TEMPLE ARTICLE - PART TWO
Rosh Hashanah (Head of the Year)
This marked the beginning of the Civil year (not the Religious year) and is a day of
blowing shofars. It was celebrated on the first day of the seventh month. This
festival also seems to be missing from Ezekiel's temple, however, on the first day of the
first month (beginning of the Religious year) there is a festival for cleansing the
Sanctuary (Ezekiel 45:18-19). Also, it has been suggested that Messiah might return
some year on Rosh HaShannah. If so it might explain why it is not listed here among
the festivals as it is in Leviticus 23. Only time will tell. When the Children
of Israel were getting ready to leave Mitzraim (Egypt) God told Moshe that the month of
Abib (Aviv) or Nisan (nee-sahn) was to be the first month of the year for them (Exodus
12:2) . This was the first month of their freedom from slavery. It was only
later that the seventh month became accepted by the Hebrews as the month for marking the
years. It is possible, in Ezekiel's temple, that God is restoring the beginning of
the Religious year to its rightful place instead of the Civil year.
Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)
Every year on this day only, the High Priest entered past the Veil into the Holy of Holies
to make atonement for Israel. The only thing needed to properly perform most
sacrifices is an altar. The Yom Kippur sacrifice however, requires the Tabernacle or
Temple as well as the altar. When the exiles began returning from Babylon, they
immediately rebuilt the altar and began offering sacrifices upon it. Only after this
did they rebuild the Temple, and lastly the city walls. At the moment Yeshua died on
the cross the veil of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom which was commonly
understood by early believers to mean that the requirements of the Yom Kippur sacrifice
had been fulfilled once and for all and it was no longer necessary to perform this
sacrifice. For these reasons I believe that the Veil represents the Yom Kippur
sacrifice whereas the altar represents the actual sacrifices themselves (See also the
section on The Lots below). However, the altar was left intact indicating that the
other sacrifices (mostly the daily sacrifices) were not done away with, for if God had put
an end to all sacrifices at the moment of Yeshua's death then the altar would most likely
have been destroyed as well. In 70 CE the Temple with the altar were destroyed when
the Romans sacked Jerusalem. However, this does not mean that God put a permanent
end to all sacrifices. Both temples (Solomon's and Herod's) were destroyed on the
same day (9th of Av) 656 years apart and for the same reasons: unbelief and hatred without
cause (read Psalm 69 and Talmud, Yoma 9b). If the
destruction of the first temple meant a permanent end to all sacrifices then Yeshua's
sacrifice would have been in vain. In Ezekiel's temple there is no Yom Kippur
sacrifice mentioned, however, the prophet sees all priests continually dressed as the high
priest is on Yom Kippur (the High Priest would would wear all eight garments throughout
the year but only the four purely linen garments while performing the Yom Kippur
sacrifice). This would seem to indicate a perpetual state of fulfillment of Yom
Kippur, as provided for by the death of Yeshua (see the section on the Priests Garments
for more information on this). The concept of white robes is associated with the
Cohen haGadol (the High Priest), who wore only white vestments while performing the Yom
Kippur sacrifice. Other daily sacrifices however are still performed, including
sacrifice for sin (see the section on Sacrifices below).
For more information on this see Yom
Kippur and the Sacrificial System in YashaNet's Revelation study.
Succot (Feast of Booths or
This is the most joyous of all the Lord's festivals and is the one that all nations will
be required to go up to Jerusalem to celebrate during the time of Ezekiel's Temple
(Zechariah 14:16-21). Succot (which is itself the seventh festival) is related to
the Messianic Age.
Succot is to be celebrated for seven days. However, in Leviticus 23:36
it is written of Succot:
For seven days present offerings made to the LORD by fire, and on the
eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present an offering made to the LORD by fire. It is
the closing assembly; do no regular work.
In the midst of describing a seven-day festival, God mentions an
"eighth day." This "extra" day is called Shemini Atzeret ("the
eighth conclusion"). It is celebrated on the eighth day of the feast of Tabernacles,
on the day of Tishrei 22. On Tishrei 23, is Simcha Torah, meaning "rejoicing in the
Torah". It is considered the eighth day of the celebration of Succot and
represents Olam Haba, the time that comes after the Millennium. The eighth day is
therefore, a picture of eternity and rejoicing in eternity is associated with the
Torah. However, in Ezekiel's Temple there is no eighth day mentioned (Ezekiel
Sabbatical Year, Year of Jubilee,
It is not certain whether the Sabbatical Year (when the ground is to lie fallow) will
continue during the millennium as it is not specifically mentioned here. However,
the Year of Jubilee when all debts are forgiven, land is returned to original owners, etc.
