Symbolism With Regard to
Sacrifices, Altars, and the Priesthood
The Mosaic Offerings Considered
In Light of Pauline Theology
Dr. W. Noble King
All Rights Reserved
1. There are those
who see types and symbols in everything; for instance, some see types of
Christians and their eternal security in the boards of the mishkan, and
in the fact that they rested in silver sockets—the silver sockets in which
they rested referred to the Christians’ eternal security in Christ.
(Dolman, Simple Talks on the Tabernacle, pp. 105, 189ff). We are
also told that the linen breeches worn by Aaron speak of his holy walk
and devoted life (Heslop, Lessons from Exodus, p. 33). To me his
linen breeches speak of a natural desire to cover "his nakedness."
Fundamentalists generally go to seed on this matter. They see a score
of vital doctrines in the shortest parable. They forget that a parable,
almost always, has but one central truth, and the setting is given to set
forth that one central truth.
2. Doctrines rest on
assertive, or matter of fact statements. Then those assertive statements
may be illustrated by types or symbols or parables. The garden of Eden,
the trees, and the serpent, etc., were all real in the physical realm;
but they also symbolized something else in the moral or spiritual realm
equally real. That is, a figure, type, or symbol never overdraws.
The thing symbolized must be exactly as the symbol states or more so; it
can never be less than the figure, type, or symbol suggests. That
is, heaven must be exactly as figuratively described, or else much more
wonderful—it cannot be less wonderful than the figures. Hell must
be exactly as figuratively described or much more awful—it cannot be less
awful than are the figures used to describe it. Paul suggests this
very thing in I Cor. 2:9. Wakefield has this to say about this very
We have already admitted
that the language of scripture on this
subject is more or less
figurative; but whether it is figurative or
otherwise, of one thing
we may be sure, that it was intended to
convey ideas strictly conformable
to truth. God can no more make
a false impression on the
human mind by the use of figures,
than he can lead men into
by the plainest and most positive
declarations; for both would
be alike contrary to the divine veracity.
Nor will his goodness,
any more than his truth, allow him to
alarm his moral creatures
with groundless fears, or to represent
the consequences of
sin as more dreadful than they really are
(A Complete System
of Christian Theology, p. 642).
3. The science
of hermeneutics teaches that no doctrine can rest on types, symbols, or
parables; or on inferences, or unclear tests, or on minority texts.
A symbol, etc., must be self-evidently a symbol, or by undoubted inference
a symbol, etc., or else used elsewhere in the Old Testament or elsewhere
in the New Testament as a symbol, etc.
Symbols, Types and Sacrifices
from Eden to Mt. Sinai, Etc.
1. Physical nature itself
is a type of the genius, power, and wisdom of God. Indeed, it was
God’s first revelation to man of his Person and activity (Psalm 19).
The sun, the morning star, the lily of the Valley, the lion, the lamb,
and the rocks were types of God or of Christ. The wind, the water,
the fire, the anointing oil, and the sword are all types of the Spirit
stated to be such by the Bible itself.
2. Immediately after the
fall, at the very gates of Eden, Jehovah-Christ revealed to mankind the
basic principles of redemption, and redemptive worship. Later those principles
were more fully revealed in the construction of the Tabernacle. There,
at the gates of Eden, we have the sacred fire, the cherubim, the sacrificial
victim, the altar, and the officiating priest with the repentant sinner.
It is reasonable to suppose that those principles were carried down from
generation to generation as man dispersed over the earth. Then with
added perversions heathenism was born. This accounts for the similarities
between heathenism and Old Testament worship. (Walker, W. H., Shadow and
Substance, p. 16; Soper, S. D., The Religions of Mankind, p. 213).
Moses removed the added heathen customs from the original Edenic revelation,
and added thereto by further revelation. We are told that the earthly
tabernacle of Moses was a type of the heavenly spiritual one (Heb. 8:5).
3. Israel’s entire biblical
history demonstrates the principle of typifying redemption through the
(1) The ark of Noah, with
its one door of entrance, and its one window for observation, was a type
of redemption and safety in the Christ.
(2) Some men, and indeed
all the prophets, were special types of the Christ. Noah himself
was, and Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were — we probably should not forget
Joseph in this regard.
