A Repetition of the Ceremonial Law
Dr. Joe Temple

Introduction

Open your Bibles, please, to the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 12. I am going to suggest that we read the entire chapter and then go back and talk about it because as we talk about it, we will not be talking about it verse by verse in consecutive order. Rather, we will be talking about the subject matter of the chapter. I would like for you to have before your minds everything that is in the chapter so that you will recognize the truths as we go from one to the other. So follow as we read from verse 1:

Deuteronomy 12:

1These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the Lord God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth.
2Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree:
3And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place.
4Ye shall not do so unto the Lord your God.
5But unto the place which the Lord your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come:
6And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks:
7And there ye shall eat before the Lord your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the Lord thy God hath blessed thee.
8Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes.
9For ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which the Lord your God giveth you.
10But when ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the Lord your God giveth you to inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety;
11Then there shall be a place which the Lord your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the Lord:
12And ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God, ye, and your sons, and your daughters, and your menservants, and your maidservants, and the Levite that is within your gates; forasmuch as he hath no part nor inheritance with you.
13Take heed to thyself that thou offer not thy burnt offerings in every place that thou seest:
14But in the place which the Lord shall choose in one of thy tribes, there thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, and there thou shalt do all that I command thee.
15Notwithstanding thou mayest kill and eat flesh in all thy gates, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which he hath given thee: the unclean and the clean may eat thereof, as of the roebuck, and as of the hart.
16Only ye shall not eat the blood; ye shall pour it upon the earth as water.
17Thou mayest not eat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thy oil, or the firstlings of thy herds or of thy flock, nor any of thy vows which thou vowest, nor thy freewill offerings, or heave offering of thine hand:
18But thou must eat them before the Lord thy God in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates: and thou shalt rejoice before the Lord thy God in all that thou puttest thine hands unto.
19Take heed to thyself that thou forsake not the Levite as long as thou livest upon the earth.
20When the Lord thy God shall enlarge thy border, as he hath promised thee, and thou shalt say, I will eat flesh, because thy soul longeth to eat flesh; thou mayest eat flesh, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after.
21If the place which the Lord thy God hath chosen to put his name there be too far from thee, then thou shalt kill of thy herd and of thy flock, which the Lord hath given thee, as I have commanded thee, and thou shalt eat in thy gates whatsoever thy soul lusteth after.
22Even as the roebuck and the hart is eaten, so thou shalt eat them: the unclean and the clean shall eat of them alike.
23Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh.
24Thou shalt not eat it; thou shalt pour it upon the earth as water.
25Thou shalt not eat it; that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the Lord.
26Only thy holy things which thou hast, and thy vows, thou shalt take, and go unto the place which the Lord shall choose:
27And thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, upon the altar of the Lord thy God: and the blood of thy sacrifices shall be poured out upon the altar of the Lord thy God, and thou shalt eat the flesh.
28Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the Lord thy God.
29When the Lord thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land;
30Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.
31Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord thy God: for every abomination to the Lord, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.
32What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

As we have concluded reading this chapter, I wonder what your thoughts are. I wonder if you see anything in it that is of any more value than something historical. Most commentaries find nothing in this chapter except some historical information that is of value if we want to study the customs and the life of the nation of Israel. But I would like to suggest to you, because the Holy Spirit wrote I Corinthians, chapter 10, where He suggested to us that these things were written down for our examples, for our types, that there is something more than historical information for us in this chapter. I think that we are obligated to try to find out what it is and make applications of these truths to our individual lives.

It would be well for us to fix in our minds exactly where we are in the book of Deuteronomy. You will keep in mind that Moses and the children of Israel were on the outside of the land of Canaan. They were encamped there while Moses gave them these last instructions contained in the book of Deuteronomy. As we emphasized to you, these instructions covered a period of forty days. This doesn't mean that Moses had a marathon talking spree where he talked for a straight forty days, but it means that this was somewhat of a protracted meeting that lasted forty days. They had sessions where they met together and Moses presented the truth of the Word.

We told you that the book of Deuteronomy is made up of three discourses, one obituary, one pronouncement of blessing, and one song. The first discourse is found in chapters 1-4, in which Moses reviewed the history of the nation of Israel while they were in the wilderness, reminding them of the mistakes they had made and of the blessings that God had given them with the suggestions that they should avoid the mistakes as they entered into the land of Canaan. The second discourse began with chapter 5 and goes all the way through chapter 26. We said that the second discourse might be labled The Repetition of the Law of God. We found in chapters 5-11 a repetition of the moral law with amplifications and exhortations. Keep in mind that we pointed out to you that the moral law was what we commonly refer to as the Ten Commandments.

