—Curious Thoughts - Inquiring Minds Want to Know — Ruminations, Thoughts, and Ponderings on Inerrancy and Sacrifice - with Final Thought

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I believe the Word of God to be 100% inspired and without error in the original manuscripts.  God declared that blindness would come upon His people (which actually started when they rejected Him as their Sovereign and lusted after having a king like the wicked, polluted enemy nations around them).  Losing touch with our ancient mother-tongue is part of that blindness.  Having minor (mostly insignificant, as doctrine is concerned) error creep into the manuscripts by copyist error is part of that blindness.  The road back may not be an easy road (and it is “not easy to kick against the pricks”)—but for those who have truly been called out of darkness into His Marvellous Light, it is the only road; whatever the cost.  It is the Pearl of Great Price.  Those without character, those who do not really aim for a specific destination, will be content to wind up anywhere.  However, one who is driven, possessed by God’s Holy Spirit, even if he finds that for years he has been travelling in the wrong direction, will adjust his course to the true and set out anew.  There is no other option of destination to those who have set their sites on the Celestial City.  Nothing else can be a tempting alternative.  Nothing can cause him to give up.  So it is with copyist errors (which are minor).  The Word of God is sophisticated, interconnected, and Immutable.  Many “seeming” errors are merely misunderstandings, misinterpretations, our ignorance concerning their reconciliation to other Biblical passages.  Some people cannot think critically and imagine that the world is bound to function according to limitations of their crippled minds; but this is not reality.  God repeats Himself often enough, and gives cross-checking facts to enable even a tampered manuscript to be reconcilable.  That is one way in which (what passes modernly for) the Septuagint was easily outed as spurious; the interconnected dates were doctored numerous times, which threw off other dates; and it took the falsifiers awhile to “tie down every loose flapping corner” of subterfuge.

To imagine that the current copies, of various dates, of the thousands of Biblical manuscripts are without error (all of which have very minor differences), is anti-intellectual, blind “believism” that flies in the face of the facts and it also shows such a person's utter ignorance of the "selection process" by which the minute differences of the thousands of manuscripts were compiled and “chosen” (voted upon, often with the vote not truly reflecting the evidence) to be the presumed correct reading.  It also ignores what I stated above concerning the handicaps and hallmarks of blindness concerning the language barrier (and the change of language over time) and rejecting God as Sovereign. 

It also overlooks the fact that even in the days of godly, young King Josiah, a renovation of the Temple was undertaken (in Josiah’s 18th year of rule) and a copy of the Law of God was found, hidden somewhere (under a paving stone, inside a hollow wall, etc.).  Presumably, it was hidden during the days of Josiah’s grandfather, King Manasseh, during his evil days (to prevent him from destroying it); which manuscript then seems to have been forgotten.  Anyway, Josiah had the Law read to him and he rent his royal clothes when he heard what God had commanded.  Clearly, the common practice of what people did freely in society, and how the priests officiated God's worship was entirely different from what God had commanded.  The point is this: If what was being followed as God’s Law* could have changed so drastically in a mere 70 years, during the time of the Israelites in Josiah’s day (which people perfectly understood the ancient language, still had word-of-mouth stories transmitted from patriarch to patriarch, etc.), then why are we to assume that the manuscripts have not suffered ill in the past 2,700 years from that time—especially since God declared that blindness would come upon His people?  This is one of the reasons that we are called to diligently study and lean not unto our own understanding.  God does not contradict Himself.  If any passage of Scripture contradicts what God declared, in most cases it is a misreading due to general ignorance / blindness; though in a very few, but very clear cases, it seems indisputable that it is due to copyist error (compare II Samuel 10:18 and I Chronicles 19:18: 700 charioteers and 40,000 horsemen; v. 7,000 charioteers and 40,000 footmen). 

[* —and surely there were counterfeit manuscripts, or manuscripts re-written by good intentions, albeit by poor memories, in order to attempt to have something, if the original manuscripts were all destroyed or "disappeared".]

To make matters worse! —there was not a godly man in Judah (not even any of the priests!) whom Josiah could consult in the matter, and he sent the priest himself, and a few others, to consult a woman in the matter!  They were sent to the prophetess Huldah.  Why was the Prophet Jeremiah not consulted?  Clearly, God was rubbing His people’s face in their sin, showing their utter spiritual and moral and intellectual depravity (as He did one other time with the deliverer Deborah, who had an auxiliary role, to encourage and help Gideon).  In this rare instance God used a woman to humble them to recognize the depth of their departure from God's Ways (and hence, the departure of His Spirit from them) in that there was not a godly man among them in whom was the Spirit of Understanding.  Understand, this was not to praise women; this was to shame men.  God did not ordain for women in general to be in such positions; and in the rare cases in which they are, it is to shame the men.  Likewise, part of the reason the godly young Josiah ascended the throne when 8 years old was to shame his evil (short-reigned) father Amon.  The shame was of his memory to posterity, not to Amon himself, since Josiah ascended the throne after his father Amon died.  In most cases, throughout our histories, God has used haughty, arrogant, manly, emasculating, usurping women to chasten God’s men—for the millions of cowardly Ahabs there are millions of Jezebels.*  This is a shame upon God's people!  At least Ahab humbled himself, to a limited degree, before God, when he was rebuked in a dream and told that God was going to kill him.  Jezebels never will humble themselves (or it will not be lasting—women in Christendom take notes and heed; every tree is known by its fruit), but they will drag their house down with them in destruction; even as did Queen Athaliah* who murdered nearly all the royal seed in the attempt to be in control—a control that God never authorized for woman to have (and so the British Empire has been reduced to rubbish in the generation of one godless, spineless queen with a name, "Oath of God" of which she is unworthy).

[* It should be noted that Jezebel was a Canaanite and Ahab should have never married her.  However, Athaliah’s mother was not Jezebel, though they shared a similar evil temperament.  Ahab had 70 sons (and most likely close to the same amount of daughters) and clearly had more than one wife.]

