Date:         Tue, 14 Mar 1995 09:52:17 +0100
Sender:       Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
From:         Teus Benschop 
Subject:      The Scriptures opened, 22
     1.    Weekly reading, Leviticus 6:1-7, Sin and atonement
     2.    Isaiah 1:16-18
     3.    1 Cor.14:1-25, Prophecy is more then unknown tongues (3/3)
     4.    Books
  1. Weekly reading, Leviticus 6:1-7, Sin and atonement
     1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
     2 If a soul sin, and commit a  trespass against the LORD, and lie unto
     his  neighbour  in  that  which  was delivered  him  to  keep,  or  in
     fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his
  Until now, Moses has dealt with sins,  committed by mistake. But here, he
  begins to speak about more deliberate  sins. Also for this kind of  sins,
  there is  forgiveness, as  we see  in the  seventh verse.  There will  be
  people, when  they hear  that there  is forgiveness for  deliberate sins,
  they will sin more easily. These are the ungodly. They use God's grace to
  sin more carefree. They abuse God's grace to do evil. They say, let us do
  evil, that grace will be multiplied, "whose damnation is just." (Rom.3:8)
     When we see  that there is forgiveness,  even for the  more deliberate
  sins, we learn  that we must  not think too  harshly about God.  He is  a
  merciful God.
     Our  verse speaks  about  one who  deliberately  sins, who  trespasses
  against  God,  who lies  unto his  neighbour, or  who takes  something by
  violence, or  has deceived his  neighbour. One sins  deliberately when he
  knows that  something is forbidden,  but nevertheless does  it. You know,
  for example,  that it is  forbidden to do  your work on  the Sabbath. But
  nevertheless, you do  some work in  your house, that  nobody sees it.  In
  your heart,  you know  that it is  forbidden, yet, you  do it. This  is a
  deliberate sin against God, and a transgression of His commandment.
     3  Or have  found that which  was lost,  and lieth concerning  it, and
     sweareth  falsely;  in any  of  all these  that a  man  doeth, sinning
  The sins in this verse are the following: You have found something on the
  street, or wherever, and you lie concerning it. When one asks if you have
  found some money on the street, and  you say "no", while it is "yes", you
  lie concerning it. A deliberate sin. Or when you swear falsely. The false
  swearer calls upon God's Name, that He is the Witness that he is speaking
  the truth. When  you swear  falsely, you  call upon God's  Name that  you
  speak the truth, while you lie. In doing so, you make God a Liar. For you
  say that He is a Witness of  your lies. Just as if He is a  Liar. This is
  very clear an  intentional sin.  Yet, as  you see in  the seventh  verse,
  there is  forgiveness. How  merciful is  our God.  But do  not abuse  His
  grace, for then will your damnation be just.
     4  Then it shall be,  because he hath  sinned, and is  guilty, that he
     shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he
     hath deceitfully gotten,  or that which was delivered him  to keep, or
     the lost thing which he found,
  What  you have robbed, or deceitfully gotten  something, you must give it
  back. Do not think that the forgiving is an easy way to become rich. For,
  when  you have stolen,  and you ask  for forgiving without  restoring the
  stolen things,  you would  easily become rich  in worldly goods.  But you
  would  abuse  God's  grace.  Nothing of  this  all.  When  there  is true
  repentance, you  will, when possible,  compensate your sin.  When that is
  done, you will ask for forgiving.
     5 Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore
     it in the  principal, and shall add  the fifth part more  thereto, and
     give it unto him to  whom it appertaineth, in the day  of his trespass
  The sinner  shall restore the  stolen goods, adding  the fifth  part more
  thereto, "in the  day of his trespass  offering". Of course, it  was also
  allowed to restore  the goods in the days before the offering, but surely
  not after the  offering. God did not  accept offerings, when the  sin was
  still not  made up.  For, this  would defile  the offering,  and make  it
  unacceptable before  God. It was impossible that one  could offer with an
  upright heart, when he knew that there was something between him  and his
  neighbour. God, who penetrates  the heart, would  reject it. Let we  keep
  this in mind.
