The Red Heifer and the End of the Age

Red_Angus_Heifer

I’ve recently finished a stretch where I’ve been teaching on the end times for about nine months. I always think that the one who teaches learns more than those who hear him, and this was no exception. It was a wonderful experience to talk about the basics of eschatology (the doctrine of “last things”) and then go through the Book of Revelation verse by verse.

Because of all this, I’ve been interested to see stories popping up about the discovery and raising of a pure red heifer, and Christians and Jews speculating about its prophetic significance.

What is the red heifer and does it mean anything for us? This is one of the most complicated and mysterious subjects in all of Jewish religious law – actually, it is possibly the most mysterious. In a nutshell, the Old Testament required (Numbers 19) that the ashes of a red heifer be used in the purification of the Temple. The Israeli organization known as The Temple Institute, like many others, considers the sacrifice of a red heifer to be necessary in order to erect a Third Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.

Watch the brief YouTube video above and understand that The Temple Institute now believes that a pure red heifer has been found which could possibly be used for that purpose, allowing the Temple to finally be rebuilt after more than 19 centuries. These Orthodox Jews believe that after the Temple will be rebuilt the Messianic Era will soon follow.

Many Bible-believing Christians also think there will be a Third Temple, but believe that its rebuilding is a more ominous sign. Jesus prophesied in Matthew 24 that the coming Antichrist will defile this Third Temple and that this event (the “abomination of desolation”) will begin the time of persecution and terror called the Great Tribulation. The Apostle Paul also taught (2 Thessalonians 2) that the Man of Lawlessness will stand in the Temple area and assert that he is above all gods. From the perspective of the Christian Scriptures, the rebuilding of the Temple is a sign of impending tribulation – even while it is a necessary prophetic precondition to the return of Jesus Christ to the Earth.

None of this means that “the end is near” in the sense that it is going to happen this year, or this decade. What it does mean is that there are people who are seriously preparing in practical (not just spiritual) ways to build a Third Temple. They are committed to making this a reality. And they will do so when conditions are right. Once this occurs, the world will truly be on borrowed time.

Our forebears in the faith would be amazed to see in our day the rebirth of Israel and the conquest of Jerusalem by the Jews – as well as the prophesied alignment of anti-Semitic nations ringing that tiny country. The Third Temple is coming, likely sooner rather than later. Are we asleep to these prophetic realities or are we considering the lateness of the hour?

Advertisements

God gets to choose

What are the end times really about?

Earthquakes? Famines? Arguing about what the Mark of the Beast will be?

No, the real issue of the last days is God’s choice. Can the human race deal with the fact that God gets to choose?

God’s choices set up the conflicts of the last days; your responses to them determine where you stand.

(1) Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
(2) The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,
(3) “Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.”
(4) He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
(5) Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
(6) “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.”
(7) I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, “Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.”

(Psalms 2:1-7, KJV)

What does the Second Psalm tells us about the controversies of the end of days?

1. God gets to choose His Man.  The spirit of antichrist which drives the final rebellion of this age refuses to submit to God’s choice of Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ.  The world in opposition to God repeats the language of the parable, “We will not have this Man to rule over us.”

2. God gets to choose His people. Verse 1 tells us the heathen (goyim) are angered. Today the nations are furious at the idea that the God of Gods might have a particular plan for one people. The nations can be assured that He will keep his covenant promises to His ancient people, Israel.

3. God gets to establish the standards of behavior for the human race. The final antichrist is the Man of Lawlessness – he leads the nations to throw off the restraints of the God of the Bible, and the Christian religion in particular (verse 3). God’s response to this and to their rejection of Messiah’s government is to laugh.

4. God gets to choose His place. All places belong to God, but He has and will again choose to manifest His glory in Zion. In verse 6, He says that whether the nations like it or not, His Messiah-King is installed on Mount Zion in Jerusalem.

As we move deeper into the last days, you can know if you are flowing with God’s heart by whether you agree with Him on these established and eternal purposes.

God has chosen His own Man, His own people, His own laws, and His own place.

Do you agree that God gets to choose?