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THE END OF SACRIFICES


With the death of Christ, did God Himself bring to an end

the system of animal sacrifices performed under the exclusive Aaronic Priesthood?


compiled by Rachel Cory-Kuehl, March 2015

Last edit, August 3, 2021

Scripture is from the NKJV unless otherwise noted.

Part I: Introduction

                           The Main Arguments

 

Why is it necessary to answer this question? The end of animal sacrifice seems intuitively obvious to most Christian believers today. I believe it is necessary because a growing body of believers (some Hebrew Roots and Messianic congregations) are teaching that the LORD has never given a command specifically ending animal sacrifices. “God never changes,” they say, “therefore we must follow every command given to Israel under the Sinai Covenant. When a third Temple (with priests of the Aaronic order) is restored on Mount Zion prior to our LORD’s return, they will travel there, to present sacrifices. I will not.


THE ACTIONS OF EARLY BELIEVERS

 

James along with other believing Jews at Jerusalem, continued to go up to the Temple and to offer sacrifices there. At the urging of James, Paul went to the Temple along with four other men, to complete the rites of the Nazarite Vow. Purification sacrifices were part of those rites, and Paul planned to pay for the sacrifices for all five men (See Acts Cpt 21). This took place at least 17 years after Paul’s Damascus road experience. (Obviously Paul did not travel to Jerusalem three times each year for the Feasts.) It seems very likely that Paul had taken the Nazarite Vow. He had his hair cut off some weeks before reaching Jerusalem (Acts 18:18). Many urge these actions as proof that believers should bring animals along with grain and drink offerings, for sacrifice when the Temple is restored on the Mount. Others counter that Paul was only acting the part in order to “win Jews” for Christ, but did not himself believe that sacrifices were still necessary. He wrote, “And to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law, though not being myself under the Law, that I might win those who are under the Law” (1Co 9:20 NAS).



CONTENTS OF THIS STUDY


Part I: Introduction . . . pg1

      The Actions of Early Believers . . . pg1

      The Prophecy of Ezekiel’s Temple . . . pg3

      No Changes to The Law . . . pg3

      From the Gates of Eden . . . pg4

Part II: Type and Shadow . . . pg5

      Copy - Shadow - Prophecy . . . pg6

      No Continuing City . . . pg7

      No Right to Eat . . . pg7

      It was Symbolic . . . pg8

Part III: Something was Changed . . . pg9

      The Book of Hebrews . . . pg9

      Something was Annulled . . . pg10

      He Takes Away the First - That He May Establish the Second . . . pg12

Part IV: The Priesthood is Changed . . . pg12

      They served Only to Cleanse the Flesh . . . pg13

      The Argument for A Parallel Priesthood . . . pg13

      King and Priest - On the Earth? . . . pg15

      A Priest of the Aaronic Order - Could Not Become a King . . . pg16

      The Priesthood of the Firstborn . . . pg16

      Another Change Noted - Commandments Contained in Ordinances . . . pg17

      The Veil was Torn . . . pg18

Part V: Saved By Faith . . . pg20

      We are Justified - by Faith in Yeshua the Messiah . . . pg20

      We are Forgiven - by Faith in Jesus the Christ . . . pg21

      We are Saved - by Faith in Yeshua the Messiah . . . pg21

      We have Access to God - Through Jesus the Christ . . . pg22

Part V: Answers to Other Arguments . . . pg23

      What About the Other Sacrifices . . . pg23

      The Aaronic Priesthood was Confirmed Forever . . . pg24

           The END of the Aaronic Order was Prophesied . . . pg25

           A Dire Warning . . . 27

      Believing Jews were Still Offering Sacrifices . . . pg28

      Colossians 2:14 and Daniel 9:24-27 . . . pg29

      If a Temple is Restored - before Christ Returns . . . pg30

      Ezekiel’s Temple Prophecy . . . pg31

      No Pleasure in Sacrifices . . . pg32


RELATED STUDIES . . . pg33



THE PROPHECY OF EZEKIEL’S TEMPLE


      Those who teach a continuation of animal sacrifices, point to the vision of Ezekiel the prophet. In the vision, Ezekiel was shown a restored Temple on Mt. Zion, and ministering priests of the line of Aaron thru Zadok. Ezekiel was shown preparations for animal sacrifice, and heard commands that sacrifices be offered. Some say the vision was prophecy of what was to come through Messiah. They say the vision predicted the literal restoration of the Nation of Israel, with Messiah ruling, a restored Temple, and within that Temple, the Aaronic priesthood offering literal animal sacrifices.

      The sacrifices will be continued, they say, as a memorial of Messiah’s death. The “whole burnt offering” and the “peace offering” should be continued, to demonstrate the individual believer’s wholehearted devotion. They say this because the LORD has not officially commanded an end to those sacrifices.



NO CHANGES TO THE LAW

 

Deuteronomy 4:2You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”

 

Deuteronomy 12:32 “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.”

 

Deuteronomy 11:26 “Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today . . . ”


Deuteronomy 12:32 “Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add     to it nor take away from it.”

 

Matthew 5:19 [Christ speaking] “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

 

Yahweh declared the man or woman “cursed” who added to or took away from His commandments. A former close friend told me that I am teaching “Antichrist doctrine” when I say that God Himself has ended the system of animal sacrifices under the exclusive Aaronic priesthood. You can see how serious this issue is for many.

 

 

Matthew 5:18Till heaven and earth pass, not a jot or a tittle shall pass from the law, till all is fulfilled.”

 

How do we understand these words spoken by Yeshua? Would the law be changed when all was fulfilled, or when heaven and earth pass away? Must both happen at the same time? We know that “heaven and earth will pass away” (Hebrews 1:10-12) at the Glorious Return. Perhaps we can at least agree that after this event, something can indeed “pass from the law.”


            See the study, “ONE JOT or ONE TITTLE.”

 

I believe that a Temple to Yahweh will be rebuilt on the Mount before Christ returns in glory. I believe the Evil One will use that Temple for his purpose - to deceive the very elect. Those who believe that animal sacrifice is necessary, and something required by the LORD will be taken in by this coming deception. Let me be clear. This is my personal opinion. I am sharing it with you. You must study with prayer, and then decide for yourselves.

 

Where is the command to discontinue the animal sacrifices? Those who teach the resumption of animal sacrifice when the Temple is rebuilt, want another glorious Mt. Sinai, and a thunderous voice from Heaven, declaring the end of sacrifices. For my part, I believe the Father has spoken. He has provided THE Lamb. His hand tore the veil of the Temple from top to bottom. His spirit inspired the disciples and apostles with the clear message that forgiveness of sins is by faith alone, and may be found without offering the blood of an animal.



FROM THE GATES OF EDEN

 

Animal sacrifice is as old as the Gates of Eden. Abel - the second born to Eve, brought the “firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel’s offering” (Gen. 4:4). He did not respect Cain’s offering of fruits. The implication would be that the LORD had already given instruction concerning sacrifices.

 

Noah’s first recorded act upon leaving the ark, was to build an alter for “burnt offerings” (Gen. 8:20). Abraham built alters and offered sacrifice, and “called upon the name of the LORD (Gen. 12:7-8, Gen. 13:4, Gen. 13:13). Isaac did the same (Gen. 26:24-25).

 

Jacob built an alter after returning to “the land” from the house of Laban (Gen. 33:20). The LORD actually spoke to Jacob telling him to return to Bethel (where Jacob received the dream of the ladder to heaven) “and build an altar there to God” (Gen 35:1 NIV). In fact, Jacob built an alter at every new place of encampment.





