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Burnt Offering


The word usually translated burnt offering in the OT is ‘ōlāh (H5930). Interestingly, it is derived from a root (‘ālāh, H5927) that while sometimes rendered “to burn,” as in the burning of a lamp (Exo_27:20), actually means “to go up, to ascend,” or “to move from a lower place to an upper.” Its first occurrence (Gen_2:6) is most interesting, where were we read that in the Garden of Eden “there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.” Other images include the flight of an eagle (Isa_40:31, “mount up”) and plants coming up (Isa_34:13, “come up”).
The burnt offering is the first offering mentioned in the Levitical system (Lev_1:3-17; cf. Lev_6:8-13), no doubt because this type of offering is the first mentioned (excluding Cain and Abel’s) in the biblical record (cf. Gen_8:20; Gen_22:2). The meaning in the Levitical system, of course, went deeper. Its purpose was “to make atonement” for the sin of the offerer (Lev_1:4) and to demonstrate—as illustrated by the term “whole burnt offering” (Psa_51:19)—his complete consecration, his total dedication to God.
All this demonstrates the true nature of the OT burnt offering, which we could even call the “ascending offering.” As the flames consumed the animal, the offerer could watch the smoke and sparks ascend heavenward and know that God had accepted him as he identified himself with the sacrificed animal.
The first application we see in all this is in the Lord Jesus. His complete dedication is evident as He prayed in Gethsemane, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Mat_26:39). Knowing what lay ahead, namely, the ultimate burnt offering that He would become, our Lord was willing to be that sacrifice (Mat_26:39-44; cf. Php_2:5-11).
The second application is that this again illustrates for the NT believer that we each are a “living sacrifice” (Rom_12:1), that all we do ascends heavenward to God. “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Heb_13:15).
Scriptures for Study: Read Heb_10:5-10, noting Christ’s willingness to become the burnt offering for sin.

 

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Sacrifice


zāḇach
Another crucial word in the context of the offerings of the OT, of course, is the word sacrifice. The Hebrew is zāḇach (H2076), which means “to slaughter, to kill, to offer, to sacrifice.” While at times it refers to killing an animal simply for food (Deu_12:21; 1Sa_28:24), it is used mainly for the slaughter of animals for sacrifice, either to the true God or even a false one (Jdg_16:23; 2Ch_28:23).
Why was sacrifice required? Because the result of sin is death (Rom_6:23; Jas_1:15), and the only thing that can pay the price of sin is blood—“without shedding of blood is no remission” (Heb_9:22; cf. Lev_4:20). It was, therefore, the Lord Jesus who was the focal point of the entire sacrificial system. Everything pointed to Him, for He would be the perfect “Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (Joh_1:29), it was He who would “save his people from their sins” (Mat_1:21). It was, in fact, the OT Passover itself that pointed to “Christ our passover” (1Co_5:7), whose “precious blood” is “as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1Pe_1:19).
What has happened to the old system? Heb_8:13 declares, “A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” Chapters 9 and 10 detail how the Mosaic system, from symbols to sanctuaries to sacrifices, vanished. In fact, that system began to decay when Israel rejected Christ (Luk_19:37-44) and finally disappeared with the destruction of the temple in AD 70. The Mosaic system was but a “shadow of good things to come” (Heb_10:1, emphasis added), but Jesus is the substance.
Does all that mean there is no kind of sacrifice today? No, but all sacrifice we offer to God is living. No longer is there the dead sacrifice of the Old Covenant, rather the dynamic sacrifice of the New. That’s what Paul meant when he wrote, “Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God” (Rom_12:1) and what Peter referred to as he wrote to Christian Jews, As “[living] stones, [you] are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1Pe_2:5). Our entire lives now—all we do and say—are living sacrifices to God.
Scriptures for Study: Read the following verses, noting what kind of “spiritual sacrifice” each emphasizes: Rom_15:16, Eph_5:2, Php_4:10-18, Heb_13:15-16; Rev_8:3.

