"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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Sunday, August 29, 2021

LEVITICUS – A HOLY PEOPLE’s ACCESS to The HOLY GOD – Chapter Nine & TEN

Contributing commentaries by pastors Sonny Islas, Albert Lopez and James Fire
Complete Study of Leviticus by pastor Chuck Smith 

LEVITICUS 9 & 10: “JAW-DROPPING DISPLAYS OF GOD’S PLEASURE AND DISPLEASURE” – by Sonny Islas, Facebook video.

INTRODUCTION: At this point in the Book of Leviticus, Aaron and his sons begin their service unto the LORD and His people. Everything was made ready for them, even them and now it’s NOT show time, but serve time!

Every true servant of God gets to a place “where the rubber meets the road.” In other words, “it’s time to put this car or these tires to the test!” For us, like Aaron and His sons, it’s when we finally put into practice all that we’ve learned from God’s Word.
For example, I’ve been teaching my son Blue how to drive lately and soon he will have to take all that he’s learned into traffic - where the level of his driving skills will be tested (Blue’s doing a good job by the way – I’m very proud of him).

Every time you come to church to hear God’s Word then exit this building, it’s then “where the rubber meets the road.” All that you learn gets put to the test (Obviously Here first then out there). How well did you receive God’s instructions and how well will you obey those instructions is the question? The Christian’s goal should be to learn and to know all that God has said, in order to believe it, love it, obey it, and share it.
In chapter 9 we’ll read about a jaw-dropping display of God’s pleasure and in chapter 10, we’ll read about a jaw-dropping display of God’s displeasure.

LEVITICUS 9
It came to pass on the eighth day that Moses called Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel. 2 And he said to Aaron, “Take for yourself a young bull as a sin offering and a ram as a burnt offering, without blemish, and offer them before the Lord. 3 And to the children of Israel you shall speak, saying, ‘Take a kid of the goats as a sin offering, and a calf and a lamb, both of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering, 4 also a bull and a ram as peace offerings, to sacrifice before the Lord, and a grain offering mixed with oil; for today the Lord will appear to you.’”

5 So they brought what Moses commanded before the tabernacle of meeting. And all the congregation drew near and stood before the Lord. 6 Then Moses said, “This is the thing which the Lord commanded you to do, and the glory of the Lord will appear to you.” 7 And Moses said to Aaron, “Go to the altar, offer your sin offering and your burnt offering, and make atonement for yourself and for the people. Offer the offering of the people, and make atonement for them, as the Lord commanded.”

8 Aaron therefore went to the altar and killed the calf of the sin offering, which was for himself. 9 Then the sons of Aaron brought the blood to him. And he dipped his finger in the blood, put it on the horns of the altar, and poured the blood at the base of the altar. 10 But the fat, the kidneys, and the fatty lobe from the liver of the sin offering he burned on the altar, as the Lord had commanded Moses. 11 The flesh and the hide he burned with fire outside the camp.

12 And he killed the burnt offering; and Aaron’s sons presented to him the blood, which he sprinkled all around on the altar. 13 Then they presented the burnt offering to him, with its pieces and head, and he burned them on the altar. 14 And he washed the entrails and the legs, and burned them with the burnt offering on the altar.

15 Then he brought the people’s offering, and took the goat, which was the sin offering for the people, and killed it and offered it for sin, like the first one. 16 And he brought the burnt offering and offered it according to the prescribed manner. 17 Then he brought the grain offering, took a handful of it, and burned it on the altar, besides the burnt sacrifice of the morning.

18 He also killed the bull and the ram as sacrifices of peace offerings, which were for the people. And Aaron’s sons presented to him the blood, which he sprinkled all around on the altar, 19 and the fat from the bull and the ram—the fatty tail, what covers the entrails and the kidneys, and the fatty lobe attached to the liver; 20 and they put the fat on the breasts. Then he burned the fat on the altar; 21 but the breasts and the right thigh Aaron waved as a wave offering before the Lord, as Moses had commanded.

22 Then Aaron lifted his hand toward the people, blessed them, and came down from offering the sin offering, the burnt offering, and peace offerings. 23 And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of meeting and came out and blessed the people. Then the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people, 24 and fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.

IT CAME TO PASS ON THE EIGHTH DAY:

After seven days of consecration unto God and animal sacrificial training by Moses - Here we find that Aaron and his sons get to perform the prescribed sacrifices found in chapters 1-7: The Sin offering, The Burnt Offering, The Peace Offering, the Grain Offering and the Wave offering. (for a comprehensive chart that explains these and other sacrifices, go here).

All of these offerings brought God and His people together in a special way, starting with the sin and the burnt offerings - which served as a payment for sin. Where the animal dies in their place and for their sin – which is a clear picture of Christ and His cross.

Again, the priests are now putting to practice all that they’ve been taught – this was ‘go time’.
Regarding worship – comprises of real love towards God, for His person and goodness, obedience to His Word and all spiritual and physical service; they were informed on what to do and how to do it - and we are too. God’s Word teaches us how to live and how to do ministry work. This is “where the rubber meets the road.’’

