Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dispensationalism Makes Sense...part 4


You said, ‘Bearing in mind that not only did Peter, James & John all think the 2nd coming of Christ would happen in their lifetime…’  You’re right about that.  Peter, James, John (the three main apostles for Israel) and Paul (the one unique, distinct apostle and spokesman for God today in the dispensation of grace) all thought that the Lord would imminently return during their particular program.

They all thought that, because that was the hope God gave them.  Even when the dispensation of grace began, the Apostle Paul figured that the rapture which will end the age of grace would be in his lifetime.

1 Thessalonians 4:17
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up

Paul evidently didn’t realize until near the end of his 30+ year ministry that he might die before the Lord returned; but even then he didn’t know that it would be 2,000 years.

2 Timothy 4:6
For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.

If you were to ask the Apostle at the end of his life before he died in Rome at the hand of the despicable Nero, he would have told you that the Lord was coming soon.  That is what he told Timothy.  But God the Father extended the dispensation of grace for nearly 2,000 years.  It could end today, or it could end in another 1,000 years; it is up to God the Father.  No one knows; that’s the point.  By the way, the angels don’t know either. 

Mark 13:32
But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

1 Peter 1:12
Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things [what God was doing with Israel] the angels desire to look into.

Paul says that the angelic host learns about the dispensation of grace through the body of Christ.

Ephesians 3:10
To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

So the angels don’t have all knowledge.  They understand things only as God reveals them.  That is the whole thing about rightly dividing the word.  What God has revealed through the Apostle Paul and his 13 epistles (Romans through Philemon) called the mystery of Christ, was a secret that God kept in himself

Ephesians 3:5
Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit [through spiritual gifts];

Ephesians 3:9
And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

Romans 16:25
Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

Deuteronomy 29:29
The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.

The information given to Paul, everything associated with this dispensation of grace, was a secret.  Obviously since the age of grace has lasted this long, it is a part of God’s plan and purpose to add members to the church the body of Christ for the heavenly places.  Even Paul didn’t know all the details, including the timing of the rapture and the length of the age.

…to be continued.
Click here for "Dispensationalism Makes Sense, part 5"

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dispensationalism Makes Sense...part 3


You said that Peter, James, John and Paul did not think that there would be a span of 2,000 years (more or less) in between Daniel's 69th & 70th weeks.  God did not have to, nor did he tell, any of the Bible writers how long things would take.  The Lord Jesus Christ didn’t know himself exactly how long it would be.  There is an example in his first public preaching ministry in which he quotes Isaiah 61that talks about the acceptable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God.

Luke 4:16-20
And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.  And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.  And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

He stops in the middle of a verse where there is a comma…

Isaiah 61:2
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

The Lord didn’t talk about the day of vengeance of our God.  If anyone would know how long it would be until then, wouldn’t it be the Lord, since he is God?  He didn’t reveal the length of time between the acceptable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God.  He was only dealing with what the Father gave him, and in Luke it was preaching the acceptable year of the Lord.  That was the focus of his earthly ministry—the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Matthew 4:17
From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Look what the Lord says in Mark:

Mark 13:32
But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

Even though he was God in the flesh, he limited the independent use of his Deity to the will of the Father.  In other words, everything he knew and did was based upon the Father’s revealing it.  People question whether Jesus Christ knew about the dispensation of grace (Paul’s ministry) during his earthly ministry.  The answer is no.  He didn’t even know everything about the prophetic program, at least regarding the time of his return; he left that up to the Father to reveal it to him when it was time.  He was God—God in the flesh.  He never ceased being God, but he was also 100% man; he operated as the Son of Man…

Daniel 7:13
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

Matthew 12:8
For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.

Revelation 1:13
And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

…particularly in the book of Mark, which reveals the Lord Jesus Christ as a servant. 

