Diminishing the Cross of Christ

According to dispensationalists, animal sacrifices will be reinstituted during a future millennium along with a new temple in Jerusalem. The resumption of animal sacrifices, according to John MacArthur, is the new, old way to memorialize Christ:

“Israel rejected their Messiah, but when they have received Him and are in His kingdom, they will have a memorial of sacrifices that point to Him. They will have missed the memorial of the Lord’s Supper, but will then have their own memorial sacrifices for 1000 years.” (MacArthur Study Bible, footnote Ezekiel 40:38-47)

Don’t know about you, but its things like this that confuse many Christians concerning a 1000 yr. millennial. How can MacArthur’s interpretation of Ezekiel 40, as well as that of other dispensationalists, “jive” with the biblical facts that,

Ezekiel 40-48 never speaks or even hints of memorial sacrifices…The text explicitly denies that these are memorial sacrifices in any way; 14 times the text calls for a sin offering (Ezekiel 40:39; 42:13; 43:19, 21, 22, 25; 44:27, 29; 45:17, 19, 22, 23, 25; 46:20)….Leviticus describes the purpose of the sin offering as “making atonement” (Leviticus 4:20, 26, 31, 35, etc.). These are animal sacrifices to atone for sin – not as memorials.

Dispensationalists diminish the cross of Christ by even suggesting a restoration of bloody, atonement-purposed, animal sacrifices. In doing so, they practically reject the larger portion of the book of Hebrews which teaches us that the old covenant is finished, obsolete, along with it’s sacrificial system. Hebrews 8:13; 9:26, 29.

“We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. …By one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. …And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.” (Hebrews 10:10, 14, 18)

More at 5 Pt. Salt


27 comments on “Diminishing the Cross of Christ

  1. Mat 5:17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.
    Mat 5:18 “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

    Jesus says that the Law would be accomplished to the smallest degree before heaven and earth would pass away. Jesus did not do this nor could He do this, being just one individual. Only Israel as a nation could do this, which they certainly have not done yet. Only Israel as a nation would qualify as those who would be required to totally accomplish the Law since the Law was given to them. This is something separate and additional to Jesus’ claim of coming to fulfill the Law. We know that love is the fulfillment of the Law, and Jesus fulfilled the Law by loving God and loving His neighbor by being obedient unto death as a sacrifice for sins. Though He fulfilled the Law in that fashion, He certainly didn’t accomplish every jot and stroke of the Law.

    That the Law will be kept by Israel in the millennial age is what can only be inferred from what Jesus says. The prophets agree. “He will teach us of His ways, we shall walk in His paths, the Law shall go forth from Zion” Isa 2:3. The Ezekiel 40-48 passages verify such as well.

    To biblically support with precision the exact spiritual condition in which the nation of Israel will exist before God in that age is more than I can attempt right now. But this scripture…

    Hbr 10:15 And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying,

    Notice it says, “After those days” I will enforce this new covenant with Israel. That is when I will remember their sins no more. “Those days” speak of the millennial age, I believe. Israel as a nation will not enter into the full benefit of the new covenant until the aforementioned accomplishment of the old covenant in the millennial age. This thousand year period, referred to six times in Revelation 20, immediately precedes Revelation 21 when John the Revelator says

    Rev 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away…

    • Davo,

      You said that Jesus could not and did not accomplish the law, and that only Israel could do this. Is that what you meant to say, considering that Matthew 5:17-18 (which you quoted) explicitly says that Jesus came to fulfill the law and to accomplish all? First, I would like to stress that Jesus IS true Israel and, secondly, I’d like to present the view that the old heaven and earth (I believe these are covenant terms, not physical descriptions) did pass away in the first century AD. By the way, just to explain where I’m coming from, I’m not a premillennialist, and I also don’t believe that the law (of Moses) remains to be kept now, or that it will be resurrected to be kept by anyone in the future.

      [1] The weight of the New Testament demonstrates that Jesus is true Israel, and that He chooses to extend this name, this status, and this reality to His followers. In Exodus 4:22, God instructs Moses to say to Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Israel is My firstborn son, and I say to you, “Let My son go that he may serve Me.”’” Then in Hosea 11:1-2 we read, “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son. The more they were called, the more they went away; they kept sacrificing to the Baals and burning offerings to idols.” Who is Israel here? Clearly it’s that ancient nation that was located in the present Middle East. Yet look at how this verse is applied in Matthew 2:14-15, and what is said there. An angel warns Joseph, the father of Jesus, to flee to Egypt with his family, because Herod was going to seek to destroy Jesus: “And he [Joseph] rose and took the child [Jesus] and His mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, ‘Out of Egypt I called My son.’”

      In the New Testament, what was said of the nation of Israel in the Old Testament is now said of Jesus. By strong implication, Matthew communicates that Jesus is true Israel. Matthew does this to prove to his mainly Jewish audience that Jesus is the Lord’s servant spoken of throughout the Old Testament. This is especially true in the book of Isaiah, where numerous times God describes the nation of Israel as “My servant” (e.g. Isaiah 41:8-10, 44:1-3, and 49:3-6), and then He also describes the coming Messiah as “My servant.” Matthew brings out these references several times in his book.

      Luke seems to express the same pattern. He speaks of the nation Israel as God’s servant (Luke 1:54), speaks of David in the same way (Luke 1:69), and then records Peter speaking of Jesus as God’s servant (Acts 3:13, 26). When Philip meets the Ethiopian eunuch on the road out of Jerusalem, he finds him reading the prophecy of Isaiah 53:7-8 about God’s servant who would be led like a lamb to the slaughter and have his life taken away. Philip confirms to him that this servant is Jesus.

      The apostle Paul, in Galatians 3, is very clear that Jesus is singularly the recipient of all of God’s promises (verse 16), and that He extends those promises to His followers (verse 29), who are all one in Him regardless of ethnicity, gender, etc. (verse 28):

      Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, ‘And to offsprings,’ referring to many, but referring to one, ‘And to your offspring,’ who is Christ… There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”

      [2] In the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21) Jesus ties the passing of heaven and earth to His own generation (in contrast to His word, which would never pass away). What would Jesus have meant by this? I believe that the prophetic language of the Old Testament provides quite a backdrop to what Jesus says in the Olivet Discourse (and also in Matthew 5:17-18). This language, I believe, is behind the expression “heaven and earth.” It’s covenant language. This is perhaps most evident in the book of Isaiah.

      Isaiah was given a vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the very first verse (1:1). The very first words he uttered were these: “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the Lord has spoken” (Isaiah 1:2). This is not unique to Isaiah, for heaven and earth were repeatedly called as witnesses against Israel (e.g. Deuteronomy 4:26, 30:18-19, 31:28, 32:1; Jeremiah 2:12, 6:19; Micah 6:2). In Isaiah 51, speaking to the people of Israel, God says:

      I, I am He who comforts you; who are you that you…have forgotten the Lord, your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth…? …And I have put My words in your mouth and covered you in the shadow of My hand, establishing the heavens and laying the foundations of the earth, and saying to Zion, ‘You are My people’ (verses 12-16).

