I Do Not Like the Old Testament…

I Do Not Like the Old Testament, Especially Leviticus

(Reading Exodus 38 – Leviticus 18) Exodus 39:30-32; 40:34-38; Leviticus 13:1-3

I just recently realized that I do not like Leviticus. It is painful to read. It is hard to understand. It is judgmental about human life and living. It condemns me.

Even if I do not like Leviticus there are some things I can learn from it. Then I need to apply that to my life.

1. We are continually reminded that God is Holy, and that He is the LORD.
2. We are reminded again and again that we are unholy and unclean.
3. We are reminded again and again that there must be a sacrifice, or there is no approaching God.
4. We are reminded that that the most basic sacrifice is the blood of a Lamb.

I wrote this in 2013 while I was studying Leviticus.

So that you may know; I do love the whole of the word of God from Genesis – Revelation, and that has been given me as God’s gift of grace.

Set Apart

“For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.”  Leviticus 11:44-45  (KJV)

Let me be honest with you.  I have never been real fond of Leviticus.  I read it, and it blesses my heart and soul, but my flesh really despises it; and that is as it should be.

It is verses as the above which mark me, maul me, and make me cringe.  I love the fact that the LORD is my God; because there is no other; but the word “Sanctify” is a catchy one, an almost demanding one.

To sanctify something is to set it apart as holy.  You hear that word “Holy”.  That is what God’s people are to be; sanctified as holy; holy unto God, and there is no holiness in me.

The apostle Paul by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit…

“I beseech you therefore… that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God…”  Romans 12:1

I fall so often in this matter.  I am so grateful for the love, and grace of God shown through the cross; the death, the burial and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus prayed for you and me when He prayed….

“Sanctify through Your truth: Your word is truth.”  John 17:17

Will His prayer be answered?  Most definitely.  We who know Him are sanctified, set apart as holy unto God.  Do we make mistakes?  I have not met a perfect person yet.  Every morning I wake up the first person I see is in the mirror, and I know he is not perfect.

I just thank God, His Son Jesus the Christ, the Holy Spirit and the word of God for their work in me.  I thank Him for His work in you, and all my brothers and sisters in Christ all around the world.  He is working on us; making us more into the image of His own dear Son.

You are Set Apart.  You are sanctified, and being sanctified.  It is a daily work of grace in the Spirit of God.  Remember to participate in that sanctification by attending a Bible believing, Christ centered Church today.  It is the LORD’S Day.  Give it to Him

Jesus Through the Bible – The Scapegoat

Scapegoat “A person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place.” From Dictionary.com We hear the word “Scapegoat” many times. Someone was a scapegoat for an evil political action that was done, or something of that order. Someone was a scapegoat for a bad business decision, etc.

There is, however, a certain “Scapegoat” mentioned in Scripture. This scapegoat gives us a picture of Jesus Christ; at least a picture of His work on the cross, and His burial. In Leviticus we read…

And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD’S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. But the goat, on which the lot fell to be 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.” Leviticus 16:7-10

The first goat was to be a sin offering which would bear the sins of the sins of Aaron and his house (Leviticus 16:6), and they were to “cast lots” to determine which goat was to be the sin offering, and which was to be the scapegoat. I want us to deal with the scapegoat, though we must understand they are both necessary for this part of redemption. We do not often picture a goat as having redeeming qualities; but let us see the goat as representing the sin which our Saviour bore on the cross.

The sin offering died, thus through Christ sin was put to death (Also read Romans 6:1-16), it has no more power over those who are the redeemed. Sin also lays on us death, sin, guilt, condemnation, and O, such sorrows. The scapegoat was taken alive into the wilderness to never be seen again.

When the child of God has laid on her or him these condemnations; then we must remember that all our sins were laid on Him who died, was buried; and in His burial He carried all our sin, death, shame, guilt and condemnation away, and He arose bodily alive, victorious over all of death’s vices.

Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, God incarnate became on the cross the very thing which He and His Father hated: Sin (2 Corinthians 5:21); was judged by the Father; the Father resurrected Him, and by His resurrection we are raised with Him. Cleansed, forgiven, and in fellowship with God for now and all eternity.

Death Sentence

“And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.” Leviticus 24:16 (KJV)

The name of the LORD is holy. There is no other name like it. God is one. His names which reveal His character are many. Jehovah jireh; Jehovah rapha; those two show us that He is our Provider, and our Healer. There are others; none of them is Allah. We cannot expect to blaspheme ie. take His name lightly, to speak it irreverently or to attribute to ourselves or others something God has done; and be exempt from judgment for it.

Jesus spoke of blasphemy,

“Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess Me before men, him shall the Son of Man also confess before the angels of God: but he that denieth Me before men shall be denied before the angels of God. And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.” Luke 12:8-10

We find later in Leviticus 24:23 that Moses gave commandment to stone the one whom charges were brought against, and they did. It is a very serious offense that anyone would blaspheme the name of the LORD.

Holy God; Unholy Me

“And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the LORD, offer it at your own will. On the same day it shall be eaten up; ye shall leave none of it until the morrow: I am the LORD. Therefore shall ye keep My commandments, and do them: I am the LORD. Neither shall ye profane My holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I am the LORD which hallow you, that brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD.” Leviticus 22:29-33 (KJV)

At least four times in the above verses above it is written, “I am the LORD”.  Do you have a problem with God being “the LORD”?

One of the things that stands out to me as I read Leviticus is that since God is holy He demands holiness from His people.  Holiness is nothing less than perfection.  Well!  I do not meet God’s requirements.  I do not know anyone who does.  That leaves me in terribly bad shape with God.  That is probably not good English, but I am not perfect there either.

I was born into this world in a condemned, unholy state with God.  When I look at His law, His Word I am condemned by it, and find myself totally separated from holy God.  By these laws I see what God commands, and I realize my need.  My need is God.  On my own I cannot have Him.  I also find that He loves me.  Why else would He give these laws?  Most of all why would He, with all these sacrifices, show us that there is a way to Himself, except that He loves us?

All of these sacrifices of lambs, bulls, goats, etc. are pictures, shadows, types of the anti-type who is Christ Jesus.  I no longer am condemned by the law, because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, but through the death of Christ, and His bodily resurrection, I have access into the very throne room of holy God.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

Now if I were to tell you that I do not know Him; if I were to live my life as if I did not know Him, then I would profane His name.

