M. L. Andreasen
GOSPEL OF JESUS IN THE LIGHT OF THE ATONEMENT-- God's at-one-ment
with man, and man's at-one-ment
with God - what is the Gospel, the good news about our redemption?
In the KJV of the New Testament, the word, atonement,
is used only once. In
it reads - "And not only so, but we also joy in God through
our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement."
The word translated - "atonement"
- is the Greek word katallage
This word is used only by Paul in the New Testament; and by Paul
only in Romans, and his letters to the Corinthians.
II Cor. 5:18-20, Paul sets forth this reconciliation
- this at-one-ment
- and indicates that God has committed to us "the ministry
of reconciliation." The message to be given is - "Be ye
reconciled to God." God by the Cross has been reconciled to
man, but now man must be reconciled to God. The good new is that
God can still be just, and yet the justifier of those who believe
on Jesus. The story of that reconciliation and how it is to be attained
on the part of man,and how it is to be achieved is to be found in
the message of the Sanctuary,
for the way of God is in the Sanctuary. (Psalms 77:13) This,
too, is good news - The Gospel. To mitigate it, to deny it, is to
preach an incomplete and partial gospel - another gospel.
God bless you as you move through this enlightening study of the
Sanctuary Service by M.L. Andreasen. End
of Webmaster notes
13 -- PREFACE
For centuries God's
presence on earth was associated with the sanctuary.
It was through Moses that the command first came:
"Make Me a sanctuary;
that I may dwell among them." Ex. 25:8. When the
tabernacle, as the first sanctuary was called, was finished, "a
cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the
Lord filled the tabernacle." Ex. 40:34. Henceforth God communicated
with His people "from above the mercy seat, from between the
two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony," in the
most holy, the second apartment of the tabernacle. Ex. 25:22.
God's earthly dwelling place, the sanctuary must ever be of deep
and abiding interest to God's people. When we understand that the
services conducted in the tabernacle and later in the temple were
symbols of a higher service in the true tabernacle above; that all
the ritual and all the sacrifices pointed to the true Lamb of God,
the sanctuary becomes of still more importance. In it the gospel
would do well to study the sanctuary and its services. They contain
precious lessons for the devout student. Christ is seen as the great
High Priest, a role which to many church members has lost its significance.
And yet, Christ's work
as High Priest is the very essence of Christianity, the
heart of the atonement.
is the hope and prayer of the author that this little book may lead
some, perhaps many, to a deeper appreciation of what Christ means
to them and of what He is doing for them; and that they may, through
the new and the living way which Jesus has consecrated for them
14 -- veil, go with Him into the most holy where He is now officiating.
15 and 16 -- Title
17 -- Chapter One -- THE
The first picture we have of God after man
sinned is that of Him walking in the garden in the cool of the day,
calling unto Adam, "Where art thou?" Gen. 3:9. The picture
is both beautiful and significant. Man has sinned and disobeyed
the Lord, but God does not forsake him. He is looking for Adam.
He is calling, "Where art thou?" These are the first recorded
words of God to man after the fall.
is not without significance that we are thus introduced to God.
He is looking for and calling to Adam, seeking a sinner who is hiding
from Him. It is a picture similar to that of the father in the parable,
who day after day watches for the form of his prodigal son, and
runs to meet him while he is yet "a great way off." Luke
15:20. It is a picture similar to that of the shepherd who "goeth
into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray,"
and "rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine
which went not astray." Matt. 18:12,13.
did not fully understand what he had done or the results of his
disobedience. God had told him that sin meant death, that "in
the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Gen.
2:17. But Adam had never seen death, and he did not comprehend what
it involved. It was to impress upon his mind the nature of sin that
God clothed Adam and Eve in the skins of animals that had been sacrificed.
Adam, looking at death for the first time, must have been profoundly
impressed with the sinfulness of sin. There the lamb lies still,
blood oozing out. Will it never live again? Will it never again
eat or walk or play? Death suddenly takes on a new and deeper meaning
18 -- Adam. He begins to understand that unless
the Lamb dies for him, he will be dead, like the animal
lying at his feet, without future, without hope, without God. Ever
after, the skin
in which he was clothed reminded
him of his sin, but also, and more, of salvation from sin.
picture of God making
garments for His children about to be driven from their
home, reveals the love of God for His own, and His tender consideration
for them, even though they have sinned. As a mother wraps warm,
protecting garments about the little ones before sending them out
into the bitter wind, so God lovingly clothes His two children before
sending them forth. If He must send them away from Him, they are
to bear with them the token of His love. They must have some evidence
with them that God still cares for them. It is not His
intention to leave them to struggle alone. He must drive them out
of the Garden of Eden, but He still loves them. He provides for
of their sin, God had to exclude Adam and Eve from the home He had
prepared for them. It must have been with great sorrow of heart
that the two left the place where they had first met, which held
such blessed memories for them. But it must have been with immeasurably
greater sorrow that God commanded them to leave. He had created
them. He loved them. He had planned for them a future. But they
had disobeyed Him. They had chosen another master. They had eaten
of the forbidden fruit. "And now," said God, "lest
he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat,
and live forever: ...He drove out the man." Gen. 3:22-24.
did not leave Adam in a condition of despair. He not only promised
that the Lamb "slain from the foundation of the world"
should die for him, thus providing objective salvation, but He also
promised to help him
resist sin by giving him capacity for hatred of it. "I
19 -- enmity
between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed,"
God said. Gen. 3:15. An interpretation of this text, without doing
violence to it, would be: "I will put hatred for evil into
your heart." This
hatred is vital to our salvation. Humanly considered,
as long as love of sin is in the heart, no man is safe. He may resist
evil, but if there is in his heart a love for it and a hankering
after it, he is not on safe ground. Of Christ it is said, "Thou
hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity." Heb. 1:9. It
is important to learn to hate evil. The
first promise in the Bible is a promise of hatred for sin.
Only as the iniquity of sin becomes real to us, only as we learn
to hate evil, are we safe. Christ not merely loved righteousness;
He hated iniquity. This
hatred is fundamental in Christianity. And God has promised
to put this hatred for sin into our hearts.
the promises to Adam and in God's treatment of him, the gospel is
summed up. God does not leave Adam to himself after he has sinned.
He looks for him; He calls to him. He provides a Savior for Adam,
symbolized by the sacrificial lamb. He promises Adam to help him
so to hate sin that he will by the grace of God abstain from it.
If Adam will only cooperate with God, all will be well. Provision
is made for a return to the estate from which he has fallen. He
need not be conquered by sin. By God's help he can overcome it.
is brought out forcibly in the story of Cain and Abel. Cain is wroth;
his countenance is fallen. He has murder in his heart, and is ready
to kill Abel. God warns him that "sin coucheth at the door;
... But do thou rule over it." Gen. 4:7 RV. This was a merciful
warning to Cain, and a statement of hope that he need not be overcome
by sin. As a wild beast ready to pounce upon its victim, sin couches
at the door. In the words of the New Testament, Satan goes about
"as a roaring lion." But Cain need
20 -- not be overcome. "Do thou rule over it" are
God's words. This is more than a statement; it is a promise. Man
need not be overcome.
There is hope and help in God. Sin is not to have dominion
over us. We are to rule over it. TOP
it was God's intention that man should have free communion with
his Maker. This was the plan He attempted to carry out in the Garden
of Eden. But sin thwarted the original design of God. Man sinned,
and God sent him forth into the earth. Henceforth sorrow would be
God conceived a plan
whereby He might be reunited with His people. If they had to leave
the home prepared for them, why should not God go forth with them?
If they could not live in Paradise, where they could enjoy open
communion with Him, why should not God live with them? And so in
the fullness of time, God sent word to His people: "Make
Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them." Ex. 25:8.
Wonderful love! God cannot bear to be separated from His own! His
love devises a plan
whereby He may live among them. He goes with them on
their journeys to and fro in the wilderness, leading them into the
Promised Land. God is with His people again. True, there is a separating
wall now. God dwells in the
sanctuary, and man cannot approach Him directly. But
God is as near as sin will permit. He is "among" His people.
New Testament says of Christ, "They shall call His name
Emmanuel, which being interpreted is,
God with us." Matt. 1:23. The Christian ideal is
fellowship with God, oneness with Him, no separation. "Enoch
walked with God." Gen. 5:24. Moses talked with Him face to
face. Ex. 33:11. But Israel was not ready for such an experience.
They needed to be taught lessons of reverence and holiness. They
needed to learn that without holiness no man can see God. Heb. 12:14.
It was to teach them
21 -- this that God asked them to make Him a sanctuary that
He might dwell among them.
God asked them to build Him a sanctuary, however, He proclaimed
to them the ten commandments.
Ex. 20 He gave them His law that they might know what was required
of them. They stood before the mount that burned with fire. They
heard the thunders and saw the lightning; and as the Lord began
speaking, "the whole mount quaked greatly" and the people
trembled. Ex. 19:16-18. The manifestation was so impressive, and
"so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly
fear and quake," and the people "entreated that the word
should not be spoken to them any more." Heb. 12:21,19. The
people, however, could but see and acknowledge the justice of the
requirements of the Lord, and both before and after the proclamation
of the law answered: "All that the Lord hath spoken we will
do, and be obedient." (See Ex. 19:8; 24:3,7.)
must have been with but little realization of their own inability
to do what they had promised, that they essayed so tremendous an
undertaking. From past experience they might have known that
without divine aid they could not keep the law. Yet they
promised to do so, though it was not many days before they were
dancing around the golden calf. The law forbade worshiping idols,
and they had promised to keep the law; yet here they were worshiping
one of their old idols. In their worship of the golden calf, they
gave a demonstration of their inability or unwillingness to do that
which they had agreed to do. They had broken the law they had promised
to keep, and now it condemned them. It left them in a hopeless and
discouraged position. TOP
had a purpose in permitting this. He wanted Israel to know that
in and of themselves
there was no possible hope of their ever keeping the law of God.
22 -- requirements were necessary for holiness, and without
holiness no man can see God. This brought them face to face with
the hopelessness of their own condition. The law which was given
them for life, only brought them condemnation and death. Without
God, they were without hope.
did not leave them in this condition. Even as in the Garden of Eden
the slain lamb prefigured
Christ, so now
through sacrifices and the ministration of blood God taught them
that He had provided a way of escape. Abraham understood
this when the ram caught in the thicket was accepted in the place
of his son. He had doubtless not fully grasped the significance
of his own answer when Isaac inquired of him, "Behold the fire
and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?"
Gen. 22:7. To this Abraham had answered: "My son, God will
provide Himself a lamb." Verse 8. When the knife was raised,
God said, "Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou
anything unto him." Verse 12. As Abraham looked about him,
he saw a ram caught in a thicket, "and Abraham went and took
the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of
his son." Verse 13. Of this Christ says: "Your father
Abraham rejoiced to see My day: and he saw it, and was glad."
John 8:56. In the ram caught in the thicket, which died instead
of his son, Abraham saw Christ. He rejoiced and was glad.
lesson which Abraham had learned, God was now about to teach Israel.
Through the slain lamb; through the bullock, the ram, the he-goat,
the turtle doves, the pigeons; through the sprinkling of the blood
upon the altar of burnt offering, upon the altar of incense, toward
the veil, or on the ark; through the teaching and mediation of the
was to learn how to approach God. They were not to be
left in hopelessness as they faced the condemnation of God's holy
law. There was a way of escape. The
23 -- Lamb of God would die for them. Through faith in His blood
they might enter into communion with God. Through
the mediation of the priest they might vicariously enter the sanctuary
of God, and might in the person of the
high priest even appear in the very audience chamber
of the Most High. To the faithful in Israel this prefigured the
time when God's people might with boldness enter into the holiest
by the blood of Jesus. Heb. 10:19.
All this God wanted to teach Israel through the sacrificial system.
To them it was the way of salvation. It gave them hope and courage.
Though the law of God, the ten commandments, condemned them because
of their sins, the fact that the Lamb of God was to die for them
gave them hope. The
sacrificial system constituted the gospel for Israel.
It pointed the way clearly to communion and fellowship with God.
are those among professed Christians who do not see much of importance
or value in the God-ordained temple services; yet it is true that
the gospel plan of salvation as revealed in the New Testament is
made much clearer by an understanding of the Old Testament.
In fact, it may confidently be said that he who understands the
Levitical system of the Old Testament, can much better understand
and appreciate the New Testament. The one
foreshadows the other and is a type of it.
first lesson God wanted to teach Israel through the sacrificial
system was that sin means death. Again and again this lesson was
impressed upon their hearts. Every morning and evening throughout
the year a lamb was offered for the nation. Day after day the people
brought their sin offerings, their burnt or thank offerings, to
the temple. In each case an animal was slain and the blood sprinkled
in the appointed place. On every ceremony and on every service the
lesson was stamped, Sin
means death. TOP
lesson is needed as much in our time as it was in
24 -- the days of the Old Testament. Some Christians think too
lightly of sin. They think of it as a passing phase of life which
mankind will outgrow. Others think of sin as regrettable, but unavoidable.
They need the lesson impressed indelibly upon their minds, that
sin means death. The New Testament, indeed, says that the wages
of sin is death. Rom. 6:23. Yet many fail to see or grasp the importance
of this. A more lively conception of sin and death as inseparably
connected, would help much in an appreciation and understanding
of the gospel.
lesson which God wished to impress upon Israel was that forgiveness
of sin can be obtained only through confession and the ministration
of the blood. This served to impress Israel deeply with
the cost of forgiveness. Forgiveness of sin is more than merely
overlooking faults. It costs something to forgive; and the cost
is a life,
even the life of the Lamb of God (Christ).
lesson is important for us also. To some, the death of Christ seems
unnecessary. God could, or should, they think, forgive without Calvary.
The cross does not seem to them an integral and vital part of the
atonement. It would be well for Christians today to contemplate
more than they do the cost of their salvation. Forgiveness is not
a simple matter. It costs something. Through the ceremonial system
God taught Israel that forgiveness can be had only through the shedding
of blood. We need that lesson now.
believe that a study of the Old Testament regulations concerning
the manner of approaching God, will pay rich dividends. In the sacrificial
system are found the fundamental principles of godliness and holiness
which find their complete fulfillment in Christ. Because some have
not mastered these fundamental lessons, they are unable and unprepared
to go on to the greater things prepared for them of God.
The Old Testament is fundamental. He
25 -- who is thoroughly grounded in it, will be enabled to construct
a superstructure that will not fall when the rains descend and the
winds blow. He will be "built upon the foundation of the apostles
and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone."
29 -- Chapter Two -- GOD'S SANCTUARIES
-- It was not long after the giving of the
law at Mt. Sinai that the Lord told Moses to "speak unto the
children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering: of every man
that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take My offering."
Ex. 25:2. This offering was to consist of "gold, and silver,
and brass, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and
goats' hair, and rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim
wood, oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet
incense, onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in
the breastplate." Verses 3-7. It was to be used in the construction
of a "sanctuary;
that I may dwell among them." Verse 8. TOP
sanctuary here mentioned is usually called
the tabernacle. It was really a tent with wooden walls,
the roof consisting of four layers of material, the inner being
of fine-twined linen, the outer of "rams' skins dyed red, and
a covering above of badgers' skins." Ex. 26:14. The building
itself was not very large, about eighteen by fifty-four feet, with
an outer enclosure called the
court, about one hundred feet wide by two hundred long.
tabernacle was a portable building so made that it could be taken
apart and easily moved. At the time it was erected, Israel was journeying
through the wilderness. Wherever they went, they took the tabernacle
with them. The boards of the building were not nailed together as
in an ordinary structure, but were separate, each set upright in
a silver socket. Ex. 36:20-34. The curtains surrounding the court
were suspended from pillars set in brazen sockets. Ex. 38:9-20.
The furniture of the tabernacle was so made that it could be easily
carried. The whole
30 -- construction, while beautiful and gorgeous in design,
showed its temporary nature. It was intended to serve only until
such time as Israel should settle in the Promised Land and a more
permanent building could be erected.
building itself was divided
into two apartments, the first and larger one called
the second apartment, the
most holy. A rich curtain or veil
divided these apartments. As there were no windows in the building,
both apartments, especially the inner one, if they had been dependent
upon daylight, must have been dark. Because of its temporary structure,
some light may have penetrated; but at best it could have been but
little. In the first apartment, however, the candles in the seven-branched
candlestick gave sufficient light for the priests to
perform the daily service which the ritual demanded.
were three articles
of furniture in the first apartment, namely,
the table of shewbread,
candlestick, and the
altar of incense. Entering the apartment from the front
of the building which
faced the east, one would see near the end of the room
the altar of incense. To the right would be the table of shewbread,
and to the left the candlestick. On the table would be arranged
in two piles the twelve cakes of the shewbread, together with the
incense and the flagons for the drink offering. On it would also
be the dishes, spoons, and bowls used in the daily service. Ex.
37:16. The candlestick was made of pure gold. "His shaft, and
his branch, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, were of the same."
Verse 17. It had six branches, three branches on each side of the
center one. The bowls containing the oil were made after the fashion
of almonds. Verse 19. Not only was the candlestick made of gold,
but also the snuffers, and snuff dishes. Verse 23.
most important article of furniture in this apartment was the
altar of incense. It was about thirty inches in height
and eighteen inches square. This altar was
31 -- overlaid with pure gold, and around its top was a crown
of gold. It was on this altar that the priest in the daily service
placed the coals of fire taken from the altar of burnt offerings
and the incense. As he put the incense on the coals on the altar,
the smoke would ascend, and as the veil between the holy and the
most holy did not extend to the top of the building, the incense
soon filled not only the holy place but also the most holy. In this
way the altar of incense, although located in the first apartment,
served the second apartment also. For this reason it was put "before
the veil that is by the ark of the testimony before the mercy seat
that is over the testimony, where I will meet with thee." Ex.
the second apartment,
the most holy, there was only one piece of furniture, the ark.
This ark was made in the form of a chest, about forty-five inches
long and twenty-seven wide. The cover of this chest was called
the mercy seat. Around the top of the mercy seat was
a crown of gold, the same as on the altar of incense. In this chest
Moses placed the ten
commandments written on two tables of stone with God's
own finger. For a time, at least, the ark also contained the golden
pot that had the manna, and Aaron's
rod that budded. Heb. 9:4. On the mercy seat were
two cherubims of gold, of beaten work, one cherub
at one end and the other cherub on the other. Ex. 25:19. Of these
cherubim it is said that they shall "stretch forth their wings
on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces
shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces
of the cherubim be." Ex. 25:20.
Here God would commune with His people. To Moses He said:
"There will I meet with thee, and I will commune with thee
from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are
upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee
in commandment unto the children of Israel." Ex. 25:22.
32 -- Outside in
the court immediately in front of the door
of the tabernacle was a
laver, a large
basin containing water. This laver was made of brass
from the mirrors which the women had contributed for this purpose.
At this laver the priests were to bathe their hands and feet before
entering the tabernacle or beginning their service. Ex. 30:17-21;
the court was also
the altar of burnt offering, which had a most important
part to serve in all sacrificial offerings. This altar was about
five feet high and the top eight feet square, hollow inside and
overlaid with brass. Ex. 17:1. On this altar the animals were placed
when offered as burnt sacrifice. Here also the fat was consumed
and the required part of the meat offering placed. At the four corners
of the altar were hornlike projections. In certain of the sacrificial
offerings the blood was placed on these horns or sprinkled on the
altar. At the base of the altar, the rest of the blood not used
in sprinkling was poured out.
Temple -- When
Solomon began to reign, the old tabernacle must have been in a somewhat
dilapidated condition. It was several hundred years old, and had
been exposed to wind and weather for that long time. David had purposed
to build the Lord a house, but had been told that because he was
a man of blood he would not be permitted to do so. His son Solomon
was to do the building. This temple "was built of stone made
ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer
nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in
building." 1Kings 6:7.
temple proper was about thirty feet wide by ninety feet long. At
the front entrance, which faced the east, was a porch some thirty
feet long by about sixteen feet wide.
33 -- Around the other sides of the temple three tiers of chambers
were built, some of which were used as sleeping rooms for the priests
and Levites officiating in the temple, and others as storerooms
for money and other dedicated gifts. The temple was lined inside
with cedar overlaid with gold and engraved with figures of cherubim,
palms, and open flowers. 1Kings 6:15, 18, 21, 22, 29. Of this it
is stated, "So Solomon built the house, and finished it. And
he built the walls of the house with boards of cedar, both the floor
of the house, and the walls of the ceiling: and he covered them
on the inside with wood, and covered the floor of the house with
planks of fir." 1Kings 6:14, 15. TOP
original tabernacle had no floor, but in the temple, Solomon built
"both the floor and the walls with boards of cedar: he even
built them for it within, even for the oracle, even for the most
holy place." Verse 16. After having covered all the inside
of the temple with cedar so that "there was no stone seen,"
"Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold: and he made
a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle; and he overlaid
it with gold. And the whole house he overlaid with gold, until he
had finished all the house." Verses 18, 21, 22.
the oracle, or the
most holy place, the ark of the covenant of the Lord
was placed. The original ark had two cherubim made of pure gold.
Now, however, two more cherubim were made and set on the floor,
and between these the ark was placed. They were made of olive wood,
each about fifteen feet high. "Both the cherubim were of one
measure and one size." 1Kings 6:25. "They stretched forth
the wings of the cherubim, so that the wing of the one touched the
one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall;
and their wings touched one another in the midst of the house."
1Kings 6:27. This would give the two cherubim a combined wingspread
of about thirty feet. These cherubim were also overlaid with gold,
34 -- and on the walls of the house round about were carved
figures of cherubim and palm trees and open flowers within and without.
Even the floor was overlaid with gold. Verses 29, 30.
the first apartment
of the temple several changes were made. Before the oracle,
and mentioned as belonging to it (1Kings 6:22, RV), stood the altar
of incense as in the tabernacle. Instead of one candlestick there
were now ten, five placed on one side and five on the other. These
candlesticks were of pure gold, as were also the bowls, the snuffers,
the basins, the spoons, and the censers. 1Kings 7:49,50. Instead
of one table containing the shewbread, there were ten, "five
on the right side, and five on the left." 2 Chron. 4:8.
altar of burnt offering,
or the brazen altar, as it is called, was considerably
enlarged in Solomon's temple. The old tabernacle altar was about
eight feet square. Solomon's altar was nearly four times that, or
thirty feet square, and about sixteen feet high. The pots, shovels,
fleshhooks, and basins used for the service of the altar were all
of brass. 2 Chron. 4:11, 16.
sanctuary had had a laver for bathing purposes. In the temple this
was much enlarged. It was a large basin of bronze, fifteen feet
in diameter, eight feet high, with a capacity of about sixteen thousand
gallons of water, and was called the
molten sea. 1Kings 7:23-26. The bronze of which it was
made was a hand's breadth in thickness. The brim was wrought like
the brim of a cup with flowers of lilies. The whole sea rested upon
twelve oxen, "three looking toward the north, and three looking
toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking
toward the east: and the sea was set above upon them, and all their
hinder parts were inward." 1Kings 7:25. TOP
this large sea there were ten smaller lavers placed upon wheels,
so that they could be moved about from place
35 -- to place. 1Kings 7:27-37. These lavers contained each
about three hundred gallons of water and were used for washing those
parts of the animals which were to be burned upon the altar of burnt
offering. 2 Chron. 4:6. Each of these lavers was put on a base of
brass; the wheels were "like the work of a chariot wheel: their
axletrees, and their naves, and their felloes, and their spokes,
were all molten." 1Kings 7:33. The sides were ornamented with
figures of lions, oxen, cherubim, and palm trees, with "certain
additions made of thin work." Verses 29, 36. The size of the
court is not given, but it must, of course, have been considerably
larger than the court of the tabernacle. TOP
interesting statement is found in 1Kings 6:22 concerning the altar
of incense. The preceding verses describe the oracle, or the most
holy. The ark containing the ten commandments is mentioned as being
there, and in connection with this "the altar which was of
cedar." Verses 19,20. This altar, verse twenty-two states,
"belonged to the oracle." ARV This may have some bearing
on the question raised by the wording of the ninth chapter of Hebrews,
where the altar of incense is omitted in the description of the
furniture in the first apartment, and a censer is mentioned as being
in the second apartment. Verses 2-4. The American Revised Version
has "altar of incense" instead of censer, though the marginal
reading retains censer. Whatever may be thought of this disputed
reading, it is noteworthy that Hebrews 9:2 omits the altar of incense
in the description of the holy place. The reading in 1Kings 6:22
that the altar of incense, while located in the holy place, "belonged"
to the most holy, is generally considered the correct rendering.
We therefore understand the statement of Exodus 30:6 to be that
the altar of incense was located before the veil in the holy place
"before the mercy seat," and that its use was such that
it also in a certain sense "belonged" to the most holy.
As it is a fact that the incense
36 -- filled the most holy as well as the holy place, this seems,
on the whole, the best view of the matter. (See Ex 40:26.)
-- The temple built by Solomon was destroyed in the invasions of
Nebuchadnezzar in the sixth century B.C. Rulers and people had gradually
departed from the Lord and gone farther and farther into idolatry
and sin. Despite all that God could do to correct evils, Israel
persisted in apostacy. God sent His prophets to them with warnings
and entreaties, "but they mocked the messengers of God, and
despised His words, and misused His prophets, until the wrath of
the Lord arose against His people, till there was no remedy. Therefore
He brought unto them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young
men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion
upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age:
He gave them all into his hand." 2 Chron. 36:16, 17.
this destruction of Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar "burnt the house
of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the
palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels
thereof." Verse 19. "Them that had escaped from the sword
carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and
his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia." Verse 20.
Thus began what is called the
seventy-year captivity " to fulfill the word of
the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her
sabbaths, for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfill
threescore and ten years." Verse 21.
splendor of Solomon's temple can be seen from the spoil which Nebuchadnezzar
took from Jerusalem. An enumeration in Ezra gives "thirty chargers
of gold, a thousand chargers of silver, nine and twenty knives,
thirty basons of gold, silver basons of a second sort four hundred
and ten, and other vessels a thousand. All the vessels of gold
37 -- and of silver were five thousand and four hundred."
Ezra 1:9-11. TOP
was in captivity seventy years. When the days were fulfilled, permission
was given for them to return, but by that time many had been in
Babylon so long that they preferred to stay. However, a remnant
returned, and in due time the foundation of the new temple was laid.
"And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised
the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid."
Ezra 3:11. However, it was not all joy, for "many of the priests
and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that
had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was
laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted
aloud for joy: so that the people could not discern the noise of
the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for
the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar
off." Ezra 3:12, 13.
temple thus built was called Zerubbabel's
temple, after the name of the leader in the work. Not
much is known concerning its structure, but it is supposed, and
perhaps with good reasons, that it followed the lines of Solomon's
temple. There was no
more any ark. That had disappeared at the time of Nebuchadnezzar's
invasion. Tradition states that holy men took the ark and secreted
it in the mountains to save it from falling into profane hands.
In any event, the most
holy was vacant except for a stone which served as a
substitute for the ark on the Day of Atonement. This temple continued
in use until near the time when Christ appeared. Then Herod's temple
took its place.
-- Herod became king in 37 B.C. One of the first things he did was
to build a fortress, Antonia, north of the temple
38 -- grounds, and connected with the temple court by an underground
passage. A few years later he decided to rebuild the temple on a
grander scale than ever before. The Jews were distrustful of him,
and would not let him proceed with the building until he had proved
his good faith by collecting the material necessary for the structure
before any of the old was taken down. This he willingly did. The
priests also insisted that no common person should work on the temple,
and that it would be necessary for the priests themselves to erect
the temple structure. For this reason some years were spent in training
a thousand priests to be masons and carpenters to work on the sanctuary.
They did all the work connected with the two apartments of the temple.
Altogether, ten thousand skilled workmen were employed in the course
Building operations began about 20 B.C. The temple proper was finished
in a year and a half, but it took eight more years to complete the
court and the cloisters. John 2:20 states that the temple at the
time of Christ had been forty and six years in building; in fact,
it was not until about 66 A.D., just before the destruction of Jerusalem
by the Romans, that the temple was completely finished.
temple was a most beautiful structure. It was built of white marble
covered with plates of gold, set on an eminence with steps leading
up to it from every direction, constituting a series of terraces.
It rose to a height of four hundred feet above the valley below
and could be seen from a great distance. Josephus likens it to a
snow-covered mountain. It was a thing of beauty, especially when
seen from the Mount of Olives in the morning as the sun shone upon
it. It was one of the wonders of the world.
size of the two apartments, the
holy and the most holy, was the same as in Solomon's temple; that
is, the temple proper was about ninety feet in length and thirty
in width. The holy place was separated from the most holy
39 -- by a partition about a foot and a half in thickness with
an opening before which hung the
veil mentioned in Matthew 27:51, which was rent at the
death of Jesus. There was no furniture in the most holy, but only
the stone left over from Zerubbabels' temple, upon which
the high priest placed his censer on the Day of Atonement. The furniture
in the holy place was probably the same as in Solomon's temple.
above the holy and the most holy were chambers or halls where the
priests met on stated occasions. The Sanhedrin also met there for
a time. In the floor of the room above the most holy were trap doors
through which a cage could be let down into the most holy place
below. This cage was large enough to hold one or more of the workmen
who at times were needed to repair the temple. The cage was open
toward the wall, so the workmen could work on the walls without
stepping out of the cage, or, in fact, looking about them. As only
the high priest could enter the most holy place, this plan provided
for making needed repairs without having the workmen enter, or be
in, the most holy as such.
the side of the temple proper were rooms for priests and also for
storage purposes, the same as in Solomon's temple. There was also
a porch in front extending thirty-six feet beyond the side of the
temple, making the total breadth of the porch about one hundred
in Herod's temple was a large enclosure, not entirely square, about
a thousand feet each way. This court was divided into smaller courts,
such as the court of the Gentiles, the court of women, and the court
of the priests. In one part of this court, upon an immense trellis
or grill, rested a golden vine of which the bunches of grapes, according
to Josephus (who, however, cannot always be trusted), were the height
of a man. According to him, the vine extended about forty feet north
to south, and
40 -- its top was more than a hundred feet from the ground.
Here Herod also placed a colossal golden eagle, much to the displeasure
of the Jews. He was at last compelled to remove the eagle from the
forty feet in front of the porch of the temple, and east of it,
stood the altar of
burnt offering. This altar was larger than the one in
Solomon's temple. Josephus says it was seventy-five feet square,
but others more conservatively place it at fifty. It was built of
unhewn stones, and was about eighteen feet high. An incline, also
built of stones, led up to within a few feet of the top of the altar.
Around the altar, near the top, was a projection on which the priests
could walk in administering the prescribed sacrifices.
the pavement near the altar were rings to which sacrificial animals
could be tied. There were also tables containing vessels, knives,
and bowls, used in the sacrificing. The altar was connected with
a kind of sewage system so that the blood poured out at the foot
of the altar was carried into the stream below. Everything was kept
scrupulously clean, even the sewage system being washed out at stated
the walls surrounding the court were porticoes or cloisters, sometimes
called porches. The one on the east side was called "Solomon's
porch." The north, west, and east sides had double porticoes
with two rows of columns, and a roof of carved cedar. On the south
side was the royal porch with 162 columns. These columns were so
arranged as to form three aisles, the two outer ones being each
thirty feet wide, the middle one, forty-five. In these porches public
meetings could be held. It was here the early church gathered when
they went to the temple to pray. It was the usual meeting place
of Israel whenever they went to the temple. TOP
part of the court nearest its entrance was called
41 -- the court of the Gentiles. A stone parapet separated this
court from the rest of the enclosure. No Gentile might go beyond
its confines. On the parapet was the inscription, "No stranger
is to enter within the balustrade and embankment around the sacred
place. Whoever is caught will be answerable for his death which
will ensue." It was because the Jews thought Paul had transgressed
this ordinance that he was seized in the temple and arrested by
the Romans. Acts 21:28. In 1880 this very sign was found and is
now in a museum.
temple was perhaps the most beautiful structure the world has ever
seen. It was the pride of the Jews. Yet it was destroyed. "There
shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be
thrown down," were the words of Christ. Matt. 24:2. This prophecy
was literally fulfilled. Not one stone was left.
temple is no more, and the temple service has ceased. But
the lesson remains. It would be well for us to study
carefully the service carried on in the sanctuary on earth. This
will give us a better appreciation of what is now going on in the
original sanctuary and the three temples here mentioned had certain
things in common, though they differed somewhat in details. They
all had two apartments, the holy and the most holy. All had an altar
of incense, an altar of burnt offering, a laver, a table of shewbread,
and a candlestick. The first two had an ark, which disappeared about
600 B.C. The priesthood was the same throughout, as were also the
sacrificial offerings. For more than a thousand years Israel gathered
about the sanctuary. What a blessing might have come to them had
they discerned in their sacrifices the One promised in the Garden
of Eden, the Lamb that taketh away the sin of the world! Let us
fear, lest a promise being left us, we likewise should seem to come
short of it! Heb. 4:1.
p 45 -- Chapter Three --
-- While Moses was in the mount receiving
instruction from God concerning the building of the sanctuary, the
people became weary of waiting for him. He had been gone for more
than a month, and they were not sure when he would return, if ever.
"We wot not what is become of him" they said. They therefore
asked Aaron to make them gods such as they had in Egypt, that they
might worship them and enjoy the feasts they had celebrated among
the Egyptians. Aaron was willing to do the bidding of the people,
and soon a golden calf was made, of which the people said: "These
be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of
Egypt." Ex. 32:4.
built an altar, and proclaimed a feast to the Lord. Burnt offerings
and peace offerings were sacrificed, "and the people sat down
to eat and to drink, and rose up to play." Verse 6. Moses,
of course, knew nothing of this until God informed him: "They
[the people] have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded
them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshiped it,
and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel,
which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt." Verse
to test Moses, God now proposes to destroy the people and to make
out of him a great nation. But Moses intercedes for the people and
asks God to spare them. And God graciously accedes to his request.
"And the Lord repented of the evil which He thought to do unto
His people." Verse 14. TOP
Moses was evidently not prepared for the sight that met his eyes
when he came down from the mount. The people were
46 -- shouting and dancing, so much so that Joshua concluded:
"There is a noise of war in the camp." Verse 17. When
Moses saw the length to which Israel had gone, that they were actually
engaging in the lascivious pagan dances which they had learned in
Egypt, his "anger waxed hot." He had just received from
the Lord the two tables of the law containing the Ten Commandments,
written with the finger of God, "graven upon the tables."
"He cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath
the mount." Verses 16, 19.
would ordinarily be thought that the breaking of these tables would
be a great sin in the sight of God. Doubtless, the act was symbolic.
Israel had sinned. They had broken the law. In token of this, Moses
breaks the tables just given him of God. And God does not rebuke
him: He merely rewrites
the same commandments on two other tables. This also may have symbolic
significance. The law is not destroyed by being broken -- God writes
sin Israel had committed was a grievous one. God had done great
things for them. He had liberated them from bondage. He had opened
for them the Red Sea. The law had been proclaimed from Sinai amid
thunders and lightnings. God had entered into covenant relations
with them, and the blood had been sprinkled upon them as well as
upon the covenant book. And now they had departed from God and forgotten
all their promises. The time had come for decisive action. It must
be known who is on the Lord's side, for surely not all have gone
astray. A call is made by Moses: "Who is on the Lord's side?
let him come unto me." Israel hesitates. Of all the vast throng,
only one tribe has the courage to step forward. "And all the
sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him." Verse
courageous action on the part of the tribe of Levi doubtless influenced
their selection to the service of God.
47 -- In a crisis they ranged themselves on the side of right,
and God rewarded them. They were selected instead of the first-born
to belong to God in a specific sense and to serve at the tabernacle.
Num. 3:5-13. One family
-- that of Aaron -- was entrusted with the priesthood;
the rest were "to do the service of the tabernacle" and
"keep all the instruments of the tabernacle of the congregation."
Verses 7, 8. "The priests which were anointed, whom he consecrated
to minister in the priest's office," had to do with the more
direct service of God at the tabernacle, such as the lighting of
the lamps; the burning of incense; the offering of all kinds of
sacrifices on the altar of burnt offering; the sprinkling of the
blood; the preparation, placing, and eating of the show-bread; preserving
knowledge and teaching the law. Num. 3:3; Ex. 30:7, 8; Lev. 1:5;
24:5-9; Mal. 2:7. The
priests were all Levites, but not all Levites were priests.
The priestly office was reserved for Aaron and his descendants.
Num. 3:1-4; Ex. 28:1.
priests were a class set apart from the rest of the people. They
alone could serve in the temple in the more intimate offices of
sacrifices. While it was permitted in early days for any person
to erect an altar wherever he pleased, and to offer sacrifices on
it, later it became a law that only in Jerusalem could sacrifices
be offered, and that
only priests could officiate. This gave the priests tremendous
power and influence. They
had control of the entire outward worship of the whole nation.
They controlled the temple grounds. Only
through them could Israel have access to the blessings of the covenant
symbolized by the sprinkling of the blood and the offering of incense.
They alone could walk the sacred precincts of the temple proper
and transact with God. TOP
priests also had control in many civil and personal matters. They
decided when a man was unclean ceremonially, and had power to exclude
him from the
48 -- congregation. Leprosy was referred to them for examination,
and upon their word hung the decision as to whether a man was to
be banished from society or whether a house was to be torn down.
Lev. 13, 14. "Take heed in the plague of leprosy, that thou
observe diligently, and do according to all that the priests the
Levites shall teach you as I commanded them, so ye shall observe
to do. Remember what the Lord thy God did unto Miriam by the way,
after that ye were come forth out of Egypt." Deut. 24:8, 9.
priests alone could restore a man to his family after exclusion.
They had jurisdiction in certain cases of suspected unfaithfulness.
Num. 5:11-31. By their interpretation of the law they came to wield
a great influence and authority in many matters affecting daily
life. In difficult matters of law the priests were associated with
the judge in making judicial decisions, not merely in religious
matters, but in that which was purely civil, "matters of controversy
within thy gates." Deut. 17:8. Their decision was final. The
man was admonished to do "according to the sentence of the
law which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which
they shall tell thee." "And the man that will do presumptuously,
and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there
before the Lord thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall
die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel." Verses
11, 12. (See also Deut. 19:17.)
is easily conceivable that a body of men who had control of a nation's
worship, of the teaching and interpretation of law, of intimate
personal relationships, of the execution of legal decisions, would
wield a powerful influence for good or evil upon the people. When
added to this prestige is the emolument pertaining to their calling,
an emolument that, in later times at least, amounted to vast sums,
we may believe that the priests became a very exclusive organization.
49 -- The prerogatives of the priesthood were great, and its
rights were most jealously guarded.
Only Aaron and his descendants could officiate in sacrificial worship.
Ex. 28, 29; Lev. 8-10; Num. 16-18. No one could become a priest
who was not born into the family. This immediately, put great stress
upon the matter of birth, and upon the genealogical record supporting
that birth. It was incumbent upon each priest to prove his descent
from Aaron by unimpeachable evidence. There must be no flaw in the
succession. Each step must be clear.
examine into the genealogy of each candidate became the task of
certain priests. It was later taken over by the Sanhedrin, who spent
part of their time in this work. If a priest successfully proved
his genealogical right to the office and passed the physical test
required, -- if he had no disqualifying deformity of body, -- he
was dressed in white
garments, and his name was inscribed on the official
list of authorized priests. It may be that Revelation 3:5 is based
upon this custom. On the other hand, if he failed to satisfy the
examiners, he was dressed in black.
deformity -- if the genealogical record was satisfactory
-- did not debar the priest from sharing in the support given to
the temple priest. Lev. 21:21-23. If the defect was not too prominent,
he could even serve in some minor capacity, such as caring for the
wood used in the altar service, or as a watchman. TOP
priestly office being very sacred, regulations as to whom a priest
might or might not marry, were strictly enforced. A priest might
not marry a woman whose husband had put her away or divorced her.
He might not marry a prostitute or a violated maid. Lev. 21:7, 8.
He could therefore marry only a pure virgin or a widow, though the
high priest was forbidden to marry even a widow. "And he shall
take a wife in her virginity. A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane,
or a harlot, these shall he not take:
50 -- but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife."
Lev. 21:13, 14.
priests were also to be careful as to
ceremonial defilement. They might not touch a dead body
except that of a very near kin. The high priest was denied even
that. Lev. 21:1-3, 11. In fact, in every act of their lives the
priests were to be conscious of their need of keeping away from
anything that might defile. And this carefulness in regard to physical
defilement was only emblematic
of the greater spiritual purity. "Holiness unto
the Lord" was the watchword of the priesthood. The priests
and the Levites had no
inheritance in the land as did the other tribes. "They shall
eat the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and His inheritance.
Therefore shall they have no inheritance among their brethren: the
Lord is their inheritance, as He hath said unto them." Deut.
of a portion of the land, God gave the priests certain parts of
the sacrifices which the people brought. Of every animal sacrifice,
except the burnt offering, which was wholly burnt on the altar,
and certain other sacrifices, the priests received the shoulder,
the two cheeks, and the maw. Deut. 18:3. The priests also received
the first fruits of corn, wine, and oil and wool of sheep. In addition,
the priests were given flour, meat offerings baked in the oven or
in the frying pan, mingled with oil or dry. Lev.2:3, 10; 1; 2; 3;
4; 5; 24:5-9. Of the burnt offerings they received the skin. Lev.
7:8. In case of war, a certain portion of the spoil also fell to
the priesthood, both of men and cattle and gold. At times this amounted
to no inconsiderable sum. Num. 31:25-54. All heave offerings and
wave offerings were the priests. Num. 18:8-11. All dedicatory offerings
likewise were the priests'. Verse 14.
first-born in Israel, both of man and beast, belonged to the priest,
though the "firstborn of man shalt thou surely
51 -- redeem," that is, Israel was to pay a stipulated
sum, five shekels, for each first-born of the children. Verses 15-19.
In the year of jubilee, fields that were not redeemed, or that had
been sold and could not be redeemed, reverted to the priests. Lev.
27:20, 21. In case of trespasses that involved holy things, the
transgressor was to pay not only the original estimated sum, but
add a fifth to it, and give it to the priest. Lev. 5:16. In case
of harm done to a neighbor, where restitution to the injured party
was not possible, the command was to "let the trespass be recompensed
unto the Lord, even to the priest." Num. 5:8. The regular temple
tax of a half shekel for each soul in Israel, "the atonement
money," was to be used for the service of the tabernacle, that
is, for expenses incurred in the service of God, and did not go
directly to the priest. Ex. 30:11-16. Besides the above-mentioned
sources of income, there were many smaller ones, which need not
here be discussed.
incomes here enumerated were in addition to the
tithe income received by the priests. All Israel was
commanded to pay tithe. Lev. 27:30-34. This tithe was to be given
to the Levites, and belonged to them. Num. 18:21-24. Of the tithe
which the Levites thus received, they were to take a "heave
offering of it for the Lord, even the tenth part of the tithe"
and "give thereof the Lord's heave offering to Aaron the priest."
Num. 18:26-28. It appears that in later times tithes were paid directly
to the priests. Heb. 7:5. Some have thought that this came about
at the time of the second temple, when very few of the Levites returned
from captivity and it became necessary to employ Nethinims in their
stead, but this is not very clear. Ezra 8:15-20. In any event, the
priests received tithes directly or indirectly from the people,
and as the priests originally were but few in number, the income
from this source was probably more than sufficient for their needs.
priests were ministers of God divinely
52 -- as mediators
between God and men, particularly authorized to officiate
at the altar and in the service of the sanctuary. In the days when
books were not common, they were not only interpreters of the law,
but in many cases the sole source of knowledge of God's requirements.