Though indeed God is all-capable of transmitting His Word to us 100% free of error, that does not mean that such is what God determined to do; it does not mean that was His Will.  His Will was "blindness" upon His people for their unrepentant sin and whoring after other nations.  God said that He would harden the hearts, stop the ears, close the eyes, stiffen the necks, shut the minds of all and open only those of the elect of His people.  How is this blindness most-easily effected?  God wrote His Word with just enough mystery and ambiguity to give enough rope for the wicked to hang themselves, in thinking that they know better than God; that God's Word is not true, because they found a minor copyist error or so; or because in their ignorance they think they found inconsistencies—when in reality, the inconsistencies are inconsistencies and insadequacies in their own education, learning, and understanding.  God Himself is the One who sent them the delusion so that they would not believe.  Those who are unregenerate (or those who are unregenerate, but who are carnal) can understand "information" in the Word of God, but they cannot understand Truth.  God's Word is Spiritual and it can only be spiritually discerned and that only occurs if the Holy Spirit of Truth leads one into the Truth—and He leads into such truth the chosen and called of God's elect.

God certainly did not give His Word 100% without error to His people during the 70 or so years of time during the days of King Manasseh, King Amon, or King Josiah (until the discovery of the copy of the Law during the Temple renovation after Josiah had ruled for 17 years).  We are not told how long Manasseh’s early, wicked reign was, nor how long he was in prison in captivity (presumably under torture, at times), nor how long he reigned after his conversion and restoration.  However, his reign was one of the longest of any monarch of Israel or Judah.  In his evil, younger days, he filled Jerusalem with blood from one end to the other (including probably having the prophet Isaiah stuffed in a hollow log and sawn asunder lengthways).  He also instituted all sorts of paganism and polluted the true worship of God—which paganism he himself was not even able to undo after his own conversion and attempts at reformation.  So, during his (presumably, much-longer) godly reign, he and all Judah were utterly without a 100%-error-free copy of the Word of God!

Okay, with that foundation laid, it needs to be realized that while there may be a very few, minor copyist errors (in very limited areas that do not affect doctrine), the vast majority of the Word of God is entirely faithful and true and reliable.  Therefore, upon any area of confusion, the spirit-led Bible student’s knee-jerk reaction should never be to assume that the Bible is wrong; but that we do not have all the information, that maybe like a “connect the dots” we need to piece it together, and our understanding is what is deficient.  Those who set out do "disprove" the Bible and "find" error, most often will never know the truth because they are not worthy of it and God has not called them to faith and understanding.  Those who set out to understand and reconcile seeming contradictions by employing the simple and unchanging Biblical method of interpretation, will have God reveal truth to them.

So now we come to the discussion of a glaring “blind spot” of information concerning the Levitical Sacrificial system; which issue seems to have never been thought of or broached by anyone whom I have known or read.

Allow me to start with a question to the reader: Have you ever had to burn the carcass of a dead animal?  Unfortunately, I have had to burn more than my share (goats, dogs, cats).  I live in the country.  I don’t have a tractor or backhoe or Bobcat (though I hope one day that maybe I shall).  Those who do not know what burning a carcass involves also don’t know what digging a hole involves.  To even dig a hole on a nice sandy beach (which to me sounds like a dream from a distant life, as I grew up in South Florida and lived quite close to the ocean for many years), deep enough to bury an animal carcass deep enough to where it would not be threatened being dug up by predators, nor pollute the surface of the soil above it, would require a significant amount of labor and time.  However, digging such a hole anywhere else (especially in the rocky, hard-pan, mountainous soil of northeast Tennessee) is exponentially more difficult and time consuming if you have to do it by hand.  And even if you have some form of heavy equipment with which to dig the hole(s), unless you have a vast rolling amount of land, you will need to keep a record-map of where you bury any carcass, so that the next time that you need to bury a carcass, you don’t dig into the old rotting one. 

Thus, burning is a much easier, less problematic, less time consuming effort than digging a 6 to 8 foot deep hole by hand.  Any such hole has to be deep enough for the putrid rotting smell and disease to not seep upward out of the ground—and next time that you plant a tree, dig a post-hole for a fence, or dig a ditch for a drainage line, you don’t really want to be digging into a ripe, rotting carcass.  Anyone who has never smelled the stench of decomp cannot begin to comprehend it.  Anyone who has ever been around a campfire or even a burn barrel, will know how easily and unshakeably the smell of smoke will attach itself to you.  Decomp smell is the same, and far worse—and it even seems to stick to the inside of your nose!  I remember once when I was about 11 years old, when we lived on the canal in Pompano Beach, there were Muscovy ducks that populated commonly in the area, especially around the canals or lakes or ponds.  One time a hen had laid a clutch of eggs under one of our bushes by the house, about 12 feet from the canal.  After several weeks, she hatched them out and moved on.  I noticed that one egg had not hatched.  I gingerly picked it up in my hand, with the intention of tossing it into the canal.  I have no idea what happened, but after taking a few steps the egg fell from my hand.  Instinctively (I did not know why, it was an autonomic survival mechanism kicking in) I ran as fast as I could (and I am both quick and fast), almost before the egg hit the ground (bomb’s away!).  I only got about 5 strides away, even turning the corner of the house, and I still could not outrun the explosion of the wave of smell and I lost the contents of my stomach.  Now, someone with a much more vigorous constitution and able to withstand such sights and smells would of course have faired better than I; but alas, that is not my type of constitution (it takes a rare breed to work in certain occupations and I don’t envy them a bit).  Regardless, that was a normal sized egg (weighing I would guess 2 oz.) with a rotting embryo in it.  The carcass of a 10-lb. cat, 50 lb. dog, or 175 lb. goat is far smellier (depending on how ripe it is, what the temperature is, and how long it has been decomposing).  Living creatures are about 85% water.  Burning a carcass requires a lot of fuel to evaporate off all that water so that the carbon elements can be reduced to smoke and dust.  A 175-lb. carcass would contain roughly 149 lbs. or 17 gallons of water; but that water is trapped within tissue and bone.  Imagine soaking thick pieces of fire wood in 17 gallons of water, until all the water was absorbed, and then imagine trying to burn that wood.   Even with a vigorous burn barrel or bonfire it takes days to burn a carcass down to a few mere bone fragments (and it requires continual stirring, stoking, addition of new fuel, pitchforking unburned remains or wood pieces back into the center of the heat of the burn pile / bonfire).  It takes a monumental amount of wood—dry wood (at least, to get the blaze fully raging).

