And now with all the chutzpah I can master up, would you turn into your Bibles to Leviticus Chapter 5. You will need a Bible. This won't be the kind of thing you can just sit and listen to. You'll probably need to read along because we will cover some grounds tonight in Chapters 5, 6, and 7, Lord willing.
Let's pray. Our father we are so grateful that we have an opportunity afforded to us to go back before the New Testament was scripted to the times when the covenant of the law was given to Moses and through him to your people and to the nation that would follow after them, and as we study Lord so much comes clear as we are able to then understand parts of the New Testament and even the Old Testament that we could not understand without the foundation in this Book of Leviticus. Give us ears to hear. We prepare our hearts by this prayer as well as others that have been uttered before it asking that you would clearly speak to us, in Jesus name. Amen!
I have a problem. I'm a Midianite. I live at the foot of Mt. Sinai. My people have lived there for generations. We are simple people. We live in tents. You might say we are intense people, but it's the way of life that my fathers have always known and they passed it down to us. We like this simple life. We love each other. We love the fellowship and the camaraderie of our tribes. As a Midianite, I am a son of Abraham. I traced my genealogy, my lineage back to him. But the problem that I have is that another group of people have shown up around the mountain that I inhabit, Mt. Sinai, a lot of people. A couple million upwards of two and a half million of them. They are also sons and daughters of Abraham, but they are different.
As I Look at them my people and I, we noticed that they are tent duelers as well. They have a simple life as well. However, all of their tent community is revolved around another tent. All of their tribes are gathered around a central tent with a white courtyard and colorful drapings, badger's skins and all of that is for the worship of their God. They kill animals and they sacrifice the blood and the animal upon an altar in that courtyard where that tent is and all of the tents, all of those tribes revolved around that central sanctuary of worship.
What makes it very different and unique from our worship system is that this cloud hovers over it everyday and a pillar of fire every night. It's miraculous. I have never seen anything like it. It never happened at our Midianite church ever. But my problem is deeper than that. It's not with those people, but they seem to have a relationship with their God whereby their sense, their shortcomings are all forgiven because of their sacrifices.
I so long in my heart to know the God who made me. I so would love in my heart to have a relationship with my creator like they say they do but the problem is for me to have one, they tell me I have to be circumcised if I am a male. I have to keep those animal sacrifices that they prescribe and the set of laws that their God has given them, so there is a barrier between as a Midianite and the God that the children of Israel serve and they tell me it's because of this thing called "sin."
Now that indeed was the problem 1,450 years ago when God gave the covenant of the law through Moses to the People of Israel and anyone who was different in them who wanted to approach God had to go through the one and only religious system God ever gave to humanity and that is Judaism. Did you hear what I said? Judaism is the only religious system God ever gave to mankind. You say, "Wait. That is not true. Christianity? No. It is not a religion." It's the fulfillment of the ancient religion through one perfect person, the lamb, in the form of a person the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God who came out of heaven and fulfilled in his own life and body and death and resurrection, the law that God gave to those people. That religion was pointing to the fulfillment in that one person.
Several years ago on a Sunday night after a Bible study that I taught up in Santa Fe, I was there pretty late and none of the restaurants after church were open and I just wanted a meal before I headed back down here and the only thing that was open was a 24-hour convenient store. I won't tell you the name of which one. I walked over the refrigerator and got one of those microwavable burritos, paid for it, heated it up with one or two or more down and headed back home. I had a buddy with me, a staff member. My stomach soon after felt a little queasy, uneasy, started cramping and I started moving around and my friend said, "Are you okay?" And I said, "Oh, I'm fine, no problem," not admitting what I was really experiencing.
About 02:30 in the morning when I was now in the emergency room of the local hospital and they told me that I had an infection or at least they suspected that I had an infection and they wanted to run several tests on me and I said "No problem." They gave me a test I was familiar with, familiar with it because I had training with this test in my own college medical background. It was a diagnostic test for the lower abdomen, the bowels, the colon called the barium enema. I don't need to describe it, I think you get the picture, I got the picture. And as they were giving me that test now maybe four in the morning, I thought of the words of Job that which I have feared has come upon me. When the doctor after the test, blood test, that test, other tests came in and she said, "You have an infection. I may have to do exploratory surgery." Now I had to admit I was not fine and I couldn't say "No problem." I had to say "Big problem. I have an infection in my gut."
