On-Line Bible Lessons

Deuteronomy - Chapter 18, Lesson 1


Pastor Ovid Need

Here Moses repeats the rights of the priests and Levites from Num. 18:20-24. We might make a quick mention here that through our Lord Jesus Christ every believer is a priest unto the Most High God of Heaven and Earth, Rev. 1:6. Along with this, let's point out that our inheritance is not among the inhabitant of this land, Heb. 11:13-16. If we could keep this in mind we could do a lot more for our God. In Heb. 11, we can see that Moses realized this truth as he chose pleasing God with his life over all the pleasures and riches of this world, vv. 24-27. Might we have the grace to forsake these "glories" of this world for the "glories" of our heavenly home.

In this passage (vv. 1-8) we also have the requirement of the proper support of the office of the Levite or the teacher of God's Word to His people as we saw in a previous lesson. This re­quirement is carried over into the writings of Paul, I Tim. 5:17-18.

Let's consider the rest of this chapter. It contains some interesting points which would be well to examine, vv. 9-22. Here we have the gift of prophecy dealt with.

1. What is the warning here at the very beginning, v. 9? What is prohibited here?

This is covered many times. Chp. 13 deals with this as do many other passages.

a. What is forbidden in Jer. 10:2? ___________________________________________________
(1) Why, vv. 3-8? ____________________________________________________________________
(2) What is it called to forsake the Word and ways of the Lord for the ways of the heathen, v. 14, 21? The same word as v. 8.

b. What is the result, v. 22? ________________________________________________________
c. One more thing here, where does the Lord lay the blame, v. 21? ____________________

I have heard the term, "Consumer Oriented Religion," as we mentioned in chp. 17. Jeremiah gives us an example of this. The people desire to follow after Jer. 10:2, 14, 15, etc., and the pas­tor fears losing them so he conforms his message to their desires rather than to the Word of God. We had a city- council member in Bossier City, La., tell us how he perceived modern day politics. He called it "The Herd Syndrome." They test the wind to see which way the herd is moving, then quickly run out front and say, "follow me." Sad to say, this is the operating principle of far too many pastors as our Lord points out here in Jeremiah 10:2. The total law-word of God alone will change the direction of "the herd".

2. Deut. 18:9-22 deals with false prophets or false guidance. Any instruction at all which does not conform to God's Word is included here. Today, one of the reasons we do heed the instructions of heathen is because of the fear which is placed in our hearts by them. They threaten, and even carry out their threats, yet what does God say, v. 22? _____________________________________

Probably the greatest series of chapters in Scripture to flee to as these false prophets even threaten God's people with loss is found in Isa. 45-55. It is well worth reading when we start believing their threats.

Let us point out some things here concerning the false prophets.

3. Moses identifies several different works of iniquity here. What are they, vv. 10-11?

a. He goes on and sums them up in v. 14. Here he shows us the common goal of these workers of iniquity. The common goal is to foretell the future. Our Lord absolutely forbids His people to be any partaker at all in this. Why are His people forbidden to engage in this kind of foolishness, v. 13? __________________________________________________________________________
b. Let us point out the contrast here. The world seeks to know the future apart from God and His Word. What are we commanded to do in order to please our God?

This is one of the major doctrines of scripture and can be traced from Gen. 12 (Rom. 4:3) to Ja. 2:23. Here are a few of the scriptures, Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17; II Cor. 5:7; Gal. 3:11; etc..

We see, then, that rather than God's people trying to find out what the future holds we are to walk by faith. James clearly tells us that walking by faith is doing God's will as revealed in His total Word and leaving the results up to Him. The world or flesh walks just the opposite. If they cannot know the end result according to their human wisdom and understanding, then they won't do it.

4. Notice here the warning. Why were the heathen removed from Canaan, v. 12?

a. What will happen if God's people try to do the same thing the heathens did, Lev. 18:28; II Ki. 21:6; Prov. 14:12? ____________________________________________________________

The heathens here tried to walk according to the future as revealed by their enchanters. I Ki. 20 is a good example of this. God's people are to walk according to the revealed Word of God, v. 19. This principle is covered many times in the NT, Rom. 6:16; Gal. 6:7-8; Heb. 10; etc..

We also see in this that ANY TEACHER, PREACHER who tries to convince God's people that there is another way to "walk" other than the total revealed law-word of God is a false prophet. This is another strong warning from the NT. The book of Jude presents this message clear and plain. As we have already pointed out, the destructive false doctrines always come from the inside as these ungodly men try to convince God's people they do not have to live according to God's revealed word. One of our teens told me of a girl in her Christian school who was from another church. At this girl's church they taught that it is only a sin if you are convicted about it. Now, this is just another version of being guided by "the principle of obedience to the divine will which is in-wrought." This is garbage. Our obedience under grace is to the revealed Word of God. Grace is God in us working to give us the power to do HIS WILL, rather than the will of the world, flesh and the devil, Phil. 2:13. Right or wrong is not determined by whether or not we are convicted, but by God's word.

5. Why are these false teachers with their damnable heresies among God's people, II Pet. 2:1; I Cor. 11:19 (we saw this back in Deut., chp. 13)?

a. Another reason, Jer. 5:31? ________________________________________________________
V. 15, we see the prophecy concerning Christ. This is one of the most quoted by NT authors, Matt. 11:3; 21:11; Lk. 2:25-34; 4:16-22; 7:16; 24:19; Jn. 4:19, 25, 26; Acts 3:22; 7:37.

6. What did the people ask for at Horeb, v. 16; I Tim. 2:5? ______________________

They were fearful of God and asked for a go-between. Moses was given to them as this person but he was only a picture of the ONE to come. V. 18, Moses spoke for God to the people and he spoke to God for the people. This is exactly what God's people have today in the Lord Jesus Christ. The book of Hebrews presents Him as this person.

V. 22, here the Lord says that if the words don't come to pass, then he is a false prophet. But we need to keep in mind, chp. 13, where his words may come to pass to see if we will be faith­ful to the Word of God over the smooth words of this false prophet. They do abound in our day, "prophets" who preach/teach apart from the total of God's Word, Acts 20:27. We had best stay clear of them or we will face their judgment with them.