Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
Will Temple Sacrifices Resume in the Millennium?
Many readers of the Bible think they see -- in the last nine chapters of Ezekiel -- a portrayal of a new religious state and a new Temple and services in Jerusalem -- all in the predicted Millennial Age. Others see it as contradicting the Messiah's sacrifice and as a constant ritual blood-letting of animals for the insatiable altar of the new Temple -- and abhor it! What is the TRUTH?
by HOIM Staff
SINCE the British campaign in 1917 to give the Jewish people a "national home" in Palestine, many Christian people are convinced that what they see in the establishment of the state of Israel is a real fulfillment of Biblical prophecies concerning the Jews and the Land. But it cannot be said that popular knowledge on these matters is very exact -- or even more than merely superficial!
A very large number of Bible students -- to whom prophecy is of great interest -- are looking with great expectations to soon seeing realized "that blessed hope" of the Messiah's return and reign in his kingdom during the thousand years of peace and prosperity called the Millennium. They believe that the center of world government and of universal worship will then be Jerusalem. And they think they see, in the LAST NINE CHAPTERS OF EZEKIEL, a vivid portrayal of the new religious state, the new Temple and services, and the predicted Millennial Age.
Yet, in the minds of these people, so fervently desirous of the realization of the Millennial glories, there is a painful undercurrent of uneasiness because -- reading Ezekiel’s final chapters as a forecast of those days -- they do not envision them as days of the deliverance of the suffering creation from groaning and travailing in pain at the manifestation of the sons of YEHOVAH God. But instead they see it as days of the constant ritual blood-shedding of various kinds of beasts for the insatiable altar of the new Temple. And they are not happy about it.
Nor is it clear to their troubled minds why it should even be necessary to have a revival of such sacrifices in that period which is to be the consummation of human history -- and the perfected development of YEHOVAH's Plan under the personal administration of the Messiah and YEHOVAH God himself.
Other people, whose intense interest is attracted by the Temple chapters of Ezekiel, see in the establishment of the state of Israel the re-erection of the Temple, as described by Ezekiel, along with its appropriate Jewish system of worship and sacrifices. This is a standard view held by authors such as Hal Lindsay, Tim LaHay and other writers who hold to the Dispensational view promoted by the Schofield Reference Bible.
According to Thomas Ice "opponents argue that if there is a literal, future Temple, then it will require a return to the sacrificial system that Christ made obsolete since the prophet speaks of 'atonement' (kiper) in Ezekiel 43:13, 27; 45:15, 17, 20....Critics believe this to be a blasphemous contradiction to the finished work of Christ as presented in Hebrews 10" (Why Literal Sacrifices in the Millennium). Hank Hanegraaff says that some have "exacerbated the problem by stating that without animal sacrifices in the Millennium, Yahweh's holiness would be defiled. That, for obvious reasons, is blasphemous." He goes on to say that such an understanding constitutes a return "to Old Covenant sacrifices."
So, ask John Schmitt and Carl Laney, "is it heretical to believe that a Temple and sacrifices will once again exist?" Jory Steven Brooks believes so:
"It is a foundational premise of modern Dispensational Futurism that at the end of this age the Muslim Mosque of Omar on the temple mount in Jerusalem will be torn down by the Jews, who will rebuild their temple and reinstate animal sacrifices. Why such a thing would be part of God's plan and purposes has been widely questioned by theologians, since the New Testament tells us that Christ is 'the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world' (Rev. 13:8).
"Animal sacrifices are no longer necessary ever again, and are a component of the Old Covenant that was replaced by the New Covenant in this Christian era. The Apostle Paul specified that 'He does away with the first in order to establish the second' (Heb. 10:9, Weymouth). This was signified symbolically by the rending of the curtain of the temple at the time of the crucifixion (Mt. 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45). There is no further need of animal sacrifices ever again" (Ezekiel's Temple and Sacrifices: When???).
However, in contrast to this, we find in Zechariah 14 the following:
"In that day 'HOLINESS TO THE LORD' shall be engraved on the bells of the horses. The pots in the LORD's house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness to the LORD of hosts. Everyone who sacrifices shall come out and take them and cook in them" (14:20-21).
