WILL THERE BE ANIMAL SACRIFICES IN THE MILLENNIUM?
AN ANSWER TO CARL M.SCHAEFFER'S ARTICLE #1
by Keith Hunt
Mr.Schaeffer was a fellow minister with me in the 1980s before
his somewhat sudden death. It was a pleasure to have known him.
The subject of whether or not animal sacrifices in a Temple in
Jerusalem during the 1,000 year age to come, is not an issue of
salvation, but for interest sake I do present here my answers to
a paper written by Mr.Schaeffer before he died.
I have studied and meditated on Mr.Schaeffer's arguments against
the idea that there will be a literal temple, or priesthood and
animal sacrifices in the age to come. I find his arguments
unfounded. Here are my answers:
1. Please note what I have listed as number one argument, which
is that "Ezekiel furnished the plans for the new Temple, in
vision, while the other rebuilt the Temple."
If the reader will note carefully from the ADAM CLARKE'S
COMMENTARY and THE INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ENCYCLOPEDIA I think he
will have to agree with the WYCLIFFE BIBLE COMMENTARY when they
state, "Others say it represents a lofty ideal, a general pattern
to guide the returning exiles in their building. The whole
section is viewed as a constitution for the post-Exile theocracy.
But nowhere in the past-Exilic books of the OT (Old Testament) is
there a reference to Ezekiel's Temple, nor is there any hint of
it in the work of Zerubbabel and Joshua, Haggai and Zechariah
...and Nehemiah... that this was the kind of temple they were
required to build."
Ezekiel's Temple was for no other age but that of the
Messiah's age. It was never intended for the returning Jews. It
was not given to them. It was not given to the House of Judah.
Zerubbabel and others, if they were familiar with what Ezekiel
wrote, knew it was not given for them, but for an age beyond
their age, an age yet future - the Messiah's age.
This whole section of Scripture was not intended for Judah -
it was not given to Judah. It is a prophecy (as most of Ezekiel's
book is) to THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL (ch.40:4). "Thou son of man, show
the HOUSE OF ISRAEL .... you shall describe to them the Temple
and its fittings --- all the details of its elevation and plans.
Explain to them and draw them so --- they may carry them out ..."
(Ezek.43:10-12 KJV and NEB). The House of Israel have never yet
carried out this instruction. The Jews have never carried out
this instruction. The House of Israel were in captivity and had
been for 130 years when Ezekiel wrote this instruction to them -
they migrated into Europe and the British Isles. They have YET to
follow this instruction WHEN they return to the promised land at
Jesus' return and when the age of the Messiah has come.
2. I find this argument is only personal conjecture as no
scriptural proof is given. If Ezekiel's Temple is not as splendid
as Solomon's Temple, so what? Ezekiel's Temple has the Lord God
dwelling in it in person, that alone is glory that far out-shines
anything Solomon had. The Lord can build His Temple anyway He
likes - I will be the last to say He can not.
3. Trying to explain Ezek.43:1-7 by saying this is the Throne
in the New Holy City of Rev.21 is I find a very slick way to get
around the obvious context of these last eight chapters of
Ezekiel. It is also the only way to uphold a teaching that does
not accept these verses as referring to events that will take
place when the Messiah will personally be dwelling and walking in
a Temple at Jerusalem during the age to come.
4. In its prophetic setting I do not find where chapter 44 is
speaking to the Levitical Priesthood of that day. God was using
language that Ezekiel could readily acquaint with in his day but
also have plain significance for the House of Israel at the end
time. Ezekiel could hardly be expected to use words like,
Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian or Unconverted Catholic when
talking about the false ministers that have polluted the service
and religious sanctuaries of the God they said they represented.
These shall bear their iniquity for causing the HOUSE OF ISRAEL
to fall into iniquity - some will live on into the Messiah's age
to be servants in God's sanctuary and some that were true to God
shall live on as physical humans into the 1,000 years to serve
God in a very special way (Ezek.44:9-31).
5. I see no difficulty in accepting that in the age to come -
the age of the Messiah, many of the laws under Moses and the old
covenant regarding the Priesthood will again be in force. If the
Lord so wishes to reinstitute a Priesthood, Temple service,
Animal sacrifices and all the laws pertaining to such, who am I
to say no He can not?