      The establishment of the heavens and the earth is thus linked directly to the establishment of Israel as God’s people at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:5-6). Psalm 68:7-8 reiterates that the earth and the heavens were greatly affected when “God, the One of Sinai” marched through the wilderness before His people, as does Judges 5:4-5. Jeremiah also spoke of Jerusalem’s pending destruction (in 586 BC) in a way that might seem as if he was talking about planet earth and the galaxies, if it weren’t for the context:

      “My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain! Oh, the walls of my heart! My heart is beating wildly; I cannot keep silent, for I hear the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war… I looked on the earth, and behold, it was without form and void; and to the heavens, and they had no light… For thus says the Lord, ‘The whole land shall be a desolation; yet I will not make a full end. For this the earth shall mourn, and the heavens above be dark…’” (Jeremiah 4:19, 23, 27).

      On a more pleasant note, Isaiah also prophesied of “new heavens and a new earth,” and the creation of Jerusalem as a joy (Isaiah 65:17-19). That this is covenantal language, and not language referring to the material/physical heavens and earth, can be seen in the fact that the new heavens and new earth were to be marked by sin and death (verse 20), building and planting (verses 21-22), and the reproduction of children (verse 23). When I was younger, I was taught that the new heavens and earth would be set up following a future Second Coming of Christ and a 1000 year “millennial reign” based out of Jerusalem, at which time sin and death would completely cease to exist.

      Isaiah’s description of the new heavens and earth, however, does not allow for this. Instead, his description speaks of present realities, the earthly existence being experienced by anyone reading this. It also mirrors what we see in the New Testament. Paul told the Ephesians that God’s people are called to “put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). He likewise told the Corinthians, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (II Corinthians 5:17). In Christ, a new temple/tabernacle had come (e.g. I Corinthians 3:16-17, I Cor. 6:19, II Cor. 6:16, Ephesians 2:21, Revelation 3:12), and the old temple/tabernacle had to go. During the one generation following the cross, all of the rituals attached to the temple in Jerusalem were worthless. By the end of that generation, that temple and those worthless rituals were gone.

      Jesus had already made a very significant statement about the disappearance of (the old) heaven and earth in the Sermon on the Mount:

      <blockquote“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will be any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished” (Matthew 5:17-18).

      Is the Law 100% intact even now in the year 2012, and are we thus still under the old heavens and earth? Or did Jesus accomplish everything and fulfill the Law, so that we are now under the covenantal framework of the new heavens and earth? Matthew 5:17-18 is an all-or-nothing statement. If “heaven and earth” have not yet disappeared, neither then has even one trace of the Law of Moses.

      The “heaven and earth” spoken of by Jesus here are certainly connected to the temple worship and law keeping of the Jewish world. We know that Jerusalem, the temple, and the Old Covenant system attached to it passed away in a fiery blaze in 70 AD. Jesus, of course, predicted this (e.g. in Matthew 22:7; [and I believe also in] Revelation 17:16-17; Rev. 18:8-9, 17-18).

      II Peter 3:7-13 also speaks of the heavens and earth of that time being “stored up for fire” (verse 7) and ready to “pass away with a roar” and be “burned up and dissolved” (verse 10), giving way to “new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (verse 13). As Bishop John Lightfoot (1601-1675) wrote in his Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles (Vol. 3, p. 452),

      “Compare this with Deut. 32:22, Heb. 12:26, Gal. 4:9, Coloss. 2:20: and observe that by elements are understood the Mosaic elements: and you will not doubt that St. Peter speaks only of the conflagration of Jerusalem, the destruction of the nation, and the abolishing of the dispensation of Moses.”

      Indeed, Galatians 4:9 and Colossians 2:20 make use of the same word translated as “elements” in II Peter 3:10. It’s clear that Paul spoke there, not of the cosmos, but of what was contained in the Law:

      [1] “But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? You observe days and months and seasons and years!” (Galatians 4:9-10).

      [2] “If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations—‘Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch’ (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings?” (Colossians 2:20-22).

      In a 1721 sermon, the Puritan preacher John Owen said,

      I affirm that the heavens and earth here intended in this prophecy of Peter, the coming of the Lord, the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men, mentioned in the destruction of that heaven and earth, do all of them relate, not to the last and final judgment of the world, but to that utter desolation and destruction that was to be made of the Judaical church and state… [A]nd then the heavens and earth that God Himself planted, -the sun, moon, and stars of the Judaical polity and church, – the whole old world of worship and worshippers, that stand out in their obstinancy against the Lord Christ, shall be sensibly dissolved and destroyed: this we know shall be the end of these things, and that shortly.”

      Jonathan Edwards (in 1739) said this in his work, “The Perpetuity and Change of the Sabbath, Vol. 2”:

      The Scriptures further teach us to call the gospel-restoration and redemption, a creation of a new heaven and a new earth… The gospel state is everywhere spoken of as a renewed state of things, wherein old things are passed away, and all things become new… And the dissolution of the Jewish state was often spoken of in the Old Testament as the end of the world. But we who belong to the gospel-church, belong to the new creation; and therefore there seems to be at least as much reason, that we should commemorate the work of this creation, as that the members of the ancient Jewish church should commemorate the work of the old creation.

      C.H. (Charles) Spurgeon also had the same understanding. In a sermon delivered in 1865 (Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vo. XXXVII, p. 354), he said:

      Did you ever regret the absence of the burnt-offering, or the red heifer, of any one of the sacrifices and rites of the Jews? Did you ever pine for the feast of tabernacle, or the dedication? No, because, though these were like the old heavens and earth to the Jewish believers, they have passed away and we now live under a new heavens and a new earth, so far as the dispensation of divine teaching is concerned. The substance is come, and the shadow has gone: and we do not remember it.

      Here also is a very intriguing quote from the church father, Eusebius (265-340 AD), from one of his writings known as “the Theophania”:

      All authorities concur in the declaration that “when all these things should have been done”, ‘The End’ should come: that “the mystery of God should be finished as he had declared to His servants the prophets“: it should be completed: time should now be no more: the End of all things (so foretold) should be at hand, and be fully brought to pass: in these days should be fulfilled all that had been spoken of Christ (and of His church) by the prophets: or, in other words, when the gospel should have been preached in all the world for a testimony to all nations, and the power of the Holy People be scattered (abroad), then should the End come, then should all these things be finished. I need now only say, all these things have been done: the old and elementary system passed away with a great noise; all these predicted empires have actually fallen, and the new kingdom, the new heaven and earth, the new Jerusalem–all of which were to descend from God, to be formed by His power, have been realised on earth; all these things have been done in the sight of all the nations; God’s holy arm has been made bare in their sight: His judgments have prevailed, and they remain for an everlasting testimony to the whole world. His kingdom has come, as it was foretold it should, and His will has, so far, been done; His purposes have been finished; and, from that day to the extreme end of time, it will be the duty, as indeed it will be the great privilege of the Church, to gather into its bosom the Jew, the Greek, the Scythian, the Barbarian, bond and free; and to do this as the Apostles did in their days–in obedience, faith and hope.


