Talk 3

BRO. DIDOY LUBATON: We are in Talk 3 of our series here in The Feast called CLOSER.

Again, the spirit of the book of Leviticus is so that we may be closer to Jesus.

Today, our one big message is this:

Who among you has already been courted by someone? Who among you has courted someone? The hope for today is this: God is courting you. In the first seven chapters of Leviticus, God explains the five kinds of sacrifices that Israel can offer (above right).

Two of these sacrifices say to God: “Thank You.” Three of these sacrifices say: “I am sorry.”

Unique Aspects of Sacrifices

Why are there specific sacrifices for specific reasons? …There were two unique aspects about these sacrifices.

Israel was not alone in practicing ritual sacrifices. You will see in history that there were Edomites, Moabites, Amonites, Caananites— they were all neighbors of the ancient Israel. They offered sacrifices to their gods. So,

it was not just the Israelites who offered sacrifices.

But the Israelite sacrifices were unique in two ways:

You will find it strange that in the seven chapters that explain the five sacrifices, only once— only once— that the word sacrifice appeared. Instead of calling it sacrifice, the author called it offering.

It’s like Bo Sanchez writing a book on how to increase your sales, yet he never uses the word sell or sales in the book. Instead of sell, he writes serve.

Because in his mind, and in his culture, in his ways, his philosophy is serving rather than selling.

So, when the author of the Leviticus did not use the word sacrifice, to explain the sacrifices, it was not an accident. The author was driving a point. Instead of sacrifices, the author used offerings.

The original Hebrew word translated to offerings literally meant a drawing near thing. The sacrifices were there, the offerings were there because their main purpose was to draw the people near to God.

That’s why the title of our series is Closer. Talk 1 is Sacrifice Is Good. Sacrifice is good because it draws us near to God.

The Purpose of The Feast

In Leviticus, the focus was not on the death of the animal, or the death of something. The focus was not on death. The focus was on life. The focus was not on the process. The focus was on the purpose.

And again and again, the purpose is for us to be drawn near to God. The purpose of The Feast is not to condemn each and every one of us—

“You’re not attending Mass,” or “You’re not listening…” Or the purpose of attending because there is coffee downstairs, or my family forced me to come here, my mother said so, or my boyfriend or girlfriend tagged me along…

The purpose of The Feast, entirely, is for us to be closer to one another— and most especially to be closer to God.

The second unique aspect of the sacrifices of the Israelis was the purpose was different.

You have to understand that for most of the pagan nations, sacrifices were there for three purposes:

  1. So they could appease their angry God: “Sorry God, sorry Lord, we’re making this sacrifices because we sinned against You, so that You will not be angry at us.

That’s why sacrifices were there in ancient culture.

  1. To gain the favor of a fickle They wanted something from God.
  2. To get their idol to notice them. Because they were thinking their god or goddess was aloof, disinterested in their mortal life. For the gods, human beings were nothing but critters on earth. If sacrificing a goat or an animal didn’t work, they would go up to the next level: they would self-mutilate with hard rocks or sharp stones—like narrated in the book of Kings in the Bible— so that their god would pay them attention. In the showdown with the prophets, you’ll hear that Elijah would say in jest, “Perhaps Baal, their god, was in the toilet, so the prophets needed to make loud sounds to get the attention of Baal.”

And if the animal sacrifices failed, to get their deity’s blessings, they could use their last card: human sacrifices. They would throw babies into a blazing furnace as in the red-hot iron belly of Molek

Actually, Leviticus 8:21 prohibits this.

God’s Purpose

So what is drawing for us? This is not the God whom we serve and love. This is not the God who loves us.

When there are sacrifices for Yahweh, it’s a different story. It’s a different focus. It’s a different purpose.

Because remember this: God is the One who’s trying to get your attention. It is not us trying

to get God’s attention.

In Leviticus, we will understand that it is God who is making the effort. He is the One courting you and me. He is not aloof. He doesn’t see us as very small, nothing like critters. No, no. He is making the first move. He’s not playing hard-to- get. We are. He doesn’t second-guess on you.

He doesn’t think if you’re good or not.

