Let’s turn to Leviticus, chapter six. And may the Lord help us. Leviticus is not the easiest book in the Bible. As you’ve no doubt discovered, as you’ve been reading through. It deals with the various types of offerings, that were ordained in the Old Testament. The purpose of the offerings were always to restore man into fellowship with God.
That’s basically the purpose for man’s existence. When God created man, what did God have in mind? What did God desire? He desired to fellowship with His creation. He made man with the capacity of fellow shipping with God, understanding God. He planted, really eternity in our hearts, as is evidenced by every culture, even the most primitive in the world. Eternity has been planted in the heart of man. We realize that God exists.
There is this longing and desire in the heart of man, to be in fellowship with God. But, there’s one big problem, and that is sin. Through the prophet Isaiah, God said, “My hand is not short, that I cannot reach you or save you. My ear isn’t heavy or deaf, that I cannot hear you. But your sins have separated you from God.” The problem isn’t on God’s end. The problem’s on our end, and it is that sin in our life, that separates us from God, and thus keeps us from being all that God wants us to be. That is why with so many people, there is that gnawing consciousness of something is missing. “There’s got to be more to life than what I’ve yet experienced”, and it sets people on all these crazy kind of crusades or pilgrimages to find that missing link within their life, and really what’s missing is God. For God made you to fellowship with Him.
So in order that sinning man might fellowship with God. It was necessary that something be done about man’s sins, and thus the inauguration of the sacrifices. Where the animal becomes your substitute. The animal takes your place. Upon the animal is placed, the guilt of your sin, and the animal dies in your stead. Thus through the death of that animal, the covering of your sin, which opens the door for you to have fellowship with God. So we are dealing with the various types of offerings that they are to bring, in order to restore fellowship with God.
Now, there were sin offerings, and we noticed in the sin offerings that there was the reference of, unintentional. I do feel that sin, for the most part, that sin is unintentional. You say, “Well, I don’t know, I sort of meant to do it, but I didn’t.” Well, that’s a trespass then. There is a difference between a sin and a trespass. They both result in alienation from God, or spiritual death. “And you, having made alive, who were dead in your trespasses and sins.” But there was the offering for this sin, and then there was the offering for the trespass, the deliberate, willful, wrong that I had done.
As we begin the sixth chapter, we’re into the trespass offerings, which we began in the latter portion of chapter five, and he continues to instruct, concerning the trespass offering in chapter six. In the first part of the chapter he deals with certain trespasses against my neighbor, really. Against my fellow man. In chapter five, in starting concerning the trespass offerings, they were trespasses against God. But now, he is dealing with the trespasses against man. There are sins against God. There are sins against man.
The first table of the law, the first table of stone in which the table was inscribed, the four commandments had to deal with man’s relationship with God. To violate one of those four commandments constituted ungodliness. There’s a difference between ungodliness and unrighteousness. Ungodliness is not having a right relationship with God. Ungodliness.
The second table of stone dealt with the second six commandments that had the laws relating to your relationship with your fellow man. The vertical plane, the first tablet. Your relationship with God. The second tablet, the horizontal plane of your life. Your relationship with your fellow man. To violate one of the laws in the second tablet, constituted unrighteousness. You are not living in a right relationship with your fellow man, as God would have you to live.
Now it is interesting that when Jesus was asked, concerning the greatest commandment, He summed up the first table of the law, the first four commandments by declaring, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, with all thy strength, with all thy soul, with all thy mind.” And the second, summing up the now the second table, is like the first, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor, as thyself.” “And upon these two, Jesus said, is the whole law and even the prophets.” It’s a summation. God first, my love for God, paramount, and then my love for God, creating a love for my fellow man. If I love God as I ought to love God, then I will not be guilty of ungodliness. I will not be violating any of the first four of the commands, if I love God, totally. And if I love you as I love myself, then I won’t be violating any of the second table of the law.
Now, we are dealing with the second table of the law, and so if a person commits a trespass against the Lord, and all sin is against the Lord, but it can be in my relationship with you. If you gave me something you said, “Would you keep this for me?”, and when you came back to get it, I said, “Ah, you know, it was lost.” But it was in my upper drawer, and I knew it was there. But I lied to you about something that you had entrusted into my care. Something that you had given to me for safe keeping. Or if I lied about a pledge or about a robbery, or if I extorted from my neighbor, or if I had found something that was lost, and I did not report it. I said, “Wow! That’s neat! I think I’ll just keep that! Nice!”, and I didn’t report the lost article that I found. Or if someone said, “Did you see a little white dog in the neighborhood?” “No, sorry.” And the thing is tied up in my back yard. Cause I thought, “Man that’s a cute little dog. My grand kids will love that!” So, I lie about something that I had found, or I swear falsely, “I swear on the Bible man! I haven’t seen it!” That’s a trespass against the Lord, it’s an action against my fellow man that is wrong.