      SOURCE for the above study on the heavens and the earth and the passing of the entire law:


  2. Amen P.J.

    I find it surprising that John MacArthur has such a large following, but then I don’t live in America.

  3. I am not nearly as knowledgeable about dispensationalism as most others. I have a basic understanding of it, but nothing as deep as a scholar’s understanding would be.

    I want to pose an idea in response to this and the most previous article that you put up on the blog, PJ.

    Here is what I am going to say.

    One, God gave to “Moses” the “plan” for an “earthly” tabernacle that he and the children of Israel constructed. It was an earthly mobile tent so that God’s Eternal Glory could rest on earth with this chosen race of basically idolaters and thugs, the children of Israel identified by Moses in Exodus set apart from all the other nations of the world, for a very specific purpose. Sorry to any Jewish folks reading that, my characterization of your people and their character among the rest of the nations of the world being idolaters and thugs.

    Exo 25:8 And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst.
    Exo 25:9 Exactly as I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle, and of all its furniture, so you shall make it.

    Two, later on God gave to King David a more temporal and perfect earthly “plan” of a Temple and then prospered him so much so that what he laid up in store, which was great in substances and value, he then passed onto his son Solomon to use as he ascended the throne of his father David. Solomon did, with all he gathered and contributed together with his father’s contributions built the building that is a one of kind, never to be replicated ever again perfect earthly Temple. It was grand. It was glorious. There has never been such a temple built like it, ever; or will there ever be one built like it after it.

    1Ch 28:19 “All this he made clear to me in writing from the hand of the LORD, all the work to be done according to the plan.”

    King Solomon built this temporal perfect temple according to the specifications his father gave him who got them from the Lord directly, as did Moses.

    1Ki 6:37 In the fourth year the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid, in the month of Ziv.
    1Ki 6:38 And in the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eighth month, the house was finished in all its parts, and according to all its specifications. He was seven years in building it.

    Three, God gave to Ezekiel a vision of the Eternal “Heavenly” Temple.

    Eze 40:4 And the man said to me, “Son of man, look with your eyes, and hear with your ears, and set your heart upon all that I shall show you, for you were brought here in order that I might show it to you. Declare all that you see to the house of Israel.”


    Eze 47:6 And he said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?” Then he led me back to the bank of the river.
    Eze 47:7 As I went back, I saw on the bank of the river very many trees on the one side and on the other.
    Eze 47:8 And he said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, and enters the sea; when the water flows into the sea, the water will become fresh.


    Eze 47:12 And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.”

    Then finally I would note that that vision given to Ezekiel is exactly the same vision the Lord showed John that the Father showed Jesus to show to His servants by him so we can understand, too, the realities and the differences between the earthly tent Moses built, the earthly Temple Solomon built and the Heavenly House of God Jesus is still building!

    What Jesus is still building:

    Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
    Mat 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
    Mat 16:19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
    Mat 16:20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

    What Jesus showed John it will look like when it is finished:

    Rev 22:1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb
    Rev 22:2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

    Now what seems to me to be the issue here that keeps bringing up a conflict into this is this. Here we see clearly in Scripture that God shows “two” men an “earthly” reality and the sequential unfolding of this finished earthly reality. That is what it is that we read there in the citation from I Kings 6:38. God gave Moses “a pattern” and this “earthly pattern” reflected the “Spiritual” reality in a tent form. He then shows King David the more glorious perfected earthly Kingdom of God, “on earth” reality as it is in Heaven. King Solomon finishes that “Spiritually” real reality, that glorious temporal earthly Temple that reflects the Heavenly on earth.

    Then to both Ezekiel and John the Apostle God shows them where all of God’s Children, all those whose name is already enrolled in Heaven from both the Old and New Covenant “dispensations” will end up for the rest of our Eternity.

    Jesus said this about that “end” place:

    Joh 14:1 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.
    Joh 14:2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?
    Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

    Where I believe things break down is in what is behind the exacting nature of these “two” dispensations of the Truth about the True Heavenly Eternal Kingdom of God. Does God want to build again through people a rally around vision, the dispensation events this teaching of dispensationalism that ends up building a Temple like the one Solomon finished according to the specifications God gave his father David? No. Why should there be such a Temple built again so as to claim victory by such an existing thing on earth in the last days purported to be as the Kingdom of God exists in Heaven?

    Don’t know why and am just as puzzled because I don’t see it as an end time thing for the Church in Scripture!

    I believe God is not interested in these days to “build” yet again a Temple according to what was shown both Moses and David.

    God is not interested in people coming together to “be” forerunners of the True Existing Eternal Kingdom of Heaven on earth, what He showed both Ezekiel and John, in such a broad sense as some think.

    Does God want forerunners on earth? Yes. But not dispensationalists. He has had forerunners or rather “firstfruits” of the Heavenly Kingdom in every past generation and they/we are in the midst of the people of the world even now and if this world keeps on going God will keep on producing firstfruits/forerunners in subsequent generations. He will in that final generation have His testimony of Christ, His People, as He has in every previous generation. He will raise up Children to Abraham.

    What then should forerunners/firstfruits people of God, the present day children of Abraham, be doing in the world while sojourning through it?

    We should in our living and our dying bring Glory to God as His People in this fallen darkened world. We should live for Him and for His Glory until we go to, at some time in the future, maybe a minute from now, ten days from now, a year or 20 years from now, the True Everpresent Kingdom of Heaven in Heaven where a house awaits our occupancy, too!

    Jesus says this about that in a sort of “cryptic” way:

    Act 1:4 And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me;
    Act 1:5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
    Act 1:6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”
    Act 1:7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.
    Act 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

    Peter, later on, years later after he developed spiritually, now fully mature in Christ, no longer that carnal guy, that babe in Christ who could not nor did understand anything Jesus was “foretelling” to him or the rest of the Apostles, wrote this about hastening the event of the coming of Christ:

    2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
    2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
    2Pe 3:11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,
    2Pe 3:12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!
    2Pe 3:13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

    So, there are two things it seems to me afoot today.

    One is not what it seems to be even though you see a lot of what is being taught coming about through the teaching of dispensationalism. The other thing is the reality of the True Church Body of Born Again, mature believers stepping into a full on spiritual war against the spiritual forces of evil during our generation, too.

    I would finish out with several places in the Scriptures to build the “spiritual” picture of what I mean when I say there is, right now suppose to be a True Church Body of born Again, mature believers, stepping into a full on spiritual war against the spiritual forces of evil in our generation, too.

    Let me be very clear. This reality is not for lone rangers. This reality is for the Body of Christ.

    Consider these verses then:

    1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
    1Co 15:23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.
    1Co 15:24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.
    1Co 15:25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
    1Co 15:26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.


    Php 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
    Php 3:21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.


    1Pe 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
    1Pe 5:11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.


    Eph 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
    Eph 1:8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight
    Eph 1:9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ
    Eph 1:10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.


    Eph 3:8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
    Eph 3:9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things,
    Eph 3:10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
    Eph 3:11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord,
    Eph 3:12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.

    The last enemy Christ defeats is death. He is going to destroy all rule, power and authority not His own and He will do it through the Church.

