MAN'S POST-FALL STATUS IN THE MORAL KINGDOM
As we have already seen, man, by the exercise of the God-given faculty of freedom of choice, transgressed God's positive command, and sin entered the world. With it came death. Man was thus separated from God. The fellowship was broken. Should I speak in governmental terms, I would say that diplomatic relations were broken off. But this language is very inadequate to express what was done the day that man transgressed. I therefore shall make a further statement regarding it.I. THE DOMINION OF SATAN, THE MINISTER OF DEATH
God is the source of all life. He is the Absolute One. All things and beings derive their existence, power, light, and life from Him. When the fellowship between Him and man was broken by his deliberate sin, he was cut off from the light and life of the Eternal One. His present condition will result in his being cut off from God's life and light eternally--unless something is done whereby he may be restored to fellowship with God, and the divine life again flows into his very being. The situation in which man found himself after his rebellion is set forth in the following discussion.
We have already seen that the anointed cherub was the generalissimo of the hosts of the Almighty and was placed on the highest level of all the creatures of God. Since he remained in his own principality and did not leave his proper habitation (although he went over to the negative side of the will of God), he retained a certain amount of his original authority and was allowed under God's government to function in the realm of evil and wrath, in the capacity for which he was then fitted. By his fall his nature was wrecked, and he became wholly possessed of the wrath of God, hating with a venom everything that is holy and divine. Since he was instrumental in bringing sin into the world, which brought about death, he still retained the right and prerogative over death. Since, however, God is the Sovereign Ruler, and Satan is under Him and can do only that which He permits, in his executing the death penalty, he is only doing that which the decrees of the Almighty demand.II. THE WORLD'S LYING IN DARKNESS
That we may see Satan's position now in the government of God, let us again turn to Hebrews 2:14,15: "Since then the children are sharers in flesh and blood, he [Christ] also himself in like manner partook of the same; that through death he might bring to nought him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15 and might deliver all them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." From this quotation we see that the devil has the power of death--he is, under God, the minister of death. It is therefore his prerogative and duty to execute the death penalty on all upon whom the decree falls. He is therefore not the death angel by special appointment, nor for particular cases; but is the minister of death by reason of the high position which he occupies under God in His great moral government.
"We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in the evil one" (I John 5:19). From the Fall to the present time darkness, spiritual darkness, has enveloped the globe. Men and women who do not know God are groping their way in this darkness, not knowing where they are going and not realizing the predicament in which they really are.III. THE HUMAN PROCESSION CROSSING THE ARENA OF LIFE
From the transgression of Adam to the death of Christ upon the tree, there crossed the stage of human life and activity a constant procession of myriads of human beings who passed from this life through the portal of death. As this stream of humanity flowed along, the intelligent beings throughout God's kingdom, in all probability, continually kept looking on and stood in amazement at what happened to these multitudes after they passed out through this exit. Confirmation of this supposition is found in I Peter 1:10-12: "Concerning which salvation the prophets sought and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11 searching what time or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did point unto, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glories that should follow them. 12 To whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto you, did they minister these things, which now have been announced unto you through them that preached the gospel unto you by the Holy Spirit sent forth from heaven: which things angels desire to look into." From Luke 16:19-31 we learn that there is a place which in the Greek language is called Hades, but which in the Hebrew is known as Sheol. When we study this subject as it is presented in the Scriptures, we see that this place is in the center of the earth. This fact is apparent to everyone who studies Psalm 16:8-11, which foretells that Messiah upon His death goes down to Sheol:
8 I have set Jehovah always before me:
Because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth:
My flesh also shall dwell in safety.
10 For thou wilt not leave my soul to Sheol;
Neither wilt thou suffer thy holy one to see corruption.
11 Thou wilt show me the path of life:
In thy presence is fulness of joy;
In thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
It is also apparent to one who compares this passage with Matthew 12:39,40, in which verses the Lord Jesus declared that, as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the fish, "so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." Since He went to Sheol upon death, and since, as He stated, He would be in the center, or heart, of the earth, it is apparent that Sheol, or Hades, is in the center of the earth.IV. BLOOD SACRIFICES
From Luke 16:19-31 we see that there were two apartments of Hades, separated by an impassable gulf. To one of these, Paradise, Abraham and the saved went; to the other, Tartarus, the rich man went, and all the lost still go.
