Notes on Joshua 1-4

Moses is dead, and it is up to Joshua to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. God tells Joshua that “The book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” (Joshua 1:8).

Oh, Christian. How prosperous would our lives be if we observed and abided by all the words of The Bible?

Chapter 2 is the story of the two spies who entered Jericho and met Rahab, the harlot. Rahab is an interesting figure because 1) she is a female hero of the Bible, which, we are told, is a completely misogynistic book; and 2) Rahab is taught by many churches (including more than one of mine) to be in the line of Jesus Christ (Matt. 1:5). However, the Rachab in Matthew 1:5 is not mentioned as “the harlot” as Rahab is in both Old AND New Testaments. Yes, there are differences between Greek and Hebrew versions of names, but the Rahab the harlot is named such in Hebrews 11:31 and James 2:25; so why would she not be the same in Matt. 1:5? Because she is probably not the same person. Sorry!

If we go back to the Greek (because that’s what all Bible “scholars” like to do), Rahab is Rhaab and Rhachab is Rachab. Yet the modern perversions of God’s Word translate them both as Rahab, thus, wrongly inserting “the harlot” into the line of Christ.

Rahab tells the spies in Josh. 2:11 of stories of the Exodus from Egypt and conquering of the Amorites, “as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man.” Ironically, the Israelites were scared to conquer a city of men who feared the power of the LORD God of Israel.

As we know, Rahab and her family would be spared during the destruction of Jericho because of her faith in helping the spies.

Another miraculous water crossing occurs in chapter 3, as the Israelites walked across a “heap” of dry land as the priests carrying the ark of the LORD stepped into the Jordan river (v. 13). Here, again, is another supernatural miracle experienced by the Israelites that makes their impending worship of idols so stupefying.

 

 

 

 

 

Notes on Deuteronomy 30-34

God wants us to hear, learn, and fear the LORD (Deut. 31:12-13). This order is repeated twice. We are to hear and learn the Word of God, then we are to fear Him. I believe this is because the more we learn of God, the more we cannot help but fear him. Unfortunately, our modern churches don’t actually teach the Word of God, and Christians do not fear the LORD.

Why should we fear God? Just look at the threats made to Israel (and the threats have become real since) in Deut. 31:17. God’s anger is kindled, he forsook them, hid his face from them, and devoured them. This sounds like a God you should fear.

God is described as the Rock (Deut. 32:4), which is not the same as Simon Peter (the rock) on whom the Catholic Church has been built (according to them). Our Rock is Jesus Christ, not Peter. The Christian church is built on Christ. Psalm 62:6-7 says “He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.”

Again, this is not talking about Peter, but God and Christ.

Deut. 32:8 once again shows the “negativity” of The Bible. It says that the most High (God) “divided,” “separated,” and set “bounds.” These are not inclusive, uniting words. They are divisive. Christians “are not of the world” (John 17:16), and should be divided, separated, and have bounds that we should not cross.

Modern Christians cross those bounds as often as we can, don’t we?

God also warns us of sacrificing “unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not” (Deut. 32:17).

I think this idea of new gods is pertinent to the entire world. When we think of gods, we think of the ancient Roman and Greeks; of Zeus, Jupiter, Apollo, Thor, Odin, Shiva, Buddha, etc. We scoff at the very idea that we would ever worship a god.

However, we worship NEW gods. We pray at the altar of celebrity, sports, and television. We build shrines to Tom Cruise or Jennifer Lawrence. We pray to “the football gods” when our team takes the field. We attend the church that Babe Ruth built.

The statistics on church attendance during football season are staggering. About 40% of men and 18% of women watch more than six hours of football a week, while less than 20% attend church for even one hour, and 22% of churchgoers would skip church for football.

We worship new gods alright.

What America has become is “a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them” (Deut. 32:28). We are walking the same path that the Israelites were on over 3,000 years ago. The very path that led to their scattering, suffering, and destruction is the one that we are gleefully running down.

Why? Because we have forgotten to fear the LORD.

Deut. 32:31 says “their rock is not as our Rock.” Peter, the Pope, Mohammad, Buddha, Odin, Zeus; these are the rocks that other religions are built on. Jesus Christ, the LORD is the Rock that should be our foundation. The Jewish religions missed that mark as well, as they deny that Christ is Messiah. Their only refuge is that they are God’s chosen people whom He promised to restore. Christians, that promise is not given to America. When God destroys our nation, there will be no coming back.

