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The following letter-form was brought about as a means of teaching my children the Word of God through the mail. And of course, quite naturally so, thatís the reason I begin these letters with "Dear Children" and end them with "Love Dad". So for the rest of you who participate in these weekly messages, please keep their original intended purpose in mind.

 

25 June, 2000

 

Dear Children,

 

Well here we are again, and believe you me this message has been one more looong time a coming. I mean I canít even remember how many months itís been since the Lord started feeding me the information for this one. And seeing how God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit are The Source of my sermonet writing abilities, letís once again give Him (God Almighty) all the praise and glory for what we are about to receive. Thank you Jesus!

 

Now after those last three sermonets (Benny Hinn And The Pope, Benny Hinn And The Catholic Church, and ...And Benny Hinn Says The Catholics Are Saved?) I was really hoping that we could kinda like stay clear of the Catholic Church and their most unholy religious teachings for awhile. But, sad to say, itís only after much prayer and study that I find todayís message of How Do You Want Your Fire... Now Or Later? has Roman Catholicism written all over it! I mean try as I might, I just canít help but see the rotting corruption of the Catholic Church everywhere I turn!

 

So having said all that, letís head on off into the Word of God by turning to and reading from Matthew 3:1-12: "In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. And the same John had his raiment of camelís hair, and a leather girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

 

OK so now that weíve read over our little lead-in text for today, let me kinda like focus your attention on a few of the very important key words for our study; repent, Lord, baptize, water, Holy Ghost, and fire. Because you see itís through this simple little story of John the Baptizer that I hope to be able to show you how both the Roman Catholic Church and a whole bunch of other religious folk have taken this thing called "water baptism" to a place that The Good Lord never intended. In fact I hope that before this sermonetís over and done with youíll be able to see that the place their "water baptism" will actually take itís followers is not Heaven but the everlasting fires of Hell!!!

 

You see itís this "counterfeit" water baptism thing that kinda like all goes back to the sermonet ...And Benny Hinn Says The Catholics Are Saved? Because it was in that most recent and informative twelve page discussion that we saw how Satan, through the most unholy Catholic religious system, has added so many counterfeit things into Jesusí "One And Only Salvation Plan" that itís downright impossible for their faithful followers to be saved! In fact if youíll really pay close attention to what weíre about to cover, I think the "counterfeit" water baptism of todayís "religious world" will very obviously reveal itself to be the fake that it is.

 

But getting back to the story of John the Baptist and the "real" water baptism that God intended, let me try and lay it all out to you in the plain and simple black and white. You see this fellow John was someone very very special to the plan of God. He was the one chosen by God to begin the very difficult process of changing what religious folks thought about "getting saved". You know... salvation; what it takes to get us into Heaven! Because what had happened up until that point in time was that these "religious church going folks" had kinda like "fallen in love" with "the things of the church" instead of "The Church".

 

You see the truth of the matter is that back in those days a few of the things that were needed to have "church" (the priest and the temple) were all originally designed by God to only represent and point to "The Church" of the future (Jesus Christ the Savior). In other words God didnít intend for the church going folks to start worshipping "the church" (the priest and the temple), because without a doubt "the church" was not God! But seeing how people tend to be human, and itís only one of our human flaws that we seem to want to worship the things created by The Creator instead of The Creator Himself. And seeing how the priest were all decked out in their finest most holy religious threads, and the temple was likewise grand and glorious beyond imagination, it was by the time that John the Baptist came on the scene that the priest had somehow become the gods and the temple their palace.

 

Now doesnít that sound just a little bit familiar? I mean donít you remember that Roman Catholic Church we talked about in our last sermonet? Well what weíre seeing in our church world of today is the same evil wicked spirit that was in the church world of Johnís day. You see everybody had gotten so caught up with worshipping the things of religion that The Almighty God of Heaven was no longer worshipped as God. The church was in a terrible mess, and of course thatís the very good reason why John the Baptizer was chosen to usher in one more Church-Shaking Change... and what a change He (Jesus) was!!!

