Promises and Secrets

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A website for those not afraid to examine their beliefs, compare them to the real world, and make sure they fit.



Sacrifices

VIEWPOINT



Don't kill the messenger, but sacrifices for the Jews, even Messianic Jews like Paul, did not end with the death of Christ. Also, there is clear Biblical evidence that there will be sacrifices required in the Millennium, right here on earth.

FACT



The Old Testament describes sacrifices the people of God were required to make to be obedient. These sacrifices stopped when the temple was destroyed in 70 A.D.


BLUE VIEWPOINT



Repeating the opening BLUE VIEWPOINT above:
Don't kill the messenger, but sacrifices for the Jews, even Messianic Jews like Paul, did not end with the death of Christ. Also, there is clear Biblical evidence that there will be sacrifices required in the Millennium, right here on earth.

Yeah, what an opening statement! But if you read the word of God for what it actually says, you cannot escape the statements that verify that this is true. Are you interested in seeing what we found, or are you going to ignore the facts?

Paul was a good Jew. That means he did everything a good Jew was supposed to do. Now, what does the law of God state is a requirement for the people of God to perform? Sacrifices. In the Old Testament, these are a regular part of the worship and repentance program for every Jew. There is a concept among the Christian world today that all sacrifices ended when Jesus died on the cross for us. Once again using a question, phrased in my normal way, to bring this scandalous topic to the table:

"Where in the Bible is it stated, or even implied, that sacrifices ceased as of the cross?"

Are we told anywhere that the sacrifices stopped?

Now, immediately, people will run to their Bibles and start looking up passages like Romans 12:1
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God--this is your true and proper worship.

, Hebrews 10:18
And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.

, Hebrews 13:15-16
15 Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. 16 And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

, and others to counter statements like mine above. When you ask them why it doesn't say anything about God's terminating sacrifices, you get a hundred explanations about what the verse "really" means based on their Sunday School teacher, their pastor, their book they found by some popular author, but it all comes out as what someone thinks rather than what the verse actually says.

Then, if you ask them to read Hebrews 10:1-3
1 The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming - not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2 Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. 4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

and explain why Paul said "The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming." and "But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins." and not were, they will say something like, "That's not what he meant.". Also, what did he mean by "Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered?" To me, that means that they were not stopped just because they did not cleanse us and God never said "Stop!". OK. Everyone is entitled to his opinion, but when the rest of the Bible says one thing, why try so hard to pry pieces out and try to make them say the opposite of the rest of the Word?

How many times can we be forgiven? Unlimited, right? How many times are we forgiven when genuinely asking. Every time, right? Are we forgiven for every sin we will ever commit? Careful here... If everyone in the world has been forgiven for every sin they will ever commit, where do the lists of those who will not make it come from that Paul and John show in their writings? Are there definite lists of those who will not be allowed into the Kingdom of Heaven? (1 Cor 6:9-11
9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

, Rev 21:27
Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.

, Rev 22:15
Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

) Yep. Of course, you can say that there won't be any of those types around because they have all been forgiven, permanently. But, then, why the warnings?

An example

Before we start, let's limit the discussion to the real question rather than get off on a rabbit trail. For me, this started out as a question about why Jesus Himself had some apostles go to a particular house and ask the owner for the use of a room for the Passover meal. The Passover meal requires the sacrifice of a lamb. This seems odd for One who was about to "end the necessity of any and all" sacrifices for the rest of time.

What we do know is that He was about to make the last sacrifice that was necessary for the forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 10:18
And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary. (emphasis added)

), as long as those who accept His gift repent and follow Him. This statement is for sins that have been forgiven. We are never told that we have been forgiven for what we have not yet done. This last part of the last sentence is often omitted in the thinking of most Christians. If we sin again, no animal sacrifice is now necessary, we can still go to Christ for those slips we all have. At least, when you remind them of it they sheepishly say, "Yeah, that's what I meant.", or something like that. This passage in Hebrews says that sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary, not that the sacrifices or the sins have have stopped. The question is, are we told anywhere in the Bible that all sacrifices ceased the moment Jesus died on the cross? No.

A better question, are we ever told that sacrifices will stop in the future?