Isaiah also says in Isaiah 56:7: "Even then I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house [Temple] shall be called a house of prayer for all nations."
Notice, now, what Isaiah says in chapter 66 --
"...come and gather all nations and tongues [non-Israelites], and they will come and see My [Shekinah] Glory. I will set up signs among them I will send survivors to the [non-Israelite] nations, to Tarshish, Put [Lybia] and Lud [Lydia] -- which draw the bow -- to Tubal and Javan, to the distant coastlands that have not heard of My fame or seen My Glory. Then they will proclaim My Glory among the [non-Israelite] nations. They will bring all, all your kindred from all the [non-Israelite] nations to My holy mountain Jerusalem as an offering to the LORD -- on horses, in chariots, in wagons, and on mules, yes and on mules, and on camels, says the LORD -- just as the Israelites bring a grain offering to the house of the LORD in a clean vessel. And I shall also select some of them for Myself as priests and as Levites, says the LORD" (66:18-21, Dead Sea Scrolls Bible).
Jeremiah, in chapter 33, also speaks of this time:
"In those days and at that time [in the Millennium] I will cause a righteous Branch [the Messiah] to spring up for David; and he [the Messiah] will execute justice and righteousness in the land [of Israel]. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: 'The LORD is our righteousness.' For thus says the LORD: David shall never fail to have a man sitting upon the throne of the house of Israel; nor will the Levitical priests fail to have a man in My Presence [in the Temple] to offer burnt offerings, to burn meal offerings and to make sacrifices continually" (33:15-18, ibid.).
There are many other verses in the Old Testament that echo the above quotes.
So if the Temple sacrifices were indeed done away with by the Messiah, how do we reconcile these two seemingly contradictory positions? How can there be a return to the sacrificial system without taking away from the meritorious sacrifice of the Messiah?
The original Israelite commonwealth of the twelve tribes of Israel -- founded by Moses and consolidated by David into a united kingdom circa 1050 B.C. -- was disrupted by revolution less than one hundred years later. From that period on to the close of the Biblical histories there were two separate kingdoms -- the northern ten-tribed House of Israel (capital, Samaria), and the southern two-tribed House of Judah (capital, Jerusalem). The breach was never healed in Biblical times but is prophesied to be healed in the Millennium.
About 721 B.C. a succession of wars with the Assyrian Empire culminated in the destruction of the northern House of Israel as a sovereign nation, and the deportation of the ten tribes into captivity, as preliminary to the foretold judgment of dispersion among the nations. They were distributed in various territories held by the Assyrian empire -- extending from Armenia in the west to Media in the east. Here, in the province of Ecbatana, there were considerable Israel settlements. The ten tribes, however, never returned to Palestine.
The two-tribed House of Judah (Judahites) retained a very precarious independence for some 130 years longer, but was finally crushed and deported by Nebuchadnezzar about 587 B.C. They were held captive in Babylonia for 70 years, until Cyrus permitted such of them as chose to return and rebuild "the nation of the Jews".
It is imperative that these essential facts should be clearly borne in mind when making any attempt to understand the prophetical Scriptures. Moreover, this is especially true when facing up to the tremendous problems involved in the last nine chapters of Ezekiel -- and the endeavor to find a reasonable and equitable solution. (For more information send for or download our article, That Unfortunate Word "GENTILE").
How to Read the Book
As we have seen, the primary objection to the idea of animal sacrifices being reinstated during the Millennium is that the Messiah offered a perfect sacrifice for sin, and there is therefore no further need to sacrifice animals for sin. However, it must be remembered that animal sacrifice NEVER removed sin that spiritually separated a person from YEHOVAH God. As Hebrews 10:1-4 states:
"For the Torah has in it a shadow of the good things to come, but not the actual manifestation of the originals. Therefore, it can never, by means of the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, bring to the goal those who approach the Holy Place to offer them. Otherwise, wouldn't the offering of those sacrifices have ceased? For if the people performing the service had been cleansed once and for all, they would no longer have sins on their conscience. No, it is quite the contrary -- in these sacrifices is a reminder of sins, year after year. For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins" (Jewish New Testament).
