Sacrifices

Sacrifices

Scripture: Romans 12:1, Genesis 3:9-12, Philippians 4:18
Date: 10/19/2013  Lesson: 3
"Central to the entire gospel is the concept of sacrifice. In the biblical languages, the words for 'sacrifice' often depict the idea of drawing near and of bringing something to God."

The Sanctuary Service (Paperback)

The Sanctuary Service (Paperback)
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Welcome to Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church. We're so glad that you're tuning in and it's so nice to be back and see all these smiling faces from central members. And, of course, those of you across the planet, around the world, we're so glad that you are tuning in as well and whether you're listening on the radio, watching live on our website at 'saccentral.org' or on the various television networks. However you're joining us, a very special welcome and we're so glad that you are going to sing with us and open up God's Word as we all study together. Our first song is a request from maria in argentina, patrice in the british virgin islands, magdalena in chile, selina and jonathan in the netherlands, youfort, janice, and mary in the united arab emirates and many more countries - and states, of course, in the United States.

#532 - 'Day by day' - we're going to do all three stanzas - #532 - sing with us. I love that song. That's been one of my favorites for many years. Thank you so much for sending in that request. Of course, there's many more songs in the hymnal and there's many more people that have favorites just like we do, so if you have one and you'd like to sing it with us on an upcoming program, go to our website at 'saccentral.

org', click on the 'contact us' link and you can send in your favorite hymn requests right there. It's very simple. Our next one is #72 and this is our new one for this week as we're working our way through the hymnal - 'creator of the stars of night'. We are learning some new songs and it's very exciting. In fact, many of you have written in saying that you're enjoying learning these with us so we're going to keep doing it.

This is from holly and Michael in Canada, joyce in kenya, jenny in malaysia, eugene in thailand and there were absolutely many more people that requested this song as well. We're going to do all three stanzas and the last one is when you sing, 'amen' - #72. Wasn't that beautiful? Thank you so much for sending in the new ones and we will keep singing them. At this time let's bow our heads for prayer. Father in Heaven, you are the creator of the stars of night.

You're creator of the universe, of this planet, of each and every one of us and we thank you so much for loving us and for caring about us. And when you look at how vast space is and then you come to earth and then you go smaller and you see people and then you see the sparrows and you even know how they're doing - you definitely know how we're doing and I just pray that you would love us, protect us, and may we always love you in return. In Jesus' Name, amen. At this time our lesson study is being brought to us by pastor mike thompson. He is our health and visitation pastor here at Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church.

Welcome to central study hour. We have to do our little commercial first - and it's a good one, I'm not trying to sound trite. But if you contact Amazing Facts - call the number -866-study-more or -866-788-3966 they will send you, in the continental united states of America, this lesson that was written by Pastor Doug, actually. It's from a set of lessons called 'storacles' and it's called 'the supreme sacrifice'. So if you send to Amazing Facts - free offer #704 - 7 - 0 - 4 - and you'll probably get that on the screens at the end of the program as well.

So it's lesson #3 - there's a memory text from Romans 12:1 and it says, "therefore, I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship." That's from the nasb - you're probably used to the King James, which I am, but it explains it very well. So we're looking at the theme of - it's simply called 'sacrifices' and from the introductory page of the lesson - lesson 3 - we read, 'central to the entire Gospel is the concept of sacrifice. And near the bottom of the page it says, 'this week we look at some of the sacrifices that believers have offered to God. We will discover that God has always been calling for sacrifices and he is still doing so today. Of course, the most important - God provided the ultimate sacrifice - that of himself in the person of Jesus Christ, his own son.

' So I'm going straight to Sunday. We're dealing here with the first sacrifice. Now, we know when adam and eve sinned, God immediately demonstrated his unwavering hatred of sin. When, in the exercise of his unwavering justice, he pronounced judgment upon the fallen pair and ultimately expelled them from their eden home. God told them in no uncertain terms that they would reap the ultimate consequences of death in return for their disobedience.

