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1. Chromezone - Atlantis EP (incl Dexter Remix) - WLTD018

Chromezone - Atlantis EP (incl Dexter Remix) - WLTD018

artist: Chromezone title: Atlantis cat nr.: WLTD018 format: 12” vinyl (limited to 300 copies!!) and digital release date: 18th of june file under: Freestyle Electro tracks: A1: Atlantis A2: Colonial Outpost B1: Atlantis (Dexter Remix) We have something very special planned for release number 18 on Wolfskuil Ltd. Not only is Ian O’Donovan presenting his new alter ego Chromezone to the masses and has Dexter backing him up, but this is the first 100% pure, electro release on the label. A joyous occasion, marking another chapter in Wolfskuil history. Sure we have released the odd electro track in the past, but we haven’t released a dedicated record till today. Ian delivers two originals, wich sound like he has been making electro his whole life. Atlantis combines lush washes of emotive strings, we have come to know and love him for, with staccato basslines and robotic rhythms. Colonial Outpost follows that line, but is far more dark and irie. The outpost must be at the final frontier in space by the sound of it. Dutch electro icon Dexter is on remixduties and turns Atlantis into a bass fueled monster like only he can. Crystal clear, in your face production. Every snarehit feels like a slap in the face and mechanical sweeps of synths will cause major waves on any dancefloor. Dexter is in the best shape of his life and this remix more then shows his exceptional production capabilities. www.newsnv.be / [email protected] / tel : +32-9218.9444 / fax +32-9218.9450 Craig Morrison – (Silicone Soul) – “Very cool release.. really enjoying listening to this, something really refreshing about it, esp. the Dexter mix. Big sound. Thx for sending.” DJ Feadz – “DETROIT IN THE HOUSE!! Loving the Dexter Remix! Thanx for sending guys!” Alexander Kowalski – “I am loving every single track on this release. Rare! 5/5!” Norman Nodge – “Fine electronic trips here. Very tasteful! Dexter remix my pick.” Perc – “Great, great electro. It is all good but the Dexter remix steals it for me. Thanks guys.” Gerd – “GREAT release from Wolfskuil, and crazy rmx from Dexter!” Deetron – “The Dexter remix is lovely, really nice to hear some proper Electro!” Karotte – “Colonial Outpost is just GREAT!!! LOVE IT!!” Vince Watson – “Great music from Ian....really great!! Dexter remix tops it for me this time though. Strong release!” Stephan Bodzin – “OMG!! This one makes me völlig fertig. One of the best releases 2012 so far. Can’t believe it.” Jennifer Cardini – “This is such a GREAT release from Chromezone!! Dexter remix is excellent!!” KiNK – “If I could travel in space - I would pick this record for the soundtrack. 3 amazing tracks, equally great! Thanks!” Barry Redsetta – (‘Filter’ Spin 1038 Dublin) – “Liked all three here, but Dexter shades it for playability, thanks - strong release, radio and club plays.” Laurent N – (Nice Radio France) – “A nice release with beautiful tracks! Perfect for a nice trip. Will play & Support!!!” Stefano Fontana – (Scrunch Radio Italy) – “Dexter remix HUGEEEEEE!!!” De:Bug Magazine Germany – “Considering for review!” Paul Corey – (Resident Advisor/Ibiza Voice) – “Gonna check for a review on this.” Francois K – “I think its gonna be the Dexter version that works best for me here, but the original is good as well. Thanx for sending.” Midland - "Man this release is great. Tough shout between Atlantis and the Dexter remix. Both are killer!!" Drums Of Death - "All the tunes are wicked. The originals to me work in that deep, headphoney-style electro, I liked them a lot. Dexter rmx is sick!! Thanks." Nick Warren - "Brilliant work from Ian once again. Classics in the making here." Josh Wink - "Deep sexy electro! I really like Atlantis!!" Brendon Moeller - "Atlantis original and Dexter remix are both KILLER!! ☺" Guy J - "Atlantis is both its versions are GREAT!! Thnx good luck." Djedjotronic - "Atlantis is BRILLIANT!!! ☺" Untold - "Yes very tidy indeed - like both the Original and Remix of Atlantis. Will play if the times right." Orde - (Slam) - "Really liking this - musical techno is back - fan of IOD and spinning these for sure." Laurent Garnier - "ELECTRO yes YES YESSSSSS!!!! Full support from me on these. Big fan of Ian." Guy Andrews – (Hemlock) - "Was expecting to like the Dexter remix the most, but the original kills it! Great release ☺" Mugwump - "Now that is a KILLER Dexter rejig... ☺" Paul Woolford - "Killer release from Ian and Wolfskuil, right up my street. Dexter remix maybe the fav. Thanks!" Nuno dos Santos - (Trouw) - "Wow exciting release thats full of melody and roaring synths! Go Ian & Go Wolfskuil!" Maelstrom - "Dexter is the man! Killer work, and one of the best produced tracks i've heard in a while." Hrdvsion - "Atlantis is simply AWESOME!! Thanks for sending guys!" Kyle Geiger - "Ohhhhhhh yes I'm loving the Colonial Outpost track...and this is coming from more of a four on the floor kind of guy. Moody stuff...digging the Dexter remix as well." Ambivalent - "Holy shit, this is great. I'm a HUGE Dexter fan and the originals are super awesome!!" Oliver Schories - "Amazing style from Ian and such a great EP! Thank you for sending this guys!" Dosem - "SUPER SUPER EP, loved it all!! Will be playing these!" Shadow Dancer - "Atlantis' has made my day...one of the best tracks I've heard this year. Even the Dexter remix - great though it is - can't quite top it. And that's saying something. Think I'm a little bit in love with this record...." Club Madnezz Holland - "Really nice basic underground." Diversions - (CHRY 105.5FM Toronto, Canada) - "Diggin' the melodic ambient techno of Atlantis!" Makossa - (Radio fm4 Vienna) - "Killer tracks, excellent release." Philip Sherburne - (Spin/RA) - "That Dexter mix is pretty sick. The melody line is amazing." Scan Mode - (DJ Magazine Spain) - "Dexter Remix is nice!" Tim Sweeney - (www.beatsinspace.net) - "Dexter mix is the one for me." Soundwall.it - "Colonial Outpost is nice."

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2. Gay Dillingham: filmmaker, environmentalist and producer, has just released “Dying to Know”, a documentary about two of the most influential people in the history of modern psychedelics

Gay Dillingham: filmmaker, environmentalist and producer, has just released “Dying to Know”, a documentary about two of the most influential people in the history of modern psychedelics

On this episode of the Psychedelia Podcast, we speak to Gay Dillingham: filmmaker, environmentalist and producer. Gay has just released a film 20 years in the making, “Dying to Know”, a documentary about the relationship between two of the most influential people in the history of modern psychedelics, Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (or Ram Dass). The film brings us to face with the taboo of death and how the psychedelic experience can help our society come to terms with mortality. Here, Gay discusses the making of the film, along with her own encounters with death and tragedy, and how psychedelics could begin to change the way we view mortality. Gay begins by explaining that “Dying to Know” is a human story, about two men who were instrumental in bringing psychedelics to the forefront of modern society, and about the taboos that are hardest for us to talk about. Gay believes that through Timothy Leary and Ram Dass, we can approach death in a fresh and unique way, as a psychological transformation rather than an end of consciousness. And of course, psychedelics could be the tool to help us understand this concept. Gay tells us that part of the reason for her getting involved in this film was her own personal history with tragedy. When she was 17, her 20-year-old brother was killed in a car accident; he had been the center of her world, and his death brought her to her knees. Gay says as a result of losing her brother, she had to grow up very quickly. She found that in death there is trauma, but also rebirth. This meant that she naturally became interested in the teachings of Leary and Dass, who espoused the thought of psychological rebirth. However, Gay did not immediately fall in love with Leary or Dass. Her first encounter with Timothy Leary was during his lecture tours in the 80s – but she only saw the showman, not the person. When Leary announced to the media that he was dying in 1995, Gay and several other filmmakers decided to attempt to get Leary and Dass together to discuss their lives on film. Even though Gay was the youngest there, she was chosen to direct the film. She was familiar with personal tragedy, and had also read extensively around the pair, especially Leary’s book The Psychedelic Experience, based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Gay interviewed the two men in her living room in 1995, and taking from their example, decided to leave the setting open, allowing them to discuss their relationship organically. Gay gradually came to know the men as their human selves, rather than the caricatures painted of them in the media. The experience was very uplifting, says Gay, and it was clear how special their relationship was. It had genuinely affected a whole generation. As the years passed following the interview, and Timothy Leary himself passed away in 1996, Gay felt increasingly guilty for not finishing the film. After seeking advice from Ram Dass, she didn’t give up on the project. Her experience of being fired from her job in environmental regulation in New Mexico (for being a ‘known environmentalist’, according to her new boss) prompted her to think about the cycle of life and death, and why modern humans struggle to address these big questions.  She finished the film in 2014, and believes that it would have been very different if it had been finished ten or fifteen years earlier. Gay points out that the important point of the film, the whole reason for its being, is to ask the questions about death that we are all afraid to ask. It doesn’t try to tell people what to believe, but tries to present a dialogue between two men who have a lot of experience. Leary and Dass even have different opinions on the matter anyway – and are often presented as two opposing views, one more scientific and one more spiritual. Gay says that for her, it reflects what’s going on in her own head; a conflict between science and mystery. Psychedelics play an important role in being able to...

