REALLY OWNS JERUSALEM?
REMEMBERING THAT GOD'S PLAN ~ IS FOR IT TO BE
HIS 'HOLY ZION'.
The Focus of ADONAI, the LORD our God and the World,
will surely be on this City, for Blessing!
This is a Biblical Study, of an important subject based on the whole
Tanakh/ O.T. and also using the Jewish New Testament ~
with quotations in purple italics, as a mark of respect for it.
As it is a Bible study it would be good if you could print it off and look up the Scripture references we have given, as we have not typed them all out here.
We write from a Biblical Messianic, Christian perspective in 21C times.
PLEASE be sure to also see 'THE FUTURE OF JERUSALEM'
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF JERUSALEM ~
WAS SEEN IN THE PRESENCE OR ABSENCE OF GOD'S TEMPLE.
> The destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple twice emphasises the fact, that in reality it was ADONAI ~ YHWH ~ WHO CHOSE JERUSALEM AS HIS OWN "PLACE TO LIVE", but not when people's sin was rampant! God longs to share with His People. Compare 2 Chronicles 6, especially verse 6, with Ezekiel 9:7-10 -ch.10: 4 & 18 about first the dedication and then later, the abandonment of the first glorious Temple of Solomon, by God!
it would seem that even the loss of the second, beautiful Jewish
Temple on the Temple Mount in AD 70, was also a significant act
allowed by God! [Cp. 2 Chron. 6, especially vs 6, with what
God showed Zechariah ~ in chapter 13: 7 - 9,] about what would
happen following the Death of Yeshua the "Shepherd". Note:
these events were future to Zechariah but are now in
our past. They literally happened from AD 66 - 70 in history, and
it will not happen ever again. About 1 million Jews were
killed by Rome, a million sold as slaves or had to leave the Land to
disperse around the world: another third were able to hide or later
return in a very subservient role.
[Prophecies in Zechariah book are not in consecutive time-line order.]
> The very fact that no genealogical records of Jewish tribes and families, or actual complete artefacts from the second Temple period have been proved to have survived, inspite of conjectures of many people, is very important. We refer to furniture such as the Menorah, Ark of the Covenant and other treasures; or even ‘hard-copy’ pieces of other sacred historical items, and no written records. [To see modern, re-created, identical, carefully crafted copies of these made over recent years, see 'Temple Institute' web site here.]
How else could we understand the terrible history of the rape and pillage and destruction for 2000 years of this ancient, but battered City? Fortunately, the written records of historians, both Jewish, Christian and secular writers confirm without a doubt, the true importance and significance of Jerusalem in the future! The Tanakh especially, confirms it too, as you will see in our notes about the Temple’s Biblical focus, in our next article.
Clearly the future of Jerusalem is based on its Divine choice
long ago as a centre for worship of ADONAI ~
“The God of Israel”!
It will yet be exactly ~ that ~ in God's time, soon. See Psalm 84!
YET, OUR AMAZING GOD PREPARES FOR THE FUTURE, BY USING HIS WORD AND VERIFIABLE EVENTS FROM THE PAST.
Jerusalem is, sadly,
an example is the effects of repeated,
continuous sin against God. Even
the Land, (almost forsaken) the City and the Temple:
destroyed twice, the Jewish People: dispersed for
2000 years ~ are facts!
> All the actual fulfilments of specific Prophecy were not “accidents of History” as some Secular Jewish People say, but real events with real messages. Yeshua/ Jesus Himself, foretold the destruction of the Temple, which happened in CE/ AD 66 - 70. [Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21.]
>These all emphasise the requirement of our intelligent trust in the evidence of the proven historical accuracy of the Word of God, and now we have other evidences of prophecies fulfilled in the events of the last 100 years, available to students of Israel’s Past and Future, through careful archaeological finds!
> ALSO the restoration of the modern nation of Israel to part of their original Land, and the reclamation and uniting of the city of Jerusalem in 1967 are examples of God's miraculous over-ruling in events in the last 60+ years!
is why He chose ~ a nation of People ~ a Land ~ and a City to be the
‘stage’ on which He could convey His most important
>This explains the importance of understanding Jewish Israel, the People, the reality of a 'Promised Land' and the City of Jerusalem.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF JERUSALEM IS BECAUSE OF THE BIBLICAL, SPIRITUAL DIMENSION!
can be seen as the ‘representative’ of all Israel.
