A Feast of Fat Things; Forbidden to Priests, Reserved for God, Now Given to the Elect…

Taken from, Light Shining in Darkness
Written by, William Huntington
Edited for thought and sense.

3-4.

And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. –Isaiah 25:6

In this mountain ” the mountain is Zion, or the gospel church consisting of elected persons—God has chosen Zion. Zion is the mother church under the New Testament, and her off-spring are often called the daughters of Zion, and both are redeemed by the blood of Christ. Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness. To these the Savior was sent. Say ye to the daughters of Zion “Behold thy King comes unto thee; he is just and having salvation, lowly, and riding upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. From this chosen race the Saviour (according to the flesh) is sprung, Mary was a chosen vessel; and of Zion it shall be said that he was born in her and here God made the horn of David to bud.

385121448e0219c024d4c862c0e510bfOn mount Calvary Christ was offered, and in the hearts of God’s people, Christ crucified is revealed.

Behold I lay for a foundation in Zion a stone, a precious stone, a sure foundation; and he that believes shall not make haste: he shall never hasten after another foundation; nor shall he ever be confounded or put to flight before his enemies who trust in this. I have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. This hill is the heart and affections of God’s people. The Kingdom of God is within you, saith Christ, and so is the King also. Believe, saith the Lord, that I am in you, and you in me. He dwells in the heart by faith.

But who sets him here? I say God, has set my King upon my holy hill. God revealed his Son in me, says Paul; he opens the door of faith to us, and opens our hearts to receive our King, and circumcises them to love him; and he that loves abides in God; and God in him: such kiss the Son, acknowledge the heir apparent, embrace him as their rightful sovereign, complain of other lords having had dominion over them, and promise loyalty and fidelity to him.

White Tower medieval dinner 2In this mountain the Lord of Hosts, the God of armies, will make a feast unto all people, to the Gentiles as well as to the Jews, since the middle wall of partition being broken down, and the gospel of Christ is being preached to the Gentiles –this feast is to be made to all the elect; and it is to be a feast of fat things. The allusion is to the sacrifices which were offered under the law, which were many, and all of which ‘were types of Christ. We read of burnt offerings which pointed out Jesus Christ enduring the flames of divine wrath for us; and of sin offerings, showing that he should make his soul an offering for sin; and of free will offerings, which pointed out his willingness to suffer –I lay down my life of myself and I take it again; and of peace offerings ” he made peace for us by the blood of his cross These sacrifices were to be of young, tender, fat, and good cattle, not corrupt things, which pointed out the youth, the spotless holiness, and perfect purity, of the Saviour, who was a lamb without blemish, and without spot.

russiaxmasdayIn allusion to these sacrifices, wisdom is represented as killing her beasts, mingling her wine, furnishing her table, and sending out her maidens to invite the guests. Wisdom is a name of Christ; the beasts are the fatted calf and the Lamb of God; the table, are ministers’ hearts furnished with Christ; the maidens, are preachers who are espoused and presented as chaste virgins to Christ; inviting and bringing in the poor, the halt, the lame, that the house may be filled with guests.

22650_317981286319_269736846319_4588056_3504586_nThe Lord of Hosts makes this feast. A certain man makes a great feast, and bids many. It is a feast of fat things. Go says the Savior, and tell them that my oxen and fatlings are killed and all things are ready, come the marriage. And blessed are they that are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.

But it is a feast of fat things.

Fat things?

burnt-offering-11Yes, these are what no priest under the law was allowed to eat; not even the high priest himself. The priests under the law had the hide or skin, and of some offerings they have the heave-shoulder, and the wave-breast, and of other offerings more; but neither high priest, nor inferior priests; no, nor the person that offered, nor any of the guests that were invited,were ever to have, or eat the fat, the fat was the Lord’s portion: All the fat is the Lord’s but ye shall eat neither fat nor blood. Lev. 3: 6, 17. Whosoever shall eat of the fat of beasts, which men offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord; even that soul that eats it shall be cut off from his people. Lev. 7: 25. Hence the charge, “Let them not fail to burn the fat. I Sam, 2:16. The fat was the Lord’s, it was the most delicate and rich, and was to burn upon the altar as a sweet smelling savor; and as a sweet smelling Savior Christ offered himself for us. It is in the allusion to the fat of these sacrifices, that the feast in my text was called the feast of fat things.