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3. SNC Radio – April 2013

SNC Radio – April 2013

SNC Radio – April 2013 Compiled and blended by AmAr Patel 1. Since You've Been Away – Don Blackman [Arista] It was upsetting to hear about the passing of Don Blackman this week, another lost to cancer. For many of us that fell under the spell of rare groove and fusion, either in the seventies or during the hip hop renaissance a few decades later, Don was a master exponent. A revered songwriter, arranger and musician. His iconic debut album in 1982, which included the soul standards 'Holding You, Loving You' and 'Heart's Desire', was his greatest achievement but he also made telling contributions to records by influential musicians including Weldon Irvine ('Sinbad'), Lenny White ('Twennynine' and 'The Adventures of the Astral Pirates'), Tom Browne ('Love Approach') and Bernard Wright ('Nard'). Years later you could find his name among the credits on a Tupac or Janet Jackson album, such was the high esteem in which he continued to be held by his peers. From Don's voice and music I will always get two things: a sincerity and a real sense of fun. Let's keep those close as he passes into the next life. This tune is one of the often overlooked ones from 'Blackman', sampled by Madlib for his Beat Konducta series ('For My Mans'). And it is… https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/don-blackman/id155961603 www.rbmaradio.com/shows/don-blackman-fireside-chat 2. In Linistea Nopti – Rodion GA [Strut] Just when you think there is precious little mystery left in music out pops a maverick by the name of Rodion Rosca. A compilation of the mercurial bandleader's raw prog-like compositions is being released by Strut in association with Ambassador's Reception (www.ambassadorsreception.com) and Future Nuggets (futurenuggets.tumblr.com). Click on the link below to read some interesting facts about the weird and wonderful things he did with his Tesla machine, among other toys, in his quest for new sounds under the radar in Ceausescu's Romania. Then press play and lose yourself in one of the more reflective tracks on an album of otherwise tough rhythms, brain-frazzling synths and sci-fi FX. Think KPM cranked up to 11. Dilla would have lost his mind over this stuff. http://www.strut-records.com/content/musical-magic-unearthed-romania-journey-rodion-ga https://soundcloud.com/strut/rodion-g-a-cantec-fulger-the 3. Love is Lost – David Bowie [Sony] So much has been written and said about Bowie's triumphant return over the past four months that I actually fooled myself into thinking I'd listened to his new album when in fact … I hadn't. Yes yes, he's getting old – in other words safe and comfortable – and yes this new stuff isn't as good as the best of Ziggy, the Thin White Duke and the countless other facets of Davey Jones but make no mistake, he can still write a lyric and deliver it with drama like few others. (I almost opted for the weary nostalgia of 'Where Are We Now' but the riff on this one got its hooks into me.) Bowie's restless spirit of creative mischief, his knack for cultural appropriation and mutation throughout his career, is what sets him apart as our greatest living pop star. He made art for the masses. He reached the top and then continued to evolve. Seriously, who could claim to do the same today? Still trying to get into the V&A for that retrospective. Ah well, I will always have the music on tap… https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-next-day-deluxe-version/id590844404 4. Birds – Rhosyn [Blessing Force] In a similar vein to Elan Tamara, another of my favourite emerging female artists, Rose Dagul (performing as Rhosyn in tribute to writing place of Rhoscolyn, Anglesey) makes baroque and mildly melodramatic chamber pop with lyrical tales that seep into your head and make themselves at home. Real atmosphere and an aesthetic all of its own. This is my standout track from her debut EP 'Elbow of Capture', which Oxford label Blessing Force is offering as a limited run of 250 hand-numbered slabs of clear vinyl with screen-printed sleeves by Limited to just 250 hand-numbered copies on clear vinyl with screen-printed sleeves by Double Suns (http://doublesunscreen.tumblr.com) and a free digital download. Warning: they may have all gone by now. http://blessingforce.tumblr.com https://soundcloud.com/rrrhosyn 5. Angel Puke – J's Bee [Far Out] High-altitude jazz music, sophisticated in the right way, from seasoned collective J's Bee. Not much is known about this band except that they've been together for more than 10 years, played at various major festivals in Japan including Fuji Rock and held fast in their pursuit of a deeper conception of jazz, fusing electronic elements with more traditional instrumentation such as alto saxaphone, bass and acoustic guitar. The mood on this one is quite sombre and reflective, a strong indication that they're playing for more than themselves. As the press release explains: "'Isotope' was forged in the aftermath of Japan's nuclear catastrophe of 2011. A poignant depiction of our shared future hanging in the balance." http://farout.greedbag.com/buy/isotope-1/ http://www.jsbee.net 6. Brotherhood – Kamal Abdul Alim [BBE] Besides influential selectors such as Gilles Peterson, Bob Jones, Chris Bangs, Paul Murphy and Patrick Forge, Kev Beadle was also instrumental in unearthing forgotten jazz and fusion tracks to the dancers and diggers in London's fabled eighties and nineties era. Reminiscing about the legendary Sunday afternoon session Dingwalls, he says: "It became a ‘one-stop’ to hear exciting and up until then undiscovered gems. Tunes like The Pharoahs' ‘Freedom Road’ and Roy Porter’s ‘Jessica’ became ‘Camden anthems’ mainly because of the open-mindedness of both the DJs and the Sunday afternoon regulars as well as the hunger to hear new music." Another one that he mentions is this track by Kamal Adbul Alim (who's played with everyone from Manu DiBango to Frank Foster) and boy does it swing hard. Take a look at the personnel on the trumpeter's 1983 album 'Dance' and you'll understand why: Idris Muhammed (drums), Ron Burton (piano), Bobby Watson (alto and soprano sax), James Spaulding (alto and flute) among others. It goes without saying, surely: Kev's compilation is amazing. A very personal selection of the fierce and free, soulful and spiritual. http://www.bbemusic.com/releases/BBE219CDG/Kev%20Beadle%20-%20Kev%20Beadle%20presents%20Private%20Collection#.UWlQXBxLxJI 7. Jimi & Faye (Part One) – Romare [Black Acre] Blogs are going crazy about Romare right now and the hype is justified. For all the phases of development that electronic music and sampling have gone through over the past thirty-plus years there is always something – a new technology, a chance meeting, a happy accident – to alter the trajectory of experimental music. Inspired by the artist Romare Bearden, who explored African American heritage through collage, producer Romare has adopted a similar approach to music with his "meditations on Afrocentrism", the name of his first EP. This involves collecting samples from around the world – delta blues from his father's record collection, field recordings from west Africa, old documentary clips about sixties' America – and weaving these into more contemporary elements of black culture such as juke. “I wanted to make a sort of musical essay where the samples would act like footnotes and convey a particular theme to the listener," he explains. This all sounds very academic but fear not, this is music for body and mind. Interesting fact: on this loping, bluesy track the Jimi and Faye in question are Mr Hendrix and his Harlemite scenester acquaintance Faye Pridgeon who reminisces about her time with the young Jimi, lamenting how others wrote him off, misunderstood him or tried to hold him back. http://www.phonicarecords.com/product/view/113433 8. Treat Me Like Fire – Lion Babe [DL] I doubt that I'm the only one who feels a warm glow inside each time they hear this track. New York does soul duos very well: Heavy and J*Davey immediately spring to mind. You can add Lion Babe to that list, a fierce combination of vocalist Jillian Hervey (daughter of Vanessa Williams, no less) and producer Lucas Goodman (aka Astro Raw). Badu is obviously an influence on the phrasing of Hervey who has said, "I really respect her, she is a rhythm goddess. There’s never a time where I listen to her and I’m like, 'oh, she’s off, I’m not feeling it.' You feel it. You feel that inner rhythm within her." From a songwriting standpoint, 'The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill' is also mentioned in several interviews. Meanwhile Goodman recalls his love of Hendrix and Tribe. Not a bad couple of reference points. The mark of a great soul track is how effortless it sounds, from the crackle of the opening to the tone of the vocal and sentiment behind the words of want. Lion Babe have achieved that on their first release and I'm really excited to hear where they go from here. https://soundcloud.com/lionbabe 9. Goodnight – Philip Owusu [DL] One-time collaborator Robin Hannibal (Quadron, Boom Clap Batchelors) is currently riding high with his Rhye project but let's not forget the talents of singer songwriter Philip Owusu, who finally releases his debut album this year. 'Goodnight' premiered on Peterson's Worldwide show to rapturous applause, whetting our appetite for more delicately crafted textures and exquisite harmonies. He's fought through adversity (low-to-no budget, losing his voice) and debut solo album 'SUBS', his "tribute to society's underdogs" is almost ready to share. Owusu has written, performed, arranged and produced the whole project by himself, which was quite a challenge for an artist that's used to collaborating and having someone else who can help to make decisions and 'bring it on home'. So what or who this track all about? Over to the man himself: "The song is sort of like the story of Don Quixote, the knight that’s basically schizophrenic or whatever. It’s kind of about an anti-hero; it’s a guy who comes home and is received by his mum or girlfriend – his daughter or whatever – after a night of being drunk. In his delusion he’s fought a great battle but in real life he’s not so important. Maybe it’s autobiographical to some extent. It’s from a sketch for a song I did around the time of Owusu & Hannibal that I never finished but I always wanted to do. I was thinking about adding it to Owusu & Hannibal at that time, but for some reason I didn’t. I decided to keep it." http://philipowusu.bandcamp.com/ 10. Wakin on a Pretty Daze – Kurt Vile [Matador] You may have heard that I am three volumes into a special podcast series called 'Singers, Songs & Strings' (https://soundcloud.com/mrbongo/singers-songs-and-strings-1), which celebrates "the forgotten art of bare and beautiful song". Acoustic tracks and slow-burning ditties basically. One artist that is definitely in the running for future installments is Philadelphian Kurt Vile, whose album 'Smoke Ring For My Halo' blew me away last year. It's not the poetry of his lyrics or the ingenuity of his production, more the "guitar composer-y" lightness of his touch. Six of the tracks on his new album 'Walkin' on a Pretty Daze' (the product of more than 300 nights spent in hotel rooms on the road) clock in at more than six minutes including the title track, an apt summation of the mood he seems to conjure at will. I wager that wouldn't mind if he continued for a few minutes more. "Waking in the dawn of day, now I gotta think about what I wanna say," he begins. Some find him depressing. I think he's refreshing. http://kurtvile.com/ 11. My Love is So Strong for You – Geater Davis [Ubiquity] Davis was a gruff-voiced R'n'B singer from Texas with all the tools – emotionally resonant voice, gutsy songwriting and dextrous guitar playing – but precious few breaks. He who found himself a few years too late to party as listeners rushed towards a more funk-driven brand of soul in the seventies before jumping of the disco cliff. Producer Allen Orange brought the best out of him, no doubt, and scored a hit with debut 45 'Sweet Woman's Love' but his House of Orange label (and Seventy-Seven imprint) lacked the clout to propel Davis into the big time and he remained nothing more than a cult hero in the south-west. Ubiquity has compiled this strong representation of the man, who died from heart failure at the criminally young age of 38. https://www.ubiquityrecords.com/shop/products/GEATER-DAVIS-%252d-LOST-SOUL-.html 12. Houzou Houzou Wa – Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou [Analog Africa] How good is this record? Presenting the third volume of grooves from the tightest band in West Africa and their "skeletal essences of afro funk". In 2005 Analog Africa founder Samy Ben Redjeb began the first of several trips to Benin, the birthplace of Vodoun or voodoo, and collected hundreds of releases from the orchestra recorded between 1969 and 1983. That takes a while to get through so it's understandable that it's been three years since we last heard from them. This collection is the toughest of the bunch to date. 'Houzou Houzou Wa' really packs a punch – think James' 'Give it up, Turn it Loose' or Fela's 'Shakara' . It's a call to arms judging by the translated lyrics in the photo-packed booklet ("The revolution that has come to this country is good/You have to hit the enemy that are against it/And put them in prison to teach them a lesson"). It's also a great example of the killer rhythm section at work (Gustave Bentho on bass and Leopold Yehouessi on drums) and the astounding sound quality that holds up against anything recorded today (thanks to a Swiss Nagra reel-to-reel recorder and a few microphones). This transports you to the front-of-stage melee where earthen bodies gyrate and drip with sweat in a ritual with rhythm. http://boomkat.com/vinyl/684158-orchestre-poly-rythmo-de-cotonou-volume-3-the-skeletal-essences-of-voodoo-funk https://soundcloud.com/analog-africa 13. Damballah – Mop Mop [Agogo] Believe it or not, this exotic confection of tribal drums, ghostly brass, wind and vibes is produced by a group of Italian musicians led by producer/player Andrea Benini. 