The angelic hosts, as they steadily looked on the passing out of humanity at the portal of death, saw that there was a separation immediately after the people passed through this exit. We may envisage the situation as follows: Some were turned to the right and went to that place to which Abraham and all the saved were assigned; the rest were turned to the left and descended to that place to which the rich man and other lost souls were directed.
Why this separation? Why this discrimination? Why the ease and blessedness of those who were turned to the right, whereas there were misery and torment to those who were turned to the left? For example, Abraham--though his life had been exemplary in many particulars--on certain occasions had stepped down on a much lower level of ethics and morals. For instance, when he went down into Egypt, he coached his wife to tell a half-truth with the object of deception in mind. In order that Pharaoh might not kill him and take her, who was a beautiful woman, to be his wife, Abraham instructed her to declare that she was his sister. It is true that she was his half-sister, but it is also a fact that she was his wife. He wished her to withhold a certain element of the truth and to state that which was a half-truth in such a connection as to make a wrong impression. In the light of all the facts this man persuaded his wife to tell a deliberate lie. As another example, let us look at David, Israel's ideal king--a man after God's own heart. On one occasion he too stepped down from the high plane upon which he, as a ruler, lived to a very much lower level. He took Bathsheba, the wife of one of his faithful soldiers, who was fighting his battles against the Ammonites, as his own wife. When it became apparent that Bathsheba had become an expectant mother by the king, David attempted to cover up his crime by having Uriah brought from the battlefront to Jerusalem in order that he might be with his wife at that time. Thus David tried to cover up his adultery. Uriah's high sense of honor and integrity, coupled with his patriotism, would not allow him to go to his own home and enjoy fellowship and association with his wife. He therefore refrained. This plot of deceitful strategy having failed in its purpose, the king gave instructions to Joab, his generalissimo at the front, to put Uriah in the most dangerous place of the battle and to order a retreat for his men without Uriah's knowing it. He would therefore be left in the hottest of the fray and would be exposed to the greatest danger. Joab carried out the instructions to the letter. The result was that Uriah was killed. Thus David plotted the murder of one of his innocent, heroic soldiers. He then took Bathsheba to be his own wife and attempted to waive the matter by the light remark that the battle was no respecter of persons, and that it takes one as well as another.
One sin unrepented of calls for another. If the two are not forsaken in genuine repentance, they call for a third, and for a fourth, and so on. Thus sin weaves a web around the one who does not repent of and forsake his wrongs. But we praise God that later the king did repent. Finally David passed off the stage of life through the portal of death and was led to the right hand to go to be with those who were in a blest, happy, restful condition in Sheol. In the heathen world there was, for example, Socrates, a great man, one of Greece's greatest teachers and philosophers. So far as we know, he lived an exemplary life. There is not the least hint that he ever stooped to the low level of lying, adultery, murder, and hypocrisy. On the contrary, he, by his intellectual faculties, tried to solve the great problems that have been the subject of philosophy through the centuries. By his intellect and his own human efforts he was seeking to find the invisible God. He too crossed the stage of life, passed out by the portal of death; but doubtless, not knowing the true God, he was turned to the left and went to the place of the lost. Other Greek and Roman philosophers and moralists, whose lives were on the very highest plane on which pagans ever lived, also sought--in their own way by reasoning and not by faith as they should have--for the true and the living God, refusing to get down on the low level of sensuality, sin, and immorality. Upon their passing out of life, they no doubt likewise were turned to the left and went to the dismal chasm of the lost. Why this difference? Why the discrimination?