The following are the written words of Matthew Henry on the above verses,

That the flesh of their thank-offerings should be eaten on the same day that they were sacrificed, Lev_22:29, Lev_22:30. This is a repetition of what we had before, Lev_7:15; Lev_19:6, Lev_19:7. The chapter concludes with such a general charge as we have often met with, to keep God’s commandments, and not to profane his holy name, Lev_22:31, Lev_22:32. Those that profess God’s name, if they do not make conscience of keeping his commandments, do but profane his name. The general reasons are added: God’s authority over them – I am the Lord; his interest in them – I am your God; the title he had to them by redemption – “I brought you out of the land of Egypt, on purpose that I might be your God;” the designs of his grace concerning them – I am the Lord that hallow you; and the resolutions of his justice, if he had not honour from them, to get himself honour upon them – I will be hallowed among the children of Israel. God will be a loser in his glory by no man at last; but sooner or later will recover his right, either in the repentance of sinners or in their ruin.

from Matthew Henry Commentary

Without Jesus Christ you are a condemned, dying soul, headed for an eternity of torment and away from God.  Is that really what you desire?

Sanctify Yourselves

“Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God. And ye shall keep My statutes, and do them: I am the LORD which sanctify you.” Leviticus 20:7-8 (KJV)

Much of this in dealing with sexual abomination, and witchcraft of all sorts; and worship of idols (Molech, etc). In this reading is mentioned the abomination of homosexuality (18:22 and 20:13).

The first reference is commandment against it. The second is the judgment handling it. Of course there are other abominations – sexual and otherwise named with the same penalty of death. There is beastiality, family incest of all sorts, and the mystical arts, including sacrificing children in the fire to Molech (20:1-5).

The matter of the law shows that we are all under the law of death. There is mercy and there is grace for all people who will come to God through His Son Jesus Christ. In and through Christ we sanctify ourselves, being empowered by God’s Spirit to come out from the abominations of the world, and being holy, separate unto God.

“Be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.”

Also read 1 Corinthians 10:19-22.

The Blood of Cleansing

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” Leviticus 17:11 (KJV)

No flesh lives without blood courses through the veins of that flesh. Blood is the source of the human life and the life of other fleshly beings. Therefore, it is commanded by God that we do not eat the blood of the flesh, because it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.

“Atonement” is the bringing together of two beings. In our case, because of mankind’s sin we are born into this world separated from our Creator. Since He desires fellowship, and worship from His crowning achievement, then, there must be something done to bring us together. Atonement is the answer.

Atonement is achieved by the shedding of blood. Notice if you will At-one-ment; and by this we can see God’s desired affect is done – making the creature man and God one with one another. This was the prayer of Jesus,

“That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.” John 17:21 (KJV)

I do not mean making man God, but making us in agreement with God. God is still completely God, the only God; and we are in complete agreement with that.

It was ultimately the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed for the sins of mankind, redeeming us, atoning our sins; bringing us into full agreement with God.

In Hebrews we read,

“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” Hebrews 9:22 (KJV)

Have you been redeemed by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ? There is no forgiveness with God except by His blood.

The Law…

“This is the law for all manner of plague of leprosy, and scall, and for the leprosy of a garment, and of a house, and for a rising, and for a scab, and for a bright spot: to teach when it is unclean, and when it is clean: this is the law of leprosy.” Leviticus 14:54-57 (KJV)

There are all kinds of medical issues. Some relating to heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, and one of the big ones is cancer. None of us are immune to disease, or its consequences.

Leprosy is a plague which may hit the victim, and cause great alarm, and fear. It is a dreaded disease, and no one wants to get it.

In the Bible leprosy is a likeness of sin. Unlike sin though, people are not born with leprosy. Sin is a human problem. No one misses out on the sin problem. With leprosy we can envision how horrid sin is to God.

The oozing sores have a great stench that makes one want to cover their nose, and mouth, and run away. It changes the appearance of the victim. It changes the way the person lives. Sin is also like that with God.

He is appalled by sin. He is grossly offended by sin. With God, for His crown of creation to fellowship with Him, sin must be dealt with. In chapters 13-14 we find how God gives Israel the pattern of dealing with leprosy. It involves blood.

Only the sacrifice of a perfect spotless Lamb can cleanse us of our sin. That Lamb, that ultimate Lamb is God’s own precious, and only begotten Son Jesus Christ.

God hates sin. It is a stench in the nostrils of God. Without coming to Him His way, you will not come at all; because your sin has not been dealt with any other way. Jesus is the only way.

Be Holy

“For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” Leviticus 11:44-45 (KJV)

God has spoken these words; Moses wrote them down, and they are holy words. These words remind us that God is holy, and that because He is holy His people ought also be holy.

In the previous verses it has been written what Israel can and cannot eat and be holy. Eating seems to be such a trivial part of living; however, it matters to GOD. I have no understanding as to why any of these animals are clean or unclean. I do not know that any of the children of Israel understood either, but it was imperative that the people believe GOD, and obey Him. They were not called to understand, but to believe GOD, and obey.

The fact, the truth that GOD is holy is one way of saying that there is no other God. Yet the word “God” is ‘Elohiym” and is a plural for God. Any time we see this is Scripture it is speaking of the plurality of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Father is holy. The Son is Holy. The Spirit is Holy. Those who claim to know Him are to be holy.

Just what is holiness. It means to be uniquely distinct from all others. The child of God; the Christian is to live a life different than the people around us. Out talk should magnify Christ Jesus. Our walk – where we go, how we dress, the things we eat, the things we drink, the music we listen to, the movies we watch should be measured by Jesus and not whether the world is doing it.

In the New Testament the Christian is commanded to be holy (1 Peter 1:15, 16).

Fire From God

“And 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.” Leviticus 9:24 (KJV)

In the worship of God fire is an important element. It must, however, be the LORD’S fire, not our own. That is clearly seen in the first three verses of Leviticus 10 when the sons of Aaron; Nadab and Abihu bring “Strange fire” before the LORD.

With the fire of God sin is dealt with, God is worshipped, and He is glorified. With “Strange fire” the flesh is magnified, and God is seen as a man of entertainment to make us feel good. May we worship Him with the fire of GOD into His presence. We must remember worshipping God is about Him; not about me, not about us; but about holy GOD.

Jesus Through the Bible – The Scapegoat

Scapegoat “A person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place.”  From Dictionary.com  We hear the word “Scapegoat” many times.  Someone was a scapegoat for an evil political action that was done, or something of that order.  Someone was a scapegoat for a bad business decision, etc.

