The City of the Great King
There is probably no city on Earth that evokes such emotions in many people as that of Jerusalem! That is certainly the case for the Jewish people, and also for the majority of the Arab Nations, and also for Christendom, at least those under the banner of Ecumenicalism and the Roman Church.
In each of the above mentioned groupings there are differing reasons for their passions, many of which are in conflict with each other, and are hostage to the knowledge and teachings of their various leaders and teachers.
The following extract from Wikipedia gives a brief history of Jerusalem, from which it is possible to do more extensive study; but it will be seen that there are very diverse opinions as to many parts of its history.
During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. The oldest part of the city was settled in the 4th millennium BCE, making Jerusalem one of the oldest cities in the world.
Given the city's central position in both Israeli nationalism and Palestinian nationalism, the selectivity required to summarise more than 5,000 years of inhabited history is often influenced by ideological bias or background (see Historiography and nationalism). For example, the Jewish periods of the city's history are important to Israeli nationalists, whose discourse states that modern Jews descend from the Israelites and Maccabees, while the Islamic periods of the city's history are important to Palestinian nationalists, whose discourse suggests that modern Palestinians descend from all the different peoples who have lived in the region. As a result, both sides claim the history of the city has been politicized by the other in order to strengthen their relative claims to the city, and that this is borne out by the different focuses the different writers place on the various events and eras in the city's history.
As can be seen, the many differing accounts and views cannot be helpful in trying to be objective regarding Jerusalem and its history and future. As is always the case for the writers in these circumstances, we prayerfullyturn to Scripture, God’s Word, for spiritual objectivity; and to ascertain what is given for us to know about Jerusalem from God’s Word, and what He would have us and everybody know about its future.
The Jewish Nation
In the case of the Jewish people, it is the City of David, who conquered it approx. BC 960-920 (2Sam. 5:7) and was previously in the hands of the Jebusites, considered by some as descendants of Nephilim, (Gen. 15:19-21). Prior to this, the main event in their history relative to the site, was the “offering of Isaac by Abraham” at “Moriah” (Gen. 22:2-18). That act, and Abraham's obedience in faith, and its significance in the reaction of Jehovah to Abraham’s trust in God (Gen. 22:16-17 and Heb. 11:8-12), gave powerful impetus to the claim of Israel to the site; as it is also the site of our Lord’s death and resurrection of which Gen. 22 was a pre-curser!
A major point was when the first Temple was completed by David's son Solomon. It was then blessed by the presence of God Himself (1Kgs. 8:10-11), and remained so until the split and rebellion of the Tribes, which eventually led to the exile to Babylon and Syria.
The city is also shown in prophecy to be “The City of the Great King” in the yet future (Psm. 48:2; Matt. 5:35, Isa. 62:1-4, 7 & 12) and many other places in Scripture!
The Matt. 5:35 statement is from the mouth of the Lord Himself. Jesus also spoke with power when He was being questioned by the Pharisees, who were angry with His replies to the Sadducees in Matt. 22. He further stated that the people should beware of the Pharisees in Matt. 23, finishing with His lament of the ruling Jews (past and future) and Jerusalem (Matt. 23:37-38).
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I (first person, therefore Jehovah Incarnate!), have gathered thy children together. Even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not”! “Behold your house is left unto you desolate”.
That prediction was fully fulfilled after Acts 28:28, and the razing of Jerusalem and the Temple was enacted by the Romans; and the Jews were dispersed.
Jesus continued in v39, “For I say unto you, Ye shall not see Me henceforth till ye shall say, Blessed is He That cometh in the name of the Lord [Jehovah]”, (Psm. 118:26). That future prediction is linked to Zech. 12:10, when “they will look on Him whom they pierced”; and He is saving them from annihilation by the forces of Satan!
Christ Jesus Messiah will then re-establish worthy Israel (Jeshuran), who will become the long promised“Kingdom of priests”, within the promised borders of their land. The Jewish Messiah (God with us), will then Rule the world from Jerusalem for 1000 years! See: www.revelationsmessage.co.uk.
The Arab Nations
In the case of the Arab Nations who are adherents of Islam, the site is sacred because of the claim in their religious writings that Abraham offered to sacrifice Ishmael (not Isaac) at Moriah. There is no doubt about the love of Abraham (and Jehovah) for Ishmael, as is show from Scripture, (Gen. 17 and 21); and his descendants, at least in the early stages do not seem to have mixed with Nephilim (Gen. 25:12-18); and probably did not, as Jehovah told Abraham that Ishmael’s seed would be a Nation (Gen. 21:13).
