The Grain Offering by James Jacob Prasch
Typology of the Grain Offering Part 1
Leviticus in Hebrews is V’yekra, or ‘And Yahweh Called’. Leviticus 2:1:
“When anyone presents a grain offering as an offering to the Lord, his offering shall be of fine flour.
He shall pour oil on it and shall put frankincense upon it. He shall then bring it to Aaron’s sons the priests, and shall take from it his handful of its fine flour, and its oil with all of its frankincense. And the priests shall offer it up in smoke as its memorial portion on the altar, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the Lord.
“And the remainder of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons, a thing most holy of the offerings to the Lord by fire. When you bring an offering of the grain offering baked in an oven, it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mixed with oil, or unleavened wafers spread with oil. And if your offering is a grain offering made on the griddle, it shall be of fine flour, unleavened, mixed with oil. You shall break it into bits and pour oil on it; it is a grain offering. Now, if your offering is a grain offering made in a skillet, it shall be made with fine flour and with oil. And when you bring in the grain offering, which is made of these things to the Lord, it shall be presented to the Lord by way of the priest, and he shall bring it to the altar. The priest shall then take it up from the grain offering its memorial portion, and shall offer it up in smoke on the altar as an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the Lord. And the remainder of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons, a thing most holy of the offerings to the Lord by fire.
“No grain offering which you bring to the Lord shall be made with leaven, for you shall not offer up in smoke any leaven or any honey as an offering by fire to the Lord. As an offering of firstfruits you shall bring them to the Lord, but they shall not ascend for a soothing aroma on the altar.
“Every grain offering of yours, moreover, you shall season with salt, so that the salt of the covenant of your God shall not be lacking from your grain offering. With all of your offerings, you shall offer salt. Also, if you bring a grain offering of early-ripened things to the Lord, you shall bring fresh heads of roasted grain in the fire, grits of new growth, for the grain offering of your early-ripened things. You shall then put oil on it, and lay incense on it; it is a grain offering. And the priest shall offer up in smoke its memorial portion, a portion of its grits, of its oil, and all of its incense as an offering by fire to the Lord.”
Most Christians have some kind of an idea that the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament — what Jewish people call the Tenakh — are symbols of Jesus. They might know that the Passover lamb, the lamb without blemish, is a picture of what Jesus would be; that to God, one man without sin is worth more than all the men with sin, and that is how one Man could die for us all. Some people might also know about the Yom Kippur scapegoat on the Day of Atonement; we read about this in the epistle to the Hebrews chapters 9 – 11. The high priest would actually put his hands on two goats, and put the sin in symbol upon their heads. They would then take the goats through the streets, where the people would spit on them, kick them, throw rocks at them, beat them with sticks and curse them for their sin. The goats would then be escorted outside the city, where one would be slaughtered and the other taken to a precipice. It was a symbol of what would happen to Jesus: God would put our sin on Him; He would be paraded through the streets of Jerusalem, taken outside the city and executed. Most Christians have an idea that the blood sacrifices of these animals were symbols of Jesus; however, most Christians do not think about the grain offering.
Paul, whose real name was Rabbi Shaul of Tarsus, tells us that we establish the Torah — the five books of Moses, which are fulfilled in Jesus. All of these things point to Him. You can understand the Gospel and know how to be saved just in reading the New Testament. But to understand it on a deeper level, to understand the fullness of the Gospel, you must understand it in light of its Old Testament background. We have to understand how Jesus fulfilled the Law.
The grain offering here is what we call in Hebrew ‘matzoth’ — unleavened. Perhaps you have seen matzoth; some churches use matzoth for communion. It is striped and it is pierced; the Talmud decrees that the unleavened bread used at Passover has to be so. This corresponds, the rabbis tell us, with the flesh of the Passover lamb. This is exactly what Jesus speaks about in John chapter 6; it is a picture of His body. So the bread was striped, and then pierced, and then broken. “By His stripes we are healed”,and “He was pierced for our transgressions”, the Hebrew prophet Isaiah tells us. The grain offering is a symbol of the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins.
