"… His winnowing fork is in His hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire."
A king gave a very expensive coat to his son. The very ungrateful and careless prince spoiled the coat within a very short time. The king replaced the expensive coat with an even more expensive one. To the disappointment of the king, his son quickly soiled the second coat even more than the first one. The king then had prepared for the prince the most exquisite garment one could weave. He hired the best tailors and weavers of thread. The silver and gold threaded coat shined in the brightness of the sun. The prince was pleased at the new coat but the king decided that his son should only receive it … after he showed himself worthy.
This parable is taught in the Talmud about the Jerusalem Temple. The first Temple was built by King Solomon. As the prince's coat, Solomon's Temple was defiled by compromise and disobedience in the pre-first exile era. The second Temple was built when Jews returned from the Babylonian captivity. This Temple was even more defiled than the first one causing the present-day second exile. The prophet Ezekiel speaks of a return of Israel's families to the Land and of a third Temple: the Temple of the Messianic Age (Ezekiel 37-48).
The second Temple was the scene of the Abomination of Desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel and referred to by the Master (1 Maccabee 1; Matthew 24:15) in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes which caused the successful Maccabee revolt. After the rag-tag Israeli army led by the Maccabee family won the war, they purified and cleansed the Temple for use by the People of God again.
In teaching His disciples about the events that will usher the Messianic Era, Yeshua makes mention of this Maccabee revolt. In some ways, it will be the same. The rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem will be desecrated by the nations, but when Yeshua returns from the clouds of the Heavens (Acts 1:11) at the end of the Battle of Armageddon, He purifies the Temple for our use again.
As we light our third candle tonight, let us anticipate the Messianic Age of the Third Temple where in the Messianic Age all the families will bring their glory and offering at the Feast of Tabernacles and be blessed by the God of Abraham (Genesis 12:3; 28:14; Zech 14:16).