 

You see Jesus was about to come on the scene with His New Testament "Church" that would totally and completely replace the Old Testament one forever. No longer would it be necessary for the church going folks to go to the house of God (temple) in order to be with God, nor would it be necessary for the priest to continue on as the "communications experts" between God and His people. God was about to get rid of all that "old religious stuff" and replace it with The New!!!

 

So just how radical of a change do you figure this New Testament Church really was? Well if you would have only been there to see it for yourself, the difference between the Old and the New would have completely blown you away. I mean by just doing a quick comparison between the two types of preachers (the priest and John the Baptist) I think youíll be able to see exactly what I mean:

The Priest wore some of the most elaborate ornamental robes made from the finest materials, were considered to be very important "men of God" in the community (folks called them "Father"), worked in the most holy place in the entire world (the temple of God), and even got to chow down on some of the most choice cuts of meats. They were without a doubt the "fat cats" of their religious world! But now on the other hand...

John the Baptist wore clothes that were not only rude and crude but probably even had a very noticeable odor (animal skins), filled the role of a prophet by being a complete snob when it came to social gatherings (neither eating bread or drinking wine; they said he had a devil), conducted his church services out in the wide open and very harsh conditions of the desert, and built up his physical strength by feasting on grass hoppers and honey. Mmm mmm good! Bug drippings anyone?

 

Now do you see what I mean? This New Testament Church, as conducted by John the Baptizer, was what you might want to call one more radical departure from the Old. In fact not only was the minister radically different, but so was the way he conducted his church services. Because you see John the Baptistís church services went a little something like this: "In those days came John the Baptist, preaching... Repent ye... Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make his paths straight... Then went out to him... And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins."

 

You see in Johnís church service it was his three part sermonet that kinda like started out by making everyone aware of the fact that their membership in the Old Testament Church just wasnít going to hack it anymore. They were all sinners who shouldnít be sinning! So the first part of Johnís sermonet was entitled Hell Fire Preaching #101, which proceeded right on into the second part on how they desperately needed to turn away from their sins before Jesus came, and finally ended by plunging all those who decided to repent beneath the waters of the Jordan river. And that my friends was all there was to John the Baptistís baptism.

 

So this was the "baptism of John" that was going to get the religious folks into Heaven and likewise keep em out of Hell? Well... yes and no. You see it all depended on who was getting dunked. Because by continuing on with verse 7 of Matthew 3 we see that John has kinda like added one of those great big old "if" statements into his baptism formula: "But when he [John the Baptist] saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire."

 

Now do you see what I mean about the "salvation through Johnís baptism" being dependent on who was getting dunked? Well probably not just yet, so what do you say I shed a little more light on the subject for you. You see these folks called the Sadducees were guaranteed to be the most unholy high-society upper-crust priest of the Old Testament Church, and the Pharisees were none other than their demonic little helpers (legal advisers). I mean these folks were "top dog" when it came to the corrupted (apostate) Old Testament religious system, and for some strange reason they were "chomping at the bits" to get a hold of some of this New Testament stuff. They wanted to get baptized, but it seems as though John the baptizer wasnít any too crazy about doing it. I mean John actually called this "anxious group of new recruits" a "bunch of snakes"! So if this process of "repenting and dunking" (Johnís baptism) had the power to make people holy (like the Catholics and a few other church folks say it does), then why in the round world didnít John just get it on with the "miracle working process" and watch a few of those "slithering satanic snakes" turn into "heavenly holy doves"?

 

Well the truth of the matter is that thereís a whole lot more to getting saved than just "saying youíre sorry and getting wet!" Yup, thereís a whole lot more to it than just that! And of course thatís the very good reason why John got in their face by calling them a bunch of snakes, and then proceeded right on into his little speech about how the water wouldnít do them any good without some "fruit" to go along with it. In fact John made "as sure as sure could be" that they all understood the fact of how water baptism without the fruit of repentance would only result in their (those baptized; the tree) being chopped down and thrown into the flaming fires of Hell!!!

