Substance of Lectures by G. Davison.
In considering a little the wonderful typology of this chapter it may be well first of all to get clearly before our minds the meaning of this word Consecration. It is a word that is often confused with Dedication. There are three scriptural words which we often use in the meetings and it may be a help for some if we consider a little the distinct meanings of them. The three words are:— Sanctification, Dedication and Consecration. We judge this to be their right moral order. A concordance will show that Sanctification means — "set apart to". Dedication — "give up to". Consecration — "hands filled". All three can be seen in this chapter, for not only do we see Aaron and his sons set apart to the service of God, they are also given up to it. Moreover, their hands are filled with the right material to offer to God for His Pleasure. To enlarge the three things a little we may say that Sanctification views them as set apart to the service of God. Dedication as given up to the service of God. Consecration as filled for the service of God.
The chapter itself, down to verse 37, can be divided into two sections. From verses 1-18, Sanctification. Then from verses 19-37, Consecration. Both of these words are mentioned in verse 33, so we are left in no doubt that they are in the chapter. Taken together, they sum up for us all the ceremonial detail of this instructive ordinance. We may add that "hallowed" carries the same thought as Sanctification, as it is practically the same word. For the sake of clarity and a better understanding of the chapter, we propose to quote our scriptures from the New Translation.
"And this is the thing which thou shalt do to them to hallow them, that they may serve me as priests." Verse 1.
The primary object of all that comes out in this chapter, is given to us in the very first verse. God Himself here tells us that the great end in view of Consecration is, service in the sanctuary. "That they may serve me" expresses this. Here in type we have a company set apart in holy conditions and filled with that which speaks of Christ, in order that they may minister to God of this fulness, for the delight and satisfaction of His heart of love. Let us ever keep in mind that this is the great thought of God for us. The work that has been done for us and in us, is with a view to our being able to present Christ in all His graces and perfections, to God for His pleasure. This is true priestly service. Not to be only occupied with preaching and teaching manward, but to find time to go in to God to present Christ, Godward. We believe it is important to present Christ to sinners. More important to present Christ to the saints. Most important to present Christ to God.
"Take one young bullock, and two rams without blemish." Verse 1.
These three offerings present various aspects and effects of the death of Christ. The bullock was for a sin-offering. One ram for a burnt-offering and the other ram for consecration. The sin-offering sets forth the death of Christ as removing all that we were and had done in our fallen state and guilt. This twofold work for us is clearly seen in Heb. 9:26-28. We read there that Christ was manifested to put away sin (state), and also that He has borne our sins (guilt). Both have been dealt with and removed forever, by the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. The burnt-offering on the other hand speaks of the death of Christ as bringing into acceptance all that is for the pleasure of God in man. The ram of consecration is of the character of a peace-offering and here the thought is fellowship. This will be clearly seen when we reach them further down the chapter.
"And unleavened bread, and unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil of wheaten flour shalt thou make them." Verse 2.
Here we have that which sets forth the perfections and graces of the Manhood and life of our Lord. "Unleavened bread," His sinless, spotless manhood. "Mingled with oil," His body conceived by the Holy Spirit. "Anointed with oil," His public anointing by the Holy Spirit on the banks of the Jordan. "Wheaten flour," the second Man out of heaven. These were all to be put in one basket. His sinless perfection; His Spiritual conception; His public anointing, and His heavenly origin, are all to be held together in our minds, when we think of Him in His life and testimony in this world. Moreover, all in that basket is brought along with the bullock and the two rams, so that we must not sever His life from His death. Many attempt to do this to-day but we must ever remember that the one is the complement of the other. Had He not been who He was, and had He not been what He was in all His sinless perfection, His death could never have availed either for the glory of God or the blessing of man. It was His perfect Manhood and spotless Life that gave to His death all its efficacy. And His death has secured forever, all that came out in His life both for the glory of God and the blessing of man. His perfect life and efficacious death must be held in right balance in our souls if we are to approach God intelligently in the sanctuary, to minister unto Him in the priest's office.
"And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring near the entrance of the tent of meeting and shalt bathe them with water." Verse 4.
