Study Notes

Leviticus 8:1-9:24

8:1-3 Public Consecration

For the first 7 chapters, God has given Moses the details of the five sacrifices which were going to be offered to the Lord. Now, God is instructing Moses to consecrate Aaron and his sons as the priests who will be ministering during these sacrifices.

Although it may seem to you that these chapters focus solely on the priests, and therefore have no personal application for you, remember that God has called each of us priests. We are to him a kingdom of priests. There is teaching here for each one of us.

Public Consecration

Notice that all the congregation was instructed to gather around to watch the priests be consecrated. Entering the ministry puts people in the spotlight. Not in the limelight of fame and fortune, but in the scrutinizing spotlight of all the people. As representatives of God, the priests needed to be above reproach privately and publicly. This is true in the church as well. The elders, overseers, pastors, leaders, and deacons are in a public spotlight. Paul told Timothy,

1Tim. 3:2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach...

1Tim. 3:7 And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church...

The first deacons were chosen in Acts 6 based on their public reputation as men of God:

Acts 6:3 "But select from among you, brethren, seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task."

That became a church standard for deacons.

1Tim. 3:10 And let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach.

The lives of the priests then, and church leadership now, will be visible in the sight of all the people. As priests of Jesus Christ, every believer is called to this standard:

Matt. 5:16 "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

We are standing before all men watching us in our priesthood.

8:4-9 Washing With Water

The priests were washed with water. The obvious application here is that before ministering to the people, we really should take a bath. We sure don't need to come from work with our bodies smelling and breath offending, and then attempt to hug and greet people in the name of the Lord!

But the more insightful and necessary teaching in this is that priests must be washed in water symbolically. What does the water represent? In Ephesians we read,

Eph. 5:25-26 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word

The water represents the Word of God. The word has incredible power to cleanse our hearts and lives. Jesus told us,

John 15:3 "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.

Before we can ever hope to minister to anyone, we must be cleansed by the water of the Word of God.


The priests were also clothed with the various garments that we studied back in Exodus chapters 28 through 30. If you missed that study, I highly recommend that you pick up the tapes or get the notes off of the internet.

Before the priests could minister, they had to be properly clothed. The Scripture symbolically speaks of clothing and garments as our character and condition. For example, Jesus warned us,

Matt. 7:15 "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

False prophets aren't really wearing woolen sheep skins. They are acting like and appearing to be Christians. Another example: Peter told us,

1Pet. 5:5 You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.

Clothe ourselves with humility. Again, our character and condition is spoken of by our clothing. In Revelation, we read that the church, the bride of Christ, will be given garments:

Rev. 19:8 And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright {and} clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

The fine linen we will be clothed in are the righteous acts of the saints.

So it was a necessity that the priests were clothed properly. Our spiritual condition, our personal character, must be in accordance with all that God has said is fitting in the Lord.

8:10-12 Anointing With Oil

Then came the anointing oil. Most of us are familiar with the frequent use of anointing oil in the Scriptures, but don't really understand the point or the purpose.

Anointing oil was used to consecrate both people and possessions. To set them apart, to dedicate or sanctify them for holy use.

We know from reading the book of Zechariah that oil is a type, or picture, of the Holy Spirit. Being anointed with oil is to be consecrated for God, specifically by being anointed with the Holy Spirit. Remember when Samuel anointed David, it says

1Sam. 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward...

As David was anointed with the oil, he was also anointed with the Holy Spirit. In the book of Acts, Peter preached,

Acts 10:38 "You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power..."

The priests and all the objects used in worship in the tabernacle had to be anointed with oil. This tells us that we, and everything used in the ministry, need to be anointed with the Holy Spirit.

Let's get even more specific. To be anointed with oil was also symbolic of joy and gladness. Psalm 45 says,

Ps. 45:7 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated wickedness; Therefore God, Thy God, has anointed Thee With the oil of joy above Thy fellows.

When we are anointed by the Holy Spirit, we will have the fruit of the Spirit, which includes love, joy, and peace. How necessary this joy and gladness is to being effective ministers for Christ!

8:13-21 The Sin Offering And Burnt Offering

So we see that the priests had to offer the Sin Offering and the Burnt Offering for their sins. Remember that the Burnt Offering covered sinfulness, the Sin Offering covered specific sins. A priest, whether it is in the Levitical system we're reading about here, or being a priest unto Christ, needs to have his sin covered before he can minister to the sinfulness of other people. Therefore, they offered the Sin Offering and the Burnt Offering.

As Christians, these things are accomplished for us by the cross and confession. On the cross, the price was paid:

1John 1:7 ...the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

In confession, we are dealing with our individual sins. John tells us that...

1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

You will find that unless you have a regular habit of confessing your sin and being cleansed before God, that you have a very difficult time ministering to others. On the other hand, if you have a close, confessional relationship with the Lord, you will find it very easy to minister - you'll be ready in season and out of season.

8:22-32 The Ram Of Ordination

The ram of ordination was mentioned in addition to the 5 offerings we looked at in the first chapters. You may remember the extra offering put into the list in chapter 7:

Lev. 7:37-38 This is the law of the burnt offering, the grain offering and the sin offering and the guilt offering and the ordination offering and the sacrifice of peace offerings, which the LORD commanded Moses at Mount Sinai...

