"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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Thursday, October 7, 2021

LEVITICUS – A HOLY PEOPLE’s ACCESS to The HOLY GOD – Chapter 15 & 16: “Cleansing By Blood and Water – A Distinctive of Calvary”

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

Complete Study of Leviticus by pastor Chuck Smith 

LEVITICUS 15 & 16: “Cleansing By Blood and Water – A Distinctive of Calvary” – by James Fire, Facebook video

INTRODUCTION: Where we are now in our study of LEVITICUS deals with cleansing and sanitation, customs, morals, etc., and the all-encompassing purity of life as a condition for divine favor. (LEV 12-20). We in the New Testament, because of Christ and His Spirit of grace, we have GOD’s favor already (we don’t have to work to earn GOD’s approval as they did under the Law), but in response to this grace, this ‘unmerited favor’, we love and serve the LORD, willingly surrendering our all to Him, which as it says in ROM 12:1, is our “reasonable service”.

We have yet to see the specifics about the purity of priests and offerings (LEV 21 & 22). Then the Five Annual Feasts will be examined in: LEV 23.
The Feast of the Passover is addressed (April 14), commemorating the Exodus (LEV 23:5). The Feast of Pentecost (June 6) commemorates the giving of the Law (LEV 23:15). The Feast of Trumpets (Shofars), aka Rosh Hashanah (October 1), commemorating the end of harvest time, also preparation time for the Day of Atonement or Yom Kipur; (which we will touch on briefly here; LEV 23:23-25). The Day of Atonement (Oct 10), the High priest enters the Holy of Holies to make atonement for the sins of the people (LEV 16 & 23:27-32). The Feast of Tabernacles (Oct 15), commemorating life in the wilderness, and thanksgiving for the harvest (LEV 23:39-43).
Then there are General Enactments and Instructions, which will be examined in the last three chapters: (LEV 25-27).

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

LEVITICUS 15:1-12
1 ¶ And the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 2 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'When any man has a discharge from his body, his discharge is unclean. 3 'And this shall be his uncleanness in regard to his discharge-whether his body runs with his discharge, or his body is stopped up by his discharge, it is his uncleanness. 4 'Every bed is unclean on which he who has the discharge lies, and everything on which he sits shall be unclean. 5 'And whoever touches his bed shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. 6 'He who sits on anything on which he who has the discharge sat shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. 7 'And he who touches the body of him who has the discharge shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. 8 'If he who has the discharge spits on him who is clean, then he shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. 9 'Any saddle on which he who has the discharge rides shall be unclean. 10 'Whoever touches anything that was under him shall be unclean until evening. He who carries any of those things shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. 11 'And whomever the one who has the discharge touches, and has not rinsed his hands in water, he shall wash his clothes and bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. 12 'The vessel of earth that he who has the discharge touches shall be broken, and every vessel of wood shall be rinsed in water.

Due to the fact that pagan religions had sexual rites in their practices, they would very often contract sexually transmitted diseases. This was just one of the many reasons why GOD finally pronounced destruction on Sodom and Gomorra, because had He not intervened, the sexual diseases that were running rampant throughout those cities would have spread across the Mesopotamian area and wiped out entire populations.

This is what happens when a culture worships the creation, rather than the Creator. The primary part of GOD’s creation is humanity and with it, the human body, and the human body includes it’s GOD given sexuality. When a culture worships sex, a worship of self, a worship of creation rather than a worship of GOD, it will spiral out of control as they are given over to their carnal desires. We all know, the more you feed the flesh, the hungrier it gets, and this is especially true where sexuality is concerned.

Once a society begins to deviate from the GOD-ordained parameters of sexual union between man and woman only as husband and wife, it’s a slippery slope until you have absolute anarchy where anything goes with anyone or anything, and our identities as men and women are blurred, and iniquity (lawlessness, chaos) thrives.
ROMANS 1:21-32
21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.
27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
LEVITICUS 15:13-15
13 'And when he who has a discharge is cleansed of his discharge, then he shall count for himself seven days for his cleansing, wash his clothes, and bathe his body in running water; then he shall be clean. 14 'On the eighth day he shall take for himself two turtledoves or two young pigeons, and come before the LORD, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and give them to the priest. 15 'Then the priest shall offer them, the one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering. So the priest shall make atonement for him before the LORD because of his discharge.

GOD has a remedy for all eventualities; there is no sickness or sin that GOD hasn’t anticipated and made preparations for in His Word, making provisions so that sicknesses would be healed, sin forgiven and fellowship between His people and Himself is restored and maintained.

