The Consecration Of The Priests - Part II
“And Moses did as the LORD commanded him; and the assembly was gathered together unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And Moses said unto the congregation, This is the thing which the LORD commanded to be done.” —Leviticus 8:4-5
The Holy Spirit
That which the Holy Spirit is impressing upon us in these instructions is man’s internal need for a Saviour, and that the Saviour is obtainable only on the premise of justice satisfied. That justice, and we speak of the justice of God, was satisfied, and, in fact, could only be satisfied, by the sacrificial, atoning death of Christ on the Cross.
When we look closely at false doctrine, in some way, it will always be found that the error begins with a wrong interpretation of the atonement. In other words, if one perverts the Cross, one will pervert the entirety of the Word of God. If one properly understands the Cross, which serves as a proper foundation, then one will understand the Bible, which serves as the story of the Cross, and that alone! While the story, as the Bible presents it, may have broad aspects (and, in fact, does), still, all of those aspects, whatever they might be, always center up on the Cross. I speak of all the great doctrines of the Bible!
All Of Israel
“And gather you all the congregation together unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation” (Lev. 8:3).
There were upwards of 3 million people in the wilderness at this time. This was only about one year since they had been delivered from Egyptian bondage.
Even though all were commanded together (considering the great number of people), the far greater majority could not have witnessed the proceedings as far as firsthand information was concerned. Still, they were commanded to be there.
No doubt, when Moses began to carry out the consecration rituals, those who, in fact, did see what was happening would have told all who stood nearby, until the entirety of the congregation would have had some knowledge as to what was taking place.
At least one of the reasons for the Lord telling Moses that they must gather close was that they might understand that even the highest among them, namely Aaron in this case, was still dependent on the sacrifice. That was true for the highest as much as it was for the worst sinner among them. I am positive this lesson was not lost on those who were gathered.
The Cross At Present
From this example, we must understand that just as much as the sacrifice was applicable to all in Moses’ time, it is still applicable to all presently and, in fact, always has been. The Cross of Christ was the answer at the very beginning for man’s dilemma (Gen. 3:15; Chpt. 4), and it is the answer now. The only way to God is through Jesus Christ (Jn. 14:6), and the only way to Christ is through the Cross (Jn. 1:1–2, 14, 29).
The problem with the church presently is that it has substituted Jesus Christ and Him crucified for a Crossless Christ! Paul said to do such only brings about “another Jesus” (II Cor. 11:4).
Whenever the church promotes humanistic psychology in any shape, form, or fashion as the answer to man’s dilemma, they are presenting to the world a Crossless Christ. Whenever the Word of Faith people make faith the object of faith instead of Christ and Him crucified, they, too, present a Crossless Christ.
The Commands Of The Lord
“And Moses did as the LORD commanded him; and the assembly was gathered together unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And Moses said unto the congregation, This is the thing which the LORD commanded to be done” (Lev. 8:4-5).
This is a repeat of the instructions given in Exodus 29:1–37. According to tradition, this ceremony took place on February 23.
I want the reader to pay careful and strict attention to the phrase, “This is the thing which the LORD commanded to be done.” These are priceless words.
He did not say, “This is the thing which is expedient, agreeable, or suitable.” Neither did He say, “This is the thing which has been arranged by the fathers, the decree of the elders, or the opinion of the doctors.” In fact, Moses knew nothing of such so-called authority. He knew only the voice of the Lord, and that voice alone he followed.
Furthermore, he would bring every member of the congregation of Israel under the sound of that voice, so to speak. In fact, there was no room left for tradition, for the opinions of men, or for the ideas of man in any capacity.
Concerning this, Mackintosh said: “Had the Word been disregarded, the glory would not have appeared. The two things were intimately connected. The slightest deviation from ‘thus saith Jehovah’ would have prevented the beams of the divine glory from appearing to the congregation of Israel. Had there been the introduction of a single rite or ceremony not enjoined by the Word, or had there been the omission of ought which that Word commanded, the Lord would not have manifested His glory. He could not sanction, by the glory of His presence, the neglect or rejection of His Word. He can bear with ignorance and infirmity (spiritual weakness), but He cannot sanction neglect or disobedience.”
The Great Sin Of The Modern Church
Ignoring the Word, changing the Word, adding to the Word, or taking from the Word is the great sin of the modern church. How long will it take us to learn that God means what He says and says what He means?
For instance, the modern church promotes humanistic psychology as the answer to the aberrations and perversions of man. It does this despite the fact that the Holy Spirit through Peter said: “According as His divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who has called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (II Pet. 1:3–4).
Due to the Word presently being handled so loosely, many take exception to our insistence that the attack on the atonement is basely wrong, as it is carried out by the Word of Faith people when they claim that the Cross is of little consequence. The truth is, their erroneous doctrine - as it concerns the atonement and almost everything else - will cause Christians to be wrecked and souls to be eternally lost. So, there could be nothing worse than that!
The Message Of The Cross
As few people in the world, I think, I have been made to realize how necessary it is that we adhere strictly to the Word. Even when we stray from the Word through ignorance, or we do not know how to apply the Word because of ignorance, such ignorance cannot be overlooked by God and, to be sure, will reap its bitter fruit.
