As Taught by DR. W. N.
Exodus 19 to end of Leviticus.
Andrew Murray: The Holiest
Term Paper on approved topic.
Date of the Epistle - before A.D. 70. No one can easily doubt its early origin. Possibly produced during latter part of Apostolic Age. Frequent allusions to Judaism with its ritual, as a still existing system would probably bring its production before the fall of Jerusalem (70 A.D.).
There are many warnings to those to whom it was addressed not to be drawn back into Judaism. Hence Judaism as a system probably had not passed away. A.D. 70 would be about two years before Paul's death and many years before John's.
(1) Clement of Rome was almost certainly a disciple of the apostles, and head of the church at Rome and uses language in his epistle (I Corinthians - not Paul's) that proves his acquaintance with the Epistle to the Hebrews. This at least points to an early date.
(2) Clement of Alexandria, who had much to do with the school at Alexandria, quotes from the epistle and refers to the fact that his teacher had referred to it. This was at the close of the second Century.
(3) The internal evidence of the book would bring it before the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, but not many years before that date.
The Epistle is itself anonymous. This must be constantly remembered. No one in the epistle is named or hinted at as the human author. No other epistle names or hints at who wrote it i.e. we have no inspired statement about it. In all of Paul's own epistles he gives his own name and designation. There is no such in this one. The title, "The Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews," is not ancient. Its earlier title was "To the Hebrews." Summing up the views regarding Pauline authorship we may say:
(1) St. Paul wrote the epistle in Greek as it now stands. The style of the Epistle is that of an oration, which is difficult to reconcile with the Pauline style of writing. There is a reference to Timothy as "our brother" instead of "son Timothy," which is the Pauline reference. The writer of the Epistle says that he received his doctrine from man, i.e., that he was taught by hearers of Christ; but Paul says that he received his doctrine, not from man, but from God, by a direct revelation from God (Gal. 1:12).
(2) That the Greek Epistle is a translation by St. Paul from an Hebrew original. Most quotations from the Septuagint follow the Greek of that text. The evidence for this view is weak.
(3) That St. Paul supplied the ideas of the epistle and some other person supplied the language-form. This is at least tenable.
(4) That the Epistle was written independently of St. Paul, but by someone who knew his teachings and gave expression to them. This too is very tenable.
If the writer were not St. Paul, then one of four other writers has been suggested.
(1) St. Luke. There are good grounds for this conjecture, but it is merely a conjecture. St. Luke was the companion of St. Paul and he could have written it under St. Paul's supervision or merely from memory with regard to the doctrines of St. Paul.
(2) Clement of Rome - had it been sent to Rome there might have been grounds for this conjecture. Clement of Rome might have been the Clement mentioned by Paul in Phil. 4:3.
(3) Barnabas was a Levite and hence likely to be well informed in Jewish ritual. He was an exhorter (Acts 11:23-24). It is my opinion that if he had written it, we would have heard more of him SEPARATED FROM Paul.
(4) Apollos was first suggested by Luther, and taken up with considerable confidence by many. This is a tempting suggestion. Apollos was an Alexandrian Jew and an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, meaning the O.T. in regard to Christ. He mightily convinced the Jews, showing that Jesus was indeed the Christ. Outside of Paul, he, to my way of thinking, is the best "bet."
Summary: - The book is Pauline in doctrine, to the letter. Stephen had declared that Christ fulfilled the priesthood, sacrifices, and the temple symbolism. Paul picked this up and perfected the truth. Apollos was no doubt instructed by Paul in the matter. That would explain Gal. 1:12. In either case, it probably was written under the supervision of Paul or else by Paul - perhaps a combination of the two. Let us rest in this mediating position.
ITS CANONICITY is independent of its authorship. It holds inherent qualities that demand attention separated from any great author. Inherently it is great.
(1) Clement of Rome quoted from it, as he did the other writers that were accepted as inspired from the first
(2) Justin Martyr apparently regarded the book of Hebrews as on a par with the inspiration of the O.T. The Western Church hesitated to accept its canonicity, evidently because its authorship was questioned. A book with internal subject matter as has this book could not long be questioned by any section of the fundamental church.
TO WHOM WAS THE EPISTLE WRITTEN?
All that we are sure of is that it was originally sent to Jewish Christians who were in danger of deflecting from the faith and returning to the Jewish ritualism, from whence they had been lifted.
(1) It appeared also to have been sent to some definite locality (Heb. 6:10, 10:32, 13:7), as the writer expressed an intention to visit them (13:9, 23. It was not addressed to all of the church in general but to one specific locality or group.
(2) The term "Hebrews"- "To the Hebrews" - is a broad term. It referred to the Hebrew race as over against the Gentile race. It also referred to the Palestinian Jews as over against the Grecian or foreign-born Jews. It probably has reference more to those who had been redeemed from Jewish ritualism than to Palestinian believing Jews.
THE PURPOSE OF THE EPISTLE is to show that Jesus of Nazareth is the true Son of God in whose person, life, and death are fulfilled all the types and shadows and symbols of the O.T. economy.
(1)In order to convince the Jews of this fact, the writer uses three arguments. They are: (a) Christ is superior to the angels; (b) Christ is superior to Moses; (c) Christ is superior to Aaron
(2) Then it appears that a large section of those addressed were in danger of reverting to the old Judaism. The early disciples and their followers had not broken with this fully (Acts 2:46; Luke 24:53). The writer of Hebrews had completely broken from this ritualism.
Note: Stephen broke with Judaism and died for so doing. Paul carried on the implication to its completion, and now this writer relates the idea or truth to Christ and sacrifices to the priesthood doctrinally in writing.
(3) The writer points out to them that if they do turn to Judaism, there is no other sacrifice to sin, i.e., no other sacrifice can be found since Christ has fulfilled all, and also for them there would be no more forgiveness as they deliberately without the heat of fires and temptation turned back. "For it is impossible . . . to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify . . . the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame" (Heb. 6:4a, 6b). This danger that some were in was probably a major consideration in the writing of the letter. It is however an exposition of Exodus 19 - Lev. 27.
We shall therefore open the subject in the book of Hebrews and then pass over to the area, Exod. 19 to Lev. 27, inclusive, and study the sacrifices and then return to the book of Hebrews.
JESUS, the Christ is greater than angels, than Moses, than Aaron.
a. THAN ANGELS.
The exordium is a sweep through Revelation, and creation. God spoke to the fathers in the prophets, by giving them many portions in many and varied manners. Now at the end of these days (the days of the giving of these many portions) he has spoken to us by his son. (That makes Christ the apex of all revelation.) This Son is the appointed heir of all things, the worlds (ages) having been made by him, the inherent splendor of the glory of the Godhead shone in Him, as he was in the very image of the Father. John states a similar truth (John 1:1-3, word; by Him, through Him).
(i) Not only is He the creator of all things, but He also is the upholder of all things. (He calls them to be and He causes them to be.) This could be, for all we know, a greater demonstration of power than the creation. This Person made "purification for sins" (here we have the atonement already introduced in the Epistle) and then sat down on the right hand of the Father and His majesty. Jesus Himself stated this, "And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit" (Luke 23:46a). In John 7:39 we read "for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified." It was probably to this glorification of Jesus at the right hand of God the Father that the Apostle referred.
(ii) Not only is He the creator of all and the redeemer by His blood, but His person, office, and name outshine those of angels. God has never said to the angels, "Thou art my son; to day have I begotten thee," i.e., raised thee up, and again "I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son." When He brought the only-begotten into the world He commanded all the angels to worship Him. Those angels were spirits and flames of fire, but of the Son He said: "Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom." "Therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." "Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." Never has God said anything like that of angels, for they are merely ministering spirits sent forth to do service for the sake of them that shall inherit salvation.
(iii) We should therefore give earnest heed to the things spoken by this greater than angels, for the message spoken through angels was steadfast and any violation thereof was severely punished. Much more then shall violations of the message of the Son be punished. Here we have one of the great evangelical texts, "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?"
(iv) The world to come was (or is or shall be) not put in subjection to angels at all, but it was put under the feet of the Son. The writer now quotes from the Psalms a passage that we usually apply to man, but he applies it to the Son of man.
"What is man, that thou are mindful of him? Or the Son of Man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet" (Heb. 2:6-8; Ps. 8:4ff).
Note: David probably had reference to men in general or to man at his best. The Hebraic author applies it to the man Christ Jesus. Adam Clarke has a fine contribution here.
