The Tabernacle’s TeachingsJun 9th, 2010 | By admin | Category: Special Features (click on Article name)
This is the object of the sin-offerings; to release mankind from the dominion of death and restore them to the perfection of being which is essential to perfect happiness and at-one-ment with the Creator.
The Tabernacle’s Teachings
ANOTHER TYPE OF THE DAY OF ATONEMENT SACRIFICES
Chapter 9 seems to give a more condensed picture of the work and sacrifices of the Day of Atonement than chapter 16, and in addition, it furnishes certain features which, after the consideration of the sixteenth, will be of interest to us. It is another picture of the Atonement.
“And Moses saith, This is the thing which the Lord commanded that ye should do: and the glory of the Lord shall appear unto you. And Moses said unto Aaron, Go unto the Altar and offer thy sin-offering and thy burnt-offering and make an atonement for thyself [the members of his body required it] and for the people” [the world].
This shows how Jesus [the bullock sacrifice for sins] was sufficient to redeem both his body, the “little flock,” and also the whole world of mankind. Our share in the sin-offering could have been dispensed with entirely; we might have been saved from death and restored to perfection of human nature, just as all mankind will be. But it pleased Jehovah not only to choose Jesus to this great work of sacrifice, but also to make him the Captain or Head of his “Church, which is his Body,” who, as well as their Captain, should be made perfect as SPIRITUAL beings, by suffering as sin-offerings, in the flesh.
Paul, referring to our intimate relationship to our Head, says: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places [the “Holy” and the “Most Holy”] in Christ; according as He hath CHOSEN US in him before the foundation of the world—to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath [justified or] made us accepted in the beloved.” (Eph. 1:4,6.) God “called you by our gospel to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thes. 2:14), so that “if we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him.”—2 Tim. 2:12
To continue—After offering his own sacrifice once for all, he was to “offer the offering of the people [the goat], and make an atonement for them [all Israel] as Jehovah commanded.” (This arrangement for our having part in the sacrifice of atonement was a part of our Father’s original plan, as Paul also attests.)
“Aaron therefore went unto the altar and slew the calf [Heb., young bullock] of the sin-offering which was for [instead of, a substitute for] himself. And the sons of Aaron brought the blood unto him, and he dipped his finger in the blood and put it on the horns of the altar; but the fat, [etc.] the flesh and the hide he burned with fire without the camp. And he slew the burnt-offering [a ram], and Aaron’s sons presented unto him the blood, which he sprinkled round about upon the altar. And they presented the burnt-offering unto him; and he did wash the inwards and the legs, and burnt them upon the burnt-offering on the altar, with the pieces thereof and the head.” (Much the same account as in the 16th chapter, and having the same significance.)
Thus the burnt-offering of Jesus has been burning all through the Gospel Age, giving evidence to all in the “Court” of God’s acceptance of him and the acceptance of all the members of the body— laid to the head, on the altar.
“And he brought the people’s offering, and took the goat which was the sin-offering for the people [not for the Priests and Levites] and slew it and offered it for sin as the first,” i.e., treated it exactly as he treated the bullock. This goat is the same as the “Lord’s goat” in the other picture, the scape-goat [or goat for Azazel] and the other features being omitted in this more general view. It is, however, confirmatory of the teaching, that only those who follow the Lord’s footsteps are participants in the sin-offering.
“And he brought the burnt-offering and offered it according to the [usual] manner. And he brought the meat-offering, and took a handful of it and offered it upon the altar beside the burnt-sacrifice of the morning.”
“He slew also the bullock and the ram for a sacrifice of peace-offerings which was for the people.” The peace-offering, as already described, represents a vow or covenant. By this peace-offering, made in connection with the sin-offering of the High Priest, is signified the covenants and promises based on the sin-offering. In the type, the peace was established between Jehovah and Israel on this wise: The sin-offering having been made, also the burnt-offering showing the acceptableness of it to God, there was peace between Jehovah and Israel because their former Adamic sin was typically removed; and they were obligated to now live obedient to a covenant based on their forgiveness —i.e. they were to keep the Law—that he that doeth those things should live by (or as a reward for keeping) them. But as our sin-sacrifices are better than the typical ones, so with the peace-offering or covenant established by those sacrifices: it is a better covenant. Thus in this sacrifice of peace, or covenant-offering, the Priest is seen to serve unto the example and shadow of spiritual things—the mediator of a better covenant (Heb. 8:6-13), under which all people shall be blessed with RESTITUTION, and thus be enabled to obey the perfect law and live forever.