All was done under the supervision of Moses and God. This reminds me of Ephesians 4:12 where like Moses, pastors, bible teachers and evangelist are responsible for equipping (training) God’s people through faithful teaching and by godly example for the work of ministry and to grow in the knowledge of Jesus in order to know Him better and become more like Him. My role as a pastor (like Moses’) is to teach you, and your role (like Aaron and his boys) is to put to practice what you’ve learned.


One vital insight we learn here is that no one should serve in any official ministry until their sins are paid for by Jesus through faith. God doesn’t accept service from non-believers. I’ve heard of churches that allow unbelievers to join ministry so long as they are talented and skillful (these elements are important and necessary) but the overarching prerequisite is – are they saved? Notice that these priests were not just saved but they were also consecrated before they began to fully serve God and His people.

TO AARON “TAKE FOR YOURSELF A YOUNG BULL AS A SIN OFFERING…”

Aaron the high priest was sinful like everyone else and for this reason atonement (a payment for his personal sin) had to be made for him (by him). This was done publicly in order for all to see that everyone – even spiritual leaders – need forgiveness for sin. This shows us that pastors are not perfect. They are called and expected to live at a higher standard but are still not perfect.

Jesus who is our High Priest and is better than Aaron didn’t need His sins forgiven like Aaron because Jesus is sinless. In fact He was the sacrifice for sin.

Hebrews 7:26-27

26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.

Also keep in mind that it was Aaron who made the young bull/golden calf in Exodus 32, so it’s possible that the LORD had Aaron slaughter a young bull to serve as a reminder of his evil deed and to pay for his great sin. Bulls were offered as sacrifices daily, morning and evening as burnt offerings which can also serve as an ongoing reminder for the people as they too participated in the golden calf/bull worship. This is very possible.

I also find it interesting that the sin offering here, and the offering offered on the Day of Atonement was a young bull and not a lamb. Because Jesus is the ultimate sin offering and yet He’s “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” Not “the bull of God…” Also, a bull was offered for Aaron’s sin, but lambs (in the burnt offerings) were offered for the sin of the people – pointing again to Jesus being the lamb that was offered for the sin of His people and the world.

It was the prescribed animal sacrifices that connected Holy God and sinful man. It took the blood or death of innocent animals to pay for our sin and connect us with God – but in the New Covenant it took Jesus’ sacrifice, death, and His blood to pay for our sin and connect us with God.

Ephesians 2:13 says:

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ [not by the blood of animals].”

THEN AARON LIFTED HIS HAND TOWARD THE PEOPLE, BLESSED THEM:

Aaron pronounced a blessing on the people for coming together as one before the LORD in worship. This was Aaron's sign of approval and joy. It’s possible that Aaron pronounced the priestly blessing found in Numbers 6:24-26:

The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance upon you And give you peace.”

Or Paul’s blessing on the church in Corinth:
2 Corinthians 13:14 which says
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.”
What greater blessing can possibly be pronounced than the Triune God in our lives?!

Every good pastor genuinely desires the absolute best for his congregation. The LORD knows that I want the absolute best for this fellowship - I desire it, I pray for it, and I work for it. I want everyone to get all that they can from the LORD. That everyone would be blessed on every level and in every area of one’s life [note from James: pastor Albert and I say the same!].

Something much bigger than mere men blessing men is hidden here because verse 22 says that Aaron - who is a type of Jesus – “Blessed them and came down from offering the sin offering” – this is a picture of Jesus blessing us on the cross then coming down from the cross to make it a reality!

Ephesians 1:3 says,

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,”

The true Christian is beyond blessed in Christ!

MOSES AND AARON WENT INTO THE TABERNACLE OF MEETING AND CAME OUT AND BLESSED THE PEOPLE:

This is a picture of how we cannot bless people unless we are shut up with God first. Ministry that lacks personal time with Jesus will be stale and powerless. Our power comes from connecting with the LORD in private. This goes for all of us, not just ministry leaders.

THEN THE GLORY OF THE LORD APPEARED TO ALL THE PEOPLE, AND FIRE CAME OUT FROM BEFORE THE LORD AND CONSUMED THE BURNT OFFERING AND THE FAT ON THE ALTAR:

Here we see a jaw-dropping display of pleasure on obedience:

God was pleased and He proved it by accepting the offering by fire. This [could] have been a huge fireball of some sort or a lightning rod that either came from above as He was the Pillar of Fire or from the very Holy of Holies where the Ark was place – as the fireball shot through the veil and the holy place without burning anything just like the burning bush that was not consumed. However it happened; it was stunning – it was literally explosive. So stunning that the sheer force of God’s presence caused the people to fall on their faces and worship His greatness!

This too is a picture of God being pleased by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross when He raised Him from the dead.

