BIBLE STUDY SERIES #164, 165 and 166

8 January, 1995

ON BEING UGLY - PART II

by Douglas C. Nesbit, B.A.

Last week, because the New Year brought thoughts of change and renewal, I felt led to step aside from our usual sequence of Bible Studies in order to review a topic which ought to be given attention at some point. It is the whole subject of a sense of individuality which merges into the apprehension that one may be "ugly."

Both a personal and a national sense may be involved. I believe the average person, whether a man or a woman, considers himself or herself to be to some degree less than perfect in appearance. Were this not so, the cosmetics companies and many plastic surgeons would go out of business! Most of us think that there is something about our physical appearance which, given the choice, we would change or correct to some extent.

The whole cosmetic industry depends upon this realisation and desire. We want to be seen as "beautiful" or "handsome." We spend hours in concentrated physical abuse or strenuous exercise to re-form our bodies into a healthy appearance. Beauty parlours and hairdressers thrive upon the market for their attentions. Signs of age become social signals which reveal our inability to carry forward the desired mating arrangement or power status, and so we seek to eliminate these by various means. We are afraid to be different in our attitudes towards what is "in" in regard to the cacophony which passes for music in the tin ears of youth. We want to be successful, even if we have to steal it, or, failing that, we fog ourselves with drugs to make believe our dream is true. It is the somewhat personal response to the realisation that one is not, perhaps, a perfectly formed physical specimen of humanity.

Ideas of physical beauty have drifted through history and from place to place. Where cold or tropic famine threatened, plump individuals were more likely to survive, and thus became more desirable as mates; more "beautiful." Money manipulation brought new plumage into vogue, with dress, style, and manifest opulence, and ideas of "beauty" were correspondingly adjusted.

Adjustments to one's body and adornement are not a recent innovation. Biblical injunction against making cuts upon the body is found in Deuteronomy 14:1-2, which reads "Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead. For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God." We may say that these things are not done in our society; but are we sure? What may we say of those who tatoo their bodies, or those who pierce their ears or other parts of their anatomy in order to wear earings or other adornments?

Now it is perfectly true that cosmetic surgery, as described in two articles entitled "Paramedical makeup masks facial flaws" and "Synthetic Miracles", both in the Toronto Globe and Mail of 14 July, 1994, is in some cases practically a necessity in order to create the form which pre-natal development, disease or accident has denied.

Malformations such as a withered hand or foot, or a missing eye were subjects of Christ's own merciful attention, and warrant a similar Christian remedial response. But these are not for show. They are operations which mend the broken or distorted flesh, and by thus improving the form they can impart a sense of well-being to the mind of a person so treated. Removal of birthmarks, for example, which tend unfairly to mark one as seriously flawed also come within such a category, and it is not of these we speak.

The reference in Isaiah 3:16-24 to those young women in Israel who "are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet" ...with tinkling ornaments, gives us the sense of the matter as God views our vanity. All such attempts to increase "beauty" tend to serve the desire of humans rather than God.

Through all of history, certain generalities have been considered "beautiful", while others were considered "ugly." But what is this business of being "ugly"? Do we mean simply "plain looking?" I don't mean to say that ugly equates to "repulsive", for we tend to recoil at something which is so far from the norm that we are made uneasy by its presence. Scientific investigations, as I previously indicated, have concluded that the closer to the normal a face appears to be, the higher the number who think that face to be beautiful. Symmetry, even in the animal kingdom, is attractive to the opposite sex. We tend to agree on what is to be considered "beautiful", and on what may be relegated to "ugly." To many, the unusual is less desirable. There is evidence that appraisals of beauty cross racial lines, so the principles must have a general biological application.

We find an example of the tendency towards social rejection of the unusual in John 9:1-3 and verse 6. Jesus Himself had just evaded stoning by a mob which accused Him of having a devil because of His own claim to the unique status of Deity, and thus that He was not "one of the crowd". He was passing from that mob scene accompanied by his disciples when they saw a blind man by the way. I shall read the verses concerned.

1. And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
2. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
3. Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made mainfest in him.

