The Church of God has a better understanding of the Bible than any others because God has opened our minds to His Truth. We are truly humbled that God would so lovingly share Himself with us. Especially, in this looming end-time, we are gaining a better insight of those things revealed by God. The prophet Daniel wrote:
“Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” (Daniel 12:10)
In today’s sermon we will address the topic of how it is possible that God’s people are purified and made white. And surprisingly, we can go all the way back to the two goats of Leviticus 16 as we set out to find the answer. The Israelites had just been delivered from Egyptian bondage when God (Jesus Christ is of the Old Testament) instructed Moses in how to carry out a special sin offering once each year.
“[Aaron the priest] shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering.” (Leviticus 16:5)
The Israelites in the wilderness did not truly understand the intent of the sacrificial system. The concepts that the Messiah would be God in the flesh, that He would be killed in fulfillment of the whole sacrificial system, and then raised to life by the Father’s exceeding great power (Ephesians 1:17-20), were entirely foreign to them. We understand that only the cleansing power of Almighty God can make a person clean, pure and white. We understand that only Almighty God can give the gift of eternal life. For old Israel, the sacrifices, and the ceremonial cleansings were constant reminders, but they could not grasp the far-reaching meaning of those atonement rituals. Over time the meaning would be revealed by God—even salvation from death itself that comes only from the eternal God.
It is important that we realize how God in His wisdom is progressively painting a picture for us, beginning at the foundation of the world—a picture that encompasses His entire master Plan. God continues to reveal Himself to us. He has not revealed everything about Himself all at once because it has been a hidden mystery (1Corinthians 2:7).
“…These things have not entered the heart of mankind the things which God has prepared for them that love Him But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things about God.” (1Corinthians 2:9-10)
God reveals Himself in His word—a little here and a little there the Bible interprets the Bible (Isaiah 28:10). There has been a long history of God’s revelation of Himself to mankind. God did not reveal His name all at once. When God told Moses that He was sending him to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, Moses was concerned how the Israelites would receive him. So Moses asked God:
“Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is His name? What shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: [Yahweh is very similar in meaning to “I AM”]… And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shall thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God [YHVH Elohim] of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name forever.” (Exodus 3:13-16)
But then, three chapters later we find God revealing more of His name to Moses!
“Then the LORD [Yahweh] said unto Moses, Now shall thou see what I will do to Pharaoh… And God [Elohim] spoke unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD: And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, [El Shaddai- God who nourishes] but by my name [YHVH] was I not known to them.” (Exodus 6:1-3)
That does not take anything away from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – it only shows that God continues to reveal Himself to His people. We should not be surprised to find out that God deals out His self-revelation according to His will. Only one century ago we, like Moses, did not know that the Holy Days pictured the master Plan of God (Leviticus 23). Today we are privileged to understand the meaning of the Holy Days and the Plan of God. Jesus continues to reveal the Father to the saints:
"O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee: but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:25-26)
That Godly love and presence we have in common with Jesus makes our relationship with the Father more pleasing. In the Book of Ephesians, Paul emphasized that the Lord Jesus is our sanctifier. He makes us, holy, blameless, pure and white, without reproach or guilt, before God the Father. It is clear that the Father wants to see Christ in us, when we come to Him. He brings about that reconciliation.
God is merciful to set us back on track when we make a misstep, as we often have. In today’s sermon we will answer the question, “Where did we go wrong and get the notion that Satan bears our iniquity instead of Jesus Christ our Savior and Messiah?”
“Surely [Jesus the Messiah] has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted…
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD has laid on [Jesus the Messiah] the iniquity of us all…
He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for [Jesus the Messiah] shall bear their iniquities.” (Isaiah 53:4, 6, 11)
||"Two Aspects of Leviticus 16" Part One||
||"Two Aspects of Leviticus 16" Part Two||