As we launch this timely and prophetic series, “US President Joe Biden is planning a visit to Israel in June. While there, he will visit the eastern section of Jerusalem in a clear message of support for establishing a Palestinian capital in the Jews’ eternal capital… In addition, the Biden administration has pledged to reopen a consulate for Palestinians in the eastern section of Jerusalem after Trump closed the consulate when he moved the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.” [i]
The Associated Press followed this disturbing announcement with Biden getting to the heart of the matter by endorsing Jordan’s role in overseeing the Temple Mount. “President Joe Biden on Friday reaffirmed his administration’s support for Jordan’s long-running role as the custodian of Muslim holy sites at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem following a meeting with King Abdullah II at the White House.
“Biden met with Jordan’s Abdullah after several rounds of clashes in recent weeks at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the third holiest site for Muslims. It is built on a hilltop that is also the holiest site for Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount.” [ii]
But the contest between Jews and Muslims over the Temple Mount is about to get far more complicated before it is temporarily resolved by the arrival of a Messiah who will for a time resolve the issue surrounding the world’s top sacred site.
The Third Temple, the subject of this new series, is one prophetic sign God’s Word posts for those who seek truth. That Jewish house of worship is prophetically scheduled to be constructed atop the most volatile piece of real estate on the planet. That rocky plot of earth is feared by world diplomats to present the greatest threat to Middle East and world peace.
Mount Moriah, known as the Temple Mount, is the focal point for adherents of the world’s three most prominent religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Only worshippers within Islam are now allowed to worship upon this promontory at the southern area of Jerusalem. Merely the hint of the other religions’ attempt to conduct worship atop Moriah is met with violence from Muslim militants. It seems inconceivable that a Jewish house of worship can ever be built there.
Yet there is more than a concept with the matter of wanting to build a Jewish Temple on Moriah. In the thinking of some, it is as good as already done, and, as the reader will discover, there is a secret plan by Jewish authorities to make it happen sooner than most know. The reason is because the God of Heaven has declared that it will be built. His prophetic Word never fails. The nation in the midst of which Moriah sits is absolute proof, in the thinking of those who believe the Third Temple is as good as already there.
Modern Israel is a miracle entity guided by the hand of God through more than 1,900 years of dispersion. The Jewish people endured enemies and persecutions of every description while being reestablished on the very ground where ancient Israel surrounded the Temple Mount. This is proof that God’s Word is truth. Bible prophecy foretold that Israel would be destroyed as a nation and removed completely from the land God promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Second Temple Trouble
Daniel the prophet clearly prophesied the beginning of the nation’s diaspora, or dispersion, that would follow the Messiah’s being “cut off,” as recorded in chapter 9 of the book called by his name:
And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself; and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary, and the end of it shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. (Daniel 9:26)
Jesus, who gave this prophecy to Daniel centuries before Christ came to die for the sins of the world, foretold this destruction while on the Mount of Olives just before His crucifixion. He spoke to His disciples concerning the beautiful Temple—the Second Temple—atop Moriah at that time.
And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple; and his disciples came to him to show him the buildings of the temple.
And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. (Matthew 24:1–2)
The Second Temple was built following a previous diaspora, or dispersion, when the First Temple—the one built by King Solomon—was destroyed by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar in 587 BC. The construction of that Second Temple is wrapped up in the prophecy of the ninth chapter of Daniel, where the angel, Gabriel, gave the prophet the timeline of Israel’s future:
Know, therefore, and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah, the Prince, shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. (Daniel 9:25)
There is debate on exactly when the actual fulfillment of this prophecy began. One biblical scholar writes:
When do the seventy weeks begin? There are four possible decrees which might fulfill verse 25; most commentators narrow it down to either Artexerxes’ decree in 458 BC (Ezra 7:11–26) or his decree in 445 BC (Nehemiah 2:1–8). There are also decrees by Cyrus in 538 BC, recorded by Ezra in 1:1–4 and 5:13–17; to rebuild the temple, and by Darius in 517 BC, recorded in Ezra 6:6–12; another decree to rebuild the temple.[iii]
The Second Temple, the one Jesus and His disciples viewed from their Mount of Olives vantagepoint, was greatly enhanced in size and beauty by Herod, who was appointed by Rome to rule the region. The Temple had been built by the sixth century B.C. and came to be celebrated as one of the most admired structures of the time.