That denial of problems I come by honestly. My dad was like that. He would often say even if things were bothering him or he had pain or he cut himself, "Oh, I'm fine, not a problem." I distinctly remember as a boy, my father working on a car and he got his hand too close as the car was running to the fan belt and he chopped the top of one of his fingers completely off and blood splattered all over in the inside of the engine block and he went inside and I thought we are going to rush him to the hospital. He was in the bathroom shaving putting cologne and combing his hair, put a different shirt on, all the while the handkerchief is filling with blood and we said, "Dad we've got to get you to the hospital." "Well, I'm fine. I just got to look right and then I will go to the hospital."
What hides men do with physical maladies is what most people do with spiritual infections. Most people deny they have a problem, deny that they have a sin nature, deny that they practice sin, they don't call it what God calls it. It's all about denying it.
An old Latin proverb "That he who denies his sin will never have it forgiven. He is not cleansed from sin who denies it," the proverb says almost verbatim. God wanted to deal with the most important issue of humanity and in the old covenant under Moses. He did it to a series of sacrifices. Most of which we have looked at last time. We were in the Book of Leviticus. A key concept, a keyword in this book is offering or sacrifice. The term "offering" or "sacrifice" appears about 91 times depending on what translation you read from. It is a sacrificial system.
Now I have to answer an issue that has brought up when some people read the Old Testament. They read and they look at the sacrifices and they noticed there is a similarity between the sacrifices of God's people, the Israelites, in the Old Testament with the ancient sacrificial system of many other pagan religions around them of that day, Mesopotamia, Shinar, et cetera, and it is true.
Other ancient religions had animal sacrifices, blood letting but for very different reasons. They would, take food and they would take animal, sacrifice them, cook them and offer them to the Gods, but here is the reason why, and I am telling you this because a lot of times well meaning but ignorant pseudo-intellectuals try to bunch all of the ancient sacrificial systems with the ancient sacrificial system of Israel and say Israel was primitive like those other nations and they had to work their way through to enlightenment, not so.
These sacrifices were given by direct revelation of God and here is the difference. The pagans systems of the past in that area of the world, let's take Mesopotamia as that general region where much of it started, had a pantheon of deities, a hierarchy of Gods. They thought that the gods just like humans need to be taken care of, gods need to eat, gods need to drink, just like you need to eat and you need to drink. So the gods in that pantheon, the greater gods were weary of maintaining their own physical sustenance so they force lesser gods to do the job for them to get them food. The lesser gods also eventually got tired of feeding the greater gods, so the lesser gods created people, human beings, so that human beings would take on a religious system of feeding and caring for their gods.
If you go to India today, if you go to Hawaii today and you're still seeing some of these areas, some of the ancient practices of placing food, drink, bottles of milk, cooked animals in front of statues because they believe that the god is deriving strength and nutrition from that sacrifice. Why is that different from the sacrifices we are reading about? Because these sacrifices in the Bible weren't for nutrition, they were for expiation and interrelation. I'll explain. To take away sin, number one, expiation. So that you can approach God having your sin taken care of, number one and number two for interrelation once your sin has been taken care of, now you can have a relationship with that God based upon sacrifice. All of that pointing to the day when the ultimate ones for all sacrifice could take away the sin of all people and these sacrifices would no longer be needed.
So God is dealing with sin, and why does God need to deal with sin? Because sin is a big deal. It's such a big deal and this is where most people go astray. They go, "What's the big deal?"
I mean yeah, we all blow it. I am a human. You are a human. But most people—and I would say a majority of Christians don't realize how offensive sin is to a holy perfect God that from God's view that has to be dealt with first and foremost before anything else can get done and so the Bible says "Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins." And Leviticus is based upon all of that.
This is where we lose a lot of people in the conversation. "Oh, sacrifice! Oh, the cross! Oh! You Christians!" Saying that Jesus died for my sins on the cross. Why would Jesus need to do that? Why would a God, perfect loving God allow his son to go through that? Why would that even be necessary? Can't we just believe in anything and be very sincere and that sincerity would be enough to do the trick? No. Well can I just do my best? No, because here's why. Your best ain't good enough. It is the height of arrogance to think "I can work my way and earn my way and be sincere enough" because in fact you're saying "I am good as God. I've earned it. I deserve it." God is saying you are not and you can never earn it or deserve it. Something else has to happen and that is death. The wages of sin is death. See, they're going to be your death or the death of a substitute and here the substitutes are given in these chapters.
There are five offerings. We have covered four. At this rate we might not even be able to cover five tonight, but there are five offerings. Do you remember what they are? The first, the burnt offering. The second is the grain offering. The third is the peace offering. The fourth is the sin offering, and the fifth that we are going to discuss, God willing, is the trespass offering, also known as the "guilt offering," and I'll try to show you some of the differences.
