On March 14, 2013, the Jewish Press reported that a Muslim TV producer in Turkey was calling for the building of Jerusalem’s Third Temple. Shortly thereafter, an international organization, called the Temple Institute, moved its exhibition of Temple vessels and vestments into a modern, hi-tech gallery in the heart of the Old City of Jerusalem.
The exhibit features a model of the Third Temple, a diminutive replica of the Ark of the Covenant, and an array of other significant articles. The high priest’s costume which cost $275,000 was sewn with azure-blue and gold thread and contains a breastplate featuring 12 large gems. An exquisite candelabra, weighing 1.5 tons, is covered with 90 kilograms of gold and is valued at $2,250,000. Also on display are silver trumpets, wooden lyres, pans to collect the blood of sacrificial lambs, and a large stand for the ritual bread.
Rabbi Richman, head of the Temple Institute, is quoted as saying, “Here we are, in our homeland, and we have the power to build the Temple whenever we want! God must be wondering what we are waiting for. The Ark of the Covenant is hidden about a kilometre from here, in underground chambers created during the time of Solomon. Jews have an unbroken chain of recorded information, passed down from generation to generation, which indicates its exact location. We have known where it is for thousands of years. It could be reached if we excavated Temple Mount but that area is controlled by Muslims.”
In 638 AD, Jerusalem was conquered by the Muslims. The Dome of the Rock, an octagonal, Muslim masterpiece, was erected on the most hotly contested piece of real estate on planet earth, the Temple Mount. It was completed in 691 AD. Not long after, the Muslims built Al-Aqsa mosque. It was also constructed on Mount Moriah.
Both the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque were seized by Crusaders in 1099 AD when they captured Jerusalem. The Holy City and its suburbs were organized into the kingdom of Jerusalem. Godfrey of Bouillon was installed as its first king. The Dome of the Rock was converted into a church and Al-Aqsa mosque was transformed into a palace. As time passed, the mosque served as headquarters for the Knights Templars. The Templars excavated below Mount Moriah in a thorough but unsuccessful attempt to locate the priceless Ark of the Covenant. They were organized to aid and protect pilgrims and to fight the Muslims. However, in 1187 AD, the Muslim leader Saladin recaptured Jerusalem.
Centuries later, the United Kingdom accepted the British Mandate for Palestine from the League of Nations. British rule in Palestine began in 1923.
In 1947, the United Nations voted for the establishment of a national homeland for the Jews in Palestine which resulted in the miraculous rebirth of the nation of Israel. After the Six Day War in 1967, Israel liberated eastern Jerusalem from Jordanian control and the sacred sites belonging to Jews, Christians, and Muslims came under Israeli authority. In 1980, Israel proclaimed Jerusalem its eternal, undivided capital.
However the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque remain on the Temple Mount. The two Muslim holy places are at the very epicenter of peace between Jews and Arabs. Surely, they would have to be eliminated before the Third Temple could be erected on Mount Moriah. Only a modern day miracle could create the set of circumstances necessary for the building of Jerusalem’s Third Temple.
That Temple will mark the beginning of the end. According to the Book of Revelation, the antichrist and his allies will destroy the city of Jerusalem and the Third Temple. But before that holocaust takes place, 144,000 Jews from every tribe of the sons of Israel will be sealed as bond servants of the Lord. These Jews will embrace Christ as their Messiah and their faith will be reckoned unto them as righteousness. No doubt they will be influenced by the words of a former Pharisee, “For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins, and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.”