These are the warnings the God gave us through Moses; the only prophet “whom the LORD knew face to face” (Deut. 34:10). No matter the claims from the Vatican or Mecca, none are as great a prophet as Moses who died before entering the Promised Land.

Notes on Deuteronomy 21-27

This passage gives us some clarity as to what marriage is in God’s eyes. While the debate over legalized same sex marriage still rages on, the Bible says nothing about marriage being recognized by the government as “one man, one woman.” God’s word says nothing about hospital visits or filing your taxes jointly. There’s nothing here about weddings, rings, or whether you need a church or courthouse; a pastor or a judge.

Marriage, in Deut. 21:13 says “thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shalt be your wife.” Sexual intercourse, according to the Word of God, is marriage. This is further explained in the New Testament, for those who want to refute this verse as not pertaining to Christians. Matt. 19:5 is clear that when a man and woman have intercourse, they become “one flesh.” This verse is a quote of Gen. 2:24 spoken by Christ himself.

So those of us who like to be promiscuous are “married” to the person whose name you don’t know because you were drunk when you went home with them. The person you date raped is now “married” to you according to God. The only legitimate cause for divorce is fornication; or if your new “spouse” sleeps with another person.

Of course, if a man rapes a woman, he should die (Deut. 22:25), so please don’t think that rape is a valid way of getting married.

For those who say that the Bible does not speak about homosexuality, I would say that Deut. 22:5 certainly speaks clearly about trans people. “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination into the LORD thy God.”

Gender is not a “social construction” in the eyes of God. He made Adam male and Eve female. Period. End of story. There may be some physical deformities (intersex), but someone who is biologically born a man is male and biological women are females.

Furthermore, chapter 23:17 says “There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.” This verse seems pretty explicit that God is not a fan of rampant sexual conquest. You can take “sodomite” as gay, but Sodom was full of all types of sexual perversion, including, but not limited to, homosexuality.

The bottom line on relationships in the Bible, at least according to these passages, is that marriage SHOULD be between one man and one woman who were both virgins when they had sex. Gay “marriage” is an abomination, because it violates the proper definition of marriage according to God, and the government has no say in what a marriage is, because God defines marriage outside of what the State says.

The end of chapter 27 is interesting, because it ends with a list of curses. It is a very negative passage. The Bible, if you really think about it, is a very negative book. It’s always telling us what not to do. I believe that this is because our sinful human nature is “positive” in that everything is permissible. What separates us from animals is that we do have limitations put on us. Atheists have a difficult time trying to explain where morality comes from.

If evolution were true, then “survival of the fittest” would not account for why we don’t murder strangers who threaten our livelihood or the homeless who are a drag on society. Charity should not exist outside of our hyper-localized clans (e.g. family and neighborhood). The best way for us to survive would be to attack and rob others. We should lie and manipulate people to get what we want. Evolution is to care only for yourself and your gene pool, and if you must harm others to do so, then you must.

For Christians, the Bible answers that question. Morality comes from God. He told us not to kill, lie, or steal which violates our “evolutionary” instincts. The Bible MUST BE a negative book. It MUST put restrictions on human behavior. Nature does no such thing.

Notes on Deuteronomy 14-20

The Israelites are a “peculiar people” (Deut. 14:2), which is why it is silly for Christians and Americans today to think that all the laws of the Old Testament apply to us. It is why anti-Christians always want to point to the Pentateuch in order to lecture us on our hypocrisy. They are fools to believe that because modern American Christians do not follow laws meant for ancient Israelites, we are hypocrites.

Some of what is found in these books, however, does apply to us. The notion that one witness is not enough to put a man on death row (Deut. 17:6) is the same policy that our own justice system has today. Anyone who has studied memory and cognition knows that eye witness testimony is easily dismissed. The only time that a court takes it seriously is when there are two or more witnesses. God knew the fallibility of an eye witness a couple thousand years before our courts recognized it.

Chapter 17:14-20 gives a great picture of a great leader as well. A king (in our case, Congressman or President) should not use his office to multiply his wealth or sexual proclivities. A good leader reads the law every day and fears the LORD. He keeps this law (the Bible) in his heart and applies them to his life.

The problem with our leaders today is the same as those back in the Old Testament, they all abandon the teachings of God and use their power for personal gain. They are selfish; therefore, they are not good leaders. Not even Solomon and David met the standards put forth by this passage. In fact, Solomon became the poster child for doing the exact opposite of this, as he amassed the greatest fortune ever known and had 1000 wives and concubines. Yet, even Solomon came to realize that “all is vanity” (Eccl. 1:1).

