The Hebrew prophets all proclaimed that in the last days, the exiles of Israel would return to the Promised Land and that the Temple would be rebuilt.
“Then the nations will know that I the Lord make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.” (Ezekiel 37:28)
These phenomenal end-time events are unfolding before our very eyes!
The Prophetic Return to Israel and the Third Temple
“I will bring back my exiled people Israel; they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them.” (Amos 9:14–15)
So many skeptics around the globe like to proclaim that God has rejected the People of Israel and that Israel has been rebirthed by man alone. Yet, we find in Scripture that God never intended to reject His People forever:
“You, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, Descendant of Abraham My friend, you whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from its remotest parts and said to you, ‘You are My servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you.” (Isaiah 41:9)
God always planned to bring the Jewish People back to the Land on His terms not man’s. And just as the prophets foretold, the Jewish People are returning to the Holy Land from the four corners of the earth after 19 centuries of global exile:
“Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, And gather you from the west. “I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring My sons from afar And My daughters from the ends of the earth.” (Isaiah 43:5–6)
Not only are the exiles of Israel returning to the Promised Land, but preparations to build the Third Temple are progressing through the efforts of the Temple Institute and the Temple Mount Faithful Movement.
Why Build the Third Temple?
“Here am I, and the children the Lord has given me. We are signs and
symbols in Israel from the Lord Almighty, who dwells on Mount Zion.”
You might ask yourself, “If the sanctuary was ‘a copy and a shadow of what is in Heaven (Hebrews 8:5),’ and Yeshua (Jesus) ‘serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord (Hebrews 8:2),’ why contemplate building the Holy Temple?”
The Holy Temple in Jerusalem was never simply a building or structure, but an earthly dwelling place for the Divine Presence of God.
The Lord said,
“Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell [shakan] among them.” (Exodus 25:8; see also Exodus 40:34–35 and 1 Kings 8:11)
This dwelling (shakan) forms the related word Shekhinah, which is not found in the original Hebrew Bible, but it is used in rabbinic literature and Bible translations to describe the Lord’s Divine Presence.
The Prophet Ezekiel witnessed the departure of this Divine Presence from the Temple (Ezekiel 10:18–19).
But he also saw the rebuilding of an eternal and permanent dwelling place of God on the Temple Mount in the Holy City of Jerusalem.
“The glory of the Lord entered the temple through the gate facing east. … I heard someone speaking to me from inside the temple. He said: ‘Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place for the soles of my feet. This is where I will live among the Israelites forever.’” (Ezekiel 43:4–7)
Rambam (Rabbi Moses Maimonides), a medieval Jewish philosopher and Torah scholar, said that the Temple has eternal significance.
He wrote in Hilchos Bais HaBechirah (The Laws of God’s Chosen House)
that the Temple had two primary purposes:
- To reveal to mankind the Divine Presence of God, which dwelt above the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant.
“There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the Ark of the Testimony, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites.” (Exodus 25:22)
- To facilitate the offering of the required sacrifices.
Since the destruction of the Second Temple in AD 70, however, the Jewish People can no longer offer these sacrifices. In fact, 202 out of the 613 mitzvot (commandments) in the Torah cannot be performed without a Temple.
With no Temple in Jerusalem, the Jewish people now worship the God of Israel in their local community synagogues and in the study of Torah.
Instead of offering animal sacrifices, they now offer Tefillah (prayer), Teshuvah (repentance), and Tzedakah (charity).
Many think that animal sacrifices have been done away with forever, but according to Bible prophecy, this simply isn’t so. The Lord tells the Prophet Ezekiel that in a future Temple, the prescribed sacrifices will be offered:
“The north and south rooms facing the temple courtyard are the priests’ rooms, where the priests who approach the Lord will eat the most holy offerings. There they will put the most holy offerings—the grain offerings, the sin offerings and the guilt offerings—for the place is holy.” (Ezekiel 42:13)
But a serious question arises not only for the Jewish community, but for all Believers in Yeshua: will the next Temple—the Third Temple—be Ezekiel’s Temple where the Divine Presence will once again reside—or will some other presence reside in another Temple?
Daniel, Yeshua, the Anti-Messiah, and the Third Temple
In the prophetic writings of the Book of Daniel and the Brit Chadashah (New Testament), we find significant details about the role of a rebuilt Temple in the end times.