     6  And  he shall  bring his  trespass  offering unto  the LORD,  a ram
     without  blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass
     offering, unto the priest:
  The sinner will bring his offering unto the LORD. Will this offering make
  atonement? No, the  offering in  itself will not  make forgiving. A  dead
  beast in itself is not enough  to pay for your sins. Would God accept the
  finite dead beast for such great sins as false swearing, robbery, and the
  like? These sins  are committed against God,  and are therefore infinite.
  Some beast cannot pay for infinite sins. In the next verse, you will read
  how the atonement will be made.
     7  And the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD: and
     it shall  be forgiven him for  any thing of  all that he hath  done in
     trespassing therein.
  Not the offering will make  an atonement, but the priest will do  so. The
  offering itself was  not the  price for the  forgiving. The atonement  is
  based  upon the priesthood. The  sinner brought his beast  to be offered,
  but it was not  able to pay for his sins. The  priest did so; that means,
  the priest made  the atonement  before the  LORD. And then,  it shall  be
  forgiven him for all that he has sinned against the LORD.
  When we now  look around us, we see  that the offerings have  ceased. The
  priests have  ceased. So, who  will make an  atonement for us  before the
  LORD? Bringing  offerings, whether  it be  beasts, prayers,  or whatever,
  will not  give atonement.  A priest  is  needed. So,  while there  is  no
  priest,  is  there also  not  forgiveness?  No,  reader,  there is  still
  forgiveness. For, there  is one Priest, namely  a High Priest.  Jesus the
  Messiah is  the Priest  now. He  makes  an atonement  for all  those  who
  believe in  Him. The priests  of the Old  Testament were the  pictures of
  Jesus, the Messiah.  They have ceased  now, with their  temple, in  order
  that Jesus is the only high priest now. Jesus, the present priest differs
  from those ancient  in several respects. One respect  is that the ancient
  priest offered beasts, but that Jesus offered Himself. He himself was the
  offering. That was the reason why He had to be crucified. Having made the
  atonement, it is for everybody who believes in Him. However, do not abuse
  His grace by continuing in sin. The greatest heap of Christians  does so.
  They  say: believe in Jesus and you  will go to heaven. And no good works
  are visible in their lives.  While they deceive theirselves, reader, take
  heed. A faith which  is not visible in our life, that  is, when we not do
  good works as a result of that faith,  is a false faith. A true faith  is
  not fruitless, but  brings forth the blessed  fruits of repentance, love,
  good works, godsfear, service of  God, humility, prayer, awareness of own
  sin and  worthlessness before  God. Such  a true  believer will  be saved
  through  the only High Priest, Jesus Christ,  the Son of God. "If any man
  love not  the  Lord Jesus  Christ, let  him  be Anathema  Maranatha."  (1
  2. Isaiah 1:16-18
  16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before
  mine eyes; cease to do evil;
  17 Learn  to do  well; seek  judgment, relieve  the oppressed,  judge the
  fatherless, plead for the widow.
  18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins
  be as  scarlet, they shall be  as white as snow; though they  be red like
  crimson, they shall be as wool.
  In the previous verses, the prophet Isaiah has said that God abhorred the
  whole external worship of the Israelites, for while doing the rites, they
  were  evil. While  coming unto  the temple,  they committed  the greatest
  sins. He said: "Bring  no more vain oblations; incense is  an abomination
  unto me; the new moons and Sabbaths,  the calling of assemblies, I cannot
  away with;  it is iniquity, even  the solemn meeting."  (Isa.1:13) It was
  not so that  the LORD abhorred the  rites in itself, but  he abhorred the
  people who  did them. The nation,  by committing the greatest  sins, made
  their  worship  one  great hypocrisy,  absolutely  worthless.  The people
  however, thought that they  did a good thing;  for the service of  God is
  good, isn't it?  They forgot that it  was unacceptable when they  went to
  God's house  on the Sabbaths,  and did  evil the rest  of the week.  They
  feigned to be good on the Sabbaths, but during the week they showed their
  true nature by their evil deeds.