Sin comes with a heavy price tag. Genesis 3, verse 3 when eve was parlaying here with the serpent around the tree - she knew. This is what she said to the serpent, she said, "but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, 'ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.'" Well, he said, 'don't eat' - but nonetheless, she had it right. So she knew. And she parlayed with him and he said, 'you know, God doesn't mean that.

You won't die. In fact, God's hiding something from you. If you eat this it will open your eyes. You'll be as Gods. You'll be able to discern between good and evil and that sounded kind of fascinating and so, if you like, she took the bait.

But in verse 19 there were the consequences and God spelled them out. God turned around and said to adam and eve he said, 'in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." Beloved, God says what he means and he means what he says. Let us never forget that. But in spite of losing their eden home, which they did, for some reason adam and eve were not immediately kind of snuffed out of existence. They carried on living beyond that fateful day.

The Bible tells us, actually, adam didn't die until he was 930 years old. Why? Well, we know why - or we should know why. You see, at the same time as God exercises unwavering justice, God will never change his law or bend his law - it's the foundation of his throne - his government. He will not change it one iota. If the law could speak - if we could stand before the ark of the covenant this morning and the law could speak, as it were, you would hear that law saying, 'you break me, you must die.

' Can't bend the rules one bit and should not for the stability of the universe. But still, as God exercised his unwavering justice, he also exercised his unwavering mercy and exercised it toward the guilty pair. For the first time ever in the history of the universe, something happened which was called a sacrifice. Angels had never heard of sacrifices. None of the intelligences of other worlds had heard of sacrifices - of blood sacrifices.

And the Bible clearly implies that there was a blood sacrifice. You know, adam and eve were covered with skins. Those skins didn't grow on trees. They actually covered beings and those skins had to be cut off and placed upon the guilty pair. But nonetheless, there was something called a sacrifice that was made and what happened? It meant that God took an innocent creature and accounted it guilty in the stead of adam and eve.

And this innocent creature assumed the role of their sin-bearer - innocent and sinless as it was, it received the stroke of death in their behalf that they might live. And through this mysterious - and it was - it was a mysterious event. Through this mysterious and wondrous event adam and eve and every other intelligence in the universe was given a glimpse of the Messiah - the promised one - the pure and innocent Son of God who was to come. Not only become the sin-bearer of the guilty race and offer up his life as an atonement for the human race - as a substitute and surety - but also for the sake of the whole universe it was necessary that there be a redeemer. We know that God has quarantined sin down to this little world of ours and in wisdom he's done that, but what happens here affects the whole boundless universe.

So angels were interested then. The Sons of God from unfallen worlds were intensely interested to see what happened then and they're just as intensely interested now because before their eyes it's playing out - this theme that we, as seventh day adventists, are known for. But I wonder, do you really understand it? Called the Great Controversy. If you don't understand the Great Controversy theme, you'll never understand the third angel's message. And if you - alright, I'm going to just say it - if you're a liberal and you take this book and you allegorize it all the way, you will never understand the Great Controversy theme, what's more, you will have no need of it.

Therefore, the third angel's message will always be irrelevant and always will be. And the saving grace that it points us to through Christ our great high priest in the heavenly sanctuary where he went in 1844 administers now for his people, it will mean nothing to you, therefore, it - well, you'll be done, you know. You'll be done. So let us understand the great controversy theme, beloved. There's too much at stake here.

And so this - this is what was - the angels had seen the great controversy begin in heaven and it still wasn't too clear. The devil had taken a third of their fellow angels and those who reMained behind, they still wondered about this thing. But God, in symbolism there in eden says, 'look, there's a sin-bearer coming and you just watch and you will see, in the Great Controversy, through the sacrificial system, who is right and who is wrong. Who truly is a good God - a good being - and truly the one who wants to be the God of this world and this universe is an imposter, but we have to wait until we get to the cross. But nonetheless, it was prefigured, this whole thing.

