Audio - 2 Dec 2023

Latest Audio - 2023-12-02

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by Zeki Korkut
Carrying Your Cross
given Wales UK 2 Dec 2023
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by Jon Bowles
1 - No Gods Before the Eternal
given Wales UK 19 May 2007 - played Wales UK 2 Dec 2023
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News Review - 1 Dec 2023
Tomorrow’s News Today

Read all about it – this is

Tomorrow’s News – Today!

Before the captivity of Israel in 721-718BC the warning went out, primarily through the prophet Isaiah, for over 80 years.
The warning went unheeded!

Today, the warning has been going out for over 80 years…

The warning has gone unheeded!

The Warning Still Stands!

March 2, 1947 – In his Autobiography, Mr Armstrong wrote:

“In America, we had heard and read about the war daily. We had seen pictures and newsreels. But now my wife and I were there, where it happened. Here was the actual devastation of war all around us.

Now it suddenly became real! Europe was laid waste, many of its cities in ruins. Almost no one believed, then, that Europe could ever rise again.

Yet I had been persistently proclaiming for two years, (since 1945) over the air and in The Plain Truth, that Germany would once again come to economic and military power, heading a ten-nation resurrection of the Roman Empire.(The Autobiography - Chapter 54)

The Plain Truth, June 1955 – Talking about the Holy Roman Empire, Mr Armstrong wrote…

“In its final phase, to appear in our day, will merely be a restoration of that ancient Roman Empirea United States of Europe which we are beginning to foster within the confines of the ancient Roman Empire! We are building the Frankenstein Monster that is destined to destroy us!” (The Plain Truth – June 1955)

The Plain Truth, March 1962 – Mr Armstrong explained that the common spiritual bond of universal Catholicism would unite Europe:

“United within ancient boundaries of the Holy Roman Empire; united by the common spiritual bond of universal Catholicism; united in a burgeoning and booming industrial economy that dominates today’s world; united geographically in the most productive and industrial complex on earth — at least TEN NATIONS OF MODERN EUROPE WILL MARCH ONTO THE SCENE OF WORLD HISTORY AS THE GREATEST SINGLE HUMAN FORCE EVER SEEN BY MAN!” (The Plain Truth – March 1962)

The Plain Truth, August 1968 – Mr Armstrong explained about the coming of a ‘great spiritual leader’:

“The 7th chapter of Revelation plainly describes a spiritual-political union of TEN KINGS, ten military/political leaders, and a great spiritual leader. For decades we have been proclaiming the eventual creation of some form of united Europe… we have proclaimed repeatedly that the ultimate unifying force would be religious.(The Plain Truth – August 1968)

The Plain Truth, October 1985 – Mr Armstrong explained that the Eastern European nations would join Europe…

“The prophecies of Revelation 13 and 17 and Daniel 2 and 7 show definitely that such a reunited Europe is coming – AND SOON! That of Daniel 2:33 shows half of this united Europe will consist of Eastern European nations, and half of Western. They comprise the toes and feet of Nebuchadnezzar’s great dream image, to be destroyed by Christ’s coming again to earth in supreme supernatural power and glory to rule all nations and bring us world peace! This reunification of Europe is in the sure word of prophecy. (The Plain Truth – October 1985)

Back in February 1973, a Plain Truth article entitled ‘1973 Critical Year for the New Europe’ used a quotation from ‘The Economist’ magazine.

The article made the point that each European nation has their own language, their own culture and their own history. They are all very different. The Plain Truth article made the point, quoting from the Econmomist, that:

Only something TRULY SHATTERING, it seems, might QUICKLY produce the united Europe…

Europe’s nations like being themselves too much, and feel little compulsion to be anything else.(The Plain Truth – February 1973)

Unity Under Construction

One of the primary ways to unite people is to get them to recognise a common threat. Today, the first common threat is immigrants – all headed for Europe. Suddenly, the open border culture in Europe is ending, with border checks being re-instituted. The immigrant situation has also led to a massive political realignment. Europe moves to the right!

Europe’s Swing To The Right

“Starting in 2015, most European countries began implementing frankly suicidal immigration policies. In the deluge that followed, millions of people flocked unchecked to European countries – and less than a decade later, their societies find themselves in a situation of unmitigated disaster. It is, therefore, no surprise that we are now witnessing a string of recent political victories that have led rightwing populist and nationalist parties to power or preeminence across Europe.” (

In Holland The Unthinkable Has HAPPENED!