Read through the Old Testament and you will learn that when a person sinned (or if he sinned in ignorance, and then came to the realization of his sin) he was required to go to the priest with an offering, a goat or sheep (in the case of the poorest, tiny turtledoves or pigeons).  These were not always yearlings (except for those specific offerings that commanded such).  In the case of the priests, or for certain sacrifices for the nation, it was a bullock (a young bull).

Here we come to the heart of my rumination. 

When the Israelites left Egypt (after which this sacrificial system was commanded to the nation as a whole, and written down as a codified legal system; before that time, it had been transmitted by word of mouth by patriarchs to their children) they were 603,550 men 20 years of age and upward, fit for war.  This did not include the Tribe of Levi, which was not numbered for war or inheritance, so taking an average we can assume that Levi's population of men 20 years and old upward fit for war was possibly 50,296; and thus the grand total of all of the tribes of Israel of men 20 years and old upward fit for war was possibly 653,846.  The average Israelite family at that time probably had 5 children (remember, God caused the Israelites to multiply in captivity, even under duress, so much that the Egyptians were threatened, and compared the Israelites' procreation to grasshoppers taking over the nation).  We must also realize that there were some men too old and there were also some infirmed or disabled.  Of course, one must also consider the wives, daughters, and young boys.  Thus, this number constituted probably only 1/8 of the population, and thus, the total number of Israelites who came out of Egypt was probably 5.25 million total persons. 

Here is the mind-boggling logistics of the scenario: The tabernacle had one brazen altar for burnt offerings, of very humble size, 7.5 feet x 7.5 feet x 4.5 feet tall.

Let’s assume that the Israelites only sinned once a year each (a HUGE assumption) and that only the head of the household (the father) was responsible to bring the offering but once a year for his entire family (I don’t see this in Scripture, but we are just doing a base-line calculation for initial consideration).  So let us divide that 5.25 million by 8 =  656,250.  So, with 365 days in the year, each head of household bringing 1 offering a year for his entire household, this would mean that 1,798 Israelites each day had to have a sacrifice offered.  Assuming that brazen altar and changing guards of priests and Levites were busy around the clock, 24 hours a day, that means, that 75 Israelites per hour had to have their sacrifices burnt on the altar.  Do you see a logistics problem?  I have drastically undercalculated by imagining only 1/8 of the offenders and have also drastically undercalculated assuming a person only sinned once a year.

Now, realize that the entire carcass of each sacrifice was not burned on the altar.  There were different types of sacrifices, sin offering, burnt offering, peace offering, trespass offering, for individuals, for the nation, etc.  Sometimes, it seems, that the external and visceral fat (except that surrounding the kidneys and gall bladder) alone were burnt on the altar.  But in other offerings, sometimes the entire carcass (excepting the skin and certain organs, such as kidneys, gall bladder, and intestines*) was burned on the altar, head included.  Part of most offerings was to go to the sons of Aaron for their sustenance, and whatever was not burned (the hide, intestines,* head, etc.) was to be burned outside the camp in a special (not common) place.  A LOT of wood was required for the altar as well as for the burning of the remains outside the camp in that special place.

[* I would imagine that the stomachs / rumens of the animals were also carted off and not burned on the altar.  The contents of the rumen / stomach are a particularly vile smelling mass of wet, fermenting, digesting plant matter that takes a long time to burn; so the stomachs were most likely removed as were the intestines and the dung within, and not burnt on the altar.  The blood was drained and not burned on the altar, so that did remove some of the water.]

Therefore, if I am correct that in many cases only the fat was burned on the altar and it also seems that though 7.5 x 7.5 feet is not huge, it did allow for many sacrifices to be offered at the same time, and it was not a one-at a time affair until each individual offering was consumed.  As anyone who grills knows, it takes a certain amount of time to grill a piece of meat (longer if there is bone in it) to perfection.  However, this was not a barbecue, but a burnt offering; and it was to be consumed on the altar (at least the fat was to be utterly consumed).  It is also possible that when the entire carcass was burned, it was not reduced 100% but only until the majority of the meat had burned off the bones; then any remains were burned outside the camp with the parts that were not burned on the altar.  However, Leviticus 6:9 tells us, "This is the law of the burnt offering: It is the burnt offering, because of the burning upon the altar all night unto the morning, and the fire of the altar shall be burning in it."

It seems clear that the fire on the altar had to be perpetually burning (Leviticus 6:12,13), as well as the “clean / holy place” outside the camp, where only the ashes and carcasses of offerings were burned.  The only time the altar was not burning was when God commanded them to break camp and move.

Understand, offerings also had to be made for various diseases, after a person was healed or recovered, as well as after childbirth for the purification of the mother.  Offerings were also made for the priests (which required a bullock) and various sacrifices for the entire nation.  Understand also that other offerings were offered on the same altar of sacrifice: offerings of grain as well as flour, oil, salt, wine, cakes, wafers, etc.  This all required wood fuel and time and space on the altar.  Therefore, it might also be inferred that not every single sin required a burnt / sin / peace / trespass offering, but only more-significant sins (all sin indeed is sin, but possibly not every small sin required individual atonement, but was covered by the annual sacrifices for the nation).  Clearly, every time that a person had a sinful thought or a bad attitude or let a profane word slip from his tongue, he was not required to offer a sacrifice—there would be no cattle, sheep, or goats left in the Middle East!  Even as God said later, that there are not enough bulls of Bashan, nor wood in Lebanon, to offer all that God should have offered to Him, so also, there are not enough of such livestock for a person to have been required to offer a sacrifice for each and every sin in the heart or mind, or every slip of the tongue.  Many would even need to offer another sacrifice while the first was being offered, for griping in their hearts how much the sacrifice was costing them!  Regardless, to anyone—cattle, sheep, goats, etc., represent wealth.  Even those who don’t raise the livestock themselves must pay to purchase the animals from someone who does raise them.  The more you sinned, the more you cut into your own wealth and bankrupted not only your own soul, but your own financial (as well as spiritual) prosperity.  The purpose of this costly sacrificial system was to God's people to think twice and sin less (a spin-off of an old carpentry motto: "Measure twice - cut once").