(v) All things are not as yet subjected to Him, for He was made a little lower than the angels so that He might endure suffering and death for every man in order that He might later be crowned with glory and honor. The author of our salvation was made perfect through suffering. The salvation was perfected by suffering and death and the humanity of the divine Person was also made perfect by suffering. This therefore introduces another great text: "For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren" (Heb. 2:11).
(vi) Thus the Apostle declares that the children are sharers of the parent's flesh and blood--for this Son of Man partook of the same, that through death He might destroy the power of death, the Devil, and deliver those who are in bondage to death and to the fear of death. He was therefore made like His brethren, and being tempted is able to rescue those who are tempted. This He could not have done had He taken the form of angels, but He took on Him the form OF THE SEED OF Abraham. Thus He was made lower than angels but in person He was higher than angels. Note: Death and the fear of death would be fearful things with no liberator.
(b) JESUS.. GREATER THAN Moses.
The writer opens this section with the words, "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling." Those people were evidently already in the experience of holiness of heart. It was from this experience that they were in danger of deflecting. Many were not however and they were urged to go on unto perfection.
On this, Adam Clarke has an interesting and valuable contribution. He points out that to fail to discern between the possession of active, positive holiness and the call to it has led many theologians into error. He says that Antinomianism has its origin here, as many persons "were called saints who in many respects were miserable sinners. Hence it has been inferred that they were called saints in reference to a holiness had in another, and hence the Antinomian imputation of Christ's righteousness to unholy believers. (There are possibly many cases of this. The Israelites in Egypt were still promised Canaan but they were not in it. It was theirs. They could have called themselves Palestinians, but they were not in Palestine. The Sethite line was called "The Sons of God" because to them the word of God and the Messiah were promised, but many of them no doubt were wicked. Paul does call regenerated people "holy brethren," but they were partially holy just as regenerated people were partially sanctified (John 10:35; Psalm 82:6).
Cf. term "lost" vs. Israelites called "God's people." Gradations of meaning in terms.
(i) The only place in the N.T. that Jesus Christ is called The Apostle is here. Among the Jews, the high priest was also considered to be the apostle of God, and it is in conformity to this notion that the Apostle speaks (A. Clarke). He is called the APOSTLE AS HAVING been sent from God and high priest as these two offices were expressed in Him and in Him alone. This is the fullest intimation that the Mosaic economy was at an end and the priesthood changed. In other words the O.T. order was over or had passed into Christ.
(ii) Moses was a servant in the house, but Christ was Lord over the house. Moses was faithful in that house and Christ was faithful as Lord over that house. Furthermore, Moses was in the house as part of the house, but Christ was the builder of the house. "For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house . . .. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant . . .. But Christ as a Son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end (Heb. 3:3-6). Moses was the greatest figure that the Hebrews recognized, but Christ was far above Moses as well as far above angels.
(iii) The author now issues a warning by reference to those who disobeyed Moses in the wilderness. "(To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness . . .. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation . . .. So I swear in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest."
They sinned and their bodies fell in the wilderness. They were denied crossing because of disobedience and unbelief. The "rest" here referred to is present soul-rest, and because of disobedience they were excluded from that soul-rest, and perished in the wilderness. (The Sabbath rest beyond is also referred to.) Those who disobeyed Moses perished. What of those who disobey the greater than Moses?
(v) The apostle says: "For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath . . . they should not enter into his rest." Believers have already entered in, but God swore that they should not enter into that present rest, and they perished outside of Canaan--outside of soul-rest. In truth, their bodies perished in the wilderness and their souls sank to hell.
C. JESUS.. GREATER than Aaron.
"Seeing then that we have a great high-priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and may find grace to help in time of need" (Heb. 4:14-16).
Note: Jesus, tempted as a holy being, comparable to the tempted sanctified.
(i) High priests that are taken from among men are to offer gifts and sacrifices for sin. He, himself, is a person of infirmity and must sacrifice for himself as well as for the people. This honor is not self-appointed, but God-given as it was in the case of Aaron. Christ did not merely take it to Himself, but it was given to Him by the Father. "Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee," i.e. raised thee up or called thee for this purpose. "Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek" - an eternal priesthood.
(ii) In spite of the fact that THIS HIGH PRIEST is after the order of Melchizedek, yet he suffered and prayed and cried in tears. Hence, though he was a Son as none else is a Son, He learned obedience by the things that He suffered and was thus made perfect (his humanity). He then became the author of salvation to all them that obey him, having been named an High Priest after the order of Melchizedek.
Note: Melchizedek was without father or mother, etc., i.e., his priesthood was handed down to him from none and he handed it on to none. It started with him and closed with him. In this sense he was a type of Christ.
Aaron's priesthood was given and was passed on and could also be lost. Melchizedek's priesthood was not passed on. In this respect his priesthood was a type of Christ's. Christ's priesthood was thus far greater than was Aaron's.
(iii) The author now refers to those who were once enlightened to the full and had tasted the full word of God, (entire sanctification) and had either gone back into ritualism or were threatening so to do. He states that it is possible under certain conditions to go back so that they could not return, i.e., in going back under certain conditions they would in that act commit the unpardonable sin (Heb. 6:6).
Note: We have now come to another great Hebrew text, Heb. 6:1, and passed another great one, Heb. 4:12.
There are at least two ways in which the unpardonable sin may be committed: (a) by an act of rebellion, which so shocks the nature that it destroys the possibility of heart repentance. This is evidently what happened when the angels fell. They fell by deliberate volition without temptation. In so doing, they evidently destroyed any possibility of heart repentance. This was also evidently the position of the sanctified Hebrews as mentioned in this book.
(b) By constantly resisting and gradually becoming harder and harder until the possibility of heart repentance is destroyed. In the last analysis they are both the same.
(iv) The writer prays that they will not do this but will continue to grasp the promises as did Abraham their father. God swore to Abraham by himself as He could swear by no greater. He kept his promise to him and He would do the same both in blessing and in cursing to them.
(v) In Chapter 7, the writer declares that Jesus Christ is an eternal priest after the order of Melchizedek (7:1-10) and far excelleth the priests of the Aaronic order (7:11-28).
(a) To Melchizedek even Abraham gave a tithe of all. Thus the Aaronic priesthood, being as yet in Abraham, paid tithes to Melchizedek. Thus Abraham and they in him (figuratively) recognized the superiority of the priesthood of Melchizedek. "Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually." He himself was not without father and mother, but his priesthood was received from no human being and was passed on to none. In this sense he was a true type of the eternal priesthood of Christ.
(b) Now if perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, we would need no further or higher priesthood. This higher priesthood was after the fashion of Melchizedek and not after the fashion of Aaron. Aaron received his priesthood and passed it on when he died. This did not Melchizedek, and this did not Christ.
Note: Melchizedek, king of Salem (peace) was given an independent priesthood by God, "priest of the most High God" - selected to teach figurative truth.
Christ is then the great High Priest to which the Aaronic priesthood points. Perfection was not in the symbol but in the One symbolized. "Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek" (Heb 7:16-17). The law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope (Christ as High Priest) did. By this hope we draw nigh to God. The symbol thus became a dead letter when the symbolized appeared. (We in the so-called Christian church have not learned that yet, as far as some things are concerned).
Apparently the members of the Aaronic priesthood were not sworn into their offices. Those officials were anointed in, but Christ was sworn in: "And inasmuch as not without an oath was He made priest: (For those priests were made without an oath [that is the swearing or declaration in oath]: but this with an oath by Him that said unto Him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedec:) By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament" (Heb. 7:20-22).
Furthermore, there were a succession of priests by reason of death. Each played his little part and then moved on and was replaced by another who in turn did the same. Jesus, because He continueth ever, hath an unchanging priesthood. "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them (Heb. 7:25).
Furthermore, in the old order they offered daily (9 a.m. and 3 p.m.) many offerings and many times. It was one constant, smoking altar. The priests also had to offer for themselves. In fact they had to do this before they were fit to offer for others. The priests were thus themselves men of infirmity. But with the one offering of Christ there is no more need of a daily sacrifice. The perfect sacrifice was offered by the perfect One who did not have to sacrifice for Himself. (Thus He could be offered for others.) Jesus was thus the final offering for sin and the final officiating priest.
Note: There is no need for a daily mass and the turning of the blood and wine into the actual flesh and blood of Christ.
