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Total Cleansing

Query for the Month

of March 2001

 

Next up-date: April 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?

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.

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My Answer: Based on Leviticus chapter 16

I believe that the Old Testament ceremonies centred round 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 third and final picture this month.

The process of sanctification was repeated all day and every day, 24 hours 7 days a week as required. It did not stop for the holy Sabbath day. 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.

Then came the annual day of cleansing. Leviticus 23:26-28.

The DAILY routine continued as usual at the beginning of the Day of Atonement (the dark part of the day after sunset, Leviticus 23:32), but the queue decreased as many anxious Christians were cleansed in the daily ritual. Eventually it came to an end sometime in the early daylight hours. All knew that this was their last chance so eventually a time was reached when there was not a single sinful Christian wishing to be forgiven and cleansed.

That hour depended on the Christians and their desire to stop sinning to ease Christ’s suffering (See 1 John 2:1). But it could have been sooner rather than later if there were more ordinary priests available to assist the confessors. 2 Peter 3:11-12.

The number of "sinful" priests needing to be cleansed of their burdens also diminished until just one was left and he turned to the high priest who had been patiently waiting for this moment. When the "sinful" priest confessed that sin onto the head of his bullock, the high priest took its blood into the tabernacle of the congregation (the first room) and sprinkled it on the earth floor, and the golden altar.

THERE WERE NO MORE SINS TO COME IN TO THE SANCTUARY!

THE CLEANSING COULD BEGIN.

What the ordinary priests had done all year was on behalf of the high priest who could not be there 24/7 because of his humanity, so in God’s eyes all this had been done by the high priest, who represented Jesus our Saviour. Hebrews 3:1.

It is He who has "transferred" all the forgiven Christian sins into Himself, for the building also represents Him. Isaiah 8:14.

IT IS HE WHO NEEDS CLEANSING and this ceremony pictured that.

The high priest was then presented with two young male goats to be used for the congregation, and a bull and a grown ram for himself. Leviticus 16:3, 5. (There was another ram to be used later for the people’s consecration which we need not notice in this article.)

He first offered the bullock as a sin offering for himself and his family (Christ and the Christians), but this time he personally took the blood into the second apartment and sprinkled it on the top of the ark of God, on the flat part of the mercy seat where the Shekinah glory sat. (To accomplish this safely he had previously gone into the second room with much incense in a portable censer, creating a great smoke screen of prayers).

He also sprinkled the blood seven times onto the earth in front of the mercy seat (there was no floor in the sanctuary). Then he moved out into the first room and sprinkled some on the horns of the golden altar.

THE BLOOD WAS NOT RECORDING A PUNISHMENT, OR THE SIN ITSELF, BUT THE INEVITABLE RESULT OF SIN - A DEATH - CHRIST’S DEATH ON BEHALF OF THE SINFUL CHRISTIANS.

THERE WAS NO FORGIVENESS RECORDED DURING THIS ACTION EITHER, FOR THIS DEATH CANNOT BE FORGIVEN.

See Leviticus 16:11-14.

ALL THE RECORDS OF DEATH IN THE BUILDING WERE THE HIGH PRIEST’S. Those placed by the daily priests and those placed by him were all treated as his. The difference this time was that they were now recorded in the SECOND apartment in the presence of God the Father which could not be done by the ordinary priests for they could not enter near the bright light which symbolised His presence.

The high priest then changed out of his coloured and embroidered clothes into a set of white ones to symbolise his pure state (these had been stored in the first apartment since the year before).

In this plain uniform he came into the courtyard and supervised the casting of the lot for the LORD’s goat, for only God knew which was which. By this ceremony the two young goats were distinguished and separated. The LORD’s goat was killed as an offering for sin (without any sins being confessed on its head for they were all transferred by the bullock’s blood), and the other, the scapegoat, was held captive in the courtyard by a "fit" man.

The high priest re-entered the sanctuary building with the blood of the sanctified goat and used this blood (death) to "pick up" the sins (deaths) placed in the building by the bullock’s blood. In this way, he "cleaned" the building, the floor, and the golden altar of their pollution. This clean, sinless, blood did not pollute, it cleansed by absorbing the sins/deaths into him.

When he had finished this ritual, he came to the door of the first apartment (the entrance to heaven), put his hands out through the curtain and waited for the "fit" man to bring him the other goat. Then he placed his hands on its head and transferred his sins/deaths, which were the results of ALL the actions of sins of ALL his people for ALL the time, onto it.