Understand also that the ashes had to be removed and wood had to be added—continually.  Periodically (like the grease friers and grills at a fast-food burger joint) the altar had to be shut down entirely (and allowed to cool) in order to clean it completely—but this was only when God commanded them to continue on in their wandering, and thus the entire tabernacle was disassembled (and presumably cleaned and / or repaired at taht time).  All of this took time (and time is our smallest commodity, as we consider the hours in a day and the number of sacrifices that had to be performed for the millions of imperfect, sinful, Israelites).  The altar was made of acacia (cinnamon tree) wood and was overlaid with brass (or copper).  It is most likely that after a short period of time, all of the wood encased withint the brass (copper) no longer existed, but had been disintegrated to carbon from the heat.  Thus, the outer layer of metal had to be substantial, and not a mere electroplating, since the altar received this incredibly massive volume of continual use, since it supported a sustantial amount of weight, since it had to survive continual flames (which do disintegrate, slowly, even metal), and since it had to be transported (by being borne on the shoulders of the priests by 2 poles through 2 rings on each side of the altar) on a periodic basis whenever, in the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, that God commanded the Israelites to up and move (which they had to do periodically anyway, since that many million people would soon reduce the forage for their animals to bare dirt, since the latrines dug for the people would soon fill up, since any wild game or vegetation would soon be consumed, and since they would eventually run out of local wood for personal as well as levitical use.  Furthermore, the Tabernacle continued in use after the 40 years of wandering, throughout the 447 years from the entry into the Promised Land, the period of the Conquest, the period of the Judges, and even early into the period of the Kings when in the 12 year of Solomon the Temple was completed.  That altar of burnt offering saw a lot of traffic for nearly half a millennia.  We don't know if any of the furnishings of the Tabernacle ever had to be repaired or replaced.  While we may think that it is impossible that they were not repaired, or new replacements made, such thoughts may also be illegitimate.  The Israelites wandered for 40 years, yet Scripture says that God divinely sustained their very clothing so that it did not wear out in 40 years!  Thus, while we know that God certainly has the ability to cause the elements of the Tabernacle to last, we also have some form of precedent.

From many passages it seems as if the offerant himself had to kill the animal that substituted for his sins.  This was designed as a powerful illustration that the offerant himself deserved to die, but because of God’s Grace he would live, if he repented of his sins (merely going through the motions covered no ones sins temporarily, without true repentance).  The offering itself did not save.  The offering was a temporary atonement (covering) of sin (stay of execution), until Christ would remove the sins of His elect once and for all, permanently, casting them to the depths of the sea and as far as the east is from the west.  The Old Testament Sacrificial System was the “Schoolmaster” that brought us to Christ.  That is the only part of the Law that was “replaced” (not abolished) by Christ’s Eternal Sacrifice of Himself.  What was “put to death” was our sin nature—as long as we walk in the Spirit.  Once we stray from following the Holy Spirit, we clothe ourselves again with the sin-stained grave clothes of the flesh, and operate with the carnal mind, which is enmity with God.  The only thing that was “abolished” was the death sentence, the Curse of the Law—the penalty that was against us, and it was abolished not arbitrarily, but because Christ took that Judgment upon Himself and paid it.  The child of God in the Old Testament who truly repented of his sins, when he offered the sacrifice, his sins were temporarily covered and "his" faith (imparted unto his mind, nature by God’s Holy Spirit) is what saved; which faith, unbeknownst to the average believer but in very shadowy concept, pointed toward the future Redeemer.

Regardless, the offering of an innocent victim, a substitute, was an illustration of death.  Only a cold, calloused heart could not care about the senseless butchering of a valuable animal to atone for his sins.  Again, even if the heart was not as touched as the wallet, the purpose was to cause a person to reflect and sin less.  Once you make a costly mistake (costly in either pain and suffering or in monetary value, for either yourself or others) you begin to realize (if you have a functioning conscience) that making such mistakes is self-destructive (and malicious toward others—not to mention the first and foremost affrontery to God), and you begin to learn various ways of avoiding making the same mistakes in the future.  Someone who cuts himself badly with a knife or a power tool or glass, etc. (if he is smart) will be extra cautious in the future (or if he is not too smart, by the end of his life he won’t have many fingers or toes left, so the statistical probability of his ability to even make that mistake will itself decrease over time—due to the simplet fact that it’s hard to hold a knife if you don’t have any fingers left).

Understand also the environment and setting.  The priests and Levites wore white robes and hats.  Blood was continually being splattered everywhere—and even sprinkled, flicked, or dipped on the priests, in the air, on the people, on the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering, etc.  Animals were being slaughtered—an entire industry and army of professionals was required to pay for man’s sin—skinned, gutted, and quartered.  Entrails and carcasses were being dragged all around.  The priests were being continually splattered with blood and bodily fluids, and soot, grease, ashes, and smoke from the fires (there was no laundry mat and no Wal-mart to buy detergent or bleach).  At the end of a day’s work, the priest and Levites may have looked like Emergency Room trauma surgeons.  There had to have been a stench in the air.  They had no concrete patios or hoses to wash everything down.  Water had to continually be hauled in for the washing of the priests (and their garments) as well as the instruments and the animals themselves, after they were slain and skinned and gutted.  Blood, urine, feces, body fluids, visceral matter, freshly skinned animals do not smell too nice after the hot sun has been baking down on them for hours.  While it is possible the carcasses and offerings were burned quickly before stench ensued, certainly all the blood and other bodily fluids, urine and feces filled the air with a stifling stench. 