So when we are asked to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” Psalm 122, we are praying not only for the City, but the whole nation.
> But since there will never be true, lasting peace, except for God's Prince of Peace establishing - (not just ‘lack of war’) - but a spiritual renewal of all the Jewish people when they accept Yeshua/ Jesus/ Yofeh ~ GOD'S chosen King as Saviour and Messiah by repentance and faith ~ this is the deeper meaning of the prayer.
> God wrote it clearly in Psalm 2. "Why do the nations conspire... against the LORD and against His Anointed One [Yeshua/ Jesus] ... The One enthroned in Heaven laughs... I have installed MY King on Zion, My Holy Hill." Jerusalem was chosen by God and King David to be a royal city.
[Please read all of this amazing prophetic Psalm 2, that explains it all!]
Praise ADONAI the Holy One of Israel, we know He will act and answer our prayers for Jerusalem!
Yes! The City of Jerusalem for millennia, has been, now is, and always will be very, very significant! Understanding this will shape our thoughts and even attitudes as we watch modern events, and pray for God’s will to be done, and God’s Glory to be seen.
POSSESSION OF THE CITY OF JERUSALEM
BY THE HEBREW/ JEWISH PEOPLE.
was promised ~ by God, to His
specially Chosen people ~ yet to be completed in full!
The past events ~ even ancient factual stories from 3.500 BC ~ act as a guide to ‘ownership’ of the City and a guarantee of a wonderful future and the legal and ethical base for finding God’s Truth, about Jerusalem being 'Jewish'. Only GOD Himself will be able to make this very clear to the entire world, (even Jewish people themselves), in some amazing future events!
[See - Ezekiel 34: 25 - 30.] Yet in the past God talked to individual people.
a) At his first call by God and instructions, Abraham the first 'Hebrew' [Gen. 14: 13], was to leave one place and “go to the land I will show you“. [Genesis 12: 1 – 6] As he obeyed and arrived in the Land, God again confirmed this gift saying, “To your offspring I will give this Land”.
Later, (after Lot chose the Jordan area and left), God again confirmed to Abraham (Gen. 15:1-7) that his descendants would posses the whole Land, (which would have included the area Lot chose, ch.13,) and where Abraham and his 'Servant Militia' went to rescue Lot when he and his family were taken captives, Gen.14: 1-16. Note: Abraham's descendants were called 'Hebrews' even in Egypt [Exodus 2: 6 & 7] and up until the time of the first 'exile' but more often 'Israelites' after entering into Egypt, at the time of Joseph and Moses. [Exodus 9:7.] Yet it is clear the same ethnic people now called 'Jews' are clearly descendants of Abraham and his son Isaac, and Jacob and his sons. Another miracle is their preservation for 5,000 years!
b) But God added the order to Abraham: “Go walk through the length and breadth of the Land, for I am giving it to you.” Gen 13:12) It is significant that circumstances took Abraham (as he rescued Lot from the kings of the area), also to the ‘mount of Salem’ – actually to the future 'Jerusalem', where the Leading King-Priest of 'Salem', Melchizidek, made a celebration feast of bread and wine, with a special blessing. Genesis 14: 17 - 20:
"Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of Heaven and Earth.”
A Divine endorsement of this prophecy is in chapter 15, God's solemn promise of the Land and a miracle-born son, who would become the only rightful heir of God's solemn Covenant. [Gen 15: 4 -15.]
"A son will be your heir... Abram [Abraham] believed the LORD and He credited it to him as righteousness". When an action becomes a spiritual reality, as shown by Abraham's later willingness ~ first to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice, then the Father God's acceptance ~ by replacing Isaac with a ram.
c) So as said, Abraham’s possession of Jerusalem was confirmed.
>This was by travelling to the Place indicated by God in order to sacrifice Isaac, (his son by a miraculous conception), back to the “region of Moriah”, (Genesis 22) and so prophetically enacting the sacrifice of Yeshua/ Jesus centuries later, by God the Father. As this crucial test involved Isaac as Abraham’s chosen heir, no other descendants of Abraham can lay a claim to the Land, let alone Jerusalem. [Note: Isaac was willing to be a sacrifice!]