    Because your citizenship is in Heaven, too, Christ will transform your lowly body to be like His Glorious Body, the Church, by that same power that He will use to destroy all rule, power and authority not His own.

    To put some icing on that cake, transforming our lives to be like His Life, Our Heavenly Father, the God of all Grace, who Himself calls us His own, will, “Himself”, restore, confirm, strengthen and establish us! Wow. What a promise, yes?

    Finally, what Paul teaches there in Ephesians chapters one and three, it seems to me, is the necessary refutation of the teaching of dispensationalism.

    Why? Because nowhere in those passages does he isolate and focus the Church on establishing an “end time” Israel.

    No, rather Paul teaches that in the end time all things will be summed up in Christ.

    I have been to present day Israel and one thing I can attest too is there is very little room for the teachings of the Son of God in the government of Israel.

    And, to hit the nail on the head, he further develops this end time teaching as the Church and where is Her place in Christ. She is suppose to become fully matured, transformed, restored, confirmed, strengthened and established born again members of His, He being Her Head functioning from Him as the Head of members of the One True Body warring against the rulers and authorities in heavenly places not against people or their doctrines!

    • Then finally I would note that that vision given to Ezekiel is exactly the same vision the Lord showed John that the Father showed Jesus to show to His servants by him so we can understand, too, the realities and the differences between the earthly tent Moses built, the earthly Temple Solomon built and the Heavenly House of God Jesus is still building!

      I agree. Good post Michael!

  4. I’m not a dispensationalist, but I am a pre-millennialist. What was the purpose of the OT sacrifices? Did they forgive sins? No. What was their purpose? To point to Christ. The Passover observance pointed backward to the first Passover, but forward to Jesus Christ. The LORD’s Supper points backward to the cross and forward to Christ’s coming.

    I think people overlook the fact that the early church which was entirely Israelite continued to worship at the temple even offering sacrifices at the temple. Paul himself offered sacrifices at the temple. The book of Hebrews from a pre-millennial perspective pictures our high priest temporarily behind the curtain, only to step out from the behind the curtain to present Himself to us a second time.

    If people portray those who believe that there will be literal sacrifices in the future to diminish the work of Christ on the cross, then anyone who states that the sacrifices of the OT took away sins also diminish the work of Christ on the cross. Without the cross of Christ there is no forgiveness for sins for anyone, OT or NT. Here is the question, could future sacrifices point to Christ? Why or why not? OT sacrifices pointed forward to Christ. What did the sacrifices that Paul offered point to?

    • Hi Orange…

      I always understood the purpose (OT blood sacrifices) was a temporary provision (under the law) God provided, while pointing to Christ who would be the one (and only) permanent sacrifice. It was the shadow while awaiting the “substance”.

      1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
      2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
      3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.
      4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
      5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
      6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
      7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
      8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
      9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
      10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
      11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
      12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
      13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
      14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
      15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
      16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
      17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
      18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
      19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
      20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh, (Hebrews 10)

      Paul himself offered sacrifices at the temple.

      Couple questions: what kind of sacrifices, for what purpose did Paul do this, what was the result, and was Paul led by man or God to do this.

      18 And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present.
      19 And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.
      20 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:

      21 And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.
      22 What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come.

      23 Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them;
      24 Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.

      25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.
      26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.

      27 And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him,
      28 Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place.
      29 (For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.)
      30 And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple: and forthwith the doors were shut.
      31 And as they went about to kill him, tidings came unto the chief captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. (Acts 21)


      1 Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you.
      2 (And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,)
      3 I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.
      4 And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.

      5 As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.
      6 And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me.
      7 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
      8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.
      9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.
      10 And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.
      11 And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus.

      12 And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there,
      13 Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.
      14 And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.
      15 For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.
      16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

      17 And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance;
      18 And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.
      19 And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on thee:

      20 And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him.
      21 And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.

      22 And they gave him audience unto this word, and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live.
      23 And as they cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air (Acts 22)

    • Hi Orange
      thanks for your questions which have made me think! I cannot be with you on your views about the millennian however, unless you can persuade me further. I just can’t see it the way that you do. I’m not a scholar or theologian but as far as I understand it you believe that during the millennial period of 1000 years Jesus will reign from Jerusalem and during that time sacrifices will be given. Why will there be sacrifices if Jesus reigns during that time. For what purpose. Also I can’t see in God’s plan a situation whereby animals will be sacrificed if Jesus is in charge – surely God is working towards a wonderful time when the lion will lie down with the lamb. Surely God loves all of creation. Another question, will there be circumcision during the millenium according to your view – it is a requirement of the law but Paul did not count it as important.

      I think that Paul was wrestling as to how to construct a new body of people comprising of both jews and gentiles and that the struggle about how that should develop is evident from scripture. It wasn’t an easy transition and we must allow Paul himself to grow and change during his lifetime. His main ideas were that the commandment to love one another was paramount (1 Cor 10 v 31 – 33) and that Jesus did not just save from sin but overcame a force by his death and resurrection so that the work on the cross is something more than just meeting an individuals need through sacrifice.

    • I think that Paul was wrestling as to how to construct a new body of people comprising of both jews and gentiles and that the struggle about how that should develop is evident from scripture. It wasn’t an easy transition and we must allow Paul himself to grow and change during his lifetime.

      Jan, i think you’re right.

      What’s interesting about the verses quoted from Acts 21 (in particular, verses 23, 24) was we don’t read that Paul was led of the Spirit of God to purify himself and enter the Temple. It was actually at the bequest of the elders that Paul did this; “Do therefore this that we say to thee….”

      After the Jew’s laid hands upon him to kill him, in his defense (Chapter 22) Paul relates that at an earlier date, while in a trance within the Temple, the Lord tells him to, “…. Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me…..(verse 18).

      Yes i agree with you. I believe because of Paul’s great love for his people he struggled early-on.

      I like what Matthew Henry had to say:

      21:19-26 …James and the elders of the church at Jerusalem, asked Paul to gratify the believing Jews, by some compliance with the ceremonial law. They thought it was prudent in him to conform thus far. It was great weakness to be so fond of the shadows, when the substance was come. The religion Paul preached, tended not to destroy the law, but to fulfil it. He preached Christ, the end of the law for righteousness, and repentance and faith, in which we are to make great use of the law. The weakness and evil of the human heart strongly appear, when we consider how many, even of the disciples of Christ, had not due regard to the most eminent minister that even lived. Not the excellence of his character, nor the success with which God blessed his labours, could gain their esteem and affection, seeing that he did not render the same respect as themselves to mere ceremonial observances.

      How watchful should we be against prejudices! The apostles were not free from blame in all they did; and it would be hard to defend Paul from the charge of giving way too much in this matter. It is vain to attempt to court the favour of zealots, or bigots to a party. This compliance of Paul did not answer, for the very thing by which he hoped to pacify the Jews, provoked them, and brought him into trouble. But the all-wise God overruled both their advice and Paul’s compliance with it, to serve a better purpose than was intended. It was in vain to think of pleasing men who would be pleased with nothing but the rooting out of Christianity. Integrity and uprightness will be more likely to preserve us than insincere compliances. And it should warn us not to press men to doing what is contrary to their own judgment to oblige us.