Every bodily function is anticipated, and the LORD provides solutions when these functions are out of order. The following verses are likely associated in some cases with what is written above – involving sexual diseases. This may also be the case as in masturbation whether voluntary or involuntary (as in dreams of a sexual nature that result in such a physical response):

LEVITICUS 15:16-33

16 'If any man has an emission of semen, then he shall wash all his body in water, and be unclean until evening. 17 'And any garment and any leather on which there is semen, it shall be washed with water, and be unclean until evening. 18 'Also, when a woman lies with a man, and there is an emission of semen, they shall bathe in water, and be unclean until evening.
19 'If a woman has a discharge, and the discharge from her body is blood, she shall be set apart seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening. 20 'Everything that she lies on during her impurity shall be unclean; also everything that she sits on shall be unclean. 21 'Whoever touches her bed shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. 22 'And whoever touches anything that she sat on shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. 23 'If anything is on her bed or on anything on which she sits, when he touches it, he shall be unclean until evening. 24 'And if any man lies with her at all, so that her impurity is on him, he shall be unclean seven days; and every bed on which he lies shall be unclean.

25 'If a woman has a discharge of blood for many days, other than at the time of her customary impurity, or if it runs beyond her usual time of impurity, all the days of her unclean discharge shall be as the days of her customary impurity. She shall be unclean. 26 'Every bed on which she lies all the days of her discharge shall be to her as the bed of her impurity; and whatever she sits on shall be unclean, as the uncleanness of her impurity. 27 'Whoever touches those things shall be unclean; he shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening.

28 'But if she is cleansed of her discharge, then she shall count for herself seven days, and after that she shall be clean. 29 'And on the eighth day she shall take for herself two turtledoves or two young pigeons, and bring them to the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 30 'Then the priest shall offer the one as a sin offering and the other as a burnt offering, and the priest shall make atonement for her before the LORD for the discharge of her uncleanness. 31 'Thus you shall separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness, lest they die in their uncleanness when they defile My tabernacle that is among them.

32 'This is the law for one who has a discharge, and for him who emits semen and is unclean thereby, 33 'and for her who is indisposed because of her customary impurity, and for one who has a discharge, either man or woman, and for him who lies with her who is unclean.

In all of these scenarios of uncleanliness, the solution involves the separation of the one inflicted for a period of seven days, and cleansing by water.

What this describes in the physical is also true in the spiritual: whenever we find ourselves infected with sin, we want to draw aside in the privacy of our own heart and call upon the LORD and confess our sin, be washed in the covenant of the blood of the LAMB (Which in the final instance, we see sacrifice of birds for sin offerings and burnt offerings) and by the washing of the water of the Word (EPH 5:26). At such times, we remember the blood that was shed for us by the LAMB of GOD: There at Calvary we see that blood and water flowed from our Savior – for our redemption!

Most of these instances we see that these infections have to do with our physiology that involves procreation – the making of life; and yet because of the curse of sin, that which was intended for life, brings about corruption, and the remedy is always the LORD GOD, the exclusive Author of Life!

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

LEVITICUS 16:1-4
1 Now the LORD spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered profane fire before the LORD, and died; 2 and the LORD said to Moses: "Tell Aaron your brother not to come at just any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, lest he die; for I will appear in the cloud above the mercy seat. 3 "Thus Aaron shall come into the Holy Place: with the blood of a young bull as a sin offering, and of a ram as a burnt offering. 4 "He shall put the holy linen tunic and the linen trousers on his body; he shall be girded with a linen sash, and with the linen turban he shall be attired. These are holy garments. Therefore he shall wash his body in water and put them on.

GOD offered “instruction in righteousness” here and throughout the Torah, by revealing to Moses what the right way of offering sacrifice is, comparing that to the “reproof” that He gave to Aaron’s sons for the wrong way to offer worship – by way of strange fire.

2 TIMOTHY 3:16

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

By the Holy of Holies, or most holy place; that place within the veil where the ark of the covenant was located; and where God manifested his presence between the cherubim: in ordinary cases the high priest could enter this place only once in the year, that is, on the day of annual atonement (Yom Kippur); but in extraordinary cases he might enter more frequently, for example, while in the wilderness, in decamping and encamping, he must enter to take down or adjust the things; and on solemn pressing public occasions, he was obliged to enter in order to consult the Lord: but he never entered without the deepest reverence and due preparation.