It is also a fact that Esau married one of Ishmael’s daughters (Gen. 28:8-9), to avoid Canaanite seed, which may well have continued.
The desire to claim Ishmael as the “substitute sacrifice” at Moriah, is an attempt to claim the Covenant made to Abraham. This however is firmly established via Isaac, as confirmed by Scripture in many places, but initially in Gen. 17;17-19 and 21:12, and repeated many times thereafter.
A further claim to Jerusalem by Sunni Islam is because of the teaching of “the night journey” by Mohammed to Jerusalem from Mecca, from whence he departed to Heaven; which for them seals the site, and the Temple Mount in particular to their Religion and its various teachings. There is no doubt about the sincerity of the Islamic adherents, who see Jesus as one of their prophets, and revere Him as such, but not as the Jewish Messiah!
The writings of Mohammed started in approx. AD. 610; see extract from Wikipedia:
The compilation of the written Qur'an (as opposed to the recited Qur'an) spanned several decades and forms an important part of early Islamic history. Muslim accounts say it began in the year 610 when Gabriel appeared to Muhammad in the cave Hira near Mecca, reciting to him the first verses of the Sura Iqra (al-`Alaq), thus beginning the revelation of the Qur'an. Throughout his life, Muhammad continued to have revelations until before his death in 632. Muslim and non-Muslim scholars alike disagree on whether Muhammad compiled the Qur'an during his lifetime or if this task began with the first caliph Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (632-634). Once the Qur'an was compiled, due to the unanimity of the sources, Muslims agree that the Qur'an we see today was canonized by Uthman ibn Affan (653-656). Upon the canonization of the Qur'an, Uthman ordered the burning of all personal copies of the Qur'an. The reason why Uthman gave this order is discussed further in the section below entitled "The Collection of the Qur'an". The copy of quran kept with wife of Mohammad named Hafsa was accepted for public. Until then, several copies of Quran were available in different regions of Arabia with some grammatical errors, so Uthman's order allowed only one version of Quran to exist to prevent any misinterpretation of quranic text or word of God (Allah).
Even though Uthman canonized the written Qur'an during his reign in 653-656, small diacritical variations still remained in the written Qur'an, which can be seen in the early manuscripts of the Umayyad and Abbasid Dynasties.
Due to varying historical documents, controversy is seen amongst some scholars as to whether the Uthmanic codex we have before us today is authentic and complete. Most Muslim scholars believe the Uthmanic Qur'an is what was revealed to Muhammad in its entirety, while some non- Muslim scholars believe verses were removed.
In the case of “Christendom”, the Jerusalem site is venerated for its association with the life and death of Jesus Christ, whose love of the City, and the Jews is stated in His comment above (in the first person, therefore claiming to be Divine). This is the case in probably all of the many Sects and Groups who claim Jesus Christ as their own in the teaching which they propagate. Under the Groups which are together under the heading of the “Ecumenical Movement”, and which is led by the Roman Church; there is a desire to have a powerful location in Jerusalem, which would be for a world-wide focus for the purpose of unification of the so-called “Universal Church” under the leadership of the Roman Church. It is understood by the writers (though not confirmed) that Rome is in negotiation with Israel for a prominent location in Jerusalem, so as to achieve these objectives.
What is evident to even the casual observer, and the regular news broadcasts, is that Jerusalem is an unusually special place! Its geographical location is such that it sits on the cross-roads of the old land trade routes from east to west, and north and south; and has been a disputed site for millennia in the ebb and flow of local powers, as they waxed and waned. Since the Roman occupation and the dispersion of the Jews from their Land, of which Jerusalem was their Capital, various peoples have had dominion there, all of them defined as Gentiles by Biblical definition.
Since 1917 and the taking of Jerusalem by General Allenby (ably assisted and maneuvered by T.E. Lawrence, of Arabia fame) much turmoil and conflict has ensued between the various factions. Despite the WW1 victory releasing the whole area from the control of the Ottomans (some WW1 historians attribute much credit to Allenby and Lawrence, and go as far as to say that without the victory in Palestine, the Germans would not have conceded!)
The division of the land area between the Arab powers, including Israel, has been a vexed subject, and progress has been very painful and patchy. A clear winner was the Saudi family, whose oil wealth has been/is pivotal to so much Mid-East politics.
A clear starting point for seeing the Hand of The Almighty in recent events (relatively speaking), was the “Balfour Declaration” of 1917:
The Balfour Declaration (dated 2 November 1917) was a letter from the United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Baron Rothschild (Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild), a leader of the British Jewish community, for transmission to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland.
His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
The text of the letter was published in the press one week later, on 9 November 1917. The "Balfour Declaration" was later incorporated into the Sèvres peace treaty with the Ottoman Empire and the Mandate for Palestine. The original document is kept at the British Library.
