Date:         Tue, 7 Mar 1995 10:54:52 +0100
Sender:       Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
From:         Teus Benschop 
Subject:      The Scriptures opened, 21
     1.    Weekly reading, Leviticus 1:4, The Burnt Offering
     2.    Psalm 65:1-3, Thou shalt purge my transgressions away
     3.    1 Cor.14:1-25, Prophecy is more then unknown tongues (2)
     4.    Books
  1. Weekly reading, Leviticus 1:4, The Burnt Offering
  And he shall  put his hand  upon the head  of the burnt offering;  and it
  shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him.
  Wesamach jado al rosh ha'olah wenirtsah lo lechaper.
  He shall put his  hand upon the head of the burnt  offering. According to
  Maimonides, he did  this with all his power. He  shall lean with his hand
  on  the  head of  that beast.  This is  a clear  picture of  what happens
  spiritually, as will be explained afterwards. The burnt offering shall be
  accepted for  him to make  atonement for him.  It made atonement  for his
  sins in general. When he  leans with his hand on the head of  that beast,
  that shows how  he leans on something else to  make atonement for him. By
  doing so, he made visible that he could not pay himself for his sins, but
  that an atonement  was needed; he leans  on that atonement, given  him by
     It will be clear that that beast does not countervalue against the sin
  of  the man. A man has much more value  than a beast. Therefore, also the
  sin committed by a  man deserves much more punishment that  could be paid
  by  a beast. Above all, the sin of man committed is not a common sin, but
  is  done  against the  infinite  God.  Therefore,  that  sin deserves  an
  infinite punishment, and can never be paid by whatever. "None of them can
  by any means redeem  his brother, nor give  to God a ransom for him.  For
  the redemption  of  their soul  is precious,  and it  ceaseth for  ever."
  (Ps.49:7,8)  While the  offered beast  cannot  pay, we  see  that another
  atonement is  meant here.  It is  the atonement,  given by  God. Like  is
  written that  the LORD will purge away  the sins for His  Own sake: "Help
  us, O God of our salvation,  for the glory of  thy name: and deliver  us,
  and purge away our sins, for thy name's sake." (Ps.79:9)
     The  burnt  offerings  depicted  the  future  redemption  through  the
  Messiah, Jesus Christ, as is written that  Christ "is the mediator of the
  new  testament,  that  by means  of  death,  for  the  redemption of  the
  transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called
  might receive the promise of eternal inheritance." (Heb.9:15)
     Making atonement,  in our  text, was not  an automatic  happening. One
  might bring a  beast for a burnt offering, but that alone was not enough.
  Even when one put his hand on the  head of that beast, also that was  not
  enough. The man, who brought the offering, had to do this in the  belief.
  The  belief was  essential. Through  the belief,  he received  atonement.
  Through  the belief, the  man who offered,  saw on  the future redemption
  through the Messiah.
  2. Psalm 65:1-3, Thou shalt purge my transgressions away
  To the  chief Musician,  A Psalm and  Song of  David. Praise  waiteth for
  thee, O God, in Sion: and  unto thee shall the  vow be performed. O  thou
  that hearest prayer,  unto thee shall all  flesh come. Iniquities prevail
  against me: as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away.
  This is David's Psalm. He praises God  because of the good things he  has
  received of Him. This time, he does not praise God with a loud voice, but
  in silence. Therefore, he says "Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion."
  (Ps.65:1) In Sion, that is, in God's church, men praise Thee, O God, with
  silence and patience  expecting Thy good deeds and grace.  "Truly my soul
  waiteth upon  God: from  him cometh  my salvation." (Ps.62:1)  Men praise
  Thee, O God, with silence  and patience expressing their thankfulness for
  Thy grace. What  will that great grace be? Our text says  it: "as for our
  transgressions, thou shalt purge them away".
     It was  a habit, and a good habit, to promise a vow unto God, when one
  was in  great dangers.  Often they  said something like  this: When  Thou
  shall save  me from this dangers,  O God, then I shall do  this and that.
  See an example in Jephthah: "And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD,  and
  said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon  into mine
  hands, then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of  the doors of my
  house to meet  me, when  I return in  peace from the  children of  Ammon,
  shall surely be the LORD'S, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering."
