November 2016


In the series, we have explored quite a number of areas of the Old Testament

1. The Fall Feast (Part 1)
2. Pauls Explanation Of Col 2 (Part 2)
3. Day Of Atonement (Part 3)
4. Feast Of The Tabernacles (Part 4)
5. Clean And Unclean Meat (Part 5 , Part 6)

Introduction

For the next few post I would be talking about the roles of priest under the Mosaic Covenant

“Aaron shall burn on it sweet
  incense every morning; when
  he tends the lamps, he shall burn
  incense on it. And when Aaron lights
  the lamps at twilight, he shall burn
  incense on it, a perpetual incense
  before the Lord throughout your
  generations.”- YHWH (Ex 30:7-9)

Under the Mosaic Covenant, Priest ought to burn incense before God daily. It had to be burnt every morning and evening.   We understand from Part 3 that when Jesus came in the flesh, he came to establish the spiritual temple of the new Covenant. In this new temple. there is no longer need to burn incense within it.

The Other Meaning Of Incense

But both in the Old Testament and New Testament, there is another definition of incense.

“Let my prayer be set before You as incense,
The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.”-David (Ps 141:2)

“Now when He had taken the scroll,
  the four living creatures and the
  twenty-four elders fell down before
  the Lamb, each having a harp, and
  golden bowls full of incense, which
  are the prayers of the saints.”-John (Rev 5 : 8)

Throughout the old testament and the new testament, incense is often used to represent prayers. God wanted his priest to burn incense for him day and night. This tells us how much God esteem our prayers.

“And you shall beat some of it very fine,
  and put some of it before the Testimony
  in the tabernacle of meeting where I will
  meet with you. It shall be most holy to
  you”-YHWH (Ex 30:36)

From here we know that incense is something holy to the Lord. His priest is suppose to burn it whenever they are in his presence.

Today many Christian feels that they only need to pray when they have a request to bring before God. So when there are not request, there is no longer a need for prayer. But Prayers ought to be our meeting with God, it is our chance to worship him. God wanted man to approach him through prayer. For Jesus says, “My house shall be called a house of prayer”

Christian sometimes forget that the main purpose of coming to church is to meet God. In the past whenever Abraham travelled to a location, he would erect an altar to worship God. It is a testimony of how Abraham esteem praying and worshipping God daily. He had made God his priority and as the result God had esteemed Abraham as well. That is why God called Abraham his friend.

Today Christians are chosen by God just like Abraham. But is our relationship close to God? Do we regard God as something good to have but can do without? Gods attitude toward us is the same as our attitude towards him.

That is why prayer is an essential aspect of our faith that we cannot regret. Prayer is just like a thermometer of our faith, it indicate our closest with God. Today as spiritual priest in the spiritual temple of the messiah let us not neglect our prayers to God. 

In the Torah God gave Moses the composition of the incense.

“Take sweet spices, stacte
  and onycha and galbanum,
  and pure frankincense with
  these sweet spices; there
  shall be equal amounts of
  each.”-YHWH (Ex 30:34)

There are four materials, which are spices, onycha, galbanum and frankincense. They must be equal amount of each. These are 4 components of prayers that we must not neglect.

Stacte : A Type of Gum From The Tree Bark

Stacte is a type of gum that is extracted by cutting the bark of the tree. As you collect Stacte, it will look as if the plant was bleeding. While Jesus was praying in the garden of Gethsemane. his prayer is just like Stacte, and the bible describes that as earnestness.

“And being in agony, He prayed
  more earnestly. Then His sweat
  became like great drops of blood
  falling down to the ground.” Luke(Lk 22:44)

Blood flows faster than water, it is an indication that Jesus is perspiring greatly. But there is something we ought to take note of, for Jesus was captured on a cold month, for Jn 18:18 tell us that it was cold when Jesus was captured. For Peter need to enter the courtyard for fire, that was when the people confronted him.

