"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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Saturday, August 7, 2021

LEVITICUS – A HOLY PEOPLE’s ACCESS to The HOLY GOD – Chapter FIVE & SIX

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

Complete Study of Leviticus by pastor Chuck Smith 

LEVITICUS 5 & 6: “Hearts and Sacrifices on Fire” – by James Fire, Facebook video.

INTRODUCTION: In this section of LEVITICUS, we are going over the various sacrifices offered in the Temple – without which, there could be no access to GOD, one of the primary themes of this book; the other being a holy people, serving a holy GOD. The way of access to GOD - through sacrifices and offerings mentioned in chapters 1-7. Chapters 8-10 covers the sacrifices specifically for the sins of the priests.

The question may be asked, Why was the tribe of Levi appointed by GOD as the priesthood? Why not the tribe of Naphtali, or the tribe of Zebulon, or Benjamin?
Because they were zealously obedient to God after the infamous “golden calf” incident at the foot of Mt. Sinai (EXOD 32:26–29); they slew all of the idolaters (3,000 of them)! However according to God’s foreknowledge, He declared Levi’s tribe as priestly before that time (EXOD 28:1–4). 
Jacob’s prophecy that Levi’s descendants would be scattered throughout Israel (GEN 49:7) was fulfilled when God appointed them as the priestly tribe who, unlike the other tribes, would receive no land inheritance. However, in God’s sovereign and mysterious way, Jacob’s prophecy turned into a blessing because Levi’s inheritance was better than land—it was God Himself and He promised to provide for the Levites from the abundance of all of the other tribes (NUM 18:8–20).

Likewise as the priesthood of our Melchizedek, Jesus Christ, we also have no homeland here in this world, but just as Levi inherited cities, with GOD Himself as their heritage, we look for that heavenly city, New Jerusalem and to live with our Abba Father as His heirs!

HEBREWS 11:16
But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them
.

Also in all these sacrifices the constant element in them all is fire – which speaks of “purification, judgment on sin, and the presence of GOD” We see all of these perfectly fulfilled in the sacrificial redemption by the LAMB of GOD – by this means, He purifies and produces a holy and pure people:

TITUS 2:13-14
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works
.

Judgment against all of our sins is perfectly satisfied by our Holy GOD and Father:

ROMANS 3:24-26
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus
.

And we among all saints of all time, have access to the deepest and sweetest fellowship, basking in the very presence of our LORD Jesus Christ and the love He lavishes upon us His children.

EPHESIANS 3:17-19
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God
.

CHAPTER FIVE

Something we must always keep in front of us; for all the things we sacrifice to the LORD – the giving of our time, our attention to biblical teaching, to times of prayer and study; financial offerings, our worship, all the things that we sacrifice to GOD, let’s remember:

1 SAMUEL 15:22

Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.
GOD looks on the heart, to our motives – why we do what we are doing. Because we are Christians and it’s our religious duty to do these things? Or out of a sense of love, devotion and true worship and because the LORD is worthy of our love and worship – with all our heart, soul, mind and strength?

LEVITICUS 5:1-5

1'If a person sins in hearing the utterance of an oath, and is a witness, whether he has seen or known of the matter -if he does not tell it, he bears guilt. 2 'Or if a person touches any unclean thing, whether it is the carcass of an unclean beast, or the carcass of unclean livestock, or the carcass of unclean creeping things, and he is unaware of it, he also shall be unclean and guilty. 3 'Or if he touches human uncleanness-whatever uncleanness with which a man may be defiled, and he is unaware of it-when he realizes it, then he shall be guilty. 4 'Or if a person swears, speaking thoughtlessly with his lips to do evil or to do good, whatever it is that a man may pronounce by an oath, and he is unaware of it-when he realizes it, then he shall be guilty in any of these matters. 5 'And it shall be, when he is guilty in any of these matters, that he shall confess that he has sinned in that thing;

About “oath-taking, swearing” before the LORD, or swearing in general; what did the LORD Jesus say about making oaths?
MATTHEW 5:33-37
33 Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.' 34 "But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God's throne; 35 "nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 "Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 "But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' be 'No.' For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
We as saints of GOD must be careful about our conduct; we can’t afford to live carelessly as the LORD’s representatives. So, we don’t want to put our foot in it; rather “walk circumspectly”, not in ignorance (EPH 5:15).

LEVITICUS 5:6-7

6 'and he shall bring his trespass offering to the LORD for his sin which he has committed, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats as a sin offering. So the priest shall make atonement for him concerning his sin. 7 'If he is not able to bring a lamb, then he shall bring to the LORD, for his trespass which he has committed, two turtledoves or two young pigeons: one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering.

