Fight for Joy! Blog
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The Red Heifer and the Third Temple
Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, ‘This is the statue of the law which the LORD has commanded, saying, ‘Speak to the sons of Israel that they bring you an unblemished red heifer in which is no defect and on which a yoke has never been placed’” (Numbers 19:1-2). What’s going on in Israel? A few weeks ago, a passenger flight from the United States touched down in Israel. This is not unusual because several passenger flights from the U.S. arrive daily in Israel. What made this particular flight unique was the special passengers traveling in the cargo hold—five potentially pure and unblemished red heifers.
What is the significance of the red heifer (red cow)? Numbers 19:1-10 describes the sacrifice of the red heifer and specifies the sacrificed heifer must be red, without defect or blemish, nor can a yoke ever have been placed upon it. This is the only instance where the color of the animal to be sacrificed is specified. Furthermore, the sacrifice was to occur away from the entrance to the tabernacle, “outside the camp,” according to Numbers 19:3. The Mosaic Law further describes this sacrifice is for purification purposes. But what does this have to do with the Jewish Third Temple?
According to Bible prophecy there will be a third Jewish Temple in Jerusalem during the last days just prior to the return of Christ. We do not know exactly when it will be built but we do know it will be in full operation by the midpoint of Daniel’s Seventieth Week (also known as The Tribulation) when the Antichrist will put a stop to sacrifices, enter the Holy of Holies, and declare himself to be God, and demand the whole world worship him, thus desecrating the Temple (see Matthew 24:15). In fact, Jesus referred to this event as the singular event signaling the beginning of the latter half of Daniel’s Seventieth Week which the Bible also refers to as The Great Tribulation (see Matthew 24:21). But what does all this have to do with the red heifer?
The Jews are ready to rebuild their Temple, but they cannot do so without sacrificing an unblemished red heifer for the purposes of priestly and temple ritual purification. Without the red heifer, the Temple service cannot be reinstated! Many believe the arrival of these five red heifers brings with them the very strong possibility for the first time in nearly 2000 years that the Temple can be rebuilt, and Temple service restored. Anything is possible, I suppose, but there are some (myself included) who lean towards the requirement for the red heifer used for this purpose must be born in Israel. I cannot point you to chapter and verse for this requirement. I draw my conclusions from Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s teaching on the subject and his assertion concerning rabbinical law making it more stringent in that the red heifer must be born in Israel. I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
Regardless of how things unfold in the coming days the arrival of potentially unblemished red heifers in Israel shows us just how accurate Bible prophecy for the last days is, how close to the start of Daniel’s Seventieth Week we are, and how much closer to the Rapture of the Church that puts us. The time to come to Jesus is now!
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