THE NEGATIVE SPICES
The oil, the frankincense, and the salt are the positive spices in the meal offering, but there are also some negative spices. By negative spices, I mean that these spices are never to be added to the meal offering. “No meal offering, which ye shall bring unto the Lord, shall be made with leaven: for ye shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, in any offering of the Lord made by fire” (Lev. 2:11). Why should we never add leaven or honey to the meal offering? It is because these two things can be easily fermented. When fermentation begins in any food, that food is corrupted and damaged.
The first negative spice mentioned is leaven. Leaven in the Bible always signifies evil things. Worldliness, sinfulness, anything related to corruption, and all evil things are likened in the Bible as leaven.
What then is honey? In the Bible honey signifies something good. Our hatred is leaven, and our love is honey. Our pride is leaven, and our humility is honey. All our good behavior is honey. Our love may be good, but it can be fermented. In many cases, hatred does not ferment as much as love. Suppose five brothers are living together and hate one another. It would be rather difficult for them to be fermented, for they are so cold in their hatred. However, when they love one another too much, they are disarmed by their natural love. Within just a short time they may all become fermented.
In the church we do not need pride nor do we need humility. We do not like to have a brother who thinks he knows everything nor do we like to have a brother who always says he knows nothing. This is honey. Honey is so sweet and is so deceitful. We know that hatred is bad, but no one would say that love is bad. But Leviticus 2 says that we should not put any leaven or honey in the meal offering. No leaven or honey will be accepted by God. They will not ascend from the altar as a kind of sweet savor to the Lord.
We must neither be proud nor humble. We must simply take the oil and the frankincense with a certain amount of salt. This is the Spirit, the resurrection, and the cross. The salt is just the cross to cross out our natural love, our natural affection, and our natural patience. All these “good” things must be crossed out, for they will cause fermentation. I am always afraid of a patient person. If you are patient with me all the time, one day you will be the most critical person in the world to me. Do not appreciate any kind of natural patience. All the natural goodness must be crossed out by the salt.
The salt is the cross and the frankincense is the resurrection. In the meal offering, which is the humanity of Jesus, there is the killing of the cross, and there is also the resurrection. The salt kills, preserves, and imparts lasting power, and the frankincense is the fragrant resurrection life. The salt in this chapter is called the salt of the covenant of God. “And every oblation of thy meal offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meal offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt” (Lev. 2:13). In the covenant that God has made with us, the basic factor is the cross, the crucifixion of the Lord. This causes His covenant to last forever. It is by the cross that it is made an everlasting covenant. Thus, in the meal offering there is the humanity of Christ, the divinity of Christ, the cross to kill and preserve, and the resurrection fragrance to flavor His whole humanity.
This should not be a mere doctrine to us. If we are feeding upon the meal offering, we will eventually become what we eat. We live by what we eat, and gradually what we eat becomes what we are. The meal offering includes the humanity of Jesus, the divinity of Jesus, the cross of Jesus, and the resurrection of Jesus. There is the fine flour, the oil, the frankincense, and the salt. There is no ground for any leaven or honey in this meal offering. In the life of Jesus as a man there is no place for any kind of impurity or corruption. If we are feeding on such a Jesus, we will have the fine flour, the oil, the salt, and the frankincense, without any leaven or honey.
(Christ as the Reality, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)