Once again it is important to keep in mind that Ezekiel’s Temple is a vision or picture of the establishment of the Messiah’s Kingdom on earth and the blessing of fleshly Israel and the whole world during the thousand-year kingdom of Christ when restitution blessings flow to all the willing and obedient.
This however as we had previously stated in no way prohibits the actual temple being built as an everlasting memorial to the Lord, in fact there seems to be precedence for this in the fact that very précised and intricate measurements were given for the whole structure.
The difficulty arises in whether or not actual animal sacrifices will be reintroduced. Our thinking was as stated, NO. We believe the one sacrifice “once for all” depicted by the great altar in the midst of the temple representing our Lord’s great ransom sacrifice should prove more than sufficient in this capacity.
However since this is a questionable area we should like to present some thoughts in this regards taken from Brother Anton Frey’s “Notes on the Tabernacle” with quotes from Tabernacle Shadows and various reprints.
“The sacrifices offered by the people (Israel—the world) on their own individual account, after the Day of Atonement sacrifices, typified by the general offerings of Israel, belong to the next age, and will then be presented to the glorified royal priesthood.”
“Those sacrifices which do not belong to the class we denominate the `Day of Atonement sacrifices,’ illustrated offerings and sacrifices which belong to the millennial age.
As, in the type, the `Day of Atonement’ sacrifices preceded all others, and were a basis for the general forgiveness and acceptance with God of all Israel, but were followed by other sacrifices by individuals after that day, termed `sin-offerings,’ `trespass-offerings,’ `peace-offerings,’ etc., so will be the antitype. After the sacrifices of this Gospel age have brought `the people,’ the world, into a justified condition, there will still be sins and trespasses committed (during the Millennial Age), which will require confession and reconciliation, making these after-sacrifices necessary.
The Atonement Day sacrifices represented the cancellation of Adamic sin by the sacrifice of the Christ; but during the Millennium, while the benefits of the atonement are being applied to the world, while they are being gradually restored to actual perfection and life and harmony with God, errors will be committed for which they will be in some measure responsible. For such they must make some amends, accompanied by repentance, before they can be again in harmony with God through Christ, their Mediator.” (T93-94)
“It is possible that in the beginning of the Millennial age the Lord’s dealing with the world of mankind, then in process of restitution and trial, will resemble his dealing with the house of servants—Israel. He may restore laws respecting the Sabbath and various festivals, and even sacrifices, to teach the world by these as object lessons. Some Scriptures seem so to hint. (Jer. 33:18; Ezek. 46:19–24; 47:12; 48:10, 11)” R1732:6–1733:1
A “hint” however is not a statement of fact; it is merely a conjecture or an assumption.
In a later article,
“The `better sacrifices’ of the Gospel age having taken place beforehand; we think it unlikely that typical sacrifices will be restored. We consider it more probable that antitypical sacrifices are referred to—the broken and contrite hearts of the people, and their consecration to the Lord’s service being thus represented. However, we are to remember that God considered these typical sacrifices of bulls and goats a good method of presenting important truths to the attention of fleshly Israel, and we can see that if such sacrifices were restored now, they would have much more force and meaning to similar classes than they had before their antitypes had come. We may not, therefore, be sure that the Lord will not adopt such a plan as this of instructing the ignorant masses of mankind, as preparatory to higher lessons—as illustrations of spiritual things.” (R2488:6)
“From the Scriptures it is evident that during the Millennial age the world of mankind will be privileged to offer themselves to God as gifts, but not as sacrifices. Hence, during the millennial age, part of the work of the great High Priest will be to accept these gifts and to make them acceptable to God through his own merit and rights as the Melchizedek Priest…”(R4915)
“Consecration will also be in order in the next age, though, owing to the changed government of the world, consecration will no longer, as now, mean unto death, but on the contrary, it will be unto life; for with the close of the reign of evil comes the end of pain, sorrow and death, except upon evil doers. Consecration must always be a voluntary presentation of one’s powers, and hence this is represented in some of the sacrifices after the Atonement Day.” (T 94)
“During the Millennial age all men will `come to a knowledge of the truth,’ and thus to the fullest opportunity of salvation from the curse (condemnation or sentence) of Adamic death. (1 Tim. 2:4) When we remember that this death includes all sickness, pain and imperfection to which humanity is now subject, we see that God’s plan includes a full restoration to human perfection; only those who deliberately refuse or neglect the opportunities then put within the reach of all will die the Second Death. But perfection will come gradually, and it will require the cooperation of the sinner’s will ever to reach it. He must do what he can to climb up again to perfection, and will have all the assistance necessary.
This is shown by these sacrifices in general: they were to be according to every man’s ability. However degraded by sin and imperfect, each must, when he comes to knowledge of the truth, present himself to God, the offering indicating his condition (at the present time).
The dove or pigeon brought by the poorest in the type represented the justified all of the morally poor and degraded; the goat offered by others more able, represented the all of some less degraded; while the bullock represented the all of those who had attained perfection of human nature. Just as the bullock was used to typify the perfect humanity (much fat) of Jesus’ sacrifice, and the goat (wayward and lean) was used to represent the imperfect human nature of the saints, in the sacrifices of this Atonement Day, so those animals similarly represented the offers (Israel—typical of the believing world in the Millennium) in their consecrations. But it should be remembered that these burnt-offerings and peace-offerings of the future represent the people as consecrating—giving themselves to the Lord. They do not represent sin offerings to secure atonement, as do the sacrifices of the Day of Atonement…
“When those of the world of mankind, willing to accept God’s grace, shall have been brought to perfection, at the close of the Millennium, there will be no longer any poor in the sense of inability to offer a bullock;—in the sense of deficiency of mental, moral or physical ability. All will be perfect men, and their offerings will be their perfect selves typified by bullocks.
David, speaking of this, says: `then shalt thou be pleased with sacrifices of righteousness (of right doing) with burnt offering and whole burnt offering; then shall they offer bullocks (perfect sacrifices) upon thine altar.’ (Psa 51:19)
Yet that David’s language should not be understood to teach the restoration of the literal, bloody, typical sacrifices, is evident, for in the same connection he says, `Thou desires not sacrifice (either typical or antitypical—full atonement for sin having been accomplished by that time `once for all’) . . . The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.’ All these sacrifices must be of the free will and desire of the offerer.—Lev 1:3” (T94–96)
Of the world God will require a full consecration to do his will. It must include their entire selves, their wills, their bodies—their whole-hearted allegiance. It will not be a consecration unto sacrifice, unto death, as is now the case with the church; but they must become wholly devoted to God and must realize and recognize that they belong to God that they have been bought, purchased back from death, and may, if obedient, live forever. We shall see how reasonable this requirement is. Adam, who was created in God’s likeness, should have said, `I belong to God. He gave me my life and all I have.’ But he had not fully learned to trust the wisdom and love of his Maker. He had a perfect brain, a perfect organism; but he lacked full knowledge of the character of the Lord and of the justice of all his requirements. His incomplete knowledge, therefore, rendered him to some extent excusable in God’s sight. If he had taken the stand in opposition to the Lord with clear knowledge and experience, apparently he would not have been accounted worthy of redemption. The whole world will, then, when they reach perfection, realize that they owe everything to God, and, if loyal at heart, will wish to render all to him in glad service—to the praise of his name.” (R5949:4)
In our next post we shall examine the layout of the structure.