Preaching thru the Bible in one year PTB #10: Bible Consistency.

Introduction:  CONSISTENCY OF LAW AND THE BIBLE UNDER FIRE.

     A:  Dr. Lee on Bible consistency under fire.

“All of its enemies have not torn one hole in its Holy vesture, nor stolen one flower from its wonderful garden, nor diluted one drop of honey from its abundant hive, nor broken one string on it’s thousand stringed harp, nor drowned one sweet Word in infidel ink.”

     B.  The Law

Since I hope you do realize that the book of Deuteronomy has several concluding addresses of the great Prophet Moses and those include a short rehash of the Law of the 10 commandments, Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5; it is a good time and place in Preaching thru the Bible in one year to mention two very critical matters on the Law.

1.  What the law could not do in that it was weak concerning the flesh (the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak), God provided a means in the new birth to give an inward strength to keep the law, at least most of the time.  Furthermore He provided not only a way for the daily confession of sins, forgiveness, and cleansing; but also through the Resurrection and Ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ at His right hand on the throne, to “ever make intercession for our sins.”

2.  The law, in particular the 10 commandments being impossible for humans to keep was meant by God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to be “our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ” and salvation in Christ in the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans.

Part II:  CONSISTENCY OF THE WITNESS OF OT AND NT. 

The Textual Core of Consistency of the Bible, Deuteronomy 5:16 thru Deuteronomy 32:12.

Are we overwhelmed by this much Bible in one message?  This textual part is repeated four times in four sermons to simplify, and as we will only pass this way in one year, to make it stick.  As Dr. Lee, our pastor at Bellevue, was in the habit of saying, “To cast your mental tents” thoroughly on Deuteronomy and the Consistency of Content of the Bible.  The onslaughts of the world and worldly would have to believe otherwise, and you would have to agree that you hear more of the inconsistencies in the Bible than of the consistency.  One reason is that there are far more people in the world than people IN CHRIST; another is the awesome bad influence of the theology of liberal northern seminaries extending down into the south, a theology that when it does Bible study, strive to isolate one of the 66 books at a time, a theology that is futile as it violates one of the most fundamental of self-interpretative principles of Bible understanding, that of comparing Scripture with Scripture.  God the Holy united the Bible of over 40 authors from the human side and at least a period of 1800 years, by providing within Himself a consistency of content, a consistency of the very character of God Himself, and any destruction of that comparison prohibits an understanding of the whole.

Herein God the Holy Spirit with the Deuteronomic*  writings of Moses, and quotes of the same from the NT of Mark, firmly plants the principle of consistency with an introduction and explanation of the concept of at least two or three witnesses.  At the largest level that would be the obvious agreement of the witness of the New Testament with the witness of the Old Testament, God the Holy Spirit having insured by His pick of the quotes from the OT as recorded in the NT.

** Deuteronomy is literally a second giving of the Law or a copy of the Law.

Textual Outline of the Literal Bible of Deuteronomy and Its NT Quotes and Explanations.

NOTE:  This textual summary of Deuteronomy with topics imposed will be repeated in all 4 messages on Deuteronomy in the hopes that you will read it all four times and store it in your heart, for like David said, “Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.”  And we only pass this way 4 times in a year of the “PTB in one year”.

2-3:  THE COMPOSITE WITNESS OF THE BIBLE

I.  The Importance of Witnesses.

  1. Deuteronomy 5:16, Exodus 20:12 and 21:17, Leviticus 20:9, and Mark 7:10 where with Honor to parents and the law of death with dishonor, Jesus teaches that what is inside man rather than what goes inside him is defiling.
  2. Importance of knowing the Commandments:  Deut 5:16-20 and Mark 10:19.

You know the commandments, DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, DO NOT DEFRAUD, HONOR FATHER AND MOTHER.

(Mark 10:19  NASV)

  • What Commandment is Foremost?  Mark 10:28-31 and Luke 10:26,27.

        (1).  First is THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD, Deut 6:4,5 and Mark 10:29,30.

        (2).  Second is Love Neighbor, Lev 19:18 and Mark 10:31.

  • Worship God only and serve Him:  Deuteronomy 6:13 and Luke 4:8.
  • The importance of a special people to bear witness to God begins here and runs throughout the Old Testament: Deut  7:6 and Titus 2:14.
  • Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4, and Luke 4:4:  Man should not live by bread alone.

