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Bible Commentaries
Leviticus 9

Seiss' Lectures on Leviticus and RevelationSeiss' Lectures

Verses 1-24

Ninth Lecture.
Aaron in the Duties of His Office

Leviticus 9:1-24

Salvation connected with the shedding of blood—The bloody rites of Greece and Rome—An argument for the inspiration of the Scriptures from their unity on the doctrine of Salvation by blood—Aaron’s sacrifice for himself—Recollections of sin—Aaron’s duties at the altar—Christ officiating at his own Immolation—Was made Sin for us—Aaron’s entry into the Sanctuary the symbol of Christ’s Ascension and investiture in heaven—His Coming again—Particulars connected with his second Advent.

As far as our examinations of this Book have progressed, we have seen the complete arrangement of two important particulars; first, the kind of offerings to he made; and second, the consecration of the persons who were to officiate in offering them. We have therefore seen enough in this ritual to behold it now going into actual operation. Aaron having been ordained, and the days of his consecration having ended, he enters at once upon his priestly functions. The chapter before us, accordingly, shows us the Levitical system in active exercise.

The business of a priest is summed up by Paul to be, to "offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins." And as Aaron was a mere man, he had to offer these gifts and sacrifices, "as for the people, so also for himself." Hence, in giving us this account of what Aaron did in his office as high-priest, God brings us again to the contemplation of scenes of slaughter and blood. Redemption by blood is the great theme of the Scriptures, from beginning to end. It ever and again comes up. God will not permit it to remain out of sight for a single chapter. No matter what the figure is, it is made somehow to embrace this. It is repeated at every turn. It stands out boldly at every step. Every imaginable method is taken to write it deep in the soul, to engrave it upon the conscience, to fill the whole mind with it, and to make it the grand centre of all religious thought and belief. I have before referred to the fact, that this peculiarity of the Scriptures is exceedingly repugnant to the feelings of some people. It seems greatly to disgust and offend many, that we have so much to say about blood. Some verily seem to think, and some skeptics have argued, that the Bible cannot be what it claims to be, because it represents God as appointing and taking pleasure in such sanguinary arrangements and services. But I have also alluded to the glaring inconsistency of such people in shrinking with abhorrence from the bloody nature of the system which God has arranged for our salvation, whilst they are yet great admirers of the taste and culture of the men and times we read of in the classics. They are charmed with the ancient Greeks and Romans, and are ever putting them forward as our exemplars and guides; and cannot get done talking about their glorious civilization; just as if the Religion of Greece and Rome had no sanguinary rites, or involved no dealing in bloody sacrifices.

Never was there a religious system on earth more bloody in its observances, or more shocking in its sacrificial ritual, than those in vogue among these very Greeks and Romans, sanctioned and supported by their laws, and advocated by their greatest men. Every classical scholar knows this. I will not annoy you with details of their sacrifices of dogs, and pigs, and cats, and horses, and hecatombs of cattle, with salaried officers of state, manipulating and inspecting the entrails, to read in sickening filthiness the pretended communications of their gods. Nor were these the worst. They not only sacrificed animals, but men also. Their altars flowed, not only with the blood of bulls and of goats, and various unclean and disgusting creatures, but with the blood of human beings, who were annually slain and offered up in religious worship to propitiate their sanguinary deities. In the worship of Zeus Lycæus in Arcadia, human sacrifices were regularly offered for hundreds of years, down to the time of the Roman Emperors. In Leucas, a man was every year put to death at the high festival of Apollo. When their great generals went out to war, they first offered up human victims to gain the assistance of their divinities. Before the battle of Salamis, Themistocles sacrificed three Persians to Dionysius. The city of Athens—the very "eye of Greece"—had an annual festival in honor of the Delian Apollo, at which two persons were every year put to death, the one for the men, and the other for the women, of that renowned metropolis. The neck of the one who died for the men was surrounded with a garland of black figs, and the neck of the other with a garland of white figs, and both were beaten with rods of fig-wood as they were led forth to a place where they were burned alive, and their ashes cast into the air and sea. And Grecian story tells of many parents, who laid violent hands upon their own children, and offered them up as bloody sacrifices to their gods. Nor was it much different with the Romans. In their earlier history, it was the custom, under certain contingencies, to sacrifice to their deities everything born of man or beast between the first day of March and the last day of April. Even in the latest period of the Roman republic, men were sacrificed to Mars in the Campus Martius, by priests of state, and their heads stuck up at the Regia.

