Covenants & Sacrifices

Fred R. Coulter10/29/1988

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One of the most important things to be understood in the Bible, so that we can understand what we need to do today in relationship to God, in relationship to commandment-keeping is to understand the Bible and the relationship that God has with people, which we will call the covenants of God. In part one we got down through the situation with Isaac.

I am not going to dwell anymore on that in a detailed way, simply because I wanted to cover that from several points of view as far as Isaac is concerned, because when we get to the book of Galatians it will discuss about Isaac in relationship to the New Testament Church.

The Patriarchal System

What I want to do is go on from there. We will mention several things that are important, then we'll come back and review them. First of all, remember that under the system that we will now call The Patriarchal System—from two Greek words:

  •  'pater'—which is father
  • 'arche'—which is in charge of or over

 'Patriarchal means the system of the fathers. That's why you have in the Bible: the fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

With the patriarchal system, let's review just a couple of things that are very important for us to understand. First of all, the first apparent patriarch in the patriarchal system was Abel. It doesn't tell us about Adam. It goes from Adam to Abel to Seth, and then right on down through Noah, down on through to Abraham and then Isaac and Jacob.

Under the patriarchal system, the patriarch or father—or his successor—was what you would call the leading priest. He is the one who offered the sacrifices. We know from Gen. 4 that Abel offered sacrifices. It talks about the firstlings of the flock. We'll see a little later when we get into what is called the Old Covenant we will re-entitle that as The Covenant with Israel. It's really not an old covenant, it's an intermediate covenant really when you understand the covenant that began with Abel, came down through Noah, came down through Abraham, and then Isaac and Jacob, then onto the children of Israel from there.

So, it should really properly be called The Covenant with Israel rather than the Old Covenant. It is called the Old Covenant in the New Testament from the point of view of looking back to that after the establishing of the New Covenant.

Just a couple of things concerning the patriarchal system before we get into the system that we find in the book of Exodus as it is given. First of all, the patriarch being the leading one of the family could offer sacrifices to God. We will see that Job was under the patriarchal system, because he offered sacrifices to God. Later we will see that with the covenant with Israel, there was a change in that and it had to go only through the Levitical priesthood. They were the only ones who could offer the sacrifice.

We're just going to summarize and then get into more detail as we get into what I am calling The Covenant with Israel.

Job 1:5: "And when the days of feasting were concluded, Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning… [we have morning sacrifices] …and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all…." He wanted to do this just in case his sons cursed God in their heart.

The reason that this event took place is to teach us a lesson that every individual is accountable before God, and you're not going to have standing before God because of someone else's righteousness. Some people might say that it's an awful thing to take the sons, as God took the sons, but that's because they don't understand the second resurrection. It was still hard for Job to live with, but however, when you get through the final analysis, he was given double of everything that he had in the first place.

Let's see something concerning how God dealt with the patriarch. Another thing with the patriarchal system, God dealt, apparently, with them. Not necessarily in dreams and visions. He talked with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, He also did appear in a vision to Jacob. Jacob was the third one of the patriarchs there. God apparently talked with Abel, Seth, Enoch and Noah—very clearly that He did.

So, in this particular case, God is talking to Job. Notice, He didn't talk to the others. He didn't talk to anyone else, just Job, the patriarch. Job 42:1: "And Job answered the LORD and said, 'I know that You can do all things, and that no thought can be withheld from You'" (vs 1-2). I want to call your attention to: Is this really any different than it is in the New Testament? No, it's the same N.T. principle! What did Jesus say how we're going to be judged? By every idle word! Not much difference in principle.

What I want to do is show the principles on which God operates. God, even though He gives laws, is not confined by just the giving of the Law. Also, we'll see that this is very important principle when we come down to how God deals with us in what we call The New Testament or let's rename that The Christian Covenant. So, we will have

  • The Patriarchal Covenant
  • The Covenant with Israel
  • The Christian Covenant

Those are the three major ones. There were other little sub-covenants and promises to people who came along.

Verse 3. "You asked, 'Who is he who hides counsel without knowledge?'…." That's our biggest trouble even today concerning what we should do and not do, because we don't understand. We get out there and make all kinds of utterances of things that we don't understand anything about.

  • that's how false doctrines get in
  • that's how assumptions come in
  • that's how difficulties come in

—because they really don't understand what they're talking about. I hope we've learned enough so that we're not going to go off and be making all kinds of half-cocked statements where we're talking about things we don't know.