The burnt offering, what does that speak of? It speaks of consecration of myself holy given over to God. Romans 12:1, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God which is your reasonable service." So the first offering, the burnt offering speaks of the consecration of self. The second offering, the grain offering, speaks of the dedication of service to God. I am going to serve the Lord with the work of my hands that I present to him. I present this little grain offering, this little that I have thanking God that I can be part and partner with him in his work. Consecration of self, dedication of service.
The third, the peace offering, speaks of the celebration of salvation. I love the peace offering. It was like a holy barbecue. It's where you get your friends together at your house and the portion of the sacrifice is burnt. A portion of the sacrifice is given to the priest and the rest you take home and have a barbecue with your buddies, your family and it's a party time, thanking God for his goodness. Celebration of salvation. The fourth is the sin offering and that speaks of the propeciation for your sin or the atonement for your sin. And the fifth is the trespass offering, and the trespass or the guilt offering speaks of the restitution for the sinner.
Chapter 5 verse 1, and let me just kind of mention something about the first few verses you are going to read. The first 13 verses of this chapter seem to deal with the trespass offering because the word "trespass" is used in verse 6. However, since the trespass offering—try to follow me here—the trespass offering is where you have to not just bring a sacrifice and confess your sin but you have to restore what has been taken or mismanaged plus 20%. You have to pay extra for it. That's the trespass offering.
It would be best perhaps as some scholars do to take the first 13 verses and see it as two more levels of the sin offering whereas beginning in verse 14 we deal with the trespass offering. If yo don't want to do that, that's fine. You can put it all as the trespass offering but it seems best to see it that way. Verse 1, "If a person sins in hearing the utterance of an oath, and is a witness whether he has seen or known of the matter; if he does not tell, he bears guilt." So if someone has witnessed something or heard something and he refuses to tell, he refuses to give information, to add any of his witness, any of his testimony, after he has been put under the oath by a priest, he's guilty. The priest put you under oath, you better tell it all.
Do we see this in the New Testament? We actually do and we see it with the Lord, Jesus Christ. You may remember in Matthew Chapter 26 when Jesus has been arrested and he is standing before the Sanhedrin, the Jewish council, and the high priest says, "I adjure you by the living God or literally I put you under oath by the living God. Are you the Christ, the Son of God?" And Jesus answered plainly, "It is as you say." It is as you say. He was put under the oath. "I adjure you or I put you under the oath by the living God," the high priest said placing him under the oath. Jesus had to be forth right and say "Yup, I am. It is as you say. And from now on you will see the son of man at the right hand of glory coming in the clouds of glory."
Fulfilling this verse, "Or if a person touches any unclean thing whether it's the carcass of an unclean beast or the carcass of an unclean livestock or the carcass of unclean creeping things and he is unaware of it, he also shall be unclean and guilty." These unclean animals that would render a person ceremonially unclean is what it's speaking about or if anyone touches human uncleanness whatever unclean this with which a man may be defiled and he is unaware of it, when he realizes it then he shall be guilty. So if you were to touch the limb of somebody who had leprosy or the pus of somebody who is oozing a sore that's unclean man, you're going, "Yuck, I wouldn't do it." But if you did inadvertently you would be guilty, and it shall be when he is guilty in any of these matters that he shall confess that he has sinned in that thing.
In our own language we have a little saying we spout around when we were kids. A kid will say something and the other kid will say "Swear to God?" or the person will just say, "I swear to God" and he may say something rash with his lips. He thinks that if he uses that phrase, it's going to be more powerful when in fact it can actually be a problem. If a person makes a rash oath, the NLT says in anything good or in anything bad, he speaks something rashly with his mouth.
Now James Chapter 3 says something. See if you can relate to this, I can't. "If anyone does not sin with his tongue the same as a perfect man able to keep the whole body in check". Can any of you relate to that? I can't. I can't. I am not one who is perfectly attentive with my speech and that I slip and I say things that are wrong. It might be injurious towards someone. Anyone is perfect or is perfect with regards to speech the same as a perfect man? So that's the idea of verse 4 and the following verses.
Proverbs 18 says, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue." With your speech you have the power to enlighten someone, bless someone, encourage someone, lift a person up, damage someone, hurt their reputation through your gossip, through your stories that are not validated.
There is a tombstone in England. It says "Beneath this stone a lump of clay lies Arabella Young, who on the 24th of May, began to hold her tongue." It's sad, isn't it? It took her death to shut her up. See with such a gossip and everybody knew it that on her tomb stone, they said, "It took May 24th, the day she died, for her to hold her tongue."
