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Exposition: Tribulation Prerequisites

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Exposition: Tribulation Prerequisites

While Israel’s rebirth completes a critical piece of the prophetic timeline, several lesser pieces still need to come together before the fulfillments of certain key tribulation events are possible including:

  • Israel’s acquisition of great wealth
  • Israel’s belief they finally are safe and at peace
  • Religious leaders acquiring power to enact and enforce religious laws
  • Sacrificial worship started

The first two, Israel’s great wealth and her belief in her peace and safety, are prerequisites for Ezekiel’s battle of Gog of Magog.  Israel’s wealth is the reason for this invasion (see the sixth seal’s section of the tribulation chapter) and it is her belief that she is finally safe that leaves her vulnerable to this attack.  The third point, the religious leaders’ rise to power is necessary for the enactment of wide-sweeping religious laws including the reintroduction of Sabbatical travel restrictions that will impede Jews fleeing to the mountains during the great tribulation.  Finally, the establishment of sacrificial worship must occur before the antichrist can commit three despicable acts against the temple mount: the abomination of desolation, the stopping of the daily sacrifice, and the treading down of the temple’s courtyard.  Though each of these is important, the one that generates the most interest and speculation is the reestablishment of sacrificial worship.

Sacrificial worship reestablishment requires:

  • Making temple vessels
  • Creating articles of the priesthood including the High Priest’s ephod
  • Training priests
  • Finding or building the furnishings of the tabernacle
  • Finding the Ark of the Covenant
  • Construction and cleansing of the temple edifice

Israel’s enthusiasm for reestablishing sacrificial worship is obvious when one considers how far efforts to address these issues have gone.  Many of the temple’s vessels and priesthood articles are reportedly available including both the ephod and breastplate.  Potential priests are training and many people are searching for both the tabernacle furnishings and the Ark of the Covenant.  The search for the Ark is particularly interesting as rumors to its location swirl around it with speculation suggesting such diverse places as Ethiopia, underground vaults in the Vatican, and hidden passages in Solomon’s temple mount.

By far the greatest obstacle for sacrificial worship is the construction of the worship edifice but even after it is erected, a couple of other obstacles remain: identification of a suitable red heifer for cleansing the tabernacle and the fabrication of the incense of the golden altar.  The Bible places strict requirements on the selection a red heifer.  In 2002, the religious world was abuzz with news of the birth of a qualified candidate but since then, Jewish religious leaders disqualified it.  The making of the temple’s incense may also prove problematic since only a single Levite family knew its secret ingredients, formula, and processes.

Concerning the worship edifice, Old Testament sacrificial worship was held on altars without any edifice, on the brazen altar of the tabernacle (tent) of Moses (and later, David), and the brazen altars of Jerusalem’s two majestic temples.  The vast majority of prophecy experts expect the construction of another temple for sacrificial worship.  They watch daily for any indications that the start of construction may be imminent.  A minority opinion holds that the Jews erect the tabernacle (tent) to support sacrificial worship during the seven-year tribulation.