MLToday: [Leviticus Chapter Sixteen] Hot Potato Prayers! In this chapter God instructs Moses concerning the once yearly atonement that Aaron was to make before the Mercy Seat. Aaron could not presumptuously enter the Holy of Holies anytime he wished. It was required for him to enter in a “cloud of incense” that represents the prayers of God’s people. In that cloud of incense the Glory of God would manifest and above the Mercy seat the Father would transact kingdom business in behalf of the whole of God’s people! God wants you to approach Him not with dispassionate, or prepackaged prayers but with prayers that are burning and unpredictable as fire! These are the prayers God is disposed to answer for you and for those around you and your nation!

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Leviticus Chapter Sixteen:

Today: [Leviticus Chapter Sixteen] Hot Potato Prayers! In this chapter God instructs Moses concerning the once yearly atonement that Aaron was to make before the Mercy Seat. Aaron could not presumptuously enter the Holy of Holies anytime he wished. It was required for him to enter in a “cloud of incense” that represents the prayers of God’s people. In that cloud of incense the Glory of God would manifest and above the Mercy seat the Father would transact kingdom business in behalf of the whole of God’s people! God wants you to approach Him not with dispassionate, or prepackaged prayers but with prayers that are burning and unpredictable as fire! These are the prayers God is disposed to answer for you and for those around you and your nation!

[Lev 16:1-34] 1 And the LORD spake unto Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered before the LORD, and died; 2 And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy [place] within the vail before the mercy seat, which [is] upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat. 3 Thus shall Aaron come into the holy [place]: with a young bullock for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering. 4 He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and shall be girded with a linen girdle, and with the linen mitre shall he be attired: these [are] holy garments; therefore shall he wash his flesh in water, and [so] put them on. 5 And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering. 6 And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which [is] for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and for his house. 7 And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD [at] the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 8 And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat. 9 And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD’S lot fell, and offer him [for] a sin offering. 10 But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, [and] to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.

When Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire before the Lord it became necessary for God to reiterate the basis on which the Ark of the Covenant would be approached. Aaron was not to come at will before God’s presence. In stating this God was in an oblique way giving somewhat of an explanation as to why Nadab and Abihu were killed and not just punished. They presumed upon God’s presence. In the current climate of emphasis on the casual and nonchalant the church is attempting to be approachable and accessible according to a “seeker sensitive model”. The pendulum swings and balance must be struck. Nadab and Abihu are a reminder that God is a Holy and a Righteous God and requires that we approach him on HIS terms and not ours.

What is the correct approach to God? Notice that Aaron was to be clothed head to foot in the linen garments provided by God for that purpose. Linen is a type of righteousness. God requires a specific means of approach to His presence but in the same transaction provides the means and requires only our cooperation and obedience. In the New Covenant we are not required to follow ritual but are called upon to approach God according to the realities that the Old Testament ritual foreshadow.

[Gal 3:27 KJV] 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

[Rom 13:14 KJV] 14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh…

Aaron put on linen garments to approach the mercy seat we are called to put on Christ.

[Heb 4:16 KJV] 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

You can see reflected in God’s repeated instructions to Moses that they were reluctant to approach the Holy of Holies after the death of Aaron’s sons. God does not wish us to be reticent to approach him. Even in the Old Covenant He reaffirms the means of approach by the shed blood of sacrifice when the cloud of God was present over the mercy seat. For us the glory is not an occasional outward manifestation but a continual indwelling that Paul called “Christ in You the Hope of Glory”.

[Heb 10:19-22 KJV] 19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21 And [having] an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

God not only desires that we approach Him but that we do so boldly. He wants us to boldly enter where others trembled and hesitated. He wants us to see His presence as a place of Habitation not just Visitation. In the entering in at the same time we must realize that we do not enter or abide in God’s favor and glory and presence on our terms but His. He want us to demonstrate a “true heart” by yielding to the purifying of our conscience and the washing (aligning) of our bodies (natural lives) with the uncontaminated word of God (John 15:3).

11 And Aaron shall bring the bullock of the sin offering, which [is] for himself, and shall make an atonement for himself, and for his house, and shall kill the bullock of the sin offering which [is] for himself: 12 And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the LORD, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring [it] within the vail: 13 And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that [is] upon the testimony, that he die not: 14 And he shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle [it] with his finger upon the mercy seat eastward; and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times. 15 Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that [is] for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat: 16 And he shall make an atonement for the holy [place], because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness. 17 And there shall be no man in the tabernacle of the congregation when he goeth in to make an atonement in the holy [place], until he come out, and have made an atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the congregation of Israel. 18 And he shall go out unto the altar that [is] before the LORD, and make an atonement for it; and shall take of the blood of the bullock, and of the blood of the goat, and put [it] upon the horns of the altar round about. 19 And he shall sprinkle of the blood upon it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it, and hallow it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.

This passage describes a one-a-year sacrifice made for the entire nation. Aaron was to make a three part sacrifice: 1.) for himself; 2.) for his family. 3.) for the nation. Aaron is a type of Christ dying for the sins of the world but this also reflects that reality that God has called us to be priests as well (1 Pet. 2:5,9; Rev. 1:6; 5:10). God is disposed to hear our prayers not only for ourselves but for our households and for our nations. Prayer changes things!

The burning coals were representative of prayers (Rev. 5:8; 8:3-4). We don’t want to bring cold, prepackaged prayers given by distracted and bored worshippers. He wants the incense of our prayers to be TOO HOT TO HANDLE!

[Jas 5:17 KJV] 17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.

Incense was required. Aaron was to passed behind the veil of the Holy of Holies in a cloud of incense “that he die not…” There are consequences of prayerlessness. How different would our lives be if we approached God daily in a “cloud of incense” or prayer?

20 And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy [place], and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat: 21 And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send [him] away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: 22 And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness. 23 And Aaron shall come into the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall put off the linen garments, which he put on when he went into the holy [place], and shall leave them there: 24 And he shall wash his flesh with water in the holy place, and put on his garments, and come forth, and offer his burnt offering, and the burnt offering of the people, and make an atonement for himself, and for the people. 25 And the fat of the sin offering shall he burn upon the altar. 26 And he that let go the goat for the scapegoat shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward come into the camp. 27 And the bullock [for] the sin offering, and the goat [for] the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the holy [place], shall [one] carry forth without the camp; and they shall burn in the fire their skins, and their flesh, and their dung. 28 And he that burneth them shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp. 29 And [this] shall be a statute for ever unto you: [that] in the seventh month, on the tenth [day] of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, [whether it be] one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you: 30 For on that day shall [the priest] make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, [that] ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD. 31 It [shall be] a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever. 32 And the priest, whom he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate to minister in the priest’s office in his father’s stead, shall make the atonement, and shall put on the linen clothes, [even] the holy garments: 33 And he shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests, and for all the people of the congregation. 34 And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the LORD commanded Moses.

Aaron would make the sacrifices required and then lay hands on a living goat pronouncing upon him all the sins of the nation. Then by the hands of a “fit man” the goat was to be led out into the wilderness to a land not inhabited and released – never to be seen again. There is a deep truth here. Aaron petitioned for his personal sin, the sins of his household and conferred upon this sacrificial animal the sins of an entire nation. We have to be careful here not to allow evangelical theology to exclude us from a very powerful and mighty prayer once prayed that can impact the course of a nation. If Aaron had to enter God’s presence in a cloud of incense (prayer) “that he die not” what are the implications for lifting the curse and blight of sin and retribution off of a sinful nation if we just had the audacity to pray thusly?

 

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