(3) Egypt, for the Israelites,
was a type of the state of sin; Pharaoh was a type of the devil; the paschal
lamb, in fact and in death, a bone of which was not to be broken,, was
a type of the Person and death of the Christ upon the cross.
(4) The crossing of the sea,
and the later crossing of the Jordan were types of regeneration and entire
sanctification. Then Canaan was a type of the sanctified state, and
its possession was a type of progressive sanctification of character—they
were to drive out the Canaanites little by little as they (the Israelites)
increased and became strong (Ex. 23:30).
(5) Agag was a type of the
carnal nature. Saul spared him and his family (I Sam. 15).
Samuel, the prophet, then slew Agag, but Samuel did not get his family.
Five hundred and fifty years later Haman is the head of that family, and
tried to settle the old score and remove the Jews from the earth (Esther
3:1). This is the enmity back of Haman’s attitudes to Mordecai and
4. Some other symbols or
types in both Old and New are as follows:
(1) The hammer— a type of
the Spirit breaking the heart (Jer. 23:29b). The sword—a type of
the Spirit piercing the earth (Eph. 6:17). The Holy of Holies, and
the Holy Place—two positions with regard to the presence of God.
The levites and the priests, again two positions of service
(2) Jesus cleansed the temple
twice (John 2:13-16; Matt. 21:12, 13). Jesus touched the blind man’s
eyes twice (Mark 8:22, 25). Jesus first raised Lazarus, then loosed
him from his fetters (John 11:43, 44). In Jesus’ teachings we also
have the treasure in the field and the pearl of great price (Matt.
13:44, 46). In Isaiah we have two ways—the way within the way (Isaiah
35:8). We also have two wishings (Isaiah 1:18; Psalm 51:7).
(3) One of the greatest types
of sin in the Old Testament is leprosy. Leprous garments were washed
twice. Then the leprous person was sprinkled with blood seven times
in rapid succession; he also washed his clothes and his person (Lev. 13:4-8).
Then seven days later he was again washed with water, and sprinkled with
blood and anointed with oil—all as one ceremony (Lev. 13:12-14, 16-18).
(4) The Israelites were not
allowed to sow mixed seed in their fields (Lev. 19:19), nor wear garments
made of mixed materials (Deut. 22:11), nor plow with mixed animals (Deut.
22:10). Those things were said for our ensample, says Paul (I Cor.
5. We shall now trace the
sacrifices, in the direct revelatory line, from Eden to the base of Sinai.
(1) From Eden to the flood:
a. In Eden, apparently offered
by God in the presence of Adam and Eve. (They were physically clothed
to typify their spiritual enclothment by the shed blood of the Christ.)
(Gen. 3:15, 21).
b. Abel’s sacrifice.
In due time Abel sacrificed, apparently both the fruits of the ground and
also blood (Gen. 4:3, 4; Heb. 11:4). God witnessed that his offering
was accepted, and that he was personally righteous.
c. Cain sacrificed.
Cain also sacrificed; but only the fruits of the ground. God rejected
both the sacrifice and the sacrificer (Gen. 4:3, 4: Heb. 11:4).
(2) The patriarchal period.
The head of the clan or house acted as priest and did the sacrificing for
the whole clan.
a. Noah sacrificed. On leaving
the ark Noah sacrificed for the whole family. It was a blood sacrifice,
and God was pleased (Gen. 8:20-22). This is the only recorded one
in the line of revelation from Noah to Abraham.
(3) Abraham sacrificed seven
a. Abraham sacrificed
on reaching Bethel (Gen. 12:8).
b. Abraham sacrificed at
Bethel again after he returned from Egypt where possibly he should not
have gone (It is at least implied that he sacrified here.) (Gen. 13:4).
c. After he and Lot separated
Abraham sacrificed at Hebron (Gen. 13:18).
d. Abraham sacrificed after
the slaughter of the kings, at which time God renewed his promise to him
(Gen. 15:9-18). It is also inferred that the 400 years of slavery
began here (Gen. 15:13; Gal. 3:16, 17).
e. Abraham apparently also
sacrificed at Beersheba after a dispute with Abimelech over wells of water
f. Abraham again sacrificed
after the near slaying of his son on Mount Moriah (Gen. 22:13).
