Four-horned ‘Jacob’ sheep (photo by Crosa from Nuernberg)
Is a flock of special sheep a sign that the Third Temple is about to be built? Some prophecy watchers seem to think so:
Some are calling it the fulfillment of prophecy. A step toward the rebuilding of the Temple.
A flock of sheep described in the pages of Genesis have returned to Israel for the first time since Jacob walked the Holy Land.
In Genesis 30:32, Jacob leaves his father-in-law Laban’s household and takes a very specific part of the flock as payment. The animals he takes are described as “every speckled and spotted one, and every dark one among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and of such shall be my hire.”
The sheep followed Jacob from Canaan to North Africa. Though they have spread throughout the world, they had not returned to Israel – until now.
An Israeli couple living in Canada, Jenna and Gil Lewinsky, raised a group of the “Jacob sheep,” which, as a “heritage” breed, have retained most of its characteristics since ancient times.
In a repeat of how the Jewish diaspora returned to its country after thousands of years, the couple sought to bring the sheep back to their ancient homeland. But it required detailed negotiations between Canada and Israel. Indeed, the case of the sheep reportedly cleared the way for a sweeping trade agreement between the two nations.
A total of 119 of the distinctive four-horned sheep are now in their homeland. Gil Lewinsky says the sheep will eventually be part of a “Heritage Park” which will allow people to come see the animals.
However, the the sheep will also be used to produce raw wool for Jewish religious garments and horns for the production of shofars. They would also be used in rituals if and when a Third Temple is reconstructed.
Joel Richardson, the best-selling author of “The Islamic Antichrist” and the director of the teaching series “The Coming Battle For Jerusalem,” says believers should indeed expect to see a physical Temple in the Holy Land.
“Through the clear word of Scripture, we can be confident that there will indeed be a Third Temple rebuilt, perhaps in our near future,” he told WND. “Although this structure could be as simple as a tent, it could also be an actual brick and mortar structure so-to-speak. Four times the prophecy of Daniel speaks of this Temple being defiled and desolated (cf. Daniel 8:12-13; 9:26; 11:31; 12:11). Jesus likewise referred to a future time when Daniel’s prophecy concerning the time when the Temple would be defiled and desolated (Matthew 24:15). Paul the Apostle also spoke of the day when the Antichrist, whom he refers to as ‘the man of lawlessness’ and ‘the son of perdition’ would set himself up in ‘God’s Temple’ as he seeks to exalt himself above the God of Israel (2 Thessalonians 2:4). Finally, the Book of Revelation speaks of a future rebuilt Temple (Rev. 11:2).” 01/07/17 http://www.wnd.com/2017/01/3rd-temple-looming-1-event-considered-a-sign/#JejAvqYzlMx2yeXj.99Return of Jacob’s Sheep to Israel Could be Precursor To Third Temple
The miraculous and prophetic ingathering of the exiles to Israel now includes four-legged returnees: descendants of Biblical sheep. Rare and listed as a threatened breed, Jacob’s sheep, believed to be the breed which Biblical forefathers shepherded across Israel, are making a comeback. …
Small, piebald, and crowned distinctively with four horns, Jacob’s sheep thrive in desert climates. They are a ‘heritage’ breed, meaning the sheep retain many of their genetic traits and remain relatively unchanged from their origins. The sheep are unique, with devotees who claim the breed is living proof of the Biblical story of Jacob’s deal with Laban for which it is named.
No longer found in the Mideast, Israeli flocks today are made up of Awassi sheep which originated in Syro-Arabian desert and are white, with brown or black faces. Jacob’s sheep are distinctly speckled or striped, conforming to the story found in the book of Genesis 30.
Israel’s Awassi sheep are numerous and most people naturally associate them with Israel, as Palestinian shepherds are often seen wandering the hillsides with large flocks. Nonetheless, the Awassi are not indigenous to Israel and, though kosher for the Temple service, it is much more likely that Jacob’s sheep, and not Awassi, were brought as sacrifices in Biblical times.
Though the prophecies describing the Jews’ return to Israel didn’t mention sheep, there is a precedent for flocks being essential to the Jewish return to Israel. 03/22/16 https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/64144/flock-biblical-sheep-set-out-journey-holy-land-jewish-world/#6P2iQkLmJeLIBAOb.99
So, is any of this relevant?
Some might be. But not as some seem to think.
First of all, while having Jacob’s sheep might be a preference, according to the Temple Institute (who I met with) and the reconstituted Sanhedrin (who I emailed) the Jewish priests already have everything they need to perform sacrifices, other than permission from the Israeli government to do so.
While these particular sheep are not required according to the Bible, the fact that they are available might be considered a sign to certain Jews that the time for sacrifice is getting closer.
As far as Joel Richardson’s contention that there must be a Third Jewish Temple in Jerusalem for the prophecies he cited to be fulfilled, he is in scriptural error (see also has other errors, see Can the Final Antichrist be Islamic?). According to the New Testament, it is Christians who are now the Temple of God (e.g. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17), and any physical building would be where two or more of them gathered (Matthew 18:20; see als0 Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required?).
After the execution of Jesus, the veil in the ‘Second’ Temple was miraculously torn and that building ceased to be the Temple of God as there was no longer a need for animal sacrifices.
37 And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last.
38 Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:37-39)
11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
16 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. 18 Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. 19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.” 21 Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another — 26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. (Hebrews 9:11-26)
No Jewish building is the ‘Temple of God,’ although remnants of the first and second temples may exist (related to the second one, check out the article Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill).
All this being said, since the Bible teaches that animal sacrifices will stop (Daniel 9:27; 11:31), they must first resume.
Until Solomon built the first temple (1 Kings 6:14), the Bible shows that the Jews sacrificed animals on altars. David, Solomon’s father, for example sacrificed on an altar (2 Samuel 24:25), as did Aaron and his descendants (Exodus 20:24; Leviticus 1:10-11). And prior to all of that, Abel (Genesis 4:4), Noah (Genesis 8:20), Abraham (Genesis 22:9-13), and others sacrificed animals to God.
So for over 3,000 years, animal sacrifices were offered without a Jewish temple.
Even after the first Jerusalem temple was built and left in ruins, the Bible itself specifically shows that sacrifices were made in the time of Ezra BEFORE the second temple was ready:
6 From the first day of the seventh month began they to offer burnt offerings unto the LORD. But the foundation of the temple of the LORD was not yet laid. (Ezra 3:6)
One may argue that since it takes the participation of Jewish religious leaders in order for Jewish animal sacrifices to be resumed, that the above scripture is a moot point.
And it might be if there were no Jewish religious leaders that thought that they could not sacrifice without a temple.
But the fact is, that although they are in the minority, there are significant numbers of Jewish religious leaders who are intent on starting animal sacrifices as soon as possible. And these Jewish leaders do not believe that they have to wait in order for a temple to rebuilt in order to do so.
This resumption of animal sacrifices is something that the reconstituted Sanhedrin and the Temple Institute may well be involved in–and they mainly only need permission from Israeli authorities to do so. One person at the Temple Institute told one of our sons that this could be done within hours of getting permission. One person from the Temple Institute told me that they have all they need to immediately resume animal sacrifices once they get permission, whereas as representative of the reconstituted Sanhedrin told me in an email that they do NOT need a Third Temple to resume animal sacrifices–only an altar. And such an altar does exist.
Getting ‘Jacob’ sheep may further motivate certain Jews to push for permission to resume animal sacrifices. But such sheep are NOT a requirement for a Third Temple to be built.
As far as getting that permission to sacrifice, that is not impossible. Though it may well take a war, peace deal, and/or political gridlock for that to happen. But it will come to pass as the Bible teaches. Having the sheep may be one of many factors that those who wish to sacrifice will bring up when they ask for that permission.
Some items of possibly related interest may include:
Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required? Although people like Timothy LaHaye teach a third Jewish temple is required, who is ‘the temple of God” in the New Testament? Does the Bible require a rebuilt Jewish Temple? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Por qué no se requiere un templo judío en Jerusalén? Here is a link to a sermon titled The Temple, Prophecy, and the Work.
The Red Heifer, Jewish Beliefs, and the End of the World The Temple Institute is watching a ‘red heifer.’ Why might this be important in the sequence of end time events? Here is a related link in the Spanish language Novilla roja descubierta en EE.UU. e Instituto del Templo está interesado en ella. Here is a related video in English The Red Heifer and the End of the World.
Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill Could this building, often referred to as the Cenacle, possibly have been the oldest actual Christian church building?
Does the ‘Cenacle’ deal have prophetic ramifications? After a 20 year negotiation, the Church of Rome has negotiated the right to have Catholic mass in the building known as the Cenacle. It is in the area where the Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill once stood. This is believed to be the location of the earliest Christian church building. How does the Bible define the ‘temple of God’ in the New Testament? Could this be the area where the ‘man of sin’ will sit in the “temple of God’ that Bible prophecy discusses in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4? This is a YouTube video.
The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27 This prophecy could give up to 3 1/2 years advance notice of the coming Great Tribulation. Will most ignore or misunderstand its fulfillment? Here is a link to a related sermon video Daniel 9:27 and the Start of the Great Tribulation.
Jerusalem: Past, Present, and Future What does the Bible say about Jerusalem and its future? Is Jerusalem going to be divided and eliminated? Is Jesus returning to the area of Jerusalem? There is also a related YouTube video you can watch titled Jerusalem To be divided and eliminated.
Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2? Is this the King of the North, the ten-horned beast of Revelation 13:1-11, or the two-horned Beast of Revelation 13:12-16? Some rely on traditions, but what does the Bible teach? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Quién es el Hombre de Pecado de 2 Tesalonicenses 2? Here is a version in Mandarin: 主编： 谁是’大罪人’？Here is a link to a related YouTube video, in English, titled Who is the Man of Sin?
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.
Can the Final Antichrist be Islamic? Is Joel Richardson correct that the final Antichrist will be Islamic and not European? Find out. A related sermon is titled: Is the Final Antichrist Islamic or European?