It is a fallacy to think that animal sacrifices took away sin in the Old Testament dispensation, and it is a fallacy to think they will do so in the Millennial Age. Animal sacrifices served as object lessons for the sinner, that sin was and is a terrible offense against YEHOVAH God -- and that the result of sin is death. Romans 3:20 states, "For in His [YEHOVAH's] sight no one alive will be considered righteous on the ground of legalistic observance of Torah commands, because what Torah really does is show people how sinful they are" (ibid.).
Then Paul goes on to state -- and this is key -- that "for by a single offering he [the Messiah] has brought to the goal for all time those who are being set apart for God [Israelites] and made holy" (Hebrews 10:14, ibid.). So where does this leave us?
YEHOVAH God's Word is Given ONLY to Israel
YEHOVAH God selected Israel to be different from every race on earth. He gave His Word only to Israel, as stated in Isaiah 9:8: "The LORD sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel."
Then, in Jeremiah 31:33 we find: "But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they [Israel] shall be My people." This theme passes over into the New Testament where we read, "The word which [God] sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)" (Acts 10:36).
YEHOVAH God has determined that the New Covenant is made with none others apart from Israel. The New Covenant is made with those who had the Old Covenant, namely Israel only. It would not be a New Covenant to anyone else! Notice --
Hebrews 8:8-9: "For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in My covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the LORD."
Deuteronomy 7:6: "For thou [art] an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that [are] upon the face of the earth."
Deuteronomy 14:2: "For thou [art] an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto Himself, above all the nations that [are] upon the earth."
Psalm 147:19: "He sheweth His word unto Jacob, His statutes and His judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and [as for His] judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD."
These are straightforward statements. Few today will accept them!
Yeshua the Messiah confirms that these statements concern no other race. Look what Matthew 15:24 says: "But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." It is very specific. The Messiah sent the disciples to the same people. This was a sovereign command. The “go not” command is not accepted today. Israel was scattered among “all nations”, and to “all the world” of these scattered people is where the Messiah commands his disciples to go to:
Matthew 10:5-6: "These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into [any] city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
The “go not” command can also be seen in the verses below --
Mark 7:27: "But Jesus said unto her, Let the children [Israel] first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast [it] unto the dogs."
Matthew 7:6: "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you."
Philippians 3:2: "Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation."
Revelation 22:15: "For without [are] dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie."
It is the Messiah himself who is naming other than "the children" as being dogs. YEHOVAH’s Word is holy and is not to be given to "dogs". Again, this confirms the Old Testament and follows the "pattern" of the Law:
Numbers 1:51: "And when the tabernacle setteth forward, the Levites shall take it down: and when the tabernacle is to be pitched, the Levites shall set it up: and the stranger [foreigner] that cometh nigh shall be put to death."
The "stranger" here is zuwr, which means a racial alien. Israel is to remain racially separate as stated in 1 Kings 8:53: "For thou didst separate them from among all the people of the earth, [to be] thine inheritance, as thou spakest by the hand of Moses thy servant, when thou broughtest our fathers out of Egypt, O LORD GOD." It follows that foreigners are NEVER to rule over YEHOVAH’s people Israel:
Deuteronomy 17:15: "Thou shalt in any wise set [him] king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: [one] from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger [racial alien] over thee, which [is] not thy brother."
Deuteronomy 23:2: "A bastard [mixed blood person] shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD."
It takes ten generations of marrying back into Israel stock before becoming acceptable to YEHOVAH God again.
In the New Testament, we find this separation continues: "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the LORD, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you" (2 Corinthians 6:17). A different doctrine of "separation" is taught today. "Touch” here is haptomai which is used in 1 Corinthians 7:1-2 of sexual contact. This is the same teaching as is found in the Old Testament where those who had married foreigners were required to divorce foreign wives, and also their mixed-blood children:
Ezra 10:11: "Now therefore make confession unto the LORD God of your fathers, and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange wives."