Verse 6 adds "When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay." Then Christ told him to wash in the pool of Siloam whereupon the man "came seeing." Here we find two aspects of the position. First, Christ had claimed that He was distinct from the surrounding mob because of a superior innate status, and had thus been almost violently rejected, and secondly, a blind man was being accorded a status lower than those about him because of a different quality; that of blindness which set him apart from those around him, and thus likewise caused him to be shunned in that society. Christ's response was not that of rejection, but of healing.

If we define "ugliness" as "distinctiveness", then that "ugliness" may be needed! Without it, we would all look perfectly beautiful or handsome, but this would create a problem in that we might all look like perfect dolls off a production line; mass produced. (I have to ask if this has perhaps been the trend in our society anyway.) We would lose our distinctive marks which set us apart and make us recognizable to others.

Mind you, there is nothing wrong with being attractive. Beauty is a delight. Most marriages must contain some sense of attractiveness between partners, and some portion of this may well consist of physical beauty.

Many Biblical characters are described as being of rare or exceptional beauty. Eve, created by God Himself, must have been of rare beauty. Sarai, the wife of Abram, was seen by the Egyptians as "very fair" in Genesis 12:14-15. Rebecca was beautiful and well favoured, in Genesis 29:17. Joseph, in Genesis 39:6 is described as "a goodly person, and well favoured", a vast understatement if we read his description according to Chapter 44 of The Book of Jasher! Likewise Moses, in Acts 7:20, is described by Stephen as "exceeding fair." In I Samuel 16:12, the young David is described as "ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to."

Indeed, as demonstrated in an article in the 2 November, 1994 Toronto Globe and Mail, entitled "Good looks earn a double take", "The handsome are different from you and me. They get paid better." The article shows that "attractive people are widely regarded as being more intelligent, friendly, honest and confident than the common mass of humanity." I can see that being so, under our present system. How may it be when Christ returns? Perhaps we are capable of mis-judging our neighbours!

When God designed the creation, He set the system in such a form that "like begets like", and children, tend to have an appearance somewhere between that of the parents, and attractive to both.

What I have in mind is the fact that, without a certain variation from the norm, we would all lack points of recognition, and that would deny us our unique status as a human being. If some are more unique than others - so be it! If none is physically like another, we can feel a certain importance, a certain sense of identity.

But the same may apply to whole nations. Do people resent the affluence of America or do they desire to migrate to enjoy its bounty?

Here, we can sense the importance of God's design, for both individuals and nations need this sense of identity. Right now, Canada is feeling a certain uncertainty in that regard, precisely because it is not conscious of being a single united people. Other national entities in the world today are tending to come apart at the seams for the same reasons.

"Racism" can be simply the recognition of the manifest truth that we have different identities as individuals, and, in a larger context, as families. Races are simply the concept of "families" writ large on the world scene. Those who seek through insisting upon the acceptance of lies, to promulgate the idea that there is no difference between one individual and another, or between one race and another are simply not in line with truth, so their persistent propaganda will eventually prove disastrous. It will press incompatable elements together in the same constituency and strata of society. It will simply not work, as the incompatability will win out over lies every time. It may take some event to spark the matter, but truth will seek an eventual resolution.

How can we find our identity? Surely we will be wise to seek it by searching the words of our Creator, for He originated our designs, both individual and national.

We of the British-Israel-World Federation believe, as I have said previously, that the generally Anglo-Celto-Saxon and kindred peoples of today's world contain the majority of the descendants of the ancient deported tribes of Northern Israel. As a people designated to bear the responsibility of forming the focal centre of the earthly manifestation of the Kingdom of God, we must prepare ourselves to be attractive in the Godly sense, not that of the gold bangles and wanton eyes of those daughters of Zion described by Isaiah so many years ago! We shall return to our regular series of Bible Studies on the Book of Exodus next week.

15 January, 1995

THE BRAZEN ALTAR - PART I

By Douglas C. Nesbit, B.A.

