6 Jun 2012
Coming Soon: The Tribulation Temple
“Anyone interested in end-time events has his eyes on the temple project.” This statement stood out to me as I read a chapter in the updated-and-expanded edition of Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins’ classic book, Are We Living in the End Times? I remember reading the first edition of this book years ago and thinking what a riveting and easy-to-read commentary it was on prophecy and current events. And now it’s been updated to address all that has transpired since 9/11!
“All prophecy teachers who interpret the Scriptures literally agree that the Jewish temple in Israel will be rebuilt,” LaHaye and Jenkins say. There is a lot of conjecture about where the Temple will be rebuilt: north of the Dome of the Rock; south of the Dome of the Rock; on the site of the Dome of the Rock. If you aren’t aware of these discussions, you can look them up by conducting an Internet search on, “Placement of the third Jewish temple.” You’ll see what I mean.
The important point to this short article is that the discussion is current and on-going because certain groups within Israel are preparing for the Temple and expecting the opportunity to build it in the very near future!
“That there will be a third temple is predicted by the prophet Daniel, the apostles Paul and John, and none other than the Lord Jesus Himself,” LaHaye and Jenkins explain. “They all taught that Israel’s third temple will be rebuilt either before the Tribulation begins or soon thereafter, for it is seen in complete operation by the middle of the Tribulation, when it will be desecrated. Obviously, since Israel does not now have a temple, the third temple must be rebuilt for such an event to occur.”
Complete and highly detailed blueprints of the Sanhedrin Assembly Hall, the Chamber of Hewn Stone, part of the Holy Temple complex itself. These plans, drawn up by a top Israeli architectural firm hired by the Temple Institute, incorporate modern technological innovation while remaining true to the specific requirements of the Sanhedrin.
Daniel’s prophecy was, “Then he [the Antichrist] shall confirm a covenant with many for one week [of years]; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering,” (Daniel 9:27). Then in Daniel 11:31, he says, “. . . and the forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation.”
Jesus referred to this passage in the book of Daniel. Since Antiochus Epiphanes’ desecration of the Holy of holies in the second temple had already happened at that point, Jesus was obviously referring to another, similar instance yet to come.”
And Paul mentions it when answering the Thessalonians’ question about whether they had been left to endure the Tribulation.
This abominable act is slated for the mid-point in the tribulation. As LaHaye and Jenkins logically deduce, “Clearly, if the temple is to be desecrated at that point, it must be built earlier.
What I find exciting is how purposefully and in great detail that temple and it’s worship is being prepared for now, even though the building’s final location is in dispute! Why is that exciting? Because if the Jewish people are prepped and ready to build the temple, and if the temple’s presence signals the proximity to the Tribulation, and if – as I believe Scripture teaches – the Church is taken Home before the Tribulation begins, then we must be awfully close to hearing a trumpet! How close? Only our Father knows . . . but close!
Dr. David Reagan, a well-known prophecy scholar, actually states in his article, “The Third Temple: When Will It Be Built?” that, “The Jews plan to erect a tent temple like the Tabernacle of Moses, and they are ready to do so at any moment. Everything has been prepared. Once this temporary temple is put up, they will resume the sacrifices and then start building a more permanent structure around and above the temporary one.”
With all the instruments for service in the temple ready and waiting, such a scenario could literally happen overnight. There seems to be only one piece of the puzzle missing, besides the location of the structure: The ashes of a red heifer. Rabbi Chaim Richman, director of the International Department at The Temple Institute, explains that, “In order to be able to actually build the holy temple, in order to be able to actually use the sacred vessels that are being created today for use in divine service, the only thing missing is the ashes of the red heifer.” These ashes are necessary for purifying everything from the priests who have been educated and prepared to serve in the temple to the garments that have been prepared for them, to the utensils themselves. There have been a number of red heifers born in the last decade, but to date, none has qualified as perfect for the service to which it will be dedicated. All in God’s time – which could be soon!
LaHaye and Jenkins conclude their chapter on the rebuilt temple by saying, “Fifty years ago we would not have been discussing the possibility of reconstructing the Jewish temple. It was impossible. Today that is no longer true. For the first time since the destruction of the second temple in AD 70, we are on the verge of seeing a third temple built in fulfillment of prophecy – another powerful evidence that we have more reason to believe Christ could return in our lifetime than any generation before us!”