Israel is always symbolized as being sheep. All races are not sheep. Sheep and goat nations are separated at the judgment of the nations. Goats are born goats and tares are born tares and cannot change. As John states, "But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you" (John 10:26).
John 10:27: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:"
Not every race can hear, nor are they asked to. Speaking to the Edomite leaders of the Judean nation, the Messiah said in John 8:43: "Why do ye not understand my speech? [even] because ye cannot hear my word." Matthew backs this up by saying, "He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given" (13:11). There are then, those who cannot hear, and there are those to whom this knowledge is not given.
Send for or download our article, Is Israel a Chosen Servant Race to "Save the World"?
“Eternal Life” is Only Spoken of In the "‘Israel" Context
The words “eternal life" are not found in the KJV version of the Old Testament. Instead of "eternal life" we find phrases like “shall live for ever” and “life for evermore,” and in context the words apply to Israel or Israelites:
Psalm 22:26: "The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever."
Psalm 133:3: "As the dew of Hermon, [and as the dew] that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, [even] life for evermore."
Psalm 49:9: "That he should still live for ever, [and] not see corruption."
Psalm 71:20: "[Thou], which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth."
Psalm 119:175: "Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me."
Isaiah 38:16: "O LORD, by these [things men] live, and in all these [things is] the life of my spirit: so wilt thou recover me, and make me to live."
Daniel 12:2: "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame [and] everlasting contempt."
Since there are differing Hebrew words like ‘ad, chayah and netsach used in connection with “for ever”, this is not a simple study, but the limitation as to whom they apply to is consistent. In the New Testament the Messiah limits "eternal life" to those the Father has given him. It is only for “sheep”. The Messiah says, “I give UNTO THEM, eternal life”. There are 71 references to aionios = ”eternal” or “everlasting” to consider in the New Testament. Here are some of them:
John 10:26-28: "But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand."
John 17:2: "As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him."
John 3:15: "That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life."
The “them” and “as many as thou hast given him” show that there is a limitation. It is popular to say that “all”, “whosoever”, etc. includes every one outside of the context but the Greek does not permit this. The context about eternal life is always Israel. This is the same in John 3:16 and John 3:36 and all other places. It is never “holos” or "all of everything". This is a major hinge-point in doctrine and it is well worth the time to establish this Israel limitation from language, grammar study, and of course, Scripture itself.
Not every race on earth is ordained to eternal life as Luke points out in Acts 13:48: "And when the Gentiles [dispersed Israelites] heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the LORD: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed." "Ordained" is also translated as “appointed", "determined" and "set".
However, please note that It is not an automatic allotment forever to Israelites just because they are Israelites. Notice:
Revelation 2:7: "To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:"
Romans 6:22: "But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life."
1 Timothy 6:12: "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses."
Hebrews 5:9: "And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;"
As always, we come back to OBEDIENCE in those of Israel who have been given the gift of salvation.
For more information send for or download our article, Israel -- YEHOVAH God's Sovereign Choice!
No Resurrection for Babylon
We have pictures in the prophets, and in the Book of the Revelation, contrasting Israel and that political power which controls all the nations, that is, Babylon the Great. Speaking of Babylon, YEHOVAH God says: "In their heat I will make their feasts, and I will make them drunken, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the LORD" (Jeremiah 51:39).
Also, in Jeremiah 51:57: "And I will make drunk her princes, and her wise [men], her captains, and her rulers, and her mighty men: and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the King, whose name [is] the LORD of hosts." “Perpetual” or ‘owlam is the same word as "everlasting" and "for ever" as used in “The everlasting God” and “His mercy endures forever”, showing that the "perpetual sleep" is everlasting. This is YEHOVAH God’s sovereign choice, and we see YEHOVAH’s decree in the verses below:
Psalm 137:8: "O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy [shall he be], that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us."
Isaiah 48:14: "He will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm [shall be on] the Chaldeans."
Revelation 18:21: "And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast [it] into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all."
