In The Beginning
In the beginning, we were created in the image of God. We were given
free will, thereby the power of creation. God created a world in
balance and gave us dominion over it, yet we started out as spiritual
children. We were given a set of rules for being successful. But like
most children, we disobeyed, rebelled and did things our own way. As
time went on, we grew stronger and learned how to use our power. But
what have we done with this power?
The Father knew that the children would hurt themselves and others
while learning and experimenting with their free will. So He explained
to them to be very careful with this power. If used in the wrong way it
actually result in one forgetting about, and cutting oneself
off from, the Source, the ever-present flow of the love of God. This
source we shall call the river of life
The children became more and more self-absorbed in their own creations.
They began to lose sight of their Creator despite the fact that He
warned them about this. The Creator then showed them the future they
would create if they continued down the path they were on. The children
were confused by predictions of the future and wondered about their
free will. The Father encoded this information about our power and how
the future is related to the choices we make. He gave it to us knowing
that it would be understood when the time was right. This information
is called prophecy.
As we approach the end of this age, we have reached the time for
prophecy to be understood again. God has called many in the last
century in the effort to resurrect its original meaning. I am part of
that quest. All who are on this journey must rely upon the work of
others and add to the fabric of understanding. My primary source is
first and foremost, the Bible. Other inspired sources that have a large
influence on this work are the lifetime writings of Edgar Cayce and
Herbert W. Armstrong 1
, along with the Mayan and
Hopi cultures. So
standing upon the shoulders of others, and with the guidance of the
Holy Spirit, let us see where
we have been and where we are going.
A Paradox in Ezekiel
One day, while listening to an audio tape on the subject of prophecy, I
was intrigued by the minister’s description of a paradox he found in
the Biblical book of Ezekiel. In chapters 36 and 37 one finds a
description of the new covenant
, a time when all of
us will carry the law of God within our hearts and minds. It will
be a time when we willingly and knowingly act in harmony with God’s
will. Then beginning in chapter 40, Ezekiel has a vision of a new
city being built. It includes a great temple similar to the one Solomon
built. The minister states that this vision seems the same as the one
John has in Revelation of a new city, Jerusalem, coming down from
As described by Ezekiel, this temple has rooms for preparing daily
sacrifices and is clearly engaged in performing the ritual sacrifices
as described by the law of Moses. This raises a paradox for the
namely, if Jesus is the final sacrifice, then why is there a need for
sacrifice in the future?
We will explore this paradox. In the process we will find different
levels of meaning in the temple. Most symbols in the Bible have at
least two levels of meaning. The surface, or primary meaning, that
pertains to the world at large, the macrocosm. And a deeper meaning
that applies to the world within us, the microcosm. The biblical symbol
of the temple refers to both a structure for worship in Jerusalem, at
the macrocosm level, and, for the microcosm, it is our bodies (1 Cor
6:19), for they house the place of worship within our hearts.
The temple is first and foremost a place of worship, but it is also
where we face our
sins. Sin is a word which for many carries a lot of emotional baggage
and causes a defensive reaction. In an effort to establish
an unemotional definition, we turn to Webster’s which defines the verb
as simply to commit an offense or fault. To get better
insight into the Bible’s view, start with the understanding that
to have a close walk with God and the Holy Spirit, to enjoy their gifts
and protection, we must obey God’s commandments (Mt 19:17)
and fulfill our vows (Ps 50: 14-15, Nahum 1:5). From this point
of view, one could describe sin as the breaking of our word, as
the breaking of our vows (Ecc 5: 4-6).
So we all sin, and when we
do, the Bible presents daily sacrifice as the ritual and process to
with all aspects of sin, from healing and releasing its pain
to understanding how to begin to make restitution for its consequences
and achieve reconciliation.
Sin, if left unaddressed, can result in blockages in the
flow of the river of life. Daily sacrifice is a means
of clearing these blockages so as to enable the river to flow freely.
It is the key to keeping our connection to the Source clear
and strong. The daily sacrifice is also tied to prophecy, which will
to an understanding of how the shift of the ages is affecting us now,
accelerating the evolution of our souls and forcing us to face held
issues. Finally, we will delve into
how the sacrifice of Jesus’ life, some 2,000 years ago, affects us
and this holy ritual today. God's covenant
God's goal, is an everlasting loving relationship with us.
The Millennium Temple
To address the paradox, let us look carefully at Ezekiel’s vision of a
new city. It
is found in Ezekiel 40 and includes a temple where animal sacrifices
will be offered. Before we can address why a future temple would
include facilities for ritual sacrifice, we must establish a
time frame of this vision. The vision has been compared to John’s
vision in Revelation of a new city. Let’s look at that vision. Its time
frame is very clear.
In Revelation 20, John describes the thousand year reign of Jesus as
Lord of the Earth. Satan will be prevented from influencing humanity
during this time period; however, at the end he will be let loose. He
will start a rebellion, again, using the forces of Gog and Magog, but
this time the battle will end in final defeat for Satan. Next, the
heavens and earth are swept away and there is only the great white
throne of God and the heavenly host. All are brought to
full awareness of their lives and judgement is made. Those whose name
is no longer found in “the book of life” must face the lake of
fire. Then, in chapter 21, we see a new heaven and earth and a new
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. ... I also saw the
holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. ... “Behold, God’s
dwelling is with the human race.”
One of the important characteristics of this new Jerusalem is that it
has no temple. See Revelation 21: 22-27:
I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God
almighty and the Lamb. The city had no need of sun
or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gave it light, and its
lamp was the Lamb. ... but nothing unclean will enter it, nor any[one]
who does abominable things or tells lies. Only those will enter whose
names are written in the Lamb’s book
of life. 2
Since the new city in Ezekiel 40 has a temple with ritual sacrifices,
it can not be Jerusalem at the same time period as described by John in
Revelation, so they are not the same vision.
The next step in identifying the time period of Ezekiel’s vision is to
history of the temples in Jerusalem. The first and greatest temple to
date was built by King Solomon. He started construction somewhere
around 960 BC. The great temple stood until 586 BC,
when it was destroyed by Babylon during its conquest of Israel. When
Babylon was later conquered by Persia, the Israelites were allowed to
work on the temple. Reconstructed from 520-515 BC, this temple did not
equal the original.
The Persians were eventually conquered by the Greeks. The last Greek
ruler, Antiochus Epiphanes, outlawed the Jewish religion and committed
abominations on the altar of the temple. This was the genesis of the
Maccabean revolt, which began in 167 BC. Soon the temple was regained,
cleansed and rededicated in fulfillment of a prophecy in Daniel
8. This event is celebrated as Hanukkah, the festival of lights. Jewish
independence was achieved during the Hasmonean dynasty (142-37 BC).
Israel was later subjugated by the Roman Empire in 63 BC. The
temple was made much greater by King Herod and stood through the time
of Jesus and his sacrifice, but was later
destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. There has been no temple since, a
period of almost
Returning to Ezekiel’s vision, it came to him while exiled in Babylon,
after the first temple, Solomon’s temple, had been destroyed. The
vision of a new city being built at the start of chapter 40 is a new
vision, separate from the prior chapters. To keep a proper
perspective on its time frame, we need to be aware of the prior
visions leading up to this chapter. Chapters 36 and 37 describe the
a time when all of us will carry the law of God
within our hearts and minds (Ezek 36: 25-27) and His sanctuary will be
set up among us forever (Ezek 37:28). The fulfillment of the
new covenant occurs at the end of the millennial reign of Jesus, as
exemplified by the new Jerusalem without a temple. In the next two
chapters are prophecies regarding Gog of Magog which parallel the
of Gog and Magog in Revelation. These prophecies also apply to the
time at the end of the millennium.
This is also the same time
frame in which we see the new city of Jerusalem coming down from heaven
in the book of Revelation. So as one approaches chapter 40, it is
very tempting to assume that the new city in Ezekiel’s vision is a view
of Jerusalem at that same time period as John’s vision of the city, but
this is not the case.
Chapter 40 begins a new vision. Ezekiel’s vision is of a city on earth
in Israel, not in heaven, which is another distinction. It has a
temple surrounded by a wall. Chapters 40-42 are a detailed description
of a temple that closely resembles Solomon’s temple. Once Ezekiel is
given a tour of the entire temple, he is led to the east gate where he
gives an astounding description of the coming of the Lord to take his
seat on the throne in the temple of God and begin His millennial reign.
Then he led me to the gate which faces the east, and there
I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. I heard a
sound like the roaring of many waters,
and the earth shone with his glory. ... And I saw that the
temple was filled with the glory of the Lord. Then I heard someone
speaking to me from the temple, while the man stood beside me. The
voice said to me; Son of man, this is where my throne
shall be, this is where I will set the soles of my feet; here I will
dwell among the Israelites forever.
Ezekiel 43: 1-9 NAB
This is clearly the time when Jesus will return to earth and take his
seat in the temple of God to begin his rule over mankind for a thousand
years. This is the beginning of the millennial reign of Christ. The
vision in Revelation occurs at the end of the millennium.
logical conclusion about Ezekiel’s dream is that it is a vision of the
next temple to be built, one that will be completed prior to the
Messiah coming as a lion, what we commonly call the Second Coming of
Christ. By the end of the millennium, the temple will no longer be
needed, so Jerusalem will be replaced by a new city, one without a
The rest of the book of Ezekiel contains descriptions of observing the
festivals and ritual sacrifices of the law. On the surface, this might
be confusing again as to whether or not this will occur during the time
of Jesus’ ruling. But the one speaking in Ezekiel, God, wants to make
clear that when the temple is to be built, it will include the places
... Son of man, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: These
will be the regulations for sacrificing burnt offerings and sprinkling
blood upon the altar when it is built:
Ezekiel 43:18 NIV
Ezekiel is implored to follow the statutes of the law. This will occur
prior to the Lord’s return. It makes sense that current Israel would
want to restore the temple and the daily sacrifice. This is another
confirmation that Israel will rebuild the temple in preparation for
restoring the law of Moses. It won’t be any temple, but one that
matches the glory of Solomon’s. This temple will become the throne of
our Wonderful Counselor during the millennium,
the next age.
This resolves the paradox.
Paradoxes are intriguing, for they often lead
to a deeper understanding. John’s vision in Revelation describes
Jerusalem at a later time than does Ezekiel, at the end of the next age
rather than the start. The difference in the two
cities reflects the journey of our souls, as we evolve toward the time
of the new covenant,
when the law will be
on our minds and we carry the Lord’s sanctuary in our hearts.
However, a question still lingers from the paradox. If Jesus is
the "final" sacrifice, should there be any further sacrifices, even if
is only before Jesus returns as the Messiah? To address this, we must
understand the temple and the ritual of daily sacrifice. To do that, we
will face the issue of sin more deeply and introduce the process to
deal with its
consequences, the sin offering. From there we will encounter sacrifice,
confession, the High Priest, and eventually the
evolution of our souls.
The Sin & Guilt Offerings
We all have broken our word. We all commit sins. Yet, there is a part
of us that knows when we have done something wrong. When we are calm,
at peace, our conscience will guide us to do what is right. Another
gauge of whether a particular act is a sin or not is to ask oneself if
the act will enhance or diminish one's ability to express unconditional
love. Will the act tend to open or close one's heart? If one needs a
more concrete definition of sin, of what doing “wrong” is , then the
Ten Commandments can serve as a universal reference (Exodus 20: 1-17,
Deuteronomy 5: 6-21). These rules express implicit promises that we
have between us, that we won’t steal, lie or kill, etc.
When we do commit sin, often it involves a relationship with someone
else, but it always affects, at least, our relationship with God. If we
sin and believe no one else knows, we shouldn’t delude ourselves into
thinking there will be no consequence in telling no one and keeping it
buried inside. It is because deep within, our souls know what we have
done, so it affects our heart and thereby our actions. Relationships
will always be affected when sin is committed. If a sin goes
unconfessed, the bad feelings will be buried within and contribute to a
hardening of one’s heart. This affects one’s relationship with God, and
by closing one’s heart, tends to cut one off from the very source and
help one needs. Confession of what we have done is the way to release
the heart. Confession is always to God. Whether or not it should also
be to others depends on the situation.
If the sin involves another, then that relationship is affected also.
If nothing is said, the other person (if their heart hasn’t already
closed) will second guess their own actions and have their own impact
of bad feelings. A separation is created. Depending on how big and how
often the sin, this can result in a loss of friendship for both parties
and bad feelings that aren’t easy to resolve and forget. This breach
can be totally reconciled if the guilty parties express their
repentance. Loss of friendship comes at a great cost because
inspiration and guidance from the Holy Spirit often comes through our
relationships with each other.
If we have been sinned against, it is a blessing if that person takes
responsibility for their action and makes things right. Depending upon
your relationship and the situation, this may be as simple as a warm
touch and a smile. People don’t always acknowledge their sin. The
Master teaches us to rebuke the sinner and, if there is repentance, to
forgive and let go and so we should (Luke 17:3-4). If there is no
repentance, then separation may be necessary (2 Thess 3:6,14-15).
