Sacrifices in the Millennium
Physical laws are intended to teach us spiritual lessons. For example the laws of clean and unclean animals are intended to teach us to put a difference between sin and godliness, a difference between the Holy and the Profane and to get us into a life time habit of avoiding all uncleanness physically and the uncleanness of association with sin spiritually.
There are two purposes; one is to teach the actual lesson and the second part is to instill a habit of obedience of God that will last forever.
The physical sacrificial system was not specific to the Mosaic Covenant and began as soon as the first woman and man sinned in the garden. When sin entered the need for an atonement for sin became essential to save mankind.
Later God expanded the sacrificial system to Moses; each and every animal and type of sacrifice was an allegory of the sacrificial work of our LORD the Lamb of God.
The very first aspect of offering a physical sacrifice is repentance; presenting a physical offering was a way of saying “I’m sorry, I will not do that again”.
Not meaning to trivialize in any way but an example is when we present a gift and apology to someone whom we have offended. When we have sinned against God and have offended Him, we must repent [stop dong the offensive thing] and make an offering [sacrifice] to God.
Repentance is saying that we are sorry for what we did, and saying “I am sorry” means that we will never do it again.
Consider that when we give a gift and say we are sorry; that our friend might well say: “If you had not done that, you would not need to say you are sorry, I would much rather that you had not done the deed than to hear you say sorry and receive your gift.”
God would much rather that we did not sin in the first place then that we should offer sacrifice for having offended with sin. God wants a humble person poor in the spirit of self-will who will live by God’s Word and not need to say “I am sorry” for sinning, because he is not offending God and sinning.
That is what God means when he says: Psalm 51:16-17 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit [a spirit poor in stubborn self-will, humble teachable and obedient to live by every Word of God]: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
God wants to forgive but sacrifice must be made for our good so that we will learn that sin brings death; and only when we learn how very serious sin is, can we be fully motivated to STOP SINNING!
Hosea 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
In order to understand the issue properly, one must understand the sense of the Hebrew text. In it a rhetorical negation is used to point up anthesis more emphatically (cf. Deut 5:3). “Moreover, the negation in Hebrew often supplies the lack of a comparative – i.e., without excluding the thing denied, the statement implies only the importance of the thing set in contrast to it (Hos 6:6). In short, the Hebrew idiom permits denial of one thing in order to emphasize another (cf. for a NT parallel Luke 14:26). The idiom does not intend to deny the statement but only to set it in a secondary place (so Frost).”
God desires obedience and mercy, nevertheless all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23) and sacrifices are needed to teach us that the consequences of sin is death.
Physical sacrifices are a reminder of sin and the need for the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, but they cannot atone for sin on a spiritual level. They are a practical lesson on the need for sincere repentance and a graphic example of the wages [end result] of sin [which is death] that was paid in our place by the very Creator made flesh.
The physical sacrifices existed to bring remembrance of sins and to foreshadow that perfect sacrifice of the Creator which would be brought into God the Father by the High Priest of the New Covenant of Jeremiah 31:31.
Hebrews 10:3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
Because the blood of sacrificial animals could not truly reconcile humanity with God, God willed that an effectual perfect New Covenant and a perfect spiritual sacrifice be made.
Atonement for sin can come only through the application of the ultimate sacrifice of the Creator; reconciling the people to God the Father after sincere repentance, and a commitment to sin no more through the power of the Holy Spirit.
10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: 10:6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
Therefore the Creator gave up his God-hood to be made flesh and to die to remove the sins of the sincerely repentant according to the will of God the Father; who willed that a New Covenant be established with a perfect sacrifice, doing away with sin and reconciling the sincerely repentant of humanity to himself.
10:7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
Christ came to atone for all sincerely repented sin, and to reconcile the repentant to God the Father establishing the New Covenant promised in Jeremiah 31:31; which required a perfect sacrifice and the gift of God’s Holy Spirit to write the law [the whole Word of God] on the hearts and in the minds of the sincerely repentant.
10:8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law:
God the Father desires sincere repentance and accepts the better sacrifice which can indeed atone for repented sin;
10:9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first [The Mosaic Covenant ended with the death of the Husband Melchisedec [Jesus Christ] so that the New Covenant could be established.], that he may establish the second.
10:10 By the which will [by God the Father’s will] we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Because the sacrifice of Christ was perfect and complete [because the life of the Creator is worth more that all that he has created]; Christ needed to die only once to atone for all sin; although his sacrifice needs to be applied to the repentant when they sincerely repent of sin.
10:11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 10:13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
10:14 For by one offering [one perfect sacrificial death of himself] he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
Melchisedec made flesh as Jesus Christ has atoned for the sins of all who sincerely repent and commit to sin no more, and sets them apart [sanctifies] to reconciliation with God the Father.