"The entrance of the tent of meeting," immediately brings before our minds approach. It is a word much used in the Epistle to the Hebrews; the epistle where all these types are seen in their fulfilment. There are two spheres set before us in this Epistle, both of which we are said to enter. The Rest and the Holiest. Entering into the rest of God is mentioned some ten times in Hebrews 3 and 4. Entrance into the holiest is mentioned some six times in Hebrews 6 to 10. We enter the rest at the end of our wilderness journey; the end of the path of faith. The holiest we can enter while still on the wilderness journey. The one is at the end of the pathway of christian responsibility but the other brings us into the height of christian privilege. Both are made good to faith. The one puts heaven at the end, the other gives us a taste of heaven on the way. It is this we are considering at present.
Of the six times entrance into the holiest is mentioned, it is spoken of once in relation to Aaron. Hebrews 9:7. Four times in relation to Christ. Hebrews 6:19-20; 9:12 and 24. Once in relation to us. Hebrews 10:19. This is what we see here in type in Aaron and his sons. Aaron when seen by himself is a type of Christ but when seen in association with his sons, rather typifies, Christ and the Assembly. This work being done "at the entrance of the tent of meeting," suggests that it is with a view to going in to God in the place where He dwells. "Bathe them with water" is also referred to in Heb. 10:22. where it follows the exhortation to us to come with boldness into the holiest. We have mention made of both sprinkling and washing, and it is as being subjects of this twofold work that we have boldness to enter. The heart "sprinkled from an evil conscience," gives us "full assurance of faith." The body washed with pure water," gives us "a true heart." The sprinkling is by blood as we shall see. The washing is by water as we have here in the type. The first has meant for us a, judicial cleansing, dealing with our guilt. The second has meant for us a moral cleansing, dealing with our unclean state. We must here distinguish in our minds between Aaron as a failing man and Aaron as a type of Christ. As a failing man he needed to be washed in water but this Christ never needed. The law we are told could not be "the very image." Heb 10:1.
"And thou shalt take the garments, and clothe Aaron with the vest, and the cloak of the ephod, and the ephod, and the breastplate, and shalt gird him with the girdle of the ephod. And thou shalt put the turban upon his head, and fasten the holy diadem to the turban, and shalt take the holy anointing oil, and shall pour (it) on his head, and anoint him." Verses 5-7.
Here as we see Aaron standing alone, robed and girded, we have in type a presentation of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Great Priest over the house of God. Aaron is robed and anointed here first, before his sons are robed and before the blood is shed. Christ did not need blood to be shed to fit Him personally for the presence of God. We do. What He is in His moral perfection in heaven, He was when in this world. This fact is mentioned in many places in Hebrews. It is clearly stated that His perfection in this world has proved His fitness to take up the priesthood, in the presence of God. Some of these statements we will quote.
Aaron robed in these garments of glory and beauty, gives us a beautiful portrait of the Lord Jesus Christ in His Personal, Moral and Official glories. These garments were composed of seven items and this in itself speaks of perfection. From the previous chapter we learn that gold was one of the materials used in the making of the ephod. Indeed, it is the first thing mentioned. If we turn for a moment to the chapter where the record of these garments being made is given to us, we read, "And they beat the gold into thin plates, and cut it (into) wires, to work it artistically into the blue, and into the purple, and into the scarlet, and into the byssus." Ex. 39:3. Here we find the gold, which sets forth the personal glory of the Son of God, was interwoven with the other four materials. Worked artistically into the blue, purple, scarlet and byssus (linen), would teach us that whatever moral or official glories are seen in Christ, His glory as the Son of God underlies them all. It was because of this, all the other glories are seen in Divine perfection in Him. The answer to the gold wire is clearly seen in Heb. 7:28. "For the law constitutes men high priests having infirmity; but the word of the swearing of the oath which (is) after the law, a Son perfected for ever."
Then the blue and byssus would speak of His moral glory. The blue, not only that He was the Second Man out of heaven but was ever heavenly in character also. Then the byssus speaks of His holy, righteous character. Byssus, or linen, is the well known symbol of righteousness in man. Rev. 19:8. So of Christ we read, "For such a high priest became us, holy, harmless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and become higher than the heavens." Heb. 7:26.
Lastly the purple and scarlet speak of His official glory. Purple speaks of universal glory, and scarlet of earthly glory. The first would set forth Christ as the Son of Man, and the second as the Son of David. Both carry the thought of royalty and would remind us of the royal character of the priesthood of our Lord. The answer to the purple may be seen in Heb. 2:5-9. "We see Jesus" i.e. the Son of Man, in the priestly garments of glory and beauty. Then in Hebrews 1:9, we see the answer to the scarlet. "Thou hast loved righteousness and hast hated lawlessness; therefore God, thy God, has anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy companions." This quotation in Heb. 1, is from Psalm 45, where the King is the subject of the ready writer. We judge that the reference is to 1 Sam. 16:13 and not as some have thought to Ex. 29. The combination of these two royal glories in the priesthood, would remind us that one day Christ will be seen in the exercise of His priesthood in the world to come. The Aaronic priesthood will give place to the Melchisedec in that day for, "He shall be a priest upon his throne." Zech. 6:13.
Nor must we forget the girdle. This speaks of priestly activity. John 13:4. It would remind us that not only is our Lord the appointed priest, but that He is actively engaged in His priestly service today. It is of interest to note that the word used for girdle here is not used for any other girdle. Exodus 28:8 (footnote). This would suggest that the present service of Christ in the presence of God to-day, is of a character distinct from any other service.
Then Aaron is anointed. This was done before the blood was shed and points to the anointing of the Lord on the banks of the Jordan. We read further down the chapter that Aaron was anointed again and the second time it is in association with his sons. This would speak of Christ in resurrection and in association with the Assembly. On the banks of the Jordan He was alone in His anointing but in resurrection His brethren are called to share with Him, in the anointing that has meant association with Him in His new position, before the face of God. Cf. Ps. 133, Acts 2:33. Aaron then robed, girded and anointed, sets forth the Lord Jesus Christ in His personal, moral and official glories, as the Great Priest over the House of God. This leads on to the thought of the company who compose that House.
"And thou shalt bring his sons near, and clothe them with the vests. And thou shalt gird them with the girdle — Aaron and his sons, and bind the high caps on them; and the priesthood shall be theirs for an everlasting statute; and thou shalt consecrate Aaron and his sons." Verses 8-9.
We now have Aaron's sons brought into association with him in the priesthood. They too are robed and girded. Little is said about their robes but again from the previous chapter, we learn their robes were also for Glory and Adornment. No doubt a reflection of the robes of the High Priest. The saints could never claim to have by nature the glory that is seen in Christ, yet all that He is in nature and character has been formed in our souls by the Spirit. Apart from this we could never be found in association with Him in the presence of God. We read in verse 41, "and his sons with him" And so we will see that for the remainder of this chapter, it is Aaron and his sons, i.e., Christ and the Assembly. This is leading up to the work of sanctification in the next few verses, the answer to which we read in Heb. 2:9. "For both he that sanctifies and those sanctified (are) all of one; for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren."
"And thou shalt present the bullock before the tent of meeting; and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands upon the head of the bullock." Verse 10.
In this section, from verse 10 to 21, we have the detail of the sacrifices. The first two give us that which speaks of sanctification. We have first the sin-offering and then the burnt-offering. Already we have mentioned that the sin-offering is for removal and the burnt-offering for acceptance. The sin-offering being a bullock would suggest the largest apprehension of the death of Christ in relation to sin. This would suggest that priests are well versed in the perfection of the work of Christ to "put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." Aaron and his sons put their hands on the head of the bullock and are thus identified with it: It involves the removal of the old state substitutionally by the offering. The blood put upon the horns of the altar is there to meet the claims of God. The blood poured out at the bottom of the altar would be a witness to them that the sacrifice had been offered, Cf. Luke 22:20, John 19:35. The fat is then burned upon the altar and the rest of the carcase consumed, outside the camp. There are two words in the Hebrew for burn. Qatar — "To burn as incense." Saraph — "To consume." So here we have the fat burned — Qatar — upon the altar, but the carcase is consumed — Saraph — outside the camp. The skin and the dung would suggest man at his best and worst, external beauty and internal corruption; that man after the flesh has been brought to an end for God. This offering sets forth Christ and His work upon the cross in a twofold way. Because of who He was and what He was, an acceptable offering as seen in the fat burned upon the altar. Yet at the same time, He bore the judgment of God against sin when He "suffered without the gate." Heb. 13:12. When He died upon the cross, He bore the wrath of God, when He made propitiation for sin and bore substitutionally our sins. So we read, "he has been manifested for (the) putting away of sin by his sacrifice." — Propitiation. And He has been "once offered to bear the sins of many" — Substitution. Both of these things were needed to prepare us as a sanctified company, fitted to enter the presence of God. Both are found in Heb. 9:26-28.
