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“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)
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“For He is our peace, Who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of partition, …”
 

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Developing a
Systematic Messianic Theology

“The purpose of careful theological formulations is not to put barriers in the way of people who are seeking salvation, but to define clearly the truths upon which genuine [Biblical] faith rests, so that people will not be misled by false doctrines.” [Robert M. Bowman, Jr. Why You Should Believe in the Trinity: An Answer to Jehovah's Witnesses. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1989, p. 18.]
 

Third Temple Sacrifices

From:  Louise
To:  AriBenLevi
Sent:  Tuesday, January 12, 2010 10:42 AM
Subject:  Rebuilding of the Third Temple

 
... In Acts 27:9 Sha'ul makes reference to the fact sailing was dangerous because the Fast was already over. Almost all Bible commentaries and dictionaries acknowledge that the Fast refers to the Day of Atonement. I understand this to be the reconciliation of God with all humanity and that Satan will be removed and his deception and he can no longer deceive and influence humankind.

Now my question is this - if we are reconciled to God through the sacrifice of Yeshua then why do we need to fast as commanded. Why make the Day of Atonement a Day of Observance if it was to be superceded by THE sacrifice.

I did wonder if as Yeshua is sitting at the right hand of God and will return to collect His people that we would still be required to make sacrifices until He returns and even then He will preside as High Priest in the Tabernacle to come. Why would Sha'ul be concerned about the Fast and his Nazarite vow after Yeshua had returned to our Father? Is it a requirement for all to attend the Temple once it is rebuilt or do we rely on our 'faith'?

If THE sacrifice was the Passover Sacrifice which was for the Israelites to be 'passed over by the Angel of death' then could it be that the sacrifice of Yeshua come into force on the future Day of Atonement and/or the Day of Trumpets? Thus we are still required to fast, and when the Temple is rebuilt we would all attend.

In Zechariah 14 it states that we all attend the Feast of Tabernacles or we have no rain. So we would need the Temple.

Thanks - I really appreciate the consideration.

Louise


 
Dear Louise,

The easiest and most obvious answer to the question, “why do we need to fast as commanded,” is imbedded in the question itself: because we are commanded to do so.

In the section (Parashah) of the Torah named Emor we find the section we currently call Leviticus 23. In that section we find that HaShem has decreed seven moadim, or “appointed times” for all His people to appear before Him in corporate holy assembly: Shabbat, Pesach, Matzah, Firstfruits, Shavuot, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. He said that these are to be His “designated times of ADONAI that you are to proclaim as holy convocations” and that they are to be observed by all His people as “a permanent regulation, generation after generation.” [To these, the Jewish people have added two additional holidays, Purim and Chanukkah, but they are not “holy” days.]

The Church argues that these days are “holidays of the Jews,” yet the Bible clearly calls them “the appointed feasts of ADONAI” (Lev. 23:2; 2Chron. 2:4). Daniel prophesied that the Antichrist “will speak words against the Most High and oppress the holy ones of the Most High. He will intend to change religious festivals and laws…” (Daniel 7:25). In the spirit of Antichrist, the Church has decided that what ADONAI has commanded is simply not important and refuses to honor the times of worship that He has designated; the Church presumes that He should be satisfied with their showing up uninvited on Sunday, Christmas, and Easter, all of which are totally pagan in origin. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7, NASB). [MORE HERE]

Now, as far as why we are still commanded to do so, that’s easy to answer briefly: because HaShem, who commanded us to honor His Appointed Times, never changes!

 

There are a number of factors involved in your “compound” question. First, there are numerous sacrifices and offerings in the “Levitical system,” not just the sin offering, and we will need to briefly look at each of the major ones. Yeshua’s sacrifice is the ultimate payment (atonement) for our sin, so it is the final “sin sacrifice,” but His sacrifice was not a replacement for all Temple worship; otherwise why rebuild the Temple either now or during the Millennium?

But first let me briefly address the easiest part of your question, and that has to do with fasting. Fasting has nothing to do with sacrifice or the sacrificial system, or for “afflicting the body” as “penance” for sins committed. The primary idea behind fasting is simply that the time and energy that would normally be spend preparing, eating, and cleaning up after the meals can be spent instead in prayer, meditation, and worship. There are also amazing spiritual and health benefits to be realized from the practice of fasting.