Such is our sin in the Eyes of a Holy God!  Such is the very life, the very person of every individual who thinks that he is without sin, or “basically good”, or in no need of salvation—or who thinks he “farts cotton candy” and that his own "minor" sins amount to little in God’s Eyes.  The carnal mind is irrational and thinks of itself in a good light.  It does not consider it being at war with God or hating God (if the carnal individual even recognizes God’s existence), but merely “having a difference of opinion”.  Such hauteur!  Such persons don't even comprehend the meaning of the words "God" or "Lord".  The carnal mind thinks well of itself; irrationally and dishonestly, such a person compares himself to other persons who are far worse than himself (far-greater sinners).  But this is like a person comparing his own general health—not to an Olympic athlete—but to someone dying in a hospice or to a rotten corpse in the ground. The comparison should be made between self and the Holy, Sinless, Perfect Standard, Christ, and what God’s Holiness commands.  The average ignorant, sinful person ("Christians" included) does not consider himself that sinful because in his mind God abolished His Own Law (which is blasphemy and false doctrine).  Therefore, imagine a man who works for a living cleaning out septic tanks.  Imagine after a day's work that he, with his bare eyes, looks at his own skin and imagines himself clean.  Now imagine that same skin viewed under a microscope.  The ignorant thinks himself clean because he thinks the majority of sin does not exist; and since he thinks that he is not guilty of committing "the big ones" that, therefore, he is innocent. But this is not true.  If one breaks one point of the Law he is guilty of all because all are interconnected.  As Christ taught, as the 10th Commandment teaches (but most do not realize) all sin begins in the heart.  Christ said that if a man lusts after a women in his heart (mind) he has already committed adultery with her.  In such a light, sins become more apparent (if you open your eyes and actually look through God's looking glass).

Whenever I see roadkill that has been run over on the highway, by countless thousands of cars who drag the pulverized carcass and blood for miles down the highway, leaving a red trail, until it finally wears off the tires and dries on the highway, it reminds me of our sin—how our sin has stained God's Marvellous Creation.  It is an abomination.

Finally, if all this is not enough, to top it off, understand that at the dedication of the Temple that God had Solomon build, Solomon had 120,000 sheep and 22,000 oxen (not bullocks, but oxen!) sacrificed to God!*  The carnal mind may imagine, “What a waste”.  Such a person deserves Hell!  Such a person does not realize that “the earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof, the world and all they that dwell therein”.  No one has any standing to judge God concerning what He does with what is His (everything in the universe).  Those who think ill of God for killing all those sweet fluffy innocent animals have a darkened mind and a darker heart ladened thick with the encrusted sludge of sin. 

[* Also, understand, those who look for contradictions in the Word of God flaunt their ignorance nearly each time that they open their mouths.  Some may retort, "Well, the Bible says on the the priests were to offer the sacrifices, and Scripture says that Solomon offered the sacrifices at the dedication of the Temple, so there is contradiction, error, violation of God's Law that God sanctioned, etc."  It is amazing that such persons are able to make it through the day in the real world.  Scripture also says that Solomon built the temple, but do you think he worked on the timbers or the stones himself?  Even as he supervised the building, so also he supervised the dedication.  The brain has actual electric energy that courses through it, as does the whole body.  However, all of such "critics" combined, together could not produce enough wattage to power a night light.]

Regardless, the mind cannot imagine the enormity of work involved in the offering of that magnitude of a sacrifice.  One would think that in order to offer so many animals (120,000 sheep and 22,000 oxen) in the space of a few weeks' celebration / dedication, that there would have to have been a plethora of other temporary altars that were set up.  However, God only authorized the sacrifices to be offered to Him on this one altar.  While this was indeed a special event, and not offerings for sin, it does seem a bit contradictory to dedicate a temple to God and then use altars other than the one singular altar of that very temple.  It may be that only the fat of the beasts was burned on the altars.  What then was done with the rest of the carcass?  Since these offerings were not for sin, it is possible that the carcasses were then given to the people and the entire nation enjoyed one large extended festival.  If I recall, King David did a similar thing for the people at one time.  I have not studied pointedly to declare that this is what happened at the dedication of the Temple, I am simply throwing it out there as a possibility for consideration; and of course if any passage of Scripture rules such out, then disregard it as a faulty notion.

Understand: We are not given all the details in many areas of Scripture, so often if a person’s mind thinks something is preposterous or impossible—it is because that person is thinking incorrectly, thinking that the small bits of information given is ALL the information that exists and that it constitutes EVERYTHING that transpired (and certainly, the 4 Gospels, though overlapping greatly, which can be read in a few hours, could not possibly contain all that transpired in Christ’s Life or Ministry of 33 years; so it is with every other part of Scripture—just because something is not mentioned does not mean that there is not more information; it simply means that is all the information that God deemed that we needed to know).  If a person thinks that all the animals offered at the dedication of the Temple (which actually were a mere drop in the bucked compared to all the animals that were needed annually for the sins of all the people), it is because God has sent that person strong delusion so that person does not believe the truth, does not repent, and is not forgiven (Isaiah 6:10; 66:4; II Thessalonians 2:11; and Isaiah 6:10 determines the true understanding of Matthew 13:15; John 12:40; Acts 28:27—God is the One who effected this; regardless of the means by which He accomplished it).

Understand also, these are just quick thoughts that I typed out; and this is not a researched treatise on the sacrificial system; and there may be some cases in which the entire carcass on the altar was commanded to be utterly consumed.  Obviously, those offerings in which only the fat was offered, would burn quite quickly and also serve as added fuel to help the wood underneath to burn, as the flaming fat dripped down onto the wood and coals.  Other sacrifices in which even the head of the animal was placed on the altar with the fat and breast or whatever other portion, or the entire gutted, skinned carcass, it is possible that it was only burned to the point that it was generally considered to be consumed as much as possibly and that the remaining bone fragments, were then hauled off to be further consumed by fire outside the camp with the rest of the carcass that was not offered on the altar.

The Passover lamb* was to be completely consumed by each family, and what was not consumed was to be burned with fire that none remain until morning.  This itself does not mean that the carcass had to be completely reduced to ash—which would be an impossibility without a blast furnace.  What seems to be the intention is that the carcass was not to be left lying around to begin to rot and have flies lay maggots on it.  The Passover Lamb represented Christ (though it was not a sacrifice for sin) and therefore it was holy and not to be treated as any common carcass.  Thus, the intention seems to be that it was supposed to be in the process of being completely consumed, in the process of burning so that it would not see corruption.

[* —which was not a sacrifice for sin, but a memorial.  The people themselves could not eat of their own sacrifices for sin.  The annual sacrifice for the sin of the nation was made by the priest for the sins of the people the morning after the Passover Meal.  In ordinary, individual sacrifices for sin, the sons of Aaron were granted a portion of the meat for their own sustenance; and they alone (those that were ceremonially clean) were allowed to eat of the sacrifices.

Technically, I believe that Passover itself is a “Peace Offering”.  