So it is that I have sinned and I am guilty, and thus, under the law I can’t just go and offer a sacrifice to God and say, “I want you to cover this Lord, you know, I’m guilty. I want you to cover it.” I first of all have to make restitution. Something we don’t hear much about today, restitution. Jesus said, “If you are going to the altar with a gift and you remember that your brother has ought against you, first go and be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” The shortest distance between two points is not always a straight line. That is, if, the two points are you and God, and you have been guilty of wronging your brother. He has ought against you. The shortest distance to God is by the way of the offended brother’s house. Making restitution. Making things right. So, if you were tempted to do one of these things, and then you think, “Oh boy. That’s not right.”, and you begin to get the guilties. You are to restore that which was stolen or taken or found or whatever. You are to restore it to that person, but you’re to add twenty percent interest. You are to restore not only what you took, but twenty percent more. Restore the full value, but add twenty percent to it, and give it to whom ever it belongs. Then you can come and you can offer now, your trespass offering. If you haven’t made restitution, then the trespass offering won’t be accepted. You have to first make the wrong, right, by restoring, and adding twenty percent; and, then come and offer your sacrifice for your trespass offering.
In this you would offer a ram without blemish, from your flock, and the priest would make the covering before Him, before the Lord, and He will then be forgiven for these things which he has done in his trespasses (6:6).
Beginning with verse eight, He deals with the law of the burnt offering which is again, the offering of commitment.
It used to be in the camp programs years ago, that the last night of camp, Friday evening, we always had a very emotional service where we would each take a pine cone and we’d toss it in the fire. We’d stand around the fire. We’d had a great week, you know, met a lot of new friends, just a glorious week together at camp and you’re on sort of an emotional binge anyhow, because you know that it is the last night of camp and you know that it’s all over. You’ve had a wonderful week, and now the time comes for that total commitment of my life to the Lord, and gonna go back into a different environment. “Man it’s been easy to really seek the Lord and serve Christ up here, because everybody’s into it. We’re all just really happy serving the Lord together, but man, now I’ve got to go back to that crummy, crud-dud world, down the hill, and all of the smog, and all of the corruption, and it’s going to be tough, but I’ve got to make that commitment, and it’s the only way I’m going to survive, is by a total commitment, so I take my cone, and I toss it in the fire, and I stand and watch that cone burn. That cone represents me, my life, the old life of the flesh, and I want it just to be consumed in the fire of God’s Spirit, that I might live for God completely. Just forsake the flesh, and live after the Spirit, and I watched that old cone burn and I stand there crying saying, “Lord, that’s what I want. The old rotten life of the flesh just to be burned up God, that I might live totally for you.” I’ve thrown many of those cones into the fire. Made those commitments year by year. That’s what the burnt offering was. It was just, “Here Lord, my sacrifice of myself.” So, the animal represents myself, and “Now Lord, I’m just making that commitment to you, that consecration of my life unto you Lord. I want to just live after the Spirit.”
So, when the burnt offering was to be burned to a crisp. It was to be burned to ashes. Then the priest was to take the ashes of the burnt offering, while he still had his priestly linen garments on; and, he was to take the ashes and lay them by the altar. Then he was to go out and change his clothes and come back and get those ashes and carry them outside of the camp, to a clean place (6:10-11).
Then in verse fourteen, you get to the law of the grain offering, was often the peace offering. Now that my trespasses have been taken care of, now that the commitment is made to God, now I can have peace with God. So the next offering was this peace offering where I bring this little bit of grain, really dough mixed up, and it’s baked upon the fire and it gives this glorious aroma of fresh baked bread, and it rises unto God as a sacrifice and a pleasant aroma unto Him. Not to have any leaven in it. You see that leaven was removed in the trespass and sin offerings. Leaven is a type of sin. So that’s been removed. I can’t really have this peace with God, when there is harbored sin within my life, and so, the leaven removed and this grain offering given to the Lord.
Now, the rest of the dough, that which wasn’t burnt, just a memorial portion was, he took just a little handful and baked it, or put it on the fire. The rest of it belonged to the priest, and they could eat the grain offering. That was their portion.
In the twentieth verse, he tells of the offerings that were to be made by Aaron and his sons at the beginning of each day.
A grain offering, their to take the ephah of flour, and the mixture, and half of it is to be offered in the morning, and the other half of it at night (6:20).
Offer it for a sweet aroma to the Lord. When the priest offered the grain offering, it had to be totally burned on the fire, he couldn’t eat a bit. Then again the reference to the sin offering. It’s really instructing the priest, concerning the sin offering, and how that apportion of that meat was for the priest, and he was to eat it in the holy place; and, they were to eat it all within a two day period. Anything that was left over to the third day was not to be eaten.
Then in chapter seven, again, the trespass offering, and this is the rules of the priest concerning the trespass offering, and then with the grain offering, and then in verse eleven, we get back again to the peace offerings.
You offer the peace offerings often times for a thanksgiving. It’s a thanksgiving offering, and so you offer it with a sacrifice of thanksgiving. Eleven cakes mixed with oil and eleven wafers anointed with oil or cakes of finely blended flour, mixed with oil (7:12).
