Last Updated on :Thursday, November 20, 2014








Chapter 10




From the evidence, then, of these witnesses it is clear that sacrifice and offering will be elements of divine service in the Millennial Age. They will be "pure" and "pleasant" offerings to Jehovah [Yahweh]; because they will be perfect offerings, and offered in righteousness by a purified priesthood. They will be perfect, because they will be perfected by the sacrifice of Him whose expiatory death they represent. They will be pure offerings and pleasant, because the offerers will present them with enlightened faith and purified hearts. The Levites, refined as gold and silver, will slay the sacrifices of the peoples; while the Sons of Zadoc, once dead, but then alive for evermore, and "kings and priests for God", (Rev. 1:6) with the Prince of Israel in their midst, will approach and stand before Jehovah [Yahweh] to offer unto Him the fat and the blood: they shall enter into His sanctuary, and come near to His table, to minister unto Him; and shall keep His charge (Ezek. 44:15).

Such, however, was not the case in the Mosaic Age. The offerings were neither perfect, pure, nor pleasant to Jehovah [Yahweh]. They were imperfect, not having been perfected by the expiation they typified; but keeping up a remembrance of unpardoned offences every year. This will not be the case with the perfect offerings of the Age to Come. These will not be remembrancers of transgressions unforgiven; but memorials of pardon through the sacrifice of Messiah the Prince. There is no day of annual atonement in the future age. Israel's offences are blotted out once for all as a thick cloud when the New Covenant is made with them on their re-settlement in the Holy Land when that age begins; a forgiveness of national offences which lasts for ever, as it is written, "I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and iniquities I will, remember no more". (Heb. 8:12)
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But, the Mosaic offerings were not always unpleasant to Jehovah [Yahweh]. It was the abominations of the offerers that made them disgusting in His sight. The High Priests and their sacerdotal households, who ought to have been "Holiness to Jehovah [Yahweh]", (Ex. 28:36; 39:30; Zec. 14:20-21) were very often men of reprobate character setting an example to Israel which they were not slow to follow, thus verifying the sayings, "Like priests, like people", and "The leaders of my people cause them to err". (Isa. 9:16)

This view of the matter accords with the handwriting of Jehovah [Yahweh] by Malachi. "Judah", saith he, "hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of Jehovah [Yahweh] which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god. Jehovah [Yahweh] will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the dwelling-places of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering to Jehovah [Yahweh] of armies. And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hands. Ye have wearied Jehovah [Yahweh] with your words: yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of Jehovah [Yahweh], and he delighteth in them". (Mal. 2:11-13,17) The saying, "insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand", implies that there was a time when He did regard the offering, and did receive it with good will, or pleasure, at their hand. Indeed the Spirit saith so in so many words when testifying of the purification of the sons of Levi; as it is written, "Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant to Jehovah [Yahweh] (or regarded, and received with good will) as in days of old, and as in former years". (Mal. 3:4)

In reading Jehovah's [Yahweh's] reasons for taking no pleasure in the sacrifice and offering; and burnt offerings, and offering for sin which were offered in Judah by the law, we are forcibly reminded of the sectarian practices and dogmas of our day. When ecclesiastics want to "bring down the Holy Ghost", they assemble the people to what they call "the altar of the Lord", which, like Judah's priests of old, they "cover with tears, with weeping, and with crying out". This was the practice of Baal's worshippers, from whom the Jews learnt it ; and it is the idolatrous custom in these times of those who profess to go to the Lord to "get religion"! But the reader will perceive from the words of Jehovah [Yahweh] Himself that He despises such religion-getting, and turns His back upon it; so that the fruit of these ecclesiastical demonstrations are not of God, but of the carnal mind unenlightened by His truth.

The priests also who practised this Baalism held a dogma essentially the same as Universalism. They taught that "Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of Jehovah [Yahweh], and he delighteth in them". (Mal. 2:17) This was in effect affirming that men would be saved however evil they might be; for it is only in the saints that Jehovah [Yahweh] delights. Such doctrine and practices, then, as these caused Jehovah [Yahweh] to take no pleasure in the sacrifice and offering He had ordained in the Mosaic law; and therefore Messiah came to do, or establish, the Second Covenant -- to bring it into force through the offering of the body the I-shall-be had prepared for Himself. It was not possible, besides, for the blood of bulls and of goats offered by the law, to take away sins. (Heb. 10:4) They needed perfecting in their antitype the restored body of Jehovah [Yahweh]. "Therefore coming into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou requirest not: but ears hast thou restored to me; in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast no pleasure. Then said I, behold, I come (as it is written of me in the volume of the little book) to do that which is thy will, O God. Saying above, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou desirest not, neither hast pleasure, which are offered according to the law: then said he, Behold, I come to do that which is thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body by the anointed Jesus once only" (Heb. 10 :5-10).

