Many people today are unaware of the significance of the red heifer in both Judaism and Christianity. This symbol of purification is deeply rooted in Scripture, including in the book of Numbers (Num. 19:2-10) where God instructs Moses and Aaron about the ritual purification involving a red heifer.
That is why the work of American farmer Byron Stinson, an evangelical Christian from Texas, and Rabbi Ytshak Mamo, an official from the Temple Institute in Jerusalem, Israel, is so important.
Speaking at the 2024 National Gathering for Prayer & Repentance in Washington D.C., the two shared the importance of the red heifer and the ceremony that must take place for ritual sacrifice and worship to resume in the eventual Third Temple.
Finding these unique cattle was no small feat, but once Stinson and Mamo formulated their plan to send the red heifers to Israel, they need to acquire a unique license to do so.
Discussing this symbol of great importance to the Jewish and Christian communities, Rabbi Mamo explained that the heifer must be in it’s third year of life to be used in the ceremony, and that time is swiftly drawing near.
“If there is any [mathematicians] here, so you can understand that we are very close to the third year of these cows,” reveals Mamo. “Which means that with the help of God, we will get permission from God and from the people to make the ceremony. And then we can be pure.”
The ashes of the red heifer are used as a unique purifying agent demanded by the Lord, essential for cleansing those who had come into contact with death.
In Judaism, the red heifer’s ashes played a crucial role in the process of ritual purity, particularly for those involved in Temple service. The rarity of finding a red heifer without blemish added to its mystique and the meticulous observance of the prescribed rituals surrounding its sacrifice.
For Christians, the bovine holds a slightly different meaning as the red heifer is often seen as a prefiguration of Christ’s sacrificial atonement. The red heifer’s sin-cleansing symbolism aligns the redemptive power of Jesus’ blood. Although not as explicitly emphasized in the New Testament, the red heifer serves as a symbolic link between the Old and New Covenants, reflecting themes of purification, sacrifice and spiritual cleansing in both religious traditions.
Additionally, the red heifer plays an important part of Christian eschatology. When the Third Temple is restored and sacrifices resume, it is because a red heifer, without blemish, has been found and allowed the resumption of temple services. This is a qualifying marker of the end times and the eventual rise to power of the Antichrist, a precursor to the return of Jesus Christ.
Radical Islamists take this biblical prophecy very seriously as well.
As Charisma News reported, the spokesman for the military wing of Hamas, Abu Obeida, revealed that the red heifers were targets in the Oct. 7 massacre that saw over 1,200 Israeli’s murdered.
“We look back 100 days to remember the educated, the complicit and the incapacitated among the world powers governed by the law of the jungle, reminding them of an aggression that reached its peak against our path (Al-Quds) and Al-Aqsa, with the start of its actual temporal and spatial division, and the ‘bringing of red cows’ as an application of a detestable religious myth designed for aggression against the feelings of an entire nation in the heart of its Arab identity, and the path of its prophet (the Night Journey) and ascension to heaven,” read Abu Obeida.
The entire process of establishing the Third Temple, and the Holy of Holies where the ceremony of the red heifer must take place in front of, is an international diplomatic level perhaps never seen before.
Since the Dome of the Rock sits atop where many believe the Holy of Holies to be on the Temple Mount, many Muslims fear that the Al Aqsa Mosque will be destroyed. If this were the case, which Rabbi Mamo says they are not trying to do, it would embroil the entire world in mass protests and violence from the followers of Islam.
To be clear: no one knows how the Lord will orchestrate these events to unfold, only that they will unfold as biblical prophecy declares.
In the meantime, Christians can continue praying for the peace of Israel in these volatile days, and for wisdom, discernment and strength to navigate the end times.
James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.