"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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Friday, April 21, 2023



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

; apologies, teaching not available on video.

INTRODUCTION: How many of you at times have felt like you deserve more than you have received? If we are honest, I think that we all have felt like that at one time or another. There could be many reasons that we feel this way, but the reality is that we are more selfish than selfless at times.

How many of you think that the Lord deserves more than we give Him? How many of us think about giving Him the best part of our day as we wake up? Do we thank Him for another day and spend time in His Word? Or are we quick to jump on our phone to check out social media or the score from last night’s game? There is definitely room for these things but don’t let them not be our priority.

In DEUTERONOMY 15:19-23 we read this:
“You shall consecrate to the LORD your God all the firstborn males that are born of your herd and of your flock; you shall not work with the firstborn of your herd, nor shear the firstborn of your flock. 20 You and your household shall eat it every year before the LORD your God in the place which the LORD chooses. 21 But if it has any defect, such as lameness or blindness, or any serious defect, you shall not sacrifice it to the LORD your God. 22 You shall eat it within your gates; the unclean and the clean alike may eat it, as a gazelle or a deer. 23 Only you shall not eat its blood; you are to pour it out on the ground like water.

The word ‘consecrate’ or ‘sanctify’ which we will read in the first verse of today’s chapter is reminding us that the Lord demands our best in tribute and service. The reason is because He sanctified it; the Lord has said this is Mine I have set it apart for My use. The one giving the offering must prepare to part with what is most valuable. We should have this same attitude and heart towards our Loving and Good God. The best of our time, energy, money, and everything in between.

Like it says in Romans. Present your bodies; as a living sacrifice!
ROMANS 12:1-2
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
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, 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. 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. 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.

Verse.1: You shall not sacrifice to the LORD your God an ox or a sheep which has a blemish or any defect, for that is a detestable thing to the LORD your God.

This goes along with the previous verses from Chapter 16 that instructed not to participate in the idolatry that the pagans were used to.
No Asherah poles, don’t be decorating God’s house with these things or any type of pillar. It picks up here saying, Don’t sacrifice your mediocre or your worst to me. I am worthy of receiving your best because I have giving you My best.

In reality that’s all that God can do.
He provided the sacrificed animal, He provided the altar, He provided the fire, and afterward He provided the meal! If they refused to acknowledge this and obey this, it was a sign of greed and ingratitude. “Let us keep the best and give the rest to God!” That is not the attitude we should have!

Let us remember Church, that our Lord provides all of our needs according to His riches in Glory (EPH 1:7) and he is gracious. He gives us air to breathe, strength to work, food to eat, clothes to dress with and so much more! He wants our best knowing that the best is all provided by Him and through Him!

Verse 3: “…has gone and served other gods and worshiped them…”
EXODUS 22:20
“He who sacrifices to any god, other than to the LORD alone, shall be utterly destroyed.
(Either male or female as we read)
Verse 7: Purge the evil from among you: By putting to death the sinner, the people were removing the sin from among God’s people who are His and like He said over and over again, “I am the Lord your God who took you out of the land of Egypt where you were slaves.”

Thank God, that as the Bible says, He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. Instead, God has removed our transgressions as far as the East is from the West. That is very long distance to far to measure (PSA 103:10-12).

You ever heard someone say, I love you this much and they stretch out their arms. The LORD Jesus did this too! But His arms were fastened to the Cross and nailed there!

This is God’s love, that He gave His very best; He gave Himself to be that perfect sacrifice without blemish or defect. As He gave these instructions, He would point to The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

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. 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

Verse 8: “If any case is too difficult for you to decide…”

If local courts could not make a decision because, as it says, the case was too difficult, then the case would move up to a Levitical priest or a Judge. It would be like our State courts compared to Federal courts and these are based on Jurisdictions which allows them to hear certain types of cases or send them elsewhere.

So when that verdict was determined, it was to stand. Anyone who went against the decisions was to be put to death.

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.

Arrogant, presumptuous contempt is addressed here:

Verse 12: “…acts presumptuously by not listening to the priest who stands there to serve the LORD your God…”

The death sentence would purge the evil from the land and it would discourage people from rebelling against the authority of the priest.

This made me think about how Jesus is our High Priest and this world acts presumptuously towards the One who God the Father said. “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him” (MATT 17:5). This means whatever He says to do: Do it! It’s for your own good; He is in charge of your case just like these Levitical priests handled some of the cases.