Messiah having thus been obedient unto death, and brought the Abrahamic Covenant into force, will, when he comes again in power and glory, carry out the purposes of the New or Second Covenant, and in so doing cause to be offered to Jehovah (Yahweh) by the sons of Levi in Judah's midst, pure offerings that will be pleasant to Him as in the days of former years; his own one offering having perfected for a continuance the things which the Mosaic Law could not; for nothing was perfected by it.

As to Eph. 2:15, the subject of the discourse is the abolition of the cause of enmity between Jews and Gentiles, which was "the law of the commandments in ordinances" which prevented peace between them. This ground of enmity he abolished when by the one offering of his body on the cross he took it out of the way, and established the "better covenant" (Heb. 8:6) which promised good things to Jews and Gentiles upon the same conditions. If Christ had not died and risen again, the Mosaic law would have continued in force to this day and there would have been no union of Jews and Gentiles in "one body", (Eph. 2:16) and consequently the Gentiles would have continued helplessly, "without Christ, being aliens from the Commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the Covenants of Promise, having no hope, and without God in the world". (Eph. 2:12) To enable us to get at Christ, by becoming citizens of the Commonwealth of Israel, it was necessary to remove the Mosaic law out of our way, and to introduce another that would be more_ favourable. By becoming proselytes of Judaism, Gentiles might come to be with Moses, and citizens of Israel's commonwealth under his law; but as this could not make alive, they would remain under sentence of death; and enjoy nothing beyond the temporal advantages of a residence in the Holy Land in common with the natives. It could give them no right to be citizens in the Age to Come, and to reign for ever with Messiah over Israel and the nations for a thousand years. This right is derived from that Covenant which Jesus established or confirmed in dying and rising again. If we take hold of it by believing the things promised in it; and also take hold of him, by faith in him, as the confirming sacrifice, or Mediator, thereof: and become obedient to the "law of Faith", (Rom. 3:27) which commands such believers to be baptized into the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we become the children of the covenant; and through Jesus acquire citizenship in the Israelitish Commonwealth of the Age to Come. To such obedient believers, "who have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins"; (Heb. 10:26) but a looking for the Second Appearing of Jesus unto salvation.

The text in Col. 2:14 relates to the same topic as that in Ephesians; namely, the taking away the cause of division between Jews and Gentiles, the Mosaic law, or handwriting, which made it "an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation". (Acts 10:28) While this handwriting was in force, there could be no union between Jews and Gentiles in "one body ", (Eph. 2:16) as members of which they were to love as brethren. The law divided them, and set them at variance; as the gospel now separates those that obey it from all religious fellowship with disobedient unbelievers.

The Abrahamic Covenant, which was ratified by God for Christ -- eis Christon - 430 years before the law of Moses was given, knows nothing of that law. The law was an addition, not to it as a codicil, but as a distinct covenant, additionally presented and enjoined upon the natural descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, until The Seed, or Christ, should come, to whom the promise of the everlasting possession of the Holy Land was made in the Covenant, ratified for him. "It was added because of transgressions" (Gal. 3:19) among the Israelites, who while in Egypt served the gods of the Egyptians; and were fast merging into forgetfulness of the good things covenanted to their nation under Christ.

The Abrahamic Covenant contains no cause of enmity between Jews and Gentiles; for it promises among other things that "In Abraham's Seed (Christ) shall all nations of the earth be blessed". (Gen. 22:18) All nations, include Jews and Gentiles. Not so the law, however. It was a "fiery law". (Deut. 33:2) In itself holy, just, and good but notwithstanding its intrinsic excellence, "it was weak through the flesh" (Rom. 8:3) in which, Paul says, "no good thing dwelleth". (Rom. 7:18) On account, therefore, of this weakness, the holy, just, and good Mosaic law, was "found to be death to every Israelite; for it said, "cursed be every one that continueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them" which was too great a demand upon poor weak humanity to accord. Even Jesus, who was without sin, no fault being found in him, was cursed by ot, saying, "Cursed be everyone that hangeth upon a tree"; (Gal. 3:13) thus he became a curse for us. This law, then, was found to be death to him; can it therefore after this be found to be life to any other mortal? By no means! Hence it condemns to death every Israelite, and every one else that seeks justification by it. And if God's people Israel with their King were sentenced to death by it, of what avail can it be to us Gentiles? Certainly of none; and therefore it is written, "Are we Jews better than they the Gentiles? No, in no wise: for both Jews and Gentiles are all under sin"; (Rom. 3:9,19) so that "all the world becomes guilty before God". (Rom. 3:9,19)

Here, then, we behold mankind in an awful dilemma --, naturally, under the sentence pronounced upon Adam, which is death; and Mosaically, cursed to death by a law humanity is too weak to keep. If the state of the case had continued thus "the gates of Hades" (Matt. 16:18) would have prevailed for ever over Jew and Gentile, patriarch and prophet, from the first transgression to the natural extinction of the race, Enoch, Moses and Elijah alone excepted as exceptions to the rule.