Regardless, we are to love our enemy and release our anger. If we can't
and the pain remains, then it must be confessed to someone, from priest
to friend, otherwise it will consume us. The person with whom to speak
and the manner involved depends upon yourself and the situation.
Confession of this type should be done at the right time and with the
right person. Sometimes, professional help is needed.
Whether one has pain from our own sin or from being sinned against, as
each hurt is piled on and not addressed, it burdens the heart and
diminishes one’s ability to express unconditional love. Eventually, if
it continues, one day you will find yourself with a cold heart and the
hell of a self-imposed separation from God.
The Bible shows the way to get help. To understand God’s way we need
the right perspective, so we’ll first go back to the time when Moses
received the law and Ten Commandments more than 3,000 years ago. In the
law is a ritual to deal with sin and its consequences, the sin
offering. The ritual for the average person is described in Leviticus
If a private person commits a sin inadvertently by doing
one of the things which are forbidden by the commandments of the LORD,
and thus becomes guilty, ... for his sin
offering he presents a lamb, he shall bring an unblemished
female. Having laid his hand on its head, he shall slaughter this sin
offering in the place where the holocausts are slaughtered.
The priest shall then take some of the blood of the sin offering on
his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of holocausts. ... the
priest shall burn it on the altar with the other oblations of the LORD.
Thus the priest shall make atonement for the man’s sin, and it will be
The laying of one’s hands on the head of the animal in verse 33 above
is a reference to the confession part of the ritual, which is described
in more detail when the high priest does it for the entire congregation
on the Day of Atonement. This is the day the sanctuary is cleansed in
that the sins, which had accumulated from the daily confessions of the
congregation throughout the year, would be removed in a two step
process. Two goats were chosen. One goat is used as the sin offering,
whereby the priest confesses his sins and those of the congregation
inside the holy of holies and, using the blood as payment, transfers
the sins from the sanctuary to himself, cleansing the sanctuary.
The goat that is determined by lot for the LORD, Aaron
shall bring in and offer up as a sin offering. ...
Then he shall slaughter the people’s sin-offering goat,
and bringing its blood inside the veil, ... sprinkling it
on the propitiatory and before it. Thus he shall make atonement for the
sanctuary because of all the sinful defilements and faults of the
Israelites. ... When he has made atonement for himself and his
household, as well as for the whole Israelite community,
he shall come out to the altar before the LORD and make atonement
for it also. Taking some of the bullock’s and the goat’s blood,
he shall put it on the horns around the altar, and with his finger
sprinkle some of the blood on it seven times. Thus he shall render
it clean and holy, purged of the defilements of the Israelites.
Leviticus 16: 9, 15-19 NAB
Notice in this ritual that the effects of sin are cumulative and that
even the sanctuary itself must be cleansed. As we shall see later, sin
has a similar effect upon the temple of our bodies. If a cleansing
ritual is not performed, sin can result in blockages, for the ritual
serves as maintenance on our system.
Finally, through the act of confession only, by laying his hands on the
head of the other goat, the sins are transferred from the High Priest
second goat, the scape goat. This goat is not sacrificed but removed,
and while still alive is taken outside the camp and sent away. Thereby,
the sins of the congregation have now been removed.
When he has completed the atonement rite for the
sanctuary, the meeting tent and the altar, Aaron shall bring forward
live goat. Laying both hands on its head, he shall confess over it all
sinful faults and transgressions of the Israelites, and so put them on
goat’s head. He shall then have it led into the desert by an attendant.
the goat is to carry off their iniquities to an isolated region, it
be sent away into the desert.
Leviticus 16: 20-22 NAB
Confession is a very important and critical step in the sin offering.
The whole process includes confession and repentance, cleansing and
payment via sacrifice, atonement and forgiveness. The sacrifice of the
animal is not the only aspect of the sin offering, although most focus
only on that. In fact, the whole sacrificial system laid out by Moses
involves five major types of offerings, of which the sin offering is
one of them.
major types of offerings
in the sacrificial system, according to
the NIV translation, are the Burnt,
Grain, Fellowship, Sin and Guilt Offerings. The first three are
voluntary acts of worship and praise. The last two are mandatory, if
the Holy Spirit convicts one of sin. The
difference between the sin and guilt offerings is that the guilt
offering is for intentional sin involving another person and it
includes restitution in full plus an added penalty of 20%. A general
description of the purpose and intention of these offerings can be
derived with the help of chart from p. 149 of the NIV Study Bible as
Offerings of Praise & Worship
Mandatory Offerings for Sin
total dedication to God.
Atonement for sin in general.
(Always includes a grain and drink offering.)
acknowledgment of God as your source.
meal of thanksgiving, praise & fellowship.
When we walk in brotherly love, we walk in peace.
for unintentional sin.
for intentional sin involving another person &
restitution. Also for unintentional sin against holy things.
The spirit and intention of the whole sacrificial system is to foster
an attitude of praise, thanksgiving and joy. When we sin, it gives us a
path to atonement. When we confess our sins to one another in sincere
apology, then we are able to walk in the peace of reconciliation.
There are also other types of offerings, such as a drink offering that
is always poured out on the sacrifice. The guilt offering is defined in
The LORD said to
Moses: “If anyone sins and is unfaithful to the LORD by deceiving his
neighbor about something entrusted to him or left in his care or
stolen, or if he cheats him, or if he finds lost property and lies
about it, or if he swears falsely, or if he commits any such sin that
people may do - when he thus sins and becomes guilty, he must return
he has stolen or taken by extortion, or what was entrusted to him, or
the lost property he found, or whatever it was he swore falsely about.
He must make restitution in full, add a fifth of the value to it and
give it all to the owner on the day he presents his guilt offering. And
as a penalty he must bring to the priest, that is, to the LORD, his
guilt offering, a ram from the flock, one without defect and of the
proper value. In this way the priest will make atonement for him before
the LORD, and he will be forgiven for any of these things he did that
made him guilty.”
As we can see here, the full responsibility for a serious sin involved
multiple steps in the guilt offering. It started with confession of
one’s transgression. In order to even see this one must sacrifice the
ego and humble oneself
before God, open one’s heart and be willing to search where the spirit
leads. If this is truly heartfelt and followed by repentance, then one
will see a change of behavior later.
Even though the offering leads to atonement and forgiveness, there is
still a penalty, a price which must be paid for the sin. The price for
sin is always blood, the life of a sacrifice. The sacrifices
represented food to those who brought it to the temple many years ago,
yet once the animal was blessed, confessed over and offered to the Lord
it became holy and was then food for the priests. The blood and cost of
the sacrifice was
intended to get people to reflect upon the seriousness of their sin. It
also was to remind us of our broken word, since at that time one’s word
was often sealed with an oath and blood.
When the sin is serious, as with the guilt offering, then there was the
added responsibility of restitution in full plus 20%. As stated in
Leviticus above, when a person brought a guilt offering before the Lord
he was expected to restore in principle to his neighbor whatever was
taken and furthermore, this was to be done the very same day of the
offering. This means one was expected to face the person sinned
against, acknowledge what one did, restore it as best you can and then
to add 20% more. Can you imagine for a moment what society would be
like if even half the people of the earth followed this part of the law
Observing the guilt offering correctly was a high calling and involved
much more than the blood of an animal sacrifice. However, most people
just focus on this aspect of it and have lost an understanding of the
whole process, yet the blood is very important. For often with mankind,
when it comes to serious crime, the price of sin is blood - someone’s
blood is often spilled. From Cain to Jesus, man’s anger, fear and
jealousy often results in bloodshed. The intention of the ritual, it
seems, is to
remind us of the very heavy price of our sin, as
represented by the life of the animal.
Because of the sin of jealousy and an unwillingness to look within at
his own issues and feelings, Cain did not master his anger, as God had
warned him, but gave into it. He turned it outward, toward his brother
Abel, whom he murdered, spilling his blood all over the field he had
lured him into. Abel’s innocent blood cries out to God from the ground
for justice (Gen 4:10). From what seems so little a thing, disapproval
over a sacrifice due to sin withheld and not confessed, it grew to
anger and then the killing of Cain’s own brother. The offering of life
for the sin offering was to remind us each time of the terrible price
that can come from sin, that each sin could result in the loss of
life and spilling of blood. Each sin is an abominable abuse of our
Jesus surely was an innocent and righteous man. He spoke of the coming
of God’s kingdom when all will carry the law in their heart. He lived
his ministry that way for all to see. Those who felt threatened by this
king who might take their position conspired to kill him. Their anger,
hatred and fear of him was so great, they needed to have him beaten
bloody in order to try to make themselves feel safe and in control. For
those who condemned him, how bloody was the sin of their pride lest
they admit they were wrong?
The daily sacrifice is a specific offering but I also see the term as a
reference to the whole sacrificial system
defined by Moses, whereby the Israelites voluntarily offered
worship and praise, and if needed, observed the sin and guilt offerings
atonement for any sins committed. So the way the Israelites were told
to keep a healthy relationship with God by was by offering praise and
worship, thereby fostering an attitude of thanksgiving. When convicted
of sin, they were to confess
their transgressions, sacrifice something precious and use its blood,
which represents life, to redeem their life and obtain release from the
penalty by means of payment of the debt, life for life (1 Pet 1:18, Ex
21:30, Lev 17:11).
This ritual of worship and sacrifice was to
be performed daily. The priest
would act as mediator and represent
the sinner when bringing the lamb’s blood before the altar of God. The
were supported by the people so that they could devote themselves to a
relationship with God and thereby serve in their role as mediator. The
consecrated the altar and supported the continual burnt offering, which
devotion, the presence of God and the purpose of the sacrificial
continual relationship with God.
Now, this is what you shall offer on the altar: two
yearling lambs as the sacrifice established for each day; one
lamb in the morning and the other lamb at the evening twilight. ...
Throughout your generations this established holocaust shall be offered
before the LORD at the entrance of the meeting tent, where I will meet
you and speak to you. There,
at the altar, I will meet the Israelites;
hence, it will be made sacred by my glory.
Exodus 29: 38-39, 42-43 NAB
If we make a sacrifice, reconcile with our brother, confess
and empty ourselves of any negative emotions being held, then we will
be ready to receive and fill this space with the unconditional love
of the Holy Spirit through praise and worship. This is how we maintain
our relationship with God and our neighbors and cultivate an attitude
of thanksgiving and joy. We also open ourselves to the gifts of the
Look at the following example
where Daniel, the prophet, was pouring his heart out at the evening
sacrifice while living in Babylon and ended up receiving the gift of
prophecy in the form of one of the most important prophecies in the
Important because it points directly to the Messiah and it speaks of
the daily sacrifice and its relation
to the end of this age.
In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes (a Mede by
descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom - in the first
year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according
to the word of the LORD
given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would
last seventy years. So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with
him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and
in sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the LORD my God and
confessed: ‘‘O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his
love with all who love him and obey his commands, we have sinned
and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned
away from your commands and laws. We have not listened to your
servants the prophets, who spoke in your name ... Lord, you are
righteous, but this day we are covered with shame - the
men of Judah and people of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far,
in all the countries where you have scattered us because of
our unfaithfulness to you. ... Now, our God, hear the prayers and
petitions of your servant. For your sake, O Lord, look with favor
on your desolate sanctuary. Give ear, O God, and hear; open
your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name.
We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of
your great mercy. O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord,
hear and act! ...”
While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the
sin of my people Israel and making
my request to the LORD my God for his holy hill - ... Gabriel,
... came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening
sacrifice. He instructed me and said to me, ‘‘Daniel, I have now
come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began
to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you
are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the message and understand the
Seventy weeks are decreed
for your people and for your holy city:
Then transgression will stop and sin will end,
guilt will be expiated,
Everlasting justice will be introduced,
vision and prophecy ratified,
and a most holy will be anointed.
For one week he shall make
a firm compact with the many;
Half the week he shall abolish sacrifice and oblation;
On the temple wing shall be the horrible abomination
until the ruin that is decreed
is poured out upon the horror.”
By emptying ourselves with
true heartfelt confession, committing to repentance as shown by a
change in behavior, we release
blockages and help clear the channel for the Holy Spirit to enter and
fill the space in our hearts with unconditional love and inspiration.
Daniel did this and received the answer
to his prayer and much more in the form of the prophecy of the
70 weeks. We will return to this prophecy later and see what it has to
say about our future and the daily sacrifice.
For our present time, we come to this question: Does the ritual of the
daily sacrifice, or any part of it, still
apply to us today and has it been changed at all? To answer this we
must go back into the past again.
Last Passover Seder - The Covenant Renewed
Before Moses and the Israelites received the law and the Ten
Commandments, they were slaves in Egypt. The Israelites were in
bondage, both physically and spiritually. They prayed to God for
deliverance. God heard their prayers and called Moses, who was given
the power to bring his people out of Egypt.
Moses confronted the Pharaoh of Egypt and demanded that he let his
people go. Pharaoh refused, and so he and his people were struck by a
plague, but Pharaoh did not change his mind. This sequence was repeated
nine times. The tenth plague was the most severe, it was the angel of
death. It killed the first-born son of each household, except for those
who trusted God’s instruction through Moses and put the blood of a lamb
on their doorpost. The shed blood of the lamb redeemed the Israelites
from the threat of the angel of death.
