THE RED HEIFER
We like every week to bring what we call a Prophecy Update. We show how news and trends in the world are corroborating centuries-old prophecies found in the Bible.
Ever since the Romans sacked Jerusalem in the first century the Jews have been without their Temple. According to prophecies in the Book of Daniel and in the Revelation of Jesus Christ, we expect a Temple to be standing during the seven-year Great Tribulation. Any news we come across relating to this future rebuilt Temple and its functions always fascinates us as students of prophecy.
One thing necessary in order for a temple to be rebuilt is the ashes of a sacrificed red heifer.
You can read about the red heifer in Numbers nineteen. The red heifer must meet certain physical criteria and must be sacrificed in a certain way. The red heifer must be without blemish, must be without defect, and must never have worn a yoke. Most importantly, it must be all red – having not even a single hair of another color.
Once sacrificed, its ashes are to be mixed with “clean” water, cedar wood, hyssop, and scarlet.
This water, the Water of Purification, is essential to ritually “purify” today’s Levitical priesthood and to ritually “purify” the temple mount in preparation for the building of the next Temple.
Such a red heifer is a biological anomaly. Since Herod’s Temple was destroyed by the Roman emperor Titus in 70AD, no flawless red heifer has been born within the land of Israel, according to rabbinical sources.
The Temple Institute, an organization dedicated to preparing the reconstruction of the next Temple in Jerusalem, has been attempting to identify red heifer candidates consistent with the biblical requirements. In recent years, the Institute thought to have identified two candidates, one in 1997 and another in 2002. They had initially declared both kosher but later found each to be unsuitable.
Here’s the news: On March 2nd on Israeli radio, Rabbi Chaim Richman announced that there is at least one kosher red heifer alive and well in Israel. ((http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Radio/News.aspx/2001))
(Rabbi Richman is the director of the International Department of the Temple Institute. He’s written several books about the Temple and at least one on the red heifer).
Only time will tell if this red heifer meets all the requirements. The announcement makes you take notice. With the completion of the sacrificial altar, with the recent announcement from the reconstituted Sanhedrin inviting the world to participate in the sacrifice of the lamb this Passover season, and now with the announcement of the possible existence of a red heifer, you have to wonder how close we are to the rebuilding of the Temple.
March 16th of this year is the first annual International Temple Mount Awareness Day. According to their website, ((http://www.templeinstitute.org/temple-mount-awareness-day.htm))
• We call on Jews to arrive at the Temple Mount Mugrabi Gate, on the morning of March 16th, after immersion in a kosher mikveh, in accordance with Torah law, in order to ascend the Temple Mount.
• We call on Jews and Gentiles around the world to make known their dissatisfaction with the ongoing injustice to the Prime Minister of Israel, by telephone, by fax, and by email.
• We call on Jews and Gentiles around the world to make March 16th, Rosh Chodesh Nisan, a day of solidarity with the Temple Mount and the prophetic vision of “a house of prayer for all nations.”
• We call on Jews and Gentiles around the world to mark March 16th, Rosh Chodesh Nisan, by assembling in prayer and discussion, spreading the word and raising awareness about the injustices being committed on the Temple Mount. We suggest holding prayer vigils outside Israeli Consulates and the Embassies.
All of this is more than mere Temple-talk. It is the precursor to the fulfillment of ancient Bible prophecies. It is exactly what you would expect from your literal reading of the Bible.
I remind you that although we follow the fulfillment of Bible prophecy, we are not waiting for any prophecy to be fulfilled. Jesus promised to return to resurrect and rapture the church as an imminent event. Nothing needs to be fulfilled before the Lord can return for us. We are only waiting for Him – and His coming is always imminent.
Get ready, stay ready, keep looking up.
Ready or not, Jesus is coming!