Sent: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 10:42 AM
Subject: Rebuilding of the Third Temple
... In Acts 27:9 Sha'ul makes reference to the fact sailing was dangerous because the Fast was already over. Almost all bible commentaries and dictionaries acknowledge that the Fast refers to the Day of Atonement. I understand this to be the reconciliation of G-d with all humanity and that Satan will be removed and his deception and he can no longer deceive and influence humankind.
Now my question is this - if we are reconciled to G-d through the sacrifice of Yeshua then why do we need to fast as commanded. Why make the Day of Atonement a Day of Observance if it was to be superceded by THE sacrifice.
I did wonder if as Yeshua is sitting at the right hand of G-d and will return to collect His people that we would still be required to make sacrifices until He returns and even then He will preside as High Priest in the Tabernacle to come. Why would Sha'ul be concerned about the Fast and his Nazarite vow after Yeshua had returned to our Father? Is it a requirement for all to attend the Temple once it is rebuilt or do we rely on our 'faith'?
If THE sacrifice was the Passover Sacrifice which was for the Israelites to be 'passed over by the Angel of death' then could it be that the sacrifice of Yeshua come into force on the future Day of Atonement and/or the Day of Trumpets? Thus we are still required to fast, and when the Temple is rebuilt we would all attend.
In Zechariah 14 it states that we all attend the Feast of Tabernacles or we have no rain. So we would need the Temple.
Thanks - I really appreciate the consideration.
The easiest and most obvious answer to the question, “why do we need to fast as commanded,” is imbedded in the question itself: because we are commanded to do so. Now, as far as why we are still commanded to do so, that’s not so easy to answer briefly.
There are a number of factors involved in your “compound” question. First, there are numerous sacrifices and offerings in the “Levitical system,” not just the sin offering, and we will need to briefly look at each of the major ones. Yeshua’s sacrifice is the ultimate payment (atonement) for our sin, so it is the final “sin sacrifice,” but His sacrifice was not a replacement for all Temple worship; otherwise why rebuild the Temple either now or during the Millennium?
But first let me briefly address the easiest part of your question, and that has to do with fasting. Fasting has nothing to do with sacrifice or the sacrificial system, or for “afflicting the body” as “penance” for sins committed. The primary idea behind fasting is “simply” that the time and energy that would normally be spend preparing, eating, and cleaning up after the meals can be spent instead in prayer, meditation, and worship. There are also amazing spiritual and health benefits to be realized from the practice of fasting.
The next easiest part of the question regards Rav Sha'ul’s Nazarite vow.
The reference in Acts 27:9 to it being dangerous to sail “because the fast was already over” is only a calendar reference, and doesn’t have anything to do with the fast itself. All of the feasts and fasts occur at specific times of the year, and after “the fast” the weather in the Mediterranean area becomes very dangerous for sailing vessels. By citing what time of year it was, Luke was allowing his readers to draw a vivid mental picture of the kind of weather they were facing. If you were writing a novel about a log cabin in Minnesota in the 1800's, you could simply refer to New Year's Day and anyone who has ever been to Minnesota would immediately know exactly what you were talking about.
There are two reasons why Sha'ul was concerned over the completion of his Nazarite vow, the primary of which had nothing to do with the efficacy of a sacrifice, but rather with the fact that Torah required the period of the vow to be concluded with the specified sacrifice. Since not one “jot or tittle” of the Torah is done away with, he was simply doing what the Torah required.
The reason that Sha'ul was so concerned about fulfilling his vow in a very public manner was to answer the false accusations that he had been teaching against Torah, which was in fact completely contrary to what had been teaching. By not only fulfilling his own vow, but also picking up the considerable expense for others to fulfill their vows (a male lamb, a female lamb, and a ram for each), he was demonstrating in a very visible way that not only was the Torah in full affect, but that he confirmed that to be so. (Acts 21:15-26) In effect, he was “putting his money where his mouth was.”
The Passover sacrifice is not a “sin sacrifice,” but rather a “memorial.” So as long as we remember the exodus from Egypt, we will observe the Passover. “Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance.” (Exodus 12:14)
I haven’t yet figured out how it all works (and I’m not entirely sure that I ever will), but it seems to me from Scripture that at least some of the “sacrifices” -- at least all of the “permanent ordinances” -- will be performed throughout the Millennial Kingdom period.
There were a number of different sacrifices or offerings in addition to the two daily (morning and evening) sacrifices.
The daily sacrifices were a lamb, along with flour, oil, and wine (Exodus 29:38-43; Numbers 28:1-8), and were doubled on Shabbat (Numbers 28:9 Numbers 28:10). The daily offerings were not a sacrifice for sin, but rather as a “barbeque” for the priests and “a soothing aroma to ADONAI.” The meat that was cooked was food for the priesthood.
The following is from “The Worship” in the Condensed Biblical Encyclopedia.
Irregular Offerings. The class of offerings embraced all individual sacrifices, chiefly comprehended under five classifications, and the people were at liberty to present them whenever necessity demanded it:
The burnt offering was for atonement: “He shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, that it may be accepted for him to make atonement on his behalf.” It was to be completely burned up on the altar. (Leviticus 1:4)
The so-called “meat” offering was actually a grain offering of food for the priests, and only a “memorial portion” (a handful) was burned on the altar with frankincense and oil. The rest was eaten by the priests. This offering could either be the raw grain, prepared and baked loaves, or brought to the Temple already roasted (Leviticus 2:1-16).