With the loss of his son, Pharaoh finally relented and allowed the
Israelites to leave. Moses then led the Israelites out of Egypt, across
the Red Sea and into the wilderness, the desert of the Sinai.
Physically, they had been set free and were on their way to the land
promised to their forefather Abraham. They did not know the long
journey ahead, and the changes they would have to go through in order
to prepare themselves for the promised land. Spiritually they were
leaving the bondage to sin behind, to break away from the pagan ways
that kept them separated from God, and to begin a renewed life of
commitment to God. The journey out of sinful habits, the road to a
committed obedience to God’s way, is a long and challenging one. One,
as it turned out, that took many seasons.
Early in their journey in the wilderness, the Israelites came to Mt.
Sinai where Moses received the Law. The Law includes the sacrificial
system and the Ten Commandments. In it God encoded in holiday and
ritual a picture of the Messiah. One holiday is a remembrance of what
He did for the Israelites in bringing
them out of Egypt and slavery, heading toward redemption and freedom.
This holy day is called Passover and was to be observed in the same
season in which it occurred. God gave us all the holy days, which
all together spell out God’s full plan for us, the long journey to full
redemption and freedom. Observing these holy days is designed to keep
us in an understanding of God’s unfolding plan.
By faith, Moses kept the first Passover and the sprinkling of the blood
of the lamb (Heb 11:28), which looked ahead to the sin offering. The
Israelites were beginning their journey out
of slavery, out of the bondage from sin. The blood of the lamb also
served as a cleansing and atonement for their sin, preparing them for
their renewed commitment to God. The role of the lamb and its blood as
payment for sin would be formalized in the sin offering of the law,
given when the Israelites reached Mt. Sinai. The goal of the offering,
as explained above, was to get the sinner to reflect and repent, and
thereby choose not to sin again.
According to the Bible, Passover was originally observed simply with
the sacrificial lamb, bitter herbs and unleavened bread. Over time
steps were added to the Passover observance and the Seder evolved. By
Jesus’ time it is generally agreed that the Seder included the four
of wine and the three loaves of unleavened bread known today. What
elements of the Seder plate evolved by then is hard to say.
The third cup of the Passover Seder, the Cup of Redemption,
memorializes the blood of the Passover lamb, shed for the protection
and redemption of the faithful. The Israelites had begun their journey
out of sin, but as we all know, fell back into sin many times. God made
promises to the Israelites, signified by the four cups of the Seder
(drawn from Exodus 6:6-8).
Israelites were expected to hold up their end of the covenant by
obeying God’s law
and remaining faithful. Unfortunately, they failed many times, as human
do. Despite being set free, people often fall back into their old ways,
remaining slaves to their darker elements. After God wrote the law in
stone and gave it under such amazing circumstances, it seems incredible
that those people would still loose faith and fall back to sin so soon.
What does this say about the power of our dark side and the kind of
commitment and help we really need? It would appear that over time God
became frustrated with our lack of commitment and continual breaking of
covenant so He declared He would make a new covenant (or renewed
covenant) by writing the law directly in our hearts and minds (Jer
full plan of God’s redemption is to bring us to this reality, where we
willingly live by God’s law from the heart.
Jesus the Messiah came and was a living example of the law being in
his heart and mind. Therefore, his life made real what God had
promised. The new covenant was made real and so therefore the full
promise of the Cup of Redemption could one day be realized. When Jesus
held up the third cup of the Seder, the Cup of Redemption and said that
the new covenant was ratified by his blood (Luke 22:20), he was
referring to the full spectrum of God’s plan.
When his blood would be given the next day as the ultimate guilt
offering (Isa 53:10), he was giving to us not only the perfect lamb
whose blood would fully satisfy the penalty required by the law of the
sin and guilt offerings, but also the perfect example of the new
living God’s way. Where there is sin, there is the need for the sin
offering; however, his example and sacrifice is intended to cleanse and
inspire our consciousness to choose to live without sin (Hebrews 9:14).
When Jesus held up the cup to declare the new covenant ratified by his
blood, he was declaring himself Messiah and the Messiah's role in
bringing redemption to mankind. He was
not defining something new but declaring the ongoing fulfillment of
God’s master plan for our true redemption. A plan which began with
Adam’s fall, was verbalized to Abraham, written in stone for Moses,
exemplified in Jesus and eventually will be made manifest in all of us
Another element of the Seder which foreshadows the Messiah and speaks
of God’s plan of redemption is the three matzot on the table. The three
matzah represent the Jewish people as a whole, or the unity of the
Jewish people, consisting of these three groups: Kohen (High Priest),
Levite (Priests) and the Israelites. The Rabbis have rigid codes for
the appearance of the matzah. It must have stripes, be pierced and
without leaven. This is a messianic image reflecting Isaiah 53, Psalm
22 and Zechariah 12, which state the Messiah would be beaten and
pierced yet without sin. Not only does this picture the expectation of
the coming of Messiah, it also reflects the expectation that we also
are to strive to be without sin, for the matzah represents all of the
When Jesus took the bread, blessed it and lifted it, as was the Jewish
custom, and then broke it and said this was his body given for all,
again he was not declaring something new but declaring that he was the
fulfillment of the messianic expectation of the unleavened bread.
Jesus, in being the bread of life, by being the living example of God’s
word, has shown us the way to fulfill God’s covenant.
Jesus is the Lamb of God. At the first Passover, the blood of the lamb
written on their doorposts protected the Israelites from the angel of
death. This was a foreshadow of the living law to come, the Messiah.
About one and half millennial later, Jesus became our Passover
sacrifice (1 Cor 5:7). Isaiah 53:10-12 and Romans 8:3 state that Jesus’
life was given as a sin offering. According to the description of
Passover in Numbers 28:16-25, the sin offering that day was a goat and
the lambs were used for the burnt offering. When Jesus teaches at his
Last Passover Supper, none of the Gospels appear to record any overt
connection of his sacrifice to the sin offering. So exactly how do we
tie the sacrifice of our Lord to the sin offering? It must be there.
When Jesus says, “my blood is drink indeed” (John 6:55 KJV), he could
not mean it literally because that would be a violation of the law (Lev
19:26; Deut 12:23-28; 1 Sam 14:34). Therefore, he must be speaking
symbolically. After spending much time studying the sacrificial system
and talking with other believers, I find very few really understand it
beyond the fact that animals were sacrificed. When you understand the
beauty and importance of the sacrificial system, you come to see that
the Master was indeed speaking symbolically and his message was loud
, despite the fact he said very
little about the connection to the system.
In the context of God’s sacrificial ordinances, when Jesus says that
his blood is drink indeed, while holding the Seder cup with the wine of
redemption, I hear him referring to his sacrifice the next day and
making a comparison of his blood to the “drink offering” (Php 2:17; 2
Tim 4:6). When Our Lord say his “flesh is meat indeed” (John 6:55 KJV)
(“my flesh is real food” NIV), especially right after emphasizing that
he is the “bread” of life, again in the context of his sacrifice, I
hear a “grain offering” (“meat offering” KJV = “grain offering” NIV =
In the KJV, the grain offering is the “meat” offering. The Greek word
for “meat” in John 6:55 is also used in John 4:32. Here Jesus
meets a Samaritan woman at a well and asks her for water. He then tells
her that he has the living water and whoever drinks of it will not
thirst. The Samaritan woman then asks the Master a question about
worship. She said her people worship on the nearby mountain but the
Jews say one must worship at the temple on the mountain in Jerusalem.
So she asked Jesus if this is so. He answered that a day is coming, and
has come, when true believers will worship the Father on neither
mountain but worship in truth and spirit. He also explained that the
Samaritans do not know what they worship, whereas “we” Jews do. This is
clearly a reference to knowledge, and not race, and so in the context
of the temple it appears to be referring to knowledge of the
sacrificial system, knowledge of the means of obtaining atonement and
Jesus’ disciples came as the Samaritan woman was leaving and urged him
to eat something. He replied that he has food (“meat” in KJV) to eat
that not even they understand. Given the context of the temple, this is
a reference to his body being a grain offering, the bread of life. Even
though they understand the sacrificial system, he had not yet explained
to them his coming sacrifice and the connection to the sin offering and
burnt offerings. How well do you know the system so that you may
The burnt offering is defined as a lamb, along with a grain and drink
offering, done twice a day, in the morning and evening (Num 28:1-8).
The fire was to be kept going continuously. The continual burnt
offering was a sign of the presence of God and a sign of one’s total
devotion and surrender to God. At Passover, the lamb was part of the
burnt offering. Drink and grain offerings always accompanied the burnt
offering. At the Last Supper, through the symbols of the sacrificial
system I see Jesus picturing himself as a burnt offering to the Father,
as a sign of the presence of the Father through him and as a sign of
total and complete dedication of all of Yahshua to the Father.
The burnt offering was always done with all the offerings, the Daily,
Sabbath and Monthly offerings, and at all the Feasts (Num 28-29). The
lamb of the burnt offering is also used to make atonement for sin. The
worshiper made confession and the blood was sprinkled against the altar
(Lev 1:4-5). The burnt offering is the only voluntary offering that
also atones for sin. The sacrifice of the Lamb, along with the grain
(body) and drink (blood) offerings of Jesus' sacrifice are all the
elements of a burnt offering, and thereby bind that event to all the
offerings and feast days through the aspects of praise and commitment
to God (the "pleasing aroma" of the burnt offering) and atonement for
sin through repentance which stands on his sacrifice (Eph 5:2; Heb
Attending the continual burnt offering and keeping the fire going all
the time was the duty and responsibility of the priests. When a grain
offering is given, most goes into the burnt offering. Whatever portion
is left is for the priests only. The showbread continually displayed in
the temple was food for the priests only (Mt 12:4).
In order to understand Our Lord’s invitation to drink the wine, we need
to look for places in scripture where drinking wine was done
spiritually, that is, done in the spirit of the Lord. One place in the
law where it says one may drink wine is after completion of a Nazarite
vow (Num 6:1-21). This vow was an act of separation, self-discipline
and total devotion to God, a call to faithfulness and an expression of
an ongoing commitment to God. One of the few places in the law where we
are really invited to drink wine in the spirit of rejoicing in the Lord
is Deut 14:22-29. Here we are told to use the tithe money to buy
we want, including wine, to rejoice and fellowship in the presence of
the Lord. This section of the law explains that if the temple in
Jerusalem is too far, then we are to praise the Lord in local
congregations, where the tithes are collected and used to celebrate and
also to help those in need. Another reference to drinking wine is found
Gen 14:18 where Melchizedek, king of Salem, offered Abraham bread and
wine. In is interesting that these are the elements of communion. Jesus
is a priest of the order of Melchizedek, which is both king and priest,
as opposed to the order of Aaron, which is priest only (Heb 7:11).
When Jesus invites us to eat the bread and drink the wine, I hear many
levels of meaning. From the completion of the Nazarite vow and the
burnt offering, I hear a call to an ongoing commitment to God that is
deep and all consuming. From the grain offering and showbread given to
priests and their responsibility to keep the light of the burnt
offering going, I hear a call to complete devotion to God and a call to
become a nation of priests (Ex 19:6; 2 Cor 3:6). From the law of the
tithe I hear a call to rejoice and remain in fellowship with your
brothers in Christ. And it is also a call to support local
congregations and to help those in need.
I suspect the related themes found in the law in Deut 14:22-29 is a
more important association than it may appear at first glance. Bearing
in mind John 4 and knowing Jesus spoke of his coming sacrifice in the
context of the Law of Moses, the next day when the sacrifice was
finished and the blood for purification provided, we observe the veils
in the temple were torn in half opening the way to the inner sanctuary.
This was not only another powerful call to the nation to become
priests, but also a powerful statement that the temple was no longer
central to worship. In calling us to drink the wine and share the bread
in the context of God’s powerful system of reconciliation, there was
also a powerful endorsement of worshiping wherever you are in truth and
spirit and an endorsement of the law of the tithe of bringing your
offerings to the local congregations when the temple is too far or does
not exist. We are to continue to follow the spirit of the daily
sacrifice, as explained by this passage from Deuteronomy and backed up
by Hebrews 10:19-25.
Finally, in the bread and wine I also see recognition that Jesus is of
the order of Melchizedek, and thereby not only our High Priest but our
King as well. Understanding his role as High Priest, though, is
critical to understanding how to use his blood to become cleansed of
any sin you might commit. While Jesus has completed his part by
providing the blood for purification of sins (Heb 1:3), once and done
for all, our application of that blood in our life is an ongoing walk.
Our part is not done in that when we “accept the Lord” our sins are not
washed and cleansed into the
future. Our sins are cleansed for the present and the past; at least as
far as you are willing to trust the Lord and let go of any held anger
and resentment. If not, then that continues as weight on your walk
until the Holy Spirit convicts and frees you of it. Future sins are
washed and cleansed by the blood when you are convicted, confess,
repent and use his blood at that time to make payment for your debt.
