I look at the headlines and violence abounds. Not only violence, but bloodshed in accidents, and natural disasters, intrigues, and power struggles. This is our lot until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. When that will be, not even Jesus knew while He was with His disciples. We know several facts about when the second coming of Christ is, when He comes in wrath and cleaves bone from marrow with just His breath. It is precisely 3.5 years from the breaking of the written agreement between the Antichrist and the Jews. It comes on the day of the abomination of desecration. It comes 45 days before the beginning of the Millennium of Peace. I believe Jesus is eagerly anticipating when He can come retrieve His Bride... but, for now, we live in a world of sin because the prince of this world is Satan.
What about after Satan is bound? What happens during that one thousand years? I do believe the Bible is literal in prophecies, and is actually clear when the Holy Spirit is the guide to understanding.
I have run across a few things in Isaiah to chew on...
We know that the outer courtyard of the Temple was the only place Gentiles could go. The inner courtyard all the way into the Holy of Holies was reserved for the Jews. This is one reason it was so horrific to the Jews at what Antiochus Epiphanes did and later in 70 AD what Titus of Rome did...
So, in Isaiah 56:6-7 "6 And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to serve him, to love the name of the LORD, and to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant-- 7 these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations."
Isaiah is speaking about a time in the future when the Gentiles are welcomed into the Temple to worship Jehovah and to offer burnt offerings and sacrifices upon His altar. This, of course, means another Temple will be built. We get a beautiful picture of that Temple in Ezekiel chapters 40-48, as well as some clues to the millennial sacrifices.
In Isaiah 66:18-24 we get another clue. Jehovah will gather all nations and tongues (Not just Israel) these are Gentiles that haven't "seen" the Glory of Jehovah... and it looks like God is going to use the Gentiles as "carriers" to bring the Jews to Jerusalem. Verse 20 this is done as an "offering" to the Lord, just "as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD."
Since Jesus is our Sacrifice, and His blood covers our sins, and all our sins are paid for, then why sacrifices? What purpose do they serve? Can we even make sense of them if, perhaps, the sacrifices God requires are sacrifices of praise and prayer in His house of prayer? What is God talking about in Ezekiel? Isaiah?
Could this be speaking about a time when Jews and Christians will be like-minded and worship and pray together? -- maybe like the Jews who come to accept Christ? Hopefully those Christians will not denounce Christ as the Messiah and adopt Judaism, but is that really what is happening when sacrifices are made?
I would welcome any insight you guys have. Hopefully over the next few days we can make some kind of sense from this muddle.