“Right wing nationalist Geert Wilders has won a ‘monster victory’ in the general election in the Netherlands sending shockwaves around the nation and the rest of Europe. The 60-year-old heads up the Party for Freedom (PVV), which ran on an anti-immigration and anti-Islam platform, taking 37 seats in the election - more than any other party. The result, which more than doubled his party’s previous share, puts Wilders - described as the ‘Dutch Trump’ - in a favourable position for upcoming coalition talks with the roughly half-dozen other parties that hold a significant number of seats.

His surprise success is the latest in a string of recent political upsets that have seen so-called populist parties taking significant strides across Europe.

Look at the right’s meteoric rise in Europe over the last few years:

Brothers of Italy with self-confessed Nazi links won last year’s election

Viktor Orban’s fourth consecutive term

National Rally’s Marine Le Pen tipped to succeed Macron in 2027

Far-right party with alleged Nazi ties made waves in state elections

New far-right parties entered Greek parliament for the first time

Anti-multiculturalism party leading in polls for 14 straight months

Fringe anti-Islam party were kingmakers in 2022 election

Anti-immigration party that pledged to cap population at 10 million won big in October election

Anti-immigration party that shared video of youth wing below Hitler’s balcony set to win next year’s elections

Ultra-nationalist party helped form government in 2023 elections

Anti-immigration party fielded seven out of 19 ministers following 2023 election” (

The Second Common Threat – Russia

Mr Armstrong pointed out that the fear of Russia would bring about a European Army, and that’s exactly what is happening… a German led Euro army is coming together right now. In Latvia, German Euro-army tanks are helping protect the border with Russia.

In 1982, Mr Armstrong wrote:

“Now one of the great things that is urging Europe on, and perhaps the greatest thing that will cause them to hurry and get together on this, is their fear of what’s going on in the Kremlin and the Soviet Union [Russia]. And Andropov [now Putin] is frightening them, and that is going to rush them. They are losing confidence in the United States as having a military umbrella over them to protect them, and they want their own military force to protect themselves. That’s the way they feel over there. Now that is A CHIEF INCENTIVE TO UNITE THEM and that is taking place …This whole United States of Europe, when it goes together, is going to trigger nuclear World War III.(Sermon – 27 November 1982)

The Mighty Dollar Is Dying

USA, 2023 – The whole world is financially unstable. The whole world is drowning in debt – with America leading the way! When a nation has to pay out over half of all the income tax it collects in a year just to pay the interest on its loans, then that nation is in deep financial trouble. Then they have to borrow, borrow, borrow… to keep the country running for another year – ready to pay even more interest next year.

This is terminal!
There is no happy ending!
It’s a slippy slide into financial oblivion.
A dollar crash will be “horrifying and historic.”

As Mr Armstrong warned back in 1984

“Now when the financial structure breaks down, ALL CIVILIZATION IS GOING TO BREAK DOWN.

I just wanted to say that much – maybe you can begin to see how serious this thing can become!” (Sermon – 7 July 1984)

As 2023 draws to a close…

A Situation Update

The loss of Russian gas is hurting the German economy. The ‘green’ situation in Germany is changing. Coal fired power stations are coming back online – with even talk of bringing back online the recently closed nuclear power stations. Germany, and the rest of Europe, need power – and lots of it! At the moment, Germany is buying gas from the USA, at nearly double the price of Russian gas.

Meanwhile, the USA is starting to look more and more like an unreliable ally.

The political situation in Germany is unstable. Their “green politics” are not working. Crime is increasing. The economy is under threat.

The immigrant situation is causing many problems in Germany and the rest of Europe. The old ‘open border’ policy is ending, with many nations opting for border controls. Europe is being ‘invaded’ by huge numbers of immigrants, the majority of which are young Muslim males. This is causing political unrest, right across Europe.

The Rise Of Hitler’s NAZIS

First, a bit of history:

“When the Nazi movement first began in the early 1920s, it was small, ineffective, and marginal. In 1928, the Nazi Party won less than 3 percent of the national vote.

Germany held parliamentary elections in September 1930. This was almost a year into the Great Depression. The Nazis won 18 percent of the vote.

In the July 1932 parliamentary elections, the Nazis won 37 percent of the vote.