If you are thinking, you know that as we look at chapter 12, we are looking at the beginning of the second portion of the second discourse. We are going to discover that the second portion of this second discourse takes up chapters 12-16. It is going to deal with the ceremonial law. You will keep in mind that the moral law speaks of the Ten Commandments, and we pointed out to you that there were no changes in the Ten Commandments. They are the same in any age. It is just as wrong to steal in this century as it was when God wrote the commandments on the tables of stone.

The ceremonial law is different in that it was related to certain circumstances; it was related to location; it was related to individuals. So you are going to notice some changes which will be made in relation to ceremonial regulations. Some of them are even mentioned in this particular chapter.

They were to be completely obedient, and the purpose of this discourse was exactly that. It is indicated by verse 1. Notice:

Deuteronomy 12:

1These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the Lord God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth.

Foundation for Complete Obedience

“These are the things that I want you to do after you get into the land.” This is what God said. We could expect somewhat of a change then, couldn't we? Because they had been in the wilderness and now they were going into the land, God laid down some basic rules of relationship which they must observe. The foundation of this complete obedience is found in a number of verses here in chapter 12. You might look at a few of them with me and get them fixed in your mind. In verse 25, He said, “Thou shalt not eat it,” and this is what we are interested in, “that it might go well with thee and with thy children after thee when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the Lord.” Here is the foundation for complete obedience—doing that which is right in the sight of the Lord.

Glance over at verse 28 where the emphasis is placed again on complete obedience:

Deuteronomy 12:

28Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the Lord thy God.

Notice: Obey, for obedience is the best way. Obedience results in a number of things. Notice verse 7:

Deuteronomy 12:

7And there ye shall eat before the Lord your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the Lord thy God hath blessed thee.

Keep in mind in the wilderness there was very little rejoicing, but in the so-called promised land, when obedience was offered, there was real rejoicing. Then look down at verse 12, where it is emphasized again:

Deuteronomy 12:

12And ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God, ye, and your sons, and your daughters, and your menservants, and your maidservants, and the Levite that is within your gates; forasmuch as he hath no part nor inheritance with you.

Notice down in verse 18 for further emphasis:

Deuteronomy 12:

18But thou must eat them before the Lord thy God in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates: [This is the part of the verse that we want.] and thou shalt rejoice before the Lord thy God in all that thou puttest thine hands unto.

Go back to verse 10 and notice what God has promised:

Deuteronomy 12:

10But when ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the Lord your God giveth you to inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety;

Then again in verse 15:

Deuteronomy 12:

15Notwithstanding thou mayest kill and eat flesh in all thy gates, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after,notice according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which he hath given thee: the unclean and the clean may eat thereof, as of the roebuck, and as of the hart.

This is what Moses held out before them. Obedience is the way to blessing. Obedience is the way to joy. Obedience is the way to peace and security. What is true then is true today. But this was not a halfhearted obedience that Moses was suggesting that the children of Israel should give to God; it was a complete obedience. He made some specific recommendations that sound rather strange to our western ears, and we find it difficult to think that God could even speak in this manner, but the spiritual lessons will become evident as we go along.

Destruction Commanded of Everything Related to Idolatry

The first thing that I would suggest to you is that God commanded utter destruction of everything related to idolatry. The land of Canaan was known for its idolatry. As a matter of fact, that is how the cup of wickedness of the Canaanites became full. It was utterly given over to idolatry, and God had to dispossess them of the land for that reason. He gave it to the children of Israel, but He said, “When you go into the land, you utterly destroy everything related to idolatry.” Notice verses 2-3:

Deuteronomy 12:

2Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree:
3And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place.

Utterly destroy. The Canaanites worshipped their idols in groves of trees because much of their worship was related to sexual impurity, and the trees provided a screen for their lustful carrying on. So God said, “Cut down the groves. Don't leave one of them standing. Then turn over the altars. Break down the idols. Don't leave even a semblance of any idolatry in the land.”

The question is asked, “Why?” A very practical reason is given in verse 30 of this same chapter:

Deuteronomy 12:

30Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee…

“Be careful that you do not fall into a snare by wanting to worship some of these idols, by wanting to bow down at the altars. Be very careful that you are not ensnared, and the best way to eliminate the snares is to destroy the idols and destroy the altars.” He demanded that they be utterly destroyed.

Abhor that which is Evil

He commanded something else that is evident there in verse 30 that is interesting because of some of the things that are going on in our day. Notice part B of verse 30:

Deuteronomy 12:

30Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; [now notice this part] and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.