(Leviticus 25:10-55) will continue (Ezekiel 46:17) as well as the New Moon celebrations
which mark the beginning of a new month (Numbers 28:11-15 and Ezekiel 45:17, 46:1, 3,
6). NOTE: Just because the Sabbatical Year is not mentioned doesn't necessarily mean
that it won't continue, unlike Yom Kippur which is specifically not mentioned when there
is a new listing of the appointed festivals.
Court of the Tabernacle
The Tabernacle had only one court surrounding the Tabernacle itself whereas Ezekiel's
Temple has two courts (inner and outer) separated by three gates and a wall.
Solomon's Temple had two courts including a main court around the Temple known as the
Great Court. Virtually no details are given about the Temple that Zerubbabel built
after the Babylonian exile (which was later refurbished by King Herod), but Nehemiah
indicates that there was more than one court. The design was probably similar to
Nehemiah 8:16 (JPS) So the people went forth,
and brought them, and made themselves booths, every one upon the roof of his house, and in
their courts, and in the courts of the house of God, and in the broad
place of the water gate, and in the broad place of the gate of Ephraim.
Courts of the Priests, Israelites,
Women, and Gentiles
Each Temple had a unique system of courts suited to the needs of God's people of
that era. Solomon's Temple had a court of the Priests in addition to the main court
(2 Chronicles 4:9). Apparently Herod's Temple was the only one to have all of these
The Altar of Sacrifice
The Altars in the previous Tabernacle/Temples were equipped with a ramp facing
south. However, most all bible translations state that in Ezekiel's temple the altar
has stairs leading up to the altar and they face east (Ezekiel 43:17). But, I read
one Jewish commentary which said that the Hebrew word actually means ramp. So I
presented the following question to an Orthodox rabbi:
"... This presents some difficulties since the word for
'steps' (ma'alot) in Ezekiel is the same word used in Exodus 20:26 forbidding ascending
the altar by steps. How can this word mean 'ramp' when all the previous temples had
This was his response:
The Hebrew word in question is maalotehu, which is grammatically
related to the Hebrew word maalot, meaning steps. However, the original meaning of
both words means "something by which one rises from one level to another."
In everyday language that means "steps." However, an equally acceptable
translation of maalotehu could be "its riser," which would not contradict the
ramp in Exodus 20:26.
It is interesting to note that in the Jewish Publication Society
translation of 1917 the verse is rendered, ". . . and the steps thereof . . . ,"
following earlier translations (the King James version?). Not so their 1978
translation, "And the ramp shall face east." There is a footnote in the
1978 translation: "Leading up to the altar. Cf. Exod. 20:23."
I guess we will have to wait until the Millennium to find out if it
is really a ramp or steps. It is interesting to note, however, that many pagans approached
their altars via steps from the east to worship the sun. God did not want His Temple
to be confused with that of a pagan temple. During the Millennium there will be no
pagan temples to worry about. Also, in Ezekiel's Temple when the priests ascend the
altar they will facing the Holy of Holies.
This was used extensively for washing (sanctifying) the hands and feet while performing
the daily sacrifices and ten times on Yom Kippur (Mishnah - Yoma 3:3). It is
possible that such a device may be used again in Ezekiel's temple while performing the
daily sacrifices, though it is not specifically mentioned in Scripture. Solomon's
temple was rather extravagant in that he made ten such lavers plus he made a molten Sea
that contained fifty times more water than each of the lavers (1 Kings 7:23-40) .
This molten Sea was used for ritual immersion and cleansing in water called Mikvah (meek-vah) or baptism. The lavers were to be used for
washing the hands and feet but in Solomon's temple they were used for washing the
sacrifices. It is not clear whether they were also used for washing the hands and
feet or if they used something else.
2 Chronicles 4:6 (JPS) - He
made also ten lavers, and put five on the right hand, and five on the left, to wash in
them; such things as belonged to the burnt-offering they washed in them;
but the sea was for the priests to wash in.
