The ordinances of God cannot be changed by any human authority
During the last several weeks, we have been examining the question as to why the Book of Acts and especially the writings of Paul are so hard to understand.
We dealt with how the faith departed from the Hebraic understandings to what is being taught today and to really understand the Scriptures we must go back to the Hebrew roots and understandings.
I believe we accomplished that and so this week I want to get down to the heart of the matter and this can be found in Leviticus 10. 1-20.
This chapter deals with Aaron and his first day as High Priest of Israel.
What should have been the happiest day of his life turns into the lowest when his two oldest sons are killed by the Lord when they offered "strange fire" before the Lord during the incense offering.
Why would these two men, trained by Moses himself to minister in the Tabernacle of God do such a thing on the first day?
The answer to this question will help you understand why Paul was a Torah observant Jewish Rabbi who did not teach against the Torah as some say today.
The priests in the Tabernacle and later the Temple were called to be teachers and they were to instruct the people in the ways of the Lord.
They had to teach others on how to worship the Lord, how to distinguish between the holy and the profane, good and evil, light and darkness according to what the Lord has said.
The ordinances of God cannot be changed by any human authority, not even the sons of the High Priest.
But they did, they did not obey the Lord in the proper way to worship Him and they made a small change in the procedure.
Most scholars think they did not put some coals from the altar into their censors with the incense but used ordinary coals from an ordinary fire, thus offering "strange fire" to the Lord. We need to learn this lesson today because we are living in an age when the commandments of God have not only been changed or amended but in some cases done away with altogether.
One of the most glaring examples of this is in Leviticus 11 where God has a list of what is considered food and what cannot be eaten.
The creatures that are considered "tahor" or clean and what is considered "tamai" or unclean have nothing to do with the physical but they are understood as a ritual purity or defilement, something that would prohibit you from entering the sanctuary, touching holy things or serving as a priest.
These are temporary ritual defilements as long as the Temple or Tabernacle was standing and if you ate something and was ritually defiled, you could not enter the Temple.
These are God’s rules and they were certainly observed in the first century and they will again (See Ezekiel chapters 40-48).
But many are saying "but didn’t Yeshua declare that all foods are clean?"
He declared all kosher foods clean even if you did not ritually wash your hands before eating them according to the man-made traditions of the elders.
You cannot annul a commandment of God (Mt 5.17-19).
In Mark 7 and Mt 15.20 it clearly states that the issue being discussed is not "you can eat anything now" but if you eat clean food without washing your hands in a ritualistic manner as taught by the Pharisees the food is still clean and you can enter the Sanctuary to worship.
Acts 10 is also misunderstood to teach that Peter’s vision was God’s way of telling everyone that they can eat whatever they want.
But Peter himself said the vision was meant to teach him that the Gentiles were not unclean to the Lord and he can enter into a Gentile’s house.
You see, there laws passed by some of the leading religious denominations at the time saying that a Jew could not go into the house of a Gentile without becoming ritually unclean and then prohibited from entering the Sanctuary for worship. These were man-made laws called "the 18 Edicts" and these were the things that the Lord was breaking down. Peter continued to struggle with this and was even confronted by Paul on this. To eat with a Gentile mean’t you accepted him. When some believers came who believed that a Gentile should be circumcised (become Jewish to get around the man-mande law) Peter would not eat with them and Paul confronted him.
The keeping of these laws have nothing to do with salvation because you aren’t saved by works. They have everything to do with obedience. Many people will say "I haven’t heard from God on this" or whether they should keep the Sabbath or festivals, but in reality they have heard from Him. There was a voice from Heaven that spoke these words to mankind over 3500 years ago but we think we have the right to decide, just like Aarons sons did. We want to decide what is right and wrong. But a Voice did speak from Heaven and say "this is my beloved Son, listen to Him" but the crowd said "we didn’t pick Him, we didn’t choose Him, we’ll choose what we are going to do" and that is the exact problem today. We pick what we want to obey and what we don’t like. We find ways around the commands we don’t like. And, like Aarons sons, we approach the Lord with "strange fire" and then wonder why we get "burned."
We need to examine ourselves by the water of the Word and to make sure we are worshipping the Lord in truth and in spirit and not according to our own ways. We need to have the proper Lamb on the altar, we need to was in the laver made from mirriors to see our reflection in the waters of the word, we need to make sure there are 12 loaves of bread, and that our Menorah is full of the oil of the Holy Spirit so our lights are bright and we need to make sure we have a coal from the fire from the altar outside, started by God Himself, to put in our censors and mix that with the incense, which is our prayers.
Prayer should be inspired by the Lord and if we mix them with anything else, it is a strange fire. We need to go back to the pattern the Lord has given us and make sure we stick with it. If things are going wrong or something is not right, go back to the pattern God has given us in the Scriptures and things will be revealed to you on what to do. That is exactly what Moses and Aaron did after the death of the two boys and they did not deviate from what the Lord commanded and neither should we.