Full text of Zac Poonen’s teaching on the Book of Leviticus which is part of the popular series called Through The Bible.
Quotable Quote(s) from This Study:
“Holiness for the body is what we call health, and health for the spirit and soul is what we call holiness.”
Listen to the MP3 Audio here:
Zac Poonen – Bible Teacher
Okay, we have reached the Book of Leviticus, and I’d like you to turn there in Leviticus in chapter 1 and I might as well tell you that this is really one of the most difficult books to study and get something for the heart from. But I believe that it is the inspired Word of God.
And what I was praying was ‘Lord, helped me to understand Your heart. I want to understand what is in Your heart when You wrote this book.’
See, we can get so taken up with all the little details of things in the book and miss God’s heart. I don’t want to miss that. God’s Word has been given to us to give us, I believe, a glimpse into the heart of God. And if that is your desire to understand the heart of God, I remember when I was considering this whole period of Bible study: THROUGH THE BIBLE and I was trying to look into the heart of God to see what was God’s intention in giving us his book.
And this is the verse that came to my mind, this very well-known verse: “God so loved the world that He gave His Son, that whoever believes in Him should never perish…” (John 3:16) and I saw that was God’s heart, that no one should perish; no one should be lost; no one should be ruined by sin. And He was willing to give a Son for that.
And I want to keep that in mind, as I look at this book, and every book of Scripture, you see the heart of tremendous love, and even if there are things here which I can’t fully understand, I want to say, ‘Lord, I want to understand Your heart even if I don’t understand all the different verses here.’
HOLINESS OF GOD
So Leviticus is a book that speaks about the HOLINESS OF GOD. It’s a whole book in which the primary theme is holiness.
Now holiness is a word a lot of believers are afraid of. I know people are accused me of preaching holiness, and unattainable standards. But I’m not afraid, I’ll continue doing that as long as the Lord gives me life, because I believe that is the nature of God. The Spirit He gave us is a Holy Spirit.
And when Isaiah got a vision of God, he saw Him in His holiness, and he considered himself an unclean man. Holiness is like health.
How many of you are afraid of health? How many of you are afraid of perfect health? We’re not afraid of perfect health; we want perfect health.
Why are you afraid of perfect holiness? Sin is like sickness, and you see that in this book. The Lord gives rules concerning holiness and rules concerning health. The two are similar: one is for the spirit; one is for the body.
Holiness for the body is what we call health, and health for the spirit and soul is what we call holiness. So we need to get rid of this fear of holiness and we must come to the place where we desire total holiness like we desire total health.
And just like I want to be free of every sickness in my body, I want to be free of every sin that defiles me in my life. To tolerate dirty thoughts is like tolerating tuberculosis or leprosy; to tolerate anger and say what to do brother, I can’t get rid of it, and you allow it and make allowance for it, it’s like making allowance for AIDS or some serious sexual disease.
SIN AND SICKNESS ARE VERY SIMILAR
Sin and sickness are very similar. And in the Book of Leviticus, we find some details concerning leprosy in one of the chapters. That’s describing actually about what to do when people have got some type of skin disease. But it’s a picture of sin.
The word ‘holiness’ appears in this book more than 150 times, emphasizing that this is the theme of this book: a book with 27 chapters where 150 times the emphasis comes on holiness… holy, holy… must be an important book. And yet there are no stories here like in all the other books of the Bible, and there are not many interesting verses.
But there’s a lot of description of offerings and feasts and things like that, and I want to try and take out some of the important parts from this book, and try and show them to you, and also to give you a brief understanding of the main offerings and feasts that the children of Israel had to offer or celebrate, so that we can get an understanding of the Old Testament and see how they apply to us in this New Covenant age.
We know that in Hebrews that God is finished with all offerings and sacrifices but those sacrifices pointed to Christ and to us, and therefore it’s good for us to see how these things apply and what they symbolize and picture.
In the FIRST SEVEN CHAPTERS in the Book of Leviticus, he’s basically describing five offerings and all of them in a sense were picturing Christ and His perfect life and His death… not just His death but His perfect life as well. We should not think only of His death, because there are some offerings in these five offerings in which there is no blood; there is no animal. And that’s obviously not referring to Calvary; that’s referring to Jesus’ perfect life; and that is also one of the offerings.
So when we look at Jesus, a lot of people think only of that offering of Himself on the cross, but what we learned from Leviticus is the way He offered His life day by day to God without any blood being shed as an offering for us like on Calvary.
And now two of these offerings were compulsory: the sin offering, and the guilt offering. And three of the offerings were voluntary. And they were called the burnt offering, the meal offering, or the grain offering… and the grain offering did not have any blood in it. And the third was the peace offering. So these were the five offerings: two compulsory ones called the sin offering and the guilt offering; and three voluntary ones called the burnt offering, the grain offering, and the peace offering. And all these pictured various aspects of Jesus’ life and depth. And that’s why they are applicable to us.