On January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany by German President Paul von Hindenburg. Hitler was the leader of the Nazi Party.” (

Is History Repeating?

Europe’s swing to the Right – not just a German issue – is happening with causes not dissimilar to the situation before WWII, with political turmoil and immigration being the main problems.

What Europe needs is a strong leader.
Remember how Hitler came to power? It was all legal!
Hitler did not seize power in a coup; and Hitler was not directly elected to power.
Hitler and the Nazi Party came to power through Germany’s legal political processes.

The situation today is so like the 1930’s. Many Germans had lost faith in their leaders’ ability to govern, just as many are losing faith in today’s leaders. The people want leaders who will solve the problems…

“The day after the [Reichstag ‘terrorist crisis’ which was blamed on the Communists], Hitler persuaded President Hindenburg to issue a decree entitled, ‘For the Protection of the People and the State.’ Justified as a ‘defensive measure against Communist acts of violence endangering the state,’ the decree suspended the constitutional guarantees pertaining to civil liberties:

Restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press; on the rights of assembly and association; and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications; and warrants for house searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed. (

Yet all this was accepted by the German people!

Due to the crisis in the country, the people were willing to swap personal freedom for security, provided by the government. The German people were united under Hitler against the perceived “Communist” threat.

Are we so different today? We have the “terrorist threat” – the Russian threat – the Pandemic threat – from which we need “protecting”! The powers which Western Governments have taken to themselves today are not far removed from the powers which Hitler said were essential for the “protection” of the German citizens. In fact, due to modern technology, they are far more intrusive!

“They knew what government officials have known throughout history — that during extreme national emergencies, people are most scared and thus much more willing to surrender their liberties in return for ‘security.’ And that’s exactly what happened during the Reichstag terrorist crisis. Two weeks after the Reichstag fire, Hitler requested the Reichstag to temporarily delegate its powers to him so that he could adequately deal with the crisis.

When the vote was taken, the result was 441 for and 84 against, giving Hitler the two-thirds majority he needed to suspend the German constitution. On March 23, 1933, what has gone down in German history as the ‘Enabling Act’ made Hitler dictator of Germany, freed of all legislative and constitutional constraints.(

The Power Behind Europe

We were warned that the Roman Catholic Church would be involved with end time Europe – in the final “resurrection” of the Holy Roman Empire. They claim to be the kingdom of God on the earth. They seek to control governments!

“Benedict then turned to the pilgrimage made by Servant of God John Paul II in 1982 to Santiago de Compostela, where he performed a solemn ‘European act’ during which he pronounced these memorable words:

‘I, bishop of Rome and pastor of the Universal Church, from Santiago, address to you, old Europe, a cry full of love:

Return to yourself!

Be yourself!

Discover your origins.

Revive your [Catholic] roots.

Experience again those authentic values that made your history glorious and your presence in other continents beneficial’.” (

To those who have ears to hear, he is pointing back to a time when the Holy Roman Empire ruled in Europe, and ruled with a “rod of iron”! Tens of millions of people who would not accept Rome’s rule were killed!

A Situation To Watch!

‘Divide and Conquer’ is one of Satan’s best tools. While the USA and GB continue to support Israel – Israel should be safe. But will this support continue? As we have seen recently, the US and Britain are drifting apart and both nations are uniting in their condemnation of Israel. Isaiah 9:21 may give us a clue: “Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh: and they together shall be against Judah.” (Isaiah 9:21)

This has all happened before, in the days before the captivity of Israel (721-718 BC):

“In their greed, the people of the Northern Kingdom were devouring one another (Isaiah 9:20) and battling one another (verse 21), but they would soon be devoured and defeated by Assyria.(The Bible Exposition Commentary)

America – Too Big To Fail?

“Therefore the LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day.

The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.

For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and THEY THAT ARE LED OF THEM ARE DESTROYED.” (Isaiah 9:14-16)

Always Remember – God Is In Total Control!

Revelation 17 – Read the whole context!

When we read this section of Revelation 17, the emphasis tends to be on v13: “These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.” (Revelation 17:13)

What can cause this great “surge to unify”? Read verse 17:

“For GOD HATH PUT IN THEIR HEARTS TO FULFIL HIS WILL, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, UNTIL THE WORDS OF GOD SHALL BE FULFILLED.” (Revelation 17:17)

Another example of God’s absolute control: “…And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” (II Thessalonians 2:11)

Do you think so great a fall could not come to so great powers as Britain and America?