Remember, in our Bible, in our belief, God is the author of Life. He is also the suitor of His people.

The purpose of the animal sacrifices was to prepare the Israelite’s heart for His Presence. He’s already totally committed to His people. The purpose was not to gain God’s favor. There were already God’s favorites. We are already His people.

So, remember this: The purpose of animal sacrifices in Leviticus was to prepare the heart of the people for His Presence.

That is why, Guys, I honor you because you showed up.

You said, “Okay, Lord, I woke up early, I dressed up, I commuted, I went through these efforts because I was going to meet my Suitor. I am going to meet my God. I’m going to meet the Author of my life.”

Time travel to now, in the 21st century… We don’t see animal sacrifices. But there are offerings of praise. There are sacrifices of praise. We celebrate the Holy Eucharist, the highest form of Worship. It is the sacrifice of the Mass. We sing love songs to God. We pray the Rosary. We fast. Pray. We offer time, to be in the Blessed Sacrament.

And why do we do all those? Is it because we want to get the attention of God? Is it because we want to say “Sorry” to God? Is it because, “God, I need something from You?”

Here it is: We do those rituals, we Worship God — understanding that He loves us first, that He is committed to us. He is good for us. And Worship is something that we do not do for God — but something that we do for ourselves.

My definition— I learned this from Bro.Bo— Worship is allowing God to love us.

So, when you go to Mass, again, it’s never the same anymore. From the Entrance Procession, to the Liturgy of the Word, to the Homily, to the Offering Time, to the Eucharistic Prayers… We sing different songs… up to The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world… Then, at Communion time, that’s when the Suitor comes closer, and you— and me— meet Him.

That’s why I encourage you: Go for Communion. That is the real Presence of God. We are the only ones who believe that. That is the real Presence. That is the gift of our Catholic Church to us. That is real Jesus.

In The Feast, Worship is allowing God to love us. So, in The Feast, there’s the Mass— there’s the song, the Offering, there’s the preaching… But the most important part is yes, we are talking to you through your mind, through your heart, but the most important is this: When we offer in response, when we sing in response to what we just learned, what we just felt. and then when we reach out

to God in prayer.

I’m trying to explain to you that is our experience, that is how we believe things are to be. And that is what God is teaching us today.

When you go through the book of Leviticus, you will learn it is not God commanding you. It is God loving you.

Bro. Bo is far away, but he has a message for us. Watch the video and enjoy.

BO SANCHEZ: Hi, Feast Bay Area! I am here in the deserts of Dubai.

And I am here to visit The Feasts here. We have a number of them all over

the Middle East. And we are so grateful that God has opened doors and people are gathering together.

Listen— just a very short message… God is here in this beautiful place. God is there in your life and He will continue to be there. He will continue to bless you.

He will continue to speak to you at this particular Feast that you are in right now. After this, after preaching here, I’ll be leading a Holy Land Pilgrimage.

So, we’ll be going to Israel.

And maybe one day, I hope you can join me. You can plan for it because I go to the Holy Land every year.

God bless you, Everybody! I will see you. Have an amazing time at The Feast today.

In God’s Presence


Good Morning, Everyone!

We honor the beautiful, immutable, unchanging and unshakable Word of God:

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

I want you to be immersed in the Presence of God in this moment. You may close your eyes and feel Jesus walking amongst us.

Father in Heaven, we thank You for the time that You have given us this morning. Truly, You are a good God.

Thank You for waking us up. And right now, this is Your moment to shine. As we break open Your good book, let every word pierce each one’s heart so that the word will be powerful, it will be personal, and it will change us today. We want every person in this place right now to be leaning in and loving You. This is our prayer, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

One more time, Everybody, lift up those hands…

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path

It’s so beautiful that we’re together….

Say God is courting you. I’m going to be teaching you five different ways that the Israelites offered to the Lord. Five different sacrifices.

The first one is the Ascension Offering.

The Ascension Offering was pretty much the most foundational of all types of offerings. Why? Because everybody did it. It was so common that everybody did it twice a day at least— one in the morning and then one at night. And this is the type of offering where they would take an animal, offer that entire animal to the Lord.