6. This division of land has never been realized at any time in
Israel's history. It is for a yet future age - the age to come.
7. Chapter 47 is I find an amplification of what Zechariah
wrote about in his 14th chapter verse 8. As Zech.14 is about the
Messiah's age yet to come so is Ezekiel chapters 40 to 48. I do
not see it as an inset chapter at all as my college Mr.Carl
Schaeffer would want us to believe.
8. This can not be "back to the time of the building of the
second Temple" as Mr.Schaeffer asserts. The land was and has
never been divided among the tribes of Israel this way (see
Clarke's Commentary). This division is for the Kingdom of God on
9. If the Lord declares that in the Kingdom age every pot or
any pot in Jerusalem can be used for sacrificial purposes and not
as it was under the OT, who am I to argue differently.
Mr.Schaeffer asserts that "The word 'sacrifice' in verse 21 is to
'slaughter an animal.' It does in a few places in the OT have
this meaning, but this is not the primary meaning as used
throughout the OT. The basic meaning is "sacrifice." Please see
any good Hebrew Lexicon. I find he is grasping at straws here to
uphold his view.
10. I do not see where circumcision has anything to do with the
topic here under review.
11. Because we are the Temple of God, does that mean God can not
have a physical Temple in the Millennium? We Christians are
called Israel in the NT but does that mean there is no longer a
physical Israel? We Christians are called Jews in the NT but does
that mean there are no physical Jews? I think not!
12. Animal sacrifices never did atone for sin in the Salvation
13. What Paul is showing the Hebrews in Heb.10 is that animal
sacrifices could never take away sins (v.4,11), as they had begun
to believe over the centuries of practicing such. It was only the
ONE sacrifice of not an animal but JESUS that could take away the
sins of all people who had lived or would yet live. Paul was also
showing them that it was foretold that a day and age would come
in which animal sacrifices would stop (v.5-9). The book of
Hebrews was preparing the people of Jewish background for this
event. Paul was not speaking about the age of the Messiah, the
age when Jesus would return, the age spoken and prophesied about
by the prophets, but he was speaking about THIS AGE and some
CHANGES that were to take place. The age yet to come is another
age in which God can again change or reinstitute laws AS HE SEES
14. I find this paragraph to be contradictory. Mr.Schaeffer says
"There will be one more 'Temple' built" and yet say "Therefore it
is not a 'Temple of God' in the true sense." Now I submit it is
either a temple of God or it is not a temple of God.
It can not be and yet not be. The Scriptures he gives (2 Thes.
2:3-4 ) plainly say it is "the temple of God." So it is possible
for Christians to be called the temple of God and also have a
physical temple that is also called "the temple of God" as it was
in the first century up to 70 A.D. when that physical temple was
destroyed by the armies of Titus.
15. When is it that there will be "NO TEMPLE THERE"? Is it
during the 1,000 year age? No! It is when the NEW HEAVENS AND NEW
EARTH come (Rev.21:1).
16. Will there not be any symbolism or rituals to remind us of
sin during the Millennium? Will the Passover service be no longer
in the Kingdom age? Yes it will (Mat.26:28,29) be observed. I
submit that the Passover service is very symbolic and ritualistic
- we observe it exactly the same way year after year after year,
at least with the foot washing, bread and wine.
Will the Days of Unleavened Bread be observed during the
1,000 years? Yes I submit that cleaning the house of leavened
bread and eating only unleavened bread during that feast is very
symbolic and ritualistic as well. We do it year after year -
taking out the leavened bread and crumbs from here and there in
our homes -- that's ritual. We preach about the meaning of leaven
(representing sin) and of putting it away from our lives and
putting in unleavened bread - representing righteousness. That is
highly symbolic. This all reminds us of SIN!
Will Baptism upon repentance be followed in the Millennium?
I think it will. Baptism is a ritual - it is done the same way
for everyone, over and over again. Think of baptizing say 20
people one after the other, can you say it would not be a ritual.
The Worldbook Dictionary defines the word 'ritual' as: "a
form or system of rites: The rites of baptism, marriage, and
death are parts of the ritual of the church..... 2. a book
containing rites or ceremonies. 3. the carrying out of
Baptism is also very symbolic - it has great meaning in its
ritual. It also reminds us of SIN!
