Never would there be a right thing done in a wrong way if there was subjection to the Holy Spirit.
LEVITICUS 1, Verses 1-9
Let's review, so as to get the broad view of our steps from book to book. Old then New Testament and back again.
Gen - The beginnings, the origins, the seed in the garden.
Rom - The foundation truth of Christianity. How God can receive sinners and yet remain holy and true.
Ex - The going out. Redemption by the blood of a lamb. Deliverance by the water of the Red Sea from the power of Egypt.
Acts - The going out. The believers were separated by the blood of Christ from the world. The power of Satan against us has been destroyed (unless the Lord allows it.)
Lev - In the wilderness, God told Moses to build Him a Tabernacle where God could be worshipped. He gives instruction about sacrifices, offerings, feasts and in general, the worship of God by the priests. Worship of God is the first purpose of our being saved. The first eight chapters tell us of different sacrifices of animals. Each offering is an individual picture of the work of Christ on the cross, (except the meal offering).
Chapter 1 The burnt offering. It is a picture of the cross of Christ, as seen by God. It is not of Christ dying for our sins. He gave Himself completely to God as a sacrifice - Jn 13:31-32. This animal was completely burnt (except the skin 7:3). It is called a "sweet-smelling savour offering". The death of Christ for God was the delight of God the Father - Phil 2:9-10.
Lev 1:3,10,14 Three different kinds of animals or birds could be offered, depending on the wealth of the person who wanted to bring the offering. He wasn't forced to bring it. In Old Testament days amongst the Israelites, the more faithful a man was, the more wealthy he became. (The more faithful and obedient a believer is to God's Word, the more he understands it. We cannot understand the scriptures by our intelligence - 1 Cor. 1:21. Only through the conscience and the heart). Rom 10:10, 2Cor. 4:6.
Lev 1:1 Nothing was left for the priest to decide. It was a case of obeying. Every believer today is a priest - 1 Pet 2:5. So this book is instruction, physically for them, spiritually for us. May we desire to learn the meanings.
Lev 1:3-9 The first section tells us of a person who brought a large animal for a burnt offering. An illustration of a believer today who well understands that Christ came to die for God first and foremost. He realises that God now finds all His delight in this Man... Jesus. He may be an older believer who has grown into this knowledge. This is one view of Christ's death. Really, it is God's view. Not as the sin-bearer here, but dying for the glory of God. There are rich rewards for you if you come to realize what the burnt offering means.
Lev 1:4 God accepts this offering and transfers His acceptance from the animal to the person who offers it. What it means to us is Christ has been accepted as the Man into heaven. We are accepted in Him - Eph. 1:6.
An assembly gathered to the Lord's name is the outward expression of the Spirit's unity here on earth.
LEVITICUS 1, Verses 10-17
Lev 1:10-13 A picture of one who may understand a little less of Christ, as the burnt offering. Notice a nice point... the same words are said about this offering as the first. Compare verse 9 with verse 13. What matters is how much we are enjoying Christ's sacrifice of Himself to God, not how much we understand it. God is equally pleased with the three offerings.
Lev 1:14-17 A person who may have recently come to know the Lord as Savior, understanding very little of the deep meanings of what Christ is to God; nevertheless happy to know even a little of this meaning. Notice again that God is delighted even when we understand only a little of this grand truth. Same as verses 9 and 13.
A proper state is necessary for dealing with assembly problems. When we are judging evil in others, we are apt to be drawn aside by the enemy into a state of pride ourselves.
Lev 2:1-3 The meat or "meal" offering is quite different. It was a food-offering - usually fine flour. In order for Christ to be a perfect sacrifice for God, He had to live a perfect, sinless life. The fine flour is a picture of the even, pure life of our blessed Lord. The priest would take a handful of the flour, pour oil and frankincense on it, and then burn it on the altar. The oil is a picture of the Holy Spirit. The frankincense, a picture of the graces, the loveliness of Christ. The Lord Jesus "offered Himself without spot (the margin of the Bible gives "fault") to God". Heb 9:14.
Lev 2:4-10 A number of kinds of food (wafers) offerings baked in different ways. Each one can be a different view of the Lord's life while here on earth. The oven can be a picture of the intense sufferings which He endured out of sight (in the oven).
Lev 2:5 In a pan. Open for all to see. Anyone who cared to look could have seen the blessed Lord Jesus going about the country, enduring all the hardships, insults, sorrows among His people.
Lev 2:6 No matter how carefully we looked into the life of Jesus we could never find a flaw (fault). This cake was broken into small pieces.
Lev 2:7 In the frying pan (cauldron, or boiling vessel). See Heb 12:3. As another king of suffering He was considered by man to be a sinner, (like any other person) - Jn 9:24-25.
Lev 2:11 A good thing to get clear. No offering here mentioned could have any leaven in it. Leaven is usually a picture of evil (sin). Honey is a picture of the natural nice qualities of people, or things. People sometimes say that if they act sweetly or kindly toward others that this is making an offering to God. Here we learn that no honey was to be included. The nice things of life cannot be offered to God as a sacrifice.