     God, being righteous,  could have said: Go away; you are not longer my
  chosen people. God,  being righteous, could have called up the enemies to
  destroy both  the land and the  people. God, being  righteous, could have
  sent famine,  sword, sickness,  death, as  their just reward.  But, great
  wonder, though God is righteous, He also is merciful.  Before He destroys
  the people, he  sends His prophet Isaiah.  This man had to  preach to the
  nation, about their true behaviour, about the necessity of penance, about
  the coming wrath, and the like. He had to call them up to penance. Let us
  listen to this holy prophet, send by God.
     "Wash you,  make you  clean; put  away the  evil of  your doings  from
  before mine  eyes; cease  to do evil;  Learn to  do well;  seek judgment,
  relieve the  oppressed, judge the  fatherless, plead for  the widow." The
  prophet puts the  outward repentance in two things: cease to do evil, and
  learn to do well.  When one but ceases to do evil,  and not holds out his
  hand  to help the people, he does but  the half of it. This is of no use.
  When you only does not evil, then you are of no use for the other people.
  It would  be the  same  as if  you  did not  exist,  for you  do  nothing
  positive. On the  other hand, when you do well, but  continues to do also
  evil, also  that has not any  value. For what you build up  with your one
  hand, you break down with the other. The result is  again nothing, and it
  would be as if you did not exist. "Cease to do evil; learn to do well".
     Concerning evil,  God says:  put away the  evil of  your doings  "from
  before Mine  eyes". Let  we know  therefore, when  we put  away the  evil
  before  the eyes of the  people, that this is  not enough. God's eyes see
  also  in the  darkness,  also  the hidden  things  are  open before  him.
  Bettering our outward deeds is  necessary, though not enough. We  must be
  clean before *God's* eyes. God, the Knower of our heart. Who will be able
  to cleanse his heart? That heart  which is an always flowing fountain  of
  evil? We see in the sentence "from before Mine eyes", that God's power is
  needed, to wash our hearts from evil. When  you, reader, say: Yes, but my
  heart is not so bad,  then I say you, that you are utterly  blind. You do
  not know what is in your heart, for the Bible says that nobody's heart is
  good. "Who can say, I have made my  heart clean, I am pure from my  sin?"
     Concerning doing good, pay attention on which things the prophet calls
  good. "Judge  the fatherless,  plead for the  widow." In the  world, many
  will judge the matter of the rich, for then you may have advantage of it.
  But  the fatherless, and  the widow, who  will help them?  They are often
  poor, so they cannot pay you. In the world, the fatherless and the widows
  stand at the bottom. They have much need, but few helpers. Therefore, the
  prophet calls them up to do also these things, which are often forgotten.
  Do  not only well, when  you can obtain honour  by it, but  help also the
  needy. Yes, help the needy  in the first place,  and your reward will  be
  given you by God.
     When that all is done, through the grace  of God? What now? Then it is
  time to  come unto God, and ask for  pardon for your sins.  Listen to the
  prophet: "Come  now, and let us  reason together, saith  the LORD: though
  your sins be as  scarlet, they shall be as white  as snow; though they be
  red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
     "Come now",  after you have done well, and  after you have ceased from
  evil. Come not before you have  done so, as you did until now. Until now,
  you came while your hands were full of blood.  Then, I hid Mine eyes from
  you, and  when you  made many prayers,  I would not  hear. So,  come now,
  after you have bettered the outward deeds of your life.
     "Let us reason together, says the LORD". Let us talk together, and see
  what was the cause of that I did not hear you. Why had I left you? It was
  because of  yours sins. "But  your iniquities have  separated between you
  and  your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not
  hear." (Isa.59:2) Come  now, and let us  reason. "Though your sins  be as
  scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson,
  they shall be as wool." You might have been such a great sinner, but yet,
  there  is  pardon.  Your hands  might  have  been full  of  blood  of the
  innocent,  yet, there  is  pardon.  For the  greatest  sinners, there  is
  pardon. Only, repent, and turn back to God.