Sacrifice_of_the_Old_Covenant_RubensVarious were the ways the sacrificial distributions were observed under the law; some priests had the head and skin; others had the (shoulder and bread; others all the flesh that the fork or flesh-hook brought up out of the pot or cauldron.  The priest’s wife and children might eat of the holy things; the person that offered and the guests that he invited were able to eat of other parts. But as it was with the type, so it is with the antitype: All flesh get food and raiment from him, for we lost all in Adam; but Christ is now heir of all things, and he shall he be called the God of the whole earth.

But who gets the fat?

Jutine_ungaroThe fat falls to the share of poor, sensible, perishing, sinners, whether kings or beggars; for all who believe on his name shall be saved; far thus saith the Lord, “In that day the great, trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come that were ready to perish, and they that be of heavy hearts; let them drink and forget their poverty, and remember their misery no more. And so it is, for to save our souls after having been at this banquet of wine, we cannot bring all our former guilt, fear, shame, wrath and confusion of face, back upon us again; the gates of hell are shut, and the door of hope is open; the dark regions of the shadow of death are vanished, and life and immortality is brought to light; wrath is fled, and love is come; his anger in the law is turned away, and in Christ he comforts us.

The night is spent, and day is come; his anger endureth but a moment, in his favor is life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy came in the morning.

But these wines are wines on the lees [refined, and aged].

aboutsouthdinner_49_promoThe blood of Christ is called wine. He blessed the cup and said, take this cup of the New Testament in my blood, which is shed for you and for many. Oil and wine were poured into the wounds of the poor man who fell among thieves. Oil was intended to sooth his wounds and heal them, and wine to revive his spirits; and these are wines on the lees, which do not lose their strength. The love of God, says the spouse [church], is better than wine, it makes the lips of those asleep to speak. The love of the Father, Son, and Spirit, will ever rest in God to his people; he will rest in his love. The blood of Christ will never lose its healing, cleansing, and purifying efficacy to the world’s end.

images (1)These are wines well refined; pure of all dissimulation, unfaithfulness, inconsistency, and fickleness; they are free, generous, unchangeable; and everlasting; and they appear well refined, as they are conveyed through the instrumentality of God’s ministers to the people; not favoring of self, self-seeking; nor tainted with pride, arrogance, fleshly wisdom, feigned humility, mock modesty, affected words and gestures; much less with art, guile, and cunning craftiness.

10037This feast is to consist of marrow as well as fatness. Marrow is the life of the bone, and the bone is the strength of the body; and the oil of the marrow supplies all the joints with moisture and keeps them supple and alive.  The dear Redeemer not only gives us his flesh to eat, and his blood to drink, but feeds us with spiritual might in the inward man, and makes his strength perfect in our weakness; as thy days so shall thy strength be. But by the power of inbred corruptions, Satan’s temptations, and our own foolishness, we often find our spiritual light impaired; we are diminished in our ability to persevere with God in prayer, we lose our boldness and fortitude against our enemies, and we are made to appear weak before them like Samson in his weakness when he made sport for those, who had formerly trembled at his power.  It is then we cry, “Heal the bones that thou has broken! And it is in waiting upon the Lord that our strength is renewed; that fresh life and health appear in the bones, and fresh oil is made in the joints, which knits the body together in love. It is here we have nourishment ministered, which nourishes every joint, and so increases itself with the increase of God.

bunyan-meeting-evangelist-points-the-way-windowBut who is the perishing sinner that shall come to this feast of fat things?

