Miracles and fulfilled predictions are not proof of godliness or of anyone being a messenger from God. God’s messengers often foretell events and do perform miracles by the power of God, but Satan’s agents can also do these things. God tells Moses and tells us, how to discern the difference between the true man of God and Satan’s counterfeits.
Deuteronomy 13:1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder [makes a prediction, or performs a miracle],
13:2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after [exalts anything including any person, rather than the Eternal] other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
13:3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth [is testing us] you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
God Tests His People!
God wants to know just how much we really love HIM! Do we truly love God enough to do what God says? or will we be turned aside by every person who claims to be from God?
13:4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
Those who seek to dominate the brethren and cause people to follow after themselves and their false traditions in place of the Word of Almighty God will be destroyed by the Eternal if they do not sincerely repent.
Brethren, that means that nearly every church of God leader and elder is facing rejection by Jesus Christ (Rev 3:15-22), and stern correction in the soon coming great tribulation.
13:5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.
Miracles and fulfilled prophecy are not proof of whether a man is of God or not: the proof that a person is godly is their zeal and faithfulness to live by and teach others to live by every Word of God.
Anyone who waters down or diminishes, or adds to God’s Word; is to be rejected as if he did not exist for you, as if he is dead. We are not to make idols of any person or thing to put them before God, not even a member of our own family.
Deuteronomy 13:6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul [body] , entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;
We are not to follow anyone to make an idol of them and obey them in place of obeying God; and we are not to conceal those who seek to deceive the brethren into following themselves or anything other than the Eternal, but we are commanded by Almighty God to reveal this wickedness and to warn the brethren.
We have become softhearted about wickedness and evil deceitful men! Almighty God is outraged at such misguided pity for those who would steal our crowns and our potential eternal lives!
13:7 Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;
13:8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:
13:9 But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. 13:10 And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust [or to deceive] thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
13:11 And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.
In the New Covenant such people are to be publicly brought before the people with proof and then they are to be rejected by all the brethren (Titus 3:10).
Do you dabble in Astrology, or celebrate birthdays in the pagan manner, or go to Easter or Christmas celebrations instead of keeping the Biblical Festivals of God? Do you allow crosses [symbols of Tammuz] or pictures of Saturn falsely labeled Christ in your home? How much do we compromise with the things that Almighty God, our God, hates?
How can we claim to love God when we do what God hates?
See how serious God is about apostasy! God commands us not to even keep the property of the apostates who are destroyed!
13:12 If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, which the LORD thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying,
13:13 Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known;
13:14 Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you;
The New Covenant called out, are to reject all false teachers who would demand that we exalt them above the Word of God; and we are to reject all those who would commit idolatry by following such wicked men.
13:15 Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword.
13:16 And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and shalt burn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for the LORD thy God: and it shall be an heap for ever; it shall not be built again.
13:17 And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the LORD may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and shew thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers;
13:18 When thou shalt hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep all his commandments which I command thee this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of the LORD thy God.
If we have committed ourselves to live by every Word of God, God will dwell in us through His Holy Spirit and we will become the Temple or dwelling place of God. Therefore we are to keep ourselves pure from any sin and we are to treat our bodies with respect as the dwelling place or Temple of God!
1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
Deuteronomy 14:1 Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead.
14:2 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar [special] people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.
What we consume becomes a part of us; the same is true mentally and spiritually. We are to learn to guard what we allow to enter our minds by guarding what we take into our bodies.
The clean thing is a picture of godliness, while the unclean thing is a picture of that which is evil or polluted by evil.
The law of the clean and the unclean is to teach us to put a difference between the holy and the profane, between the godly and the ungodly.
In the New Covenant this commandment is to be kept physically and expanded to be kept spiritually.
The clean and the unclean are a physical lesson to teach a spiritual reality: We are not to pollute ourselves with sin, nor are we to tempt ourselves by thinking the forbidden thing to be desirable. We are to keep the law in BOTH the letter AND the spirit.
Deuteronomy 14:3 Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing.
14:4 These are the beasts which ye shall eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat, 4:5 The hart, and the roebuck, and the fallow deer, and the wild goat, and the pygarg, and the wild ox, and the chamois. 14:6 And every beast that parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws, and cheweth the cud among the beasts, that ye shall eat.
14:7 Nevertheless these ye shall not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the cloven hoof; as the camel, and the hare, and the coney: for they chew the cud, but divide not the hoof; therefore they are unclean unto you.
14:8 And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcase.
This also forbids the use of the skins and furs or any other part of any dead unclean creature.
