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Daily living OR sanctification

Query for the Month

of February 2001

 

Next up-date: March 1st (God willing).

Previous "Queries" are available. Click here to access.

 

Some perpetual questions ....

Is there really an immortal soul?

What does it mean to "be led by the Spirit"?

Do you know the difference between the "love" that is of Christianity
and the "love" that is of the world?
Click here to find out!

 


Query:

What was the purpose of all those Old Testament sacrifices and rituals?

Deuteronomy 4:1-2

Now therefore hearken, O Israel, to the statutes and to the judgments, which I teach you, to do them, that you may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers gives you.

You shall not add to the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish ought from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

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My Answer:

I believe that the Old Testament ceremonies based on the altar of sacrifice had three distinct pictures in them.

1) Conversion, or justification

2) Daily living, or sanctification

3) Total cleansing, or glorification

 

Let's deal with the second picture this month.

Remember that Jesus does not give us our own life back again at rebirth, but that He gives us His own life. In that life there never was a sin; and so it is that our crucifixion and resurrection with Him is the separation of our sinful life from us.

However, if a Christian (male or female) committed an action of sin AFTER THAT experience and became aware of it, he/she could come to the tabernacle courtyard (a sanctified place on earth shunned by sinners), and by the laying on of hands (in a prayer) confess that action of sin onto the head of a YOUNG FEMALE GOAT, being very specific about the action committed. Leviticus 4:27-35.

If they had not stopped committing the sin immediately it came to their notice, it was also important for them to confess that they did NOT HAVE TO CONTINUE DOING IT. There was a "way of escape" but they had rejected it. "I couldn't help myself" is no excuse.

1 Corinthians 10:13-15

There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but WILL WITH THE TEMPTATION ALSO MAKE A WAY TO ESCAPE, that you may be able to bear it. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to wise men; judge you what I say.

In similar circumstances a leader in the church brought a male goat to confess over, while a congregation (a corporate entity) was asked to confess onto a bullock, to show the difference God sees in their actions of sin. Sometimes, because of the enormity of the sin, a ram was required for an ordinary Christian.

That BOTH males and females should come to the sanctuary is specified in the Bible but this was gradually turned into a prohibition by men acting under Satan’s direction.

Numbers 5:5-9

And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to the children of Israel, When A MAN OR WOMAN shall commit any sin that men commit, to do a trespass against the LORD, and that person be guilty; then they shall confess their sin which they have done: and he [or she] shall recompense his trespass with the principal thereof, and add to it the fifth part thereof [a 20% fine], and give it to him against whom he has trespassed.

But if the man [being dead or missing] have no kinsman to recompense the trespass to, let the trespass be recompensed to the LORD, even to the priest; beside [as well as] the ram of the atonement [Leviticus 6:6-7], whereby an atonement shall be made for him [or her].

It was mostly men who were mentioned in the Old Testament times as performing these ceremonies because female Christians often did this at home "by faith". They were too busy bringing up the children and endeavouring to run their homes in God’s way to waste time on rituals which were only pictures of the truth. Their "sanctuary" was in their hearts and minds. John 4:23-24.

However, whenever he/she made a "sin offering" (a prayer of confession) then or now, it was AS A SINFUL CHRISTIAN, not a sinner or child of Satan. In those days he or she killed the animal while it bore the sin in their stead, for by sinning as Christians we are responsible for the continuing death of Christ. The officiating priest then sprinkled some of its blood onto the horns of the brass altar (of Calvary) which stands in the courtyard, and poured the rest down the drain.

By this action (the recognition that his/her Saviour was now suffering for that action of sin (repentance), and the remembrance that he/she had died with Him in the Passover) the "sinful" Christian was restored to purity and forgiven. Colossians 2:12-13; 1 John 1:9.

The priest who helped in the ceremony then ate that goat’s body (a portion of it) and the sin became his by transfer. See Leviticus 4:27-35; 7:6-8.

The FORGIVEN and CLEANSED Christian went back home feeling happy and enjoying the Sabbath "rest". Matthew 11:27-28; Hebrews 4:1-5.

The "SINFUL" PRIEST was not so happy.

He now bore the burden and guilt of the sin and he wanted to go home too. So he looked for the high priest (if he was not available another "clean" priest newly come on duty would do). The SINFUL priest then confessed HIS sin onto the head of a bullock and killed it (the sin became his by eating the goat of the erring Christian).