II.  OKAY, HOW IS MAN TO LIVE?

  1. Live by Listening to what Jesus, the Prophet Messiah has to say:  Deut 18:15,19, Acts 3:22,23, and Acts 7:37.

Listen to the Apostle Peter as he preaches quoting from the Prophet Moses in Deuteronomy: Moses said, ‘The Lord God shall raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren; to Him you shall give heed in everything He says to you.  And it shall be that every soul that does not heed that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.   (Acts 3:22,23 NASV)

  • Live by Listening to the testimony of God the Father to God the Son:  Mark 9:7, a paraphrase of Deut 18:15,19 except from God Himself, and a direct quote in Psalm 11:7.

Then a cloud formed, overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, ‘This is My beloved Son, listen to him!   (Mark 9:7  NASV)

  • Live by Listening to other reliable and trustworthy witnesses:  Deut 19:15.

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.   (Deut 19:15  KJV)

         (1).  Deut 19:15 and Matthew 18:16:  if your brother sins against you but refuses to listen, take your grievance to him byway of two or three witnesses; and if that does not work take it before the local church.

        (2).  Deut 19:15 and II Corinthians 13:1:  Listen to the Apostle Paul!

This is the third time I am coming to you; EVERY FACT IS TO BE CONFIRMED BY THE TESTIMONY OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES.   (II Cor 13:1)

       (3).  Deut 19:15 and John 8:17:  Listen to Jesus Himself!

Even in your law it has been written, that the testimony of two men is true.  I am He who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me.   (John 8:17,18)

       (4).  Deut 19:15 and I Timothy 5:18:  Listen to the elder of any local church (same as the pastor or bishop) right up to the point that any accusation against him has been established in that local church at the mouth of two or three witnesses.

  1. How Can you Listen to a Common Criminal Like Jesus of Nazareth who was cursed in that He was hanged or crucified on a tree (cross)?  Deut 21:22 and Galatians 3:13
    1. Deuteronomy 21:22.

And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree; His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day;(for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled; which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.   (Deut 21:22,23  KJV)

NOTE:  Jesus was very familiar with this portion of the Word of God as He was with all of the Old Testament, and when crying

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me a cry of grief more than questioning He knew that God had to turn His back on such a curse on Christ for the sins of the whole world.

  • Galatians 3:13.

ALL OF GODS WORDS AND WORD IS SERIOUS AND TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY WHETHER WRITTEN IN THE OLD TESTAMENT OR NEW TESTAMENT!  Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.   (Galatians 3:13  NASV)

        (1).  We were cursed by the Law since striving to live by them and therefore keeping them, we knew ourselves to come far short; and therefore without real life!

        (2).  Jesus in the death on the Cross became a curse in our place.

  1. Listen to Jesus seriously on a few other matters.

NOTE:  Especially if you think you were not under a curse because of your failures to live up to the Law and therefore did not need for Christ to become a curse in your place!

  1. Deuteronomy 24:1, Matthew 5:31, and Mark 10:4.

          (1).  Deuteronomy 24:1.

When a man hath taken a wife (this is not necessarily the way you are cursed), and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her; then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.  And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another mans wife.   (Deut 24:1,2  KJV)

          (2).  Matthew 5:31.

And it was said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of dismissal; but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the cause of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.   (Matt 5:31,32  NASV)

         (3).  Mark 10:4.

And some Pharisees came up to Him, testing Him, and began to question Him whether it was lawful for a man to divorce a wife.  And He answered and said to them, what did Moses command you? And they said, Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.  But Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment.  But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.  For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, And the two shall become one flesh; consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh.  What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.   (Mark 10:2-9  NASV)

  • Deuteronomy 25:3-5 , I Corinthians 9:9, and I Timothy 5:18.

         (1).  Be just in judgment in that the punishment correspond with the violation; don’t muzzle the ox as he treads the corn, and let a brother raise up children to his dead brothers wife.

         (2).  It was written for our sakes more than for oxen in order that the worker may work with hope of reward for his works.

         (3).  The elder (pastor or bishop) that works hard at preaching and teaching should receive likewise double compensation.

  • Deuteronomy 25:6, Luke 20:28,38, and Mark 12:19.

         (1).  Your dead brothers name is not to disappear from Israel.