John 15:15
Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

So we have verses in which the Lord Jesus says neither the Son knew the time of his return.  So the fact that Bible writers didn’t know that it was going to be 2,000 years is not unusual.  Look what Peter says:

1 Peter 1:9-10
 Receiving the end of your faith [speaking of the Little Flock], even the salvation of your souls.  Of which salvation the [old testament] prophets [of Israel] have enquired and searched diligently

Notice that the same prophets that God used to prophesy about the Kingdom have enquired!  They wanted to know (inquiring minds want to know) …and searched diligently (they were trying to figure this out).

who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

God used those men, but even they didn’t understand.

Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ [his death], and the glory [Kingdom] that should follow.

These prophets understood some things about the coming of Messiah and that he would die and then have a Kingdom (i.e. Isaiah 53); but they had no understanding of the timing.  Neither did the Lord Jesus during his earthly ministry.

So you are exactly right to say that the apostles did not understand that there would be a 2,000 year gap between Daniel’s 69th and 70th weeks, because God the Father did not want them to know.

Acts 1:6-7
When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?  And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

You said that you are not a Preterist.  Good!  You need to be a Pauline dispensationalist who understands right division – the difference between law and grace, prophecy and mystery, Israel and the body of Christ.  You need to be a pre-tribulation, pre-wrath, pre-prophetic believer in the rapture (the resurrection of the body of Christ) before the prophecy program resumes.  You also need to believe that after that time of wrath Jesus Christ will return and establish his Kingdom on this earth.

But you said, ‘but that is kind of hard for me to swallow.’  I am sure it is and that is why we’re here.  We’re here to help you.  It will take time.  It will take prayer.  It will take much study in the Pauline doctrine (right division).  An assembly like ours studies all of God’s word rightly divided.  But it will also take faith.  That is why I said to watch your intellect; use it because our great creator God gave us minds to think.  But he has magnified his word above all his name.

Psalm 138:2
I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

God’s word is to be believed.  Even if you don’t understand it, believe it and then allow God to give you understanding.  It will come. There are many passages that I don’t understand.  I study this book every day; I have been preaching and teaching it all these years.

We will read things and question them, particularly in the old testament.  Just trust God and give him the benefit of the doubt with a humble heart towards the word of God.  It is a test of faith.  You have to have faith. 

Peter says that the things Paul says in all his epistles are hard to be understood (2 Peter 3:16).  So when you say that something is hard for you to swallow, here is the best advice I can give you:   Go to God and say, ‘Lord, I don’t understand things; I need help.’  Go to him with a humble heart, a sincere heart of faith in the scriptures.  He is our Father; he wants us to know but…it will take time.

…to be continued.  

Click here for "Dispensationalism Makes Sense, part 4"

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dispensationalism Makes Sense…part 2


You went on to say, ‘Bearing in mind that not only did Peter, James & John all think the 2nd coming of Christ would happen in their lifetime (based on what Jesus said in Matt.24:34), but evidently so did Paul (based on his teachings on the Rapture, especially in 2 Thess. Ch. 2.)’ 

Let’s deal with that.  When you talk about Peter, James and John and the second coming, and then mention Paul in that same line of thinking, again let’s make it clear that when Peter, James and John speak of the second coming of Jesus Christ, they are speaking of him according to the prophetic program.

Acts 3:21
Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

This was part of that Jewish kingdom program.  So when they speak of the second coming of Jesus Christ, they mean his actual advent to this earth.

Zechariah 14:4a
And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east,

In Acts 1 when the Lord Jesus Christ ascends up into the clouds, two angels speak to the 11 apostles (Judas was dead and Matthias hadn’t been appointed yet).

Acts 1:11
Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

They are talking about his literal, physical coming to this earth when he will set up his throne.  You have to always rightly divide the second coming.  This is important because most believers and professing Christians have not been taught to rightly divide. The second coming that Peter, James and John taught is the Lord’s second advent to this earth.

Matthew 24:30
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Matthew 25:31
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory [on this earth]:

But when it comes to Paul and the second coming that he talks about, the Lord Jesus Christ is not coming to the earth; we will meet him in the air.  You mentioned 2 Thessalonians 2, and some of that has to do with the rapture.  But in 1Thessalonians 4…

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.   For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

…he doesn’t come down to the earth; but rather we are caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  Ours is a heavenly calling for heavenly places; we meet the Lord in the clouds in the air.  That is the second coming for the body of Christ.  That is part of the mystery program given to Paul.