So the law—the injunction is hold your tongue and it can be a sin if you speak rashly with your mouth. Now you notice verse 5 there is something added to the sacrifice, "It shall be when he is guilty in any of these matters, he shall confess that he has sinned in that thing." Not only do you bring a sacrifice, you confess with your mouth. This is the outward expression of repentance. You need a sacrifice and you need to confess that you've sinned.
One of our favorite verses is 1 John 1:9, "If you confess your sins, he is faithful and just to forgive your sin and cleanse you of all unrighteousness." We call it the Christian's bar of soap. Because we acknowledge our sin, we confess it, and the Lord is ready to forgive us and to receive us, but it takes confession. Now what does confession mean? Now you might say, "Well to confess your sin is to admit that you've sinned." No, it means more than that. It actually means to say the same thing about your sin to God says about it. That's why a lot of people don't confess their sins because they are unwilling to say about their sin. They won't even call it sin first of all. But if you get them beyond that, they identify it differently than God might. What God calls "lust," they might say "love". God will call it "adultery," they'll say, "We had an affair." Usually when the people say "I've committed adultery," but to confess is to say the same thing about it that God says about it and your heart won't be cleansed, enlightened until you say the same thing about it that God says about it.
I've always loved the story about Frederick the Great, the Prussian king, who went to visit a prison in Berlin and as he walked by every cell, prisoner after prisoner saying, "I'm innocent. I shouldn't be here. Get me out of here." All of them. Except there was one guy in a cell who was strangely silent and the king paused and said, "I suppose you are going tell me that you are innocent as well." He said, "No, I'm guilty and I deserve punishment." The king smiled and said to the guard, "Come quickly. Release this rascal before he corrupts all these fine innocent people here." His confession got him out and he shall bring his trespass offering, verse 6, to the Lord for his sin which he has committed a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats is the sin offering so the priests shall make atonement for him concerning his sin.
If he is not able to bring a lamb then he shall bring to the Lord for his trespass which he is committed two turtle doves or two young pigeons, one is the sin offering, the other is a burnt offering. He shall bring them to the priest who shall offer that which is for the sin offering first wring of its head from its neck but shall not divided completely then he shall sprinkle some of the blood of the sin offering on the side of the altar and the rest of the blood shall be drained at the base of the altar. It is a sin offering, and he shall offer the second as a burnt offering according to the prescribed manner and so the priest shall make atonement for his behalf for his sin which he is committed and it shall be forgiven him.
There were three types of offering that could be brought. Number one, you could bring a lamb or a goat, female. Number two, you could bring two pigeons or two turtle doves. Number three, you could bring if you didn't have those or access to those flour a tenth of an ephah of flour about three liters of flour, you could bring.
The idea behind the staging was no matter who you are, no matter what status of wealth you have. You might be rich and you can afford lambs, you can afford animals, you have a big flock. You might not have any so you can get birds. If you can't get birds, you're poor. You can get flour so that every person had access to forgiveness. Rich, poor, everyone could approach God and everyone could be forgiven. That was typified when Jesus died. He died on the cross between two thieves, but he was buried in a rich man's tomb. He died with the poor. He was buried in a rich man's tomb.
John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son." All of the world. Jesus by that one act made God approachable whoever believes and so with these offerings. "But if he is not able" verse 11 "to bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons then he who has sinned shall bring for his offering one tenth of an ephah." An ephah is about several gallons of fine flour. One tenth of an ephah is about a little over three liters. A fine flour is a sin offering. He shall put no oil on it, nor shall he put frankincense on it, for it is a sin offering. And he shall bring it to the priest and the priest shall take a handful of the memorial portion of it as a memorial portion, burn it on the altar according to the offerings made by fire. It is a sin offering. We looked at it last time. "The priest shall make atonement for him for his sin that he has committed and any of these matters and it shall be forgiven him, the rest shall be the priest as a grain offering."
Now if you are a very astute Bible student in reading that, you're thinking by now, "Now wait a minute here. How is that possible? How can a grain offering be offered?" And God says, "I'll forgive you of your sin if you just bring a grain offering" when the explicitly says, "Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin." If that principle is true then how can this principle be enacted? Because the grain was offered upon the fire of the altar with blood on it and so God valued it as an animal sacrifice because it was on that sacrificial altar where blood was shed and blood was part of that great and that system and that fire of sacrifice is upon that altar that God prescribed or you might say "imputed that value" so that the very poor with whatever blood was left on that altar, God would count it as a blood sacrifice.