Through them the people were instructed in the doctrine of sin and
its expiation, in righteousness and holiness. Through their ministration
the people were taught how to approach God; how forgiveness might
be had; how prayer might be offered to God; how inexorable the law
is; how love and mercy at last prevail.
The whole plan of salvation was laid open to them as far as it could
be revealed in types and offerings. Every ceremony tended
to impress upon their minds the holiness of God and the sure results
of sin. It also taught them the wonderful provision made through
the death of the lamb. Although it was a ministration of death,
it was glorious in its promise. It told of a redeemer, a sin bearer,
a burden sharer, a
mediator. It was the gospel
the service of the priesthood three things stand out prominently
above the rest: mediation, reconciliation, sanctification. Each
of these deserves a special word of emphasis.
priests were first of all mediators. This was
pre-eminently their work. Although the sinner might bring the offering,
he could not sprinkle the blood or burn the flesh on the altar.
Neither could he eat the shewbread, or offer the incense, or even
trim the lamps. All this someone else must do for him. Although
he could approach the temple, he could not enter it; though he could
supply the sacrifice, he could not offer it; though he could kill
the lamb, he could not apply the blood. God was accessible to him
the mediation of the priesthood. He could approach God
only in the person of another. All this would strikingly
bring to mind the fact that he
needed some one to intercede for him, some one to intervene.
This may be
p 53 -- more vividly brought to mind by supposing an occurrence
which might easily be true.
heathen who sincerely desires to worship the true God hears that
the God of Israel is the true God, and that He lives in the temple
in Jerusalem. He starts on the long journey and at last arrives
at the sacred place. He has heard that God dwells between the cherubim
in the most holy, and decides to enter that place, that he may worship
God. But he has not gone many steps into the court when he is stopped
by a sign that says no stranger may pass this sign except at the
peril of his life. He is perplexed. He wants to worship the true
God of whom he has heard, and he has also been told that God desires
worship. Yet now he is stopped. What can be done? He inquires of
one of the worshipers and is told that he must provide himself with
a lamb before he can approach God. Immediately he furnishes himself
with the required animal and appears again. Now can he see God?
He is told again that he cannot enter.
"Why, then, the lamb?" he asks.
"That you must give to the priest to sacrifice."
"Can I then enter?"
"No, there is no possible way by which you can ever enter the
temple or see God. It is not done that way."
"But why cannot I see your God? I want to worship Him."
"No man can see God and live. He is holy, and only he who is
holy can see Him. The priest may go into the first apartment, but
there is still a veil between him and God. The high priest only
can at stated times enter the most holy. You cannot go in yourself.
Your only hope is to have some one appear for you." TOP
man is deeply impressed. He is not permitted to enter the temple.
Only he who is holy can do that. He must have some one to mediate
for him. The lesson sinks
54 -- deeply into his soul: He
cannot see God; he must have a mediator. Only thus can sins be forgiven
and reconciliation be effected.
whole sanctuary service is grounded in mediation. Even though the
sinner brought the lamb; even though he killed it; the service could
be made efficacious only through a mediator who would sprinkle the
blood and make application of the sacrifice.
second prominent feature of the service was reconciliation.
Sin separates from God. It is that which hides His face from us,
and causes Him not to hear. Isa. 59:2. But through the sacrificial
offerings, and in the ascending incense with the prayers, God could
again be approached. Communion was restored; reconciliation effected.
as mediation was the underlying purpose of the priesthood, so
reconciliation was the intent of the sacrifices offered
daily through the year. Through them, amicable relations between
God and man were restored. Sin had separated; the blood united.
This was accomplished through the ministry of forgiveness. The statement
is that when the whole congregation had sinned and had brought their
offering for sin; when the elders had placed their hands on the
offering and presumably confessed that sin, "it shall be forgiven
them." Lev. 4:20. Again, the fiat goes forth that when a ruler
had sinned and had complied with the requirements, "It shall
be forgiven him." Verse 26. The promise is likewise for any
one of the common people: "It shall be forgiven him."
Verses 31, 35. Through sin, estrangement had come in; but now all
are reconciled to God by the death of His Son. Rom. 5:10. Reconciliation
is effected by blood. 2 Chron. 29:24. Into the first
apartment of the sanctuary the priest entered day by day to commune
with God. There was the holy incense reaching even beyond the veil
into the most holy; there was the candlestick emblematic of Him
55 -- the light of the world; the table of the Lord inviting
communion; and the sprinkling of the blood. It was a place of drawing
near to God, of fellowship. Through the ministry of the priest forgiveness
was extended, reconciliation effected, man brought into communion
third important feature of the sanctuary service is that
of sanctification, or holiness. The amount of sin cherished
in the heart measures our distance from God. The stranger might
come only so far in the temple court. The penitent soul might come
to the altar. The mediating priest might enter the holy place. Only
the high priest -- and he but one day in the year, and that after
extensive preparation -- might enter the most holy. Clad in white
he might with trembling approach the throne of God. Even then, incense
must partially conceal him. Here he might minister not merely as
one seeking forgiveness of sin, but be might boldly ask to have
them blotted out.
daily service throughout the year, symbolized by the ministration
in the first apartment, was
not complete in itself. It
needed to be completed and complemented by that of the second apartment.
Forgiveness operates only after transgression. The damage has already
been done. God forgives the sin. But it would have been better if
the sin had not been committed. For this the keeping power of God
is available. Merely to forgive the transgression after it has been
committed is not enough.
There must be a power to keep from sinning. "Go,
and sin no more" is a possibility of the gospel.
But to "sin no more" is
sanctification. This is the eventual goal of salvation.
The gospel is not complete without it. We need to enter with Christ
into the most holy. Some will do this. They will follow the Lamb
whithersoever He goeth. They will be without spot or wrinkle. "They
are without fault before the throne of God." Rev. 14:5. By
faith they enter the second apartment. TOP
59 -- Chapter Four -- PRIESTS
The temple and the temple service constituted a wonderful
object lesson for Israel. It was
intended to teach God's holiness, man's sinfulness, and the way
to God. One of the important lessons of the sacrificial
system was to teach priest and people to abhor sin and to shun it.
When a man sinned inadvertently or through error, he was expected
to bring a sin offering to the temple. The first requirement in
the sacrificial ritual was the placing of the hands upon the animal
and the confession of sin by the sinner. Then with his own hand
he was to slay the animal. After this, the priest was to take of
the blood and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering.
The inwards were then burned with the fat on the altar, and a part
of the flesh was eaten by the priests in a holy place.
was to teach abhorrence for sin. God intended this abhorrence
for sin to be so great that men would "go, and sin no more."
No normal person takes delight in killing an innocent animal, especially
if he realizes that it is because of his sins that the animal has
to die. A normal priest would certainly not delight in the service
of blood which he was compelled to perform because of sin. To stand
all day working with dead animals, dipping the fingers or hand in
the blood, and sprinkling it on the altar, could not be very attractive
or pleasant. God Himself says He delights not "in the blood
of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he-goats." Isa. 1:11. Neither
could the true priest delight in it.
sacrificial system afforded the priests an excellent opportunity
to teach the plan of salvation to offenders. As
60 -- a sinner brought his offering, the priest might say: "I
am sorry that you have sinned, as I am sure you are sorry. God,
however, has made provision for the forgiveness of sin. You have
brought an offering. Place your hands on that offering and confess
your sin to God. Then kill the innocent lamb, and I will take the
blood and make atonement for you. The lamb you are killing is symbolic
of the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.
The Messiah is to come and give His life for the sin of the people.
Through His blood you are forgiven. God accepts your penitence.
Go, and sin no more."
this solemn ritual, that man would be deeply impressed with the
heinousness of sin, and would go away from the temple with a firm
determination not to sin again. The fact that he had killed an animal
would teach him as nothing else could do, that sin
means death, and that when any one sins, the lamb must die.
and impressive as was this service,
it was capable of perversion. If the sinner should conceive
the idea that his offering paid for the sin that he had committed,
and that if he only brought an offering every time he sinned all
would be well, he had an entirely wrong conception of God's intent.
Yet that is how many
came to consider the ordinances. They felt that their
sacrifices paid for their sins, and that should they sin again,
another sacrifice would atone for it.
Repentance and true sorrow were minimized. The people
came to believe that whatever their sin might be, it could be atoned
for by a gift. With the presentation of their offering, they considered
the transaction closed. TOP
this attitude many of the priests encouraged the people.
Sin was not as abhorrent in their sight as God intended it should
be. It was something that could be paid for with the gift of a lamb
which would at most cost only a small sum. The result was that "thousands
of rams" and "ten
61 -- thousands of rivers of oil" were thought to be pleasing
to God. Micah 6:7. The remuneration of the priests serving in the
sanctuary, and later in the temple, was in large part derived from
the sacrifices offered by the people. The
priests came to look upon the sacrifices as a means of income to
them. The Levites, who were the recipients of the tithe
paid by Israel, in turn paid a tithe of their income for the support
of the priests. Num. 18:21, 26-29; Neh. 10:38. In addition to this,
the priests were to retain a part of most of the sacrifices offered.
Of the burnt offerings they received the hide; of most of the sin
offerings and trespass offerings, both the hide and part of the
flesh. They also received part of the meat offerings and peace offerings,
-- flour, oil, corn, wine, honey, and salt, as well as offerings
for special occasions. This was apart from the tithes they received
from the Levites.
the ordinary sin offerings, the priest was to eat a part. "This
is the law of the sin offering: in the place where the burnt offering
is killed shall the sin offering be killed before the Lord: it is
most holy. The priest that offereth it for sin shall eat it."
Lev. 6.25 This was really a sacrificial meal.
In eating this flesh the priest took upon himself sin,
and thus carried it.
corrupt priests saw clearly that the more the people sinned and
the more sin and trespass offerings they brought, the greater would
be the portion coming to them. They went so far as to encourage
the people to sin. Of the corrupt priests it is written: "They
eat up the sin of My people, and they set their heart on their iniquity."
Hosea 4:8. This text affirms that the priests, instead of admonishing
the people and urging them to abstain from sin, "set their
heart on" the people's iniquity, and hoped they would sin again
and come back with another sin offering. It was
62 -- to the financial advantage of the priests to have many
sin offerings brought, for each offering added to their income.
As the priesthood became more corrupt, the tendency toward encouraging
the people to bring offerings increased.
interesting commentary on the length to which some priests perverted
the ordinances is given in the second chapter of First Samuel: "And
the priests' custom with the people was, that, when any man offered
sacrifice, the priest's servant came, while the flesh was in seething,
with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand; and he struck it into
the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fleshhook brought
up the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh unto all the
Israelites that came thither. Also before they burnt the fat, the
priest's servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed, Give
flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have sodden flesh
of thee, but raw. And if any man said unto him, Let them not fail
to burn the fat presently, and then take as much as thy soul desireth;
then he would answer him, Nay; but thou shalt give it me now and
if not, I will take it by force." I Sam. 2:13-16.
shows the degradation of the priesthood even at that early period.
God had commanded that the fat should be burned on the altar, and
that if the flesh were to be eaten, it should be boiled. The priests,
however, wished to get their meat raw with the fat, so they could
roast it. It had ceased to be to them a sacrificial meal, and had
become, instead, a gluttonous feast. The following commentary is
made: "The sin of the young men was very great before the Lord:
for men abhorred the offering of the Lord." 1Sam. 2:17. TOP
tendency of the priests to encourage the people to bring sin offerings
rather than to abstain from sin became more pronounced as the years
went by. In the tabernacle as first erected by Moses, the altar
of burnt offering was quite small, being only five cubits square.
63 -- temple the altar was enlarged to twenty cubits, or about
thirty feet on each side. In Herod's temple it was still larger,
though there is no certainty as to the exact size. One account states
that it was thirty cubits or forty-five feet square, and Josephus
says it was fifty cubits or seventy-five feet square. In any case,
it appears that the altar of burnt offering was made larger and
larger to accommodate the offerings placed upon it.
time finally came when God
had to do something, or the whole temple service would
become corrupt. God therefore permitted the temple to be destroyed,
and many of the people were carried into captivity to Babylon. Deprived
of the temple, the services would naturally cease. The minds of
the people would be called to the spiritual significance of the
ordinances which they had so often witnessed, but which now were
no more. In Babylon there was neither burnt offering nor sin offerings
nor the solemn feast of the Day of Atonement. Israel hung their
harps on the willows. After seventy years in captivity, they were
permitted by God to return to their homeland and to build the temple
again. He hoped that they had learned their lesson.
they had not. The altar of burnt offering was made larger than before.
The people became more firmly settled in their regard for the mere
form and ritual of the temple and its sacrificial service,
and they failed to heed the prophetic message that "to obey
is better than sacrifice." 1 Sam. 15-22. The income of the
priests from offerings became large; so large, indeed, that the
money accumulated in the temple constituted one of the largest collections
of wealth in antiquity, and the priests
feasts such as the Passover, Jerusalem was filled with
visiting Jews from Palestine as well as from other lands. We are
told that as many as one million visitors were in the city at one
time. Israel was commanded by
p 64 -- God not to appear empty handed before the Lord, so,
of course, all these pilgrims brought offerings. Deut. 16:16. It
was a physical impossibility for the priests to offer as many sacrifices
as would be required to accommodate all the people. They were therefore
encouraged to convert their offerings into cash and to leave this
cash as temple money with the priests who would, at their convenience,
offer the sacrifice which the money called for. It was soon found
that it was easier and safer not to bring the sacrificial animal
from home. The offerer ran the risk not only of having the animal
rejected by the priest for some defect, real or supposed, but of
incurring an additional loss, for to sell an animal that had been
rejected by the priests was not easy. For some purposes only temple
money could be used, and on this an exchange was charged. This changing
of common money into temple
money was another source of large income to the priesthood.
priests were divided into twenty-four courses, each one
of which was to serve
one week at a time, twice a year. When the office of
the high priest became a political one, and he was appointed by
the government, corruption became widespread. Since it was a very
lucrative position, men began to bid for the office of high priest,
and it was actually sold to the highest bidder. To get this money
back., the high priest took control of the selection of the courses;
and such priests were called to serve at Jerusalem at the time of
the feasts as could be depended upon to share with the officials
the large revenues contributed at that time. Corruption came again
to prevail, and many were the priests who were called to serve at
the temple at the great feasts only because they were willing to
divide the spoil with the higher officials. The order in which the
priests were to serve was changed, and the entire plan of God corrupted.
Christ's designation later, "a den of thieves," was not
a mere poetic expression; it was literally true. TOP
65 -- These conditions did not, of course, obtain originally.
It was only after centuries of transgression that corruption reached
the heights here depicted. It was comparatively early, however,
that abuses began to creep in, as evidenced in the quotation from
the book of Samuel in the earlier part of this chapter.
As the priests thus lost sight of the original intent of offerings,
and perverted God's plan in the sacrifices, it became necessary
to send warnings to them. To do this, God used the prophets.
From the very first, the prophets' message to His people was, "Hath
the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as
in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than
sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." 1Sam. 15-22.
To some of the apostatizing priests, it seemed a calamity that the
people should stop sinning; for in that case sin offerings would
cease. To this the writer of Hebrews refers when he says: "For
the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very
image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they
offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
For then would they
not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshipers
once purged should have had no more conscience of sins." Heb.
The Old Testament can
be better comprehended when the struggle between priest and prophet
is understood. It was a tragic struggle, which ended,
in many cases, with victory for the priests. The prophet is God's
mouthpiece. The people may go wrong and the priests may go wrong.
God, however, is not left without a witness. Under such circumstances
God sends a prophet to His people to bring them back to the right
It may easily be imagined that the prophets were not very popular
with the priests. As the priests served in the temple from day to
day, inviting the people to bring their
66 -- sacrifices, the prophets would be commanded by God to
take their position near the temple gate and warn the people to
bring no more offerings. This is written of Jeremiah: "The
word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, Stand in the gate
of the Lord's house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear
the word of the Lord, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates
to worship the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel,
Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in
this place. Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the
Lord, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord are these."
After this, follows further admonition by the prophets for the people
to amend their ways and not trust in lying words. "Will ye
steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely," says
the Lord through the prophet, "and come and stand before Me
in this house, which is called by My name, and say, "We are
delivered to do all these abominations?" Verses 9-11. Then
he adds significantly, "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: but this thing
commanded I them, saying, Obey My voice, and I will be your God,
and ye shall be My people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have
commanded you, that it may be well unto you." Verses 22,23.
Hear what Isaiah has to say: "To what purpose is the multitude
of your sacrifices unto Me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt
offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not
in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he-goats. When ye come
to appear before Me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread
My courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination
unto Me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies,
I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn
67 -- meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts My
soul hateth; they are a trouble unto Me; I am weary to bear them.
And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide Mine eyes from
you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands
are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of
your doings from before Mine eyes; cease
to do evil; learn to do well: seek judgment; relieve
the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow."
Note the strong expressions.
"I am full of the burnt offerings of rams;" "I delight
not in the blood of bullocks;" "who hath required this
at your hand?" "bring no more vain oblations;" "incense
is an abomination to Me;" "your appointed feasts My soul
hateth;" "I am weary to bear them;" "I will
not hear: your hands are full of blood."
"I hate, I despise your feast days. ... Though ye offer Me
burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them:
neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts."
Amos 5:21, 22.
in like strain, asks, "Wherewith shall I come before the Lord,
and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before Him with
burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased
with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my
body for the sin of my soul?" Micah 6:6, 7. He answers the
question in this wise: "He hath showed thee, 0 man, what is
good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly,
and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" Verse
The last prophet in the Old Testament says: "Now, 0 ye priests,
this commandment is for you." "Ye are departed out of
the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted
the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts. Therefore have I
also made you
68 -- contemptible and base before all the people, according
as ye not kept My ways, but have been partial in the law."
Mal. 2:1, 8, 9.
had the right view when he said: "Thou desirest not sacrifice;
else would I give it: Thou delightest not in burnt offering. The
sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart,
0 God, Thou wilt not despise." Ps. 51: 16, 17.
could hardly have used stronger words than those used in rebuking
both the priests and the people, but He was amply justified. The
priests had corrupted the covenant. They had taught the people to
sin, and had made them believe that an offering or a sacrifice would
pay for the sin. They deserved the rebuke of the Lord which He sent
through His prophets. The results were what might be expected under
the circumstances. A bitter hatred against the prophets sprang up
among many of the priests. They hated the men who were sent to rebuke
them. Much of the persecution of the prophets in the Old Testament
was carried on or instigated by the priests. They persecuted them,
tortured them, and killed them. It was not the people alone, but
the priests that opposed and persecuted the prophets.
was the priests, the scribes, and the Pharisees who were the constant
opposers of Christ. For them Christ reserved His most scathing rebuke:
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye
build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the
righteous, and say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we
would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children
of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of
your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape
the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets,
p 69 -- wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall
kill and crucify; and some of them ye shall scourge in your synagogues,
and persecute them from city to city: that upon you may come all
the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous
Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew
between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these
things shall come upon this generation." Matt. 23:29-36. TOP
was a prophet. As such He sounded the prophetic message: "To
obey is better than sacrifice." "Go,
and sin no more," was the way He put it. John 8:11.
He annulled the sacrificial
system by offering Himself upon Calvary. Christ personally
did not offer any sacrifices. He did not sin; and by teaching men
not to sin He struck at the very heart of this priestly perversion.
Though Christ was careful not to offend needlessly, and though He
sent the lepers to the priests for certification (Luke 17:14), it
could not escape the attention of the officials that Christ was
not seen in the temple with the customary offering. They felt that
His message constituted a rebuke to their practices, and were glad
when they found an accusation against Him in His reported words
concerning the temple. Matt. 26:61. The priests hated Christ, and
when the time came He followed the long line of noble heroes among
the prophets by giving His life. The
priests rejected the prophetic message. It was they who in reality
brought about the crucifixion of Christ. In that, they
filled up the measure of their iniquity. They believed in sacrifices
for sins and that through that provision forgiveness might be had.
The larger message
of victory over sin, - the prophetic message, - many
of the priests did not understand, or at least did not teach.
It is not to be thought, however, that all the priests were wicked.
There were many faithful men among them. Some of the priests, indeed,
were prophets, as Ezekiel. It was
70 -- God's intent that every priest should have the prophetic
spirit and sound the prophetic message. In God's plan it is not
enough to attempt to remedy matters after a wrong has been committed.
It is far better to prevent evil than to attempt to heal it. Wonderful
as it is to be lifted up form sin and degradation,
it is still more wonderful to be kept from falling. "Go,
and sin no more" is the true prophetic message. It is better
to obey than to sacrifice. Every true servant of God should echo
this message if he would fulfill the counsel of God. God has always
had need of prophets. They are His messengers to correct wrong.
When tendencies appear among Christ's people that will eventually
bring disaster, God sends His prophets to correct these tendencies
and admonish the people.
The lesson for this time should not be lost. The work of the prophet
is not done until the Lord's work in the earth is finished. God
wants His ministers to sound the prophetic message. When abuses
creep in, a voice must be lifted, calling the people back to the
right ways of the Lord. And back of every such message must be the
clarion call to abstinence from sin, to sanctification, to holiness.
The prophets said: "To obey is better than sacrifice."
Christ said: "Go, and sin no more." Every minister must
exemplify this doctrine in his life and teach it with his lips.
To the extent to which he fails to do this, he comes short of his
high privilege. Of all times now
is the time to send the prophetic message to the ends of the earth.
This was the command of Christ when He gave the great gospel commission
to teach all nations and baptize them, "teaching them to observe
all things whatsoever I have commanded." Matt. 28-20. This
command - to observe all things - is parallel to the prophetic message,
that to obey is better than sacrifice. When this work is done the
end will come. TOP
73 -- Chapter Five --
THE CONSECRATION OF AARON AND
of the priests had symbolic
significance, as indeed had most things about the sanctuary.
Especially was this true of the high priest, who was the embodiment
of the people and represented them. Concerning the garments, this
is written: "These are the garments which they shall make:
a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a broidered coat, a
miter, and a girdle: and they shall make holy garments for Aaron
thy brother, and his sons, that he may minister unto Me in the priest's
office." Ex. 28:4. Besides these are mentioned the linen breeches
in Lev. 16:4 and the holy crown in Ex. 29:6; 28:36-38.
breastplate first mentioned was a "foursquare"
garment suspended upon the breast by little chains. In this breastplate
were four rows of precious
stones of three each, with the names of the children
of Israel engraved upon them, one name on each stone. Ex. 28:21.
This garment was called the "breastplate of judgment,"
and Aaron was to bear it "upon his heart when he goeth in unto
the holy place." Verse 29.
the breastplate were also said to be the Urim
and Thummim, those two mysterious stones which denoted
the Lord's pleasure or displeasure when He was consulted in times
of need. Lev. 8:8; Ex. 28:30; 1 Sam. 28:6. From the fact that they
are said to be in the breastplate, some have supposed them to be
in a pocket put there for that purpose. It seems better to believe,
however, that they were placed prominently
74 -- on the breastplate as were the other stones, one on the
left side, the other on the right, in full view.
ephod was a short garment made "of gold, of blue,
and of purple, of scarlet, and fine-twined linen, with cunning work."
Ex. 28:6. It had no sleeves, and hung down both on breast and back.
On the shoulder pieces were two onyx stones with the names of the
children of Israel engraved upon them, six names on each stone.
"And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the
ephod for stones of memorial unto the children of Israel: and Aaron
shall bear their names before the Lord upon his two shoulders for
a memorial." Ex. 28:12.
the ephod was a long robe
made of blue linen, sleeveless and seamless. Around the
skirt upon the hem were pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet
"and bells of gold between them round about.... And it shall
be upon Aaron to minister: and his sound shall be heard when he
goeth in unto the holy place before the Lord, and when he cometh
out, that he die not." Verses 33-35. Underneath the robe of
the ephod was the ordinary white
linen coat of the priests and the
the high priest was made of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet, the
same as the ephod; that of the priest of white linen embroidered
in blue, purple, and red. It was placed around the robe of the ephod,
rather high up, and served to hold the garment together. Ex. 39:5;
priests wore the white linen coat, the breeches, the girdle, and
The high priest, in addition, wore the ephod, the robe of the ephod,
the breastplate, and the
crown upon the miter, besides, of course, the precious
stones with the names of Israel engraved upon them, and the Urim
and Thummim. TOP
garments were "for glory and for beauty." Ex. 28:2. The
ordinary garments of
the priests which he wore underneath his high priestly garments,
75 -- of
inward purity, and were also for utility. The strictly
high priestly garments were for glory and beauty, and were in a
special sense symbolic.
garments which Aaron wore were not of his own choosing. They were
prescribed. They were "holy garments," made by such as
"are wisehearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom,
that they may make Aaron's garments to consecrate him, that he may
minister unto Me in the priest's office." Ex. 28:3. They harmonized
in color and material with the tabernacle itself, and were adorned
with precious stones.
shall make the ephod of gold." "The curious girdle of
the ephod which is upon it, shall be of the same." "Thou
shalt make the breastplate of judgment ... of gold." "Thou
shalt make the robe of the ephod all of blue ... and bells of gold."
Ex. 28:6, 8, 15, 31, 33. While these garments were made of different
materials, gold formed a prominent part. If to the garments is added
the crown of gold upon the miter, upon which was written: "Holiness
to the Lord," the twelve precious stones with the
names of Israel engraved upon them, and the two onyx stones also
with Israel's name upon them, and lastly, Urim and Thummim, the
whole effect must have been one of glory and beauty. As the high
priest would slowly and with dignity move from place to place, the
sun's light would be reflected in the sixteen precious jewels, the
bells would give forth a musical sound, and the people would be
deeply impressed with the solemnity and beauty of God's worship.
high priest in his official capacity was not simply a man. He was
an institution; he was a symbol; he not merely represented
Israel, he was the embodiment of Israel. He bore the names of Isreal
in the two onyx stones "upon his two shoulders for a memorial;"
he carried them in the twelve precious stones "in the breastplate
of judgment upon his heart;" he bore "the judgment of
the children of Israel
76 -- upon his heart before the Lord continually." Ex.
28:30. He thus carried Israel both on his shoulders
and on his heart.
On his shoulders he carried the burden of Israel; in the breastplate,
signifying the seat of affection and love -- the mercy seat -- he
carried Israel. In the Urim and Thummim, -- "that is, the lights
and the perfections" (Ex. 28:30, R.V., margin), --he bore "the
judgments of the children of Israel upon his heart;" in the
golden crown upon the miter inscribed with "Holiness to the
Lord," he bore the "iniquity of the holy things, which
the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts,"
and this that "they may be accepted before the Lord."
high priest was to act for men in things pertaining to God, 'to
make propitiation for the sins of the people'" (Heb. 2:17).
He was the mediator who ministered for the guilty. 'The
high priest represented the whole people. All Israelites were reckoned
as being in him. The prerogative held by him belonged to the whole
of them (Ex. 19:6), ... (Vitringa).' That the high priest did represent
the whole congregation appears,
first, from his bearing the tribal names on his shoulders
in the onyx stones, and second,
in the tribal names engraved in the twelve gems of the breastplate.
The divine explanation of this double representation of Israel in
the dress of the high priest is, he 'shall bear their names before
Jeh upon his two shoulders for a memorial' (Ex. 28:12, 19). Moreover,
his committing heinous sin involved the people in his guilt: 'If
the anointed priest shall sin so as to bring guilt on the people'
(Lev. 4:3). The LXX reads, 'If the anointed priest shall sin so
as to make the people sin.' The anointed priest, of course, is the
high priest. 'When he sinned, the people sinned. His official action
was reckoned as their action. The whole nation shared in the trespass
of their representative. The converse appears to be just as true.
What he did in his official capacity, as prescribed by the Lord,
was reckoned as done by the whole
77 -- congregation: 'Every high priest...is appointed for men'
(Heb. 5:1)." --The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia,
p. 2439. TOP
representative character of the high priest should be stressed.
Adam was the representative man. When he sinned, the world sinned,
and death passed upon all men. Rom. 5:12. "By one man's offense
death reigned;" "by one mans disobedience many were made
sinners." Verses 17, 19.
likewise, Christ being the second man and the last Adam was the
representative man. "It is written, The first man Adam was
made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit."
"The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the
Lord from heaven." I Cor. 15:45, 47. "As by the offense
of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the
righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification
of life." Rom. 5:18. "For as by one man's disobedience
many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be
made righteous." Rom. 5:19. "For as in Adam all die, even
so in Christ shall all be made alive." I Cor. 15:22.
high priest being in a special sense a figure of Christ, was also
the representative man. He stood for all Israel. He carried
their burdens and sins. He bore the iniquity of all the holy things.
He bore their judgment. When he sinned, Israel sinned. When he made
atonement for himself, Israel was accepted.
consecration of Aaron
and his sons to the priesthood was a most solemn occasion.
The first act was that of
washing. "Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto
the door of the tabernacle of the congregration, and shalt wash
them with water." Ex. 29:4. The priests did not wash themselves.
It being a symbolic act, a symbol of regeneration, they could not
wash themselves. Titus 3:5.
78 -- Being washed, Aaron was then
clothed in his garments of beauty and glory. "Thou
shalt take the garments, and put upon Aaron the coat, and the robe
of the ephod, and the ephod, and the breastplate, and gird him with
the curious girdle of the ephod: and thou shalt put the miter upon
his head, and put the holy crown upon the miter." Ex. 29:5,
6. Note again, Aaron did not put his garments on. They were put
on him. As they were symbolic of the robes of righteousness, he
could not clothe himself. "Let thy priests be clothed with
righteousness; and let thy saints shout for joy." Ps. 132:9.
"I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful
in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation,
He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom
decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself
with her jewels." Isa. 61:10.
is now fully clothed. He has on the white coat underneath, the long
blue robe with the bells and the pomegranates, the ephod with the
two beautiful onyx stones with the names of the children of Israel
engraved upon them, the breastplate with the twelve stones and Urim
and Thummim, the miter and the golden crown with the inscription,
"Holiness to the Lord." He is washed, he is clean, he
is clothed; but he is not yet ready to officiate. Next is
the anointing. The sacred oil is poured upon his head
by Moses. "Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour
it upon his head, and anoint him." Ex. 29:7. Not only is Aaron
anointed, but also the tabernacle. "And Moses took the anointing
oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein, and sanctified
them. And he sprinkled thereof upon the altar seven times, and anointed
the altar and all his vessels, both the laver and his foot, to sanctify
them." Lev. 8:10, 11. This anointing included all the furniture
in both the holy and the most holy place. Ex. 30:26-29. It is to
be noted that while the tabernacle and
79 -- what was therein was sprinkled with oil, upon Aaron the
oil was poured. Lev. 8:10-12; Ex. 29:7. TOP
anointing with oil is symbolic of the endowment with the Spirit
of God. I Sam. 10:1,6; 16:13; Isa. 61:1; Luke 4:18; Acts
10:38. The profusion of oil used in the case of Aaron - it "ran
down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts
of his garments" - is symbolic of the fullness of the Spirit
which God bestows upon His church.
So far, all the ceremonies - except the washing - have been directed
toward Aaron only. Now, however, the four sons have a part equal
with the father in what follows.
a bullock, was provided, and Aaron and his sons placed their hands
upon it and it was killed. The blood was taken by Moses, who put
it "upon the horns of the altar round about with his finger,
and purified the altar, and poured the blood at the bottom of the
altar, and sanctified it, to make reconciliation upon it."
Lev. 8:15. It is here to be noted that the blood of the bullock
was not carried into the sanctuary as was the case when the anointed
priest, the high priest, sinned. Lev. 4:6. Perhaps the reason is
that this particular sin offering was not for Aaron alone, but also
for his sons, and also that it seems to apply especially
to the altar for its purification and sanctification,
that reconciliation might be made upon it. Lev. 8:15. Some, indeed,
hold that it was not for Aaron at all, but only for the altar.
the sin offering was made, a burnt offering was provided. This was
offered in the regular manner, all being burned on the altar, from
which it came up before the Lord as a sweet savor. Verses 18-21.
work so far has been preparatory. The
service of consecration proper is begun by bringing "the ram
of consecration," or, literally, "the
ram of the fillings," and killing it, after hands
had been imposed on its head. The blood
80 -- is taken by Moses, who puts it "upon the tip of Aaron's
and upon the thumb
of his right hand, and upon the great
toe of his right foot." Verse 23. The same
is done to the sons, and the altar also is sprinkled.
"And he brought Aaron's sons, and Moses put of the blood upon
the tip of their right ear, and upon the thumbs of their right hands,
and upon the great toes of their right feet: and Moses sprinkled
the blood upon the altar round about." Lev. 8:24.
this came the "filling."
Unleavened bread, a cake of oiled bread, and a wafer, together with
the fat of the ram and the right shoulder, are placed in Aaron's
hands and upon his sons' hands, and waved for a wave offering before
the Lord. After it is waved by Aaron and his sons, Moses takes it
off their hands and burns it upon the altar. The breast is reserved
for Moses as his part. Verses 26-29.
this, Moses took the oil and the blood "and sprinkled it upon
Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon his sons'
garments with him; and sanctified
Aaron, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons' garments
with him." Verse 30.
this ceremony, ended the special consecration of Aaron and his sons.
They were now empowered to officiate at the sanctuary, though they
still had to wait seven days in which they might not leave the sanctuary,
but must "abide at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation
day and night seven days, and keep the charge of the Lord, that
ye die not: for so I am commanded." Verse 35.
far, Moses had officiated at all the offerings made.
At the end of the seven days Aaron begins his ministration.
He offers a sin offering for himself, a young calf, and a ram for
a burnt offering. Lev. 9:2. He also offers a sin offering, a burnt
offering, a meat offering, and a peace offering for the people.
Verses 3, 4. At the conclusion of the offerings, Aaron lifts up
his hands and blesses the people.
81 -- Moses joins him in this, and the glory of the Lord appears.
Moses has done his work, and need no longer officiate as priest.
entire service of consecration tended to impress upon Aaron and
his sons the sacredness of their calling. It must have
been a new experience for Aaron to be washed by Moses. He could
hardly escape the lesson intended by God. As the two brothers proceed
to the laver, it can easily be imagined that they talk over the
work about to be done. Moses informs his brother that he is to wash
him. Aaron wonders why he cannot do this himself. They discuss the
situation. Moses informs Aaron that God has given specific instructions
regarding what is to be done. "This is the thing which the
Lord commanded to be done," says Moses. Lev. 8:5. From his
conversations with God, Moses has a better understanding of God's
requirements than Aaron has. He understands that this is not an
ordinary bath. If it were that, Aaron could probably do better himself.
This is a spiritual
cleansing. He cannot cleanse himself from sin. Somebody
must do that for him; hence, the symbolic washing.
the washing, Aaron is not permitted to dress
himself. Moses does that for him. Aaron feels himself
completely helpless. Is everything to be done for me? he wonders.
Am I not permitted to do anything for myself? No, he must not even
put on the miter. He is to have everything done for him.
a wonderful lesson this account teaches!
God does everything. All man has to do is to be submissive.
God cleanses; God clothes. He provides the robe of righteousness,
the garments of glory and beauty. All God asks is that we do not
reject the garment He provides, as the man in the parable did.
the consecration service Moses touched Aaron's
ear with the blood, signifying by this that he was to
p 82 -- to God's
and close his ears to all evil. "To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to hearken than the fat of rams." I Sam. 15:22. Christ
was obedient unto death. Phil. 2:8. Our ears are to be consecrated
to God's service.
also touched the thumb
of the right hand, signifying that Aaron should
do righteousness. As hearing has to do with the mind,
so the hand has to do with bodily activity. It stands for the life
forces, the outward act, the doing of righteousness. Of Christ it
is written: "Lo, I come...to do Thy will, O God." Heb.
10:7. Christ came to do God's will. "My meat," He said,
"is to do the will of Hin that sent Me, and to finish His work."
John 4:3. Touching the hand with the blood means the consecration
of the life and service to God -- entire dedication.
touching of the toe
with the blood has similar meaning. It signifies walking
in the right way, running on God's errands, standing for truth and
uprightness. It signifies
treading the path of obedience, having one's steps ordered
by the Lord. Every faculty of the being is to be dedicated to God
and consecrated to His service.
ministry of God is not to be lightly entered into. It is a fearful
responsibility to act as a mediator between God and men. Such a
one must carry the people on his shoulders, he must bear them on
his heart; holiness must be on his forehead, and his very garments
must be sanctified. He must be clean, he must be anointed with the
Holy Spirit, the blood must be applied to his ear, hand, and foot.
The melody of a dedicated life must attend his every step, his progress
must be marked by fruitful happiness, even from afar the sweet harmony
of a well-ordered life must be evident. He must be quick to discern
God's will in the fleeting sunshine or shadow of God's approval
or disapproval; the gold of worth and obedience must be interwoven
in his very character structure; he must reflect in countenance,
dress, and heart the purity, peace, and love of God. He
83 -- must be submissive and willing to let God have His way;
he must forget self and think of others; he must not shun a heavy
load. He must continually have in mind that others' welfare and
happiness are depending on him, that he does not live by or for
himself, that his every act, because of his public and official
character, has large significance. TOP
the true minister contemplates the responsibility resting upon him
and the consequences resulting should he fail or come short he might
well cry out, Who is sufficient for these things?
p 87 -- Chapter Six -- BURNT
is the Hebrew word ordinarily used for burnt
offering. It means "that
which goes up, or ascends." Another word used at
times is kallil,
which means "whole."
The Douay Version has the word "holocaust," that which
is entirely burned up.
words describe the burnt offering, which was wholly
burnt on the altar, and of
which no part was eaten. Of other offerings, a part only
was burnt on the altar of burnt offering; the rest was eaten or
disposed of in some other way. But in the case of a burnt offering,
the whole animal was consumed in the flames. It "ascended"
to God as a sweet-smelling savor. It was pleasing to God. It signified
complete consecration. Nothing was held back. All was given to God.
Lev. 1:9, 13, 17.
morning and evening
sacrifice was called "a
continual" offering. It was not consumed in a moment,
but was to burn "upon the altar all night unto the morning,
and the fire of the altar shall be burning in it." Lev. 6:9;
Ex. 29:42. In the daytime the individual burnt offerings were added
to the regular morning sacrifice so that there was always a burnt
sacrifice on the altar. "The fire shall ever be burning upon
the altar: it shall never
go out." Lev. 6:13.
individual burnt offerings were voluntary.
Most of the other offerings were mandatory.
When, for instance, a man had sinned, he was to bring a sin offering.
He had little choice as to what to bring. Nearly everything was
prescribed. Not so with burnt offerings. They were voluntary offerings,
and the offerer could bring a bullock, a sheep, a lamb, turtledoves,
or pigeons as he thought
88 -- best. Lev. 1:3, 10, 14. In this respect they differed
from most of the other sacrifices.
burnt offerings were
perhaps the most important and characteristic of all offerings.
They contained in themselves the essential qualities and elements
of the other sacrifices. Although they were
voluntary, dedicatory offerings, and as such not directly
associated with sin, yet atonement was effected through them. Lev.
1:4. Job offered burnt offerings for his children, for "it
may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts."
Job 1:5. They are singled out as "ordained in mount Sinai for
a sweet savor, a sacrifice made by fire unto the Lord." Num.
28:6. They were "continual," always to be on the altar.
Lev. 6:9. Sixteen times in chapters 28 and 29 of Numbers does God
emphasize that no other offering is to take the place of the continual
burnt offerings. Each time another sacrifice is mentioned, it is
stated that this is "beside
the continual burnt offering." This would seem to indicate
their importance. TOP
stated, the burnt offering was a voluntary sacrifice. The offerer
could bring any clean animal ordinarily used for sacrifice. It was
required, however, that the animal be
a male without blemish. The person was to offer "of
his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation
before the Lord." Lev. 1:3. When he had selected the animal,
he brought it into the court for acceptance. The priest examined
it to see if it complied with the regulations for sacrifices. After
it had been examined and accepted, the offerer would put his hand
upon the head of the animal. He would then kill the animal, flay
it, and cut it into pieces. Verses 4-6. As the animal was killed,
the priest caught the blood, and sprinkled it round about the altar.
Verses 5, 11. After the animal had been cut into pieces, the inwards
and legs were washed in water, that all filth might be removed.
After this, the priest took
89 -- the pieces and put them in their proper order upon the
altar of burnt offering, there to be consumed by the fire. Verse
9. The sacrifice thus placed on the altar included all the parts
of the animal, both the head, the feet, the legs, and the body itself,
but did not include the skin. This was given to the officiating
priest. Lev. 1:8;7:8.
case turtledoves or young pigeons were used, the priest did the
killing by wringing off the head, and sprinkling or wringing the
blood out at the side of the altar. After this, the body of the
bird was placed on the altar and was there consumed as the ordinary
burnt offering, the feathers and the crop being first removed. Lev.
offerings were used on many occasions, such as the cleansing of
lepers (Lev. 14:19, 20), the cleansing of women after childbirth
(Lev. 12:6-8), and also for ceremonial defilement. Lev. 15:15, 30.
In these cases a sin offering was used as
well as a burnt offering. The first atoned for sin, the
second showed the offerer's attitude toward God in wholehearted
burnt offering was prominent in the consecration of Aaron and his
sons (Ex. 29:15-25; Lev. 8:18), as well as in their induction into
the ministry. Lev. 9:12-14. It was also used in connection with
the Nazarite vow. Num. 6:14. In all these instances it stood for
complete consecration of the individual to God. The offerer placed
himself symbolically on the altar, his life wholly devoted to God.
is not hard to see the connection between these ceremonies and the
statement made in Romans 12:1, "I beseech you therefore, brethren,
by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,
holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."
We are to be wholly dedicated to God. We are to be perfect.
Only when all filth was removed from the burnt offering
was it acceptable to God and was it permitted to come upon the altar,
an "offering made by fire, for a sweet savor" unto the
90 -- Lord. So with us. All sin, all filthiness of the flesh
and spirit, must be removed before we can be acceptable to God.
2 Cor. 7:1.
an offering wholly consumed on the altar, the burnt sacrifice in
a special sense represents
Christ who gave Himself fully, completely, to God's service.
In thus representing Christ, it constitutes an
example to man to follow in His steps. It teaches complete
consecration. It is rightly placed first in the list of offerings
enumerated in Leviticus. It tells us in no uncertain tones that,
to be a "sweet savor" unto God, a sacrifice must be one
of entire surrender.
All must be put on the altar. Nothing must be held back.
the burnt sacrifice we are taught that God
is no respecter of persons. The poor man who brings his
two turtledoves is just as acceptable as the rich man who brings
an ox, or as Solomon, who offered a thousand burnt offerings. I
Kings 3:4. The two mites are as pleasing to God as the abundance
of the wealthy. According to his ability each is accepted.
lesson from the burnt offering is that of order. God wants order
in His work. He gives specific directions regarding this. The wood
is to be laid "in order upon the fire," not merely piled
up. The pieces of the animal are to be laid "in order on the
wood," not just thrown somewhere on the fire. Lev. 1:7, 8,
12. Order is heaven's first law. "God is not the author of
confusion." He wants His people to do things "decently
and in order." I Cor. 14:33, 40. TOP
important lesson is that of
cleanliness. Before the pieces were burned on the altar,
"his inwards and his legs" were to be washed in water.