  5. Orange,

    It seems to me you are avoiding the obvious here with that question: “…could future sacrifices point to Christ?”

    Here is why I believe your question obfuscates: 1Co 1:18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
    1Co 1:19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
    1Co 1:20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
    1Co 1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.
    1Co 1:22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom,
    1Co 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles,
    1Co 1:24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

  6. Hey PJ. How are you? I read your blog on a regular basis and enjoy it very much. Thanks for the response.

    The idea of the sacrifices being there to temporarily provide is a good way to look at it. We have to remember that sacrifices predated the law. Even if the law was fulfilled in Christ, what about the sacrifices that Abel and Noah offered up? But if you look at passages like Jeremiah 33:17-26, it seems as if the Davidic Covenant which will be fulfilled through the reign of Christ is intertwined with the continuation of the Levitical priesthood. And both are perpetual. So what is exactly temporary? If we believe that the offspring of David will rule forever, then we must believe that the Levitical priesthood will continue to offer these sacrifices in some capacity as long as this arrangement continues. As a pre-millennialist, I believe the end of Christ’s rule will come when He conquers all and offers up the kingdom to the Father, the last enemy defeated will be death. So there will come a point when death will come to an end and therefore the sacrifices will as well. But this is only after the millennial reign of the Messiah.

    As far as why Paul offered up the sacrifices, we would also need to ask why Paul observed Israelite holy days, Acts 18:21, why he took vows according to the law, Acts 18:18, and why he offered up these sacrifices in accordance with the law. Luke lays out the advice of James and inserts no commentary to the contrary that this was done in disobedience to God’s will. One would be hard pressed to try to make a case that Paul was living in sin as he brought the offering for the poor saints in Jerusalem, as he sought to preach to the Gentiles, and as he was offering up ritual sacrifices at the temple for ceremonial uncleanness.


    I understand your point of view. How would you respond to the idea that Jesus was in charge all throughout the old testament, during every single animal sacrifice that ever was offered up? From the time of Abel, throughout Noah, Abraham, Jacob; then all during the time of the Mosaic Covenant as well. Jesus was in charge the entire time. When these sacrifices pointed backward to the first Passover, He was in charge.

    As far as circumcision not being important, Paul proclaimed the importance of circumcision in Romans 3:1-2, and even affirmed a preferential treatment for those who were circumcised, Romans 1:16, 15:8-9. This explained why Jesus was only sent to the lost sheep of Israel during His ministry, Matthew 15:21-28. But the big question here is why did Paul have Timothy circumcised if there was absolutely no requirement in the law for Israelites to be circumcised, see Acts 16:3. The context is amazing. Here Paul had just won a big debate in Jerusalem stating that it was not necessary for Gentiles to be circumcised. So here is Timothy, half Israelite half Greek, and Paul has him circumcised and it’s recorded in the scriptures. So the idea that Paul didn’t think that circumcision was important doesn’t seem to be there. It wasn’t necessary for salvation, and it wasn’t necessary for Gentiles to become Israelites in order to become a part of the people of God. But there is still a distinction taught for Israelites as Romans 11 shows.

    So the question remain, if sacrifices pointed backward and forward in the past, could they point backward in the future? And, since we are on the subject of pre-millennialism, Christ was crucified on the Passover, and actually is our Passover. The spring feasts were fulfilled, being Passover (the cross), the first fruits (the resurrection), the feast of unleavened bread (ongoing fellowship in the church), and Pentecost (the Holy Spirit). Now there are 3 fall feasts one of them being the day of atonement. There remains something yet future about this day of atonement. The feast of tabernacles is one of them, Zechariah 14 points to this as being fulfilled during an ongoing period when the LORD is King over all the earth.

    Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

    -The Orange Mailman

    • Mr. Orange Mailman

      Thank you for your comments on this issue and if I may I would like to add a little to this discussion by saying that sometimes the most obvious escapes our attention because like you I am pre-millennial but not dispensational. Therefore I spend considerable time in prayer and in study of God’s Word so that I will be prepared to offer a testimony during the last days and in particular during the tribulation period.
      Because I have a strong desire to serve during those times I have been very careful to make sure that I serve now by preparing my heart and learning how to hear from God. No, I’m not a “Prepper” in the manner most people have come to accept as that individual who stores up supplies and seeks a hideout to ride out the storm. Instead I have learned to help out people now and have labored to understand God’s Word so that I may help others avoid becoming victimized by deceit today as well as during the tribulation.

      My point is this; I sometimes get so involved in study that I very easily overlook the obvious answer to what I think is a difficult question and in this case I think it might helpful if we consider that in Revelations 20: 5 it says: “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection!”
      In just that one verse we are given two very valuable pieces of information: one, verse 6 says “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years!”

      Verse 4 of Revelation 20 says that these resurrected souls that reigned with Christ a thousand years were already dead. Therefore the first resurrection includes those that whom are dead and we know that it is a physical death because some of them were beheaded for their witness of Jesus Christ.

      Hence, there is no historical record of anyone who has refused the mark of the beast nor has refused to worship his image or who was beheaded and then resurrected who is still alive today after all these many years. Second and more to the subject: it is clear by scripture that the first resurrection will not occur until the return of Jesus Christ. Once Christ returns the issue of salvation by grace is complete. No amount of sacrifices or observance of the Law will matter at that point and that is why the rest of the dead lived not again.

      But there will be those who will still be alive when Jesus Christ returns but who are not children of God. They will live out their days, die and then face the second resurrection after the thousand years is complete. Some of them will have children who shall also have children and so on throughout the millennium.

      The best example of this truth is the fact that when Adam and Eve disobeyed God they did so despite the full and complete relationship they had with their Creator. Therefore, even though their spirits were dead (Ephesians 2: 1-5) Adam still lived some 900 years after his fall. Adam could not offer a sufficient sacrifice to excuse his sin nor did he have any commandments to keep since his disobedience was done when he knew full well who God was. That is unforgivable because Adam did not need to pray, read about God or put his complete trust in someone he has not seen or had a relationship with (Hebrews 6:1-6).

      Likewise, during the millennial reign those that choose the mark will be damned already but if they are still alive at Christ’s return they will still live out the rest of their miserable days knowing that they chose the wrong God. But their children, like Adam will know Jesus Christ fully and completely and therefore their salvation will not be determined by faith but of worship. And if we really love God after all the events of tribulation have taken place our Savior certainly will deserve all the praise, glory and worship we can offer. What is wrong with our hearts if we do not desire to offer whatever form of worship our LORD requires?

      In the days before the flood redemption was based upon the belief and trust in a promise given to the seed of Eve. Able was counted among God’s own because his sacrifices before the LORD were based upon a love for his God. Enoch was translated because he pleased God and no doubt like Able offered a more excellent sacrifice. Noah believed what God said and trusted so much in His Word that he moved with fear and became righteous which is by faith. Abraham offered his most precious sacrifice, his son Isaac and became the friend of God.

      But unfortunately like Adam, many of those born after Christ returns will eventually allow their hearts to be tempted and many will become part of Satan’s army as described in Revelations 20: 7-9. Zechariah 14:21 says it best: Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and “SEETHE” therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts!”