NOTE:  Why should the eternal laws of God be so concerned about this one single name of a brother who died before he could have any children.  After all the last name of the dead childless and the brother would be the same!

        (2).  According to Jesus it is more important to realize that in heaven there is no marriage, rather men are like the angels; and that men do not die who believe in God and Christ like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, because they are still alive with the Living God!  (Luke 20:28,38 and Mark 12:19)

NOTE:  The real concern is that any man’s name, alias himself and his real existence, not disappear from the eternal Israel of Gods real people of believing Jews and Gentiles!

V.  Listen also to a few other matters from the Apostle Paul in the Word of God!

  1. Deuteronomy 27:26 and Galatians 3:10.

       (1).  Cursed is every man that does not confirm all the laws of God by doing all of them!

       (2).  None can truly be justified by the Law, only by faith.

  • Deuteronomy 32:12 and I Corinthians 10:20.

      (1).  The LORD God led Israel and there were no strange gods among them.

      (2).  The Gentiles sacrifice to demons not to God, and the Christian is to have no part in this worship of demons.

Part III:  CONSISTENCY OF DIVINE ORIGIN.  Topical of Deuteronomy section 2 (Section 1 of the 4 sections was presented last week in Preaching thru the Bible 9 on “The Bible is One.”

3-2:  Introduction to the Dynamic Nature of the Bible, the Word of God.

  1. First of all, the Bible is (1) divine in origin, all 66 books of the Bible came from God the Father Himself through the Spirit of Christ and the Holy Spirit; (2) absolute in authority in that while you might want to bring science, or human wisdom, or even religious authority above the authority of the Word of God as a criterion for understanding and interpretation, it just will not work; (3) sufficient in its message, and if we do not find what we are looking for and need, it is from a lack of effort or of hermeutics; for the very purpose of the Bible as entrusted to the Hebrews as oracles of God, is that God might in each generation and in each nation of peoples communicate–it is for communication and not simply study or scholarly research; (4) it is high fidelity in communication, what God tries to do in the Bible, God will do with just a little amount of cooperation on your part in proper Bible rules for understanding {hermeneutics}; and (5) the Bible is self-interpretative–why in the world do you think the Apostle Peter told us “no scripture is of any private interpretation”? And let me answer that as it is because what the Prophets said in the OT the Apostles and Jesus explained in the NT, and vice versa, also what the Apostle Paul wrote in his 14 epistles that was hard to understand, and even as “some wrested to their own destruction”, like the Apostle Peter wrote, Peter interprets, and vice versa; and so on and on and on through the 27 books of the NT and the 39 of the OT; and finally (6) the same Spirit of God that wrote these books is the Spirit that explains these books to us.
  2. Secondly, you must get into the hermeneutics habit, and if you do you will be surprised how much more open the message and messages of the Bible are to you, which is to allow some other part of the Bible to explain and interpret a verse or chapter in a place of the Bible where you are puzzling.  It is the hermeneutics principle of “Compare Scripture with Scripture”.  In short, it is to say that the same God who wrote Romans also wrote I John and Jude, etc., so that what God wrote, or had written, one place will not only be consistent with all other places but will amplify and explain and interpret if you would. And furthermore as you have started your journey through the whole Bible in these TOP 12 TOPICS, a journey originating from the OT quotes in the NT, and since each place such is quoted there is an explanation and interpretation either by Jesus or an Apostle {also the two associates of Paul, Dr. Luke and John Mark}.  And furthermore sometimes it is the other way, the usage in the

OT makes clear what is in the NT.  ISN’T IT MARVELOUS WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR US IN BOTH PROVIDING A BOOK FOR GUIDANCE AND LIFE, AND THEN PROVIDING ALL THESE ASSURANCES THAT WE WILL, WITH THE PROPER ATTITUDE, UNDERSTAND IT!

  • The Bible is a book about Jesus.  One way to know if you are getting the proper message and messages from God in the Bible is if you (1) learn more about Jesus, (2) Learn Jesus properly for as Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:20 “this is not the way your learned Christ”, an obvious indication that Christ can be learned improperly, and (3) get that warmness in the heart that the Bible is “alive and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit”–yes, the Bible is much larger than leather, and pages, and words as it is the living and active Word of God; that is it is like having God set down in our living room and talk to us, and (4) you get closer to God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Always be on the look out for subtle or just plain outright statements, predictions, and understandings about the Lord Jesus Christ.