Psalm 37:28: "For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off."
The "seed" indicates posterity. Babylon is given identity in Revelation chapter 17. The name is used allegorically of Rome, the present center of the Madonna and Child religion. Nimrod instituted the Madonna and Child religion and, speaking of Nimrod, Genesis 10:9-10 says, “The beginning of his kingdom was Babel”. So we can connect Babylon with Nimrod. From Nimrod was built Nineveh. Zephaniah 2:13 says, “And he will stretch forth his hand….and will make Nineveh a desolation”. The prophet Nahum tells us much more that parallels the description in Revelation, and says, “Woe to the bloody city, it is full of lies and robbery….Nineveh is laid waste”. Babylon will yet be “thrown down, and shall be found no more”. Babylon will not "arise". Our article, The Bible, Race and Culture will bring this question into sharper focus.
Resurrection ONLY Pertains to Israel
Resurrection is spoken of only in the context of Israel, but never of any others: "Behold this child is set for the fall and rising again of many IN ISRAEL" (Luke 2:24). Here "rising again" is the same Greek word as "resurrection".
(People will argue who Job was, and note that the words “live again” in Job 14:14 are added words).
Notice, now, Matthew 22:21 where the Messiah is addressing the Sadducees: "But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what is spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB." Resurrection is in the context of those who knew what was written in the Law. The Sadducees did not know the scriptures. What they knew were the Talmudic perversions or “Traditions of the Elders”. Send for or download our article, Can the Words, "Fathers", "Abraham", "Isaac", "Jacob" and "Israel" in the New Testament Be Spiritualized? for more information.
Addressing the Sadducees again the Messiah points out that "Neither can they [Israelites] die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the [first] resurrection" (Luke 20:36).
But, not every Israelite becomes a child of the first resurrection. Each is judged “every man according to their works” (Revelation 20:13). This we also find in John 5:29: "And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life [first resurrection] ; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation [third resurrection]."
Not all Israelites become justified -- "For thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection OF THE JUST" (Luke 14:14). Also, in Acts 24:15: "And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust."
Resurrection of those accounted worthy is found in Luke 20:35: "But they which shall be accounted WORTHY TO OBTAIN that world and the resurrection from the dead."
Romans 6:5: "For if we [the Israelites being spoken to] in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection."
Resurrection concerns the "elect only" --
1 Peter 1:3: "…..which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us [the context is the elect being addressed] again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."
Also, the fact of the resurrection only concerns “saints”, notice! "And the graves were opened, and many of the SAINTS which slept arose and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many" (Matthew 27:52).
Law and Promises ONLY Given to Israel
These Scriptures plainly teach what every preacher across this land should already know: the Law was given to the Israelites, it belonged to them, and they were under its requirements. It not ONLY was given to the Israelites as their possession, it was given exclusively to Israelites as their possession. This exclusiveness is made clear in the following passage:
"He sheweth his words to Jacob, his statutes and his judgments ["laws," Moffatt translation], unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation; and as for his judgments ["commands," Moffatt translation], they have not known them. Praise Yah!" (Psalm 147:19-20).
Notice, now, the following verses --
"Now I say, that the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: but when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons" (Galatians 4:1-5).
Notice that it says nothing about redeeming those who were not under the Law! Why not? Why would Yeshua not want to redeem non-Israelites as well? Simply put, he could not! He could purchase them, but he could not redeem them. The reason is simple when one understands that the word "redeem" means to "buy back". Only people who had once been the possession of YEHOVAH God could be bought back or redeemed. Which people had previously been YEHOVAH's possession?
"...Now therefore, if ye will obey my [YEHOVAH's] voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure [possession, NASV] unto me above all people; for all the earth is mine; and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel" (Exodus 19:5-6).
"For thou [Israel, see Deuteronomy 6:4] art an holy people unto YHVH thy God; YHVH thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself [a people for His own possession, NASV], above all people that are upon the face of the earth" (Deuteronomy 7:6).