Verse 9. This would seem unnecessary. These pieces were to be consumed
on the altar. It would be merely a waste of time to wash them before
burning them. Such, however, is not God's reasoning. The command
is, Wash each piece; nothing unclean
91 -- must come on the altar. And so the pieces are washed and
carefully laid in order on the wood, which is laid in order on the
elements of purification are used in the service:
fire, water, and blood. Fire,
emblematic of the Holy Spirit, is a purifying agency. When Christ
comes "to His temple" He is "like a refiner's fire."
"And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and
He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver,
that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness."
Mal. 3:2, 3. He shall purge His people by the "spirit of burning."
question is asked: "Who among us shall dwell with the devouring
fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?"
Isa. 33:14. "Our God is a consuming fire." Heb. 12:29.
The fire is God's presence, which consumes or purifies.
fire on the altar was not
common fire. It came originally from God. "There
came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar
the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they
shouted, and fell on their faces." Lev. 9:24. God had accepted
their sacrifice. It was clean, washed, and "in order,"
ready for the fire; and the fire came "out from before the
Lord." It is supposed that this fire was always kept burning
and not permitted to go out; and as it had come from God it was
called sacred as opposed to common fire, and was to be used in the
is emblematic both of baptism and of the word, two cleansing agencies.
"Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that
He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the
word." Eph. 5:25,26. "According to His mercy He saved
us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour."
92 -- Titus 3:5, 6. Paul was told to "be baptized, and
wash away thy sins." Acts 22:16. When the pieces of the animal
used as a burnt offering were washed before being put on the altar,
it not only taught the people order and cleanliness, but also the
spiritual lesson that before anything is placed on the altar, before
it is accepted by God, it must be clean, washed, pure, holy.
the burnt offering, -- as in all offerings,-- the blood
was the vital, the important element. It is that which makes atonement
for the soul. The classical passage dealing with this is found in
Leviticus 17:11. "The life of the flesh is in the blood; and
I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your
souls: for it is the blood that maketh atonement by reason of the
life." Lev.17:11, R.V. TOP
life of the flesh is in the blood. It
is the blood that makes atonement "by reason of
the life." When the blood was sprinkled on the altar and the
fire came down and consumed the sacrifice, it indicated God's acceptance
of the substitute. "It shall be accepted for him," or
instead of him, "to make atonement for him." Lev. 1:4.
This atonement was made "by reason of the
life" that was in the blood. But this blood, which
represented the life, was efficacious only
after the death of the victim. Had God intended to convey the idea
that it was the blood as such that was efficacious without death,
He would have so stated. A certain amount of blood could have been
withdrawn from an animal without killing it - as blood is now given
in blood transfusions. Blood could thus have been provided without
this is not God's plan.
The blood was not used until death had ensued. And it
is the blood of one who has died. A death has taken place, and it
is not until after death that the blood is used. We
are reconciled by Christ's death, we are saved by His life.
Rom.5:10. It was not
93 -- until Christ was dead that there flowed out blood and
water. John 19:34. Christ "came by water and blood, . . . not
by water only, but by water and blood." I John 5:6. The point
cannot be emphasized too strongly that
it is "by means of death" that we receive the promise
of eternal inheritance, and that a testament is not of
force until "after men are dead," that "it is of
no strength at all while the testator liveth," and that "there
must also of necessity be the death of the testator." Heb.
9:15-17. We may therefore dismiss any theory of atonement which
makes Christ's example the sole factor in our salvation. The example
has its place; it is vital indeed, but the
death of Christ remains the central fact in the atonement.
burnt sacrifice, "an offering made by fire," "was
a sweet savor unto the Lord." Lev. 1:17. It pleased the Lord.
It was acceptable to Him. Some of the reasons for this have been
given. They will now be emphasized.
the burnt sacrifice was first and foremost
a type of the perfect offering of Christ, it is natural
that it should be pleasing to God. As the sacrifice must be without
blemish, perfect, so Christ was the "Lamb without blemish and
without spot," who has "loved us, and hath given Himself
for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling
savor." I Peter 1:19; Eph. 5:2. Christ stands for complete
consecration, entire dedication, full surrender, a giving of all,
that He might save some.
burnt sacrifice was pleasing to God because
it revealed a desire in the heart of the offerer to dedicate himself
to God. The offerer said in effect: "Lord, I want
to serve Thee. I am placing myself unreservedly on the altar. I
am holding back nothing for myself. Accept me in the substitute."
Such an attitude is a sweet savor unto the Lord.
burnt sacrifice was a sweet savor to God because it
was a voluntary offering. It was not required. It was
94 -- not mandatory and was not to be brought at a stated time.
If a man had sinned, God demanded a sin offering. But God never
demanded a burnt sacrifice. If a man offered it, it was "of
his own voluntary will." Lev. 1:3. There was no compulsion.
It was therefore of much more significance than a mandatory offering.
It indicated a thankful heart. TOP
is danger that Christians do too many things pertaining to religion
not because they wish to do them, but because it is the custom or
because it is required. Duty
is a great word; love
is a greater. We must not minimize duty; rather, we must emphasize
it. But we must not forget that love is a still greater force, and
that rightly understood and applied it fulfills duty because it
includes it. Love is voluntary, free; duty is exacting, compulsory.
Duty is law; love is grace. Both are necessary, and one must not
be stressed to the exclusion of the other.
there was no compulsion whatever concerning the burnt sacrifice,
it was in reality an offering of love, of dedication, of consecration.
It was something done over and above what was required. This was
pleasing to God.
loveth a cheerful giver." 2 Cor. 9:7. Some read this as though
it said, God loveth a liberal, or a large, giver. While that may
be true, the statement nevertheless is that God loves one who gives
cheerfully and of his free will. The gift may be small or great,
but if it is offered willingly, it is pleasing to God.
would be well to apply this principle to everyday Christianity.
We may be asked to do a certain thing, give to a certain cause,
or perform a not-too-pleasing task. We do it, at times resignedly,
believing that as it is in itself a good thing, perhaps we ought
to do it, but we are not very cheerful about it. We feel we ought
to do it, but we would be glad to be excused.
must be displeased with the attitude we assume at
95 -- times. He sends one of His ministers with a message. We
are admonished to give, to do, to sacrifice, to pray. There is no
cheerful response to the appeal. Again and again it must be repeated,
and at last we halfheartedly do what we are asked to do. We put
ten cents or ten dollars on the collection plate, not because we
really care to do so, but because we would be ashamed to have others
see that we have no part in the offering. We do our share in ingathering
for missions, not because we love to do the work, but because it
is part of the church program.
was doubtless because David was cheerful and willing that he was
beloved of God. He had sinned, and sinned grievously, but he repented
as deeply as he had sinned, and God forgave him. The experience
left a vivid impression upon David's mind, and ever after, he was
anxious to please God and do something for Him.
was this spirit that led him to propose the building of a temple
for God to dwell in. The tabernacle erected in the wilderness was
several hundred years old. The material of which it was made must
have been in a dilapidated condition. God would have been pleased
to have some one build Him a temple; but He decided not to let His
wishes be known, but to wait until some one thought of it himself.
This David did, and felt happy in the thought that he could do something
for God. He was not permitted to build the temple, but in appreciation
of what David had in mind to do, God told him that instead of David's
building God a house, God would build David a house. I Chron. 17:6-10.
It was in this connection that God gave him the promise that his
throne should be "established forevermore." Verse 14.
This finds its fulfillment in Christ, who, when He comes, shall
sit upon "the throne of His father David." Luke 1:32.
This is a most wonderful and unusual promise. Abraham, Moses, and
Elijah are passed by, and the honor is given to David. One reason
p 96 -- this, we believe, is found in the willingness of
David to do something for God over and above what is required. TOP
is strikingly illustrated in David's wish to build the temple. As
stated before, God had told him that he could not build the temple.
David, however, greatly desired to do so. As he thought the matter
over, he found several ways of making preparation for the building,
without doing the actual building himself. David said, "Solomon
my son is young and tender, and the house that is to be builded
for the Lord must be exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory
throughout all countries; I will therefore now make preparation
for it. So David prepared abundantly before his death." I Chron.
first thing David did was to begin to gather money. The figures
given in I Chron. 22:14 total many million dollars in our money,
which David gave or collected. Next he began "to hew wrought
stones to build the house of God." I Chron. 22:2. David also
"prepared iron in abundance for the nails for the doors of
the gates, and for the joinings; and brass in abundance without
weight." Verse 3. Before he could do any of this, however,
it was necessary for him to have a pattern, or blueprint. This pattern,
David tells us, he received from the Lord. "All this, said
David, the Lord made me understand in writing by His hand upon me,
even all the works of this pattern." I Chron. 28:19. We can
almost imagine David's saying to the Lord, "Lord, Thou hast
told me that I may not build the temple. I would so much like to
do this, but I am content to abide by Thy decision. May I make a
pattern? That would not be building, would it, Lord?" So the
Lord helped him make a pattern, being pleased with David's willingness
to do something for Him.
this connection there is an interesting statement in I Chron. 28:4:
"Howbeit the Lord God of Israel chose me before all the house
of my father to be king over Israel
97 -- forever: for He hath chosen Judah to be the ruler; and
of the house of Judah, the house of my father; and among the sons
of my father He liked me to make me king over all Israel."
This unique expression shows God's high regard for David. And so
David got permission to prepare the stone, the timber, and the iron
for the temple of the Lord, as well as the plan itself. This may
be the reason why later, in the erection of the temple, the sound
of a hammer was not heard. David had prepared the material beforehand.
however, was not satisfied with making preparation for the building
of the temple. He wanted also to prepare the music for the dedication.
That was not building, and so he felt free to go ahead. David was
the sweet singer in Israel; he loved music with his whole heart.
So David began to prepare for the occasion by gathering together
a band of four thousand who "praised the Lord with the instruments
which I made, said David, to praise therewith." I Chron. 23:5.
He also brought the singers together and trained them, as recorded
in the twenty-fifth chapter of the same book. It is pleasing to
think of David after the sad experience of his life, passing a few
years in peace and contentment, making preparation for building
the temple of the Lord and training the singers and musicians for
David was not satisfied. The Lord had told him that he could not
build the temple, but that his son Solomon should do so. What would
hinder David from abdicating and making his son Solomon king of
Israel? "So when David was old and full of days, he made Solomon
his son king over Israel." I Chron. 23:1. Though there were
political reasons for doing this, the setting of the statement indicates
that the building of the temple was a vital factor.
wonder God liked David. He kept pressing God to
98 -- be permitted to do more for Him. He thought up the plan
of making preparation for building the temple. He collected unheard
of sums of money; he trained the musicians, -- all that he might
do something for God, who had done so much for him. David was a
cheerful giver of money and of service, and God liked him. We do
not know how long David lived after Solomon became king, but when
he did die, "they made Solomon the son of David king the second
time." I Chron. 29:22. TOP
that we had more men and churches like David, willing to sacrifice
and work, and anxious to do still more! There would then be no more
need of urging the people or the churches to arise and finish the
work. If David were here and were asked to give $10, he would doubtless
ask: "May I not give $20 or $100?" And the Lord would
be pleased, and would say, "Yes, David, you may." It was
because of this spirit that David, in spite of his sin, was chosen
to be the earthly father of Christ. It was the same spirit that
led Christ to give willingly, to suffer all, and at last to make
the supreme sacrifice. God loves a cheerful giver.
101 -- Chapter Seven -- MEAT OR
word used in Hebrew for "meat
It means a gift made
to another, usually to a superior. When Cain and Abel
presented their offerings to God as recorded in Genesis 4:3, 4,
it was a minchah
they offered. So also was Jacob's gift to Esau. Gen. 32:13. It was
which the brothers of Joseph presented to him in Egypt. Gen. 43:11.
The name given to these offerings in the King James Version is "meat
offering." More nearly correct would be the name
as used in the American Revised Version. This designation we shall
consisted of such vegetable
products as constituted the chief food supply of the
nation: flour, oil, corn or grain, wine, salt, and frankincense.
When they were presented to the Lord, a part was burned as a memorial
upon the altar as a sweet savor unto the Lord. In the case of a
burnt offering, all
was consumed on the altar. In the meal offering, only
a small part was placed upon the altar; the rest belonged
to the priest. "It is a thing most holy of the offerings of
Jehovah made by fire." Lev. 2:3, A.R.V. As the burnt offering
signified consecration and dedication, so the meal
offering signified submission and dependence. The burnt
offerings stood for entire surrender of a life; the meal offerings
were an acknowledgment of sovereignty and stewardship; of dependence
upon a superior. They were an act of homage to God, and a pledge
offerings were ordinarily used in connection with burnt offerings
and peace offerings, but not
with those of sin or trespass. The record in the fifteenth chapter
of Numbers states: "Speak unto the children of Israel, and
102 -- say unto them, When ye be come into the land of your
habitations, which I give unto you, and will make an offering by
fire unto the Lord, a burnt offering, or a sacrifice in performing
a vow, or in a freewill offering, or in your solemn feasts, to make
a sweet savor unto the Lord, of the herd, or of the flock: then
shall he that offereth his offering unto the Lord bring a meat offering
of a tenth deal of flour mingled with the fourth part of a hin of
oil. And the fourth part of a hin of wine for a drink offering shalt
thou prepare with the burnt offering or sacrifice, for one lamb."
Num. 15:2-5. When a ram was offered, the meal offering was increased
to two tenths of a deal of flour; and when a bullock was sacrificed,
the meal offering was three tenths of a deal. The drink offerings
were increased accordingly. Verses 6-10.
the meal offering consisted of fine flour, it was mingled with oil,
and frankincense placed upon it. Lev. 2:1. A handful of this flour
with oil and frankincense was burned as a memorial upon the altar
of burnt offerings. It was "an offering made by fire, of a
sweet savor unto the Lord." Lev. 2:2. Whatever was left after
the handful had been placed upon the altar, belonged to Aaron and
his sons. It was "a thing most holy of the offerings of the
Lord." Verse 3.
the offering consisted of unleavened cakes or wafers, it was to
be made of fine flour mingled with oil, cut in pieces and oil poured
on it. Verses 4-6. At times it was baked in a frying pan. Verse
7. When it was thus presented, the priest took a part and burned
it upon the altar for a memorial. Verses 8, 9. What was left of
the wafers belonged to the priests and was counted most holy. Verse
seems evident that the offering of flour and unleavened wafers anointed
with oil was meant
to teach Israel that God is the sustainer of all life, that they
p 103 -- on
Him for daily food; and that before partaking of the
bounties of life they were to acknowledge Him as the giver of all.
This acknowledgment of God as the provider of temporal blessings
would naturally lead their minds to the source of all spiritual
blessings. The New Testament reveals this source as the
Bread sent down from heaven which gives life to the world.
is specifically stated that no meal offering should be made with
leaven. Neither it nor honey might come upon the altar. Lev. 2:11.
Yet permission was given to offer both leaven and honey as first
fruits. When so used, they were not to come on the altar, however.Verse
12. Leaven is a symbol
of sin. For this reason it was forbidden in any offering
made by fire.
question might properly be raised as to why leaven and honey, forbidden
with other sacrifices, might be offered as first fruits. Lev. 2:12.
is symbolic of sin, of hypocrisy, malice, wickedness (Luke 12:1;
I Cor. 5.8), there is no direct statement in the Bible as to the
symbolic meaning of honey. Commentators are generally agreed, however,
stands for those sins of the flesh which are pleasant to the senses,
but which nevertheless corrupt. Many therefore consider honey symbolic
of self-righteousness or self-seeking.
we accept this interpretation, we would understand that when God
says that Israel might bring leaven and honey as a first fruit,
He invites us, when we first come, to bring all our sinful tendencies
and cherished worldliness to Him. He wants us to
come just as we are. While God is not pleased with
sin and it is not a sweet savor to Him, and while its symbol, leaven,
must not come on the altar, God does want us to come to Him with
all our sin and self-righteousness. Having come, we are to lay all
at His feet. He wants
us to bring our sins to Him. Then we are to go and sin no more.
p 104 -- In the meal offerings, as in other offerings,
salt was used. It is called the "salt of the
covenant of thy God." "With all thine offerings thou shalt
offer salt." Lev. 2:13. All sacrifices were salted, both animal
and vegetable. "Every one shall be salted with fire, and every
sacrifice shall be salted with salt." Mark 9:49. Salt has preserving
power. It also makes food palatable. It was a vital part of each
sacrifice. It is symbolic
of the preserving, keeping power of God.
bringing a meal offering of first fruits, "green ears of corn
dried by the fire, even corn beaten out of full ears," it could
be used. "Thou shalt put oil upon it, and lay frankincense
thereon." A memorial part was taken by the priest and burned
on the altar of burnt offering. Lev. 2:14-16. The American Revised
Version, instead of "corn beaten out of full ears," translates:
"bruised grain of the fresh ear." Though we are not to
find a hidden meaning in every expression, it does not seem farfetched
to believe that the bruised corn here typifies Him who was bruised
for us, and by whose stripes we are healed. Isa. 53:5. The
meal offerings present Christ to us as the life-giver and up-holder,
the one through and in whom "we live, and move, and have our
the meal offerings also belongs the libation of wine
mentioned as the drink
offering. Num. 15:10, 24. This drink offering of wine
was presented before the Lord and poured out in the holy place,
though not on the altar. Num. 28:7; Ex. 30:9. TOP
wave sheaf offered as the first fruit of the harvest,
which was to be waved before the Lord on the second day of the Passover,
was also a meal offering. Lev. 23:10-12. Another meal offering was
the two wave loaves baked with leaven presented at Pentecost as
a first fruit unto the Lord. Lev. 23:17-20. Other offerings were
the daily meal offering of Aaron and his sons, which was to be a
105 -- (Lev. 6:20), and the offering of jealousy recorded in
Numbers 5:15. There was also an offering which is recorded in Leviticus
5:11&12. This offering, however, was a sin offering rather than
a meal offering.
placed weekly on the table in the first apartment of the sanctuary
was in reality a meal offering presented to the Lord. Its Hebrew
name means the "bread of the Presence," or "bread
of the face." It is also called the "continual bread."
Num. 4:7. The table is called the table of the shewbread, and the
"pure table." Lev. 24:6; II Chron. 13:10, 11. The shewbread
consisted of twelve loaves, each made out of four fifths of a peck
of fine flour. The loaves were placed in two piles on the table
every Sabbath. The incoming priests who were to officiate during
the coming week began their work with the evening sacrifice on the
Sabbath. The outgoing priests finished theirs with the Sabbath morning
sacrifice. Both the outgoing and the incoming priests joined in
the removal of the shewbread and in its placement. While the outgoing
priests removed the old bread, the incoming priests put the new
bread on. They were careful not to remove the old until the new
was ready to be put on. The bread must always be on the table. It
was the "bread of the Presence."
to the size of the loaves there is a difference of opinion. Some
believe them to have been as large as twenty by forty inches. While
this cannot be substantiated, it is clear that four fifths of a
peck of flour -- which is equivalent to two tenths of an ephah and
which was used for each cake would make a sizable loaf. On this
bread, incense was placed in two cups, a handful of incense in each.
When the bread was changed on the Sabbath, this incense was carried
out and burned on the altar of burnt offering.
"bread of the Presence" was offered to God under "an
everlasting covenant." Lev. 24:8. It was an ever-present testimony
that Israel was dependent upon God for sustenance,
106 -- and a constant promise from God that He would sustain
them. Their need was ever before Him, and His promise constantly
record concerning the table of shewbread reveals that there were
dishes on the table, spoons, covers, bowls, or as the American Revised
Version states, dishes, spoons, flagons, and bowls "wherewith
to pour out." Ex. 25:29. While in this connection nothing is
said of wine's being on the table, it is evident that the flagons
from which "to pour out" were there for a purpose. There
was a drink offering of wine commanded in connection with the daily
sacrifice. Num. 28:7. The wine was "to be poured unto the Lord
for a drink offering" "in the holy place." The record
does not reveal where in the holy place the wine is to be poured,
but only that it is to be "poured unto the Lord." We are,
however, told where it is not to be poured out. As to the altar
of incense, Israel was forbidden to offer "strange incense"
on it, "neither shall ye pour drink offering thereon."
Ex. 30:9. If the drink offering was to be poured in the holy place;
if it was not to be poured on the altar; if there were flagons on
the table from which "to pour out," it seems clear that
the flagons on the table contained wine. TOP
is not a long step from the table of shewbread in the Old Testament
to the table of the Lord in the New Testament. Luke 22:30; 1Cor.
10:21. The parallel
is close. The bread is His body, broken for us. The cup
is the New Testament in His blood. I Cor. 11:24, 25. As often as
we eat the bread and drink the cup, we "do show the Lord's
death till He come." Verse 26. "The Lord of the Presence"
is symbolic of the Wine, who ever liveth "to make intercession
for us." Heb. 7:25. He is the "living bread which came
down from heaven." John 6:51.
stated at the beginning of this juncture, the meal offerings were
an acknowledgment of God's sovereignty and man's stewardship. The
burnt offerings said: All that
107 -- I am is the Lord's. The meal offerings said: All that
I have is the Lord's. The latter is really included in the former;
for when a man is dedicated to God, that dedication includes his
possessions as well as himself. That is doubtless the reason the
meal offerings always
accompanied the burnt offering. Num. 15:4.
meal offering is a definite and separate sacrifice denoting
a consecration of means, as the burnt sacrifice denotes a consecration
of life. The dedication of means must be preceded by a dedication
of life. One is the result of the other. A dedication of life without
a dedication of means is not provided for in God's plan. A dedication
of means without a dedication of life is not acceptable. The
two must go together. Combined, they form a complete
sacrifice, pleasing to God, "a sweet savor unto the Lord."
idea of stewardship needs emphasis in a time like this. Some who
bear the name of Christian talk loudly of holiness and of their
devotion to God, but their works do not always correspond to their
profession. The purse strings are held tight, appeals go unheeded,
God's cause languishes. Such need to understand that consecration
of life includes consecration of means, and that the one without
the other is not pleasing to God.
the other hand it would be misleading to believe that a dedication
of means is all that God requires. We are responsible for whatever
talents we may have, whether they be money or time or natural gifts.
Of all these God is the rightful owner, and we only stewards. Such
talents as music, song, art, speech, leadership, belong to God.
They must be dedicated to Him. They must be put on the altar.
fine flour used in the meal offering was partly the product
of man's labor. God causes the grain to grow; He gives sunshine
and rain; He places the life-giving properties within the kernel.
Man harvests the grain, grinds the flour, separates all coarse particles
from it until it becomes
108 -- "fine."
It is then presented to God, either as flour or as cakes
prepared by baking. God and man have cooperated, and the resulting
product is dedicated to God. It represents God's original gift plus
man's labor. It is a giving back to God of His own with usury. God
gives the seed. Man plants it, God waters it. Multiplied, it is
given back to God, who graciously accepts it. It is
symbolic of man's lifework, of his talents as improved
under the guiding hand of God.
gives to every man at least one talent. He expects man to
improve that talent and multiply it. It is not acceptable
to God to present Him with the original talent, to give back to
Him only that which He gave us. He wants us to take the seed He
gives, plant it, tend it, harvest it. He wants the grain to pass
through the process that seems to crush the very life out of it,
but in reality prepares it to serve man; He wants everything coarse
removed from it, and He wants it presented to Him as "fine
flour." He wants the talents improved and presented to Him
with usury. Nothing less will do.
fine flour stands for man's lifework. It stands for improved talents.
What the shewbread signified with respect to
the nation, the meal offering signified with respect
to the individual.
It is consecrated lifework symbolized. TOP
significant is the expression "fine flour"! Flour is grain,
crushed between the upper and nether millstone. It was grain, capable
of being planted, capable of life perpetuation. Now it is crushed,
lifeless. It can never be planted again; it is dead. The life is
crushed out of it. But is it useless? No, a thousand times no! it
gives its life, it dies, that others might live. The crushing of
its own life became the means through which life is perpetuated,
ennobled. It was the life of the seed; now it helps to sustain the
life of the soul, a being made in the image of God. Death enriched
it, glorified it, made it serviceable to mankind.
109 -- Few lives are of real and enduring value to mankind until
they are bruised and crushed. It is in the deep experiences of life
that men find God. It is when the waters go over the soul that character
is built. Sorrow, disappointment, and suffering are able servants
of God. They are the dark days that bring the showers of blessing,
enabling the seed to germinate and to bring forth fruit.
problem of suffering may be unfathomable in its deeper aspects.
But some things are clear.
Suffering serves a definite purpose in the plan of God.
It mellows the spirit. It prepares the soul for a deeper understanding
of life. It inspires sympathy for others. It makes one walk softly,
before God and men.
he who has suffered has lived. Only he who has loved has lived.
The two are inseparable. Love calls for sacrifice. Sacrifice often
requires suffering. Not that it need necessarily be physical suffering.
For the highest kind of suffering is joyful, holy, exalted. A mother
may sacrifice for her child, she may suffer, but she does it willingly,
joyfully. Love counts sacrifice a privilege. I "rejoice in
my suffering for you," Paul says, "and fill up that which
is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His body's
sake, which is the church." Col. 1:24. The lesson of suffering
has not been learned until we know how to rejoice in it. And we
may rejoice, when it dawns on us that "as the suffering of
Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ;"
that when we are "afflicted, it is for your consolation and
salvation;" that Christ Himself "learned ... obedience
by the things which He suffered;" and that because He "hath
suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted;"
when it dawns on us that our sufferings rightly endured and interpreted
are permitted that we, as the high priest of old, may "have
compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way;
for that he himself also is compassed
110 -- with infirmity." II Cor. l:5, 6; Heb. 5:8; 2:18;
5:2. Such suffering is not sorrowful, but happy. Christ, "for
the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross." Heb. 12:2.
has been the lot of God's people at all times. It is part of God's
plan. Only through suffering can certain lessons be learned. Only
thus can we in Christ's stead minister as we should to those who
are passing through the valley of affliction and "be able to
comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith
we ourselves are comforted of God." II Cor. 1:4. Viewed in
this light, suffering becomes a blessing. It enables one to minister
in a way not possible without such experience. It becomes a privilege
"not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake."
understand how necessary is "the fellowship of His suffering,"
we need but glance at the experience of some of the saints of God
in past ages. Call to mind those three awful days for Abraham after
God had told him to slay his son. Call to mind the night of Jacob's
trouble -- the night that made a saint out of a sinner. Call to
mind the time Joseph spent awaiting death in the cistern; his agony
at being sold as a slave; his prison experience caused by false
accusations and embittered by ingratitude. Call to mind the persecutions
of Jeremiah; the fearful day when Ezekiel was commanded to preach,
instead of being permitted to stay with his dying wife; the dark
and awful experience of John the Baptist in prison when doubt assailed
his soul; the thorn in Paul's flesh which he was not permitted to
have removed. And yet from all these experiences issued nobler lives,
larger vision, greater usefulness. Without them these saints could
never have done the work they did, nor would their lives have been
the inspiration they now are. As the flowers give more delightful
fragrance when they are crushed, so a great sorrow may ennoble and
beautify a life, sublimating it for God's use. TOP
111 -- The flour used in meal offerings was not to be offered
dry; it was to be mingled with oil, or anointed with oil. Lev. 2:4,
5. The oil is the Spirit
of God. Only as a life is sanctified by the Spirit, mixed
with it, anointed with it, can it be pleasing to God. Suffering
in and of itself may not be a blessing. It may only lead to hardness
of heart, bitterness of spirit. But as God's Spirit takes possession
of the soul, as the sweet spirit of the Master permeates the life,
the fragrance of a dedicated life becomes manifest.
the incense offered
each morning and evening in the holy place was
emblematic of the righteousness of Christ which ascended
with the prayers of the priest for the nation as a sweet savor unto
God, so the incense offered in connection with each meal offering
was efficacious for the individual. It was making a personal application
of that which otherwise was only general. In the morning and evening
sacrifice, the priest prayed for the people. In the meal offering
the incense was applied to the individual soul.
the minds of the Israelites, incense and prayer were closely associated.
Morning and evening, as the incense - symbolizing Christ's merits
and intercession - ascended in the holy place, prayers were offered
throughout the nation. Not only did the incense permeate the holy
and the most holy place, but its fragrance was noted far around
the tabernacle. Everywhere it bespoke prayer and called men to communion
is vital to Christianity. It is the breath of the soul. It is the
vital element in every activity of life. It must accompany every
sacrifice, make fragrant every offering. It is not only an important
ingredient of Christianity, it is the very life of it. Without its
vital breath, life soon ceases; and with the cessation of life,
decomposition sets in, and that which should be a savor of life
unto life becomes a savor of death unto death.
one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice
112 -- shall be salted with salt." Mark 9:49. Fire
purifies, salt preserves. To be salted with fire means
not only purification, but preservation. God wants a clean people,
a people whose sins are forgiven. But it is not enough to be forgiven
and cleansed. The keeping power of God must be accepted. We must
be kept clean. The fire is not to be a destructive fire, but a cleansing
one. We are to be first cleansed, then kept. "Salted with fire!"
"Salted with salt!" Purified and kept pure! Wonderful
meal offering, though not the most important one, has beautiful
lessons for the devout soul. All we are should be on the altar.
All we have belongs to God. And God will purify and keep His own.
May these lessons abide with us.
113 and 114 -- Title
p 115 --Chapter Eight -- PEACE
-- The hebrew word translated "peace
offering," comes from a root word meaning "to
make up, to supply what is wanting, to pay a recompense."
It denotes a state in which misunderstandings have been cleared
up and wrongs righted, and in which good feeling prevails. Peace
offerings were used on any occasion that called for thankfulness
and joy, and also in making a vow. They were sweet-savor offerings,
like burnt and meal offerings. They were an expression on the part
of the offerer, of his peace with God and of his thankfulness to
Him for His many blessings.
selecting a peace offering, the offerer was not limited in his choice.
He could use a bullock, a sheep, a lamb, or a goat, male or female.
Ordinarily a sacrifice had to be "perfect to be accepted."
Lev. 22:21; 3:1-17. However, when a peace offering was presented
as a freewill offering, it need not
be perfect. It could be used even if it had "anything superfluous
or lacking in his parts." Lev. 22:23. As in the case of the
burnt offering, the offerer must lay his hands upon the head of
the sacrifice and kill it at the door of the tabernacle. The blood
was then sprinkled upon the altar round about by the priest. Lev.
3:2. After this, the fat was burned: "It is the
food of the offering made by fire unto the Lord." Verse 11.
"All the fat is the Lord's. It shall be a perpetual statute
for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat
neither fat nor blood." Verses 16, 17.
offerings were of three
kinds: thank offerings, offerings for a vow, and voluntary
offerings. Of these, the thank offering or praise offering appears
116 -- prominent. It was offered on occasions of joy, of thankfulness
for some specific instance of deliverance, or for some signal blessing
bestowed. It was offered from a heart filled with praise of God,
running over with joy.
and trespass offerings asked favors of God. They begged
offerings stood for dedication and consecration on the
part of the offerer. Meal
offerings recognized the offerer's dependence upon God
for all temporal needs and his acceptance of the responsibility
of stewardship. Peace
offerings were a praise offering for mercies received,
a thank offering for blessings enjoyed; a voluntary offering from
an overflowing heart. They asked for no favors as such; they ascribed
praise to God for what He had done, and magnified His name for His
goodness and mercy to the children of men.
offerings in the Old Testament were embodied prayers. They combined
faith and works, prayer and faith. In their totality they expressed
man's entire relationship to, and need of, God. Peace offerings
were communion offerings. Burnt offerings were wholly burnt on the
altar; meal offerings were either burned outside the camp or eaten
by the priest, but peace offerings were divided
not merely between God and the priest, but a part, the greater part,
was given to the offerer and his family. God's part was burned on
the altar. Lev. 3:14-17. The priest received the wave breast and
the heave shoulder. Lev. 7.33, 34. The rest belonged to the offerer,
who could invite any clean person to partake with him. It must be
eaten the same day, or in some cases the second day, but not later.
cakes mingled with oil, also wafers and fried cakes, were a part
of the offerings. To this was added leavened bread. A part was presented
to the Lord as a heave
offering and then given to the priest as his portion.
Lev. 7:11-13. TOP
117 -- The whole ceremony constituted a kind of communion service
in which priest and people partook with the Lord at His table; a
joyful occasion, where all united in thanking God and praising Him
for His mercy.
use of leaven
in the peace offering is significant. Ordinarily leaven was not
permitted in any sacrifice. In one other instance where it was used
- that of the first fruits in the meat offering (Lev. 2:12) - it
was not permitted to come on the altar. In the present instance
it was presented to the Lord as a heave offering and then given
to the priest who had sprinkled the blood. Lev. 7:13, 14. In the
case of the first fruit in the meat offering, the leaven represented
man bringing his offering to God for the first time. He must bring
such as he had. But he was to do that only
once. In the peace offering, both unleavened and leavened
bread are commanded. May it not be, as this is a common meal of
which God, priest, and offerer partake, that the
unleavened bread represents Him who is without sin and
who is our peace; and that the
leaven represents the imperfection of man who is nevertheless
accepted by God? Eph. 2:13. Reference to this is made in Amos 4:5.
"The flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving
shall be eaten the same day." Lev. 7:15. Though this was partly
a sanitary measure, that could not be the only reason; for in cases
where the peace offering was a vow or a voluntary offering it could
also be eaten the second day. Verse 16. It was manifestly impossible
for a man himself to consume his offering, if it were a bullock
or a goat or a lamb, in one day. He therefore was permitted, and
even commanded, to ask others to share in the meal. "Thou mayest
not eat within thy gates ... any of the vows which thou vowest,
nor thy freewill offerings, or heave offering of thine hand; but
thou must eat them before the Lord thy God in the place which the
Lord thy God shall choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter,
118 -- thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite
that is within thy gates: and thou shalt rejoice before the Lord
thy God in all that thou puttest thine hands unto. Take heed to
thyself that thou forsake not the Levite as long as thou livest
upon the earth." Deut. 12:17-19.
was a distinguishing
feature of the peace offering. It must be eaten the same
day, and it must be shared; it must be eaten "before the Lord,"
and "thou shalt rejoice." It was a joyful, communal meal,
and in this respect was different from all other offerings.
times peace offerings were vow
offerings. For one reason or another, perhaps because
of some special blessing desired, an offerer would make a vow to
the Lord. He might vow himself to the Lord, or his wife or children,
or cattle, house, or lands. Lev. 27. In this way Samuel was vowed
to the Lord. I Sam. 1:11. In case of persons, a vow could ordinarily
be redeemed at a fixed valuation, adjustable by the priests in case
of the very poor. Lev. 27:1-8. If the vow concerned one of the beasts
suitable for sacrifice, it could not be redeemed. If a man attempted
to exchange it for another beast, both beasts were to be offered.
Verses 9, 10. In case of an unclean beast, the priest was to evaluate
it. It could be redeemed by adding one fifth to the estimated value.
things are mentioned as not
coming under the rule of a vow: all first-born (verses 26, 27);
anything devoted to God (verses 28, 29); the tithe (verses 30-34).
These, as belonging already to God, could not be vowed.
are some who do not consider vows with favor. Yet God provided for
vows. While it may be better not to vow than to vow and not pay
(Ecel. 5:5), at times vows are in order and acceptable to God. "If
thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee" (Deut.
23:22); but if a man makes a vow, he shall "not slack to pay
it." Verse 21. The making of a vow is optional. A man may or
119 -- make a vow, but if he makes one "he shall not break
his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his
mouth." Num. 30:2. TOP
chief point in these statements is this, that
a man is to keep that which he has promised. He must
"not break his word." He must not even be "slack"
in fulfilling his vow. When the time comes, he must pay. God expects
wants His people to be honest and dependable. He wants them to keep
their promises. No man is fulfilling his Christian duties if he
is undependable in business dealings. No man can break his word
and retain God's favor. No man can "forget" to pay his
bills, or even be slack concerning them, and be counted honest in
the sight of heaven. A Christian, above all people, must be a man
of his word. He must not only be upright; he must be prompt.
is an age in which many consider their word as of little weight,
and have little respect, for their promises. While this may be expected
of the world, there can be no excuse for any who bear the name of
Christ to repudiate their promise. Yet how many unpaid pledges there
are, how many broken vows! The marriage vow is broken; the baptismal
vow is broken; the ordination vow is broken. Covenants are repudiated,
agreements violated, pledges forgotten. Breaking of faith is common,
disregard of responsibility almost universal. Christ Himself wondered
if He should find faith on the earth when He returned. Luke 18:8.
In the midst of all this confusion there must be a people upon whom
God can depend, in whose mouth there is found no guile, who are
true to their word. The question asked in Psalms 15 is also answered
there. The question: "Lord, who shall abide in Thy tabernacle?
who shall dwell in Thy holy hill?" The answer: "He that
walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth
120 -- in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue,
nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against
his neighbor. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoreth
them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth
not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward
against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be
of the conditions here mentioned of abiding in the tabernacle of
God is that of "swearing to his own hurt," and not changing.
A man may agree to sell or to buy some property, and after the agreement
is made, receive a more favorable offer. Will he stick to his bargain
even at a loss to himself? He will if he is a Christian.
for one's word is a crying need. Nations need it, lest their agreements
become meaningless. Business needs it, lest confusion and disaster
result. Individuals need it, lest faith perish from the earth. Above
all, Christians need it, lest men lose their vision and hope, and
despair grip mankind.
is the supreme hour and opportunity of the church. A demonstration
is due the world, that there is a people who remain faithful in
a faithless generation; who have respect for their own word as well
as for God's; who are true to the faith once delivered to the saints.
The manifestation of the sons of God is overdue. Rom. 8:19. This
revelation of the sons of God is not only "the earnest expectation
of the creature," but "the whole creation groaneth and
travaileth in pain together" for it. Verse 22. And this manifestation
will reveal a people who have the seal of God's approval. They keep
the commandments. They have the faith of Jesus. Their word is yea,
yea, and nay, nay. They are without fault, even before the throne
of God. Rev. 14:12, 5; James 5:12.
has been stated before, the peace offering was a
121 -- communion
offering in which God, the priest, and the people partook.
It was a communal meal,
held within the precincts of the temple, in which joy and happiness
prevailed, and priest and people held converse. It was not an occasion
when peace was effected, it was rather a feast of rejoicing that
peace existed. It was generally
preceded by a sin offering or a burnt offering. Atonement
had been made, the blood had been sprinkled, forgiveness had been
extended, and justification assured. In celebration of this, the
offerer invited his near of kin and his servants, as well as the
Levites, to eat with him. "Thou mayest not eat within thy gates,"
was the command, but only "in the place which the Lord thy
God shall choose." Deut. 12:17, 18. And so the whole family
assembled within the temple gates to celebrate in a festal manner
the peace that had been established between God and man, and between
man and man. TOP
justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus
Christ." Rom. 5:1. "He is our peace." Eph. 2:14.
Israel of old was invited to celebrate the fact that they had peace
with God, that their sins were forgiven, and that they were restored
to favor with God. This celebration included son and daughter, manservant
and maidservant, as well as the Levite. All sat down at the table
of the Lord and rejoiced together "in hope of the glory of
God." In like manner we are to "joy in God through our
Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement."
Rom. 5:2, 11.
appreciate or rejoice in the peace of God as they should. Though
the reason may be, in many cases, a lack of appreciation of what
God has done for them, many times there are dear souls who fail
to understand that it is their right and privilege to be happy in
their religion. They live in the shadow of the cross rather than
in its sunshine. They feel that there is something wrong in happiness,
that to smile is inappropriate, and that even innocent laughter
122 -- is sacrilegious. They carry the burden of the world on
their shoulders and feel that to spend any time in recreation is
not only a waste of time, but is definitely irreligious. They are
good Christians, but not happy ones. If they were living in the
days of Christ and following Him, they would question the advisability
of going to the marriage feast at Cana in Galilee. They might even
be perplexed about Christ's eating and drinking with sinners. With
John's disciples they would be fasting and praying. Luke 5:29-35.
is written with full appreciation of the times in which we are living.
If there was ever a period when seriousness and sobriety should
characterize our work, this is such a period. In view of the approaching
crisis, what manner of men ought we to be, in all holy conversation
and godliness! All frivolity and lightness should be put aside,
and solemnity should take possession of every earthly element. Great
and momentous events are hastening apace. This is no time for trifling
and pettiness. The King is at the door!
conditions, however, should not cause us to lose sight of the fact
that we are children of the King, that our sins are forgiven, and
that we have a right to be happy and rejoice. The work must be finished,
and we are to have a part in it; but after all, it is God who must
finish the work. Many talk and act as though they were to finish
the work, as though all depends on them. They seem to think that
they have the responsibility of the work upon them, and that though
God may help, it is really for them to do the work. Even in their
prayers, they often remind God of what He should do, fearful that
He may forget some things that are on their hearts. They are good
souls, anxious to do the right thing at all times but they have
not learned to cast their burdens on the Lord. They are doing their
best to carry the load, and though groaning beneath the burden,
are determined not to give up. They
123 -- struggle on and are getting much done. They are valuable
workers, and the Lord loves them dearly. TOP
they are lacking in some important essentials, and are not getting
much joy out of their Christianity. They are Marthas who toil and
work, but leave out the one thing needful. They look disapprovingly
at the Marys who are not doing as they themselves do, and they make
their complaint to the Lord. They do not understand how Christ can
take Mary's part, when to their mind she ought to be rebuked. They
work, but they are not very happy about it. They think that others
are not doing their share. Luke 10:38-42.
is the same lesson that is emphasized in the story of the prodigal
son. The elder son had never done anything very wrong. He had always
worked hard and had never wasted any time in feasting and carousing.
And now when the younger son came home after spending his portion
in riotous living, "he was angry and would not go in"
to the feast in honor of the returned brother. It was of no avail
that the father came "out, and entreated him." He rather
rebuked the father, accusing him that "as soon as this thy
son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou
hast killed for him the fatted calf." Luke 15:30. Kindly the
father replies: "It was meet that we should make merry, and
be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and
was lost, and is found." Verse 32. We are not told the end
of the story. Did the son go in? Did the love of the father prevail?
We do not know. The story does not say. The last picture we have
is of the elder son being outside the house, angry. It is to be
hoped that he repented and went in, but we do not know.
should be a happy people, even in the midst of the most solemn events.
And why should they not be? Their sins are forgiven. They have peace
with God. They are justified, sanctified, saved. God has placed
a new song
124 -- in their mouths. They are children of the Most High.
They are walking with God. They are happy
in the love of God. Few Christians have the peace of God dwelling
in their hearts as they should have. They seem to forget their heritage.
Said Christ: "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto
you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart
be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27.
the hearts of many are troubled. They are afraid. They are worrying.
Some dear one is outside the fold, and they are trying to "pray
him in." Day and night they toil and pray. They leave no stone
unturned in their effort to encompass his salvation. If any one
can be saved by the works of some one else, they are determined
that it shall be done. And they do not leave God out of the reckoning.
