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Volume 1, Sermon 20

    According to his age, the person of Jesus, the Christ, first appears in Scripture written by Dr. Luke the physician who accompanied the Apostle Paul in much of his travels. The other three Gospel writers (Apostles) are much to the point of Christ's descending and then quickly on to Jesus' ministry-work for the Father. Yet with different background and perhaps with a more "professional" bent in his character, Dr. Luke  in his gathering  data for his letter to his friend Theophilus he tells of a unique young Jesus several days among the Doctors of Theology in their temple teaching rooms.
    It is Dr. Luke who also gives the account of the Abraham-like experience of the priest Zacharias and his wife Elisabeth, the parents of John the Baptist, who if anything could appreciate even more than Joseph and Mary the entire episode of the God-connection between their son and the Son.
    But let us continue.

Luke 2
40  And the child
(Jesus) grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
41,42  Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover
(traveling with a large company of believers from their local).  And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast (much later as Jesus and his disciples did in Luke 19:28-48 ... especially 47,48).
43  And when they had fulfilled the days
, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.
    The passover-feast ends at midnight of the second sabbath of the first month of spring (read the first account of it in Exodus 12 especially verses 42-51). The all-day-feast-of-all-the-people ends at evening of the following sabbath. Thus, the between week-days are a holy remembrance of the march to the place chosen by the Lord for a joyful day of worship service (per the agreement with Pharaoh). These remembrance days of the week are holy within each Israelite's heart even while he or she performs normal duties. All ... beginning with the preparations for the passover and the week-days through the next sabbath ... are referred to in scripture as the 'days of unleavened bread'.
    Please note that Israel's twenty-four day begins at sundown and ends the next sundown. Thus, the beginning of this twenty-four hours is darkness (i.e. 'night') until 'dawn' and then the daytime hours until sundown (i.e. 'day').
    On this occasion and after each family's togetherness in that holy week, many families joined together for their return to Nazareth (as in Exodus, the Israelites thought they would be returning to their homes in Goshen). However, young Jesus ... aware of his Lordship ... even when as the Lord he had arranged all of it in Exodus ... now at least somewhat aware of his descended mission for the Father ... was curious; and so he joined the master-teachers in the temple while they taught interested persons about the details of the overall importance of the holy 'days of unleavened bread' (as it occurred first in Exodus and commemorated every year since at the Commandment of the Lord God.)
    Dear reader, if you have just landed on this webpage by an internet search, it will make much more sense if first you read the proceeding Sermons on the topic of "The Whole Christ". To get to those Sermons click on the logo upper left corner.
    The people's feast-day was the third sabbath; thus, afterwards Jesus' family joined their group heading home while Jesus joined the master-teachers (this day would have been like on our Sunday). Please note that Luke was writing mostly to Jews who well knew all of this, but in his spirit he sensed that they (us) needed to know of young Jesus' experience ... also such a unique experience to those doctors of theology.
44,45  But they, supposing him to have been in the company (heading to Nazareth), went a day's journey; and (in the evening) they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.
    Their return to Jerusalem was their second day of journey and Jesus was still with the master-teachers in the temple rooms (much like in Luke 19:47,48).
46,47  And it came to pass, that after three days (with the masters) they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors (of theology), both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
48  And when they
(the parents) saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.
    That which is normal to the flesh of human beings comes first to the mind when operating in the flesh, as were Jesus' worried parents. Usually it is the mother who will scold the child, yet do so in the name of the child's father ... and so Mary said, 'thy father and I'.
    Here we see a hint that Jesus was not always the wonderfully polite and thoughtful son ... nor to others when he was operating in his Spirit (which to my mind must have been always); and later in his ministry we see the same ... that Jesus always had first things first ... was he not involved in his Father's business? I do not imply that Jesus was rude; quite the contrary. As he walked before the Father, his Father typically was very kind; and we see this when Jesus' mother pushed him toward changing water into wine at a marriage feast ... something the Father would instruct His Son to do simply for his mother (read of this in John 2). Yet, at other times we know that Jesus refused his mother's wishes.
49,50  And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist (i.e. understand) ye not that I must (i.e. 'must, ought to') be about my Father's business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.
51  And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
    I find it interesting that surely Mary kept all such things 'in her heart' and yet neither Dr. Luke nor any of the apostles seemed to have questioned Mary in regards to Jesus' life before his ministry-work for the Father began ... or perhaps they did question Mary, or Jesus himself, but the Holy Spirit forbid them writing about it.
52  And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour (i.e. 'grace', same as in verse 40) with (i.e. 'from, of, at, by, beside, near') God and man (i.e. 'human, whether male or female', or 'mankind' in general).
    In verse 40 above we see an emphasis for the following verses and so I will repeat it here, 'And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him'. With this in mind, we surely realize that the 'grace' in this verse had to do with being (i.e. 'from, of, at, by, beside, near') God and also being with (i.e. 'from, of, at, by, besides, near') mankind. Though mixed in among mankind, we know that Jesus was not blessed by mankind even as he 'grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him'.
    Let me repeat it: The uniqueness of Jesus when mixed in among mankind is (in my words), "Here we see a hint that Jesus was not so polite when operating in his Spirit (which to my mind must have been always) and later in his ministry we see the same ... that is, first things always first."

