Temple Update, Part Two

priest-omer-barley-sacrifice-altar-2 This time the story jumped out at me; I did not initially overlook it as I did with the last temple news item, not even for a moment.

Last week, I posted a story about the Temple Institute starting a school to train Levites to be priests in the temple. Yesterday, August 29, I saw another news report regarding the temple that again spoke to me regarding the nearness of Jesus' return.

The Breaking Israel News website reported yesterday that the Sanhedrin has appointed the high priest to serve in the new temple. Here is an excerpt from the opening paragraph of the story from the website:

“A significant step was recently taken towards reinstating the Temple service when the nascent Sanhedrin selected Rabbi Baruch Kahane as the next Kohen Gadol (high priest).  . . If the political conditions should change, allowing the Jews access to the Temple Mount, they will be required by Torah law to bring the sacrifices. Rabbi Kahane is confident that if that should happen, Temple service could begin in less than one week.”

The picture above is of the newly selected high priest offering a barley sacrifice to God on the streets of old Jerusalem. Just think, if the temple is built anytime soon, this man is headed for an encounter with the antichrist who will defile the temple halfway through the tribulation.

The training for the priests, the selection of a high priest, the formation of the Sanhedrin, and the sight of sacrifices offered in Jerusalem all represent significant events and raise many questions in my mind. The first question that comes to my mind is, “What am I missing?”

News reports out of the Middle East lead us to conclude that Jewish access to the Temple Mount is years away at best and likely will never happen. Yet under the radar of most news media we see intensifying of preparations for the third temple. That they could be ready within a week to start temple services surprises me. Why are the Temple Institute and the new Sanhedrin so dedicated to preparing for the temple and its services when they do not even have access to Temple Mount?

Do those making all these intense preparations know something we don’t? Is there a secret agreement already in place that allows future Jewish access to the Temple Mount and the construction of the third temple? Is this just wishful thinking on the part of those forming the Sanhedrin and selecting the high priest? Or, do they have a basis for their optimism in making such preparations?

I have more questions than answers. But I can’t help thinking all this activity points to something we do not know. I think they have a reason for their optimism; I believe their careful planning represents much more than wishful thinking.

My speculation regarding the temple is just that. Yet, the preparations for temple worship represent the fulfillment of prophecy right before our eyes or at least its beginning. Way back in AD 180 a prominent church father named Irenaeus spoke of the antichrist defiling a future temple in Israel (the Romans destroyed the one of Jesus’ day in AD 70). Yet we are the ones seeing all the preparations for this long-awaited temple referenced in both Matthew and Revelation. Will we also be the ones to meet Jesus in the air before we die?

We cannot know the day or hour that Jesus will return. However, as we see the world setting up exactly as we would expect before the beginning of the tribulation we cannot help but thinkthe rapture is getting close.

At times I get the sense everything is set and already in place for the tribulation to begin. Yet the Lord is holding it back, delaying its start, to give more people the opportunity to trust Him and find salvation in Him. Someday, however, the waiting will be over and in the “twinkling of an eye” we will be with the Lord.