They pray to Him. They entreat Him. They pray as though God needed
prodding. And at last, the dear one turns to God. How happy they
are! Now they can rest. Now their work is done, their task accomplished.
it ever occur to such souls that God is as much interested in the
dear one's conversion as they are, yes, more than they possibly
could be? Does it ever occur to them that long before they began
to pray and to work, God planned and worked for the loved one's
salvation; that He is doing and has done all that possibly can be
done? That instead of their taking over God's work and imploring
Him to help them,
it would be better if they recognized the work as God's work and
cooperated with Him? The moment such realization comes to a soul,
peace comes. It will not make a person work less or pray less, but
it will shift the emphasis. He will begin to
pray in faith. If we believe God is really at work,
if we believe He is interested in men's salvation, we will pray
more than ever, but we will leave the responsibility with God. TOP
125 -- Much of our work is grounded in unbelief. With Habakkuk
we feel that God is not really doing His part. Hab. 1:2-4. He needs
to be reminded. There are things that should be called to His attention,
and we proceed to bring them before Him. Instead of having faith
in God, in His wisdom, His power, we take the burden upon ourselves,
saying, in effect, that we cannot trust God to do what He has promised
to do. But when faith comes; when the wonderful light dawns on us
that God is still ruling in the affairs of men; that He is doing
His best to save man-kind, and that our prayers should be to know
His will -- when this realization comes to us, then assurance, rest,
and peace are ours in abundant measure. There will be no less works;
but they will be works of faith. There will be no less prayers,
but they will be prayers of faith. Thanksgiving will ascend daily
for the privilege of working together with God. Peace will fill
the heart and soul. Anxiety and worry will be no more. Peace, sweet
peace, quietness, rest, happiness, and joy will be the daily portion.
Life and life's outlook are entirely changed. We have learned to
sit at the feet of Jesus. While Martha is still working -- and quietly
complaining -- Mary is listening to the words of life. She has found
the one thing needful. She understands the word of Christ: "This
is the work of God, that ye believe." John 6:29. And she believes
is no higher bliss possible than to have the peace of God in the
heart. It is the legacy which Christ left. "Peace I leave with
you," He says. Wonderful words. "My peace I give unto
you." John 14:27. His peace was that quiet assurance that came
from confidence in God. At the time Christ spoke these words, He
was nearing the cross. Golgotha was before Him. But He did not waver.
His heart was filled with peace and assurance. He knew Him in whom
He trusted. And He rested in the knowledge that God knew the way.
He might not be able to "see through
126 -- the portals of the tomb." Hope might "not present
to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him
of the Father's acceptance of the sacrifice." But "by
faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. ...
By faith, Christ was victor." --The Desire of Ages,
pp. 753, 756.
same peace He bequeaths to us. It means oneness with the Father,
fellowship, communion. It means quiet joy, rest, contentment. It
means faith, love, hope. In it there is no fear, worry, or anxiety.
Whoever possesses it has that which passes understanding. He has
a source of strength not depending on circumstances. He is in tune
with God. TOP
129 -- Chapter Nine -- SIN OFFERINGS
and sin offerings bear the same name in Hebrew. The sin
offering was so closely connected with the sin that their names
became identical. When Hosea says of the priests, "They eat
up the sin of My people" that same word, "chattath,"
is used as occurs elsewhere for "sin offering." Hosea
offerings are first mentioned in connection with the consecration
of Aaron and his Sons. Ex. 29:14. They are not, however, mentioned
as something new. It may, therefore, be taken for granted that sin
offerings were already in existence at that time.
should be noted that sin offerings sufficed only for sins
done through ignorance. Lev. 4:2, 13, 22, 27. They concerned
sins of errors, mistakes, or rash acts, of which the sinner was
unaware at the time, but which afterward became known to him. They
provide for sins done consciously, knowingly, and persistently.
When Israel sinned deliberately, as in worshiping the golden calf,
and defiantly refused God's mercy when Moses called them to repentance,
punishment was meted out. "There fell of the people that day
about three thousand men." Ex. 32:28.
conscious or presumptuous sin, the law reads: "But the soul
that doeth ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land,
or a stranger, the same reproacheth the Lord; and that soul shall
be cut off from among his people. Because he hath despised the word
of the Lord, and hath broken His commandment, that soul shall utterly
be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him." Num. 15:30, 31.
To this law there are some
130 -- however, which will be noted in the chapter on trespass
fourth chapter of Leviticus discusses the matter of sin offerings.
Four classes of offenders
are mentioned: The anointed
priest (verses 3-12), the whole
congregation (verses 13, 21), the
ruler (verses 22-26), one of the common
people (verses 27-35). The sacrifices demanded were
not the same in all cases, nor was the blood disposed
of in the same manner. If the anointed priest sinned "according
to the sin of the people," or as the American Revised Version
reads, "so as to bring guilt on the peoples," he was to
bring "a young bullock without blemish unto the Lord for a
sin offering." Lev. 4:3. If the whole congregation of Israel
sinned through ignorance, they also were to "offer a young
bullock for the sin, and bring him before the tabernacle of the
congregation." Verse 14. If one of the rulers sinned, he was
to bring "a kid of the goats, a male without blemish."
Verse 23. If one of the common people sinned through ignorance,
he was to bring "a kid of the goats, a female without blemish."
Verse 28. In case he could not bring a goat, he might bring a lamb,
also a female. Verse 32.
each case the sinner was to provide the offering, lay his hand upon
the head of the animal and kill it. When the whole congregation
sinned, the assembly was to provide the offering, and the elders
were to place their hands upon the head of the bullock.
the disposition of
the blood, there is a difference that should be noted.
If the anointed priest
sinned and brought his bullock and killed it, the priest
should "dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood
seven times before the Lord, before the veil of the sanctuary."
Verse 6. He should also put "some of the blood upon the horns
of the altar of sweet incense before the Lord, which is in the tabernacle
of the congregation; and shall pour all the blood of the bullock
at the bottom of the altar of the burnt
131 -- offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of the
congregation." Verse 7. TOP
instruction is specific. As the bullock was killed, the priest caught
the blood, and some of it was taken into the first apartment of
the sanctuary. There the blood was sprinkled seven times before
the Lord, before the veil of the sanctuary and also put upon the
horns of the altar of sweet incense which stood in the first apartment.
The rest of the blood was poured out at the foot of the altar of
burnt offering in the court.
the whole congregation
sinned, the blood was disposed of in the same manner.
Some of it was taken into the first apartment of the sanctuary and
sprinkled before the veil. The horns of the altar of incense were
touched with the blood, and the rest of the blood was poured out
at the foot of the altar of burnt offering outside the court. Verse
sinned, the blood was disposed of differently. The record reads:
"The priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering with
his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering,
and shall pour out his blood at the bottom of the altar of burnt
offering." Verse 25. In this case the blood was not carried
into the sanctuary and sprinkled before the veil. It was put upon
the horns of the altar of burnt offering in the court, and the rest
poured out at the bottom of the same altar.
same was done with the blood when one of the common
people sinned. The blood was put upon the horns of the
altar of burnt offering and the rest poured out at the bottom of
the altar. Verses 30, 34.
In each of these cases the fat
was removed from the carcass and burned upon the altar of burnt
offering. Verses 8-10, 19, 26, 31, 35. The
carcass, however, was treated differently in the different
cases. If the anointed
priest sinned, the "skin of the bullock, and all
his flesh, with his
132 -- head, and with his legs, and his inwards, and his dung,
even the whole bullock shall he carry forth without the camp unto
a clean place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn him on the
wood with fire: where the ashes are poured out shall he be burnt."
Verses 11, 12. The same was to be done with the carcass of the bullock
offered for the sin offering of the whole congregation.
The carcass was carried without the camp to a clean place and there
burned on the wood with fire. Verse 21.
is no instruction in the chapter under consideration as to what
was done with the carcass when a ruler
or one of the common
people sinned. In the sixth chapter of Leviticus, however,
in "the law of the sin offering," is found some further
instruction. "In the place where the burnt offering is killed
shall the sin offering be killed before the Lord: it is most holy.
The priest that offereth it for sin shall eat it: in the holy place
shall it be eaten, in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation."
Lev. 6:25, 26. This statement is illuminating. The priest that offered
the sin offering was to eat it. He was to eat it in a holy place,
in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation. Verse 29 states:
"All the males among the priests shall eat thereof: it is most
holy." There is an exception to this, however: "No sin
offering, whereof any of the blood is brought into the tabernacle
of the congregation to reconcile withal in the holy place, shall
be eaten: it shall be burnt in the fire." Verse 30.
will be remembered that when the anointed
priest or the whole
congregation sinned, the blood was carried into the first
apartment of the sanctuary, and there sprinkled before the veil.
Some of the blood was also put upon the horns of the altar of incense
in the holy place. In these cases the blood was brought into the
tabernacle of the congregation in the holy place. These two cases,
therefore, are referred to in the statement: "No sin offering,
133 -- any of the blood is brought into the tabernacle of the
congregation to reconcile withal in the holy place, shall be eaten:
it shall be burnt in the fire." When the anointed priest or
the whole congregation sinned, the blood was carried into the holy
place; the flesh was not
eaten, but the carcass was taken outside the camp and
or one of
the congregation sinned, the blood was put upon the horns of the
altar of burnt offering and the rest poured out at the foot of the
altar. The flesh was not burned on the altar, nor was it taken outside
the camp to be burned as in the case of the bullock. It was given
to the priests to be eaten in a holy place.
this arrangement was not an arbitrary command without any special
meaning, is clear from an incident recorded in the tenth chapter
of Leviticus. Verses 16 to 18 read: "Moses diligently sought
the goat of the sin offering and, behold, it was burnt: and he was
angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, the sons of Aaron which were left
alive, saying, Wherefore have ye not eaten the sin offering in the
holy place, seeing it is most holy, and God hath given it you to
bear the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them
before the Lord? Behold, the blood of it was not brought in within
the holy place: ye should indeed have eaten it in the holy place,
as I commanded."
reader remembers that whenever a bullock was used as a sin offering
-- as in the case of the anointed priests or of the whole congregation
-- the carcass was taken outside the camp and burned. Not so, however,
in the case of the goat or the lamb. When a ruler or one of the
common people sinned, the blood of the goat or lamb was not taken
into the sanctuary, but the flesh was eaten by the priests. The
verses quoted before give the reason for this: "God hath given
it [the flesh] you to bear the iniquity of the congregation, to
make atonement for them before the Lord."
to this the priests, by
eating the flesh, took
134 -- upon
themselves the iniquity of the congregation; that is, they carried
the sins of the people. The reason given for eating the
flesh is this: "The blood of it was not brought in within the
holy place: ye should indeed have eaten it in the holy place, as
I commanded." When the blood was brought into the first apartment
of the sanctuary, it was not necessary to eat the flesh. But, if
the blood was not brought into the sanctuary, the priests were to
eat the flesh, and in eating it, to bear the iniquity of the congregation.
The sins were thus
transferred from the people to the priesthood.
have been in doubt as to whether sin was ever transferred to the
tabernacle by means of the blood, and whether it is possible for
one to bear another's sins. The case before us is conclusive. Either
the blood must be brought into the sanctuary and there sprinkled
before the veil, or else the flesh must be eaten. "God has
given it you to bear the iniquity of the congregation to make atonement
for them before the Lord." In eating the flesh the priests
took upon themselves the sins which by the laying on of hands and
by confession had been transferred from the sinner to the animal.
The eating of the flesh was not necessary in cases where the blood
was brought into the sanctuary. In such cases the sins were effectively
disposed of by the carrying in of the blood into the sanctuary and
in the sprinkling of it before the veil. The carcass was taken without
the camp to a clean place and there burned. TOP
sequel of this incident as recorded in verses 19 and 20 of chapter
10 is also interesting. Aaron, Eleazar, and Ithamar had not eaten
the flesh of the sin offering as they should have done. Aaron explained
their breach by saying that a calamity had befallen him. Two of
his sons, while under the influence of wine, had been killed while
officiating before the Lord, as recorded in the first part of chapter
10. Aaron and the two sons who remained were apparently not
135 -- entirely guiltless. While they perhaps did not partake
of the wine, they were probably in perplexity about the justice
of the judgment that had come upon their brothers and fellow priests.
In that condition they did not feel that they could carry any one
else's sins. They had enough in carrying their own. It was with
this in mind that Aaron asked, "If I had eaten the sin offering
today, should it have been accepted in the sight of the Lord?"
"When Moses heard that, he was content." Verses 19, 20.
From this we may rightly draw the conclusion that God did not expect
the priests to eat the sin offering and thus carry the sins of the
people unless they
themselves were clean. "Be ye clean, that bear the
vessels of the Lord."
noted above, in the critical study that of late years has been given
to many parts of the Bible, doubt has been thrown upon the question
of transfer of sin. While it is clear that in each case the sinner
was to place his hands upon the sacrifice, it is denied that this
indicated either a confession or a transfer of sin. It must be admitted,
however, that something happened to the man who brought his sin
offering. In each case mentioned in the fourth chapter of Leviticus,
except that of the
anointed priest, it is said that atonement was made and
that the sin "shall be forgiven him." Lev. 4:20, 26, 31,
35. The man was forgiven
his sin, and went away free.
was not to the man only, however, that something happened. In some
way the priests came to bear the sins that the man had borne before.
The man had sinned. He had confessed his sin and been forgiven.
But now the priests bear the sin. How was that transfer made? The
inference seems clear. The man, the sinner, had placed his hands
upon the innocent animal, had confessed his sin, and thus, in a
figure, transferred his sin to the animal. Being a sinner, or at
least made to bear sin, the animal was killed. The priest, in eating
the flesh, took upon himself sinful
136 -- flesh, and thus carried the "iniquity of the congregation."
guilt was transferred
on the Day of Atonement is clearly stated. "Aaron
shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess
over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their
transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of
the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into
the wilderness." Lev. 16:21. Here it is stated definitely that
Aaron is to lay his hands on the head of the goat, that he is to
confess over him the sins of the children of Israel and that he
is to put these sins on the head of the goat. May we not believe
that this is exactly the meaning in the case of the sin offering
mentioned in the fourth chapter of Leviticus? That in some way the
priests came to bear the iniquity of the congregation is clear.
The statement to that effect is very emphatic. It is also clear
that it was through the eating of the flesh that they took the sin
upon themselves. This sin, of course, was not the sin of the animal,
but of the sinner who had brought his sin offering for the purpose
of forgiveness. The argument seems complete. The sinner originally
bore his sins. Now the priests bear them. They received them by,
eating the flesh of the animal. We therefore hold that the
Bible teaches the doctrine of the transfer of sin. TOP
laying of the hands of the sinner upon the offering doubtless had
a wider meaning, especially in the case of burnt offerings and peace
offerings. After the sinner had confessed and had been forgiven,
he was brought into fellowship with his God. A clear understanding
of this truth is essential to a comprehension of the sacrifices
offerings were used in other cases besides those mentioned in the
fourth chapter of Leviticus. An instance of this is the consecration
of Aaron and his sons, as recorded in the eighth chapter of Leviticus.
It is to be noted here, however, that it is Moses who performs the
137 -- not the priest. Aaron and his sons, indeed, lay their
hands upon the head of the bullock for the sin offering and kill
it, but it is Moses who administers the blood and puts it upon the
horns of the altar round about. It should also be noted that in
this case, instead of polluting the altar, the blood purifies it.
"Moses took the blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar
round about with his finger, and purified the altar, and poured
the blood at the bottom of the altar, and sanctified it, to make
reconciliation upon it." Lev. 8:15.
the completion of the seven days of consecration of Aaron, a sin
offering was commanded. Aaron was to take a young calf for a sin
offering for himself before beginning his ministrations for the
people. "Aaron therefore went unto the altar, and slew the
calf of the sin offering, which was for himself. And the sons of
Aaron brought the blood unto him: and he dipped his finger in the
blood, and put it upon the horns of the altar, and poured out the
blood at the bottom of the altar." Lev. 9:8, 9. "And the
flesh and the hide he burnt with fire without the camp." Lev.
There were other occasions upon which sin offerings were required.
After childbirth, a young pigeon or a turtledove was to be brought
for a sin offering. Lev. 12:6-8. In cases of defilement the Nazarite
was to offer a turtledove or a young pigeon for a sin offering.
Num. 6:10. Also, when the days of separation were fulfilled, the
Nazarite was to bring one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish
for a sin offering. Verse 14. At the consecration and cleansing
of the Levites, a young bullock was required for a sin offering.
Num. 8:8, 12. A sin offering was required at the feast of the new
moon (Num. 28:15), at the Passover (verse 22), at Pentecost (verse
30), on the first day of the seventh month (Num. 29.5), on the tenth,
fifteenth, and twenty second day also. Verses 10-38.
The ceremony of the
red heifer deserves special
138 -- consideration. It differed in many respects from the
regular sin offerings; yet it served the same purpose. Numbers 19:9
says: "It is a purification for sin." The word here used
is the same used elsewhere for sin offering. The American Revised
Version reads: "It is a sin offering." We therefore include
the red heifer among the sin offerings commanded by God.
was commanded to bring a red heifer, spotless and without blemish,
and give it to Eleazar the priest. Num. 19:2, 3. The priest was
to bring the heifer without the camp and have some one kill it in
his presence. The priest was then to take the blood with his finger
and sprinkle the blood toward the tabernacle of the congregation
seven times. Verse 4. After this was done, one was to burn the heifer
before Eleazar, "her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, with
her dung, shall he burn." Verse 5. As the heifer was thus being
consumed, the priest was to take "cedar wood, and hyssop, and
scarlet, and cast it into the midst of the burning of the heifer."
Verse 6. Then the priest was to wash his clothes, bathe his flesh,
and come back to the camp, and be unclean until evening. Verse 7.
After this a man that was clean should gather up the ashes of the
heifer and lay them up without the camp in a clean place. It was
to be "a water of separation: it is a purification of sin."
Verse 9. TOP
ashes thus kept were to be used in certain kinds of uncleanness,
as the touching of a dead body. In such a case, the ashes were to
be taken "and running water shall be put thereto in a vessel;
and a clean person shall take hyssop, and dip it in the water, and
sprinkle it upon the tent, and upon all the vessels, and upon the
persons that were there, and upon him that touched a bone, or one
slain, or one dead, or a grave: and the clean person shall sprinkle
upon the unclean on the third day, and on the seventh day: and on
the seventh day he shall purify himself, and wash
139 -- his clothes and bathe himself in water, and shall be
clean at even." Num. 19:17-19.
will be noted that while this ceremony was "a purification
for sin," no blood as such was used in the cleansing of the
man from his defilement. The only time the use of blood is mentioned
is at the time of the killing of the heifer when the priests took
the blood and sprinkled it seven times before the tabernacle of
the congregation. Verse 4. In the application to the individual
person, however, there was no sprinkling of blood.
It should also be noted that the heifer was
not killed within the confines of the court of the tabernacle
where the other sacrifices were killed. The blood was not carried
into the tabernacle, the blood was not sprinkled before the veil,
it was not put on the horns of the altar of incense, it was not
put on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, nor was it poured
out at the altar of burnt offering; it did not come in direct contact
with either the holy place or the altar of burnt offering.
the ritual of cleansing it was required that a clean person officiate.
Still another point is that this cleansing availed not only for
the children of Israel, but also for the stranger. "It shall
be unto the children of Israel and unto the stranger that sojourneth
among them, for a statute forever." Verse 10.
may be well to note the statement recorded in Numbers 19:13, that
the tabernacle was defiled if a man did not purify himself. "Whosoever
toucheth the dead body of any man that is dead, and purifieth not
himself, defileth the tabernacle of the Lord." "But the
man that shall be unclean, and shall not purify himself, that soul
shall be cut off from among the congregation, because he hath defiled
the sanctuary of the Lord: the water of separation hath not been
sprinkled upon him; he is unclean." Num. 19:13, 20. That the
sanctuary was defiled by confession of sin and
140 -- sprinkling of blood is admitted by all. Here the statement
is made that a man who does not purify himself, who does not confess
his sin, defiles the sanctuary of the Lord. The doctrinal import
of this statement should not be overlooked.
The occasional ceremony of the red heifer has deep significance
for the reverent student of God's word. Purification from sin is
here accomplished by the use of water in which ashes from the slain
heifer have been put. This cleansing is for the stranger as well
as for the children of Israel. Its ministration is without the camp
apart from the ordinary worship of Jehovah, and is
not directly connected with the usual round of the
sanctuary service. TOP
It is to this ceremony that the writer of Hebrews refers, when he
says: "If the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of
a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of
the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through
the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your
conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" Heb .9:13,
14. David's prayer is: "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be
clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." Ps.51:7.
A somewhat similar use of water for purposes of purification is
mentioned in the fifth chapter of the book of Numbers. In case of
certain sins, "the priest shall take holy
water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is in
the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into
the water." Verse 17. The "holy water" thus prepared
is called "bitter water" in verses 18, 19, 23. While it
is not necessary to go into detail concerning the distressing ceremony
mentioned in this chapter, we call attention to the twenty-third
verse. The priest was to write these curses in a book, and then
"blot them out with the bitter water."
While blood is mentioned in the Old Testament as the purification
for sin, water is mentioned in the same way. The laver situated
just before the tabernacle; the water used
141 -- in the ceremony of the red heifer; the bitter water
used for blotting out sin as recorded in the fifth chapter of Numbers,
testify to the use of water for ceremonial cleansing. Of Christ
it is written, "This is He that came by water and blood, even
Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood." 1
John 5:6. At the crucifixion "one of the soldiers with a spear
pierced His side, and forthwith there came out blood and water,
and he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth
that he saith true that ye might believe." John 19:34, 35.
The baptismal water, the precious ordinance of humility, does still
"save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but
the answer of a good conscience toward God)." 1 Peter 3:21.
145 -- Chapter Ten -- SIN-TRESPASS
Sin offerings were for sins done
ignorantly or in error, and did not cover sins done willfully
or knowingly. When an Israelite had unwittingly done "somewhat
against any of the commandments of the Lord," he was not held
responsible until it "come to his knowledge." As soon
as he was made aware that he had done wrong, he was to bring an
offering "for his sin which he hath sinned." Lev. 4:27,
28. But, as stated, sin offerings did not in any way avail for transgression
done knowingly. Sins of this nature were called trespasses,
and demanded a different kind of treatment.
a trespass is a willful
sin, knowingly committed, a deliberate "stepping
over." It might at times be unwittingly committed, but in such
cases it was held that the man not only might have known better,
but that he should have known better, and that he therefore was
responsible for his ignorance. The Hebrew word for trespass offering,
well be translated guilt or debt offering. It denotes a greater
degree of guilt than the sin offering, though the sin itself may
be no greater.
are some sins which partake of the nature of a trespass. They are
partly sin and partly trespass. A person may to some degree be ignorant
of the wrong he has done, and yet not be entirely ignorant of it.
It is doubtless for this reason that some transgressions mentioned
in the first part of the fifth chapter of Leviticus are spoken of
as both sins and trespasses. To these belong the with-holding of
information (verse 1), the touching of any unclean thing (verse
2), the touching of the uncleanness of man (verse 3), and swearing
rashly (verse 4). In these
146 -- cases the sinner was commanded to bring a "trespass
offering unto the Lord for his sin which he had sinned, a female
from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats for a sin offering."
Verse 6. It will be noted that the offering is called both a trespass
and a sin offering. In verse 7 it is called a trespass offering.
In verse 9 it is called a sin offering. Some Bible commentators
treat these offerings as sin offerings; others count them as trespass
offerings. In view of the fact that they are called both sin and
trespass offerings, we may consider them as a kind of intermediate
offering between the two, and call them sin-trespass
person who sinned in any of the above-mentioned things was to bring
a female from the flock, a lamb, or a kid of the goats for a sin
offering. Verse 6. If he was unable to bring a lamb, he might bring
a turtledove or a young pigeon. The blood was sprinkled upon the
altar of burnt offering and the rest of the blood poured out at
the foot of the altar, the same ritual as in the sin offerings mentioned
in the preceding chapter. Verses 7-9.
the sinner was unable to bring a turtledove or a young pigeon, he
might bring for his offering the tenth part of an ephah of fine
flour for a sin offering. He was not, however, permitted to put
oil or frankincense thereon. The reason for this is given: "It
is a sin offering." The priest, in offering this, took a handful
of flour and burnt it for a memorial upon the altar. The remnant
belonged to the priest the same as in the meat offering. Verses
are here face to face with a rather remarkable development.
Ordinarily a sin offering should be a blood offering,
that is, the life of some animal must be taken and the blood sprinkled.
Here, however, the offering of a tenth part of an ephah of flour
is accepted. It is definitely stated that the priest should take
a handful of this flour and burn it on the altar, "and the
priest shall make atonement for him as touching his sin that he
hath sinned in one of these,
147 -- and it shall be forgiven him." Verse 13. Lest any
should think that this is an ordinary meat offering, it is twice
stated, "it is a sin offering." Verses 11, 12. It seems
clear, therefore, that in this case at least, a sin offering was
accepted that did not contain blood, yet made atonement for sin.
calls attention to the statement found in the twenty-second verse
of the ninth chapter of Hebrews, "Almost
all things are by the law purged with blood; and without
shedding of blood is no remission." While it is true in general
that in the typical service there could be no remission of sins
without the shedding of blood, we are not to forget the exemption
here noted. The American Revised Version says, "According to
the law, I may almost
say, all things are cleansed with blood, and apart from shedding
of blood there is no remission." The adverb "almost"
probably qualifies both the clauses, so that according to the American
Revised Version the statement might be read: "I may almost
say all things are cleansed with blood," and "I may almost
say apart from shedding of blood there is no remission." That
is, the rule that there is no remission without shedding of blood,
holds good, though in the types there
is the exception here mentioned.
confronts us with reference to the red heifer discussed in the preceding
chapter. There was no immediate application of blood in the cleansing
process there mentioned, but only of water and ashes. Yet it was
a purification for sin, a sin offering. Num. 19:9.
is not our contention that sins are ever forgiven without the sacrifice
on Calvary. The death of Christ is necessary for our salvation.
It is, however, significant that in the above-mentioned types atonement
and forgiveness of sin were sometimes accomplished without immediate
and direct use of blood.
searching for an application
of this in the Christian
148 -- economy, may we not believe that it signifies and applies
to such persons as have no direct or definite knowledge of the Saviour
and yet are living up to all the light they have, doing God's will
as far as they understand it? May it not signify such heathen as
have never heard of the name of Jesus and yet to a greater or lesser
extent partake of His spirit? We believe that there are those who
have never heard the blessed name of the Master, who know nothing
of Calvary or of the redemption wrought for them on the cross, who
have exhibited the Christ spirit and will be saved in the kingdom
of heaven. To such, we believe, it applies. TOP
first case mentioned in the fifth chapter of Leviticus, verse one,
is that of withholding
information when under oath. "If a soul sin, and
hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he hath seen
or known of it; if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity."
The "voice of swearing" is called the "voice of adjurations"
in the American Revised Version, and has reference to the oath administered
in a Jewish court. When Christ was on trial, "The high priest
answered and said unto Him, I adjure Thee by the living God, that
thou tell us whether Thou be the Christ, the Son of God." Matt.
26:63. Under these circumstances Christ could not keep silence,
but answered: "Thou hast said." He felt compelled to answer
when the adjuration was invoked, though He previously had "held
His peace." Verses 63, 64.
is such a case as is here under consideration. The man is under
oath or adjuration; he "is a witness," and has been asked
"whether he hath seen or known" of the transgression.
He refuses to answer; he does "not utter it." In that
case "he shall bear his iniquity."
two and three refer to touching
anything unclean, of "whatsoever uncleanness it
be." The man may have done it unwittingly; it may have been
"hidden from him," but "when he knoweth of it, then
he shall be guilty."
149 -- The fourth case is that of a man who
swears "rashly with his lips to do evil or to do
good, whatsoever it be that a man shall utter rashly with an oath."
A.R.V. When he knows of it, he also "shall be guilty."
each of these cases, the appropriate offering was to be brought
by the sinner for his transgression, "and it shall be forgiven
It is sometimes urged that God in olden times did not require confession
and restitution in order to grant forgiveness, but only asked the
sinner to bring the required sacrifice. The ritual of the trespass
offering should correct that impression.
Confession was definitely required. "When a man
or woman shall commit any sin that men commit, to do a trespass
against the Lord, and that person be guilty; then they shall confess
their sin which they have done." Num. 5:6; 7.
general confession, however, was not sufficient. "It shall
be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall
confess that he hath sinned in that thing." Lev. 5:5. This
statement is definite and decisive. He is not only to confess, but
he is to confess that he has sinned in "that thing." It
is "that thing" that counts. Only as he thus confesses
can he receive the atonement.
cases where fraud was involved, confession was not enough, even
though the confession was specific. There
must also be restitution. This restitution consisted
of one fifth of the sum involved besides the principal. "He
shall recompense his trespass with the principal thereof, and add
unto it the fifth part thereof, and give it unto him against whom
he hath trespassed." Num. 5:7. In case it was not possible
to restore the sum to the man against whom the trespass had been
made, either because of death or otherwise, and there were no near
relatives, the recompense was to be made to the priest. Verse 8.
This restitution was in addition to the ram of the trespass offering.
150 -- From this consideration it is clear that God demanded
more of His people than the bringing of an offering. He demanded
confession and restitution. If it still be urged that nothing is
said of repentance, the obvious answer is that God here deals with
the outward acts of worship only. Had repentance been demanded as
a requisite for forgiveness, it would have been possible for a priest
to deny a sinner atonement even though the man had otherwise complied
with God's ordinance. It would have left with the priest the decision
regarding whether the man had really repented or not. This is too
dangerous a power to give any man. So God wisely reserved that to
Himself. If any doubt remains as to what God demands by way of repentance,
and how the people understood God's demand, read the prayer of Solomon
at the dedication of the temple, especially I Kings 8:46-53. Or
listen to David's supplication: "Thou desirest not sacrifice;
else would I give it; Thou delightest not in burnt offering. The
sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart,
O God, Thou wilt not despise." Ps. 51:16, 17. Israel had abundant
occasion to know that what God wanted was not sacrifice, but a broken
and contrite heart. Had they wanted to, they could have made their
worship both beautiful and spiritual, as doubtless some did. TOP
were other occasions
that demanded both a trespass and a sin offering, and hence belong
to the category now considered. One of these was the
cleansing of lepers. After being examined by the priest
and proclaimed clean, the leper was restored to society and citizenship
by a special cleansing ceremony described in Leviticus 14:1-8. Another
ceremony was necessary, however, to restore him to church fellowship
and permit him to take part in the sanctuary service. This is recorded
in verses 9-32. The leper was to provide a trespass offering as
well as a sin offering, in addition to the regular burnt and meal
offering. The trespass
151 -- offering, the lamb, was killed, and the blood sprinkled,
not on the altar, but put upon "the right ear of him that is
to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the
great toe of his right foot: and the priest shall take some of the
log of oil and pour it into the palm of his own left hand."
Verses 14, 15. After that the priest was to take oil and "sprinkle
of the oil with his finger seven times before the Lord." Verse
16. He was then to anoint the leper, doing with the oil as he had
with the blood. The priest was to put it "upon the tip of the
right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his
right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot, upon the blood
of the trespass offering: and the remnant of the oil that is in
the priest's hand he shall pour upon the head of him that is to
be cleansed: and the priest shall make an atonement for him before
the Lord." Verses 17, 18. After this the priest was to offer
the sin and the burnt offering.
the leper was poor, he might substitute for the two lambs, two turtledoves
or young pigeons, "such as he is able to get." Verses
21, 22. This statement occurs several times in the narrative. God
asked only that which the man was able to provide.
is significant that leprosy demanded a trespass as well as a sin
offering. Are we to draw the conclusion from this that leprosy is
the result of known transgression? We do not think so. It is better
to believe that the ritual in the case of leprosy is merely illustrative
of the fact, that there are sicknesses which result from willful
transgressions and which cannot be charged to mere ignorance. Such
is undoubtedly the case, though it would be hazardous for man to
pronounce finally in any specific case.
occasion that called for a trespass offering was the
defiling of a Nazarite during the period of his separation.
If this occurred, he was to "bring a lamb of the first year
for a trespass offering: but the days that were before
152 -- shall be lost, because his separation was defiled."
Num. 6:12. Note the statement that even though atonement was made
for him, yet "the days that were before shall be lost."
Forgiveness may be had, yet in many cases there is a definite loss.
This agrees with the New Testament statement: "If any man's
work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall
be saved; yet so as by fire." I Cor. 3:15. The man is saved,
but he suffers loss.
ritual of the trespass or guilt offerings is the same as for the
sin offerings. The animals were killed in the same place and the
fat burned on the altar of burnt offering in the same way. Lev.
7:1-5. The priests were commanded to eat the sin offerings as provided
in Leviticus 6:24-30, and the same held good for the trespass offerings.
"Every, male among the priests shall eat thereof: it shall
be eaten in a holy place: it is most holy. As the sin offering is,
so is the trespass offering: there is one law for them: the priest
that maketh atonement therewith shall have it." Lev. 7:6, 7.
distinction between the sin and the trespass offering is that of
the sprinkling of the blood. In the sin offering, the blood was
put upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering. Lev. 4:25, 30,
34. This is not mentioned concerning the trespass offering. According
to Leviticus 7:2, the blood of the trespass offering was sprinkled
round about upon the altar, the same as the blood of the burnt and
peace offerings. It is thought by some that the statement: "As
the sin offering is, so is the trespass offering: there is one law
for them" (Lev. 7:7), has reference to the sprinkling of the
blood. In that case, the blood of the sin offering as well as that
of the trespass offering would he sprinkled round about upon the
altar and also put on the horns of the altar. However, it appears
that the "one law" has special reference to the eating
of the flesh. In the absence of any clear statement concerning this,
we conclude that the blood of the sin offering
153 -- was put upon the horns of the altar, that of the trespass
offering sprinkled round about upon the altar, and that in both
cases the remainder was poured out at the base of the altar of burnt
157 -- Chapter Eleven -- THE DAILY
-- The priests who officiated in the sanctuary
were divided into twenty-four
courses, or divisions, each of which served twice a year,
one week at a time. The Levites were similarly divided, as were
also the people. The lambs for the evening and morning sacrifices
were provided by the people; and the section of the people who provided
the lambs for any particular week would send their representatives
to Jerusalem for that week to assist in the services, while the
rest of the people remained at home conducting a special week of
devotion and meditation. On occasion of a great feast, such as the
Passover or the Day of Atonement, large numbers of priests would
be called to the sanctuary at one time, and also a corresponding
number of Levites.
included the offering of a lamb upon the altar of burnt offering
each evening and morning, with the appropriate meal and drink offerings,
the trimming and lighting of the lamps in the holy place, the offering
of incense, with the accompanying work, the offering of the meal
offering of Aaron and his sons, and the offering of individual sacrifices,
such as sin, burnt, meal, and peace offerings. Besides these daily
duties, there were many others, such as purification sacrifices,
offerings for lepers, for Nazarite vows, for defilements. Men were
also needed to take care of the ashes, to provide and examine the
wood used on the altar, to serve as watchmen, to open and close
gates, and to act as general caretakers. The temple enclosure was
a busy place from the first streak of dawn until the gates were
closed in the evening.
158 -- While it was yet dark in the morning, the gates were
opened and the people were permitted to come in. Lots were cast
among the priests to determine who was to present the sacrifice,
who was to sprinkle the blood, who was to remove the ashes, who
was to offer the incense, who was to trim the lamps, and who was
to provide the wine for the drink offerings. The priests had spent
the night within the temple precincts, though only the older priests
were permitted to lie down to rest. The others were expected to
keep awake and be ready whenever called. In the morning before daylight,
they bathed, and when the time came for the casting of lots, they
were all ready.
determining who was to offer incense, it was not expected that any
priest who had officiated before should take part. When the sanctuary
was first erected, Aaron and his sons officiated daily. In later
times there were so many priests that lots had to be cast to decide
who was to offer incense. It was therefore unusual for any priest
to officiate in the burning of incense more than once in his career.
As this particular part of the daily service brought the priest
nearer the divine Presence than any other, it was considered a great
honor as well as a responsibility, and a much-coveted prize. TOP
the priest entered the sanctuary to offer the incense, the lamb
for the morning sacrifice, which had previously been selected and
presented to the Lord, stood tied to one of the rings in the floor
on the north side of the altar. The wind-pipe and gullet of the
lamb were slashed with a knife, and the blood was caught in a golden
bowl and sprinkled round about upon the altar. What remained of
the blood was poured out at the foot of the altar. After this the
animal was flayed and cut into several pieces. The inwards were
placed upon one of the marble tables supplied for that purpose,
and washed. After this, six priests carried these pieces to the
top of the altar, where they were placed in order and burned.
159 -- Another priest carried the meal offering of flour; still
another, the baked meal offering of the high priest; and yet another,
the drink offering. The offerings were all salted with salt before
being placed upon the altar.
this was going on outside, the priest whose work it was to offer
the incense entered the holy place. He was ordinarily assisted by
another priest who brought live coals from the altar of burnt offering
in a golden vessel and placed them upon the altar of incense and
withdrew. The priest whose duty it was to offer the incense would
then raise the lid of the censer containing the incense and pour
it upon the coals on the altar. As the incense ascended in a cloud
of smoke he would kneel before the altar in silent adoration.
must have been a solemn experience for a priest to be alone in the
holy place, near the awful presence of Jehovah, the Lord of hosts.
As, in most cases, it was the first time he had ever so officiated,
it was not a common experience. No priest ever forgot the moments
he was alone with God. And if, as at times it happened, the Lord
revealed Himself in the cloud above the mercy seat, the impression
of God's holiness left upon the mind of the priest, was so profound
that it never could be erased. He had seen the glory of the Lord
and was not consumed.
offering of incense was concluded about the same time that the priests
finished their morning work at the altar of burnt offering. As the
last act - the pouring out of the drink offering - was being finished,
the Levites began singing the appointed psalm, which was interspersed
with blasts from the silver trumpets blown by the priests. Whenever
the trumpets sounded, the people fell down and prayed. The high
priest proceeded to the steps of the temple and with out-stretched
hands pronounced the priestly benediction upon the people. This
concluded the morning service. The evening service, which took place
about three o'clock in the afternoon, was similar to the morning
service. The lamb was slain, the
160 -- blood sprinkled, incense offered, and the priestly benediction
again pronounced. At dark the gates were closed.
the daily service was carried on every day in the year, including
Sabbath and feast days. On
the Sabbath two lambs were offered in the morning and
two in the evening, instead of one as on week days. On certain
feast days the number was increased to seven, but
otherwise the service remained the same.
lamb offered in the daily service was a burnt offering. It was representative
of the whole nation, a kind of summary of all offerings. It contained
in itself the vital characteristics of each of the sacrifices: it
was a blood offering, signifying atonement; it was a substitutionary
offering - "it shall be accepted for him" (Lev. 1:4);
it was a dedicatory offering, wholly given to God and consumed on
the altar; it was a sweet-savor offering, "an offering made
by fire, of a sweet savor unto the Lord." Verse 13. TOP
the morning and evening sacrifice was for the nation as a whole
and did not avail for any specific person, it nevertheless served
a definite purpose for the individual. When an Israelite had sinned,
he was to bring an offering to the temple and there confess his
sin. It was not always possible, however, to do this. An offender
might live a day's journey, or even a week's, distant from Jerusalem.
It was impossible for him to come to the temple every time he sinned.
For such cases the morning and evening sacrifice constituted a
temporary atonement. It provided a "covering"
until such time as the sinner could personally appear at the tabernacle
and offer his individual offering.
is illustrated in the case of Job. His sons "went and feasted
in their houses, every one his day." Job 1:4. At such feasts,
happenings doubtless occurred which were not pleasing to God. Job
himself feared that his sons might sin, and also that they might
forget, or delay to bring, the necessary sacrifice. For this reason
Job "rose up early in the
161 -- morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the
number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned,
and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually."
offered a burnt offering for each of his sons. "It may be that
my sons have sinned," he said. He believed that this offering
would provide a temporary atonement for them until such time as
they recognized their fault and were ready to come to God themselves.
like manner, the daily morning and evening sacrifice provided temporary
atonement for Israel. It signified both consecration and acceptance
by substitution. Of the individual burnt offering it is said: "It
shall be accepted for him." Lev. 1:4. If the individual offering
was thus "accepted for him," may we not believe that the
national offering was accepted for the nation?
died for all. Saint and sinner alike share in the sacrifice of Calvary.
It was "while we were yet sinners" that He gave His life
a ransom. Many will not make personal application of the sacrifice,
but the fact remains that Christ died for them. His blood covers
them. Full and ample provision has been made for their salvation.
Christ "is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that
believe." I Tim. 4:10. Every soul living today owes his life
to Golgotha. Had it not been for "the Lamb slain from the foundation
of the world," Adam would have been without hope. The words,
"In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die,"
would have sealed his fate for eternity. Rev. 13:8; Gen. 2:17. But
Adam was spared. He did not die. The Lamb took his place.
it is now. God has not changed. Sin and sinners have no right to
exist. Sin is as offensive in God's sight now as in the Garden of
Eden. Sinners are permitted to live and are granted a stay of execution
only by virtue of the atoning blood of Christ. Because the Lamb
died, they live.
162 -- Probation is granted them. From day to day Christ gives
them life, "if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him."
Acts 17:27. TOP
the morning and evening sacrifices were for the nation, and covered
provisionally all sin committed during the preceding night or the
day, it is readily understood that some of the sins thus covered
were not confessed, and perhaps never would be. Unless it is believed
that every man in Israel was immediately made aware that he had
transgressed, and confessed his sins, some time
must intervene between the commission of the sin and its confession.
This would, of course, be still more accentuated if some weeks or
months elapsed before confession. In case of the impenitent or those
who apostatized, their
day of grace expired on the Day of Atonement. Whoever
at that time did not afflict his soul was "cut off from among
his people," that is, he was put outside the pale of the church,
excommunicated. Lev. 23:29.
question of whether all sins committed were transferred to the sanctuary,
is sometimes raised. Our study thus far has led us to believe that
sins were temporarily provided for in the morning and evening sacrifice,
when the lamb was offered on the altar of burnt offering for the
nation. The blood of the sacrifice used in burnt offerings was always
sprinkled "round about upon the altar." Lev. 1:5, 11.
In case a fowl was used, the blood was "wrung out at the side
of the altar." Verse 15. We therefore accept the view that
in the daily service through the blood sprinkled on the altar there
was a transfer
of sins made to the altar of burnt offering, and that the sins thus
transferred included the sins of all the people. If it be admitted
that the burnt offering provided atonement for sin, as stated in
Leviticus 1:4; if it be admitted that the daily burnt offering was
for the nation, and that it did the same work for Israel that Job's
burnt offerings did for his sons (Job 1:5); if it be considered
highly improbable that all sins were immediately known and
163 -- confessed before the time of the next morning or evening
sacrifice, the conclusion seems unavoidable that all sins were temporarily
provided for when the lamb was offered in sacrifice on the altar.
hardly needs to be repeated that this temporary provision became
efficacious to salvation only as the offender made personal confession
of sin and brought his individual sacrifice for sin, just as a sinner
is now saved by Christ's sacrifice on Calvary only if he personally
accepts Christ. The death of the Lamb of God on Golgotha was for
all men, but only
those who accept the sacrifice and make personal application of
it will be saved. The death of the lamb on the Jewish altar was
for the whole nation, but only
those who repented and showed their faith by bringing a personal
sacrifice were included in the reconciliation on the Day of Atonement.
The others were "cut off."
should be noted, however, that these unconfessed sins were not transferred
to the sanctuary proper, but to the altar of burnt offering. The
priests did not eat the flesh of the burnt offering - it was all
burnt on the altar; so the priests did not bear these sins. Lev.
