Christianity 201

August 31, 2015

Offering Unauthorized Fire

Leviticus 10:1 (NIV) Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, contrary to his command. 2 So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. 3 Moses then said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke of when he said:

“‘Among those who approach me
I will be proved holy;
in the sight of all the people
I will be honored.’”

Aaron remained silent.

4 Moses summoned Mishael and Elzaphan, sons of Aaron’s uncle Uzziel, and said to them, “Come here; carry your cousins outside the camp, away from the front of the sanctuary.” 5 So they came and carried them, still in their tunics, outside the camp, as Moses ordered.

6 Then Moses said to Aaron and his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, “Do not let your hair become unkempt and do not tear your clothes, or you will die and the Lord will be angry with the whole community. But your relatives, all the Israelites, may mourn for those the Lord has destroyed by fire. 7 Do not leave the entrance to the tent of meeting or you will die, because the Lord’s anointing oil is on you.” So they did as Moses said.

8 Then the Lord said to Aaron, 9 “You and your sons are not to drink wine or other fermented drink whenever you go into the tent of meeting, or you will die. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, 10 so that you can distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean, 11 and so you can teach the Israelites all the decrees the Lord has given them through Moses.”

These are two excerpts from the book What Would Jesus Read by Joe Amaral; two readings related to Leviticus.  In the last year, Joe turned his attention from First Century studies to the heavens. Check out our review of The Story In The Stars.For more of Joe here at C201, click this link.

Leviticus 10:1
They offered unauthorized fire

Aaron’s sons offered unauthorized fire to God. God struck them dead as a result of their sin. Seems a little strong, yet that is what the Scripture records. God is love and God is fair, but God is also just. We like to forget that sometimes.

Many Christians are taught that the God of the New Testament is not the God of the Old Testament – that the God of the New Testament is filled with love and compassion, and the God of the Old Testament is a violent, cruel, and angry God. That is simply not the case. The Bible says in Malachi 3:6, “I the LORD do not change.”

We need to understand the holiness and justness of God. He is slow to anger and he is willing to bless and love for a thousand generations. But we have to live in the reality that there are consequences to sin.

A police officer may forgive us for running a red light, but we still have to pay the fine. We must learn to live in reverent fear before the Lord and to walk in His ways. He is a loving God who guides our steps, even when we sometimes veer off the path.


Leviticus 10:7
So they did as Moses said

Have you ever used the term “scared to death”? That would apply to today’s passage. The entire camp was literally scared to death. Aaron’s two sons had just been killed for offering unauthorized fire.

God spoke through Moses, and the people did as Moses said. You can be sure that no one was considering disobeying Moses after what had just happened. This wasn’t the first time the people suffered death because of disobedience. Remember at Mount Sinai when they worshiped the golden calf? Three thousand were put to death that day.

People always judge the people of Israel for not “getting it.” They always seemed to stray away from God, get punished, get forgiven, and then stray away again. Let’s take a good long look in the mirror: are we any different today? How many times have you been forgiven for the same sin? We have all fought the same fight with our sins.

Let the fear of the Lord guide you as you strive to live for Him. He has given us His Word to be a light.

~Joe Amaral in What Would Jesus Read? (FaithWords, 2012)

 

July 26, 2014

Jesus: Time of Death

This week I have spent my mornings listening to Joe Amaral of First Century Foundations, who was teaching at a Bible camp near our home.  He talks about the application of Old Testament Hebraic culture and tradition to the context of New Testament stories. (For my U.S. readers, think of Joe as a Canadian equivalent to Ray Vanderlaan.) There is much online from First Century Foundations’ videos and appearances on other Christian television programs.  This is a sample:

The Four Cups of Passover
(part of a series of short posts at 100 Huntley St. YouTube channel)

Jesus: Time of Death

The Letter of Blood

 

September 29, 2012

Unauthorized Fire

Leviticus 10:1 (NIV) Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, contrary to his command. So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. Moses then said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke of when he said:

“‘Among those who approach me
    I will be proved holy;
in the sight of all the people
    I will be honored.’”

Aaron remained silent.

Moses summoned Mishael and Elzaphan, sons of Aaron’s uncle Uzziel, and said to them, “Come here; carry your cousins outside the camp, away from the front of the sanctuary.” So they came and carried them, still in their tunics, outside the camp, as Moses ordered.

Then Moses said to Aaron and his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, “Do not let your hair become unkempt and do not tear your clothes, or you will die and the Lord will be angry with the whole community. But your relatives, all the Israelites, may mourn for those the Lord has destroyed by fire. Do not leave the entrance to the tent of meeting or you will die, because the Lord’s anointing oil is on you.” So they did as Moses said.

Then the Lord said to Aaron, “You and your sons are not to drink wine or other fermented drink whenever you go into the tent of meeting, or you will die. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, 10 so that you can distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean, 11 and so you can teach the Israelites all the decrees the Lord has given them through Moses.”

Today we jump back to the book What Would Jesus Read by Joe Amaral and consider two more readings related to Leviticus.

Leviticus 10:1
They offered unauthorized fire

Aaron’s sons offered unauthorized fire to God.  God struck them dead as a result of their sin.  Seems a little strong, yet that is what the Scripture records.  God is love and God is fair, but God is also just.  We like to forget that sometimes.

