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Book of Leviticus
Gospel in Leviticus by Moses, Introduction
There are those who consider the Book of Leviticus to be a most extraordinary Book. Dr. S. H. Kellogg considered the Book of Leviticus the most important Book in the Bible. A preacher in Memphis, Tennessee, Dr. Albert C. Dudley considered the Book of Leviticus the greatest Book in the Bible. Many have doubts as to the value of Leviticus for people of our day and time. That is what brought me to consider commenting on this Book. This will not be like my other Commentaries, where I explain verse by verse what that Book means to me.
The Book of Leviticus was written by Moses. It is a part of the Pentateuch, the first five Books of the Bible.
In the Book of Leviticus, the children of Israel were at Mount Sinai. Leviticus opens and shuts at the same place, Mount Sinai, where our Almighty God gave the Law to His people. The Book of Exodus ended with the building of the Tabernacle according to God’s instructions and then the tabernacle was filled with the glory of the LORD. Leviticus simply continues by giving the order and rules of worship in the tabernacle. Leviticus is the Book on worship of our God.
After the Tabernacle was finished the LORD God moved to the Tabernacle and speaks from there. He no longer spoke from Mount Sinai. He would call the people to meet with Him at the Tabernacle. He tells them how they are to come and how they are to walk before Him. The exact meaning of the church, the ecclesia, is the “called out ones.” We are also those who have been called out. In that day, God spoke from the Tabernacle and asked them to come to Him. Today, the LORD Jesus calls us to Himself. He says, “My sheep hear my voice” (John 10:27). Considering this, this Book has a beautiful message for us today.
Leviticus is the Book of worship. Sacrifice, ceremony, ritual, rites, instructions, washings, assemblies, holy days, observances, condition, and warnings are found in this Book. All of these physical trainings were given to teach spiritual truths. Paul wrote: “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come” (1 Cor. 10:11). In 1 Corinthians 10:6 he says, “Now these things were our examples …”. “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Rom. 15:4). I wholeheartedly agree with this. And I agree with Peter when he tells us that the Old Testament holds spiritual truths for us. 1 Peter 1:10-12 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that tershould come unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. (KJV)
Hebrews tells us: Heb. 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. (KJV)
Leviticus has some incredible instruction for us today because it reveals Christ in a most remarkable way. Tyndale, in his Prologue into the Third Book of Moses, said, “Though sacrifices and ceremonies can be no ground or foundation to build upon—that is, though we can prove naught with them—yet when we have once found Christ and His mysteries, then we may borrow figures, that is to say, allegories, similitudes, and examples, to open Christ, and the secrets of God hid in Christ, even unto the quick: and can declare them more lively and sensibly with them than with all the words of the world.”
Worship for us today is no longer by ritual or in a definite place. You remember that the people of Israel had been going through ceremonies and they had their rituals, but Jesus said to the woman at the well in Samaria, “… Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:21–24).
The major subject in Leviticus is holiness unto Jehovah, Yeshua. The message of this Book is twofold:
(1). Leviticus teaches that the way to God is by sacrifice. The word atonement occurs 45 times in this book. Atonement means to “cover up.” The blood of bulls and goats did not take away sin. It simply covered over sin until Christ came to take away our sins. Romans 3:25-26 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. [KJV] . . . Do you see what it says? “Faith in His Blood.” That Blood speaks of Jesus’ life! Our faith MUST have a special regard to the Blood of Christ, for that is what made the atonement for our sins (amends, payment, compensation, restitution, propitiation). It is plain why God hates sin, when nothing less than the Blood of Christ would satisfy for it. God does not demand payment of our debt, for our Saviour has paid it, and God has accepted that to be payment in full!
The sins that are past are the sins back in the Old Testament. God never accepted the blood of bulls and goats as the final payment for sin, but He required that blood be shed. It was an atonement to cover over the sins until Christ came. In other words, God saved “on credit” in the Old Testament. When Christ came, as the hymn accurately states it, “Jesus paid it all.” This is true as far as the past is concerned, and as far as the present is concerned, and as far as the future is concerned.
One of the key verses in Leviticus, dealing with atonement, is as follows: Lev. 17:11 For 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. (KJV) . . . The ONLY way to God is by sacrifice and without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins.
