"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .

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Friday, July 30, 2021

LEVITICUS – A HOLY PEOPLE’s ACCESS to The HOLY GOD – Chapter THREE & FOUR

Contributing commentaries by pastors Sonny Islas, Albert Lopez and James Fire

Complete Study of Leviticus by pastor Chuck Smith 

LEVITICUS 3 & 4: “ENJOYING A BBQ WITH GOD” – by Sonny Islas, Facebook video.

INTRODUCTION:
Today’s bible study title will make sense in a moment.
As we study through Leviticus, let’s keep in mind that as God’s people approached the Tabernacle to eagerly bring and joyfully give their offerings, whether it was for the forgiveness of sin or the sake of sheer gratitude towards God, God is there in their midst. In a very tangible way, His voice can be heard and His glory can be seen.

His divine and powerful presence is there in the awesome form of a fiery pillar by night and a cloudy pillar by day (aka The Shekinah Glory of God). And because God is Holy, He sets all the rules and regulations in which His people must approach Him, lest they die. Not because He wants them dead but because they cannot handle His nearness without Him making it possible.

In Psalm 99:7a, 8a King David reflects on this time (Moses’ time) in Israel’s history, and says, “He spoke to them in the cloudy pillar…You were to them GOD-WHO-FORGIVES (In Hebrew: EL NAHSAH).” 
[What’s so fascinating about this Hebrew word is that it not only means, He Who forgives, but also He Who bears (or carries). This points to the One Who would bear the sins of His people (ISAIAH 53), Who would carry His cross to Calvary – the LORD Jesus Christ by Whom we have forgiveness of our sin!]

For thirty other powerful names of GOD in the Hebrew, check out this listing

In the Old Testament God made forgiveness possible through animal sacrifices and in the New Testament God made forgiveness possible through the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” By saving faith in our LORD Jesus.
Last Wednesday we covered Leviticus 1 & 2 which consist of the BURNT OFFERING and the GRAIN OFFERING and their practical applications for today. Today we will cover Leviticus 3 & 4 which consist of the PEACE OFFERING and the SIN OFFERING and their practical application for today.

LEVITICUS Chapter 3
1 And if his oblation be a sacrifice of peace offering, if he offer it of the herd; whether it be a male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before the Lord. 2 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron's sons the priests shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about. 3 And he shall offer of the sacrifice of the peace offering an offering made by fire unto the Lord; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, 4 And the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away.

5 And Aaron's sons shall burn it on the altar upon the burnt sacrifice, which is upon the wood that is on the fire: it is an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord. 6 And if his offering for a sacrifice of peace offering unto the Lord be of the flock; male or female, he shall offer it without blemish. 7 If he offer a lamb for his offering, then shall he offer it before the Lord.8 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it before the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron's sons shall sprinkle the blood thereof round about upon the altar.

9 And he shall offer of the sacrifice of the peace offering an offering made by fire unto the Lord; the fat thereof, and the whole rump, it shall he take off hard by the backbone; and the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, 10 And the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away. 11 And the priest shall burn it upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire unto the Lord. 12 And if his offering be a goat, then he shall offer it before the Lord.

13 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of it, and kill it before the tabernacle of the congregation: and the sons of Aaron shall sprinkle the blood thereof upon the altar round about. 14 And he shall offer thereof his offering, even an offering made by fire unto the Lord; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, 15 And the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away. 16 And the priest shall burn them upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire for a sweet savour: all the fat is the Lord's. 17 It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood
.

We need to view the “Peace Offering” as a celebration between a happy forgiven sinner and His good God. Keep that thought in your pocket.

The Peace Offering: was a free will offering; meaning it was voluntary and not mandatory. If it was of the herd, it could be a bull or a cow. If it was of the flock, it can be either a male or a female sheep; the same goes for goats. The peace offering/animal had to be without blemis
h – no skin problems nor any deformities (which is a picture of Christ who was without sin).

The happy sinner/offeror would have to kill the animal himself - I’m guessing that the LORD wanted the one offering to experience the full effect of a life for a life – the life of the animal for his and his peace between the sinner and God.

This could also be pointing to how it would be by humanity's own bloody hands that would eventually kill the ultimate sacrifice by nailing Him to a cross. On God the Father’s side Jesus was sacrificed for sin. On fallen man’s side, Jesus was murdered because we’re that sinful.

The peace offering animal slaughter took place “at the door of the Tabernacle of meeting” (at the entrance of the tent where God dwells in the Most Holy Place). Which means that this took place approximately 30 feet away from God’s manifest presence (a fiery pillar).

