“Now the LORD called to Moses, and spoke to him from the tabernacle of meeting, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When any one of you brings an offering to the LORD, you shall bring your offering of the livestock—of the herd and of the flock. If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the LORD. Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him. He shall kill the bull before the LORD; and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall bring the blood and sprinkle the blood all around on the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of meeting. And he shall skin the burnt offering and cut it into its pieces. The sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar, and lay the wood in order on the fire. Then the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall lay the parts, the head, and the fat in order on the wood that is on the fire upon the altar; but he shall wash its entrails and its legs with water. And the priest shall burn all on the altar as a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the LORD.’”
We just read Leviticus 1:1-9 for today’s Scripture reading. The word “Levi” means “unity.” As the name suggests, God made and worked in the Tabernacle because He wanted to be united with the people of Israel by remitting away their sins when they offered Him sacrifices according to the strict requirements of the sacrificial system as recorded in the Book of Leviticus. During that time, just as it’s true for us today, not a day went by when the people of Israel did not commit sin. Because the people of Israel sinned constantly without fail, they had to offer sacrifices to God inside the Tabernacle according to the requirements of the sacrificial system, and through this obtain the remission of all their sins, become God’s holy people, and receive His help. God instituted this sacrificial system in order to be with the people of Israel, walk with them, watch over them, bless them, protect them from their enemies, solve the problem of all their sins, and be their God. This is also true for you and me today, being so important, receiving such wonderful blessings, and having God on our side.
God’s Instruction to Moses
After the Tabernacle was built, God called Moses and said to him, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When any one of you brings an offering to the Lord, you shall bring your offering of the livestock—of the herd and of the flock. If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the Lord. Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him’” (Leviticus 1:2-4).
Here, God was teaching the people of Israel how they could make atonement for their sins, instructing them to prepare a live sacrificial animal and pass their sins on to it by laying their hands on its head. In other words, when the people of Israel laid their hands on their sacrificial animals, all their sins were passed on to this animal to make atonement for them. Once the sins of the Israelites were passed to the sacrificial animal, it was then only slaughtered and its blood shed while bearing all their sins. The priests then put some of this blood on the horns of the Altar of Burnt Offering, poured the remaining blood on the ground, and burnt its flesh on the Altar. This was the burnt offering that God demanded from the people of Israel, saying that it was “a sweet aroma to the LORD” (Leviticus 1:9). For God to walk with the people of Israel, they had to give such an offering without fail.
If the people of Israel did not offer this sacrifice that was indispensable for God to walk with them, then God would not have kept His the promise He made to Abraham and his descendants that He would be their God. He could therefore never become their God. That’s because while God is the holy God, the people of Israel could not help but sin every day due to their weak human nature. Therefore, to bridge the gap between God and the people of Israel, it was absolutely indispensable for them to pass their sins to their live sacrificial animals by laying their hands on its head, slaughter it, draw its blood, put the blood on the horns of the Altar of Burnt Offering, and burn its flesh, all according to the requirements of the sacrificial system of the Tabernacle. Only then could God fulfill His justice, His love, and His deliverance of the people of Israel. In this way, the people of Israel could become God’s own people, and God could become their God, walk with them, protect them, and lead them into the land of Canaan. It is for this reason that God told the people of Israel to offer Him sacrifices in this specific way, and the people of Israel in turn gave their offerings accordingly as instructed.
The Book of Leviticus is named after Levi, who was one of the twelve sons of Jacob, and whose name means “Unity.” God entrusted the descendants of Levi with the work of uniting the people of Israel with God, that is, God raised them as the priests to minister the sacrifice on behalf of the Israelites. That’s why this particular Book is named the Book of Leviticus, and God spoke about unity through this Book of Leviticus.
Unity with the Righteousness of God Is Very Important for Us the Believers
It’s written in Psalm 133:1, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” As we can see from this passage also, unity with God is very beautiful and pleasant in His sight. To be one with God, the people of Israel had to give Him the offering of faith, and by giving this offering by faith and in unity, they were able to be saved from their sins and become God’s own people. This sacrifice that united the Israelites with God was a tremendous blessing for them.
I’d like to now speak to you about the Tabernacle, and also explain to you step by step the sacrificial system described in the Book of Leviticus. It’s absolutely indispensable for us to realize the importance of the sacrificial system. There is a reason why God spoke to Moses about the sacrificial system, and why the people of Israel built the Tabernacle for a year—all of this was done so that the people of Israel could give the sacrifice that was pleasing to God. Moreover, you and I must also unite with God by faith. We must be of one in heart. We must unite by faith, receive blessings by faith, pass our sins over by faith, be judged for our sins by faith, become God’s people by faith, and go to Kingdom of Heaven by this faith. No one whose heart is not united with God can go to the Kingdom of Heaven. Heaven can be entered only if we are one with God.