With this programme we return to our ongoing sequence of Bible Studies relating to God's Great Plan for the re-constitution of Creation to His more perfect will. We began this series with the call of Abram and we traced it through his descendants, Isaac, Jacob, and the twelve tribes of Israel as they developed in Egypt, and later emerged from bondage in that country through the miraculous experience known as "The Exodus."

We had followed these Israelites into the wilderness of Sinai, and we saw how Moses had ascended Mount Sinai to meet with Yahweh (Jehovah), the Almighty God, and there received instruction regarding the offer of national marriage (for that, in essence was the arrangement) with God Himself. National Laws were given and received, and an atonement sacrifice had followed. Later, a national portable focus of worship, the Tabernacle was in the process of being described and it is here that we once more join the proceedings as Moses receives further enlightenment regarding its furnishings. In previous studies we examined The Ark, together with its beautiful Mercy Seat covering, the Table of Shewbread, the Menorah lampstand, the curtains which formed the tent, and the boards which supported the whole structure.

On the last programme in this series, we were examining the matter of the Vail and the hangings which formed the Doors to this sanctuary. Today, we move on to Exodus 27; a chapter which includes the description of The Altar and the Court of the Tabernacle.

I should insert a few words of explanation at this point. We are about to read the instructions regarding the great altar which was to stand outside the Tabernacle tent. Later, there is mention of another altar, made of gold, which was to stand before the throne of God, and upon which incense was offered. That altar we will find mentioned and described in chapter 30. However, as A. Widdison, in his "Outlines of Lectures on the Tabernacle in the Wilderness" explains, that golden altar is not approached until the priests and Levites are prepared, so Chapters 28 and 29 must be inserted in the Scriptural account in order to convey instructions regarding the institution of that Priesthood. Thus our present passage relates to the situation preparatory to that sequence.

Let us read the passage from Exodus 27:1-8, pertaining to the Altar upon which sacrifices were burnt. As we proceed, I shall, as has been my custom, insert comments in order to draw to our consideration the insights found in various references regarding these matters.

1. And thou shalt make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and the height thereof shall be three cubits.
2. And thou shalt make the horns of it upon the four corners thereof: his horns shall be of the same: and thou shalt overlay it with brass.
3. And thou shalt make his pans to receive his ashes, and his shovels, and his basons, and his fleshhooks, and his firepans: all the vessels thereof thou shalt make of brass.
4. And thou shalt make for it a grate of network of brass; and upon the net shalt thou make four brasen rings in the four corners thereof.
5. And thou shalt put it under the compass of the altar beneath, that the net may be even to the midst of the altar.
6. And thou shalt make staves for the altar, staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with brass.
7. And the staves shall be put into the rings, and the staves shall be upon the two sides of the altar, to bear it.
8. Hollow with boards shalt thou make it: as it was shewed thee in the mount, so shall they make it.

Again, as on previous programmes, I should mention that where the AV uses the words "shittem wood", we are to understand the meaning as "acacia wood", and for the word "brass" in the AV, the original might better have been translated "copper" or "bronze", as indicated, for example, in The Companion Bible note regarding verse 2. That source calls this altar the "Altar of Burnt Offering", and of the reference to "the compass of the altar" mentioned in verse 5, it states "Probably the margin or place where the priests stood." It adds in explanation "The 'place' of 2 Chron. 30.16. A raised position from which the sacrificing priest is said to 'come down', Lev. 9.22."

That reference in II Chronicles 30 describes the great passover to which King Hezekiah invited all the remnant of Israel and Judah, and of which the passage states "for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there was not the like in Jerusalem." the 16th verse speaks of the priests and Levites thus "And they stood in their place after their manner, according to the law of Moses the man of God: the priests sprinkled the blood, which they received of the hand of the Levites."

The mention of Leviticus 9:22 draws our attention to the service when Aaron and his sons were clothed in their vestments of office and consecrated. After the seven days of consecration, on the eighth day, Aaron then offered sacrifices and verse 22 says "And Aaron lifted up his hand toward the people, and blessed them, and came down from offering of the sin offering, and the burnt offering, and peace offerings."