I mention these things, not to vindicate the Levitical rites, of which they were monstrous and wicked distortions and perversions, but to show the miserable inconsistency of those skeptical people who denounce the atoning regulations of the Scriptures, and hold up the taste and ideas of the Greeks and Romans as the true models of what is beautiful, refined, and elevated. I merely wish to have you know and feel, that if the Hebrew ritual is to be regarded as offensive to a lofty aesthetic taste, the ritual of the most polished nations of antiquity was still more offensive, and abhorrent in the utmost degree; and that if the religion of the Scriptures cannot be received as of God by reason of its connection with scenes of blood, there is no system of religion upon earth, ancient or modern, that can be so received; because all others have been equally and still more sanguinary in their services, and that too without any of the deep and affecting moral meaning of this. And I freely confess, that I see nothing in the doctrine of salvation by blood, or in the Jewish rites, which typified it with so much strength and clearness, either to offend my taste, to shock my reason, or the least to interfere with the readiest and fullest acceptation of the Scriptures as the true revelation of Almighty God. True, I behold in it much that humbles my pride—that tells me I am a very wicked sinner—that proclaims my native condition far removed from what God’s law requires—that assures me I am undone as regards my own strength—and that holds out death and eternal burning as what I deserve, But all this accords with my conscience, and is reechoed in the deepest convictions of my soul. And with it all, it presents to me a plan of redemption so out of the line of man’s thoughts, so fitted to my felt wants, and so completely attested by its moral efficacy, that it is itself a mighty demonstration to my mind of its divine original.

The very fact that the Bible has but one great subject running through all its histories and prophecies, ordinances and types, epistles and psalms—that salvation by blood is the focal point in which all its various lines of light converge—is to me one of the strongest evidences that it has come from God. When I consider that its writers lived hundreds and thousands of years apart; that they were found in all walks of life; and that they wrote in languages foreign to each other; I can find no way to account for the unity which pervades it, but by admitting that these various writers were all moved and guided by the same high intelligence, and inspired of God. No matter who held the pen, whether Moses in Midian when time itself was young, or David in the mountains of Israel, or Ezekiel lying on the river’s bank, or Daniel in the palaces of Babylon, or Paul a prisoner at Rome, or John in the solitude of the bleak rocks of Patmos, the records are all essentially the same, and blend together as parts of one great whole. Just as the various notes and chords of the musician’s oratorio, express the one great thought of the composer, so the grand hymn of Revelation presents but one central idea; and whatever chords in the harp of inspiration are touched by the chosen hands, they all ultimately settle upon the all-thrilling tone of the key-note— salvation through the blood of the Lamb. Isolated and foreign as some parts may at first seem, they all have connection with each other, and exhibit a oneness of interior substance and unity of design, which, as it could not have been the result of accident, and cannot be explained on the ground of concert between the writers, must needs be referred to the mind of God, moving and controlling them all.

The duties of the high-priest, as stated by the apostle, and exhibited in this chapter, divide themselves into two general classes. Some of his services related exclusively to himself, and the rest exclusively to the people. Aaron, though a priest, was still a man, with all the wants and infirmities of men. He consequently needed atonement as much as those for whom he was to officiate. And before he was allowed to proceed with his duties for others, he was required to offer sacrifices for himself. On all public occasions, the high-priest was to begin his work by presenting a sin-offering and a burnt-offering for himself. This requirement was a kind of undertone, or sub-current, in the performances of the ancient priesthood, which pointed to the merely provisional character of the Levitical system. It was to remind Aaron, and to remind the people, that he was, after all, not the true and real priest to make effectual reconciliation for the sins of the world—that he was only a sinful man, set up to represent a priest yet to come—that no one was to look to him as able to open the doors of heaven, but through him to another who "needeth not daily to offer up sacrifice for his own sins"—that he was but a figure for the time then present of good things to come by means of "the great Prince which standeth for the children of his people."

