Hebrews: Its Background (Part Ten)
John W. Ritenbaugh
Sermon; #1469; 60 minutes
John Ritenbaugh posits that the term "done away" (implying, forever destroyed or abrogated) is not synonymous with the term "no longer required" (that is, placed aside temporarily). Indeed, decades after Christ instituted His Church, the Apostle Paul, having access in his day to a sanctified altar at Jerusalem, took part in Old Covenant rituals requiring animal sacrifice (Acts 21). While it is true that God no longer requires animal sacrifices (a basic part of the Old Covenant) on the part of those embracing the New Covenant, the Scriptures show that it is wrong to conclude He will not reinstitute animal sacrifices in the future. Chapters 34 through 48 of the Book of Ezekiel describe a time following Israel's near destruction at the hands of the Edomites, when Christ returns to restore physical Israel. During this time, He will re-establish the Old Covenant. He will build again the Temple, re-establish the Levitical priesthood, and reintroduce animal sacrifices so that restored Israel of the Millennium and resurrected Israel of the White Throne Period will witness the fulfillment of all righteousness. As God's called-out ones, we must not fall prey to the Catholic/Protestant heresy that the New Testament has replaced the Old, that grace has replaced Law, that faith has replaced works or that the Old Covenant has already vanished away, never to be revived. While, as signatories to the New Covenant, we keep the Law in its spirit, we do not deny the continued existence and force of its letter. God has a specific purpose for every syllable in His Holy Word.
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