This all happened “before the LORD” as v.12 says. Before His face, His eyes, His holy and awesome presence. (From here to where our offering box is located here in the sanctuary – that’s how close the offeror was to God!) Imagine the scene! There must have been happiness mixed with some suspense. A concoction in the soul made up of lots of fear and lots of joy.

Here is where the Peace Offering gets really interesting. . .

The peace offering was basically a forgiven sinner ENJOYING A BBQ WITH GOD! In verses 11, and 16 the priest basically turned the altar into a BBQ grill (this may sound funny, but this is what happened). The sacrifice was in a sense converted into a carne Asada. GOD at this moment was enjoying a meal, communion with the offeror. This is incredible!

This was God’s way of sitting at the table (if you will) with a sinful friend who at one point could not draw near due to sinfulness. But here and now, forgiveness of sin and a carne Asada with God was possible by animal sacrifices.

Verse 16 tells us that “all the fat is the LORD’s.” And that this was “a sweet-smelling aroma” to the LORD. Looks like the LORD enjoys the tasty smell of meat on the grill! The choice meat on the grill was a sweet-smelling aroma but it was connected to the heart and joy that the forgiven sinner put into bringing this sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to God.

The “fat” of the sacrifice being reserved for the LORD shows us that GOD alone deserves the best in all we do and offer Him. He’s the best, so He deserves the best! It was as though the LORD got the filet mignon portion of the peace offering. In 1 Samuel 2:29 God sent one of his men to rebuke Eli the High Priest for allowing his sons to eat the “fat,” the best of the animal sacrificed offerings. “Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling place, and honor your sons more than Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people?

So this meal with God – this BBQ, this carne Asada – with God pointed to a connection with God. A friendship with God.

Communion with God.
Reconciliation with God.
It meant that you were celebrating the peace between you and God – the peace He provided us. This peace offering was a beautiful picture of us being at peace with God.

This peace offering points to the NT peace we have in Jesus, right?


Romans 5:1-2, 9-11 says,
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation”.

The peace offering was a celebration of our reconciliation to God!

This was a kind of peace feast as in the book of Genesis:

Genesis 26:26-30

26 Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, and Ahuzzath one of his friends, and Phichol the chief captain of his army. 27 And Isaac said unto them, Wherefore come ye to me, seeing ye hate me, and have sent me away from you? 28 And they said, We saw certainly that the Lord was with thee: and we said, Let there be now an oath betwixt us, even betwixt us and thee, and let us make a covenant with thee; 29 That thou wilt do us no hurt, as we have not touched thee, and as we have done unto thee nothing but good and have sent thee away in peace: thou art now the blessed of the Lord. 30 And he made them a feast, and they did eat and drink.

Isaac and Abimelech had what was called a peace-meal, a truce meal where an agreement to not harm one another was made over a meal. So Israel to some degree was familiar with these kinds of customs.

The Peace Offering is a picture of Christ – in the sense that we partake of His sacrifice just as they partook of the peace offering sacrifice. Because the peace offering animal sacrifice is the only sacrifice that they were able to partake of and eat. Not the Burnt, Sin or guilt offerings.

Spiritually speaking Jesus said “… Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh (much like the peace offering) of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.” (JOHN 6:53-55).

This is spiritual talk which means to take Jesus in by faith like one consumes food or like the offeror in Leviticus consumed of the peace offering.

This peace offering also points to the past where GOD came in what seems to be a human form (called a theophany) and ate with Abraham (GEN 18:1-8). God desired to do the same with Abraham's children here in Leviticus.

The peace offering also points to The LORD’s Supper, where Yahweh the Son eats a meal with His Apostles just before His death (MATT 26:17-21), then Jesus prepares a seaside breakfast (grilled fish) after His resurrection (JOHN 21:1-9). And we still to this today; we eat of the LORD’s Supper (1 COR 11:23-26) because we are at peace with Him.

The Peace offering also points to the wedding supper of the Lamb in Revelation 19.

Regarding The Peace Offering, the Fat/best was for God, certain portions of the meat were for the priest to enjoy and some for the offeror to enjoy and the blood was for purification and atoning/forgiveness.

LEVITICUS Chapter 4
And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the Lord concerning things which ought not to be done, and shall do against any of them: 3 If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the Lord for a sin offering. 4 And he shall bring the bullock unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the Lord; and shall lay his hand upon the bullock's head and kill the bullock before the Lord. 5 And the priest that is anointed shall take of the bullock's blood and bring it to the tabernacle of the congregation: 6 And the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before the Lord, before the vail of the sanctuary. 7 And the priest shall put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the Lord, which is in the tabernacle of the congregation; and shall pour all the blood of the bullock at the bottom of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 8 And he shall take off from it all the fat of the bullock for the sin offering; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, 9 And the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away, 10 As it was taken off from the bullock of the sacrifice of peace offerings: and the priest shall burn them upon the altar of the burnt offering. 11 And the skin of the bullock, and all his flesh, with his head, and with his legs, and his inwards, and his dung, 12 Even the whole bullock shall he carry forth without the camp unto a clean place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn him on the wood with fire: where the ashes are poured out shall he be burnt.