    We are going to compare the above three days of Jesus with the master teachers to three days shortly before Jesus' crucifixion.
    In verse 50 above, what was young Jesus' business regarding
'my Father's business'? It is the very thing we now discuss regarding Jesus and his twelve disciples in Luke 19:28-48 ... especially 47,48. The time of the year is the beginning of spring (as in our March).
    Originally in Exodus, the passover lamb was slain by the head of the family near sundown of the proceeding day. Then beginning at sundown it was roasted and with other items ... specifically unleavened bread ... the family with perhaps friends ate the meal leaving nothing and all not eaten had to be burned and it must be accomplished by midnight.
    You will notice that the terms 'three days' and 'eight days' are special time-periods in both the passage of young Jesus and of the cross, and in all of Scripture. Some folks think the slaughter of the passover-lamb in the evening of the thirteenth day was included in the holy 'days of unleavened bread'; and yes, the slaughtering of the lamb was commanded. Nevertheless 'the passover' was not during that evening (thus not included). Instead, it was the eating of the slaughtered lamb, along with other items, especially unleavened bread, that was 'the passover'. The obedient partaking of the meal inside along with the blood on the door posts was the reason for the obedient Death Angel to 'passover' each family's home.
    In Exodus, leaven used to rise bread, several days earlier had been commanded by the Lord to be removed from each home in Goshen, such that bread could not be made with leaven (i.e. 'flat cakes').
    Only later would Israelites understand the 'unleavened bread', which would become a sacred part of the 'feast of passover' ... but also a sacred part of the seven following days leading up to the joyful feast of the people in their remembrance of their day of joyful and holy worship to their God in Egypt's wilderness ... whereupon several days later they were attacked by Pharaoh ... whereupon their Lord God ushered them as freed slaves out of Egypt.
    Therefore, the Lord's commandment was in two connected, though separate, parts: 1) the passover meal which ended at midnight in memory of the passing over of the Death Angel, and 2) the beginning of a holy week known as 'days of unleavened bread' in memory of the march into Egypt's wilderness ... toward that sacred day of worship to their Lord God ... per the agreement with Pharaoh.
    Therefore, in Luke 19:28-48 the holy season was for remembrance of the deliverance by the Death Angel ... which was but a beginning for the connected remembrance of the days of deliverance to follow. It was within those five holy days that Jesus was crucified.
    Every child of God sees deliverance only as it is right in front, staring him or her in the face. Even Moses and Aaron, knowing it would happen, were astounded when the destruction of Pharaoh unfolded before them.
    This is a good thing in that within our desire to help the Lord we would mess things up. What a mess if Moses and Aaron tried to help; but they wisely kept their actions and mouths shut. The Lord's deliverance, therefore, saves us from the Lord's becoming upset with us. Here is 'the fear of the Lord'. Already he has to put up with our many mess-ups amid our many-helps for him. Sometimes I wonder if we (I) realize that he truly is God.
    The commandment in Exodus of this holy week had to do with what Israelites were to do within their remembrances. That is, for a great many years in Israel's history each family had to kill a lamb chosen by them so as to smear its blood on the door posts. Please note that God did not kill the passover-lamb. I repeat, at first and for a great many years, each family did it. Yet, later the Commandment changed for when in the Holy Land of Israel all the families were to come to the holy city of Jerusalem for this sacred week of 'the passover' and 'days of unleavened bread'. Thus, the priests in Jerusalem were required to kill the passover lambs for each family or group ... as we see in the Luke text.