Romans 16:25
Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

Ephesians 3:3
How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words

Ephesians 6:19
And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

Colossians 1:26
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

That is how the dispensation of grace ends.  So when you talk about the “second coming” in regard to Peter, James and John think:  “Christ coming back to this earth (years after the rapture).”  When you talk about the second coming based upon Paul’s epistles and doctrine, Pauline dispensationalism makes sense.  We meet the Lord in the air.  That has to be clear.

The goal of 2 Thessalonians is not to deal with the rapture or with things in this dispensation.   Paul needed to write to the saints (including us) to explain something about the future.  The theme, focus or topic of the book is the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7); the 70th week of Daniel (Dan. 9:27); the great tribulation (Matt. 24:21); things that are future.  The focus is not on the dispensation of grace; he is explaining something about the Anti-Christ and things that will happen in the future.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

The Lord will descend from heaven with a shout and we which are alive and remain will be caught up (his coming and our gathering together - the reunion of the body of Christ) at the rapture at the end of the dispensation of grace.  That is how it ends; it is a mystery; it is secret. 

Paul is using that event to beseech them so that they won’t be worried.  He is saying that they are all worried about the prophetic day of the Lord Jesus’ coming, but they shouldn’t worry because we will all be gone.  So we have to get that straight first.

To be continued…

Click here for "Dispensationalism Makes Sense, part 3"

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Dispensationalism Makes Sense

Pauline Dispensationalism makes more sense to me than any other way of interpreting the Bible; but I'm confused about something. Bearing in mind that not only did Peter, James & John all think the 2nd coming of Christ would happen in their lifetime (based on what Jesus said in Matt.24:34), but evidently so did Paul (based on his teachings on the Rapture, especially in 2 Thess. Ch.2). None of those guys thought there would be a span of 2,000 years (more or less) in between Daniel's 69th & 70th weeks.

I'm not a Preterist, but that's kind of hard for me to swallow too.  So bearing in mind what they thought, how can Hebrews thru Revelation be written 2,000 years ago, yet somehow not come into effect until after the Rapture?  It just doesn't make sense that Peter, James & John would write their epistles 2,000 years ago, then deliver them to the "Jews of the Dispersion" of that time (way back then), but not be addressing any Jew at all until some 2,000 years in the future.  We might be able to look back and make that presumption today; but I don't think they would have bought it back in their day. I look forward to your thoughts.

These are fantastic questions!  People like to hear about these things.  You’re right at the precipice of learning how to rightly divide the word.  You’re on the right path, so hopefully this will help you.  That is why our ministry is here.  I love questions and we make the answers available in video, audio and written form to suit a variety of learning styles.

You said that Pauline dispensationalism makes more sense to you than any other way of interpreting the Bible.  The first thing I want to say about that is that it is the only way to interpret the Bible.  Pauline dispensationalism is not a type of theology (study of God); it is the way we are to study the Bible.

There is only one verse in the Bible that tells us to study the Bible and how to study it and it is written by Paul.

2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

We need to rightly divide the word of truth, and it is significant that it is the Apostle Paul who instructs us to do so. 

Paul comes on the scene in Acts 7 as Saul.

Acts 7:58
And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.

We see him again in Chapter 8:

Acts 8:1a
And Saul was consenting unto his death.

He became the ‘sent one of Christ’ in chapter 9.  He was saved by God’s grace through faith plus nothing (no works) on the road to Damascus in spite of his works of destroying the Little Flock, the Jewish believing remnant of Jesus Christ in Time Past (Acts 9:1-6, 15).

God began a new dispensation called the dispensation of the grace of God…

Ephesians 3:2
If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

…with a gospel for this dispensation:

Acts 20:24
But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

1 Corinthians 9:17
For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.

When we study all the scriptures and understand God’s word rightly divided and the Pauline dispensation of grace, then we understand Pauline dispensationalism.

2 Timothy 3:16
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

All 66 books of the Bible are for our learning! We need to know them.  But not every book of the Bible and not every verse in the Bible is written directly to us and about us.

