"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, December 3, 2021

LEVITICUS – A HOLY PEOPLE’s ACCESS to The HOLY GOD – Chapter TWENTYTHREE & TWENTYFOUR

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

Complete Study of Leviticus by pastor Chuck Smith 

LEVITICUS 23 & 24: “Celebrating the Goodness of GOD” – by Sonny Islas, Watch the video on the SHINE BRIGHT Youtube page
INTRODUCTION: There are seven annual feasts that the LORD commanded Israel to keep; these were joyful festivals held in connection of celebrating GOD’s goodness towards them. It is a JOY to know GOD! We will recognize that these feasts all point to our LORD Jesus Christ.


LEVITCUS 23

LEVITICUS 23:1-2
1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.

The Feasts of the LORD: These feasts were GOD’s idea. These were His “save the dates”. The LORD sets these special days and times with a sense of joy: like one would plan a wedding, a baby shower, or a birthday party. These feasts were celebrated with a sense of happiness and anticipation: it’s where GOD gets to enjoy the people and the people, GOD in a time of fellowship and communion.

These were proclaimed to be Holy Convocations: meaning, the action of calling people get together for a large, formal assembly. These were special times for GOD’s people to gather in GOD’s name and with GOD and were therefore “holy”. These times were both holy and joyous – too often we think of ‘holy’ as anything but joyous, but here it’s evident that this is the case!

LEVITICUS 23:3

'Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.

The Sabbath: these were celebrated weekly (every week), not annually (like the feasts were). Sabbath means ‘rest’. Every Sabbath (starting Friday night at sundown to Saturday sundown) GOD’s people were to take a day off of their regular work to gather together and enjoy their GOD! Like we do every Sunday!

This was a way in which they remembered YAHWEH as Creator GOD – Who created the heavens and the Earth in six days and rested on the Sabbath. GOD didn’t need a rest because He became tired: He is the Almighty Who never grows weary (ISA 40:28). This rest was simply ceasing from work because it was finished.
ROMANS 14:5
One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.
As New Testament believers we have the liberty in Christ to gather and worship on any day of the week, but we especially recognize a single day of worship and celebration on the day on which our LORD resurrected from the dead – on Resurrection Sunday. That’s why we gather on Sundays.

Sundays aren’t a Sabbath rest the same way that Jews recognize the Sabbath, but it’s still a good idea to take one day out of seven and rest, and reserve such a day to meditate upon the LORD, to read His Word even more than our usual and prayer as well. Spiritually speaking, JESUS is our spiritual rest, where we cease from any works or labor in an attempt to be justified before GOD and rest in the work of justification that Christ wrought for us (PHIL 3:9HEB 4:3-5,11).

LEVITICUS 23:4-8

4 'These are the feasts of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times. 5 'On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the LORD'S Passover. 6 'And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. 7 'On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it. 8 'But you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD for seven days. The seventh day shall be a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it.'

The first two feasts: The Passover and Unleavened Bread

The 14th day of the 1st month, at twilight is the LORD’s Passover: the Passover festival landed on the month of Nisan (March/April). If you recall from the studies in EXODUS 12, this feast was to commemorate their rescue from 400 years of slavery in Egypt.

The tenth plague from GOD upon Egypt was to kill every firstborn and Israel was to kill a lamb and apply its blood on their door posts and lintels in order for the Angel of Death, aka the Destroyer to witness the blood and as a result Passover that house. They were saved from death by the blood of the lamb! This is a crystal clear picture of Jesus the LAMB of GOD Who died in our place, causing the wrath of GOD to Passover us and have it fall rather on Jesus at the Cross!

JESUS was actually crucified on Passover (something the Jewish authorities actively tried to avoid; see MATT 26:5) exactly as the LORD willed it to be. Just before the Cross, the LORD Jesus instituted the LORD’s Supper where we take of the grape vine and unleavened bread to remember the cross and His death until He returns (MATT 26:17-30) represented by the matzos (something interesting about the kind of bread we use for the LORD’s Supper, free of all leaven, it’s characterized by its striped texture (ISAIAH 53:5) and the holes where it’s pierced (PSALM 22:16)). In Passover Jews celebrate the Exodus. In the LORD’s Supper we celebrate the Cross – the greatest of all deliverances: from sin, from death, from judgment, from hell!

This sacrifice of Christ on our behalf admonishes us to be sanctified in increasing measure daily. Since He sacrificed Himself for us, let us do likewise in response to His love for us!
1 CORINTHIANS 5:7
Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
And on the fifteenth day of the same month is The Feast of Unleavened Bread:
The day after Passover they were to eat unleavened bread (without any yeast that is, leaven, representative of sin) for seven days to remember their quick exit from Egypt – they ate of this unleavened bread in a hurry!