Many Christians are taught that the God of the New Testament is not the God of the Old Testament – that the God of the New Testament is filled with love and compassion, and the God of the Old Testament is a violent, cruel, and angry God.  That is simply not the case.  The Bible says in Malachi 3:6, “I the LORD do not change.”

We need to understand the holiness and justness of God.  He is slow to anger and he is willing to bless and love for a thousand generations.  But we have to live in the reality that there are consequences to sin.

A police officer may forgive us for running a red light, but we still have to pay the fine.  We must learn to live in reverent fear before the Lord and to walk in His ways.  He is a loving God who guides our steps, even when we sometimes veer off the path.


Leviticus 10:7
So they did as Moses said

Have you ever used the term “scared to death”?  That would apply to today’s passage.  The entire camp was literally scared to death.  Aaron’s two sons had just been killed for offering unauthorized fire.

God spoke through Moses, and the people did as Moses said.  You can be sure that no one was considering disobeying Moses after what had just happened.  This wasn’t the first time the people suffered death because of disobedience.  Remember at Mount Sinai when they worshiped the golden calf?  Three thousand were put to death that day.

People always judge the people of Israel for not “getting it.”  They always seemed to stray away from God, get punished, get forgiven, and then stray away again.  Let’s take a good long look in the mirror: are we any different today?  How many times have you been forgiven for the same sin?  We have all fought the same fight with our sins.

Let the fear of the Lord guide you as you strive to live for Him.  He has given us His Word to be a light.

~Joe Amaral in What Would Jesus Read? (FaithWords, 2012)

 

September 27, 2012

Reading Leviticus With Jesus

Joe Amaral is one of Canada’s leading experts on understanding the New Testament in the context of the Old Testament. Originally self-published, his book Understanding Jesus was published by FaithWords, who have just released What Would Jesus Read, a daily devotional.  To learn more about Joe’s books and videos, visit First Century Foundations.

Our post here is actually two consecutive devotionals from the book.

Leviticus 9:22 Then Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them. And having sacrificed the sin offering, the burnt offering and the fellowship offering, he stepped down.

This passage is about the beginning of the priests’ ministry and their responsibilities.  You have to remember that at this point in time, the people themselves were not able to approach God.  They couldn’t even come into the tent.  The priest did everything for the people when it came to their spiritual lives.

The priests sacrificed the animals on the people’s behalf and would make atonement for their souls.  There were many daily rituals and rites that could only be performed by the priests.  But they were also responsible for blessing the people.  They would speak God’s Word and blessing over them.  It’s a pattern that needs to be carried out today by believers.

We are all priests.  We all have the responsibility to be a blessing and to bless those around us, both in word and in deed.  As people of faith we need to be a light in a dark world.  People are verbally beaten down on a daily basis.  Be like Aaron: speak a blessing over and into people.  Live like a priest today.


Leviticus 9:23 Moses and Aaron then went into the tent of meeting. When they came out, they blessed the people; and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people.

Everybody loves to read about the glory of the Lord appearing to people.  Not just in ancient times, but still to this day.  How do we get to see His glory?  Is it when we whip ourselves into a spiritual frenzy during worship?  Is it when we pray for hours at a time?

It’s not that God can’t or won’t move during these times.  However, we seldom think of the context in which God moved in this particular passage.  It’s no secret, yet very few catch it.  Here it is… are you ready for it?  The priests had just finished performing the sacrifices as God required; then they emerged and blessed the people.  After that, that’s when the text says the glory of the Lord appeared to the people.  Did you catch it?  The priests obeyed God’s commands… and He appeared to them.

That’s the not-so-secret to seeing God’s glory.  He has called us to live a life of obedience.  When we walk in His ways, it brings glory to His name.  And in turn, He shows us His glory.  Obey Him today and release His power and glory in your life.

Joe Amaral

November 29, 2010

Messiah Watching with the Pharisees

Joe Amaral is a Canadian Bible teacher who covers much of the material familiar to followers of American Ray VanderLaan; in other words, the historical and cultural Jewish context of the world into which Jesus Christ was born.

On one of the DVDs available from his ministry, First Century Foundations, he notes that while we tend to dis the Pharisees for their chronic undermining of Jesus’ authority, there is a sense in which they were just doing their job.   As religious leaders, if Jesus was truly the Messiah, they had to be the first to know.

Joe Amaral teaches that according to extra-Biblical material from the times, we know that there were four signs that were to be manifest in someone claiming to be the Messiah:

  1. The healing of a man born blind.   No wonder so much space in John 9 is given to this story.    Verse 32 notes:  “Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind.”
  2. The casting out of a demon in someone who was mute.   The pattern at the time was to ask the demon, “What is your name?”   Someone who was mute or deaf and mute would not be able to answer.
  3. The healing of a leper.   While the instructions to “show yourself to the priest” indicates that the law allowed for the possibility of the disease going into remission, as a rule, it did not.   Jesus healed ten lepers in the same moment.
  4. The raising from the dead someone who had been dead for four days.   There was a belief at the time that the spirit “hovered” around the body for three days.   Jesus took his time journeying to the home of Mary and Martha and in so doing, the raising of Lazarus took place on the fourth day.

There is real blessing in understanding the world at the time of Christ that is available through deeper investigation.

You can learn more about Joe Amaral at First Century Foundations.   Today’s notes are from the video Messianic Miracles.

You can learn more about Ray VanderLaan and the Faith Lessons video series at Follow the Rabbi.