And so this innocent animal, prefiguring Christ, was offered. His death would be in place of theirs and that applies to us on condition that we, as they, accept Christ as Savior and comply with the purposes through which he freely provides salvation. It's a free gift but there are conditions. There are very clear conditions and let us not be like those who say, 'well, you know, God loves me.' Yes he does. Praise God for that.

'And God'll meet me where I am because he's a loving God.' He will. Praise God for that. But God's a righteous God and it's his purpose to meet you where you are but not leave you there and parlay with your sins. It's his purpose to take you from that point and sanctify you and he will do that if you believe in the third angel's message and Jesus Christ as your great high priest in the heavenly sanctuary. He will fulfill that purpose and when he comes in glory you will be like him, morally, in character.

So, he provides salvation. It's free but there are conditions. And while the guilty pair were suddenly aware of their nakedness, after transgressing God's will - and they were - we're told in the 'spirit of prophecy' that God clothed them in garments of light and when they sinned it was all gone so they ran off to try and find something to cover. For the first time, this strange thing called sin, which seemed so infatuating, suddenly they're feeling uncomfortable with it. And so God - God helped them.

It says in Genesis 3:21, "unto adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them." Now, while God physically covered their nakedness, this act was a symbol of his mercy in covering their sin and their moral nakedness - their moral wretchedness. You know, in the message to laodicea what does Jesus tell us? He says, 'you're naked.' He says, 'you don't have any clothes on. You don't have a robe of righteousness and it's the hour of God's judgment.' He says, 'you're naked.' He says, 'I counsel you to buy of me white linen that you might be covered.' And this is what this represented here. Praise God for that. But again, as I say, the skins of these innocent animals, obviously sacrificed to provide such a covering, represented the robes of Jesus' righteousness.

But the promise of the redeemer to come as given in Genesis 3:15 - it's given there - we'll read some of it. Well, let's read it - Genesis :15 - we should do this - Genesis 3:15, the promise of the redeemer. God says, "and I will put enmity" - speaking to the serpent here - he says, "and I'll put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it" - that is, God's seed that was Christ to come, it says - "he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." And so, this promise of the sin-bearer was given that he would come to die for their iniquity - to pay the price for their transgression and sins so they could be accounted righteous and no longer condemned in God's eyes. But in here the promise was also given that God would provide grace, through the seed, and strength to deliver them from the power of sin and satan who hoped to keep them forever enslaved and entangled in the shackles of iniquity. And this is why God said, 'I will put enmity' - speaking to - 'I will put enmity between you and your children and the children of the seed.

' Now, there's a book called 'the sanctuary service' - it's been out a long time - by m.l. Andreasen. He was one of the best theologians that the seventh day adventist church has ever had. And you can still get it - I think it's - I think teach services might be reprinting it, but go to the abc if you don't have it. It's called 'the sanctuary service' by m.

l. Andreasen and he writes some very interesting things. And I want to pick up on a comment that he has given here in his book - pages 15 and 16, I think, about God putting enmity between satan - between God's - Christ's children and satan. Let me just read it. It says, "a paraphrase of this text," - 'I will put enmity between thy seed' and so on - "a paraphrase of this text, without doing violence to the meaning, would read, 'I will put hatred of sin into your heart.

' That's what God meant. He said, 'I will put hatred of sin into the hearts of adam and eve and their offspring - those who trust in the seed that is to come. Are you glad for that, by the way? I'm glad for that because in my natural state do I hate sin? Not for a minute. In my natural state - I'll come clean - I love the stuff. I have a fallen nature like anybody else, yes.

But you know what? I'm learning to hate it. I thank God for that. Because of this - "this was a distinct promise of present help to adam. God would help him resist and conquer sin by placing enmity to it in his heart." And he continues here, "hatred of sin is vital to full salvation. Humanly speaking, no man is safe until he has learned to hate sin as deeply as he formerly loved it.

" Now listen to this. He really wrote this well. He said, "he may resist sin. He may even flee from it. But as long as there is a lingering love of sin in the heart, he is not on safe ground.