It is usually difficult to perspire in cold weather, yet Jesus is perspiring as if he is bleeding, can we see the earnestness in that? Sometimes Christians are unable to grasp what it mean to be earnest in prayer. Will we pray till our sweat becomes like drop of blood?

This is the example of Jesus, his sweat is like blood, that is a sign of his earnestness, that is a prayer that God delights in.

 Onycha : A Type Of Seashell ‘

The biblical onycha cannot be fully identified today. But it is often believed to be a type of shell that must be pounded to extract fragrance. This type of pounding is often a reminder of submission. For the material need to break itself down in order to give fragrance.

In the same way, the prayer of Jesus at Gethsemane is one with Onycha  for he pleaded with God to take away his bitter cup. But in that prayer we see Jesus breaking himself down to submit to God. That is why in every prayer he said  “Not my will but yours be done”

Prayer is not about telling God what we want and desire. We need to submit to God as well. we must be like Onycha, a shell that is willing to be pounded for fragrance.

Today if God does not accede to our request, are we willing to break ourselves down?  Are we willing to put aside our preference and submit to God?  This is something we need to consider, as our prayers often carries our desire and our will. We need to be willing to change and submit to God. We need to let go of our preference and desire , then the will of God will be done.

Galbanum : A Medicinal Sap That Chases Snakes Away

Galbanum is a type of sap that i different from Stacte. It had sulphuric content that could repel snakes and pest. It is used as a medicine as well. The prayers of Jesus is just like that, it could heal the pain of others. It can even cast the demons away. It is not done for his own sake, but to help those who are around him.

Is our prayer filled with Galbanum? Do we often pray for ourselves or do we pray for others?

“Therefore I exhort first of
  all that supplications, prayers,
  intercessions, and giving of
  thanks be made for all men,
 
for kings and all who are in
  authority, that we may lead a
  quiet and peaceable life in all
  godliness and reverence.””- Paul (1 Tim 2:1-2)

There are many Christians who knows how to pray, but they do not pray for others. Even if they do, they will only pray for their family and friends. Our prayers are often selfish, focus only in our own matters.

But Paul tells us to pray for all man, yet we reason among ourselves and ask “why is it important? How do we pray for them? How would we know if our prayers are effectives?” that is why our prayers are so pragmatic and we often pray only for ourselves

Why did Paul encourage us to pray for everyone? For God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of truth. Very often even when we pray for our loved ones, our prayers tend to focus only on the things on earth. We ask for healing, and help for the people around us.  

Praying For The Salvation of others

That is why we do not feel obligated to pay for others. for we do not even know what to say.

But those who knew the will of God will pray according to his will. For God wants all men to be saved. He did not want us to focus only on our worldly problems. That is why Christians ought to pray for the salvation of others. We need to pray for ourselves, at the same time pray for others to be saved.

On the basic level we can ask God to guide them to his truth. For only knowledge of the truth brings about salvation. This applies to both believers and unbelievers, for there are many who thinks they know the truth, but they in fact understand it partially only. They may be right in some aspect but wrong in many.

The Holy Spirit is here to do an important work, he is here to guide people into the truth.  We need to know his will and to pray for others to receive the truth. That is what the church need, let us not just pray for ourselves.  let us follow the word of Jesus. Let us seek his kingdom and righteousness. The kingdom of God is the church, let us pray for her development. For righteousness will only come when man obey the word of God.

We may not be able to expound scriptures, quote it to exhort and encourage people, but we can at least pray for the people and pray for our truth seekers. For God will heed our prayers and do his will. For he desire all men to be saved.

Frankincense : Holy And Fragrant Prayer

Frankincense is a famous tree sap that would give off fragrance when burnt. It remind us that prayers ought to be holy and fragrant. Sometimes our prayers can become either holy or fragrant. But God is only please with prayers that are both holy and fragrant.

That is why Paul tell us not to give in to wrath but instead lift up holy hands in Prayer (1 Tim 2:8 ) . Likewise James remind us to draw near to God and he will draw near to us.

But what does it mean to draw near to God?

"Draw near to God and He
  will draw near to you. Cleanse
  your hands, you sinners; and
  purify your hearts, you
  double-minded. “ – James (Jas 4:8 )

This is a good definition of Drawing near to God. For if we want our prayers  to be holy and fragrant we need to keep our hands clean and our hearts purified. We must not be double minded. If we could do this, will God not accept our prayers?

But if our hands and heart are not clean. why should God listen to us?

Salt : To be added to the mixture of Incense

We had just taken a look at the 4 component of prayers. Let us pay attention to another detail

“You shall make of these an incense,
  a compound according to the art of
  the perfumer, salted, pure, and holy” – YHWH (Ex 30:35)

God had instructed the children of Israel to add salt to their incense. Salt is a form of preservative, that is why adding salt into our relationship with God holds a significance. It is a reminder that our relationship with God and our prayer must not change. That is very important

For many Christians today change after following God for  awhile. They start their Christian journey with zeal for they understand the truth and they came to church regularly. They may have receive the Holy Spirit and had personal experience with God.  They may start their journey zealous and will serve God in various ministry.

But sadly, their faith is not added with salt, after a while, it starts to change. At the same time, his prayer starts to change as well. They may even doubt if they have receive the Holy Spirit. At the beginning of their faith, they were happy and faithful. But over time his testimony changes, and we can all see it.

Did the truth of God change? Or had the Christian changed? Is his initial faith wrong? Or is his current state of unbelief correct? Christians who come to church for a long time will see many who had come and left the church. Sometimes they leave not because the truth of God is no good.  But the fact is, they have changed and no longer follow the word of God. Worst still when they turn their unbelief into testimonies against the church.

That is why we need to add salt into our covenant with God. Even more so we need to add salt to our prayer. Is our prayer as zealous as before? Do we continue to believe in God as we pray? Or have we subtlety started to doubt within us? We need to add salt into our prayer, we need our prayers to be unchanging and steadfast.

A Faith That Is Unchanging Is  Not Built On Emotion and Rationale

A Christian love, emotion and thinking may not be bad all the time. But if we rely on our emotion and rationale as basis for faith one day it will change eventually. The fact is that we learn of God not through our emotion, thinking or feeling. It was the truth of God and the gospel of salvation that move us.  It is the almighty power of God that saves us, that is why we believe in the gospel and we are saved because of faith.

The truth of God never change, that is why we need to prevent ourselves from changing. If our faith is built only on human emotion, one day the emotion will fade.  At that point of time, are we still able to believe in him?

There are many Christians who were in church for many years, but now they no longer have the same feeling towards God. Perhaps in the past they are convince through examining the scriptures, their research convinced them for a while. But as time past, they feel that their research were incorrect.

The human mind is never absolute, it is ever changing, that is why we need to use the bible to examine our thoughts.  We need to compare our thinking against it and see if we are right or wrong. We need to examine our train of thoughts to see if they are aligned to the scriptures or not. If our direction is wrong, let us correct ourselves and adjust our thinking to the scriptures.

Today there are many Christians who read the scriptures choosing to like certain portion of it. They choose only to believe in the verses they like and they disregard everything that they did not like. But our scriptures is meant to be the word of God that saves. It is the light to our path and it guides us to the right path.

We need to allow the scriptures to be our light to guide us instead of judging the light. We need to renew and readjust our hearts to follow the word of God. Instead of correcting the word of God, let us correct our wrong thinking. By doing so we will have added salt into our covenant. 

Only then can our faith be unchanging and steadfast. It is a pity that many in the word today build their faith upon their own thinking and emotion that is why their faith is every changing just like their thinking and emotion.  Only by building faith on the truth can we have a faith that is unchanging, only then can we have true faith.

Concluding Thoughts For Now

Let our prayers be one that had the 4 components in equal amount. Let our prayers be season with salt. Most importantly, let us not season it with vinegar. For many murmur and whine against God and accuse God of doing nothing to help them.