And then burn the animal and put it on the altar.

What made it unique was that they offered the whole animal— whether it was a bull or a calf. Depending on how wealthy you were back then, that would dictate what kind of offering you would give. If you were middle class you could offer a goat or a lamb or a sheep. But if you were a little financially challenged, you could still offer something. You could offer a dove, or anything that was worth your money— that was unblemished and clean.

Unique Sacrifice

What made this offering unique is that the Israelites offered the whole animal.

Think about that for a moment. For Filipinos, that would be difficult because Pinoys eat, finish up an entire dish. We are not supposed to waste, to throw away any part of the dish.

For instance, chicken. We have a dish for every part of the chicken— chicken thigh, leg, feet (even though you never know if they have ingrown nails), wings, even neck, even chicken buttocks, skin, intestines, even the blood.

As for pork: there’s Lechon or roasted pig; Sisig or ground flesh of the head, ears, and cheeks; Barbecue or grilled pork; Ramen Noodles with Pork Tendon.

So, when parents see children have leftovers, they are like, “Whoa! Finish your food! Just think:There are many going hungry in Africa…”

Thus, giving away an entire animal as offering — this will not work for Filipinos. But that was what the Israelites did. They offered to their god the whole animal.

And you know what? There’s a beautiful spiritual significance when you do that. The significance was when you give to the Lord, you give your all. It was forbidden to be stingy with the Lord.

Sometimes, during the Offering, you hesitate giving to the Lord because your funds are already dwindling… But you know, giving is a beautiful way of worshipping the Lord — that when you surrender to Him, you surrender your entire being. You surrender your whole self.

Identifying with the Sacrifice

That’s the Ascension Offering. Hence the word ascension— everything goes up to God.

But God gave a specific instruction in Leviticus 1:4: Lay your hand on the animal’s head, and the Lord will accept its death in your place to purify you, making you right with him.

Lay your hand on the animal’s head…At first, I was thinking, was that a random thought God said? Lay your hand on the animal’s head and that will become your offering…

But when God says something, it’s always on purpose. When God gives you an instruction, there’s always a purpose, a reason attached to that. I want you to think about this: That instruction of laying your hand on an animal was not an accident. It was deliberate. Because when you lay your hand on anything, you’re actually identifying with it.

So, it’s not like you pat a person on the head, and you just say, “Good boy, good girl, thank you for taking one for the team.”

That’s not what the Israelites were doing. When they were laying their hands on the animal, it was as if they were saying, “Now this animal is me.

So, you’re offering an animal as a sacrifice—but that animal is a representation of you now.

Because they believed that when they sacrifice an animal, the blood covers all of their sins.

How Do We Identify with Jesus?

When you think about it, we don’t really practice animal sacrifice anymore.

I mean, when was the last time you drained blood from an animal and burned the animal and offered offered it to the Lord?

None of us do that. Because we’re New Testament people now. We believe that Jesus came and Jesus was the Lamb that was slain to take away every sin in the world. So now, Jesus is the One we need to identify with.

How do we identify with Jesus?

I remember there’s a story in Luke 44:13 where after Jesus died, two disciples

didn’t know what to do. So, they walked away from Jerusalem to a town named Emmaus. Then, somehow, in the journey, Jesus showed up— but the Bible says they did not even recognize Him. So, imagine they were in this journey, talking about Jesus and that Person was actually Jesus but they did not recognize Him… Until, when they were eating, Jesus broke bread and they realized the Person they were talking to was Jesus all along.

How many are you are in a breaking stage right now? And now you’re picking yourself up? Here’s my point:

You want to be able to identify with Jesus? Guess what: It’s in your breaking where you are closest to Christ more than you think you know.

So, praise God if you’re going through a breaking right now, or you’d been through a breaking— because that’s one way to know that you are able to identify with Jesus. When you carry your cross, you know that Jesus is so close to you.

And you know, that process of burning the sacrifice, that’s a beautiful process, my friends. Because God’s fire is not meant to destroy you. It’s meant to refine you. So, if you’re feeling like you’re “going through Hell” right now, that’s a good thing. Because God is removing the things that do not belong to Him. God is wiping all the bad stuff that do not belong to Him. So, welcome that in your life.