1:13. The blood was not placed on the horns of the altar, as in
the case of sin offerings, nor was it carried into the sanctuary,
but was sprinkled "round about" upon the altar of burnt
offering. Lev. 1:5, 11; 4:25, 30, 34. It is therefore clear that
these sins were transferred to the altar of burnt offering and not
the sanctuary proper.
morning and evening sacrifices were symbolic, not only of the atonement
provided through the lamb, but also of the nation's consecration
to Jehovah. The victim, wholly burned on the altar, was emblematic
of those who daily dedicated themselves to God, whose all was on
the altar, and who were willing to follow the Lamb wheresoever it
might lead them. Morning and evening their prayers ascended to the
God of Israel, mingled with the sweet incense of Christ's righteousness
and perfection. TOP
164 -- The shewbread
was a perpetual offering to the Lord, and might therefore be considered
a part of the daily service. It consisted of twelve cakes placed
in two rows upon the table in the first apartment of the sanctuary.
This bread was renewed every Sabbath at the time when the courses
of the priests were changed. The bread which was always before the
Lord, was called the "presence bread." Ex. 25:30, A.R.V.
As the morning and evening sacrifice symbolized the daily consecration
of the nation to God and also its dependence upon the atoning blood,
as the offering of incense symbolized the merits and intercession
of Christ, as the lamps in the candlesticks represented the light
of God shining in the soul and enlightening the world, so the shewbread
represented man's acknowledgment of his dependence upon God for
both temporal and spiritual food, to be received only through the
merits and intercession of Christ who is the bread which came down
from heaven. John 6:48-51.
daily service thus provided atonement through the blood of the lamb;
intercession through the ascending cloud of incense; life, physical
and spiritual, through the bread of the presence; and light through
the lamp on the candlestick. Viewed from man's side, the daily service
signified consecration, illustrated by the lamb on the altar; prayer,
through the smoke of the incense; acknowledgment of complete dependence
upon God for daily food; and realization that only through the light
which God sheds upon our pathway can our darkened minds and lives
be illuminated. The daily service symbolized and signified man's
need of God, and also God's complete provision for supplying that
services so far described have been of a general nature, for the
nation. There was another
kind of equal importance, namely, the offering of sacrifices
brought by individuals for specific purposes. These were divided
into two classes;
sweet-savor offerings and nonsweet-savor offerings. The sweet-savor
offerings were such as denoted
165 -- consecration, dedication, or thankfulness. They were
burnt offerings, peace offerings, and meal offerings. The non-sweet
offerings were sin and trespass offerings. With the exception of
the meal offerings these were all blood offerings, and as such had
atoning value, though they were not specifically offered for sin.
The burnt sacrifice was an offering of consecration and dedication,
yet it had atoning significance. Lev.1:4. So also had the peace
offering. The offerer placed his hand upon the head of the victim
and killed it at the door of the tabernacle; after that the priest
sprinkled the blood upon the altar round about. This procedure was
the same as in the burnt offering, and signified atonement. Lev.3:2.
sin and trespass offerings were the most important. They atoned
for individual sins and restored the offender to favor with God.
As these offerings have been discussed elsewhere, it is not necessary
to go into detail with regard to the ritual. Some observations,
however, may be in order.
blood of the sacrificial victim was not always carried into the
holy place, there to be sprinkled before the veil. This, as has
been noted before, was done only in the case of the anointed priest
and of the whole congregation. Lev. 4:5, 6, 16, 17. When an ordinary
person or a ruler sinned, the blood was sprinkled on the altar of
burnt offering outside the tabernacle, and the flesh was eaten by
the priests. Lev. 4:25, 34; 6:30.
the anointed priest sinned, there was none higher in rank to bear
his sin. In such a case the flesh was not eaten, but the blood was
carried into the holy place and there sprinkled before the veil.
The same was done in case the whole nation sinned as a nation. The
flesh was not eaten, but the blood was carried into the holy place,
and there sprinkled before the veil. TOP
one of the common people sinned or one of the rulers, the situation
was different. For them the priesthood could bear sin. The flesh
was therefore eaten, and the priest
166 -- who ate it, by that act took upon himself the sin of
the individual. Besides the priest's eating the flesh, the blood
was put upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering.
From this it will be seen that individual sins which were confessed
were transferred to the sanctuary in two ways. When the anointed
priest or the whole congregation sinned, the sin by means of the
blood, was transferred to the sanctuary, to the holy place. When
a ruler or one of the common people sinned, the sin, by means of
the eating of the flesh, was transferred to the priesthood, and
by means of the blood, to the altar of burnt offering.
the sanctuary service was first instituted, Aaron, as well as his
sons, ministered daily in the first apartment of the sanctuary.
The high priest offered the meal offering, cared for the lamps,
lighted them, and burned incense in the holy place. Lev. 6:19-23;
24:2-4; Num. 8:2, 3; Ex. 30:7, 8. At a later time, it became customary
for the priests to officiate in the first apartment, and only occasionally
did the high priest serve there, as on Sabbath or feast days, and
especially on the Day of Atonement and the week preceding. It is
significant that although in the daily service the high priest officiated
clad in his official high-priestly garment, he wore the priestly
white garments when he entered the most holy on the Day of Atonement.
Lev. 16:4, 23, 24.
In summing up the work of the daily service in the sanctuary, the
following points stand out prominently:
A general, provisional atonement for the nation is provided
in the morning and evening sacrifice of the lamb upon the altar
of burnt offering. The blood of the lamb both registers the sins
committed and provides the atonement for them until such time as
the offender brings his individual sacrifice for sin, or, if he
fails to do that, until the Day of Atonement. The body of the lamb
signifies Israel's consecration to Jehovah, and is typical of Christ
who "hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering
and a sacrifice
167 -- to God for a sweet-smelling savor." Eph. 5:2. The
sins provided for temporarily and provisionally in the morning and
evening sacrifices are, generally speaking, unconfessed sins. These,
as well as other sins, defile the tabernacle of the Lord. Num. 19:13,
The individual sacrifices for sin constitute a record
of sins forgiven. Each sin has already been recorded by the sprinkling
of the blood of the morning and evening burnt offering. The bringing
of an individual offering records forgiveness for these same sins.
It is as though books were kept and a faithful record made of all
sin. Then, as the offender repents of his sin and asks forgiveness,
pardon is recorded against his name. TOP
The unconfessed sins are recorded on the altar of burnt offering
outside the tabernacle. The confessed sins are recorded in the holy
place, or else on the horns of the altar of burnt offering. However,
all confessed sins eventually find their way into the sanctuary.
As the priests partake of the flesh of the offerings, the blood
of which is sprinkled on the horns of the altar of burnt offering,
the sins are, through the priests' offerings as well as by the daily
offering of the high priest (Heb.7:27), transferred to the holy
place. We are therefore warranted in saying that all
confessed - and only confessed sins - are in the sanctuary proper.
When the Day of Atonement comes, only confessed sins come in review
and only such sinners as have by repentance and confession already
received forgiveness and have had their sins transferred to the
sanctuary, receive the atonement, the blotting out of sins.
day by day, throughout the year, sins were transferred to the sanctuary,
defiling it. This, of course, could not continue indefinitely. A
day of final reckoning must come, a day of cleansing. Such a day
was the Day of Atonement. It was the day of judgment, the high day
of the year. To this we shall now give our attention.
171 -- Chapter
Twelve -- THE DAY OF ATONEMENT
Day of Atonement was the great day in Israel. It was
peculiarly holy, and on it no work must be done. The
Jews called it Yoma,
the day. It was the
keystone of the sacrificial system. Whoever did not on
that day afflict his soul, was cut off from Israel. Lev. 23:29.
The Day of Atonement, occurred on the
tenth day of the seventh month, called
Tishri, about the latter part of our October. The special
preparation for this day began ten days earlier. Of this the
Jewish Encyclopedia, article "Atonement," says:
"The first ten days of Tishri grew to be the ten penitential
days of the year intended to bring about a perfect change of heart,
and to make Israel like newborn creatures, the culmination being
reached on the Day of Atonement when religion's greatest gift, God's
condoning mercy, was to be offered to man." -- Vol. 11, p.
281. The statement is further made "that the idea
developed also in Jewish circles that on the first of Tishri, the
sacred New Year's Day and the anniversary of creation, man's doings
were judged and his destiny was decided, and that on the tenth day
of Tishri the decree of heaven was sealed."-- Ibid.
Jewish conception of what took place on the Day of Atonement is
given in the Jewish Encyclopedia as follows:
"God, seated on His throne to judge the world, at the same
time Judge, Pleader, Expert, and Witness, openeth the Book of Records;
it is read, every man's signature being found therein. The great
trumpet is sounded; a still, small voice is heard; the angels shudder,
saying, This is the day of judgment: for His very ministers are
not pure before God. As a shepherd mustereth his flock, causing
them to pass under his rod, so doth God cause every living soul
to pass before
172 -- Him to fix the limit of every creature's life and to
foreordain its destiny. On New Year's Day the decree is written;
on the Day of Atonement it is sealed who shall live and who are
to die, etc. But penitence, prayer, and charity may avert the evil
decree."-- Ibid., p. 286.
the third day of the seventh month the high priest moved from his
house in Jerusalem into the temple precincts. There he spent the
week in prayer and meditation, and also in rehearsing the ritual
for the Day of Atonement, so that he would make no mistake. There
was with him also, at least in later years, another priest, who,
in case the high priest should become sick or die, could go on with
the service on the Day of Atonement. Generally, one of the older
priests was also with the high priest during this time, instructing
and helping him, and making sure that all was understood and would
be done in the approved manner. The night before the Day of Atonement,
the high priest was not permitted to sleep, lest some defilement
should come to him. TOP
the Day of Atonement all were up early. The high priest officiated
in the daily morning sacrifice, which was conducted on this day
as on other days. Num. 29:11. After this service was over, the special
services began. The record in the sixteenth chapter of Leviticus
yields the following information: The
high priest was first to bathe and put on the holy white garments.
Throughout the year he had been wearing the high-priestly insignia,
the beautiful robe and ephod with the precious stones and breastplate.
On this day, however, before going into the most holy, he put off
these garments and put on the white garments of the priest, the
difference between his attire and that of the priest being that
the girdle was white, and that he wore the linen miter of the high
priest instead of the bonnet of the priest. Lev. 16.4; Ex. 28:39,
As he begins the service, the high priest receives from
173 -- the congregation two goats and a ram, which, together with
his own sin offering, a bullock, are presented before the Lord.
He kills the bullock, which is for himself, and a priest catches
some of the blood in a bowl, stirring it so that it will not coagulate
while the high priest performs another part of the service.
the bullock is killed, the high priest takes coals from the altar
of burnt offering, and puts them in a censer. He also takes his
hands full of sweet incense, and carrying both the coals and the
incense, he goes into the tabernacle and enters the most holy. There
he places the censer on the mercy seat, "that the cloud of
the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony,
that he die not." Lev. 16:13.
finished this part of the ceremony, he goes outside and receives
from the priest the blood of the bullock, which he carries into
the most holy. There he sprinkles the blood with his finger upon
the mercy seat eastward, "and before the mercy seat shall he
sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times." Verse 14.
By this act he makes "atonement for himself and for his house."
the bullock is killed, another ceremony has taken place.
Lots have been cast upon the two goats, one
lot for the Lord and the other for the scapegoat. Verse
8. The goat upon which the lot fell for the Lord is to be offered
as a sin offering. The other, the scapegoat, is to be presented
alive before the Lord, "to make an atonement with him, and
to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness." Verses
the high priest comes out from the most holy, having performed the
ritual with the blood of the bullock, he kills the goat of the sin
offering that is for the people. He again enters the most holy,
and sprinkles the blood of the goat as he sprinkled the blood of
the bullock upon the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. Verse
15. This makes atonement for the most holy, "because of the
uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions
in all their
174 -- sins." Verse 16. He then does the same thing for
the tabernacle of the congregation, that is, the holy place. Having
made atonement for the sanctuary, he goes out to the altar and makes
atonement for it, putting upon the horns of the altar both of the
blood of the bullock and of the blood of the goat. He sprinkles
it with his finger seven times, to "cleanse it, and hallow
it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel." Verse 19.
thus "made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle
of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat:
and Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the
live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of
the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their
sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him
away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: and the goat
shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited:
and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness." Lev. 16:20-22.
part of the service being finished, Aaron puts off the linen garments,
washes himself in water, and puts on his regular high priestly garments.
Verses 23, 24. He then comes out and offers a burnt offering for
himself and one for the people. Verse 24. The fat of the sin offering
is then burned on the altar. The man who led the scapegoat into
the wilderness is to bathe himself and wash his clothes before he
can come back into the camp. The man who disposed of the bullock
whose blood was brought into the sanctuary and whose body was burned
without the camp, must also wash his clothes and bathe himself in
water before he can return. Verses 26-28. The special offering mentioned
in Numbers 29:7-11, consisting of a bullock, a ram, and seven lambs
for a burnt offering, and "one kid of the goats for a sin offering;
beside the sin offering of atonement," is then offered before
the regular evening sacrifice, which closes the services of the
175 -- Of the work done on that day the record states, "On
that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse
you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord."
Lev. 16:30. A summary is given in verse 33: "He shall make
an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement
for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he
shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people
of the congregation."
the reading of the record of the Day of Atonement as given in the
sixteenth chapter of Leviticus, some questions present themselves
which we shall now consider. If the question is asked, Just what
was accomplished by the services of the Day of Atonement? the answer
of course is that atonement was made. If the further question is
asked, For whom, or for what was atonement made? the answer is,
in the language of the thirty-third verse, that atonement was made
for the holy sanctuary, for the tabernacle of the congregation,
for the altar, for the priests, and for all the people.
divides the atonement
into two parts, atonement for the sanctuary, that is,
for the holy things; and atonement for persons, that is, for priests
and people. The purpose of the atonement for the people is said
to be "to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins
before the Lord." Verse 30. As for the sanctuary, the statement
is made, "He shall make an atonement for the holy place, because
of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their
transgression in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle
of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their
uncleanness." Verse 16. Concerning the altar it is stated,
"He shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven
times, and cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the
children of Israel." Verse 19.
will be noted that the holy places and the altar were cleansed not
because of any inherent sin or evil in the
176 -- sanctuary or altar as such, but "because of the
uncleanness of the children of Israel," and "because of
their transgressions in all their sins." The same is true of
the altar. The priest is to "cleanse it, and hallow it from
the uncleanness of the children of Israel." Verse 19. TOP
statements make it clear that it was the sins of Israel that defiled
the sanctuary and the altar. This defilement had taken place throughout
the year in the daily ministration. Each morning and evening a lamb
had been slain and its blood sprinkled upon the altar "round
about." This had defiled the altar. Offenders had brought their
sin and trespass offerings. In the case of a priest or the whole
congregation, the victim's blood had been sprinkled in the holy
place. This had defiled the sanctuary. In the case of a ruler or
one of the common people, the blood had been put upon the horns
of the altar of burnt offering, and the flesh had been eaten by
the priests. This had transferred the sins to the priesthood as
well as defiled the altar. Through these means the sanctuary and
the altar had been defiled, and the priesthood made to bear sins.
The services of the
Day of Atonement were to dispose of all these sins and to cleanse
both sanctuary and priesthood as well as people.
question may well be raised, Why was any cleansing needed by the
people? Had they not brought their sacrifices from time to time
throughout the year, confessed their sins and gone away forgiven?
Why would they need to be forgiven twice? Why should "a remembrance"
be "made of sins every year"? Should not "the worshipers
once purged" "have had no more conscience of sins"?
Heb. 10:2, 3. These questions demand an answer.
may be pertinent to remark that our salvation is always conditioned
upon repentance and perseverance. God forgives, but the forgiveness
is not unconditional and independent of the sinner's future course.
Note how Ezekiel puts it: "When the righteous turneth away
177 -- righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according
to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live?
All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned:
in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he
hath sinned, in them shall he die." Eze.18:24.
text states that when a man turns away from the right, all his good
deeds "shall not be mentioned." The converse is also true.
If a man has been wicked, but turns from his evil way, "all
his transgressions that he has committed, they shall not be mentioned
unto him." Verse 22.
keeps an account with each man. Whenever a prayer for forgiveness
ascends to God from a true heart, God forgives. But sometimes
men change their minds. They repent of their repentance.
They show by their lives that their repentance is not permanent.
And so God, instead of forgiving absolutely and finally, marks forgiveness
against men's names and waits with the final blotting out of sins
until they have had time to think the matter through. If at the
end of their lives they are still of the same mind, God counts them
faithful, and in the
day of judgment their record is finally cleared. So in
Israel of old. When the Day of Atonement rolled around, each offender
had a chance to show that he was still of the same mind and wanted
forgiveness. If he was, the sin was blotted out, and he was completely
Day of Atonement was the day of judgment to Israel, as
evidenced by the quotations at the beginning of this chapter. Day
by day during the year, the transgressors had appeared at the temple
and received forgiveness. On the Day of Atonement these sins came
in review before God, or as Hebrews puts it, there was "a remembrance
again made of sins." Heb.10:3. On that day every true Israelite
renewed his consecration to God and confirmed his repentance. As
a result, he was not only forgiven, but cleansed. "On that
day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you,
that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord." Lev.16:30.
178 -- It must have been with happiness in their hearts that
Israel went home in the evening of that day. "Clean from all
your sins." Wonderful assurance! The same promise is given
in the New Testament: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful
and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
I John 1:9. Not only forgiven, but cleansed! Cleansed from "all
unrighteousness," from "all your sins!"
the bliss of the glorious thought -- My sin, not in part but the
the final judgment the revelator says: "I saw the dead, small
and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another
book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged
out of those things which were written in the book, according to
their works." Rev. 20:12. "The dead were judged out of
those things which were written in the books." The
Day of Atonement was a type of that day. There were no
books kept in the sanctuary. But there was a record of sin. Every
drop of blood on the altar of burnt offering sprinkled in the morning
and evening service constituted a record of sins committed. On the
horns of the same altar, and also on the holy place, a record of
sins forgiven was made by the sprinkling of blood as sinners came
with their personal sacrifices to obtain forgiveness. On the Day
of Atonement the sins of those who had already obtained forgiveness
were blotted out. The others were "cut off." Thus the
sanctuary was cleansed of the record of sin accumulated through
the year. This cleansing of the record also effected the cleansing
of the people whose sins already had been forgiven. The sins were
blotted out. They did not any longer remain as a witness against
the people. Atonement was made, and the people were not under condemnation.
They were cleansed, free, happy. Even the record existed no more.
179 -- It now becomes our duty to inquire just how this atonement
was brought about. The observing student will wish to know how the
sanctuary can be cleansed by the sprinkling of blood, when it was
by that very means that the sanctuary was defiled. Would not more
blood still further defile, rather than cleanse? The student will
also wish to know why a bullock is used as a sin offering as well
as a goat, and what each accomplished; and lastly, why a scapegoat
any study of the sanctuary and of the levitical priesthood, it is
to be remembered that no type is an exact counterpart of that which
it is intended to portray. The real work of the atonement in heaven
involves so many factors that it is quite impossible to find an
earthly parallel. Christ lived, died, and rose again. How can a
fitting type be found to illustrate this? A lamb may represent Christ
and be slain as he was. But how can the resurrection be shown? Another
live animal may be used, but the type is not perfect.
high priest typified Christ. But Christ was sinless, and the priest
was not. Any offering which the high priest offered because of his
own sins, could therefore not be true to type. For these reasons
various ceremonies were necessary to illustrate the complete work
of Christ; and yet they failed to illustrate fully. The priest typified
certain aspects of Christ's ministry. So did the high priest, the
veil, the shewbread, the incense, the lamb, the goat, the meal offering,
and many other items in the sanctuary service. The holy apartment
had its signification; so had the most holy, the court, the altar,
the laver, the mercy seat.
Almost everything was symbolical, from the priests' dress
to the ashes used in sprinkling the unclean. Yet all of it put together
did not constitute a complete type, and much of it did but imperfectly
mirror its original. TOP
another chapter the statement is stressed that Aaron not only represented
the people, but was practically
180 -- identified with them. What he did, they did. What they
did, he did.
high priest "represented the whole people. All Israelites were
reckoned as being in him." In him "everything belonging
to the priesthood gathered itself up and reached its culmination."
"When he sinned, the people sinned."
was the representative man. By him "sin entered into the world."
By his "disobedience many were made sinners." And so "by
one man's offense death reigned by one," and "through
the offense of one many be dead." Rom. 5:12, 19, 17, 15.
also was the representative man. He was the second man and the last
Adam. "The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man
is the Lord from heaven." I Cor.15:47. This second man, "the
Lord from heaven," undid all that the first man had done by
his transgression. By the disobedience of the first man "many
were made sinners." By the obedience of the second man "shall
many be made righteous." Rom. 5:19. By the offence of the first
man, "judgment came upon all men to condemnation." By
the righteousness of the second man, "the free gift came upon
all men unto justification of life." Verse 18. And so, "as
in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."
I Cor. 15:22.
high priest was a type of Christ and a representative of the nation.
As a representative of the nation, he was identified with their
sins and was worthy of death. As a type of Christ he was their mediator
and savior. In either case he transacted with God for the people.
In this sense he was the people. If God accepted him, He accepted
the people in him. If God rejected him, He rejected the people in
him. For this reason the people were anxious to hear the sound of
the bells and the pomegranates on the Day of Atonement. When at
last the atonement had been effected and the reconciliation was
complete, the sound of the bells as the high
181 -- priest resumed his high-priestly garments was the sign
that God had accepted the substitute. As he stepped outside and
the sound was clearly heard by all, their joy and thankfulness were
profound. God had once more accepted them in the person of the high
the high priest went into the most holy on the Day of Atonement,
he went in as the representative of the people. In him Israel appeared
before the Lord to give account of the sins of the year. The record
of these sins appeared in blood on the altar of burnt offering and
in the holy place. With the Day of Atonement the day of reckoning
had come, the day of judgment when all sins were to come in review
before God. The high priest appears in God's presence, while the
veil of incense shields him. For the first time that year sin is
brought before God in the most holy. The high priest sprinkles the
blood of the bullock "upon the mercy seat eastward; and before
the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven
times," and receives "atonement for himself, and for his
house." Lev. 16:14, 11. He is clean. Whatever sins he is identified
with, whatever sins he is responsible for, have in figure been transferred
to the sanctuary. He is clean; but the sanctuary is not. TOP
has thus far been accomplished is this: The high priest
in his representative capacity has appeared before God and the law.
He has acknowledged his sins and sprinkled the blood. The law has
in effect asked:
high priest has answered: "I have sinned, and I have confessed
law says: "The wages of sin is death. I have no other choice
than to demand life."
high priest replies: "I have brought the blood of the victim.
blood is sprinkled on the mercy seat. A substitute has been accepted
instead of the sinner. On this substitute
182 -- the sin has been placed; it is made sin, and as such
has died. It has paid the penalty of transgression. It has died
in the sinner's place and for sin. It has paid the debt due because
our consideration of sacrifices for sin, stress has been laid on
the placing of hands upon the victim's head, thus transferring sin
to the victim. In each case the victim dies with guilt upon its
head, dies for sin. Thus
Christ took our sins upon Himself and was made sin. Being
made sin, He must die; for the wages of sin is death.
however, died not only for sin, but for sinners. When He died for
sins He died because He identified Himself with us and took our
sins upon Himself. He died for sins because our sins were laid upon
Him, and He must bear the penalty. Dying thus for sinners, He satisfied
the claims of the law.
died not only as a substitute for the sinner, but also as the Sinless
One. Taking our sins upon Himself - we say it reverently - He ought
to die; the law demanded it. But personally Christ has not sinned.
He was sinless; yet He died. And the death of the Sinless One is
a definite part of the plan of God. The death of the sinner
satisfies the claim of the law. The death of the
Sinless One provides the ransom and frees the sinner
the high priest had offered the bullock and sprinkled its blood
upon the mercy seat and before the mercy seat, he was told to "kill
the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring
his blood within the veil, and do with that blood as he did with
the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and
before the mercy seat: and he shall make an atonement for the holy
place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and
because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall
he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among
them in the midst of their uncleanness." Lev. 16:15, 16.
183 -- It has before been noted, but should here be emphasized,
that the blood of the bullock
and that of the goat
accomplish two different things. The
first makes atonement for Aaron and his house. The
second makes atonement for the people and the sanctuary.
Verses 11, 15, 16. Nothing is said of the blood of the bullock making
atonement for or cleansing the sanctuary, but this is definitely
stated of the blood of the goat. Verses 15, 16. This may be accounted
for on the following grounds:
all cases where atonement is made for a person - with one minor
exception discussed elsewhere - the atonement is accomplished by
means of blood, and indicates transfer of sins to the sanctuary.
The sinner transfers his sins to the victim which is slain, and
the blood is sprinkled on the altar of burnt offering or in the
holy place in the sanctuary. The blood which - because of sin having
been confessed on the victim - might be called sin-laden blood,
typically and ceremonially defiles the place where it is sprinkled.
Thus the sanctuary is made unclean. TOP
the high priest comes out after sprinkling the blood of the bullock,
he is cleansed. Whatever sins he carried for which he was responsible
had been confessed and transferred to the sanctuary. When he steps
out of the most holy, he is cleansed, free, holy, a type of Christ,
the Sinless One. He has confessed his sins, they have been forgiven
him, and he has no further confession to make for himself. The Lord's
goat, whose blood he is about to sprinkle, also typifies the Sinless
One, the sin bearer. In
all the offerings during the year the death of Christ as the Sinless
One was portrayed. He was made sin who knew no sin. In
the goat on the Day of Atonement He is typified as the chosen of
God, harmless, undefiled.
repeat: In the goat offered on the Day of Atonement we have symbolic
reference to the death of the sinless Christ "who is holy,
harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and
184 -- made higher than the heavens." Heb. 7:26. The blood
of this goat has cleansing efficacy. It makes possible the cleansing
of the sanctuary.
sprinkling of the blood of the morning
and evening sacrifices for the nation "covered"
all sin done throughout Israel for that particular day. The daily
sacrifice on the altar represented Christ who died for us "while
we were yet sinners;" who gave "Himself for us an offering
and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor;" who "is
the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for
the sins of the whole world." Rom. 5:8; Eph. 5:2; I John 2:2.
The daily burnt offering is therefore symbolic of Him who gave Himself
for the sin of the world, dying for all men, thus making provision
for all who will come to Him to be saved. The sprinkling of the
blood "round about upon the altar" denotes the temporary
or provisional atonement provided, and also constitutes a record
of sins committed but not as yet individually atoned for.
such as sin, trespass, and burnt offerings, constituted, in effect,
a record of sins for which atonement was sought. The sins had already
been recorded in the daily morning and evening service. Now the
individual offenders register their repentance by bringing the required
offerings, and the blood is duly placed on the horns of the altar
of burnt offering, or sprinkled on the altar of incense, or on the
veil. The blood thus sprinkled recorded confessed sins. It has already
been noted that all confessed sins found their way eventually into
the sanctuary; for in cases where the blood was not carried directly
into the sanctuary, the flesh was eaten by the priests who thus
carried sin; and when the priests offered sacrifices for themselves,
these sins would, with their own, be carried into the holy place.
This earthly tabernacle
service was typical of the work carried on in the sanctuary above,
where a complete record
185 -- is kept of sins committed and of sins confessed. When
the Day of Atonement came, all Israel were supposed to have confessed
their sins and to have that confession recorded in blood in the
sanctuary. To complete
the work it was now necessary to have the record removed,
to have the sins blotted out, to cleanse the sanctuary of its blood
defilement. Before this specific cleansing was done, the high priest
went into the most holy with the blood of the bullock and made atonement
for himself and for his house. This having been done the work of
cleansing begins. The most holy is cleansed with the blood of the
goat, and then the holy. Thus the record of sin is blotted out.
After this the altar is cleansed. TOP
shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times,
and cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children
of Israel." Lev. 16:19. Thus he makes "an end of reconciling
the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the
altar." Verse 20. All is now cleansed, reconciled, and atoned
will be noted that thus far in the record nothing has been said
of the people's cleansing.
This is as it should be. The people had already confessed their
sins. They were forgiven. Only the record of their sins remained,
and on this day that was blotted out. And with the blotting out
of the record, the last vestige of sin is removed from the sanctuary,
and the people are clean. "On that day shall the priest make
an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from
all your sins before the Lord." Lev. 16:30. All those who had
sent their sins beforehand to judgment had them blotted out. The
blotting out of the record constituted the cleansing of the people.
They began the new year with a clean slate.
We would call attention to one more thing, namely, the putting of
the bullock's blood on the horns of the altar. Verse 18. That the
goat's blood is put on the altar needs no further
186 -- explanation, for that is to cleanse it. But why the blood
of the bullock?
high priest represents the whole people. He transacts for them with
God. As Christ's representative he typically effects atonement,
so that when his work is done on the Day of Atonement all sin has
been dealt with, and all confessed sin blotted out. When he therefore
confesses these sins, he does so on behalf of Israel and receives
atonement. Hence the high priest is said to make "atonement
for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins."
There were doubtless those in Israel who delayed their confession
until it was too late to bring an individual sin offering before
the Day of Atonement. They were repentant, but they had been delayed
in coming to the sanctuary. Others were sick and could not come,
or were on a journey in far lands. None of these had brought their
sin or trespass offerings. Were they to be left out?
sins were recorded by and in the daily morning and evening sacrifice,
but no confession had been recorded in the sanctuary, because they
had brought no sacrifice. What is to be done? The high priest puts
of the blood on the horns of the altar, thus recording confession
and forgiveness for them. He does the work which they would have
done had there been time or had they been able, and because of their
repentance they are included in the atonement. Of such are the thief
on the cross and others.
the work of the Day of Atonement is finished, as far as all confessed
sins are concerned. Every one who has confessed his sins and repented
of them has the assurance of sins blotted out. He has heard the
bells as the high priest resumes his high-priestly garments, telling
of the completed work. He is not only a pardoned sinner, he is not
only forgiven, he is cleansed. "If we confess our sins, He
is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from
187 -- unrighteousness." I John 1:9. The forgiveness has
been accomplished in the daily service; the cleansing on the Day
of Atonement. Even the record of sin is blotted out. Isreal is clean.
Title pages TOP
191 -- Chapter
-- THE SCAPEGOAT
the consideration of the Day of Atonement we omitted one important
part of the service which deserves special treatment, namely, that
of the scapegoat. On this subject much has been written and different
interpretations have been given. We shall give that which we consider
the true view and which harmonizes best with the general purpose
of the atonement.
scapegoat is brought into prominence on the Day of Atonement after
the work of reconciliation is complete. After Aaron "hath made
an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the
congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat: and Aaron
shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess
over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their
transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of
the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into
the wilderness: and the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities
into a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness."
will be remembered that the blood of the Lord's goat cleansed the
holy place, the most holy, and the altar of "the uncleanness
of the children of Israel," and "of their transgressions
in all their sins." Lev. 16:16, 19. It was emphasized that
this was not merely forgiveness, but cleansing. Forgiveness had
been obtained in the daily service when individual sin offerings
were brought. The blood had then been sprinkled and the sin forgiven.
It is repeatedly stated that "the priest shall make an atonement
for him, and it shall be forgiven him." Lev. 4:26, 31, 35.
The record of the
192 -- sin remained, however, until the Day of Atonement, when
it was finally blotted out. This is exactly what happens in the
great day of judgment, of which the Day of Atonement was a type.
Then the books are opened, and the sins of the righteous blotted
out. Acts 3:19; Rev. 20:12; Dan. 7:10. Those who do not have their
sins blotted out, will have their names blotted out. Ex. 32:33;
Rev. 3:5; Ps. 69:28. This means eternal loss.
The scapegoat served a definite purpose in the service of the Day
of Atonement. The high priest confessed "over him all the iniquities
of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their
sins, putting them upon the head of the goat." Lev. 16:21.
The goat bore the sins "unto a land not inhabited." Verse
22. This ceremony removed the sins from the camp of Israel and was
the last act of the high priest before he washed himself and resumed
his usual garments. Verses 23, 24.
Two questions demand consideration: Whom or what does the scapegoat
represent? and, Just what is its part in the services of the Day
When lots were cast upon the two goats taken from the congregation,
one lot was for the Lord and the other for the scapegoat. The word
here used for scapegoat, Azazel,
has been the subject of much discussion. Some believe the two goats
to be symbolic of Christ, merely representing two phases of the
same work. Others believe that they represent two opposing forces,
and that if one is "for the Lord," and the other "for
Azazel," the latter must mean "for Satan." Some scholars,
probably the majority, hold that Azazel is a personal, wicked, superhuman
being; others contend that it means "one who removes,"
especially "by a series of acts." It seems most reasonable
to believe that as one goat is for "the Lord," a personal
being, so the other should also be for a personal being. Moreover,
as the two goats are evidently antithetical, the most
consistent view would be that which
193 -- holds that Azazel must be opposed to "the Lord."
He could be no other than Satan. TOP
we believe that the weight of evidence is in favor of considering
Azazel as the name of a personal, wicked spirit, there are certain
apparent difficulties which this view brings to the front, which
should have consideration. Chief among these is the statement that
the scapegoat "shall be presented alive before the Lord, to
make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into
the wilderness." Lev. 16:10. If Azazel means "a wicked
spirit," Satan, how can it be possible to "make an atonement
with him"? Surely, it is said, atonement cannot be made with
a goat representing Satan.
We believe that a consideration of the
office of the scapegoat furnishes a solution to this
problem. After the atonement with the Lord's goat is finished, after
reconciliation and cleansing have been made for the sanctuary and
the altar, the goat for Azazel is brought out. Note, the priest
has "made an end
of reconciling;" the sanctuary and the altar
have been cleansed; atonement has
been made; an
end has been made of cleansing; then, and not until then,
does the scapegoat appear in its special role. We therefore hold
that the scapegoat
has no part in the atonement which has already been accomplished
with the blood of the Lord's goat. That work is completed. The scapegoat
has no part in it whatever.
objection may be made that as it is the iniquity of the children
of Israel that is put upon the head of the scapegoat, our argument
cannot be sound. The text in question reads that Aaron should "confess
over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their
transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of
the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into
the wilderness." Lev. 16:21. Let us consider this.
sins committed admit of shared
responsibility. The person committing the sin is often
mostly to blame, but this
194 -- is not always the case. Some people are more sinned against
than sinning. The man who educates a child to steal for him, cannot
escape responsibility by saying that he himself has not stolen.
The one who lures a girl into sin, though not participating in it
himself, is guilty. The parents who fail to instill right principles
into their children, must someday give an account. This is as it
should be. Responsibility for sin is seldom traceable to one person
only. Ordinarily it is shared.
is particularly true of Satan's share in the sins of the righteous.
The true Christian does not wish to sin. He abhors it. But Satan
tempts him. A thousand times the man resists, and a thousand times
Satan comes back. At last the man yields; he sins. But he soon repents;
he asks forgiveness. The sin has been recorded in heaven. Now forgiveness
is placed against it. The man is happy. He is forgiven. The Lord
has been gracious to him. Then comes the judgment. The sin is blotted
out. The man's record is clear. But
what about Satan's part in the sin? Has that been atoned for?
It has not. Satan must atone for it himself with his
the Christian should not sin. Yet there is the possibility. An incident
that occurred years ago may be of interest:
In a certain college, a student janitor was attempting to close
the windows during the convocation in chapel. He was quietly walking
along the outside aisle with a long pole upraised, his eyes on the
windows. A fellow student saw an excellent opportunity that he felt
should not pass unimproved. As the young man with the pole passed
by, intent on his work, the student put out his foot, and with a
resounding crash janitor and pole went to the floor. A prompt rebuke
for his clumsiness was as promptly rescinded when the circumstances
were understood. One man did the falling. The other was responsible.
p 195 -- So, ideally, it should be with the Christian. He
may fall, but if he does, it should only be because Satan trips
him up. But often he himself is to blame, at least partly. He tempts
Satan to tempt him, and he cannot escape his share of the responsibility.
It would not be just to blame Satan entirely for that of which we
ourselves are partakers. On the other hand, Satan cannot escape
his share. He is the instigator of sin. He continually tempts men.
He is a partaker of all sins committed.
It is conceivable that some men have come to the place where they
enjoy sin, and where Satan hardly needs to urge them on. While Satan
must bear the first responsibility, the men themselves must bear
their share. Not so with the righteous. They hate sin; they loathe
and abhor it. But Satan is continually on their track. Sometimes
he succeeds in tripping them. He must bear his share of the responsibility.
Thus every sin involves joint
responsibility. Satan has a part in them all. When, on
the Day of Atonement, the faithful in Israel had their sins blotted
out, it was because they had previously repented and been forgiven.
in each sin was atoned for, but not Satan's. He had not repented;
he had not confessed; he had not by faith placed his sin on the
great Sin Bearer. He must therefore bear the sin himself. And so
the sins of Israel which he has tempted them to commit are placed
this does not constitute a blood atonement in any way. There is
no blood shed. The goat for Azazel is not killed. The blood is not
sprinkled. It is not carried into the holy place. It is not put
upon the horns of the altar. The flesh is not eaten by the priests.
The body is not burned without the camp. The fat is not put upon
the altar, nor the inwards washed and burned. None of the things
which constitute an offering or sacrifice for sins is done. The
goat atones for sins, only in the way a criminal atones for his
sins by suffering the penalty of the law.
196 -- We therefore believe that Azazel represents Satan, and
that as such he has no part whatever in the atonement effected by
our Lord. The first goat represents Christ. His blood is shed, and
by means of it the sanctuary is cleansed. Not until this is done
and completed, does the goat for Azazel appear. This goat accomplishes
a definite work which we shall now consider,
but this in no way affects or influences the atonement
already completed. This point should be emphasized.
If the view here presented is correct, we have in the two goats
a complete extermination of all sin. The sins of God's people are
atoned for in the blood of the Lord's goat. The sanctuary is clean;
the people are clean; the priesthood is clean. Into this cleansing
we cannot admit Satan. He has no place in it. Christ did a complete
work and does not need Satan's help. Satan, typified by the scapegoat,
atones for his own sins, and for his part in those sins which he
has caused others to commit.
are sins other than those committed by God's people. Christ died
for all men; but all men do not choose to avail themselves of His
atonement. Hence, they must bear their own sins and the penalty
of them. Christ has died for them. He has borne their sins. But
the time is coming when He will bear them no longer. Upon Satan
as the originator and instigator of sin will be put all the sins
for which he is responsible.
When the two goats therefore were set before the Lord on the Day
of Atonement, they represented Christ and Satan. The people could
choose one or the other as their representative. If they chose the
Lord's goat, they identified themselves with Christ. If they chose
not to accept the proffered pardon, they automatically allied themselves
with the powers of evil. The choice was before them. On that choice
hung their destiny. TOP
It has been mentioned before, that the
whole service of
198 -- the Day
of Atonement is symbolic of the day of judgment. The
final judgment includes more than the blotting out of the sins of
the righteous. It includes the eradication of sin from the universe.
It includes placing upon the head of Satan all sin for which he
is responsible. It includes the eventual "cutting off"
of all who have not afflicted their souls. So in the sanctuary service
the sins were placed on the head of the scapegoat after the cleansing
of the sanctuary had been completed. Then those who had not repented
were "cut off." Lev. 16:20-22; 23-29.
"When the ministration in the holy of holies had been completed,
and the sins of Israel had been removed from the sanctuary by virtue
of the blood of the sin offering, then the scapegoat was presented
alive before the Lord; and in the presence of all the congregation
the high priest confessed over him 'all the iniquities of the children
of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting
them upon the head of the goat.' In like manner, when the work of
atonement in the heavenly sanctuary has been completed, then in
the presence of God and heavenly angels, and the host of the redeemed,
the sins of God's people will be placed upon Satan; he will be declared
guilty of all the evil which he has caused them to commit. And as
the scapegoat was sent away into a land not inhabited, so Satan
will be banished to the desolate earth, an uninhabited and dreary
wilderness." - The Great Controversy, p.658.
"As the priest, in removing the sins from the sanctuary, confessed
them upon the head of the scapegoat, so Christ will place all these
sins upon Satan, the originator and instigator of sin. The scapegoat,
bearing the sins of Israel, was sent away 'unto a land not inhabited;'
so Satan, bearing the guilt of all the sins which he has caused
God's people to commit, will be for a
thousand years confined to the earth, which will then
be desolate, without inhabitant, and he will at last suffer the
full penalty of sin in the fires that shall destroy
198 -- all the wicked. Thus the great plan of redemption will
reach its accomplishment in the final eradication of sin, and the
deliverance of all who have been willing to renounce evil."-
Ibid., pp.485, 486.
banishment of the scapegoat represents the final eradication of
sin. He therefore plays an important part in the services of the
Day of Atonement. In him sin is finally destroyed and Israel is
The Day of Atonement was the great day in Israel. On that day there
was a division of the people into two groups. The one group afflicted
their souls. They had confessed their sins; they had made restitution
and brought their offering. Now they awaited the outcome. When the
bells of the high priest were heard as he finished the work of atonement,
they knew that all was well. God had accepted them. They were cleansed,
happy, free. Their sins were blotted out.
other group had no part in the atonement. They had not afflicted
their souls. They had not confessed nor made restitution. Now their
sins returned upon their own heads. They were "cut off."
the Day of Atonement was the great day of division. There were two
classes on that day, and only two. One was forgiven, cleansed, saved.
The other was unrepentant, filthy, "cut off." Each had
made his own decision. Their decision settled their destiny. When
the day was done, the camp was clean. One of two things had happened
to each person. Sin had been removed from him, or he himself had
been removed. In either case the camp was clean. TOP
it shall be in the end of the world. "It shall come to pass,
that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem,
shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living
in Jerusalem." Isa.4:3. God shall again cleanse His people.
Those that remain in Zion shall be holy, "every one that is
written among the living in Jerusalem." The rest will be shaken
out, cut off.
199 -- It must have been with profound feelings that Israel
witnessed the final removal of sin from the camp. When the goat
was led away carrying its load of sin, they knew that but for the
grace of God they would themselves be carrying their sins to execution.
They had seen the Lord's goat die. It had died for them. Now they
had visibly presented to them the removing of sin from Israel. The
goat was being led away to a fate unknown. Eventually, death would
result. That also would have been their doom unless the Lord had
The type is not in all respects true to facts. In the final disposition
of sin, the wicked are destroyed. This was not done in Israel. They
were "cut off." That ordinarily meant exclusion from the
privileges of Israel, or what we would now mean by exclusion from
the church. It was therefore possible for an unrepentant sinner
to see the scapegoat being led away and excluded from the camp.
That was typical to him of his own exclusion. He would no longer
have any part in Israel. He was being cut off from God's people,
an outcast, fit only for destruction. This would constitute a powerful
object lesson to him, and might lead to serious reflection and repentance.
200-202 Title pages TOP
p 203 -- Chapter Fourteen -- FEASTS
AND HOLY CONVOCATIONS
In the twenty-third chapter of Leviticus are recorded
the feasts and holy convocations which the Lord commanded His people
to observe. There are seven
in all. Three
of them are the great festivals of the year, the
Passover, Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles.
