Q. I understand that in Bible prophecy, the 3rd temple has to be built before anti-Christ appears. Will the rapture takes place before the completion of the temple or after the completion? I saw in a website that the Temple Institute, an organization in charge of the rebuilding of the temple project in Israel, has already started building the 3rd temple. Does it imply that the 3 1/2 years of peace for Israel is coming very soon, say perhaps between the year 2012 to 2015?
A. I think it’s more likely that the anti-Christ will enable Israel to build the Temple by enforcing a seven year treaty. This is hinted at in Daniel 9:27. The Temple Institute is preparing for the coming Temple by making implements, furnishings and special clothing for priests who will serve there. Actual construction on the building has not yet begun.
I believe enforcement of this treaty will take place following the battle of Ezekiel 38-39. This is the event God will use to awaken Israel to His presence in their national life (Ezek. 39:22), causing them to return to Him, and start the clock on Daniel’s missing 70th week. Before that happens Israel will not have any need for a Temple.