The grain could be offered in three ways: First, it would be offered on an open fire, on a griddle. Second, it would be offered in a skillet — a kind of pan with a long handle. The third way would be what we call in Hebrewb’tanur; inside an oven. The grain would be offered on an open fire, in a skillet, and in an oven. We are three-dimensional beings, because we are made in the image and likeness of God; Imago Dei. We have a body, a soul, and a spirit. That is one of the things about our nature that teaches how we are made in the image and likeness of a tri-une God. The threeness in us expresses something about the threeness in our Creator. We are what people would call ‘theopomorphic’; in the image and likeness of God.
Given that fact, we can see that when Jesus died for our sin, He had to suffer in body, in soul, and in spirit. Sin contaminates every aspect of our being: it contaminates our flesh, or our body; it contaminates our soul, or our mind, emotions, and intellect; and it contaminates our spirit. Every aspect of our being is fallen because of sin. Therefore, in order to take away our sin, Jesus had to atone for it in body, in soul, and in spirit.
So: the first sacrifice of the grain is that which is offered on the open fire. When the grain was offered on the griddle, everyone could see it being consumed. This corresponds to the physical suffering of the Lord Jesus. There HH He was, enduring a Roman execution, hanging nearly naked in public; everyone could see Him being tortured physically. When they nailed Him to the cross, He was nailed there for my sin. When the Romans flogged Him and put the crown of thorns on His head, it was because He took my sin. Jesus got the nails; I got salvation. The just for the unjust.
There is a big problem in the American Bible belt, and here is what that problem is: cultural Protestantism. In other words, you have people who will go to churches that preach the Gospel and believe the Gospel only because they have grown up in it; they’ve always done it. Yet they have never come to be saved. This is a big problem, which I have seen all over the world where there are Bible belts: I’ve seen it in South Africa, in Northern Ireland, and certainly in the American South. The doctrines are there; the beliefs are there; but some of the people may know the Lord, while others may not. When Jesus went to that cross, He went for you. God took your sin and put it on Jesus; He took His righteousness and put it on you. You must accept this personally, or you are not a Christian, no matter how many times you come to church.
He suffered in body; everyone could see the grain being burned up. His torture was unspeakable. I once read an autopsy report done by some Christian pathologists who did post-mortems on cadavers which had been crucified in the Roman style, and it was incredibly horrible. Even with modern technology, we would be hard put to find a more cruel way to kill somebody than the way in which the Romans killed Jesus.
The grain was also offered up, however, in a skillet. When the grain was consumed in the skillet, what was happening was only partially visible. You could see some of what was going on, but you could not see all of it. This grain being burned up in the skillet, as per Leviticus chapter 2, corresponds to the emotional/psychological suffering of Jesus; what the Bible calls ‘the travail of His soul’.
When someone is suffering emotionally or psychologically — if someone is perhaps in depression, or bereaved, or being oppressed in some way — other people can see some of what is going on with that person, but not all of it. You could only see some of the grain being consumed in the skillet at a distance. In order to see the totality of its being burned up, you would have had to stand directly above it and look down. So it is when someone is suffering emotionally, whether they are in a depression or bereaved or perhaps grieving the lostness of an unsaved loved one, other people can see some of what that person is going through, but only He who looks down from above can see all of it. The Lord knows everything; other people can only appreciate some of it, and perhaps empathize; but God sees it all.
You see, Jesus took our griefs; He suffered psychologically. He was emotionally and mentally tortured.
But then there was a third way in which the grain was consumed: this is again in Hebrew, b’tanur, or ‘inside the oven’. This was not visible to anybody.
When Jesus went to the cross, something happened within the tri-unity of the Godhead itself: the Father turned His back on the Son. Now, we must be careful; there is a terrible heresy that originated in the American South, which is propagated by the money preachers on so-called “Christian” television. They call it “Jesus Died Spiritually”. It is an absolute blasphemous lie, which says that Satan got the victory at the cross, and that when Jesus died, although He Himself said, “It is finished”, and “Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit”, it didn’t happen. That instead, He became a satanic being of one nature with Satan in hell, where He was then tortured for three days and three nights, until He was born again — still in hell. This is what the money preachers believe. So, because the cross of Jesus is not central to their view of the Christian life, neither do they view the cross of Jesus as central to salvation. Instead of “Pick up your cross and follow Me, and put your trust in a better world,” their beliefs consist of “Name it and claim it, you’re a King’s kid, God wants you rich”, and Kingdom now, etc. This is a terrible heresy; Jesus got the victory on the cross, not the devil. However, something did happen in that oven. Something did happen within the Godhead. The Father turned His back on the Son; God could not look upon sin. We do not fully understand what happened.
