I was having lunch with a fellow and we were talking about the Bible. All of a sudden, he leaned across the table and said, "David, wouldn't it have been exciting to live in Bible times?" And I replied, "Brother, we are living in Bible times!"
We are living at a time when we're seeing biblical prophecies fulfilled that had been prophesied some 2,700 years ago. This is an exciting time to be living in! There's no time in all of history more exciting, except the First Coming of Jesus Christ.
For the past 42 years, I've spent my life teaching about the signs of the end times, trying to convince people that we are truly living on borrowed time, because Jesus could break from the heavens at any moment for the Rapture of the Church.
In this week's episode of Christ in Prophecy, I want to take a quick look at a sign of Israel that has been largely overlooked. It's about the Jewish preparations for the Messiah. What I want to reveal now are the signs that relate to only 15% of the Jewish population — the Orthodox Jews.
The Messianic Age
Israel is not a religious country. Israel is a very pagan country with probably 80% or more of the people there being atheists or agnostics. They are very secular people. But, 15% of the population is Orthodox Jew, what they often refer to as the Black Hats — the guys you see praying at the Western Wall. These are the Orthodox Jews. The signs among them are overwhelming because they are expecting the Lord to return at any moment. This fact has been largely overlooked by people who talk about the signs of the times.
It all began in 1967 during the Six-Day War, when the Jews at last reoccupied the Old City of Jerusalem on the last day of the war, so June 6, 1967. That date is as important as May 14, 1948. On that day, they reoccupied the city for the first time in 1,897 years.
As the soldiers rushed to the Western Wall, they began to weep and pray. Also arriving at the Western Wall, the chief rabbi of the Israeli army came up to that wall. His name was Rabbi Shlomo Goren. Rabbi Goren, who later became the chief rabbi of Israel, walked up to that wall. He had a Torah scroll under one arm and he had a shofar in his other hand. He blew the shofar and everyone got quiet. Then he raised his right hand and he made this statement, "I proclaim to you the beginning of the Messianic Age."
Now, why did he say that? Why did he say that it was the beginning of the Messianic Age? Because Rabbi Shlomo Goren knew Bible prophecy. He knew that the prophecies say that when the Jews are back in the land (1948) and when they are back in their capital city (1967), the Messiah will come.
The Temple Plans
Ever since that day since the Jewish people reoccupied the Old City of Jerusalem, there have been Jewish groups who have been trying to get ready for the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple, until finally, they all came together and a particular group began to dominate all of the preparations for the building of a new Temple. That group is one that many people know about, for many who have toured Israel have visited their headquarters in the Old City of Jerusalem. They're called The Temple Institute. If you ever go to Jerusalem, make sure you go to their headquarters and see the preparations that have been made and are continuing to be made for the building of the Third Jewish Temple.
This particular group has widespread activities that include producing the architectural blueprints for the new Temple. All of the blueprints have been drawn.
In addition, they have made all of the instruments that will be used for Temple ceremonies and sacrifices. Many, many different instruments have been made.
They have prepared the oils and the incense to be used in the Temple. These oils are based upon the ancient formulas that they've discovered.
They have also been making clothes for the priests and for the high priest. They have been making the breastplate for the high priest, as well as his crown. The crown says on it "Holy dedicated to the Lord." All of these Temple items have already been prepared.
In addition to this, they have been preparing the major items that are located inside the Temple itself. For example, they built the golden Table of Showbread.
The most exciting item crafted is the Temple menorah. In Solomon's Temple, there were ten menorahs. In the Second Temple, there was one magnificent menorah, which we know was stolen by the Romans. We know that because the Romans celebrated their victory over Israel by building a huge structure in Rome and on the frieze of that structure the Romans showed themselves taking the Jewish prisoners into Rome as they were carrying the Temple's menorah. This new menorah is six and a half feet tall. It contains 95 pounds of gold. It is valued at somewhere around $10 million. It's on display in the Old City of Jerusalem out in the open but with protection all around it.
In addition to that item, The Temple Institute has prepared the Altar of Incense that stands right before the curtain to the Holy Place. They have also designed and manufactured a mobile Altar of Sacrifice, which has been declared kosher by the chief rabbi of Israel and will be used until the priesthood is able to build the permanent sacrificial altar that cannot yet be built until the Jews occupy the Temple Mount.
In addition to crafting all of those items, they are engaged in all kinds of genetic research to determine who the descendants of Aaron are today that would qualify them to be priests in the new Temple. As these priests are identified, they are then sent to a school that they have developed where they can be taught how to do all of the sacrifices once made in the ancient Temple, as well as perform all of the other duties that the various priests and Levites had to do.
So, the Orthodox order in Jerusalem is engaged in major, major preparations for the arrival of the Messiah.
Learn more about this particularly fascinating sign of Israel on this week's episode of Christ in Prophecy, or read about it in The Christ in Prophecy Journal blog. You'll be shocked at what the Bible has to prophesy once the Third Temple has been built!