The writings herein reflect the views of the authors based upon their research into extra-Biblical writings and commentaries. Some of the comments counter what is written in the Bible, but they do reflect some early Christian and Jewish-Christian thinking and debates over various Christian theology of that time.
New Testament on Sacrifice:
What we look at now, is the New Testament view of Sacrifice. This view is one reflecting how the "Ransom Theory to the Devil" evolved out of the original "Vindication Theory" teaching of the Ebionites. (Note: you will see that the Blood Atonement theory came later and was the third evolutionary interpretation of Christ's death and is not to be found sytematically throughout the entire Bible)
After our so-called fall, Satan became our master. Because of our imperfection and sin we find ourselves in Satan's world. Like the Hebrews who had gone down into Egypt, we too have become trapped in bondage. We are bound by our desires and wants in this world for material possessions. We seek sensual pleasure without care for the consequences until they are upon us. According to the "Ransom Theory", when we sin here on earth, be it intentionally, or otherwise, we must answer to the Pharaoh of the earth - SATAN.
Following this theory, Satan has set up his own little set of rules down here on earth. Of course this has all been done with God's approval. As long as we are caught up in our passions and quest for material possessions, then we are bound to the rules of Satan; for Satan is in charge of the world.
In ancient times Satan fooled the Levitical priesthood and commanded them to sacrifice animals for their sins; this however, was to be done for unintentional sins only. This of course did not really get them free of the debt of their original sins but only served to increase their sinfulness. God at this point intervened and had Moses develop sacrificial laws that would lead the Hebrews out of Demon worship.
By the time just before Jesus, the devil had already changed and interpolated the Old Testament making it appear as though the animal sacrifice was commanded by God. However, a careful reading of scripture assures us that animal sacrifice has nothing to do with God.
The Temple on the other hand serves two purposes. It was made by the demands of Moloch and for Moloch. However, to those ordinary people, who were unaware of the deceits of the priests, God allowed them to call it His house, for a time only; this is why Jesus calls the temple His Fathers House. Jesus, James and the Ebionite had hoped to purge the temple of all animal sacrifice and restore it to a representational house of God and thus, not a place of animal sacrifice, but rather a House of "Prayer" for all nations.
There was never any belief, on the part of Jesus and James, that the temple was to be the actual dwelling place of God, for no house or building on earth can actually contain God.
Stephen in the Book of Acts tells us that: "...the Most High does not dwell in houses and temples made with hands; as the prophet says, [Isa. 66:1,2.] 'Heaven [is] My throne, and earth is My footstool for My feet. What [kind of ] house can you build for Me, says the Lord, or what is the place in which I can rest." (Acts 7:48 TAB)
A careful reading of the entire 7th chapter of Acts will show that the tent in which Jews worshipped and later the temple were in reality built to Moloch or Satan. Further, since the same chapter defends the Jewish prophets and since we know that it was the Levitical priesthood who carried out the sacrifices, we can conclude that indeed the Ebionites or Essenes of our New Testament were in agreement with the other groups mentioned earlier, that Satan had corrupted the Jewish religion.
The New Testament even states that the sacrifices of the Old Testament were not really of any value, but rather, they only were a fore shadowing of better things to come. If we read Hebrews 9 in it's entirety, then we will see a hidden truth; consider this brief quote: ... "Sacrifices are offered, and yet are incapable of perfecting the conscience or of cleansing and renewing the inner man of the worshiper." (Heb. 9:9 TAB)
If Heb. 9:9 be true, then why would God have commanded it? Well, we know that He did not, for Jeremiah 7:21 tells us He did not!