Do you say, ‘It can’t happen HERE?’

Do you think the GREAT GOD who was able to GIVE them such unprecedented world leadership and power and wealth is not able to take it away from them and throw them, like their ancient forefathers, back into SLAVERY?

You need to OPEN YOUR EYES to the fact that Britain’s sun already has SET! You need to WAKE UP to the fact that the United States, even still possessing unmatched POWER, is afraid – fears – to use it, just as God said: ‘I will break the PRIDE of your POWER’; that the United States has stopped winning wars – that America was unable, with all its vast power, to conquer little North Vietnam [or Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan…]!

The United States is fast riding to the GREATEST FALL that ever befell any nation!

The handwriting is on the wall!(US and GB in Prophecy – Chapter 13)

Read all about it. This is Tomorrow’s News Today!

Pastor’s Report - 24 Nov 2023
Learning From The Sacrifices

Learning from Sacrifices

"Wherefore the [ritualistic] law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith". (Galatians 3:24)

In the previous Pastor's Report of 10th November – "The Prophesied Sacrifices" – I mentioned the sacrifices that we are waiting for the Jews to reinstate on the temple mount in Jerusalem. If queried, would we know offhand which particular sacrifice, as there are many mentioned in the Pentateuch. And why that one in particular? And what of the other sacrifices – do they hold any meaning for us, at this time or were they instituted for just Old Testament Israel and/or the Jewish nation?

In fact it is the daily sacrifice – a form of burnt offering – that we are watching for in Israel:

  • And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
  • Command the children of Israel, and say unto them, My offering, and my bread for my sacrifices made by fire, for a sweet savour unto me, shall ye observe to offer unto me in their due season.
  • And thou shalt say unto them, This is the offering made by fire which ye shall offer unto the LORD; two lambs of the first year without spot day by day, for a continual burnt offering. (Number 28:1-3)

But the burnt offering was just one of many sacrifices God commanded – the majority added because of disobedience, as a schoolmaster to ancient Israel. (Galatians 3:19, 24). Without God's spirit the spiritual intent or picture of these sacrifices would have been be lost on our forefathers. But they are most definitely not to be regarded as "junk DNA" – something of no further use in our day and age! Taking time to look more closely at each of these commanded sacrifices will reveal aspects which not only have much to teach us, but should also leave us greatly encouraged.

An Ancient Custom

Although we read in the book of Leviticus that God gave a codified system of sacrifices to the Israelites in the wilderness, sacrifices did not originate at this time. Their history begins with Cain and Abel who are mentioned in Genesis 4 as preparing an offering to God. Abraham also sacrificed to God and this was well before the Israelites existed as a nation. So why did God command sacrifices? Before the time of the children of Israel in the wilderness, they were to show obedience to God by sacrificing at certain times of the year, or when specifically commanded to, as in Abraham's case. (Genesis 15:9-21)

But with the Israelites in the wilderness, they were intended for a more serious purpose. God commanded them as a constant reminder of broken law, primary because of the 'adulterous' relationship they engaged in just after the 'marriage ceremony' of the binding of the Covenant on Mt. Sinai. God had not introduced sacrifices to the Israelites immediately He had brought them out of Egypt because He had not deemed them necessary:

  • For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:
  • But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.
  • But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward. (Jeremiah 7:22-24)

After their rebellion – and lacking the Holy Spirit – God needed to teach them in a physical way that sin does not pay – even monetarily! The sacrifices were very much a schoolmaster to teach them obedience until such a time as there would be a heart in them to obey God's laws:

  • For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up.
  • And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart. (Jeremiah 24:6,7)

So the physical sacrifices were to last only a limited period of time, until the Messiah came who could fully forgive sins and God's spirit would be made available. Also, having this ritualistic sacrificial system firmly implanted in their minds, once those minds are opened in the future, that knowledge will be a really helpful 'teaching aid' to help the Israelites see all the clearer and more vividly the meaning and importance of Christ's sacrifice.

The Basic Types

Not all the sacrifices were strictly compulsory; God allowed His people to make voluntary sacrifices to show gratitude, for example. The overall use of the sacrifices in the Old Testament was to draw near to God, because the Hebrew word for sacrifice is korban קרבן which means 'coming closer'. It's derived from the root karev קרב which means 'to draw near'. Although all of the sacrifices pointed in some way to Christ, they can be divided into two broad groups, even though each sacrifice had a distinct and different meaning.

