Considering all the Temple activities we have surveyed, what is the current state of readiness for constructing the Third Temple? In March of 2019, Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, founder of the Temple Institute, declared that the Temple services could be instituted within four hours after access to the Temple Mount is granted.21
That announcement amazed most people. “How could the services be implemented so quickly,” most wondered. My guess is that the Temple Institute intends to erect a temporary tent Temple, like the Tabernacle of Moses that was used by the Children of Israel during their wilderness wanderings, and which continued to exist at Shiloh for over 400 years during the period of the Judges and the early kingships of Saul and David. Its last resting place was at Gibeon during the final years of David’s kingship (1 Kings 3:4).
So, most likely, the Orthodox will erect a temporary tabernacle on the Temple Mount and use it while the Third Temple is being built.
What is likely to be the event that will ultimately launch the rebuilding of a Jewish Temple? Many have speculated that it will be the discovery of the Ark of the Covenant. That could well be. But the discovery of the Ark will not solve the problem of locating the new Temple on the same site of the ancient Temples. Any attempt to tear down the Dome of the Rock would launch an all-out war with the Arabs.
I think the most likely scenario is that the Dome of the Rock will be destroyed during the War of Gog & Magog that is described in Ezekiel 38 & 39. These chapters state that Russia and all its Muslim allies will be destroyed supernaturally by God on the mountains of Israel, and that one of the methods God will use is “a great earthquake” that will cause “every wall to fall to the ground” (Ezekiel 38:19-20).
I suspect that this earthquake will destroy the Dome of the Rock. And with its destruction and the annihilation of Muslim forces, the way will be open for the Jews to rebuild their Temple on the site of the Dome. Their intention to do so will be protected by the Antichrist when he signs a treaty guaranteeing his protection of Israel — a treaty that will initiate the Tribulation. Thus, I believe the War of Gog & Magog is most likely to occur during the time between the Rapture and the launching of the Tribulation.
All of this activity in behalf of the construction of a Third Temple — both religious and political — is clear evidence of a move of God on Jewish hearts to motivate them to prepare for the end-time events revealed in the book of Revelation. They think they are getting ready to build the Temple for the soon coming Messiah. But the Bible reveals that it will not be the Messiah’s Millennial Temple. Rather, it will serve as the Tribulation Temple that the Antichrist will desecrate.
Just as God touched the hearts of Jewish people all over the world at the beginning of the 20th Century, motivating them to return to their homeland, He is now touching the hearts of Orthodox Jewish leaders, motivating them to build the Third Temple.
When the Jews conquered the Old City of Jerusalem on June 7, 1967, Rabbi Shlomo Goren (the Chief Rabbi of the IDF and later the Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of Israel) rushed to the Western Wall, blew a shofar and shouted, “We have taken the City of God. We are entering the Messianic era for the Jewish people.”22 He said that because he knew from prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures that when the Jews are back in the land and back in their capital city, the Messiah will come.
More recently, Rabbi Yosef Berger — the Rabbi of David’s Tomb on Mount Zion — echoed Rabbi Goren by declaring that “we are today living in the beginning of the Messianic era.”23 Accordingly, he called for the creation of a golden crown to be given to the Messiah when He arrives in Jerusalem.
In like manner, in February of 2020, Rabbi Shlomo Amar — the former Shephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel — proclaimed that “all the great rabbis of this generation are saying that the Messiah is about to reveal Himself.”24 Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, who is today considered to be one of the leading Torah scholars in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish world expressed the same viewpoint by declaring succinctly that “the Messiah is standing at the door.”25 And Rabbi Avner Efghin, one of the world’s leading Kabbalist rabbis stated recently that “what has happened over the past year is most definitely a sign of the coming Messiah.”26
In summary, the Orthodox rabbis are reading the signs of the times and calling their people to prepare for the Messiah’s immediate appearance. Meanwhile, the Church is asleep, ignoring God’s Prophetic Word and refusing to pay attention to the Signs of the Times.
What an irony! The first time Jesus came, it was the Jews who refused to believe. Today, it’s the Church that is caught up in unbelief while the Orthodox Jews are anxiously watching for the Messiah while making fervent preparations for Him. The Lord’s Second Coming is not going to catch the Orthodox Jews by surprise. What is going to surprise them is His identity.
Can there be any doubt that the current Jewish preparations for the Messiah are just one more important sign that we are the terminal generation that is going to witness the Lord’s return in the heavens for His Church?
21) Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, “Purim Dress Rehearsal: Third Temple Service Could Be Ready In 2 Hrs,” www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=3060.
22) Don Fisher, The Los Angeles Times, “The Six Day War 20 Years After,” May 31, 1987, page 1.
23) Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, “Campaining to Construct Messianic Royal Crown,” www.breakingisraelnews.com, December 7, 2018, page 1.
24) Ryan Jones, “Top Rabbis: Look at the Signs, Messiah is Coming!” www.israeltoday.com, page 4.
25) Ibid., page 3.
26) Ibid., pages 4-5