A somewhat lengthy but important comment is found in A. Widdison's notes on this impressive feature. He describes the "brazen altar" thus: "The first thing we see on passing through the gate is the great Brazen Altar. In size it is an arresting figure - 9 feet square by 5 feet 3 inches high - probably the largest vessel in the Tabernacle. Probably large enough to contain all the other vessels, implying that what is expressed in the Brazen Altar is the great basis of every blessing; the foundation of everything. Its size was such that it could not be missed - as though God would draw attention to the Truths expressed there. The sight was terrible and awesome to look upon. Death and the instruments of death were everywhere around and upon it. But what necessitated it was more awful still - sin against a good and holy God. This was His provision for His sinful and erring creatures. Either the sinner must die, or the victim in his stead. There could be no patching up; no mere reformation. Without shedding of blood there could be no approach to God. It is not that God is vindictive, but that He is holy. Here God came out to meet His sinful creature, hence it is the place of judgment. It was the provision of a loving but holy Creator."

The New Bible Commentary, in a view supported by Pastor B. Maureen Gaglardi in her "Volume I The Path of the Just", explains a logical view of the construction. It says "The altar for the burnt offering was in the form of a hollow box (8) of equal breadth and length but without base or top (1). Possibly it was filled with earth, upon which the offerings would be burnt. It was of acacia wood overlaid with bronze (1,2). At each of the four corners an ornamental horn was set, made of one piece with the altar (2). It was in these horns that any symbolic virtue attaching to the altar was centred." After mentioning connected references to Psalm 118:27, I Kings 1:50 and Exodus 29:12, it continues: "The meaning of verses 4 and 5 is uncertain. The grating may have been fixed around the top of the altar to prevent pieces of the offering from falling, or it may have been an ornamental grill fringing or supporting a ledge half way up its sides. The midst (5) would then mean 'at half its height'."

The New Bible Dictionary, Item "Sacrifice And Offering" includes a drawing depicting one impression of the necessary construction, while the Item "Tabernacle" in the same reference describes the "copper altar" in similar terms, and it appears to simplify the design regarding the "compass" in these words: "Halfway up the altar, on the outside, was a horizontal ledge (AV 'compass') running all round. Running vertically all round, and reaching from the ground up to the ledge, was copper grating work, on the four corners of which were rings though which went acacia-wood poles overlaid with copper for transport purposes. The purpose of the ledge is not stated, nor is the function of the grating. the latter may have been designed to prevent the priests from treading in the blood poured at the base of the altar... Apparently the altar had no top, for none is mentioned, whereas with the golden altar the top is specifically mentioned. Consequently, some assume that the hollow framework was filled up with earth. The alternative is to suppose that the sacrifice was burned on the ground inside the framework, which would then act as a kind of incinerator." I would note that use of earth is specifically designated in Exodus 20:24 in the words "An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings..."

In these considerations we find that Keil and Delitzsch made the same observations and deductions in their day as do more modern references. I should mention their observation concerning the possible use of earth, gravel and stones, shaped as a level hearth, which would raise the fire up, preventing the fire from injuring the bronze sheathed wooden walls of this open box-like structure.

Pastor Gaglardi makes the sensible suggestion that animals awaiting slaughter might have been tied to the grating round about the Altar itself, and she points out that, lacking an earth filling, removal of the ash, as required in certain instances (and I would note here, for example, Leviticus 6:10-11) might have presented a problem. The New Bible Dictionary mentions: "In the service of the altar the following copper vessels were used: (1) pots and shovels, to remove the ashes; (2) basins, presumably for the blood; (3) fleshhooks; (4) fire-pans, in which the fire may have been carried on the march."

Next week we shall be considering the more meaningful symbolic equivalents of these physical characteristics of the great Brazen Altar, and likewise of the whole of this wonderful "tent of meeting" between The Almighty God and His Nation of Israel, and, through this nation, the whole of humanity to whom the gospel message would later come. We must remember that the Tabernacle in the Wilderness was, in one sense, a national teaching aid, which pointed forward to the actual work of Jesus Christ for His people. In the interim, let us consider the marvellous fact that the whole was a preparation centuries in advance, of the actual fulfilment, and further, that it was not understood until that process unfolded with the first Advent of Our Lord. Even now, the fullness of this prophetic institution has not been exhausted, for the Second Advent of Our Lord is yet promised. Let us reside our confidence and yield our will in the blessed meditation of the event yet to come. We shall continue this study on our next programme.