“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.” Thus in the type we see illustrated the fact that though the blessing is not fully due to come upon the people until all sacrifices are finished, yet a measure of blessing comes upon mankind from the members of the Priest, even now during the age of sacrifice, before we all go into the “Most Holy” or spiritual condition.
“And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out and blessed the people.”
When this day (age) of sacrifice is over, the complete Priest (head and body) will appear before God, and give evidence of having met all the claims of the law against the people (the world). It will be noticed that while the Type of Lev. 16th divides the work of the Atonement Day, and shows all the particulars of how the Lord’s sacrifice first makes ours worthy of acceptance, etc., this type shows the entire work of the Gospel age as successive offerings, yet joined really in one—all the sufferings of Christ, when ended, followed at once by restitution blessings. The going in of Moses, also, seems to say, The Law is fully satisfied and its righteousness vindicated in the sacrifice of Christ. The Law (represented in the type by Moses) will testify on behalf of the world, that it is justified to life through the sacrifices of the Priest who “offered up himself.”
When presented, the entire sacrifice was “holy, acceptable to God,” and Moses and Aaron came out, and together they blessed the people. So in the incoming age, the Christ will bless all the families of the earth (Gal. 3:8,16,29; Gen. 12:3), yet not by setting aside or ignoring the Law of God and excusing sin, but by restoring men to perfection of humanity, in which condition they will be able to keep the perfect Law of God, and be blessed by it. Blessed by the Priest, made perfect and able to keep the Law, its condition of “do and live” will be a great blessing to all men; for whosoever will may then obey and live forever in happiness and communion with Jehovah.
“And the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people.” As the blessing progresses (restoring and elevating the race mentally and physically) the results will become manifest. The people—the world in general—will recognize God’s gracious love, more and more each day. Thus it will be, that “the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.” (Isa. 40:5.) They will come to see, gradually, the length and breadth and height and depth of the love of God, which surpasseth all understanding.
It is worthy of note that the blessing here mentioned was not a blessing to the under-priests. No; they were represented in the blesser—in Aaron. The blessing came on all the people of Israel, who, in type, represented the world. It is this blessing of the world by the “SEED”— the entire Christ, after all the afflictions are filled up by the Body (Col. 1:24) —that Paul refers to, saying, “The whole creation [humanity] groaneth and travaileth in pain together…waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God.” Before they can experience deliverance from the bondage of corruption [sin and death] and restoration to the liberty of sons of God [freedom from condemnation, sin and death, etc.], as enjoyed by God’s first human son, Adam (Luke 3:38), the Atonement Day sacrifices must be finished, and the priests who sacrificed must be clothed with the royal, divine authority and power to thus set them free.
It is doubtless this same blessing of all the people—salvation from death and its sting, sin—that Paul refers to, saying:
“UNTO THEM THAT LOOK FOR HIM SHALL HE APPEAR THE SECOND TIME WITHOUT…
SIN [without any contamination from those sins borne for sinners] unto salvation.” (Heb. 9:28.) The world has seen the Priest—head and body—suffer as a sin-offering); during this age: Jesus was manifested to the Jews in the flesh (as a sin-offering); and as Paul could say, so can all the followers in his footsteps say, “Christ is manifest in our mortal flesh.” (2 Cor. 4:11.) As the whole Christ has thus been manifest and suffered in the flesh, so they shall also be “glorified together” before the world; for the glory [the blessing and salvation] of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.” When he shall appear, we also shall appear with him in glory.— Col. 3:4.