In Chapter 8 the writer summarizes saying: "We have such an High Priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens." A minister of the true sanctuary and the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched and not man (Heb. 8:1b, 2). Thus Christ is greater than angels, greater than Moses, greater than the Aaronic priesthood. Furthermore, the sacrifice of Himself was greater than all the sacrifices of bulls, and rams and goats. The giving in death of Himself was the one climacteric and consummating sacrifice in the great plan of redemption. Thus both sacrifice and priesthood are perfected and completed.
Moses received his instructions on the holy mount as to how to build the tabernacle: "for See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to them in the mount." Everything had to be according to the pattern, as the pattern showed forth aspects of Christ in life and death.
Had that first covenant or revelation been faultless, there would have been no need for a second. It was faulty in that it was a symbol of a spiritual one. "I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be my people."
Hence, "In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old" (old with regard to types being now obsolete). "Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away" Heb. 8:13).
Note: This is what St. Stephen and St. Paul both said. It is the difference between Judaistic and Gentile Christianity. Let us now observe THAT TO WHICH He refers.
THE SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM. Here we shall deal with the sacrifices of earliest times and then with the tabernacle and worked-out sacrificial system by Moses as expressed from Exodus 19 to the end of Leviticus.
(1) The sacrificial system
from the earliest time to Moses.
During this period sacrifices seemed to have been an individual male matter, for Cain and Abel both sacrificed during the lifetime of Adam. Adam was instructed by God Himself in the Garden of Eden how to sacrifice and what sacrifice was for. Gen. 3:21 is a further clarification of Gen. 3:15. Then at a certain time in their lives, both Cain and Abel sacrificed for themselves and for no one else (Gen. 4:3,4; Heb. 11:4).
Blood was shed by God before Adam and Eve could be clothed with skins. Abel shed blood in his sacrifice and God accepted him. Thus he, too, was satisfactorily clothed. There was no blood in Cain's sacrifice and God was not pleased. Hence he remained exposed to the wrath of God and merited a greater wrath.
Those three sacrifices are all the recorded sacrifices that we have from creation to the flood. If there were others, those three given must be regarded as typical. Hence sacrifice was not a national matter, nor a family matter, but a personal, individual matter with regard to the male.
(2) The Patriarchal Period.
During this period the head of the house or clan seemed to have sacrificed for the whole family or clan. Noah, on leaving the ark, sacrificed (a blood sacrifice) in faith and God observed it (Gen. 8:20-22). Thus Noah established the family or tribal sacrifice called patriarchal.
Abraham followed the example of Noah, and sacrificed for the whole group - seven times recorded.
(a) He sacrificed on first
reaching Canaan-at Shechem. Gen. 12:7
Isaac did not sacrifice during the lifetime of Abraham, but after Abraham's death, when he was head of the clan, he then sacrificed. He sacrificed after the water dispute with the Philistines (Gen. 26:25).
Jacob did not sacrifice while he was a member of his father's household (under his father's roof) but after he left home and was the head of a family of his own.
(a) He first sacrificed after the dispute with Laban at Mizpah (Gen. 31).
Note: "The Lord watch between
me and thee" - enemies would use "if you cross my path, May God strike
(c) He sacrificed on his arrival at Bethel again after his return home (Gen. 35:1--7).
(d) He sacrificed before he went down into Egypt with his whole tribe to see Joseph (Gen. 46:1).
(i) He raised a pillar at
Bethel when he first left home and poured oil upon it.
(As far as can be determined, those are all the sacrifices that were offered until the paschal lamb was sacrificed.)
Every one of those sacrifices represents a crisis in human life or human history. This was true of Adam, of Cain, of Abel, of Noah, of Abraham, of Isaac and Jacob. It was not; therefore, a set aspect of worship at all times as it was in the Mosaic order. When Jeremiah said: "Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh. For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices (Jer. 7:21-22).
He evidently meant the set aspect of the Mosaic sacrificial system that they had substituted for faith in God and for faith in the fulfillment of Gen. 3:15, 21; Exodus 15:26. Moses worked Gen. 3:15, 21 into an understandable system. Sacrifices cannot be divorced from their original meaning and retain their value (Amos 4:4; Isa. 66:3; Hos 8:13; Hab. 1:1-4; Heb. 9: 9,10).
Certain aspects from the beginning of Moses to the construction of the wilderness tabernacle.
(1) From Jacob when he went to Egypt (Gen. 46:1) to Moses and the paschal Lamb (Exod. 12:3).
Sacrifice among the Hebrews is not mentioned and evidently was not observed (Gen. 46). Had sacrifices been observed in Egypt, Moses would hardly have said to Pharaoh: "It is not meat so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians [sacred Egyptian animals?] To the Lord our God: Lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us (Exod. 8:26)? He would not have said that, had they been sacrificing right along. Neither would Pharaoh have suggested that they sacrifice in the land of Egypt if they were already doing that very thing. He would have asked them for an explanation why they wanted to stop sacrificing in the land to go to the wilderness and sacrifice there (Exod. 8:25-28).
(2) On the eve of their departure from Egypt, Moses instituted the Passover sacrifice of a lamb per house or family. Thus the patriarchal sacrifice was revived and Gen. 3:15, 21 were revived from their tombs. The death angel passed over the houses that have blood sprinkled on the door-posts and the Israelites marched to safety and landed across the Red Sea in the wilderness safely.
(3) In the visitation of death on the first-born in Egypt, God having spared the first-born of those sprinkled with blood, then claimed the first-born as His. These functioned as priests for a time. The priest of the home was the firstborn son (Num. 3:13; 8:17; Exod. 24:5; 13:2).
(4) The tribe of Levi was later chosen in place of the first-born son. This choice was in recognition of great valor for God in a difficult situation. Therefore Levi was not arbitrarily chosen but rather because he showed a certain fitness for the office (Num. 3:12; 3:45; 8:14; Exod. 32: 26-28; Deut. 33:8-10). With regard to the trying circumstances, see also Matt. 10:37-39; Mark 10:29,30; Luke 14:26, 27 and Mal. 2:5.
(a) The Levites, as they were called, composed the whole tribe of Levi, with the exception of the Aaronic family. They had no tribal inheritance in the land but they were given forty-eight cities and their suburbs. These were fairly equally scattered throughout the whole land. They could also intermarry with other tribes at will (Num. 18:2, 3; 35:7).
The Levites were not permitted to make sacrifices nor to burn incense, nor to come near to the vessels of the sanctuary and the altar. Such duties were the duties of the priests alone. The Levites waited on Aaron and on the priests during their service in the sacrificial order (Num. 3:6-8; I Chron. 23:28ff; II Chron. 13:10).
Their duty included the service of song. Many of the songs were composed for the use of the Levites in public worship (I Chron. 23:5). "And four thousand praised the Lord with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise the lord therewith" (I Chron. 21:5).
(b) The priesthood was limited to the Aaronic family. The members of that family were consecrated to that office with solemn ceremony (Lev. 8; Num. 3:10ff). Anyone else who dared usurp that office was to be put to death (Num. 3:10). With regard to the consecration of the priests see Exod. 30:30; 40:15. With regard to usurpers, see 11 Chron. 13:18, Num. 16. When the priests were not engaged in public worship, they were engaged in instructing the people and assisting the judges in civil and religious matters.
(c) The high priesthood in Israelite history started with Aaron, and was afterwards limited to the family of Phinehas, grandson of Aaron. It was limited to the family of Phinehas for valor in the cause of God (Exod. 30:30; 40:12-15; Num. 25:11, 12; 1 Chron. 6:4-10). Both Aaron and Moses were of the tribe of Levi; thus the political and spiritual leadership were both vested in that tribe.
The office of the High Priest was to exercise general oversight over public worship, and to perform the most sacred parts of the service. He and he alone entered into the holy of holies once a year with blood (Lev. 16). After the death of Moses, the high priest was the human mediator between the Israelites and God, the divine and the human.
(d) In Exod. 39 the dress of the high priest is described minutely. He was not only the mediator representing the mediatorship of Christ but his dress was also symbolic of his mediatorship. The writer starts with the outer garment and moves in to the inner garment. There is unquestionably, a reason for this, but we shall reverse the direction.
(i) Next to his person he was to be clad from the loins to the thighs with close-fitting linen breeches. This was a perpetual ordinance that he bare not iniquity and die (Exod. 28:22, 43).