Matthew Poole has some competent commentary on this matter:

Question: [Why is] confession and sacrifice necessary for someone who touched an unclean thing, when such persons were cleansed with simple washing by water, as in LEV 11:1-47, esp. vs. 25,28,40; NUM 19:1-22, esp. vs. 7-8,10,13,18-19?

Answer: If anyone touched an unclean thing knowingly and understood themselves to be unclean, which was the case there in LEV 11 and NUM 19, he was to be cut off for it and had to wash with water, waiting until the time, when they could rejoin the community. 

However, if he did it ignorantly, which is the case here, he was once he discovered his offense, to offer this sacrifice. What is the difference is between sin offerings and trespass offerings? Again, the sin offerings were more indefinite or general, and trespass-offerings more specific and particular. Trespasses were more scandalous and injurious, either to God by blasphemy, or to his sanctuary, by approaching it in one's uncleanness.

Or in regards to one's neighbor, by swearing to do something for them either good which we afterwards cannot or do not, or something evil which we should not; such rash oaths were to be remedied by a trespass offering.

Consider once again how a worshiper would first offer up a sin offering, and afterwards bring their burnt offering. He was first to make his peace with God by a sin offering; and then his burnt offering or gift would be accepted, as we see in the following:

LEVITICUS 5:8-10

8 'And he shall bring them to the priest, who shall offer that which is for the sin offering first, and wring off its head from its neck, but shall not divide it completely. 9 'Then he shall sprinkle some of the blood of the sin offering on the side of the altar, and the rest of the blood shall be drained out at the base of the altar. It is a sin offering. 10 'And he shall offer the second as a burnt offering according to the prescribed manner. So the priest shall make atonement on his behalf for his sin which he has committed, and it shall be forgiven him.

LEVITICUS 5:11-13

11 'But if he is not able to bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons, then he who sinned shall bring for his offering one-tenth of an ephah of fine flour as a sin offering. He shall put no oil on it, nor shall he put frankincense on it, for it is a sin offering. 12 'Then he shall bring it to the priest, and the priest shall take his handful of it as a memorial portion and burn it on the altar according to the offerings made by fire to the LORD. It is a sin offering. 13 'The priest shall make atonement for him, for his sin that he has committed in any of these matters; and it shall be forgiven him. The rest shall be the priest's as a grain offering.

It was GOD’s tender heart for the poor that a less expensive sacrifice should be appointed for them, who otherwise might be discouraged in not being able to bring offerings, so that they could confess their offences. The gracious and humble-hearted Lord was pleased to accept two turtle-doves, or young pigeons, from him who could not afford a lamb or a kid.

And even those who are extremely poor, and can’t afford turtle doves or pigeons, even to these, the LORD makes provisions in this grain offering as not as a meal offering (which is made from grain) but as a sin offering.

Note that there is no oil added to this or frankincense – these are representative of the Holy Spirit and prayer respectively.

When we are in sin, we can’t expect to have fellowship with the LORD because we are grieving the Holy Spirit – we can’t expect to have our prayers answered if we are living in sin. The only prayer GOD will hear at this point is “GOD be merciful to me a sinner” and that we repent, and turn from sin, confess our sin, and turn to GOD for forgiveness of sin – then the burnt offering is acceptable – when we may then have restored fellowship with the LORD!
PROVERBS 28:13
He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.
LEVITICUS 5:14-19
14 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 15 "If a person commits a trespass, and sins unintentionally in regard to the holy things of the LORD, then he shall bring to the LORD as his trespass offering a ram without blemish from the flocks, with your valuation in shekels of silver according to the shekel of the sanctuary, as a trespass offering. 16 "And he shall make restitution for the harm that he has done in regard to the holy thing and shall add one-fifth to it and give it to the priest. So the priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering, and it shall be forgiven him. 17 "If a person sins and commits any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the LORD, though he does not know it, yet he is guilty and shall bear his iniquity. 18 "And he shall bring to the priest a ram without blemish from the flock, with your valuation, as a trespass offering. So the priest shall make atonement for him regarding his ignorance in which he erred and did not know it, and it shall be forgiven him. 19 "It is a trespass offering; he has certainly trespassed against the LORD.

This is a case of sacrilege committed ignorantly, either in not paying the full due of tithes, first-fruits, and similar tribute in eating of meats, which belonged to the priests alone--or he was required, along with the restitution in money, the amount of which was to be determined by the priest, to offer a ram for a trespass offering as soon as he came to the knowledge of his involuntary fraud.