Yes. Hold on, calm down. Remember Daniel, the one that all the pastors use to tell us what is going to happen in the future with, depending on your interpretation, either the Messiah or the Antichrist? (see an example of the controversy at Ministry) You remember him (some say the Messiah, some say the Antichrist) - the one who hasn't come yet. The one who will persecute the saints, call himself God, set up the abomination that causes desolation in the Temple? Read what he said in Daniel 9:27:

He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him." (NIV)

Once again, people must differ...

Research done on this shows that this passage has generated two basic, completely opposing, views (again, see an example of the controversy at Ministry) on who the perpetrator is in Dan 9:27
He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him." (NIV)

:

The first view:

1) The "He" in the passage refers to the Messiah. The interpretation is that Jesus will come, make a covenant for many weeks, and sometime in the middle of the seventieth week of Daniel, do the listed things. The reasoning is that He is unhappy with the Jews because of their behavior, will end their sacrifices and offering, causing the Temple to become an Abomination of Desolation, and then the end that is decreed will be poured out on Him.

The second, more common view:

2) The "He" refers to the Antichrist. This interpretation indicates that the Antichrist will make a seven-year treaty with "the many" (Israel), break the treaty with them in the middle of the even years, then use their Temple for something horrible, then start persecuting the people of God. This one makes much more sense and is gramatically correct for the wording of verse 27.

One reference to the Abomination of Desolation spoken of in Daniel is in Matt 24:15-21
15 "So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' a spoken of through the prophet Daniel - let the reader understand - 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now - and never to be equaled again.

where Jesus is speaking of end-time events and giving warnings to His listeners about certain events that will happen and how to handle them. If, as some say in view 1) above, Jesus is the one doing this at the end, then why would He warn people to flee if they were about to be "caught up" in His "rapture"? Also, what kind of end will be "poured out on Him", if we are to live with Him forever?

Either way, there are sacrifices going on

Regardless of which view you choose, at the end there will be a ceasing of the sacrifices and offerings. For that to happen, there must be sacrifices going on at the time.

The apostles and Jesus did, and still would do with a proper Temple, what all faithful Jews were expected, indeed required, to do in order to remain good Jews - prepare a sacrificial animal for the Passover meal. This they did and ate it as required by God's law. Stop me if you think this is going off track or outside the facts.

Now, remember that the unbelieving Jews do not accept Jesus Christ as the Messiah, so they will continue to sacrifice animals as God commanded in the law of Moses until something prevents that action - such as the destruction of the Temple. In fact, they do not see His death on the cross as a sacrifice at all, but view it as punishment for claims that He made. So, to them, any Jew who did not sacrifice according to the law was no longer a Jew in their eyes. (A modern example of how they felt can be seen at What Jews Believe under "Jews Believe That:" on the right side of the main page.)

Paul staying with the basics

OK, back to Paul. Remember what he did every Sabbath after his conversion? He headed straight for the synagogue, or any place that was a regular gathering place for prayer, and started preaching the gospel to the local Jews and Gentiles. Now, if he no longer practiced the law of Moses, he would have been noisily ejected from the synagogue as an infidel. Anyone who did not practice as a Jew was not considered qualified to teach. In fact, this keeping the Jewish law was exactly why Timothy was circumcised in Acts 16:1-3
1 Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek. 2 The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. 3 Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.

.

Indeed, those who knew Paul before the conversion would have noticed right away that something had changed in his beliefs, but not in his obedience. They already knew something had happened to Paul since he was now preaching for the One whose followers he actively persecuted before his conversion. See if you can find a place in the Bible where someone accused him of being a bad Jew. Oh, they persecuted him because he preached a gospel about Jesus, but never for being a bad Jew. In fact, Acts 25:8
Then Paul made his defense: "I have done nothing wrong against the Jewish law or against the temple or against Caesar."

pretty much says it all.

If you are not considered a bad Jew, that can only mean that you still practice according to their laws. The only way that can happen is for Paul to have continued to sacrifice according to the law of Moses. In fact, he had Timothy circumcised in order to stay on the good side of the Jews (Acts 16:3):

3 Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.

So, regardless of the criticism Paul gave to Peter (Galations 2:11-14
11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. 13 The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, "If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?"