There is, however, a certain “Scapegoat” mentioned in Scripture.  This scapegoat gives us a picture of Jesus Christ; at least a picture of His work on the cross, and His burial.  In Leviticus we read…

And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat.  And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD’S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering.  But the goat, on which the lot fell to be 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.”  Leviticus 16:7-10

The first goat was to be a sin offering which would bear the sins of the sins of Aaron and his house (Leviticus 16:6), and they were to “cast lots” to determine which goat was to be the sin offering, and which was to be the scapegoat.  I want us to deal with the scapegoat, though we must understand they are both necessary for this part of redemption.  We do not often picture a goat as having redeeming qualities; but let us see the goat as representing the sin which our Saviour bore on the cross.

The sin offering died, thus through Christ sin was put to death (Also read Romans 6:1-16), it has no more power over those who are the redeemed.  Sin also lays on us death, sin, guilt, condemnation, and O, such sorrows.  The scapegoat was taken alive into the wilderness to never be seen again.

When the child of God has laid on her or him these condemnations; then we must remember that all our sins were laid on Him who died, was buried; and in His burial He carried all our sin, death, shame, guilt and condemnation away, and He arose bodily alive, victorious over all of death’s vices.

Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, God incarnate became on the cross the very thing which He and His Father hated: Sin (2 Corinthians 5:21); was judged by the Father; the Father resurrected Him, and by His resurrection we are raised with Him.  Cleansed, forgiven, and in fellowship with God for now and all eternity.

Day 8 – Holiness and the LORD

Sometimes, maybe much time is made of mocking all that is holy.  Even among Christians it is not often taken seriously.  Someone who becomes devoted to living holy is often told something like, “O, come on now.  You can’t be serious”.  God is serious about holiness, because He is holy.

In reading Leviticus you will find much about “Holiness”.  You will find it stated by the LORD, “Be holy; for I am holy” many times.  I read that several times as I was reading Leviticus 9 – 22 this morning.

When two sons of Aaron did not take holiness seriously; or right worship seriously they died,

“And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which He commanded them not.  And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.” Leviticus 10:1-2 (KJV)

Their death seems to have been due to entering the most Holy Place with alcoholic drink on them;

“And the LORD spake unto Aaron, saying, ‘Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: and that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; and that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.'”  Leviticus 10:9

Whatever the “strange fire” was that Nadab and Abihu took into the Holy Place it was not holy unto the LORD.  God takes holiness among His people very seriously, and so should the Christian of today.

As we look at Leviticus with all its commandments, requirements for holiness, laws for dealing with body sores, and skins rashes, and leprosy, sexual relationships, eating; the right kinds of animals, insects and fish to eat, etc. it seems like it would be an impossible feat to meet God’s requirements for holiness.  I believe that to be an accurate assessment of our situation.

With all that God requires for our holiness we all fall short.  I mean who would always be aware of sitting on something that is unclean (Leviticus 15).  Only God would always know that.

The declaration of the Law is that we are Guilty, Guilty, and Guilty of being unholy; unless we can keep the whole law.  There is only One who did.  His name is Jesus Christ and He was and is the atonement for all our sins.

God has said many times through my reading to day, “I am the LORD”.  That is it.  He is holy; and He requires holiness of His people.  It is only attainable through the once and for all shed blood of His Son; who was our atonement, and scapegoat for our sins (Leviticus 16); carrying our sin away.  God is still serious about sin and holiness.  Jesus rose bodily from the grave, and ever lives as our intercessor.

Blessed be the holy name of the LORD.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Scarlet Thread – Fire

There are many times in Scripture where God answers by fire from above.  Today we look at one of those in the book of Leviticus:

“And 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.”  Leviticus 9:24

What does the fire have to do with the scarlet thread of redemption which flows throughout all of Scripture?  It has much to do with it; but I will probably not begin to touch the surface of its true power, and instruction.

Most likely the first time it was seen, though not mentioned directly, is in the sacrifice offered by Abel in Genesis 4:4 and God had respect unto Abel’s offering, but not Cain’s.  The LORD probably answered by fire to show His approval of the offering.

In our text for today God is showing His approval on the leadership of Moses and Aaron in their worship and upon the worship in holiness.  The fire shows us the holiness of God and His acceptance of holiness when He sees it.  We cannot manufacture the fire of God; His acceptance.  There is much in worship today that is manufactured; put on and forward as worship which is more a show, entertainment, than worship; and with that I am sure the LORD is not well pleased.

The sons of Aaron; Nadab and Abihu; found out that “strange fire” was not accepted by GOD.  They died as a result of their own attempt at fire.  The fire, excitement of the flesh which we manufacture is not holiness, but unholiness before the Almighty, and Holy One.

We must always keep in mind that holiness is from God.  We cannot manufacture it.  It is revealed in the Person of Jesus Christ.  He is holy.  We see in the Revelation a revealing of the Son as He is now;

“And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.  His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire;  and His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters.”  Revelation 1:12-15

Notice particularly “…His eyes were as a flame of fire; His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace…”  He could be called the living fire of God.  Those who may be reluctant to accept this image of Christ will be reluctant to receive His as Lord and Savior of their lives as well.  For the apostle Paul writes,

“For our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:29

-Tim A. Blankenship

My Observations 020811

The reading today Leviticus 26 – 27.

Most of us have heard the saying, or something similar to it; “If you sow your wild oats a harvest will come”.  It is another way of saying what God says  in His Word and through nature.  “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galations 6:7b).

Israel was given much, special land.  Yet it was theirs under the condition of the covenant with God.  The covenant was that they had to “walk with God”; and that means obey Him; to see things God’s way, not their own.  The prophet Amos asked the question, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3),and the answer is no.  In the case of man with God; we must agree with God.  God does not agree with me, nor does He need to or have to.  It is my obedience, my repentence, my sorrow for sin – that is necessary for me to walk with God – not God’s.

“And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break My covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God.  But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the LORD.  These are the statutes and judgments and laws, which the LORD made between Him and the children of Israel in mount Sinai by the hand of Moses.”  Leviticus 26:44-46 (KJV)

In Leviticus 26 God the LORD has warned Israel of what will happen to them and the land should they not follow His commandments.  Both the Ten Commandments and the others that are given concerning treatment of others, their worship practices, moral issues, and the land.  If they go against God.  They are not “walking with God”.  They will suffer the consequences; and that will be judgment from surrounding nations, captivity; the enemy even harvesting their crops, rather than themselves.

