"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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Sunday, July 30, 2023


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

DEUTERONOMY 29: NEW EARS HEAR THE COVENANT, OLD EARS REMEMBER – by Albert Lopez; check out the complete teaching here!

INTRODUCTION: We have just gone over two chapters of Blessing and Cursings. Part 1 showed us the curses, which mainly that was what Chapter 27 was about and the people would “Amen”. Let it be so to all that was said. Then again, in Chapter 28, we got into more detail and found out what the blessings consisted of and if you paid attention, you saw that the blessings were explained and given in just 14 Verses.

Moses was trying to say, “It’s that easy. You do this and God will do this.”

With these blessings, it’s as if you would have heaven on earth. You wouldn’t worry about anything at all. God would add, multiply, would make things grow, bless your hands, bless your wife and kids. Blessings would follow you in the City and reach you out in the Country. It would be better than Akuna Matata, which means “no worries for the rest of your days”. It’s a problem free philosophy. Abundance Galore!

However if you disobeyed: Moses was saying, just as easy as God can and will bless you. God can and will curse you. Again “You do this and God will do this” but this time in a negative, painful, never-to-forget kind a way that makes you not want to say, “God is good all the Time, All the Time God is good”. Instead, it would be as if life was a living hell and you would desperately want it end.

These are the words of the covenant which the LORD commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which He made with them in Horeb

VERSE 1: These are the words of the covenant

It is said by some commentators that Verse 1 is a continuation of Chapter 28, so it can be considered Verse 69 in a way.

VERSE 1 is and echo of what was said back in Leviticus
These are the statutes and ordinances and laws which the LORD established between Himself and the sons of Israel [p]through Moses at Mount Sinai.
Sonny has said it and I believe it; repetition is good; it keeps us on our toes when needed!

Now Moses called all Israel and said to them: "You have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land-

VERSE 2: You have seen all that the LORD did. Moses reviewed the main historical events that led them to this point, mainly the Exodus from Egypt.

This made me think of how God has taken each and every one of us and saved us from the world and its ways and is still doing a work in us. Moses again needs to remind them and tell the new generation of how faithful God was in protecting and providing all with His Promise that was as good as gold.

Again made me think of the many promises of our Lord but mainly the promise of “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. I will never leave you nor forsake you Church! And that is also as good as gold! Moses tells them of the victories along the way that the strong hand of the Lord gave them

You also, if you think back you’ll be able to recall victories that by the power of the Holy Spirit you have gained. I have heard this said from different people as I been walking with the Lord:

I may not be who I want to be yet but I’m no longer who I once was. This brings to mind 2 COR 5:17 and PHIL 1:6. The LORD will perfect us and bring His work to completion! In the meantime, wherever you are, think on the goodness and faithfulness of our Sovereign God and continue to trust in this truth!

3 "the great trials which your eyes have seen, the signs, and those great wonders. 4 "Yet the LORD has not given you a heart to perceive and eyes to see and ears to hear, to this very day. 5 "And I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn out on your feet. 6 "You have not eaten bread, nor have you drunk wine or similar drink, that you may know that I am the LORD your God. 7 "And when you came to this place, Sihon king of Heshbon and Og king of Bashan came out against us to battle, and we conquered them. 8 "We took their land and gave it as an inheritance to the Reubenites, to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh

VERSE 4: Yet to this day the LORD has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear.

The people of Israel had the physical heart, eyes and ears but did not have spiritual eyes to see the Lord’s ways and purpose. Many in this world again have a beating heart, two eyes to see and two ears to hear and yet they don’t honor their Creator and one True God with their senses.

They are also in spiritual darkness because as it says the “god of this world has blinded them” (2 COR 4:4) … so they are not able to see the glorious Gospel of Jesus!

Jesus reminded his disciples of this truth that the prophet Isaiah proclaimed to the people (ISA 6:9-11).

Let us read:

MATTHEW 13:13-15
13 "Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 "And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: 'Hearing you will hear and shall not understand and seeing you will see and not perceive; 15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.'

As you’ve probably heard it said: “The Heart of the Matter is the Matter of the Heart”.

Later the Apostle Paul tells us in Romans that the purpose for God giving Israel a spirit of stupor
“GOD gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes to see not and ears to hear not, down to this very day.”
Stupor- unresponsiveness, insensibility, and numbness they were not able to respond to God with the hearing ear and the seeing eye, they were deaf and blind to Him!
The LORD has made both of them (PROV 20:12)!
Dr. G Campbell Morgan declared, 
The cycle in Genesis is generation, degeneration and regeneration
"Therefore keep the words of this covenant, and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do. In this verse Moses gives them Instruction and the reason for the obedience to that instruction.