It should be noted, however, that the Jewish method of immersion is the
source of Christian baptism, but it is different from how baptism is performed
today. It is mentioned in scripture (Leviticus 16: 4, 24, 26, 28) and in the
Talmud/Mishnah (Tractate Mikvaoth). An excellent book to read about ritual immersion
is Waters of Eden - The Mystery of
the Mikvah by Aryeh Kaplan.
The Lots (for Yom Kippur)
These were used on Yom Kippur to determine which goat was to be sacrificed FOR THE LORD
which was to be used FOR AZAZEL לעזאזל the scapegoat. The High Priest would
remove the two lots from the lot box after shaking it and would hold the lots over the two
goats while standing between them. He would pick them up by their covers and they
would flip open revealing their Hebrew inscriptions. An accompanying priest
would tell the High Priest which hand the Lot ליהוה came up in and the High Priest
would hold that hand high up in the air indicating to everyone else which goat was to be
sacrificed FOR THE LORD. If this lot came up in the right hand it was considered a
good omen, and if in the left hand, a bad omen. It usually always came up in the
right hand. Also, a crimson strap was tied to the door of the Temple and would
miraculously turn white (Isaiah 1:18) every year when the Scapegoat would reach the
wilderness. However, the Talmud records the following in Yoma 39b:
"During the last forty years before the destruction of the
Temple the lot [For the Lord] did not come up in the right hand; nor did the
crimson-coloured strap become white; nor did the westernmost light [of the Menorah] shine;
and the doors of the Hekal [Sanctuary] would open by themselves, until R. Johanan b.
Zakkai rebuked them, saying: Hekal, Hekal, why wilt thou be the alarmer thyself? [meaning:
predict thy own destruction] I know about thee that thou wilt be destroyed, for
Zechariah ben Ido has already prophesied concerning thee: Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that
the fire may devour thy cedars."
Yeshua was crucified on the Passover before this began to happen.
The Encyclopedia Judaica states that Yeshua was crucified in 30 AD.
Anti-missionaries such as Tovia Singer of Outreach Judaism make the claim that the above
quote from the Talmud is only a small part of the story and is taken out of context and
misapplied by people such as myself to try to prove that Yeshua's crucifixion put an end
to these miracles and the Yom Kippur sacrifice. To be fair, he has a very good
point. Tovia makes the following statement in regard to the context of this quote:
"Although missionaries cite the above statement which
appears on page 39b, the discussion leading up to this quote begins on the previous page,
39a. Quoting from a Baraisa*, the Talmud begins with a
discussion of the deteriorating spiritual condition of the Jewish people during the second
Temple period. Throughout this fascinating discourse, the miraculous events that
transpired during the Temple ceremonies are the barometer by which the Baraisa measures
the religious decline of the nation of Israel during this difficult epoch in Jewish
history. The period of time examined in this assessment begins with the era during
which Shimon HaTzaddik** officiated as the high priest until
the time that the Romans destroyed the second Temple in the year 70 C.E. More
specifically, the Talmud breaks this period down into three successive stages, with the
first stage being the most meritorious, the second marking a gradual spiritual decline,
and the third the most deleterious." (1)
* A Baraisa is a statement made
by a Tanna which was not included by Rabbi Yehudah Hanasi (approximately
200 C.E.) in the Mishnah.
** Shimon HaTzaddik (Simon the Just)
succeeded Ezra during the early part of the second Temple period and officiated as high
priest for forty years. Shimon was called HaTzaddik because of his
faithfulness and his kindness to his countrymen (Josephus Antiquities 12:157).
Although people such as Tovia Singer discount this as having any reference
to the crucifixion/atonement of Yeshua, I cannot help but think that it is more than just
coincidental that Yeshua came at just the right point in Israel's history, when its
spiritual condition was at it worst, to help bring to its people the atonement that was so
much needed at that time. (Click here to read the entire Talmud
passage in question)
Table of Showbread
"Literally 'Bread of the Presence'. It is described in Leviticus
24:5-9, where it is said to have consisted of twelve loaves of wheaten flour,
corresponding in number to the tribes of Israel. It was placed on the table on the
Sabbath arranged in two rows, and left there until the following Sabbath. When the
loaves were removed, they were eaten by the priests. The symbolic meaning of the
showbread is a matter of conjecture. Maimonides confesses, 'I do not know the
object of the table with the bread upon it continually, and up to this day I have not been
able to assign any reason to this commandment'. Most commentators understand the
Presence-bread as an expression of thankfulness and standing acknowledgment on the part of
the children of Israel that God was the Giver of man's daily necessities. " (2)
(Click here for more information
about the Showbread from the Temple Institute)
In John 6:30-51 and following, Yeshua compares
himself to the manna that fell from Heaven and says: "And Jesus said unto them, I
am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me
shall never thirst." (John 6:35 KJV). The table of
Showbread is not mentioned in Ezekiel's Temple.