Now once again, I've realized that we're dealing with a sacrificial system that is dated to almost 1500 BC, thousands of years ago, and these laws don't apply to us. And so the humanistic thinker would say, "Well so it is with sin?" I mean the sin appears here. It appears in the New Testament, but the New Testament is 2,000 years old. The whole idea of sin against God is so unpopular. You hardly find it talked about these days even in many churches. What has taken its place is a purely mechanistic view of the world rather than a personal God who superintends this universe. There are impersonal laws within that universe.
From the Behavioral Psychology of B.F. Skinner to the Theory of Evolution by Charles Darwin, a purely mechanistic view without the idea of sinning against the Holy God is popular. If you'll look at other religious systems besides that second review, you'll see things very differently. In eastern religions like in Hinduism, good and evil are relative terms. Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody fumbles and falls on their way in the journey of self-realization. You can't help it if you stumble, and if you stumble, so what? In your next life when you're reincarnated as a nut or a squirrel or an ox, maybe in that reincarnation you'll be able to be self-actualized, but good and evil, sin and righteousness are relative terms, relative ideas.
Then if you look at a group of people called "unitarians" which there's a few around still, the Unitarian Church will say that man is basically good and salvation is simply self-improvement. You pull yourself up. You read self-help books, and you can save yourself because you are basically good. There is no such thing as sin. Then if you look at the religion of Christian Science by Mary Baker Eddy Patterson Glover Fry, she had a problem with men. They teach that sin is not existent. It's not a reality. It's an illusion and life is an illusion, so the way they deal with sin is to just simply deny that it exists and it's illusory. It's interesting that it's called Christian Science. I call it the Grape-Nuts religion. Have you ever looked at the cereal Grape-Nuts? There are no grapes in there and there are no nuts in there. There's just a bunch of flakes in there.
Christian Science is not Christian and it is not scientific. It is just a massive denial of the obvious. God calls it sin. Verse 14, the trespass offering really takes off. The Lord spoke to Moses saying—now there are three sections of this, trespass or guilt offering. Now why is it called the trespass or guilt? Because in this offering when a person sins, he must not just confess with his mouth but he has to bring restitution. Besides the sacrifice, he has to pay back and so there are three sections, three sections that are given here.
First of all, sins against holy things, sins against the commandments of God, and sins against your neighbor. First of all, the sins against the holy things. Verse 15, "If a person commits a trespass and sins unintentionally in regard to the holy things of the Lord then he shall bring to the Lord as his trespass offering a ram without blemish from the flocks with your valuation in shekels of silver according to the shekel of the sanctuary as a trespass offering. And he shall make restitution for the harm that he has done in regard to the holy things and he shall add one-fifth to it and give it to the priest so that the priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering and it shall be forgiven him."
Now we're unsure what the text means when it says, "If a person sins in regard to the holy things of the Lord." But apparently it means that a person could sin in regards to worship whether it meant that you would eat something that should have been given to the priest or the priest were to eat something that should have been burned on the altar. It seems to refer to something like that or you failed in the bringing up tithes and offerings or you make holy vows that you don't keep. It doesn't say. The details aren't given just, "If you sinned with regard to the holy things." The idea that God would have provision for someone who sinned in regards to worship.
I wonder how careful we are as believers when it comes to our preparation for worship. Do you prepare for worship? I know that you prepare to come here and I know that on Sundays and on Wednesdays, you'll look in the mirror and you'll comb your hair and you'll put makeup on and you'll say, "Does this look good? What do you think? Does this look better with this?" So you kind of choose the right outfit. So you prepare yourself physically but do you prepare yourself spiritually?
Listen to this. I'm going to read you a text out of the Book of Ecclesiastes Chapter 5. It's a little section. Solomon says, "Walk prudently when you go to the house of God and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil. Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God, for God is in heaven, you are on earth. Therefore, let your words be few, for a dream comes through much activity and a fool's voice is known by his many words. When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it, for he has no pleasure in fools."
Better or pay what you have vowed. Better not to vow than to vow and not pay. Watch yourself when you approach God and come prepared, and how shall we come prepared? Well what if you were to spend just a little bit of time before you come to church, before you get in the car and say, "Lord, I'm dedicating this time to you tonight. You know what I need. I know what I want but you know what I need." So speak like Samuel said, "Speak Lord your servant hears." And we prepare our hearts before him.