The thing that is important is to understand the limitations of what we know and hope we grow in grace and knowledge, which God will provide for us.

"…Therefore, I have spoken that which I did not understand; things too wonderful for me; yea, which I did not know. Hear, I beseech You, and I will speak; You said, 'I will ask of you, and you will declare to Me.' I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You" (vs 3-5).

Here's a real point of conversion. This is something that is so absolutely important in the relationship and the covenant with God. The covenant with Israel that we're going to see was a separate and sub and different covenant than with the patriarchs and the covenant that we will call The Christian Covenant.

Verse 6: "Therefore, I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." So, there is repentance. What does a person repent from? or Of? or Over? They repent of sins! {note Acts 2:38—repent, therefore, and be baptized.}. You repent of sins so your sins may be forgiven and you receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. I want to bring out the similarities here as we go along, because God is 'the same yesterday, today and forever.' This thing of different dispensationalism is not a correct statement, because that gives the assumption that God was offering eternal life to everyone under the Covenant with Israel. Not so!

Verse 7: "And it came to pass after the LORD had spoken these words to Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, 'My wrath is kindled against you and your two friends. For you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.'" So, in this case God did talk to them and didn't take them to task.

Verse 8: "And now therefore take to yourselves seven young bulls and seven rams, and go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering…." He told them not to go offer them themselves, but to go to Job, because Job was one of the patriarchs. A patriarch was a priest who then could offer those sacrifices. I want us to keep in mind about sacrifices, because we'll go back and see something concerning those in just a bit.

"…And My servant Job will pray for you. For him will I accept; lest I deal with you according to your foolishness, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, like My servant Job' (v 8). Then the sacrifices were offered and the Lord also accepted Job.

Everybody had to repent! Everybody had to offer some sacrifices. Who was the one who offered them to God? The patriarch! Very important! When we come to the time in Exo. 19 about Jethro, the priest of Median, who offered sacrifices unto the Lord with Moses there, and that Median was one of the sons of Abraham, so he was successor to a patriarchal system under Abraham.

Let's go to Galatians 3; there's no way that I can avoid bringing this in at this particular time. I want to talk about a couple of interpretations, namely that have been preached in the Church of God Seventh Day, that has been preached in the Worldwide Church of God and other Churches of God, but I want to come here to Galatians so that we can cover this. I won't give you a full, detailed explanation of it, but I just want to give you the assumption of this verse so that when we talk about sacrifices—which we will get into in just a little bit—that you will understand that it's not like they said.

Galatians 3:19: "Why then the Law? It was placed alongside the promises for the purpose of defining transgressions, until the Seed should come to Whom the promise was made, having been ordained through angels in the hand of a mediator." The interpretation that they give that particular verse is that the law in this case being talked about in v 19—which is an incorrect assumption—that that only refers to sacrifices. They interpret it this way: the sacrifices were added to the covenant given to Israel because Israel sinned. That is a wrong assumption. That's one of the things we need to solve.

It is also based upon two other Scriptures, which we'll go to right now—Jeremiah 7:21; this is another one of the Scriptures that gives it the appearance that that interpretation in Gal. 3:19 is correct. There are Scriptures that give that appearance. That's why you have to be very thorough in what you're understanding, so that you do not come off without understanding. What happens is—in the Church of God Seventh Day especially—they lump all the sacrifices and all the Holy Days into one package and tie it up and throw it away. Just as how I explained Gal. 3:19 and coupled with this section here in Jer. 7 and then we will also go to Deut. 5 and see another misinterpretation, lack of knowledge of what was really given in the Bible as part of the problem, and also a lack of understanding of the real meaning of the Hebrew.

Jeremiah 7:21: "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, 'Add your burnt offerings to your sacrifices, and eat flesh. For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices. But this thing I commanded them, saying, "Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people; and walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, so that it may be well with you."'" (vs 21-23).

Therefore, you take this out of context and you say, 'Since God did not speak to them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices in the day that He brought them out of the land of Egypt, these were the ones that were added.' You could say that looks pretty close to being right, but is it?

I want you to go back to v 17 and see what he's saying here. "'Do you not see what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven and to pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger. Do they provoke Me to anger?' says the LORD. 'Do they not provoke themselves, to the confusion of their own faces?' Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, 'Behold, My anger and My fury shall be poured out on this place, on man, and on beast, and on the trees of the field, and on the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be put out.'" (vs 17-20).

