We like to spend a few minutes each Sunday talking about trends and Bible prophecy.
Christians who are critical, even sarcastic, about emphasizing prophecy argue that it’s study has only negative effects on your walk with the Lord.
Not according to the apostle Peter. He spent a great deal of time in his second letter discussing things to come. Then he asked, “what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God” (3:11-12).
The apostle Paul wrote extensively about the resurrection and rapture of the church in his first letter to the Thessalonians. Then he told them to “comfort one another with these words.”
Personal holiness and comfort are just two of the spiritual by-products of studying Bible prophecy.
There are approximately 500 yet-to-be-fulfilled prophecies. Knowing what they say, we expect to see certain trends in the world. We’re not saying these trends are the fulfillment of prophecy – only that things seem to be unfolding just as you’d expect.
Several prophecies indicate that a Third Temple will be erected on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Daniel, for example, discusses an event in the middle of the seven-year Great Tribulation that involves the antichrist desecrating the Temple.
Jesus quoted Daniel’s prophecy – letting us know it was a literal event that will definitely happen.
Thus we expect that there will be a trend towards the building of the Third Temple; and there is.
A little background: One of the things that is needed prior to any Temple services are the ashes of a sacrificed red heifer. The Book of Numbers stipulates that the cow must be totally red in color, with no more than two white hairs, without blemish, and it must not have been used to perform work. (Numbers 19:2). They are notoriously rare.
Why are its ashes necessary? One source describes it this way:
The red heifer was the main component in the Biblically mandated process of ritual purification for impurity that results from proximity or contact with a dead body. Because the elements needed for this ceremony have been lacking since the destruction of the Second Temple, all Jews today are considered ritually impure, thereby preventing the return of the Temple service.
In September, news sites posted a story titled, Red Heifer is Born.
Last Tuesday, the Temple Institute’s Red Heifer program was blessed with results; an entirely red female calf was born, paving the way for re-establishing the Temple service and marking the final stage of redemption.
Almost three years ago the Temple Institute inaugurated its Raise a Red Heifer in Israel program. Due to laws restricting the importation of live cattle into Israel, the Temple Institute imported frozen embryos of red angus, implanting them in Israeli domestic cows. The pregnant cows were raised on cattle ranches in different locations throughout the country. The cows are giving birth this summer with several calves already having been born.
One week after it’s birth, a newborn red heifer was certified by a board of rabbis as fulfilling all the Biblical requirements. The rabbis emphasized that the heifer could, at any time, acquire a blemish rendering it unsuitable. They will be inspecting the calf periodically to verify its condition.
According to Jewish tradition, there will only be ten red heifers in human history with the tenth heifer ushering in the Messianic era. Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon (Maimonides), the most renowned medieval Jewish scholar, wrote in his explanation of the mitzvah that “the tenth red heifer will be accomplished by the king, the Messiah; may he be revealed speedily, Amen, May it be God’s will.”
This is exactly the kind of thing you’d expect from a literal, futurist reading of the Bible.
You’d mostly expect that Jesus could return at any moment.
Jesus promised He’d return to rapture His church – which entails the resurrection of the dead in Christ of the Church Age, then the translation from earth to Heaven of all living believers.
It is presented in the Bible as an imminent (any-moment) event.
Are you ready for the rapture? If not, get ready, stay ready, and keep looking up. Ready or not, Jesus is coming!