The wisdom of God in a mystery, however, devised a happier result than this. The world "being dead in sin", (Eph. 2:5; Col. 2:13) that is, dead Adamically and Mosaically because of transgression, He sent Jesus into the world to take the Mosaic handwriting out of the way by nailing it to his cross. And this he did by fulfilling all the righteousness shadowed forth in that law which cursed him on the tree; a part of which representative righteousness was the atonement for sin by blood. Being nailed to the cross as the result of his voluntary surrender of his life, he may be said to have nailed himself to the cross by the hand of sinners; for, saith he, "No man taketh my life from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father"; (John 10:18) and therefore it was not suicide, but, "obedience unto death". (Phil. 2:8) In being without sin and in perfecting the sacrificial righteousness of the law, he nailed it to the cross, when he nailed himself there. Now, being the Mediator of the Abrahamic covenant, he had therefore of necessity to die that it might come into force. Having therefore perfected the righteousness of the law in himself, the shadow was no longer necessary as the substance had come. In dying, consequently, he proclaimed "It is finished!" (John 19:30) and being perfected, in a few years after "it vanished away". (Heb. 8:13) Thus, he blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; having in this way divested the authorities and the powers of Israel (for they derived their ecclesiastical and civil authority from the law), triumphing over them in rising from the dead, he exposed them with boldness of speech by the apostles.

The Mosaic Covenant being taken out of the way by the sacrificial death of Jesus, the Abrahamic was brought into force by the same means; for the blood of Jesus which perfected the Mosaic Sin-offerings, also rendered purifying or consecrated the Abrahamic covenant, called "The New" (Heb. 8:8,13; 9:15; 10:20; 12:24) though made before the law, because it came into force on nailing the Mosaic to the cross. The Abrahamic covenant, I say, was rendered purifying by the blood of Jesus; so that "whosoever believeth" (John 3:15,16; 12:46; Acts 10:43; Rom. 9:33; 10:11; 1 John 5:1) the things of the covenant, his faith and resulting disposition shall be counted to him for repentance and remission of sins in his name.

The Abrahamic Covenant, however, does not exclude the use of sacrifice. It was typically ratified or confirmed by the sacrifice of animals consumed by fire from heaven before the Mosaic law was given; so, when the things it covenants are fully accomplished in the Age to Come, sacrifice will be restored, not as typical of the future, but as a memorial of the past. Blood shedding in the Age to Come will commemorate the shedding of the blood of Jesus in the end of the Mosaic Age. It will occupy the position in "the Service" that the breaking of the loaf does now to mortal believers of the truth in hope of the glory of God. "This do in remembrance of me." (1 Cor. 11:24) The broken bread and poured-out wine are remembrancers, or memorials, of the body broken and blood of Jesus shed for the remission of the sins of those who should become his brethren. When he appears a second time this form of remembrance will cease for it was to be observed, to use his words, "Until I come". (1 Cor. 11:26)

Shall we say that when this unbloody memorial of his sacrificial death shall cease by the statute which limits it, there will be no memorial ordained to keep it in remembrance throughout the Age to Come? If we affirm this we must reject all that testimony adduced in the former part of this article, which declares the restoration of sacrifice. Its restoration is certain. And when restored, upon what principle will it exist? Will it represent the sacrifice of a future Christ? That is impossible. Then it will not be typical. Will it be as the procuring cause of the remission of the sins of the people living in that age? That would be to ignore the death of Jesus, which is inadmissable. Will it be to render purifying a new covenant? None such exists to be confirmed and dedicated. Will it be for the cleansing of the resurrected saints? For them, there is "no more sacrifice for sins", (Heb. 10:26) having been by the one offering of Jesus sanctified and perfected for ever. It is upon none of these principles. There remains, then, but one other principle upon which sacrificial bloodshedding can be restituted in the Age to Come; and that is, the one already set forth, even as a memorial of the consecration of the Abrahamic Covenant by the blood of Jesus, styled "the blood of the covenant"; (Heb. 10:29) by the which the future rulers of the world are now sanctified; and the future nations of that world, Gentile and Jewish, will be made holy through the dedicatory offering of Jesus Christ once. Thus will "God have justified the nations through faith" as he promised to Abraham, saying, "In thee shall all nations be blessed". So that then "they which be of faith", be they individuals or nations, "will be blessed with faithful Abraham". (Gal. 3:8-9)




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