 

After the LORD brought water from the rock, “Moses built an altar and called its name, The-LORD-Is-My-Banner (Exo 17:15). Several more alters were built at the direction of Moses before the Alter of Brass was finished for the Courtyard of the Tabernacle. Once the Brass Alter was constructed and consecrated, the LORD commanded that sacrifice be offered in the Tabernacle courtyard by a priest of the Aaronic order (Deut. 12:11). To offer sacrifice at any other place, or without a priest, was an offence against the LORD.

 

Question: What would happen, if the LORD “changed” the priesthood from the Aaronic order to the Melchizedek order? How could the command of Deuteronomy 12:11 then be obeyed? I contend that it could not.

 

I trace this history to point out that animal sacrifice was something commanded by the LORD. It was not the invention of man, and we should not think to declare it “obsolete” without strong evidence from the Word of God. During the entire Old Testament period, animal sacrifice was seen as the means to restoration of “righteousness” in the sight of God. The death of Christ brought “the end of the law (with its sacrificial system) FOR righteousness” - the end of the law as the means to righteousness, to justification, to forgiveness, and to reconciliation - for everyone who believes. Why then continue to offer animal sacrifices?


Romans 10:4 “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”




Part II: Type and Shadow

 

Genesis 22:8 And Abraham said, ‘My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.’”

 

John 1:29 “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’”

 

On the mountain, the “ram caught in a thicket” was substituted for Isaac. It was one for the other - not both. God has provided the Lamb. What need remains for the other lambs?

 

Galatians 3:24-25The Law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith [not by sacrifices]. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.”

 

“The law was our tutor.” What part of “the law” was a TYPE or prophecy of Christ? Was it not the law of sacrifices and offerings and Temple priests?


 

Every animal sacrifice typified Christ - the One True Sacrifice. Every high priest typified Christ, the One who would bear our sins before His Father, and the heavenly court.

 

The moral law of God, condensed for Israel into Ten Commands, was eternal. The Commands are repeated in the New Testament, showing that the moral law is continued, and will be the standard in the final judgment. Please see the study “The Ten Commandments - Under the New Covenant.” John the Revelator saw the Tabernacle of the Testimony open in Heaven, just before the final 7 plagues are poured out on the earth. The Tabernacle of the Testimony housed the Ten Commandments. The Ancient Tabernacle of Israel was a copy of the Heavenly. Those who teach that the 10 Commandments are now obsolete, should think again. There is no reason to believe those commands have been abolished. Under the New Covenant, only the remedy for sin has been changed - not the definition of sin. Only the commands concerning the priesthood are actually said to have been “changed.”



COPY - SHADOW - PROPHECY

 

The Tabernacle was a copy of the Heavenly “pattern(Exo. 25:40, Heb. 8:5). The “true Tabernacle” is “heaven itself” (Heb. 8:2). When Christ ascended into heaven, to minister as High Priest of the “true Tabernacle,” the earthly “tent” lost all standing as the place or means of reconciliation with God.

 

Hebrews 9:8 “By this arrangement, the Ruach HaKodesh [Holy Spirit] showed that so long as the first Tent had standing, the way into the Holiest Place was still closed” (CJB).

 

I believe the Complete Jewish Bible comes closest to expressing the true meaning of this verse. The Letter to the Hebrews was written before the destruction of the Temple in 70AD. Therefore the physical Temple was still “standing.” Yet believers knew “the way” was open (not “still closed”) - “the way” into the Holiest Place of the “true Tabernacle” - “the way” into the Presence of God the Father.

 

Hebrews 10:19-20 “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,”

 

Hebrews 9:12Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once [for all], having obtained eternal redemption.”

 

Hebrews 9:24 “For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;”

          NOTE: The NIV and NRS translate “holy places” as “a Sanctuary”.



NO CONTINUING CITY


Hebrews 13:13-14 “For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.”

 

The Letter to the Hebrews was written before the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70AD. The priests of Aaron continued the daily sacrifices. Yet the writer says “we have no continuing city.” We have no appointed place to worship our God. This is the strongest evidence that followers of Yeshua did not look to Jerusalem or to the Temple there, as the center of their worship. They could approach God the Father by a “new and living way.” And looked for the City to come - the New Jerusalem, wherein the Father and His Son are the Temple.



NO RIGHT TO EAT

 

Hebrews 13:10We have an altar from which those who serve the Tabernacle have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. 13 Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach.”

 

The Aaronic priests who served the Tabernacle (later Temple) ate a portion of the “sin offerings” and of the “peace offerings.” It was called the “priest’s portion” or “the consecrated portion” (Leviticus 6:26,29-30, Leviticus 7:6-9, 14, 31-35).

 

Under the New Covenant, those in Christ are called to be “a royal priesthood” (1Peter 2:9), a “holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices” (1Peter 2:5). Members of this “royal priesthood” are also instructed to eat from “an alter” - the Cross of Christ. We are to eat “His flesh” and drink “His blood,” and so partake of the One True Sacrifice

 

The writer of Hebrews says those who continued to “serve the Temple,” had no right to eat of the True Sacrifice. They looked to the continued sacrifice of animals for atonement, rather than to the death of Christ.

 

To partake of Christ as the “one sacrifice for sins forever” (Heb. 10:12) one must go “outside the camp” - outside of Jerusalem, and outside of the old established order. The Bronze Alter of the Temple was located inside “the camp” - right in the heart of Jerusalem. To eat of the One, we must leave the other. We cannot serve both - both Christ and the sacrificial system of the “first covenant.”


            NOTE: In the prophecy of Ezekiel’s Temple, that Temple is located outside the City.




IT WAS SYMBOLIC

 

Hebrews 9:9It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience--concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation.”

 

QUESTION: When is this “time of reformation?” Has it arrived? Did the death of Christ bring this “time of reformation?” In my opinion - IT DID.

 

Galatians 3:19 “What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to Whom the promise was made . . .”

 

The Seed is Jesus the Christ - the Son of God. He has come!

 

The study of the Tabernacle and the sacrifices strengthens belief. Prophecy was fulfilled to the very hour. To those who say “God never changes,” I say that God’s plan and purpose has never changed. He planned that the prophecy would end with the installation of His own Son as High Priest of Heaven itself. He allowed the destruction of that physical Temple. He has not allowed its restoration for almost 2000 years.

 

When the Aaronic priesthood was installed, all sacrifice was confined to the Court of the Tabernacle. That was a change for the people of Israel. When the LORD took the Tribe of Levi and the descendants of Aaron for His priests, instead of “the firstborn,” that was also a change. The “firstborn” had served as priest of family, or clan, or tribe from the gate of Eden right up to that time. Only after the golden calf rebellion did the LORD command that the Tribe of Levi would serve “instead of the firstborn.” That absolutely was a change. And all of those changes were necessary to the continuation of God’s one great plan. The Tabernacle and priesthood was a prophecy. Israel was called to act out that prophecy. The change of the priesthood was a necessary response to outright rebellion, but it did not nullify the great plan, or the prophecies.

 

We know that prophecies may cease or become idle, once fulfilled (ICor. 13:8). John saw “no Temple” in the New Jerusalem. God and the Lamb will be the Temple there forever (Rev. 21:22). That too, will mark a “change” from the Temple of Ezekiel’s vision, which is located outside of the City.










Part III - Something Changed

 

Hebrews 8:13 “By calling this covenant ‘new,’ he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.” (NIV)

 

If a covenant is rendered “obsolete,” then everything commanded under that covenant also becomes obsolete, including any directed remedy for violations of that covenant (sin offerings). Under the “New Covenant” the Law is written on the heart - not on tablets of stone. The remedy is prayer for forgiveness, offered humbly to the Father in the Name of Jesus.