That’s an invitation to welcome the fire in your life.

Giving Even If It Hurts

There’s another kind of offering: the Gift Offering. This is very simple. The reason we want to give to the Lord is we want to gift Him with something. We still do this in the Church today. You know, we bring up an offering. We give to the Lord

The Israelites back then gave fruits and vegetables. The poorest of the poor who had no money, you know, they still gave— in the form of grains.

To this day, this is a beautiful way of thanking the Lord for all the blessings that we receive. But you know, sadly, there are people who don’t trust the Lord and so they don’t give to the Lord as much as you guys

probably do. There are some people who still hesitate in giving God the first fruits of their labor.

Deuteronomy 26 says that the Israelites gave the first fruits of their harvest to the Lord. That’s beautiful.

But maybe there’s somebody here who’s thinking, “I lack money. I even have no money for commuting to home to my job. I don’t have allowance for tomorrow. Why would I still give to the Lord?”

Some of you hesitate in giving God the first fruits of your labor. But let me ask you: How many of you have ever experienced that God blessed you abundantly? Has God blessed you abundantly? Has he been providing for you in ways that you could not provide for yourself? Yes?

Then why don’t you consider offering to Him praise? Why don’t you consider offering Him thanksgiving? Why don’t you consider offering Him service?

When you know that God has blessed you abundantly.

May we do that now: Ten seconds of praising the Lord… Praising the Lord for He is good— even if sometimes you’re not. Praising the Lord if you’re not faithful— and He is faithful. Because God will always be good.

Let’s always be in the posture of gifting the Lord even if sometimes it hurts us.

That’s why it is called sacrifice. If it doesn’t hurt you, it’s not a sacrifice. It’s surplus. It’s extra. Sacrifice is something that will hurt you from within.

So, consider offering the Lord praise, service—serving Ministry. I mean we’re looking for keyboardists here. If you’ve got the talent to serve in the Ministry, come join us. Give to the Lord. That’s the Gift Offering.


The third Levitical Offering is called Peace Offering.

I know what the husbands are thinking right now: “I’m expert in that. I give one to my wife every day.”

It’s not what you think. It’s not that type of peace offering.

Let me read to you first what the Bible says about the Peace Offering.

Jesus says this:

In Hebrew, the word peace is shalom. That’s how they greeted people when they see them for the first time: “Shalom, my friend!” And when they bid each other goodbye, they say, “Shalom!

It’s a beautiful word: peace. But the way that we give peace today is a little different. Because to them, there was a specific instruction that Jesus gave.

Jesus said when you put on a luncheon or a banquet, don’t invite just your good friends, brothers, your relatives, your rich neighbors. Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.

And you know, that was a beautiful way of offering to the Lord.

Dare: Do as Darwin Did

I remember we have this brother, he’s a Feast Light Planter. His name is Darwin Susano (above, in black shirt). I always mention him here at The Feast. Chances are you probably heard about his story…

At the height of the Coronavirus Decease (COVID) Pandemic in 2020, when there was a lockdown, from his condo in Makati, Bro.Darwin saw jeepney drivers hanging out in an empty parking lot. They could not work because people were not allowed to commute. So, the drivers didn’t have money.

So, you know what Darwin did? He went down, talked to the drivers, and he offered them a meal. He cooked for them. He dined with them. And eventually, the group of jeepney drivers became a Feast Light Group.

But you know, the beautiful thing that happened there was that it was a revelation of what God’s Garden would actually look like.

God’s original design — God’s Garden of Eden— looks like this:

Every person, rich or poor, young or old, men or women, they all dwell in harmony. That’s what the Garden looks like. Everybody is fed. Everybody is nourished. Everybody is equal in the sense that they all dwell in harmony.

May I dare you to do something radical this week? Or even today. Yes, I want you to pray and then look for opportunities where you can be God’s Love to somebody this week. Maybe even today. You’re going to have lunch right after The Feast. Some of you are going to a restaurant. Maybe one of you will just need to think: “What if I buy an extra meal and then give it to the first person I see who I know is going hungry?”