Of these it is written: "Three times in a year shall all thy
males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which He shall
choose; in the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and in the Feast of Weeks,
and in the Feast of Tabernacles: and they shall not appear before
the Lord empty." Deut. 16:16. (See also Ex. 23:17; 34:23.)
two words used to denote "feasts" and "holy convocations"
differ considerably in their meaning. Hag,
which belongs especially to the three feasts above named, means
"a joyous occasion, a festival, a feast." Moadeem
has reference rather to appointed times, stated observances, holy
convocations, or solemn meetings. An example of Moadeem would be
the Day of Atonement, which was not a feast or festival in any sense
of the word, but a holy convocation. Lev. 23:26-32.
the Passover, Pentecost, the Feast of Tabernacles, and the Day of
Atonement, there were three others, namely, the Feast
of Trumpets, occurring on the first day of the seventh
month, the Feast of
Unleavened Bread, and the Feast
of First Fruits. Lev. 23:24, 6, 9-14; Ex. 12:17; Num.
28:17. The two last-named feasts were celebrated in connection with
the observance of the Passover, but are plainly spoken of as distinct
from it. Ex. 12:12, 15, 17; Num. 28:16, 17; Lev. 23:9-14. As they
are mentioned separately
204 -- and as they have special significance, we are placing
them among the seven feasts of the Lord.
Passover was observed on the fourteenth day of the first month,
the Feast of Unleavened Bread began on the fifteenth day of the
same month, and the first fruits were waved on the sixteenth day.
Lev. 23:5, 6, 11. The first three feasts thus came in the first
month of the year. The last three feasts came in the seventh month:
the Feast of Trumpets
on the first day, the Day
of Atonement on the tenth day, and the Feast
of Tabernacles on the fifteenth day. Verses 24, 27, 39.
The Feast of Pentecost
came between these two groups of feasts, fifty days from the "morrow
after the sabbath," by which is meant the sixteenth day of
Abib, the first month. This would bring Pentecost in the latter
part of the third month of the Jewish year, our May or June. Verses
Passover -- The
was instituted as a memorial of Israel's deliverance from Egyptian
bondage. On the tenth
day of the first month a lamb was selected for each household,
"according to the number of the souls," or if the household
was small, two or more households could unite about one sacrifice.
The lamb was kept until the
fourteenth day, when it was killed in the evening, and
the blood sprinkled on the doorposts. Ex.12:1-7. The same night
the flesh was eaten, not boiled as usual, but roasted. Only unleavened
bread could be used, "and with bitter herbs they shall eat
it." Verse 8. In later years, there were some modifications
of this ritual, but the essential points remained the same. TOP
Passover sacrifice is distinguished by being called "My sacrifice."
Ex. 23:18; 34:25. While it is probably not best to stress such an
expression, it is at least worthy of notice. The Passover commemorated
Israel's departure from
205 -- Egypt. The New Testament makes it also a forward-looking
our Passover is sacrificed for us." I Cor. 5:7.
With this symbolic representation in mind, some analogies are easily
perceivable. In the crucifixion not a bone of Christ's body was
broken. John 19:36. Not a bone of the Passover lamb must be broken.
Ex. 12:46; Num. 9:12. The Passover was killed the fourteenth day
of Abib and eaten on the fifteenth.
Ex. 12:6-10. Christ died at Passover time. John 19.14. The sprinkling
of the blood meant a "passing over" in mercy, a deliverance
from death. Ex. 12:13. So through His blood there has been a passing
over of the sins done aforetimes. Rom. 3:24. The Passover sacrifice
was a lamb. Ex. 12:3. So Christ was "the Lamb of God."
John 1:29. The lamb was to be without blemish. Ex. 12:5. So Christ
was without blemish. I Peter 1:19. The flesh of the lamb was to
be eaten. Ex. 12:7. So we are to partake of His flesh. John 6:51.
connected with the Passover, yet distinguished from it, was the
Feast of Unleavened
Bread. The two feasts were in reality part of the same
observance, so that the names are used interchangeably; yet in purpose
they were somewhat different. The command of God was explicit as
to what should be done. "Seven days shall ye eat unleavened
bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses:
for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the
seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel." Ex. 12:15.
God's commentary on this reads: "Let us keep the feasts, not
with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness;
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." I Cor.
Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread are fruitful in their
teachings of gospel truths. In the slain lamb, provision was made
for saving the first-born. But the death of the lamb was not enough
to assure salvation. The blood must be struck on the doorpost. There
206 -- individual application of the sacrifice. The sprinkling
of the blood was as important as the death of the lamb. Yet this
was not enough. The flesh must be eaten, and it must be eaten under
proper conditions. "Thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded,
your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall
eat it in haste: it is the Lord's Passover." Ex. 12:11. And
even this was not enough. All leaven must be purged away. "Whosoever
eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from
the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in
the land." Verse 19.
Passover is symbolic
of Christ's death. He is our Passover. I Cor. 5:7. On
the cross He died for us. Provision was there made for every one
to be saved who abides by the conditions of life. But the cross
itself saves no one. It only provides salvation. There must be individual
application of the blood provided. The
command to Israel was: "Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in
the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two
side posts with the blood that is in the bason." Ex. 12:22.
The promise was that if they did this, then when the Lord "seeth
the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the Lord will
pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in
unto your houses to smite you." Verse 23.
The provisions here mentioned saved the first-born from the destroying
angel. The death of the lamb provided the means of salvation; the
application of the blood made efficacious the means provided.
Both were necessary. TOP
is one thing to be saved from death. It is another to have the means
of sustaining life. This was provided positively in the eating of
the flesh, negatively in the abstention from leaven. Christ says:
"I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any
man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that
I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."
John 6:51. Israel was told to roast the lamb entire. The command
was to "roast
207 -- with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance
thereof." Ex. 12:9. Each family was to gather a sufficient
number of people together so that all the flesh would be eaten.
Verse 4. Nothing was to he carried out of the house, and nothing
left until morning. Whatever remained of those parts that could
not be eaten was to be burned. Verses 10, 46. This could prefigure
nothing else than an entire assimilation of Him whom the lamb represented
by those for whom the blood was shed. It means the entire identification
of Christ and the believer. It means the acceptance of the fullness
was to be entirely excluded. We are not left in doubt
as to the spiritual meaning of leaven. It stands for malice and
wickedness. I Cor. 5.8. It stands for false doctrine as exemplified
in the teachings of the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Herodians.
Matt.16:6; Mark 8:15. The leaven of the Pharisees is greed and injustice
(Matt. 23:14), a dog-in-the-manger spirit (verse 13), false zeal
(verse 15), wrong estimates of spiritual values (verses 16-22),
omission of judgment, mercy, and faith (verse 23), vain punctiliousness
(verse 24), hypocrisy (verses 25-28), intolerance (verses 29-33),
cruelty (verses 34-36). The leaven of the Sadducees is skepticism
(Matt. 22:23), lack of knowledge of the Scripture and of the power
of God (verse 29). The leaven of the Herodians is flattery, worldliness,
and hypocrisy (Matt. 22, 16-21), and plotting evil against God's
servants (Mark 3-6).
New Testament counterpart
of the Passover is found in the Lord's supper, the communion
service. After Christ had come, there could be no more virtue in
slaying the Passover lamb, prefiguring His coming. But there would
be virtue in commemorating the sacrifice of Calvary, and its sustaining
power. For this reason the Lord instituted the sacrificial meal
of communion to call to mind the facts of our salvation and the
provisions made on the cross. Like its
208 -- prototype, it points both backward and forward. We are
to remember Calvary "till He come." I Cor. 11:26.
types were fulfilled, not only as to the event, but as to the
time. On the fourteenth day of the first Jewish month,
the very day and month on which, for fifteen long centuries, the
Passover lamb had been slain, Christ, having eaten the Passover
with His disciples, instituted that feast which was to commemorate
His own death as 'the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of
the world.' That same night He was taken by wicked hands, to be
crucified and slain. And as the antitype of the wave
sheaf, our Lord was raised from the dead on the third
day, 'the first fruits of them that slept,' a sample of all the
resurrected just, whose 'vile body' shall be changed, and 'fashioned
like unto His glorious body.'" --The Great Controversy,
observance of the presentation of the first fruits was a part of
the celebration of the days of unleavened bread. The presentation
took place on the "morrow after the sabbath" the sixteenth
day of Abib. Lev. 23:11. This day was not one of holy convocation,
nor was it a sabbath, but an important work was nevertheless done
on that day. On the fourteenth day of Abib a certain portion of
a field of barley was marked off to be cut down in preparation for
the presentation on the sixteenth. Three selected men cut the barley
in the presence of witnesses, having already tied the sheaves together
before cutting them. After being cut, the sheaves were all tied
together into one sheaf and presented before the Lord as "a
sheaf of the first fruits." "He shall wave the sheaf before
the Lord, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath
the priest shall wave it." Lev. 23:11. Besides this, "a
he-lamb without blemish," and a meal offering mingled with
oil, and a drink offering were offered to God. Verses 12, 13. Not
until this was done could Israel begin to use any of the fruits
of the field. TOP
offering was an acceptance offering. It was a
209 -- presentation of the first fruits. Doubtless it has reference,
first of all to "Christ the first fruits; afterward they that
are Christ's at His coming." I Cor. 15:23.
we sum up the teachings of the Passover observance, we have the
following important reflections: The Passover is symbolic of the
death of Christ. As the Passover lamb died, so Christ died. The
blood of the lamb delivered Israel of old from the destroying angel.
The blood of Christ now reconciles.
Passover is symbolic
of the resurrection as typified in the wave sheaf. The
type is perfect even as to time. The lamb died on the evening of
the fourteenth day of Abib. On the sixteenth, the "morrow after
the sabbath," the first fruits, which had previously been cut
down, were presented before the Lord. Christ died Friday evening.
He rested in the grave over the Sabbath. The "morrow after
the Sabbath," "Christ the first fruits" was raised
from the grave and presented Himself before the Lord for acceptance.
The "morrow after the sabbath" was not "a holy convocation,"
nor a sabbath, either in type or antitype, but an important work
was done that may need amplification.
Christ arose the first day of the week, it was necessary for Him
to ascend to the Father to hear the words of God's acceptance of
the sacrifice. On the cross His soul was in darkness. The Father
hid His face from Him. In despair and agony He cried out: "My
God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" Matt. 27:46.
with his fierce temptations wrung the heart of Jesus. The Saviour
could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present
to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him
of the Father's acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin
was so offensive to God, that their separation was to be eternal.
Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall
no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin,
210 -- bringing the Father's wrath upon Him as man's substitute,
that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the
Son of God." --The Desire of Ages, p. 753.
the resurrection had taken place. The first thing Christ must do
was to appear in the presence of the Father and hear from Him the
blessed words that His death has not been in vain, but that the
sacrifice was accepted as amply sufficient. So He must ascend to
the heavens above and in the presence of the universe hear from
the Father Himself the words of assurance; then He must come back
to earth again to those who were yet sorrowing for His death, not
knowing that He had been raised, and show Himself openly. This He
refused to receive the homage of His people until He had the assurance
that His sacrifice was accepted by the Father. He ascended to the
heavenly courts, and from God Himself heard the assurance that His
atonement for the sins of men had been ample, that through His blood
all might gain eternal life. The Father ratified the covenant made
with Christ, that He would receive repentant and obedient men, and
would love them even as He loves His Son. Christ was to complete
His work, and fulfill His pledge to 'make a man more precious than
fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.' All power
in heaven and on earth was given to the Prince of life, and He returned
to His followers in a world of sin, that He might impart to them
of His power and glory.
the Saviour was in God's presence, receiving gifts for His church,
the disciples thought upon His empty tomb, and mourned and wept.
The day that was a day of rejoicing to all heaven was to the disciples
a day of uncertainty, confusion, and perplexity."-- Ibid.,
pp. 790-793. TOP
scriptures were fulfilled to the letter. "Christ arose from
the dead as the first fruits of those that slept.
He was the antitype of the wave sheaf, and His resurrection
211 -- place on the very day when the wave sheaf was to be presented
before the Lord. For more than a thousand years this symbolic ceremony
had been performed. From the harvest fields the first heads of ripened
grain were gathered, and when the people went up to Jerusalem to
the Passover, the sheaf of first fruits was waved as a thank offering
before the Lord. Not until this was presented, could the sickle
be put to the grain, and it be gathered into sheaves. The sheaf
dedicated to God represented the harvest. So Christ the first fruits
represented the great spiritual harvest to be gathered for the kingdom
of God. His resurrection, is the type and pledge of the resurrection
of all the righteous dead. 'For if we believe that Jesus died and
rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring
Christ arose, He brought from the grave a multitude of captives;
the earthquake at His death had rent open their graves, and when
He arose, they came forth with Him. They were those who had been
colaborers with God, and who at the cost of their lives had borne
testimony to the truth. Now they were to be witnesses for Him who
had raised them from the dead."-- Ibid., pp. 785, 786.
Passover is typical
of communion. The eating of the Passover lamb brought
together families and neighbors. It was a communal meal typifying
deliverance. An exchange had been effected, and their firstborn
was spared because the lamb died. Such a deliverance called for
consecration. All sin must be put aside. There must be no leaven
anywhere. Every corner must be examined, every nook searched for
traces of it. "Holiness unto the Lord." Nothing less would
this and more the Passover meant to Israel of old. As the Lord's
supper is the New Testament substitute for "the Lord's Passover,"
it should mean no less to us than it did to them. There is grave
danger that we forget or fail to appreciate the wonderful blessings
God has in store for those
212 -- who "worthily" partake of the ordinances of
the Lord's house. We would do well to study the Passover as given
to Israel, that we may appreciate more the Christ who is our real
Passover Lamb, and whose death is commemorated in the communion
came fifty days after the presentation of the wave sheaf on the
sixteenth of Abib. From that day "shall ye number fifty days;
and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord. Ye shall bring
out of your habitations two wave loaves of two tenth deals: they
shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are
the first fruits unto the Lord." Lev. 23:16, 17.
the wave sheaf was presented at the beginning of the harvest before
any of the new yield could be used, so Pentecost came
at the end of the harvest of all grains, not only
of barley as in the case of the wave sheaf, and represented the
joyous acknowledgment of Israel's dependence upon God as the giver
of all good gifts. At this time it was not a sheaf that was presented,
but two wave loaves of fine flour, baked with leaven, together with
"seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young
bullock, and two rams." Verses 17, 18. This was accompanied
by a goat for a sin offering and two lambs for a peace offering.
the Passover celebration, it was particularly enjoined that no leaven
was to be eaten or found. At Pentecost two loaves were to be presented,
"baken with leaven."
Verse 17. The wave sheaf is "Christ the first fruits."
He was without sin. The bread is not God's immediate creation. It
is partly man's work. It
is imperfect, it is mixed with leaven. But it is accepted.
It is waved "before the Lord, with the two lambs: they shall
be holy to the Lord for the priest." Verse 20. TOP
is symbolic of the outpouring of the Holy
213 -- Spirit.
As the wave loaves were offered fifty days after the wave sheaf
was presented, so there were just fifty days between the resurrection
of Christ and the outpouring of the Spirit on Pentecost. Acts 2:1-4.
Forty of these days Christ spent on earth instructing and helping
His disciples. Acts 1:3. Then He ascended, and for ten days the
eleven disciples continued in prayer and supplication until "the
day of Pentecost was fully come." With Pentecost came the fullness
of the Spirit.
ten days were important ones for the church on earth. They were
also important in heaven. When Christ "ascended up on high,
He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men." Eph. 4:8.
Those who had been raised at Christ's death and had come "out
of the graves after His resurrection," ascended with Him to
heaven, and were then presented before the Father as a kind of first
fruits of the resurrection. Matt. 27:52, 53.
heaven was waiting to welcome the Saviour to the celestial courts.
As He ascended, He led the way, and the multitude of captives set
free at His resurrection followed. The heavenly host, with shouts
and acclamations of praise and celestial song, attended the joyous
they draw near to the city of God, the challenge is given by the
escorting angels, --
up your heads, O ye gates;
And be ye lift up, ye everlasting
And the King of glory shall come in!'
the waiting sentinels respond, --
is this King of glory?'
they say, not because they know not who He is, but because they
would hear the answer of exalted praise--
Lord strong and mighty,
The Lord mighty in battle!
214 -- TOP
Lift up your heads, O ye gates;
Even lift them up, ye everlasting
And the King of glory shall
is heard the challenge, 'Who is this King of glory?' for the angels
never weary of hearing His name exalted. The escorting angels make
Lord of hosts;
He is the King of glory!'
the portals of the city of God are opened wide, and the angelic
throng sweep through the gates amid a burst of rapturous music.
is the throne, and around it the rainbow of promise. There are cherubim
and seraphim. The commanders of the angel hosts, the sons of God,
the representatives of the unfallen worlds, are assembled. The heavenly
council before which Lucifer had accused God and the Son, the representatives
of those sinless realms over which Satan had thought to establish
his dominion, - all are there to welcome the Redeemer. They are
eager to celebrate His triumph and to glorify their King.
He waves them back. Not yet; He cannot now receive the coronet of
glory and the royal robe. He enters into the presence of His Father.
He points to His wounded head, the pierced side, the marred feet;
He lifts His hands, bearing the print of nails. He points to the
tokens of His triumph; He presents to God the wave sheaf, those
raised with Him as representatives of that great multitude who shall
come forth from the grave at His second coming. He approaches the
Father, with whom there is joy over one sinner that repents; who
rejoices over one with singing. Before the foundations of the earth
were laid, the Father and the Son had united in a covenant to redeem
man if he should be overcome by Satan. They had clasped their hands
in a solemn pledge that Christ should become the surety for
215 -- the human race. This pledge Christ has fulfilled. When
upon the cross He cried out, 'It is finished,' He addressed the
Father. The compact had been fully carried out. Now He declares,
'Father, it is finished. I have done Thy will, O My God. I have
completed the work of redemption. If Thy justice is satisfied,'
'I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where
voice of God is heard proclaiming that justice is satisfied. Satan
is vanquished. Christ's toiling, struggling ones on earth are 'accepted
in the Beloved.' Before the heavenly angels and the representatives
of unfallen worlds, they are declared justified. Where He is, there
His church shall be. 'Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness
and peace have kissed each other.' The Father's arms encircle His
Son, and the word is given, 'Let all the angels of God worship Him.'
joy unutterable, rulers and principalities and powers acknowledge
the supremacy of the Prince of life. The angel host prostrate themselves
before Him, while the glad shout fills all the courts of heaven,
'Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches,
and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing!'"
-- The Desire of Ages, pp. 833, 884.
Christ passed within the heavenly gates, He was enthroned amidst
the adoration of the angels. As soon as this ceremony was completed,
the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples in rich currents, and
Christ was indeed glorified, even with the glory which He had with
the Father from all eternity. The Pentecostal outpouring was Heaven's
communication that the Redeemer's inauguration was accomplished.
According to His promise He had sent the Holy Spirit from heaven
to His followers, as a token that He had, as priest and king, received
all authority in heaven and on earth, and was the Anointed One over
His people." -- Acts of the Apostles, p. 38. TOP
216 -- Feast of Trumpets -- The
Feast of Trumpets came on the first day of the eleventh
month, and was preparatory
to the Day of Atonement which came on the tenth day of
the month. It was a solemn call to all Israel to prepare to meet
their God. It announced to them that the day of judgment was coming,
and that they must get ready for it. It was a merciful reminder
to them of the need of confession and consecration. As we have elsewhere
discussed the matter of atonement, it may not be necessary here
to emphasize either the Feast of Trumpets or the Day of Atonement.
of Tabernacles -- This was the last feast of the year and came
ordinarily in the latter
part of our October, after the harvest was over and the
fruit gathered. It was a joyous occasion for all. The Day of Atonement
was past, all misunderstandings had been cleared up, all sins confessed
and put aside. Israel was happy, and their happiness found expression
in the Feast of Tabernacles.
feast began with a day of holy convocation. Lev. 23:35. The people
were to take "boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees,
and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye
shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven
days." Verse 40. These branches they were to make
into booths, and in these they were to live during the feast. On
the Day of Atonement they were to "afflict their souls."
At the Feast of Tabernacles they were to "rejoice before the
Lord your God seven days." It was altogether the most happy
occasion of the year when friends and neighbors renewed communion
and dwelt together in love and harmony. In this respect it was prophetic
of the time when the great ingathering of God's people shall take
place, and they shall come "from the east and the west, and
217 -- down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom
of heaven." Matt. 8:11.
Feast of Tabernacles was commemorative of the time when Israel lived
in tents in the wilderness during their forty years of wandering.
"Thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt: and
thou shalt observe and do these statutes. Thou shalt observe the
Feast of Tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in
thy corn and thy wine: and thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou,
and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant,
and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow,
that are within thy gates. Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast
unto the Lord thy God in the place which the Lord shall choose:
because the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thine increase,
and in all the works of thine hands, therefore thou shalt surely
rejoice." Deut. 16:12-15.
is well to remember how God has led us in times past. It is well
to bring to mind His providences. We are sometimes inclined to complain.
Might it not be well to think of the many blessings God has bestowed
upon us, and the wonderful way He has led us? It would make us more
appreciative and thankful. And that is a vital part of religion.
221 -- Chapter Fifteen --
sacrifice offered was in reality a prayer to God for help. It might
be, as in the case of sin and trespass offering, a prayer for forgiveness.
Or it might be a prayer of thanksgiving and praise as in the peace
offering. Again it might be a prayer of consecration and dedication
as in the burnt offering, or of communion as in the meal offering.
It might be a prayer of thanksgiving for a special deliverance,
or a prayer for a thing much desired as in the vow and freewill
offering. Or it might be that God had healed of a sickness, or a
woman had been brought safely through childbirth, or some great
deliverance had been wrought. All such occasions called for special
thanksgiving and praise and an appropriate offering.
its highest exercise,
prayer is communion. This needs to be emphasized, for
to many Christians prayer is merely a means of getting something
from God. They feel their lack in certain respects. What easier
way is there than to ask God for that which they need? Has not God
promised to supply that which we lack? As a result of this way of
thinking, many prayers consist mostly of asking for things, some
of them good, some not so good, some positively harmful, some impossible
of fulfillment. To such people God is the source of supply, the
great giver, the inexhaustible fountain of gifts. All they need
to do is ask, and God will do the rest. They measure their Christianity
by the answers they receive to their petitions, and feel that their
prayers are not effective when the request is denied. Their prayers
mostly take the form of petition. They are continually asking for
something, and they believe that God does or should answer
222 -- their petition. As the prodigal son, they pray, "Father,
give me." Luke 15:12.
cannot be denied that prayers of petition -- asking for things --
are a legitimate form of prayer. We shall always need to ask God
for the things we desire. But it is to be emphasized that prayers
of petition must not become the prevailing form of prayer.
Prayers of praise, thanksgiving, and adoration must always have
the preeminence. Submissiveness to the will of God, complete dedication
to Him, and thorough consecration would indicate the form prayers
should take. When our prayers are changed from an effort to get
God to do what we want into an intense desire to find out what God
wants, our prayers will not so often take the form of asking merely
for things, and demanding that God forth-with answer our prayers
in the specific way we desire.
would indeed be better for most of us to cease asking for things
for a while and concentrate our entire efforts on what God wants
us to have or to be. When we find this out we are on sure ground.
Then we can ask of God, confident that His will is to be done. The
great problem confronting us is to find out God's will, and then
search our hearts to make sure that we really want God's will to
one has said that prayers are an effort on the part of the petitioner
to have God change His mind. Many are making no effort to find out
what God wants, although they are very clear themselves on what
they want. Their prayer is really, "Thy will be changed,"
not, "Thy will be done." They are struggling with God.
They are agonizing in prayer. They are demanding of God that which
they believe should be done. It does not occur to them that the
first thing to find out is, Does God really want me to have the
thing that I so much desire? Is it for my good? Is it God's will?
Has the time come for it to be done? Is there something I must do
first? Am I really willing to submit everything to God, so that
if He does not give me what I desire, I will be
223 -- satisfied and thank Him for what He does give; or am
I really more intent on getting what I want than I am on ascertaining
may be well to enumerate some things that prayer is not.
It is not a substitute for work. A Christian confronted with a hard
problem has a right to ask God's help and to expect that He will
respond. But this does not excuse him from hard, taxing labor. God
will strengthen the intellect, He will invigorate the mind; but
He will not accept prayer as a substitute for mental effort or give
to those who are merely slothful. Such as are capable of learning
the multiplication table and have the opportunity to do so, must
not shun the effort necessary, trusting that God through prayer
will do for them that which will make unnecessary any mental exertion.
In most cases, work and prayer go together. Neither one is sufficient
in itself. TOP
aim of prayer is not
merely to get God to do something we want. Some apply worldly methods
and have a worldly philosophy in their approach to prayer. They
have learned that as far as the world is concerned, to get anything
they must "go for it," and so they take for granted that
to get anything out of God they must "go for it." They
act as though God were not willing to grant their petition without
a great deal of coaxing, and seem to believe that by persistency
and wheedling they can get out of God that which He would not otherwise
give them. They take the importunate widow as their example, not
seeming to realize that this parable is given to show what God is
one can get out of God that which he desires, merely by continually
annoying Him. It needs to be emphasized that God is not like the
unjust judge. He is a father, more willing to give good gifts to
His children than they are to receive them. Wheedling, coaxing,
cajoling, teasing, annoying, mere persistency, does not avail with
impression must not prevail, however, that there
224 -- is no such thing as wrestling in prayer, or that we need
only mention to God once and for all what we want and it will be
forthcoming. Prayer is not quite as simple as that. No, there is
need of agonizing, prevailing prayer, prayer that goes to the heart
of things, and is not satisfied till lives and things are changed.
Jesus prayed all night; Jacob wrestled with the angel; Daniel sought
the Lord with prayer and fasting; Paul besought the Lord again and
again. We need not less prayers, but more. And we need to learn
to pray in faith. This perhaps is the vital point.
is not monologue. It may be audible, or it may be the
unspoken desire of the soul. In either case,
ideal prayer is communion. Some pray at length, informing
God of things of which he is already aware. They call His attention
to many matters that need correction. They seem to believe that
God is in danger of forgetting certain things that need to be done,
and their prayers take the form of reminding God of what He should
do. Having called God's attention to the need of the world as they
see it, they feel they have done their duty. They have "said
their prayers" and informed God of their own needs and those
of others, and with an "Amen" their "conversation"
stops. It has been a monologue entirely. They hope that God will
use judiciously the information which they have conveyed to Him,
and that He will do something about the matters concerning which
they have prayed.
consider prayer a one-way communication, man speaking to God. Yet
this is not the highest form of prayer; for as stated above, ideal
prayer is communion. In true prayer God speaks to the soul as well
as man to God. True friendship will not last long where one does
all the speaking. In our prayers we too often do all the talking
and expect God to do all the listening. And yet, may it not be possible
that God would like to communicate with us as well as we with Him?
This he often does by bringing certain
225 -- scriptures to our remembrance. Is it too much to believe
that after we have offered an earnest prayer which we believe God
in heaven has heard, He might wish to say a word to us? Is it possible
that after we have said "Amen," God is just ready to communicate
with us, but we get up from our knees and do not give God a chance
to speak? We hang up the receiver, as it were. We "ring off."
Can it be conceived that the true Christian is forever speaking
to God and God has no message for him? It must be painful to God
to be shut out just at the moment when He is ready to communicate
with us. It would seem that after this has happened several times,
God can come to no other conclusion than that we are not very anxious
to have communion with Him. We merely "say" our prayers,
and when we are done, we walk away. Such prayer surely cannot be
all that God means by "communion." TOP
us repeat, prayer is communion. It is more than conversation; it
is intimate fellowship.
It is an exchange of views and ideas. It presupposes sympathetic
understanding and confidence. It need not always be accompanied
by words. Silence may be more eloquent than torrents of oratory.
It is rather a kind of friendship grounded in quiet confidence and
assurance, unaccompanied by spectacular demonstrations or outbursts.
is a vital ingredient of prayer. It may almost be said
to be its better part. And yet it is mostly neglected. We appear
before God, present our petition, and depart. Next time, we do the
same. We keep God informed in regard to our status, tell Him of
some things that need attention, and having thus delivered our souls,
we close the interview. This is repeated day after day, but it cannot
be said to be a very satisfactory experience. Is there nothing better?
There must be.
psalms, especially those of David, sound the depths of Christian
feeling. David passed through some
226 -- soul-harrowing experiences. Once he was fleeing from
Saul into the wilderness. There he penned the sixty-third psalm.
It is the cry of a soul longing for God, for a deeper knowledge
of and acquaintance with God, especially in prayer. David was evidently
not satisfied with his prayer experience. God seemed far away. He
did not answer. David experienced the feeling of seeming to address
nobody, in an empty room. Yet he longed for God. His soul thirsted
for the living God. Was there no way in which he could get into
real communion with Him?
David found the way. He found satisfaction. He learned the real
meaning and method of prayer. Of this he speaks in Psalms 63:5,
6, "My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness;
and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: when I remember
Thee upon my bed, and meditate on Thee in the night watches."
Note the wording: "My soul shall be satisfied...when I remember
Thee upon my bed, and meditate." David had prayed before. Now
to prayer he adds meditation, and says that when he does this his
"soul shall be satisfied." To him it is as "marrow
and fatness," and he praises God "with joyful lips."
At last his soul is satisfied.
record is of great value. Many souls, like David, cry out for the
living God. They are not satisfied. They believe that there must
be something better than they are experiencing. They pray and pray
and pray, and yet God seems far off. He does not reveal himself.
Once in a while they have a fleeting glimpse of Him, and then He
is gone. Is there anything better in store or is this all that Christianity
and prayer hold for them? There must be something better. And David
"My soul shall be satisfied." How wonderful to have the
soul hunger satisfied! And this possibility may become a reality!
David points the way when he says that it may be obtained through
remembering God and through meditation.
227 -- Most Christians remember God. They pray. In fact it may
be said, and rightly, that no one can be a child of God and not
pray. But not many are practiced in the art of meditation. They
pray, but do not meditate. Yet one is as important as the other.
It was when David added meditation to prayer that he at last could
say that his soul was satisfied. It may be that we shall have the
same experience. TOP
Christians meditate. They are too busy. Their work makes too many
demands upon them. They rush from one thing to another and have
little time to counsel with their own souls or with God. There is
so much to be done. Unless they strain every nerve and are busy
every moment, they are certain souls will be lost. They have no
time to sit at the feet of the Master while the world is perishing.
They must be up and doing. Activity is their watchword. Withal they
are honest and conscientious.
how much is lost to themselves and to the world because of lack
of meditation! No soul can rush into the presence of God and out
again and expect to enjoy communion with Him. The peace that passes
understanding does not dwell in a restless heart. "Take time
to be holy," is more than a mere sentiment. It takes time to
commune with God, time to be holy. "Stand in awe, and sin not:
commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah!"
Ps. 4:4. The last statement needs special emphasis. "Be still."
We are too restless. We need to learn quietness with God. We need
to be still.
soul, wait thou in silence for God only." Ps. 62:5, A.R.V.
Let these words sink deep into each consciousness. "My soul."
This is addressed to every Christian. This is a command and also
a promise. Wait in silence. Wait in silence for God. Wait thou in
silence for God. Wait thou in silence for God only. And the one
who waits in silence for God only, at His invitation, will not be
disappointed. He will be satisfied.
228 -- What a wonderful invitation this statement is! You have
prayed, you have poured out your soul to Him who alone understands.
Do not say "Amen" and walk off. Give God an opportunity.
Wait for him. Wait in silence. Wait for Him only. And in the silence
of the soul God may speak. He has invited you to wait. Let your
whole soul be intent upon Him. Wait for him only. It may be that
God through the still small voice will make Himself known. Wait
in silence upon God.
some Christians this is no new doctrine. They know what it is to
commune with God. They have had precious seasons alone with Him.
They have learned to wait in silence. And precious have been the
revelations which have come to them.
others, however, this may be a new experience. They have learned
to pray, but they have not learned to wait in silence upon God.
Meditation as a part of prayer has not been important to them. They
have conceived of prayer as a certain form of words reverently addressed
to the Father in heaven. With their "Amen" the communion
is at an end. And so indeed it may be, though God does not intend
it thus. Amen may mean the end of man's speaking, but it should
not be the end of the interview. God invites us to wait in silence.
He may wish to speak, or He may not. In any event, we are to wait.
And as we wait, God may see fit at once to bring conviction to our
are inclined to speak too much. We have all had experience with
persons who come ostensibly to seek counsel, but who in reality
come only to present their own views. They seem anxious for the
interview, yet hardly an opportunity is afforded for any counsel,
for they occupy the time themselves and seem satisfied when they
have presented their story. When some measure of agreement with
their view is elicited, they are content. The impression is distinct
that they did not come for counsel, but to impart information.
229 -- So, too often, with prayer. The most important part is
not our speaking to God, but God's speaking to us. True, God loves
to have us pray. Our prayers are music to Him. We cannot tire Him.
And yet, would it not be well to give God an opportunity to communicate
with us? Would it not be well for us to have a
listening attitude? Would it not be well for us to do
exactly what we are counseled to do, wait in silence for God only?
Surely God will not let us wait in vain. Who has not felt the tremendous
power of the few moments of silence after the benediction? Who has
not felt the presence of God in the stillness of the sanctuary?
It would be well for us to explore the power of the realm of silence.
God is there. TOP
is always danger of going to extremes.
There are those who reject or think lightly of the instruction given
in the Bible and depend almost wholly on impressions. Such are in
great danger. We believe that God will lead those who are willing
to be led, but we believe also that such leading will always be
in harmony with God's revealed will, and will not in any way contradict
the written word. Wonderful as is the privilege of communing with
God, and wonderful as is the privilege of meditation, there is danger
of their misuse. Especially should the younger Christians be on
their guard. Only long experience in the things of God, backed by
a life of obedience to God's will, enables one to judge the processes
of the mind. Satan is ever near to suggest his own thoughts, and
spiritual discernment is needed to know the voice speaking. This,
however, should not cause even young Christians to omit meditation.
Far from it. God is ever near, to help and guide, and we may believe
that the quiet hour spent with God will yield large results for
the kingdom. We are only issuing a warning to such as would be led
by a voice speaking to the soul and neglect the voice speaking through
the sanctuary of old, sacrifice and prayer were
230 -- combined. Sacrifice stood for sorrow for sin, repentance,
confession, restitution. When the lamb was placed on the altar,
the repentant sinner in type laid himself and his all on the altar.
It signified his acceptance of the justice of the law that demanded
a life, it signified his consecration to God. Without this attitude,
the sacrifice of a lamb was only a mockery. So our prayers may be
only a mockery unless we from a sincere heart abstain from sin and
dedicate ourselves entirely to God. Prayer must have sincerity as
a foundation and background. It must be grounded in repentance and
godly sorrow for sin. It must be evidenced by confession and restitution.
A prayer thus conditioned will not remain unanswered. God is true
to His word.
233 -- Chapter Sixteen-- THE LAW
the services of the sanctuary were performed with reference to the
law of God kept in the ark in the inmost apartment of the tabernacle.
It was when this law was broken, that sacrifices were to be brought.
"If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments
of the Lord concerning things which ought not to be done, and shall
do against any of them: if the priest that is anointed do sin according
to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which
he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the Lord for
a sin offering." Lev. 4:2, 3.
was the transgression of "the commandments of the Lord"
that necessitated the sacrificial system. It was sin
against God's law that set in motion the entire ritual of the temple.
Sin was the background of the morning and evening sacrifice, the
services of the Day of Atonement, the offering of incense, and the
individual sacrifices for personal sins. And sin is the transgression
of the law.
the beloved had a vision of the temple of God in heaven. In that
temple he saw the law of God, "the ark of His testament."
Rev. 11:19. The law is central even in heaven. So much is this so,
that the temple is called "the temple of the tabernacle of
the testimony," not the temple of incense, or of blood, or
even of the ark. It is "the temple of the tabernacle of the
testimony," the temple of the law of God. Rev. 15:5. TOP
most sacred city in Old Testament times was the city in which God
had chosen to make His abode. The most sacred place in that city
was the temple. The most sacred place in the temple was the place
called the most holy.
p 234 -- most sacred object in the most holy was
the ark within which were the tables
of stone upon which God had written with His own finger
the ten commandments, the law of life, the oracles of
God. This law was the center around which the whole service revolved,
the ground and reason of every ritual. Without the law, the temple
service would be meaningless.
is an expression of character, a revelation of mind. For this reason,
the law of God is important. It is a part of God, as it were. It
reveals Him. It is a
transcript of His character, a finite expression of the
infinite. In it we are given a glimpse of the very mind of God;
a view of that which is the foundation of His government. As God
is perfect, so His law is perfect. As God is eternal, so the principles
of the law are eternal. As God is unchangeable, so the law is
unchangeable. This must of necessity be so. The law,
being a transcript of the character of God, cannot be changed unless
a corresponding change takes place in God. But God does not change.
"I am the Lord, I change not." Mal. 3:6. With God there
"is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." James
1:17. He is "the same yesterday, and today, and forever."
law of God as contained in the ten commandments has always been
a fruitful field of study for God's children. Numerous are the references
in the Bible to the delight which the saints of God have found in
looking into the perfect
law of liberty. Far from its being a task, they have
regarded it a pleasure to contemplate the deep things of God. Hear
the psalmist: "I love Thy commandments above gold; yea, above
fine gold." "Thy testimonies are wonderful." "Thou
through Thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for
they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers:
for Thy testimonies are my meditation." "I have seen an
end of all perfection: but Thy commandment is exceeding broad."
Ps. 119:127, 129, 98, 99, 96.
235 -- The ten commandments were first proclaimed by God at
Sinai, and then written by Him on two tables of stone. Ex. 20; 24:12;
31:18. These tables were placed in the ark in the most holy place
of the sanctuary, directly under the mercy seat and covered by it.
Ex. 25:16, 21. The writing contained on them, as recorded in the
King James Version of the English Bible, is as follows:
"I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the
land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
1. "Thou shalt have no other gods
2. "Thou shalt not make unto thee
any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven
above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water
under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve
them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity
of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation
of them that hate Me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that
love Me, and keep My commandments.
3. "Thou shalt not take the name of
the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless
that taketh His name in vain.
4. "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep
it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the
seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt
not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant,
nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within
thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea,
and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the
Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.
5. "Honor thy father and thy mother:
that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth
6. "Thou shalt not kill.
"Thou shalt not commit adultery.
236 -- TOP
8. "Thou shalt not steal.
9. "Thou shalt not bear false
witness against thy neighbor.
"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou
shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his
maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's."
ten commandments are not
arbitrary decrees imposed upon unwilling subjects. They
are rather the law
of life without which national existence, personal security,
human liberty, or even civilization is possible. This will become
more patent as we proceed.
commandments are divided into two
sections, the one section -- the first four
commandments -- defining man's
God, and the other section -- the last six
commandments -- defining man's
duty to his fellow men. Christ recognized this division
when He stated that the two great principles of the law are love
to God and love to man. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with
all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This
is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto
it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments
hang all the law and the prophets." Matt. 22:37-40.
occasion for the proclamation by God of His law at Sinai, was His
entering into covenant relation with Israel. God had selected Israel
to be His people. He had brought them out of Egypt and was about
to bring them into the Promised Land. He had promised to bless them
and to make of them a holy nation and a royal priesthood. These
promises, however, were subject to their acceptance and cooperation.
God had promised to do much for them. Would they on their part love
and obey God? Would they faithfully observe the provisions of the
covenant? They had been acquainted in a general way with the law
of God. But now God proclaims it to them from heaven, so there can
be no doubt as to what is expected of them. Holiness must not be
237 -- left to private interpretation. God gives a standard
of righteousness. That standard is perfect. "The law is holy,
and just, and good." It is an expression of God's will concerning
man. It is the perfect rule and contains the whole duty of man.
is a matter of some perplexity to find Christians opposed to the
law of God. What possible objection can they have to a law that
enjoins love to God and man, that frowns on evil and encourages
good? What possible objection can they have to a law the author
of which is Jehovah, the end of which is holiness, and which is
enshrined in the sanctuary of God? Sinners might be expected to
oppose it, for it exposes and condemns sin. But Christians are on
another level. With the psalmist, they cry out: "O how love
I Thy law! it is my meditation all the day." Ps. 119:97
law in general is the foundation of government, so the law of God
is the foundation of God's government. Ten short, clear-cut statements
proclaim the entire duty of man. As a constitution, it is complete,
concise, perfect. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. Law
is emblematic of security, stability, faithfulness, uniformity,
equality. Absence of law means chaos with its attendant evils. The
world is built on law, the universe is obedient to it. Infraction
of universal law
would mean annihilation of the creation of God. Every part is related
to every other part, and what happens in one place reverberates
to the ends of the universe. This makes universal law necessary.
One law must control wherever creation exists. Two conflicting laws
would bring disaster. TOP
one fundamental moral law of the universe is the law of God, embodied
from eternity in the two great principles of love to God and love
to man. These principles were amplified and applied to humanity,
and the ten commandments were proclaimed, for man's guidance, at
Mt. Sinai. They constitute the basic law of life and existence.
238 -- been stated before, they are not arbitrary requirements
imposed for the sake of authority. They are such as God in His wise
foresight saw were necessary if men were to live together, and human
society become possible. And men's experiences have confirmed God's
wisdom. The world has demonstrated that obedience to God's law is
necessary to existence, to security, to life.
great World War was a demonstration of this fact. Men laughed at
the ten commandments. They made light of them. They began to kill
and destroy one another. Each nation felt that should it win the
war, great benefit would accrue not only to itself, but incidentally
to the world. But the world has been disillusioned. It has learned
that there is no profit in hatred, or in killing. The World War
was a forceful illustration of the folly of rejecting the commandments
of God. Not only were millions maimed and killed, immense debts
piled up, and general disaster imminent, but many were definitely
convinced that a continuation of war would mean the end of civilization
and national life. Men were appalled at the magnitude of the calamity
facing them. They began to believe that the commandment, "Thou
shalt not kill," was not an arbitrary decree, but one of the
laws of life. Keep the commandments and live; reject them and die
-- that was the lesson.
same lesson is being taught nations today. Crime is rampant, aggressive,
defiant. There have always been wicked men, but never on such a
scale as today. Crime is now organized, in some cases carrying on
what amounts to real war against society. In some cases, criminals
are better armed and organized than the forces of law and order.
It is only of late that governments have really awakened to the
fact that they are face to face with disintegrating agencies that
are bent on overthrowing civilization. They are now making every
effort to stamp out the evil, but find it no easy task. It is costly;
it is exhausting; it is at times
239 -- discouraging; but it must be carried to a successful
issue, or disaster will result. The governments' attempt to curtail
graft, to eradicate vice, to stop racketeering, to uphold the sacredness
of family relations, to compel honesty in public relations, and
to protect property, is an admission on their part that God is right,
that men ought not to lie, steal, or commit adultery; that the transgression
of these commandments leads to disaster and disruption, and that
the government is justified in taking any measures necessary to
whole movement to stamp out crime is a mighty testimony to the integrity
and enduring value of the commandments of God. Men and governments
are learning that crime does not pay; that crime is costly; that
crime ruins and destroys. This is the lesson God wants them to learn.
And they are finding out in their own way the value of obedience
to law. Never has the world had such an object lesson in the cost
of crime, the cost of transgression. The world itself both furnishes
the material for the demonstration and pays the cost of it. This
makes the lesson that much more effective.
is an expression of the will, nature, and character of the governing
power. Any law that is not such an expression soon ceases to function
and becomes obsolete. Human law is ordinarily the result of experience,
of thought-out purpose based on the discovery of what is and should
be, and an attempt to formulate into concise statements, rules for
proper and appropriate conduct and procedure. It must have will
as a basic factor, and be an expression of that will, and also of
the nature and character of the lawgiver. Law therefore argues personality,
and defines and reveals that personality. TOP
of nature," as ordinarily employed, is misleading,
and should be used only in an accommodated sense. Properly speaking,
there is no law of nature as such,
240 -- for nature has no will or thought of its own, and no
way of expressing such will or thought. What is generally meant
by "law of nature" is the orderly process in which nature
acts, a definite mode of sequence that is generally predictable.