 

I have debated endlessly with a few who maintain that the “new Covenant” is not “new,” but rather “renewed,” with not a single change from the Mount Sinai Covenant, except to add Messiah Yeshua as the high priest in Heaven before God. They argue that Christ cannot be a priest on the earth because He is not a Levite. I disagree because Melchizedek was a priest as well as a king, on the earth. Christ is high priest of that same Melchizedek order.

 

I will try to cover the concept of a “parallel priesthood” a little later. For now - I would refer you to the study “Two Covenants,” here at prophecyviewpoint.com. The Sinai Covenant was a covenant of marriage, which was rendered “obsolete” by the death of the betrothed “husband” - the Son of God. The Sinai Covenant is “obsolete” and it will “soon disappear.”



THE BOOK OF HEBREWS

 

By far the larger portion of the texts used in this study, will be taken from the Book of Hebrews. This first century writing has been disputed endlessly, because the author did not give his name. Some feel the Letter to the Hebrews does not belong with the other Apostolic Writings. We know it was written before the end of the first century, because Clement of Rome (©. 60-100) quotes from Hebrews twice. Clement of Alexandria (©. 155-220), was quoted by Eusebius as having said Paul wrote Hebrews originally in Hebrew, and that Luke translated it into Greek for a Hellenistic Jewish audience. Clement stated that it was this fact (Luke’s translation) that accounted for the stylistic similarities between Hebrews and Luke-Acts. He also thought that Paul did not sign the letter because the Jews were prejudiced against him. (Reference: The New American Commentary, Vol. 35, Hebrews by David L. Allen)

 

The phrasing, word choice, and the general polish of the Greek are not Pauline. Several candidates for authorship were posited during the 2nd to the 4th centuries, including Barnabas, Apollos, Luke and Clement of Rome. There is also a very good book, published in 1997 by Ruth Hoppin, titled “Prescilla’s Letter.” Hoppin proposes the Letter to the Hebrews was not signed because it was written by a woman.




 

Prescilla and her husband Aquila were driven from Rome, when Emperor Claudius banished all Jews from that city. Paul stayed with this educated couple at Corinth (Acts Cpt 18). Paul traveled with them when he returned to Antioch. After Paul left that city, they taught Apollos when he came to Antioch.

 

The oldest extant copy of the Letter to the Hebrews is found in document p46 © AD 200. It follows Romans in a fourteen-letter Pauline collection. This strongly suggests the one who saved that collection believed that Paul or a student of Paul, wrote Hebrews.

 

Up until Christianity was legalized within the Roman empire by Emperor Constantine, wave after wave of persecution included the confiscation and burning of Christian documents. It is only by Divine intervention that we have any copies of that First Century writing.

 

I’m going to begin the next segment by quoting Hebrews 7:18 from several different translations.



SOMETHING WAS ANNULLED

 

Hebrews 7:18 “Thus, on the one hand, the earlier rule is set aside because of its weakness and inefficacy.” (CJB)

 

Hebrews 7:18 “For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.” (KJV)


Hebrews 7:18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless.” (NIV)

 

Hebrews 7:18 “For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness.” (NKJ)

 

Hebrews 7:18 “There is, on the one hand, the abrogation of an earlier commandment because it was weak and ineffectual.” (NRS)

 

If you accept the Book of Hebrews as inspired writing, then something was “annulled,” something “weak and useless.” The author of the Letter, has spent a lot of time establishing why Christ is the better priest. The Law under the Levitical priesthood was unable to bring about perfect cleansing of the conscience - the mind or heart (7:11).






 

The “former commandment” was “weak and unprofitable” because the Aaronic priests only served the shadow copy, and only “served for the cleansing of the flesh,” not the heart. Another priest was needed. A better priest. And a better sacrifice. This sacrifice and this priest, would become the “surety” or guarantee (7:22) of eternal salvation. This priest would be the “Mediator” of a “better covenant” based upon “better promises” (8:6).

 

The problem is that the Sinai commands concerning the priesthood came from Yahweh. They were part of “the Law.” If you “change” the priesthood, you are changing the Law. The two are bound together.

 

Hebrews 7:12 “For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well” (NRS).

 

The writer does NOT SAY, “the high priesthood” was “changed.” He says “the priesthood” - meaning the entire priesthood. If the Aaronic priesthood was declared “obsolete” (right along with the “first covenant”) then there was no longer a covenant, no longer a priesthood, and no longer any means of reconciliation with God.

 

The Law required that every sacrifice be brought to an Aaronic priest, at “the place” where the LORD “put His name.” That “place” was identified by God, as the Temple at Jerusalem. (See Deut. 12:11-14, I Ki. 14:21, 2 Chr. 12:13). It was a death penalty offense to sacrifice anywhere else! If the Aaronic priesthood was changed, then to whom could the sinner go with an animal for sacrifice? Answer: To no one.

 

Paul said the law was “weak” or “weakened through the flesh” (Rom. 8:3). Aaronic priests died. And more than that, they sinned. They had to offer sin offerings for their own sins, before they could “make atonement” for anyone else.

 

Hebrews 7:27 [Our new High Priest] “who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all [once and for all] when He offered up Himself” (NASB).

 

Messiah does not need to offer up animal sacrifices. That’s the point. He did it once for all time. He now presents His own blood in Heaven itself, to cover the sins of those who pray for forgiveness in His name. Put this together with the vision of Ezekiel’s Temple. The prince presents the sacrifice to God (Ezek. 45:17). If Jesus is “the prince” and the high priest of Israel, what sacrifice would Jesus present? Yes! His own blood. Because He is the sin offering, and the peace offering, and the whole burnt offering.


Hebrews 9:26 “Now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put     away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (NASB).



HE TAKES AWAY THE FIRST - THAT HE MAY ESTABLISH THE SECOND


      What was “the first?” And what is “the second?”

 

Hebrews 10:4-10 “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.

        Therefore, when He [Jesus] came into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure.’

Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come-- In the volume of the book it is written of Me-- To do Your will, O God.’

Previously saying, ‘Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them’ (which are offered according to the law),

then He said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.’ He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once [for all].”

 

QUESTIONS: What is “the first”? And what is “the second?”


The first” would be “burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin”.

Those are taken away.

The second” would be the perfect will of Christ who was “obedient unto death.”

That offering has been “established” as the only one thru which we are reconciled to God.




Part IV - The Priesthood is Changed

 

Hebrews 7:11-12 “If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood-- and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood-- why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?

        For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also.” (NIV)










THEY SERVED ONLY TO CLEANSE THE FLESH

                                                                           They could not cleanse the heart.

 

The Aaronic priesthood on earth served ONLY for “purifying of the flesh(Heb. 9:13). Hebrews 7:16 calls it “the law of a fleshly commandment.” They were concerned “only” with “fleshly ordinances” (Heb. 9:9).

 

Why continue a priesthood concerned only with the flesh, when “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God?” (See 1Cor. 15:50.) The old “flesh” will be gone at the resurrection of the Glorious Return. Those who belong to Christ, will receive new spiritual bodies, which will need no cleansing. The Aaronic priesthood, if it is continued after Christ returns, cannot be for the redeemed.

 

Who knows? The animals in the kingdom someday, may not even have “blood” to use in anointing. Now that’s something to think about. We know the carnivores will all be vegetarian.

