Fire

Complete Study of Leviticus by pastor Chuck Smith 

LEVITICUS 19 & 20: “THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD DON’T MIX” – by Sonny Islas; listen to the Youtube audio here.  

INTRODUCTION: The Book of Leviticus deals with the duties and responsibilities of the Priest but it also focuses on HOW God deals, connects and interacts with all of the Nation of Israel. Hence the Moral Laws (10 Commandments – and their detailed explanations), the Dietary Laws (What foods to eat – for their wellbeing), the Ceremonial Laws (Animal Sacrifices, cleansings, and Feasts) and the Judicial Laws (Which points to how to deal with crimes and criminals).
The main purpose of these loving laws was to make Israel stand out in a pagan world as God’s chosen people.

Leviticus 20:26 makes this clear
And you shall be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.”

In the New Testament, regarding the Church of Jesus, it’s no different.

In Matthew 5:48 Jesus the LORD says,
Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

1 Peter 1:15-16 says,
but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I Am holy.”

The Jews were set apart then by the Old Testament scriptures, and the Church is set apart now by the Old Testament and New Testament scriptures (the whole counsel of GOD). Mainly Jesus’ teachings and their commentary – that is, New Testament epistles.

The problem with much of the Church today is that they think that being like the world is the best way to win the world, but the opposite is true. Israel failed to represent God time and time again because they too caved into the world’s evil ways.

The reality is this, the world (aka the Harlot) belongs to Satan and his wicked ways, and the Church (aka the Bride) belongs to God and His righteous ways – and there is a world of difference.

LEVITICUS 19

LEVITICUS 19:1,2
And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,

Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.

Notice that the call to be holy is not just for a special few but for all – all of God’s people – from Moses to the least.

To be holy: It means to be different, set apart, to be like God in upright character – thought, speech, and deed. It’s to be sexually pure, faithful to God and spouse. To be loving and kind. To refrain from all forms of wicked things of the world and instead to be given to the LORD and what is honorable and right.

LEVITICUS 19:3

Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father and keep My Sabbaths: I am the Lord your God.

This is the 5th commandment, isn’t it (Exodus 20:12)? This isn’t rocket science. To “revere” is to respect them (even if they are unbelievers). To show them honor. To appreciate and value them. To obey them (as long as their command doesn’t violate God’s commands). To consider them, enjoy them, and spend quality time with them. To help and assist them when they need your help. To pray for them because we all need prayer.

Keep My Sabbaths: I am the LORD – The people of Israel were to take one day out of the week to rest from regular work and focus on the LORD. To come together and worship the LORD while enjoying each other like we do here on Sundays [Note from James: This is not to say, as does the Roman Catholic church says, that the Sabbath has been changed from Saturday to Sunday, because it’s always on the seventh day, not the first day of the week that we are to take rest. The primary parallel is that whether on Sabbath or Sunday, we focus our attention on the LORD, expressing our devotion to him together as a body. The reason why the biblical church meets on Sunday is because on this day, the LORD resurrected from the dead; see JOHN 20:1; 1 COR 16:2].

By the way, them keeping the Sabbath was a sign (Ezek 20:12) to the world that Israel served the God who created the heavens and the Earth in 6 days and rested on the Sabbath (7th-Saturday); see also Exodus 20:8-11).

Colossians 2:16 and Romans 14:5 tells us that the Church is free from keeping the Sabbath in the Old Testament way, and that we have the liberty to worship God on Sunday or any day for that matter. We worship on Sunday because, as stated previously, Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday and the early church gathered on Sundays.

LEVITICUS 19:4
‘Do not turn to idols, nor make for yourselves molded gods: I am the Lord your God.

This is the second commandment, right (Exodus 20:3-4)? God doesn’t want us buying or designing idols to trust in or pray to, because for one, we don’t know what God looks like; and for two, we are to place our trust in no one or nothing but God. Many break this command all day long. Some put their faith and trust in man-made sculptures and others in money, education, intellect, philosophy, government etc. Deut. 32:17 and 1 Cor. 10:20 tells us that worship of idols is actually demon worship in disguise!

LEVITICUS 19:5-8

‘And if you offer a sacrifice of a peace offering to the Lord, you shall offer it of your own free will. 6 It shall be eaten the same day you offer it, and on the next day. And if any remains until the third day, it shall be burned in the fire. 7 And if it is eaten at all on the third day, it is an abomination. It shall not be accepted. 8 Therefore everyone who eats it shall bear his iniquity, because he has profaned the hallowed offering of the Lord; and that person shall be cut off from his people. – basically, kicked out of the camp.

This peace offering was a kind of thank offering. The peace offering was somewhat like having a cookout with God. For more info on the Peace offering – go to our Shine Bright Church YouTube Channel and look up – Enjoying a BBQ with God [Note to TTUF readers: We'll have a link for this soon!].

