This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD: where I will meet you, to speak there unto thee, Exodus 29:42.
The struggle to know the bible is an ever present struggle. Like almost everything else in modern Fundamentalism, we have reduced bible education to something equivalent to a microwave meal. The goal of a rounded bible education should be to give the student an outline of the bible, and to train him to study it for himself. The purpose of these posts is to give the willing student or the pastor of such a student a concrete way to build a foundational understanding of the basics of doctrine regardless of how he chooses to assemble those basics in his own doctrinal outlook.
I counsel young preachers who are still vague on certain standards, principles, or doctrines to borrow those things from their ordaining pastor until such time as it appears evident that their ordaining pastor was not quite right in that particular standard, principle or doctrine. Though there are pastors who are light years ahead of others regarding those things, there are none who are perfect.
It is good for a pastor to train his own preachers. Some may feel incompetent to do so, but I think that all too often a pastor feels like he's getting brownie points in the social hierarchy of Fundamentalism to send his young men off to a particular bible institution. I cannot help such a pastor other than to admonish him to seek God's favor only. I write to the pastor who feels unable to fully round out his prospective preacher.
First of all, congratulations. Preaching begets preaching. It is to your honor that your ministry has produced a young man who senses a call to preach. You have cultivated an atmosphere in which the word of God has free course whether it be in visiting preaching or your own preaching. Now train this man.
If you are one of those who by God's gracious hand understands that the King James Bible is infallible, you have a fully equipped bible course in your hand. Your young man doesn't need Greek, Hebrew, Soteriology, Hermeneutics, or any of the other myriad fancy named subjects. He needs to be grounded in the word of God itself. In late 1980, a dear friend of mine once stood in my home church and lamented that he was $10,000 in debt to Bob Jones University where he was going to learn the word of God. He lamented because he saw that the children in this church knew more bible than he did.
The following studies that I will outline in these posts are not designed to inculcate a particular doctrinal view of the bible. You, as a pastor can teach them your particular doctrinal theses. What you are giving him by following these studies is a foundational understanding of bible facts with which to treat as building blocks so that he for himself can judge those things wherein you have trained him, and to hopefully stand upon your shoulders and see much farther than you see. You can be sure that the young man or young lady who will occupy themselves with these studies will have a solid and fundamentally sound framework from which to study the bible for the rest of their lives.
Keep in mind that you have everything that Moses gave to the children of Israel when he instructed them. The King James Bible is the Holy Ghost's interpretation of the word of God in the English Tongue. You will not find answers outside of the text of a King James Bible.
Study #1 A Necessary Building Block
Start in Leviticus Chapter 1. The burnt offering is a basic offering and is commonly used throughout the Old Testament. Regardless of how it was done in books prior to Leviticus, from that point on when the Lord referred to the burnt offering, he wanted Levitical Chapter 1 to be followed unless he specifically commanded otherwise.
Why should we study an Old Testament sacrifice? A Premise of these studies is that once you understand these sacrifices like that good Pharisee Saul understood them who later became the Apostle Paul, you will find abundant reference in his writings (and in some of the other apostles writing) to enliven your understanding of what he is saying. The Lord chose a Hebrew of the Hebrews, a Pharisee of the Pharisees to teach the Gentiles. When you learn these basics, the Lord's reasoning will become much more clear.
Point 1. Where was the burnt offering to be offered? If you have made your own crude outline of the Tabernacle this will mean so much more to you. Walk your fingers to the spot. For the rest of this chapter, pretend that you are coaching a new set of priests and calling out directions.
Point 2. What was the offerer to bring? When or why does that change? (Note: Understand that the Early Modern English word "cattle" means more than just cows as it commonly does today. (Here)
Point 3. Who kills this offering?
Point 4. What is necessary for the offering to be accepted as an atonement for him?
Point 5. What happens to the blood, and by whom is it administered? Trace the action on your drawing.
Point 6. Who flays the offering?
Point 7. What do Aaron's sons the priests do in verses 7,8?
Point 8. Who washes what? What then happens and who does it?
Point 9. How does the offering of a sheep change things?
Point 10. Now that you have seen how to go through an offering slowly to understand who is doing what, dissect the offering for the fowl. It is a joy to me to understand that even the poorest man could bring this burnt offering. It is a poor man's sacrifice.
As you can see in this study, no great doctrinal understanding is needed, nor is any fancy terminology needed. A student who begins to learn his bible on this level will eventually be fully equipped to comprehend...
Ephesians 3:18 ...with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
Ephesians 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.