    Now let us consider the three days of young Jesus with the master-teachers as compared to the three days just before the cross. In your Bible review Jesus and his twelve disciples in Luke 19:28-48 ... especially 47,48. We know passage was Jesus'
entry into the holy city of Jerusalem as he rode in on the colt and cast out the money changers from the temple.
    In that second week of the new month we also see Jesus  teaching; and in 20:1 '
in those days' (i.e. for 'several days') we see the weekdays are passing as he continues teaching and preaching in those same temple rooms as above in his youth. In this Jesus was blessing some and tormenting others that want to kill him.
    In other words, several days passed from when Jesus entered Jerusalem on the eight day of the month (our Sunday) until verse 22:1 when only a few days of that week remain until verse 7 (the thirteenth day of the month). And we see in n 22:8 that Jesus sent out Peter and John to acquire the 'guestchamber' where they would eat 'the passover', and also they were to buy  unleavened bread and wine (according to the commandment) along with other items for the passover meal and thus they were to arrange with the priests for that evening a slain (yearling) lamb ... which after sundown Jesus and the twelve disciples would roast and set the table with the other items and set up the unleavened bread and the wine.
    In all of this, then, we have described the full second week of the new month ... from the eighth day unto the thirteenth day evening when lambs would have been slaughtered by the priests. And now we come to after sundown ... when Jesus and the twelve eat 'the passover'. (Did Jesus and the disciples roast the meat as had been done in Exodus or did they buy it already roasted by the priests? I do not know.)

the Gospel of Mark, we see Jesus and disciples working their way toward Jerusalem where according to the commandment they would eat 'the passover' and then (usually and normally) they would observe the holy 'days of unleavened bread'. In Mark 10:1 they had crossed the Jordan River from east to west and in Mark 10:46 they came to Jericho east and below Jerusalem. In Mark 11:1 they worked their way up toward and near Jerusalem, which is when Jesus sent out two disciples to acquire the colt for Jesus' entry into Jerusalem.
    Then in Jerusalem 'over several days' he taught and proclaimed the kingdom of God is at hand. And it was then that he sent out Peter and John to prepare for 'the passover'. And then during the night, after the passover meal, Jesus was arrested and taken to a high priest's house (there were two high priest, a father and his son). Then as daylight came on he was taken to the judgment counsel ... all in secret.
    Jesus was condemned by this court and then taken to Pilate. In the course of being presented to Pilate ... and Pilate sending him to Herod for what he would do with Jesus and then back again to Pilate ... and a time of the unique meeting of minds between Pilate and Herod ... and, too, the travel of troop guards marching back and forth through the city with Jesus ... several days passed. During all this, the highest officials of Israel ... including high priests, Doctors of Theology, scribes, members of the Sanhedren, etc. ... all of them accompanied the transporting of Jesus from ruler to ruler and back so as to continually present their complaints that Jesus must be crucified.

    These three days of judgment matched the three days when young Jesus was with many of these same men who now were condemning him and crying "crucify him".   

    Now also let us consider Matthew 12:40 when Jesus said, 'For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.' Jesus the 'Son of man' was in a physical 'body', but also known in heaven as the 'Son of Man'. Ah, but when he dismissed his Spirit from that 'body', he in his Spirit continued elsewhere to 'preach' unto 'the spirits in prison' whom (very early in God's Plan of the Ages as the Lord God) he had destroyed in the Noah Flood -
1Peter 3:18-20,22  For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, ... being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which (at) sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, (even) while the ark was a preparing, (so that) wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. Who (i.e. now as Christ Jesus) is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; (all) angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
    I shall not even touch any theological concepts about this; but we should know that Jesus spent some days preaching 'unto the spirits in prison'  ... whereupon he reentered that 'Son of man-body', and thus he rose from the grave victorious over death and victorious in every aspect of God's Plan of the Ages.
    For further consideration see John 11 and 12 when Lazarus died, and four days later Jesus raised him from the tomb. Lazarus' sister (11:34-44) tells Jesus 'Lord, by this time he tinketh', which ordinarily would be true. Yet, Lazarus came forth with no stink on him or on the wraps around the 'body'. In fact, tightly wrapped in such linens, Lazarus could not have walked to 'come forth' as commanded ... except that the power of heaven brought him forth.
    The body of Jesus was in his burial tomb 3 days. Lazarus was in his burial tomb 4 days. Neither '
stinketh' upon immerging. What was the real condition of Lazarus when assumed 'dead'? Jesus fully knew all of Lazarus' condition and purposefully he delayed getting to the funeral ... that had been going on for several days per the Jewish custom. Many people were in attendance because Lazarus and his sisters were well liked and respected ... making for many more people attending when Jesus raised Lazarus simply by speaking to him. Could Lazarus hear Jesus? Well ... that and so much more is very interesting.

