In the first part of our study on Leviticus, we went through the sacrifice system. We observed that all the five different types of offerings were symbolic of some or other aspect of sacrifice of Lord Jesus on the cross. Before we move ahead from the topic of sacrifices, I would like you to pause and reconsider the burnt offering once again in this article of the Venom Removal Definitive Leviticus 2. This we will do to study what theologians call as “righteousness of God.”
The Sin and Skin Exchange
The procedure for burnt offerings required the person offering an animal to lay his hands on head of the animal. This served as a sign of transfer of his guilt to the animal (Lev 1:4, Lev 8:14, Lev 16:21). An innocent animal was imputed punishment of sins for which the animal was not guilty of committing it. Then animal to be offered was flayed of its skin.
This skin was kept by the priest for his usage (Lev 1:6, 7:8). Many commentaries rightly link this first sacrifice made by God after the disobedience of man in Garden of Eden. There God clothed Adam with the skin of animal offered a sacrifice (Gen 3:21). This is also signified in the New Testament in all four gospels. When Lord Jesus was crucified, his clothes (akin to the skin of sacrificed lamb) were shared among them who crucified him (Matthew 27:35, Mark 15:24, Luke 23:34, John 19:23-24). So here are the similarities arranged in the table below.
|Garden of Eden||OT Sacrifice System||NT death of Jesus on the cross|
|The skin of the animal used to cover the nakedness of Adam||The skin of burn offering kept for the usage of the priest||Clothes of Jesus was shared among the soldiers|
This is what Paul describes in Romans 5. He says that as the punishment of one man’s sin was credited in accounts of entire humanity (death on all humans), so also, in the same manner, the reward of obedience of Jesus is imputed to all of us as righteousness and gift of eternal life (see Rom 5:17-19. 2 Corinthians 5:21).
We don’t do anything other than trusting in God. It is God who provided the animal for Adam’s sin, it was God who sacrificed animal and it was God who clothed Adam. Similarly, it is God who came in human flesh to offer himself to cover for our nakedness, so that we appear clothed in his righteousness (Gal 3:27). We, therefore, who value the absolute perfect righteousness of God which is credited into our accounts join with Apostle Paul and say,
That I be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness WHICH IS OF GOD by faith.Phil 3:9
This SKIN OF THE LAMB, or RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD CREDITED INTO OUR ACCOUNTS is what God spoke through Isaiah and Jeremiah,
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.Isa 61:10
In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, JEHOVAH TSIDKENU (The LORD our righteousness).Jer 33:16
Notice the words “JEHOVAH TSIDKENU or JEHOVAH IS MY RIGHTEOUSNESS.” This Jehovah in the Old Testament was none other than pre-incarnate Jesus. Jesus told this clearly that no one has seen God the Father or heard his voice (John 1:18, 5:37, I Timothy 6:16), save Jesus himself.
So Jehovah God which we read of speaking to people in Old Testament (c.f. Gen 19:24, 32:30, Jud 6:22-23, 13:21-22, Isa 9:6) is none other than pre-incarnate Jesus (John 1:1, 14, Matt 1:23, 8:2, 14:33. John 20:28, Philippians 2:6). For easy understanding of Pentecostals, we can read Jehovah Tsidkenu as JESUS TSIDKENU or JESUS IS MY RIGHTEOUSNESS. To this “JESUS TSIDKENU,” Paul certifies when he wished to be clothed in Jesus (be found in him –Philip 3:9) and when he says “ye have put on Christ (Gal 3:27).”
