Notes on Leviticus 1-4

Leviticus is often cited as being the most boring, difficult to sift through book in all The Bible. It is a long series of laws written for the ancient Israelites. Christians often write this book off because it doesn’t pertain to us, while anti-Christians often cite this book for its seemingly bizarre rules on menstruation and slavery. I am going to do my best to pull out things that I find interesting which are relevant to Christianity today.

The first four chapters of Leviticus are dealing with various types of offerings to God. This reaffirms that the way of salvation in the Old Testament is one of Faith AND works. This differs from Christianity, which is by Faith alone. For the Hebrews, God required sacrifices at the altar found at the tabernacle to satisfy the “works” component of salvation.

The very first offering is the burnt offering. Notice that it is to be a “male without blemish” that is offered “of his own voluntary will” (Lev. 1:3). This is not only a picture of Christ’s sacrifice, but of our own free will. This stands as the first of many Biblical challenges of the Calvinist or Reformed doctrine of predestination.

Each of the animals sacrificed in these passages are decapitated. Whether it be an ox, goat, lamb, or bird, the head must be removed. This is a vision of the “tribulation saints” of whom John wrote, “I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus” in Revelation 20:4. A martyr’s death is a sacrifice unto God. In the end times, those who CHOOSE to not accept the Mark of the Beast display their voluntary will and will have their heads separated from their bodies.

Perhaps the wave of Islamic public decapitations of Christians in the modern era is desensitizing the world in preparation for what The Bible predicts will become common practice.

The blood of each sacrificed animal is not to be consumed, but is poured out on and around the altar. Leviticus 17:5 says “the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”

This once again points to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who shed his blood as an atonement for our souls. Unlike the ancient Israelites, Christians do not need to continually pay our debt for sin, because Christ’s death did that for us. Like the Levite priests poured out the blood of the lamb, the crucifixion poured out the blood of the Lamb.

Leviticus 3:17 says that we should “eat neither fat nor blood.” This is applicable to the modern age as well. Removing the blood by draining is still not as effective a method as cooking meat. There are all sorts of diseases that we may suffer when consuming raw meat. Blood in the book of Leviticus denotes being unclean. I will discuss this more as I go through the Book.

A really interesting study can be made from the instruction of Leviticus 1:16 to cast away feathers and unwanted parts of a fowl offering “beside the alter on the east.”

The “proper direction” throughout many Scriptures is from east to west, rather than west to east. The cherubim guarding the Garden of Eden was placed on the East entrance (Gen. 3:24), Cain moved from west to east (Gen 4:16), Nimrod’s Hamitic people moved from Africa (west) into the Middle East (east).

Christ, on the other hand, entered Jerusalem from the east gate. Ezekiel 1:1-3 prophesied hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth that no one would enter the east gate unless they were the LORD. No one has entered it in the 2000 years since Christ did the first time. He will be the one to enter it again during the second advent (Matthew 23:37-39).

Look at the history of this phenomenon. In 1530 AD, the Ottoman Turks (Arab Muslims) built a cemetery in front of the gate to thwart this prophecy.

In 1917, the Grand Mufti (Arab leader of Jerusalem) sealed all other gates to the city in an attempt to force British General Allenby to enter the east gate with all his military might. However, the Brits dropped pamphlets into the city and the Arabs fled without one shot being fired. Allenby never entered the east gate and it remained sealed.

In 1967, The Six Day War began. King Hussein of Jordan prepared to attack Israel, so he wanted to open the east gate to allow Muslims easier access to the Dome of the Rock. Before he could do so, the Jews recaptured Jerusalem. Again, the east gate remained sealed, and still is.

I suppose someone may view these as coincidences. However, I know a 2,000-year-old prophecy when I see one. The next time that the eastern gate is opened, will be when Christ enters it as a conqueror.

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