(2). Leviticus teaches that the walk with God is by sanctification. The word holiness occurs 87 times in this book. Lev. 20:26 And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine. (KJV)
Our God set strict laws governing our diet, social life and daily specifics involving every physical aspect of the lives of His people. These laws have not changed, because God does NOT change! These laws have just as great a spiritual application to His people today. That is the reason I think we should pay attention to Leviticus. Access to God is secured for the sinner today through the shed Blood of Christ. Hebrews 9:25-26 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; 26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. (KJV)
Those who are redeemed by the precious Blood of Christ must live a holy life if they want to enjoy and worship God. Hebrews 13:20-21 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (KJV)
Leviticus is a remarkable Book, but it is gloomy to the average Christian and very few read and study the Book of Leviticus.
(1). The five offerings which open this book are clear, crystal–cut appearances of Christ. They represent His perfectness in depth and His death in detail (chapters 1–7).
(2). The sanctification of the priests reveals how shallow and inadequate is our thinking on Christian consecration (chapters 8–10).
(3). The diet God provided for His people was wholesome and beneficial, and contains much spiritual food for our souls (chapter 11).
(4). Attention is given to motherhood and further illustrates God’s thinking concerning womanhood (chapter 12).
(5). The importance given to leprosy and its treatment, is the heart of this Book on worship, and demands we pay attention. WHY is there this extended section on leprosy? Those who have been given gracious insights into Scripture have found here a type of sin and its defiling effect on man in his relation to God. The cleansing of the leper finds its fulfillment in the death and resurrection of Christ as typified in a most unusual sacrifice of two birds (chapters 13–15). Dear one, if we want to escape the defilement of sin in this world, we should know a lot about the death and resurrection of Christ and the application of it to our lives.
(6). The great Day of Atonement is a full–length picture of the Sacrifice of Christ (chapter 16).
(7). The importance of the burnt altar in the tabernacle reveals the essential characteristic of the Cross of Christ (chapter 17).
(8). The stress in this book of instructions concerning seemingly minute details in the daily lives of God’s people reveals how God intends the human family to be involved with Him (chapters 18–22). God wants to be involved in your business, in your family life, in your social life. Dear one, BEWARE lest we shut Him out of our lives.
(9). The list of feasts furnishes a prophetic program of God’s agenda for all time (chapter 23).
(10). The laws governing the land of Palestine help us understand its checkered history and an insight into its future prominence. There are many prophecies in this book. The nation Israel and the Promised Land are intertwined and interwoven from here to eternity (chapters 24–27).
It seems to me that Moses was clearly bringing forth the Gospel of Jesus Christ in this marvelous Book. Gospel is the Good News about Jesus, and I think Moses did a great job.
Consider there being a relationship in the first three books of the Bible:
In Genesis we see man ruined.
In Exodus we see man redeemed.
In Leviticus we see man worshiping God.
There is also a comparison and contrast between Exodus and Leviticus.
(1). In Exodus we see the offer of pardon; Leviticus offers purity.
(2). In Exodus we have God’s approach to man; in Leviticus it is man’s approach to God.
(3). In Exodus Christ is the Saviour; in Leviticus He is the Sanctifier.
(4). In Exodus man’s guilt is prominent; in Leviticus man’s defilement is prominent.
(5). In Exodus God speaks out of the mount; in Leviticus He speaks out of the tabernacle.
(6). In Exodus man is made nigh to God; in Leviticus man is kept nigh to God.
Is the Gospel in the Book of Leviticus? YES, it is!!!
Leviticus, intro . . Leviticus, Ch.1 . . Leviticus Ch.2 . . Leviticus, Ch.3 . . Leviticus, Ch.4 . . Leviticus Ch.5 . . Leviticus Ch.6 . . Leviticus Ch.7 . . . Leviticus Ch.8 . . Leviticus Ch.9 . . Leviticus Ch.10 . . Leviticus Ch.11 . . Leviticus Ch.12 . . Leviticus Ch.13 . . Leviticus 14 . . Leviticus 15 . . Leviticus 16 . . Leviticus 17 . . Leviticus 18 . . Leviticus 19 . . Leviticus 20 . . Home Page