So even today in the NT church we have some rituals that are
very symbolic and constantly reminding us of sin. It will I think
be no different for those in the Millennium - they will have lots
of symbolism and rituals to remind them of sin and its
consequences, including that of a Priesthood, Temple and Animal
"For the law .... can never with those sacrifices .... make the
comers thereunto perfect .... BUT IN THOSE SACRIFICES THERE IS A
REMEMBRANCE AGAIN MADE OF SINS EVERY YEAR...." (Heb.10:1-3).
WILL THERE BE ANIMAL SACRIFICES IN THE MILLENNIUM?
AN ANSWER TO PART TWO
by Keith Hunt
I have evidence in my answer to Mr.Schaeffer's first paper
on this subject, that the Temple of Ezekiel was NOT the temple
built by the returning Jews under Ezra and Nehemiah - that in
fact Ezekiel's Temple has NEVER yet been built. In contrast to
this proof Mr.Schaeffer insists on page 15 of his second paper:
" ....Ezekiel's Temple .... was the temple built upon the return
of the Jews after their captivity in Babylon."
His arguments for this assertion must now be examined and
answered. My reply is pointed. I hope the reader will understand
the arguments from the context of my answers.
1. If Ezekiel was supplying the plans for Ezra and Nehemiah and
the returning Jews to rebuild the temple, I must ask why does not
the books of Ezra and Nehemiah contain at least ONE statement
such as "the temple was rebuilt according to the plans given by
inspiration to Ezekiel." Such silence is, I think, very
2. Mr. Schaeffer quotes Ezek.40:4;43:10-11. Notice how Ezekiel
was to listen, draw plans, write laws "in their sight." Chapter
40:1,2 "... the HAND of the Lord was upon me, and brought me
thither. In the VISIONS of God brought be me into the LAND OF
ISRAEL ... Verse 3 says "he brought me thither." Verse 4 "... to
the intent that I might show them unto you are you brought
hither: declare all that you see to the house of Israel."
Ezekiel was brought hither IN VISION only. Ezekiel was a
CAPTIVE by the river of Chebar - he never left his confines while
in captivity except through VISIONS (notice chap.1:1; 8:1-4).
Ezekiel was able to DO and SAY and WRITE things for the House of
Israel, as a FUTURE warning, teaching and instruction for then,
and in some cases "write it in their sight." Notice chapter
12:1-11, and 14:1-3. He also did things and wrote things in
"their sight" when IN VISION among then.
Yes, Ezekiel was to "declare all that you see to the House
of Israel ... show the house, to the house of Israel ..." (chap.
40:4; 43:10). This is what Ezekiel was told when God revealed
Himself to him, "Oh, Son of man, I SEND YOU TO THE CHILDREN OF
ISRAEL ... GO, GET YOU UNTO THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL, AND SPEAK WITH
MY WORDS UNTO THEM ... GO, GET YOU TO THEM OF THE CAPTIVITY ...
AND SPEAK UNTO THEM ... " (chap.2:3; 3:4,11). Now how did Ezekiel
go - did he physically walk away from his captivity? NO! "So the
spirit LIFTED ME UP AND TOOK ME AWAY ... Then I came to them of
the captivity at Telabib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar and I
sat where they sat ..." (chap.3:14,15). Ezekiel moved around
among the captives, was taken to the land of Israel, was
transported to Jerusalem and the temple, said and did and wrote
things in their sight by the Spirit in VISIONS.
Ezekiel was to DECLARE things to the House of Israel - true
- but he was not to go out among them! Notice "But you, 0 son of
man, behold, they shall put bands upon you, and shall bind you
with them, and you SHALL NOT GO OUT AMONG THEM. And I will make
your tongue cleave to the roof of your mouth, that you shall be
DUMB ... But when I speak with you, I WILL OPEN YOUR MOUTH ...
(chap.3:25-27). Ezekiel was not to travel around among them
except in VISION, and he was only to speak when God told him to
speak. We can see a few of these literal speaking times - when he
spoke to some elders of Israel in chapter 14:1 and chapter 12.