 

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Wisdom of This World


1 Corinthians 3:18-23
“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness,” 1 Corinthians 3:19.
 
God is a friend of wisdom and truth. He is not against science, chemistry, mathematics or medicine. True wisdom leads us to God.
Wilson A. Bentley, known as the Snowflake Man or Snowflake Bentley, became interested in snowflakes at the young age of fourteen. He studied them for nearly fifty years, and as an adult photographed, cataloged and wrote scientific articles that were published in countless magazines and scientific journals. In his study of snowflakes, Mr. Bentley concluded that, to the best of his knowledge, no snowflake “was an exact duplicate of any other snowflake!” (adding) “With profound humility, we acknowledge that the Great Designer is incomparable and unapproachable in the infinite prodigality and beauty of His works. Under the microscope I found that snowflakes were miracles of beauty. The sheer scope of creation that fills us with praise for the Creator, when examining snowflakes, the wonders of God’s handiwork are to be found in the tiniest details of all He has made.”
Sadly, much of the wisdom of this present world denies that God exists. Why? They choose not to believe in Him. This false belief makes them the most foolish of all people.
 
REFLECTION
Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail (Job 38:22).
Beverly Barnett

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Mercy [and] Grace


cheseḏ [and] chānan
While not interchangeable, cheseḏ (mercy) and chānan (grace) are closely related. While mercy is the withholding of what is deserved (e.g., death and hell), grace is the bestowing of what is not deserved (e.g., life and heaven). 2 Samuel 9 gives one of the most graphic pictures in all the Bible of both mercy and grace, with ten startling parallels to the Savior and sinner:
First, Mephibosheth, the son of King David’s friend Jonathan, was crippled by a fall (2Sa_4:4), just as each of us was crippled by Adam’s fall, even rendered “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph_2:1-3).

Second, as David wanted to show Mephibosheth “kindness [cheseḏ] for Jonathan’s sake” (2Sa_9:1), God has shown us mercy and grace for the sake of the Lord Jesus (Eph_4:32).

Third, that kindness was neither deserved nor earned by Mephibosheth, who could do little for himself, much less do anything for the king of Judah and Israel. We in turn deserved nothing but death, and there are not enough works in the universe to save a single soul (Eph_2:8-9; Tit_3:5).

Fourth, Mephibosheth was sought by the king (Tit_3:1; Tit_3:5), again picturing unmerited favor. Likewise, not a single person has ever “[sought] after God” by his own power (Rom_3:11). “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,” Jesus declared (Joh_15:16). A dead man can do nothing, so “no man can come to [Christ], except the Father which hath sent [Him] draw him” (Joh_6:44; cf. Joh_6:65; Act_16:13-14).

Fifth, David ordered and empowered servants to fetch Mephibosheth (Act_16:5), a graphic picture of evangelism. God has likewise called and empowered each of us as witnesses (Act_1:8; Mat_28:19-20).

Sixth, a result of all this was that Mephibosheth reverenced the king (2Sa_9:6), a challenge to us to worship Jesus.

Seventh, he became a servant of the king (2Sa_9:6), as are we of Christ (e.g., Rom_6:16).

Eighth, he was given riches and security (Rom_6:7), just as we have spiritual riches (Ephesians 1) and security in Christ (Joh_10:28-29; Rom_8:29-39).

Ninth, he was made a king’s son (Rom_8:11), as we are God’s children (Joh_1:12-13). And tenth, his physical condition was hidden from view when he sat at the king’s table (Joh_1:13). We, too, have been sanctified by Christ (Heb_9:12-15) and “sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph_2:6).
Scriptures for Study: If you haven’t already done so, read this wonderful account and rejoice in God’s mercy and grace.

 

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Confession and Forgiveness


“For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest,” Psalm 51: 3, 4.

Nathan confronted David using the analogy of the poor man’s single little lamb and the insensitive rich man (2 Sam. 12:1-24). David was ready to pass judgment upon the rich man until Nathan pointed out to David—you are the man. In a moment, David went from anger to humility, the moment when the truth pierced his heart.
As long as no one confronts our sins, we are content to let them remain hidden, but they are never hidden from God. Because God loves us so much and wants to bless us, He does not want our sins to be unconfessed and forsaken. The best we can do is to confess our faults, failures and sins to God and ask for His forgiveness.
Every day the Holy Spirit performs a confrontational intervention on all believers. He confronts our sins, bringing them to the forefront of our minds so that we might confess them before God and ask for His forgiveness. In accepting this intervention, we prevent much heartache and trouble that results from the consequences of unacknowledged and unforsaken sin. Will you accept this intervention?

Reflection
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
Beverly Barnett

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Blessed Forgiveness


Romans 4:5-8
“Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered,” Romans 4:7.