Which means the Holy Spirit will work on repairing the damage you’ve
done and expects your help in the process. Follow its lead.
The verb tense of Hebrews 9:14 proves that the blood does not wash the
future sins away. The verb is not past tense, and therefore not
indicating that the application of the blood is once and done. The
tense of the verb states a present and future application (“will” &
“cleanse”), which again, can only be understood in the context of the
sacrificial system. That knowledge lets us understand that the call to
daily sacrifice continues and we are to bring our offerings to our High
Priest in the heavenly sanctuary through the altar of our hearts (Heb
7:20-28; 1 Pet 1:2). This will be explained in more detail as we
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!
Hebrews 9:14 NIV
Jesus requested that we do this in remembrance of him. Considering the
whole context within which he spoke, that meant continuing to observe
God’s ordinance of the Passover, yet also to realize Jesus’ role in
fulfilling the expectation of the Passover Seder. This included the
themes of the perfect sin offering, the sacrificial lamb, and of the
messianic theme of fulfilling the new covenant. It also means to
observe the Communion as he showed us and to understand that it is the
spirit of following the law of the Daily Sacrifice. God's desire is a
daily (morning & evening) communion with Him through praise,
worship, prayer and reflection.
Jesus, Our High
In reading the book of Hebrews, one comes away with a clear impression
of how Jesus’ sacrifice was the perfect fulfillment of the law of Moses
in regards to expiation for our sins. Jesus was the unblemished lamb.
Spiritually he was unblemished in that he lived the way
of love. He is the firstfruits of mankind, living the perfect way and
showing by example how we should live our lives. His
blood, his life, was offered once for all to fulfill
the part of the law (Lev 17:11) that requires payment for the expiation
For it was fitting that he, for whom and through whom all
things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the
leader to their salvation perfect through suffering. He who consecrates
and those who are being consecrated all have one origin.
Therefore, he is not ashamed to call them “brothers”, ...
Hebrews 2: 10-11 NAB
Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he
suffered; and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal
salvation for all who
Hebrews 5: 8-9 NAB
For if the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of a
heifer’s ashes can sanctify those who are defiled so that their flesh
how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit
offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead
works to worship the living God.
Hebrews 9: 13-14 NAB
The goal of the ritual sacrifice is that through the acts of confession
and repentance, along with inspiration from God, one comes to an
understanding of what has been done, obtains relief from the price of
sin, and eventually comes to a conscience that no longer desires
to sin. According to the law, one needs blood to atone, redeem
and make good the transference of the sins: from the confessor to
the priest, then to the sanctuary and eventually, removed from the
congregation. Jesus’ blood is always available to use through prayer
and will forever fulfill the requirements of the law. Jesus offers a
better blood than that of goats or bulls, for the payment is in full.
Also, the transference of sins is done at once rather than in stages,
as it is with a human high priest. With
Jesus as our High Priest, there is no more
need to spill blood when offering daily sacrifice
But how does the act of Jesus’ sacrifice then, some 2,000 years ago,
help us in dealing with our sins now?
Those priests were many because they were prevented by
death from remaining in office,
but he, because he remains forever, has a priesthood that
does not pass away. Therefore, he is always able to save
those who approach God through him, since he lives forever to make
intercession for them. ... For the law appoints men subject
to weakness to be high priests, but the word of the oath, which
was taken after the law, appoints a son, who has been made perfect
Hebrews 7: 23-25, 28 NAB
Jesus fulfilled the requirements of living according to the law
and, in offering his life in sacrifice under the conditions that
occurred, fulfilled the spirit and intent of all temple sacrifices and
thereby earned his place in the heavenly sanctuary as High Priest. He
remains there to act as an active intercessor to all who
ask for his help. It is this active role that has an effect upon
our lives today. He acts as an advocate when we approach God in prayer
through him. He is always available to talk to and to hear our concerns
on a personal level, to offer help and advice through the inspiration
the Holy Spirit. In contemporary terms, he’s always on call. He is
Notice in the passage above that despite what Jesus has done, there
still is an ongoing obligation to approach God and to seek
following passages further describe the role of Jesus as high
priest and intercessor.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed
through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For
we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our
weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way,
yet without sin. So let us confidently approach the throne of grace
to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.
Hebrews 4: 14-16 NAB
therefore, he had to become like his brothers in every way,
that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God to
expiate the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested through
what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.
Hebrews 2: 17-18 NAB
With the guidance of our High Priest, through compassion and mercy, we
come to a point where our hearts allow our eyes to see another’s point
of view. This puts things in a different light and often allows us to
release our anger and fear. As one of our modern philosophers states,
compassion is the key to ending hate.
Sometimes I wonder why are
we so blind to fate? Without compassion, there can be no end to hate,
end to sorrow caused by the same endless fears. Why can’t we learn from
we’ve been through, after two thousand years?
Jesus, The Perfect
Two Thousand Years - Billy
As human beings, we still sin. The sacrifice that Jesus made has not
brought our consciences to the point of not sinning, at least not yet.
That will occur when the new covenant
comes to fruition. The
law was given as a means of dealing with sin and that involves
confession, as noted above. The core activities of the ritual
the sin offering, are payment, confession and repentance. Now one has
ask, since Jesus came, has the ritual sacrifice changed and what is our
continued obligation to the daily sacrifice?
In this way the holy Spirit shows that the way into the
sanctuary had not yet
been revealed while the outer tabernacle still had its
place. This is a symbol of the present time, in which gifts
and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the worshiper in
conscience but only in matters of food and drink and various ritual
washings: regulations concerning the flesh, imposed until the time of
the new order.
Hebrews 9: 8-10 NAB
The bodies of the animals whose blood the high priest
brings into the sanctuary as a sin offering are burned outside the
camp. Therefore, Jesus also suffered outside the gate, to consecrate
the people by his own blood. ... Through him [Jesus] (then) let us
continually offer God a sacrifice of
praise, that is, the fruit of lips
that confess his [God’s] name. Do not neglect to do good and to
share what you have; God is pleased by sacrifices of that kind.
Hebrews 13:11-12, 15-16 NAB
Hebrews 9 clearly states that the ritual sacrifice still applies in the
present time, which is the present age. They apply until the time of
the new order. From the context of the chapter, we know that the new
order is the new covenant.
Jesus is mediator of the new
covenant, which will reach its fulfillment by the end of the next age,
the millennial rule of
Christ. The statutes for the ritual sacrifice still apply, at least
until the Messiah returns.
Hebrews 13 makes witness to the fact that the sin offerings were still
the time the author wrote, which was after Jesus had been sacrificed.
The last passage above, Hebrews 13:15-16, indicates how the ritual has
been changed. We are still obligated to offer daily sacrifice to atone
for our sins. However, when done through Jesus, the law’s requirement
for payment will be satisfied by Jesus’ blood (Lev 17:11). Instead of
an animal’s life, we should offer sacrifice in more helpful ways, which
was the original intent of the law of Moses. The chart
shows many of the dimensions, characteristics and
ways in which one should offer sacrifice to God. Each ray of light
coming from the center gives an example of daily sacrifice in action.
The top of the ray lists what is sacrificed. The bottom lists
the motivation. Can you think of others? This practice and these
concepts should be carried in one’s heart daily.
Jesus was not the final sacrifice 3
, he was the perfect
sacrifice. He satisfied the law’s requirement for payment by the
sacrifice of his innocent life, as symbolized by his precious blood.
There is no
more need for blood sacrifice, his sacrifice was done for all mankind.
If one looks at Jesus as the final sacrifice and understands this to
mean that there is no more requirement for daily sacrifice on our part,
this is a misunderstanding of Jesus’ accomplishment. Our requirement to
offer daily sacrifice to atone for our sins
still stands. Jesus’ blood covers payment for our sin, but it does
not absolve us of the repentance and restitution process. Jesus’
sacrifice of his life
and blood put in place an active intercessor in our inner sanctuary to
help guide us to know the best expression of sacrifice that
will expiate the sin we have brought before God and laid upon the
altar. When we sin, even though we are forgiven by God, we are still
responsible for the consequences of our actions. We should follow the
Holy Spirit’s lead in taking action to address the impact of
our sins. Seek also God’s grace in this process. True grace brings a
realization and deep understanding of the motivations and reasons that
led to the sin in the first place, so that it will not be repeated.
Without Jesus, there is only the law and it would seem that animal
sacrifice would be required for a sin offering. Yet there is the
But we are sure in your regard, beloved, of better things
related to salvation, even though we speak in this way. For God is not
unjust so as to overlook your work and the love you have demonstrated...
Hebrews 6: 9-10 NAB
Eventually, we will live in a world where there is no desire to sin.
This will be the time
of the new covenant.
when we do, as we see from the next passage, where there is no sin,
there is no need for a sin offering.
For by one offering he has made perfect forever those who
are being consecrated. The holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after
saying: ‘This is the covenant I will establish with them after those
days, says the Lord: “I will put my laws in their hearts, and I
will write them upon their minds,”’ he also says: ‘Their sins and
their evildoing I will remember no more.’ Where there is forgiveness of
these, there is no longer offering for sin.
Hebrews 10: 14-18 NAB
Love and forgiveness are the keys to releasing our pain. Forgiveness
follows repentance (Acts 2:38). The Lord’s Prayer tells us that we will
be forgiven by God in the same fashion as we have forgiven those who
trespass against us. Jesus also warns not to judge others, for God will
judge us as we judge others (Mt 7:1-2).
The path of sacrifice and confession is a long road. If we walk this
path alone, it is almost impossible. With help, powerful help, it can
be a whole different experience. One can decide to go it on your own,
but it is a much
tougher and longer road. The writings of Carlos Castaneda give one an
idea of the effort needed for this way. If you eventually find the way,
the irony is that you will find Christ anyway, for he is the
way. So you might as well accept his help along the way.
We can call upon our High Priest at any time. The
key is understanding that Jesus fulfilled the role of living
as the perfect example of the way of love and also fulfilled
a prophetic role as the perfect sacrificial lamb at the appointed
time. Because of this accomplishment, he became High Priest in
the heavenly sanctuary. When we make our temple also the dwelling place
of God's spirit, then Jesus is able to live within us,
to inspire and guide us to do what is right, thereby taking away our
sins (1 Jn 3).
The Daily Sacrifice Today
Understanding and accepting that Jesus provides the blood
eternal for all sin and guilt offerings, and that he actually and
presently serves as High Priest to make real the substitute payment,
the ransom, which cleanses the consciousness and inspires the worshiper
to leave dead acts at the altar and not repeat them, we then have the
perspective necessary to see how these offerings have changed. We
continue with the time just after Jesus ascended into heaven.
The Apostles were meeting and praying at the temple, as was their daily
custom, when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the day of Pentecost.
This feast day was also called the Feast of Weeks, the Feast of Harvest
and the day of firstfruits. Acts chapter 2 records that many received
the gifts of the spirit, including speaking in tongues, the ability to
be understood in the
languages of other people present so that they also may hear God’s
inspired the faithful to have a deeper understanding of the holy
scriptures and also led to many conversions to the faith of Judaism
(Acts 2:11; 13:43). The faithful continued to observe the feast days as
defined in the law of Moses and observed by Jesus (Lk 22:15-16; Jn
7:2,8,37; 10:22; Acts 2:1; 20:6).
After being so deeply inspired by the Holy Spirit, the apostles were
led to have daily devotions in the temple where they would teach, have
fellowship, prayer and praise, and also the ritual of breaking the
bread (Acts 2:42-47). The author of Acts makes the point that one’s
meal should be eaten at home so the ritual of breaking bread at the
temple remains sacred and does not become just a meal.
When it comes to the ritual of breaking bread together, Paul makes
clear that we should "examine" ourselves before taking part in it.
However, while doing this we should not "judge" ourselves. Leave that
to God. Don't search for things in yourself that are "wrong" but let
the Holy Spirit convict one of sin through prayer. If
convicted, then confess and repent
right away, lest we come under God’s judgment.
This is a clear reference to the confession and repentance aspects of
the sin offerings. When Paul says that as we eat the bread and wine we
proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes, he has in mind the full
promise of redemption (1 Cor 4:1-5, 11:26-32).
But in the meantime, until our conscience is free of sin, there is the
sin offering, only now we sprinkle the altar of our hearts with the
blood of the lamb by way of our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary.
blood of Jesus it no longer makes sense to sacrifice an animal since
its blood can not match Jesus’. As with the daily
sacrifice, Luke reminds
us to do this daily (Luke 9:23). We "take up" the cross daily when we
stand on our daily commitment to the Lord. We die daily when we examine
and realize the sins of our ego. In these expectations we indeed find
the ordinances of the daily sacrifice still applying to us. The
sacrament of Communion is the spirit of following the sacrificial
system, the daily sacrifice.
To some degree, the Catholic church has kept this ongoing ritual and
obligation. The church offers a daily communion, a daily mass, called a
sacrifice (for the
wrong reasons though - see Martin
). The church’s ritual makes clear
the requirement for doing confession, repentance and consideration of
restitution prior to receiving the sacrament of communion, whereby we
complete the process in the acts of payment, forgiveness and atonement.
