"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, September 17, 2023


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

DEUTERONOMY 34: GOD TURNS THE PAGE – by Sonny Islas; check out the complete teaching here [will be uploaded when available]!

We are now at the end of the Pentateuch, which means “five Books,” the first five books of the Bible, also known as the Law of Moses or the Books of Moses. And It’s been a real blessing for us to have gone through the first five books of the Bible with you all.

DEUTERONOMY 34 records the death of Moses and the official rise of Joshua, his successor.

The other day, Marla (Pastor Sonny’s wife) asked me who my favorite Old Testament character was, and I said, “besides YAHWEH, it’s Moses.” She said, “what about King David?” I said, He’s my second favorite.

Ministry wise, David was a king; Moses was more of a lead pastor – so I feel like I can relate with Moses more than I can with David. David led a Kingdom. Moses led a congregation. Plus, I just love the relationship Moses had with God – it was in one sense matchless. And that’s what DEUT 34:10-12 basically says!

1 Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is across from Jericho. And the LORD showed him all the land of Gilead as far as Dan, 2 all Naphtali and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, 3 the South, and the plain of the Valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, as far as Zoar. 4 Then the LORD said to him, "This is the land of which I swore to give Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, 'I will give it to your descendants.' I have caused you to see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there." 5 So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.


At the start of Moses’ life, God invites Moses up Mount Sinai to talk face to face with God and to receive The Ten Commandments.

At the end of Moses’ life, God invites Moses up another mountain - Mount. Nebo, to show Moses the promised Land and to take His life.


#1 God showed Moses the land of Israel in order for Moses to go in peace. Most tombstones read R.I.P. (Rest In Peace), but it’s not true of the majority of souls, because God says in ISA 48:22 “There is NO PEACE for the wicked.” But that’s not true regarding Moses – Moses left in peace and is now resting in peace, in the very presence of the Prince of Peace. God wanted for Moses To have a good sense in his heart that his mission was accomplished. Moses led well to the point where he now stands, and God just wanted him to know that. Mount Nebo was God’s way of saying to Moses “You ran a good race, Moses. You fought a good fight. I’m proud of you.”

#2 God showed Moses the Promised Land to remind Moses of God’s faithfulness. God wanted to show one of Abraham’s best descendants, that God is good on His Word, on His promises. When Moses looked upon the entire land of Canaan/Israel, Moses saw more than a beautiful piece of property, he saw - God’s faithfulness.

#3 There is a spiritual lesson to learn here. Moses, starting and ending on a mountain with God, shows us that Moses started strong and ended strong. He started on the peak of a high mountain with God, and He ended on the peak of a high mountain with God.

By wielding the great grace of God, let’s do our best to end well – like Moses.

In verse 4 God tells Moses

“…but you shall not cross over there.” Again, God held Moses back from going into the promised land because Moses dishonored God when he struck the rock instead of speaking to it – as the LORD had told him (NUM 20). But I also think that Moses’ job was done.

Some have accused God of teasing Moses on Mount Nebo - like an adult hanging a chocolate bar before a child’s face and when the child goes to reach for it, the adult with the chocolate bar pulls it away and out of the reach of the child. God did NOT tease Moses. God is not cruel, and He sure doesn’t play games like this. Especially with His best man.

Also, Moses may not have entered the promised land now, but he went to a far better place – his soul went to heaven, and he does appear with Elijah and the LORD Jesus at the Mount of Transfiguration (Moses seems to really love mountains; MARK 9). He will also be in the Promise Land during the Millennial Reign when Jesus comes down on His white horse and His saints riding behind him – Moses is no doubt one of those riders. And will no doubt play a very significant role during Jesus’ earthly reign.

I love how in verse 5, Moses is called “THE SERVANT OF THE LORD/YAHWEH”

Notice it doesn’t say “a servant of the LORD?’’ Joshua, who most likely wrote this final chapter, seems to have viewed Moses as THE servant of the LORD – meaning that Moses towered over everyone in service unto God. He was “THE servant.” Moses excelled above the rest (with the obvious exception being the LORD Jesus Christ Himself (MATT 12:18; of Whom Moses was a type; check out the video at the end of this article on Moses, a type of Christ by Mike Winger!).

It’s also a very honorable title – to be called “the servant of the LORD.” There is nothing better than to serve the LORD. To work for the LORD and to be used by the LORD. When we understand who He is, there IS no greater privilege.

Moses, being viewed as a servant of the LORD by Joshua and viewing himself as a servant of the LORD speaks volumes of his humility. Moses didn’t crave titles – he just lived to serve the LORD and His stiff-necked people.

The LORD Jesus was also called The Servant of The LORD by the Prophet Isaiah (in ISA 42:1-4) – really, by God the Father Himself.
6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Jesus, being God chose to humble Himself by “…taking the form of a bondservant”- a slave to God the Father. A result of this extreme example of servanthood is extreme exaltation.