We are talking about disobedience and disobedience continuing while you have burnt offerings and you continuing in your sin is not going to take care of that sin. {note Isa. 66:1-5 and what God says about burnt offerings when your heart is not right—if you kill people, or you kill dogs}

Let's go back to Deuteronomy 5 and look at another verse that has been misconstrued. This is the one that should be very apparent. This is the one that should really unlock the false assumption that has been taken that God only gave them the Ten Commandments and said, 'obey My voice' and that's all that originally was to the covenant with Israel. That's the assumption. Here is the verse that they look to:

Deuteronomy 5:22—this is immediately after enunciating the Ten Commandments again: "The LORD spoke these words to all your assembly in the mountain out of the midst of the fire of the cloud and of the thick darkness with a great voice. And He added no more…." Tie that in with the word 'added' in Gal. 3:19 and you think you have an understanding of the doctrine. You can even go to Strong's Concordance and look up the word 'added' and lo and behold what do you have? So therefore, you make a false assumption that the only thing God expected them to do was the Ten Commandments. But it does not mean that. It really means that God ceased speaking. That doesn't mean that He didn't intend to bring anything more. It means God ceased speaking or said no more to the people after He gave the Ten Commandments.

"…And He wrote them on two tablets of stone and delivered them to me. And it came to pass when you heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, for the mountain burned with fire, you came near me, all the heads of your tribes and your elders, and you said, 'Behold, the LORD our God has revealed His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice out of the midst of the fire. We have seen today that God talks with man yet he still lives. Now therefore, why should we die? For this great fire will consume us. If we hear the voice of the LORD our God any more, then we shall die.'" (vs 22-25).

Verse 27: "You go near and hear all that the LORD our God shall say. And you speak to us all that the LORD our God shall speak to you, and we will hear it, and do it."

When you read the whole context, God ceased speaking the Ten Commandments to the people so that Moses could go down and present them with the beginning of the agenda.
Covenant with Israel:

Let's again do a little review: Let's go back to when Moses first came to the children of Israel. What was one of the first things that he told Pharaoh, when he went up to Pharaoh and say 'let my people go out in the desert and pray and offer sacrifices,' Before the Ten Commandments were ever spoken formally to the children of Israel at Mt. Sinai, Moses told Pharaoh 'let my people go that we may take a three-day journey out into the wilderness and offer sacrifices unto our God'—right? Yes!

In dealing with the children of Israel this came up many times. What was the last thing that God told the children of Israel to do before they left Egypt? They were to have the Passover and sacrifice a lamb, everyone at their house! And to do what with the blood? Put it on the doorpost or the header (the lintel), and the death angel would pass over. Was that not a sacrifice? Yes, that was a sacrifice! Yes, indeed it was a sacrifice! It was commanded that it would be kept from that time forward. We know all the Scriptures.

Exodus 19—Again, this is the key thing that we need to understand how it was given. Do you suppose that it surprised God that the children of Israel sinned on their journey from Egypt to Mt. Sinai? No! If you say that the sacrifices were added because the children of Israel sinned, you're saying it surprised God that they sinned. 'Therefore, I'm going to punish them with this.' No, that's not true! Absolutely not true! They tried God's patience terribly.

Here is the beginning of the formalizing of the Covenant with Israel. It's kind of just like a marriage. God came in and rescued them from their dire situation out of Egypt—right? Brought them out to the wilderness there at Mt. Sinai to make these people His own. We know from other Scriptures that this was a type of a marriage covenant. Same exact thing we have today in a marriage covenant.

Exodus 19:5: "Now therefore, if you will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant…" Again, I want to stress the covenant of the patriarchs had the same thing: obey My voice! Why was the blessing given to Abraham? Because Abraham 'obeyed My voice, kept My charge and My commandments and My statutes and My judgments'! Did The Patriarchal Covenant then have

  • obedience to voice? Yes!
  • obedience to charge? Yes!
  • obedience to commandments? Yes!
  • obedience to statutes and judgments? Yes!

How does this one start out? God is the same yesterday, today and forever, so He starts out the same way. "…if you will obey My voice…" All the people said 'yes, we will obey Your voice.' Next step, 'Moses come up on the mountain.' Moses tells all the people, 'I'm going up on the mountain and talk with God.' So, he goes up there to talk with God.