 

Now getting tossed into the flaming fires of Hell, after having been baptized in water ("repented-of and dunked"), is not a very pleasant thought... especially when youíve got your heart set on the everlasting joys of Heaven. But thatís exactly what John the baptizer said would happen if this New Testament Salvation Plan wasnít carried out correctly. In fact just to clarify himself on a few of the details, John continued right on along by saying: "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

 

So now are you starting to smell the smoke? I mean letís get real! First of all John threw out the threat that all those not getting baptized correctly would end up as "everlasting crispy critters", but then he went right on to say that even the correct baptismal method would involve lots of fire and smoke too! And now that weíve uncovered all this flaming hot information on water baptism, are you starting to figure out why the title of this sermonet series is How Do You Want You Fire... Now Or Later?

 

Well donít feel bad if you havenít made all the connections quite yet, because weíve really only just gotten started. In fact in order to help us understand what this New Testament Salvation Plan was replacing, we really need to go back to the Old Testament Plan and pick-up on just a few more of the missing details. You see the Old Testament worship service not only included the temple and the priest, but there were also those things called the animal sacrifices. And itís through what weíre about to learn through these Old Testament animal sacrifices that we should be able to understand why the New Testament baptism of fire is a necessary part of keeping the New Testament water baptized person out of the everlasting burning fires of Hell!

 

So going back to the good old days and Godís Old Testament Salvation Plan, there were a total of seven different sacrifices (along with the temple, the priest, and of course many other assorted things) that were involved in getting people "forgiven of their sins" and "saved". And, with the exception of only one, all the sacrifices involved some kind of very healthy live animal having to give up itís very healthy life in order to complete the process. In other words the humans were the ones doing the sinning, but the animals were the ones paying for it with their flesh and blood (so to speak). And even though this might not sound too awful complicated right about now, I think that by the time we add in the fact of how these sacrificial animals represented the Perfectly Pure and Sinless Body of Jesus Christ youíll find the exact opposite to be true.

 

But before we get into the part about the animals, letís first of all come to grips with another very important part of the animal sacrifices called "fire and water". Because you see by turning to Numbers 31:21-23 and 19:9 we find the following very informative Scripture: "And Eleazar the priest said unto the men of war which went to the battle, This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD commanded Moses;... Every thing that may abide the fire, ye shall make it go through the fire, and it shall be clean: nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of separation: and all that abideth not the fire ye shall make go through the water. ...for a water of separation: it is a purification for sin."

 

So now that youíve absorbed all that, just how do you figure this Old Testament "fire and water" stuff might fit in along with the animal sacrifices? Well putting everything into itís proper perspective, the subject weíre dealing with is sin... and how to get rid of it! Because you see the fact is that God the Father wants us to become His adopted children and live with Him forever and ever, but yet sin is not an option for any of His Heavenly holy family members. Therefore it becomes pretty obvious that somehow we gotta get rid of all the sin stuff before we can become an officially adopted child of God! And itís likewise through this very short but descriptive Scripture on "fire and water" that weíre gonna get a better handle on how itís all done.

 

You see the fact of the matter is that God Almighty is super clean (100% Pure) and we ainít. And the reason we ainít is because of our dirty rotten sin. So the question is "how do we get clean" in order to become one of His? Well going back to the information we found in the book of Numbers, we see how "dirty things" can be made clean by either "washing out" the dirt with water or "burning up" the dirt with fire. Ainít that neat! But, as it should become pretty obvious to most, you need to be extremely careful when choosing the right cleaning process for the job. I mean letís take cleaning clothes as an example. Which one do you figure you ought to use to get the dirt out of your finest designer threads; the water or the fire? Well I certainly hope your answer was water, because anyone who cleans their clothes with the fire could end up just a little bit "thread bare". Get it?

