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Bible verses about Offering, Peace
(From Forerunner Commentary)

The overall lesson we should learn from the peace offering is that it represents the effect, the consequence, of devotion given directly to God and devotion to God given in service to man. This effect is commonly called "peace" and, in an overall sense, pictures all in harmony.

We must remember, though, that "peace," as used in terms of this offering, does not convey mere tranquility. This is why commentators cannot arrive at a consistent name for it. The word connotes a great deal more. Like shalom, it implies abundance in every area of life, even prosperity and good health. It also suggests thankfulness for blessings received and deliverance from difficulty. Is it any wonder that most researchers feel it was the offering most commonly made? We should make this offering every day—on our knees giving thanks, praise, and blessing to God for His abundant mercy and providence.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Offerings of Leviticus (Part Four): The Peace Offering


 

The peace offering reveals a sense of satisfaction, of well-being produced by sacrifice. Hebrews 13:16 declares that God is pleased with sacrifices in which we share or serve in fellowship with each other. Philippians 4:18 shows God well pleased with the Philippians' sacrifices following their offering to their brethren in Jerusalem. The peace offering even contains a sense of reward and prosperity for something well done, suggesting that the reward will be spiritual in nature. Paul says God loves a cheerful giver, so He must be pleased too (II Corinthians 9:6-7)!

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Offerings of Leviticus (Part Nine): Conclusion (Part Two)


 

Leviticus 3:1-5

Biblical commentators have given this offering a variety of titles. "Peace," "fellowship," "praise," and "thanksgiving" are the most common. However, the Keil-Delitzsch Commentary states that the most correct is "saving offering" (vol. 1, p. 298). Each title shows a somewhat different aspect of the teaching contained in it. Verse 5 informs us that this too is a sweet-savor offering, indicating that no sin is involved in it, and thus it is most satisfying to God. The word "satisfying" is important to understanding this offering.

Verse 5 also shows us an aspect of the ritual that teaches us about this offering's purpose. It is burnt upon, that is, on top of, the burnt sacrifice, which in turn had the meal offering on top of it. They were not necessarily layered like a sandwich and then all burned at the same time. However, the daily burnt offering was always made first, and it was followed by the meal offering and the peace offering on the same fire (Keil-Delitzsch, vol. 1, p. 300).

The peace offering, then, had to be offered after the other two were already burning. How long after is lost to history, but it could not have been a long time if the same fire was used.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Offerings of Leviticus (Part Four): The Peace Offering


 

Leviticus 7:11-18

We need to understand the order followed here: The offerer brought his offering to the altar, laid his hand on it, and slew it. The priest sprinkled the blood upon the altar and around it. The animal was then cut up, and God's portion—almost entirely fat, besides the two kidneys—was placed on top of the already burning burnt and meal offerings.

Then the priest received the breast and right shoulder for himself and his children, and the offerer received the remainder of the animal to eat. However, it had to be eaten within one day if it was a thank offering or within two days if it was a vow or voluntary offering. If any remained on the third day, it had to be burned. In this process, the major teaching of the peace offering is revealed.

Recall that the burning on the altar of the sweet-savor offerings pictures God consuming a meal and being satisfied. Likewise, the priest receiving his portion shows him being satisfied, and the offerer with his portion is also satisfied. "Filled," "gratified," "contented," "accepted," "convinced," "supplied," "persuaded," "pleased," and "assured" all capture the intent of the symbolism.

In addition, since all parties—God, priest, and man—share the same meal and satisfaction, it shows all in peaceful communion or fellowship. Because it was placed in sequence on top of the other two offerings, the peace offering is directly connected to them, and thus it depicts the effect of perfect devotion to God and man: peaceful satisfaction and fellowship, the fruit of devotedly keeping the two great commandments of the law.

In this sacrifice Christ symbolically plays all three parts: He is the offering, sacrificing His life in service; He is the priest, serving mankind at the altar as Mediator; and He is the offerer, bringing His sacrifice to the altar. The altar, the place of meeting for all three, represents sacrificial services and devotion to God that give Him satisfaction and result in our acceptance.

The peace offering shows man, as Christ, accepted, fed, strengthened, and satisfied by sacrifice, teaching that sacrifice is indeed the essence, the heart and core, the essential element, of love whether to God or man. More specifically, it shows us that sacrifice plays a major role in acceptance before God, spiritual feeding and therefore spiritual strength, and spiritual satisfaction. Devoted people sacrifice for those they love. Thus, sacrifice indicates devotion to God (burnt offering) and devotion in service to man (meal offering).