1. The restoring of relationships broken by sinoffered outside the camp

  • A. The Sin Offering
  • B. The Trespass Offering

2. The maintaining of the relationship with Godoffered inside the camp on the brazen altar in the Tabernacle

  • A. The Burnt Offering
  • B. The Meat or Meal Offering
  • C. The Peace Offering

Restoring Relationships

The Sin Offering

This was the first of the compulsory offerings and had to be offered when a sin had been committed in 'ignorance' (H07684) – 'unaware, in error, unwittingly'. It was for sins attributed to human nature – human weakness in general, not a specific 'missing the mark'. (Leviticus 4)

Depending on the rank or position of the individual who had sinned, the animals offered for sacrifice differed. If a priest sinned, then a bullock, the most expensive of all the animals, had to be slain. If a ruler, then a he-goat, if a common person, then a female goat or a lamb – showing lesser responsibility for the sin attributed to the person. The priest was equated to the nation in having to offer a bullock, because being someone in such a position of spiritual authority, the repercussions of sin would be much more serious.

The animal was brought to the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation and the offerer then placed his hand on its head, symbolizing that although he should die as the result of his sin, the penalty was passed onto the animal. The offerer then killed the animal himself, showing that he was the one who had actually created the need for the sacrifice. If the offender was a priest or the whole nation, the officiating priest (as a symbolic type of Christ) then took the blood and sprinkled it seven times (symbolizing perfection of the offering) before the veil of the sanctuary, and on the altar of incense. The remainder was poured out at the foot of the brazen altar. The fat of the inwards was burned on the brazen altar and the remainder of the carcase was taken outside the camp to be burned.

Note that for the sin offering, though the blood was offered before the sanctuary, the sacrifice itself had to be taken outside the camp. This is because God will not live in the presence of sin, so the animal could not be burnt in the area of the tabernacle. In the same manner, Christ had to be sacrificed outside the city walls of Jerusalem and God could not be present at His death when all the sins of mankind passed onto Him (Matthew 27:46, Hebrews 13:10-13) and He became our sin offering: "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (II Corinthians 5:21).

The Trespass Offering

This was the second of the compulsory offerings (Leviticus 5). The difference between the sin and the trespass offering can be shown by the two-fold nature of repentance. We have to repent not only of what we are (sin offering) but also what we have done (trespass offering). Unlike the sin offering – which was for human nature in general – the trespass offering was for a particular transgression. The Israelites had to offer these to atone for the everyday wrongdoings that overtook the people. In a similar way, although Christ paid the penalty of our past sins when He was sacrificed as the sin offering, we must also come before God daily in ongoing repentance when we specifically stumble and fall.

An important aspect of the trespass offering, was that restitution of the sin had also to be made wherever possible (Leviticus 6:4). Here again is a difference between the sin offering and the trespass offering. No restitution was attempted for the former – because the sin is against God. We need to turn from what we ARE i.e. plugged in to Satan's wavelength of human nature, to what God IS. But with the latter, individual trespasses can sometimes be 'made good'; making amends in some way regarding the harm we may have done to others.

What animal or bird was offered depended on the sin committed. It could be a female goat or lamb, or two turtle doves or two pigeons, or fine flour. Concerning the latter, no oil or frankincense was to be added (Leviticus 5:11). There are probably a number of reasons for this: Sin clearly stops our access to God and thus His Holy Spirit (oil) and His acceptance of our prayers (frankincense). But it also makes a clear distinction between the sin offering and the meal offering, which did require both oil and frankincense.

The offender confessed his sin, the priest killed the animal at the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation, the blood was sprinkled around the foot of the brazen altar and the internal fat was burned on it. The rest of the sacrifice went to the priests, and they were all commanded to eat of it. In the case of the offering being flour, a handful was burned on the altar and the rest went to the priests.

If the offence was concerned with holy things, such as keeping back tithes, or spending offering money, a bigger sacrifice was commanded, since this was a sin directly against God. A ram was slain in this case and retribution, of money, had to be made (Leviticus 5:15-16).

