Category Archives: The Burnt Offering: Part 3

The Burnt Offering: Part 3



This truth of the sinlessness of Christ is of tremendous importance, for the requirement of old was nothing less than perfection, for God said, “it shall be perfect to be accepted” Leviticus 22:20-22.  Anything less than this rendered the animal disqualified.  God does not alter His requirements at all.  Who cannot see that if there were any trace of sin in Christ, whether of heart or hand, thought or word, then He would not be suited to the task of going into death sacrificially?  How can He be a saviour who himself needs to be saved?  Drowning men are not rescued by drowning men, but by those who stand secure upon the rock and throw them a lifeline.

Of course the temptation of the Lord Jesus may present problems to us in this connection, but the answer to those problems is, as ever, to accept the plain statements of Scripture.  We must not tamper with one doctrine to try to make another more easy to understand, nor should we allow what we do not know, to rob us of what we do know.  There are those who wish to teach that the Lord Jesus, whilst not actually sinning under temptation, nevertheless could have done so.  Otherwise, they say, His temptation was not real.

The writer believes that these are wrong notions concerning the person of Christ and come about because of a wrong understanding of the word “tempt”.  The word translated “tempt” means ‘to make an experience of, to pierce or search into, to try with the purpose of discovering what of good or evil was in a person or thing’ (Trench’s New Testament Synonyms).  So the predominant idea is one of testing and assessing. Failing the test is not inevitably involved.

Because believers still have the capacity to sin and because, too often, we do sin when tested, we have come to think of temptation as always, or nearly always, connected with sinning.  When we think of the temptation of Christ, there is absolutely no reason to immediately think of sin as an inevitable consequence.  In fact, when the writer to the Hebrews speaks of the temptation of Christ, he expressly rules out the matter of sin in connection with it, “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin”  Hebrews 4:15.  The last phrase “yet  without  sin” qualifies and restricts “in  all  points”, and  therefore  is  not to be understood as meaning that the end result of the temptation was that He did not sin, although that is in fact true, but that His temptation came only from without, not from a sinful nature within.  After all, the context is dealing with the ability of Christ our High Priest to sympathise with us in our trials on the earth, He having passed this way before, returning to heaven fully qualified to bear our burdens.  He cannot sympathise with sin, for He does not know what it is to sin.  But He can sympathise with us in our trials, having been tried in all points as we are.

Even in circumstances where the temptation, if succumbed to, would have resulted in sin, such as the temptation by the devil in the wilderness, Christ is seen to be triumphant, for having been led of the Spirit into the wilderness He returns in the power of that same Spirit into Galilee Luke 4:1,14.  Nothing that had taken place in between had resulted in the Spirit being grieved.  There had been no independent action, (such as turning stones into bread without a word from His Father), no deviation from the Father’s will, (such as casting Himself down from the pinnacle of the Temple), no seeking glory and splendour, (such as coveting the kingdoms of the earth), but rather a humble reliance on His Father.

It was precisely because the Lord Jesus was unable to sin, that the pressure of the temptation was felt by Him so keenly.  Imagine a length of sea wall, built with the purpose of keeping back the raging sea.  One section is constructed by a competent engineer, with the very best materials, whilst the adjoining section is of faulty construction, using second-rate materials.  Which section will feel the pressure of the waves the most?  Surely the well-constructed section will, as it resists the force of the waves hurled against it.  The faulty section soon gives way under trial and no longer feels the pressure of the water.  Shall we be so foolish as to say that because the good wall did not give way, then it was not tried?  Shall we also foolishly say that because Christ did not give way under trial and temptation, that He therefore was not really tested?  This would fly in the face of the Scriptures which say that Christ suffered, being tempted, Hebrews 2:18.  To Him, temptation meant suffering, as He resisted that temptation to the utmost.  Too often, with us, temptation means enjoyment, as we give in to the temptation and allow the flesh to gratify itself.

Besides these considerations, we must remember that in the one person, Jesus Christ, there were two natures, manhood and Deity, brought together in union which is complete and indissoluble, so that every act and thought is of One who is both God and man.  He does not do some things as God and some things as man, but His person is one.  For example, He slept during the storm on the lake, for He was God manifest in flesh; and He rebuked the winds and the waves because He who was manifest in flesh is God.