Aaron was first of all to offer a calf for a sin-offering. And it may be that this was intended to refer back to his great sin in the matter of the "golden calf," which he had been prevailed upon to make for the worship of the people while Moses was in the mount. It is a hard thing to shake off the degrading recollection of any marked deed of wrong. The soil of sin upon the conscience cannot be easily washed out. Though a man repent never so bitterly, and though he should have the assurance of forgiveness, it still lives like an evil fountain in the soul, ejecting now and then its dark and saddening waters into the stream of his joys. I once heard a man say with tears upon his cheeks, that if he owned a world, he would willingly and gladly give it to have certain recollections of crime blotted from his mind. He was a good and pious man—a man who had solemnly consecrated himself to labors for the good of his kind; but the thought of his former deeds of shame haunted him like a demon, and clouded his brightest peace. Aaron had done a great evil in the sight of God, and the dark shadow of its remembrance followed him even into the honors of his high-priesthood, and stood before him every time he came to enter into the tabernacle of the Most High. And if I am now addressing any who are yet in the virgin innocence of their youth, let me exhort you, as you love your peace, to beware of the first sin. It may seem sweet to the taste, but it will be wormwood and gall within you. Though you should even live to have it forgiven, it will be a dark cloud upon your soul to the hour of your death. It will be a source of mortification to you for ever. It will degrade you in your own thoughts, and hang upon you as a depressing weight whenever you attempt to draw near to God. Fly from it, as you would fly from pestilence and death; for it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.

The second offering which Aaron was to make for himself was the holocaust, or whole burnt-offering.

In addition to his special sin, he was a common sinner with all other men. He needed justification by the blood of Jesus, just as every body else. There is a sense in which all are equally guilty before God, the high and the low, the rich and the poor, the young and the old, the learned and the ignorant, the priest and the people. And the only deliverance from this common guilt, as from all other guilt, is through the one great offering of "The Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world." Not a soul can ever become acceptable to the Lord, or enter heaven, but by this. We may think that little children are so innocent, that surely they are fit for blessedness; but not even the youngest and loveliest of our babes could ever be saved, if it were not for the great sacrifice of Calvary, in which the whole nature of Christ came under the penetrating blade and consuming fires of offended sovereignty. By that whole burnt-offering alone do they become acceptable to God, and by that alone can even the holiest and highest of this world’s population ever come into the presence of the Almighty and live. Even Aaron in his priesthood needs it just as much as the wickedest and vilest of the race.

These preliminary and personal services having been attended to, Aaron proceeded, as God directed, to perform the duties of his office for the people for whom he was ordained. A sin-offering, a burnt-offering, a peace-offering, and a meat-offering had been prescribed, and his functions with reference to these he now proceeded to discharge. Let us, then, contemplate him in the solemn service.

Aaron’s first official duties were connected with the altar at the door of the tabernacle, and were all performed in the presence of the people. Here the sacrifices were brought, and slain, and cut into their several parts, and arranged in the order prescribed. What was to be burned, he put upon the altar; what was to be waved before the Lord, he waved; what was to fall to the offerers he delivered over to them; and the blood that was to be poured and sprinkled upon and about the altar, he poured and sprinkled.

