Taking a look at the preparations for the Third Temple in Jerusalem
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
One of the best indications that we are in the last days would be some sort of dramatic change on the Temple Mount – the kind of change that would allow the construction of the Third Temple – the temple the Antichrist will enter and defile in the middle of the 7-year period called the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. Right now that seems impossible since the Dome of the Rock sits where the Temple will be located.
The Bible refers to the Temple as the spiritual center of the world, the source of peace and prosperity, and a house of prayer for all nations. Stories in Israeli news media remind both Israel and the rest of the world of the void created by the absence of the Temple. The Director of the Temple Institute in Jerusalem, Rabbi Chaim Richman explains that the mourning on the 9th of Av “is not about bemoaning the Temple. It’s about bemoaning the world without the Temple – a world that has lost its light, its color and its direction.”
A growing “Temple Movement” in Israel finds thousands of Jews working to rebuild the Temple. According to a recent poll in a leading newspaper Ha’aretz, one third of Israelis believe that Israel should erect the Temple on the Temple Mount. The Israeli Housing Minister called publicly for the rebuilding of the Temple, “We’ve built many little, little temples,” MK Uri Ariel said, referring to synagogues, “but we need to build a real Temple on the Temple Mount.”
While the construction of the Temple building is still on hold, the educating of the men
who will serve and the preparations for everything inside the Temple are well underway. Since 1987 the Temple Institute has been training men believed to be from the tribe of Levi for Temple service and constructing and accumulating all the furniture, clothing, implements, and instruments needed to replicate the items found in the original Temple. These include the table of showbread, the altar of incense, and the golden menorah, which is on display overlooking the Western Wall plaza. No detail is being overlooked, including the 4,000 harps as described in 1 Chronicles 23:5. Reports say that construction of these instruments is nearly completed.
The Ark of the Covenant, which was last seen in Solomon’s Temple, is a different story. Many interesting theories abound as to its location, but so far, no one can say for sure.The last mention of it in the Bible is found in 2 Chron. 35:3. King Josiah feared that it would be captured by either the Egyptians or the Babylonians who were warring with each other during his reign. Josiah ordered the Levites to move it (from the Holy of Holies) to the house which Solomon built. The Hebrew word for “house” (bayith) can be translated “inner chambers” or “dungeon.” This has caused many of the Temple Institute researchers to believe that it lies in a secluded place under the Dome of the Rock. Some have gone on record as having been to the exact location.
AS I SEE IT
Many believe that construction of the Temple will not begin until the Antichrist (disguised as an agent of peace) negotiates a peace between Israel and her enemies. This would allow construction of the Temple to begin. They also believe that they will be raptured to heaven before any of this takes place. What if construction somehow begins and we’re still here? Many of those involved with the Temple Institute believe that God will somehow intervene to make this happen. They have no plans to do anything to the Dome of the Rock. They’re leaving that issue up to God.
The timing of when believers are raptured depends on when the real wrath occurs. We know that we will be spared from the wrath to come, but will this wrath occur at the beginning of the 7-year period (the 70th week of Daniel) or in the last half, after the Antichrist shows his true colors? Regardless of what we may believe, we should pay close attention to what is happening on the Temple Mount. As long as the status quo continues, we can expect the construction of the Temple to be only a dream. God will be giving us yet more time to “get our act together.”
Could it be that Christ will use this time (before the Temple is constructed) to finish and refine the process of building His Church? How will that happen? Not by continuing the status quo, that’s for sure. The true “Church-building” process from the days of the Early Church has occurred whenever believers came under persecution and were forced to make their faith real and no longer just a “statement of faith.” We must be refined and made fit to rule and reign with our Savior in the coming kingdom. Every day that no Temple stands on the Temple Mount is another day we have to refine and build our faith so Christ doesn’t have to do it for us.
We, like the people of Israel, long to see the Temple rebuilt, but every day until that happens is an opportunity to deepen our walk with our Lord so that we can be sure that God’s promise from Psalm 91:14-16 will apply to us when things get rough:
Because He has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him. I will set him securely on high because he has known My name. He will call on Me and I will answer Him. I will be with him in trouble. I will rescue him and honor him. With a long life I will satisfy him and let him behold My salvation.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.