Looking back to the time of Moses in the Old Testament Book of Numbers Chapters 8:5,7&9 & 19:1-9, its recorded how the Temple priests had to be purified with a specially prepared water. The water was made ready by sprinkling the ashes of a flawless Red Heifer into it.
These ashes could not come from just any red heifer. The heifer had to be without blemish and the requirement for accepting it as truly being red was extremely stringent.
Archeologists have been hunting for the original red heifer ashes for sometime. If the vessel containing these ashes could be found a major hurdle of restoring Temple worship would be overcome.
In the past we have reported that there are religious schools in Israel which had already educated a modern-day priesthood to make animal sacrifices and that significant preparations had been made for building the new Temple.
To demonstrate how long preparation for the rebuilding of the Temple has been going on we went back 13 years to the Oct. 16th 1989
Edition of Time magazine.
Quoting from this 2 page article titled, Time for a New Temple? we read the following: May it be Thy will that the Temple be speedily rebuilt in our days That plea to God, recited three times a day in Jewish prayers, expresses a yearning that makes Jerusalems Temple Mount potentially the most volatile 35 acres on earth Next week Israels Ministry of Religious Affairs will sponsor a first ever Conference of Temple Research to discuss whether contemporary Jews are obligated to rebuild They are zealously making preparations for the new Temple in spite of the doctrinal obstacles and the certainty of provoking Muslim fury Former Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren, who heads another Temple Mount organization, believes his research has fixed the location of the ancient Holy of Holies so that Jews can enter the Mount without sacrilege Our task, states the institutes American-born director is to advance the cause of the Temple and to prepare for its establishment, not just talk about it. During six years of research, the institute has reconstructed 38 of the ritual implements that will be required when Temple sacrifices are restored; it will complete the other 65 items as funds permit In addition to such items as trumpets, lyres and lots, the institute is preparing vestments for the priests-in-waiting. According to Scripture, the clothing must be painstakingly made with flax spun by hand into six-stranded threads Cogan admits "No one can say how, and no one wants to do it by force. But sooner or later in a week or in a century, it will be done. And we will be ready for it. He adds with quiet urgency, Every days delay is a stain on the nation.
In 2002 there are reports that everything required to rebuild the Temple and restore the ritual animal sacrifices is in place. The one element still needed is the ashes of the Red Heifer.
Back in 1989 it was reported that even if the original Red Heifer ashes were not found, Temple sacrifices could take place with a replacement.
This item from the same Time magazine article which was previously quoted from reveals that the fervor to rebuild the Temple and to restore the sacrifices had reached such a dedicated momentum in 1989 that the Jews made alternative plans to replace the original ashes of the Red Heifer if they were not discovered in the archaeological digs taking place in Israel.
Quoting from Time magazine we read, Two Talmudic schools located near the Western (Wailing) Wall are teaching nearly 200 students the elaborate details of Temple service. Other groups are researching the family lines of Jewish priests who alone may conduct sacrifices Former Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren, who heads another Temple Mount organization, believes his research has fixed the location of the ancient Holy of Holies so that Jews can enter the Mount without sacrilege One difficulty is the requirement (as in Numbers 19:1-10) that priests purify their bodies with the cremated ashes of an unblemished red heifer before they enter the Temple. Following a go-ahead from the Chief Rabbinate, institute operatives spent two weeks in August scouting Europe for heifer embryos that will shortly be implanted into cows at an Israeli cattle ranch."
The search has continued over the years, and on a number of occasions heifers which were held forth as hopeful replacements have received much attention. It has now been made known that as of April, 2002 a suitable Red Heifer has been born in Israel.
Quoting from the Combined news reports which was reprinted in the May/June 2002 edition of Zions Fire we read an article titled, Red heifer born in Israel. A red heifer was born in Israel in April, the Temple Institute in Jerusalem announced.
After the heifers owner contacted the Temple Institute, two Institute officials both rabbis traveled to the farm where the heifer is located, to inspect and validate her status.
The rabbis found her to be kosher, or ceremonially clean, and were satisfied that this heifer could indeed be a candidate to be used in the process of purification that is described in Numbers, Chapter 19.
According to the Temple Institute, this is an important development towards the rebuilding of the holy Temple.
The Temple Institute founded in 1987, is a non-profit educational and religious organization located in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalems Old City. The Institute is dedicated to every biblical commandment associated with the building of the Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem.
The long-term goal of the Institute is to rebuild the Temple as soon as possible.
Why is there so much attention being given to the red heifer?
The ashes of a flawless red heifer an extremely rare creature were required by the ancient Hebrews to purify worshipers who went into the Temple to pray (Num. 19:9). In modern times, rabbinical law forbids Jews from setting foot on the Temple Mount, thus violating the site where the Holy of Holies dwelled, until and unless they are ritually purified. Without a perfect red heifer to sacrifice, the Third Temple cannot be built, and the Messiah will not come.
Bible prophecy indicates that it will be the man known as the Anti-Christ who will contribute to the restoration of this Temple and its sacrifices.
According to Dan. 11:36-39, Dan. 9:27 & II Thess. 2:3-4, midway through a 7 year covenant this prince who is to come will reveal his devilish nature and will turn on the Jews. He will at that time stop the sacrificial offerings and will then claim himself to be the only true God.
A second holocaust of the Jews which will dwarf Hitlers hideous final solution will then ensue when he does not receive the worship he demands from them.
These are the last days spoken of by Jesus and the prophets.
The Temple sacrifices will not be accepted by the God of Heaven during the closing years of this age since these sacrifices will in fact be showing Israels continued rejection of the greatest of all sacrifices, that is, the sacrifice God made of His only begotten Son Jesus Christ upon the cross at Calvary for the forgiveness of mankinds sins.
The Temple sacrifices were instituted by God in the Old Testament for representations of the great sacrificial Lamb of God who would one day come to pour out His own blood upon God's altar.
We can read in Ch. 10:10-12 in the New Testament Book to the Hebrews, We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.
To reject Gods Son and resort to meaningless sacrifices puts the religious Jews back in the same situation they faced in Isaiah 1:11-20 when God told their forefathers bring no more futile sacrifices.
During the 1,000-year reign of Christ after the 7 years of Tribulation are completed (Rev. 20:4), the sacrifices will be restored (Ezek. 40:38-43).
Before Jesus was crucified the sacrifices were propitiatory offerings which demonstrated the Lord's plan for atonement.
During the Millennial Reign of Jesus, sin will still reside in the hearts of men (Ezek. 45:22) even though Satan will be imprisoned during that time and the glory of the Lord will once more fill the Temple (Rev. 20:1-3 & Ezek. 43:4-9). These millennial sacrifices are propitiatory offerings which acknowledge the atoning blood sacrifice the Lord made of Himself upon the cross.
Gods presence among sinful men requires the highest level of obedience concerning the matter of holiness. Hebrews 10:3-4 makes the issue clear by explaining that the sacrifices alone will never remove the stain of sin, but serve their purpose as acts of faith which reminds men of their sinful condition, But in the sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year, for it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sin.
If you desire to know the goodness and greatness of God and have faith that eternal life and everlasting joy are yours for the asking, then you can have His Holy Spirit come and live within you this very moment. You need only to recognize that you have sinned in your life and with faith believe in Gods offer of forgiveness in the name of the merciful Lord of Glory, Jesus Christ.
Dont put if off. Jesus is coming back soon to take His Church to be with Him in His Fathers house before the days of final tribulation begin. Dont be left behind.
Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Fathers house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also (John 14:1-3).
For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words (I Thess. 4:15-18).