Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part XVIII: Discipling Others On Being Godly Subordinates
(Deuteronomy 18:1-22)
  1. Introduction
    1. God sets up human leaders He expects His people to heed, and failing to heed them is sin, Deut. 17:9-13.
    2. However, some leaders are not from God though they present themselves as such, 2 Cor. 11:13-15. That reveals a need for godly subordinates to discern if a leader is divinely-established, and if he ministers in God's will with God's truths for their welfare!
    3. Deuteronomy 18:1-22 handles all of these subjects, revealing how godly subordinates can please God:
  2. Discipling Others On Being Godly Subordinates, Deuteronomy 18:1-22.
    1. Just before his death, Moses addressed Israel on her need to keep the Mosaic Covenant for blessing once the nation had entered Canaan, Deuteronomy 1:1-5. This address comprises the book of Deuteronomy.
    2. A part of his address dealt with the responsibility of Israel's people unto the Lord regarding how they relate to human leaders, and we observe that responsibility given in Deuteronomy 18:1-22 as follows:
      1. On the one hand, God wanted His people to respect and support the levitical priests, Deut. 18:1-8:
        1. The tribe of Levi gained no tribal inherited boundaries as a united tribe, so God expected the rest of the nation to support the Levites out of their income from the land, Deuteronomy 18:1-2, 3-4.
        2. Since the levites were chosen by God to gain their livelihood from the support of the other tribes as they worked to minister in God's tabernacle in Israel's behalf, the people were accountable to God to support the levites this way, Deuteronomy 18:5.
        3. The people were to respect a levite's choice to sell his home and move to the central sanctuary to assist the priests there; they were to support him out of their sacrifices in that new ministry, 18:6-8.
      2. Conversely, God's people were to have nothing to do with practitioners of false religions, 18:9-14:
        1. Moses supplied an extensive list of errant religious practitioners the people were to avoid, 18:9-12.
        2. When practitioners fit Moses' list, Israel was to avoid their craft and not support them, 18:9, 13-14.
      3. However, the people were to accept and submit to the coming Messiah like unto Moses, 18:15-19:
        1. Moses predicted a coming Messiah, a Prophet like himself, would be raised up from among the people by God to minister for the nation, Deuteronomy 18:15-18.
        2. The people were to heed this Prophet or be executed for insubordination to Him, Deut. 18:19. (This is why the nation, Israel suffered national invasion by Rome in 70 A. D., cf. Luke 19:41-44.)
      4. In order to discern true from false prophets, Moses supplied the people with a test as follows:
        1. Moses stated his awareness the people would wonder how to distinguish true from false prophets so they could obey the Lord in reference to their subordination to God's human overseers, Deut. 18:21.
        2. Thus, he established a test of discerning false from true prophets: (a) if any prophecy by a man who alleges to be a prophet of God ever failed to be fulfilled, he was to be judged as a false prophet, and be executed by the people, Deuteronomy 18:22 with 20. (b) The converse of this test reveals the true prophet (and Messiah, Who is the Prophet like unto Moses): if every prediction an alleged prophet spoke came to pass, he was to be judged to be from God and heeded, Deuteronomy 18:22 with Deuteronomy 18:18 by implication.
Lesson: The people of God, accountable to the Lord as subordinates of His human overseers, were to (1) DISCERN which men were God's TRULY APPOINTED leaders from (a) what Scripture described them to be (i.e., the levites prescribed in Scripture as those the people were to heed) and from (b) the BIBLICAL qualities of their ACTIONS (i.e., the tests of a prophet of God), something the New Testament calls "fruits," cf. Matthew 7:15-20. (c) In light of deception in the New Testament era, we have the added test of a true conversion by way of the minister's confession of Christ's Incarnation given to us in 1 John 4:1-4. (2) Then, the subordinates were to (a) respect, (b) heed and (c) support God's overseers as Biblically outlined, while not following the ungodly, cf. Deuteronomy 18:1-8, 15-18.

Application: May we SUBORDINATES (a) DISCERN God's TRUE leaders by (b) Scripture's direction, and (c) then RELATE either negatively or positively to them as God wills in His Word.