Leaven points to sin of various kinds: false doctrine that leads to self-righteousness and hypocrisy, sin in general and pride:
MATTHEW 16:6,12
6 Then Jesus said to them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees." 7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, "It is because we have taken no bread. 12 Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

1 CORINTHIANS 5:7-8

7 Therefore purge out the old leaven [sin], that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
We have some of the old version of us, the sinful self from the sin nature that is still around, and like the leaven, we are to “purge” – cleanse, get rid of, throw away the sinful tendencies and lay hold of the new version of ourselves in Christ, according to the godly nature we inherited when we received salvation through Jesus Christ. This is our responsibility to do it!
1 CORINTHANS 4:6,18-19
6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other. 18 Now some are puffed up, as though I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power.
LEVITICUS 23:9-14
9 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 10 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest. 11 'He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 'And you shall offer on that day, when you wave the sheaf, a male lamb of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering to the LORD. 13 'Its grain offering shall be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to the LORD, for a sweet aroma; and its drink offering shall be of wine, one-fourth of a hin. 14 'You shall eat neither bread nor parched grain nor fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your God; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

Here we have the Feast of First fruits: this feast points to the resurrection of Jesus Christ that assures us that we will partake of the resurrection as the body of Christ. Notice that the priest was to wave the first fruits of barley – on the day after the Sabbath (which would be Sunday) – which again, is the day of the LORD’s resurrection!

Paul pointed out the deeper significance of this in: 
1 CORINTHIANS 15:20
20 But now Christ is risen from the dead and has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
Just as the first fruits of barley wheat pointed to more coming later, this points to JESUS, having resurrected from the dead, will raise up also from the dead. Just as JESUS rose from the dead FIRST, so will we!

The First fruits being offered to the LORD also points to GOD keeping His promise by giving them Canaan/Israel. And by them giving GOD their First fruits and the best of all they had, this showed their gratitude for all of His promises and provisions. Likewise we are to give GOD the first and best of our time, our talent, our treasure.

LEVITICUS 23:15-22

15 'And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. 16 'Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD. 17 'You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the LORD. 18 'And you shall offer with the bread seven lambs of the first year, without blemish, one young bull, and two rams. They shall be as a burnt offering to the LORD, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering made by fire for a sweet aroma to the LORD. 19 'Then you shall sacrifice one kid of the goats as a sin offering, and two male lambs of the first year as a sacrifice of a peace offering. 20 'The priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the LORD, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the LORD for the priest. 21 'And you shall proclaim on the same day that it is a holy convocation to you. You shall do no customary work on it. It shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations. 22 'When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field when you reap, nor shall you gather any gleaning from your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the LORD your God.'

Recall the story of Boaz and Ruth where Boaz obeyed the LORD, who followed this command, allowing Ruth to gather food for her and Naomi her mother in law (who herself was related to Boaz).

Here we have the Feast of Weeks, celebrated in May/June to dedicate the First fruits of the wheat harvest. They rejoiced again in GOD’s faithfulness to send rain and blessing the crops to grow and thrive in providing food for His people. We ourselves ought to express our gratitude for the food the LORD provides – and all that He provides for us, by saying a grace before our meals.

The Feast of Weeks is also known as Pentecost (Pente – meaning “fifty”) which was fifty days after the resurrection of “Christ our First fruits”. What’s interesting is that Jewish tradition says that GOD gave the Ten Commandments fifty days after the Exodus, and we know that GOD gave the baptism of the Holy Spirit to His church fifty days after the resurrection of Christ – on the day of Pentecost.

It was on that day that an abundant harvest of souls were reaped in the work of salvation – three thousand souls to be exact.

LEVITICUS 23:23-25

23 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 24 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying: 'In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 'You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD.'

The Feast of Trumpets:

The first four feasts listed here were celebrated in the Spring (March/April); and these last three celebrated in the Fall season. This Feast of Trumpets was celebrated in the autumn season (September/October). It was at this time that trumpets were blown in order to let everyone know that it was the time to rest from work and come together and worship GOD – this was a special Sabbath. This may also be pointing to the time of the LORD’s coming for the church:
1 THESSALONIANS 4:16-17
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
The rapture of the church will be the ultimate Sabbath rest, amen? Resting from all in this world that tires us out – struggling against sin, keeping ourselves unspotted from the world, wrestling with those principalities, powers, spiritual rulers of darkness and demons. . . But also resting from our labors in the LORD that we work tirelessly in while on this Earth. That rest will be an eternal Sabbath, a rest – in the LORD! I can’t wait!