But this great High Priest of the world will be recognized only by “them that look for him.” If he were to appear in the flesh, in the sky, or elsewhere, it would be an appearance to all, whether looking for him or not; but we have already seen that the Scriptures teach that the Head has been perfected as a spirit being, and that his “little flock” shall be made “like him,” spirit beings, of the divine nature, which no man hath seen nor can see. (1 Tim. 6:16.) We have seen that the way in which the world will see the glorified Church will be by mental perception, in the same sense that a blind person may properly be said to see. In the same sense we now see the prize, the “crown of life,” “while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen [by physical sight]; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:18.) It is in this way that the entire Church of this age has been “looking unto Jesus;” thus “we see Jesus.”— Heb. 2:9 and 12:2.
This is the only way in which the human can see or recognize things on the spiritual plane. Jesus expressed this same idea to the disciples, that they who recognized his spirit or mind, and thus knew him, would be acquainted with the Father also in the same way. “If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also; and from henceforth ye know Him and have seen Him.” This is the only sense in which the world will ever see God, for “no man hath seen God at any time” [“whom no man hath seen, nor can see”]—”the only begotten Son, he hath declared Him.” (1 Tim. 6:16; John 1:18.) Jesus revealed or caused his disciples to see him by making known his character—revealing him as the God of Love.
It was in the same way that the Papal system was shown by Luther and others, and seen by many, as the Antichrist; or as Paul had foretold, that wicked system— the man of sin, was then revealed.
Thus it is that Jesus, the head (now present to gather the jewels), is being now revealed to the living members of the “little flock,” though others know not of his presence.—Luke 17:26-30
Thus also it will be in the Millennial day, when the complete Christ—the Priest —is revealed; he will be revealed only to those that look for him, and only those shall see him. They will see him, not by physical sight, but as we now see all spiritual things—Jesus, the Father, the prize, etc.—by the eye of faith. Men will not see the Christ by physical sight, for the same reason that they will never see Jehovah; because on a different plane of being— one spirit, the other flesh. But we (the little flock) shall see him as he is, for we shall be like him.—1 John 3:2
But, though only those who look shall be able to recognize the Christ as the deliverer who will save them from the dominion of death, yet this will embrace all the world, for the manner of revelation will be such that ultimately all must see. Every eye shall see him; and all in their graves, being then awakened, even they that pierced him will realize that they crucified the Lord of glory. “He shall be revealed [In the sky? No!] in flaming fire [judgments], taking vengeance on those that know not [acknowledge not] God, and that obey not the gospel of Christ.” It will not take long for all mankind to recognize him under such circumstances. Now the good suffer; then shall ye discern between him that serveth the Lord, and him that serveth him not; for in that day the distinction will be manifested. (Mal. 3:15-18.) Then all, seeing clearly, may accept of him and have everlasting life; for “We trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe.”—1 Tim. 4:10
This the types illustrate—”And as it is appointed unto men [Aaron and his successors, who were only types of the High Priest of the new creation] once to die [typically, as represented in the animal slain], and after this [following as a result of those sacrifices] the judgment [of God, manifesting approval or disapproval of the sacrifice], so Christ [head and body, the true, Royal Priesthood] was once offered [never will it be repeated] to bear the sins of many [“every man”]; and unto them that look for him, he shall appear the second time, without sin [not blemished by the sins borne, nor to repeat the sin-offering, but] unto salvation”— to give the redeemed life to all who desire it upon God’s conditions of faith and obedience.—Heb. 9:27,28
Every time a Priest went into the Most Holy on the Atonement Day he risked his life; for if his sacrifice had been imperfect he would have died as he passed the second Vail. Neither would he have been accepted into the Most Holy himself, nor would his imperfect sacrifice have been acceptable as an atonement for the sins of the people. Hence any failure meant his death, and the continuance in condemnation of all whose sins he attempted to cover or propitiate. This was the “judgment.” Jesus, our Priest, passed this judgment successfully; his sacrifice was acceptable, as evidenced in his sending the blessing at Pentecost, which was a guarantee or assurance that ultimately he [and we in him] would come forth to bless the people—the world, for whose sins he fully and acceptably atoned.