The Christian believes the laws of nature to be the laws of God,
an expression of personal will, and does not endow nature with attributes
belonging only to personality, to God.
Strong uses an illustration which points an important lesson. As
the Christian sees a shaft turning a large and complicated piece
of machinery, and in his attempts to find out what makes the shaft
revolve, comes to a brick wall from which it protrudes and beyond
which he cannot see and cannot go, he does not arrive at the conclusion
that the shaft turns itself. He cannot see, he cannot prove, the
existence of the engine beyond the brick wall that gives the shaft
its power. But he knows it is there. Good sense tells him this.
The mere scientist sees the shaft, and marvels at its inherent power.
The Christian sees the shaft also. But he sees beyond it. He sees
the invisible, and he knows that there is a hidden power behind
the shaft. To him it is simple, clear, nothing mysterious. He only
wonders that all cannot see what seems to him so evident. So likewise
through nature he sees nature's God; and the
laws of nature are to him merely the laws of God.
law of God is a transcript of the divine nature, and
as such is not "made" as human laws are made, any more
than God is "made." The law cannot be said to have had
a beginning any more than God had a beginning. Being a revelation
of what He is its existence is coeval with God's. It can be changed
only as God changes. It is not temporary, as God is not temporary.
It is not an expression of arbitrary will, but a revelation of being.
It is not local or confined to specific situations only, as God
is not local. It is incapable of modification, representing as it
does the unchangeable nature of God. It is immutable, holy, and
241 -- God is immutable, holy, and good. It is spiritual; it
is just; it is universal. All this the law is and must be, being
a transcript of the essential nature of God.
the written moral law of God, there is an elemental
law, imprinted in the very fibers of every moral creature,
unwritten but authoritative. It existed before Sinai, and is also
an expression and reflection of the moral nature of God, though
it is not as clear as the written law. The heathen who "have
not the law [in written form], do by nature the things contained
in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves;
which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience
also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing
or else excusing one another." Rom. 2:14, 15.
unwritten law is so authoritative that God is justified in using
it in the judgment. "For as many as have sinned without law
shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the
law shall be judged by the law." Verse 12. The heathen "do
by nature the things contained in the law," that is, they have
an inherent sense of right and wrong, and by this they are judged.
"These, having not the law, are a law unto themselves."
According to the light they have, or might have had, they are judged.
elemental law, though unwritten, has all the characteristics of
the written law of God, and, in its field, is of equal authority.
No man can violate natural law and expect to escape the consequences.
The laws of nature are inviolable, and are administered without
respect of persons. Whoever transgresses, be he prince or pauper,
pays the penalty. A king who unknowingly or deliberately steps off
into space when climbing a steep mountain incline, is crushed against
the rocks below as surely as his lowliest subject. Men have learned
the certainty of natural law and are trusting to its unfailing uniformity.
They are convinced that the laws of physics, of mathematics, of
stress, do not change overnight. TOP
242 -- So they plan, build, live, and work, depending on the
surety of law. And God does not fail them. Men can depend on God
and on His law in nature.
unwritten moral law
is just as sure. The conscience bears witness to a power
higher than man's, a compelling power, an almost irresistible power.
True, the moral law moving in higher realm than the physical may
not be capable of the immediate demonstration, and the effects of
transgression may not be as apparent as in the violation of physical
law. But they are nevertheless as sure.
all violation of physical law is punished immediately. A man touches
a highly charged live wire and is struck dead immediately. Another
violates the law of his being in living and eating and does not
note any immediate effect. Years after, the results become apparent.
But though the results may be delayed, they are sure and inevitable.
So with moral law. The results of transgressions may be delayed.
But they are surely coming. They may not even be apparent in this
life, but may be reserved for the judgment to come. But in any case,
the results are sure and unavoidable - but for the grace of God.
is a reason for God's mode of action. If punishment were always
meted out immediately, character building would be very much hindered
if not made impossible. Every physical sin, however small, has in
it the seed of death. If that death came immediately, there would
of course be no opportunity for the person concerned to learn any
lesson from the experience. Also, others, knowing that the result
of disobedience was immediate death, would be deterred from transgression
not from principle but from fear. To give men a chance to repent
of physical sins and also to give them opportunity to do so uninfluenced
by fear of immediate death, God must delay the consequences of transgression
for a time. This He does, and the results justify the procedure.
principle is even more applicable to the moral law.
243 -- God must not execute punishment for the transgression
of moral law immediately, lest He vitiate His plan and make salvation
hard, if not impossible. Though at times it is true that "because
sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore
the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil,"
yet God must not immediately execute judgment lest He do more harm
than good. God knows what He is doing. He has set for Himself the
task of saving men, and He goes about it in the best way possible.
of God as contained in the ten commandments summarizes man's whole
duty to God and to man. The God that made the law
of nature is the same God who made the ten commandments.
Both laws are given by God, and though they move in different realms,
they are equally binding and cannot be transgressed with impunity.
The law of God as written on two tables of stone, as well as in
the heart of the believer, is in harmony with the general and unwritten
law of God.
nature nowhere indicates a definite
day of rest. That appears in the written law of God.
The heathen have perceptions of right and wrong, and their consciences
accuse or excuse them. This does not seem to be the case, however,
with the seventh-day Sabbath. There is nothing in nature to lead
the mind to the observance of one day in seven, much less, a definite
seventh day. This may require some study.
Sabbath was instituted at creation. It was then "made for man."
Mark 2:27. By His own example of resting, God sanctified the day
and blessed it. Out of all the days of the week He chose one and
set it apart for holy use. Henceforth it was blessed among days,
sanctified by God Himself. TOP
choice of the particular day of the week was a distinct act of God
which can be known only by revelation. Nature gives no clue whatever
as to which day is the Sabbath, or indeed, to any Sabbath at all.
The commandment to keep
244 -- holy the seventh day is a pronouncement by the sovereign
God, setting apart a particular day as holy time. While it seems
fitting that the last day of creation week should be chosen as the
day of rest, it is conceivable that Wednesday or any other day might
serve the purpose as well, had the Creator so ordained. The choice
of the seventh day rests not upon any fact in nature, but upon a
positive command of God, unaccompanied by any sustaining elemental
or natural law. It rests entirely upon a "Thus saith the Lord."
believe there is a reason for this. We shall proceed with this study.
247 -- Chapter Seventeen
-- THE SABBATH
"Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six
days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day
is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any
work, thou, nor they son, nor they daughter, thy manservant, nor
they maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within
thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea,
and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the
Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it." Ex. 20:8-11.
a person who had not previously known of the ten commandments should
suddenly come face to face with them, he would at once be struck
with their reasonableness and good sense. As he read the commandment,
"Thou shalt not steal," he would agree that it is a good
commandment. So with the commandments, "Thou shalt not kill,"
and, "Thou shalt not commit adultery." He would doubtless
observe that most nations had similar laws and had found them necessary
and good. He would be unable to find any fault with the law of God.
thing, however, might be puzzling to him. Why should the seventh
day be considered holy? He would be able to see reason for the other
commandments, but the Sabbath commandment would seem arbitrary.
From a health viewpoint every fifth or sixth day, or eighth or tenth
day, would serve as well. And anyway, why select the seventh day
of the week rather than just one seventh part of the time? The other
commandments are reasonable, he would think, but the
Sabbath commandment is of a different nature. It is not
grounded in nature or human relations, but is an
arbitrary decree without sufficient reason for obedience
248 -- The writer once had a conversation with a person in which
the arguments here set forth were advanced. The person in question
was well educated. The conversation turned upon the law of God,
especially the Sabbath commandment. His argument ran somewhat as
appreciate the contribution your denomination is making toward law
and order. In an age such as this, in which crime and lawlessness
prevail, we must depend on the churches to stand stiffly for righteousness.
I am sorry to note that some of the churches are not doing this.
They are making light of the law of God, and this cannot but react
in civil affairs. If God's law can be ignored with impunity, it
is easy to take a like attitude toward civil law. I am glad, therefore,
that you are preaching the law as well as the gospel. Both are needed.
is one thing, however, in which I believe you are mistaken. You
are keeping the seventh day, and you believe that God requires you
to do this. Though I honor your belief and think you are honest,
I also think you are mistaken. I have given some study to the question,
and I believe that God's will and intent could be served just as
well by your keeping the first day of the week as by your keeping
the last; and it would be a great deal easier for you, and your
influence would be enhanced. While I personally believe that it
is immaterial whether I keep one day or another, or no day at all,
I honor those who do. But I do think you are mistaken in believing
that you must keep the seventh day. God does not require it of you.
The most He could expect would be for you to keep one day in seven.
Sabbath commandment is of a different nature from the other commandments.
The fourth commandment stands alone in not being grounded in the
nature of man as the other commandments are. If a group of men who
had never heard of the ten commandments were to live together, they
would soon evolve a series of laws for their own guidance.
249 -- Heathen nations and savage tribes have rules against
stealing, killing, and adultery. I believe that such primitive peoples
would after a while construct a code of laws in conformity with
the ten commandments; but I do not see how they could ever evolve
a Sabbath law. There is nothing in nature that could guide them
in such an undertaking. This I believe proves my contention that
the Sabbath law is not founded on natural law, is not grounded in
man's nature as are the other commandments, and that men sustain
to that commandment a different relation from what they do to the
others. I consider the other commandments binding, but not the Sabbath
this, answer was given along the following line: "Without
admitting the truth of all your contentions, let us grant that the
Sabbath commandment is on a different basis from that of the rest
of the commandments, and that man unaided by revelation could never
arrive at a belief in a seventh-day Sabbath.
the Sabbath commandment occupies a unique place in the law of God
is, I believe, conceded by most students. It is the one commandment
that deals with time.
It has the distinction of declaring certain things right if done
at a stated time, and the same things wrong if done at another time.
It creates wrong and right by definition without any discernible
reason grounded in nature. In that it is different from the other
was this commandment which God selected in olden times to be the
test commandment. Before the law was publicly proclaimed at Sinai,
'Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: and
the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died
by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the
fleshpots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought
us forth into the wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.'
Ex. 16:2, 3. The situation was critical.
250 -- Something had to be done. 'Then said the Lord unto Moses,
Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall
go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them,
whether they will walk in My law, or no.' Verse 4. TOP
gathering and the preparation of the bread which the Lord sent from
heaven constituted the test for Israel to 'prove them, whether they
will walk in My law or no.' Every day they were to gather enough
for the day's need, but on the sixth day they were to gather twice
as much, so as to have enough to last them over the Sabbath. While
the manna ordinarily would not keep fresh more than one day, on
the sixth day God miraculously preserved the manna from corruption.
So 'On the sixth day they gather twice as much bread.' Verse 22.
'And he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, Tomorrow
is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord: bake that which ye
will bake today and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth
over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. And they laid
it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither
was there any worm therein. And Moses said, Eat that today; for
today is a Sabbath unto the Lord: today ye shall not find it in
the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day,
which is the Sabbath, in it there shall be none.' Ex. 16:23-26.
of the people were not satisfied, however. They went out 'on the
seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And the Lord said
unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep My commandments, and My laws?
See, for that the Lord hath given you the Sabbath, therefore He
giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every
man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh
day. So the people rested on the seventh day.' Verses 27-30.
all the commandments God chose the fourth as the test commandment.
When He wanted 'to prove them,
251 -- whether they will walk in My law or no,' He told them
to gather manna each day sufficient for their need, twice as much
on the sixth day,
and none on the seventh. That was the test. When they disobeyed,
it was not merely the Sabbath they broke; it was the whole law.
'How long refuse ye to keep My commandments and My laws?' God said.
do ye not keep the Sabbath?' The question was larger than that.
It involved the whole law. The keeping of the Sabbath was the test.
If they kept that, they were obedient. If they broke it, they broke
the whole law.
to this and to later experiences that Ezekiel has reference when
he quotes God as saying in the wilderness: 'I gave them My Sabbaths,
to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am
the Lord that sanctify them.' Eze. 20:12. The statement is here
made that God's Sabbaths are a
sign of sanctification.
In verse twenty the Lord's Sabbaths are called 'a sign between Me
and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.' In the first
verse quoted the Sabbaths are called a sign of sanctification, in
the second a sign 'that I am the Lord thy God.' In both they are
interesting to note the connection in which these statements are
made. The elders of Israel had come to inquire of the Lord, but
the Lord declared emphatically that He would not be inquired of
by them. Eze. 20:3. He had spoken to them so many times, and they
had not hearkened. Why should He communicate with them, when they
refused to do what He commanded them? They were like their fathers,
God said. The fathers had not been obedient, neither did these show
any inclination to hearken. When Ezekiel feels inclined to plead
for them, the Lord commands him to tell them plainly wherein they
have failed. 'Cause them to know the abominations of their fathers,'
the Lord says. Verse 4. This Ezekiel does by recounting to them
the difficulty the Lord had in bringing Isreal out of Egypt into
p 252 --
Promised Land, and in getting them to keep His commandments, especially
the fourth. TOP
they were still in Egypt, God had commanded them to cast aside all
idols. This they had not done. Nevertheless, God brought them out
of Egypt into the wilderness and proclaimed to them His law. In
that law He points out the Sabbath, saying that it is His sign of
sanctification and that He wants them to keep it holy. 'But the
house of Israel rebelled; ... My Sabbaths they greatly polluted:
then I said, I will pour out My fury upon them in the wilderness,
to consume them.' Verse 13. God, however, decides not to consume
them. On the other hand, He feels that He cannot 'bring them into
the land which I had given them, ...because they ...polluted My
Sabbaths.' Verses 15, 16.
with them: 'Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers, neither
observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols:
I am the Lord your God; walk in My statutes, and keep My judgments,
and do them. And hallow My Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between
Me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.' But 'the
children rebelled; ...they polluted My Sabbaths: then I said, I
will pour out My fury upon them, to accomplish My anger against
them in the wilderness.' Verse 21. God decides that He will 'scatter
them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries;
because they had not executed My judgments, but had despised My
statutes, and had polluted My Sabbaths, and their eyes were after
their fathers' idols.' Verses 23, 24.
the statement is made that the children of Israel 'rebelled; ...they
polluted My Sabbaths.' God at last decides to 'purge out from among
you the rebels, and them that transgress against Me,' and to see
to it that 'they shall not enter into the land of Israel.' Verse
38. The connection between 'rebels' and those that pollute the Sabbath
seems quite intimate.
p 253 --
"No one can reverently read this chapter without coming
to the conclusion that God makes much of the Sabbath, that it is
that it is selected above the other commandments as a proof of obedience.
'I will prove them,' God says, 'whether they will walk in My law
or no.' The keeping of the Sabbath is the proof. It is the sign
of sanctification. It is the sign that 'I am the Lord your God.'
why did God select the Sabbath commandment as a test rather than
one of the other commandments? Admitting the contention that the
Sabbath rests upon a 'Thus saith the Lord' only, special prominence
and significance is thereby given to it. The other commandments
are founded not only on a decree of God, but also in the nature
of man, a part of the elemental or natural law. One commandment
is singled out from the rest, to stand as a test, a sign, that if
a person obeys that, he is in harmony with the whole law.
as if God should reason thus concerning the other nine commandments:
I have given them My law. I have written it upon their hearts; it
is traced in every fiber of their being. They know instinctively
what is right and what is not. Their own conscience witnesses to
the truthfulness of My law. There is one thing needful, however.
The law is so plain, it is so evident to all that these basic commandments
are necessary to existence, to peace and life, that men might fail
to accept them as of divine origin. Some will contend that the nine
commandments are so vital and evident that unaided by any divine
direction, the people would of themselves be able to make a law
comparable to Mine. They will boast that through the passing of
the ages men have through experience arrived at the conclusion that
it is not good to steal or lie or kill, and have evolved appropriate
laws concerning such matters, and that these laws are not of divine
origin, but are the result of human experiment and are definitely
ingrained in the race. They will point with assurance to tribes
and races who for centuries have been out of touch
p 254 --
with civilization and yet have rules covering many points in the
law. They will claim that this is proof that man unaided by any
divine power can duplicate My law. They will assert that the law
is not of divine origin, that men are simply following a law which
their own experience teaches them is for the good of mankind. TOP
I will make one provision in My law that is not based on elemental
or natural law; that does not have any correspondence in nature;
that will be a definite command, and for which they will be unable
to find any reason aside from My command. For the other commandments
man can see a reason. They appeal to his good sense. But for this
commandment there will be no other reason than My word. If they
obey it, they obey Me. If they reject it they reject Me. I will
make that commandment a test, a sign. I will make it a test of whether
they will keep My law, or no. I will make it a sign that I am the
make the Sabbath and ask them to observe it. There is nothing in
all the world to indicate a sabbath of rest. If they keep the Sabbath
commandment, it will be because I command it. I will make it a test
and tell them so. This will prove whether they will walk in My law
or no. The Sabbath will be My sign, My test of obedience. The seventh
day, not one day in seven. Whoever keeps it, obeys Me. Whoever rejects
it, rejects not only the Sabbath, but the whole law. More than that,
when they reject the seventh day, they reject Me. The keeping of
the seventh-day Sabbath is a sign that they accept Me as their God.
of time there will arise men who will claim to be religious, but
who in reality are leaning to their own understanding. Many of them
will reject the story and the God of creation, substituting their
own theories of how things came to be. While they were not present
at creation when I spoke things into existence, they will pronounce
learnedly of how it was done, rejecting My testimony as to the event.
p 255 --
Some of them will definitely reject Me. Others will claim to
believe in Me, and yet when it comes to a conflict between My word
and their findings, they will reject My word and accept their own
theories. Rejecting the story of creation, they will naturally reject
the memorial of creation,
the Sabbath. They will not accept that which they cannot reason
out. Their own mind is their final source of authority. I will give
them a test which will show whether they believe in Me or not. I
will prove them, whether they will really walk in My law or no.
If they accept My sign, My test, My Sabbath, they acknowledge in
that acceptance a mind higher than their own. If they reject My
Sabbath, they reject Me, My word, My law. I will make the Sabbath
understand the challenge. They will not be able to evade the issue.
They will clearly see that in the acceptance of the Sabbath they
must and do accept My word by faith, rather than by their own reasoning.
The keeping of the Sabbath rests upon faith only. Men cannot reason
it out upon the basis of human experience or research. If they accept
the Sabbath at all, they accept it because of their faith in Me.
evil one, My adversary, will make every effort to destroy the faith
of My people. He will attempt to counterfeit My work. He will advocate
a spurious day of rest, and make it more convenient and popular
than the day I chose at creation. And he will succeed with a large
number of people who will accept him in preference to Me. He will
challenge My day of rest and rally the people under his banner.
The people will have a clear-cut issue before them. It will be a
question of My Sabbath and My word on the one hand, and the spurious
Sabbath of My adversary on the other hand. I have My sign. He has
his. It will be for each one to choose under which banner he will
the end from the beginning, I have deliberately chosen the Sabbath
as the test, to prove whether men will walk
p 256 --
in My law, or no. This is why I have placed it in the bosom
of the law. This also explains why I have chosen not to connect
it with natural law. It stands absolutely alone and rests only upon
My word. I have made it the test commandment. It is my sign."
It is not our
contention that God passed through such a process of thought as
is here suggested. He knows all things. For good and sufficient
reasons He gave the Sabbath as a sign, a test. We believe we can
see some reasons for this. It behooves us to place ourselves wholeheartedly
on God's side in this important matter.
commandment has a vital bearing on the atonement. It
was with reference to the transgression of the law that the blood
was sprinkled in the sanctuary service. It was when one had done
"somewhat against any of the commandments of the Lord"
that he needed atonement. Lev. 4:27. Does the transgression of the
Sabbath commandment constitute "somewhat" against one
of the commandments? Numbers 15 contains a lesson in point.
The Lord, speaking
to Israel, says: "If ye have erred and not observed all these
commandments which the Lord hath spoken unto Moses, ...it shall
be forgiven all the congregation of the children of Israel, and
the stranger that sojourneth among them; seeing all the people were
in ignorance." Num. 15:22-26.
Any sin which
Israel or the stranger might do ignorantly should be forgiven. "Ye
shall have one law for him that sinneth through ignorance, both
for him that is born among the children of Israel, and for the stranger
that sojourneth among them." Verse 29.
If a man sinned
willfully, he was treated differently. "The soul that doeth
ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger,
the same reproacheth the Lord; and that soul shall be cut off from
among his people. Because he hath despised the word of the Lord,
p 257 --
broken His commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off;
his iniquity shall be upon him." Verses 30,31.
follows as to what is meant by sinning "presumptuously:"
A man was found gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. The leaders
were uncertain what should be done, and so "they put him in
ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him."
Verse 34. The Lord did not long keep them in suspense. "The
Lord said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all
the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And
all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him
with stones, and he died; as the Lord commanded Moses." Verses
God had proclaimed
to Israel His commandments. He had told them to remember the Sabbath
day. He had announced that it was His test whether they would walk
in His law or no. There was no excuse. When the man went out gathering
sticks on the Sabbath, he was not in ignorance. He was rebellious.
He "despised the word of the Lord." He broke the commandments.
There was but one law for him. He had sinned presumptuously. TOP
It is one thing
for men on earth lightly to think to change the day of the Sabbath.
It is another thing for them to touch the eternal law of God, which
is the foundation of His throne in heaven above. These commandments
constitute the basis and ground of the atonement. A copy of them
was kept in the sacred ark in the most holy place in the sanctuary
on earth. None but the high priest could ever enter the most holy.
The law was the very foundation of God's throne and government.
When on a certain occasion a man touched the ark, he was immediately
smitten. I Chron. 13:9, 10. What would have happened should he have
put his hand into the ark and attempted to change God's writing
on the tables! Yet men impiously consider such a possibility! They
forget God's holiness and the sacredness of the law, not to mention
p 258 --
the impossibility of changing that which is engraved in stone, and
that by God's own finger!
Is it possible
that the law which is the ground of the atonement and which necessitated
the death of the Lord, has been changed? If the Sabbath commandment
has been changed, have others also been changed? Did Christ die
for one thing in the Old Testament and for another in the New? Did
God demand the death penalty for willful transgression of the Sabbath
commandment the day before Christ died on the cross, and not the
day after? Or was there a "neutral" zone as to the death
penalty? There may be differences among Christians as to many things.
Can there be any difference of opinion as to the need of atonement?
Is Christ still our High Priest? If so, for what does He atone?
Is the law still beneath the mercy seat in the ark?
law the atonement becomes a farce, Christ's incarnation a pious
fable, His death a miscarriage of justice, Gethsemane a tragedy.
If the law - or any of the commandments - can be transgressed with
impunity; if the law has been abrogated or its precepts changed;
if the law as given by God Himself has ceased to be the standard
in the judgment, then Christ's death becomes unnecessary, the Father
Himself ceases to be the embodiment of justice and kindness, and
Christ cannot escape the charge of being party to a deception. Let
all Christians cry out against such doctrine! If the law is destroyed,
the atonement is not needed, nor is Christ. Let the facts ever remain
clear in all minds: Christ lived, suffered, died, and rose for us.
We had sinned, transgressed the law, and were doomed to death. Christ
saved us, not by doing away with law, - for then He would not have
needed to die, - but by dying for us, thereby forever establishing
the claims of the law. He now ministers His precious blood for us
in the sanctuary above. He is our Advocate, our Surety, our High
Priest. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. By faith in
Him we are saved. TOP
p 261 --
Chapter Eighteen -- THE
-- In Daniel
8:14 occurs a statement which now claims our attention. It reads:
"Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary
concerning the sanctuary is important. The text quoted above is
particularly so. It states that at a certain time the sanctuary
shall be cleansed. This is rather unusual, for the earthly sanctuary
was cleansed every year, on the Day of Atonement. Why, then, should
a certain time,
twenty-three hundred days, elapse before this particular cleansing
should take place?
chapter of Daniel contains an important prophecy. It describes a
vision which Daniel had concerning a ram and a he-goat:
"In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision
appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared
unto me at the first. And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass,
when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the
province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river
of Ulai. Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there
stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns
were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came
saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that
no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could
deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became
great. And as I was considering, behold, a he-goat came from the
west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground;
and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. And he came
p 262 --
to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before
the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. And I saw
him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against
him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no
power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the
ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver
the ram out of his hand. Therefore the he-goat waxed very great:
and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came
up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven." Dan.
is given in verses 20, 21: "The
ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and
Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great
horn that is between his eyes is the first king."
there is unanimity that the "great horn" is Alexander
the Great. While he was yet "strong, the great horn was broken."
Verse 8. In its place came up four others, denoting the four divisions
of the Greek Empire at the death of Alexander. Verse 22. The part
of the prophecy in which we are especially interested begins with
verse nine. "Out of one of them came forth a little horn, which
waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and
toward the pleasant land. And it waxed great, even to the host of
heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the
ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to
the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken
away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And a host was
given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression,
and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced, and
prospered. Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said
unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision
concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation,
to give both
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the sanctuary and the host to be trodden underfoot? And he said
unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the
sanctuary be cleansed." TOP
It is evident
that the prophecy turns upon the "little horn" which waxed
"exceeding great." Alexander is "the great horn."
Dan. 8:21. The power symbolized by the little horn began in an inconspicuous
way, but became "exceeding great." It is noteworthy what
this horn does. It shall "destroy wonderfully" the people
of God. Verse 24. This is done, not so much by war as "by peace."
Verse 25. It is wise and crafty, and has a definite "policy."
Verse 25. It is powerful, "but not by his own power,"
and shall "prosper, and practice." Verses 24, 12. It is
a proud power, for "he shall magnify himself in his heart,"
"yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host."
Verses 25, 11. It is a persecuting power, for it destroys "the
mighty and the holy people," and a whole "host" is
given him "to be trodden underfoot." Verses 24, 10, 13.
It teaches false doctrines and it "cast down the truth to the
ground." Verse 12. It wars against the truth; the sanctuary
is "cast down" and "trodden underfoot," and
this "by reason of transgression." Verses 11-13. The climax
is reached when he stands "up against the Prince of princes."
He is then "broken without hand." Verse 25. When Daniel
saw all this in vision, it so affected him that he "fainted,
and was sick certain days." He was "astonished at the
vision," and neither he nor any one else understood it. Verse
We are especially
interested in the time
mentioned in verse fourteen. The conversation carried on between
the two angels was evidently for Daniel's benefit. The vision of
the ram and the he-goat seems to be related merely to lead up to
the story of the little horn that became "exceeding great."
When Daniel saw the persecutions carried on by this power, and how
it should prosper by crafty methods and magnify itself and "destroy
wonderfully," he naturally
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wondered how long this would continue. In the conversation of the
angels he is told that there is to be a period of twenty-three hundred
days during which time "both the sanctuary and the host"
is "to be trodden underfoot," and this evil power will
How could this
power "be mighty, but not by his own power"? That seems
a contradiction in terms. How could it "cast down some of the
host and of the stars to the ground" and stamp upon them? How
could it cast down the sanctuary and tread it underfoot? How could
it "cast down the truth to the ground," and prosper in
so doing? Yet all this it was to do. Verses 24, 10-12, 25. Daniel
was astonished, and did not understand the vision.
But he was
more than astonished. When he saw what this power would do to the
sanctuary, to religion, to God's people, to the truth, he "was
sick certain days." Verse 27. Here was a blasphemous power
that would persecute God's people and attempt to destroy the truth,
and prosper in so doing. Even the sanctuary would be cast down and
trodden underfoot. The one
ray of hope in the whole vision concerned
the time. The sanctuary and the truth would not always
be trodden underfoot. The truth would come into its own again. It
would be vindicated. At the end of twenty-three hundred days the
sanctuary would be cleansed.
To that time God's people were to look.
This in itself,
however, could not be of great comfort to Daniel. What did the twenty-three
hundred days mean? When did they begin? When did they end? He did
not understand. He began to study more earnestly than ever before.
His study led him to understand "by books the number of the
years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet,
that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolation of Jerusalem.
Dan. 9:2. But he had as yet no light on the twenty-three hundred
days. Had they anything to do with the end of the seventy years?
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Perhaps they began when that period ended? He did not know. And
so he betook himself to prayer. He must have light on the question.
hold that the little horn that became exceeding great stands for
the kingdom of the Seleucidae, especially under such kings as Antiochus
Epiphanes and Antiochus the Great. This view is open to serious
objections. These kings did persecute. They were crafty, impious,
proud. It can hardly be said, however, that they were such more
than many others, before and since. It cannot be claimed that they
were greater than Alexander the Great. Yet the vision demands this.
Antiochus Epiphanes, whom many believe is especially referred to,
was a persecutor; he did interfere with the sanctuary service; but
he was not so outstanding as to merit the attention given the little
horn in the vision. He did his little part in the drama for a few
years and passed on, leaving no mark such as Alexander did, and
would long ago have taken his place among the petty kings of the
period had it not been for the persistent effort of commentators
to give him undue prominence.
in the eighth chapter of Daniel is not an isolated vision. Medo-Persia
and Greece are not here spoken of for the first time. The seventh
deals with a related subject and mentions the beasts which represent
Medo-Persia and Greece, and also refers to a "little horn."
The prophet says: "I considered the horns, and, behold, there
came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three
of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this
horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great
things." Dan. 7:8. This little horn intrigued Daniel. He wanted
to know more "of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that
spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows."
Verse 20. He had seen that it "made war with the saints, and
prevailed against them." Verse 21. He saw, moreover, that it
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should "speak great words against Most High, and shall
wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times
and, laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and
times and the dividing of time." Verse 25. At last, however,
"the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion,
to consume and to destroy it unto the end." Verse 26. The chapter
ends: "Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel,
my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me:
but I kept the matter in my heart." Verse 28. It is easy to
see that this prophecy deals in a general way with the same events
as the prophecy in the eighth chapter.
troubled by what he had seen. He had - in the seventh chapter -
been brought face to face with a persecuting power that wore out
the saints of the Most High, that spoke great words against God,
that would think to change times and laws, that was diverse from
other kings (verse 24), and that at last should be destroyed. This
power was the "little horn" that had eyes like the eyes
of man, and a mouth that spoke great things. Who might that power
be? Daniel did a great deal of thinking and was perplexed. "My
cogitations much troubled me," he confesses. Verse 28. But
he kept the matter in his heart. He was sure God had greater light.
"Hitherto is the end of the matter," he said. The word
"hitherto" is significant. Daniel does
not say: "This is the end of the matter," but,
"Hitherto is the end." That is, "This is the end
so far. There is more to come. We stop now, but more is coming."
That is the meaning of "hitherto." And more did come.
The eighth chapter deals again with this power, and the ninth chapter
has further explanation.
It is impossible
to conceive of the little horn of Daniel 7 as Antiochus Epiphanes
or any other Antiochus. Practically all Protestant commentators
of the old school agree in referring it to the Papacy, in which
it is seen to meet a complete
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fulfillment. How could it ever be true of any Antiochus that he
"made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; until
the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of
the Most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom"?
Verses 21, 22. Antiochus is long since dead. He ruled but a short
time. Of what other power than the Papacy is it true that it wore
out the saints of the Most High, or attempted to change times and
laws? Are not the sagacity, the wisdom, the far-reaching policies
of the Papacy, expressively suggested by the horn that had "eyes
like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things"? Verse
8. We believe we stand on solid exegetical ground when we hold that
the little horn of Daniel 8 is Rome, first pagan,
and the little horn of Daniel 7, the Papacy. TOP
will help us in our attempt to establish the meaning of the twenty-three
hundred days of Daniel 8:14. They occur in the midst of a prophecy
dealing with a power that has existed longer than any other power
on earth. Since this is part of a prophecy, doubtless prophetic
time is here mentioned. If so, the twenty-three hundred days stand
for twenty-three hundred years, according to well-established prophetic
interpretation. "I have appointed thee each
day for a year." Eze. 4:6.
If we accept
the view that the little horn of Daniel 8 refers to imperial Rome
and the Roman Catholic Church, it becomes our duty to discover any
possible connection between it and the sanctuary as mentioned in
Daniel 8:14. To this study we shall now address ourselves.
The Roman Catholic
Church is an attempt to reestablish the old theocracy of Israel
with the accompanying sanctuary service. The Catholic Church has
taken over the essential ritual from Judaism with certain ceremonials
from paganism. It has an established sanctuary service with its
priests, high priest, Levites, singers, and teachers. It has a sacrificial
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service culminating in the mass, with the accompanying ritual
and offering of incense. It has its high days patterned after the
Israelitish custom. It has its candles, its altar of incense, its
table with the bread, and its high altar. The laver with holy water
is in evidence; the daily mass is observed. The parallel between
the old Israelitish religion and the Roman Catholic religion is
All this would
not be very important were it not for the fact that it constitutes
an attempt to obscure the real work of Christ in the sanctuary above.
When the Old Testament period closed, when Christ began His work
in the heavenly sanctuary, it was God's intent that the sanctuary
services on earth should cease.
The veil of the temple was rent in twain, - and later the temple
was entirely destroyed, - signifying the cessation of the service
on earth and the inauguration of the service in
heaven. Christ entered into a temple not built with hands.
He entered into heaven itself, there to minister on our behalf.
Men are invited to come to Him with their sins and receive forgiveness.
The service in the earthly tabernacle had prepared men to look to
the real sanctuary in heaven. The time had come for the transfer
to be made.
Church completely fails to understand or appreciate the work of
our High Priest in heaven above. It fails to understand that the
earthly sanctuary service was no longer of avail. It reestablished
the old ceremonies and beliefs, and attempted to bring men back
to a discarded ritual. And it succeeded in doing so to a large extent.
"All the world wondered after the beast." Rev.13:3.
This, as has
been noted above, tended to obscure the work of Christ. Men lost
the knowledge of the sanctuary in heaven and of Christ's work there.
Their attention was called to the rival work of His pretended vicar
on earth. While Christ in heaven forgives sin, the priest on earth
claims to do the same. While Christ intercedes for the
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sinner, so does the priest. And the terms of the priest for the
forgiveness of sin are much more easily met than the terms of Christ.
Men forgot entirely that there is a sanctuary in heaven. That
truth was cast to the ground. Century after century rolled
by and the church kept men in complete ignorance of the all-important
work going on in heaven above, while it extolled its own wares and
made merchandise of all that is most sacred. TOP
thus in a real sense became a competitor, a rival of Christ. It
attempted to supersede Him in the minds of men, and succeeded to
a remarkable degree. It is the church's God-given work to call attention
to Christ and the truth. It is the one agency God has to instruct
men. When Christ ascended on high to begin His ministry in the sanctuary
above, it was the duty and the privilege of the church to proclaim
that news to the ends of the world. Henceforth there were to be
no more sacrifices on earth. That belonged to the old dispensation.
The Levitical priesthood had also ceased. The veil was rent and
a new and a living way opened for man. Men had free access to God
and might appear boldly before the throne of grace
without any human intercessor. All God's people had become
a royal priesthood and henceforth no man was to step between a soul
and its Maker. The way of access was opened to all.
That the Papacy
had become a rival, a competitor of Christ, is no mere figure of
speech. Consider the situation. Christ is our High Priest. On Calvary
He died as the Lamb of God. He shed His blood in our behalf. The
Mosaic sacrifices had been prophetic of this for centuries. Now
the reality had come, of which the other had been shadows. As in
the Old Testament the death of the lamb was not enough, but must
be supplemented by the ministration of the priest as he sprinkled
the blood on the altar or in the holy place, so with the death and
blood of Christ. The blood having been provided, Christ became "a
minister of the sanctuary, and
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of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man."
Heb. 8:2. Thus "Christ being come a high priest of good things
to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with
hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood
of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into
the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us."
Heb. 9:11, 12.
The holy place
here mentioned does not have reference to the tabernacle on earth.
"For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands,
which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to
appear in the presence of God for us." Heb. 9:24. Before the
presence of God Christ pleads and ministers His blood which not
merely sanctifies "to the purifying of the flesh" as did
the blood of bullocks and goats of old. "How much more shall
the blood of Christ, who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself
without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve
the living God?" Heb. 9:14. Any one who wishes to have his
conscience purged may therefore with "boldness... enter into
the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which
He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His
flesh; and having a High Priest over the house of God; let us draw
near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts
sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure
water." Heb. 10:19-22. In the Old Testament none but the priest
could enter the sanctuary. Now all may come. It is a "new and
living way, which he hath consecrated for us."
new and living way it is the privilege and duty of the church to
proclaim. Every one may come to Christ direct. Not as in the sanctuary
on earth need a priest intervene. That is done away with. Every
man may face his Maker direct without human interference. He may
boldly enter through the veil.
But the Papacy
thought and taught otherwise. It
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attempted to reestablish the Old Testament belief, that man can
approach his Maker only through special representatives, such as
the priests. Men were put farther from God than ever. The church
new and the living way opened by Christ, and had men approach God
through the priesthood, who had to appeal to some patron saint who
had influence with Mary, who had influence with Christ, who had
influence with God. The whole system was an attempted reincarnation
of the Mosaic ordinances which had definitely been abolished, and
which were not to be compared to the new and living way of the New
What has been
the result? Men have flocked to the Church of Rome and forsaken
the sanctuary and the Minister of the sanctuary in heaven. The Roman
church has effectively obscured the ministry of Christ, so much
so that few Christians even know that there is a temple in heaven,
much less that there is a service going on there. Day after day
Christ stands waiting to minister His blood, hoping that men will
find the new way. But very
few come. On the other hand, millions flock to the Roman
church, there to receive indulgence and forgiveness of sin on acceptable
Papacy has nearly succeeded in making of none effect Christ's ministry.
It has inaugurated another ministry, established, not on the promises
of the gospel, not on the new covenant basis, not on Christ as the
High Priest, but on the vain promises of an earthly priesthood which
itself needs forgiveness and the power of the atoning blood of Christ.
In saying that
the Papacy has attempted to substitute a false mediatorial system
for the true mediatorial work of Christ, we are well aware of the
fact that the Roman Catholic Church believes in Christ's sacrifice
on the cross, that He is man's advocate and intercessor and that
through Him we are saved. On this the following statements are to
the point: "There
is nothing from which the faithful should derive greater joy than
from the reflection that Jesus Christ is
p 272 --
constituted our advocate and intercessor with the Father, with whom
His influence and authority are supreme." "True, there
is but one mediator, Christ the Lord, who alone has reconciled us
through His blood (I Tim. 2:5), and who, having accomplished our
redemption, and having once entered into the holy of holies, ceases
not to intercede for us. Heb. 9:12; 7:25." - Catechism of
the Council of Trent, pp. 59, 247, Rev. J. Donovan's translation,
go to God with all confidence, says St. Arnold, because the Son
is our mediator with the eternal Father, and the mother is our mediatrix
with her Son." - Glories of Mary, Alphonsus Ligouri,
Doctor of the Church, p. 224, revised edition.
It is in the
of the blood, in the relationship existing between man and Christ,
that the Papacy has attempted to erect a false system. Here saints,
and especially Mary,
have been interposed between the soul and God. This we believe to
be a most serious perversion of truth, in that it interposes extramediatorial
persons as necessary to approach God, when the Scriptures teach
that there is "one
mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."
I Tim. 2:5. The Bible recognizes no other as mediator, and for the
church to teach otherwise, is to make of none effect the truth of
There are thus
that promise men forgiveness and the blotting out of sins: That
of Christ in
heaven, and of the Papacy
on earth. Each has a priesthood and accompanying service.
Each claims full pardoning power. The Papacy boasts of having the
keys of heaven. It can open or shut. It has a treasury of merits
without which few can be saved. It is in possession of the "host,"
the holy mystery of God. It possesses an infallible head. It has
power over purgatory. It can remit punishment. It claims authority
over the kings of the earth. It acknowledges no superior. It
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All these claims would fall to the ground if men were only cognizant
of the true ministry of Christ. A knowledge of the sanctuary truth
is the only antidote to the false claims of the hierarchy of Rome.
For this reason it is important to the Papacy that the sanctuary
subject remain unknown. For this reason God has made His people
the depositories of His truth concerning the sanctuary. TOP
We need not
go into detail concerning the mathematical problems of the twenty-three
hundred days. The reader is referred to The Great Controversy,
by Ellen G. White, and other standard Adventist works. Suffice it
to say that these days - or rather years - began 457 B.C. and ended
1844 A.D. At this latter date, the sanctuary should be cleansed.
It is evident
that this cleansing cannot have reference to the sanctuary on earth.
That was long ago destroyed and its service discontinued. It must
therefore have reference to the sanctuary in heaven, which indeed
is spoken of as being cleansed "with better sacrifices than"
those of the Old Testament. Heb. 9:23.
We have already
discussed in detail the matter of the cleansing of the sanctuary
on earth. This cleansing was a
type of the cleansing of the sanctuary in heaven. As
the priests served in the first apartment of the tabernacle every
day of the year until the great Day of Atonement, so Christ ministered
in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary until the time
of its cleansing. That time was 1844. Then Christ entered upon the
final phase of His ministry. Then He entered the most
holy. Then the hour of judgment began, otherwise called the investigative
judgment. When that work is done, probation ceases and Christ comes.
We would at
this time call attention to the word "cleansed" as used
in Daniel 8:14. In Hebrews it is tsadaq,
and is translated "justified,"
to become or be counted righteous. Some translate: "Then shall
the sanctuary be justified." Others, "Then shall the sanctuary
p 274 --
Others again, "Then shall the sanctuary come into its own
again." The word contains the idea of restoration
as well as of cleansing.
of the word are significant in view of the fact that the subject
of the sanctuary has been trodden underfoot and the truth cast to
the ground. Shall the time ever come when the subject of the sanctuary
shall again be given its rightful place, when God shall vindicate
His truth, and error and secret machination be uncovered? Yes, answers
prophecy, the time shall come; an evil power shall arise that will
persecute God's people, obscure the sanctuary question, cast truth
to the ground, and prosper in doing it. It shall set up its own
system in competition with God's, attempt to change the law, and
by its crafty policy deceive many. But it shall be unmasked. At
the end of the twenty-three hundred days a people shall arise who
will have light on the sanctuary question, who follow Christ by
faith into the most holy, who have the solution to break the power
of the mystery of iniquity, and who go forth to battle for God's
truth. Such a people is invincible. It will proclaim the truth fearlessly.
It will make the supreme contribution in its advocacy of the sanctuary
truth. It will "build the old waste places;" it will "raise
up the foundation of many generations;" it shall "be called,
The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in."
The final controversies
will be clear-cut. All will understand the issues and the consequences.
The chief point will be the worship of the beast or the worship
of God. In this controversy the temple of God will be opened in
heaven, and men will see "in His temple the ark of His testament."
Rev. 11:19. God's people on earth will have a part in showing men
the opened temple. On the other hand, the apostate church will blaspheme
"against God,... blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and
them that dwell in heaven." Rev. 13:6. TOP
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It is a special privilege to be permitted to have a part in
such a work as this. But if we are to conquer, we must know where
we stand and why. May God give us grace to be found faithful.
p 279 -- Chapter Ninteen--
THE LAST GENERATION
final demonstration of what the gospel can do in and for humanity
is still in the future. Christ showed the way. He took a human body,
and in that body demonstrated the power of God. Men are to follow
His example and prove that what God did in Christ, He can do in
every human being who submits to Him. The world is awaiting this
demonstration. Rom. 8:19. When it has been accomplished, the end
will come. God will have fulfilled His plan. He will have shown
Himself true and Satan a liar. His government will stand vindicated.
