"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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Thursday, May 25, 2023


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

DEUTERONOMY 22: Common Commandments in Consecration- by James Fire; check out the complete teaching here!

INTRODUCTION: Let’s remind ourselves that what we are reading here in DEUTERONOMY is “a rehearsal on holiness”, a reiteration of righteousness that our righteous GOD required of His saints.
Our righteousness is from Christ, Who grants us the robe of righteousness: we are clothed with Christ’s own righteousness positionally, and by way of sanctification we grow in righteousness in practice by the power of the Spirit of grace.

1 "You shall not see your brother's ox or his sheep going astray and hide yourself from them; you shall certainly bring them back to your brother. 2 "And if your brother is not near you, or if you do not know him, then you shall bring it to your own house, and it shall remain with you until your brother seeks it; then you shall restore it to him. 3 "You shall do the same with his donkey, and so shall you do with his garment; with any lost thing of your brother's, which he has lost and you have found, you shall do likewise; you must not hide yourself. 4 "You shall not see your brother's donkey or his ox fall down along the road and hide yourself from them; you shall surely help him lift them up again

Previously we saw this admonition in EXODUS 23:4, but in that passage, it concerns the lost property of one’s enemies. Consider the parable of “A Certain Samaritan” that the LORD told (LUKE 10:25-37). In that parable we learn that one’s neighbor is anyone in need, regardless if they are a friend or an enemy. So whether a brother or an enemy, we are to be consistent in our conduct with both, and that conduct should reflect the heart of our Father in heaven.

In one respect GOD shows His blessings on the evil and the good, the unjust and the just:
MATTHEW 5:44-45
44 "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 "that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

And of course, we know that as saints, we are to love one another as Christ loves us (JOHN 13:34-35).
“…hide yourself…” simply means “turning a blind eye, or withholding one’s help” – pretending you didn’t see anything, so you’d have the excuse not to do something to correct a situation.
GOD’s Law covers a lot of ground, and this particular command is in regards to private property. As we saw in DEUTERONOMY 19 about moving landmarks that separated land ownership as a violation, so too with livestock and clothing and any other lost items.

And in vs. 4 we see that if any beast of burden is trapped somehow the one who discovers it is under obligation to help them out (written previously in EXOD 23:5).

"A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman's garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the LORD your God.

Talk about your politically incorrect topic! So I don’t think I’ll talk about this – NOT! No, this issue about clothing definitely needs ‘ad-dressing’!
GOD created an order in this world after His own will, according to His good pleasure and intent. To violate this order is one of the primary objectives of Satan, because he hates GOD, he hates GOD’s order, and he hates those who submit to Him.

In pagan religions such as the worship of Astarte men and women routinely masqueraded in the opposite genders clothing in homage to their goddess. Even today debauchery in such festivals as the Mardi Gras or ancient festivals like Saturnalia and Lupercalia have seen such practices.

The Hebrew word for “pertains” means “to furnish, to prepare”. To prepare is “to make ready beforehand” – which is intentional according to need or suitability. According to GOD’s Word, it’s suitable for men to wear clothing suitable for them, and the same for women.

To disrupt this order and establish a dis-order is satanic in its motivation and intent. GOD created man to be a man, and a woman to be a woman. To wear clothing specifically designed for the opposite sex (barring universal wear like T-shirts and what not) is at the least an attempt to make the statement: there are no significant and, or fundamental differences between the sexes.
At most it’s a violation in identifying oneself as the person they were created to be. Is adopting clothing intended for the opposite sex a first step towards abomination? Not according to GOD’s Word: this states that this IS an abomination!

I believe to violate this command is either a first step in inviting demonic influences or it could be a symptom of involvement already occurring!

What about women’s slacks – should women wear pants?
I’ll tell you what – if I walked in here wearing women’s slacks, it would be obvious I wasn’t wearing something intended for men!
So, no – I don’t believe women wearing slacks, or blue jeans or whatever is wrong, so long as they are dressing modestly. I’ve seen some women (and men too) who wear clothing that looks painted on, leaving no room for the imagination. I think this is inherently wrong and says something about that person’s heart.

6 "If a bird's nest happens to be before you along the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, with the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young; 7 "you shall surely let the mother go, and take the young for yourself, that it may be well with you and that you may prolong your days.