) for acting in a similar manner, he still had some Jewness in him. He went to the temple, just like every other Jew did. In his defense, however, since he wanted Timothy to accompany him into the synagogues in order to teach, the only way the Jews would accept him as a valid teacher is if he was circumcised. Since the Jews consider a man a Jew if he is from a Jewish mother, then Timothy was considered a Jew and must, under the command of God, be circumcised. See Being Jewish for the phrase:

"The original and current Jewish definition of a born Jew is someone whose mother is Jewish."

This is true even if he was technically only half Jewish. Paul did not have this done for Timothy's salvation, but for his acceptance as a teacher. Paul was still a law-abiding Jew.

Scripture backs this up

Where am I going with all this? Well, if Paul was still sacrificing after the death of Jesus, but Jews are no longer doing that now, what caused the cessation of sacrifices? That happened in 70 A.D. when, as Jesus predicted, the temple was destroyed. Since this was the only place where proper sacrifices could be done by the priests for the people according to the commands of God, sacrifices had to stop. If that was all that we had on the matter, then I might be wrong and would have to stop here.

However, scripture gives us some hints about the future of mankind and his relationship to God. There is a prophet named Ezekiel who wrote about a vision given him by God through a being who called him "human being" beginning in Chapter 40 of the book written in Ezekiel's own hand. In this vision, he was given detailed instructions about the building of a temple - one that has not yet been built - even now, in our day. Now, many writers have stated that they thought this might be the temple that would hold the throne of Jesus during the millennium. The outstanding facts about Ezekiel's description of this temple that has yet to be built is that the design includes specific references to burnt offerings and sacrifices. Yep, check out Ezekiel 40:38-43:

38 A room with a doorway was by the portico in each of the inner gateways, where the burnt offerings were washed. 39 In the portico of the gateway were two tables on each side, on which the burnt offerings, sin offerings and guilt offerings were slaughtered. 40 By the outside wall of the portico of the gateway, near the steps at the entrance of the north gateway were two tables, and on the other side of the steps were two tables. 41 So there were four tables on one side of the gateway and four on the other-eight tables in all-on which the sacrifices were slaughtered. 42 There were also four tables of dressed stone for the burnt offerings, each a cubit and a half long, a cubit and a half wide and a cubit high. On them were placed the utensils for slaughtering the burnt offerings and the other sacrifices. 43 And double-pronged hooks, each a handbreadth long, were attached to the wall all around. The tables were for the flesh of the offerings.

Jesus will rule from a temple in the Millennium

Now, will this be the temple for Jesus in the millennium? We are not told directly. However, remember one of the things that will be required of the nations after the kingdom is established for the millennium that begins simultaneously with the Second Coming of Christ (Zechariah 14:12-19):

12 This is the plague with which the Lord will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. 13 On that day people will be stricken by the Lord with great panic. They will seize each other by the hand and attack one another. 14 Judah too will fight at Jerusalem. The wealth of all the surrounding nations will be collected - great quantities of gold and silver and clothing. 15 A similar plague will strike the horses and mules, the camels and donkeys, and all the animals in those camps.

16 Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles. 17 If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, they will have no rain. 18 If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain. The Lord will bring on them the plague he inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles. 19 This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles.

How will the temple be used?

So, first we have a temple that Ezekiel describes in detail that is yet to be built. Then we have the prophecy of the return of Christ and His demand for the nations to come to Him and celebrate the Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles). What is the natural result of these two events? It is the use of the temple for the celebration and worship of the Messiah. Next, we have to know what the requirements of the Feast of Tabernacles entail (Num 29:12-39):

12 "'On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. Celebrate a festival to the Lord for seven days. 13 Present as an aroma pleasing to the Lord a food offering consisting of a burnt offering of thirteen young bulls, two rams and fourteen male lambs a year old, all without defect. 14 With each of the thirteen bulls offer a grain offering of three-tenths of an ephah of the finest flour mixed with oil; with each of the two rams, two-tenths; 15 and with each of the fourteen lambs, one-tenth. 16 Include one male goat as a sin offering, in addition to the regular burnt offering with its grain offering and drink offering.
17 "'On the second day offer twelve young bulls, two rams and fourteen male lambs a year old, all without defect. 18 With the bulls, rams and lambs, offer their grain offerings and drink offerings according to the number specified. 19 Include one male goat as a sin offering, in addition to the regular burnt offering with its grain offering, and their drink offerings.