The ordinance of the scape-goat typified the death and resurrection of Christ, and the atonement:
HEBERWS 9:7-12
But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people's sins committed in ignorance; 8 the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. 9 It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience 10 concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation. 11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
HEBREWS 9:24-26
For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another-- 26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
The putting on of these priestly linens is comparable to our having put on the robe of righteousness with which we have been made presentable to the LORD Jesus Christ. Recall the parable of the wedding feast when a guest came in, not having the wedding garment on that was provided by the host – thinking that his own clothes are presentable enough. The king then asked him about it, but the man was speechless:
MATTHEW 22:12-13
12 So he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless. 13 "Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
Obviously his own garments were not good enough; only a royal king can provide royal vestments suitable for a royal occasion. Likewise only our holy King can provide the only holiness suitable for heaven, the holy domain of GOD.
Anything less than this will leave people speechless on the day of Judgment, when their own rags of (un)righteousness are presented before our holy King and Judge:
ROMANS 3:19-20
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
LEVITICUS 16:5-11
5 "And he shall take from the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats as a sin offering, and one ram as a burnt offering. 6 "Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house.
7 "He shall take the two goats and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 8 "Then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the LORD and the other lot for the scapegoat. 9 "And Aaron shall bring the goat on which the LORD'S lot fell and offer it as a sin offering. 10 "But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make atonement upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness. 11 "And Aaron shall bring the bull of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make atonement for himself and for his house, and shall kill the bull as the sin offering which is for himself.

Here is a perfect picture of our atonement in Christ: GOD must judge the guilty sinner, but rather than allowing the sinner to pay for his own debt, the lot fell upon His Son Who became the sacrifice so that ‘a scape goat’ – that’s us – may be set free. While He was condemned and slain, we were set free!

“We’re forgiven because He was forsaken; we’re accepted, He was condemned – we are alive and well, because His Spirit dwells within us, because He died and rose again”.

Likewise, Aaron as the minister of GOD, high priest, was set free along with his sons, priests of GOD by the sacrificing of the bulls.

Salvation is provided for all! Not just for GOD’s ministers, but for all people!

LEVITICUS 16:12-15

12 "Then he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from the altar before the LORD, with his hands full of sweet incense beaten fine, and bring it inside the veil. 13 "And he shall put the incense on the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of incense may cover the mercy seat that is on the Testimony, lest he die. 14 "He shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east side; and before the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times.

The incense is representative of the prayers of the saints, and here, the smoke becomes a cloud that obscures the mercy seat.

GOD is often concealed in cloud and shadow (as we saw in Exodus) to obscure His glory, that if seen undiluted by human eyes, would slay a man.

This sprinkling of blood on the mercy seat seven times: seven being the number of completion or perfection, represents that complete and perfect sacrifice that is Christ. This sacrifice is perfect in being the propitiation – the only satisfactory sacrifice that satisfies GOD’s justice against sin, and it’s also complete in that it provides total salvation for us in justification, sanctification, and glorification.

LEVITICUS 16:15-18

15 "Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering, which is for the people, bring its blood inside the veil, do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. 16 "So he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, for all their sins; and so he shall do for the tabernacle of meeting which remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness. 17 "There shall be no man in the tabernacle of meeting when he goes in to make atonement in the Holy Place, until he comes out, that he may make atonement for himself, for his household, and for all the assembly of Israel.

We have seen sacrifices made on behalf of the people, and for specific sins of the people, and also for the priests, and here, atonement for the Holy Place – the tabernacle of meeting.

When Aaron made offerings for the Holy Place, he went in alone: no one was even allowed there while this was going on! HEBREWS 9 & 10 addresses this procedure and shows how the Superior High Priest, Christ Himself entered in, also by Himself with no other present, beyond the veil and brought His own blood and not that of any animal.