A love of good is vital. So, also, is hatred of evil. It may truly be said that our capacity for love of the good is measured in balance by our capacity for love - or for hatred of evil." Some time, I don't know, two or three years ago, I did a sermon up here called 'scepter of righteousness' and there's a powerful passage there in Hebrews chapter 1, Hebrews 1:9, and he quotes this. He said, "of Christ it is said, 'thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity" - this is speaking of Jesus - "thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity. Therefore God, even thy God, has anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

In Christ love of righteousness was accompanied by a hatred of evil." Now listen, let's not get this wrong here, in his flesh Jesus could be tempted just like any one of us. In fact, the devil knew - the devil knows the human psyche - he knows we have fallen natures and satan understood that he had to take Jesus down and he knew he had a nature like us - and so you can be sure - if you've ever been worked over by the devil, you can be sure he tried to work Jesus over many times by prodding him where he knew there were the raw ingredients in his fallen nature where there could be that formula where he reached critical mass and he sinned. I'm saying this on camera and you can e-mail me if you want, but Jesus could have sinned. There's no doubt about that. But he didn't, praise God.

But he could have sinned. But he didn't. Why? Because fallen nature or not, for all his flesh would cry out, he realized he had to live above the desires and clamors of the fallen flesh. He had to live on a different plane. And he did.

And we can do the same. He wasn't a lesser God with advantages over us, serving a higher God. In his humanity he was like us. But he didn't cherish it, even though it tried to pull him down. He loved righteousness and he hated iniquity.

And it says here, 'in Christ, love of righteousness was accompanied by hatred of evil. Because of these two attributes, he was anointed for his work by God.' And we can be anointed for our work as well. Has he called us to do a work? Then if he's called us to do a work as he did - to do it - loving righteousness and hating iniquity, then will he qualify us? Will he implant within us that same love of righteousness with a passion and at the other side of the coin that same passion and hatred against evil. Will he do that for us? He will. 'This combination of love and hatred must be in every Christian.

They are fundamental in Christianity. It's significant that the first promise of a Savior in the Bible is prefaced by the promise of God's help in conquering sin by giving man a capacity for hatred of evil. This hatred is a great factor in our struggle with evil and our eventual victory over it. Were it not for the fact that God implants in the heart of every Christian a hatred of evil as well as a love for righteousness' - he says here - 'there would be little hope for us.' But praise God. We've got a big hope, friends.

And that hope and that promise was given right there in that dismal scene where it looked like the devil was rubbing his hands, 'I got him! I got him! I got him!' And God exercised justice but he said, 'you know what? I'm going to send you a Savior who'll not only redeem you from your failure and pay the price for your sin, but that Savior is going to do something in your life and in your heart, if you will let him in, that will change you. And the stuff that you may have loved, you're going to hate it with a passion and what you don't like you stay away from, right? And God is going to have a generation of children who hate sin so much they're going to stay away from it. And they will be the ones when Jesus says, in the sanctuary, 'it is finished.' And he throws down that censer and if you could be there in the most holy place - try and imagine - do you hear that censer? It's all quiet - ominously you hear this censer rolling across the floor - clunk, clunk, clunk, clunk, clunk, clunk...clunk...clunk - those few coals just come out and the last bit of incense of God's mercy arises and it's gone. From that moment on, probation is closed. But there will be those who will stand at that time, before a holy God, without a mediator because in the simple faith of little children they accepted the promise that the seed would come and make them lovers of righteousness and intense haters of evil.

We have to move on. Monday, 'types of offerings'. You see there it mentions different types of offerings. We've got burnt offerings, we've got grain offerings - I'm moving quickly here - peace offerings, purification offerings, trespass offerings - every one was pregnant with meaning. But what I want to do this morning is - there's so much we could say about each one of these offerings - these various types of offerings - but I've decided to focus, this morning, on the burnt offering.

