If you knew for certain that an earthquake was going to happen tomorrow, what would you do? You’d prepare! Jesus has told us that an earthquake is coming – His return to take His Bride the Church home. Yet because it has been over 2,000 years since He made this statement, most people who call themselves Christians today tend to play rather than prepare. They live as if He were not coming tomorrow.
How do I know this to be true? I recently read a statistic that only 4% of those who call themselves Christians live with a Biblical worldview. In other words, only 4% live their lives through the lens of God’s Word. 4%! This means that 96% of those who call themselves Christians will not be prepared when Jesus returns for His Bride. They don’t believe He is returning anytime soon; therefore they can live anyway they desire.
But is Jesus’ return closer than they believe? Are there ways to tell if He really could come tomorrow? Absolutely. When Israel became a nation again in 1948 in fulfillment of Ezekiel 37, the clock started ticking even faster. From my article on “America in Prophecy – Where is She?”, you can get other markers showing the Lord’s return could be very soon. The point is, the big hand on the clock is moving closer and closer to return hour.
The following story gives us another marker that His return could be closer than we think – the preparation to build the 3rd Temple. Jesus tells us in Matthew 24:15-15 that a Temple in Jerusalem must be standing when the False Messiah (sometimes referred to as the Antichrist) arrives on the scene to set up shop in it. This event takes place after Jesus comes for His bride.
Keep in mind that Jesus makes this statement about 35AD when the Temple was still standing. Thirty-five years later that very Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD who wanted to crush the Jewish revolt. Since then, the Temple Mount has been without a Jewish Temple though the Muslims have done plenty of building on it themselves.
Having said all that, the Temple Institute in Jerusalem is dedicated to rebuilding the 3rd Jewish Temple right on the spot where the Temple in Jesus’ day stood. The Jewish people believe a 3rd Temple must be built so the Messiah can come. Therefore, they are putting that belief into action. They are currently preparing the priests for service. They have built all the major instruments for worship in the Temple – the Menorah, the Table of Showbread, the Incense Altar, the Laver for washing and now the last major piece – the Sacrificial Altar – is being readied.
“The Temple Institute will begin building the sacrificial altar on Thursday, Tisha B’av, a fast day when Jews mourn the destruction of the Temple (ed. note: the one that stood during Jesus’ day) some 2,000 years ago.
The sacrificial altar was located in the center of the Temple, and upon it the Kohanim (priests) offered the numerous voluntary and obligatory sacrifices commanded in the Bible.
The Temple Institute, which has already built many of the vessels for the Holy Temple, such as the ark and the menorah, has now embarked on a project to build the altar. Construction begins Thursday in Mitzpe Yericho (east of Jerusalem) at 5:30 p.m.
’Unfortunately, we cannot currently build the altar in its proper place, on the Temple Mount,’ Temple Institute director Yehudah Glick said. ‘We are building an altar of the minimum possible size so that we will be able to transport it to the Temple when it is rebuilt.’
Gathering Stones (Israel news photo: Temple Institute)
Even a minimum size altar will work out to be approximately 4 meters tall, 6 meters long, and 6 meters wide. Workers have collected around 10 cubic meters of rocks weighing several tons already.
The rocks were gathered from the Dead Sea area and wrapped individually to assure they remain whole and are not touched by metal, as the Bible requires.
‘The Torah says that no iron tools should be used on the altar’s stones,’ Glick explained. ‘The altar represents a connection to life and to the creation of the world. Iron is the opposite – it is used to build tools of war, death, and destruction.’
The stones will be cemented together with a mixture of sand, clay, tar, and asphalt. Researchers from the Temple Institute visited the Finish glass factory near Yerucham to learn how to create a mixture which would remain as cool as possible under the altar’s unremitting fires and protect the Kohanim, who always worked in the Temple barefoot.
Glick said that Tisha B’av, a day associated with mourning, is really the ideal time to begin to build the Temple. ‘People mistakenly think Tisha B’av is only a day to cry,’ he explained. ‘It also has to be a day of action. We have the ability in our era to begin the construction of the Temple. There are many positive developments recently with regard to the Temple,’ Glick added. ‘Hundreds of Jews visited the Temple Mount this week, and more and more continue to come, after undergoing the requisite ritual immersion.’”
Yehudah Lev Kay
Pastor Chris End Note
Events that the Bible talks about are coming true in our lifetime. Many of the milestones pointing to Jesus’ return are already in place. The time then to prepare for the earthquake is before it happens, not as it is happening. The time to prepare for Jesus’ return is before He comes, not as He comes.
What does this mean for the person who calls themselves a Christian? It’s time to get serious about your preparations for His return. There are only two things you can take to heaven with you – your Christ-like character (1 Cor. 3:10-15) and people, nothing else. In John 15, Jesus states that His Father expects fruit in your life. Is there? If not, I would check where your faith is – yourself or Jesus. Do you really believe that Jesus died and rose from the dead in order to set you free from sin so you can enjoy a great relationship with Him and His Father? If not, now is the time to put your trust solely in what He did for you, not what you can or did do for Him.
The Bible is clear on this point. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23) And “if you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Rom. 10:9) I challenge you to take a few moments now and put your trust in what Jesus did for you and let Him save you and make you part of His Bride, the one He will return to take home with Him.
Believer, Jesus tells us that He has given us resources to use to see Him change our lives and see others come to faith in Him. Are we faithfully using those resources? Or are you playing for more time? Are you counting upon church attendance to make Jesus happy with you or are you living in such a way that Jesus will smile when He sees you at His return? Will He say, “Well done good and faithful servant” at His coming for His Bride? I certainly hope so. If you believe that Jesus is Lord, it’s time to put that belief into action.
It’s time to prepare. Jesus is coming sooner than you think!