The Temple Institute has burnt a red heifer in its preparations toward building Israel’s Third Temple (Israel Today, May 2, 2022). Under the Levitical system, a red heifer was sacrificed and its ashes were used to make the water of separation. “And a man that is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and lay them up without the camp in a clean place, and it shall be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for a water of separation: it is a purification for sin” (Numbers 19:9). The water of separation was required for ritual cleansing whenever someone came into contact with anything pertaining to the dead (Numbers 19:11, 14-16). The Temple Institute confuses ritual with spiritual reality and misapplies Bible prophecy. In its report of the burning of the red heifer, Israel Today states, “According to Ezekiel 36:25-26, only the sprinkling of the Red Heifer water allows for the complete change of heart and spirit (‘then I shall sprinkle pure waters upon you, and you shall be clean, from all your uncleanness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. I will also give you a new heart, and I will place within you a new spirit’).” It should be obvious that the sprinkling of water cannot change the heart or impart a new spirit. This can only be done by a supernatural act of the Spirit of God, and it will be done when Israel repents of her sin against God. This is described a few verses later in Ezekiel 36:31, “Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.” This refers to the New Covenant that God will make with Israel, which is yet the future. There will be great repentance, including repentance of rejecting Jesus as the Messiah. “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10). In that day, God will write His law on the hearts and all of redeemed Israel shall know the Lord. “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:33-34). The entire Levitical system, including the water of purification, pointed to the coming of Christ as the Lamb of God, and Jesus was identified as such by John the Baptist. “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
(Friday Church News Notes, May 6, 2022, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)