14:9 These ye shall eat of all that are in the waters: all that have [both] fins and scales shall ye eat: 14:10 And whatsoever hath not fins and scales ye may not eat; it is unclean unto you.
An extensive list of clean products. Certainly does not contain all products.
Be careful of Jewish Kosher certifying agencies as there are different ones with different standards, some not biblical. They tend to twist the command not to even touch the dead bodies of the unclean thing into a simple “do not eat the meat,” thereby supposedly justifying the use of extractions, gelatin etc; and the use and wearing of forbidden unclean skins and furs.
Note that the shed hair of living animals is not unclean, only the dead body. Therefore the shorn hair or wool of living camels, llamas etc is clean.
14:11 Of all clean birds ye shall eat.
14:12 But these are they of which ye shall not eat: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray, 14:13 And the glede, and the kite, and the vulture after his kind, 14:14 And every raven after his kind, 14:15 And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, 14:16 The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan, 14:17 And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the cormorant, 14:18 And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. 14:19 And every creeping thing [such as insects which walk and fly like house flies] that flieth is unclean unto you: they shall not be eaten.
14:20 But of all clean fowls ye may eat.
The characteristics and features of clean birds can be determined from the scripturally known clean birds; namely the dove (turtledove), pigeon, and quail (Leviticus 1:14-17, 12:8, 14:22, 15:14-15; Psalm 105:40; Matthew 3:16, 21:12; Mark 1:10, 11:15; Luke 2:24, 3:22; John 1:32, 2:14-16).
The turtledove and pigeon are clean birds as they were used in sacrifices and only clean birds could be used for sacrifices (Leviticus 1:14-17, 12:8, 14:22, 15:14-15). A dove (the Holy Spirit) descended upon Yeshua (Jesus), illustrating that doves are clean birds (Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22; John 1:32). Doves were sold along with oxen and sheep in the Israeli
marketplace, further indicating that doves are clean birds (Matthew 21:12; Mark 11:15; John 2:14-16). Quails are clean birds as the Lord provided them to the Hebrews for food after the Hebrew exodus from Egypt (Psalm 105:40).
Clean birds have all of the following characteristics:
– they are foragers and are not birds of prey or scavengers
– they have craws or crops
– they have a gizzard with a double lining which can easily be separated
– they have three front toes with an elongated middle front toe and a hind toe
– they spread three front toes on one side of a perch and their hind toe on the
– they do not eat in flight, landing to eat.
Unclean birds lack one or more of the characteristics of clean birds. The
characteristics and features of unclean birds can be determined from the list of
unclean birds listed in Scripture.
Unclean birds include those that are:
– birds of prey
– carrion-eating scavenger birds
– ratite birds
– web-footed, and zygodactyl-footed [two front and two back toes] birds
– flying mammals (bats)
The pelican and the seagull are listed in Scripture among the unclean birds.
The pelican and seagull possess webbed feet, as do ducks, geese, and swans. Ducks, geese, and swans are unclean is because they lack some of the characteristics and features of clean birds – they do not have crops, they have different body structures than clean birds do, their body fat is intertwined with their flesh and they have webbed feet.
14:21 Ye shall not eat of anything that dieth of itself: thou shalt give it unto the stranger that is in thy gates, that he may eat it; or thou mayest sell it unto an alien: for thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God.
Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his [own] mother’s milk [a pagan fertility rite].
14:22 Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. 14:23 And thou shalt eat [the tithe] before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn [grain], of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always.
14:24 And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee:
14:25 Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose:
14:26 And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth [lawfully desires] after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,
14:27 And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee.
The Tithe For The Poor
14:28 At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year [during that one year], and shalt lay it up within thy gates:
14:29 And the Levite [this is not referring to paid elders but to the poor of the tribe of Levi], (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.
It is robbing the poor and robbing God to give the poor fund money to an already paid elder for his own personal use.
The Sabbatical year of debt release goes together with the Sabbath of the land from cultivation Leviticus 25; the release of debt coming at the END of every Sabbatical year land Sabbath.
This law is in reference to personal debt that impoverishes the people; not commercial debt to finance factories, or other big projects. That said I do think that a totally new banking and financial system [from today’s banking system] that does not impoverish individuals and still provides a means to finance big projects will be established in the kingdom of God.
Deuteronomy 15:1 At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release.
15:2 And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor that lendeth ought unto his neighbour shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbour, or of his brother; because it is called the LORD’s release.
Spiritually this command is to be kept by the Ekklesia; with the brethren forgiving all debts owed within the spiritual Israel of the New Covenant called out; while remaining able to collect from the unconverted who do not keep these commandments anyway.