“5And if ye offer a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD, ye shall offer it at your own will.  6It shall be eaten the same day ye offer it, and on the morrow: and if ought remain until the third day, it shall be burnt in the fire.  7And if it be eaten at all on the third day, it is abominable; it shall not be accepted.  8Therefore every one that eateth it shall bear his iniquity, because he hath profaned the hallowed thing of the LORD: and that soul shall be cut off from among his people.” (Leviticus 19)

This is not to say that Christ was not a sacrifice for sin.  Christ represents many things.  He was not representing the Lion of Judah when He was slain because lions are unclean and not offered as sacrifices for sin.  The Passover Meal was a Peace Offering and a Memorial—the Sacrifice for the sins of the nation took place on the morning after Passover.  Peace and Atonement, of course, cannot be dissected and completely separated.  The blood of the Peace offering was sprinkled on the altar and the fat thereof was burned on the altar.  However, the meat of the Peace offering was eaten by the offerant and his family—whereas only the priests of the family of Aaron were to eat of the flesh of sin offerings.  The Peace offering is a freewill offering—freewill, that is, not under constraint of duty due to having to offer sacrifices for sin.  There were Trespass Offerings and Burnt Offerings for sin (the difference being the type of animal God required, and that the Burnt Offering was to be wholly consumed on the altar all night long).  Thus, Job, who offered sacrifices for his sons and daughters just in case they had committed sins had to have been a Peace Offering, since one cannot be forgiven of sins unless he himself repents and asks forgiveness of those sins and follows the procedure established by God.  This itself is further evidence that God gave His Law since Adam, with periodic updates as man’s descent into degeneracy warranted.  Job predated Abraham.  Even before Job Noah knew which animals were clean or unclean—even before God permitted the elect line to eat meat (and it is quite probable that the cursed line from Cain and nonelect lines from Adam and elect lines from Adam that perverted themselves, ate animal flesh before the Flood, though God had not given them permission; God didn’t give them permission to commit all their other abominations, and yet they did them).  Thus, it was this type of offering that Job offered for his children—and thus it seems that a Peace Offering was an offering of good will to God, in that, the offerant was not aware of any sin of which he was guilty that was unconfessed, but having a tender heart toward God, he wanted to be assured of God’s Peace and not Judgment.  Thus, if a person was guilty of sin, the Peace offering may have covered it temporarily, in a sense, due to his faith and intention, and God then honored that by the Holy Spirit convicting that person of any sin of which he may be guilty, though unaware, and then at that time he could offer a Trespass or Sin Offering to properly deal with the sin.  So Job’s offerings did not atone for any sins of his children, and must be understood within this context.

However, we know that the people themselves ate of the Passover Lamb, which means it could not have been a Trespass Offering and certainly not a Burnt Offering for sin.  We also see the element of Passover and Peace Offering in that the flesh of both had a critical time period in which it was to be consumed.  The general Peace Offering was to be consumed on the day offered and on the following day, but be completely eaten or consigned to the flames before the third day.  This itself seems to parallel Christ in the grave, and also parallels the manna.  Manna was to be collected each day only enough for that day or God would cause it to rot and be infested with worms (maggots) on the next day.  This is the meaning of “Give us this day our daily bread”.  It is not to be taken for granted.  The Holy Spirit cannot be hoarded.  The Lazy cannot go out and in one day get a months’ supply and then just lay back and casually consume without daily responsibility.  D.L. Moody keenly expressed,

“A great many think because they have been filled once, they are going to be full for all time after; but O, my friends, we are leaky vessels, and have to be kept right under the fountain all the time in order to keep full.”

So the daily manna taught—so ought we to gather our Daily Bread from God’s Word and Spirit (and not spiritually “travel on fumes” “on empty” and hope to coast into the gas station in the time of need*); so the Peace Offerings taught.  However, since God forbade work on the Sabbath (with very few exceptions) and that is why the day before was called the Preparation Day, God would not cause the manna to fall.  Those that went looking for it were rebuked and went home hungry.  Those who stored up more were rebuked, and it rotted and was infested with maggots.  However, on the Preparation day in the morning** God commanded the Israelites to collect twice as much manna, and thus also on the Sabbath, God caused the manna to be preserved and not spoil.

* As Moody stated above, it must be continual.  Our minds must continually be in the Word to remind us of all that God commanded—which is not that much, but people tend to forget all sorts of things when they get busy and preoccupied, even forgetting to eat.  But forgetting to eat spiritually is never something that should occur, because while most can do without a month of meals, being over-fed, no one has ever been so spiritually fat that he could go day to day without the Spirit and the Word.  The more our minds are daily in the Word, the less also we will be tempted to violate what God commanded.

** —which is the time that the manna had to be collected, for it would also rot once the sun arose on it—and thus we have the parallel of seeking God early while He may be found.

Thus, while the Passover Meal was a type of Peace Offering, it was a special type.  Everything about it was done in haste.  This is ironic, since God’s people had cried unto God for deliverance for decades (it was 144 years from the death of Joseph to the Exodus, an interesting number, but we don’t know exactly how many years after that a Pharaoh arose who knew not [that is, respected not] Joseph), possibly a century or longer, and then all of the sudden, everything is done in haste.  That indeed is an irony as well as powerful testimony to God’s Sovereignty to do as He pleases with what is His (everything) in every detail—and what can the clay or the broken pottery say to the Potter?  Thus, since Passover was a special type of Peace Offering, the flesh of the offering was to be eaten in haste, not in 2 days, but in one evening, and nothing was to remain until morning but be consigned to the flames.

The angels announced at Christ’s Birth: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14).  I expressed earlier that “good will” seems to have been a key element of the Peace Offering.  Likewise, Paul tells us, “For He [Christ] is our Peace, Who [Himself] hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us [between God and His people]” (Ephesians 2:14).  Again, the Peace and Sin Offerings are hard to separate entirely—were there no sin there would be no need for peace to be secured, since it would already exist.  The middle wall of partition was the curtain that blocked off the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant rested, on top of which was the Mercy Seat where the blood of the Sin Offering was sprinkled once a year for the whole congregation.  However, the tearing down of that partition (which veil was rent from top to bottom when Christ expired on the cross) was not itself the forgiveness of sins, but the result of the forgiveness of sins—Peace with God (His Divine Wrath and Justice having been propitiated and His Love and Grace then demonstrated in its place).]

