By Cris D. Putnam
Serving as bookends for all of redemptive history, “Jerusalem” is first mentioned when Melchizedek, a prophetic type of Jesus Christ, is called the “king of Salem” (Gen 14:18), and then finally, the book of Revelation closes with the “New Jerusalem” coming down from heaven (Rev 21). It is undoubtedly holy ground. God was once present in Jerusalem in a special way above and beyond His usual omnipresence. The Hebrew Bible records that God’s presence manifested physically as the “Shekinah” described as a radiant cloud (1 Kgs 8:10–11). During Ezekiel’s ministry, when God became fed up with His people’s sin, His glory departed Jerusalem (Eze 10:18-19). Shortly thereafter, just as the prophets predicted, the Babylonians captured and destroyed Jerusalem (2 Kgs 25; Jer. 52). This marked the inauspicious end of the first temple period.
The Jews rebuilt the second temple in Jerusalem but things did not happen as they expected. They might have known because the prophet Daniel not only predicted the second temple’s destruction, he told them the Messiah would come prior (Dan 9:24–26). This should lead all Jews to the inescapable conclusion that because only Jesus meets that requirement, their Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) demands that Jesus was the Messiah. Isaiah had even written that the Messiah would be rejected and suffer for the sins of the people (Isa 53:5). Jesus marked the return of God to the temple in the first century and just as before, when He was rejected it was again destroyed. Although it has taken centuries, some Jews have begun to acknowledge this. Even the late Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri (a popular kabbalist, who died in 2006 prompting three hundred thousand people to march in his funeral procession) came to this truth. In what can only be described as a bizarre twist of fate, he left a sealed message with strict orders for it to be opened one year after his funeral. That message named Yeshua as the Messiah in an acrostic and Kaduri had said previously the Messiah would return shortly after Ariel Sharon dies.[i] Sharon is alive but has been preserved in a permanent vegetative state since suffering a stroke in January of 2006. Whether this comes to pass or not, as we saw in the last post, more and more Jews are beginning to acknowledge that Jesus must be the Messiah for the Torah to hold true.
The Torah promised the nation blessings under obedience (Dt 28:1–14) and it promised they would be cursed and uprooted from the land if they were not (Dt 28:15ff). The Torah was not broken because, as we examined in the last chapter, the latter condition is exactly what has happened from AD 70 onward. God’s permissive will toward the centuries of satanic persecution and even the holocaust only make sense in light of Deuteronomy 28:15 onward. But the prophets also spoke of a time beyond those two temples to a glorious future and their descriptions feature Jerusalem prominently. A representative example is, “Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain” (Zec 8:3). Indeed, this is the ultimate destiny of Jerusalem and it also explains why the leaders of Judaism, Islam, and Romanism want to claim it as their own. Christians are, for the most part, unconcerned because they expect Jesus to claim it for Himself upon His return.
Exposé: The Vatican Wants to Lay its Hands on Jerusalem
Peace negotiations in the Middle East must tackle the issue of the status of the holy sites of Jerusalem”, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, head of the Vatican’s Council for Interreligious Dialogue, declared several days ago in Rome.
The Vatican’s former foreign minister asked to place some Israeli holy places under Vatican authority, alluding to the Cenacle on Mount Zion and the garden of Gethsemane at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
The first site also houses what is referred to as King David’s tomb.[ii]
In Petrus Romanus you will learn how the Roman Catholic Church has had designs on owning Jerusalem since the time of the crusades. While those bloody expeditions were largely in defense of the dubious theology behind pilgrimage, the Vatican’s ambitions today seem more concrete. They want political control over the Old City of Jerusalem in the same manner as the old Papal States and Vatican City today. So, we come full-circle and ask, “What does the Vatican have in mind for Jerusalem?” This seems to be pointing to ecumenical end-time faith being headquartered in Jerusalem. The Bible not only predicts that a great apostasy will occur there just prior to Christ’s return, it predicts that God’s two witnesses will be killed there. “And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified” (Re 11:8). That characterization symbolically describes the nature of the coming third-temple faith. We promise more startling details are forthcoming upon the book’s release in April. Sign up to be notified here.
More on the Jerusalem Agenda next week.
[i] See: “Rabbi Kaduri Reveals Name of the Messiah,” last accessed February 10, 2012, http://www.cyber-synagogue.com/rabbi_kaduri_reveals_name_of_Messiah.htm.
[ii] Giulio Meotti, “Expose: The Vatican Wants to Lay its Hands on Jerusalem,” Israel National News, December 15, 2011, http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/150757#.TzV9aORnDmd.