Sort of pancakes, actually. They were offered before the Lord. So, it goes on with the laws concerning these offerings, and again, to be eaten within two days. Anything that is left to the third day is not to be eaten, if you eat it then your cut off from the people. When you eat it you’re to eat it with ceremonial cleanliness. If you are ceremonially unclean, and you eat it, then you are also cut off from the people, and you are not to eat of any of the fat of any of the offerings that were made unto the Lord. If you ate of the fat or drank of the blood, then you were to be cut off.
Verse twenty seven, an interesting verse that has created quite a problem. Whoever eats any blood, that person shall be cut off from his people. Now, that doesn’t seem to really present a problem in it’s context because he’s talking about these animals. The blood was to be spilled and put on the altar and offered to God, and a person wasn’t to eat any of the fat of the sacrifice, nor to eat any of the blood. Fairly plain and simple until the Jehovah Witnesses get a hold of it. They then interpret this as a prohibition against blood transfusions. You know that they have a very strict stand against blood transfusions, and that hundreds of the adherence of this cult have died. Parents have allowed their children to die, rather than to receive a transfusion of blood. All based upon their misinterpretation of this text that you’re not to eat any blood. Of course, he’s talking about eating or drinking the blood of an animal. But, he surely had no reference at all to blood transfusions. To try to interpret it as a blood transfusion, is just, ridiculous.
Now, to me it’s rather tragic, because you know, the whole world was upset when Jim Jones had his followers to take poison. When it seemed like their little camp was about over. We were shocked and horrified at all of these people that committed suicide, taking poison at the encouragement and the urging of their leader. We say, “My, what a tragedy! People following this guy Jim Jones, and committed suicide, gave their lives! What a horrible thing!” Wait a minute. What a horrible thing it is that every year, scores of people are dying, because of being mislead by the Jehovah Witnesses, and this idea of blood transfusions are forbidden in the scriptures, and if you have one, you’re sort of eternally damned. You’ll not be able to live in the kingdom. It is tragic that they encourage people to allow their children to die, rather than to receive a blood transfusion. That’s to me, just as awful as Jim Jones. Just as reprehensible that they would guide people in suicide, by refusing to take blood, or to sacrifice their children, because of their insistence of this misinterpretation of the scripture. Any and every bible scholar that you can get a hold of will tell you that this particular passage of scripture, has nothing to do with blood transfusions. It’s just a quirky interpretation that they have made.
Now, again the Lord tells about the portion that is to be given to Aaron and his sons.
When a person offers the sacrifice of a peace offering to the Lord, he’s to bring the offering to the Lord, he’s to bring it in his own hands, the offering made by fire to the Lord, The fat with the breast he shall bring, and that breast may be waved as a wave offering before the Lord (7:30).
So, here you’re going to get a wave offering and a heave offering. The wave offering is basically where they picked up the breast of the ram, or the lamb and they would extend their arms towards the altar, and bring it back again. Extend it towards the altar, and bring it back again, in a symbolic offering of it unto the Lord. So, it was the backward, forward motion that constituted the wave offering.
The heave offering, was a motion that was upwards and down. So, when you read of the heave offerings, they would take the shoulder of the lamb, or the leg of the lamb, and they would raise it up and down, as the heave offering. The wave offering was offered in a forward, backward motion. So, that’s, when you read of the heave and wave offerings, that’s what you need to have in your mind when you seek to sort of visualize it.
So, the consecrated portion was for Aaron and his sons from the offerings made by fire. The Lord commanded this to be given to them by the children of Israel, on the day that he anointed them by a statute forever throughout their generations. This is the law of the burnt offering, the grain offering, the sin offering, the trespass offering, consecrations, the sacrifice of the peace offering which the Lord commanded Moses on mount Sinai (7:35-38).
So, now, they’ve been instructed in how they are to offer the various sacrifices and now comes the time for their anointing. God has chosen from the tribe of Levi, the house of Aaron, as the high priest and his family as the one to offer the sacrifices. Later on they’ll develop a grumbling among some of the other Levites, because of this. Korah gets together with a bunch of guys, and he says, “Hey man! This isn’t fair, you know, it’s only because Aaron is Moses’ brother that he set him up in this. We’re Levites, we have every much as right, as does Aaron, to offer the sacrifices.” So, they formed a conspiracy and they came to Moses and they faced him and they said, “Hey, you’re not fair man! You’re playing favoritism with your brother.” So, God settled that, and we’ll get into that when we get in to the book of Numbers, I believe is where we catch up with that one.
But, Aaron and his sons are to be anointed for their ministry.
Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments, the anointing oil, and take a bull as a sin offering, and two rams, and a basket of unleavened bread; And gather all of the congregation together at the door of the tabernacle of the meeting (8:2-3).
Now this is at the door of this little enclosed area. There was sort of this seven foot fence around it of these panels, and at the opening here in the front, about a fifteen, twenty foot opening here in the front, that’s where the people would gather and look into this area, where Aaron, and Moses and the sons of Aaron had gathered.