“I want all of the idols destroyed,” God said. “I want the groves torn down because I don't want even the least vestige of this idolatry to be a reminder to you so that you will be tempted to bow down and worship these idols.” Then on top of that, He said, “I don't want even one little bit of it left so that you will go about saying, ‘I wonder how they worshipped their god. Maybe they had some good thngs. Maybe there is something about them that will help us to worship our God'.” God said, “Don't do it. This can provide a snare for you.”

I would like to suggest to you some New Testament verses that indicate that we must be just as careful about relationships with evil as these individuals were in relationship to idols. True, there are no groves that we need to tear down. True, there are no idols, I suppose, literally speaking, that we need to tear up, but we do have some very important things to consider.

Keep a marker here in Deuteronomy and turn with me to the book of Romans, chapter 12, and notice verse 9:

Deuteronomy 12:

9For ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which the Lord your God giveth you.

Notice the statement, “abhor that which is evil.” That means to hate it, to have absolutely nothing to do with it. Is this any worse than what God told the children of Israel to do in the Old Testament when He said, “Utterly destroy these idols?” I don't think so because I think that the emphasis is the same. There was an utter abhorrence of evil to be manifested because evil is a snare.

Turn to I Thessalonians, chapter 5, as I recognize with you that there are any number of Christians who would not agree with what I am saying to you right now. They would say, “I am a Christian. I have been saved. I have been delivered from sin. Those things hold no attraction for me whatsoever. I am not the least bit interested in that anymore. That belongs to the old life, and I am a new creature and all things have become new to me.” Well, I am glad that you are a new creature, and I trust that all things have become new because that is exactly what should happen when a person is genuinely born again; but I would like to emphasize that though you are a new creature, you are a new creature in the flesh, and as long as the flesh is with you, the temptation to evil will be about. That is the reason the best way to keep from falling into sin is to hate evil. The best way to keep from falling into sin is found here in I Thessalonians, chapter 5, verse 22:

I Thessalonians 5:

22Abstain from all appearance of evil.

I think that means what it says. “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” How often have I heard individuals say, “I have been saved by grace, and I am at liberty to do anything that I want to do.” That is right. You are saved by grace and you are at liberty to do anything that you want to do, but if you don't abstain from evil in the same sense that these Old Testament saints destroyed the idol groves, then there is always an opportunity that you will fall into the snare of the devil.

Did you notice that Moses said, “I don't want you to even talk with some of these Canaanites to find out how they worshipped their gods.” Today we call that meaningful dialogue. That phrase is popular especially with certain so-called fundamental seminaries. They are holding meaningful dialogues with liberal seminaries and some fundamental pastors are holding what they call meaningful dialogues with liberal pastors. They say, “We may be able to share with one another and, in the sharing, we may even be able to help some of these people.” Of course, that sounds so good and it interests people to such an extent that folk say, “I think this is wonderful. This is what the church needs to do. The church needs to relate.” Well, I would like to know why, suddenly, we have developed more wisdom than God had back these hundreds of years before Christ. He said that such a thing would not work. He said that such a thing should not even be countenanced, that such a thing should not be considered. It should be put out of the mind of everybody concerned. It should be utterly destroyed so that there would be no possibility of a snare.

Did you notice there in chapter 12, the latter part of verse 30 and on into verse 31, what God actually said? He said, “Everything that they have ever done to their heathen god, I know about, and they are every one are an abomination. They don't have anything to offer you in relation to worship. As a matter of fact, if you try to incorporate anything related to the worship of their gods into the worship of Me, I will utterly abhor it. I will have nothing to do with it.”

A Unique Destination

So what was the first thing Moses said to the children of Israel as they went into the land of Canaan? “If you are to enjoy the continued blessing of God in the land, there must be utter destruction of everything that is related to idolatry.” Then He made another suggestion, and for the sake of alliteration, I am using the phrase, a unique destination . While they were in the wilderness, the children of Israel could worship any place they wanted to worship. They were on the move and any place that they settled for the night and the tabernacle was erected, they could worship. There were many places of worship during their wilderness wanderings, but this was not what God wanted permanently. It was something only that He permitted. So in Deuteronomy, chapter 12, verse 4, He said:

Deuteronomy 12:

4Ye shall not do so unto the Lord your God. [The reference here is to not build a lot of groves to worship the Lord your God. Instead]
5But unto the place which the Lord your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come:
6And thither ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks:
7And there ye shall eat before the Lord your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the Lord thy God hath blessed thee.

