Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 23
When the eyes of Adam and Eve were opened after their disobedience to Godâ€™s commandment, they discovered that their flesh was naked and not suited for the holy presence of God. They hid themselves from God and like all natural minds they came up with what seemed good and right in their own eyes (self- righteousness) to cover their flesh. But God sees our righteousness as filthy and stinking rags:
Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
God was not caught off guard by what Adam and Eve did because God knows all things long before it happensâ€¦.. and more than thatâ€¦ He works all those things to take place exactly how He planned it before the foundation of the world (Job 37:16; Psa 139:1-18; Psa 147:5; Eph 1:11). This truth destroys the false teachings of â€œfreeâ€ will and the so- called â€œfall of manâ€. God prepared a sacrifice for sin long before the physical types were introduced. Jesusâ€™ incarnation was â€œforeordained before the foundation of the worldâ€ and He is the first â€œof the creation of Godâ€ to have the spirit of God in fullness, even while in a body of naked fleshâ€¦.. of course he had to grow as a human in thatâ€¦. (Rev 3:14; Joh 3:13; 6:38; 10:17-18; 16:28; 17:5):
1Pe 1:20 Who [ Jesus] verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.
Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.
All physical sacrifices are types of the one true sacrifice for sin, Jesus Christ, who is also the antitype for all the physical priests who was doing the sacrificing in the tabernacle and temple under the old covenant (Rom 1:20; Heb 5:6; Psa 110:4; Heb 7:12-28). Godâ€™s ownership of all is clearly seen â€œfrom the beginningâ€:
Gen 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
Lev 7:8 And the priest that offereth any man’s burnt offering, even the priest shall have to himself the skin of the burnt offering which he hath offered.
Sacrificing of this flesh in us is foundational to our understanding of how God owns all things in this creation which He again will â€œgather together in one all things in Christâ€, including all in the generation of the first man Adam (Eph 1:10). This happens in us when we tremble at the word of God and when we can see that flesh is shamefully naked in all aspects, even when are â€œcarried awayâ€ by its beauty and appeal:
Eze 9:4-6 Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel was gathered to me, because of the transgression of those that had been carried away; and I sat astonied until the evening sacrifice. 5 And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the LORD my God, 6 And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens.
Throughout scripture this theme of a sacrifice is used to broaden our growing understanding of what it entails because we cannot grasp spiritual things all at once:
Joh 16:12-13 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Knowing that God also created evil and sends evil spirits, it is clear that Adam and Eve were given the breath or spirit â€œof the worldâ€ with all its inherent lusts and pride which cannot receive or know the holy spirit of God (Isa 45:7; Gen 2:7; 1Sa 16:14; 1Ki 22:20-23; 1Jn 2:16; Gen 3:6):
1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
The various aspects of a sacrifice are extremely important to note as that helps us to appreciate and â€œknowâ€¦the only true God, and Jesus Christâ€ because that is what spiritual life is all about:
Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
We see that the first two sons of Adam and Eve had different mind- sets and understandings of sacrifice, representing the two minds we all are given at the appointed times (â€œfirstâ€¦that which is natural, and afterward that which is spiritualâ€). The themes of worship and thanksgiving are closely linked to sacrificing, and here it is brought to our attention for the first time in the scriptures (refer also to Gen 22:5; Rom 12:1):
Gen 4:1-5 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. 2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. 4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering 5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
The concept of a sacrifice includes offerings. The offering from the â€œfruit of the groundâ€ is an essential part of sacrificing, but it should be accompanied by a burnt offering (Hebrew: â€œoÌ‚laÌ‚hâ€â€“ completely burned in entirety). Cain followed his parentsâ€™ example in thinking that God will be impressed with manâ€™s ideas of worship. One thing that Cain did not take heed of, for our learning, was that the sacrificing of a life was first and foremost in Godâ€™s order of worship and salvation. The order is also very important because we can do absolutely nothing without His work or His faith in us. â€œGood worksâ€ follow the faith which demonstrates that God works all things after the counsel of His will (Jas 2:17-18; Eph 1:11):
Php 2:12-14 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
Murmurings and disputings flows from disobedience to Godâ€™s clear instructions and the resulting operation of the wrong order. Without faith it is impossible to please God and faith without works is dead (Heb 12:6; Jas 2:14-26). When the gift of faith is at work in us we know that sacrificing oneâ€™s life is the only acceptable worship to God. After the flood, Noah worshipped God when he sacrificed of the â€œclean beastâ€ as an expression of worship and thanks for Godâ€™s provision. But another aspect of sacrifice was introduced here also. Noahâ€™s sacrifices reveal Godâ€™s covenant relationship with all mankind, in type:
Gen 8:20-21 And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
The altar also features prominently in the lives of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Gen 22:1-14; Gen 26:23-25; Gen 35:5-7). Abraham who was known as the man with a tent and an altar, and with him God again reinforces His covenant to save all people with an oath:
Gen 15:18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:
Gen 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
Gen 13:16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.
Although Abraham (Abram then) was put to sleep having no active part in the cutting of this covenant, all the animals, except the fowls, were cut in two parts for our learning:
Gen 15:10 And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not.