[note from James: The trumpet here is not the silver trumpets used in the Tabernacle (and later the Temple), but the shofar – the ram’s horn that were used to assemble the children of Israel and lead them out in procession as they journeyed to the promised land.

When we hear the trumpet call, the LORD will lead us in procession to our own ‘promised land’ – our Father’s house!]

LEVITICUS 23:26-32

26 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 27 "Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. 28 "And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement [payment for sin] for you before the LORD your God. 29 "For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people. 30 "And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31 "You shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 "It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath.

This is the Day of Atonement (Yom Kipur). It was the most solemn, most serious feast of the seven; a time when once a year, the sins of the priests as well as the nation were forgiven and cleansed, but that the people were to recall to memory how they had fallen short of loving the LORD with all their being and mourn over this with contrition. It was a time to realize the seriousness of sins committed and the need for forgiveness, which ONLY GOD can provide!

No work was to be done on this day as a reminder that no one can work for forgiveness of sins or for salvation – this comes from GOD alone – in the Person of JESUS’s death for sin.

After the time of extreme sorrow and mourning there was the blessed time of rejoicing because our merciful GOD is always faithful for forgive the repentant sinner who turns to Him for salvation!

Today, any that seeks forgiveness from GOD, doesn’t go to the Father directly and simply ask for forgiveness. He must go through the great High Priest, the LORD Jesus Christ and seek forgiveness there. Why? Because He paid the atonement on the Cross. There is forgiveness of sin NO WHERE ELSE but here! There is no ‘Plan B’ for forgiveness if people don’t like GOD’s ‘Plan A’ – salvation through Christ!

On the Day of Atonement, one goat was sacrificed and the other – the scapegoat – was set free after the nations sins were symbolically placed on it. This is a beautiful picture of JESUS dying in our place while we are set free and forgiven!

Check out the TTUF Two Part Article: ALTAR of the ALMIGHTY - Part One & Two

LEVITICUS 23:33-44

33 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 34 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying: 'The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the LORD. 35 'On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it. 36 'For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. It is a sacred assembly, and you shall do no customary work on it. 37 'These are the feasts of the LORD which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire to the LORD, a burnt offering and a grain offering, a sacrifice and drink offerings, everything on its day- 38 'besides the Sabbaths of the LORD, besides your gifts, besides all your vows, and besides all your freewill offerings which you give to the LORD. 

39 'Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the LORD for seven days; on the first day there shall be a sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a sabbath-rest. 40 'And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days. 41 'You shall keep it as a feast to the LORD for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 'You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, 43 'that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.'" 44 So Moses declared to the children of Israel the feasts of the LORD.

The Feast of Tabernacles (Or Feast of Booths):

This Feast was to remember the Wilderness wanderings when they lived in tents. They were to camp out for seven days which was a time of great joy! They remembered all of GOD’s provisions while they made their journey across the barren wasteland and witness the awesome power of GOD’s provisions which He faithfully brought to His people.

Remember that we are living in a godless society, and we need to be witnesses for Christ – to show others that we are not living for the things of this world. That just as the Hebrews lived temporarily in those tents (for just seven days), so too is our life in this world temporary – once we leave it, it’s then that we go home. Just as the people of GOD returned to their homes at the end of those seven days.

We are living for the hope of the kingdom to come, we are living in the hope of the resurrection, where we will leave this fallen world, and our own corrupt bodies, and go Home to live with our heavenly Father and the LORD Jesus Christ!

Too many Christians today are practical atheists*, who don’t live for the hope of the kingdom of GOD, nor in the resurrection of Christ! They claim belief in Christ, but there isn’t any evidence of it in their lives – practically speaking, they live like atheists!

* For an excellent Two Part Message by pastor Sonny, check this out on the SHINE BRIGHT Youtube page:


The Jewish Talmud records that on the last day of this feast, a priest went down to the pool of Siloam and drew water in a golden pitcher which he brought back to the altar and poured it out into a silver basin as the worshipers sang Psalms. This celebrated the water that GOD miraculously provided for Israel in the wilderness; the Rock that gushed out water. At this point, everyone was silent.
JOHN 7:37
37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
LEVITICUS 24

LEVITICUS 24:1-4
1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 2 "Command the children of Israel that they bring to you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to make the lamps burn continually. 3 "Outside the veil of the Testimony, in the tabernacle of meeting, Aaron shall be in charge of it from evening until morning before the LORD continually; it shall be a statute forever in your generations. 4 "He shall be in charge of the lamps on the pure gold lampstand before the LORD continually.