We cannot for one second diminish the physical suffering of Jesus; His agony was excruciating. Neither can we diminish His emotional and mental suffering; Scripture speaks plainly of the ‘travail of His soul’, that is also true. But the deeper suffering of Jesus was what happened within the Trinity; the Father turning His back on the Son. Something happened in that oven. How can God have a crisis in Himself, where the Father turns His back on the Son because the Son took our sin in order to give us His righteousness? Terrible as His physical suffering was, excruciating as his emotional torment was, what happened spiritually was even worse. Jesus was cut off at that moment from His Father, for my sin and for your sin.
He suffered in body, in soul, and in spirit. Thus the grain had to be offered: in the griddle, where everyone could see it; in the skillet, where it could partially be seen and only fully observed from above; and in the oven, where no one could see it.
Now, this grain had to be anointed. It had to have oil poured upon it. The basic Hebrew word for ‘oil’ is shemen; it speaks of anointing. The word ‘Christ’ comes from the Greek word christos, and is the Greek way of saying the Hebrew term ha Mashiach, or ‘the Anointed One’, or the Messiah. Jesus was anointed for burial before He was anointed for dominion. When Paul speaks of the proof for his anointing and his ministry in 2 Corinthians, he does not speak first of the miracles or of the signs of an apostle. He first speaks of having been abandoned, shipwrecked, stoned, etc, etc. The first and foremost proof of a real anointing, an anointing that comes from Christ, is a crucified life. It is a life lived without trust in this world. It is certainly not a Mercedes limousine, nor the kind of material extravagance which we see on the so-called “Christian” television, which the world looks at and mocks. That is not anointing; anointing is a crucified life, lived by someone who does not trust in this life or this world, but who will trust God for the grace to suffer anything that they need to if it is in God’s will; someone who does not love their life in this world, even if it should come to death. That is the true proof of anointing.
Jesus was anointed for burial; the oil was poured on the grain. Oil and frankincense; when Jesus was born, the Magi brought gold because He was a King, myrrh because He would die (myrrh, you remember, is what dead bodies were anointed with for burial, as we read in John 19:39), and also frankincense because incense, we are told in Revelation, is the prayers of the saints.
To understand what this means, let us look very briefly at the Song of Solomon chapter four verse six. We call the Song of Solomon in HebrewHashir Hashirim, and it is an allegory. Solomon’s romance with Shulammite is a picture of Christ’s romance with His bride. We are told this in chapter four verse six:
“Until the cool of the day comes,
When the shadows flee away,
I will go my way to the mountain of myrrh,
To the hill of frankincense.”
The bridegroom is anointed for burial to die for the bride, to bring the acceptable sacrifice on the mountain of myrrh, the mountain that we would call Mount Calvary. So He is anointed for burial in order to bring the acceptable sacrifice. You see, you can pray and pray and pray, sing hymn after hymn after hymn, and it does not matter. Unless it is in Christ, unless you are born again, God cannot accept your worship. It is only what is done in Christ that matters. You can go to church all you want, and that is good; but it is not good enough. Only in Christ does it matter. But let us continue.
So the grain was anointed to bring the acceptable worship. It had oil and it had incense; but the grain could have no honey. It could also have no leaven; this is what ‘matzoth’ means: “unleavened bread”. Why could this bread, which is a picture of the body of Jesus, have no leaven? What is leaven? The New Testament tells us repeatedly what leaven is.
In 1 Corinthians 5, Paul tells us the following: “Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the entire lump of dough? Leave behind the old leaven that you might be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For the Messiah our Pesach, Christ our Passover, has been sacrificed.”