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Offerings of Leviticus (Part Four): The Peace Offering


 

Leviticus 7:31-32

Another aspect of this offering is important for us to consider more closely: The priest's children are also specifically named to receive of the peace offering. Compare this with Numbers 18:9-11:

This shall be yours of the most holy things reserved from the fire: every offering of theirs, every grain offering and every sin offering and every trespass offering which they render to Me, shall be most holy for you and your sons. In a most holy place you shall eat it; every male shall eat it. It shall be holy to you. This also is yours: the heave offering of their gift, with all the wave offerings of the children of Israel; I have given them to you, and your sons and daughters with you, as an ordinance forever. Everyone who is clean in your house may eat it.

Whom do the priest's children symbolically represent? This is important because they were also to eat directly of the offering and be satisfied. We have already seen that Christ is symbolically portrayed in several guises, as offerer, offering, and priest. Remember also that Christ is one with the church. We are parts of His body; we are "in Him."

The Old Testament also characterizes the church in several symbolic guises. For example, all of Israel represents the church as the children of God in pilgrimage to its inheritance. At other times, it is specifically represented as those who have made a covenant with God. Here, the priest's children—or at other times, the entire tribe of Levi—symbolize the church in another specific mode: in service to God. In being permitted to partake of the sacrifices, the priest's children stand for the church in communion with God. God shows through this that he who offered an animal in order to feast with God could not do so without also feasting with God's priests and their children.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Offerings of Leviticus (Part Four): The Peace Offering


 

Leviticus 7:31

The breast named here is what we call the brisket. In the ritual, it was waved before God by means of the offerer holding the brisket in his hands and the priest then laying his hands on the offerer's hands. The offerer then advanced toward the altar by himself as though he was presenting his gift to God. Upon reaching the altar, he returned to the priest with the brisket and handed it to him, signifying God giving that portion of the offering to the priest and his sons.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Offerings of Leviticus (Part Five): The Peace Offering, Sacrifice, and Love


 

Leviticus 22:1-7

I Peter 1:16 says, ". . . because it is written, 'Be holy, for I am holy,'" which is precisely the lesson contained within Leviticus 22:1-7. Our holy God is clearly saying, "Those who serve Me must also be holy." Holy essentially means "set apart," but it also carries with it the sense of "different," which helps explain why a person or thing is set apart. Certain factors or characteristics distinguish the set-apart one or thing, making it different from persons or things of the same kind.

Holy also has the sense of cleanliness or of being undefiled. God can just as easily be saying to the priests and their children, "I am a clean God, and I want those who serve Me to be clean." In this case, His transcendent purity of intent and character sets Him apart from others or things that people may consider to be god. He is therefore completely undefiled.

The Leviticus passage mentions leprosy, a corpse, and semen. We must not forget that, when this was written, God was addressing a carnal people. Thus, the instruction is couched in physical terms, but we must look for spiritual meaning within the physical instruction.

The Tabernacle, altar, priesthood, furniture, vessels, and all of the rites have spiritual significance, and Paul writes that they are "shadow[s] of good things to come" (Hebrews 10:1). Leprosy is a horrible, dreadful disease, thus it is a type of a spiritual disease. It is externally visible in its disfigurement of its victim's body. At times, there can be running sores. It probably does not parallel any one spiritual disease, but rather it symbolizes any number of sins that disfigure a person's character and/or attitude.

Both a corpse and semen possibly represent carriers of disease. Something causes a person to die, and all too frequently, it is an invisible, internal disease, of which infections and cancers are examples. The widespread AIDS virus is a good example. It can be carried within a man's semen into a woman's body. The carrier may look healthy externally, but a deadly disease is present. Only the carrier may know of its existence within him. A corpse and semen represent sins that are not easily perceived. Withdrawal from participation in the fellowship requires the sinner to exercise discipline, as he may be the only one aware of his problem. Creeping things are also defilements from sins that are less obvious. Perhaps in this case, it might be problems with one's attitudes like resentment, bitterness, envy, jealousy, and lusting.

Regardless of what rendered a person unclean, he was not allowed to participate until he cleaned himself by washing in water, a type of the Holy Spirit. Even then, he was still considered unclean until evening of that same day. This process was a form of excommunication. The unclean person was symbolically excluded from communion with God and held unfit to eat of the holy food of the altar, symbolizing the Word of God, until he had cleaned up his act. Verse 7 distinctly says he was free to eat of the holy things only after the sun went down. Even given this permission, he was still eating in the dark! Though accepted back into fellowship, he was still somewhat removed from full exposure to the light of God's throne until the next day, when complete communication with God was restored.