    Young Jesus' three days with the master-teachers: At that time did he have some sense or did he know that he would meet some of them again ... not to be 'amazed' at him, but to be hating him?

    Jesus was born in the City of David, Bethlehem ... and in a dream the angel ordered Joseph to quickly take the child and his mother to Egypt ... and then when Herod had died the angel in a dream ordered Joseph to return to to Israel ... and then in another dream Joseph was ordered to take them north into Galilee where they settled in the town of Nazareth such that prophesy would be fulfilled that the Messiah would be called 'a Nazarene'.

2:19-23  But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life. And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee: And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.

    We see Jesus in the Gospels next when he approached John the Baptist baptizing in the Jordan River in the wilderness of Judea not far from Jerusalem -

3:13-15  Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
    At this moment in history, in God's Plan of the Ages, these individuals of The Plan both put great store in baptism. Jesus made it clear that regarding himself being baptized by John was to 'fulfil all righteousness'. John was sent to baptize a great many Israelites, preparing them for the Christ; and Jesus, after being baptized, was preaching 'the kingdom of God has come' to those same Israelites.
    Thus, it has something to do with 'fulfilling righteousness' ... which first and foremost had more to do with Christ Jesus having come than with the individuals prepared by John's baptism. Many were "saved"after John's death and a great many more after Jesus' death even though these two could no longer baptize anyone; and though we read of people believing and being baptized it is very plain that no baptismal services were held as earlier had been by John and by Jesus' disciples.
    We see in the Gospels times of huge gatherings for being taught and miracles of feeding the hungry, but with no mention of baptisms. (In fact, we see no large gatherings for healings either.) The Mosaic Law had everything to do with righteousness  by God for His people and Jesus was being used by the Father for the same purpose. I am not trying to develop here a teaching about 'righteousness' ... only to emphasize that all of it had to do with righteousness from God unto His people. The Law and its blood sacrifices pointed the way toward the 'law of Christ' and 'Christ's Blood' which forever made possible 'righteousness from God unto any person'. Without being a child of God there is no righteousness available, but 'the Law' and 'the law of Christ' is all about continuing in righteousness.
    It is not the time or place to get into baptizing and righteousness ... of which varied teachings exist. I only wish to emphasize the importance John and Jesus place upon them.
3:16,17  And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
    Jesus said that this baptism of John unto Jesus 'becometh'. The word means 'to stand out, or be conspicious, and also 'be pleasant'. These verses together make clear that God the Father was 'well pleased'. A great deal more is implied here ... probably most of which is above my mental ability to grasp, much less to express.

Jesus' Temptation -
4:1,2  Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.

4:3  And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (see Deuteronomy 8:3).
4:5-7  Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. (Then) Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God (see Deuteronomy 6:16).
4:8-10  Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
4:11  Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
    'From the mouth of Jesus, 'It is written' shows us just how great was the Law's Instruction (as is emphasized in these Sermons, that Christ was the very Lord quoting Instruction to Moses ... and here he is Christ quoting Instruction unto the devil.

    All along in this Sermon we have been comparing things said in the Gospel of Matthew about Jesus which were 'prophesied of these things' in the Old Testament. Now we will take these things Jesus himself said to the devil ... that is, the commandments he quoted out of Deuteronomy, and we will consider the context of those quotes.
    The devil tempted according to Jesus' physical condition and Jesus responded to the devil's temptation. However, to consider the wider text of Jesus' quotes we shall begin our consideration of them in the order of their being given by our Lord for the Mosaic Law .
    Bear in mind, at the time of these Old Testament Commandments Christ was the Lord God of Israel, Christ yet to come. The devil well knew this, but now at this time the devil with Jesus tried to tempt, test, or trick Jesus ... because: if Jesus was in fact as a man in his flesh then perhaps the devil could manipulate Jesus as even the best of men often had fallen at the devil's expert hand.
     Here is more than a hint that the devil was hoping that Jesus was 'the flesh of man', as has been so often mistakenly taught through the ages. I wonder how humiliated the devil became as the very One who issued to Moses the Commandments quoted them at this time to the devil ... right out of the Ancient Commandment Record.