They question God for being unfair and bias worst still they doubt the love of God. WE know that God wanted his priest to burn incense daily, both in the morning and at night. Let our prayer be filled with the 4 materials prescribe by God. Let us learn to season our prayers with salt.

Let us go to Jesus and allow him to teach us about prayer

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In our previous post. We looked into 2 mistakes of Aaron

1st Mistake :  He did not rebuke Israel When they Sinned
2nd Mistake:  He built the golden calf

We have looked deeper into the golden calf and we have understood the significance of having the golden calf in our lives. 

Today if we are not vigilant in our service. We can create invisible Idols for ourselves. Jesus mentioned 2 types of Idols that could destroy our spiritual lives.

Mammon

“No one can serve two masters; for
  either he will hate the one and love
  the other, or else he will be loyal to
  the one and despise the other. You
  cannot serve God and mammon” – Jesus (Matt 6:24)

Money could become our idol and many will worship it. Many Christians will betray Christ for the sake of Money. That is when  money becomes their master and they are willing to betray friends and family for the sake of it. That is when we read of court cases where people sue their relatives and friends for money. What is worst is when one betray their souls for the sake of money.

That is why the bible tells us not to long for riches or be covetous. For that longing will lead us to use underhanded means to achieve riches. That is why we need to use wealth carefully and not allow money to rule over us. For it will lead us away from the truth and be ensnared by riches.

To idolise Someone Or To Become an Idol

There is another idol mentioned by Jesus

“Therefore, when you do a charitable deed,
  do not sound a trumpet before you as the
  hypocrites do in the synagogues and in
  the streets, that they may have glory from
  men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have
  their reward.

  And when you pray, you shall not be like the
  hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in
  the synagogues and on the corners of the streets,
  that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say
  to you, they have their reward.” – Jesus (Matt 6:2,5)

It is a good thing to do charity and perform charitable deeds. But one should never do it for the sake of getting praises and glory from men. For if we do so we create for ourselves an invisible Idol. On the worst scenario we made ourselves into an idol for others to worship.

Men had the tendency to worship an idol, someone whom they regard as great.  When there is no one greater than us, we would become an idol for others to worship.

These are 2 attitude that is against the teaching of God.  A man ought to fear God and not worship others. He must not allow himself to become an idol and an object of worship. He must have the heart to worship God and to give God the glory

The Example Of Jesus

For Jesus once taught us to worship God and to serve him only. Therefore whenever we idolize others in our service and to allow ourselves to become an idol. We have created an unseen idol and have went against God. We need to learn from the example of Jesus

“I do not receive honor from men.” – Jesus (Jn 5:41)

When Jesus performed the miracle to feed the 5000. (Read about it here Part 1, Part 2

There were many in Israel that idolized him, they wanted to give Jesus the highest honour and to force him to become their king..Jesus did not want glory from man but he was unable to stop them from idolising him. Therefore he refused them, he departed from them and he retreated to the mountain to pray.

The words  “I do not receive honor from men.” should be our motto in life as well. We cannot control the reaction of the others but we can control how we react to it. We can choose not to receive honour from man.

Let us not deceive ourselves saying that we are unable to do anything about it. Let us not deceive ourselves and think that the honour was a blessing from God. For if we glorify ourselves, we cannot give God the glory.

It is a contradiction and people who believe in God will always glorify God. For without God we are nothing. We have nothing to boast about and we have no reason to receive any glory.

That is why we must not idolize people or to make ourselves an object of worship.

The Example of Paul

Once Paul performed a miracle and healed a lame man. His action stirred the city. It stirred the city so much that they brought a calf to sacrifice to Paul. They even brought him flowers. How did Paul react to it?

Paul did not enjoy the moment and just be quiet.  Instead he tore his clothes and ran away crying out

“Men, why are you doing these
  things? We also are men with the same
  nature as you, and preach to you that you
  should turn from these useless things
to the living God, who made the heaven,
  the earth, the sea, and all things that are
  in them”- Paul (Acts 14:15-16)

In those day tearing of clothes is an expression of grieve, for how could these people do this that are against the word of God? Paul did not condone their actions or receive their worship, he instead reprimanded them and gave the glory to God.

