Jerusalem is at the center of Jewish and Christian belief and much of the Bible. Jerusalem is believed to be the throne of God on earth, and a river flows from beneath the throne. Beneath the city’s Temple Mount is the Gihon spring, one of the four rivers from paradise.
But, as the “eternal” and “undivided” capital of Israel, this is the stuff of religious and political propaganda, and political claims awaiting the conclusions of military conflicts and divine intervention to settle this simmering dispute.
The City of David, not too far from the birthplace of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem, will be the trigger for Armageddon. And, it is to Jerusalem that Jesus Christ will return.
Since 1947, Jerusalem has been earmarked by the international community as an international city, a corpus separatum, which is Latin for a separate body. In spite of this, both Jews and Arabs claim Jerusalem as their capital city. One insists on a unified city. The other insists on a divided city. Neither side can come to a peace agreement. Both sides refuse to come to a peace agreement. Each side blames the other for the impasse. And, the give war a chance crowd, the American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC), has triumphed. Like it or not, we are going to be dragged into Armageddon, and play a leading role.
In its long history, the city of Jerusalem has been attacked 52 times, captured and recaptured 44 times, besieged 23 times, and destroyed twice.
Jerusalem, as a matter of historic fact, has only served as a capital city for one other kingdom upon this earth. The Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem ruled from the city from 1099 until 1187. The Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem came about in response to Muslims having desecrated the tomb of Christ and making it too dangerous for Christians to make pilgrimages to Jerusalem. As a medieval feudal kingdom, the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem was ruled over by the following kings:
1100–1118 Baldwin I
1118–1131 Baldwin II
1131–1143 Melisende with Fulk
1143-1152-1163 Baldwin III
1163–1174 Amalric I
1174–1185 Baldwin IV
1185–1186 Baldwin V
They were not Jews, Arabs, or Muslims. They were not Turks, Egyptians, or Persians. They were unapologetic Franks and Normans - north western Europeans, Christians who practiced the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church.
During the Islamic periods before and after the control of Jerusalem by Latin Christians, the city was never a capital city to others. It was just a holy city to Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Only ancient Israel, the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, and the modern State of Israel have had Jerusalem as a capital city.
In response to America’s December 6, 2017 announcement of its embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the Palestinians, along with much of the Muslim and Arab world via the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on December 13, 2017 declared East Jerusalem, which is the Arab quarter, to be the capital of a hoped for State of Palestine.
The Temple Mount is located in East Jerusalem. This is where the Western Wall, Al-Aqsa Mosque, Dome of the Rock, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre sit.
So, this Christmas season, we remember the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, in Bethlehem. And, we can plainly see that the time approaches for the culmination of all things.
Jesus, the lamb of God, was born to die for all of us. The Christmas story points to Good Friday and Easter. It also points to the return of Christ as noted in the Nicene Creed - from the right hand of the Father, He will come again to judge the living and the dead. He will again cleanse the Temple to make it fit for proper worship.
Pointing to 70 AD as well as his return, Jesus said, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered together thy children, as the hen doth gather her chickens under her wings, and thou wouldest not? Behold, your house is left unto you desolate; For I say to you, you shall not see me henceforth till you say: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (Matthew 23:37-39)
When he was taken away to be crucified, the women of Jerusalem cried, because they knew. “But Jesus turning to them, said: Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over me; but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For behold, the days shall come, wherein they will say: Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that have not borne, and the paps that have not given suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains: Fall upon us; and to the hills: Cover us. For if in the green wood they do these things, what shall be done in the dry?” (Luke 23:29-31)
The Jews of the High Priest Caiaphas' Israel rejected, humiliated, and had their Messiah crucified at the hands of the Romans. This they did when they were “green.” Still young. They had gone through a series of attempts at self governance: patriarchs, judges, kings, prophets, priests, and after the time of Christ - teachers, or rabbis.
Now, two thousand years later, secular atheism and Talmudic Judaism define the State of Israel. As a dry tree, in an apostate state, with out the sap of God’s Spirit as defined in the New Testament, the State of Israel hosts gay pride parades in Tel Aviv. This odd fact underscores the prophetic accuracy of the Scriptures, which lament that if God had not saved a remnant, Israel would become like Sodom. In fact, the Book of Revelation denounces Jerusalem as Sodom and Egypt.
At the apex of ancient Israel, two whores came to King Solomon to settle a custody dispute over a child. One was willing to have the child cut in half, which betrayed the grief for the loss of her own child. And, in Solomon’s wisdom, the child was given to the rightful mother, who wanted to preserve the child in one piece.
So is the case with Jerusalem and the litigants - the whores. Each is guilty of misrepresentations - lies and thefts. Yet, only one is truly entitled to lay legitimate claim. And, as a result, the consequences will be far worse than cutting a child in half. In our day, Jerusalem has become a cup of trembling. (Zechariah 12:2)
The nations will be gathered against Jerusalem, two thirds of Israel will die. (Zechariah 13:8 ) The dry dead wood will be burned. “Nations, nations in the valley of destruction: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of destruction.” (Joel 3:13) And then the LORD will suddenly appear to fight to preserve the surviving remnant. In that day, all will know that the LORD is a wall, a shield, around His people.
Thieves and liars are not numbered among His people. As the angels proclaimed that first Christmas Day, “Peace on earth to men of good will.” These are those without guile, the misrepresentations, treachery, and thievery.
This Christmas season, we should all pray for the peace of Jerusalem.