In order to be in unity with God, the people of Israel brought an unblemished animal according to the God-established sacrificial system, passed their sins onto it by laying their hands on its head, slaughtered it and drew its blood. Taking this blood, the priests put some of it on the horns of the Altar of Burnt Offering, poured the rest of the blood on the ground, cut the flesh of the animal into pieces, and burnt it on the Altar of Burnt Offering to please God. This was the sacrifice that satisfied God’s demand, one that was “a sweet aroma to the LORD” (Leviticus 1:8). Receiving such offerings and sacrifices, God fulfilled everything He promised to Abraham and his descendants. The descendants of Abraham here refer to none other than you and I who believe in Jesus today, implying that we lack nothing to be embraced and loved by God.
The Importance of the Sacrificial Offering
It’s absolutely critical for us to realize just how much God desired such a sacrificial offering, and how pleased He was to receive it. This offering was an absolute must for Him, and He was completely satisfied when He received it in this order. We must realize here just how much God was pleased and quenched by every aspect of the sacrifice, from the laying on of hands to the shedding of blood and the smell of the flesh of the sacrificial animal being burnt. God was pleased to receive such an offering as a sweet aroma because through this sacrifice, He was more than able to blot out the sins of the people of Israel. By the same token, God has blotted out all your sins and mine through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Words cannot describe how grateful I am for this. It’s absolutely important for us to be united with God in oneness of heart. Although we are not 100% perfect in our flesh, at least our hearts must be one with God by faith. In other words, we must believe with all our hearts that even though we were all destined to die for our sins, our Lord loved such wretched sinners like us so much that He bore all our sins through His baptism, died in our place, rose from the dead again, and has thereby made us God’s own children.
Like this, God wanted to make us His own people, and we must unite our hearts with Him by faith just as He planned it. In fact, faith itself is unity. Faith is all about trust and unity. So I urge you to have faith, and to live by this faith until the day the Lord returns.
My fellow believers, please pray for our ministry. Preaching the gospel of the water and the Spirit requires a lot of financial resources. Pray to God to give us the resources we need to preach His gospel. Has any of you here had $10 million in your hand? This may seem like such an unrealistic figure that we can hardly fathom or even imagine it, but in reality, $10 million is not that much money. Once you start spending money, there is no end to how much you can spend. Of course, few people ever see $10 million, $1 million, or even $100,000 in their lifetime. But, regardless of the amount of the money, it is nowhere near enough for our ministry. You might think that there are lots of things you could do with $100,000, but it really is not that much money when you spend it on the righteous work.
At this hour, there is one thing that I would like to ask from everyone of you. I ask you all to be one with God and His righteousness, and to thus reach your salvation. This is my heartfelt desire for all of you. I urge you to also unite your heart with the will of God in everything else you do. When you are one with God, from then on God will walk with you, you will become one of His own people, and you will be blessed by Him. Everything starts from this point of unity. The Book of Genesis explains God’s plan, while the Book of Exodus describes how God fulfilled His plan through the Tabernacle. Over half of the Book of Exodus, from chapter 19 to chapter 40, addresses this Tabernacle. And about two-thirds of the Book of Leviticus is all about the sacrificial system.
It’s absolutely indispensable for us to realize just how important unity is. Unity with the Church is also extremely important. We need to learn how to be one with God in our hearts by faith, and if we can accomplish this, it will bring tremendous blessings to us. In the course of this journey, we sometimes may be drawn to our own human thoughts, our individual pride may be hurt, and even our hearts may be hurt, but in reality, once we unite with God everything will be taken care of. It’s only because we are not one with God that we feel offended and hurt; if we truly are in unity with God, then there would be nothing to be offended or hurt by. This is only a matter of course. In fact, there is nothing wrong that God has ever done to us. If there is anything wrong, it’s always our fault. Don’t you agree?
You and I must unite our hearts with God without fail. It is right for us to live in unity with God, praying for His gospel to be preached throughout the whole world. Everything we do, from uniting our hearts to devoting our bodies and hearts to pray, work, and raise financial resources, is done for the righteousness of God. That’s how we ought to live. If we unite our hearts like this, God will bless us all to prosper. If our hearts are one with God like this, the Lord will ensure that we are prosperous in all things, from our livelihoods and needs to our health. If you really want to be blessed, all that you have to do is live in unity like this.
Unity is absolutely indispensable. Unless our hearts are united, we cannot accomplish anything no matter how hard we try. You and I must unite our hearts. While this may seem simple, it is in fact an extremely important issue.
I Ask You to Be in Unity with the Words “Laying on of Hands”
It’s written in Leviticus 1:3-4, “If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the Lord. Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him.” All that you have to do is to believe in this truth with your heart, “The laying on of hands means passing or transferring sins, and accepting this truth means receiving in joy.” Your own emotional feeling is not what’s important. What’s important is that you believe in the Word of God just as it is. God alone is true. Even if we were to think otherwise a hundred times, could we win over each and every Truth of the Word of God? No, of course not. How could we win over the Word of God when it is the Truth? The God-spoken Word is the forever-unchanging Truth that remains the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and in the future.