The peace offering was the sacrifice of a lamb or a goat, and the worshipper would lay his hands on the head of the animal, it would be killed “before the tent of meeting” and its blood sprinkled on the altar. But only the fat of the entrails, the kidneys with their fat, the entire “fat tail,” and the “lobe of the liver” were burned on the altar. “The priest shall offer them up in smoke on the altar as food, an offering by fire for a soothing aroma; all fat is the LORD’s. It is a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings: you shall not eat any fat or any blood.” (Leviticus 3:1-17)
Leviticus 7:11-38 specifies that the peace offering could be offered either for thanksgiving or as a votive or freewill offering. If was being offered for thanksgiving it was also to include a grain offering. “If he offers it by way of thanksgiving, then along with the sacrifice of thanksgiving he shall offer unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers spread with oil, and cakes of well stirred fine flour mixed with oil. With the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving, he shall present his offering with cakes of leavened bread. … it shall belong to the priest who sprinkles the blood of the peace offerings. Now as for the flesh of the sacrifice of his thanksgiving peace offerings, it shall be eaten on the day of his offering; he shall not leave any of it over until morning. But if the sacrifice of his offering is a votive or a freewill offering, it shall be eaten on the day that he offers his sacrifice, and on the next day what is left of it may be eaten; but what is left over from the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day shall be burned with fire.” So the peace offering was eaten by both the priest and the worshipper.
The sin offering (Leviticus 4:1-35) was to be offered for atonement. “If a person sins unintentionally in any of the things which the LORD has commanded not to be done, and commits any of them.” If the sin was committed by a priest or by “the whole congregation of Israel,” the sacrifice was to be a bull. If the sin was committed by one of the leaders, the sacrifice was to be a goat. If the sin was committed by one of the “common people,” the sacrifice could be either a goat or a lamb. For sins of the priests and of the whole congregation, the blood of the sacrifice was to be sprinkled before the veil of the sanctuary and on the horns of the altar, and the rest was to be poured out at the base of the altar. If the sin was committed by one of the leaders or one of the “common people,” the blood was sprinkled on the horns of the altar and poured out at the base of the altar, but was not sprinkled in front of the veil. Also, the bull was to be slain before the door of the tent of meeting (“before Adonai”) but the goat or the lamb was to be slain at “the place where they slay the burnt offering.” For the sin offering, again only the entrails, kidneys, liver, and the fat was burned for the offering. The entire bull carcass was then burned “outside the camp,” but the goat or lamb was to be eaten by the priests (Leviticus 7:7).
The guilt offering (Leviticus 7:1-7) was to “make atonement for him concerning his error in which he sinned unintentionally and did not know it.” It was for unintentional and unknown transgressions, such as unknowingly becoming “defiled” by coming into contact with any “unclean” thing and not finding out about it until later, or making a statement and later finding out that the statement was untrue, or “swearing thoughtlessly.” The guilt offering was very similar to the sin offering, except that the guilt offering required restitution by the guilty party. (Leviticus 5:1-19; Leviticus 6:1-7; Leviticus 7:1-7).
Yom Kippurim (Day of Atonement) was by far the most important day in the Hebrew calendar and involved the most detailed and extensive sacrifices. It was the day on which reconciliation was made, first for the priesthood and then for the entire nation. After the ordinary morning sacrifice was presented (Exodus 28:38-42), a special offering was made, consisting of one young bullock, seven lambs, one ram, one kid of the goats, accompanied by “meat” offerings of flour mingled with oil (Numbers 29:7-11). Of the entire sacrificial system, Yom Kippurim most clearly represents the result of Messiah’s sacrifice, while Passover most clearly represents the “picture” of His sacrifice.
Although the sacrificial aspect of Yom Kippurim was fulfilled by Messiah’s once-for-all sacrifice, the observance of the day itself has been given to us by HaShem as a “permanent statute.”
So although we do not rely on the animal sacrifice to be our atonement on Yom Kippurim, we do humble our souls, do no work, and enjoy the “sabbath of solemn rest” that HaShem has provided for us. This traditionally includes fasting so that, as stated above, the time normally devoted to the preparation, consumption, and cleanup after meals can be spent in prayer, meditation, reflection, and worship. This is also an appropriate day for us to carefully examine ourselves to determine if there is anything in our lives that would separate us from fellowship with HaShem, and if we find anything, to get it taken care of (or getting it “under the blood” as Evangelicals are so fond of phrasing it). If nothing else, this time can be spent reflecting upon all that we have been forgiven of, and what it cost Messiah personally to pay our sin debt.
As a “permanent statute,” we will certainly be observing Yom Kippurim throughout the Millennium. Passover (another “permanent statute”), the grain (“meat”) offering, and the peace offering (also a “permanent statute”) are either memorial or freewill offerings, and are not related to atonement for sin. I see no reason to think they will not all be practiced in the Millennial Temple as well.
I hope this rather lengthy discussion has done more than just muddy the waters.
Last updated 06:22 AM on Friday, 22 February 2013
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