Chapter 18 lists nine abominations: child sacrifice (to Molech aka Nimrod), divination, “observer of times” (astrology), enchanter, witch, charmer, consulters with familiar spirits (familiar spirits may appear as animal guides, historical figures, or family members — but they are none of these things), wizard, and necromancy. These are “spiritual gifts” in a manner of speaking, though they are not the same gifts as those given by God in the New Testament. These are dark gifts brought about by worshiping false gods, and consulting with demons and evil spirits. This is an explicit warning against messing around with psychics, Ouija boards, witchcraft, and opening yourself to the supernatural.

Deut. 18:15-18 predicts Jesus Christ, who is a Prophet who is like God (v. 15) AND like man (v. 18) who will speak the words of God and save people from the fire (v. 16). Those who pretend to be a prophet of God, but do not speak his words are doomed to die.

This is a warning against Mohammad, Antichrist, and all of the “Christian” ministers who wear the right label, but fail to preach the right words. We must be vigilant in our understanding of the Word of God, so that we may rightly divide the word of Truth (II Tim 3:15). We do not want to follow these wolves in sheep’s clothing into destruction.

Notes on Deuteronomy 8-13

The words of God are of the utmost importance. I was once told that Bible translations are a “secondary doctrine.” In other words, it’s a preference, like hymns vs. contemporary music or chairs vs. pews.

My Bible says “man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live” (Deut. 8:3). God’s word is our food; our nourishment. We are (spiritually) dead without it.

Does that sound like a “secondary doctrine” to you?

God also warns us not to take too much pride in our possessions and forget who gave us such blessing. When our wealth multiplies, we are not supposed to “say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth” (Deut. 8:17), because “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” (Deut. 8:19-20).

This is a strong condemnation of the state of the United States of America as we know it today. From the rampant greed of capitalists to the perversion of “Christian” churches who preach “prosperity doctrine” from the pulpit, America has forgotten that our wealth and prosperity comes from God. His warning is the destruction of nations who forget him.

I think we have lost the idea of God. Our churches focus on Christ, which is the centerpiece of the Christian religion. However, we have gotten away from the part of Christ that was the dominant force in the Old Testament.

We know that Jesus is God, but we do not understand God.

Deuteronomy 10:17 says, “For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward.” Verse 20 says “Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.”

God is a being who can wipe out the entire population of the earth with a word. He did it with a flood, and he will do it again at Armageddon.

God is a being who was willing to wipe out every single member of the children of Israel who escaped slavery in Egypt and start again with Moses and Aaron.

God is a being who can create an entire universe or end it with a whisper.

God is a being who killed those Israelites who complained about him with fiery serpents, swallowing them with the earth, and plagues.

We are supposed to FEAR God, as well as love him.

We barely whimper when God’s Ten Commandments are removed from schools and government buildings.

We are silent when television programs openly mock Christians.

We don’t hold our own politicians responsible for continually trying to “help” Israel by stopping them from building settlements and expanding their borders into territories promised to them by God.

God, whose name is Jealous, must watch as we stare at food pictures on our cell phones and play video games rather than spend time in prayer or reading our Bibles.

We forget the power of God, because he has become a sort of genie for us. We want him to grant us wishes, not judge us according to our sins.

We don’t want his judgment coming upon us, but we take his mercy for granted. He could easily swallow us up into the ground at any given moment, but we’re worried about losing a job or feeling uncomfortable without electricity.

Be honest. We do not FEAR God’s power, but someday very soon all creation will.

Notes on Numbers 33-36

Numbers 33 is a step by step guide of each location the children of Israel stayed in during their exodus from Egypt to the borders of Canaan; the Promised Land. God gave specific instructions in verses 52-56. They were to “drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places” (v. 52).

If they did not remove the inhabitants completely, “those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell. Moreover it shall come to pass, that I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them” (v. 55-56).

This is an incredible verse. We will find out later that the Israelites did, in fact, allow some of the Palestinians and Canaanites to remain. Fast forward 3500 years and those who are NOT supposed to be in Israel are not only still there, but are absolutely thorns in the sides of the Jews.

The destruction of the pictures, molten images, and high places is a reference to the gods of the Canaanites. The LORD “executed judgments” (Num. 33:4) against the gods in Egypt (see my Notes on Exodus 7-12). Now, he wants any remnant of false gods eradicated.

Numbers 34 contains the geographic information for God’s intended borders for what would become Israel. It is much larger than the state that exists today. Those who are in the lands named in this chapter are trespassing, but the Israelites are the ones who allowed them to stay. They have been paying the price for centuries.

