Sacrificial Confusion

The first thing to clear up here is the popular belief of God slaying an animal in the beginning to cover Adam and Eve's sin--I was taught the same thing since I was 5 years old and hear 999 people out of 1,000 still saying the same thing, though it cannot be found. I like to think of it as one of the "phantom verses" of the Bible passed down as fact, maybe because not enough people bothered to try to find a verse for it.
Nowhere in the entire fall-of-man story do you find God "slaying" "killing" "skinning" or shedding blood in any way, and neither is there a "lamb" "sheep" or "ram" mentioned anywhere. According to all the bibles I've checked all it says is "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. -Genesis 3:21"

Might we consider that the coats of skins that Adam and Eve received were the fleshly bodies we see today? Before they sinned they had perfect (incorruptible) bodies because there was no sin in the world. Going with the phantom sacrifice analogy, God being the ultimate high priest (perfect Himself needless to say), making a perfect sacrifice for the only sin in the world right then and there, would have set everything right back to perfection.
If we look further into scripture, we will find that the first 10 or so mentionings of sacrifices or burnt offerings made in the bible come without commandment or instructions up until Exodus. It's safe to say the Jews being freed from 400 years worth of pagan hedonistic Egypt, might be a little sacrifice-happy since we do know that they were very familiar with Egypt's religious practices IE: the golden calf.
Either way, any instance of God telling a person in the Bible to sacrifice does not occur for countless years....something I will discuss farther down, if you bear with me you will see the missing pieces.

Also, about the story of Abraham and Isaac, remember two things: Gen 22:2 indicates the whole purpose God gave for Abraham making the trip was to specifically offer up Isaac, in verse 12 the angel stops him and said he did what the Lord required. Yet in the very next verse Abraham finds a ram and sacrifices it. After that in verse 16 if you notice the angel calls again and gives no credence to the sacrificed ram, but rather says again just what was originally required of Abraham.

Here are some specific verses of the Bible regarding sacrifices.
Jeremiah 7:22 For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices.

Psalm 40:6 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.

Psalms 51:16-17 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Hosea 6:8 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

Matthew 12:7 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.

Micah 6:6-8 Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Hebrews 10:6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.

Egad! If it's not getting plainly clear that the whole sacrifice matter has been twisted and jerked out of shape, then I don't know what is. It's no wonder so many people are confused as to what God is all about, such important verses have been missed by so many. Yet I am aware of the verses that do exist in the Old Testament of God telling people to sacrifice this and that, so where is the even ground?

Here's another verse where sin is removed once in the OT without a sacrifice at all!
Isaiah 6:7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

The solution is Hebrews 9:13-14 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?.
We see it again a few verses later in Heb 10:1-4 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

So we find Christ's sacrifice for our conscience, yet people up to that time did it for the purifying of the flesh (!). Uh-oh, here comes Jesus telling us the flesh profits nothing, and Old Testament references to the flesh call it as grass. So why were people so hung up on purifying it through their sacrifices?
The answer lies in the guilty conscience of man demanding blood, that something had to pay for his wrongdoings, so God had to make instructions for sacrifices to appease man, and prevent them from becoming savages. Don't be so naive as to think that could never happen, one needs only a brief look at history to know that several ancient civilizations performed human sacrifices at regular intervals.

So why did God ever command Israel to do something that He didn't really want? Because they wanted it. Several times God says basically "You name the game, and I'll play it.". The best example of this was when they were tired of eating manna and they craved meat and complained so much that God sent so much quail that they died from all the meat. Also, it was never fully elaborated but only touched on by Jesus when He was told by the Pharisees in Mark 10:4 that Moses allowed divorce, He replied with "For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.". How interesting, I can only imagine what Jesus would have said if they had asked Him about animal sacrifices.

The point is, it wasn't a two step plan for forgiveness, all that God ever wanted when we sinned was to repent (turn away). Christ had to purge (or cleanse) the conscience in 9:14 because people had the feelings of guilt. The feeling that we needed to be punished (or something in our place) instead of just repenting. That's why I've listed a whole plethora of verses where God says He never wanted sacrifices for sin, all that was required was to love one another.

So people ask, "What about Noah in Genesis 6?"

Noah made a "burnt offering", for the same reason Cain and Abel made the first offerings in the Bible, if you notice Genesis 4:7 regarding these offerings. "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him."
It doesn't say it was for payment of sin, but rather for God's approval. The first offering as payment for sin wasn't made until halfway through Exodus. Only then do we start seeing sacrifices for sin.

People, if you want to hang on to Rev. 13:8 and claim a sacrifice in the beginning by it, then tell me, why in the world did the Lamb come and get slain again 2,000 years ago if He was already slain at the dawn of creation? Do you not see the muddled thinking in this? It was obviously a figurative analogy that God had a plan, don't try to tell me Jesus was a literal animal.
I know it can be tough to drop your dogmas and doctrines of men, but it may help if you can understand many of the well accepted doctrines today hail from a time shortly after the "Dark Ages", and I believe there was a reason they were called that.