“In that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her I will make Jerusalem an immoveable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.” (Zech 12:3)
Jerusalem is called The City of God, The Holy city, The Throne of God. It is claimed as a city holy to three religions: Jewish, Christian and Islam. And all three religions have Jerusalem as the place of the ultimate battle where Good triumphs over evil. Jesus’ Second Coming takes place in Jerusalem.
When General Allenby liberated Jerusalem from the Ottoman Turks in 1917, it was, at best, a backwater town, yet still recognized as something very special. Even cynical Mark Twain described Jerusalem in glowing terms, “Perched on its eternal hills (there are seven of them, primarily Mount Moriah, Mount of Olives and Mount Zion) white and domed and solid, massed together and hooped with high gray walls, the venerable city gleamed in the sun. So small! Why it was no bigger than an American village of four thousand inhabitants.”
Hard to imagine that such a place could become the focus of world attention just a few decades later. And yet that’s just what God’s Word tells us. Jerusalem will assume the world’s center stage in the end times and it’s getting there rapidly. In the 1947 United Nation’s Palestine partition plan, Jerusalem was to be an open, international city, under neither Israel’s nor Palestine’s control. But in Israel’s War of Independence, the attacking Arab League captured all of Jerusalem. In the 1967 Six Day War Israel won the city back, including the Temple Mount.
And the world’s been bickering over Jerusalem ever since. The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 was passed by an overwhelming majority of both parties in both houses of Congress. It required that the United States recognize an undivided Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. But the Embassy Act was never implemented by subsequent presidents: not Clinton, not George W. Bush, not Obama. No doubt the reluctance to implement this act of Congress was due in part to not wanting the ire of the Arab world (think oil; think politically correct) to come crashing down. When President Trump moved the United States’ embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2018 the world went nuts.
Jerusalem figures into the Book of Revelation at several points. In Revelation chapter seven, we read of 144,000 Messianic Jews who are sealed by God and charged to spread the gospel. This sealing likely happens in Jerusalem. In chapter 14 we see all 144,000 of them standing with Jesus on Mount Zion following the Great Tribulation.
Chapter 11 introduces us to two witnesses who are in Jerusalem to preach the truth about God. Despite the antichrist’s best efforts, God does not allow these witnesses to be killed until their testamony is over three and a half years later. Then the antichrist will break the covenant he signed with Israel and come to Jerusalem to desecrate the Temple. (Dan 8:9-12; 9:27)
“Jerusalem, oh Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who were sent to you! How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chick under her wings, and you were not willing.” (Mt 23:37 Luke 13:34)
It is in Jerusalem, when surrounded by all the armies of the world (Luke 21:20) and all seems lost in the Battle of Armageddon, that the Jews finally acknowledge Jesus as Messiah. “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” (Zech 12:10)
It is so sad that the nations of the world are increasingly, viciously, anti-Sematic. It would be to each of our benefits if we kept in mind God’s eternal promise of Genesis 12:3 “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.” The consequences of not doing so are dire. “And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.” (Zech 12:9)
In Revelation 21:2, we see the new Jerusalem descending from Heaven, “adorned as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.” God will dwell there. Jerusalem will be called The Lord is There, (Ez 48:35) Pleasant unto the Lord, (Mal 2:1) Faithful City (Zech 8:3)
Next time we will look at the Temple of the Lord, particularly the coming Third Temple.
Please, neither offhandedly accept nor reject what is said in this blog. Check it out. Look it up for yourself in the Bible. If you are a child of God, you are in good hands and there is the most wonderful eternity waiting for you. If you are not a Christ follower, now is a really good time to honestly explore the truth claims of the Bible.