Bible Study: Three Minute Message

"No More Sacrifice!" by Russ Schaefer (1919-1999)

The book of Hebrews describes Israel's last chance to embrace the New Covenant provided for them in the death of Christ.  They refused and "trampled under foot the Son of God."  The warning of Hebrews (10:26-31) was fulfilled in AD 70.  The postponement and parenthesis theories are just that, a convenient way to avoid facing the reality that the Old Covenant with Israel was only conditional as well as the New.  In the O.T., Israel is said to have broken their covenant many times.  It is also certain that God would break the covenant too.

Now, as to the meaning of Acts 3:17-26, the heavens had to hold back the coming of Christ (not a presumed second coming) until the times of universal restoration was operative.  This, Christ accomplished in His death.  If you will observe the verses that tell of what Moses and the prophets said, the meaning becomes clear if the people refused the ONE greater than Moses.  The text should embody the thought of the heavens holding back the coming of Christ until it was the right time for their Messiah to suffer and to die.  Then, in and through His death the New Covenant could be practical, and the world could be reconciled back to God.

The reconciliation of the world would be more inclusive than "the world" of the book of Romans.  It included the heavens also.  Colossians states that the heavens would be cleansed as mentioned in the book of Hebrews.

Anyone reading the books of Ephesians, Colossians and Hebrews should be made aware that all the identifying features that made Israel a nation disappeared, i.e., their High Priest, priesthood, Sabbaths, rituals, sacrifices, new moons, feast days and laws.  It is ultimate insanity to suppose that God would reintroduce a defunct system of religion, temple service, priesthood and sacrifice in our future.

The book of Hebrews does not allow for such a repeat of the once-for-all Sacrifice of Christ.  Therefore, any attempt to discard the finished work of Christ and put His death, person and work to an open shame would be dishonest and unforgivable.  It would be a shameful deed for man to try to improve upon the completed work of Christ by offering insufficient animal sacrifices afterwards by an attending failed priesthood.  Blasphemous as it is, the Catholic Mass claims for itself a repeat of the Sacrifice of Christ with the cup and wafer.  This human substitute for the Divine answer to man's sins is ruthless to the soul.  However, this would be less insulting to God than a godless goat sacrifice.

(Note: I copied this from a letter 2-17-92 by Russ Schaefer, teacher and editor of Scripture Research.)

In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ does not tell His disciples what to do, but, what to be before they are capable of living in the Kingdom of Heaven.  This new level of life is what God intended for Israel all along.  They were not to judge self on what they were doing.  They were to look at Christ and see what God was doing in and through them.  It never was intended to be on the bases of what they should do, it was what they should be to God, in Christ. (Matthew 5-7)

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