As much as I can discern, here is what will happen, regarding the third temple, after the Rapture.
1. The Muslims will be humbled
It seems to me that shortly after the Rapture of the church is when the Muslim nations, led by Russia, will invade the land of Israel, seeking to destroy its people and plunder its land. But according to Scripture (Ezek. 38-39), God, all along, will have other plans. He, by supernatural means, will destroy the invaders and Israel will plunder them!
Thus, I take it that the vast majority of these evil invaders will die, leaving only a small minority, whom will certainly be quite humbled. We can’t be sure what will happen to their dome structures over the Temple Mount, but if they are still standing, I presume that those guarding it will not be nearly as confident as they were.
2. The Rise of the Antichrist
I suspect that the evil Antichrist—who will not yet be revealed as such—will, in his evil, scheming way seek to take advantage of the two tragic events: the disappearances of the Rapture, and the horrific loss of life of the Russian and Muslim armies. We don’t know how he will do it, but it has been suggested that he will give a reasonable explanation to the disappearances and will somehow claim that because of his doing, Israel was spared from the invaders. Hence, this will be the beginning of Israel’s and also the world’s love of this man.
For the next period of time, which must be at least three and one-half years, this man whom the world loves will lead the world in the forming of a global government and religious system (which the bible calls the harlot). It is also during this time that he will take a great interest in the Third Temple.
It is my opinion that he will gather the leaders of the world to discuss the problem of the Temple, and by his leadership and cunning, he will be able to convince them that it will be best to allow the Jews to build the Temple on the Temple Mount. I have come to this opinion from an article in the Jewish Voice website, by Randal Price, which explains that the problem of the Temple will not be resolved by any judicial ruling but by some political action. Accordingly, this article states that…
Israel’s Supreme Court has stated in its ruling Opinion on the Issue of the Works on the Temple Mount, “The reality on the Temple Mount…is by no means simple. It is extremely delicate and complicated…This is one of those cases in which a judicial ruling is not the reasonable way to decide the dispute, and a decision of this kind goes beyond the boundaries of the law…. How might this happen? One possibility was found in an academic book on the politics of the Temple Mount: “Given the emphasis upon the international community’s interest in the sites, under the concept of heritage of humankind, representatives from the international community need to be included as mediators and guarantors. These would likely come from the United Nations (UNESCO) and drawn from regional powers such as the Arab League, NATO, or interested states such as the U.S., the E.U., and Russia…Any proposed legal regime will require interfaith cooperation composed of religious leaders from the region. It may be supplemented by international religious leaders who may serve as mediators.” 36
Thus, it is reasonable to understand that with strong leadership and with the backing of global diplomats, this is how the Jews will be given the license and freedom to remove the Muslim structures (if necessary) and to go ahead with building the long-sought-after Temple.
As this man of peace (the Antichrist) brings the world together and negotiates for the Temple, I can imagine that all the world will be in awe of his leadership and dominance. In fact, many believe that all will love and honor him—even the Jews together with the Muslims will love him.
3. The Peace Covenant
This covenant will be a promise of the world to the Jews that for seven years they will be safe from war (Dan. 9:27). And it will also guarantee the unhindered construction of the Third Temple on the original Temple Mount. We can imagine that the announcement of this Covenant will be one of the greatest achievements of all time. The Jewish people will be dancing in the streets. They will cry out with one voice, “Peace and safety at last.” At the same time world diplomats will be congratulating themselves for their good work; and they will especially be praising their great leader for his stroke of genius.
The Jews will especially be in love with him, for it will appear to them that he is favoring them. In fact, they will be convinced that he is their Messiah. But, as we well know, they will all be fooled!
36 Dr. Randall Price, “Update On the Building of the Third Temple.”