Subsequent to that declaration, and because of the intervention of WW2, the Israel “Intent” was not progressed, and the horror of the Holocaust on the Jewish population of Europe exterminated at least 6 million Jewish people; including whole families!! All this under the auspices of Adolf Hitler’s “Final Solution”; a euphemism for the extermination of all Jews, see: Satan's Motivation:
This black phase of human history must never be allowed to be forgotten, as it is pivotal to the basic understanding of the problem of human prejudice (and sin), and the effects of too much control by a small group of people; and the effect of evil on such groups, (see above Satan’s Motivation)! The WW2 Holocaust has had a profound effect on the Jewish people, and has led to migration to Israel of Jews from all over the world, despite the reversal of Policy by the British Government under new leadership of post war Britain. By 1948, despite or perhaps in part because of the struggle with the local Arabs, and the Balfour Declaration; Israel was declared a Legal State by the then “League of Nations”, since renamed “United Nations”.
It should be stated here that most people do not understand the origin of such gross behaviour, or the force that has such power at present, and who is able to take control of a person who gives up their will and mind to him.(See; drug use and growth worldwide)!
To understand this current situation on Earth, one must accept the statements of the Apostle Paul, and Jesus Christ, who stated emphatically that “Satan is the prince of this world” and also read and understand the book of Job Chp.1 and 2! See: link, Satan’s Motivation above.
This leads us to what is really going on in the Universal theatre!
There is a titanic struggle in progress between Almighty God, Jehovah of the Jews, and Satan, His most magnificent creation (previously)! See: Satan's Origins; Eve and Adam, also Satan's Contest with God.
Throughout the history of the Jewish people from Abraham, Satan has been attempting to thwart the promise of God embodied in Gen. 3:15; which promise was fulfilled in Jesus the Christ (Messiah), which is yet to reach fulfillment when He (Christ Jesus) returns to Earth in the yet future!
Prior to that a person claiming to be the Jewish messiah will appear, who will be able to do wonders and perform acts which will be spectacular (miraculous?), and he will be accepted by the Ruling Jewish Elite; because he will have the power to negotiate a “Covenant” of peace with them, which they will trust! See: Antichrist: Rev. Chp. 13:8. (See: Dan. 9:27)!
It has been well said that the prophetic progress of the Jews ended at AD. 70 when their City Jerusalem and Temple was destroyed by the Romans, and the people who survived were dispersed worldwide.
This was predicted in Hosea 1 and 2, and was a consequence of their unfaithfulness to Jehovah repeatedly, and was stated in Deuteronomy 28:63-65, with much detail given in subsequent Chapters; would be the result of their disobedience.
They compounded their sin in the rejection of Jesus the Christ, with the result of the last two thousand years.
Satan with masterful timing attempted via Hitler to complete the demise of God’s chosen people; but as usual overplayed his hand, and the promise of Jeremiah 31:31-37 came into play with the defeat of Hitler, and the beginning of the freeing of God’s people worldwide, to emigrate to Palestine (Deut. 30:3)!
This process has only just begun, but will not have completion until Zech. 12:10 comes into play, because the final in-gathering of Jews to Palestine (to the Promised borders, Gen. 15:18) will be under the control and auspices of their True Messiah Christ Jesus, who will have returned to Earth in Power and great Glory to save His remnant Israel from the trials they must yet endure!
So, what are the signs to lookout for? In Daniel and Revelation is the prediction of a Confederation of 10 Nations (Dan. 2 toes) who are controlled by one man (anti-Christ), who will allow the Jews to build a Temple in Jerusalem! This will be allowed, and sacrifices in the old way re-instituted, and will continue for 3.5 years prior to being terminated by anti-Christ! There will then follow 3.5 years of suffering (known as "Jacob's trouble", Jer. 30:7) for the Jewish people, which will only be terminated by the return to Earth of Jesus Messiah; “with His saints”.
He will then judge the Gentile Nations as to how they treated His people Israel, and will destroy many who fail this test (Matt. 25)!
A major sign to take note of is the return of Jerusalem to full Jewish control; which in the opinion of the writers, and others, will auger the continuation of Jewish prophetic progress!
Another is the formation of a political entity in the Nations adjacent to current Israel; which then morphs into a religious entity. Some people feel the current events of the “Arab Spring” (August 2013) may be such, but only time will tell.
See: Rev Chapter 13 revelationsmessage.
Until these events take place, Jews worldwide at the end of Yom-Kippur will continue to say “next year in Jerusalem”!
See further studies:
The Father of Lies John 8:44