20 "'On the third day offer eleven bulls, two rams and fourteen male lambs a year old, all without defect. 21 With the bulls, rams and lambs, offer their grain offerings and drink offerings according to the number specified. 22 Include one male goat as a sin offering, in addition to the regular burnt offering with its grain offering and drink offering.

23 "'On the fourth day offer ten bulls, two rams and fourteen male lambs a year old, all without defect. 24 With the bulls, rams and lambs, offer their grain offerings and drink offerings according to the number specified. 25 Include one male goat as a sin offering, in addition to the regular burnt offering with its grain offering and drink offering.

26 "'On the fifth day offer nine bulls, two rams and fourteen male lambs a year old, all without defect. 27 With the bulls, rams and lambs, offer their grain offerings and drink offerings according to the number specified. 28 Include one male goat as a sin offering, in addition to the regular burnt offering with its grain offering and drink offering.

29 "'On the sixth day offer eight bulls, two rams and fourteen male lambs a year old, all without defect. 30 With the bulls, rams and lambs, offer their grain offerings and drink offerings according to the number specified. 31 Include one male goat as a sin offering, in addition to the regular burnt offering with its grain offering and drink offering.

32 "'On the seventh day offer seven bulls, two rams and fourteen male lambs a year old, all without defect. 33 With the bulls, rams and lambs, offer their grain offerings and drink offerings according to the number specified. 34 Include one male goat as a sin offering, in addition to the regular burnt offering with its grain offering and drink offering.

35 "'On the eighth day hold a closing special assembly and do no regular work. 36 Present as an aroma pleasing to the Lord a food offering consisting of a burnt offering of one bull, one ram and seven male lambs a year old, all without defect. 37 With the bull, the ram and the lambs, offer their grain offerings and drink offerings according to the number specified. 38 Include one male goat as a sin offering, in addition to the regular burnt offering with its grain offering and drink offering.

39 "'In addition to what you vow and your freewill offerings, offer these to the Lord at your appointed festivals: your burnt offerings, grain offerings, drink offerings and fellowship offerings.'"

"No way. Not in the Millennium..."

While I haven't counted the number of animals sacrifices according to this plan, I have been told there are 172 of them. This is more than all the other sacrifices for holidays combined. A lot of you are out there saying something like "But, what about Hosea 6:6
For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.

and Matthew 9:13
"But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

, where God says 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice' and other places that say 'it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins' (Heb 10:4)? Good point. I'm glad you asked because I wondered that myself. However, consider the fact that the first quote above in Hosea was from the Old Testament, yet they continued sacrifices according to the law of God. It was the way they were doing it to which God was objecting.

What were they doing wrong?

Their motives were sacrificing for the benefit of God's recognition of their obedience, not the recognition of God's purpose for the sacrifices. This is kind of like a son saying to his father, "O.K., Dad. I finished mowing the lawn, now gimme my allowance." The point of the exercise is learning responsibility and the consequences of disobedience, not reward for works. This is the very point I try to make when discussing keeping the Sabbath and am accused of trying to get saved by works. I don't know if it is deliberate ignorance, or whether people really don't get the point.

Without dodging the issue, I must ask you a question back, "What about Num 29:12-39 in the big box above?". So far, I have found nothing that changes any of the Festivals that called for sacrifices up to the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. The readings in Zechariah above that are clearly describing the activities of the coming millennium will be the same as the existing sacrifices of his time. If there was to be a change in the Feast of Tabernacles, it seems that we would be advised of the differences of the practice, or at least given "new" instructions for the "new" Festival. However, instead we are given simple instructions that are understood throughout the Jewish community - then and now. Perhaps Jesus will change all that when He returns, but there is nothing that indicates a change for now.

Denials without backup references

I am sure there are pastors and preachers out there who can give some lengthy explanations about how these instructions must be interpreted based on the "new" Christian understanding of what Zechariah must have meant, or that Zechariah was speaking of a new and improved Feast of Tabernacles that simply cannot be the same as the one that God gave to the Israelites.