…He that feels his guilt, and thirsts for pardon; he that feels the curse, and longs for the blessing; he that labors under wrath, and thirsts for love; he that feels the sting of death, and hungers after the bread of life; he that is condemned in his soul, and longs for righteousness; he that is sick of Satan’s tyranny, and thirsts for the living God; he that is miserable, and waits for comfort; and he that is in the dread and horrors of damnation, and longs for salvation by grace. “They shall come,” saith the Lord “that were ready to perish.”

Where to?

To Zion, and to the feast of fat things; to a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, and of wines on the lees well refined; and who is so proper for such a feast as those who are ready to perish?

All is free, and none but the hungry are invited.

 

 

The Centrality of Substitutionary Atonement Completely Made Manifest from Scripture

Taken and adapted from, Christ Our Penal Substitute
Written by Robert L. Dabney

redeemed-jesus-passover-lamb

The Old Testament sacrifices were first instituted by God in the family of Adam, before the gate of the lost Eden.

They were continued by God’s authority under every dispensation until the resurrection of Christ. Moses gave perfect regularity and definiteness to the ordinances of bloody sacrifice in the Pentateuch, which he did by divine appointment. Ancient believers knew that “the blood of bulls and of goats could not take away sin” by any virtue of its own. What, then, did the sacrifices mean? They were emblems and types, teaching to men’s bodily senses this great theological truth, that “without shedding of blood is no remission,” and its consequence, that remission is provided for through a substitute of divine appointment; for fallen man is “a prisoner of hope,” not of despair. Next, the antitype to this ever-repeated emblem is Jesus. “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29; 1 Cor. 15:3; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 8:3; 9:11 — 14.) Now let us add the indisputable fact that these bloody sacrifices were intended by God to symbolize the substitution of an innocent victim in place of the guilty offerer; the transfer of his guilt to the substitute; satisfaction for it by the vicarious death, and the consequent forgiveness of the sinner. (Lev. 1:4; 14:21;17: 11, ed passim.) The very actions of the worshipper and the priest bespoke these truths as strongly as the words. The guilty worshipper laid his hands upon the head of the victim while he confessed his trespasses. Thereupon the knife of the priest descended upon its throat, the life-blood was sprinkled upon the altar and upon the body of the worshipper, and the most vital parts of the animal — representing its living body in those cases where it was not a holocaust — were committed to the pure flames, pungent emblem of divine justice. Now, when the types so clearly signified substitution and imputation, how can the great antitype mean less? Can it be possible that the shadow had more solidity than the substantial body which cast it before?

But the great truth is expressly taught in Scripture is: Christ died “For us,” “for the ungodly.” (Rom. 5:6, 8; 1 Peter 3:18, huper adikon), and for our sins. Socinians say, “True, he died, in a general sense, for us, inasmuch as his death is a part of the agency for our rescue; he did die to do us good, not for himself only.” The answer is, that in nearly every case the context proves it a vicarious dying for our guilt. Romans 5:9: “We are justified by his blood.” 1 Peter 3:18: “The just for the unjust.” Then, also, he is said to be antilutron for many. This preposition (anti) properly signifies substitution, see Matt. 26:28, for instance. “Himself bore our sins;” “He bare the sins of many,” and other equivalent expressions are applied to him. (1 Pet. 2:24; Heb. 9:28; Isa. 53:6.) The verb used by Peter is bastadzein, whose idiomatic meaning is to bear or carry upon one’s person. And these words are abundantly defined in our sense by Old Testament usage. (Compare Num. 9:13.) An evasion is again attempted by pointing to Matthew 8:17, and saying that there this bearing of man’s sorrows was not an enduring of them in his person, but a bearing of them away, a removal of them. We reply that the evangelist refers to Isaiah 53:4, not to 53: 6. And Peter says: “He bare our sins in his own body on the tree.” The language is unique.

Another unmistakable class of texts is those in which he is said to be made sin for us, while we are made righteous in him. (See 1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Cor. 5:21.) A still more indisputable place is where he is said to be made a curse for us. (Gal. 3:13.) The orthodox meaning, considering the context, is unavoidable.