The trespass offering shows that even after baptism, when our past sins have been forgiven (typified by the sin offering) there is still the necessity to have our daily sins forgiven or else we will be cut off from God, having no more contact through His Holy Spirit or by prayer, symbolized by the omission of oil and frankincense.

Maintaining Relationships

The Burnt Offering

This was a freewill or voluntary offering. They were offered regularly by the priests, but the people offered them only on special occasions. This is also the form of sacrifice that was offered morning and evening and its re-establishment is therefore the key prophesied event to watch for in Jerusalem (Daniel 12:11; Exodus 29:38-42). In many ways this particular offering pictures our desire to maintain and improve our relationship with God, and that could well be part of the reason the Jews wish to reinstitute them, as it's a good idea to have God on your side in a time of war!

The sacrifice was brought to the door of the Tabernacle, the person laid his hand on it and then he killed the animal himself, showing its death was his decision. The priest then skinned the animal and cut it up into suitable pieces to be burnt on the altar. (Leviticus 1) The legs and insides were first washed, which shows that we have to be spiritually clean before we can be an acceptable sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:26) The blood was sprinkled around the foot of the altar, just as Christ voluntarily gave His life for us, for "the life of the flesh is in the blood" (Leviticus 17:11) and without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sins. (Ephesians 1:7) The whole animal, except the skin, was burnt.

God clearly tells us that our offering should not be flawed in any way (Deuteronomy 15:21). Indeed, if Christ had had any imperfections at all, His sacrifice would have been in vain. With our 'offering' – of prayers, and our life in general, i.e. becoming a 'living sacrifice' (Romans 12:1) we need to aim to be "perfect, as our Father in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48). Notice that the whole animal was sacrificed, and in like manner God expects us to keep nothing back, but to be totally wholehearted when we "put our hand to the plough" and choose to follow His way of life. (Luke 9:57-62)

The Meal Offering

Although called a meat offering in the King James' version, this sacrifice consisted of flour and should be translated as meal offering. Three kinds of oblations are mentioned in Leviticus 2, the second of which had three varieties:

1) Fine flour with frankincense (v1-3)

2) Cakes or pastry

  • A. unleavened cakes mixed with oil and baked in an oven (v4)
  • B. thin cakes, also unleavened, baked and then broken up and oil poured over them (v5,6)
  • C. fine flour boiled in oil

3) Parched kernels of the firstfruits of grain with frankincense.

The motive of this offering seems to be more in the sense of 'giving' and 'return' and of thankfulness in the enjoyment of life, rather than confession and atonement for sin. It was carried out more through a desire for contact with God rather than being commanded to do so as the performance of a duty or debt. Only a handful from this offering was to be burnt upon the altar, the rest being eaten by the priests in 'a holy place'. The offering of unprepared flour or of flour simply mixed with oil (Leviticus 2:10) became the property of the priests generally (v3), while that which was cooked belonged to the officiating priest himself.

Note carefully how salt, oil and frankincense were added to all these offerings. Salt is a preservative and is something to be treasured (Matthew 5:13, Mark 9:49,50). Also, from its culinary qualities, salt became the symbol of hospitality, friendship and trust in the East. Hence the expression 'a covenant of salt' which occurs in Numbers 18:19 and II Chronicles 13:5 – denoting an indissoluble alliance, an everlasting covenant. Also, the literal Hebrew of the phrase 'salted with the salt of the palace' (Ezra 4:14 margin) means bound by sacred obligation or fidelity to the king.

Oil was added to make the offering palatable and points to the Holy Spirit (Matthew 25:3). Frankincense was a vital ingredient of the unique holy incense to be offered before the veil – used to symbolize and accompany prayer (Psalm 141:2, Revelation 5:8, 8:3)

There are various reasons why honey was not to be used (Leviticus 2:11): 1) Because it has the same effect as leaven in paste or dough, making it sour and swelling, 2) Because God does not want His people to sacrifice in a Gentile manner, who frequently used honey, and 3) And to teach us not to worship God as we would like, governed by our own desire and appetites, but as He commands.

But what of the flour itself? We find in John 6 that Christ refers to Himself as 'the bread of life, so this offering is very relevant to Christ yielding Himself to God as an offering – as must we – and therefore shows a perfect fulfilment of the command to "love God with heart soul and might" and "our neighbour as ourself". Why was no leaven to be used in this offering? Leaven symbolizes hypocrisy, malice and wickedness (I Corinthians 5:6-8) yet an unleavened cake symbolizes what Christ was – and we too must aim to be pure in sincerity and truth.