That’s a radical move. It doesn’t have to be monetary in nature— because we all know money is not the only valuable resource that you have.

Ethan’s Question

My father-in-law celebrated his birthday recently and then my son Ethan said to me a few days later, “Dad was it really Lolo’s birthday?”

I said, “Yes. Why?”

He answered, “Because nobody gave him a toy. Nobody gave him a gift.”

Money is not your only valuable resource. What is your other valuable resource? Time. Why? Because the last time I checked, we have only 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Anybody got more time than that?

Time is a valuable resource. So, when you give your time to people, it means that you love them, you care for them. So, maybe, you’re caring for people this week and opening for opportunities you can be God’s love for them.

Would you be willing to call a friend whom you have not spoken to for so long and then say, “May I pray for you?”

Or maybe meet a stranger and ask, “May I help you?”

Or maybe look around for people whom you may tangibly help.

I believe we do that when we offer peace. We’re offering it to the Lord because real peace or real shalom is not the absence of conflict in your life. Real peace is the presence of love within you. When you have love, my friends, you have peace.

That’s the Peace Offering.

So, we offer Peace not just to God but to people as well.

What You Do Not Know

The fourth Offering is the Purification Offering. And God has this instruction:

The Purification Offering is for people with two intentions:

Did you know that you can sin even if you don’t know that that’s a sin?

Sin of omission. You don’t know it’s a sin but you continue to do it because you ignorantly do not know. But that’s regarded as a sin. And you need to ask atonement for that. Remember, when Jesus was up on the cross, He said: Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do.

Jesus asked for forgiveness in behalf of you and me— for what we do not know we do. Because it’s our responsibility to seek the truth and to live in the truth. So, yes, it’s a sin. That’s why you come to the Lord and ask Him to forgive you for those sins that you do out of ignorance.

The second sin the Israelites ask forgiveness for was one done out of weakness.

There are things that you do because you have a weak nature— a sinful nature. You do them. You sin.

For example, you have a bout with temper. You’ve promised your kids, your wife, your boss, your friends that you will never act out of anger or temper.

But then, one day, somebody triggered your temper. And so, you’re shouting at your kids.

You’re shouting at your employees. You’re shouting at your neighbors.

You fell. Why? Because you were weak.

Or another example: You might be battling with porn. And you had been good for four months.

But then a thought comes over you…

Or somebody gives you an image and now you are back on the saddle again…

There are things we do out of weakness.

And you know what? I am so glad that we’ve got a God who provides ways for even weak people like you and me so that we can return in His favor and continue to stand in His grace.

Isn’t God good? Even if you’re weak, God is strong and God will continue to provide for you so you can live with grace again and again.

So, that’s the Purification Offering— where you continue to purify yourself because of those two sins.

Payback Time

The Guilt Offering is when you approach God with guilt — not only because you hurt God, but because you also hurt others.

When you hurt God, you indirectly hurt people. Because people love God.

And when you hurt people, you hurt God. Because God loves His people.

In Leviticus 6: 5-7, God says this:

This is a little strange. This is an analogy. Let’s imagine: You have a debt to the person next to you amounting to P1,000. God says pay for it. So, assuming you paid the amount already. Here’s what God is asking: Not only will you give P1,000 back. But you have to give an additional 20 percent which is P200. Not only that.

Now, you also have to go to church, to the temple, offer an animal that is of equal value of the amount you owed your friend— which is another P1,000. And then, plus 20 percent or P200. So, how much do you pay back? 240 percent!

Lord, that’s so difficult. But what is the point? The point is this:

When you’re guilty of something, isn’t it true that when you come before the Lord, in your guilt, you want to pay back so much more? You want to pay for your past sins. That’s what’s happening.

Your guilt makes you want to pay back every single centavo, and then even some more.

How It’s Possible

Jesus says this in Matthew 5:24:

I know what some of you are thinking: “That’s so difficult. Is that even possible?”

I’ll tell you how it’s possible. Somebody did that. Who?

Zacchaeus— the chief tax collector.

Remember him? Yes.

He was hated by all of the Jews.Why?

