by Roy A. Reinhold
In 1993, there was a great controversy between the former Chief Sephardic Rabbi Mordechai Eliahu and Rabbi Yisrael Ariel who heads the Temple Institute, concerning whether it is the responsibility of Jews to build a third Temple or whether the Temple will be brought down from heaven when the Messiah comes. Rabbi Ariel stated that the commandment obligates every Jewish man and woman to rebuild the Temple.
The commandment referred to are the 613 commandments of Judaism. Rambam (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, also called Maimonides, 1135-1204 AD) listed the building of the Bais Hamikdash as one of the 613 commandments of the Torah. Since a commandment implies a deed performed by man, then it is obvious that the Rambam maintains that the Temple will be built by man. Mr. Israel Eldad, historian, was quoted in TIME magazine after the 1967 war when Jerusalem was captured, as saying, "From the time that David captured Jerusalem until the building of the Temple it was but one generation; so it shall be with us."
Meanwhile, Rabbi Eliahu began teaching that the Temple need not be rebuilt, but that the Temple would descend from heaven when the Messiah comes. Rabbi Ariel asserted that Rabbi Eliahu was relying on the Apocrypha and Revelations for support of his view that the Temple need not be rebuilt. So the debate rages on among the orthodox Jews, whether or not the Temple should be built by this generation.
The Temple Foundation has been soliciting donations to build the Temple since the 1970's. Later, at least two yeshivas (training schools for rabbi's) began indexing people who are descended from the priests and levites to train to conduct Temple services and rituals. Yeshiva Torat Haim and Yeshiva Aterit Cohanim both train students in Temple practices and have since the mid 1980's in Jerusalem. The Temple Institute has sponsored the creation of musical instruments, and the implements to be used in the Temple. Behind the scenes, these and many other organizations have laid the groundwork for a 3rd Temple to be constructed in very short order and be fully operational. Once construction of the 3rd Temple begins, all these opposition views will quickly melt away as Jews around the world realize that this is their opportunity to participate in an historic event, the rebuilding of the Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. It is the purpose of this article to provide the scriptural basis for the rebuilding of a literal Temple in Jerusalem before Messiah returns, and since this article is written by a Christian, it will include references from both the Tanakh (Old Testament) and New Testament of the Bible.
In the Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14, Jesus told the disciples about the end-time events and the abomination of desolation which will take place in the Temple in the middle of the end-times 7 year period.
The abomination of desolation is when the antichrist stands in the holy place of the rebuilt Temple and falsely declares to the world that he is God. This occurs in the middle of the 7 year end-times period. So if the peace treaty between Israel and the PLO signed on September 13, 1993 was the peace treaty of prophecy, then on February 24, 1997, the abomination of desolation should have occurred in the Temple in Jerusalem. There is no Temple in Jerusalem, and no world leader has declared himself to be God, so we know with 100% certainty that the September 13, 1993 peace treaty was not the peace treaty of prophecy. Let's go back to the book of Daniel to further expand on Jesus' words in the Olivet Discourse.
The text states that in the middle of the week, a week of years, the sacrifices and grain offerings will be stopped. The sacrifices and grain offerings will be started again at a rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem and have to be occurring for the antichrist to stop them. At the same time in the middle of the 7 year period, something called an abomination of desolation will be performed. We have to jump over to Daniel 11 to see what that is all about.
In order to show the consistency of scripture, let's jump over to Thessalonians to show that the same prophetic thoughts are displayed.
The scenario above in context is the rapture of the church, and we are told that the Day of the Lord which comes after the rapture will not occur unless two major discernible events happen. There will be a great apostasy or falling away from the faith, and the antichrist will sit in the Temple in Jerusalem and falsely declare himself to be God. Are there other scriptures which confirm that the abomination of desolation happens in the middle of the end-times 7 year period? Yes, in Daniel 12, the Angel was told to further elaborate.
Here we are shown again as in Daniel 9:27, that the stopping of the sacrifices and the abomination occur nearly simultaneously. From the abomination of desolation until the Messiah comes in power to reign on the earth is 1290 days (approximately 3.5 years or half of the week of years mentioned in Daniel 9:27). Then 45 days later (the 1335 days), the fulfillment of Yom Kippur as prophecy takes place. Messiah will judge Judah and Israel and forgive their sins after the terrible time they went through during the Days of Awe, and they will be made into one nation again.
This abomination of desolation takes place on earth not in heaven. If you've ever seen it, the Temple in heaven is built into the throne of God our Father, which is why it is written that His train fills the Temple. His seat is above the most holy place of the Temple in heaven, and is the eternal mercy seat, of which the mercy seat on top of the ark of the covenant was a pale representation. There is no way that Satan or the antichrist can be in heaven and take over the throne area of God. If they could, then God wouldn't be capable of maintaining even the area around His throne. Because Jesus sits there at the right hand of God our Father, then the impossible occurs as Satan would be able to triumph over Jesus at His very throne. There is no possible way that the abomination of desolation could take place in heaven unless Jesus and God our Father were not omnipotent. The reason this last paragraph is included is that some have thought that perhaps these events take place in heaven rather than literally on earth. Satan cannot even approach the throne of God let alone triumph over Him.
Here's something to think about, if you think that the Temple to be built in Jerusalem soon will be exactly as outlined in Ezekiel 40-48. The area where the Temple in Ezekiel is located is 500 reeds square as stated in Ezekiel 42:15-20. 500 reeds is about 1.5 km or 1 mile square on each side, being more exactly stated as closer to 5000 feet on each side. The current Temple Mount is approximately 500 yards on the east and west sides, 280 yards on the south side, and 340 yards on the north side. It is impossible to believe that a huge mammoth undertaking would be done in Jerusalem before the Messiah comes, to enlarge the Temple Mount to the size mentioned in Ezekiel 42. In order to do this, the Kidron valley would have to be filled in and perhaps part of the old city of Jerusalem destroyed to build up the Temple Mount. Besides we are told in Revelation 11 that only the inner court of the Temple will be used.
The 42 months are the last 3.5 years of the end-times 7 year period, and confirm the two corresponding proof texts from the book of Daniel. It is my opinion (God my Father has not told me) that the Temple will be built soon in the area to the north of the Dome of the Rock, with the most holy place of the Temple over the area now occupied by the small cupola called the Dome of the Spirits. It may take UN control or Vatican control of the Temple Mount to allow construction of the Temple without starting a war in the Middle East. Logically, a solution would be not to disturb the Dome of the Rock or the nearby Al Aqsa mosque, but allow construction of a Jewish Temple in the unused area north of the Dome of the Rock. That solution would allow separation of Jews and Moslems on the Temple Mount. Only time will tell and we are likely to see a solution soon and the rebuilding of the Temple, a sure sign of the end-times period beginning.
The Day of the Lord (Yom YHWH)