The Saga of Jerusalem
The Saga of Jerusalem
Jerusalem is known as the city of peace. Of course Jerusalem is widely regarded as a sacred city and not only central to the religion of Judaism, but also to Christianity and Islam. Historically, Jerusalem was also the well-known capital of Israel and Judah during Bible times. Interestingly, Jerusalem has never served as the political capitol of any other nation in world history except for Israel.
Melchizedek, “King of Jerusalem"
The earliest known name for Jerusalem was Urushalem. Even today the Hebrews refer to it as Yerushalem. The root of Urushalem is the word Salem, from which is derived Shalem and Shalom, meaning place or city of peace. Salem was the Canaanite name for the Babylonian god Shalmanu, or god of twilight. The Babylonian name for Salem was Urusalim which meant the foundation of the God named Salem, or the god of peace. Not so ironically then, the gods of ancient Babylonian mythology are shown as attempting to usurp the place that God had chosen to enact his Divine plan of promise to send a seed of the woman. (Genesis 3:15) Without question, the religion of Babylon’s mystic priesthood made its way to Canaan. But Melchizedek was the king of Salem when Abraham sojourned in the land of Canaan. Thus, Jerusalem appears in the Bible as early as the time of Abraham, although the city had probably been sparsely inhabited for centuries before that time. So when Abraham later headed to Mount Moriah to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice, he was headed to a place (Jerusalem) which God has designated as a place with a purpose.
Melchizedek in Hebrew means, “King of Righteousness.” So you can easily see the prophetic association that is designated in God’s providence for the future role of the Messiah in the city of Jerusalem. Melchizedek’s blessing on Abraham, the father of Israel, symbolizes God’s ultimate blessing upon the whole world through Israel, which is of course a fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant as spelled out in Genesis 12.
Melchizedek, the King of Jerusalem and Abraham first met after Abram's defeat of Chedorlaomer and his three allies. (Amraphel, Arioch, and Tidal) Abraham, who had been led to the Promised Land by God, was ecstatic to discover that Melchizedek knew and worshipped the same God that Abraham had met back in Ur of the Chaldees and had come to know through his obedience and personal revelation. In truth, God led Abraham to Melchizedek, for Melchizedek represented the first order of priesthood pointing to Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 7:1-3) Melchizedek's existence shows that there were people other than Abraham and his immediate family who served the one true God. Melchizedek bestowed a blessing on Abraham in the name of El Elyon ("God Most High"), and praised God for giving Abraham victory in his battle against the kings of the East.
Genesis 14:18-20 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
Melchizdek was the King of Salem. (Jerusalem) He is described in the Bible as being without Father or Mother, existing eternally without descent or age. (Hebrews 7:1-3) He may in fact have been the pre-incarnate manifestation of Christ, for Hebrews concludes that he had neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but was made like unto the Son of God; and abideth as a priest continually. That Melchisedek was in fact the preincarnate Jesus is not specifically spelled out in scripture, but it is a certainty that the Royal priest Melchizedek established the Divine prophetic paradigm for the future reign of Christ in the City of Peace.
Israel’s First Conflict Over JerusalemThe city of Jerusalem is mentioned directly in the Bible for the first time during the ancient struggles of Joshua and the Israelites attempts to actually take possession of the land of Canaan. Their efforts to take Jerusalem were initially unsuccessful, although the outlying areas surrounding the city were taken and the land was given to the tribe of Judah. Still remaining within the fortress of Salem itself were the Jebusites. Thus, the city was known as Jebus. Joshua refers to that original conflict when the city was the under the authority of a King named Adonizedek;
Joshua 10:1-8 Now it came to pass, when Adonizedek king of Jerusalem had heard how Joshua had taken Ai, and had utterly destroyed it; as he had done to Jericho and her king, so he had done to Ai and her king; and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel, and were among them; That they feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, as one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all the men thereof were mighty. Wherefore Adonizedek king of Jerusalem sent unto Hoham king of Hebron, and unto Piram king of Jarmuth, and unto Japhia king of Lachish, and unto Debir king of Eglon, saying, Come up unto me, and help me, that we may smite Gibeon: for it hath made peace with Joshua and with the children of Israel. Therefore the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, the king of Eglon, gathered themselves together, and went up, they and all their hosts, and encamped before Gibeon, and made war against it. And the men of Gibeon sent unto Joshua to the camp to Gilgal, saying, Slack not thy hand from thy servants; come up to us quickly, and save us, and help us: for all the kings of the Amorites that dwell in the mountains are gathered together against us. So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he, and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valour. And the Lord said unto Joshua, Fear them not: for I have delivered them into thine hand; there shall not a man of them stand before thee.
