THE SIN OFFERING. Lev. 9.
As we found in Lev. 16, a detailed account of the work of atonement, (March No.) so in chapter 9, we have a brief outline of the same which shows some of the features of the work quite prominently. Chap. 8, closes with an account of the seven days (or complete) consecration of the priests, (Feb. No.) and this ninth chapter pictures the work which follows the consecration of each individual priest. It began with the Head, and continues until it is true of every member of "the body"--i.e. after complete consecration comes sacrifice.
In this scene the entire work of the Gospel Age (the sacrificing,) as well as the beginning of the work of [R95 : page 2] the Millennial Age (the showing of God's glory) are represented as though accomplished in a few hours.
Let us now consider the sin offering, omitting the Peace and Burnt offerings. Vs's. 2 and 3. Moses said unto Aaron: "Take thee a calf for a sin offering," and unto the children of Israel, "Take ye a kid of the goats for a sin offering." "And Moses said, this is the thing which the Lord commanded that ye should do and the glory of the Lord shall appear unto you." Ver. 6. That is this work of sacrificing, &c., must be done before God can reveal himself to you in glory. The sinless pair in Eden could and did commune with God, but sin entered and God broke off the intercourse of the sinner, and as long as man is thus a sinner it cannot be restored, consequently it became necessary to introduce the Gospel Age as a "Day of Atonement"--a time during which Jesus Christ, by death, is made a propitiation--mercy seat--for our sins, and through the death of His thus ransomed body (the church), he is a propitiation "also for the sins of the whole world."
When the sacrifice of Head and body is complete, God will recognize the whole world as justified freely, as he now recognizes the church, and then as at first, "The glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together." When the sacrifice for the world is ended, the results of harmony with God will flow to them. Just as when the sacrifice of the "head" for the church was complete, the Holy Spirit was given to all the church at Pentecost, so when the work of "atonement," sacrifice for the world is over, they will be similarly blessed, [R96 : page 2] as it is written--"After those days I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh. Pentecost was merely a first fruit of the Spirit, the remainder will be like it, but more general. Pentecost was the early rain, but God has promised--"I will give you the early and the latter rain.
The first sacrifice was Aaron's-- typical of how Christ's must precede all others and his blood must consecrate the altar. Aaron therefore went unto the altar and slew the calf of the sin offering which was for himself, (Ver. 8.) i.e., which represented himself. Our high priest did not offer a calf for himself, but actually "offered up himself." Lev. 16. (March No.) showed us that this offering of himself was as a sin-offering for himself--the body, the little flock--and his house--the Levites, the great company. "And the sons of Aaron brought the blood unto him and he dipped his finger in the blood and put it upon the horns of the altar and poured out the blood at the bottom of the altar." (Vs. 9.) The horns are typical of the power of the altar; their being covered with blood, seems to say that none can fully appreciate the power of this altar of sacrifice, without first recognizing the blood. Thus seen, all the power of the altar was attained only through the blood. The horns of the altar reached in every direction--north, south, east and west; so God's power to all men is unlimited, but he chooses to cover all the power with the blood of atonement. And if we understand the type aright, it teaches that God's power toward all men to save them, is exercised only through the sacrificed life--the death of Jesus Christ our Lord, and "I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, (that Jesus Christ, by the grace of God, tasted death for every man,) for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth."
The blood poured at the bottom of the altar, shows that there was an abundance; it covered the altar and plenty to spare. The action of the Priests in bringing the blood, seems to show that all who will be priests, will, as an individual matter, recognize the value of the blood of Jesus, and personally realize the power of God in Christ, (the horns under the blood.)
The fat and kidneys were not offered upon the altar, probably representing the inward and outward affections of Jesus. These affections were not things condemned in man, and consequently, were not given as a part of the ransom. The gall was added, possibly, representing some of his bitter experiences in connection with the sacrifice; these, God accepts as a Burnt offering, or sweet savor, but the flesh and blood, (man's fleshly nature and life,) being forfeited by sin, Jesus gave his natural life and fleshly nature, upon which sin had no claim, with it to redeem from the condemnation of sin, man's natural body and life.