The next easiest part of the question regards Rav Sha'ul’s Nazarite vow.

The reference in Acts 27:9 to it being dangerous to sail “because the fast was already over” is only a calendar reference, and doesn’t have anything to do with the fast itself. All of the feasts and fasts occur at specific times of the year, and after “the fast” the weather in the Mediterranean area becomes very dangerous for sailing vessels. By citing what time of year it was, Dr. Luke was allowing his readers to draw a vivid mental picture of the kind of weather they were facing. If you were writing a novel about a log cabin in Minnesota in the 1800’s, you could simply refer to New Year’s Day and anyone who has ever been to Minnesota would immediately know exactly what you were talking about.

There are two reasons why Sha'ul was concerned over the completion of his Nazarite vow, the primary of which had nothing to do with the efficacy of a sacrifice, but rather with the fact that Torah required the period of the vow to be concluded with the specified sacrifice. Since not one “jot or tittle” of the Torah is done away with, he was simply doing what the Torah required (and still requires).

“The vow of a Nazarite involved these three things, (1) abstinence from wine and strong drink, (2) refraining from cutting the hair of the head during the whole period of the continuance of the vow, and (3) the avoidance of contact with the dead.

“When the period of the continuance of the vow came to an end, the Nazarite had to present himself at the door of the sanctuary with (1) a he-lamb of the first year for a burnt-offering, (2) a ewe-lamb of the first year for a sin-offering, and (3) a ram for a peace-offering. After these sacrifices were offered by the priest, the Nazarite cut off his hair at the door and threw it into the fire under the peace-offering.” (“Nazarite,” Easton’s Bible Dictionary)

The reason that Sha'ul was so concerned about fulfilling his vow in a very public manner was to answer the false accusations that he had been teaching against Torah; the charge was in fact completely false. By not only fulfilling his own vow, but also picking up the considerable expense for others to fulfill their vows (a male lamb, a female lamb, and a ram for each), he was demonstrating in a very visible way that not only was the Torah in full affect, but that he personally confirmed that to be so. (Acts 21:15-26) In effect, he was literally “putting his money where his mouth was.”

Although it clearly points to Messiah’s atoning sacrifice, the Passover sacrifice itself is not a “sin sacrifice,” but rather a “memorial” of the Passover and exodus from Egypt. So as long as we remember the exodus from Egypt, we will observe the Passover.

“Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance.” (Exod. 12:14, NAS)

I haven’t yet figured out how it all works (and I’m not entirely sure that I ever will), but it seems to me from Scripture that at least some of the “sacrifices” — at least all of the “permanent ordinances” — will be performed throughout the Millennial Kingdom period.

The daily sacrifices were a lamb, along with flour, oil, and wine (Exodus 29:38-43; Numbers 28:1-8), and were doubled on Shabbat (Numbers 28:9-10). The daily offerings were not a sacrifice for sin, but were for the cleansing of the Temple itself. HaShem is absolutely holy, so He cannot be in an “unclean” place. The Temple had to be cleansed twice a day so that HaShem could be physically present there as the Shekinah.

36Each day, offer a young bull as a sin offering, besides the other offerings of atonement; offer the sin offering on the altar as your atonement for it; then anoint it to consecrate it. 37Seven days you will make atonement on the altar and consecrate it; thus the altar will be especially holy, and whatever touches the altar will become holy. 38Now this is what you are to offer on the altar: two lambs a year old, regularly, every day. 39The one lamb you are to offer in the morning and the other lamb at dusk. 40With the one lamb offer two quarts of finely ground flour mixed with one quart of oil from pressed olives; along with one quart of wine as a drink offering. 41The other lamb you are to offer at dusk; do with it as with the morning grain and drink offerings - it will be a pleasing aroma, an offering made to ADONAI by fire. 42Through all your generations this is to be the regular burnt offering at the entrance to the tent of meeting before ADONAI. There is where I will meet with you to speak with you. 43There I will meet with the people of Isra'el; and the place will be consecrated by my glory. 44I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar, likewise I will consecrate Aharon and his sons to serve me in the office of cohen. 45Then I will live with the people of Isra'el and be their God: 46they will know that I am ADONAI their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt in order to live with them. I am ADONAI their God.