Those who were turned to the right, and who went to be with Abraham after this life, were men and women of faith. For instance, Abraham believed God. When the Almighty promised that He would make his seed as numerous as the stars of the heavens, Abraham simply believed that promise and was counted as a righteous man. Thus stands the record in Genesis 15:6: "And he believed in Jehovah; and he reckoned it to him for righteousness." All those whose names appear in the roster of faith, as found in Hebrews, chapter 11, were men and women of faith. Of course there were myriads of others who also believed God. When life with them ended, they passed away and were admitted into the place of blessedness. But what did their faith do? Was it a determining factor as to where they would go after death? From the stand-point of merit and of conduct, faith could not compensate for that which was lacking in their lives. Why should exemption from the general fate that awaits the bulk of humanity be granted to these, and why should they be accorded the blessedness of being associated in bliss with others?
When Adam and Eve sinned against God in Eden, they realized the great change that had come upon them. Their entire nature was corrupted by the Fall. As soon as they partook of the forbidden fruit, their eyes were opened and they knew evil from good and were aware of the fact that they were naked. Then they attempted to hide themselves from God and to hide their nakedness with aprons made of fig leaves. The Lord appeared and stripped them of their improvised clothing--a symbol of man's efforts to hide his sin and failures. The Lord slew beasts, thus shedding animal blood, and made clothes for Adam and Eve from the skins. Evidently there was design and purpose in the Lord's doing this. His motive becomes apparent in the light of the sacrifices which He commanded. At the time that God took the skins of animals to clothe Adam and Eve, He most probably instituted the blood sacrifices as a covering for their sin, for we see their son Abel offering an animal sacrifice, which was commanded by God: "And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto Jehovah. 4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And Jehovah had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 but unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 6 And Jehovah said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shall it not be lifted up? and if thou doest not well, sin coucheth at the door; and unto thee shall be its desire; but do thou rule over it. 8 And Cain told Abel his brother. And it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him" (Gen. 4:3-8).
The Lord rejected Cain's offering but accepted that of Abel. Why the difference? The answer: "By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he had witness borne to him that he was righteous. God bearing witness in respect of his gifts: and through it he being dead yet speaketh" (Heb.11:4). Obviously the Lord commanded the sacrifices and stipulated what should be brought. This conclusion is demanded by the fact that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). Abel's offering was acceptable because he offered it by faith; Cain's was rejected because he rejected God's will and substituted his own judgment in its place--a vegetable offering instead of a blood sacrifice. The curse therefore fell upon him: "And now cursed art thou from the ground, which hath opened its mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; when thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee its strength; a fugitive and a wanderer shalt thou be in the earth" (Gen. 4:11,12). Being embittered by the disfavor of God and jealous of his brother, Cain slew Abel. When these two passed off the stage of activity, Abel was turned to the right whereas Cain was turned to the left.
Though the record, being brief and touching only the salient points of those primitive times, gives us no information concerning the offering of the sacrifices from the days of Abel to the times of Noah, we have every reason to believe that God commanded that they should be offered by all those who called "upon the name of Jehovah" (Gen. 4:26).
The fact that Noah offered sacrifices* immediately upon his emerging from the ark after the subsiding of the Flood and the further fact that the Lord accepted them point to the conclusion that the offering of blood sacrifices to the Lord in worship was the normal procedure of the children of God in those days. These truths are apparent to anyone who realizes that Noah was a servant of God and a preacher of righteousness.
In the Genesis account, from the days of Noah to the Exodus of Israel from Egyptian bondage, there are occasional references to offerings and sacrifices made to the Lord. In the law of Moses, given directly by God to Israel at Sinai, are instructions for the offering of an elaborate system of blood sacrifices. Throughout the Patriarchal Period there were various ones who made offerings and sacrifices to the Lord. Many of these--not all, of course--likewise, when they passed out of life, went to the place of rest. Moreover, when Israel left the land of Egypt, every family slew a lamb as a passover offering and sprinkled the blood upon the doorposts and lintels of their house--unless it was too small. In that case two of such small families went together and observed the passover. That night, when the death angel passed over the land of Egypt, the first-born in every house of the Egyptians was slain, whereas not a single person of the first-born of the children of Israel, who were screened behind the blood, was slain. Why the difference?