The Peace Offering

The original Hebrew word SHELAMIM is plural and includes: 'peace, pacifications and also payments'. These were offerings for peace, prosperity and blessings from God. The underlying tone of the word 'peace' in these chapters is 'prosperity, welfare, joy, happiness. It was a time of rejoicing because part of the animal belonged to the offerer and was eaten inside two days.

Unlike sin or trespass offerings, peace offerings had God reconciled to the offerer and him at peace with God. The offerer was in this case permitted to share in the sacrifice. Partaking in this way was a sign of favour and friendship, as eating together was a friendly gesture, and was therefore used in ancient times to make covenants and agreements. When Christ became our peace – after accepting justification through His blood – we are made one with Him. We see this principle of peace over a meal applied to Laodicea when Christ says,

  • Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20)

Note that no one was to eat of a peace offering if they were unclean, and in like manner, we must be spiritually clean to have fellowship with God. (Leviticus 7:20-21)

The animals that could be offered were either a bullock, heifer, lamb or goat and all of these could be of either sex. As mentioned earlier, all were to be without blemish, as we are to be if we desire to communicate with God, and being either male or female shows no respect of the sexes in God's sight (Romans 2:11).

After the offerer had laid his hand on the head of the animal, he killed it himself at the door of the Tabernacle. The priest caught the blood and sprinkled it on and around the altar. The inward fat was then cut out and the priest burned it on the altar. The right shoulder went to the priest, and the breast was waved, or symbolically offered to God. It then went to the priests too. The remainder went to the offerer. If it was a public peace offering, all the flesh went to the priests. It could be eaten either boiled or roasted.

Unlike what many pagan religions would have us believe, we don't have to go through any human intermediary to obtain access to the Father and be at peace with Him – once Christ's sacrifice is applied:

  • But this man, [ChristMelchisedek} because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
  • Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
  • For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
  • Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. (Hebrews 7:24-27)

Why No Sacrifice Today

God had a PLAN in action ever since He created this earth, (Isaiah 45:18, Ephesians 1:4-6) and the focal point of His Plan revolves around His son Jesus Christ – "slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation.13:8). The existence and design of the Tabernacle and sacrificial system was not arbitrary, but shows symbolically God's desire to have man genuinely in contact with Him, and the only way this contact can be brought about.

It was not intended for the sacrifices in the Old Testament to wipe away sins — God didn't command them for that purpose (Hebrews 9:9, 10:1,2,11). They were merely physical rituals that were designed to keep the Israelites conscious of sin and its evil consequences. It was not that God took a particular sensuous delight in the smell of the burnt offerings, but that He knew the sacrificial system would help clarify the meaning of Christ's death in the future — as a lamb slain for a sacrifice in our stead (I Peter 1:18,19).

God knew that His sacrificial system would be temporary because after Christ's death the Holy Spirit – the missing ingredient of the ancient Israelites – would start to be offered to mankind, beginning with the firstfruits. The Holy Spirit enables us not only to obey God, but also have the desire to do so – a feeling very foreign to the Israelites in the wilderness.

Christ thus made it possible for us, through His sacrifice, to have a very close relationship with God the Father today, (Hebrews 10:19-22) and to genuinely worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. His sacrifice – as God in the flesh – was sufficient to pay for all past sins of all men. Since physical sacrifices cannot take away sin, but the sacrifice of Christ did, there is now no need to sacrifice as a reminder of our sins.

Sometimes it is only as we approach the Passover that will spend time contemplating the profound sacrifice made on our behalf – the suffering and death of an eternal God-being, to make possible our future as sons of the living God. When we grasp the true significance of this reality, the whole question of the necessity to sacrifice today becomes very clear. Rather, what's needed is a 360º turnaround in our previous lifestyle ... from get to give ... and summed up in the following few verses:

  • "When he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
  • Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first [the sacrifices], that he may establish the second [God's will].
  • By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." (Hebrews 10:8-10)
  • "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts and in their minds will I write them;
  • 'And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.'
  • Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin." (Hebrews 10:16-18)
  • "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?
  • 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?
  • 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?" (Micah 6:6-8)
Transcript - 31 May 2022

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HWA Bible Study:
I Corinthians 1 and 2 20 Jul 1980
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