A man who is faithful to God will never worship man nor will he accept worship from men. They will be careful when they serve God. They will not allow themselves to become an idol. Many workers o f god were not vigilant and they fell from faith. They ended up seeking man’s applause, praise and glory. For the sake of those they are even prepared to go against the teaching of God. 

Why Golden Calf and Not Some Other Animal?

Now lets take a step back and consider, why did the Israelites choose a golden calf? There are many other animals on earth, why not a lion?

A Lion is the king of the jungle, he will never be subjected to man. Perhaps the people are influenced by the Egyptians. The Egyptians are an agricultural society, to them, grain and herd are symbols of fertility. The ox is an important tool and a great help to the farmer. What is best about it is that he will only listen to your orders, and will not instruct you to do anything. He will not complain if you are a bad master

That is probably why they choose a calf to represent God. They wanted a God that can help them to do what they cannot do, but they did not want a God that will rule over their lives and they need to obey him. They wanted to make a god for themselves. Even though they called him the Lord, but their relationship with him is corrupted. He is no longer the Lord of their heart. they do not need to obey him or follow his instruction,

Today there are many Christians who claim to worship God, they called Jesus their Lord, but is he truly their Lord? They have made a golden calf in place of God, they wanted a God that will obey them.

Christians And The Bronze Bull Of Wall Street

On 29th Oct 2006, there was an incident of the golden calf in wall street. There was a lady Pastor who called for a day of prayer for the worlds economy. They choose the day of Oct 29 as Oct 29 1929 was the date of US Stock market crash that led to the great depression.

She claims that the Lord move her and told her that it will happen again. So she made a proclamation to pray for the word economy , he gathered Christians before the bronze bull of wall street to pray. They chose to pray at wall street as it is the financial centre.  They choose to pray at the bronze bull for it is a representation of a bullish market.

So they gathered before the bronze bull to pray and sing hymns. They told God that they did not want a bull or bear market, but they want lion market. For Jesus is the lion of Judah and he will not let the stock market crash.

As we are doing this, are we worshipping the golden calf? Are we turning people away from God?

 Jeroboam’s Golden Calf

But history tell us that it is away repeating itself. Aaron builds a golden calf, later on in time there was 2 other golden calf constructed. they are created 500 years later after the kingdom of Israel broke away from the Kingdom of Judah.

The first king of Israel, Jeroboam, constructed 2 golden calves. They are recorded in 1 Kings 12:25-33. The two calves are found in Bethel and Dan, in the northern end and the southern end of his kingdom. When he finished them he made the same proclamation

“It is too much for you to
  go up to Jerusalem. Here
  are your gods, O Israel,
  which brought you up
  from the land of Egypt!”- Jeroboam (1 King 12:28)

He did not want the Israelites to go to Jerusalem to worship God, they only need to stay within his kingdom and worship the calves. They are representative of God. Didn’t he know about the history of Aaron and the golden calf? Why did they allow history to repeat itself.

they do so for they feel their hidden agenda is more important. In order to achieve their motives to be independent form Israel, they are willing to go against God. They pretend to say that they have not forgotten God, for the calf is called the Lord , he is the one who brought them out from Egypt.

Perhaps they feel that their motives are right, it is out of a good will. They have not change their faith for they still believe in the Lord God. But they are in fact deceiving themselves, thinking that they have done nothing wrong.

They claim to have faith in God but they did not want to go down to Jerusalem for worship. Today there are people who think that as long as you believe in God, it doesn’t matter how you worship him. They believe they are obeying the word of God even if they worship at home away from church.

But God had instructed us to gather an worship. Unless we are not Christians and we do not believe in the word of Jesus. Than we do not need to follow it. There are many who are not careful in serving God. They wanted to achieve their own agenda and they ended up making golden calves for others to follow.