Lev 2:12-16 Firstfruits were the first fruits of the season which were picked. Christ is the Firstfruits of the new creation (Adam was of the first creation). 1 Cor. 15:23. We offer Christ to God, and God the Father is well pleased when we do. That is what worship is.
The whip may be righteous but there is no winning the heart with it. Righteousness does not reign amongst the Lord's people, but "grace through righteousness". Rom 5:21
The peace offering. The third and last of the voluntary offerings. It is a picture of the joy that Christ had in going to the cross for God's glory. Jn 17:4. And the joy all believers can share with one another and with God of the perfect finished work of Christ on the cross. (The joy of the prodigal son is an example of the peace offering). The people didn't have to bring these. But they pleased God in doing so. All three are called "sweet-smelling savour" offerings. Sweet to God because they made Him think of His beloved Son Who would come to earth (over a thousand years later). The peace offering was different, in that only part of it was to be burnt on the altar. It could be called the "communion offering", because many people shared in the eating of it. God had His part... the fat, a picture of the inward excellency of Christ - verse 16. We'll learn more from chapter 7. We find three groups, verses 1-5; 6-11 and 12-17. Three different animals for sacrifice, representing different classes of believers today who rejoice in varying degrees of communion with other believers and with God, in the glorious results of Christ's death on the cross. Some believers rejoice greatly - you can see it on their faces - they are like the first group. Some believers understand it less. They are like the second group. And so less still in the third group. Many people think that Christ died only for our sins. Chapters 1, 2 and 3 have shown that God was honored and glorified and pleased with the death of His beloved son.
A fall that requires putting away is not the beginning of evil in a believer; that person must not have kept close to God.
The sin offering. It is quite similar to the trespass offering which follows. They are a picture of the side of Christ's death which is most easily understood by people... His death for sinners. The sin offering meets our need - 1 Pet 2:24, 2 Cor 5:21. God cannot just forgive sins. They must be paid for. When we accept the Lord Jesus as our own Savior, we receive forgiveness of sins, but He paid the penalty - death - for us - Eph. 1:7. Do you understand the difference between the first three chapters and this one? In their sequence in time, the sin and trespass offerings come first because we need to be saved first, but God's side (first three offerings) come first in importance from God's view. God must be honored first.
Lev 4:2 Notice the difference too, in that this offering must be made. Notice that these were sins of ignorance. There were no sacrifices for deliberate sins. A serious thought - Heb 10:26. A person who calls himself a Christian had better take another look if he deliberately goes on in sin without having a conscience. He (or she) would have no assurance that he (or she) was a believer at all. Once again the chapter is divided into sections.
Lev 4:3-12 It was a serious offence if the high priest sinned. In this case, and the next (the whole congregation), if the blood of the sacrifice was not taken into the holy place and put on the altar of sweet incense, the communion with God of the whole congregation would be stopped. The closer a person walks with God, the more serious it is when he sins. God holds him responsible - Lk 12:48.
Lev 4:13-21 The same acts must be gone through if the whole congregation discovered that it was guilty of a certain sin.
Lev 4:22-35 In these two cases involving a lesser person, the blood was not taken into the tabernacle, but it was put on the horns of the brazen altar outside. That was the place where the individual met God. So, in this chapter, we learn that the more truth we know, the more guilty we are for the sin we do.
We are often inclined to confuse the instrument with the cause.
Lev 5:1-13 Read 1 Cor 15:3. Christ is the One Who is our trespass offering. Here we have a different kind of sin. For instance, if you are working with a group of people and their conversation is immoral. You are made unclean by this, even though you weren't joining in with them. In verse 2 we read of touching a dead body. This is a picture of our becoming unclean by contact with the world which God says is unclean. Jas 4:4 and 1 Jn 2:15-17.
Lev 5:14-19 If a wrong had been done, either to God or to a person, then God and that person must be paid back for the wrong doing. In doing this a trespass offering must be given to the Lord. It is good for us to realize this, because we sometimes think that if we have done something wrong to another, all that needs doing is to make up to the person for the wrong we have done. But we sometimes forget that this wrong has put us out of communion with God. We need to be restored to Him as well.
Union is sought now a days through indifference to truth... truth is holiness.
LEVITICUS 6, Verses 1-13
Lev 6:1-7 Yesterday's subject continues. As well as restoring the damage done to a neighbor a fifth more would have to be added. If these people had to be careful, how much more careful should we believers be! 2 Pet 3:11, 1 Pet 1:15.
Lev 6:8-13 Now we return to the Burnt offering. These "laws" describe how the offering was carried out. In this offering, the entire sacrifice was burnt. A picture of Christ giving Himself entirely up to God. There are two main points (1) the fire was never to go out. God never forgets the work which Christ did on the cross, even though His people may be asleep and don't think of the fire burning. (2) The ashes always are a reminder that fire has been there. The fire of judgement (punishment) fell upon our blessed Lord Jesus, leaving nothing but the ashes - the remembrance of His death.
The higher the privilege... the fiercer the conflict.