So, Moses brought Aaron and his sons and he [first of all], washed them with water, [so in this brass laver, this big brass bowl he filled with water], and he washed them first of all with water (8:6).
Then he put on them a high priestly robes, and it gives you the order by which he dressed them. First of all the tunic, and then that sort of linen sash with which he tied it around the tunic, and it hung on down to his feet.
He clothed them then with his robe, [that blue robe], and he then put the ephod on him, [which were short, those little onyx shoulder pads] with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, six on each shoulder inscribed on the onyx, and he girded him with the intricately woven band of the ephod, and he tied the ephod on him and then he put the breastplate on him, with the twelve stones, representing the twelve tribes; and this Urim and the Thummim, [of which we really don’t know too much], and then he put the turban, [or this bonnet hat on his head], and he put the golden plate on it, “Holiness to the Lord” on the crown, as the Lord had commanded, and then Moses took the anointing oil. [That oil that they gave the formula for the oil in Exodus, the formulating of this oil.] He anointed first of all, the tabernacle and all that was in it and he sanctified it. [that is, he set it apart for exclusive use for God.] (8:7-10).
These things that were sanctified, the word sanctified really means to be set apart for exclusive use. If you sanctify a dish, it means you are not to eat out of that dish. That dish is to be used only in serving God. With a cup, you’re not to use that cup, it’s just to be used for the service of God. You remember when Belshazzar, at the time of the Babylonian captivity, towards the end of the Babylonian captivity, when Belshazzar had this feast for a thousand of his lords, and got pretty drunk, and while he was drunk, he ordered them, “Bring in the vessels, the goblets that my father Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple in Jerusalem.” And it says, “The vessels that had been sanctified”, they had been set apart for God’s use exclusively. And he began to drink the wine out of these vessels, and praise the gods of gold and silver until there came on the wall, the writing, a finger was writing on the wall, left the words “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin”. “Wait in the balance as your found wanting, tonight your kingdom is going to be divided amongst the Medes and the Persians.” He had violated the sanctity of these vessels that had been set apart for God’s exclusive use.
So, they sanctified now the tabernacle and all that was in it, he sprinkled some of the oil on the altar, in fact he did that seven times and he anointed the altar and of it’s utensils, and the laver and the base, to sanctify them. And he poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head, and he anointed him to sanctify him (8:10-12).
We remember it talks about, in Psalms, the anointing oil on Aaron that ran down his beard? We, today say, “We’ll anoint with oil in the name of the Lord, in the prayer”. So we take a little bit of oil and we put it on our finger and touch it on someone’s forehead and say, “We are anointing with oil”, that’s not how they did it in Bible days. They took the pitcher of oil and poured it on the head, you know. Anointed with oil. You probably got more of the feeling of the symbolism of the anointing of oil, when they poured the whole quart on your head, you know. You really begin to get that feeling of being covered with the Spirit and it runs down you and you feel the tickling going down your back and you just really get the idea! Not so much just by touching on the forehead with a little bit of oil. The psalmist speaks of the glory of this anointing of Aaron and the oil that ran down his beard and all. So, get a proper picture of it. See the oil dripping off the end of his beard.
Then he brought his sons in and he put the priestly tunics on them, not the high priest tunics, but just the regular tunics of the priesthood, and he girded them with sashes, and put their hats or turbans on, as the Lord commanded Moses. And then he brought the bull for the sin offering [and notice then], Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the bull for the sin offering (8:13- 14).
Laying their hands on the head of the bull, transferring now the guilt and their sins over onto this bull, and then Moses killed it.
And he took the blood, and put it on the horns of the altar around with his finger, and purified the altar, and poured the blood out at the base of the altar, and sanctified it, to make a covering for it. And then he took the fat [and so forth] and burned it on the altar. But the bull, with its hide, its flesh, and the offal [which is the entrails and all of that}, he burned with fire outside of the camp; as the Lord had commanded: Then he brought the ram as a burnt offering (8:15-18).
Now, notice before you can really consecrate your life to God, sin has to be dealt with. So the sin offering is always first. You have to do something about the guilt of your sin before you can really commit your life to God. Before God will really accept your consecration of your life to him. So the sin offering was first. You take care of first things first, and the first thing that is separating you from God is your sin. You take care of that first. That having been taken care of, now you make your commitment. And so the ram being brought, as the burnt offering,
[And again], Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram. And then Moses killed it; and sprinkled the blood around the altar. He cut the ram in pieces and he burned the head and the pieces of fat, and he washed the entrails and the legs in water and he burned the whole ram on the altar. It was a burnt sacrifice for a sweet aroma, and an offering made by fire to the Lord; as the Lord had commanded Moses (8:20-21).
That offering of a sweet aroma. Man, and I tell you, I love the smell of barbecued meat. It is a good aroma. I mean when my neighbors are barbecuing, I feel like going over there and knocking on the door and seeing if they would like a guest for dinner.
And then he brought the second ram, which was the ram of consecration [commitment, then consecration]: and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram. And Moses killed it; and he took of the blood, put it on the tip of Aaron’s right ear (8:22-23).