      Last, if one is coming before the throne of God “seething” the heart is not right and their sacrifices like Cain shall be unacceptable. Further, it is not God who builds the 3rd temple described by Ezekiel but it will be built by the nation of Israel who still want a Messiah not named Jesus. It is not Jesus Christ whom will begin the sacrifices in the temple during tribulation and we know by Daniel 11:31 that it is the anti-Christ who takes away the daily sacrifice and places the abomination that maketh desolate.

      Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:15), Paul (2 Thessalonian 2: 3-4) both say that the anti-Christ will be worshiped in the temple which supports what Ezekiel says in chapter 44:6-7 and explains why Daniel said in 8:11-14 that the sanctuary would be cleansed. But regardless of whether tribulation, the anti-Christ, temple worship or sacrificial practice are historical or yet to come I am prepared to offer whatever worship God requires right now with the same reverence and thanksgiving I hope to offer on this earth before, during and after the millennium as well as in the new heaven and earth.

    • Thank you Orange for your response and to Dave 2 aswell. My wording “in charge” was not helpful and did not express what I meant to say. Of course, Jesus has been, is and will be “in charge” but my understanding of pre millennialism is that during the millennium Christ will return and “his kingdom will find expression in a literal, visible reign of peace and righteousness on the earth in space/time history” – NIV text note. So that what I meant to express was that I believe your view to be that Jesus will reign in a sovereign way during that time and in a way that would seem to imply that there would be absolutely no point in sacrifice. If its the case that the time when the Lord is King over all the earth is not until the end of the millennium then the millennium period you refer to is no different to the age that we are living in at the moment? One could argue then a case for sacrifice but what then is different about the millennium period?

  7. Dave2

    not sure of your theology?

    I am having some trouble with what you posted above.

    For instance, this:

    “Likewise, during the millennial reign those that choose the mark will be damned already but if they are still alive at Christ’s return they will still live out the rest of their miserable days knowing that they chose the wrong God. But their children, like Adam will know Jesus Christ fully and completely and therefore their salvation will not be determined by faith but of worship. And if we really love God after all the events of tribulation have taken place our Savior certainly will deserve all the praise, glory and worship we can offer. What is wrong with our hearts if we do not desire to offer whatever form of worship our LORD requires?”

    When I read that it seems to me Christ and His saving work is no where to be found?

    Let me ask, are you familiar with monergism?


    • This is what i don’t understand Michael;

      Likewise, during the millennial reign those that choose the mark will be damned already but if they are still alive at Christ’s return they will still live out the rest of their miserable days knowing that they chose the wrong God. But their children, like Adam will know Jesus Christ fully and completely and therefore their salvation will not be determined by faith but of worship.

      “…..But their children, like Adam will know Jesus Christ fully and completely and their salvation will not be determined by faith but of worship”.

      Where does it state that?

  8. Sorry PJ, Michael
    It was a long day and night and so the clarity I had hoped to bring was not very bright. My intention was to show that some of those who lived during the tribulation period and did NOT accept the mark of the beast will not all die or be dead when Jesus Christ returns at the start of His millennial reign. And there will be some of those who didn’t take the mark during tribulation but ALSO have NOT accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord & Savior but will still live out the rest of their natural lives. Even though God said to Adam and Eve that on the day when they ate the fruit therefore: “thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:17), they didn’t physically die for another 900 years.
    Revelations 14:9-11 says that those who did take the mark will suffer and therefore will not be around during the millennium. But, Revelations 20:4 says that those that refused the mark and kept the testimony of Jesus Christ lived and REIGNED with Christ a thousand years. Therefore, only those who did not choose to take the mark nor did they accept Jesus Christ will be allowed to continue living a natural life. Those that reign with Christ will Jesus bring with him when He returns with a new IMMORTAL body. (I Corinthians 15: 50-55 & 1 Thessalonians 4: 14-18)

    The others WILL not have salvation because without the Cross there is no salvation and they did not choose Jesus Christ either. But since Jesus Christ will personally be here on earth at that time the faith that justifies our belief in God’s work will be compromised because the evidence stands before them. Therefore, some of those will choose to follow Jesus Christ but their choice will not be made because of repentance or of love but of survival and reward. This is why some of them will “seethe therein” when they are required to go to Jerusalem and offer sacrifices.

    Some of the others of course will be blessed by the testimonies of millions of followers of Jesus Christ and will gladly with joy and a repentant heart worship Jesus Christ. But the rest of them will continue to resist and as the generations pass by until the end of the millennium they will number among those who are deceived by Satan and then destroyed as it is written in Revelations 20:7-9.
    The other point I tried to make was that before the flood Jesus Christ had not been crucified nor had He risen from the grave and returned to His Father. The people before the flood loved and believed in the promise that God would send “Himself” a lamb (Genesis 22:8) and as a testament of their faith they honored God’s promises by offering sacrifices with a loving and trusting heart. God honored those sacrifices by becoming personally involved with those who believed, such as Enoch and Noah, and even though Enoch or Noah didn’t have any physical, historical or living first-hand testimony of the cross and the work Christ did, they still believed and lived for that promise. Very much like today when our hearts should be willing to sacrifice all that Jesus requires to serve Him.

    After the tribulation the people living at that time will either be reigning with Christ having accepted the work of the cross or they will be those who must seek the same love and faith that those who lived prior to the flood had. If not, they will die in their iniquity.

    Michael may God Bless you. I’m not much for labels (such as mongerism) particularly since they tend to lump a group of people together under the suspicion that their appearance or supposed belief can the sum total of what others may perceive. I once lived in Northern California among the Giant Redwoods and the popular misconception was that everyone grew their own pot and smoked it religiously. But of course that perception by outsiders is not truthful.
    2 Peter 1:20-21 says this: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost!” As a result Michael I do not interpret scripture nor do I try to see any secret hidden or deeper meaning to the text. I simply learn what it says and if I’m not certain about it I will search the scriptures to find evidence that either refutes or confirms what I think I understand.

    The last thing I would ever consider is putting my trust into the interpretation of man so I spend a lot of time in prayer waiting for the Holy Ghost to teach the meaning of HIS WORK, not man’s. Many people think because I believe in a pre-millennial doctrine that I am automatically a dispensationalist. But as you and others have very biblically shown they have an unfortunate ability to allegorize text, contradict it and ignore truth as written.
    I have yet to fully disclose my doctrine if that is what it is called because I am still learning and sitting at my Masters feet waiting to hear His voice. Daniel the prophet writes that the vision is for the latter days and that it shall be sealed until the time of the end. Therefore, although I do expect to have full understanding someday, I also recognize that I need to have a good heart-standing as well to hear and understand. But until then I will always welcome your comments and any discussion with you as you may please and I pray that God will be with you and PJ in all things. AMEN.

  9. Dave2

    ” Many people think because I believe in a pre-millennial doctrine that I am automatically a dispensationalist. But as you and others have very biblically shown they have an unfortunate ability to allegorize text, contradict it and ignore truth as written.”