If you’re speeding down the road, going over the limit and get ticketed, you can’t say “But I didn’t know!” We can’t justifiably claim ignorance as a defense. It’s your responsibility to know, just as it’s our responsibility to know what does and does not please the LORD; how we are found obedient, or disobedient.


The trespass offering was like the sin offering, yet was different. A female was allowed in a sin offering, but a male was required in the trespass offering (LEV 4:28 with LEV 6:6).
The blood of the sin offering was to be put upon the horns of the altar (LEV 4:34), that of the trespass offering to be sprinkled round about the altar (LEV 7:2). The sin offering was sometimes offered for the whole congregation (LEV 3:13). The trespass offering was for a single person.

CHAPTER SIX

LEVITICUS 6:1-7

1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 2 "If a person sins and commits a trespass against the LORD by lying to his neighbor about what was delivered to him for safekeeping, or about a pledge, or about a robbery, or if he has extorted from his neighbor, 3 "or if he has found what was lost and lies concerning it, and swears falsely-in any one of these things that a man may do in which he sins: 4 "then it shall be, because he has sinned and is guilty, that he shall restore what he has stolen, or the thing which he has extorted, or what was delivered to him for safekeeping, or the lost thing which he found, 5 "or all that about which he has sworn falsely. He shall restore its full value, add one-fifth more to it, and give it to whomever it belongs, on the day of his trespass offering. 6 "And he shall bring his trespass offering to the LORD, a ram without blemish from the flock, with your valuation, as a trespass offering, to the priest. 7 "So the priest shall make atonement for him before the LORD, and he shall be forgiven for any one of these things that he may have done in which he trespasses.

Here we see that one commits a trespass against the LORD by – how? By lying to their neighbor, “bearing false witness” in a matter. Being an unfaithful steward over what was delivered to them by their neighbor or finding property of their neighbor but not returning it or by extortion. The instruction here is to not only offer up a trespass offering but restoring the property with a 20% penalty fee.

Observe how the LORD is making every provision for every situation of sin we may find ourselves in. GOD is careful about covering ‘all the bases’ by providing sacrifices and offerings for every eventuality where we succumb to evil.

GOD’s love for us, as well as His sense of holiness that He desires for His people is reflected by His provision in instituting these offerings. He desires unbroken fellowship and communion with us, His saints!

LEVITICUS 6:8-13

8 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 9 "Command Aaron and his sons, saying, 'This is the law of the burnt offering: The burnt offering shall be on the hearth upon the altar all night until morning, and the fire of the altar shall be kept burning on it. 10 'And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his linen trousers he shall put on his body and take up the ashes of the burnt offering which the fire has consumed on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar. 11 'Then he shall take off his garments, put on other garments, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a clean place. 12 'And the fire on the altar shall be kept burning on it; it shall not be put out. And the priest shall burn wood on it every morning and lay the burnt offering in order on it; and he shall burn on it the fat of the peace offerings. 13 'A fire shall always be burning on the altar; it shall never go out.

Burnt-offering were made daily, termed the morning and evening sacrifice; the burnt-offering is described, with its necessary ceremonies, as far as the persons who brought them were concerned. Then it’s explained how the priests who were to receive them from the hands of the offerer and present them to the Lord on the altar of burnt-offerings.

If the burnt-offering were put all upon the fire at once, it could not be burning all night. We conclude that the priests sat up by turns the whole night and fed the fire with portions of this offering until it was consumed entirely, which they would take care to lengthen until the time of the morning sacrifice. The same with the morning sacrifice; it was also consumed by piecemeal through the whole day, until the time of offering the evening sacrifice. Thus there was a continual offering by fire unto the Lord.

LEVITICUS 6:13 it is said:

The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar, it shall never go out.

Again, the fire speaks of purification, judgment, and GOD’s presence

He is constantly working purification in the lives of His saints who yield themselves to Him; the judgment – or justice of GOD is eternal (there is no such thing as eternal injustice!); and His presence is with us always, He is always with us to the end of the world!

If at any time any other offerings were to be made, the daily sacrifice was consumed more speedily, in order to make room for such extra offerings.

Hebrew scholars teach that no sacrifice was ever offered in the morning before the morning sacrifice; and none, the Passover excepted, ever offered in the evening after the evening sacrifice; for all sacrifices were made by day-light.
~ from the commentaries of Adam Clarke

As for the changing of the linen garments for the purpose of carrying the ashes out of the tabernacle, this wasn’t a holy work but a mundane work – they were not to perform it in their priestly, sacred garments, so they did it in common clothing, which they wore when they weren’t ministering.