 

The priests on earth, served only the “copy and shadow of heavenly things” (Heb. 8:5). Their priesthood was a shadow - a prophecy - pointing forward to the priesthood of Christ, and to the priesthood of Christ’s redeemed during the 8th millennium.



THE ARGUMENT FOR

     A PARALLEL PRIESTHOOD

 

Hebrews 8:4 “For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law;”

 

NOTE: This verse tells us that the Letter to the Hebrews was written before the Temple at Jerusalem, with its Aaronic priesthood, was destroyed.

 

Those who argue for a “parallel priesthood” say that Yeshua (Jesus) ministers as High Priest in Heaven, while the Aaronic priests should/will continue to officiate in the Jerusalem Temple “according to the law.” They say that the word “change” in Hebrews 7:12, implies only a “change of location.”

 

I see a flaw in that argument. If “the priesthood” (all of it) has been relocated, then ALL of the priesthood should be officiating in Heaven, not on the earth. Also, the text of Hebrews 7:12, says that “the law must be changed also.” Was “the Law” relocated to the Heavenly realm? They don’t believe so.

            Here are the definitions from the “Strong’s Concordance.”

3331 μετ?θεσις metathesis {met-ath'-es-is}

Meaning: 1) transfer: from one place to another

            2) to change 2a) of things instituted or established

 

I understand the argument that “the priesthood” was moved from earth to Heaven. But this would mean that whatever priesthood remained on the earth - at the Temple in Jerusalem, was “obsolete,” without “standing,” and would soon pass away completely. This is exactly what happened. The Roman general Titus destroyed the City and the Temple. He leveled the City to the ground some 1947 years ago. The LORD allowed that destruction! Since that day, no sacrifices have been offered to God on Mount Zion.

 

From the wilderness Tabernacle in about 1440 BC, to the final destruction in 70 AD, subtracting the 70 years captivity in Babylon, (and ignoring the destruction by the Philistines at the time of Samuel), the earthly “House of God” stood for some 1440 years. It has been gone for some 1947 years. During all those 1947 years, only ONE High Priest has ministered on behalf of Israel - Yeshua the Christ.

 

1 Corinthians 13:10 “but when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be [or is] done away.”

 

            Christ was the “perfect” offering. Christ is the perfect High Priest.

      The perfect has come!

 

If the argument is that Melchizedek priests cannot ever be priests on the earth, then how do we understand the Twenty-four Elders, who sing that Christ has “made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth?” These are NOT all Levite priests. They are redeemed to God “out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Rev. 5:8-10). Here we have “priests” who may not even be of Hebrew descent, who will reign (as priests and kings) on the earth. I believe they are of the Melchizedek order - the order of “the firstborn” - under High Priest Yeshua. (See the study: “The Change of the Priesthood.”)

 

Only kings and priests were anointed with the holy oil, which represents the Holy Spirit. The fact that all disciples of Christ are anointed with the Spirit, should tell us something. We are anointed. We will be “priests of God and of Christ” (Rev. 20:6) and “will reign with him” on the earth (2Tim. 2:12). (See the study: “A Kingdom of Priests.”)

 

Some who argue for a parallel priesthood, say that the Son of God has always been our High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek (just taking time out during His incarnation, I guess). But if that is so, then there has been no change concerning the priesthood. Hebrews 7:12 says the priesthood has been changed.

 

I personally believe that Yeshua the Son of God, did not become High Priest in Heaven itself, until He ascended, and completed the consecration ceremonies. He became High Priest on the Day of Pentecost, 10 days after He ascended into Heaven. The outpouring of the Spirit was the sign to His followers, that He had indeed been installed in that position.



 

He had to suffer as a human being, in order to become our perfected High Priest. He could not be the High Priest and the “Lamb of God” at the same time. He must first be “the lamb of God.” Then He could become High Priest with perfect blood to offer. Before His death, Christ had no “blood” to present within the “true Tabernacle.” How could He be a priest without an offering to present?


Hebrews 4:15 “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our     weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”(NKJ)

 

Hebrews 5:2 “He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness.” (NKJ)

 

Hebrews 7:11-19 “If perfection were through the Levitical priesthood . . . what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek” . . . . For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law(v.12). “For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness(v. 18) for the law made nothing perfect. On the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.”

 

How many words in the previous passage, tell us that the law concerning the priesthood has been changed - by God Himself?



KING AND PRIEST - ON THE EARTH?

     

Psalm 110:4 “The LORD has sworn and will not relent, ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.’”

 

This verse from Psalms is quoted four times in the Book of Hebrews (Hebrews 5:6, 6:20, 7:17, 7:21). Four times! That makes it very important!

 

Forever is forever. We know that Messiah will return, and that He will reign on this earth. If forever is forever - then is it not logical to believe that He will remain a priest when He returns to this earth?

 

Zechariah 6:13 “Yes, He shall build the temple of the LORD. He shall bear the glory, And shall sit and rule on His throne; So He shall be a priest on His throne, And the counsel of peace shall be between them both (between priest and king).”





Melchizedek was a priest AND a king, on the earth (Genesis 14:18).

Yeshua Messiah will be like Melchizedek.

Yeshua will be high priest AND king, on the earth.

 

I realize that the CJB and NRS translations read as “a priest beside His throne” with peace between the two of them. That would mean Jesus sits “beside” the Father’s throne, not ON the Father’s throne. What do the apostolic writers say?

 

Revelation 3:21 “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

 

Revelation 22:3 “And there shall be no more curse, but the throne [singular] of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.”


 

A PRIEST OF THE AARONIC ORDER - COULD NOT BECOME KING


Hebrews 8:4 “For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest . . .”

 

Messiah would become King of Israel. Legitimate kings arose from the line of David, therefore Messiah must be born into the Tribe of Judah. Messiah could not be born into the tribe of Levi, or descended from the line of Aaron. Those priests could not become kings - unless of course, the priesthood was changed.

 

Messiah now serves as High Priest within the true Tabernacle, which is Heaven itself. God has made Him high priest of the order of Melchizedek. Melchizedek (the man) was both king and priest of the City of Salem, which later became the City of Jerusalem. Under the original priesthood of the firstborn, Yeshua could become both king and priest - on this earth. Now you know why the priesthood had to be “changed,” BACK to the original order of “the firstborn.”

 


THE PRIESTHOOD OF THE FIRSTBORN

 

The original priests were simply “the firstborn” of family, or clan or tribe. Jesus was the firstborn of Mary, but much more, He was God’s firstborn and only begotten son. He is called “the firstborn over all creation(Colossians 1:15). He has become High Priest over the entire creation of God, because He is God’s “firstborn.”

 

NOTE: Cain (the firstborn of Eve) forfeit his birthright, when he murdered his brother. The LORD regarded Isaac as the legitimate “firstborn” of Abraham, not Ishmael. Esau sold his “birthright” for a bowl of soup (Gen. 25:31).



 

After Christ was offered as the “once for all sacrifice,” God himself changed the priesthood BACK to the original order of the firstborn. Under the order of the firstborn, we have only to consider our next verse, to confirm that Israel will become the priesthood - under Christ - in the Kingdom of Messiah.

 

Exodus 4:22 “Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Israel is My son, My firstborn.”’”

 

Israel IS the LORD’s “firstborn” !! Jesus Christ was/is God the Father’s “firstborn” and Israel redeemed is God’s firstborn - in Christ. Therefore, Israel redeemed will become “priests of God” under Christ. This is a RETURN to the ORIGINAL ORDER - the order of the firstborn - the order of Melchizedek.