'Isle Of Magic' is an imaginary land populated by musicians who spend their time fishing, cooking, playing and practicing Voodoo rites at night. The soundtrack is loose and effortlessly beguiling with guests such as Fred Wesley and Trinidad-born poet Anthony Joseph featuring on Mop Mop's analogue-recorded fourth album. This instrumental is by far the most stripped down and sinister track. It's trance-inducing, creating a feeling of expectation, bordering on trepidation. http://www.mopmop.com/ 14. Dooyo – Dur-Dur Band [ATFA] Awesome Tapes from Africa is one of my essential music blogs, owning its territory and excavating sounds from the far corners of the continent. The first time I heard Dur-Dur Band I flipped out. It didn't matter that the cassette-tape hiss was clouding the groove. (Upon reflection, I think that's what they call charm.) It's a closing of the circle, a call from the Motherland, the point where music from 25 years ago sounds completely of the moment. Dur-Dur Band came up during a golden period of music in Mogadishu between the late sixties and the early nineties before civil war stifled artistic expression, a time where traditional qaraami Somalian music was being fused with western pop, Middle Eastern influences and jazz. Dur-Dur was considered to be a "private band" free from government pressure to sing about politics and instead preach a gospel of love and culture. "Dooyo" is a type of traditional Somali dance, here reimagined as a guitar-licked disco cut. The lady is singing: " I am warning you guys, I hear drums playing for me and it's healing me and I won't resist. It's my medicine. Dooyo has taken me over and I won't stop dancing." You go girl! http://www.scdistribution.com/music-shop.html?class=artist&artist=Dur-Dur%20Band http://www.awesometapes.com/ 15. Boosted – Letherette [Ninja Tune] Wolverhampton's answer to Daft Punk. That's how I tend to think of Richard Roberts and Andy Harber on account of their love of filtered house, flickering vocal samples and feel-good soul. To be fair though, they work with other tempos as this beat collage demonstrates. The hip hop aesthetic is in their blood. In fact, I first heard of them through Andrew Meza's excellent BTS Radio show (http://www.btsradio.com/html/letherette_beat_showcase.html), teasing me with a playlist of almost exclusively CDR beats and trax. After a couple of well-received EPs it's time for the debut album, released on Ninja Tune. http://ninjatune.net/artist/letherette 16. You're Gonna Make Me Love Someone Else (M+M mix) – Jones Girls [BBE] "M + M" stands for Morales and Munzibai, a partnership whose output from 1982 till 1990 exceeded more than 650 carefully tweaked mixes. A staggering achievement before you even consider the quality of the material (Inner Life's "I'm Caught Up in a One Night Love Affair, Universal Robot Band's 'BBE' and Jean Carne's 'Was That All There Was'). Munzibai passed away in 1991 but John Morales continues to work his magic and preach the art of the mix (http://djjohnmorales.wordpress.com), an art that he started to explore in the late seventies when he began to make his own edits using the pause button of a Teac cassette deck. The aim was to make the most of the records in the box and get people dancing. The Sony reel-to-reel followed and the rest is history. Tom Moulton, a man who knows a thing or two about an edit and is credited with giving us the 12" version, says: "John always adds that sparkle in a mix that seems to bring out the energy and excitement when he works on something." This party starter is taken from the third volume, which features M's take on Marvin Gaye's 'I Want You' and Teddy P's 'Only You' among others. http://www.bbemusic.com/releases/BBE211CLP2/John%20Morales%20-%20John%20Morales%20presents%20The%20M&M%20Mixes%20Volume%203%20Part%20B#.UWmWIhxu51E 17. Flotsam (Oriol remix) – Sonarpilot [Sonarpilot Audio] Oriol's debut album on Planet Mu in 2011 was a real highlight for me amid a rapid fire of otherwise sub-bass-drenched mediocrity. His use of vocal textures and space stay with you long after the track fades out. These tricks are employed to great effect on this remix for Sonarpilot (producer Michael Moppert), who has released his second album of electronic meanderings backed by bunch of remixes by luminaries such as Ramadanman and Aybee as well as Oriol of course. Working checking out. http://www.sp-audio.com/ 18. Red Hot – RP Boo [Planet Mu] The footwork revolution continues. For those that aren't aware, footwork is a frenetic, scrambled and syncopated style of ghetto music that originates from Chicago. (This article is a useful primer: http://www.residentadvisor.net/feature.aspx?1235.) Hallowed names such as Spinn and Rashad are becoming well known in club circles outside the US but the true originator of this genre is apparently this man, RP Boo (Kavain Space), whose sample- and rap-laced R-70 throwdowns are among the most challenging in the cannon. Under the tutelage of early inspirations such as DJ Slugo, Deeon, Milton and the House-O-Matics dance clique, he set to work with his old equipment and began to knock out pre-millennium classics such as 'Baby Come On' and '11-47-99'. Planet Mu has been a loyal supporter of the footwork scene and will release Boo's album, 'Legacy' in May. 'Red Hot' is a proper workout of chopped horns, dizzying toms and hectic bleeps. Surprisingly easy to get used to. Dance to? That's another matter.   http://www.planet.mu/discography/ZIQ335 19. Voyeur – James Blake [1-800-Dinosaur] I was more partial to James Blake's daring productions (particularly 'CMYK') than his fragile vocal meander on tracks such as 'Limit to your Love'. However with his second album, 'Overgrown', he really has stepped up behind the mic. The calibre of his songwriting and phrasing is stunning in places, emulating the flutter of a Joni Mitchell or Prince by piano, simultaneously being awkward yet endearing in a very 'blue-eyed-soul' way. At times, particularly on 'Retrograde' and 'Our Love Comes Back', his music reaches a sublime level of stimulation, inducing a state of splendid isolation where the world feels cold and yet visceral and inviting. For the most part, each track is a perfect marriage of vocal, probing synths and sympathetic programming. Occasionally you have songs like 'Voyeur' where the production steals the show. It's the most pulsating track on the album, and the most devastating because the BPMs blindside you. No one else is making emotionally raw experimental music like this for Radio 1. http://jamesblakemusic.com/ 20. Argo – JTC [Hoya Hoya] James T Cotton, the house alias of producers' producer Dabrye, returns with another EP of winners, four shades of floor-filling trax. I have opted for the cosmic boogie of 'Argo' – a rolling combination of arpeggios, 808s and claps. Everything Dabrye does is top-notch. http://boomkat.com/vinyl/654524-jtc-park-days-ep 21. Straight & Narrow – Falty DL [Ninja Tune] Falty DL, New York-based Drew Lustman, is consistently one of the strongest producers outside the UK at the moment, putting soul into the machine whenever he can. He draws on everything from hip hop and garage to jungle and Detroit techno. Perhaps it's his way of evading the dreaded pigeonhole as he explained to The Daily Swarm: "There’s a conscious part of me trying to develop a certain kind of sound. What gets released is such a small percentage of the music I make. I made a hip-hop track last weekend; I made a jungle track two weeks ago. Those may never come out, but if I decided to put those together with ten other ones then that would provide the next question from a journalist: 'Have you tried to move away from house music and make jungle again?' What ends up coming out is always a bit of a coin toss. A part of the problem has to do with the label and what they think is a little more hip. I like making so many different kinds of music that I can never really decide what I want to do until I start to compile the release; then it starts to take some sort of shape." With 'Hardcourage', during the making of which the artist fell in love – or lust as he put it – DL has succeeded in making another meaningful and thoughtful album, cinematic in scope but primal in its power to take hold on the floor. There's no better example of this than the seemingly straightforward yet richly textured 'Straight & Narrow'. That vocal snippet is deadly. Look out for releases on his new label, Blueberry records. http://ninjatune.net/release/faltydl/hardcourage-2 22. Luminous View – Jorge Velez [Rush Hour] Following on from those remarkable Burrell Brothers and Dream 2 Science releases, the crew at Rush Hour next shine a light on Jersey City's Jorge Velez and his ethereal analogue-to-tape productions from the early nineties. Velez subsequently released tracks under the name of Professor Genius (for Italians Do it Better, Thisisnotanexit and L.I.E.S.) – when not earning a living as a film editor for reality TV, that is – but these hissed recordings have a playfulness and eerie atmosphere that set them apart. http://www.rushhour.nl/store_detailed.php?item=67860 23. Am Fentser – Max Graef [Tartelet] Max is 19 years old and already making a name for himself in Berlin with his deft compositions, which draw on many strands of contemporary bass music … and jazz if this Andy Bey-sampling roller is anything to go by. It's a collaboration with Muff Deep by the way, available on a very impressive three-track 12" being put out on Copenhagen label Tartlet. https://soundcloud.com/tartelet-records/max-graef-am-fenster 24. Lose it (Actress mix) – Moiré [Werkdiscs] 'Lose It' is the debut EP from London-based producer Moiré, the result of "a lack of sleep, the obsessive expressions of a mind inspired by the city and the scene that has surrounded him for a long time". Okay. The lead track is a disorientating collaboration with Lessons and singer Heigi Vogel. It's a very minimal arrangement with an almighty thud propelling it through a sonorous, glitchy cloud. Werkdiscs label owner Actress somehow manages to make his mix even more dominant, looping spluttering fragments of Heidi's vocal over an intense techno pulse. A promising new talent with a healthy disregard for convention and a taste for the extreme. http://boomkat.com/vinyl/640675-moire-never-sleep-w-actress-remix 25. Working (Marcellus Pittman mix) – Nina Kraviz [Rekids] At the risk of objectifying the woman – although some claim that she does this to herself (http://www.clashmusic.com/features/nina-kraviz-trapped-in-gender-politics) – every time I see Nina Kraviz she brings a smile to my face. Now that's not just because she is a beautiful woman. It's because she is a superb DJ, a true professional getting ahead in a man's world by playing consistently high-quality sets to expectant audiences around the world. The tension and energy levelthat Kraviz manages to maintain when she plays out is quite unique. Take a look at her recent appearance in the Boiler Room (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xogJgUteDAs) or at Secretsundaze (http://www.be-at.tv/brands/electric-brixton/secretsundaze-easter-thursday) and you will appreciate how a crowd is in thrall to her. Her productions follow a similar aesthetic, melding minimal techno, more peak-time trax and acid. Here Marcellus Pittman breaks off a piece of the original from Nina's debut album and, after a patient build up with a smattering of tribal drums, contorts it into a mind-bending acid trip. As Kraviz herself puts it: "This is so damn good. It's wild and goes nowhere but gets you right there." http://www.beatport.com/track/working-marcellus-pittman-remix/4082688 26. Tangish – Virginia [Ostgut Ton] Virginia was a DJ in Munich for several years before becoming a resident at the Panorana Bar in Berlin. She also provided the vocal on Steffi's 'Yours' a while back. This is her first 12" for Ostgut Ton and it features a solid quartet of tech house tracks that each focus on a particular variation, from jackin' rhythms to arpeggiated synth lines. The yearning vocal on 'Tangish' evokes a mood similar to 'My Love Turns to Liquid' by Dream 2 Science – a favourite from my last podcast https://soundcloud.com/amarofpatel/snc-radio_july-2012-1) as a jagged bassline cuts through the warm air. http://berghain.de/label/record/98 27. Sentimental Journey – Weird Guilders [Rush Hour] Not so long ago Rush Hour records asked Gerd Janson to compile an album of ambient-not-ambient music to follow his 'Computer Incarnations for World Peace' series. The result is a deliciously leftfield selection of proto-house, Kraftwerk-inspired techno and other electro excursions by contemporary favourites Ame, Move D, Tom Trago and Marco Passarani among others. The aim on this compilation was to explore the space between the industrial and new age without reverting to the usual post-punk and disco reference points. Yet one of my favourite tracks on here is the one funk groove on the album, a zany last-night-on-earth anthem with a touch of Talking Heads about it. I know nothing about Weird Guilders but with a name like that they should be huge. http://boomkat.com/downloads/638710-gerd-janson-gerd-janson-presents-musik-for-autobahns http://www.rushhour.nl/store_detailed.php?item=67998 28. If You Got to Believe in Something – Gemini [Strut] I'm still getting a lot of pleasure from 'Only 4 U', the Cajual records compilation that Strut released last year. Started by Curtis Jones (Cajmere/Green Velvet) in 1992, amid the sea change to hip hop, Cajual was chiefly responsible for a second wave of Chicago house music following the golden age of Trax and DJ International. Tracks such as 'Brighter Days' (Cajmere with Dajae), ' Day by Day' (Dajae), 'Dream States' (Derrick Carter) and this deep one by Gemini have become all-time classics. The label also helped to bring through new talent such as Chez Damier and Glenn Underground. Stripped down and raw house with gospel at the core. Amen. http://www.strut-records.com/content/only-4-u-sound-cajmere-cajual-records-1992-2012