So that those who suggest that Jesus Christ could sin, are suggesting that He who is God manifest in flesh could sin.  Now there are certain things that God cannot do, for they would undermine the very nature of His Being, and one of those things is to sin.  We conclude therefore that Christ was unable to sin.

There is a passage in the Old Testament, in Numbers chapter 4, which illustrates the point we have been trying to make as to the purity of Christ.  This chapter gives instructions for the transporting of the holy vessels of the tabernacle through the wilderness.  Brought out from the sacred confines of either the Court or the Sanctuary, they were carried through the desert with its sandstorms and dusty ways until the next stopping place was reached.  Yet no mention is directly made to the laver, that which held the water for the washing of the feet of the priests before they entered the Holy Place.  Is there not in this the suggestion that Christ, a true “vessel unto honour” who emerged from the Heavenly Courts to tread a path through this wilderness-world, was pure and undefiled, needing not the washing of water by the word as a remedy for defilement, but was ever “the undefiled in the way” who is “blessed,” Psalm 119:1?

How different are the Lord’s people, who although washed all over at conversion to fit them for their new state of regeneration John 13:10; Titus 3:5, nonetheless need the habitual application of the Word of God with its cleansing power, to deal with defilement contracted during daily life in this polluted world through which they pass, Ephesians 5:26.  The Eastern traveller, although starting out on his journey as one who had bathed, nevertheless needed to wash his dusty feet at the end of the day’s journey John 13:10.

Before passing from the consideration of the four parts which are specially mentioned as being laid upon the altar, we must note some practical lessons which may be learnt at this point.  The apostle Paul beseeches us to present our bodies to God as a living sacrifice, Romans 12:1.  It follows therefore that the head, (our mind), the fat, (our energies), the inwards, (our hearts’ affections) and the legs, (our walk) must all be in an holy and acceptable state if we are to truly be something for God.

Hence the apostle exhorts the Philippians to let the same mind which was in Christ be in them, Philippians 2:5; he speaks of glorying in infirmities, that the power of Christ might rest on him, 2 Corinthians 12:9; of the love of Christ constraining him, 2 Corinthians 5:14; and of his ways in Christ, 1 Corinthians 4:17.  Thus the believers’ mind, energy, love and movements, if like Christ’s, will all co-ordinate together and be for the delight of God  Then his mind will be governed by God’s word, so that his energies may be put forth with intelligence; and his love for Christ will ensure that he goes where He leads.

At last the moment has come for which such careful preparation has been made, and the fire can begin its work.  Note that all is to be placed upon the altar, reminding us of the total and unreserved commitment of the Lord Jesus to the work given Him to do.  Nothing of what He was or did was in any way unacceptable to God, for the testimony from heaven was, “well-pleased” and He did always those things which pleased the Father, John 8:29.  The word from heaven in Malachi’s day was that God found no pleasure in His people Malachi 1:10, nor would He accept an offering at their hand.  At last there is One upon the earth who is different and unique and this totally acceptable person willingly presented Himself to God in His entirety, withholding nothing.

Under the action of the fire, the sacrifice was transformed into a cloud of incense (such is the meaning of the word for burn in verse 9), which in God’s estimate was of a sweet savour, or a savour of rest.  How unsavoury this world must be to God; the best of nations was likened to a defiled leper, with putrefying sores neither tended nor dressed, Isaiah 1:6.  What of the rest of men who are described by God as being filthy? Psalm 14:3.

How refreshing therefore it must have been to God to see One whose person, given up in sacrifice, resulted in nothing but a pleasurable aroma, with no admixture of the stench of sin.  The idea involved in this sweet-savour was that of complete complacency.  At last God has reached His long sought-for goal, even pleasure in man.  He had rested after His work of creation, for all had been completed and could be pronounced “very good”, but He could not use those words of man after sin had come in.  On the basis of the person and work of Christ there is joy and refreshment for God in the new creation made possible by His sacrifice and in this new creation all things are of God and in conformity with His desires.  What a tremendous privilege and blessing it is to be part of that new creation in Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:17, and to be involved in that which gives God pleasure.  We might well heed the exhortation of the apostle to not receive the grace of God in vain, but rather to act in the light of that grace which has brought us such rich and eternal blessing, and live lives which in practice are taken up with new things and dispense with the old.