Then on our sincere repentance the whole Word of God is written on our hearts and in our minds through the agency of God’s Holy Spirit, the very nature of God being given to dwell in us.
The physical sacrificial system was given to teach us that sin requires a sacrifice to atone for sin, it was also given to teach us about the various aspects of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God.
When Christ was sacrificed and that sacrifice was accepted by God the Father on Wave Offering Sunday; the sacrifice of the Lamb of God was perfect and complete and need never be repeated, however as men repent that sacrifice needs to be applied often. Let it be made clear that Christ’s sacrifice was perfect – which will be covered in the coming Hebrews study – and Christ need never die again; but his sacrifice must be applied as often as men sin and repent.
The physical sacrifices were an instructional allegory to teach about the sacrifice of Jesus Christ the Lamb of God.
The sacrifice of Christ did away with sin and reconciles the sincerely repentant to God the Father, something which the physical sacrifices could not do; but Christ’s sacrifice did not do away with the need for the physical sacrifices as a graphic instructional reminder that the wages of sin is death and as a means of instruction about the sacrifice of Christ.
Colossians 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
It means that the list of our sins, the indictment against us; was paid in full by the death of Christ for the sincerely repentant. In no way does Christ’s sacrifice do away with the law of sacrifice, rather it fulfills that law; by offering a PERFECT sacrifice for sin.
The physical sacrifices were instituted from the foundation of the world and came into effect as soon as sin entered the world,as an example that the Lamb of God would need to be sacrificed to atone for the sins of the sincerely repentant. From the very beginning it was understood that man would sin and would need the atoning sacrifice of their Creator made flesh.
Revelation 13:8 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.
These physical sacrifices were a graphic example that the wages of sin is death, and were a type or instructional allegory of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God.
These physical sacrifices continued and were accepted as appropriate by the first century Ekklesia right up to the destruction of the temple in c 70 A.D. The apostles at Jerusalem even encouraging Paul to sponsor the required sacrifices for certain Nazarites.
Acts 21:23 Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them; 21:24 Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges (the sacrifice of a lamb, Numbers 6) with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.
Bear in mind that after the tabernacle was built it became unlawful to offer sacrifices anywhere else, and later that law was transferred to the temple when the Ark was moved to the temple: Therefore when the temple was destroyed it became unlawful to offer physical sacrifices until the Ark was remade and a new temple was built.
Jesus knowing that the temple would be destroyed taught the spiritual Passover service to his disciples.
Because physical sacrifices are unlawful until the new temple is built, Nazarite vows are unlawful for the present time as well.
Leviticus 17:8 And thou shalt say unto them, Whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers which sojourn among you, that offereth a burnt offering or sacrifice, 17:9 And bringeth it not unto the door of the tabernacle [the altar in the inner court at the entrance to the Most Holy Place] of the congregation, to offer it unto the Lord; even that man shall be cut off from among his people.
God told Daniel that once the prince who would come would destroy the city, the sacrifice would be stopped [by the destruction of the temple; which was destroyed by Prince Titus of Rome in c 70 A.D.], and that the physical Daily Sacrifice would not begin anew until after the consummation [the coming of Christ to cleanse the temple mount and build the millennial temple].
Christ will come 2,300 years after the empire of Alexander was divided into four parts – the 2,300 Day prophecy – and IF, IF, IF the starting date of the count is correct; the 2,300 years will end and Christ will come close to spring in the next few years.
Once Christ comes the Ezekiel temple will be built and physical sacrifices will be restarted (Ezekiel 40-48).
WHY? For exactly the same reasons that physical sacrifices had been offered from Abel to the destruction of the temple; as a graphic lesson on the NEED for Christ’s sacrifice to atone for sin and as a instruction in the various aspects of the sacrificial work of the Lamb of God.
The sacrificial system began when Eve and Adam sinned and it will continue as long as flesh exists. The sacrificial system was never ended – even Paul sponsored sacrifices for certain Nazarites long after the resurrection of Christ – it was merely suspended for the period in which the temple remained destroyed and will begin anew when a new temple is built.
There will be a big difference from the past however; instead of making physical offerings in ignorance about what they were doing and what it meant; in the millennium the physical sacrifices will be made as a graphic instructional lesson, but the people will be taught the spiritual MEANING of what they are doing!
More will be coming on the sacrifices in the Epistles studies.
The point of the Ezekiel temple is to focus the whole world on God the Father and Jesus Christ the King of kings; and the point of the temple and sacrifices is to graphically teach all people the need to stop sinning and to teach them the various aspects of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ the Lamb of God.
As for the Holy Spirit being poured out on all flesh (Joel 3:28), the Holy Spirit does not make one instantly perfect but leads one into godliness if we are willing to follow and live by every Word of God.
Receiving the Spirit is only the beginning point of our spiritual education, not the end. There will be more on the Holy Spirit as we approach Pentecost.
Micah 4:2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.