I don't know what that was like, but sometimes I've tried to mentally visualize what it was like walking up that mountain. He huffed and puffed and sweated and had his walking stick to go up there. When he got up there he sat there in a designated place where God said, 'You wait there Moses until I talk to you.' He was there six days and on the seventh day God told Moses to come up.'

I know what would be going through my mind if I was sitting there for six days waiting, pacing back and forth. You talk about waiting for the boss to let you in the office; this is something!

Then God talked to him, gave the Ten Commandments. We have the same thing here, Exodus 20:18: "And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking. And when the people saw, they trembled and stood afar off. And they said to Moses, 'You speak with us, and we will hear. But let not God speak with us, lest we die'" (vs 18-19).

What is the first thing that God told the children of Israel after giving the Ten Commandments? Verse 22: "And the LORD said to Moses, 'Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, "You have seen that I have talked with you from the heavens. You shall not make with Me gods of silver, nor shall you make gods of gold for yourselves. You shall make an altar of earth to Me, and shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen. In all places where I record My name I will come to you, and I will bless you"'" (vs 22-24). First thing he talked about was sacrifices—correct? Absolutely!

Verse 25: "And if you will make Me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of cut stone; for if you lift up your tool upon it, you have defiled it. And you shall not go up by steps to My altar that your nakedness be not exposed upon it" (vs 25-26). It was the ramp to carry up the offerings onto the altar for the sacrifices. Right here, that's why.

What is the next thing that we find? We find the judgments. What are judgments? Judgments are those things that are so commonly occurring that God is going to give His judgment ahead of time! So, you don't have to ask God all the time about the same little question. He gave the judgments

  • concerning servants
  • concerning life and limb
  • concerning destruction of property

etc., please read all of Exo. 21.

Let's focus in on just one thing here, Exodus 21:22 to show how it's done; about the guilty one: "…And he shall pay as the judges determine." The judges were to use those judgments to make judgments concerning the activities of people. The judge was to determine and it was to be paid, even up to a life.

I need to clarify one thing here as we go along, lest someone hasn't understood it, that God did not require if you stole to have a hand to be cut off, or if you caused someone's eye to be lost that you would have to have your eye plucked out. You were to pay whatever the judge determined that eye or hand was worth; but a life for a life if it's premeditated.

We'll cover about the administration of death. I'll just mention it here. The administration of death was given beginning with—as far as recording in the Bible—Noah. This becomes important when we get to 2-Cor. 3. Therefore, it is how it is administered, the death penalty. But the administration of the death penalty was not the giving of the Ten Commandments as the Protestants think. I mean, there is mass confusion out there. It's how you administer it.

Exodus 22 has to do with stealing. All of these judgments are frequently occurring transgressions of the Ten Commandments. It has to do with stealing. What kind of stealing? What kind of intent? I ask you to read Exo. 22, it says what you should do. I agree in principle that if this were done today, concerning stealing, we would greatly cut down stealing. Steal a car, you replace the car—not one, two. You replace the one you stole and you buy him another one, and you pay for it.

Read there about what it was with the oxen. They stole the oxen, they had to replace four for one. If it were lambs, it was five for one. If he killed them then it was something else in addition to it. So, it becomes more severe. Then it talks about animal damage. Here's a principle for car damage—liability damage—you're going to pay.

Exodus 22:14—it's a matter of honesty: "If a man borrow it [anything] from his neighbor…" This is one of the most common things. 'Well, Lord, what if he borrows and doesn't steal it. Lord, what is it if he breaks it while he's using it? God doesn't want to be bothered with all those little picayune questions and judgments, so He gave the judgment ahead of time. We're to make judgments; we're to use God's Law. God isn't going to have everything thrown at Him. 'God, what do you think?' He gave you a mind; He gave you the law; you think it out; you figure it out.

Verse 14: "And if a man borrows it from his neighbor, and it is hurt, or dies…" What if you borrow a horse for plowing, or a jackass for hauling or an oxen for plowing and it dies. Here this ox is down there plowing away and doing just fine and all of a sudden it just gives a great big heave and rolls over and falls down dead and gives out his last—he's dead. The owner comes running over there, 'Look what you did! You killed my ox!' I can almost see it happening in the field.

