Q. While reading on your pages, I have started wondering why the Jews need permission from a world leader to build the temple? Couldn’t they just build it now? And what will make them even want the temple? They have been in Israel for many years now without the temple and the sacrifices – why will they suddenly want it all back?
A. Normally sovereign countries can do whatever they want within their own boundaries, as long as it doesn’t involve attacking their neighbors or committing human rights offenses. Even if their leaders decided it was time to rebuild the Temple, the surrounding Islamic countries would do everything they could to prevent it, because control of the location they would build on is disputed. They would view it as an act of war.
Two things that will happen in the near future will change Israel’s mind about building a Temple. First they’ll repel a series of attacks by their Islamic neighbors and defeat them soundly. These are described in Psalm 83, Isaiah 17 and Ezekiel 38. And second, the Lord will use their victories in these battles to re-introduce Himself to them and re-instate their old Testament relationship (Ezekiel 39:21-22). Doing so requires a Temple and regular sacrifices, without which they can’t enter into the presence of God.