When you rightly divide the word of truth you understand that the books of Genesis through Acts speak to a different people – the nation of Israel.  They contain their history, beginning with Abraham, and the account of how God dealt with the Hebrew people.  So God is primarily dealing with just one nation in those books.  The Lord says of the other gentile nations:

Luke 12:30a
For all these things [what they should eat, drink and wear] do the nations [plural] of the world seek after:

They are called ‘gentiles’ or the ‘nations.’  The word ‘nations’ is used as a general term for all other nations other than Israel.  The word ‘gentiles’ refers to the individuals in those nations.  God had been dealing with one people group, the nation of Israel; but when he saved Saul of Tarsus (the Apostle Paul) he began to deal with the individuals of other nations.  He also continued to deal with Israel for a time while the nation was being provoked by Paul’s ministry.

Romans 11:11
I say then, Have they [Israel] stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

The book of Acts is a transition away from God’s plan and purpose for Israel which is found in Genesis through John (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are still old testament).

Galatians 4:4
But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

Jesus Christ was under the Law.

Hebrews 9:16-17
For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.  For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

All of the Lord Jesus’ earthly ministry was to and for Israel.

Matthew 15:24
But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Matthew 10:5-6
These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Christ ignored the gentile woman in Matthew 15…

Matthew 15:23
But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.

…because it was not yet time for him to go to the gentiles.  He had to save Israel first.

Matthew 15:26-27
But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.

The Gentile dogs could have the crumbs, but that’s it.  God was only dealing with the nation of Israel; but that changed beginning in Acts 7 with the stoning of Stephen, and particularly in Acts 9 when by his grace God saved Saul, the chief persecutor of the Little Flock, and he sent him out to all nations.

Acts 9:15
But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

There were Jews scattered about in the nations – lost Jews, heathen.  The ‘heathen' is now anyone (Jews and gentiles, alike) who is lost.

Romans 11:32
For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

Galatians 1:16a
To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen;

The book of Acts shows the fall of Israel.

Romans 11:11
I say then, Have they [Israel] stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

Again, Israel fell in Acts 7 with the stoning of Stephen who indicted their religious leaders.

Acts 6:15
And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.

Stephen’s face shone like Moses’ did after meeting with God (Exodus 34).  Stephen spoke God’s word but the council, the religious leadership, rejected it (Acts 6, 7).  They rejected God’s word through Stephen and stoned him.

Acts 7:55-59
But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.  Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.  And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

That was the beginning of a new way of dealing with man.  God was supposed to then pour out his wrath, but instead he poured out his grace.

Saul of Tarsus, the Apostle Paul, is now on the scene.  God sends him out to all nations, including Israel.  God is no longer dealing with Israel as a nation, but as individuals within that nation.  Through the Apostle Paul’s gospel of grace, God is dealing with individual Jews and Gentiles in one body by the cross.

1 Corinthians 12:13
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Ephesians 2:16
And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

That is what God is doing today and we have to understand it.  We have to understand how to rightly divide the word of truth.  Pauline dispensationalism is the only way to correctly interpret the Bible. 

Throw out all the other things you have been told.  I can tell that you are intelligent by your question, but don’t let intellect be what guides you when dealing with God’s word.  Intellect is good when it is tempered by the truth from the scriptures. 

You’re having some trouble understanding some things and we will help fit those puzzle pieces together; but the greatest thing I am going to tell you is to trust the verses; believe the verses; have faith in God’s word, and not in your intellect.  God’s word is not hard to understand if you have faith; but it might take some time to grow in your understanding.

Many may not have heard the term ‘dispensation,’ but in your King James Bible it is mentioned four times.

1 Corinthians 9:17
For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.

Ephesians 1:10
That in the dispensation of the fulness of times [That is coming up after the dispensation of grace] he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

That is coming up after the dispensation of grace.

Ephesians 3:2
If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

Colossians 1:25
Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;

A dispensation is like a soap dispenser.  When you push down on the pump, the soap inside is dispensed.  In the dispensation of grace, the dispensation of God, God is dispensing himself and dealing with humanity by pure grace and peace.  That is what God is doing today; that is Paul’s message. 

