Will the Temple be rebuilt in the Millennium? According to a literal understanding of the last dozen or so chapters in Ezekiel, yes. The corporate animal sacrifices officially came to a halt when the Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D., as there were no more priests to officiate and of course there was no facility. They have not officially resumed since then. Allow me to substantiate my controversial answer.
The Temple and sacrificial system of old did not compete with Yeshua (Jesus). On the contrary, it complimented Yeshua’s eternal sacrifice. The animal sacrifices conveyed both a temporal and an eternal message to the participants. The older idea that “atonement” was only a “temporary fix” for sins for those who lived in the time before the coming of our Messiah must be abandoned. The idea of atonement as portrayed in the Scriptures encompasses both a temporal aspect as well as an eternal one.
The sacrifices, performed with a genuine heart of repentance, afforded real-life forgiveness, but only to the purification of the flesh. However, the mortal blood of the animals in and of themselves—and by themselves— could not even take away sin; only the eternal blood of the Perfect Sacrifice—to which the animals pointed—could allow for purity in both body and soul. The two working together was the optimal view in God’s perspective.
Thus you could say that the blood of the animals ritually “washed, wiped clean” the participants as well as the Holy Place where God “manifestly dwelt.” The objective faith of the individual still remained dependent upon God’s Promised Word to Come, namely Yeshua himself, yet his obedience was demonstrated by adherence to explicit Torah (Law) commands where sacrifices were concerned. What is more, the salvation of the eternal soul of an individual was always dependent upon a circumcised heart, exactly as it is today.
When a Jewish person comes to believe in God through His Messiah, Yeshua, he no longer interprets Judaism the way he used to. His new way of thinking is permeated by what was accomplished on the execution stake. To be sure, the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) makes this a reality in his mind. Consequently, all sin offerings, whether while the Temple was still standing, or when it will be rebuilt, find their meaning in the historical reality of the “once and for all” sacrifice of Yeshua.
Messiah accomplished the atonement for sin, and we should not confuse the issue with regards to additional sacrifices. Commandments, whether performed out of obedience, or remembrance, are still valid commandments. We understand that the Torah of God is eternal. Additionally, the latter part of the book of Ezekiel discusses some of the sacrificial activities of the Millennium period; offerings for sin are addressed. Once again, if we settle the issue within ourselves as believers, once and for all, that the participation in such an offering can be applied both towards ritual cleansing as well as a memorial, then I don’t see a problem with the sacrifices in the Millennium. Besides, not all of the sacrifices were for sin anyway. At least three of the major ones were simply for worshipping and praising God with no atonement feature even in view. Isn't that wonderful?
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