We are going to deal with the current status concerning plans for a Red Heifer and how it relates to the coming of Yeshua? There have been several herds in Israel, from near the Jordan River to near Mt Carmel and also in Judea and Samaria. To get a valid candidate, it is going to be hard considering all the rabbinic qualifications. In the past, some people from Texas were going to send 500 cows with calves and from there they would work to get one, but that would take millions of dollars. Past Israeli administrations, Rabin and Peres in particular, were opposed to anything that dealt with the Temple, cutting off any funds that might be used to help such an effort. They thought that the subject was too explosive politically and the ultra-orthodox Rabbis opposed Rabin and Peres anyway, so they were not going to get any funds from them. These herds from Texas were supposed to go to the Judea/Samaria area which is another problem because of the settlement issue. The Israelis were accused of using these herds to make a claim on the area, so this was opposed politically. However, Benjamin Netanyahu has been a more sympathetic figure for raising a Red Heifer and provided funding in the past, but the Likud party had political enemies and anything that Likud did in support of the Temple was a hot issue. So, the government now tends to stay out of this issue, even though they support it in their hearts. Money for this must come from donations. The main feeling is that the Red Heifer and anything that goes along with it must be done in secret, no publicity. The people involved do not want another battle over this. Long story short, all of this will be in the timing of the Lord. Just like the ceremony teaches, it all must be approached with “emunah”, faith. There are many difficulties in putting all this together. This is what we should be looking for as we approach the Birthpains of the Messiah. In order to have a Temple, you must have a qualified priest to take the water mixed with the ashes of the Red Heifer into the Temple to sprinkle the priests and everything associated with the Temple. This priest will be 8 years old and will have had no contact with the dead. These young priests will need to be raised in a place that is not ritually impure. There is no place on earth among the nations that is ritually pure. Anciently, Israel was ritually pure except for graveyards, but not anymore. Jerusalem was ritually pure, but not anymore. The Temple Mount was ritually pure, but not anymore. Everything outside of the land of Israel was unclean ritually. So, there is a massive problem. How can you get an 8 year old who has never taken a step anyplace in the world? You will need to build a special neighborhood that is hidden away from everyone else. It would have to be on bedrock where you would know that there are no graves beneath you. A system of arches would have to be built over the bedrock, then a system of arches over that, and another over that (for an example of what these arches would look like, research “Red Heifer bridge” on the Internet). This was seen as a way to maintain ritual purity. Were these preparations from God or man? It was from the Lord, who gave to David everything he needed to know to build a Temple and to sanctify it (1 Chr 28.11-19). The Rabbis, Sages and Priests did not feel they had the authority to institute anything that the Lord had not put into Scripture (Deut 4.2; Ezek 43.10-12; Rom 9.4). They believed that everything that was associated with the Temple came from God. Therefore, anything related to the Temple could not be added to or detracted from. So, a mother of priestly descent would come to this neighborhood when pregnant, and gives birth. The boy would be raised there. He will not be allowed to leave until after the ceremony of the Red Heifer. There are attendants who watche over the child/children. They stay with the children for 8 years minimum. What if they do not get a heifer and the Temple Mount for worship in 10 years? He stays there or there are other children raised there that can come and go on a rotation basis. In the Jewish prayer book, there are a number of prayers for the return of the Temple. For example, in the Hertz Siddur, on p. 157, there is the “Y’hi Ratzon” and the seventeenth benediction of the Amidah called the “R’tzeh” found on p. 149 of the Hertz Siddur. There are prayers for the return of the judges because you can’t have a Temple without judges. There will be matters of controversy when all this begins to happen so they will be needed (Deut 17.8-13). You will also need a qualified Red Heifer. We have already discussed special areas to raise them, and they will need to support their care and upkeep. You will need a qualified Sanhedrin. In 2004, a Sanhedrin was established but it is “developing” and awaiting full integration into the Israeli government. Right now, they do not have full authority because Israel is not governed by religious law, but by civil law through the Knesset. If a Sanhedrin becomes the law of the land, there will be a huge split. This could be the “catalytic event” for the prophesied “two Jewish states” as seen in the prophets, one secular and one religious. There are major things that need to be at work for Red Heifer to be available any time soon. For the secular mind, it seems impossible. There are major political landmines in the way of a coming Temple. However, the Scriptures speak of a coming Temple. To go along with that, everything we have talked about previously has to be in order for this to happen. So, for the spiritually minded, these things will happen in the Lord’s timing and everything will be accomplished. Do we believe that Messiah is coming? Yes, but don’t watch secular television to get any affirmation of spiritual things. All you will see is Hamas, ISIS, Al-Qaeda, war and secular Israeli politics. Religious programming is just as confused and full of false teaching. We have to see and understand what the Lord says. Eschatologically, we know that the Day of the Lord begins on Rosh Ha Shannah, year 6001 from creation. The Gathering/Natzal (how the Bible refers to it) of believers, or the “rapture” will happen on that day. The sacrificial services will begin on this day also (they did before and will again-Ezra 3.1-6) because all you need is the Altar for the offerings, the Temple will be built later, just like in Ezra. Ten days later, on Yom Kippur, the Birthpains of the Messiah (also called the Tribulation) will begin. That means the service for the Red Heifer will take place at least seven days prior to the “rapture” on Elul 24 by the latest. How many Jews in the world would be in favor of a Temple with all the trouble there? Not a majority, and you can’t travel there all the time either. Only the ultra-Orthodox and Orthodox Jews will stick by a Temple. One of the things that is happening is that as Jews believe in Yeshua, they will turn back to the Torah. The ultra-Orthodox are committed to the Torah and so are the Orthodox. They have different interpretations about these matters, but there is a commitment. The Tribulation Temple will be established in Jerusalem and we know from prophecy about the 144,000 Jewish men called by God as the “first fruits” of the Tribulation (Rev 7.4-8; Rev 14.1-5). They are Jewish, anointed, and Torah observant. That also means they are saved right after the Rapture. We will discuss this in detail in our Revelation study. Where do they worship? In the Temple, just like they did in the book of Acts (Rev 11.1-13; Acts 2.46-47; Acts 3.1-10), so they recognize the validity of the Temple. So, the 144,000 will worship in the coming Temple with ultra-Orthodox and Orthodox Jews. The rest of Israel will call them “insane” and “abusers of animals” but three years into the Birthpains there will be a major invasion of Israel by Russia and some Arab nations. Just like in the book of Acts, these people have been standing and ministering in the Temple and the people have been watching what they were doing, observing them from afar. This will have the same affect on them as it did on the people who observed the Talmidim in the Temple (Acts 2.46-47). God will intervene against Russia and destroy them, and because of the word of the 144,000 and the Two Witnesses, Israel will come into a saving knowledge of Yeshua as the Messiah and be saved (Ezek 39.22). But none of this will happen without a Red Heifer that will get things started. Keep an eye on the “holy cow” and any preparations for it. This is one of the keys to understanding prophecy.