“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” (Matthew 23:37-39) Thus was Christ’s heart broken and yearning for the reconciliation of Jerusalem to the heart of God.
It is the US & Israel against the world! In a move opposed by the rest of the world, President Trump fulfilled a campaign promise by recognizing what has always been true: Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. In his words it was time to “acknowledge the obvious.” The President then ordered that the US Embassy to Israel would be moved there from Tel Aviv, a process that could take several years. “This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done.”
Immediately upon hearing the news, the world began to react. Within minutes of the announcement, the Secretary General of the UN, António Guterres delivered a diplomatic rebuke to President Trump, saying “any unilateral measures that would jeopardize the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians.” He insisted that any solution of Jerusalem’s status, must bow to the wisdom of UN resolutions on the matter. Pope Francis expressed a “heartfelt” appeal that the “status quo” be maintained. In his role as an architect of One-World-Religious-Unity – rather than the chief evangel of the Christian Faith, the Pontiff offered, “Jerusalem is a unique city, sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, where the Holy Places for the respective religions are venerated, and it has a special vocation to peace.” The UK, France, China and the EU all lined up against the move. A Security Council meeting was called for – and will probably have occurred by the time you read this. [It is rumored that even Seinfeld’s Abu got in the action, saying: ‘President Trump is a very, very bad man.’….OK, maybe not…] The New York Times carried a video by Camilla Schick, lecturing its readers on the danger of the move. It pointed out that Jerusalem is where Solomon’s Temple was built, – where Jesus was crucified – and where Mohammed rose to heaven. [The first two of these you’ll notice, are provable historical events, while the last is an unprovable faith claim.][i] The universal feeling was that this would scuttle any chances for peace based on the Two-State solution. And perhaps it shall. So that was the reaction among America’s allies.
Then we have the reaction of the Muslim world. Palestinian “national and Islamic factions” immediately called for “three days of rage” to protest the decision.[ii] Hamas Politburo Chief Ismail Haniyeh referred to Trump’s announcement as a “declaration of war” that “opens the gates of hell” and called for an “infifada of Jerusalem directed against Israel.”[iii] Taking the threats seriously, Israel put more IDF battalions on patrol in the West Bank.[iv] Palestinian protesters were protesting and burning America and Israeli flags as well as photos of Trump within hours of the announcement. Thousands clashed with Israeli security forces with over 200 injured reported by Friday.[v] By December 7th, the day after the announcement, Hamas was doing its part to honor the ‘Days of Rage’ by rocketing innocent civilians. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan worked organize the opposition to the recognition by calling for a summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, with its 57 member states. Erdogan promised to “gather the whole of the Muslim world in this summit. We will continue our struggle till the end and we will end our relationship with Israel.”[vi] President Rouhani of Iran chimed in with a pledge that Tehran “’will not tolerate a violation of Islamic sanctities.” The country’s religious head, the real power there, offered this. “The Islamic world will undoubtedly stand against this plot and the Zionists will receive a big blow from this action and dear Palestine will be liberated.” Just as Erdogan predicted, angry reaction exploded across the Muslim world. Besides the Palestinian Territory, protesters took to the streets in Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Syria Iran and even Chicago.[vii]
These veiled threats of war are right in line with the Bible’s very specific take on coming End Time’s events. Psalm 83 and the short Book of Obadiah clearly spell out Palestinian involvement in a war designed to completely annihilate Israel. [Spoiler Alert: It doesn’t end well for them.] Turkey and Iran – (formerly Persia) – are leading participants in the Magog War on Israel that is talked about in Ezekiel 38. [Psalm 83 specifically identifies an inner ring of Israel’s Arab neighbors – using their ancient names – that will form a confederacy against Israel in the Last Days. Israel’s Ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer, warns that a war with Lebanon-based Hezbollah, could be just weeks away.[viii] In addition, Israeli planes have recently sortied against an Iranian base located in Syria. Both Syria and Lebanon are identified as Psalm 83 participants against the Jewish state. Some time after they are defeated, the Magog alliance, including Iran and Turkey will launch another invasion thwarted only by the hand of God. Iran, for its part is flexing its muscles even now. General Qassem Suleimani of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards as warned that his forces may soon launch attacks against American units in Syria. The BBC reports that they are building a permanent military base there while expanding their influence in Northern Iraq.[ix] And Tehran is making a show of their intentions to send a naval squadron to the Gulf of Mexico.[x] (I intend to detail some of the prophetic side of things in the coming weeks….events permitting.)]