Because it, kind of, is interlaced in so many of the other offerings that were presented in the sanctuary. And in his book - again - 'the sanctuary service' - you've got to get that book. You've really got to get that book. I was looking for another book this week and I couldn't lay my hands on it. It's called 'with Jesus in the sanctuary' by leslie hardinge and I couldn't find it.

It's somewhere in the house. I'll find it now. I was blaming my son-in-law. I said, 'eric, have you borrowed my book?' And he said, 'no.' But anyway, if you have that book as well, you've got to study the sanctuary. That's where it's at.

So getting back to andreasen's book - I want to read on page 89 about burnt offerings. We read this: "burnt offerings were the most characteristic of all offerings, containing as they did the essential qualities of the other sacrifices." Okay, and then we go to page 90. He says, "burnt offerings were used on many occasions, such as the cleansing of lepers" - and he gives references here such as Leviticus 14 - "the cleansing of women after childbirth" - you find that in Leviticus 12 - "and also for ceremonial defilement" - you find that in Leviticus 15. He says, "in these cases a sin offering was used, as well as a burnt offering. The first offering, the sin offering, atoned for sin.

The second" - and, by the way, a burnt offering was always voluntary. It was a voluntary offering when it was mixed with the sin offering - it was kind of required but, nonetheless, many times it was offered as a voluntary offering. That's why it means so much to God. "The second - the burnt offering - showed the offender's attitude toward God in wholehearted consecration." So what are we looking at here with burnt offerings? We're looking at the issue of the offender's attitude toward God in wholehearted consecration. The burnt offering was prominent in the consecration of aaron and his sons.

" - We're going to look at that in a minute - "as well as their induction into the ministry. It was also used in connection with a nazarite vow" - Numbers chapter 6 - "in all these instances it stood for complete consecration of the individual to God." - Again we find that. This is what the burnt offering was. - "The offerer placed himself symbolically on the altar, his life wholly devoted to God." Now, Genesis chapter 29 - I want to go there because here, as you read in andreasen's book, 'the burnt offering was prominent in the consecration of aaron and his sons into the ministry.' Now, I'm going to relieve you to read all of chapter 29 yourself in your own time. I'm going to refer to it, but as you read through chapter - I'm having to do this because we've got so much this morning.

I hate to do it, but as you read through chapter 29, when it came to the consecration of aaron and his sons and the dedication - the consecration of the sanctuary so it could be made effective as a place where people could come - where it could be effective as a temple, a total of one bullock and two rams were ultimately offered. The consecration of the building and the dedication of aaron and his sons. 'First the bullock was slain and then one of the rams' - you can read about that - but the second ram, which was the last offering, it was called 'the ram of dedication' and now I'm actually going to turn there - Exodus 29 - it's called 'the ram of consecration' and you'll see it called such at the end of verse 22 - right at the very end. Actually, no - I'm going to go a bit before that. I'm going - we're looking in Exodus 29 - did I give you that right? Exodus 29? Okay.

Exodus 29, verse 19 - it says, "and thou shalt take the other ram;" - this is God giving Moses the instructions to tell aaron what to do - "thou shalt take the other ram;" - second one - "and aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram." Okay - and verse 20 - I want to look at that now. It says, "then shalt thou kill the ram, and take of his blood, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of aaron and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons, and upon the thumb of their right hand, and upon the great toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about." Okay. That's what it tells us there in verse 20. Now this - this ram of dedication - part of it was burned. Some of it was kept back, like the shoulder.

That was - you read in the chapter - you can read it yourself - that was cooked. They boiled it in water and aaron and his sons were able to eat some of that along with some bread and wafer - part of the consecration process. But it says here, 'whatever was left over 'til the next day had to be consumed because it was holy.' Exodus 29:34, "and if ought of the flesh of the consecrations, or of the bread, remain unto the morning, then thou shalt burn the remainder with fire: it shall not be eaten, because it is holy." So you've got this ram of consecration - ram of dedication - it's sacrificed, blood put on his ear, his thumb, his foot - same with his sons - right ear, right foot, right thumb. Some is eaten - the rest is burned - some is eaten - if any left the next morning that has to be burned because it's holy. But I want to return now to verse 20 where God actually delineates what needed to happen - where the blood was put on aaron's ear, his thumb and his foot.