13 And if the whole congregation of Israel sin through ignorance, and the thing be hid from the eyes of the assembly, and they have done somewhat against any of the commandments of the Lord concerning things which should not be done, and are guilty; 14 When the sin, which they have sinned against it, is known, then the congregation shall offer a young bullock for the sin and bring him before the tabernacle of the congregation. 15 And the elders of the congregation shall lay their hands upon the head of the bullock before the Lord: and the bullock shall be killed before the Lord. 16 And the priest that is anointed shall bring of the bullock's blood to the tabernacle of the congregation: 17 And the priest shall dip his finger in some of the blood, and sprinkle it seven times before the Lord, even before the vail. 18 And he shall put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar which is before the Lord, that is in the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall pour out all the blood at the bottom of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 19 And he shall take all his fat from him and burn it upon the altar. 20 And he shall do with the bullock as he did with the bullock for a sin offering, so shall he do with this: and the priest shall make an atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them. 21 And he shall carry forth the bullock without the camp and burn him as he burned the first bullock: it is a sin offering for the congregation. 22 When a ruler hath sinned and done somewhat through ignorance against any of the commandments of the Lord his God concerning things which should not be done, and is guilty; 23 Or if his sin, wherein he hath sinned, come to his knowledge; he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a male without blemish: 24 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the goat, and kill it in the place where they kill the burnt offering before the Lord: it is a sin offering.

25 And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering with his finger and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering and shall pour out his blood at the bottom of the altar of burnt offering. 26 And he shall burn all his fat upon the altar, as the fat of the sacrifice of peace offerings: and the priest shall make an atonement for him as concerning his sin, and it shall be forgiven him. 27 And if any one of the common people sin through ignorance, while he doeth somewhat against any of the commandments of the Lord concerning things which ought not to be done, and be guilty; 28 Or if his sin, which he hath sinned, come to his knowledge: then he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he hath sinned. 29 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay the sin offering in the place of the burnt offering. 30 And the priest shall take of the blood thereof with his finger and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering and shall pour out all the blood thereof at the bottom of the altar. 31 And he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fat is taken away from off the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savor unto the Lord; and the priest shall make an atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him. 32 And if he bring a lamb for a sin offering, he shall bring it a female without blemish. 33 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering and slay it for a sin offering in the place where they kill the burnt offering. 34 And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out all the blood thereof at the bottom of the altar: 35 And he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fat of the lamb is taken away from the sacrifice of the peace offerings; and the priest shall burn them upon the altar, according to the offerings made by fire unto the Lord: and the priest shall make an atonement for his sin that he hath committed, and it shall be forgiven him
.

The Sin offering: Consist of atoning for sins committed unknowingly, or unintentionally, where one may have truly forgotten exactly what God had commanded (when one can honestly claim ignorance). Or if someone may have overlooked a specific detail regarding the sacrifices or the responsibilities of the leaders in their judgements or the day to day mistakes of the common people. – Unlike the Peace Offering, which was voluntary, the sin offering was mandatory.

Look at Numbers 15:30, 31 and how to deal with hardhearted, blatantly defiant sins. “But the person who does anything presumptuously, whether he is native-born or a stranger, that one brings reproach on the Lord, and he shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of the Lord, and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt shall be upon him.’’ The New Testament practice of this kind of sinning is when someone is bent on not repenting or changing his/her ways after being confronted time again and has to succumb to church discipline as found in Matthew 18.

See the following article FROM the MIND of FIRE, Church Discipline: Perfecting Holiness

The Sin Offering points to God’s ongoing mercy on sinners - all sinners. He starts off with those who should know best i.e. the anointed priest (Aaron and his sons), the rulers/leaders/elders and finally the common people.

Which is a great reminder that no one in God’s family, God’s congregation, the Church, the Body of Christ is perfect. The LORD that everyone will sin unintentionally – even overtly – and therefore there is mercy and grace.

In verses 6 and 17, the blood had to be sprinkled 7 TIMES on the veil of the Holy of Holies, where God dwells in a fiery pillar. The number seven points to perfection or completion both in regard to the sacrifice and God's forgiveness towards the offeror.

In verse 12 tells us that the whole bull had to be carried outside of the camp – this was a picture of Jesus who was crucified outside of Jerusalem’s gates.
We’ll close with this reading from:

Hebrews 13:11-16

11 For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. 12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. 13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. 14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. 15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. 16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

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