So we now come to the last book written by Moses and boy has it been a rollercoaster ride. From Creation to the worldwide Flood, Babylon, the Patriarchs, Egyptian Slavery, the Exodus, the Eternal Blood Covenant raised up at Mt Sinai along wth the Priesthood, Sacrificial System and legislation for living. Yisharal had the chance to enter the promised land 40 years prior but they blew it and died in the wilderness over the course of 40 years. There’s been battles and conflicts, divisions and punishments. And now at this time, Yisharal is standing on the eastern bank of the Jordan River in Moab about a stone’s throw away from Jericho. But although they are on the cusp of inheriting the land of Canaan, they are still a people without a country and before they can step foot inside the Promised Land, Moses has an important message he must deliver to them first before he dies.
NOT JUST A REPEAT
It’s commonly assumed that Deuteronomy is just a repeat or a summary of the first four books that came before, however this assumption is far from true. Remember the Hebrews did not name the five books of Moses, but simply referred to each book by the first few words that start off the first chapter (of each book). The opening words of Chapter One of Deuteronomy are “These are the words…“. In Hebrew, this was referred to as SEFER Ha’DABARIM (the Book of the Words). So how on earth did we come up with the title “Deuteronomy“?
Let’s take a look at Deut 17:18.
KING JAMES:“And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this Instructions in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites:”
JEWISH SCRIPTURES:“When he has come to occupy the throne of his kingdom, he is to write a copy of this Instructions for himself in a scroll, from the one the kohanim and L’vi’im use.”
This is ridiculous but the title `Deuteronomy’ originates from a misunderstanding of the above verse. The term Deuteronomy comes from the Greek phrase DEUTERONOMION TOUTO which literally means “the second Instructions“. Verse 17:18 in the original Hebrew really meant to say “copy of the Instructions”but the Greek rendering implies a “second set of Instructions“. So which is which?
Of course we'll go with the original Hebrew thanks, so Deuteronomy is really a “copy” of what Moses taught earlier. However, THE INSTRUCTIONS HAVE BEEN MODIFIED to adapt to the changing environment of the Promised Land, since Yisharal would soon be living a settled life in Canaan as opposed to their current wanderings in the wilderness as Bedouin gypsies.
MOSES` GRAND OPUS
Here’s another way to look at Deuteronomy that may prove to be a fresh perspective….Deuteronomy is Moses’ version of Yahusha’s Teachings on the Mountbecause at the start of Deuteronomy, Moses begins his address by tracing back how Yisharal has arrived at this present moment in time. And during this process, he touches on a good 50% of the rulings and instructions Yahusha gave at Sinai. Yes, he literally expands point by point on most of Yahusha’s Instructions, with the purpose of explaining what Yahusha REALLY intended by giving them in the first place! Moses will reveal how the underlying spiritual reality (from Yahusha's higher dimension) is connected to what (on the surface) appears to be only physical or earthly instructions.
Moses starts off by saying that 40 years ago when the Instructions were first given at Mount Sinai, this is how your forefathers (the first generation who left Egypt) put these Instructions of Yahusha into practice. However, since we’re going to be entering the Promised Land soon, this is how YOU should behave these Instructions. Are you noticing a speech pattern here you may have possibly encountered before? Moses is saying, IN THOSE DAYS we did it that way but NOW I am telling you to BEHAVE THIS WAY. This is exactly how Yahusha spoke when he delivered His famous teachings on the Mount. Again, Moses is elevating Yahusha’s Instructions from the physical or earthly plane to a higher spiritual plane, just like Yahusha did on the Mount, building on what Moses had established here in Deuteronomy. Yahusha did NOT do away with the Instructions, he built on them. They are the rock and unshakeable foundation of His life-teachings (they are who He is too, He’s the Word made flesh - all of them!).
During Yahusha’s time, a lot of the spiritual elements that Moses had given to the Instructions in Deuteronomy had been lost and weakened by the TRADITIONS OF MEN and Yahusha sought to rectify that by pointing out the true spiritual meaning behind His Instructions (i.e. the behaviours). He came to fill up, fulfil (transform - breath life into) the Everlasting Blood Covenant and Instructions with their true meaning, which is what `to fulfill’ the Instructions in context really means…
To conclude, in Deuteronomy, Moses, (as the first mediator between Yahusha and man), expounded on the spiritual ideal of the Instructions and how it was to be applied once the Yisharalites entered into the Promised Land and in the latter texts, Yahusha (as the second mediator between Yahusha and man) expounded on the spiritual ideal of the Instructions and how they were to be applied once the new kingdom (a spiritual kingdom) was ushered in through the portal-doorway.
Moses was NOT questioning whether the Instructions and principles were still valid or not. He was teaching ON the Instructions and HOW TO HAVE THE WISDOM TO APPLY THEM AMIDST CHANGING CONDITIONS.
This is also another reason why the study of Deuteronomy is so fascinating because we get to read about how a society has evolved after forty years and how a change in the details of observing the Instructions needed to be addressed. But having said that, the idea that Yahusha’s Instruction would somehow come to an end or be terminated was absolutely unthinkable. And the very same thing can be said of Yahusha and his Teachings on the Mount. Yahusha’s Words (and His followers too) were simply building on the existing principles and patterns laid out in the books of Moses.
And the same is true today where Yahusha speaks to this generation on the earth in the 21st Century, He wants the unadulterated message of His Eternal Blood Covenant of Deliverance to shine forth without all the irrelevant cultural hiccups of liturgy and ceremony standing front and centre in people’s faces (man-made religion without Yahusha’s spirit can only see the cultural stuff and the ink on the page.) So Yahusha’s Bride has been given the task once again to declare “THIS IS WHAT OUR PARENTS WERE TAUGHT AT SINAI, BY THE PROPHETS OF OLD, AND BY OUR MESSIAH,AND THIS IS HOW WE ARE TO BEHAVE IT TODAY”,because Yahusha’s Instructions are so powerful that they transcend all time and space AND THE BEHAVIOUR OF TRUTH can fit into any culture, era and society and still BRING FORTH REPENTANCE AND DELIVERANCE in those who are drawn, touched, healed and believe. It’s all about behaviour !!