Verse 17—and I know that you in the middle can't see it so you're going to have to take my word for it. "If a person sins and commits any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the Lord though he does not know it, yet he is guilty shall bear his iniquity, and he shall bring to the priest a ram without blemish from the flock with your valuation as a trespass offering. And so the priest shall make atonement for him regarding his ignorance in which he has erred and did not know it and it shall be forgiven him. It is a trespass offering and he has certainly trespassed against the Lord." Somebody sins doesn't know it at the time. Later he knows it, feelings of guilt arise. His conscience is bothered by it. It's in things that they are not just with the holy things of the Lord but against the commandments that God has given. "I didn't do what the Lord told me to do" or "I sinned against something he told me not to do and now I feel guilty about it. My conscience is seared." And he comes with a sacrifice and that's a part of the trespass offering.
In the New Testament, the Bible says in Romans 14, "Whatever it's not a faith is sin." That God has given us a conscience not that your conscience should be your guide and everything but there are certain gray areas that aren't black and white. And you're just not sure but you just don't have the faith that if you were to do it, the Lord would be pleased with it. And somebody else could do it and you think, "Okay. They have the freedom to listen to that song or go to that place. I don't. My conscience is pricked because of that."
I remember years ago when I was single and I was living in San Bernardino going to college. A buddy of mine gave me the best deal I've ever found on a goose down sleeping bag. I love the camp. I told you that a few weeks ago on a Sunday. Seventy five dollars and I was able to buy an almost brand new rated to a low temperature goose down sleeping bag for camping and I said, "You've got a deal." I brought it home, laid on the couch that night, sleeping bag over me—I had a bag but I just thought, "I've got a sleeping bag. I want to use it." Even though it was warm inside, I'd opened the windows and slept with it. I thought it was super cool. But the next morning I feel guilty. And it was simply because $75 was to me at that time an enormous amount of money. It took a lot of time to save that up.
And the thing that bothered me the most is I haven't asked the Lord first. I was at a tender spot in my walk and I asked him about everything and I just felt guilt the next day like there's a check in my spirit that I didn't clear it with heaven. I didn't get the "go ahead" to get that sleeping bag and I thought it could be used now for the money for something else, so I felt I needed to be obedient to the Lord and I brought a trespass offering. No, I'm just kidding. I called up my buddy and I said, "I've got to ask for the money back. Here's your sleeping bag" and he didn't quite understand. I said, "I'm not expecting you'll understand. I just need to follow my conscience probing me in this area to obey the Lord."
That seems in an Old Testament way to cover what I'm talking about. Now we get to Chapter 6 and I have to say once again, I see a mistake that is here.
I've got to clear that up because you'll think, "He just said there's a mistake in the Bible, Harry. Did you hear what he said?" No. When it comes to chapter divisions and verse enumerations, I believe there are lots of mistakes. Those are not inspired by the Holy Spirit. They came hundreds of years later. And those who gave us the chapter divisions and the verse divisions, I don't think always served us well. I think that's the case in Chapter 5 as I've mentioned with the first part being about the sin offering rather than the trespass offering. And also when Chapter 6 Verse 1, it is a continuation of the trespass offering all the way down to verse 14 and ends with 13. So Chapter 6 Verse 1 should be Chapter 6 Verse 14 in my opinion. So therein lies the mistake and so it's a little bit confusing as you go through it. We're dealing with the trespass offering. It's continuing. The Lord spoke to Moses saying, "If a person sins and commits a trespass against the Lord by lying to his neighbor." See that's the third category, sinning against holy things, sinning against commandments of God, now sinning against your neighbor. And notice how he could sin against his neighbor, by lying to his neighbor about what was delivered to him for safekeeping. "Hey, here's my car. Would you watch it for the weekend?" "No problem." Weekend over, "Dude, I don't know what happened to your car." When you do know what happened to the car, you sold the car to your other buddy and you pocketed the money to pay off the debt. Now you're lying about it.
A pledge or about a robbery or if he has extorted from his neighbor or if he has found what was lost and lies concerning and then swears falsely in anyone of these things that a man may do in which he sins then it shall be because he has sinned and is guilty that he shall restore what he has stolen or the thing which he has extorted or what was delivered to him for safekeeping or the lost thing which he has found or all of that about which he has sworn falsely, he shall restore it to its value one fifth more, 20% more so you have to pay it back, 120% the thing that was stolen or broken or lost so you lied about plus 20%. And give it to whomever it belongs on the day of his trespass offering.
Do we realize how grave is sin lying is? One of the commandments, "Thou shall not bear false witness." In Proverbs 6, there's a list. It says "Seven Things God Hates". I don't know about you but when I read something that God hates something, I want to find the list, look at it over very carefully and say, "I don't want to do that. God hates that." And on that list twice is mentioned, a lying tongue or one who swears falsely and lies. God takes it very seriously. That would include gossip and it's not substantiated and you spread it around and you are discrediting somebody's reputation, bearing false witness when you don't have the facts. God takes it very, very seriously. Your tongue is three inches long. It can kill a man six feet tall.
