Thursday, February 9, 2012

Ritual Offerings: A Picture of the Cross!

Offering is the “Old Testament” (OT) were commanded as a way to seek forgiveness and a way to praise God for the things he had done. Offerings were ceremonial, given in a cleansed body with cleansed utensils, on an acadia or natural stone altar, were given by the priests and were to be with utmost reverence. Any violation or offering made which differed from God's instructions were presumptuous and blasphemous. Some died because they failed to follow directions!
There are two types of movements in making offerings in the OT, heave offerings and wave offerings:
Leviticus 7:32 “And the right shoulder shall ye give unto the priest for an heave offering of the sacrifices of your peace offerings.
Leviticus 8:26 “and from the basket of unleavened bread that was before the Lord he took one unleavened cake, a cake of bread anointed with oil, and one wafer, and put them on the fat and on the right thigh; 27 and he put all these in Aaron’s hands and in his sons’ hands, and waved them as a wave offering before the Lord. 28 Then Moses took them from their hands and burned them on the altar, on the burnt offering. They were consecration offerings for a sweet aroma. That was an offering made by fire to the Lord.”
Heave offerings were made by the priests in and up/down motion. Heave offerings were a present to the Lord, obviously to please and revere Him. A heave offering is to God, ruler of Heaven. The heave offerings were the first-fruits, the right shoulder, offered in harvest time.
Wave offerings were made by the priests in a a swinging horizontal direction back and forth. A wave offering was to God, the ruler of the earth. Wave offerings were peace offerings and consisted of the grain first-fruits Wave offerings became the property of the priest and could be eaten by them.
If one examines the offerings taken together there is much to learn! The up/down motion (heave offering) paired with the horizontal motion (wave offering) together provide a picture of the cross of Jesus crucifixion with its vertical member crossed by the horizontal. God knew what he was doing when he delegated early man in the worship of the Savior to come! But there's more!
The right shoulder of the animal was heaved in praise of the Lord. It was of the first-fruits (first born) and was without blemish! Jesus was the first-born of God and was without blemish. He was sin free and made the sacrifice in our place! Jesus was the present (grace) provided by God that offered the ultimate sacrifice for us. Whereas the priests made the sacrifice at harvest time, God made His sacrifice once and for all! We aren't expected to continually ask for His sacrifice over and over. Today Jesus rules in Heaven at the right hand of His Father. The heave offering celebrates his majestic position reflected by the right shoulder of the firstborn form the flock!
Grain made into bread with pure ingredients was the wave offering. The bread represents the body of Christ and we do that in remembrance of Him even before the cross and forever thereafter! Like us, the priest was allowed to partake of the bread. Wave offerings, celebrating the ruler of the earth, was a picture of Christ incarnate! Wave offerings represented the “Son of man” nature of Christ and the heave offering the “Son of God” nature of Christ. Wave offerings were a peace offering. All mankind has sinned against God and the wave offering was to make peace with a gracious God, not unlike the death of Christ on the cross which made peace between man and God to get for us a place in Heaven. It's a thank you for His grace!
Isn't God wise? Wasn't His plan merciful? Our forebears had a gracious God who promised them a Messiah through their ritual sacrifices by the priests in a rudimentary tabernacle. Modern man was a recipient of that promise through the dispensation of grace: Christ's death on the rudimentary cross! We no longer need the priests to make our repeated sacrifices for us. We offer our self one time and are rewarded by becoming of the royal priesthood ourselves, and Jesus mediates our thanks and requests to God. Aint God great?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Unintentional Sin