Altar of Incense
"Incense had a symbolic significance, and is evident from Psalm 141:2,
'Let my prayer be set forth as incense before Thee.' It became a metaphor for
fervent and contrite Prayer. The Rabbis explained that the four letters of the
Hebrew word for incense קטרת
stood for: קדוּשה Kedushah, Holiness;
תהרה Taharah, Purity; רחמים Rakhamim, pity; and
Tikvah, Hopea wonderful summary of the prerequisites of Prayer and of its
spiritual results in the lives of men." (3)
There is no mention of the Altar of Incense in Ezekiel's Temple.
When Yeshua was crucified the Veil was torn in halffrom top to
bottomindicating that the Yom Kippur sacrifice had been fulfilled once and for all.
In Ezekiel's Temple there is a door (or doorway) in place of the veil.
The significance of this door is uncertain.
The Golden Lampstand (Menorah)
In Solomon's temple there were ten such menorahs, but there is none mentioned in
Ezekiel's. The Menorah is used to light the Sanctuary and it (especially the
westernmost light) attests
to mankind that the Divine Presence (Shekinah) dwells among Israel. In Ezekiel's
Temple the Shekinah will be present with the LORD in its fullness which the Menorah
represents. Incidentally, all throughout Jewish commentaries (such as the Talmud),
the term "Candlestick" is used to refer exclusively to the seven branched
Menorah and not a single candle holder.
The Ark of the Covenant
In Solomon's Temple the
Ark was positioned between two very large golden Cherubim whose wingspans together spanned
the width of the Holy of Holies (1 Kings 6:23-28, 8:6-7). However, according to Midrashic tradition,
King Josiah commanded that the Ark and several other items be hidden under the Temple
Mount before the Temple was destroyed.
In 1 Chronicles 28:18 the Ark is also referred to as a chariot whereas in
Ezekiel chapters 1 and 10 we have a very mysterious and mystical vision of a throne chariot upon which God and/or the Son of God
sits. Is there possibly some link between this throne chariot and the Ark of the
Covenant? In Ezekiel's temple the throne is the Ark. See the article The Ark Bears its Bearers
from Bar Ilan University in Jerusalem for a fascinating look at the miracle of the Ark of
the Covenant. Also, according to the Talmud, not only did the Ark have no weight, it
also occupied no space within the Holy of Holies! Consider the following
quote from the Talmud:
Talmud - Baba Bathra 99a
It teaches us this: [The space] below [was] as
[that] above. As [the space] above served no [material] purpose, so [the space]
below served no [material] purpose.** This supports R. Levi; for R. Levi others say. R. Johanan
said: We have this as a tradition from our fathers [that] the place of the Ark and
the Cherubim is not included in the measured [space]. So, indeed, it has been
taught: The Ark which Moses made had a free space of ten cubits on every side.
** The Ark and the
Cherubim, as stated infra, miraculously occupied none of the space of the Sanctuary.
It is almost as if the Ark is some kind of port
hole (or "worm hole") into another dimension: the dimension of the
1. From "Rabbi Singer's Q & A" section on the Outreach Judaism
2. The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, Dr. J.H. Hertz, C.H., Second Edition, 1970,
Soncino Press, London, p. 329
3. ibid p. 349
There will still be the need for priests in Ezekiel's temple in order to perform the daily
sacrifices. These priests wore garments made of white linen and included the turban (head
piece), the long tunic or robe, a belt around the tunic, and long underwear that went down
to the knees. Nothing here has changed for Ezekiel's temple. However, according to most
Jewish commentators, the ordinary kohen (priest) will undergo a radical change reflecting
an elevated life of sanctity and purity. In essence he will be almost parallel to the
Kohen Gadol (High Priest) of previous times. For more information on this, see the
weekly Haftorah portion (reading from the Prophets), Parshas Emor, from the Torah.org website.