Ezekiel was to say many things of warning not only to the House
of Israel but OTHER NATIONS also (AMMON - MOAB - EDOM - PHILISTIA
- EGYPT - GOG) - he never got to them! But he did write God's
words down - and he is declaring these messages and truths TODAY
to these nations through his written word and through those true
ministers of the Lord who come in the spirit and power of
Ezekiel, just as John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of
The Plans of the Temple, the laws and ordinances and all
that Israel are to DO are indeed written down and shown to the
House of Israel in their presence - Ezekiel's words still exist
and Israel still exists. They (the plans and laws of the Ezekiel
temple) are ready to DO when, " .. I will dwell in the midst of
them for ever ... the place of MY THRONE, and the places of the
SOLES of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children
of Israel for ever ..." (chap.42:9,7).
3. Ezek 44:6-8 is not talking about a situation during the
Millennium but how the house of Israel (not Judah) polluted
themselves with false ministers in God's holy things, which led
the Eternal to punish them. (v.12).
4. Ezek 44:9-12. God is giving instruction here as to how His
religion will be carried out - who will serve Him in a close way
and who will bear their shame.
It is the UNCIRCUMCISED in heart as well as flesh, among the
foreigner that shall not enter the Sanctuary, not just the
foreigner PER SE.
5. The prophecies of the Bible are to be taken as literal in
fulfilment but with one very important understanding. God uses
terminology of the day, it was written to express thoughts and
conditions for thousands of years later.
Example: God said through Malachi that before the "day of the
Lord" came, ELIJAH the prophet would come. Not only is this
prophecy DUAL (John the baptist was Elijah - Mat.17:1-3) but in
both fulfilments it will be a literal man (as the first was) yet
not the literal Elijah that once lived. The prophecy is literal
but was terminology that is typical - the individuals fulfilling
this prophecy come in the spirit of Elijah the old.
So it is with many of God's prophetic words to Israel and
other nations. The book of Malachi is to Israel mainly - with
prophecies for the yet future, and God calls her religious
leaders PRIESTS (chap 1:1,6 2:1,7). Certainly the religious
leaders of modern Israel are not from the Levitical priesthood of
old, but typically they can be regarded as the same in the same
way John the Baptist was regarded as Elijah.
Notice a prophecy to EGYPT in Ezekiel 30. The setting is
sometime before and up into the DAY OF THE LORD (v.2,3). Egypt is
to be punished by NEBUCHADREZZAR king of Babylon (v.10). The
prophecy is to be understood as a literal punishment but with
typical overtones. King NEB. of ancient Babylon is DEAD - the
original Babylon Empire has gone, but another modern, last day
empire with a great leader is to arise - God typically calls it
Babylon and typically calls its leader NEBUCHADREZZAR.
Notice the leader of Egypt is called PHARAOH (v.20-26; chap.
31:2). Now today we don't remotely call the head of the Egyptian
government a PHARAOH. But in typology the leader of Egypt is in
spirit Pharaoh of old, even if he is not literally descended from
a line of the actual Pharaohs.
There are many more examples that could be given as above,
but space does not allow us here to do so.
Mr.Schaeffer writes "Ezekiel and Jeshua, together with other
sons of Zadok cleansed and purified the new Altar... (p.11). He
then gives EZRA 3:13. I fail to see in Ezra 3:13 or any part of
the book of Ezra or Nehemiah the name of Ezekiel, even mentioned,
let alone a record of him being present at the dedication of the
new temple build after the captivity of Judah.
Mr. Schaeffer goes to extreme lengths to show Ezekiel
cleansed and purified the new Altar, yet the FACT is the words of
Ezra and Nehemiah show no evidence of this being the case. It is
to me incongruous to think that Ezra or Nehemiah would have
missed recording the fact that a prophet and priest of Ezekiel's
standing was not only among them, but had an important part in
the restoration and dedication of the new Temple. If indeed
Ezekiel was given the blue-print of the temple to be built after
the captivity - if indeed he was to be there with Ezra and Jeshua
and was to purify the Altar, surely Ezra would have recorded this
memorable service, if only to give honor to a faithful priest
that had been used in a mighty way by God through the trying
years of Judah's captivity. No such record is found in God's
word. And at present I have found no recording of such an event
in secular history.