Let us not rejoice when the calf is destroyed. For the next golden calf will come, let us not be alarm by it. For history will always repeat itself. there will be new golden calves that will appear. WE need to know who our real master is, we need to consider if Jesus is still our Lord.

If you believe in him, you will listen to him. You will choose to follow Jesus and not anyone else.  Let us not follow the world or emulate it.

Conclusion

So far we have look at the mistake of Aaron building the golden calf. WE knew that his first mistake is not to rebuke Israel for sin then we look at the 2 idols that could potentially destroy our faith. finally we look at the reason why man create idols for themselves. We are also aware that History will repeat itself.

We will continue our study on the next part. 

Notes From Previous Post

In our previous section we have covered .

1. God’s definition of Clean Animals
      a. Split or Cloven Hooves
      b. Chew the cud 
      c. Have fin and scales
     d. Had joint legs that could leap into the air

We have also examined the fact that most “Scientific research” only demonstrate what is wrong with unclean animals, they seldom talk about how clean animals is superior to the unclean animals in those aspect.  That is because even science find it hard to justify the superiority of clean animals over unclean animals in terms of food safety.  

While it is good to back our belief with scientific proof,  what will happen if there are scientific experiments  that proves that unclean animals are healthier and better than clean animals? Will we change our belief and start to doubt the word of God because of that?  Will we start to criticise the word of God as arcane and unscientific? We speak as if God determined clean and unclean animals base on those scientific reason when in actual fact he merely distinguish them by their physical anatomy.

That is why it is not a good idea to supplement the word of God with our 1001 scientific experiments. For God had not spoken those words. Men are not suppose to add to the word of God just like men are not allowed to subtract from the word of God.

Introduction

In this section, we will cover what the bible tells us about clean and unclean animals. We will look look at this all the way from creation to the time of Noah, to the establishment of the Mosaic covenant. 

We would cover how the Mosaic covenant requires Israel to remain separated and Holy onto the Lord. Then we would discussed how the sacrifice of Christ fulfilled the requirements of the Law of Moses and how through his blood, cleanses both Israelites and gentiles, removing the separation between them.

We would look at these by dispelling many of the popular misconception about clean and unclean food

Misconception 1 :  The Mosaic Dietary Law By Worshipper of God Since Creation

The fact is that the rule of clean and unclean animals exist at the time of creation. In those days, human beings were not allowed to eat meat. For God had given the following command to Adam and all animals that are on earth

“See, I have given you every herb that
  yields seed which is on the face of all
  the earth, and every tree whose fruit
  yields seed; to you it shall be for food.

  Also, to every beast of the earth, to
  every bird of the air, and to everything
  that creeps on the earth, in which there
  is
life, I have given every green herb for
  food”-YHWH (Gen 1:29-30 )

According to Genesis, the pre-flood world was a vegetarian world.  Men and animals were to eat the herbs as food. The only killing that was allowed is for sacrifice. That is probably the reason why Abel kept sheep in the first place.  The Sheep are not meant as food but rather as sacrifices and the source of clothes.

The mention of clean and unclean animals existed during the time of Noah’s flood. During the flood God sent 7 pairs of clean animals and 1 pair of unclean animals into the ark. (Gen 7:1-2) At that point of time the rule of clean and unclean animals were all defined. Even though men was not allowed to eat any form of meat.

After the flood. God allowed men to eat meat.

“Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.
 
And the fear of you and the dread of you
  shall be on every beast of the earth, on
  every bird of the air, on all that move on
  the earth, and on all the fish of the sea.
  They are given into your hand.  Every
  moving thing that lives shall be food for
  you. I have given you all things, even
  as the green herbs. But you shall not
  eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood”-YHWH (Gen 9:1-4)

That is the dietary rule that was kept by the patriarchs all the way to the time of the Mosaic law.

The Mosaic Covenant Is A Covenant Of Separation

The rule of eating clean and unclean animals was given by God to Israel. When God called Israel out of Egypt. For God called Israel to be holy and consecrated for him.