  (Jud.11:30,31) David  also has vowed a  vow unto the  LORD. Therefore, in
  our Psalm,  he says: "Unto  thee shall the  vow be performed."  God saved
  him, and  now he will  pay the vow  unto God. It  is necessary to  make a
  remark here.  Many people,  when in  danger, promise something  unto God,
  when He but will deliver them. For example, when one is seriously ill, he
  prays  to God for  health, and promises  to lead  a better life,  to give
  money to  the poor, etc.  But when God  gives him the desired  health? Go
  they  to lead a  better life? Give  they money to  the poor?  Do they the
  other promises things? Nearly always, the answer is: No,  they forget all
  promises,  despise   God,   and  lead   their  former   lives.  That   is
  unthankfulness. They show  by their deeds that God is fine when they need
  Him, but can be trodden when they think to help themselves. David did not
  so  ungodly,  but  assured:  "Unto  Thee  shall the  vow  be  performed".
  Wherefore did he vow a vow unto  the LORD? In what great distress was he;
  so great that he vowed a vow? You can see the answer in our text: "as for
  our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away".
     David felt he was in need of God's help, therefore he prayed unto Him.
  The children of  God always pray to  Him, for they feel  that they always
  need His help. They have experienced, and daily experience, how dependent
  they are upon  God. "Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest
  away their breath, they die, and return to their dust." (Ps.104:29)  This
  was also David's experience. He always prayed  unto God. Did God hear his
  prayer? Yes,  He  did. That  is why  David,  in our  text, expresses  his
  thankfulness for this.  He says: "O thou  that hearest prayer,  unto thee
  shall all flesh come."
     When the ungodly  receive benefits from God, they  forget God, and run
  away  from  Him  with  their  benefits in  their  hands.  When  they have
  squandered their goods, they return to God, and begin to nag for new. The
  true believers however, do it  otherwise. When they receive benefits from
  God,  they are full of thankfulness. They wonder that so high a God looks
  down to  so low a man.  How is it  possible, that the  majestic God takes
  notice of  me,  a great  sinner? "LORD,  what  is man,  that thou  takest
  knowledge of him! or  the son of man,  that thou makest account of  him!"
  (Ps.144:3) The believer, seeing his  unworth before God, wonders at God's
  grace. Again,  in the  sight of  God's goodness,  they  better see  their
  inequities. So a  high God wants to  have to do with  so great a  sinner?
  This is it,  what happened unto David.  For he says: "Iniquities  prevail
  against me: as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away." Being
  saved from his distress, he saw also his iniquities. But above  all, what
  wonders him, is that God purges them away! Have you ever heard of  such a
  great grace? God  does not ask payment  of David, but He  forgives. Great
  grace! It must be experienced to understand that grace.
     The hymn of praise climbs out of  Sion's halls until Thee, with silent
  respect.  O God,  there  will they  pay  the  vows, each  day. Hearer  of
  prayers! Thou  hears them, who  expect Thy salvation.  Therefore will all
  sorts of families humbly  come unto Thee. A stream of  iniquities had the
  upper  hand above  me. But  Thou reconcile  and cleanse  our recalcitrant
  3. 1 Cor.14:1-25, Prophecy is more then unknown tongues (2)
  Short contents
  The apostle Paul concludes the previous exhortation to love. He continues
  to learn  that the  people, who follow  after spiritual gifts,  must most
  follow after the gift of prophesy.  Nevertheless, the gift of the unknown
  tongues must not  be despised,  but used  with an explanation  of it.  He
  proves this using the parables of a  pipe, a harp and a trumpet. He shows
  that  using unknown  tongues,  without explanation,  is  contrary  to the
  nature, and that it is  nothing else then if one spoke  to barbarians. He
  moreover teaches that men must pray so, that is does not happen with  the
  spirit only, but also with understanding. Otherwise, who not  understands
  that unknown  tongue, cannot say "Amen"  on that prayer. He  confirms his
  saying with his own example, and exhorts that they do the same. He proves
  from Scripture that  the unknown tongues sometimes  are more a punishment
  than a gift. Further, it would be  ridiculous when they all spoke unknown
  tongues, but edifying when they all prophecied.
  The apostle Paul  continues to prove that  it is important to  use easily
  understandable words. It must be known what is spoken by the minister.
     10 There are,  it may be, so  many kinds of  voices in the world,  and
     none of them is without signification.
  There are many kinds of voices in the world, not only of people, but also
  of  animals,   birds  and  other   things.  They  all   are  not  without
  signification. That is,  you can discern  them from the others.  When you
  hear someone talking,  you know who he  is. When you hear a  beast making
  his characteristic sound,  you know what  kind of beast  it is. When  one
  plays a musical instrument, you know what instrument it is. However, this
  common distinction is not in  the speaking of unknown tongues. Therefore,
  speaking in tongues is something strange; it is not like the common order
  in the world.