Just as Daniel and Jesus foretold, Jerusalem and the Second Temple were destroyed.
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW VIDEO:
FLASHBACK! GARY STEARMAN INTERVIEWS DR. THOMAS HORN ON THE SECRET PLAN TO BUILD THE THIRD TEMPLE!
At the heart of all the tumult surrounding the Temple Mount is an increasing call for the Jewish right to worship there. Muslims already have the right to worship on this site, which is the third most holy in Islam, while it is the first holiest in Judaism. This discrimination generates increased tension and amps up the desire of the religious Jews to be allowed access to it. Further, a growing number of Jews are demanding that a Third Temple be built so animal sacrifice and the ritual worship of Judaism can resume.
Praying, kneeling, bowing, prostrating, dancing, singing, ripping clothes—all are forbidden. Jews must do none of these things, according to the rules set for them when visiting the Temple Mount. The site of the former Temples is located above and behind the Western Wall in the heart of Jerusalem’s Old City. The area is under Israeli sovereignty, but the mount—called by Muslims Haram al-Sharif—is controlled by the Islamic Wakf, a joint Palestinian-Jordanian religious body.
The Al-Aqsa Mosque and the golden-crowned Dome of the Rock overlooking the city attract daily crowds of Muslim worshipers to the Temple Mount. Jews may only access the site for four and a half hours a day under Wakf regulations, and, as stated, are forbidden from praying there. Most religious Jews still consider the Western Wall to be the faith’s holiest site. But growing demand is gathering political support for the status quo on the Temple Mount to be changed. Jews must be able to pray upon their ancient site of worship, it is argued.
Interest in building the Third Temple continues to increase. One survey to determine attitudes among religious Jews showed that 43 percent supported its construction, compared to 20 percent among the ultra-Orthodox and the national ultra-Orthodox, and 31 percent among secular Jews.
The survey showed that among the Israeli Jewish public, 59 percent favor the demand to change the way things presently are on the Mount. One question on the survey asked if “the state should enforce an agreement on the Mount, similar to one that exists in the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, which is shared by Jews and Moslems?” Just 23 percent answered no.
The survey’s results show a considerable change in attitudes among the religious public within the nation: The direction of thought of the people is toward building the Third Temple on Moriah.
Many groups are trying to rev up talk of building the Third Temple. Some are devoted to reconstructing the ancient objects and vessels necessary to carry out rituals of worship once the structure is built. Training for performing ceremonial acts and worship services is taking place, and even ritual garbs for the high priest have reportedly been recreated and are being stored for the moment worship in a rebuilt Temple is instituted. Preparations for reinstituting animal sacrifice are also well underway, it is reported. Others just as devoted to a Third Temple being rebuilt are engaging in political lobbying and various methods of trying to get the Jewish community to visit the Temple site at every opportunity.
Of course, under current circumstances, any effort to remove the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque would mean that the more than one-billion-strong Muslim world would launch World War III.
At this point, talk of a Third Temple remains just talk. However, passion among the Jewish people is building for that prophesied future Temple.
Rabbi Chaim Richman is the international director of the Temple Institute, an organization based in the Old City devoted to one purpose—building the third Temple atop Mount Moriah. “Our goal is to fulfill the commandment of, ‘They shall make a Temple for me and I will dwell among them,’” says Richman, quoting Exodus 25:8. “The basis of a Torah life is action.”
Since the destruction of the Temple in AD 70 by the Roman legions led by General Titus, rabbis have generally taken the position that the rebuilding should not be undertaken until the Messiah comes. They hold that their religious law on the matter is too unclear.
Rabbi Richman and the Temple Mount Institute take a different position. Richman says there are no Jewish legal barriers against rebuilding a Temple, only political ones.