LEVITICUS 6, Verses 14-30
Lev 6:14-23 The law of the Meal offering. A handful of the flour (meal) was to be taken from the offerer by the priest. Oil (a picture of the power of the Holy Spirit) and frankincense (a picture of the graces of our Lord Jesus Christ) were put upon the flour and all burnt upon the altar.
Lev 6:16-18 The part that remained was for the priest (Aaron) and his sons. Christ is our High Priest, and we are like the sons of Aaron. In those days there was a difference between the priests and the people. Today, every believer in the Lord Jesus is a priest (1 Pet 2:5 and 9). There is no place for a person to come between believers and God, as for instance, a minister today. It is a denial of the truth of Christianity. The Bible makes it very plain - 1 Tim 2:5. Rabbi, priest or minister are what men have made. It is a mixture of Jewish and Christian religions. And you cannot mix these two. The Lord Himself was teaching this in Mt 9:16-17. God gives one gift to one person, rarely two gifts, but ministers must carry out all gifts (Eph. 4:11).
Lev 6:24-30 How careful the priests had to be! Do we realize how careful we should be about the little things we do? The priest had to eat some of the sin offering. Even the sons of the priests ate this sin offering. This tells us believers a very important point... that when other believers sin, we should be as concerned about them as if we had done the sin ourselves.
Truth cannot live without warfare in a world away from God.
LEVITICUS 7, Verses 1-18
Lev 7:1-10 A few interesting instructions for the sin and trespass offerings.
Lev 7:2 Notice the first part... to do something to another person might not be considered by us as being very serious, but here we see that the sacrifice necessary for this was killed in the same place as the Burnt offering. This gives us an idea of the seriousness of it in God's sight. Then the blood had to be put in the same place!
Lev 7:3-5 All the fat was to be offered up to God. The fat... the inward, unseen part. Christ's beauty, loveliness, value to God.
Lev 7:7 Then the priest who offered it was to have what remained. Christ is the Priest who has made atonement. It was His joy to offer Himself to God.
Lev 7:11-34 The laws of the Peace offering. Remember that is one of the sweet-savour offerings... God's delight in the death of His Son and sharing this delight with us. So we have a lot about the Lord's part, the priest having some of the sacrifice, and the offerer eating the rest with his friends who were clean.
Lev 7:12-18 The sacrifice was to be eaten the same day, under ordinary circumstances; or if a voluntary offering, it might be eaten the day after, but not later. We learn from this that the eating of the sacrifice must not be separated from the offering on the altar. God will not permit us to separate communion with Him from the work of the cross.
The moment power in the Spirit is gone, power in the flesh comes in.
LEVITICUS 7, Verses 19-38
Lev 7:19 "All that be clean shall eat thereof". In those days, a person was unclean, for instance, who had touched a dead body. For us believers this would be a picture of our socialising with worldly people (the unsaved person is dead) Eph. 2:1-3. Fellowship with unbelievers soils a believer - 2 Cor. 6:14. But not to isolate ourselves from them. In our verse, the person could eat the sacrifice with his friends who were clean. It is easy to see that it does matter with whom we have communion.
Lev 7:22-27 Fat and blood were not to be eaten. They were only for God.
Lev 7:30-34 The breast of the sacrifice was for Aaron and his sons. The breast - a picture of the love of Christ. The right shoulder was for the priest who made the offering. The shoulder - a picture of the strength of Christ. Love and power combine in Him. He had His joy in giving Himself to God. This closes the subject of the offerings. All put together they represent the perfect, but varied, work of Christ on the cross. The time you take to think about these offerings will pay a rich reward. God doesn't take seven chapters unless the subject is important. Our sins made the cross necessary.
Faithfulness is of greater importance than fruitfulness, yet one should complement the other.
LEVITICUS 8, Verses 1-17
A priest was a man who came between God and His people. We too need someone to come between a holy God and us, sinners. And we have such an One in Christ; 1 Tim. 2:5. He is our High Priest in heaven before God now, Heb 4:14.
Lev 8:1-5 Today's chapter tells us of the preparing of Aaron the high priest and his sons for their work. Each believer individually is a member of His body, so we are like the sons of Aaron.
Lev 8:6 First, they were washed with water, a picture of sanctification (separation from the world - Jn 17:17 and 19).
Lev 8:7-9 Aaron is clothed; a picture of righteousness (perfect goodness).
Lev 8:10-11 Tabernacle anointed with oil. Power of the Holy Spirit. The tabernacle is a little picture of the universe which later shall be filled with glory.
Lev 8:12 Aaron anointed with oil - but no blood. (Christ needed no redemption).
Lev 8:13 We believers associated with Christ are priests, able to approach God.
Lev 8:14-17 The sin offering for the priests.
Having an inside place with God, I must have an outside place from the world.
LEVITICUS 8, Verses 18-36
Lev 8:22-28 The ram of consecration. Aaron and his sons are to be wholly for God. And so is every believer today. (We recognise the carelessness that is everywhere today amongst believers, but this explains why we are so weak). Ear (what is heard) thumb (what is done), two (where the person goes). All are to be for the Lord. Consecration means being devoted to a person or a thing. Are we consecrated to Christ in our life?
