Twice every day, and in every one of God’s seven annual ‘appointed times,’ the Lord commands His people to present “an offering made by fire.” So, for Christians, what is an offering made by fire?
Under the old covenant’s sacrificial system ‘an offering made by fire’ totally consumed the sacrificed animal until only ashes remained.” Today, under the new covenant, an offering made by fire represents our total commitment to renounce our sinful nature, and our dedication to walk in holiness instead.
This is what the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote,
offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.Romans 12:1
Twice Every Day?
God commanded Israel to offer the ‘daily sacrifice’ twice per day, in the morning and at twilight.
God’s People Will Be ‘a Kingdom of Priests’
If you’ve been ‘born again’ you’re a citizen of the Commonwealth of Israel. You’re one of God’s people. (Ephesians 2:11-22. Romans 11:11-28) Since before God covenanted with ancient Israel at Mount Sinai, His intention was that His people would someday become “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:6).
Before the Cross, the concept of Israel was limited to people who lived in the promised land. But now (since the 1st Century AD) the ‘Commonwealth of Israel’ includes believing Jews and Gentiles:
For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are Abraham’s descendants are they all his children. On the contrary, “Through Isaac your offspring will be reckoned.” So it is not the children of the flesh who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as offspring.Romans 9:6-8
For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.Galatians 6:15-16
God’s intention for Israel to be a kingdom of priests will be fulfilled at the end of this age. (Revelation 1:6, 5:10) Then, YHWH’s faithful disciples will represent Him as priests to the nations in the coming millennium.
The Levitical Prototype
The Levitical priesthood is our prototype, symbolically showing us details about how our priesthood should function.
In Exodus chapter 29 God gave instructions for consecrating His priests. At the end of the priests’ consecration ceremony God commanded them to implement a twice-daily offering made by fire.
The Daily Offering
This is what you are to offer regularly on the altar, each day: two lambs that are a year old. Offer one lamb in the morning and the other at twilight. With the first lamb offer a tenth of an ephah of fine flour, mixed with a quarter hin of oil from pressed olives, and a drink offering of a quarter hin of wine. And offer the second lamb at twilight with the same grain offering and drink offering as in the morning, as a pleasing aroma, an offering made by fire to the LORD.
For the generations to come, this burnt offering shall be made regularly at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting before the LORD, where I will meet you to speak with you. I will also meet with the Israelites there, and that place will be consecrated by My glory. So I will consecrate the Tent of Meeting and the altar, and I will consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve Me as priests.Exodus 29:38-44
So, the ‘daily offering’ is an offering made by fire, twice every day, at the Tent of Meeting, in the morning and at twilight. The daily offering is prerequisite to God meeting with us and speaking with us.
‘An Offering Made by Fire’ in God’s Appointed Times
In addition to the daily offerings by fire, in every one of the seven annual moedim God commanded His people to present an offering made by fire.
What Are God’s Appointed Times?
In the Bible (Leviticus 23) God ordained seven ‘moedim’ for His people. YHWH’s appointed times, or ‘moedim’ (pronounced mo-a-deem) are His sacred assemblies for His people (Leviticus 23:2).
God never told us to attend church every week. Instead, He commanded His people to keep His moedim. These annual festivals teach us the content and sequence of God’s plan for mankind’s redemption.
In addition to the weekly Sabbath, YHWH commanded His people to keep 7 annual festivals — 4 spring moedim and 3 autumn moedim. They are both memorials of past events and rehearsals of future events in God’s plan.
God fulfilled the Spring moedim in the first century. The Autumn moedim are rehearsals to be fulfilled in our future.
Four Spring Moedim
The 4 Spring moedim teach us about God’s plan for redeeming mankind from sin and death through the Messiah. God fulfilled them according to their symbolic meanings, on the exact day when the Jews were celebrating each feast. The Spring moedim are:
Three Autumn Moedim
The 3 Autumn moedim portend how YHWH will resurrect His saints and establish the Messiah’s kingdom on the earth.
Just as God fulfilled the Spring moedim according to their symbolic meanings, on the exact day when the Jews were celebrating each feast, it’s reasonable to expect the Autumn moedim will be fulfilled the same way in our future.
The Autumn moedim are:
Present an Offering Made by Fire to the Lord
As you can see below, each moedim requires ‘an offering made by fire’ to the Lord.