     (1).  When in John 1 the Apostle John tells us that Jesus was the Word made flesh, the Word from the beginning with God and was God, and that Jesus was there as the Word in the acts of Creation, this tells us about Genesis chapter one how all members of the godhead, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit were there at Creation.

     (2).  When in Genesis 3:15 it speaks of, from God, that Satan will bruise the heel of Christ and Christ bruise the head of Satan, it is talking about:  (1) how Satan hurt Christ in leading Satan’s followers to crucify Christ; and (2) how the crucifixion was really the plan of God all along, and Christ bruised the head of Satan on the cross, freeing with faith on the part of many individuals, those individuals from servitude to Satan, and more which is the long subject of many books in the NT.

     (3).  You will be surprise when you read and study Deuteronomy, and you should along with a look at this TOP TOPIC, how much clarity with which Moses speaks of the other Prophet like himself, the Lord Jesus Christ.

“The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren.  Him you shall hear.”  (Deuteronomy 18:15) 3-3:  Some Historical Background of Deuteronomy.

By the way, has it been mentioned that for an UpToDate {after historical criticism and rising above it unscathed, even showing scholarship on it} and conservative set of detailed exegetical commentaries you can not beat THE NEW INTERNATIONAL COMMENTARIES of both the Old and New Testament, for which the beloved F. F. Bruce wrote and for a time was chief editor.  Peter C. Craigie of the University of Calgary wrote the short {short compared to many of the others in the set} commentary on Deuteronomy; and his very introductory words serve to show you something of the difference between history and the message, between ABOUT the Bible that has become famous lately in our pulpits and in Bible teaching instead of the Bible itself, letting the Bible speak to us.

“Deuteronomy is a book about Israel’s preparation for a new life.  Hardship and the wilderness lie behind; the conquest of the promised land lies ahead.  What remains at this crucial stage in Israel’s history–the end of the Mosaic Age–is a call for a new commitment to God and a fresh understanding of the nature of the community of God’s people.”

In this age of knowledge explosion and in your lifetime, you will be able to cull only a certain amount of knowledge and message from the Bible; and although background info like this helps, you must count on the fact that is what most important for you to know has been quoted and interpreted in the NT.  And it at least helps to know that we are gaining some focus on the historical context of Deuteronomy with such statements as above and with a brief look at the text outline of Craigie.

NOTE:  I recall a NT survey course at Baylor in 1953, by the way where the official text was Hester and it was required reading; but the teacher used as the primary text the RSV of the Bible, starting each class with prayer for understanding because it knew and set a good example of how the Bible is not a scholarly treatise, but an alive and dynamic Book through which God speaks, and if we are wise we listen.  This along with a similar survey of the book of Acts at the Bible chair of the University Baptist Church in Austin Texas were highlights of my Bible education, that professor also using Scripture itself with the Moffat version.

Outline of Text and Commentary from Craigie on Deuteronomy:[1]

  1. Introduction to Deuteronomy (1:1-5)
  2. Address of Moses:  Historical Prologue (1:6-4:43)[2]
  3. Address of Moses:  The Law (4:44-26:19)
  4. Address of Moses:  Blessings and Curse (27:1-28:69)
  5. Address of Moses:  A Concluding Charge (29:1-30:20)
  6. Continuity of the Covenant from Moses to Joshua (31:1-34:12)

Certainly in the Topical, exegetical, and expository outline to follow on this Topic #3 of “Listen to the Consistency of the Bible”, you will find like in Craigie’s outline:  some of the history, about the Law and the 10 commandments which while given in Exodus 20 are rehashed here in different words; yes the choice that God set before this new nation, like He still sets before His own people as a group today, of either a Curse or a Blessing, the charge before his death from Moses and the Covenant, emphasizing in our sweep of the Bible as always the “everlasting covenant” over the other two covenants of the Old and New Testament.  {Yes, the book of Hebrews, perhaps with Romans and Galatians, explain primarily the Old and New Covenants with differences.}

A quick look at Sampey’s outline in THE HEART OF THE OLD TESTAMENT, and we will have the historical perspective we need to proceed.  {Of course there will along the way in our Top Topic #3 outline, some references to both great and helpful works.}

Sampey has two of the 14 chapters of his book to cover this historical context: chapter 4 on “The Era of Moses and Joshua” {of course most about Joshua is in the book of Joshua} and chapter 5 on “The Law of Moses’