This whole process is the daily sacrifice in the light of Jesus’
Passover sacrifice as the ultimate sin offering.
Through the actions of the people in the Bible, we see this expected
follow through that comes with the practice of the daily
sacrifice. If a sin has affected a relationship with someone else, then
you should go and reconcile the situation with your brother. This
responsibility is made clear by one of Jesus’ teachings, showing this
aspect of the law still applies.
You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, “You
shall not kill;
and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.” But I say to you,
whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and
whoever says to his brother, “Raqa,” will be answerable to the
Sanhedrin, and whoever says, “You fool,” will be liable to fiery
Gehenna. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there
recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift
there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and
then come and offer your gift.
Matthew 5: 21-24 NAB
If we make a sacrifice, reconcile with our brother, confess our sins
and empty ourselves of any negative emotions being held, we will be
open to receive and fill this space with the unconditional love of the
Holy Spirit and its gifts through praise and worship. Just as the
priests ate parts of the temple
sacrifices made holy by confession,
so too we eat the bread and wine of the Passover sacrifice made holy by
confession and faith (1 Cor 10:15-18). This is with the understanding
that we are made priests in accepting God’s covenant, and in willing
cooperation with his spirit, we follow the law from our hearts.
When Jesus, the Messiah, said do “this” in remembrance
of him, it seems clear that first and foremost his followers should
Passover feast day and remember the ways in which Jesus fulfills the
roles memorialized in the Passover Seder. We are also to remember his
great sacrifice and
its effect upon the daily sacrifice. We should remember and understand
we continue to observe the daily sacrifice in the form of the sacrament
Communion. Today’s daily sacrifice continues the call to worship and
the call to examine oneself and sacrifice one’s ego in confession,
repentance and restitution. And then the bread and wine is eaten as a
reminder of the
reality of our Lord and Counselor. Finally, we are to remember the
the promise of the time when all will carry it in their hearts, but
recognize the calling to remain faithful now.
God’s plan of redemption continues to unfold toward fulfillment of the
covenant being written in all our hearts. The reality of Jesus’
his sacrifice ratify and make real the promise and plan of God. While
the sacrifice of Jesus pays the price of the law, it does not absolve
us of the law. Paul points out in Romans 6-8 that the law could only
point out and
instruct us in what is sin. It did nothing to enable us to resist sin.
Jesus, in being a living example of the new covenant, living with the
law in his heart and mind, is able as High Priest to help us resist sin
by the power of his Spirit.
This daily practice is the
key to developing an intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit. As
mankind sins, people get hurt. If that impact is not addressed,
released, restitution made, atonement sought, whichever is appropriate,
then blockages form. Forgiveness and compassion are the keys to
protecting and guarding one's heart. The key to forgiveness and letting
go is to trust completely in God and leave any justice needed to Him.
If the pain is left to accumulate, we can cut
ourselves off from our Source: emotionally, mentally and ultimately
physically. This path of not addressing our abominations, our sins,
will eventually result in our temple becoming desolate of God’s spirit.
This path leads to a cold heart and separation from God, separation
from the Source of inspiration, resolution, restitution, health,
strength and ultimately peace of mind. Daily sacrifice is a meditation
and communion with God and the way to keep our hearts open.
Prophecy and The
Now let us return to Daniel’s prophecy of the 70 weeks, Daniel 9:24-27,
which was cited earlier. In this prophecy, a week represents
approximately seven years. The first 69 weeks were fulfilled in the
past. The final week of years, the 70th
applies to our future and the seven years just prior to the coming of
the Messiah as the lion and the light. In the middle of this seven year
period, the daily sacrifice is removed. This would presume that the
practice is occurring up to that point, or at least it occurs during
the first half of the seven years. What does the daily sacrifice mean
in this prophetic context?
On the level of the macrocosm, the world at large, it refers to the
ritual sacrifices performed in the temple of God in Jerusalem. This
implies that the temple will be rebuilt so that the people of Israel
who don't accept Jesus' blood can observe the law by bringing animals
the temple as sin offerings. As we saw earlier, Ezekiel’s temple vision
supports this interpretation. Daniel's prophecy indicates that this
ritual activity will be stopped. This will be the object lesson for all
the world to see and to focus its attention. We should also remember
that this temple will become the throne of our most Wonderful
Counselor. Prophecy says the temple will be rebuilt, blessed, made
holy, protected by the two witnesses (Rev. 11), and coveted by the
Antichrist (2 Thess 2).
On a deeper level, the personal level, the daily sacrifice refers to
the universal practice of praise and worship, confession and
repentance, of making
sacrifices and seeking atonement for
our sins, as discussed earlier. This core
activity can be found in many religions. The prophecy says the practice
will be removed or ended. Combined with other prophecies about the
and the harlot, symbols which represent the end-time world government
is also a world religion, one can make a clearer interpretation of this
prophecy. At the end of the age, a government and a religion
will come to power over the entire planet. This religion is described
as a harlot, for it lies, deceives and
is not faithful to God. Its belief system will be one that does
not contain nor condone any form of daily sacrifice. It will demand
loyalty and total submission through accepting a device inside one’s
hand or forehead. Once accepted, you will lose your will and desire to
offer daily sacrifice.
... In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to
sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an
abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is
poured out on him.
Dan. 9:27 NIV [Note again that “sacrifice and offering”
is the same as
For the nation of Israel, this refers to altering and desecrating the
temple and the worship therein. On the deeper level, when the temple is
seen as the temple of our body (1 Cor 3:16, 6:19), it is something
unnatural put on, perhaps, the hand (wing), which will eventually bring
about our ruin. Upon reflection, one can see that if one no longer can
offer praise and oblation, it implies it interferes with one’s will.
This is probably a device, but perhaps it is refering to a system of
This interference with the
daily sacrifice comes up again in Daniel 12:11. This
passage also speaks to both levels.
From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the
abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290
The inability or unwillingness to offer daily sacrifice and the
committing of one’s soul to a deceptive and corrupt faith will be the
abomination that will eventually lead to one’s temple becoming desolate
of God’s spirit. Then you become an expendable pawn to be used by that
system. This is the personal level that applies to everyone.
As we approach the end of the age, we should see the start of Daniel’s
week. This event will be evidence of
the rise of the beast, the end-time world government. This start is
marked by an agreement involving many nations who confirm Israel’s
right to exist and determine the status of Jerusalem. A world power,
whose roots come from the ancient Roman Empire, will be the force
this agreement. At some point it will become a confederacy of 10 kings.
When it enters into an agreement with Israel and gains control of some
aspect of Jerusalem, then we will witness the resurrected fourth beast
of Daniel. Eventually it will join or become a religious entity.
The final religious king will subdue 3 of
these 10 kings who give their power and authority over to this one
person. He becomes the head of this world government/religion and rules
second half of Daniel's 70 th
week. The Bible
calls this person the lawless one, the little horn, known today as the
infamous Antichrist. The events of Sept. 11, 2001 exposed the heart of
the Antichrist. Its face is yet to be revealed, but ultimately its boss
is Satan. It is he who influences and controls those involved through
anger, hatred and fear. The conspiracy of the dark side is real and
getting closer to achieving its goal of world domination. The end-time
as described in Daniel and Revelation, is coming.
The Bible issues a solemn warning about the end-time world government
that is important to highlight. It states that there will come a day
when a world government will stand against all religions and demand
loyalty and faith through accepting a device inside oneself. This is
known as the “mark of the beast”. Rev 13:15-18 says that the mark is
required in order to buy or sell. The name associated with this mark
will have a numerical value of 666. If you face this situation, with
this exact set of circumstances, the Bible warns not to accept it.
If you do accept the mark, you support the beast and share the
responsibility for what it does. Refuse it and deal with the
consequences (Lk 17:33). At that point you will have to be totally
dependent upon God, not the state.
In my opinion, most will face the mark at the midpoint of Daniel’s 70
week, when the daily sacrifice is removed. I also
believe that once the mark is accepted and put inside,
one will lose the ability to make a clear choice and never want
to remove it (Rev 19:20). This is the point at which the world
appearing to be a good thing, becomes a dark oppressive force.
This is the time when the anger and hatred that drives the Antichrist
will be revealed for all to see. It will be an expression of the
darkest aspects that lie within all of us, creating a temptation to
indulge those aspects (2 Thess. 2:11-12). The lawless one, so aptly
named, will bring about a period of lawlessness. This is a challenge
from God. For only those souls who choose to remain faithful and
obedient to God despite the official sanction of lawlessness deserve to
have authority and rule with Jesus, the Christ.
The promise of prophecy is that the time of the
Antichrist's power is limited to the second half of the 70
week, a period of 3½ years. It is destroyed
by Jesus and so begins the next age, an age ruled by a righteous king.
Jesus earned that role by resisting temptation and by not abusing his
power during his first coming as the perfect sacrificial lamb.
The symbols of prophecy have depth in that they capture the human
characteristics which bring about their fulfillment. God's use of
beasts as symbols for governments are exaggerated images of the animal
instincts within and is meant to give us insight into how the decisions
we make shape our future and bring about certain consequences. In a
simplified sense, when we allow the "might makes right" animal survival
instinct to dominate the governments we form, as with the early
Babylonian Empire at the time of Daniel, and then put that same drive
into the future and give it greater technology, it seems not hard to
see the Antichrist scenario.
In a metaphysical sense, by avoiding responsibility, by avoiding
getting to the root of our issues and emotional consequences this tends
to give rise to behaviors of control. Mankind has often worked out its
issues this way, so unless we learn to address the true core issues and
change our vibration as Jesus demonstrated, then the same old patterns
will arise until we collectively manifest the ultimate control scenario
- the antichirst world dictator.
The promise of prophecy is not the judgment of plagues or the
punishment of a world dictator. These things will naturally evolve as
consequences of the decisions we make and how we treat each other and
the planet. The promise of prophecy is the intervention by Christ to
end that oppressive government once it comes to power (Isa 9:6), a
power that might otherwise dominate for a long, long time, perhaps a
millennium or so.
Mankind has often asked for God to intervene and fix things, yet if we
are to develop as free will independent beings, then God can't come
running every time we yell for help. But an intervention is planned and
one we have waited a long time for. If this is truly to help us grow,
then the new vibration must be part of us in order for it to take hold
and grow. That is why several millennia had to pass since the Messiah's
first coming when his message and vibration of love was planted and
made real. This needed to grow over many seasons until a powerful and
faithful remnant would be ready to live as he did, and thereby support
and sustain the return of the Messiah into this world, otherwise we
would just reject him again.
In thinking about Daniel's 70th Week prophecy, I've often wondered why
the Antichirst would consider the daily sacrifice so important that
removing it becomes the focal point of his effort, according to this
prophecy. I've prayed about it and believe I've been led to the
understanding of the daily sacrifice presented here. It also seems to
me that over the years there has been an effort to obscure this
meaning. For my quest, I feel the Holy Spirit has led me to see a
process that is indeed key to our relationship with God, and in so
interrupting it would create a separation from our Creator and thereby
subject one to the position of being controlled, rather than remaining
in control by facing and taking responsibility for one's own feelings,
decisions, actions and consequences.
For more details on prophecy, see the Analysis of Prophecy
section beginning with God's Master Plan
of 7,000 Years
for an overview. For more depth on Daniels’
prophecies, see The Signs Jesus Instructed Us to
, which leads to The Desolating
Abomination in Daniel
Evolution of the Soul
The river of life
surrounds and powers us. It is available to
all in abundance. Your ability to receive depends upon the openness of
your heart and your understanding of God. Your openness is a function
of how you have lived your
life. If the way you have chosen to do, to handle, to interact, to be
affected by what has transpired brings pain, heart ache and regret,
these negative emotions will act as blockages, stones in your
channel of the river of life. If enough stones accumulate, the river
will be blocked from flowing to you and you will lose life force.
The way to keep the flow of abundance open, is to keep working at
removing those stones,
those emotional blockages that prevent us from loving unconditionally.
Life will always bring stones. The way to remove them is through the
practice of some form of daily sacrifice. At the rate things are moving
in our society today, only by doing this daily
can one hope to keep ahead of the blockages.
If we carry an appreciation for appropriate sacrifice in our hearts
daily, we will keep our hearts open and, therefore, the spiritual power
of the river of life flowing abundantly. One might think, though, that
with the right relationship one could live forever in the
physical form. Not so. Eventually, in the lives of all human beings,
there comes a point when it is time to die, to leave your body
and plunge into the river.
Just as it is appointed that human beings die once, and
after this the judgment, ...
Hebrews 9:27 NAB
What will that judgment be? That depends upon how well we have learned
to love unconditionally. Most people do not pass through this life
living the way that Christ showed. Many fall into the bondage of
to past pain. Sometimes it seems we need a miracle to set us
free, or perhaps fire, to burn away the unwanted pain. Knowing that the
path and gate to heaven is narrow (Mt 7:14) and
that living a life in accordance with the commandments (Mt 19:17)
can be challenging, are most souls condemned for eternity after one
lifetime? Is this the way of a loving God? Consider the following:
But do not ignore
this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand
and a thousand years like one day. The Lord does not delay his promise,
some regard “delay”, but he is patient with you, not wishing that any
perish but that all should come to repentance.