The Contrast Between Melchizedek and Adonizedek
Adonizedek was an Amorite-Canaanite king known by the synonym, “the Lord of justice.” The prefix of Adonizedek’s name Adoni or Adonai (Greek Adonis) are also the Hebrew words for Christ, or the Lord. Very clearly, the ancient city of Jerusalem (Salem) had undergone a startling transformation since the epic encounter between Abraham and the true King of Salem, Melchizedek. It is apparent from scripture that Adonizedek was not of the same priestly order as Melchizedek. In fact, history and archaeology reveal that the ancient city of Salem, under the Caananite kings were wholly given over to worshipping the gods of Baal and Ashteroth, and many other gods of mysticism descending from the Babel order. They erected numerous sacrificial platforms upon many of the highest hills in Canaan, including what would later become the high points in the city of Jerusalem, perhaps even Mount Moriah and Mount Zion.
Melchizedek praised the most high God (El Elyon) for giving Abraham (father of the Israelite children) the victory in his battles to take possession of the Promised Land. On the other hand, Adonizedek recruited a confederation to oppose Israel’s attempt to take possession of the city the most high God had promised unto them.
Adonizedek was obviously a king associated with the Satanic conspiracy to supplant the royal lineage of Melchizedek that would ultimately end with Jesus Christ reigning in the city of Jerusalem. This original paradigm of conflict over Jerusalem sets the stage for the final conflict over Jerusalem when Jesus comes to put down the puppet King of Satan (Antichrist) that will briefly reign in Jerusalem during the Great Tribulation era.
Adonizedek can therefore be closely configured in mythology with the Babylonian Tammuz and the Roman Mithras, or the great Mediator. As Mediator and Lord of Lords, (Lord of justice) Adonizedek represents pagan Salem’s Amorite version of Baal-berith, or the Lord of the Covenant. Thus, Adonizedek symbolizes the prophesied Antichrist who will be the New Testament fabricator of the false Covenant that will be made with Israel.
It is worth noting that Adonizedek opposed the idea of making peace with Israel and chose instead to make war with the people of Gibeon because they had made peace with Israel. It seems that not much has changed in our world today, as the nations of the world steadfastly refuse to make peace with Israel, and still seek her destruction. But the God of Israel is still El Elyon, and he has fought for Israel before in history, and he soon will do so again.
Adonizedek did not honor the God that bestowed victory to the Israelites, and soon God delivered the Amorite king unto Joshua. God had foretold of the Amorite kings destruction in Abraham’s day. (Genesis 15:16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.) This ancient epic victory for Jerusalem by Joshua and the Israelites is forever known in Biblical history as the day that the Sun and the Moon stood still for a day, for it was the day that the Lord fought for Israel.
Joshua 10:12-14 Then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the Lord hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the Lord fought for Israel.
The Day of Battle
Prophetic scripture is replete with references comparing the ultimate Day of the Lord battle which culminates in Armageddon with the aforetime battle when the Lord fought for ancient Israel. The following verse quoted from Zechariah reveals that the impending last days scenario of Armageddon will be historically reminiscent of that time in the ancient past when the Lord fought in the day of battle. Reading this scripture from Zechariah, one must ponder, “when did the Lord previously fight in the day of battle?” The answer is revealed from Joshua’s account as shown above.
Zechariah 14:1-3 Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
References to that future day of battle when the Lord shall once again fight for Israel may be found in the following scriptures: (Isaiah 63:6, Isaiah 66:15-16, Daniel 2:34-35, 44-45, Joel 3, Zephaniah 3:19, Haggai 2:21-22, Zechariah 2:8-9, 10:4-5, 12:2-6, Revelation 6:14-17, 8:7-13 and 16:16)
Jerusalem and King David
The next Biblical account of Jerusalem in the Bible comes after the fateful suicidal death of Saul. (Saul was the first king of the United Kingdom of the Hebrew people) In the aftermath of Saul’s death, David was selected as the new King of Israel by the elders of the twelve tribes. One of King David’s very first efforts was to unite the tribes of the north and south by capturing Jerusalem from the Jebusites, and making the city the political and religious capital of the Kingdom of Israel.