Passover and Unleavened Bread:
For seven days you are to present an offering made by fire to the LORD.Lev 23:8
On the day you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a year-old lamb without blemish as a burnt offering to the LORD, along with its grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil—an offering made by fire to the LORD, a pleasing aromaLev 23:12-13
Along with the bread you are to present seven unblemished male lambs a year old, one young bull, and two rams. They will be a burnt offering to the LORD, together with their grain offerings and drink offerings—an offering made by fire, a pleasing aroma to the LORD.Lev 23:18
On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly announced by trumpet blasts. You must not do any regular work, but you are to present an offering made by fire to the LORDLev 23:24
The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. You shall hold a sacred assembly and humble yourselves, and present an offering made by fire to the LORD.Lev 23:27
For seven days you are to present an offering made by fire to the LORD. On the eighth day you are to hold a sacred assembly and present an offering made by fire to the LORD.Lev 23:36
While celebrating Christian Sukkot in 2022, camping and attending ‘holy convocations’ as Leviticus 23 prescribes, the Holy Spirit directed my attention to all the above verses about ‘an offering made by fire.’
I realized I was ignorant of an important spiritual truth, which resulted in me researching and writing this article. My hope is that my Christian brethren will see this truth and join me in presenting a priestly offering made by fire, both in daily offerings and in all future moedim celebrations.
Today, What is an ‘Offering Made by Fire?’
Under the old covenant’s sacrificial system ‘an offering made by fire’ was a burnt offering that totally consumed the sacrificed animal until only ashes remained.” It represented the worshipper’s total consecration.
Today, under the new covenant, an ‘offering made by fire’ similarly represents our total commitment to destroy our old, sinful nature, and our sincere and complete dedication to walk in holiness according to the Law of Christ.
I believe the life of sacrifice God expects and requires of us also comes “by fire.” It costs us everything, it is often painful, and it must undoubtedly consume our lives. The sacrificial life that is a “soothing aroma” – a pleasant fragrance filling the halls of heaven – is not the half-hearted life of appearing to serve God on Sunday and living for ourselves the rest of the week. It is not the life that justifies our sin or compromises with the world.The Way of the Word
Therefore, if we would be priests of God, according to the Order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 7), let us offer Him acceptable worship. That is, let our priesthood follow the Biblical pattern, presenting offerings made by fire, as God prescribed.
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.Hebrews 12:28
My Daily Sacrifices
O YHWH, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I direct my prayer to you and watchPsalm 5:3
Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.Psalm 141:2
Obviously, we shouldn’t sacrifice a lamb every morning and evening. So, at a practical level, how can a Christian present the daily ‘offerings made by fire?’
You can use the Lord’s Prayer from Matthew 6:9-13. But, personally, I pray the Lord’s Prayer every night at bedtime, so I choose not to repeat it twice more each day.
After praying for guidance, I believe the daily offerings need both a spontaneous and a formatted element:
- They need to be spontaneous, from the heart, keeping it alive and personal. An ‘offering made by fire’ should have an element of heartfelt emotion and personal consecration.
- They also need a formatted (dare I say ‘liturgical’) element to keep them grounded in the Word, not only on fluctuating, spontaneous daily thoughts and feelings.
A Practical Example
So, here’s how I’m presenting a morning and evening sacrifice to YHWH.
- I’m sequentially going through the Psalms, reciting a psalm in the morning and the next psalm in the evening.
- For psalms with more than 20 verses, I break them up into manageable chunks.
- For example, Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible, with 176 verses. It divides naturally into 22 short sections, based on the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, so I’ll finish Psalm 119 over the span of 11 morning and 11 evening readings.
- After each morning/evening reading, I commune with God in a spontaneous time of prayer, praise, consecration.
- I write anything the Spirit communicates to me in my online journal.
If you have other suggestions for how to do the daily offerings, please share them in the comment section below.
Resources for Further Study
This article focuses on the narrow topic of presenting an offering made by fire. Here are some related resources for further study.
- If you want to research other Old Testament offerings and sacrifices in more detail, I found this website. It’s full of details, and it’s from a Christian perspective. It also includes a detailed chart you can download free.
- Is it important for a Christian to have daily devotions?
- Why is daily prayer important?
Under the old covenant’s sacrificial system an offering made by fire was a burnt offering that totally consumed a sacrificed animal until only ashes remained.”
Today, under the new covenant, an offering made by fire represents our total commitment to renounce our sinful nature, and our dedication to walk in holiness according to the Law of Christ.
Therefore, if a disciple of Jesus would become a priest of YHWH, let him (or her) present an ‘offering made by fire’ according to the Biblical pattern — twice daily, in the morning and at twilight, and during each of God’s appointed times each year.