Now, in order to understand the typical meaning of all this, it will be necessary to observe that Christ is at once the priest and the sacrifice. It was impossible to unite these two things in the type. They stand in the Levitical ritual as distinct, and they are not at all confounded together in the great mediation of Calvary. But we must bear in mind, that Christ is at the same time the victim, and the High-priest who officiates in offering that victim. When he wasled forth to his immolation, he was the lamb without blemish, and also the one who was to lay its body upon the fires, and sprinkle its blood upon the altar. "Therefore," says he, "doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again." It is altogether too low and unworthy a conception of Christ’s offering, to regard him as having been compulsively dragged to his execution, or as having been put to death by the mere power of men. It was his own voluntary act. What did he say when the armed host came out by night to take him? "I can now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels. But how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?" And to show that this was not vain boasting, he stepped forward in the face of his armed enemies, and said, "I am Jesus of Nazareth whom ye seek!" and they quailed before him, and shrank back, and fell as dead men at his feet. And surely He, whose voice had withered the fig-tree in its greenness, and hushed the fury of the tempest into peace, and stilled the uplifted waves of the sea, and recalled the putrefying dead from the grave, could easily have blasted all the strength of Jerusalem’s officials, and palsied every hand that could have been raised against his life. No, no; he was not slain because he could not help it. His life-blood was not wrung from him, except as he unmurmuringly and voluntarily consented and yielded. As the apostle tells us, "He offered up himself." He is the great High-priest who officiated at his own immolation. It was he himself that presided at the awful ceremony, in which all his joints were relaxed, and all the binding ligaments of his being cut asunder, and all the tender parts of his most interior nature torn out for burning—and his body, soul, and spirit, laid down as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. It was by his own will that the blow was struck; that the blood flowed; that every covering and protection was torn off; and the whole blessed Christ reduced to a mangled and lifeless mass around and upon the altar of God.

And it is this very fact that so infinitely ennobles, exalts, and dignifies Christ’s sacrifice. It was a willing surrender of himself to death. He "gave himself for us." He "made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."

This was compassion, like a God,

That when the Savior knew

The price of pardon was his blood,

His pity ne’er withdrew.

There is a very remarkable expression in the Leviticus 9:15, to which I desire to call your particular attention in this connection. You read there, that Aaron "took the sin-offering for the people, and slew it, and offered it for sin." A stricter rendering of the original, as noted by various critics, would be, "He sinned it," or "He made it to be sin." The same diction occurs in Leviticus 6:26. The idea is, that the sin-offering somehow had the sin transferred to it, or laid on it, or was so linked with the sin for which it was to atone, as to become itself the sinful or sinning one, not actually, but imputatively and constructively. The animal had no sin, and was not capable of sinning; but, having been devoted as a sin-offering, and having received upon its head the burden of the guilty one who substituted its life for his own, it came to be viewed and treated as a creature which was nothing but sin.

And this brings us to a feature in the sacrificial work of Christ at which many have stumbled, but which deserves to be profoundly considered. Jesus died, not only as a martyr to the cause he had espoused, not only as an offering apart from the sins of those for whom he came to atone, but as a victim who had received all those sins upon his own head, and so united them with his own innocent and holy person as to be viewed and treated, in part at least, as if he himself had sinned the sins of all sinners. He so effectually put himself into the room and stead of sinners, and so really assumed their wickedness, that he came to be the only guilty one which the law could see. Personally he was not a sinner, but, "holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners;" nevertheless, as he surrendered to become the substitute of the guilty, and undertook to answer for all their crimes, he thereby became to the law as if he were a mere mass of sin, upon which the hottest furies of just indignation and wrath were let loose. Though in his own proper self as unsullied as the highest heavens, in his character as our sin-offering, he took a guiltiness upon him, and a volume of iniquity covered him, as intense and terrible as the combined wickedness of all men. Though never the committer, he became the receiver of sin, and stood to the law as a reservoir into which all the streams of human guilt had emptied themselves.

Think not that I am stating this case too strongly. Ask of the inspired apostle, and he will tell you. Ever memorable are the words which he has recorded on this very point. Taking up the exact diction of Moses in the text, he says that God "hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." Here it is.

