THE NEW BIRTH IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
THE ALTAR OF BURNT OFFERINGS
1 "You shall make an altar of acacia wood, five cubits long and five cubits wide -- the altar shall be square -- and its height shall be three cubits.
2 "You shall make its horns on its four corners; its horns shall be of one piece with it. And you shall overlay it with bronze," Exo 27:1-2.
1. The Acacia Wood Speaks of the Humanity of Christ and Also of His Last Will and Testament People.
The altar of burnt offerings was seven and a half feet wide on all four sides and four and a half feet high. It was made of sheets of acacia wood – see the word "shittah" in the Fausset's Bible Dictionary in Bible Works software. This type of acacia wood was evidently a very hard, durable wood that flourished in the hot desert areas of mount Sinai.
The altar of burnt offerings spoke of Christ, and the acacia wood addressed the human aspect of the God-man Messiah, Isa 9:6-7. We will continue to emphasize that God's eternal purpose was and is to fashion a nation of firstborn sons into His own image and likeness, Gen 1:26-27; Jn 17:21-23; Eph 4:11-24.
2. The Bronze Metal Signified Righteous Judgment Against Sin.
The acacia wood was encased in bronze, which was also tempered to withstand immense heat and strain. The bronze had first to be tempered by fire and spread appropriately over the acacia wood. Therefore the bronze had to pass through the fire to bring it to its necessary pure and hardened state. Gold and silver also pass through the fire, with the result that, because of their intrinsic nature, they are of greater value than bronze. Symbolically, gold represents God's divine nature, silver speaks of the price of redemption, while bronze points to divine judgment against sin and the fiery covenant discipline that qualifies the covenant people for the divine new birth when Christ returns.
6 "So the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died.
7 "Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, ‘We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you; pray to the LORD that He take away the serpents from us.' So Moses prayed for the people.
8 "Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.'
9 "So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived," Num 21:6-9.
God did not immediately take away the fiery serpents, but commanded Moses to make a "fiery serpent," of bronze. The bronze serpent was put on a pole (probably of wood, Deu 21:21-23; Jn 3:14; Gal 3:13), and the people who were bitten were to look (with faith in God through His Word) at the bronze serpent on the pole. Of course, most of the people had believed in God early in life, long before leaving Egypt. The Israelites were a believing people, but they were often an unbelieving, rebellious people. That is also where we all are, to a lesser or greater degree.
This experience of Israel was not just to teach salvation from hell. They had to be brought back to the strait and narrow way again and again. They had to have their hearts circumcised many times every day, in order to maintain a circumcised heart. Likewise we must put off the old man and put on the new man daily, 2Co 3:17 thru 2Co 5:21; Eph 4:11-24; Col 3:1-20.
The bronze not only represents the judgments of God against sin on the bronze altar (on the cross), but includes all the decisions we are constantly making, both right and wrong. The "bronze" points to the lifelong covenant discipline of fiery trials we must overcome daily. Christ was not consumed by literal fire and burned to ashes on the cross, but endured God's just wrath against sin, and in doing so He endured and overcame that very exacting covenant discipline to the end.
3. The Bronze Altar (the Cross) Does Not End in Ashes Nor in the Grave.
21 "Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, 'One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me,'" Mk 10:21.
14 "But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world," Gal 6:14; 1Co 1:18.
The person who brought the sacrifice put his hands on the head of the animal, symbolizing him becoming "one" with the sacrifice, Lev 1 thru 7. The priest who burned the sacrifice on the altar was also given part of the sacrifice to eat, Lev 2 thru 7. This symbolized the one who brought the sacrifice, the sacrifice, and the priest all three becoming "one" in the image and likeness of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Gen 1:16-27; Eph 2:16-22.
We must take up the cross "daily" and follow Christ (Lk 9:23-26). We must daily take up the dying of the Lord, that the resurrection life of Christ may live in us and in others, 2Co 4:7-12; 1Co 15:31. We must do this daily in order to be overcomers and receive the crown of divine life in the new birth resurrection, Rom 8:10-13; Ja 1:12.