Based on what we have learned to this point, that explanation would hold about as much water as the reasons the same pastors give for using Eggs and Bunnies to celebrate the resurrection of the Lord a month earlier than the event specified by Scripture. For those of you who want to discount this view because it includes the Old Testament (which some say is no longer applicable for anyone but the unbelieving Jews), blame that on Zechariah. He makes it very clear to whom this pertains in Chapter 14 of his book.

Not everyone agrees

Now, just to show that I am not hiding anything, look at the site at Answers - Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Here is one member of the staff of one of those pastors I mentioned above answering the question of the need for sacrifices today:

Q: I've been trying to read some in the Old Testament recently, and I'd like to ask you a question: Why don't we still do animal sacrifices, like the people were commanded to do in those days?

A: The reason we no longer need to sacrifice an animal on a burning altar or present any other sacrifice to God to atone for our sins is because of what Jesus Christ did for us.

Let me explain. God used the sacrifices of the Old Testament to teach His people two important lessons: First, God is absolutely pure and holy, and second, our sins are offensive to Him and make us unrighteous in His sight. How, then, can we be forgiven of our sins and made righteous in the eyes of God? We can't do it by our own efforts; sin still clings to us. The only possibility is if God provides the way - and He did this by accepting animal sacrifices in place of our own death for our sins.

But Jesus Christ came for one reason: to become the final and complete sacrifice for our sins. When He died on the cross, all our sins were transferred to Him, and He died in our place. No further sacrifice is needed - because Christ gave His life for us. When we put our faith and trust in Him, the Bible says, "we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (Hebrews 10:10).

Note that while the answer makes sense when compared to what humans want to hear, the answer gives no scripture passages to support his position, only syrup and sugar philosophy, plus one quote about the value of Christ's sacrifice. The answer also does not mention the destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E - the real reason for the cessation. This value-given statement describes the value of His sacrifice, but it does not say why the sacrifices were stopped - which was the question.

Also, it does not address the prophecies of Ezekiel and Zechariah. To the writer's credit, the whole truth would take many more words and would likely confuse the questioner. But, is it better to leave someone in the dark than to answer the question honestly?

Another example...

One well-known organization answered my questions about this subject by saying that these prophecies would only happen if the Israelites (and Jews) were completely obedient. Since they have not been, the responder said, these prophecies no longer apply. He said all this without a single reference or word to that effect in the Bible, probably because it was not given as a conditional prophecy. He assumes the full "Christian" obedience of the questioner to his authority, without Biblical references, and applies the answer for Christians only, not addressing the world at large. (You can see a sample of the different views held on the conditional aspect of OT prophecy at BibleDoc.org.)

Is all prophecy conditional?

There is at least one "prophecy" from God in the Bible that did not come true. However, that may have been only a warning and not a prediction of events to come. Remember Jonah and the Ninevites? That warned destruction did not happen because they repented, but that condition was not in the words of Jonah. However, to take this to mean that all the prophecies in the Bible are conditional based on the response of the people seems a little extreme.

But, if that's the case...

God said that He will never again flood the earth. Based on what we see in the actions of those around us, should we all buy a boat? Jesus said that those who love Him and keep His commandments will gain eternal life. Why bother if it may not make a difference based on the actions of those who claim to love Him but don't show it? Jesus promised to return and take His faithful to Him. Should we forget about that ever happening based on the actions of those "Christians" around us? Daniel 9 tells us about a coming Antichrist. Maybe he won't show up and persecute the saints and "holy ones" if we are good. Oops, too late. If we are not told when a prophecy is conditional and when it is not, how can we depend on the word of God to let us know how to act?

Back to sacrifices, prophecy says they will be practiced again in the future

One more thing, again, according to an incredible number of sources (a few are shown below), the reasons the sacrifices stopped had nothing to do with the death of Christ, only the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D., well after His death. As I showed at the beginning of this page, Jewish Christians did indeed continue sacrifices as required by the Festivals until that date.

Support in the real world

For a website that honestly explains the Biblical anticipation of sacrifices in the millennium, without avoiding the question, see Got Questions?. They answer the question "Will there be animal sacrifices during the millennial kingdom?" as follows:

Answer: There are several passages in the Old Testament that clearly indicate animal sacrifice will be re-instituted during the millennial kingdom. Some passages mention it in passing as the topic of the millennial kingdom is discussed, passages like Isaiah 56:6-8; Zechariah 14:16; and Jeremiah 33:15-18.