22 January, 1995

THE BRAZEN ALTAR - PART II

By Douglas C. Nesbit, B.A.

In this present series of Bible Studies we are tracing God's Great Plan for the re-constitution of His Creation to accord with His perfect will. We began with God's Call to Abram, and saw the development of Abraham's descendants through Isaac and Jacob into the tribes of Israel which passed through the formative experiences of Egyptian bondage and the miraculous Exodus.

We are presently, in our imagination, viewing the situation as Moses is being instructed by The Almighty, regarding the form of association which Israel is to have with Yahweh, the God of the nation. The portable tent of national worship, called the Tabernacle, is presently being described to Moses by God on Mount Sinai, and we have followed the Exodus account to Exodus 27:1-8, wherein we have read the description of the great Copper or Bronze (AV "Brazen") Altar of Burnt Offerings which is to stand in the court of this Tabernacle on our last programme.

As we had not at that time finished with the comments pertaining to this altar, let us re-read the passage from Exodus 27:1-8, pertaining to that Altar. It is my custom to insert comments regarding insights found in various references pertaining to the Biblical passage concerned as we proceed. Exodus 27:1-8 says:

1. And thou shalt make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and the height thereof shall be three cubits.
2. And thou shalt make the horns of it upon the four corners thereof: his horns shall be of the same: and thou shalt overlay it with brass.
3. And thou shalt make his pans to receive his ashes, and his shovels, and his basons, and his fleshhooks, and his firepans: all the vessels thereof thou shalt make of brass.
4. And thou shalt make for it a grate of network of brass; and upon the net shalt thou make four brasen rings in the four corners thereof.
5. And thou shalt put it under the compass of the altar beneath, that the net may be even to the midst of the altar.
6. And thou shalt make staves for the altar, staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with brass.
7. And the staves shall be put into the rings, and the staves shall be upon the two sides of the altar, to bear it.
8. Hollow with boards shalt thou make it: as it was shewed thee in the mount, so shall they make it.

I think that A. Widdison's comments, found in his "Outlines of Lectures on the Tabernacle in the Wilderness" contain further very useful thoughts, which I ought to quote. In considering the Biblical "Type", he says: "Christ is both the Altar and the Sacrifice. Thus the Person and Work of Christ is in view. 'Hollow with boards' speaks pathetically of His voluntary humiliation - His stoop to incarnation and death." Widdison explains that there were two places where the sacrifices were burned: "The Clean Place and The Altar." Of the first, he notes, "Nothing said as to the locality of this 'clean place'"... (which is mentioned in Leviticus 4:12)..."not even the direction as to the points of the compass. It seems ever hidden as with Calvary. But it was 'outside the camp.' What was burnt there? Whatever sacrifice was of such importance that its blood was carried into the Holy or Holiest places, the carcase was burned without the camp. Here was no altar. The ground drank in the blood. Here the great Yearly Sin Offering was burned, typifying Christ, Who 'once in the end of the Ages hath . . appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself . .' Outside the camp the sacrifice was for all and sets forth PROPITIATION."

Two supportive references in the Epistle to the Hebrews are noted at this point. Hebrews 13:12-13 says "Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach." and Hebrews 9:26, which says "For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself."

Speaking next of "The Brazen Altar", Widdison continues: "Fire divinely kindled and never to go out, because the work was never done. He supplies references to Leviticus 6:13, "The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out", and to Leviticus 9:24, "And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces." This altar "Held fire day and night for reception of offerings for transgressions and sins made known to the individual and brought by him that atonement be made." he continues "Here for individual and sets forth SUBSTITUTION."