God is merciful.  He even promises that should they disobey; and they do; then He will remember the covenant with them, and bring them back into the land.

Many times we may find that it is our own sins that judge us.  The prophet Jeremiah even bears this thought out when God spoke to him saying,

“Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reproove thee…” (Jeremiah 2:19a).

It is great to know that we find grace and mercy given by God in the Old Testament; and that same grace and mercy is magnified, and personified in the person of His Son Jesus in the New Testament.  We have the promise of the New Testament:

“If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteouness.”  (1 John 1:9).

and”My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous…”   (1 John 2:1).

The grace of God through Jesus Christ is the greatest gift of God to man, through Jesus.

Read Leviticus 26 – 27

-Tim A. Blankenship

My Observations 020711

Reading Leviticus 24-25 today.

Is it so bad to blaspheme the name of God?  Many seem not to think so.  What is “blasphemy”, or blaspheming the name of God?

“And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin.  And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.”  Leviticus 24:15-16 (KJV)

It would mean to make light of the name of God; to curse His name.  There are many people in the day who do just this, yet the mercy and grace of God falls all over them.  Some of these same people are ones who ask the question, “Why does God allow evil in the world?”, then with the next sentence take the name of the LORD in vain, or use His name to swear falsely by leaving a hurting individual hanging by a debt, or without an employer when they have the means to help them.

The LORD values life.  All of life.  God gives us the form of correction for one man taking another’s life; and that is the death of the killer/murderer.  Why?  Because He is the LORD.  One life is just as valuable as the other.  To allow a murderer to lives places more value on the murderer’s life than on the murdered individual’s life.  That’s our society.  However, God still says,

“And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death.”  24:17

The LORD also places value on land ownership and ownership of anything.  Though no man actually owns anything; it belongs to the LORD; but He has placed us here to be stewards of His creation.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying, ‘Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the LORD.  Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; but in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.” 25:1-4

When people honor God by caring for the land and others He will bless that people.

Please read Leviticus 24 – 25.

-Tim A. Blankenship

My Observations 020611

Reading Leviticus 21 -23 today.

In the 23rd chapter of Leviticus we read about the seven feasts of Israel.   There have been some more feasts added to Hebrew living up through today; one of which is the “Feasts of Lights” also known as Hanukkah, and this one seems to be a feast which was celebrated in the time of Jesus Himself.

Let me correct myself on something I stated in a previous post.  I wrote that I believed the day of atonement was the final feast of the Jewish year.  In that I was wrong.  In this list that is given the “Feast of Tabernacles or booths” is the final one.

Something we need to understand in getting started is that Saturday was the Sabbath in any week; however, there were special sabbaths they were to remember, and these fell sometimes in the middle of a week.  These sabbaths were to be treated just as the Saturday (seventh day) Sabbath.  I mention this because there are a few sabbaths mentioned in chapter 23.

The first is the Passover which was to celebrated on the fourteenth day of the first month – Abib or Nisan (Exodus 12:2; 13:4;  Deuteronomy16:1).  This, of course, was in remembrance of God’s deliverance from Egypt by the blood of the lamb which was slain for every household and the blood placed on the door posts and lintels of every home.  This was the redemption for all the first born who was under the blood.  This blood is a type, a shadow, or a picture of the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Then in verse six on the fifteenth day was the feast of unleavened bread.  This bread was made in haste and with great expectation of deliverance.  With no yeast it was not necessary for it to rise, to puff up, but was immediately ready following the baking of it to leave.  Yeast represents haughtiness, pride, or even the arrogance of believing one has plenty of time.  When God delivers; it is on His time, not of our own making.  The great picture for us to see is the life of Christ without sin or spot or blemish.

The next feast is the “Firstfruits”.  This was in celebration of the harvest.  It speaks of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus three days following His death

“Pentecost” was to come on the fiftieth day following the sabbath of firstfruits.  We know from the New Testament that on this day the Holy Spirit came upon the followers of Christ who were fearful, waiting in the upper room as the Lord had given them commandment (Acts 2).  This was the day the Holy Spirit came upon those believers and filled them with the Spirit of Jesus Christ.  They had no more fear of what they had previously experienced.  They had the power of God within them.  They were ready to worship, preach, and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ; no matter what would happen to their physical lives.  They loved Jesus as they never had before; with their lives.

The next feast was that of the Trumpets.  This took place on the first day of the seventh month.  The trumpets were often used to gather the people together; and this feast speaks of a great day coming when the Lord Jesus will call “all Israel” unto Himself (Romans 11:26).

The day of  atonement is the day of the offering of the “scapegoat” written about in chapter 16.  There is much more to it than the goats; one was to die, and the other was to live and be let go in the wilderness.  It is a glorious picture, shadow of the substitutionary death of Christ Jesus.  He took our place for sin on the cross; becoming sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21) and making us “Just as just as He is just” [speaking of our justification through Christ Jesus].

The final feast mentioned in this chapter is the “Feast of Tabernacles”; it is also called “Feast of Booths”; it was called the “feast of ingathering (Exodus 23:16.  As the children of Israel wandered through the wilderness they would build “booths” and such to be protected from the heat or any cold they might experience at night.  This feast was a reminder of the wanderings; to be done for seven days.  The first day was one of these sabbath days, and the eighth day the one following the feasts was to be a sabbath day; no work was to be done.  This day foreshadows the day when there will be rest and reunion with our Lord Jesus Christ.

Be ready for that Great Reunion day when all who love our Lord will be with Him forever and forever.  “Whosoever will call on the name of the Lord shall be saved”  (Romans 10:13).

Read Leviticus 21 – 23

-Tim A. Blankenship

 

My Observations 020511

Reading Leviticus 17-20 today.

There have been many who have wondered why God would give the land of Canaan to the people of Israel.  The first promise of this comes through to Abram [Abraham], then it is promised to Isaac, and Jacob [Israel].  We are told, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to Him for righteousness”  (Romans 4:3;  Genesis 15:6).  We see much from the reading of Leviticus.  God requires a holy people.  A people set apart, sanctified, different, trusting the LORD.

Chapters 17 – 20 deal with holiness, and gives explanation of why God gives these ordinances for Israel to believe and obey.

“Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: and the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.  Ye shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you: (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;) that the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you.  For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people.  Therefore shall ye keep Mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the LORD your God.”  Leviticus 18:24-30 (KJV)

The land we know as Israel is referred to by God Himself as a “Land of milk and honey” meaning that it is a prosperous, beautiful land.  The land needs water; and it is dependent upon rain.  The LORD even tells us at one point at least that that is where they should be dependent upon the LORD.