So we need to understand the Bible based upon that principle.  Pauline dispensationalism not only makes more sense than any other way of interpreting the Bible; it is the only way to do it, so throw all that other stuff out.

To be continued…

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Blood Sacrifices after the Cross

Could you give further clarification regarding this statement from the Q&A “Beginning to end: Blood is required” posted June 10, 2011?

“So yes, while he ministered on earth, the Lord's disciples still offered the Mosaic Law animal sacrifices, but after his death, burial and resurrection, the reason they went to the temple for was to fellowship and preach/teach Jesus Christ to the rest of Israel going there to worship.”

If the Jews will need to bring sacrifices during the Millennium when the prophetic program is reinstated, why didn't the Little Flock also need to bring sacrifices after the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ?

They did.  I should have said in that post that the main reason they went to the temple was to fellowship and preach Jesus Christ. The Little Flock never stopped offering the sacrifices of the law.  They never stopped temple worship.  The best way to see this is that the Lord never told them to, except with one caveat:

Matthew 24:15a; 2 Thessalonians 2:4; Matthew 24:15b
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, … Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. [the Antichrist  …will install the idol/image in the temple] …(whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

It is then that the Little Flock will be freed from offering sacrifices in the temple.

The dispensation of grace began with the salvation of our Apostle Paul about A.D. 30 in Acts 9.  It was only in A.D. 70 (exactly 40 years after our Lord was rejected and crucified by the nation of Israel) that temple worship ceased because Titus and the Romans destroyed the temple.

The prophetic books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and even Acts don’t focus on the physical, animal sacrifice and the law, even though the Jews were under the law.

Galatians 4:4

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

Matthew 7:12
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Matthew 23:2
Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: [“seat” represents authority, and Moses was the great law giver.]

They were not to break even the least of these commandments.

Matthew 5:18-19
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled [in the Kingdom].  Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

The Little Flock (believers on the Lord Jesus Christ in his earthly ministry and the book of Acts) still continued temple worship even after Paul was saved in that transitional period in Acts.  So you see, the focus of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is Christ, not the law.

Romans 3:21-22
But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

Luke 16:16
The law and the prophets were until John [the Baptist]: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.

The law and the prophets pointed to Jesus Christ.  Paul says that the law was a schoolmaster.

Galatians 3:24
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

So Christ is the issue.  He magnified the law and made it honourable.

Isaiah 42:21
The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable.

The Lord Jesus Christ never ever told them to stop keeping the law, including temple worship and sacrifices.  In fact he told them the opposite; they were to continue in it until the time appointed of the Father, meaning the Kingdom.  And even then they will still sacrifice as a memorial.

Zechariah 14:21
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.

Psalm 65:4
Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.

That is the point.  The Millennial temple will come down with Christ at his second coming (Ezekiel 40 – 48).  The Jews will still worship in the holy temple; that is in the New Jerusalem where the Lord is.

Revelation 21:2
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

They will still sacrifice as a memorial to the shed blood of Christ who was the offering for them.

John 1:36
And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

Revelation 5:6a
And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain,

We as members of the body of Christ have a fellowship meal in the Lord’s supper – food and drink, the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is our communion (our “common union”).  It is not the wafer and little sip of wine of Roman Catholicism and certain Protestant denominations.  The Lord’s supper is a fellowship meal, similar to the last supper with food and drink that the Lord had at Passover with his apostles.

During the Kingdom the Jews will sacrifice as a memorial and they will also bring sacrifices to the temple given to them by the gentile nations.  All nations will be under the law.

Isaiah 2:3
And many people [from the nations] shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

Isaiah 11:9
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

God will cause Israel to keep the law under the New Covenant.

Ezekiel 36:27
And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

The gentiles will be under the law and will have to bring sacrifices.  Those sacrifices will teach them about the Lord Jesus Christ and his sacrifice – the innocent dying for their guilt – and their need of a savior.

Zechariah 14:16-18
And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.  And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.  And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.