The Bronze altar projects the following: 1) the Son of God to become our human Kinsman Redeemer (Gen 3:15; Isa 9:6-7; Phi 2:6-11), 2) the virgin birth of the Son of God as the Seed of the woman (Gen 3:15; Isa 7:14; 9:6-7; Mt 1:18-25), 3) a sinless human life without spot and without blemish (Exo 12:5; 1Pe 1:18-20), 4) the establishment of the New Covenant and its priesthood (Jer 31:31-34; Heb 7 & 8), 5) death on the cross by the New Covenant High Priest (Isa 53; Heb 9:11-28), 6) the burial and new birth resurrection of the last will and testament High Priest (Ps 2:7; 16:7-11; Col 1:18; Rev 1:5; Act 13:29-31; 1Co 15:44-50; Heb 1:5-13; 10:19-22), 7) the glorious return of our divine-human Kinsman Redeemer (Jud 14-15; Job 19:25-27; Heb 9:13-28; Phi 2:20-21), 8) the daily dying on the cross of the covenant people by presenting their bodies as a living daily sacrifice and taking up the cross (Rom 12:1-2; 1Co 15:31), 9) the daily putting on the new man (which is Christ) by the faithful covenant people (Eph 4:11-24; Col 3:1-10), and 10) the resurrection new birth of all the faithful firstborn sons when Christ returns, 1Co 15:1-58; Phi 3:21.
4. God Was Pleased with Proper Sacrifices Being Offered on the Bronze Altar.
10 "Also in the day of your gladness, in your appointed feasts, and at the beginning of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; and they shall be a memorial for you before your God: I am the LORD your God," Num 10:10.
God is not pleased with mere ceremonies that are performed without understanding or for selfish glory. He wants us to know and understand what He told us to do, and be fully aware of what it signifies.
4 "The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant," Ps 25:14.
Over and over in Paul's writings, he urges that God does not want us to be ignorant of the instructions of His last will and testaments. Jesus said it is given to us to know the mysteries of the kingdom, Mt 13:11. Jesus personally knew, and thereby defeated Satan with the words "It is written..," Mt 4:1-11.
10 "Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand," Isa 53:10; Gen 8:20-22.
The bronze altar represented the cross of Christ, and there is the way in which Christ bore that cross all His life, as we are to take up the cross of Christ daily and follow Him, Lk 9:23-26. We are daily to present our bodies a living sacrifice (Rom 12:1-2), and daily bear about in our bodies the dying of Christ, that His life can be manifest in us, 2Co 4:7-12.
Paul said, "For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified," 1Co 2:2.
The cross of Christ means foolishness to the world (1Co 1:18-27), and in the body of Christ we are crucified to the world and the world is crucified to us, Gal 6:14. Such expressions as taking up the cross and following Christ, bearing about in our bodies the dying of Christ, etc., all these address separation from the world in holy living.
Both the bronze altar and the cross of Christ speak of death to sin, death to the world's sinful ways, and death to our old man, Rom 12:1-2; 1Co 15:31; 2Co 3:7-12. We must also remember that part of most sacrifices and offerings was burned on the altar, and part was eaten by the ministering priest, Lev 2 thru 7. The part that was burned on the altar primarily represented God being well pleased with the atoning work of Christ, and also with our bearing and enduring the sufferings of the cross together with Christ, Lk 9:23-26; 2Co 4:7-12; 2Ti 2:10-13.
5. The Four Horns of the Altar of Burnt Offerings.
1 "You shall make an altar of acacia wood, five cubits long and five cubits wide -- the altar shall be square -- and its height shall be three cubits.
2 "You shall make its horns on its four corners; its horns shall be of one piece with it (with the whole altar). And you shall overlay it with bronze," Ex 27:1-2.