This is all right in line with the world’s thinking on the legal status of Jerusalem. The UN General Assembly just voted 151 to 6 to disavow any rights may have to the Holy City. The resolution stated “any actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever.” In a companion vote, 157 nations voted that Israel needs to withdraw to the pre-1967 lines,[xi] [xii] despite the fact that the Palestinians refuse to even recognize the legitimacy of the existence of the State of Israel.
At the bottom of it all, Jerusalem’s status should not be a matter of opinion – even that of the overwhelming majority of the world. The question should be: Who actually has the legal right to the city. Let’s look at some basic facts. The Israelites entered the Promised Land twelve to fourteen centuries before Christ. Jerusalem was taken by King David and declared the capital of Israel in about 1,000 BC. Despite being conquered by various foreign powers there has been a Jewish presence in the land that came to be called Palestine, and specifically in Jerusalem ever since. God always provided a remnant. Even when the Romans destroyed the city and temple in 70 AD – and once again in 135 AD – that remnant of Jews remained. The Islamic presence did not come until the 7th century, when, Caliph Omar entered the city in 638. Jerusalem remained under Muslim control – with a bit of back-and-forth with the Crusaders – (under various Islamic regimes) – until 1917 when the British tossed out the Turks during World War I. That was the same year that a British document, the Balfour Declaration, promised the world’s Jews a homeland in what had become known as Palestine. (At that time, Palestine and Palestinian were designations for whoever lived in the Promised Land – Jew or Gentile.) The city was divided in 1948 when the British pulled out. Then in 1967, the Israelis recaptured and reunited Jerusalem. That is its status today.[xiii] The Vatican and much of the world believes that Jerusalem should be divided, administered by an international body and that half of it – the Old City, should serve as the capital of a Palestinian State. [We’ll be addressing that whole issue of a Palestinian State in future newsletters.]
History, being what it was, the whole question now becomes, what are God’s intentions for Jerusalem. We’ll start by looking at what God promised Abraham. Genesis 17:8: “Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” So just what constitutes “the whole land of Canaan?” We’ll look at a couple more scriptures. “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt (traditionally taken as the Nile) as far as the great river, the River Euphrates.” (Genesis 15:18) “I will fix your boundary from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines (Gaza coast), and from the wilderness to the River Euphrates.” (Exodus 23:21) That produces a map of Israel with borders similar to the one here. So just based on this general scripture, Jerusalem falls inside of God’s n borders for Israel. But God gets more specific.
In Psalm 122:3-5 we see God’s intention to give Jerusalem to the nation of Israel. “Jerusalem—built as a city that is bound firmly together, to which the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord. There thrones for judgment were set, the thrones of the house of David.” (ESV) This was a city “decreed for Israel” where sets the “thrones of the house of David,” Israel’s first king.
Despite all the evidence, both historical and biblical, the world seems bent on reversing the proclamations of history and scripture. That is exactly what is to be expected. The Prophet Zechariah speaks of a day when all the world will concern itself with Jerusalem and turn on the nation of Israel. “The burden of the word of the Lord against Israel. Thus says the Lord, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him: “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.” (Zechariah 12:1-3) We are seeing the nations prepared for their End Times role.
[i] Jason Horowitz, U.N., European Union and Pope Criticize Trump’s Jerusalem Announcement, New York Times, December 6, 2017
[ii] PALESTINIANS: THREE DAYS OF RAGE OVER TRUMP’S DECISION ON JERUSALEM, Jerusalem Post, December 5, 2017
[iii] HAMAS LEADER HANIYEH CALLS FOR INTIFADA AGAINST ISRAEL OVER JERUSALEM STATUS, Jerusalem Post,
December 7, 2017
[iv] Israel Boosts Troops, Jerusalem Post, December 7, 2017
[v] Watch: UN Security Council meets on Jerusalem recognition, The Times of Israel, December 8, 2017
[vi] The Frenzy Over Jerusalem Has Begun., Shoebat Foundation, December 5, 2017
[vii] Rage Around The World, The Sun, December 8, 2017
[viii] Israel’s Ambassador to the US Dermer: ‘War on northern border could be just ‘weeks’ away’, Israel National News, December 5, 2017
[ix] US New Moves, Strategic Culture, December 5, 2017
[x] New Cold War, Newsweek, November 22, 2017
[xi] 151 UN STATES VOTE TO DISAVOW ISRAELI TIES TO JERUSALEM, Jerusalem Post, December 1, 2017
[xii] UN passes wave of anti-Israel resolutions, Jewish News Service, December 1, 2017
[xiii] Chronological Reference Points, Jewish Virtual Library, Middle East Insight, January-February 1999.