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4. Genesis 1:1-18 (The Account of God’s Creation)

Genesis 1:1-18 (The Account of God’s Creation)

Genesis 1 - The Account of God’s Creation A. Thoughts to begin with as we study the Bible. 1. We come to the Bible knowing there is a God. a. There are many good and strong philosophical and logical reasons to believe in God. Yet the Bible does not make elaborate arguments for the existence of God. However, it does tell us how we can know God exists. b. The Bible tells us we can know God exists because of what we see in the created world. i. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. (Psalm 19:1-4) ii. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:20) c. This is an example of the teleological argument for the existence of God. It is the understanding that there must be a purposeful intelligence Who created this world, because the world shows both purpose and intelligence. In the view of many (including the author) this argument from purpose and design remains unanswered by the atheist or the agnostic. 2. We come to the Bible believing it is the place where God has spoken to man, perfectly and comprehensively. a. We believe 2 Timothy 3:16-17: All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. i. We can study God, but we can’t put Him under a microscope or test Him in a laboratory. We can only confidently know about Him what He chooses to reveal to us. We are also confident that what He chooses to tell us is profitable and useful for us. b. We believe the Bible must be understood literally, that is, as straightforward and true according to its literary context. i. The Bible is much more than a book; it is a library of books, and books written in different literary forms. Some portions of the Bible give a historical account, others are poetic, and some are prophetic. ii. We must understand the Bible literally according to its literary context. For example, when David wrote in Psalm 6:6 “All night I make my bed swim; I drench my couch with my tears,” he used a poetic literary form. We understand he didn’t literally mean he cried so much that he flooded his room and set his bed afloat. iii. Psalm 119:128 says, “Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right.” With great confidence, the Psalmist proclaimed the inerrancy of God’s word. It was right, not wrong; and it was right concerning all things. · When the Bible gives us history, it is right and true; the events actually happened as described. · When the Bible gives us poetry, it is right and true; the feeling and experiences were real for the writer and ring true to human experience. · When the Bible gives us prophecy, it is right and true; the events described will come to pass, just as it is written. · When the Bible gives us instruction, it is right and true; it truly does tell us the will of God and the best way of life. · When the Bible tells us of God, it is right and true; it reveals to us what the nature and heart and mind of God is, as much as we can comprehend. iv. If we don’t approach the Bible this way, then we can only come to it with how we feel about the text, and we decide what is true or false about the text – making ourselves greater than the text itself. Though the teachings of Scripture have many applications, they only have one true interpretation. Sometimes the interpretation is easy to discern and sometimes not, but God meant something with the text revealed to mankind. v. “The only proper way to interpret Genesis 1 is not to ‘interpret’ it at all. That is, we accept the fact that it was meant to say exactly what it says.” (Morris) c. We believe the Bible is not a book of science; yet where it touches science, it speaks the truth. After all, if the Bible is false in regard to science or other things that we can prove, then we cannot regard it as reliable in regard to spiritual matters that we cannot prove. 3. We come to the Bible knowing the copies we have in our hands are reliable duplicates (though not perfect duplicates) of the exact writings, which God perfectly inspired. a. We can know this about the Old Testament by seeing the incredible care and reliability of the ancient Jewish scribes, demonstrated by the Dead Sea Scroll discoveries. b. We can know this about the New Testament by knowing that because of earlier manuscripts, and a greater number of ancient manuscripts, the New Testament is by far the most reliable and exhaustively crosschecked ancient document we possess. Really, no more than one one-thousandth of the New Testament text is in question. 4. We come to the Bible knowing the unique importance of the Book of Genesis. a. The Bible would be incomplete and perhaps incomprehensible without the Book of Genesis. It sets the stage for the entire drama of redemption, which unfolds in the rest of the book. b. Almost all important doctrines and teachings have their foundation in the Book of Genesis: the doctrines of sin, redemption, justification, Jesus Christ, the personality and personhood of God, the kingdom of God, the fall, Israel, the promise of the Messiah, and more. i. Genesis shows us the origins of the universe, order and complexity, the solar system, the atmosphere and hydrosphere, the origin of life, man, marriage, evil, language, government, culture, nations, religion. It is precisely because people have abandoned the truth of Genesis that society is in such disarray. c. Genesis is important to the New Testament. There are at least 165 passages in Genesis either directly quoted or clearly referred to in the New Testament; many of these are quoted more than once, so there are at least 200 quotations or allusions to Genesis in the New Testament. i. Jesus declared the importance of believing what Moses wrote: “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” (John 5:46-47) We can’t say we believe in Jesus if we don’t believe in the Book of Genesis. d. “I beg and faithfully warn every pious Christian not to stumble at the simplicity of the language and stories that will often meet him there [in Genesis]. He should not doubt that, however simple they may seem, these are the very words, works, judgments, and deeds of the high majesty, power, and wisdom of God.” (Luther, cited in Boice) 5. According to the New Testament, Moses wrote the Book of Genesis (Luke 24:27, Luke 24:44). We can surmise that he did this with help from actual written records from the past God had preserved. There are indicators of where these records begin and end. Note the phrasing of Genesis 2:4, 5:1, 6:9, 10:1, 11:10, 11:27, 25:12, 25:19, 36:1, 36:9, 37:2. a. “Thus it is probable that the Book of Genesis was written originally by actual eyewitnesses of the events reported therein. Probably the original narratives were recorded on tables of stone or clay, in common practice of early times, and then handed down from father to son, finally coming into the possession of Moses. Moses perhaps selected the appropriate sections for compilation, inserted his own editorial additions and comments, and provided smooth transitions from one document to the next, with the final result being the Book of Genesis as we have received it.” (Morris) B. The first five days of creation. 1. The philosophical importance of knowing God as creator. a. The philosopher Jean-Paul Sarte stated the essential problem of philosophy: there is something, instead of nothing. Why? Everything else in our life flows from the answer to this question. i. If everything around us, including ourselves, is the result of random, meaningless occurrences apart from the work of a creating God, then it says something about who I am, and where I, and the whole universe, are going. Then the only dignity or honor we bestow upon men is pure sentimentality, because I don’t have any more significance than an amoebae; then there is no greater law in the universe than survival of the fittest. b. Some 100 years ago, there was a great German philosopher named Arthur Schopenhauer. By habit, he usually dressed like a vagrant, and one day he sat on a park bench in Berlin, deep in thought. His appearance made a policeman suspicious, so the policeman asked the philosopher “Who are you?” Schopenhauer answered, “I would to God I knew.” i. And the only way we can ever really find out who we are is from God. The best place to find out begins in Genesis. c. There are many possible answers to the question of how everything came into being. Some say, once there was absolutely nothing, and now there is something. Others (including the Bible) say before there was anything created, there was a Personal Being. d. One day, students in one of Albert Einstein’s classes were saying they had decided there was no God. Einstein asked them how much of all the knowledge in the world they had among themselves collectively, as a class. The students discussed it for a while and decided they had 5% of all human knowledge among themselves. Einstein thought their estimate was a little generous, but he replied: “Is it possible God exists in the 95% you don’t know?” 2. (1) A simple factual statement regarding God work as creator. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. a. God created: This summary statement will be detailed in the following verses, but the Bible simply and straightforwardly declares the world did not create itself or come about by chance. It was created by God, who, by definition, is eternal and has always been. i. “It is no accident that God is the subject of the first sentence of the Bible, for this word dominates the whole chapter and catches the eye at every point of the page: it is used some thirty-five times in as many verses of the story.” (Kidner) ii. If you believe Genesis 1:1, you really have no problem believing the rest of the Bible. b. God: This is the ancient Hebrew word Elohim. Grammatically it is a plural word used as if it were singular. The verbs and pronouns used with Elohim should be in the plural, but when Elohim refers to the Lord God the verbs and pronouns are in the singular. i. Rabbi Simeon ben Joachi, commenting on the word Elohim: “Come and see the mystery of the word Elohim; there are three degrees, and each degree by itself alone, and yet notwithstanding they are all one, and joined together in one, and are not divided from each other.” Clarke adds: “He must be strangely prejudiced indeed who cannot see that the doctrine of a Trinity, and of a Trinity in unity, is expressed in the above words.” ii. Leupold quoting Luther on Elohim: “But we have clear testimony that Moses aimed to indicate the Trinity or the three persons in the one divine nature.” c. God created the heavens: The simple fact of God’s creation is even more amazing when we consider the greatness of God’s universe. i. A typical galaxy contains billions of individual stars; our galaxy alone (the Milky Way) contains 200 billion stars. Our galaxy is shaped like a giant spiral, rotating in space, with arms reaching out like a pinwheel, and our sun is one star on one arm of the pinwheel. It would take 250 million years for the pinwheel to make one full rotation. But this is only our galaxy; there are many other galaxies with many other shapes, including spirals, spherical clusters, and flat pancakes. The average distance between one galaxy and another is about 20 million trillion miles. Our closest galaxy is the Andromeda Galaxy, about 12 million trillion miles away. ii. For every patch of sky the size of the moon, if you could look very deep, you would see about a million galaxies. iii. But God did all this Himself: “Indeed My hand has laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand has stretched out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand up together.” (Isaiah 48:13) iv. But God is bigger and greater than all His creation: Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, measured heaven with a span and calculated the dust of the earth in a measure? (Isaiah 40:12) d. God created the heavens and the earth: If God created the heavens and the earth, then we must forever put away the idea that anything happens by chance. “Chance” merely describes the statistical probability of something happening. Chance itself can “do” nothing. i. People who are otherwise intelligent often fall into this delusion. Jacques Monod, a biochemist, wrote: “Chance alone is at the source of every innovation, of all creation in the biosphere. Pure chance, absolutely free but blind, at the very root of the stupendous edifice of evolution.” ii. But assigning such power to chance is crazy. Chance has no power. For example, when a coin is flipped, the chance it will land heads is 50%; however, chance does not make it land heads. Whether or not it lands heads or tails is due to the strength with which the coin is flipped, the strength of air currents and air pressure as it flies through the air, where it is caught, and if it is flipped over once it is caught. Chance doesn’t do anything but describe a probability. iii. Many years ago a scientist named Carl Sagan petitioned the U.S. government for a grant to fund the search for intelligent life in outer space. He hoped to find evidence of life by using a super sensitive instrument to pick up radio signals from distant space. When he received those radio signals, he looked for order and pattern, which demonstrated the signals were transmitted by intelligent life. In the same way, the order and pattern of the whole universe demonstrates that it was fashioned by intelligent life, not by chance. Scientists detect chance in the radio signals constantly (in the form of static with no pattern), but it tells them nothing. iv. Therefore, when someone says the universe or anything else came about by chance, one may say that despite their expertise or skill in other areas, when it comes to this subject they are ignorant, superstitious, or simply repeating a tired theory said and disproved before, yet unthinkingly accepted. e. God created: Inherent in the idea of God is that He is an intelligent designer. Only an intelligent designer could create a just-right universe, not “chance.” Our universe is a just-right universe. i. The universe has a just-right gravitational force. · If it were larger, the stars would be too hot and would burn up too quickly and too unevenly to support life · If it were smaller, the stars would remain so cool, nuclear fusion would never ignite, and there would be no heat and light ii. The universe has a just-right speed of light. · If it were larger, stars would send out too much light · If it were smaller, stars would not send out enough light iii. The universe has a just-right average distance between the stars. · If it were larger, the heavy element density would be too thin for rocky planets to form, and there would only be gaseous planets · If it were smaller, planetary orbits would become destabilized because of the gravitational pull from other stars iv. The universe has a just-right polarity of the water molecule. · If it were greater, the heat of fusion and vaporization would be too great for life to exist · If it were smaller, the heat of fusion and vaporization would be too small for life’s existence, liquid water would become too inferior a solvent for life chemistry to proceed, ice would not float, leading to a runaway freeze-up v. We could conclude that there is no chance that such a universe could create itself, apart from an intelligent designer. f. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth: This tells us that God used no pre-existing material to create the earth. The ancient Hebrew word bara (created) is specific. It means to create out of nothing, showing that that God created the world out of nothing, not out of Himself. God is separate from His creation. Unlike Eastern and pantheistic perceptions of god, the Bible teaches the universe could perish yet He would remain. i. Men cannot create in the sense the term is used in Genesis 1:1. We can only fashion or form things out of existing material. The closest we come to creating is in reproducing ourselves sexually. This is perhaps one reason why Satan wants to pervert and destroy God’s plan and standard for sexuality; it is deeply connected to our being made in the image of God. ii. Louis Ginzberg wrote about a fascinating legend on how the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet all wanted to begin the Bible, but in the end, the letter “bet” was allowed, because he said, “O Lord of the world! May it be Thy will to create Thy world through me, seeing that all the dwellers of the world give praise daily unto Thee through me, as it is said, Blessed be the Lord forever. Amen, and Amen.” For this reason (according to the legend), the Hebrew Book of Genesis begins, “Bereshit God created the heaven and the earth.” 3. The Bible’s clear teaching of God’s creation and the uncertainty of modern science. a. Some scientists often act certain in their knowledge about the origin of the universe, but their continually revolutionary discoveries prove they are, in some way, feeling their way along in the dark. Honest scientists, those who are not proud or arrogant, appreciate how little they do know, and hold their present discoveries with a sense of humility. b. Some scientists may be overly sure when it comes to what can be known of the universe, but we do not have to accept such arrogance. The constantly changing scene of science is illustrated vy a sidebar to a science article in the Los Angeles Times titled, “The Big Bang and What Followed It”: In the beginning, there was light - but also quarks and electrons. The Big Bang spewed out energy that condensed into radiation and particles. The quarks joined into protons and careened wildly about in a hot, dense, glowing goop as opaque as a star. Time (300,000 years or so) passed. Space expanded. Matter cooled. The electrons and protons, electrically irresistible to each other, merged into neutral hydrogen, and from this marriage, the first atoms were born. Space between atoms became as transparent as crystal - pretty much the way it looks today. The rest, as they say, is history. Atoms merged to form dust clouds, which grew into stars and galaxies and clusters. Stars used up their nuclear fuel, collapsed and exploded in recurring cycles, fusing elements in the process. Occasionally, a stable planet condensed around a second-generation star, where carbon-based life forms grew into, among other things, cosmologists, the better to contemplate it all. c. In 1913, an astronomer in Arizona discovered that stars appeared to be moving away from the earth at tremendous speeds, up to two million miles an hour. In 1919, another American astronomer named Edwin Hubble used this information to develop a theory of an expanding universe, which is the foundation of the “Big Bang” idea. Early on, other scientists discovered background radiation from all parts of the universe, which they suppose is the leftover “noise” from the first great explosion. But scientists are really not much closer at all to knowing anything about this instant beginning to the universe. d. In fact, the more they find out, the more they discover how much they don’t know. There was a time when astrophysicists were faced with another challenge: trying to figure out what “dark matter” is. Dark matter is a term scientists use to explain an enormous apparent excess of gravity in the universe. Dark matter may make up 99.9% of everything in the universe, but no one knows what it is. Though suggestions are offered, they are only suggestions. David O. Caldwell of the University of California at Santa Barbara said, “When it comes to dark matter, the only thing that we are convinced of at the moment is that it’s there.” But actually, scientists cannot even agree on that! Michael S. Turner, an astrophysics professor at the University of Chicago, said: “It’s very humbling. The origin, composition, energy and mass of the most common matter in the entire universe is unknown.” e. This uncertainty is shown in a March 6, 1995, front-page article in the Los Angeles Times headlined, “Rethinking Cosmic Questions”: Ever since people first stood up amid the tall grasses and looked about the world in wonder, religion, mythology and science all have struggled to explain how the world came to be. But when it comes to creation