The CLEAN priest who was helping him took a bowl of the blood of the bullock into the first apartment of the sanctuary building (which represents heaven). He sprinkled some of it seven times on the floor in front of the second veil which symbolised Christ’s protective power. Hebrews 10:19-20. This is as close to God as he could get without dying even though he was "clean", because he was still in his earthly body.

Some drops are also put on the horns of the golden altar of incense (the prayer altar) which was standing next to him in the first room.

The remainder of the blood was then taken back out of the building and poured down the drain around the brass altar out in the courtyard. The body of the animal was not eaten, but was taken outside the sanctuary area, outside the camp, to a "clean" (sanctified) place and totally burnt there. See Leviticus 4:1-12.

SO IT WAS THE PRIEST’S SIN WHICH WAS NOW IN THE SANCTUARY AND IT GOT THERE BY A BULLOCK’S BLOOD.

NOTE THAT HE WAS NOT FORGIVEN FOR IT. (THERE IS NO MENTION OF FORGIVENESS OR ATONEMENT FOR HIM, BECAUSE HE WAS JUST A MEANS OF TRANSFER.)

However, he was now free from it and could leave the sanctuary area.

The process was repeated all day and every day, 24 hours 7 days a week as required. It did not stop for Sabbath. In fact, it increased on that day as many more convicted Christians came for cleansing. Therefore the earth before the second veil and the horns of the golden altar became heavily polluted.

The difference between what the Israelites did and what Christians do is simply a matter of form. Prayer is the basis of all. In BOTH cases if there is no faith with the prayer then it doesn't count!!

In the old covenant they said they would obey but neglected to find out HOW. In the new covenant the same problem exists.

 

Conclusion:

Animal sacrifices:

There are three main reasons for animal sacrifices.

The second of these was to show that the offerer believed that the Son of God would forgive him or her for any and every action of sin which they repented of. Thus the whole of the sanctification of the gospel was shown in the simple act of killing an animal after confessing the action of sin onto its head, and watching the priest eat some of its flesh. In this way they "fulfilled all righteousness". Matthew 3:15.

Righteousness "by faith". This much abused phrase simply means that the follower of God does the right thing by faith in His word. "Righteousness" is defined as "right-doing" (Deuteronomy 6:24-25; Acts 10:34-35; etc.)

1 John 3:7

Little children, let no man deceive you: he that does righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous.

In the times of the tabernacle and temple it was shown by observing the rituals with faith in Christ's word as a foundation. Today it is shown by baptism and the Lord's supper with faith in Christ's word as the foundation.


Who wants to add (or subtract!) from these thoughts? I won't argue as I have stated, but I will publish your Scriptures so that we may review all the words of God on the subject.

 

Spiritual Dictionary:

Animal sacrifices:

There are three main reasons for animal sacrifices.

The second of these was to show that the offerer believed that the Son of God would forgive him or her for any and every action of sin which they repented of. Thus the whole of the sanctification of the gospel was shown in the simple act of killing an animal after confessing the action of sin onto its head, and watching the priest eat some of its flesh. In this way they "fulfilled all righteousness". Matthew 3:15.

Righteousness "by faith". This much abused phrase simply means that the follower of God does the right thing by faith in His word. "Righteousness" is defined as "right-doing" (Deuteronomy 6:24-25; Acts 10:34-35; etc.)

1 John 3:7

Little children, let no man deceive you: he that does righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous.

In the times of the tabernacle and temple it was shown by observing the rituals with faith in Christ's word as a foundation. Today it is shown by baptism and the Lord's supper with faith in Christ's word as the foundation.


Next thought. To be discussed from March 1st 2001.

What was the purpose of all those Old Testament sacrifices and rituals?

Hebrews 10:1-10

For the law having [only] a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image [reality] of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins?

But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

Wherefore when He [Jesus] comes into the world, He says [to His Father], "Sacrifice and offering You would [rather] not [have anymore], but a body have You prepared Me [as a sacrifice]. In [animal] burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have had no pleasure."

Then said I, "Lo, I come (in the volume of the book [the Old Testament] it is written of Me), to do Your will, O God."

Above [or before] when He said, " [Animal] sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin You would not, neither had pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;" then said He, "Lo, I come to do your will, O God." He [therefore] takes away the first [the tabernacle rituals], that He may establish the second [the will of God]. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Next month I plan to look at the third of the meanings of the rituals. The one which shows how the move from this earth to heaven is accomplished.


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