(4) Isaac did not sacrifice
at all while Abraham lived. But after Abraham’s death he sacrificed
after the water dispute with the Philistines (Gen. 26:25).
(5) Jacob did not sacrifice
while he was at home with his father, Isaac. After he left home,
however, he sacrificed four times, and anointed three cairns.
a. Jacob sacrificed after
the dispute with Laban at Mizpah (Gen. 31:54).
b. He also sacrificed after
his meeting with Esau on his way home (Gen. 33:20).
c. He again sacrificed on
reaching Bethel on his way home (Gen. 35:7).
d. And, finally, he sacrificed
just before the whole family went down to Egypt on invitation of Joseph
who was there already (Gen. 46:1).
(a) He erected a pillar
at Bethel on his way away from home, and poured oil upon it (Gen. 28:18).
(b) He raised a pillar when
he and Laban separated the one from the other, and anointed it (Gen. 31:45,
(c) After the matter of
Dinah, on the way home, he erected a pillar, and poured oil and drink offering
upon it (Gen. 35:14).
(6) In Egypt there was but
one offering—the paschal lamb. It was offered on the night of their
departure from Egypt. Each group of about ten killed a lamb and ate
it together. The blood was sprinkled on the doorposts. Any
one of the congregation could kill it. Thus we have seventeen offerings,
in the revelatory line, offered from Eden to their departure from Egypt.
Those offerings represented the later whole burnt offering.
(7) Let us notice the altars
and the priestly orders during the pre-Mosaic period.
a. Apparently at first the
altars were on the ground alone; then a squared piece of ground; then a
piece of ground in a stone enclosure; then a raised-stone cairn; then a
wooden case filled with earth—the earth was the real altar.
b. During the pre-flood
period, apparently, every male offered for himself, as Cain and Abel both
offered for themselves in the lifetime of Adam.
c. During the patriarchal
period—from Noah to the exit from Egypt—the family or tribal head did the
sacrificing for all who were at home or in his tribe.
d. With regard to the Paschal
Passover any responsible or fit person of the whole congregation could
kill and offer that sacrifice.
e. Then from the Paschal
Passover to the Mosaic Order instituted at the base of Sinai the
first-born son, who was spared in Egypt by God, was claimed by God and
acted as priest.
Notes: These sacrifices
were ignited by fire from heaven:
1. Abel’s offering
was apparently ignited from the fire that guarded the way to the gates
of Eden. Anyhow God supplied the fire or witness that it was accepted
and he did not supply it to Cain’s altar (Genesis 4:4; 3:24; Heb.
2. The fire came upon the
altar of Abraham as stated in Gen. 15:17.
3. When Moses had finished
all, and placed the sacrifice upon the altar, the fire fell (Lev. 9:24).
In this case the fire probably came from the pillar of fire.
4. In the case of Manoah
and his wife’s altar the fire came and ignited the sacrifice thereon (Judges
5. The fire came on the
altar of Elijah on Mount Carmel when he defied idolatry in high places
(I Kings 18:24; 18:38).
6. When Solomon had finished
all and prepared the altar and sacrifices, and had prayed the fire fell
from heaven (II Chr. 7:1).
7. When Gideon was preparing
to go out and meet the Midianites he sacrificed and fire came down upon
it (Judges 6:21).
8. The fire from heaven
came upon David’s altar when he sacrificed (I Chr. 21:26).
If one wishes to have seven
he can drop either Abel’s altar or Abraham’s altar. However, both
were apparently so ignited.
Symbols, Types, and Sacrifices
from Sinai to Calvary
Moses took the whole burnt
offering of the patriarchs, and divided it into five or six offerings for
the sake of instruction. Christ then brought the five or six back
to one, namely his own. We shall now deal with those six.
1. The Trespass Offering
(Lev. 6:1-6; 7:1-7)
The offerings had a certain
order. They were never mixed. First they started at the Burnt
and passed to the Trespass, or they started at the Trespass and moved up
to the Burnt. Moses doctrinally started at the burnt offering (Lev.