What have we always been taught? Sin is a willful transgression of God's law! The definition we use is accountable for only one of the three types of sin. The three are 1) Pesha (deliberate) – when we intentionally violate the will of God in rebellion to his authority, 2) Avon – (iniquity) – when we sin because of our emotions: lust, anger, jealousy, etc, done willfully, but not out of rebellion to God, and 4) Cheit – (unintentional) sin. When we simply miss the mark... the standard set by God. Today we'll discuss how we sin unintentionally.
Leviticus (NKJV) 4:1 “Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘If a person sins unintentionally against any of the commandments of the Lord in anything which ought not to be done, and does any of them, 3 if the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, then let him offer to the Lord for his sin which he has sinned a young bull without blemish as a sin offering.”
Modern man can't even quit deliberate sinning! How can we expect to even contemplate restitution for sins we do unintentionally? Unintentional is without deliberation... without aforethought. We know from our legal system, which is based on “natural law”, that there are less severe penalties for crimes “without malice aforethought”. “Involuntary Manslaughter” comes to our minds first when we think of unintentional crimes. “Settled Insanity” is state where we're no longer responsible for our actions. Whereas drunkenness is not valid for an insanity defense, long-term substance abuse is. To make that more clear, we can't intentionally  get high, then murder and be found innocent; but a state of perpetual addictive use of a drug may get one off in some states!
Deliberate sin is the willful violation of God's laws summarized in the ten commandments. If we look carefully at Leviticus 4:1 we see that “unintentional” sin is a violation of any of the same commandments. Consequently, the difference between intentional and unintentional sins are not one of magnitude, but are based solely on our own state of mind... whether we are sinning in rebellion or because we are human.
Why do humans sin? We sin as a result of man's collective guilt because of Adam's disobedience. It is our nature to do evil, to do what God opposes. Did Adam (and Eve) sin because they were deliberately in rebellion to God? Eve ate because fruit of the tree looked good, she thought it would be good for food and that it might make her wise (Genesis 3:6). Her purpose in sinning was for pleasure! Her primary goal wasn't to rebel against God. She was tricked by Satan (Genesis 6:4). “Original Sin” seems to fall more along the lines of the definition of “iniquity”. Therefore, we are held accountable by God for all sins, not just ones we do out of rebellion. If Eve had meely eaten of the fruit to satisfy the hunger need, she would still be sinning, but without aforethought.
Since there is no delinealization between sins done deliberately and sins as a result of our heritage, we must make it a difference in our attitudes. The “First Commandment” introduces the term “in vain”, meaning without reverence to God. Unintentional sin is certainly because of lack of reverence for God's authority. We may not want to disobey him... he's just not part of the equation: (temptation + action) = sin. If we listen to God we have (temptation + reverence) = inaction = no sin! We can now see that “reverence” for God is the key whether we sin or not. Consequently, we must be keen to what it means to be reverent.
Revering God is to know His precepts, His love and wanting to please (obey) Him. When we blatantly (consciously) sin we are in effect saying “I love this pleasure more than I respect God, hence I'll just put God's will aside while I self-indulge”. This is self-worship and in violation of the “First Commandment”. Unintentional sin is when I am tempted and react to temptation without weighing in on God's will for us. We need an example of each of these to clarify.
Let's use anger in both examples forthcoming. Anger is an emotion. It's cause by an action//reaction pairing. Someone or something violates us or our space. As a result of the stress created by the action, we may become angry. There are three ways to respond to the anger created by stress: 1) We can consider God's will and control our anger, 2) We can consider God's will, ignore Him and seek revenge, or 3) We can react to the stress without thought of God and respond as a reaction. Anger is a human emotion and we all get angry, sometimes rightfully so (Jesus had righteous anger when he threw the merchants out of the temple. However, we must remember, that we're to let God heap the coals, not us).
In the first instance, we are tempted, we consider the authority and will of God, then practice self-control. We've been tempted, felt anger and unintionally sinned because we still had some anger although it was controlled as far as our human nature will allow Cheit). In the second instance, we're tempted, consider God's Word and rebel against God's will for us. The satisfaction of revenge has outweighed reverence for God. We haven't exercised self-control and, hence, have sinned intentionally (Pesha). In the third case we just failed to consider God's law, or anything for that matter, when we reacted vengefully to the stress we felt. We didn't rebel against God... we just didn't have enough reverence for Him to establish a pattern of Christlike behavior. We sinned, but not out of rebellion (Avon).
Only God is without sin in with anger because His is righteous anger. If we have anger it is with some degree of self-interest. If we work on our love and respect of God, we will certainly have fewer unintentional sins and as a consequence, even fewer intentional ones! We become more Christlike because we've made Christ ruler of our lives.
Many theologians believe that “unintentional sins” are those such as uncleanness due to touching the dead, nocturnal eruptions, a woman's unclean period, and such. This idea delineates and sets degrees of sins and I take issue with that approach. I base that on the the phrase “sins unintentionally against any of the commandments”. How in the world would we control our uncleanness? We are unclean because we have systems conducive to defilement. We can't quit being unclean. We can only cleanse ourselves. Conversely, we do have an obligation to know and discern God's Word so we control sins which we commit without consideration. We can place God in a position of importance in our lives and his Spirit guides us! God's grace is sufficient for all sins and His Spirit will aid us if we seek Him!
With Christian perfection the human reaction of anger ceases operation.  We'll never get there, but with patience and love we can do better!

Monday, February 6, 2012

What's Wrong with America?