Lev 8:33-36 Seven days they were to remain in the tabernacle. Seven is the complete number in scripture. So this tells of our total separation from the world, and to God. Serious words to consider. God requires holiness from each believer.
Being near Jesus, for His own sake, is the way of having His mind.
Lev 9:1-22 This chapter is hard to understand. But if we can see what it pictures, then it will be easier. If you read verses 23 and 24 first, you will see that Moses and Aaron come out of the tabernacle. And then there is great joy amongst the people. That is a picture of the millennium. Moses is a picture of Christ as King; Aaron, of Christ as Priest. Christ will be King and Priest in the millennium. Israel shall not understand Christ's work on the cross until the millennium. Read what they will ask at the beginning (Zech 13:6). We believers, the church, are hidden during this time (the whole chapter to verse 22). The chapter goes over the offerings... views of the cross of Christ are gone over.
In dark days, when the style of an address is pleasing, few compare what they have heard, with the Word of God... the conscience has not been roused.
Lev 10:1-7 Everything which God does is perfect, everything which God gives man to do is quickly spoilt. No sooner is the privilege of going into God's house, the tabernacle, given to Aaron's four sons, the priests, than two of them disobey. Instead of taking fire from the brazen altar into the tabernacle, they used some other fire. The two eldest sons die. All worship of God must have the cross of Christ (brazen altar) as its source. Using anything of ourselves (like music, giving money, speaking about our good living) robs Christ of the glory which belongs only to Him.
Lev 10:6-7 There was to be no sorrow for the dead sons, for they died because of disobedience. People who think that this was not kind are not obeying God themselves. No one is as wise as God.
Lev 10:9-11 In Numbers chapter 6, we read about those who became Nazarites for a certain period of time. They devoted themselves to the Lord by giving up things. Well, here were some of the same things. Wine would produce natural excitement. For us believers today, it means that nothing of nature can have any part in the worship of God. God's presence only must be felt. Many people are stimulated by emotions, feelings, music etc. This is not worship.
Lev 10:16-20 If the blood of the sin offering was not taken inside the tabernacle, then the sin offering was to be eaten by the priests in the holy place. When someone amongst believers does something wrong, then the other believers must take that sin and confess it to God just as if they themselves had done it. Otherwise they might act with a hard, proud heart against the one who had done the wrong. They might set themselves up as judges without realizing it is grace alone which has saved them. Eph. 2:8.
If I am truly conscious of my weaknesses and am dependent on God... He can use me.
When the priests had been set up, and the tabernacle operating, they had to know the difference between clean and unclean. We are priests before God. We also need to learn the difference. We are going to find seven sections from here to chapter 17, each teaching what is clean and unclean about a different thing. Today it is about clean, pure food. We need to know the difference between clean and unclean in the things which we read and listen to. Anything of the unclean will harm us.
Lev 11:2-8 Animals which chew the cud and divide the hoof were clean and could be eaten. The animals had to do both to be considered clean. The carelessness which swallows down without slow digestion, and which rushes anywhere without consideration, is pictured by the animal which did not chew the cud and did not have a divided hoof.
Lev 11:9-12 The fish which did not have fins or scales were unclean. Fins enable a fish to push his way through the water. Scales resist outside attacks.
Lev 11:13-23 The birds which prowled around at night, and the one which could not be trained are listed. They were unclean.
Lev 11:29-45 The creeping things which dragged themselves along the ground were unclean.
Lev 11:46-47 We might say that a believer who is careful about what he reads, hears and sees, keeps himself clean from the world. God wants His people clean. So this chapter has good instruction for us. God's Word is clean food, read 1 Pet 2:2, "sincere" means "pure".
I "grow by the sincere milk of the word", when taught by the Holy Spirit; but there must be godliness and the "laying aside of all guile, hypocrisies and envies and all evil speaking". 1 Pet. 2:1&2.
The next thing to be kept clean - the body - a pure body - read Gn 1:28. Child-birth was to be a joy and blessing. But that was before the fall of Adam and Eve. Now read Gn 3:15 and see the result of the sin Eve had committed. Sin never goes unpunished. The birth of a child, because of sin by our first parents, now made the woman unclean - under the law. The Lord Jesus has borne that curse of the law for us, so that we are not under the law but under grace - Gal 3:13 and 1 Cor 6:18-20.
The godliness of weeping for other men's sins... a Christ-like affection indeed!
LEVITICUS 13, Verses 1-28
Next, a pure person. Leprosy was found in persons, clothing and houses. Rom 5:12 tells us that death came into the world by sin. So leprosy was like sin acting in the flesh. Not the doctor, but the priest was the man who could tell the truth about it. It wasn't easy to detect.
Lev 13:2 For the believer, the person who lives close to the Lord, is better able to detect sin - Heb. 5:14, 1 Cor 2:14. So here Aaron (a picture of Christ), or Aaron's son (picture of a believer living close to the Lord Jesus) could decide whether it was leprosy or not.
Lev 13:2, 4, 6 If the raw flesh appeared, it was leprosy. When the flesh (the old nature) is active in us, sin is at work. It becomes evident.
