THE RESULTS OF EXPERIENCING THE FIVE KINDS OF OFFERINGS
The children of Israel first offered the trespass offering, the sin offering, and then the peace offering, the meal offering, and the burnt offering. The way we Christians enjoy Christ is the same. First we see that He bore our sins, so we enjoy Him as our trespass offering. Next we enjoy Him as our sin offering. Then we enjoy Him as our peace offering because He accomplished redemption for our sin and trespasses. From then on we desire to take Him as our life so that we may live the life He lived and may be like Him in His conduct and walk for God’s satisfaction. This is to enjoy Him as our meal offering. Then we go on further to see that Christ lived for God and that, like Him, we must also live for God since we have received Christ. He put everything to death, giving up His all on the cross for God, so we also must be like Him, putting our all on the altar to live for God. At this point God accepts us, and we become a burnt offering, turning into a heap of ashes for God’s satisfaction.
These five kinds of experiences will finally bring in two results: one is the satisfying fragrance before God, while the other is a heap of ashes before men. All our beauty, all our good points, all our special qualities, and our everything are all burnt completely. All that is left is just a heap of ashes—shapeless, colorless, and useless. However, at the same moment that we become ashes before men, we also become a satisfying fragrance before God. At this moment we not only experience Christ, but through experiencing Him we become food to God for His satisfaction.
THE RESPONSES TO EXPERIENCING THE FIVE KINDS OF OFFERINGS
Every person, regardless of which kind of offering he offers, has a reaction or response to his presentation of the offering. When a person offers the trespass offering, his response is to deal with his offenses and trespasses. Therefore, in the trespass offering there are ordinances concerning restitution. For example, when someone is conscious of his offense against another person, he has to go immediately before God and before man to confess it. A person who offers the sin offering also has a response. Knowing that he has offended God, he has deep regret before God and condemns himself. A person who offers the peace offering has a grateful heart because he feels that he is so unworthy to have received such great grace. Therefore, whenever he sees his relatives, friends, and the saints, he tells them about the Lord’s grace and love. This is the response of a person upon offering the peace offering. A person who experiences the meal offering always has a desire to take Christ as life, to live out the life of Christ, and to express Christ in his walk and conduct. This is the response to experiencing Christ as the meal offering. When a person enjoys Christ as the burnt offering, he will surely give himself completely to God and live for God in all things. He will place everything he has in the hand of God, desiring that he himself and all that he has would become a satisfying fragrance before God and a heap of ashes before men. These are the responses to presenting the offerings.
If we experience Christ, we will surely have these responses. If we have these responses, this proves that we have experienced Christ as our offerings. In our initial enjoyment of Christ, we deal with our trespasses and offenses. In our further enjoyment of Christ, we realize that we are sin and that we are wicked. When we go on another step to enjoy Christ, our heart is grateful and we are full of joy. After a further step of enjoying Christ, we desire to live Him out. In our ultimate enjoyment of Christ everything we have is for God; we become a heap of ashes before men and a satisfying fragrance for God’s enjoyment. In this way Christ is our offering as well as God’s food. This is the burnt offering.
(Dead to Law but Living to God, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)