I Chronicles 11:1-3 Then all Israel gathered themselves to David unto Hebron, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh. And moreover in time past, even when Saul was king, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the Lord thy God said unto thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be ruler over my people Israel. Therefore came all the elders of Israel to the king to Hebron; and David made a covenant with them in Hebron before the Lord; and they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the Lord by Samuel.
It was David who actually stamped the city with the name of Jerusalem. Because it was captured during his reign, Jerusalem also came to be known as the "City of David." The city is often referred to by this title throughout the Bible. (example: Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.)
David built a palace in the old section of Jerusalem that had served as a Jebusite fortress, and it was this area, situated on the highest section of the city, that became renown as Mount Zion. Here on Mt. Zion the throne of David was established, the throne whereon Jesus Christ will one day reign! The Davidic Covenant thus came into existence.
The Davidic Covenant provided for a permanent Temple in Jerusalem, but that covenant was nonetheless conditioned upon the Nation's obedience. This meant that throughout Israel's future history the Temple could be removed and returned as often as Israel was fickle or faithful to the covenant. The destruction of Solomon’s and later Herod’s temple prove conclusively that there is an ongoing supernatural struggle for Mt. Zion.
David ruled as Israel’s King for seven years at Hebron, then moved to establish his throne in Jerusalem. His reign continued there in Jerusalem for the next 32 years. Secure on his throne and dwelling in a magnificent palace of cedar and stone, David began to be concerned that he, the visible king, dwelled in a magnificent house, but the invisible King of kings still dwelt in an aging temporary tent, the Tabernacle of Moses.At first the prophet Nathan gave David approval to construct a temple, but the following night God intervened. Speaking to Nathan in a dream God laid out for David an amazing covenant whose promises continue to this present day. God committed himself to establishing the house of David forever, to a specific land and people (Israel), and to a temple (see 2 Samuel 7). Messiah, in fact, would be one of David's sons. Besides making Jerusalem the political center of Israel, David also wanted to make Jerusalem the religious capital of the nation, so he organized the effort to move the Ark of the Covenant, which had been kept at Kirjath-jearim to Jerusalem. David proceeded to build a tabernacle, in which the ark was placed. David’s uppermost desire was to build a temple for the Lord in the capital city, but he was prevented from completing this task. The prophet Nathan instructed David that God did not want him to build the temple because his hands had been involved in so much bloodshed. Moreover, God had not requested that David or Israel ever build or provide a Temple for him. This fact stands in sharp contrast to the demands of the gods of other nations who demanded that lavish exquisite and imposing temple-like structures be constructed in their honor. Jehovah God, revealed in the Bible is fundamentally different than the gods of the nations. He does not need houses or temples to dwell in, as the entire universe is God's house, "the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him" and His infinite Spirit can not apparently be confined in any way to man-made dwelling places:
Thus says the Lord: "Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool; what is the house which you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest? All these things my hand has made, and so all these things are mine, says the Lord. But this is the man to whom I will look, he that is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word." (Isaiah 66:1)
Nevertheless, according to the Divine providence of God, the ages old supernatural struggle for Jerusalem lie at the heart of the reason that the Lord revealed to Nathan the following instruction:I Chronicles 17:4-6 Go and tell David my servant, Thus saith the Lord, Thou shalt not build me an house to dwell in: For I have not dwelt in an house since the day that I brought up Israel unto this day; but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another. Wheresoever I have walked with all Israel, spake I a word to any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people, saying, Why have ye not built me an house of cedars?
However, David was permitted to make preparation for the building of a temple, but the actual building task was left to Solomon, David’s son and successor. During the reign of David, Jerusalem was firmly established politically and religiously as the capital city of the Hebrew nations. The selection of Jerusalem as the capital was more than a blind choice by a human king. The Divine providence of God was also involved, as evidenced by Melchisedek’s earlier presence there. Jerusalem was referred to as "the place which the Lord your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there."
I Chronicles 17:9-12 Also I (God) will ordain a place (land) for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved no more; (last days) neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any more, as at the beginning, And since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel. Moreover I will subdue all thine enemies. Furthermore I tell thee that the Lord will build thee an house. And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build me an house, (Solomon first-and later Christ will build) and I will stablish his throne for ever.
