STAY TRUE TO GOD

A prophet has come

Deuteronomy 18

Jerry A Collins

1/14/07

SCC

 

v        What does it mean for us to be priests?

v        Is it possible for us to try and manipulate Godís will?

v        Where is it that we can find the will of God?

 

From Adam to Moses, individual patriarchs were priests to God. From Moses until Christ, God instituted for Israel the Levitical priesthood thru descendents of Aaron. From the First until the Second coming of Christ, God called for each believer to be his or her own priest. From the Second coming of Christ until the Great White Throne Judgment, the saints and Aaron Levites will be priests.One of the unique aspects of Christianity, then, is the belief in the Priesthood of the believer. It is the belief that believers personally represent themselves before God with acceptable sacrifices to God and personal representation before God. On the verge of entering the land of Canaan, Moses reiterates, the role and responsibility of the Priests of Israel. Priests were only descendents of Aaron. Those not priests were Levites serving as ministers to the Priests. Like the prophets, the priestís and Levites represented the Israel, this theocracy, before their heavenly king and served as mediators between the king and the people. So we first learn:

1. SEE EVERYTHING ABOUT YOUR SELF AND YOUR LIFE AS A PRIEST BEFORE GOD 1-8

No Inheritance 1-2 Twice mentioned they have no inheritance in the land. We do know they were the only tribe without an allotment of land to settle and cultivate. We also know there were 48 cities set aside for them to live in. Further we see that they were obliged to depend upon the gifts of the people for their livelihood. Instead, their inheritance was the Lord Himself who promised to provide for them thru the peopleís offerings and sacrifices as they served before the Lord in the sanctuary Num 18:20-21. So they had to serve the Lord without any recognizable assets and they served by faith in Godís provision of their needs thru the giving of the people.

People supported 3-5 The support of the priests came from the people 3. The priests received parts of the animal, new wine, oil, grain and the first wool. The reason was because these were chosen by God to stand and to serve in the Lordís name v5. This is designated as Ďforeverí which brings Godís future use of priests in view in lite of the unfolding of His future plan.

Serve the Lord 6-8 If the Levite served at the central sanctuary, then he could share in the tithe given at the sanctuary. If he wanted to live at the sanctuary, he would still be supported even tho he could sell his property in the city where he used to live and keep the money. But the reason for doing this was so he serves in the name of the Lord his God. Today we are all priests in a similar way to the Levitical Priests. Paul says as priests we (1) Present a holy body Rom 12:1-2 and a (2) transformed mind. The work of a believer-priest is to present everyday to God a holy body and a transformed mindóone that is acceptable to God and one that is not conformed to this world. John Stott every morning as he places feet on floor prays to the Trinity (Father pleased; Son conformed; HS filled) in recognition of his priesthood. So we should live at the level where we constantly are dependent upon God, not our job, our income, our experience. That is, we should see ourselves as not owning anything and the Lord as our inheritance. The NT broadened the priesthood to include all believers 1 Pt 2:9 by virtue of our relationship with Jesus Christ who superceded the Aaronic Priesthood of the OT Covt and became High priest of the New Covt Heb 2:17-18. Every believer has come into the family of Jesus and therefore into Jesus priestly line. So whatever we have, we should see as a gift of God from the people of God around us. Even if we earn it from them, itís a gift apportioned by God. So out of our priesthood flows our ministry, our discipling, our marriage, our money, our time.

2. DONíT TRY TO MANIPULATE GODíS WILL FOR YOURSELF

A. Donít attempt to be like the rest of the world v9. Just like they wanted to have a king like all of the other nations. We must recognize the appeal of the world around us. Itís philosophies, itís priorities, itís ambitions can easily overtake us. God forbids them to imitate the way the nations determine their future v 9, 14. Again, Moses reminds them that the land they are about to enter is Ďone that God gives themí. Donít forget that when youíre there, and follow His plans for you. Do not adopt the nations scheming about their lives in the future.

B. Specifically, donít imitate the detestable things (3 times) of the world which the world attaches spiritual value to to someow gain an advantage about the future or make the†† future workforthem the way they want it to. Occultic practices were used to manipulate certain events. (1) Child sacrificeópassing thru fire to curry a gods favor by your ultimate devotion of a sacrifice. (2) Divination to foretell future events examining and interpreting omens. (3) Witchcraft practicing magic by incantations or magical influences. (4) Interpreting omens to tell the future based upon Ďsignsí such as pattern of birds in flight, arrangement of animal organs offered in sacrifice, the relationships of the planets to one another. (5) Sorcerer the attempt to control people or circumstances thru power of evil spirits. (6) Spell-casting binding people by magical mutterings. (7) Medium or spiritists with power thot to be able to communicate with the dead. (8) Consulting the dead to contact the dead to gain advice, information, future or help in manipulation. These were all reasons God will drive out the Canaanite v12. By avoiding these Israelites would be blameless of these terrible sins. The believer is to view the future in faith. Sinful strategies we develop to manipulate the future are sinful. We must never try to discover knowledge of the future by astrology, quija, horoscopes, crystals, fortune-telling on our own. (1) Using magic to manipulate future is futile attempt to flee from Godís clear will that promotes life and blessing for us. (2) Using magic is refusal to accept the sovereignty of God for our lives. (3) Using magic is failure to trust the Lord with oneís life. (4) Using magic is attempt to avoid consequences of choices today and God says you will sow what you reap. It is godly to be content and to live by faith and to pray and to trust God not manipulate your circumstances to try and get life to work out as you desire. Besides that is buying into Satanís lie that says you can be your own god-that is, you can determine your own life and no-one else has a say in that. That denies the truth of Godís control and will.

3. GODíS WILL FOR YOU IS ONLY GIVEN IN THE WORDS OF HIS PROPHETS AND APOSTLES 15-22

Godís mouthpiece 15-19 There will be a prophet like Moses who will come v15. God will put His words in his mouth v18. This is referring not only to succession of prophets because all of them will speak Godís Word to the people but to the coming of Jesus Christ. There will be many excellent prophets who will come over the years in Israel. The difference between them and Moses was that Moses saw God face to face. He spoke to God as a man speaks to a friend. That is not true of any of the other prophets. Moses stands alone. God will put His words into His-Jesusómouth. God said Ďthis is my son, listen to Himí. Stephen attributes Moses words to Jesus in Acts 7:37. So we must Ďlisten to Himí v15. We are not to find Godís will from any other source! Godís will is in Godís Word. We make decisions which are Godís will for our lives by following the moral directives of the Bible and using wisdom derived from the character of God revealed in the Bible in nonmoral decisions. Warning 20-22 A false prophetís prophesy does not come true. He is only a true prophet if his predictions are consistent with Word of God. So proclaim Jesus as the Messiah the One who knew God face to face and spoke His words. Do not tolerate any prophet whose statements cannot be verified by the truth of Godís Word.