As the sins of Israel were so put upon the sin-offering that it came to be viewed and treated as nothing but sin, so the Lord hath made our great sin-offering to be—not merely a sinner, but the very substance and essence of criminality. "He made him to be sin"—a mere mass of guilt, laid bare to the judgments of Divine wrath. How could it have been otherwise, when, as Isaiah tells us, "The Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all?" The iniquity of us all, is no small iniquity. A ten thousandth part of the sin that cleaves even to the most virtuous among men, would be enough, if uncancelled, to sink them to eternal death. How then are we to estimate the mightiness of that sum of crime which has been accumulating since the world began? How shall we measure the ocean of guilt which has been gathering from every generation as from a thousand Amazons? Aye, "there are shadows upon the world that we cannot penetrate; masses of sin and misery that overwhelm us with wonder and awe." Not vaster is the five mile thickness of atmosphere around this globe, than the measure of the iniquities of those who have lived upon its surface. Yet every one of them was laid upon Jesus as the great sin-offering of man. When the holy inquisition of heaven was sent forth to deal out just indignation for earth’s amazing wickedness, there was not a sin from Adam’s fall to last night’s theft, or the wandering thoughts of yon inattentive hearer, which was not found lying to the charge of that spotless Lamb who had undertaken to answer for all. And of all the monsters in crime that this world has ever borne, none ever had upon him such an intensity and vastness of guilt as that which the holy Christ assumed and took upon himself in that dark hour when his soul was made an offering for sin. The law could have seen in him nothing but sin—an embodiment of condensed and unspeakable guiltiness—the very purity of heaven so shrouded and buried up in a sea of vileness that the Father, with all his tender love for his only begotten, for a while turned away his face in abhorrence. Hence that awful cry of the dying Savior, My God! My God! why hast thou forsaken me!" "The Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all." "He made him, who knew no sin, to be sin for us."

Having attended to what was to be done with the sacrifices at the altar, in presence of the people, the next duty of Aaron, as the high-priest, was, to enter into the sanctuary and the most holy place with the blood of the sin-offering, as directed in the 30th of Exodus. But, before entering upon this second grand department of his priesthood, he "lifted up his hands towards the people, and blessed them." It was a very significant act. It was as if he were emptying over them from his bloody hands all the effects and virtues of that blood. And it pointed forward to those gracious transactions of the Lord Jesus subsequent to his offering of himself for us, and prior to his ascension into heaven. How strikingly it reminds us of those impressive scenes in which the risen Savior appeared unto his disciples, and "shewed unto them his hands and his side," and opened his lips with the comforting words, "Peace be unto you," and "breathed on them, saying, Receive ye the Holy Ghost." How it leads our thoughts back to the time when our great High-priest, with his people, stood round their altar upon Olivet, lifting up those hands so lately stained with blood, blessing them before he left them, and as he left them still blessing them! It was the pouring out over them, and through them upon all subsequent believers, the hallowing influences of his atoning sacrifice, and the comforting blessings of his great sin-offering. From those open hands, there still flows down a stream of good, filling many a sad heart with joy, and many a disconsolate home with songs of praise. Though many a long and tedious year has passed since that fountain of blessing was opened upon the world, its glad waters are still as pure and plenteous as ever, and shall continue to flow to generations yet unborn.

Its streams the whole creation reach,

So bounteous is the store;

Enough for all, enough for each,

Enough for evermore.

But having thus spread his hands in blessing towards the people, Aaron "went into the tabernacle," and was hidden from the view of the solemn worshippers. How beautiful the connection between type and antitype! Of our Aaron it is written, "he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven;"—"while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight."

Aaron was to enter into the tabernacle with the atoning blood of the victim slain without. "But Christ being come an High-priest of good things, which were to come, entered into a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, not by the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood...

For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us."

Moses, as the representative of Jehovah in these transactions, accompanied Aaron into the holy places, and delivered over to his care all the vessels of the sanctuary, and put the ordering of all the sacred services into his hands. And thus also hath Jesus "received from God the Father, honor and glory."

"God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." "The Father judgeth no man; but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father." Hence, he said, when about to enter upon his heavenly dominion, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." "The Father hath committed all things into his hands."

Corporeally, then, our great High-priest is no longer with us. He has passed out of our sight within the vail of that holy tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. He has entered into heaven, into the presence of the eternal God. He is there as our Advocate with the Father, with the blood of sacrifice in his hands, ever interceding for us. He is there as our representative and Lord. Our names he wears in blazing jewelry on his shoulders and on his heart. He is there trimming the holy lamps for our enlightenment. He is there offering our prayers perfumed by the sweet incense of his holy intercessions. He is there to stay the breaking forth of wrath upon our sins. He is there, ordering all things, and keeping the charge of the holy services, that he may ultimately present us as a perfect Church, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. Though we see him not, we know that he is there. Our elder brethren saw him enter there; and some of them in holy vision had a glimpse of him since he has entered there. John was one day in the Spirit, and saw him in the midst of the golden candlesticks, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about with a golden girdle. In his hand were the seven stars, and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And he heard him say, "I am the first and the last; I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen." Yes, he still lives:—

He lives, the great Redeemer lives;

What joy the blest assurance gives!