The laws/commandments given in these chapters deal with sexual immorality with family, neighbor’s spouses, same sex, and animals.  In reading the above verses, as well as 20:22-24 leads me to conclude that these were the sins of the people of Canaan.  God calls them abominations.  The laws also deal with sorcery, astrology (using the zodiac or stars to predict one’s future), speaking with the dead [necromancy].   My convictions tell me that if God called these abominations in the days of Canaan and Israel’s wandering in the wilderness; He still calls them abominations.

“It is just an Old Testament single passage that is no longer relevant to today or Christianity” is one phrase I have heard concerning passages such as these.  What should the Christian response be to these laws of holiness.  The Christian response should be one of godliness, holiness.  The Christian response should be of loving God which is obeying God from the heart and with one’s life.  The question the Christian will ask is not “How close can I get to sin and still be alright with God?”, but is a statement “I must stay as far away from sin as I can, lest I offend God, and sin against Him”.

Some might say, “Well why didn’t God just drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, and the others when Abraham was in the land?”  Not only was God preparing a people; His people; for the land, but He was giving the people of the land ample time to repent.  To Abraham God spoke of a coming day when Israel would be in the land, but it would be after they had served a nation for 430 years (Genesis 15:13-16).  For 430 years God was giving mercy to the people of Canaan, the Amorites; they refused repentance and only grew more and more evil.

Let’s not be so quick to judge God’s holiness, righteousness, and Justice; by asking, “If God is so good why does He not judge and remove evil?”  I no longer ask that question because I have come to realize, that if God were to remove evil, then He would need to rid the world of me.  God is merciful.  He has shown us His mercy and grace through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ His holy Son.

Please read Leviticus 17 – 20.

-Tim A. Blankenship

My Observations 020411

Reading Leviticus 14 – 16.

Cleansing and forgiveness of sin are two of the main ideas we receive from these chapters.  From leprosy to the scapegoat on the day of atonement we find the provisions of God for these things; for His people.

One thing that I observe as I read these chapters is that I am glad these offerings, and cleansings have taken place in the perfect, sinless sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  All the law has been fulfilled in Him.  There is no more need for ritual and blood sacrifices.  It was all taken care of – not done away with – but fulfilled in Christ Jesus.

One of the sacrifices mentioned is that involving two birds.  One was to be slain; the other was to live and use the live bird to dip into the blood of the slain bird with cedar wood and hyssop with scarlet; and the living bird was to be let go.  This is for the cleansing of one’s house from a plague in the house.  This was probably some mold or something of that order.

There are  matters of issues of blood, and copulation; and the uncleanness of these, and how they were to be cleansed.

In chapter 16 we come to one of the most important events or Feasts of Israel.  I believe it is  the final one of their year.  This day of atonement is a once a year event.  It required particular care from the high Priest.

“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.”  Leviticus 16:21-22 (KJV)

This day required much sacrifice.  The blood of a bullock was offered by the high priest; first slaying the animal at the altar of burnt offering, taking the blood into the holy of Holies, sprinkling the blood seven times upon the Mercy seat, then, coming out getting the two goats; killing one goat, shedding its blood, while the priests laid their hands (as they had done with the slain goat) on the live goat.  The live goat was then taken away by a “fit man”.   There are some who believe that the man who took the live goat into the wilderness would take the goat to a bluff and push the goat over the edge so the goat would not return.

This offering of the scapegoat was and is a picture, a shadow of the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ on the cross for the sins of mankind.  The dead goat shows Christ Jesus as becoming our sin, paying the ultimate price for sin.  The living goat being taken into the wilderness could be a shadow of His burial, taking our sins away; never to see them; never to be bound by them again; always having forgiveness for sins committed; never to have them held against us.

One of the elements of the gospel that I see is much overlooked is the “burial”.  We say the gospel is “The death, the burial and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ”, but we never hear it mentioned.  The message of the cross and resurrection is powerless without the burial of Christ.  First, it shows that He died.  Second it shows that there is the cleansing and removal and forgiveness of sin; which God will never hold against us.

When we put our faith in Christ Jesus and His finished work on the cross; and  this includes the burial and bodily resurrection; then all our sins are cleansed; we are forgiven; and made righteous, just and holy in the sight of God.  As Paul the apostle has written;

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus…”  Romans 8:1

Please read Leviticus 14-16

-Tim A. Blankenship

My Observations 020311

The Bible reading for today is Leviticus 11 – 13.

We are now into matters of foods; in particular meats; that the people of Israel are commanded to eat.  In the mind of the Gentile man or woman these may seem quite archaic or unnecessary; however, these are commandments for Israel; not Gentiles.  That may be partially why these commandments on eating meats, leprosy, and others following are given.

It is not for the people to understand why these laws were given; it is for the people to obey God.

“Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby.  For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.  For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.  This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth: to make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.”  Leviticus 11:43-47 (KJV)

In these verses above it seems that the LORD gives us the most important reason for obedience to these laws.  It is God’s command to “be holy”.  Leviticus is about holiness.  God’s call to His people is to be holy as He is holy.  Holiness is cleanliness.

Let me quote from the MacArthur Study Bible on these verses,

11:1-47 This section contains further legislation on the consumption of animals.  Abel’s offering hints at a “post-Fall/pre-Flood” diet of animals (Gen. 4:4).  After the Noahic flood, God specifically had granted man permission to eat meat (Gen. 9:1-4), but here spelled out the specifics as covenant legislation.  All of the reasons for the prohibitions are not specified.  The major points were: 1) that Israel was to obey God’s absolute standard, regardless of the reason for it, or the lack of understanding of it; and 2) such a unique diet was specified that Israel would find it difficult to eat with idolatrous people around and among them.  Their dietary laws served as a barrier to easy socialization with idolatrous peoples. Dietary and hygienic benefits were real, but only secondary to the divine purposes of obedience and separation.

FROM THE MACARTHUR STUDY BIBLE NKJV p. 168

There is an example here for Christians to follow as well.  We are commanded in the New Testament, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate” (2 Corinthians 6:17), and “Be ye holy for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15, 16).  The world in which we live today is shouting for Christians to be holy, separate, and clean; yet we have professing Christians dressing as the world dresses, eating as the world eats, entertaining as the world entertains; the world sees no difference in the way we live and their way of life; and we wonder why there is a decrease in the numbers of people coming to Christ.