6:1,2  Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded (so as) to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it: That thou mightest (rightly) fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.
    Note that the Law was given 'that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it'. The Law was for God's people to live rightly upon the God-given land (as promised and delivered).
6:3   Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.
6:4-6   Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
6:7  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
6:8  And thou shalt (figuretively speaking) bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
    That is ... mentally write as a sign on your hands to keep them doing only the right, and make them like sunglasses to see the good and necessary so as to reject the bad and hurtful.
    Some Israelites actually physically did this on their hands with tiny boxes holding the commandments, and fringes bound to the forehead to look through. They did it to let everyone know how "super spiritual" they were above their brethren.
6:9  And (for your coming and going) thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
6:10-12  And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; ...
... Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
    The Lord caused the Israelites to conquer the land such that all of 6:10-11 was true. When all would work out well as promised would they forget? Far too many did forget it was God's doings far more than their doing. Interesting how Christians count as "blessings" what the Lord actually has done for them. We give sincere lip-service to God while too often forget because we do not have "the sign on our hands" and "the glasses on our eyes".
6:13  Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear (i.e. 'oath') by his name.
6:14,15  Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth (i.e. 'ground, land', their promised land).
    Here is one of Jesus' quotes ... and note the 'among you' which Jesus did not include in his quote because the devil would have no understanding of the meaning.; but to Jesus it was absolutely essential.
6:16  Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.
    Here is another of Jesus' quotes. The phrase 'as ye tempted him in Massah' refers to the Israelites when (by God) they left Egypt, passed through the red sea (the Gulf of Suez), and entered the Sinai Peninsula.
    Yet, as Jesus quoted it, I suspect it was a dire warning to the devil that someday he will answer for having tempted (tested) the Israelites before the Lord God.
6:17-19  Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee. And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the LORD: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, To cast out all thine enemies from before thee, as the LORD hath spoken.
6:20  And when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD our God hath commanded you? Then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh's bondmen in Egypt; and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand: And the LORD shewed signs and wonders, great and sore, upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his household, before our eyes: And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers.
    Dear reader, the commandments apply when having been brought in.
6:24  And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.
6:25  And it (i.e. the commandments) shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us.
    Our righteousness before the Eye of our God brings to His Face far more than just a smile. Indeed, Jesus Christ now, and Christ before he descended, has always been ... to God's people and to all mankind ... the Very Face of God. And must I say it again? It is all about the ongoing righteousness of individual children of God.

8:1  All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers.

8:2  And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God (has) led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
8:3  And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
    Here is the other commandment, the first one quoted by Jesus to the devil. Right after the Father had glorified His Son by the Spirit descending and continuing to abide upon him, the Father ordered the same Spirit to 'humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, ... , which (ever before) thou knewest not'; for 'that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live'.

    For your information: Below I have included all of the rest of Deuteronomy 6-8 dealing with the commandments and dealing with all that the 'Lord thy God' included in the Mosaic Law always for Israel, but specifically for all of Israel's ancient history before being allowed to conquer the Promised Land.
    In other words, commandments are for walking righteously by God and before God in preparation for ... '
something that is on His mind'.