    I would like you to clarify those words. Are you saying we have shown that we have an unfortunate ability to allegorize text and we are contradicting Scripture ignoring truth as written?

  10. Over the past few days i’ve done alot of thinking (and reading) about this:

    “Israel rejected their Messiah, but when they have received Him and are in His kingdom, they will have a memorial of sacrifices that point to Him. They will have missed the memorial of the Lord’s Supper, but will then have their own memorial sacrifices for 1000 years.” (MacArthur Study Bible, footnote Ezekiel 40:38-47)

    And frankly, i believe MacArthur is flat-out wrong.

    Besides the reasons already given, he is doing what dispensationalists have done since Darby (and Scofield) introduced their teachings and interpretations of certain scriptures: teaching there are two bodies of Christ….or a distinction between Israel and the Church. To believe that Israel (believing Jews) will be given 1000 years to honor the Lord by memorial sacrifices is buying into the two separate bodies of Christ teachings. And that is not scriptural;

    “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise”
    (Galatians 3)

    MacArthur added his (above) footnote concerning Ezekiel 40: 38-47. Read those scriptures folks. You’ll not read anything that supports the speculative footnote included by MacArthur.

    I recalled Job wrote a post a few years back on this topic: Will There Be Temple Sacrifices During The Millennium? If So, Why?

  11. PJ- Just because someone becomes a Christian does not mean they are no longer a female or male. God still has specific roles for males and females. He has specific commandments for men that do not apply to women. Women have a specific place in God’s plan that men will never have. So this idea of “there is no longer male or female” doesn’t mean that we take this to the extreme where there is never any distinction at all in the Word of God. The passage plainly teaches that all are equal in the body of Christ. There is no one that is any more “Christian” because of their race, class, or gender. That’s the basic meaning. To carry it any further will get you into some serious trouble with some other passages such as Romans 1, Ephesians 5, and I Timothy 3 which explain the specific role of man and woman.

    So taking this principle and applying it to “there is neither Jew nor Greek”, it makes the matter quite simple. There is no longer unequality within the body of Christ. There is no race that is more “Christian” than any other. This does not mean that God does not have a plan for the nation of Israel as this would contradict Romans 11. It also does not mean that God doesn’t have a plan for the Gentiles either because this would contradict Romans 15:8-12. God has a future plan for Israel and Gentile nations alike, but to confuse these is paramount to confusing the roles between male and female by citing the above passage.

    Romans 15:8-12 is quite clear. The church consists of believing Gentiles rejoicing alongside the believing remnant of Israelites. It’s not that anyone has lost their ethnic identity. Israelites are still Israelites. Gentiles are still Gentiles. But all belong to the household of faith being children of Abraham (who was a pagan Gentile who learned to walk by faith.) There are not two bodies of Christ, one for males and one for females. But there are still two distinct roles that male and female play in the plan of God. It is the same with Israelites and Gentiles. There are not two bodies of Christ for Israelites and Gentiles. But there are different roles that Israelites and Gentiles will play in God’s future covenant plan to bring His kingdom from heaven to earth. There is nothing anti-scriptural about believing that God still has a future plan for the nation of Israel, believing that “All Israel will be saved”, Romans 11:25-27, Isaiah 59:20-21.

    Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

    -The Orange Mailman

    • Hi Orange 🙂

      In Galatians 3:28 Paul is stating the truth that there are no distinctions made concerning salvation. All are saved in the same way…all receive the same privileges (and promises) as children of God.

      There is neither Jew nor Greek – All are on a level; all are saved in the same way; all are entitled to the same privileges. There is no favoritism on account of birth, beauty, or blood. All confess that they are sinners; all are saved by the merits of the same Saviour; all are admitted to the same privileges as children of God. The word “Greek” here is used to denote the Gentiles generally; since the whole world was divided by the Jews into “Jews and Greeks” – the Greeks being the foreign nation best known to them. The Syriac renders it here “Aramean,” using the word to denote the Gentiles generally. The meaning is, that whatever was the birth, or rank, or nation, or color, or complexion, all under the gospel were on a level. They were admitted to the same privileges, and endowed with the same hopes of eternal life….All at the foot of the cross are sinners; all at the communion table are saved by the same grace; all who enter into heaven, will enter clothed in the same robes of salvation, and arranged, not as princes and nobles, and rich men and poor men, in separate orders and ranks, but mingling together as redeemed by the same blood – (Barnes’ Notes on the Bible)

      Romans 15:8-12 is quite clear. The church consists of believing Gentiles rejoicing alongside the believing remnant of Israelites. It’s not that anyone has lost their ethnic identity. Israelites are still Israelites. Gentiles are still Gentiles.

      I agree. In this world as it is today, we still recognize race, ethnicity, cultural difference, etc. But in the world to come, this will not be the case. Jesus came and,

      “….broke down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man” Eph. 2:14

      What MacArthur proposes in his narrative (which is not supported in the scriptures) is promoting continued division or ‘separateness’ between believing Jews and non-Jewish believers during the millennium!

      He is wrong.

  12. PJ- Out of respect for you and your good work that you do here, I’m just going to leave one brief reply and that will be all for this conversation. In the world to come there will be nations, plural, see Revelation 21:24-26, which has Isaiah 66:20-24 as a backdrop. Jesus quoted this language in Mark 9:42-50 as being literal, not figurative. Isaiah 62 (and 60:11) will be fulfilled literally in the future since Romans 11:23-33 states that God is able and will graft back in the unbelieving portion of Israel once their time of partial blindness and hardening has come to an end that all Israel might be saved. Jeremiah 31:36, 33:17-26 show that God’s plan for Israel has not and will notchanged. Even in the kingdom come it will be Israel with believing Gentiles rejoicing alongside her for His covenant faithfulness to her, see also Zechariah 14:16-21.

    You cannot prove that MacArthur is wrong on this point. The place where dispensationalists are wrong, though, is in believing that Israel will be saved outside of the church. But, as I pointed out, just because Israelites and Gentiles enter the church, it does not mean that gender and race are completely forfeited. And I believe you would have a hard time proving that there will be no male or female in the world to come. You would have to believe that to apply the principle uniformly. I haven’t studied MacArthur extensively to know if he lines up with classical dispensationalism or not on that point. There really is nothing which diminishes the cross of Christ in believing that the prophecies of Isaiah 62 will be fulfilled literally in the future. And there is nothing which diminishes the cross of Christ in believing there is a memorial which points backward to it.

    Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

    -The Orange Mailman

    • Orange, if we read the scriptures (Ezekiel 40: 38-47) MacArthur added his footnote to,

      38 There was a chamber with its door in the vestibule of the gate,[a] where the burnt offering was to be washed. 39 And in the vestibule of the gate were two tables on either side, on which the burnt offering and the sin offering and the guilt offering were to be slaughtered. 40 And off to the side, on the outside as one goes up to the entrance of the north gate, were two tables; and off to the other side of the vestibule of the gate were two tables. 41 Four tables were on either side of the gate, eight tables, on which to slaughter. 42 And there were four tables of hewn stone for the burnt offering, a cubit and a half long, and a cubit and a half broad, and one cubit high, on which the instruments were to be laid with which the burnt offerings and the sacrifices were slaughtered. 43 And hooks,[b] a handbreadth long, were fastened all around within. And on the tables the flesh of the offering was to be laid.