We don’t have to copy the world’s music, dress, entertainment, and worship styles to “win the lost”.  We must, however, be holy and separate from them, and then they may just have a reason to hear the message that only Christ can change us.  If we love Jesus Christ let’s let our lives show what only Christ can do.

Take time to read Leviticus 11 – 13.

-Tim A. Blankenship

My Observations 020211

Today’s Bible Reading is for Leviticus 8 – 10

There are three things I want us to see in today’s reading.  The first two have to do with the fire of God found in verses 23 and 24 of chapter 9; at least the first three verses of chapter 10 and verses 16 – 20 of the same chapter.

The fire of God is very repetitious; and usually when God’s word repeats something it is due to the fact of God’s making a very clear statement.  It matters.  It matters very much.  Part of the reason that it matters is because of God’s holiness, power, and you could even add His awe-inspiring ways.  It is enough to strike fear into the heart of those who would follow Him, believing Him.

There are many today who are teaching that God does not desire us to fear Him; but I beg to differ with that.  We should shudder at the thought of offending the Creator GOD who has made all things and even sustains them by His own power (Colossians 1:17)

“And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people.  And 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.”  Leviticus 9:23-24 (KJV)

It is a fear and reverence which realizes a greater power and presence than one’s self.  It is a fear that causes one who is loved by Him and loves Him to seek to know Him better; and to get closer to Him.

The tabernacle is starting its operation with the  offering, the glory of the LORD appears to all the people.  Fire comes out from before the LORD and consumes the burnt offering and fat.  Where did the fire come from?  It came from God, the LORD.  The people who witnessed this marvelous event were awe-struck and fell on their faces.   Ever an act of humility, reverence, and worship.  They recognized the presence and power of God.

Many times when we see God move in a powerful way there are some so eager to see it again, that they will try and manipulate the act of God all over again.  This may be what happens with Nadab and Abihu in 10:1-2,

“And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not.  And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.”  Leviticus 10:1-2

“Strange fire” had been offered to the LORD by Aaron’s two sons.  What this entailed is not fully explained in the text.  There have been several suggestions:  1) is that they were intoxicated and that is why the warning of verse 9 is given concerning the drinking of wine; 2) that they may have made their own concoction for a fiery event of their own.

It really seems to me that the event of the last two verses of chapter 9 leading up to these verses in chapter 10 may suggest that they were so zealous and eager to see this miraculous event again that they violated God’s clear direction on entering the tabernacle and the offerings that God showed Himself strong for His righteousness.  This clearly made an impact on the people and Aaron.

From this we go to verses 16-20 where we find that God’s commandment concerning the “goat of the sin offering”:

“And 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.’  And Aaron said unto Moses, Behold, this day have they offered their sin offering and their burnt offering before the LORD; and such things have befallen me: and if I had eaten the sin offering to day, should it have been accepted in the sight of the LORD?  And when Moses heard that, he was content.” Leviticus 10:16-20

It seems that Eleazar and Ithamar had not taken the meat of the sin offering  to eat it as God’s commandment had said.  They had broken the commandment to do so.  Moses was rightly angry with the sons.  Aaron has quickly stepped in behalf of his sons and spoke of the grief of the day.  Their may have been fear in Aaron’s and his son’s minds and heart for the events and what they had witnessed God doing as well as grief  over losing his two sons. When Moses heard Aaron’s grief he went no further with the issue, thus we see the mercy of God.

When fire comes out from God; it must come from God alone.   When we – God’s people – try and manipulate the power of God; or try and imitate the power of God strangely; ie., in our own flesh;  for our own benefit, or notoriety; then, why should we be shocked to see God claim it for Himself.  I believe it was Charles H. Spurgeon who said, “God will not allow His children to sin successfully”.

Someone has said, “When we fear God; we need fear nothing else.”  The right fear of God; not a fear that keeps us from God; but the fear that draws us to Him for salvation, solace, peace, and His glory will cause us to fear nothing the world can throw at us.

The fire of God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29).

Join us in reading Leviticus 8 – 10

-Tim A. Blankenship

My Observations 020111

Reading today from Leviticus 4 – 7.

In the reading for today we read about the “sin offering” and its laws; personal sins; trespass offerings; and laws of holiness.

There is within the commandment concerning the fire on the altar, that it is to be ever burning.  It is to never go out.  This is the place of the burnt offering.  Every offering was offered here and was to be completely burned to ash.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, ‘Command Aaron and his sons, saying, This is the law of the burnt offering: It is the burnt offering, because of the burning upon the altar all night unto the morning, and the fire of the altar shall be burning in it.  And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his linen breeches shall he put upon his flesh, and take up the ashes which the fire hath consumed with the burnt offering on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar.  And he shall put off his garments, and put on other garments, and carry forth the ashes without the camp unto a clean place. And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings.  The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.'”  Leviticus 6:8-13 (KJV)

This brazen altar is to have special care taken with it.  It is the place where the blood of the sacrifice is shed.  The blood is poured out here as an offering to God for sin, trespass, peace.  We must keep in mind as we read the Old Testament that all these are shadows of what was to come.  These are only earthly pictures of the heavenly person who was to come and die; shedding His own blood for our sins, trespasses and to give us peace.

The fire ever burning shows the way God is always waiting for the sinner to come to Him for forgiveness and cleansing.  He has planned for all the years of earth; at least sin the fall of Adam and Eve; to redeem all who will come to Him believing through His Son Jesus.

In the first epistle [letter] of the apostle John we read,

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  1 John 1:9 (KJV)

The sin was placed figuratively on the sacrifice; by the laying of the hands of the priests on the head of the animal; then the animal was slain, its blood shed, then, burned on the altar.  This showed that the sin was forgiven, and there was cleansing and forgiveness from God.  This, of course, looking forward to the cross of Jesus.

God’s consuming fire is still burning.  His grace is still large and is much larger than our sin.  His mercy is everlasting.

Remember to read Leviticus 4 – 7

-Tim A. Blankenship

My Observations 013111

The reading today is Leviticus 1 – 3

When one reads the Scriptures we are not long in realizing that there is much shedding of blood.  This book even tells us that “the life of the flesh is in the blood” (17:11); and most of us know that without blood coursing through our veins we would not live in this world.  Most of the animal kingdom, if not all the animal kingdom; is dependent upon the blood flowing through their veins for life.

These three chapters all deal with sacrifices.  Offerings made by the people to the LORD.