Both Daniel and Yeshua (Jesus) tell us that the Anti-Messiah will defile the Third Temple before the return of the true Messiah.
They both call this spiritual defilement in the Temple the abomination of desolation:
“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” (Matthew 24:15–16; compare with Daniel 9:27, 11:31, and 12:11)
According to the Prophet Daniel, the Messiah would be cut off before the Temple is destroyed:
“After the sixty-two weeks the Messiah [Mashiach] will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince [ruler, nagid] who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.” (Daniel 9:26)
This prophecy was fulfilled in AD 70 with the destruction of the Temple, just forty years after Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah) was cut off by his execution on a tree.
Through the study of numerous end-time Scriptures, we believe that this prince or ruler (nagid)—the anti-Messiah—will appear just as Daniel describes.
Daniel says he will confirm a covenant of peace “for one week” (often interpreted as seven years) but break that covenant in the middle of the term.
“And he [the prince] will make [some translations say ‘confirm’] a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate [some interpretations say, set up an idol on the wing or precipice of the Temple], even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.” (Daniel 9:27; see also Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:4)
The anti-Messiah will also proclaim himself to be God!
“He [the man of lawlessness] will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” (2 Thess. 2:4)
The Temple Institute as well as the Temple Mount and Eretz Yisrael Faithful Movement are the two main Jewish organizations responsible for making preparations for the Third Temple and the reinstatement of sacrificial worship.
Other organizations have plans, too. One wants to pitch a tabernacle-style tent on the Mount; another wants to build a synagogue in one of the corners of the platform.
Why? Because as Chaim Richman, the director of the Temple Institute states in his Myth Buster video series, “Buildings don’t fall down from heaven.” He adds that “it’s a mitzvah to build the Temple,” citing Exodus 23:8 and that Jews should be performing all 613 mitzvot, which requires a Temple.
He also says that the Third Temple will “bring the Light back into the world” that left the Temple Mount when the Lord’s Divine Presence departed.
Moreover, he believes the Temple will “reconnect all of creation with one another. It is the Holy Temple that enables all of humanity to engage in direct dynamic relationship with God and provides the opportunity for every individual to rise to our greatest potential.” (Temple Institute YouTube: Myth Busters Part 1)
Daniel 9 and 11 as well as Brit Chadashah writings, however, help us see that an alternate reality exists for the Temple.
Nevertheless, the ritual garments and vessels have been created.
Even the Golden Menorah—the seven branched candelabra—has been crafted, along with Levitical musical instruments, such as silver trumpets, lyres, and harps to worship the Lord, just as King David did 3,000 years ago (1 Chronicles 23:5).
The Temple Institute’s School is training certified, DNA-tested Cohen (descendants of the High Priest Aaron) to perform the Temple duties.
And the final element, the Red Heifer, is being bred in Israel to be sacrificed in the ritual purification of the priests and the vessels, so they may formally enter the holiest of holy area on the entire earth.
Everything is ready for the rebuilding of the Third Temple. Everything, that is, except the land on which to build it.
Since the liberation of the Mount in 1967, the Muslim world has made great efforts to claim the entire 37-acre (150,000 square meter) platform as its own sacred land, calling the site in Arabic al-Ḥaram al-Šarīf—the Noble Sanctuary.
To protect the Noble Sanctuary, the Muslim world has become expert organizers of riots on the Temple Mount and terror on the streets of Israel. Incitement to such violence increases whenever rumors spread that a Jewish presence will be established on the Temple Mount or its own Muslim structures harmed.
Only an incredibly respected, trusted, and honored man by both Muslims and Jews will be able to establish a peace plan that allows the Jewish People to worship the Lord in a Temple on the Mount that King David purchased (2 Samuel 24:18–25).
Whoever this man is and whatever trouble awaits us (known as Jacob’s Trouble) when he breaks the peace plan as Daniel 9:27 predicts, we can be confident that God is on the throne and in control.
As King David writes in Psalm 121:4: “He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”
We know that end-time Bible prophecy concerning the Third Temple is soon to be fulfilled because Israel was prophetically reborn as a nation in 1948 (Isaiah 66:8), and most of these Temple preparations only started in the last 30 years.
As we persevere through these end-times, join us in introducing the Sar Shalom (Prince of Peace) Yeshua HaMashiach to the Jewish People so that He may dwell in them and bring them a peace and Joy they have not yet known.