"And thou shalt take one of the rams, and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram." Verse 15.
This brings us to the burnt-offering where the great thought is acceptance. The burnt-offering is all for God. It presents Christ, in all His acceptability, ascending as a sweet savour for the delight of God. We notice that the blood is sprinkled here on the altar but not poured out at the foot of the altar like the blood of the sin-offering. It is not what Christ has done for us but rather what He is to God that comes out here in the burnt-offering. By the laying on of hands, Aaron and his sons are identified in this offering as before they had been in the sin-offering. These two offerings lay the foundation for sanctification. In the one, rernoval of all that was offensive to God, and in the other, the establishment of all that is pleasurable to God. We need to learn both of these lessons if we are to be free in the presence of God. The knowledge of the forgiveness of sins will still keep me occupied with myself, what I was, but occupation with Christ in glory, in all His acceptability in the presence of God, will take my mind off myself and what I was, and engage me with what He is in the presence of God. "For both He that sanctifies and those sanctified are ALL OF ONE." Heb. 2:11. Notice that this verse does not speak of what we were but of what we are. These two offerings then set forth deliverance from our evil state and fitness for the presence of God as graced in all the acceptability of the Beloved, who is ever the delight of the Father's heart.
"And thou shalt take the second ram, and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands upon the head of the ram; and thou shalt slaughter the ram, and take of its blood and put (it) on the tip of the (right) ear of Aaron, and on the tip of the right ear of his sons, and on the thumb of their right hand, and on the great toe of their right foot; and thou shalt sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about. And thou shalt take of the blood that is upon the altar, and of the anointing oil, and sprinkle (it) on Aaron, and on his garments, and on his sons, and on the garments of his sons with him; and he shall be hallowed, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons' garments with him." Verses 19-21.
The truth contained in the above verses can better be described by the word Dedication, for here we see Aaron and his sons, given up in devotion to the service of God. This gives us rightly the thought of dedication — given up to — or devoted to the service of God. The ram is not yet called, "a ram of consecration." We have hardly reached that thought yet. The ram here rather presents Christ in His devotion to the will of God, even unto death. Again, Aaron and his sons are brought into identification with it by the laying on of hands. They are then brought under the power of it by the blood being put upon them. First on the ear, the organ of reception, that their ears may be devoted to hear the Divine communications. Then on their hands, that these may be devoted to Divine service. Then on their feet, that they may walk in devotion to the will of God. To have an ear like Christ, ever open to hear the communications of God. Isa. 50:4. To have hands like Christ, ever ready to do the service of God. Isa. 53:10. To have feet like Christ, ever ready to walk in a way well pleasing to God. Isa. 52:7.
The blood is then sprinkled on the altar. This suggests that His life of devotion was directly for the pleasure of God. Then the blood from off the altar, with the oil, is sprinkled upon them and upon their garments. The blood upon the garments would suggest, that all the moral graces of Christ which have been formed in our souls, are to he held in devotion by us for the pleasure of God. Along with this we have the oil which speaks of the living energy of the Holy Spirit. It is only by the Spirit that the features of Christ can be formed in us and only by the same Spirit can they be reproduced through us, for the present pleasure of God. The Holy Spirit is the true power for all devotion and service. He will use all that is truly dedicated to the service of God, to cause a ministry to flow out for the delight of God. By the blood and the oil, we have presented a company and all connected with them, devoted to the service of God and maintained by the Holy Spirit of God.
"Also of the ram shalt thou take the fat ... for it is a ram of consecration — and one loaf of bread ... and thou shalt put all this in the hands of Aaron and in the hands of his sons, and shalt wave them as a wave-offering before Jehovah." Verses 22-24.
This short quotation will suffice for this section which runs down to verse 28. We come now to the true thought of Consecration, as we see Aaron and his sons with their hands filled with that which speaks of the greatness and glory of Christ. The fat and the inwards tell us of the hidden perfections of the Lord, which only God could take account of when He was here in this world but, subsequent to His death, have now come within the apprehension of the saints. We now in a measure, as taught by the Spirit, can understand something of the deep perfections of Christ, which ministered such delight to the heart of the Father, when the Son was here in this world. This is our privilege to-day. We have been called to share with the Father His deep delight in His well-beloved Son. It is for this we have been called, yea for this we have been filled in true consecration.