At Sinai God commanded Israel to offer animal sacrifices to atone for sin: "For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh atonement by reason of the life" (Lev. 17:11). So we see that God commanded the blood sacrifices as an atonement for sin; and those who offered the blood sacrifices were doing it by faith, looking forward to the time that God would provide a sacrifice that could adequately atone for sin.
From Sinai and onward, literally tens and hundreds of thousands of bullocks, goats, and sheep, together with turtle-doves and pigeons, had been offered as sacrifices to Jehovah, the God of the universe. Myriads of people who thus engaged in these continual offerings and sacrifices, when they passed out of life, were accorded a place among the blest, whereas many of those who had engaged in these offerings and sacrifices were turned to the left and were sent into misery with the lost, which fact shows that the mere offering of animals as sacrifices was not sufficient to accord one a place with the blessed.
From these facts we see that, from the fall of Adam through the centuries until the first coming of the Messiah, blood sacrifices were commanded by the Lord to atone for sin. Viewing these sacrifices in the light of the New Testament revelation, we see that they were typical of the sacrifice of the "Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world."
In many of the nations there were people who made sacrifices of animals to their various idols and bowed down to stocks and stones.¹ Nevertheless, when they passed out of this life, they were turned to the left and went down among the condemned. Why was this? What is the cause of the discrimination?
In what possible way could animal sacrifices affect spiritual and eternal realities? Man was placed on one level by his Maker. Animals with mere brute instincts were placed on a much lower level than man with his intellectual and spiritual endowments. It becomes immediately evident that in no way can the animal sacrifices bring about the cancellation of man's sins and make a proper adjustment between him and God, against whom he has sinned. In no way can the blood of bulls and goats deal adequately with the sin problem. Such passages as Jeremiah 7:21-26 show that, although the sacrifices were commanded by the Lord at Sinai, obedience to the will of God was placed in a higher category than the mere observance of the ritualistic requirements. Such sacrifices could not adequately deal with the sin problem. Again we see in Hosea 6:6 that God desires goodness rather than sacrifice: "For I desire goodness, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt-offerings." If either one of these things--goodness, or offerings and sacrifices--had to be omitted, God every time would say omit the offerings and sacrifices, but would by all means insist on His people's showing goodness and mercy. This bit of instruction proves that obedience and the showing of mercy are on a higher plane than that of observing some ritualistic service. This fact also proves, that sacrifices and offerings were not sufficient to deal with the question of sin.
A luminous ray of light upon this most important, yet difficult, question of blood atonement may be gathered from the facts connected with God's command to Abraham to offer up Isaac, his only son, as a sacrifice (Gen. 22:1-19):
22 And it came to pass after these things, that God did prove Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham; and he said, Here am I. 2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son, whom thou lovest, even Isaac, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. 3 And Abraham rose early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he clave the wood for the burnt-offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. 4 On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. 5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass, and I and the lad will go yonder; and we will worship, and come again to you. 6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt-offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took in his hand the fire and the knife; and they went both of them together. 7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold, the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering? 8 And Abraham said, God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son: so they went both of them together.
9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built the altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. 11 And the angel of Jehovah called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. 12 And he said, Lay not thy hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him; for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from me. 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt-offering in the stead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of Jehovah it shall be provided. 15 And the angel of Jehovah called unto Abraham a second time out of heaven, 16 and said, By myself have I sworn, saith Jehovah, because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, 17 that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18 and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. 19 So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.
Without a doubt the Lord tested Abraham's faith. At the same time He was making a most wonderful revelation to him. The unthinkable command to offer as a sacrifice his son, in whom his seed was to be called--an order that eventually would make null and void the system of animal sacrifices inaugurated in Eden by God--is of such a nature that it instantly strikes one with its revealing character. The rescinding of the command by God, who does not change, likewise heightens the profound impression made by the command. The fact that the ram, which Abraham offered in lieu of Isaac, had been caught in the thicket at that very place and at that crucial moment can be interpreted only as an act of divine providence. These facts--viewed in the light of the Scripture which states that Abraham accounted "that God is able to raise up, even from the dead; from whence he did also in a figure receive him [Isaac] back" (Heb. 11:19)--were clearly designed to make a new and startling revelation to Abraham.