LEVITICUS 19:9-10

‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the Lord your God.

Leaving grapes behind in the field was a gesture of generosity to the poor. This is how Ruth met the God-obeying man named Boaz in the Book of Ruth*. He was a wealthy grain field owner who allowed poor Ruth to glean from his field for her and her Mother-in-Law Naomi.

*Note from James: Check out this excellent, brief article by Chuck Missler on the book of Ruth! 

Proverbs 19:17 says,

He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and He will pay back what he has given.
When we care for the less fortunate, the LORD takes notice and repays us for our generosity.

LEVITICUS 19:11-13
11 You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. And you shall not swear by My name falsely, nor shall you profane the Name of your God: I am the Lord. ‘You shall not cheat your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of him who is hired shall not remain with you all night until morning.

Here we have the 9th commandment (Exodus 20:15) and the 3rd (Exodus 20:7), right? Also, they were to pay their employees right away -as soon as the work was finished. It was most likely because most people lived not paycheck by paycheck but literally day by day – like “give us this day our daily bread.’’

LEVITICUS 19:14

You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shall fear your God: I am the Lord.

Here we see the LORD’s heart for the disabled. He wants us to treat them with the utmost respect. Also, why would anyone want to add to their difficulties by putting them down?

Exodus 4:11 says,

So the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? – Will we mock the LORD’s doing?

LEVITICUS 19:15

You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor.

The LORD wants us to treat everyone equally regarding our judgements. To be honest and fair. If someone is wrong, they are wrong no matter who they are – wealthy and famous or poor and unknown, a pastor or a layman, a president, or a regular citizen. The Law is the law, wrong is wrong and right is right, and everyone must face the consequences fairly – good or bad. I’ve heard it said that the rich and famous can get away with murder in America, i.e., OJ Simpson.

We’re not to treat the sighted man better than the blind man, or the intellectual better than the uneducated etc. The LORD has called us to judge rightly (make the right call) in every situation – according to God’s Word.

John 7:24

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

LEVITICUS 19:16

You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord.

Or stated in modern day lingo – Don’t make stuff up about others. Don’t be a gossip. And don’t do anything that would jeopardize the life of another.

LEVITICUS 19:17

You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him.

This points to us not harboring hatred towards someone who has harmed us but rather to let that person know that they have offended us and to try and find resolve. Don’t just ignore it if it’s not ignorable – doing so will make us sin against them and God as they have against us. In other words staying quiet when we should speak up helps no one – it only makes matters worse. The sin we commit when we remain silent about an offense is bitterness and resentment (See Matthew 18:15).

LEVITICUS 19:18

You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

The LORD doesn’t want us to take matters into our own hands against anyone in a violent manner. But instead, to do things right, make the right moves, do things lawfully and biblically with a heart of mercy and love. The goal is to wish no harm on those who have harmed us – this takes supernatural power, and it comes from the Holy Spirit.

LEVITICUS 19:19

You shall keep My statutes. You shall not let your livestock breed with another kind. You shall not sow your field with mixed seed. Nor shall a garment of mixed linen and wool come upon you.

Scholars believe that this ban on mixing of animals, seeds and clothing materials may have been characteristics of idolatrous practices.

LEVITICUS 19:20-22

20 Whoever lies carnally with a woman who is betrothed to a man as a concubine, and who has not at all been redeemed nor given her freedom, for this there shall be scourging; but they shall not be put to death, because she was not free. And he (not her because he took advantage of her) shall bring his trespass offering to the Lord, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, a ram as a trespass offering. The priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before the Lord for his sin which he has committed. And the sin which he has committed shall be forgiven him.

Here’s what one commentator says about his verse:

This is the situation described: A slave girl is engaged to marry a free man, and then a different man has sex with her. Normally, the penalty was death; but because the woman was a slave and was presumed to be not free to resist (or guarded by a father), the penalty was not death. Yet, because of the rape, she was not marriable to her fiancée, so he must be reimbursed (the punishment mentioned). Then the moral guilt would be settled by sacrifice, and presumably the man who had sex with her would be obliged to marry her. – Guzik

LEVITICUS 19:23-25

23 When you come into the land, and have planted all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as uncircumcised. Three years it shall be as uncircumcised to you. It shall not be eaten. 24 But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, a praise to the Lord. 25 And in the fifth year you may eat its fruit, that it may yield to you its increase: I am the Lord your God.

The first three years of harvest they could not eat from. The fourth year the fruit was to be offered to God and the fifth year they could enjoy it. This could serve two purposes – 1. It was good for the ground. 2. This was to remind Israel that this land was a gift from God and that He came first.