In verses 1-3 of chapter one the LORD has called Moses and spoke to him from the tabernacle which has just been built and put in place.  This is one of the most amazing points of Scripture – that holy God would speak to unholy men.  It is God the LORD who has always initiated this by calling us unto Himself.  It is also the case with Mose.  The LORD is still calling men and women; boys and girls to Himself.  If only we will have the ears to hear His Word, and follow His leading.

In chapter one verses 3-17 we have mention of the offering for the “burnt sacrifice” or “burnt offering”.  It is a blood offering.  Its entrails are to be cleaned with water, and be burned on the altar; totally consuming it in the flames.  An offering burned in the fire. “A sweet aroma to the LORD” (v. 9, 13, 17).  This could be an offering of bullocks, sheep or goats, or turtle doves or pigeons.  It was dependent upon what each man had to offer.  This was an offering of consecration and dedication to the LORD.

In chapter 2 verses 1-16 we have mention of the “grain offering” or “meal offering”.  It too is an offering burned in the fire.   This offering was an offering of thanksgiving

Chapter three begins with the “peace offering”, a blood sacrifice.  This offering deals with having peace with God.  No one can have peace with God without the shedding of blood.  Paul the apostle writes to the Romans,

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Romans 5:1)

This peace comes through the shed blood of Jesus Christ of whom each Old Testament blood sacrifice was a shadow, or type; foreshadowing the death of the Messiah for the sins of Israel and the world.

The Bible tells us that we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).  We need a Savior and that Savior is none other than Jesus Christ Son of the Living God.  The LORD of all.

Remember to read Leviticus 1 – 3

-Tim A. Blankenship

Celebrate The LORD

Celebrations seem to be reserved for weddings, graduations, promotions, and for whatever one desires to celebrate in our society.  There is one, or more celebrations we should never forget, though, and that is celebrating our LORD God, and the wonderful things and acts He has done for us.

The Hebrew people were given many days of celebration, with seven feast days, then a total of nine.  These begin from the Passover to end with Purim, and they each play a significant part in Judaism.  Celebrations they are, but even more they are worshipping the LORD God who delivered them, provides for them, and reminds them of His merciful, gracious, and awesome acts.

As Christians we can see the Messiah; our Lord Jesus; as He is pictured, typed, and shadowed by these celebrations.  We should celebrate and worship Him everyday of our lives.

In this message I want us to see the need for celebrating Jesus, and these pictures of our Lord in the Old Testament.  We are short on our celebrations and celebrating.  So, let’s celebrate Jesus and worship Him, and by our worship of Him we worship our GOD.

The portraits follow of our Lord Jesus Christ.

THE BLOOD OF THE PASSOVER LAMB IS A PICTURE OF THE SACRIFICE OF JESUS CHRIST ON THE CROSS (vv. 1–5; Exodus 12:1-14).  By the pronouncement of God’s Word from His messenger Moses the wrath of God was going to fall on the firstborn of every home.  No one was going to be left untouched.  It didn’t matter if one was of Israel or of Egypt.  The destiny of every family was  going to be determined by the actions of each household.  The day of the Passover was to be on the fourteenth day of Abib (Exodus 13:4) also called Nisan, and is from our later days of March through the early days of April.  So, the Passover by our calendar would fall around the 29th of March, though it does come on April 9th for 2009.  I don’t know what the  difference is which causes this variance.

It was necessary if the firstborn of the home was to live, or if they neglected to put the blood on their door; then their firstborn would die.  God had shown Himself faithful to carry out the previous 9 plagues; why should or would He be questioned not?  At least the children of Israel obeyed and the firstborn children of Israel were saved.

This shows us that all are guilty of sin and need the blood of a sacrifice.  For the Passover it was the blood of the lamb which provided propitiation for the believing home.  In this case the “angel of death” passed over that home.  The shed blood of Jesus, shed on the cross, is the only atonement available for the guilt and shame of mankind today.

Jesus said, “This is My blood… which is shed for you” (Matthew 26:28; Luke 22:20; John 6:56).  These reference verses show the importance Jesus placed on His blood for those who believe in Him.  Jesus is the PASSOVER LAMB of God and when God the Father sees the blood of His Son Jesus He sees our sins cleansed, washed away, forgiven, and us forever in His presence.

THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD GIVES US THE PICTURE OF THE SINLESSNESS OF JESUS CHRIST (vv. 6-8; Exodus 12:15-20).  This feast takes place the day following the Passover meal.  It takes place in the month Abib/Nisan as well.  It would be a 7 day feast, and no leaven was allowed in the bread, nor to be in any Hebrews home.

There are far too many who would place Jesus merely in the realm of humanity.  Yes!  He was and is human, but so much more than a man.  Many have no problem seeing Jesus as a prophet, a good teacher or even a good man; however if He was not the Son of God, Divine [God incarnate], and sinless; then He was a sham, a con-artist, and the worst deceiver who ever lived on earth.

While the idea of the “unleavened bread” implies a hasty departure for Israel from Egypt; we can also see the need for the believer’s hasty departure from sin, and sins bondage.  Sin is the master of all unredeemed people (Romans 6:16). Gender or age makes no difference.  All are guilty of sin before Holy God, and require the propitiatory act of the death of the sinless Jesus Christ to stand in the presence of the HOLY ONE.

The sinlessness of Jesus Christ qualifies Him to be our sin-bearer, our Redeemer, our Substitute, our Savior.  Paul the apostle wrote,

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV)

THE FEAST OF FIRSTFRUITS GIVES US THE PICTURE OF THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST (vv. 9-14).  This is the offering feast of the harvest of the firstfruits of the wheat and the barley, and took place following the seventh day of the FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD.

Jesus was crucified on the day of Passover, taking into account that the Jewish day began after the sun set.  The following day would have started the feast of unleavened bread and continued for a seven day period.  Jesus was laid in a borrowed tomb, definitely dead, prepared for burial, with the tomb sealed, and three days later arose bodily from the grave, early on that Sunday morning (Matthew 28:1-4).

We find “Firstfruits” mentioned in the New Testament by Paul the apostle writing to the church of Corinth;

“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.”

“But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.”

1 Corinthians 15:20, 23 (KJV)

The resurrection of Jesus Christ bodily from the grave is the means of the Christians rejoicing.  Our God and Savior Jesus Christ conquered sin, death, hell and the grave and still lives, giving God the glory, and  giving to all who will believe eternal life.

