QUESTION:

With all that is happening in the Middle East right now, I am wondering if these are not the very last days before the Lord returns. I know from Scripture that a temple will be standing in Jerusalem at that time because the anti-Christ is supposed to come first and desecrate it. I have heard that the temple in Jerusalem is already being rebuilt. Is that true?

ANSWER:

As far as we know the government of Israel has no plans at this time to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem . The siddur (Jewish prayer book) contains a prayer that the Temple will be rebuilt, but the most Orthodox Jewish people believe this can be done only by the Messiah, who first must come and restore all things.

There are, however, some Christians and a corresponding group of Jews who seem to have taken this task upon themselves in preparation for the arrival (or return) of the Messiah depending on their religious point of view. Some have begun to reconstruct the necessary artifacts and priestly vestments, and others are searching for the lost Ark of the Covenant and the ashes of a red heifer. But those individuals are outside of the mainstream of both Judaism and Christianity.

TIME Magazine published an article on this movement in their October 16, 1989 issue. They would probably send reprints upon request. The address of TIME principal office is: Time and Life Bldg., Rockefeller Center, New York , NY 10020-1393 .