Life-Study of Leviticus, by Witness Lee

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A. The Water

The water (Lev. 1:9, 13) signifies the Spirit of life (John 7:38-39). While the Lord Jesus was living His human life on earth, this Spirit of life, the Holy Spirit, continually kept away from Him all defiling factors. This is the reason the Lord Jesus was never defiled or contaminated by anything He contacted. The Holy Spirit as the living water within Him kept Him clean.

According to Leviticus 1:9 and 13, the offerer was to wash the inwards and the legs of his offering with water. This certainly does not signify that Christ needs to be washed by those who offer Him as the burnt offering. The slaughtering of the offering by the offerer is a review of the offerer’s experience in his daily life of Christ’s crucifixion. The principle is the same with the washing of the burnt offering. The washing is a review of the offerer’s experience of Christ’s life, a life in which He was continually washed by the indwelling Holy Spirit from any contaminating factor. The Holy Spirit, here signified by the water, preserved Christ from being contaminated by outward matters He contacted while He was on earth. The offerer has experienced this in his daily life, and he therefore reviews and demonstrates this as he offers Christ as his burnt offering.

B. The Fire

1. Signifying the Holy God

A number of verses in Leviticus 1 speak of the fire (vv. 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 17). The fire here signifies the holy God. This is proved by Hebrews 12:29, which says, “Our God is also a consuming fire.”

2. With the Burnt Offering, the Fire Being the Accepting Fire for God’s Satisfaction

With the burnt offering the fire is the accepting fire for God’s satisfaction (vv. 9, 13, 17). The fire in Leviticus 1 may be considered God’s mouth with which He receives and accepts what we offer to Him.

3. With the Sin Offering, the Fire Being the Judging Fire for Man’s Redemption

With the sin offering the fire is the judging fire for man’s redemption. The burning of the sin offering is a sign of God’s judgment. This is mentioned in 4:12.

Apparently the burnt offering fire and the sin offering fire are two different fires. Actually there is just one fire with two different functions—the function of accepting and the function of judging.

4. The Burnt Offering Fire Shall Never Go Out

According to 6:12 and 13, the burnt offering fire was never to go out. This is in contrast to the sin offering fire, which did not burn continually.

C. The Burning

In Leviticus 1, verses 9, 13, 15, and 17 speak of the burning, that is, of the offering up of the burnt offering in smoke.

1. As the Burning of the Sweet Incense

The burning of the burnt offering is as the burning of sweet incense (Exo. 30:7-8; Lev. 16:12-13). The Hebrew for “offer up in smoke,” a special term used for the burning on the altar of burnt offering, implies the matter of incense. Thus, the burning on the altar of burnt offering is as the burning of sweet incense. This burning produced a sweet savor ascending to God for His pleasure and satisfaction.

(Life-Study of Leviticus, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)