Now, here’s consecration, you’re going to be consecrated now with the priesthood. So the second ram is Aaron’s consecration to the priesthood, and so that ram he takes the blood and first of all, he puts some of it on his right ear, symbolizing, “May your ear ever be open to hear the voice of God”. The anointed ear. To hear God’s voice. To hear God speaking to you. How many times in the scriptures do we read Jesus saying, “He who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying.” “Oh God, give me an anointed ear. I want to hear your voice. I want to hear your word.” The anointed ear, and then he put it upon the thumb of his right hand. Symbolizing your service now, your work now, the work with your hands. May they be consecrated to God. Doing the work of God and the consecration of your work, in the right thumb.
Then he put it on the big toe of his right foot. This of course is symbolic of your path being anointed and led by God. May you walk in the path of the Lord. May you hear the voice of the Lord, may you do the work of the Lord, and may you walk in the path of the Lord. Consecration to the ministry.
And then he sprinkled the remainder of the blood around the altar and he took the fat, tail, the entrails, [and all], and he burned it with a basket of unleavened bread, before the Lord (8:28).
Well, he first of all, took the basket of bread, and he waved it. That motion that we showed you, as a wave offering before the Lord.
Then he took them from their hands, and then burned them on the altar: and they were a consecration offering of a sweet aroma unto God . And then he took the breast, and he waved it, and part of the ram; as the Lord had commanded. And Moses took some of the anointing oil, and some of the blood which was on the altar, sprinkled it on Aaron, and his garments, and on his sons, the garments of his sons with him; and sanctified Aaron, and his garments. And Moses said unto Aaron and to his sons, Now boil the flesh at the door of the tabernacle: and eat it there. You are not to leave this place for seven days (8:28-33).
This consecration was a seven day kind of an affair, “And you’re to stay right here for seven days. Not to leave this place”. And so, their period of consecration.
And so the Lord hath commanded to do, to make the covering for you. Therefore you shall abide at the door of the tabernacle day and night for seven days, to keep the charge of the Lord, that you may not die: So Aaron and his sons did all the things the Lord commanded by the hand of the Lord (8:34-36).
And it came to pass on the eighth day, that Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel; And he said to Aaron, Take for yourself a young bull as a sin offering, a ram as a burnt offering, without blemish, and offer them before the Lord. And to the children of Israel you shall speak, saying, Take a kid of the goats as a sin offering; a calf and a lamb, both of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering (9:1-3);
So, now that Aaron has been anointed and sanctified for the priesthood, in a sense, he now is able to make the offering. Moses did the first sacrifices as he anointed and consecrated Aaron for the priesthood. But now Aaron, at this point, is to take over the duties as the high priest and the offering of the sacrifices. All the way through you’re gonna read here, “as the Lord commanded”, “as the Lord commanded”, “as the Lord commanded”. All of these things were done according to the commandment of the Lord. So, they’re to bring the sin offering, again it’s always first, without blemish, and then the burnt offering, and then the peace offering. These were the orders of the offerings. The sin offering, to get rid of sin. The burnt offering to make your consecration, and then the effect of that is fellowship with God, the peace offering.
For today the Lord will appear unto you (9:4).
Verse four, the Lord will appear to you, this is the day that things will start. This is the beginning now of your ministry for God’s people, to bring the people to God. Now, the duty of the priest was two-fold really. He was to go in before God to represent the people. The people themselves, with their sin, could not approach God. So the priest had been sanctified and he brings your offering, your sin offering before the Lord and he is a mediator, a go between. He goes in before God, as your representative, and then he comes out to you, representing God. He comes out to you to give you God’s word.
But he is there as a mediator, as a go between. Now, Jesus Christ is our great High Priest, and there is now only one mediator between God and man, and that’s the man Christ Jesus. But that was the duty of the priest was mediating, so going before God for the people.
And so all of the congregation stood near: and they stood before the Lord. And Moses said, This is the thing which the Lord commanded you to do: and the glory of the Lord will appear to you today. So, go unto the altar, and offer your sin offering, and your burnt offering, and make the covering for yourself, and for the people: and offer the offering of the people, make atonement for them; as the Lord has commanded. Aaron therefore went in to the altar, and killed the calf of the sin offering, which was for himself. And the sons of Aaron brought the blood unto him: and he dipped his finger in the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar, and poured out the blood at the rest of the base [as they were commanded earlier]: Then they burned the portions that were to be burned, and they took the other portion outside of the camp, the flesh, and the hide, and burned it outside of the camp. Then he killed the burnt offering; and Aaron’s sons presented him that blood (9:9-12).
So, we find now the ritual of the temple, having begun. Then having offered for himself, now he can offer for the people. Now, it’s interesting that the priest you see, couldn’t just go in and do it. He had to first of all, offer the sin offering for himself. Now here is where Hebrews points out that we have a better way through Jesus Christ because He didn’t have to offer any offering for Himself. He’s our great High Priest, who did not have to make an offering for Himself. But only offered for us all, His blood. Not in a tabernacle, made with hands, but in the heaven itself, for which the tabernacle was only a model. He has gone into heaven itself, to make the covering for your sins. The atonement really, for your sins. The putting away of your sins, which was impossible with blood of bulls and goats could do.