Now beginning in Verse 8, we have the law of the offerings. Let me just tell you what we have because we're going to go through it very rapidly. Beginning here all the way to Chapter 7 is a repetition of what we've already covered last time we're in Leviticus. The first five chapters speak about those five offerings that we've been talking about. This is a repetition of that. And so you're asking I hope, "Why would God do that? If he already said it, why would he say it again?" Here's the reason. Chapters 1 through 5 speak about the offering from the perspective of the one bringing the offering. Here in Chapter 6 and on in the Chapter 7, it's from the perspective of the priest who receives the offering especially what portion of the offering he's able to eat for himself or give to his family. Burt offering, he would take the hind. The peace offering, he would take the right thigh and the breast, et cetera, et cetera. There'll be portions out so it's like an in-office memo for the priesthood. That's what Chapter 6 and 7 is.
So we're just going to briefly look at a few verses, add some notable things and quickly move through it. Verse 8, the Lord spoke to Moses saying, "Command Aaron and his sons saying, 'This is the law of the burnt offering. The burnt offering shall be on the hearth upon the altar all night until morning, and the fire of the altar shall be kept burning on it." Okay. Because of this, the burnt offering which was voluntary not compulsory, you did it if you wanted to do it eventually became almost compulsory.
In that, the children of Israel by the time of the New Testament temple will do a morning sacrifice and an evening sacrifice, everyday, morning sacrifice, evening sacrifice, morning sacrifice every single day in perpetuity. And the offering that they will burn will be the burnt offering in the morning and in the evening. Go down a few verses. Verse 12, "And the fire on 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 on it, and he shall burn on it the fat of the peace offerings. A fire shall always be burning on the altar. It will never go out." God wanted the fire on the altar in the courtyard, that altar of sacrifice, the bronze altar, to always be burning. Why? God was saying, "I am always perpetually, ongoingly willing to receive you and forgive you. There always is access no matter who you are day or night. The fire is always burning on my altar. You are welcome to approach by sacrifice, by confession, but I am here to receive and to forgive."
Let me press it a little differently. In your own worship of the Lord in your own heart, you have an altar. It's the core of who you are. Do you keep the fires burning on the altar of your heart? I dear say for many of us the fire wanes, fire gets bright some days, wanes a lot of the days. We hear something. We have something happened to us gets brighter and brighter then it goes for a long, long time. We need to rekindle the fire. How do you rekindle the fire? How do you rekindle any fire? What do you put on the fire if you need to rekindle it? Put a wood. You put fuel on it.
So put the right kind of wood, the right kind of fuel in your own life and it might mean that you change the way you do devotions. Change the time if you need to—you say, "I do it every night but I fall asleep after like 30 seconds." Okay, go to bed a little earlier. Wake up a little earlier or have devotions with the spouse or call a friend or get involve with the Bible study group or as part of your devotion include singing. Try that at your meal time sometime saying, "Let's bow our heads. Lord, thank you for this meal that you've given." Why don't you sing a song? In a restaurant it could be a little goofy, but at home it could be really wonderful. It might include going out on a mission trip maybe a local mission as part of your service to the Lord. "Lord, I'm just going to dedicate this day to serve you at this local mission here in town." You're rekindling the fire on the altar of your heart.
Verse 14 is the grain offering. This is the law of the grain offering. The sons of Aaron shall offer it on the altar before the Lord. Verse 18, "All the males among the children of Aaron may eat of it. It shall be a statute forever in your generations concerning the offerings made by fire to the Lord, everyone who touches them must be holy." The priest could eat it and the boys in the family could eat it because they are the future priest, so because it's dealing with the priesthood, this is holy. It's given to those people and God keeps underscoring to the sacrifices, "It's holy. It's holy. It's holy. It's holy." You can't approach God thoughtlessly or carelessly and if you're a priest you have to be very, very careful. Keep that in mind because by the time we get to Chapter 10 of Leviticus, a couple of Aaron sons bring strange fire before the Lord and God strikes them dead on the spot because they approached some thoughtlessly and carelessly.
Verse 25 is the law of the sin offering. Speak to Aaron and his sons saying, "This is the law of the sin offering. In the place where the burnt offering is killed the sin offering shall be killed before the Lord, it is most holy." The love, the trespass offering is in Chapter 7 and Verse 7 the trespass offering is like the sin offering. There is one law for them both. "The priest who makes atonement with it shall have it.