With only this as a foundation, many will say that this is only that author's opinion. However, if you look up the verses mentioned and the phrase "animal sacrifices in the millennium" on Google, you will see how many have wondered about this topic and see what they have found. The honest research of the Bible for the topic can only support the claim that there will be sacrifices in the Millennium.

Get a good commentary

Also, commentary authors like the one in Meyers NT Commentary show that most Bible versions dishonestly show the use of the word "entered" (as in past tense like "went") used in verses like Hebrews 9:6-7
6 When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. 7 But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.(NIV, which is incorrect)


6 Now when these things have been so prepared, the priests are continually entering the outer tabernacle performing the divine worship, 7 but into the second, only the high priest enters once a year, not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance. (NASB, which is corrrect)

as past tense (including my favorite NIV), when it should be properly translated from the Greek as present tense "goes", as in it is still going on at the time the author wrote. (For your information the Complete Jewish Study Bible
6 With things so arranged, the cohanim go into the outer tent all the time to discharge their duties; 7 but only the cohen hagadol enters the inner one; and he goes in only once a year, and he must always bring blood, which he offers both for himself and for the sins committed in ignorance by the people. (Heb 9:6-7)

has it correct, as in the way the Meyer NT commentary describes. The significant point is here: Meyer's NT Commentary


, but you can check the site yourself.) The bottom line is that this means that Paul was still doing sacrifices according to the command of God, like a good Jew.

The whole truth...

And they go further at Got Questions? to explain about the lack of need for these sacrifices for salvation, which is through Christ alone, but they do recognize the need for them as conforming to the requirements of God's commands. In fact, Hebrews 10:3
1 The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming - not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2 Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. 4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

shows that not only were the sacrifices still happening after the death of Christ, but that they are a necessary "annual reminder of sins". And, isn't it odd that this verse in the NIV version actually said "are an annual reminder of sin", not "were", as implied a chapter earlier in verse 9:7 in the same NIV. I guess it is too hard to keep up with artificial changes because you will miss some. Compare to the Greek Interlinear translation to English (note the first word of verse 7 in the English at the left):

Hebrews9-7

This means that the actions were contemporary with the writings of Paul, not something in the past!

No matter what we feel about the power of the New Covenant, we still need reminders that it is easy to wander off the narrow path. In many cases, we are not wandering off but are being led astray, often by those we trust to lead us. Just be aware from the clear, properly translated, statements of the Bible that this is not some whim on my part, but recognition of the real world - not some fuzzy, warm make-believe world of the modern pastors.

Moving on...

Yes, Jesus gave His life for us and it was needed only once for those who accept that sacrifice and follow Him. I agree that if you accept the real, whole, Jesus Christ as your Savior and act accordingly, you are saved. This means that you will be reigning with Christ in the 1000 years. Reigning? Doesn't that mean in charge of those who need someone reigning over them? The site at Dictionary.com defines the term like this:

REIGN

noun
1. the period during which a sovereign occupies the throne.
2. royal rule or authority; sovereignty.
3. dominating power or influence: the reign of law.

verb (used without object)
4. to possess or exercise sovereign power or authority.
5. to hold the position and name of sovereign without exercising the ruling power.
6. to have control, rule, or influence of any kind.
7. to predominate; be prevalent.

Fortunately, this is not the only site that thinks along these "unconforming" lines. See Bible Tools for a more thorough look at the Feast of Tabernacles. There are many passages listed and explained, but the one used for the comparison on the number of animals used is almost one-quarter of the way down the page under Numbers 28:16 - 29:40, under the heading of Leviticus 23:35-37.

Facts and a summary

Again, yes, Jesus gave His life for us and it was needed only once for those who accept that sacrifice and follow Him. However, the response by the staff member of Billy Graham's organization does not answer the question about sacrifices that are predicted by Isaiah 56:6-8
6 And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord
    to minister to him,
    to love the name of the Lord,
    and to be his servants,
    all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it
    and who hold fast to my covenant -

7 these I will bring to my holy mountain
    and give them joy in my house of prayer.
    Their burnt offerings and sacrifices
    will be accepted on my altar;
    for my house will be called
    a house of prayer for all nations."

