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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
(412)822-7255
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March 5, 2007

Deuteronomy 17-20
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Deuteronomy
Chapter 17
  1. Thou shalt not sacrifice unto the LORD thy God any bullock, or sheep, wherein is blemish, or any evilfavouredness: for that is an abomination unto the LORD thy God.
  2. If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant,
  3. And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded;
  4. And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel:
  5. Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.
  6. At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.
  7. The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you.
  8. If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, being matters of controversy within thy gates: then shalt thou arise, and get thee up into the place which the LORD thy God shall choose;
  9. And thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days, and enquire; and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment:
  10. And thou shalt do according to the sentence, which they of that place which the LORD shall choose shall shew thee; and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they inform thee:
  11. According to the sentence of the law which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do: thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall shew thee, to the right hand, nor to the left.
  12. And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the LORD thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel.
  13. And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously.
  14. When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me;
  15. Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.
  16. But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.
  17. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.
  18. And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites:
  19. And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:
  20. That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.


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Deuteronomy
Chapter 18
  1. The priests the Levites, and all the tribe of Levi, shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel: they shall eat the offerings of the LORD made by fire, and his inheritance.
  2. Therefore shall they have no inheritance among their brethren: the LORD is their inheritance, as he hath said unto them.
  3. And this shall be the priest's due from the people, from them that offer a sacrifice, whether it be ox or sheep; and they shall give unto the priest the shoulder, and the two cheeks, and the maw.
  4. The firstfruit also of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the first of the fleece of thy sheep, shalt thou give him.
  5. For the LORD thy God hath chosen him out of all thy tribes, to stand to minister in the name of the LORD, him and his sons for ever.
  6. And if a Levite come from any of thy gates out of all Israel, where he sojourned, and come with all the desire of his mind unto the place which the LORD shall choose;
  7. Then he shall minister in the name of the LORD his God, as all his brethren the Levites do, which stand there before the LORD.
  8. They shall have like portions to eat, beside that which cometh of the sale of his patrimony.
  9. When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.
  10. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,
  11. Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
  12. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
  13. Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.
  14. For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.
  15. The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;
  16. According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.
  17. And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.
  18. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
  19. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.
  20. But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
  21. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?
  22. When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.


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Deuteronomy
Chapter 19
  1. When the LORD thy God hath cut off the nations, whose land the LORD thy God giveth thee, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their cities, and in their houses;
  2. Thou shalt separate three cities for thee in the midst of thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it.
  3. Thou shalt prepare thee a way, and divide the coasts of thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee to inherit, into three parts, that every slayer may flee thither.
  4. And this is the case of the slayer, which shall flee thither, that he may live: Whoso killeth his neighbour ignorantly, whom he hated not in time past;
  5. As when a man goeth into the wood with his neighbour to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and lighteth upon his neighbour, that he die; he shall flee unto one of those cities, and live:
  6. Lest the avenger of the blood pursue the slayer, while his heart is hot, and overtake him, because the way is long, and slay him; whereas he was not worthy of death, inasmuch as he hated him not in time past.
  7. Wherefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt separate three cities for thee.
  8. And if the LORD thy God enlarge thy coast, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, and give thee all the land which he promised to give unto thy fathers;
  9. If thou shalt keep all these commandments to do them, which I command thee this day, to love the LORD thy God, and to walk ever in his ways; then shalt thou add three cities more for thee, beside these three:
  10. That innocent blood be not shed in thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and so blood be upon thee.
  11. But if any man hate his neighbour, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him mortally that he die, and fleeth into one of these cities:
  12. Then the elders of his city shall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die.
  13. Thine eye shall not pity him, but thou shalt put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with thee.
  14. Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour's landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance, which thou shalt inherit in the land that the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it.
  15. One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.
  16. If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong;
  17. Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days;
  18. And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother;
  19. Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you.
  20. And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you.
  21. And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.


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Deuteronomy
Chapter 20
  1. When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the LORD thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
  2. And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people,
  3. And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them;
  4. For the LORD your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.
  5. And the officers shall speak unto the people, saying, What man is there that hath built a new house, and hath not dedicated it? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it.
  6. And what man is he that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not yet eaten of it? let him also go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man eat of it.
  7. And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her.
  8. And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say, What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren's heart faint as well as his heart.
  9. And it shall be, when the officers have made an end of speaking unto the people, that they shall make captains of the armies to lead the people.
  10. When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it.
  11. And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee.
  12. And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it:
  13. And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword:
  14. But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee.
  15. Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities which are very far off from thee, which are not of the cities of these nations.
  16. But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth:
  17. But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee:
  18. That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods; so should ye sin against the LORD your God.
  19. When thou shalt besiege a city a long time, in making war against it to take it, thou shalt not destroy the trees thereof by forcing an axe against them: for thou mayest eat of them, and thou shalt not cut them down (for the tree of the field is man's life) to employ them in the siege:
  20. Only the trees which thou knowest that they be not trees for meat, thou shalt destroy and cut them down; and thou shalt build bulwarks against the city that maketh war with thee, until it be subdued.


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Thought for the day:
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 Demonism and Satanic rituals have always existed in primitive societies. We think of those areas of the world that have "witch doctors", and practice "voodoo", and we deem them to be "pagan" Yet occult practices have become an everyday part of life in our Western society as well. Much of the modern entertainment industry, particularly Hollywood, is given over to the horror/occult genre. Ouija Boards have been around for many years, and can probably still be purchased at your local toy store. The evening newspaper carries in it the local astrology charts, and one can check his personal horoscope at any time. "What's you sign?" is still considered to be an appropriate ice-breaker in conversations with strangers. Small shops advertising "Palm Readers" can be seen on many street corners. Mediums who claim to be able to converse with the dead are not only visited by the inquisitive for seances, but are regularly called in by law enforcement agencies to assist in locating missing people. Visit any New Age store and you will find crystals and pyramids that have "magic healing powers". Even churches have incorporated these practices into their services. Catholicism advocates prayers to and for the dead, and many Protestant churches have begun to offer Taize services, which were described by David Cloud, as well as the Vancouver Sun, as follows:

A "shadowy medieval" atmosphere is created with the use of such things as candles, icons, and incense. The goal is to bring the "worshipper" into a meditative state, "to a place beyond words, a place of just being."
That, of course, is also the goal of Hindu and Buddhist meditation. There is a lot of repetition, with "one-line Taize harmonies repeated up to 15 times each." Labyrinths have also reappeared as a means of worship, even though their history traces back to the paganism of the Egyptians and Greeks.

 The Lord was very firm in his condemnation of occult practices. He says in Deuteronomy 18:10-12,

"There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD."
"Passing through the fire" was a reference to the human sacrifices that were offered by the pagans to their gods. Divination refers to foretelling the future, and being an "observer of times" refers to astrology. "Enchanters", "witches", "charmers", and "wizards" all possessed special demonic powers. A "consulter" would be a modern day medium, and a necromancer would be one who claimed to talk to the spirits of the dead. Thus, we see that almost all the areas of the occult that are mentioned in Deuteronomy are still with us today. God said that these things were an abomination unto Him. As children of God, we have a vital responsibility to stay away from these things. Even that which is done for "entertainment purposes only" is still playing with fire, and must be avoided. The Bible tells us to "abstain from all appearance of evil", and surely witchcraft and demonism in any form would fall into that category.

 The Devil wants to lull people to sleep so that he can devour them. Don't fall for his tricks. Understand the reality of Satan, be aware of his methods, and stand firmly against him in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Pastor Dr. Mark J Montgomery

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(412)822-7255
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