Paul begins his letter to the Romans by addressing himself like this “Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus…”

It’s been said:

If servanthood is beneath you, then leadership is beyond you.

We too are servants of the LORD and at the end of our race – we will hear “Well done, good and faithful servant…” (MATT 25:21)

We are both sons and slaves of God. As long as our God continues to be Master, we will continue to be His slaves. And as long as God continues to be our Father, we’ll continue to be His sons.

Check out JOHN 15:15; 20:17; JOHN 1:12; LUKE 17:10.

You’ll never hear this in the false Prosperity Gospel circles. They only like that we are called kings and priests unto our God, but they seem to despise that we are also called servants and slaves unto our God.

5 So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. 6 And He buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth Peor; but no one knows his grave to this day. 7 Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died. His eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished

Verses 5-6 tells us that Moses “died in the land of Moab,” as the LORD has said and was buried “in a valley” by God Himself.

How Moses died is a mystery. It could be that God just took his breath away. God possibly removed Moses’ soul from his body. The Bible doesn’t say. We do know that Moses didn’t die of natural causes because verse 7 tells us that he was perfectly healthy. He didn’t lose his eyesight nor his physical strength – even at 120 years old!

“He (God) buried him” Also, God burying Moses Himself and by Himself speaks volumes about Moses’ worth in God’s eyes. This was God burying His true friend. His most faithful servant. It was as though God didn’t see the nation of Israel as worthy enough to even attend Moses’ funeral service. No one received an invitation. God saw Moses as a prince and gave him that princely treatment. At times, the LORD may show us the same respect we show Him.

JUDE 9 tells us something very interesting about Moses’ death and specifically about Moses’ body.

“Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

Satan wanted Moses’ body and Michael the Archangel fought him for it – with the LORD’s help. There are many speculations about why this may have happened, but I find one idea pretty interesting. Some have suggested that maybe Satan wanted Moses’ body to possess it in order to deceive the Israelites. To use Moses’ body as a kind of puppet (like the devil will possess the antichrist during the Tribulation), and this could be because of the level of Moses’ influence over God’s people. Who knows but God right?
Note from James: An interesting and possible theory to be sure; I think that it’s likely that the Hebrews would preserve the body through mummification and be tempted to worship the body as a religious icon.
And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days. So the days of weeping and mourning for Moses ended. 9 Now Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; so the children of Israel heeded him, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses

Verse 8 says that Israel “wept for Moses for thirty days” The same amount as it was for his brother Aaron (NUM 20:29).

Verse 9 tells us that the new successor Joshua was “full of the Spirit of wisdom” which is absolutely necessary in order to lead God’s people well. If you pray for me, pray that God fills me with His wisdom. Pray this over the elders, Pray this over the teachers, over your own lives!

Moses “lays hands on Joshua” as a way of officially inaugurating him in public so that everyone knows that Joshua is going to take Moses’ place and become their new leader. The baton was publicly passed here. It was no doubt a bittersweet moment for everyone.

10 But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, 11 in all the signs and wonders which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt, before Pharaoh, before all his servants, and in all his land, 12 and by all that mighty power and all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel

To close: In verses 10-12 God brags a little about Moses’ relationship with Him and how close Moses was to God – even “Face to face.” (EXOD 33:11). I think of the moment when God was Face to face with Adam when He breathed life into his nostrils. This speaks of value, closeness, friendship, intimacy between Creator and creature.

It’s as though God is saying through Joshua here, “there is no one who is as close to me as Moses is, and there is no one whom I have used more than Moses.” The only One who surpasses Moses in miracle power is Jesus – the Godman.

Moses was created by God, protected by God (when he was a baby…), humbled by God (when he tried to rescue Israel singlehandedly and became a fugitive for 40 years in the desert…), called by God (at the burning bush…), used by God (to deliver Israel in such supernatural ways…), disciplined by God (by not allowing him to enter Canaan…), killed by God (in the valley of Moab) and buried by God. I think that it’s safe to say that Moses was God’s Old Testament man.
JOHN 5:45-47
45 "Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you--Moses, in whom you trust. 46 "For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 47 "But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?"
In closing this study in DEUTERONOMY, but also the TORAH (The Five Books of Moses), I thought it would be great to include this video by pastor Mike Winger:
WAYS THAT MOSES IS A TYPE OF CHRIST (This is Part 10 of “How To Find Jesus In the Old Testament”).

Also, check out GOT QUESTIONS on this matter!

And lastly, a TTUF article where Stephen preaches to the Sanhedrin and talks about dramatic parallels between Y’shua Meschiach and Moshe (Jesus the Messiah and Moses).

We will continue in the Old Testament here on TTUF with the Book of JOSHUA (Once the study in NEHEMIAH is completed!)!

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