As it regards the great Message of the Cross, which is actually the foundation of all doctrine as it regards the Word of God, I understood that message as it regarded salvation and strongly preached it all over the world. The result was that hundreds of thousands were brought to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and I exaggerate not! However, as far as the Message of the Cross regarding sanctification, this I understood not at all.
As a result - despite my sincerity, my zealousness, and the fact that I tried so very, very hard - I lived Chapter 7 of Romans all over again. This was because of not understanding God’s prescribed order of victory as it regarded the Cross respecting sanctification, even as virtually all modern Christians are doing presently. To be sure, if we do not understand the Message of the Cross as it refers to sanctification, we definitely will relive Chapter 7 of Romans, even as Paul lived it. To be sure, it will not be a pretty picture.
Strict Adherence To The Word
We sometimes think that sincerity or zealousness will suffice. It won’t! There must be a strict adherence to the Word, and for that adherence to be strict, it must be properly taught and preached behind the pulpit. That’s why Paul emphatically stated, “We preach Christ crucified” (I Cor. 1:23).
That’s why he also said, “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the Cross of Christ should be made of none effect” (I Cor. 1:17).
As we’ve already said repeatedly, the church has been pushed away from its true foundation of the Cross to such an extent that it hardly knows where it’s been, where it is, or where it’s going. In fact, and I say this with great sadness of heart, the church is in worse condition presently, I believe, than it has been since the Reformation.
Desperation Precedes Revelation
I don’t know if my heading is true with everyone, but I do know it was true with Paul, and I definitely know that it was true with me.
In the late fall of 1991, I laid my Bible on the table in front of me and said to a group of friends who were there, “I don’t know the answer, but I know the answer is found in the Word of God, and by the grace of God, I intend to find that answer.”
To be sure, those words were not stated matter-of-factly. They were stated from the hurt of a broken heart and through bitter tears. I meant what I said!
For some six years, day and night, I sought the Lord with tears, asking Him to show me the answer to my dilemma and, in fact, the dilemma of the entirety of the church world. In the summer of 1997, He began to answer that prayer. He first took me to Romans, Chapter 6. He began to unfold to me that which He had given to Paul so long, long ago. That’s the reason I constantly say that what we are teaching isn’t new, but actually that which was taught by Paul.
I will never forget that morning when the Lord began to move upon me as it regarded the answer to my petition. I was studying, as stated, Chapter 6 of Romans. From that great chapter, the Holy Spirit began to move upon my heart, opening it up to me, and instantly I knew that this was the answer. I will never forget that day, and I will never forget what the Lord has done and, in fact, continues to do even unto this hour. I trust He will ever continue because it is impossible to exhaust the potential of the Cross.
As the Lord began to give me this revelation, I don’t think it would be possible to reveal the joy that flooded my soul and continues unto this moment.
I know what it is to say as Paul, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:24).
I also now know what it is to say: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:1–2).
If we adhere to the Word, we will reap the benefits of the Word! If we stray from the Word, we will reap that direction, as well, but it definitely won’t be benefits.
The Cross And The Modern Church
It is my belief that the church is in such terrible condition, actually epitomizing the Laodicean church of Revelation 3:14–22, because it has strayed from the foundation of the Cross of Christ. To put it bluntly, the church no longer preaches the Cross. It preaches psychology; it preaches various fads; it preaches intellectualism; and it preaches a plethora of works, but it is no longer preaching the Cross.
As a result, the churches are full of people who aren’t saved, and the few who are saved, for the most part, are, as one of my associates said, “miserably saved!” In other words, modern believers, and I speak of true believers, simply do not know how to live for God. They don’t know how to live for God simply because they do not know and understand the Message of the Cross as it refers to sanctification. The laity in the pew is in this condition because the preachers behind the pulpits do not know the Message of the Cross.
Theological Or Moral
The Message of the Cross is not a difficult message. In fact, it is very simple. Paul told the Corinthians: “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” He then went on to say: “For if he who comes preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if you receive another spirit, which you have not received, or another gospel, which you have not accepted, you might well bear with him” (II Cor. 11:3–4).
The Message of the Cross, regarding both salvation and sanctification, is not difficult to understand. In effect, the Holy Spirit through Paul referred to this message as the simplicity of Christ. So, this means that if preachers or anyone rejects the Cross, it is definitely not from theological reasons. In other words, it is not because it is too difficult to understand. This means that the reason for rejecting the Cross is definitely not theological, but rather moral.
What Do We Mean By Moral?
It means that men reject the Cross simply because of pride and self-will. Like Cain of old, they do not refuse to offer up sacrifice; in fact, they offer up beautiful sacrifices. However, it’s a sacrifice of their own hands and not that of Christ, i.e., Christ and Him crucified. As I’ve already said several times, the Holy Spirit is drawing the line. On one side is the true church, and on the other side is the apostate church. That line is the Cross of Christ. As Martin Luther said so long ago, “As men view the Cross, so they view the Reformation.” I’ll say the same thing presently: as men view the Cross, so they view Christ!
In fact, the Cross has always been the dividing line, but the Holy Spirit is making it more prominent now than ever before, and for all the obvious, scriptural reasons.
Concerning the Cross, may we, in effect, say as Moses of old, “This is the thing which the LORD commanded to be done”?
This article is an excerpt for the book 'The Sacrificial System' by Jimmy Swaggart.