Jerusalem – God’s City
By Dennis Huebshman
The message of Jerusalem actually begins in Genesis 12. God Loved Abram because of his obedience and made a covenant that only got stronger as time passed. The basics are: God will bless those who bless Abram and his descendants, and would condemn any who condemn them. In Genesis 17:5, God changed Abram’s name to Abraham which means “Father of a multitude of nations”. Abram means “Exalted Father”. His covenant with Abraham is a “forever” covenant.
In Genesis 22, God ordered Abraham to take his only son “Isaac”, and to sacrifice him on Mt. Moriah. Abraham followed God’s instructions completely and just before he plunged the knife into Isaac, God stopped him and provided a ram to be sacrificed instead. God re-confirmed His covenant and promised Abraham’s descendants would be too many to count. Today, the site where this took place is in Jerusalem where Jewish tradition identifies it as the “Temple Mount”. God did not provide a substitute lamb at Calvary, but allowed His Son to die and become the perfect sacrifice for us.
King David captured the city in about 1000 BC from the Jebusites and it was called the City of David after that. God would not allow David to build a temple because of all the blood David had shed. His son Solomon was given this privilege and built a magnificent “House of the Lord” – the first Temple. This was about 750 BC. It stood for almost 400 years until 586 BC when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed it. After the 70-year Babylonian captivity period, another temple was built during the restoration of Jerusalem on the same site. This was about 516 BC with permission from King Cyrus of Persia or modern Iran.
In 19 BC, King Herod started renovations on the Temple and his part was completed about 4 BC. There were more projects that went on until about 63 AD and this temple was greater than the one Solomon had built. There was a wall surrounding the Temple of which only a portion exists today known as the “Wailing Wall”. In 70 AD, 7 years after the completion, the Temple was totally destroyed except for the small portion of the wall named above.
We are told there will be another Temple built before the return of the Lord because Daniel 11:31 tells of the “abomination of desolation” desecrating the Temple and this is reinforced by Jesus in Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14. This is known to be referring to the end of the age and has not happened yet. The final Temple will be God Himself when the new earth is made at the end of the millennium in Revelation 21.
Moving forward in time, the Dome was completed around 692 AD and Islam has said the site is theirs completely. In 1967, the Jews re-took Jerusalem including that area of the Temple Mount but turned control over to Jordan. There has been controversy over this ever since. Plans are in the making today for a new Temple, but the Palestinians are fighting this tooth and nail. They say the land belongs to them.
This is interesting until you look back at Genesis 13:15. God showed Abram certain lands and said He would give it to Abram and his descendants – now catch this – FOREVER. (emphasis is mine) This covenant stands today and will stand all the way to the New Jerusalem at the end of Jesus’ 1000-year reign. The land given includes all modern Jerusalem.
God knew there would be issues and several prophets were given signs to report what would happen in the future. Ezekiel 38/39 tells of a war that will take place after the re-gathering of the Jews from around the world (Ezekiel 36/37). The clock started ticking on this May 14, 1948.
Zechariah (his name means God Remembered) was given specifics about Jerusalem and his book is divided into 3 sections. Chapters 1-6 are about the return of the Israelites from exile in his time. Chapters 7-8 reveals the life God wants for His people to enjoy and 9-14 are about the future. Breaking it down further. 9-11 are about the coming Messiah and 9:9 tells of the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem on a donkey.
Chapters 12-14 are end-time prophecy and the scene is set in 12: 2-3.
Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people around about when they shall be in siege against Judah and against Jerusalem.
And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people; all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.
We are already at the starting gate on this. Israel is being called “Occupiers” and much of the world is buying into that scenario. Truth is (Remember Genesis 13:15), the Jews are the “Owners” and all others are guests Not very hospitable guests I might add.
The cup of trembling and burdensome stone are showing themselves today. Eventually, and I believe soon, Israel will totally recover all of Jerusalem including the Temple Mount, and the new Temple will be started. All the priestly implements and flocks for sacrifice are already present and ready to move in.
This will no doubt spark a major conflict in that area. Sabers are already rattling because of President Trump’s declaration that Jerusalem is the true Capital of Israel and the American Embassy will be moved there in May of this year.
The Ezekiel 38/39 coalition is in place and ready for God to set things in motion. There is a song titled, “The Battle Belongs To The Lord”, and this is true of Ezekiel’s prophesied war. One thing to note, the coalition has formed just in the past couple years and never existed before that. In fact, the three majors – Iran, Russia and Turkey – really didn’t like each other.
In several places it is recorded that God will be the defender of Israel, not for their sakes, but for the sake of His Holy Name. It’s also said Israel has returned to their land in unbelief which is true today. About 1% of the total world’s Jewish population is Messianic. However, before the end of the tribulation ALL will believe even though nearly 2/3 of them will be killed.
The fate of the attacking armies of the Ezekiel war is very grizzly. One text has said it’s estimated at least 84% of the invading armies will be decimated and others say it will be closer to 100%. The point is that when God is finished with them, it will take 7 months to bury all the dead, and 7 years to “burn” all the weaponry. That’s about as complete annihilation as it can get.
In the last 3 ½ years of the Tribulation it will be known as the Great Wrath and the anti-christ will be out to destroy all Jews and anyone who will not worship him as god. It will be a time like never before and Jerusalem will be a target. Anyone who tries to accept Jesus in those days will be sought out and killed, although the Bible says there will still be those who will turn to the Lord
Jesus will arrive to put down the “rebellion” and Zechariah 14:4 says He will stand on the Mt. of Olives at Jerusalem and it will split in half from east to west. During the judgments of Revelation there are several earthquakes mentioned and Jerusalem does get some serious damage. However, after the False Prophet and Anti-Christ are sent to the Lake of Fire as the first two occupants and satan is bound for 1000 years, Jesus will rule and reign from the Throne in Jerusalem.
At the end of the Millennium and after the White Throne Judgment, the current earth and heavens will be destroyed by God, and a New Earth and New Heavens will be created (2 Peter 3: 7-13). Revelation 21 tells of the new heaven and earth and the New Jerusalem that will come down to earth. There will be no Temple because the Lord God and the Lamb (Jesus) are the Temple.
Never again will there be any conflict over the City of God. To be a part of all this, one must have accepted Jesus as Savior. To not do so will be a ticket to the White Throne followed by exile in the Lake of Fire forever. There is no excuse anyone will be able to give for not accepting Jesus and to live with Him and all believers from the beginning time and forever.
There will be many who do not want anything beyond this earth and that is so sad. They are like the parable of the Rich Land Owner in Luke 12. It’s about a person who said he would tear down his barns and build bigger ones and life a life of luxury with all his riches. God called him a fool and said he was to die that night, and his riches would be given to others.
There is a treasure no one can take from you. That is the Gift that Jesus gave for all who believe so we could be with Him forever just by saying, “Yes, My Jesus, I ask you to forgive me of my sins and add me as one of your own. Please have the Holy Spirit come and live within me.” There, if you can say this and mean it, you will receive the eternal gift. The hard part is believing it is true. Read John 14:6 and see that Jesus is the ONLY WAY, TRUTH and LIFE. Don’t think you always have tomorrow because it’s not guarantee.
Amen – Maranatha!