So they then offered the sin offering for the people, and the burnt offering for the people, and the peace offerings.
And he lifted up his hand [verse 22] toward the people, and he blessed them, and he came down from offering the sin offering, the burnt offering, and the peace offerings. And Moses and Aaron then went into the tabernacle of meeting, and they came out, and they blessed the people (9:22).
So they’re going in before God, and then coming out and blessing the people in the name of God. The blessing of course, is given to us further on, the priestly benediction that Aaron was to put upon the people, when he had come out from God. “Jehovah, bless thee and keep thee. Make His face to shine upon thee and give thee peace.”
[So, at this point], the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people. 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 (9:22-24).
So, an exciting moment. The inauguration, grand opening, and they’re beginning now, this whole Old Testament period of sacrifices for sins, and all. This tabernacle worship which was to then to be translated into the temple worship. This is the beginning of the priestly ministry, God had commanded. At the beginning, God’s fire came and consumed the sacrifices on the altar, kindled the fire there on the altar, burned the sacrifices.
Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censor [that little golden ball] and put fire in it and put incense on it and offered profane [or strange] fire before the Lord, which he had not commanded them (10:1).
Now, notice all the way along, it says, “They did as the Lord commanded, they did as the Lord commanded, they did as the Lord commanded”, but now, in the excitement of the moment, some of the people have seen a manifestation of God. They’re over awed with this manifestation of God. They begin to shout, they fall on their faces, and Aaron’s two sons, caught up in the emotion of the whole moment, excitedly grabbed their little golden censors, and they put strange fire in them. Now, according to the commandment of the Lord, they were to take coals from the altar. These coals from the altar were to be put in these little golden balls, and the incense sprinkled on that, and then they were to go in before the Lord in the holy place, before the altar of incense, which was in front of the veil that led into the holy of holies. There they were to offer the incense before the Lord, which was representative of the peoples prayers, the sending them to God, and the praises of the people, and sending it to God. But the fire was to come from the altar itself. But they took strange fire. Just sort of, “Hey, it’s close”, you know and just taking the expediency kind of a thing. It’s the easiest, closest place, “Just grab the fire, put it in”, you know, rather than following the commandment of the Lord. Strange fire.
So the fire went out from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord (10:2).
The same Hebrew word consumed the burnt offering, this fire of God is the same Hebrew word that consumed them, or devoured them, and they died before the Lord.
Then Moses said to Aaron, This is what God meant when he said, By those who come near me, I must be regarded as holy. And before all of the people, I must be glorified (10:3).
So, herein is an indication that the sin of the two sons of Aaron, was perhaps, an attempt on their part, to take some glory from God. As the people have all been touched by the sense of God’s presence, they’ve been brought into a peak of intensity of worship. Suddenly these two fellows come rushing in with their golden censors of incense, and their motive was to draw the attention of the people, to themselves. “Hey look! I’m important. I’m a priest”. To take the attention away from God’s manifestation, and it brought the attention unto themselves, and thus the fire of God devoured, consumed them. Moses said, “This was what God was talking about when he said, “I must be glorified”. So, man taking or trying to take God’s glory. Something that we have to be extremely careful about. Especially anybody involved in the ministry, because there are always those who will seek to glorify man.
Whenever God works through your life in a supernatural way, there’s always that danger that people are going to begin to lift you up, and elevate you. You remember when Peter was going into the temple at the hour of prayer, and the lame man was there and he was asking for alms. Peter said, “Hey fellow, look at me!” The fellow turned around expecting to receive something. Peter said, “Oh I’m sorry man, I don’t have any silver and gold but, what I do have, I’ll be glad to share with you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, you rise and stand on your feet.” Peter took the guy by the right hand, lifted him to his feet, and immediately the guy received strength and began to walk, and leap, and praise God. He went running into the temple, walking, leaping, praising God, and everybody said, “Man! Who’s that? Isn’t that the lame man that’s been out there by the gate all these…?” “Sure looked like him.” “How can it be him? He’s walking!” “I don’t know, sure looked like him!” “Let’s find out!” And this guy made a circle through the temple, and emptied the temple! Suddenly there were 5,000 people out here on the porch of the temple, and this guy is now come back to Peter, and he’s grabbing him, he’s hugging him, he’s jumping up and down! And the people suddenly relate this manifestation of God’s power, to Peter. They began to look at Peter as if he is a god himself. Peter said, “Hey, wait a minute! Ye men of Israel, why marvel you at this? Why do you look on us as though we, through our own righteousness have done this good deed to this man? Be it known unto you, that it is by the name and the power of Jesus Christ that this man is standing here before you whole.” “Don’t look on me, don’t think that it’s my righteousness. Don’t think that it’s my holiness or whatever that’s done this thing.” Hey, that doesn’t sound like a lot of modern evangelists today, does it? “Brother to have this gift, I made a sacrifice, and I just have to…”. Peter said, “Hey, wait a minute. It’s not me, it’s not my righteousness. Don’t look on me.” And he pointed them immediately to Jesus Christ. But you see, there is that danger of taking God’s glory, to yourself. Let me tell you something. Whenever God does a work, He doesn’t appreciate you taking vows for Him. So often, this is what we see. God does a marvelous work, and here’s the evangelist taking the vows. “Yes sir, yes sir, yes sir.” “Well, you know, it’s pretty nice, you know.” God said, “Before the people, I will be glorified.” These guys were trying to rob some of the glory from God.