Referring to Numbers 16:35, which concerns the rebellion of Korah and his followers, "And there came out a fire from the LORD, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense." he then notes that two words for "fire" are used. "Esh", the word used for such fire, as for that outside the camp means to "burn in wrath," a "fierce fire". At the Brazen Altar, the word which is used means "to burn as incense" - to make to ascend; and from it the word "incense" is derived.

I might add that we have in English the word "ash" which appears to have been retained from the Hebrew and which would pertain to the first type of fire. The other word for fire, in Exodus 27:3 is "machtah" and according to Young's Concordance it refers to "Fire pan", "censer", or "snuff dish." The English word "match", incidentally, which pertains to the lighting of a fire, is derived from a related Greek word, "myxa", the snuff or wick of a lamp, and the Greeks, I understand, took their language from the same Semitic root as the Hebrew, as their writing was derived from Phoenician.

From the symbolism of this Brazen Altar, A. Widdison explains the Great Lessons on Propitiation and Substitution. He makes the comparison of John 1:29, ("Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world") and I John 2:2, ("And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our's only, but also for the sins of the whole world.") with Romans 3:21-23, ("But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God"). In propitiation provision is made for all. But the man who appropriates gets the blessing, and there substitution comes in. One is the meeting of the creditor's claims and the other the debtor's necessities. Propitiation cancels the debt. It is the atonement death of Christ as a ground of the forgiveness of sin, or, as Young's Concordance puts it, "what appeases". Substitution is the means of doing this in which Christ substitutes Himself for a particular person, and does what that person cannot do for himself and live.

Regarding the Horns on the Brazen Altar, he notes that these were: "Emblems of power, and typify the efficacy of the work accomplished there . . They were tipped with the blood of the sin offering. They set forth the Mighty Overcomer, Who has vanquished SIN, SATAN, DEATH and HELL. The Horns were a place of refuge." He elaborates, stating that they "Seemed like helping hands stretched out N., S., E. and W., saying 'Come.' Adonijah found refuge there (I Kings 1:50). But the presumptuous sinner might be taken from it as was Joab, (I Kings 2:28). It afforded no refuge for the hypocrite or impenitent sinner. Exodus 21.14 states 'But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbour, to slay him with guile; thou shalt take him from mine altar, that he may die.'

Of the "Netword of Brass", he says that the word translated "network" means "What takes hold." The Staves "were provision for the journey and signified that the Altar was always available." Numbers 4:13-14 describes the Covering of purple and badgers' skins, (as the AV terms them), and these meant that the altar speaks of suffering and the Purple of Glory. But all was hidden under the Badgers' skins. The Brazen Plates were made from the censers of Korah and his company who rebelled against God, as described in Numbers 16:38.

A. Widdison lists the five great offerings which may be summarised as follows: 1. The Burnt Offering which Typefies Christ offering Himself without spot to God.
2. The Meal Offering, symbol of the fragrance of His life going up to God in His death.
3. The Peace Offering, establishing Peace with God. It especially brought the worshipper and the Worshipped together, as part was for God and part for the priest.
4. The Sin Offering, made for transgressions. Not a sweet savour offering, it was the opposite of the Burnt Offering.
5. The Trespass Offering, made for trespass against a neighbour.

These offerings, he explains, may be grouped in this way. The FIRST TWO, The Burnt and the Meal Offerings, tell us what God thinks of Christ. The LAST TWO, the Sin and the Trespass Offerings, what He thinks of sin. The FIRST TWO are sweet savour offerings. The LAST TWO the opposite, for instead of the preciousness of the offering being prominent, it is the awfulness of sin that is emphasised.

As our time has about expired, let me sum up some thoughts regarding this Altar. As it is at the same time a symbol of Christ's gift to all who desire to avail themselves of it, we ought never to diminish, in our minds, the cost which He bore on Calvary, in order to make the atonement possible. Atonement has been explained as "at-one-ment" meaning the re-uniting of God's people to Himself through the payment of the cost of their sin by Christ. Let us be sure to grasp this great offer, as it stands "front and centre" as we approach the spiritual equivalent of the Tabernacle to present ourselves to The Almighty God. Let us meditate upon the symbolism of the Altar of death which provides life by substitution. We shall continue our studies next week.

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