1) The horns were also made of acacia wood which point to the humanity of Christ and His last will and testament people.
The "horns" were first made of acacia wood, "of one piece" with the acacia wood of the altar, then the wood was overlaid with bronze. The horns first of all represent Christ, but they also represent the faithful firstborn last will and testament people. We must see Christ and the covenant people as "one," as is so often emphasized in the Scriptures. For instance, eating Christ's flesh and drinking His blood was symbolized by the priests eating part of many sacrifices, eating the unleavened bread, eating the twelve loaves of showbread, eating the Passover lamb, eating the manna, drinking the water from the rock, eating the Lord's Supper, etc, all of which symbolized partaking of Christ's divine resurrection likeness.
2) The "horns" of the altar were overlaid with bronze which testified that Christ and His firstborn people would be kings in a divine "oneness" in a divine kingdom.
Eating Christ's flesh and drinking His blood (the blood of the grape) portrayed becoming "one" together with Christ. And becoming "one" with Christ means becoming "one" with Him in His crucifixion, His death, His burial, His resurrection; and therefore becoming "one" with Him in the divine image and likeness of God, according to God's purpose in the beginning, Gen 1:26-27; Jn 10:30-36; 14:8-11; 17:21-23; Eph 5:31; 1:22-23; 3:19; 4:22-24; Col 3:1-10; 2Pe 1:4; et al. The "horns" immediately address authority and power, and the "bronze" covering the horns testifies of the fiery covenant training we must endure and overcome according to God's redemption purpose, Rev 2:26-27; 5:1-10.
10 "Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
11 "This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him.
12 "If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.
13 "If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself," 2Ti 2:10-13.
We must suffer together with Christ in order to reign with Him. Here is the last will and testament discipline, which the testament people must endure and overcome in order to obtain the inheritance stipulated in the "will" of the Testator. To become "one" with the Testator in all His glory in "the image and likeness of God," we must endure and overcome the grueling disciplinary training required in the "testament." Paul was a prime example in doing this; and in doing so, he provided an inspiring model which is still aiding others to obtain that same last will and testament salvation – see verse 10 above.
3) The "horns" portrayed becoming "one" with Christ in a divine kingdom of divine priests.
5 "So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.'
6 "As He also says in another place: ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek,'" Heb 5:5-6; Ps 110:1-4.
In the beginning, God purposed to give man (through the Son of Man) authority over all the works of His hands – over all creation, Gen 1:26-31; Ps 8:3-6. But God's purpose was and is that man qualify through covenant discipline to partake of the divine life of the tree of life. It was also God's purpose that mankind fall into sin by ignoring God's gracious help to resist sin, Gen 3; Rom 5:12-19; 9:22-23. Then God revealed more of His purpose by promising and sending the Seed of the woman to be our Kinsman Redeemer, Gen 3:15; Rev 5:1-10.
Moreover, it is God's purpose to have many nations of sons, other than divine firstborn sons, Gal 4:19 thru Gal 5:5; Heb 12:8. These "servant" sons do not qualify for the divine firstborn sonship, but will dwell on the new earth in lowly earthy bodies of the first Adam, except without sin, 1Co 15:1-2, 44-50; Rev 21:23-26. These nations of earthy sons will be righteously ruled over by the divine kingdom of kings and priests, all of whom are firstborn sons.
4) The "horns" of the altar of burnt offerings point to the strong cords of knowledge, reverence, love, compassion, patient endurance etc., of the Testator and His testament people.
26 "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD! We have blessed You from the house of the LORD.
27 "God is the LORD, and He has given us light; Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.
28 "You are my God, and I will praise You; You are my God, I will exalt You.
29 "Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever," Ps 118:26-29.
Psalm 113 through Psalm 118 were called "Hallel Psalms," Psalms of Praise (Heritage Dictionary). This is a Messianic Psalm (Ps 118:22) that was sung at the end of the Passover feast, and was no doubt sung by the Lord and His disciples just before His crucifixion, Mt 26:30; Mk 14:26. That was an appropriate time for this Psalm to be sung, just before Gethsemane, the horrors of the cross, and the inexpressible joy and divine glory beyond the cross.