(ii) Next there was to be a tight-fitting coat (shirt) of fine white linen, woven in a checkered pattern without a seam like Jesus' robe, and bound together with a girdle (Exod. 21:39-43). These two garments were common to all of the priests as well as to the high priest. The High Priest wore a Mitre for head attire and the other priests wore a bonnet. The rest of the vestments that we shall mention were worn by the High Priest alone.
(iii) Over the coat or shirt,
he wore a flowing "robe of the ephod," all of blue. Little of it was seen
from the waist up. It was surrounded at the hem with golden pomegranates
(size of small apple) and bells: fruit and testimony. The worshiper
without was able to trace his
(iv) Above "the robe of the
ephod" was the ephod itself. It was a kind of jacket made in two
pieces which were joined at the shoulders and bound together at the waist
by a cunningly woven band which was of the same piece.
(v) Upon the shoulders were two stones called onyx, and set in pouches of filigree work. Upon them were graven the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, the burden of whose needs he carried into the presence of God. He did not into the presence of God. These were dealt with at the altars of sacrifice.
(vi) Upon the ephod was the breastplate. It was attached to it by rings and chains of twisted gold made to fold into a square, a span of measurement blazing with jewels. Upon these gems (as upon the onyxes upon the shoulders) were the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. Those names were set in four rows of three each; the Authorized Version places them:
First row - sardius (cornelian
or blood-red) Reuben's stone
Second row - emerald (brilliant
green) Judah's stone
Third row- ligure- (transparent
or orange) Dan's stone
Fourth row- beryl - (sea-green)
(e) The breastplate was made of cunning work like the work of the ephod of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine -twined linen. It was a 10-inch square. It was made with a front and lining so that it would also answer for a bag. In this breastplate. Evidently between the lining and the front was placed the mysterious means of ascertaining the will of God, namely, Urim and Thummim (Lights and Perfections). Nothing can be ascertained with certainty as to their nature and as to the manner of ascertaining the will of God by them.
There was also a Mitre of pure white linen. Upon it was laced with cords of blue, a golden plate bearing the inscription "Holiness to Jehovah" (Exod. 28:36, 37).
With regard to dress, no mention is made of shoes or sandals. Judging from the commandment of God to Moses and from history, it is more or less certain that the priests officiated barefooted.
The dread of sin is removed through the offerings which pointed to Christ's death, and the approach to God is made possible through the mediatorship of Christ as portrayed by the priesthood and the High Priest.
THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE TABERNACLE IN THE WILDERNESS
(1) Israel appears to have been under bondage in Egypt, and before Egypt in Canaan, 430 years to a day (Exod. 12:41). Just before Stephen was stoned, he spoke of the earlier prophecy concerning the evil four hundred years (round numbers) of Egyptian servitude and the promised exodus (Acts 7:6-7). Paul declared that the law was given 430 years after the covenant was given (Gal. 3:17). The covenant was first given to Abraham 1918 B.C. (Gen. 12: 2,3; 15:7, 13, 16, 18). This covenant was reaffirmed to Jacob at Beersheba 1707 B.C. or 212 years later.
Paul evidently dates his 430 years from his affirmation of the covenant with Abraham (Gen. 15. The law was given three months after they left Egypt. Paul's date, to a day, would be 430 years, 3 months (parts of months 50 days after the paschal Passover until they reached the base of Mt. Sinai (Exod. 12:41). This is the only place where the exact date or time is stated.
(2) Moses entered this world with the death-sentence already passed upon him. Jesus also entered the world with the death sentence passed upon him. Both lived on (first and last law-giver).
Moses led the Israelites to the base of the Mount where was a great natural amphitheater (Ramsay: The Church in the Roman Empire) with a ravine in at one end and out at the other, and a perpendicular cliff in front of them (black and yellow granite). The mount was smoke and flame-capped, and God spoke therefrom. Five times Moses started to ascend the mount but each time was told to return by God with some intelligence to the people (Exod. 19:4-12, 19-24).
Then Moses, Aaron and the seventy elders went up so far together and "saw God" and did eat and drink " (Exod. 24:10-11). This was evidently up a little from the level on which the people were - probably at the base of the real mount. Then Moses and Joshua ascended so far together and Moses then left Joshua and proceeded alone. Moses was forty days and forty nights on that mountain alone with God. God evidently closed the conference with Moses by giving him the 10 commandments written with His own finger (Exod. 31:18).
When Moses and Joshua returned,
they found the people worshiping the Golden Calf. It was then that
God expressed an intention to destroy all and to make of Moses a new people.
Moses interceded and God continued with them (Exod. 32:lff). Moses
returned for a second forty days and forty nights with God. God again
wrote the Ten Commandments on two tablets of stone. Indications are
that Moses hewed them.
Thus far we have passed several great types.
(i) The paschal Lamb
(3) The Tabernacle in the Wilderness.
Outer tabernacle - enclosure of 100 x 50 cubits and surrounded by a curtain 5 cubits high (7 1/2 feet) (Exod. 27:18).
(a) The linen that formed the surrounding enclosure was upheld by pillars and sockets of brass. The heads of those pillars were overlaid with silver (Exod. 27:17). Those pillars were connected by means of rods, or fillets of silver. A hanging of fine-twined linen was stretched by means of silver hooks (Exod. 27: 9-13).
(b) The entrance was 20 cubits wide, corresponding accurately to the tent over the tabernacle which reached 5 cu. on each side of the tabernacle proper.
(c) The surrounding fence was drawn into position and held there by means of brazen tent pins--so also was the tent itself.
(d) This external fence 5 cu. high, concealed everything, but the great roof of the tent. This roof was made of one material, except for the sealskin covering along the summit.
(e) This was a "tent of meeting" between God and His people, but yet not of the congregation." There I will meet with children of Israel" (Exod. 29:42,43).
(f) This "court of the tabernacle" or enclosure was 100 cu. long, 50 cu. wide, and 5 cu. high (the surrounding curtain). It had an opening in front the width of the tent overspreading the tabernacle. (It stood length and width with the opening to the east). Out in front between the tabernacle and the opening was the altar where the sacrifice was offered. The official went farther in and washed himself, and then returned to the sacrificial altar. The Hebrew laid his hands on the head of the victim, and confessed all of his sins over the victim, before the blow fell. He then felt that his sins were borne away from him.
(i) With regard to this altar, we read: "Thou shalt make an altar of acacia wood;" " an altar of earth shall thou make." Ex. 20:24 the frame was of acacia wood and the filling was of earth. The earth was the real altar. Christ's body was of earth, and it was torn as the separating veil was torn. Ex. 27:8.
(ii) At each corner of the frame, there was a horn of some pieces with the framework, typical of the power there involved. Those horns were also used to bind on the sacrifice. They were used by fugitives to grasp hold of when they sought sanctuary (Psalm 118:27, 1 kings 1:50, Exod. 21:14, 1 Kings 2:28-31, 34). It was overlaid with brass and was 5 cu. long, 5 cu. wide, and 3 cu. high (Exod. 27:1,2).
(iii) The altar had an approach from the south, and a ledge around it about half way up, evidently for The official to walk around while performing his office (Exod. 27:4,5). We read of Aaron coming down from ministering (Lev. 9:22). A network (curtain) of brass also protected the lower part of the altar.
(iv) The pans for the ashes, the shovels, basins, flesh-hooks, and fire-pans, etc., were all of brass. There was a brass grate on top.
(g) The second piece of furniture in that enclosure, of importance, was the laver. It was made of brass and placed on a separate base, so it could be easily filled or emptied.
(i) The actual use of the laver preceded the use of the altar, but the altar was in front of it. Sacrifice preceded purification.
(ii) It was a capital offence to enter the tabernacle or to sacrifice without first having washed the hands and the feet.
(iii) The laver was made of brass, and then lined with mirrors of the serving women who served at the door of the tent of meeting (Exod. 38:8; 1 Sam. 2:22).
(iv) Its official position was between the tabernacle of the congregation and the sacrificial altar.
(4) Let us now notice the tabernacle proper and its covering tent. In Exod. 26:1-6 we have a description of the curtains of the tabernacle.
(a) Those curtains were ten in number, woven in fine-twined linen (linen twisted together) in colors, blue, purple and scarlet.