Taking steps to rid ourselves of uncleanness has awesome ramifications when we grasp how burdened we are with the potential for sin. The apostle Paul labels himself as a wretched man who greatly needed deliverance (Romans 7:24-25). Despite what we can do on our own—and God requires us to strive to do so—complete deliverance can only come through the work of Jesus Christ. It is essential that we know this, yet it is perhaps beyond our full understanding and appreciation that God is so merciful and full of grace to provide the sin offering that precedes us! If it were not for these elements—because we are so full of spiritual creeping things and spiritual leprosy—we would never be permitted to eat from the Lord's table.

I and II Corinthians offers us great comfort by showing that, though one may be cut off from the body, he can return once he has cleaned himself through repentance. It shows that even though he is denied close communion with God because of some spiritual uncleanness, he still remains tied to God through the New Testament priesthood. Disfellowshipping is intended to be a temporary, corrective tool.

I Corinthians 5:4-5 says, "In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." The purpose of excommunication is to save the person from his uncleanness that is destroying his communion with God and others in the fellowship. Therefore, if he can still be saved, that person is not completely cut off from God.

II Corinthians 6:14-17 adds more information to this subject. Paul asks four questions that provide comparisons that clearly urge us to avoid or depart from what is unclean so that we can be at peace and in communion with God. Fellowship with God and being allowed to eat spiritual food from His table are clearly conditioned upon our not falling into uncleanness but instead striving to maintain the purity provided by Christ's sacrifice.

Our part in striving to maintain the purity is to follow Christ's example of thorough dedication in fulfilling the requirements of the burnt and meal offerings. Doing so in no way earns us the fellowshipping privileges expressed in the peace offering, but it does show God our understanding of faith, love, sacrifice, thanksgiving, and the links between total devotion to Him, Jesus Christ, our fellow man, and His wonderful purpose. God has invested a great deal to provide this for us. The least we can do is give back to Him full devotion in our life as a living sacrifice.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Offerings of Leviticus (Part Five): The Peace Offering, Sacrifice, and Love


 

Numbers 18:8-11

Sons and daughters indicate the family of the priest. It surely included his wife as well, but this was all God needed to say to make His intention clear. Spiritually, the altar represents God's table, and the sons and daughters are the brethren in the church, the Family of our High Priest. Since we are eating from God's table, this shows us in communion with God. It also shows us doing or having a portion in the work of the priest and as having a claim on the sacrifice.

All who have communion or fellowship with God must share that communion with His priests and His children, the rest of the church, our brothers and sisters. If one brings an offering, he shares in it. There is an interesting example of this in Acts 2:41-42, beginning on the Day of Pentecost and continuing for an unknown time thereafter: "Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers." The sharing with brothers and sisters is plainly expressed in the words "fellowship," "breaking of bread," and "prayers."

Verses 43-45 add, "Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need." It almost seems as if the godly fear, wonders, and signs sprang directly from the sharing spirit and the sacrifices made by those who gave.

Can we feast with God and ignore His other guests? A person in communion with God must be in communion with all who are in communion with Him. Do we see the oneness this implies? We are all eating of the same sacrifice, the same meal. We are all being fed and strengthened by the same Spirit, and God expects that we share what we have with our brothers and sisters.

This era of the church has never experienced anything similar to the first era, but before the end time is over, we may. In the meanwhile, we should open our homes in hospitality, sharing our experiences in life with one another. We should be praying with and for each other to assist in drawing us together in unity.

Christ is our supreme example in all things pertaining to life. What did Christ do to bring us into oneness with the Father? Whatever He did we must, in principle, also do as burnt and meal offerings, keeping the commands of God with all our heart in complete devotion. In His final teaching before His crucifixion, He sets a very high standard: "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you" (John 15:12). As means "equal to."

He also says in verse 13, "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." Jesus laid down His life step by step and then concluded it by submitting to crucifixion for our well-being. Those sacrifices produce peace and unity with God for those who accept His sacrifice and submit to the burden of bearing one's responsibilities before God.

The conclusion is inescapable: The peace that God gives is directly linked to sacrifice and love. Our Father began the process by so loving the world that He sacrificed His only begotten Son for its sins. The Son followed the Father by magnanimously allowing Himself to be crucified in sublime submission to the Father's will. He did this after laying down His life for mankind, day by day, as a living sacrifice.

All of this begins the process for us so that we can have peace with God and that His Spirit can shed His love abroad in our hearts. The process of producing peace, harmony, and unity is thus also directly linked as a result of our sacrifices in devoted obedience to His commands.

