In early times, God ordained sacrifice as a method of restitution and the symbol of resurrection. An animal was killed and the carcass burnt. As the flesh was consumed, the flames a
smoke curled into the heavens. While life on earth was ended, a new existence simultaneously began in another realm. As an ancient technique, sacrifice represents a process that transforms flesh into spirit. The crucifixion of Jesus Christ was just such a ritual sacrifice, the greatest ever made. By sacrifice, Jesus’ earthly life ended, but it was this death that enabled his resurrection to a new life in another realm. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
The sacrifice of Jesus illumined the primordial wisdom of God. He was a forerunner, the first example of immortal perfection, gained through sacrifice. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. The sacrifices of the Old Testament symbolize the plan of God for his developing Sons. The two major sacrifices conducted each year were Passover and Atonement.
Passover was originally instituted in Egypt. During the Passover the firstborn Egyptians died, but simultaneously the firstborn Israelites were given life. Passover thus symbolizes death to Adamic slavery, and life to the firstborn Sons of God. I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt … and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. The sacrifice of Atonement originated in the Wilderness of Sinai. This sacrifice involved two goats. The first goat represents forgiveness. He received all the sins of Israel and then was released into the wilderness. The goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness. The second goat though sinless, was sacrificed, and his blood was carried into the Most Holy Place. There, within the veil, his blood was sprinkled upon the Ark of the Covenant and came to reside upon the golden throne of God. Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail … and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat. Passover and Atonement are an ancient code, showing that the death of an old life, leads to the start of a new. So also, the cross of Jesus Christ proved that earthly sacrifice leads to glorified resurrection. Jesus Christ fulfilled the sacrifices of both Passover and Atonement within his own life. As Passover he died so that his firstborn brothers might live. As Atonement he was slain, forgave the perpetrators, entered within the veil, and finally came to rest upon the golden throne of God. Sacrifice is the doorway to another realm.
The power for self-sacrifice is the power for resurrection, they are one and the same. The internal spiritual strength that empowers you to forfeit your rights and desires in this life, is the same power that will raise you from the dead. I lay down my life, that I might take it again. This wisdom is the recipe of God for your eternal perfection. Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus. Sacrifice is the final step of the cross and thus of extreme importance to you. Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices. Your spiritual maturity and perfection will be gained by sacrifice, just as Jesus demonstrated. Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God. If you follow the path of the firstborn Son, you too will become a sacrifice unto God. This will be accomplished during the dark days of loneliness, betrayal, surrender, and forgiveness, that come from the cross.
As the cross takes hold in your life you will be molded to the Passover experience. There your old fleshly nature will be terminated and your spirit liberated unto life. Neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left unto the morning. Then you will come to Atonement, where forgiveness and sacrifice combine to produce resurrection. As you forgive, your carnality will die, and your spirit will be loosed inside the veil, being made worthy to sit upon the golden throne of God. Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. The sacrifice of your carnal nature is the prerequisite to immortality. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Sacrifice requires the death of both “good” and “evil” in your life. This is represented by the two goats of Atonement. Like these goats, your “evil” must be sent away to die in the wilderness, and your “good” must be sacrificed. Merely abandoning your vile habits is not an acceptable sacrifice to God. This cannot produce the intensity of heart required to resurrect your spirit. If ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? God wants the “good” things in your life as well. He destroyeth the perfect and the wicked. He wants your prized possessions, even some of the goodly blessings that he has loaned you. Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering. Neither is God shy about using evil to accomplish this objective. Because the fruit of sacrifice is not good or evil, but life from the dead.
Good and evil both grow on the same tree, and this is the Tree of Death. By the sacrifice of both good and evil, this tree is cut down, and your spirit loosed from the curses of Eden. For he that is dead is freed from sin. After good and evil are both sacrificed in your own personal experience, only then will your spirit pass to the Tree of Life. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God. If you are to follow the path of Jesus Christ, then one day, by the sovereign work of God, your life will become engulfed in profound heartache. He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. By his wisdom, wickedness and betrayal will rise against you, and your life will plunge into bewildering anguish. This pain is real and enduring, and in it you will cry out to God from a depth that did not previously exist. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
The cross will cost you the good things that you hold most precious. These are your spouse, children, parents, health, business, trust, and all pride of accomplishment. Neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. God will kill all the things that you value more than him. Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation, and honourest thy sons above me? By the cross your satisfaction in earthly things will be removed, and human goals will wane to a distant memory. To survive this transition you must seek the ability to die well, focusing on the spiritual goal, and not on what you are losing. I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things.
When the cross finally ignites in your life, consider it carefully. Your first reaction will probably be retaliation, that is, you will demand the sacrifice of someone else. Due to some wicked betrayal, it will seem that he or she should be unforgiven, abandoned, and destroyed. But to follow the will of God you cannot sacrifice another person– you can offer only yourself as a sacrifice. And they loved not their lives unto the death. What is being accomplished here is your own death, the death of your carnality, the death of your earthly joy, the death of those things that are valued by mortals. It is only by this death that your spirit is empowered for resurrection. Whatsoever toucheth the altar [of sacrifice] shall be holy.
Conversely, if you cling to self-justification and self-preservation, you will remain fused to your own carnality, and terminate your own resurrection. For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. When approaching the cross, take the fork in the road that requires you to deny yourself– this is the only avenue to spiritual maturity. Why do ye not rather take wrong? Why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Seek to give grace and forgiveness, especially to those who do not deserve it. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: being defamed, we entreat. Suffer the wrong yourself, no matter how unfair. He saved others; himself he cannot save. The way that leads to God-likeness will be the path that saves another life, never your own. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Also, be not deceived concerning the little sacrifices you think you have already made. Most of these are only a preparation for the cross. The cross is a significant event, of life changing magnitude. You have not been to the cross until you have wept before God with the same three cries of anguish that Jesus demonstrated during his crucifixion. This process begins with, Not my will, but thine, be done. It then enters the tortuous valley of, Father forgive them; for they know not what they do. And the process is not complete in you until you have come to, Into thy hands I commend my spirit.
The principle of sacrifice can be seen operating in many important areas of truth. These include the New Covenant, the food for priests, and the building of the Tabernacle. Sacrifice is the essence of the New Covenant. As you complete your sacrifice on your cross you will accomplish the destruction of your own carnality. This will ratify the New Covenant in your spirit. For where a covenant is, it is necessary for the death to be brought in, of him that hath covenanted. Hebrews 9:16 (Emphasized). This New Covenant is the promise of resurrected Sonship. By your sacrifice your spirit is numbered amongst those who will come to the first resurrection. Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice