The last Jewish Temple was destroyed in AD 70 by the Romans. Since then the Temple Mount has been occupied by various shrines to Islam, and for a short time, by a Christian Church.
The Jewish people have always wanted to rebuild a temple on the holy site. It is generally considered impossible to rebuild it under the current political situation, because to do so would precipitate a world war between Muslims and Israel.
According to Ezekiel, Chapters 40 through 48, a massive temple will be built during the Millennial Kingdom. But the events prophesied by the Book of Revelation require a temple at the mid-point of the Tribulation Period when the beast (Antichrist) will have an image of himself erected there for all to worship. This will be part of the "Mark of the Beast" scenario explained in Revelation 13.The Temple Mount Institute has produced most of the furnishings for a new temple, has conducted training for priests, and may even have collected materials to start the construction, hopefully in the near future. Permission to do so would presumably be part of a peace agreement.
One necessary condition for dedication of a new temple is the sacrifice of a perfect "red heifer." Unfortunately, occasional reports of a possible specimen have all failed to materialize. When an approved red heifer is found, it will undoubtedly increase interest in starting the work of establishing the Temple once again.
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A document that was presented to the Jerusalem District Court this week
shows that the Government of Israel never made an official decision to
forbid Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount. The document, which was presented
by the defense lawyers in the trial of Chai V'Kayam members, was prepared by
the Cabinet Assistant Secretary in 1986. The implications of the document
are that the Supreme Court justices were repeatedly deceived when they were
told that the government had forbidden Jewish prayer. The government did
make one decision on this issue: a one-time ban on Jewish prayer on the
Mount, some two months after the Six-Day War. Yehuda Etzion, leader of Chai
V'Kayam, told Arutz-7 today that the proof that the decision was not meant
to be binding is found in a protocol of a government meeting that was held
some weeks later. According to the protocol, one minister attempted to cite
the decision as grounds for forbidding prayer on the Mount, and
then-Minister Menachem Begin protested, "I was the one who suggested the
original proposal then, and the decision applied only to that specific case.
We never made a decision to forbid Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount." (Arutz 7)
TEMPLE MOUNT FEAST
2/23/97 - F.Y.I. - Israel In The News
Nearly 1,000 people participated in a unique dinner Monday night in honor of the Jerusalem Temple and Jewish presence on the Temple Mount. Samples of music and instruments that may have been sounded by the Levites in the Temple were played, and speakers described how Jews would ascend to the Temple with their sacrifices. Rabbi Dov Lior explained that many rabbis permit the ascent to the Temple Mount even now, after proper halakhic preparations have been made (ritual immersion, knowing the permitted locations, etc.). MK Rabbi Benny Elon bemoaned the fact that the Temple Mount is effectively not under our control. He said, "How can we not cry when we hear the police cheerfully report on the Moslem Ramadan prayers at the site of our Holy Temple?"
Meanwhile, the Council of Yesha Rabbis has issued a call to "all
rabbis who permit it" to encourage their congregants and students to
visit the Temple Mount. This is the first time that the Council has
taken such a position. Rabbi Daniel Shilo of the Council explained
that in light of the recent Arab moves to eradicate all Jewish
presence on the Mount, and their increased presence there, and their
turning of Solomon's Stables into a mosque, it has become more
urgent to make the Jewish presence felt there. He said that for the
last few months, the Council had been attempting to remedy the scene
with "quiet, behind-the-scenes" activities, but that they did not
bear fruit. The Council statement emphasized that the ascent to the
Mount must be made with the proper Halakhic preparations, and only to
the permitted areas. (Arutz Sheva)
RED HEIFER BORN - OPENS WAY FOR THIRD TEMPLE
3/16/97 - Sunday Telegraph (London)
According to London's Sunday Telegraph of March 16, 1997, a team of rabbinical experts have confirmed the birth of a red heifer. Such an animal is necessary for purification of the temple site according to Numbers 19:2-7.
Rabbinical teaching states that, since Herod's Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D., no flawless red heifer has been born in Israel.
According to the article, the heifer, which is 6 months old now, must be at least 3 years old before it can be used in a ritual sacrifice. [Arutz-7 article below says 2 years old.]
Here is more confirmation of this fascinating development.:
Tuesday, March 18, 1997
Date: 97-03-18 13:17:18 EST
From: email@example.com (Arutz-7 Daily News) [Israel]
9. HOLY COW!
The birth of a red heifer (cow) in a farm in the religious youth village of
Kfar Hasidim (near Haifa) has excited sectors in the religious community. A
delegation of some 25 experts, including Rabbis Yisrael Ariel and Yoseph
Elboim, visited the farm last week to examine the six-month old cow, and
concluded that it is in fact an acceptable red heifer, according to Torah
requirements. However, the cow must be at least two years old before it can
be used. Until then, the cow will be carefully watched to ensure that
nothing occurs to invalidate its status. According to Biblical law, the
cow's ashes are used for purification from certain forms of impurity, and is
therefore a prerequisite for the renewal of Holy Temple service.
Arutz Sheva News Service Tuesday, March 18, 1997 / Adar Bet 9, 5757
DAILY NEWS FROM ISRAEL - ISSUE 237 - 16th March 1997 and Arutz-7, March 18th (Thanks to Judy Gregerson)
ICEJ NEWS SERVICE MAR 17 (Thanks to Sharon Luzzi)
(SNS News Service -Israel-5/29-AP) Some claim she is a harbinger of the Messiah. Some call for her destruction. Others find the attention she is getting ridiculous.
Ten-month-old Melody, believed to be the first red heifer born in the Holy Land in two millenniums, seems happy just lying around in the shade. But the debate over her theological import is one of the more bizarre signs of the growing rupture between religious and secular Israelis.
"The red heifer is one of the most important signs that we are living in a special time," says Gershon Solomon, head of a group dedicated to rebuilding the ancient Jewish Temple, destroyed by the Romans .
In ancient times, the ashes of a red heifer were mixed with spring water to purify high priests before they entered the Temple. There are fears that some groups might interpret Melody's birth as a sign the time is right to rebuild the Temple on the site that now houses some of the holiest shrines in Islam.
Asked whether his group advocated that, Solomon would say only that he believed the Dome of the Rock and al-Aksa Mosque could be dismantled and moved to Mecca -- a move that could hurt if not destroy prospects for regional peace.
Even though mainstream religious groups have not rallied around the cow, some secular Israelis see her as a threat.
"The potential harm from this heifer is far greater than the destructive properties of a terrorist bomb," the liberal Haaretz newspaper wrote recently, recommending Melody be shot.
Menachem Friedman, an expert on religious affairs at Bar-Ilan University, said Melody's birth created "a very delicate situation."
"We don't know how radical groups .. will use it," he told The Associated Press. "People are looking for those signs, and talking seriously about it."
Melody's birth 10 months ago caused a flurry of media interest, coinciding with a religious revival and coming shortly after an election in which religious parties posted a record showing.
Shmaria Shore, the rabbi of this agricultural village (Kfar Menachem) in northern Israel, said hundreds of have flocked here to catch a glimpse of Melody.
Shore said pure red heifers seem to have died out in Israel since the post-temple period, and that it is rare to see a red heifer without white or black spots. He took pains to point out that Melody, who is a darkish red, may not be the genuine article because of several imperfections.
Shore, who immigrated to Israel from New Haven, Conn. 24 years ago, hopped into Melody's pen and, magnifying lens in hand, coaxed her over. "Here, you see some white hairs," he said, pointing to the tail. "And here -- her eyelashes only start off as red, but turn to black!"
Melody's mother is from a group of visually unremarkable black-and-white cows penned in down the hill at Kfar Chasidim; but she was artificially inseminated with sperm taken from an anonymous bull in Switzerland.
From Bible_Prophecy-L List, 5/30/97