8 The Sovereign Lord declares -
    he who gathers the exiles of Israel:
    "I will gather still others to them
    besides those already gathered."

, Ezekiel 43:18-46:24
18 And he said to me, "Son of man, thus says the Lord God: These are the ordinances for the altar: On the day when it is erected for offering burnt offerings upon it and for throwing blood against it, 19 you shall give to the Levitical priests of the family of Zadok, who draw near to me to minister to me, declares the Lord God, a bull from the herd for a sin offering. 20 And you shall take some of its blood and put it on the four horns of the altar and on the four corners of the ledge and upon the rim all around. Thus you shall purify the altar and make atonement for it. 21 You shall also take the bull of the sin offering, and it shall be burned in the appointed place belonging to the temple, outside the sacred area. 22 And on the second day you shall offer a male goat without blemish for a sin offering; and the altar shall be purified, as it was purified with the bull. 23 When you have finished purifying it, you shall offer a bull from the herd without blemish and a ram from the flock without blemish. 24 You shall present them before the Lord, and the priests shall sprinkle salt on them and offer them up as a burnt offering to the Lord. 25 For seven days you shall provide daily a male goat for a sin offering; also, a bull from the herd and a ram from the flock, without blemish, shall be provided. 26 Seven days shall they make atonement for the altar and cleanse it, and so consecrate it. 27 And when they have completed these days, then from the eighth day onward the priests shall offer on the altar your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, and I will accept you, declares the Lord God."

The Gate for the Prince
Chapter 44

1 Then he brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, which faces east. And it was shut. 2 And the Lord said to me, "This gate shall remain shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it, for the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered by it. Therefore it shall remain shut. 3 Only the prince may sit in it to eat bread before the Lord. He shall enter by way of the vestibule of the gate, and shall go out by the same way."

4 Then he brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the temple, and I looked, and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the temple of the Lord. And I fell on my face. 5 And the Lord said to me, "Son of man, mark well, see with your eyes, and hear with your ears all that I shall tell you concerning all the statutes of the temple of the Lord and all its laws. And mark well the entrance to the temple and all the exits from the sanctuary. 6 And say to the rebellious house, to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: O house of Israel, enough of all your abominations, 7 in admitting foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and flesh, to be in my sanctuary, profaning my temple, when you offer to me my food, the fat and the blood. You have broken my covenant, in addition to all your abominations. 8 And you have not kept charge of my holy things, but you have set others to keep my charge for you in my sanctuary.

9 "Thus says the Lord God: No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart and flesh, of all the foreigners who are among the people of Israel, shall enter my sanctuary. 10 But the Levites who went far from me, going astray from me after their idols when Israel went astray, shall bear their punishment. 11 They shall be ministers in my sanctuary, having oversight at the gates of the temple and ministering in the temple. They shall slaughter the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before the people, to minister to them. 12 Because they ministered to them before their idols and became a stumbling block of iniquity to the house of Israel, therefore I have sworn concerning them, declares the Lord God, and they shall bear their punishment. 13 They shall not come near to me, to serve me as priest, nor come near any of my holy things and the things that are most holy, but they shall bear their shame and the abominations that they have committed. 14 Yet I will appoint them to keep charge of the temple, to do all its service and all that is to be done in it.

Rules for Levitical Priests

15 "But the Levitical priests, the sons of Zadok, who kept the charge of my sanctuary when the people of Israel went astray from me, shall come near to me to minister to me. And they shall stand before me to offer me the fat and the blood, declares the Lord God. 16 They shall enter my sanctuary, and they shall approach my table, to minister to me, and they shall keep my charge. 17 When they enter the gates of the inner court, they shall wear linen garments. They shall have nothing of wool on them, while they minister at the gates of the inner court, and within. 18 They shall have linen turbans on their heads, and linen undergarments around their waists. They shall not bind themselves with anything that causes sweat. 19 And when they go out into the outer court to the people, they shall put off the garments in which they have been ministering and lay them in the holy chambers. And they shall put on other garments, lest they transmit holiness to the people with their garments. 20 They shall not shave their heads or let their locks grow long; they shall surely trim the hair of their heads. 21 No priest shall drink wine when he enters the inner court. 22 They shall not marry a widow or a divorced woman, but only virgins of the offspring of the house of Israel, or a widow who is the widow of a priest. 23 They shall teach my people the difference between the holy and the common, and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean. 24 In a dispute, they shall act as judges, and they shall judge it according to my judgments. They shall keep my laws and my statutes in all my appointed feasts, and they shall keep my Sabbaths holy.