 


COMMANDMENTS CONTAINED IN ORDINANCES

                                                                           Another Change Noted

 

Ephesians 2:14 “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both [Jew and Gentile believers] one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace.”  

 

What “law” kept uncircumcised Gentile believers out of the Temple Court? The law requiring circumcision - of course (Ezek. 44:7-9).

 

The law of Moses forbade social interaction or the establishment of any covenant with the uncircumcised. Peter understood this law. He said to the LORD, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation” (Acts 10:28).


            See the study “Circumcision under the New Covenant.”

 

Even eating with the uncircumcised was regarded as an implied covenant - and could render one “unclean” (especially if someone shared the salt). Now, many say that this was only Pharisaic tradition, and that may be so. But it was understood by the Jews, as the Law.

 

If the “wall” that kept the uncircumcised out, was “broken down” and “abolished” by the death of Christ - that means the uncircumcised could enter the Temple Court. But which Court? They certainly could not (at that time) enter the court of the Temple at Jerusalem. When Paul wrote to the Ephesians, that “wall” was still standing, with the sign that threatened death to any uncircumcised man who tried to enter. Paul must be speaking of another Court - the Court of God’s “true Tabernacle” - Heaven itself (Heb. 9:24).



 

The message to the Ephesians was that all believers may now enter His Court - by a “new and living way” (Heb. 10:20). That “way” is Yeshua Messiah.

 

Hebrews 10:19-20 “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,”

 

Physical circumcision was no longer necessary before one could be regarded as a “son of Abraham” in the eyes of God. And physical circumcision was no longer necessary, before one could enter the true Tabernacle - which is Heaven itself (Heb. 9:24).

 

Galatians 3:29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (NIV)

 

Abraham was told that anyone who remained physically uncircumcised, would be regarded as “cut off” from the Covenant people (Gen. 17:14). Paul wrote just the opposite. “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love”(Gal 5:5). “If you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. . . . You have become estranged from Christ. . . . you have fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:2-4).

      Something had definitely changed!!

 

Circumcision identified a man as descended from Abraham, and therefore entitled to inherit if he fulfilled the terms of that covenant. But no one fulfilled those terms, at least not perfectly - until Jesus Christ. He is the promised “Seed,” to whom the promise was made (Gal. 3:16&19). He fulfilled the terms of the Covenant with Abraham, and the terms of the Sinai Covenant. He will therefore inherit the land. All those who belong to Christ, will share in His inheritance.



THE VEIL WAS TORN

 

Luke 23:45 “Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two.”

    (Matt. 27:51, Mk 15:38).

 

Matthew 27:54 “So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, ‘Truly this was the Son of God!’”




 



 

It was the custom in the Ancient Middle East, for a man to “tear his robe” upon hearing of the death of a son - especially the first born. If the Roman centurion and those with him actually “saw” the veil rent, this would have registered with them as God Himself tearing His “robe.” The veil that was torn, must have been the entrance veil, the one that could be seen from a hill across the valley. The veil between the first and second apartments could not been seen.

The High Priest was expressly forbidden to tear his robe. To do so was a death penalty offense against God. To do so would bring the wrath of God upon the whole congregation (Leviticus 10:6; 21:10). During the trial of Jesus, the High Priest Caiaphas tore his robe in a show of anger (Matt. 26:65, Mar. 14:63). This man was immediately disqualified to serve, and more. He brought the wrath of God upon Israel. There would be no further atonement for Israel on the Day of Atonement, through ceremonies performed by a disqualified priest.

 

Question: If a priest was disqualified by the tearing of his robe, would not the Temple also be disqualified at the tearing of it’s “robe” - the covering veil?

 

There were “signs” that the Temple (with its priesthood) lost its standing as the place or means of atonement. During the 40 years between the death of Messiah and the destruction of the Temple in 70AD, the portion of the crimson cord from the azazel goat, traditionally tied to the Temple door on Yom Kippur, failed to turn white. The “lot for the LORD” always fell to the left hand. And the Temple doors - bolted at night, were found mysteriously open each morning. Both the Jerusalem Talmud, and the Babylonian Talmud record these “signs” of impending doom. Link to an article giving more detail:

http://www3.telus.net/public/kstam/en/temple/details/evidence.htm

 

I read several commentaries that debated whether the curtain that was torn, was the curtain at the entrance to the Temple, or the curtain between the first apartment and the second apartment. Some wrote that there were actually two curtains between the first apartment and the second (or one very long continuous curtain folded over at one end, and brought back almost across the room) with space for a man to walk between.

 

If a single curtain separated the two apartments, and if it was as large as the Temple entrance veil, then it would have been difficult for one man to lift that curtain, or to pull it aside to allow him entrance into the Most Holy Place, especially with burning coals or a bowl of blood. No second man was allowed to be in the Tabernacle (Temple) with the High Priest on the Day of Atonement for that ceremony. It seems more likely there really was a walking space between two curtains, for access to the Most Holy Place by the High Priest alone, on the Day of Atonement.








 

King Herod had provided very rich materials for embellishment of the Temple. The curtain at the entrance into the Temple proper, was said to be some 60 feet high, 30 feet wide, and 3 to 4 inches thick. It would have been more like a deep carpet than a curtain. On this curtain “the heavens and the earth” were depicted. If this entrance veil was torn at the moment of Christ’s death, and therefore had to be replaced, it could indeed be said that “heaven and earth” were passed away, thus fulfilling Christ’s prophecy in Matthew 5:18.

 

The author of Hebrews begins in 4:14-16, presenting Yeshua as our “great High Priest who has passed through the heavens.” He describes Yeshua as “the forerunner” and says that our hope “enters the Presence behind the veil” (Heb. 6:19-20), where we also will enter one day. That Presence of course is the glory of the LORD, which left the Temple, just ahead of the Babylonian destruction (Ezek. 10:4, 10:18, 11:23). That glory never returned. No one knows to this day, were the Ark of the Covenant is hidden.

 

The Son of God is appointed as a better priest (Heb. 7:11-18). As High Priest of a “New Covenant” (Heb. 8:1-13; 9:11) He enters into Heaven itself - “the true Tabernacle (Heb. 9:12) with His own blood as the offering. Believers are to have “confidence” to enter in the person of Christ - the “New and living way” (Heb. 10:19-20). We enter through our belief in “His flesh” - “the veil” which was “torn” for us.

 

For a very scholarly article on the veils at the entrance to, and within the Temple, let me direct you to: http://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/49/49-1/JETS_49-1_97-114_Gurtner.pdf This well referenced article is titled “The Veil of the Temple in History and Legend” by Daniel M. Gurtner. I paraphrased a few ideas from that article.




Part V - Saved By Faith



WE ARE JUSTIFIED - BY FAITH IN YESHUA MESSIAH


Isaiah 53:11My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.”

 

Acts 13:38-39 “Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.”

 

Romans 3:28-30 “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law, since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.”

 

Romans 5:1 “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ . . .”

 

Galatians 3:8 “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, ‘In you all the nations shall be blessed.’”

 

Romans 5:18 “Therefore, as through one man's [Adam’s] offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.”



WE ARE FORGIVEN - BY FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST

 

Ephesians 1:7 “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace . . .”

 

Colossians 1:13-14 “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”

 

1 John 2:1 “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”



WE ARE SAVED - BY FAITH in YESHUA the MESSIAH

 

Hebrews 7:25 “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”

 

Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” . . .”

 

Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”


Romans 10:4 “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”

 

Christ is the end of the sacrifices commanded in the Law, in order to obtain righteousness before God.



      We no longer keep the Law of Ten Commandments in order to be justified.