15:3 Of a foreigner thou mayest exact it again: but that which is thine with thy brother thine hand shall release;
The following does not mean that this command will end; it means that when there are no poor [no one in debt] then this law will not be applicable since there will be no personal debt to forgive.
15:4 Save when there shall be no poor among you; for the LORD shall greatly bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it:
Again, blessings and possession of the promised land are totally CONDITIONAL on obedience to ALL of God’s commandments. This is also true of entry into the spiritual Promised Land of the resurrection to spirit.
God’s blessings will only come if we are zealously diligent to live by every Word of God.
15:5 Only if thou carefully hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all these commandments which I command thee this day.
15:6 For the LORD thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee.
We are to help our brethren, most especially our brethren in the faith and we are not to refuse their requests concerning their genuine personal needs.
15:7 If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother:
15:8 But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth [what he lacks in the way of survival necessities].
We cannot lawfully refuse to help those poorer than ourselves. We should not give what we do not have, and we need not give unless there is a genuine necessity; but we are forbidden by commandment from withholding the necessities of life from the truly needy.
15:9 Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee.
When we help the poor among the Ekklesia we are not loaning to men, we are giving to God!
15:10 Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto.
15:11 For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.
The following speaks of servitude for a debt. Such debt servants are to be well treated just like we would treat our own sons and daughters who serve us.
It was the custom to repay a debt by serving the debt holder or by being “sold” into service. Here God puts a limit on such service.
15:12 And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee.
15:13 And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty:
15:14 Thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the LORD thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him.
15:15 And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing to day.
15:16 And it shall be, if he say unto thee, I will not go away from thee; because he loveth thee and thine house, because he is well with thee; 15:17 Then thou shalt take an aul, and thrust it through his ear unto the door, and he shall be thy servant for ever. And also unto thy maidservant thou shalt do likewise.
15:18 It shall not seem hard unto thee, when thou sendest him away free from thee; for he hath been worth a double hired servant to thee, in serving thee six years: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all that thou doest.
The first born males of the flocks and the herds is to be eaten at the Feasts and is not to be worked or sheared, the first born is set apart to God.
If it is without blemish it may be sacrificed as the Passover or at the fall Feast; and is to be eaten by the offeror. If it is blemished it is NOT to be sacrificed because it is not a suitable symbol of Jesus Christ; the blemished first born may be eaten at home.
15:19 All the firstling males that come of thy herd and of thy flock thou shalt sanctify unto the LORD thy God: thou shalt do no work with the firstling of thy bullock, nor shear the firstling of thy sheep. 15:20 Thou shalt eat it before the LORD thy God year by year in the place which the LORD shall choose, thou and thy household.
15:21 And if there be any blemish therein, as if it be lame, or blind, or have any ill blemish, thou shalt not sacrifice it unto the LORD thy God. 15:22 Thou shalt eat it within thy gates: the unclean and the clean person shall eat it alike, as the roebuck, and as the hart. 15:23 Only thou shalt not eat the blood thereof; thou shalt pour it upon the ground as water.
Deuteronomy 16 goes through the Holy Days which are studied in depth, in articles available at the Festival Categories on the right hand sidebar.
Deuteronomy 16:1 Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto the LORD thy God: for in the month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night.
The Passover as with all other sacrifices may only be killed at the tabernacle or Temple; which is why we cannot sacrifice the Passover lamb today.
In the millennium those privileged to visit the Ezekiel Temple in Jerusalem will sacrifice there including the Passover lamb; while those around the world will have a Passover service locally, without the lamb and exclusively with the Unleavened Bread and Wine as we do today.
I add that with modern technology after Christ comes the services at Jerusalem throughout the Festivals could be broadcast worldwide for all the world to see,
Imagine watching Jesus Christ, Moses, Ezra, Paul and many others speaking directly and personally, live to the whole earth from the Ezekiel Temple at Jerusalem!
16:2 Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the passover unto the LORD thy God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which the LORD shall choose to place his name there.
16:3 Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste: that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life.
A brief inset about the Feast of Unleavened Bread before returning to the Passover
16:4 And there shall be no leavened bread seen with thee in all thy coast seven days; neither shall there any thing of the flesh, which thou sacrificedst the first day at even, remain all night until the morning.
Returning to the Passover
16:5 Thou mayest not sacrifice the passover within any of thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee:
Here we find the word “even” or “evening” clearly defined as sunset. This is solid proof that the Passover is to be sacrificed at and after sunset. See the Passover book or the Passover articles at the Spring Festivals category.