Lev 13:16-17 If the man was white all over, it was like a person today who confesses that there is no good in him, only sin, then he is clean - Rom 7:18. The great thing for the sinner today is to confess to God.
If we meet the Blessed One Himself, we must meet Him in conditions suited to His presence.
LEVITICUS 13, Verses 24-59
Lev 13:47-59 Leprosy could also be in the clothing (the garment). Sin can be in the circumstances around us. If only a spot appeared, the garment was to be washed. What a wonderful thing it is when a believer keeps himself unspotted from the world - Jas 1:27. While we believers are at work or school we become spotted by contact with the world. If we only hear the things, but do not get involved with them, it is like the spot in verse 58. But note how many times it was to be washed.
All these 59 verses should impress on us the importance, in God's sight, of keeping ourselves clean. The leprosy in the head (verses 29-37) can be a picture of the sin of thinking our own thoughts - 2 Cor 10:5-6.
The close of the church's history is characterized by the existence of many systems that the Lord is about to spew out of His mouth. Humbled by this, may I maintain the truth in this dark hour of the night.
LEVITICUS 14, Verses 1-32
Remember, leprosy, in Scripture, is a picture of sin. There was no known way to cure it. In today's chapter however, the man who had leprosy is pronounced clean. Here is a wonderful thing... the story we will now read is the story (in type) of Christ's death and resurrection! No one but God could have inspired such a Book as the Bible.
Lev 14:1-3 The leper is outside the camp of Israel. He had been unclean. Now he is clean. But he cannot come in... the priest must go out to him and pronounce him clean.
Lev 14:4 Here is the wonderful part of the story. Firstly, two living and clean birds (like sparrows) are brought to the priest. Secondly, 3 strange things are to be brought also... (verse 4) (1) cedar wood... in Scripture, a picture of strength and stability, (Ps. 92:12), (2) scarlet... earthly grandeur and Israel's royalty. See Ex 39:1-29 for the High Priest's garments of glory and beauty. (3) Hyssop... a little flower which grew plentifully on walls (a picture of lowliness), often used for sprinkling the unclean. Ex. 12:22. It was a contrast with (1).
Lev 14:5-7 Beautiful to see these 2 birds as types of the Lord Jesus in death and resurrection. One bird is killed, the living bird is dipped into the blood of the dead bird (as are the 3 things, mentioned above). The living bird (with blood on it), is let loose into the open field. (Resurrection of Christ). In Rom 4:25 you will see these two birds (in type).
Lev 14:7. The leper is sprinkled 7 times and so the believer is covered by the blood of Christ and stands in all the acceptance of Christ before God - Heb. 10:14. This gives us peace with God.
Lev 14:7-9 The leper has been cleansed by the water and the blood. Read Jn 19:34 and 1 Jn 5:6.
Lev 14:10-32 Now begins the long process of going through the different offerings which are described in the first 7 chapters of this book. When we accept the Lord Jesus as our Savior, we are cleansed for ever from our sins. But now that we are cleansed, it does not mean that we can live as we did before. Now our life is not our own, for we have been bought with the price of the blood of Christ. Read what it says after the word "therefore" in 1 Cor 6:19-20.
Salvation depends on the cleansing power of the blood of Christ, but communion with God depends on the purifying work of Christ. Blood and water - read Heb 10:22.
There is no one so fit to strengthen his brethren as one who has himself experienced the restoring grace of Christ.
LEVITICUS 14, Verses 33-57
Lev 14:34 It is good to notice the expression "when ye come into the land", not "if". It was absolutely certain, yet Israel had to wander for 40 years in the wilderness because they didn't believe this statement. (See Num, chapters 13 and 14). Are we enjoying our heavenly life which we're still here on earth?
Lev 14:33-48 Leprosy in the house. A pure house was necessary. Let us apply the "house" to two scriptures, 1 Tim. 3:15 and 2 Tim. 2:20, and think about the Christians gathered to the name of the Lord Jesus Christ in a city. The "house" must be kept pure of every evil; doctrinal, ecclesiastical or moral. As a collective testimony, gathered together by the Holy Spirit to maintain His unity (Eph. 4:3) truth must be kept, error must be removed.
Lev 14:35-39 The owner of the house was suspicious that something was wrong. He must go to the priest, who makes careful investigation. He waits for 7 days, then returns to see if conditions have changed.
Lev 14:40-42 He finds that indeed there is a plague there, so he orders the particular stones removed and the walls scraped. New stones are put in their place. There was to be great care taken.
Lev 14:43-47 If the plague returns, the leprosy is announced and the house destroyed totally. Notice where the stones etc. are taken.
Lev 14:48 But if the plague has not returned, the priest pronounces the house clean.
Lev 14:49-53 Then the house needs the same kind of cleansing that was used in verses 4-7 for the man which was cleansed.
All this teaches us spiritual lessons. Whether in an individual (yesterday's verses) or collectively (today's) they both need to put out of their lives all evil! 1 Cor 5 is instructive in the New Testament on the same subject. May each of us take this to heart! It is what God is telling us.