This “righteousness of Jesus the lamb” needs emphasis because there are few men ignorant of Gospel, who cover themselves with their own good works, with their own holiness, with their own merit, by remaining unmarried, by not taking medicine, and name-calling the ones who are clothed in Jesus as nominal ordinary Christian. We fear God may soon say unto them,
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.Rev 3:17
Priesthood of Aaron and his sons (Chapter 8-10)
Next, we read of the establishment of human priesthood ministry, in Leviticus chapter 8 to 10. Moses anointed Aaron and his sons as priests for tabernacle ministry. It needs no retelling that this Levitical ministry was temporary until Jesus arrived. With coming of Christ and his establishment as our High priest forever, need for the human mediator (standing between God and man) is completely removed! There is no other mediator needed now to approach God. Jesus the perfect God and the perfect man stands in the gulf between sinful humanity and righteous God reconciling the world to God. This priesthood ministry is described in the book of Hebrews chapter 5-10.
“So also, CHRIST glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son; today have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest forever after the order of MelchisedecHeb 5:5-6
Notice the wordings in the above quotation. The writer says that as Aaron took not this prestigious position upon himself, so also Christ, (see highlighted words in the above scripture) was established in this position by God. He is comparing Aaron’s ministry by replacing it with Christ. He was inspired by the Holy Spirit to exalt and magnify Jesus Christ.
Compare this with the interpretation of TPM monks who say that as Aaron took not this position by himself so are they appointed by God for New Testament priesthood Ministry. They by saying so, position themselves as co-mediators along with Jesus. Their followers consider them as co-high priests along with Jesus. This spirit in them is a very strange spirit that has come from the very pit that exalts themselves.
Next, observe in table below, the similarity in consecration of Aaron with life of Jesus.
|Aaron and Descendants||Jesus the High Priest|
|Exodus 40:15 And thou shall anoint them, as thou didst anoint their father that they may minister unto me in the priest's office: for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations.||Heb 5:6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest FOREVER after the order of Melchisedec. Heb 7:24 But this man, because he continues ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.|
|Moses washes Aaron and his sons, anointing them as priests (Lev 8:6)||John the Baptist washes Jesus in river Jordan establishing priesthood ministry of Jesus|
|Oil was poured on the head of Aaron anointing him to be a High priest||Holy Spirit came upon Jesus in form of a dove, anointing him to be a High priest forever. See Hebrews 5:7, which says that Jesus offering prayers in the garden of Gethsemane is compared to priesthood ministry|
|Aaron blesses people by lifting both his hands Lev 9:22 And Aaron lifted up his hand toward the people, and blessed them, and came down from offering of the sin offering, and the burnt offering, and peace offerings.||Jesus lifts up his hands and blesses his followers Luk 24:50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.|
|Then Moses and Aaron went inside the Tabernacle (Lev 9:23) Lev 9:23 And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation,….||Then Jesus was received up in clouds in the heavenly tabernacle (see Luke 24:51, Heb 4:14, 9:24). Heb 4:14 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. Heb 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us|
Strange Fire of Nadab and Abihu
Finally, we read of sons of Aaron offering a strange fire and getting consumed by the fire of God. In Leviticus 10 we read that Nadab and Abihu each man took their own censors, put fire in it, put incense in it, and offered it before God. Then fire came down from God and devoured them and they died (Lev 10:1-2).
Many commentaries while explaining the reason for their death say that they offered their own version of incense before God and did multiple transgressions. They used their own censors and not the sacred utensils of the sanctuary, they offered strange fire not taken from altar but some other fire (Lev 16:12, Rev 8:5), they performed the function of high priest whereas only Aaron being a high priest was supposed to perform it (Lev 16:12-13) and they did all this because they were probably drunk (Lev 10:9).
Metaphorically, the incense speaks of offering prayers to God. This speaks as they tried to be the mediator between God and man offering prayers in place of Christ the High Priest. Their drunkenness can be considered as filled with some other Spirit (Eph 5:18, Acts 2:13-18). Paul warns about this saying
For if he that cometh preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.2 Cor 11:4
I hope the message is clear that there are false preachers who preach another gospel filled with another spirit, and who equate themselves as co-mediators along with Jesus, putting themselves as high priests along with Aaron who was symbolically speaking of Jesus.
End of “Venom Removal Definitive Leviticus 2”
Series to be continued.