I was talking to one of Oscar’s (pastor Albert’s brother) clients - The example of the parent telling their kids not to go near the wall socket or put their fingers in it. The reason is that Mom loves her boy and does not want to see him get hurt or even killed. She said, “That makes a lot of sense”.
“So keep the words of this covenant to do them, that you may prosper in all that you do.”

As we continue to read and we get to see Joshua ready to take over from Moses, God will remind him again of this very thing:
Let us read:
JOSHUA 1:7-9
7 "Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.8 "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
The church is reminded through the elder James; that “faith [produces] works”. In other words, “don’t just be hearers of the word but be doers.” (JAMES 2:14-26; 1:22).
Note to readers: Check out this Two Part TTUF Article on “SHOWCASE SALVATION – Examining 1 JOHN 2 and JAMES 2
Jesus said it really clearly: If we claim to love the Lord, we will keep his commandments; not perfectly – but intentionally!

10 "All of you stand today before the LORD your God: your leaders and your tribes and your elders and your officers, all the men of Israel, 11 "your little ones and your wives-also the stranger who is in your camp, from the one who cuts your wood to the one who draws your water-You stand today, all of you, before the LORD your God- All the people were in an orderly way in front of Moses, but this is not a call to outward order, No this is a call to inward devotion- This means that the people were to make this covenant a matter of the heart and life

Your little ones, your wives, and the alien… from the one who chops your wood to the one who draws your water, everyone is included, not only in the sense of those who were present but those people who would be part of future Israel.

The same with the church; God has built His church on the truth that Peter said:

“You are the Christ, the son of the living God” (MATT 16:16). He continues to build on that foundation meaning that “...whoever will believe will not perish but have everlasting life” (JOHN 3:16b). There is more numbers that God will add to his Church and that means more sheep who have their part in the body.

This means that if you are part of the Church you are part of the body of Christ. Everyone in the body matters! From those who pick up the trash to those who are in leadership. The body is in need of each member and won’t function properly without all of its body parts. The great thing about all of this is that we all know that the Head of the body is Christ. We have a strong head on our shoulders.

12 "that you may enter into covenant with the LORD your God, and into His oath, which the LORD your God makes with you today, 13 "that He may establish you today as a people for Himself, and that He may be God to you, just as He has spoken to you, and just as He has sworn to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Into His oath…. in order that He may establish you today as His people and that He may be your God,

This goes back to reassure the people that God is faithful as he has already shown them and now is reminding them. This is what he said to Abraham:
I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you.
God could not truly be God to them if they refused to accept and obey His law. The same thing is true with the disciple of Christ: many people want him as Savior [To keep them out of hell] but not so eager to have Him as Lord [of their life here on this Earth]!

14 "I make this covenant and this oath, not with you alone, 15 "but with him who stands here with us today before the LORD our God, as well as with him who is not here with us today.

VERSE 14-15- this lends more support that the covenant was with those physically standing there at that moment but also to those who would come to know the Lord in the future generations.
ACTS 2:39
For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”
16 (for you know that we dwelt in the land of Egypt and that we came through the nations which you passed by, 17 and you saw their abominations and their idols which were among them-wood and stone and silver and gold); 18 "so that there may not be among you man or woman or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations, and that there may not be among you a root bearing bitterness or wormwood; 19 "and so it may not happen, when he hears the words of this curse, that he blesses himself in his heart, saying, 'I shall have peace, even though I follow the dictates of my heart' -as though the drunkard could be included with the sober. 20 "The LORD would not spare him; for then the anger of the LORD and His jealousy would burn against that man, and every curse that is written in this book would settle on him, and the LORD would blot out his name from under heaven. 21 "And the LORD would separate him from all the tribes of Israel for adversity, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this Book of the Law,

VERSE 18- “that there will not be among you a root bearing poisonous fruit and wormwood.”

Moses warned the people that anyone could fall into the sin of idolatry, which will produce a poisonous root, that will very likely spread. The fruit that is produced by this root is poisonous and bitter, speaking of ‘wormwood’. No one can eat of this fruit and live. Death would be spread throughout Israel, this would bring God’s curse and wrath.

“A root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many will be defiled”; (HEB 12:15b)

VERSE 19 - I have peace though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart as though the drunkard could be included with the sober.