Faith looks like pride to those who don't have it.
Now we come to pure habits. God is holy, and He wants all His people to be clean. In those days, remember, they were under law. Today we are under grace. God has come to earth in the Person of His dear Son. The Lord Jesus died on the cross, to cleanse us forever from all our sins. But now that we have received Christ as Savior, we are to keep clean in our life. Daily cleansing by the water (the Word of God) is necessary to keep us in communion with our Father - Eph. 5:26.
If a person has the truth, that person knows he has it, though he can't prove it by words, only by his life.
LEVITICUS l6, Verses 1-19
We have had, (1) pure, clean food, chapter 11, (2) Pure bodies, chapter 12, (3) Pure persons, chapter 13, (4) Pure homes, chapter 14. (5) Pure habits, chapter 15, and today we read of (6) pure worship. A subject of the greatest importance... to God, and to any of us who, from a pure heart, desire to know His mind on this subject.
Lev 16:1-2 In chapter 10, we have read of the death of Aaron's two sons for approaching God in the wrong way. Today we read of the consequences of this offence against God. Up until their death, Aaron could go into God's presence in the "Holiest of all" in the Tabernacle, at any time. NO MORE. Aaron would die if he did!
Lev 16:3 No mention of the "Meal" or "Peace" offerings. Only these two. One was for God, the other for the people.
Lev 16:4 Now garments. All pure white, linen and holy. Of Whom is this a picture? None other than our Lord Jesus, God come down to earth, to be a spotless, pure holy Man, (His incarnation) to live for God's glory, and die.
Lev 16:5-10 Two goats for a "sin offering". He cast lots (let God choose) on the two. One "for the Lord", and the other for a "scapegoat", to be sent away into the wilderness. Meaning? Glorious picture of Christ dying on the cross for two purposes... (1) (the goat "for the Lord"). He met all the claims of a holy God, of God's nature. His very character and His throne. And (2) (the scapegoat) perfectly meeting all man's guilt and all he needed. God's side, our side.
Lev 16:11-14 "For himself and for his house". Meaning? These four verses are a magnificent picture of Christ and His assembly (the church).
Lev 16:12-13 Meaning? Heaven is filed with the sweet and holy perfume of that precious incense, which is Christ in all His sweetness and graces.
Lev 16:14-15 Notice that the blood of both types of offering was taken right into the very presence of God at the Mercy Seat. Meaning? The Lord Jesus said, in Jn 17:19 that both He and the believers are satisfied. God is delighted, and accepts this.
Lev 16:16-19 The whole Tabernacle had to be atoned for... the highest (the sanctuary inside) and the altar (outside, just inside the gate). This because of the uncleanness of the people. Meaning? So wonderful for us to know that no matter how careless and weak we are, we have a perfect standing with a holy God. All because of the work of Christ... first for God, then for us. So we can enjoy PURE WORSHIP.
The only thing which can be truly a blessing to our brethren is that which is seen in us of Christ.
LEVITICUS 16, Verses 20-34
Lev 16:21-22 One goat died as a sacrifice (verses 8-9). The other was called the scapegoat. On its head, Aaron laid both his hands, and confessed over the live goat all the people's sins. The live goat carried away into the wilderness all the sins, and was seen no more. Christ is seen in both goats. The dead goat is a picture of Christ's death. The other goat is a picture of our sins carried away by Christ, never to be remembered again by God.
Lev 16:23-24 The work of the atonement is finished, so Aaron is told to take off those special garments. Meaning? The Lord is doing different things for us in heaven. The change of clothes would tell us of His changing work.
Lev 16:25-28 Everything was done carefully and all speaks to us of the perfection of the work of God.
Lev 16:29-31 The day of atonement, on the 10th day of the seventh month, is a picture of when Israel as a nation, shall receive the new covenant, when the nation shall be "born again". Read carefully Heb 10:16-22 and 8:10-13. Meaning? Wonderful for that nation which today is scattered, confused and frustrated.
Our life, as believers, is to be a witness of what we believe.
This chapter and the next give us many instructions on how to live a holy life and the unclean things from which we are to keep away.
Lev 17:2 Both the priests and the people receive instructions. We believers are both (see 1 Pet 2:5 for the first category and verse 11 for the second. Wonderful connection between Old and New Testament teachings). We can call today's chapter, Pure Worship requiring Pure Customs.
There was a danger, that the people might secretly offer their sacrifices to devils (verse 7). And it is very easy for us to turn back to the world and get mixed up with pagan practices. Many of the religious customs today had their beginnings in religions which were really worshipping the devil.
Lev 17:10-16 The blood was never to be eaten. We see the seriousness of the act in these verses. Read Heb 9:22. The blood of Christ is for God only. Christ's death is the foundation of the worship of God. So the blood appears in this chapter when we are instructed about pure worship.
If there is a departure from the plain Word of God, the spiritual senses become deadened... the heart hardened... the conscience dulled and the judgment perverted. Indifference and hostility follow.