Leaven, or yeast, contributes nothing whatsoever to the nutritional value of bread. It only puffs it up; “your boasting is not good”. The first thing that leaven speaks of is sin, but especially the sin of pride. Pride is the seminal sin; it is the sin that gives rise to other sin. In Isaiah chapter 14 we are told that the first sin was pride. Satan wanted to be God; in eternity, Satan wanted to usurp God’s position. Pride was Satan’s first sin, according to Isaiah 14. During the temptation of Adam and Eve, man’s first sin was pride. Pride is the kind of sin that leads to other sin. When you see someone who has a problem with greed, pride is underneath that greed. When you see a person who has a problem with uncontrolled lust, underneath that lust is pride. When you see a person who has a problem with unrighteous, unholy anger, underneath that anger is pride. Pride is the seminal sin; it gives rise to other sin.
The only thing I have to be proud of is what Jesus did for me on the cross; that is all. That He took my sin and rose from the dead is the only thing I have to be proud of. Jesus, however, was God, and He had no sin. He had everything to be proud of; yet He who had something to be proud of was not proud. I who have nothing to be proud of have to battle with pride every day; so do you. We battle it every day, but Jesus had none. There was no leaven in that matzoth.
But then he spoke further: “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees.” False doctrine. When you see heresy and false doctrine (and all you have to do to see false doctrine is to turn on the so-called “Christian” television; it consists of much more false doctrine than true doctrine), this is the leaven of the Pharisees. It puffs up; there is pride. “God showed me, I can do this, we’re going to go forth and conquer” — spiritual pride. Whenever you see false doctrine and heresy, the source of it is always spiritual pride. Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees. Jesus had no false doctrine, no heresy. Every word that He taught was one hundred and ten per cent true. There was no leaven in that matzoth. If there had been, he would not have been able to die for our sins.
Once more: to God, one man without sin was worth more than all men with sin. It doesn’t matter how good you are; you’re not good enough to go to heaven. On the other hand, it does not matter how bad you are; you’re not so bad that God does not love you and Jesus cannot take your sin and give you His life. That is the Gospel.
It is difficult when people have grown up hearing it their whole lives; they go to good churches for 20, 30, 40 years and hear this message — or variations of it — some of them probably hundreds of times. Yet they have still never been born again; that is a terrible tragedy. My family are Israeli Jews; Jews are more guilty than other people for rejecting the Gospel, because Jesus was Jewish and because the Gospel came to Israel first. It says in Romans that God holds the Jews accountable first. Because salvation is available to them first, the consequences of rejecting it are on them first, we’re told in Romans. So, too, people who have heard the Gospel repeatedly are going to be more accountable than people who do not live in places where it is as readily available. I never knew what a born-again Christian was until I was in university; I had never even heard of such a thing. But many people have grown up hearing about it without accepting it. They know the truth; or at least they have the truth available to them. I go to Africa, India, the Middle East; I go to places where the people have never heard the truth. Yet there are people who go to church and hear it Sunday after Sunday after Sunday, but their lives don’t change.
There was no leaven — no pride, no false doctrine — in that matzoh. One man with no sin could die for all the men with sin.
But then there could be no honey. Why could there be no honey on that grain? What is the problem with honey? We know what leaven is — the Scriptures tell us. But what is wrong with honey? Why does God say in Leviticus chapter 2 that there could be no honey on the grain when it was sacrificed?
Typology of the Grain Offering Part 2
Look, please, to the book of Proverbs chapter 24:13. We must always interpret Scripture in light of other Scripture. This is what we read: “My son, eat honey, for it is good. Yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.” Honey is sweet.
Let us understand the Hebrew thought in the idea of honey: Honey in Hebrew is called devash, because it comes from the Hebrew word for ‘bee’, devorah. The girl’s name ‘Deborah’ means ‘bee’ in Hebrew. But the Hebrew word for the Bible, the Word of God, is devar.The Word of God is sweet. Remember in the book of Revelation, or in Ezekiel chapter 3, that the scroll was sweet in the mouth yet bitter in the stomach. The Word of God is sweet to us; it tastes sweet. Yet the Word of God should always be sweet in our mouths, yet bitter in our gut. It can be very interesting and very encouraging; but we are also responsible for it. It is not given simply to increase our knowledge, but to change our lives. It is sweet in the mouth, but bitter in the gut. You see, we only like the honey bits. We don’t like the bitter bits.