            We keep it because we love Him - because He has written that Law in our hearts.

 

Romans 10:10 “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” (NIV)

 

1 Thessalonians 5:9 “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”



WE HAVE ACCESS TO GOD - THROUGH JESUS CHRIST


Ephesians 2:18 “For through Him we both have access by one spirit to the Father.”

 

“Both” - meaning Jew and Gentile, circumcised and uncircumcised.


Ephesians 3:12 “in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in     Him.”

 

John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’”

 

We are forgiven by faith, justified by faith, sanctified by faith, and saved by faith. We also have access to God our Father - by faith. There is NO FURTHER NEED for animal sacrifice. If I am saved, and I find forgiveness and peace without offering a sacrifice on the Mount, then why would I do such, unless/until commanded to do so, by the Glorious Christ returned.

      I think I’ll just wait for Him.

 

Job lived about the same time as Moses. As priest of His family, he offered sacrifices regularly on behalf of his children. “It may be that my sons have sinned,” He said. I reference this to show that Job understood sacrifice to be the means of expiation for sin - the way to forgiveness before God. The priests under Aaron were said to “make atonement” for the sinner, when they burned the “sin offering,” and poured out the blood at the base of the Alter, or when they ate a portion of the meat and then entered the Tabernacle, thus carrying the record of the sacrifice into that Tent. The Day of Atonement ceremony, was especially said to “make atonement” for the High Priest and for Israel (Exo. 30:10, Lev. 10:;17, Lev. 16:27).

 





 

Romans 5:11 “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”

 

The word translated as “atonement,” means “reconciliation.” Whenever you read the word “atonement” - think reconciliation. If we “have now received” the reconciliation, we do NOT need to offer an animal sacrifice in order to obtain it!


Romans 5:10 “For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death     of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”

 

2 Corinthians 5:18 “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.”


            This is because we have been called to be priests.




Part VI

Other Arguments

    for Continuing the Sacrifice of Animals


WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER SACRIFICES?

 

Many of those who teach the continuation of the sacrifices, say that Christ was our “sin offering” so we do not need to offer those sacrifices for sin, but there were other sacrifices which should be continued under the Law. They say that we can honor Christ as the one “sin offering” by discontinuing that particular offering but we need to continue to offer the other sacrifices because it is still “the Law.”

 

I disagree with this position. First, because I believe that Christ was represented in every sacrifice. Second, because we are not under the “first covenant.” Third, because the prophecy of Ezekiel’s Temple (which Hebrew Roots and others point to as the Temple of the Millennium) includes some 13 commands for “sin offerings.” It’s all or nothing. You can’t have it both ways. You cannot say, “no more sin offerings,” and say you accept the literal interpretation of the Ezekiel’s Temple prophecy vision.

 

Every time an Israelite brought a sin offering, he was also to bring a second animal for a “whole burnt offering.” The two sacrifices together (with the priest as mediator) were to effect atonement, or reconciliation, for his violation of the Covenant Law. The sin offering was to acknowledge his sin, and the “whole burn offering” was to express his repentance and his desire to rededicate himself wholly to God. The second offering was in effect, re-establishing covenant.

 

As they re-established covenant with Yahweh through the “whole burnt offering,” we enter in to the New Covenant through Jesus Christ. We are to present our own bodies “as living sacrifices” to God (Rom. 12:1). We are to be “set apart” (“sanctified”) completely - spirit, soul and body - just as Christ our example withheld nothing, to present Himself as the true “whole burnt offering” (1Thess. 5:23).

 

Only a small portion of the “peace offering” was actually burned on the Alter. After the priest removed his allotted portion, what remained of this offering was shared with family, with the poor, and with the Levite (those not of the priesthood). The Passover Lamb was a “peace offering.” Peace offerings were made at Feasts, and on other special occasions, such as a “marriage feast.” The “peace offering” represented Jesus. “He is our peace(Eph. 2:14). Just as the ancient priests and people ate of the peace offering, we partake of Him, in the bread and the wine of the “Lord’s supper” (1Cor. 11:24). We are supposed to pray for forgiveness of sins, and rededicate ourselves to God, before we eat the emblems of the Lord’s supper, just as ancient Israelites offered a “sin offering” before offering a “whole burnt offering,” before they ate of the “peace offering.”

 

Paul wrote, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord, until he comes”(1Co 11:26 CJB). He did not say, “when you eat this Lamb.” We commemorate the Passover today in a “new way” - without an animal sacrifice, because we already have the perfect sacrifice.

 

NOTE: At my home we partake of the LORD’s supper, only once each year

                                                                                                                         - with the Passover meal.

Argument:

THE AARONIC PRIESTHOOD WAS CONFIRMED FOREVER.

 

Exodus 29:9 “And you shall gird them with sashes and tie headdresses on them; and the priesthood shall be theirs by a perpetual ordinance. You shall then ordain Aaron and his sons.” (NRS)

 

Numbers 25:11-13Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned back My wrath from the children of Israel, because he was zealous with My zeal among them, so that I did not consume the children of Israel in My zeal. Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give to him My covenant of peace; and it shall be to him and his descendants after him a covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was zealous for his God, and made atonement for the children of Israel.’”





 

Jeremiah 33:19-22 “And the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD: “If you can break My covenant with the day and My covenant with the night, so that there will not be day and night in their season, then My covenant may also be broken with David My servant, so that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne, and with the Levites, the priests, My ministers. As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, nor the sand of the sea measured, so will I multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me.”’”

 

Aaron and his sons entered into a “blood covenant” with Yahweh on the day which began their consecration (Lev. 8:22). They placed their hands on the head of “the second ram” and pledged obedience and faithfulness to Yahweh, on pain of death. So I would be quick to point out that only faithful sons of Aaron would continue as priests forever, under this Aaronic priestly covenant.

 

Not a single one of the Aaron’s descendant priests obeyed perfectly. They all stand condemned to death without the One Offering that can cover their sins. The Covenant under which they served has been declared “obsolete.” Those who sought the LORD in humility of heart will be forgiven, and will be delivered into the Kingdom of Messiah, where they will serve as priests, but as Melchizedek priests, which priesthood will include all of Israel redeemed.

 

By the time of Christ, the position of high priest was occupied by a Roman appointee. Annas and his five sons were imposters, appointed by the Romans. They were not descended from Aaron. Israel had no legitimate high priest at that time. The Day of Atonement ceremony would therefore have been unacceptable to God - leaving all of Israel still in their sins.



Answer:

THE END OF THE AARONIC ORDER WAS PROPHESIED

 

At the foot of Mount Sinai, after most of Israel had broken the covenant by their worship of the golden calf idol, the LORD named the tribe of Levi to serve the Sanctuary (Exo. 32:26, Num. 1:50-53). They stood with Moses against the “priests” and ring leaders of the rebellion. Within that tribe, Aaron and his descendants would serve as priests (Exo. 40:11-15).

 

Numbers 3:12 “Now, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the sons of Israel instead of every first-born, the first issue of the womb among the sons of Israel. So the Levites shall be Mine.” (NAS)


THIS WAS A CHANGE OF THE PRIESTHOOD!

 



 

The Levite Aaronic priesthood was a temporary measure. It was Yahweh’s response to the golden calf rebellion. The exclusive Levite/Aaronic priesthood would continue until Christ was consecrated to become THE High Priest before God.

 

Exodus 40:13-15 “You [Moses] shall put the holy garments on Aaron, and anoint him and consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest. And you shall bring his sons and clothe them with tunics. You shall anoint them, as you anointed their father, that they may minister to Me as priests; for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations.”