2 Peter 3: 8-9 NAB
God’s view of time spans all perspectives, from
seeing every moment in a day as if it were a thousand years, to
seeing the progression of a thousand years as if it were perceived
in a single day. This statement says that the full span of God’s
perspective comes to bear in guiding souls to repentance.
How can any soul grow and learn over a thousand
years unless many lifetimes are involved? Consider also,
the following statement made by Paul to the faithful alive
at his time. It concerns the transformation of the elect, commonly
called the rapture, that will occur at the end of this age, the
age they had just entered.
Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all fall asleep,
but we will all be changed, in an instant, in the blink of an eye, at
the last trumpet.
1 Corinthians 15: 51-52 NAB
How can the souls living on Earth at Paul’s time possibly experience
the rapture at
the end of the age unless souls return to the Earth to experience other
lifetimes. Some say this is an example of the apostles incorrectly
expecting Christ's return in their lifetime. If in their view of life
it was natural for souls to return to the Earth, then Paul's statement
is not wrong. Considering that Paul was inspired by the Holy Spirit, he
would not speak in error. The idea of the soul returning to the womb to
experience another lifetime is expressed most clearly in Job.
... Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb, and naked
shall I go back again. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
blessed be the name of the Lord!
Job 1:21 NAB
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you
were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.
Jeremiah 1:5 NAB
Many have used Hebrews 9:27, cited above, to make a case that souls do
not reincarnate into another body, that the Bible says we journey
through this Earth only once. This view does not fit the context of the
paragraph. On one level, this verse, and into the next chapter,
comments on the total journey of our souls. Once, at a point in the
past as described by Genesis 3:19-24 (see also Romans 5:12), sin was
brought into this world and so it was appointed for us to die. This
will be so until the end
of the next age when sin will be no more and death, the final enemy,
will be conquered. This new covenant
(Heb 10:16) will come
into being because of what Jesus did once, and only once, i.e. fulfill
the role of perfect sacrifice.
On another level, if the author meant that we journey through the Earth
plane once, to be accurate the sentence should read ‘It is appointed
experience death once, and after this the
judgment,’. The sentence clearly translates to human beings. All human
beings die, which is a self-evident statement and fits the context of
the comparison, that is it should be evident that Jesus needed to die
only once, not repeatedly like the animal sacrifices. The author had a
clear understanding of the distinction between the body and the soul,
and uses the term soul in Hebrews 4:12 & 6:19.
This we have as an anchor of the soul [the promise and oath
of God], sure and fine, which reaches into the interior behind the
veil, where Jesus has entered on our behalf as forerunner, becoming
high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
Hebrews 6:19-20 NAB [Note: "forever" from Greek aion: can also be translated
The mysterious character of Melchizedek is introduced in Genesis
14:18-20. Hebrews 7:1-3 explains that he was not born into this world.
Some see Melchizedek as
Jesus in another form, seen before the Son came to Earth as Jesus.
Since Jesus is our forerunner, a model for us, this would allude to the
different journeys of the soul.
We know that Jesus Christ is the alpha and the omega, the first and the
last (Revelation 22:13). We also know that Adam is the first son
created by God. Paul has an interesting discussion in Romans 5 & 6
and 1 Corinthians 15 in which he compares Adam and Christ. He states
that Adam was a pattern giving rise to the one to come, namely Christ
(Romans 5:14). The Greek word for pattern, tupos
, has the
meaning of a die, a stamp or scar, a model for imitation, a type, a
pattern. Its clear its meaning is establishing a mold that will be
repeated and used again. For we are also the sons of God;
that is, when we are led by the Holy Spirit and do not live sinful
Paul continues the contrast of Adam and Christ. For in Adam, all die,
due to the sin
he introduced, but in Christ all will be made alive by what he
accomplished. Through a man came death and through a man
comes resurrection of the dead. In this regard, Paul refers to Christ
as a man, thereby tying him and Adam together (1 Cor 15:21). Paul
strengthens this tie in Romans 5:19 by saying that through the
disobedience of one man many were made sinners, but through the
obedience of the one man many will be made righteous. Further, Paul
calls Christ the last Adam in 1 Corinthians 15:45. Finally, Paul brings
it all together when he states:
... Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the
firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
1 Corinthians 15:20 NIV
Being the firstfruits means others will follow. Of all the souls who
have fallen asleep 4
and entered the cycle of rebirth, Christ is the
first to conquer death and be free from it. He is the alpha, the first
son created, Adam, one who brought sin into the world by
disobedience. He is also the omega, the last Adam, the life-giving
spirit, the one who eventually conquered sin by total obedience to God,
and the one who will be
the victor over death itself. Christ is the first to make it through
the evolutionary process, to go from initial disobedience that comes
with the exercise of free will in the human form, to maturing to the
point of willingly choosing to obey God as demonstrated by his life as
Jesus, the Christ. This is the pattern that we will follow, but each in
his own time, 1 Corinthians 15:23, and after a great deal more time.
For Jesus said we shall do even greater things (Jn 14:12). 5
Additionally, in Revelation 22:16 Jesus refers to himself as the root
and offspring of David. We all understand him to be the offspring or
descendant of David but the root means he also came
before David. The ultimate root of David is Adam. Finally, since Luke
refers to Adam as the son of God in chapter 3 verse 38, this indicates
the apostles had an understanding of the prior lives of Jesus. It is
that the Apostles Creed states of Jesus, "On
the third day he rose
". The word "again" suggests he did it before, which would be
There is an important distinction between Jesus’ lifetime and a normal
lifetime for us. Jesus demonstrated and fulfilled the way of love
during his lifetime. This is still the pattern and way for us to follow
even though Jesus did not come to this world in the normal way. It is
important to understand that he had already freed himself from the
cycle of physical lives before being Jesus. His soul had already
achieved total atonement, total at-one-ment with the Creator. This is
seen by his appearance as Melchizedek, a being without “beginning of
end of life”. Jesus was sent into this world by God, in that he was
fathered by the Holy Spirit and not Joseph. He was sent by God to
fulfill a public role for all the world to witness and contemplate down
through the ages. His holy presence physically changed mother Earth.
And because of his accomplishment, he then took his place in the
heavenly sanctuary, where he continues his daily role as our High
Priest. We approach him through prayer as we seek atonement for sins.
The price has been paid, but the consequences of
remain and need to be dealt with. As long as we continue to sin, our
creations must be handled by the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit.
Returning to the rebirth concept, we see it also in baptism. For we are
buried with Christ and then resurrected with him into a new life
(Romans 6:4), a chance to start over, to be born again (John 3:3,7).
Born again is a reference to a spiritual process of renewal of the soul
whereby a conversion of the heart takes place (more of this later). It
is also a reference to the physical process, in which the soul is
renewed with each new life.
This view of life was natural in Jesus’ time, as show by the question
asked in John 9:2-3. Jesus and his disciples came upon a man blind from
and they asked him who sinned here, the man or his parents? If
it is the man, then it must be in a prior life. This question also
shows that we can be affected by the sins of our parents. Jesus
accepted the question without rebuke, showing it was a natural way to
interpret the situation. He answers that neither. In this case,
it seems necessary in order to bring out the best in this man’s soul.
Sometimes bad things happen to us, not because of what he did, but
because it is needed for us to grow. (Another example that it was
normal to view souls as coming back to Earth is expressed in the
question asked of Jesus in Mt 16:13-14 and Mk 8:27-28.)
There is one case in which the Bible clearly identifies
the soul of a person in the past returning again to the Earth to
fulfill another role, to live again in another body. It is that of the
prophet Elijah returning to fulfill the role of John the Baptist.
was born, an angel of the Lord appeared to his father, Zachariah, and
told him he would have a son who would have the spirit of Elijah (Luke
1:17). Jesus himself identified John the Baptist as Elijah, and more
than once, as recorded in Matthew 11:10-15 and 17:10-13 (Mark 9:11-13).
Some refute this by saying that John himself said he was not Elijah
1:21) but normally none of us remember who we were, yet the Master
who he was and said so.
As a light aside, consider briefly the standard Christian view that
after we live and come to face judgment, those who don't
make it to heaven go to Satan's domain. Revelation 12:9 & 12
clearly states that Satan was cast down to the Earth, so going to
Satan's domain would mean returning to the Earth.
All souls were created before the foundation of the world (Job 38:4-5,
21; Eph 1:4) and will continue to exist unless condemned by God to the
Lake of Fire at the end of the next millennium. Let us ask, what is
meant by salvation? If by salvation one is
referring to the soul surviving death and continuing its existence,
this is the natural process for souls, regardless of
how they have lived their lives. It is a free gift to all by the grace
of God. If by salvation, one means existing
in unconditional love, thereby freeing oneself from the cycle of
physical lives and being able to exist in a continual state of Nirvana
or Heaven, harmonious eternal life, then this is the narrow path that
able to walk. If one does attain this state, one may still choose to
incarnate, as Jesus demonstrated as Melchizedek, for life continues.
Another way to describe the difference between these two levels of
salvation is that the first and most basic is the "continuity of the
soul", that the soul continues to exist from lifetime to lifetime. I
would describe the next level of salvation as the "continuity of
consciousness", for we no longer fall asleep and forget who we were but
become immortal and have continuous consciousness of who we are.
There is yet another level, that salvation is not complete until it
applies to all, as implied by 2 Peter 3 and
1 Corinthians 15:25-28. There will be a time when all souls willingly
live and exemplify the love of God and exist in total harmony. This is
the time when God’s master plan comes to fruition, the fulfillment of
the New Covenant
at the end of the next millennium. It will be
the time that we reach our full potential as the sons and daughters of
God, the goal
of God’s creation. Perhaps we might call this level of salvation
"continuity of consciousness of humanity". Can you imagine the
potential when we reach this level? New heavens and earths ...
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are
not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the
manifestation of the sons of God.
Romans 8:18-19 KJV
Returning to our evolution, obtaining the kingdom of Heaven is not
based upon knowing the right person, it is about living a life of love
and obedience. Knowing the right person, Jesus, can make the difference
in one’s salvation because of his daily
guidance in helping us to make the right choices. Learning of Jesus
does not of and by itself make one a saint. It is possible for one to
experience a conversion of the heart in the instant of accepting
Jesus, but that is different from the knowledge of accepting what he
did. Ultimately, we must learn and demonstrate the same kind of
obedience ourselves. Ours souls continually evolve, through lifetimes,
learning greater expressions of unconditional love, eventually evolving
the Christ Consciousness, as did our forerunner.
But now that you have been set free from sin and have
become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the
result is eternal life.
Romans 6:22 NIV
Herbert W. Armstrong, a great Biblical scholar of this last
century, explains God’s plan further in the following passages from his
book the Mystery of the Ages
. He makes clear the goal of God’s
master plan, the purpose of calling the Church (those truly faithful)
out of this world and the real meaning of being born again - a true
conversion of the heart and mind.
God’s master plan calls for offering salvation and eternal
life to every person ever born, but his plan calls for doing that in a
time-order. Those called out of this world and into
the Church at this time are called for a specific purpose and a
work. This specific work was to make possible the spiritual training
to aid in the conversion of humanity as a whole. They are called at a
time when they are persecuted and fought against by Satan and the rest
of the world. The rest of the world will be called at a time when Satan
is removed and they are aided and helped by Christ and the saints then
made immortal in the kingdom of God
One of the purposes for which Jesus came as a human to
earth was to pay that penalty
- that supreme death penalty
- for those called into his Church not only, but ultimately to free all humanity each in his due
Jesus answered immediately, “Verily, verily, I say unto
thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
But Nicodemus did not understand this. He knew that being born was an
actual birth -
parturition from the womb of the mother. Today’s theologians do not
know even that! They deny a real second birth as a spirit being. They
spiritualize away the real truth by assuming that merely saying that
one accepts Christ as his Savior constitutes being born again. In this,
Satan has deceived them and in turn they have deceived millions of
I cannot repeat too emphatically that those being called
into the Church now are not being called merely and only for salvation.
Nevertheless, in order that they may be kings and priests, as actual
God Beings aiding Christ in the salvation of
the world, those in the Church themselves must be genuinely converted.
...Conversion takes place in the mind, and that faculty of the mind we
call the heart. ... A converted person is a person with a totally
changed, or converted mind. A converted mind in which the very mind
of God is joined with the human mind. As God says through the apostle
Paul, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil.
2:5). The Holy Spirit is the spirit of a sound mind, which is a
completely changed mind.
was designed in his supreme master plan to prepare that dedicated and
organized personnel of God
beings . The Church, then, became God’s instrumentality for
aiding him in bringing about salvation to humanity
I repeat again and again, God is reproducing himself!
