“The cohen is to remove the reminder portion of the grain offering and make it go up in smoke on the altar as an offering made by fire, a fragrant aroma for Adonai.”-Leviticus 2:9
Thus far we have looked at two sacrificial rituals: the OLAH (Burnt Offering) and the MINCHAH (Grain Offering).
The OLAH consisted of the burning up of animals and the MINCHAH consisted of the burning up of plant life or grains.
We also learned that the smoke from these sacrifices was the primary element because the smoke emitted created a pleasing aroma to the Lord.
The church has always had a problem with these sacrificial rituals and the fact that the Hebrews really believed that the Lord up in the heavens literally smelled the smoke.
Because they think it smacks of paganism.
A mental picture comes to their minds of heathens sacrificing to their gods who ate food, drank wine and beer, had sex with each other, partied, battled each other, and at times even murdered each other.
So whenever the church has come across the many references to God smelling the fragrant aroma of smoke from the burnt offerings, they have tried to allegorize these scenes away.
However, there is a simple solution for dealing with this concern.
It is to realize that all religions basically come from ONE SOURCE.
That’s why there are so many similarities between all the religions in the world from Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, to the pure Messianic faith.
Recall that after the flood, the whole world consisted only of Noah and his immediate family.
They were dedicated to the Lord and they understood what He expected of them.
They were also well schooled in the proper sacrificial procedures.
All of Noah’s family understood and practiced the one and only pure worship of the one and only true Creator of the universe.
However, as time went by, this pure form of worship slowly but surely began to succumb to corruption.
As Noah’s descendants began to go their separate ways, they began to add their own fleshly thoughts and desires to the proper worship of the Lord.
As we read in Genesis, by the time of Nimrod, the whole world was once again worshiping false gods, just like they had been before the flood.
This was the beginning of what we call the mystery Babylon religions.
Because of mankind’s common point of origin, each of these mystery Babylon religions retained to a degree the common memory of the core doctrines of the true God who created them.
So essentially every religion is an aberration of the true and proper worship that Noah and his family knew.
That is why when you examine the world’s religions, you will find that they are far more similar than unique.
Many of the differences are due to culture and traditions and the varying names of the many gods that separate them.
Here are some interesting similarities between all the world religions demonstrating that ALL religions have a common point of origin.
ALL world religions have a flood story in their early history
This is obvious because all the world’s cultures and all people come from that one family who survived the flood.
Most world religions have a god hierarchy that comprises a male supreme god, his wife, and their son
God’s plan of having His son come into the world by means of a woman was known from the earliest days.
Most pagan religions have their chief deity’s son dying and being reincarnated.
This of course foreshadows Yeshua’s resurrection.
Most pagan religions teach that the creation of all things was caused by a god or goddess
Most pagan religions teach that there will be a definite end of the world caused by a god
Most pagan religions have holy books that speak of an eternal god who is self-existent as well as a realm of both evil and good spirit-beings
Linguistic evidence points toward the existence at one time of a single mother-language
This was the conclusion reached about 10 years ago by the World Academy of Linguists.
Practically all pagan religions perform sacrifices to a god or gods that usually involve killing animals that are burned up by fire on an altar with the smoke rising up to the gods who reside in the heavens.
To conclude, my whole point is that the reason for the similarities between the Israelite religion and the heathen religions is because almost all elements of pagan worship practices were simply highly corrupted versions of the original and true worship of the Father.
I can take the EXACT SAME EVIDENCE that liberal scholars use to deny the uniqueness of the Holy Scriptures to prove the veracity (truthfulness) of the Holy Scriptures.
What God is doing with Moses, Israel, and the Law is REESTABLISHING His pure system of justice and worship.
He’s cleaning things up just like He had to do when He destroyed the entire world’s population with a great flood and started over with Noah.
We will find in the Holy Scriptures that the Lord often uses cultural elements that are familiar to the people as learning tools and illustrations of His grand plan.
So the Hebrew mindset at this time was quite similar to the surrounding gentile nations’ view of the gods and goddesses.
In the minds of the Hebrews, the Lord was a God who could speak, walk, jump with joy, swing a sword and with His divine nostrils SMELL the fragrant aroma from the burnt offerings.
Understand that it takes a LOOOOOOOOOOONG time for men to change.
The Lord has spent a millennia bringing man to his current state of spiritual understanding from the days of Adam and Eve.
And all along the way, the Lord has used cultures and traditions and other things familiar to us to teach us His ways.
So let’s not have anxiety over taking the Word of God literally even if there are parts of it that might be jarring to our modern minds and sensibilities.
Too many pastors and Bible teachers have decided that your average churchgoer is unable to handle some of these realities of Bible history and as a result they either don’t even teach the Torah or they go on to they say that it means something else entirely.
They’re afraid their flock will lose faith if they see too much paganism and imperfection in the Old Testament books and in our Bible heroes.
This is NONSENSE pure and simple.
As a Pastor, Rabbi, or Bible teacher, you are called to teach the Bible, ALL OF IT!
I’ve got news for you.
Abraham was originally a pagan.
And it is true that many of the worship practices of the Hebrews were similar in appearance to pagan worship practices that pre-dated Moses.
And yes, the Hebrews did really believe that God LITERALLY smelled the smoke of the sacrificial burnt offerings and was pleased because of it.
However, as time went on, this purely physical way of viewing the sacrifices and the nature of God would slowly but surely give way to the proper spiritual and heavenly understanding.
In fact, much of Yeshua’s sermonizing dealt with expounding on the SPIRITUAL and HEAVENLY aspects of the Kingdom.
NEXT TIME WE BEGIN LEVITICUS CHAPTER THREE