Have you ever wondered about the biblical sacrificial system, its connection to the eating of meat, and to the End Times? There is a definite connection.
When studying the bible, it is important to understand that the God who inspired the book of Genesis, is the same God who inspired Revelation, and every book in between. The essential part of God’s character, that believers depend on, is His unchanging nature.
For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Malachi 3:6
Israel has made God angry, time and time again, but in His wrath He remembers the promises He made to their fathers. Nothing can prevent Him from keeping His promises, for if He did He would have been a liar. It is the same for every believer, we all depend on Him keeping His promises, for we have all sinned, even after becoming a Christian.
There is nothing new to God, and nothing ever surprises Him. He knew it all long before it happened. In the midst of His wrath He is still merciful to those who call on Him for salvation.
It is the same with the Son of God;
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Hebrews 13:8
It is because of the unchanging nature of God that we know His purpose at the beginning was the same as it is at the end.
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Revelation 13:8
When it says that the Lamb was “slain from the foundation of the world” it does not mean that He was literally slain from the foundation of the world, for if He was He would not have had to go to the cross It means that His sacrifice on the cross was a sure thing, even before He created the earth.
This was the purpose of Christ creating the world in the first place, and it is to this event that the entire sacrificial system points, from its inception in the Garden of Eden.
Now, those who know the bible may note that the term “sacrifice” is not a part of the account of the fall of man. This is true, but the result of the first sin was in fact the very first sacrifice, and it was God Himself who performed this sacrifice. What He did there was to teach Adam and Eve about the sacrificial system He was setting up, which would ultimately point to the one and only meaningful sacrifice; His death on the cross.
Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. Genesis 3:21
After Adam and Eve sinned, they discovered that they were naked. They made aprons of fig leaves to cover their nakedness. They were really trying to cover their sin, but as usual human effort is unable to remove the stain of sin from our souls.
At least two animals died at the hands of God in this event. God was showing the first couple that they needed a covering for their sin, from someone who was innocent, and so the first two animals died as a result of the first sin.
As I mentioned in a previous blog post it is unlike God to waste the bodies of these animals, simply to clothe this couple. This is about something far deeper.
The God of the bible is a waste-not-want-not God, and so His killing of these animals was more than merely to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve. He spilt the blood of these two animals, which was the first indication of His once-for-all sacrifice which was to come some 4,000 years later.
There can be no doubt that God had in mind His ultimate sacrifice, of which He later said;
I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. John 6:51
The eternal principle of Christ’s sacrifice is that one must partake of the sacrifice. In the law of Moses it is repeatedly stated that the person offering the sacrifice should eat the flesh of the animals, but not of the fat.
When you eat meat you digest it and it is incorporated into your body. The protein from the animals muscles is incorporated into your muscles. It becomes a part of you!
While Jesus does not mean that we should be cannibals, what He really means is that we partake of His sacrifice by reading His words and making them a part of us. The life of Jesus is synonymous with His words. This is why He is called “the Word of God”.
Now, it is not recorded in Genesis that God made a command for man to make sacrifices for sin, yet we see that just a few years later Abel made sacrifices in the same way which was eventually incorporated in the Law of Moses.
And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: Genesis 4:4
Abel was separating the fat and the meat of his sacrifices. He was butchering the animals, and not simply killing them and burning the whole animal as a burnt offering. The fact that he knew what was fat, and separated it from the rest of the offering, indicates to me that he ate the meat.
Abel learned how to make sacrifices from his father. I also think that God made Adam and Eve eat of the first two animals that He had killed for them!
And he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fat of the lamb is taken away from the sacrifice of the peace offerings; and the priest shall burn them upon the altar, according to the offerings made by fire unto the LORD: and the priest shall make an atonement for his sin that he hath committed, and it shall be forgiven him. Leviticus 4:35
And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day that it is offered; he shall not leave any of it until the morning. Leviticus 7:15
And thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, upon the altar of the LORD thy God: and the blood of thy sacrifices shall be poured out upon the altar of the LORD thy God, and thou shalt eat the flesh. Deuteronomy 12:27
God never changed. The principle of eating the sacrifice was written down by Moses, but was practised since the Garden.
Again, the early sacrifices were anticipating the sacrificial system of the law of Moses. I expect that the animals God killed for Adam and his wife were eaten that day, and what was left was burned as a burnt offering. That was the beginning of the sacrificial system.
How better to impress upon them the consequences of their actions?
Think about how the first couple felt as they observed Him kill the first animal on their behalf. What emotions would they have felt?
I should think their first reaction would have been horror! The first death of any kind on planet earth was the result of Adam’s sin, and he had to watch an innocent animal die because of his decision!
Then, when God insisted that Adam eat of the animal that had died for him, there would have been another reaction: a deeper horror, and then delight! Talk about mixed emotions! Guilt, horror, and delight, all at once!
It would have been a most humbling experience for Adam and Eve.
This is how Christians view the cross of Christ. I am horrified, and humbled, that it was my sin that put Him there. It was my sin that caused the perfect lamb of God to be slain! At the same time there is the delight that His sacrifice took away my guilt.
I am convinced this is the reaction they had, and we should have, to both the Old Testament sacrifices, and especially to the ultimate sacrifice of Christ. This was the best way for God to personalize the sacrifices. There was no neat grocery-store plastic packaging, only blood, smell, and the last gasp of the sacrificial lamb!
As Adam put on the skin of that animal, he probably looked a little bit like it. A sheep? A man wearing a sheepskin looks a little sheepish!
Now we put on Christ, and we get to look like Him to His Father! We get to look like the Lamb of God, and there is no greater privilege in all of creation!
For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Galatians 3:27
We were condemned in Adam, but now we can experience forgiveness, and restitution. We can have full communion with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son!
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:1
I have heard many say that man didn’t eat meat until after the flood. I don’t believe it. The statement after the flood, in Genesis 9:3, was that it was now acceptable for man to eat any animal, not merely the ones designated clean for sacrifice. Man has been eating meat since the Garden of Eden.
The eating of animal flesh is intimately connected to the first sacrifice in the Garden of Eden, and the ultimate Sacrifice of Christ. This is why Paul tells us that the End Times will be characterized by people being forbidden to eat meat.
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. I Timothy 4:1-3
Most people have forgotten the origin of the eating of animal flesh, but Satan, and his demons know it is connected to their ultimate defeat. It was a symbol of the coming Messiah from the Garden of Eden. This is why many Pagans are vegetarians, and vegans, and this is why the Antichrist will support the prohibition of eating this food.
Vegetarianism, and veganism, are acts of rebellion against God’s provision for the removal of sin, but without a sacrifice you will spend eternity in the lake of fire. Eternity is a long time!
Notice that Paul says that meats were CREATED to be eaten. God created animals with the intent that they would be eaten by man. I am well aware that “meats” can mean “food” in King James English but, in this context, this is a specific reference to animal flesh.
The rise of vegetarianism, veganism, and PETA are signs of the End Times, make no mistake about it! This mindset will increase until God brings down judgment upon it!