> It was clearly the Place where the city of Jerusalem came to be known of - but was a further confirmation that this city was designed to be possessed by the Hebrew race, and the place of important Spiritual events and people.
2. Isaac himself, inherited and was given possession of 'all the Land.'
This is described in Genesis 26, and must have included the Mountain of Jerusalem, though we cannot be sure if any family or group was living there, then. "I will give you all these Lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father, Abraham."
3. Jacob. The very significant story of Jacob becoming the father of 12 sons, starts in Genesis 28, and ends in chapter 32, with two special spiritual encounters with God Himself! [First Gen 26: 12 -22 in a dream.]
The second time God came to Him in the Form of a Man – (Yeshua, we believe), and along with the conferring of the NEW name of 'ISRA’EL', God made it clear that ~ that territory was sacred Land. Jacob made land purchases and the last verse of chapter 33, says, “There he set up an altar and called it ‘El Elohi Isra’el’ – “God the God of Isra’el”, so laying claim to the Land in the new God given name -‘ISRA'EL’!
Moses too wrote about
> Out of all the instructions Moshe gave to the new nation, one was clearly about Jerusalem. And the great significance of this is, because God gave him these instructions about a specially important 'Place to worship at' ~ well before the people had come even near conquering the 'Promised Land'!
>The main Scriptures are in Deuteronomy chapter12. He said: “You are to seek the PLACE the LORD your God will choose from among all your tribes to put HIS Name there, for HIS dwelling”.
> Five more times in that one chapter, the Place we now know was Jerusalem, became: “the Place where the LORD your God will choose”. > Since it was the Hebrew prophet Moshe, who gave this instruction, specifically to the Israelite Hebrew people, it cannot be given to any other People! [Even those of other religious groups, who also recognise Moses as a prophet, cannot claim it because of the above summarised Scriptures!]
5.The time of Joshua.
> This book is an interesting story of the victorious claiming of the whole Land, (formerly possessed by the evil nation of Canaan) by the Hebrew tribes, in many battles under Joshua. However, although indirectly Jerusalem is referred to (in Joshua 9: 27), as the place the Gibeonites would work later, it was not a fact at that time. Again chapter 10: esp.16 – 24, mentions the story of the 5 ‘runaway kings’ (chieftains)–one from Jerusalem, being captured and humiliated and killed, (for their evil ways and treatment of prisoners.) So even back then, Jerusalem was recognised as a viable City.
> Yet there is no mention of them taking of the City of Jerusalem, which still may have been little more than a village centre for the area, especially as they would have to go down to the Siloam Spring, to get water.
> See the cities named in Joshua chapter 20 & 21 as special places of Refuge for innocent fugitives and Priests, yet (surprisingly) no mention of Jerusalem at all, nor as a place of refuge. But the historical existence of Jerusalem for Jewish people is certified by its mention in the other records.
6. The book of Judges chapter 1 opens with a story of the tribes of Judah and Simeon being directed to attack more Canaanites, and in the process they found a fugitive king, that they then took with them on the next battle (which was against Jerusalem, where he died), as they “put the City to the sword and set it on fire”. However they did not possess it at that time. The date was about 1,375 BC. It seems this was when the Jebusites may have moved into the city, but the tribe of Benjamin who were allocated the territory around Jerusalem, could not dislodge them [Vs. 21.]
CONCLUSION: It was not yet God’s time for Jerusalem to be ~ The Centre of His Kingdom. A suitable King must be found.
IMPORTANT ROLE OF JERUSALEM WAS AS A ROYAL CITY.
Jerusalem was the City ADONAI claimed as ‘The Place’ for the King, and later The Temple of God.
in GOD’S TIME ~ King David, not only took the city, but made
Jerusalem his capital.
> 1 Chronicles 11 is one account of the clever strategy David used and the result, “David became more powerful, because the LORD Almighty was with him”.
> This is known to be in 1,000 BC, so God was patiently waiting for the Nation to become established, (through many tests of loyalty - as described in the years of the books of Judges and 1st Samuel).
> Above all, ADONAI wanted a “man after God’s own heart” to become His chosen king, and of course later it was even called ‘The City of David’.
David became the forerunner, (as ancestor and prophetic godly Leader)
- of Yeshua/ Jesus Messiah, the One who forever holds the Kingship of
Jerusalem and God’s People!