Acts is a book of transition that is written to the nation of Israel.  There were Messianic Jews, members of the Little Flock, who believed on Christ before Paul; and there were Jews who heard and believed Paul’s gospel of grace and were saved into the body of Christ.  The third type of Jew at that time were the unbelieving Jews in Israel and those scattered among the nations who were part of the heathen.

That has now ceased.  For a Jew or gentile to be saved today, they must come through the Pauline preaching of the cross – the gospel of Grace.

Acts 20:24b
…and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

1 Corinthians 15:1-4
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;  By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

But during the transition Paul took a Nazarite vow in order to appease the Jewish brethren, the Little Flock.

Numbers 6:18
And the Nazarite shall shave the head of his separation at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall take the hair of the head of his separation, and put it in the fire which is under the sacrifice of the peace offerings.

He went so far as to shave his head.

Acts 18:18-19, 21
And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.  And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews. [The Nazarite shaved his head and offered a blood sacrifice.  Paul was going to do that too, but God through his providence stopped him; it wasn’t part of Paul’s ministry.] But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus.

The clock stopped for the prophetic program and it was temporarily postponed when Saul was saved and the dispensation of grace began.  Obviously, the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet was not going to happen at that time and cannot happen until this present dispensation of grace has ended.

So, all the Jews continued in temple worship until the temple was destroyed in A.D. 70 when there was no longer a place to offer the blood sacrifice.  It wasn’t just the Little Flock who brought the sacrifice, it was also those law-keeping Jews who had not trusted in Christ because they did not believe the old testament testimony about him the way the Little Flock did. 

There were two types of Jews worshipping in the Temple:  the true worshippers (the Little Flock who believed on Jesus but still kept the law including the sacrifices) and the lost Jews who continued in the rites and rituals.  They were just being religious like people are today—having a “form of godliness.”  They observed all the ritual types and shadows of the old testament, but they didn’t trust in Christ. 

The best proof of that is in Acts 21.  There we see James is now the leader of the Little Flock.  First it was Peter, but once Paul’s ministry began to be magnified by the Lord, Peter’s ministry began to diminish because Peter’s role was in Prophecy – the kingdom program which had now been put on hold.  God also changed the head apostleship to James as evidence of that. James is the new testament name for Jacob, a type of Israel.  Peter’s ministry was more kingdom-oriented, and since the kingdom was postponed during the dispensation of grace, James became the head of the Little Flock.  There are a lot of different types there. 

Acts 21:17-26
And when we [Luke is with him] were come to Jerusalem, the brethren [the Little Flock] received us gladly. And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present.

Paul meets with the Little Flock and James, their leader.

And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry. [Paul’s ministry of gentile grace]  And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him,

Watch what James and the elders of Israel, the Little Flock, say to Paul:

Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe [those of the Little Flock]; and they are all zealous of the law: And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.  What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come.

They were offended.  They had heard a rumor that Paul was telling the Jews who were among the gentiles to ‘forsake Moses,’ ‘don’t keep the law of Moses,’ ‘don’t circumcise your children.’
Now watch what they ask them Paul to do to prove his Jewishness.  Remember the focus in Acts is the Jew.

Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them; Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, [in other words, take on the burden of this vow] that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.

They go on to say that the gentiles don’t have to, but as Jews we do.

As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication. Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.

This is that Nazarite vow I mentioned earlier.  They were still offering blood sacrifices.  The point is that the Lord never instructed any of the Little Flock to not continue offering sacrifices. 

The prophetic program will be reinstated after our dispensation of grace ends.  The next dispensation after our resurrection/rapture, is when God the Father will gather all things in his Son Jesus Christ, both in heaven (that is why the body of Christ goes to heaven) and on earth (that is why he will gather a believing remnant of redeemed Israelites into the kingdom).  This is the dispensation of the fullness of times. 

Ephesians 1:10
That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

Just to clarify, the prophetic program will not be reinstated at the beginning of the Millennium; it will actually be reinstated when the prophetic clock begins again immediately following the rapture.  That which was postponed will commence.