The High Priest
The High Priest wore the same garments as a common priest and added to them the
Breastplate, the Apron, the upper garment or robe, and the gold Frontlet or plate that
attached to the Turban and upon which was written, KODESH L'YHVH
(HOLINESS TO THE LORD). These four additional garments were very colorful and were
worn by the High Priest at all times except while he performed the Yom Kippur
sacrifice. However, he did where them on Yom Kippur for the regular daily services
not related to the Yom Kippur sacrifice. There is no High Priest mentioned in
Ezekiel's temple as this will likely be fulfilled by the Prince or Messiah himself.
Scripture does not specifically state who this Prince is; some scriptures indicate that it
might be King David (Ezekiel 34:23-24, 37:25), others suggest that it might
be Messiah (Hebrews 3:1, 4:14, 6:20).
The Daily Sacrifices
Burnt offerings, Meat (Meal) offerings,
Peace offerings, Sin offerings, Drink offerings, Trespass
All of these will continue in Ezekiel's temple on a daily basis and during the remaining
festivals. These are literal sacrifices. The common interpretation is that
these are performed only as memorials or remembrances. This is taught because the
concept of performing sacrifices for sins does not fit into standard Christian theology,
which teaches that Jesus (Yeshua) took all sacrifices away. The following is
one of the verses that is used to support this assertion (mainly because of the word
"daily" in the verse):
Hebrews 7:27 (KJV) - Who needeth not daily, as
those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for
the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
However, the latter part of the verse: "first for his own sins, and then for
the people's" lends a major clue to what this is talking about. This is
performed only once a year, on Yom Kippur, not on a daily basis.
Thus, the word "daily" is a very poor translation for this verse. The word
"daily" here is actually composed of two Greek words: kata (kat-ah'),
Strong's # 2596, which has several meanings, and hemera (hay-mer'-ah), Strong's # 2250,
which means "day". What is troubling is the fact that this particular
Greek word combination appears only in fifteen places in the "New
Testament" and in every case (except this one) the context of the verse demands
that it be (and is) translated as "daily". However, when the word kata
appears with other words it can take on several meanings based on the context of the
verse. It is used mostly to mean "according to" (107 times),
"after" (61), and "against" (58), among others. It is also used
twice to mean "after the manner of" in 1 Corrinthians 15:32 and Galations
3:15. Even though this two Greek word combination has been used exclusively to
mean "daily", the use of the phrase "after the manner of" is not
entirely out of line because it, like "daily", is used to connote a regular
event or process. In this case, it is an event that occurs once a year and not on a
daily basis. Thus, this last definition would more in line with the context of this
verse/passage and should be written as follows:
Who needeth not after the manner of the day,
as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for
the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
The scriptures are very clear however about what things are done as
memorials and remembrances. The following scripture verses show what are done as memorials:
- Exodus 3:15; 12:14; 13:9; 17:14; 28:12, 29; 30:16; 39:7
- Leviticus 2:2, 16; 5:12; 6:15; 23:24; 24:7
- Numbers 5:15, 18, 26; 10:10; 16:40; 31:54
- Joshua 4:7; Nehemiah 2:20; Esther 9:28; Psalms 9:6; 135:13; Hosea 12:5; Zechariah
- Matthew 26:13; Mark 14:9; Acts 10:4
Likewise the following scriptures show what are done as remembrances
- Exodus 17:14; Numbers 5:15; Deuteronomy 25:19; 32:26
- 2 Samuel 18:18; 1 Kings 17:18; Job 13:12; 18:17
- Psalms 6:5; 30:4; 34:16; 38:1; 70:1; 77:6; 83:4; 97:12; 102:12; 112:6
- Ecclesiastes 1:11; 2:16; Isaiah 26:8; 43:26; 57:8; Lamentations 3:20
- Ezekiel 21:23-24; 23:19, 21; 29;16; Malachi 3:16
- Mark 11:21; Luke 1:54; 22:19; John 14:26; Acts 10:31; 1 Corinthians 4:17;
- Philippians 1:3, 1 Thessalonians 3:6; 1 Timothy 4:6; 2 Timothy 1:3, 5, 6; 2:14
- Hebrews 10:3, 32, 2 Peter 1:12, 13, 15; 3:1; Jude 1:5, Revelation 16:19
The word "memorial" does not appear at all in the book of
Ezekiel whereas the word "remembrance" does appear in the book of Ezekiel but
not in the last nine chapters which describe Ezekiel's temple. Ezekiel tells us why
these sacrifices are to be performed:
Ezekiel 45:17 (KJV) - And it shall be the princes part
to give burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and drink offerings, in the feasts, and in
the new moons, and in the sabbaths, in all solemnities of the house of Israel: he shall
prepare the sin offering, and the meat offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace
offerings, to make reconciliation for the house of Israel.
