Jerusalem, The facts.
Jerusalem has always been in the news to a greater or lesser extent, but when Donald Trump proclaimed Jerusalem to be Israel's capital city and that he would be reloc-ating the US Embassy there from Tel Aviv – it caused an almighty uproar around the world and at the United Nations.
When God called Abram there were three main components to the promises he received although the 3rd component would not come into play for around 2,000 years.
1. The People.
2. The Land.
3. The Capital City.
Abraham did have a passing encounter with Jerusalem in embryonic form when he met Melchizedek at Salem and when he offered Isaac on Mt Moriah.
The book of Deuteronomy refers at least 10 times to the place where God would put his name but it was not until King David that the actual place was finally revealed.
The Bible refers to Jerusalem 811 times and to Zion 161 times making a total of 927 mentions in contrast to the Koran which does not mention Jerusalem even once.
Apart from biblical references, archaeology continues to provide overwhelming evidence of Jewish connec-tions to Jerusalem going back some 3,000 years. In contrast Islamic connections to
Jerusalem only go back just over 1300 years.
Jerusalem is the only place where God said he would put his name forever (Psalm 132: 13-14) and Jerusalem has only ever been the capital of Israel.
According to Ezekiel 5:5 God has set Jerusalem in the centre of the nations and Jerusalem is forever tied to the Jews, but also to Christians because it was there that Jesus, died, rose again and ascended back to heaven. It was there also that the church was born.
Not long after those events (AD 70),Jerusalem was devastated and remained in a desperate state for almost 2,000 years. Many different nations controlled Jerusalem over the centuries but not one ever named Jerusalem as their capital.
Islam held sway over Jerusalem for 1200 years and not once did the status of Jerusalem change to a capital city.
Just like Jesus said – Jerusalem would be ruled over by the Gentiles for a limited time but then by implication he said that Jews would eventually come back into the equation which of course they did in 1948 but particularly in 1967.
Despite all this the United Nations has stubbornly refused to acknowledge Jewish historical claims to Jerusalem and instead have called the Temple Mount a Palestinian heritage site. The truth is there has never been a Palestinian people in history, at least not until Yasser Arafat began to call the Arabs Palestinians in the late 60's.
Up until then the Arab presence in Palestine was loose to say the least and comprised mainly of nomads and opportunists.
It is very interesting to observe that Islam had no real interest in Palestine until Israel became a State – then everything changed and Islamic Fundamentalism was born.
As the saying goes – the only thing that unites Islam is a common hatred of Israel.
Without that they are just as divided and splintered as Judaism and Christianity.
The fact is, the Jews have always had a presence in the Land and have constantly expressed their longing to be 'next year in Jerusalem.'
So, let the nations huff and puff. The Bible speaks the truth and we know the end of the story.
This is why we must pray for the peace of Jerusalem because there can be no peace in the world until the issue of Jerusalem is resolved.
And make no mistake – Jesus is coming back to a Jewish Jerusalem and furthermore the day is surely coming when the nations will come to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles. (Zechariah 14).
Mervyn Tilley – FOI Chair
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