"His deep perfections gladly sing,
And tell them forth to thee."
Aaron and his sons first have these things put upon their hands "as a wave-offering before Jehovah." Not yet as offered, "to Jehovah." This would suggest the formation of the features of Christ in us, through the ministry by the Spirit, under the eye of God. Only as they were filled "before Jehovah", would they have anything to offer "to Jehovah." And only as we are filled with Christ in exercise of heart before God, will we have anything to offer to God. Only one way exists for this, it is by occupation with Him, as we read in Heb. 3:1, "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Jesus." Again, "But we all, looking on the glory of the Lord with unveiled face, are transformed according to the same image from glory to glory even as by (the) Lord (the) Spirit." 2 Cor. 3:18. So it follows, that the things that were on their hands are taken from off their hands and given to God on the altar. That which they held "before Jehovah" is given "to Jehovah." And so to-day, from the consecrated hands of the saints, God has ministered to Him, the perfections of His Son.
We can now see that the offering is of a peace-offering character. God has His part; Moses has a part and Aaron and his sons have their part. This gives us the thought of communion, all partaking of the one ram. Moses is the Apostle and Aaron the High Priest and both of these are seen as official glories of our Lord in Heb. 3:1. Moses had as his portion the breast. Viewed as a type of the Lord, it would speak of the telling out of His love when He was here. Aaron had for his portion the shoulder. This would speak of the strength and ability of the High Priest of our confession, to support the whole Divine system for the pleasure of God. We next read that the wave breast and the heave shoulder — the love and ability of Christ — are to be the special portion of the priestly family. Taken from off the peace-offering would suggest that in communion with God we are formed in the love and ability of Christ. As thus formed, we are sustained as the priestly family to present Christ to God for His pleasure.
"And the holy garments of Aaron shall be his sons' after him, to be anointed therein, and to be consecrated in them. The son that is priest in his stead shall put them on seven days, when he comes into the tent of meeting to serve in the sanctuary." Verses 29-30.
Apart from one statement which we will notice, these two verses have no part in Christianity. They rather serve to shew the better things that are spoken of so much in the Epistle to the Hebrews. Provision is made for a successor to Aaron when death should remove him from his office but this will never happen to Jesus, the Great Priest over the House of God. No provision needs to be made for a successor to Him for we read, "And they have been many priests on account of being hindered from continuing by death; but He, because of His continuing for ever has the priesthood, intransmissable." Heb. 7:23. He is "always living" as we read in the next verse. The one point we can gather from these verses is, that the consecration at the entrance of the tent of meeting was with a view to going in to God. We read in verse 30. "when he comes into the tent of meeting to serve in the sanctuary." This statement sums up the great object of the detail in this chapter. It is to go in to serve God in the place where He dwells, called here, the tent of meeting. For us to-day it means to join Christ by the Spirit and to move consciously with Him, into the presence of God. This to-day is in the new sanctuary, in heaven, where we can draw near and give to God the worship of our souls. So the Apostle Paul is led to exhort, "Let us draw near."
"And thou shalt take the ram of the consecration, and boil its flesh in a holy place. And Aaron and his sons shall eat the flesh of the ram, and the bread that is in the basket at the entrance of the tent of meeting. They shall eat the things with which the atonement was made to consecrate (and) to hallow them; but a stranger shall not eat (of them), for they are holy." Verses 31-33.
This last section outlines for us the provision made, to sustain the priestly company in their consecration. Here again, the peace-offering character of the ram is clearly seen. God has already received His portion on the altar. verse 25. The remainder is given to the priests. This they are told to boil and eat in a holy place. We cannot feed upon Christ just anyhow and in any place. We need holy conditions and holy associations for this. The boiling would make it possible for appropriation. It was not roasted as in the Passover lamb. That rather presents Christ as having endured the judgment of God for sin, on our account. Nor was it burned on the altar, for all on the altar goes to God. The boiling would rather suggest a ministry of Christ, through the Word, to sustain us spiritually as consecrated priests. This has to be eaten, i.e., made our own, through exercise of heart, if we are to learn of Him. They ate both the flesh and the bread. As we have seen, it is the life and death of Christ held in balance in our souls. Both of these truths, the effect of His life and the effect of His death are needed if we are to speak intelligently to God about the perfection of His Son. It has been rightly said that appropriation leads to reproduction. This is true of natural food and how much more of spiritual? This is clearly seen in the verse we have already mentioned, 2 Cor. 3:18. These things are holy. No stranger, that is, one who has not been sanctified, can eat of these things. But all the saints of God are holy priests, for we are called, "holy brethren," nor can we doubt that the holy brethren of Hebrews 3 are the sanctified brethren of Hebrews 2. Here then is stated our fitness to eat of these holy things. This is our privilege and we may well ask ourselves, how much time do we spend in considering the "Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Jesus."