Here we come to the end of the first division of the chapter and we have seen in type One who moved on earth and died on the Cross, only for the sake of His Father’s interests  Whose first recorded words are “Wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business?” Luke 2.49 and who could say a few moments before He died “It is finished,” John 19:30.


1:10  And if his offering be of the flocks, namely, of the sheep, or of the goats, for a burnt sacrifice; he shall bring it a male without blemish.
1:11  And he shall kill it on the side of the altar northward before the Lord: and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall sprinkle his blood round about upon the altar.
1:12  And he shall cut it into his pieces, with his head and his fat: and the priest shall lay them in order on the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar:
1:13  But he shall wash the inwards and the legs with water: and the priest shall bring it all, and burn it upon the altar: it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord.


1:10  And if his offering be of the flocks, namely, of the sheep, or of the goats, for a burnt sacrifice; he shall bring it a male without blemish.

We come now to that section which deals with the sheep or the goat brought for sacrifice.  Since much of what is found in verses 10-13 is identical to the first section, we shall concentrate on the sheep and goats themselves and the statement of verse 11 “he shall kill it on the side of the altar northward”.

The animal which we tend to think of first in relation to sacrifice is the lamb.  The well-known words of Genesis 22:8 could be cited, “My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering,” or of Isaiah 53:7, “He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter,” (although the word “slaughter” is not regularly used for sacrifice, yet verse 10 shows Calvary is in view), or of John the Baptist in John 1:29,36 – “Behold the Lamb of God”.  All these passages bring before us the idea of the lamb for sacrifice, and Christ is that lamb.  Note that in each of the passages referred to there is the idea of movement, for it is said of Abraham and Isaac, that “they went both of them together.  And Isaiah speaks of Christ being led, and John refers to Jesus coming, and walking.  With these statements we might contrast a further reference to the lamb, this time in Revelation 5:6, “stood a Lamb”.  Clearly the movement and what was involved in that movement are both over.

In Genesis 22 the father and the son go together to the place of sacrifice, the one to offer, the other to be offered.  How wonderfully this has been repeated in the New Testament, for did not the Lord Jesus say the night before He died, “I am not alone, the Father is with Me”? John 16:32.  This remark is made in the Gospel which does not record those words of the Saviour when upon the Cross, “My God, My God, Why hast Thou forsaken Me?”  The Lord may be forsaken of His God upon the Cross when made sin, but the fact remains that He and His Father are One and nothing can alter that eternal condition.

There is movement further on in Genesis 22:19, where we read of the father and the young men going together to Beer-sheba.  Abraham’s young men, having seen the place of sacrifice afar off, verses 4 and 5; and knowing that on Moriah death and resurrection have, in figure, transpired, Hebrews 11:17-19, are able to go with the father to dwell where he dwelt.  So likewise, believers of this age who look back to Calvary and see the place of sacrifice afar off, now press on in fellowship with the Father to dwell at last in the Father’s house, 1 John 1:3; John 14:2,3.

When we turn to Isaiah’s reference to the lamb, we find that he presents us with a contrast between the erring, wandering nation, like a flock of sheep gone astray, and the Lord Jesus, never straying but always “before Jehovah” Isaiah 53:6,2.  Never did He deviate from the path of righteousness, Psalm 23:3, nor walk in the counsel of the ungodly, Psalm 1:1.  Note how Mark records His progress towards Jerusalem, the place of His crucifixion, for he writes, “they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid,” Mark 10:32.  Well might the disciples be amazed at the sight, for even though He knew the cruel death of the Cross lay before Him, yet not for one moment does He hesitate, but presses forward.  As they followed, they were afraid, for they were beginning to realise the solemn implications of being a true follower of Christ, with the duty of taking up one’s cross and following Him.