Celebrate Jesus He died, was buried, arose bodily from the grave and is returning some day.

THE FEAST OF WEEKS [PENTECOST] IS THE PICTURE OF THE EVIDENCE OF THE LIVING LORD JESUS; HIS SPIRIT IN US (vv. 15-22).  The celebration was to be counted seven sabbaths from the offering of the first fruits, or 49 days. With celebration of day 50.

Forty days following the resurrection of Jesus, and His appearances to many, in one incident “above five hundred at one time” (1 Corinthians 15:6); Jesus ascended into heaven leaving this promise;

“For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” and,

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”  Acts 1:5, 8 (KJV)

Ten days following Jesus’s ascension into the heavenlies the Spirit of God came on all in the upper room (Acts 2).  That is the total of 50 days.

This is something the Christian, filled with the Spirit of God and Christ, can celebrate every single day.  We have the very person of Jesus Christ within us.  He is the power of Christ, the presence of Christ, and glory of Christ in us.  He is our “Earnest payment” until Jesus returns (2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:14).  This our guarantee that He is returning.

The Spirit of God in us is much more than a guarantee of His return though.  He is the power which changes the heart of a good man into the heart of a godly man.  He is the power that changes a pimp or a prostitute into a vessel which is clean, pure and brings glory to God.  He is the power who can change the child molester into an individual who has the heart of God for children.  He is the power who can change a murderer into someone who loves and cherishes all of life.  When the Spirit of God and Christ enters a man, woman, boy or girl the change that is made is noticed;

“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:4 (KJV)

Saul of Tarsus, who hated Jesus, His teachings, and all who followed Him became a disciple and an apostle of Jesus Christ when he met Jesus, and was changed by the Spirit of Jesus Christ in him (Acts 9:1-22).  Every one who comes to Jesus receives the Spirit of Jesus Christ (the Holy Spirit), baptized into His body (1 Corinthians  12:13), and is gifted and empowered to live for Him and His glory.

THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS IS THE PICTURE OF CHRIST REGATHERING THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL (vv. 23-25). The Feast of Trumpets took place annually during the month Tishri (September/October). The prophets from Isaiah through Malachi ring with promises of the regathering of Israel as a nation.  Jesus Himself made the promise of such;

“And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Mattthew 24:31 (KJV)

There are many Old Testament promises which will yet be fulfilled; some I give you:

“The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.” Isaiah 2:1-5 (KJV)

Isaiah 11:1-16

“Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east: And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory. And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face. And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house. And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me.” Ezekiel 43:1-6 (KJV)

“And the gates of the city shall be after the names of the tribes of Israel: three gates northward; one gate of Reuben, one gate of Judah, one gate of Levi. And at the east side four thousand and five hundred: and three gates; and one gate of Joseph, one gate of Benjamin, one gate of Dan. And at the south side four thousand and five hundred measures: and three gates; one gate of Simeon, one gate of Issachar, one gate of Zebulun. At the west side four thousand and five hundred, with their three gates; one gate of Gad, one gate of Asher, one gate of Naphtali. It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there.” Ezekiel 48:31-35 (KJV)

“Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4:4-6 (KJV)

On this portion of Matthew (24:31) you may check this out. If you would like to check out my studies of the Olivet Discourse you may click on the link.

Romans chapters 9 – 11 give us more details of God’s promises being fulfilled to the people of Israel, and one day Jesus will regather them to Himself, and this time will be forever.

THE FEAST OF THE DAY OF ATONEMENT GIVES US THE PICTURE OF JESUS’S SUBSTITUTIONARY DEATH ON THE CROSS (vv. 26-32).  The day of atonement took place during the month Tishri (September/October).

It was on the day of atonement that we hear of the “Scapegoat” (Leviticus  16).  There were two goats brought to the high priest.  By “lot” one was chosen as the LORD’s and the other lot for the scapegoat.  The LORD’s lot was sacrificed, the other was released, “…to go as a scapegoat into the wilderness.”  There is more sacrifice involved on this day of atonement, but within this scene of the “Scapegoat” we have a beautiful picture of the atoning work of Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.

Jesus, as the sinless, perfect, spotless, blemishless, Lamb of God went to the cross our sacrifice for sin, without sin, became our sin – thus the goat image – bore the wrath of Holy God upon sin, died as the penalty for our sin (Romans 6:23), was buried – thus the image of the scapegoat – carrying our sins, shame, and guilt and condemnation away.  Then, He arose bodily from the grave leaving all that sin, shame, guilt and condemnation cast far, far away (Psalm 103:12).

There is only one payment for sin, and that is provided, and was provided by our God and Savior Jesus Christ, as he bled and died in obedience to His Father, and in His love for you and I He is our Substitute, our only atonement for sin.

THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES IS A PICTURE OF THE REST AND REUNION WE HAVE IN JESUS CHRIST (vv. 33-44).  This feast also took place in the month of Tishri (September/October) on the fifteenth day would be the beginning.  The first day was a Sabbath day, and the eighth day was a Sabbath day for them.  On the first day also they were to make booths (a temporary home) this was a reminder to them of the journey through the wilderness after their deliverance from Egypt.

It would seem that the whole month of Tishri is taken  with celebration and worship of the LORD.  The life of the Christian should be a time of celebration/worship of  our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and our God.  God saw to it that the people would always have plenty of rest from their labors.  Six days a week they labored, then the sabbath day was a day of rest.  Then on the fourteenth day of the first month until the twentyfirst day they celebrated the Passover, Unleavened bread, and firstfruits; fifty days later they celebrated Pentecost, then in the seventh month of Tishri they celebrated Feast of Trumpets [Rosh Hashanah], Day of Atonement [Yom Kippur], and feast of Tabernacles [Booths of Ingathering].

Today the Hebrews celebrate two other occasions.  Feast of Dedication (John 10:22) [Hanukkah] during the month of December from the miracle of the Menorah in the temple during the of the Maccabees rebellion against Antiochus ephiphines.  The other began in the time of Esther, and is called Purim in the month Adar (February/March).  Purim is remembrance and thanks to God for His deliverance from Haman’s deceptive means to destroy the Jews.

In Jesus Christ our Lord and God we celebrate these every day.  He fulfilled all these.  He is the anti-type.  He is not the shadow of these things; He is the substance.  Jesus is also the Light, and the only means of salvation for the Jew and the Gentile.

Of His Rest and Reunion we read:

“Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:11-16 (KJV)

Let’s Celebrate Jesus.

-Tim A. Blankenship