Notice what He is saying: “You no longer will worship any place you want. You will worship in one certain place that I designate as a place of worship.” It does not become evident in the chapter which we are discussing, but it will become evident by and by, that the place God chose was the city of Jerusalem. That is why, for all the feasts of Jehovah even in the days of Christ, men had to go up to the city of Jerusalem. It was the place that God had chosen to place His name.

What is the reason for it? There is one reason specifically, and that reason is that it eliminates worship in self- will. Haven't you heard it said any number of times that we are all headed for the same place? It really doesn't make a whole lot of difference, you know. All roads lead to the same place. That is worship in self-will. God said, “No, every place you decide to worship isn't acceptable to Me. There is one place.”

You know, we are speaking about the folk in the Old Testament. There is a difference between the Old and the New. In the Old Testament, the emphasis was put upon a place. In the New Testament, the emphasis is put upon a Person, and you need to keep that in mind—the Old Testament, a place; the New Testament, a Person.

The Lord Jesus Christ indicated that that change would be made because He sat down with the woman at the well of Samaria and He said to her, “You don't even know what you worship. The Jews know what they worship, and they know where to worship and they have little argument about it.” Then the Lord Jesus Christ said to the woman, “But the day is coming when the place won't matter. The day is coming when they that worship God must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”

You may ask, “What lesson is there for us in the fact that God selected a place in the Old Testament?” A lesson by comparison. Just as God selected a place in the Old Testament as the only location from which He would hear the prayers of men, so in the New Testament He has designated a Person through Whom alone He will hear the prayers of men. You are familiar with the words of the apostle as they are recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 4, verse 12, where He reminded us there is none other name. Notice:

Acts 4:

12Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

There is none other name. Of course, that sounds bigoted, doesn't it? It sounds like we are biased. It sounds like we are awfully narrow. But we are only as bigoted and narrow as the Word of God, for God said in His Word, “I won't hear you if you come in the name of Mohammed. I won't even hear you if you come in your own name. I will hear you if you come in the name of Jesus, no other name. I won't save you if you are putting your faith in Mohammed or in Buddha. I will save you only if you put your faith and your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.” The day of self-will is gone.

On Mars Hill, Paul said, “In the time of man's ignorance, God winked at certain things.” That is, He overlooked certain things. “But now he commandeth all men everywhere to repent.” So we suggest to you two things: There must be utter destruction of idolatry if you are going to enjoy the blessing of God. There must be the unique destination from which you would approach God in relation to your worship.

Careless Deviation from God's Will Must Cease

The third thing that comes to my mind as I meditate on this passage of Scripture is that careless deviation from the revealed will of God has to cease. Look at Deuteronomy, chapter 12, verse 8:

Deuteronomy 12:

8Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes.

He said, “Up to this point, every man did that which was right in his own eyes. You have got to stop that.” The reason that it was all right is in verse 9:

Deuteronomy 12:

9For ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which the Lord your God giveth you.

He says, “In a few days, you will be crossing the river. In a few days, you will be in the place that God has provided for you, and the careless deviation from God's revealed will will have to stop.” What is the lesson for us? We would remind you that God has always dealt with men according to mercy. He has always dealt with men on the basis of the light that they have. He has always dealt with men in the condition that He found them. For example, they were discussing with the Lord Jesus Christ the subject of divorce one day, and they said to Him, expecting to trip Him up, “Can a man just leave his wife for any old reason at all?” Jesus said, “What does the law say? You know the law as well as I.” They quoted those laws, then Jesus said, “Moses gave you that law because of the hardness of your heart, but from the beginning it was not so.”

God operates in what we refer to as His permissive will, but that is not His first plan. That is not His best plan, and that is not what He wants. He permits many things that He does not order, but once the light has been received, then the responsibility is assumed, and you cannot do what you have done before. That is why, in one sense of the word, it is even dangerous to expose yourself to the Word of God because once you have the light about certain things, God expects you to respond to that truth that you have. If you do not respond to it, He deals with you accordingly.

Have you ever wondered why certain people you know can get along and get away with doing things that you cannot get away with doing? Have you ever found yourself saying, “You know, it looks like so-and-so can do anything and nothing ever happens to him; but let me step out of line for one second, and God deals with me just like that.” There is a reason for that. They don't have the light that you have. Of course, the normal reaction and certainly the fleshly reaction is that if that is true, then the best thing to do is remain in ignorance. But then you have a problem, and that problem rests upon the fact that you had an opportunity to absolve your ignorance and you didn't take advantage of it. God holds the man just as responsible for not taking advantage of the opportunity as He holds him responsible for not walking in the light that he has.

