End-times prophecy watchers are marveling over a news report out of Jerusalem this week that the Altar of the Lord has been reconstructed by the Temple Institute.
The Institute, based in the Old City of Jerusalem, announced it has finished building an altar that is essentially “ready for use” in sacrificial services.
The altar is the most ambitious project to date toward the goal of rebuilding the Jewish Temple. The massive outdoor altar, which took several years to build, can be operational at little more than a moment’s notice, reported the Israeli magazine Matzav Haruach.
The altar is the last major component needed for the long-obstructed sacrifices to resume in a future Jewish temple.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews pray daily for its reconstruction atop the holy hill known as Mount Moriah or the Temple Mount.
Bible scholars say the rebuilding of the ancient temple is predicted throughout scripture, starting with Daniel’s vision in Daniel 9:27. Jesus echoed Daniel’s warning about an abomination standing in “the holy place” in the last days in Matthew 24:15, followed by the Apostle John’s vision of the Temple in Revelation 11:1-2. Paul mentioned it in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4.
Most people don’t realize the temple had two altars — the altar of burnt offering and the altar of incense. The largest was the altar of burnt offering, placed in the outer court of the priests. Designing and building it to exact biblical specifications required quite an undertaking.
It was approximately 5 meters (16 feet) tall and 16 meters (52.5 feet) wide, with four “horns” or raised corners, and a ramp.
The altar is the central focus of the sacrificial services that were halted with the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in 70 A.D.
The Temple Institute has prepared all the priestly garments and sacred vessels for the rebuilt temple, which can be viewed on its website. It even trains members of the priestly family to be ready to serve as soon as the Temple is constructed.
Carl Gallups, a Baptist pastor in Florida, Bible prophecy expert and author of “Final Warning: Understanding the Trumpet Days of Revelation,” told WND the announcement about the altar will be seen by many Christians as a huge step toward fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
“This announcement will surely excite prophecy watchers around the world,” he said. “Regardless of one’s eschatological leanings, every sincere student of the Word of God knows there are at least hints, if not clear declarations, of something happening just before the return of the Lord that involves altar sacrifices and the distinct possibility of a rebuilt temple on the Temple Mount.”