16:6 But at the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the passover at even, at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt. 16:7 And thou shalt roast and eat it in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: and thou shalt turn in the morning, and go unto thy tents.
While God permitted the preparing of food on that emergency situation when Israel was marching out of Egypt; here we see the commandment to do NO WORK on these Holy Days.
No WORK, includes food preparation which is to be done on the previous day, the preparation day; as mentioned by John.
Jesus was killed on Passover day, which is the preparation day for the first High Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Jews along with the followers of Christ understood that they must complete preparations before sunset ending Passover day, since no work was to be done on the Holy Day.
The sanctity and no work command regarding the Holy Day was why the disciple put Jesus in the tomb Wednesday afternoon without further preparation. They then waited until after the High Day which was on Thursday that year to purchase the spices on Friday and then waited until after the weekly Sabbath before returning to anoint the body on Sunday morning.
The Feast of Unleavened Bread
Deuteronomy 16:8 Six days thou shalt eat unleavened bread: and on the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly to the LORD thy God: thou shalt do no work therein.
Leviticus 23:6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.
23:7 In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work [work of any kind] therein.
23:8 But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work [work of any kind] therein.
The count to Pentecost
16:9 Seven weeks shalt thou number unto thee: begin to number the seven weeks from such time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to the corn [grain; The Sunday Wave Offering during Unleavened Bread].
Pentecost is on the fiftieth day after the Wave Offering on the Sunday during the Feast of Unleavened Bread [the next day after the completion of a seven week count].
16:10 And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the LORD thy God with a tribute of a freewill offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give unto the LORD thy God, according as the LORD thy God hath blessed thee:
16:11 And thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are among you, in the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to place his name there.
16:12 And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt: and thou shalt observe and do these statutes.
The Feast of Tabernacles
16:13 Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn [grain] and thy wine: 16:14 And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates.
16:15 Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD shall choose: because the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands, therefore thou shalt surely rejoice.
The Feast’s of Unleavened Bread and Tabernacles are both for a full seven days; they [and Pentecost] are pilgrim Feasts to be observed in a place chosen by God, which was the tabernacle or later the Temple at Jerusalem.
No work of any kind including cooking is permitted on the Weekly Sabbaths and Annual High Days, the other intermediate days are appointed times to be observed, yet without the restrictions on work necessary for the Feast like cleaning clothes, cooking etc.
There are three pilgrim Feast’s during the year and one offering is required at each. It is clear that some members of a family could not attend because of illness, age, or advanced pregnancy, or some kind of uncleanness; and that some would be needed on the farm to care for livestock etc. However it is God’s intention that as many as possible gather together for the three pilgrim Feasts.
In the future it will be impossible for billions of people from around the earth to gather in this one place at the Ezekiel Temple in Jerusalem; then the Feast’s will have to be observed locally with delegations representing all peoples going up to the Temple at Jerusalem.
16:16 Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:
16:17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee.
Only three annual offerings are commanded, not seven offerings as some falsely teach.
God Commands Justice
Now God commands that justice be served by honest just judges; judging according to the Word of God and not loosing God’s Word for their own opinions.
16:18 Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment.
16:19 Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.
16:20 That which is altogether just shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and inherit the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
We must NOT believe one person over another because they are wealthy, or poor, or because they are elders or layman. All judgments must be fair, honest and just by the Word of God, and we must not be respecters of persons. This is a commandment that is routinely broken in today’s Ekklesia, as brethren put organizations and elders on a pedestal.
Pagan altars were placed under green [evergreen] trees because such green trees were regarded as fertility symbols.
16:21 Thou shalt not plant thee a grove of any trees near unto the altar of the LORD thy God, which thou shalt make thee. 16:22 Neither shalt thou set thee up any image; which the LORD thy God hateth.
The pagans worshiped their gods, setting up their altars in groves of trees, which trees like the modern Christmas tree, were regarded as symbols of fertility and eternal life.
Sometimes trees had their branches removed to represent the upright male organ of fertility [obelisks are a form of phallic symbol; an example of which is the Masonic Washington Memorial, which to the initiated in masonry represents the virility of the nation]. Pagan images would include crosses [the symbol of Tammuz], fish [the symbol of Dagon] and so called pictures of Christ which are really stylized pictures of the pagan god Saturn.
The sacrificial animals represent the various aspects of the sacrifice of Christ the Lamb of God, and they must be perfect, symbolizing the perfection and total innocence of Messiah from any blemish of sin.