The burnt, meal, and peace offerings are meaningful illustrations of what is necessary within our relationships to produce peaceful and edifying fellowship that truly honors and glorifies God.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Offerings of Leviticus (Part Five): The Peace Offering, Sacrifice, and Love


 

Luke 22:15-16

Luke 22:15-16 specifically concerns Jesus' Passover offering, but we need to consider its effects in light of the peace offering rather than the sin offering.

First, God is satisfied because man is in communion with Him through Christ, the offering. Second, man is satisfied because he knows he is accepted by God and in fellowship with Him. Third, the priest is satisfied because, as the common friend of formerly estranged parties, He is happy to see them in fellowship. No wonder Christ desired this particular Passover! It produced the very purpose for which He came.

The medium that brings this all about is sacrifice. It is not just Christ's sacrifice on the stake, for it just culminated a whole series of sacrifices that began in heaven when He sacrificed His glory as God, became a man, and subjected Himself to the Father's will perfectly. Christ's stated desire here is looking forward to God and mankind being in fellowship with each other in His Kingdom—the ultimate effect of giving the best of ourselves to God following Jesus' example.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Offerings of Leviticus (Part Four): The Peace Offering


 

Hebrews 10:4

Do we grasp a serious ramification of this statement? It was never possible for animal blood to remove sins! If it was not possible in Paul's day, it was not possible in Old Testament times either. No one, including the Old Testament heroes, was ever forgiven through an animal sacrifice, nor was anyone saved by works of the law. Forgiveness and salvation by grace were not new to the New Testament.

The offerings were continuously repeated and detailed portrayals of what sin does - it kills - and what Christ's sacrifice would accomplish - reconciliation with God. Hebrews 10:3 says they served as reminders of sin. They were and remain as teaching vehicles since their spiritual purposes are shown elsewhere in God's Word. Hebrews 10:5-10 adds:

Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: "Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, 'Behold, I have come - to do Your will, O God.'" Previously saying, "Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them" (which are offered according to the law), then He said, "Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God." He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

How can a person truly live by every word of God if he casts these things aside as useless to daily life? How do they apply to us today? They apply in the spirit, which is their true intent. Jesus Christ is the object of each of the offerings, that is, they portray His activities as a man. However, three of them, the burnt, grain (or meal), and peace offerings, do not deal with sin. Only the trespass and sin offerings depict Christ's death for our sins.

Very briefly, the whole burnt offering pictures Jesus Christ's total devotion to God. His life was completely consumed as an offering to God every minute He lived. It pictures His fulfilling the first of the two great commandments of the law (Matthew 22:37): Jesus loved God with all His heart, soul, and mind.

Along with the burnt offering, the meal offering represents Christ's dedicated service, but this time to man, fulfilling the second of the two great commandments (verse 39): He loved His neighbor as Himself. Sharing His consuming love for God showed His consummate love for man.

The peace offering represents the fruit of all of Jesus' sacrificial labors on behalf of God and mankind, including those symbolized by the sin and trespass offerings. The peace offering shows God, the High Priest, and man fellowshipping together, sharing a common meal in peace and thanksgiving.

Before leaving Jesus' example, we need to consider whether we are ever tempted to think that Jesus dream-walked through life like an actor on a stage. Do we ever feel that He must have had it easy because He was also God, and so could easily overcome any temptation that crossed His path? While it is true that, even as a man, He never stopped being God, He was also a man and thus encumbered with human feelings, and that nature within Him opened the door to sore temptations. Hebrews 2:16-18 reflects this, as does Hebrews 4:15-16.

It is important on several fronts to allow this reality's impact to affect us. Why? Because Jesus is our example, and we are to follow in His footsteps. Even though He was the Son of God, His Father did not lay out an easy course for Him. For instance, He rarely escaped almost continuous confrontations by angry people. By itself, this was a great burden. The pressure from this trial culminated in His crucifixion and all it entailed.

Jesus had to work at succeeding in His responsibilities. Each day was a sacrificial offering for Him on behalf of God and men. Thus, He is our example in this too. He gave of Himself, laying down His life for His friends, not only as an offering for sin, but also in daily service as a servant.

It will become clear that He did not engage in this labor so we could escape the responsibilities of our assignments. If we are to walk the same path behind our Example, does it not follow that we will face the same basic difficulties He did? God promises that our responsibilities will be in measure to our gifts (I Corinthians 10:13; Romans 12:6-8), but He did not do it all for us.

Do we not have work to do to follow Him? Once a person is converted, can anybody keep the commandments for him? Can a person be a proxy for another before God? Can anyone live any part of life for another? People can do things on another's behalf, but they cannot live life for anybody else.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Is the Christian Required to Do Works? (Part One)


 

 




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