God consumes sacrifices like this only five other times besides this event with Moses and Aaron here (Leviticus 9:24), with Gideon in (Judges 6:21). With Manoah, Samson’s dad in (Judges 13:19-23). With King David in (1 Chronicles 21:26). With King Solomon in (2 Chronicles 7:1). And with Elijah in the most famous showdown in the OT between the false prophets of Baal and Yahweh and His servant Elijah, found in (1 Kings 18:38). 

The LORD shows up in glory and pleasure when we walk in obedience, and He shows up in disappointment and displeasure when we walk in disobedience. As we’ll see next.

LEVITICUS 10

Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them. 2 So fire went out from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. 3 And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke, saying:

‘By those who come near Me

I must be regarded as holy;
And before all the people
I must be glorified.’”
So Aaron held his peace.

4 Then Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said to them, “Come near, carry your brethren from before the sanctuary out of the camp.” 5 So they went near and carried them by their tunics out of the camp, as Moses had said.

6 And Moses said to Aaron, and to Eleazar and Ithamar, his sons, “Do not uncover your heads nor tear your clothes, lest you die, and wrath come upon all the people. But let your brethren, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning which the Lord has kindled. 7 You shall not go out from the door of the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die, for the anointing oil of the Lord is upon you.” And they did according to the word of Moses.

8 Then the Lord spoke to Aaron, saying: 9 “Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, 10 that you may distinguish between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean, 11 and that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them by the hand of Moses.”

12 And Moses spoke to Aaron, and to Eleazar and Ithamar, his sons who were left: “Take the grain offering that remains of the offerings made by fire to the Lord and eat it without leaven beside the altar; for it is most holy. 13 You shall eat it in a holy place, because it is your due and your sons’ due, of the sacrifices made by fire to the Lord; for so I have been commanded. 14 The breast of the wave offering and the thigh of the heave offering you shall eat in a clean place, you, your sons, and your daughters with you; for they are your due and your sons’ due, which are given from the sacrifices of peace offerings of the children of Israel. 15 The thigh of the heave offering and the breast of the wave offering they shall bring with the offerings of fat made by fire, to offer as a wave offering before the Lord. And it shall be yours and your sons’ with you, by a statute forever, as the Lord has commanded.”

16 Then Moses made careful inquiry about the goat of the sin offering, and there it was—burned up. And he was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, the sons of Aaron who were left, saying, 17 “Why have you not eaten the sin offering in a holy place, since it is most holy, and God has given it to you to bear the guilt of the congregation, to make atonement for them before the Lord? 18 See! Its blood was not brought inside the holy place; indeed you should have eaten it in a holy place, as I commanded.”

19 And Aaron said to Moses, “Look, this day they have offered their sin offering and their burnt offering before the Lord, and such things have befallen me! If I had eaten the sin offering today, would it have been accepted in the sight of the Lord?” 20 So when Moses heard that, he was content.

I believe that Nadab and Abihu took it upon themselves to light the fire in the censer (A container where incense is burned while offering prayers) their own way.
In Numbers 16:46 Moses tells Aaron,
to take a censer and put fire in it from the altar, put incense on it, etc.” I think that that was their sin – they did ministry their own way instead of God’s prescribed way – i.e. “which God had not commanded.”

And for this reason Nadab and Abihu lost their jobs and lives on the spot – they were fired! – literally – burnt to a crisp. This shows us just how serious it is to do life and ministry God’s way. Hebrews 12:28, 29 in referring no doubt to Adaba and Abihu says, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear [What Nadab and Abihu didn’t do!]. For our God is a consuming fire.”

“Profane” or “strange” means “other than, to turn aside or unacceptable”.

Here we see a jaw-dropping display of God’s displeasure on disobedience:

God doesn’t like for ministers to take short cuts, to be lazy and careless in ministry work. God takes Himself very seriously and we should too. Again, Adab and Abihu for some crazy reason decided not to walk over to the altar to get a coal for the incense.

Lest we think that God only kills off disobedient saints or Christians in the Old Testament, think again. The LORD killed Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 for lying to the Holy Spirit. The LORD also kills off Christians in 1 Corinthians 11 for disrespecting the LORD’s Supper or Table. Some were struck with premature death, others with sickness and others with physical weakness.

DO NOT UNCOVER YOUR HEADS OR TEAR YOUR CLOTHES LEST YOU DIE:

If Aaron and his sons would have mourned Nadab and Abihu's death, it would have seemed as though the LORD did something wrong and not Aaron’s sons. God will be mocked by no one and will receive honor by all whether we like it or not. This also shows us that God is no respecter of person, in the sense that He didn’t let Aaron’s sons slide because they were the high priest’s kids.

DO NOT DRINK WINE OR INTOXICATING DRINK… THAT YOU MAY DISTINGUISH BETWEEN HOLY AND UNHOLY, AND BETWEEN UNCLEAN AND CLEAN:

Some scholars believe that Nadab and Abihu were drunk when they offered strange fire and that this is why God is reminding them to not do the same. Either way, they did wrong.

Leaders are most accountable and therefore shouldn’t drink because drinking makes us impaired.

Ephesians 5:18 says

And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,”

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