Here it is made very plain that these sacrifices are to be performed to
make reconciliation. They are not performed as memorials or
remembrances. What is not understood by most people is that there are apparently two
levels of atonement: a higher Atonement of Salvation (the Yom Kippur sacrifice that
Yeshua fulfilled on Pesakh), and lower atonements of Reconciliation which will not be
fulfilled until after His Millennial reign. You may read in Hebrews 10:3
the following verse: "But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of
sins every year." The context in which this is written is the Yom Kippur
Many well-meaning people misunderstand and thus misinterpret what the
scriptures are really saying about this because they make the mistake of interpreting the
"Old Testament" through the "eyes" of the "New Testament"
and as a result can come up with all kinds of unbiblical and even screwball
doctrines. That's how many denominations and even cults get started. On the
contrary, the "New Testament" MUST ALWAYS be interpreted through the
"eyes" of the Tanakh (Old Testament), especially when you consider the fact that
there was no such thing as a "New Testament" in the first century. The
disciples and apostles preached from the Tanakh alone and lived their lives by it.
Here is an example of such an interpretation and its conclusion:
Ezek 40-48 was provided as instructions to the exiles of Ezekiel's time
concerning the rebuilding of the Temple, together with a new social contract between the
princes and the people, with a wholesale repartition of the land of Israel, to include
foreigners as well as Israelites. This plan was never carried out according to the
detailed instructions, though the reconstruction of the Temple under Cyrus and Darius
represented a partial fulfillment. There is no biblical evidence that the Temple built
after the exile followed Ezekiel's instructions. Certainly the land reforms were never
carried out, and the princes in the post-exilic era do not appear to have carried out
their duties as instructed. The miraculously flowing water (Ezek 47:1-12) has
never had a literal fulfillment - either it was conditional on the fulfillment of
Ezekiel's detailed construction, or it may have always been intended symbolically, a view
to which John's use of the image in Revelation lends some support. The
displacement of the Old Covenant, with its human priesthood and animal sacrifices, by the
New Covenant with its better promises, priesthood and sacrifice renders the physical
Temple Ezekiel saw entirely obsolete. These prophecies are therefore now
incapable of fulfillment. The reality which it symbolizes will be fulfilled in the New
Jerusalem described at the end of Revelation. (Emphasis mine.)
However, Yeshua said:
Matthew 5:17-19 (KJV) - Think not that I am come
to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall
in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore
shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called
the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall
be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
The "commandments" that Yeshua refers to are the commandments
of the Torah (Law) given to the Israelites on Mount Sinai.
TWO LEVELS OF ATONEMENT
Many people will be surprised by my saying that there are apparently two levels of
atonement, as it is not specifically stated in scripture. However, this is not
entirely foreign in Jewish theology (or Catholic theology for that matter as there exists
the concept/doctrine of Mortal sins and Venial sins. Where do you think they got it
from?}. Some forms of atonement absolutely require a blood sacrifice whereas others
do not, such as the giving of the Half
Shekel. When the prophet Nathan exposed to King David his sin with Bathsheba,
David repented of his sin and God forgave him (2 Samuel 12:13, Psalms 51:16-19).
His act should have cost him his own life to atone for the sin. David, however, did
not offer any kind of burnt offering where blood is shed. He only repented.
This act of repentance did not save David as that was done every year on Yom Kippur
through faith, rather it merely reconciled his relationship with God.
Salvation has always been by grace through faith even when Mosaic Law was fully
functioning. The only real difference in the "New Covenant" is that the
Yom Kippur sacrifice of salvation was performed once for all by Yeshua's death on
the cross/execution-stake and will no longer need to be performed. However, if we as
believers do something to sin against God, we still have to make reconciliation in
some way for our sin in order to restore/repair our relationship with God. This very
same pattern will continue during the Millennium in Ezekiel's Temple; the only difference
being that the animal sacrifices will be reinstated. According to the Rabbis,
". . . the altar was the channel whereby the Israelite could seek reconciliation with
God, from Whom he had become estranged by sin". (3)
The book of Hebrews is almost entirely devoted to the Yom Kippur sacrifice as this is
primarily what Yeshua fulfilled.