As we contemplate this subject, we must constantly bear in mind the warning which the Lord made to Adam: "The day that thou eatest thereof, dying thou shalt surely die" (lit. trans.). Expressed in the words of another verse of Scripture, the thought is, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." Every man must die for his sins--unless some provision is made in his behalf whereby there is a cancellation of the same. But we have already seen that it is irrational to suppose that the blood of animal sacrifices can make atonement for the sins of men, who were created on a much higher plane than were the dumb beasts, there being no moral or spiritual quality in such sacrifices. God indicated this fact by commanding Abraham to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice. In thus demanding a human sacrifice, He, by actions, which speak louder than words, showed that animal sacrifices, or the blood of animals, can never atone for man's sin, although they had been authorized by divine decree, which facts prove the provisional and temporary nature of the same.
In ordering Abraham therefore to sacrifice Isaac, God confirmed the position that it took the shedding of man's blood²--and not that of animals--to atone for man's sins; because it was upon man that the death sentence rested. In God's staying Abraham's hand and thus preventing the patriarch's carrying out the command, He indicated the fact that the blood of a man born by natural generation--notwithstanding the fact that there was a miraculous element in Isaac's birth--could not effect atonement; and in His promising under those conditions that He would provide a lamb for the sacrifice, which would be efficacious in atoning for sin, He gave a guarantee that He would at the proper time provide the man whose blood could and would make atonement for the sins of the entire world. As we shall see, the promise of the coming of this one who could make the perfect sacrifice, and whose blood can cancel sin, is expressed in a very definite manner.
In Genesis 22:8 Abraham says to Isaac, "God will provide himself the lamb." This language is the figure of paronomasia, or a play on words. Isaac had asked about a literal lamb for the sacrifice. In the language which Isaac was using, Abraham declared that God would provide the lamb, meaning of course the human sacrifice that would be acceptable to God, and that would accomplish atonement. Since Isaac was miraculously born, and since God commanded him offered as a sacrifice, Abraham no doubt thought, until God stayed his hand, that the blood of Isaac would adequately atone for his own sin. The ram which was providentially caught in the thicket (Gen. 22:13), and which Abraham sacrificed, was of course of a temporary and provisional nature and could in no wise atone for sin.
The fact that Abraham, who was a prophet (Ps. 105:9-15), did not protest against his being required to offer his son is mute evidence that he probably realized more fully than we have ever conceived the necessity for the sacrifice of a human being, whose blood could cancel sin and guilt. This probability is also heightened by the fact that he recognized, the miraculous element that entered into the birth of his own son. Isaac's acquiescence in the whole matter points in the same direction, that he too realized that animal blood could not make adequate atonement for the sin of man, but that it would take the shedding of man's blood. At the same time it is highly improbable that Abraham understood fully all the miraculous elements involved in the case of the one, the God-man, whose blood and sacrifice could atone for the sins of humanity. But even his partial comprehension of it enabled him to obey the divine command.
As we have already seen, God's ordering the sacrificing of Isaac, a miraculously-born son--not virgin-born--and His countermanding this order at the very moment when it was about to be put into execution pointed forward to one in the future who would, by virtue of His true nature, be able to make perfect and complete atonement. By analogy we can clearly see this truth. All the sacrifices, from Eden and onward, pointed forward to an all-sufficient sacrifice. The inadequacy and the typical character of animal sacrifices were shown by the fact that the same sacrifices were offered yearly. Had they been sufficient, there would not have been a need for repeating them every year. But since they were ordered to be made to atone for sin, it is clear that they made expiation only in a typical ceremonial sense, and that they pointed forward to an offering that would make complete atonement, or satisfaction, for sin.