      44 On the outside of the inner gateway there were two chambers[c] in the inner court, one[d] at the side of the north gate facing south, the other at the side of the south[e] gate facing north. 45 And he said to me, “This chamber that faces south is for the priests who have charge of the temple, 46 and the chamber that faces north is for the priests who have charge of the altar. These are the sons of Zadok, who alone[f] among the sons of Levi may come near to the Lord to minister to him.” 47 And he measured the court, a hundred cubits long and a hundred cubits broad, a square. And the altar was in front of the temple.

      I read nothing there which says,

      “….Israel…will have their own memorial sacrifices for 1000 years”

      So i have to say he’s wrong. In fact there is nothing to support his claim in the entire chapter.

      Out of respect for you and your good work that you do here, I’m just going to leave one brief reply and that will be all for this conversation

      Thank you for the kind words my friend. And i understand. 🙂

  13. This morning during my morning prayer time a couple of things came to me to share in here as I have been following along with the comments in this thread.

    These two things; one about what Abraham said to the rich man and the other about what some Pharisees asked Jesus and what Jesus said afterwards to them.

    Here are the verses:

    Luk 16:29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’
    Luk 16:30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’
    Luk 16:31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'”


    Luk 17:20 Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed,
    Luk 17:21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
    Luk 17:22 And he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it.
    Luk 17:23 And they will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go out or follow them.
    Luk 17:24 For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day.
    Luk 17:25 But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.
    Luk 17:26 Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man.
    Luk 17:27 They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
    Luk 17:28 Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot–they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building,
    Luk 17:29 but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all–
    Luk 17:30 so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed.

    So, here are the things I want to share about what Abraham said. In this story Abraham is the one answering the rich man. Consider what he says. I will ask, “doesn’t this apply today as it did when Jesus tells that story, then”?

    What is said? Abraham says that “they” have Moses and the Prophets.

    Well, I will ask, “do they (present day Israel) not even now still have Moses and the Prophets”?

    Yes, yes they do. The entire nation of Israel today is quite aware of their history and the portrayal of their unique relationship to the God of Abraham!

    What does Abraham say? He says even if someone raised from the dead speaks to them they will not be convinced.

    Well, I would further ask, “is not the Church the very entity in the world today raised from the dead” who testifies about the Messiah the nation of Israel believes is coming to deliver them from their enemies? Sadly, unless God reveals Christ to them, when He comes back it will be to late.

    Yes, yes we, the Church, are now raised from the dead and are testifying to the world, “all nations” that He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Jesus said and so Peter reiterated in his epistle that no one dies and goes to the Kingdom of God unless they are “first” born again.

    Paul says it uniquely also in two places by using a particular Greek Word. This Greek word is only found in these two places.

    The Greek word: συζωοποιέω
    From G4862 and G2227; to reanimate conjointly with (figuratively): – quicken together with.

    The two places it is used:

    Eph 2:5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved–

    Col 2:13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,

    God unites us, reanimates conjointly with and quickens us together with Christ in this life.

    I have a little pithy saying I have come up with after coming into this understanding. It goes like this: “If you do not die and go to Heaven before you die, when you die you do not go to Heaven. “

    In other words, we are “first” dead in our trespasses and sins before we are made alive in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit and His sanctification work, being reanimated conjointly with and quickened to Christ by this spiritual power of God.

    The Apostle Paul says it this way:

    Rom 6:3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
    Rom 6:4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

    Now listen to what the Pharisees asked Jesus and what Jesus answered:

    Luk 17:20 Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed,
    Luk 17:21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”

    There are some in here saying that Israel’s salvation will only happen after they see Jesus come back!

    Well that contradicts what Jesus said there, do it not?

    Further, consider what Jesus also says.

    He describes His return as an event that no one will miss. The implication is there is going to be an event so great the present heavens and earth will instantly disappear and all humanity, and I might add, all fallen angels will not be able to miss it!

    Also, consider the two events Jesus makes reference too that already happened in the writings the Jews hold too. He first teaches that the “end of the world” of Noah’s day came about “once” Noah completed his work. He also teaches that the “end of Sodom” comes about after Lot leaves that wicked place.

    Both events happen on the earth.

    For me that kind of undercuts the idea of some great rapture of the Church “out of the world” before Christ returns. Instead the Scriptures point to a great event that both Saints and sinners, the Elect and the reprobate will experience at exactly the same time as the event happens!

    For these reasons I discount the notion of some dispensation of events. Instead I would encourage the Church to get about the business of “hastening” the day of the Lord! See 2 Peter 3.

  14. In Leviticus, sacrifice is to be offered only by priests. This does not conform with the picture given elsewhere in the bible, where sacrifices are offered by a wide range of people (e.g. Manoah the judge, Samuel and Elijah the prophets, and kings Saul, David and Solomon, none of whom are priests) and the general impression is that any head of family could make a sacrifice. Most of these sacrifices are burnt offerings, and there is no mention of sin offerings. For these reasons there is a widespread scholarly view that the sacrificial rules of Leviticus 1-16 were introduced after the Babylonian exile , when circumstances allowed the priestly writers to describe the rituals so as to express their worldview of an idealised Israel living its life as a holy community in observance of the priestly prescriptions.

    • If we are followers of Christ the Word tells us under the new covenant we are priests…

      9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 1Peter 2.

      9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. Revelation 5.

  15. After Jesus died on the cross,he was the greatest sacrifice to the world. Dying for all of mankind sins yesterday,today and tommorrow’s. Then Jesus arose on third day to conquer death to give us everlasting life. Jesus left the holy spirit to dwell in God’s children till he returns to judge the quick and the dead. God loves us so much unconditionally. Read God ‘s word it will show you the truth. May God Bless you

  16. MacArthur’s claim of memorial offerings/sacrifices sounded somewhat familiar to me when i first read it.

    “Israel rejected their Messiah, but when they have received Him and are in His kingdom, they will have a memorial of sacrifices that point to Him. They will have missed the memorial of the Lord’s Supper, but will then have their own memorial sacrifices for 1000 years.” (MacArthur Study Bible, footnote Ezekiel 40:38-47)

    This week while re-reading a book i came upon this which possibly helps explain where MacArthur got this idea:

    Dispensationalists disagree on reasons for the rebuilding of the temple. Most believe the intention is to reintroduce the Levitical sacrificial system, but they disagree on what kind of sacrifices will be offered and its purpose. Scofield, in his reference Bible, claims that the sacrifices mentioned in Ezekiel will be ‘memorial’ offerings:

    “Doubtless these offerings will be memorial, looking back to the Cross”. (p. 890)

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Rooted and Grounded In Christ

Teaching Sound Doctrine & Glorifying Christ

Music from Broken Chords

Down in the human heart, crush'd by the tempter, Feelings lie buried that grace can restore; Touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness Chords that were broken will vibrate once more. From the Hymn "Rescue the Perishing" by Fanny J. Crosby

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"Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand it fully."

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