Deuteronomy 17:1 Thou shalt not sacrifice unto the LORD thy God any bullock, or sheep, wherein is blemish, or any evilfavouredness: for that is an abomination unto the LORD thy God.
Sacrificial animals are types of Christ and should mirror his perfection. To sacrifice an imperfect animal is to symbolize Christ as imperfect; such imperfections are types of sin.
The sin of idolatry
17:2 If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant,
Today many brethren do worship idols of men and follow them contrary to the Word of God; which is the same sin of idolatry.
17:3 And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded;
The key term here is “which I have not commanded;” God DID command us to use the sun and moon to establish natural divisions of time and a calendar, however we are NOT to worship those bodies!
This command forbidding astrology, forbids thinking that the heavenly bodies influence events on earth and people’s lives. In other words people worship these bodies by obeying or following the advice of the astrologers. This is NOT referring the observance of sunset or the phases of the moon as a measurement of time which God has commanded for us.
17:4 And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel:
As God has commanded that all idolaters be stoned to death; so the New Covenant called out who make idols of men and corporate entities to love and obey them more than they love and obey Almighty God, will also be rejected by Christ (Rev 3:15-22). Today the brethren have been given over to the strong delusion that blind unquestioning obedience to men, is obedience to God: IT IS NOT! Those who blindly follow men will be strongly corrected in the fire of affliction for our idolatry!
17:5 Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.
A minimum of two or three witnesses in required to establish any thing.
17:6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.
17:7 The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you.
It takes two or more witnesses to establish guilt or to prove any matter.
17:8 If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, being matters of controversy within thy gates: then shalt thou arise, and get thee up into the place which the LORD thy God shall choose;
We are to go to godly priests/ministry for just judgment, because they supposedly know God’s Word and will judge fairly by the Word of God.
When the priests/ministry go astray, justice departs from the land; and when the elders and priests are zealous for the Word of God there is justice.
17:9 And thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days, and enquire; and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment:
17:10 And thou shalt do according to the sentence, which they of that place which the LORD shall choose shall shew thee; and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they inform thee:
The priests were the ultimate judges in Israel and when they went astray the people were led astray. All judgments MUST be made, based on and consistent with every Word of God.
The ministry today and the brethren are people “in training” to eventually be resurrected to become [if they pass the course] priests and kings after the order of Jesus Christ; in God’s coming kingdom.
Even the Levites were to be questioned and checked against the scriptures, and we are required to “prove all things” today. We must judge all matters faithfully by the Word of God.
17:11 According to the sentence of the law [they are to teach us the judgment in the Word of God] which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do: thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall shew thee, to the right hand, nor to the left.
17:12 And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the LORD thy God, or unto the judge, [and will not be subject to the Word of God taught by teh faithful elder] even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel.
17:13 And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously.
Moses prophesies of a coming king
17:14 When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; 17:15 Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.
In the New Covenant, the faithfully obedient to God brethren, must choose to follow the man who demonstrates by his fruits that God has chosen him!
That person MUST be a person who is a brother in the faith and has proven by his fruits to be the choice of God (Mat 7). Today we have been led far astray because we have not questioned and proved by their fruits from the scriptures, the men whom we follow! We have broken this commandment in Deuteronomy as well as the many commandments on the subject in the New Testament. A great many of the leaders in the various groups have proven by their fruits, their lack of zeal to live by every Word of God, and their compromising with God’s Word that they are NOT godly men.
We have been led astray because we have been willing to blindly and without question, follow anyone who makes some grand claim and gives lip service to the faith, while doing whatever they please instead of doing as God has commanded.
Neither Physical nor Spiritual leaders are to use their positions to feed themselves and not the flock. They are NOT to take the best things for themselves nor are they to seek the exaltation of the people. They are to be faithful to the Eternal in all things; to exalt the Eternal and to obey him in all things; to faithfully serve the Eternal by feeding the flock sound doctrine and a good knowledge of TRUTH; and to speak the Word of God without fear or compromise before all peoples.
17:16 But he shall not multiply horses [make himself rich] to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt [shall not lead the people into sin and bondage to enrich himself], to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.
The ruler or leader must not exercise his office for personal gain.
17:17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.
The leaders of the people both secular and spiritual, and the elders; must have a personal copy of the Word of God and study it every day of their lives to learn it and to live by it.
Every one of us has been called to become a priest and or a king [ruler]; and we are all to have personal copies of God’s Word; and we are to study it, to learn it and to live by it, all the days of our lives.
17:18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites:
17:19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:
17:20 That his heart be not lifted up [in pride] above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.