This is the ram of ordination, or "mil-LOO" in Hebrew. Interesting word. It means to set a precious stone in its setting, like a jeweler does with a diamond.

God is taking these precious priests and setting them in their ministries. People, it is so important for us to allow the Lord to carefully and lovingly set us in a setting of His choosing, not ours. Too often, we pray, "Lord, I'm ready to be a pastor. Just tell me where to go." But maybe the setting He wants you in is as a missionary. "Lord, just set me here as an evangelist and I'll be ready to serve you." But maybe His desire is for you to oversee a Sunday School ministry.

He is the jeweler, we're the stone. Let's leave the job of setting up to him.

Blood On The Ear

Notice that the blood of this Ram of Ordination had to be applied to various places. This symbolized cleansing. Like Hebrews 9 says,

Hebr. 9:22 ...According to the Law, almost all things are cleansed with blood...

The blood was applied to the priests' ear, thumb, and big toe. Each of these places is significant.

The blood applied to the ear represented the cleansing of the priests' hearing. What we allow to go into our ears can greatly affect us - either edifying us or tearing us down. No wonder Jesus told us,

Mark 4:24 ..."Take care what you listen to..."

With all the garbage on TV, movies, and radio, this is a good word for us to take to heart.

Sometimes things aren't obviously destructive. Things like gossip can be so insidious. That's why Jesus also warned us,

Luke 8:18 "Therefore take care how you listen..."

Let us carefully consider WHAT we're listening to, and HOW we're listening.

Blood On The Thumb

The blood being applied to the thumb speaks of the work that they would put their hand to. The cleansing blood needs to touch everything we do. The book of Colossians tells us,

Col. 3:23-24 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men; knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.

Whatever work your hand is doing, do it unto the Lord.

Blood On The Toe

Finally, the blood was also applied to the big toe. This represents their walk with God. Our walk must be cleansed by the blood as well.

We are told to walk in newness of life (Rom 6:4), not to walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (Rom 8:4; Gal 5:16), to walk by faith, not by sight (2Cor 5:7), to walk in good works (Eph 2:10), to walk in a manner worthy of your calling (Eph 4:1; Col 1:10; 1Thes 2:12), walk in love (Eph 5:2), to walk as children of light (Eph 5:8), to walk in wisdom (Eph 5:15), to walk according to the Lord's commandments (2John 6), and ultimately, to walk in the same manner as Jesus Christ walked (1John 2:6).

We can do none of these things without having the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ applied to our walk.

The Wave Offering

Moses put the fat, the lobe of the liver, the kidneys, the right thigh, and cakes and put them on the priests' hands. Then he lifted up their hands and offered the wave offering.

The wave offering was a waving motion. It was waved "towards the four corners of the heavens, to indicate that the gifts were offered to the omnipresent God." (Rawlinson)

8:33-36 Remain For Seven Days

Now the priests are instructed to spend a week inside the tent of meeting. They were not going to be ordained by having a degree from a Bible College or Seminary. They were going to be ordained gradually as they spent time alone with God. You see, the priests had to spend time with God privately before they could minister to the people publicly.

I've met too many men who believe that they'll get their walk with Christ together when they get into the ministry. That is so backwards to the way that God has prescribed.

9:1-4 Prepare To See The Lord

The priests have spent a week alone with God in the tent of meeting. But now they have to offer more sacrifices to cover their sins. Why? It's been 8 days since their last offering - even in the house of God they have continued in their sinful state, just as we all do. The blood needs to be continually cleansing them.

Praise God that we have been cleansed by the blood of a perfect sacrifice - Jesus Christ. We know that

Hebr. 7:27 ...this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.

They also have to offer the grain offering. Remember that this sacrifice acknowledges God as the provider of all things and is a statement of service - dedicating myself to serve God.

The grain offering was their statement of saying, "Yes, I am willing to serve you with my life."

9:5-21 Presenting The Offerings

The glory of the Lord would not appear to them until they had offered their sacrifices - both to cleanse their sin and to dedicate themselves to serve God.

Today, we see many churches begging and expecting to see the glory of the Lord appearing to them. But either the priests, the people, or both refuse to repent before God and confess their sins.

9:22-24 The Blessing

Aaron lifted up his hands and blessed the people. The speaking of blessing is an important thing.

In Deuteronomy, we read that

Deut. 10:8 At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to serve Him and to bless in His name until this day.

How would they bless in His name? We'll read about it in the book of Numbers:

Num. 6:22-27 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, 'Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them: "The LORD bless you, and keep you; The LORD make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace."' So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them."

The priests were to speak the benediction, the blessing, upon God's people. God would hear their blessing, and then He would bless the people. There is a very real, very supernatural link to God's blessings when God's people are verbally blessed by God's ministers.

I take this commission very seriously, and not a Sunday or Thursday goes by that I do not verbally bless the congregation when they are gathered together. I believe that God blesses you greatly because of that benediction.

The Glory Appears

The priests have been consecrated, the people have confessed their sins. Now the glory of the Lord appears to the people. Suddenly, an amazing sight - fire flashes out from before the Lord and consumes the offerings on the altar! Wow! I believe when we as priests and people will be consecrated for, and confessing to, the Lord, that we will see the fire of God descend upon our congregation as well.

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