March 3, 2019
THE PRINCIPLE OF THE TITHE The first principle of the tithe, which is ten percent of the harvest, is that it “belongs to the Lord.” Therefore, bringing the tithe to the Temple was not an offering, but an obligation. To do otherwise would be “robbery” (Mal. 3:8). It reminded the people that God is owner… Read more »
March 1, 2019
WHAT IS THE CALLING OF THE CHURCH AS LAMPSTAND? The golden Lampstand stood in the Tabernacle with its seven lamps filled with olive oil overlooking the Table of Presence. It was to be kept continuously lit by the high priest. Its light was to shine on the Bread of Presence and throughout the holy place…. Read more »
February 28, 2019
HOW THE JEWISH FESTIVALS POINT TO JESUS The Lord instituted seven feasts for Israel. These feasts were to remind Israel of God’s provision and to prepare them for the Messiah. It can get a little overwhelming reading the description of these feasts, but they are worthy of our meditation as we see how they point… Read more »
February 26, 2019
HOLINESS A MARK OF BELONGING TO GOD’S FAMILY God explained to Moses the purpose behind the laws of personal conduct for the people of Israel, namely: Holiness. The Hebrew word for “holy” is qadosh (קָדוֹשׁ), literally meaning to be set apart for special use, to be consecrated, sacred, holy. God had chosen the Israelites to… Read more »
February 24, 2019
HAVE YOU LAID YOU SINS UPON CHRIST JESUS? HAVE YOU LAID YOU SINS UPON CHRIST JESUS? Two male goats were offered by the high priest as a sin offering on the Day of Atonement (“Yom Kippur”). The first goat was slaughtered and its blood sprinkled on the mercy seat and on the altar for the… Read more »
February 25, 2018
DO NOT IMITATE THE WORLD’S WAY OF LIFE
When the Lord gave the law to Moses, He warned the Israelites not to imitate the way of life of the Egyptians where they used to live, nor the Canaanites where He was taking them. He wanted His people to follow His ways, not the world’s ways. So, God gave them His laws to show them His ways. But the Israelites did not follow His law. Instead, they began to imitate the way of life of Egypt and Canaan.
God’s law is good, but it is not able to save. As the apostle Paul wrote, “The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins” (Rom. 8:3). Now in Christ, we have not only the example, but the power to follow God’s ways rather than imitating the world’s ways.
February 16, 2018
Salt was the opposite of leaven. Salt was always to be added to the sacrifice, but never leaven. Salt represented purity and preservation, but leaven represented impurity and sin. Salt was a sign of God’s eternal covenant. It was even mentioned as a sign of the eternal covenant God made with David that the throne belonged to his descendants forever (2 Chron. 13:5). In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told His disciples that they were the “salt of the earth” (Matt. 5:13). We are to be agents of Christ in this world, representing His gospel to the nations.
February 27, 2017
The Lord taught the Israelites that they were to “be holy to” Him. It was He that had “separated” them from other “peoples.” Just as the temple implements and clothing were actually common until they were “separated” from others and set apart for special use, so they were to “be holy to” the Lord. That they were chosen “from the peoples” of the world was not a rejection of the other nations. The Israelites were not holy to Him because of who they were, but because of who He is. He had chosen them and “separated” them from other peoples because of His intent to make them the means by which He would call all peoples to Himself. The prophet Zechariah wrote of this future purpose, saying, “Many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst” (Zech. 2:11). Until then, the many moral, civil and ceremonial laws were given to separate the Israelites from the other nations and prepare them to be the people to whom the Messiah, God’s Son, would be born. As John wrote in fulfillment of Zechariah, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”
February 24, 2017
The Lord told Moses to tell his brother, Aaron, that even though he was the high priest, he was not allowed to enter the Holy Place “just any time” he wanted. The Holy Place, or the Holy of Holies, was the inner room behind the veil that contained the Ark of the Covenant. Covering the Ark was a golden lid fashioned between two golden cherubim that was called the “mercy seat.” Upon this, the presence of the Lord would rest in the form of a cloud. It was on this mercy seat that the high priest was to sprinkle the blood of atonement once a year on the Day of Atonement (“Yom Kippur”). This was the only time that the Lord permitted him into His throne room (With the exception of when the camp had to be packed up for travel, at which time the cloud would move out of the Tabernacle and become a pillar of cloud leading the people).
This was the old covenant until Christ was crucified and the curtain to the Holy Place was torn (Matt. 27:50-51), establishing a new covenant and opening up a new way to God’s throne room to all who are in Christ Jesus. Now, we can enter at any time because Christ, our Great High Priest, is ever seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us (Heb. 8:1-2). We can “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we might obtain mercy” (Heb. 4:16) because of Christ’s priestly work on our behalf.
February 23, 2017
Why does God’s Word contain laws concerning leprosy?
The laws in Leviticus are in three categories: 1) Moral, 2) Ceremonial and 3) Civil. Moral laws are perpetual, revealing the character of God and showing us how to treat both God and man. Ceremonial laws have to do with temple worship, holy days, and the sacrificial system. Civil laws have the effect of setting the Jews apart as God’s peculiar people. The leprosy laws fall into the last two categories, they both preserve the holiness of corporate worship and protect the civil community from communicable disease.
Yet, within these laws there are spiritual signs that point to Christ. Consider the elements of the law of the leper for the day of his cleansing: two birds, cedar wood, scarlet and hyssop.
– The two birds: This points to the union of the two natures in Christ, both human and divine. The one sacrificed and its blood shed points to His crucifixion and death. The one let loose points to His resurrection and ascension.
– The cedar wood: This points to the cross itself.
– The scarlet: The color of the robe the Roman soldiers put on Christ and mocked Him (Matt. 27:28).
– The hyssop: The Roman soldiers lifted a sponge filled with sour wine with a hyssop branch to Christ on the cross (John 19:28-30).
Leviticus is rich with spiritual meaning and metaphor when we read it through the lens of the New Testament.