If the offerings are maintained consistently, God says, He will meet with the Children of Israel in the Tabernacle and sanctify it with His glory. He will dwell among the people and they will know that He is the one who brought them out of the bondage of Egypt that they may serve Him. [Read more at theisraelbible.com/reading-plan/exodus/portion-tetzaveh/daily-sacrifices/]

There were a number of different sacrifices or offerings in addition to the two daily (morning and evening) sacrifices. The following is from “The Worship” in the Condensed Biblical Encyclopedia.

Irregular Offerings. The class of offerings embraced all individual sacrifices, chiefly comprehended under five classifications, and the people were at liberty to present them whenever necessity demanded it:

  1. The burnt offering was an animal sacrifice and was wholly consumed upon the brazen altar (Leviticus 1:1-17);
     
  2. the meat offering was bloodless; part of it was burnt, and the remainder was consumed by Aaron and his sons (Leviticus 2:1-16);
     
  3. the peace offering consisted of an animal, part of which was burnt on the altar, the remainder being eaten by the priests and the worshipper (Leviticus 3:1-17; Leviticus 7:11-38);
     
  4. the sin offering consisted of an animal, part of which was consumed upon the altar of burnt offerings and the remainder burnt without the camp (Leviticus 4:1-35);
     
  5. the trespass offering consisted of an animal and the presentation was similar to that of the sin offering (Leviticus 7:1-7). It was distinguished from all other offerings by the restitution that the worshipper was required to make (Leviticus 5:1-19; Leviticus 6:1-7; Leviticus 7:1-7).
     

The burnt offering was for atonement (rpk Kaphar, a covering): “He shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, that it may be accepted for him to make atonement on his behalf.” It was to be completely burned up on the altar. (Leviticus 1:4)

The so-called “meat” offering was actually a grain offering of food for the priests, and only a “memorial portion” (a handful) was burned on the altar with frankincense and oil. The rest was eaten by the priests. This offering could either be the raw grain, prepared and baked loaves, or brought to the Temple already roasted (Leviticus 2:1-16).

The peace offering was the sacrifice of a lamb or a goat, and the worshipper would lay his hands on the head of the animal, it would be killed “before the tent of meeting” and its blood sprinkled on the altar. But only the fat of the entrails, the kidneys with their fat, the entire “fat tail,” and the “lobe of the liver” were burned on the altar. “The priest shall offer them up in smoke on the altar as food, an offering by fire for a soothing aroma; all fat is the LORD’S. It is a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings: you shall not eat any fat or any blood.” (Leviticus 3:1-17)

Leviticus 7:11-38 specifies that the peace offering could be offered either for thanksgiving or as a votive or freewill offering. If was being offered for thanksgiving it was also to include a grain offering. “If he offers it by way of thanksgiving, then along with the sacrifice of thanksgiving he shall offer unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers spread with oil, and cakes of well stirred fine flour mixed with oil. With the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving, he shall present his offering with cakes of leavened bread. … it shall belong to the priest who sprinkles the blood of the peace offerings. Now as for the flesh of the sacrifice of his thanksgiving peace offerings, it shall be eaten on the day of his offering; he shall not leave any of it over until morning. But if the sacrifice of his offering is a votive or a freewill offering, it shall be eaten on the day that he offers his sacrifice, and on the next day what is left of it may be eaten; but what is left over from the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day shall be burned with fire.” So the peace offering was eaten by both the priest and the worshipper.

The sin offering (Leviticus 4:1-35) was to be offered for atonement. “If a person sins unintentionally in any of the things which the LORD has commanded not to be done, and commits any of them, …” If the sin was committed by a priest or by “the whole congregation of Israel,” the sacrifice was to be a bull. If the sin was committed by one of the leaders, the sacrifice was to be a goat. If the sin was committed by one of the “common people,” the sacrifice could be either a goat or a lamb. For sins of the priests and of the whole congregation, the blood of the sacrifice was to be sprinkled before the veil of the sanctuary and on the horns of the altar, and the rest was to be poured out at the base of the altar. If the sin was committed by one of the leaders or one of the “common people,” the blood was sprinkled on the horns of the altar and poured out at the base of the altar, but was not sprinkled in front of the veil. Also, the bull was to be slain before the door of the tent of meeting (“before Adonai”) but the goat or the lamb was to be slain at “the place where they slay the burnt offering.” For the sin offering, again only the entrails, kidneys, liver, and the fat was burned for the offering. The entire bull carcass was then burned “outside the camp,” but the goat or lamb was to be eaten by the priests. (Leviticus 7:7)