As already stated, the "cords" that stabilize and perfect the overcomer's faith and Christian life are the bonds of grace, knowledge, love, faith, virtue, reverence, peace, worship, obedience, holiness, kindness, patience, temperance, compassion, justice, mercy, humility, gentleness, tenacity, wisdom, goodness, good will, godly joy, etc. These "cords" bound Christ as the Lamb of God to the "horns" of the altar. These are the "cords" that bind our hearts to "the horns of the altar." The "horns" of both the altar of burnt offerings and the altar of incense held forth the promised last will and testament inheritance of kingly and divine glory to the compassionate Kinsman Redeemer. A prime part of that inheritance will be a vast host of firstborn brethren, thus born into the image and likeness of God to share the divine glory of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Rom 8:23-30; 2Co 5:1-5; Jn 17:21-23.
51 "Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem," Lk 9:51.
12 "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God," Heb 12:2.
5) The "horns" of the altar testified of the divine mercy readily afforded to all who sought mercy.
1 "Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
2 "Let Israel now say, ‘His mercy endures forever.'
3 "Let the house of Aaron now say, ‘His mercy endures forever.'
4 "Let those who fear the LORD now say, ‘His mercy endures forever.'
5 "I called on the LORD in distress; The LORD answered me and set me in a broad place...
29 "Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever," Ps 118:1-5,29.
Adonijah, David's fourth son, and the oldest one at the time of David's death, was cunning like Absalom, and connived vigorously to steal the throne. He won the hearts of many, including Joab, and was in the process of being crowned king instead of Solomon whom God had promised David to be king, 1Ch 22:9-10. This was brought to David's attention, and though David was near death, he arranged for Solomon to be immediately crowned king. All of Adonijah's followers fled, and Adonijah fled to the altar of burnt offerings and "took hold of the horns of the altar," 1Ki 1:50.
Observe that a major emphasis in Ps 118 is that God's "mercy endures forever," Ps 118:1-4,29. The blood of sacrifices was sprinkled or applied to the horns of both altars, which speaks of mercy and forgiveness, Lev 4:7,18,25,30,34. It was told Solomon that Adonijah was pleading for mercy, saying: "Let King Solomon swear to me today that he will not put his servant to death with the sword," 1Ki 1:51. And Adonijah received mercy in this case, 1Ki 1:52-53.
Joab had been David's army general and had been a great military leader, but was a bloody man who would accept no rivalry to his leadership. He had murdered two military leaders "more righteous and better than he," 1Ki 2:32. "Then news came to Joab, for Joab had defected to Adonijah, though he had not defected to Absalom. So Joab fled to the tabernacle of the LORD, and took hold of the "horns" of the altar," 1Ki 2:28.
Obviously, Adonijah and Joab understood that the "horns" of the altar addressed the subject of mercy. The horns signified divine kingship with authority and power to show mercy and forgive sins. In Joab's case there was no mercy. He was killed by the altar, 1Ki 2:28-34.
A part of the sin offering was burned on the altar, a part was eaten by the priests, Lev 6:35-36. Some of the blood was applied to the horns of the altars (Lev 4:7,18,25,30,34), sprinkled before the Lord within the tabernacle, and the rest of the blood was poured out at the base of the altar in front of the tabernacle, Lev 4.
Life for life – the life of the flesh is in the blood, Lev 17:11. The Kinsman Redeemer gave His life for our life to gain the divine life promised in the tree of life, Gen 2:9; 3:22-24; Rev 2:7. Each one of us must give our life for that divine life, which was offered in the tree of life, and promised in every part of the tabernacle, and in every activity performed in the ministry of the tabernacle.