 

All right, so weíve established the fact that water does a very nice job when it comes to separating the dirt from clothes. But on the other hand, when it comes to something like operating rooms, you wouldnít dare use water to try and clean-up surgical instruments. I mean talk about a bunch of dead patients! You see in order to prevent infection and death after the operation, youíve got to get rid of all the dirty little critters on the instruments before the operation. And seeing how itís totally impossible to wash them off and keep them off with water, it shouldnít be too awful hard to understand that youíve gotta put them through the fire to really get them clean! So getting it on down to the nitty gritty basics of cleaning, the water only separates the dirt from whateverís being cleaned while the fire actually destroys it. And even though water might be good enough in certain situations, in order to actually get something absolutely and positively 100% clean youíve got to put it through the fire!

 

And speaking about getting all smoked up... howís your brain doing? I mean this is one more deep subject! In fact in order to keep things as simple as possible (k.i.s.s.), without losing Godís intended basic understanding, weíre only going to look at three of these animal sacrifices in our message for today; the "sin offering", the "trespass offering", and the "burnt offering". So first of all, the way this Old Testament Salvation Plan worked was that the sinnerís sin had to be an unintentional sin committed in error in order for the sinner to be forgiven by God. In other words the sin that was committed could not have been one that was done on purpose and out of rebellion to God the Father. For Godís forgiveness plan to work, through the offering of the perfectly sinless animal sacrifices, the sinner had to not only have been trying with all their might to obey the laws of God, but they also had to believe "in faith" that it was the Blood of the Perfectly Sinless Jesus Christ (not the blood of the animal) that was eventually going to do the saving.

 

So if all these conditions were met, then the chosen sacrificial animal could be offered up to God by the repenting sinner. And starting off with the first of three, the "sin offering", why donít we just go ahead and read the facts directly from the Holy Bible: "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,... And if any one of the common people sin through ignorance, while he doth somewhat against any of the commandments of the Lord concerning things which ought not be done, and be guilty; Or if his sin, which he hath sinned, come to his knowledge: then he shall bring his offering... And if he bring a lamb for a sin offering, he shall bring it a female without blemish. And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay it for a sin offering in the place where they kill the burnt offering. And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out all the blood thereof at the bottom of the altar. And he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fat of the lamb is taken away from the sacrifice of the peace offerings; and the priest shall burn them upon the altar, according to the offerings made by fire unto the LORD; and the priest shall make an atonement for his sin that he hath committed, and it shall be forgiven him." (Leviticus 4:27-35)

 

OK, so now that youíve read it do you understand it? Well this is some pretty deep stuff, so what do you say we just take it slow and easy, step by step. You see first of all the sinner had to "fess-up" to the fact that they were headed for the everlasting fires of Hell... and likewise be willing to do "whatever it took" to keep from going there. That was the very important first step of the Old Testament Salvation Process. And after that part of the process had been completed, the sinner could then lead their sacrificial animal (a perfect physical specimen) to the door of the tabernacle, and symbolically transfer their sins to the animal by placing their hand on itís head. The animal would then have itís throat cut by the sinner, so as to give itís lifeís blood for the sins of the sinner. The priest would then take this same blood and apply it ever so sparingly to the "four horns" of the "brazen altar", but yet pour out the remaining amount at the bottom of the brazen altar.

 

So is all this bloody enough for you? Well we ainít even seen nothing yet! Because what happen next was that the sinner split-open the animal, pulled out all the fat from around itís internal organs (innerd fat), and then handed it to the priest. The priest then placed it on that great big old holy flaming grill (brazen altar) to be completely burned up by the fire. And after all this had been done, the priest could then legally declare that satisfaction had been given for the wrongdoing against God, and the sinnerís sins would likewise be forgiven. So that takes care of the sacrificial animalís blood and "innerd fat", but just what do you figure happened to itís meat (flesh)?