7:1  When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;
7:2  And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite (i.e. 'to strike, smite, hit, beat, slay, kill') them, and utterly destroy (i.e. ' to ban, devote, destroy utterly, completely destroy, dedicate for destruction, exterminate') them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:
    Verse 2 and verses 3-5 make it clear that 'killing' was very much included in the command; yet, 'killing' each and every person of them was not the command (even though it was commanded regarding the large fortress of Jericho).
    Historically speaking, these people-groups were not eradicated from humanity. Those not killed in war ran from the land that had been theirs, but in time they began returning in smaller numbers. And sadly when the Israelites had cleared enough of the land to comfortably take over and possess all that those people owned, the Israelites did much more to settle into the land than to continue to clear the land ... per the commandment. Later in Israel's history, incompletion of the commandment affected Israel by means of these people-groups and turned Israelites from their relationship to the Lord their God often bringing upon Israel chastising judgments.
     In this command, 'destruction' was the intent of total clearing of the land such that no person left in the land was of these very sinful people-groups. Clearing of the land had two purposes: 1) all would be defeated in battle so completely that the surrounding nations would come into a great fear of chosen Israel and their powerful God, and 2) the land would have been throughly cleansed as a long-lasting protection for God's people. Other reasoning of the Lord in this command did not come to mind as I write this, but surely the Lord always has reasons that do not easily come to the mind of men.
7:3,4  Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.
    Obviously 'destroy' did not include "the Lord 'killing' all the Israelites". In fact, later in Israel's history the Lord did 'ban' the tribes of Israel from the land ... for the tribes of Simeon, Judah, and Benjamin temporarily... but permanently for all the other tribes.
    The tribe of Simeon's land was within the overall boundary of Judah, and the tribe of Benjamin was very close to and was included with the Judahites that had been taken off their land and then were returned from Babylon ...  these returned tribes make up 'Judaea' in Jesus' day.
    Nevertheless, the Lord has Promised to bring into the Promised Land all Israelites just prior to (i.e. as part of) the Day of Jesus' Return.
7:5,6  But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire (thus clearing and cleasning). For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
7:7,8  The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
7:9,10   Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to (i.e. 'to delay, hesitate, tarry, defer, remain behind') him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face.
    Scary words!
7:11-13  Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them. Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the LORD thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers: And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee.
7:14,15  Thou shalt be blessed above all people: there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle. And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee.
7:16  And thou shalt consume all the people which the LORD thy God shall deliver (unto) thee; thine eye shall have no pity upon them: neither shalt thou serve their gods; for that will be a snare unto thee.
7:17-19  If thou shalt say in thine heart, These nations are more than I; how can I dispossess them? (Nevertheless) Thou shalt not be afraid of them: but shalt well remember what the LORD thy God did unto Pharaoh, and unto all Egypt; The great temptations (also testings) which thine eyes saw, and the signs, and the wonders, and the mighty hand, and the stretched out arm, whereby the LORD thy God brought thee out: so shall the LORD thy God do unto all the people of whom thou art afraid.
    Thank you Lord for 'fear' of the enemy, such that your child can determine to walk always in 'the fear of the Lord'; for surely You are a 'Help in Time of Need'.
7:20  Moreover the LORD thy God will send the hornet among them, until they that are left, and hide themselves from thee, be destroyed. Thou shalt not be affrighted at them: for the LORD thy God is among you, a mighty God and terrible.
7:22  And (also know that) the LORD thy God will put out those nations before thee by little and little: thou mayest not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee.
    While the Israelites are together busy fighting the enemy, the beasts of the land might somewhat increase so as to be an annoyance when the Israelites return to their new possessions. Through the ages, farmers away from their land for a while know firsthand of this.
7:23,24  But the LORD thy God shall deliver them unto thee, and shall destroy them with a mighty destruction, until they be destroyed. And he shall deliver their kings into thine hand, and thou shalt destroy their name from under heaven: there shall no man be able to stand before thee, until thou have destroyed them.
7:25  The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the LORD thy God.
7:26  Neither shalt thou bring (such) an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing.
    After each battle every piece of gold and silver was turned over to men sanctified for the task of keeping them unto the Lord. These were used for things like the temple and serving utensils for the priests' work in the temple.
    Read of Achan in Joshua 7 who in a battle came across gold and silver and buried them in his tent; and see how badly this affected all the Israelite men in battle.
    Before rising this morning I was reading John 17, and verses 17-19 caught my attention. 'They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify (i.e. 'consecrated separation') them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.'
    The words 'sanctify' are present tense verbs, meaning an ongoing action. The words 'might be sanctified' are future tense of an ongoing action.
    We see that when having crossed the Jordan River to conquer the Promised Land, a very few men had been sanctified to the task of keeping all of the conquered gold and silver 1) separated away from the people and 2) for sanctified use in the temple work ... i.e. cups and other such utensiles. [There is a unique and important sermon in this, which if the Lord is willing might be inspired at some later date.]

8:4-6  Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years. Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee. Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.
8:7-9  For the LORD thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass.

8:10-14  When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;
8:15,16  Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint; Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;
8:17  And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.
8:18  But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
8:19,20  And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish. As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God.

    That which is normal to the flesh of human beings comes first to the mind when
operating in the flesh as were Jesus' worried parents ... indeed, as were all Israelites when, for their own reasons, they thought otherwise and did otherwise than the clear commandments of the Good and Gracious 'Lord thy God'. I am familiar with this.

Sincerely, Ron

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