  In this  part of Isaiah,  we see the  same as  in our weekly  reading. In
  Leviticus,  we saw that there was an atonement for the deliberate sinner.
  However, only after he had made up his crimes, and after  he had restored
  the stolen  goods. In Isaiah,  in our part,  you see the same.  Stop from
  doing evil, and seek to do well. And then, come unto  God. When your sins
  were very great, yet, there is forgiveness.
     We  see that  the restoring  of the  goods was  not the  cause of  the
  forgiveness. When  you better your life, you still need forgiving. We see
  this, because after one has done well, he had to go unto God  for pardon.
  When  his  works were  his  pardon,  he needed  not  to go  unto  God for
  forgiveness. The  same we  saw in  Leviticus. When  he had  restored  the
  goods,  he had still to bring his  offering to the priest, and the priest
  had still  to make atonement  for him. The atonement,  the forgiveness is
  not based upon our works, but on God's grace only.
     When one has sinned, and afterwards compensated it, the result is that
  he  has done nothing. He has stolen something,  and he has given it back.
  What good  has he done  then? Nothing. He  has given back the  goods, but
  yet, he has sinned against God and the people. He still needs forgiveness
  from God. Therefore, God's grace is always  needed. Our God is a merciful
     Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins
  be as scarlet, they shall be  as white as snow;  though they be red  like
  crimson, they shall be as wool.
  3. 1 Cor.14:1-25, Prophecy is more then unknown tongues (3/3)
  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 prophesied.
     21 In the law  it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips
     will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear
     me, saith the Lord.
  The apostle was speaking about the tongues, and that they had no place in
  the  congregation. Now,  he  quotes  the Old  Testament  to give  another
  reason, why  the tongues not must be used. "In  the law is written", says
  he. He  quotes from Deuteronomy  and Isaiah. Deuteronomy  says: "The LORD
  shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as
  swift  as  the  eagle  flieth;  a  nation whose  tongue  thou  shalt  not
  understand;" (Deut.28:49) This  is a punishment which  will come upon the
  nation, when they  are disobedient. The prophet  Isaiah is speaking about
  the great apostasy of the people. Therefore will the punishment come upon
  them. "For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak  to this
  people."  (Isa.28:11) The meaning is: Because  the nation did not want to
  receive God's  teachings by His  Word, He will  teach them by  an unknown
  tongue. This  is their punishment. First, they did  not want to hear, and
  now,  they  will not  be  able  to hear.  This  is  the result  of  their
  ingratitude  and obstinacy. "Stammering  lips" point to  unknown tongues,
  for when  one speaks to us in another  language, it seems like stammering
  to us. So, in both places, Deuteronomy and Isaiah, it is about an unknown
  language to punish their disobedience.
     22 Wherefore  tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to
     them  that believe  not: but  prophesying  serveth not  for them  that
     believe not, but for them which believe.
  In the previous verse,  Paul quotes the Old Testament, and  here, he uses
  it in  his reasoning. The  strange tongues were  a punishment in  the Old
  Testament, so also  now. "Wherefore tongues are  for a sign to  them that
  believe not". It is a sign to punish the people thereby. Because God uses
  the  unknown tongues  as  a punishment,  they  must  not be  used in  the
  congregation. For  that would be a  punishment instead of  a useful gift.
  Unknown  tongues  are  a  sign  of  God's  anger.  The  unbelievers,  who
  obstinately reject God's Word, get unknown tongues from God. Did they not
  hear?  Now they shall  not be able  to hear! Therefore,  who gets unknown
  tongues in his congregation, is obviously disobedient. Otherwise, God had
  not given them.  So, people, does not  boast on these tongues,  which you
  see as a  gift of the Holy Spirit.  For it is a  punishment, like the Old
  Testament says  you.  When you  have  a  minister, who  is  difficult  to
  understand,  then this is like an unknown  tongue. You hear him speaking,
  but you  cannot  well  understand what  he means.  God  gave you  such  a
  minister, namely to punish the congregation for their disobedience.