There is much
concerning holiness taught in the world today. On the one hand are
those who deny the power of God to save from sin. On the other hand
are those who flaunt their sanctity before men and would have us
believe that they are without sin. Among the first class are not
only unbelievers and skeptics, but church members whose vision does
not include victory over sin, but who accept a kind of compromise
with sin. In the other class are such as have no just conception
either of sin or of God's holiness, whose spiritual vision is so
impaired that they cannot see their own shortcomings, and hence
believe themselves perfect, and whose conception of religion is
such that their own understanding of truth and righteousness is
superior to that revealed in the word. It is not easy to decide
which is the greater error.
That the Bible
inculcates holiness is indisputable. "The very God of peace
sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and
body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
I Thess. 5:23. "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without
which no man
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shall see the Lord." Heb. 12:14. "For this is the
will of God, even your sanctification." I Thess. 4:3. The Greek
in its various forms is translated "sanctify," "holy,"
"holiness," "sanctified," "sanctification."
It is the same word which is used for the two apartments of the
sanctuary, and means that
which is set apart for God. A sanctified person is one
who is set apart for God, whose whole life is dedicated to Him.
The plan of
salvation must of necessity include not only forgiveness of sin,
but complete restoration. Salvation from sin is more than forgiveness
of sin. Forgiveness
presupposes sin and is conditional upon breaking with it; sanctification
is apart from sin and indicates deliverance from its power and victory
over it. The first is a means to neutralize the effect of sin; the
second is a restoration of power for complete victory.
Sin, like some
diseases, leaves man in a deplorable condition, - weak, despondent,
disheartened. He has little control of his mind, his will fails
him, and with the best of intentions he is unable to do what he
knows to be right. He feels that there is no hope. He knows that
he has himself to blame, and remorse fills his soul. To his bodily
ailments is added the torture of conscience. He knows he has sinned
and is to blame. Will no one take pity on him?
the gospel. The good news is preached to him. Though his sins be
as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like
crimson, they shall be as wool. All is forgiven. He is "saved."
What a wonderful deliverance it is! His mind is at rest. No longer
does his conscience torment him. He has been forgiven. His sins
are cast into the depths of the sea. His heart wells with praise
to God for His mercy and goodness to him. TOP
As a disabled
ship towed to port is safe but not sound, so the man is "saved"
but not sound. Repairs need to be made on the ship before it is
pronounced seaworthy, and the man needs reconstruction before he
is fully restored. This process of restoration
p 281 --
is called sanctification,
and includes in its finished product body, soul, and spirit. When
the work is finished, the man is "holy," completely sanctified,
and restored to the image of God. It is for this demonstration of
what the gospel can do for a man that the world is looking.
In the Bible,
both the process and the finished work are spoken of as sanctification.
For this reason the "brethren" are spoken of as holy and
sanctified, though they have not attained to perfection. I Cor.
1:2; II Cor. 1:1; Heb. 3:1. A glance through the epistles to the
Corinthians will soon convince one that the saints mentioned had
their faults. Despite this, they are said to be "sanctified"
and "called to be saints." The reason is that complete
sanctification is not the work of a day or a year, but of a lifetime.
It begins the moment a person is converted, and continues through
life. Every victory hastens the process. There are few Christians
who have not gained the mastery over some sin that formerly greatly
annoyed them and overcame them. Many a man who has been a slave
to the tobacco habit has gained the victory over the habit and rejoices
in his victory. Tobacco has ceased to be a temptation. It attracts
him no more. He has the victory. On that point he is sanctified.
As he has been victorious over one besetment, so he is to become
victorious over every sin. When the work is completed, when he has
gained the victory over pride, ambition, love of the world, - over
all evil, - he is ready for translation. He has been tried in all
points. The evil one has come and has found nothing. Satan has no
more temptations for him. He has overcome them all. He stands without
fault even before the throne of God. Christ places His seal upon
him. He is safe, and he is sound. God has finished His work in him.
The demonstration of what God can do with humanity is complete.
Thus it shall
be with the last generation of men living on the earth. Through
them, God's final demonstration of what He can do with humanity
will be given. He will take the
p 282 --
weakest of the weak, those bearing all the sins of their forefathers,
and in them show the power of God. They will be subjected to every
temptation, but they will not yield. They will demonstrate that
it is possible to live without sin - the very demonstration for
which the world has been looking and for which God has been preparing.
It will become evident to all that the gospel really can save to
the uttermost. God is found true in His sayings.
The last year
brings the final test; but this only proves to angels and to the
world that nothing that the evil one can do will shake God's chosen
ones. The plagues fall, destruction is on every hand, death stares
them in the face, but like Job, they hold fast their integrity.
Nothing can make them sin. They "keep the commandments of God,
and the faith of Jesus." Rev. 14:12.
the history of the world, God has had His faithful ones. They have
endured affliction even in the midst of great tribulation. And even
in the midst of Satan's buffetings they have, as the apostle Paul
says, through faith "wrought righteousness." "They
were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with
the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being
destitute, afflicted, tormented; (of whom the world was not worthy:)
they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves
of the earth." Heb. 11:37. TOP
And in addition
to this galaxy of faithful witnesses, many of whom were martyrs
for their faith, God will have in the last days a remnant, a "little
flock" as it were, in and through whom He will give to the
universe a demonstration of His love, His power, His justice, which,
if we except Christ's godly life on earth and His supreme sacrifice
on Calvary, will be the most sweeping and conclusive demonstration
of all the ages.
It is in the
last generation of men living on the earth that God's power unto
sanctification will stand fully revealed.
p 283 --
The demonstration of that power is God's vindication. It clears
Him of any and all charges which Satan has placed against Him. In
the last generation God is vindicated and Satan defeated. This may
need some further amplification.
which took place in heaven and introduced sin into the universe
of God, must have been a fearful experience both for God and for
the angels. Up to a certain point, all had been peace and harmony.
Discord was unknown; only love prevailed. Then unholy ambitions
stirred the heart of Lucifer. He decided that he wanted to be like
the Most High. He would exalt his throne above the stars of God.
Not only that, but he also intended to sit "upon the mount
of the congregation, in the sides of the north." Isa. 14:12-14.
This statement is tantamount to an attempt to depose God and usurp
His place. It is a declaration of war. Where God sat, Satan would
sit. God accepted the challenge.
We have no
direct biblical statement as to the means used by Satan in winning
over to his side a multitude of angels. That he lied is clear. That
he was a murderer from the beginning is likewise indisputable. John
8:44. As murder has its beginning in hatred, and as this hatred
found its fruition in the killing of the Son of God on Calvary,
we may believe that Satan's hatred was not only directed against
God the Father, but also - and perhaps especially - against God
the Son. In his rebellion, Satan went farther than a mere threat.
He actually did set up his throne, saying, "I am a God, I sit
in the seat of God." Exe. 28:2.
thus established his government in heaven, the issue was clear-cut.
None of the angels could be in doubt any more. All must take their
stand for or against Satan.
In case of
rebellion there is always some grievance, real or fancied, given
as the cause. Dissatisfaction arises in some, and failing to get
matters remedied, these resort to rebellion. Those who sympathize
with the rebel cause join it. The others
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remain loyal to the government, and must of course take their chance
on its survival.
came to just such a pass in heaven. The result was war. "There
was war in heaven: Michael and His angels fought against the dragon;
and the dragon fought and his angels." Rev. 12:7. The outcome
could have been foreseen. Satan and his angels "prevailed not;
neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great
dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan,
which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth,
and his angels were cast out with him." Verses 8, 9. TOP
Satan was defeated,
but not destroyed.
By his act of rebellion he had declared God's government at fault,
and by the setting up of his own throne he had made claim to greater
wisdom or justice than God. These claims are inherent in rebellion
and in the establishment of another government. God could ill afford
not to give Satan an opportunity to demonstrate his theories. To
remove every doubt in the minds of the angels - and later of man
- God must let Satan go on with his work. And so Satan was permitted
to live and set up his government. For the last six thousand years
he has been giving the universe a demonstration of what he will
do when he has the opportunity.
has been permitted to continue until now. And what a demonstration
it has been! From the time when Cain killed Abel there have been
hatred, blood-shed, cruelty, and oppression in the earth. Virtue,
goodness, and justice have suffered; vice, vileness, and corruption
have triumphed. The just man has been made a prey; God's messengers
have been tortured and killed; God's law has been trampled in the
dust. When God sent His Son, instead of honoring Him, evil men,
under the instigation of Satan, hanged Him on a tree. Even then
God did not destroy Satan. The demonstration must be complete. Only
when the last events are taking place, and men are on the point
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one another, will God interfere to save His own. There will
then remain no doubt in the mind of any one that had Satan the power,
he would destroy every vestige of goodness, hurl God from the throne,
murder the Son of God, and establish a kingdom of violence founded
in self-seeking and cruel ambition.
has been demonstrating is really his character, and the lengths
to which selfish ambition will lead. In the beginning he wanted
to be like God. He was dissatisfied with his position as the highest
of created beings. He wanted to be God. And the demonstration has
shown that oftentimes when a person has set his mind upon a selfish
goal, he will stop short of nothing to attain it. Whoever stands
in the way must be put out of the way. If it be God Himself, He
must be removed.
also teaches that high position is not satisfactory to the ambitious
individual. He must have the highest, and even then he is not satisfied.
A person in a lowly position is tempted to believe that he would
be satisfied if his position were improved. He is at least sure
that he would be satisfied if he had the highest position possible.
But would he? Lucifer was not. He had the highest position possible.
But he was not satisfied. He wanted one still higher. He wanted
to be God Himself.
In this respect
the contrast between Christ and Satan is very pronounced. Satan
wanted to be God. He wanted it so much that he was willing to do
anything to attain his goal. Christ, on the other hand, did not
consider it a thing to be grasped to be like God. He voluntarily
humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of
the cross. He was God, and He became man. And that this was not
a temporary arrangement only for the purpose of showing His willingness,
is evidenced by the fact that He will ever remain man. Satan exalted
himself; Christ humbled Himself. Satan wanted to become God; Christ
became man. Satan
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wanted to sit as God on a throne; Christ, as a servant, knelt to
wash the disciples' feet. The
contrast is complete. TOP
Lucifer had been one of the covering cherubs. Eze. 28:14. This seems
to refer to the two angels who in the most holy apartment of the
sanctuary stood on the ark, covering the mercy seat. This was doubtless
the highest office an angel could occupy, for the ark and the mercy
seat were in the immediate presence of God. These angels were the
special guardians of the law. They watched over it, as it were.
Lucifer was one of them.
contains an interesting statement concerning Lucifer: "Thou
sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty."
The expression to which we would call attention is: "Thou sealest
up the sum." The meaning of this is not entirely clear. The
reading is capable of varied interpretations. It seems evident,
however, that the intent is to show the high position and exalted
privilege that was Satan's before he fell. He was a kind of prime
minister, a keeper of the seal.
As in an earthly
government a document or law must have the seal attached to it in
order to be valid, so in God's government a seal is used. God seems
to have apportioned to the angels their work, the same as He has
given to man his work. One angel is in charge of the fire. Rev.
14:18. Another angel has charge of the waters. Rev. 16:5. Another
has charge of "the seal of the living God." Rev. 7:2.
While, as stated above, the reading of Ezekiel 28:12 is not entirely
clear, some feel justified in translating it: "Thou attacheth
the seal to the ordinance. " If this position is tenable, if
Lucifer was prime minister and keeper of the seal, it gives an additional
reason why he should wish to substitute his own mark for that of
God's seal when he left his first abode.
has been very active against the law is evident. If God's law is
His character, and if this character is the very opposite of Satan's,
Satan stands condemned by it. Christ
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and the law are one. Christ is the law lived out, the law becomes
flesh. For this reason His life constitutes a condemnation. When
Satan warred against Christ, he warred also against the law. When
he hated the law, he also hated Christ. Christ and the law are inseparable.
statement is found in the fortieth psalm. Christ speaking, says,
"I delight to do Thy will, O my God: yea, Thy law is within
My heart." Verse 8. While this is doubtless a poetical expression
and should not be pressed too far, it is interesting, nevertheless,
as an indication of the exalted position of the law. "Thy law
is within My heart." A stab at the law is a stab at the heart
of Christ. A stab at the heart of Christ is a stab at the law. At
the cross Satan so intended it. But God meant it otherwise. The
death of Christ was a tribute to the law. It immeasurably magnified
the law and made it honorable. It gave men a new vision of its sacredness
and worth. If God would let His Son die; if Christ would willingly
give Himself, rather than abrogate the law; if it is easier for
heaven and earth to pass away than for one jot or tittle of the
law to fail, how very sacred and honorable the law must be!
died on the cross He had demonstrated in His life the possibility
of keeping the law. Satan had not succeeded in leading Christ into
sin. Possibly he did not expect to be able to do that. But if he
could have induced Christ to use His divine power to save Himself,
He would have accomplished much. Had Christ done so, Satan could
have claimed that this invalidated the demonstration God intended
to make, namely, that it was possible for man to keep the law. As
it was, Satan was defeated. But till the very last, he continued
the same tactics. Judas hoped Christ would free Himself, thus using
His divine power to save Himself. On the cross Christ was taunted:
"He saved others; Himself He cannot save." But Christ
did not falter. He could have saved Himself, but He did not. Satan
was baffled. He could
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not understand. But he knew that when Christ died without his having
been able to make Him sin, his own doom was sealed. In His death
Christ was victor. TOP
But Satan did
not give up. He had failed in his conflict with Christ, but he might
yet succeed with men. So he went to "make war with the remnant
of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony
of Jesus Christ." Rev. 12:17. If he could overcome them, he
might not be defeated.
which God intends to make with the last generation on earth, means
much both to the people and to God. Can God's law really be kept?
That is a vital question. Many will deny that it can be done; others
will glibly say it can. When the whole question of commandment keeping
is considered, the problem assumes large proportions. God's law
is exceedingly broad; it takes cognizance of the thoughts and intents
of the heart. It judges motives
as well as acts, thoughts
as well as words. Commandment keeping means entire sanctification,
a holy life, unswerving allegiance to right, entire separation from
sin, and victory over it. Well may mortal man cry out, Who is sufficient
for these things!
Yet this is
the task which God has set Himself and which He expects to accomplish.
When the statement and challenge is issued by Satan: "No one
can keep the law. It is impossible. If there be any that can do
it or that have done it, show them to me. Where are they that can
keep the commandments?" God will quietly answer, Here they
are. "Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and
the faith of Jesus." Rev. 14:12.
Let us say
it reverently: God
must meet Satan's challenge. It is not part of God's
plan, or a part of His purpose, to subject men to tests that only
a chosen few can survive. In the Garden of Eden God could think
of no easier test than the one He devised. No one will ever be justified
in saying that our first parents fell because the test was too hard
for them. It was
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the lightest test conceivable. If they fell, it was not because
they had not been provided with strength to resist. The temptation
was not held before them constantly. Satan was not permitted to
molest them everywhere. He could have access to them only
at one place, namely, at the tree of knowledge. That place they
knew. They could stay away from it if they wanted to. Satan could
not follow them. If they went where he was, it was because they
wanted to. But even if they went there to examine the tree, they
need not remain there. They could walk away. Even if Satan offered
them the fruit, they need not take it. But they took it and ate.
And they ate it because they wanted to, not because they had to.
They deliberately transgressed. There was no excuse. God could not
have devised an easier test.
When God commands
men to keep His law, it does not serve the purpose He has in mind
to have only a few men keep it, just enough to show it can be done.
It is not in line with God's character to pick outstanding men of
strong purpose and superb training, and demonstrate through them
what He can do. It is much more in harmony with His plan to make
His requirements such that even the weakest need not fail, so that
none can ever say that God demands that which can be done by only
a few. It is for this reason that God has reserved His greatest
demonstration for the last generation. This generation bears the
results of accumulated sins. If any are weak, they are. If any suffer
from inherited tendencies, they do. If any have an excuse because
of weakness of any kind, they have. If therefore these can keep
the commandments, there is no excuse for any one in any other generation
not doing so also. TOP
But this is
not enough. God intends in His demonstration to show, not merely
that ordinary men of the last generation can successfully pass a
test such as He gave to Adam and Eve, but that they can survive
a test much harder than such as falls to the lot of common men.
It will be a test comparable
p 290 --
to the one Job passed through, and approaching that which the
Master underwent. It will test them to the utmost.
heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord;
that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy." James
5:11. Job passed through some experiences that will be repeated
in the lives of the chosen ones of the last generation. It may be
well to consider them.
Job was a good
man. God trusted him. Day by day he offered sacrifices for his sons.
"It may be that my sons have sinned," he said. Job 1:5.
He was prosperous and enjoyed the blessing of God.
Then came "a
day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord,
and Satan came also among them." Verse 6. A conversation is
recorded between the Lord and Satan that concerns Job. The Lord
says that Job is a good man, which Satan does not deny, but urges
that Job is God-fearing merely because it pays him to be so. He
states that if God will take away His mercies, Job will curse God.
The statement is in the form of a challenge, and God accepts it.
Satan is given permission to take away Job's property and otherwise
to cause him sorrow, but not to touch Job himself.
proceeds to do what he is permitted to do. Job's property is all
swept away, and his children are killed. When this happens, "Job
arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon
the ground, and worshiped, and said, Naked came I out of my mother's
womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord
hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job
sinned not, nor charged God foolishly." Job 1:20-22.
Satan is defeated,
but he makes another attempt. At the next meeting with the Lord,
without admitting defeat, he claims that he had not been permitted
to touch Job himself. If he had, he claims, Job would have sinned.
The statement is again a challenge, and God accepts it. Satan is
p 291 --
permission to torment Job, but not to take his life. He immediately
departs on his mission.
All that the
evil one can do, Satan does to Job. But Job stands fast. His wife
counsels him to give up, but he does not waver. Under intense physical
pain and mental anguish, he remains steadfast. Again it is recorded
that Job stood the test. "In all this did not Job sin with
his lips." Job 2:10. Satan is defeated and does not appear
any more in the book.
In the succeeding
chapters in the book of Job, we are given a little insight into
the struggle going on in Job's mind. He is greatly perplexed. Why
has all this calamity come upon him? He is not conscious of any
sin. Why, then, should God afflict him? He, of course, does not
know of the challenge of Satan. Neither does he know that God is
depending upon him in the crisis through which he is passing. All
he knows is that out of a clear sky, disaster has come upon him
till he is left without family or property, and with a loathsome
disease that nearly overwhelms him. He does not understand, but
he retains his integrity and faith in God. This God knew he would
do. This Satan said he would not do. In the challenge God won. TOP
Job had not deserved the punishment that came to him. God Himself
says it was without cause. "Thou movedst me against him, to
destroy him without cause." Job 2:3. The whole experiment can
therefore be justified only by considering it as a specific test
devised for a specific purpose. God wanted to silence Satan's charge
that Job served God only for profit. He wanted to demonstrate that
there was at least one man whom Satan could not control. Job suffered
as a result of it, but there seemed to be no other way. A reward
was afterward given him.
is recorded for a purpose. While we grant its historicity, we believe
that it has also a wider meaning. God's people in the last days
will pass through an experience similar to Job's. They will be tested
as he was; they will have every
p 292 --
earthly stay removed; Satan will be given permission to torment
them. In addition to this the Spirit of God will be withdrawn from
the earth, and the protection of earthly governments removed. God's
people will be left alone to battle with the powers of darkness.
They will be perplexed, as was Job. But they, as did he, will hold
fast their integrity.
In the last
generation God will stand vindicated. In the remnant Satan will
meet his defeat. The charge that the law cannot be kept will be
met and fully refuted. God will produce not only one or two who
keep His commandments, but a whole group, spoken of as the 144,000.
They will reflect the image of God fully. They will have disproved
Satan's accusation against the government of heaven.
A serious situation
arose in heaven when Satan made his charges against God. The accusations
in reality constituted an impeachment. Many of the angels believed
the charges. They ranged themselves on the side of the accuser.
One third of the angels - and that must have been millions - faced
God with their leader, the highest among the angels, Lucifer. It
was no small crisis. It threatened the very existence of God's government.
How should God deal with it?
The only way
the matter could be satisfactorily settled so that no question would
ever arise, was for God to submit His case to the ordinary rules
of evidence. Was, or was not, God's government just? God said it
was; Satan said it was not. God could have destroyed Satan. But
that would be no argument, and would count against God. There was
no other way than for each side to present its evidence, produce
its witnesses, and rest its case on the weight of testimony adduced.
then, is that of a court scene. God's government is at stake. Satan
is the accuser; God Himself is the accused and is on trial. He has
been charged with injustice, with requiring his creatures to do
that which they cannot do, and yet punishing them for not doing
it. The law is the specific point of attack; but the law being merely
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of God's character, it is God and His character that are the points
at issue. TOP
In order for
God to sustain His contention, it is necessary for Him to show that
He has not been arbitrary in His requirements, that the law is not
harsh and cruel in its requirement, but contrariwise, that it is
holy, just, and good, and that men can keep it. All that is necessary
is for God to produce one
man who has kept the law, and His case is won. In the absence of
such a case, God loses, and Satan wins. The outcome therefore hinges
on the production of one or more who keep the commandments of God.
On this God has staked His government.
While it is
true that many from time to time have dedicated their lives to God
and lived without sin for periods of time, Satan claims that these
are special cases, as was Job's case, and do not come under the
ordinary rules. He demands a clear-cut case where there can be no
doubt, and where God has not interfered. Can such an instance be
God is ready
for the challenge. He has bided his time. The Son of God, in His
own person, has met Satan's charges, and proved them false. The
supreme exhibition has been reserved until the final contest. Out
of the last generation God will select his chosen ones. Not the
strong or the mighty, not the honored or the rich, not the wise
or the learned, but just ordinary people will God take, and through
and by them make His demonstration. Satan has claimed that those
who in the past have served God have done so with mercenary motives,
that God has pampered them, and that he, Satan, has not had free
access to them. If he were given full permission to present his
case, they also would be won over. But God is afraid to let him
do this. Give me a fair chance, Satan says, and I will win out.
And so, to
silence forever Satan's charges; to make it evident that His people
are serving Him from motives of loyalty and right without reference
to reward; to clear His own name
p 294 --
and character of the charges of injustice and arbitrariness; and
to show to angels and men that His law can be kept by the weakest
of men under the most discouraging and most untoward circumstances,
God permits Satan to try His people to the utmost. They will be
threatened, tortured, persecuted. They will stand face to face with
death in the issuance of the decree to worship the beast and his
image. Rev. 13:15. But they will not yield. They are willing to
die rather than to sin.
His Spirit from the earth. Satan will have a greater measure of
control than he has ever had before. True, he may not kill God's
people, but that is about the only limitation. And he uses every
permission he has. He knows what is at stake. It is now or never.
God does one
more thing. He apparently hides Himself. The sanctuary in heaven
is closed. The saints cry to God day and night for deliverance,
but He appears not to hear. God's chosen ones are passing through
Gethsemane. They are having a little taste of Christ's experience
those three hours on the cross. Seemingly they must fight their
battles alone. They must live in the sight of a holy God without
But while Christ
has finished His intercession, so that from His priestly ministry
in the heavenly sanctuary none can obtain any more pardon for sin,
yet the saints are still the object of God's love and care. Holy
angels watch over them. God provides them shelter from their enemies;
He provides them with food, shields them from destruction, and supplies
grace and power for holy living. (See Psalms 91.) Yet they are still
in the world, still tempted, afflicted, tormented. TOP
Will they stand
the test? To human eyes it seems impossible. If only God would come
to their rescue, all would be well. They are determined to resist
the evil one. If need be they can die; but they need not sin. Satan
has no power - and
p 295 --
never had - to make any man sin. He can tempt, he can seduce, he
can threaten; but he cannot compel. And now God demonstrates through
the weakest of the weak that there is no excuse, and never has been
any, for sinning. If men in the last generation can successfully
repel Satan's attack; if they can do this with all the odds against
them and the sanctuary closed, what excuse was there for men's ever
In the last
generation God gives the final demonstration that men can keep the
law of God and that they can live without sinning. God leaves nothing
undone to make the demonstration complete. The only limitation put
upon Satan is that he may not kill the saints of God. He may tempt
them, he may harass and threaten them; and he does his best. But
he fails. He cannot make them sin. They stand the test, and God
puts His seal upon them.
last generation of saints God stands finally vindicated. Through
them He defeats Satan and wins His case. They form a vital part
of the plan of God. They go through terrific struggles; they battle
with unseen powers in high places. But they have put their trust
in the Most High, and they will not be ashamed. They have gone through
hunger and thirst, but the time shall come when "they shall
hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light
on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the
throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains
of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."
Rev. 7:16, 17.
follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth." Rev. 14:4. When at
last the doors of the temple shall swing open, a voice will sound
forth: "Only the 144,000 enter this place."- Early
Writings, p. 19. By faith they have followed the Lamb here.
They have gone with Him into the holy place, they have followed
Him into the most holy. And in the hereafter, only those who have
thus followed Him here, will follow Him there. They will be kings
and priest. They will
p 296 --
follow Him in to the most holy where only the High Priest can ever
enter. They shall stand in the unveiled presence of God. They shall
follow Him "whithersoever He goeth." They will not only
be "before the throne of God" and "serve Him day
and night in his temple," but they will "sit down with
Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My
Father in His throne." Rev. 7:15; 3:21.
of greatest importance in the universe is not the salvation
of men, important as that may seem. The most important thing is
the clearing of God's name from the false accusations made by Satan.
The controversy is drawing to a close. God is preparing His people
for the last great conflict. Satan is also getting ready. The issue
is before us and will be decided in the lives of God's people. God
is depending upon us as He did upon Job. Is His confidence well
It is a wonderful
privilege vouchsafed this people to help clear God's name by our
testimony. It is wonderful that we are permitted to testify for
Him. It must never be forgotten, however, that this testimony is
a testimony of life, not merely of words. "In Him was life;
and the life was the light of men." John 1:4. "The life
was the light." It was so with Christ, it must also be so with
us. Our life should be a light as His life was. To give people the
light is more than to hand them a tract. Our life is the light.
As we live, we give the light to others. Without life, without our
living the light, our words abide alone. But as our life becomes
light, our words become effective. It is our
life that must testify for God. TOP
May the church
of God appreciate the exalted privilege given her! "Ye are
My witnesses, saith the Lord." Isa. 43:10. There must be "no
strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the
Lord, that I am God." Verse 12. May we be witnesses indeed,
testifying what God has done for us!
All this is
closely connected with the work of the Day of Atonement. On that
day the people of Israel, having
p 297 --
confessed their sins, were completely cleansed. They had already
been forgiven, now sin was separated from them. They were holy and
without blame. The camp of Israel was clean.
We are now
living in the great antitypical day of the cleansing of the sanctuary.
Every sin must be confessed and by faith be sent beforehand to judgment.
As the high priest enters into the most holy, so God's people now
are to stand face to face with God. They must know that every sin
is confessed, that no stain of sin remains. The cleansing of the
sanctuary in heaven is dependent upon the cleansing of God's people
on earth. How important then that God's people be holy and without
blame! In them every sin must be burned out, so that they will be
able to stand in the sight of a holy God and live with the devouring
fire. "Hear, ye that are far off, what I have done; and, ye
that are near, acknowledge my might. The sinners in Zion are afraid;
fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell
with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting
burnings? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he
that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from
holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood,
and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; he shall dwell on high:
his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall
be given him; his waters shall be sure." Isa. 33:13-16.
p 298-300 --
Title pages TOP
p 301 --
Chapter Twenty -- THE JUDGMENT
-- There is a
growing tendency to disbelief in a
bodily resurrection. Higher critics have long ago discarded
the idea, and many Christians of the more conservative type are
tending the same way. They can see no need of a resurrection of
the body if the future existence is wholly spiritual.
For the same
reason they consider a future
judgment unnecessary. If the soul is already enjoying
the bliss of ethereal existence, or if it is already experiencing
the tortures of the damned, it would seem incongruous to interpose
a judgment. That should have taken place before the future state
was decided upon, not after. Belief in immediate bliss or damnation
after death makes a future judgment at the end of the world not
only unnecessary but inconsistent.
The Bible is
plain in its statements concerning these two subjects. There is
a bodily resurrection. There is a judgment. The Bible teaches both.
As we are here chiefly concerned with the judgment, we shall confine
our study to it, only remarking in passing that it seems so much
more satisfying to believe that the future existence of the saved
will be molded somewhat on the original plan of the Garden of Eden,
where Adam and Eve enjoyed existence on a plane not unlike our present
one, yet without sin. It seems reasonable to believe that God has
not abandoned His original plan. If He has not, there must be a
resurrection of the body.
The idea of
a judgment at the end of the world presupposes that men do not enter
upon their punishment or reward at death. This seems reasonable,
quite apart from being supported by Bible evidence. Let us consider
this a little more in detail.
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Taking for granted a belief in punishment and reward, we would
first remark that no man's record can be made up completely at death.
His life is closed, but his influence continues, - his "works
do follow" him. If we are responsible for our influence, -
and this must be admitted, we believe, - the record cannot be made
up fully until the end of time.
In saying this
we do not wish to infer that a man has not sealed his destiny when
he dies. We believe he has. All we wish to affirm is that unless
the judgment presupposes the same punishment or reward for all,
the record cannot be made up at death. It may, indeed, be argued
that it is known whether a person is saved or lost, and that therefore
he may provisionally be admitted to one place or another. This may
be granted, but does not solve the difficulty. Even in earthly courts
the outcome of a committed crime is awaited before judgment is pronounced.
If, in a shooting affray a man is wounded, judgment is not based
on the immediate effect, but on the final outcome of the shooting.
The wounded man may linger for a week or two. The criminal cannot
demand an immediate trial and judgment, based, as it would have
to be, on the fact that the wounded man had not as yet died, and
that hence the criminal was not guilty of murder. TOP
A man is responsible
for more than the immediate effect of his acts. It seems altogether
more reasonable that the judgment be delayed until all the facts
are in, at which time a just estimate can be arrived at. If we admit
that some will be punished with many stripes and some with few (Luke
12:48), the judgment cannot and must not take place until all factors
can be considered. This can be done only at the time God designates,
- the end of the world. In harmony with this is the statement that
God will "reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be
punished." II Peter 2:9.
are to be judged by the righteous. "The saints shall judge
the world." "The world shall be judged by you." I
Cor. 6:2. As the angels have their work to do in heaven,
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so the redeemed will have theirs. God makes His plans known to His
own, and gives them responsibilities to bear. The saints are given
both the privilege and the responsibility of judgment. Humanly speaking,
God does not want to run any risk of dissatisfaction or questionings.
It is conceivable that some persons will be lost who others thought
should be saved. If some one is missed in heaven, a question might
come up concerning him in the mind of others as to why. It may be
a person who was dear to us, - whom we loved and for whom we had
prayed. Now he is lost. We don't know the circumstances; we don't
If we have
had a part in the judgment; if we ourselves have looked into the
case and examined the evidence; if after weighing all the factors,
we have at last concluded that the man did not want to be saved
and would not be happy in heaven, no question will ever arise in
our minds as to the justice of what was done. We had a part in the
judgment; we know. We were there. We are satisfied. Moreover, this
arrangement assures both a just and a merciful judgment. Some of
those who will be lost, we have loved. We have prayed for them.
We will be kind to them till the last. No one will be punished more
than he deserves. God's plan assures that.
It should be
noted that the saints are to have a part in judging those whom they
have known. If part of the purpose of God in having us have a part
in the judgment is to make sure that no question will ever arise
in our minds, the saints must judge their own generation and their
own acquaintances. This is both fearful and good. God must not run
the risk of having some one say or think: "Some of my friends
are lost, and I never had a chance to find out just what happened.
I thought they would be saved. I understood them better than any
one else. I wish I had known a little more of their case."
Such a thing, of course, will never happen. God will see to that.
Every one will be satisfied as to the justice and the
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mercy of God. God's plan is rightly arranged. We shall know
why certain people are lost. We shall have a part in their judgment.
If what is
said here is correct, there can be no judgment at death. A group
of Christians are praying for a wayward young man. Day after day,
year after year, they pray, but without result. Then suddenly the
young man dies. What about the judgment? Those who know him, those
who have prayed for him, are still living. If the young man is to
be judged by the saints immediately,
they would all have to die immediately if they are to have a part
in his judgment. Otherwise he would have to be judged by others
who did not know him. This holds true of all the wicked who have
ever lived. They could not ordinarily be judged until a generation
after their death, if they are to be judged by the saints. But not
to be judged by the saints, or to be judged by others unknown to
them, would frustrate God's plan and jeopardize it. We therefore
hold that if the wicked are to be judged by the saints, they cannot
be judged at death. God says the wicked are reserved unto the judgment
at the end of the world. TOP
While it is
true that each generation best understands itself and should be
judged in the light of its own knowledge, so that an Old Testament
sinner should not be judged by New Testament standards, it is also
true that before any consistent judgment can take place, there must
be some knowledge as to general guiding rules and principles. This
presupposes instruction and education, and this instruction must
be based upon all factors involved. Christ's death must be reckoned
with, also His atonement and teaching. Just how, in view of this,
could the saints of the first generations on earth have judged the
wicked of their generation? It is evident that the idea of the saints
having any part in the judgment must be given up if the judgment
takes place at death. It is an admirable plan as God has conceived
it. God's plan to have the saints have a part in the judgment, makes
heaven a safe place
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and raises an effective barrier against further questionings and
the judgment of the
righteous? It is evident that some kind of investigation
must take place before they are permitted to enter into eternal
bliss. It must be decided whether their life and attitude warrant
entrusting them with eternal life; and this decision must be arrived
at before the Lord comes to take them home. It is no more reasonable
to save the righteous and afterward have a judgment, than to damn
the wicked and afterward place them before the bar. But there is
one difference. The wicked are not destroyed until the end of the
thousand years. Rev. 20:4, 5. That gives abundant time to judge
them after the Lord comes. But not so with the righteous. If they
are to be judged at all, if any reward is to be meted out to them,
their cases must be decided before the Lord comes. When He comes,
His reward is with Him. Rev. 22:12. Hence their status must be determined
Some have objected
to this teaching. They do not believe that there will be a judgment
of the righteous before the Lord comes. Yet this seems only consistent.
The cases of the righteous must be settled before the Lord comes
- else how can it be known who is to be saved? If the objection
be to the phrase "investigative
judgment" which has been used, let another which
is better be found. We are willing. It is not an executive judgment.
The Bible calls it the "hour
of judgment" as contrasted with the "day
of judgment." Rev. 14:7; Acts 17:31. We believe
"investigative judgment" best fits the case in regard
to the judgment of the righteous.
It seems eminently
fitting that when the question of who are to be saved comes up,
the angels should be present both to give their testimony and to
follow the proceedings. Dan. 7:9, 10. They have been vitally concerned
in our welfare; they have been ministering spirits. We are to associate
and be with them, and they have a right to know who are to be admitted
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to the celestial abodes. This also is God's plan. The angels have
experienced some of the results of sin. They have seen Lucifer apostatize.
They have seen millions of angels go with him. They have seen the
Saviour suffer and die, and they know the misery which sin has caused.
They are vitally interested in knowing who are to have eternal life.
They have no intention of repeating the experience with sin through
which they have gone. It is therefore God's wise plan that they
have a part in the proceedings. TOP
Day of Atonement is a fit type of the day of judgment.
It would be well for the reader to review the chapter on the Day
of Atonement in the light of the present discussion. On that day
there was a separation between the righteous and the wicked. The
decision hinged entirely on who had confessed their sins and who
had not. Those who had brought their offerings and complied with
the ritual had their sins blotted out. The others were "cut
We do not know
of any record being kept in the sanctuary on earth as to who appeared
during the year with a sacrifice. While possible, it is hardly likely
that such a record was kept. We do know, however, that the sprinkled
blood in itself constituted a record. God had commanded sacrifices
to be brought. We believe He respected His own command and took
notice of those who served Him in truth and uprightness. In His
book they were recorded as faithful.
Of the judgment
of the last day this is written: "Whosoever was not found written
in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Rev. 20:15.
This text speaks definitely of the
book of life, and says in effect that only those whose
names are found in it are saved. Note the reading: "Whosoever
was not found written
in the book of life." This means an examination of the book
to find which names are there recorded. "Whosoever was not
found." What is this but an investigation? It is
as though the command were given: "See if this name is found
in the book." The report comes back, "I
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have found it," or, "I have not found it." Either
report indicates an investigation. The expression, "Whosoever
was not found," justifies the contention that there is a looking
through of the record, resulting in a separation for salvation or
It seems so
clear that there ought to be and must be an investigation of the
record kept in heaven before the Lord comes, that the wonder is
that any can seriously or honestly doubt it. It is true that God
could in a moment, should He so desire, settle all questions as
to the future destiny of every one. With unerring accuracy He could
consign one portion of mankind to be damned and another to be saved.
But God could not do this and at the same time allow angels and
men to have a part in the judgment. And this is vital. God must
place every safeguard around the future existence. Men must, from
their own investigation, be assured as to the justice of the punishment
meted out. Angels who have been ministering spirits, must be present
when the saints are judged. For this reason books are kept. For
this reason millions of angels are present at the judgment. Dan.
7:10. God takes every step needed to make the future safe. Heaven
and earth must be protected. God will not suddenly admit millions
of human beings to the bliss of heaven and the privilege of eternal
life without consulting the angels.
We say this
reverently. The angels have passed through some sad experiences
because of sin. They have seen millions of their fellow angels lost.
They have seen Christ die on the cross. They have known some of
the sorrow of the Father because of sin. And should they not be
interested in the question of the admittance of millions of redeemed
sinners to eternal life? Should they not have some assurance that
admitting men to heaven does not mean admitting sin? We speak after
the manner of men. We believe they should have such assurance. And
we believe that God gives it to them. They are present when the
cases of the righteous are decided.
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As the saints have part in the judgment of the wicked, so the angels
have part in the judgment of the righteous. This constitutes an
assurance for the future. No question ever will or ever can arise
in the mind of any one. God has seen to that. TOP
the thousand years the angels will have an opportunity
to become better acquainted with us and we with them. We will work
together with them in the judgment. During that time both men and
angels will be judged. We will have a part in the judgment. The
angels will have a part. Men and angels have fellow creatures who
will be lost and in whom they are interested. God safeguards all
interests so that sin will not arise the second time. The angels
have kept the record. What is written in the books is their writing.
Shall they have no part in the examination of the record when final
decisions are made? They will have a part in the execution of the
judgment. Rev. 20:1-3; 18:21; Eze .9:1-11. At its conclusion they
will give their testimony as to the justice of the decisions made.
Rev. 16:5,7. This they can do because they know the factors involved.
loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hands."
John 3:35. We may not be sure why the Father has given all things
into the hands of the Son, but the statement occurs so many times
that it is clear God wants us to know it. In addition to the statement
quoted above, note the following: "Thou hast put all things
in subjection under His feet." Heb.2:8. "All things are
delivered unto Me of My Father." Matt. 11:27; Luke 10:22. "Thou
hast given Him power over all flesh." John 17:2. This power
includes that of judging. "The Father judgeth no man, but hath
committed all judgment unto the Son." John 5:22. Christ is
"ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead." Acts
10:42. God will "judge the world in righteousness by that Man
whom He hath ordained." Acts 17:31. This includes the execution
of the judgment, for the Father "hath given Him authority to
execute judgment also, because He
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is the Son of man." John 5:27. In fact, this granting of authority
to the Son may all be summed up in the sweeping statement of Christ
Himself: "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth."
Matt. 28:18. This leaves no doubt as to the extent of the power
given Him. It is all power in heaven and earth.
become very interesting in view of their wording. The Father had
all these powers, but for some reason He bequeathed them to the
Son. Notice how God has "given," "put," "delivered,"
"committed," "given authority to," "ordained"
His Son. All that the Father had, He gave to the Son. God at some
time in the past put all things under Christ, told Him to reign,
to execute judgment, and gave Him all power in heaven and earth.
The whole controversy
reveals a trait in the character of God that is most comforting.
God could have treated the rebels differently. He would not need
to have heeded the charges placed against Him by Satan. But he submitted
His case to be decided upon the basis of the evidence presented.
He could afford to wait and let created beings decide for themselves.
He knew that His case was just and that it could stand investigation.
He was eminently fair and just in all respects.
us ground for believing that the judgment to come will be conducted
along lines that will measure up to the highest conceptions of justice
and right, not to say mercy. God is not revengeful. He is not waiting
for an opportunity to "pay back." He wills that all men
be saved and come to repentance. He takes no delight in the death
of the wicked. TOP
some things, however, that God cannot do. He would be happy to save
all, but it would not be best to do so. For this there are several
reasons. Many do not wish to be saved on the terms that alone can
ensure life. The rules which God has laid down for our guidance
are the rules of life, and not arbitrary decrees. Society cannot
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here or in heaven, if men do not stop killing one another. That
seems so very evident that no one will attempt to dispute it.
its root in hatred. It would not be safe to permit one who hates
his brother - or who hates any one - to live in heaven with others.
To expect peace and harmony under such conditions would be folly.
Men have abundantly demonstrated that hatred leads to murder. It
needs no more demonstration. If God expects to have a peaceful heaven,
He must exclude murderers. That means He must exclude all who hate.
But it means
more. Love is the only effective antidote for hate. Only he who
loves is safe. Absence of love means hatred sooner or later. Hence,
love becomes one of the laws of life. Only he who loves complies
with the law, hence only he has the right to live. That right should
not be jeopardized by permitting hatred to flourish. Those who cherish
hatred in their lives, violate the law of life. It would not be
safe to save such, even should they want to be saved. There must
be no murderers in heaven, no violators of the commandment which
says, "Thou shalt not kill." The same argument holds true
with respect to all the other commandments.
When God therefore
admits men and angels to sit in judgment, He does more than merely
take them into partnership. This is important. For the sake of the
future it is necessary. We need the assurance that a personal part
in the judgment will give us. But more is involved. When God admits
saints and angels to a part in the judgment, they are in reality
passing upon God's work. The rules, the principles, the laws governing
men and angels, come under scrutiny. In a certain sense God is being
judged. Rom. 3:4.
In the light
of these statements, the fact that men and angels at the end of
the controversy express their belief in the justice and righteousness
of God, takes on added significance. The great question always has
been: Is God just, or
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are Satan's accusations true? At the end of the controversy,
the angel of the waters says, "Thou art righteous, O Lord."
Another angel says, "Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous
are Thy judgments." "Much people in heaven" say,
"Alleluia; salvation and glory, and honor, and power, unto
the Lord our God; for true and righteous are His judgments."
Those who have been victorious over the beast and the image say,
"Just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints." And
as God resumes the throne, "a great multitude" "as
the voice of mighty thunderings" shout, "Alleluia: for
the Lord God omnipotent reigneth." But God does not wish to
reign alone. When "the kingdoms of this world are become the
kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ," when the accuser
is finally cast down, then the throne of God and the Lamb shall
be set up. Glorious consummation of our hope! (Rev. 16:5, 7; 19:1;
15:3; 19:6; 11:15; 12:10; 22:5)
The Sanctuary Service by M. L. Andreasen