What's the Deal with the Third Temple?
by Kim Frolander
FAQ: Why is the third temple important and why does Ruth Israel Initiative tour the Temple Institute in Jerusalem during educational missions?
You may have heard about the Jewish People’s great desire to build a Third Temple (1st=Solomon’s; 2nd =Ezra and Nehemiah’s restoration project and expanded by King Herod at the time of Jesus). Herod’s expansion project of the Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.
The rumor and desire is true. In fact, there is a place called the Temple Institute located just meters from the place where those original two temples were supposed to have been built. Plans are already in place. (To see a 3-D rendering video click here): You may also be aware that there is a large stumbling block that holds back the Jewish People from being able to rebuild the temple of the Lord: The Muslim’s Dome of the Rock shrine sits on the very platform where they want to build.
Now, we don’t know what will happen to change things, whether the platform will be vacated or cleared somehow, shared in some sort of inter-faith religious treaty, or Israeli archeologists will uncover that this location is not what the religious Jews have bought into all these years as the location of the previous temples. (This is not as far-fetched as it sounds. Click here to see a video explanation of this developing story). SOMEHOW the Third Temple will be built. We know this because it is prophesied in scripture as being desecrated. (Revelation 11:1-2)
SIGNIFICANCE TO JEWS
This event is so significant to religious Jews because one the temple is back in place again, the ritual sacrifices of the lambs for forgiveness of sin, and the regular morning and evening sacrifices and the special offerings can be reinstated according to the Torah’s instruction from God to the Jewish People. They have been aching for this day for nearly 2000 years. They long to be able to follow the law of God. While that longing to obey the Torah is commendable and beautiful for this Christian Gentile to see, unfortunately, this reinstatement of the sacrificial system outlined in the Bible, will probably cause the staunchest of religious Jews to dig in their heels against the Messiah (Yeshua) who already took care of their sin/forgiveness issue with His own blood; the blood of a perfect Lamb.
While the blood of the lamb for forgiveness of sin that lasted until the end of the Second Temple era was a prophetic picture of the plod of the Perfect Lamb to come, I think that when (not “if”) it is reinstated, neither Gentile Believers nor Messianic Jews should feel afraid or limited in an way from viewing or perhaps even participating in the ritual. Consider this: In the same way the Feasts of the Lord are celebrated first as a commandment, then as an event, then in remembrance after its prophetic fulfillment, could a sacrifice become a teachable moment for us all? It seems to me that Jesus’ (Yeshua’s) death and resurrection would feel much more poignant to our hearts when we take communion every Sunday if we have a real memory including sight and sound and smell of a little innocent lamb being sacrificed because we witnessed its messiness, bloodiness, and absolute sacrifice.
The building of the Third Temple in Jerusalem is prophesied by many, so if we believe the whole Bible is true, we need to know it IS coming. The construction and restoration of the morning and evening sacrifices is another one of those “boxes that need to be ticked off” as we move toward the End of Days when Jesus returns to rule from Jerusalem. The sacrifices being “cut off” (Daniel 9:25-27; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4) are also a tick-box. A significant point on the timeline we have been told about because it is significant. Think of it as a GPS way-point to the End. There will be 3.5 years remaining after that.
The Third Temple will be destroyed. It is prophesied in scripture in its destruction, not its construction. So what is the point of getting all upset or excited about it? The point is that it is part of God’s divine Timeline. It demonstrates His faithfulness to His Word. It gives us something to watch for. Like Jeremiah who was challenge to Watch the Word of the Lord and how He performs it (Jeremiah 1:12).
The religious Jewish crowd believe that the Third Temple’s construction will set up the appearance of the Messiah. And in a way, they have it right. A “messiah” will appear, but he is an anti-messiah, a false messiah or an anti-Christ in the Christian vernacular (Christ is just the title of messiah in Greek versus Hebrew). This anti-messiah will come and bask in that space of the Third Temple and take glory that belongs to God alone. Ultimately scripture teaches this anti-messiah will be cast down, the defiled third temple will be destroyed and Jesus/Yeshua the true Messiah will appear. Christians understand this as Jesus returning for His Bride (Jews and Gentiles who have called on the name of Yeshua/Jesus).
Many Jews will have their eyes opened by God (Who blinded them from this recognition for the sake of the Gentiles and His own name) and Jewish People of all persuasions from secular to super religious will then recognize Yeshua as the Pierced One and call out (at some sort of national level) “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” (Matthew 23:39).
And that will be a glorious day!
The Ruth Israel Initiative usually spends an hour stop on our educational missions at the Temple Institute while we are in Jerusalem in order to understand the deep longing in the Jewish hearts for this Third Temple’s construction. The group of people have prepared the architectural plans, and all of the implements needed to begin construction as soon as there is space and the go ahead from the Israeli government. The golden lamp stands (see a photo above), the oil, the table for the showbread, the priestly garments. Everything is prepared.
Here is one of the golden lamp stands that will eventually reside in the Third Temple. It is on display not far from the Western Wall Plaza.
Thanks to prophecysigns.com for the above photo