(b) They were 28 cubits long and 4 cubits wide with Cherubims woven into them. Five of the ten were coupled (sewn) together. Thus there were two pieces 28 by 20. If sewn on sideways or 140 by 4 if sewn on endways.
(c) Those two larger pieces were then attached to each other by means of loops of blue on the edge of each. Fifty such loops on each were so arranged that they could be fastened to each other by fifty taches of gold. It was thus to be one tabernacle (Exod. 26:1-6).
(5) Let us notice the curtains of the tent covering the tabernacle (Exod. 26:7-13).
(a) This tent covering might have rested upon the fine-twined linen of the tabernacle proper. There were eleven curtains made of goats' hair, each to be 30 by 4 cubits. Thus there was an extra one to those of the tabernacle and each was to be 2 cubits extra.
(b) Five were to be sewn together in one piece and six sewn together in the other piece. The piece composed of six was to be doubled in the forefront of the tabernacle and the half of the one curtain was to hang down over the back of the tabernacle.
(c) Fifty loops were again to be made on each and those were connected by fifty taches (clasps of brass). It was thus made one and was evidently folded on the march, as was the other one.
(d) A covering for this tent was to be made of rams' skins dyed red and a covering along the top of probably 2 feet of badgers' skins.
(6) In Exod. 26:15-30 we have the frame boards of the actual tabernacle rooms apartments.
(a) The tabernacle boards were made of acacia wood (overgrown willow) - hard and white-barked. Acacia wood = shittim wood.
(b) Each board was ten cubits long and stood upright. Each board was made a cubit wide by means of two tenons. Thus all the boards were to be made.
(c) Twenty boards raised end-wise formed the south side. Twenty boards, two sockets for each board. Forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards. Two sockets for each board for its two tenons (bars).
(d) Twenty boards on the north side - the same as the south side with regard to the sockets, etc.
(e) Six boards on the West Side and two boards for the two corners (one for each).
(f) Those boards were to be coupled together on the bottom and top by a ring, or also corner boards.
(g) Five bars of acacia wood were to be used for each one of the five sides. The middle one of each of the 5 bars was to extend unbrokenly from corner to corner. Ex. 26:26, 27.
(h) The boards were all overlaid with plates of gold. The rings and bars of acacia wood were also thus to be overlaid.
(7) The veil separating the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place.
(a) It was a veil of blue and purple and scarlet and fine-twined linen.
(b) This veil was to hang on four pillars of acacia wood, overlaid with gold and upon four sockets of silver. The veil was to be hung up under the taches to bring in the ark.
(8) The door of the tent.
(a) A curtain of blue and purple and scarlet and fine-twined linen wrought with needlework (no Cherubims) was to be the tent door.
(b) For this hanging five pillars were to be made of acacia wood. They were also to be overlaid with gold and five sockets of brass were to be cast for them.
(c) The upright acacia boards were evidently a considerable distance in the ground (two or more feet?). Otherwise we would not have enough curtain to cover all (Exod. 38:27).
Note: The herds stayed on the outside of the court. Three tribes camped on each side. The Levites alone handled those things.
Let us notice within the tabernacle proper. The tabernacle itself was 30 by 10 cubits made of upright boards fastened together and plated with gold beaten thus. This was with both sides and the West End. Overhead or on the ceiling was the blue, purple and fine-twined linen. The veil separating the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place was of blue, purple and scarlet fine-twined linen with cunning work of Cherubims thereon. The other two door curtains appeared to be of fine-twined linen but with no Cherubims thereon. Within the tabernacle proper were four articles of furniture. Three in the Holy Place and one in the Holy of Holies.
(1)In the Holy Place there were:
(a) The table of shewbread. This table was two cubits long, one cubit wide, 1 1/2 cubits high. It was to be made of acacia wood and overlaid with gold, as was the ark in the Holy of Holies. There was to be a crown or molding round the top and also round the bottom. Close to the lower border were 4 rings or staves for carrying it. These staves were also covered with gold. The border was to be an hand-breadth in width. The spoons, dishes, bowls and covers were all of pure gold. The place was "before me" or "in the holy place."
For fine flour twelve cakes - 2 tenth deals of flour in each were to be made. Those were to be placed six in a row in two rows upon the table before the Lord (Lev. 24:5-8).
Pure frankincense was to be placed upon each row. It was bread for a memorial, an offering made by fire unto the Lord. Every Sabbath this was to be renewed. This bread was to be eaten by Aaron and his sons in the Holy Place.
(b) The golden candlestick.
This was not a lamp but a lamp-stand with one perpendicular stand with six other branches, seven containers in all. All seven reached the same height.
Upon these the seven lamps were placed. The lamps were separate in their construction. The candle-sticks were of pure gold. The base and the main staff or shaft were of one piece of beaten gold. Each of the six branches was ornamented with three cups made like almond blossoms. Above these a knop variously compared by Jewish writers to an apple and a pomegranate, and still higher a flower or bud. It is believed that there were a fruit and a flower above each of the cups. This made nine ornaments above each branch. Above The centre shaft there were four cups and their knops and flowers, instead of three.
With the lamps were tongs and snuff-dishes to remove the charred wick from the tabernacle. The lamps appeared to have been lit during the day-time only (1 Sam. 3:3).
(c) The altar of incense.
(i) Once every year atonement was made every year on the horns of it by Aaron.
(ii) That one time every year the writer of the Book of Hebrews places it inside, that day, the Holy of Holies. This appeared to have been the great Day of Atonement (Heb. 9:4). It was then that blood was sprinkled upon it.
(iii) Incense was burned upon it, when the lamps were being dressed every morning and every evening by Aaron, when they were being lit. This morning-evening incense burning was to be perpetual. It is not difficult to see the meaning of all this. When Zacharias was burning incense and the whole congregation was standing without in prayer, the incense of the vial of the angel in the Apocalypse was the prayers of the saints (Luke 1:10,11; Rev. 8:3). David had the same conception: let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice (Psalm 141:2).
(d) The ark was of acacia wood lined within and without with gold including the staffs for carrying it.
(i) Its dimensions were 2
½ cu. long, 1-½ cubits wide,
(ii) Within the ark was the broken law, Aaron's rod that budded and the pot of manna (Heb. 9:4). Two other things are also in it - the written law and the Covenant (?).
(iii) Upon the ark was the mercy-seat (the apex of all) where two angel's whose wings' tip faced inward. This was also of gold. Beneath the faces of the angels was the glorious Presence -the only illumination of that windowless abode. The mercy-seat spoke of sin already expiated and put away.
Let us notice the idea of SACRIFICE SEGMENTED INTO FIVE OR POSSIBLY SIX ASPECTS FOR THE SAKE OF INSTRUCTION AND CLARITY.
(1) The trespass offering (Lev. 6:1-6; 7:1-7).
(a)The trespass offering here dealt with is primarily an invasion on the rights of others, especially with regard to property and service. The word is used to describe the sin of Aachan in taking that thing that God had decreed for Himself (Joshua 7:1). The word is also used to describe a sin of neglecting the service of God and worshiping idols (II Chron. 28:22; 29:6). Thus taking that which belongs to others or similarly withholding - both are alike transgression. Those two citations then would cover every form of possible transgression. (A person who withholds his heart from God is keeping for himself that which belongs to another.)
(b) This invasion on
the rights of others which constitutes a trespass is a deliberate and conscious
one. Notice: "If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the Lord,
and lie unto his neighbor in that which he
Here we have conscious lying, conscious deception, conscious fraud and deliberate false oaths, and deliberate disregard of God. The trespass offering covered: "That a man doeth," knowingly sinning therein.
c) This invasion on the rights of others called for restitution. "Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found (Lev. 6:4).
(i) We have reconciliation with the person wronged by means of confession to him with regard to the wrong done to him. This evidently had to be done before the penitent had access to the altar of sacrifice (Lev. 6:5).
(ii) We have restoration to the rightful owner of the thing wrongfully taken from him (1ev. 6:4-5). Jesus carried this basic principle over into the N.T. by saying: "Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift" (Matt. 5:25). (Jesus was under O.T. law which reconciliation included restoration, etc.)
(d) This invasion on the rights of others after confession and restitution called for the death of a Lamb at the altar of sacrifice.
(i) The offering of this ram had to be voluntary on the part of the offerer. No man forced him to do so but it was death to him if he did not do so (Same alternatives today - but time element enters through grace).