In Deuteronomy we’ll also debunk that popular teaching that in the` Old Testament’ there’s an angry, legalistic, vengeful and bloodthirsty Alahim…….but in the `New Testament’ we encounter an Alahim with the opposite qualities of peace, love, and mercy. When you read the first four books of Moses, we find that’s simply not true. However, when we go deep into Deuteronomy this idea is completely obliterated for all time, because next to MONOTHEISM, ONE OF THE OTHER MAJOR THEMES IN DEUTERONOMY IS LOVE. The “love” in Deuteronomy mainly deals with Yahusha’s love for Yisharal and then His Love for all mankind. Love is not only to be expressed through obedient behaviour to Yahusha but also reflected in His people as they show love to one another including foreigners who have enjoined themselves to Yisharal. Yahusha created Yisharal. He redeemed Yisharal. He guided Yisharal through the wilderness. He fought for them and even now protects them from their enemies. And connected to the theme of love, we will encounter a very strong promotion of the ideal of Humanitarianism in Deuteronomy as Yahusha instructs us not to be negligent in caring for those in Yisharal who don’t have the means to care for themselves (foreigners living in Yisharal, sick, elderly, slaves, poor, orphans and widows). There is much mention of war and bloodshed, fire and destruction against a wicked mankind in Revelation, so the stereotype that the `Old Testament’ Alahim was unloving and full of vengeance and anger, but somehow transformed into a Alahim of love, peace and mercy in the `New Testament’ is just flat-out WRONG. Yahusha doesn’t change and He’s not schizophrenic either!
“YISHARAL, HEAR ME NOW. YAHUAH IS THE ONLY ALAHIM AND HE IS ONE!!”Understand that this concept and instruction was an earth-shaking revelation of gargantuan proportions to all people in this era INCLUDING THE HEBREWS. When Yahusha was asked by the prominent rabbis of His day what the most important teaching of them all was, He answered them with this same statement. Remember, at this time the whole world was polytheistic (the belief in many deities). And yes, this includes ancient Yisharal. Every human culture at the time believed in the existence of multiple deities and that each nation had their own deity that governed the territorial boundaries of their country. When we read expressions like “King of Kings and Alahim of Alahims” in Scripture, we need to understand this wasn’t just a vague statement emphasising the majesty and grandeur of Yahusha. No, in those days, the people understood that expression literally. The ancient Yisharalites did NOT believe their Alahim was the only one in existence. Their understanding was that there were absolutely other deities who existed, it’s just that they were only allowed to worship ONE…because the Alahim they worshipped tolerated no competition.
What’s also interesting is that according to the cultural mindset of the time, the more deities one had, the hipper it was. (kind of like how guys brag about having many girlfriends today). In those days, it was actually an embarrassing thing to only have one deity. According to the worldly mindset of the time, Yisharal considered themselves deity-poor, however those who tapped into Yahusha’s mindset, realised they only needed one, for Yahusha is the only one true living Alahim who created all things and holds it all in perfect balance in the palm of His mighty hand.
In the first four books of Moses, we don’t really find a strong emphasis on monotheism or the idea that Yahusha is the only Alahim in existence and that He is the Alahim for all humans everywhere. This idea slowly starts to build through Exodus, gets stronger in Leviticus and Numbers but here in Deuteronomy Moses makes it crystal clear that there is only ONE living Alahim, period. In the beginning, the ancient Yisharalites had difficulty accepting this concept, as we’ll see them struggle with idolatry and fall into apostasy time and time again and being judged severely for it. And let’s face it, it wasn’t just the Yisharalites who struggled with idolatry. We too struggle with our own modern day versions of idolatry on a daily basis. 21st Century Idolatry comes in many forms: gold and silver, precious stones (bling), fleshly lusts, people, parties and pornographic voyeurism, real estate, cars and boats, grand trips, holidays and cuisines, all the things our flesh can insatiably consume to give it a quick fix, a buzz, a thrill so short-lived.
LOYALTY GOES HAND-IN-HAND WITH MONOTHEISMbecause if Yahusha went out of His way to rescue the people of Yisharal from bondage in Egypt and then bless them above all other peoples on the planet, doesn’t it make sense that Yisharal should reciprocate by pledging unswerving and 100% allegiance to Yahusha and to Him ONLY? Actually, so loyal was Yisharal to be towards their Alahim, that in addition to being forbidden from worshipping other deities or objects like the stars in sky, the Yisharalites were also ordered to utterly destroy ALL of the Temples and high places the Canaanites used in their heathen worship practices which included child sacrifice, sodomy and prostitution.
So as we begin sifting through these exciting inspired words of Moses, just picture him standing on top of a high hill in Moab only a short distance away from the West Bank of the Jordan River. He’s overlooking not only the people of Yisharal but also able to gaze across the vast expanse of the Promised Land, the very land Yahusha promised to Abraham and his ancestors about six centuries ago. He is about to speak to the leaders and elders who (after receiving Moses’ message) will in turn share it with the rest of the people of Yisharal. Moses is going to give three long messages in total, all presented in the light of hindsight and from his perspective. THIS IS HIS GRAND OPUS, HIS FINAL THOUGHTS, OPINIONS, LEGACY AND THE SUMMARY OF HIS LIFE, A LIFE THAT SOUGHT INTIMACY, CONNECTION AND RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS CREATOR ABOVE EVERYTHING ELSE.