"…and the owner of it is not with it, he… [who borrowed it] …shall surely make full restitution. If the owner of it is with it, he shall not make restitution. If it was hired, it came for its hire" (vs 14-15).

What we have here in enticing, this would stop a lot of the welfare problems—wouldn't it? Verse 16: "And if a man lures a virgin who is not promised, and lies with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins" (vs 16-17). If people figured it was going to cost them, hey, they wouldn't go around with all this Sodom and Gomorrah thing that they have today. This world is heading really down the tubes fast.

Exodus 23:1: "You shall not raise a false report. Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness." That's what we ought to have today—right? Does that cause a lot of problems? Let's go after the media: 'It has been alleged…. An unnamed anonymous source said… I heard that…'

Verse 2: "You shall not follow a multitude to do evil. Neither shall you testify in a cause in order to side with many so as to pervert judgment. Neither shall you be partial to a poor man in his cause" (vs 2-3). Just because a man is poor and he's a murderer, you're not going to countenance him and say, 'I'm a poor man and I had to do it because of this society around me, and I just couldn't control myself.' He's still responsible for his character—right? There you go.

Verse 4: "If you meet your enemy's ox or his donkey going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again." God isn't going to have any family feuds in between what you're going to do whether you like people or not. What if the guy's best bull came over to your property and decided to stay for a while, and you say, 'Well, I'm going to keep this and besides, I hate this old farmer Jones down the road. He did me in some time ago.' God says, 'No, you're not going to do that; you return it.'

I'm not going to dwell on this, you read all the rest of Exo. 23 and you will find in there embodied all the Ten Commandments plus Exo 14 thru 17 you have the Holy Days. Holy Days are not tied to sacrifices. Please understand, Holy Days are not tied to sacrifices!

Verse 18: "You shall not offer the blood of My sacrifice with leavened bread… [with the exception of the two loaves for Pentecost] …neither shall the fat of My sacrifice remain until the morning."

Though in the day that God brought them out of Egypt, He spoke not to them concerning burnt offerings, did He intend to give them, as an integral part of His covenant, worship and relationship with Israel? Yes!

Verse 19: "The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the LORD your God. You shall not boil a kid in its mother's milk." I direct you to the book The Golden Bough by Sir James Frazer, and that was one of the practices of the pagans.

Exodus 24:1—we see something that is done here: "And He said to Moses, 'Come up to the LORD, you and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship afar off. And Moses alone shall come near the LORD, but they shall not come near. Neither shall the people go up with him.' And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments. And all the people answered with one voice and said, 'All the words which the LORD has said, we will do.'" (vs 1-3). Just like a marriage covenant—I do!

  • Did it include sacrifices? Yes!
  • Did it include judgments? Yes!

Therefore, this covenant with Israel contained all of the basic ingredients to begin the rest of the enunciation of the covenant. It would be like walking up to a person and saying, 'If you agree to do so-and-so, would you like to have a brand new house?' Yes! You do what you're supposed to do and I'll give you a brand new house. What's one of the first things you're going to say? Where is it? 'Well, you agree to do it and I'll tell you where it is.' So, you agree. That's just like this here.

'We will be Your people, God, and we will do these things, all that the Lord has said, we will do.' Is that all? No! Just like with a house, once you find out where it is, you want to have the key. Then you want to know where all the other things are that run the house—right? Where is the water? Where is the gas? Where is the electricity? Are those important? Yes! Has the furnace been lit? Has the hot water heater been lit? All of those things are details, part of the original agreement: 'I will give you a new house.' It's the same way here with this. They said they would do it.

Verse 4: "And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and built an altar at the base of the mountain and twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent young men of the children of Israel…" (vs 4-5).

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"…who offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of bullocks to the LORD" (v 5). These are young men of the children of Israel. I would assume that they were Levites, though they were not yet consecrated as priests. They may have been from the other tribes, I don't know.

Verse 6: "And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins, and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the ears of the people. And they said... [What did he write down? Everything that we have here in all these chapters] 'All that the LORD has said we will do, and be obedient.' And Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, 'Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD has made with you concerning all these words.' And Moses went up, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. And they saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the heavens in clearness" (vs 6-10). That must have been awesome!

Verse 11: "And upon the nobles of the children of Israel He did not lay his hands. Also they saw God, and ate and drank. And the LORD said to Moses, 'Come up to Me in the mountain, and be there. And I will give you tablets of stone, and the law, and commandments which I have written, so that you may teach them'" (vs 11-12). So, they went up there. He was up there 40 days and 40 nights.