, Zechariah 14:16
Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles.

and Jeremiah 33:15-18
15 "'In those days and at that time
    I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David's line;
    he will do what is just and right in the land.

16 In those days Judah will be saved
    and Jerusalem will live in safety.
    This is the name by which it will be called:
    The Lord Our Righteous Savior.'

17 For this is what the Lord says: 'David will never fail to have a man to sit on the throne of Israel, 18 nor will the Levitical priests ever fail to have a man to stand before me continually to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings and to present sacrifices.'" (emphasis mine)

. The most obvious thing is that it totally ignores the question as unrealistic as determined by someone who does not, on the surface, appear to know the scriptures regarding the subject. It also completely ignores Jeremiah 33:17
For this is what the Lord says: 'David will never fail to have a man to sit on the throne of Israel, 18 nor will the Levitical priests ever fail to have a man to stand before me continually to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings and to present sacrifices.'" (emphasis mine)

. In defense of the one who answered the question above, I found that many Christians do not want to know everything about the truth, just enough to convince themselves or their friends that what they already do is enough, so any answer may necessarily be simplistic.

It's not as though we are making this up - it's right there in the Bible! As uncomfortable as it may be to see the truth, this is what Jesus wants us to know - not some sissified fable. If we do not pay attention to the truth, how many will fall away when they see the end and it is not what they were told that it would be? If any are lost because of false beliefs, it will be too many.

Know the Bible, check what you are told

During the millennium, earth is not going to be filled with only believers, nor are all the believers going to Heaven for the 1000 years. In fact, those who truly believed in Him are to be "caught up" at His second coming whether dead or alive at the time and "transformed in the twinkling of an eye". These will be reigning with Him here on the "pre-new" earth (see 1 Thes 4:13-17
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

, 2 Tim 2:11-13
11 It is a trustworthy statement:
    For if we died with Him,
    we will also live with Him;

12 If we endure,
    we will also reign with Him;
    If we deny Him,
    He also will deny us;

13 If we are faithless,
    He remains faithful,
    for He cannot deny Himself.



, Rev 20:1-6
1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.

4 Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

). The sacrifices will likely have something to do with the rest of the people left on the world after the Tribulation period and the Battle of Armageddon, but the fact remains that the actions are a command from God that has never been revoked. The sacrifices will be a reminder that sin is still in the world and must be addressed by faith in Christ.

There will be a world full of nations that survive after the battle of Armageddon (see Zechariah 14:16
Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles.

), going to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, which I understand requires the sacrifice of 172 animals - more than all the other festivals combined. And, not all those in the millennium will be believers in Christ, even though He is standing right before them. There will be some who know of Him and His purpose, but refuse to submit, as implied by the punishment of a rain-deprived land. Also, remember the place from where Satan gathers the army
7 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth - Gog and Magog - and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. (Rev 20:7-8 NIV)

for his last battle. He gets them from around the earth, millions of them, from the nations he deceived, so there are going to be some in the Millennium who do not follow Christ and will follow Satan.

Why? Because God said that it was going to be

So, while I cannot be dogmatic about the reason for the sacrifices in the coming Temple of the Lord, there seems to be many possibilities for the need of them. What need? I don't know. Does anyone? What I do know is that God has never told the Jews to stop sacrificing animals like they did before 70 A.D. They just can't continue because they don't have a proper place to do it. Once the Temple is rebuilt, they will again have the proper site. And remember, in the end times, the sacrifices will be stopped again (Daniel 9:27). Unless we receive instructions otherwise, it seems best to be prepared for what the Lord has told us in advance by His real prophets and His emissary to the Gentiles in the New Testament - Paul.


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