Again, he is said in many places to be our Redeemer, i. e., Ransomer, and his death, or his blood, is our ransom (antilutron). (Matt. 20:28; 1 Peter 1:19; 1 Tim. 2:6; 1 Cor. 6: 20.) It is vain to reply that God is said to redeem his people in many places, when the only meaning is that he delivers them; and that Moses is called the redeemer of Israel out of Egypt, who certainly did not do this by a vicarious penalty. In these cases, either the word employed or the context proves that the deliverance was only a metaphysical redemption, not like Christ’s, a ransoming by actual price paid. Christ’s death is a proper ransom, because the very price is mentioned. In Bible times the person ransomed was either a criminal or a military captive, by the rules of ancient war legally bound to slavery. The ransom price was a sum of money or other valuables, paid to the master in satisfaction for his claim of service from the captive. This is the sense in which Christ’s righteousness is our ransom.

It has been shown in a previous chapter at what deadly price our opponents seek to escape the patent argument, that if Christ did not suffer for imputed guilt, since he was himself perfectly righteous, he must have been punished for no guilt at all. But this argument should be carried further. Even if we granted that the natural ills of life and bodily death are not necessarily penal, but come to all alike in the course of events, the peculiar features of Christ’s death would be unexplained. He suffers what no other good man sharing the regular course of nature ever experienced, the spiritual miseries of Divine desertion, of Satanic buffetings, let loose against him, and of all the horrors of apprehended wrath which could be felt without personal remorse. (Luke 22:53; Matt. 26:38, and 27:46.) See how manfully Christ approaches his martyrdom, and how sadly he sinks under it when it comes. Had he borne nothing more than natural evil, he would have been inferior to the merely human heroes; and instead of recognizing the exclamation of Rousseau as just, “Socrates died like a philosopher, but Jesus Christ as a God,” we must give the palm of superior fortitude to the Grecian sage. Christ’s crushing agonies must be accounted for by his bearing the wrath of God for the sins of the world.

The Necessity of the Atonement

Taken and Adapted from “God’s Way of Peace.”
Written by Horatius Bonar
Edited for thought and sense.

lamb-of-god[We live in a day where the death of Christ is being trivialized. What need was there for it? Why would an Almighty God be so barbaric as to require this death, and not just any death, but the death of the God-man, Jesus Christ, and what did it really accomplish in the salvation of humanity? It seems that every assault upon the Christian faith these days involves an attack upon what is now commonly described as the “Substitution theory.” And while many of the other so-called modern theories seem new and “proper,” they really antiquated or at least greatly modified from original form in most theological circles. Unfortunately, their echoes remain in popular religious thought, and further, they trouble many minds which have not learned to distinguish between the Christian fact and the theological theory with which the respective characteristics of the substitutionary and non-substitutionary theories are framed. The historic concepts of the Sacrificial Atonement are usually viewed within the framework of the Penal, Substitutionary aspects, and are thereby contrasted with the Merely Moral or Exemplary Theories of Propitiation; the same of which as is often set forth in Modern thought….  However, in this post, I wish to get back to the simple basics of what Jesus accomplished for man on the cross. And I am very unapologetic that I hold to the historic and orthodox Christian view of the necessity of the shedding of blood chosen by the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world. –M.W.P]

“What is the special meaning of the blood, of which we read so much? How does it speak peace? How does it ‘purge the conscience from dead works?’ (Heb. 9:14) “What can blood have to do with the peace, the grace, and the righteousness of which we have been speaking?”

God has given the reason for the stress which he lays upon the blood; and, in understanding this, we get to the very bottom of the grounds of a sinner’s peace.

The sacrifices of old, from the days of Abel downward, furnishes us with the key to the meaning of the blood…

…and explain the necessity for its being “shed for the remission of sins.” “Not without blood” (Heb. 9:7) was the great truth taught by God from the beginning; the inscription which may be said to have been written on the gates of tabernacle and temple. For more than two thousand years, during the ages of the patriarchs, there was but one great sacrifice, – THE BURNT OFFERING. This, under the Mosaic service, was split into parts, – the peace-offering, trespass offering, sin offering, etc. In all of these, however, the essence of the original burnt offering was preserved, – by the blood and the fire, which were common to them all.