(ii) As the ram stood on the north side of the altar of death from him the offerer placed his hands over the ram's head and confessed his own sins. He thus figuratively placed (transferred) them. Because of that transference the ram was doomed to die. Previously the man was doomed to die because of his own sins. Now the ram is doomed to die.
(iii) The ram was then slain and his blood was sprinkled around the sides of the altar, and his fat, etc. were burned upon it. His flesh was eaten by the officiating priests in the Holy Place (Lev. 7: 3-7).
(It must be remembered that in each offering the offerer could go as far or approach as closely to God as the blood of his offering and the offering were taken. Thus the forgiven man had access to the altar of life and sustenance and to the Holy Place, but not to the altar of incense or the Holy of Holies.
Thus the offerer confessed to all that the ram was dying because of his sin or taking his place in death.
The offerer also confessed
to all that the ram was dying because of the nature of sin. For the
man there was a possible substitute but for the ram there was none.
For us there is a substitute but for Christ there was none.
A criminal waiting to be executed for his own crime cannot volunteer to take the place of another criminal guilty of a same capital offense as he must give his all to atone for his own crime. Thus the substitute had to be perfect as set forth in the perfect ram.
The altar was thus a place of both death and life. It was also a place of sustenance as the priests lived from the altar. Jesus was the altar, the sacrifice, and the true bread that came down from heaven.
TERM PAPER: The trespass offering.
(2) The sin offering (Lev. 4:8-12; 19-21; 8:2, 14-17; 6:30; Heb. 13: 10-12).
Jesus suffered not only as the trespass offering but also as the sin offering: "We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the High Priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people [believing people] with his own blood suffered without the gate (Heb. 13:10-12).
Note: The offerings had a certain order. They were never mixed. Either they started at the burnt or moved to the trespass or reverse. Moses doctrinally started at the burnt offering (Lev. 1:1 - Lev. 7:7), but in life experiences he started from the trespass offering and moved to the burnt offering. We are following this method as Paul in Romans follows it, viz. from sinful man to a holy man and holy God (cf. 1 John 1).
a) Let us notice the essential difference between the trespass offerings and the sin offerings.
(i) The trespass offering required a ram of the first year and the sin offering required a bullock (substitution was possibly allowed in cases of poverty or necessity).
(ii) In the case of the trespass offering, the ram was partly burned upon the altar and his flesh was eaten by the officiating priests in the Holy Place. In the case of the sin-offering, the bullock was partly burned upon the altar and the rest was taken outside of the camp where the ashes were poured out and fully burned.
(iii) The blood of the trespass offering was sprinkled on the sides of the altar of burnt offering but was not placed on its horns, nor yet taken into the tabernacle proper (Mishkan). The blood of the sin offering on the other hand was also placed on the sides (covering the same field) on the horns of the altar and also taken into the tabernacle proper (Mishkan), and placed on the horns of the altar of sweet incense and also sprinkled seven times on the separating veil, beside the altar of incense (Lev. 4:5-7). That was as far as anyone was allowed to go until the Great Day of Atonement when Aaron took the blood of the sin offering within the Holy of Holies and completed the sin offering sacrifices of the year. At that time Aaron sprinkled the mercy seat and the ground before the mercy seat, etc. Thus the offerer of the sin offering had access to pardon, to cleansing, to the horns of the intercessor and to holy fellowship with God in the Holy of Holies in the person of his representative. In this age each such person is his own representative.
Note: Here we have one of the profoundest lessons of symbolism. The trespass offerer could go as far as the blood of his offering was taken, viz., to the sides of the altar of death and life and in fellowship to the distant presence of God, the Holy Place. The offerer of the sin offering could go as far as the blood of his offering was taken, viz., to the sides of the altar of death and life - to its horns - to the horns of the altar of incense (the intercessorís altar) in the Holy Place and within the Holy of Holies in the very presence of God. It is THE PICTURE OF Isaiah symbolically stated.
(b) Each offering in the light of Gen. 3:15 removed that for which it was offered. The trespass offering removed transgressions and the sin offering removed inbred sin from the soul. Gen. 3:15; John 1:29. That holy fire that came from the pillar overhead and burned upon that altar represented the fire of the Holy Spirit in effected regeneration and entire sanctification.
There is another offering called "the offering of ignorance." It is classed with the sin offering as it is governed by the same laws.
We shall now deal with the offering of ignorance.
(i) There are two widely different definitions of sin in the theological field. Let us notice them.
The first (Calvinistic) holds that sin consists of "any" lack of conformity to the full and perfect will of God. Thus both conscious and known wrongs and unconscious and unknown wrongs are alike sin. In short, any shortcoming in heart, in ethics and in character to the perfect holiness of God is sin.
"Ignorance concerning sin
argues man's real helplessness in dealing
If there is no offering of ignorance, the Calvinistic definition of sin would be correct, but with it as a recognized factor in redemption it becomes all wrong, and the Armenian definition becomes correct as far as man is concerned. Thus, according to that definition of sin man is committing acts of sin which he does not know are sin and cannot now know are sin, and never can know in time that they are sin. There is something right about that sin and something tragically wrong in it.
The second definition is
opposed to the first and holds that sin: "The willful transgression of
the known will of God," is not merely a "missing the mark," but an intentional
and deliberate missing the mark". We intend or aim to miss the mark.
Thus personal guilt accompanies such willful acts of known wrong. According
to this view, sin cannot be committed in the unconscious realm, nor yet
in the realm of honest or real ignorance.
(ii)The same laws that governed
the sin offering governed the offering of ignorance. The blood of
that offering was sprinkled on the sides of the altar and on the horns
of the altar of burnt offerings, on
If a priest sinned through ignorance a young bullock was offered at the door of the tabernacle. He laid his hands on its head and then the blood was sprinkled, as was the blood of the sin offering (Lev. 4:2-12).
If a ruler sinned through ignorance he offered a male kid of the goats at the door of the tabernacle. He also placed his hands upon its head. The procedure was then the same as that of the sin offering (Lev. 4: 22, 26).
If the whole congregation sinned through ignorance a young bullock was offered at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. The elders of the people laid their hands upon its head as it was slain. The procedure was then the same as for the sin offering (Lev. 4:2-12).
If a common person sinned through ignorance, a female kid of the goats was offered. He placed his hands on its head at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation (as it was slain). The procedure was then the same as for the sin offering. The higher the religious office held the more valuable was the offering required signifying that errors in high places or by leaders or by persons in official positions were far more serious in consequences than errors among common people.
(c) Let us now notice the changed aspect of the sin question.
(i) A little child dying under the years of accountability goes to heaven. We teach that and we are certain that we are correct in this matter. Said David of his little child: "I shall go to him but he shall not return to me (11 Sam. 12:23b).
Children are not born regenerated (Godbey's and Bushnell's error) and sanctified. They are born members of a lost race, are born dead spiritually. They are guiltless and are unconscious of the presence of carnality in the heart.
The offering of ignorance covers the child completely. Should the child die beneath that offering the offering saves and sanctifies him and he enters heaven a holy being. "Without holiness no man shall see the Lord" is still correct. This is the only field, viz., an accountability in children and idiots - in which God may, if He ever does it, save and sanctify a soul in one work of grace. In that field He does not have the person to consider.
(ii) An irresponsible idiot remains in heart an innocent child; in fact, he never leaves childhood. In some cases he never leaves babyhood as far as responsibility is concerned. He knows nothing of guilt and nothing of the remedy for carnality. He too is completely covered by this offering of ignorance aspect of the cross of Christ.
(iii) The sanctified saint of God meets with an accident leaving him mentally deranged beyond responsibility for actions. He, too, passes completely under this aspect of the atonement.
(iv) A sanctified saint of God walking with God in the beauty of heart holiness has to have his natural faults, shortcomings, and errors, covered by the sin offering for ignorance. This keeps such errors, etc. from being transgressions and defiling his soul. He thus remains holy.
Now this offering for ignorance makes the first definition of sin completely false and the second completely true.
The first would be true if we removed the offering for ignorance from the redemptive scheme. Leaving it, as it is the second becomes true.
(v) A regenerated Christian walking with God in all the light he has yet had time to receive or owing to a hasty death after regeneration or a lack of teaching or the wrong kind of teaching remains in the regenerated state passes under this aspect of the atonement. He is saved back to the innocency of childhood and with the child passes under the offering for ignorance. "If we walk in the light, as he is in the light." As long as he remains regenerated he does (read Wood, Perfect Love, p. 29).