Evidence that the Lord chose Jerusalem is revealed in this scripture from the books of the Kings and the Chronicles. In fact the Lord has stamped his own name and reputation upon this city. Although Israel has followed a course that has seen them lose the land and the Holy city, God has forever stamped his signature upon the fateful city.
(I Kings 14:21 And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the Lord did choose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there.)(see also II Kings 21:4,7, 23:27…… and also again in II Chronicles:
II Chronicles 6:6 But I (the Lord) have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel.
II Chronicles 33:4 Also he built altars in the house of the Lord, whereof the Lord had said, In Jerusalem shall my name be for ever.)
Jesus referred to the downtrodden status of Jerusalem under the foot of Gentile nations in his Olivet Discourse, but he alluded to an appointed time in history when the ages old supernatural conflict over Jerusalem would reach its climax. (Luke 21:24) The prophets such as Isaiah, Zechariah and Zephaniah all cast a forward eye to the day when the Lord would yet choose to return his attention to the city long downtrodden by the pagan gods and pagan nations of this world.
Zechariah 2:10-13 Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto thee. And the Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again. Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation.
Isaiah 9:6-7 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.Thus David has forever become typecast in history and prophecy as a symbol of the conquering King of Israel. Scripture portrays Jesus Christ as the son of David that will assume the throne as King of Jerusalem. (Luke 1:32-33 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.) This typology will be revealed when the Lion of the tribe of Judah returns on the Day of the Lord, and comes back to this world prepared for battle with his enemies.
King Solomon and Jerusalem
The glory of Jerusalem, begun under David, reached its greatest heights under Solomon. Solomon was permitted of the Lord to proceed with the construction of the Temple. Yet even Solomon recognized that God could scarcely be contained in a stone building: ("But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have builded?" (1 Kings 8:27, II Chronicles 2:6, 6:18) Whereas the tabernacle was just a mobile tent, and served Israel for forty years in the wilderness, during the conquest of the land, and for nearly 400 years at Shiloh during the time of the Judges, the temple that Solomon built was anchored to bedrock at a fixed, specific spot on Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem. Solomon also extended the borders of the nation and the city to broader limits. After completing the Temple, Solomon built the palace complex, and many other structures in Jerusalem for the royal crown.
Solomon also planted vineyards, orchards, and gardens that contained all types of trees and shrubs. These gardens were watered by streams and pools that flowed throughout the royal complex. Unfortunately, this splendor came to an end with the death of Solomon. The division of the Hebrew kingdom into two separate nations came soon after Solomon's reign and resulted in the relapse of Jerusalem into an idolatrous and a harlotry relationship with those same old gods of pagan renown that presided over Jerusalem under the ancient Caananite kings.
Solomon reigned in Jerusalem for forty years and was buried in the city of David. (II Chronicles 9:30-31) The golden era of Jerusalem’s history occurred under the reign of King Solomon, and it has never recovered that legacy. During his reign, Solomon was able to extend the kingdom of Israel to enjoy its greatest era, and the majestic earthly throne of Solomon became a prophetic paradigm for the coming reign of Jesus Christ on earth in all of his glory. When Jesus Christ returns, Jerusalem will not only regain its old glory, but it will supersede the glory of Solomon and become the most glorious city the world has ever seen.
God Abandons Jerusalem
After the death of Solomon, a division occurred in the kingdom that resulted in the ten northern tribes of Israel establishing their own capital, the first one at Shechem and the second later at Samaria. The southern tribes, consisting of Judah and Benjamin, retained Jerusalem as the capital. Although separated politically from Jerusalem, the northern tribes continued their allegiance to the "holy city" by occasionally coming there for worship.
In 722 BC, the northern tribes were conquered by the Assyrians. Many of the citizens of the northern kingdom of Israel were deported to the Assyrian nation, never to return to the "promised land." But the Southern Kingdom, with Jerusalem as its capital, continued to exist as an independent nation. Although occasionally threatened and plundered by surrounding nations, Jerusalem remained relatively intact until 587 BC. At that time, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, ravaged the city and carried the inhabitants into captivity. During the siege of the city, Jerusalem's beautiful Temple was destroyed and the walls around the city were torn down. While a few inhabitants remained in the city, the old glory of Jerusalem was gone.
Ezekiel, Daniel, and Jeremiah were foremost among the prophets that forewarned the children of Israel of the fate of the city of Jerusalem if Israel persisted in its religious and spiritual harlotry. Chapter four and five of Ezekiel’s prophetic appeals to Israel for national repentance spells out the ensuing judgements of God relative to Jerusalem.