The LORD brings sanctification not only to us, but to all of our lives – including our households. I recall how many times as a young believer, I’d trot over to my spiritual parent’s house and have a deep sense of peace, and rest there. The place permeated with a joy and the presence of the LORD – because those who dwelled there, were practicing holiness, not just having the position of holiness – all of which is attributable to Christ alone, the only source for true holiness. As we partake of Christ, we live according to “the new man” which GOD creates “in righteousness and true holiness” (EPH 4:24).
LEVITICUS 16:18-22
18 "And he shall go out to the altar that is before the LORD, and make atonement for it, and shall take some of the blood of the bull and some of the blood of the goat and put it on the horns of the altar all around. 19 "Then he shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times, cleanse it, and consecrate it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.
20 "And when he has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place, the tabernacle of meeting, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat. 21 "Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. 22 "The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.
Just as Aaron atoned for the Holy Place, he then went to the outer court in order to atone for the brazen altar and sprinkle it seven times just as he did upon the altar of incense. So whether by our prayers or our offerings unto the LORD, they are all of them received not because of ourselves or any righteousness of our own, but strictly on the basis of Christ Jesus, by whose blood, we have the way paved to the Holy Throne of GOD where we may present our prayers, and before Whom, we commit our work in the kingdom of GOD.
And just as the scape goat is set free and able to live, so too, because of Christ we ourselves are set free and live and are saved:
ROMANS 10:9-10
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

1 JOHN 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
LEVITICUS 16:23-28
23 "Then Aaron shall come into the tabernacle of meeting, shall take off the linen garments which he put on when he went into the Holy Place, and shall leave them there. 24 "And he shall wash his body with water in a holy place, put on his garments, come out and offer his burnt offering and the burnt offering of the people, and make atonement for himself and for the people. 25 "The fat of the sin offering he shall burn on the altar.
26 "And he who released the goat as the scapegoat shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward he may come into the camp. 27 "The bull for the sin offering and the goat for the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the Holy Place, shall be carried outside the camp. And they shall burn in the fire their skins, their flesh, and their offal. 28 "Then he who burns them shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward he may come into the camp.

Note that while Aaron did work that was exclusively dedicated to the high priest, he had other priests with him in the priestly ministry – none are alone in the ministry; we are all part of the body of Christ, with our individual callings by Christ, to minister to Christ and the body of Christ, His church, and to the world at large (1 COR 12:12-14; COL 1:24
).
Also notice that after these offerings, Aaron the high priest and the priest who released the scape goat, and the other that burns the skins, the flesh and the waste, after their work is done, they were to bathe in water, and wash their clothes.

We’ve seen before where water is a symbol of GOD’s Word (ISAIAH 55:10-11; EPH 5:26).

It’s important to remember that as we are faithful to minister in the capacity in which GOD has called us, not to think that such ministry is sufficient in our relationship with the LORD. This is what we do for the LORD’s sake, out of love for Him. Then there is the LORD’s ministry to us, and He reveals Himself and His glory and holiness and love to us, as well as giving us instruction, direction, knowledge, encouragement in the Holy Scriptures – that is His ministry to us. Both are necessary; like breathing: inhaling or exhaling, which is more important? Both! But it’s necessary that the LORD minister to us first, otherwise we have nothing to offer in ministry to others.

Remember, before the multitudes could be fed of the bread and fish, the disciples had to bring them first to Jesus, and receive them from Him first, before they were enabled to feed the multitudes (MATT 15).

LEVITICUS 16:29-34

29 "This shall be a statute forever for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who dwells among you. 30 "For on that day the priest shall make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before the LORD. 31 "It is a sabbath of solemn rest for you, and you shall afflict your souls. It is a statute forever.
32 "And the priest, who is anointed and consecrated to minister as priest in his father's place, shall make atonement, and put on the linen clothes, the holy garments; 33 "then he shall make atonement for the Holy Sanctuary, and he shall make atonement for the tabernacle of meeting and for the altar, and he shall make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly. 34 "This shall be an everlasting statute for you, to make atonement for the children of Israel, for all their sins, once a year." And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.

This is Yom Kipur – the highest, holiest day of the Jewish year, the Day of Atonement.

The attitude of heart on this day was in humbling oneself – and doing no work so that one may focus on seeking GOD and mourning over one’s own sin.
In today’s Gospel, it seems that repentance is optional. Repentance is far from a work of the flesh, or part of a works-based salvation. Scripture is quite clear on this point:
2 CORINTHIANS 7:10
For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.
Obviously, as sinners we can’t stop sinning, even if we manage to stop one particular sin in our life. An unsaved alcoholic can determine to stop getting drunk, but he is still a liar, a coveter, a thief, and adulterer because he still has a dominating sin nature.

But if we repent to the degree of expressing grief over our sin – this “godly sorrow” and have a willingness of mind to change and show GOD that we desire to turn from sin and turn to Christ for salvation, this is the repentance that leads to salvation and once saved, repentance can have its finished work as a saved soul begins to walk in sanctification.

Very much in the spirit of 2 CHRONICLES:
2 CHRONICALES 7:14
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land
.

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