These things, the fleshly nature represented by the flesh and hide-- were burnt, destroyed--without the camp. All mankind was under condemnation of complete destruction of life and body, when Jesus came forward and gave his life for ours, and his body for ours--the Father giving him another life and body, viz: spiritual, when he raised him up. And now we preach through His name, that because He thus gave himself a ransom, man will be released from the condition of death, and that in God's "due time," there will be "a resurrection, both of the just and unjust"--and that the merit of his obedience, "even unto death," is as far-reaching in its effects upon the human family for its release from death, (and all that word means,) and the restoration of life, as it was before sin and death were known. As far-reaching, we believe, as was the disobedience of Adam to destroy that life and produce this death. And as through the disobedience of one man, many were constituted sinners, so, also, through the obedience of one, many will be constituted righteous, i.e., justified. Rom. 5:19, "Diaglott."
Vs. 15: "And he brought the peoples' offering and took the goat which was the sin-offering for the people, and slew it and offered it for sin as the first," (the calf.) This goat of the sin offering, we think, represents the church, which, by faith and obedience even unto the crucifying of the fleshly nature, becomes "His body." (See March No.) Vs. 22: "And Aaron lifted up his hand toward the people and blessed them, and came down from offering of the sin-offering, &c." "And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation and came out and blessed the people." Jesus, our head, entered the holy of holies, 1800 years ago as "our fore-runner," and this word fore-runner, indicates that we are to follow him there; that he went in first with the blood (evidence of death,) of the bullock and sprinkled, then came out and took in the blood of the goat, representing our entrance with him, we saw illustrated in Lev. 16, but the picture we now consider, shows not the separate entering of the head and body, but their entrance when united--made one. Aaron stands at the altar and slays both bullock and goat, and when all sacrifices are ended, (the close of the gospel age,) he goes into the tabernacle representing head and body complete. When our sacrifices are ended, and head and body are complete, we shall come into the presence of our Father, and the work being accepted of him, He authorizes us to go forth and bless the people--"In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed, which seed is Christ, and if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed and heirs"--of this promise to bless all the people.
Here it is that the Aaronic priesthood ends and the Melchizedek priesthood begins, the one typical of our career of suffering and death, the other represents our exalted condition as, with Jesus, "a King upon His throne," blessing all people. "And the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people." ("The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.") Vs. 24: "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." A fire from the Lord indicates his acceptance and perfect satisfaction with all the work of atonement as done, and no wonder all the people prostrated themselves before God. We believe it will be so in the next age when the world can--
"see what God hath wrought,
Then they'll praise him, praise him as
Looking back we'll praise the way,
Jesus led us, led us day by day."
Moses directs in all the affairs of this type; probably representing "the law" which indicates to us, God's will. What in the other picture was indicated by the taking in of the blood, is here represented by Moses' going in with Aaron. So to speak, "The Law" goes into the presence of God with us, declaring: The sacrifice is complete, the price paid, the full ransom of the world. "The righteousness of The Law is fulfilled in us." It would seem further to teach that when the church leaves the world and enters the presence of God, (the holy of holies,) law and order leave also, which would of necessity produce anarchy and confusion, and this part of the type seems to agree with the statements elsewhere made of the "time of trouble" and reign of terror which will be upon the earth after the Bride leaves it. When "the salt of the earth" is removed, the mass become greatly corrupted, but when the glory of the Lord shall be revealed at the close of this day of wrath--when "He shall appear," and "we also appear with him," the blessing will commence and with us comes law and order, (as typified by Moses, appearing again,) and assists in blessing the people.
But while thinking of our glorious work of blessing the world in the future, we should not forget, nor neglect our present privileges in this direction, for remember, Aaron blessed the people before he went into the holy place: So all who, as members of that body, have crucified themselves, should seek, so far as they have ability, to "Do good unto all men, especially unto those of the household of faith." Let us bless now, as in the future, temporally and spiritually, as we may be able. We can all certainly bless some, spiritually. May not "the deep things of God" be equally as blessed to others as to you? Be not selfish, be not negligent, be not slothful servants. Freely we have received, freely let us give.