So Aaron held his peace, and so Moses called the other sons, and the relatives and he said, Come on over here and carry your brothers from before the sanctuary, carry them out of the camp. So they went near, and they took them by the priestly robes [by their tunics], and they carried them out of the camp. And he said to Aaron and the other two sons of Aaron, Now don’t uncover your heads or tear your clothes; lest you die (10:4-6).
In other words they are not to do the cultural thing for mourning, where you shave your head and you rip your clothes to show your grief over the death of your sons. Don’t show the signs of grief. Why? Because that would be dishonoring to God who wiped them out! It was God who because of their trespass, wiped them out, and for you to show the grief over this would really be to put yourself against the work of the Lord.
But let the house of Israel bewail what God has done, the burning which the Lord has kindled. And you’re not to go out of the door of the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die. [You better stay here now, lest you die.] For the anointing oil of the Lord is on you, And so they did according to the words of Moses (10:7-8).
So God is anointing you, so don’t leave this place, you stay right here, and don’t show any signs of mourning.
Then the Lord spoke to Aaron, saying, Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die (10:9).
So, it is possible that God is giving to us another hint of the sin of Nadab and Abihu. It is quite possible that their poor judgement resulted from the fact that they had been drinking. We do know that drinking impairs a person’s judgement. It is quite possible that their judgement was impaired. They grabbed the strange fire, because of their impaired judgement, because they had been drinking, and thus, the warning to Aaron, “Now look, don’t drink any wine or intoxicating beverage, when you come in to do the service of the Lord, lest you die.” God doesn’t want us serving Him under any false stimulants. There is only one real motive for serving the Lord, and that is the motive that Paul spoke of when he said, “The love of Christ constrains me.” Now it is then totally wrong for us to seek to motivate people to serve the Lord by any other motivation than love. The love of Jesus Christ. If I seek to motivate you by some fleshly, carnal motivation, then I am causing you to sin against the Lord. I am encouraging you to offer strange fire to God.
Years ago when I made my break with a denomination in which I had spent several years, and I had developed quite a seniority, and the thing that really perpetrated my break with the denomination was a convention that we had in Phoenix when our Bishop stood before us and he said to this convention of ministers, he said, “I know that motivating people with competition is carnal motivation, but we must accept the fact that the majority of the people we minister to are carnal, and it’s necessary to use carnal motivation. So I want to explain to you, this new program by which you can get your people excited over some competition. What you need to do is while we’re here, challenge another church for an attendance contest. We’ll send you out all the rules, and pamphlets, and all the materials you will need so that you can help the people get excited over this.” You know, and so they go into the whole pitch of how to get the people all motivated carnally, by competition. Strange fire, my heart was breaking. One of his cronies stood up and said, “Tremendous idea! I move that we call right now the supervisor and the Bishop of the other district, and let’s challenge that whole district. Our district will challenge them as well as, you know, our competition between ourselves.” Another crony stood up and said, “Splendid idea! I second the motion.” And the Bishop said, “All in favor, stand to your feet.” And all these ministers are standing to their feet. And I sat there, my heart broken. Some of the young ministers that I had been having sidewalk seminars with, seeing me sit, had that look on their face, “Hey, I’ve been had.” And then they began to sit down. Soon about a quarter of the guys just sat down. They realized, “Hey I’ve been taken.”
The Bishop noticed what had happened, and right after the service, he invited me for a cup of coffee. I said, “No thank you, I don’t drink coffee.” No, I went for the cup of coffee, but I don’t drink it. I had a coke. That’s so you know I’m not, you know, holy. He began to talk to me about cooperation and rebellion, and I said to him, “Sir, when you began to introduce the program, you introduced it with the words with, “We know that motivating people through competition is carnal motivation but, we need to accept the fact that the majority of the people are carnal, and thus we have to use carnal motivation.” I said, “I will grant the fact that probably the majority of the people are carnal, but your next statement should’ve been, We should pray and seek God and ask Him to make them spiritual people, rather than carnal.” I said, “I could’ve stood for that, but to pander to their carnality, I have a hard time with that.” Then I said, “when you had your one stooge stand up and make the motion”, I said, “I know that that was all prearranged in the back rooms. I said “I’ve been back there in the back rooms, and I know the second was all prearranged, it was something you had all set out, at that moment, you know, you gave him the signal, he stood up and followed your plan.” I said, “But, I then had to assume that you felt that the majority of the ministers were also carnal, because now you were seeking to motivate them through competition; and, I confess that I do have carnality in my life, but I will also declare to you that I don’t want to live after the flesh. I want to live after the Spirit and I don’t want to pander to that carnal side of my nature.” He said, “Well, I see we’re not going to get anywhere.”