 

Well Iím so very glad you asked, because the following is exactly what God the Father told Moses to do with it: "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, saying, This is the law of the sin offering: In the place where the burnt offering is killed shall the sin offering be killed before the LORD: it is most holy. The priest that offereth it shall eat it: in the holy place shall it be eaten, in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation. Whatsoever shall touch the flesh thereof shall be holy: and when there is sprinkled of the blood thereof upon any garment, thou shalt wash that whereon it was sprinkled in the holy place. But the earthen vessel wherein it is sodden shall be broken: and if it be sodden in a brasen pot, it shall be both scoured, and rinsed in water. All the males among the priest shall eat thereof: it is most holy." (Leviticus 6:24-29)

 

Well were you able to get your answer from that? You see because of that one word "sodden", this oneís just a little bit tough to understand. I mean in the plain and simple, the word "sodden" means "to boil in water". And it was after the flesh (meat) of the animal sacrifice had been boiled in water that the priest could eat it. And that my friends is exactly what the Word of God has to say about the animal sacrifice called the "sin offering".

 

And moving right along, letís take a look and see what the "trespass offering" is all about (sometimes called the "guilt offering"): "And the LORD spake to Moses, saying, If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and lie unto his neighbor in that which was delivered in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his neighbor; Or have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein: 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, Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principle, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering. 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: 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." (Leviticus 6:1-7)

 

Now based on what we have just read about the sacrifice of the "trespass offering", what would you think was the major difference between it and the "sin offering"? Well the "sin offering" was made by the sinner in order to receive forgiveness from God for not obeying God. Itís called "wiping the sinnerís slate clean and getting back off to a fresh start". But on the other hand, the "trespass offering" was made in order to receive forgiveness from God for the hurt done to other people by their sin. You see in this offering, not only did the sinner ask forgiveness from God the Father but they also paid back (cash plus interest) whatever was needed to compensate whoever might have been hurt because of their sin. Itís called putting your money where your sin is. Understand?

 

OK, so with that understanding in mind letís pick up on the rest of the "trespass offering" details from the Word of God: "Likewise this is the law of the trespass offering: it is most holy. In the place where they kill the burnt offering shall they kill the trespass offering: and the blood thereof shall he sprinkle round about upon the altar. And he shall offer it all the fat thereof; the rump, and the fat that covereth the inwards, And the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the flanks, and the caul that is above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away: And the priest shall burn them upon the altar for an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a trespass offering. Every male among the priest shall eat thereof: it shall be eaten in the holy place: it is most holy. As the sin offering is, so is the trespass offering: there is one law for them: the priest that maketh atonement therewith shall have it." (Leviticus 7:1-7)

 

Now when you get it on down to the basics, the step by step procedures of how the animal was sacrificed in the "trespass offering" were not a whole lot different than those of the "sin offering". But even though the differences werenít that many, they were very important. Because you see in this sacrifice the animalís blood was actually splattered against the bottom outside area of the brazen altar, and itís "innerd fat" along with the kidneys got torched by the flames of the brazen altar. So except for that, the only other difference was at the very beginning of the procedures. Because going back to Leviticus 5:1-6 we find, "And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it; if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity. Or if a soul touch any unclean thing [animal]... Or if he touch the uncleanness of man... Or if a soul swear, pronouncing with his lips to do evil, or to do good... And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing: And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin."

 

So did you catch on to the difference? Well the very first thing that the "guilty" sinner did during the "trespass offering" was to confess! And the thing that was "confessed", through much emotional arm waving, sobbing and praises to God, was that the "sinner" was totally and completely unworthy of being forgiven the sin. And it was likewise right about then that the priest would announce that the sinnerís sin would be forgiven!