 

Finally, in addition to the sacrifices that were offered by each individual Israelite for his sins and / or uncleanness, understand the sheer number of daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly sacrifices that God commanded to be made generally for the nation as a whole.  These numbers are drawn from Numbers 28:

 

- 2 daily sacrifices (1 in the morning and 1 in the evening); thus, 730 / year;

- 2 weekly Sabbath sacrifices; thus, 104 / year;

- 11 monthly Sabbath / New Moon sacrifices; thus, 132 / year;

- 77 sacrifices during the Festival Sabbaths of Passover and Unleavened Bread;

- 11 sacrifices during the Festival Sabbath of Firstfruits / Weeks / Pentecost / Harvest;

- 10 sacrifices during the Festival Sabbath of Trumpets (the 7th New Moon);

- 10 sacrifices during the Festival Sabbath of the Day of Atonement;

- 189 sacrifices during the Festival Sabbaths of Tabernacles / Ingathering;

 

(if my counting of the blood sacrifices in the Biblical text and if my math is correct) = 1,263 national sacrifices / year.

[1,263 / 3 = 421.  421 is the 82nd prime number (when one does not count 1 as a prime number; though in older works 1 was often considered a prime number).

The grills at McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and Hardies cook a lot, but in terms of the U.S. population, imagine all that is cooked at those 4 Burger chains alone being cooked on 1 grill (not the 10s of thousands of different franchises coast to coast).  The population of Israel was between 3 and 13 million, so a fair average would be about 5.5 million.  However, after the split of the Kingdom, the majority of the 10 tribes of the Northern Confederation were godless and probably did not have any sacrifices offered to God for their sins; but instead sacrificed to pagan gods!  The majority of the Israelites of the 2 tribes of the Southern Confederation of Judah were not much better.  Regardless, out of a population of 5.5 million (average) the ratio to the current U.S. population of the britches-busting 326 million (which mirrors the obesity rate in that there are too many people—and the wrong people, even as 60% of the population weighs too much and it is the wrong body composition: fat not muscle) = 1 to 59.3 million; which is about 18.25%.  Regardless, imagine all the burgers at those 4 burger joints being cooked for 59.3 million people being cooked on 1 grill.  While this really is not a fair comparison, since people eat 3 meals a day (though the amount of meat is significantly less than that portion of the sacrifice burnt on the altar), and since not every person had sacrifices for his sins offered each day.  Regardless, it does help to realize that the altar of burnt offerings rarely had time to cool down; or the sinful people sinned even more by not having sacrifices offered as they should.]

 

II Chronicles 8 tells us that Solomon, at least, in his early years, was obedient:

“12Then Solomon offered burnt offerings unto the LORD on the Altar of the LORD, which he had built before the porch, 13Even after a certain rate every day, offering according to the Commandment of Moses, on the Sabbaths, and on the New Moons, and on the Solemn Feasts, three times in the year, even in the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and in the Feast of Weeks, and in the Feast of Tabernacles.”

 

 

Some Final Thoughts, I believe that the Lord just brought to mind, a few after having written this Rumination:

I believe the problem of the sheer magnitude of volume of offerings that would have been being carried out on one tiny altar can probably, ironically, be explained by the sinfulness of the general population of God's people itself.  Yes, that is right: The more that God's people sinned, the more offerings they had to offer—and because God's people were so sinful it actually resulted in fewer sacrifices.  Here we have a riddle and an irony.  The answer seems to be that the majority of Israelites only offered sacrifices for sin when the sin was publically known (in good, old Pharisee phashion) and could not be hiddened, avoided, or ignored.  This, I believe is the "silver bullet" solution; but a sad indictment.  However, though a sad indictment it is a truthful indictment and agrees wholly with what is presented in the Scriptures.  God's Word reveals that the majority of His sinful people were hard-hearted, stiff-necked, went through the motions of obedience when their hearts were far from it; they held back, resisted, murmured, complained, demonstrated not only lack of faith, but faithlessness and even mutiny.  They worshipped false gods and idols frequently, were guilty of sins of ommission and commision—the full indictment would take a whole article in itself.

And sadly, as Solomon said, "There is nothing new under the sun" and as Christ lamented, "As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days [of the Coming of] the Son of man".  Some things never change... at least, unless you swim against the current and drive yourself up a mountain, by the animus of the Holy Spirit.  God's people today (the disappearing peoples of Christendom) are no different (and that is why they are disappearing—it is called "Judgment").  Today, those who consider themselves "Christians" violate 95% or more of all that God commanded, thinking it "too much" or "absolete"—with an entirely illogical and even anti-intellectual mindset.  Showing just how much they love the Lord, they become mad or give the cold shoulder to the man of God who would suggest to them that they are possibly sinning against God and that is the reason that God does not hear their prayers individually or nationally—and that is the pathology of all of the evil that has overtaken, permeated, and festooned Christendom, top to bottom, east to west, inside and out. 

[Nah... that can't be the problem.  Maybe this is just how things are supposed to be; you know, 'abnormal—its the new normal'.  Maybe we lost the magic formula for prayer, maybe there is some 'Abracadabra!  Shazaam! or Open Sesame' that we need to say; or throw holy salt over our shoulder while we are knocking on a piece of wood from the cross upon which Christ was crucified, while facing east an 'amping up' all the 'good feelings' that we can muster...?"]

God's people carelessly ignore the Word of God spoken to them, as if it were an old series of VHF T.V. channels that are not even there any more.  That was "old school", this is the "New Millennia"; that was "then"; this is "now".  That was the "Old" [moldy] Testament; get into the New.  Get rid of all that 'legalism' and just 'love, love, love'."  Yes, and how well has that worked for us?  A nation of illegitimates and mongrels and an equally alarming amount with venereal diseases.  All that "legalism" (called MORALITY) prevents all that evil and suffering you mindless dodo.  Do you let your toddlers play with matches and gasoline, razorblades, and pesticides? —why not you legalistic neanderthal, you are spoiling all their fun!

Because God's people turned from the Truth and obedience, God has sent strong delusion for them to believe the most absurd foolishness and think it is wonderful; they would eat feces sandwiches if they were told by the 'elite' that they are so wonderful.  God has sent a delusion to destroy off the majority of their people because they are evil; because they have turned from His Ways, because they reject the very notion of God being the Boss.