So what about the 3rd part of Ezekiel's commission as stated
by Mr.Schaeffer on page 11? The explanation is a simple one. As
most of Ezekiel's message is PROPHETIC - for the end time and
into the millennium, so is chapter 43. It is for the time when
God (in the form of Jesus Christ) will be literally dwelling
among the children of Israel (v.7). Ezekiel will have been
resurrected at Christ's return - the Temple shown him will have
been built, and yes he himself will have a major part in its
purification and dedication. What could be more fitting than to
have the prophet who was shown these things and who was to record
them, be the one who should lead in its dedication service.
7. Many physical individuals living through the last years of
the old age over into the first months of the new age, will still
have carnal nature and will still remember the former evil
practices they and others did in Israel before the great
Tribulation and Lord's return. God is here in Ezek.45:8-10
telling them to remove their former ways of life and now live His
Can and will God allow such behavior in the millennium? The
answer is YES - but swift justice and punishment will follow (see
ISA.30:19-21; 66:15-24; ZECH.14:9,13-19).
8. I do not see where Ezekiel 46 cannot apply to a Prince or
Princes during the Millennium. The above will apply to any ruler
of people during the 1,000 year reign.
9. While I agree that the Bible is written, a little here and a
little there and prophecy moves around from type to antitype,
back and then future and back again in dream like qualities - the
context as a whole will help to determine what passage is to be
understood in what area of time. We must not fall into the trap
of taking a passage and arbitrarily putting it into a time slot
that we want it to fit, so it lines up with our views of
I see no evidence in the last eight chapters of Ezekiel to
believe that most of it applies to the Temple built after the 70
year captivity of Judah and those parts which are un-mistakenly
the Kingdom era, to be lifted out and separated from the general
context. Surely it is safer to understand the context in the
light of key verses which give the time setting of the prophecy.
An example would be the prophecy regarding Egypt in Ezekiel
30. Without verse 3 we would conclude this prophecy to be only
for the time of the original King Nebuchadrezzar, but one small
sentence gives the whole another setting in another era of time.
10. I have shown elsewhere (referred elsewhere to Adam Clarke's
Bible Commentary) that the Temple built by Ezra and Nehemiah was
NOT to the plans given by Ezekiel. If it was surely somewhere
they would have stated that what God had given to Ezekiel was now
11. see previous point #10.
12. If it was a gross insult to Christ and the Father to offer an
animal sacrifice after the death of Jesus, then Paul and other
true children of God did gross insult as they went to the Temple
and purified themselves from a Nazarite vow (see ACTS 21:17-26
and NUMBERS 6:1-21).
13. Other passages of Scripture do show that people will come
before Him to sacrifice an animal (see ZECH.14:20,21; EZEK.
40-48; JER.33:14-18; ISA.19:19-21; MAL.3:1-4).
14. Surely obedience to God's law is far more important than
physical sacrifices. To do animal sacrifices in a form of worship
to God and yet not obey His spiritual law is not accepted by God
- He does not desire that form of worship. BUT does that mean God
is never pleased with sacrifices - not at all! When the heart is
right He does accept animal sacrifices. See verses 18,19 of Psalm
51 which Mr.Schaeffer did not quote.
Psalm 40:6-8 is a prophecy about the FIRST coming of Christ
and that He would not offer an animal sacrifice. See how Paul
used it in Heb.10:1-10. As Jesus was to set us an example for us
to follow in this AGE, it was right He offer no sacrifice (needed
not to because He was also perfect - sinless) for He knew that
after 70 A.D. the Temple in Jerusalem and that Priesthood would
be no more until His return.
15. Paul is trying to show to people who had put their stock in
physical sacrifices that it was Christ's sacrifice that was the
important one. They had over emphasized animal sacrifices. Paul
knew the day was coming when the Temple in Jerusalem would be no
more and animal sacrifices would stop for this age. He was
showing them it was prophesied to be that way, and that Christ's
sacrifice was for all ages the important one. Paul was dealing
with THIS age and said nothing about the age to COME in regards
to animal sacrifices.
16. The High Priest on the Day of Atonement REPRESENTED Christ. I
see nothing wrong or disrespectful for a mortal man to REPRESENT
Jesus on the Day of Atonement during the millennium. Then again
as Christ is supreme HIGH priest, He may well do the officiating
in the Temple on this feast day Himself. I take exception to Mr.