Look to the Bible for an answer!
Exodus 23:27 I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee. 28And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee. 29 I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. 30By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land. 31And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee. 32Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. 33They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.
God was surely with the Israelites as he gave them all the land from Egypt to all the way up the Mediterranean Sea over to the desert of Saudi Arabia to the Euphrates River; much more than they have yet to occupy! The land was taken from the Hivites (son of Canaan son of Ham), Canaanites, Hittites (Heth, son of Canaan). Here you see that the land was taken from the descendents of Canaan (Canaanites). The land never ever belonged to the Palestinians since that group of people only became a separate identity in the Levant (Lebanon) in the 18th Century and became a political peoples with the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. Palestinians are an amorphous people (without form). They are mixed race of people formed from Christians, Jews and indigenous peoples who became Arab-speaking with the spread of Mohammedism.
The word “Palestine” comes from the Arab word “Filistine” (Philistine) who were a sea people possibly from Crete. The Philistines defeated by David were not Palestinian (Filistines), but members of the Philistines may have resided in Canaan and are a portion of the mixed race of people called Palestinians. The Palestinians have no claim to Israel, but Israel has a divine right to even more territory than they now have.
Should the Israelites negotiate with the Palestinians? Emphatically no! God told the Israelites not to make a treaty (covenant/agreement) with the inhabitants of the land, nor accept their gods. Palestinians are Islamic. Islam traces their Allah to the God of the Old Testament, but their Allah is a heretical god. Palestinians worship that god. The gods of the Canaanites were a disease in the land of milk and honey and their cancer has spread over the entire Mideast. The religion of Mohammed is a violent religion whose goal is to establish a world-wide caliphate using socialism as a means to an end. Sharia Law is to be be the world-wide government.
Today, as always, Israel accepts God's warning about the inhabitants of Canaan land. Israel knows that they must not sign peace agreements with Hamas, but do so against God's will to appease the world. What's wrong with America? We've lost our way. We've abandoned our belief in God's Word. We not only make covenants with ungodly people, but we welcome those foul religions to our shores, thus corrupting our land whose soil is sanctified by our immigrant father's belief in Christ. We are getting more diseased with each day. Cancer is spreading fast. Unless we turn off the immigration of Ungodly peoples to our nation there will cease to be enough bonifide Christians to convert the immigrants.
What can we do now? We can work hard to tell the people about Jesus. Only through the propagation of the Word can America stop the spread of cancer. Politicians will try to stop the proslytization as “politically incorrect” and intolerant. God cares little for “tolerance”. He loves truth because He is Truth! Tell a pagan about Jesus and what he's done for you! That's what Jesus commissioned you to do.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Natural Law

As human beings there exists “natural laws” from time immemorial credited to man as God-given laws. Later philosophers applied natural laws independent of God and even later natural law was distorted to merely include the need for self-preservation. The concept of God-given “natural law” is affirmed in our “Declaration of Independence” and our “U.S. Constitution”. The most famous example is from our “Declaration” is "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.-That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,-That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
Natural Law gives us unalienable (not to be taken away) Rights (capitalized as is the Creator meaning that those rights are from the Creator). Some, but not all of those rights are the right to life, the right to freedom and the right to create our own life independent of the government. Although the “Declaration” as law is ambiguous, the Supreme Court has most often ruled that it is an “organic document” and used it to uphold rulings. Without the “Declaration” our “Constitution” would be non-existent. Therefore, all rational people understand that the rights proposed in the “Declaration” are legal and natural rights! Reasonable people understand that our Rights (Natural Law) were founded upon the precept that there is One True GOD, that of the Judeo-Christian religions. From whom is that law derived? GOD! The first five books of the Bible is called “The Law”. Exodus gives us many examples of natural law.
God's Natural Law can be found mostly in Exodus 20-25. (Look for these rights as you read):
  • Recognize the GOD of the Jews as the basis for all law.
  • Set aside a plan for work and rest so the people are not abused (fair work standards).
  • Established the family as the ruling authority of individuals within it.
  • Prohibits the confiscation of another's property.
  • Protects the marriage institution.
  • Prohibits false testimony.
  • Commanded community and individual respect for each other.
  • Sets up fair practices for service (work standards).
  • Institutionalizes the marriage between a man and a woman.
  • Sets up judgment standards between premeditated and emotional crimes.
  • Standardizes fair punishments (no unusual punishments).
  • Sets up responsibility for property owners liability for damages.
  • Sets up standards for the treatment of animals.
  • Sets up fair penalties for theft.
  • Establish judgments for trespassing.
  • Establishes programs of restitution.
  • Prohibits infidelity and sets up obligations to meet the circumstances. (It would nice if modern man was held accountable for sexual transgressions such as marrying the woman and child support).
  • Prohibits the introduction of foreign gods (Islam wasn't even considered as a rational belief in the west).
  • Establishes fair treatment for strangers and aliens (first immigration policy).
  • Prohibits the infliction of harm to the innocent and sets standards of punishment.
  • Creates binding contracts.
  • Establishes standards of morality in apparel (a dress code for civility).
  • Punishes those who abuse woman.
  • Dictates the punishment for abortion. (This supports the “Constitutional” inalienable Right to Life!)
  • Establishes laws of inheritance.
  • Establishes truthful testimony (“So help me God”).
  • Prevents mob rule.
  • Protects the rights of the poor.
  • Provides a means of support for the poor.
  • Allows freedom to celebrate hard work (freedom).
  • Provides for military protection.
  • Prohibits treaties with pagan nations.
  • Sets boundaries for countries.
  • Allows (dictates) worship.
  • Sets up a method for taxation.
  • Commands respect of authority and leaders. Prohibits the cursing of God.
  • Establishes impartiality in judgments.
  • Established a binding document for keeping the law.
Yes, “Natural Law” supersedes “Constitutional Law” because our “Declaration” places it at a higher level. Just as slavery was wrong in Natural Law, it was legal in Constitutional Law. The “Declaration” establishes the right to abolish such governments which abuse Natural Law. With the advent of legalized abortion, euthanasia, cloning, same-sex marriage, loss of freedom and the like we are legally responsible to check our government. I would not call for revolution (although it's justified), but encourage true Christians to band together to support candidates who hold Natural Law in eminence. An immoral government will fall under it's own abuse. History shows that time and again! What caused the fall of great civilizations? Prostitution of Natural Law!