LEVITICUS 6:14-18

14 'This is the law of the grain offering: The sons of Aaron shall offer it on the altar before the LORD. 15 'He shall take from it his handful of the fine flour of the grain offering, with its oil, and all the frankincense which is on the grain offering and shall burn it on the altar for a sweet aroma, as a memorial to the LORD. 16 'And the remainder of it Aaron and his sons shall eat; with unleavened bread it shall be eaten in a holy place; in the court of the tabernacle of meeting they shall eat it. 17 'It shall not be baked with leaven. I have given it as their portion of My offerings made by fire; it is most holy, like the sin offering and the trespass offering. 18 'All the males among the children of Aaron may eat it. It shall be a statute forever in your generations concerning the offerings made by fire to the LORD. Everyone who touches them must be holy.

This grain offering offered up by the priests has oil and frankincense included; so whereas before, such an offering was made as a sin offering (LEV 5:8-13; without the oil and frankincense) here they are included; again, representing the Holy Spirit (with the oil) and the righteous prayers of the saints that GOD receives (with frankincense).

LEVITICUS 6:19-23

19 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 20 "This is the offering of Aaron and his sons, which they shall offer to the LORD, beginning on the day when he is anointed: one-tenth of an ephah of fine flour as a daily grain offering, half of it in the morning and half of it at night. 21 "It shall be made in a pan with oil. When it is mixed, you shall bring it in. The baked pieces of the grain offering you shall offer for a sweet aroma to the LORD. 22 "The priest from among his sons, who is anointed in his place, shall offer it. It is a statute forever to the LORD. It shall be wholly burned. 23 "For every grain offering for the priest shall be wholly burned. It shall not be eaten.

The daily meal offering of the high priest: for though his sons are mentioned along with him, it was probably only those of his descendants who succeeded him in the office of the high priest that are meant. It was to be offered, one half of it in the morning and the other half in the evening; being daily laid by the ministering priest on the altar of burnt offering, where, being dedicated to God, it was wholly consumed.

This was to keep him and the other attendant priests in constant remembrance, that though they were regularly officiating in sacrifices for the cleansing of the sins of the people, by these offerings their own persons and services could meet with acceptance only through faith, which required to be daily fed and strengthened from above.

It was to be completely burned, not eaten. Likewise our devotion to GOD is to be an all consuming passion, and where our hearts are concerned, nothing left for others (family, friends, co-workers, etc.) who are indeed loved, but not with the same love that we are to have for the LORD (as JESUS points out in LUKE 14:26).
What about our brothers and sisters in the faith? We are told to love one another in church as Christ has loved us! No difference there (JOHN 13:34-35)!

LEVITICUS 6:24-30

24 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 25 "Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, 'This is the law of the sin offering: In the place where the burnt offering is killed, the sin offering shall be killed before the LORD. It is most holy. 26 'The priest who offers it for sin shall eat it. In a holy place it shall be eaten, in the court of the tabernacle of meeting. 27 'Everyone who touches its flesh must be holy. And when its blood is sprinkled on any garment, you shall wash that on which it was sprinkled, in a holy place. 28 'But the earthen vessel in which it is boiled shall be broken. And if it is boiled in a bronze pot, it shall be both scoured and rinsed in water. 29 'All the males among the priests may eat it. It is most holy. 30 'But no sin offering from which any of the blood is brought into the tabernacle of meeting, to make atonement in the holy place, shall be eaten. It shall be burned in the fire.

The priest who officiated had the entire carcass, which he and his sons, and any other of the priests whom he invited, could feast in the court of the tabernacle during the day on which it was sacrificed.

But none might touch the flesh of it except those accounted as holy: free from ceremonial defilement; and if the garment of the offerer or any other person was sprinkled with the blood, it must be washed in the court of the tabernacle. Likewise when the flesh was soaked in an earthen vessel, which was porous and might retain some part of it, the vessel must be broken; and even a brazen one must be carefully scoured and washed.

This shows that all the oblations were soaked or boiled, and none roasted, except for the Passover lamb. All these regulations were to express the polluting nature of sin, and the translation of guilt from the sinner to the sacrifice; yet not actually taken away, but in some sense still remaining. We recognize that a more effective sacrifice is given and represented by these Old Testament sacrifices provided by the people themselves.

He Who is the LAMB of GOD was given by the grace of GOD Himself! We, the spiritual priesthood, separated from the world and sin, truly devoted to God, have the blessed benefit from the sacrifice of Christ, and truly feed upon him in our hearts.

HEBREWS 10:1-12

1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. 5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: "Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. 7 Then I said, 'Behold, I have come--In the volume of the book it is written of Me--To do Your will, O God.'" 8 Previously saying, "Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them" (which are offered according to the law), 9 then He said, "Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God." He takes away the first that He may establish the second. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,

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