The blood, as the emblem of substitution, and the fire, as the symbol of God’s wrath upon the substitute, were seen in all the parts of Israel’s service; but especially in the daily burnt offering, the morning and evening lamb, which was the true continuation and representative of the old patriarchal burnt offering. It was to this that John referred when he said “Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Israel’s daily lamb was the kernel and core of all the Old Testament sacrifices; and it was its blood that carried them back to the primitive sacrifices, and forward to the blood of sprinkling that was to speak better things than that of Abel (Heb. 12:26).

In all these sacrifices the shedding of the blood was the infliction of death. The “blood was the life” (Lev. 17: 11, 14; Deut. 12:23); and the pouring out of the blood was the “pouring out of the soul” (Isa. 53:12). This blood shedding or life-taking was the payment of the penalty for sin; for it was threatened from the beginning, “In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 2:17); and it is written, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezek. 18:3); and again, “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 7:23).

But the blood shedding of Israel’s sacrifices could not take sin away. It showed the way in which this was to be done, but it was in fact more a “remembrance of sins” (Heb. 10:3), than an expiation (Heb. 10:11). It said life must be given for life, ere sin can be pardoned; but then the continual repetition of the sacrifices showed that there was needed richer blood than Moriah’s altar was ever sprinkled with, and a more precious life than man could give.

The great blood-shedding has been accomplished; the better life has been presented; and the one death of the Son of God has done what all the deaths of old could never do. His one life was enough; his one dying paid the penalty; and God does not ask two lives, or two deaths, or two payments. “Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many” (Heb. 9:28). In that he died, he died unto sin once” (Rom. 6:10). “He offered one sacrifice for sins forever” (Heb. 10:12).

The “sprinkling of the blood” (Ex. 24:8), was the making use of the death, by putting it upon certain persons or things, so that these persons or things were counted to be dead, and, therefore, to have paid the law’s penalty. So long as they had not paid that penalty, they were counted unclean and unfit for God to look upon; but as soon as they had paid it, they were counted clean and fit for the service of God. Usually when we read of cleansing, we think merely of our common process of removing stains by water and soap. But this is not the figure meant in the application of the sacrifice. The blood cleanses, not like the prophet’s “nitre and much soap” (Jer. 2:22), but by making us partakers of the death of the Substitute. For what is it that makes us filthy before God? It is our guilt, our breach of law, and our being under sentence of death in consequence of our disobedience. We have not only done what God dislikes, but what his righteous law declares to be worthy of death. It is this sentence of death that separates us so completely from God, making it wrong for him to bless us, and perilous for us to go to him.

When thus covered all over with that guilt whose penalty is death, the blood is brought in by the great High Priest. That blood represents death; it is God’s expression for death. It is then sprinkled on us, and thus death, which is the law’s penalty, passes on us. We die. We undergo the sentence; and thus the guilt passes away. We are cleansed! The sin which was like scarlet becomes as snow; and that which was like crimson becomes as wool. It is thus that we make use of the blood of Christ in believing; for faith is just the sinner’s employing the blood. Believing what God has testified concerning this blood, we become one with Jesus in his death; and thus we are counted in law, and treated by God, as men who have paid the whole penalty, and so been “washed from their sins in his blood.”*

Such are the glad tidings of life, through him who died. They are tidings which tell us, not what we are to do, in order to be saved, but what He has done. This only can lay to rest the sinner’s fears; can “purge his conscience;” can make him feel as a thoroughly pardoned man. The right knowledge of God’s meaning in this sprinkling of the blood, is the only effectual way of removing the anxieties of the troubled soul, and introducing him into perfect peace.

The gospel is not the mere revelation of the heart of God in Christ Jesus.