1:1 to Lev. 7:7), but in life experiences he started from the trespass
offering, and moved to the burnt (Lev. 7:7 to Lev. 1:1). We are following
this method as Paul in Romans follows it, namely from sinful man to a holy
man to a holy God.
(1) The Trespass here dealt
with, is primarily an invasion on the rights of others, especially with
regard to property and to service. The word is used to describe the sin
of Aachan in taking that thing that God had decreed for himself (Joshua
The Word is also used to
describe the sin of neglecting the service of God and worshipping idols
Chr. 28:22; 29:6). Thus taking that which belongs to others, or withholding
from others that which belongs to them. Both are alike transgressions.
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).
(2) This invasion on the
rights of others which constitutes a trespass is a deliberate and conscious
"If a soul sin, and commit
a trespass against the Lord, and lie unto his neighbor in that which he
delivered him to keep,…or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived
his neighbor. Or hath found that which was lost and lied concerning
it, and sweareth falsely, in any or all that a man doeth, sinning therein"
(Lev. 6:2, 3).
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.
(3) 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
away violently, or the thing that he had deceitfully gotten, or that which
was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found." (Lev. 6:4).
a. First 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).
b. Second we have restoration
to the rightful owner of the thing wrongfully taken from him (Lev. 6:4,
5). Jesus carried this basic principle over in the New Testament
by saying "Leave there thy gift before the altar, and to thy way; first
be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift (Matt.
(4) This invasion
on the rights of others, after confession and restitution, called for
the death of a ram at the altar of sacrifice.
a. 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.
b. As the ram stood on the
north side of the altar of death for him, the one who offered him placed
his hands over the ram’s head, and confessed his sins. He thus figuratively
placed them (transferred them) on the head of that ram. Because of
that transference the ram was doomed to die. Previously the man was
doomed to die because of his sins; now the ram is doomed to die.
c. 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).
(a) Thus the offerer confessed
to all that the ram was taking his place in death.
(b) 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.
(c) Sin is in itself a capital
offense in its own right. The sinner must therefore die or find a
substitute. The substitute must be perfect, else he could not atone
for others as he would have to die for his own sins.
(d) A criminal waiting to
be executed for his own crime cannot volunteer to take the place of another
criminal guilty of a 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.
(e) The altar was thus a
place of both death and life. It was also a place of sustenance as
the priests lived from that altar. Jesus was the altar, the sacrifice,
and the true bread that came down from heaven.
Note: 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.
"One of the many Jewish confessions
as the offerer’s hands rested on the head of his substitute: ‘I Beseech
Thee, O Lord, I have sinned, I have done perversely, I have rebelled, I
have done so and so (Mentioning the particular transgression); but now
I repent, and let this victim be my expiation.’"—Fairbairn, The Typology
of Scripture, vol. II, p. 274).
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."
(1) Let us notice the essential
difference between the Trespass-offerings and Sin-offerings.
a. 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 of necessity).
b. 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 burned with fire.
c. The blood of the trespass-offering
was sprinkled on the sides of the altar of burnt-offerings, but was not
placed on its horns, nor yet was it taken into the tabernacle proper (mishcan),
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 that 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).
(a) Each offering, in the
light of Genesis 3:15 removed that for which it was offered. The
Trespass-offering removed transgression, and the sin-suffering removed
inbred sin from the soul (Gen. 3:15; John 1:29). That holy fire that
came from the pillar overhead and burns upon that altar represented the
fire of the Holy Spirit in effecting regeneration, and entire sanctification.
Note: Here we have
one of the profoundest lessons of symbolism. The trespass offerer
could go as far as his blood was taken—to the sides of the altar of death
and life, and in fellowship to the distant presence of God (the Holy-Place).
The offer of the sin-offering could go as far as his blood was taken—to
the sides of the altar of death and life, to its horns, to the horns of
the altar of incense (the intercessors’ altar), in the Holy-Place, and
within the Holy of Holies in the very presence of the eternal God.
Regenerated people live and pray at a distance; sanctified people in the
very presence of God. It is the picture of Isaiah symbolically stated.
3. The Offering of Ignorance
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 it.