Now he had given the "deaths" of the confessed sins to their original author - Satan, the scapegoat. Hebrews 2:14. The "fit" man lead the sinful goat away into the wilderness of the earth, AND LET HIM GO TO DO WHAT HE WILL. Revelation 20:1-3. It was (and is) no part of God’s plan to kill any of His creatures. Sin will do that from within despite His efforts to stop it. Romans 6:23; Ezekiel 28:18.

All this is clearly a picture of something which is to happen at the end of the world. Just BEFORE the second coming Jesus must be cleansed of His temporary burden so that He can arrive "without sin". Hebrews 9:28.

We should notice that the lamb’s death (blood) was NOT part of this ceremony, it was sprinkled on the door posts of the houses. Exodus 12:7. The "death" of the "old man" (the Passover) by which we become Christian is NOT PASSED ON TO Satan, it is exchanged with Christ. Christ is our Saviour, and only He can bear this, and He will continue to do so forever. He still has the wounds of that sacrifice on His hands and sides. John 20:27.

Satan is given only that which he is responsible for, the "death" associated with the confessed sins of Christians. Those sins (known and unknown) which Christians fail to confess will cause their own deaths and this will require a resurrection from the grave. In some cases failure to confess and forsake a sin because it is cherished will result in eternal death.

It is because the last generation of Christians have confessed ALL their sins (known, and unknown as they sought for them) that they can be translated without seeing death, for they are "clean" at the time of the second coming. Psalm 24:1-6.

While the "fit" man was leading the scapegoat away, there was still time left in the day, so then the high priest removed his white clothes, left them in the first apartment, and came forth in all his glory to the waiting people (the 2nd advent). Leviticus 16:23-25.

There was no ceremony to cleanse the courtyard or its altar. This will be done in the lake of fire. Revelation 20:14-15.

As the final ceremony for the day, the high priest’s ram was offered as a burnt offering of consecration for eternity (it was not a sin offering). It was completely burnt and its blood poured out at the foot of the brass altar. Leviticus 1:1-13.

oooOooo

 

There are three types of "blood = death" used in the ceremonies.

the lamb’s when we become Christians

the goat’s when Christians need forgiveness

the bullock’s for transfer into the sanctuary

There are many other ceremonies which are the "small print" of this agreement, but they do not alter the basics of this "nutshell". They illuminate many other significant details. Some of these are:-

The red cow sacrifice.

The "wave" and "heave" offerings.

The "burnt" offering of consecration.

The "meal" offering of our possessions.

The offering and restitution for a willful sin.

The burning of the fat and the kidneys on the altar.

The "peace" offering of understanding with its "cakes".

The "trespass" offering for unwittingly breaking the law.

The five cleansings of the leper to illustrate the total cleansing of the Christian.

And many more. e. g.

Some of them told Jesus what to do and when.

Some of them tell the story of the pilgrim’s progress.

Some of them describe the history and future of the church.

 

This is why the LORD said as His last words to us in the Old Testament,

Malachi 4:4

Remember you the law [the sanctuary services] of Moses My servant, which I commanded to him in Horeb [Sinai] for all Israel, with the statutes [various principles] and judgments [His daily advices on how to keep those principles in our earthly lives].

 

Conclusion:

Animal sacrifices:

There are three main reasons for animal sacrifices.

The third of these was to show that the offerer believed that the Son of God would not only exchange lives with him, and then forgive him or her for any and every action of sin which they repented of, but also totally remove THE RESULT of their sins (death) from them and place them on Satan. 1 Corinthians 15:26.

Thus the final act of the gospel was shown by the simple act of watching the high priest separate the two goats, and then following him "by faith" as he went into the building (they couldn't see or hear him in there) to pick up the "deaths" there recorded. If they were watching carefully they would see the "hands" of their mediator on the head of the scapegoat, but for many of them it would be his return in full uniform which told them it was all over.


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 third of these was to show that the offerer believed that the Son of God would not only exchange lives with him, and then forgive him or her for any and every action of sin which they repented of, but also totally remove THE RESULT of their sins (death) from them and place them on Satan. 1 Corinthians 15:26.

Thus the final act of the gospel was shown by the simple act of watching the high priest separate the two goats, and then following him "by faith" as he went into the building (they couldn't see or hear him in there) to pick up the "deaths" there recorded. If they were watching carefully they would see the "hands" of their mediator on the head of the scapegoat, but for many of them it would be his return in full uniform which told them it was all over.


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

Leviticus 16:21-22

And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: and the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities to a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.

Who is this "fit" man and what makes him "fit"?

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