     11 Therefore if I  know not the meaning of the voice,  I shall be unto
     him  that  speaketh a  barbarian,  and he  that  speaketh  shall be  a
     barbarian unto me.
  In  this verse, Paul puts himself in the position  of a hearer. If he not
  understands what the  speaker is saying, because  the speaker is uttering
  gibberish, they  are barbarians for  each other. A  barbarian, that means
  one speaking a foreign language, like the old Greeks and Romans used that
  word. Imagine two persons; one speaks for example English, and  the other
  a native  African language.  They will  never understand each  other. The
  same went it in the congregation of Corinth.
     12 Even so  ye, forasmuch as ye  are zealous of spiritual  gifts, seek
     that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.
  They were zealous  to get spiritual gifts. That was  a praiseworthy zeal,
  but let that  zeal be used to the edifying of the  church, instead of the
  vain  uttering of  incomprehensible words.  This  verse is  important for
  those, who are  studying. Do not spoil your capacities to any vain study,
  but use your gifts for the edifying of the church. Do not waste your time
  in  idleness, but  apply your gifts  in the  service of  God. This  is an
  important  hint for those standing before some decision. Let your work be
  to  the honour of God,  and the welfare of  the people. Seek  that ye may
  excel to the edifying of the church.
     13 Wherefore  let him that speaketh in an  unknown tongue pray that he
     may interpret.
  The  apostle does  not reject the  gifts of  the unknown tongues,  but he
  wants  that it is  made useful. Let  the speaker of  unknown tongues than
  pray unto God,  that he may interpret his speaking. Let him pray that God
  will give him, besides the unknown tongue, also the gift of being able to
  explain it in a known language. For, being able to explain something, and
  to do it clearly and understandably,  was also a gift of the Spirit: "For
  to  one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of
  knowledge  by the same  Spirit; to another  faith by the  same Spirit; to
  another the gifts of  healing by the same Spirit; to  another the working
  of miracles;  to another prophecy;  to another discerning  of spirits; to
  another  divers kinds  of  tongues;  to  another  the  interpretation  of
  tongues." (1 Cor.12:8-10) He says that the Spirit gives to the one divers
  kinds of  tongues, and  to another  the interpretation of  tongues. Those
  people,  speaking in tongues,  themselves understood what  they said, but
  they had not always the gifts to interpret it clearly.
     14  For if  I pray  in an  unknown tongue,  my spirit prayeth,  but my
     understanding is unfruitful.
  Paul puts himself in the position  of the minister, who prays before  the
  entire congregation. "My spirit prays", that is, I do in my mind a prayer
  through  the  gifts  of  the  Holy  Ghost;  and  that is  good.  "But  my
  understanding is unfruitful". The sense of that prayer is not understood.
  So, my understanding is fruitless  in the hearers; my mind is  fruitless,
  because it yields no  profit in the hearers. My work  is than unfruitful,
  that  is, it is totally vain. If I pray in an unknown tongue, it would be
  better that I  kept my mouth. If  I bring not forth  good fruit, by using
  strange tongues,  than I  must take  heed lest  happens unto  me what  is
  written: "Every  tree which bringeth  not forth good fruit  is hewn down,
  and cast into the  fire." (Matt.3:10) So,  when one is unprofitable  unto
  the congregation,  his judgement  is: "Cast  ye the unprofitable  servant
  into outer darkness." (Matt.25:30)
     15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and  I will pray with
     the understanding also: I will sing  with the spirit, and I will  sing
     with the understanding also.
  "What is  it then?" That means,  what has one to  do to make  well use of
  these   gifts?  I  will  pray   with  the  spirit,  but   also  with  the
  understanding.  I will pray  in a tongue,  but also I  will interpret it,
  that the people may understand it. The same will I do with the singing.
     16 Else  when thou  shalt bless  with the  spirit, how  shall he  that
     occupieth the room of the unlearned say  Amen at thy giving of thanks,
     seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?
  There were people who "occupy the room of the unlearned". Those  are them
  who sit among  the listeners. It seems than, that the  ministers sat at a
  special, raised place in the meetings, in order that they better could be
  heard by the people. An "unlearned" is not one who  knows nothing at all,
  but one who  does not  understand the unknown  tongue, or who  not has  a
  public ministry, or not has the spiritual gifts to teach in the assembly,
  to  do  the  thanksgiving  or  the  prayer.  It  was  the  habit  in  the
  congregations to  say "Amen" when  the minister was  ready preaching. So,
  what Paul means to say is, that if the  listener not understands what the
  minister said, then  he could not  say "Amen" at the  end. When one  says
  "Amen" that means  that he agrees with the spoken  things. Amen is: so is
  it; it is sure; truly; surely. Some  examples of this use of Amen  in the
  Old Testament  follow. "Cursed be he that setteth  light by his father or
  his mother.  And all  the people shall  say, Amen." (Deut.27:16)  "Also I
  shook my lap, and  said, So God shake  out every man from  his house, and
  from his labour, that performeth not this promise, even thus be he shaken
  out, and emptied.  And all the congregation  said, Amen, and praised  the
  LORD." (Neh.5:13)
     17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.