(1) There are two widely
different definitions of sin in the theological field. Let us notice
a. 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.
Excerpt: "Ignorance concerning sin argues man’s real helplessness
in dealing with it. Even if he could by any process rid himself
of it (sin), what can he do with the sin of which he is not cognizant?
There is a guiltiness in man which never comes within the range of his
own consciousness or conscience. Man’s ignorance of sin proves his
total inability to put it away" (PHC., "Lev." p. 45).
Thus, according to that definition
of sin man is committing acts of sin which he does not know is sin, and
cannot now know is sin, and never can know, in time, is sin. There
is something right about that definition, and something tragically wrong
b. The second definition
is opposed to the first and holds that sin is "the willful transgression
of the known will of God." Not merely a "Missing the mark," but an
intentional and deliberate missing the mark—we intend to miss the mark.
We aim to do so. 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.
The first definition of sin
does not know what to do with the aspect of the cross of Christ represented
by the offering of ignorance. The second definition makes full use
of it, but few of us realize just how we make use of it.
Note: The offering
of ignorance changes the whole aspect and determines the real definition
(2) 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 (Altar of burnt offering); on the horns of the altar of incense,
and on the veil. It was also sprinkled within the Holy of Holies
on the great Day of Atonement. Those entitled to its merits could
go as far as the blood of the offering of ignorance was carried.
That was as far as the blood of the sin-offering was carried. It
is vital to observe this. In this sense it is an aspect of the sin-offering.
"There is one law for both." Lev. 4:3, 6, 7, 12, 17, 18, 20, 21,
25. It thus did the work of the sin-offering, and of the trespass
offering, in that it kept errors, mistakes, etc., from becoming trespasses,
and carnally staining the soul. The bullock was emphasized in the
sin-offering, but not so in the offering of ignorance. In this
offering there was a wider range of sacrificeable animals.
a. If a priest sinned through
ignorance a young bullock was offered at the door of the tabernacle of
the congregation. He laid his hands on its head and then the blood
was sprinkled as was the blood of the sin-offering (Lev. 4:2-13).
b. 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 was the procedure in connection with the sin-offering (Lev. 4:22-26).
c. 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 was the procedure in the sin-offering (Lev. 4:2; 13-21).
d. If a common person sinned
through ignorance he offered a female kid of the goats. He placed
his hands upon its head at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
The procedure was then the same as was the procedure in connection with
the sin-offering (Lev. 4:27-35).
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.
(3) Let us now notice the
changed aspect of the sin question.
a. 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"
(II Samuel 12:23b).
Note: Man’s actions
in the field of knowledge and freedom determine his destiny. The
trespass and sin-offerings cover those fields.
Children are not born regenerated
and sanctified. They are born members of a lost race, and are born
dead spiritually. They are guiltless, and are unconscious of the
presence, and of the remedy for 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 (unaccountability in children, and idiots who never reach
accountability) 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 free will of the person to consider. We do not know if He
does it there even.
b. 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.
c. A sanctified saint of
God meets with an accident that leaves him for all time mentally, and seriously
deranged to the extent that he is no longer responsible for his actions.
He, too, passes completely under this aspect of the atonement (offering
d. A sanctified saint of
God walking with God in the beauty of heart holiness has to have his natural
faults, shortcomings, and errors, etc. covered by the sin-offering for
ignorance. This keeps such errors, etc. from becoming transgressions
and defiling his soul. He thus remains holy in a holy state.
(a) Now this offering for
ignorance makes the first definition of sin completely false, and the second
completely true—read them both again.
(b) The first would be true
if we removed the offering for ignorance from the redemptive scheme.
e. A regenerated Christian
walking with God in all the light he has time to receive; or, owing to
a hasty death after regeneration; or, owing to the wrong kind of teaching
immediately after regeneration, but remains clearly regenerated, 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.
4. The Peace Offering
We now pass beyond the offering
covering the sin problem.
(1) 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.
a. In reality it was a soul
love feast with God, as dread and fear of God had been removed: "Perfect
love casteth fear" (I John 4:18ab). 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 soul-love-feast.
b. 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 peace effecting agency.