"And if (any) of the flesh of the consecration, and of the bread, remain until the morning, then thou shalt burn the remainder with fire; it shall not be eaten, for it is most holy." Verse 34.
Here we have a warning that we must not take up Divine food as we would ordinary food. We must put a distinction between what is holy and what is profane. Divine food must be eaten in relation to our place of consecration and taken up in fresh exercise every day. There is also the assumption here that the provision will be greater than the need. When we think of the greatness of Christ this is understandable. God can take account of it all but we can but take our portion according to our capacity and the rest we must leave. Like the Manna, we cannot carry over to-day's supply till to-morrow. The Manna must be fresh every day for the wilderness and the ram must be fresh every day for the priesthood. We may add that when we speak of a ministry of Christ, we have in mind the work of the Spirit in our souls, whether it be at the meeting or in our homes.
"And thus shalt thou do to Aaron, and to his sons, according to all that I have commanded thee: seven days shalt thou consecrate them." Verse 35.
It is important to notice that their consecration lasted seven days. It was not only for one day of the week but every day. We must remember that we are always consecrated priests, whether at the meetings on the Lord's Day, or at business, or in the home on the other days. It is not the thought of God that we should take up priesthood on Sunday and lay it down on Monday. Aaron and his sons were always priests, and so are we. We may not be always in the sanctuary, ministering directly to God but we are always priests. Whether we take these seven days to mean every day of the week or the whole period of our life in this world, the fact still remains that we are always priests. We once heard it said of a farmer that he put his Christianity off with his Sunday clothes. This could never be said of a saint who has taken up in exercise of soul, priesthood, "before the Lord." To such a one, Christ would be the object of his life, in every sphere in which he had been placed to serve God. It has been said, "If we live for the earth from Monday to Saturday, we cannot expect to find ourselves in Heaven on the Sunday." Let us ever keep in mind then the thought of God for us as suggested in this passage. "Seven days shalt thou consecrate them."
"And thou shalt offer every day a bullock as a sin-offering for atonement; and the altar shalt thou cleanse from sin, by making atonement for it, and shalt anoint it, to hallow it. Seven days shalt thou make atonement for the altar and hallow it; and the altar shall be most holy: whatever touches the altar shall be holy." Verses 36-37.
The bullock for a sin-offering every day would suggest provision in case of failure. Aaron and his sons might fail at any moment and be defiled in their consecration but the sin-offering was there to deal with the failure and restore them again. For us to-day, this would be the provision of the Advocate. At any moment we may fail and so become unfit practically for priestly service, but provision has been made so that when it does come in, it can be dealt with. It is not the thought of God that failure should abide and as a consequence, hinder our service to Him. There is no reason why we should sin but, "if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." 1 John 2:1. Failure may come in any day. Indeed; it may come in every day but we have in the Advocate provision to meet it. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9. This would lead to the removal of the offence, so that being again restored to communion, we might take up afresh our consecration. It has often been noticed that when the Apostle speaks of failure in 1 Cor. 11, he says nothing about staying away but rather to put the offence away and then come and eat. Restoration is always available for the sin-offering is there every day.
In closing we may notice that the last reference is to the altar.
And the altar shall be most holy: whatever touches the altar shall be holy." Verse 37.
God will not accept, even from sanctified priests, anything that is unholy. Nadab and Abihu in Lev. 10, are a solemn witness to this. It is useless to offer to God that which is unclean. He will not accept it. The law of His house is HOLY. Ezek. 43:12. Just as Aaron had as the crown of all his garments the Diadem on which was inscribed, "Holiness to Jehovah," so in the order of the consecration, the last word is holy. "Holiness becomes thy house O Jehovah for ever." Ps. 93:5.
May the Lord help us all to understand something of the work that has been affected to form us as a priestly company, that, with hands filled we might come into God's presence and give to Him that which must ever afford Him delight; the telling to Him of our apprehension and appreciation of the graces and perfections of His well beloved Son.
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