stories, few can hold a candle to the tale cooked up by modern cosmologists. Dialing back the cosmic clock about 15 billion years, they depict a time before time, a place before space existed. Out of nothing and nowhere, all the energy and matter in the universe exploded into existence in an event that came to be called ... the Big Bang. While masterfully spinning ideas out of faith and equations, cosmologists were pitifully short on data. They could not see or measure the phenomena they were trying to explain. “Twenty-five years ago, cosmology was very close to religion,” said physicist Roberto Peccei of UCLA. Experimental cosmologist Chris Stubbs of the University of Washington, “You’ve got these things that are ridiculously far away and ridiculously faint, and…you’ve got to make sense out of it.” “At times, I miss the old days when I could just work in my office and not worry that someone would disprove my theory in a few weeks” said Rocky Kold of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois. “Many of us who have worked in this field for decades still worry that the whole house of cards is going to collapse,” said Princeton cosmologist David Wilkinson. Recent observations, for example, suggest that the universe is younger than its oldest stars - an enigma that has astronomers scrambling for explanations. The biggest mystery, however, strikes even scientists as so astonishing as to be absurd: 99% of the universe, according to some estimates, is made of totally unfamiliar stuff. Commonly known as dark matter, it is actually mostly transparent; it neither shines nor casts a shadow. Whatever it is, it is not like us ... According to some theories, it also is the glue that holds the universe together, and keeps it from expanding forever into endless space. f. “The study of human origins seems to be a field in which each discovery raises the debate to a more sophisticated level of uncertainty.” (Christopher Stringer of the Natural Museum of London) 4. One may doubt the ability of many modern scientists to answer the question of origins. But that does not automatically give us confidence to the answer in found in the Book of Genesis. Some believe that Genesis only records a creation myth, meant only to show the greatness of God in poetic grandeur. Though there are poetic elements to the account, we believe it was still written to record a historical reality. Other Scriptures, in their approach to Genesis 1, demonstrate this. a. Psalm 136 connects the Genesis account of creation with the rest of Israel’s history in a seamless fabric. The creation account is not put in a category of historical fiction. b. Jesus quoted Genesis as if it were a purely historical record (Matthew 19:4-6 and 23:35). c. C.S. Lewis wrote that when he heard a Biblical scholar claim the Genesis creation account was a myth, he didn’t want to know about the man’s credentials as a Biblical scholar. He wanted to know how many myths the man had read. Myths were Lewis’ business as a literary scholar, and he could see the Biblical account of creation was unlike mythical accounts. d. It is true that Genesis was not written primarily as a scientific document. But if God gave us a truly scientific, detailed account of creation, written in scientific language, there would be no one who could understand it and no end to the length of such an account. Even if it were written in simple, 20th-century scientific language, it would have made no sense to all previous generations and no sense to future generations either. e. It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter (Proverbs 25:2). Scientific inquiry is the glory of man; yet it must all be done with utmost humility, realizing God conceals these matters for man to search out. 5. God did all this in the beginning, yet there was much before the beginning. a. In the beginning, God: God Himself was before the beginning: Your throne is established from of old; You are from everlasting (Psalm 93:2). Some are troubled by the questions, “Where did God come from?” and “Who created God?” The answer is found in the definition of God - that God is the uncreated Being, eternal, and without beginning or end. i. This is demonstrated in several passages of Scripture. Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. (Psalm 90:1-2) ii. J. Edwin Orr used a memorable definition of God, which was thoroughly Biblical: God is the only infinite, eternal, and unchangable spirit, the perfect being in whom all things begin, and continue, and end. b. In the beginning, God: God was in three Persons before the beginning, and the Persons shared a relationship of love and fellowship: “Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was ... for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:5, 17:24) c. In the beginning, God: Before the beginning, there was an eternal purpose in the heart of God (Ephesians 3:11) to gather together in one all things in Christ (Ephesians 1:10). God’s purpose was to “resolve” or “sum up” all things in Jesus, as if Jesus Himself were the answer to a great and complex problem God wrote out on the “blackboard” of the universe. d. In the beginning, God: Before the beginning, God had a specific plan to fulfill this eternal purpose, with many different aspects revealed to us: i. The mission of Jesus was foreordained before the foundation of the world: He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you. (1 Peter 1:20) ii. Eternal life was promised before time began: in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began. (Titus 1:2) iii. The mystery of the gospel (the cross) was foreordained before the ages: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory. (1 Corinthians 2:7) iv. The grace given unto us was given before the world began: who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began. (2 Timothy 1:9) v. Believers in Jesus Christ were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world: just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. (Ephesians 1:4) e. In the beginning, God: At some time before the beginning, God created the angels, because they witnessed the creation of the heavens and the earth (Job 38:7). 6. (2) The state of the earth before God organized creation. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. a. The earth was without form, and void: Some translate the idea in this verse as the earth became without form and void. Their thinking is the earth was originally created not without form and void, but it became without form and void through the destructive work of Satan. However, this is not the plain grammatical sense of the ancient Hebrew. i. Those who follow this idea look to Isaiah 45:18: For thus says the Lord, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited: “I am the Lord, and there is no other.” The idea is God here says He did not create the world in vain (the Hebrew word is the same as the word for void in Genesis 1:1). ii. Based on these ideas, some have advanced what has been called the “Gap Theory.” It is the idea that there was a long and indefinite chronological gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. Most “Gap Theory” adherents use the theory to explain the fossil record, assigning old and extinct fossils to this indefinite gap. iii. Whatever merit the gap theory may have, it cannot explain the extinction and fossilization of ancient animals. The Bible says plainly death came by Adam (Romans 5:12), and since fossils are the result of death, they could not have happened before Adam’s time. b. Darkness was on the face of the deep: This may describe a sense of resistance to the moving of the Holy Spirit on the earth. Some speculate this was because Satan was cast down to the earth (Isaiah 14:12; Ezekiel 28:16) and resisted God’s plan, though his resistance was futile. i. Leupold on the Spirit of God was hovering: “The verb…signifies a vibrant moving, a protective hovering…His was the preparatory work for leading over from the inorganic to the organic.” ii. “Any impression of Olympian detachment which the rest of the chapter might have conveyed is forestalled by the simile of the mother-bird ‘hovering’ (Moffatt) or fluttering by her brood. The verb reappears in Deuteronomy 32:11 to describe the eagle’s movements in stirring its young into flight.” (Kidner) c. The earth was without form, and void: When God created the earth, He quite likely built an “old” earth, creating things in the midst of a time sequence, with age “built in.” i. For example, Adam was already of mature age when he was created; there was age “built in.” Likewise, the trees in the Garden of Eden had rings in them, and there were undoubtedly canyons and sand beaches in Adam’s world. 7. (3-5) The first day of creation: light is created and divided from the darkness. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day. a. Let there be light: The first step from chaos to order is to bring light. This is also the way God works in our life. i. Paul speaks about the light brought to us by the gospel: But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:3-6) b. Then God said: God did not have to fashion light with His hands. It was enough for God to merely speak the words, “Light be!” and there was light. i. Because God created things by speaking them into existence, some have said we can operate on the same principle, speaking things into existence by faith. ii. This is based on a wrong understanding of Hebrews 11:3 (by faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God), which is taken to say God Himself used faith in creating the world. Instead, it says it is by faith we understand God created the world. iii. Also, some have a wrong understanding of Mark 11:22 which is taken to literally mean “have God’s faith” as if we are to have the same faith God has. But the words Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God” cannot mean this, because faith, as Hebrews 11:1 tells us, is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. What does God “hope” for? What does He not see? An omnipotent, omniscient Being certainly does not need faith. He is the object of faith. c. There was light: Genesis tells us that light, day, and night each existed before the sun and the moon were created on the fourth day (Genesis 1:14-19). This shows us that light is more than a physical substance; it also has a supernatural aspect. In the new heavens and the new earth, there won’t be any sun or moon. God Himself will be the light (Revelation 22:5). ii. The darkness God sent upon the Egyptians (Exodus 10:21) had a tangible quality to it, far beyond what we usually think of as being associated with darkness; it could be felt. This demonstrates a certain supernatural element, which can be related to light and darkness. d. So the evening and the morning were the first day: Many wonder if this was a literal day (in the sense we think of a day) or if it was a geological age. Some say that God created the world in six days, and others say He created it in six vast geological ages. Though there is disagreement among Christians on this, the most plain and simple meaning of the text is that He created in six days as we think of days. i. “If the days were not days at all, would God have countenanced the word? Does He trade in inaccuracies, however edifying? The question hinges on the proper use of language.” (Kidner) ii. “There ought to be no need of refuting the idea that yom means period. Reputable dictionaries…know nothing of this notion. Hebrew dictionaries are our primary source of reliable information concerning Hebrew words.” (Leupold) 8. (6-8) The second day of creation: God makes an atmospheric division. Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day. a. Let there be a firmament: The idea of a firmament is of an expanse (NIV, NAS) or space (NLT). The waters of the land are separated from the water vapor in the sky. b. The waters which were above the firmament: Here, the Bible recognizes the existence of water vapor in the sky. “The waters above the firmament thus probably constituted a vast blanket of water vapor above the troposphere and possibly above the stratosphere as well, in the high temperature region now known as the ionosphere, and extending far into space.” (Morris) Such a vapor blanket would greatly change the ecology of the earth, and Henry Morris suggests several effects of a vapor blanket. i. It would serve as a global greenhouse, maintaining an essentially uniformly pleasant temperature all over the world. ii. Without great temperature variations, there would be no significant winds, and the water-rain cycle could not form. There would be no rain as we know it today. iii. There would be lush, tropical-like vegetation, all over the world, fed not by rain, but by a rich evaporation and condensation cycle, resulting in heavy dew or ground-fog. iv. The vapor blanket would filter out ultraviolet radiation, cosmic rays, and other destructive energies bombarding the planet. These are known to be the cause of mutations, which decrease human longevity. Human and animal life spans would be greatly increased. v. A vapor blanket would provide the necessary reservoir for a potential worldwide flood. 9. (9-13) The third day of creation: the land is divided from the sea; plants and all types of vegetation are created. Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the third day. a. Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together: The idea is that before this, the earth was covered with water. Now the waters are gathered together into one place, and dry land appears. b. Let the earth bring forth grass: All this happened before the creation of the Sun (the fourth day of creation, Genesis 1:14-19). This means the plants must have had sufficient nourishment because of the light God had created before the sun and the moon. i. Those who propose these days of creation were not literal days, but successive “ages” of slow, evolutionary development have a real problem here. It is hard to explain how plants and all vegetation could grow and thrive eons before the sun and the moon. No modern evolutionist would argue plant life is older than the sun or the moon, but this is what the Genesis record tells us. ii. Many wonder how the sun, moon, and stars were created on the fourth day when light (including day and night) was created on the first day. Many have suggested the problem is solved by saying these heavenly bodies were created on the first day, but were not specifically visible, or not finally formed, until the fourth. But Revelation tells us of a coming day when we won’t need the sun, moon, and stars any longer (Revelation 21:23). There’s no reason why God couldn’t have started creation in the same way He will end it. b. And it was so: This is the beginning of life on planet earth, directly created by God, not slowly evolving over millions of years. i. Some scientists now say life on earth began when immense meteorites carrying amino acids impacted earth at a time when the sun was cooler and the earth was a watery ball covered with ice up to 1,000 feet thick. The idea is that a meteor hits the ice, breaks through, and “seeds” the water underneath with the building blocks of life, which assemble into an “organic soup.” However the process was triggered, the scientists said life on earth began in “a geological instant.” But by an instant, they mean 10 million years or less. It takes more faith to believe this than to believe in Genesis. ii. The fossil evidence also demonstrates life exploded into existence on earth, instead of slowly evolving. c. The earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed…and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself: The plants were created not as seeds, but as full-grown plants each bearing seeds. They were thus created as mature plants, having the “appearance” of age. The chicken really did come before the egg. d. According to its kind: This phrase appears ten times in Genesis chapter 1. It means God allows variation within a kind, but something of one kind will never develop into something of another kind. e. And God saw that it was good: God knows what is good. He is not some vague moral neutral. He knows what is good and organizes His creation to result in something good. i. God does not call the earth good until it has become habitable, a place where man can live. f. Let the earth bring forth…every herb that yields seed ... the herb that yields seed according to its kind ... And God saw that it was good: Some use this passage to justify the use of drugs (especially marijuana) because grass and every herb came forth at God’s command. But certainly, not every herb is good for every purpose. Hemlock is natural, but not good. i. In fact, the use of drugs in this manner is nowhere approved and is always condemned in the Bible. The wrong use of drugs is often associated with sorcery and the occult. ii. Sorcery is universally condemned in the Bible (Exodus 22:18, Deuteronomy 18:10, 2 Chronicles 33:6, Revelation 21:8 and 22:15). In both the Old and New Testaments, the word sorcery was connected with the making and taking of drugs. 10. (14-19) The fourth day of creation: the sun, moon, and stars. Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day. a. Let them be for signs and seasons: God made the sun and the moon - these lights in the firmament of the heavens to be for signs and seasons. Since the beginning, man has used God’s provision of the sun, moon, and stars to mark and measure time and direction. b. God set them in the firmament of the heavens: God knew exactly how far to set the sun from the earth. A few million miles more or less and life as we know it would be impossible. i. The intricate balance of our ecosystem argues strongly for the existence of a Creator. We live in a very complex world. ii. Ginzberg quotes a Jewish legend connecting the movement of the sun to the praise of God (as in Psalms 113:3, 50:1, and 148:3): “The progress of the sun in his circuit is an uninterrupted song of praise to God. And this song alone makes his motion possible. Therefore, when Joshua wanted to bid the sun stand still, he had to command him to be silent. His song of praise hushed, the sun stood still.” c. Let them be for signs and seasons: When God set the lights in the heavens to be for signs, it probably includes what we commonly call the zodiac, but was called by the ancient Hebrews the Mazzaroth (Job 38:31-32). i. Significantly, the sequence of the zodiac is the same in every language and culture, even if the specific names of the constellations change. Also, we know the figures of the constellations suggested to us don’t look like those things at all, and, they never did. Yet the names for the figures of the constellations are the same in all cultures. This points to a common, pre-Babel beginning for all these things, before the truth of the constellations was corrupted. ii. Luke 1:70 and Acts 3:21 speak of holy prophets since the world began. These prophets may be the stars themselves. Psalm 147:4 and Isaiah 40:26 tell us God has the stars all numbered and God has a name for them all. Psalm 19:1-6 tells us the heavens contain a message from God. iii. Astrology is a satanic corruption of God’s original “message in the stars,” a message outlining His plan of redemption. Because astrology is a corruption, it is to be avoided always by man (Isaiah 47:12-15). d. He made the stars also: With all the other stars in our universe, we often wonder if there is life on other planets. i. When you take into account all that is necessary for the sustenance of life as we know it, there are few planets able to support life. Taking into account factors such as our galaxy type, star location, star age, star mass, star color, distance from star, axis tilt, rotation period, surface gravity, tidal force, magnetic field, oxygen quantity in atmosphere, atmospheric pressure, and 20 other important factors, the probability of all 33 occurrences happening on any one planet is one in 10 to the 42 power. The total number of possible planets in the universe is 10 to the 22 power. ii. At one time the U.S. government spent $100 million a year looking for extraterrestrial intelligence. It might have been wiser to spend the money cultivating intelligent life in Washington.