The average person has no conception whatever of the tremendous,
supreme supernatural achievement Almighty God has undertaken in reproducing himself -
ultimately into billions of spiritual God Beings ! Or of the
many-faceted stages of development necessitated in this pinnacle of all
pp. 187, 190
The “salvation” in what is called traditional Christianity
does not actually change one into a new and different person. Too often
ministers and evangelists tell people that if they have just “received
Christ,” “accepted Christ,” or “given their heart to the Lord,” they
are saved. They are already “born again.” It is as if some mystic
switch has been flipped and the person will be shot instantly up to
heaven upon death, which so many believe is not really a death after
all. God, in the Bible, teaches no such thing.
pp. 197 [This author's note: This view of "salvation"
God is in the process of replicating himself through us. When we are
not slaves to sin and do follow His commandments, we are capable of
great things. In 2 Kings 4:8-37 we are told of a time when a man
faithful to God named Elisha raised a boy from the dead. Peter also
raised a woman from the dead in Acts 9:40. Raising from
the dead is one of Christ's greatest miracles, yet regular man have
done this also. This certainly speaks to our potential. Psalm 82 says,
"You are gods". The author is speaking to the great assembly in heaven
presided over by God, to the saints, to those who have evolved to be in
God's presence. Christ himself affirmed this Psalm in John 10:34. Jesus
also declares in the Revelation, in 3:21, that he who overcomes will
the right to sit with him on his throne. This is our destiny. When we
spiritually to the point of being one with God through lack of sin and
total obedience to the commandments and His will, we will be as gods.
incredible thing to even contemplate, yet it is stated in scripture.
If we take notice of the symbology used by Our Lord, then this
relationship should not surprise us. In the future, when Jesus leaves
the Heavenly Sanctuary to come to Earth as Messiah and King, he will
come as the Bride Groom looking for his Bride, the Church. This is the
great wedding feast of Revelation (Rev
19:1-10). It is not a relationship of master and servant. It is a
partnership, an intimate relationship involving the Creator. Marriage
is a sacrament
because it teaches us something of this greater relationship to come.
Church are those who have prepared themselves for the role of Bride by
learning and wanting to express their will and desires in such a way
that is always in harmony with the will and desire of the Almighty.
We are all in this together and forever. The only way to satisfy
is by the practice of daily sacrifice and trust that in the fulness of
time, all will experience all they desire. Sometimes it is best to
sacrifice satisfying one's desire today and to wait on the Lord. When
we act in the
just taking what we want and not taking time to work out a solution for
involved, then we only delay the day we experience the fulfillment of
new covenant, carrying God’s law in our heart and mind, and living
goal of peace and harmony in each moment.
As we approach the end of this age we will witness the rise of the
end-time beast, the world government and religion of the Antichrist
that will create an environment giving license to all kinds of evil.
The choice we face at this time is not a question of the soul
continuing or not, it is whether or not to rule with Christ, for each
soul must decide if it is ready to take advantage of this rare
opportunity to accelerate one’s growth and expansion to holiness. In a
world in which it is so easy to do whatever you want, all we have to do
is ... Be Faithful!
For those who meet the challenge, for those who
demonstrate faithfulness and endurance during this tribulation
(Rev 13:10; 14:12), these saints will be transformed and rule with
Christ during the next age. In order for this plan to work, these
people must be truly converted, they must have proved themselves by
resisting temptation under difficult conditions. They must be ready
to love the way Christ does, to have the same passion for all souls.
This would not work if they merely had
to know the right password.
The plan is for us all to be resurrected, each in our own time. This
will occur over the next age. The saints and the elect who are
resurrected and transformed at the Second Coming are but the
firstfruits of the great spiritual harvest
(Rev 14:4). The latter rain of the Holy Spirit will only
be the beginning of the great spiritual harvest, for it will continue
millennial reign of our Lord and his saints when the influence of Satan
has been removed. Ephesians 1:4 indicates that souls were created
before the foundation of the world. The entire first chapter of
Ephesians echoes 1 Corinthians 15:25-28, and the footnote to Ephesians
1:3-14 in the NAB translation
makes clear that the "predetermined plan of God" is to bring "all of
creation under the rule of Christ". The process of evolving to a state
of true holiness normally takes a long time, yet one can appreciate the
wisdom and patience of the Almighty in guiding the growth of souls as
expressed, again, in the following:
But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the
Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years
like one day. The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard
“delay”, but he is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish
but that all should come to repentance.
2 Peter 3: 8-9
How can anyone know the eternal justice involved with a soul you meet
in life unless you have a perspective of lifetimes? How can anyone say
that a thousand years is a too long, if one day a soul comes to
repentance and understanding? We must always trust
in God and His justice. Our view is so short-term. All will reap what
they sow (Job 4:8).
Judgment and the Days of
Divine justice is the province of the Almighty. As we come to the close
of this age
and encounter much which appears unjust, we must resist the beast
within and the temptation to deal with the situation ourselves. Support
the law and the system of justice. How true it is depends on the people
who support it. Most
of all, trust in God’s divine justice.
The heavens proclaim divine justice, for God alone is the
Psalm 50:6 NAB
I tell you, on the day of judgment people will render an
account for every careless word they speak.
Matthew 12:36 NAB
Without trust, fear and intolerance lead to unnecessary judgments of
others by us. Of concern also, are people with a fundamentalist point
of view, for they tend to judge all things as either good or bad. This
is a bad way of thinking, for it sows seeds that one would rather not
reap. Further, it brings dire consequences if one is wrong in judging
another (Mt 7:1-2). If one casts judgments on all things and then takes
the added step of taking the law into one’s own hand, this becomes a
very dangerous situation. In its extreme form, this can lead to
A lesson in tolerance can be taken from the Jewish Days of Awe. These
are the ten
days between the Blowing of Trumpets, Rosh Hashanah, and
the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. The following comes from
the Talmud, in a section commenting on the Mishna.
Said Rabbi Kruspedai, in the name
of Rabbi Yohanan: Three books are opened on Rosh Hashanah: one for the
wholly righteous, one for the wholly wicked, and one for the
intermediates. The wholly righteous are at once inscribed and sealed in
the book of life; the wholly wicked are at once inscribed and sealed in
the book of death; and the intermediates are held suspended from Rosh
Hashanah until Yom Kippur. If they are found worthy, they are inscribed
for life; if found unworthy, they are inscribed for death.
Rosh Hashanah 16b
The effort to remain inscribed for life is observed annually but there
is also an implication of final judgment. The school of Shammai further
teaches that there will be three classes until the final Day of
one for the wholly righteous, one of the wholly wicked, and one
of the intermediates. The wholly righteous are at once inscribed and
sealed for life in the world to come. The intermediates will
be tested through fire and have until the final Day of Atonement to
become righteous before God. 6
It is only a few who are clearly righteous or clearly wicked. Most are
“intermediates”, struggling with the urgings of spirit and the desires
of the body. If only a few are clearly righteous, then surely not all
who remain are clearly wicked. It is illuminating to
apply the pattern of the Days of Awe to the judgment that comes
at the end of one’s life. As each life ends and the soul comes to its
life review before the heavenly court of the Almighty, some find they
have successfully walked the narrow path that leads to the state of
existence called “heaven”. They may remain with the heavenly host.
There are also those souls who have chosen to walk the narrow path to
total fear, anger and hatred. Their fate will be the lake of fire,
burns away that which is ungodly. Few experience these extremes. The
from their experience and continue on. The heavenly court
then determines the best way for the soul to grow and learn, whether to
continue for a period in spirit form and when it will be born again
into a situation appropriate to one's karma. Each new life is a fresh
start, as probation continues.
While probation may continue over lifetimes, the Days of Awe speak of
an end to probation and a day of reckoning. At the end of the age will
come a day of judgment, a global Day of Atonement in which all are
judged one way or another. For those who have been faithful to God,
be resurrected or transformed and live continuously and be part of the
during the thousand-year reign of Christ. They are the saints, the
elect. Those who were not faithful to God are not raised until after
thousand years. This raises a question. Who do the saints rule over?
seems to be only one logical answer. For those who are not obedient to
God’s commandments and not raised at the Messiah's return, it is not
the end of existence. For they will continue the rebirth cycle during
the thousand years, born to those who survived the tribulation but were
not made immortal. This is who the Lord and his saints rule over,
them during the great harvest to full spiritual maturity.
For those souls who did not use their free will to make the right
decisions when the
world was ruled by Satan, imagine how much more these souls
will be inspired to make better choices during their lifetimes when the
world is ruled by Jesus. Righteousness will be the cornerstone of the
new age. God’s plan is that all eventually come
to repentance and willingly add their voices to the praise of the
wisdom and love of the Almighty as expressed by 2 Peter 3. This
continued evolution of the souls that were not raised at the Second
Coming is one good way to explain why this group would be raised at
the end of the millennium and judged again, as stated in Revelation
20:11-15. The only reason to judge them again is if they had more
time to redeem themselves. However, if they do not learn by the
end of the millennium, then their fate is the lake of fire. This
is the final day of reckoning and ultimate end of probation.
Judging all things as either good or evil is something that is reserved
for God and
done only on the day of judgment. It is not meant as a way of life for
the faithful. We must judge that which is really and
truly bad and fight it for safety’s sake. We also need to judge that
which is truly good, so as to support it and to point it out as a
guide for all. But there is so very much more that is neither, that
falls in between and needs to be accepted. As followers of the
Lord Jesus Christ, it is incumbent upon us to practice tolerance and
acceptance. Normal day to day poor decisions should be met
not with judgment and criticism, but with love and understanding and
the example of our own walk with the Lord. It is
the only way whereby people truly learn and grow.
The Price of
Sin: How Do We Use Our Power?
When we sin, people get hurt. It is our responsibility to make
restitution for the consequences of our actions. Sometimes that may be
as simple as an apology, other times it may take time and money to set
things straight. How many people take this kind of responsibility
toward their sins? Are you one of those who will withhold your apology
and offer of restitution unless
ordered by a judge?
In addition to the physical impact, there is the emotional impact. If
you sin against someone, would you go and admit your fault, apologize,
and then offer to listen to that person express their emotions on the
issue? The emotional impact is an energy that affects and penetrates
us. It needs to be released and gotten rid of or it will continue
to affect one.
There is also the mental body. Thoughts are things. Once created and
this world by speaking or acting, they have a life of their own. Great
ideas, once brought into this world, can inspire down through the ages.
That is using one’s power of creation for good. But that same power can
be used to hurt. Criticism, lies and anger can affect one’s
consciousness for a lifetime. A
mean or angry tongue can be one of the most deadly weapons. We
all should take great care in the use of our power.
In the days of the temple in Israel, the faithful would bring their
offerings and sacrifices to the temple. It is there that they would
sins over the offering in the presence of the priest. A transference
took place, a transference of the sin from the sinner to the sanctuary
via the blood and the priest. As each person, each day, came to confess
their sins, the weight of the sins would accumulate in the sanctuary
until it was cleansed, once a year, on the Day of Atonement. Again with
the use of blood, the sanctuary is cleansed of all the little creations
of pain from all the members of the congregation. They are transferred
to the scape goat, whereby they are removed and carried into the
wilderness. Sin is a thing that needs to be cleansed and removed from
the sanctuary. Sin is an energy that needs to be respected and dealt
with properly. All thoughts have energy, so what will you choose to
Now that we have our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary, we bring
our sins to him.
We need to remember and bear in mind that when we use Jesus’ blood in
prayer to make payment, confess and release our sins, there is still a
transference going on. The weight of our sins is being transferred
through Jesus to the heavenly sanctuary.
Jesus, in a sense, must do the work of cleansing the heavenly sanctuary
of our creations of pain. Further, if we also make no effort toward
restitution for our sins, then we leave to Jesus and the Holy Spirit
all the work of addressing the pain of those affected by our sin.
Jesus is always ready and willing to accept the price of our sin,
but how long will the children rely upon their elder brother and Father
to clean up their
We don't have to be perfect to be on the right path. We make mistakes
and create messes. This is life. Spiritual maturity comes when we take
responsibility for our creations, both positive and otherwise.
There is a difference, though, between making mistakes and intending to
deceive or mislead. The later crosses a line and starts down a path, if
not rejected, that will lead to Satan. Satan, like other biblical
symbols, has more than one level of meaning. On the primary level it
refers to the soul whom the Bible calls the Accuser, the soul once
known as Lucifer, the light giver, before his rebellion. On a personal
level it refers to the potential within all of us to become the same
thing, if we give into our anger and let the beast within rise, like
leaven to bread. As children of God who have the potential to be sons
and daughters of God, we can become like Jesus or like Satan, depending
upon the guidance we are given and the choices we make using our free
The Bible warns that Jesus will rule with an iron rod (Ps 2:9). When
the Bible speaks of Satan being bound for the thousand years of
Christ's rule, it is not just a reference to that soul. It is also a
warning to us, that some dark aspect within each of us will be bound
for a period. During the millennium, if Jesus sees fit to restrict our
power in some way, we should respect his wisdom and not grumble. (Will
this be the root of the final rebellion when Satan is loosed again? Rev
20:7-10) We must trust Jesus, for there will be a time when we will
have all the power that we can handle and we should always remember
where we came from and what we did in the past.
Time To Reap What We
God created a world in balance and gave us dominion over it. Through
the exercise of free will, we have used our power of creation to bring
Earth to where it is now. This is the world we have created. What we
are about to experience at the end of the age is our doing, not some
judgment from God created at this time. God saw it coming
and warned us, warned us about the kind of world we would create
if we live outside His laws.