Lev 18:1-5 The land from which they had come (Egypt) and the land to which they were going (Canaan) both had very bad and immoral customs. The contrast was to do what God told them to do, because He was the Lord and therefore perfect. Verse 5 was the glorious motive and result, if they obeyed. We too!
Lev 18:6 This verse is the key to understanding the chapter... we must not mix the intimacies of marriage with family relationships. Satan has driven people into doing these things. In 1 Cor 5:1 and 3 we see that believers are capable of doing these same evils.
We are set, as Christians, to be a letter of recommendation of Christ before the world.
This chapter continues on with pure customs, but goes a little further. Yesterday's chapter told of some things which should not be done.
Lev 19:5-8 This means that a believer today cannot go along day after day without coming back to the cross of Christ. And we can also use this same thought in connection with reading the Scriptures.
Lev 19:9-10 Love for one's neighbour is what a believer has in his heart.
Lev 19:11-37 A believer can learn many lessons for his own life by reading these verses slowly. But remember that these actual instructions were for people under the law. We apply them to our spiritual life in Christ.
The glory of the Lord is very near the believing soul... in proportion as we seek it, will personal blessing be found.
When Israel came into the land, they were taking over a country which was full of wickedness of the worst kind. Notice that religious evil heads the list. We believers are in a world equally wicked and containing the same evils.
Lev 20:6 & 27 People today are dabbling with familiar spirits, and don't seem to realize they are playing with fire. Spiritism is rapidly spreading. In Is 47:10-15 we read that Israel had paid no attention to these warnings and was being punished for it. Some Christians do not seem to understand that Satan leads believers away from God just as he leads unbelievers. And they are not aware that he can lead us far away. But notice how far Satan could lead these people. A warning for us!
Lev 20:9 Dishonoring parents required the death penalty! People today make a joke of this (Prov 14:9).
Lev 20:23 The world around us has a big influence on us. We are to keep away from it as far as we can. Our life should be a witness for Christ against it.
Lev 20:24 God had separated them from the world to Himself. This verse gives us the reason why we should have all the pure things we have been reading about in the previous chapters. Let's realize God wants only blessing for us, and has given full instruction in His Word.
Lev 20:25 We need to know what is clean and what is unclean. The chapter opens and closes with things which required stoning to death.
Our object... to be occupied with Christ and His exhaustless love and immeasurable grace.
Today we read how careful the priests had to be. You remember that 1 Pet 2:5 tells us that every believer in the Lord Jesus is a priest before God. Stop and consider that. If the priests in those days had to be so careful, how much more careful should we be? We are God's priests in this wicked and corrupt world. They needed to be ready to go into God's presence at any moment ; so need we from day to day.
If I am defending the truth, I need to watch my spirit and temper lest I myself fall into evil of other kinds.
A very important lesson to learn here. If priest, through carelessness, had something wrong with him, he was not to come into God's presence until it was corrected. Some people (believers) say that we can be too narrow in our thoughts about the worship of God. But we believe that when we have the assurance of God's Word that Christ is in the midst, then we are going to want to be very careful. It will not be a question of being as careless as we want to be, but of being as careful as we ought to be. When we are not conscious of the Lord's presence in the midst, then naturally it doesn't matter what a person does, so long as he is a believer. Read this chapter carefully and prayerfully.
Truth that requires faith to walk by, is resisted by the natural heart.
LEVITICUS 23, Verses 1-22
God here gives careful instructions as to seven occasions when His people were to gather together around Him. They are called "Feasts", not necessarily eating food. If the priests were going to be in God's house, they would need to behave the way He directed. There were seven "feasts" each year. (1) the Sabbath; (2) the Passover and the feast of unleavened bread; (3) the first-fruits of harvest; (4) the Pentecost; (5) the feast of trumpets; (6) the day of atonement; (7) the feast of tabernacles. Together they tell a wonderful story. Briefly they are (1) Christ; (2) the death of Christ and our careful life every day, (3) the resurrection of Christ; (4) the coming of the Holy Spirit to earth; (5) Israel's call just after the rapture; (6) when Israel will be restored to God; (7) the millennium. (7 is a picture of completeness). God delights in Christ, each feast reminds us in a different way of Him.
Lev 23:3 (1) Six days of creation, and then rest. Six days of work each week and then Saturday - the Sabbath - the last day, the day of rest. It is a picture of God finding His rest in Christ. Because the work of the first creation was ruined by sin, Christ had to come down and complete a new work. And that work can never be spoilt. Christ is God's Sabbath.
Lev 23:4-8 (2) These two are the foundation on which the first rests. The Passover is redemption...Ex 12. Leaven is a picture of sin. Christ was the Unleavened Bread - 1 Pet 2:22. Each believer has been given the power to live to God's glory throughout his converted life (like the 7 days) - 2 Pet 1:3.
Lev 23:10-14 (3) The first-fruits of the harvest. Christ in resurrection was the beginning of the true and great harvest... (the church, us believers).
Lev 23:11 "The morrow" (Sunday, the Lord's day) that is, the day after the Sabbath (Saturday). The Lord rose on the first day of the week - Sunday.
Lev 23:12 Christ is the Burnt offering. Leviticus chapter 1 and all of John's Gospel.