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5. Deuteronomy 5-8 (Moses Reminds Israel of their Covenant with God & A Warning Against Pride)

Deuteronomy 5-8 (Moses Reminds Israel of their Covenant with God & A Warning Against Pride)

Deuteronomy 5 - Moses Reminds Israel of their Covenant with God at Sinai A. The requirements of God’s covenant with Israel. 1. (1-5) The setting of the covenant. And Moses called all Israel, and said to them: “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your hearing today, that you may learn them and be careful to observe them. The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The LORD did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, those who are here today, all of us who are alive. The LORD talked with you face to face on the mountain from the midst of the fire. I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the LORD; for you were afraid because of the fire, and you did not go up the mountain. He said:” a. Hear, O Israel: Israel was bound to the covenant they agreed to in Exodus 24:1-8, yet the covenant was made with the previous generation which perished in the wilderness. The present generation had to understand and embrace the covenant if they were to enjoy the blessings of the covenant. b. Made a covenant: Literally, this is to “cut a covenant.” The idea of “cutting” is associated with covenant because covenants were always sealed with sacrifice - the cutting of a sacrificial victim. c. The LORD did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us: In fact, the covenant was originally made with the previous generation, and Moses did not deny this. But he drove the point home: This was their covenant; it is a covenant of the living, not of the dead. d. The LORD talked with you face to face: This demonstrates that the term face to face does not mean “literal face to literal face,” but is a Hebraic figure of speech meaning “intimate, free communication.” i. Deuteronomy 4:12 specifically says that Israel saw no form; you only heard a voice. Yet they had a remarkably transparent communication with God, so the figure of speech face to face applies. ii. This is why Exodus 33:11 says So the LORD spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend, and in Exodus 33:20 the LORD says, You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live. The use of face to face in Exodus 33:11 is a figure of speech, meaning Moses had free and unhindered communication with the LORD. iii. “Face to face seems to mean ‘in person,’ that is, in the immediacy of personal contact.” (Thompson) e. I stood between the LORD and you at that time: Israel could not bear such free and unhindered communication with the LORD, so they asked Moses to speak to God on their behalf. 2. (6-7) The first commandment: no other gods before Me. I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me. a. I am the LORD your God: Before God commanded anything of man, He declared who He was and what He did for Israel (who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage). The foundation was clear: because of whom God was and what He did for His people, He has the right to tell us what to do - and we have the obligation to obey Him. b. You shall have no other gods before Me: The first commandment logically flows from understanding who God is and what He has done for us. Nothing is to come before God and He is the only God we worship and serve. i. In the days of ancient Israel, there was great temptation to worship the gods of materialism (Baal, the god of weather and financial success) and sex (Ashtoreth, the goddess of sex, romance, and reproduction), or any number of other local deities. We are tempted to worship the same gods, but without the old-fashioned names and images. c. No other gods before Me: This did not imply that it was permissible to have other gods, as long as they lined up behind the true God. Instead the idea is that there are to be no other gods before the sight of the true God in our life. Before Me is literally, “to My face.” i. This means God demands to be more than “added” to our lives. We don’t just add Jesus to the life we already have. We must give Him all our lives. ii. Failure to obey this commandment is called idolatry. We are to flee idolatry (1 Corinthians 10:14). Those lives marked by habitual idolatry will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Ephesians 5:5, Revelation 21:8, 22:15). Idolatry is a work of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-20), which marks our old life instead of the new (1 Peter 4:3), and we are not to associate with those who call themselves Christians who are idolaters (1 Corinthians 5:11). 3. (8-10) The second commandment: You shall not make for yourself any carved image . . . you shall not bow down to them. You shall not make for yourself a carved image; any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. a. You shall not make for yourself a carved image: The second commandment prohibited not only idolatry regarding false gods, it also dealt with making an image of any created thing which we might worship. b. Or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath: In that day as well as in our own, worship was tied closely with images - idealized images, or even images in the mind of man. God will not allow us to depict Him with any such image, nor replace Him with another image. i. The second commandment didn’t forbid making an image of something for artistic purposes. God Himself commanded Israel make images of cherubim (Exodus 25:18, 26:31). It forbade the making of images as an “aid” to worship. ii. “To countenance its image worship, the Roman Catholic Church has left the whole of this second commandment out of the decalogue, and thus lost one whole commandment out of the ten; but to keep up the number they have divided the tenth into two.” (Clarke) iii. John 4:24 explains the rationale behind the second commandment: God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. The use of images and other material things as a focus or “help” to worship denies who God is (Spirit) and how we must worship Him (in spirit and truth). iv. Paul reminds us of the futility of trying to make God into our own image: Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man; and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. (Romans 1:22-23) c. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God: How can it be said that God is a jealous God? “God’s jealousy is love in action. He refuses to share the human heart with any rival, not because He is selfish and wants us all for Himself, but because He knows that upon that loyalty to Him depends our very moral life . . . God is not jealous of us: He is jealous for us.” (Redpath) d. Visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me: This does not mean God punishes us directly for the sins of our ancestors. The important words are of those who hate Me - if the descendants love God, they will not have the iniquity of the fathers visited on them. i. “‘This necessarily implies - IF the children walk in the steps of their fathers; for no man can be condemned by Divine justice for a crime of which he was never guilty.” (Clarke) ii. Yet, the focus here is on idolatry, and this refers to judgment on a national scale - nations that forsake the LORD will be judged, and that judgment will have effects throughout generations. 4. (11) The third commandment: You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. a. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain: We can break the third commandment through profanity (using the name of God in blasphemy and cursing), frivolity (using the name of God in a superficial, stupid way), and hypocrisy (claiming the name of God but acting in a way that disgraces Him). i. . Jesus communicated the idea of this command in the disciple’s prayer, when He taught us to have a regard for the holiness of God’s name (Hallowed be Your name, Matthew 6:9). b. For the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain: The strength of this command has led to strange traditions among the Jewish people. Some go to extreme lengths in attempting to fulfill this command, refusing to even write out the name of God, in the fear that the paper might be destroyed and the name of God be written in vain. 5. (12-15) The fourth commandment: Remember the Sabbath day. Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day. a. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy: The seventh day (Saturday) was commanded to be respected as a day of rest. This rest was for all of Israel - servants and slaves as well as visitors. i. This is an important principle that might be too easily passed over. Here God declared the essential humanity and dignity of women, slaves, and strangers, and said they had the same right to a day of rest as the free Israeli man. This was certainly a radical concept in the ancient world. ii. In fact, in Moses’ exposition of the Law here in Deuteronomy, he pays special stress on the fact that the Sabbath is for the foreign-born slaves among Israel. Deuteronomy 5:15 (And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt) is not cited in Exodus 20. b. To keep it holy: In their traditions, the Jewish people came to carefully quantify what they thought could and could not be done on the Sabbath day, in order to keep it holy. i. For example, in Luke 6:1-2, in the mind of the Jewish leaders, the disciples were guilty of four violations of the Sabbath every time they took a bite of grain out in the field, because they reaped, threshed, winnowed, and prepared food. ii. Ancient Rabbis taught that on the Sabbath, a man could not carry something in his right hand or in his left hand, across his chest or on his shoulder. But he could carry something with the back of his hand, his foot, his elbow, or in his ear, his hair, or in the hem of his shirt, or in his shoe or sandal. Or, on the Sabbath, you Israelites were forbidden to tie a knot - except, a woman could tie a knot in her girdle. So, if a bucket of water had to be raised from a well, an Israelite could not tie a rope to the bucket, but a woman could tie her girdle to the bucket and pull it up from the well. iii. In observant Jewish homes today, one cannot turn on a light, a stove, or a switch on the Sabbath. It is forbidden to drive a certain distance or to make a telephone call - all carefully regulated by traditions seeking to spell out the law exactly. c. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth: God established the pattern for the Sabbath at the time of creation. When He rested from His works on the seventh day, God made the seventh day a day of rest from all our works (Genesis 2:3). But the most important purpose of the Sabbath was to serve as a shadow of the rest we have in Jesus. i. Some claim that Christians are required to keep the Sabbath today. But the New Testament makes it clear that Christians are not under obligation to observe a Sabbath day (Colossians 2:16-17 and Galatians 4:9-11), because Jesus fulfilled the purpose and plan of the Sabbath for us and in us (Hebrews 4:9-11). ii. Galatians 4:10 tells us that Christians are not bound to observe days and months and seasons and years. The rest we enter into as Christians is something to experience every day, not just one day a week - the rest of knowing we don’t have to work to save ourselves, but our salvation is accomplished in Jesus (Hebrews 4:9-10). iii. The Sabbath commanded here and observed by Israel was a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ (Colossians 2:16-17). We have a rest in Jesus that is ours to live in every day. Therefore, since the shadow of the Sabbath is fulfilled in Jesus, we are free to keep any day - or no day - as a Sabbath after the custom of ancient Israel. iv. However, though we are free from the legal obligation of the Sabbath, we dare not ignore the importance of a day of rest - God has built us so that we need one. Like a car that needs regular maintenance, we need regular rest - or we will not “wear” well. Some people are like high mileage cars that haven’t been maintained well, and it shows. v. Some Christians are also dogmatic about observing Saturday as the Sabbath as opposed to Sunday. But because we are free to regard all days as given to God, it makes no difference. But in some ways, Sunday is more appropriate; being the day Jesus rose from the dead (Mark 16:9), and first met with His disciples (John 20:19), and a day when Christians gathered for fellowship (Acts 20:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:2). Under Law, men worked towards God’s rest; but after Jesus’ finished work on the cross, the believer enters into rest and goes from that rest out to work. vi. But we are also commanded to work six days. “He who idles his time away in the six days is equally culpable in the sight of God as he who works on the seventh.” (Clarke) Many Christians should give more “leisure time” to the work of the LORD. Every Christian should have a deliberate was to serve God and advance the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. 6. (16) The fifth commandment: honor your father and your mother. Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you. a. Honor your father and your mother: Honor for fathers and mothers is an essential building block for the stability and health of all society. If the younger generations are constantly at war with older generations, the foundations of society will be destroyed. i. Jesus used the way the Pharisees interpreted this commandment as an example of how one might keep the law with a limited interpretation, yet violate the spirit of the commandment (Matthew 15:3-6). b. That your days may be long: In Ephesians 6:2 Paul repeated this command, emphasizing the promise stated here: that your days may be long upon the land. Rebellion is costly, and many have paid a high price personally for their rebellion against their parents. 7. (17) The sixth commandment: You shall not murder. You shall not murder. a. You shall not murder: Some wonder how God can approve both capital punishment (Exodus 19:12) and this prohibition of murder. The simple answer is that in Hebrew as well as English, there is a distinction between to kill and to murder. As opposed to killing, murder is the taking of life without legal justification (execution after due process) or moral justification (killing in defense). b. You shall not murder: Jesus carefully explained the heart of this commandment. He showed that it also prohibits us from hating someone else (Matthew 5:21-26), because we can wish someone dead in our hearts, yet never have the “courage” to commit the deed. Someone may not kill from a lack of courage or initiative, though his or her heart is filled with hatred. 8. (18) The seventh commandment: You shall not commit adultery. You shall not commit adultery. a. You shall not commit adultery: Recognize that the act itself is condemned. God allows no justification for the ways that many people often seek to justify extra-marital sex, such as saying “my partner doesn’t understand me” or “we are in love” or “God led us to be with each other” or any other excuse. i. Michael English, who lost his recording contract and marriage over adultery with another Christian music singer, says of his adultery and its aftermath: “Maybe God allowed this to happen to make me see I needed some freedom.” No! b. You shall not commit adultery: The New Testament clearly condemns adultery: Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication uncleanness, licentiousness . . . (Galatians 5:19). But more than the act itself, Jesus carefully explained the heart of this commandment. It prohibits us from looking at a woman to lust for her, where we commit adultery in our heart or mind, yet may not have the courage or opportunity to do the act (Matthew 5:27-30). We aren’t innocent just because we didn’t have the opportunity to sin the way we really wanted to. 9. (19) The eighth commandment: You shall not steal. You shall not steal. a. Not steal: This command is another important foundation for human society, establishing the right to personal property. God has clearly entrusted certain possessions to certain individuals, and other people or states are not permitted to take that property without due process of law. b. Not steal: We can also steal from God. Of course, this demands we honor God with our financial resources, so we are not guilty of robbing Him (Malachi 3:8-10). But we can also rob God by refusing to give Him ourselves for obedience and His service, because He bought us and owns us: knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold . . . but with the precious blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19); For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s (1 Corinthians 6:20). c. Not steal: Ephesians 4:28 gives the solution to stealing. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. 10. (20) The ninth commandment: You shall not bear false witness. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. a. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor: We can break the ninth commandment through slander, talebearing, creating false impressions, by silence, by questioning the motives behind someone’s actions, or even by flattery. i. “Slander . . . is a lie invented and spread with intent to do harm. That is the worst form of injury a person can do to another. Compared to one who does this, a gangster is a gentleman, and a murderer is kind, because he ends life in a moment with a stroke and with little pain. But the man guilty of slander ruins a reputation which may never be regained, and causes lifelong suffering.” (Redpath) ii. “Talebearing . . . is repeating a report about a person without careful investigation. Many, many times I have known what it is to suffer with that. To repeat a story which brings discredit and dishonor to another person without making sure of the facts, is breaking this commandment . . . How many people, especially Christian people, revel in this, and delight in working havoc by telling tales about others. To excuse the action by saying they believed the report to be true, or that there was no intention to malign, is no justification.” (Redpath) iii. What about inappropriate silence? “When someone utters a falsity about another and a third person is present who knows that statement to be untrue but, for reasons of fear or being disliked, remains quiet, that third person is as guilty of breaking this law as if he had told a lie.” (Redpath) b. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor: The New Testament puts it simply. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds (Colossians 3:9) “How very strange that we have ever come to think that Christian maturity is shown by the ability to speak our minds, whereas it is really expressed in controlling our tongues.” (Redpath) i. “What a startling revelation it would be if a tape recording could be played of all that every church member has said about his fellow members in one week!” (Redpath) ii. Satan is always there to encourage a lie (John 8:44; Acts 5:3); and Jesus Himself was the victim of false witness (Mark 14:57); in some ways, we might say this was the sin that sent Jesus to the cross. 11. (21) The tenth commandment: You shall not covet. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife; and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, his male servant, his female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s. a. You shall not covet: All the first nine commands focus more on things we do; the tenth deals straight with the heart and its desires. i. Literally, the word for “covet” here means “to pant after.” Covetousness works like this: the eyes look upon an object, the mind admires it, the will goes over to it, and the body moves in to possess it. Just because you have not taken the final step does not mean you are not in the process of coveting right now. b. Your neighbor’s house . . . wife . . . ox . . . donkey: Covetousness can be expressed towards all sorts of things; it is the itch to have and to possess what someone else has. It speaks of a dissatisfaction with what we have, and a jealously towards those who have something “better.” i. Hebrews 13:5 puts it well: Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” ii. This last commandment is closely connected with the first commandment against idolatry: For this you know, that no . . . covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God (Ephesians 5:5). iii. Jesus gave a special warning about covetousness, which explained the core philosophy of the covetous heart: And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” (Luke 12:15) B. The response of Israel and the response of God at Mount Sinai. 1. (22-27) The response of Israel: shrinking fear. “These words the LORD spoke to all your assembly, in the mountain from the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, with a loud voice; and He added no more. And He wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me. So it was, when you heard the voice from the midst of the darkness, while the mountain was burning with fire, that you came near to me, all the heads of your tribes and your elders. And you said: ‘Surely the LORD our God has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire. We have seen this day that God speaks with man; yet he still lives. Now therefore, why should we die? For this great fire will consume us; if we hear the voice of the LORD our God anymore, then we shall die. For who is there of all flesh who has heard the voice of the living God speaking from the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? You go near and hear all that the LORD our God may say, and tell us all that the LORD our God says to you, and we will hear and do it.’“ a. In the mountain from the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, with a loud voice: The whole scene was indeed awesome: The LORD spoke; there was fire, a cloud, thick darkness, a loud voice; and it all made such an impression on Israel that they asked Moses to not have God speak to them so directly any more. i. Why should we die? . . . if we hear the voice of the LORD our God anymore, then we shall die makes it plain. The Mount Sinai experience was not one of sweet fellowship with God. The message of Mount Sinai was not “come unto Me,” but “stay away, for I am holy and you are not.” ii. This is exactly the message of the writer to the Hebrews in Hebrews 12:18-24: We, under the New Covenant, have not come to Mount Sinai and the message “stay away”; we have come to Mount Zion, where God’s message is “come unto Me.” b. Tell us all that the LORD our God says to you, and we will hear and do it: Israel was far too confident in their ability to keep the law of God. Their experience at Mount Sinai convinced them of God’s glory, but not of their own corruption and inability. 2. (28-33) God responds with hopeful pleasure in Israel. “Then the LORD heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me, and the LORD said to me: ‘I have heard the voice of the words of this people which they have spoken to you. They are right in all that they have spoken. Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever! Go and say to them, “Return to your tents.” But as for you, stand here by Me, and I will speak to you all the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments which you shall teach them, that they may observe them in the land which I am giving them to possess.’ Therefore you shall be careful to do as the LORD your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. You shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess.” a. They are right in all they have spoken: God was pleased with Israel’s response. Their response was evidence that they took Him seriously. b. Oh, that they had such a heart: The feeling is that God liked what He saw in Israel, but “hoped” (to use a figure of speech, because God doesn’t “hope” for things the way we do) that they would keep the same attitude of heart. In fact, Israel did not keep this heart; not 40 days later they danced in worship around a golden calf. c. That it might be well with them and their children forever! This is God’s motive in calling for our obedience - that it might be well with us. Every command of God is rooted in love for us, not some obsessive desire for control, or mean-spirited attitude towards us. d. Therefore you shall be careful to do as the LORD your God has commanded you: Knowing the glory of God (as revealed at Mount Sinai) and the love of God (as revealed by His longing that it might be well with them), gave them all the more reason to obey God. i. When we have trouble obeying God, we are clearly lacking in one or both of these areas. Either we forget His glory or we forget His love for us, or we forget both of them. Deuteronomy 6 - Moses Reminds Israel of the Commandment and the Warning A. The Commandment: The essence of God’s law. 1. (1-3) Remember the commandment before entering Canaan. Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the LORD your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess, that you may fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the LORD God of your fathers has promised you; “a land flowing with milk and honey.” a. Now this is the commandment: The Hebrew is emphatic here. Moses called attention to The Commandment. In the following verses, God reduced the law to one ruling principle - one commandment which encompassed all the commandments. b. That your days may be prolonged . . . that it may be well with you: Israel’s fate rested on their obedience to this one great commandment. If they obeyed their commandment, their life would be long and filled with blessing. If they did not obey they could expect to be cursed by God. 2. (4-5) The great commandment: Love the LORD your God. Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. a. Hear, O Israel: In Hebrew, these verses are known as the Shema (“hear” in Hebrew). It is the classic Hebrew confession of faith, describing who God is and what our duty is towards Him. b. The LORD our God, the LORD is one! This is the essential truth about God. He is a person and not a vague pantheistic force. Being one, He cannot be represented by contradictory images. Since the LORD our God is one, He is not Baal, or Ashtoreth - He is the LORD God, and they are not. i. In the mind of many Jewish people, this verse alone disqualified the New Testament teaching that Jesus is God, and the New Testament teaching of the Trinity - that there is one God, existing in three Persons. At some times and places, as Jewish synagogues said the Shema together, and when the word one (echad) was said, they loudly and strongly repeated that one word for several minutes, as if it were a rebuke to Christians who believed in the Trinity. ii. Christians must come to a renewed understanding of the unity of God. They must appreciate the fact that the LORD is one, not three, as 1 Corinthians 8:6 says: yet for us there is one God. We worship one God, existing in three persons, not three separate gods. iii. Yet, the statement the LORD is one certainly does not contradict the truth of the Trinity. In fact, it establishes that truth. The Hebrew word for one is echad, which speaks most literally of a compound unity, instead of using the Hebrew word yacheed, which speaks of an absolute unity or singularity (Genesis 22:2 and Psalm 25:16). iv. The very first use of echad in the Bible is in Genesis 1:5: So the evening and the morning were the first day. Even here, we see a unity (one day) with the idea of plurality (made up of evening and morning). Genesis 2:24 uses echad in saying the two shall become one flesh. Again, the idea of a unity (one flesh), making a plurality (the two). In Exodus 26:6 and 11, the fifty gold clasps are used to hold the curtains together so the tent would be one (echad) - a unity (one) made up of a plurality (the many parts of the tabernacle). In Ezekiel 37:17 the LORD tells Ezekiel to join together two sticks (prophetically representing Ephraim and Judah) into one (echad), speaking again of a unity (one stick) made up of a plurality (the two sticks). There is no way that echad has the exclusive idea of an absolute singularity; the idea of One God in Three Persons fits just fine with the term echad. c. The LORD our God: In addition, even the name of God in this line suggests the plurality of God. The Hebrew word is Elohim and grammatically, it is a plural word used as if it were singular - the verbs and pronouns used with it are generally in the plural. i. Rabbi Simeon ben Joachi, commenting on the word Elohim: “Come and see the mystery of the word Elohim; there are three degrees, and each degree by itself alone, and yet notwithstanding they are all one, and joined together in one, and are not divided from each other.” Clarke adds: “He must be strangely prejudiced indeed who cannot see that the doctrine of a Trinity, and of a Trinity in unity, is expressed in the above words.” ii. Leupold quoting Luther on Elohim: “But we have clear testimony that Moses aimed to indicate the Trinity or the three persons in the one divine nature.” d. Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might: Knowing who God is enables us to act towards Him rightly. We give Him His due. i. God wants a complete love from us. This love is appropriate because He loved us completely: We love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). ii. What God most wants from us is our love. We often think God demands a hundred other things from us - our money, our time, our effort, our will, our submission, and so forth - but what God really wants is our love. When we really love the LORD with all of our heart, soul, and mind, then everything else is freely given to the LORD. If we give the LORD all the rest - money, time, effort, will, and so forth - without giving Him our love, it is all wasted - and perhaps, all is lost. iii. Jesus called this the great commandment (Matthew 22:37-38); and He said the second commandment, you shall love your neighbor as yourself, was like this first, great commandment. When we love the LORD our God with all our heart, soul, and mind, we will find it easy to love our neighbor as ourselves. 3. (6-9) The continual reminder of the Law. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. a. These words which I command you today shall be in your heart: This great command must first be in our heart. Then it must be communicated to our children, the topic of our conversation, and should always be in front of us - as near as our hand or our forehead, as ever before us as our door posts and gates. b. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand: By the time of Jesus the Jewish people based the practice of wearing phylacteries on this passage. Phylacteries are small boxes holding parchment with scriptures on them, held to the forehead or hand with leather straps. i. Jesus condemned abuse of the wearing of phylacteries among the Pharisees; they would make their phylactery boxes large and ostentatious as a display of greater spirituality (Matthew 23:5). ii. In the end times, there will be a Satanic imitation of this practice, when the number of the Antichrist will be applied to either the hand or forehead of all who will take it (Revelation 13:16). c. You shall write them on the doorposts of your houses: This command leads to the Jewish practice of the mezuzah. This is a small container holding a passage of Scripture that is nailed to a doorpost. B. The danger of disobedience. 1. (10-12) The danger of leaving God in times of prosperity. So it shall be, when the LORD your God brings you into the land of which He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give you large and beautiful cities which you did not build, houses full of all good things, which you did not fill, hewn-out wells which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant; when you have eaten and are full; then beware, lest you forget the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. a. To give you large and beautiful cities which you did not build: God planned to bring Israel into an abundant, prepared land. In this abundant blessing God had for Israel, there was an inherent danger: That they would forget the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt. b. Lest you forget the LORD: This cycle would be repeated through the history of Israel, especially in the time of the Judges. God would bless an obedient Israel, and they would prosper; they would begin to set their heart on the blessings instead of the LORD who blessed them; God would allow chastisement to turn Israel’s focus back upon Him; Israel would repent and obey again, and God would again bless and obedient Israel and they would prosper. i. We usually fail to appreciate the danger of success and prosperity; we agree there is a theoretical danger in those things, but rarely think it applies to us. ii. It is just a lot easier to forget the LORD your brought you out . . . from the house of bondage when there are no circumstances forcing you to remember Him. 2. (13-19) How to avoid apostasy in times of prosperity: honoring the LORD in everything we do. You shall fear the LORD your God and serve Him, and shall take oaths in His name. You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are all around you (for the LORD your God is a jealous God among you), lest the anger of the LORD your God be aroused against you and destroy you from the face of the earth. You shall not tempt the LORD your God as you tempted Him in Massah. You shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, His testimonies, and His statutes which He has commanded you. And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD, that it may be well with you, and that you may go in and possess the good land of which the LORD swore to your fathers, to cast out all your enemies from before you, as the LORD has spoken. a. You shall fear the LORD your God and serve Him: When we do this, the idea is not of a shrinking fear from an angry God. Instead, the idea of fear is more in the concept of an awe-filled respect, an inner repulsion at the idea of offending such a great, loving God who has done so much for us. i. This is the passage of Scripture Jesus quoted back to Satan when tempted by Satan to avoid the cross and win back the world, if He would only bow down and worship Satan. Jesus rightly replies, based on the truth You shall fear the LORD your God and serve Him that it was only right to fear, and worship, and serve God - and it was wrong to bow down to Satan, no matter what might be given Him in return (Matthew 4:8-10). b. And shall take oaths in His name: although the concept of the oath in God’s name can certainly be abused (as Jesus pointed out in Matthew 5:33-37), there certainly is a permissible use of oaths by those who follow God - since God Himself uses oaths (Hebrews 6:13). Here, Israel is being told “you are to swear an oath only in the name of the LORD, not in the name of any other god.” c. You shall not tempt the LORD your God as you tempted Him at Massah: In Exodus 17:1-7, Israel tempted the LORD by doubting His love and concern for them. This was tempting or testing God regarding His love for Israel, something that is not only high-handed against the LORD (because we have no right to administer a test to the Almighty) but also disregarding His previous, and constant demonstrations of love and care for Israel (by demanding that God prove His love for them now by giving them what they want). i. Anytime we deny God’s love for us, or demand He do something for us, we are testing Him as if He must answer to our standards, and tempting Him to judge us. ii. This is the passage of Scripture which Jesus quoted back to Satan in the wilderness, when tempted to make God the Father prove His love for the Son by spectacularly protecting Jesus if He should jump off the pinnacle of the temple (Matthew 4:5-7). Jesus knew it was wrong to demand this sort of “proof” from His Father, since every day was proof of God the Father’s love for the Son! d. And you shall do what is right . . . that it may be well with you: This theme is constantly repeated. Under the Old Covenant, Israel’s blessing was based on their obedience. When they obeyed they would be blessed; when they disobeyed they would be cursed. i. This is not the source of blessing in the New Covenant. In the New Covenant, we are blessed by faith in Jesus, since He fulfills the law in our place (Romans 8:3-4). The watchwords for blessing under the Old Covenant were earning and deserving; under the New Covenant, blessing comes by believing and receiving. ii. The New Covenant system works because when we receive the New Covenant, God sends with it an inner transformation, where the law of God and the desire to do His will is now written on our hearts. Through the New Covenant, God makes us “safe” for His grace by this inner transformation. iii. Under the New Covenant there is no judgment from God for our disobedience, because all the judgment we deserved was put upon Jesus at the cross. However, there may be correction from the hand of a loving God the Father (not in the sense of making us pay for our sin, but in the sense of training us not to continue in sin), and there are the natural consequences of our disobedience, which God has not promised to shield us from. iv. Christians who fear the “freedom” of a New Covenant relationship with God must ask this question: did Israel come to great obedience to God through the Old Covenant? Does the system of earning and deserving blessing make us truly more godly than the system of believing and receiving? Or does it leave us either in total desperation (where one can then look to Jesus), or in total pride in our own works before God (as were the religious leaders of Jesus’ day who had a significant hand in crucifying Him)? 