The priest who offers anyone's burnt offering that priest shall have for himself the skin of the burnt offering which is offered every grain offering that is baked in the oven and all that is prepared in the covered pan or in the pan shall be the priest who offers it. Every grain offering whether mixed with oil or dry shall belong to all the sons of Aaron to one as much as the other." So a brief discussion of what the priest can eat.
Verse 11 the law of the peace offering. This is the law of the sacrifice of the peace offerings which he shall offer to the Lord. If he offers it for thanksgiving, then he shall offer it with a sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mixed with oil, unleavened wafers anointed with oil or cakes of blended flour mixed with oil. Look down to Verse 15, "The flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offering for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day it is offered. He shall not leave any of it until the morning." Why? I'm guessing for health reasons. They didn't have refrigeration and the only way to preserve meat as we've told you before was to rub salt and that stop the decay. And that's the background behind Jesus saying, "By the way, you are the salt of the earth." You are meant to stop corruption in your culture, in your society by your values. You retard the natural corruption of your environment. That's what salt does. So when you offer a sacrifice, it's going to go bad. Eat the meat the same day but look at Verse 18. There's a stipulation.
Verse 17, "The remainder of the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day must be burned with fire, and if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings has eaten at all on the third day, it shall not be accepted nor shall it be imputed to him. It shall be an abomination to him who offers it. The person who eats it shall bear his guilt." So a priest was to eat at the first day. If not the first day, he was allowed to go not optimal to do it on the second day. He might have an abundance of meat. It has to be spread out so he's not a glutton but the third day he'd be punished.
Go down to Verse 31. "And the priest shall burn the fat on the altar, the breast shall be Aaron's and his sons'. Also the right thigh you shall give to the priest as a heave offering from the sacrifices of your peace offering. He is among the sons of Aaron who offers blood of the peace offering in the fat and shall have the right thigh for his part. For the breast of the wave offering and the thigh of the heave offering I have taken from the children of Israel from the sacrifices of their peace offerings I have given them to Aaron, the priest, and to his sons from the children of Israel by a statute forever."
Now what is this business of the heave and the wave? According to Jewish tradition, the wave offering was when the priest would take a piece of the meat and raise it up, it means the word in its root means to lift up and it would be waved horizontally. That's the wave offering. The heave offering is where the peace is taken and moved vertically. One is horizontal, one is vertical. It's probably symbolic that this is a special provision of God to me and I'm lifting it up and I'm waving it or heaving it to say, "I've given it to you and this person has given it to you in sacrifice and now you're giving it back to me as a priest that this is part of what I eat. This is part of my provision." So it's simply a ceremonial notation that this is something special that God has given.
Verse 35—we'll finish it up very quickly. "This is the consecrated portion for Aaron and his sons from the offerings made by fire to the Lord on the day when Moses presented them to minister to the Lord as priest. The Lord commanded this to be given to them by the children of Israel. On the day that he anointed them by a statute forever throughout their generations. This is the law of the burnt-offering, the grain offering, the sin offering, the trespass offering, the consecrations, the sacrifice of the peace offering which the Lord commanded Moses on Mount Sinai on the day when he commanded the children of Israel to offer their offerings to the Lord in the wilderness of Sinai."
Wow! That Midianite looking down at the children of Israel looking at that tabernacle. Do you know what it must have looked like to him? A slaughter house. Blood spurting. Blood being poured. Blood being sprinkled. Some taken outside the camp the animal place upon the altar offering sacrifice as I said 91 times, 91 times offering in sacrifice mentioned in this book.
Jesus said something very interesting to the religious leaders of his days. He said, "If you would have believed Moses then you will believe me because Moses wrote about me." Now you're asking, "When did Moses write about him?" It's not all Jesus said? In Luke Chapter 24, "He's walking with two disciples who did not recognize him. They are on their way to Emmaus. And it says, "Beginning at Moses," as Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus Numbers, Deuteronomy "Beginning at Moses, Jesus began to expound through Moses and all of the prophets the thing in the scriptures, the things that pertained to him. What were those things exactly that Jesus was speaking of? That left away until our next study.
Father we're so grateful that we have a congregation that would led out a verbal "Ah..." when we're overtime longing for the time when we gathered together to have a further expounding of your word and how it relates to us. Thank you Lord that we can sort of see the undercarriage, the undergirding of the scriptures. We look at the laws on how they pertained to the priest and to the people and what the great principles beyond them are and what they mean to us, in terms of forgiveness, propeciation, the use of our tongue, the use of confession of our sins to you. Bless now Father these, your people, the rest of the week in the name of Jesus. Amen!