The Third Temple and the Day of the Lord

Beloved, do not let this one thing escape your notice: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day…The …Day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar, the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and its works will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to conduct yourselves in holiness and godliness as you anticipate and hasten the coming of the day of God” (2 Peter 3:8-13).

Prophecy watchers are all aflutter over reports that the Orthodox Jews now in control of Israel (for the first time since its national reincarnation in 1948) are in the final stages of preparation to build the Third Temple, an essential element of end times eschatology. All eyes are on the four red heifers shipped to the Holy Land from Texas in 2022 after Rabbinical authorities deemed them fit for sacrifice to produce the ashes needed for the ritual cleansing of the High Priest, allowing him for the first time in two millennia to perform the duties prescribed in the Mosaic Law for building and consecrating the Third Temple.

According to CBN “These red heifers are now between 1 ½ and 2 years old. To replicate the ceremony mentioned in the Bible, they need to be at least 3 years old. And within that time span, they cannot have a blemish or anything that would disqualify them for the ceremony, even one white or black hair”…“So we believe that it’s very likely that the ceremony would happen somewhere in the area of Passover, 2024, out to the possibility of Shavuot, 2024.”

So we have an assessment by inside sources that the red heifer sacrifice will “very likely” occur between April 22 and June 13th of this year. And, rumor is, the Jews have (for redundancy) three pre-constructed Temple buildings in undisclosed locations ready to moved to the Temple Mount whenever the time is deemed right. I have added my own conjecture that one could be airlifted into place by construction helicopters practically overnight.

As a practical matter there is no “good” time for the Jews to build the Third Temple because the entire Muslim world will erupt in genocidal fury against them. But, hmmm, that’s already happening on a somewhat smaller scale since October 7th, isn’t it? And it’s the Muslims’ who drew “first blood” in this war. So the dynamics of a Jewish reclamation of all or a part of the Temple Mount under these geopolitical conditions are much more favorable to them than they would otherwise be.

And from the domestic political perspective in Israel, there is no guarantee that the current Authentically Jewish pro-Temple government will long survive efforts by the Torah-defying Fake-Jewish elites of the US to overthrow them and return their Leftist allies to power. (I frankly suspect these “elites” deliberately unleashed Hamas in October as a regime-change tactic.) So there’s a strong political motive for the Jewish Right to build the Temple ASAP: they might never get another chance.

Now we Christians are (as on every other theological matter) divided on the question of whether we should support the effort to build the Temple. On the “nay” side are arguments against Torah-based Judaism itself and the fact of the supersession of Christ’s sacrifice over that of “blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean” (Hebrews 9:13).

Hebrews 9 is a mini-treatise on this topic, ending with the observation:

“So it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but…Christ did not enter a man-made copy of the true sanctuary, but He entered heaven itself, now to appear on our behalf in the presence of God. Nor did He enter heaven to offer Himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own….But now He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Just as man is appointed to die once, and after that to face judgment, so also Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await Him.”

[Regarding the last half-sentence, note especially that this entire Epistle is for the Hebrews, who will not collectively accept Him as Savior until the second coming per Romans 11, especially verses 25-26.]

But I stand with those on the other side of the issue in reliance on 2 Peter 3:13, that the righteous should “anticipate and hasten” the “Day of the Lord” – which is in Millennialist theology the seventh of seven thousand-year days, the Sabbath, mirroring the seven 24-hour days of creation.

This is a good place to address the Millennialism implicit in Peter’s teaching about the Day of the Lord, because the internecine division we face on the Third Temple seems to closely track with positions on the Millennial Kingdom – with those literalists like myself embracing the promise of a literal thousand year reign of Christ on a physically reclaimed and restored earth prior to our ascension with Him to Heaven. While “Amillennialists” and “Post-Millennialists” cling stubbornly to the Roman Catholic doctrine that spiritualizes the Millennial Kingdom as merely symbolic.

Peter – whose second letter represents his final word to the church – affirms the literal interpretation both by identifying the “Day of the Lord” as a thousand year term and by compressing and conflating all the many events of that “day” into one sentence emphasizing the last event before ascension – the incineration of all matter. But Peter’s first word to the church – his sermon on Pentecost – also affirms the thousand year “day.”

“Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, lifted up his voice, and addressed the crowd…‘listen carefully to my words….this [speaking in tongues] is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out My Spirit on all people….and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the coming of the great and glorious Day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:14-21).

Four thousand-year “days” had passed in biblical reckoning when Peter preached that, and three days – the “last days” invoked by Joel – remained. Peter was no doubt familiar with Hosea’s prophecy (again to the Hebrews) about God’s reunification with the two houses of the Hebrews in the Millennial Kingdom which reads:

“For I am like a lion to Ephraim and like a young lion to the house of Judah. I, even I, will tear them to pieces and then go away. I will carry them off where no one can rescue them. Then I will return to My place until they admit their guilt and seek My face; in their affliction they will earnestly seek Me”…. “Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us to pieces, but He will heal us…After two days [the Christian Era] He will revive us; on the third day [the cusp of the Millennial Kingdom] He will raise us up, that we may live in His presence” (Hosea 5:14-6:2). See also Ezekiel 37:15-28.

So I say, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus” and I will hasten that day by supporting the Jewish Third Temple effort – even though it means enduring the Antichrist Kingdom that will usurp it. UNTIL Christ ends Satan’s reign personally and dramatically per Revelation 19:11-21 and then – on His thousand-year Sabbath Day – establishes and rules the Peaceable Kingdom of Isaiah 11.


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