And I'm reading from page 67 of andreasen's book. Is this easy for - am I making this clear? Can you follow me okay? Alright. Notice - let's think about this ourselves. "The application of the blood to the ear of aaron, doubtless signifies the consecration of this member to the service of God." Now think about that in respect to yourself and apply this to yourself. "Henceforth aaron must harken diligently to God's commandments and must close his ears to evil.

This lesson is for all and for all time. It is profitable for ministers and laymen alike. Well would it be if it were heeded to obey, to listen, to obey is better than sacrifice and to harken than the fat of rams." We could stop right there and talk the rest of this morning, couldn't we - about what we listen to? It's a temptation but I have to move on. Let's move on - still in verse 20 - and the blood was put "...upon the thumb of their right hand..." Good morning, sir. And this is what we read on page of andreasen's book about the blood on the thumb of the right hand.

"This placing of the blood on the thumb of the right hand of aaron signifies that he should henceforth do righteousness. Just as hearing has to do with the mind, so the hand has to do with bodily activity." It stands for the life forces - the outward act - the doing of righteousness. Of Christ it is written from Hebrews 10:7 - and this is actually from Psalms - 'lo I come to do thy will o God.' "My meat, Christ said, is to do the will of him that sent me and to finish his work." John 4:34. Touching the hand with the blood means the consecration of the life and service to God. Entire dedication.

Who has your hands? You know what's going on in your mind. Where are your fondest thoughts right now? Ellen white says in the book 'steps to Christ' 'if you want to know where you're at' - she says - do a little checking - who has your fondest thoughts and affections right now? And I'll guarantee whoever has your fondest thoughts and affections, whether it's God or satan, they also have your hands. And as you're thinking about 'oh, I'd like to do that' - it might be bad - then your hands, given the chance, they're ready to go. Or if the thought, hopefully, is in the other direction, 'oh Lord, I want to do that - I want to do that good thing so much.' If that's in your heart then your hands - what direction are they facing? They're going that way. It says in Psalms - it says, 'Lord, thy way is in the sanctuary' and we can see that God's way - salvation and how we are to be as Christians - it's all there in the sanctuary.

The sanctuary is a picture book of salvation. The sanctuary is a picture book of how God is dealing with this issue of sin. How we can maintain his law without bending it, breaking it - and at the same time can save these disobedient little wretches that we are because he loves us so much. And so he painted a picture book and that's the sanctuary service. And if you want to understand salvation, you look in that book and see - you'll see there.

And the blood which was on aaron and his sons' ears and thumbs and feet - that blood symbolized whose blood? Jesus, the blood of the seed that was promised - that would come and would put enmity between the devil and Christ. And, of course, the toe. It says, 'placing the blood on the toe has a similar meaning. It signifies walking in the right way - running God's errands - standing for truth and righteousness. It means treading the path of obedience - having one's steps ordered by the Lord.

Every faculty of their being is to be dedicated to God and consecrated to his service. That vision of Ellen white - the first one she had - do you remember? Where did she see God's people? They were going up this hill, right? This path - it was a narrow path and there they were going up and it was steep and behind them there was a light - she said that was the midnight cry - and ahead of them there was a light and there was Jesus. And they were going up that path and the only way they could go up that path and the only way they would continue to go up that path is if they had that blood on their feet. We need our feet consecrating - our hands consecrating - our hearts consecrating - our all consecrating with the blood of Jesus. And when things get tough and that path gets narrow and it gets steeper - you know which way you'll keep going? You'll keep going up and you'll so love righteousness and you'll so hate evil that you would rather die than turn around.