Now, here is what God told them, to Moses, the very first thing. This shows God's intention—doesn't it? Exodus 25:1: "And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel that they bring Me an offering. You shall take an offering from every man that gives it willingly with his heart. And this is the offering, which you shall take of them: gold, and silver, and brass, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and bleached linen, and goats' hair, and rams' skins dyed red, and tanned leather skins, and acacia wood, oil for lighting, spices for anointing oil and for sweet incense, onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate. And let them make Me a sanctuary, so that I may dwell among them'" (vs 1-8).

God then says, 'How am I going to carry this out for all of you? Here's how I'm going to do it: He is going to make a sanctuary. If you're going to have offerings, you're going to have an altar. God intended them to have offerings. It was not some strange, mysterious thing that the children of Israel sinned and He added the offerings. No! During the 40 days of instruction, God gave all of these instructions on how to build the tabernacle.

  • What are you going to do when you get the tabernacle built?
  • Look at it?


  • Use it?
  • Use it!
  • How are you going to use it?
  • Who is going to run it?

That's what He's telling them.


Exodus 29:1—He gives all the instruction on how the priest was going to dress: "And this is the thing that you shall do to them to sanctify them to minister to Me in the priest's office. Take one young bull, and two rams without blemish, and unleavened bread, and cakes unleavened mixed with oil, and wafers unleavened anointed with oil. You shall make them of wheat flour. And you shall put them into one basket, and bring them in the basket with the bull and the two rams. And you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall wash them with water." (vs 1-4).

Verse 5: "And you shall take the garments, and clothe Aaron with the tunic, and the robe of the ephod, and the ephod, and the breastplate, and bind it to him with the band of the ephod. And you shall put the miter upon his head, and put the Holy crown upon the miter. Then you shall take the anointing oil, and pour it on his head, and anoint him. And you shall bring his sons and clothe them with tunics. And you shall gird them with girdles, Aaron and his sons, and bind turbans on them. And the priest's office shall be theirs for an everlasting statute. And you shall consecrate Aaron and his sons. And you shall cause a bull to be brought before the tabernacle of the congregation. And Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the bull. And you shall kill the bull before the LORD by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And you shall take of the blood of the bull, and put it on the horns of the altar with your finger, and pour all the blood beside the base of the altar. And you shall take all the fat that covers the inward parts, and the lobe on the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat on them, and burn them upon the altar. But the flesh of the bull, and its skin, and its dung, you shall burn with fire outside the camp. It is a sin offering" (vs 5-14).

Before it was even said that they sinned—right? Why did there have to be a sin offering? The law of sin and death was within Aaron and his sons and they could not minister unto God with the law of sin and death in them, unless there was an offering for a sin offering! They could not be dedicated to do the work of God until there was an offering for the sin that they had inherently within them, besides what they may have trespassed later on.

Do we all understand that point very clearly? It's very important to understand. It was not a surprise to God that the children of Israel sinned, so therefore, God did not add the sacrifices to the covenant with Israel because of sin.

When we get back to Gal. 3:19 we're going to see that God added the covenant with Israel, which included the laws and sacrifices, to the promises given to Abraham and this is a whole different perspective then. I want to go through this so we understand the intent of God.

Verse 18: "And you shall burn the whole ram upon the altar. It is a burnt offering to the LORD. It is a sweet savor, an offering made by fire to the LORD."

Verse 24: "And you shall put all in the hands of Aaron and in the hands of his sons, and shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD." So, we have:

  • sin offering
  • burnt offering
  • wave offering
  • meal offering
  • sweet incense offering

The point that is very clear is that right in the integral instructions to Moses on how He was going to carry out this covenant with them, were all of the offerings incorporated it in the first place. Also incorporated the Ten Commandments and the Holy Days right from day one.

When they were coming out Egypt—let's back up for just a minute—the people could not bear all of the information they had to have later. So, the first thing that was on their minds was 'get us out of this captivity and this mess; I am tired of making bricks; I am tired of working for Pharaoh; I am tired of this slavery.' So, God intervened and now they reap the benefit of four generations of money—the gold, the silver, the apparel—and they walked out of there loaded down.
Before they could go they had to keep the Passover. He told them also about circumcision. So, here they go off on into the wilderness. They come to Mt. Sinai and the covenant is made, they agree, God begins giving all the detailed instructions—one story flow continuous.