It is quite clear. ONLY Israelites had been the "possession" of YEHOVAH God, and ONLY Israelites, who had subsequently been divorced and rejected by YEHOVAH, could be bought back or redeemed by YEHOVAH God through the death of the Messiah. Both Old and New Testaments attest to the accuracy of these statements:
"And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith YHVH" (Isaiah 59:20).
"Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, for He hath visited and redeemed His people" (Luke 1:68).
"But we [the two on the road to Emmaus with Yeshua after his resurrection] trusted that it had been he [Yeshua] which should have redeemed Israel" (Luke 24:21).
Our article, "What -- Then -- is the Law?" shows, in great detail, who YEHOVAH God gave the Law and the promises to. Send for or download the article.
Sacrifices to Resume for Non-Israelites!
Now that we have seen that Israel -- and Israel ONLY -- was given the Law and the promises pertaining to redemption, then the rest of the nations of the earth are obviously NOT under the Law and, consequently, have not sinned since sin is defined as the breaking of the Law! The Messiah was chosen and anointed by YEHOVAH God to be "the once and for all" sacrifice for the people of Israel ONLY -- and not the other nations!
So we have to ask, What about those non-Israel people? What does Scripture say about these? It is safe to say that the Bible says very little. There is, however, a chapter in the Book of Isaiah that deals with this very question -- notice!
"For thus says the LORD: Maintain justice, and do what is right, for soon My salvation will come, and soon My deliverance will be revealed. Blessed is the one who does this, and the person that holds fast, who observes the Sabbath without profaning it, and restrains his hands from doing any evil. Let no foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD say, 'The LORD will surely exclude me from His people'; and let no eunuch say, 'I am just a dry tree.' For thus says the LORD: To the eunuchs who observe My Sabbaths, and who choose the things that please Me and hold fast My covenant: to them I will give in My house and within My walls a monument and a name better than sons and daughters. I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off.
"Also the foreigners who join themselves to the LORD, to be His servants, and to bless the LORD's name and observing the Sabbath without profaning it, and who hold fast My covenant: these I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will rise up to be accepted on My altar; for My house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples. Thus says the LORD God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel: I will gather still others to them besides those already gathered" (Isaiah 56:1-8, The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible).
Then, in Zechariah 2:11 we read --
"And many nations shall join themselves to the LORD in that day, and shall be My people; and I will dwell in the midst of you, and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you" (ibid.).
It is, however, important to notice what is NOT said here -- no offer of salvation and eternal life! An everlasting name is promised, as well as joy in YEHOVAH's house of prayer. The very fact that foreigners (non-Israelites) will be offering burnt offerings and sacrifices on YEHOVAH's altar indicates that they are not under the Law. They were not given the Commandments, Statutes and Judgments that were given to Israel. Because they did not have the Law of Moses to break, why should they need redeeming from the curse of that broken Law? Through Scripture, redemption is spoken of only in regard to Israel. "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" refers only to the "all" within those to whom the Law was given (Romans 3:19).
After giving details in the book of Ezekiel regarding the size and appearance of the Millennial Temple and altar, YEHOVAH God then begins to give detailed instruction as to the animal sacrifices that will be offered (Ezekiel 43:18-27). In chapter 44, instructions are given as to who will be offering sacrifices to YEHOVAH God, stating that all of the Levites will not be offering blood and fat to YEHOVAH due to previous sin; instead it will be those from the lineage of Zadok (verse 15). Chapters 45 and 46 continue to mention that animal sacrifices will indeed be made in the Millennium.
However, since atonement cleansing was necessary in the Old Testament (see Leviticus) because YEHOVAH's Shekinah Glory was residing in the midst of a sinful and unclean people, similarly the return of YEHOVAH God's Shekinah Glory to the Millennial Temple -- as outlined in the final chapters of Ezekiel -- will require atonement cleansing for those non-Israelite people who survive through to the Millennial Age. Animal sacrifices during this time will serve primarily to remove ceremonial uncleanness (providing ritual cleansing of the priests, sanctuary, and utensils) and prevent defilement from polluting the Millennial Temple and environs.