Nebuchadnezzar had ascended to the throne of Babylon on the death of his father Nabopolassor in September 605BC after defeating the Egyptian armies under Pharaoh Neco at the famous battle of Carchemish in May and June of that year. (Mighty Egypt was permanently weakened at that battle and Babylon moved into ascendancy as the greatest gentile power in the ancient world). Daniel, and others were taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar in the same year (2 Kings 24:1). Nebuchadnezar in history has come to symbolize the last days Antichrist who will lay claim to the city of Jerusalem.
The following verse from Ezekiel shows that God is especially particular about Jerusalem.
Ezekiel 5:5-6 Thus saith the Lord GOD; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her. And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her: for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them.
The memory and promises of Jerusalem among the Jewish people, however, would not die, for God has planted a perpetual zeal in their hearts for the city of David. They continue to grieve and to remember the City of David with limitless affection to this day. Psalms 137 is a prime example of their expression of the downtrodden status of Jerusalem: "By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I (God) prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy."
Jerusalem Rebuilt in Troublous Times
For more than half a century (587-535 BC) after the fall of Israel and submission of Jerusalem to King Nebuchadnezzar, the Hebrews remained captives in Babylon, and their beloved holy city of Jerusalem lay in ruins. But Daniel, a fellow-contemporary prophet of Ezekiel had a special revelation from God. He kept the focus on a promise that Jerusalem would be rebuilt, albeit in troublous times.
Daniel 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
In historical retrospect, we of course realize that the rebuilding of Jerusalem in troubled times pointed to the cosmic dynamics surrounding the appearance of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem. Rome was the mighty world empire during the troublous era of Jesus day of visitation, and it was Rome that tread upon the city of Jerusalem, crucified its humble king and renamed the city Aelia Capitolina in honor of Caesar. Yet Jesus appearance in the fateful city of Jerusalem was logistically set at precisely the moment in earthly time that God had foreordained to manifest his son in human form to become the salvation of the world. Thus, the supernatural battle of Jerusalem was won, even though the rightful King of Jerusalem, the high priest in the line of Melchisedek, was rejected by Israel.
But God has not forsaken Jerusalem, (Isaiah 62) nor has he forgotten the throne of David, (Psalms 89) nor the fact that he has pledged to establish a seed of David on the throne of Zion, inheriting a kingdom that will incorporate the whole world and shall never end. (Daniel 2:44. 7:18,22)
Jerusalem in New Testament Times
The wise men who sought Jesus after his birth came first to Jerusalem because this was considered the city of the great king. Apparently Daniel and his contemporaries that were taken captive to Babylon and finally to Persia had educated the kings of the East about the prophecies concerning the birth of the Messiah. The wise men were considered wise because they could calculate from Daniel’s prophecies the time for the arrival of the King of Jerusalem.
Matthew 2:1-3 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, (Roman puppet king) behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
Although Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Jerusalem played a significant role in his life and ministry, and it was Jerusalem that was the logistical battlefront of Jesus mission to the world. It was to Jerusalem that he went when he was 12 years old. Here he amazed the Temple leaders with His knowledge and wisdom. In Jerusalem he cleansed the Temple, (a prophetic preview of his cleansing the city when he returns) and he chased away the moneychangers who desecrated the holy place with their selfish practices, and repudiated the Scribes and Pharisees for their iniquity. And, finally, it was Jerusalem where he was crucified, buried, and resurrected, and lifted up in a cloud to Heaven.
The record of the New Testament church indicates that Jerusalem continued to play a significant role in the early spread of Christianity. After the martyrdom of Stephen, the early believers scattered from Jerusalem to various parts of the Mediterranean world, but Jerusalem always was the place to which they returned for significant events.
The Jerusalem of early New Testament times contained the temple that had been built years before by Herod the Great, the Roman puppet leader. This magnificent structure was the object of esteem even by the Disciples, as they marveled over its grandeur when they queried Jesus about its prophesied destruction in the Olivet Discourse. Although the main portion of the actual Temple was completed in just 18 months, other areas of the immense temple complex were still under construction during Jesus' ministry. In fact, the Temple was not completed until 67AD, just a mere three years before it was finally destroyed by the Roman leader, Titus, and the Roman army, just as Jesus had predicted. The Jewish Temple was destroyed, and the Jewish high priesthood and its Sanhedrin were abolished. Eventually, Rome mandated that Jerusalem should be forbidden ground for the Jews.
