A recent news article has caused a bit of excitement. A Christian farmer in Texas has donated five red heifers (a young female cow that has not borne a calf) to the Temple Institute in Israel.
Why the interest? The Temple Institute is preparing for the construction of the Third Temple in Jerusalem and red heifers are needed for purification rites.
If the abomination that makes desolate is in the holy place there must be a temple in Jerusalem at that time!
The Temple Institute (Machon HaMikdash) has as long-term aim to build the third Jewish temple on the Temple Mount, on the site occupied by the Dome of the Rock, and to reinstate animal sacrificial worship. You can imagine how that would go down! Some speculate that God will send an earthquake to clear the temple mount, others say the AntiChrist will allow the temple to be built as a peace gesture.
We need not worry about these things. Keep your focus on the good news of the Kingdom. God has spent millennia getting things ready and will happen exactly when and how he wants it.
There are a dragon, and two beasts mentioned in Revelation 13. The dragon, we are told in Revelation 12, is Satan
“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (Rev 12:9)
Satan was furious that he had lost his position and cast down to earth so he brings in to action his “new” team:
Next comes a beast out of the sea – the antichrist – and Satan gives him “the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority” (Rev 13:2)
Next comes a beast who looked like lamb but spoke like a dragon – a religious leader but inspired by Satan (Rev 13:11).
There we have all the enemy actors who will wreak havoc on the earth. They are behind the economic, social and military horrors that will be unleashed, also known as the great tribulation.
You come across visions of beasts in Daniel 7 that represent successive world governments or empires, also depicted in Nebuchadnezzar’s statue.
In the end time scenario we see Satan fielding two persons, the antichrist and the spiritual leader, very much influenced and empowered by Satan, setting up a world government in opposition to what God had planned.
We are given glimpses of the events when Jesus opened the seals in Rev 6. I don’t know the exact timing of these events but they certainly make for interesting reading. There are first the “four horsemen of the apocalypse” with death and destruction in their wake.
In the 5th seal “I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained.” This part is scary reading!
The 6th seal introduces a MASSIVE earthquake where mountains and islands were moved, and even “The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth… ” The people and their leaders realized that it was now God acting “For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?” (Rev 6:17)
The 7th seal starts in Revelation 7. This seal consist of seven trumpets. And if I remember correctly there are also seven plagues.
The Feast of Trumpets
Today is the Jewish New Year, or Rosh Hashanah. But God said the beginning of the year is the month of Nisan which is in the Spring. So more correctly today is Yom Teruah or Feast of Trumpets.
What this Feast signifies we don’t know exactly, but Jesus will make it clear when he comes. We have some clues: the 7th seal has 7 trumpets and “For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed at the last trumpet!”
The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:
“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.”