CONCLUSION: Yes! God uses People, Places or Situations to foretell His greater Purpose and Plans.
SO IN THE 21ST CENTUARY WHY IS THE CITY OF JERUSALEM IMPORTANT?
The City – especially as ‘ZION’ /Tziyon - was meant to reflect the Heavenly Jerusalem – a Holy City.
This is a big subject and we have a separate
study on ‘’Zion”, explaining this from the
> In actual fact, in History, it was rarely more than a ‘normal’ – sometimes even a positively wicked city.
> Jerusalem has no natural features to make it the usual 'famous city' and a geographical hub, though in recent years it has been greatly beautified!
> In other words it has no large river like London, or sea port like many Cities have, or oasis-like setting like ancient Jericho; nor is it at a cross roads as ancient Damascus was, nor an International airport, close to the City!
> Therefore, other religious centers [Rome, Mecca, etc], are regarded as far more influential as cities!
Yet this surely demonstrates the principle that GOD chooses the lesser things, even the inadequate things, to glorify Himself, so He can bless more People! In Isaiah 49: 26 [b] is God's only reason for blessing Israel!
THE PRESENT BATTLE FOR JERUSALEM.
For this reason and only this reason, it always has been and still is the focus of the Evil One for that Spiritual reason alone, as Satan wants to make Jerusalem and the World his kingdom! This explains the real battle over ‘who’ would both possess and rule over Jerusalem.
Almost every religious power in the world, wants to claim Jerusalem!
A predominant ‘Christian’ power. The
Orthodox Christian religious powers, especially the Roman
Catholic Church, but endorsed by other streams, such as Greek,
Russian, Armenian Orthodox Churches, (far more numerous and
influential than we ‘evangelicals’ realise), want to make
this City an “International City”.
This is because while they recognise the Jewish claim to the City, they also want to have a controlling presence, so they also (sadly) want to include the Religious claims of many religions of the world... like Islam, that are totally false, (as Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran!)
We cannot bring up all the relevant written and spoken statements that would confirm this. But it is so. Already the 'New' Pope Francis is speaking of a need for "unity for peace, justice and the environment" - to all Leaders.
Yet even we Believers in Yeshua/ Jesus must not 'idolise' the City.
The ambitions of Islam. The 57 nations
of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, [OIC] represent 1.5
billion Muslims, though the immediate claims by the nearest
neighbours are those of the Palestinian Arabs, represented by the two
main factions, Fatah and Hamas. Their present demands for the City
to be divided, in order for them to claim the East part as the
capital for the Palestinians, is well known.
Giving any part of Jerusalem to the Muslim Palestinians would represent a HUGE victory for the whole Islamic world, and would be - a literal and spiritual tragedy! It would be a great anti-God act of blasphemy. Even many Palestinians do not want to be under Muslim rule.
Scripture tells it will never be so. **
The Future world Dictator, will one day,
set himself up in Zion, but will spell his own final doom because of
it. Even secular people and certainly Bible-reading Believers,
know from the New Testament Scriptures that a personality called ‘the
Anti-christ’, or more accurately ‘The False -messiah’,
but also 'The Beast' (in Revelation) manages to gain control of
the world as described in Revelation, chapter 13. This will be
after he has made a treaty with all Nations (and after making a
separate 'covenant' with the Jewish people.) This is what 2
Thessalonians says: "he will oppose
and exalt himself over everything that is called 'god', or is
worshipped ~ so he sets himself up in God's Temple, proclaiming
himself to be 'god'."
This is a big scenario that we explain in the article ‘The False-messiah’.
4. Of course Israel and the Jewish people are sure it must be totally theirs. However if the price for a ‘genuine’ PEACE and security, due to excessive pressure from the Muslim and ‘Western world’ is to divide the City, in the near future, it seems even most (‘left wing’) Jews would agree.
certain end of the story, is in Psalm 102:
12 - 17:
" But You O LORD sit enthroned forever... You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favour to her; the appointed time has come.... The Nations will fear the name of YaHWeH, all the kings of the Earth will revere YOUR Glory."
So we know ADONAI will again choose Jerusalem, and will soon deliver it totally into Israeli Jewish control!