  The  Greek original  text shows  emphasis on  the words  "thou"  and "the
  other".  So, the  apostle says:  "For *thou*  give thanks  well, but  the
  *other* is not edified". You do a  good thanksgiving, which can edify you
  because  you  understand  what   is  said.  However,  the  other  doesn't
  understand any word of it,  and therefore receives no edification. We see
  that the minister is not there for his own, but for the congregation. His
  work must benefit the people.
     18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:
  Because Paul thanks God, we see that  he does not reject the tongues.  He
  only punishes the abuse of it.
     19  Yet  in  the  church  I  had  rather  speak  five  words  with  my
     understanding,  that by my voice  I might teach  others also, than ten
     thousand words in an unknown tongue.
  The gift of the tongues is  not despisable in itself, but in  the church,
  it must not be used. The apostle rather speaks a few  well understandable
  words, than streams of words in some strange tongue. Understandable words
  are clear, well-known and plain, which can be understood by everybody. We
  see  how important  it  is,  that the  minister  uses such  speech,  that
  everybody can understand it. Scholarly  arguments must be rejected in the
  congregation. Another thing can we  learn from this. In the congregation,
  the native language ought to be used. Not the Hebrew, which is understood
  by but  a few, in the synagogues.  What benefit gives it,  when one reads
  the Torah in an unknown  language? I had rather speak five words  with my
  understanding, that  by my  voice  I might  teach also  others, then  ten
  thousand words in the unknown  Hebrew. Some ministers, in the church, try
  to seem scholars  by use of  much words in  the original language of  the
  Bible. Let they do not so,  for the congregation has no benefit  from it.
  Let they explain the power of the original Hebrew and Greek words, but in
  the native language.
     20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye
     children, but in understanding be men.
  Brethren, be not children in understanding. For it is absolutely childish
  to parade with unknown languages, without any edification. It may be that
  the children do  so, but you, be  men in understanding. Children  are not
  allowed to speak before the congregation. Let they play, but not here. Be
  men in  understanding, that  is, increase  daily in the  understanding of
  spiritual and godly matters. Between  the understanding you have now, and
  your future  understanding, ought to be such a  great difference, that it
  is as if you grew from children to adults.
     "Howbeit, in malice  be ye children". Be like  the children concerning
  malice. They don't  know malice, and are  innocent in it. Do  not examine
  the  bad things, but pass them by. There  are people who enquire into the
  bad things. And  when you ask them why they do such forbidden things, you
  get the  answer: "I know that  it is forbidden,  but I do so  in order to
  warn others for it". That is their guise. Let we, however, listen to  the
  apostle: In malice be ye children.
     (to be continued)
  4. Books
  William Gurnall, The Christian in complete Armour,
  A modernised abridgement
  David Wilkerson,  author of "The  Cross and the  Switchblade", writes: 'I
  believe "The  Christian in Complete  Armour", either this  abridgement or
  the full version (...) should be in the library of every man and woman of
  God.  No  Christian  leader, teacher,  pastor,  evangelist,  or Christian
  worker should  be without  it. It  breathes of holiness  and purity,  and
  provokes one to prayer and fuller dedication to Jesus Christ.'
  ISBN 0 85151 456 1
  Volume 1, 320 pp. Paperback.
  Price around $6,00.
  ISBN 0 85151 515 0
  Volume 2, 396 pp. Paperback.
  Price around $6,00.
  ISBN 0 85151 560 6
  Volume 3, 320 pp. Paperback.
  Price around $6,00.
  Ordering:  ask  your  local   bookstore  or  reply  this  description  to  - Your  order  will  be  forwarded  to  a
  bookshop. When ordering  by reply, include your  full name, address, ZIP-
  code and state and/or country.
     Chr-Exp, a Christian explanation of the Tanach and the New Testament
              Editor: Teus Benschop  -
                      No copyrights on this publication
            Institution Practical Bible-education, the Netherlands
     End of  The Scriptures opened, 21

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