I want to be a Christian like that. Alright. In concluding this section, I want to just go to Leviticus 9 - turn to Leviticus 9 - I'm going to read verses 22, , and 24 in a moment. But in Leviticus chapter 9 - and we're going here to this same event that is in Genesis 29 - just different account - of when aaron and his sons and the sanctuary were all sprinkled and dedicated with the blood and the oil and all that was necessary. But here in Leviticus 9, on this same day - on this same occasion - in verse 4, God told the people this - well, aaron told the people this as they were getting ready to go through this consecration process.

The very last sentence of verse , Moses said, "...for today the Lord will appear unto you." He said, 'the Lord will appear unto you.' Keep that in mind. So the ceremonies begin and it lasted, actually, seven days, actually, the - aaron and his sons had to remain within the confines of the sanctuary. But nonetheless, we pick up now where everything had been completed. Aaron and his sons were fully consecrated to - he was fully consecrated to his high priestly office and empowered by God to fulfill this sacred role and in Leviticus 9 we find that he offers the first sacrifice. And then we read, picking up in levitcus 9, verse 22, "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.

And Moses and aaron went into the tabernacle" - so he offered the first sacrifices. Then Moses - Moses still has a teaching role at this point, showing aaron what to do. Once it was all fully consecrated, even Moses couldn't go in there, just aaron - but right at this point God's got Moses showing aaron what to do. And so they go into the sanctuary and they go into the holy place and they would have gone into the most holy place and Moses is instructing aaron, you know, 'you do this. You do that.

You've got to get it right because God is particular.' Then they come out. Notice now - - "and Moses and aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: - now notice - "and the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people. 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." 'Whoa - did you see that? What happened?' Now God's servant - his sanctuary - was consecrated. He had his priest. He had his high priest.

He had his sons - too bad they went astray but let's not get around to that today. Everything was ready, the sacrifice was offered, the hands were raised in benediction and fire came down from God out of heaven and the presence of God was manifest and that sacrifice was consumed and the people fell on their faces. Did they do that sometime in the past? What about on Mount Carmel, right? Well the point I want to make is this: when we, as a people, are fully consecrated, fully converted and fully given over to God - when we, as a people, have a fully converted and a fully consecrated ministry - and I'm part of that - not pointing fingers but I'll say it again. When we, as a people, have a fully converted and fully consecrated ministry that will only offer upon the altar of God that which he has specifically said in His Word - strictly according to His Word, then the glory of God will be manifest in his remnant church before our eyes and before the eyes of the onlooking universe and even in the eyes of the world. That is why God is telling us we need to come into line as a people and we need to seek him such as never before.

Friends, we've got a lot of praying to do. We've got a lot of heart searching to do - even within the ministry - a lot of heart searching to do. There's a lot of repenting to do. There's a lot of forsaking of sin to do and we need to do it because if we don't God may pass us by and he will find somebody who will allow him to put the blood on their ear and on their thumb and on their foot and on their heart and on their brain and truly bring to him a sacrifice that is a sweet-smelling savor because they are fully surrendered to him who has given his all to them. I want to read Genesis 22, verses 1 and 2.

Now moriah, of course, mount moriah, this is where Abraham took his dear boy, right? And talk about a test - verse , "and it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham," - what it means is that he tested him - "and it came to pass after these things, that God did 'test' Abraham, and said unto him, 'Abraham:' and he said, 'behold, here I am.' And he said, 'take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of." The few moments we have this morning to contemplate and comment on this event in Abraham's life is so - it's so pitifully inadequate, it almost seems like an insult to God and what's written here and everything it means, but we just have a few minutes. But nonetheless, two things I want to mention. The first one, we do not - we must not - we cannot fail to recognize the magnitude of Abraham's faith in being willing to obey God - being willing to destroy - destroy the beloved child that had been given him, and through which everything had been promised. It seemed almost insane but God said, 'take your boy, Abraham, take him into the land of moriah and you offer him as a sacrifice.' And so he went. Well, just imagine when he's even raising the knife, you know? The faith he had - he's raising the knife - God says, 'kill your boy' - he's raising the knife and yet he still said, God will provide a lamb and he's ready to bring that knife down.