The harvest we are about to reap together is the result of the seeds we
have sown over
thousands of years. Each soul has its part in contributing to the chain
of pain, so we all deserve to experience this together.
So much comes from how we treat each other on a daily basis. As we
exercise our will to get what we want, conflict sometimes arise. If
conflicts are resolved primarily by the strong conquering
the weak, then the chain of pain continues and builds. This only
feeds the emotions of fear, anger and hatred. For the conquered, it
builds and builds until one day the tide turns and it explodes in acts
of vengeance, war and terrorism. Today, technology has empowered
individuals. For better or worse, all now have the means to express
A better way to resolve problems is the way of daily sacrifice. We undo
the chain of pain and bring balance into the world when we sacrifice a
position to bring about compromise, when we feed a hungry stranger,
mentor a wandering child, lend an ear to a sorrowful friend, confess a
sin to the one wronged, cover for one who is exhausted, comfort the
sick, help dig for survivors or devote time to prayer
and communion with the Creator. This is the way to relieve the pain
of others and ourselves at the same time. How many walk this path
As we approach the end of the age and forces converge to accelerate our
growth, forcing the release of all suppressed pain, how many will take
advantage of this rare opportunity and use the process to purge oneself
and complete the path to holiness. Some will reach the point of living
the way of unconditional love and thereby receive the seal of God. They
will be illuminated with the light of God’s love. When the Holy Spirit
is poured in in the latter rain, those who are God's will be filled
with His love, His power, peace, joy, healing and a refreshing that
will enable them to witness until the end. These people will
surely be transformed and rule with Christ.
When the Messiah returns, it is upon his personal power, and all
those who are one with him, backed, supported and supplied by the
Father, that the veil hiding the spiritual realm will be dissolved
all in physical form to witness the glory of the heavenly host. The
Antichrist will be destroyed and Satan will be removed from this world.
We should all be very grateful to Christ for what he is about to do for
us. The dissolving of the veil, though, and the resurrection of the
faithful does not make saints of those who are not. Our journey
continues as we are all called to follow
his way, the way of love. It will take the thousand years under his
leadership for all to achieve holiness.
When we have evolved to the point of willingly expressing the will of
God, of treating all with unconditional love, only then will we take
our place in the heavenly court and no longer need to return to the
earthly cycle once we have heard our judgment.
The victor I will make into a pillar in the temple of my
God, and he will never leave it again. On him I will inscribe the name
of my God ...
Revelation 3:12 NAB
The way to obtain the Christ Consciousness is through the aspects of
praise and worship, confession when needed, sacrifice when appropriate,
and most especially through cultivating an attitude of thanksgiving and
joy. This is the practice of daily sacrifice. This is the process
whereby we do
maintenance on our connection to the Source. This is the process
whereby we remove blockages, the stones that block the flow of the
river of life. It is when we have removed our blockages and love with
an open heart, without judgment, as a child does, that we will
experience the kingdom of heaven (Luke 17: 20-21).
The Call for
As we approach the end of the age, all the accelerated forces we are
now facing are geared to getting people to face and release any issues
which weigh down our hearts, any held pain which prevents us from
loving unconditionally. These blockages, suppressed negative emotions,
are hurting us and need to be
released. When issues are not processed in a lifetime, they can follow
a soul into the next life, so people may be dealing with issues from
past lives also. If one’s belief does not accept this as possible, then
resolving it will be more difficult.
When we don’t get our growth lessons through prayer and communion with
the Holy Spirit, then it takes crisis to get our attention. These
forces will continue to intensify, for we must be cleansed before we
can exist in the same vibration as the Messiah (Dan 11:35, 12:10, Zec
13:9). This is the purpose of the tribulation (Rev
3:18, 7:14). If we had chosen the path of love and obedience and had
practiced daily sacrifice over the last six millennium, then this
of fire would not be necessary. For the fire must purge what we can no
longer master, and bring us rest from our torment.
These are challenging times. Tighten your belt of truth and put on the
full armor of God (Eph 6). Not only does this mean to know and declare
the victories that God and His Christ have provided for you, but it
also means to know and understand all of the Word of God. It means to
strive to read the whole book, to fellowship and study with other
believers. The more you read it, the more you know it, the more you
know it, the more you remember, and the more likely you may recall
something in times of trouble when you need help and guidance. In my
experience of almost four decades of studying prophecy, it seems the
more I understand of the Bible and its history, the more scripture I
remember, the more fluid the “conversation” with the Holy Spirit. Yet I
have not had this same level of communication on other topics. I’ve
come to believe that it is due to spending most of the first three
decades focused primarily on reading the prophecy aspects of the Bible.
For it seems that the Holy Spirit loves to communicate through
scripture. It is a safe and trusted means of communication through the
heart versus “hearing voices” which carries some risks. With the proper
perspective of this amazing and powerful book, as provided by this web
site, one can come to know the transformative power of the Word of God.
For example, if you have a problem with anger due to perceived
injustice, try memorizing Psalm 1 and see what it does for your heart
on this issue.
We need to be spiritual warriors in the end-times and realize what is
really going on. One has to wonder at the things people are doing these
days. Is everyone losing their minds? Perhaps not. For many, they just
don’t have acceptable ways to process their pain, so it comes out
in unacceptable ways under pressure. Each person needs to strive to
evolve to the
point of balance within themselves, as we learn in the process of
helping each other. We must all
get out of our comfort zones and make ourselves available to others so
that when they are ready, they may have an opportunity to confess and
express their pain, rather than keep it suppressed
inside. This can come in many different formats: confession to a
priest, conversation with a friend, deep massage that touches
the emotions, music therapy, art therapy, sports, etc. Anything that
helps to facilitate bottled up emotions coming to the surface and being
expressed in an acceptable way.
Remember always that there
is an army of spiritual help to call upon. Seek the guidance of the
Holy Spirit. Ask the Holy Spirit to heal and change the heart so that
one may be grounding in knowing thyself and be strong enough to not
take offense and thereby continue to walk in peace. I invite all to
accept Jesus as your friend, so that you
will be able to ask for help. For who can ask for help of one they have
rejected? Develop a personal relationship with Jesus, whereby you feel
comfortable talking about whatever
is on your mind. Use his blood, through prayer, to bring a proper
sacrifice to the altar of your heart. Be a warrior! Confess well, empty
oneself of self-importance and allow the unconditional love of the
Holy Spirit to fill the heart. Then with the help of the Holy Spirit,
stand your ground and be a mighty warrior with the strength of will to
do what you know in your heart is right. Do this daily and one will be
find the way to our inner sanctuary and peace. For it is at this place
that one is most an individual and at the same point, one with the
and everything that is around us.
have a great deal of respect for Hebert W. Armstrong and believe him to
be one of the best theologians of the last century; however, I do
not agree with all of his positions. He boldly restored many important
biblical principles which the church has lost or forgotten. I strongly
agree with his views that the Bible interprets its own symbols, the
feast days encode God’s plan for mankind and are critical to
understanding prophecy, the Sabbath is Saturday and the Bible teaches a
pre-millennial return of Jesus. On the subject of prophecy, I strongly
disagree with Armstrong’s view that the book of Revelation was written
chronologically. I see it as written thematically. On Daniel’s prophecy
of 70 weeks, I firmly see all of the 70th week as applying to the
end-times, not just the second half. It is important to know that the
next sign to watch for is the start of Daniel’s 70th week. Mr.
was incorrect to say that Jesus’ sacrifice fulfilled the mid-point of
the 70th week by ending the daily sacrifice, as this paper will explain.
The book of life is a record of all souls created before the foundation
of the world (Rev 13:8, Eph 1:4). While journeying through this Earth
we strive not to be blotted out of this book (Ex 32:32-33, Ps 69:28,
Rev 3:5). At the end of the next age, after the millennium rule of
Jesus Christ, all whose name have been blotted out of the book of life
will face the judgment of the lake of fire (Rev 20:12-15). This one
book of life became the Lamb's when he proved his worthiness by being
the perfect sacrifice and thus became our High Priest in the heavenly
sanctuary (Rev 5).
The phrase "final sacrifice" is never used in the Bible.
There is an orthodox Christian view that when we die, our soul "sleeps"
until being resurrected at the Second Coming of Christ, if you belong
to him. This comes from biblical references to death as sleep as seen
in 1 Cor 15:20. This view is sometimes called "soul sleep". In view of
the theology of this paper, that souls can return to Earth for another
life, I view the references to sleep as meaning that the personality we
knew sleeps, as the soul experiences another personality. So I prefer
to call this "personality sleep". At the resurrection, I suspect that
all the "personalities" a soul experienced will come to life in the
sense that the soul will come to full knowledge of all its lifetimes
and understand how the different lives helped one's soul to grow.
If indeed this interpretation is correct, that our Lord and Savior was
also Adam and that he went through the karmic cycle, then this raises
some theological concerns. While it may be an incredible support for
the themes of him being an example to us and being made like us in
every way (Heb 2:17), why would the one who had a role in creating the Adamic body
have to go through the karmic cycle? Also, if the original creation
spoken of in Genesis 1:1 was much, much farther back in time than 4,000
BC (approximately) when God’s 7,000 year
began, why was there so much time before this plan to save us
was put into motion? (By the way, I feel this gap in time is also
supported by the fact that the Lamb is set aside on the 10th day rather
than on the 1st day of the month. This implies other things happened
before the 10th day.)
The Edgar Cayce Readings offer explanations that make a lot of sense to
me. The book “Lives of the Master” has the following description
derived from the Edgar Cayce material. From pages 10-12, as interpreted
by the author:
Many aeons ago
before the foundation of time, God existed. In an act of love, God
created beings to be companions and co-creators with Him. Thus the
souls of each of us came into being.
The first soul created, the one we now call our
Elder Brother, was very special to God and helped in the rest of
To the souls, … , God gave a unique ability – that
of free will. They could do whatever they wanted, even things that God
did not desire and which distorted the creative plan. This gift, which
God would not take back nor control, shows the immense love which our
Creator had for each of us. …
Although the angels did not have as much freedom of
will as the souls, some of them defied God, and there was a war in
heaven. … This war affected all of creation, including earth and the
souls who now live there. …
As ages passed, many souls began to experiment with
God’s creation and to do things which were not part of the plan. As
they did so, they gradually lost their closeness to God and forgot
their divinity – the spark of God within each of them. Only vaguely
could these souls recall their Creator and remember the purpose for
which they were created. It was a sad situation which continued to get
worse, and there seemed to be no solution. God could destroy the lost
souls but could not control them nor stop the errors they were making. …
Finally, God confessed to our Elder Brother deep
sorrow over having created the souls and given them their free will.
Now those who had misused their willpower would have to be destroyed.
But Elder Brother could not accept the destruction
of his lost brethren. He gathered other souls around him who were not
yet entrapped in matter, and they discussed and planned ways to help
the lost ones. Elder Brother agreed to talk to God about the situation.
‘Almighty Father, … Do not destroy them, I beseech
you. Send me to show then the way back to Your favor and their true
home. Send me and these other souls who have not forgotten You. …’
God was moved by this unselfish display of love.
These souls had not lost their heavenly estate, and yet they were
willing to risk it in order to help those who were lost.
I would like to note that I don’t agree with the author of this book as
to how many lives are attributed to the Master, the one we know as
Jesus. First, it fits very well that the Master was Amilius, Adam,
Enoch, Hermes and Melchizedek. However, I believe that he conquered the
karmic cycle by the time he appeared as Melchizedek, so therefore I
feel he did not incarnate into this world again until coming as Jesus.
Once he called out Abraham, I’m guessing he had a lot to manage from
the spiritual realm. I have not studied the Cayce Readings in detail on
this topic, so this is just an initial impression from reading parts of
this book. The difference in my view comes from how I interpret Edgar
Cayce and apply it to certain passages. Jesus totally embodied the
Christ, which Cayce affirms. Sometimes I think the Cayce Readings
describe people as having the “Christ” consciousness without
necessarily also having been the soul of Jesus. Perhaps this is the
case with Joshua. Also, I feel some people in the Bible are very
symbolic of Jesus being one of us, our brother. I certainly believe
this is the case with Joseph.
Shmuel Yosef Agnon, Days of Awe (New
York, NY: Schocken Books, 1965), pp. 14-15.
Agnon, Shmuel Yosef. Days of Awe
. New York, NY.:
Schocken Books, 1965.
Armstrong, Herbert W. Mystery of the Ages
Pasadena, CA.: Worldwide Church of God, 1985.
(Rights now owned by Philadelphia Church of God,
Barker, Kenneth, ed. The NIV Study Bible
, 10 th
ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing
Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. The New American Bible
. Iowa Falls, IA: World Bible Publishers, Inc, 1991.
Sanderfur, Glenn. Lives
of the Master
. Virginia Beach, VA.: A.R.E. Press, 1988.
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©2002, 2008 Collins Hamblen
First Posted: 06/02/02
Last Text Update: 11/15/07
Added Link: 06/09/08