A Distinction in the Midst of Liberty

There was a fourth thing that was emphasized in the chapter if these people were to go into the land with any major success, and that is that there must be (This is important for you to get.)a careful distinction made in the midst of their liberty. You see, while they were in the wilderness, if they were going to eat any meat, it had to be brought to the door of the tabernacle and the priest had to slay it. It had to be slain properly before they could eat it. That was not such a problem because there the tabernacle was in the midst of the camp, but now they were going to be scattered over the whole land of Canaan. Some of them would have to travel many, many, many miles to the city of Jerusalem if this sort of thing were to be carried out. You recognize the impossiblity of it. So God made a change. God adapted Himself to the locale of man and He said to them: “You can eat any meat that your heart desires.” He said it several times, as you probably noticed while we were reading the chapter. Look down in verse 15 for one illustration:

Deuteronomy 12:

15Notwithstanding thou mayest kill and eat flesh in all thy gates, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which he hath given thee: the unclean and the clean may eat thereof, as of the roebuck, and as of the hart.

The word lust here doesn't have a bad connotation. It simply means whatever you want, whatever kind of meat you would like to have, you can eat of it there in your own home. It is not necessary for you to bring it into the sacred place for preparation. Notice in verse 20, where he said:

Deuteronomy 12:

20When the Lord thy God shall enlarge thy border, as he hath promised thee, and thou shalt say, I will eat flesh, because thy soul longeth to eat flesh; thou mayest eat flesh, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after.

“This is the liberty that is yours because we are in the Promised Land; but in the midst of your liberty, you be careful because liberty can be used as an occasion to the flesh.” So he said, if you will glance down at verse 16: “When you eat meat in your own home, you be sure that you do not eat the blood with the meat. You be sure you pour it out upon the ground.”

That was what was done when the animal was slain in the doorway of the tabernacle. The priest drained the blood completely from the animal. He said, “Don't you think for a moment because you have liberty along certain lines that you have liberty along all lines. You be sure that the blood is drained from the meat before you even attempt to eat it.”

No Such Thing as Full Liberty

Then you will notice in verses 17-18, he offered another distinction that should be carefully made:

Deuteronomy 12:

17Thou mayest not eat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thy oil, or the firstlings of thy herds or of thy flock, nor any of thy vows which thou vowest, nor thy freewill offerings, or heave offering of thine hand:
18But thou must eat them before the Lord thy God in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates: and thou shalt rejoice before the Lord thy God in all that thou puttest thine hands unto.

The idea is this: There are certain things that belong to God, certain parts of the harvest, certain parts of the animal's feet you must not touch even in the midst of your liberty. So you realize what God is saying to us: There is no such thing as full liberty. There is no such thing as complete liberty. There is no such thing as liberty without restrictions—even the liberty we have in Christ. As precious as that liberty is, it is a liberty that is not without its restrictions. For example, the Lord Jesus Christ said, “You have been made free. For if the Son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed.” Then what did He say? “You are not your own. You are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.”

The suggestion is almost contradictory, isn't it? One moment He said that we are free, and the next moment He said that we are not really. You are free. You are free from sin. You are free from all of the chains of slavery, but you are not free to live as you want to.

Do Not Add To or Diminish From the Word

One last thought. That is, there must be a carefulness not to add to or to diminish from the Word. God said through Moses to these people, “When you get into this land of promise and things get easy and you get settled, you are going to face a temptation. So I want to warn you about that temptation before you ever start. You will find it in verse 32:

Deuteronomy 12:

32What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

“Whatsoever I have told you to do, I expect you to do it. Don't add anything to it; don't take anything away from it. This is My command.” And this is the secret to obedience.

Conclusion

We are not an earthly people; we are a heavenly people. We are not interested in the place; we are interested in the Person. The principles are the same. If you want to know real joy, if you want to know real peace, then utterly destroy that which is evil. If you want to know the blessing of God is in your life, then follow on to know the Lord completely in His way, not yours. Revoke any manifestations of self-will. Do not deviate from God's plan as He may have permitted you to deviate in times past. You have light now. Walk in that light. Then, do not fail to make the distinctions you need to make in the midst of the liberty which God has so graciously bestowed and don't diminish even one little phrase from God's Word.


Home Contact Us Bible Studies Books King James
Abilene Bible Church Living Bible Studies
Dr. Daiqing Yuan Tim Temple Dr. Joe Temple
Some icons on this site used courtesy FatCow Web Hosting

www.livingbiblestudies.org