The Hebrews entered a land of milk and honey, and one day, so shall we. Heaven will be a land of milk and honey; the Promised Land. One is a picture of the other. In heaven, everything will be lovey-dovey. However, in the meantime we have come out of Egypt — a picture of the world — and we are sojourning in the wilderness. The desert is a difficult place. The manna fell for Israel, and it tasted like honey; now, the manna falls and it tastes like honey.
But there is a problem with honey. Not with the honey in itself, but in what we do with it. Look at Proverbs 25:16: “Have you found honey? Eat only what you need, lest you have it in excess and vomit it.” Too much honey makes us sick. I myself am very moderately Pentecostal/Charismatic, though I am against all of the extremism. But I will tell you one of the things that has gone wrong with the Pentecostal movement, and why after almost 30 years it has brought no revival: too much honey. Everything was based on affection and feeling and being lovey-dovey. They wanted only the sweet in the mouth, not the bitter in the gut. They embraced experiential theology instead of Biblical theology. Their doctrine comes from what they make up as they go along because it feels good to them; it is the same as secular psychology. The feel-good factor: ‘if it feels good, it must be right’.
“Eat what you need” — you need a certain amount of honey. We all need affection; honey speaks of affection. The two kinds of parents who will most seriously damage their children spiritually and emotionally are the ones who are overly strict and the ones who are overly permissive. I had an uncle who was in the American military, and his position was in training soldiers for combat. He was a hero in Korea, and a good soldier; but he could not separate his professional life from his family life. As a result, he was overly strict with his children, and regimented them. This damaged them, and one after another they went wrong. Ultimately they were responsible for their own lives, but their upbringing was overly strict. Do you know that there are fathers who have never hugged their children? The Bible speaks more of a father’s love than it does of a mother’s love, because God is a father figure. If a child has never seen the love of a father, that lack is going to obscure his or her view of God. There are fathers who never show much-needed affection to their children.
Yet ‘eat only what you need’; don’t consume too much. “Oh, don’t smack little Henry; Henry is a good boy”; until one day, the police knock on the door when little Henry is no longer so little — nor so good.
Have you found honey? Eat what you need; we do need honey. But too much will make us sick. Be careful of people who are ruled by their emotions, who substitute emotion and feeling for spirituality. It is the teaching of the Word of God that determines what is spiritual; our feelings do not.
Let us look further: Proverbs 25:27: “It is not good to eat much honey; nor is it glory to search out one’s own glory.” When you see people eating too much honey — who are ruled by their emotions — these are people who are into spiritual pride. They are seeking their own glory, believing they are more spiritual than others around them, embracing the attitude of ‘holier-than-thou’, and for them, feeling and emotion wrongly become the barometer of spirituality. “Oh, we don’t judge! We don’t criticize!”
My own family is a combination of two backgrounds: Jewish and Catholic. We have Jewish family who are on their way to hell without their Messiah, yet there are Christians who claim to love the Jews while refusing to give them the Gospel. There are actual organizations, which call themselves ‘Christian Embassies’, composed of people who want to bring the Jews back to Israel; yet they will withhold the Gospel from them in the name of ‘love’. What they are actually saying is, “We love you, Jew! Go to hell.” No; if you love Jews, tell them about the Messiah.
“Oh, we love our Catholic brethren!” I have a mother who trusts in a statue of Mary for her salvation instead of in the Lord Jesus Christ; my mother is on her way to hell. If we love Catholics, we will tell them the true Gospel. Either the blood of Christ cleanses you from all sin, or you are going to atone in Purgatory for your own; which gospel are you going to believe? Paul said that if an angel of God came preaching another gospel, we are to reject him. There is no Purgatory; we do not atone for our own sin, because the blood of Christ cleanses from all sin. Yet in the name of love, people will claim Catholics as brethren and leave them in bondage to the fear of death. This is not love; perfect love casts out all fear. Jesus took our sin; yet in the name of love, certain Christians will leave people in that bondage. “Oh, but we have to love the Catholics!” Certainly we do; so let us tell them the truth! In Philippians 1:9 we see that love and truth are not mutually exclusive, but rather are mutually dependent. Yet because the Charismatic movement runs on honey instead of on grain, they no longer know this.