Our relationship with God can also be looked at as being a
marriage. God/Yeshua gave the Torah to his "wife" (Yisrael) as a
Ketubah (wedding contract) when He "married" her near Mount Sinai in the
wilderness of Midian and placed the Wedding Ring (the Sabbath) apon her finger. For
more information about the role of Torah in our lives and its being a Ketubah, I encourage
you to get the book Torah Rediscovered by Ariel and D'vorah Berkowitz.
In Exodus 29:38-42 and Numbers 28:3-10 it says that two lambs of a year old are to be
offered as sacrifices every day; one in the morning and one in the evening. Curiously, in
Ezekiel's temple only ONE lamb is to be offered every day; in the morning (Ezekiel
According to Jewish allegorical interpretations of this scripture, the
lamb that is offered in the morning is associated with God's attribute of Mercy and the
one that is offered in the evening is associated with His attribute of Severity. In
the world to come (i.e. during the Millennium) Severity will no more be found in the
world. If this is true then there will not be the need to offer a lamb in the
The Red Heifer
"This ordinance is the most mysterious rite in Scripture, the strange features
of which are duly enumerated by the Rabbis. Thus, its aim was to purify the defiled,
and yet it defiled all those who were in any way connected with the preparation of the
ashes and water of purification. 'It purifies the impure, and at the same time
renders impure the pure!' So inscrutable was its naturethey
saidthat even King Solomon in his wisdom despaired of
learning the secret meaning of the Red Heifer regulations." (4)
"The marker for the transition is the passage describing the laws
of the "red heifer," which fit the theme of death. It was selected because the
way in which Jews will henceforth encounter death will be markedly different.
Technically, the laws of the "red heifer" as well as the laws of ritual purity
applied to the members of the Exodus generation as they apply to all Jews in all
historical periods. It is only the spirit of these laws that has affected the later
generations in a totally different way. Thus, without being sprinkled with the ashes of
the "red heifer," no Jew was ever allowed into the Tabernacle. Every
member of the Exodus generation had presumably come into contact with death at some point
in life prior to the establishment of the Tabernacle and had to be ritually purified
before he or she could enter its courtyard. The same applies to us. When it is God's
will to restore the Temple, we will have to be purified through the ashes of a "red
heifer" before we will be allowed through its doors." (5)
"According to Scripture, the greatest defilement of all is death.
Therefore, the sin offering for its purification was itself the most marked. Sin renders
fellowship with God impossible; sin was death; it causes death (Romans 6:23). Death is
evidence of its sway." (6)
"The Heifer was not a sacrifice in the sense of a blood covering
for sin, but was a means or a process that was to bring a cleansing from defilement, or
sin. It wasnt a substitutional sacrifice like the male goat of Yom Kippur, but
a day by day cleansing as needed.
"The heifer itself will be burned in its entirety. It will
not be separated out or the hide removed or the fat separated or anything like this.
Its bones are not broken, it is burned all at once. Yeshua went as he was, having
been inspected for days by the priests and the teachers of the law, and they could find no
flaw in Him, yet they killed Him. It was like those priests that inspected the red cow for
any sign of defect or any white hairs. And like the Heifer he became a cleansing for
"Hebrews 9:13-14 - The blood of goats and
bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify
them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of
Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our
consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
"The priest and the worker who burn the heifer are considered
unclean. They must wash themselves and their clothes in water, and they still remain
ceremonially unclean until the end of the day. Yet those who are sprinkled with
this same ash will be considered clean. It is interesting that for a Jew, if you touch, or
embrace Yeshua, you have become unclean, yet we know that when Yeshua touches you, you
become pure. He is that one grace that saves us from our uncleanness, not once a year, but
in our daily walk with the Lord. The Red Heifer (as is Yeshua) is a picture of
Sanctification and purification." (7)
There is no mention of the Red Heifer in Ezekiel's Temple most likely because
Yeshua's sacrifice has permanently fulfilled the need for it.
This was given as a support for the temple and as a ransom (or redemption price) for the
souls of those twenty years and older, particularly those who would go to war. This
may no longer be necessary in the millennium.