In it the righteousness of God is specially manifested (Rom 1:17); and it is this revelation of the righteousness that makes it so truly “the power of God unto salvation” (Rom. 1:16). The blood shedding is God’s declaration of the righteousness of the love which he is pouring down upon the sons of men; it is the reconciliation of law and love; the condemnation of the sin and the acquittal of the sinner. As “without shedding of blood there is no remission” (Heb. 9:22); so the gospel announces that the blood has been shed by which remission flows; and now we know that “the Son of God is come” (I John 5:20), and that “the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin” (I John 1:7). The conscience is satisfied. It feels that God’s grace is righteous grace, that his love is holy love. There it rests.

It is not by incarnation but by blood shedding that we are saved. The Christ of God is no mere expounder of wisdom; no mere deliverer or gracious benefactor; and they who think they have told the whole gospel, when they have spoken of Jesus revealing the love of God, do greatly err. If Christ be not the Substitute, he is nothing to the sinner. If he did not die as the Sinbearer, he has died in vain. Let us not be deceived on this point, nor misled by those who, when they announce Christ as the Deliverer, think they have preached the gospel. If I throw a rope to a drowning man, I am a deliverer. But is Christ no more than that? If I cast myself into the sea, and risk my life to save another, I am a deliverer. But is Christ no more? Did he but risk his life? The very essence of Christ’s deliverance is the substitution of Himself for us, his life for ours. He did not come to risk his life; he came to die! He did not redeem us by a little loss, a little sacrifice, a little labor, a little suffering, “He redeemed us to God by his blood” (Rev. 5:9); “the precious blood of Christ” (I Pet. 1:18). He gave all he had, even his life, for us. This is the kind of deliverance that awakens the happy song, “To him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.”

The tendency of the world’s religion just now is, to reject the blood; and to glory in a gospel which needs no sacrifice, no “Lamb slain.” Thus, they go “in the way of Cain” (Jude 11). Cain refused the blood, and came to God without it. He would not own himself a sinner, condemned to die, and needing the death of another to save him. This was man’s open rejection of God’s own way of life. Foremost in this rejection of, what is profanely called by some scoffers, “the religion of the shambles,” we see the first murderer; and he who would not defile his altar with the blood of a lamb, pollutes the earth with his brother’s blood.

The heathen altars have been red with blood; and to this day they are the same. But these worshippers know not what they mean, in bringing that blood. It is associated only with vengeance in their minds; and they shed it, to appease the vengeance of their gods. But this is no recognition either of the love or the righteousness of God. “Fury is not in him;” whereas their altars speak only of fury. The blood which they bring is a denial both of righteousness and grace.

But look at Israel’s altars. There is blood; and they who bring it know the God to whom they come. They bring it in acknowledgment of their own guilt, but also of his pardoning love. They say, “I deserve death;” but let this death stand for mine; and let the love which otherwise could not reach me, by reason of guilt, now pour itself out on me.”

Inquiring soul!  Beware of Cain’s error on the one hand, in coming to God without blood…

…and beware of the heathen error on the other, in mistaking the meaning of the blood. Understand God’s mind and meaning, in “the precious blood” of his Son. Believe his testimony concerning it; so shall thy conscience be pacified, and thy soul find rest.

It is into Christ’s death, that we are baptized (Rom. 6:3), and hence the cross, which was the instrument of that death, is that in which we “glory” (Gal. 6:4). The cross is to us the payment of the sinner’s penalty, the extinction of the debt, and the tearing up of the bond or handwriting which was against us. And as the cross is the payment, so the resurrection is God’s receipt in full, for the whole sum, signed with his own hand. Our faith is not the completion of the payment, but the simple recognition on our part of the payment made by the Son of God. By this recognition, we become so one with Him who died and rose, that we are henceforth reckoned to be the parties who have paid he penalty, and treated as if it were we ourselves who had died.

Thus are we “justified from the sin,” and then made partakers of the righteousness of him, who was not only delivered for our offences, but who rose again for our justification.