 

All right, so now for that third and final animal sacrifice of the "burnt offering". And by reading from Leviticus 1:1-9 and 7:8 we find: "And the LORD called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man of you bring an offering unto the LORD, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock. If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD. 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. And he shall kill the bullock before the LORD: and the priests, Aaronís sons, shall bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And he shall flay the burnt offering, and cut it into his pieces. And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar, and lay the wood in order upon the fire: And the priests, Aaronís sons, shall lay the parts, the head, and the fat, in order upon the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar: But his inwards and his legs shall he wash in water: and the priest shall burn all on the altar, to be a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD ....And the priest that offereth any manís burnt offering, even the priest shall have to himself the skin of the burnt offering which he hath offered."

 

Now as you shouldíve noticed from the description, the "burnt offering" was quite a bit different from the first two. In fact starting from the get-go, this offering was not made "out of fear" in order to obtain forgiveness for sins, but instead "voluntarily" in order to receive the blessings of God. And it was likewise at the beginning of this offering, as the person laid hands on the head of the animal, that this same person (forgiven sinner) accepted the sacrifice as his atonement (not forgiveness of sin), instead of the priest giving it to him at the finish. Without a doubt, this part of the process was reversed!

 

But anyway, the next part, the killing of the animal and the use of itís blood, was just a little bit different than that of the "trespass offering". Because in this sacrifice the blood was splattered against the top outside area of the brazen altar. And then we move on into the part about the flaying. Because in the true sense of the word, to "flay" something means to strip-off the skin from the meat (flesh) in a pretty radical (merciless) manner. Itís called getting it on down with the program! So after all that symbolic abuse of getting skinned, the animal was then cut into pieces by the person offering the sacrifice.

 

And as grotesque as all this might have been, what happened next only added insult to injury. Because you see in the "burnt offering" sacrifice it seems as though the "normal" brazen altar fire just wasnít hot enough for the job. So what God the Father instructed the priest to do was heap-up stacks of wood on top of the existing fire and create what is commonly know as a "bonfire". I mean without a doubt this poor animal was going to get crisped. In fact in this sacrifice all the cut up parts of the animal were placed on the brazen altar, just as they were, with the exception of the legs and the "innerds". Because you see it was those last mentioned body parts that had to be washed in the water before they got put into the fire.

 

Now even though we didnít take the time to cover it in the Scriptures, the "burnt offering" sacrifice was conducted two times a day, both morning and evening, each and every day. And even though the "burnt offering" was a "voluntary" sort of thing to do, the truly dedicated person of God made doubly sure they were always there to participate. So two times a day the "burnt offering" was made if there was no unconfessed sin in the personís life. Because you see if sin had somehow managed to slip into that personís life since their last "sin and trespass offering" had been made (which did happen pretty often), the entire process had to be started all over again.

 

And that, in a nutshell, is how the Old Testament Salvation Plan was carried out. So now do you understand how people got saved before the New Testament Baptism came around? Well just in case those last five pages kinda like all ran together in a blur, letís see if we can shorten them up into one or two very compact pages:

 

Because... before John the Baptist came on the scene with his New Testament Salvation Plan, in order for a person to be saved, and likewise eventually make it on into Heaven, they had to first of all come to grips with the fact that they couldnít make it into Heaven without God. It was absolutely necessary that the sinner understand just how wickedly sinful they were before asking God to save them. Because it was only after the sinner had truly admitted their unworthy and helplessly hopeless condition, that the "God designed" animal sacrifices could do their "fire and water clean-up job" on the sinner.

 

And even though the animal sacrifices were only "symbolic" in nature, the sacrificer (sinner) did them "in faith" believing that God the Father would someday save their souls by making them all become very "real". And of course the "real part" was the Perfectly Sinless Son of God (Jesus Christ) Who would somehow someday take the place of the animals. Jesus Christ was going to miraculously take on the sin of the world in His flesh, without ever becoming a sinner, and thereby save all those from Hell who believed it!