The guilt offering (Leviticus 7:1-7) was to “make atonement for him concerning his error in which he sinned unintentionally and did not know it.” It was for unintentional and unknown transgressions, such as unknowingly becoming “defiled” by coming into contact with any “unclean” thing and not finding out about it until later, or making a statement and later finding out that the statement was untrue, or “swearing thoughtlessly.” The guilt offering was very similar to the sin offering, except that the guilt offering required restitution by the guilty party. (Leviticus 5:1-19; Leviticus 6:1-7; Leviticus 7:1-7).

Yom Kippurim (Day of Atonement) was by far the most important day in the Hebrew calendar and involved the most detailed and extensive sacrifices. It was the day on which reconciliation was made, first for the priesthood and then for the entire nation. After the ordinary morning sacrifice was presented (Exodus 28:38-42), a special offering was made, consisting of one young bullock, seven lambs, one ram, one kid of the goats, accompanied by “meat” offerings of flour mingled with oil (Numbers 29:7-11). Of the entire sacrificial system, Yom Kippurim most clearly represents the result of Messiah’s sacrifice, while Passover most clearly represents the “picture” of His sacrifice.

Although the sacrificial aspect of Yom Kippurim was fulfilled by Messiah’s once-for-all sacrifice, the observance of the day itself has been given to us by HaShem as a “permanent statute.”

“This shall be a permanent statute for you: in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall humble your souls and not do any work, whether the native, or the alien who sojourns among you[1]; for it is on this day that atonement shall be made for you to cleanse you; you will be clean from all your sins before the LORD. It is to be a sabbath of solemn rest for you, that you may humble your souls; it is a permanent statute. So the priest who is anointed and ordained to serve as priest in his father's place shall make atonement: he shall thus put on the linen garments, the holy garments, and make atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make atonement for the tent of meeting and for the altar. He shall also make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly. Now you shall have this as a permanent statute, to make atonement for the sons of Israel for all their sins once every year.” And just as the LORD had commanded Moses, so he did. (Leviticus 16:29-34)

So although we do not rely on the animal sacrifice to be our atonement on Yom Kippurim, we do humble our souls, do no work, and enjoy the “sabbath of solemn rest” that HaShem has provided for us. This traditionally includes fasting so that, as stated above, the time normally devoted to the preparation, consumption, and cleanup after meals can be spent in prayer, meditation, reflection, and worship. This is also an appropriate day for us to carefully examine ourselves to determine if there is anything in our lives that would separate us from fellowship with HaShem, and if we find anything, to get it taken care of (or getting it “under the blood” as Evangelicals are so fond of phrasing it). If nothing else, this time can be spent reflecting upon all that we have been forgiven of, and what it cost Messiah personally to pay our sin debt.

As a “permanent statute,” we will certainly be observing Yom Kippurim throughout the Millennium. Passover (another “permanent statute”), the grain (“meat”) offering, and the peace offering (also a “permanent statute”) are either memorial or freewill offerings, and are not related to atonement for sin. I see no reason to think they will not all be practiced in the Millennial Temple as well.

I hope this rather lengthy discussion has done more than just muddy the waters.

Shalom b'Mashiach,

Ari

____________

  1. Anyone who is not Jewish and comes into a covenant relationship with the Jewish Messiah does so only by being adopted or “grafted” into the “olive tree” which is the Commonwealth of Israel (Rom. 11:13-23) and becomes a part Israel. Those Gentile Christians who reject their responsibility as adopted children to observe God’s Torah still claim to be a part of those who are “grafted in” and are (at a minimum) part of “the alien who sojourns among you.” Either way, Gentile Christians are required to observe Yom Kippurim as a permanent statute. [RETURN]

Page originally posted on Tuesday, 12 January 2010;
revised on Thursday, 3 October 2019

Page last updated on Tuesday, 09 February 2021 01:19 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)