It almost seemed like an act of insanity. It may be questioned as insanity - I don't know - in his humanness - but we know that God spared him from having to do that. So there's Abraham's faith. We could say lots about it but I want to move on to the second point. Because I've opted this morning instead to focus - again briefly - on how this event not only prefigured the sacrificial death of Jesus, of course, but how it gave Abraham - even though it was really slight compared to God's measure of the cup - it still gave Abraham a taste of the unspeakable anguish that God The Father endured when he offered up his only son to suffer and die for the sins of a world that has never really loved him.

In 'Patriarchs and Prophets' page 154 we read this, "it was to impress Abraham's mind with the reality of the Gospel, as well as to test his faith, that God commanded him to slay his son" - and it's this I want us to focus on - "the agony which he endured during the dark days of that fearful trial was permitted that he might understand from his own experience, something of the greatness of the sacrifice made by the infinite God for man's redemption. No other task could have caused Abraham such torture of soul as did the offering of his son. God gave his son to a death of agony and shame." Try and put yourself in Abraham's shoes if you possibly can. He's got to offer his son and then on top of that we wonder at the grief he must have suffered as he finally gets to mount moriah and he's thinking of the grief that this is going to bring to his son as well - his only boy. And so, you know, the boy asks, 'dad, where's the, you know, ram?' He was a boy, he wasn't a grown man, he was wondering where was the sacrifice.

'Son, God will provide a sacrifice.' He gets to mount moriah, sets up the altar - there's still no ram. And then the moment comes that Abraham turns to his precious son. He was a dad. He was a father like anybody else and he's got to turn to his son now and break the news that 'you're going to be the sacrifice.' Now, if - to have listened in to that conversation - I'm sure God must have it recorded and we can listen to it in heaven. I want to hear it.

But if we could listen into that conversation it would break the heart of every mother and father who's ever thought that much about their child. He turns to his son and he says, 'son, you know I love you, don't you son? Well, you know I do and, you know, I don't know what you'll think about me when I tell you this and I'm not sure how you might feel about me.' And so he's going on trying to find the words and he says, 'you know, this is hard son and to be honest I don't know how best I can tell you.' And so Isaac's saying, 'dad. What is it dad? Tell me.' 'Well son' - and you can imagine the tears start to stream down Abraham's old face. His hands probably start to shake a little bit and he gets choked up. 'Well son, this is going to be - it's going to be the hardest thing I've ever had to do but, well, you and i, we've got to say 'goodbye' today.

' And then he tells him. Try to imagine that if you can. Well, we know God, in mercy, he spared Abraham's son, he did. But all that this prefigured was that God would not be able to spare his own son. We get a glimpse of this.

We get a glimpse of the dark sorrow and grief that swallowed up the heart of God as he stood silently in the shadows beside the cross watching his poor tortured and broken-hearted son bleeding and wasting away for the sins of this world. And at that point I have to stop. The time's gone. But I would ask you to go read 'Desire of Ages' - Gethsemane and calvary - and ask God to give you something of an understanding of what it was like in that dark place prefigured on mount moriah where God gave his son for this world. Don't rush through it.

Pray about it. And as we start to see that - see the preciousness of that blood - we'll want to make ourselves a living sacrifice. Say, 'Lord, here I am. All of me. Take it all.

I don't want it. Take back what you bought, it's yours. You don't get much back, I'm sorry. But what I am is all I have.' But, you know, that's all he wants. So praise God for that.

Our free gift this week is from 'storacles of prophecy' - offer #704 - 'the supreme sacrifice'. You can get this if you contact Amazing Facts at -866-study-more or -866-788-3966 - 'the supreme sacrifice' - offer #704. God bless you. In six days God created the heavens and the earth. For thousands of years man has worshiped God on the seventh day of the week.

Now, each week, millions of people worship on the first day. What happened? Why did God create a day of rest? Does it really matter what day we worship? Who was behind this great shift? Discover the truth behind God's law and how it was changed. Visit 'Sabbathtruth.com'.

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