Chapters 35-36 are more rules concerning the punishment for murder and manslaughter, as well as the rights of inheritance for the tribes. There is an interesting “type” of Christ in Num. 35:25.

When a person commits murder, their punishment is for the victim’s revenger to come kill them. When a person commits manslaughter, however, they are given the chance to flee into a different city. If they leave, they are on their own and the revenger can kill them. If they stay, they must remain until the death of the high priest.

Before Christ’s death, those who died were sent to “Abraham’s Bosom,” not Heaven. The “Old Testament Saints” were given refuge from torment in Hades or Hell. It was not until Jesus Christ, the High Priest died, that they were free to enter heaven when Christ ascended after his resurrection (Eph. 4:8).

Salvation for us is not the same as it was for the Old Testament Israelites. Theirs was a system of grace AND works. Ours is grace only. We only need to repent of our sins, believe that Christ died for our sins, and accept his free and easy gift of grace to be saved. Just ask Christ to come into your heart and declare him your savior and you shall be saved.

It is so easy to do, though living like a Christian should is incredibly difficult. Our standard is sinless perfection; and we can never attain it. The world sees us as unintelligent rubes who are suckers for a good trick, or that we are lunatics for believing in a magical sky God with supernatural powers. We pay the price every day as we are mocked or murdered.

In the end, our side wins. My God defeated death when he rose from the dead. My God will defeat Satan and his armies at Armageddon, and we will join Peter, Paul, Moses, Abraham, Jacob, David, and Jesus Christ himself in paradise for all eternity.

Faith is not an easy choice, but we find ourselves taking leaps of faith every day. We have faith that we will wake up tomorrow. We have faith that our friends will be there when we need them. We have faith that science is a proper tool for acquiring knowledge of our world. All those faiths will let us down, but we still hold onto them.

Faith in Christ will never let you down. Seek and you will find. Believe and you will be blessed.

Notes on Numbers 31-32

The children of Israel went to war against the Midianites and achieved near total destruction. The battle was so one sided that not one Israelite soldier was killed (Num. 31:49). Though they were commanded to slaughter everyone, the Israelites kept the women and children alive, and were punished with a plague (Num. 31:16).

What would certainly be a controversial order was then given by God. He wanted all the adult women and male children to be executed as well. The reason for this is given in Lev. 18:21-30. The Midianites, like their Moabite friends, were worshipers of Molech (Nimrod). They were people who threw babies into a fire as a tribute their wicked false god. No mercy was to be taken on such an evil people.

The tribes of Reuben and Gad decided that they did not want to go into the Promised Land with the rest of their brethren. They asked for land on the other side of the Jordan river. With some prodding from Moses, they agreed to fight with the rest of the Israelites and conquer the inhabitants of the Promised Land, so long as they could return to the land east of the Jordan. The LORD agreed to this arrangement.

Winston Churchill and T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) took this land of Gilead, also known as Transjordan, and gave it to the Muslims under the very controversial “Sykes-Picot Agreement” who occupy the region today.

Most of us are familiar with the famous “West Bank” territory that is currently occupied by Israel, but the United Nations believes the land should belong to the illegitimate Palestinians. God does not care what the U.N. wants, this territory was meant for the Israelites.

The Sykes Picot Agreement of 1916 that officially gave the region to the wrong people is a controversial arrangement that many people are unaware of. This agreement broke up the Ottoman Empire and created false borders of the Middle-Eastern countries we know today, under the ruse that the British and French would later agree to the instillation of a new caliphate called Greater Syria. We know that this did not happen.

What has happened, however, is that about 100 years later, a group called the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) began to wage war in the area that should have become Greater Syria. One of their stated goals is to eradicate Sykes-Picot and form the Islamic caliphate that they were promised.

The reason why some say ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) and some say ISIL, is because the “Levant” includes Israel. Those who oppose a caliphate usurping Israel say “ISIS.” Using “ISIL” legitimates the claims made by a terrorist group.

ISIS, the United Nations, the entire Middle-East, and the United States (at least over the past 25 years or so) are all attempting to shrink the Promised Land. There is a strong legal defense that Israel should be allowed to expand settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. There is also a decree from the LORD of all that the borders of Israel as it stands right now are too narrow.

Therefore, all negotiations to strip land away from Israel leads to disasters here in America (see my Notes on Numbers 23-25 for a list of natural disasters). The U.S. and U.N. constantly undermine the will of God Almighty. The West Bank, and additional territory currently known as the “Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan,” should belong to Israel.