We must remember that the Old Testament sacrificial laws, as given by YEHOVAH God to Moses, were NEVER associated with salvation. That is, the priests of Israel did not perform sacrifices so that they, or the people, could attain eternal salvation -- they were done to atone for sins, temporarily, until the next set of sins were committed.
The Role of Non-Israelites in the Millennium
At first glance the passages in Isaiah tend to confirm that foreigners will become one with Israel as one people, that YEHOVAH's blessing upon Israel will overflow to other races. While it is true that foreigners are blessed in their being joined to Israel, it is the manner in which they will be blessed that most people fail to understand. They will be blessed as becoming "servants and handmaids"! This we clearly see in Isaiah 14:
"For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob. And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the LORD for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors" (Isaiah 14:1-2).
Mercy is “on Jacob” and this excludes all the other races. The meaning of foreigners being “joined” to Israel says nothing about mercy to foreigners; “joined” having a different meaning. So, as we read on, many passages confirm that those joining themselves to Israel become “servants and handmaids” to Israelites. “Possess”, as in “shall possess them”, has the meaning of “take possession”. Israel takes “possession” of the foreigners.
The “people”, as a congregation is one unit, comprising of masters and servants, just as the “church in the wilderness” under Moses was, where the “congregation of the LORD” (edah) was comprised of Israelites, together with the “mixed multitude”. In the wilderness the two groups, within the one unit, were treated the same in regard to Law, but were treated differently in temple service, with only the cahal (Israelites) being able to attend the tabernacle.
We also know from Biblical statement that no one can enter the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God unless they are of Israel. Therefore, it means that people of other races have no eternal life in the Kingdom and if there is no eternal life in the Kingdom, there is no eternal life of any kind available to them. It is not a case of them being “condemned”; it is simply a matter of them having no eternal life.
Unworthy Israelites will die, be resurrected, condemned and have their spirit taken from them (this is the message of the parable of the Ten Talents). Their lifeless bodies will be destroyed in the Lake of Fire. This should be a matter of concern to every individual Israelite. But if someone of another race is to die and never to be resurrected, what does it matter to them once they are dead? There is no awareness in the grave, only corruption of the body. If you go to sleep and do not wake up until lunchtime tomorrow, you will not know what time the sun rose. If you die in your sleep, you will not know you are dead.
Life after death is a mystical vision for most races and involves speculation about a fabulous harem for Arabs on the one hand, through to re-incarnation for the Hindus, on the other. The Bible tells us nothing about the resurrected life other than that we cannot even begin to imagine it. If we care about it, as Israelites, we will strive to attain it and will receive it. If we care not, we will see it momentarily and know absolute remorse, panic and terror as we face oblivion in the Lake of Fire. But once that occurs, we will know nothing and will be the same as any non-Israelite who dies. There is no such thing as Hell and eternal punishment -- only life and oblivion. (Be sure to send for or download our article, What About the Non-Israel Races if Israel is Exclusive?).
These things are not spelt out in black and white in the Bible, but they are the corollaries of what is spelt out for Israel -- and Israel only.
Millennial Israel will have at its center the Temple, housing YEHOVAH's Shekinah Glory and the throne of the Messiah who will be king over Israel. Sacrifices (Ezekiel 45:13-46:15) will continually be done in this Temple for those non-Israelites that "go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts [YEHOVAH God] , and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles" (Zechariah 14:16) during the Kingdom Age. It will have some similarities to the Mosaic system and also some new features, but it should not be mistaken for a reinstitution of the Mosaic law system since the Old Testament system did NOT take away sin from Israel -- the Messiah's "sacrifice for all time" did.
The animal sacrifices will be tests of obedience for the non-Israelite nations as well as a way of approaching and maintaining fellowship with YEHOVAH God and the Israelites living during the Millennial Age. But it can NEVER offer them eternal life. This can only occur if YEHOVAH God raises up a sin-free non-Israelite to be the "once and for all" sacrifice for the non-Israelite peoples of the earth. The Bible appears to be silent on this issue.
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