Verse 28: "And it shall be Aaron's and his sons' by a statute forever from the children of Israel—for it is a heave offering. And it shall be a heave offering from the children of Israel of the sacrifices of their peace offerings, even their heave offering to the LORD."

Verse 36: "And you shall offer every day a bull for a sin offering for atonement…."

Verse 38: "And this is what you shall offer upon the altar: two lambs of the first year, day by day continually."

Brethren, it was that they would have these sacrifices everyday, whichever ones that God instructed to be done on whichever day. It wasn't something they could decide for themselves. A person could say, 'I want to offer a peace offering to God,' or a 'sin offering because I've sinned.' That would be done in addition to what the daily requirements and routine were for the priests. There was a lot of activity going on there at the temple and tabernacle.

Verse 39: "The one lamb you shall offer at sunrise, and the other lamb you shall offer between the two evenings. And with the one lamb a tenth part of flour mixed with the fourth part of a hin of beaten oil, and the fourth part of a hin of wine, a drink offering. And you shall offer the other lamb between the two evenings; you shall do to it according to the meal offering of the morning, and according to its drink offering, for a sweet smell, an offering made by fire to the LORD" (vs 39-41).

Verse 45—here's the sum of it, if you do all of these things that I have offered here: "And I will dwell among the children of Israel and will be their God…. [go back to Exo. 25 and that's what God said. You build a tabernacle that I may dwell among them.] …And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, Who brought them forth out of the land of Egypt so that I may dwell among them. I am the LORD their God" (vs 45-46).

Then it talks about more instructions. It talks about what Aaron would do and the temple shekel (Exo. 30). You have all the things that are there and He winds it all up by giving them in Exo. 31-32, cementing this again by the keeping of the Sabbaths and keeping the Holy Days.

We have a complete package of the Covenant with Israel, later to be known as the Old Covenant in relationship to the Christian Covenant, which is called The New Covenant. This tells us that God intended to bring sacrifices, though when they left Egypt He did not speak to them concerning it. This shows very clearly that the Holy Days are a part of the entire Covenant with Israel, not tied to the sacrifices—very clear!

Now let's come to the book of Leviticus and I'll just briefly touch here concerning the sacrifices. After you have received the instruction of the sacrifices given there in the book of Exodus:

  • How is the priest going to administer the sacrifice?
  • What is he to do?
  • Is he to just bring the sacrifice, and 'oh well, this looks like a pretty good way to do it and I'll throw this up there and burn that and sprinkle here and there?
  • NO!

Leviticus 1:1—this fills in right with all of the other sacrifices: "And the LORD called to Moses and spoke to him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, "If any man of you brings an offering to the LORD, you shall bring your offering of the domestic animals of the herd and of the flock. If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish. He shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD"'" (vs 1-3).

If you decided to do it, here is how it would be done: without blemish, male, v 4: "And he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering. And it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him." That's quite a thing! You bring it up, you dedicate it to God, you put your hands right on that animal and say, 'This is dedicated to God, wholly, voluntarily given of my own free will, because I love God' and because of the blessing that God has given him. That would be quite a ceremony; taking your best bullock and doing that.

The reason this comes out is because on the news they were showing at the Cow Palace in San Francisco that the only things that were being auctioned this year—because of the drought—were the prime bulls. Nothing else was going very well. I saw this nice looking black angus bull and beautiful heifer bull and in reading this I was thinking what it would be like if you had to take that prime bull and go up and lay your hands right on the head of that and give this as a dedication to God. That's something!

Verse 5: "And he shall kill the young bull before the LORD. And the priests, Aaron's sons, shall bring the blood and sprinkle the blood all around against the side of the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And he shall skin the burnt offering and cut it into its pieces. And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar and lay the wood in order on the fire. And the priests, Aaron's sons, shall arrange the parts with the head and the fat on the wood that is on the fire upon the altar" (vs 5-8). There was a special way that they had to lay it out.