This declaration of Rome still stands today as a Satanic monument in human history intended to checkmate anybody from having access to the Temple Mount that is presumed to be of the priestly line of Melchisedek. (namely-Jesus Christ) The current world-wide dilemma over the sovereignty of Jerusalem belies the fact that there are two supernatural forces preparing to struggle for supremacy in Jerusalem!
Only in Jerusalem, the place chosen by God from antiquity could the permanent sanctuary of the Jewish people be built, only there can the Jews be able to fully realize their promised kingdom, and only there has God promised to send his Son!
Jerusalem is a “World” Dilemma
In 1919, Great Britain, after emerging victorious from WWI, Britain succeeded in acquiring a mandate from the newly formed League of Nations. That mandate placed Palestine under the authority of the British Crown and instructed it to partition Palestine between the Jewish allies of Great Britain and the Arab peoples of the immediate region. Palestine had previously been under the authority of the defeated Ottoman kingdom. During the following three decades, numerous Jews, whose ancestors had been barred from the city, settled in and around Jerusalem, reversing the 2000-year old trend of the Diaspora, and setting the stage for a direct political conflict with the Roman historical landmark of denying Jerusalem to the Jews. A brand new city, whose population was predominantly Jewish, was constructed west of the site of the old city, and today is commonly referred to as West Jerusalem.
Following the Arab-Israeli War of 1948-49, the new city was allotted to the Jews, while the old city remained in Moslem hands. Less than two decades later, as a result of what has become known as the Six-Day War, the old city of Jerusalem and the surrounding countryside were recaptured by Israel after a more than 2500 year exile and sojourn.
In December 1949, Israel laid out its political claim to Jerusalem as its national capitol. Israeli Prime Minister David ben-Gurion responded to the UN General Assembly’s decision (resolution 191) to place Jerusalem under an international regime as a separate entity. (“This decision is utterly incapable of implementation, if only because of the determination and unalterable opposition of the Jewish inhabitants of Jerusalem themselves. It is to be hoped that the General Assembly will in the course of time amend the error which its majority has made, and will make no attempt to impose a regime on the Holy City against the will of its people. Our undertaking to preserve these rights remains in force, and we shall gladly and willingly carry it out, even though we cannot lend our participation to the forced separation of Jerusalem, which violates without need or reason the historic and natural right of the people who dwell in Zion. For the State of Israel there has always been and always will be one capital only - Jerusalem the Eternal. Thus it was 3,000 years ago, and thus it will be, we believe, until the end of time.”)
Then again, on July 30, 1980, 13 years after Israel recaptured the old city from Jordan, Israel in its zeal to reassert its glorious heritage mandated that Jerusalem should forever be the indivisable capitol of Jerusalem. That national and religious zeal by Israel to revitalize Jerusalem as the center of Jewish culture is viewed by the Arab world as an illegal Zionist expansion.
The dilemma of Jerusalem has become a burdensome weight on the back of all those who support Israel’s right to exist, and in particular support its right to Jerusalem for a capitol.
In March of 1995, 93 of the 100 members of the United States Senate signed a letter to Secretary of State Warren Christopher encouraging the President on planning to begin the process for relocation of the United States Embassy to the city of Jerusalem. In June of 1993, 257 members of the United States House of Representatives signed a letter to the Secretary of State Christopher stating that the relocation of the United States Embassy to Jerusalem "should take place no later than 1999".
Yet no less than twenty times since then, the sitting President of the US has vetoed the bill to actually relocate America’s embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In April 2004 President Bush once again followed suit, sighting the issue of national security. He stated, "I hereby determine that it is necessary to protect the national security interests of the United States to suspend for a period of 6 months' implementation of the Jerusalem Embassy Act. Former President Bill Clinton had repeatedly used the same escape clause in the Embassy Act, adopted on October 23, 1995, by both houses of the U.S. Congress, to postpone the move. Each President has so moved every 6 months.