6. The Covenant People, the Sacrifice, and the Priests. From Sinful Man, to the Cross, to the Resurrection Birth into Divine Life
25 "Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, 'This is the law of the sin offering: In the place where the burnt offering is killed, the sin offering shall be killed before the LORD. It is most holy.
26 'The priest who offers it for sin shall eat it. In a holy place it shall be eaten, in the court of the tabernacle of meeting," Lev 6:25-26.
When an Israelite brought an animal as a sin offering to the priest at the gate or door of the tabernacle, the man would lay his hands on the head of the animal, Lev 4:4,15,24,29,33. The animal was then killed, some of its blood was sprinkled by the priest as prescribed, and the priest would burn specified parts of the animal on the altar. Also, a part of the animal sacrifice was given to the priest to eat in a holy place.
Mark the unique relationship between the worshiper, the sacrifice, and the priest. This worship ceremony joins the three into a divine "oneness." The animal sacrifice (represented Christ as the Lamb of God) and the worshiper symbolically became "one" with Christ in the animal sacrifice. In the same way, the covenant people are counted to be crucified and dead together with Christ in the body of Christ.
Moreover, the priest was given a portion of the animal sacrifice to eat, and in eating the sacrifice he became "one" with the sacrifice which represents Christ, and also "one" with the man who brought the sacrifice. This symbolic "oneness" is a part of the testimony of "the tabernacle of witness," which we are discussing. Neither the man who brought the sacrifice nor the priest actually died, but in the symbolism they were joined together as "one" with Christ in the death of the sacrifice. Hence, in the resurrection, all the faithful covenant people will be "one" with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, possessing the fullness of the divine nature, Eph 1:22-23; 4:22-24; 5:31-32; Col 1:19; 2:9; 1Pe 1:4; John 10:30-36; 14:8-11; 17:21-23.
The last will and testament people were not really crucified together with Christ. They did not die on the cross together with Christ, were not buried together with Christ, and were not raised out of the grave together with Christ. Yet the Bible says that such is credited (counted, reckoned) to be so, Rom 4:17; 6:3-6; Gal 2:19-20; 5:23; Eph 2:5-6; Col 2:20; 3:1. This is what was symbolized by the Israelite worshiper, the sacrifice, and the priest.
7. The Altar of Burnt Offering Bore Constant Witness of Divine Resurrection Oneness with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
54 "Whoever is eating My flesh and is drinking My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up (possessing that divine life) at the last day.
55 "For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.
56 "He who is eating My flesh and is drinking My blood is abiding in Me, and I in him," Jn 6:54-56; 6:27-67.
When Israel ate the Passover every individual ate the Passover lamb, which represented the same thing as the Levitical priests eating a designated portion of the sacrifices and offerings offered on the burnt altar. Observe the tense in the verses above: those who are eating Christ's flesh and drinking His blood are abiding in Him, and He will raise them up in the last day. This is an irreversible promise of resurrection in the last day when Christ returns -- this applies to those who continue eating Christ's flesh and drinking His blood. Those who do not have John's baptism have rejected God's counsel against themselves, Lk 7:49-50. And those who cease to properly eat Christ's flesh and drink His blood are cut off from Christ, Jn 15:1-6; Gal 5:1-4; 2Pe 1:4-20.
Every covenant person who, with the proper faith, ate the Passover lamb and drank the Paschal wine had the sure promise of resurrection in divine glory. Let us not think for a moment that this knowledge of the resurrection in divine glory was not readily available to all true Old Testament believers. Look again at the prophecy of Enoch (Jud 14-15) which portrays Christ coming from heaven with myriads of deified saints. Enoch understood the redemption cycle from divine to human, to the cross and the grave, and then out of the grave to a divine human in the image and likeness of God, Gen 1:26-27.