What a wonderful God we serve! Even though we are prone to sin, He has made it possible for us to receive forgiveness each time we confess it to Him. This should cause us to love Him even more, especially, when we know that the righteous, loving, Heavenly Father is fully aware of our shortcomings, failures, faults and our most secret sins. He forgives us because of Jesus.
When God looks at saved sinners, He sees the blood of Christ. (Rev. 1:5). On Calvary, Jesus shed His blood and later sprinkled it on the mercy seat in Heaven. For this reason alone we should be eternally grateful. We are the blessed benefactors of that forgiveness. Our sins, which are many, are covered by His cleansing blood (1 John 1:7). No false god offered to bleed and die for its people much less forgive the guiltiest of them, but the God of all gods and the King of kings did that for you and me!
The awesomeness of this sacrifice brings into view a few questions each person must answer. Have you been forgiven? Where will you spend eternity? In Heaven, as a blessed, redeemed child of the King or in hell forever knowing you will never go to Heaven?

Reflection
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin (Rom. 4:8).
Beverly Barnett

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94 – April – 04 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


William Carey

William Carey
He led Carey to India
1793 – It was on this date that William Carey and Dr. John Thomas boarded the Earl of Oxford for India.  Funds had been raised and they had been commissioned on March 20, therefore they were determined that this was God’s will.  However, when the ship’s captain found out that if he took the missionaries he would lose his commission, he put them ashore.  Through Dr. Thomas a Danish ship agreed to take them and defeat was turned to victory when they also found out that Mrs. Carey and the children would be able to sail with them who were not going to be able to go before and they sailed on June 13.  Dr. Thomas was reared in the home of a Baptist deacon in England where he was early acquainted with the gospel.  He was not saved however, until after medical school and marriage.  Dr. Thomas then was assigned as the assistant surgeon on one of His Majesty’s ships and sailed several times to India.  The British East India, Co. that had begun as a commercial enterprise later had become an arm of the British government.  They were interested only in financial gain which meant that they actually worked against the advancement of the missionary cause.  A few of the employees who were Christians built a chapel for worship in 1715 and invited Dr. Thomas to minister and then invited him to remain on a permanent basis.  But he found out that his Baptist doctrines such as baptism by immersion became a detriment and he found himself at a great loss of financial support.  It was these turn of events that brought the shoemaker-preacher Carey and the doctor together and God opening India as the first mission field for the Baptists of England.  Dr. Thomas suffered many tragedies and died on Oct. 13, 1801, but few know that it was him that led Carey to India.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, pp. 137.

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DEMISE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT??


Author: William Andrew Dillard

Parson to Person
A new movie currently in theaters bears a title of a theme movement some decades ago: “GOD IS NOT DEAD!” These four words are indeed absolute truth. Still, questions plague nominal Christians about a perceived lack of His appearance in human affairs which gives rise to the question. Men look retrospectively, longing to see another Pentecost; another national revival; another sense of closeness to God as was evidenced a couple of centuries ago. Questions pound concerned minds: Is the Holy Spirit dead? Does God not care anymore? Is His power diminished?
This writer boldly affirms the negative to each one. God still reveals Himself to penitent hearts. Herein is the problem: God has not changed, but man has. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, Heb. 13:8. Man, on the other hand insists on remaking God to suit himself. In self-willed worship, many have removed themselves from the immediate presence and working of the Holy Spirit, and in some cases have been turned over to a reprobate mind to meet the just reward of their obstinate determinations, Rom. 1:28.
Re-visit the story of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16. The man in hell was concerned about his brothers, five of whom were walking the same road of life he walked. He knew they were coming to hell, and God knew it. The tormented man’s plea for one to return from the dead to warn them was rejected. Why? The answer: they had (the writings of) Moses and the prophets; they were to hear them! God is not an arbitrary God!
Men today have the completed Word of God. There will be no additions to it or deletions from it. The Holy Spirit of God is intricately tied to it, accompanies its presentation, saves, and blesses those who properly respond to it. Men cannot worship God their way. He will be worshipped in spirit and in truth or not at all. Religious activity does not impress Him! Revisit Jesus’ words to the woman at the well in Sychar. John 4.
But what is that truth in which He must be worshipped? Pontus Pilate asked this millenniums ago, John 18:38: “What is truth?” Let it be forever settled that God is true! As such, He is the author of all that is true. David said, “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” Psalm 119:160. No, the Holy Spirit’s power is neither dead nor diminished, but is ever ready and waiting to receive and bless those who come to God in a contrite heart, and worship Him in truth.