A great concern among those who want the Temple Institute suppressed is that Richman and those within the organization aren’t shy about wanting the Dome of the Rock and other shrines of Islam removed from the Temple Mount so the construction can begin. The Institute is devoted to laying the groundwork for that purpose. Under the guidance of twenty scholars who study Temple law full-time, it has put together a blueprint for where the structure will stand and what the vessels will look like. The research and directives have produced items of worship that are replicas of the objects used in the ancient Temples that were destroyed.
Plexiglas cases at the institute’s headquarters in the Old City contain forty such objects. A short list of some of those items follows:
- Silver trumpets to be blown by priests
- A wooden lyre
- Long-handled pans—one for collecting blood from small sacrificial offerings and another for large sacrifices such as the Passover lamb
- Vestments with azure weaves, gold thread, and a breastplate with twelve precious stones, to be worn by deputy priests and the high priest, are displayed on mannequins that have beards. (It reportedly took eleven years and more than one hundred thousand dollars to complete the outfits for worship.)
- A massive, twelve-spigot sink with electric faucets—modern technology Chaim Richman says will be permitted to be in the Third Temple
- A golden, two-hundred-pound, seven-branch menorah in a case overlooking the Western Wall
Troubling to many who consider these marvelous recreations for worship is the fact that those of the Temple Institute, unlike other museums displaying articles of worship, intend to remove these objects as soon as possible and begin using them in the Third Temple (although there are several other ways the Temple Mount could be modified for the Third Temple and we will get into that as this series proceeds).
The world’s diplomatic community likely views the goings-on at Richman’s organization as creating a future trigger for conflict that could bring all-out war in the Middle East. Many Jews who aren’t so religious-minded also worry.
Rabbi Richman’s passion—obvious from the following excerpt—reflects the strong sense of longing for a return to Temple:
“All of our outreach here at the Temple Institute is about deepening our feeling of connection—not our feeling of loss, not our feeling of mourning—but our joy with the possibility of our generation being the generation that is leading to the rebuilding of the temple,” said Rabbi Chaim Richman, head of the Temple Institute International department in an interview with Israel National News.
The Temple Institute website says its short-term goal is to “rekindle the flame” of the temple in people’s hearts, and its long-term goal is to rebuild the temple in “our time.”
“We consider the rebuilding of the holy temple to be one of the positive commandments. Unfortunately because of the whole long diaspora experience, a lot of ideas crept into our subconsciousness, and even our consciousness, and there are those that say that the temple is going to come down from heaven, there are those that say that only Mashiach (the Messiah) can build the temple, there are those that say, ‘well, the whole idea is just not relevant at all,’” Richman said.
“Our position is really just that our lives are like, on hold. The Jewish people are just a skeleton of what they could be. The whole world is really, totally muted and just completely drained of its vibrancy because we don’t have the holy temple. And so what we’re really trying to emphasize during these days is to rekindle the anticipation and the beauty and the longing for having that closer relationship…when the divine presence returns to the world,” he added.[iv]
With all the plans for the coming Third Temple, which will be built beyond any shadow of a doubt if one believes the Bible, the terrible fact remains. It will be a Temple not of great joy but of great sorrow for the Jewish people. As a matter of fact, the Third Temple will be the Tribulation Temple, the one of the time of “Jacob’s trouble” (see Jeremiah 30:7). Jesus said it will be the most horrendous time in human history (Matthew 24:21).
But, Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, the Savior of the world, will Himself build a Temple that will be His headquarters throughout His millennial reign. King David will also rule there at the side of Jesus for a thousand years. Jesus will reign as King of all Kings; David, in his resurrected body, will reign as king over all of Israel. Thus, his is called “the throne of David.” It will be a time of joy and great glory beyond any mankind has known when Jesus builds that Temple.
And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold, the man whose name is The Branch; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord;
Even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne; and the counsel of peace shall be between them both. (Zechariah 6:12–13).
NEXT: The Rabbis and the Abomination of Desolation
[iv]Abby Stevens, “Jewish Organization Opens Holy Temple Visitors’ Center in Jerusalem,” Deseret News, July 31, 2013, https://www.deseretnews.com/article/865583894/Jewish-organization-opens-Holy-Temple-Visitors-Center-in-Jerusalem.html.