     Era of Moses and Joshua

  1. After the death of Joseph and when there was a Pharaoh who did not know Joseph, the family of Jacob now almost a nation, was subjected to rigors of bondage.  (Exodus 1:14)
  2. Preservation and Education of Moses.
  3. The Choice and Call of Moses.  (Exodus 3:1-12)
  4. Contest Between Moses and Pharaoh.
  5. The Passover.
  6. Guidance with the Pillars and Deliverance at the Red Sea.
  7. Giving of the Law at Mount Sinai.
  8. Breach of the Covenant and Its Renewal.  (Exodus 32:1-6)
  9. Tabernacle Built (Exodus 35-40)
  10. From Mount Sinai to Kadesh in the Wilderness.  (Numbers 10-12)         11.  Years of Wandering and Sin of Moses and Aaron.  (Numbers 20)
  11. Closing Labors of Moses (Numbers).
  12. Deuteronomy.

“This is one of the great books of the OT.  The aged lawgiver pours out his heart in earnest appeals to his people to love Jehovah and keep all His commandments. He reviews all the mighty acts of Jehovah in behalf of Israel {so that you see with a look at Deuteronomy we have much of the history of Israel from

  1. Since with this Top Topic #3 from Deuteronomy, we come to the end of the five books of the Pentateuch, called by

Jesus and others in the NT the “Law of Moses” we will want to briefly look at what Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers as well as Deuteronomy are all about.  Never forget however like the Apostle John wrote, “while Moses gave the law, grace and truth came through the Lord Jesus Christ.”  (John 1:17)

God’s perspective, a summary of much of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers}, and exhorts Israel to be faithful and obedient.”         

            14.  Joshua Conquers Canaan.

  1. The Destruction of the Canaanites.
    1. Settlement of the Tribes of Israel (Joshua 13-21).
    1. Joshua’s Closing Days.

CONCLUSION:  CONSISTENCY OF CONTENT.  The New Testament quotes of Deuteronomy is an appeal to God’s people to Listen to the Consistency of Content of the Bible.

1.  Consistency of Jesus message and consistency of time: on Jesus spoken by all the Holy Apostles and Holy Prophets since the beginning of time.

“ Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.  For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you.  And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’

2.  Consistency in the Bible of total love for God.  Anything short of this kind of love for God is idolatry.

Luke 10:26-28 New International Version (NIV)

“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

How is it idolatry, you ask?  Remember, the J.B. Phillips book entitle “Your God is too small”; well, without this kind of love for God in your heart,  then there must exist in your own mind a little god that demands less, one like Santa clause that gives and does not require, one that is considered only once a year and that makes no demands on your life.  Well, with that creation in your own mind of such a little god, you have committed IDOLATRY, which is the substitution of the real God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for a god made like man.


[1] . Commentaries, like sermons you hear, generally fall into three broad categories, or a combination of these three:  (1) textual like here and others of the NEW INTERNATIONAL set; (2) Expository like B. H. Carroll who takes the reader through the whole Bible in approximately 17 volumes and which originally were his lessons as he started the Southwestern Seminary at Fort Worth; and (3) topical which is more of what you will find in these short layman like commentaries.  {The Bible Interpreter and Expositor is such, which is not at all recommended.} The difference in the TOP 12 TOPICS of the Bible is that all three, based on an exegesis of the selected by the Holy Spirit author of the NT of the many OT quotes, then from that outline in OT sequence a topical outline is derived leading to a subsequent exposition of the whole series of Bible books.

[2] . It is here in Deuteronomy 1:6 through 4:43 that you want to get for yourself most of the historical background, and it is hoped that you will read it.

As usual you are welcome to free download this message from SunGrist at: http://sungrist.org/PTB10BibleConsistency.pdf

And you are also welcome to play catch up, or for Bible study or reference to free download the first nine PTBs with Resurrection sermons from SunGrist at:

http://biblecombibleman.com/PTB1thru9andResurrection.pdf

Likewise these first nine PTBs with Resurrection incorporated as Book I of Preaching thru the Bible in one year are available on Amazon in both Kindle and Paperback formats. The easiest way to see both formats is by browsing on the Amazon Author page for Jerry Vaughan McMichael (SunGrit) at:

http://biblecombibleman.com/PTB1thru9andResurrection.pdf

Author Page on Amazon

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