 

The consecration of priests involved sacrifices and anointing with blood. That anointing signified a blood covenant. Every priest entered into that blood covenant with Yahweh! Death would be the punishment for breaking this covenant (without sincere repentance)! The LORD did not break His covenant. They did.

 

Yes! The LORD appointed Aaron and his descendants to “an everlasting priesthood,” but the house of Aaron did not continue in righteousness. Later descendants despised the LORD and abused their role as priests. Aaron’s own sons disobeyed the LORD on the very day their consecration was complete.

 

During the time of Samuel, a man of God came to the High Priest Eli, with a prophecy and a curse. The LORD would bring an end to their priesthood. The promise to Aaron and his descendants was a conditional blood covenant promise - based upon their obedience to that covenant. By their actions, they despised that covenant! Their priesthood and their lives were forfeit!

 

1 Samuel 2:30-35 “Therefore the LORD God of Israel says: `I said indeed that your house and the house of your father [Aaron] would walk before Me forever.' But now the LORD says: ‘Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed. Behold, the days are coming that I will cut off your arm and the arm of your father’s house, [Aaron’s House] so that there will not be an old man in your house [a man of eligible age for the priesthood]. And you will see an enemy in My dwelling place, despite all the good which God does for Israel. And there shall not be an old man in your house forever.

. . . Then I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who shall do according to what is in My heart and in My mind. I will build him a sure house, and he shall walk before (Me) My anointed forever.’”

 

The “faithful priest” would be Yeshua Messiah. God would “build Him a sure house” and He would walk before the LORD, as His anointed priest - forever (Psa. 110:4).


 

The LORD through His prophet said “You will see an enemy in My dwelling place.” By the time of Christ, the priesthood was bought and sold. The high priest was a Roman political appointee, not even descended from Aaron.

 

If you study your history - He was actually an Edomite (descended from Esau). The Maccabees (who were not descended from Aaron) had revolted against Rome and then installed themselves as the priests and the kings. They were not legitimate. The wicked Annas with his sons, and his son in law - Caiaphas (the acting high priest of that moment) demanded that Jesus be crucified. Pilot complied in an effort to pacify the Jews. That said, I believe the final “enemy”of this prophecy will be the Antichrist of the last days, the “man of sin” who “sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God”(2Th. 2:4). The “abomination that causes desolation” will be set up in the rebuilt Temple of Jerusalem.

 

A covenant, by definition, is a pledge, an agreement, a treaty, an understanding or obligation entered into by at least two individuals. The LORD is not bound to honor His covenant with those who despise Him, and violate (without repentance) the terms of that covenant.

 

Deuteronomy 7:9 “Therefore know that the LORD your God . . . keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments;”

 

Psalm 25:10 “All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth, To such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.”


A DIRE WARNING - to the Priests

 

Malachi was the final prophet sent to Israel before the coming of Messiah. He prophesied some 430 years before Yeshua was born - many years after the return from the Babylonian captivity.


Malachi 2:1-9

“And now, this commandment is for you, O priests. 2 ‘If you do not listen, and if you do not take it to heart to give honor to My name,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘then I will send the curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings; and indeed, I have cursed them already, because you are not taking it to heart. 3 Behold, I am going to rebuke your offspring, and I will spread refuse on your faces, the refuse of your feasts; and you will be taken away with it. 4Then you will know that I have sent this commandment to you, that My covenant may continue with Levi,’” says the LORD of hosts. 5 “‘My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him as an object of reverence; so he revered Me, and stood in awe of My name. 6 True instruction was in his mouth, and unrighteousness was not found on his lips; he walked with Me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many back from iniquity.


 

Malachi 2:1-9 [continued] 7 For the lips of a priest should preserve knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. 8 But as for you, you have turned aside from the way; you have caused many to stumble by the instruction; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi,’” says the LORD of hosts. 9 “‘So I also have made you despised and abased before all the people, just as you are not keeping My ways, but are showing partiality in the instruction.’” (NAS)

 

NOTE: The phrase “that My covenant may continue with Levi” strongly suggests the Levite priestly covenant was conditional. Corruption through disobedience (without repentance) would violate this covenant, leaving those priests subject to the LORD’s curse for their rebellion. The word translated as “cursed” in the Torah of Moses, meant “doomed to destruction.”



Argument:

BELIEVING JEWS WERE STILL OFFERING SACRIFICES

 

We cannot deny it happened. The story was faithfully preserved in Acts Chapter 21, because it ended with Paul’s arrest. At the end of his third missionary journey, Paul returned to Jerusalem for the Feast of Pentecost. He had apparently taken a Nazarite vow. He had his hair cut off some weeks before reaching the City (Acts 18:18). (See Numbers 6:2,5,9,18.)

 

The LORD had given him several warnings along the route, but Paul was determined. (See Acts 20:22-23, Acts 21:4, & Acts 21:11.)

 

Upon reaching Jerusalem Paul met with “James and all the elders” who joyfully told him of all the converts from the Jews who had come to belief in Yeshua as Messiah. These Jewish converts were “all zealous for the Law (Acts 21:20). Rather than explain to these Jews, that the law had been changed, Paul agreed to participate in the ritual.

 

Acts 21:21 [James speaking] ‘but they have been informed about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs.”

  

Acts 21:22-24 [James continues] “What then? The assembly must certainly meet, for they will hear that you have come. Therefore do what we tell you: We have four men who have taken a vow. Take them and be purified with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads, and that all may know that those things of which they were informed concerning you are nothing, but that you yourself also walk orderly and keep the law.”





 

There were several sacrifices involved in this process of purification. Paul went to the Temple, and paid the money for the sacrifices, but before they could complete the process of purification some of the Jews from Asia recognized Paul. A riot ensued, as they sought to kill him. From that day on Paul remained a prisoner.

 

Why did Paul do as James directed? Did he believe that the blood of animals really effected anything at all? Did he ignore the warnings sent by the LORD? Did he cross the line? Did he strike the rock twice? I believe the next verse gives the “simple answer.”

 

1 Corinthians 9:20 “and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law;”

 

I think we must consider the possibility that Paul was going through the motions, in order to dispel prejudice against the Gospel, from the Jewish community. Was he right, to do this? God did allow him to be taken prisoner, which brought an end to his missionary journeys.

 

Paul makes it very clear that he did not regard himself as“under the law(Rom. 6:15). Some argue that Paul only meant that he did not consider himself “under” the Oral Torah of the Pharisees. I’m working on a study about Paul’s use of the phrase “under the Law.” So far, I’ve found that Paul used the words in at least three ways.

 

Acts 21:25 “But concerning the Gentiles who have believed, we wrote, having decided that they should abstain from meat sacrificed to idols and from [eating] blood and from what is strangled and from fornication.” (NAU)


            Are you starting to see why some in the Messianic Community are teaching that Jews are still       obligated to keep the sacrificial law, and Gentiles are not. It is no wonder to me that the LORD       allowed the Temple to be destroyed - just to end the confusion within the fledgling church.

 

I believe that a third Temple will be restored on the Mount - before the return of Christ in glory. Many will go there to offer sacrifice, but the LORD will not be there. An imposter will “sit in the Temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2Thess. 2:3-4). Please see the studies: “Another Temple and “Masterpiece of Deception.”



COLOSSIANS 2:14 and DANIEL 9:24-27

     cannot be used to prove the end of sacrifices.

 

I agree. I would never use them in that way. Daniel’s prophecy of “the prince who is to come” - who “shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering,” most probably describes the actions of a coming Antichrist. We just don’t know yet. Daniel was told to “seal up” his writings until “the time of the end.”