I went back to my room. I was heartsick, I really was. I don’t like confrontation, especially with the Bishop. I got on my knees, before the Lord, and I said God, “You know my heart, you see my heart, you know my heart, and you know that in my heart that I’m not really what he was accusing me of being, rebelling and all this, against You Lord. I will admit that I am rebelling against this whole sad scene. I’m rebelling against this carnality, and seeking to motivate people with carnality. The false fire. God I rebel against that. I confess that Lord. I’m not rebelling against you. I want to live after the Spirit. I want to be a spiritual man.” The Lord spoke to my heart in a very dynamic, powerful way. I just felt His presence, and God spoke to me and He said, “Acts second chapter, He just gave me the scripture, “And the Lord added daily to the church, such as should be saved.” I said, “Ahh! Thank you Lord! I needed that!” You can do it! I don’t have to get up and motivate the people with carnal motivations. I don’t have to get them involved in competitions or anything else. No, You can do it Lord. I felt relieved, I felt that the Lord had just put a stamp of approval on my position of walking after the Spirit, and not getting the people involved in fleshly things.
The upshot was that at the end of the contest, our church had won first prize for the greatest number of increase in attendance over the contest period, and they wanted to give me a trophy, which I did reject, because the people wouldn’t understand what it was all about if I bring a trophy into the church. It wasn’t long till I was pastoring an independent church.
Strange fire. False stimulants. Be careful, don’t drink any wine or intoxicating drinks. No false stimulation. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations. So, in the New Testament, as the elders of the church were chosen, they weren’t to be given to wine. That is why I feel as a minister, as an elder within the church, it would be wrong for me to drink wine, or any intoxicating drink, and anybody who aspires to the ministry, anybody who has that position of leadership in the church, I feel that they should not drink wine or any intoxicating drink. It’s a statute forever. God doesn’t want us stimulated in our service to Him, through false fire, false stimulation. If you want to really serve God, consecrate your life to God, I think those are issues that you’ll find God will ultimately speak to your heart about. Because you can’t enter into the complete service of God, until these issues are dealt with. Because God wants them to be able to distinguish between the holy and the unholy. Between the unclean and the clean. He wants you to have a clear mind. He wants you to be sharp. He wants you to be able to make the discernment, which any kind of intoxicating drink could cloud that judgement.
And that you may teach the children of Israel, all of the statutes which the Lord has spoken by the hand of Moses. And then Moses spoke to Aaron, and to Eleazar and Ithamar, his sons who were left. They said, Take the grain offering that remains of the offerings that were made by fire to the Lord, and eat it without the leaven beside the altar, because it is most holy. And you shall eat it in a holy place because it’s your due and your sons’ due. And the breast of the wave offering and the thigh of the heave offering you shall eat in a clean place. You and your sons and your daughters with you: for there are your due and your sons’ due which are given from the sacrifice of the peace offering of the children of Israel (10:12-14).
The thigh of the heave offering, the breast of the wave offering and so forth.
So then Moses found out that something had gone wrong, and he diligently made inquiry about the goat and the sin offering; and, there it was. It was burned up the whole thing was burned up and they were supposed to eat part of it; and, Moses got quite upset! He was angry with the two sons of Aaron. And then he said to them, Why didn’t you eat the sin offering in the holy place, since it’s most holy, and God has given it to you to eat and to bear the guilt of the congregation, and to make atonement for the Lord (10:16-17)?
And he was really upset, because they had not followed the procedures.
And he said, See it’s blood was not brought inside the holy place, you should’ve eaten it in the holy place as I commanded (10:18).
You didn’t bring the blood in, you didn’t finish off there.
And Aaron said to Moses, This day they’ve 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 (10:19)?
“I mean, I’m sick, my two sons have died, and I’m feeling all this grief, and I don’t think God would accept it if I ate it with all of this inward grief, and really sort of anger against God for taking my two sons.”
So when Moses heard that, he was content (10:20). He said, “It’s okay, I understand.”
So, next week we get into interesting aspects, and being sort of a health food faddist, I like some of this part that we’re getting into, because he deals with the foods that they could eat, and they couldn’t eat, and we will show you some real wisdom in some of the prohibitions. Some of you that like to eat some of this food that was on the forbidden list. We’ll show you the wisdom in the prohibitions next week. So, we’ll move along in Leviticus next week.
May the Lord be with you now, and bless you as you walk with Him in the light, and knowledge, and the understanding of that grace of God, that He has imparted to us, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Give you a beautiful week this week! Cause you to abound in all things in Christ! Overflowing with the fullness and the richness of God’s work in your life. May this be just a special week of consecration unto God, as you experience more and more His presence of power, working in you and working through you. In Jesus’ name.