“Eat what you need; not too much.”
The functions of the soul are the mind, the intellect, and the emotions. Human intellect is a very good servant, but it is a bad master. Human emotion is also a very good servant, but it is a deadly, cruel, lethal master. When you find people who are thinking with their emotions, and substituting feeling for the Word of God, you are looking at people who are into spiritual pride and are on a suicide trip spiritually. They will also take others down with them if allowed to do so.
No, there was no honey on that grain. There was no emotion involved in the crucifixion of Jesus. The Father turned His back on His Son. No; I got the honey — ‘God so loved the world . . .’ — I got the honey. The girls I slept with, the cocaine I scooped up my nose — Jesus paid the price for that. He got the nails; He was nailed to a tree for what I did, and I got the honey. He did not get any honey; there was no honey on that grain.
There could be no honey, and no leaven. Leviticus 2:12: “An offering of the firstfruits you shall bring to the Lord, but they shall not ascend for a soothing aroma on the altar.” Why could the grain of the firstfruit not be used as a grain offering? Understand what the firstfruit meant: it was a Hebrew feast during Passover week, in April. Jesus was crucified at that time; but on the Sunday of that week, the high priest would go into the Kidron Valley, which lies directly between the Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives. Exactly at sunrise, when he saw the first ray of light coming up from in back of the Mount of Olives illuminating the first shoot of grain, that would be called the firstfruit. The high priest would then ceremonially harvest it and bring it into the Temple; that would be the firstfruit. All four Gospels tell us that Jesus rose around dawn; in other words, at the very hour at which the high priest was bringing the firstfruit into the Temple, Jesus was rising from the dead as the Firstfruit of the resurrection. This is what Paul tells us in I Corinthians 15:20: “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who are asleep.” He is the Firstfruit.
So the grain of the firstfruit could not be put on the altar and sacrificed. Why? Because Jesus died once and for all. Once He had died for our sin and risen from the grave, He would never die again. This is why, when Moses struck the rock more than once, he could not enter the Promised Land. It was like crucifying Jesus repeatedly. He died once, and then the Living Water — the Holy Spirit — came.
There is a big problem today called ecumenism. Now, for saved Christians to unite with saved Christians is very good. I am all for born-again Baptists getting together with born-again Presbyterians and born-again Pentecostals (if they are not extreme). I am in favor of saved Christians uniting. But when saved Christians begin getting into bed with liberal Protestants, unbelievers; when saved Christians begin getting into bed with the Roman Catholic church; that is something quite different. Let’s look at what it says in Hebrews 7:27: “We do not need daily a high priest like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices for his own sin and then for the sins of the people, because this Jesus did once and for all” He died one time. In Hebrews 9:12 we read the same thing: “And not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood He entered the holy place once and for all.” And in Hebrews 9:28: “So that Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many”. Hebrews 10:10: “By this we will have been sanctified: the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all.” Verse 14 of chapter 10: “For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.” One time; if something has been perfected, it cannot be improved upon. Jesus died once and only once.
Therefore, He is the Firstfruit, we are told in Corinthians. He died once, rose from the dead once, never to die again, because His sacrifice was perfect. The Roman Catholic doctrine of the mass denies this, claiming that the mass is the same sacrifice as Calvary, and that Jesus dies again and again and again. The Catholic doctrine of the mass is a fundamental denial of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Reformers were certainly not perfect men. Luther, Calvin, Zwingli — they made a lot of mistakes, and they even persecuted Baptists. However, every one of them was a Roman Catholic priest who got saved when he read the Bible. Not only were they from the Roman Catholic clergy, but they were from the intelligentsia of the Roman Catholic clergy. When they went back and read the Scriptures in the original Greek languages, they understood what was wrong. Every one of the Reformers was a Roman Catholic priest who read the Scriptures in the original language and got saved. Those doctrines have not changed: Jesus died once and for all.