This offering of ignorance is a wonderful aspect of redemption and makes "without holiness no man shall see the Lord" true in the field of accountability and with regard to all who are walking in the light.
(3) The Peace offering Lev. 3:1-17
(a) In human experience, a person was not permitted to offer the peace offering until he had first offered the trespass and the sin offering. The peace offering was then voluntarily offered to signify that the offerer had peace with God, with his fellows and with himself.
(i)In reality it was a soul love-feast with God as all dread and fear of God had been removed. "Perfect love casteth out fear." I John 4:18a,b. In Rev. 3:20 we read: "I will come in to him, and will sup with, him and he with me." The peace offering refers to that kind of a continuous love-feast when the sin question is settled.
(ii) The peace offering was
accepted by the Peace-maker. "And, having made peace through the blood
of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say,
whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven" (Col. 1:20).
The cross is thus the great effecting agent.
(i) The offerer led his offering up to the north side of that altar of death for it but of peace for him. The offerer then placed his hands upon its head. It was then slain. Its blood was sprinkled round about the altar and taken into the presence of the Lord, as was the sin offering.
Note: His soul-peace went as far as the blood of his sin offering was taken -- (beyond which there was no plummet) -- the presence of God.
(ii) The valuable parts of the animal were then divided into three portions.
All the fat of the inward areas and certain organs were offered upon that altar of fire. That was the Lord's portion
The breast of the animal was given to the community of priest and the right hind leg was given to the officiating priest.
The rest was eaten by the offerer himself. God and His people were all represented at that feast.
(iii) The altar was also called the table of the Lord. "And the offering placed upon it was called "the food of God." Jesus gave His flesh to eat and His blood to drink; i.e. He poured out His soul unto death for our peace. (Around that festive board we have Jehovah Himself, His priests or ministers, and His redeemed people.)
(iv) The value of that peace offering is thus expressed. "For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us" (Eph. 2:14). And again: "For both he that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are all of one [impersonal neuter - a heart state]: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren" (Heb. 2:11). The dividing wall has been removed by death (death on the cross) and both are now one. Furthermore, The Sanctifier and The Sanctified are all of one (in Greek-neuter one - not referring to persons but to a heart state) and are brethren. That is the kind brotherhood we believe in, and not in the Victorian brand at all.
(c) The peace offering was also the occasion and symbol of great rejoicing.
(i) It was offered at the dedication and completion of the tabernacle in the wilderness.
(ii) It was offered at the dedication of Solomon's temple on Mt. Moriah (1 Kings 8:63; II Chron. 7:1).
(4) The meat offering (or meal offering - the one bloodless offering.
(a) This meal or meat offering was the only strictly bloodless offering of the entire series of offerings. It takes blood to bring a person up to a state of peace. THIS OFFERING WAS DIFFERENT.
(b) Although this offering was bloodless, yet it was offered upon the altar of burnt offering. That altar was Christ, so it should have been offered there.
(c) Notice also that before a person could offer the meal offering, he had first to offer three previous offerings. They referred to the death of Christ, being blood offerings. This refers primarily to life teachings and life examples. That phase of modernism that denies the saving efficacy and tries to cash in on Christ, as example does not have access to Christ as a spiritual example having denied the two former offerings.
Just as a child has first to be born, then sheltered and fed, so a soul must first be born into the family of God and protected and sheltered by the atonement before it can have access to this meat offering.
(d) Notice the ingredients of this particular offering.
(i) The first mention is fine flour (wheat flour), oil and frankincense. Oil represented the presence of the Spirit. Flour represented the staple food. Frankincense represented the delightful perfume that filled the tabernacle REFERRING TO THE SWEETNESS "of the Spirit" developing life.
(ii) An oblation - baked in the oven as unleavened cakes baked in the oven mingled with oil and evidently overlaid with frankincense.
(iii) The third was made up of fresh fruits, of green ears of corn dried by the fire, or corn beaten out of the full ear; oil of frankincense was to be placed thereon.
(e) Some things were to be excluded from the meal offering.
(i) Neither leaven nor honey was allowed in any of those offerings. Both tended to spoil the offering and eventually cause them to stink as fermentation set in.
Note: Salt is to be used as salt is a preserving quality. Jesus said to his disciples: "Ye are the salt of the earth." The oceans would be reeking pits of stench were it not for the salt that is in them. Thus salt is good.
(ii) With all corroding characteristics removed from the heart and the preserving and illuminating grace of God in command, the soul then feasts with the Lord. A good field of clover does not have to be fenced to keep the sheep in, but it ought to be fenced to keep the goats out.
Note: Nothing in conduct that soils the ethics of Christianity is allowed. This takes in a lot of "stuff" today that is not in the Bible mentioned.
(f) The officiating priest burned a part of it on the altar of burnt offering with the sacred fire. The priests consumed the rest. The priests represented believers in Christ. "And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever" (Rev. 1:6). See Isaiah 52:2.
(5) The burnt offering (Lev. 1:1-17).
Man in his fallen state,
though redeemed, cannot serve God acceptably. His service must therefore
be covered and perfected by an aspect of the atonement.
(b) Thus the rich and the poor could serve to the limit of their ability-the rich by giving animals of value and the poor by giving birds (Mark 12:44).
Just as that offering was
wholly consumed upon the altar that represented Christ so the life that
has been full redeemed and fully consecrated (or sanctified) to God is
to be wholly consumed in service to God
Thus our service to God in the sanctified state is rendered perfect in the sight of God as a sweet savor )Phil. 4:18; Rom. 12:1, 2 Rev. 1:9).
Sin offerings are not sweet savors at all.
Note: Consecration is made
for heart purity, after purity is received
Our faulty service is thus
perfected and the sincere intentions of the
(c) John says that he saw the "Lamb in the midst of the throne." Symbolism is gone and reality is come. The Lamb refers to the victim and the throne to the victor. The victim becomes the victor.
We shall close this section with a brief resume of the events of the great Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:1-34; Heb. 8, 9, 10).
(1) The great Day of Atonement was the tenth day of the seventh month, a solemn Sabbath and a day of feasting and affliction of the soul in remembrance of sin (Lev. 16:31ff).
(a) The ritual and the significance of the Day of Atonement were given to Moses by God immediately after the slaying of the two sons, Nadab and Abihu, who presumptuously drew near without blood (Lev. 16:1; 10:1-2). Chapter 16 follows 10 in order of events.
(b)The Day of Atonement completed the expiatory sacrifices of the year. The sacrifices throughout the year all headed up to this day and to Aaron who officiated on this day. Without this Day of Atonement the sacrifices of the year would be unfinished.
(2) At other times Aaron,
the High Priest, supervised the other priests, but on this Great Day he
was the acting figure and the other priests merely assisted him.
He and he alone entered into the Holy of Holies. While he was in the tabernacle
of meeting in either division, no one else was to enter.
(a) Aaron bathed himself with water, not merely hands and feet as on usual occasions but the whole body, and removed his priestly garments of glory and beauty," and put on the garments of the common priests (Linen coat, linen breeches, linen girdle and linen Mitre), but he kept his white turban and golden crown with "Holiness to Jehovah" written upon it (Lev. 16:4; Exod. 28:38). Aaron was thus setting forth the eternity of Christ and the humiliation of Christ by symbolizing his office. (Thus Jesus laid aside His glory and robed Himself in common humanity but He did not lay aside His crown OR CEASE TO BE THE ETERNAL Christ. He was still "Lord of All".)
(b) Aaron then took a bullock for himself and his house and two he-goats for a sin offering, and also a ram for himself and another for the people the burnt offering (Lev. 6:3, 5-7).
(i) The two goats were presented before the tabernacle proper facing the tabernacle with their backs to the people. From an urn nearby, the high priest took two tongue-shaped scarlet pieces of cloth. On one was written La-Azazel and on the other was written La-Jahvah. He laid them writing down at first. Then he turned the paper over to see which had drawn which.
(ii) The High Priest then turned the goat around that drew La-Azazel until he was facing the people. The other remained facing the tabernacle. Each is now facing a different direction.
(c) Aaron then kills the bullock for the sin offering for himself and for his house. Evidently then one of the priests stirred the blood of that sin offering to keep it from coagulating.
