Temple Timing :: By Terry James

Things shaping up in terms of prophetic stage-setting, particularly regarding Israel, should strike us as crucial. By this, I mean things prophesied for the time just before Christ’s Second Advent are in precise configuration for the very dénouement of the Church Age.

Nothing could be more crucial now than preparation in the Jewish mind and spiritual heart for constructing the Third Temple.

Increasing noise of constructing that end-times edifice is coming from that nation’s leadership.

Consider the following excerpt from an article that originated in that prophetic nation.

Israel’s defense minister and head of the New Right party, Naftali Bennett, spoke to a Yeshiva (male seminary) in northern Israel on Wednesday criticizing a political rival who Bennett claims doesn’t treat Israel’s state institutions as playing an integral role in the Redemption process.

Bennett then lamented what he sees as a current attitude of lawlessness in Israel saying that the reason that the Second Temple was destroyed was because everyone “followed their own rules.”

“We need to understand the big picture” Bennett said, adding “today we are in (the era of) the Third Temple.”

Bennett then reminded the captive audience about the history of the Kingdom of Israel, saying “we have had a state twice where we ruled as a united people. The first time it only lasted 80 years—King David 40, then King Solomon 40. After that, we separated.”

“The second time, we were sovereign for only 74 years during the Hasmonean dynasty” he added. 

Bennett, then [touched] on the present, saying “Now we are at 72 years. The Jewish nation has never been able to maintain a united rule for more than 80 years.”

The Defense Minister concluded saying that he will not let “anyone tear apart the state of Israel.” (David Sidman, “Israel’s Defense Minister: We Are Now in Era of Third Temple,” Breaking Israel News, February 13, 2020)

The defense minister’s assessment is one I hadn’t considered. Israel has never gone more than eighty years with a united leadership—that is, with a connected government. They are but eight years from a record in that regard.

What does it mean? I haven’t a clue. But the timing of all things is a fascinating exercise in considering Heaven’s timeline for bringing a close to this Age of Grace.

One of the great Hebrew eschatological scholars of our time wrote a compelling piece on the coming Third Temple some years ago.

The significance of Israel’s reinstituting the Sanhedrin may be another event that leaves in place the possibility of how the Lord will work out His will with His people. Almost sixty years after a 1900-year absence, the nation of Israel came into existence. Jewish people from the four corners of the world have made aliyah to live in the Land. The Temple Institute in Jerusalem has reconstructed the instruments for Jewish Temple worship; Jewish men determined to be descendants of Aaron, known as the Kohanim, are being trained in ritual practices to serve as Temple priests; and now we have the establishment of an authoritative body to speak to the nation of Israel on matters of Jewish religion. This is significant in light of such passages as Zechariah 12:10 and Hosea 5:15, which speak of a time when the people of Israel will be led into the acceptance of Jesus as their Messiah. The existence of a religious authority for the entire nation will facilitate the multitudes coming to faith. (Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Ariel Ministries Newsletter, Fall 2004/Winter 2005, p. 4)

One of today’s foremost scholars in end-times prophecy, Dr. Thomas Ice, concludes the following about the timing of rebuilding the Temple atop Mount Moriah:

In spite of contemporary turmoil, Israel’s Third Temple will one day be rebuilt.… Daniel 9:24-27; Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:4; Revelation 11:1-2; 13:14-15. Few observers of world events ever thought Israel would become a nation again, but it did occur in 1948. Yet, there will be a rebuilt temple by the middle of the seven-year tribulation in order to facilitate the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

I have often taught that the long-awaited permission for the Jews to rebuild their Temple will likely be part of the covenant between Antichrist and Israel that starts the seven-year tribulation after the rapture. It appears to me that the Temple will be rebuilt and supervised supernaturally by the two witnesses during the first half of the tribulation. Since one of the two witnesses will most likely be Elijah, this would mean that the ministry of Elijah should tell us more about the ministry of the two witnesses. Malachi 4:4-5 says, “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. An he will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse.” Perhaps the ministry of Elijah, where he will help the Jewish people “get right with God,” before the return of the Lord will involve their Third Temple, until commandeered by Antichrist.

Regardless of how the Lord works out the details, His plan will be brought to pass. In the meantime, many of the current events now taking place in and around Jerusalem and the Temple Mount are setting the stage for what will be a string of events that will usher in the second coming of Christ. Meanwhile, the church is looking for the rapture, where Christ will take us in an instant to be with Himself for all eternity. (Dr. Thomas Ice, “Is It Time for The Temple?” Rapture Ready archives)

The building of the Third Temple is as good as done. God has pronounced its rebuilding, and nothing can stop or inhibit its construction. It’s all within His perfect timing.

In the days to come, The Mount of Hashem‘s House Shall stand firm above the mountains And tower above the hills; And all the nations Shall gaze on it with joy. (Isaiah 2: 2)