Lev 23:13 Christ is the Meat (or meal) offering. Leviticus chapter 2, and all of the gospels. His perfect life.
Lev 23:15-21 (4) Next the feast of weeks (Deut 16:10). They were to count 7 weeks or 49 days from the Sabbath. Then add one day making 50 days. Therefore, Sunday. The church's day is the first day of the week - Sunday - the Lord's Day. Fifty days after the cross of Calvary (the Lord Jesus was dead all day Saturday) the Holy Spirit came down on the day of Pentecost - Sunday, Acts 2:1.
Lev 23:17 A beautiful picture of the church here. Two leaves - Jew and Gentile - Eph. 2:12-18. "Two or three gathered to my name" Mt 18:20. (Leavened bread - we believers still have the old nature in us).
If I am "in Christ", I am a new creature... I am dead and risen... and I have new powers and affections.
LEVITICUS 23, Verses 23-44
Lev 23:23-25 (5) The feast of trumpets. The Lord Jesus shall come back and, as it were, blow the trumpet and gather Israel from all over the earth. This will take place after the believers are taken to heaven.
Lev 23:26-32 (6) Then the day of atonement, Lev 16. When this day is fulfilled, Israel will confess the dreadful sin of having crucified their loving Messiah. Read Zech 12:9-14.
Lev 23:33-44 Lastly, (7) the feast of Tabernacles will be fulfilled in the millennium. Israel will be reminded of all the wanderings in the wilderness of their forefathers. Many of the nations around Israel will join in the rejoicing and worship. Read Zech 14:16.
God is now carrying on a purpose... the perfecting of the saints for the full enjoyment of Himself. He is teaching me judgment of self and submission to Him.
Two parts - one very good (1-9) and the other very bad (10-23).
Lev 24:1-9 Notice some lovely words.
Lev 24:1 The Lord; verse 2 - pure oil, light continually, verse 3, testimony (reputation); verse 4, pure candlesticks; verse 5, fine flour, verse 6, pure tables; verse 7, pure frankincense; verse 8, everlasting; verse 9, Holy place, most holy. All these words are telling of the lovely atmosphere in the tabernacle (where God met the priests). The light was to burn all the time. The bread was eaten every Sabbath by Aaron and his sons. This can teach us we need the light of God each hour in our life - Jn 12:36 & 46. We need to be feeding on Christ - the bread which came down from heaven - Jn 6:32-35.
Lev 24:10-23 Here is the contrast - sin - quarrelling - blaspheming - cursing - in ward (jail) - stoning to death - killing. All these are the result of sin.
Lev 24:1-9 are inside God's house (V. 3) Verses 10-23 are outside. (V. 10). It is good to be in Christ, delivered from the corruption of the world.
God's words and deeds are the same... are mine?
The children of Israel weren't in their promised land yet, but God's thoughts were of it. It was being held by God, for God's people. Read Heb 4:1-11. Israel entered their land of rest, but they spoilt it. Christ has given us a rest which can never be spoilt.
Lev 25:1-7 Every seventh year, they were to let the land rest.
Lev 25:8-17 Every fifty years, all the land was to be given back to its original owners. How kind of God! The land wouldn't get into the hands of a few rich people.
Lev 25:25-55 Even people who became poor, and had to become a hired servant to another, were all set free on the year of jubilee. The Lord Jesus has set us free. We were slaves to sin, but He has paid the price of our redemption. The Lord owned the land. He only loaned it to His people. All would go back to Him in the end. (The truth of God has been loaned to us to enjoy. Good it is when we take care of it!)
It is easier to trust the Lord for eternity than it is for tomorrow, because we realize eternity is in His hands, but think tomorrow is in ours.
Lev 26:1 A serious warning first, then promises of blessing for obedience. He longed to bless His people and make them happy. (So He does for us today). If they would only obey Him, He would pour out rain from heaven, the land would produce plentifully - fruit trees would bloom greatly - the harvest would last till the Fall (verse 5) the vines would be so loaded that it would take till planting time to gather in the harvest!
Lev 26:11-13 God would dwell with His people.
Lev 26:14-39 But what a desolation if they would not obey! If we believers are obeying the Lord, we surely are experiencing joy and peace - yes, fullness of joy - Jn 15:8-11. If we are disobeying Him, then we are unhappy - unsettled - dissatisfied - lonely - disappointed. Which are we?
Lev 26:40-46 But God always comes back to what He is.
God only denies us what we would gladly deny ourselves, if only we had the wisdom to know it.
This chapter tells us of persons who made vows (promises) to God. Every one had a different value. This makes us think of the Lord Jesus and the value which was placed on Him. Read Zech 11:12-13. Also Mt 27:9-10.
The Lord Jesus is the One Who came to earth and has
redeemed us (paid for us) with His blood. We believers are His now. 1
Cor 6:19-20. Rom 14:7-9. How closely God kept to His people and His
land. And this is exactly the way He wants to be with us now. Just
realize this Book was written about 1,300 years before Christ was born,
and all these stories have meanings which He fulfils - some yet future.
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