(2) Notice the nature of
the offering and the law effecting its acceptance. It could be a
male or a female of the herds or of the flocks. In all cases it had
to be without blemish. Certain bloodless offerings apparently could
accompany this offering.
a. 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 around about the altar, and taken into the presence
of the Lord as was the blood of the sin-offering.
Note: His soul peace
went as far as the blood of his peace-offering was taken-the presence of
b. The valuable parts of
the animal were then divided into three portions: (a) All the
fat of the inward areas, and certain organs were offered upon the altar
of fire. That was the Lord’s portion. (b) The breast of the
animal was given to the officiating priest. (c) The rest was
eaten by the offerer himself. God and his people were all represented
at that feast.
c. 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. That is, he poured out his soul unto death for our peace.
Note: Around that festive
board we have Jehovah himself, his priests or ministers, and his redeemed
people. What a gathering!
d. The value of that peace-offering
is thus expressed "For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and had
broken down the middle wall of partition between us" (Eph. 2:14).
And again: "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). The dividing partition had 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 a neuter one, not referring to
persons), and are brethren. That is the kind of Brotherhood we believe
in, and not in the Unitarian brand at all.
(3) The peace-offering was
also the occasion and symbol of great rejoicing. It was offered at
the dedication and completion of the tabernacle in the wilderness, and
at the completion and dedication of Solomon’s temple on Mount Moriah (I
Kings 8:63; II Chr. 7:1).
5. The Meat Offering
(Meal Offering) (Lev. 2:1-16)
(1) This meat, meal, or
food offering was the only strictly bloodless offering of the entire series
of offerings. It takes blood to bring a man up to the state of peace.
This is different.
(2) Although this offering
was bloodless, yet it was offered upon the altar of burnt offerings.
That altar was Christ; so it should have been offered there.
(3) Notice also that before
a person could offer the meal-offering he had first to offer the three
previous offerings. They referred to the death of Christ, being blood-offerings.
This refers primarily to life-teaching and life-example. That phase
of modernism that denies the saving efficacy of the blood and tries to
cash in on Christ as example, does not have access to Christ as a spiritual
example, having denied the three former offerings.
Just as a child has first
to be born, then sheltered and fed, so must the soul first be born into
the family of God, and protected and sheltered by the atonement before
it has access to this meal-offering.
(4) Notice the ingredients
of this particular offering:
a. The first mentioned is
fine flour (evidently from wheat), oil, and frankincense. Oil represented
the presence of the Spirit, flour the staple commodity of food, and frankincense
the delightful odor (perfume) that filled the tabernacle referring to the
sweetness of the Spirit developing life.
b. The second was an oblation
baked in the oven as unleaven cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, and
evidently overlaid with frankincense.
c. The third mentioned was
made up on the first-fruits of green ears of corn dried by the fire, or
corn beaten out of the full ear. Oil and frankincense was to be placed
(5) Some things were to be
excluded from the meal-offering.
a. Neither leaven nor honey
was allowed in any of those offerings. Both tended to spoil the offerings
and eventually caused them to stink as fermentation set in. 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
b. 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
in to keep the goats out.
(6) The officiating priest
burned a part of it on the altar of burnt offerings 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 forever and ever" (Rev. 1:6;
6. The Burnt Offering
Man, in his fallen state
though redeemed, cannot serve God acceptably. His service must therefore
be covered and perfected by the aspect of the atonement.
(1) If taken from the herd,
a male without blemish was required. It was flayed and cut into pieces,
and then burned upon the altar.
(2) 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).
a. Just as that offering
was wholly consumed upon the altar that represented Christ; so the life
that has been fully redeemed and fully consecrated to God is to be wholly
consumed in the service of God.
b. In I Thess. 5:23 the
word wholly refers to an unconditional, absolute and complete consecration
to God preceding the experience of heart holiness. Then being made
h-o-l-y our consecration is operative or lived out actively. We are
thus wholly consumed, in a holy state, in the service of God. This
aspect is emphasized in Romans 12:1, 2, as well as the experience of heart
holiness (Phil. 4:18; Lev. 1:9). The whole-burnt offering embraces
all aspects of the atonement—trespass, original sin, service. The
greater embraces the lesser. This is also true of Romans 12:1, 2.