If any of you wants to be possessed by a demon, try to get a demon-possessed person to lay his hands on your head. The demon will come over and possess you for sure. And if you want to be cursed, get someone accursed to lay his hands on your head. You will then be cursed. Stand against God if you wish. You will be cursed. It’s a simple principle.
My fellow believers, as those living in such a precarious age, we have no other alternative but to preach the gospel fully before we leave this earth. After living like this, we will go to the Lord when He calls us. If you have any worries troubling your heart, first of all unite yourself with God. If you ask God for His help, He will solve all your problems. It’s only because people think of themselves first and rely on their own thoughts that they cannot get their problems solved. For God, for His Kingdom, and for the spreading of the gospel, we must unite our hearts first of all.
For us, God is absolutely indispensable to our lives. I believe with all my heart that God has blessed me. Do you also believe so? Although I’ve been very busy recently due to some new work that I’ve been requested to do, I can still work with a joyous heart as I’m convinced that I’m doing this work for the Lord, all to preach His gospel. All of this is the Lord’s blessing.
Live with Your Heart United with the Righteousness of God by Faith
God said that He will give us many blessings along with heavy persecution. After removing the dross that’s found in our hearts, God sees whether or not our hearts are in unity with Him, and then decides whether to work in our lives or not. Although people judge others based on their outside appearance, God said that He looks at the heart. When God looks into our hearts and sees that we are indeed in unity with Him, from then on He will bless us and bestow His grace upon us. Our faith will then also grow and we will be at peace. That’s because our hearts would no longer be torn between our own desires and God’s desires.
Once our hearts are in unity with God, all His work will be our own work, everything that concerns Him will be our concern, and therefore we will carry out God’s work as our own work. Moreover, there will be nothing we can’t accomplish, for God will help us all along the way. Everything will go our way. All our countless worries and troubles will disappear also. God will remove them all for us. That is precisely why we must be one with God by faith.
I cannot emphasize enough just how important this unity is. No matter how much the world changes, we should never let our hearts change along with it. If by chance our hearts seem to go astray for one or other reason, we must return and unite them back with God again. Our hearts must be one with God absolutely and unconditionally. Believing again that we have received the remission of all our sins, because God Himself bore all our sins through His baptism and shed His blood on the Cross for us, we must be one with God. And now that we have received the remission of sins, we ought to follow God by faith in unity, just as He told us, “Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness.” We will then be one with God, as His work will be ours and our work will be His, and ultimately we will be able to solve all our problems. Once all the problems troubling you are solved like this, God will then fulfill your heart’s wishes also.
Wouldn’t you also love someone who cares about you, and who follows and obeys your will? Wouldn’t you want bless such a person? Of course you would. The principle is simple enough, God also loves those who obey Him. God has saved us by giving us the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and He yearns for this gospel to be spread throughout this earth. So, if we pray for this ministry and carry it out in unity, then God will bless us for sure. Whatever we do, if we do everything for the spreading of the gospel of God and live according to His will, then how could God not love and bless us? He can’t help but bless and love such people. The principle of unity is that simple. To unite our hearts with God is to be at one with Him. Our hearts must therefore be united with God by faith first of all. Unless our hearts are one with God, we cannot accomplish anything.
It is with some trepidation that I have begun preaching about the Tabernacle, as I am concerned that I might have embarked too hastily on something overambitious. Even if there is much that still remains to be said, it is all useless if the listener cannot understand. In time, some people will eventually come to understand it, but there are so many people in this world who cannot understand. When I think about the latter, I wonder how many of them would be able to understand what I am preaching now. Although it is easy for me to preach to you, it would be twice as difficult for me to give my sermon in a way that these people would really understand.
We must be united to fulfill the will of God. Most of you have done this, but there still are some of you who have not united with God yet. If you are one of them, I ask you to examine yourself and find out in what aspects you are still not united. Like this, when you realize in what ways you are not in unity with God, He will in time give you the heart and the faith to be one with Him. You can then be one with God. Everything will go well for you from then onwards. No matter what, and regardless of your shortcomings, as long as you abide in God, everything will be taken care of. That is what the Word of God is saying.
As long as you and I are united with God in one heart, everything will go well. God’s Church throughout the world will prosper if it is united with Him, and you will also prosper if you are one with God. Without this unity, nothing can be accomplished. I cannot emphasize enough just how important this unity is. No matter what our circumstances are and how big or small our faith is, it is only when we are united with the will of God that our faith can grow and we can receive God’s blessings.
Unless your heart is upright, everything else is useless. God looks at the center of our hearts. If only we are united with Him, God will bless us so that we would be able to preach the gospel successfully. God will spread the gospel all over the world through us. And He will bless us all. Like His will, God will fulfill all the blessed promises He made to us. Every promise He made to you will be fulfilled by Him. Let us therefore make sure that our hearts are united with God, so that we may all receive His blessings.