The grain had to be salted. Again we come back to this idea of the Word. John chapter 1, “In the beginning was the Word”. Jesus is the Word, and the Bible is the Word. His Word is Him; it is salty. Salt was the only preservative they had in the ancient Near East. The Word of God — the salt — preserves. The power of Jesus preserves. If a church stops being evangelistic, it will eventually stop being evangelical. If you abandon Christ, you will eventually abandon His Word; and that is where liberal Protestantism has gone. They ‘hold a form of religion, but deny the power therein’. They want to keep only the moral teachings of the Bible, forgetting the personal relationship with the Lord. The Word is the Word; once the Word goes, the Word also goes. In other words, once Jesus goes, the Bible goes after.
I live in England. On the outside of the English parliament in Westminster, London, it says pater nostra cuis en coeleas, ‘Our Father who art in Heaven’, because the British parliament was founded by Puritans who believed the Bible. Inside, it is filled with atheists, freemasons, Moslems, and God knows what else. They certainly don’t believe the Bible.
Why is this society falling to bits? Why is there so much crime? Why are there saved Christians, even so-called Christian ministers, getting divorced and remarried? The salt is losing its taste. They are going away from the teachings of the Bible because they have gone away from Jesus. They have gone away from the Word, so they go away from the Word. He is the Word; if you go away from the Bible, you have gone away from Christ. It’s that simple.
Salt preserves. Even in the so-called Bible belts, the immorality, crime, and divorce among so-called Christians is staggering; even more so because it is accepted. When I was first saved, you would never have heard of a Christian getting divorced and remarried. If that happened, it either happened before they were saved, or they had an unbelieving partner who left. That was it; otherwise, it never would have happened. But now it means nothing. The biggest names are doing it! It’s in the newspapers! Hal Lindsay is on his third divorce and remarriage; Amy Grant is getting divorced, etc. It doesn’t mean anything any more, because the salt has lost its flavor.
Let us look even further: The grain came in two ways. You had the whole grain, and then you had the crushed grain, or grits. What is the difference between the whole grain and the crushed grain? It is all the Word of God, but it comes in two forms: When the Word of God is taught under the true anointing of the Holy Spirit, that is crushed grain. It is somebody taking the Word, crushing it up, and giving it to the people in a digestible form; that is good. But the whole grain comes first. No Bible teacher, no Christian book, will ever replace your reading of the Word of God for yourself. There is good crushed grain; there are books such as The Pilgrim’s Progress, The Screwtape Letters, books by A. W. Tozer, and many others. There is a lot of good crushed grain; however, the whole grain comes first. No teaching, no teacher, no tape, no video, no book, and no broadcast will ever replace your prayerfully reading and studying the Scriptures for yourself.
The Word is the Word; the Word of the Lord, and the Lord of the Word. He is the Word; He is the grain, which was offered in three ways: He suffered in body, in soul, and in spirit when He took our sins. That grain was consumed on a griddle, in a skillet, and in an oven.
He was anointed for burial before He was anointed for Kingdom dominion. There was no Benny Hinn hairstyle, no Mercedes limousine or mansion; there was a crucified life as proof of the anointing. He brought the acceptable sacrifice to the Lord.
No honey; there was no affection at the cross. The Father turned His back on His Son for my sin. I deserved nothing but hell, yet I received the affection. Jesus took my sin so that I do not have to go to hell.
No leaven; there was no false doctrine, there was no pride, there was no sin; but there was a salt; a salt that preserves. This salty grain would preserve a society, a nation, a denomination, a church, a family, and your life and mine; salt preserves.
The whole grain and the crushed grain; that is what God has for us, and that is what God wants for us. It is here waiting, and in some cases for people, the Gospel has been here their entire lives, yet it has never been accepted. However, it can be accepted even today.
Christians — watch out for too much honey. Do not withhold affection, but also do not be governed by it.
This is everything. It is wonderful to be in the countries in which we live; yet something is happening in those countries — America, Britain, etc. The Biblical heritage bequeathed to us by our forefathers is diminishing rapidly. We have what is increasingly becoming no more than a cultural Christianity. People who are not truly saved yet claim to be are talking the talk without walking the walk. I have no solution, but God does. That solution is the grain. We have the problem, God has the solution.
En die vyeboom bot! The Fig Tree is in Blossom!