If in Genesis 22 we have fellowship in connection with the lamb, and in Isaiah 53 and Mark 10 following the lamb, and not straying, then in John 1 we have the fulfilment of Scripture through the lamb.  “All the prophets and the law prophesied until John” were the words of the Lord Jesus Himself, Matthew 11:13.  So when in the first chapter of John’s Gospel we find that John “seeth Jesus coming unto him” he is simply doing what all other true prophets in Old Testament times had done, as they anticipated and awaited the coming of the Messiah.  When he cries “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world”, he is gathering together the testimony of the centuries concerning the Person and work of the Saviour.  For as we have already noted, Abraham assured his son that God would provide Himself a lamb and here at last on the banks of the Jordan was the Lamb of God.

The second book of Moses had spoken of the Passover lamb as “the” lamb, Exodus 12:4, and this also finds its echo in the words of John “Behold the Lamb”.  Again the ritual of the Day of Atonement involved a goat which bore away sins and Christ is the fulfiller of that type too, for He is the bearer away of sin, says John.  So much for extracts from the law of Moses, but what of the prophets?  Let the one that the Lord Jesus described as “the” prophet be our guide, even Daniel.  He is engaged in prayer in Daniel 9, because of the condition of his nation and its royal city, now in ruins.  He prays at the time of the evening oblation, but no sacrifice burns on Israel’s altar as he prays, for the Temple is in ruins also.  Who can remedy such a situation?  Only Messiah the Prince, who will make an end of sins, the sins that brought the desolation of City and Temple, and bring in everlasting righteousness.  He alone can purge the earth of its ingrained sin and introduce the reign of right which shall never be over-thrown.  No wonder John announces Him as the One who will take away the sin of the world!

Thus in closing these few remarks on passages relating to the Lamb of God’s providing, we notice that in Genesis 22 it is the father that takes the initiative.  Yet the son, who to all intents and purposes was the lamb, is willingly involved.  In Isaiah 53 wicked men take the initiative and the lamb is prepared to be taken by them to the place of slaughter.  Whilst in John 1 the initiative is Christ’s Himself, as He comes into the world.  So as we think of the lamb and goat section of Leviticus 1, we are assured that the One of whom it speaks went to the place of sacrifice in fellowship with His Father, in fulfilment of the prophecies of the Old Testament, and even if men counsel together to slaughter Him, we know that they only bring to pass the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God.

What is the difference between a sheep and a goat, considered typically?  The word used for sheep here, namely “keseb”, means a he-lamb.  Not a “taleh,” a sucking lamb, nor yet a stout he-lamb, a “kar”; and certainly not a “kabsah,” a she-lamb.  Yet the word is not the same as is used in Genesis 22:7,8, a “seh” a young lamb of either the sheep or the goats.  Thus the emphasis seems to be upon the fact that it is a male.  As for the word for goat, “ez”, it has for its meaning a goat or she-goat.  In fact the word is translated “she-goat” 5 times.  Yet we know that the goat of Leviticus 1 must be a male.  Thus again the emphasis seems to be upon the maleness of the animal, for even though the usage of the word allows the idea of a she-goat, the regulations expressly exclude anything but a male.

It was not enough for the would-be offerer to bring the first animal he chanced upon as he entered his flock.  Apart from the vital necessity of freedom from blemish, the animal must of necessity be a male, neither ewe or she-goat would be acceptable.  The idea lying behind the male in Scripture is that of activity, not passivity, as with the female.  This is not to say, of course, that females either amongst the animal kingdom or the race of mankind are inactive.  But they are active in a different sort of way.

There is presented to us in the male sheep an illustration of the active, deliberate and resolute subjection of Christ to the Father’s will.  He is not simply the meeting-point of influences outside of Himself, such as the enmity of Satan and the world, but one who deliberately sets out to actively do the will of His Father.  His words in Gethsemane will serve to bring out the contrast between active submission and passive submission. They are as follows, as found in the Synoptic Gospels:

Matthew 26.39 “O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt”.
Mark 14.36 “Abba, Father, all things are possible unto Thee; take away this cup from Me: nevertheless not what I will, but what Thou wilt”.
Luke 22.42 “Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done”.