3. (20-25) How to avoid apostasy in times of prosperity: Teach your children to understand and honor the LORD. When your son asks you in time to come, saying, “What is the meaning of the testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments which the LORD our God has commanded you?” then you shall say to your son: “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand; and the LORD showed signs and wonders before our eyes, great and severe, against Egypt, Pharaoh, and all his household. Then He brought us out from there, that He might bring us in, to give us the land of which He swore to our fathers. And the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day. Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the LORD our God, as He has commanded us.” a. When your son asks you in time to come: Often, the apostasy which comes from prosperity afflicts the next generation more than the present. They grow up expecting such prosperity and blessing, without understanding the repentance and walk with God which led to the prosperity. b. Then you shall say to your son: Therefore, it was essential for Israel to teach and warn their children, so that the blessings given to one generation would not become a curse to the next generation. i. Key to the teaching was the simple recounting of Israel’s testimony - how God saved them from the bondage of Egypt. Parents need to relate to their children how they came to a personal relationship with Jesus, so the children understand that they must come to the same relationship. c. It will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments: If one will obtain true righteousness through the law, it is simple (though not easy): observe all the commandments. But if you are lacking in observing any commandment, then you need the atonement of a Perfect Sacrifice - Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Deuteronomy 7 - Commands to Conquer and Obey A. The Conquest of the Canaanites is commanded. 1. (1-5) The command to completely destroy the Canaanites and their culture. When the LORD your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, 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 you, and when the LORD your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them. Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son. For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the LORD will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly. But thus you shall deal with them: you shall destroy their altars, and break down their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images, and burn their carved images with fire. a. When the LORD your God: Israel wasn’t in the land yet, but Moses still instructed them as if it were a certainty. This was based on the faithful promise of God, but it was also according to His principle of preparation. God prepares us before He brings us into a place. b. Greater and mightier than you: “Sure,” Moses said, “the Canaanite nations are greater and mightier than you. But they are not greater and mightier than God.” God brought Israel to face a challenge that was impossible in their own strength - but entirely possible in Him. c. When the LORD your God delivers them over to you: Not “if,” but when. God could be counted on. d. You shall conquer them and utterly destroy them: Yet, God would not do it all for them. The extent of the work would depend on their faithful response to what God would do. i. Utterly destroy them . . . nor show mercy to them: This principle of battle until absolute victory is the key to victory as we take the Promised Land of blessing and peace God has for us in Jesus. We show no mercy to our enemies in the land, but we destroy them utterly. Many of us, truth be told, simply do not want to completely destroy the sins which keep us from God’s Promised Land of blessing and peace - we want to weaken them, and have some control over them, but we do not want to utterly destroy them. e. Destroy their altars, and break down their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images, and burn their carved images: We are especially to destroy anything which would lead us into a false or foreign worship. i. This radical, complete destruction was important because of the depraved nature of the worship of the Canaanites, who worshipped male and female gods of sex and who practiced human sacrifice with their own children. 2. (6-8) Conquer them completely because the LORD loves you. For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; but because the LORD loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. a. For you are a holy people to the LORD your God: Israel was holy in their standing before God before they were holy in their conduct. They were set apart unto God by His choosing (God has chosen you to be a people for Himself), and were then called to live as chosen people. b. The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number: As much as anything, their election meant the LORD set His love on them. Their motivation for such a total obedience was to be that they knew they were loved by God. i. This is the great motivation for obedience: knowing and walking in the love of God. When we really believe God loves us, and live with that belief as a conscious fact, we find it so much easier to obey - and to utterly destroy anything that would damage that relationship of love. 3. (9-11) Conquer them completely because you serve a God of justice. Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments; and He repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slack with him who hates Him; He will repay him to his face. Therefore you shall keep the commandment, the statutes, and the judgments which I command you today, to observe them. a. He repays those who hate Him to their face: Over many generations the Canaanites had demonstrated their hatred for God, Now, using Israel as His instrument, God will repay them with judgment. B. Blessing on an obedient Israel. 1. (12-16) Abundant blessings for obedience. Then it shall come to pass, because you listen to these judgments, and keep and do them, that the LORD your God will keep with you the covenant and the mercy which He swore to your fathers. And He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your land, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flock, in the land of which He swore to your fathers to give you. You shall be blessed above all peoples; there shall not be a male or female barren among you or among your livestock. And the LORD will take away from you all sickness, and will afflict you with none of the terrible diseases of Egypt which you have known, but will lay them on all those who hate you. And you shall destroy all the peoples whom the LORD your God delivers over to you; your eye shall have no pity on them; nor shall you serve their gods, for that will be a snare to you. 2. (17-24) Have confidence in God’s strength. If you should say in your heart, “These nations are greater than I; how can I dispossess them?”; you shall not be afraid of them, but you shall remember well what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt: the great trials which your eyes saw, the signs and the wonders, the mighty hand and the outstretched arm, by which the LORD your God brought you out. So shall the LORD your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid. Moreover the LORD your God will send the hornet among them until those who are left, who hide themselves from you, are destroyed. You shall not be terrified of them; for the LORD your God, the great and awesome God, is among you. And the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you little by little; you will be unable to destroy them at once, lest the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. But the LORD your God will deliver them over to you, and will inflict defeat upon them until they are destroyed. And He will deliver their kings into your hand, and you will destroy their name from under heaven; no one shall be able to stand against you until you have destroyed them. a. You shall not be afraid of them, but you shall remember well what the LORD your God did: Their recollection of God’s faithfulness in the past would give them hope for their current struggle. b. You will be unable to destroy them at once: God would go before Israel and fight for them (the great and awesome God, is among you) but He would not drive all the enemies out at once. Perhaps Israel wanted the land all cleared out before them, but God knew it was not best for the land or for them. c. Lest the beast of the field become too numerous for you: The way easiest for Israel was for God to clear all Israel’s enemies out at once. But this easy way had consequences Israel could not see or appreciate. d. Little by little: Sometimes to our frustration, this is the way God often works in our life. He clears things away little by little even though we might prefer it all at once. But God wanted Israel to grow spiritually in the process of taking the Promised Land. i. Doing it all at once might seem easier and better to us, but will have consequences we cannot see or appreciate. God cares that we grow, and so He grows us little by little. 3. (25-26) Do not share in their abominations. You shall burn the carved images of their gods with fire; you shall not covet the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, lest you be snared by it; for it is an abomination to the LORD your God. Nor shall you bring an abomination into your house, lest you be doomed to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest it and utterly abhor it, for it is an accursed thing. Deuteronomy 8 - A Warning Against Pride A. God’s work of building humility in Israel during the wilderness wanderings. 1. (1-2) God humbled and tested Israel. Every commandment which I command you today you must be careful to observe, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers. And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. a. Every command . . . you must be careful to observe: God called Israel to a complete obedience. This obedience was to be based on remembering what the LORD had done among them in the wilderness. b. To humble you: God humbled Israel. He brought them to a place where all they could do was depend on Him. They had nothing else, and no one else to count on. i. Some think that God’s work of humbling is accomplished just by bringing us into a humble place. But it is where our heart is while we are in the humble place that God is really concerned about. We may be in a humble place, but longing for something different. We may believe that God owes something different to us, and we will soon get it. Instead, God wants us to be content in the humble place He puts us. c. And test you: God tested Israel. It was not because He didn’t know their hearts, but because they didn’t know their hearts. We have to constantly be corrected of our over-estimation of ourselves. 2. (3-5) God’s education of Israel in the wilderness. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD. Your garments did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the LORD your God chastens you. a. So He humbled you: All of God’s education begins here. Some never even make it past this first essential step. If we are not humble and not teachable, there is then no point to the rest of any of God’s education. b. Allowed you to hunger, and fed you manna: The next grade of God’s education is total dependence on the LORD. Israel had to rely on God beyond their own knowledge (which you did not know), and beyond their own ability. c. That He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone: In the negative, this was the lesson God wanted them to learn. In the positive, they had to learn that man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD. Sadly, many still live by bread alone, living only for material things, for what can be bought or sold or earned or possessed materially. i. This statement is a command; but it is also a simple statement of fact: man shall not live by bread alone. You may exist by material things alone, but you will not live. Anyone thinking they live for bread alone is actually one of the living dead. ii. Some don’t live by God’s word because they fight with God’s word: “The worst impliment with which you can knock a man down, is the Bible; it is intended for us to live upon, - not to be the weapon of our controversies, but our daily food, upon which we rejoice to live.” (Spurgeon) iii. We live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, not by every feeling we experience. “You have never received spiritual life by your own feelings. It was when you believed God’s Word that you lived; and you will never get an increase of spiritual life, and grow in grace, by your own feelings or your own doings. It must still be by your believing the promises and feeding on the Word.” (Spurgeon) iv. It is the word of God that is our food and substance, and not our own dreams or imaginations. If you are more excited about some dream or vision than you are about God’s word, then something is wrong. The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream; And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat?” says the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:28) v. We live by every word: “In places where they cut diamonds, they sweep up the dust, because the very dust of diamonds is valuable; and in the Word of God, all the truth is so precious that the very tiniest truth, if there be such a thing, is still diamond dust, and is unspeakably precious.” (Spurgeon) vi. Find life in every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD! “Oh, keep to the Word, my brothers! Keep to it as God’s Word, and as coming out of his mouth. Suck it down into your soul; you cannot have too much of it. Feed on it day and night, for thus will God make you to live the life that is life indeed.” (Spurgeon) 3. (6-10) Blessings in the land for Israel. Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him. For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper. When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you. a. Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God: If Israel would put their focus on every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD, then the LORD would take care of all the material things - and bring them into a materially abundant land. i. God is not against material things - except when they come between us and Him. God wanted to materially bless a spiritually obedient Israel. ii. “The reference to iron and copper in the hills is remarkably exact. Ancient copper mines and smelters have been discovered in recent years in the Arabah below the Dead Sea, and geological survey has demonstrated the presence of ores of copper and iron in the nearby hills.” (Thompson) b. Then you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you: This is the simple principle of Matthew 6:33 - But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. B. A warning against pride. 1. (11-17) The danger of pride in the blessed life. Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest; when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end; then you say in your heart, “My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.” a. Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments: When everything this fine and our lives are filled with abundance, it is not hard to have our hearts lifted up. We can easily forget the LORD Himself and forget it was all His work on our behalf. b. My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth: This is rarely said with the lips; it is said instead in the heart. It is easier to say “God did it” or “It’s all the blessing of the LORD” than it is to really mean these words in the heart. 2. (18) The correcting principle against pride in the blessed life. And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. a. Remember the LORD your God: In times of abundance, it is easy to forget the LORD, or to at least no longer seek Him with the urgency we once had. b. It is He who gives you power to get wealth: We often thinking highly of our own hard work and brilliance. Yet we must see that God gives us the body, the brain, and the talent. It is all of God. c. That He may establish His covenant: This reminds us why God has blessed us. His plan is that it would ultimately further His eternal purpose. Therefore we have no right to use our material blessing to further selfish purposes; instead, we use our resources to advance His kingdom. 3. (19-20) The penalty of pride in the blessed life. Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the LORD your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish. As the nations which the LORD destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the LORD your God. a. I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish: Moses loved Israel, but he loved God more. Without hesitation, he would take the witness stand against a disobedient, proud Israel - and warn them before God that they will surely perish because of their pride and disobedience. b. As the nations which the LORD destroys before you, so shall you perish: Israel would be tempted to look at the nations being judged in front of them, and to think, “We’re better than them, so we are safe. God would never deal with us that way.” But God would deal with them that way if they rose up in pride against Him. c. So you shall perish: Pride is the greatest danger in the Christian life. It is the most Satanic of sins, because it was by pride that Satan himself fell. Satan prizes a proud believer over the most notorious sinner, because he looks at the proud believer and says, “Now there’s a man just like me!” i. Pride of face is obnoxious; pride of race is vulgar; but the worst pride is the pride of grace.

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