And now, before his Father, God,

Pleads the full merit of his blood.

But Aaron did not stay in the tabernacle. He went in after the morning sacrifices were made; but before the evening sacrifices, he again "came out, and blessed the people." The soul kindles as we proceed with these ancient types. They portray so beautifully the grand mysteries of Redemption’s progress. When I read of Aaron returning from his duties in the holy place, the words of the bright angels that kept guard at the Savior’s ascension gather new preciousness. "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." Our Lord will come again. "A little while," said he, "and ye shall not see me. And again a little while, and ye shall see me." When about to leave this world, he said, "I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again." And hardly had he reached the threshold of the heavenly home, until he shouted back, "Surely I come quickly." Soon shall the cloud that received him out of human sight, part asunder again to reveal him to his waiting people. Already the Apocalyptic cry has gone forth, "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him!"

When Aaron came out of the holy place, it was to bless the waiting people. And so it is written of our great High-priest in heaven—"Unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." Most people are afraid of the Savior’s second coming, and never think of it but with dread. It is because they have not sufficiently considered its nature, and what it is for. It is not to curse, but to bless. It is not to distress, but to heal and save. It is not a thing to be dreaded, but to be prayed for and most earnestly desired. It is the event that is to finish our redemption, and complete our bliss. Everything now is yet imperfect. Our salvation is yet a thing of hope. Whatever be the strength of our faith, or the extent of our joy, we have not yet reached the promised fruition. Our home is yet in a world of diseases, funerals, graves, crimes, and tears. But when our expected Savior comes, creation’s groans shall cease, and peace stretch forth its shady wings over the sons of men, and rivers of joy flow through this vale of tears, and the year of everlasting jubilee begin.

When Aaron came out of the holy place, "the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people."Nor shall it be otherwise when Christ’s epiphany shall occur. When the evening of this world’s day shall come, "then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven, and they shall see him coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." "For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels." Then shall Jerusalem’s light come, and the glory of the Lord arise upon her. Then shall the pure in heart see God, and the righteous behold the King in his beauty, and cherubim to cherubim sing: "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!"

When Aaron came out of the holy place, "there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt-offering and the fat." These things had been "made sin." All else was clean. The sins of all the congregation were upon the victim that lay upon the altar. And as soon as Aaron came forth, the fires of Jehovah leaped forth before him, and consumed that mass of sin. It was the exact picture of what is predicted concerning the reappearance of our great High-priest. "The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power." "The day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, all that dc wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts." "If we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries." "For our God is a consuming fire."

But the fire that darted forth before Aaron, and burned up what was accounted to be sin in that congregation, touched not one of the waiting worshippers. They saw it leap out with lightning fierceness, and lick up the guilty mass in a moment, but it came not near either of them. Not a saint of God shall be burned by the terrific fires of the great day. When the wicked are cut off, they shall see it. "The Lord shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel." "There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken; and they shall see the Son of Man coming in a cloud, with power and great glory." But He who upholds the worlds, yet marks the sparrow’s fall, says to his people: "When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads: for your redemption draweth nigh."

Nay, when the congregation of Israel saw the fires, "they shouted" and adored. They "fell on their faces" for very ecstacy, and holy worshipful admiration. They had expected much, but the thing transcended their most rapturous imaginings. And so, in the day of our Savior’s coming, there is a joy, and glory, and holy exultation, and adoring gladness, for the people of God, which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived. Then, from the dwellers in the valleys, and caught up by the inhabitants of the hills, and echoed by the islands over all the seas, shall be sung the Apocalyptic chant of Christian exultation—"Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever; Amen!" Even the four-and-twenty elders which sit before God, shall fall down on their faces, and worship, saying, "We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned." And down the long aisles of everlasting ages, shall be "heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, and the voice of many waters, and the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia! for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth!"

Bibliographical Information
Seiss, Joseph A. "Commentary on Leviticus 9". Seiss' Lectures on Leviticus and Revelation. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/sei/leviticus-9.html.
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