Because they knew that every tax collector would always pad the amount they collect— as in make a profit. That’s

their income. So, everyone hated tax collectors.

But what did Zacchaeus do?

When he heard that this Man named Jesus was going to pass through his town, he made every way to meet Him. But he was so short. So, what did he do?

He climbed up a sycamore tree.

And then, from the middle of the crowd, Jesus called him: “Zacchaeus, come down right now. I’m going to dine in your house.”

Then what happened? Zacchaeus was transformed. He was converted. He was convicted. And then what did Zacchaeus do? He said:

Hallelujah! Not 240 percent. 400 percent!

What’s Possible

It’s a hard thing to do, right? Come before the Lord and tell Him, “I want to pay back all the sins that I had done, Lord.”

Some of you might say, “That’s not even possible. My bank account won’t even support the amount I owe you, Lord.”

You tell me it’s not possible? I just told you about Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was changed. Why? Because he had an encounter with Jesus.

You tell me it’s not possible? I’ll tell you all about Paul. Paul was once upon a time the greatest offender of the Church. But because he had an encounter with Jesus, he was changed— from the greatest offender, he became the greatest defender of the Church— of the Faith.

You tell me it’s not possible? It’s hard to do.

But I’ll tell you all about my life. I’ve been doing that because, at the age of 27, the moment I met Jesus, my life has never been the same. I know what it’s like to have an encounter with the Lord.

And if you continue to tell me, “It’s not possible, Bro. Audee,” well I’ll tell you this:

It’s probably you’ve never really had an encounter with Jesus Christ.

Because when you encounter the Love of Jesus, my God, things will change in your life.

You will be willing to risk it all, to give it all, to turn away from your sin and to say, “Never again!”

That’s what it means when you have a real encounter with Jesus. You give everything to Him. You give your all and then some.

You know, today, you have a chance to do it again. Maybe there are things in your life that you haven’t really surrendered to the Lord. I don’t know what they are. It’s between you and your God. But right now, there is a chance for you to do it again. Because Jesus is here. And He’s calling you out from the crowd. Because He wants you. He is courting you. He wants to have life with you. But it’s really up to you. Will you say Yes to Him? Or will you say No? The choice is yours.

Life Is Messy

I want to end this way:

In 2013 there was this woman who went viral on social media because she wrote a book about how to organize things in your home.

Her name is Marie Kondo.

Then in 2019 she again went really viral because Netflix produced a show for her.

It was called Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.

She would basically teach people how to organize stuff in their life, and she’s so wonderful, people wanted to do the same thing she’s doing— how to fold your shirt, how to organize your cabinet… That was wonderful.

But you know, a few days ago, Marie came out with shocking news.

She said, “My life is a mess.” Why? Here’s what she said:

Marie Kondo now has three kids. Parents would know this. Marie Kondo realized that with kids, the house is always messy.

Our Helper

I realized that life will always be messy. No matter how much you try to clean it up, life will always be messy. You clean it up, it gets dirty. The next day, you clean it up, a few hours after, it gets dirty right away. Eventually, you will get tired.

But that’s okay.

Why? Because you’ve got a Helper. Somebody to help you when life gets dirty, when life gets messy, when life gets filthy, you can call on Him. Who is our ever present Helper in times of need? His Name is Jesus.

And today, we are in front of Jesus. And we ask Jesus to clean up our mess:

Clean up the mess, Lord. Clean up our sins. Clean up the dirt in our heart. You are our Helper and with You here, everything becomes possible. Because You are our God. And so, in Your Presence, Jesus, this is how we will respond to You. Look at Your children right now, Lord. They’ve got sins, they’ve got baggages. They’ve got shame in their life. But now, in this moment, we leave no stone unturned and we walk away from our sins now and forever. We will never let our sins keep us away from our Savior. And today, we just declare that You are our God. And You are our Helper. And You are our Friend. And we worship You in Spirit and in Truth. Thank You, Jesus, for loving us the way You do. Thank You, Jesus for being our God. And we just give our all, Lord— body, mind and spirit, with arms raised we sing to You, Jesus!

Published by THE FEAST (February 12, 2023)


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