Mother birds have been known on occasion to kill their young if they are touched by human hands; so this would make sense to set the mother bird free and to take the young for oneself. This is no doubt a respect for motherhood in general and here specifically towards birds.
Do you suppose that if GOD gave such attention to birds, that the issue of human motherhood is any less important? As the LORD Jesus stated, we are of “more value than they” (MATT 6:26).
Animal Rights Activists and Evolutionists: sorry, but man is not a more highly evolved animal and no different than slime, snakes, seagulls and stallions. We are, as Shakespeare put it, “…the paragon of GOD’s creatures” and in a class of ourselves.

And yet how little respect motherhood is given in our modern culture – women don’t want to “be punished with a baby” so that they can pursue a career or simply escape the responsibility of having a child.

I salute women and have the deepest respect if they decide to be “a stay at home Mom”. Society may see such a choice as a waste of life and time, but I could not possibly disagree more!
Moms who stay home, who pour into their children godly love and care and instruction are among the church’s (not to mention this nation’s!) greatest treasure. They are helping to shape these young lives to become the next generation of godly citizens for America! It’s no wonder Satan is out to destroy marriages, families and the very foundation of this nation – and having incredible effect at all of these!

"When you build a new house, then you shall make a parapet for your roof, that you may not bring guilt of bloodshed on your household if anyone falls from it.

A parapet is a “dwarf wall” made of stone or metal (it can also be a railing) that extends about three to four feet or higher from along the perimeter of the roof of any building including one’s home, to prevent anyone from falling over.

The Word of GOD is a spiritual parapet for our homes, to prevent us from falling, if we heed its counsel. It safeguards us from falling and getting hurt.

9 "You shall not sow your vineyard with different kinds of seed, lest the yield of the seed which you have sown and the fruit of your vineyard be defiled. 10 "You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together. 11 "You shall not wear a garment of different sorts, such as wool and linen mixed together.

The prohibition here is against the unnatural combining or blending of different types of animals, seeds and textiles, a common practice among pagans. Why this should be forbidden to Israel might be an object lessons that “unless two are agreed how can they walk together?” (AMOS 3:3). To make distinction between the customs in Israel from those of the Gentile, pagan nations. This would underscore the idea of blending as in intermarriage between Jews and Gentiles.

The church has the similar admonition:
14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?
Some have even suggested that in His divine foresight, the LORD forbid these practices in order to express His disapproval of the genetic experiments that are combining human DNA with those of animals. So if you have any clothing that’s a polyester-cotton blend, repent (just joking)!

You shall make tassels on the four corners of the clothing with which you cover yourself.

These tassels were a reminder of the Jewish people that they were to be ever and always devoted to GOD in their lives, their prayers, their meditation on the Word and in their obedience.to His commands (NUMBERS 15):
NUMBERS 15:39-40
39 "And you shall have the tassel, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the LORD and do them, and that you may not follow the harlotry to which your own heart and your own eyes are inclined, 40 "and that you may remember and do all My commandments and be holy for your God.
These tassels were unique to Jewish culture and would readily identify them as distinct, set apart (sanctified) from the surrounding Gentile nations.

13 "If any man takes a wife, and goes in to her, and detests her, 14 "and charges her with shameful conduct, and brings a bad name on her, and says, 'I took this woman, and when I came to her I found she was not a virgin,' 15 "then the father and mother of the young woman shall take and bring out the evidence of the young woman's virginity to the elders of the city at the gate. 16 "And the young woman's father shall say to the elders, 'I gave my daughter to this man as wife, and he detests her. 17 'Now he has charged her with shameful conduct, saying, "I found your daughter was not a virgin," and yet these are the evidences of my daughter's virginity.' And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. 

18 "Then the elders of that city shall take that man and punish him; 19 "and they shall fine him one hundred shekels of silver and give them to the father of the young woman, because he has brought a bad name on a virgin of Israel. And she shall be his wife; he cannot divorce her all his days. 20 "But if the thing is true, and evidences of virginity are not found for the young woman, 21 "then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she has done a disgraceful thing in Israel, to play the harlot in her father's house. So you shall put away the evil from among you.

Excerpts of commentary from pastor David Guzik of Enduring Word ministries:
The man accused his wife of not being a virgin when they were married. Apparently, this was discovered on their wedding night when they first had intimate relations.

In ancient Israel virginity was valued. It was seen as a great loss to give up one’s virginity before marriage, and if a woman was known to have lost her virginity, it greatly reduced her chances of getting married. By the same principle, if a husband believed that his wife had lied about her virginity, he felt cheated. What follows is an attempt to resolve the issue.

