Lesson 9 | Sabbath, 27 August 2022
“If any one of the common people sin … or if his sin, which he hath sinned, come to his knowledge: then he shall bring his offering…. And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering and slay the sin offering in the place of the burnt offering. And the priest shall take of the blood thereof 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 it shall be forgiven him.” Leviticus 4:27-31.
“But forgiveness has a broader meaning than many suppose. When God gives the promise that He ‘will abundantly pardon,’ He adds, as if the meaning of that promise exceeded all that we could comprehend: ‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.’ Isaiah 55:7-9. God’s forgiveness is not merely a judicial act by which He sets us free from condemnation. It is not only forgiveness for sin, but reclaiming from sin. It is the outflow of redeeming love that transforms the heart. David had the true conception of forgiveness when he prayed, ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.’ Psalm 51:10. And again he says, ‘As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.’ Psalm 103:12.” –Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 114.
Confession of sin
1.What did the law require of a person who had fallen in sin?
Leviticus 5:5 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.
Numbers 5:5-7 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 6 Speak unto the children of Israel, When a man or woman shall commit any sin that men commit, to do a trespass against the Lord, and that person be guilty; 7 Then they shall confess their sin which they have done: and he shall recompense his trespass with the principal thereof, and add unto it the fifth part thereof, and give it unto him against whom he hath trespassed.
Ezra 10:1, 11, first part Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there assembled unto him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children: for the people wept very sore…. 11Now therefore make confession unto the Lord God of your fathers, and do his pleasure:…
“‘He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.’ Proverbs 28:13. The conditions of obtaining mercy of God are simple and just and reasonable. The Lord does not require us to do some grievous thing in order that we may have the forgiveness of sin. We need not make long and wearisome pilgrimages, or perform painful penances, to commend our souls to the God of heaven or to expiate our transgression; but he that confesseth and forsaketh his sin shall have mercy.” –Steps to Christ, p. 37.
- In addition, what was required of the repentant sinner in the case of robbery?
Leviticus 6:1-5 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 neighbour; 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 therein: 4Then 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 deliv- ered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found, 5Or 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 offering.
Numbers 5:7, last part … And he shall recompense his trespass with the principal thereof, and add unto it the fifth part thereof, and give it unto him against whom he hath trespassed.
“Zacchaeus had heard of Jesus. The report of One who had borne Himself with kindness and courtesy toward the proscribed classes had spread far and wide. In this chief of the publicans was awakened a longing for a better life. Only a few miles from Jericho, John the Baptist had preached at the Jordan, and Zacchaeus had heard of the call to repentance. The instruction to the publicans, ‘Exact no more than that which is appointed you’ (Luke 3:13), though outwardly disregarded, had impressed his mind. He knew the Scriptures, and was convicted that his practice was wrong. Now, hearing the words reported to have come from the Great Teacher, he felt that he was a sinner in the sight of God. Yet what he had heard of Jesus kindled hope in his heart. Repentance, reformation of life, was possible, even to him; was not one of the new Teacher’s most trusted disciples a publican? Zacchaeus began at once to follow the conviction that had taken hold upon him, and to make restitution to those whom he had wronged.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 553.
Presenting a sacrifice
- What step followed repentance and restoration?
Leviticus 6:6 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.
Numbers 5:8 But if the man have no kinsman to recompense the trespass unto, let the trespass be recompensed unto the Lord, even to the priest; beside the ram of the atonement, whereby an atonement shall be made for him.
- After laying his hand on the head of the sacrificial animal and confess- ing his sin, what did the sinner do? What deep meaning was conveyed in his sacrifice?
Leviticus 4:27-29 And if any one of the common people sin through ignorance, while he doeth somewhat against any of the commandments of the Lord concerning things which ought not to be done, and be guilty; 28Or if his sin, which he hath sinned, come to his knowledge: then he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he hath sinned. 29And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay the sin offering in the place of the burnt offering.
“Day by day the repentant sinner brought his offering to the door of the tabernacle and, placing his hand upon the victim’s head, confessed his sins, thus in figure transferring them from himself to the innocent sacrifice. The animal was then slain. ‘Without shedding of blood,’ says the apostle, there is no remission of sin. ‘The life of the flesh is in the blood.’ Leviticus 17:11. The broken law of God demanded the life of the transgressor.” –The Great Controversy, p. 418.
Sprinkling of the blood
- After the innocent animal was sacrificed, what did the priest do for the sinner’s pardon? In such cases, where did the priest take the blood from the sacrifice?
Leviticus 4:30, 31; 6:7; 4:16-18 And the priest shall take of the blood thereof 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. 31And he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fat is taken away from off the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savour unto the Lord; and the priest shall make an atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him…. 6:7 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…. 4:16 And the priest that is anointed shall bring of the bullock’s blood to the tabernacle of the congregation: 17 And the priest shall dip his finger in some of the blood, and sprinkle it seven times before the Lord, even before the vail. 18 And he shall put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar which is before the Lord, that is in the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall pour out all the blood at the bottom of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
“The blood, representing the forfeited life of the sinner, whose guilt the victim bore, was carried by the priest into the holy place and sprinkled before the veil, behind which was the ark containing the law that the sinner had transgressed. By this ceremony the sin was, through the blood, transferred in figure to the sanctuary. In some cases the blood was not taken into the holy place; but the flesh was then to be eaten by the priest, as Moses directed the sons of Aaron, saying: ‘God hath given it you to bear the iniquity of the congregation.’ Leviticus 10:17.” –The Great Controversy, p. 418.
The Lamb of God
- What antitypical Lamb was represented by the innocent victim whose life the repentant sinner had to sacrifice for his own forgiveness?
Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
“Upon Christ as our substitute and surety was laid the iniquity of us all. He was counted a transgressor, that He might redeem us from the condemnation of the law. The guilt of every descendant of Adam was pressing upon His heart. The wrath of God against sin, the terrible manifestation of His displeasure because of iniquity, filled the soul of His Son with consternation. All His life Christ had been publishing to a fallen world the good news of the Father’s mercy and pardoning love. Salvation for the chief of sinners was His theme…. The withdrawal of the divine countenance from the Saviour in this hour of supreme anguish pierced His heart with a sorrow that can never be fully understood by man. So great was this agony that His physical pain was hardly felt.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 753.
- What were some major differences between the lambs that sinners offered in the sanctuary and the sacrifice of God’s Son?
Philippians 2:5-11 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Hebrews 10:12-14 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13From henceforth expecting till his enemies bemade his footstool. 14For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
“Think of what Christ accomplished during His earthly ministry. How earnest, how untiring, were His efforts! He allowed nothing to turn Him aside from the work given Him. Are we following in His footsteps? He gave up all to carry out God’s plan of mercy for the fallen race. In the fulfillment of the purpose of heaven, He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. He had had no communion with sin, had known nothing of it; but He came to this world, and took upon His sinless soul the guilt of sinful man, that sinners might stand justified before God. He grappled with temptation, overcoming in our behalf. The Son of God, pure and unsullied, bore the penalty of transgression, and received the stroke of death that brought deliverance to the race.” –Review and Herald, January 20, 1903.
The brother whom you wounded is God’s property
“The apostle says, ‘Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.’ James 5:16. Confess your sins to God, who only can forgive them, and your faults to one another. If you have given offense to your friend or neighbor, you are to acknowledge your wrong, and it is his duty freely to forgive you. Then you are to seek the forgiveness of God, because the brother you have wounded is the property of God, and in injuring him you sinned against his Creator and Redeemer. The case is brought before the only true Mediator, our great High Priest, who ‘was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin,’ and who is ‘touched with the feeling of our infirmities,’ and is able to cleanse from every stain of iniquity. Hebrews 4:15.” –Steps to Christ, p. 37.
Missionary Report from Zambia
To be read on Sabbath, August 27, 2022
The Special Sabbath School Offering will be gathered on Sabbath, September 3, 2022
“So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together…: for the people had a mind to work.” Nehemiah 4:6.
Zambia is a landlocked country located in southern Africa. It covers 752,618 square kilometers (467,656 square miles), with a total population of about 18 mil- lion people comprising 72 ethnic groups. About 95.5 percent of the population is Christian, of which 75.3 percent is Protestant and 20.2 percent is Roman Catholic. Missionary outreach was first begun in the late 1930s. In 1994, sixty-four years later, Zambia was organized as a Union, and it currently has four fields.
Land for the Zambian Union Headquarters is located in Avondale Township (15°22’51.03”S, 28°23’15.87”E), about 12 kilometers (7 miles) east of Lusaka Cen- tral Business District (CBD).
As of July 4, 2021, the membership of the Zambian Union was slightly over 1,100, with about 4,000 interested souls; this means that only 1 in about 18,000 Zambians was a member of the church when this report was prepared. This calls for a concerted effort to give the message to those who have not yet heard the everlasting gospel of the kingdom.
To fulfill the great commission of Matthew 28:19, 20, one of the prerequisites is the church’s visibility in an established Union infrastructure, especially the unionheadquarters. Zambia has never had an official office since it was organized as a union. Currently, there is a temporary structure that is an extension of the Union house located on the property. While this space provides some solutions, it is very small and lacks the features that show the Union to be engaged in the great busi- ness of the God of order in heaven. Inspiration states, “If we see no necessity for harmonious action, and are disorderly … and disorganized in our course of action, angels, who are thoroughly organized and move in perfect order, cannot work for us successfully.” –Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White, p. 199. If we are content to do God’s work in a much poorer and “more inconvenient place, He will not bestow upon us His blessing.” –Evangelism, p. 377.
Being the custodians of truth in Zambia, we believe it is important to have a physical center where anyone in Zambia and the world at large can access the truth at any time. The current “office” can accommodate only three small tables and three people. There is hardly any space to keep books, conduct Bible studies and seminars, or hold Union Board meetings, as well as other things. The lack of a true Zambian Union headquarters building has affected the progress of the work that should have been done many years ago. Since space is readily and legally available, the IMS- SDARM Zambian Union unanimously resolved to build a simple but spacious Zam- bian headquarters building to be used for all administrative activities.
It is planned for the headquarters to have three office spaces for the executive officers and one open working space for department leaders, supplied with comput- ers. There will also be a conference room, publishing house, reception area, and wait- ing room. The plan and details for the proposed headquarters infrastructure can be seen at: https://youtu.be/TXAmARCRefg on the Zambian Union YouTube Channel.
Like many other developing countries, the economy of Zambia has been hurt severely, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak. Therefore, we appeal for finan-cial support to build a well-established Zambian Union headquarters, which is envis- aged to bring respect to the honorable name of our God in heaven. In John 14:13, 14, the Lord Jesus Christ says: “… Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do it.” We cling to this Bible promise to strengthen our faith and optimism toward the realization of this long-overdue dream.
“May the Lord impress the hearts of those who have money to come up to His help, and assist in the erection of a building that will be wholesome and safe and con- venient” for administrative work. –Special Testimonies, Series B, no. 13, p. 8. Amen!
–For the Zambian Union Executive Board and Building Committee, Manoah Muchanga, Zambian Union Secretary and Building Committee Chair