“I am the Lord your God, who has
  separated you from the peoples.
  You shall therefore distinguish
  between clean animals and unclean,
  between unclean birds and clean,
  and you shall not make yourselves
  abominable by beast or by bird, or
  by any kind of living thing that creeps
  on the ground, which I have separated
  from you as unclean. 
  And you shall be holy to Me, for I the
  Lord am holy, and have separated you
   from the peoples, that you should be
  Mine"-YHWH (Lev 20:24-26)

The Mosaic covenant  required the follows of the covenant must be separated from the people of the world. They are to be different from the people the world. When Balak called  Balaam to curse the children of Israel. God spoke through Balaam. He described his chosen people as

“For from the top of the rocks I see him,
  And from the hills I behold him;
  There! A people dwelling alone,
  Not reckoning itself among the
  nations.”-Balaam (Num 23:9)

God gave Israel the Law to eat clean and unclean animals to remind Israel to separate between clean and uncleanness.  This separation is seen throughout the old testament. Israelites are separated from other Hebrew tribes such as Moabites, Ammonites, Edomite, Ishmaelite . Out of which the tribe of Levi is separated from the 12 tribes of Israel to serve God. And out of Levi the house of Aaron is separated to be able to come into Gods presence.

In the old testament, the Tabernacle  is separated from the camp, with Levites encamping around it. Within the tabernacle there is a separation between the outer courts, Holy place and the Holies of Holies where God dwells. Israel could come to the outer courts to make sacrifices. Only the Levites are permitted in the Holy place, and the High priest is permitted to enter the Holies of Holies once a year.

In the Mosaic Covenant, God is separated from the people. He descended onto Mount Sinai and men were not allowed to draw near to him. Only Moses and the 70 elders manage to enter to the foot of the mountain. Only Moses is permitted to enter into the presence of God.

God Wanted To Draw Near To Men

When God descended onto Mount Sinai he spoke to Israel and told them the ten commandments. But the people were terrified of him. Moses had to tell them to stay away from the mountain. They told Moses.

“You speak with us, and
  we will hear; but let not
  God speak with us, lest
  we die.”- Israel (Ex 20:19)

God knew the weakness of Israel, so he made Moses a promise

“What they have spoken is good.
 
I will raise up for them a Prophet
  like you from among their brethren,
  and will put My words in His mouth,
  and He shall speak to them all that I
  command Him. And it shall be that
  whoever will not hear My words,
  which He speaks in My name, I will
  require it of him” – YHWH (Deut 18: 17-19)

God promise that he will raise a prophet like Moses among the people. This is one of the earliest prophecy concerning Jesus. Throughout the old testament, God made it very clear that he would want the gentiles to seek him

Amos 9:11-12 : was quoted by the disciples in Acts 15. Here God said that when the tent of David is raised up. The Gentiles will be able to call on to the name of God.

Micah 4:1-2 : Tells us that many nations will be able to enter the mountain of the Lord. They will be able to go up and learn the ways of the Lord.

All these verse tells us that eventually, when the Messiah comes, he will bring salvations over to the gentiles . Ezekiel in his temple vision saw that from the side of the altar comes living water, and it had the ability to heal all nations. It had the power to heal the waters of the dead sea. Many believe that the dead sea became what it is due to the judgement of God on Sodom and Gomorrah.

For Lot describes that area around Sodom and Gomorrah to be like the garden of God.  (Gen 13:10)

IT tells us that the stream from Ezekiel’s temple, flowing from the right side of the altar of sacrifice. Was able to heal the nations.  Prophet Zechariah tells us that when the day of the Lord comes there is living waters that will flow from Jerusalem to the eastern sea and western sea. In those days, all nations will go up to Jerusalem to worship. God will allow every pot in his house to be cleanse. Even the horses will be engraved with the words “holiness to the Lord."  (Zech 13: 8-9, 18-21)

This is a very strong image, as "Holiness to the Lord” is the words engraved on the garments of the high priest. The horse is an unclean animal. But now the unclean animal is given the status of the priest.

