Almost a year after five red heifers were found in Rockwall, Texas, and flown to Eretz Yisrael, how close are we to the animals being qualified for the critical sacrifice required to generate the ashes of a red heifer needed for purification at the time of the third Temple (Revelation 11:1)? It could be closer than we think!
Israel currently doesn’t have a Temple in Jerusalem. The remains of Herod’s Temple are all that’s left, and the foundation of that building is what is known as the Kotel or Western Wall. Are things about to change? The Bible speaks of a third and a fourth Temple or Millennial Temple (Ezekiel 40-48). The third Temple is a project that has been at the heart of the Temple Institute in Jerusalem for decades. A section of religious Jews is convinced that they will be rebuilding their Temple and once again resume the sacrificial system in Israel, and they are absolutely correct. Towards that end, they have painstakingly recreated all the implements necessary for the resumption of Temple life. Everything has been ready for a while now, even the priests from the tribe of Levi (remember that the tribe of Levi is the only one that can be identified since its identity was preserved in the name of its members such as Levy and Cohen and other derivatives). So, what remains to be done before the Temple is rebuilt? Well, not a whole lot.
Obviously, the location of the Temple remains a very controversial topic since the current Temple Mount is more of a Muslim site than anything. The Al-Aqsa Mosque is built on top of the Temple Mount, and that is currently the biggest hurdle to rebuilding a Temple at that location. I do believe that part of the peace treaty that the Antichrist will sign with Israel will include the possibility of rebuilding and that the Antichrist will be successful at making Arabs and Jews get along. The Temple could even be rebuilt through a collaboration of the two groups and including Gentile assistance (Zechariah 6:12-13). This would be a great example of world peace brought by the Antichrist, especially during the first half of the Great Tribulation. A false world peace that is!
Let’s assume that the Temple could be rebuilt today. That doesn’t automatically mean that Temple duties and the sacrificial system could resume because to resume Temple duties, a red heifer is needed. It is also important to note that the third Temple, while simply called the third Temple by its Jewish proponents, is also known by Yeshua’s followers as the Tribulation Temple. It is a building that never was and never will be condoned by God. It is needed for the end times agenda to unravel, but it is not the Temple that God wants. Sometimes God allows for events to take place for his plan for mankind to be possible. The Tribulation Temple is such an edifice, and yet, there is a critical aspect of Temple purification that remains unfulfilled, and it pertains to the ashes of the red heifer.
The reason why a red heifer is needed is that Jewish people at the Temple must present themselves in a state of ritual purity before they perform their duties. We get this from the Passover celebration in the wilderness in Numbers 9:5-7, “They observed the Passover in the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, in the wilderness of Sinai; according to all that the LORD had commanded Moses, so the sons of Israel did. But there were some men who were unclean because of the dead person, so that they could not observe Passover on that day.” The 113th commandment of the 613 found in the Torah stipulates that “the ashes of a red heifer are to be used in the process of ritual purification.” (Numbers 19:1-22.)
Only nine red heifers were ever found in the entire history of Israel, so it goes without saying that they are extremely rare and valuable. So, the possibility of five new red heifers in existence today is extremely important. Much mystery surrounds the reason for using the ashes of a red heifer. It is even mentioned in the New Testament in Hebrews 9:13-14 as an example of Yeshua’s spotless, sinless sacrifice being greater than the ashes of the animal.
Recently, on the biblical site of Shiloh, where the Tabernacle once was (Joshua 18:1), a group of Levites went through a practice run. One of the five red heifers brought from Texas in 2022 was presented at that ceremony. The animal is just months away from being of age for the sacrifice, and if it continues to grow and not show more than two white hairs, IT WILL QUALIFY FOR SACRIFICE very soon. This means that Israel will have everything needed to rebuild a temple and resume the sacrificial system interrupted in A.D. 70. This is both exciting and terrifying. Let me explain.
This is exciting both for Jews and Christians. The idea that the Third Temple could be erected and functioning in this generation is very exciting to some of the Jewish people around the world, but especially in Israel. This being said, only about 15% of all Jewish people are religious and even less within that percentage long for a Temple to be rebuilt. Those who await that day, like the people from the Temple Institute in the Old City of Jerusalem, are very excited. To them, this announces the coming of the Mashiach, the messianic age, and peace on earth, so who wouldn’t want that?
To the Christians who study eschatology (the study of the end times), this coming temple is also very real. It is known as the Tribulation Temple and is required to be built and functioning during the seven-year Tribulation (Daniel 9:24-27). This is the Temple that the Antichrist will desecrate (2 Thessalonians 2:4) after the first 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation, so it has to be rebuilt soon. To Bible-believing followers of Yeshua, this confirms the veracity of the Bible and its flawless prophetic word. We know that the Third Temple will be rebuilt because God’s word says so, and God cannot lie (Numbers 23:19; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18.) From the perspective of end times events and their biblical accuracy, this is very exciting, unfortunately, for Christians, there is another side to that coin.
As soon as the Tribulation starts and the Temple is fully functioning, the clock is ticking, and it is a short span of time in comparison to world history. The proverbial rubber will be meeting the road in a very bad way for all people on earth at that time. It is understandable when Christians get excited about the rebuilding of the Temple because it means that we are that much closer to the return of Yeshua the Messiah. The sad reality for many people is that around the time of the resumption of the sacrificial system in Jerusalem at the Third Temple, things will start going south very rapidly.
What first will appear as a beautiful Jewish Temple reminiscent of Herod’s Temple about 2,000 years ago, will become a place desecrated by the Antichrist (Daniel 9:26-27; 2 Thessalonians 2:4.) This coincides with the time when people will “willingly” take the Mark of the Beast and seal their fate as followers of the Antichrist. This will be an unprecedented time of great turmoil, as prophesied in Jeremiah 30:7 and Daniel 12:1.
The red heifers are getting really close to being kosher and ready for the sacrifice producing the ashes to be mixed with water for purification. All the Temple implements are ready to go and the Levites have been trained. It is 11:59 PM on the prophetic clock, and yet, so much can still be accomplished in the last minute before the prophetic midnite call. Our desire to share the message of hope with the lost should be boiling inside us.
I don’t know if I will witness the making of the purifying water in my lifetime, but I know without a doubt that it is coming and that once that part of God’s program is in motion, there is no looking back. I have been on God’s side for the last 40 years. I hope you are too, and I pray that you will be bold about the hope that you have in Yeshua. NOW IS THE TIME!