Our service is perfected as well as our hearts.
c. Our faulty service is
thus perfected, and the sincere intentions of the heart for the glory of
God are thus presented perfect at the throne of God through Christ (That
is how a man may be perfect in God’s sight, and far from perfect in man’s
d. 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.
Note: Any aspect of
redemption may be taught from it.
7. The Great Day of Atonement
(1) It was the tenth day
of the seventh month, and was a solemn Sabbath, and a day of fasting and
affliction of the soul in remembrance of sin (Lev. 16).
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 of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, who presumptuously drew
near without blood (Lev. 16:1; 10:1, 2). The 16th chapter follows
the 10th as far as events are concerned.
b. The Day of Atonement
completed the expiatory sacrificer of the year. The sacrifices throughout
the year all headed up to this day, and to Aaron who officiated on that
day. Without the sacrifices of 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
(Christ, and Christ alone, affected salvation. – Isa. 63:1-5).
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 coats, 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; Ex. 28:38).
Aaron was thus setting forth the eternity of Christ, and the humiliation
of Christ by symbolizing his offices.
Note: When Jesus laid
aside his glory, and robed himself in common humanity, he did not lay aside
his crown, or cease to be the eternal Christ. He was still "Lord
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 for a burnt-offering (Lev.
(a) The two goats were presented
before the tabernacle proper, facing the tabernacle with their backs to
the people. From an urn near by the high priest took two tongue-shaped
scarlet pieces of cloth. On one was written LaJehovah, and on the other
La-Azazel. He laid them writing down at first, on the goats’ heads.
Then he turned the papers over to see how the lots had fallen.
Note: Each step in
the process took place in order as we are stating it.
(a) The high priest then
turned the goat around that drew La-Azazel until he was facing the people:
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.
(a) Aaron then took a censer
full of burning coals from off the altar of burnt-offerings 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 of the veil for that aspect of the atonement (Lev. 16:13;
Heb. 9:4). The burning of that incense filled the Holy of Holies
with smoke to veil the divine glory. (First entrance within the veil
on the great day.)
(b) Aaron then returned
for the blood of the bullock of the sin-offering for himself and his house,
and then reentered the Holy of Holies and sprinkled the blood upon the
Mercy-Seat eastward, and before the Mercy-Seat seven times (either upon
the ground, or upon the veil, or upon both) (Lev. 16:14).
Note: Apparently the
altar of incense was in the holy place during the year, and within the
holy of holies during the completion of the sacrifices of the year on this
day. (Second entrance within the veil on that great day.)
(c) 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. He then
did with its blood as he had done with the blood of the bullock for himself
and for his house (Lev. 16:15).
Those three times
are three aspects of the self-same things hence the writer of Hebrews says
he entered in once every year. (Third entrance within the veil on
that great day.)
(d) 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) and replaced in the Holy
Place again (Ex. 30:10). 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).
(e) 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
(3) Aaron then returned
to the tabernacle of the congregation and removed his plain garments, and
resumed his garments of glory and of 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. Aaron then offered a burnt-offering for himself
and for the people.
a. This second offering
was not 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 sacrifices with that of the great Day of Atonement.
b. Paul studied all this
for three years in Arabia on the area where God spake it all to Moses.
Thus Paul just continued divine revelation where Moses left off, or removed
the symbols and revealed the symbolized.
c. Closing texts:
Psalm 103:12; Micah 7:19; Isaiah 38:17, 44:34; Heb. 9:28.
d. 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 of the blood with his finger seven times" (Lev. 16:14).
e. "Thus the crowning height
of the Jewish ritual was attained when the blood of the great national
sacrifices was offered, not only before God, but with special reference
to covering up of the broken and accusing law before the mercy-seat."
f. "No wonder that on either
side of it and moulded of 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."
g. "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).
(1) Moses knew that he was
setting up a symbolic order that was to be fulfilled to the letter in the
Person of a greater than himself: "The Lord thy God will raise up
unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, …unto him
ye shall hearken (Deut. 18:15; Acts 3:22, Luke 13:33; 24:19).
(2) 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).
(3) 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 Hebrews letter wrote to sustain it.