Many have been looking in an indefinite way for a good time to come, for the removal in some manner of the curse of sin and dying and general evil; but they have not understood the long delay. They do not realize that the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement is necessary before the glory and blessing can come. “The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now, waiting [though in ignorance] for the manifestation of the sons of God.”—Rom. 8:19,22
“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”—worshipped. This is the same thought expressed in another form. The fire symbolizes God’s acceptance; its recognition by the people shows that the world will realize the sacrifice and its value in God’s estimation as the price of their liberty from death and the grave; and when they realize it, they will worship Jehovah and His representative, the Priest.
How beautifully these types teach a restitution, and a full ransom for all the people, and a blessing to come upon all. Nothing in the types seems to make a distinction between the living and the dead, and some may be inclined to infer that when the sacrifices of the High Priest are over, and the blessing commences, only those who are then living will be greatly benefited. But we answer, Nay, in God’s estimation the living and the dead are alike; He speaks of them all as dead; all died in Adam, and all the little spark of life which any man possesses is really but one stage of dying. It is a dead race because of the sin of Adam, and it will be a race justified at the close of the Day of Atonement, to the same life he enjoyed and forfeited; and all who will, may have back life, liberty, favor of God and all that was lost, whether they have gone all the way down into death, or whether they still linger on the brink—in “the valley of the shadow of death.”
This is the object of the sin-offerings; to release mankind from the dominion of death and restore them to the perfection of being which is essential to perfect happiness and at-one-ment with the Creator. This is the blessing which comes to all the families of the earth through The Seed of Abraham. This is the good news which was preached to Abraham, as we read: “God, foreseeing that He would justify the heathen [all mankind—Gentiles] through faith, preached before the gospel [good tidings] to Abraham, saying, In thee, and in thy seed, shall all nations be blessed [justified]…which Seed is Christ [primarily the head, and secondarily the body]; and if ye be Christ’s [members] then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” referred to—viz.: that these may bless all the families of the earth. (Gal. 3:16,19) But the Seed must be complete before the blessing comes, as shown in the type just considered:—The sin-offering must be ended before all the blessings resulting can flow out.
While the sacrifices of the people (Israel —the world) belong to the next age, and will then be presented to the Priests, yet in a certain sense this has a very slight beginning now. Thus it is that the worldly man possessed of wealth is in that sense a steward of God’s things, and can use that “mammon” and with it make for himself friends; that when this age of Satan’s rule is ended, and the reign of Christ commences, in which he shall no longer be a steward, then those whom he thus favored will bless him. If the worldly stewards of wealth (the mammon or god of this age) were wise, they would use more of their means thus. For whosoever shall give even a cup of cold water unto one of the least of these (Priests) shall by no means lose his reward when the kingdom of Christ is organized and its rule begins.—Luke 16:1-8and Matt. 10:42
The restriction that the High Priest alone went into the Most Holy once a year to make an atonement should not be misunderstood to mean that he and the under-priests never went in thither during succeeding days—after the Atonement Day had made full reconciliation for sins. On the contrary, the High Priest went in there often in after days. It was into the Most Holy that the High Priest went whenever he would inquire for Israel, using the breast-plate of Judgment, the Urim and Thummim. Again, whenever they broke camp, which was often, the Priests went in and took down the Vails and wrapped up the Ark, and all the holy vessels, before the Levites could carry them. —Num. 4:5-16.
Again, whenever an Israelite offered a sin-offering unto the priests (after the “Day of Atonement” sacrifices were over), they all ate it in the Most Holy. (Num. 18:10.) So with the antitype, after the present “Day of Atonement” is over; the “Royal Priesthood” shall be in the Most Holy or perfect spiritual condition, and there accept (eat) the sacrifices for sin, brought by the world for their own transgressions—not the Adamic sins which were canceled on the Day of Atonement. There, in the perfect spiritual condition, the priesthood shall instruct in every matter, as represented in the decisions and answers given to Israel by the Urim and Thummim.