LEVITICUS 19:26

You shall not eat anything with the blood (a pagan practice – even today), nor shall you practice divination or soothsaying.

Fortune telling is an old pagan practice that God hates, and His people are to stay clear away from any form of witchcraft.

At this time they would use snakes and clouds to foretell the future. This is obviously born of and heavily influenced by demonic activity, and strictly forbidden.
The immediate future is not for us to know nor to inquire of – we trust that our lives are in the sovereign hand of the LORD. We know the final future and it is total bliss with the LORD in glory.

LEVITICUS 19:27

You shall not shave around the sides of your head, nor shall you disfigure the edges of your beard.

This was a picture of Pharaoh and the Egyptians. They would shave the sides of their heads and sculpt their goatees and beards to look impressive and it also no doubt had connections to idol worship as mostly everything did. In other words, the LORD didn’t want His people copying the world’s idolatrous ways and self-promoting fashions.

Today it’s OK to get a nice clean haircut and wear fashionable clothes BUT even here we can go overboard pretty quickly if we’re not careful – the motives of the heart say it all.

LEVITICUS 19:28

You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord.

Back then they would gash their bodies with knives as they mourn their dead – very demonic and painful. It was their way of feeling and expressing extra pain for the dead.

They would also tattoo the names of dead loved ones and false gods on their bodies. This shows us that the origins of tattoos are actually very evil.

Just like then, today people tattoo the names of their loved ones on their bodies. They tattoo their idols on themselves too i.e. Sports teams, naked women, the virgin Mary, cars, etc. – No different.

I personally don’t like tattoos, nor do I encourage Christians to get them, because of its origins but also because tattoos are basically colorful scars. It’s a form of cutting and bleeding, for different reasons I understand, but – today, mainly for fashionable reasons.

If someone were to ask me “is God ok with tattoos?” my short answer would be - no. Just by understanding His holy nature - I would say most likely not. But I don’t look down on anyone who does get tattoos although I’m convinced that getting them is connected to spiritual immaturity.

We will all stand before the LORD and give an account for what we do with our bodies (and minds, and hearts) – 2 Corinthians 5:10 says,

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

LEVITICUS 19:29

Do not prostitute your daughter, to cause her to be a harlot, lest the land fall into harlotry, and the land become full of wickedness.

This shameful act is still practiced in some countries. It’s pure evil.

LEVITICUS 19:30-31

30 ‘You shall keep My Sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary: I am the Lord. 31 Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.

They as well as we are to avoid mediums – who bring up demons that disguise themselves as dead family members. God does not want us to communicate with the dead nor are we to pray for the dead. I know of a woman who has gatherings where the living encounters their dead relatives (which again, are just demons in disguise).

LEVITICUS 19:32

You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God: I am the Lord.

Respect your elders, right? In 2 Kings 2, forty-two youngsters were calling Elisha “bald head” – mocking his old age and God sent two female bears to tear them up (it was an unbearable situation for the prophet!).

LEVITICUS 19:33

And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him.

- Let’s also be kind to strangers who visit our fellowship and are possibly looking for God and a church home.

LEVITICUS 19:34-37

34 The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as [a]one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. 35 ‘You shall do no injustice in judgment, in measurement of length, weight, or volume. 36 You shall have honest scales, honest weights, an honest ephah, and an honest hin: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.37 ‘Therefore you shall observe all My statutes and all My judgments and perform them: I am the Lord.

Be honest in all your dealings. Don’t rip people off. Be fair, just and truthful. The LORD is watching us.

LEVITICUS 20

LEVITICUS 20:1-2
And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones
.

Notice there is no offering here, no trespass offering for the forgiveness of sin. There’s no mercy, no second chance, no just getting kicked out of the camp for this sin. That person is to be put to death, period. These babies were offered up on the molten brazen image of Molech, the bull-headed god and burned alive – this was ancient Planned Parenthood! This modern day organization can be rightly described as ‘Molech’s Arms’! Is there forgiveness for those who have aborted their babies? Today, yes under the New Testament for those who are in Christ, but under the Old? Death by stoning, no exceptions.

LEVITICUS 20:3-5

3 And I will set my face against that man and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name. 4 And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not: 5 Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people.

GOD is saying to us, just as He did to the children of Israel: Don’t dedicate your children to idols, to the things of this nasty world, to the worldly damnable philosophies that are anti-GOD, anti-Bible. Your children are Mine, the LORD says. We are to fight for our children, for their protection, for their safety, for their godly upbringing!

Do you see all of the sexually oriented verbiage in this passage? GOD is saying, If you do all of these things, you’re cheating on Me! You’re committing spiritual prostitution!