     On the  other hand, the  "prophesying serves for them  which believe".
  God  sends a  good minister  to  His believers,  His  beloved. Therefore,
  follow after prophecy, and do not use any unknown tongue.
     23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one  place, and
     all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or
     unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
  The apostle again uses another  argument. When you all speak  in tongues,
  and some outsiders  come in, what would they say?  They will say that you
  are  mad. Such outsiders  come in, and they  hear several strange voices.
  They will think that you are not wise, or that you cannot speak,  or that
  there  are stutterers  on the  pulpit. Such  outsiders will  consider the
  Christian religion as  a religion of crazy  people. They will  think that
  Christianity makes the people frenzied. Therefore, do not longer like the
  children, who play with unknown tongues, but pursue after prophesying.
     24 But if all prophesy,  and there come in one that  believeth not, or
     one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:
  You see  the difference between  when one comes  in unto the  speakers of
  unknown  tongues,  or unto  the  people  who  prophesy.  Prophecy is  the
  speaking of "edification, and exhortation, and comfort." (1 Cor.14:3) So,
  when  an unlearned  comes  in, and  he  will hear  the minister  speaking
  edification,  exhortation and  comfort, "he  is convinced  of all,  he is
  judged of all". When he hears the people speaking in a clear manner, well
  understandable, he is convinced that the Christian religion is the truth.
  He also will be convinced of his sinful nature, namely then  the minister
  speaks  about God's  Law  and when  he gives  some practical  examples of
  transgressions. The  unlearned will say:  "I did not  know that this  and
  that also is a transgression.  What a great sinner am I!" It  will happen
  to him, like is written: "Now when  they heard this, they were pricked in
  their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and
  brethren, what shall we do?" (Acts 2:37)
     Besides being convinced of all, he also is "judged of all". He will be
  condemned by  all, namely  about his previous  sins. When he  not accepts
  what the people tell him out God's Word, he will be judged. When he knows
  the truth, he cannot be ignorant any longer. For now he knows the truth.
     25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling
     down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of
     a truth.
  "The secrets of  his heart are made  manifest", namely when he  hears the
  prophecy, that  is, the exhortation,  and the explanation  of God's Word.
  His sins were  secret before. Perhaps, he didn't even know it himself. He
  compares  the heard things  with his heart,  and discovers how  bad it is
  there. "And  so, falling down on his face, he  will worship God". He will
  be convinced  of the fact that  God is in you. All these  things will not
  happen when the  ministers, like children, are  speaking and playing with
  unknown tongues in your midst, but when they prophecy.
     Paul's  conclusion is:  do not use  unknown tongues, for  they have no
  value. Use  prophecy, for this  yields blessed fruits  of repentance, and
  the increase of God's people, and thus gives the most honour to God.
  The present  charismatic movements would  be considered by  Paul as being
  punished by God. The charismatic people themselves boast on gifts of  the
  Holy  Spirit, but  let  we use  our  understanding. Let  them boast;  no,
  better, warn them  that they destroy their congregation  by doing so. Let
  them return to the Scriptures,  and practise the explanation, exhortation
  and comfort. Then the people who  come in will be convinced, and  falling
  down on their face, worship God.
  4. Books
  Stephen Charnock, The Knowledge of God
  This one-time assistant  to John Owen has tended to be known only through
  his  writing  of "The  Attributes  of  God". But  no  less  valuable, and
  certainly  more  readable,  are  Charnock's  sermons.  Fifteen  are  here
  reprinted commencing  with "A Discourse  on the Knowledge  of God". Other
  major themes which follow include "Unbelief", "The Lord's Supper", "Self-
  Examination", and "The Death of Christ".
  ISBN 0 85151 448 0
  604 pp. Cloth-bound.
  Price around $20,00.
  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, 22

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