Job understood the redemption cycle and knew that his Kinsman Redeemer would stand in the latter day (seventh millennium) on the earth, Job 19:25-27. Abraham rejoiced to see the divine glory of the day of the Lord and no doubt vividly gazed at the heavenly city, Jn 8:56; Heb 11:8-16. Jacob and Moses saw the Lord face to face (Gen 32:30; Ex 33:11; Deu 34:10), but were not permitted to see His face in full glory, Ex 33:20-23. David understood the crucifixion cycle and the divine resurrection glory of the Lord, Ps 2:7; 8:1-6; 16:7-11; 17:15; 22; et al. Isaiah, Daniel and others saw and prophesied of the crucifixion and resurrection glory of the Kinsman Redeemer.
The redemption cycle and resurrection of the Kinsman Redeemer was readily available to all the last will and testament people from the Garden of Eden on. God was ever ready to reveal the meaning of His covenants to every diligent and searching individual. Even in nature, the redemption cycle is clearly preached: the sun must go down in order to give the new birth to a new day; every week must end to give birth to a new week; every month must end to give birth to a new month; every year must end to give birth to a new year; every seed must die to give birth to new life; etc.
8. Partakers of the Altar – the Altar is Christ, and the Church is "One Body" with and in Christ, Therefore "One" with the Altar.
16 "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
17 "For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.
18 "Observe Israel after the flesh: are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?" 1Co 10:16-18.
The emphasis of verse 16 is that the last will and testament people in a true local church are partaking (participating, fellowshiping, sharing) in the full benefits of the blood and body of Christ. Furthermore, the emphasis of verse 17 is that Christ and the church (the faithful covenant people) are uniquely "one body" with and in the body of Christ. Therefore the church is filled with the fullness of God. That is, the church (and therefore each member of the church) is credited (in the metaphor) with possessing the full range of God's divine attributes, Eph 1:22-23; 3:19; 4:22-24; 5:31; Col 1:19; 2:9-10; 2Pe 1:4; Jn 10:30-36; 14:8-11; 17:21-23; Gen 1:26-27.
The acacia wood of the altar of burnt offerings points to the humanity of both Christ and of the faithful testament people. The bronze metal encasing the acacia wood of the bronze altar testifies of the fiery testamentary discipline and God's approval of those who overcome to the end by grace through faith, 1Co 10:1-18; 15:1-58; Gal 5:1-4; Heb 3 & 4; 5:8-9; 12:1-29; 2Pe 1:4-11; et al.
10 "We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat." Heb 13:10.
The emphasis here is – do not go back under the Law Covenant which was a shadow of good things to come, Heb 10:1. The altar of the tabernacle was a school master to lead us to Christ, the true altar. Going back under the Law Covenant would cut us off from Christ (Gal 4:19 thru 5:4). The faithful under the Law Covenant, partook of the altar "by grace through faith" (Heb 11), and thereby qualified as partaking of Christ.
The New Covenant belongs to both Israel and the church, Heb 8:8-12; 10:1-31; 1Pe 2:5,9. All who are "of faith" are the children of Abraham (Gal 3:6-29), are firstborn sons (Ex 4:22-23; Rom 8:29; Heb 12:23), and are joint heirs with Christ, with Abraham, and with each other, Gal 3:29; Rom 4:13; 8:17,29-30. All who are partakers of Christ are partakers of His fullness; that is, they will inherit the full range of the divine attributes of God.
9. The Offering of the Various Animal Sacrifices and Food Offerings Was a Perpetual (Daily) Requirement.
4 "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins...
11 "And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins," Heb 10:4,11.
Animal sacrifices were required to be offered on a daily basis. Those sacrifices were all symbolic instruments of instruction, pointing to the divine Seed of the woman who would fulfill the redemption cycle from the virgin birth to the divine new birth resurrection. There was a tremendous resource of knowledge and understanding available to the last will and testament people who would diligently apply themselves to God's Word, and transform it into a living example of believing and obeying by grace through faith.