Schaeffer calling these ceremonies "a series of meaningless
rituals." They were FAR from meaningless! There was great
significance to every act in the Temple on this solemn feast day.
17. Isaiah 19:18-21. The land of Egypt will do SACRIFICE
(Strong's Concordance #2077). A review of this word in the
ENGLISHMAN'S or STRONG'S Concordance will quickly show it to be
the most common word used for "sacrifice." It is used for BLOOD
This verse of Isaiah 19:21 shows that in the millennium the
Egyptians will perform blood sacrifices to the Lord.
Jeremiah 33:17-18. The context is the beginning of the
millennium. The promise to David and his throne was UNconditional
as can be seen from Psalm 89. No such unconditional promise was
ever made about the perpetual continuity of the Levites offering
sacrifices. They have not been so doing for nearly 2,000 years.
How do we understand then JER.33:17-18? Very simple. God is
telling us through Jeremiah that when He restores Judah and
Israel from captivity (v.7) at the start of the millennium, He
will send the Messiah (Jesus) to reign upon David's throne (that
was to continue throughout all generations - Psalm 89) and then
adds in verse 18 the truth and teaching that at this same time
(start of the 1,000 years.) and for the duration of the
millennium "Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man
before me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings,
and to do sacrifice continually."
The Lord will re-establish the Levites (He knows who they
are, even if we do not) and the sacrificial system during the
millennium. This He promises with the covenant of day and night
18. The question of ACTS 15 was not whether CIRCUMCISION, LAWS of
MOSES, SACRIFICES, should be done per se, but if you could be
SAVED by not doing them. The answer was YES you can be saved
WITHOUT these physical rites. The re-instituting of the Levitical
sacrificial system in the millennium will not be so people will
"have favor with God" above the way we have favor with Him now,
but in order to teach people (especially Israel and Judah) about
sin (Heb.10:3) and that Israel and their leaders FAILED to find
the true God and His ways during the age of no Temple and
sacrifices. (Ezekiel 44:6-16,23).
19. We are here in this study debating the Levitical Priesthood
and SACRIFICES which is different from the debate of CIRCUMCISM
which was settled at the synod of Jerusalem in ACTS 15. But it is
true that those who will seek sacrifices and circumcism for
salvation will fall from grace. That is now or in the future very
20. If this is true then Paul and other Christians of the first
century NT church of God INSULTED and REJECTED Christ's sacrifice
when they performed the "ceremonial law of Moses" in ACTS
21:17-26. They of course did no insult to Jesus. Neither will
those in the 1,000 year age to come insult or reject Christ's
sacrifice, when they sacrifice at the Temple during that age.
21. I ask the reader to indeed notice the time setting of Ezekiel
47:1. The time setting within the last chapters of this book is
the MILLENNIUM. Rev.22:1-2 is an entirely different time setting.
I Cor.15:24-28 says nothing about Christ's THRONE, only that the
KINGDOM and AUTHORITY will be handed over to the Father.
Certainly the Father's throne will be above all other thrones.
22. Why should this be so when the Jewish Christians, including
James (one of the Jerusalem pillars of the church - Gal. 2:9)
were ZEALOUS of the law (ACTS 21:20)? They were not in their
sins, nor had they lost favor with Christ. They also knew that to
offer animal sacrifices at the temple did not justify or save
them from sin - only the blood of Jesus could do that.
Why should this be so when Peter was inspired to tell us at
the onset of this NT age that Jesus had gone back to heaven only
until, "the RESTITUTION of ALL things, which God has spoken by
the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began." (ACTS
23. Is it unthinkable and an insult to Christ to believe and
teach His WRITTEN WORD as given by Him to His prophets of old? I
believe that just as the prophecies concerning His first coming
were literally fulfilled, so also will be the prophecies about
His second coming. And those prophecies talk about a restoration
of a TEMPLE with a PRIESTHOOD and ANIMAL SACRIFICES.
If we believe the prophecies were LITERALLY fulfilled
concerning Jesus' FIRST coming (and they were indeed), then we
really have no choice but to believe the prophecies about his
SECOND coming will be LITERALLY fulfilled!
Entered on this Website March 2008