There are some lovely prophecies in Zechariah chapter 1, and chapter 8: 3, 8 and 15 for you! Jeremiah the prophet wrote a special message from ADONAI, the LORD, for the Jewish Nation specifically, as a Nation alone:
" 'For I know the Plans I HAVE for you' declares YHWH, 'Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a FUTURE'." [Jeremiah 29:11!]
NOTES ON ISRAEL’S EFFORTS TO ELEVATE AND HOLD ON TO JERUSALEM
IN THEIR OWN WAY.
Israel has tried to find a way to ensure that Jerusalem will always be the eternal, indivisible Capital of Israel...
'Recap' events since Israel became an Independent Nation, 1948.
1967, the Jewish nation RECAPTURED the City from the Muslim Jordanian occupiers.
> The historical events of the modern State of Israel are reasonably well known. It may not always be realised that in the initial war of Independence, in 1947, (after Jerusalem was under the British administration), the Jordanian and Arab forces at that time, deliberately destroyed some 50+ synagogues and were able to hold onto part of the divided City, especially the Temple Mount, to administer their own disrespectful way.
> The Muslims then, even barred Jews from praying at the sacred ‘Kotel’ or Temple Mount retaining wall except for one day a year, ‘Yom Kippur’, the Day of Atonement when a few Jews were allowed to visit and did so with heart-rending wailing. The small area at that time on the Western side of the Temple Mount was therefore called ‘The Wailing Wall’, now 'Western Wall'.
So the re-claiming of the whole City in a war lasting 6 days, by the Israeli Defence Force under General Dayan was a most momentous occasion for the Jews.
> Israel cleared an area we often see pictures of, by the Western Wall, as a place for prayer, which 1,000's of Jews and lovers of Israel, do pray.
Sadly, the Jewish Leadership respected the Muslim Waqf (Arab religious leaders too much,) and granted them the continuing control of the Temple Mount! Not one Mosque was destroyed by Israel. Yet God, allowed this again, for His own purposes, waiting for the change of heart of all Jews.
1980, Israel’s DECLARATION about the State of the City of Jerusalem.
This was a legal Israeli government Declaration, “that the City of Jerusalem would be the eternal, indivisible Capital of Israel, for all time”.
No doubt this was due to the continuing demands and threats following the wars of 1973 (the costly “Yom Kippur War”) and others; also the continual discussion about ‘whose City Jerusalem would be’.
1992 –3, World Jewry makes a solemn COVENANT with the City of Jerusalem, under President Chaim Herzog. Readers will remember that 1992 was the time of Saddam Hussein’s attempt to invade Kuwait, which was thwarted by an almost world wide Military war under the leadership of (the 1st) President Bush. The USA pleaded with Israel NOT to get involved with that war, which they agreed to even though 39 Scud missiles were fired into Israel. Amazingly they did little damage and only one Israeli died.
1993, saw the launch of the ‘Oslo Peace Accords’ between Israel, under P.M. Rabin, and Pres Arafat for the Palestinians, sponsored by President Clinton but negotiated by the Norwegians. [It is now considered to have been a failed attempt to bring agreement, and therefore no real peace has come between the Palestinian Arabs and Israel, about 20+ years later.]
It was intended to be a declaration to the rest of the world, as a spiritual and prophetic statement about "Jerusalem being the only, undivided, eternal Capital of Jewish Israel."
>> Could it be that God it be that ADONAI has been disappointed that His People made a solemn Covenant with a City, and not with Him?
>> Even more that Israel has not as a nation, accepted the costly New Covenant of enormous Blessing that He offered through the death of Yeshua, sealing it with His Blood?
In Jeremiah 31: 31 -34 God outlines ‘the New Covenant’ HE would make with Israel in their hearts! “ ‘This is the Covenant that I will make with the House of Israel after that time,’ declares ADONAI. ‘I will put My Law [of love] in their minds; and write it on their hearts. I will be their GOD and they will be MY People’.”
We leave you with this information and the questions we have raised.
We trust it will encourage you to understand Israel's dilemma, and to PRAY earnestly for God's solution in His Time. We also invite you to read another article about 'The Future of Jerusalem' as we read it in the Scriptures. However as Israel is an indicator of other world events it needs your prayerful understanding as well. Psalm 62, & 92 will help!
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