Verse 9: "But its inward parts and its legs he shall wash in water…. [note: Eph. 5—by the washing of the water by the Word—cleaning out the inside] …And the priest shall burn all upon the altar, a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor to the LORD. And if his offering is of the flocks, of the sheep or of the goats for a burnt offering, he shall bring a male without blemish. And he shall kill it by the side of the altar northward before the LORD. And the priests, Aaron's sons, shall sprinkle its blood all around against the side of the altar. And he shall cut it into its pieces, with its head and its fat. And the priest shall arrange them on the wood that is on the fire, which is upon the altar. But he shall wash the inward parts and the legs with water; and the priest shall bring all of it nearand burn it upon the altar. It is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet fragrance to the LORD. And if the burnt sacrifice for his offering to the LORD is out of fowls, then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves or of young pigeons" (vs 9-14).

Verse 15: "And the priest shall bring it to the altar, and wring off its head and burn it on the altar. And its blood shall be drained at the side of the altar. And he shall pluck away its crop with its feathers, and throw it beside the altar on the east part by the place of the ashes. And he shall cleave it with the wings of it, but not divide it into separate pieces. And the priest shall burn it upon the altar, on the wood that is on the fire. It is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor to the LORD" (vs 15-17).

The reason I went into that is because in each case there's another detail on how to.

Leviticus 2:11: "Any grain [meal] offering… [flour or meal] …which you shall bring to the LORD shall not be made with leaven… [that's just repeat of what we read before] …for you shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, in any offering of the LORD made by fire." Why? Honey decomposes when it gets hot! Frankincense was to be put in there for a sweet savor, because frankincense improves when it's hot.

The sacrifices were not given because of sin. We also need to know and be aware of the fact that this covenant was to be based upon love. Remember what Jesus said? You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, being and strength—this is the first and great commandment! You shall love your neighbor as yourself—this is the next commandment. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets!

You can go through and find out that the covenant given to Israel was not a covenant of hate; it was not a covenant based upon retribution—because God even spared them. It was a covenant based upon promises for physical obedience. Let's read that still has to be based upon love.

Deuteronomy 10:12: "And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul."

I submit that it would be a nice Bible study and find every one of these commandments as part of The Christian Covenant—isn't that correct? Yes, indeed! We are to fear God! It says, 'We're to fear God, lest any promise being left us.' We are to walk in all His ways. Jesus left us an example that 'we should walk therein.'

"…to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, to keep the commandments of the LORD, and His statutes which I command you today for your good? Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens belong to the LORD your God, the earth also, with all that is in it. Only the LORD had a delight in your fathers to love them, and He chose their seed after them, you above all people, as it is today. Therefore, circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stiff-necked" (vs 12-16).

Christian Covenant principles right here. When people come today, the biggest problem they have, is they want to do the minimum to be saved. That is a merchandizing frame of mind. Where can you get the best deal for the least amount? In merchandizing you shop around to get the best! You might even get the consumers guide.

You don't do that with God! You don't shop around for a church that is going to give you a pleasing menu of what they have decided to do! You have to find out what God wants!

Verse 17: "For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, the mighty and awesome God Who does not respect persons nor take a bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and widow, and loves the stranger in giving him food and clothing. Therefore, love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall fear the LORD your God. You shall serve Him, and you shall hold fast to Him, and swear by His name. He is your praise, and He is your God, Who has done for you these great and awesome things, which your eyes have seen. Your fathers went down into Egypt with seventy persons. And now the LORD your God has made you as the stars of the heavens for multitude" (vs 17-22).

Deuteronomy 11:1: "Therefore, you shall love the LORD your God, and keep His charge and His statutes and His judgments and His commandments always."

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter

Scriptural References:

  • Job 1:5
  • Job 42:1-8
  • Galatians 3:19
  • Jeremiah 7:21-23, 17-20
  • Deuteronomy 5:22-25- 27
  • Exodus 19:5
  • Exodus 20:18-26
  • Exodus 21:22
  • Exodus 22:14-17
  • Exodus 23:1-4
  • Exodus 24:1-12
  • Exodus 25:1-8
  • Exodus 29:1-14, 18, 24, 28, 36, 38-41, 45-46
  • Leviticus 1:1-7
  • Leviticus 2:11
  • Deuteronomy 10:12-22
  • Deuteronomy 11:1

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Genesis 4
  • Acts 2:38
  • Isaiah 66:1-5
  • 2 Corinthians 3
  • Exodus 14-17; 30-32
  • Ephesians 5

Also referenced: Book:

  • Strong's Concordance
  • The Golden Bough by Sir James Frazer

Transcribed: 12-12-12