We could put it like this: “I walk to the beat of a different drum and that drum is not the Lord’s but I can hide from him. I do my own thing but I can blend in.” That was not happening with any rebellious Jew back then (vss. 20-21). The Lord will seek him out and kill him. This will also not be possible for the church goer who is not been born again and does not belong to the Lord.

At the end, we read that the wheat will be separated from the tare and the goats from the sheep (MATT 13)!

22 "so that the coming generation of your children who rise up after you, and the foreigner who comes from a far land, would say, when they see the plagues of that land and the sicknesses which the LORD has laid on it: 23 'The whole land is brimstone, salt, and burning; it is not sown, nor does it bear, nor does any grass grow there, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in His anger and His wrath.' 24 "All nations would say, 'Why has the LORD done so to this land? What does the heat of this great anger mean?' 25 "Then people would say: 'Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD God of their fathers, which He made with them when He brought them out of the land of Egypt; 26 'for they went and served other gods and worshiped them, gods that they did not know and that He had not given to them. 27 'Then the anger of the LORD was aroused against this land, to bring on it every curse that is written in this book. 28 'And the LORD uprooted them from their land in anger, in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.' 29 "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

VERSE 23- Like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the LORD overthrew in His anger and in His wrath.

The punishment that would come upon Israel’s disobedience was compared to that of Sodom and her allies whom the Lord buried in brimstone in the time of Abraham and Lot. Interesting to note from a commentary:

Sodom and its surroundings resembled paradise, the garden of God before its destruction This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah—like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt as you go to Zoar (GEN 13:10b)


Why do bad things happen to good people? That is actually flipped and should be asked, Why do good things happen to bad people?

In a conversation between an American and a North Korean the American students believe people are generally good. North Korean students reply with, if people were generally good North Korea would not exist.

Don’t follow your heart; Follow Christ and His Truth!!


1. they forsook the covenant of the LORD

2. They went and served other gods

3. and worshiped them,


The desolation of Israel would be a reminder to others that it is a costly thing to disobey the will of God! Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt because her heart was with the world. She was not willing to let go of what was necessary to be aligned with God’s will. God will take away things from us to align us with His will and our good

This chapter ends with three pieces of revelation and information for both Israel and for us the church:

“The secret things belong to the LORD our God”.

There are things that you or I may want to know and questions that we have about many things that we will not receive answers to on this side of eternity; but stay tuned for a heavenly Q&A session!

Jesus himself told the disciples, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has set aside in His keeping” when they were asking about restoring Kingdom (ACTS 1:6-7).

Revelation is the act by which God gave men knowledge about Himself and His Creation, which man could not otherwise have known. What’s known as General revelation is in Nature (see PSA 19:1 and ROM 1:20).

Trying to explain these things, speaking of the Godhead, and you may lose your mind! But try to explain them away and you will lose your soul!

But the things revealed by the LORD belong to us and to our sons forever! What God has revealed to us from a General revelation and also from the Special revelation (Through His written Word) is enough!

The LORD told the Jews to search the Scriptures because they thought they would find eternal life in them, but they are those that speak of me (JOHN 5:39). Just like He told the disciples on the road to Emmaus!
LUKE 24:27
Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.
Special revelation is through the Scriptures alone:

Let us read:
1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
We ought to appreciate God’s creation; be impressed about what He has made and how these things reveal Him and His handiwork.

Yet the most complete and special record of what God is like, Who He is, what He desires, commands, honors – all of these are in God’s Word.

May we observe all the words of this law. This inspired information should lead us to transformation because of the new birth that has taken place within us, the saints of GOD.

As he told the Jews, it was not a Covenant to receive but a Covenant to observe or obey. We are part of a New Covenant with better promises but as Children of God who represent God we would do well to have this book as we read in Joshua:

Do not let it depart from our mouth; talk about it, especially with our children! Meditate on it: Think about these truths, not just while you are here in Church but as it says, “day and night;” that is, whenever possible

We are to be careful to do according to all that is written in it; and ask the Lord through the Spirit to help you apply these truths to your life. Too often God’s people forget what they ought to remember and remember what they ought to forget!

If you want something to boggle your mind, meditate on the concept of the eternal, that which has no beginning or end. Example: Contemplate the nature and character of the Triune God who always was, always is and always will be and who never changes!

It is not necessary to know God’s secrets, but it is essential that we obey what the Lord has clearly revealed to us! Doing all that God has commanded, not knowing all that God knows: Submission and obedience that will lead to God’s will and our good!

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