Let’s read Numbers 19:1-9, “And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD hath commanded, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke: And ye shall give her unto Eleazar the priest, that he may bring her forth without the camp, and one shall slay her before his face: And Eleazar the priest shall take of her blood with his finger, and sprinkle of her blood directly before the tabernacle of the congregation seven times: And one shall burn the heifer in his sight; her skin, and her flesh, and her blood, with her dung, shall he burn: And the priest shall take cedar wood, and hyssop, and scarlet, and cast it unto the midst of the burning heifer. Then shall the priest wash his clothes, and he shall bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp, and the priest shall be unclean until the even. And he that burneth her shall wash his clothes in water, and bathe his flesh in water, and shall be unclean until the even. And a man that is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and lay them up without the camp in a clean place, and it shall be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for a water of separation: it is purification for sin.”

As we read and meditate upon this passage we see how significant the offering of a red heifer was for purification for sin. In order for the Levitical priests to perform their duties in the temple they had to purify their bodies in water with the cremated ashes of an unblemished red heifer. Hundreds of years after Moses penned these words the apostle Paul spoke of the importance of this offering and of how the red heifer is a type of Christ. Hebrews 9:13-14 says, “For if the blood of bulls and goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.”

There are many zealous Jews who founded The Temple Institute in 1987. They long to rebuild their holy temple and resume temple sacrifices. They believe the offering of a red heifer is absolutely necessary for priests to be able to enter the new temple. Because of this, attempts have been made to breed this rare “red cow.” In 1997 and again in 2002, the institute thought they had succeeded in breeding a “kosher” candidate, but later they found them to be unsuitable. But they are now claiming a third candidate that may meet the exact requirements.

We are living in exciting times! This is but one of many “signs” that the rebuilding of the temple must be close. The Temple Institute is not only involved in breeding a red heifer, but have produced most of the furnishings for a new temple, have conducted extensive training for priests who will serve in the temple, and have even collected materials to start the construction of the temple. We read in 1 Chronicles 12:32, “And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times…” We too should “have understanding of the times,” and these signs should speak to our hearts and convince us that the coming of the Lord must be near. I say this because the Lord Jesus will come for His bride, the body of Christ, BEFORE the temple sacrifices are resumed. Let us encourage one another as we wait to hear His blessed shout summoning us to glory. Hebrews 10:25 declares, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much more, as ye see the day approaching.” (171.5) (DO)