Summary: This is the 4th sermon in the series "The End". This sermon looks at the rebuilding of the temple and start of sacrificial law in Israel.
Sunday Evening, April 21, 2002 Bel Aire Baptist Church
Series: “The End” [#4]
1. As God is preparing for that day to begin the Tribulation, we are seeing many of the pieces to the puzzle fitting in place.
2. Tonight I want to identify some of these pieces and notice how God is working.
1. All prophecy teachers who interpret the Scriptures literally agree that the Jewish temple in Israel will be rebuilt.
2. The Babylonians destroyed the first temple, built by Solomon, in 586 B.C. The Romans destroyed the second temple- begun in 535 B.C. and completed in 516 B.C., then lavishly renovated by Herod the Great starting in 19 B.C.- in A.D. 70.
3. There are several people in Scripture that indicate that a third temple will be built either before the Tribulation begins or soon thereafter because the temple will be in full operation by the middle of the Tribulation, when it is desecrated.
4. Both Daniel and John place this awful event in the middle of the Tribulation. Obviously, if the temple is to be desecrated at this time, it had to already have been built.
5. When the Antichrist declares that he is God, (while at the temple), God will pour out the worst judgments in history- the Great Tribulation.
1. Many of us are interested in what is happening concerning the temple. There are several interesting facts that lead me to believe this will become reality soon. There is an individual in Israel named Gershom Salomon that has tried to organize prayer meetings on the Temple sight. On one occasion he tried to lay a 4 1/2 ton cornerstone upon the Temple Mount, but the Israeli government stopped him. Don’t forget that this sight is the location of the 2nd most holy sight to the Muslims.
2. Not only is the cornerstone prepared but also an organization called Temple Institute has made almost all of the 102 utensils needed for temple worship.
3. There has also been established a yeshiva (religious school) for the education and training of temple priests. Their job is to learn regulations, gather qualified Levites, and train them for a future priesthood. There are now many yeshivas throughout Jerusalem. Clothing is also being made for the priest.
4. There also has to be a way to secure kosher animals for sacrifice, including red heifers, which are rare in Israel. Let me read to you an article from www.israelnationalnews.com.
“Red Heifer Born in Israel”
In these days of difficulty for the Land of Israel, there is encouraging news as well…
It can now be revealed that less than one month ago, a red heifer was born in Israel. After the heifer’s owner contacted the Temple Institute, on Friday, April 5th, 2001, Rabbi Menachem Makover and Rabbi Chaim Richman traveled to the farm where the heifer is located, to inspect and validate her status. The rabbis found her to be kosher and were satisfied that this heifer could indeed be a candidate to be used in the process of purification described in the book of Numbers, chapter 19. This is a prerequisite for the rebuilding of the Holy Temple.
Tradition records that a red heifer in our generation is a herald of the Messianic era. It is certainly an important development towards the rebuilding of the Holy Temple. Our sages taught that Israel’s redemption could be compared to the dawn. “In the beginning, it progresses very slowly… but as it continues, it grows brighter and brighter.”
So what is so important about a red heifer?
5. The primary spiritual significance of the Sacrifice of the Red Heifer is the fact that is symbolically points to the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ as our only hope of being cleansed from the uncleanliness of our sins. The Talmud claims that the Red Heifer sacrifice was the only one of God’s commands that King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, claimed he did not understand. Although the priest obediently offered the sacrifice as demanded by God, Solomon apparently did not understand why Numbers 19 declared that the priest would be “unclean until evening.” This unusual sacrifice symbolically pointed to Jesus Christ and His sacrifice because our Lord, who was perfectly sinless, judicially took upon Himself the sins of the world so that we who are sinful could become righteous before God. Christ paid the price for our sins. Just as the Red Heifer was sacrificed “outside the camp” in contrast to all other sacrifice that took place in the Tabernacle or Temple, Jesus was sacrifice outside the city of Jerusalem. In contrast to the normal male animals sacrificed, the Red Heifer was the only female animal the Law commanded to be sacrificed. Significantly, our Lord was betrayed for thirty pieces of silver, the price of a female slave.