How the reality of the manhood of Christ shines out here!  Sincerely and definitely seeking that the awful cup of Divine wrath which was being extended to Him, might in some way be allowed to pass.  Yet only if it be the will of His Father so to intervene.  Mark’s account makes clear that “the cup” to which the Saviour refers, is the same as the “hour” of His sufferings upon the Cross.  Compare Mark 14:35 with verse 36.  Such were the horrors of that time that the holy soul of Christ shrank from the enduring of its agonies.  Yet, for all that, He expresses His passive submission to the will of His Father.

By contrast, in John’s Gospel that submission is active, the male offering is in view there.  Again the scene is Gethsemane, but this time there is no falling to the ground in agony by Christ, overwhelmed by the prospect of the bitter experiences so soon to be His portion.  In fact, it is the band of men that have come to arrest Him that fall to the ground, though not in prayer, but in fear.  Nor is there any mention of the cup being allowed to pass from Him undrained, but on the contrary there is a rebuke for Peter who by his sword seeks to prevent Him from drinking it.  Note the decisive and majestic words, “The cup which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it”? John 18:11.  This is active submission, deliberately setting out to be subject to the will of the Father and it is this aspect of things which is emphasised throughout John’s Gospel.

But if the sheep was to be a male, so was the goat, so wherein lays their difference?  The goat is a more rugged animal than the sheep, the better able to survive under adverse circumstances.  It is said that the ancestors of the wild goats that may be found on some of the mountains in Wales were let loose there by the Welsh shepherds.  For the goats were able to penetrate into places which would be dangerous to a sheep, and would crop the grass so that the sheep would not be tempted to venture there and then be unable to return.  In the Scripture, the goat is associated with adverse circumstances Leviticus 16:22, and adverse decisions, Matthew 25:32,33,41.

We suggest therefore, that the male goat presents to us the idea of active subjection which takes the initiative despite adverse circumstances, whereas the male sheep gives the idea of active subjection which accepts circumstances as they develop, knowing them to be the will of God.

See how this unfolds in John’s Gospel.  In chapter 18.4 Jesus went forth to meet the hostile band with their swords and staves and lanterns.  This is the ‘goat’ aspect, facing hardship and opposition with determination and resolve.  But then we see the ‘sheep’ aspect of His active subjection in verses 12 and 13 as the band took Jesus, bound Him, and led Him away.  Thus beginning the fulfilment of the words of Isaiah as quoted in Acts 8:32, “He is led as a lamb to the slaughter”.  At one moment He is seen actively taking the initiative, going forth to meet the foe, the next He is allowing Himself to be bound.

What irony lays in the probable fact that the route taken by the soldiers with their prisoner was via the ascent by which Solomon went up to the House of the Lord to offer his ascending offering 1 Kings 10:5, which was one of the sights which caused such wonderment in the heart of the Queen of Sheba.  Are not our hearts likewise filled with amazement when we see the ascent by which Christ went up to the place of sacrifice?

Thus He was led to the palace, John 18:12-15; led to the Praetorium, (judgment hall), 18:28; and finally led to ‘the place’, which in fact was Golgotha, “the place of a skull” 19:16, 17.  But notice that He goes forth before He is led away in chapter 18, and then in 19:17 He goes forth after He is led away.  He shows Himself to be the Beginning and the Ending, the First and the Last; always in command of the situation, confident in the execution of His Father’s will, despite the tremendous cost.  Truly He is the he-goat that goeth well and is comely in going, Proverbs 30:29,31.

1:11  And he shall kill it on the side of the altar northward before the Lord: and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall sprinkle his blood round about upon the altar.

Only of the sheep and the goat is this said, although surely we may assume that it pertained to the other sacrifices also, the bullock and the dove.  We have seen already in this chapter the way in which contrasting and yet complementary things are put side by side, and such is the case here.  For “the side of the altar northward” suggests one thing, whilst “before the Lord” suggests another.  But one that not only harmonises with the first, but enhances it.

All of the points of the compass have certain associations.  For instance, the east suggests expectation, for it is the place of the sun’s rise, with all the hopes of the light of day.  The west would suggest expansion and enlargement, for it was the furthest extent of the sun’s course and was also the predominant direction in which the Gospel travelled from Jerusalem, in large part amongst the sons of Japheth, whose name means ‘enlargement’ Genesis 10.1-4.

