The Law of Blood and Redemption--Part 2
Jan 08, 2008
Leviticus 17:11 tells us literally that "the fleshly soul is in the blood." In other words, the blood represents the soul when poured out upon the earth. Secondly, the soul is fleshly, or carnal, and this is the lawful basis of Paul's understanding in the New Testament about the fleshly nature of "the natural man" (i.e., the soulish man).
As Christian believers, we have two natures within us. In the writings of Paul, they are personified as "men." The natural man within us is what we got from Adam, for it is soulish. The spiritual man within us is spiritual and is Christ in you. These two "men" do not get along very well, for they are at cross purposes. The natural man wants to dominate, but the spiritual man is the one called to have the dominion mandate (Gen. 1:26).
Adam's sin was essentially an internal political coup by which the soulish man overthrew the spiritual man in Adam. This brought the curse of God upon the entire world as redemptive judgment. History is the time it takes for the curse to be reversed in its entirety. History will not be completed, nor will time end, until all things have been redeemed and put back under His feet (1 Cor. 15:25-28).
Meanwhile, the souls of the martyrs, the persecuted ones, cry out from under the altar, as we read in Rev. 6:9, 10,
" (9) And when He broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained, (10) and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?'"
First of all, these souls are identified as martyrs, who are pictured as having been sacrificed to God. In the temple, the blood of the sacrifices were to be poured out upon the ground under the altar in fulfillment of the law of blood in Leviticus 17.
Secondly, John identifies these as "souls," not as spirits, because the soul is in the blood. It is a word picture that expresses the law found in Leviticus 17.
The first martyr, of course, was Abel, whom Cain killed in Genesis 4. At that time, God spoke to Cain saying in Gen. 4:10, "the voice of your brother's blood is crying to Me from the ground." Hebrews 11:4 says also that "through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks."
Martyrdom was a very real possibility in the early Church, and so they had a deep understanding and appreciation for Abel as their forerunner and as a type of Christ.
The law of sacrifice found in the first verses of Leviticus 17 tell us that if a man kills a sacrifice either inside or outside the camp, he was to bring it (its blood) to the tabernacle or temple so that the priest could sprinkle its blood on the altar. This is what made the sacrifice acceptable to God. In fact, this is what actually offered it to the true God. If a man did not do so, he was guilty of offering the sacrifice to the goat-god, as it says in Lev. 17:7,
"And they shall no longer sacrifice their sacrifices to the goat demons [sa'ir, 'satyr, faun, Pan']with which they play the harlot."
Recall that Jesus was the Sacrifice for sin, and He was crucified "outside the camp." It was lawful to kill the sacrifice outside the camp, as the law says, but they were also supposed to bring His blood to the temple to offer it to God. The New Testament applies this law by telling us to appropriate His blood and sprinkle it upon the true altar of God (our hearts) to make that Sacrifice acceptable. If we do not do this, we are guilty of bloodshed (Lev. 17:4), that is, simple murder, even as Cain killed Abel. This is also Edom's problem, as we see in Ezekiel 35:6.
In the crucifixion of Jesus, the Lamb of God, those priests who crucified Him did not do this, and so the law says that they are guilty of bloodshed. But those who accepted Him as the Sacrifice for sin are NOT guilty, for the blood of the Sacrifice has atoned for all their sins and has made peace with God.
Those who do not comply with the law in this matter of the great Sacrifice of Christ are playing the harlot and sacrificing to the god Pan, the "goat demons" of Lev. 17:7. Pan is a faun, half man and half goat. Pan is a counterfeit Christ, who was both Son of God and Son of Man. Pan is the "Azazel," of Lev. 16:8. Azazel means "goat god," because azaz is a "goat," and el means "god."
In Leviticus 16, we read of the Day of Atonement, where the priest was to select two goats: one for Yahweh, the true God, and the other for Azazel. The first was killed and its blood sprinkled on the altar. The second was given to Azazel in the wilderness. When Jesus came to fulfill those prophecies, He came to John for baptism on the Day of Atonement and was "killed" spiritually while the first goat was being killed in the temple for Yahweh. Then the Spirit led Him into the wilderness to be tried by Azazel for 40 days.
That temptation in the wilderness was like a great contest between the true and the false Christ. In the end, those who followed the true Christ were those who sprinkled His blood on the altar of their hearts, applying His sacrifice in the lawful manner. Those who do not do so are, lawfully speaking, "playing the harlot" and are sacrificing to Azazel, the false Christ.
This is the heart of the matter. It is what defines true Christians and distinguishes them from the rest of humanity. Yes, "every knee will bow" when they stand before God in the Judgment, but at this present time, we do not yet see all things put under His feet (Heb. 2:8). At the present time, there are believers and non-believers. And the essential issue is what one does with the blood of the Sacrifice.
Counterfeit Christianity focuses upon the good teachings of Jesus. It often defines sin as mere ignorance, and the solution is a classroom where they read the teachings of Jesus. It implies that if we can just learn enough truth, then we will be saved. Such salvation depends upon man and his ability to learn.
True Christianity, on the other hand, says that salvation is based upon the Sacrifice of Christ on the cross to deal with sin. Sin is not mere ignorance, but a violation of law and an offense against God that demands death. The solution is in a court of law, not in a college classroom. Such salvation depends upon the Sacrifice of Christ, and the timing of one's salvation depends upon when a person appropriates this by the sprinkling of blood upon the altar of his heart by faith.
Those who are justified by faith are identifying with Christ, not only in His life but also in His death. Why? Because those who yet follow the carnal, fleshly soul are those who want to dominate by violence and force. Such people demand subservience to themselves, and anyone who has a new Master is perceived as a threat to their own dominion. Such people are willing to kill others in the name of their counterfeit god (Azazel), thinking that this is what religion demands of them.
And so we have martyrs, who follow the footsteps of Jesus, lambs led to the slaughter. They are the souls under the altar who cry out for judgment and "avenging." The "avenger of blood" in Num. 35:19 is the one responsible to see to it that justice is done on behalf of the one murdered. "Avenger" or "Revenger" is from the Hebrew word ga'al, which means REDEEMER. Obviously, the English translation does not do justice to the Hebrew concept, asserting a vengeful motive that God never intended.
The souls under the altar ask for redemptive judgment, not revenge.
This is the final part of a series titled "The Law of Blood and Redemption." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones