The Ark and a Third Temple?
A question we are asked frequently is if we believe the Jews are to re-institute the sacrificial system when the Ark is revealed. If we believe the Word of God, the answer can only be "no". As we discussed earlier, Jeremiah, who prophesied during the time of the Ark's disappearance, wrote:
JER 3:16 And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more.
The Lord was telling the Jews that if they returned to Him, He would do marvelous things for them. But this prophecy, being conditional, never came to pass. However, the verse we have just read was to tell them that the day would come when the Messiah would die for them, all sacrifices would cease, and they would be His lightbearers to the world. The fact that they, as a people, rejected God's pleas and finally apostatized, did not change the fact that the day would come when sacrifices to Him would be an abomination:
ISA 66:3 He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.
The verse in Jeremiah indicates that God will never return the Ark to the Jews for this purpose. But aside from this, when the Jews went into captivity in Babylon and the temple was destroyed, God spoke through His prophet Ezekiel in giving them new instructions regarding the sacrificial system- instructions which no longer included the Ark of the Covenant. See Ezekiel 44 through 46.
And when they returned from captivity, they continued the sacrificial system as God has instructed, but without the Ark. During the time of Christ, they were still performing the sacrificial system, again- without the Ark. There is no reason why they need the Ark to perform the sacrificial system. All they would have to do is build a "table of the Lord" as instructed in Ezekiel 41:22.
Let us never forget that Satan was once a "covering cherub"- he lived in the very Presence of God. And he knows the truth- he knows what's going on, and his aim is to obliterate God's Truth. He inspires men to come up with ideas and theories which do away with sacred truths, that we may be deceived. And for even the true believers, our only safeguard is in His Holy Word.
We are of the belief that many people have applied prophecies which refer to "Israel" to the literal Jewish race, when they in fact refer to the "people of God" (which, of course, consists of people of all races, including Jews):
GAL 3:29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
As a result, many prophecies which refer to events which occur after the Second Advent of Christ, are misunderstood to be events which occur after His First Advent (and thusly before He returns.)