The end result was and is guaranteed entrance into God's divine kingdom, with positive assurance of more abundant life, glory, joy, etc., in the immeasurably higher divine quality of life. This divine life is promised only to the firstborn sons who properly discern the terror of the Lord (the consuming fires of the burnt altar), and who work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, 2Co 5:10-11; Phi 2:12-13; 2Ti 2:10-13. Both the bronze metal of the altar and the consuming fire that burned the sacrifices to ashes represented God's judgment against sin. But also, the "bronze" and the "fire" symbolized the fiery testament discipline, which all the firstborn sons must endure and overcome in order to qualify for the "divine life inheritance" of the last will and testament, Heb 9:13-16.
The faithful Israelites came often bringing the same animal sacrifices and other offerings. It was not a once-for-all-done- deal for them, nor is it for us. We must give all diligence to make our calling and election sure, with the ever present fear of failing to make it sure enough, 2Pe 1:4-10; 1Co 10:1-12; Heb 3:6–19. We must take up the cross daily (Lk 9:23-26), bearing about in our bodies the dying of the Lord, that our example may radiate the hope of receiving the divine life of the divine human body our Kinsman Redeemer now has, 2Co 4:7-12,17.
10. The Ashes of the Red Heifer Offering Were Put in a Clean Place, and Were Used to Demonstrate Healing, Redemption, and the New Birth Resurrection.
3 "Also you shall make its pans to receive its ashes, and its shovels and its basins and its forks and its firepans; you shall make all its utensils of bronze," Exo 27:3.
12 "The whole bull he shall carry outside the camp to a clean place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn it on wood with fire; where the ashes are poured out it shall be burned," Lev 4:12.
The ashes were counted as "clean," were carried by a "clean" person, and were kept in a "clean" place. The wood that burned the sacrifices was turned into ashes along with the ashes of the various burnt sacrifices. "Ashes" were used with fasting, 1) as an aid toward better understanding of the bitter experiences of life (Job 2:7-10), 2) as an aid to humbling oneself before the Lord that the Lord may be more glorified in all our experiences, and that we may be more effective in our life and gospel ministry toward everyone (Gen 18:27; Job 2:7-10; Dan 9:3), 3) to demonstrate, "by grace through faith," godly mourning and grief in the midst of severe covenant training (Job 2:7-10; Est 4:3; Mt 5:4), 4) to experience deeper sorrow and repentance before God, in order to receive mercy, forgiveness, and deliverance (Job 42:6; Dan 9:3; Jon 3:5-6; Mt 11:21), 5) to bear witness of God's purpose in harsh covenant discipline that serves to purify our hearts and lives (Num 19:12-13,19-20; Pro 3:11-12), 6) to testify of the extreme agony of the death of the Lamb of God (Num 19:5-6,9; Ps 22:1-21), and 7) to call attention to the whole redemption cycle, which begins with God becoming human in the virgin birth, and includes the resurrection new birth into the divine image and likeness of God in both our body and spirit (Num 19) -- see below.
Webster says that Lye is:
"1. Orig., a strong, alkaline solution obtained by leaching wood ashes.
2. Any strongly alkaline substance, usually sodium or potassium hydroxide, used in cleaning, making soap, etc.
3. Any substance obtained by leaching."
This appears to be more than coincidental. In the case of Numbers 19, the "ashes" from the burning of the red heifer, cedar wood, scarlet, and Hyssop were mixed with "running water" (Num 19:17), and were used to cleanse from defilement of a dead body, Num 19:11-20. All of Adam's descendants were and are "dead in sins" by natural birth (Rom 5:12; Eph 2:1-5; Col 2:13), but were (under the Law Covenant) counted as being made clean by the sprinkling of the these ashes mixed with running water, Num 19:17. This mixture of ashes and water is called "water of purification" (Num 19:9), and was used 1) to cleanse people who had touched any dead body, a bone, or a grave, 2) to cleanse every person who was in a house when a person died in that house and every person who entered the house before it was cleansed with the water of purification, 3) to cleanse the house and all open vessels in the house where a person died, etc.