(i) Aaron then took a censor full of burning coals from off the altar of burnt offering and two handfuls of beaten incense and brought them within the veil. He either placed the coals on the ground and the incense upon them or else placed The altar of incense inside the veil (Lev. 16:13; Heb. 9:4). The burning of this incense filled the place with smoke to veil the divine presence. The burning of that incense filled the Holy of Holies with smoke to veil that divine glory.
(ii) Aaron then returned for the blood of the bullock of the sin offering for himself and his house and then re-entered the Holy of Holies and sprinkled the blood upon the mercy-seat eastward, and before the mercy seat 7 times either upon the ground or upon the veil or upon both (Lev 16:14).
(iii) Aaron then returned and took the goat for the people, and placed both hands upon its head and confessed the sin of the people over it, and then slew it (third entrance).
(iv) Aaron then evidently mixed the blood of the bullock for himself and of the goat for the people and went out and made atonement (seven times) for the altar of incense (evidently it had been taken out of the Holy of Holies and the Holy Place had to be figuratively cleansed because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel (Lev. 16:19).
Note: Those three times of entrance are three aspects of the self-same thing or entrance. Hence the writer of the Hebrews said: "He entered in once every year."
(v) Aaron then laid his hands on the head of the live remaining goat and confessed over him all the sins and sin of the people and then placed him in charge of a capable person who led him away into the wilderness and left him there.
The two goats represent two different aspects of the same work of Christ. One died for sin and the other carried sin away -- Christ, by dying, carried sin away.
(3) Aaron then returned to the tabernacle of the congregation and removed his plain garments and resumed his garments of glory and beauty. Thus Christ clothed himself in a common humanity to effect redemption but on its completion he resumed his garments of glory and beauty and sat down on the right hand of God on high (John 7:39). Aaron then offered an burnt offering for himself and the people.
This second offering was not a definite part of the special offerings of the great Day of Atonement but rather the daily, yearly evening sacrifice. Yet it was special in that it united the daily sacrifice with those of the Great Day of Atonement. Paul studied all this for three years in Arabia on the area where God spoke it all to Moses. Thus Paul just continued Divine Revelation where Moses left off, or removed the symbols and revealed the symbolized (removed scaffolding).
Closing Text: Psalm 103:12; Micah 7:19; Isaiah 38:17c; 44:22; Heb. 9:28.
CLOSING Sectional Notes: All the sacrifices of Judaism culminated in the great act when the High Priest standing in the most holy and most sacred spot in all the world sprinkled blood upon the mercy seat eastward and before the mercy seat sprinkled with the blood by his finger (seven times). "Thus The crowning height of the Jewish ritual was attained when the blood of the great national sacrifice was offered not only before God but with special reference to the covering up of the accusing broken law in the mercy seat."
No wonder that on either side of it and molded to the same mass of metal were the Cherubims in an attitude of adoration with outspread wings covering it, their faces bent, not only as bowing in reverence before the divine presence but as we expressly read 'toward the-mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be' for the meaning of this great symbol was, among the things which the angels desire to look into.
We can now understand how much was gained when God said, "There will I meet with you and I will commune with thee from above the Mercy-Seat." (Lev. 16:22).
Moses knew that he was setting up a symbolic order that was to be fulfilled to the letter in a person greater than himself. "The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken" (Deut. 18:15; Acts 3:22; Luke 13:33 Luke 24:19).
Jesus stated that Moses, the prophets and the Psalms wrote and spoke of Him: "For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me, for he wrote of me" (John 5:46. Luke 24:27, 44, 45).
Thus the early sacrifices, the tabernacle and the temple, the altars and beasts of sacrifice and the mediating priesthood all passed away when the veil was torn in twain from the top to the bottom. Just as Cain and Abel entered God's presence as their own priests so every person is now his own earthly priest and may, if he so desires, enter into the Holy of Holies through the veil that is, to say His flesh." Stephen was stoned for this truth and Paul was pushed out of the Jewish group of believers because of this truth and the author of the Hebrew letter wrote to sustain it.
We now return to the book of Hebrews. He has said in Chapter eight we have a summary of what the writer has said.
(1) "Now of the things" spoken this is the sum: We have an High Priest who is sitting on the right hand of the Majesty or Throne in heaven. The earthly Aaronic priesthood is gone. Yet it remains fulfilled in Him. He now is the undisputed High Priest.
(2) There is also a sanctuary and tabernacle in the heavens of which Moses' tabernacle and sanctuary were but types.
(3) Other priests had somewhat
to offer as priests. This man also had
(4) The first covenant was not faultless as it was not an end in itself, but it was the shadow of the permanent and final end. Had it been faultless there would have been no need for a second. The second came and the first passed away.
(5) This better and permanent covenant is according to prophecy (Jer. 31:31 Heb. 8:8-12). The first had waxed old and was pushed aside by the second.
In Chapter 9:1-10, we have a summary of the rites and bloody sacrifices of the Old Covenant. Christ came, not by the blood of bulls and goats but by His own blood (Heb. 9:14, 15).
Thus the old was dedicated with blood and the new was also dedicated with blood -- The blood of the testator. The old was sprinkled with blood and also the new was.
These had to be repeated as they in themselves were ineffective, but Christ offered Himself but once as that offering was effective (Heb. 9:28).
In Chapter X
(1) We have the statement that the law was ineffective but that Christ was all-effective. He took away the first and established the second. "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (Heb. 10:10).
(2) "By that one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified" (Heb. 10:14). The veil having been rent as it was at the death of Jesus, we then individually may enter boldly into the presence of God, the Father, through the veil, i.e. his flesh. At that moment the whole old framework crashed and the new stood out. That is the heart of all, or the central thought. I shall quote from Stephen's Johan nine Theology p. 2:
"I should place among the most prominent of John's peculiarities the tendency to group his thoughts around great central truths." This, too, MAY BE SAID OF THE BOOK OF Hebrews. This is the secret of Bible teaching and Bible writers. Erect great light-house pillars of truths in the light of which all Scriptures are interpreted.
SUMMARIES OF Chapters VIII, IX and X.
(a) Summary of rites and
(a) Law - ineffective.
That is why anti-holiness Suppressionsists, eternal security, believe-only isms books are poor texts for schools - the whole Bible is interpreted by them in the light of their eternal security pillars.
(3) Those who spurned the imperfect covenant died under certain witnesses, and did so without mercy. Much sorer punishment is coming to those who spurn the perfect covenant and trample beneath their feet the blood of Christ. A great chapter on Faith is then presented. This chapter is not a digression nor an accident but a vital necessity in the passing of the old to the new.
(a) In The old, their faith spanned to the new and was thus effective. Their faith was effective because it did so. Faith spanned backwards and forwards (Heb. 11:3; 11:10, 13). The Person for whom they looked was The Christ and the promises were the benefits of the birth, death and resurrection of that promised Person.
(i) All died because of the first Adam all are or are to be resurrected because of the last Adam. No one would have died if it were not for the first, and no one would be physically resurrected if it were not for the second.
(ii) The persons who were resurrected before Christ were resurrected because He was resurrected, but they were resurrected before Him, i.e., his resurrection was effective after it took place in the will of God and before it took place in time.
(iii) This is also true with regard to personal salvation. It was effective after it took place in the counsel of God and before it took place in time. Thus, those people were saved before just as some were resurrected before.
(iv) THE Spirit was withdrawn at the fall, but was poured back through the death of Christ and the Spirit operated in the O.T. in many ways including miracles and inspiration. This could not have been if the death of Christ was not effective before it took place in time.
(v) Deferment of the death sentence in Eden and all the way down could not have been if it were not for the death of Christ before it took place in time.
(vi) The benefits of the life and teachings of Jesus and the call and the writings of the disciples' names in heaven and the miracles of Jesus and of the disciples before the cross were all results of that death before it took place in time.
Thus the Faith chapter is a necessity to show how that death was effective. "By faith" looking forward.
(b) In Chapter XII we have an exhortation of faith to look backwards, leave sin behind and press on. Chastening comes to sons for their own benefits, and the stranger is just ignored (for the time being). Present discouragements must not be allowed to become major obstacles in the way. Then we have a great text, Heb. 12:14. "Follow peace with all men, and holiness . . .." The tragic example of Esau is then held up.
In Chapter XIII we have the ethical conclusion and another great text, Heb. 13:12. "Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify . . .." Then follows the proper conclusion in XIII: 20, 21. "Now the God of peace ... glory forever and ever. Amen."
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