 

Now even though everything that happened to the perfectly sinless animal was only symbolic of what would eventually happen to the Perfectly Sinless Jesus, they also symbolized the things that would eventually become a very real part of Godís New Testament Salvation Plan (water baptism) in cleaning up the sinner So as we once again go through all the gory details of the sacrificial process, please keep it in mind that this is truly (in a very special way) what water baptism is all about.

 

So getting back to the story of the animals, it was only after the sinner had finally come to grips with their helplessly hopelessly wickedly sinful ways, and likewise wholeheartedly wanted to make the necessary Lifesaving Change, that they could begin their "salvation clean-up process" through the "sin offering". And after selecting their perfectly sinless substitute, the sinner would lead it to the proper place in the temple, give it all their dirty rotten sins, and promptly cut itís throat. A priest would then catch all the dying animalís blood in a container and apply it very sparingly to the four cow-like horns extending upwards from the corners of the brazen altar (Godís fiery holy grill). The leftover blood in the priestís container, which was actually most of the animalís life blood, was then poured out at the bottom and outside part of Godís holy fiery grill.

 

The animal would then be split-opened by the sinner, with the "innerd fat" being given to the priest who would then place it on Godís holy fiery grill to be completely consumed by the fire. And it was at this point in the ceremony that the priest would proclaim (in so many words) that Jesus would take care of their sin... and their sin would be forgiven. The forgiven sinner would then give the flesh of the animal to the priest who would cook the meat in water and eat it.

 

And now that the "sin offering" was complete, the sinner would select another perfectly sinless animal for their "trespass offering". So just as before, the animal would be led by the sinner to the temple for the slaughter. But unlike the "sin offering", before the throat of the innocent animal was cut, the sinner would not only verbally confessed their sin, but likewise, through the glorious promise of Jesus Christ, praised God for the upcoming forgiveness of that sin. The priest would then proclaim (in so many words) that Jesus would take care of their sin... and their sin would be forgiven. And after that had all been done, the animalís throat was cut by the sinner and itís blood caught in a container by the priest. The priest would then splatter all of this blood against the bottom outside portion of the brazen altar. The forgiven sinner would then split-open the animal just as before, but this time the "innerd fat" and the kidneys were given to the priest to be placed on Godís holy grill to be consumed by the fire. The forgiven sinner would then give the flesh of the animal (along with the skin) to the priest who would cook the meat in water and eat it.

 

So then after the "sin offering" and "trespass offering" was completed, the forgiven sinner would "voluntarily" offer up their "burnt offering". From that point on, each and every day, two times per day, the forgiven sinner would select their sacrificial animal for the "burnt offering" and lead it to the temple. The forgiven sinner would then lay hands on the animal, and, through his own will (not that of the priest), accept the promised power of Jesus Christ to overcome sin.

 

And next came the standard throat cutting procedure, with the animalís blood being caught in a container by the priest and then splattered against the top outside area of Godís holy grill. And thatís right about the place where the "burnt offering" got a little crazy. Because what would happen next was the forgiven sinner would kinda like go ballistic and skin the animal with a vengeance. And after the skinning came the cutting, with all the parts of the little animal being given to the priest, who would then wash the legs and innerds in water before placing them all on Godís holy grill to be completely burned up by itís roaring fire.

 

Now what we have just described is Godís New Testament Salvation Plan as seen through Old Testament eyes... which most present-day church going folks refer to as "water baptism". So now that you know the two are basically the same "One And Only Salvation Process" (one as seen before the death of Jesus Christ and the other after), can you please describe in detail how it all works?

 

Well believe you me, before this sermonet series is over and done with (The Good Lord willing), weíre all going to understand how what weíve just read actually takes place inside the body of a real Jesus believing Christian. But until then, while weíre anxiously waiting that next exciting sermonet to roll around, please fear the consequences of Hell like thereís no tomorrow so that you too can Keep On Keeping The Faith In Jesus!!!

 

Love,

 

Dad (Bruce Hallman)

 

Bar

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