But the north seems to be the place of exposure to danger.  It was from the north that danger threatened Israel so often.  As Jeremiah said “out of the north an evil shall break forth” 1:14.  Then Proverbs 25:23 says “the north wind driveth away rain”.  We might think this to be a good thing, but the rest of  the verse says “so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.”  Again Job 37:22 says “fair weather cometh out of the north: with God is terrible majesty.  Again, Psalm 75:6,7 says “promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.  But God is the judge: He putteth down one, and setteth up another”.

The underlying thought behind these references to the north is of fore-boding, of terribleness, of exposure to danger, of judgement.  Couple with this the fact that the north side of the altar would necessarily be in the shadows, and we have a picture built up of a place of ominous portent.  It was this sort of experience that the Lord knew when He was found on the north side of Jerusalem on a cross.  Did the enemy come and destroy the Temple in olden times?  Then Christ prophesies that the temple of His Body will be destroyed at the cross, John 2:19.  Was the ensign lifted up by the tribe of Dan, camped on the north side of the Tabernacle, a serpent?  Then Christ would be lifted up in the same way, in accordance with the type of another uplifted serpent, that of Numbers 21.  See John 3:14-16.

Whilst the foregoing was true, that the enemy would come, that He would be lifted up, yet there was in the heart of the Son of God the consciousness that He was ever in personal favour with the Father.  For in John 2 there is a clear contrast made between Herod’s Temple, defiled and profaned, and the temple of His Body, pure and holy.  So whilst the Temple of Old Testament times was destroyed because of the failure of the people, Christ’s Body was brought into the dissolution of death for several reasons, but certainly not for failure on His part.

Whilst it is true that He was lifted up as both the brazen serpent, and the serpent-ensign had been, yet He was never personally anything less than holy.  Truly made sin, yet never made to become a sinner or sinful.  Always “before the Lord”, even during the three hours of darkness which veiled His deepest anguish; ever the delight of the Father’s heart.  A possible hint of this is found in Psalm 22:20.  The psalm is in character a sin-offering psalm, beginning as it does with Christ’s experience of being forsaken of God because of sin.  But then in verse 20 Christ is heard to say “Deliver my soul from the sword, my darling from the power of the dog”.  To what is He referring here?  Is it to His own soul, previously mentioned in the verse?  Or is it that the Son is speaking of Himself in the language that He knows the Father uses of Him?  For the word translated “darling” is elsewhere in the OT translated as “only son”.  Its first use is in Genesis 22:2,16 of Isaac, Abraham’s only son, his only-begotten, as Hebrews 11:17 describes Him.  Its last use is in Zechariah 12:10, a prophecy of the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus.  Thus sensing deeply His relationship with the Father, He speaks as He knows the Father would speak.  Just as the fat of the sin offering was not burnt with the rest of the animal upon the ground, but rather was burnt as incense upon the altar of burnt offering, so the fragrance of the devotion and faithfulness of Christ in dealing with sin was associated with His work in gaining acceptance for His people.  Thus there is suggested by the thought of the north, and also “before the Lord”, not only the perseverance of Christ under the most severe testing, but also the fact that during all the time of that testing, He was personally delightful to the Father in heaven.

1:12  And he shall cut it into his pieces, with his head and his fat: and the priest shall lay them in order on the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar:
1:13  But he shall wash the inwards and the legs with water: and the priest shall bring it all, and burn it upon the altar: it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord.

One further point of difference, although perhaps a slight one, might be mentioned, as we bring these remarks on the sheep and goat section to a close.  In the case of the bullock, “the priest shall burn all”, but in the case of the sheep or goat, “the priest shall bring it all”.  Of course, all the sheep was burnt and all the bullock was brought, but special mention is made of burning on the one hand and bringing on the other.  Thus the expressions used fit in with the particular emphasis in each section.  The bullock tells of One wholly given up to God’s interests, therefore it is “burn all”.  Whereas the sheep and the goat tell of One who pressed towards the place of sacrifice, and would not be turned back, hence, “bring all”.  It is well with the Lord’s people when they are wholly given up to their Father’s interests and walk in ways that give Him pleasure.  See 1 Thessalonians 4:1.