God's ordering the sacrificing of Isaac and then countermanding the command in like manner naturally looked forward to the sacrifice of one whose birth involved the miraculous element in a higher and greater way than that of Isaac. This truth is seen by the fact that the sacrifice of Isaac was rejected because of its being insufficient to accomplish the purpose of sacrifices--the permanent removal of sin. His blood was inadequate in that he inherited from Abraham the sin-nature and death, which made it impossible for his blood to be efficacious as an atonement for sin. But in its being ordered by the Lord and in its being inadequate, there was implied the promise that God would at the right time send the one who could make the proper atonement--since He accomplishes and perfects all His works. This hope is seen in the promise, "God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt-offering" (Gen. 22:8).
There is therefore, figuratively speaking, a blending of the picture of Abraham's attempt to offer Isaac with the offering of the "lamb" which God promised to provide. Such a blending of pictures of persons or events, often far removed in point of time and space, is characteristic of the Scriptures. Isaac's being offered therefore was typical and prophetic of the offering of Him alone whose sacrifice and blood can remove all sin.
Thus far in this particular investigation I have been looking at only the facts and truths that are imbedded in the Books of Moses. When we turn to the statement of the Lord Jesus, "Abraham rejoiced that he should see my day; and he saw it, and was glad," (John 8:56, marginal reading), we find perfect confirmation of the interpretation of the facts connected with the offering of Isaac.
From the statement of our Lord we properly infer that God promised Abraham to show him the day of Christ. The day of Christ embraces His life when He was on earth nineteen hundred years ago, with at least the general outline of His activities and principal events, and the thousand years of His glorious reign when He returns. It may also include the entire Christian Dispensation, which separates His first coming from His second advent.
According to the Lord Jesus Abraham rejoiced in anticipation of seeing His day. When the promise made to him was fulfilled, he was glad. It is logical to believe that, in seeing the day of Christ, Abraham was shown the most important event--the one upon which the redemption of mankind rests. It is, therefore, highly probable that the glorious tragedy of Calvary was shown to Abraham, when he demonstrated his faith by obeying God in attempting to offer Isaac, his only son, as a sacrifice to God. In his doing this, he typically set forth God's offering up His only begotten Son as the one and only sacrifice that can atone for sin and save the soul.
When the revelation was made through David, which is contained in Psalm 40:6-10,³ and which was made earlier than the prophecies of Jeremiah 7:21-26 and Hosea 6:6, mentioned before, regarding the nonprofitableness of animal sacrifices, doubtless David and others at first wondered why these animal sacrifices should ever have been commanded. Moreover, in this passage they saw that those sacrifices had simply been authorized for the time being, and that, instead of their meeting the demands of God's holiness with reference to sin and wrongdoing, they could not appease the divine wrath. At the same time, in this quotation, however, they could see that one in whose heart God's righteousness is hidden volunteers to come to earth and to do the will of God with reference to sin, to fulfill the purpose for which sacrifices and offerings had been commanded. These facts show the provisional and temporary character of those offerings. Finally, when the revelation, found in Isaiah 52:13--53:12 quoted (next page), was made relative to "the servant of Jehovah" who offers His soul a sacrifice for sin and for transgression, thinking men realized that this suffering in some way would deal adequately with the problem of sin.
*18 And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him: 19 every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, whatsoever moveth upon the earth, after their families, went forth out of the ark. 20 And Noah builded an altar unto Jehovah, and took of every clean beast, and of every clean bird, and offered burnt-offerings on the altar. 21 And Jehovah smelled the sweet savor; and Jehovah said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake, for that the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more everything living, as I have done. 22 While the earth remaineth, seed-time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease (Gen. 8:18-22).
¹ Idolatry is a perversion of the original worship ordered by God
² Obviously the people who offered human sacrifices to atone for the sins of their souls instinctively recognized the inadequacy of animal blood to effect atonement for sins.
³ 6 Sacrifice and offering thou hast no delight in;
Mine ears hast thou opened:
Burnt-offering and sin-offering hast thou not required.
7 Then said I, Lo, I am come;
In the roll of the book it is written of me:
8 I delight to do thy will, O my God;
Yea, thy law is within my heart.
9 I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the great assembly;
Lo, I will not refrain my lips,
O Jehovah, thou knowest.
10 I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart;
I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation;
I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great assembly (Ps. 40:6-10).
(Continued on the next page)