Nazarite Vow (Numbers 6:1-21)
During the time a Nazarite has his vow he is to abstain from:
- Anything made from grapes (including all
- Cutting his hair
- Contact with a dead body
When the days of his separation are fulfilled he is to:
- Offer a year old male lamb for a burnt offering
- Offer a year old female lamb for a sin offering
- Offer one ram for peace offerings
- Offer a basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, and wafers of
unleavened bread anointed with oil, and their meat (meal) offerings, and their drink
- Shave his head at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation and burn it under the
"The Nazirite vow was often taken by men and women alike purely
for personal reasons, such as thanksgiving for recovery from illness, or for the birth of
a child. The minimum period of the vow was thirty days, but we have instances of
Nazirite vows extending over repeated periods of seven years. Scripture records also
life-long Nazirites, who, however, were not bound by all the regulations of the temporary
Nazirite. Mention is also made of the Rechabites, who abstained from wine (Jer.
xxxv), and, in later times, The Essenes whose life was semi-monastic
. The institution disappeared in its entirety with the destruction of the
"As the Nazirite had during his vow worn his hair unshorn in
honour of God, so when the time was complete it was natural that the hair, the symbol of
his vow, should be cut off at the Sanctuary. In the times of the Mishnah, (9) a special room was assigned to
the Nazirites for that purpose in one of the Temple courts." (10)
The apostle Paul (Shaul, pronounced Shah-ool) undertook two such vows
in Acts 18:18 and Acts 21:20-28 .
Acts 18:18 - And Paul after this tarried there yet a good
while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him
Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.
"Having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow"
describes a Nazarite vow. The difficulty here is that he shaved his head in
Cenchrea, not at the temple. However, the Mishnah (a Jewish commentary
on the Torah) says in Nazir 2:5 that a fellow Nazarite may take
the hair of another Nazarite to Jerusalem and offer it in his stead. Whether this is
what happened here or not is uncertain. In Acts 21:20-28 it is said
that there was a report that Shaul was teaching the Jews living amongst the Gentiles to
forsake Moshe and the Torah. Knowing this report to be false the Messianic Jews in
Jerusalem told Shaul to take with him four men who had taken a Nazarite vow and to pay
their expenses so they could fulfill their vows. At this point he could have
disavowed having anything to do with Torah by refusing to do as they asked. But, he
didn't. He paid their expenses willingly in order to prove that the report had been
false. Apparently, however, Shaul did not take a vow for himself but just paid their
expenses which is no small matter for four men. Unfortunately, this process was
interrupted when the other Jews rioted after recognizing him and having heard the same
false report. He did however purify himself with them before going into the Temple
which means that he baptized (immersed) himself in a Mikvah.
The Nazarite Vow is not specifically mentioned in Ezekiel's Temple but
that does not necessarily mean that this commandment won't be performed.
3. The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, Dr. J.H. Hertz, C.H., Second Edition, 1970, Soncino
Press, London, p. 334
4. ibid, p. 652
5. The Tragedy of Tragedy, Torah Portion: Chukat, by Rabbi Noson Weisz, This article
can also be read at: www.aish.com/torahportion/mayanot/the_tragedy_of_tragedy.asp
6. "The Red Heifer" by William F. Dankenbring of Triumph Prophetic
7. "The Purification by the Red Heifer" by Charles
8. The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, Dr. J.H. Hertz, C.H., Second Edition, 1970, Soncino
Press, London, p. 592
9. Roughly 200 B.C.E. to 200 C.E. (The Mishnah, Danby - first sentence of the
10. The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, Dr. J.H. Hertz, C.H., Second Edition, 1970,
Soncino Press, London, p. 594
It is clear by looking at the
chart at the beginning of this article that not a whole lot has changed or will change
from the time that God gave the Torah to Moshe on Mount Sinai till the end of the
Millennium. Attempts have been made in the past by people or organizations to change
what God has ordained in His Word either deliberately through anti-Semitism or by
ignorance (willfully or not) after the deliberate act. For more information on this I
encourage you to get the book
Sabbath to Sunday by Samuele Bacchiocchi. (NOTE: Samuele
is a Seventh Day Adventist and there are areas in his theology that I would strongly
disagree with, but not on the subject of the Sabbath. This is a very scholarly
written book which systematically destroys all the arguments for Sunday now being the Sabbath).
It has only been in recent years that the Messianic Jewish movement in general and the
Torah Observant/Nazarene Jewish
movements more specifically have sought to get back to what it was really like in the
first century. Such is the purpose also of the YashaNet website.
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