LEVITICUS 20:6

6 And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.

Notice here, these people aren’t sleeping around with witches, but nevertheless GOD sees this as spiritual prostitution, seeking the future from those they have no business seeking anything from!

LEVITICUS 20:7-8

7 Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God. 8 And ye shall keep my statutes and do them: I am the Lord which sanctify you.

The LORD is saying, I am the One Who sanctifies you, that makes you clean! Don’t fight against me – like we used to do when we were little kids, remember? How we would fight against that bar of soap, and wrestle against our parent who only wanted to clean the dirt off of our tiny bodies! So, let the LORD clean you up! Inside and out – you are His, and not your own (1 Cor 6:19)!

LEVITICUS 20:9-10

9 For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him. 10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

This is some commentary on the Ten Commandments.

LEVITICUS 20:11-13

13 And the man that lieth with his father's wife hath uncovered his father's nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. 12 And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them. 13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

We saw this in Corinthians, right? Some may ask, Why is GOD killing all of these people off? We have to understand that as His saints, we are living in His near presence; He is here in our midst, and He is executing righteously. That’s why He’s doing this – because this King of ours is infinitely holy beyond our ability to even grasp.

Some might say, Well that’s cruel! No, it’s not cruel, it’s right! It’s just that we are very soft against sin in this sin-loving culture we are in today. Sinning against GOD today is no big deal, cheating on our spouse is no big deal, watching a bit of porn online, lying about our taxes, not putting in a fair days work for a fair days wages is no big deal – we think these things. They are big deals – let us turn from these things and we will know forgiveness.

Some Christians amplify homosexual sex as being a gross sin far above simple adultery with a woman – but notice how these are all grouped together as an abomination to GOD – all punishable by death.

So why do we declare homosexuality as a blatant sin and keep it in the forefront? It’s because that’s where the world puts it – in the forefront: in the media, entertainment, in our public schools, in the culture – so we are a witness against this, and address this sin just as intentionally as the world does. But all sexual sin is horrific in the eyes of GOD!

LEVITICUS 20:14-16

14 And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you. 15 And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast. 16 And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

GOD will declare all that do such things as guilty and as such, the punishment is death, whether by stoning or burning – all who transgress the law of GOD, dies!

LEVITICUS 20:17

And if a man shall take his sister, his father's daughter, or his mother's daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it is a wicked thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of their people: he hath uncovered his sister's nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity.

As you know, in Leviticus 18, sexual relations with near relatives was no longer permitted as it once was. It is now unlawful and called incest. The gene pool was at this point already corrupted enough that mating with a near relative would produce mutations that would debilitate the human race. Prior to that point, the gene pool was intact sufficiently that such concerns were unwarranted.

LEVITICUS 20:18-21

18 And if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness and shall uncover her nakedness; he hath discovered her fountain, and she hath uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people. 19 And thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother's sister, nor of thy father's sister: for he uncovereth his near kin: they shall bear their iniquity. 20 And if a man shall lie with his uncle's wife, he hath uncovered his uncle's nakedness: they shall bear their sin; they shall die childless. 21 And if a man shall take his brother's wife, it is an unclean thing: he hath uncovered his brother's nakedness; they shall be childless.

Note that there are different levels of punishment here – and why? Because there are in fact, different levels of sin. And this issue about taking the wife of your brother. Herodias was rebuked for this by John the Baptist, who then had him beheaded.

LEVITICUS 20:22

Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, spue you not out.

As we know, judgment fell upon the nation of Israel and they were taken out of the land by the Assyrians and Babylonians centuries after this point in time – because they rebelled against the commandments of the LORD. So sad.

LEVITICUS 20:23

And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.

The place where GOD was leading Israel to was a spiritual cesspool of sin and the LORD wanted them to remain pure as a witness for Him. GOD here declares that He abhors, He hates these people in Canaan for what they are doing: GOD never winks at sin but hates it. While “…GOD so loved the world…” (John 3:16), He also hates the practice of sin, abhorring those that commit such things. The Hebrew word used here for "abhorred" means “severing oneself from; disgusted, to loathe, to be grieved, vexed, weary, distressed”.

LEVITICUS 20:24-27

But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey: I am the Lord your God, which have separated you from other people. 25 Ye shall therefore put difference between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean fowls and clean: and ye shall not make your souls abominable by beast, or by fowl, or by any manner of living thing that creepeth on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean. 26 And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine. 27 A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.

It's no wonder that Moses and all the people trembled when they saw GOD up on that mountain! Because all of this points to our undeniable guilt, with no exceptions of anyone. But in the New Testament we are brought to a better mountain! Mount Calvary where the Cross of Christ was erected, where Christ hung for all of these sins that His people have committed: to forgive us, to cleanse us and to make us His – to separate us from this fallen world and the condemnation that hangs over it.

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