It was Aaron’s responsibility to keep the lamps full of “pure oil” – symbolic of the Holy Spirit and shining brightly. Just so, we are responsible to let our light shine before the world (MATT 5:14-16). It’s our responsibility to keep our relationship with the LORD, for our part, by seeking Him in the Word and prayer, and living pleasing in His sight.

For the LORD’s part, as our great High Priest, He is the light of the world (JOHN 8:12); just as the Moon has no light of its own but can only reflect the light of the sun, likewise we have no light of our own except that which the LORD grants to us – and we are not to hide it under a bushel, out of sight, where no one can see it!

LEVITICUS 24:5-9

5 "And you shall take fine flour and bake twelve cakes with it. Two-tenths of an ephah shall be in each cake. 6 "You shall set them in two rows, six in a row, on the pure gold table before the LORD. 7 "And you shall put pure frankincense on each row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial, an offering made by fire to the LORD. 8 "Every Sabbath he shall set it in order before the LORD continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant. 9 "And it shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place; for it is most holy to him from the offerings of the LORD made by fire, by a perpetual statute."

The oil and the bread here – the Spirit of the LORD, and the LORD Jesus Christ Himself. The bread was constantly baking and the oil being constantly poured. See how they are set in rows, in orderly fashion? GOD is into order; looking at His creation, you can tell that! And He desires to see order in our lives. Not haphazard or chaotic and frustrating, but in order and restful. Notice that the frankincense is placed on the altar of shewbread as well, signifying prayerfulness.

Our LORD provides Himself as the Bread of Life and He is ever faithful as our High Priest to offer up prayers and petitions on our behalf!

In response, we are a people who are all about the bread of GOD’s Word and the prayer life of a committed saint of the LORD.

LEVITICUS 24:10-16

10 Now the son of an Israelite woman, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the children of Israel; and this Israelite woman's son and a man of Israel fought each other in the camp. 11 And the Israelite woman's son blasphemed the name of the LORD and cursed; and so they brought him to Moses. (His mother's name was Shelomith the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan.) 12 Then they put him in custody, that the mind of the LORD might be shown to them. 13 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 14 "Take outside the camp him who has cursed; then let all who heard him lay their hands on his head, and let all the congregation stone him. 15 "Then you shall speak to the children of Israel, saying: 'Whoever curses his God shall bear his sin. 16 'And whoever blasphemes the name of the LORD shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall certainly stone him, the stranger as well as him who is born in the land. When he blasphemes the name of the LORD, he shall be put to death.

This is the 3rd Commandment. Why is this so severe? Because the people are living in conditions that are practically heaven-like. GOD is dwelling in the midst of His people. And these people are committing sin before the face of GOD, knowing that He is there – but rebelling anyway?! THAT is why this is so severe!

Today, people blaspheme the name of GOD routinely – and the LORD allows them to live another day. This is not how it’s going to be during the Millennium. Judgment will come swiftly and severely! Christ is going to rule with a rod of iron (see REV 12:5; 19:15) representing hard, strict judgment with finality, with no mercy whatsoever on the unrepentant!).

LEVITICUS 24:17-23

17 'Whoever kills any man shall surely be put to death. 18 'Whoever kills an animal shall make it good, animal for animal. 19 'If a man causes disfigurement of his neighbor, as he has done, so shall it be done to him- 20 'fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; as he has caused disfigurement of a man, so shall it be done to him. 21 'And whoever kills an animal shall restore it; but whoever kills a man shall be put to death. 22 'You shall have the same law for the stranger and for one from your own country; for I am the LORD your God.'" 23 Then Moses spoke to the children of Israel; and they took outside the camp him who had cursed and stoned him with stones. So the children of Israel did as the LORD commanded Moses.
This is GOD’s idea of pure and fair justice. GOD will never be unjust or overbearing in His judgment. For those guilty of much, they will be beaten with many stripes; those guilty of less, they will be beaten with fewer stripes.

We don’t know what GOD will do for the tribesman who lives in some remote village in the dark continent who has never heard the name of Jesus Christ, much less the Gospel of the LORD Jesus. But we may be absolutely confident that whatever GOD’s judgment on such a man will be, it will be entirely and absolutely fair and just! Far more so than any mere man!
PSALM 67:3-4
3 Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You. 4 Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You shall judge the people righteously And govern the nations on earth. Selah.

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