It is obvious that the American government continues to fear that moving the embassy would infuriate the Palestinians and other Arabs, who would see it as recognition of Israel's annexation of the eastern half of Jerusalem. In reality, it is a compromise with the very terrorists that America is fighting in the War-on-Terror. Considering the threats that the numerous terrorist organizations are making against America (Israel’s only ally) one can assume that the President may have good reason to fear the embassy move. In fact, the threat that emanated from Osama bin Laden’s first video threat after 9-11 alluded to the subject that there would be no peace for America until there was peace in Palestine. (an allusion for the US to get back to the peace of the Antichrist via the Oslo, Roadmap type processes, and for America to stop supporting Israel against the world’s wishes!)
Jerusalem is in Satan’s Plans Too
It should come as no big surprise that Satan would have the city of Jerusalem in his plans too. As it is with anything that God has foreordained to bring about, Satan plots to counterfeit God’s plans. The Bible explicitly teaches us that as children of God that we are in a constant fight against principalities, powers, world rulers, and spiritual hosts of wickedness. The evidence of that struggle is readily apparent to most people who engage in sharing the good news of the gospel and try to uphold the faith of our Lord. But not many people are aware that there is, and has always existed a supernatural conflict over the city of Jerusalem, and that that conflict will reach its climax in the days just preceding the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Satan has always moved logistically among the nations of the world in conjunction with God’s foreordained plans to move in world affairs. Satan countered God’s plan to have Jesus born into this world 2000 years ago by compelling upon King Herod to seek to kill the baby Jesus. Later as you know, Satan conspired amongst his hosts of rebels to have Jesus crucified in Jerusalem, hoping that his death would destroy God’s plans for having a seed of David reign in the Holy City.
It should be a point of emphasis to highlight the fact that Satan has plotted in the affairs of the nations to move against Jerusalem every time that he anticipates that God is about set to move toward that city. God has providentially designed a plan to send his Son back to Jerusalem in the last days, at a fixed point in time after Israel has been regathered from the nations. Satan is well aware of that date with destiny!
Just as Satan marshaled the realm of Adonizedek to oppose the Israelites from ever gaining possession of the city of Jerusalem 3000 years ago, Satan today is once again marshaling his princely rulers to deny the city to Israel. It is Satan’s grand scheme to plant his own “son of perdition” on a priestly-royal throne in Jerusalem, thereby completing his conspiracy to supplant God (Isaiah 14:12-14) as sovereign of the universe.
Revelation chapter twelve depicts the scene of a day not too distant from our day. Satan is recognizing already that his time is short, and that the final battle over Jerusalem is near. Soon and very soon, the great red dragon will be cast out of Heaven and flung down to the earth and he will lead his last stand against Israel and encircle the city of Jerusalem with the armies of his Antichrist.
But then, at just the right moment, Jesus Christ, (our Chief high priest in the order of Melchizedek) will split the heavens and destroy the Antichrist and take over Jerusalem forever!
Isaiah 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
Psalms102:16 When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.
Psalms 147:1-2 Praise ye the Lord: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely. The Lord doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.
All Christians have a vested interest in Jerusalem because in its eternal form stands at long last our heavenly home. As I watch with amazement the prophecies concerning Jerusalem come to pass in my lifetime, my heart leaps for joy inside of my chest because I know that the Lord God Jehovah is preparing to move his throne to Jerusalem. Jerusalem was indispensable to the preparation of the Lord’s first coming and it is absolutely indispensable to his Second Coming as well. That is just one reason that the study of Bible Prophecy is so important today.
The Bible and its prophetic record reveal that there are two Jerusalem’s. (Galations 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.) Furthermore, the pace of Last Days events happening before our eyes today in regards to Jerusalem should occupy the minds and thoughts of every Christian soldier around the world. The birth pangs and turmoil that is presently being felt over Jerusalem signifies that in the heavenly Jerusalem, the time for the coronation of its King is near at hand.
Christians need to realize that if the Church can talk about, preach about, and glory in the good news of Christ’s first coming, then we can most certainly find ample reason to talk about, preach about, and above all-glory in his Second Coming!
Jerusalem: Chosen by God from Antiquity
A number of Psalms speak boldly and forthrightly about God's choice, in antiquity, of Jerusalem and Mount Zion as His permanent dwelling place:
Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. God is known in her palaces for a refuge. For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together. They saw it, and sothey marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away. Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail. Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind. As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever. Selah.
We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple. According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness. Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments. Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following. For this God is our God forever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.
The Lord has sworn: Isaiah 37:35 For I will defend this city (Jerusalem) to save it for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake.
Focus on Jerusalem Prophecy Ministry