According to custom, a Jewish woman would first be intimate with her husband upon a special cloth, which would collect the small drops of blood which were accepted as evidence of the young woman’s virginity. This bloodstained cloth would then become the property of the married woman’s parents, who kept it as the evidence of the young woman’s virginity.

Many people argue that this custom of proving a woman’s virginity is absurd, because it doesn’t always work. Some have answered by saying it does “work” when ladies are given in marriage at twelve or thirteen years of age, as was the custom in Old Testament times.

Nonetheless, for whatever reasons, the custom did “work” – and is still practiced in some parts of the world. “The proofs of virginity, the blood-spotted bedclothes or garments, which, though not infallible, were widely accepted in the ancient Near East as indications of prior virginity, are still accepted among some peoples today”.

The elders of the city shall take that man and punish him: If the parents could produce the evidence, then the man was found to have made false accusation against his wife and it was commanded that a fine to be paid to the father of his bride.

Additionally, the man had forfeited his future right to divorce this wife: he cannot divorce her all his days. The strong penalty against a man who made a false accusation (one hundred shekels of silver was a significant fine), and the loss of his right to divorce his wife in the future was an effective deterrent against wild, false accusations by a husband against his wife.

But if the thing is true, and evidences of virginity are not found for the young woman: If this were the case, the woman was to be executed by stoning. This was not only for her sexual promiscuity (to play the harlot), but also for her attempt to deceive her husband.

This law must be seen in connection with the command in Exodus 22:16-17, which commands that a man who entices a virgin must surely pay the bride-price for her to be his wife. This law in Deuteronomy is directed against the truly wanton woman, who has given up her virginity, yet not claimed her rights. She did not value her virginity at the time she gave it up, yet she wanted to claim the benefits of it by deceiving her husband.
If a man is found lying with a woman married to a husband, then both of them shall die-the man that lay with the woman, and the woman; so you shall put away the evil from Israel.

GOD is serious about adultery as a sin; in today’s entertainment industry, people are regularly coupled together outside of wedlock or cheating on their spouses and seen as normal. This has adversely affected our culture to the degree that there are even professing Christians who see nothing wrong with sex before marriage, for such repentance for fornication is necessary and a separation until marriage is evident.

Interesting how the woman caught in adultery in JOHN 8 and was brought before the LORD Jesus was presented alone – rather hard to commit adultery by yourself… where was the man? Some have suggested he might have been protected by the religious leadership because he was one of them – a possibility, but Scripture is silent here.

23 "If a young woman who is a virgin is betrothed to a husband, and a man finds her in the city and lies with her, 24 "then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry out in the city, and the man because he humbled his neighbor's wife; so you shall put away the evil from among you.

Here is a case of fornication and adultery, but in this case, both man and woman are stoned to death; the man for his act of rape, the woman because she did nothing to protest in the midst of the city where enough ears would be present and would come to rescue her, hearing her cries for help. Her silence indicated that she was complicit to the foul deed.

25 "But if a man finds a betrothed young woman in the countryside, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. 26 "But you shall do nothing to the young woman; there is in the young woman no sin deserving of death, for just as when a man rises against his neighbor and kills him, even so is this matter. 27 "For he found her in the countryside, and the betrothed young woman cried out, but there was no one to save her.

Here the situation is identical except for location: in this instance, it happens in the countryside where crying out for help would likely do no good due to the scarcity of people in the vicinity.

28 "If a man finds a young woman who is a virgin, who is not betrothed, and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are found out, 29 "then the man who lay with her shall give to the young woman's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife because he has humbled her; he shall not be permitted to divorce her all his days. 30 "A man shall not take his father's wife, nor uncover his father's bed.

The virgin here is not betrothed; in the Jewish culture their marriage proposals were more than an engagement, but less than a marriage, but where such violations took place against a woman betrothed, it carried the same weight of punishment as if she was already the wife of another man.

In this case the offender was to pay the father fifty shekels of silver, which is equivalent to more than half a years average wage, and he would be obligated to marry the virgin and never divorce her.

Vs. 30 is a prohibition of incest of any son towards his mother (or even stepmother as was the case in the church at Corinth, which the apostle Paul had to rebuke the elders about for tolerating such sin in the name of “grace” (1 COR 5)

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