As I offer in my next Rumination (Thought for the Day - The Rule of Law in Church and State),

Here is a marvellous song by John Michael Talbot, backed up by the London Philharmonic, "One Faith" ["He is the Good Shepherd"] off his album "The Regathering":

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzGqD_0EeWg

Some of the lyrics go, "but some of the shepherds, have pastured themselves on the sheep, so He [God] has set out against them and scattered His people of faith."  God declared,

"6My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the Law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

7As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame.

8They eat up the sin of my people, and they set their heart on their iniquity.

9And there shall be, like people, like priest: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings.

10For they shall eat, and not have enough: they shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase: because they have left off to take heed to the LORD.

11Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart. 

12My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declareth unto them: for the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God.

13They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills, under oaks and poplars and elms, because the shadow thereof is good: therefore your daughters shall commit whoredom, and your spouses shall commit adultery.

14I will not punish your daughters when they commit whoredom, nor your spouses when they commit adultery: for themselves are separated with whores, and they sacrifice with harlots: therefore the people that doth not understand shall fall.

15Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend; and come not ye unto Gilgal, neither go ye up to Bethaven, nor swear, The LORD liveth.

16For Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer: now the LORD will feed them as a lamb in a large place.

17Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.

18Their drink is sour: they have committed whoredom continually: her rulers with shame do love, Give ye.

19The wind hath bound her up in her wings, and they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices." (Hosea 4)

Joel counters:

"11...for the Day of the LORD [Day of Judgment] is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?

12Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:

13And rend your heart, and not your garments [only], and turn unto the LORD your God: for He is Gracious and Merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth Him of the Evil [the Judgment that you deserve]. {that is—if you yourselves repent of your evil, that is, your violation of all that He commanded—without actually turning from sin and turning to obedience, there is no repentance, only pseudo-spiritual delusion.}

14Who knoweth if He will return and repent {that is, because of your repentanec, He is then morally able to not administer to you the Judgment that you deserve}, and [instead] leave a blessing behind him; {therefore, why do you not give} even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God?

15Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly:

16Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.

17Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?" (chapter 2)

The carnal mind is irrational and self-masochistic—self-destructive.  It would rather die, exerting what it thinks is its own will, to have the right to rebel and be in charge and be wrong and damned, rather than simply repent and live.

If you truly love someone and someone else informed you that something that you are doing is extremely hurtful, insulting, agonizing, etc. to that person—would you not immediately stop doing it until you actually found out if what that person actually said was true? 

A plethora of examples could be imagined, but let's make one up: Imagine the person you loved had, on numerous ocassions, had a loved one die or be murdered while the radio was playing the song, "Raindrops keep falling on my head" ...?  Could you not see, even if your brain is only firing on 1 cylinder, that your singing that song every now and then when you are happy, is a greivous offense to the person whom you love?  Once you learn this truth would you not be agast with your own actions—even if completely in ignorance—and beg forgiveness and endeavor never to do so again...?  King David, the only man God declared to be a man after His Own Heart, declared to God that he was grieved because the people violated God's Law—that rivers of water flow from his eyes because God's people rejected His Law.  I cannot help mourning and crying myself every day, because it is destroying Christendom!  I am tearing now as I write this, as I fondly remember my younger brother who was murdered 30 years ago.  When I was about 12 and he was about 9, I had a bad splinter in my hand and my mom was painfully digging it out with a needle.  I was bearing up well under the pain, but my little brother, who was watching was crying.  My mom said, "Why are you crying...? it's not your hand."  He replied, "because your hurting him".  God bless him!  :`(  If you love someone, you feel his or her pain.  If you are TRULY part of the body, you feel the pain of the rest of the body—if you don't, guess what...? —that might be a sign that God has already amputated you!  If you want to be reattached, grafted BACK in (which is the only type of grafting that God does: kind after kind—grafting back in wild [lawless] olive branches into the cultivated olive tree, once they have been converted] then fall on your face and ask God to truly forgive and regenerate you, so that not only do you obey Him, but you mourn and intercede for the rest of Christendom who are dying in sin!

David said,

"21    Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
22    I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
23    Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24    And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139)

If you love someone, anyone who flagrantly and purposely sins against that person whom you love, you will want nothing to do with.  Your enemies are my enemies.  Your will is my will.  THAT is the only moral and proper allegiance to have to your family, your spouse, your father, your head—your GOD!

Those who don't are not of God.  We should hate anyone and anything, with a godly hatred, if it violates what God commanded: for such insults and offends His Holiness.  Yes, we should even hate the sinfulness in our own lives and eschew it and cast it far from us.

Sadly, the majority of "Christians" today, see how far that they can get from God, without being rejected by God; they see how much they can sin (testing their father) without being chastened by him; they see how close they can come to the threshold of His House without actually committing to enter.  Such are not of God!  If you love God you will want to see HOW CLOSE you can get TO Him.  You will want to have no "grey" areas in your life which might be sin.  Someone truly regenerated has died to self.  Most "Christians" have not died to self because they have not been regenerated.  The indict themselves.  Every tree is known by its fruit.

Christendom repent!

or "prepare to meet your God"—for which there can be no preparation if you had not truly repented when you had time.

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear

be ye doers of the Word, not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Judgment shall begin at the House of God.

It is a fearful thing to fall into the Hands of the Living God.

For our God is a Consuming Fire who shall devour the adversaries.

Guess what...? —if you don't obey what God commanded, you are one of those adversaries.

John wrote in his first epistle that those who claim to know God and don't keep His Commandments don't even know God and the Truth is not in them; and Christ said on the Day of Judgment MANY "Christians" who thought that they were doing "wonderful things" in His Name (like teaching all that 'obsolete legalism' can be ignored, that inter-racial marriage and homoperversion are wonderful forms of self-expression of beautiful people and it just makes God so happy he wants to cry tears of joy)... will hear "DEPART FROM ME YE THAT WORK INIQUITY, I NEVER KNEW YOU".  And that word translated iniquity actually means "lawlessness"... you know, all that Godly "legalism" that you hate.  But don't worry, if you hate the things of God and your nature just cannot stomach it, God has prepared a special place for you and all others like you who hate His Holiness".