Deuteronomy 18

Talks for Growing Christians

Requirements for Priests and Discerning a Prophet

Deuteronomy 18

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Lesson Number 18

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Israel was to establish the Levites.
  2. Israel was to eliminate occult practices.
  3. Israel was to expect the Messiah.
  4. Israel was to execute false prophets.

Practical Application

  1. Keep your distance from occult practices.


  1. Summarize the Children of Israel’s exposure to the Mosaic Law up to this point.
  2. Who were the Levites? How did Levites and priests differ?
  3. Where did the Levites live? How were they supported?
  4. Explain the term “calling up the dead”(verse 11). Was it actually possible to contact people who had died?
  5. Who is the prophet like Moses that is in view in Deuteronomy 18?
  6. What was the test of a true prophet in Israel?


  1. The Mosaic Law was given to Israel at Mount Sinai soon after the Children of Israel came out of Egypt. Now 40 years later the new generation of Israelites on the Plains of Moab are ready to cross the Jordan River and enter the Land of Promise. Before this new generation enters, Moses reviews the laws that God had given to His people.
  2. The Levites were the priestly tribe in Israel. All Levites were not priests – only the family line of Aaron were priests, but all Levites were to be involved in serving the Lord.
  3. The Levites has no tribal territory in Israel; they lived in 48 cities scattered throughout the Land. Besides being supported by the tithes of the people, the Levites were entitled to certain portions of sacrificial offerings and certain first fruits given by the people.
  4. No medium or spiritist then or today is able to actually contact the spirits of people who have died. They are, however, able to contact demonic spirits who know about and can imitate the one who has died.
  5. In a general sense it is the office of the prophet that would become the means of God speaking to His people when they entered the Land. Ultimately the specific fulfillment of this prophecy was in the Lord Jesus Christ himself.
  6. The true prophet in Israel had to be right 100% of the time. If he wasn’t it was evidence that he was not speaking the Word of the Lord and was instead a false prophet.


  1. All occult practices were not to be tolerated in Israel. Discuss how the occult has made subtle but steady progress into our society today.
  2. While we don’t execute false teachers in the Church today, it is very important to the Lord that we don’t tolerate false teaching. False teaching must be silenced by the excommunication of the false teachers. Without going into details, have you ever seen this handle properly or improperly in your congregation? What was the effect?


  1. Israel was to expect the Messiah, but they failed to acknowledge Him as the Messiah when He appeared. We know Who the Messiah is. How are you anticipating His return?

Key Verses

  • “The priests, the Levites—all the tribe of Levi—shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel; they shall eat the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and His portion.” Deuteronomy 18:1

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