 

NOTE: The“prince” who would “bring an end to sacrifice and offering” appears to be an evil ruler who will destroy the Temple along with the entire [old] City.

 

Colossians 2:14 explains that the “charges against us” were nailed to His cross. God “made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us” (2Co 5:21). “The Lord has laid on Him, the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53:4). Jesus Christ died to obtain the right to forgive any person. That is why “all judgment is committed to the Son” (John 5:22).

            See studies: “A Debt Paid and “The Curse of the Law.”

 

Paul wrote, “let no man judge you in meat (offerings) or drink (offerings), or regarding a feast, or a new moon or sabbaths which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ” (Eph. 2:16-17). Paul is definitely writing about the sacrifices and offerings which were brought to the Temple at the Feasts of the LORD.

 

Believers in Christ kept the Feasts in a new way, without animal sacrifices, and without the mandated journey to Jerusalem. The Feasts and offerings at the Temple were only a shadow, pointing forward to the work of Christ. At my home, we commemorate the Feasts. We do not say that we “keep” them. They were an amazing and accurate prophecy, which is not yet fulfilled completely. The Fall Feasts have yet to be fulfilled.



IF a TEMPLE is RESTORED - before Christ returns

 

The destruction of the Temple and the City of Jerusalem in 70AD by the Roman General Titus, certainly brought an end to sacrifices, which has lasted some 1947 years, longer than all the Tabernacles and Temples of Yahweh stood. The LORD allowed that destruction, perhaps to wean His people away from that system.

 

Let’s say that a Temple of Yahweh is restored on the Mount at Jerusalem before Christ returns in glory. What then for believers in Yeshua as Messiah? Should they travel to the Mount to offer sacrifice? Should they confess their sins over the head of an animal?

 

The male head of household, was to place his hands on the head of the animal while confessing his own sins and those of his family. Then he was to slit the throat of the animal. This was all to be done while standing next to the Alter “before the LORD” in the Courtyard. Women were not allowed into that Court. Uncircumcised men were not allowed into that Court.

 

If the current nation of Israel were to gain control of the Mount and raise up a Temple to Yahweh, would they not also put up walls to KEEP OUT the uncircumcised (and women)? How could a believer in Yeshua get into that Courtyard? Even if he was physically circumcised, he would not be admitted unless his circumcision was approved by a certified Jewish Rabbi.



 

In order to convert to Judaism one must renounce Jesus as the Christ. What if the guard at the entrance gate says you may not enter until you audibly renounce Jesus of Nazareth as Messiah, and Allah, and Mohammed as a prophet of Yahweh? What would you do then? I had one fellow tell me that he would go over to the Mount of Olives, so that he could watch. I’m sorry. Watching does not fulfill the Law.



EZEKIEL’S TEMPLE PROPHECY

 

Many site the prophecy of Ezekiel’s Temple, saying that animal sacrifice will be restored in the Kingdom of Messiah. The “sin offering” or “trespass offering” is mentioned some 13 times in connection with that Temple. The “daily” is mentioned - which was also a “sin offering.” The “burnt offering” and the “peace offering” are mentioned even more often in that prophecy.

In this Temple prophecy, ONLY “sons of Zadok” may actually enter that Temple (Ezek. 40:46, Ezek. 43:19, Ezek. 44:15, Ezek. 48:11). That leaves out Aaron, Eleazar and Phinehas, and several other faithful high priests.

 

One wonders just who will be “high priest” of this coming Messianic Temple. There should be no high priest - other than Yeshua Messiah. Assuming Christ can only be a priest in the heavenly realm (in their view), one wonders who will be high priest of this Temple, seen by Ezekiel in vision. You see why I ask the question.

 

NOTE: Zadok and his sons were faithful to King David, during the rebellion of Absalom (See 2 Samuel, 2 Kings, and 2 Chronicles). I personally believe the Zadok priests of Ezekiel’s vision were a TYPE, symbolizing all faithful priests - whether of the Aaronic or the Melchizedek order.

 

There are some “strange” commands concerning the priesthood, in this Temple prophecy, assuming it will be the Messianic Kingdom Temple. They are not to touch a “dead body” - except immediate family (Ezek. 44:25). They are not to eat anything “torn by wild animals” or anything that “dies of itself(Ezek. 44:31). Wait a minute! I thought the “lion will lie down with the calf, and the wolf with the lamb” (Isa. 11:6). What “wild” animals? The priests are not to marry widows or divorced women, but only virgins of Israel (Ezek. 44:22). Marry? I thought that “in the resurrection they do not marry nor are given in marriage” (Matt. 22:30).

 

You see what I mean! If this is the Millennium Temple AFTER the Second Coming, there should be no “wild animals” or “marriage” or anything that “dies of itself.” And if you read closely, you will realize that Ezekiel’s Temple is empty inside, except for an “alter” made entirely “of wood.” It is five-and-a-quarter feet high and three-and-a-half feet wide (Eze 41:22 CJB) .





 

I personally believe that Ezekiel’s Temple vision was a prophecy given in symbols. The “sons of Zadok” represent the redeemed who will become “priests of God and of Christ” (Rev. 20:6). They are faithful to God’s anointed King, just the Sons of Zadok were faithful to King David. The “sacrifices” and “the prince” both represent Yeshua Messiah. The “people of the land” represent those raised at the end of the 1000 years (the 7th millennium) as “the rest of the dead.” They will be governed and taught by the LORD’s priests.

 

Ezekiel was a captive in Babylon. The LORD confirmed Ezekiel in the eyes of the people, when other prophecies he had been given, came to pass. If Ezekiel had been shown the New Temple, without the animal sacrifices, the people would have abandoned those sacrifices when they returned to rebuild at the end of the 70 years captivity. But it was not yet time. The True Lamb had not yet been “offered.” The prophecy of Ezekiel’s Temple was given in symbols because it was not yet time to abandon the sacrifice of animals. The acted prophecy had to continue.

 

A very interesting detail of the prophecy, concerns the location of Ezekiel’s Temple outside the City of Jerusalem. This would fulfill the New Covenant command “let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach” (Hebrews 13:13).

 

NOTE: When the Jews returned from Babylon to rebuild their Temple, the built it inside the City of Jerusalem.



NO PLEASURE IN SACRIFICES

 

Hebrews 10:8 “Previously saying, ‘Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them’ (which are offered according to the law)”

 

Hebrews 10:5 “Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me.’”

 

If the LORD had no pleasure in sacrifices or burnt offerings, before His own Son died in fulfillment of that prophecy, what would make us think He will find pleasure in those things when His Son is ruling as King on this earth?

 

Some are teaching that animal sacrifices will be used as a “teaching tool” until everyone has learned the story of Messiah’s death, after which time they will be discontinued. I wonder. If you and I can “understand” the story of Messiah’s death, without actually killing an animal, why would others need this teaching tool? Perhaps the LORD can show a holographic video.

 


 

Isaiah 11:9 “They will not hurt or destroy anywhere on my holy mountain, for the earth will be as full of the knowledge of ADONAI as water covering the sea” (CJB).

 

I have shared with you my reasons for believing that the sacrifice of animals should now be regarded as “obsolete” - as a means to reconciliation with God our Father.

 

Every person may freely receive forgiveness and justification simply by calling upon the Father to forgive, in the name of Yeshua Messiah, through faith in His Name with repentance.





We pray this study will prove a blessing.

Prophecy Viewpoint



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The Only Way, Worthy of Worship, The Golden Bowl - Zechariah Chapter 4



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