Dispensationalism: Diminishing the Cross of Christ


According to dispensationalists, animal sacrifices will be reinstituted during a future millennium along with a new temple in Jerusalem.

The resumption of animal sacrifices, according to John MacArthur, is the new, old way to memorialize Christ.

Israel rejected their Messiah, but when they have received Him and are in His kingdom, they will have a memorial of sacrifices that point to Him. They will have missed the memorial of the Lord’s Supper, but will then have their own memorial sacrifices for 1000 years. (MacArthur Study Bible, footnote Ezekiel 40:38-47)

While dispensationalists insist on a literal interpretation of Scripture, they certainly do not use it here. Ezekiel 40-48 never speaks or even hints of memorial sacrifices – not once. On the contrary, it negates MacArthur’s ‘exposition’. The text explicitly denies that these are memorial sacrifices in any way; 14 times the text calls for a sin offering (Ezekiel 40:39; 42:13; 43:19, 21, 22, 25; 44:27, 29; 45:17, 19, 22, 23, 25; 46:20).

Leviticus describes the purpose of the sin offering as "making atonement" (Leviticus 4:20, 26, 31, 35, etc.). These are animal sacrifices to atone for sin – not as memorials.

So, my friends, John MacArthur, along with every dispensationalist who agrees with this view, would have us believe that in a future temple in Jerusalem, there will be Levitical priests offering atonement sacrifices. There is no other conclusion if we are to interpret this literally.

Scripture teaches us that there was and is never a greater sacrifice than that of Christ Jesus. This is how we have learned Christ.

Ezekiel 40-48 does not teach memorial sacrifices. Dispensationalists diminish the cross of Christ by even suggesting a restoration of bloody, atonement-purposed, animal sacrifices. In doing so, they practically reject the larger portion of the book of Hebrews which teaches us that the old covenant is finished, obsolete, along with it’s sacrificial system. Hebrews 8:13;  9:26, 29.

Brethren, if you are within the dispensational camp, I urge you to reconsider what you have believed and who you listen to on these matters. Dispensationalism is an embarrassment to Christianity. It is not a ‘secondary’ issue. It is an unorthodox belief system, a vile infection within the Church. Animal sacrifices – under the New Covenant?!

The sacrifice of Christ was once for all time. Jesus is the fulfillment of all of those old testament sacrificial types. They are not only fulfilled but abolished in Christ. Whether intentional or not, I believe to suggest any other future sacrifices – for any reason – is to dishonor the Lord and dismiss His sacrifice as insufficient.

who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He didonce for all when Heoffered up Himself. – Hebrews 7:27

Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often sincethe foundation of the world; but nowonce atthe consummation of the ages He has beenmanifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. – Hebrews 9:26

And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those whoeagerly await Him. – Hebrews 9:27-28