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النشر الإلكتروني

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CHAPTER VII

A Perfect Sacrifice

EHOVAH is the fountain of life. (Ps. 36:9; Deut.

30:20; Job 33: 4) He is the great Life-giver, and

he alone can rightfully take away life. If life is transmitted by one creature to another it is done only by virtue of the fact that God has delegated such power to the one transmitting life. Life means existence, including the right to exist. The human race has existed for some time but has not had the right to life and therefore has not enjoyed life.

Adam when created had life, because he existed and had the right to exist, which right he received from Jehovah. No one but Jehovah could deprive him of that right. Had he been obedient to Jehovah he would have continued to possess that right to life. God had fairly warned him that the infraction of the divine law would lead to his loss of life. Adam violated the law of God, and the right to life was taken away; and in due course Adam ceased to exist. Only the righteous have a right to life. From the time the judgment was entered against Adam he was unrighteous. Thereafter his offspring came into existence; and since Adam could not transmit the right to life, his children were born without the right to life or to existence. Man's greatest desire has ever been that he might enjoy life in its fulness. Being burdened with a disability by reason of sin, and having no ability to obtain life by his own efforts, the vital question for man is, How may man get life in the fulness thereof? The question was answered by the beloved Son of God; and his answer was recorded by the Prophet David, who

foreshadowed Jesus: "Thou wilt show me the path of life." (Ps. 16:11) Later Jesus, for the benefit of mankind, said: "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."-John 17: 3.

Without some knowledge of God's provision for everlasting life man could not receive life everlasting. It is written: 'Life is the gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord.' (Rom. 6: 23; 5: 18) It is impossible to receive a gift at the hand of another without knowledge of the author of that gift. It is impossible to obtain everlasting life without knowing God and his way to life. Why then waste time with the theories of men concerning life, put forth by clergymen wise in their own conceits? Such theories are worse than useless. The truly wise man seeks to know God's way and then to obey the rules of that way. For this reason God has made provision for the salvation of men, and provision to bring to man the knowledge of the truth thereof, to the end that man might exercise his privilege of accepting the way that leads to life. When he learns that God has provided a way to give him life, and that he can have it by acceptance and obedience, then when he begins to obey he starts on the way to obtain that which he desires.

All men are imperfect and therefore have difficulty of understanding. (Heb. 5:11, 12) In addition thereto Satan the Devil has hindered men from understanding the truth, and the first essential to understand is an honest and sincere desire to know God and his way for man. To aid man to understand, God has made pictures foreshadowing coming events. These pictures are not a part of the divine plan, but they are object lessons showing the outworking of his plan. These pictures are beneficial, because (1) they instruct the seeker for truth, and (2) they establish faith in God.

"Without faith it is impossible to please him [God]," because in no other way can one learn of the way to life. (Heb. 11:6) "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Rom. 10:17) In other words, a man must have knowledge, and this knowledge must come from the right source; and the Word of God is the right source, and there is none other. The man must rely upon that true knowledge in order to have faith. The loving-kindness of God has provided the means whereby one who seeks the truth may obtain it and grow in faith.

A ransom for man must be provided because God gave his promise that he would provide it and purchase man. (Hos. 13:14) Ransom means an exact corresponding price; that is to say, that which purchases at the market-place or has the purchasing power. A perfect man violated God's law and was put to death therefor. The law of God is his will expressed. Looking to the provision for redemption God's law provided a 'life for a life'. (Deut. 19:21) Strictly construed, that law means that a perfect human life must be given as a substitute for or in the place of the perfect human life which God took away from Adam because of Adam's wrong-doing.

Sacrificing means the slaughter of a victim, and involves the act of offering or presenting the life of that victim to the one authorized to receive the same. Since a perfect human life must be given to provide a ransom for man, it follows that there must be a sacrifice of a perfect human life. And since the loss of life by Adam was because of sin, it follows that the sacrifice of the perfect human life to provide the ransom or purchase price also involves the act of offering or presenting the value of that perfect life as a sin-offering. Jehovah being the One authorized to receive the sinoffering, that sin-offering must be presented to Jehovah by one having access to Jehovah.

The life is in the blood. For this reason God commanded that the blood of a creature should not be eaten. (Gen. 9:4; Deut. 12: 23) "For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off." (Lev. 17: 14) The blood of a creature poured out means that a victim has been sacrificed or slaughtered, and that the life has been poured out. It follows then that the provision for the ransom and sinoffering must involve the shedding of blood of a perfect human being.

Pious frauds, called preachers or clergymen, who have no faith in God and no sincere desire to honor his name, hold up their hands in pretended horror at the mention of the slaughter of animals by the Jews in connection with their atonement day ceremonies. If these sanctimonious clergymen believed the Bible, which they claim to teach, they would know that the Jews in sacrificing animals as an offering did so because the law of God commanded the same to be done. (Lev. 17:11) Being done in obedience to the law of God all men must know that it was right. "As for God, his way is perfect." (Ps. 18: 30; 2 Sam. 22:31) All of his works are perfect. (Job 37: 16; Deut. 32:4) 'Jehovah's word is right.' (Ps. 33:4) "The law of the Lord is perfect." (Ps. 19:7) In the face of all these declarations from the Word of Jehovah men stand before a company of people and denounce the sacrifice of animals which God commanded must be done. Surely no one could say that such men represent Jehovah.

Law means rule of action. Whatsoever rule of action or law God has made for the obtaining of everlasting life, that way is perfect and right, the opinions of men notwithstanding. God's way is complete and

there is no other way. Whatsoever law or rule of action God has made to foreshadow the way to life, God had good reason for so making, and such law or rule is just and true. His law or rule commanded the Jews to do certain things which formed living pictures or moving pictures. Note now (1) the picture, (2) what the picture foreshadowed, and (3) the reality in fulfilment thereof. One understanding these in the order named will have his faith in God increased, and will love God more and will have a greater desire to walk in the way which the Lord God has commanded.

Passover

When the Israelites were about to take their departure from Egypt Jehovah prepared to make, and did make, a wonderful picture. The importance of this picture is suggested by the fact that God commanded that the day of the making thereof should mark the beginning of months with the Israelites. The picture began on the tenth day of the first month and reached its climax on the fourteenth day thereof. That month is called Nisan, and corresponds approximately with the present month of April. The Israelites were required to repeat this picture at the same time each year, throughout their generations.-Ex. 12: 1-14.

Speaking to the Israelites through Moses God commanded that on the tenth day of the first month each house or family of the Israelites should select a lamb for sacrifice. In obedience to God's command Moses assembled the leaders of Israel and instructed them in detail as to what they should do. The substance of his instructions follows:

"Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: and ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.

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