Religion and Faith in the Millennial Kingdom
The bible indicates that the Old Testament sacrificial system will be reinstated during the Millennial Kingdom. Those who believe that God has done away with this system have a hard time with this idea. I would suggest that they really don’t understand the purpose of it then, and thus still don’t understand its purpose for the future.
And the LORD shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the LORD in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the LORD, and perform it. Isaiah 19:21
Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts. Zechariah 14:21
17 For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel; 18 Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually. Jeremiah 33:17-18
For a lot of Christians this is just too hard to get their head wrapped around. After all the New Testament says that Jesus is a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedek.
The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. Psalms 110:4
Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Hebrews 6:20
I don’t pretend to know everything that is at work here, but I also know that the bible never contradicts itself. The writer of Hebrews goes on to elaborate on this point, and we do well to take it all into consideration;
For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. 13 For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. 14For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. 15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, 16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. Hebrews 7:12-16
For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: Hebrews 8:4
This verse is the crux of the matter. Jesus’ priesthood is not here on the earth, but in the Temple in Heaven. Now, during the Church Age, Jesus is our priest in Heaven, but one day soon He will return to the earth, not as priest, but as conquering King, and Lord of Lords!
Notice that Hebrews 8:4 speaks of earthly priests in the present tense “there are priests that offer gifts according to the law“. No doubt this passage was written before the destruction of the Temple, but it was inspired by the Holy Spirit, who knew He was about to stop the sacrifices, but that He would one day begin them again.
Israel shall shortly rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem, and shall begin to offer sacrifices again, and this verse shall be as true in that day, as it is today.
Since the rapture of the Church will occur shortly before the Tribulation begins, and the Tribulation saints themselves will be resurrected at the end of the Tribulation, all the saints from the age of Israel to the end of the Tribulation will be in glorified bodies during the Millennial Kingdom.
Those in glorified bodies no longer sin, and thus no longer have the need for an intercessor, or a priest.
It looks to me that there is room here for a restored Levitical priesthood for the duration of the Millennial Kingdom.
Will Jesus travel back and forth from earth to Heaven, to serve as a priest there, or will He spend the entire Millennial reign on earth?
I would tend to think that He will spend the MK here on earth, and the Levitical priests will act as His surrogates. The people will take it on faith that the sacrifices they make will ultimately make their way to Heaven as they are presented to the Father by Jesus there. Those sacrifices will have the same effect as the Old Testament sacrifices;
For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Hebrews 10:4
“Not possible” means “not now, and not ever”. Though David offered Sacrifices in his day, and Abraham, Abel, and all the OT saints, all of those sacrifices were only pointing to the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus would one day make on the cross. It will be the same for the Millennial saints, only they will be looking back on the complete work of Christ.
The difference is that He will be living, and walking among them, as their King.
As we have seen, there will be very little death during the Millennial reign. Animals will not eat each other, and since Garden-of-Eden conditions will be restored throughout the earth, it is likely that people will be vegetarian as well, for the most part.
Only those who eat of their sacrifices will get an understanding of the enormity of sin. Those who see the suffering of innocent animals, and then eat the meat, will understand that even the smallest sin required the Son of God to die in their place.