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HEBREWS – Sin (2)


šagāh [and] āwōn [and] peša‘
Is the issue of sin really all that important? Yes—it is mentioned approximately 900 times in the Bible. In addition to the most commonly used Hebrew word, chātā’, we find several others used to picture the seriousness of sin (see July 11 for another).
One such word is šagāh (H7686), “to go astray, to deceive, to wander, to make a mistake, to reel.” It’s used primarily to express the idea of straying or wandering and frequently describes a wandering or aimless flock, both figuratively and literally (Eze_34:6). Isaiah used this verb to suggest “swerving, meandering, or reeling in drunkenness” (Isa_28:7, “erred”). It also describes moral corruption (Pro_5:23, “to go astray”). It is also translated sin in Lev_4:13, “sin through ignorance.”
Another word is ‘āwāh (H5753), which is equivalent to the Arabic ‘awaya, “to bend or twist,” and so reflects not only those ideas but also to “distort” and “pervert,” whether intentional or not. Men pervert what is right (Job_33:27; Jer_3:21) and commit “iniquity,” which is to bend God’s revelation (Psa_106:6). The word ‘āwōn (H5771), which appears more than 230 times, speaks of Israel choosing to return to the “iniquities of their forefathers,” that is, twisting and perverting God’s Word to “[go] after other gods to serve them” (Jer_11:10). This word is also translated sin in 1Ki_17:18, where a widow speaks to Elijah in fear that her son died because she bent or distorted some requirement.
One other word for sin is peša‘ (H6588), which appears over ninety times to indicate “willful deviation from, and therefore rebellion against, the path of godly living” (e.g., Isa_58:1; Isa_59:12; Amo_5:12).
Is there now any doubt as to the answer to the question, “Is the issue of sin really all that important?” Indeed, sin is the problem, salvation is the provision, and the Savior is the path. After salvation, however, is sin still a problem? Positionally no, but practically yes. While we are freed from the bondage of sin as the rule of life (Rom_6:1-7), “the flesh” (“our selfish properties,” sarx, G4561) still rears its ugly head and wars within us (Romans 7). Thankfully, we can have victory over this by the indwelling Holy Spirit (Romans 8), and we have the assurance of forgiveness through confession when we do sin (1Jn_1:9).
Scriptures for Study: Read David’s prayer of confession and restoration (Psalms 51). Note the words for sin in Psa_51:1-4 : “transgressions” (peša‘), “iniquity” (‘āwōn), “sin” (chattā’t, a derivative of chātā’), and “sinned” (chātā’). Praise God today for His forgiveness (April 16).

 

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NUTS AND FRUITS


Religious nuts and spiritual fruit – Song of Solomon 6:11 – I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley, and to see whether the vine flourished, and the pomegranates budded.

I often see pithy little sayings that sound good, yet are often misleading. One in particular is – God does not want spiritual nuts. Another is God wants “spiritual “ people, not “religious nuts.”

Here is my determination on this whole matter. I have included some dictionary terms for the benefit of those that like to create their own meanings to words. This will help us to be clear on definitions.

First the similarities: Zealous is – Marked by active interest and enthusiasm. Nuts is – Someone who is so ardently devoted to something that it resembles an addiction; “a car nut,” a “wrestling nut,” a “hunting nut,” a “family nut.” Do we notice the similarities in these terms? Phinehas was such a religious nut or zealous for the Lord that plunged a spear through a man and a woman and stayed a plague. Numbers 25:8-11 I am sure the nation was glad to have a religious nut in their presence.

Oh yes, we need to take a look at that word religious and how it compares to spiritual:
Religious – Concerned with sacred matters, religion or the church.
Having or showing belief in and reverence for a deity.
Spiritual – Concerned with sacred matters, religion or the church.
Concerned with or affecting the spirit or soul.

Wow!! I mean just wow. The first definition for each are the same. Let us not miss the implication here. There are some things we do religiously that have nothing to do with God, worship or the church. I am religious when I worship, read and pray to the one and only True God. There are other things that I do religiously that drive people nuts, specially my wife. Therefore we must look at the usage of the word.

Spiritual is a wonderful word. I have seen it used by an individual in this way – “I am not religious but I am spiritual. What does that mean? This person has their own definition for spiritual. Most often it is a rejection of the true God and a spiritual worship of self or earth or any other thing. This reminds us that the way a word is used is very important.

Revelation 3:19 – As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous (be a religious nut) therefore, and repent.

If we had more religious nuts, we might have more spiritual fruit.

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