Peter Vision, Christ Fulfilment 

Now we know that Christ had died for all men in the gospel. But this message was not that well understood at the initial stage of the history of the Church. At the very beginning in Acts 2 the church is mainly made up of Jews who believe in Jesus.

In Acts 6 there was a mention of Hellenist (Acts 6:1) they are still Jews, except they speak greek.

Later on in Acts 8, Samaria was converted. Then the Samaritans are starting to join the church. Samaritans are half Jews. In the past Jews will not associate themselves with Samaritan as they felt they are pure Jews, therefore they remain separated from them.

Throughout this process. We see the walls of Separation that was the theme of the Mosaic Covenant being broken. But the most significant  break come s in Acts 10. That is when God allowed Cornelius to be saved. 

In that vision, God use the law of Separation from the Mosaic law as the theme to teach Peter. There God allowed Peter to see unclean animals where he was instructed to kill and eat. But Peter refuse as these are unclean. But God told him

“What God has cleansed you
  must not call common.”- Jesus (Acts 10:15)

Peter was wondering what this meant. But later on when he saw that the gentiles received the Holy Spirit just like the Jews. He realised that God had no longer separated the gentiles from the Jews . He said it clearly when he explained his reason to baptise the gentiles.

“Then I remembered the word
  of the Lord, how He said, ‘John
  indeed baptized with water,
  but you shall be baptized with
  the Holy Spirit.’

  If therefore God gave them the
  same gift as He gave us when we
  believed on the Lord Jesus Christ,
  who was I that I could withstand God?” – Peter (Acts 11:16-17)

Peter continue to talk about this in the Jerusalem council

“So God, who knows the heart,
  acknowledged them by giving
  them the Holy Spirit, just as
  He did to us, and made no
  distinction between us and
  them, purifying their hearts
  by faith.”- Peter (Acts 15:8-9)

From here we see how Jesus death fulfilled all the prophecies of the prophet.

The Conflict Of Peter And Paul

Paul wrote about the incident in Antioch between Peter and Paul in Gal 2:11-21.  Peter was initially sitting and eating with the gentiles. He was practicing Christ teaching of the removal of separation. but later on when there were Jewish Christians that came from James, he separated himself from the Gentiles and sat with the Jews

Paul spoke out against Peter, reminding him that he should not compel gentiles to live like Jews. For Peter saw it first hand how God had justified gentiles who do not practice the Mosaic covenant.

Conclusion

All these verse tell us that at the death of Christ there is no longer a separation between Jews and Gentiles. They tell us that faith in Christ justifies, and the spirit of God can now live in a gentile who do not follow the Mosaic Covenant just as he can dwell in a Jew who strictly kept the Mosaic Covenant.

It tell us that through the death of Christ there was indeed a fountain that can clean uncleanness, a the same time. In this new temple of the Messiah which is the church, the horses can indeed receive the tag Holiness to the Lord and there are no Canaanites in the house of the Lord.

Most importantly it tells us that God did not make separation between Jews and Gentiles anymore,  the Gentiles who knew nothing of the Mosaic Covenant could be part of the promises of God through the death of Jesus.

Therefore, there is no need for the dietary rules to be kept, for the separation is no longer necessary. It doesn’t matter if one follows it or not.

Today if one choose to follow the Jewish dietary law as a lifestyle choice. He is at liberty to do so, but he need to understand that what he does had no effect on his salvation. For the death of the Messiah also created a world similar to the post flood world. God allowed all men to eat animals, but blood is forbidden.

While the Jewish dietary law may be good for health,let us all understood its true significance, how it separates the people of God from the gentiles. LEt us understand that in the eyes of God, it doesn’t matter if you eat clean or unclean animals. But in this kingdom of the messiah. Let us focus on true sin and true uncleanness. Let us prevent them from robbing us of salvation.

May God guide all of us to understand his will.