Verse 12 cont’d: “…by not listening to the judge…”

In addition to not listening to the priest they would be punished for not listening to the Judge. This again is another place of authority that Jesus has. He is the Judge of the Living and the dead (JOHN 5:26-27; 2 TIM 4:1).
It says that Jesus is “the Lord of heaven and earth” (MATT 28:18).

Paul says this about Jesus after telling them God has called all men to repent:

ACTS 17:31
because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead

It says in the Bible in:

“It is appointed for men to die once and then Judgement.”

No exception and No appeals. You can’t call in sick on that day! And if you are without Christ, you will be found guilty and eternally sent to God’s prison in Hell!

Thank God, for the Savior who has settled our case if you have trusted in his atoning Sacrifice at the Cross. When He cried out “It is Finished!” that’s the only reason we can say “Therefore now there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (ROMANS 8:1)

We will also be judged but it will be at the bema seat of our Lord and Savior:
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
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. 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. 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.

Verse 14: You say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations who are around me,’

The Lord was anticipating the people’s request for a King so they could be like all the other nations: They were like a little kid saying, “He has one, why can’t I have one??”

God is always three steps ahead of us in a matter of speaking.

In the ancient Near East, kings were granted almost unlimited power and authority. This idea of power and authority would be something that the people failed to think about as God warned them of the consequences of their request:

Sometimes God doesn’t give us the good things that we ask for because, like I said, He is three ginormous steps ahead of us. He knows that what we consider good for us is actually going to end up hurting us! He is a Loving King, as we will talk about in a minute.

Let us read the account where Israel demands a King:
1 SAMUEL 8:4-9
The LORD said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them.
Israel had rejected their Theocracy: Which is God reigning over His people. The one true God who knows all, can do it all, is patient and so merciful and loving. Why would any nation reject Him? I think we can ask ourselves that question.
America, why have you rejected the one True God and followed after false gods?!!
Many answers to this but ROMANS 1 tells us that while professing God, they did not honor Him as God. Worshiping Creation rather than the Creator!
For an excellent teaching on ROMANS 1 in regards to FOUR SIGNS: AMERICA IS UNDER GOD'S JUDGEMENT, have a listen! By pastor Sonny Islas of SHINE BRIGHT Church.
Isn’t that what’s happening? The Climate change war: how we need to save ‘mother earth’ because some people are Earth-worshipers. Nothing wrong with cleaning up after ourselves, but don’t worship creation when you know there is a Creator!

Instead, they went with a monarchy, which is where they would have a human king ruling over them. However, God warns them and says this:
1 SAMUEL 8:18
Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.”
This would be Israel moving from a Theocracy to a Monarchy but God had a plan where one day Jesus would not only be our High Priest, Our Judge who judges righteously but He is our King of Kings and He is Heaven’s King no King can wear His crown!

Multiply.. Multiply.. Multiply-

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.

Restrictions were placed on the king: He must not acquire many horses, he must not take multiple wives and he must not accumulate much silver and gold. The King was not to rely on military strength, political alliances or wealth for his position and authority. Instead, he was to look for the Lord.

Many kings who took this attitude of accumulating as much as possible of everything possible failed to understand this: that the Bible says that God is the one who raises up kings and puts down kings in this world.

King Solomon violated all those prohibitions while his Dad, David violated the last two.

King David took a census and this displeased the Lord. David took pride in horses and chariots and not in the Lord; by doing this, he caused 70,000 to be struck dead and pestilence to come to Israel. Solomon’s wives brought idolatry into Jerusalem, which resulted in the kingdom being divided.

Many of Israel’s kings fell short of representing Israel as king in line with pleasing the God who put him there.

We read these words all throughout the book of Kings:

“And he did what was evil in the Lord’s eyes”. In addition, it says “And he did what was right in his own eyes.”
This is exactly that arrogant, presumptuous attitude that got the people killed that we are reading about here. “Forget God, I got myself to this position, I deserve this title.” No this is totally wrong and twisted! God gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!

As a result of these kings falling short of God’s standard the Davidic line came to an end and would resume only with the reign of Christ, the son of David. Let us read about this King:
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey. 10 I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim And the horse from Jerusalem; And the bow of war will be cut off. And He will speak peace to the nations; And His dominion will be from sea to sea, And from the River to the ends of the earth.

We read that Jesus’s Kingdom and reign will have no end:
LUKE 1:32-33
He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.

In case we think that this King Jesus is weak because he comes riding in meekly, humbly, on a donkey; let’s not forget the way he comes in the book of Revelation!

From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the [e]wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.

I say anyone who is wise will have their allegiance to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

PSALM 2:1-2
Kiss the son or receive instruction. Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!

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