A covenant is between at least two parties. In Jesus, the sacrificial Lamb of God, the Father made this covenant as Abraham served as is a type of Christ who is Godâ€™s â€œseedâ€ of salvation for all in the Adam (Joh 8:56; 1Ti 2:3-6; 1Jn 2:2; Rev 5:6-9):
Gen 22:8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Flesh cannot do anything â€œwellâ€ in Godâ€™s eyes because flesh (or nakedness) is sin and â€œat the doorâ€ of all in the generation of the first Adam. Only the sacrifice of this fleshly life can open up the new spirit life of the last Adam who is the only one who can â€œdo wellâ€ (Mat 10: Joh 12:24):
Gen 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
With the coming of the law of Moses, more detail is added to this theme of sacrifice in Scripture. Only a specific tribe in Israel was now ordained to do the sacrificing â€“ the priestly tribe of Levi pointing to the â€œroyal priesthoodâ€ chosen in Christ with the new law of the spirit under a new order (Exo 29:1-35; 1Pe 2:9; Heb 7:12; Rom 8:2). The offerer had to bring the animal, lay hands on it, and kill it. This is not to be seen as a substitute offering, but a type of us who must lay down our own lives and take up our own cross. This is only possible when we follow Jesusâ€™ example as He lives His life in us (Mat 16:24; Mat 19:21; Rev 14:4,13; 1Jn 4:17):
1Pe 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
In the Mosaic law meticulously detailed instructions were added to these offerings which were wearing on the flesh when we also think of daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly sacrifices which were to be offered concurrently. But with every detail we are given to see, our own spiritual insight in Christ is increased and our own ideas decrease. For example the animal (or beast) must be killed at the north side of the altar made of wood overlaid with copper (symbolizing the flesh), because spiritual righteousness is obtained through the â€œterrifyingâ€ judgement of the â€œterrors of Godâ€ on the flesh of the first Adam (Exo 27:1; Job 6:4):
Job 37:22 (GW) A golden light comes from the north. A terrifying majesty is around God.
Lev 1:11 And he shall kill it on the side of the altar northward before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall sprinkle his blood round about upon the altar.
In the five main offerings which physical Israel had to offer, the meal offering (the â€œfruit of the groundâ€) was always with the burnt offering of an animal – of â€œthe herdâ€ or â€œthe flockâ€ or â€œthe fowlsâ€ (Lev 1:2, 14):
Lev 23:18 And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto the LORD, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto the LORD.
Ezr 7:17 That thou mayest buy speedily with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meat offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem.
When we are puffed up with our own will (own ideas and solutions) and in naked flesh, the non- sweet smelling offerings apply which are the sin and trespass offerings. The best flesh, even Jesus in flesh, is still dung and not good at all â€“ it needs to be sacrificed â€œwithout the campâ€ (1Co 5:21; Luk 22:42; Luk 18:19; Php 3:8):
1Co 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Exo 29:14 But the flesh of the bullock, and his skin, and his dung, shalt thou burn with fire without the camp: it is a sin offering.
The burnt, meal and the peace offerings fall under the sweet smelling savor offerings when we can see it is Christâ€™s works in us which enables us to do good works, even serving and placing otherâ€™s needs ahead of our own (Php 4:18). We do not look for preeminence and physical rulership over others, but we are rather servants of the Christ (Eph 2:10; Eph 5:2; Rom 12:1; Php 2:18). This reveals how we are â€œfilling up the things that lack of the tribulations of the Christâ€:
Col 1:24 [ Rotherham] Now, am I rejoicing in the sufferings on your behalf, and am filling up the things that lack of the tribulations of the Christ, in my flesh, in behalf of his body, which is the assembly.
The more we grow and increase in the knowledge and understanding of the Christ, the more we become interested in the finer details of these sacrifices as we also move from sacrificing â€œthe fowlsâ€ initially, to give our best of â€œthe herdâ€, namely the ox or bull, in type. The building of the true spiritual temple of God in us will cost us everything (2Sa 24:18-35; Luk 14:28-30):
Pro 14:4 Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.
Heat in the form of a fire is needed for every sacrifice. Jesus said that everyone will be salted with fire (Mar 9:49). Everyoneâ€™s work will be revealed by fire (1Co 3:13-15; Rev 20:10-15). If we are filling up of the afflictions of the Christ, we will gradually see the purpose for all the fiery trials in our own lives and endure it â€œas a lamb to the slaughterâ€, God willing (1Pe 4:12):
Isa 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
Sacrifice and obedience go hand in hand, which king Saul, a type of our impatient and disobedient fleshly king learned the hard way, for our admonition. God is not interested at hollow outward fleshly rituals to please people (physical â€œcorbanâ€). He is interested in our obedience to His commandments which correlates with sacrificing and true worship (Mar 7:10-13; 1Jn 5:2-3; Act 14:1; Act 19:1). Fleshly sacrifices are not accepted because flesh is spiritually blind, lame, and sickly (Isa 1:11-19; Jer 7:21-23; Mal 1:7-14):
Mic 6:6-8 Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? 7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
Detailed studies and emails written by Mike Vinson relating to this foundational theme of sacrifice (offerings) in Scripture will help so much to broaden spiritual insights. Other themes referred to in this study are also available on http:// www. iswasandwillbe. com/:
“The Law of The Offerings” Series
http:// www. iswasandwillbe. com/ Why_ Was_ Cains_ Sacrifice_ Rejected. php
http:// www. iswasandwillbe. com/ Cains_ offering_ rejected. php
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- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 12 (August 24, 2013)
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- Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 02 (November 21, 2013)
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